VC blockchain investment hits US$1.3 bln, topping 2017 funding – ejinsight

May 24, 2108

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 24

Translation by Jonathan Chong [Chinese version 中文版]

About US$1.3 billion has been invested in blockchain companies in the first five months this year, surpassing the amount of venture capital in the field for the whole of 2017, Crunchbase reports.

A number of large funding rounds related to blockchain technology have been reported this year.

Orbs, an Israeli startup that offers blockchain as a service for consumer brands, raised US$118 million.

Ledger Wallet, a Paris-based bitcoin wallet maker, raised US$75 million; Project Shivom, a German company that applies blockchain technology to genomics, raised US$32 million; and blockchain analysis platform Chainalysis raised US$16 million.

More at: VC blockchain investment hits US$1.3 bln, topping 2017 funding – ejinsight

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The Crypto Gold Rush – Forbes Investing #CuttingEdge

By Kenneth Rapoza, Contributor      May 16, 2018

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on cryptocurrency, but I can tell you this much: Neither are most of the people at the Consensus conference at the Hilton Midtown this week.

There’s another thing. The crypto gold rush is not entirely global. Not yet. Most of the serious money players and developers come from a handful of nations—the U.S., China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and Israel. European money is flowing into projects, with wealth managers putting money into crypto funds. Latin America hasn’t really discovered the blockchain, though Brazil has hopped on the bandwagon and will be the leader there.

It’s Blockchain Week in New York. Blame the traffic on the rain, and those guys with badges around their necks.

Startups are touting their next genius idea—a new real estate project, a new mining app, a new coin pegged to the euro. These are the people I met there. This is what they are dreaming about, how they hope to make it happen and what they think about their rivals.

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

“If Mockba goes to the party, I’m not going to the party,” one tech reporter tells me about a Russian founder I have never met. I ask him why he wouldn’t go to one of the myriad parties being thrown in Manhattan this week. He used choice words and dropped F-bombs. “I spent a half hour listening to this joker try to sell me on his project and how he was going to raise $200 million.”

More at: The Crypto Gold Rush – Forbes Investing #CuttingEdge

Kodak blockchain project seeks to raise $50 mln in token offering – Nasdaq.com

By Gertrude Chavez- Dreyfuss, Reuters      May 10, 2018

Wenn Digital, the developer of an image protection blockchain platform licensed by Eastman Kodak Co, said on Thursday it intends to raise up to $50 million in a combined public and private token offering.

Wenn Digital has created the blockchain-based system, called KODAKOne, which seeks to protect the copyright of images or photographs registered on the platform. Kodak has a minority stake in Wenn Digital, according to Wenn.

Kodak shares shot up in early January to as high as $13.25 when it announced its deal with Wenn Digital, falling after the token offering was delayed. The stock closed at $5.45 on Wednesday.

More at: Kodak blockchain project seeks to raise $50 mln in token offering – Nasdaq.com

‘Nasdaq Would Consider Becoming A Crypto Exchange’, Says CEO – CryptoGlobe

By Siamak Masnavi      April 26, 2018

In an interview on CNBC yesterday, Adena Friedman, the President and CEO of the world’s second-largest exchange (by market capitalization), revealed that “Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time.”

Although she stressed that a clear regulatory framework would need to be put in place first, she generally presented a bullish stance on cryptocurrencies:

I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist it’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature… Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly Nasdaq would consider it.

Adena Friedman, Nasdaq CEO

This news came on the same day that Gemini Trust — the digital asset exchange started by the Winklevoss twins in 2015 — and Nasdaq made the announcement in a press release that Gemini was going to use Nasdaq’s market surveillance service for monitoring bitcoin and ether trading as well as the auction process Gemini uses for determining the settlement  price for Bitcoin futures:

Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) and Nasdaq Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) announced today that Gemini will be leveraging Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology to monitor its marketplace. The technology, which is considered the most widely deployed surveillance system in the world, will enable Gemini to monitor across all of its trading pairs, including: BTC/USD, ETH/USD and BTC/ETH. Further, SMARTS will also surveil activity across the Gemini auction process that is used to determine the settlement price for the Bitcoin XBT futures contracts that trade on Cboe’s CFE Exchange.

Nasdaq

More at: ‘Nasdaq Would Consider Becoming A Crypto Exchange’, Says CEO – CryptoGlobe

Switzerland’s Blockchain Taskforce presents its White Paper to Federal Councilor – Live Trading News

By Shayne Heffernan      April 26, 2018

New recommendations promote the liberal and responsible regulation of Switzerland’s blockchain industry

Switzerland’s Blockchain Taskforce presents its White Paper to Federal Councilor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann

The Blockchain Taskforce today released its recommendations on regulating and promoting the industry in the city of Zug, Switzerland’s Crypto Valley. Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann received the recommendations, presented in a White Paper drawn up by around 50 industry leaders at the Blockchain Summit. The Taskforce will change its name to the Swiss Blockchain Institute in the course of the year, while continuing to develop further recommendations. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) will be used to finance future activities.

Zug, 26. April 2018 – Federal Councilor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann was today presented with a document containing a host of recommendations for the development of the Swiss blockchain industry at the Blockchain Summit in the Swiss city of Zug. The paper was compiled by the Blockchain Taskforce, an industry-led group intended to complement the work of the governing Swiss Federal Council’s Blockchain/ICO Working Group.

At the core of the White Paper is the matter of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the tokens issued by Blockchain companies. A second important topic is the difficulty experienced by the blockchain industry in accessing Switzerland’s financial market infrastructure. At present, companies in Crypto Valley have to switch to foreign banks to open business accounts.

More at: Switzerland’s Blockchain Taskforce presents its White Paper to Federal Councilor – Live Trading News

Despite Bitcoin’s ‘Sell-Off’ The Cryptocurrency Space Continues To Attract Investors – Forbes Investing #MarketMoves

By Roger Aitken, Contributor      April 1, 2018

Bitcoin’s price evolution shown over the past one year to February 2, 2018. Having soared to around $19,000 in mid December last year, the price of the digital currency had declined to around $7,000 by the start of this April. (Source: Bloomberg).

Volatility, volatility, volatility. Traders certainly love it. But the volatility witnessed of late among many leading cryptocurrencies – including the ‘Big Daddy’ of them all in the shape of Bitcoin as well as Ethereum – has been a “double-edged sword” according to some pundits. Price swings can occur dramatically and result in big profits, should you catch it right.

Equally, significant losses can be sustained should your timing be all awry, there is negative newsflow around the crypto space and/or particular digital currencies.

Bitcoin’s Halcyon Days?

One might say you pays your money and takes your chances in the “Wild West” of crypto land. More succinctly, caveat emptor (buyer beware). And, according to Jordan Hiscott, chief trader at ayondo markets, a brokerage in The City of London, in a note from last week (March 27) said: “Certainly the halcyon days of performance gains [for Bitcoin] from 2017 seem long gone.”

More at: Despite Bitcoin’s ‘Sell-Off’ The Cryptocurrency Space Continues To Attract Investors – Forbes Investing #MarketMoves