Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. Bitcoin price action-wise, this week was rather boring. BTC trended lower, with volatility actually reaching multi-week lows on most trading markets.
However, the fundamental side of this industry saw a number of intriguing developments this week. These include the start of user testing for Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures, a European airline looking into launching crypto payment support, and a large partnership between Lolli and a large American grocer.
Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits
- Bakkt Starts User Testing for Bitcoin Futures Contracts: The most notable tidbit this week is the launch of Bakkt, the crypto exchange/startup backed by the New York Stock Exchange, Microsoft’s venture arm, and Starbucks. On Monday, the exchange started a “user testing acceptance” phase for its Bitcoin futures contracts, slated to be one of the first U.S.-regulated, accessible physically-deliverable BTC vehicle. It is unclear how exactly the products are being tested — meaning whether or not cash and Bitcoin are being exchanged — and who is involved in the beta. But, should nothing go wrong, Bakkt’s team have claimed that by the end of this quarter (Q3 2019), the Bitcoin futures product should be live for a global audience.
- John McAfee Looks to Run for U.K. Prime Minister: After being released from a prison cell, John McAfee, the eccentric cryptocurrency pioneer and staunch libertarian, has revealed that he wants to run for the seat of the United States President and the United Kingdom Prime Minister at the same time. Per him, this is legal as he claims to have been born on the grounds of a U.S. military base that was once situated in England. It is unclear how exactly this is going to work, as Boris Johnson has taken office as the United Kingdom’s leader and the presidential race in America is already well underway.
- Abra Blocks a Number of Crypto Assets in U.S. to Mitigate Regulatory Risk: Cryptocurrency investment service Abra has started to geo-block certain assets and services in the United States, as a result of “regulatory uncertainty and restrictions” in the country. Starting in late-August, users of the popular application will no longer be able to hold Qtum (QTUM), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), EOS, OmiseGo (OMG), and Status (SNT) through Abra.
- Tron CEO Justin Sun Cancels Lunch With Warren Buffett: This week, Justin Sun, the chief executive of Tron and BitTorrent, revealed that he would be postponing his lunch with Warren Buffett — one of the most wealthy men on Earth. Sun cited kidney stones, claiming that the health ailment would prevent him from making it to the charity lunch, which the cryptocurrency entrepreneur had paid $4.5 million for. Then, reports arose that Sun was under investigation by certain authorities in China, and thus thought it best to fly under the radar by leaving the ballyhooed lunch to a later date. The details around this debacle as still up in the air, but the lunch didn’t happen — that’s for sure.
- Monex, Firm Behind Hacked CoinCheck Exchange, Wants in on Libra: Monex Group, the parent company of CoinCheck — the once-popular Japanese exchange that was famously hacked for over $400 million worth of NEM (XEM) in 2018 — is reported by Reuters to be looking into requesting if it can join the Libra Association. If accepted, Monex would join a group of other potential partners that includes Visa, Mastercard, Spotify, Uber, Coinbase, and PayPal.
- Huawei Founder Questions Libra, Says China Should Issue Own Crypto: Sina Finance, a top business news publication, reports that the chief executive-founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, has commented on Libra. Responding to a question from a reporter about if Libra is a way for the U.S. government to maintain global hegemony over finance, the technology tycoon, noted that China should launch its own cryptocurrency. This comes after a prominent representative of the People’s Bank of China confirmed that should Libra gain traction, the central bank could launch its own digital asset.
- Bitcoin Earning Service Lolli Bags Partnership With Safeway: Just days ago, Lolli, a Bitcoin rewards service, revealed that it had teamed up with Safeway, a subsidiary of American grocery giant Albertsons. While the details of the partnership have yet to be fully released, the firm is expected to be offering up to a 3.5% rebate on transactions at the grocery chain’s website, pretty much allowing for investors to rack up dozens of dollars worth of Bitcoin over the course of a year’s digital grocery shopping trips.
- Norwegian Air to Launch Crypto Exchange, Accept Bitcoin For Airfare: According to a recent report from Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, the fittingly-named Norwegian Air, which is marketed as a low-cost, budget airline, is looking into directly accepting Bitcoin payments for airfare. Per the publication, this move stems from a pro-crypto attitude from the son of Bjørn Kjos, Lars Kjos. The junior Kjos purportedly has invested over $400,000 into the cryptocurrency market since at least late-2017.
- BTC-Accepting Electronics Retailer Newegg Expands Coverage: Electronics retailer Newegg, which is especially popular in the U.S. and Canada, has been accepting Bitcoin via BitPay for years now. Just recently, the company revealed that it will be expanding its support for payments made via the cryptocurrency to other nations.
- PAC Supporting Andrew Yang to Accept Bitcoin Via Lightning: This week, a number of pro-Bitcoin supporters of presidential candidate Andrew Yang launched the Humanity Forward Fund. This fund is a super PAC — a political action committee — that will be accepting Bitcoin donations via the Lightning Network to support Yang’s cause.
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