Booking.com-Partnered Travala Now Accepts Tether’s Controversial USDT

Crypto-friendly hotel booking giant Travala now accepts payment from a controversial cryptocurrency leader.    On Jan. 10, Travala announced that Tether (USDT) is now a valid form of payment at its two million linked properties. Travala CEO Matt Luczynski said: “Part of our mission is to provide our users with a wide choice of the most well known and used cryptocurrencies so it made perfect sense for us to integrate USDT as a payment option on Travala.com.” In addition to Tether, Travala also accepts payments of Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Binance…

Asset Manager WisdomTree Hopes to Launch a Stablecoin in the US

Asset manager WisdomTree intends to launch a regulated stablecoin in the United States, financial news outlet FNLondon reported on Jan. 13. Per the report, WisdomTree is looking to deploy a digital currency backed to a basket of assets such as gold, fiat currencies or government debt. The firm also intends to obtain approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its project. The news follows a recent announcement that WisdomTree invested in a startup called Securrency Inc., one of the top institutional-grade blockchain builders in the financial and…

Telegram Hit By New SEC Evidence Showing Token Trading After ICO

The SEC has produced new evidence in its case against Telegram, which shows that the company was engaged in trading Gram tokens several months after its initial coin offering (ICO). Messaging app Telegram has been embroiled in a lawsuit with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission, which alleges that US$1.7 billion raised from the sale of Gram tokens between January and March 2018 should have been registered with the authority because the tokens constitute a security. Telegram has consistently refuted these claims and published a statement last week to address…

Bitcoin News Summary – January 13, 2020

   Bitcoin reacted to the US airstrike in Iran by rising dramatically. Gold, the traditional safe-haven asset, also rose similarly over the same period as the threat of war loomed, raising the interesting prospect of whether Bitcoin is acting as a hedge against geopolitical risk. Two major Japanese corporations, GMO and SBI are to establish a huge mining facility in Texas. 300 megawatts capacity is planned, rising to 1 gigawatt by year-end, which is three times bigger than Bitmain’s facility in the same state. Both GMO and SBI are…

Judge Reopens Questions in Ongoing 1.1M Bitcoin Craig Wright Trial

Craig S. Wright, one of crypto’s most litigious engineers, struck a minor victory in court last Friday.  United States District Judge Beth Bloom said that facts previously established in the trial were now in dispute, according to a court document filed Jan. 10 to the District Court of Southern Florida. This is the latest turn in an ongoing trial brought by Ira Kleiman, brother to Wright’s deceased business partner David Kleiman. Kleiman is suing for half of an $8.87 billion bitcoin fortune, said to be encrypted in a “Tulip Trust.” …

Top Execs Moving From Traditional to Crypto Jobs in 2019

Prominent figures from a range of long-established companies found greener pastures in the blockchain realm in 2019. From BlackRock to Goldman Sachs, and from HSBC to the SEC, traditional industries saw some of their top personnel leave for new prospects in cryptocurrency over the past year.  Early 2019 Frigid winter conditions in the crypto market failed to dissuade career moves into the industry. Despite the bearish market conditions of early 2019, many saw fit to join the blockchain movement and leave their familiar jobs behind. Tron hired David Labhart as…

Narrative Watch: The Hunt for Crypto’s Killer App

Starting today, accredited investors will be able to partake of $13.5 million in tokenized bonds connected to the contract of Brooklyn Nets Point Guard Spencer Dinwiddie. The first-of-its-kind offering took months of negotiation with the NBA but marks a seminal moment for both crypto and the larger idea of “income share agreements.”  In this podcast, we discuss how big a deal Dinwiddie’s offering is and whether income share agreements could be a breakout use case for crypto. We also discuss other contenders for “crypto killer app,” including under-collateralized DeFi loans…

Telegram Will Release Bank Records to SEC in Ongoing Gram ICO Case

Telegram will release bank records that the United States Securities Exchange Commission believes will prove misconduct in the latter’s $1.7 billion offering of Gram tokens.  International privacy laws and the new information Per a Jan. 13 filing with the court of the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Telegram will have until Feb. 26 to provide the court with the bank records that the court denied the SEC in an earlier ruling that was based on privacy concerns.  Today’s ruling will allow Telegram to redact the information provided to the…

Overstock CEO: Crypto Investments Are Ready for Prime Time

Overstock CEO and Medici Ventures President Jonathan Johnson has been betting on crypto companies for most of the last decade. Now he believes these investments are finally ready to enter the real world. In an interview at the Digital Money Forum during CES 2020, Johnson talked about Medici’s portfolio of companies and said many of them are shipping products. He still believes, however, the ecosystem is being driven by early adopters. “There will always be early adopters who take it and it will become more widespread. I think we’re in…