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Bitmain Becomes Biggest Blockchain Company Ever Following Series B Funding

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China’s dominant bitcoin mining manufacturer has become the largest crypto conglomerate in the world after securing a new round of Series B funding, according to Caixin news agency.

Bitmain Expands Influence

Caixin reported last week that Bitmain has secured between $300 million and $400 million in new funding from Sequoia China, U.S. hedge fund Coatue and Singapore-based EDBI, effectively becoming the largest cryptocurrency company in the world. With the latest round, Bitmain’s total value has swelled to $12 billion.

Bitmain is making waves across the blockchain industry, having recently announced plans to purchase roughly 43% of Opera Ltd., a Norway-based internet browser that has filed for an initial public offering with Nasdaq.

Back in May, the company led a $110 million financing round for Circle, an influential cryptocurrency company with backing from Goldman Sachs and others. In an official announcement, Circle said Bitmain’s stake in the company will allow it to expand critical infrastructure needed to power the crypto economy:

“Bitmain Co-founder and CEO Jihan Wu is well known for espousing a vision similar to ours regarding the creation and adoption of a new global economy powered by cryptographic assets, distributed contracts, and open source blockchain technology. We are excited to be working directly with Bitmain on realizing our shared vision.”

Earlier this year, Circle purchased digital currency exchange Poloniex for $400 million.

Race for Blockchain Dominance

Bitmain is considered one of China’s ‘big three’ crypto mining manufacturers, and its sphere of influence is growing by the day. The company controls the lion’s share of bitcoin’s hashrate through mining pools BTC.com and Antpool. As CCN reported last month, the company is coming dangerously close to controlling 51% of the bitcoin hashrate, a mark that would theoretically allow it to carry out a 51% attack against the network. It has also been estimated that Bitmain accounts for up to 80% of the market for bitcoin mining hardware.

Ebang and Canaan Creative – Bitmain’s main competitors – have announced aggressive IPO plans this year. Each company is looking to raise at least $1 billion for various growth initiatives. In both cases, diversification appears to be a main objective as blockchain companies look to expand their influence in the market.

Bitmain has also stated it is “open” to conducting an IPO in Hong Kong but has yet to announce definitive plans to that effect.

In terms of profitability, Bitmain dwarfs its competitors. The company reported $4 billion in earnings last year, leapfrogging tech powerhouse Nvidia, which took 24 years to secure $3 billion in profit.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 735 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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ICE Has Raised $182.5 Million for Upcoming Bakkt Trading Platform

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The downturn in crypto has not deterred high-profile investors from betting big on the future of the market. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the world’s largest stock exchange operator, has raised $182.5 million in support of its Bakkt cryptocurrency venture.

Bakkt: Institutional Support Grows

The Bakkt startup has raised $182.5 million from more than a dozen high-profile investors and venture capital firms, CEO Kelly Loeffler announced Monday. First-round investors include: Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, Naspers’ fintech arm and Protocol Ventures.

“Our work today is centered on driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses, and we’re already expanding on this vision, collaborating with great companies like Starbucks in these efforts,” Loeffler said.

Further details on Bakkt’s 2019 objectives will be announced sometime next month, though Loeffler indicated that the focus is on developing new infrastructure for the nascent market. This includes the “industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage.”

What is Bakkt? Preparing for the Physical Bitcoin Futures Market

Bakkt is scheduled to launch its bitcoin futures market Jan. 24 but delays in regulatory approvals could see that date get pushed back by a week or more. Further details can be found in the following article from Dec. 22.

Disrupting Traditional Finance

Bakkt has been described as the world’s first physically-backed bitcoin futures market, but its mandate stretches far beyond that. When ICE first unveiled the crypto startup in August, the goal was to broaden institutional access and consumer adoption of digital assets. Through high-profile partnerships with Starbucks and Microsoft and with the support of early investors like Susquehanna International and Fortress Investment, Bakkt is aiming to bring “regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets,” according to Jeffrey Sprecher, the founder and chairman of ICE.

NYSE Owner Is Betting Big on Cryptocurrency with Bakkt

The launch of a physically-settled bitcoin futures market as early as next month means institutional investors can access digital assets through a trusted custodian. On the consumer side, Starbucks will be the flagship retailer of Bakkt with the goal of developing practical applications for commercial use. According to Starbucks senior executive Maria Smith, consumers will one day be able to convert cryptocurrencies into dollars at various Starbucks locations.

Starbucks will play an important role in helping Bakkt disrupt the traditional payments market. One of Bakkt’s stated goals is to move consumers away from credit cards toward crypto applications.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 735 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Projects Built on Stellar and Possible Investment Ideas

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In this article, I will speak about five projects that have chosen Stellar blockchain as opposed to the Ethereum network. A distinctive feature of Stellar (https://www.stellar.org/) is that it is sharpened for micropayments and has a throughput of up to 3,000 transactions per second and confirmation within 3-5 seconds. So it is not surprising, that many projects like a Stellar as a solution for their projects.

SmartLands

SmartLands (SLT) is a platform for issuing security tokens and tokenization of real estate. Since the ICO in November 2017 it has raised slightly more than $1.7 million at $0.50/SLT. The product, designed for business use, is ready and works.

I do not see any entry points here although the coin has provided 7x returns in USD over 6 months.

Mobius (MOBI) – “connect the world with the blockchain” – is their slogan. It provides integration of tokens and smart contracts into any existing applications, as well as m2m (machine-to-machine) payments. During the ICO it raised $35 million at $0.16/MOBI. The token itself is used for payment in dApp store and stacking.

The asset does not seem interesting for me for investing.

SureRemit

SureRemit (RMT) is a specific niche product sharpened for quick and cheap remittances targeting migrant workers, as well as micro-payments for utilities. During the ICO it raised $10 million at $ 0.02/RMT. The application is ready, about 700 reception points are open in 5 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

  • SureRemit Price: $0.00458187
  • Market Cap: $2,290,759
  • Trading Volume: $587.40
  • Website: https://sureremit.co/

No entry point since there is virtually no volume.

Ternio

Ternio (TERN) is the “fastest blockchain in the world,” according to the website, with a bandwidth of up to 1 million transactions per second. During the ICO it raised $3 million at $0.02/TERN. The project is designed for online advertising, but according to the developers, can apply to any area where high transaction speed is required.

Maybe a good point to open some minor positions to play against ETH for short term with an aim of 20%.

SIX Network

SIX Network (SIX) is the brainchild of the Thai giant OOKBEE, offering “blockchain integration into everyday life.” During the ICO it raised $42 million ($ 0.1/SIX). The team released a universal wallet and founded a blockchain fund. Beta version is scheduled for the third quarter of 2019.

  • SIX Network Price: $0.01072694
  • Market Cap: $2,924,708
  • Trading Volume: $157,785
  • Website: https://six.network/

Here could be a good option to play against BTC. Currently, the price is around 250 Satoshi, and the target could be in a range of 400-450. Volumes are increasing, but no major exchanges are present.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.9 stars on average, based on 41 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017.




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What is Bakkt? Preparing for the Physical Bitcoin Futures Market

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As interest in the global cryptocurrency market grows, the need for a safe and efficient way to use digital assets grows with it. This article will focus on the Bakkt platform, which will allow institutional customers to perform various operations with digital assets as part of a seamless global network.

Investors and Team

The brains behind Bakkt is none other than Jeff Sprecher, head of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the world’s premier stock exchange operator. The project’s CEO will be Sprecher’s spouse, Kelly Loeffler, head of ICE’s digital assets department.

Behind the development of the project is Intercontinental Exchange itself – the operator of global stock exchanges and data services. Bakkt will cooperate with such giants in the field of emerging consumer fintech, like BCG, Starbucks, Microsoft. The main goal is to form an accessible ecosystem capable of supporting the growing needs of the digital assets market. Investors of Bakkt include Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, Susquehanna International Group, LLP, as well as British billionaire and hedge fund manager Alan Howard.

Main Objectives 

Bakkt is supposed to integrate institutional level markets with a custodian services system through trade and consumer applications. The first phase of the project will focus on trading and exchange transactions with Bitcoin and fiat currencies. The choice in favor of Bitcoin is explained by the fact that it still has the highest liquidity in the cryptocurrency market.

By combining consumer and institutional applications with a regulated infrastructure, project founders seek to ensure transparency and trust in digital asset markets. This will provide the project with a key role in increasing institutional, trade and consumer participation in the field of digital assets.

As part of the initial offer of Bakkt, ICE plans to release non-digital Bitcoin futures with custodian services in the first quarter of 2019, subject to review and approval of by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Future regulated trading platforms will establish new protocols to manage specific security requirements and transactions with digital assets. In addition, the clearinghouse will form a special guarantee fund, financing of which will be provided by Bakkt.

As Hacked previously reported, Bakkt was originally scheduled for launch by mid-December. The date has since been pushed back to Jan. 24, but this too may face a slight delay. Read more: Bitcoin Pulls Back from Three-Week Highs After Rapid Ascent; Bakkt Postponed Again?

Benefits

This project is considered capable of engineering a global revolution in the field of digital assets and cryptocurrency technologies. This is provided by strong support from technological and financial giants mentioned above.

The main strengths of the project are identified below:

  • Availability of sale, purchase and storage of digital assets to end users.
  • Increase confidence, efficiency in the use of digital assets in commerce.
  • Development of new open ideas for connecting the traditional market liquidity and trade infrastructure to blockchain technology.
  • The company has been operating in the financial market since 2000 and is on the Fortune 500 and Fortune Future 50 list.
  • Its wide range of services includes customer service in investment and trading in global financial markets through exchanges, clearing houses and information services.
  • ICE Data Services is a leader in market data, providing the necessary information and connectivity to virtually any type of asset.
  • ICE is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, which has helped many companies increase their capital more than any other exchange in the world, stimulating economic growth and transforming markets.
  • Owns the world’s largest market for ETF Arca and the leading platform for mid-tier companies NYSE American.
  • It is a leader in almost all categories of futures for “soft” agricultural products (sugar, coffee and cotton).
  • ICE Futures Europe tops the list of global markets for the sale of Brent crude oil.
    At the end of 2017, it received revenue of $ 4.6 billion.
  • ICE’s powerful trading infrastructure can become a platform for the development of Bakkt, providing it with everything necessary for successful development.
  • The project has enormous potential for ensuring wide recognition and use of digital assets, which in turn will have a positive effect on the overall capitalization of the digital assets market.
  • The project is planned to be launched in early quater 2019 with the participation of the 12 largest world exchanges and a wide range of exchange instruments that will ensure the introduction of Bitcoin into the fiat market as a global digital currency.

The Bakkt project can provide a significant boost in the development of the digital asset market and the expansion of its use. In this regard, the year 2019 can be considered as the year of the merger of two segments of the financial world on a global scale – the fiat market and the sphere of digital assets.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.9 stars on average, based on 41 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017.




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Hacked.com and its team members have pledged to reject any form of advertisement or sponsorships from 3rd parties. We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com.

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