Cryptocurrency Utilization Continues to Expand

Business

According to a report published by Coherent Market Insights, the cryptocurrency mining market was valued at USD 610.91 Million in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 38.38 Billion by 2025, while growing at a compound annual growth rate of 29.7% during the forecast period. The availability of low-cost solutions as well as the favorable environment for mining operations are vital driving factors for the growth of the cryptocurrency mining market. China and the U.S. dominated the cryptocurrency mining industry in 2016, accounting for over 70% of the market shares. Among the mining types, the cloud mining and remote hosting services segments held the largest market share in 2016. Chineseinvestors.com, Inc. (OTC: CIIX), Marathon Patent Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA), MGT Capital Investments Inc. (OTC: MGTI), GAIN Capital Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GCAP), DPW Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DPW)

The adoption of cryptocurrency continues to grow. Recently, LINE Corporation and LVC Corporation had announced that they plan to launch a global cryptocurrency exchange called BITBOX in July 2018. The cryptocurrency exchange will be operated as part of LINE’s financial services business. Additionally, on Wednesday, The Sacramento Kings, an NBA franchise, announced a partnership with global cryptocurrency leader, MiningStore.Com, to mine digital currency in the only Tier 4 data center in the professional sports arena. MiningStore Founder, John-Paul Baric, said, “The Sacramento Kings are pioneers in exploring cryptocurrency and its potential impact.”

Chineseinvestors.com Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) just earlier today announced breaking news that, “it has retained the law firm of CKR Law, LLP to assist it with setting up its own Bitcoin ATM network in California, with the first Machines to be placed in Chinese Communities in the Los Angeles area. Once this network is established in California, the Company plans to expand to serve other Chinese Communities throughout the United States.

Since first entering into the Bitcoin ATM market through a successful shared Hosting Agreement in 2017, the Company recognizes the opportunity to increase its margins on the Bitcoin ATM business by operating its own Bitcoin ATM network.

“With the regulatory world changing in the cryptocurrency sector, we feel that it is important to retain legal counsel with a proven track record in this industry to assist us in setting up our own Bitcoin ATM network and eventually expanding it to cover other Chinese Communities in the United States,” says CEO Warren Wang. “In addition to continuing to provide investors with news about digital currency, ChineseInvestors.com, Inc. looks forward to continuing to make it convenient and easy for Chinese Investors to purchase Bitcoin by providing access to on site customer service representatives available to provide instruction regarding the Bitcoin ATM in both Chinese and English.”

Marathon Patent Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) is an IP licensing company. Following the acquisition of GBV, the combined company will focus on the development of GBV’s new business involving the blockchain ecosystem and generation of digital assets. Marathon currently operates one mining facility in Quebec, with plans to open additional facilities in the future. Last month, the Company announced that it has determined not to extend the second amended extension date for closing of the Company’s proposed merger with Global Bit Ventures, Inc. (“GBV”) beyond June 28, 2018, the current expiration date.

MGT Capital Investments Inc. (OTCQB: MGTI) ranks as one of the largest U.S. based Bitcoin miners. On June 7, 2018, the Company announced that it has received net proceeds of USD 3.7 Million in debt financing as it moves to expand its Bitcoin mining operations. Notwithstanding recent increases in the Bitcoin mining Difficulty Rate and the flat price action of Bitcoin itself, the Company believes the opportunity to make strategic large-scale purchases of Bitmain Antminers, will provide MGT with very attractive cash on cash returns. Stephen Schaeffer, President of MGT Crypto Strategies, explained, “Mining economics are subject to lean and flush periods, but over the long run, efficient and forward-thinking miners are rewarded. Being well-capitalized puts MGT in a commanding position while negotiating deals for hosting sites and hardware.”

GAIN Capital Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GCAP) provides innovative trading technology and execution services to retail and institutional investors worldwide. In April, the Company announced the continued rollout of the Company’s cryptocurrency offering, with the recent launch of Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash in the U.K., EuropeAustralia and Singapore on the Company’s FOREX.com and City Index services. GAIN has also expanded its Bitcoin offering, allowing customers to trade Bitcoin directly against the Euro (BTC/EUR), British pound (BTC/GBP) and Australian dollar (BTC/AUD), in addition to the U.S. dollar. GAIN offers cryptocurrency trading either as an over-the-counter (OTC) derivative or as a future, allowing traders to speculate on price movements without owning the underlying asset. The launch of the additional cryptocurrencies follows the initial introduction of Bitcoin trading in the U.K. and Europe in December 2017 across the Company’s City Index and FOREX.com services, and in Australia and Singapore in January 2018.

DPW Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DPW) is a diversified holding company. On June 18, 2018, the Company announced that Coolisys Technologies, Inc. is launching a new line of crypto-mining units, the “SuperMiner,” with the first miner model called the “AntEater.” The AntEater features the 10-nanometer mining chipset jointly developed by Samsung/Innosilicon, which has been integrated with Coolisys’ highly-efficient power system. The AntEater is an ASIC Bitcoin crypto-miner designed to operate faster while emitting less heat than any other similarly dedicated miner currently available. Innosilicon and Coolisys are both ISO 9000 certified companies, providing consumers comfort knowing that both companies have met mandated quality and production standards for their respective products and services. Each AntEater has a 1-year service warranty supported by Coolisys’ new service center located in Fremont, CA.

Cryptocurrency Finds Security Amid Underlying Mutual Distrust Common Between Trading Partners

Technology, Telecom & Internet

 

In a global marketplace where Internet-based technologies increasingly allow businesses the means and confidence to work with each other beyond political borders and with a minimum of governmental interference, cryptocurrencies have the potential to create a B2B interdependent financing system – perhaps even a single, common digital currency someday – because of the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrency trade. With the beginning of market movement for the New Year, cryptocurrency started just shy of $613 billion in total capitalization and climbed steadily toward $750 billion on Jan. 4, showing an exponential rise just since April 2017 when it passed the $25 billion mark. ChineseInvestors.com, Inc. (OTC: CIIX) (CIIX profile) is one of the businesses committed to the development of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, recently announcing plans to spin-off two of its corporate divisions tied to hemp marketing and the burgeoning legal cannabis industry in order to focus on its cryptocurrency division (http://nnw.fm/5sf8Z). Other companies preparing to capitalize on opportunities in the blockchain sector include MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTC: MGTI), LongFin Corp. (NASDAQ: LFIN), Bitcoin Services, Inc. (OTC: BTSC) and Overstock.com, Inc., (NASDAQ: OSTK).

ChineseInvestors.com (OTCQB: CIIX) provides innovation in real-time market analysis and educational services in Chinese language character sets, support services for advertising and public relations, and the sale of hemp-based products and other health-related products. Despite China’s prohibitions on trading cryptocurrencies as a regulated central exchange, company CEO Warren Wang stated in an interview last month that many Chinese investors are trading them legally on unregulated “over the counter” platforms that connect individuals to each other. And ChineseInvestors.com showed its own commitment to cryptocurrency by installing a Bitcoin ATM in the lobby of its San Gabriel, California, headquarters (http://nnw.fm/VIa3n). Wang called it the first such automated teller for cryptocurrency within the Chinese community in the United States and said it has generated a lot of traffic.

China serves as an example of the mutual distrust that drives cryptocurrencies’ prospects while relying on so-called “miners” to establish a level of trust in the legitimacy of the exchanges.

Despite the lack of a regulated Chinese exchange to trade cryptocurrencies and what Wang referred to as the Chinese government’s “badmouthing” of bitcoin though its official TV media outlet, the CEO said Chinese-speaking people within China and North America are very interested in buying, selling and trading bitcoin among themselves and he urged entrepreneurs to be patient as the community learns the ropes.

“I believe Chinese investors will be the richest group in the world in (the) next 20 years, because Chinese middle class are emerging since 2000 when the country opened the door to worldwide people,” he said in an interview with NetworkNewsWire (http://nnw.fm/U2Uct). “Real estate is very expensive and so are labor and rents in China. Investors have a high savings rate. They now would like to make bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies part of their assets.”

Blockchain technology was established on the principle that an unalterable digital ledger of transactions (arranged in blocks) requiring transparency among multiple parties would reduce the risk of fraud and prevent duplication in the transactions. It was proposed as the foundation of an alternative, people’s-run economic system that would not require the security of an established storefront middleman like a bank to uphold the transactions. Critics have questioned it on a commodities basis, searching for an undeniable stability that investors can rely on.

ChineseInvestors.com’s ATM is one example of the company’s commitment to providing cryptocurrency education. The company recently attended a Toronto cryptocurrency roadshow and educational seminar on how to buy, sell and manage the coins, and it produces a daily video from the New York Stock Exchange called ‘Bitcoin Multimillionaire’ that is focused on news about the currency (http://nnw.fm/Lfrx8).

“In an effort to expand its media products, as the first quarter of fiscal year 2018 came to a close, the Company announced that it would be working with Wall Street Multimedia (WSM), an independent news agency located in the NYSE, to produce a daily cryptocurrency video newscast in Chinese, providing timely information and exclusive analysis regarding all aspects of the emerging digital currency world, including specific cryptocurrencies, such as ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘Ethereum,’ industry trends, price movement, blockchain technology, sector-related stocks and ETFs, etc.,” ChineseInvestors.com stated in its most recent 10Q filing in October.

The company has offices in ShanghaiNew York and California, and has plans to expand to Canada.

“There’s so many cryptocurrencies from China emerging, or at least on the exchange right now,” Wang said, referring to a sort of anti-governmental sentiment and a “huge demand from (the) Chinese community trying to learn these assets and what (they) are about” that “gives us tremendous opportunity to bring the revenue and profitability to our shareholders.”

Other companies focused on the potential of blockchain’s financial applications include:

MGT Capital Investments (OTCQB: MGTI), which is a Northwestern United States company deeply invested in cybersecurity technologies for mobile and corporate applications. The company is also one of the largest worldwide working in Bitcoin mining and announced agreements in December to secure “reliable and adequate” electrical power in Sweden to begin bit mining operations there by the end of January. (http://nnw.fm/noP3K).

LongFin (NASDAQ: LFIN) specializes in structured commodity trade finance worldwide and works to establish markets and ensure liquidity through technological advances. The company stated in the fall of 2017 that it aims to connect 70 FX and spot exchanges with 300 banks through its electronic market platform, and in December made headlines when the acquisition of Ziddu.com sparked a huge cryptocurrency fever-inspired bounce in trading (http://nnw.fm/jRr8I).

Bitcoin Services (OTC: BTSC) is another company that performs bitcoin mining services, and began mining its own cryptocurrency known as Dash in early 2017. The company develops and markets blockchain-related software, and created subsidiary CryptoCapital Corp. in the fall of 2017 as a cryptocurrency holding firm, or a digital wallet, that would let users store multiple digital currencies in one place.

Cryptocurrency Market is now Worth More Than $600 Billion

Business

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

 

According to Coinmarketcap, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization reached $606 billion on Monday. There are now over 1,300 cryptocurrencies in the market. The market is growing rapidly due to the huge price rallies in cryptocurrencies this year. The top-five cryptocurrencies consist of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin, all of which have seen significant gains in value. Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain, said in a CNBC TV interview Monday: “I think that we’ll see the total market cap of digital assets hit a trillion dollars in 2018. I don’t know if it’ll hold a trillion dollars but I think we’ll see that milestone breached.” Mogo Finance Technology Inc (OTC: MOGOF), Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTC: MGTI), Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT)

According to CoinDesk, Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, traded at $18,622 on Monday. The price of bitcoin was up over 1,700 percent this year. On Sunday, CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures exchange, start trading its first bitcoin futures contract under the ticker “BTC.” According to CNBC, independent research analyst Ronnie Moas said, “The end-game on bitcoin is that it will hit $300,000 to $400,000 in my opinion, and it will be the most valuable currency in the world.”

Mogo Finance Technology Inc (OTCQX: MOGOF) also listed on the TSX Exchange under the ticker symbol “MOGO”. On October 30th the company announced breaking news that, “it has added dedicated blockchain capabilities to accelerate its plans to integrate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into Mogo’s digital account as well as future new products and features based on blockchain technology.

“It’s hard to overstate how disruptive and transformative blockchain technology can be for banking, as it enables a faster, more secure and trusted way to transfer data. In fact, many believe that blockchain will be as disruptive to the financial system as the internet was to the media industry,” said David Feller, Founder and CEO of Mogo. “Developing new products and features based on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is a natural extension for Mogo as we continue to build a digital banking experience for the next generation of consumers.”

“Canadians, especially tech savvy millennials, want a safe, trusted and easy way to own and ultimately use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” said Greg Feller, President and CFO of Mogo. “Mogo’s app was built to provide consumers with an easy way to manage their financial health. Adding these capabilities to our existing multi-product mobile account will provide a compelling value proposition that is unique in Canada. Perhaps most importantly, we plan to leverage the power of our technology platform to reduce transaction costs and make these products accessible to more Canadians.”

“We’ve invested more than $150 million building what we believe is the leading mobile-first digital account and banking experience in Canada. We have close to half a million members and one of the country’s largest dedicated and experienced fintech teams of over 250 people, including a technology and product development team of almost 100 people,” continued Greg Feller. “As a result, we believe Mogo is uniquely positioned to offer consumers the ability to own and use cryptocurrencies in a simple, transparent and trusted way.”

“We are pleased to welcome Wayne to the team as we continue to expand our capabilities in this area,” continued David Feller. “Blockchain technology will clearly have a profound impact on the next generation banking experience and we are excited to begin adding this into our product and platform roadmap. We’ve also formed a strong legal and compliance team to support our evolution as a digital platform, and we will continue to build out this competency as the regulation of blockchain further evolves.”

Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK) is an online retailer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Earlier this year, the company announced an integration with ShapeShift, the world’s leading instant digital asset exchange, that allows customers to use all the major cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and the new Bitcoin Cash, to buy online from Overstock’s selection of nearly 4 million products, including, furniture, accessories, bedding, décor, rugs, DIY, and more. ShapeShift allows digital currencies to be easily converted between different coin types in a matter of seconds, all without any account setup or personal data required. Instead, the funds are sent to a specific address, with the blockchain record of the transaction acting as both the order and the receipt.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. On October 16, 2017, the company announced a new blockchain banking solution that will help financial institutions address the processes of universal cross-border payments, designed to reduce the settlement time and lower the cost of completing global payments for businesses and consumers. Using IBM Blockchain, and in collaboration with technology partners Stellar.org and KlickEx Group, the solution is intended to improve the speed in which banks both clear and settle payment transactions on a single network in near real time.

MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTCQB: MGTI) ranks as one of the largest U.S. based Bitcoin miners. Further, the Company continues to focus on an expansion model to grow its crypto assets materially. On December 6, 2017, the company announced that it has executed a new purchase order with Bitmain Technologies for an additional 500 S9 Antminer mining rigs, with shipment expected early in the first quarter of 2018. Following shipment and setup, and in conjunction with the Company’s current rigs in operation or in its possession, MGT’s Bitcoin mining operations will be comprised of over 5,000 Bitmain S9’s. These machines are expected to generate roughly 70 Ph/s of total hash power, and over $4.0 million in monthly revenue, assuming current Bitcoin pricing and Difficulty rates.

Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) is leveraging its expertise and a network of professional advisors to build and support blockchain technologies. It is establishing an Advisory Board with technical experience intending to become a leading authority and supporter of blockchain, while providing investment exposure to the rapidly growing Bitcoin and blockchain ecosystems. On December 11, 2017, the company announced that its majority owned Tess Inc. (“TessPay”) has entered into a non-binding letter of intent (“LOI”) to merge with Cresval Capital Corp. TessPay is a blockchain company developing a supply chain payment platform for businesses to attempt to guarantee payment on time and in full.

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Mobile Payment Platforms Integration With Surging Cryptocurrency Fueling Explosive Growth Potential for Tech Stocks

Business, Technology

One of last week’s most impressive milestones in the markets was bitcoin’s new record high. The world’s most active cryptocurrency spiked above $11,000 for the first time ever, as investors continued to bank on institutional support with the arrival of bitcoin futures due soon.  The latest rally followed an announcement by the IOTA Foundation, a German non-profit firm that oversees the virtual currency that it had partnered with the likes of tech giants such as Microsoft, Samsung and Fujitsu on a blockchain-based marketplace that lets them develop technology and sell data.  The appetite for innovative platforms and technologies geared towards digital currencies keeps on rising, with their total market value breaking a new record high.  The digital currency market rose above $300 billion for the first time last week, according to industry website coinmerketcap.com. Active in market today includes: Social Play USA, Inc. (OTC: SPLY), Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), Glance Technologies (OTC: GLNNF) (CSE: GET), Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ), MGT Capital Investments Inc. (OTC: MGTI).

Social Play USA, Inc. (OTC: SPLY), announces that significant advances in its corporate vision and mobile payment platform infrastructure. The Company, along with development and acquisition partner Spot And Pay Inc. (http://www.spotandpay.com) has integrated the first of a number of cryptocurrency payment options into the Spot&Pay mobile payment platform.

Bitcoin is the first digital currency to be added to the existing Spot&Pay payment system infrastructure and allows users an additional choice when it comes to paying for goods and services. In addition to the current method of paying by credit card or direct debit, users can scan a QR code and choose the Bitcoin payment option on the checkout screen. If Bitcoin is selected, Spot&Pay will connect to our gateway and generate the URL for the user to complete the transaction by opening their Bitcoin wallet and providing payment for the purchase.  Read this and more news for Social Play USA, Inc. at:  http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/sply.html

The Spot&Pay platform is now integrated with Bitpay, a leading Bitcoin payment gateway and digital currency wallet service and is available on both IOS and Android apps. As the digital currency market continues to grow, Spot & Pay will add other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Speedcoin options to its payment solutions. Additionally, Social Play is in the initial stages of planning and developing its own reward based cryptocurrency which will form the basis of a strategic User Loyalty Program.

In other industry developments and stock performance of note in the markets:

Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) closed up slightly on Monday at $15.07 trading over 5.3 million shares by the market close. The company recently announced that one of its strategic portfolio holdings, goNumerical Ltd (dba “Coinsquare”), has closed a CAD $10.5 million investment at a CAD $110.5 millionpost-money valuation. A prominent global asset manager with over a trillion dollars under management led the round with a CAD $10 million investment. goNumerical operates Coinsquare, a leading Canadian digital currency exchange. The new valuation for Coinsquare is over 3x the valuation from Riot’s investment in September, 2017. Coinsquare has reported profitable operations and has grown over 300% in several different financial metrics since Riot’s investment in September. Although competitor information is not widely available, Riot believes Coinsquare is one of the largest, if not the largest, Canadian digital currency exchange.

Glance Technologies (OTCQB: GLNNF) (CSE: GET.CN) (CNQ: GET.CN) recently has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Blockimpact, a blockchain and cryptocurrency with rewards tokenization platform, from Ztudium Limited. Ztudium (http://www.ztudium.com ) was founded, and is led by Dinis Guarda, who is ranked in 4th place worldwide in blockchain and crypto by ranking.influencer.world. Under the letter of intent, Glance will acquire all of the intellectual property comprising the Blockimpact platform for a cost of US$1.1 million, of which 80% will be paid upon closing of the acquisition, with the balance of 20% paid upon completion of the integration of Blockimpact with the Glance Pay mobile payment platform. Glance has paid US$100,000 towards the purchase price.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) the mobile payments firm, is running a trial that allows some users of its Cash platform to buy and sell bitcoin. The news, which was reported by TechCrunch – Square added the feature to Cash, a rival to Venmo, because users asked for it, the company said in a statement. The company is still trying to figure out how to make it “faster and easier” and is only offering it to a “small number” of Cash users, it said.  The new feature will allow Square to compete with cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Gemini. Read more at: http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-price-and-square-stock-up-2017-11

MGT Capital Investments Inc. (OTCQB: MGTI) closed up on Monday at $2.29 with over 800,000 shares trading by the market close. MGT Capital Investments, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, focuses on acquiring and developing a portfolio of cybersecurity technologies and also engages in bitcoin mining operation. MGT’s Bitcoin mining operations are expected to generate over $2.0 million in monthly revenue, assuming recent pricing and difficulty rates and also recently announced passing the 1000 bitcoin milestone on August 17, 2017.

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