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Crypto Meets MasterCard, But Decentralization Lags Behind

Last week Nexo (NEXO) announced a MasterCard-branded credit card to let hodlers spend their borrowed crypto, bringing virtual assets forty million steps closer to mass adoption. At first glance, the idea that cryptocurrencies should rely on legacy infrastructure is disappointing. Pundi X, for example, spent millions creating POS machines that can accept a range of cryptocurrencies at the point of sale, without friction or reliance on legacy institutions. For Nexo, however, the move represents an acknowledgement of two things. First, that MasterCard’s footprint is too enormous to overlook. Second, the shift toward decentralization, particularly with respect to the crypto lending market, is going to take a lot longer than purists might hope. Why Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good? Decentralization is the beating heart of digital currencies and of blockchain technology generally. Many find the idea of permissioned blockchains irreconcilable with the most important tenets of decentralization. If a blockchain is controlled by one party, it can be altered unilaterally and is therefore not immutable. But if decentralization is the soul of crypto, mass adoption is its Holy Grail. By making it possible to spend cryptocurrency with the Nexo Card anywhere in the MasterCard network, Nexo seems to have accepted that decentralization might have to take a backseat to usability. And Nexo, more than anyone, would know the difficulties of decentralization. Crypto Lending: The P2P Movement That Quickly Reverted to Centralized Models Nexo, backed by Arrington XRP Capital, powered by Credissimo, and using the secured crypto storage services of BitGo, is not the first entrant to the world of crypto lending. Its main competitors include BlockFi (backed by Mike Novogratz and custodied by the Winklevoss twins), SALT Lending, and Celsius.  The crypto lending market began with ETHLend, a purely distributed, peer-to-peer lending market. But while ETHLend gained from its first-mover advantage and a hat-tip to decentralization, other platforms learned from ETHLend’s mistakes and understood that centrally-controlled entities still have a role to play. Nexo is set to pay out dividends of almost two-and-a-half million dollars to its NEXO token holders in mid-August, suggesting that the product has had some success. BlockFi’s user base also continues to grow exponentially. SALT is a semi-decentralized platform, sitting between lenders and borrowers. Its trajectory staggered markedly, with its native SALT tokens, at one time worth $40, now selling for around 13 cents.  ETHLend recently boasted monthly volumes of 12,000 ether, growing quickly this year. But it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the pure P2P player, and its volumes are a fraction of those of its more centralized cousins.  Distributed lending is not particularly new, being well-established and regulated in jurisdictions like the U.K. and Australia for a number of years. Virtual currencies are now playing catch-up with the analog version, but it’s instructive that there has always been a third-party intermediary.  The Challenges of Purely Decentralized Lending Purely decentralized lending has faced a number of challenges. Just as many tokens rely on market makers to provide volume, distributed lending can easily suffer from a lack of liquidity. That’s why there has been rapid growth for centralized lending services like Nexo and BlockFi, and sluggish growth for decentralized, smart contract-based solutions, such as ETHLend. ETHLend also suffers from the associated problem of isolation. Sitting within the closed ecosystem of the Ethereum network means that they are limited to a narrow corner of the already-tiny cryptocurrency market. Tokenized models are similarly siloed within their own ecosystems, making expansion difficult. Nexo’s tie-up with MasterCard to provide lines of credit to crypto hodlers is a gesture to the reality that a purely decentralized economy is still far off. But Nexo’s CEO Antoni Trenchev argues that the “tokenization of the world is happening as we speak.”     He may be right. But in the sub-sector of crypto lending and borrowing,  that process may take longer than proponents of decentralization have hoped.   The post Crypto Meets MasterCard, But Decentralization Lags Behind appeared first on Crypto Briefing.

Blockchain CRM Cere Network gets investment from Arrington, Binance, and NGC

Cere Network, a blockchain CRM ecosystem platform, announced today it has received strategic funding from Binance Labs, Arrington XRP Capital, and NEO Global Capital to launch its blockchain Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Data Platform (CDP) ecosystem. The Cere Network solution unlocks customer data trapped within existing monolithic and disparate CRM/CDP systems by capturing […]

Michael Arrington Is All Bullish On XRP, And He’s A True HODLer

XRP is one cryptocurrency that has managed to stay in the headlines for a long time. That’s probably because of its relationship with Ripple. Although the crypto has been part of the market-wide up and down price action over the last few days, there are those in the XRP community who are still fiercely bullish. One of these people is Michael Arrington. Michael Arrington is the founder of TechCrunch, CrunchBase, and Arrington XRP Capital. Longing It As an XRP fan and big investor, Arrington is very proactive in engaging with the rest of the XRP community. His latest engagement was in response to a tweet by “The Crypto Dog” who claimed to hold a generous amount of XRP even as the markets swing about. In response, Arrington tweeted that his company was also in possession of quite a good amount of the cryptocurrency given that most of its customers are XRP fans. Arrington went ahead to confess that he and his company were still bullish on XRP. Other Twitter users soon joined the conversation, dishing out there personal opinions about XRP as well as the larger crypto market. He Can Cause A Bull Run As everyone already knows, such social media conversations often involve some characters in the mood to throw in a few jokes. One user on the thread opined that if Arrington could throw in a huge sum to buy off a lot of XRP, we could see a nice price surge for the crypto. Still, and as funny as that statement may sound in the context of the said conversation, it reminds everyone that the crypto market is still vulnerable to market manipulation. In fact, there have been claims that a lot of the recent crypto whale activity was aimed at upsetting the market. There’s an investor currently facing charges for manipulating the market to gain $15 million. The post Michael Arrington Is All Bullish On XRP, And He’s A True HODLer appeared first on ZyCrypto.

SEC Vs. Kik: #DefendCrypto Campaign Raises $4 Million for the Most Iconic Crypto-Case

The Securities Exchange Commission filed a case against the Kik Messenger App for raising unregistered securities in the form of a cryptocurrency, Kin. According to SEC’s charges, Kik Messenger App was going through severe financial conditions before 2017 when it decided to conduct the ICO. This would be classified as a share issue to raise the capital within the company. The Messenger App team raised money under their brand and even offered some at a discount initially. Hence, the SEC claims that the team must hold complete accountability of the funds like equity-based capital investment. However, the developers of the App are defending the case on the fact that the token was designed to be used on the App by users; the company wasn’t directly involved in the utility. Hence, they stand by their claim of it being a cryptocurrency. Why Does it Concern the Crypto-Community? Reportedly, Kin has set aside $5 million in their Coinbase Account to meet the legal expenses of the case. However, they estimate that it might not be enough to meet the total expenses. Moreover, the result of the case will act as precedence for further trials. Hence, a campaign has been initiated by Kin Supporters, Messari Crypto, ShapeShift, Arrington XRP Capital, and Fight For The Future to receive donations for the case. Anthony Pompliano, crypto-influencer and founder of Morgan Creek Digital, told the media, With the disagreement comes into play on how the law applies to those facts… We just need to understand what are the rules, how they apply Also Read: Bitcoin [BTC] On-Chain Transaction Volume Suggests Bull Run Has Just Begun The #DefendCrypto Campaign has already received a contribution worth $4.273 million. Coinbase is managing the wallet from all the donations. The funds will be used as needed after the Foundation spends the initial amount of $5 million towards the case. However, Kik’s case seems to stand on weak grounds. Dovey Wan, analyst, and blockchain enthusiast tweeted, The SEC doc against Kik shows the Kik team has 0 consideration of legal consequence and is lacking basic security law 101 Also ICOs that offered tiers of discount can be big problematic practice that triggers SEC security. Moreover, the precedence set in this case would apply to a plethora of ICOs that were conducted in 2017. The fate of many cryptocurrencies hangs with the result of this case. The result is expected to clear all ambiguities regarding securities law and their extensions over cryptocurrencies. Do you think that Kik will win the case against the SEC? Please share your views with us.   The post SEC Vs. Kik: #DefendCrypto Campaign Raises $4 Million for the Most Iconic Crypto-Case appeared first on Coingape.

Cryptocurrency funds moving towards markets; number of deals has dipped, says Michael Arrington

With the price of Bitcoin [BTC] on the rise and the collective coin market on an upswing, cryptocurrency funds have veered away from increased investment and have primed their focus on the market, claimed Michael Arrington. Arrington is the Founder of Arrington XRP Capital and the Silicon Valley news outlet, Tech Crunch. Speaking to Ran NeuNer on the latest episode of CNBC’s Crypto Trader, Arrington said that the mood was considerably bullish. As the collective market added nearly $40 billion in less than a week, virtual currency-centric funds have seen a wave of optimism, he added. Arrington stated, “I just know that if we put money into the market, and hold long enough and make good bets, eventually, hopefully we’ll make money.” Arrington added that there was a drop in the number of deals being presented at conferences like Deconomy. Hence, funds are moving away from establishing ties and instead, are looking to trade on the market. He added that similar forums held in 2018 saw considerably higher deals being penned, despite the digital currency market beginning to bleed. However, Arrington remains optimistic about current prospects, “I think the deals will pick up again, entrepreneurs will start to build companies, because they know they can raise money and we’ll start to see really good deal flow coming in.” Given this is the year of “building,” Arrington was asked if projects were ready for implementation or if they were still developing. He responded by stating that mainnets were on the rise. However, only a few were ready for action this year while others required a few more years to be deployed, he added. He heralded this year as, “This is definitely the season of the mainnet.” Arrington highlighted two companies that his fund is not only backing, but have expressed a great deal of interest in. The first is Terra, a South Korean-based stablecoin company, which is one of Arrington XRP Capital’s largest investments. He also mentioned interest in Israel-based SpaceMesh. He added that deals with non-US based companies were far better as US crypto-investment are highly regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He referred to the country’s financial watchdog as a “total disaster.” The post Cryptocurrency funds moving towards markets; number of deals has dipped, says Michael Arrington appeared first on AMBCrypto.

TechCrunch Founder: I’ve Never Been More Bullish on Crypto

By On Thursday, Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch and Arrington XRP Capital, has said that he has never been more bullish on crypto. I've never been more bullish about crypto than I am right now. — Michael Arrington (@arrington) March 28, 2019 The statement of Arrington comes after major investment firms in the crypto market in the likes of Pantera Capital and Arrington XRP Capital secured rounds exceeding $100 million to invest in emerging companies in the crypto industry. Why Bullish on Crypto When Bitcoin Price is Stagnant? Despite the strong performance of alternative cryptocurrencies, the bitcoin price The post TechCrunch Founder: I’ve Never Been More Bullish on Crypto appeared first on CCN
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Bakkt Official Launch Date, Ethereum Upgrade, Coinbase Bank & Is Everyone Ready?

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CME Futures CRUSHED Bitcoin... Will Bakkt do the Opposite?

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Here’s Why Bakkt Launch Is a Blessing For Bitcoin Holders

Yesterday’s big announcement that regulatory approval has been granted to Bakkt could be the best news bitcoin investors have had this year. It opens the door to the institutional investors and is a huge step forward for crypto industry legitimization in the US. Bakkt To Launch Next Month After months of procrastination, the new cryptocurrency trading platform launched by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has finally been given the green light. The news that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the New York State Department of Financial Services, has granted regulatory approval broke late yesterday as reported by Bitcoinist. The concept of physically delivered bitcoin futures will require investors to either produce actual BTC or take delivery in them from their respective exchanges and platforms. Crypto trader at TexasWest Capital, Scott Melker, who also goes by the twitter handle ‘Wolf of All Streets’ stated the news was ‘arguably the most bullish event for institutional investors in the history of bitcoin’. The @Bakkt news is arguably the most bullish event for institutional investors in the history of bitcoin. PHYSICALLY delivered futures (require the holder to either produce actual bitcoin or take delivery from the exchange) backed by the New York Stock Exchange. We are maturing. — The Wolf Of All Streets (@scottmelker) August 16, 2019 Being backed by the New York Stock Exchange has granted bitcoin a level of legitimization never seen before. Investors will get the opportunity to trade in daily and monthly physical bitcoin futures contracts which is likely to lead to greater mainstream adoption. Bakkt is also planning to onboard a number of commercial retailers such as Starbucks which will provide an easier way for people to make purchases using bitcoin and other crypto assets. General Counsel for Compound Finance, Jake Chervinsky, was equally bullish on the Bakkt news stating that: “It offers a way for large, risk-averse institutions to buy and custody bitcoin through an end-to-end regulated system approved by the CFTC and NYDFS, and backed by the sterling reputation of ICE. Compliance lawyers rejoice!” The former litigator also noted that there is still a long way to go since there is still the SEC to contend with. When questioned on the possibility of big investors trying to short bitcoin he added; “Short sellers betting against a commodity probably don’t want to hold the underlying, so shorting via physically-delivered futures is more for entities that are net long (like miners) and want to hedge.” Fintech Business Analyst going by the twitter handle ‘Mr. Gordon’ was equally bullish on Bakkt; “This must be what it feels like to win the lottery!  The confirmation of the launch of #Bakkt changes EVERYTHING… Those of us who have been investing in crytpo for the last couple of years now have some very serious decisions to make…” This must be what it feels like to win the lottery! The confirmation of the launch of #Bakkt changes EVERYTHING.. Those of us who have been investing in crytpo for the last couple of years now have some very serious decisions to make….. Like which colour to get — Mr Gordon (@MrGordon_UK) August 16, 2019 Picking a Lambo color is probably a little presumptuous at the moment. Bitcoin price did not even react to the announcement as markets remain choppy this morning. BTC is still consolidating in the mid-$10k range after two dips into four-figure territory late in the week but the long term prospects have just brightened significantly. Will Bakkt send Bitcoin price to a new all-time high later this year? Add your thoughts below. Images via Bitcoinist Image Library, Twitter: @scottmelker, @MrGordon_UK The post Here’s Why Bakkt Launch Is a Blessing For Bitcoin Holders appeared first on

Bakkt launch bears good news for Bitcoin’s price and regulation

One of the biggest news last year was the announcement made by the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange. In August 2018, The firm announced that it would be venturing into the cryptocurrency space with the launch of a new company – Bakkt. This turned out to be an extremely bullish news in […] The post Bakkt launch bears good news for Bitcoin’s price and regulation appeared first on AMBCrypto.

Bakkt’s Gets Nod for Physically Delivered Bitcoin Futures Approved from CFTC

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has greenlighted the physically delivered Bitcoin futures product by Bakkt. Company CEO confirmed the news and said that the derivatives product would debut on September 23. Bakkt will be the first to debut physical BTC futures Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt recently announced that the startup had won approval from the US CFTC to start offering physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts. Bakkt is backed Intercontinental Exchange, and Loeffler is married to Jeff Sprecher, the CEO of ICE. With this approval, Bakkt will become the first company to launch the physical BTC futures. The products will debut on the market on September 23, and all contracts will be cleared by ICE Clear US, the same service that clears trades for NYSE. Loeffler gave a lengthy statement on the product suggest that Bakkt’s product received CFTC approval after a self-certification process. They have also started user acceptance testing. The Bitcoins backing the futures contracts will be under the custody of Bakkt Warehouse. Bakkt Trust Company, a qualified custodian, has also received approval from the New York State Department of Finance Services. She said, “This offers customers unprecedented regulatory clarity and security alongside a regulated, globally accessible exchange in a market underserved by institutional-grade infrastructure.” Bakkt wins the race The ICE-backed startup is not the only company eyeing the lucrative physically-settled Bitcoin futures sector. Numerous other companies like LedgerX are planning to bring the same opportunity to the market. LedgerX could have become the first company to launch these products as it received approval for offering futures, options and swaps settled in Bitcoin by the CFTC. However, the regulator says that the company lacks adequate approvals for launching the physical futures product. Meanwhile, Bakkt has decided to offer two types of futures contracts- daily and monthly. The collection of variation margin and initial margin collateral will be done by ICE Clear US. Product testing began last month to ensure that there are no hiccups when it eventually launches for the buyers. The qualified custodian of Bakkt will help in addressing concerns of the regulator related to manipulation and theft. Note that the company acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC) earlier this year to win the New York regulator’s approval to become a qualified custodian. The company has also decided to pay $35 million for hedging against risks. Loeffler says that doing so will help bring safety for market participants and bring more integrity to this sector. The post Bakkt’s Gets Nod for Physically Delivered Bitcoin Futures Approved from CFTC appeared first on - Daily Cryptocurrency and FX News.
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