Banks use crypto, but ban clients from trading it. Why? đź™…

In my humble opinion...

we hope those were some damn good pizzas.

 

 

Coin of the Day

A payment platform with a plan

(CRYPTO: DAC) HDac is an abbreviation of Hyundai Digital Asset Currency, the world's first IoT contract, and machine-to-machine (M2M) payment platform. Backed by Hyundai BS&C, it boasts fast transaction times as well as high security, by applying Quantum Random Number for authentication. HDac is also slated to gain popularity in Korea as they're opening a franchise, “Cafe De Block,” where patrons will be able to make payments with Bitcoins and DAC tokens. They've also announced plans to build a high-end luxury apartment which will heavily utilize DAC tokens. HDac, with the support of a Korean conglomerate, wants to integrate cryptocurrency into our lives – and it looks as if they're on their way.

Ripple (XRP) is kicking some butt, thanks to Asia's dedication to the currency. Look out, Bitcoin...

 

Let's do a little market due diligence today. This morning, the total cryptocurrency market cap hit another all-time high of $750 billion, with Ripple's market cap now over half of Bitcoin's, clocking in at a whopping $147 billion. Wow. Ripple's price is also hovering dangerously close to $4, continuing the fantastic run from 2017 (XRP's price last year increased by over 36,000%, FYI). XRP is a well-accepted cryptocurrency within traditional financial institutions; the token is used by banks such as UBS and Santander, and Japan and South Korea are now testing to see if the currency can be used in international payments. It appears as if the FOMO (fear of missing out) is very real in the Asian states, with South Korea accounting for over 50% of Ripple's daily trading volume. We're coining a new term for crypto: do as the South Koreans do.  Granted, not all traditional financial institutions are feeling the love for crypto...Merrill Lynch seems to be following in JPMorgan's footsteps, banning clients from investing in any cryptocurrency-related investments, including Bitcoin futures. Rejecting crypto is a pretty surprising move, considering that Merrill Lynch is an extension of Bank of America, which partnered with Ripple in the summer of 2017. Huh.  

Governments continue to have a complicated relationship with crypto, prompting the question: can the two coexist? And in what capacity?

According to Egypt's highest religious law official, Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, Bitcoin trading is to be considered illegal under Sharia law. Bitcoin is considered to be unlawful because Bitcoin isn't an "acceptable interface of exchange," and the fact that the token provides an opportunity to participate in money laundering, "causes harm to individuals, groups, and institutions," (um, what?). There's a lack of government control, which some say ultimately means BTC could undermine the entire Egyptian economy. Dramatic? It depends on how desperate their citizens are, and how willing they are to reject their state-backed currency. Previously, Bitcoin wasn't been recognized as money under Islamic law. The Koranic law forbids paying and receiving interest, and any institution using the fractional reserve system is prohibited in Islam – hence why there are Muslim-friendly financial practices. Where cryptocurrency is in this dynamic, is currently unclear.

Most likely, Egypt is threatened by the potential for a decentralized financial system – something that Venezuela is attempting to take advantage of. The South American country is launching their state-supported digital currency – the Petro– backed by oil, gas, gold, and diamond reserves, and is currently looking for miners. Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela's president, claimed that over 800,000 people have registered to mine Petros, according to the country's Registry of Cryptocurrency Miners. That sounds...sketchy. Considering how aggressively the country's police force cracked down on Ethereum and Bitcoin miners, who have to register with the government as of this morning, we're a little hesitant. Those who've put their name on the list may have access to other government-approved digital currencies in the future. There's been a lot of pushback against the Petro, as many critics see the state-backed currency as a significant opportunity for money laundering and other illicit activity (yikes). What's even more likely? Venezuela may not be backing the project, and some have theorized it as a scheme to control the country from afar. Alas, no one knows for sure, so we can bet we'll be hearing more from Venezuela. The bigger question, according to our sources, is: "How do you redeem a cryptocurrency based on oil that is thousands of feet underground in a politically hostile country?"

On January 3rd, 2009, Bitcoin's block 0 was mined, essentially birthing the cryptocurrency into existence. Happy Belated Birthday, Bitcoin!

"China's Facebook," Renren, is doing an ICO in a last ditch effort to reinvent itself. Legally, Renren can qualify as a US firm, they're competing with Basic Attention Token (BAT) and Kik (KIN).

Check out the top performing cryptocurrencies of 2017. Spoiler: Bitcoin is #14.

Coin to Watch

Speaking of Basic Attention Token (BAT), it seems to us that the market is providing the token with some TLC right now.
đź’°
Spend your crypto on...

this handy dandy drone! The DJI Mavic Pro is small but powerful and registers at the cool price of $920. You can find it on Purse.io (the "Amazon for Bitcoin"). Oh, and there's a cheaper version here that's around $100.

Daily LOL

You've gotta do what you've gotta do.