Blockchain 

New Product Specialist Joins Fidelity to Focus on Crypto Strategy

Fidelity Investments has hired Michael Zinaman as its product specialist to further develop a range of products in the company. Fidelity’s strategy on cryptocurrencies On Nov. 12, the Block reported that Michael Zinaman had joined financial services company Fidelity Investments. Zinaman will reportedly oversee the company’s strategy on cryptocurrencies, custody and execution services. Zinaman started his new position as product specialist at Fidelity just over a month ago, where he was hired to focus on the company’s cryptocurrency strategy, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. His LinkedIn…

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Cryptocurrency 

Kik Messenger to Shut Down as Company Shifts Focus to Kin

Kik Interactive has announced that it is closing its messaging service due to a legal wrangle with the SEC over its cryptocurrency, Kin. The troubled messaging app, which still has millions of users worldwide, has been involved in a legal battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in recent months after the SEC announced it was suing Kik over the $100 million USD raised from an ICO in 2017. Bloomberg reported back in June that the SEC argues that the token used in the ICO, Kin, counts as…

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Blockchain 

Industry Investors Shift Focus From Crypto to Convergence Apps: Report

The year of 2019 has witnessed a shift in investments from focusing purely on digital currency to convergence applications, according to a new report from Outlier Ventures published on Aug. 13. Early stage investors shift focus The “Investment in Blockchains 2019” report, which provides insight into blockchain investment and market trends in 2019, states that blockchain-focused companies have secured $23.7 billion since 2013. Increased interest among early stage investors ostensibly results from massive returns from early investments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). Per the study, there has been a…

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Bitcoin 

Project Manager at Square Crypto Stresses Focus on Bitcoin in Twitter AMA

Steve Lee, a project manager at Square Crypto — the crypto arm of the payments company Square — made a number of recent remarks that solidify the company’s emphasis on Bitcoin (BTC). Lee commented to this effect in the course of an “ask me anything” (AMA) session via Twitter on July 29. Jack Dorsey had previously discussed how Square Crypto aims to develop the crypto ecosystem in general, and is taking steps to improve infrastructure for all — not just Square.  However, the recent AMA indicates that Bitcoin is playing…

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Bitcoin 

Porsche Increases Investments in New Technologies With Focus on Blockchain and AI Startups

German automobile manufacturer Porsche AG will increase in its investments in startups — with a focus on blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) — by around $176 million over the next five years, according to a company press release published September 25. The increase in Porsche’s total investment in venture capital activities for next five years was prompted by the need to “gain access to trends, new technologies and business models,” the press release notes. The investments will be aimed at “early and growth” stage businesses that relate to “customer experience,…

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Blockchain 

Polymath Stops Two Projects, Lays off 10 to Focus on Security Token App

Ethereum (ETH)-based security token platform Polymath will terminate its two planned in-house projects to focus further on bringing securities onto blockchain, the firm announced in a blog post on July 4. Polymath is funneling the company’s newly freed resources towards its Polymath Token Studio, a decentralized application (dApp) that has reportedly enabled the issuance of over 130 security tokens to date, the company said in the announcement. As a part of the announcement, Polymath has laid off 10 employees who were working on the two discontinued product initiatives. The company…

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Blockchain 

Focus on Bitcoin, Not Blockchain, Crypto Entrepreneur Proclaims

Blockchain is misunderstood and focus should shift to bitcoin (BTC), the CEO of crypto microinvestment startup Amber wrote in an article for SmartCompany on June 25. In the article, Aleksandar Svetski argued that many corporations are embracing blockchain to look “hip,” even though the technology doesn’t deliver on the supposed promise of eliminating middlemen while providing security and immutability. He dismissed many of the so-called blockchain innovations unveiled by big businesses as advancements in data storage and business processes — and warned few of these improvements “will ever trickle down to benefit anyone other…

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Blockchain 

Circle to Close Its Payment App, Focus on New Financial Products

Peer-to-peer payments technology firm Circle is closing its payment app Circle Pay in order to develop new crypto financial services, according to an announcement published on June 13. Per the blog post, Circle will start terminating the operation of Circle Pay, a fiat money sending service with a social messaging component, from July 8, 2019, and will fully close support for the app on Sep. 30. Specifically, on July 8 the app’s users will no longer be able to add or send money to anyone through their Circle Pay account.…

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Bitcoin 

Coinbase Shifting Focus Due to Growing Institutional Investor Interest in Crypto

America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, is shifting its focus to serve the needs of a growing interest in crypto by institutional investors. This is the narrative coming from the company after some changes in the last 10 days. Firstly, news broke last week that Coinbase had filed to close its Political Action Committee (PAC) with the American Federal Election Commission (FEC). A quick look at the filing and balance sheet shows that Coinbase’s PAC did not receive any funding and made no payments in 2019. According to FEC regulations, a…

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Bitcoin 

SEC Chairman Flags Crypto as Continued Regulatory Focus in Latest Speech

The head of United States regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reiterated its focus on the cryptocurrency space in a new speech on April 8. Speaking at the SEC Speaks conference in Washington, chairman Jay Clayton highlighted the digital currency space while giving a broad overview of the organization’s activities and roles. Clayton chose to touch principally on instances where existing laws had been used to deal with noncompliance from crypto entities. “In the digital assets space, […] the Division of Enforcement has brought cases that demonstrate that there…

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