Ripple (XRP) CEO Hints at IPO Plans for 2020

Ripple (XRP) CEO Hints at IPO Plans for 2020

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of blockchain firm Ripple, has hinted that the company may pursue an initial public offering (IPO) sometime in 2020.

Ripple Going Public?

In a tweet posted by Senior Vice President of Product at Ripple, Asheesh Birla, the CEO of the blockchain firm Brad Garlinghouse was quoted hinting at the company’s plans to go public within the next 12 months.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Garlinghouse expressed his views about bitcoin (BTC) being a store of value rather than a payment method. The CEO also said that launching an IPO is a natural evolution for Ripple.

An excerpt from Birla’s tweet read:

“In the next 12 months, you’ll see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We’re not going to be the first and we’re not going to be the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side… it’s a natural evolution for our company.”

Ripple is the latest major player in the crypto space to be identified with going public. Recently, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) obtained clearance from the SEC to be a reporting company prompting commentators to highlight the possibility of the company pursuing a public listing.

$10 Billion Company

Despite the controversy over its control of the XRP cryptocurrency, Ripple has been able to continuously attract investors. As previously reported by BTCManager, the company successfully navigated a $200 million Series C funding round led by investment firm Tetragon.

Following the conclusion of the Series C funding round, the blockchain payments startup reached a valuation of $10 billion, receiving close to $300 million in funding from investors.

If Ripple decides to pursue public listing then the current legal tussles might constitute a stumblingblock. Disgruntled investors have taken the firm to court alleging that Rippe’s XRP sales constitute an illegal distribution of unlicensed securities.

Ripple for its part maintains that XRP is not a security since the token does not constitute an investment contract. Federal regulators in the U.S. are yet to issue a classification for the third-ranked crypto token.

However, in its maiden rankings, the Crypto Ratings Council — a self-regulatory body created by major crypto players like Coinbase and Bittrex classified XRP as being like a security.

On Wednesday (January 22, 2020), the firm released its Q4 2019 market report showing its operations for the last three months of the years. According to the report, XRP sales for the quarter stood at $13.08 million, an 80 percent drop from the figures published in its Q3 report.

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Hawaii: Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Enables Banks to Offer Crypto Custody Services

Hawaii: Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Enables Banks to Offer Crypto Custody Services

According to a report by The Block published on January 24, 2020, five lawmakers from the U.S. state of Hawaii have introduced a bill that seeks to enable commercial banks to provide custody for cryptocurrencies.

Hawaii Could Witness Crypto Boom

In a fresh pro-crypto regulation movement in the U.S., Hawaii has introduced a bill that could make it legal for banks to provide digital currency custody services. If the Senate bill 2594 gets through to the Senate Committee, it would make it legal for Hawaiian banks to hold digital assets, including “virtual currencies,” “digital currencies,” and “open blockchain tokens” for their customers.

Notably, Senate bill 2594 has been signed by four Democratic senators – Gil Riviere, Sharon Moriwaki, Stanley Chang, Les Ihara – and one Republican senator Kurt Fevella. The bill was introduced last week and has passed the first reading. The bill has now been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health (CPH) and the Senate Committee on Judiciary (JDC).

Most interestingly, the new bill also requires banks to maintain reserves just like a trust company under section 412:8-202. The section states in part:

Every trust company shall have on hand at all times in actual money of the United States an amount equal to at least twelve per cent of all agency credit balances payable on demand and of accounts payable, plus at least five per cent of all agency credit balances payable on time; provided that such reserve may be deposited payable on demand in banks and other trust companies approved by the commissioner or may be cash in the vaults of the trust company.

The bill also allows customers to authorize banks to transact with their cryptocurrencies. According to the bill, “A bank and a customer shall agree in writing regarding the source code version that the bank will use for each digital asset […] Any ambiguity under this subsection shall be resolved in favor of the customer.”

Regulations Elsewhere in the World

Although 2020 is yet to go past January, financial watchdogs the world over have already taken a few promising pro-crypto decisions that could make the rest of the year a watershed year for the digital currency industry.

As reported by BTCManager on January 16, 2020, Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC) had published a regulatory framework for Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs).

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Japan: Suspected $700,000 Bitcoin Thieves Nabbed by Tokyo Police

Japan: Suspected $700,000 Bitcoin Thieves Nabbed by Tokyo Police

Two suspects allegedly responsible for the theft of Bitcoin (BTC) worth $700,000 from a company’s account have been arrested by the Tokyo Police Department. Reports are claiming that one of the suspects intended to bankrupt the company as he had become dissatisfied with management policy.

Suspects Arrested in Connection with Bitcoin Theft Case

According to The Japan Times, two suspects – Yuto Onitsuka and Takama Sasaki, have been arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s cybercrime unit in connection to a ¥78 Million ($700,000) BTC theft from 2018. The Tokyo Police Department reported that the suspects have been in contact with each other for about four to five years but have never met in person. They are believed to have first interacted with each other through an online bulletin board.

Reports say the suspect Onitsuka is an ex-employee of a Tokyo-based virtual currency management firm with a trading account listed on the crypto platform CoinExchange and had the login details to the account. Onitsuka had allegedly grown to be discontented with the management policy of the then President of the company and made plans to bankrupt the firm. His online pal Sasaki learned the login details from Onitsuka and the two proceeded to steal the BTC, per reports.

According to reports from the Tokyo Police Department, on Monday (October 29, 2018), the suspects logged into the virtual currency account and stole some ¥78 Million worth of BTC. The two then remitted the stolen BTC to two accounts on foreign and domestic exchanges. Also, some of the stolen BTC is believed to have been hidden in Sasaki’s bank account as the suspect reportedly has withdrawn a total of ¥6 million from his account.

Authorities have been after the person or persons responsible for the BTC theft with the virtual currency management firm reported the case back in October 2018.

Crypto Crime in Japan

The ¥78 Million BTC theft case is the latest to join the ranks of cryptocurrency-related crimes in Japan. In April 2018, 12 people were reportedly arrested by the Tokyo police in connection to an ‘over the counter’ BTC fraud deal. The individuals allegedly presented $1.86 million cash in fake bills in exchange for the seller’s BTC.

Back in July 2019, BTCManager reported a hack on the Japanese crypto exchange platform Bitpoint. The hackers stole BTC worth some $32 million (about ¥2.5 billion) in BTC, Bitcoin cash (BCH) and XRP cryptocurrencies. Zaif, another Japanese crypto exchange platform fell victim to a hack back in September 2018. The hackers stole some 5,966 BTC amounting to about $60 million at the time of the report.

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Reebonz Luxury Goods Platform Adopts VeChain (VET)

Reebonz Luxury Goods Platform Adopts VeChain (VET)

VeChainThor (VET) a distributed ledger technology (DLT) project that claims to be focused on connecting blockchain technology with the real world, through a robust governance model and IoT integration, has been chosen as the network of choice by Singapore’s Reebonz luxury goods platform. Ribbons will use the VeChainThor network to carry out product authentication and more, according to a press release on January 23, 2020.

Reebonz Taps Blockchain via VeChain (VET)

In a bid to foster trust and provide its customers with highly functional authentication and ownership tools, Reebonz Holding Limited, a highly reputed online luxury marketplace co-founded by Samuel Lim, Daniel Lim and Benjamin Han in March 2009, has adopted VeChain (VET).

As stated in its press release, the integration of the VeChain blockchain into its processes will enable Reebonz to establish a product provenance system that will embed a digital certificate into all luxury goods sold from its inventory since January 2019.

The firm says the digital certificate comes with a QR code containing all the important information about each product, including provenance of ownership, transaction details and more, enabling buyers to easily confirm the authenticity of purchased products right from their smartphones.

VeChain-Powered SellBack Program 

What’s more, the Reebonz team has hinted that in addition to establishing product provenance, it also plans to take advantage of the VeChain blockchain platform to roll out it “Sell Back Guarantee” service, which will make it possible for its customers to sell back a product previously purchased on the platform, to Reebonz.

That’s not all, Reebonz says it will also introduce the certificate transfer and revoking feature later this year, to enable users to easily transfer the ownership of the purchased product to another user or revoke a certificate when a purchased product gets stolen.

Commenting on the innovative initiative, Samuel Lim, the co-founder, and CEO of Reebonz reiterated building trust with its users remains an essential part of its operations and it firmly believes that integrating DLT is a move in the right direction.

Lim said:

We hope to provide first of its kind tracking and authentication tools for luxury products in Asia. We are excited to use blockchain technology and work with VeChain to solve one of the most critical issues impacting our industry globally.

VeChainThor (VET) has inked a slew of significant partnerships from highly reputed firms around the globe, in recent times.

In November 2019, BTCManager informed that VeChain has collaborated with DNV GL an ASI Group to launch a cross-continental trade and logistics solution powered by VeChainThor.

At press time, VeChain’s VET altcoin occupies the 30th position on the top 100 cryptos table. The price of VET sits at $0.005538, with a market cap of $307 million as seen on CoinMarketCap.

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TRON (TRX) Now Second Largest dApp Ecosystem after Ethereum

TRON (TRX) Now Second Largest dApp Ecosystem after Ethereum 

TRON (TRX), the blockchain network powering the 12th-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization, is now the second most used DLT protocol for the development of decentralized applications (dApp), after Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum, according to the 2019 Annual dApp Market Report.

TRON (TRX) Surpasses EOS, Others 

Despite the numerous controversies that have plagued TRON (TRX), Justin Sun’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) project, the network has continued to grow from strength to strength.

Per sources close to the matter, TRON (TRX) was home to a massive 411 new decentralized applications by the end of 2019, with gambling and other high-risk dApps accounting for over 75 percent of the active users and volume.

Reportedly, although not all the dApps on the TRON blockchain were active, nine top projects on the network, however, succeeded in recording a massive 3.26 billion worth of transactions.

What’s more, in addition to the gambling and high-risk applications, the TRON network also housed a vast array of financial services and DeFi dApps, with the latter attracting an impressive 1 million users.

Other Blockchains 

As reported by BTCManager earlier in January 2020, Ethereum maintains its status as the king of the decentralized financial ecosystem, despite the fact that the price of its native ether (ETH) altcoin has not met the expectations of its hodlers.

Notably, the Ethereum network attracted about 600 new dApps, which attracted over 1.4 million active users. In addition to that, Ethereum was also the network of choice for more than 200k gamers and game developers, the report says.

Interestingly, EOS failed to live up to expectations, as some of the top dApps on the network, including EOSbet, Karma and Prospectors migrated to the Wax Blockchain.

Despite this, the 260 new dApps on EOS, managed to generate around $5 billion.

Even with its recent success, the TRON team is not relaxing on its oars, working round the clock to maintain its top position.

On January 12, 2020, BTCManager informed that Justin Sun had announced on Twitter that the network is putting the finishing touches to a secret project that could attract billions of dollars to the BitTorrent and TRON (TRX) ecosystems.

At press time, the price of TRX is down by 5.18 percent at $0.015955, as seen on CoinMarketCap.


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BlockFi Readjusts Interest Yield on Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) Deposits

BlockFi Readjusts Interest Yield on Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) Deposits

On January 23, 2020, Winklevoss twins-backed digital currency platform BlockFi announced that it had revised its rate of interest paid on the yield it generates from lending Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). The new rates will be effective from February 1, 2020.

Reacting to Market Economics

BlockFi, one of the leading cryptocurrency startups which has become the go-to platform for people with idle digital currency savings to earn extra income has decided to revise its offered interest rates.

Per sources close to the matter, BlockFi’s new yields for those lending up to 10 BTC will be 5.1. percent. At present, customers loaning up to 5 BTC see a yield of 6.2 percent. Similarly, BlockFi’s ETH lenders will experience a rate cut from 4.2 percent to 3.6 percent on loans up to 500 ETH.

Interestingly, interest yields are set to increase form institutional investors as BlockFi noted that investors who have BTC balance of 5 or above will enjoy interest yield of 3.2 percent vis-a-vis current rate of 2.2 percent. For ETH investors, the rate will jump from the current 0.5 percent to 2 percent.

In an email to customers, Zac Prince, CEO, BlockFi, said:

As market conditions change, particularly price sentiment, this has an effect on the prices in the crypto borrowing market which is a big driver of rates that BlockFi can offer to our clients.


Our rates are still way ahead of alternative options and we remain the only retail-focused interest-earning platform that is US-domiciled/regulated, institutionally backed and doesn’t have a utility token.

Attracting More Institutional Investors

The new interest rate adjustments introduced by BlockFi suggest that the organization is trying its best to attract institutional money toward digital assets. In fact, for long, BlockFi has been steadily narrowing its business focus down to institutional investors.

As reported by BTCManager on October 19, 2019, BlockFi had launched BlockFi Institutional Services – a platform designed to give institutional investors such as market-makers, hedge funds, exchanges and family offices exposure to financing solutions for digital assets.

On a more recent note, on January 3, 2020, BlockFi announced that it will soon be launching a Bitcoin Rewards credit card to promote the use of crypto among the masses.

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Our Bitcoin Address: 3AbQrAyRsdM5NX5BQh8qWYePEpGjCYLCy4 – Multiply Bitcoin with Three Progressive Jackpots – Multiply Bitcoin with Three Progressive Jackpots

Popular Bitcoin gambling platform Rocketpot is one of the only crash games to offer progressive jackpots. Jackpots are triggered during any game round when the curve hits certain levels. Along with these jackpots, players also have the chance to multiply their bet on each round. Rocketpot is unique among crash games in offering several ways of winning bitcoin.

Crash Games Rules

Most Bitcoin crash games use similar core rules, and Rocketpot is no exception in this regard. Each round consists of a graph and a multiplier that increase at an exponential rate. At a random point, the graph will crash, and the round is over. If players hit ‘Cash Out’ before the crash they win a multiple of their bet.

The multiplier will have the value it had when you cash out. If the game crashes before cashing out, then the bet is forfeit. The dilemma that players face is twofold. Should you hold out longer for larger multipliers with the increase in the chance of crashing? Or, cash-out early but have a great chance of receiving a smaller reward?

Rocketpot’s Progressive Jackpots

Rocketpot has three progressive jackpots – a Mini, Major, and Mega. Portions of each bet go into feeding the pot until they are won. Then, the prizes are reseeded to set amounts.

When the multiplier hits 50x for the Mini, 250x for the Major, or 1,000x for the Mega then the Jackpot Wheel is triggered. One player is selected at random to spin the wheel which can result in BTC, no prize, a respin, or the applicable jackpot. As with all Bitcoin crash game results, there is no way of telling what round this can occur on. It could happen at any time, to anyone who actively placed a bet. As long as the player made a bet in the round that a jackpot is hit, they are in with a chance of winning the prize.

The Hall of Fame

Rocketpot also provides a Hall of Fame for its users. This informative section consists of three parts – a list of All-Time High Profit, Biggest Cashouts, and Biggest Jackpot Wins. Entries to the Biggest Jackpot list include a mix of Mini, Major, as well as Mega winners. This is due to the progressive nature of jackpots which can significantly grow from their initial seed value.

Start playing Now

New users are able to register with Rocketpot within moments. Bitcoin crash games are attractive in part because players can gamble anonymously. Along with using provably fair software, crash games are one of the safest ways to gamble online. There is no need to share private information or bank account details. All it takes is an email address, a password and username to set up a new account. All that is left is to send some Bitcoin, and you are set to play.


Contacts [email protected]

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Missing QuadrigaCX Funds Linked to Crypto Capital

Missing QuadrigaCX Funds Linked to Crypto Capital

Miller Thomson LLP, lawyers representing users of the now-defunct Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, are investigating Crypto Capital’s connection with the former Canadian exchange. According to the lawyers, Crypto Capital could be holding any funds belonging to QuadrigaCX.

A ‘Ray of Hope’ for QuadrigaCX Victims?

In a recent letter published on its website to QuadrigaCX victims, Miller Thomson is calling on the victims to help out with any information they may have on Crypto Capital, a shadow bank based in Panama. 

An excerpt from the publication reads:

“As you are aware, Ernst  & Young Inc. (the  “Trustee”) has been unable to locate QuadrigaCX’s basic corporate records or accounting records. As a result, Representative Counsel is asking Affected Users for assistance on this matter to uncover whether Crypto Capital held Quadriga funds”.

The letter goes further to show ways in which the victims can help with information to reveal if the shadow bank held funds for the defunct crypto exchange. Some of the ways listed in the letter include financial statements, correspondences, and emails that could link Crypto capital to the missing QuadrigaCX funds. 

Apart from soliciting cooperation from the affected users, the lawyers’ letter mentioned the ongoing case that Crypto Capital has with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ). Furthermore, the letter noted the claim by Bitfinex crypto exchange about being defrauded by the shadow bank. 

Crypto Capital has been an integral player in the legal battle between Bitfinex and the office of the New York Attorney General. The crypto exchange was accused by the NYAG of misappropriating about $800 million worth of customers’ funds. Also, Bitfinex’s parent company, iFinex, was accused of using Crypto Capital to carry out shadow banking. 

However, in a new court filing, Bitfinex, through its parent company, iFinex, has asked for access to $800 million held by Crypto Capital and seized by the FBI, maintaining that the funds are legitimate. 

If Miller Thomson is able to prove that there is a solid link between QuadrigaCX and the shadow bank, then there is hope that the victims could get their funds back.

QuadrigaCX: An Unending Crypto Saga

The QuadrigaCX case is like an onion with many layers, which give way to new revelations each time a layer is peeled off. Following the demise of the CEO, Gerald Cotten, a year ago, about 76,000 victims of the former crypto exchange have been struggling to get their funds back. 

In September 2019, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court approved the relocation of the bankruptcy proceedings to Toronto, where most of the victims reside. 

Furthermore, Miller Thomson, lawyers representing the QuadrigaCX victims, wrote a letter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, requesting to exhume the body of the CEO. According to the lawyers, an exhumation and a post-mortem would confirm if indeed the CEO is dead and find out the cause of death. 

Per a recent report by BTCManager, the FBI is working with the affected users to unlock the QuadrigaCX mystery.

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