// FUTURES LAUNCH SMOOTHLY
Futures went live at 11 PM UTC this evening and bitcoin, despite extreme volatility, remains steady. This is good news. Bitcoin has made a serious step into mainstream finance and - currently - remains unscathed.
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing this week, though. Exchanges are struggling to provide reliable basic functionality - like buying or selling bitcoins: Bittrex users are experiencing problems when they try to withdraw; Coinbase and its more complex trading software GDAX has been struggling struggling all week; Gemini, an exchange used to price futures, was also down at several points. These exchanges were not the exception as demand and trading volumes soar across all platforms. Necessary growing pains - good luck to the exchanges.
// MUST READS
Announcing our participation in the Skara token issuance.
The latest coverage on futures - but one to keep an eye on as the situation unfolds.
Players have spent millions buying digital cats in Crypto kitties, a blockchain based game.
Steam stops accepting Bitcoin, as merchants realise bitcoin is (at least currently) a very poor currency.
// DISASTER OF THE WEEK
Nicehash, a mining marketplace, has been hacked this week. Around 4,700 Bitcoins were stolen. NB - Bitcoin remains the first and still infallible, unhacked blockchain.
All of Bulgaria’s Bitcoin exchanges have been shut down by the banks - the banks blocked all their accounts and these exchanges are now offline. The Bulgarian government also controls about $3billion, or 18% of its national debt in bitcoin, from assets seized earlier this year.
The lightning protocol - an attempt to solve bitcoin scaling issues - has its first success with the world’s first cross-implementation test on the bitcoin mainnet.
The Commonwealth bank of Australia is planning to issue the world’s first bond on a blockchain.
Revolut, mobile banking, is now offering its users the ability to buy and sell BTC/ETH/LTC.
Venezuela, in an attempt to hide its dirty laundry, launches its own cryptocurrency called Petro.
The Russian association of blockchain and cryptocurrencies will be developing a ratings standard for ICOs - importantly, apparently free of bribes.
The Australian securities exchange will replace its current clearing system with blockchain technology.
According to the largest banks, the financial system is not prepared for the launch of bitcoin futures.
// ROAD TO REGULATION
UK Treasury pushing exchanges and wallet providers to follow AML and KYC laws.
Israel Securities Authority wants to create an international financial center by welcoming ICOs.
Four new bills have been proposed by New York state officials to help integrate blockchain solutions into governance, elections and business.
South Korea’s government has established a new task force to try and control crypto as it engulfs the country.
Bitcoin futures have been banned by South Korean financial authorities.
Plexcorp and its founders have been charged with fraud and its assets are now frozen.
Last week highlights:
Cashaa raised $9m for ‘the future of banking’.
Leverj raised $12.8m for a decentralized crypto exchange.
Global Jobcoin raised $5.6m for a token-based employment services platform - with token dividends.
Skara - January 23, 2018 - an existing blockchain gaming economy.
Lendoit - December 13, 2017 - Decentralised P2P lending platform.
Cryptics - December 15, 2017 - crypto analytics platform.
Bread - December 15, 2017 - fastest growing bitcoin wallet.
Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Ljubljana - Ljublajana, SIovenia - December 12, 2017
D4C - Day For Crypto - Convington, USA - December 12, 2017
CryptoBlockCon 2017 - Las Vegas, USA - December 13, 2017
d10e Bucharest - Bucharest, Romania - December 14-17, 2017