Crypto News: May 14, 2018

This week is NYC Blockchain Week. (Here is a robust Blockchain Week Calendar)

There will be a flurry of announcements around product launches, funding rounds, partnerships, and future plans. The excitement and enthusiasm are always contagious.

Not everyone thinks this energy is a good thing.

There are many people who see the excitement/enthusiasm as unwarranted hype. They believe the positivity around blockchain exists because there is a lack of substance. I’ve even seen people say crypto is full of snake oil and used car salesmen.

Personally, I don’t agree with this sentiment. The energy and enthusiasm is important. It keeps people motivated. As the great Abraham Lincoln once said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

Blockchain is still in its infancy — there is no promise of success. My argument here isn’t that everything in blockchain will survive. Actually most of it is complete garbage….but that is okay.

The hype is a forcing function. It accelerates us to the end result.

If the blockchain industry isn’t sustainable, we will find that out faster with the hype than without it. Hype brings capital. It brings media attention. It also brings diligence and scrutiny.

NYC Blockchain Week is a combination of excitement and scrutiny. The bulls and the bears. Tens of thousands of people coming together in one of the most iconic cities in the world to build, promote, and debate the future.

So pay attention to the announcements, launches, and funding rounds. Celebrate progress. But also take a minute to look around — we are all incredibly lucky to be working on this right now.

THE RUNDOWN:

Bitcoin conferences rake in millions in ticket sales: With tickets roughly $2,000 each, Coindesk’s Consensus conference is likely bringing in at least $8 million. Not everyone in the crypto world is as excited to attend, however. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin vowed to boycott the conference this year, partly because of the high ticket price. Read more.

South Korea’s largest crypto exchange is under investigation: Cryptocurrency exchange Upbit is currently being investigated by police and investigators for alleged fraud. Police believe the exchange has faked its balance sheets and deceived investors. Read more.

Bacardi heiress invests $100M in blockchain platform: Lady Monika Bacardi had made an investment valued at $100 million in TaTaTu, a blockchain-powered social entertainment platform. TaTaTu is a hybrid of a video on demand service and a social networking site. It rewards users with crypto tokens for consuming and contributing content. Read more.

Bank of Canada says blockchain is effective for securities settlements: Canada’s central bank, Toronto Stock Exchange operator TMX Group, and non-profit organization Payments Canada, completed tests showing blockchain can be used for instantaneous securities settlements. Read more.

The first regulated Ethereum futures launch: A U.K.-based cryptocurrency trading platform called Crypto Facilities has launched the “first regulated” futures contracts for Ethereum. The products will enable investors to take a long or short position on the cryptocurrency, which will reportedly allow them to “broaden investment opportunities and manage risks more effectively.” Read more.

IBM’s top blockchain expert thinks Facebook’s intentions are good: IBM’s top blockchain expert Bridget van Kralingen thinks blockchain will solve Facebook’s data problems. In addition to securing data, blockchain technology could also help the tech giant with its problem of fake news and Russian-funded political ads. Read more.