A Month Ago

Established in 2006, and with over 500 Million accounts, VKontakte is the ninth most visited website in the world according to SimilarWeb.

Users of the Russian social media network, based on the amount of time they spend on the VKontakte’s platform, will receive tokens. Tokens earned this way could be transferred between users, to purchase goods and potentially be converted to cash via VK Pay. VK Pay is a money transfer service that lets VK users send money to each other in messages, using a credit or debit card. 

This format is similar to Facebook’s plans for Facecoin, which is reported to be launching later this year in India on WhatsApp, and follows Line, Japan’s largest social media platform, which is using Digital Assets.

VKontake’s co-founder Pavel Durov also founded Telegram, which raised over $1.8 Billion in 2018 and is reported to be worth over $2.7 Billion personally.

These massive social media firms in three different continents are all using a potent cocktail of gamification and loyalty programs to incentivise and reward their customers for spending more time on their platforms. They presumably will be collecting information on what the tokens are being used to purchase and sell this valuable consumer data to advertisers.

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Social Media
Social Web
https://www.cryptonewsz.com/russian-social-medi...ncy/13472/
Sometimes when you look beyond a headline you discover some interesting relationships that may not be obvious initially.

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, also co-founded Square who offer payment services for small businesses and mobile payments solutions. Square Payments in 2017 invested $25m into Eventbrite, which itself did an IPO last year. Square are now hiring crypto engineers. Jack Dorsey’s co-founder at Square is Jim McKelevy, who is, incidentally, an independent director of the St Louis Federal reserve.

Meanwhile,
Jack Dorsey is increasingly vocal about his support and interest in Digital Assets, admitting to buying $10,000 of Bitcoin a week, and believes that we are not far from seeing mass adoption of Cryptocurrencies by the public.
So it is not too big a leap to see Twitter and possibly Eventbrite in the not too distant future both licensing, using, being involved in Square’s Crypto payment offering - and follow Facebooks foray into Digital Assets?

More evidence of West Coast US firms looking to target the lucrative banking and financial services world that east coast American companies have dominated for decades?

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Financial Services
Digital Assets
The Russian government has said , without notice, they intend to restrict Crypto exchanges and websites that focus on giving information on these assets.

This reversal of Russia's stance on Cryptos is surprising. It was less than a month ago that Russia announced they were looking at launching their own OIL back Digital Currency.

Meanwhile, the Republic of San Marino, have drawn up formal guidance on how they wish to regulate Digital Assets and have categorised tokens as either utility or investment tokens. Companies that want to issue tokens will need to publish a white paper as well as an executive summary in a non-technical language ensuring any advertising and information about the token is accurate and not misleading.

San Marino recognises that Initial Coin Offerings can help SMEs raise capital, and have proposed certain restrictions. For Non-Public offers they may only have a maximum of 150 investors, raise up to €8 million (same as existing European Crowdfunding regs) and the minimum investment per person is €100,000. Such a high minimum investment will restrict such offerings to only the very wealthy.

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https://blockchainflashnews.com/blockchain-decr...an-marino/
It was only at the beginning of March we bought your attention to a New York-based company called BlockFi who are offering 6.25% a year if you deposit your Bitcoins or Ether with them.

Before you ask who actually has control of the Cryptos, well it is Gemini Trust, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss who act as custodians, thus BlockFi does not have access.

While 6.25% looks attractive, you may want to read these thoughts on
Twitter who point out the potential concerns and risks you could be exposing yourself to...


There is an old expression - all that glitters is not gold. Innovation in the sector is welcomed, but Caveat Emptor – Buyer beware.


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Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://www.cryptonewsz.com/blockfi-booms-as-in...eks/12075/
They say ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’... We’ve had gold-backed currencies for thousands of years.

The UK’s Royal Mint itself, a thousand years old, was by far first out of the blocks in the modern, digital, era, until RMG (Royal Mint Gold), until it was ‘paused’ at the last minute. This was followed in May 2017 by a firm in Dubai aiming to sell 12 million coins worth over $550million. However, Paxos, who claim to be the first new trust company in America created since the 2008 financial crisis, raised $65million in May 2017 and now run the fourth largest Stablecoin by market capitalization worth $113m.

Paxos is now using their experience to launch a Stablecoin, later this year, which will be backed by gold deposits held in a vault - allowing traders the ability to trade gold 24/7, currently not possible. Paxos also plans to expand the use of its service to tokenise and asset type, including stocks and bonds “to move assets and settle transactions more quickly and securely and with lower fees”.

In the same way, we have recently seen BitBond in German tokenise bonds and Nivaura and GlobalCap in London.

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Bitcoin
Digital Assets
http://fortune.com/2019/03/11/gold-cryptocurren...lockchain/

2 Months Ago

Back in 2014 Hip Hop a was one of the first artists to accept Bitcoin as payment for his music, followed by Björk who saw the potential that Crypto offered the music industry as she partnered with AudioCoin, and began accepting both Bitcoin and AudioCoin from fans.

Using Cryptocurrencies, it is possible to disintermediate banks, music-streaming giants, lawyers, and agents, so altering how consumers purchase music. While giving fans a more direct relationship with artists.

A recent report from Business Insider Intelligence outlined that a Blockchain based model could increase sales for artists by essentially turning their intellectual property (music) into a financial asset. Already major festivals around the world are using digital currency alternatives, removing the costs and potential theft challenges of handling cash. So how long before we see a Gagacoin or a SherinCoin, as musicians develop their very own currency and partnerships with major providers of Digital Assets? Having their own currency would not only cut out the middleman but could also lead to a closer more genuine engagement with fans.

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Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency
https://www.ccn.com/crypto-help-artists-survive-spotify
BlockFi, who raised over $54million last year has launched a high-interest account paying 6% p.a. if they hold your Bitcoin or Ethereum assets.

The reason they can pay such high-interest rates is because they lend out your Crypto to other institutions but more importantly, your Digital Assets are held by a custodian independent of BlockFi called Gemini Trust Company. Gemini was co-founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and is regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services.

This new way to hold Cryptocurrencies is another example of how the traditional and the Digital worlds are converging, as BlockFi are offering in effect an instant-access, high-interest account to depositors while providing institutional asset lending facilities. Because the transactions are stored on a Blockchain there are fewer intermediaries involved, it is secured using military-grade security and not reliant on one company’s server/computer as the records will be distributed thus reducing concerns over disaster recovery.

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Banking
Bitcoin
Blockchain
Cryptocurrency
Financial Services
https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/03/06/highest-yiel...-interest/
Mizuho Bank who are part of Mizuho Financial Group with 30,000 employees and $1.8 trillion of assets is following Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan and launching a Stablecoin linked to the Japanese Yes in March 2019.


Mizuho will be launching the J-Coin in conjunction with 60 other Japanese institutions and say there will be no transaction charges between the banks and the J- Coin wallets. It plans to charge merchants/shops much less than the 2% to 5% transaction fees that credit cards currently charge in order to offer a competitive advantage and gain traction.

The Digital Asset market in Japan is well established with e-commerce giant
Rakuten, Japan’s equivalent of Amazon, and Line, a messaging App like WhatsApp, having launched their own Digital Assets already.

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Banking
Bitcoin
Digital Assets
https://www.fxstreet.com/cryptocurrencies/news/...1902211402
Musk this week while being interviewed claimed “Bitcoin’s structure is quite brilliant, but it would not be a good use of Tesla resources to get involved in crypto”

Musk knows a thing or two about money transfers, having been a leading light at PayPal, so he is better placed than most to understand the costs and limitations that traditional payments systems face. Musk also said, “Paper money is going away and crypto is a much better value for a transfer of value than pieces of paper, but, it's very energy intensive to create bitcoin at this point."

Elon Musk, while controversial, has a keen eye for disrupting industries: look at what he has done with solar power, launching satellites and of course electric cars, so it is unlikely to ignore Blockchain technology...

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Bitcoin
Blockchain
Crypto
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKeK68wK0UQ
NASDAQ is the second largest stock market globally by market capitalization, is to start offering investors Bitcoin and Ethereum indices which are being seen by some as a sign to allow traditional investors to participate in Cryptocurrencies.

NASDAQ has announced that both indices are calculated using data from multiple cryptocurrency exchanges “to provide a single price point for BTC and ETH. The BLX is one of the most widely-referenced BTC indices among crypto traders and has been calculated back to 2010. Likewise, the ELX has been calculated back to 2014.” 

Nasdaq will be basing the prices from 50 bitcoin sources globally which are considerably higher than other exchanges like CBOE and CME Group.

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Cryptocurrency
https://news.bitcoin.com/nasdaq-stock-exchange-...h-indices/

3 Months Ago

The internationally acclaimed author and historian who has written 14 best selling books recently said “Bitcoin itself is only money in a very limited sense, which I would define as follows: It is an option on digital gold.

By this, I mean that bitcoin’s role in the foreseeable future is as a liquid asset that is hard to confiscate, and thus serves as a type of insurance. You might hold your private keys the same way the European wealthy used to hold gold jewelry and precious stones. However, the experiment launched by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 is not yet finished. To own bitcoin today is to have an option on Satoshi’s experiment succeeding”.

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Bitcoin
Digital Currency
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/finance-author...ital-gold/
Bianace who are the worlds biggest crypto exchange platform will now be allowing its customers to use Visa and Mastercard cards to buy a range of Cryptocurrencies. 

Over time, as major crypto companies including Binance strengthen the infrastructure surrounding this asset class,  analysts expect the adoption of cryptocurrencies to increase. This is more evidence of how trading Cryptos is being made easier and more accessible for the general public which has to be welcomed provided it does not encourage unsophisticated investors into overtrading these assets.

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Cryptocurrency
Finance
https://www.theblockcrypto.com/2019/01/31/binan...or-crypto/
Yet another organization to have its own cryptocurrency, expect to see many more global brands to do the same as they want to embrace this new method to digitally engage with people.

We have recently seen Facebook, Saudi Arabia/UAE, and the IMF say that there are 15 countries looking at some form of Digital Currency.

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Bitcoin
Finance
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/spains-city-of...tocurrency

4 Months Ago

The UK financial regulator is probing more than a dozen companies in connection with cryptocurrency transactions amid concerns about growing market risks.

The Financial Conduct Authority is investigating 18 businesses involved in the sale of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The regulator has also issued alerts and warnings about dozens of companies suspected of cryptocurrency investment scams. Currently, the transfer, purchase , and sale of cryptocurrencies is not regulated in the UK. However, companies that sell regulated investments with an underlying cryptocurrency element, may need FCA authorizationto do so depending on their activities.

The UK government in December 2018 said it “stands ready” to give the FCA more power to oversee cryptocurrency assets after MPs urged increased regulation of a “ Wild West” market where investor losses and money laundering are deemed big risks.  


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Finance
https://www.ft.com/content/04e22444-0c32-11e9-a...9976f1533b