Despite bitcoin-positive news coming from Wall Street, the price of bitcoin dropped by fifteen percent week-on-week, to close around the $7,000 mark on Sunday.
Asset management giant Northern Trust announced that it would move into the cryptoasset custody business to provide custodial services to digital asset investors.
Moreover, the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) parent company ICE has announced the foundation of a new company called Bakkt, which has been created to develop a platform that will enable individuals and institutions to buy, sell, and store their cryptoassets on a global network. According to the company press release, “the Bakkt ecosystem is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing along with merchant and consumer applications.”
As usual, when bitcoin drops, the altcoin market follows suit. On average, altcoins found in the top ten largest cryptocurrency networks fell by around 15 to 20 percent, with Ripple (XRP) underperforming its peers by closing the week at a five percent margin lower.
Northern Trust Corporation, a 129-year-old Chicago based investment management, asset, and administration company plans to enter into the fast-evolving crypto business, according to a Bloomberg report on July 31, 2018. The aim is to provide custodial services to safeguard crypto assets in the digital space at comparatively lower fees.
The company has begun to develop its methods to secure the digital assets in a faster, cheaper, and secure way. Given the experience Northern Trust Corp has, it’s a significant opportunity for them to enter into the crypto space and compete in the market.
According to Head of Corporate and Institutional Business and President of Northern Trust’s Corporate and Institutional Services, Pete Cherecwich:
“The fees right now the custodians are charging are pretty high, not the same fees that we get. [Ultimately], I believe unsustainable, because it needs to be an efficient model.”
Companies like Coinbase accept clients with minimum $10 million and $100,000 setup fees and monthly fees of basis 10 points (0.1 percent).
The world’s second-largest maker of bitcoin mining equipment, Canaan Creative, has launched the first ever bitcoin mining television set. As reported in the South China Morning Post on August 2, 2018, the launch comes as part of a push to build a new generation of smart, connected devices that can support blockchain development and Internet of Things (IoT) frameworks.
Canaan calls its new device the “AvalonMiner Inside,” and in addition to marketing it as a smart TV, it mentions that the device has a processing power of 2.8 trillion hashes per second. Canaan’s current most powerful mining rig is capable of processing 11 trillion hashes per second, making the AvalonMiner Inside roughly 25 percent as powerful as their top rig.
According to Canaan, the AI-powered device has many desirable features that both regular users and miners will love. These features include voice control, real-time bitcoin mining profitability display and a digital tether to Canaan’s platform permitting users to pay for entertainment content or physical gifts using mined bitcoin.
The result of the latest survey by CreditCoin released this summer has shown that a vast array of prospective digital currency investors do not own cryptoassets because they find the purchasing process overly complicated.
According to the CreditCoin survey of 1,000 consumers in the United States who are familiar with bitcoin and digital currencies, nearly forty percent of Millennials reported owning cryptos, with about 26 percent females having virtual currency portfolios.
Notably, the older demographic was not entirely left behind, as 24 percent of Gen X and 15 percent of Baby Boomers all said they have holdings in either bitcoin or altcoins.
For those who don’t have crypto assets, 44 percent of the respondents stated that their biggest challenge was the complex nature of buying cryptos, while 64 percent of Millennials are concerned about security compared to 55 percent of Gen X and 54 percent of Baby Boomers.
TravelbyBit, a cryptocurrency payments firm that makes it easy for tourists to pay with digital currencies such as bitcoin is among the 70 startups given grants by the government of Queensland, Australia, as announced on August 1, 2018, by Innovation Minister Kate Jones.
As detailed in the press release, TravelbyBit is one of the 70 startups to receive the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding. The grant is aimed at encouraging startups and entrepreneurs from across Queensland which have put in tremendous efforts into their business. Additionally, the local authorities will help them expand their operations and employ more staff.
The Australian tourism industry is one of the most vibrant in the world, with beautiful beaches and a vast array of attractions. In this regard, TravelbyBit has carved a niche for itself by bridging the gap between the fiat and cryptocurrency payments, utilizing an innovative blockchain-based framework.
Citing data harvested by Autonomous Research, a financial research company, Bloomberg reported on August 2, 2018, that ICOs attracted a record $12 billion in the first half of 2018.
That is approximately twice the corresponding figure from all of 2017 considering the data provided by Autonomous Research only includes ICOs which raised more than $1 million.
Interestingly, this growth spree continued even as bitcoin was hitting one bump after another and lost nearly three-quarters of its value from December 2017. But the million dollar question is — do these figures reflect any significant improvement for the ICO industry as a whole?
To conclude, those lines would be somewhat questionable as the bulk of the investment drawn by ICOs in the first half of 2018 went to two projects: EOS, a platform aimed at open-source projects, and Telegram, an instant messaging service.
A new streaming partnership between the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and sports streaming service SportsCastr is set to revolutionize the world of fan-engagement. Using Fan Chain, a new cryptocurrency framework built on Ethereum, fans can engage with current and past NFL players in an exciting range of new ways and get rewarded for it.
The new platform will enable players to lend their rights to the streaming service and engage with their fans through special live color commentary and personal insights. However, the most interesting aspect of the new partnership is the introduction of Fan Chain, a blockchain protocol that uses a new cryptocurrency “FANZ” to incentivize fan engagement with NFL players on the platform.
Using FanChain, SportsCastr users can earn tokens for participation, and these tokens can be redeemed in exchange for premium player content, sports tickets, merchandise, backstage access, and virtual gifts.
North Carolina Bans Cryptocurrency Donations, while Democrat Andrew Yang Openly Advocates Bitcoin and Ethereum
Andrew Yang, a Chinese-American running for the 2020 Presidential elections as a Democrat, tweeted on July 24, 2018, that he will accept donations in the form of cryptocurrencies.
To donate crypto tokens successfully, interested parties will receive a form from campaign advisors to verify their voting qualifications. Once confirmed, the campaign will send a crypto wallet address to which the donators can make the donations in any of the specified digital currencies.
In stark contrast to Andrew Yang’s openness towards cryptocurrencies, the North Carolina State Board for Campaign Finance Rules (NCSBE) stated on July 31, 2018, that the election candidates would not be allowed to accept donations in the form of bitcoin, ether, or any other cryptocurrency.
In late 2017, when the price of bitcoin and ether, the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum, surpassed $19,500 and $1,500 respectively in the global market, the two cryptocurrencies were traded in South Korea with a 30 percent premium. Bitcoin and ether exceeded $25,000 and $2,000 in South Korea, as local investors drove up the price of significant digital assets in a market that lacked volume and liquidity.
In the second quarter of 2018, a few months after the crypto market suffered the third worst correction in its history, the so-called “Kimchi Premium” had wholly disappeared from the cryptocurrency exchange market of South Korea.
However, in July 2018, premiums reappeared, and significant tokens started to display abnormal behavior and price movements. The price of some tokens spiked up 300 to 600 percent from their average price across the U.S. and Japanese crypto markets, and the volume of these tokens surged in the local South Korean market.