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| February 22, 2019

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GE to Scale Back Boston HQ, Return $87 Million of Incentives

February 16, 2019 |

General Electric is scaling back its planned Boston headquarters, including selling the property and dropping plans to add hundreds of jobs.
WSJ.com: US Business

Two US Public Pension Funds Back New $40 Million Crypto VC

February 12, 2019 |

Two American Public Sector Pension Funds Back $  40 Million Crypto VC

Two American public sector pension funds have reportedly backed a new cryptocurrency industry venture capital fund with a large tranche of a combined $ 40 million investment. The deal is being hailed as a show of confidence in the field from some of the most conservative types of investment managers.

Also Read: In the Daily: New FSB Chair Fears Crypto, Wikileaks Goes After CSW, Bakkt Update

The Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund

Anthony Pompliano, Partner at Morgan Creek Digital, the asset management firm backed by multi-billion dollar investment advisor Morgan Creek Capital Management, has announced a new $ 40 million crypto venture fund anchored by two public pensions. In typically defiant terms, ‘Pomp’ as he’s known on crypto Twitter declared: “The institutions aren’t coming. They’re already here.”

The two funds providing the main backing for the Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund are said to be the Fairfax County Police and the Fairfax County Employees’ pension plans. Other participants reportedly include an insurance company, a hospital system, a university endowment fund and a private foundation.

Two American Public Pension Funds Back New $  40 Million Crypto VC
Fairfax County, Virginia

The new fund is said to be structured like a traditional venture capital fund and will mainly invest directly in the equity of companies involved in the digital assets industry. However, the fund will also reportedly hold a small portion of its capital in cryptocurrencies. Morgan Creek has already made investments in companies such as Bakkt, Blockfi, Coinbase, Realblocks, Harbor, Open Finance Network, Cityblock Capital, Namebase, Good Money, and Digital Assets Data.

Every Pension Fund Should Buy Bitcoin

Morgan Creek Digital has been working on opening up the cryptocurrency market to pension funds for a while now. In August 2018 it launched the Digital Asset Index Fund, which was designed to provide endowments, foundations, pensions, wealthy families, and sovereign wealth funds access to broad-based crypto investment exposure.

Two American Public Pension Funds Back New $  40 Million Crypto VC

In December, Pompliano wrote in a Medium post that “every pension fund should buy Bitcoin.” Explaining how this could be made to happen, he wrote: “It will take time for pension funds to get comfortable with investing in Bitcoin. We need to educate multiple stakeholders and demystify this nascent industry. When one makes the decision, it will create a cascading effect that leads to hundreds of them jumping in. Bitcoin has the potential to save us from the current pension crisis. We just need one or two courageous individuals to make the first move.”

What do you think this investment by pension funds means for the cryptocurrency ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Two US Public Pension Funds Back New $ 40 Million Crypto VC appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

South Bay couple donates $70 million to L.A. biomedical institute

February 10, 2019 |

In the months leading up to their 70th birthdays, Melanie and Richard Lundquist thought about ways to celebrate.

The South Bay couple, who have donated more than $ 200 million to education, healthcare and other initiatives in Los Angeles County, considered taking a trip. But they’re not much for…


L.A. Times – Business

Meghan: You Have ‘Broken My Heart Into a Million Pieces’

February 10, 2019 |

Tensions between Meghan Markle and her father went public Saturday when he let a British tabloid publish her anguished letter to him, People reports. “Daddy, it is with a heavy heart that I write this, not understanding why you have chosen to take this path, turning a blind eye to…
Newser

Proposal to Increase Bitcoin’s 21 Million Supply Sparks Debate

February 9, 2019 |

Proposal to Increase Bitcoin’s 21 Million Supply Sparks Debate

21 is a number that holds deep symbology to bitcoiners. In addition to denoting the total number of bitcoins, in millions, that will ever be issued, it’s inspired scores of cryptocurrency business names, websites, and merchandise designs. Despite its assumed inviolability, some members of the community are opposed to Bitcoin’s rigidly set 21 million supply. If they have their way, that arbitrary cap will be lifted. For many devout bitcoiners, this suggestion is sacrilegious.

Also read: Quadrigacx Saga: Founder’s Widow Owns $ 5.6m Properties, Hospital Confirms Cotten’s Death

Bitcoin’s Fixed Supply – Arbitrary or Mandatory?

At a “Satoshi’s Roundtable” event last week, decried by some as Bitcoin’s very own version of Bilderberg, the prospect of raising BTC’s 21 million cap was raised. It was Matt Luongo who floated the proposal, in response to a discussion about anticipated adoption of the Lightning Network (LN). With the block reward halving every four years, and onchain transaction volume likely to be low in future should LN take off, there will be little incentive for miners to secure the network. This could lead to it being vulnerable to 51 percent attacks that would undo the trust instilled in the Bitcoin network over many years.

An argument has also been made for increasing the 21 million supply of Bitcoin Cash in future, on similar grounds. Due to the network’s low fees, miners would theoretically have little economic incentive to secure the network once the block reward diminishes.

Luongo’s suggestion of raising BTC’s total supply is intended to incentivize mining in a future of minimal block rewards and minimal onchain volume. While there may be an economic and security case for doing so, it is a matter that resonates strongly – even emotionally – with a sizeable portion of the Bitcoin community. There are also those who are motivated by purely financial reasons. The fact that there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins is what gives the currency its digital scarcity. Raising the fixed cap, even by a fraction, could dilute the value of everyone’s holdings, it is feared, and consign BTC to the status of an EOS-style inflationary cryptocurrency.

Proposal to Increase Bitcoin’s 21 Million Supply Sparks Debate

A Controversial Proposal That’s Sparked Intense Debate

Numerous Bitcoin luminaries have waded into the debate regarding Bitcoin’s supply following the Satoshi’s Roundtable discussion. Nick Szabo insisted that decreased hash power due to lower mining rewards would not have a significant impact on security, but conceded that “it may require recipients of very-high-value transactions to wait more blocks before relying on them.” Cobra Bitcoin took a more combative approach, tweeting “There will only ever be 21 million bitcoins. If you have a problem with that, get the fuck out of our community because you aren’t welcome.” To this, Matt Luongo responded:

This stuff has to work … If the stars align and this becomes an issue do you sacrifice a core tenet of the community or the entire security of the chain?

It is not entirely known why Satoshi chose 21 million as the number of coins to be issued, though it is speculated that this ties in with the halving reward schedule that occurs every four years. Alternatively, it could be because the total number of sats that will ever be created approximately mirrors the maximum capacity of a 64-bit floating point number.

Given that there was no mention of Bitcoin’s proposed supply in Satoshi’s seminal whitepaper, perhaps the number itself was never particularly significant to him. Whatever the case, 21 million has come to be one of Bitcoin’s defining features, and any attempt to meddle with the magic number is liable to be treated as heresy. Future generations of bitcoiners may be more receptive to raising the supply, but in the here and now, that notion seems untenable.

Do you think Bitcoin’s supply should ever be increased? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Proposal to Increase Bitcoin’s 21 Million Supply Sparks Debate appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Self-driving ‘dream team’ at Aurora gets $530 million from Amazon and other investors

February 7, 2019 |

Self-driving startup Aurora Innovation Inc. has raised $ 530 million from a group of investors led by Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley’s storied venture capital firm, that includes financial backing from Amazon.com Inc. and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. This second round of funding for Aurora values the…


L.A. Times – Business

$190 million is in limbo as Cryptocurrency exchange founder takes password to the grave

February 5, 2019 |

After the founder of Canada’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, died unexpectedly, about 115,000 clients have been unable to retrieve $ 190 million in funds — because the owner was the only one who knew the password to access holdings, the company said.

Gerald Cotten, 30, died of complications…


L.A. Times – Business

Southern California Gas fined $3.3 million, accused of putting money ahead of safety

February 2, 2019 |

California’s biggest natural-gas utility was slapped with a $ 3.3-million fine on Friday, with state regulators accusing the company of putting its financial bottom line ahead of public safety by refusing to fully investigate a 2017 explosion that injured one person.

The California Public Utilities…


L.A. Times – Business

The Daily: Crypto Wallet Raises $15 Million, Localbitcoins Suffers Vulnerability

January 27, 2019 |

The Daily: Crypto Wallet Raises $  15 Million, Localbitcoins Suffers Vulnerability

In today’s edition of The Daily we feature another recent example of venture capital infusion into the cryptocurrency space as Japan’s SBI invests in the BRD wallet. We also cover a recent security vulnerability that was detected on the P2P exchange Localbitcoins, and a new AML/KYC compliance solution for stablecoins.

Also Read: Galaxy Digital Is Raising $ 250M to Help Firms Survive Crypto Winter

Crypto Wallet Raises $ 15 Million

Cryptocurrency mobile wallet BRD (formally Bread Wallet) has announced it has raised $ 15 million in a Series B financing round to accelerate international expansion and scale its technology platform. The funding came from SBI Crypto Investment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate SBI Holdings. The new funds are meant to enable BRD to grow its product and engineering teams as well as to expand its operation in Japan and across Asia.

“SBI Group’s investment in BRD allows us to firmly cement ourselves in the Asian market,” said Adam Traidman, CEO of BRD. “It shows incredible support for the foundation that we have built in North America and reinforces our proven ability to scale the success we have achieved in the past 4 years. The new investment will ensure our long-term global growth, and we are incredibly excited about collaborating with SBI as a strategic investor and business partner to make that happen.”

The Daily: Crypto Wallet Raises $  15 Million, Localbitcoins Suffers Vulnerability

BRD also announced the availability of cryptocurrency purchases using SEPA transfers for the European market through a partnership with payment provider Coinify. This will enable users to purchase bitcoin in the 34 countries across the SEPA region using bank accounts. “BRD has blazed the trail as a decentralised financial platform and we are excited to be the selected partner for their European launch,” said Rikke Staer, Chief Commercial Officer of Coinify. “They have been one of the pioneers of the virtual currency industry, and it is a pleasure to be chosen to power their SEPA trades.”

Localbitcoins Suffers Vulnerability

Peer-to-peer trading platform Localbitcoins has notified users that on Jan. 26, at approximately 10:00 UTC, the exchange’s team has detected a security vulnerability. The notification explained that “an unauthorised source was able to access and send transactions from a number of affected accounts.”

Outgoing transactions were temporarily disabled by Localbitcoins while the team investigated the case, and they were re-enabled after a number of measures to address the issue and secure the accounts were taken. “We were able to identify the problem, which was related to a feature powered by a third party software, and stop the attack. At the moment, we are determining the correct number of users affected – so far six cases have been confirmed. For security reasons, the forum feature has been disabled until further notice.” The team also added some security guidance for users: “Your Localbitcoins accounts are currently safe to log in and use – we encourage you to enable two-factor authentication, if you have not yet.”

The Daily: Crypto Wallet Raises $  15 Million, Localbitcoins Suffers Vulnerability

The announcement by the exchange came after a user complained on Reddit about a phishing attack on the forum.

Chainalysis Goes After Stablecoins

Digital surveillance company Chainalysis has announced the launch of Know Your Transaction (KYT) for stablecoins, an anti-money laundering (AML) compliance solution for monitoring stablecoin transactions from issuance to redemption. The developers say that stablecoin issuers can integrate with the tool via an API to begin monitoring large volumes of activity and identify high risk transactions on an on-going basis. The service is also said to help issuers understand the risk profile of each stablecoin holder and filter them by level of risk exposure to identify those that require the most immediate attention.

The Daily: Crypto Wallet Raises $  15 Million, Localbitcoins Suffers Vulnerability

“Chainalysis exists to build trust in cryptocurrencies among institutions and users,” said Chainalysis COO Jonathan Levin. “The repeated knock against cryptocurrency is its volatility, and trust in stablecoins could lead the way to increased commercial use. Chainalysis KYT for stablecoins further supports this vision by raising the bar for accountability and providing compliance teams with the technology they need to meet AML requirements.”

The company says that the service is now available for a number of ERC-20 stablecoins, and will become available for additional tokens in the coming months.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post The Daily: Crypto Wallet Raises $ 15 Million, Localbitcoins Suffers Vulnerability appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Google Fined $57 Million in Biggest Penalty Yet Under New European Law

January 23, 2019 |

Google was fined $ 57 million by a French regulator—the biggest penalty levied yet under a new European privacy law—alleging the search-engine giant didn’t go far enough to get valid user consent to gather data for targeted advertising.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe