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JPMorgan Chase Exec: Crypto Innovators Will ‘Ultimately Have to Use a Bank to Move Funds’

JPMorgan Chase’s Ron Karpovich says there is “more partnership instead of competition” between the financial establishment and crypto disruptors.

Ron Karpovich, Global Head of eCommerce Solutions at JPMorgan Chase, stated that there is “more partnership instead of competition” between the financial establishment and crypto disruptors when it comes to the payments space. Karpovich made his remarks during an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box today, March 20.

In response to a question from CNBC’s host as to how the banking giant is poised to compete with new and disruptive actors than can leverage blockchain and cryptocurrencies to offer the same services as the old guard, but with lower fees, Karpovich said:

“Ultimately behind the scenes, they [crypto innovators] are going to have to use a bank to move funds. There’s more partnership instead of competition in that space. […] When it comes to margins and capabilities — payments is never something that grows in margin, nobody wants to pay for a payment. That’s one of the hardest parts of this process: you have limited resources in the capability to sell, so you need highly efficient and large players.”

Karpovich thus attributed the high degree of “consolidation in the payments space” to this prime requirement to provide efficiency in the ability to make payments.

In his further comments, Karpovich noted that whereas blockchain could indeed revolutionize the payments industry, consumers in future may not necessarily register the transformation, as the technology may well develop into a back-end technology that simply provides cost and time efficiency to services.

With regard to JPMorgan Chase’s recently unveiled blockchain-powered JPM Coin, Karpovich dismissed the suggestion that the move represents a u-turn in the bank’s stance toward the crypto space — given CEO Jamie Dimon’s notorious antagonism toward Bitcoin (BTC) in particular:

“I think there’s a difference between trading a cryptocurrency that’s in the market that’s ubiquitous versus using the technology to enhance your payments infrastructure. We look at the technology as being a means to doing things faster and cheaper: every CEO would like to make things faster and cheaper. So from that standpoint I think it represents a buy into the concept of using blockchain.”

This, he continued, aligns with JPMorgan Chase’s ongoing initiatives, given that Karpovich considers the bank to be a “big player in the blockchain space,” citing the bank’s private blockchain platform Quorum and accompanying Quorum-based Interbank Information Network.

As reported, responses to JPM Coin have been mixed, with some hailing the development as a highly positive moment for the crypto industry as a whole, and others critiquing its proprietary and closed network structure, arguing it will perpetuate the fragmentation of the financial sector.

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Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 25–March 3: Top Stories, Price Movements, Quotes and FUD of the Week

Facebook is getting serious about crypto, Samsung’s new smartphone will support more cryptos, and more in this Hodler’s Digest.

Top Stories This Week

Nasdaq Begins Listing Brave New Coin’s Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Indexes

Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, began its live listing of two crypto price indexes from United States blockchain and crypto market data company Brave New Coin (BNC) this week. The listings, which had been announced earlier this month, are BNC’s Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX). According to the announcement, the indexes will show reference rates for the price of 1 BTC and 1 ETH, quoted in USD and refreshed every 30 seconds. Brave New Coin has also announced future plans to add another index for tracking the price of Ripple (XRP).

Samsung Announces Galaxy S10 Crypto Partners, Bitcoin and Ethereum Support

South Korean tech giant Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 smartphone will reportedly have crypto wallet functions for both Ethereum and Bitcoin, as well as two other tokens. The much-discussed crypto features seemed to have been revealed at the Mobile World Congress this week, where Samsung presented the various projects featured on the smartphone, including support for the cosmetic industry-focused COSMEE token (COSM) and crypto gaming-focused Enjin’s token (ENJ). Also this week, anonymous sources had reported that Enjin Wallet would be backing a blockchain wallet in Samsung’s new smartphone.

Jamie Dimon Says JPM Coin Could Eventually Find Consumer Use

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said this week that the company’s previously announced JPM Coin could eventually see consumer use. The bank’s proposed digital asset had been announced by the U.S. banking giant last week, noting that the coin could increase settlement efficiency in several of its operations. However, Dimon’s comments to CNBC this week implied a wider focus for the coin’s use, as he noted that it “could be internal, could be commercial, it could one day be consumer.” The JPM Coin has been both lauded and opposed by those in the crypto community, with some suggesting it defeats the purpose of crypto itself.

New York Times: Facebook Reportedly Shopping ‘Facebook Coin’ to Crypto Exchanges

Social media giant Facebook is reportedly “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed” with its highly secretive cryptocurrency project, according to anonymous sources speaking to the New York Times. This week, the Times wrote more about Facebook’s alleged coin that had previously been revealed, noting through its sources that the company planned to integrate WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram into one entity and provide the newly unified service with a crypto token. According to the unnamed sources, Facebook is far enough along in the project that they have been meeting with crypto exchanges about the possibility of listing the so-called “Facebook Coin.”

Ethereum’s Constantinople and St. Petersburg Upgrades Have Been Activated

Ethereum’s next two network upgrades, known as Constantinople and St. Petersburg, have successfully taken place this week on the main network at block 7,280,000, in accordance with the previously released schedule. The two updates have been combined into one event, following the delay of the Constantinople upgrade in January over a newly discovered security vulnerability. While Constantinople adds the so-called “difficulty bomb” and the decrease of Ethereum’s block reward, St. Petersburg is meant to delete a previous update, Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1283, from Ethereum’s test networks, as the EIP has been identified to have security vulnerabilities.

Winners and Losers

The crypto markets are slightly down by the end of the week, with Bitcoin trading at around $3,854, Ethereum at $134 and Ripple around $0.31. The total market cap is at about $130 billion.

The top-three altcoin gainers of the week are RegalCoin, Archetypal Network and President Trump. The top-three altcoin losers of the week are ICE ROCK MINING, PonziCoin and CapdaxToken.

Winners and Losers

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“Let’s do this in Europe, the avant-garde of agricultural technology, by developing tools that will track every product from raw material production to packaging and processing. The innovation is there and it must be used in the agricultural world, it must be fully used because it is at the service of shared excellence and it will serve the consumer.”

Emmanuel Macron, president of France

 

“You can stare at it [Bitcoin] all day, and no little Bitcoins come out or anything like that. It’s a delusion, basically.”

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

 

“I’m not sure I can buy that we’ve seen massive value destruction, I think we’ve seen massive value creation.”

Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder

“JPMorgan Coin could be internal, could be commercial, it could one day be consumer.”

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO

 

“We’re happy to go on the record. Coinbase’s listing of XRP (also, not ‘our token’) was Coinbase’s independent decision – we did not give them anything to make it happen.”

Miguel Vias, head of XRP markets

FUD of the Week

QuadrigaCX Wallets Have Been Empty, Unused Since April 2018

In further QuadrigaCX news, the embattled Canadian crypto exchange’s auditor — Big Four audit firm Ernst & Young (EY) — released a report this week showing that the exchange’s cold wallets appear to have been empty since April 2018. EY identified six separate crypto wallets that had been used to store Bitcoin, but noted that there had been no deposits in the wallet since April of last year (besides one for $500,000), noting that they cannot find a reason as to why the wallets had been ceased. EY also included in its report the discovery of 14 user accounts that appear to have been created outside the normal process by Quadriga, which were then used to trade on the exchange’s platform.

Crypto Mining Service Coinhive to Shut Down Operations in March

Coinhive, a crypto mining service that specifically targets altcoin Monero (XMR), has announced that it will be shutting down operations in March 2018. According to the blog post, the project has become economically inviable due to the market conditions, as well as the more than 50 percent drop in hash rate following the last Monero hard fork. XMR has dropped around 85 percent over the course of the year, the blog post noted, underlining that it contributed to the decision to discontinue Coinhive. The service is a JavaScript-based digital currency mining service that relies on computer code being installed on websites, that then uses some of a browser’s computing power to mine.

Netherlands Bitcoin Trader Attacked in His Home

According to local media, a Bitcoin trader was attacked in his home in the Netherlands this week by a group of robbers that had disguised themselves as police. The victim, 38-year-old Tjeerd H., was robbed by a group of criminals wearing balaclavas and bulletproof vests with a police coat, who threatened him with firearms. According to the local media outlet, H. was a cryptocurrency trader, and police sources have confirmed this. As cryptocurrency has risen in popularity in recent years, attacks on traders have also risen in number, as Cointelegraph has previously reported.

Best Cointelegraph Features

#DeleteCoinbase: Exchange Users Respond to Acquisition of a Firm Run by Former Spyware Developers

After Coinbase’s acquisition of blockchain startup Neutrino this month, users have taken to the internet in order to lambast what they see as the company’s lack of sensitivity to human rights issues. The online #DeleteCoinbase campaign stems from the fact that some of Neutrino’s employees are associated with Hacking Team, an information tech outfit that has reportedly sold surveillance capabilities to different governments. Cointelegraph takes a look at the crypto community’s response to this controversial acquisition.

Scammers, Satoshi and Tesla Miners: Elon Musk’s Complex Relationship With Crypto

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and overall tech entrepreneur, recently complimented Bitcoin’s structure, calling the coin a “quite brilliant” digital currency. Cointelegraph examines Musk’s relationship with cryptocurrency, starting from October 2014 up until present day, as the entrepreneur previously has rarely made direct comments about crypto technology.

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JPMorgan’s Balancing Act Between Blockchain and Crypto

Multinational investment bank JPMorgan Chase has had a chequered relationship with cryptocurrencies over the years. While it has maintained an apparent apathy toward Bitcoin and the likes, the financial institution has openly embraced blockchain technology and is actively using it in various internal projects.

This has come to the fore in August 2018, as chief information officer Lori Beer made a bold statement in an interview, claiming that blockchain technology ‘will replace’ existing financial systems in the next few years.

Beer’s sentiments come at an interesting time, especially considering JPMorgan’s yin-and-yang attitude towards decentralized ledger technology (DLT).

Blockchain technology underpins the existence of cryptocurrencies, which have multiplied in number and applications since Bitcoin was birthed in 2009. Therefore, it is worth taking a trip down memory lane to understand the juxtaposition between the company’s attitude toward cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

JPMorgan’s love/hate relationship with crypto

As has been the case with most financial institutions, the emergence of cryptocurrencies has been met with a certain element of trepidation. Some have been more accepting than others, but JPMorgan has had one of the more interesting stories to tell.

The company hasn’t been overly opposed to the notion of cryptocurrencies, but its leadership — CEO Jamie Dimon, in particular — has been nothing short of hypercritical over the past few years. As we will delve into, this has caused a contrasting narrative in terms of the company’s projects and exploits in the space when compared with the opinions of Dimon.

Quorum

In November 2016, JPMorgan published a white paper for Quorum, which is a private blockchain platform built on the Ethereum protocol.  

As a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), JPMorgan’s development of Quorum is aligned with the mandate of the EEA, which aims to bring privacy, scalability and security to the Ethereum blockchain. This is directly aimed at enterprises that want to control the accessibility and use of data through a blockchain system.

Quorum’s blockchain looks to provide data privacy to companies, using the Ethereum network to validate transactions, which was described in the opening paragraph of the white paper:

“Though the design is simple, the solution preserves many of the key attributes of Ethereum, such as ensuring every node on the network participates in and increases the overall security of the entire network while only revealing the details of private transactions to those party to the transaction.”

Quorum uses cryptography to protect sensitive data, only allowing those with the necessary permission to access certain transaction data.

Almost a year-and-a-half later, on April 20, 2018, JPMorgan finally tested the Quorum blockchain with a number of high-profile banks participating.

JPMorgan is even considering divorcing Quorum from the company, in an effort to make the platform more accessible to the markets. A barrier to entry is the fact that market competitors are unlikely to use a platform that is run by a competitor bank.

Topsy-turvy 2018

As cryptocurrencies endured a humbling correction in the months after Bitcoin’s all-time high in December 2017, JPMorgan — among other banks — stopped processing cryptocurrency purchases with its credit cards, citing the volatility of the markets.

By the end of February, the bank delivered its annual report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The report added cryptocurrencies to its sections on ‘Risk Factors’ and ‘Competition,’ illustrating the disruptive aspects of the space.

The company told the SEC that the emergence of cryptocurrencies would require the bank to spend more money adapting its products to appease clients and customers, with the possibility of the bank eventually losing market share:

“Both financial institutions and their non-banking competitors face the risk that payment processing and other services could be disrupted by technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, that require no intermediation.”

In May 2018, the company announced the creation of the position of a head of crypto assets strategy at the company. The post was immediately filled, with Oliver Harris the man in charge of leading the company’s new cryptocurrency projects. It is understood that Harris’ position would not involve the trading of cryptocurrencies, but rather investigating the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain services that could benefit JPMorgan’s processes.

Around the same time, vice president Daniel Pinto said the company was looking into the Bitcoin space — admitting interest in the futures markets in an interview with CNBC. Pinto went as far as saying they would clear Bitcoin futures if they had to, while also saying that cryptocurrencies faced a number challenges:

“I have no doubt that in one way or another, the technology will play a role. [Regarding Bitcoin], you cannot have something where the business proposition is to be anonymous and to be the currency for unknown activities. That will have a very short life because people will stop believing in it, or the regulators will kill it. I think the concept is valid [and that’s why] you have many central banks looking into. The tokenization of the economy, for me, is real. Cryptocurrencies are real but not in the current form.”

Jamie Dimon

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has long been a harsh critic of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Dimon’s dissenting attitude dates back to 2015, when he said that Bitcoin would be stopped and that blockchain “is like any other technology.” Furthermore, Dimon made it clear that the bank would use the underlying technology to better its own systems:

“If it is cheaper, effective, works and secure, then we are going to use it. The technology will be used, and it could be used to transport currency — but it will be dollars, not Bitcoins.”

Dimon’s most infamous critique of Bitcoin came in September 2017, when he labelled the cryptocurrency a fraud. The JPMorgan CEO went as far as threatening to fire employees that were offering to trade cryptocurrencies on behalf of their clients.

Dimon’s commentary on the subject ebbed and flowed in the following months, as his own views on the sector were seemingly at odds with the plans of the company. Dimon went as far as saying he wouldn’t make any more comments on Bitcoin, with JPMorgan adopting an ‘open-minded’ approach to cryptocurrencies.

In the lead up to the launch of the first-ever Bitcoin futures contracts in December by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the company even considered facilitating access to trading futures.

JPMorgan global market strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou furthered the dividing opinions between the company and its CEO, writing in a note to investors that the launch of Bitcoin futures would drive the legitimization of the cryptocurrency:

“The prospective launch of Bitcoin futures contracts by established exchanges in particular has the potential to add legitimacy and thus increase the appeal of the cryptocurrency market to both retail and institutional investors.”

Dimon seemingly changed his tune in 2018, saying he was not really interested in the subject in a January interview, while admitting he regretted his 2017 ‘fraud’ remarks.

A few weeks later, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dimon told Cointelegraph that he ‘was not a skeptic’ of cryptocurrencies.

After a number of months out the spotlight, Dimon made headlines earlier this month, reportedly calling Bitcoin a ‘scam,’ before reiterating he was not interested in the subject during a gala speech.

Dimon was quoted as saying government would move to shut down cryptocurrencies due to a lack of control over the space. This followed an interview with the Harvard Business Review, in which Dimon said that JPMorgan was testing blockchain technology for use in a wide range of applications within the company.

Winds of change

Dimon’s headline grabbing statements have somewhat taken away from the work being done at the global financial institution.

As previously mentioned, the company’s CIO Lori Beer has painted a more accurate picture of the company’s stance on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Her statements of blockchain’s impending adoption and the effect it will have on a global scale cannot be understated and seems to be a big driving force in JPMorgan’s Quorum project.

As Beer said, the company needed to create a blockchain platform that serves the needs of the company and its many clients:

“We are currently following many paths. We invented a blockchain with an open code based on Ethereum. Actual blockchain technology has not yet resolved issues with privacy and scalability that we needed. We are connected to Hyperledger and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. The application of this technology in business is more important to us than the technology itself. We are looking not only for cost reduction, but also for opportunities to develop new products.”

The CIO also said that JPMorgan is ‘evaluating’  the current state of the cryptocurrency space, while making it clear that it would only support regulated markets and currencies.

While this doesn’t take the company any closer to being actively involved in the cryptocurrency markets, its appetite for development of blockchain says a lot about the underpinning technology and the promise it has for the financial world.

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Hodler’s Digest, August 5-12: You Can’t Actually Buy A Frappucino With Bitcoin, But You Can Ship More Things On Blockchain

Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

US Security And Exchange Commission Postpones Bitcoin ETF Until Fall

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed its decision on the listing and trading of a Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) until September 30. The SEC is in the process of considering a rule change that would allow the fund, which is powered by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, to be listed on the CBOE BZX Equities Exchange.

WSJ Reports Price Manipulation In Crypto Conducted By Organized “Trading Groups”

According to this week’s article by the Wall Street Journal, cryptocurrency price manipulation is mainly conducted by organized “trading groups” that create “pump and dump” schemes on services like Telegram. According to the article, these groups can either create millions of dollars for themselves or be stung by the losses once all of the group dump a certain asset at the same time.

US DEA Agent: Ratio Of Criminal Activity To Legitimate BTC Transactions Has Flipped

U.S. Drug Enforcement Enforcement Administration agent Lilita Infante, who is a member of the Cyber Investigative Task Force, said this week that the number of illegitimate Bitcoin transactions has dropped to just ten percent of transactions. Infante added that she wanted people to keep using the blockchain, as it made them more easily identifiable.

Starbucks Denies Bitcoin Payment Method Hype After Misleading Media Reports

U.S. coffee chain Starbucks will not be accepting Bitcoin as payment for Frappuccinos or other drinks after a week of misleading article titles implied the opposite. After last week’s announcement by the operator of the NYSE that they would be creating a new digital asset ecosystem with Starbucks as a partnered, a wave of news reports falsely represented that Starbucks would accept crypto for coffee, while really customers will rather be able to convert BTC into fiat which can then be used at Starbucks.

Jamie Dimon Breaks Crypto Silence, Calls Bitcoin A “Scam”

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said this week that Bitcoin is a “scam” and that he has “no interest” in it, while speaking at the Aspen Institute’s 25th Annual Summer Celebration Gala. According to Bloomberg, Dimon further “suggested governments may move to shut down the currencies [cryptocurrency], because of an inability to control them.” Dimon had told reporters last October that he wasn’t going to talk about Bitcoin anymore after a series of negative crypto comments in the fall.

Most Memorable Quotations

“The potential for an [exchange-traded fund] is causing investors to decide that bitcoin is the best house in a tough market,” — Tom Lee, Fundstrat’s head of research

“The main thing to remember is that bitcoin is very early-stage venture, but has real-time price feed — and that’s a unique thing. People get excited about the price and overreact,” — Dan Morehead, CEO of Pantera Capital

Laws And Taxes

Judge Advances Securities Class Action Case Against Tezos Creators

A U.S. District Judge has refused to dismiss a suit against the husband and wife duo behind blockchain project Tezos, who are currently accused of violating U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations through the sale of unregistered securities in the U.S. Although the Tezos creators maintain their fundraiser took place in Switzerland, outside of U.S. jurisdicion, the judge has disagreed.

Adoption

Commonwealth Bank of Australia To Issue Bond On Blockchain Per World Bank Mandate

The largest bank in Australia, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), has been mandated by the World Bank to arrange a bond issue entirely on a blockchain. The Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument (bond-i) will be issued and distributed on a blockchain platform under the operation of the World Bank in Washington and CBA in Sydney. For now, the two organizations are using a private Ethereum blockchain, but the CBA noted it was open to alternatives.

Study Shows ICO Market Has More Than Doubled Since Last Year

A study conducted by independent rating agency ICORating has found that the Initial Coin Offering market has more than doubled in a year. According to the agency’s report, ICOs in 2018 have already raised over $11 billion in investments, a figure which it purports is ten times larger than the sum of investments from ICOs in Q1-2 2017.

Goldman Sachs Reportedly Plans to Offer Custody For Crypto Funds

Sources told Bloomberg this week that Goldman Sachs is planning to offer its clients custody for cryptocurrency funds, as the bank says that it remains “undecided” on its cryptocurrency plans. A spokesperson for the bank said that they are exploring “various digital products” in response to client interest.

Chair Of U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Reveals Crypto Ownings

Congressman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican representing Virginia, disclosed that he owns between $17,000 and $80,000 in cryptocurrency in what may be a first for a member of Congress to publicly report their crypto holdings. According to his release, the Congressman has principally invested in Bitcoin (BTC), with some holdings in major altcoins Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Another Swiss Bank To Accept Cryptocurrency Assets As Market Demand Increases

The Maerki Baumann private bank will become the second Swiss bank to accept cryptocurrency assets, citing the new market demands and the rise of cryptocurrencies’ popularity. The private Zurich bank has decided to accept crypto assets from payments received for services rendered, as well as those earned from crypto mining, but notes they are not ready to provide direct cryptocurrency investments.

Mergers, Acquisitions, And Partnerships

UK Financial Authority Launches International Initiative For Fintech Cooperation

The UK Financial Conduct Authority has announced the creation of a global initiative, made up of 11 financial authorities and related organizations, to work together in in order to help fintech firms interact more easily with regulators from different countries. The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) aims to consult on topics such as the growth of technologies like distributed ledger tech and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as the regulation of securities and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), among others.

Maersk, IBM Launch Global Blockchain-Based Shipping Solution

IBM and Danish transport and logistics giant Maersk have launched their global blockchain-enabled shipping solution, made up of 94 organizations. The global supply chainplatform, TradeLens, has already captured 154 million shipping events, and its dataset is reportedly growing at a rate of close to one million shipping events a day.

Winners And Losers

The crypto markets are still in the middle of their slump this week, with Bitcoin trading at around $6,583 and Ethereum at around $324 by press time. Total market cap is now at around $215 billion.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are InflationCoin, Jesus Coin, and Galaxy eSolutions. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Artex Coin, VeThor Coin, and Network Token.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

FUD Of The Week

Wall Street Analyst Says Bitcoin Is “Game Over” If It Breaks Year-To-Date Support

Renaissance Macro Research’s head of technical research Jeff deGraaf concluded it may be “game over” for Bitcoin (BTC) in a new analysis if the cryptocurrency breaks its year-to-date support. In a note to clients, deGraaf, also claimed that Bitcoin’s price movements suggest the largest cryptocurrency is “permanently impaired.”

Bitcoin ATM Malware Found Available For Purchase Online

Tokyo-based security software manufacturer Trend Micro has found Bitcoin (BTC) ATM malware available for purchase from an “apparently established and respected” user on a darknet forum. For the price of $25,000, criminals could purchase Bitcoin ATM malware accompanied by a ready-to-use card with EMV and near-field communication (NFC) capabilities. The software exploits a BTC ATM vulnerability, allowing fraudsters to receive the BTC equivalent of up to 6,750 U.S. dollars, euros, or pounds.

Research Shows Twitter Crypto Scam Bots Number Around 15,000

An analysis of 88 million Twitter accounts has revealed more information on infamous phenomenon of cryptocurrency-related Twitter accounts advertising fake “giveaways,” finding a network of at least 15,000 scam bots. The researchers looked at the latest 200 tweets from each account, unearthing a mesh of 15,000 bots at work spreading fake competitions and impersonating some of the cryptocurrency industry’s best-known figures and businesses.

Chinese Bitcoin Trader Sues OKCoin Over Alleged Prevention Of BCH Release

A Chinese Bitcoin trader has sued the crypto exchange OKCoin for reportedly not permitting him to withdraw Bitcoin Cash after the Bitcoin forked. A local news agency reported that this is the first legal action in China that involved last year’s fork of Bitcoin. According to the lawsuit, the crypto investor has accused the exchange of blocking him from receiving 38.748 BCH that he was due after Bitcoin’s August 2017 hard fork.

UK Financial Regulator Warns Against Two Crypto “Clone Firms”

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned investors about two so-called “clone” companies this week, i.e. companies that carry out business activities under the pretense that they are a firm registered by the FCA. One clone, Fair Oaks Crypto, allegedly aims to hoodwink potential scam victims by claiming that they represent Fair Oaks Capital. The other named rogue firm, Good Crypto, was giving out “false details or mix[ing] these with some correct details of the registered firm,” which in this case was London-based Arup Corporate Finance.

Best Features

How to Lose $3 Billion of Bitcoin in India

Bloomberg takes its readers through a complex tale of cryptocurrency fraud, alleged extortion, kidnapping, and more involving a series of business partners, policeman, and even a former politician.

Blockchain: A Manifestation of the Borg?

A humorous comparison of how blockchain technology and the fictional alien race featured on the original Star Trek, the Borg, are actually quite similar due to their hive mentalities, strive for perfection, and ability to disrupt. In the author’s words: “The Borg’s catch phrase, ‘Resistance is Futile’, might as well be applied to blockchain.”

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JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Returns to Bitcoin Bashing, Calls Cryptocurrency a ‘Scam’

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon returned to his more critical comments about Bitcoin, calling the cryptocurrency a “scam” and saying he had “no interest” in it, Bloomberg reported Sunday, August 5.

Dimon was speaking at the Aspen Institute’s 25th Annual Summer Celebration Gala on Saturday, including cryptocurrency as part of general comments he made about the U.S. economic outlook.

His words were soon repeated in both the mainstream press and online by prominent economic sources, notably Nouriel Roubini, who has also become known this year for his critical stance on Bitcoin.

According to Bloomberg, Dimon further “suggested governments may move to shut down the currencies [cryptocurrency], because of an inability to control them.”

The finance mogul’s history with cryptocurrency has been chequered. Having caused a stir in September 2017 when he originally called Bitcoin a “fraud,” Dimon thereafter appeared to change tact, later saying he “regretted” his choice of words.

“I wouldn’t put this high on the category of important things in the world. But I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore,” he told reporters last October.

In January, Dimon kept his promise, telling Cointelegraph in private comments that he “can’t answer” when asked how he felt about moving markets with his earlier Bitcoin “fraud” comments. However, he added that he was “not a skeptic” regarding cryptocurrency.

In his recent interview published in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review, Dimon again refused to comment directly on crypto, reiterating “I probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency.” In the same interview, Dimon also made a point of calling blockchain technology “real,” –– while implying that crypto is not –– saying that the banking giant is “testing it [blockchain] and will use it for a whole lot of things.”

Since then, mixed signals have emerged from other JPMorgan sources, the company’s co-president Daniel Pinto telling CNBC in May that cryptocurrencies “are real but not in the current form.” He added executives were “looking into” the space at a time when fellow finance giant Goldman Sachs revealed it was working on offering Bitcoin futures.

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Jamie Dimon Says JPMorgan Will Use Blockchain ‘for a Whole Lot of Things’

JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon was bullish on blockchain tech, but shied away from commenting on cryptocurrency, saying fiat payment apps are “the biggest potential disruption to our business” in an interview published in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review.

When asked about his company’s chief competitive threat, Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase — the largest of America’s Big Four banks — singled out what he called “new forms of payment.” Specifically naming PayPal, Venmo and Alipay, Dimon said that “these companies are doing a good job of embedding basic banking services in their chats, their social, their shopping experience.”

While he didn’t mention crypto as a potential disruptor, when he was asked about his view on cryptocurrency in a following question, Dimon simply replied, “I probably shouldn’t say any more about cryptocurrency.” Dimon did argue that crypto is “not the same as gold or fiat currencies,” which are “supported by law, police, courts […] [are] not replicable, and there are strictures on them.” Dimon also made a point of calling blockchain technology “real,” –– which implying that crypto is not –– saying that JPMorgan is “testing it [blockchain] and will use it for a whole lot of things.”

While JPMorgan’s official position on cryptocurrency and Dimon’s opinion do not always coincide, both have seen a shift over the past year. On Sept. 13, 2017, Dimon reportedly called Bitcoin a “fraud” at an investor’s meeting, along with threatening to fire any employee trading Bitcoin on the company’s accounts.

Somewhat contrary to what Dimon told Harvard Business Review in his recent interview, in an SEC filing on Feb. 27, the bank marked cryptocurrency under the report’s “Competition” subsection, saying it could “put downward pressure on prices and fees for JPMorgan Chase’s products and services or may cause JPMorgan Chase to lose market share.”

In February of this year, a JPMorgan internal report also called cryptocurrencies the “face of the innovative maelstrom around the blockchain technology.”

When speaking with Cointelegraph in Davos in January, Dimon took a stance more similar to what he told Harvard Business review, saying he “can’t answer,” but also claiming he was “not a skeptic.”

In the last few months, however, JPMorgan — and evidently Dimon — have more explicitly come out as bullish on blockchain, with the bank even filing a blockchain-related patent on May 3.

On May 17, JPMorgan announced that they had created and filled a new position of head of crypto assets strategy.

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JPMorgan Files New Patent for Virtual Receipts on Distributed System

JPMorgan Chase & Co has filed a new patent for a system that leverages blockchain for the management of virtual receipts backed by assets or bonds, according to a US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent filing published July 19.

The new patent, titled “Systems and methods for management of asset or obligation-backed virtual receipts on a distributed system,” includes a new form of a public blockchain-based method for the management of virtual receipts, which can take the form of tokens.  

The document describes Virtual Depositary Receipts, or “Virtual Receipts,” as “asset or obligation-backed electronic tokens.” The new method would use distributed ledger technology (DLT) such as blockchain for linking “an underlying asset or obligation with its digital representation on a distributed system for the purposes of ownership tracking and transfer”.

Previously, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had said that cryptocurrencies are “worth nothing,” also calling Bitcoin a bubble that investors “will pay the price for […] one day.”

Meanwhile, JPMorgan had already filed a patent this spring for intra- and inter-bank settlements based on blockchain technology, showing their ability to be a strong supporter of blockchain and a strong opponent of the validity and legitimacy of cryptocurrencies at the same time.

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'Just Beware' Is All Jamie Dimon Will Say About Bitcoin

“Just beware.”

That’s Jamie Dimon, CEO of Wall Street investment bank J.P Morgan Chase, who spoke Thursday to CNBC during a segment alongside billionaire investor Warren Buffett. During the joint interview, both Dimon and Buffett were asked about their views on cryptocurrency – a subject that, for the two, has sparked more than a degree of controversy – and which one “hates bitcoin more?”

Indeed, Dimon infamously branded bitcoin a “fraud” last fall – though he later reportedly said that he regretted those comments.

Today, his remarks were far more measured, with Dimon telling the network (according to a published transcript):

“I– I don’t wanna be the Bitcoin spokesman. You know, just beware.”

Buffett remarked Thursday that “I set a high standard” with his commentary – he said in January that cryptocurrencies “will come to a bad ending” – and added that “I don’t know whether Jamie can top me or not.”

The outspoken billionaire said in May that bitcoin, to him, is “rat poison squared.”

“[Bitcoin] itself is creating nothing,” he told CNBC at the time. “When you’re buying nonproductive assets, all you’re counting on is the next person is going to pay you more because they’re even more excited about another next person coming along.”

Image Credit: CNBC 

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J.P Morgan Chase ‘Looking Into’ Bitcoin (BTC), Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

In a complete 180 degree turn from previous comments by J.P Morgan Chase CEO and Chairman, Jamie Dimon, and with regards to Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies, the company’s co-president, Daniel Pinto, has stated that they are looking into the crypto space. In an interview with CNBC, Mr Pinto had this to say when asked about Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital currencies:

We are looking into that space. I have no doubt that in one way or another, the technology will play a role. [Regarding bitcoin], you cannot have something where the business proposition is to be anonymous and to be the currency for unknown activities. That will have a very short life, because people will stop believing in it, or the regulators will kill it. I think the concept is valid, you have many central banks looking into. The tokenization of the economy, for me, is real. Cryptocurrencies are real but not in the current form.

He also remarked about the current trend of Wallstreet firms offering Futures products on Bitcoin and other prominent cryptocurrencies:

If we need to clear futures of bitcoin, can we do it? Yes. Have we done it? No

Mr. Pinto’s comments came almost 6 months after Jamie Dimon had slammed Bitcoin by calling it a fraud. Mr. Dimon had further declared that his firm was willing to fire any employee willing to trade Bitcoin for it was a stupid act. He would later backpedal on his comments to the delight of cryptocurrency enthusiasts who in turn predicted that it would only be a matter of time before he sees the benefits of the crypto and blockchain industry.

J.P Morgan Chase has done just that when it filed for a blockchain patent back in October. The news was not unveiled until earlier this month. The patent outlines a system that would essentially use distributed ledger technology – blockchain – to keep track of payments sent between financial institutions.

In a nutshell, ‘big’ Wallstreet firms have finally seen the light and are in the process of investing in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

[Photo source, money.cnn.com]