2 Weeks Ago

Coss and ARAX have announced they are going to merge, which is being heralded by some as the first merger of two firms that had issued utility tokens by carrying out Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

The combined business will be able to enjoy economies of scale bringing together two management teams and create a much larger utility token for their users.

Coss, which stands for Crypto One Stop Solution, is a Digital Asset exchange based in Singapore, and ARAX is a Digital Asset wallet which supports seven different Blockchains and seventeen Digital Assets and has over 250,000 users.

As the price and the liquidity of Bitcoin and Ethereum (Crypto) have improved, it is now possible for firms that have carried out ICOs to start selling some of their Crypto assets, which could potentially have two consequences. Some of these firms will be sitting on Crypto assets that have become much more valuable in the last few months and are, in effect, “digital Cash shells “, which may well encourage merger and acquisition (M&A) activity.

On the other hand, as these firms now potentially have greater asset value, we could see more litigation. The potential for litigation was laid out recently by US law firm Polsinelli LLP, in their paper entitled “Cryptocurrency Class Action Lawsuits: A New Frontier”

As we start to see Security Token Offerings (STOs), which will potentially be backed by real assets, such as publicly quoted equities and bonds, it will not be too long before we see STOs also being caught up in M&A. Then the lawyers and regulators will need to work out how to equitably combine traditional assets with this new asset class…

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Mergers And Acquisitions
https://www.btcwires.com/c-buzz/arax-and-coss-m...ity-token/
Bloomberg reported last year that The Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) was looking to launch its own Digital currency, which would enable it to have more control and be able to track transactions, be able to reduce the Black market economy and even automatically refuse companies loans who had been blacklisted.

The PBoC has registered 78 patents since 2016, according to Bloomberg. In October 2018, PBoC was looking to recruit staff at its Digital Currency Institute, who have experience in software and encryption law. It would appear that China wishes to create a Digital Currency that is centrally controlled, arguably the opposite originally planned for Bitcoin when it was created in 2008!

China is looking to launch its own Digital CurrencyTo be called “Digital Currency for Electronic Payment”, and the governor Zhou Xiaochuan of the PBoC, was recently quoted saying its focus would be on “convenience, rapidity, and low cost in a retail payment system while taking into account security and protection of privacy.”

Meanwhile, ahead of a G20 meeting in Osaka in Japan in June this year, the Japanese have launched a manual for Cryptocurrency regulation as it looks to try and coordinate the approach that countries currently take. In some jurisdictions, regulation is minimal, while others take a more stringent or draconian approach.

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Cryptocurrency
Digital Currency
Finance
https://coinnewstelegraph.com/china-is-set-to-a...-populace/
Serena Williams, who has won 23 tennis Grand Slams, has revealed via her Instagram (which has had over 22,000 likes) that she set up a Venture Capital fund in 2014, which has Coinbase as one of its investments.

Coinbase is a US-based Cryptocurrency exchange which was established in 2012. It has over 13 Million accounts, making it the largest Digital Exchange globally and, following its last $300million fund-raise, was valued at $8 Billion.
However, Serena would appear not to be alone, as there has been an increase in the amount invested in Crypto assets as the chart indicates.

According to Crypto Fund research, there are more than 750 different funds which invest in Crypto assets and have been set up as either Crypto Hedge funds or Crypto Venture capital funds. The value of the assets that these funds managed at the beginning of 2019 was $10 Billion which, despite the poor performance during 2018, was $3.5 Billion more than the start of 2018.
For those wishing for more information on 25 of some of the better-known and larger funds which invest in Digital Assets, this link may be helpful.

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Investment
https://next.autonomous.com/cryptofundlist
Nike, the world’s largest shoe manufacturer and the most valuable apparel brand in the world, has filed a trademark “CryptoKicks” which could lead to it launching its own Cryptocurrency.

This rather bold claim is on the back of Nike’s trademark application, which states “Financial services, namely, providing a digital currency or digital token for use by members of an online community via a global computer network; facilitation of financial transactions using unconventional currency systems and bartering...”

Interestingly, earlier this year, Nike launched trainers that lace themselves, called HyperAdapt. Therefore, will CryptoKicks support an incentive scheme for people wearing these trainers? After all, Nike apparel, with its distinctive logo, is as a form of advertising medium while being worn. So, the more you wear your trainers, the more CryptoKicks you could earn!

Facebook is looking to launch Facecoin on WhatsApp in India, but will Nike beat it and have CryptoKicks up and running before Zuckerberg is out of the blocks?

Nike, like Facebook, has a global audience, who are using their goods and services on a daily basis and both firms need to stay relevant, engaged, and keep the attention of their customers while finding ways to encourage them to repeat purchases.

How long before we see other global brands launching their own Cryptocurrencies for engagement, reward, and payment mechanism?

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Finance
Social Media
https://www.ccn.com/nikes-surprise-crypto-play-...ks-thunder

4 Weeks Ago

In a survey of over 150 universities and endowments in Canada, USA and UK, 94% of the respondents said that they had already invested in Crypto assets - 54% directly and 46% using different types of funds, and only 7% said they were looking to reduce their exposure over the next year.

The survey, although released recently, was conducted in Q4 2018, i.e. when many Digital Assets prices were considerably lower than they are currently, and the sentiment was much more negative to this asset class.

However, the survey revealed that there are still concerns about investing in Digital Assets, such as custody, liquidity, and regulation.

Harvard, with its $39 Billion foundation, is reportedly going to invest $11.5 Million into Blockstack, which will be the first Security Token Offering (STO) that will comply with SEC A+ Regulations, as Blockstack looks to raise $50 million later this year.

Muneeb Ali, co-founder, and CEO of Blockstack PBC, said in the press release:

“Blockstack has been working with securities lawyers to create a legal framework that can enable blockchain protocols to comply with SEC regulations. Our framework is consistent with the latest SEC guidance released last week. Upon qualification, we believe that this offering may be the first time a blockchain project receives approval to access the public U.S. securities markets.”

This is clear evidence that institutional investors have been buying Digital Assets. As we see more   STOs being launched, which will be subject to much tighter regulation, custody providers ought to be able to offer their services to these types of assets. This is important as the lack of custody providers is another reason cited as to why institutions have not significantly invested in Digital Assets to date.

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Investment
https://www.globalcustodian.com/vast-majority-e...vestments/
Within hours of the news about the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral Bitcoin owners, were being asked to send funds to help in the restoration of the Parisian landmark.

The appeal was initiated by a French journalist, and Gregory Raymond, on Twitter, he hoped such charitable actions by owners of Bitcoin could illustrate to the lawmakers that Digital Assets can be used for good, and not just the small percentage of criminal uses often cited by regulators and naysayersIt is not just Crypto donations that are being accepted.

The CEO of Kering, which owns Gucci and Queen Alexander,
have given $100 million, and the owner of LVMH has pledged $200 million. Mere mortals can send fiat too as The Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris has a donation page, or one can use GoFundMe or JustGiving.

There has been some backlash to the amount of money raised for Notre Dame which within a few days is over $750 Million as some claimed there are worthier causes….

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Fund-raising
Infrastructure
The French Finance minister is trying to encourage other European countries to develop a set of rules as to how Cryptocurrencies are to be regulated and taxed, following France’s parliament passing legislation last week on how intermediaries handle these assets.

Known as the “Plan d’action pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises,” (Pacte) it reportedly enables insurance companies in France to invest in Digital Assets.

France is keen to encourage tech innovation and different types of funding that Digital Assets have been using like Initial Coin Offerings. The French are keen to have some controls and regulations, to ensure that investors are protected from fraudulent activities from firms looking to create Digital Assets, but not to protect investors from losses should they occur.

Regulations vary wildly by country within Europe as there is no pan-European legislation. However, local regulators across Europe are imposing restrictions on platforms that do not have the correct permissions to offer brokerage services. The European Union has previously proposed that firms offering services in the Digital Asset sector be subject to its anti-money ‎laundering and countering terrorist financing regulations.‎

As more governments understand the transformational impact that Digital Assets are able to have on their economies, we are likely to see more jurisdictions formulating legislation to encouraging the adoption of Digital Assets. The alternative is, that because these assets are Digital, companies will base themselves in countries that are more accommodative.

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Finance
Regulators
Digital Assets
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-france-crypto...KKCN1RR1Y0
A New York Times journalist has reported that Facebook has been talking to Venture Capital (VC) firms to raise $1 Billion to invest in its cryptocurrency project.

Facebook is looking to launch Facecoin in India on its WhatsApp platform later this year, and it is thought Tim Draper, a VC manager who backed Skype, Bitcoin ( five years ago) and Coinbase, is considering to participate and invest.

Facebook is allegedly going to issue a stablecoin, although it is not clear yet whether it will be pegged/linked to the US$, or to a basket of international currencies. Given Facebook‘s global reach of users, a stablecoin based on a basket of currencies could be an interesting proposition. While the concept of investing in a basket of currencies is not new, as it has been possible to invest in such an asset for a while and there are Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) securities that offer this exposure, a stablecoin that gives exposure to a basket of currencies would be unique as a Digital Asset.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, who is reportedly worth over $66 Billion, has spoken a lot about Facebook’s plans to launch its own Digital Currency, and his company now has over 50 people working on this project, including David Marcus, the former President of PayPal.

Some are predicting that Facebook is looking to offer an alternative to the US$ and emulate the success that We Chat in China has had, offering a money transfer solution. In any event, with Facebook’s financial muscle and strong balance sheet (as it is sitting on over $40 Billion of cash and investments), it is surprising that it is looking to raise more capital. So, what else is this global titan, which has been the subject of so much recent criticism up to now, and will the launch of Facecoin really enable Facebook to attack the lucrative financial services sector?

There could be a much bigger story here as Facebook looks to further monetise our behaviour and gather even more data about what we buy and sell, then selling this data to their advertising clients. Facebook could reward users, based on the number of “likes and shares” people make, whether it be on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram, as they are all part of the same organisation. How long though will it be before we see Amazon, Apple, Google Microsoft, etc. issuing their own Digital currencies, bypassing banks and governments, in a scramble to be the go-to Digital alternative payment mechanism?

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Investment
Social Media
https://www.coinsnetwork.com/2019/04/11/faceboo...ocurrency/

A Month Ago

Boerse Stuttgart the German Stock Exchange, has launched its Crypto trading App, according to an official tweet dated January 31st.

The App has been developed by FinTech Sowa Labs — a subsidiary of Boerse Stuttgart Digital Ventures in an effort to make trading cryptocurrencies for investors more accessible and easier. A feature of the App is the Cryptoradar. This tool uses artificial intelligence to analyze 250,000 tweets per day from the crypto community, filter them by relevance and present them in a user-friendly format. Users will be able to gain an overview of market sentiment on Twitter in real time and can keep up to date discussions around cryptocurrencies.

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Finance
https://bitcoinist.com/germanys-second-largest-...ading-app/
Game of Thrones is the most valuable TV show ever produced, and as the graph below shows, it has commanded massive audiences since it was launched in 2011.

But despite its name Ravencoin is fictitious, borrowed from the fantasy world of Game of Thrones, yet has no commercial link to the hit TV show.

RavenCoin was created in January 2018 and did not carry out an Initial Coin Offering but has organically. Today it is in the top 40 in terms of its capital value being, valued at $250Million according to CoinMarketCap.

Despite which Ravencoin has not had a bad track record, and initial miners of RavenCoin will be very pleased to have seen their coins increase in value by over ten-fold in just over a year.


#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Entertainment
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/important-fact...ncoin-rvn/
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was set up in 1989 to cover challenges like how to promote and recommend standards to maintain confidence in the global financial system including procedures to fight money laundering, and terrorist financing.

While these intentions are laudable the reality is why would someone carrying out nefarious activities using a Cryptocurrency that leaves a digital footprint, as opposed to cash that is widely accepted and not traceable. Is it fear of the unknow driving FATF?

Interestingly, according to the IMF there are 15 countries currently looking at launching their own Digital Currencies. A number of these countries say a reason to do this is to help governments curb their domestic “black economies” as a Digital currency offers greater transparency and traceability of money flows.


#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Regulators
https://news.bitcoin.com/countries-regulate-cry...ial-banks/
Ratuken, the Japanese online trading giant with over 14,000 employees valued at over $15 Billion, has announced that it will be launching a new crypto exchange platform.

Rakuten is also launching its mobile application platform, Rakuten Pay. This will have an integrated cryptocurrency payment option, along with fiat, meaning its customers can pay in fiat or use Digital Assets.

Meanwhile, Amazon has registered domain names AmazonEthereum.com, AmazonCryptocurrency.com and AmazonCryptocurrencies.com. How long will it be before they start accepting Digital Assets, or indeed launch “AmzCoin”?

Amazon has just entered a new partnership with World Pay, which in turn were recently acquired by a US Fintech firm who have a close relationship with Ripple.


Like Facebook has the critical scale and global reach to successfully create its own Digital currency, and bypass much of the banking system.


#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://www.coindesk.com/e-commerce-giant-rakut...o-exchange
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.

#FrontierInsights
Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency
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.


#FrontierInsights
Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://www.cryptonewsz.com/blockfi-booms-as-in...eks/12075/

2 Months Ago

The $800 Billion fund manager company Invesco has launched an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) on the London Stock exchange that will be investing in 48 different companies that have exposure to Blockchain technology.

The EFT will be investing in business such as microchip manufacturers, financial services companies, and IT firms that are using Blockchain technology. While the EFT will not be investing in actual Cryptocurrencies right now, it will have exposure to organizations that are building the infrastructure that Digital Assets require to gain wider adoption. While Invesco’s EFT will not be investing in Cryptos to trade Digital Assets, it is another sign of the importance that Blockchain is beginning to have on institutional investors.

As fund managers gain a better understanding of Blockchain and its ability to improve efficiency and profitability for companies, we expect to see more money finding its way into Digital Assets as the old barriers preventing asset managers buying into Digital Assets i.e. banking facilities, Professional Indemnity Insurance, independent custody services or regulated exchanges, are now being removed.

The infrastructure for fund managers is broadly in place. This is why we are now seeing more Security Tokens being launched and no doubt we will soon see new funds launched to invest in this NEW asset class.

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://www.coindesk.com/a-blockchain-etf-is-la...ange-today
Yes, $2 Trillion was laundered by regulated banks last year according to a recent report, yet banks remain resistant to offer banking services to firms involved in Cryptos.

Despite claims that 90% of all US$ banknotes have traces of Cocaine on them, banks and regulators still believe those in our society that want to carry out nefarious activities are using Crypto, not cash. But why would someone carrying out a criminal activity want to use a form of payment that leaves a digital footprint - a Crypto, when cash leaves no traces and banks seem to still be accommodating these activities?

Since 2008 banks have been fined over $26Billion JUST for KYC/AML non-compliance, with the USA regulator being the most active. While in Europe the UK’s FCA has imposed the largest number of fines. It is no surprise that many claim the current system needs to change, and while it was refreshing to see the FCA being proactive creating the FCA sandbox in 2016 where it allows regulated companies to trial new technology, which hopefully can improve the robustness of the financial system, more recent moves have called their ongoing commitment to innovation into question.

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Crypto
Cryptocurrency
https://www.btcwires.com/c-buzz/regulated-banks...-adoption/
Specialist financial instruments exchange, Drive, has announced they are now offering institutional clients access to spot prices, CFDs and Futures in a selection of Cryptocurrencies.

This ought to help provide greater liquidity and acceptance among institutional investors as it enables them to easily go long or short of a variety of Cryptocurrencies via a platform that they are already using, so gain exposure to Digital Assets by osmosis.

The pronouncement from SEC Chair Clayton has confirmed that certain cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum and Bitcoin, are not securities and has provided the clarity many have been seeking. Which ought to assist lawyers, insurance underwriters and compliance departments at asset management firms as to where and how these Digital Assets can be used.

Meanwhile, back in main street in the US, or as some would say in the UK for ‘Joe Public’, of those that own Digital Assets like Bitcoin less than 40% said they were happy to use Cryptos for payments. So while adoption of Digital Assets is increasing there is still a long way to go before we see cryptos replacing cash…

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Financial Services
Digital Assets
https://www.leaprate.com/forex/institutional/dr...th-gold-i/
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.

#FrontierInsights
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.

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Bitcoin
Blockchain
Cryptocurrency
Financial Services
https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/03/06/highest-yiel...-interest/
Signature bank of New York has announced that it is now offering bank accounts for businesses based in Bermuda that deal in Digital Assets.

There are believed to be over 60 companies that initially this will be of great assistance to, as despite the Bermuda government changing it’s law no locally based bank offer accounts in the Crypto sector. However, Signature bank claims that they are signing up companies that are also not involved with Cryptos.

The lack of banking facilities is a major hurdle facing businesses that deal in Digital Assets globally as it is extremely difficult to get a bank account in many jurisdictions around the world.In the UK Clearbank  which is the first bank in over 250 years to be granted clearing bank status, is one of the is one of the few banks to offer bank accounts to firms engaged in Digital Assets but the company needs to be FCA regulated or in the process of applying to the FCA to be accepted by Clearbank.

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://coinfomania.com/signature-bank-services...n-bermuda/
People question the scalability of Blockchains and different commercial uses cases.

Well, the announcement that EOS, the fourth biggest Cryptocurrency, is going to be used by Taptalk (a social messaging and chat App similar to Reddit) prove Blockchain is being used at scale to drive new business services. Taptalk is going to use the EOS Blockchain to offer rewards “Gold Points” although at this stage they have said they are not going to list the GoldPoints on an exchange.

Winter Wong, the CEO of Tapatalk, said in a press statement “ they were looking to promote microeconomics on forum platforms, calling blockchain integration a “natural step.” He added: “We see many exciting ways this technology will deliver valuable monetization and reward opportunities for forum communities. We are proud to support forum owners in growing prosperous microeconomies in a trusted environment.”

The use of tokens to attract attention and or reward loyalty is likely to be a substantial and growing market but will raise some interesting regulatory issues, as would they be subject to security regulations even if the tokens can be exchanged for goods and services? Currently, your Air Miles when you fly or your American Express loyalty points are not regulated by financial services agencies, but would these loyalty points become regulated if they were listed exchanges to allow greater interoperability?

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
Cryptocurrency
https://zycrypto.com/tapatalk-takes-eos-to-the-...-currency/
Yet another university is investing capital into the Crypto sector as Michigan, as part of it’s $12Billion endowment fund decides to invest into the legendary Silicon Valley manager Andreesen Horowitiz.

Last autumn Harvard University disclosed it had invested  into a Cryptocurrency fund following Stanford and MIT.

The Horowitz fund targets Crypto related technology firms as opposed to just buying pure Crypto currency funds. With major highly respected universities such as these investing in Digital Asset this clearly demonstrates how traditional investors are increasingly looking at this new asset class.


#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Investing
https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/...ypto-fund/
OKEX, based in Malta, is seeing strong growth in Crypto derivate trades as they do more business with institutions.

OKEX offers risk management tools for those wish to trade the crypto market so one potentially can avoid losses as a result of extreme volatility of prices by taking positions in various crypto derivatives.

However, with Cryptos prices falling as well as rising at short notice coupled with up to 100x leverage these services surely are for organisations and traders who are fully aware of the risks and potential profits in this evolving asset class!

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Risk Management
https://www.institutionalassetmanager.co.uk/201...two-months