Goldman Sachs Warns High-Profile Clients of Crypto Bubble 233

In a lengthy document to their highest profile clients, the Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management division has warned about the danger of investing in cryptocurrency. For the banking giant, the rise in Bitcoin and other digital currencies during 2017 is a sure signal that the entire space is in an economic bubble.

Typically for crypto naysayers, during the 108 page document the authors mention the Dutch “Tulipmania” of the seventh century, as well as the “dot-com” bubble of the turn of this century. However, they also go on to highlight the surge in the price of the stocks of firms loosely associating themselves with the cryptocurrency space:

“The mania surrounding cryptocurrencies is probably even better illustrated by the price surges seen in companies that announce some type of affiliation with blockchain technology or cryptocurrencies.”

Stock bubble

For Goldman Sachs, recent examples like Long Blockchain (LBCC) (formerly Long Island Ice Tea Group) and the Crypto Company (previously a sports bra company) seeing the value of their shares increase by a percentage of five figures is clear evidence of an economic bubble.

During the document, Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani and Brett Nelson (both senior officials at the Investment Strategy Group Goldman Sachs) do acknowledge some practical uses for the rapidly growing technology behind cryptocurrency. Again, they reiterated the enthusiasm for blockchain common amongst most central bankers of the world. However, for them Bitcoin does not provide enough of the advantages that other digital currencies could potentially deliver. They write:

“We think the concept of a digital currency that leverages blockchain technology is viable given the benefits it could provide: ease of execution globally, lower transaction costs, reduction of corruption since all transactions could be traced, safety of ownership, and so on. But bitcoin does not provide any of these key advantages. Quite the contrary. Not only is there no ease of execution, but settlement often takes as many as 10 days. In late 2017, the price discrepancies among 17 US exchanges for one bitcoin amounted to $4,156, or about a 31% difference between the high and low prices. Transaction costs have skyrocketed, and frequent hacking has wiped out entire wallets and exchanges of their bitcoin holdings.”

The pair go on to highlight their scepticism that Bitcoin and other cryptos will maintain their current value in the long run. They’re also doubtful that cryptocurrency will replace the dollar as a global reserve currency.

Unsteady as she goes

The document, titled “(Un) Steady as She Goes” does not focus purely on Bitcoin, however. It serves as a round up of the various events happening in the previous 12 months that have affected the value of the dollar. It was sent exclusively to Goldman’s wealthiest clients. To be considered worthy of membership of the firm’s Private Wealth Management division, clients must have at least $10 million in assets that are available for investment purposes.

 

 

 

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Ideanomics MEG Begins EV Taxi Deliveries in Guilin, Guanxi Province 3679

Ideanomics is pleased to announce the commencement of electric taxi deliveries for Guilin, Guanxi Province. In November 2019, Ideanomics announced that its Mobile Energy Global (MEG) division secured an order for 2,300 electric taxis from the City of Guilin in Guanxi province though MEG’s partner QuianXi.

Ideanomics now expects delivery of the first 200 EV taxis within July 2020, beginning immediately and completing within the next three to four weeks. This order of will be comprised of Dongfeng Nissan Sylphy ZE vehicles, a regional version of the midsize sedan also known as the Nissan Sentra in other markets. The Sylphy is the best-selling Nissan model in China. The balance of order announced in November 2019 is expected to be delivered through the end of the year and will likely involve multiple manufacturers.

The initial 200 electric taxi delivery is valued at approximately RMB 20 Million or USD 2.8 Million. Ideanomics anticipates these vehicles will be booked on a gross basis, subject to the terms of the executed sales contract and in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

“As China’s economy recovers and businesses gradually resume operations, Ideanomics continues to execute on its business plans and grow its EV business,” said Ideanomics CEO Alf Poor. “We are pleased to announce this delivery and expect to build sales momentum throughout the year while redirecting resources from non-core businesses to help support growth in MEG.”

HubMiner Inc. Announces the Launch of World First Advance Direct Liquid Cooling Miner: Enhanced Performance and Productivity 4623

Hubminer Inc. is strongly emerging as a game-changing discovery in the rapidly evolving global cryptocurrency market. The company recently announced its arrival with four cryptocurrency mining rigs, each offering hash rates that are unheard of in the industry. The four products from Hubminer Inc. can be used for mining Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Monero, Dash, and Zcash. The earliest customers of the company have already started to receive the first set of miner shipped out already.

Driven in part by recent speculation around Bitcoin’s third halving, the current macroeconomic environment, and as more sophisticated investors enter a maturing market, According to the data released by TokenInsight, last quarter, total derivatives market trading volume on Huobi Futures reached $438 billion, accounting for 22% of the total market trading volume. While institutional traders were major contributors to the recent growth, there was also a substantial uptick in activity from retail traders.

“The last few quarters have been particularly exciting for the crypto derivatives market, but I’m more excited that the increased activity we’re seeing today may be a catalyst for widespread crypto adoption,” said Ciara. “Rising demand for crypto derivatives from both institutional and retail user bases signifies growing acceptance of digital assets and a maturing market.”

Hubminer Inc. is constantly innovating to bring new, improved mining equipment to the market. Currently, the company’s offering consists of HubMiner’s range of mining rigs. They are multi-cryptocurrency mining platforms that support operations on Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Dash blockchains. There are currently four different products on offer – F-X8, F-X16, F-X32 and F-X16 x2, all capable of supporting profitable operations on the blockchain of choice.

Delivery Fee and Custom Fee will be covered by HubMiner Inc., the customer only pays for the unit and receives everything needed for setup without any hidden fees. “Consumers now know our competitors are beat. They can’t reach our power, and our extremely low power costs. We have huge mining power. It’s the best investment on the market,” said Richard McDermott, Operational Director, COO, HubMiner Inc. “We have strived to give customers the first-rate possible investment in the market.”

KuCoin Doubles Down on Its Commitment to Compliance and Security with Chainalysis Partnership 4374

KuCoin, an IDG-backed crypto exchange, today announced that it has partnered with Chainalysis, the blockchain analysis company, further deepening its commitment to compliance and security and jointly promoting compliance-first business practices in the crypto industry. KuCoin will use Chainalysis KYT (Know-Your-Transaction) software to detect and prevent money laundering and illicit activity in real-time and Chainalysis Reactor to conduct further investigations into suspicious activity.

In addition to leveraging Chainalysis KYT for compliance, KuCoin has also built its own fraud monitoring system to identify early warnings of abnormal behavior to protect the security of users’ digital assets.

“We teamed up with Chainalysis to create a safe and compliant trading environment. Through KuCoin’s efforts, the crypto world will combat illegal activities, such as laundering money and financing terrorism,” KuCoin Global CEO Johnny Lyu said. “Although KuCoin has already deployed in this aspect, we hope to further strengthen our technical expansion into compliance with our cooperation with Chainalysis. Not only does it provide infrastructure to the blockchain ecosystem, but it also meets regulatory compliance requirements across different countries and regions.”

“Chainalysis is thrilled to partner with exchanges like KuCoin that prioritize compliance and the safety of its users,” said Jason Bonds, Chief Revenue Officer, Chainalysis. “Our relationship with KuCoin is also an example of our continued commitment to working with leading exchanges in the Asia Pacific region, an important hub of cryptocurrency activity.”

Founded in September 2017, KuCoin has grown into one of the most popular crypto exchanges. Now, KuCoin offers financial services including fiat-to-crypto, crypto-to-crypto, futures, staking, borrowing, token launch and more to its 5 million users across 207 countries and regions around the world.

Chainalysis serves as a strategic partner to financial institutions, governments, and cryptocurrency businesses like KuCoin around the world, providing expertise on sophisticated cryptocurrency crime and money laundering tactics, techniques, and procedures. Chainalysis KYT (Know Your Transaction) enables compliance teams to monitor large volumes of cryptocurrency activity and identify high risk transactions on a continuous basis by applying global AML standards to each transaction across all users within an organization’s user base. Chainalysis Reactor, the company’s cryptocurrency investigation software, helps identify and stop bad actors using cryptocurrencies for illicit activities such as fraud, extortion, and money laundering.

OK Group Launches OK Recruit, A Blockchain Talent Development Scheme 4506

OK Group, the world’s leading blockchain enterprise, announced the launch of the blockchain talent recruitment and training plan, called OK Recruit, which is expected to create hundreds of job opportunities in the blockchain industry, including positions on research, development and applications. OK Group will also train more than 1,000 blockchain elites within 3 years through partnerships with major universities and scientific research institutions in China.

As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to spread globally, many technology companies have been severely affected and even started to lay off employees. Given that, it’s unusual for companies to conduct such large-scale recruitment at this moment, which also implied a strong development momentum of the blockchain industry.

According to the announcement, OK Recruit consists of three parts, including recruitment, training and recommendation. In terms of talent recruitment, OK Group will offer hundreds of positions, among which, the main ones are in the blockchain research and application field, such as Blockchain Development Engineer, Senior Java Engineer (Blockchain), and Senior iOS Development Engineer. Others positions like marketing and operations are also open for applications as well.

In addition, OK Group will set up a special fund for blockchain personnel training, to encourage potential talent to join in blockchain industry. At the same time, OK Group will continue to strengthen cooperation with local universities and scientific research institutions to promote the construction of talent echelon.

As one of the earliest blockchain companies established in China, OK Group has been committed to promoting the research, development, and commercial adoption of blockchain technology, and is always standing at the forefront of talent development and training programs.

In recent years, OK Group has established a number of blockchain technology research institutions, among which, the Blockchain Business School has been promoting the spread of blockchain knowledge and talents through the development of courses and special lectures. Besides, OK Group also established a blockchain engineering institute focusing on the research and development of underlying technologies and public chains.

About OK Group
OK Group focuses on the R&D and application of blockchain technology. The company provides blockchain services and applications, including stablecoin, blockchain explorer, blockchain big data, blockchain asset custodian services, and blockchain training institutions. OK Group owns LEAP Holdings Group Limited (1499.HK), a listed company in Hong Kong.

Klaytn Partners with Chainlink 4424

Chainlink

Klaytn, the public blockchain project of Korea’s Internet giant Kakao, today announced a partnership with Chainlink, the market-leading decentralized oracle. Chainlink is a decentralized open-source oracle network that gives smart contracts secure and reliable access to data providers, web APIs, IoT devices, payment systems, etc. By integrating the Chainlink network, Klaytn’s smart contracts can connect with resources outside the blockchain, enabling the creation of applications that are connected with real-world data and systems. Such connections can be utilized across a variety of markets including decentralized finance, non-fungible tokens, and more.

“Chainlink can provide Klaytn with a secure oracle framework for building blockchain applications that interoperate with traditional infrastructure, increasing our capacity to develop more advanced products across a more diverse set of markets,” said Sangmin Seo, the Head of Platform Group at Ground X, heading the development of Klaytn.

“We look forward to providing the Klaytn ecosystem with secure and reliable oracles to enable the development of next-generation decentralized applications,” said Sergey Nazarov, the Co-Founder of Chainlink. “Klaytn can accelerate towards its goal of blockchain mass adoption with the addition of real-world connectivity made possible by Chainlink oracles.”

Klaytn is a global public blockchain platform developed by Ground X, the blockchain affiliate of the leading South Korean Internet company, Kakao. Klaytn is a service-centric blockchain platform providing an intuitive development environment and a friendly end-user experience. It is built upon solid reliability and significant stability with substantial service development for mass adoption. The platform allows real world applications of large scale to be produced right away so that our end-users can make full use of services without much expertise in blockchain or cryptocurrency.

Digital Assets: Concept and Approaches to Regulating Them 4141

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The development of the field of information technologies contributed to the emergence of digital assets. This term is defined differently therefore causing the misrepresentation of information and terminological confusion. That is why we first need to sort out the existing definitions and identify the difference.

In the wide sense, a digital asset is any electronic resource that has value, in particular, images, files, videos, accounts, etc. The term “cryptocurrency” that emerged with the development of blockchain is often used to define digital assets.

So what is a digital asset? According to the definition formed while researching the essence of the term “digital asset” in the economic and legal aspects, it is “an information resource derivative of the right to a value and circulating in the distributed ledger in the form of a unique identifier”. The concept contains the following components:

· Economic characterized by having a unique identifier in the financial field;
· Legal that characterizes an asset as “derivative of the right” in the legal field;
· Information, which is represented by an information resource of a distributed ledger;
· Value that characterizes the “value” of a digital asset in the field of tangible and intangible benefits.

It is incorrect to equate the terms “digital asset” and “cryptocurrency”. Let’s look at the unique features that differentiate digital assets from cryptocurrencies:
· Cryptocurrencies are limited in terms of supply, whereas digital assets can, in theory, be created infinitely (Buntinx, 2017);
· Cryptocurrencies are characterized by complete decentralization (Arianova T., 2018);
· Cryptocurrencies are not backed by real assets, whereas digital assets contain property rights;
· Cryptocurrencies are limited in the areas of their application, whereas digital assets are not.
· Essentially, a digital asset is a digital copy of a real asset. That is why the ownership of a digital asset is confirmed and can always be checked by the property right to it recorded in the blockchain.
· A digital asset functions based on a protocol and has the mechanisms for restoring access and guaranteeing the security of a real asset.

The main issue is the absence of clear criteria for classifying a token as a digital asset. Because of that, some states have developed special tests to determine the features of digital assets. For example, the Howey Test, Maltese Financial Instrument Test, Guidelines of the Swiss regulatory body (FINMA) for evaluating ICOs (Initial Coin Offering), the Digital Asset Test from Simcord and others.

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The Howey Test is used within the legal system of the USA and is now being applied in the field of ICOs. The test analyzes the main characteristics of a token for correspondence to the features of securities. The Howey Test defines a transaction as an investment contract if “an individual invests money in a joint venture and must wait for profit exclusively from the actions of a promoter or a third party”. Thus, if the United States Securities Commission defines an asset as a security, the profit from which depends exclusively on a third party, the token falls under regulation of the Commission as a security.

The financial regulator of Malta also developed a test that defines the features of a digital asset. First, the test determines whether an asset is a virtual one (or a utility token). Such token does not have its own value and can’t exist outside of its blockchain platform or be exchanged for other assets. If it is already circulating on an exchange, a second stage of analysis takes place ¾ determining the correspondence of the financial asset’s definition to the European legislation.

In the FINMA Guidelines, tokens are classified as a) payment tokens; b) utility tokens; c) asset tokens.

The Digital Asset Test from Simcord is the most relevant one that accounts for all aspects and allows determining the level of correspondence of a blockchain token to the features of a digital asset. The methodology of the test includes a questionnaire that tests the features of a blockchain token in accordance with specific criteria, as well as a mathematical formalization of the process.

Therefore, the ambiguity of the concept of a digital asset causes the need to develop the tools and criteria to test the correspondence of a resource to the category of a digital asset. The methodology of the Digital Asset Test allows establishing the level of correspondence of a blockchain token to the features of a digital asset in the most effective way.