The Weekly Hash – July 8-12

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. Bloomberg: Bitmain Crypto-Billionaire Launches New Startup as Bitcoin Rises
    • Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu marshaled ~100 staffers, including dozens of former Bitmain employees to launch Matrixport, a Singapore-based platform for OTC trading, lending and custody for digital assets
    • Matrixport CEO & shareholder Ge Yuesheng said, “We are closely tied to Bitmain by our origin…But because we operate in different businesses, we are partners rather than competitors.”; Matrixport challenges the likes of BitGo and Genesis Global Trading in the U.S.
    • Matrixport, which went live July 8th, will use its connections and expertise at Bitmain to target the needs of Chinese crypto-miners
  2. SEC: SEC/FINRA Joint Staff Statement on Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Asset Securities
    • The SEC and FINRA believe there are multiple questions that need to be answered before they can approve applications from crypto firms to become broker-dealers (e.g., the ability to comply with aspects of Customer Protection rule is facilitated by laws and practices regarding loss/theft of a security, whereas that may not be effective in the crypto space)
    • The regulators jointly outlined the factors that the agencies consider when processing a broker-dealer application by a digital asset-related firm, “The ability of a broker-dealer to comply with aspects of the Customer Protection Rule is greatly facilitated by established laws and practices regarding the loss or theft of a security, that may not be available or effective in the case of certain digital assets”
    • The statement says that while a broker can prove that it possesses the privkeys to a crypto wallet, it would be difficult to prove that no other entity does
    • The SEC and FINRA discussed how digital assets might not fulfill SIPA requirement for digital securities, as SEC Rule 15c3-3 “requires a broker-dealer to physically hold customers’ fully paid and excess margin securities or maintain them free of lien at a good control location”
    • When it comes to digital assets, using third-party custodians may increase the risk that the securities are stolen or lost as the broker in question wouldn’t be able to reverse the tx if the securities go to an unauthorized address, “In the case of a digital asset security that does not meet the definition of ‘security’ under SIPA, and in the event of the failure of a carrying broker-dealer, SIPA protection likely would not apply and holders of those digital asset securities would have only unsecured general creditor claims against the broker-dealer’s estate”
    • The statement added that “the nature of distributed ledger technology, as well as the characteristics associated with digital asset securities, may make it difficult for a broker-dealer to evidence the existence of digital asset securities for the purposes of the broker-dealer’s regulatory books, records, and financial statements, including supporting schedules”
    • Some digital asset firms are planning to use DLT with specific features designed to address record-keeping requirements to store their records, though these firms must still “consider how the nature of the technology may impact their ability to comply” with the reporting rules
    • The Customer Protection Rule requires broker-dealers to safeguard client assets and keep the assets segregated from firm assets, which has a 50yr track record of recovery for failed broker-dealers
    • Various entities intend to engage in broker-dealer activities involving digital securities and are seeking to register with the SEC and FINRA; others seek to extend their businesses to include digital asset securities
    • Under FINRA, a business is prohibited from materially changing its business operation (e.g. engaging in material digital asset securities activities for first time) without prior approval
    • Some entities contemplate engaging in activities in a noncustodial manner, which doesn’t raise similar levels of concerns; these include trade matching services between an issuer and a purchaser, OTC activity, or a broker-dealer introducing activity to a third party ATS
    • Staff will continue to engage with market participants and gather additional info to better respond to developments in the market
  3. SCMP: Facebook’s Libra forcing China to step up plans for its own cryptocurrency, says central bank official
    • PBOC research bureau director, Wang Xin, said Facebook’s Libra plans has forced China’s central bank to ramp up research into creating its own CBDC, as Libra could challenge Chinese cross-border payments, monetary policy and financial sovereignty
    • Xin went on to say, “If [Libra] is widely used for payments, cross-border payments in particular, would it be able to function like money and accordingly have a large influence on monetary policy, financial stability and the international monetary system?”
    • Wang stated that the bank decided to create its own CBDC specifically because of the unclear role of USD once Libra is issued, “If the digital currency is closely associated with the U.S. dollar, it could create a scenario under which sovereign currencies would coexist with U.S. dollar-centric digital currencies. But there would be in essence one boss, that is the U.S. dollar and the United States. If so, it would bring a series of economic, financial and even international political consequences”
    • PBoC received approval from the Chinese State Council to begin work with other market participants and institutions on a CBDC
  4. Cointelegraph: Singapore Wants to Drop VAT for Transacting in Cryptocurrencies
    • Revealed by IRAS in a draft e-tax guide, Singapore plans to exempt cryptos that are intended to function as a medium of exchange from Goods and Services Tax (GST) – the local equivalent of VAT
    • If accepted, the exemption will take effect on Jan. 1st, 2020, and will overhaul the current system wherein the supply of digital payment tokens is treated as a taxable supply of services
    • Cryptos that function as a medium of exchange have hitherto been treated as a barter trade that results in two separate supplies: a taxable token supply and a supply of the relevant goods and services
    • The document proposed two core changes to taxation rules, “The use of digital payment tokens as payment for goods or services will not give rise to a supply of those tokens; and (ii) The exchange of digital payment tokens for fiat currency or other digital payment tokens will be exempt from GST”
    • IRAS cited BTC, ETH, LTC, DASH, XMR, XRP and ZEC as cryptos that are designed to function as a medium of exchange, but excluded stablecoins
    • The IRAS proposes that in most cases the new rules will exempt token rewards generated by mining, “There is generally no sufficiently close nexus between the service provided by the miner to the persons whose transactions are verified, and the mined tokens that the miner received from the blockchain ecosystem. The parties paying the mined tokens are also not identifiable…[By contrast, where] a miner performs services to an identifiable party or parties, in return for a consideration, this constitutes a taxable supply of services”
    • The tax authority seeks feedback from businesses in the crypto sector on its proposed changes, which must be submitted before July 26th
  5. The Block: SEC seeks blockchain data provider to monitor risk, improve compliance, and inform policy
    • The SEC is soliciting the public for full blockchain data from the genesis block or inception and info about any derivative tokens affiliated with the BTC, ETH, BCH, XLM, ZEC, EOS, NEO and XRP blockchains; the data must come from hosted nodes rather than blockchain explorers 
    • BTC and ETH blockchains are mandatory, while BCH, XLM, ZEC, EOS, NEO and XRP data are desirable
    • The required data format is very specific with normalized fields for each included blockchain sourced from on-node data, in its entirety
    • The minimum fields specified are ticker symbol; send and receive addresses; tx hash, timestamp and amounts; unspent send and receive balances; tx fees; confirmations; block hash; and block height
    • The SEC is also interested in further metadata and chain metrics such as hashing algorithms, hashing power, mining difficulty and rewards, txs quantity and size, coin supply and blockchain size
    • The data is expected to be provided directly by the vendor’s own node for each blockchain using a secure, encrypted data feed; synced with the network; and run in a secure, controlled environment
    • The data must be presented with means to validate its accuracy and completeness and meet the requirements of financial statement audit testing
    • The contract length will be 1yr, followed by four optional 1yr terms
    • A technical quote and price quote are both required for application
    • The SEC’s deadline for submission by prospective data vendors is July 11th
  6. Bloomberg: Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Plan Draws ECB Warning on Regulation
    • ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said financial regulators must act fast to prepare for the push by the likes of Facebook into the financial system, “It’s out of the question to allow them to develop in a regulatory void for their financial service activities, because it’s just too dangerous…We have to move more quickly than we’ve been able to do up until now”
    • Governor Mark Carney said the Bank of England approaches Libra “with an open mind but not an open door”
    • Coeure said that the development of digital currencies is exposing deficiencies in existing regulation and the failure of the banking system to adopt new tech, “All these projects are a rather useful wake-up call for regulators and public authorities, as they encourage us to raise a number of questions and might make us improve the way we do things”
  7. Cryptoslate: IRS conducting electronic surveillance in attempt to clampdown on Bitcoin tax crime
    • The IRS plans to conduct interviews, open-source searches, social media searches, issue Grand Jury subpoenas and use e-surveillance to ensure people pay crypto taxes
    • Agents are being told not to notify taxpayer’s about the obtainment of info regarding their use of BTC, because such notification could be detrimental to the investigation
    • The agency will review Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to find publicly available BTC and ETH addresses
    • For more difficult to obtain info, the agency will obtain Grand Jury subpoenas for bank, credit card, and PayPal records to determine if any payments in or out went to parties that can send/receive crypto
    • The document recommends interviewing the taxpayer’s friends and family, frequented businesses, and bank teller, “Such as those who know the financial habits of the Subject, including, but not limited to, bank tellers, family and friends of the Subject (if feasible), and establishments the subject frequents that may accept bitcoins”
    • The agency plans on serving Apple, Google, and Microsoft to search through taxpayers’ download history to see if they’ve ever downloaded crypto apps, “However, one method that should be considered is serving Grand Jury Subpoenas to a variety of companies. Issuance of a Grand Jury Subpoena should be considered for Apple, Google, and Microsoft for the Subject’s complete application download history. Each application’s function should be explored to determine whether or not the application can transmit, or otherwise allow, transactions in bitcoin”
    • Agents are instructed to also use block explorers to identify linked addresses and obtain the time and amounts of txs, “Once a Bitcoin Address is identified, it can be looked up on a Bitcoin Block Chain Explorer to find information such as value, transaction times, transaction locations, which may help in corroborating information, identifying additional addresses, or assist in locating the subject”
    • Link to @CryptoTaxGirl’s tweet thread
  8. Cointelegraph: Brazil Requires New Diplomats to Know About Blockchain and Crypto
    • The Brazilian diplomatic academy, the Rio Branco Institute, will now require that candidates have knowledge of crypto and blockchain
    • The educational establishment will offer 20 new places with a starting salary of 19,199.06 BRL ($5,045)
  9. BitTorrent: BitTorrent Speed Delivers Amped Downloads Through Tokenized Incentives
    • BitTorrent launched BitTorrent Speed, a software upgrade that connects to its µTorrent Classic Windows client to allow users to earn BTT rewards in exchange for seeding and bandwidth; seeders can earn more tokens the longer they seed and downloader can spend BTT to download files at a faster speed
    • An integrated wallet was launched to enable users to manage their token earnings
    • The product is currently limited to Windows systems only, but there are plans to extend coverage in future
    • Tron founder and BitTorrent owner Justin Sun said, “TRON has completed early integration work of its two decentralized networks – TRON and BitTorrent – with the launch of BitTorrent Speed”
    • Link to Cointelegraph’s report
  10. Grayscale: Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Announces Resumption of Private Placement
    • Grayscale’s GBTC Trust will resume private placement of its shares, which is offered periodically to accredited investors for daily subscription
    • The shares are designed to correlate closely in value to BTC, but they are shares held in an investor’s name rather than the crypto itself; this gives investors a way to invest in BTC via a traditional investment vehicle
    • Because the Trust doesn’t operate a redemption program, there is no assurance that the value of the shares will approximate the value of BTC held by the Trust when traded on a secondary market; following a 1yr holding period, shareholders can sell their shares at prices dictated by the market
    • The Trust holds +$2.66B in AUM and each share represents 0.00097876 BTC
  11. Coindesk: Facebook to Senators: Libra Crypto Will Respect Privacy
    • In a letter written to the Senate Banking Committee (as well as the House FSC), Facebook blockchain lead David Marcus said personal data won’t be attached to any txs conducted on the Libra blockchain, “I want to give you my personal assurance that we are committed to taking the time to do this right…Similar to existing and widespread cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and bitcoin, transactions that take place directly on the Libra Blockchain are ‘pseudonymous,’ meaning that the user’s identity is not publicly visible”
    • Marcus said Libra will be an open-source platform that will allow any third-party developer to build their own digital wallet on top of the tech,  “It will be the responsibility of these providers to determine the type of information they may require from their customers and to comply with regulations and standards in the countries in which they operate…Regulators of Calibra and other digital wallet services can require them to collect information about the identity and activities of their users and make such information available to law enforcement and regulatory agencies, such as for AML, CFT, and sanctions purposes”
    • Marcus noted, “Aside from limited cases, Calibra will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without customer consent”; exceptions include data shared with law enforcement agencies or regulators in accordance with AML/CFT regulations and/or sanction laws
  12. TPB: The Provident Bank Expands into Servicing Digital Asset Clients
    • The Provident Bank’s CEO Dave Mansfield announced that the bank is now offering deposits and other banking services to digital asset issuers, exchangers and investors, “The Provident Bank is proud to be entering the digital asset space because it’s largely unbanked and clients want deposit services…The Provident team developed robust measures to ensure our strategy will not only be effective from a regulatory compliance perspective, but will also allow for our clients to have certainty in a long term banking relationship. That’s why we partnered with top U.S. technology companies to work with us on this new venture”
    • The Provident is entering the crypto space having worked with compliance consulting firm Treliant
    • The bank is using Bitfury’s Crystal blockchain analytics platform as part of its onboarding process
    • The Regtech partnership will help ensure that new clients have a compliant AML program in place, and will be utilizing Crystal’s advanced tx monitoring solution to provide more visibility into their activities on the public blockchain
    • Once reviewed and approved, a dedicated Relationship Manager will be assigned to each client
    • Crypto deposits are fully-insured because of the bank’s affiliation with the Depositors Insurance Fund, which is only available to Mutual Savings banks that are chartered in Massachusetts
    • The FDIC insures deposits up to $250k, but the Depositors Insurance Fund insures the rest “down to the last penny”
  13. Reuters: Fed’s Powell bolsters rate cut view on trade, global growth concerns
    • Chairman of the Fed Jerome Powell said, “Based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. outlook,” adding that the Fed will “act as appropriate” to maintain the economic growth
    • Powell mentioned a number of risks that are negatively impacting the economy, including persistent weak inflation, diminished growth in other economies, and slowing business investments stemming from the uncertainties regarding the US-China trade war 
    • He added, “Apparent progress on trade turned to greater uncertainty, and our contacts in business and agriculture reported heightened concerns over trade developments,” noting that business investment “seems to have slowed notably” in recent months
    • Since December, the Fed’s benchmark overnight interest rate has been consistently between 2.25% and 2.50%, the market is now expecting a cut of at least 0.25% when the Fed rate-setting committee releases its upcoming policy statement on July 31st
  14. The Block: Bill to provide “safe harbor” for crypto fork taxpayers reintroduced in Congress
    • U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer reintroduced the “Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets” bill, which would remove penalties for taxpayers’ who don’t pay taxes on forked assets correctly, “It will restrict fines against individuals that attempt to report these assets until the IRS provides any type of guidance regarding the appropriate means of reporting them”
    • Forked assets are currently considered undeclared income by tax agencies
  15. Samsung: Samsung Releases Ethereum-based SDK Beta for Galaxy Smartphones
    • Samsung released a beta version of the “Samsung Blockchain SDK,” an Ethereum-based SDK for partner developers that provides “a full set” of functions that are required to build DApps and a payment gateway for crypto remittance with its UI
    • Samsung explained, “Samsung Blockchain SDK is available to communicate with external blockchain node providing payment solution. It can reduce costs to build your dapp except in case if you have your own wallet logics already”
    • The kit currently only supports five devices: Galaxy S10e, S10, S10+, S10 5G and the Galaxy Fold
    • The official version of the kit is expected to be released by EOY
  16. Coindesk: Metropolitan Bank Says It Shut Down Tether’s Account After 5 Months
    • After the NYAG filed new documentation on July 8th showing that Tether held accounts at Metropolitan Bank and Signature Bank in NY longer than claimed, Metropolitan has requested Tether, Bitfinex’s parent company iFinex, and Digfinex (majority owner of Tether and iFinex) to shut down accounts with the bank
    • A Metropolitan spokesperson said, “Metropolitan Commercial Bank had limited, corporate operating accounts with Tether Holdings LTD, iFinex Inc, and Digfinex Inc, all with negligible activity, and requested the accounts to be closed after less than 5 months of the accounts being opened”
  17. Canada’s Crypto Exchanges Must Now Register as MSBs, Report Transactions Over $10K
    • The Canadian gov’t published amendments to its AML/CFT laws that will classify Canadian and foreign crypto platforms as Money Service Businesses (MSBs), meaning they must “fulfill all obligations, including implementing a full compliance program and registering with FINTRAC [the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada]”
    • Any “reporting entity” that receives +$10k CAD ($7.6k) in crypto must record details of the tx, the sender’s identity, and report the tx
    • The gov’t stated, “These amendments serve to mitigate the money laundering and terrorist activity financing vulnerabilities of virtual currency in a way that is consistent with the existing legal framework, while not unduly hindering innovation. For this reason, the amendments are targeted at persons or entities engaged in the business of dealing in virtual currencies, and not virtual currencies themselves”
  18. Hurriyet Daily: Turkey Adds CBDC to its New Economic Roadmap
    • Turkey included a Central Bank digital currency (CBDC) in its 2019–2023 economic roadmap, as well as plans for blockchain adoption in the operations of transportation and customs
    • Turkey VP Fuat Oktay said public services and administration can be improved by emerging tech such as big data, AI and blockchain
  19. WSJ: SEC Clears Blockstack to Hold First Regulated Token Offering
    • The SEC approved Blockstack’s $28M offering to sell BTC-like tokens under Regulation A+, an IPO alternative meant to help startups raise capital by allowing the general public to participate
    • The company plans to begin selling the tokens to the public on July 11th
    • Unlike an IPO, token buyers won’t get ownership stakes in the company, but rather will get “utility tokens” that they can use as currency on Blockstack’s network
    • While Regulation A+ has more lenient disclosure obligations than an IPO, it has two tiers with hard caps on raised funds, maxing out at $50M within a 12-month period
    • TokenData reported that ICO funding dropped from $6.9B in 1Q18 to $118M in 1Q19
    • Blockstack founders, Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea, spent 10 months and ~$2M to gain approval from the SEC, as Blockstack had to develop a protocol for running what is essentially a regulated ICO through Regulation A+ from the ground up
    • Link to Cointelegraph’s report
  20. The Block: Fidelity, Deloitte, Amazon support new blockchain accelerator
    • Fidelity, Deloitte, Amazon, and 20 other firms are backing Startup Studio, a blockchain accelerator program to mentor budding entrepreneurs in the space
    • The program is set up by IDEO CoLab Ventures, a venture arm from design firm IDEO, and aims to help blockchain startups with product design, user testing, hiring, finance, law and engineering, through one-day workshops
    • IDEO managing director, Ian Lee, said Amazon will provide resources on how to build and deploy services on top of AWS
    • Deloitte will offer workshops on the journey and lifecycle for blockchain firms from an accounting, tax, and structuring perspective, while Fidelity’s center for applied tech will help them explore, accelerate, test, as well as partner on “compelling new opportunities” in the financial services space
    • Each partner will take “active” roles and share the costs for running these workshops, including IDEO
    • Ethereum Foundation, Stellar Foundation, Coinbase-backed NEAR Protocol and Messari are some of the program’s other partners
    • Participating startups can choose to go to a specific workshop at “no cost”
    • Lee added that some startups, including DEX protocol 0x, crypto lender Dharma and crypto derivatives exchange dYdX have already attended the program, “We’ve helped them validate/invalidate new product concepts, design product UX/UI, and find their first launch customers”
    • IDEO’s current portfolio includes nine companies, but the firm plans to invest in ~12 blockchain startups a year
  21. Reuters: Fed chief calls for Facebook to halt Libra project until concerns addressed
    • Chairman of the Fed Jerome Powell said Facebook’s (FB) Libra plans “cannot go forward” until concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability are addressed
    • Powell said any regulatory review of the project should be “patient and careful,” adding that existing rules don’t fit digital currencies, “It’s something that doesn’t fit neatly or easily within our regulatory scheme but it does have potentially systemic scale…It needs a careful look, so I strongly believe we all need to be taking our time with this”
    • FB spokeswoman Elka Looks said, “We are very much aligned with the Chairman around the need for public discourse on this…This is why we along with the 27 other Founding Members of the Libra Association made this announcement so far in advance, so that we could engage in constructive discourse on this and get feedback”
    • Powell’s comments ostensibly affected BTC’s price, which fell ~7% during his 3hrs of testimony
    • It’s unclear how the Fed could slow the project if it wanted, given the murky regulations of digital currencies, but Powell’s perspective looms large
    • The Fed established a working group to follow Libra and is coordinating with other central banks across the globe
    • Powell expects a review from the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council, a panel of regulators charged with identifying broad risks to the financial system
    • Powell supports financial innovation as long as appropriate risks are identified, but he said the massive platform enjoyed by FB immediately sets Libra apart from other digital currency projects, “Facebook has a couple billion-plus users, so I think you have for the first time the possibility of very broad adoption”
    • The chairman added that any problems that could emerge through Libra “would arise to systemically important levels just because of the mere size of Facebook”
  22. Fold: Fold Introduces Lightning Network payments to Amazon, Whole Foods
    • Crypto payments service provider Fold announced support for LN payments within their app, allowing users to spend BTC at retailers like Amazon, Starbucks, Uber, REI, Home Depot, Southwest Airlines, Target, AMC, Whole Foods at almost no cost
    • Merchants will settle payments via their prepaid access programs in the currency of their choice so checkout will be quick and seamless
    • Fold’s benefits include no KYC, no mandatory signup, no hidden markups, no altcoins and completely non-custodial
    • Fold plans to expand the list of participating retailers, integrate with partner wallets and ecosystems, as well as provide incentives to reward you for using Fold
    • Link to product demo
  23. Coindesk: US President Donald Trump Says He’s ‘Not a Fan’ of Bitcoin
    • U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity”
    • Trump added that Facebook’s Libra project “will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International”
    • He concluded,  “We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”
    • The tweet ostensibly had a neutral impact on BTC price, as BTC has continued to trade within the same 11.2k-11.7k range
  24. Bloomberg: $32 Million Swiped From Cryptocurrency Exchange in Latest Hack
    • Japanese FSA-licensed crypto exchange Bitpoint was hacked for 3.5B JPY ($32M) in crypto, however it’s unclear which cryptos were stolen
    • Bitpoint halted all services including trading and D/W of all crypto on July 12th after it noticed irregular withdrawal from its hot wallet on July 11th
    • Bitpoint’s parent company Remixpoint announced that 2.5B JPY ($23M) of the illegal outflow belonged to its customers, and 1B JPY ($9.2M) to the exchange.
  25. CNET: Senate moves Blockchain Promotion Act forward
    • The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved the Blockchain Promotion Act, which directs the Dept. of Commerce to come up with a standard definition of “blockchain,” lay the regulatory framework for blockchain, and identify how the gov’t could benefit from its use
    • Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said, “This legislation will help further understand applications for this technology and explore opportunities for its use within the federal government,” noting that the tech is already being used in the private sector to expand access to renewable energy, enhance health care delivery systems and improve supply chain efficiency
    • The working group will provide recommendations to other gov’t agencies, including the National Telecom and Info Administration and the FCC, to study using the tech to help manage wireless spectrum and provide other efficiencies within the federal gov’t
    • Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) is sponsoring an identical bill in the House along with Rep. Brett Guthrie, (R-KY), while the bill’s sponsors in the Senate are Sens. Markey and Todd Young (R-IN)
  26. Litecoin Foundation: Litecoin Named Official Cryptocurrency Of The Miami Dolphins
    • LTC is now the “Official Cryptocurrency of the Miami Dolphins,” giving home game attendees the ability to pay with LTC and BTC via Aliant Payments when purchasing tickets for the team’s 50/50 raffle, where half of the proceeds benefit the Miami Dolphins Foundation and its charitable causes
    • LTC creator Charlie Lee said, “This collaboration propels Litecoin in front of an audience of millions of people around the world at a time where adoption of cryptocurrencies continues to gain momentum and the ecosystem is able to support real world use cases in ways previously not possible. We see this as a powerful way to raise awareness and educate people about Litecoin and cryptocurrencies on a tremendous scale”
  27. PressTV: Iranian government moves to authorize cryptocurrency mining
    • Abdol Nasser Hemmati, governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), said that the gov’t approved parts of an executive law which would allow crypto mining
    • Hemmati added, “Mining of the international digital currencies should be done based on the price of electricity for export…What’s more important is that these mined currencies should be fed back to the national economic cycle”
    • The CBI won’t allow any currency in Iran whose values are decided by the price of the national currency or gold, among others
  28. Cointelegraph: Fed Chairman – ‘No One Uses It’ — Bitcoin a Speculative Asset Like Gold
    • Chairman of the Fed Jerome Powell said he can envision a return to an era where multiple currencies are in use in the U.S., “People have been talking about this since cryptocurrencies emerged, but we haven’t seen it. That’s not to say we won’t — and if we do, then yes, you could see a return to an era in the United States where we had many different currencies, in the so-called national banking era”
    • Though Facebook’s Libra initiative raised “a lot of serious concerns,” including privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, and financial stability, Powell spoke favorably about BTC, “Almost no one uses bitcoin for payments, they use it more as an alternative to gold…It’s a speculative store of value”
    • Since Powell previously stated that the U.S. shouldn’t return to the gold standard, some took the statement as referring to a call to “drop gold, buy bitcoin”

DISCLAIMER

The information in this report is provided by, and is the sole opinion of, Kraken’s research desk. The information is provided as general market commentary and should not be the basis for making investment decisions or be construed as investment advice with respect to any digital asset or the issuers thereof. Trading digital assets involves significant risk. Any person considering trading digital assets should seek independent advice on the suitability of any particular digital asset. Kraken does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this report, does not control, endorse or adopt any third party content, and accepts no liability of any kind arising from the use of any information contained in the report, including without limitation, any loss of profit. Kraken expressly disclaims all warranties of accuracy, completeness, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the information in this report. Kraken shall not be responsible for any risks associated with accessing third party websites, including the use of hyperlinks. All market prices, data and other information are based upon selected public market data, reflect prevailing conditions, and research’s views as of this date, all of which are subject to change without notice. This report has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research. Kraken and its affiliates hold positions in digital assets and may now or in the future hold a position in the subject of this research. This report is not directed or intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of, or located in a jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to applicable law or that would subject Kraken and/or its affiliates to any registration or licensing requirement. The digital assets described herein may or may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions.