Harvard Purchased a Cryptocurrency!
Harvard University has recently bought into a token sale. Blockstack reported to the the SEC that Harvard invested in their cryptocurrency. The university bought about 95,833,333 Stacks Tokens. This is the first case in which an educational institution has directly invested in a digital currency. Investors have forecasted that many institutional investors would eventually jump on the bandwagon. In a recent report, Grayscale has stated that 66% of all investments stemmed from institutional investors, just in the last year. Many analysts are claiming that digital assets have the capacity to handle insitutional investments. Tokens are typically more risky to invest in, compared to your conventional digital assets such as Bitcoin. This is all because of tokens' survivability in the market. Blockstack was most likely an interest to Harvard, because it was the first token to be certified with the US SEC. The profits of Blockstack's token sales, will go toward developing its decentralized computing platform and ecosystem. Many other investors have also participated in token sales such as Morgan Creek Digital.
The SEC Publishes its Highly Anticipated Crypto Token Guide
Token issuers now have guidance from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They have finally released their regulatory guidance, as it has been in the works for a year and a half now. The new guide will target outlines and tokens and how they fall into a securities category. Director of Corporation Finance at the SEC, William Hinman, mentioned plain and simple, "The guidance will assist token issuers with determining if their digital asset is a security or not." The framework that has been used for this is the DLT framework. It's a list of factors of what token issuers should consider when it comes to their asset being a security or not. Some of these factors are: expectation of profit, whether group entities or a single entity are responsible for certain actions within the network, or whether the group is making and helping a market for a cryptocurrency. The guidance also encourages token issuers to look at tokens that have been sold in the past to evaluate if they should have been considered securities. The guidance does have a disclaimer of not being a legal binding document, and should be used merely as a guideline. While the guidance describes securities classifications, there are many questions still unanswered. The SEC still has not answered how they will handle custody for broker-dealers that possess digital currencies.
New Bull Goal for Bitcoin is Set Over $5K
Bitcoin's activity today has set its price at a high in over 4 months, to $5,080. The change from bear to bull market has been completed. In the short-run, it may be difficult for Bitcoin to reach the $5,200 mark. We can see Bitcoin revert back to $4,400 if there are signs of bullish exhaustion in the coming days. In order for Bitcoin to remain in the longer-term bull status, it would need to reach near $5,200. The reason why Bitcoin had a recent jump, was because of the $15 billion trading volume that occured overnight. Furthermore, the spike that was experienced today has created a positive trend for the market's top cryptocurrency. To maintain a bull market, the bulls need strength to break above the 21-month EMA, before attaining a victory over the bears. Other top digital currencies, such as EOS, ETH, and XRP are also on the bullish trend with increases of 5% each. Analysts believe that Bitcoin can reach up to $6,000. We are as excited as ever, to finally have Bitcoin maintain a strong standpoint in the global market.
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Binance Raising the Bar in Australia: Customers Can Buy Bitcoin with Cash at Stores
Digital asset exchange, Binance, has released a new platform in Australia. The platform will allow their community base to buy BTC with cash, from over 1,300 stores! The new release is called Binance Lite Australia and it is a cash-to-cash brokerage service. Currently, Aussies can buy the cryptocurrency using Australian dollars (AUD). In the future, Binance is looking to expand their cryptocurrency offerings, and add more to the platform. The process begins with users completing a verification process, then they are able to place an order to buy the digital asset online, and finally they can deposit their cash at the nearest newsagent and can receive the digital asset within minutes. The transaction fee is 5 percent for users that do purchase Bitcoin through the service. The CEO of Binance has mentioned that this new platform is additional proof that cryptocurrencies are becoming widely adopted by more and more people and institutions. Binance has been on fire as of late, they released a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda and British ruled island Jersey. The list keeps growing for Binance, they are definitely an exchange you want to keep your eyes on and even become a part of.
Fortune 500 Company Now Accepting Cryptocurrencies
One of the globe's biggest distributors of electronic services and components, Avnet, is officially accepting cryptocurrencies via BitPay. BitPay is a payment processing company that uses blockchain technology. The Fortune 500 institution just announced the news, and their clientele can now pay in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash for products and services. Bitpay will take part by verifying the transactions, so everything runs smoothly. Cryptocurrencies will help to diminish the expenditures, time, and other complexities that involve Avnet's products being sold on the market. Within just the first month of allowing their clients to pay with digital currency, Avnet has already processed several multi-million dollar transactions! This news will make the company the third biggest tech institution in the States to accept BTC payments, not too far behind Microsoft and Dell. BitPay and Avnet are also working together to create a new hardware wallet that will allow digital asset storage and provide security. BitPay is already doing big things, by processing over $1 billion in transactions for two years in a row! This partnership is definitely comprised of big players in the market.
IBM Bringing its Banking Customers One Step Closer to Digital Currencies
Six international financial institutions have signed letters of intent for the issuance of stablecoins, on World Wire, which is an IBM payment network that uses the Stellar blockchain. This deal will promise that regulated banking institutions will provide value for transactions that happen border-to-border. It will also allow transactions to occur faster and cheaper, than the current correspondent financial banking structure. As of now, three banks have been named: Brazil's Banco Bradesco, Phillipines Bank RCBC, and South Korean Bank Busan. The remaining three will soon be identified. However, we do know that they will be offering digital forms of Euros and the Indonesian currency Rupiah. The network has already gone live, and so far there is one stablecoin that is on World Wire at the moment and that is the U.S. dollar backed token that was formed by Strongholed, a startup company out of San Francisco. So far, there has been favorable responses from U.S. regulators, which is always a good sign. The World Wide network already has locations in 72 nations and has 46 currencies under its belt. Besides allowing customers to use the stablecoins, in the future there is a possibility clients of these banks can use lumens, which is another token using the Stellar blockchain. The lumens can be implemented as a "bridge currency", which makes it easier to trade one fiat currency to another fiat currency. World Wire will be the first big bang to hit IBM, this year. Stellar was created by former Ripple co-founder, Jed McCaleb. What does this association have to do with IBM? IBM will be working as a network operator, with Stellar being at the protocol level. This will include tasks such as IBM keeping maintenance of the payment API and software that will handle client accounts and their money flow. This new innovation will also assist IBM in making its mark with most banks worldwide.
Blockchain App Brave Making Killer Downloads!
An internet browser that rewards its users with cryptocurrencies, is making its community base larger, with 20 million app downloads! The Android app, Brave, is only growing larger. Brave's main missions are to eliminate ads, fix the internet, and not to track its users location, unlike other apps. The cryptocurrency that is rewarded to users is called "Basic Attention Token" (BAT). Recently, Google was accused of using invasive privacy policies, that breached a lot of users' security. Brave is a potential threat to other web browsers, such as Google Chrome. The app is calculated to be in the top 1% of all Android app downloads. This marks for a significant adoption of blockchain for people using smartphones. Brave's team raised a whopping $36 million in just a matter of 30 seconds, during their ICO release. Even though Brave's main purpose is not to serve as a crypto exchange, it is yet another example of an app that provides built-in crypto features.
Facebook Launching its Own Crypto Soon
Social Media giant, Facebook, is very interested in creating and offering their own cryptocurrency. There have been many attempts to implement digital currencies into messaging and social media platforms, in the past. This will mark a major milestone for social media and customer outreach. The Times reported that Facebook will be releasing their digital currency by the first half of 2019. Currently, Facebook has a user base of 2.5 billion people worldwide. Facebook is working on a stablecoin for its messaging service and in recent months they have enlisted a strong blockchain team for the project. The company currently has openings for 20 blockchain linked positions, with a established team of 50 blockchain engineers already working on the project. Facebook's mission is to integrate users across its whole social media portfolio including: Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Keep an eye out on your apps in the near future, and note the new features that pop up!
Bahrain is the First Country to Regulate BTC
Just a few months ago, there was mention that Bahrain has completed its draft on regulations of digital currencies. The Arab nation has now finished its final version of the regulations, and there weren't many corrections they had to make. The country is now officially able to do business with cryptocurrencies. Currently, Bahrain's list of the regulations are not available anywhere for public access. However, the Central Bank of Bahrain has noted the regulations call for enhanced due diligence. The regulations demand that any company conducting digital currency operations, must educate their clientele. This is not a surprise to us, as many Bahrain officials have come forward as cryptocurrency supporters. Dr. Abdulhussain Mirza, Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, has stated that blockchain technology is a huge step in the future to find a way to expedite transactions. Bahrain is one of many countries in the region that is looking at future economic gains. Countries that have a huge reliance on oil, to further their economies, have a unique incentive to build technological industries. Saudi Arabia is working with the United Arab Emirates to facilitate cross-border payments. The UAE is another Middle Eastern nation that is taking advantage of blockchain initiatives. Several crypto exchanges have set up shop in Dubai, as it is the hub of Arab finance.