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A Digital Assets Exchange to Guarantee Crypto Security



Crypto Security

At one point in late 2017, the cryptocurrency market was well on its way to reach a cumulative market capitalization of $1 Trillion. Several months later, even though the market’s upward momentum has stopped almost entirely, public interest has not faded at all. Naturally, this has led to an even further influx of investor capital and interest from institutional investors around the world. However, with fraud and scams becoming commonplace and centralized exchanges succumbing to security breaches, the discussion around crypto security has also become more relevant than ever.

To that end, DAEX or Digital Assets Exchange is a startup that believes that a discrete clearing system is the best way to guarantee trade security and reliability. The company is essentially proposing that cryptocurrency trading, clearing and settlement be split and handled by separate entities, with the latter two handled by its own infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology.

In finance, clearing refers to the process by which an organization executes orders between transacting parties and ensures delivery of assets, securities or money on both ends. The procedure takes place after a trade has been matched, and before a settlement is reached. In the equity and securities industry, most trades take place between separate financial institutions or banks. Thus, third party clearing houses are generally the one to facilitate communication between the two. The sole responsibility of these organizations is to establish delivery of orders between the buying and selling parties or entities.

However, even though the concept of clearing houses is well established in the world of institutional finance, the same cannot be said for the digital currency market. That is, until now at least.

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Brave Launches Legal Offensive on Google Ads Data Collection Practices




Brave, the startup behind the Brave browser and the Basic Attention Token, has filed regulatory complaints against Google and others over what it considers poor privacy protection for users in the online ads industry.

The complaints – filed with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner and the U.K. Information Commissioner on behalf of Brave’s chief policy officer Johnny Ryan, Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group, and Michael Veale of University College London – are aimed to trigger an article in the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requiring an EU-wide investigation.

Ryan said in a statement:

“There is a massive and systematic data breach at the heart of the behavioral advertising industry. Despite the two year lead-in period before the GDPR, adtech companies have failed to comply. The industry can fix this. Ads can be useful and relevant without broadcasting intimate personal data.”

As well as Google, the complaints target “all ad tech companies that broadcast internet users personal data widely in what are called RTB bid requests,” he told CoinDesk. “We anticipate that the regulators will order the industry to stop broadcasting personal data in this manner.”

The complainants argue that when users search on Google their personal data and information on their behavior online is broadcast to multiple companies interested in targeting them with ads – and without users’ consent. In doing so, they say, Google violates the GDPR’s requirement for personal data to be “processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss.”

The complaint indicates that the adtech industry can therefore process users’ information including such data as the content being viewed, location, type of device, unique tracking IDs, or a “cookie match,” and IP address. This data can help reveal many aspects of users, such as income, age and gender, habits, social media influence, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, political leaning and other sensitive information, it states.

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Crypto Firm Adds Two Nobel Winning Economists to Advisory Board



Nobel Prize

Cryptic Labs, a commercial blockchain research lab has announced the addition of two Economics Nobel Prize winners to its team. Dr. Eric S. Maskin and Sir Christopher Pissarides will provide their unique insights on incentive mechanisms, game theory and macro-economic policies to its Economics Advisory Board.

Dr. Maskin, the Adams University Professor at Harvard University jointly won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Economics for laying the foundation of mechanism design theory. His work at Cryptic Labs will focus on game theory and mechanism design, with an emphasis on how blockchain companies can guide user incentives at a company level.

Dr. Pissarides is the Regius Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics where he specializes in the economics of labor markets, macroeconomic policy, economic growth, and structural change. In 2010 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his analysis of markets with search frictions.

At Cryptic Labs, he will provide expertise on macroeconomic trends, focusing on the effect of the labor and money supply at a macro level.

The two Nobel Laureates join a team at Cryptic Labs which includes Chief Scientist Dr. Whitfield Diffie, winner of the 2015 Turing Award. The trio were recruited by Herman Collins, a globally recognised executive search expert who also leads Cryptic Labs’ Human Capital Advisory initiative.

In a statement to CCN, Humphrey Polanen, Co-founder and Managing Director of Cryptic Labs expressed delight at the recruitment coup, stating that their combined expertise will provide an understanding of behavioral economics to the blockchain industry.

In his words:

“These experts and other economics advisors will help our client companies navigate complex problems, advising them on blockchain economics and helping them craft the incentive systems they need to ensure adoption and growth.”

In his own reaction, Dr. Pissarides described blockchain technology as “the most exciting development in financial markets in recent years,” albeit one that has not been sufficiently explored as to recommend wholesale financial transition to blockchain.

He further expressed his excitement at the opportunity to use his macroeconomics expertise to make the blockchain more secure and widely accessible while examining its implications for trade, financial markets and economic performance.

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Crypto Billionaire Di Iorio Seeks New Start for Jaxx



Crypto Billionaire

One mobile app to rule them all. That’s how Anthony Di Iorio sees the new Jaxx Liberty crypto wallet. As one of the cryptocurrency industry’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, Decentral CEO Di Iorio said he aims to attract up to 100 corporate integrations to his new wallet to make it the most versatile app in the ecosystem. Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, Decentral is launching Jaxx Liberty today, after several months of beta testing.

“It’s almost like an app store,” Di Iorio told CoinDesk, speaking to how consolidation could make transactions faster and simpler. “Our whole model is we provide a single interface so that users don’t have to send money outside of a single system.”

Di Iorio said he believes the whole ecosystem flourishes when products monetize cohesively rather than competitively dividing users across platforms.

Stepping back, Decentral garnered over 1 million Jaxx downloads since January 2017 and still processes more than 3,000 support requests a month. Active users total 750,000 to 1 million a month, depending on market conditions, Di Iorio said, including 118,000 Chrome extension users.

While the original Jaxx was predominately a software wallet capable of in-app currency conversions thanks to exchange partner ShapeShift, processing roughly $2 billion worth of crypto through that integration since 2016, Jaxx Liberty now includes everything from in-app block explorers for multiple currencies to news feeds from sites like CoinDesk. (The new app is available for Android mobile devices and as a Google Chrome browser extension, with iOS and desktop versions on the way.)

“These are the things that, every day, people are looking at the pricing,” Di Iorio said, adding that the new features were inspired by user feedback about their financial habits. “We’ve put it all in one place.”

Decentral will charge up to $250,000 to add support for new assets to Jaxx Liberty and it takes a cut of the fees for integrating financial services from other startups, such as exchanges. Meanwhile, the Decentral team plans to launch a tokenized reward program in 2019, called Unity, as yet another revenue stream from Jaxx Liberty.

“The more the user is using services that we’re monetizing, the more they are earning of unity token,” Di Iorio said. “They’re going to be able to get discounts from our services.”

However, aspirations aside, conversations with users and market observers suggest the company has a steep hill to climb in terms of realizing its vision.

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Half of American Millennials Interested in Using Crypto




A recent survey by research service YouGov Omnibus shows that half of American millennials are interested in using cryptocurrency. The survey, which collected answers from 1202 respondents from August 29-30, assesses the interest of respondents in using crypto in everyday life:

“Of the people who believe that cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted, over one-third (36%) say they would be interested in converting to primarily using a cryptocurrency rather than the U.S. dollar. However, a majority (57%) say they would not be interested in converting away from the U.S. dollar. Millennials are almost equally split between being interested (48%) and not interested (50%).”

According to the poll, 79 percent of Americans know of at least one cryptocurrency, where Bitcoin (BTC) appeared to be the most well-known. The leading crypto is familiar to 71 percent of respondents. BTC is followed by the leading altcoin Ethereum (ETH), with 13 percent of participants saying they have heard of it.

87 percent of those who have heard about Bitcoin have never interacted with it, while 49 percent of respondents claimed that they were glad they had not purchased the leading crypto earlier and do not plan to. 15 percent wished that they had bought Bitcoin earlier, and believe it is currently too late to buy it.

Of all the participants in the survey, 34 percent do not think that crypto will become widely accepted, while millennials demonstrated the most positive approach to cryptocurrencies, with 44 percent of them predicting wider adoption. The authors of the survey state that skepticism toward crypto adoption may be linked to the potential use of crypto for illegal purposes.

In June, Research company Ipsos on behalf of ING Bank B.V. conducted a study which revealed that interest in crypto is expected to double in the future. The survey involved respondents from 15 countries, polling 1,000 in each.

Per the survey, only 9 percent of respondents own crypto, while 25 percent said they will own some in the future.  66 percent of Europeans have heard of cryptocurrency, 35 percent agreed that crypto is the “future of spending online,” while 35 percent said it will increase in value in the following 12 months.

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Hong Kong Extends Migrant Policy



Hong Kong

A new Hong Kong government initiative seeks to attract professionals in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) by simplifying the immigration policy, according to a press release publishedAugust 28.

On Thursday, the government of Hong Kong published its first Talent List aimed at attracting “highly skilled” experts in 11 different fields, including fintech, DLT, and cyber security, from around the world. The move designates the government’s intention to “support Hong Kong’s development as a high value-added and diversified economy.”

According to the press release, Hong Kong will facilitate successful applicants under the Talent List through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS). The QMAS has an annual quota of 1,000 people. The Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Human Resources Planning Commission, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said:

“The promulgation of the Talent List is one of our major initiatives to enhance our competitive advantages in attracting international talents, creating cluster effects, stimulating the development of local talents and propelling Hong Kong forward.”

While Hong Kong continues taking regulatory actions towards digital currencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), stating that the new technology “comes with risks,” it seems to have set sights on becoming an international blockchain hub.

Last month, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced the launch its own blockchain trade finance solution with 21 banks in August, aiming to substantially reduce paperwork, costs, and security risks for participants.

In June, the HKMA signed a fintech collaboration agreement with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market “to start a dialogue on the opportunity to build a cross-border trade finance network using [DLT].” That month, Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial trialled its first blockchain remittances, sending a transaction in three seconds between its AliPayHK app in Hong Kong and Filipino payment app GCash.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School (HKUST) recently received a $20 million research grant to improve the security capabilities of electronic payment systems earlier this month.

Additionally, the HKUST in partnership with the University of Hong Kong are planning to explore blockchain technology applications, and discuss the possibility of Hong Kong’s transformation into a global fintech hub.

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Firefox Plans to Block Crypto Mining Malware



Mozilla Foundation

Firefox, the popular Web browser, will soon begin automatically blocking crypto mining malware scripts as part of a wider performance-enhancing push. The Mozilla Foundation, the not-for-profit organization behind the open-source browser, said Thursday that it intends to block trackers and other “harmful practices” in upcoming releases.

Some of these features, such as the anti-tracking function, are already available in its Firefox Nightly beta version.

The goal is to prevent third-party scripts from hampering the user experience, according to Mozilla vice president of product Nick Nguyen. These scripts are generally embedded within websites and can commandeer a user’s computing power without their knowledge. Scripts that hijack an individual’s unused computer power to mine cryptocurrencies also fall into this category.

“Deceptive practices that invisibly collect identifiable user information or degrade user experience are becoming more common,” Nguyen wrote, adding:

“For example, some trackers fingerprint users — a technique that allows them to invisibly identify users by their device properties, and which users are unable to control. Other sites have deployed cryptomining scripts that silently mine cryptocurrencies on the user’s device. Practices like these make the web a more hostile place to be. Future versions of Firefox will block these practices by default.”

The Firefox Nightly version will be used to test the functionality of the new features. And if successful, users may begin seeing them enabled by default in the Firefox 63 release.

Mozilla joins other browser developers, including Opera and Google, in trying to protect its users from malicious miners, which can slow down the user experience at best and damage their computers at worst.

Opera announced in January that it was rolling out miner protection to the smartphone version of its browser, which would also be active by default. The company already offered cryptominer protection on its desktop version.

Google, meanwhile, has banned any cryptomining apps from its Play Store, though it has not made any official statements regarding automatically blocking scripts embedded within websites.

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Big Investors Deny Involvement In Crypto Miner Bitmain’s Pre-IPO Funding




Tencent Holdings and SoftBank Group are both disputing their involvement in a widely reported pre-IPO investment round for Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain. Reports on the firms’ participation in the funding effort first emerged among Chinese media in early August. Soon after, several outlets including CoinDesk, TechCrunch and other media platforms cited the reports in follow-up articles on the mining giant’s anticipated multi-billion dollar initial public offering in Hong Kong.

Yet, both Tencent and Softbank have now confirmed to CoinDesk that they have no connection to the investment deal. A spokesperson for Tencent told CoinDesk via email on Thursday that the Hong Kong-listed company is “not involved in this investment” when presented with several online reports claiming they were. “The news is not true,” they added.

Similarly, financial giant SoftBank indicated it, too, had no connection to the Bitmain round.

“Neither the SoftBank Group Corp. nor the SoftBank Vision Fund were in any way involved in the deal,” a spokesperson of SoftBank wrote in an email response last week.

Asked about any previous or subsequent investment interest in the mining giant, the SoftBank representative further replied with “nothing so far.”

Meanwhile, another firm reported to have participated – China International Capital Corporation (CICC), an investment and securities brokerage firm listed in Hong Kong with headquarters in Beijing – did not deny the news after CoinDesk sent multiple enquiries on the issue, eventually telling us on Monday it has “no comment on the issue.”

Based on various Chinese reports that covered the deal, the original source of the claims appears to have come from an IPO-focused blog on the WeChat messaging platform, using an official account named “IPO Zao Zhi Dao.”

The owner, called “Uncle C”on WeChat, first published a report on July 23, saying its “exclusive sources” revealed several potential investors who were likely to participate in the Bitmain funding.

The post listed major names such as Tencent, GIC (a Singapore government-established sovereign wealth fund), the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and a Canadian pension fund. Tencent said at the time it had “no comment on the report” after the article got widely cited across the Chinese media.

Yet on August 4, the same blog published a follow-up post that again claimed the exclusive that Bitmain had officially closed its pre-IPO round with $1 billion, valuing the firm at $15 billion, post-deal. In addition, Tencent, Softbank and CICC were reported as participating.

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Ethereum Classic (ETC) Surges After Coinbase Consumer Confirms Listing



Over the past few weeks, Ethereum Classic (ETC) hit crypto headlines, as multiple exchanges finally announced fiat-to-crypto support for the popular cryptocurrency.

Coinbase Consumer Meet Ethereum Classic

Coinbase’s support for Ethereum Classic has been in the works for a while now, originally announcing that the firm’s engineering team had begun testing implementation in early-June. Although many Ethereum Classic proponents were over the moon about this proactive step, the San Fransisco-based firm went quiet on ETC’s listing for weeks.

But as reported by NewsBTC previously, on August 3rd, Coinbase’s engineering team came out of hiding to reveal that it had entered the “final testing” phase for the support of Coinbase’s 5th crypto asset. Along with issuing this announcement, the crypto startup also pointed out that August 7th was when it planned to accept incoming ETC deposits on Coinbase Pro, with fully-fledged trading expected to be implemented through a four-stage process just a few days later.

August 7th passed, and Coinbase Pro’s four-stage implementation process succeeded, but there were still multiple steps left on the platform’s radar, namely support for Coinbase Consumer ( and its in-house institutional-focused index fund. This plan was acknowledged in the original announcement, with the platform citing liquidity concerns as a leading factor to why the asset would not be initially available on all products and services.

Over the past 48 hours, the situation surrounding this asset has quickly shifted, with the company introducing ETC support for the Coinbase Index Fund and its consumer-focused platform in rapid succession. Firstly, the Coinbase Index has been rebalanced to include Ethereum Classic, which now accounts for 0.91% of the index in accordance with the weighted market capitalizations. As such, a Coinbase Index Fund investor will hold a 0.91% stake in Ethereum Classic.

Starting at 5pm PT tomorrow, Coinbase Consumer customers will be able to buy, sell, store and use Ethereum Classic (ETC) on and through the mobile app.

— Coinbase (@coinbase) August 15, 2018

Secondly, Coinbase has just announced that on August 16th at 5:00 PM (PST), Ethereum Classic will be available on the exchange’s retail-focused platform ( The exchange wrote:

“ETC will be available to customers in every country where Coinbase Consumer is available. We’re thrilled to offer ETC to all of our customers and will continue working to add more assets to Coinbase.”

Ethereum Classic Posts 16% Gain Amidst A Shaky Market

In a direct correlation with these announcements, Ethereum Classic saw an influx of buying pressure, and a subsequent spike in price, with the asset currently posting a gain of a staggering 16%. As it stands, ETC the best performing asset in CoinMarketCap’s top 100, with the 5th highest volume figure. ETC is also one of the only four cryptocurrencies in the top 20 that has posted a gain, as the market remains in a shaky state following a large downtrend.

It is likely that speculators are doing their best to cash in on the potential influx of investor interest following a Coinbase listing, as the exchange has been continually touted as one of the most influential services in this space.

This is an evident example of the so-called “Coinbase Effect,” where assets listed or even fleetingly mentioned by the firm see a large uptick in popularity and price. But while it is clear to see why ETC is performing well today, others are not too sure about the mid to long-term prospects of this asset, as ETC was eclipsed by ETH in terms of price and real-world adoption months, if not years ago.

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Which Cryptocurrencies Will Survive The Altcoin Apocalypse?



With the massive crypto market rout that has occurred in ‘red August’ many are now talking of an altcoin extinction which could spell the demise for the majority of them. Which ones are likely to survive is the key question.

Most of the altcoins have dropped way below their price levels this time last year and are 80-90% down from their all-time highs. This has led many to surmise that it could be game over for many of them. According to Ted Rogers, the president of crypto wallet provider Xapo, this extinction level event could wipe out 90% of the altcoins;

We could be in the midst of the extinction-level event for “cryptoassets” that many maximalists have predicted. 90%+ of @CoinMarketCap list will disappear eventually – might as well happen now. Meantime, lower BTC price means incredible opportunity to buy more #bitcoin

— Ted Rogers (@tedmrogers) August 14, 2018

This sentiment has been echoed by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin when he famously said that most of the coins on Coinmarketcap will go to zero back in October before the big run up. Buterin’s comments were aimed more at low quality alts, or ‘shitcoins’ as they’re commonly known in the trade. Rogers, however, believes that only Bitcoin is the king and now is the best time to buy it. He may be onto something since Bitcoin’s market dominance has increased to 53.7%, its highest level this year.

Surviving the Extinction

If there is merit to these words, which altcoins will survive? To find out we need to look back to the ones that have survived such market drops in the past. These are most likely to survive this slump and possibly grow stronger in the future. Going back to 2013/14 is an almost mirror image of the current market situation with a huge pump at the end of the year and a massive dump throughout 2014 when markets shed 80% before recovering again in 2015.

Total Market Capitalization 2013-14

Looking back at altcoins in 2014 we can see Litecoin as the second most popular cryptocurrency, priced at just $9. Also in the top twenty altcoins back then were XRP, Dash, Nxt, Dogecoin, Bytecoin, Maidsafe, and Monero with a few others. The rest have faded into obscurity so it is likely that these few will survive the current market depression.

More recently there were a couple of smaller jumps and drops in 2016. Altcoins around back then include Ethereum which has taken and held the second spot as it is now the platform of choice for 90% of blockchain startups. Also in the top twenty were the same coins as in 2014 plus Nem, Lisk, DigixDAO, Waves, Steem, Siacoin and Stellar. This is not to say that they will definitely be around next year but they have a better chance than some of the newcomers simply because they have weathered these storms before.

A Working Product or System

Another factor to consider is whether a project has a working product or is just still a concept or work in progress. This could be fodder for extinction as non-operational altcoins are weeded out in favor of ones that actually have something on the table or have made significant partnerships.

Looking at today’s top ten Cardano is the worst performing altcoin dropping 93% from its all-time high. It does not yet have a fully working product and is largely conceptual though the roadmap does look busy, whether this is enough to avoid extinction remains to be seen. EOS is similar with no real functioning product and a massive slide of 80% since the hyped pump it had in April. Iota also seems ahead of its time and has lost over 90% since its ATH, and then there is Tron which must be the most overhyped altcoin in the list that still doesn’t really do anything yet.

There are too many to mention, 1845 on Coinmarketcap in fact, and this article is largely hypothetical but if such an apocalypse is to occur, only those that have survived the test of time and have some degree of product functionality have the best chances of surviving again.

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Arthur Hayes’ $5,000 Prediction Draws Ever Closer As Market Drops



Cryptocurrency price predictions have become as plentiful as trees in a forest, but many never come to fruition. Nonetheless, with the crypto market’s move lower, some have begun to believe that Arthur Hayes’ $5k prediction could be in store for Bitcoin.

From $5k To $50k — Arthur Hayes’ Extreme Bitcoin Prediction

Arthur Hayes, the CEO of BitMEX and a passionate cryptocurrency proponent, has not been one to back down from a tough question. When queried about his prediction for the price of Bitcoin come the end of 2018, Hayes stated, albeit somewhat jokingly, that Bitcoin will reach $50,000. As reported by NewsBTC, he doubled down on this sentiment in late June, drawing attention to the potential for a positive regulatory decision that could bring the price of the foremost digital asset past $50,000. Hayes stated:

“Absolutely [I stand by $50,000 prediction by 2018]. I think something [bitcoin] that goes up to $20,000 in one year can have a correction down to $6,000. I think we can find a bottom in the $3,000 to $5,000 range, but we are one positive regulatory decision away, maybe an ETF approved by the SEC, to climbing through $20,000 and even to $50,000 by the end of 2018.”

As per a tweet from Frank Chaparro, a fintech-focused Business Insider reporter, Arthur Hayes’ prediction could still be in store for the cryptocurrency market.

BitMEX head Arthur Hayes predicted #bitcoin would retest 5k before hitting $50,000 by year end

— Frank Chaparro (@fintechfrank) August 14, 2018

As Bitcoin neared $8,000 in late July, Hayes made an appearance on CNBC to triple down on his ambitious prediction, this time drawing attention to the fact that if Bitcoin falls and holds $5,000, that the $50,000 rally could be possible. He later added that he expects for Q3 and Q4 to be “when the party is going to start again,” as summer months are when cryptocurrency traders “take a little bit of chill time.”

Could His Prediction Come To Fruition?

Following the SEC’s delay verdict for the VanECK and SolidX Bitcoin ETF, the market began to tumble, falling from a monthly high at $8,500 to today’s low at $6,000. While Hayes has yet to bring up his prediction once again, some investors have become increasingly aware that the first part of his prediction could come to pass as Bitcoin nears $5,000. First, Bitcoin will need to test the $5,800 level, which has become an essential line of support in previous downtrends.

However, if Bitcoin drops below $5,800, some users fear that this will be the point of no return, with some calling a move under this level “game over” for this early-stage asset class.  Jeff DeGraaf, a technical analyst at Renaissance Macro Research, recently revealed that Bitcoin could be “permanently impaired” or put into a “game over” phase if it moves under $5,800.

So for Hayes’ prediction to be successful, the market will have to go against all the odds to fall under $5,800, to only surpass this level only weeks, if not days later.

Additionally, even if Bitcoin was to pull off this feat, many fear that there is a limited upside. In Hayes’ second mention of $50,000, the CEO pointed out that the catalyst for such a move would be a positive regulatory decision. But now that the positive regulatory environment around this space has deflated, some fear that the market’s luck has run out, or at least for 2018 anyway.

It remains to be seen whether the predictions of yesteryear will come to pass, but many are hoping for the best, finding smidges of solace in a bear market.


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