This post was last updated on September 16th, 2019 at 02:21 pm
Apologies for the late newsletter. My wife and I are taking a rare kidless vacation and it’s throwing timelines off a bit. Here’s the obligatory video:
Anyway, last week we kicked off Popular Crypto – a new newsletter about the products and services that are helping get crypto into the hands of real people. This week, we’ve got a ton of news from exchanges, a new DeFi robo advisor, a strange amount of touchpoints with professional European soccer, and so much more. Let’s dive in!
- The founder of one of China’s first and longest-running crypto exchanges BTCC is back with a new $29 hardware wallet designed from the ground up for simplicity and mass adoption
- It’s not just startups thinking about using blockchains for cross border payments. Mastercard is teaming up with R3 to develop and pilot a new payment solution
- Le no, says France to Libra. French economic minister Bruno Le Maire argued that, for the sake of “monetary sovereignty,” Libra cannot be allowed in Europe. In the same speech, he also announced that crypto-to-crypto transactions would be tax-exempt in France.
- “A fully decentralized network where every piece of data shared is under the owner’s control.” That’s the vision of Pundi X, whose blockchain phone, after more than a year of development, is preparing to launch.
- Apparently everyone is into the blockchain phone game now. A Korean media outlet is reporting that LG is considering building their own blockchain smartphone to compete with recent features from the Samsung Galaxy S10.
- The big news this week is undeniably that Binance US is launching next week Wednesday. The regulated exchange will kick off with 6 assets, but is actively exploring more than 20 more.
- At CoinDesk’s Invest:Asia conference earlier this week, Coinbase’s head of institutional sales for Asia said that the company was exploring an IEO offering
- NASDAQ listed a DeFi index launched by Exante as a way to allow mainstream investors to get exposure to popular DeFi tokens
Staking & Lending
- Speaking of DeFi, here’s something different. Staked has launched a new service called “RAY” (Robo Advisor for Yield), which automates finding high-yield opportunities for DeFi staking
- Warner Music Group has participated in the latest round for Dapper Labs, the parent company of CryptoKitties who are launching an Ethereum alternative focused on the entertainment collectible use case.
- Soccer (excuse us, futbol) was everywhere this week. First, Atletico Madrid announced a collaboration to offer a fan token. Then, Watford FC announced it would be sporting the bitcoin logo on its shoulder.
- In episode 54 of the Flippening podcast, I interview Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of FTX. FTX is one of the fastest-growing crypto derivatives exchanges in the space. FTX launched in April of 2019, and at the time of this recording, does around $100 million dollars in daily volume. Sam is also CEO of Alameda Research, a quantitative trading firm that provides liquidity to crypto markets worldwide. Alameda manages over $100 million in digital assets and trades $600 million to $1.5 billion dollars per day across thousands of products. They are responsible for approximately 5% of all (legitimate) crypto exchange volume.