Italian Soccer Giant Juventus Inks Deal for Ethereum-Based Player Collectibles

Top Italian soccer team Juventus is launching digital collectibles of its star players on blockchain-enabled fantasy football platform Sorare. The freshly inked licensing deal, announced on Wednesday, will see Juventus offer digitally rare collectible “cards” of world-famous players such as Cristiano Ronaldo on Sorare. Sorare, which is based in Paris, France, provides a soccer team management game with digital cards – created with ethereum tech – representing players that fans can collect and trade. The firm told CoinDesk the cards represent non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on ethereum’s ERC-721 standard. “We…

Norwegian Air Could Allow Customers to Pay for Flights in Crypto This Spring

Travelers on Norwegian Air, one of the largest airlines in Europe, will soon be able to pay for flights using cryptocurrency. In an interview with a local business newspaper, CEO of Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) Stig Kjos-Mathisen said his crypto trading platform had successfully developed payment infrastructure that will allow customers on Norwegian Air to purchase tickets with digital assets. “Everything is ready to go from our side”, Kjos-Mathisen said the interview. NBX aims to roll out the new feature to Norwegian customers sometime later this year, and possibly as early…

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the DeFi ‘Flash Loan’ Attack

There’s now a case study for how DeFi can go awry. bZx, the eighth-largest decentralized finance project according to DeFi Pulse, suffered two attacks last weekend following the introduction of “flash loans,” a new DeFi feature that limits a trader’s risk while improving the upside.  Led by CEO Tom Bean, the bZx team was attending ETHDenver, a major ethereum conference in Colorado’s capital, on Friday when an unknown attacker drained about $350,000 worth of ether from Fulcrum, the startup’s lending platform. As a post-mortem from the firm describes, the attacker…

On-chain Activity Suggests Bitcoin Price Volatility Will Continue, Thanks to ‘Whales’

Bitcoin’s (BTC) price volatility spiked in January and could further increase over the near term because “whales” have surfaced. The cryptocurrency’s annualized volatility grew roughly eight percentage points in January to a three-month high of 58.2 percent, according to Kraken’s monthly report.  Volatility rose as bitcoin’s price rallied from lows near $6,850 on Jan. 3 to a three-month high of $9,570 on Jan. 31. The cryptocurrency closed out January with 30 percent gains, registering its best January performance since 2013.  With the price rally, whales – those buyers of large…

ICO Project Enigma Settles SEC Charges Over $45M Token Sale

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has settled securities law violation charges with Enigma MPC, a blockchain startup which raised $45 million in a 2017 token sale. The regulator announced Wednesday that under the settlement, Enigma will refund “harmed investors” using a claims process, register its tokens as securities with the SEC, file reports to the agency and pay a further $500,000 as a penalty. Enigma sold ENG tokens in 2017, which the SEC said are securities. Engima did not qualify for an exemption from securities registration requirements, according…

The IRS Is Inviting Crypto Firms to a ‘Summit’ in DC Next Month

The IRS has invited a number of undisclosed crypto startups to a summit on March 3 to discuss its existing approach to taxing cryptocurrencies, as well as enforcement efforts, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by CoinDesk. Bloomberg Tax first reported the news Tuesday. An IRS spokesperson confirmed that the summit is set for next month. The summit, to be held at IRS’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, will consist of four panels addressing technology, issues faced by exchanges, tax returns and regulatory compliance. A list of panelists has yet…

CoinDesk’s New Opinion Section: The Future of the Financial System Is Up for Debate

Announcing CoinDesk’s new opinion section, a place for discussions on the future of money and all the interesting questions that surround crypto and blockchain as ideas.  Starting today, CoinDesk will be publishing daily columnists such as Preston Byrne, Jill Carlson, Nic Carter, HASU, Stephanie Hurder, Jeff Dorman, JP Koning, Yorke Rhodes, Byrne Hobart, William Mougayar, Leah Callon-Butler, Lex Sokolin, Kevin Kelly, Ajit Tripathi and James Cooper. Wherever you stand on bitcoin as an actual payment system, or whether you think additive X-for-blockchain business ideas went too far, you have to…

For Crypto Miners, Bitcoin’s Halving Could Mean a Doubling in Costs

Bitcoin investors speculate the upcoming halving could send prices skyrocketing to $90,000 or higher.  To the operators of high-speed computers used to mine for bitcoin, the halving looks more like a doubling — of costs. In a new report, the crypto-focused research firm TradeBlock estimates the average cost to mine a single bitcoin (BTC) could jump to $12,525 after the halving, expected in May. That’s nearly double the average cost of $6,851 now. Essentially, miners will have to run twice the number of computations, with a corresponding increase in electricity…

Crypto Finance Startup Amber Raises $28M in Series A Led By Pantera, Paradigm

Amber Group, a Hong Kong-based startup offering a range of cryptocurrency finance services, has raised $28 million in a Series A round. Leading the investment are Paradigm and Pantera Capital, with Polychain Capital, Blockchain.com, Coinbase Ventures and Fenbushi Capital also participating. Existing investor Dragonfly Capital was also on board. Announcing the news on Friday, Amber said the investment funds will be used to expand its operations to meet client demand and add new features to its platform. “While the industry has come a long way, there is still plenty of…

Novogratz’s Crypto Investment Firm Galaxy Digital Shrinks Workforce 15%

Galaxy Digital, the cryptocurrency merchant bank founded by Wall Street veteran Michael Novogratz, has laid off 13 people, roughly 15 percent of its workforce, people familiar with the situation said. The layoffs occurred across the board in early January, and all of the New York-based firm’s business divisions – asset management, trading, principal investments, and advisory services – were left intact. In other words, no business line was singled out or discontinued. Nearly 80 people remain on staff. The company is hiring for several open positions, one source close to…