The most highlighted news in from 29 Oct – 2 Nov.
Bitcoin Exchange Bitstamp Acquired by Belgian Investment Firm NXMH
One of the biggest news past week was the acquisition of the oldest Bitcoin exchange, Bitstamp by Belgian investment firm NXMH. While the actual financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the purchase price was rumored to be around $400 million. There were a total of four interested suitors according to co-founder and CEO of Bitstamp, Nejc Kodrič who now owns 10% stake in the exchange. NXMH was chosen since it allows Bitstamp to operate independently without drastic changes internally.
Pantera Capital, a cryptocurrency hedge fund which invested $10 million in Bitstamp in 2014, also sold a portion of its stake to NXMH but retained some interest in the exchange.
‘Big Four’ Auditor PwC Has 400 Blockchain Experts in-house
As the crypto industry grows and more established firms are formed, the demand for specialised financial services like auditing and tax consultancy are increasing. Some of the biggest auditing firms like PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) have taken on hundreds of new clients involved in cryptocurrencies, hence the firm has brought on as many as 400 crypto specialists to meet the unique needs of these clients.
The main role of firms like PwC is to help companies be in compliance and meet their tax obligations properly. Their target is not only onboard crypto exchanges or mining outfits but any company that exposes itself to crypto at all as they will need some sort of tax guidance.
Leading VC Investor: Dismissing Crypto Now is Like Dismissing Internet in 1993
Benedict Evans, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z), one of the most outstanding venture capital firms in the world, states that crypto has a lot in common with the internet in 1993. As with most new market and technology, there has been many failed crypto projects and scams over the past few years. However, Evans has said if investors chose to focus on fraudulent operations and failed projects, it would be like rejecting internet in 1999 due to the lack of progress of Usenet, Cuecat, and Boo.com.
When it comes to the popular argument about the lack of actual use case for cryptocurrencies, Evans stated in 1993, there was no reason for a mainstream adoption of the internet. The only difference between the internet in 1993 and crypto in 2018 is that the latter already have multiple use cases outperform the efficiency of traditional systems. For example, as a cross-border payment method, it is significantly cheaper to send a Bitcoin payment than using the banking systems, as shown in the settlement of $194 million worth of Bitcoin with a $0.1 fee.
MetaMask Finally Releases Mobile Client
MetaMask, the go-to non-custodial wallet for Ethereum and ERC20 token users developed by ConsenSys, has officially announced the release of its mobile client at DevCon in Prague. Launched in 2016, It’s the most popular wallet mainly due to its ability to handle various decentralised apps (dApp) requests and its user-friendly interface that allows the transfer of ETH and tokens launched on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Over two years, MetaMask was only available as an browser extension on Chrome, Brave, and Firefox and was restricted to mobile users. Since 2014, cryptocurrency users have preferred mobile wallets over web-based wallets due to different security advantages. The release of MetaMask mobile will expose more dApps to a wider range of Ethereum users, who had not used dApps previously due to the lack of accessibility.
Morgan Stanley: Bitcoin is a New Institutional Investment Class
In the report titled “Bitcoin Decrypted: A Brief Teach-in and Implications” and dated Oct. 31, the research department of US major bank Morgan Stanley gave a 6-month overview of bitcoin and brought up insights about apparent trends. The report highlighted advancements like the use of permanent ledger to record transactions, the rise of alternative technologies, market instability, the occurrence of hacks, and hard forks as concerns which have influenced the bitcoin ecosystem. In regard of this, the current bear market coupled with the decline in price impels bitcoin and altcoins as a “new institutional investment class,” and this trend has been seen in the past year. The report also mentioned about the steady rise of fiat-backed stablecoins.
Compiled and collected by Singbit