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Image of The Day, 27 of November: Reuters, The Next Web, The Wall Street Journal and Others

Daniil Danchenko

We're presenting "the image of the day". Bitnewstoday.com has chosen the most important news about the digital economy and virtual currencies. Only the most valuable stories from only the trusted sources. Each and every event from this list will change the world of the digital economy either way. The most important stories of this day in the most indicative quotes are below!


Nasdaq could launch Bitcoin futures in early 2019

Despite the cryptocurrency market’s plummeting price of recent weeks, the Nasdaq is still plowing ahead with preparations to launch Bitcoin futures. Sources close to the matter say it could happen as soon as Q1 2019, according to Bloomberg.

The Nasdaq is currently making sure its Bitcoin futures offering satisfies regulations from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The New York exchange wants to offer the new trading option in the first quarter of 2019, according to Bloomberg’s sources.


This is not the worst Bitcoin crash we have seen in its ten-year history.

Bitcoin couldn’t have asked for more of a beating after reaching all-time highs in December 2017 and celebrating its ten-year anniversary this year. After touching $20,000 during last year’s parabolic price rise, Bitcoin’s value has slumped by over 81% in 2018.

This is the fourth time that the cryptocurrency has lost over 80% of its value in the past ten years. The last time it happened was in 2013-2015 when the prices fell by 85.4%. Before that, prices fell by as much as 93.8% in 2011 and 94.1% in 2010.


When cryptocurrency issuers want positive coverage for their virtual coins, they buy it

Self-proclaimed social media personalities charge thousands of dollars for video reviews. Research houses accept payments in the cryptocurrencies they are analyzing. Rating “experts” will grade anything positively, for a price. All this is common, according to more than two dozen people in the cryptocurrency market and documents reviewed by Reuters.

So-called “influencer marketing” is common on social media, where celebrities and others tout anything from shoes to cars. Also common in these plugs is a lack of disclosure, which may mean the buyer is unaware of a conflict of interest. When it comes to cryptocurrencies however, stricter rules may apply.


The Bitcoin “pyramid scheme” continues to collapse

The ancient Egyptians made pyramids to last forever. Wall Street’s pyramid schemes aren’t nearly as durable. Bitcoin, while not officially a product of traditional Wall Street, is a pyramid scheme. A fraud. But it is best described as a “confidence game.”

I’ve been calling it a “Bitcon” for a long time. And now the pyramid seems to be collapsing because fewer and fewer people have confidence that the price of this inherently worthless “cryptocurrency” is going to continue to rise. What caused that? Nothing. That’s the same reason why bitcoin was once worth $19,650, or $15,144, or any amount.


Study reveals what makes hodlers give up their crypto

Amidst the market downturn and widespread panic selling that began last week, shaving billions from Bitcoin’s market cap, altruism is driving-decision making among certain crypto investors. According to a new survey conducted by Pollfish, cryptocurrency hodlers are inclined to give up their assets for a worthy cause.

An overwhelming majority of respondents say they’re interested in making charitable donations using their cryptocurrency. The vast majority of respondents had already made a crypto donation and 1 in 4 are more likely to give up their assets if they can do it in crypto.

6. PICKING UP THE SPEED (The Wall Street Journal)

Cryptocurrency collapse worsens

Bitcoin slumped 10% Monday, continuing a steep slide and bucking a modest rebound in stocks and oil. The cryptocurrency plunged below $4,000 over the weekend and fell below $3,650 late Monday.

Last week, it lost nearly a third of its value in seven days, one of its worst weekly selloffs on record. The digital currency has now fallen by about 80% since peaking near $20,000 late last year.

7. A TIME AND A PLACE (The Next Web)

ICOs withdrew $17M worth of Ethereum during latest market collapse

The most recent collapse of the cryptocurrency market has had an interesting effect on blockchain token developers. In the past month, teams have withdrawn at least 170,000 ETH ($17.7 million) from their cryptocurrency coffers, marking the third biggest withdrawal period of this year.

In fact, over 100,000 ($10.4 million) ETH has been transferred from Initial Coin Offering (ICO) treasuries in the last week, reports blockchain research unit Diar. January and September are the only months to see such increased access to “development funds” this year. Before the liquidation periods began earlier this year, the total amount of cryptocurrency held in ICO treasuries exceeded 4,651,675 ETH ($1.7 billion at the time).


New York woman pleads guilty to using Bitcoin to launder money for terror group ISIS

A young New York woman pleaded guilty Monday to supporting the Islamic terror group ISIS with a scam involving bank fraud, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and money laundering authorities said.

Zoobia Shahnaz, a 27-year-old resident of Brentwood, Long Island, admitted to wiring more than $150,000 to individuals and shell entities that were fronts for ISIS in Pakistan, China and Turkey in 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.

During the same year, she was intercepted trying to leave the United States with the goal of traveling to Syria, which has been a hotbed of ISIS activity.

9. GROUND ZERO (Reuters)

Kuwait's central bank sets up test ground for fintech

Kuwait’s central bank has issued regulatory guidelines for companies wishing to experiment with new financial technology products and services, it said on Monday. Kuwait’s regulatory testing framework, known as a ‘sandbox’, will include four phases, with representatives from local banks joining a central bank taskforce to assess the products and services being proposed.

Other cities across the Gulf region are competing to establish themselves as regional powerhouses in financial technology or fintech. Bahrain has created a fintech regulatory unit and Abu Dhabi and Dubai is cultivating a financial startup scene. Saudi Arabia has said fintech is a focus of its King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.


Cross-border fintech startup Instarem raises $20M for global expansion

Instarem, a Singapore-based startup that helps banks transfer money overseas cheaply, has raised a Series C round of over $20 million for global expansion. The round is led by MDI Ventures — the VC arm of Indonesian telecom operator Telkom — and Beacon — the fund belonging to Thai bank Kasikorn — as well as existing investors Vertex Ventures, GSR Ventures Rocket Internet and the SBI-FMO Fund.

The money takes four-year-old Instarem  to nearly $40 million raised to date, although Instarem co-founder and CEO Prajit Nanu  told TechCrunch that the startup plans to expand the Series C to $45 million. The extra capital is expected to be closed by January, with Nanu particularly keen to bring on strategic investors that can help the business grow in new emerging markets in Latin America as well as Europe.

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