Сryptocurrency and ICO news

Most important news for today
Novogratz: a rally to start in Q1-Q2 2019
Investor and cryptocurrency bull Mike Novogratz said BTC would not break $10,000 in 2018. The Galaxy Investment Partners creator had previously called a “bottom” in the market in mid-September. He thinks more time is required for momentum to build to take prices higher, and the long-anticipated wave of institutional investors piling into the cryptocurrency space will only occur next year. Novogratz was speaking the day Fidelity Investments announced it would release a custody solution tailored to such institutional investors looking for security when interacting with cryptoassets. While this was a boon for Bitcoin, Novogratz said, the solution needed testing prior to it attaining mass interest based on investor trust. “They’ll probably be up and running in January or Q1, then you’ve got to run some water through the pipes, so my guess is you start seeing institutional flows into purely cryptoassets late first quarter or early second quarter.”
Coinbase opened an office in Dublin
Coinbase has opened a new office in Dublin, Ireland. In addition to helping expand its operations in Europe, the new Irish offices are reportedly part of a contingency plan for when the U.K. leaves the E.U. The Dublin team will take on a number of new business-related functions, while London will remain Coinbase’s main office in Europe. Coinbase’s U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz told the Guardian that the company is looking to capitalize on the talent pool available in Ireland. Feroz further added that the Irish office would enable Coinbase to serve its customers in the E.U. if U.K. leave: “It is also a plan B for Brexit. As we plan for all eventualities, it’s important that we continue servicing our customers across Europe, and Ireland would be our preferred choice there if it comes to it.” British finance minister Philip Hammond expressed hope that blockchain technology could help ensure seamless post-Brexit trade between the U.K. and the E.U., as it enables product movement to be recorded transparently and without changes. Ireland itself has gained a reputation in Europe as a hub for the tech industry, due in part to its low corporate taxes and proactive measures to bring business to the country. In June, IDA Ireland, a governmental agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment, started an initiative to promote blockchain investment and development in the country.
Bakkt CEO to deliver a revolution in the sector
The CEO of Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) forthcoming cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt has said she wants to deliver a “revolution” in the sector in a similar way to energy trading fifteen years ago. Kelly Loeffler forecast a repeat performance of ICE’s market-making moves last decade. “The digital market is fragmented like the energy market in the early 2000s. ICE was the pioneer attracting more and more institutions to trade energy, which is what created today’s liquid market,” she told the publication. Bakkt, which is set for launch next month, intends to avoid unpopular leveraged and non-custodial trading products for its increasingly broad institutional investor base, alleviating some concerns from cryptocurrency industry figures that a lack of physical interaction with Bitcoin itself would ultimately damage its profile and success. ICE will now compete with offerings from Wall Street stalwarts Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, all of which have said they intend to become active in the trading sector.
IMF: rapid growth of crypto could impact financial system
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated in a recently released report that the rapid growth of Bitcoin and crypto could impact the international finance system. The report entitled “World Economic Outlook: Challenges to Steady Growth” published by the IMF read: “Cybersecurity breaches and cyberattacks on critical financial infrastructure represent an additional source of risk because they could undermine cross-border payment systems and disrupt the flow of goods and services. Continued rapid growth of crypto assets could create new vulnerabilities in the international financial system.” Despite the 80 percent decline in the valuation of the crypto market, the industry has seen some of the most positive developments regarding the institutionalization, regulation, and development of cryptocurrencies as an emerging asset class in the past nine months. The cryptocurrency industry and infrastructure employed by exchanges are relatively new and fundamentally different from the technologies implemented by the traditional finance sector. As such, it is appropriate for the IMF and government agencies to describe the rapid growth of the asset class a risk to global finance. But, continuous efforts to strengthen the infrastructure of the cryptocurrency market and improve investor protection will reduce the risk cryptocurrencies have on the global finance industry. Emin Gun Sirer, a professor at the prestigious Cornell University and a highly regarded expert in the space of cryptocurrency and blockchain, stated that the acknowledgement of cryptocurrencies as an asset class by the IMF is optimistic for the industry.
Chinese ranking: EOS and ETH on top, while BTC at #10
China has released its blockchain rankings for August, rating public blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum based on their application and technology. The rankings, created by China Electronic Information Industry Development Research Institute and the China Software Testing Center, featured the contributions of professors and researchers at the country’s most prestigious educational institutions including Tsinghua and Beijing University. Previous rankings ranked EOS above both Ethereum and Bitcoin as the best blockchain network in the global cryptocurrency sector. The newly created rankings by CCID and CSTC, two institutions funded by the Chinese government, had EOS ranked as the top blockchain network in the world once again, with Ethereum and Bitcoin falling behind. This month, China ranked Ethereum at second and Bitcoin at tenth, placing tokens and other major cryptocurrencies like NEO and Stellar ahead of the dominant cryptocurrency. Komodo, Nebulas, NEO, Stellar, Lisk, GXChain, and Steem all ranked higher than Bitcoin, with strong points in applicability and technology. Smart contract protocols and blockchain networks designed to support decentralized applications (dApps) will always rank higher in the rankings of CCID, because the criteria used by the institution establishes technology and application as the two main categories.
Binance LCX launches fiat-to-crypto operations

Binance LCX, a joint venture between Binance and Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX), has announced the launch of a fiat-to-crypto exchange.

The new trading platform will offer trading between Swiss Francs (CHF) and euros (EUR) against major digital currencies pairs, subsequently adding more trading pairs following regulatory approvals.

Binance will provide and support the platform, while Binance LCX will lead customer support, regulatory compliance, and government communication.

Liechtenstein has taken a friendly and open stance towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain technolog. Recently, Liechtenstein introduced a new blockchain law which provides legal and regulatory certainty for businesses and customers. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Hasler said that the country sees great potential in blockchain technologies, adding: “Blockchain can serve as an important base for a variety of economic applications, covering not only payment transactions but broader financial solutions, industry use cases and general applications.”

Ripple partners with 3 crypto exchanges
Ripple has endorsed three cryptocurrency exchanges as its "preferred partners" for transacting with its xRapid payments service, which uses the cryptocurrency XRP. Bittrex, Bitso and Coins.ph will now serve as Ripple's "preferred digital asset exchanges" as part of its efforts to build out the XRP ecosystem. XRapid is a liquidity solution for Ripple’s blockchain-based real-time gross settlement system, which is developed to facilitate international fiat transfers between financial institutions. "So in the U.S. we're saying the gold standard, our official partner is Bittrex. So any bank can go to Bittrex and have guaranteed liquidity on the spot, trade their dollars for XRP, zip over to Mexico to Bitso, our preferred partner there, and convert," Cory Johnson, Ripple's chief markets strategist, said in an interview. The financial institutions would need to have accounts with the exchanges to convert U.S. dollars, or Mexican or Philippine pesos, according to Johnson. The three exchanges were chosen due to their XRP holdings, allowing them to provide higher levels of liquidity, he said.
Thai SEC allows 7 crypto exchanges to operate legally

Thai regulators have approved seven business entities to conduct cryptocurrency operations as part of the formalization of the country’s domestic market.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (Thai SEC) confirmed Bitcoin Co. Ltd. (BX), Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., Cash2coins Co. Ltd., Group Co. Ltd. (TDAX), and Coin Asset Co. Ltd. were able to operate as legal cryptocurrency exchanges. In addition, the regulator approved two cryptocurrency dealers: Coins TH Co. Ltd. and Digital Coin Co. Ltd. (ThaiWM). “The SEC is currently reviewing the data of two other digital asset operators that have filed an application under the Transitional Provisions,” the statement continues. Last week, the SEC had also revealed heavy interest from prospective Initial Coin Offering issuers in applying for regulated status in Thailand. Over 50 projects had come forward. As of June, however, only five applicants had met those prerequisites.
Pure Diamond Farm plans to raise $200 million on ICO to develop diamond business
Pure Diamond Farm announced that company is planning to raise $200 million on ICO to fuel the development of lab-grown diamonds business. Two-thirds of the fund will go to plant and equipment investment, intellectual property rights, and R&D.
Hideyuki Abe ditched the traditional fundraising route and is now eyeing to raise US$200m through a token sale. The deciding factor was speed, and Abe believed that it was important to get a firm footing in what he believes will be a highly promising industry due to the intrinsic advantages that lab-grown diamonds provide compared to expensive, low-supply nature-made diamonds. “This market is new and I wanted to start this project as soon as possible, so I chose ICO in Singapore.” Abe said. The Pure Diamond ICO is scheduled on September 11 to November 15, 2018, and the company will offer investors cryptographic currency called Pure Diamond Coin, which can then be used for trading its lab-grown diamonds that take around one-a-half months to produce from a process involving carbon, gas and electricity.
Coinbase to implement decentralized identity verification

Coinbase has acquired San Francisco-based startup Distributed Systems Inc., which works on decentralized identity solutions.

B Byrne, project manager for Identity at Coinbase, said Distributed Systems will help the exchange work on new ways to validate and verify identity within its plans to develop an open financial system. The blog post says: “Blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies offers a new way to let us all be “verified” everywhere we go on the internet, feeling safer about our interactions with others and opening the door to the experiences that require trust.”

In the blog post, Byrne describes a type of identity wherein users retain control over their private information, without having to give a copy away. Citing the example of a Social Security Number, Byrne says that every time one is asked to provide it, the recipient now has a version of that information, which “has exactly the same power as the original.”

With the new acquisition, Byrne says Coinbase will work toward a decentralized identity that will “let you prove that you own an identity, or that you have a relationship with the Social Security Administration, without making a copy of that identity.”

South Korea to invest $880 million in tech development, including blockchain
The South Korean government will invest over $880 million next year in order to boost the development of innovative technologies including blockchain. According to Coindesk, deputy prime minister Kim Dong Yeon hosted a ministerial meeting on Aug. 13 to address the administration's investment plan for innovation growth in the next five years. The government is set to allocate 1 trillion won (about $880 million) in 2019 – an 80 percent growth compared to that in 2018 – for technologies including blockchain, big data and AI. Further, the authority said it will invest a total of $8–9 billion in the same areas over the coming five years. The goal is to "focus on promoting big data and AI, developing blockchain technology to ensure data management security and boosting the sharing economy," according to the statement. The high-level investment plan doesn't yet provide a breakdown for how the funds will be allocated across the different sectors.
LINE launched a $10 million token venture
Japanese messaging giant LINE has launched a token venture fund with a capital commitment of $10 million via its subsidiary Unblock Ventures, Coindesk reports. The publicly traded firm said it aims to invest in blockchain startups in an effort to boost technological development. It is part of LINE's wider push into the cryptocurrency space and comes just a month after it officially started the operation of its cryptocurrency trading platform called Bitbox. It was also announced that Bitbox has listed TRX as the first crypto project listed on the exchange for trading following a review process conducted by a dedicated Bitbox committee. Earlier this year, LINE was also planning to launch a subsidiary based in South Korea that will focus on researching blockchain technology and developing potential applications.
Winklevoss: it will take time for Wall Street to accept crypto
Crypto exchange Gemini CEO Tyler believes “it will take time” for the majority of Wall Street to enter the cryptocurrency sector. Mr. Winklevoss said institutional investors were gradually warming up to cryptocurrencies, but it will take time before they make a splash. He said: “Wall Street is taking cryptocurrencies seriously. However, the vast majority of Wall Street firms are still not participating in the cryptocurrency market, which remains primarily a retail-driven market. This will change, but it will take time.” Institutional investors have been on the sidelines for a while due to the regulatory uncertainty hanging around cryptocurrencies. Investors on Wall Street are waiting for the regulators to clarify their positions on tokens and allow other financial instruments into the market, such as the Bitcoin ETF proposal drafted by Gemini and Cboe Global Markets Inc. The fund, if approved would have opened up the volatile cryptocurrency market to institutional investors. Following the denial of the Winklevoss Gemini Bitcoin ETF, prices of cryptocurrencies have taken a hit. Industry experts believe the CBoE backed VanEck/SolidX fund could be approved instead.
Xapo: 1620 coins may be wiped out
A reckoning coming to the cryptocurrency markets, an “extinction-level event” that’s poised to wipe out 90 percent of the more than 1,800 coins and tokens that aren’t named bitcoin, CCN reports. That’s the prognostication of Xapo President Ted Rogers, anyway, who said that the impending altcoin bloodbath will provide discerning investors with an incredible opportunity to load up on bitcoin at a discount. “We could be in the midst of the extinction-level event for “cryptoassets” that many maximalists have predicted. 90%+ of CoinMarketCap list will disappear eventually – might as well happen now,” Rogers wrote on Twitter. “Meantime, lower BTC price means incredible opportunity to buy more bitcoin” Indeed, seven of the 15 largest cryptocurrencies have plunged more than 90 percent from their peaks: ripple, cardano, IOTA, tron, dash, NEO, and NEM. Five others — ethereum, bitcoin cash, EOS, litecoin, and monero — have experienced declines in excess of 80 percent. This leaves just three — bitcoin, stellar, ethereum classic — that have declined less than 80 percent. The altcoin massacre has become so pronounced this week that bitcoin dominance has soared to 54.3 percent — the highest mark since Dec. 17, the day after the bitcoin price peaked at its all-time high.
Taobao bans crypto and ICO services
Taobao, popular Chinese e-commerce site and a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, will ban the listing of services for cryptocurrencies or ICOs. The e-commerce giant updated its policy to “increase control of derivative services of digital products generated based on blockchain technology.” The Hangzhou-based company already had in place a ban on cryptocurrency miners and mining consultations. The update “changed the explicit definition of the scope of virtual currency generation.” This means that any product or service that relates to a virtual currency generated on a blockchain. This includes the sale of assets or tokens generated through blockchain like those for blockchain games and other utilities. The ban also includes services like marketing, consultancy, and business planning; as long as it has to do with cryptos or Initial Coin Offerings. The new rules which Taobao says is “to standardize the market management order of Taobao’s online shopping platform” will take effect on April 17th, 2018.
Venezuela to create Central Bank for crypto
A member of the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly has revealed that the assembly is preparing a reform to the country’s Constitution that includes a central bank for cryptocurrencies. Hermann Escarra, a member of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly, has revealed the assembly’s plan for cryptocurrencies in an interview with Reuters in Caracas on Thursday. He divulged: "The National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela…is preparing a reform to the Constitution that would include a central bank for crypto-assets and a superior court to the Supreme Court of Justice. Reiterating that the central bank for crypto will be incorporated, he elaborated, “There will be the central bank with its functions in exchange, monetary and financial policy.” He also emphasized that, as part of the reform, “a court will be created that will be above the supreme court.” Escarra further elaborated: The reform is expected to include the petro, a cryptocurrency announced by the government of President Nicolás Maduro in February as a way to increase its foreign exchange earnings, in the midst of the economic crisis and the sanctions imposed by the United States.
Jamaica Stock Exchange to offer crypto-trading
The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) will soon be offer cryptocurrencies as tradeable assets for clients. The company had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with blockchain startup Blockstation for the creation of a new digital assets trading platform. While it is not clear which tokens will be initially listed, the platform is set to go live by the end of the year. JSE managing director Marlene Street Forrest said that offering cryptocurrencies as investment products fits in with the equities, bonds and other investment products that the exchange already offers. Blockstation is providing the technology, she explained, while the JSE's infrastructure will be networked to the new platform, allowing qualified investors to conduct purchases or trades. Aside from listing cryptocurrencies for trade, Street Forrest said the stock exchange will continue to look at how blockchain technology can benefit the platform and its clients, going so far as to indicate that JSE's plans may include issuing its own cryptocurrency at some time in the future.
ICOs sold 100 000 ETH in past 30 days
Around $40 million worth of eth has been liquidated in the past month with nearly 100,000 eth sold by projects that raised funds through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Data by Santiment, which tracks a number of ICOs, shows a project called Atonomi sold 12,000 ETH, 9,000 of it on July 26th. The second biggest sale was by AppCoins, an app store protocol which sold 8,400 ETH on or around August 9th.
Likewise Openledger has sold 5,400 ETH on August 9th. While Etheroll has been selling throughout the year, 5,400 of it moved on or around August second, the highest amount moved since February for this project.
The list continues with numerous projects selling throughout this year, amounting to a total of 100,000 for just the past 30 days.Status apparently sold most of its eth last year, 30,000 between August and October 2017, but they have continued to sell for much of this year, 16,000 in total, 4,800 of it in the past 30 days.
Ethereum spent doesn’t necessarily mean they were sold, the projects might have moved the ETH for numerous reasons.
The assumption is thus that if the eth does move, it is spent. An assumption that might not necessarily apply in all circumstances, but generally if they are moving eth they would probably be doing so to exchange it for something.
Ran NeuNer, a crypto fund manager,  says: ‏“Spent the morning with an ICO (not to be named) they raised $30m usd with a solid roadmap, they raised when ETH was $1200. They panicked and sold their remaining ETH last night – they have $4m left.”
Tether has issued USDT worth $50 million

Tether (USDT) has issued new tokens worth $50 million on August 11, according to block explorer OmniExplorer.

In late March, Tether had released 300 mln USDT tokens priced at $1 per token. Over the past 30 days, Tether’s market capitalization lost around $300 million, down from $2.7 billion in mid-July to the current $2.4 billion, according CoinMarketCap. Tether is now in second place after Bitcoin (BTC) in terms of highest daily trading volumes, seeing $4.2 billion in trades a day or 28.16 percent of all crypto trades, while Bitcoin’s average 24-hour trading volume is $5.7 billion, or 38.62 percent. Crypto exchange Bitfinex, which is the seventh ranked crypto exchange by 24 hour volume on CoinMarketCap, shares leadership with Tether. Both companies have come under fire for lack of transparency, as Tether’s USDT tokens claim to be backed one-to-one by USD, yet the company has yet to submit to a public audit.
South Korean island may become special crypto zone
The South Korean island of Jeju has officially requested the central government to allow it to become a special blockchain and cryptocurrency zone. The Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which are currently illegal in the country, would be allowed in the region with the aim to bring back the Korean investors, the provincial governor Won Hee-ryong said when revealing his idea for blockchain island. Won decided to ask Seoul for the status after meeting with high-ranking policymakers in the region last week. Jeju has a special economic position in the country as a free international city. “Blockchain can cut costs, provide stable transactions and essentially has the potential to become a game changer that could alter the ecosystem of the internet platform industry,” Won said. After South Korea banned ICOs in 2017, domestic investors chose to move their capitals in more favorable countries like Switzerland and Singapore, the governor explained. Another law initiative - the so-called first Korea cryptocurrency law has been waiting for a vote since March. The bill aims to give the financial regulator, FSC, powers to policing the virtual exchanges rather than promoting their growth, according to the Financial Services Commission head Hong Seong-ki.
Australian bank to issue bonds on blockchain

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the largest bank in the country, has been mandated by the World Bank to arrange a bond issue exclusively on a blockchain.

CBA will reportedly arrange the first bond globally to be “created, allocated, transferred, and managed using blockchain technology.” The Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument (bond-i) will be issued and distributed on a blockchain platform under the operation of the World Bank in Washington, and CBA in Sydney.

The two organizations are using a private Ethereum blockchain, but the CBA “remains open” to alternatives as “other blockchains are developing rapidly.” Microsoft conducted an independent review of the platform to assess its security and resilience. CBA Executive General Manager of Institutional Banking & Markets International James Wall said: “We believe that this transaction will be groundbreaking as a demonstration of how blockchain technology can act as a facilitating platform for different participants.”

According to the CBA and World Bank, using blockchain technology will simplify capital raising, trading securities, speed up operations, and “enhance regulatory oversight.” The World Bank issues $50-60 billion in bonds per year for sustainable development in emerging economies.

Litecoin can be sent via Telegram
The new Litecoin feature Lite.im was developed by blockchain startup Zulu Republic.

The new Litecoin feature will enable users to use Litecoin services with text queries via Zulu’s backend LTC API system. Zulu stressed that private key data is not managed by the the company, and instead secured with RSA encryption and the user’s private password.

Zulu said that Lite.im will first be rolled out on the Telegram  messenger app, “the most secure messenger in the world,” adding that the app provides privacy that is “built in by default.” Lite.im will allow users to send commands to check their current LTC balance and send LTC to a wallet or an email address, Cointelegraph reports.

In the future, the company aims to introduce LTC transactions via text messages (SMS) to enable operations on the Litecoin blockchain for customers with poor internet connection. The statement also says that users will be able to send Litecoin “to those who don’t already have a Litecoin wallet, or to those whose wallet address you don’t know, even if the recipient has no idea how to use cryptocurrency.”

SEC to decide on 9 ETFs in the next 2 months
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to make final decisions on nine proposed bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the next two months. Actually, a total of 10 bitcoin-related funds are being weighed by SEC officials, according to public records, although the VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF is the only "physical" ETF among all the proposals. Those deadlines are set by the time at which the proposals are published in the U.S. Federal Register, with an initial decision due 45 days after that time. The agency can then punt those decisions to as many as 240 days following publication in the Register. But the deadline for a decision on two funds from ProShares is August 23, is just over two weeks away. September will see a series of deadlines for bitcoin ETFs, starting on September 15, the date by which two funds by GraniteShares will receive a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. The funds were initially proposed on January 5. The deadline for Direxion's four funds is September 21, as indicated by public records, after being first submitted on January 4. SEC punted its decision on the SolidX-VanEck proposal to September 30. However, given the way in which the agency considers such proposals, additional time may be carved out, pushing a final decision deadline to as far as late February of next year. To be sure, the agency could release its decisions ahead of its prescribed deadline (as the SEC did this week). But past examples indicate that the SEC will wait until closer to the deadlines, all but ensuring additional nail-biting by the crypto community.
Solar-powered mining farm to appear in Australia
An Australian data center operator and its cryptocurrency subsidiary are developing the country’s first “behind-the-grid data center” powered by renewable energy. Situated in the coal-mining town of Collie the new facility is being developed by data center operator DC Two and subsidiary D Coin and will be powered by a solar farm built by a company called Hadouken. “By providing customised low cost hosting options specifically engineered for cryptocurrency and Bitcoin mining at globally competitive rates, DC Two & D Coin have been able to attract the interest of both the local and international crypto mining community,” the company said. The first stages of the data center and the solar farm will draw an expected power supply of up to 4 megawatts and is will take shape in early 2019. At this stage, the two installations are expected to service 256 IT racks wherein each rack is capable of delivering up to 30 kw of IT load. "In complete crypto mining configuration, using the initial 4MW power availability, the data centre could mine about 650 bitcoins per annum worth around $6 million based on current mining and exchange rates." the company said.
Thai SEC: 20 exchanges registered for licenses
Thailand's new licensing system for firms working with digital assets has seen a flurry of applications from companies seeking to offer token sales and exchange services just weeks after it went into effect, an official has said. Rules created to regulate ICOs took effect on July 16 after a royal decree was made public in May. As part of the scheme, projects that intend to offer crypto exchange services must also gain approval from the SEC before trading starts. Rapee Sucharitakul, the secretary-general of the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said a total of 20 crypto exchanges had already registered for licenses. Moreover, the SEC said around 50 ICOs have expressed interest in becoming registered to conduct compliant token sales in the country. However, before the SEC can grant licenses to individual projects, it must first select the so-called "ICO portals" – online marketplaces where potential ICO issuers can operate their token sales. Sucharitakul said that, out of the five companies that have expressed interest in becoming ICO portals, three have already filed applications.
SEC delays VanEck-SolidX decision till September
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed a decision on a proposed bitcoin ETF, pushing its final determination ahead by 45 days, Coindesk reports. In an order published on August 7, officials at the agency wrote that they were giving themselves more time to deliberate on whether to approve what would be the first exchange-traded product of its kind in the U.S. It's also perhaps unsurprising, given that in the past, SEC officials have used the agency's statutory powers to push back decisions on bitcoin ETFs. As the agency wrote: "Accordingly, the Commission ... designates September 30, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change." The proposed rule change from CBOE would constitute a critical point on a path to listing a bitcoin ETF, in conjunction with money management firm VanEck and crypto startup SolidX. The companies submitted their proposal in June, setting off a busy comment period that saw the crypto community rally in support. The choice to punt forward a final decision also comes days after SEC commissioners completed a review on a proposed bitcoin ETF from investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, whose multi-year effort was dashed after a majority of the SEC's commissioners backed up the agency's original March 2017 rejection.
Coinbase begins accepting ETC deposits
Ethereum classic marked another milestone, as industry giant Coinbase began accepting ETC deposits on Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX), with trading against both USD and other cryptoassets slated to commence later in the week, CCN reports. Ethereum classic is not yet available through the firm’s eponymous brokerage service, though it will presumably be listed once the market stabilizes on Coinbase Pro. Also on Tuesday, Coinbase rolled out several improvements to its brokerage platform. First, the company raised the default daily buy limits for Coinbase users to $25,000, a seven-fold increase over the previous maximum, and eliminated buy and sell limits for wire transfers. Moreover, Coinbase will now allow users to begin trading cryptocurrency immediately following a purchase. Previously, users had to wait for the bank transfer to settle before receiving their funds, a process that could take up to five business days. Now, users will be able to trade those funds immediately, though they will not be able to transfer them into an external wallet until the bank transfer clears.
Bitmain hits $15 Billion valuation with Uber’s largest shareholder backing

Bitmain is now valued at $15 billion after closing a pre-Initial Public Offering funding round with backing from high-profile investors, Cointelegraph reports.

The fresh financing deal includes investments from Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent and Japan’s Softbank, another tech giant whose 15 percent stake in Uber makes it the drive-hailing app’s largest shareholder.

At the end of July, Fortune reported that Bitmain earned around $1 billion in net profit for the first quarter of 2018, the same month it closed a $300-400 million Series B funding round which inched its valuation upward to $12 billion. Now Bitmain is planning to launch its IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this September at an estimated valuation of $30 billion.

Recently, Bitmain revealed it will construct a $500 million blockchain data center and mining facility in Texas as part of its expansion into the U.S. market, hoping to initiate the center’s operations by early 2019.
Robinhood added ETC to platform
Stock trading app Robinhood has made ethereum classic (ETC) the sixth cryptocurrency listed on its recently-launched crypto trading platform. The $5.6 billion firm unveiled support for Ethereum Classic, providing investors in eligible U.S. states with the ability to hold ETC in their portfolios alongside their traditional equities investments. At present, the service is available to investors in 19 states. Robinhood’s decision to list ethereum classic follows a similar announcement by Coinbase, the cryptocurrency brokerage giant that Robinhood must disrupt if it hopes to make its commission-free service the platform of choice for retail crypto buyers. But while Coinbase was the first to announce that it planned to list ETC, Robinhood managed to beat it to the punch. The Menlo Park-based Robinhood, which raised $363 million through its recent Series D funding round, also appears to be building a cryptocurrency wallet, a service that Coinbase already offers but its not currently available through Robinhood’s nascent cryptocurrency trading platform.