Sunday, October 21, 2018

Crypto Week In Review: Fidelity, Goldman Sachs Adopt Crypto Custody

To say that these past seven days were bullish for crypto would likely be an understatement. Fidelity and Goldman Sachs, two prominent Wall Street giants, doubled-down on their cryptocurrency efforts, while already-established companies in this industry continued their unbridled expansion efforts.

But, if the crypto industry had a bullish week, why didn’t prices react positively? Well, as put Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano:

“The good news of today bakes the returns 3 years from now. This is exactly how Jeff Bezos thinks about Amazon and is exactly how you should look at crypto news today.”

Fidelity Dives Into Crypto With New Subsidiary 

On Monday, Boston-based Fidelity Investments revealed that it had formally entered the crypto market through the establishment of Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS), a subsidiary solely focused on offering products that pertain to digital assets, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

FDAS, which is headed by Tom Jessop, is slated to offer top-of-the-line cryptocurrency custody for Fidelity’s 13,000 institutional clients. The custody solution, which will secure digital assets through a complex cold storage system that utilizes physical and cyber components, will support Bitcoin, Ethereum, along with an unnamed variety of altcoins. Along with offering custody, Fidelity’s cryptocurrency offshoot will reportedly handle trade execution for its clients, aggregating data on exchanges that comply with the so-called “Fidelity Standard,” before executing transactions on behalf of its clients.

While the details surrounding the proposed products were scant, as put by Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson, FDAS’ goal boils down to “making digitally native assets, such as bitcoin, more accesible to investors.” Johnson added that she expects for her firm to continue experimenting with this “emerging asset class,” clearly alluding to her belief that there are long-term prospects for the blockchain innovation.

As this news spread like wildfire, Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM and a CNBC contributor, called this news “fantastic,” later adding that this development could entice other institutional household names to foray into the cryptosphere. But, for now, it seems that prospective FDAS clients will need to sit on their hands and wait patiently, as this startup hasn’t indicated when its first product will hit the streets, nor when FDAS would open its doors to retail investors.

Goldman Sachs, Mike Novogratz Invest $15M In BitGo

Just days after Fidelity launched its crypto-centric subsidiary, Goldman Sachs doubled-down on its involvement in the industry, joining hands with Galaxy Digital to invest in BitGo, a Palo Alto-based cryptocurrency custody startup.

Goldman and Galaxy reportedly invested $15 million collectively, while Craft Ventures, DRW, Valor Equity, and Redpoint Ventures, the other participants in BitGo’s Series B fundraising round, contributed $42.5 million. According to the press release pertaining to the matter, the funds raised via this round will go towards BitGo’s planned “$1 trillion crypto wallet,” likely referencing the startup’s goal to offer custody support for major clients across the globe.

The American company is currently responsible for 15% of “all global Bitcoin transactions” and $15 billion worth of monthly transactions across dozens of blockchain networks, which aren’t figures to scoff at.

Discussing the investment, which came as a surprise to the crypto community as a whole, Rana Yared, a managing director at Goldman Sachs‘ Principal Strategic Investments Group, stated:

“Greater institutional participation in the digital asset markets requires secure and regulated custody solutions. We view our investment in BitGo as an exciting opportunity to contribute to the evolution of this critical market infrastructure.”

While Goldman Sachs seems over-the-moon about the investment, it still isn’t clear how BitGo’s custody platform will slot into the financial institution’s plans to offer cryptocurrency-centric products and platforms.

SEC To Launch “FinHub” To Aid Blockchain Startups

Further acknowledging its role in the nascent cryptocurrency and blockchain world, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) recently announced the launch of the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology, known as “FinHub” for short. This new portal will reportedly facilitate discussion pertaining to the development of fintech technologies, allowing the public, regulators, and industry leaders to interact in a healthy environment to further the adoption of promising innovations.

It is important to note that FinHub isn’t solely focused on crypto assets and blockchain technologies, as the strategic hub will take a focus on artificial intelligence/machine learning, automated investment strategies, and digital marketplace financing, which are all booming sectors in their own right.

Along with providing an environment for open discussion, per a press release, the SEC-backed FinHub is looking to plan a “FinTech Forum” event that will be focused on distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and digital assets for a date in 2019.

Crypto Tidbits

  • Coinbase Opens Dublin Office: Amid growing Brexit concerns, San Francisco-based Coinbase has just opened up an office in the capital of the Republic of Ireland to complement its existing London location. Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase’s U.K. branch, explained that this expansion has been made in a bid to “look for ways to better service Coinbase’s customers.” Along with working hand-in-hand with the London office, the recently-established Dublin location will be integral in Coinbase’s attempts to offer service in the E.U. post-Brexit, which is rapidly approaching.
  • Ethereum To Delay Constantinople Hardfork: After months of development and a failed testnet integration, the Ethereum Core developer team has decided to delay the Constantinople hard fork, which was originally scheduled to hit the Ethereum mainnet in late-November. As explained by Afri Schoedeon, a developer at Parity, there were a multitude of consensus issues that appeared after Constantinople, the name given to the next Ethereum blockchain upgrade, was activated on the Ropsten testnet. According to the project’s development team, the blockchain upgrade, which is still slated to reduce block rewards and to potentially introduce the ProgPoW consensus mechanism, has been delayed until Q1 of 2019.
  • Journalism Blockchain Startup Civil Cancels ICO: Just a week after bagging a strategic partnership with multimedia legend Forbes, Brooklyn-based Civil has sadly canceled its ICO after failing to reach its $8 million soft cap. But it isn’t all doom and gloom for the blockchain-focused journalism startup, as Civil has still inked a deal with ConsenSys, the Google of the blockchain industry, that will see the latter organization invest $3.5 million into the former. With the use of its now-stocked up war chest, Civil intends to launch a second ICO, while releasing a blockchain-publishing WordPress plugin, a “community governance application,” and a developer tool for utilizing data gathered by the company’s journalistic operations. So while a failed funding round may have spelled the end of any other crypto project, Civil’s drive for innovation likely only rose exponentially after its original ICO went kaput.
  • Genesis Global Lends $553M In CryptoGenesis Global Trading, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, recently revealed that its institutional-focused crypto asset lending program had lent out over $553 million worth of crypto assets since the start of March. According to a report from the startup, over 60 institutional counterparties were responsible for requesting the loans, which spanned “dozens of digital assets,” indicating that there are still many institutions interested in this asset class.
Featured Image From Shutterstock

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from NewsBTC

Blockchain in Genomics - Corporate Wellness Magazine

Corporate Wellness Magazine

Blockchain in Genomics
Corporate Wellness Magazine
Blockchain is a digitalized public ledger of transactions and data stored as blocks. Blockchain provides a decentralized network of distributable data which can be shared between interconnected database systems. Blockchain technology uses a timestamped ...

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Is Franchising Headed Towards Cryptocurrency And Blockchain Technology? - Forbes


Is Franchising Headed Towards Cryptocurrency And Blockchain Technology?
At the recent International Bar Association, Franchise Law Committee meeting in Rome, Italy, there was a round-table discussion on the subject of blockchain technology and its possible application in the franchise industry. Craig Tractenberg, Partner ...

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Ethereum’s Constantinople Upgrade Delayed Until 2019, Called the “Most Reasonable” Decision

Ethereum’s planned hard fork of the protocol, dubbed Constantinople, will be postponed until the end of January 2019 earliest, developers confirmed in a meeting Friday. Constantinople was first trialed on Ethereum public testnet Ropsten on October 13, and had been slated to be activated on the main blockchain by the end of October/November 2018. However, […]

from ForkLog

Block School: Basic Blockchain Theory and Cryptoeconomics


Here at NewsBTC we believe that education and knowledge is fundamental to the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies and growth of the blockchain industry. We will be expanding our education section by delving deeper into some of the machinations and technology behind the blocks. Our weekly articles aim to provide a greater understanding of how things work in the crypto ecosystem.

Cryptoeconomics, The Basics

Blockchain based cryptocurrencies all revolve around the principles of cryptoeconomics. The economics part allows developers to design a system so that actors are incentivized to make decisions in line with the goals of the greater good. This enables the future of the system to be secured whereas the past can be secured with cryptography. Many say that Bitcoin is widely regarded as the first successful cryptoeconomic mechanism.


Cryptography’s goal is to secure the integrity and confidentiality of information and ensure decisions and actions cannot be manipulated by observers or malicious entities. Distributed systems such as blockchains need cryptography where unknown actors are a potential threat to the secrecy and safekeeping of information.

The process of transforming information into an incomprehensible intermediary piece of information which can be transformed back into its original state is called encryption and decryption. An early example of encryption is Caesar’s Cipher, a simple code developed by the Roman Empire in which letters in messages are shifted to the right by a previously set number known as a key. It allowed generals to send messages without third parties being able to read them. It did not prevent third parties destroying or manipulating the messages though.

A development of this simple beginning resulted in the cryptographic hash function (or simply hash) which is an integral part of the Bitcoin blockchain. Hashes are used to capture the identity of information without revealing anything about the information itself, thus providing a tamper proof system. We will cover this in more depth in another article.

Economics and game theory also plays a major role in cryptocurrency evolution and basically boils down to the following question; how do you determine the best choice to make with your limited resources in order to maximize your profit? Game theory aims to deduce how an actor will act in a given situation. This includes decisions which are influenced by the actions of others and the rewards and penalties associated with certain decisions.

In blockchains, tokens – or protocol defined cryptocurrencies, are used to incentivize the ‘players’ to act in a mutually beneficial way. The assumption is that the underlying objective for actors, such as miners, in a blockchain network is to maximize their profit, which equals their revenues minus their costs. The two primary methods of consensus methods currently used for most major cryptocurrencies is Proof of Work and Proof of Stake, again these will be covered in depth at a later date.

So at the very rudimentary level for a blockchain based cryptocurrency to function it needs the principles of economics to govern the participant’s actions and incentives, and cryptography to secure the information and prevent manipulation.

Previously: Early Bitcoin, Rocky Mt Gox Days

The post Block School: Basic Blockchain Theory and Cryptoeconomics appeared first on NewsBTC.

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Certificate program teaches how to leverage blockchain technology - Cornell Chronicle

Cornell Chronicle

Certificate program teaches how to leverage blockchain technology
Cornell Chronicle
Interest in blockchain is rapidly growing, as companies in every industry begin to recognize the many benefits of this innovative new technology. From smart contracts to cloud and supply chain storage, applications of this technology extend well beyond ...

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Blockchain Could Track the Globe's Gold Bullion by 2019 - Bitcoinist


Blockchain Could Track the Globe's Gold Bullion by 2019
The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) is to create a set of standards for blockchain-based gold tracking, as well as an oversight committee to approve and monitor technology providers.

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‘Mastering Ethereum’ – Andreas Antonopoulos’ New Book Set to Ship In Early December

‘Mastering Ethereum’ Book Set to Ship In Early December

Andreas Antonopoulos recently said on Reddit that his new book, ‘Mastering Ethereum,’ is in final production after completing the copy-edit stage. Pre-orders should begin to be mailed by the end of November, with new orders shipped by December 10th.

Andreas Antonopoulos’ new book, “Mastering Ethereum: Building Smart Contracts and Dapps,” is now in final production and should be making its way to buyers around early December, according to a Reddit post from Antonopoulos.

Described as a book for developers, ‘Mastering Ethereum offers a

“Guide to the operation and use of the Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, RootStock (RSK) and other compatible EVM-based open blockchains.”

Antonopoulos said pre-orders of the book will start shipping from Amazon at the end of November. The Amazon page for the book says it will be released on December 10th. Gavin Wood is also listed as an author.

Those interested are also able to read the book for free on GitHub, though “it is not convenient to read that way.”

In the Reddit post, Antonopoulos noted that the book is now more than 400 pages long, which makes it twice as large as originally planned. He does admit the work “has some gaps, due to the constantly changing nature and sprawling breadth of Ethereum,” but said they can be covered in a second edition.

Antonopoulos took time in the post to thank everyone who helped contribute to the upcoming book.

He said he was happy with the final iteration of the book and hopes that “It serves to help thousands of developers get started and learn how to ‘Master’ Ethereum.”

A Book Bound to Draw Attention

Antonopoulos’ newest book is the latest work he has penned that discusses digital currencies. In June 2017, he published ‘Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain.”

That book came a few years after he published ‘Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies.’

in August, Bitcoinist reported how the prominent author responded to criticism about his decision to write a book about Ethereum. One person claimed Antonopoulos was “not remaining faithful” to Bitcoin (BTC) 00.

At the time, Antonopoulos argued his support and interest in Ethereum and other altcoins was because they provided “different answers.”

Support and Encouragement 

In the Reddit post, Antonopoulos responded to a handful of comments and questions, providing illuminating details about the writing process.

In one comment, Antonopoulos wrote how several of Ethereum’s founders “expressed support and encouragement,” but noted how they were too busy to actually contribute.


Antonopoulos characterized the entire writing process as a collaborative effort “in the best spirit of the open source community,” and believed a couple of celebrities “would add nothing to my appreciation.”

As of press time, the vast majority of commenters expressed their excitement. One thanked Antonopoulos for making Ethereum accessible since “it helps folks like myself run out of excuses and start tinkering.”

Another commenter asked if people should read “Mastering Bitcoin” before tackling the new work.

Antonopoulos wrote back and said “Mastering Ethereum” “[…] does not assume any prior knowledge,” but remarked how a “basic grasp” of Bitcoin would help from a context standpoint.

What are your thoughts on Antonopoulos’ new Ethereum book? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy ofBitcoinist archives, GitHub (ethereumbook), Shutterstock.

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The Onion Released a Guide to Blockchain, and It's Hilarious - CCN - CCN


The Onion Released a Guide to Blockchain, and It's Hilarious - CCN
Satirical news website The Onion released an official guide to blockchain technology, and -- true to form -- it's hilarious.

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Smart Contract Business Drivers: Time Value Of Money (Blockchain Report Excerpt) - CleanTechnica


Smart Contract Business Drivers: Time Value Of Money (Blockchain Report Excerpt)
One of the emerging technologies we cover that isn't directly a clean tech innovation is blockchain, which promises to be a catalyst for innovation in the green economy in the very near future. Blockchain is probably most widely known to the public as ...

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