We begin with big news from South Korea, as they announce that 6 major banks will facilitate data sharing with Cryptocurrency exchanges. Money laundering and tax evasion have been large governmental concerns with regards to crypto and it seems South Korea have taken the first steps to mitigate under the counter activity. Moving on, Japanese Cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck will refund the $400m worth of NEM that was stolen from them by hackers. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen big hacks on Japanese exchanges…..(cough, cough, Mt. Gox). On to something more positive in the crypto-sphere, Robinhood, the app that lets you make zero-fee stock trading is going to allow its users to trade Cryptocurrencies. Robinhood users will be able to trade both Bitcoin and Ethereum with no transaction fees, with more coins on the horizon. Next, a Hong Kong based blockchain investment fund has acquired Bitcoin startup BTCC, who’s mining pool accounts for 3.2% of Bitcoin’s hashing power…..big news! Sticking with acquisition-BitGo Inc., a closely held crypto-security firm, agree to buy Bitcoin custodian Kingdom Trust as it seeks to attract $20 Billion worth of institutional investors. Telegram has been a hotly discussed topic and Silicon Valley VCs are reportedly lining up to invest in the Russian messaging app. Back to Japan, the BOJ have come out with more regulatory talk stating that it will be incredibly difficult to create cross-border regulatory protocol for Cryptocurrency trading. Now regulation in this space will be important- but how do we protect innovation? The chairmen of the CFTC and SEC, Christopher Giancarlo and Jay Clayton, have co-authored an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal about what their agencies are doing in relation to cryptocurrency and token markets. It seems mostly positive, as both have focussed on the technology- potentially encouraging governments to understand just how big blockchain could be.
Now lots of Ripple enthusiasts claim that XRP could become the Bitcoin for banks, but do banks want it? A story coming from Bloomberg claims that banks have absolutely no interest in XRP. Current and former executives at seven global banks—some of whom have partnered with Ripple—say there was scant chance they would ever entrust their corporate clients’ payments to a cryptocurrency. Damning to say the least.
We leave you with our Bull masks on, as hedge funds have swung their bitcoin-futures bets to the bullish side for the first time, according to recent figures. What will this mean for crypto markets going forward?