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The Weekly Hash – January 20 – 24

Check out the most important happenings this past week in the world of crypto, brought to you by the experts at Kraken.

This digest is prepared for informative purposes only and does not represent an investment recommendation or investment advice. Please see our full disclaimer at the bottom for more information.

See below all the important happenings this week in the world of crypto, presented by the experts at Kraken:

  1. The Block: Bitcoin Miners Made an Estimated $5 Billion in Revenue During 2019
  2. Decrypt: Confirmed—Craig Wright Doesn’t Have Keys to $8 Billion of Bitcoin
  3. The Jerusalem Post: IDC Identifies Hamas Bitcoin Front with Iran Links – Report
  4. Public Technology: HMRC Seeks Tech to Unearth Cryptocurrency Cybercriminals
  5. Pulse: Korean Gov’t Mulls Imposing 20% Other Income Tax on Cryptocurrency Gains
  6. Kraken: Algorand (ALGO) Trading is Coming to Kraken
  7. Bank of England: Central Bank Group to Assess Potential Cases for Central Bank Digital Currencies
  8. Dapp.com: Dapp.com 2019 Annual Dapp Market Report
  9. XRParcade: Top 100 Banks and Ripple
  10. Square Crypto: What We’re Building—Lightning Development Kit
  11. CoinDesk: Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust Is Now Open to More Investors as SEC Reporting Company
  12. The Block: Australia Could Regulate Facebook-Led Libra Project
  13. CoinTelegraph: Cardano Co-Founder and CEO: We Anticipate a Hard Fork in Mid-February
  14. Decrypt: President Maduro to Open Crypto Casino in Venezuela
  15. Julius Baer: Julius Baer Launches Digital Assets Services
  16. CoinShares: CoinShares Group Reports Strong Growth for ETP Business Led by ~100% Increase in Assets Under Management
  17. CoinDesk: Paxos Launches Automatic Conversions Between Bank Deposits and Stablecoins
  18. The Block: Silvergate Hires Former Blockstream Exec as its First-Ever Director of Digital Currency
  19. CoinDesk: Retail Accumulation? Number of Bitcoin Addresses With One or More Coins Sees Solid Rise
  20. CoinDesk: Vodafone Is the Latest Big Company to Quit Facebook-Founded Libra Association
  21. The Block: Grayscale Extends Support to the Ethereum Classic Cooperative
  22. CNBC: Ray Dalio Says ‘Cash is Trash’ and Advises Investors Hold a Global, Diversified Portfolio
  23. CoinDesk: Jack Dorsey’s Square Wins Patent for Fiat-to-Crypto Payments Network
  24. Bank of Thailand: The Outcomes and Findings of Project Inthanon-LionRock and the Next Steps
  25. The Block: Central Banks are Pursuing ‘Extensive Work’ on Digital Currencies, BIS Researchers Say
  26. The Block & Blockchain Association: Digital Asset Human Capital Trends Brief – December 2019
  27. Ripple: Q4 2019 XRP Markets Report
  28. WEF: Central Banks ‘Waking Up’ to Digital Currency, Create New Framework for CBDC Deployment with World Economic Forum
  29. Tether: Stablecoin Issuer Tether Launches Gold-Pegged Digital Asset 
  30. BitPay: BitPay Partners with Simplex to Allow Crypto Purchasing with Credit Cards 
  31. Reuters: Japan Ruling Party Lawmakers to Float Idea of Issuing Digital Currency
  32. The Block: Hawaii Senators File a Bill to Allow Banks to Offer Crypto Custody Services
  33. CoinDesk: Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse Hints Firm May Seek IPO Within 12 Months
  34. The Block: Examining the Landscape of Digital Asset Custody (Quick Take)


    • BTC miners received ~$5B in revenue during 2019 (estimated on the basis that miners sell their BTC immediately), 4.89B (~98%) of which were block rewards and the rest were tx fees
    • Mining revenue is down ~5% YoY from 2018’s figure of $5.26B, though up +57% relative to $3.19B in 2017
    • Craig Wright’s lawyer Andres Rivero said Wright received the file from the “mysterious bounded courier” mentioned in the Kleiman case, but was missing the private keys to the 1M BTC (~$8.7B), “The file that he’s received did not include private keys.”
    • Rivero said the keys may come at a later date, either whole or split into parts, but declined to discuss who has the keys and when they might arrive
    • In what Rivero calls a slam dunk for Wright, the case will now go to trial, “The critical thing about the ruling is that it allows us to go to trial to prove that no partnership existed. The prior ruling by the magistrate judge that was vacated determines the facts of the case. A district court judge has vacated those rulings and has left those questions open now to the jury.”
    • Rivero argued that the burden of proof is now on Kleiman’s estate, who will need to prove the partnership existed, “We’ve gone to everyone we could find who was a close friend or associate of David Kleiman, we’ve taken their sworn testimony, and nobody backs up Ira Kleiman’s version that David Kleiman was the co-inventor of Bitcoin,”
    • The Kleiman estate asked for a 90-day extension to look over the addresses and to proceed with additional depositions
    • The IDC-ICT reports that the terrorist organization al-Nasser Brigades, a military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) with ties to Hamas, used BTC to avoid sanctions, to offer a degree of anonymity to donors from overseas and enable cross-border money transfers in/out of the Gaza Strip
    • The group’s wallet address, “1LaNXgq2ctDEa4fTha6PTo8sucqzieQctq,” showed “an irregular increase in the scope of activity,” with +4,500 txs over the past 4 years
    • The wallet, which had received ~3,370 BTC (~$29M) between Oct. 2015 and July 2019, was linked to financial website “cash4ps”
    • UK tax authority HMRC plans to launch a blockchain analytics tool to help it identify cybercriminals using crypto for “tax evasion and money-laundering”
    • The agency wants to analyze txs of at least seven cryptos – BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, LTC and USDT
    • HMRC would also prefer a tool that could develop the ability to track privacy coins such as XMR, ZEC, and DASH
    • HRMC is ready to spend $130,000 toward licensing for the tool and is inviting proposals from potential suppliers until Jan. 31, and looking to start a contract on Feb. 17
    • Blockchain analytics firms Chainalysis, Elliptic and CipherTrace could be some of the potential suppliers
    • HRMC said, “Many of these crypto-asset transactions are recorded publicly in a ledger known as a blockchain. Whilst the transactions are typically public, the participants undertaking them are not.”
    • The tax agency is seeking the “provision of a tool that will support intelligence-gathering methods to identify and cluster crypto-asset transactions into linked transactions and identify those linked to crypto-asset service providers.”
    • According to multiple gov’t sources, the South Korean gov’t may classify gains from crypto trading as “other income” such as lottery or prize winning, which is subject to 20% tax
    • An anonymous official said, “The finance ministry is yet to finalize its direction but it surely has become more likely for the income from virtual asset trading to be labeled as other income, not as gains from transfer of capitals like real estate properties”
    • Other income in Korea is subject to a 20% tax on 40% of total other income, and the remaining 60% is tax-deductible
    • Coverage by The Block
    • Kraken is adding support for Algorand, a PoS blockchain with a native crypto (ALGO) that offers its users the ability to create tokens and launch dApps, on Jan. 22
    • Trading pairs include: ALGO/USD, ALGO/EUR, ALGO/XBT, and ALGO/ETH
    • ALGO will be available on for Kraken, Kraken Pro, and Kraken OTC
    • The Bank of England (BoE) created a group with the central banks of Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, and Eurozone (ECB) to share experience as they “assess CBDC use cases; economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability; and the sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies.”
    • The group will be overseen by the BIS and chaired by Head of BIS’ Innovation Hub Head Benoit Coeure and BoE Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe
    • The group will closely coordinate with the relevant institutions and forums, i.e., the FSB and the CPMI
    • The BoE’s and the Bank of Japan’s participation in the group appears to be a new development, while the ECB and Sweden’s central bank are already developing their CBDCs and the central banks of Canada and Switzerland have been researching CBDCs
    • Coverage by The Block
    • In 2019, the total volume of the native tokens from 9 leading blockchains reached $10B, a +58.5% increase since 2018
    • Over 3.26B txs occurred among these blockchains in 2019, of which EIDOS on EOS alone contributed ~2.4B txs – excluding EIDOS, the rest of the 2,216 active dApps generated 872M txs
    • The number of active dApp users doubled YoY to 3.11M
    • There are 2.77M new dApp users, while only 348,000 old users remained active in 2019, accounting for 11% of all active users
    • The number of financial dApp (e.g., lending) users increased by +610% and tx volume increased by +251%
    • The amount of gambling users increased by +372%, with its volume doubled
    • The amount of high-risk dApp user growth is also +372%, with its volume up +218%
    • Blockchain gaming users increased +162% since 2018; however, the investment hype of dApp games has weakened and its volume decreased by -60% since 2018
    • According to a S&P Global Market Intelligence report of the “Top 100 Banks,” XRParcade found that 38% of the world’s top banks are working with Ripple and XRP
    • There are NDAs in place and banks might be connected to Ripple via other integrators
  1. Square Crypto: What We’re Building—Lightning Development Kit
    • Square Crypto is building a “Lightning Development Kit” that includes an API, language tools, demo apps and other features to help wallet and app devs integrate support for LN payments into their own wallets – a release date is TBD
    • Existing BTC wallets will be able to support LN through the new kit, rather than requiring companies to build a separate wallet
    • The group said, “For bitcoin to become a widely used global currency – one that can’t be stopped, tampered with, or rigged in anyone’s favor – improvements to bitcoin’s UX, security, privacy, and scaling are required […] today’s Lightning infrastructure is incomplete without features like these.
    • Shares of the Grayscale BTC Trust (GBTC) are now registered under the Exchange Act of 1934, making GBTC the first crypto investment vehicle to become a reporting company
    • The trust now has to publicly file its quarterly and annual reports as 10-Qs and 10-Ks with the SEC and publish updates on unscheduled material events and corporate changes
    • The new status reduces the statutory holding period for accredited investors from 12 to 6 months
    • The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) proposed a new regulatory framework that would allow it to oversee wallets that are “widely used as a means of payment,” e.g., “potentially Facebook’s Calibra proposal.”
    • APRA added, “The new framework is intended not only to be fit for purpose for the current financial system but also be able to accommodate future developments and technological advances, such as proposals for global stable coin eco-systems that have been the subject of significant attention in recent months.”
    • Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson expects the Ouroboros Byzantine Fault-Tolerant Consensus Protocol (OBFT) hard fork to be implemented in mid-February, “Looks like February — at pretty high certainty —  we’re going to have the OBFT hard fork occur. We’re still talking to our exchange partners about that and we just want to make sure all the infrastructure is lined up for it, but infrastructure looks pretty good, so mid-February we anticipate an OBFT hard fork.”
    • Hoskinson added that Ledger hardware wallet integration with Daedalus Cardano wallet software is nearly ready for deployment
    • Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced the opening of a new int’l casino in the Caracas that will accept payment in Petro coins (PTR), ”I have authorized legal bets with petros”
    • Patrons will be able to wager using the Petro, which will be available to purchase with a variety of crypto and fiat at the casino, “You can come to bet, there will be offers, special prices. You buy your petro file, you can buy it if you bring yuan, if you bring yen, dollars, euros or any other cryptocurrency […] buy your petros and make your licit bets allowed by the state as contemplated by national laws.”
    • Casino profits will be allegedly funneled into the economy, where they will be used to improve Venezuela’s education and health care systems among other things
    • To meet an increasing demand from its clients, Swiss multi-national private bank Julius Baer has partnered with SEBA Bank AG to provide digital assets storage and txs solutions
    • Julius Baer also consolidated portfolio overviews across both conventional and digital assets
    • The bank is able to offer access to a select group of cryptos, chosen for their tradability, safety, and technical reliability
    • CoinShares saw a +97% growth in 2019 for its exchange traded products (ETP), totaling $522M in assets under management (AUM) as of Jan 1, 2020
    • CoinShares’ eight ETPs generated $1.58B in trading volume last year, averaging +$6M in volume per day
    • CoinShares chairman Danny Masters said, “2019 was an exciting year for CoinShares and our industry, but 2020 looks to be even more promising. As institutional investors start allocating into bitcoin and digital assets, they are seeking familiar product structures that can meet their unique needs. CoinShares is committed to delivering these products as part of our broader mission to bridge traditional and digital finance.”
    • Paxos now allows customers to automatically converts funds from their bank accounts into either PAX or BUSD via a bank wire transfer
    • Any PAX or BUSD sent to the designated address will be automatically wired back to the individual’s bank account in USD
    • Paxos Sr. Product Manager Zach Kwartler said its Auto-Transfers feature should be available with any bank in the U.S., “The blockchain and the real financial world need to be closer together,” he said. “For us, our vision is to use this as an infrastructure layer, to get more and more dollars on the blockchain.”
    • Silvergate Bank hired Benjamin Richman, former director of BD and partnerships at Blockstream, to fill the bank’s new position of director of digital currency
    • Silvergate’s EVP of corporate development Ben Reynolds said, “We’re excited about the new products and innovative financial infrastructure solutions we’re developing to assist both investors and exchanges in the digital currency industry. And the business development experience that Benjamin gained at Blockstream will be important to our success.”
    • According to an SEC filing on Oct. 28, 2019, the bank now serves over 750 crypto clients
    • According to blockchain intelligence firm Glassnode, as of Jan. 14, there were 784,000 addresses holding one or more BTC, up ~11% from 707,000 last year and 2x since 2015
    • Digital Assets Data crypto research analyst Connor Abendschein said, “The steady rise is the result of accumulation by retail buyers.” 
    • The number of addresses with balances between 0.1 – 1 BTC has also risen by 10% YoY
    • British telecom conglomerate Vodafone has become the eighth firm to pull out of the Libra Association, though not due to the regulatory concerns
    • Vodafone will dedicate resources previously intended for Libra to its digital payment service M-Pesa, which the company plans to expand beyond the six African nations currently served
    • A person familiar with the matter said that Libra intends to admit new members to the Association in 2020
    • Grayscale will financially support the Ethereum Classic Cooperative (ECC) up until April 2022 and has ben donating a third of its 3% fees from the Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust to the cooperative
    • The ECC plans to make the organization more sustainable and independent with an updated governance structure, in-house bookkeeping, and greater transparency over the next year
    • As of the end of 3Q2019, the asset manager donated +$1M into the cooperative
    • The ECC is set to publish a detailed 2019 report by March 2020 and will start pushing out transparency reports on a quarterly basis
    • Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that he believes BTC doesn’t serve purposes of money, “There’s two purposes of money, a medium of exchange and a store hold of wealth, and bitcoin is not effective in either of those cases now.”
    • Dalio added that cash is “trash” and endorsed buying gold, “I think you have to have a certain amount of gold in your portfolio.”
    • Dalio also advised investors to have a global and well-diversified portfolio
    • Payments provider Square won a U.S. patent for a new network that allows users holding different asset types to transact with one another in real-time (e.g., crypto-to-fiat txs), “The present technology permits a first party to pay in any currency, while permitting the second party to be paid in any currency.”
    • The network itself can automatically exchange the sender’s payment into the asset specified by the receiver
    • The filing claims this system could be especially advantageous for the retail sector as it can “remove barriers” with a system that features automatic exchange and real-time settlements
    • The patent suggests the system could be extended to add support for other asset classes including securities, derivatives or loans
    • The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) completed its CBDC trial for cross-border payments, dubbed Project Inthanon-LionRock, and published a 90-page report on the results
    • A THB-HKD cross-border corridor network prototype was developed, allowing ten participating banks from both HK and Thailand to transfer funds and conduct FX txs on a P2P basis
    • The system leverages smart contracts to conduct cross-border funds transfers in a real-time and atomic payment-versus-payment (PvP) manner
    • The report covers topics including token conversion, real-time interbank funds transfer, FX execution, liquidity management and regulatory compliance
    • The authorities agreed to continue their research in relevant areas, including exploring business cases and connections to other platforms, involving participation of banks and other relevant parties in cross-border funds transfer trials
    • HKMA Senior Executive Director Edmond Lau said, “Our joint research project with the Bank of Thailand marks an important first step to solve the pain points of low efficiency and high costs in traditional cross-border payments. With the use of blockchain technology, the innovative and unique solution not only addresses different technical issues in practical applications but also offers good references to the central banking community on the use of Central Bank Digital Currency.” 
    • BOT Deputy Governor Mathee Supapongse said, “Building on pain points and business cases, the novel cross-border model is designed and developed as a PoC. The model offers a cross-border corridor network where participants can transfer funds instantaneously on a peer-to-peer basis and in an atomic PvP manner. The design and key findings of the project have added new dimensions to central bank communities’ studies on cross-border funds transfer area.”
    • The BIS surveyed 66 central banks from both advanced and emerging-market economies “in the latter part of 2019” and found that central banks are “undertaking extensive work on central bank digital currencies.”
    • The report reads, “The survey corroborates the findings from last year’s exercise, especially that a wide variety of motivations drives extensive central bank research and experimentation on CBDCs. Only a few EME central banks have progressed to intensive development (eg developing the operational arrangements for a CBDC and/or amending laws to allow the central bank to issue one) or pilot projects and have firm intentions to issue a CBDC soon. Nonetheless, their plans appear to be accelerating compared with earlier expectations.”
    • 80% of respondents are working on such projects, “Some 40% of central banks have progressed from conceptual research to experiments, or proofs-of-concept; and another 10% have developed pilot projects… Every central bank that has progressed to development or a pilot project is an EME institution.”
    • Only ~25% said they obtained the legal authority in their home countries to issue a wholly digital currency, ”A central bank issuing a CBDC needs the legal authority to do so which, as in the previous survey, about a quarter of central banks have, or will soon have, such authority. A third do not have authority and about 40% remain unsure… The continued high level of uncertainty is not surprising, given that most central bank mandates predate many forms of electronic money.”
    • The researchers noted, “For cryptocurrencies, the results are almost exactly the same as in the 2018 survey: no central banks reported any significant or wider public use of cryptocurrencies for either domestic or cross-border payments; and the usage of cryptocurrencies is considered either minimal (“trivial/no use”) or concentrated in niche groups […] The one difference to highlight is that, in 2019, one central bank that did not contribute in 2018 and whose jurisdiction is facing serious civil unrest, considered cryptocurrency use significant domestically and saw wider public use for cross-border payments.”
    • 60% of surveyed central banks “are considering the impact of monetary and financial stability of ‘stablecoins’ […] Stablecoins could find widespread adoption where cryptocurrencies have failed. Our survey shows that more central banks could be looking at the risks outside the financial system while also exploring ways to improve the system with CBDCs.”
    • The Blockchain Association reported that 85% of the +20,000 professionals in the digital assets industry are employed by exchanges, development firms, or mining businesses
    • Nearly 46% of employers with +100 employees are crypto exchanges
    • The largest employers are Huobi, Coinbase, OKEx, Bitmain, ConsenSys, and Kraken
    • 67% of the largest employers are domiciled outside of the U.S.
    • 38% of projects that launched a token sale in 2019 were based in Singapore
    • Industry job listings exclusive to the U.S. grew +93%, compared to the +37% growth in job listings in the rest of the world
    • The 37 companies that launched tokens raised +$160M from investors, of which many were retail
    • The digital asset space had an actively traded market with $700B in volume traded in 2019
    • The five largest crypto networks by market cap settled $950B in 2019
    • Of the startups that launched a token sale in 2019, 14% were based in the U.S., while 38% of companies were domiciled in Singapore
    • Nearly 50% of firms that invest in the digital assets and blockchain industry have offices in the U.S. and ~18% of firms have offices in Asia-Pacific regions
    • $6.7B was invested in the industry during the last 7 years, 2013 to 2019
    • While total VC funding fell -60% from 2018 to 2019, the 5yr compound annual growth rate is +24% 
    • The median capital invested in 2019  reached an all-time high of nearly $3.2M, up from $2.9M in 2018
    • 91% of firms believe unclear regulations and guidelines in the U.S. regarding the operation of digital asset and blockchain businesses are barriers to entry and want regulatory clarity from U.S. policymakers
    • 43% said regulatory uncertainty imposes burdensome legal costs to their operations
    • Ripple’s total sales of XRP declined by -80% in 4Q as a result of a drop in direct institutional sales and a pause in Ripple’s programmatic sales, “Ripple continued the pause of programmatic sales, focusing solely on our over-the-counter (OTC) sales with a few strategic partners, who are building XRP utility and liquidity in strategic regions including EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] and Asia […] Ripple continues to evaluate its benchmarks given challenges, such as fake volume, that continue to persist in the industry.”
    • The firm sold $13.08M in XRP in 4Q (the lowest in the past 3yrs), compared with $66.24M in the previous quarter
    • The price of XRP declined by -22% during 4Q and global trading volumes of XRP declined to $17.24B from $18.23B in the previous quarter, “The average daily volume was reported at $187.34 million in Q4 versus $198.10 million in Q3, and below Q2’s reported $429.51 average daily volume.”
    • Ripple claimed that it “did not create” XRP, but was rather “gifted a portion” of the 100B XRP in 2012 when it was founded
    • Coverage by The Block
    • The World Economic Forum and a community of +40 central banks, int’l organizations, academic researchers and financial institutions created a framework, dubbed the “CBDC Policy‑Maker Toolkit,” to help central banks evaluate, design and potentially deploy CBDCs
    • WEF’s head of blockchain and DLT Sheila Warren said any CBDC implementation will have a “profound impact domestically and internationally […] It is imperative that central banks proceed cautiously, with a rigorous analysis of the opportunities and challenges posed.”
    • The toolkit provides info on retail, wholesale, cross-border and “hybrid” CBDCs, for all sizes of emerging and developed countries
    • At least 18 central banks are currently developing digital currencies
    • Tether is launching Tether Gold (XAU₮), a gold-pegged digital asset backed by one troy fine ounce of physical gold that is issued TG Commodities Limited
    • XAU₮, which is available on both Ethereum and Tron, can be transferred to any on-chain address from the purchasers’ Tether wallet 
    • XAU₮ offers zero custody fees and has direct control over the physical gold storage held in a Switzerland vault
    • Crypto payments processor BitPay partnered with FinTech firm Simplex to give BitPay users the ability to buy crypto directly in-app with a credit card; users can now buy crypto, transfer funds, make purchases, buy gift cards and pay friends globally from a single app
    • BitPay CEO and Co-Founder Stephen Pair said, “Cryptocurrency exchanges can be intimidating for new users. The Simplex integration, however, makes the blockchain payment experience seamless. Whether converting fiat to crypto to make crypto payments, or converting crypto to fiat to pay with the BitPay card, the BitPay app is an all-in-one solution.”
    • A group of ruling party lawmakers are working on a proposal for Japan to issue its own digital currency
    • Norihiro Nakayama, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, said the digital currency could be a joint initiative between the gov’t and private companies that would put Japan in tune with global changes in FinTech, “The first step would be to look into the idea of issuing a digital yen […] China is moving toward issuing digital yuan, so we’d like to propose measures to counter such attempts.”
    • The group plans to submit its proposal to the gov’t as early as next month
    • Five lawmakers from Hawaii introduced a bill seeking to authorize banks to provide digital asset custody for “virtual currencies,” “digital securities” and “open blockchain tokens” for their customers
    • The bill also requires banks to maintain reserves like a trust company, “Every trust company shall have on hand at all times in actual money of the United States an amount equal to at least twelve per cent of all agency credit balances payable on demand and of accounts payable, plus at least five per cent of all agency credit balances payable on time; provided that such reserve may be deposited payable on demand in banks and other trust companies approved by the commissioner or may be cash in the vaults of the trust company.”
    • The bill added, “A secured party, or an agent, custodian, fiduciary, or trustee of the party, has the exclusive legal authority to conduct a transaction relating to a digital asset, including by means of a private key or the use of a multi‑signature arrangement authorized by the secured party.”
    • Customers could also authorize banks to transact with their crypto, “A bank and a customer shall agree in writing regarding the source code version that the bank will use for each digital asset […] Any ambiguity under this subsection shall be resolved in favor of the customer.”
    • The bill passed first reading and was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health (CPH) and the Senate Committee on Judiciary (JDC)
    • Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said an IPO is seen as the “natural evolution for the company […] I think over the next 12 months you’re definitely going to see IPOs in the crypto, blockchain space. I’m not sure we want to be first but we certainly don’t want to be last either, so I expect we’ll be on the leading side of that, not the lagging side.”
    • Garlinghouse added that his cross-border payments company has been in communication with the SEC about the regulatory status of XRP, “We have been talking to the SEC for some period of time. I feel like educating regulators is part of my job and I think that’s been a really constructive process.”
    • Digital asset custody has seen ~$1.3B in investment, with ~$415M (~32%) allocated to pure crypto custody firms
    • Pure custody firms saw capital injections during bear market conditions following large swings in BTC price
    • In 2014 and 2018, investment saw an increase of +7,404% and +1,272% YoY, respectively 
    • With more custody suppliers than institutional demand, the market is ostensibly ripe for M&A txs in 2020



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