The Globe’s Biggest Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Provider Looking into Digital Currencies
BlackRock, which is known to be the world's biggest asset manager, is delving into the world of cryptocurrencies. Just six months ago, BlackRock's CEO made some criticising remarks about Bitcoin. However, we typically see a trend with companies changing their minds when they see how lucrative the global crypto market is.The asset management firm has a net worth of about $6.3 trillion! The company has been determining whether they want to invest in BTC futures and ways to get more visibility with blockchain technologies and other cryptocurrencies. Departments in the company will also be looking into how competitors are investing in the crypto market and whether their ventures propose a threat to BlackRock's market share. Goldman Sachs, another asset management company, has already set up help desks to assist their clients with having access to the nascent asset class. The CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink, made statements six months ago saying that "Bitcoin is an index of money laundering". However, he did have positive things to say about blockchain technologies, and since then has had his company do some research on cryptocurrencies and how they will be investing in the industry in the near future.
How Did Bitmain Become the Largest Digital Currency Company?
The biggest mining manufacturer on the global crypto market, Bitmain, has raised a whopping $12 billion in a Series B funding round. This makes the company the biggest conglomerate in the history of digital assets. Some other major conglomerates to note are Coinbase, Ripple Labs, and Binance. Coinbase is known to have a major role in the institutional market and digital currency brokerage, while Binance is in control of the digital currency-only exchange market. Ripple Labs manages the development of its own Ripple blockchain network and it is the first choice of banks for tailored blockchain protocols. Bitmain is a leader in bitcoin mining equipment and is competing with Samsung. In the last year, the company has been concentrating on changing Bitmain's investment arm, which has been successful in multi-million dollar rounds of funding. Within seven years, the mining manufacturer giant has gained billions of dollars in profits, causing the company to make investments in ICOs, digital asset companies, blockchain projects, and other platforms in the financial sector. This week, Bitmain informed that it will be finishing plans to acquire Opera Internet Browser, and they have already invested $50 million. Opera is looking to raise $150 million in their initial public offering. Bitmain has already made as much money as the world's largest chip manufacturers, Nvidia. They have surpassed Nvidia's record in less than four years! It took Nvidia 24 years to reach their $3 billion profit. Not only have they beat Nvidia's record, but Bitmain is also looking to become a major competitor to Nvidia, by delving into the artificial intelligence (AI) industry. A product marketer at Bitmain stated that AI will be everywhere in the future, so it makes sense for the company to get started on this revolution now. Bitmain definitely has the budget to compete with the big dogs, and we are excited to see what other records they can beat!
ZCash Community is Not Down with Prioritizing ASIC Resistance
The ZCash foundation created a voting poll for its community and a majority voted against the prioritization of ASIC resistance. The panel for voting was made up of 64 elected people from the community. Just two months ago, Bitmain launched the very first ASIC mining device for ZCash. A lot of people were not happy and expressed that the ASIC miners would cause centralization of the mining concept, and becoming ASIC resistant is a key component to decentralization. In response to the votes, the ZCash foundation stated that they would make ASIC resistance a priority. Executive Director of ZCash said that they will be having a board meeting to look at the ASICs on their network. Although the ZCash panel is not implementing resources in making their digital asset ASIC resistant at the moment, it is preparing to make their mining operations more efficient and usable so that the network is decentralized at a maximum level. The ZCash network already went through its first hard fork sometime last week. The developers of the network believe the upgrade of the network will help clear the way for future upgrades.
Japan’s Longest Regulator Will Be Leaving Sometime This Summer
Japan's longest tenured regulator, Nobuchika Mori who is also the Chief of Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA), will be leaving sometime this summer. Mori is known to be crypto-friendly and has had a huge impact on the crypto regulations that have been imposed by the government of Japan. Japan has been known as strict when it comes to money laundering and fraud policies and it is considered a conservative region, in the global crypto market. Mori was responsible for establishing strategies that accept and allow emerging markets, new innovations, and asset classes. Mori and his team of regulators have focused on creating policies that can make a better ecosystem for fintech companies and startups. Mori's forward thinking ideas, has led Japan to become one of the most lucrative cryto exchange markets in the world. The global market statistics are that Japan has 62% of the global Bitcoin trades which is three times higher than the United States. Although Japan was victim to a $500 million hack to their largest crypto exchange platform, Coincheck, they are still a dominant force in the global crypto market. Mori's effective leadership skills has been a major influence on other digital currency markets, such as the United States and South Korea. Hopefully Japan continues to implement new policies and Mori's impact will continue the momentum for the country's market.
Digital Currency Regulations Being Set for Abu Dhabi Market
The regulating power for Abu Dhabi's free zone and international finance center has released a regulatory framework. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is trying to enforce safe marketplace practices to ensure a successful market. Companies and businesses in Abu Dhabi that are participating in anything crypto related, must follow the policies and procedures that are in the framework. The FSRA has categorized digital assets as commodities. Any security tokens that are issued to investors, must be practicing the regulatory requirements. Utility tokens will also be categorized under commodities. Off-shoot funds that have relations with any crypto assets, will also have to abide by the regulations and will be considered "Specified Investments". Under the new regulatory framework, if a new exchange would like to operate, there is a fee of $125,000, and an annual cost of $60,000. Digital wallet companies, or crypto custodians will pay a starting fee of $20,000 then an additional $15,000 annually. The regulations also include a levy that are based on dialing trading that uses a sliding scale. Exchanges that have transactions that are lower than $10 million, the levy that will be applied will be 0.0015% which equals up to $15,000 per month. Exchanges that have a higher average daily value of more than $250 million would have to pay 0.0006% which comes out to around $150,000 per month.
Co-founder of Cardano Believes Wall Street Will Rake in Trillions for the Crypto Market
Cardano and Ethereum Co-founder, Charles Hoskinson, believes that Wall Street's entrance into the digital currency market, will bring in trillions of dollars. He reassured investors by saying that the market will pick back up compared to its current situation. Wall Street companies and firms are jumping on the cryptocurrency wagon. Many high profile people have been investing in the market. For example, Mike Novogratz used to be a Wall Street executive until becoming the CEO of Galaxy Digital Capital Management. He was working for Goldman Sachs prior to putting in 10% of his funds into the digital asset market. Hoskinson made a prediction that the market would experience a price correction and a condensation. He also stated that this would weed out the companies that did not have a strong enough business model. Seems like his predictions have served to be true, so we hope that the market will also advance to its former levels.
China Puts EOS at the Top of Its List
China Electronic Information Industry (CCID), manages rankings of different digital currencies. They have updated their blockchain rankings to reflect EOS as the best blockchain network. Before, Ethereum was number one in their books. The Chinese government believes that EOS has the best blockchain in the world, due to their innovations and technology. There is no such thing as a perfect score when it comes to blockchain rankings. There are at least ten different categories each blockchain is ranked by. Some of the categories are: proof-of-stake (POS), utility token, bank protocol, tokenized security, smart contracts, appcoins, and etc. CCID has a strong structure that is based on three categories: innovation, application, and technology. EOS ranked number one with 15.4 points in applicability, 102 points in technology, and 44.1 points in innovation. Ethereum came in second with 24.9 points in applicability, 85.2 points in technology, and 28.3 points in innovation. However, EOS still derives from the Ethereum network, and without that there would be no EOS. EOS received high marks in innovation because of its PoS protocols. It received high scores in technology because of its PoS consensus algorithms, and the fact that it can process more transactions in a shorter amount of time.
The Global Market’s Second BTC Manufacturer to Go Public
A Chinese BTC manufacturer, Ebang Communication, has shared that they will be going public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The firm is a giant manufacturer of ASIC chips for BTC mining. Ebang filed to have its IPO or initial public offering, this past Monday. Ebang is hoping to raise $1 billion during its IPO but this number has not been confirmed yet. The company is claiming that they have an 11% market share of the ASIC BTC market, and they feel that this will be increasing after they launch their 7nm chips. Another company, based in Japan, has also released 7nm chips and they are said to be better than the 10nm chips that were released by Samsung last year. Ebang has grown exponentially in the last 3 years. In 2017, the company raked in a whopping $142 million which was a lot higher than their revenue of $4.5 million in 2015. Not only is Ebang going to be launching thinner ASIC chips, but they are also creating chips for various mining algorithms. Ebang will be the second Bitcoin mining giant to go public in the Hong Kong market. Analysts are saying that these companies will have a good run, until Bitmain steps into the picture. Bitmain is the world's most dominant mining company and they are working on releasing an IPO for the blockchain industry. They recently completed a pre-IPO round that made them a profit of $12 billion!
Facebook Has a Change of Heart and Removes Ban on Crypto Ads
Facebook has announced that they will be reversing the ban on digital currency advertisements, on their social media outlet. Facebook has revised their "cryptocurrency policy" instead of removing the policy all together. Cryptocurrency companies and exchanges will still not be permitted to have ads on the popular social media site. The ban was originally placed back in January, when the market was in an ICO frenzy. This was also during the time when there were a lot of ICO scam and phishing attacks. Facebook made the decision to ban the ads, because they wanted to protect their community from fraud. However, the ban did stir a lot of backlash from crypto enthusiasts. Industry leaders spoke out against Facebook's policy, and some companies in Russia and Asia even filed lawsuits against Facebook. 
Square App Reaches All-Time High in Market After Obtaining BitLicense
Jack Dorsey's multi-billion dollar payments company, better known as Square, has reached an all-time high and surged 3% on the market after obtaining its BitLicense. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) granted a BitLicense to the company recently, and it is the seventh BitLicense ever granted in the state. Square is now allowed to operate as a digital currency platform in the state. As you may know, New York is the strictest state when it comes to regulatory policies for cryptocurrency platforms and exchanges. Just three years ago, the profit margins of digital assets were a lot lower than they are now. This year, Bitstamp shared that they will be applying for a BitLicense that will set them back over $100,000. Bitstamp revealed that getting the BitLicense was a smart move, as it made them more aware of regulations and it was worth it for them. Since 2015, the cost to obtain a BitLicense has exceeded, due to the increase in size of the digital currency market. Although the costs have increased since 2015, Square felt that it was worth it to obtain the BitLicense, due to the demand and high volume of investors in New York. Since Square has received their BitLicense, their stock price jumped by 3%, in turn increasing their market value by over a billion dollars! Within a month, Square's stock price increased from $54 to $66.20, which is around 22.5%. Square's market valuation has surpassed its competitors such as Stripe and Shopify.


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