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Nasdaq Launches Decentralized Finance Index for Digital Assets

Major United States stock exchange Nasdaq has unveiled a blockchain decentralized finance (DeFi) index Defix (DEFX). According to a Defix press release published on Sept. 9, brokerage firm Exante streamlined the launch of the Defix index.

A disparate group of crypto assets
The index includes crypto assets of projects such as the one of Proof-of-Work blockchain Amoveo (VEO), decentralized exchange protocol 0x (ZRX), prediction market Augur (REP). Also the governance token of the decentralized autonomous organization behind the DAI stablecoin and MakerDAO (MKR).

Amoveo main developer Zack Hess commented on the development:

“I am glad to see increased awareness being brought to decentralized finance projects.”

A broker specialized in crypto funds
Exante launched its Bitcoin (BTC) fund in 2012. Notably, the fund reportedly totaled an overall return of investment of 70,000% since its inception.

Furthermore, the firm also released the XAI fund, composed of six major altcoins Ether (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Monero (XMR), XRP and Zcash (ZEC).

As Cointelegraph reported at the end of August, Elwood Asset Management — owned by British billionaire and Brevan Howard founder Alan Howard — is planning a $1 billion venture into the crypto hedge fund space.
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Someone Just Moved $1B in Bitcoin for $700 Fee, Overpaying 20 Times

A $1 billion Bitcoin (BTC) transaction has become conspicuous not because of its size but because its sender spent far too much on fees.

Someone could have sent 94K BTC for $35
Social media users were guessing at the origin and destination of the funds on Sept. 6, which involved 94,504 BTC ($1.018 billion).

According to Twitter-based monitoring resource Whale Alert, the transaction did not involve known wallets or those belonging to a specific cryptocurrency-related organization, such as an exchange.

One theory suggested the funds may be tied to institutional trading platform Bakkt, which begins accepting client deposits today.

“Institutions building inventory for their market-making needs going forward,” commented Max Keiser on the giant transaction. He added:

“This = effective ‘put’ on the BTC price at $9,000 (as I’ve been reporting for several yrs now). Ie, institutions are net-buyers of any BTC that shows up at $9k. Risk/reward now for buyers is excellent.”

Its sender, who may have been sending funds to themselves, nonetheless selected a very high fee rate.

At 480 satoshis per byte, the fee totalled around $700.

Bitcoin fees can vary depending on how quickly a sender wishes a transaction to be processed by miners. Many wallets allow manual fee-setting; the more money paid, the fewer blocks a user must wait for a transaction confirmation.

Under current conditions, getting a transaction included in the next block — maximum ten minutes — is just 23 satoshis per byte, meaning the $1 billion sender overpaid 20 times. The funds could have settled in around 10 minutes paying a fee of just $35.

Bitcoin’s low fees era continues
Bitcoin fees have remained low in 2019 despite the cryptocurrency’s rapid rise in price.

As Cointelegraph reported, the situation marks a stark contrast to 2017, when Bitcoin circled all-time highs and fees grew in step. At the time, developers of projects such as the controversial Bitcoin Cash (BCH) aimed to take users away with the promise of lower fees.

The total hash rate of Bitcoin — the amount of computing power involved in the mining process — continues to reach new highs, and is now more than 1000% larger than in September 2017.
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Bitcoin Dominance Hits 70% as Keiser Warns Altcoins ‘Not Coming Back’

Bitcoin (BTC) now has the highest share of the overall cryptocurrency market since before its record-breaking $20,000 bull run in 2017.

According to data from major monitoring resource CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin now accounts for 70.5% of the total cryptocurrency market cap as of Sept. 3.

Bitcoin market cap hits pre-$20K high
That figure has not been seen since March 2017, and comes as BTC/USD makes gains at altcoins’ expense.

As Cointelegraph reported, continued underperformance in cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin has triggered warnings from traders and analysts alike.

Among them are Peter Brandt and RT host Max Keiser, the latter again claiming this week that altcoins would never recover from this downturn.

“Alts never coming back… Sorry,” he tweeted on Sept. 3, also referencing market cap statistics. Brandt reiterated similar warnings.

“When will altcoin junkies understand that $BTC is the crypto with real and lasting value,” wrote Brandt, who added:

“Altcoins are to Bitcoin what lead is to Gold.”

Some sources had reported Bitcoin hitting the 70% mark as early as last week.

Market cap readings set highs across the board
Bitcoin itself delivered a sudden return to form late on Monday, having previously dropped to just $9,350. At press time Tuesday, BTC/USD was circling $10,360, bringing 24-hour gains to 6.2%.

Altcoins in the top twenty, however, mostly failed to achieve more than 4%, meaning they, in fact, lost value in Bitcoin terms.

Some commentators voiced caution about placing faith in Bitcoin’s strength. Market cap, they argued, is a poor measure of performance, as it includes many altcoins which do not even have any trading volume.

Earlier, Cointelegraph reported on the phenomenon of Realized Market Cap, a metric designed to solve those inconsistencies which has also set new records in recent weeks.
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Billionaire Alan Howard Eyes $1 Billion Crypto Fund Management Venture

Elwood Asset Management — owned by British billionaire and Brevan Howard founder Alan Howard — is planning a $1 billion venture into the crypto hedge fund space.

The Financial Times (FT) reported on Aug. 30 that the asset manager is developing a platform that would tailor portfolios of cryptocurrency funds for institutional investors.

Weeding out the crypto hedge fund space
Elwood Asset Management CEO Bin Ren told the FT that the venture will aim to steer investors towards a selection of vetted crypto funds that have passed robust due diligence so that market participants can avoid the risks associated with the emerging sector.

Ren — who formerly served as chief investment officer at Brevan Howard’s Systematic Investment Group — said that screening of the sector had resulted in Elwood identifying up to 50 crypto hedge funds as “probably satisfy our due diligence.”

While details of the product remain to be finalized, the new fund could enable investors to determine input factors such as the level of risk they are willing to court, their expectations of returns, as well as liquidity terms. It will also measure the potential correlation of the tailored crypto hedge fund portfolio with the rest of their existing assets.

As the FT notes, Elwood’s bid to navigate institutional clients through the new investment landscape is informed by a recognition that many crypto investment vehicles still lack the traditional features of the traditional hedge fund industry.

Product could eventually have $1bn AUM
The report cites research jointly conducted by Elwood and Big Four auditor PwC this year that revealed that crypto hedge funds charge an average management fee of 1.72% plus a performance fee of 23.5% — well above the 1.41% 16.6% respective averages for the traditional hedge fund industry.

For its services, Elwood will apply its own fee on top of the fees that investors pay to access the underlying funds.

“I see this as a very big growth opportunity,” he told the FT, noting he expects the product could eventually manage over $1 billion in assets.

This March, Elwood had indicated it was planning to increase its cryptocurrency offerings as it announced the launch of a blockchain exchange-traded fund in partnership with Invesco.

Howard himself has a host of crypto investments under his belt, including in EOS developer Block.one and the ICE-owned digital assets platform Bakkt.
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Binance: Funds ‘SAFU’ After Amazon Web Services Error Stops Withdrawals

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has confirmed user funds are not at risk after a reported technical problem began affecting withdrawals.

According to CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, the situation was being resolved on Aug. 23, while funds security was not compromised.

“Funds are #safu,” he wrote on Twitter, employing a now well-known catchphrase he had previously inadvertently created while confirming there was no danger to cryptocurrency holdings.

“Funds are SAFU” after AWS error busts withdrawals
The issue, he explained, centered on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Problems with caching were producing error messages for a portion of Binance traders, with withdrawals also impacted.

“AWS is having an issue, mostly with caching services, affecting some users globally. We are working with them and monitoring the situation closely,” CZ wrote, adding:

“It's causing some 500 error messages on APIs and affecting some withdrawal processing.”

Binance shrugs off alleged KYC data leak
Binance had just recovered from a publicity scare which involved a self-proclaimed hacker alleging he had access to users’ Know Your Customer, or KYC, data.

Prior to that, a hack saw funds worth $41 million leave the platform due to a security issue — something which sparked a weeklong maintenance shutdown and payouts to affected users.

This week, Binance announced it was working on a new cryptocurrency project, Venus, as an answer to Facebook’s controversial Libra digital currency.
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New York Court Rules That State Attorney Has Jurisdiction Over Bitfinex

The New York State Supreme Court has ruled that the New York Office of the Attorney General (NYAG) has jurisdiction over cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.

According to a court filing on Aug. 19, this will allow the NYAG to continue its investigation of the exchange over allegations of fraud and misleading investors.

In the filing, Judge Joel Coehn dismissed a motion by Bitfinex to terminate an action by the NYAG that would prosecute Bitinex under a New York law — the Martin Act. The NYAG originally alleged that Bitfinex and associated stablecoin firm Tether covered up an $850 million loss and in doing so, misled investors in the state of New York.

The allegations have resulted in a protracted legal battle between Bitfinex and state prosecutors, with the exchange claiming that it spent $500,000 and hired over 60 lawyers in order to comply with documentation requests by the NYAG.

The issue of jurisdiction has recently become a primary issue of contention in the case. Legal representatives for both Bitfinex and Tether have previously submitted documents to the court, stating that neither firm served customers in New York — which has a uniquely stringent regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

The lawyers claimed that, even should the state be able to prove that they had served New York clients, it could not establish whether those customers were harmed by the exchange or stablecoin issuer’s alleged actions.

Today’s ruling by Justice Cohen denies Bitfinex and Tether’s motion to terminate the NYAG’s action on the grounds that it was extra-jurisdictional in addition to dissolving a temporary stay of the state’s investigation.

Bitfinex’s claims that it did not serve New York-based customers is further complicated by reports that United States-based users are still able to access the platform by simply lying on a pop-up query about their geographical location.
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‘Time for Plan ₿,’ Says VanEck Exec as Negative Yield Bonds Hit $15 Trillion

According to Deutsche Bank, 27% of global bonds traded are now negative yield, so expected to pay out less than their initial cost.

Negative yield bonds dwarf Bitcoin market cap
This represents $15 trillion worth of debt. Or as VanEck digital asset director, Gabor Gurbacs, commented Aug. 14, this is 75 times the total Bitcoin market cap.

“It’s time for Plan ₿!” he adds.

Whilst currently this phenomenon is limited to certain European countries and Japan, all eyes are on the U.S. Federal Reserve to see if it follows the trend.

Meanwhile, ex-chairman of the Fed, Alan Greenspan, told Bloomberg on Tuesday that there is no barrier to Treasury yields falling below zero. This prompted Bitcoin perma-bull, Max Keiser to tweet that “Bitcoin has no top because fiat has no bottom.”

Lend the government $100 and get $90 back
Global economic uncertainty around unchecked quantitative easing, trade wars, deflationary technology and political instability has driven more and more investors towards negative yielding bonds.

The total value of such bonds has risen to $15 trillion dollars, almost tripling since Oct. 2018. Countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Japan, are all issuing bonds with negative interest rates.

Whereas historically, the government would pay you interest for lending them the money instead of spending it, people are now paying for these safe-havens for their wealth.

Faced with negative yield from government bonds as one safe haven investment, investors must surely look to alternatives such as gold and increasingly Bitcoin as the technology is now over a decade old.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, former Goldman Sachs executive Raoul Pal makes thinks the world is fast approaching a currency crisis and that Bitcoin will thrive in the next financial crisis due to its borderless, deflationary and apolitical properties.
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Bitcoin Network Hash Rate Hits 80 Quintillion for the First Time

Bitcoin (BTC) has passed another network performance milestone this week as the largest cryptocurrency’s hash rate hit a new record high.

Bitcoin secured by 80 quintillion hashes per second

Data from monitoring resource Bitinfocharts confirmed Bitcoin’s hash rate exceeded 80 quintillion SHA256 hashes per second Aug. 8, the first time such a level has been reached.

Hash rate refers to the amount of computing power used to validate Bitcoin transactions. The more power, the costlier it becomes for malicious actors to attack the network.

As Cointelegraph reported, hash rate has set multiple new all-time highs throughout recent months, reversing a downward trend which characterized the second half of the 2018 Bitcoin bear market.

The metric is one of many to set personal bests this year; difficulty and volume, among others, have also done so.

Greater security boosts investor confidence
Network strength in turn contributes to the overall bullish sentiment among Bitcoin proponents, who note that during the cryptocurrency’s all-time price high in December 2017, the same metrics were markedly lower.

As such, the argue, Bitcoin is better equipped for growth now than then, or at any point in its history.

When that growth will kick in remains uncertain, with opinions nonetheless coalescing around next May’s block size reward halving. Prior to that, miners will ensure that markets keep above the lows seen in the past year, with one analyst putting the floor at around $6,500.
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North Korea Stole $2 Billion in Cryptocurrency From Exchanges, Says UN

North Korea has netted around $2 billion by hacking banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, according to the United Nations.

UN: Hacked crypto funds weapons of mass destruction

In a confidential report acquired by mainstream media outlets including Reuters on Aug. 5, the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee said that hackers formed an essential part of government funding.

“Democratic People’s Republic of Korea cyber actors, many operating under the direction of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, raise money for its WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programs, with total proceeds to date estimated at up to two billion US dollars,” Reuters quoted the report as stating.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, Pyongyang regularly forms the main suspect in investigations over attacks on exchanges in nearby Asian countries.

In particular, the entity known as the Lazarus Group has become notorious for its malign activities, which have affected countries across the world.

No end to sanctions in sight
South Korea appears to be a specific target, however, the most recent event involving a phishing email scam in which hackers masqueraded as major trading platform UpBit.

At the same time, the FBI reiterated the U.N. view that North Korea was deliberately stealing money in order to counter the effects of international sanctions, which the report now said were likely to remain due to a lack of progress in talks.

“We call upon all responsible states to take action to counter North Korea’s ability to conduct malicious cyber activity, which generates revenue that supports its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs,” it added.
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Walmart is Trying to Patent Its Own ‘Libra’ Like Digital Currency

A new patent filing suggests that United States retail giant Walmart may be developing its own U.S. dollar-backed digital currency similar to Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.

Walmart filed patent for “Digital Currency via Blockchain”
Patent filing number 20190236564, “System and Method for Digital Currency via Blockchain,” was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Aug. 1. The document outlines a method for:

“Generating one digital currency unit by tying the one digital currency unit to a regular currency; storing information of the one digital currency unit into a block of a blockchain; buying or paying the one digital currency unit.”

Walmart continues to outline that the proposed digital currency project can provide a zero- or low-fee place for users to store wealth; one that can easily be redeemed and converted to store cash at selected retailers or partners. Such accounts could even be interest-bearing, the filing adds.

The digital currency could alternatively be developed so that it can be spent anywhere, the filing states, with prospective USD backing ensuring greater ease of deposits and withdrawals. It could, in another scenario, be tied to other digital currencies, rather than fiat ones.

Corporations becoming alternative banks
Early on in the filing, Walmart proposes that the launch of its digital currency could provide low-income households, for whom banking is costly, with “an alternative way to handle wealth at an institution that can supply the majority of their day-to-day financial and product needs.”

The “blockchain-protected digital currency” — as Walmart dubs it — could further challenge incumbent banks by removing the need for credit and debit cards:

“The digital currency may act as a pre-approved biometric [...] credit. A person is the ‘credit card’ to their own digital value bank.”


The retailer further imagines that the scope of its digital currency could extend to form part of wider, blockchain-powered service ecosystem, envisioning the creation of an “open-platform value exchange for purchases and for crowdsource work.”

This would allow customers to buy products or services for themselves and for others — using the platform to hire a technician for repairs, an associate or a designated shopper for a given amount of time.

While it currently faces a robust regulatory pushback, Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project has a similar ambition to provide low-cost, borderless value transfer and build out a digital currency-powered network.

For Walmart, its blockchain-related projects have to date focused on using the technology in areas such as supply chain management, customer marketplaces and smart appliances.
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Chinese Mining Giant Becomes ‘First’ To File US IPO: Unconfirmed Report

Chinese Bitcoin mining giant Canaan Creative has allegedly filed a $200 million initial public offering (IPO) request with United States regulators.

Report: Canaan ‘beats Bitmain’ to IPO filing
That was according to a report which appeared on local social media platform WeChat on July 31, which claimed the application was already sitting before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Despite being less known in the West than its competitors such as Bitmain, Canaan is one of the three main Chinese Bitcoin mining players, the third being Yibang International. While Bitmain was reportedly planning to file an IPO with the US SEC as of the end of June, this report — if accurate — would mean that Canaan Creative has beat them to the punch.

In March, Canaan Creative raised additional capital in its latest funding round, with the exact amount remaining uncertain. No new investors came on board, with all new cash reportedly coming from existing backers.

Now, the IPO filing means Canaan is the first Chinese market participant to successfully take its case to the U.S. market, claims the report.

Bitcoin mining industry transformation continues
As Cointelegraph noted, previous attempts at IPOs had met with rejection, with Canaan, Bitmain and Yibang all trying unsuccessfully to launch the offering in Hong Kong.

At the time of Bitmain’s failure in December 2018, rumors cited the then highly volatile nature of Bitcoin as a potential factor giving regulators cold feet. Mining had suffered a setback the previous month as Bitcoin prices plunged, sparking significant shifts as participants attempted to stay financially stable.

Six months later, the landscape has transformed, with Bitcoin’s bull run seeing a dramatic reversal of fortunes across the mining industry.

In June, Bitmain said it was looking to file a U.S. IPO of its own.
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Pantera Capital CEO Believes Bitcoin Could Reach $356,000 in a Couple Years

Pantera Capital founder Dan Morehead discussed how Bitcoin (BTC) could hit $42,000 by the end of 2019, and even has the potential to reach $356,000 within a couple years. Morehead delivered his comments on an episode of the Unchained podcast on July 23.

Morehead specifically said that he predicts BTC will hit $42,000 by the end of the year, and climb to $356,000 by 2022. Morehead claimed that this would be consistent with the top cryptocurrency’s logarithmic growth rate:

“Graph the price of Bitcoin logarithmically [...] its trend is going to grow at 235% compound annual growth rate and [...] that put Bitcoin at $42,000 at the end of 2019. And I know this sounds crazy but we’re essentially halfway back there. [...] I think it’s a good shot that by the end of the year we hit that. And if you just extrapolate that line out for another year it’s $122,000 per Bitcoin and then one more year, $356,000.”

Morehead also spoke about technological developments in the Bitcoin network, stating that the number of possible transactions per second — a persistent problem for Bitcoin — will rapidly increase as the technology is developed.

Morehead bearish on altcoins and ready to wait for a Bitcoin ETF
Regarding the possibility of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), Morehead cited the example of the last asset class to be approved for an ETF, copper, saying that approval took three years, “but copper has been around for 10,000 years, right?” As such, Morehead says that it will take a long time for a Bitcoin ETF to come out.

Morehead also made predictions about overall token success recently, saying that he believes most altcoins will fail, but thousands of decentralized applications will come out of the ones that succeed.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Pantera Capital recently led a funding round for a decentralized exchange startup called Sparkswap, alongside Initialized Capital and Foundation Capital and Y Combinator.

According to its website, Pantera Capital is an investment firm “focused exclusively on ventures, tokens, and projects related to blockchain tech, digital currency, and crypto assets.” Further, it claims to be the first U.S.-based Bitcoin investment firm ever created, founded back in 2013.
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South Korean President Stresses Regulatory Innovation for Blockchain

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In stated that regulatory innovation regarding blockchain technology is now a question of survival.

Regulatory innovation is not a matter of choice anymore, it is a question of survival
The President of South Korea stressed the importance of the development of new regulatory approaches towards new technologies such as blockchain in the light of the selection of Busan city as a regulation-free zone, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on July 24.

In the press release, Moon compared the era of industrialization to the ongoing fourth industrial revolution, claiming that the latter requires regulatory innovation as a basic must.

Moon said:

"While regulatory innovation in the era of industrialization was a matter of choice, it is now a question of survival as we are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by fusions across industries and fields.”

The President added that creating real use cases for blockchain to protect personal data contribute to a greater international presence for South Korea, while blockchain applications in finance will greatly contribute to the revitalization of the local economy.

South Korea’s blockchain regulation-free zone to work on DLT applications in four areas
As previously reported, Busan, South Korea's second most-populous city after Seoul, was selected as the preferred bidder for the South Korea’s blockchain regulation-free zone along with its competitor Jeju Province in April 2019. As a part of the initiative, South Korea’s government plans to minimize regulatory pressure in the industry and promote technological innovation in the country.

According to the new press release, the project envisions implementations of blockchain applications in four areas: tourism, finance, logistics and public safety. Each area of implementation will have a separate responsible company, the report says.

Per the report, BNK Busan Bank, a subsidiary of local holding company BNK Financial Group, will be responsible for blockchain applications in finance, while Hyundai Pay will develop a blockchain-based system for tourism. Local crypto-related firm Coinplug will be working on a blockchain-powered public safety platform, and tech startup BP&Solution will be developing for fishery logistics platform, the report notes.

Recently, local sources reported that Busan Bank entered a partnership with Busan city authorities to develop an internal blockchain-based digital currency project.
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Bitcoin an ‘Unstoppable Force,’ US Congressman Tells Crypto Hearing

Bitcoin’s (BTC) plight in Congress has seen attention focus mainly on naysayers, but this week’s hearing also saw United States politicians accept it was always beyond their control.

‘Governments cannot stop this innovation’

During testimony on July 17, U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry, who represents North Carolina’s 10th District, told lawmakers directly that attempts to stop Bitcoin were futile.

“The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin whitepaper envisioned, and others are building, is an unstoppable force,” he said.

McHenry runs in sharp contrast to other Congressmen making the headlines over Bitcoin, with Brad Sherman again gaining the spotlight after making dubious claims about cryptocurrency’s role in crime.

Others broadly failed to draw a distinction between Bitcoin and permissioned digital currencies, specifically Facebook’s Libra project, which formed the initial basis for the hearings.

For McHenry, however, legislation or not, Bitcoin will prevail. If it were possible to shut it down, he implied, an adversary would have already done so at some point since its 2009 inception.

“We should not attempt to deter this innovation; governments cannot stop this innovation, and those that have tried have already failed,” he continued.

Nations coming to grips with crypto
As Cointelegraph reported, the Congressional hearings came as other states are currently coming to grips with the first incarnation of their regulation of Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies.

Notably, India this week confirmed it was working on official guidelines after a scandal involving what some accepted as a draft law banning cryptocurrency outright appeared earlier.

The fallout of the document, which mandated prison sentences for Bitcoin users, resulted in billionaire investor Tim Draper calling the Indian government “pathetic and corrupt.”
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Mnuchin Crypto Speech Was Total Validation of Bitcoin: Barry Silbert

Bitcoin (BTC) proponents were reacting to fresh criticism of cryptocurrency from the United States government July 16, following a press conference with Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin.

Mnuchin, who held the 30-minute event on Monday, said he wished to focus explicitly on Bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra digital currency protocol.

He referred to both as “cryptocurrencies,” despite analysis confirming that Libra is in fact not similarly structured to true cryptocurrencies.

“As the president has said, Bitcoin is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Mnuchin summarized, repeating what he described as “concerns” aired by Donald Trump on Twitter last week.

“We are concerned about the speculative nature of Bitcoin and will make sure that the U.S. financial system is protected from fraud,” he added.

Responding, the Bitcoin industry was predictably buoyant, after much of Mnuchin’s speech highlighted a lack of understanding about decentralization, while hinting the government’s goal was to protect the prowess of the dollar.

“Complete and total validation of bitcoin,” Barry Silbert, CEO and founder of Digital Currency Group tweeted.

Others took aim at the myriad ongoing attempts by Washington to get to grips with cryptocurrency and their apparent impotence in the face of an uncontrollable phenomenon.

“Familiar with President's Working Group On Financial Markets? GATA: no more markets only manipulations,” Trace Mayer summarized, poking fun at Mnuchin’s repeated assertion that no one had heard of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Some sources did approve of Mnuchin’s perspective, such as Morgan Creek Digital co-founder, Anthony Pompliano, who focused on his worries about illicit activity.

“Sounds like a green light for those who want to do things the right way,” he wrote.

Similarly upbeat was CoinShares’ Meltem Demirors, who described the comments as measured and fair.

Bitcoin gained slightly following the conference, mirroring behavior seen in the aftermath of Trump’s words.

Overall, BTC/USD is down around 15% compared to the start of last week, when the pair reached highs of just over $13,000.
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‘Google Coin’ Within 2 Years as FANGs Will Go Crypto, Say Winklevoss

Digital currency will form part of all four FANG companies’ offerings by 2021, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss told CNBC in a new interview on July 9.

Speaking about Facebook Libra, the twins, who co-founded cryptocurrency trading platform Gemini, said it was only a matter of time before other tech giants followed suit.

FANG refers to the unofficial “Big Four” of the internet: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.

“Our prediction is every FANG company will have some sort of cryptocurrency project within the next two years,” Tyler told the network.

Libra as a payment protocol has not yet launched, but regulators have voiced alarm, particularly in the United States, where several sources have demanded developers halt the project.

Concerns stem from Libra’s potential to bypass the banking system, something cryptocurrency proponents conversely argue makes the banking establishment overly nervous about losing revenue.

On Thursday, Bitcoin (BTC) itself shed over 10% of its value after a senior U.S. lawmaker delivered fresh concerns about Libra.

For the Winklevosses, however, front-door approaches to regulators is key in getting any disruptive finance offering to market.

Though many say it is not a cryptocurrency at all, the twins even suggested they would facilitate trading of Libra on Gemini, should it be open and not subject to prohibitive restrictions.

“We’ll evaluate Libra in earnest, and it might actually be an asset that is one day listed if it’s an open protocol; that’s possible,” Tyler continued.

Earlier this week, Tom Lee, a serial Bitcoin advocate, delivered a similar forecast regarding tech giants’ future involvement in the digital currency industry.

“The fact that Facebook and likely other FANG companies are going to create their own digital currencies is validating the idea that digital money is here to stay,” he told CNBC.
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The European Central Bank (ECB) doubled down on its dismissive stance on bitcoin (BTC) July 9, refusing to recognize it as currency in a Q&A session.

Responding to a private query as part of its regular interactive Twitter program, which it administers under the hashtag ‘#AskECB,’ the bank said it had no plans to add bitcoin to its reserves.

“Bitcoin is not a currency, it rather is an asset and it is very volatile,” officials wrote quoting chief economist, Philip Lane.

The response continues the ECB’s underwhelming reaction to cryptocurrency it has already propagated in other public statements.

In May this year, a report dubbed “Crypto-Assets: Implications for financial stability, monetary policy, and payments and market infrastructures” concluded the entire phenomenon had little impact on the traditional economy.

Previously, the European Union’s reserve bank had also come out bearish on the idea of issuing a digital currency of its own, in contrast to noises now coming from China and several other states.

Predictably, cryptocurrency proponents had little time for Lane’s brief statements on bitcoin this time around.

“Bitcoin is money,” Pierre Rochard, a software engineer known for his advocacy, responded on Twitter to much appreciation.

Another user reproduced the ECB’s own inflation calculator, showing the decreasing purchasing power of the euro since its introduction twenty years ago.

That, they argued, was infinitely worse than the temporary bouts of volatility seen with bitcoin.
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​​Craig Wright Uses Falsified Docs to Prove Innocence in Kleiman Case

Self-proclaimed Bitcoin (BTC) creator Craig Wright has allegedly provided fabricated court documents to prove a trust deed with his plaintiffs, as seen from documents revealed by trial lawyer Stephen Palley on Twitter on July 3.

According to Palley, the self-styled Satoshi Nakamoto has failed to prove his case by presenting court documents that Palley alleges to be fake, as they contain multiple chronological discrepancies.

Among the exhibits filed with the District Court for the Florida Southern District on July 3, there is a document submitted as proof of cooperation between Wright and the now-deceased David Kleiman, whose lawyers filed the case against Wright in February 2018. Kleiman’s lawyers accuse Wright of stealing hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin — at press time valued at over $5 billion — after Kleiman’s death in April 2013.

While the presented deed of trust document is ostensibly dated Oct. 23, 2012, the metadata of the file indicates that the document was actually created after the death of Kleiman, as Palley found. The trust document apparently uses a 2015 copyright notice related to Calibri, the Microsoft Word font, indicating that the document could not be from earlier.

Following the apparent accusation of Wright for forging the court documents, Palley wrote:

“I mean it makes sense that the inventor of bitcoin can time travel. Your honor.”

In late June, Wright declared that he cannot comply with a court order to provide a list of all his early bitcoin addresses, claiming that he gave a key piece of information regarding the funds and wallets to Kleiman before his death.
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World’s First Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’ Now Available on Bloomberg Terminal

Two European companies have launched what they describe as the world’s first genuine bitcoin (BTC) bond, they confirmed in a joint press release on July 3.

Luxembourg-based Argento, a securitization firm, joined forces with London Block Exchange (LBX) to issue the bitcoin-denominated bond, which is regulated under the United Kingdom’s regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

“We are thrilled to have structured and produced the world’s first institutional grade bitcoin-denominated financial product,” Argento manager Phil Millo commented.

“The large investment banks really dropped the ball on this one.”


The Argento-LBX bond represents a first in regulated cryptocurrency products, in that it contains no fiat exposure for investors. It is readily available via Bloomberg Terminal, and is the first crypto product to have its own ISIN code.

Various durations are available, Argento conspicuously naming them after crypto-specific phenomena such as ‘FOMO,’ ‘HODL’ and ‘MOON.’

HODLers, LBX says, form one of the bond’s major target markets.

“This is an excellent product for people who currently hold bitcoin and aren’t planning to sell over the next few years…,” CEO Benjamin Davies added.

“Now, for the first time, they have an institutional grade way of making their wallets grow without exposing their bitcoin to the swings of the traditional ‘fiat’ currency markets.”

Previously, the governments of several developing nations had told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that they were keen on issuing bonds tied to bitcoin.
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