The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto Patents

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The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto Patents

In The Daily on Saturday, crypto exchange Coinbase has formed a political action committee to raise funds for US elections. Also, Ernst & Young has announced the acquisition of crypto technology and patents, and Indonesian crypto POS terminal maker Pundi X is looking to expand in South Korea with a new partnership.

Also read: Minsk Mulls Rules for Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

Coinbase to Raise Money for Elections

The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto PatentsCalifornia-based crypto exchange Coinbase has formed a political action committee in order to raise money that can be spent on US elections, Reuters reported quoting the company. The filing was announced on Friday, July 20. According to the report, the political action committee has not raised any funds yet.

Coinbase is an important player in the crypto sector. A couple of months ago, the exchange said it would revamp its trading technology to create and offer a new suite of services to attract more institutional investors, including hedge funds and high-frequency trading firms. Its new institutional offering, Coinbase Custody, is already open for business. The company also launched its Coinbase Pro platform.

In May, it was revealed that Coinbase’s representatives had met with US regulators to talk about the possibility to apply for a banking license. The trading platform reportedly contacted officials from the US Office of the Comptroller of Currency earlier this year to discuss the matter. Reports that Coinbase had been approved to list securities were later corrected by the company.

Coinbase’s decisions and moves often influence crypto markets, as was the case with the recent announcement that the exchange is considering adding five new cryptocurrencies – ADA, BAT, XLM, ZEC, and ZRX. The news quickly raised the prices of these coins by up to 20 percent.

Leading Exchanges List New Coins

The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto PatentsSpeaking of new listings, Chinese-run Okex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has added the cardano (ADA) cryptocurrency to its platform with trading starting on July 23. The company announced the addition on Twitter, this past Friday. It has also added a new token, hycon (HYC), whose spot trading is scheduled to begin on the 24th. According to Coinmarketcap, cardano is currently 8th among the tracked cryptos, with a market capitalization of over $4.2 billion USD.

Another leading exchange, Singapore-headquartered Huobi, announced this week it is adding digibyte (DGB) to its trading options. The coin has been offered since Friday, in pairs with bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH). Withdrawals will be available on Sunday, July 22. After the announcement, the price of DGB surged by about 17 percent. At the time of writing, digibyte ranks 32nd, according to Coinmarketcap, with a market capitalization of over $460 million.

Ernst & Young Acquires Crypto Technology

The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto PatentsWhile major players from the crypto space are looking to diversify elsewhere, established financial companies have been exploring possibilities in the fintech sector. Ernst & Young, one of the major global accounting firms, announced this month the acquisition of technology assets and related patents from Elevated Consciousness. The San Francisco-based startup specializes in developing solutions for the crypto-asset ecosystem like the Andy Crypto-Asset Accounting and Tax tool (CAAT) which connects with multiple crypto exchanges and wallets, allowing for better visibility into transactions and inventory.

The acquisition is part of EY’s strategy to expand blockchain-related capabilities and services worldwide, according to a press release published by PRNewswire. “Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are transformational forces with a strong potential to fundamentally change the way business is done,” said Kate Barton, EY Global Vice Chair – Tax Services. “CAAT positions us as a leader in serving a variety of companies adopting crypto-assets in an evolving regulatory environment,” she added, quoted in the corporate announcement.

Pundi X with New Partnership in South Korea

Following news that it’s working to build a network of 5,500 POS terminals for crypto payments in Hong Kong, it’s been reported that Pundi X is now eyeing the South Korean market. The Indonesian company revealed in a statement that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the local smart card manufacturer Ubivelox. The partnership aims to support the deployment of Pundi X devices in South Korea.

The Daily: Coinbase Forms Political Action Committee, EY Acquires Crypto PatentsThe Pundi XPOS terminals offer payments in multiple cryptocurrencies and support transactions through other wallets like Alipay and Wechat Pay. These devices accept also payment cards as well as Pundi X’s own XPASS card. The latter allows users to buy, sell and trade different cryptos and make online purchases. The two companies plan to distribute the XPASS cards and develop together a mobile crypto payment system.

The latest announcement is part of Pundi X’s planned expansion in the region. The company intends to introduce up to 100,000 of its crypto POS terminals in Southeast Asia by 2021. The Indonesian firm also claims that a number of businesses from Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland have already ordered a total of 25,000 of its terminals.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pundi X.

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Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto Game

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Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto Game

A growing number of big-name insurers are getting into the crypto space. They are exploring new product options in this area and meeting with cryptocurrency custodians and trading platforms about coverage. However, exclusions can add up fast for crypto businesses and premiums can be more than five times that of a normal business.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Large Insurers Getting into Crypto

While most big-name insurers are reluctant to provide coverage to crypto startups, some are slowly coming around and quietly entering the space. Two leading insurance brokers that help companies shop for crypto policies, Marsh & Mclennan and Aon, were quoted by Bloomberg on Thursday:

Business has been brisk this year.

Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto GameMarsh has formed a dedicated team to service blockchain startups while Aon says it has “seen some insurers tweak general company policies to include crypto-specific protections,” the publication detailed, adding that Aon also claims to have over 50 percent of the crypto insurance market.

According to the company’s website, “Aon has been working to understand these evolving technologies and actively collaborates with the insurance marketplace to develop innovative risk transfer solutions.” Its subsidiary, Aon Risk Solutions, has “developed a policy form to protect against the loss of cryptocurrency along with other initiatives designed to meet the emerging risks posed by cryptocurrencies and digital ledger technologies,” Business Insurance magazine described.

Big Opportunities

Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto GameEuropean insurer and asset manager, Allianz SE, has 88 million retail and corporate clients in more than 70 countries. The Munich-based company “began offering individual coverage for digital-coin theft in the past year,” the publication conveyed and quoted the company’s spokesman, Christian Weishuber, saying:

Insurance for cryptocurrency storage will be a big opportunity…Digital assets are becoming more relevant, important and prevalent on the real economy and we are exploring product and coverage options in this area.

American International Group (AIG) “has also been adding crypto coverage into standard policy forms” and has “met with cryptocurrency custodians and trading platforms about coverage,” the news outlet detailed and quoted a source familiar with the matter:

Over a dozen underwriters, including Chubb and XL, currently provide coverage to crypto-related businesses.

In February, Reuters reported that XL Catlin, Chubb, and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance firms started offering protection against crypto theft.

Costly Premiums

Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto GameCrypto companies are also increasingly seeking to obtain insurance coverage to help attract more clients. A London-based startup focused on crypto custody services, Trustology, is one of the businesses in talks to obtain coverage, according to Bloomberg. The company wants to insure its customer accounts for up to £85,000 (~US$111,630), which is the same standard as a U.K. bank account.

However, insurance premiums for crypto-related coverage are costly and policies can take months to get approved, the publication conveyed, adding that “exclusions can add up fast.” For example, while losses from an interruption of service may be covered, the theft of cryptocurrency that caused the interruption may not.

Citing that many startups cannot afford to pay the high premiums, the news outlet elaborated:

The premiums from insuring such risk can be substantial. By some accounts, underwriters can charge a crypto-related company upwards of five times or more than your average business for coverage against loss or theft.

Do you think soon all big-name insurers will soon get into crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Allianz, and Aon.

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Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

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Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

Fortune magazine’s annual 40 Under 40 is out, recently published in print and online, highlighting leaders under forty years of age. This year, the cryptosphere is well represented by Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong, and Robinhood’s Vlad Tenev. Wielding billions and billions in valuations, their average age is just a tender 30 years old. Slowly and methodically, crypto is making its way into the mainstream, coming of age.

Also read: Philippines Embraces Cryptocurrency: Exchanges Issued Provisional Licenses

Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

Fortune’s 40 Under 40 Include Ecosystem Heavy Hitters

Fortune magazine’s 40 Under 40 list contains forty of the world’s most productive, interesting leaders under forty years old. “Whether they’re building companies worth billions of dollars,” the magazine explains, “carving a prominent niche in a Fortune 500 business, leading governments or winning Academy Awards, these listers are running fast and winning big.”

The 2018 iteration includes cryptocurrency heavies such as Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin (24), Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong (35), and Robinhood’s Vlad Tenev (31). On making the cut, some were asked about keys to their success. Mr. Tenev of Robinhood, the free stock trading application which recently allowed users to trade crypto, emphasized writing things down.

Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

“I write everything down: important decisions,” Mr. Tenev revealed, “my number-one goal for the day, to-dos, and miscellaneous thoughts. It helps me focus on what’s most important each day, not forget anything, and provides a nice look back at key moments and inflection points that can be good teaching moments for new employees down the road.” In only five years, Robinhood reached a reported $5.6 billion valuation.

Crypto is Coming of Age

Making Fortune’s list marks something of a crypto coming of age. The broader, mainstream financial community appears to be taking more notice of decentralized digital currency. It has taken nearly a decade, but with revelations about patent-seeking legacy corporations, futures markets, more talk of ETFs on the horizon, crypto has arrived.

Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing ItIndeed, famed crypto bank and quasi-exchange, Coinbase has at its head a 35-year-old who believes in motivational language. CEO Brian Armstrong explains, “Everyday, I write down affirmations (what I aspire to be in the world) and my goals (if I only got three things done today, what would they be). Then I start on those three things, before looking at anything else like my inbox.” Coinbase has grown so fast; rumors are that it aims to be the ecosystem’s Google in terms of stature.

Ethereum, Coinbase, Robinhood Led by Under 40 Year Olds Killing It

Vitalik Buterin, 24, a founder and the face of Ethereum, describes “his open-source blockchain platform Ethereum as a ‘world computer,’” Fortune notes. “The skinny visionary’s experiment, which began as a white paper, now has a market valuation of $48 billion, making it the second-most-valuable crypto network next to Bitcoin. Ethereum caught a lucky break this year when the SEC said it would not regulate ether, the network’s native coin, as a security. Rumor has it Google recently tried to hire Buterin to lead its own whispered crypto endeavors, but he declined.”

Has crypto arrived in the mainstream sense? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Images via the Pixabay.

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