JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Returns to Bitcoin Bashing, Calls Cryptocurrency a ‘Scam’

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Returns to Bitcoin Bashing, Calls Cryptocurrency a ‘Scam’

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon returned to his more critical comments about Bitcoin, calling the cryptocurrency a “scam” and saying he had “no interest” in it, Bloomberg reported Sunday, August 5. Dimon was speaking at the Aspen Institute’s 25th Annual Summer Celebration Gala on Saturday, including cryptocurrency as part of general comments he made about the U.S. economic outlook. His words were soon repeated in both the mainstream press and online by prominent economic sources, notably Nouriel Roubini, who has also become known this year for his critical stance on Bitcoin. According to Bloomberg, Dimon further “suggested governments may move to shut down the currencies [cryptocurrency], because of an inability to control them.” The finance mogul’s history with cryptocurrency has been chequered. Having caused a stir in September 2017 when he originally called Bitcoin a “fraud,” Dimon thereafter appeared to change tact, later saying he “regretted” his choice of words. “I wouldn’t put this high on the category of important things in the world. But I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore,” he told reporters last October. In January, Dimon kept his promise, telling Cointelegraph in private comments that he “can’t answer” when asked how he felt about moving markets with his earlier Bitcoin “fraud” comments. However, he added that he was “not a skeptic” regarding cryptocurrency. In his recent interview published in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review, Dimon again refused to comment directly on crypto, reiterating “I probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency.” In the same interview, Dimon also made a point of calling blockchain technology “real,” –– while implying that crypto is not –– saying that the banking giant is “testing it [blockchain] and will use it for a whole lot of things.” Since then, mixed signals have emerged from other JPMorgan sources, the company’s co-president Daniel Pinto telling CNBC in May that cryptocurrencies “are real but not in the current form.” He added executives were “looking into” the space at a time when fellow finance giant Goldman Sachs revealed it was working on offering Bitcoin futures.

Blythe Masters Looks Beyond Finance for Next Wave of Blockchain Growth

Blythe Masters Looks Beyond Finance for Next Wave of Blockchain Growth

To hear Blythe Masters tell it, the time has come for Digital Asset (DA) to spread its wings and fly. The distributed ledger technology (DLT) company she founded in 2014 is entering a new phase, heralded by, among other things, a partnership with Google Cloud to simplify and proliferate the tech. To date, DA’s strategy has stood out among the big enterprise blockchain players for its laser-like focus. Instead of spending a lot of time on consortiums, proofs-of-concept and the like, the New York-based company concentrated on landing the one big fish. It achieved that goal late last year when the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) officially hired DA to replace its creaky Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS), a multi-year project that’s currently underway. Now, having earned the rare distinction of a bona fide production customer, Masters’ startup wants to foster an ecosystem around its Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML), which is about to become available with a software development kit (SDK) via Google Cloud. “Having spent three and a half years in the design-and-build phase, this is the ‘open up and educate’ phase and [the time to] build a community of channel partners and developers,” Masters told CoinDesk. This, in turn, will open a vast range of opportunities for DA, she said – both within the financial services industry where Masters spent most of her career and outside it. “The application of this technology is by no means limited to the world’s biggest market infrastructures,” the former JPMorgan Chase executive said, adding: “It goes well throughout financial services, well beyond capital markets and beyond financial services into all the other industries that have a vested interest in improving the efficiency of their workflow orchestration.” According to Masters, there is “a lot of pent-up demand” for DA’s technology which the cloud-based DAML SDK can start to meet and a “potential addressable market that is almost unmeasurable.” To give a sense of the breadth of this market, Masters rattled off a litany of new pastures for DA, including: healthcare and insurance claims; digital media rights; royalty streams; real estate; lending and collateral management within capital markets, derivatives post-trade, securities post-trade, reference data, supply chain, crypto wallet custody of assets and more. However, Masters was careful to qualify…

Researchers Build Blockchain Electricity Exchange They Say Cuts Waste

Researchers Build Blockchain Electricity Exchange They Say Cuts Waste

Researchers from one of the top universities in China say they have developed a decentralized exchange, not for crypto assets, but for unused power A patent application filed by team from China’s Fudan University in January and revealed on Friday sets out the workings of a blockchain-based electricity exchange that assigns power sellers and buyers as nodes on the network and allows them to securely trade unused electricity without a third-party intermediary. Using the network, nodes can broadcast requests for sales or purchases, after which smart contracts will connect matching requests, based on data such as volume and price, and then trigger transactions – a mechanism similar to that of a decentralized crypto exchange. The effort is a response to the growing supply of renewable energy in China, especially solar power generated by households, which is often generated in excess of demand in some regions. The researchers write: “Households then have no other choices but to let the unused solar power go to waste because they don’t have a direct way of exchanging electricity.” To facilitate transactions over the decentralized network, a digital currency would be used between buyers and sellers, the patent application explained. Although it’s not clear which digital asset(s) the platform might use, the system has so far been made to built on two blockchain systems, according to the Fudan team. “This idea can be achieved in either a public, private or a consortium blockchain. And in this case, the system has been developed on IBM’s Hyperledger platform as well as the ethereum blockchain, to make electricity tradeable and shareable within a community,” the document states. Read the full patent application below: Fudan University Patent Application by CoinDesk on Scribd Solar panels image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Below $7K: Bitcoin Price Looks Indecisive After 19-Day Low

Below $7K: Bitcoin Price Looks Indecisive After 19-Day Low

Bitcoin’s (BTC) price is trading in an indecisive manner after hitting 19-day lows below $6,900 on Sunday, but could pick up a bid on acceptance above $7,100, technical studies indicate. The leading cryptocurrency fell to $6,890 on Bitfinex yesterday – its lowest level since July 17 – before ending the day (as per UTC) on a flat note at $7,025. The price action indicates indecision in the marketplace, but could also be considered a sign of bearish exhaustion as the market is looking indecisive after a 21 percent slide from the recent high of $8,507. Now if the bulls are able to push prices above Sunday’s high of $7,090, then the exhaustion among sellers would be confirmed. On the other hand, a slide below the previous day’s low of $6,890 would only make matters worse for the cryptocurrency. At press time, BTC is trading at $6,975 – down 0.80 percent on a 24-hour basis. Daily chart The above chart shows, BTC created a doji candle (indecision) on Sunday at the 50-day moving average (MA) support, making today’s close (as per UTC) pivotal. A bull doji reversal would be confirmed if BTC closes today (as per UTC) above $7,090 (Sunday’s doji candle high). In this case, a corrective rally to 100-day MA, currently located at $7,474, could be seen. Meanwhile, a close (as per UTC) below $6,890 (Sunday’s doji candle low) would signal a continuation of the sell-off from the July high of $8,507. Moreover, the bulls need to capitalize soon on the signs of indecision or bearish exhaustion, otherwise, the focus would quickly shift back to the bearish factors: downward sloping 5-day and 10-day MAs, breach of the key support of 100-day MA last week and a bearish relative strength index (RSI). Further, BTC’s close proximity to the all-important inverse head-and-shoulders neckline support (former resistance) of $6,820 is another big reason why the bulls need to make a quick comeback. A break below $6,820 would invalidate the bearish-to-bullish trend change confirmed by the inverse head-and-shoulders breakout on July 17 and would shift risk in favor of a drop below the rising trendline (yellow dotted line). In any case, the long-term bullish view has been invalidated by BTC’s close at $7,025 yesterday, as seen in the…

Coinbase Returns to Wyoming After Successfully Renewing Money Transmitter License

Coinbase Returns to Wyoming After Successfully Renewing Money Transmitter License

U.S. crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has been given the green light from regulators to resume its services in the state of Wyoming, according to an official announcement published August 3. The exchange has now reportedly successfully renewed its money transmitter license in the state of Wyoming. The license had been suspended as of mid-2014 due to stipulations in state law that required all exchanges to “double reserve” the digital assets of state residents with fiat currency. As Coinbase outlined at the time, the exchange had chosen to suspend its services as soon as its operations as a cryptocurrency exchange were deemed by legislators to fall subject to certain conditions for licensure stipulated under the Wyoming Money Transmitters Act (specifically, Chapter 22 of Title 40 – Trade and Commerce, which was introduced in the Wyoming Statutes of 2011 and came into effect by 2014). According to Coinbase, the Act had hitherto been interpreted by the Wyoming Division of Banking as requiring “licensees [to] maintain dedicated fiat currency reserves in amount equal to the aggregate face value of all bitcoin [sic.] held on behalf of customers,” something the exchange found to be “impractical, costly, and inefficient.” Having now resumed its services for Wyoming residents, Coinbase credits the state legislature, Governor Matt Mead and members of the Blockchain Task Force with enabling a new bill to be signed into state law that has now effectively removed these restrictions.   As Cointelegraph reported in March, House Bill 19 regarding the exemption of virtual currencies from the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act was passed with a majority of 28-3 by the Wyoming state legislature on March 5 of this year, allowing Coinbase to apply for a license under which it can resume operations as a compliant and regulated exchange. Alongside House Bill 19, Wyoming has also this March passed House Bill 70 that exempts certain blockchain tokens from securities regulations and money transmission laws, as well as passing a further cryptocurrency related bill, Senate Bill 111, in February that exempts virtual currencies from state property taxation.

Indian State Partners with Mahindra to Build ‘Blockchain District’

Indian State Partners with Mahindra to Build ‘Blockchain District’

A state government in India is working with a multinational IT services giant to build a district within the state capital dedicated to blockchain startups. The IT department of the Telangana state government on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tech Mahindra, a publicly listed firm with headquarters in India, that will see the two teaming up to build what they claim will be the country’s first “blockchain district.” Economic Times reported that the blockchain district will occupy an area inside Hyderabad – the state’s capital city – with physical buildings to house and incubate blockchain startups from India as part of the government’s push to advance the tech’s development. According to business news outlet Inc24, the state government will be primarily responsible for building the infrastructure of the new district and providing policy and regulatory support for blockchain startups. Tech Mahindra, on the other hand, will offer expertise focused on blockchain ecosystem and technological skills. According to an announcement on Friday, Tech Mahindra is also working on developing  a blockchain platform tailor-made for startups in the country, called Eleven01 protocol. As previously reported by CoinDesk, the IT giant has also been working with overseas blockchain startups to bring solutions to the Indian market. The blockchain district marks the latest effort by an Indian state to advance blockchain development with government-backed initiatives. Telangana’s neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh previously signed an agreement with a fund to start development of a blockchain ecosystem as part of the state’s Fintech Valley Vizag initiative. Meanwhile, both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have also been exploring blockchain technology to digitally rework their land registries, as previously reported by CoinDesk. Hyderabad image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Say Hello to SmartDrops: The New Way to Give Away Crypto Money

Say Hello to SmartDrops: The New Way to Give Away Crypto Money

Are airdrops useful? While the jury’s still out about the mechanism, used of late to massively distribute crypto tokens to those who already own cryptocurrencies, several industry observers and startups already believe it could be done better. The concept of “smartdrops” seems to have garnered some attention after a July Medium post by Yeoman’s Capital founder and long-time industry investor David Johnston. In it, Johnston encouraged blockchain startups to eschew what has become a standard approach to airdrops – dumping tokens to everybody with an ethereum address – for a more targeted approach. In practice, Johnston told CoinDesk this means, “intelligently targeting the recipients of an airdrop and giving away a meaningful amount of value,” with the objective of attracting real users to participate in “the early bootstrapping of a system.” And this newly minted alternative seems to be gaining steam. For instance, there’s already some precedence to this approach. In fact, Johnston says in his Medium post that he merely recorded best practices and gave “substance to this idea that a lot of people have,” specifically pointing to projects Dfinity and Polymath as examples of projects that have conducted smartdrops. Sure enough, in June, Dfinity announced plans to airdrop $35 million worth of its tokens to community members that undergo (and pass) a know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) verification process. Likewise, new companies have emerged to facilitate these improved airdrops. Crypto token management company TRM Labs, for example, recently launched a platform (dubbed SmartDrops of course) that allows projects to distribute tokens to select users and offers issuers analytics. Just like Johnston, it appears many crypto stakeholders have high hopes for the new and improved airdrop and think the method could resolve issues associated with other token distribution methods, namely initial coin offerings (ICOs) that have been under regulatory scrutiny and seen industry criticism since its explosion in use. These projects often have a hard time attracting the “bootstrappers” Johnston refers to, and their tokens frequently become objects of speculation more so than objects of utility. “Most airdrops are really about giving a token to speculative investors so that they’ll go cash it out on an exchange. It’s really about trying to demonstrate to exchanges, ‘hey we’ve got a lot of wallets, we’re going to bring you a lot…

Bank of Thailand Green-Lights Financial Companies for Crypto Activities

Bank of Thailand Green-Lights Financial Companies for Crypto Activities

Regulation Thailand’s central bank has announced the rules under which financial institutions, including commercial banks, and their subsidiaries can engage in cryptocurrency activities. They include securities, asset management, and insurance firms. This follows the country’s crypto regulatory framework that went into effect last month. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space New Circular, New Rules Thailand’s central bank, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), issued a circular dated August 1 to all financial institutions in the country, informing them of its new crypto policies. Part of the Bank of Thailand’s August 1 circular. Citing that the country now has a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO), the BOT canceled its previous circular issued in February. At that time, the central bank asked financial institutions to refrain from getting involved in certain types of crypto activities. In its new circular, the Bank of Thailand outlines the conditions under which financial institutions and their subsidiaries can now engage in activities involving cryptocurrencies and digital tokens. The rules can be divided into two broad categories: those that apply to financial institutions and those that apply to their subsidiaries. Rules for Subsidiaries Within a financial institution’s group of companies, there are usually subsidiaries offering financial products and services such as brokerage, asset management, insurance, and life insurance. These companies have their own regulatory bodies. For example, brokerage firms comply with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) whereas insurance firms comply with the Thai Office of Insurance Commission (OIC). The BOT says these companies are now permitted to engage in crypto businesses including issuing digital tokens and investing in cryptocurrencies, providing they follow the rules set by their respective regulators. New subsidiaries wanting to engage in crypto activities, however, must apply for approval from the BOT through their parent companies. They will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The parent companies must be responsible for overseeing and managing the overall risks associated with the proposed crypto activities for the whole group and at individual subsidiaries. The central bank explains that they must also ensure that the subsidiaries follow regulatory guidelines including anti-money laundering (AML), combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), IT security, and consumer protection. Rules for Financial Institutions The rules for financial institutions, which…

Coinbase Seeks Online Merchant Crypto Adoption by the Millions

Coinbase Seeks Online Merchant Crypto Adoption by the Millions

News Adoption news keeps flowing this week, from Wall Street to Australia, and now San Francisco. The United States largest cryptocurrency bank, Coinbase, announced it is expanding its commerce section to include Woo Commerce via a plugin downloadable from Github. It could be just what more online merchants need to get comfortable with cryptocurrency. Also read: Bitcoiners Hope to Have a Friend in Top US Regulator Jay Clayton Coinbase Seeks Online Merchant Crypto Adoption by the Millions More than a quarter of all online merchants use Woo Commerce. It’s easily one of the most popular payment platforms around. This week, Coinbase announced it is releasing a Woo Commerce plugin as part of its proprietary Coinbase Commerce offering which can be downloaded from Github. Coinbase Commerce is itself a payment solution focusing on getting more online merchants to use cryptocurrency. Woo Commerce businesses will “have access to cryptocurrency payments from customers around the world,” Coinbase stressed. “This increased access will lead to more widespread adoption, and ultimately, moves us closer to our goal of an open financial system.”At present, ethereum and bitcoin cash (BCH) are still being tested on the platform, but users who hold bitcoin core (BTC) and litecoin can send theirs from Coinbase Commerce. The team is working on building similar functionality for bitcoin cash and ethereum. Huge Market Merchants who use the payment button React now have the option of embedding Coinbase functionality as well. The San Francisco-based crypto bank is also incorporating programming languages such as Python, and are said to even be considering Ruby. The idea seems to be keeping merchants happy by not asking them for acceptance payment fees.  These are just a scant few moves Coinbase has been making as a unit this year. They are now involved with institutional financial products, and are launching a crypto index fund, gobbling up licenses such as the Bitlicense, have purchased Paradax exchange, and are plotting a move into Japan. The payment processing market is a giant one. All the proof anyone would need to measure just how huge is, say, the recent announcement by Wall Street and its entrance into all things retail with Bakkt (includes Microsoft and Starbucks). And while the space is getting crowded a bit, Coinbase has a…

Coinbase Resumes Service in Wyoming After License Renewal

Coinbase Resumes Service in Wyoming After License Renewal

The San Fransisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is offering services again to residents living in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The exchange published a blog post on Saturday that it has renewed its money transmitter license in Wyoming, marking a long-waited return since Coinbase abruptly pulled out from the state three years ago. As previously reported by CoinDesk, Coinbase announced in June 2015 that it would be costly and impractical to continue its services in Wyoming after state regulators clarified the company fell under its Money Transmitter Act. The Act required at the time that Coinbase must “double reserve” state residents’ assets – meaning holding fiat currency reserves for all crypto assets held on consumer’s behalf – in order to renew the money transmitter license. However, the Cowboy State passed a notable bill in March of this year that amended the Money Transmitter Act to provide an exemption for virtual currency. As Coinbase explained in the blog post, the regulatory change means “cryptocurrency companies in Wyoming are no longer required to double reserve the assets of state residents.” With the license renewal, Coinbase said Wyoming customers can regain access to funds stored in their accounts to continue trading and using cryptocurrencies. “We believe this action by Wyoming will spur innovation and economic activity for individuals, families and communities across the state,” the company said. Wyoming image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.