3iQ Research Group consolidates the top five cryptoasset stories of interest
to investment advisors and our investors.


Bitcoin Boosted by IMF chief Christine Lagarde

April 17, 2018 – Positive remarks made from International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde have helped boost bitcoin above $8,000 USD (at the time of writing, it sits closer to $9000 USD). Lagarde wrote a blogpost that praised the potential global benefits of cryptoassets such as Bitcoin. She stated that cryptoassets such as bitcoin could enable fast and inexpensive transactions, and that the underlying blockchain technology could make global financial markets safer.

Lagarde compares blockchain technology to dot-com era technologies, stating that “just as a few technologies that emerged from the dot-com era have transformed our lives, the crypto assets that survive could have a significant impact on how we save, invest and pay our bills”.

Read the full article here.


Amazon Patent Describes Data Feed Marketplace Utilizing Bitcoins

April 18, 2018 – On April 17, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved a patent that was previously submitted by an Amazon subsidiary in September 2014. The patent describes a marketplace that can correlate different data streams and create combined feeds to be sold to parties interested in tracking the data. The filing also described a “data stream that includes global bitcoin transactions (or any other cryptocurrency transaction)”.

The patent describes “a group of electronic or internet retailers who accept bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream.” This may add additional credibility to Bitcoin and diminish the already flawed view that it is not traceable.

Read the full article here.

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New York Is Probing Cryptocurrency Exchanges

April 18, 2018 – New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderderman, has announced that he is investigating at least 13 cryptocurrency exchanges. At least 190 cryptocurrency exchanges are currently in operation, and many have been at the forefront of ongoing regulatory uncertainty, as many do not operate under traditional rules and regulations. Instead of relying on third parties like brokers or advisors to execute a transaction on stocks and ETFs, cryptocurrencies trade on decentralized platforms with no middle man. Not all cryptocurrency exchanges are created equal, and some are more inherently risky than others.

Most experts say that cryptocurrency exchanges should use “know your customer” (KYC) and “anti-money laundering” (AML) policies, which reduces the chance of illegal or fraudulent activity by verifying client identities. Usually, the more secure cryptocurrency exchanges charge a higher transaction rate. For example, Coinbase charges a base rate of up to 4% on transactions, while other cryptocurrency exchanges may charge as low as 0.2%.

Read the full article here.


Coinbase Acquires Earn.com

April 16, 2018 – Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, has announced its largest acquisition to date as it purchases Earn.com. Earn.com is one of the best funded blockchain start-ups; its service allows for users to be paid for answering emails and completing other small tasks. The deal was finalized on April 16 and is reported to be worth more than $120 million USD.

As part of the deal, Earn.com co-founder and CEO Balaji Srinivasan, will be appointed as Coinbase’s first CTO. The rest of the Earn.com team will be integrated with Coinbase’s operations and the paid email product will continue to run.

Read the full article here.


Blockchain Mining Completes Bitfarms Merger

April 16, 2018 – Israel’s Blockchain Mining Ltd. has completed its merger with Bitfarms, leading its share price to jump 49% on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. The Canadian firm Bitfarms currently has four facilities in Quebec, with an expansion of three more facilities in the pipeline. Bitfarms is said to have been entirely self-funded since its establishment in 2013. The deal is said to strengthen both Canadian and Israeli relationships within the crypto-mining industry.

The first merger announcement was made in late 2017; prior to the announcement Blockchain Mining Ltd was known as Natural Resource Holdings. Originally the company was focused on land and mineral holdings but has since refocused on cryptocurrency related investments.

Read the full article here.


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