$17M Funding Round in Startup to Bring Blockchain Tech Into ETFs

As a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) continue to elude U.S. markets, one startup has secured $17 million that seem earmarked to bring blockchain tech to ETFs. WisdomTree announced investment in a startup called Securrency Inc., one of the top institutional-grade blockchain builders in the financial and regulatory space, per a Jan. 7 press release.  An asset manager, ETF and exchange traded-product (ETP) backer, WisdomTree is looking to harness blockchain technology for the ETF market. Following the announced funding round, WisdomTree aims to work with Securrency to expand the availability of…

Sony’s Car Points to a Future of Machine-to-Machine Crypto Payments

Sony announced a car – a real, physical vehicle with wheels and seats – at CES 2020 and everyone is losing their minds. Obviously, this car, called the Vision-S, is a prototype and you probably won't be going down to Best Buy to pick up some USB-C cables and a new Sony whip. But the simple fact remains that an electronics and software company is moving into real-world mobility. "This prototype embodies our contribution to the future of mobility and contains a variety of Sony's technologies," said Sony CEO Kenichiro…

Android Platform Now Home to Coinbase Pro Trading App

Coinbase has expanded compatibility for its trading platform, Coinbase Pro.  The Coinbase Pro mobile app is now available on Android’s operating system, Coinbase said in a Jan. 7 blog announcement. The exchange unveiled its Pro app for iPhone (iOS) users in October 2019.  Coinbase Pro on Android touts updates to the already-available iOS app version, including crypto and fiat currency (USD, CAD, etc.) deposit and withdrawal capabilities, as well as additional security features, the blog post said. Coinbase has also updated its Pro iOS app to include these capabilities. Controversy…

Libra Association Exec: World Needs Us Because Bitcoin Is ‘Not a Means of Payment’

LAS VEGAS — “Bitcoin as an asset class has proven that mathematical scarcity can support an incredibly exciting asset,” Dante Disparte, vice chairman of the Libra Association, said Tuesday. “It’s not a means of payment. It just isn’t.” Disparte spoke at the Digital Money Forum at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, making his argument to gadget fans and technology’s early adopters. “The bottom rung of the ladder of economic mobility is payment access,” Disparte said. And so far, he said, crypto just isn’t cutting it on payments. Disparte…

Libra Association Exec: World Needs Us Because Bitcoin Is 'Not a Means of Payment'

LAS VEGAS — "Bitcoin as an asset class has proven that mathematical scarcity can support an incredibly exciting asset," Dante Disparte, vice chairman of the Libra Association, said Tuesday. "It's not a means of payment. It just isn't." Disparte spoke at the Digital Money Forum at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, making his argument to gadget fans and technology's early adopters. "The bottom rung of the ladder of economic mobility is payment access," Disparte said. And so far, he said, crypto just isn't cutting it on payments. Disparte…

Telegram Releases Eagerly Awaited Update on Future of TON

Messenger app Telegram has released a long-awaited update on the future of its TON blockchain and its native Gram tokens, clarifying certain aspects of the project as it remains embroiled in a lawsuit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission as to whether two ICOs conducted in 2018 should have been registered with the commission. Telegram messenger is an immensely popular platform in the world of crypto, central to the discourse on the topic, and has been working on developing its own blockchain since 2017. Multiple rumors have been spreading…

SEC Examination Office Gets Specific About Crypto Priorities in 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will continue its evaluation of cryptocurrency-based securities for U.S. retail investors. The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published its list of 2020 examination priorities, highlighting digital assets and service providers as areas of concern. While OCIE has listed these items in previous annual priority lists, Tuesday's publication provided a glimpse at how the office's approach to crypto has evolved since 2018. Whereas previous priority lists only briefly mentioned initial coin offerings and the risks digital assets might pose to retail investors,…

Japanese SBI and GMO to Mine Bitcoin at Texas Crypto Mining Farm

The Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings Inc. and internet corporation GMO Internet Group will mine the number one crypto. To mine Bitcoin, SBI and GMO will rent capacity of the world’s leading mining farm based in Rockdale, Texas. As Bloomberg has reported, the companies have agreed with Whinstone Inc., a subsidiary of Frankfurt-based Northern Bitcoin AG. Neither SBI nor GMO has commented on the announcement yet, but those familiar with the matter said that mining begins ‘within the coming months’. It is notable that the new Northern Bitcoin center will…

Hamstringing an Industry With Compliance Costs

Between Kraken's $1 million spend on subpoena responses in 2019 and stories like the $2 million it cost Blockstack to raise $23m in an SEC compliant token sale (8.7 percent of the raise), it begs the question: will compliance costs fundamentally limit innovation by demanding big war chests to play? Will the most successful companies be those that (like Block One) simply raise enough to pay off the regulators on the back end? Later, we look at new mining interests in Texas, what it means for American mining and bitcoin…

Though ‘Intriguing,’ Crypto Won’t Dethrone Dollar, Says IMF Economist

Digital currencies have gained prominence over the last few years, although such options will not budge the U.S. dollar from its seat of prominence, according to chief economist International Monetary Fund (IMF) Gita Gopinath. “Improvements in payment technology may have lowered the cost of switching from cash to digital payments, but there is little evidence they have done much to reduce the expense of moving among currencies,” Gopinath said in an opinion piece for the Financial Times on Jan. 6, adding: “Widely-held perceptions of the dollar’s safety and stability have…