Was a Lone Whale Really Behind Bitcoin’s 2017 Bull Run? Don’t Bet on It

“Ignorance is the parent of fear.” — Herman Melville, Moby Dick In July 2019, John M. Griffin and Amin Shams, academics from the University of Texas and the University of Ohio, respectively, published the cleverly titled report “Is Bitcoin Really Un-Tethered?” Their “findings” echoed through mainstream and cryptocurrency media alike. The duo boldly claimed that bitcoin’s 2017 price rise was fueled by unbacked USDT; in essence, their argument goes, Bitfinex/Tether issued the stablecoin without having any dollars in the bank to back them up, meaning bitcoin’s price rose on little…

WATCH: Binance CEO CZ Says Crypto Exchange Is No ‘Outlaw’

MOSCOW – If you’re looking to hide money from the authorities, don’t choose Binance, says CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ). The cryptocurrency exchange mogul sat down to talk with CoinDesk’s Anna Baydakova during his recent visit to Russia. Our conversation – over 80 minutes long – touched on everything from custody to security to the crypto exchange’s plans for Eastern Europe and Russia. During the interview, CZ rejected the popular perception of Binance as a global crypto pirate. “There is a common misconception that Binance is kind of an outlaw, that we don’t work with…

First-Time Bitcoin Buyers ‘Doubled’ in Square’s Q3 Report

Square processed $148 million in bitcoin sales in the third quarter of 2019. The payments company, founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, released its earnings results on Wednesday, reporting revenues of $1.27 billion between July 1 and Sept. 30 of this year. Though Square’s crypto business remains a niche concern for the publicly traded company, more users are turning to Square’s Cash App as a gateway to bitcoin investing, particularly after the company rolled out a new user interface for the app. “First-time bitcoin buyers have approximately doubled,” an investor…

Sophia the Robot Knows About Cryptocurrencies but Does Not Use Them yet

The humanoid robot named Sophia returned to the Web Summit stage, where she fielded questions from participants and journalists, including inquiries about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.  On Nov. 6, Sophia addressed the room at the latest edition of the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, where she talked about artificial and robotic intelligence while answering questions on a range of topics. Sophia, who will turn four years old in February and who was inspired by the looks of actress Audrey Hepburn, was asked if she had an opinion on blockchain, Bitcoin…

US SEC Report Notes Trading Suspensions, Actions Against Crypto Firms in 2019

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suspended securities trading of 271 issuers this year, including some digital assets. The SEC released its annual report for the fiscal year of 2019 on Nov. 6, in which the regulator also noted that the number of suspensions is only slightly lower than last year’s 280. 31 court-ordered asset freezes in 2019 The report notes a Nevada company that falsely claimed to have partnered with an SEC-qualified custodian for its crypto transactions and to offer an SEC-regulated token offering as an example.…

Square’s Cash App Now Charging Fees for Bitcoin Purchases

Jack Dorsey may “love” bitcoin but it looks like Square needs a better margin on it regardless. Square’s Cash App has started charging fees of as much as 1.76 percent on bitcoin purchases, sources have pointed out to CoinDesk. The Cash App’s support website now acknowledges fees, writing: “Cash App may charge a fee when you buy or sell bitcoin. If so, the fee will be listed on the trade confirmation before you complete a transaction.” It is unclear when that language was added but there were no fees associated with…

With Expansion in Singapore, Sygnum Focuses on Institutional Investors

Sygnum, a digital asset manager that offers custody, brokerage, lombard credit and tokenization services to institutional and qualified private investors, describes itself as the “world’s first digital asset bank.” On October 31, 2019, the group announced it had obtained a capital markets services license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This came after it obtained a banking and securities dealer license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in August 2019. With licensure from two of the world’s most innovative financial centers, Sygnum may be in a better…

China’s President Xi ‘Credentialized’ Cryptocurrency, Says Novogratz

China’s President Xi Jinping gave credibility to blockchain and crypto by calling the country to accelerate blockchain adoption, said Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz. The cryptocurrency investor delivered his remarks speaking at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook 2020 Summit in New York on Nov. 5. Xi “just credentialized crypto and blockchain” Michael Novogratz, founder at crypto investment bank Galaxy Digital and a major Bitcoin (BTC) bull, believes that the Chinese president’s announcement in late October triggered the recent surge in Bitcoin’s price.  By urging China to embrace blockchain technology for…

Kim Dotcom’s Planned Token Sale Is Off, Says Bitfinex

Bitfinex and a blockchain project launched by Kim Dotcom have “mutually agreed” to part ways, scuppering a planned initial exchange offering (IEO) for the controversial internet entrepreneur. Citing the current “regulatory environment” and the “risks associated with raising funds” for the project, Bitfinex said in a blog post Wednesday that it was in the interest of its “community” not to host the sale of Dotcom’s kimcoin token. Dotcom was notably the founder of Megaupload, a file-sharing site shut down in 2012 for violating piracy laws by the U.S. Department of Justice. He’s currently…