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Celebrity Crypto-Investments: A Boost for the Industry, but Also a Distraction



Marketing loves celebrities — and with good reason. They’re “celebrated” people, individuals invested with bulk quantities of cultural capital (i.e., public respect, goodwill and interest), which — if tapped correctly by marketing firms — can be reflected onto endorsed products. This is why they’ve already proven important for the cryptocurrency industry, which has enlisted the likes of Lionel Messi, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Steven Seagal for the purposes of drawing the public’s attention toward initial coin offerings (ICOs) and new cryptocurrencies.

But while the above have simply been endorsements offered in return for what we can only presume were million-dollar fees, there are a number of other celebrities who support and have supported crypto more meaningfully. From Ashton Kutcher to Serena Williams, these are individuals who have actually bought crypto or invested in crypto-related startups. So instead of merely allowing their names and faces to be associated with altcoin X or exchange Y, they’ve provided an even stronger backing of crypto by actually putting skin in the game.

However, as validating as it may be to hear of another celebrity staking their own money on the success of crypto, celebrity investments won’t be enough on their own to drive widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, since they still remain a relatively rare occurrence. Instead, the crypto industry and community still need to focus on the core fundamentals: building platforms that businesses and the general public actually want to use.

Venture capitalist celebrities

On April 17, tennis champion Serena Williams became the latest celebrity investor in crypto. She revealed via her Instagram account that she’d secretly launched an investment company, Serena Ventures, in 2014. And more importantly for the cryptocurrency industry, she also revealed that this company had invested in Coinbase, making her a backer of one of the industry’s biggest players.

It’s not known how much Serena Ventures has invested in America‘s biggest crypto exchange, although Williams has won nearly $90 million in prize money over the course of her career, while she earned around $18 million in endorsements between 2017 and 2018 alone. She therefore has fairly deep pockets, indicating that her investment in Coinbase could be substantial — if not monumental.

Williams isn’t the only celebrity to have stumped up venture capital for a crypto-related company. Arguably the most active celebrity investor in such companies is Ashton Kutcher, the actor and one-time Calvin Klein model who launched his own venture capital firm — A-Grade Investments — in 2010. Most notably, he invested an undisclosed sum in crypto transaction processor BitPay in March 2013, while in June 2014, his firm participated in a $12 million funding round for blockchain cybersecurity company BitGo, making it one of the most well-funded crypto-related companies at the time.

These multiple investments indicate that Kutcher is a firm believer in cryptocurrency, as reinforced by his comments following the BitGo investment. “People ultimately want to feel like their wealth is safe,” he was quoted by Forbes as saying:

“Bitcoins themselves are incredibly secure, however the means by which bitcoins are exchanged and stored can be vulnerable. That is why BitGo is such an amazing platform.”

Indeed, comments made about bitcoin at TechCrunch‘s Disrupt conference in 2013 show that Kutcher has been a cryptocurrency devotee for over half a decade — and in recent years, additional investments have reconfirmed his interest in crypto. In 2015, he launched a new venture capital firm, Sound Ventures, which later went on to invest in Ripple (and then to donate XRP worth $4 million to Ellen DeGeneres’ wildlife charity in 2018). Sound Ventures has also invested an undeclared amount of money in exchange platform Robinhood, which expanded in February 2018 to offering cryptocurrency trading.

Kutcher may be the most committed and outspoken celebrity investor in cryptocurrencies and crypto-related businesses, but he isn’t the only famous individual to be all-in when it comes to crypto. One other celebrity venture capitalist who flies slightly more under the radar is Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known as the rapper “Nas.” Nas launched QueensBridge Venture Partners (QBVP) in 2014, when the firm invested in Bitfury Group as part of a $20 million Series A investment round. QBVP has also invested in BlockCypher and, more recently, Coinbase and Robinhood, while Nas himself has gone on record as saying that “Bitcoin will evolve into an industry as big, if not bigger, than the internet.”

The mention of Robinhood here is interesting, because it seems to be a magnet for investments from celebrity-led funds. Aside from Nas (and Ashton Kutcher), the exchange platform also received funding in 2014 from rapper Snoop Dogg and actor Jared Leto, while in early 2018 it also benefited from funding from Jay-Z‘s Arrive Venture Capital. And speaking of celebrity overlaps in crypto-related investments, BitPay was on the receiving end of money not only from Ashton Kutcher, but also from famed investor/author/philanthropist Richard Branson, who took part in a $30 million Series A funding round in 2014.

Such forays into cryptocurrency funding may not be massively common in the celebrity world, but the fact that they are made by celebrities rather than “ordinary” investors and entrepreneurs should provide some encouragement. That’s because, in such cases, the investors concerned are highly public figures who aren’t putting only their money on the line when they invest in Coinbase, Robinhood or BitPay, but also their reputations. What’s more, as CryptoOracle CEO Lou Kerner told Cointelegraph, their reputations really help to drive wider interest in crypto, particularly if the investors concerned are genuinely enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies:

“Investment from a celebrity like Serena Williams often generates press, which has value, but it’s pretty ephemeral. There are some celebrity investors, like Ashton Kutcher, that really dig in, leverage their celebrity status to help the company, and add real value.”

Other industry figures agree with this assessment. Artem Popov, the co-founder of blockchain-based investment service Roobee, also affirms that celebrity investments can boost public interest, so long as these investments come from individuals who are personally invested in the cryptocurrency space:

“Celebrity investments certainly bring hype and make the startup in question more appealing in the eyes of the general public and retail investors. If played right, celebrity involvement can be beneficial, but I believe it should be viewed on case-by-case basis and not taken out of context. For instance, in the case of Serena Williams we’re not talking about her directly supporting blockchain or Coinbase.”

Celebrity crypto ownership

As Lou Kerner adds, such celebrities as Ashton Kutcher and Nas are “the exception rather than the rule,” since most of the celebrities who do associate themselves with crypto do so more in terms of superficial marketing endorsements. And there have been no shortage of these in recent years: Paris Hilton, Floyd Mayweather, DJ Khaled, Steven Seagal, The Game, T.I, Harry Redknapp, Ghostface Killah, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Akon, Dennis Rodman and Shahbaz Khan have all rented their names out to cryptocurrency projects of one stripe or another. And what’s interesting to note about such endorsements is that they were all for projects that were either likely to fail or downright fraudulent.

In other words, the distinction between celebrity investments and celebrity endorsements provides a useful rule of thumb. Generally, a celebrity will invest their own money in a crypto-related project because they really believe it offers value and will succeed as a business proposition. However, their willingness to be paid for their “endorsement” of a project obviously has no bearing on whether they believe in it, since they will get paid regardless of its success. It’s for this reason that individual investors and traders would be better off paying more attention to investments than to endorsements.

But even if the number of celebrities who have actually invested in crypto projects can probably be counted on a few hands, there are also a number of celebrities who, rather than getting involved specifically in venture capitalism, have sought to invest in bitcoin, ether or some other cryptocurrency for their own personal advantage. These include the likes of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, actor Hugh Laurie, rappers 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg, singer Mel B, actor Drew Carey, football player Richard Sherman and musician/actor Donald Glover.

Once again, that such people are public figures with thousands or millions of admirers is largely a good thing for cryptocurrency, since their enthusiasm for crypto is likely to rub off onto their fans. As Diego Mourad, CEO of the decentralized stolen item-database S4FE, explained:

“People tend to form their opinions and decisions based on their role models, which today are celebrities and not necessarily politicians, scientists or academics. Celebrities have followers, sometimes millions of them. So by just one celebrity turning their attention to cryptocurrencies, millions may be encouraged to look into that topic.”

Crypto must prove itself in its own right

It’s not surprising that celebrities have been drawn to crypto — and that crypto-related projects have been drawn to celebrities — because, not only are celebrities usually always open to earning a little extra money via endorsements, but many of them also like to maintain their “fashionable” images and branding by associating themselves with the latest trends and innovations. This is a big part of the reason why they’ve publicly come out in favor of cryptocurrencies, and given that a large number of them also have plenty of money and time to spare, it’s once again no surprise that celebrities have been in a position to invest in crypto in one way or another.

That said, it’s possible to suggest that the involvement of celebrities isn’t as beneficial to the industry as some might suppose. For one, it’s clear that, in certain cases, the direct purchase of crypto and even the provision of venture capital by celebrities isn’t as effective in enabling the industry to grow as the help provided by established investors and entrepreneurs.

“For the core crypto community, however, the so-called ‘whale’ investors hold more importance,”Artem Popov said. He continued:

“Being within the crypto and blockchain industry for long and driving it strongly forward, they bring much more value and trust to a project than just celebrities.”

Popov claims that presale investments from large bitcoin holders could be more vital in supporting project’s launch and sparking community interest than anything most celebrities could have provided. And while such investments might not attract the wider public, it’s generally the interest from seasoned crypto investors and the community that will help to build the new projects and products that ultimately will win mainstream adoption.

Diego Mourad also explained:

“In order to become the next step in our financial system, cryptocurrencies must prove their feasibility to the general public. Celebrities or not, this will be the one factor that will rule over the rise or decline of this new technology. Our society is still stuck in a primitive cash-transaction world and it will take some convincing to get them to move to the next step. Celebrities can help this become a reality, but the technology must prove it is worthy of becoming the next phase in our evolution.”

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Bitcoin Has a Florida Problem



Justin Wales is senior recommend and co-chairs the Blockchain and Virtual Currency follow at Carlton Fields.


No one turns out to grasp what to do about bitcoin.

Since its genesis, regulators and courts around the globe have struggled with whether or not to and control it. Depending on the place you’re within the United States, for example, it both is or isn’t unlawful to promote your bitcoin for money with out a state license. That’s as a result of relying on the place you’re, bitcoin is both cash or it isn’t, and promoting bitcoin is both cash transmission or it’s now not.

And in some puts, it can be, however nobody has determined. So, you wish to have a license to promote your bitcoin… except you don’t.

As a first-generation member of the unexpectedly rising crypto criminal neighborhood, I’ve noticed how regulatory inconsistencies build up the price of innovation and power companies from jurisdictions that lack transparent steering or take a adversarial view of the blockchain and digital foreign money trade. Following the Third District Court of Appeal’s Florida v. Espinoza choice, Florida now does each.

As defined underneath, that is because of a popular and elementary false impression of the very nature of bitcoin.

Espinoza says bitcoin is a fee device

The contemporary appellate opinion determined that promoting bitcoin calls for a Florida cash carrier trade license, overruling the trial court docket’s order that disregarded prison fees in opposition to Mitchell Espinoza who used to be speculated to be running an unlicensed cash carrier trade by means of promoting bitcoin.

The trial court docket disregarded the fees, concluding that bitcoin used to be now not a “payment instrument” beneath Florida legislation, and that promoting bitcoin used to be now not cash transmission. The Third District disagreed with either one of those conclusions, conserving that bitcoin is a “payment instrument” for the reason that Court had proof that people had been prepared to simply accept bitcoin in change for items and products and services.

The Court cited no technical government in regards to the building, makes use of or construction of Bitcoin for non-financial functions, however as an alternative fascinated by the truth that Bitcoin may well be used as a way to put across price.

The Court when compared the language of Florida’s Money Transmitter Act (Ch. 560, Fla. Stat.) to that of the federal legislation and, according to its studying of the obvious textual content of Florida’s legislation discovered that it didn’t expressly require {that a} 3rd birthday party be incorporated in a transaction for that transaction to represent cash transmission.

Accordingly, the Court discovered, promoting one’s personal bitcoin constitutes “money transmission,” which calls for a license, a written compliance protocol, and intensive report protecting. Not best is that this choice at odds with the Federal view of what constitutes a cash carrier trade, it additionally contradicts steering from the state regulator, Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, which said in a declaratory observation in re: Cryptobase that events who purchase and promote their very own bitcoin don’t wish to download a cash transmission license.

It additionally demonstrates a elementary false impression of what Bitcoin is and the way it’s setting up into a strong community supporting quite a lot of use instances, together with non-financial makes use of.

Bitcoin isn’t cash. It does cash

Bitcoin lacks a number of elementary traits that we acknowledge as required for one thing to be “money.” It isn’t centrally subsidized or technically fungible. Despite this (and most likely for the reason that phrase “coin” seems in its identify), it’s steadily described as “digital money” or “digital gold.”

In reality, Bitcoin is neither of this stuff. It is a world international community of computer systems that permits individuals to
authenticate information with out first acquiring permission from a centralized authority. The first utility of that community simply occurs to be one thing like cash.

The international community is named Bitcoin with a capital “B” and the general public ledger that data and validates information entries at the community is named the Bitcoin blockchain. Prior to Bitcoin, safe peer-to-peer digital transactions of information had been inconceivable as a result of virtual knowledge is straightforward to duplicate; virtual representations of price may well be copied and spent two times. Bitcoin solves this factor by means of the usage of cryptographic equipment, in a recreation concept primarily based device that incentivizes individuals that make investments computational power to validate new information by means of paying a praise for this paintings.

That inside community praise mechanism is confusingly referred to as bitcoin (with a lower-case “b.”) Without bitcoins to incentivize mining, Satoshi’s community may now not paintings. First, as a result of customers who want to upload or trade information tracked on Bitcoin’s blockchain wish to pay charges in bitcoin, there’s a charge so as to add new information and subsequently the Bitcoin community is not going to be flooded with phony or low- price transactions (necessarily fighting a denial of carrier kind assault).

Second, as a result of miners that make investments their assets to validate adjustments to the blockchain will have to be depended on to behave in truth, and now not certify false information, the bitcoin praise supplies a financial incentive to individuals to just settle for legitimate transactions.

The Third District’s choice and what Florida will have to do about It

The Third District’s opinion focuses completely on bitcoin’s economic makes use of. However, their research ignores different makes use of of the Bitcoin community, together with as a censorship-resistant newsletter community, a time-stamping instrument, a record authenticator, a sensible contract platform (the usage of RSK Rootstock) with extensive utility throughout many industries, and the facility to facilitate varieties of micro-communications (using Bitcoin’s lightning community) that aren’t differently technologically imaginable.

Each of those non-financial makes use of calls for a consumer to simply download bitcoin to take part in each the economic and non-financial actions facilitated by means of the Bitcoin community.

By ignoring the State’s present coverage of allowing people to promote their virtual assets with out acquiring a cash products and services trade license, the Court has reworked Florida from some of the extra innovation-friendly states for the blockchain and digital foreign money trade into some of the least. By now not spotting the price and setting up makes use of of the Bitcoin community, the Court necessarily made it cost-preclusive to begin a trade that is helping to develop or facilitate the still-developing makes use of of Bitcoin’s international decentralized community and created upper burdens for events who want to transact at the Bitcoin community.

The State’s want to forestall illegal conduct is easily based, however it will have to be overly wary when endorsing overbroad or technologically restrictive insurance policies. The Third District Court of Appeal’s choice is at odds with Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation and its right kind working out of the various facets — each non-financial and monetary — of the Bitcoin community. Fortunately, a new bill has been introduced earlier than the Florida House that will shape a running workforce to advise the State, amongst different issues, of control bitcoin. However, a legislative resolution would possibly take months or years.

In the period in-between, it’s crucial that regulators and courts take some time to grasp the Bitcoin community’s packages past its use as price so they don’t let Florida fall in the back of.

Florida symbol by the use of Shutterstock

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New 2019 High: What Has Added Another $10 Billion to Crypto Markets?



Crypto markets have pumped to a brand new 2019 top; Ontology, Ethereum and EOS are flying, Binance Coin slowing down.Market WrapContrary to predictions crypto markets have not pulled back and feature if truth be told collected momentum and made additional beneficial properties these days. The giant cap cryptos have damaged key resistance ranges and issues are taking a look certain this present day as general marketplace capitalization reaches a brand new 2019 top at over $140 billion.Around 12 hours in the past Bitcoin after all broke during the $4,000 resistance barrier and made some other surge to $4,200 prior to pulling again relatively. The transfer represents a 5% acquire at the day as quantity cranked as much as over $Nine billion. BTC has now reached the the most important 200MA and some other upside destroy thru this might be very bullish.Ethereum is once more one of the most top performers with an 11% pump to damage thru $150 and settle at $165, its easiest degree since mid-November closing 12 months. Over the previous week ETH quantity has reached its easiest ranges for over a 12 months because it tops $Five billion. XRP has now not loved a equivalent pump and has best made 5% widening the distance between them to over $three billion now.EOS may be having a large pump within the best ten these days because it surges 12% to achieve $4.30. Bitcoin Cash has added 9% to drag it again over $150 once more and Litecoin assists in keeping transferring with some other 7% added throughout these days’s Asian buying and selling consultation. Binance Coin as same old has achieved the other and remained torpid and not using a actual beneficial properties throughout this rally.Big movers within the best twenty are NEO and Maker with 13% added each and every taking their costs to $10 and $755 respectively. Ontology has surged again into this segment with an enormous pump of 25% at the day. NEM and Monero additionally going robust with 9% added each and every.Aside from ONT an enormous fomo pump of 55% has driven S4FE into the highest 100. Loom Network and Electroneum also are getting a few of that motion these days pumping 16% each and every. There aren’t any altcoins dumping this present day and the one pink at the forums is from stablecoins.Total marketplace cap 24 hours. Coinmarketcap.comTotal marketplace capitalization has reached a brand new 2019 top as $10 billion will get pumped in transferring them 6.7% at the day. There is now communicate of the beginnings of a restoration as marketplace cap tops $143 billion, the easiest it’s been for 2 months. Daily quantity is again over $30 billion once more and issues are taking a look very bullish in crypto land this Sunday.Market Wrap is a piece that takes a day by day take a look at the highest 20 cryptocurrencies throughout the present buying and selling consultation and analyses the best-performing ones, searching for developments and conceivable basics.

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WAVES Price Prediction: Long-term (WAVES) Value Forecast – June 16





  • WAVES/USD market has now seemingly set to succumb to more bears’ force than the bulls’.
  • Joining the WAVES/USD market in its current ranging mote isn’t that technically ideal.

WAVES /USD Long-term Trend – Ranging

  • Distribution territories: $3.50, $4, $4.50
  • Accumulation territories: $1.50, $1, $0.50

WAVES/USD market valuation still moves around a range trading spot that it had last previously. The pair has now been more of tightly struggling to push out of the range moving zone.

But, yet, there has been no definite required energy been mustering on the parts of both the base and the counter of the crypto-market until the present. The SMA trading indicators are now moving in line with the market’s price to the east direction to affirm the weight of the degree of the range movements. The Stochastic Oscillators have briefly pushed above range 20 with a weak force.

There is every tendency of seeing this market to pull up to the north in order to allow a kind of smooth running of a downward moving market afterward. Joining the market in its current ranging mote isn’t that technically ideal. In other words, there’s still need to wait for a strong moving of the market’s price line prior considering to join the trade.


The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect that of and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

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Grayscale: Bitcoin Gained 47% in US-China Trade War Drawdown



Bitcoin (BTC) vastly outperformed traditional wealth preservation assets during the United StatesChina trade war, American digital asset manager Grayscale confirmed in research published on June 11.

Updating “Hedging Global Liquidity Risk with Bitcoin” — a report originally from 2016 — Grayscale noted that bitcoin gained 47% in the period from May 5-31. The next best-performing asset, the Japanese yen, gained 2.1%.

In addition, many assets saw a drawdown due to the trade dispute, which is ongoing; the Nasdaq Composite index shed 8.7%, making it the worst performer out of global equities.

Grayscale also noted the depreciation in the Chinese yuan, a factor that others have already said spurred bitcoin’s bull market in May due to local investor uncertainty.

“While the drawdown appears to be in its very early stages, Bitcoin is getting a jump before these risks are fully reflected in other asset prices,” the company’s director of investments and research, Matthew Beck, commented.

The findings capitalize on a trend that has seen bitcoin gain from geopolitical instability at various points this year. As Cointelegraph reported, events such as Brexit appeared to exert a similar effect on the cryptocurrency’s price.

While admitting bitcoin is still young for a hedging asset, Grayscale nonetheless confirms belief in its future potential.

“While it is still very early in Bitcoin’s life cycle as an investable asset, we have identified evidence supporting the notion that it can serve as a hedge in a global liquidity crisis, particularly those that result in subsequent currency devaluations,” Beck concluded.

At the same time, theories about bitcoin’s price rally in May also lean towards the non-political, such as investors notionally experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) after April’s initial surge.

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Bitcoin Futures Will Prevent Another Bull Run, Founder of BlockchainBTM Says



The crypto marketplace goes via some beautiful just right occasions. After this week’s bull run, BTC went from 3.6k to over 4k, a essential resistance that would mark the start of a bullish development.

However, a lot time has handed because the final bull run till now, and ever since 201, the marketplace has matured so much, and the era has advanced significantly, even converting the way in which buyers and the group see issues.

Bullish sentiment appears to be commonplace amongst outstanding analysts and personalities on this planet of cryptocurrencies. As reported by means of Ethereum World News, the preferred analysts from Tradingview appear to agree that it’s conceivable {that a} development reversal is going down resulting in vital worth will increase for Bitcoin (and the remainder of the cryptocurrencies).

BlockchainBTM Logo

However, prior to you get thinking about the colour of your new Lambo, it sort of feels that the bullish development may not be as sped up as in earlier years. In reality, it’s conceivable that 2017 is regarded as an abnormal episode within the historical past of Bitcoin.

In an interview for the Block Publisher, Javad Afshar, the founding father of BlockchainBTM, a crypto ATM operator within the United States shared his impressions about the way forward for cryptocurrencies allowing for the evolution of the markets.

For the knowledgeable and a hit dealer, it’s fully conceivable that there’s a bullish development; then again, the prime approval for futures markets will save you one of these trend from having an exponential enlargement by means of permitting speculators to “bet” in opposition to it:

“This 2017 phenomena happened because there was no instrument for the speculators to short the market. Now that we have the future markets for bitcoin, speculators can short the market whenever it gets out of hand.”

Javad Afshar. CEO of Bitcoin Exchange BlockchainBTM

Javad Afshar

2017 used to be a yr of extreme significance for Bitcoin and the remainder of the cryptocurrencies. The exponential enlargement of its worth introduced a degree of pastime in those applied sciences by no means observed prior to.

However, it might be stated that such nice pastime got here with an excellent immaturity. Many invested simply attracted by means of a worth that didn’t appear to fall, and exactly after the inauguration of the primary vital futures markets, the rage reversed, and the cryptocurrencies fell virtually as onerous as they rose.

Mr, Afshar believes that during case Bitcoin has a bullish development, it’s unbelievable to recreate the conduct of 2017:

“We don’t look ahead to every other wild bull run on bitcoin reminiscent of the person who took place in 2017 …
If the bitcoin worth has bottomed at round $3,000 and assuming it’s within the bull marketplace, the fee will best move up step by step.”

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