From Tom Brady to Crypto: Interview with Diginex Americas CEO Will McDonough

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Will McDonough has one of the most interesting backgrounds in the crypto space. 

Running a management company which represented New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and the estate of Nelson Mandela, he went on to the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs before launching Atlas Mara, a company that acquired banks in Africa which he took public on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. 

Moving into the crypto and blockchain industry in 2017 with the launch of iCash, the first ever smart contract adjudication protocol for blockchain transactions, Will is now Vice Chairman of Diginex Limited and Chairman and CEO of Diginex Americas, a digital asset investment bank.

I spoke to Will about his background before crypto, why he got into the space, what will bring the institutions to crypto, and what’s in store for Diginex in 2019 and beyond.

You’ve managed Tom Brady, worked for Goldman Sachs, and bought banks in Africa, is there a unique thread that runs through your career?

Luck.

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity and I’ve been very lucky throughout my career to work with interesting partners in interesting businesses. Each business I’ve had has been a product of my experiences and the ability to prepare for and pounce on an opportunity.  Opportunities don’t last long and when you see them you need to execute fast. When I was in high school I actually started my professional career with the New England Patriots. While working in the organization’s marketing group, I was tasked with bridging the gap between our players, our community and sponsors.  Being able to do this for the team exposed me to Tom Brady and gave me relationships that still benefit me today. Those experiences drove me to form my own management company, and that business continues today, managing the Estate of Nelson Mandela and building partnerships for many notable athletes and entertainers, including Tom Brady, and his wife Gisele Bundchen. 

While running MMG I came into contact with many incredible people in the world of finance, one of whom was the founder of Avenue Capital, Marc Lasry. At our first meeting we started to discuss building a fund of funds to leverage our collective access.  Within a year we set up a distressed debt and credit fund-of-funds, and I moved to NY to build it out. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I was prepared for it, and I pounced.

When I was in NY, I became close with Gary Cohn, the former President and COO of Goldman Sachs, who recruited me to the firm to manage the Partners’ Capital. It was Goldman where I learned first hand the importance of diversifying across the alternative investment space and how hard it is for many to get appropriate exposures to esoteric asset classes or geographies.  I further took an interest in the emerging markets of Africa and brought a business to Bob Diamond (former CEO of Barclays) and he and I co-founded Atlas Mara, a network of banks in Africa which we took public on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. After taking Atlas Mara (ATMA: LSE) public, I focused all of my attention on Financial Technologies, and dove in deep to blockchain, which brought me to Diginex with the sole intent of creating a regulation focused, compliant digital asset and blockchain company built on the rigors of the professional financial services world I come from, to deliver institutional grade offerings in this new world of business and finance. 

When did you first hear about Bitcoin, and why did you decide you wanted to be involved in the crypto ecosystem?

I first heard about Bitcoin after my attempt to buy MoneyGram International, the global payments company. One of the biggest threats to MoneyGram is the bitcoin protocol. That was when I fell down the proverbial “crypto rabbit hole” and quickly realized that digital assets have huge potential. Coming from traditional financial services, I saw first hand the many inefficiencies that blockchain technology and digital assets can solve. One of my first realizations is that to realize those efficiencies the proper infrastructure must be set up and I dove right in.

What led you to Diginex Americas and what makes it unique?

Diginex has a uniquely strong team of high-caliber financial services and technology professionals. The caliber and experience of this team is without rival. This, along with the global reach and clear vision, is what drew me to the firm. The opportunity to build out the American infrastructure as CEO of the Americas and join the larger firm as Vice Chairman allows me to contribute directly to the growth of the firm both on home soil and abroad. The adoption of blockchain and digital assets on the institutional level  will take place slowly and with experienced professionals on both sides of the table working together to tap into the benefits. Diginex Americas is uniquely positioned to do that. 

What do you say to Bitcoin maximalists who believe only in bitcoin and view blockchain outside of Bitcoin as an unnecessary solution?

Bitcoin is an amazing innovation and does exactly what it was designed to do. That is P2P decentralized and censorship-resistant transactions. Blockchain technology is revolutionizing the way data is secured and transferred. To state that the only way this technology should be levered is short sighted.  Blockchain can bring the efficiencies it brings to Bitcoin value transfers to lots of data transfer parallels and can drive massive efficiencies to legacy systems.  

How do you convince skeptics that crypto-assets and blockchain are worth getting excited about?

The volatility and growth of the value of Bitcoin and other digital assets over the last 2 years has brought a lot of attention to our technology and the associated currencies.  Many of these currencies are a direct correlation to the demand for and adoption of their associated blockchains, and are a great way for investors of all sizes to get exposure to that growth.  Usually when new technologies are implemented and adopted retail investors don’t hear about them or have access to invest in them until they’re much more mature. This is a gift and a curse because the earlier you invest the more volatile hypothetically the opportunity.  This also can provide participation to massive appreciation if you’re invested in whoever becomes the next platform for accessing blockchain technology. People investing in crypto assets associated with early technologies need to be aware of and prepared for risk and volatility, and understand this is not like investing in traditionally more mature public companies.

Do you think the frenetic bull run of 2017 and subsequent crash was a net positive or a net negative for the industry?

Definitely a net positive. It brought a lot of attention to a space that previously had little to no attention. 2017 also marked the exodus of smart and successful people leaving high-paying and comfortable jobs to jump headfirst into blockchain. This influx of high quality human capital has only led to more implementation of the technology and has been driving innovation ever since that run.  The institutional adoption of the technology and recognition of the asset class sped up adoption massively and is a great benefit to the community.

Do you think “the institutions are coming”? If so, what will be the key driving factor that will bring them to the space?

They definitely are. 

Many of them are already here, and have invested in blockchain-specific funds or in Bitcoin directly to gain exposure. I believe the days of institutions holding digital assets in their portfolios is coming soon as well, but that will take a maturation of their mandates to allow for this newly defined asset, so availing them of products they can hold, that expose them to those assets, will be a major opportunity.  Only helping that will be clear regulation from the SEC and CFTC and the digital asset custody infrastructure being developed to a point where there is virtually no risk of the assets being stolen, or at least those assets being insurable. 

What is on the Diginex Americas roadmap for the year?

The goal is to establish a compliant footprint throughout the world that will allow us to transact and benefit businesses. We are still early in the blockchain story and thus have the time and patience to do it right. This will ensure we will be a big part of the story of blockchain and it’s future. By approaching this opportunity in an institutional manner we are able to work with the world’s top companies and operate at an extremely high level.

Bitcoin Hashrate Reaches All-Time High, As BTC Halving Event Approaches

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Bitcoin’s (BTC) hashrate recently reached an all-time high according to data from Blockchain.com, a leading London-based block explorer service.

Bitcoin network’s hashrate, which represents the amount of computing resources being dedicated towards providing security for the cryptocurrency’s blockchain (among other uses), has been climbing steadily in the past few months.

Higher Hashrate Suggests Increased Interest in Mining Bitcoin

Available data from June 19, 2019 shows that Bitcoin’s hashrate currently stands at around 65.19 trillion hashes per second (TH/s). Notably, the BTC blockchain’s hashing power began to increase significantly as the pseudonymous cryptocurrency’s price crossed the $9,000 and then $10,000 mark.

In addition to improving the security of the Bitcoin blockchain, a higher hashrate indicates that the overall interest in mining BTC has surged – presumably due to the recovery made by the bitcoin price and also that of other major cryptoassets.

Hashrate May Be Used to “Hack Humans to Create Gold 2.0”

Commenting on the rising hashrate, Wall Street veteran and Bitcoin bull Max Keiser remarked via Twitter that an increase in hash power results in a considerable price increase for Bitcoin in most cases. Keiser believes that even some of bitcoin’s biggest supporters fail to understand the importance of hashrate.

The experienced financial analyst remarked:

[Hashrate can be thought of as] Satoshi’s ability to hack humans to create Gold 2.0.

Previous BTC Hashrate All-Time High of 60 TH/s Set in September 2018

Bitcoin’s recently recorded hashrate of over 65 TH/s is considerably greater than the previous all-time high of about 60 TH/s – which was achieved in September 2018. After reaching a new high last year, bitcoin’s hashrate had been declining steadily – as the cryptocurrency’s price also continued to plummet.

But after bitcoin’s value reached a low of around $3,150 in December 2018, the leading cryptocurrency’s price and also that of other major cryptoassets began to recover in 2019. Other key metrics used to assess the performance of the Bitcoin network have also shown marked improvement.

Less Than 16% of 21 Million Bitcoins Left to Be Mined

According to BitcoinBlockHalf data, there are only 3,220,350 bitcoins left to be mined as the Bitcoin protocol has algorithmically capped the maximum supply of BTC at 21 million. 

At present, there should be 17,779,650 bitcoins in circulation but analysts have estimated that nearly 4 million BTC has been lost due to account mismanagement – including users forgetting their private passwords to their crypto wallets.

Moreover, the Bitcoin halving is approaching (on track to take place on May 21, 2020), a critical event which reduces the number of bitcoins that can be digitally printed (from mining) by 50%. Several crypto researchers have noted that this is one of the most significant events in bitcoin’s relatively short history as the reduction in the BTC supply has had a notable impact on the crypto’s price.

LedgerX Wins CFTC Approval to Offer Physically Settled Bitcoin Futures

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New York City-based LedgerX LLC (“LedgerX”) which is “a US-regulated trading platform for physically-settled digital currency derivatives”, has had its application for designation as a contract market approved by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which means that it can now offer physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts.

LedgerX LLC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ledger Holdings, Inc., “has been registered with the CFTC as a swap execution facility and derivatives clearing organization (DCO) since July 2017.” And now (actually, effective June 24, to be precise), it is “also registered as a designated contract market (DCM) under Section 5 of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and Part 38 of the CFTC’s regulations.” 

LedgerX had asked the CFTC to “amend its order of registration as a DCO,” which limited LedgerX to clearing swaps, so that it could clear futures listed on its DCM.

The approval of this application, which LedgerX has been waiting for since November 2018, means that the firm can now list Bitcoin derivatives contracts (both options and futures) and offer them to both retail and institutional clients.

Juthica Chou, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at LedgerX, told Coindesk that LedgerX was trying to be the first company in the U.S. to offer physically-settled Bitcoin futures:

“There’s no doubt that we’re looking to be first, we’re looking to be the incumbent. We think we’re better positioned and we want to be there to serve customers of all sizes.”

According to Bloomberg, Paul Chou, the Chief Executive Officer of LedgerX, told them in a phone interview that LedgerX “plans to let consumers living in the U.S. or Singapore sign up to trade, starting in July,” and that initially, “investors will have to deposit at least $10,000 in dollars or Bitcoins, but the minimum deposit will go down to zero within a year.”

Chou said:

“The license will allow retail to directly invest, and they will represent the majority of the market. Retail investors are the ones that drove Bitcoin to this level.”

He also told Bloomberg that he believes that “other exchanges are about six months behind LedgerX in gaining regulators’ approval for expanded access to Bitcoin derivatives.”

Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, was one of the first to congratulate the LedgerX team:

According to data from CryptoCompare, at press time, Bitcoin is trading at $11,346, up 3.02% in the past 24-hour period:

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Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com 

Bitcoin ATMs Now Total More Than 5,000 Worldwide

The number of Bitcoin automated transaction machines (ATMs) around the world has passed through the 5,000 mark according to data provided this week by CoinATMRadar.

There is now a total of 5,006 machines in 90 countries where Bitcoin can be bought or sold. Not all such ATMs allow both services simultaneously, however.

Top Five Hosts

By far the biggest provider of Bitcoin ATMs is the US which, according to the CoinATMRadar data, has machines in 3,229 locations.

Canada, which saw the world’s first Bitcoin ATM installed in downtown Vancouver nearly six years ago, has the second most in operation in 687 locations.

Austria and the UK are third and fourth with 266 and 249 locations respectively, and making up the top five is Spain with 89 locations.

Biggest Manufacturers

The top two producers of Bitcoin ATMs are General Bytes, which has installed 1,576 machines worldwide, while Genesis Coin has provided 1,525 machines worldwide. The growth in Bitcoin ATM installation correllates strongly with the Bitcoin price, and around 60% of the total have been put in place since January 2018.

Amid this growth, Bitcoin ATMs have come under regulatory scrutiny, despite not being regulated in several countries.

Scammers

The Australian Tax Office put out an alert last November that scammers were increasingly demanding payments through Bitcon ATMs in their efforts to defraud vulnerable people.

Meanwhile, in Ontario, Canada, the Windsor Police’s Financial Crimes Unit warned on Twitter last week that it had received numerous reports of fraud involving Bitcoin ATMs.

At the current rate of growth, nearly 6 machines a day so far this month, CoinATMRadar expects that by the sixth anniversary of the first ATM in October, the total will be around 5,700.

Kraken Raises $13 Million from Over 2,000 Investors to Expand Business

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San Francisco-based digital asset exchange Kraken has reportedly completed a $13.5 million investment round through an internet-based fundraising platform, called Bnk To The Future (BF).

Notably, Kraken’s latest crowdfunding campaign is the largest investment round BF has managed. The regulated crypto futures and spot trading platform received investments from 2,263 different investors.

Kraken Seeking $4 Billion Valuation After Fundraiser

According to Coindesk, the American exchange operator had been seeking additional capital in order to increase its present valuation (as a company) past the $4 billion mark. The funds raised will also be used to make new acquisitions and also directed towards financing other initiatives that are aimed at further expanding Kraken’s business operations.

Kraken’s management has already made a few key acquisitions including a $100 million acquisition of UK-based Crypto Facilities (in February 2019), an established futures and derivatives trading platform. The US-based exchange has also acquired CryptoWatch, a financial data and trading platform.

$85 Billion In Crypto Trades Settled In 2018

As one of the leading crypto exchanges, Kraken settled trades worth a total of $85 billion in 2018. The exchange’s trading volume reportedly came from over four million traders located in 200 different countries.

In order to help Kraken further expand its line of products and services, BF has established a “Special Purpose Vehicle” (SPV) – which will allow the exchange company to receive equity from over 2,200 investors. Referred to as illiquid investments, the equity-based transactions will be facilitated through the SPV in an indirect manner.

Bypassing Current Regulatory Requirements

Acting as a single investment manager, the SPV will accumulate funds contributed by all parties interested in holding a stake in Kraken. Notably, Kraken’s decision to raise capital in this manner will allow it to avoid having to register as a public company – which existing U.S. regulations require under the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act.

Although Kraken’s investors will not be shareholders, they will be entitled to a certain return on investment (ROI) if the US-based exchange offers its shares via an initial public offering (IPO). However, the shares must be acquired through a different organization and potentially also through Kraken itself if it decides to opt for a Management Buy-Out.

High-Risk, Speculative Investment

Commenting on the initiative, BF’s management cautioned:

This is a high risk high returns platform – please understand this before investing.

Meanwhile, Kraken added that investors would be able to reduce risk as they would be acquiring a preferred share class with the ability to liquidate their funds. However, the American exchange did acknowledge it was a speculative investment.

An email sent to the initiative’s investors suggests that staking funds in Kraken’s business would have the following advantages:

CryptoWatch Premium membership, the ability to leverage shares for margin collateral, priority service from our client support team, invitation to Kraken’s exclusive investor chat room, subscription to Kraken’s Daily Hash newsletter and OTC Daily report, bi-annual Kraken investor update, beta access to new Kraken products and features, limited edition Kraken swag, [and] 5% investment rebate in KFEE.

Will Only Make Money If Kraken Sells for Over $4 Billion

According to an analysis by BF, a $1,000 investment in the company’s project would be worth around 48 future shares from a total of 201,612,210. If Kraken gets valued at $4 billion, then the 48 shares purchased would give the holder only a 0.00002380808% stake.

BF’s analyst further noted:

And that’s about the sum that you invested. But as you are in the “preferred share class” you get your investment back even if Kraken sells only for $112 million. Only if Kraken sells for more than $4 billion we will make money.

JPM Coin: J.P. Morgan to Begin Testing Its Cryptocurrency with Clients

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JPM Coin: J.P. Morgan to Begin Testing Its Cryptocurrency with Clients

The management at J.P. Morgan Chase, the world’s sixth-largest bank with $30 trillion in assets under custody, is reportedly planning to begin testing its highly-anticipated cryptocurrency, called “JPM Coin.”

JPM Coin’s initial testing will be carried out with the financial institution’s corporate clients. This, according to a recent report from Bloomberg, which revealed that the bank’s customers would experiment with the coin’s new underlying technology.

JPM Coin Still Needs Regulatory Approval

According to Umar Farooq, the Head of Blockchain Initiatives at J.P. Morgan, the trials involving JPM Coin will focus on conducting fast and cost-effective transactions. The transfers made with the bank’s cryptocurrency may include payments settled between companies and transactions involving traditional bonds.

As confirmed by J.P. Morgan, the institution has not yet obtained regulatory approval to launch its own crypto-based token.

JPM Coin May Be Converted to Fiat Money, After Receiving Payment

Introduced in February 2019, the JPM Coin has been implemented on the Quorum platform, a private (permissioned) implementation of the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain network. Designed primarily as a stablecoin for expediting bank-to-bank transfers, the JPM Coin will be backed with fiat currency.

Before conducting transactions with JPM Coin, users will be required to have the equivalent amount (being transferred with the coin) in fiat deposits. As explained in its technical documentation, the recipients of a transfer in JPM Coin will be able convert the bank’s cryptocurrency to cash.

“Licensing and Approval” Is Time-Consuming

J.P. Morgan’s management confirmed that its crypto will only be backed by the USD when it’s first introduced. However, the giant Wall Street investment bank intends to allow other major currencies to be linked with the JPM Coin in the foreseeable future.

Commenting on the current state of development of the JPM Coin, Farooq remarked: 

The technology is very good, but it takes time in terms of licensing and approval. It must be explained.

Farooq added that the JPM Coin may also be used to finalize transactions involving traditional commodities and bonds. According to the J.P. Morgan executive, the bank’s clients in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. have already expressed an interest in using the institution’s cryptocurrency to settle typical business transactions.

“Reducing Clients’ Counterparty and Settlement Risk”

Although J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon had initially referred to Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, as a fraud (but later admitted he didn’t understand the technology), the investment bank’s website now states:

We have always believed in the potential of blockchain technology and we are supportive of cryptocurrencies as long as they are properly controlled and regulated. As a globally regulated bank, we believe we have a unique opportunity to develop the capability in a responsible way with the oversight of our regulators.

It adds: “Ultimately, we believe that JPM Coin can yield significant benefits for blockchain applications by reducing clients’ counterparty and settlement risk, decreasing capital requirements and enabling instant value transfer.”

Bitcoin Creeps to $11,400 But Held There, For Now – Short Term Price Analysis

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Bitcoin (BTC) has consolidated since June 22 in an ascending triangle pattern, whose top had been about $11,200. Early in the morning today (June 25, UTC), BTC broke cautiously and methodically – no monster green candles – above this level to make an attempt for new highs.

But new gains have now stalled at about $11,400, and some bearish signs are creeping into the picture, especially on the medium timeframe charts.

Looking at the 1 hour below  – the Bitstamp chart, but click here to easily view virtually any exchange’s price –  we see Bitcoin breaking the $11,200 level with good volume. The volume, however, has quickly dropped off when approaching the dense resistance just above. Bitcoin will not be able to remain at this level for much longer, without either breaking further up or coming back to retest the breakout zone (near the 21 EMA, blue).

coasting just under an important resistance(source: TradingView.com)

Moving to the 4 hour plus RSI chart, we see that rising price on the candle bodies have been unable to put in a higher RSI peak – although the downtrend line was broken on the latest push. It is definitely not too late for this RSI to come up and put in a higher peak, though – putting Bitcoin at a moment of decision at time of writing.

A higher RSI showing on the 4h is needed(source: TradingView.com)

As covered on yesterday’s price analysis, Bitcoin is now well within an important area of resistance – and the very long term is now interacting with the very short term.

The price is now striking precisely at the peaks of prior support and resistance of the 2018 bubble-pop. Not only this, but the 0.5 Fibonacci retracement level lies precisely at $11,500 – basically sitting on top of current price.

The 0.5 Fib level is on deck(source: TradingView.com)

These long term price levels make the current short term price action all the more important to watch. Each indication on the small timeframe charts are speaking to very important historical price action – and breaking the 0.5 Fibonacci range would leave essentially no resistance up to the 0.68 at $13,500.

The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect those of CryptoGlobe.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

Hedge Fund Veteran Raises $500,000 For Bitcoin Development

Venture Capitalist Dovey Wan of Primitive Ventures has raised a reported 50 BTC, worth more than $550,000 at the time of writing, to support bitcoin developers. 

Hard Core Fund Supporting Bitcoin Developers

The endowment, raised under the name “Hard Core Fund,” will go towards creating sustainable income streams for bitcoin developers – a challenge Wan believes is one of the more pressing for cryptocurrency in 2019. 

The venture capitalist paired with Bitmain’s Pan Zhibiao to create the Hard Core Fund last year. By Fall 2018, the group had tabbed Bitcoin Core developers Luke Dashjr and Ben Woosley to begin supporting full-time. 

Woosley told CoinDesk he updates the fund’s operators monthly with a compilation of his code and engineering work. In return, the Hard Core Fund pays out a portion of his annual salary. 

In addition to input from Wan and Zhibiao, the fund relies upon outside donations to keep expanding, including contributions from Poolin’s Kevin Pan. However, a large portion of donations come from anonymous contributors, including those hailing from China’s growing crypto community. 

Bitcoin Developers Wanted

WIth the most recent round of funding, the group is opening applications for more developers and hoping to increase the number of full-time bitcoin coders. 

Wan told CoinDesk, 

“We collected 50 bitcoin. Right now, you wouldn’t believe it, there are less than 10 full-time bitcoin developers. …We want to fund full-time independent bitcoin developers.”

Bitcoin is an open-source, decentralized project that any developer is able to contribute towards. However, the cryptocurrency has garnered large organizational support, including MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative and Square. 

Nonetheless, supporting smaller teams and independent full-time devs remains an important hurdle for the bitcoin ecosystem to overcome, one that Wan believes can be tackled through endowments such as the Hard Core Fund, 

“We should be wary of forming a bias, of groupthink. Having diverse funding models helps protect us against groupthink on any given topic.”

Lightning Network a Priority

While the fund’s founders claim to have no input on what bitcoin developers work on, they report having a special interest in products related to lightning network and improvements in network scale. 

Pan explained what the project is looking for in terms of applicants, 

“We are looking for someone who’s got a deep understanding of Bitcoin’s architecture and its existing problems to solve…if he or she can train, coach, or facilitate other developers, propose new BIPs [updates] and new directions for technical improvement, that’s even better.”

With the rise of centralized digital currencies such as Facebook’s libra, it will become even more necessary for the bitcoin community to support its own development. 

Facebook to (Again) Front Congress over Libra; Top Bitcoin Analyst on ‘Block Reward Halving’ Effect

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Facebook to (Again) Front Congress over Libra; Top Bitcoin Analyst on ‘Block Reward Halving’ Effect

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The top daily news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

  • Another U.S. Congressional hearing for Facebook’s Libra.
  • Coin Metrics publishes report addressing Kik’s claims made to the SEC.
  • Top Bitcoin analyst studies price effect of block reward halving.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $11,300.8 (+4.7%) and $313.1 (+2.1%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 4,927.3 (+1.9%).

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Facebook’s Libra Subject to Yet Another U.S. Congressional Hearing

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee will host a hearing regarding Facebook and its Calibra subsidiary’s new blockchain-based project, Libra, on July 17, according to Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA).

The scheduled hearing will come a day after the Senate Banking Committee discusses Libra. Whilst witnesses have yet to be confirmed, it is widely expected that Libra co-lead David Marcus will testify in at least one of the hearings, according to The Hill.

Coin Metrics Reports on Kin Blockchain

Coin Metrics released a report dedicated to the level and type of activity transpiring on the Kin (KIN) blockchain. Titled ‘An Analysis of Kin’s On-Chain Activity’, Coin Metrics’s publication addresses two claims made to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Kik about the level of activity on, and the use of, its blockchain.

In regard to blockchain activity, Coin Metrics concludes that “it depends how you define [it]. Kin could be considered one of the most active blockchains if measured by payments count, but could be considered one of the least active if measured by transfer value.”

As for how Kin’s blockchain is used, Coin Metrics investigates Kik’s claim (i.e., “over 300,000 people earned and spent Kin as a currency” in June) in terms of “active addresses.” Here, the startup found that “although Kin has a relatively high number of active addresses, it has a relatively low amount of addresses with a significant account balance.”

Top Bitcoin Analyst Studies Price Effect of Block Reward Halving

Vijay Boyapati, a respected bitcoin (BTC) analyst among the crypto community, put together a ten-part Twitter thread to explore the potential effects that next year’s Bitcoin block reward halving may have on the price of the top cryptocurrency.

Concluding that “the Bitcoin halving is a key fundamental driver of Bitcoin’s monetization,” Boyapati – a former software engineer at Google – explained that BTC often begins to trend upward roughly twelve months out from a halving event. This, he surmises, may be the reason for the BTC’s recent surge, given it is just under a year until the next halving.

TRON (TRX) Celebrates Independence Day: Highlights of Achievements in Past Year

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TRON (TRX) Celebrates Independence Day: Highlights of Achievements in Past Year

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On Tuesday (June 25), the day that TRON Foundation celebrates its Independence Day (since 25 June 2018 was the date that the TRON mainnet was launched and the genesis block was created), Justin Sun, its founder and CEO, summarized TRON’s main achievements in the past year.

Here are some of the key highlights:

  • TRON Foundation started with an initial team of 10 people. Currently, it employs around 400 people around the world, and this number is expected to increase to 600 by the end of 2019.
  • The TRON development team has done 22 updates of the TRON protocol (“more Github code commits than Ethereum and EOS combined”).
  • TRON has 3.1 million mainnet addresses and handles an average of 1.5 million transactions per day, which means that “TRON has caught up with Ethereum’s daily cumulative transactions in just 1 year.” In fact, according to Etherscan, Ethereum’s record for highest total number of number of transactions in one day is 1,349,890 transactions, and this happened on 4 January 2018.
  • The decentralized app (DApp) ecosystem is doing well, with over 500 DApps (“of which 43.73% are active”), 50,000 daily active users, and a daily transaction volume averaging around $20 million.
  • Earlier this month, TRON officially launched the testnet for its scalability solution, the Sun Network. One of the projects that is part of this initiative is DAppChain, which is “a side chain scaling project designed for TRON’s smart contracts, which aims to enable DApps to run with extremely low Energy consumption, high security, high efficiency through customized methods on the chain.”
  • TRON is supported by 110 digital asset exchanges and 33 wallets. 
  • The team behind the Opera browser announced on May 15 their intention to “soon support TRON’s TRX and other TRC-standard tokens.” Adding support for TRON tokens within Opera’s Crypto Wallet “will allow hundreds of millions of Opera users to play TRON games and access TRON dApps within the browser.”
  • On March 4, Tether announced that was partnering with the TRON Foundation to launch the USDT stablecoin as a TRC-20 token. This launch happened on April  16 (PDT).
  • TRON acquired BitTorrent (and all of its products) on 20 July 2018, as a result of which TRON “became the largest decentralized internet ecosystem in the world.”
  • The BitTorrent (BTT) token sale took place on January 28 on Binance Launchpad. Since then, it has been “listed on over 50 exchanges around the world, and airdropped to TRON holders globally.”
  • BitTorrent File System (BTFS) was announced on May 30; “the BTFS Mainnet is set to launch in Q3, and will have TRON Mainnet support by the end of the year.”
  • The beta version of BitTorrent Speed, which calls itself “The largest blockchain application, powered by BitTorrent (BTT)” is being launched in one week, with the official launch expected to take place sometime in Q3 2019.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com