The Intersection: Crypto and Wall Street This Week
As bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies get increasing attention from investors, Wall Street and its traditional banks continue to adjust to the shift. Catch up on this week's top stories highlighting the intersection of these old guard and new school areas of finance with this recap compiled by The Fly: 1. COINBASE PLANS BTC FORKS WITHDRAWALS, EXPLORES EARN.COM PURCHASE: Cryptocurrency firm Coinbase, which recently met with Securities and Exchange Commission officials about registering as a licensed brokerage firm, announced its intention to support the withdrawal of Bitcoin Forks in a Monday blog post. The company said, "We are announcing this both internally and to the public as consistent with our process for adding new assets. This change will allow customers to more easily withdraw assets associated with Bitcoin Forks across all Coinbase products. We are not announcing support for any specific assets at this time." Additionally on Monday, Axios reported that Coinbase is in talks to buy Earn.com, a paid inbox service formerly called 21 inc. Current discussions are at a purchase price "north of $100M" plus management earn-outs, and Coinbase is "insisting" that Earn chief executive officer Balaji Srinivasan come over as chief technology officer. 2. RIPPLE INVESTS IN VENTURE FUND: Ripple, the fintech company behind XRP, has invested $25M of its digital currency into a dedicated sidecar vehicle alongside Blockchain Capital's fourth venture fund, Fortune reported Wednesday. The venture capital firm, which raised $150M last month to invest in equity and cryptocurrency assets, says it carved out the XRP funds into a separate special purpose vehicle called Blockchain Capital Parallel IV, which only accepts contributions in cryptocurrencies, due to the risk of any change in valuation linked to the investment. 3. BITMAIN ETHEREUM MINER DELAYED: Bitmain has delayed shipments for its Ethereum ASIC miner, the Antiminer E3, to mid- or late-July from April due to the circuit's weaker-than-expected performance, DigiTimes reported Tuesday. The company still expects shipments to reach the original target of 1.8M-2M units in 2018. Bitmain will start accepting pre-orders for the miner, manufactured on TSMC's (TSM) 28nm process, in April and begin a small volume of shipments in July with mass shipments planned for fourth quarter 2018. The miner has been pointed to as a potential risk to graphics cards demand, possibly impacting Nvidia (NVDA) and AMD (AMD). 4. BITCOIN ACCEPTANCE UNCHANGED: In a note to investors on Monday, Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette pointed out that Bitcoin acceptance among U.S. internet retailers remained unchanged, with four of the top 500 internet retailers he tracks still accepting the cryptocurrency. 5. BARCLAYS CALLS BITCOIN INFECTIOUS: Barclays analysts have developed a price model that likens the cryptocurrency to an infectious disease, CNBC reported Tuesday. "Like infection, transmission - especially to those with 'fear of missing out' - is by word-of-month, via blogs, news reports and personal anecdotes. However, once full adoption is approached, the price decline is sustained and rapid," analyst Joseph Abate wrote. "We believe the speculative froth phase of cryptocurrency investment - and perhaps peak prices - may have passed." 6. TZERO UNVEILS SECURITY SOFTWARE: On Monday, tZERO, a subsidiary of Overstock.com (OSTK), announced the prototype of its planned security token trading software. CEO Patrick Byrne said, "In August 2015, Overstock used tZERO's blockchain technology to issue what we believe was the world's first private blockchain security, a $5M bond to First New York Securities. In December 2015, Overstock filed with the SEC an S-3 registration statement to register a preferred stock digital security utilizing tZERO's blockchain technology, which was subsequently declared effective in December 2016. Overstock used that S-3 to issue what we believe was the world's first public blockchain security, OSTKP, utilizing tZERO technology once again. Now we are unveiling tZERO's security token trading software." 7. LONG BLOCKCHAIN DELISTED: On Tuesday, Long Blockchain (LBCC) announced that the company received a delisting determination letter from the Nasdaq Stock Market relating to the company's common stock. As previously reported, the company received notice that Nasdaq had determined to delist the company's securities. The company appealed this determination, however a hearings panel determined to uphold the staff's decision. CRYPTO STOCK PLAYS: Cryptocurrency revenues have been pointed to as reasons to be bullish on Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia in select research. Overstock, DPW Holdings (DPW), Long Blockchain, Kodak (KODK), Seven Stars Cloud Group (SSC), Riot Blockchain (RIOT), Longfin (LFIN), Pareteum (TEUM) and Social Reality (SRAX) are other stocks that have been touted, or promoted themselves, as a way to play the crypto theme PRICE ACTION: As of time of writing, bitcoin rose roughly 22.6% this week to $8,107 in U.S. dollars according to CoinDesk. WANT BITCOIN NEWS ALERTS?: To receive alerts on stories relating to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Fly subscribers can enter "Bitcoin" into the "Add symbols" box of their portfolios.