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BITCOIN'S BIG FALL
Bitcoin took a major hit last week, falling 8% on Thursday morning after diving more than 15% in just an hour on Tuesday, the day after The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) launched physically-settled bitcoin futures trading through its Bakkt platform. All in, the most popular cryptocurrency took a 10% hit and saw its price dip below $8,000 after weeks of steady trading in the $10,000 to $11,000 range.
The drop throws some prudent advice for investors in this unpredictable asset into sharp relief: if you don’t believe in bitcoin’s long term potential, steer clear.
Altcoins didn’t escape unscathed, either: on Wednesday, litecoin prices hit their lowest level since March.
BITCOIN STARTUP EYES SOCIAL MEDIA
RSK, a subsidiary of Gibraltar-based IOVLabs that describes itself as the “first open source smart contract platform secured by the bitcoin network,” announced that it is buying Spanish social media platform Taringa. With several Spanish-speaking countries in the midst of economic crises, RSK is betting that Taringa's 30 million users will flock to a decentralized alternative for securing their finances.
Taringa has a prominent presence in Latin America and Spain and is based in Argentina, where it’s used by 28% of internet users, ahead of Snapchat, Skype and LinkedIn. “If you go to the first world and you start talking about bitcoin and decentralized platforms, you need to explain why. In Latin America, you don’t need to explain why,” IOVLabs CEO Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar says.
A SMALL VICTORY FOR BITFINEX
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has won a motion in the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court that says it won’t have to turn over documents pertaining to its use of the cryptocurrency tether until a future date, if at all.
Tether, a so-called stablecoin, is supposed to be backed on a one-to-one basis by the U.S. dollar, however New York attorney general Letitia James accused the company behind tether of essentially minting the cryptocurrency for Bitfinex to the tune of $900 million.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to conduct a study on the use of blockchain, AI and other technologies to learn how they could be used to fight financial crimes.
While bitcoin’s price losses dominated headlines this week, there was no shortage of enterprise blockchain news:
- JPMorgan's Interbank Information Network, a private blockchain built on Quorum, was joined by Deutsche Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation
- Santander launched the first end-to-end bond on a public blockchain network
- ConsenSys launched Codefi, a new “mesh” that focuses on bringing decentralized finance (DeFi) to larger companies and businesses
- Wells Fargo launched an internal settlement service using R3’s Corda
Venezuela Has Bitcoin Stash and Doesn’t Know What to Do With It [Bloomberg]
Buy bitcoin every chance you get, says hedge fund veteran Mark Yusko [CNBC]
How blockchain technology could revolutionize the art market [PBS NewsHour]