Bakkt is 2018’s biggest news. So…now what?
In my humble opinion…
the irony is potent.
Projects of the Week
(CRYPTO: UBEX) It’s no secret that advertising is incredibly inefficient. 19th century retailer John Wanamaker infamously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half.” Ubex, the decentralized advertising exchange for publishers and advertisers, uses smart contracts and neural networks to match advertisers with ad slots that have higher probability of engagement by evaluating each users’ interests. Their video states that users will only receive information that is “relevant, useful, and timely,” – but we’re not sure what Ubex believes will fall into this category, so we’ll have to wait and see. Ubex users will receive an initial request from a pop up in the visitor’s browser and track their data, interaction with the neural network’s nodes, and communicating to the project the basic behavior of the user. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any information as to how they’re dealing with users’ privacy within Ubex’s website (we don’t want another Cambridge Analytica ordeal). Learn more about the programatic advertising industry and the Ubex project in their whitepaper here.
We weren’t being dramatic – this week will change history. Bakkt, an institutional answer to crypto’s need for a daily transactional platform, is running the hype machine into overdrive.
Where do we even begin? This week has been overwhelming, in terms of both adoption, regulation, and trust issues. The biggest story of the week is perhaps the launch of Bakkt – a federally-regulated market for digital assets such as Bitcoin – which will work with companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and BCG to “create an open ecosystem that supports growing needs” in the crypto market. Despite what you’ll see in the news, no, Starbucks isn’t creating a new cryptocurrency (sorry, Brian Kelly). Bakkt will let consumers, institutions, and business to buy/sell/trade crypto in one place. Guys, this is big. Like, industry-shaping big. Bakkt is the brainchild of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Unfortunately, it seems that the crypto market didn’t get the memo and was notably down over the weekend. Remember, over-the-counter (OTC) trades and manipulation often have a more significant impact in the market than the news.
Just last week, the SEC postponed a decision as to whether or not they’ll accept the NYSE’s Bitcoin ETF until this upcoming September (although the sentiment is pretty positive). As noted by prominent crypto analyst Jimmy Song, Bakkt marks the NYSE beating NASDAQ to the crypto market. Bakkt will be competing against already-existing transactional crypto projects like Ripple (XRP) and Metal Pay (MTL), not to mention crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and Bittrex. The question that lingers on everyone’s mind is this: will these altcoins be able to compete with Bakkt, and can they coexist? Nonetheless, the creation of Bakkt is a monumental landmark in the mass adoption of crypto. ICE is essentially betting on crypto’s longevity, although it seems like Starbuck’s former CEO, who stepped down only a month ago, isn’t as convinced.
Institutional blockchain projects are starting to roll out, big time. But it seems that both mainstream media and the market aren’t reflecting that.
We all remember Jamie Dimon’s infamous “Bitcoin is a fraud” comment (who doesn’t), but that hasn’t stopped him from getting on board with blockchain. Dimon recently was quoted as saying that JP Morgan has been testing the blockchain for multiple areas of their business, and some of our sources confirm that the banking giant has been working on a blockchain division for over six months...just like practically every other bank in the world. Let us also remind you that JP Morgan filed a patent for a “bitcoin killer” blockchain replacement in October of 2017. Oh, and yesterday, he was reported a saying that Bitcoin is a “scam,” and should be “shut down.” That’s not really how it works, Jamie.
JP Morgan isn’t the only entity seriously catching the blockchain bug – CLS, IBM, Barclays, and Citigroup have combined forces to create LedgerConnect: a financial “app store” that will let banks access distributed-ledger capabilities. Basically, banks will be able to use know your customer (KYC), sanctions screening, collateral management, and more, using the same tech that Bitcoin is built on (watch more about it here). Private blockchains are likely going to be key for companies trying to use DLT in their business practices – in fact, it’s becoming the norm. Who wants to air all of their dirty laundry, anyway?
Bill Clinton was named as the keynote speaker at Ripple’s Swell conference in San Francisco later this fall. Confused as to what Clinton has to do with crypto? Vitalik is too.
Welp, Bitcoin Cash released a new logo on their one-year anniversary. Look familiar? It’s identical to Bitcoin’s (BTC) logo. People were unenthused, to say the least. What gives, Roger?
Here’s your controversial office argument of the week: this writer argues that together, crypto, gold, and the yuan might replace the dollar.
Coinbase Custody might be adding 37 new tokens –including Ripple, Monero, Bitcoin Gold (wait, what?), and Cardano. Remember, it’s not final, and it’s only for storage purposes.
Coin to Watch
We’re feeling good about Cardano (ADA), especially since Coinbase Custody is looking into adding them to their program. Things might pick up soon…
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