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Messaging app Telegram says it'll offer investors a refund if its ICO flops — but there's a catch

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov

  • Telegram, the messaging app operator, is looking to raise as much as $1.7 billion in a second token sale at the end of February, according to documents reviewed by Business Insider. 
  • The company raised $850 million in a private sale for its ICO earlier this year. 
  • If the company fails to launch the token, investors would get a refund. But the company also said it can't guarantee it would have the money to issue the refund.


Investors thinking of putting money into one of the most widely-watched initial coin offerings of 2018 better read the fine print. 

Telegram, the messaging app operator which recently raised $850 million in a private token sale from institutional investors, expects to raise as much as $1.7 billion in a second sale that will begin at the end of February, according to documents sent to potential investors reviewed by Business Insider. In total, that's more than $2.55 billion. The second sale, according to one document, will take place in two "stages." 

In the document, the company said it would issue a refund if the product doesn't launch by October 2019. But in a separate document, the company said that there's no guarantee they would have the money to issue a refund. Here's the text:

"There can be no assurance that the Issuer or Telegram will have sufficient funds to make payments of any Termination Amount (as defined in the Purchase Agreements) as and when required under the terms of the Purchase Agreements. Neither Telegram nor the Issuer has any fiduciary or other obligation to use the funds generated by the token sale for the benefit of the purchasers..."

The company plans to use the funds raised from the ICO — which is kind of like a crypto-twist on the initial public offering process — to build a protocol to rival the Ethereum platform. The so-called TON (Telegram Open Network) will host crypto applications. Investors who participate in the fundraise will get so-called Grams in December following a lock-up period. 

At more than $2 billion, Telegram's ICO would be the biggest ever. The high valuation of the token sale and its lock-up period have kept some cryptocurrency investors away. 

Joe DiPasquale of BitBull Capital is one such investor. He told Business Insider that the amount Telegram has raised and is looking to raise is incredible. 

"It would be hard for an Uber to raise that and they have revenues," he said. 

When asked about the fine print regarding a refund, DiPasquale told Business Insider it didn't strike him as anything more than "legalese."

"If they can raise $2 billion then it's almost a guarantee the token will launch," he said.

SEE ALSO: One of bitcoin's biggest problems is showing signs of getting better

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Amazon is shaking up a healthcare industry that's ripe for disruption

50 Cent reportedly told the bankruptcy court that he had never owned bitcoin, contrary to a report that he made $8 million in crypto

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

50 cent

  • Rapper 50 Cent did not make around $8 million in bitcoin, contrary to a TMZ report that he previously seemed to confirm.
  • The Blast obtained court documents in 50 Cent's bankruptcy case that reportedly stated the rapper has "never owned" a bitcoin account or "any bitcoins."

 

Rapper 50 Cent did not make around $8 million in bitcoin, contrary to a January TMZ report and his apparent confirmation of the report by boasting of its headline on social media. 

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, 50 Cent said he'd never owned a single bitcoin. 

The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, reportedly admitted in his bankruptcy case that media reports "falsely stated" that he owned millions in cryptocurrency, and that he has "never owned, and does not own, a bitcoin account or any bitcoins, and to the best of his knowledge, none of his companies had a bitcoin account from 2014 to the present."

TMZ reported in January that Jackson had made around $8 million — according to the valuation of bitcoin at the time — by accepting bitcoin as payment for his 2014 album, "Animal Ambition." 

Jackson later took to social media with screenshots of the article. He posted it on Instagram with a caption that read, "Not bad for a kid from South Side, I'm so proud of me," and then commented on the post, "Ima keep it real, I forgot I did that shit lol."

Jackson filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2015, citing personal debts of over $28 million.

SEE ALSO: Rapper 50 Cent confirms he accidentally made about $8 million in bitcoin: 'Ima keep it real, I forgot I did that s---'

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50 Cent Says He 'Never Owned' Bitcoin in New Court Filing

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson has claimed in a bankruptcy filing that he has never owned bitcoin, contrary to reports that he is a "bitcoin millionaire."

Circle Leaps Into Exchange Business With Poloniex Acquisition

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Circle Leaps Into Exchange Business With Poloniex Acquisition

Circle, a mobile payment app company backed by Goldman Sachs, has announced it is buying U.S.-regulated cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex Inc. — a move that will transform Boston-based Circle into one of the biggest players in the industry.

According to Fortune Magazine, Circle paid $400 million for the exchange, which handles a trading volume of around $1.5 million per day.

Up till now, Circle had three main products: Circle Pay, a mobile app that allows users to hold, send, and receive traditional fiat currencies; Circle Trade, a liquidity provider of cryptocurrencies; and an upcoming mobile app dubbed Circle Invest that allows users to invest in cryptocurrency markets.

The purchase of Poloniex, the 14th largest cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trading volume, launches Circle into an entirely new realm of business. Circle will now be competing directly with the likes of Coinbase, Bittrex and Kraken.

Poloniex, a company that launched in 2014, appears to headquartered out of Somerville, a town northeast of Boston. Details about its management team are scarce. Its CEO and founder is Tristan D’Agosta, but nobody seems to know much about him, and the company website offers no information about its founders.

ATS Plans

Looking down the road, Circle maybe aiming to “clean up” Poloniex. Right now Poloniex trades several initial coin offering (ICO) tokens. In the past, however, the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated that it considers most ICO tokens to be unregistered securities.

The SEC has also suggested that crypto-to-crypto exchanges operating in the U.S., like Poloniex, Bittrex and Kraken, that trade those tokens are likely trading unregistered securities, and therefore, going against the law, which requires that securities can only be traded on SEC-registered exchanges.

Under that light, it is easy to see why the Circle acquisition may be a good move for Poloniex. According to a slide from a confidential Circle presentation posted on Twitter by New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper, it appears the SEC has informally indicated to Circle that regulators would "not pursue any enforcement action for prior activity" if Circle turns Poloniex into a regulated exchange.

As such, it appears Circle has plans to turn Poloniex into a licensed alternative trading system (ATS), along the lines of what Overstock is doing with tZero. According to the slide, after closing the sale, Circle will begin the process of licensing Poloniex with the SEC and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).


Circle also will be growing the business substantially. “Our pro forma operating plan anticipates adding 80-100 personnel to this business line,” Circle states in the slide.

Tether Connection

Currently, Poloniex, does not have fiat trading pairs, which means the only way for a user to cash out into the fiat world is to move digital assets to an exchange like Coinbase, which links directly to a user’s bank account.


Instead, Poloniex has trading pairs with tether (USDT), a stable token  pegged to the U.S. dollar. Some have speculated, if regulators were to step in and shut down Tether — a company owned and operated by the same management team behind the cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex — that could lead to the undoing of exchanges that depend on it, like Poloniex, Binance and Bittrex.

Circle may try and change that by connecting Poloniex with the fiat world. The company’s principals Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire wrote in a blog post that Circle plans to scale Poloniex by “increasing token listings where possible and appropriate, and exploring the fiat USD, EUR and GBP connectivity that Circle already brings to its compliant Pay, Trade and Invest products.”

There are also hints that Circle plans to delve into decentralized exchanges, where users can trade digital assets directly without the involvement of a third party.

In a blog post announcing the merger, Poloniex wrote, “In working closely with the Circle team to formalize our union, we have found a shared vision for a future in which decentralized cryptocurrency protocols create a far more open, inclusive and evenly distributed global economy.”

In the meantime, Poloniex assures its users the transition will be a smooth one, writing that "any updates we make in the course of this transition will be behind-the-scenes and focused on strengthening user experience, platform performance and security.”


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Pizza Day 2: How and Why A Lightning Payment Just Made History

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

One of bitcoin's historic moments just got revisited, with a Lightning

'Satoshi' Craig Wright Is Being Sued for $10 Billion

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Craig Wright, who previously claimed to be the pseuduonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, is being sued for a whopping $10 billion.

One of the best incentives to buy a Tesla may start to disappear this year (TSLA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Tesla Model 3

  • In an SEC report filed on Friday, Tesla said it expects to deliver its 200,000th vehicle in the US this year, which means the federal government will start phasing out a tax credit the company's customers receive when they buy the vehicle. 
  • The federal government gives people who buy electric vehicles a tax credit between $2,500 and $7,500, but once a company sells 200,000 electric vehicles in the US, the tax credit begins to phase out.
  • The loss of the tax credit will hurt demand for Tesla's Model 3, which was designed to appeal to consumers who can't afford the company's Model S sedan and Model X SUV.


Tesla expects to deliver its 200,000th vehicle in the US this year, which means the federal government will start phasing out a tax credit the company's customers receive.

The federal government gives people who buy electric vehicles a tax credit between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the vehicle's size and battery capacity. As Tesla wrote in an annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Committee on Friday, its customers get the full $7,500. But once a company sells 200,000 electric vehicles in the US, the tax credit begins to phase out.

For the six months following the quarter in which the 200,000th vehicle is sold, customers are eligible for 50% of the credit. That falls to 25% during the six months after that. Once the second six-month period ends, the company's customers are no longer eligible for that tax credit.

No company has had the tax credit phased out yet, so Tesla could be the first if its projections are correct. In the filing, the company said it expects to reach 200,000 vehicle deliveries to US customers in 2018. 

Losing the tax credit will hurt demand for the Model 3

Since customers don't get to access the tax credit until they receive their vehicle, the vast majority of those responsible for the Model 3's roughly 400,000 pre-orders won't be eligible for it. That could lead some potential customers to decide they don't want the vehicle and ask for a refund on their $1,000 deposit. 

The Model 3 is Tesla's least expensive vehicle to date (it starts at $35,000), so many of its potential customers are more price-sensitive than those who could afford to pay upwards of $100,000 for a Model S sedan or Model X SUV. Losing a $7,500 discount is significant for the average consumer, and combined with the fact that Tesla hasn't come close to its production targets for the Model 3, some potential customers who would have bought the vehicle with the tax credit and a somewhat timely delivery will do the math and look elsewhere.

The number of consumers who make that decision will go a long way toward determining whether Tesla can transition from a luxury automaker to a mass-market one.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

SEE ALSO: One of Tesla's biggest advantages could become its biggest problem

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Ken Rogoff on the next financial crisis and the future of bitcoin

Op Ed: What Do We Mean When We Talk About the "Blockchain Ecosystem”?

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Op Ed: Blockchain ecosystems

Ethereum has just announced its Ethereum Community Fund (ECF) grant program, an initiative launched by a collection of major players in the Ethereum world that is designed to accelerate the development of blockchain infrastructure apps and services. The stated aim of the ECF is to bring about “an environment where teams and ideas can thrive, grow, and collaborate to become essential and functioning pieces of the broader Ethereum ecosystem.”

All of this raises the question of what exactly we mean when we talk about “blockchain ecosystems” and how they are built. Well, here’s an analogy for you: blockchains are like roads.

Just as there’s no single type of road (regular highways, motorways, backcountry dirt tracks), there is no single type of blockchain. Each one is purpose-built for its own ends. Not only that, but roads have a system of independent elements that come together to enable the whole ecosystem to function smoothly and reliably: traffic lights, police enforcers, toll roads, gas stations and so on. So it is with blockchains.

When we talk about a “blockchain ecosystem,” we’re talking about the parts that constitute the whole, how they interact with each other and how they interact with the outside world.

The Bitcoin ecosystem, for example, boils down to four parts: the users sending and receiving payments, the miners generating the cryptocurrency, the investors buying it, and the developers that monitor and maintain the whole thing. No single part of the equation works without the others being there too.

In any event, a series of ingredients must work together well to keep a blockchain project operational. We’re going to take a look at the pieces that constitute four major blockchain projects that are up and running today.

Blockchain Projects

Despite the blockchain industry still being very young, we can already single out some major non-Bitcoin blockchain infrastructure projects: Ethereum, Waves, Stellar, NEO, NEM and a handful of others.

Ethereum was proposed by Vitalik Buterin in 2013, crowdfunded with 30,000 BTC in the summer of 2014 and launched a year later in 2015. Its core feature is “smart contracts,” which run automatically and exactly as coded, without any possibility of downtime.

Ethereum is not the only platform that uses smart contracts. NEO runs decentralized software in a manner similar to Ethereum, and in fact is trying to position itself as the “Chinese Ethereum.” The difference is that NEO apps are written in popular programming languages like Python, whilst Ethereum relies on its own custom Solidity language. Additionally, NEO lets users digitize certain assets and track them on its blockchain, making it simple to trade them as users see fit. If that sounds complicated, don’t worry — one Redditor with a computer science degree confessed even he has a hard time understanding it.

In contrast to Ethereum’s focus on the developer community, the Waves platform focuses on mass adoption. Founder Sasha Ivanov’s vision was to create a platform different from existing blockchains and more focused on real-world applications.

Products and services include a multi-currency wallet, the ability to raise funds for the development of projects through token issuance and an integrated decentralized exchange, none of which requires any expertise in blockchain technology to use. It is this ease of use and simplicity that Waves believes will benefit a wide range of businesses and so open up the blockchain economy for any organization of any size, in any sector.

Stellar is a blockchain-enabled payment network designed to move money across borders easily. This is facilitated by people voluntarily running Stellar servers on their computers, each containing a complete copy of the Stellar ledger and synchronized every two to five seconds. The more people running these nodes, the stronger the network becomes.

NEM is a blockchain platform for managing assets like currencies, supply chains, notarizations and ownership records. It found some mainstream success in late 2015 when a pair of Japanese banks began to implement it in their businesses. NEM’s ecosystem breaks down into two components: the nodes that make up the NEM Infrastructure Server (NIS) and the clients that interact with those nodes.

Exchanges and Token Launching Tools

Every blockchain project of note has a similarly robust ecosystem under its hood, and they almost always include a decentralized exchange. These might be developed by the core project team, the community or other developers.

Consider NEO’s NEX exchange, which merges blockchain with off-chain matching technology to complete complex trades quickly. Stellar’s SDEX exchange is designed to find the cheapest rates between any two digital assets, making it more affordable to trade crypto. EtherDelta is one of the decentralized exchanges used for trading Ethereum’s ERC20 tokens; it readily integrates with hardware wallets, or users can create a wallet directly on the site.

The Waves DEX platform uses centralized Matcher nodes to pair trades for speed, but features blockchain settlement — allowing near-real-time trading but strong security and user control of funds at all times. Waves also includes a Token Launcher, enabling users to issue tokens and then trade them immediately on the DEX. Waves additionally features a user-friendly front end, similar to existing centralized exchanges. Stellar’s SDEX also allows token creation.

Applications

Besides these exchanges and tools for token creation, another important element of the ecosystem is the applications that businesses, developers and communities can build on to create their own services and projects.

For example, the Ethereum white paper discusses three main types of applications: financial applications, so-called semi-financial applications and non-financial applications. The first category focuses on the way that money is managed and used, and includes sub-currencies, derivatives and even instruments like employment contracts.

The second category includes applications with a financial element but that go far beyond this, such as self-enforcing bounties for certain tasks. The final category might include applications such as voting and governance mechanisms.

As a further example, consider the prediction platform Stox, which lets users place bets on just about anything and win cryptocurrency for correct guesses. Other platforms have similarly diverse projects. Popular applications on NEO include Red Pulse and AdEx. On Waves there are Primalbase, OceanLab and MyTrackNet. Stellar has Smartlands, and so on.

In some cases, platforms aim to stimulate the development of applications through initiatives like Stellar’s Stellar Build Challenge and grant program. Waves promotes the same through the Waves Lab, a startup incubator that helps projects at the pre-ICO stage. NEM has its Blockchain Center in Malaysia that serves as an accelerator, incubator and coworking space. NEO has NGC (NEO Global Capital), which invests in upcoming projects that are beneficial to the NEO ecosystem. Developers have even taken their own initiative to create alliances like NEO’s City of Zion, which helps to build infrastructure projects for NEO. And recently, of course, we have seen the launch of the Ethereum Community Fund (ECF).

Businesses and Enterprises

In order to promote blockchain infrastructure, certain projects have set up enterprise initiatives that become an integral part of the ecosystem. For example, Ethereum already has its Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, an advocacy group that connects companies large and small with experts to help them find ways to leverage Ethereum’s powerful technology. It’s a strong community eager to share its resources and know-how.

As for Stellar, its ecosystem has two primary components: the people running Stellar nodes on their machines, and the anchors that facilitate the conversion of cryptocurrency to fiat currency. In practice, “anchors” can take the form of banks, savings institutions, farmers’ co-ops, central banks and remittance companies. These entities have to be trusted to hold users’ money and honor their withdrawals, but that trust enables you to use a balance of U.S. dollars to send rubles to a friend in Russia, for example.

Waves has Tokenomica, a kind of global, blockchain-hosted investment bank. It aims to provide token services to large corporations within a compliant regulatory framework, enabling businesses to launch their own token initiatives and conduct crowdsales whilst meeting all relevant Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. Tokenomica is expected to launch its first projects later in 2018 and build partnerships with regulators and banks over the coming months.

Also on Waves is the Basics Fund, a fund that consists of a portfolio of blockchain projects. The idea is to give institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals early-stage exposure to the sector. The money is also used to capitalize promising businesses seeking initial funding and going through the Waves Lab accelerator/incubator program. The Fund is currently collecting investment and will launch later this year.

Meanwhile NEM, in partnership with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), has launched a program in Malaysia that will provide tax exemptions, visas for foreigners, and support from both the private and public sectors to entrepreneurs in the industry. MDEC will act as a facilitator to develop enterprise solutions for the Malaysian economy.

Rounding It Up

Just as roads can take you to all different kinds of places, blockchains can be used for diverse ends. The path you take (and the blockchain project you participate in) depends entirely on where you want to go and what you want to do.

A robust blockchain ecosystem isn’t merely constructed from high-quality components, but from components that also work together harmoniously. If they don’t click and fire in sync, then you get the blockchain equivalent of a traffic jam.

And no matter what kind of road you’re on, traffic jams are no good.

This is a guest post by Sasha Ivanov, founder and CEO of the Waves Platform. The opinions express are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

European Commission Urges Nations to Embrace Blockchain Tech but Address Risks

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

European Commission Urges Nations to Embrace Blockchain Tech but Address Risks

Following remarks made by Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president of the European Commission (EC), after a roundtable on cryptocurrencies, it appears that the European Union (EU) is prepared to take steps toward regulating cryptocurrencies.

While acknowledging that European nations should embrace blockchain technology in order to remain competitive in financial markets, Dombrovskis also cautioned that they should be taking steps to protect their citizens from hazards in the cryptocurrency space.

“Based on the assessment of risks and opportunities and the suitability of the existing regulatory framework for these instruments [cryptocurrencies and ICOs], the Commission will determine if regulatory action at EU level is required.”

The EC roundtable focused on three specific topics:

  • Implications of cryptocurrencies for financial markets
  • Risks and opportunities associated with their use
  • The recent development of initial coin offerings (ICOs)

Just last month, the EC launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum to consolidate and grow blockchain initiatives within the EU. Over the last couple of months, there have been warnings from EU member states about the potential bitcoin bubble, while conflicting statements about both regulating and not regulating cryptocurrencies have come from those same member states. Today’s announcement from the roundtable seeks to unify a message to feed into their upcoming Action Plan on FinTech and the EU’s position for a possible discussion with the G20. There were five major conclusions that came out of the session.

The first point is that blockchain technology holds a strong promise for financial markets; to remain competitive, the EU must embrace the technology.

Second, cryptocurrencies, which they deemed “not currencies in the traditional sense,” have become the subject of significant speculation, exposing consumers and investors to substantial risk of losing their investment.

This second point leads to the third, which is that warnings about the aforementioned risks to consumers and investors are vital and must be clearly and frequently stated across all jurisdictions.

Fourth, ICOs have become a creative method for companies to raise funding, but this opportunity also comes with high risk to investors due to lack of transparency regarding the issuers’ identities and underlying business plans.

Finally, the EC needs to assess under what circumstances the existing regulation covers cryptocurrencies and related services. This will vary greatly depending on the circumstances around specific crypto-tokens, and the EC will determine if any regulatory action is required at the EU level.

The EC proposes that any virtual currency exchanges or wallet providers be subject to the Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The Commission also suggests that its member states prepare for rapid transposition of this legislation while the EC continues to monitor the markets for changes that might impact their plans.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Chinese E-Commerce Giant JD.com Launches Blockchain Accelerator

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Chinese E-Commerce Giant JD.com Launches Blockchain Accelerator

Chinese e-commerce company JD.com, a member of the Fortune Global 500 headquartered in Beijing, is launching AI Catapult Accelerator (AICA), an accelerator program designed to unlock the transformative potential of startups demonstrating cutting-edge talent in the blockchain space.

JD.com is one of the two largest business-to-consumer (B2C) online retailers in China by transaction volume and revenue, and a major competitor to Alibaba-run Tmall. As of September 2017, JD.com’s platform, often referred to as the “eBay of China,” had more than 266 million active users, with a revenue of close to $50 billion. JD considers blockchain technology and its integration into mainstream use as the key to a new age of cost effectiveness and customer satisfaction.

"Whole-process traceability is not a new concept but blockchain makes it really possible,” Yongli Yu, president of JD's supply chain research unit, said in conversation with Bitcoin Magazine. "Throughout the world, and particularly in China, consumers increasingly want to know how their products are sourced, and JD is dedicated to using technology to promote complete transparency."

Six blockchain technology companies CanYa, Bluzelle, Nuggets, Republic Protocol, Devery and Bankorus have been chosen as members of the AICA accelerator’s first cohort. The program will start with a signing ceremony in New York, where JD is traded, and then the first cohort will be guided through the six-month international accelerator program from March 2018. Among other benefits, the companies in the AICA accelerator program will receive marketing, PR and international business development help from JD.com.

CanYa, a blockchain-powered marketplace of peer-to-peer services that helps people find, book and pay for digital and home services, is one of the first members of the AICA accelerator program. The company strives to “accelerate the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency by providing a meaningful reason to spend cryptocurrencies on services.” According to its white paper, CanYa wants to be “the ultimate link between cryptocurrency and the real world.”

The CanYaCoin (CAN), an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, can be exchanged in the platform and converted to real-world skilled labour. The token provides the CanYa marketplace with a decentralized, trustless and hedged escrow service; a bridge between fiat and a variety of cryptocurrencies; a rewards system to encourage network effects; and incentives for user curation and arbitration.

The CanYa apps will be translated into Chinese, integrated with the JD platform and promoted to JD’s customers with a “CanYa Widget” for JD buyers to hire a local CanYa service provider to help with their purchases. For example, someone buying furniture could book a CanYa provider at checkout to assemble and install it in their home.

“This is a validation of CanYa’s business model and global disruptive potential,” said CanYa co-founder and CEO John-Paul Thorbjornsen in a company statement. “JD is one of the most significant technology companies in the world, to have their full support and backing is huge for our platform and the acceleration of blockchain technology.”

JD.com is a global leader in making a meaningful change in the lives of consumers, and we are incredibly excited to see them embrace decentralized technologies and encourage their mainstream adoption,” added Thorbjornsen in conversation with Bitcoin Magazine. “By creating a blockchain accelerator and working with blockchain startups with potential, JD is cutting through the hype and providing support where it is needed most right now: shipping technology to millions of users globally.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

50 Cent admits he ‘has never owned, and does not now own’ any bitcoin

TechCrunch, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

 Reports last month that rapper 50 Cent had forgotten about $7 million or so in bitcoin he owned have been given the lie by the man himself, who declares in court documents that he “has never owned, and does not now own, a bitcoin account or any bitcoin,” nor did any of his companies. Read More

$10 Billion: Dave Kleinman’s Estate Files Mammoth Suit Against ‘Bitcoin Creator’ Craig Wright

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post $10 Billion: Dave Kleinman’s Estate Files Mammoth Suit Against ‘Bitcoin Creator’ Craig Wright appeared first on CCN

The estate of early Bitcoin adopter Dave Kleinman has sued self-declared Bitcoin creator Craig Wright for more than $10 billion for allegedly stealing more than 1 million BTC from the forensic computer investigator following his death in 2013. The complaint, which was dated Feb. 14 and filed by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP on behalf of

The post $10 Billion: Dave Kleinman’s Estate Files Mammoth Suit Against ‘Bitcoin Creator’ Craig Wright appeared first on CCN

A Goldman Sachs-backed tech company just bought a major crypto exchange for a reported $400 million

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

bitcoin

  • Fintech company Circle announced it bought cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. 
  • The company plans to scale the exchange and host a platform for all sorts of tokenzied assets. 

Boston-based financial-technology company Circle just dove deeper into the nascent digital-coin market by scooping up cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, the company announced Monday. 

The acquisition, which is reportedly worth $400 million according to reporting by Fortune's Robert Hackett, appears to be a natural move for the five-year-old company, which already facilitates cryptocurrency trades worth upwards of a couple hundred million dollars via its market-making arm Circle Trade. The deal likely makes Circle a unicorn (if it wasn't already). In July 2016 - before the bitcoin boom of 2017 - Circle was valued at $480 million. A unicorn is a private company worth more than a $1 billion. Notably, Circle counts investment bank Goldman Sachs as a a strategic backer. 

Circle plans to build out Poloniex, a crypto exchange that sees $150 million worth of crypto change hands each day.

Circle's cofounders - Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire - said in a blog post the firm plans to bring the exchange to new markets, add the number of coins on its platform, and enable fiat-to-crypto transactions. Circle plans to target new markets, such as Brazil and Vietnam. Also in the works, is Circle Invest, a mobile application built specifically for new crypto investors. 

Circle's first priority, however, will be scaling the exchange. That includes tackling customers support requests and technical issues. Neville said the company will do this "while the train is running" and expects zero down time. 

As for Circle's long-term vision for Poloniex, the company expects to create a diverse marketplace, hosting tokens representing assets from art to real estate to futures. Already, the company hosts close to one hundred "alt-coins," or alternative cryptos, in addition to more popular ones like bitcoin, ether, and litecoin

"Why can't a small business owner in India open up his business to investors around the world via a token" Allaire asked in an interview. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Ken Rogoff on the next financial crisis and the future of bitcoin

A Goldman Sachs-backed tech company just bought a major crypto exchange for a reported $400 million

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

bitcoin

  • Fintech company Circle announced it bought cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. 
  • The company plans to scale the exchange and host a platform for all sorts of tokenzied assets. 

Boston-based financial-technology company Circle just dove deeper into the nascent digital-coin market by scooping up cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, the company announced Monday. 

The acquisition, which is reportedly worth $400 million according to reporting by Fortune's Robert Hackett, appears to be a natural move for the five-year-old company, which already facilitates cryptocurrency trades worth upwards of a couple hundred million dollars via its market-making arm Circle Trade. The deal likely makes Circle a unicorn (if it wasn't already). In July 2016 - before the bitcoin boom of 2017 - Circle was valued at $480 million. A unicorn is a private company worth more than a $1 billion. Notably, Circle counts investment bank Goldman Sachs as a a strategic backer. 

Circle plans to build out Poloniex, a crypto exchange that sees $150 million worth of crypto change hands each day.

Circle's cofounders - Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire - said in a blog post the firm plans to bring the exchange to new markets, add the number of coins on its platform, and enable fiat-to-crypto transactions. Circle plans to target new markets, such as Brazil and Vietnam. Also in the works, is Circle Invest, a mobile application built specifically for new crypto investors. 

Circle's first priority, however, will be scaling the exchange. That includes tackling customers support requests and technical issues. Neville said the company will do this "while the train is running" and expects zero down time. 

As for Circle's long-term vision for Poloniex, the company expects to create a diverse marketplace, hosting tokens representing assets from art to real estate to futures. Already, the company hosts close to one hundred "alt-coins," or alternative cryptos, in addition to more popular ones like bitcoin, ether, and litecoin

"Why can't a small business owner in India open up his business to investors around the world via a token" Allaire asked in an interview. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Ken Rogoff on the next financial crisis and the future of bitcoin

Bitcoin miners turn Quebec's cheap energy into cold cash

Engadget, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin mining is a weird industry. Vast banks of dedicated computers solve complex equations to generate hashes worth a fraction of a coin, consuming huge amounts of power in the process. For such operations to be economically feasible nowadays, min...

Bitcoin Core Releases Software Upgrade With Full SegWit Support

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 update has been officially released, introducing full support for the SegWit wallet and user interfaces.

Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 Goes Live: Here’s What Changes in this Major Update

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 Goes Live: Here’s What Changes in this Major Update appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Core version 0.16.0 has officially been marked for release by developers, ushering in a host of improvements to the wallet software’s codebase. Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 Adds Full Support for SegWit As CCN reported, the most notable change in 0.16.0 is the introduction of full support for Segregated Witness (SegWit), a scaling solution that activated

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CRYPTO INSIDER: Wall Street is terrified of cryptocurrencies

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Fearless Girl

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Wall Street is terrified of cryptocurrencies, and Bank of America's latest regulatory filing shows just how scared they are. The bank mentioned cryptocurrencies three times in the risks section of its prospectus, saying it could undermine many of the firm's core businesses if it can't keep up with innovation.

Here are the current crypto prices:

Crypto prices today

In the news:

SEE ALSO: South Korea’s defense ministry is taking steps to keep soldiers from getting caught up in the cryptocurrency frenzy

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why you should never pour grease down the drain

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Reveals Scammer Stole 7 Bitcoins

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Reveals Scammer Stole 7 Bitcoins appeared first on CCN

If you’ve fallen prey to a cryptocurrency-related scam, you’re likely too mortified to admit it publicly. However, you should take heart because even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has found himself a few BTC short at the hand of an experienced scam artist. Wozniak related this embarrassing incident at the Economic Times Global Business Summit, explaining

The post Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Reveals Scammer Stole 7 Bitcoins appeared first on CCN

A United passenger was arrested after opening the emergency exit and sliding down the chute while the plane was boarding

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

united airlines

  • A passenger on United Airlines flight 1640 from Newark to Tampa Bay deployed and used the emergency exit slide while the flight was boarding at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to NBC New York.
  • The man reportedly claimed that he had boarded the wrong flight before he was arrested, but the Port Authority later said the man had boarded the correct flight.
  • The plane was evacuated after the incident and passengers were moved to another plane, CBS News reports.


A passenger on United Airlines flight 1640 to Tampa Bay deployed and used the emergency exit slide while the flight was boarding at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to NBC New York.

The man reportedly claimed that he had boarded the wrong flight before he was obtained, but the Port Authority later said the man had boarded the correct flight.

According to a Twitter user, the flight was delayed for three hours before the man used the emergency slide. The flight was delayed for a little over five hours total, according to Flightaware.com. After the incident, the plane was evacuated and passengers were moved to another plane, CBS News reports.

According to NBC New York, the man was arrested after the incident and charges are pending. 

united emergency slide

United and the Port Authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In January, a passenger on a delayed Ryanair flight also climbed onto a wing before the plane deboarded the plane in Malaga, Spain. The passenger was reportedly frustrated by having to wait to get off the plane. He was also arrested after the incident. 

 

SEE ALSO: Terrifying video shows jet engine falling apart mid-flight on its way from San Francisco to Honolulu

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Ken Rogoff on the next financial crisis and the future of bitcoin

Breaking: Goldman-Backed Circle Acquires Crypto Exchange Poloniex

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post Breaking: Goldman-Backed Circle Acquires Crypto Exchange Poloniex appeared first on CCN

Former bitcoin startup Circle has acquired US-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. Circle, one of the earliest and the best-funded startups in the bitcoin industry has announced its acquisition of Poloniex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. In an announcement, Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire stated: “We’re proud to announce that Circle has extended

The post Breaking: Goldman-Backed Circle Acquires Crypto Exchange Poloniex appeared first on CCN

2010’s 10,000 Bitcoins Pizza Guy Repeats Feat With Historic Lightning Network Transaction

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post 2010’s 10,000 Bitcoins Pizza Guy Repeats Feat With Historic Lightning Network Transaction appeared first on CCN

The “Bitcoin pizza guy” is at it again. Laszlo Hanyecz, best known for making the first documented transaction in which Bitcoin was used to purchase a physical item, recently christened the Lightning Network (LN) with the help of a sympathetic pizza delivery driver and a jerry-rigged atomic swap. Hanyecz ensconced his place in Bitcoin lore

The post 2010’s 10,000 Bitcoins Pizza Guy Repeats Feat With Historic Lightning Network Transaction appeared first on CCN

Litecoin Price Outperforms But Nears Key Resistance

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Litecoin is solidly bid amid positive news flow today, but is nearing a key technical resistance above $230.

CITI: 'Don’t waste your time' with Italy's spectacularly complicated election

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

FILE PHOTO: Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi gestures during EPP European People's Party meeting in Fiuggi, Italy, September 17, 2017. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo

  • Citi: Italy's election is so complicated that the best strategy for investors is to wait to see what happens.
  • "While investors are increasingly receiving views on the pending Italian election (including ours), our humble suggestion is to stop reading stuff (apart from this quick note of course) and quietly wait for March 5th," the pair said.


LONDON — Investors shouldn't bother trying to make money on Italy's upcoming election because it is simply too complicated, analysts at Citi have told clients.

"While investors are increasingly receiving views on the pending Italian election (including ours), our humble suggestion is to stop reading stuff (apart from this quick note of course) and quietly wait for March 5th," Citi analysts Mauro Baragiola and Tina Fordham wrote in a note circulated on Monday.

"We think that i) the combination of the technicalities of the Rosatellum along with ii) the large number of undecided voters make (historically) already unreliable polls even less reliable. Whatever "experts" might say this week, it is highly unlikely to be accurate next week."

Baragiola and Fordham argue that regardless of the outcome of the vote, Italy no longer poses an existential threat to the eurozone. As such, the country's politics are nowhere near as important to investors as they once were.

Italy has been politically unstable in recent years but problems haven't translated into international issues. Further instability, so long as it does not threaten the country's membership of the eurozone, is not a huge problem.

"We believe that, after having scared investors in 2016, Italian politics has become somewhat irrelevant as investors (correctly) no longer fear an Italexit. Whatever the election outcome, we would simply expect Italy to go back to being the chaotic country that has disappointed investors and partners for a long time," the pair write.

With less than a week to go before Italians vote for their new government, the outcome is hugely uncertain. The centre-left coalition of Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party, the populist Five Star Movement, and the right-wing bloc comprising Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia and the far-right Lega Nord could all end up in government, with all three blocs polling at levels too low to govern alone.

Citi says that the uncertainty means while a "disastrous" so-called "Italexit" is highly unlikely, it is equally unlikely that the vote will end in a clear positive outcome.

"While we tend to exclude scenarios leading to the much-feared Italexit, we also tend to exclude any very positive outcome either. Again, let’s wait for March 5th to both 'count and weight: votes' to ponder 'how bad is bad'," Citi's team writes.

But the bank warns: "While Italy might remain irrelevant in the short-term, we fear that in the longer term the combination of poor macro, large public debt and political weakness might resurface and recent history (2011, 2012 and 2016) might repeat itself. After all, a dreadful end might be a better scenario than never-ending dread."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Ken Rogoff on the next financial crisis and the future of bitcoin

3 Class Actions Take Aim at Riot Blockchain's Bitcoin Pivot

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

After its blockchain and bitcoin mining pivot, Riot Blockchain has been hit by three class action lawsuits in the U.S.

Bitcoin Eyes $10K, But Longer Outlook Favors Bears

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin's recent drop below $10,000 has strengthened the bearish indicators on the weekly chart, though a limited corrective rally may lie ahead.

Cryptocurrency Market Remains Volatile, Litecoin Sustains Momentum With 4% Gains

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post Cryptocurrency Market Remains Volatile, Litecoin Sustains Momentum With 4% Gains appeared first on CCN

Yesterday, on February 25, CCN reported that the cryptocurrency market struggled to maintain momentum in the $500 billion region, falling to $430 billion as sell volumes intensified. A similar trend occurred today, as most major cryptocurrencies including bitcoin struggled to record gains. Bitcoin and Ethereum On February 26, only Litecoin and Ethereum amongst the 10

The post Cryptocurrency Market Remains Volatile, Litecoin Sustains Momentum With 4% Gains appeared first on CCN

Cryptocurrency Market Remains Volatile, Litecoin Sustains Momentum With 4% Gains

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post Cryptocurrency Market Remains Volatile, Litecoin Sustains Momentum With 4% Gains appeared first on CCN

Yesterday, on February 25, CCN reported that the cryptocurrency market struggled to maintain momentum in the $500 billion region, falling to $430 billion as sell volumes intensified. A similar trend occurred today, as most major cryptocurrencies including bitcoin struggled to record gains. Bitcoin and Ethereum On February 26, only Litecoin and Ethereum amongst the 10

The post Cryptocurrency Market Remains Volatile, Litecoin Sustains Momentum With 4% Gains appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Startup Backer BnkToTheFuture Closes $33 Million ICO

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Investing platform BnkToTheFuture has raised $33 million in an ICO – money it will use to launch a token market and crowd-sourced research platform.

The Bank of England is making a fundamental misjudgment about the British economy

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Mark Carney

  • The Bank of England is being too pessimistic about the UK's growth potential in the coming years, according to Pantheon Macroeconomics.
  • Mark Carney and his staff are underestimating the UK's rate of trend growth.
  • They believe it to be around 1.5%, while Samuel Tombs and his Pantheon team see growth at closer to 2%.


LONDON — The Bank of England is underestimating the growth potential of the British economy going forward, and in doing so could end up misjudging its policy path in 2018, according to research from Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Writing to clients on Monday, Pantheon's chief UK economist, Samuel Tombs argues that the bank's assertion that UK trend growth is around 1.5% — which estimates the long term average productive potential of the economy — is overly negative, and that the trend could actually be closer to 2%.

"Policymakers have continued to emphasise that the economy's speed limit is 1.5% and that spare capacity is modest, at just 0.25% of GDP," Tombs writes.

"As a result, the 1.8% increases in GDP that the MPC expects in each of the next three years will lead quickly to excess demand. Monetary policy works with a lag, so interest rates need to rise again soon, on this logic. Recent data, however, challenge the MPC's pessimism."

Tombs argues that while overall GDP data, which showed the economy growing 0.5% in Q3 and 0.4% in Q4 last year, already points to the BoE underestimating growth, it is what's happening in the UK's labour market that suggests they're being too pessimistic.

Pantheon argues that excessive slack — more workers than jobs — in the UK's labour market has not been absorbed.

"The economy has begun this year with slightly more slack than the MPC expected," Tombs writes.

"And there's every reason to think that this remaining slack won't be absorbed this year. Labour input can rise further without dragging down unemployment, given the clear scope for average hours to revive and the workforce to expand further."

Here's the key chart from Pantheon:

Screen Shot 2018 02 26 at 08.55.18

A further issue that suggests overt pessimism on the Bank of England's part, Pantheon argue, is the structure of demographics in the UK's labour market. While it is true that the UK has an aging population, that aging is not going to rear its head as a problem for several more years.

Here's Tombs one last time (emphasis ours):

"The working-age population should continue to be boosted by high net migration. It fell immediately after the referendum, but since has stabilised at around 250K a year. Net inflows have risen from non-EU countries, offsetting some of the decline from EU countries. Admittedly, EU migrants are more likely to come to the U.K. to work than those from elsewhere. Even so, 248K people arriving in the year to September cited work reasons, slightly above the 232K average of the last decade.

"Brexit brings downside risks, but in order to secure a transition deal, Britain must accept the EU's free movement rules. The ageing of the population will become a major issue in the 2020s, when retiree numbers will surge, but the participation rate should edge up over the next two years."

And here's the chart:

Screen Shot 2018 02 26 at 09.02.05

"With our stronger assumptions for labour supply growth, we think that trend GDP growth is closer to 2% than the MPC's 1.5%," Tombs concludes.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Ken Rogoff on the next financial crisis and the future of bitcoin

ImmVRse Signs Partnership with Bitcoin PR Buzz Agency

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post ImmVRse Signs Partnership with Bitcoin PR Buzz Agency appeared first on CCN

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned

The post ImmVRse Signs Partnership with Bitcoin PR Buzz Agency appeared first on CCN

Legalised brothels, flat tax and a repeal of 400 laws: Here's what Italy's political parties are promising ahead of this week's election

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Italian prime minister candidates 2

  • Italy's general election is now less than a week away, with the result still hugely unclear.
  • 2018's election has largely been focused on the core issue of immigration, while taxation and social reforms are also high on the agenda.
  • Business Insider took a look at some of the more off the wall policies being pledged by Italy's major parties ahead of the vote.

LONDON – With Italy's general election now less than a week away, the outcome is no less clear than it has been in the months leading up to the vote.

The centre-left coalition of Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party, the populist Five Star Movement, and the right wing bloc comprising Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia and the far-right Lega Nord could all end up running the Italian government in the coming weeks, but what do they stand for?

2018's election has largely been focused on the core issue of immigration, while taxation and social reforms are also high on the agenda.

"The narrative of the main parties and the interest of voters is mainly focused on immigration policies and on the improvement of the welfare and tax regime," Giovanni Montalti, an analyst at Swiss bank UBS said in a recent note.

Obviously, all the parties have positions on a wide spectrum of issues, from the economy, to immigration, to the EU, but Business Insider decided to pick out some of the major policies of the four major parties with a chance to win big next Sunday.

Five Star Movement

5-Star movement leader Luigi Di Maio speaks during the final rally for the regional election in Palermo, Italy, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

As the party most likely to have the highest vote percentage, Five Star stands a reasonable chance of being in government this year — especially considering that it has recently moderated its stance about entering a coalition with other parties.

Until recently Five Star was strongly eurosceptic, and believed in pulling Italy out of the eurozone. As it has gained popularity, that stance has softened, and the party's leader, Luigi Di Maio has publicly said he does not believe Italy should leave the euro.

"I believe it is no longer the right moment for Italy to leave the euro," he said in January.

Previously Five Star backed a referendum on leaving the euro, but Di Maio now describes that as "a last resort which I hope to avoid."

Five Star doesn't conform to the classical left-right ideological spectrum, preferring a pragmatic approach to policy making. Much of its early success has been down to its highly critical attitude towards Italy's establishment parties.

The party is anti-immigration to the extent that it wants "an immediate stop to the sea-taxi service" that brings migrants to Europe. This has been a particular problem for Italy, as migrants fleeing North Africa by boat often make landfall on Italian soil before anything else.

Five Star has also pledged to repeal as many as 400 laws in its first year in power if elected, which it says will simplify the country's tax system and remove unnecessary bureaucracy.

One of its most controversial policies is the repeal of a law that makes it illegal for parents to not vaccinate their children. Di Maio and the party have said they do not want to force parents into vaccinations.

Democratic Party (PD)

matteo renzi

As the party in power, the PD is running on a fairly conservative policy agenda, based around the fact that it has overseen an Italian economy growing strongly and that has a falling rate of unemployment. 

It is also strongly pro-European, with leader Renzi forging a strong alliance with German chancellor Angela Merkel during his time as prime minister.

One of its standout policies, however, is to abolish the TV licence levied on Italians. The licence pays for Rai, Italy's equivalent of the BBC. 

Forza Italia

Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi speaks during the taping of the television talk show

Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right party is in favour of a low-tax regime, with tax cuts one of the policy areas where it is most focused.

Berlusconi believes in the introduction of a flat tax — where everyone pays a single tax encompassing everything from income tax to sales taxes to car tax — something that has been widely criticised by opponents.

Matteo Renzi, for example, said that such a tax could cost the Italian economy €95 billion, according to The Local. 

Berlusconi's party is also strongly anti-immigration, with Berlusconi recently saying immigration is a "social bomb that is ready to explode," in a recent TV interview where he also said that "migrants live off of trickery and crime."

Lega Nord 

Matteo Salvini

The Lega Nord has many policies that are not unusual for parties on the far-right — most obviously in its tough anti-immigration stance. It has pledged to effectively close Italy's borders, as well as to repatriate 100,000 immigrants per year.

It also, however, has some more arcane policies, including the decriminalisation of brothels — something the party's leadership believes could help raise taxes.

"If this business surfaces it would be hugely significant for the state and local authorities, to collect enough resources not only to avoid tax hikes but also to reduce a series of tax levies," Massimo Bitonci, a senior figure in the party said in 2013.

"There is no point in hiding behind hypocrisy and taboo; prostitution is a phenomenon that has always existed."

"I’m not talking of having messy brothels like in the past or putting women behind a shop window," Matteo Salvini, the party's leader, said last year. Salvini believes that legalising brothels will not only increase tax revenues, but could also boost Italy's birth rate.

Lega Nord also favours a tough stance on crime, and wants to improve relations with Russia.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Revolut hits 1.5 million customers as break-neck growth continues

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut

  • Foreign exchange and banking services app Revolut now has 1.5 million downloads.
  • Startup broke even in December but says profitability isn't a priority right now.
  • Monthly transaction volume currently at $1.5 billion, up 700% in the last year.


LONDON — Fintech startup Revolut now has 1.5 million customers and broke even in December, the startup said on Monday.

Revolut said its monthly transaction volume is now running at $1.5 billion, 700% more than this time last year. It has processed $10 billion of transactions to date.

The startup began as a no fees foreign exchange card, linked to an app, but has rapidly expanded to offer everything from travel insurance to property investment through its app.

Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut's founder and CEO, said in a statement: "Instead of becoming a bank from day one, we chose to focus our time and resources on product development and customer acquisition. This strategy is clearly paying off as we are have now firmly positioned ourselves as the market leader in Europe and soon the world."

Revolut says it is signing up between 6,000 and 8,000 new customers a day, adding 500,000 new users in the last two months alone. The startup, which was only formed in July 2015, said it now has 350,000 daily active users and over 800,000 monthly active users.

Revolut has raised $90 million to date, most recently raising $66 million last July from Index Ventures and Silicon Valley's Ribbit Capital to fuel international growth.

Storonsky said: "Whilst it is encouraging to see that our business model is working, becoming a profitable business is not our priority right now. We are completely focused on expanding Revolut to as many countries around the world as possible, with the United States, Singapore and Australia almost ready to go."

Join the conversation about this story »

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(+) Litecoin Recovers After Massive Slide as Charlie Lee Makes Bold Prediction

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The post (+) Litecoin Recovers After Massive Slide as Charlie Lee Makes Bold Prediction appeared first on CCN

The post (+) Litecoin Recovers After Massive Slide as Charlie Lee Makes Bold Prediction appeared first on CCN

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