Crypto Week in Review 4/27/2018: Nasdaq Considers Drinking the Crypto “Kool-Aid”


The month of April is about to end, and it has been a mostly positive wild ride for the cryptocurrency markets. The major news this week was that the Nasdaq stock exchange announced a partnership with the Gemini crypto exchange to work on a blockchain ETF. Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman implied that the exchange might be open to trading crypto in the future as regulations develop. 

Here’s the rest of the crypto week in review:

First, three Chilean crypto exchanges won a lawsuit against three banks. Earlier this month, Buda, Orionx, and CryptoMarket appealed their lawsuit against Itau Corpbanca, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Banco del Estado de Chile after the banks unexpectedly closed the exchanges’ bank accounts. Chile’s appeals court reportedly issued a court order for the banks to reopen the exchanges’ accounts. The outcome is being viewed as a victory for crypto users in Chile.

China is continuing its crackdown on crypto that began last year. In order to maintain its infamous capital controls, the Chinese government has taken a series of increasingly prohibitive steps. On Monday, Chinese authorities announced that the country had successfully shuttered ICOs and would keep cracking down on online fundraising activities deemed illegal. Finally, China has begun to target Chinese crypto traders by monitoring their bank accounts and assets.

A debate is brewing within the crypto community about journalistic ethics. The spark was a controversy between Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin and a CoinDesk article about an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP). The debate has since expanded in scope to include conference fees, the disclosure of conflict of interests, complicity in scams, and journalistic integrity. Whether the debate reaches a consensus or not, it is arguably a needed discussion in the crypto community.

The country of Malta recently introduced three bills to create a regulatory framework for ICOs and crypto transactions. The bills would make it easier for banks to do business with crypto companies. The parliament secretary stated that the regulations will protect investors and provide market integrity. With Binance planning to establish a base in Malta, the country is poised to become an island of blockchain innovation.

Former PayPal (PYPL) CEO Bill Harris remains anti-crypto. In a CNBC interview today, he claimed that crypto traders are “drinking the Kool-Aid,” a reference to the 1978 Jonestown cult suicide. Though Harris believes in digital money, he does not believe in the need for a new currency. While he likes the idea of the blockchain, he does not think cryptocurrencies are necessary.

Finally, ICOs might be replaced by something new ‚ÄĒ STOs. Security token offerings aim to be regulated, legal means of crypto fundraising. Unlike ICOs, STOs must be backed by something tangible, like a company’s assets, revenue, or profit. Overstock (NASDAQ: OSTK) CEO Patrick Byrne is a big fan of the STO. This week, auto startup Elio Motors, with an investment from Overstock, announced the launch of ElioCoin, an STO, to help fund production. As the SEC continues to regulate ICOs as securities and prosecute fraud, the STO could become an interesting fundraising mechanism for U.S. companies.

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Disclaimer: The author(s) of this article may have a position in one or more of the securities mentioned above. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.

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