Your dose of crypto news and analysis from @BTO and @Goldfinger

This past week we saw full-blown crypto wars play out, with massive amounts of value shifting between Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) following the abandonment of the planned SegWit2X hard fork and resulting jostling between Bitcoin factions. BTC took a hit over the past week, falling below US$5,600, but then bounced back and hit a new all-time high near US$8,000. BCH hit a high of nearly US$2,500 on Sunday before settling down around the US$1,100 mark.

Some other alt-coins also saw nice bumps in the turmoil, and these gains have prevailed through to today. This includes Ethereum (up ~11% from last Friday), Ethereum Classic (up ~18% from last Friday), Litecoin (up ~16% from last Friday), ZCash (up ~23% from last Friday), Dash (up ~28% from last Friday), and Monero (up ~18% from last Friday).

What better time than now to push out Issue No. 3 of Crypto Wars...

WTF did I miss this week in crypto?

The Crypto Civil War

This is the best overview I saw on the Bitcoin (BTC) vs. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) battle that played out this week. I highly recommend the read if you want to understand the dynamics at play in the community in a little greater technical detail (without getting overly technical). What it comes down to is a divergence of views amongst stakeholders as to the proposed solutions to solve the issue of scaling Bitcoin transactions.

Chinese Power Provider Denies Bitcoin Mining Ban

A rumour circulated early in the week that China had moved to ban crypto mining in the country. Such a move would have followed the country’s earlier ban on ICOs and crackdown on crypto exchanges. These rumours appear to be unfounded — at least for now — with a state-owned electric utility debunking the claim.

Square's Cash App: A New Place To Buy And Sell Bitcoin?

In what may turn out to be a key stepping stone towards more widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies by regular folks, it was revealed this week that Square (NYSE:SQ) — the $17 billion payments platform founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey — is experimenting with crypto by quietly adding Bitcoin buy/sell support to its popular Cash App.
The company’s CFO noted that its customers requested an “easy way to buy and sell bitcoin”, and so they did just that. Talking to CNBC, he said, “You're talking about it, it's out there, and so we want to do an experiment and say, OK, is this real? Do customers actually want to be able to do this?”

American Express Opens First Blockchain Corridor With Ripple Tech

In another big step for a well-known player in the traditional non-crypto payments space, American Express has opened up a payments corridor using Ripple. A typical bank transaction across the Atlantic today takes one to two days using Swift, and a typical ACH transaction can take twice as long. The new system now in place takes just a few seconds and is a safer way to send payments, with Amex being connected directly to the banks.

Nasdaq Explores Storing Asset Data on Blockchain

In a patent application filed by Nasdaq, we learn that the exchange is looking into storing information regarding the ownership of assets (e.g., shares in a company, etc.) in a blockchain, as well as facilitating various data processing operations using the technology. Hedging their bets, Nasdaq notes that “further improvements in the performance, efficiency, and capabilities of such technologies are needed”.

23-Year-Old Ethereum Founder, Vitalik Buterin, Picked for Forbes’ 30 Under 30

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin was featured in Forbes’ 2018 edition of its 30 Under 30.

Announcing Coinbase Custody: A Digital Currency Custodian For Institutions

Yesterday, Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong announced that the company is launching a new company to help institutional investors securely store digital assets: Coinbase Custody ( Coinbase is already storing more than $9 billion of digital currency on behalf of its retail customers, and now the company is bringing a solution custom-built for institutional investors. This is a huge step towards getting traditional institutional investors off the sidelines and deploying capital into the crypto economy.

The Lightning Network Now Supports Transactions Across Blockchains

This week’s big technical news came just yesterday, when it was confirmed that a “cross-chain atomic swap” was successfully executed in an experimental setting. What does this mean? It means that two participants — say Alice and Bob — whose assets reside on separate blockchains — say Bitcoin and Litecoin — can transact with one another directly by exchanging funds at a specified exchange rate. In other words, down the road it may be possible to efficiently exchange different cryptocurrencies without a custodian. The current ecosystem is dependent on third party exchanges to fulfill this role.

Up and Away? Bitcoin Price Eyes $8,000 Or Higher

Another week, another all-time high for Bitcoin — rising to US$7,990 today.

Visa Launches First Phase of Blockchain B2B Payments

Obviously this has been a big week for blockchain/crypto news involving the giants of the old school financial world. Visa has now rolled out a pilot of its blockchain-based business-to-business payments service, B2B Connect, which it first announced last year. Visa plans to use the platform to ease cross-border payments by facilitating direct payments between institutions, cutting out the middleman the industry currently relies on.

Coins and tokens and stocks, oh my!

[Note — Net change and % change figures are from the close last Friday to the close today.]

HIVE Blockchain (TSXV:HIVE) — $HIVE — Net Change: -$0.41; % Change: -10.1%

On Nov. 14, HIVE announced that it had closed its previously-announced bought deal financing, raising a total of $34,502,300, including $5,090,904 from its strategic partner and largest shareholder, Genesis Mining. The news release included some previously unreleased information on the scale of the company’s Iceland and proposed Sweden mining operations. Sweden is expected to represent total electricity consumption of 13.6 MW, and the already-running Iceland mines represent 3.8 MW in electricity consumption. With the financing now closed, time will tell what the company has in store for investors down the road.

Mogo Finance (TSX:MOGO) — $MOGO — Net Change: $0.19; % Change: 3.2%

Shares of Mogo rose again this week, finishing off at $6.07. The rise was driven by news that it had added fintech executive Darrell MacMullin — former head of of PayPal Canada — as an Advisor to support the company’s product expansion efforts, including its recently announced cryptocurrency account. (NASDAQ:OSTK) — $OSTK — Net Change: -US$0.70; % Change: -1.3%

This week saw no new news for Overstock directly. However, its >80%-owned subsidiary, tZERO — an SEC-compliant alternative trading system (ATS) that will provide a platform for the exchange of cryptographic tokens categorized in the U.S. as securities — announced that the its token sale, utilizing a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (or SAFT), will begin on Dec. 18, 2017. The definitive terms of the tokens will be set out in an Offering Memorandum, but the news release revealed a couple of unique features: (i) revenue participation in the form of a distribution, which will be a percentage of tZERO’s revenue; and (ii) utility to pay for fees and/or services within the tZERO eco-system. I highly recommend checking out @currencyfrontier's article on the company as well: @currencyfrontier/will-overstock-revolutionize-the-stock-exchanges-business-with-blockchain.

Other crypto/blockchain-related stocks riding the wave:

  • MGT Capital (OTC:MGTI) — $MGTI — Net Change: -US$0.15; % Change: -8.2%
  • LeoNovus (TSXV:LTV) — $LTV — Net Change: -$0.03; % Change: -5.0%
  • Global Blockchain (TSXV:BLOC) — $BLOC — Net Change: -$0.34; % Change: -11.9%
  • BTL Group (TSXV:BTL) — $BTL — Net Change: $0.27; % Change: 4.2%
  • NetCents Technology (CSE:NC) — $NC — Net Change: -$0.11; % Change: -11.6%
  • 360 Blockchain (CSE:CODE) — $CODE — Net Change: $0.005; % Change: 1.8%
  • Glance Technologies (CSE:GET) — $GET — Net Change: -$0.04; % Change: -2.5%
  • Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT) — $RIOT — Net Change: $0.97; % Change: 13.5%
  • eXeBlock Technology (CSE:XBLK) — $XBLK — New Listing; Closed Week at $1.60

The CryptoTechnician Report

There is no CryptoTechnician Report this time. For secret reasons. Actually, @Goldfinger is just away at a conference.

A funny thing we saw this week

Jim Cramer gets animated about Bitcoin on hearing that Square is adding buy/sell functionality to Square Cash (see above news) — “BITCOIN LIVES!! BITCOIN LIVES!!”

Crypto schadenfreude? After calling Bitcoin a fraud, it appears Jamie Dimon’s JP Morgan — at least its Switzerland branch — is in breach of Swiss money laundering standards! If you can read German, head here: Or, just Google translate it like I did.



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