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Stocks Are Tanking, But Bitcoin Price Is Up 30% In One Week
While stocks are showing considerable volatility as the U.S. and China begin rattling their trade sabers again, cryptocurrencies are getting a second life with investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has oscillated up and down for the past five days, ultimately losing roughly 1,000 points. On Monday, as China announced plans to raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, the Dow was down a whopping 562 points, as of 10:55am ET. Bitcoin, though, is up more than 7% today'and has increased more than 30% in the past week, jumping from $5,711 to $7,516, according to CoinDesk. All other major cryptocurrencies are showing gains Monday, as well.

NYSE Owner ICE Buys Crypto Custodian "Digital Asset Custody Company" (DACC) in Latest Bakkt Bitcoin Push
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which owns the New York Stock Exchange, made a splash last August with big plans to get into the Bitcoin business. Those ambitions, however, have been stymied by regulatory delays, leading ICE on Monday to announce a series of measures to jumpstart its efforts. Most notably, ICE has acquired a crypto custodian service called Digital Asset Custody Company, and arranged for its cryptocurrency subsidiary'known as Bakkt'to become a registered trust with the state of New York. These measures are intended to clear the way for ICE to offer Bitcoin futures contracts that settle in Bitcoin rather than cash. Such contracts have yet to materialize, in large part because the Commodity Futures Trading Commission objected to an earlier plan by Bakkt to warehouse physical Bitcoin.

Binance Turns Focus to Compliance Amid Planned Fiat Expansion
Binance came out of nowhere in 2017 to become the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange. Its explosive growth has been fueled by a strategy of avoiding the regulatory headaches that go with the conventional banking system, and focusing instead on the freewheeling world of crypto-to-crypto trading. Now, Binance is wading into the world of government-issued money'raising the question of whether it can keep growing without getting singed by regulators. The latest sign of Binance's new focus came last week when the company announced it would hire CipherTrace, a California-based business that helps companies and law enforcement trace suspicious cryptocurrency movements.

A Massive Bet on Blockchain and Gaming: Ripple and Forte Announce $100 Million Fund
The cryptocurrency company Ripple on Tuesday announced an ambitious project to integrate blockchain technology into video games. The plan, which features a $100 million fund for developers, could remake the gaming industry by creating a new way to create in-game marketplaces for digital goods. The fund will be overseen by Forte, a San Francisco company founded this year by prominent gaming executives, and which is backed and advised by a host of big Silicon Valley names, including Andreesen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures and Battery Ventures. Video games have long been quick to adopt new technology, from console to the PC to mobile. Now, blockchain will help game designers who've had a hard time facilitating an economy that can serve all types of players, said Ethan Beard, a senior executive with Ripple's development arm Xpring, in an interview with Fortune.

Bitcoin: How High Can Bitcoin's Price Go in 2018? | Fortune Close
Had Jerry Brito's daughter waited longer to emerge, she might have been someone else entirely. In November, as Brito paced the hospital for 23 hours while his wife was in the delivery room, he floated an alternative name for the baby: Ten Thousand. The founding executive director of the nonprofit Coin Center, Brito had spent years advocating for Bitcoin, arguing that the cryptocurrency, and the technology underpinning it, would dramatically change our economy, reshaping the world into which we're all born. Now Brito was on the cusp of realizing two long-held dreams. Even as his wife went into labor a few days after Thanksgiving, Bitcoin was taking off as well. Worth $950 at the start of the year, its price breached $9,000 while Brito waited in the maternity ward. This explained why his daughter was taking her time, he began saying: This baby does not want to be born in a world where Bitcoin is not $10,000.

Mark Cuban Is Backing Cryptocurrency That's Not Bitcoin or Ethereum | Fortune Close
Entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who previously helped Bitcoins value drop after calling it a bubble, is now interested in another digital currency. And no, it is not Ethereum, but the UnikoinGold. According the Coindesk, Cuban is participating in another fundraising round of one of his portfolio companies, a sports-betting blockchain platform dubbed Unikrn, via an initial coin offering. An ICO is a crowdfunding method that has grown in popularity as of late among blockchain startups, with more than 30 ICOs already this year. Companies sell their own digital currencies and use the proceeds to fund their businesses.

Cryptocurrencies Dropped $52 Billion During Blockchain Week | Fortune Close
So much for the Blockchain Week bounce. With thousands of cryptocurrency diehards swarming into Manhattan for this week's Consensus 2018 conference, the prediction from Bitcoin bulls like Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors was that the hype-filled gathering would trigger a market rally. Alas, not even a trio of (rented) Lamborghinis, a 1,000-person yacht party and a performance by 46-year-old rapper Snoop Dogg could prevent the value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com from sinking by $52 billion since May 11. Bitcoin, the most popular of the bunch, dropped 5.2% this week to $8,003.60 even as Arthur Hayes the crypto exchange executive who's firm rented the Lamborghinis predicted a surge to $50,000 by year-end.

Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ripple, Ether Lose $500B Since High | Fortune Close
Cryptocurrency is a market for the iron-stomached, if the asset's most recent slide is anything to go by. With news of Google banning cryptocurrency-related ads and the International Monetary Fund advising increased regulation on the asset, the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple continued their slide Thursday, wiping out about $499.2 billion of the market value of over 1,500 cryptocurrencies since their collective all-time high in early January. For comparison, that loss is roughly equal to the value of Berkshire Hathaway, the $510 billion firm built by investing titan and Bitcoin skeptic, Warren Buffett.

Cryptocurrency Vibe Jumps 400% in 24 Hours | Fortune Close
Even in the fast-paced and fast-changing world of cryptocurrency, the rise of Vibe in the last 24 hours is astonishing. The live music-centric digital currency has seen its value explode 400% in the last day to $2.34, as of mid-morning Wednesday. That puts the price per coin above Ripple, though the overall market cap is still notably lower. Vibe currently has a market cap of $405 million, according to CoinMarketCap. That's low in the big picture, but the coins just began trading in October. Not familiar with the platform Here's a quick primer. Vibe tokens tie in with Vibehub, a platform that acts as an IMDB of sorts for live music. Performers are ranked based on their online popularity. Tokens can be used to purchase merchandise or get access to music industry contacts. Eventually, they are expected to be accepted for ticket purchases.

Rapper 50 Cent: Actually, I'm Not a Bitcoin Millionaire | Fortune Close
Rapper 50 Cent, legally known as Curtis Jackson III, says he isn't a bitcoin millionaire after all despite his implying that he was just over a month ago. At that time, TMZ published a report stating that Jackson had accepted roughly 700 bitcoin as part of his work on the 2014 album, Animal Ambition. Back then, the bitcoin stash would've gone for about $400,000, but with today's rate, the rapper would've been sitting on nearly $8 million. He all but confirmed the news with a screenshot of the article on Instagram with the caption, Not bad for a kid from South Side, I'm so proud of me. Now, however, Jackson says that he doesn't actually own any bitcoin, and his post from Instagram has been deleted. Chapter 11 bankruptcy documents cited by CNBC and referencing the TMZ report, state that bitcoins received for the album were contemporaneously exchanged for dollars, which would've netted him a much lower haul four years ago.

After John Oliver Cryptocurrency Bit, EOS' Brock Pierce Is Out | Fortune Close
Following a segment by Last Week Tonight host John Oliver that alluded to past lawsuits against major cryptocurrency player Brock Pierce, the startup that he co-founded to rival Ethereum now says it has parted ways with the controversial former child star. Block.one, the firm developing blockchain platform EOS, wrote on Medium on Tuesday that Pierce would step down from his role as chief strategy officer. We recently came to a mutual agreement that Brock would end his role at block.one as he transitions to independent community building and investment activities, the company said without giving a reason for his departure.

Robinhood Is Hiring a CFO as It Gets Ready for an IPO | Fortune Close
Robinhood'the fintech startup that offers stock, option, and cryptocurrency trades with zero fees'is taking steps to go public, starting with the hiring of a chief financial officer. Robinhood co-founder Baiju Bhatt, speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference Thursday, confirmed the company's plans for an IPO and CFO hire. Both tasks will need to be handled with care. Bhatt said that Robinhood's business model has subjected it to constant audits from the SEC and other financial regulators. In the past couple of years, Robinhood has grown from a quixotic idea'no fees to trade stocks'to one of the more intruiging startups in the fintech space. Robinhood raised $110 million at a $1.3 billion valuation in April 2017. It's now valued at $5.6 billion.

Commentary: Buy Kodak Stock, Not Kodak Cryptocurrency | Fortune Close
Kodak, once the iconic brand of pre-digital photography, just announced it will launch its own cryptocurrency: KodakCoin. So far, however, it has released very limited information about how this venture will work. Meaningful detail is at a premium on the Kodak website, and to call what we have seen so far vague is being generous. That makes it tough to determine whether this is a serious effort on Kodak's part or if the company is simply trying to drive up its stock price. If it is the latter, it certainly succeeded, at least initially. In what may be the stock's first Kodak moment in many years, its share price shot up almost 250% within two days of the announcement.

Bitcoin News: Policy Coordinator in South Korea Found Dead | Fortune Close
South Korea's authorities have in recent months been very down on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrenciesat time causing big sell-offs with their threats of banning exchanges. Now, the man who played a key role in coordinating the crackdown has been found dead. Jung Ki-joon, the head of economic policy at South Korea's Office for Government Policy Coordination, was found dead at home at the age of 52 on Sunday, with investigators initially suspecting a heart attack as the cause of death. He died from some unknown cause. He passed away while he was sleeping and [his] heart [had] already stopped beating when he was found dead, said a government spokesman, quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

2019 Crypto Predictions, Winklevoss Bitcoin Talk, McKinsey Blockchain
Tether. USD Coin. Gemini Dollar. Basis (RIP). If 2018 was the year of the so-called stablecoin, or price-pegged cryptocurrency, then what will the new year bring While it's impossible to predict the future with absolute certainty, here are five hypotheses based on The Ledgers own expert tasseomancy. (Okay, we'll admit we got this one wrong.) Below are our 5 predictions for 2019. (This is not investment advice, yada, yada.) 1. Tether loses traction. For years questions have swirled about the solvency of Tether, historically one of the most popular stablecoin projects. Expect rival stablecoins from the likes of Circle, Coinbase, Gemini, and others to eat away at the monopoly Tether once enjoyed. Even if Tether doesn't go the way of Basis, which shuttered at the tail end of 2018, its prominence will likely wane as investors flock to surer vaults.

FORTUNE: Can XRP catch on? Ripple Touts New Banking Partnerships
The digital money known as XRP finished 2018 as the second most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, and its boosters believe it will be a key part of the world's banking system. But there's a catch: It's still not clear what XRP is for. On Tuesday, the company Ripplewhich is the biggest holder of XRP'announced a series of partnerships to make the case that financial institutions are starting to use the cryptocurrency as part of their operations. One of the new partners is Euro Exim Bank, which has offices in London and St Lucia, and whose business includes providing letters of credit to far-flung places. Starting this year, the institution says it will start using XRP, whose circulating supply is worth around $15 billion, as part of its international money transfer operations.

Bitcoin Falls Below $5,000 as Crypto Selloff Continues | Fortune Close
Bitcoins US dollar value continued plunging Monday, driving the cryptocurrencys price below the $5,000 mark for the first time in 13 months. The price of Bitcoin fell as low as $4,754 Monday, marking a 14% drop in a 24-hour period. While it's not clear what triggered the most recent selloff, some pointed to actions that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took Friday against two cryptocurrency startups that staged initial coin offerings, or ICOs. Airfox and Paragon Coin agreed to pay civil penalties for running token sales last year without registering them as securities offerings. In August, most cryptocurrencies entered a period of low volatility, with Bitcoin's value moving between $6,000 and $7,000 for several months. During this period of relatively stable trading, institutional investors quietly built up positions as individuals who speculated in crypto assets grew less active.

How to Buy Bitcoin: A Step-By-Step Cryptocurrency Guide | Fortune Close
Bitcoin mania doesn't seem to be waning. People are even mortgaging their homes to pour money into the cryptocurrency that started out 2017 being worth $1,000. By Nov. 20 the price of Bitcoin had set a new record, passing the $8,000 mark. On the last day of the year, the value of Bitcoin was $14,129 per coin. Perhaps you too want to invest in Bitcoin'but you're not really sure how. Here's a guide. To be clear, this is not an endorsement for any cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple or otherwise. It's also not a suggestion that you should invest in cryptocurrency at all. Here's what we do know: The markets for these largely untested, unproven digital assets are like teenagers'young and unpredictable. Just look at the volatile ride Bitcoin was on over the Christmas holiday.

Is Bitcoin Back? Cryptocurrency Prices Up After Crash-Tastic 2 Weeks | Fortune Close
Bitcoins price is showing signs of recovery, following a dismal two weeks that wiped as much as 17% off the cryptocurrencys value. On Wednesday morning, the value of one Bitcoin was up 9% over the preceding 24 hours, reaching a value of $4,050 at the time of writing. As usual, other cryptocurrencies roughly tracked the change, with XRP up 7,7%, Ether up 10.1% and Bitcoin Cash up 5.3%. That makes for Bitcoin's biggest daily jump since July, but it's worth noting that the cryptocurrency also popped following a weekend continuation of its slump that took it to a point that was 82% down from its high of almost $20,000 a year ago.

Coinbase Adds Ethereum Classic, Price Jumps 20 Percent | Fortune Close
The cryptocurrency service Coinbase announced on Monday night it would add a fifth digital assetknown as Ethereum Classic'to its trading platform in coming months. The announcement, which came in a Coinbase blog post, saw the price of Ethereum Classic spike from around $13 to over $16 in the hour after the news was announced. As of late Monday night ET, the price hovered around $15.50. Here's a screenshot courtesy of the price-tracking site CoinMarketCap: Ethereum Classic is an off-shoot of the better known Ethereum, and was created in 2016 by a faction of developers who objected to a modification of the original cryptocurrency. It is currently the 18th most valuable digital currency and its market cap of approximately $1.5 billion is dwarfed by that of Ethereum ($53.3 billion) and of Bitcoin ($117.8 billion).

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