In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover a secret meeting at Nasdaq, a takeover bid for crypto-as-collateral loan platform SALT, Vitalik Buterin’s thoughts on the importance of enabling small retail transactions, and why Chinese investors come to Israel to find blockchain startups.
Exchanges Meet With Nasdaq in Secret
About six companies, including both Bitcoin exchanges and legacy venues, have taken part in a “closed-door meeting” with Nasdaq last week in Chicago. The apparent purpose of the meeting was the stock market giant’s intention to help legitimize cryptocurrency investments in the eyes of US regulators and big banks by reducing users’ anonymity and privacy. The main topic, according to “a person familiar with the event” cited by Bloomberg, was to “encourage the industry to do things that will improve its image and validate its potential role in global markets.” They talked about the implications of new regulation for cryptocurrencies, what are the needed tools for that and “what surveillance will be needed.” And there will be the more such meetings as part of “an ongoing dialogue among the participants,” the source added.
Nasdaq has reportedly confirmed the meeting took place but did not disclosed who took part in it. The company is officially supplying technology to five crypto exchanges, two of which are known to be SBI Virtual Currencies and Gemini, which hired Nasdaq to conduct surveillance on its trading. It also helps price Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s Bitcoin futures.
SALT Takeover Offer
Secured Automated Lending Technology (SALT), a membership-based crypto-as-collateral loan platform which in February suspended registrations, requests, and purchases, has recently seen its CEO leaving unexpectedly. This has sparked speculations and rumors about the viability of the platform, and even triggered accusations of the former CEO pulling an exit scam. Competitors have been quick to pounce on the matter, issuing statements meant to convince investors to switch over. The most interesting move came from Nexo, who graciously offered to take over certain assets of SALT in an unsolicited acquisition bid.
“Nexo is concerned with the latest developments at SALT due to their potentially detrimental influence on the sentiment of investors and borrowers in the crypto‐backed lending industry, as well as the blockchain community in general,” Nexo wrote in a letter of intent to SALT Lending. “In order to mitigate the consequences, Nexo, its partners and affiliates could readily acquire remaining qualifying assets of SALT and provide liquidity to its community.”
Vitalik Wants More Bitcoin Cards
The issue of using cryptocurrencies for real-world payments rather than just new Wall Street investment options has been diving the community for a long while now. The latest to comment on the subject is Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, who seems to side with the pro-payments camp in the argument. The influential influencer twitted on Sunday: “I think there’s too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores. The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.”
Chinese to Invest in Israeli Crypto Startups
Block72, which operates out of Shangahi, Beijing, Seoul and New York, has partnered with the Asia Israel Blockchain Association (AIBA). The partnership aims to incubate Israeli projects and help Chinese companies with their deal sourcing, expansion and global presence. Its stated goal for 2018 is to support at least five Israeli projects to tap into the Chinese market and to bring several Chinese companies and investors to Israel. A delegation to Israel will take place on the first week of August.
Yaxi Zhuo, Founder and CEO of Block72, commented: “Israel is a powerhouse for new technology, it has been a long time that our portfolio projects asked us to tap into the opportunities in Israel, one of the most vibrant Blockchain markets in the world. We waited for the right time and the right partner to make the move. We already have offices in China, US, and Korea, and now I’m very pleased to have AIBA as our local partner, supporting us to further bridge Asia and Israel.”
For a start, the partnership is focusing on Coin XP, a blockchain infrastructure for crypto exchanges; Nuts, a crypto asset market protocol for hosting crypto assets; Teex, a private smart contract on public blockchain; and Vpon, a big data ad technology company.
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