A Whirl Around the Crypto World: Deals, Rules, Departures & Startups

02/21/2018 10:33 am EST


Nell Sloane

Principal, Capital Trading Group

Nell Sloane of Capital Trading Group recaps a creative week of blockchain development, cross-border payment networks and startups. Also, state leaders in Florida, Arizona, Connecticut and Wyoming considering crypto laws, and the passing of digital pioneer John Perry Barlow.

In cryptocurrency industry news, a blockchain project based in Switzerland, Dfinity has raised $61 million from a group of investors that includes venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz and token hedge fund Polychain Capital.

Funding would go toward development of its blockchain protocol, aimed to support a public decentralized cloud computing platform. According to Reuters, $21 million of the total will be dedicated to development, with the rest devoted to a venture fund aimed at supporting developers and teams working on applications of the protocol.

Goldman explained cryptocurrencies at the Goldman Tech Conference.

Announced on Feb. 7:,  Chinese payment provider LianLian International is joining RippleNet, the payment network that uses Ripple's blockchain technology to facilitate cross-border transactions. 

The creator of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, Grayscale, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, is launching its fourth fund aimed at giving accredited investors a way to explore cryptocurrencies. The offering, formally called the Digital Large Cap Fund, is designed to give investors exposure to the five largest cryptocurrencies based on market capitalization.

We read a piece on a new coin called Spankchain for the adult entertainment industry. We can only figure what else will go into this, but put it on your radar if you want to dig deeper, we are just tossing it out there, but many are taking it seriously so we had to put that in here.

Now onto government bitcoin and blockchain news.

The Florida House of Representatives in January aimed to legally recognize blockchain records and smart contracts. The measure would introduce stipulations that blockchain ledgers and smart contracts be treated as legally-binding means of recording data, so long as no pre-existing laws or regulations are infringed in the process.

Arizona State Rep. Jeff Weninger (R-Chandler), the author of a 2017 bill enshrining the legality of blockchain signatures and smart contracts under state law, has submitted a bill that wants to protect blockchain node operators from possible prohibitions by local and county governments. We can only applaud such state level open-mindedness.

Sticking in that fine state, a new bill passed in the Arizona Senate will allow residents of the state to pay their taxes in bitcoin. The bill, which is now being sent to the Arizona House of Representatives for approval, would make Arizona the first state to accept digital currency as a method of payment for taxes.

This bill also comes on the heels of the state of Wyoming which is passing its own blockchain, crypto and ICO legalization bills. Through the efforts of people like Caitlin Long, former head of Symbiont the blockchain ecosystem continues to grow, word is the Wyoming bills passed vote by wide margins to introduce the bills.

Progressive: Good news and we are just at the beginning stages of seeing exactly which states are progressive and which ones are stuck in their old debt-trodden ways.

Speaking of old ways, Patricia Dillon, a Connecticut lawmaker has introduced a bill seeking to impose fees on cryptocurrency. The proposed Bill 5001 states “that the general statutes be amended to establish a fee to transfer or trade virtual currency in this state.”

An ECB council member recently put forth the idea of requiring people who transact with cryptocurrencies in the EU to pay value-added tax (VAT) – a scenario already in place in Australia.

On a more somber note we recognize John Perry Barlow, who died this week at a young age of 70. He was not only long-time lyricist of the Grateful Dead but was a huge digital rights advocate. He was an early advocate of a permission-less internet way back in the early 90s, when he cofounded the Electronic Frontier Foundation. While attending an event at Stanford University in 2015 he said this,

"You are designing the architecture of liberty and enslavement, both, in these tools that are being derived around the blockchain and other things like it... What you do and the ways in which you do it will have long-lasting effects."

He will certainly be missed by all in the digital community.

OK enough of the fundamentals how ‘bout a few charts.

The first chart is the CBOE XBT futures contract. After a dismal 72.3% loss from its highs, it is now butting right up against resistance. This area is key if further upside probes are to be sustained, if 8590 gives way, expect 11751 the 38.2 to be next in line: 

chart 1

As of this writing bitcoin (BTCUSD) and the cryptos have had a decent pop through some nice technical levels, we will look at bitcoin, technical charts from Cryptowat.

Bitcoin, which you will see broke through the 8500 level, retested it and now over $9200, which is offering some decent resistance: 

chart 2

As far as the bitcoin wallets, the top two are in a dead heat with 167203 and 161339 respectively, with the top wallet shedding 5k BTC on the week and the second place adding 1279 BTC.

Net new BTC addresses picked up toward its average of 2.3m new addresses last week.

Fundamentals remain strong and we can only expect wider adoption means greater absorption and an even stronger blockchain and crypto eco system in general.

Congress sets sights on federal cryptocurrency rules.

We look forward to bringing you continued coverage. Cheers!

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