Despite JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s harsh criticism of digital currency, the bank is reportedly looking at options that could provide its clients with access to CME Group’s proposed Bitcoin futures contracts. According to an unnamed source, JP Morgan Chase is currently taking stock of client demand and evaluating possible risks that might arise if the bank were to help its clients make those trades.
Financiers, investors, and cryptocurrency innovators from around the world gathered in Los Angeles last weekend to participate in the recent World Funding Summit. The two-day conference focused on a wide range of topics, including crowdfunding liquidity, ICO and blockchain, royalty financing, angel investing and venture capital, and more. Those participants included DNotes Co-Founder Alan Yong, who was a featured speaker during the ICO and Cryptocurrency panel on the first day of the summit.
The Square Cash app is now testing support for Bitcoin, and has provided a select group of customers with the ability to buy or sell the cryptocurrency within the app. The new feature is part of an effort by Square to explore how the company can improve the Bitcoin buying experience for those who want to invest in the world’s most well-known digital currency:
The sharp rise in Bitcoin prices has led Standpoint Research founder and stock analyst Ronnie Moas to revise his previous price forecasts for the world’s most well-known digital currency. According to media reports, Moas is now forecasting that Bitcoin’s price could hit $11.000 in 2018. That’s more than double the $5,000 price target Moas predicted in early July.
CME Group recently announced plans to begin offering Bitcoin futures later this year. That plan is subject to regulatory review, but approval could allow the exchange to introduce those futures contracts sometime in the fourth quarter of 2017. CME Group is the largest futures exchange in the world, and its embrace of the world’s most well-known digital currency is being viewed by many observers as a sign that Bitcoin is quickly becoming an “established asset class.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon today vowed that he would no longer talk about Bitcoin. That vow came after Dimon once again criticized Bitcoin, this time during a meeting of the Institute of International Finance in Washington. According to a report from Bloomberg, Dimon’s Friday criticism covered familiar terrain.
Sirin Labs is preparing to launch a crowdfunding effort next month to support the development of its planned line of blockchain-powered Finney devices, according to media reports and information on the company’s website. The Finney line of products will initially include an open, source, secure smartphone and PC. Those products will use the company’s Shield operating system, which was designed to provide support for crypto wallets, encrypted messaging, and other blockchain applications.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) intends to closely monitor the nation’s digital currency exchanges, starting in October. According to a report in the Japan Times, the agency will be engaged in “full surveillance” of those exchanges to confirm that they have the proper systems in place to safeguard their customers’ assets. The FSA may also perform “on-site inspections” to ensure regulatory compliance.
Beginning in October, Australian utility firm Origin Energy will test a blockchain-based peer-to-peer energy-trading platform for its customers. Origin has partnered with Perth blockchain startup Power Ledger for the trial, to determine whether the technology can be effectively used to facilitate trading for customers who want to purchase or sell excess energy.
The price of Bitcoin has been regaining its footing after China’s clampdown on ICOs and exchanges. This is not the first time China has tried to stifle cryptocurrencies for fear that they can be effective means for citizens to keep their capital safe in unfavorable economic conditions, out of reach of authorities. China may attempt to nationalize the local crypto industry, and could issue digital Chinese Yuan tokens to act as the new reserve currency on newer, more-highly regulated exchanges—platforms where tokens created via state-sanctioned platforms using the new denomination could be traded. The regulations could drive innovation for Chinese fiat gateways running through decentralized exchanges, which may become the only means for investors to swap their tokens. The ruling may also push users into more anonymous cryptocurrencies that do not leave a digital footprint.
A Columbus GA medical clinic announced this week that it will now accept Bitcoin as payment for services. In a press release announcing the decision, the clinic referred to the digital currency as a “completely independent money system” and praised its lack of restrictions, outside controls, and hidden fees. The announcement claims that the center will be among the first in its area to accept the world’s most well-known digital currency.
As Bitcoin has risen in value throughout 2017, there’s been an increase in calls for regulation of the digital currency space. Various governments around the world have moved to change laws and regulations to provide some level of control over the industry. According to a group of economists at the Bank of Finland, however, those regulations might be unnecessary.
Citizens in the Swiss municipality of Chiasso will soon have the option to pay some of their taxes using Bitcoin. Beginning in January 2018, the government will initiate a trial that will permit area residents to use the digital currency for up to 250 Swiss francs of taxes. The decision comes as officials in Chiasso continue their efforts to attract more digital currency startups to the area.
Russia’s complex relationship with digital currency took another interesting turn this week, as news reports suggest that the government is preparing to provide electricity subsidies to its domestic Bitcoin miners. The Russian news outlet Izvestiya reportedly broke the news, as Institute for Internet Development (IRI) project activities director Arseny Shcheltsin reportedly confirmed that authorities are creating a test program to provide the country’s digital currency miners with discounted electricity.
A report from Caixin sent the Bitcoin community into a tailspin today, after the Chinese media outlet suggested that the nation’s regulatory authorities were preparing to shut down domestic digital currency exchanges. The report is based on information from unnamed sources, who claim that the authorities have already issued an order directing local regulators to begin the process of closing those exchanges.
For digital currency users in the United States who might want to use their cryptocurrency for real-world commercial transactions, the rules under the existing tax regime are both complex and inexplicable. Those rules can turn even the most minor transactions into reportable capital gains – which is why digital currency users currently need to carefully record their transactions to track any potential tax obligations that may arise. A new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives could help to ease that burden.
In August, Coinbase revealed that the company’s latest funding effort yielded $100 million – which brought its total valuation to $1 billion and made it the first so-called “unicorn” in its industry. Moreover, recent data from the Coinbase website indicates that the exchange’s volume has increased to $20 billion. According to that data, the company has reached another milestone as well: Coinbase now serves 10 million digital currency customers.
A property development company in London has recently announced that it will begin accepting Bitcoin from its tenants. The Collective is now accepting rental deposits in Bitcoin, and has said that tenants will be able to use the digital currency to pay their monthly rental payments beginning later this year. According to a report in The Guardian, the company is now the first property developer in the United Kingdom to accept Bitcoin.
Australian firm Stargroup plans to modify the company’s network of ATMs to provide them with Bitcoin trading capability, as part of a new deal with blockchain company DigitalX. The initiative will begin with the conversion of 500 of Stargroup’s Australian machines, dramatically increasing the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the country. As part of the deal, Stargroup will reportedly share ATM transaction fees with DigitalX.
Early this morning a Chinese working committee representing seven government administrations including the People’s Bank of China, and the regulatory, banking and insurance commissions ruled that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) constitute an illegal means of capital acquisition. Organizations and individuals are now expected to cease all ICO related activity, and banks and financial institutions are instructed to cease all business with organizations that do.