Article: Digital art frenzy raises questions for tax, law enforcement

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Digital art frenzy raises questions for tax, law enforcement

Caitlin Reilly, 13 April 2021

The sale last month of a digital piece of art for a near-record price raises new questions about a technology that the financial sector sees as offering great opportunity.

Christie’s auctioned the artwork for $69 million and recorded the transaction on a public blockchain as a “non-fungible token,” or NFT. The digital collage incorporating 5,000 separate digital images was created by Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, and can be seen on the auction house website. Continue reading “Article: Digital art frenzy raises questions for tax, law enforcement”

Article: Robinhood Says 9.5 Million People Traded Crypto on Its App in Q1

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Robinhood Says 9.5 Million People Traded Crypto on Its App in Q1

Will Gottsegen, 09 April 2021

The online brokerage service Robinhood said on Thursday that 9.5 million of its customers traded cryptocurrency on its platform in Q1 of 2021.

That’s up from just 1.7 million in Q4 of last year, a 458% spike.

In a blog post, the company chalked up the numbers to crypto’s growing “popularity”: the global market cap of all cryptocurrencies has doubled in the past three months to over $2 trillion. Continue reading “Article: Robinhood Says 9.5 Million People Traded Crypto on Its App in Q1”

Article: RIPPLE’S XRP BLASTS PAST SEC LAWSUIT FEARS TO HIT THREE-YEAR HIGH

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RIPPLE’S XRP BLASTS PAST SEC LAWSUIT FEARS TO HIT THREE-YEAR HIGH

YASHU GOLA, 06 April 2021

XRP bulls are back!

The Ripple blockchain’s native token, which got embroiled in a legal controversy with the US Securities and Exchange Commission over its alleged securities status — and which led to the delisting of its highly traded financial instruments across many US-based crypto exchanges, reached its highest levels in three years this week.

XRP’s price against the US dollar hit $0.948 on Tuesday, up 66.15 percent into April 2021. The token’s major upside move surfaced partly due to a rally across the cryptocurrency market and else due to anticipations that it would walk through the SEC lawsuit unharmed. Continue reading “Article: RIPPLE’S XRP BLASTS PAST SEC LAWSUIT FEARS TO HIT THREE-YEAR HIGH”

Article: The Nonfungible Token

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The Nonfungible Token

Scott H. Kimpel, 06 April 2021

A recent Bloomberg article reported that average prices for nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, are down approximately 70 percent from recent highs. NFTs are the latest innovation in digital assets and encompass digital representations of unique works of art, music, or other goods and experiences stored on blockchain. Unlike other digital assets such as bitcoin, in which each bitcoin is the same as every other one (and thus “fungible”), each NFT is theoretically unique and different from every other one (and thus “nonfungible”). A wide range of NFTs have begun to enter the marketplace over the past several months. A digital work of art represented by an NFT recently sold at auction for over $69 million, and even a professional sports league has begun to issue NFTs. A fascinating debate about the social and economic utility of NFTs has emerged, but what are some of the legal issues associated with this new digital asset class? Continue reading “Article: The Nonfungible Token”

Article: Cryptocurrencies: A bubble or harbinger of a cashless world?

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Cryptocurrencies: A bubble or harbinger of a cashless world?

ATANU BISWAS, 04 April 2021

The US Treasury described Bitcoin a “decentralised virtual currency”. For every transaction through Bitcoin, for example, some personal information from the user is used to create a kind of password. A ‘hash’ is given for every Bitcoin transaction, with a ‘public key’ and a ‘private key’. Each of these keys is inverse to each other, but it’s not easy to derive one from the other. The ‘public keys’ are available on public domain. Details of each transaction report are available in the database called ‘blockchain’. It is distributed across and maintained by nodes (computers). From this open source, anybody can tell how many Bitcoins are traded at a public key. But, nobody knows who the owner of those Bitcoins is as the security of the ledger cannot be broken. Anonymity and privacy are the characteristics and also the potential danger of cryptocurrencies. Continue reading “Article: Cryptocurrencies: A bubble or harbinger of a cashless world?”

Article: Did The NFT Boom Just Burst?

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Did The NFT Boom Just Burst?

TYLER DURDEN, 03 April 2021

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are changing the way we think about art (and other collectibles), and in 2021, investors have started to take notice. As Decrypt writes, in the last year, NFTs have shot to the forefront of the crypto space. The cryptographically-unique tokens make it possible to create real-world scarcity for digital objects, and artists have seized on the opportunity presented by the technology.

“It’s not meaningful to characterize a concept as a financial bubble,” said Chris Wilmer, a University of Pittsburgh academic who co-edits a blockchain research journal. Continue reading “Article: Did The NFT Boom Just Burst?”

Article: Bitcoin’s Price Is Not the Only Risk to Riot Blockchain

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Bitcoin’s Price Is Not the Only Risk to Riot Blockchain

Vince Martin, 31 March 2021

Less than four years ago, Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT) was a failed animal health company named Bioptix. What is now RIOT stock was then BIOP stock — and it traded for less than $4 per share.

That wasn’t because investors put much value on the business: Bioptix in fact had more than $2 per share in cash at the end of 2017’s second quarter. BIOP was basically just another penny stock in the biotech space.

But in October of that year, Bioptix rebranded to Riot Blockchain. It was a move that invited a huge rally — and quite a bit of skepticism.

Blockchain and other cryptocurrencies were hot then, with Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) at one point rising from $900 to $20,000 during 2017. Riot was not alone in moving into crypto and blockchain: Eastman Kodak (NYSE:KODK) infamously was involved in a “KodakCoin” project which never came to fruition. That didn’t stop KODK stock from soaring. Continue reading “Article: Bitcoin’s Price Is Not the Only Risk to Riot Blockchain”

Article: What Cos. Need To Know Before Entering Nascent NFT Market

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What Cos. Need To Know Before Entering Nascent NFT Market

Michelle Ann Gitlitz, David Ervin and Carissa Wilson, 31 March 2021

On March 11, the artist known as Beeple sold for $69.3 million a digital collage work, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” and its associated nonfungible token, or NFT. The auction was conducted by Christie’s International PLC and “Everydays” became the third most expensive work ever sold by a living artist.

A few days later, an image of The New York Times column, “Buy This Column on the Blockchain!” was turned into an NFT and sold for $560,000.

The musician and artist Claire Boucher, known as Grimes, sold nearly $6 million worth of digital artworks as NFTs in under 20 minutes. Continue reading “Article: What Cos. Need To Know Before Entering Nascent NFT Market”

Article: NFTs: Legal Risks from “Minting” Art and Collectibles on Blockchain

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NFTs: Legal Risks from “Minting” Art and Collectibles on Blockchain

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP,  25 March 2021

The growth of NFTs in art has been fueled by its unique attributes. NFTs can allow artists to better monetize their work by selling NFTs directly online without middlemen. Access to a readily accessible online resale market could also mean that works gain value quickly. And unlike the traditional U.S. art market, artists may benefit from the rise in value of their work by incorporating commission requirements in the smart contracts that accompany NFTs (for example, the SuperRare NFT marketplace requires that creators receive a 10% commission when artwork continues to trade on the secondary market).[2]

Some hope that NFTs will open up a new revenue source for artists, including underrepresented artists, either by allowing artists who traditionally do not sell in galleries to sell directly to buyers online, or by allowing artists to sell something in addition to their tangible works. For example, an artist could sell an NFT of the digital image of a painting or sculpture to one buyer, while selling the physical work to another buyer, allowing the artist an additional opportunity to profit from the work. Continue reading “Article: NFTs: Legal Risks from “Minting” Art and Collectibles on Blockchain”

Article: Overstock’s Patrick Byrne: the rise and fall of a blockchain pioneer

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Overstock’s Patrick Byrne: the rise and fall of a blockchain pioneer

Scott Thompson, 25 August 2019

Patrick Byrne this week resigned as CEO of US online retailer Overstock. The move closely followed the announcement of disappointing Q2 2019 financial results.

In a letter, he said it was impossible to continue due to distraction and fallout related to his involvement in a Federal Bureau of Investigation Russian espionage probe. Continue reading “Article: Overstock’s Patrick Byrne: the rise and fall of a blockchain pioneer”

Article: Solidus Raises $3 Million in Seed Financing to Tackle Digital Asset Market Manipulation

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Solidus Raises $3 Million in Seed Financing to Tackle Digital Asset Market Manipulation

Business Wire, 25 February 2019

Solidus Labs, provider of a machine learning-powered trade surveillance platform tailored for digital assets, secured a $3 million seed round of financing led by Hanaco Ventures. Additional participants in the round include Global Founders Capital, as well as angel investors and Wall Street veterans David Krell and Norman Sorensen. With the proceeds Solidus’ team of former Goldman Sachs engineers is set to address a major challenge preventing greater institutional and mainstream adoption of digital assets – trade manipulation and market integrity.

Solidus’ web-based platform is already deployed with diverse clients including exchanges, broker-dealers, hedge funds and market makers in Europe, the United States and Israel. The funding round will be used to continue expanding the company’s engineering and machine learning teams, as well as sales, marketing and customer success operations. Solidus is accommodating growing demand from digital asset firms, as those strive to satisfy intensifying regulatory oversight and high compliance standards of traditional financial institutions. Continue reading “Article: Solidus Raises $3 Million in Seed Financing to Tackle Digital Asset Market Manipulation”

Article: After the Boss Calls Bitcoin a ‘Fraud’ — JP Morgan Buys the Dip

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After the Boss Calls Bitcoin a ‘Fraud’ — JP Morgan Buys the Dip

Jamie Redman, 16 September 2017

Just recently news.Bitcoin.com reported on JP Morgan executive Jamie Dimon calling bitcoin a “fraud” and claiming he would fire any employee from his firm who traded the digital currency for being “stupid.” Now it seems JP Morgan has been caught red-handed purchasing a bunch of XBT shares, otherwise known as exchange-traded-notes, that track the price of Bitcoin.

According to public records of Nordnet trading logs, the two associated firms JP Morgan Securities Ltd., and Morgan Stanley bought roughly 3M euro worth of XBT note shares. Interestingly after the recent regulatory crackdown in China, and the statements from JP Morgan’s senior executive Jamie Dimon talking trash about bitcoin, his firm bought the dip on September 15. In fact, out of all the companies on the list, like Goldman Sachs and Barclays, the JP Morgan team of buyers purchased the most XBT notes.

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Article: Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Talks Blockchain and Making History With t0

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Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Talks Blockchain and Making History With t0

Rob Marvin, 22 December 2016

Blockchain is racking up all kinds of firsts. The distributed immutable ledger now has its own blockchain-as-a-service market, a host of new blockchain startups, coalitions, and open-source projects, and is seeing adoption in countless industries from global banking and finance to the legal cannabis space. The latest first for the buzzy emerging technology comes in digital stock trading. Continue reading “Article: Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Talks Blockchain and Making History With t0”

Article: Patrick Byrne’s warning about R3’s blockchain consortium

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Patrick Byrne’s warning about R3’s blockchain consortium

Michael del Castillo, 21 December 2015

The CEO of Overstock.com last week warned that a consortium of the world’s largest banks could be used to make sure the blockchain, a new way to track value exchanges, is controlled by the existing powers.

Speaking at the Blockchain Agenda San Diego, Patrick Byrne warned that New York City-based R3CEV, a consortium of 42 global banks, could stifle innovation, according to an InsideBitcoin’s report Friday. Continue reading “Article: Patrick Byrne’s warning about R3’s blockchain consortium”