Covering the technology, people, and culture of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world

Must-reads for September 13, 2018: Diamonds, Dimon, schmucks, and a trillion dollars worth of stories

Here are the crypto stories you should be watching today

JP Morgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon showing how he’d wring the neck of any one caught trading bitcoin on one of his trading desks. (via Wikipedia).

Morgan Stanley Plans to Offer Bitcoin Swap Trading for Clients (Bloomberg)
Morgan Stanley is joining the ranks of institutions by offering swaps to its clients, according to a report by Bloomberg’s Alastair Marsh. A source at the bank told Marsh that a swap product would launch once there’s enough institutional demand and after it gets through internal approvals. For the unfamiliar, a swap would essentially “swap” exposures of one asset with another. Let’s say fund has $1 billion in the S&P 500. They would then enter into an agreement with someone who has $1 billion in Bitcoin to trade returns. Thus if after the first three months the S&P 500 went up 3 percent while Bitcoin fell 35 percent, the fund would have to pay the Bitcoin owner $380 million (35 percent minus negative 3 percent of $1 billion). So you can see how that “institutional demand” part is tough to come by at the moment.

 

Trade Tech – A New Age for Trade and Supply Chain Finance (World Economic Forum)
A 16-page white paper put out by the WEF in collaboration with Bain & Company that sings the praises of blockchain technology, saying it could save over a trillion bucks down the road. “Left unsolved, the trade finance gap will rise to more than $2.4 trillion by 2025, according to Bain & Company estimates,” they write. “However, a viable solution has emerged. Bain’s modeling estimates that new digital technologies, especially distributed ledger technology, can reduce a large part of this gap, facilitating about $1.1 trillion of new trade volumes globally.”

 

Ser Jamie (Reformed Broker)
Josh Brown attended a Q&A with JPMorgan Chase CEO and potential presidential candidate Jamie Dimon. Dimon is an unabashed Bitcoin-hater and has some choice quotes on the topic, as transcribed by Brown: “’No, I still don’t believe in it. When I said I made a mistake, I didn’t mean I changed my mind on Bitcoin. I meant that I had made a mistake in talking about it.’ His view is now consensus for the banking industry: ‘The blockchain is real, crypto currencies are fake.’ He tells the story about a friend who said ‘How can you call it a fraud when I just finished showing you that it exists…’ – Jamie tells the guy, ‘Fine, it’s not a fraud, it’s a scam. Does that make you happy?’ My favorite line of the day: ‘The only way out of a Bitcoin is another schmuck.’ [Emphasis Modern Consensus] His overarching idea here is that anything proponents of crypto say it can do, the banks can do better with improving technology. There’s no need for what Bitcoin offers – from store of value to money transfer to transparency to financing transactions.”

 

Mohamed El-Erian: ‘Crypto is not dead’ (Yahoo Finance)
Dan Roberts of Yahoo Finance interviewed legendary Allianz chief economist Mohamed El-Erian and asked him about Bitcoin. “Crypto is not dead, and certainly the underlying technology is not dead,” he said. “We’re going to see more widespread adoption, by both the private and public sector, of the blockchain technology and related technologies.” El-Erian sees $5,000 as a “reasonable” price for bitcoin.

 

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Bitcoin Bros (Vooza)
This is the funniest video we’ve seen in a while. It’s also painfully accurate. Stop what you’re doing and watch this now.

 

Blockchain changing the world’s jewellery landscape, and Chow Tai Fook joins the revolution (South China Morning Post)
China’s Chow Tai Fook’s T Mark stores will soon let customers use an app to look up their diamonds graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). “Developed with leading blockchain solutions provider Everledger and secured by the IBM Blockchain Platform, the new service will show exactly where the diamonds came from and what quality they are, said Alan Chan, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group’s general manager of group branding.” This follows a similar move by De Beers back in January.

 

At top schools like Wharton, students are flocking to classes on bitcoin and blockchain (CNBC)
Sell signal: MBA students are taking courses on crypto now.

 

Leaked KODAKCoin document might show an incredible train wreck (Finder)
No surprise here but this is a fun read into what may be the crypto equivalent of vaporware known as KODAKcoin. It would be a laugh but it’s the sad legacy of a once great company.

 

Your Essential Blockchain Conference Style Guide (Breaker)
Our conferencewear has always been just jeans and a tee-shirt we got for free at a previous Consensus (in the case of Kraken, we got several). However, this one tee of Vitalik Buterin as Jesus is now on our holiday wish list.

 

Bitcoin Dominance is Growing: What does it mean for the long term? (Crypto Potato)
For a brief moment in time, Bitcoin’s market cap was, like, a third of all crypto. It’s now back to over 50 percent. Toju Ometoruwa speculates that traders are sitting on the sidelines when it comes to alt coins, waiting to jump back in at a later date. Since most of these exchange use Bitcoin as the base currency, that could explain BTC’s recent dominance and the relatively lower drop from highs compare to other coins.

 

Ethereum Starts Dominating Crypto Chatter, Google Searches Rise (Trustnodes)
Sure, Bitcoin has the lion’s share of crypto market cap but when it comes to Google searches, Ethereum is now neck-and-neck with Satoshi’s first baby. Then again, it could also be because ether prices have tanked harder than bitcoin’s.

 

Inside Bitewei: The New Bitcoin Miner Being Hailed as a Serious Bitmain Rival (CoinDesk)
A former Bitmain director, Yang Zuoxing, has raised $20 million to take on his former company. His Bitewei’s WhatsMiner M10 is 30 percent more efficient than Bitmain’s AntMiner S9 Hydro, according to CoinDesk’s Wolfie Zhao and Leigh Cuen. However, Yang has a long way to go; Bitmain controls nearly half of Bitcoin’s hashrate. (What, you thought Bitcoin was totally decentralized? Ha!)

 

Canadian Regulated Bitcoin Trust Achieves Mutual Fund Trust Status (Bitcoin.com)
The SEC may be wary of Bitcoin-based ETFs but provincial regulators north of the border have different ideas. Ontario and B.C.’s securities commissions have approved mutual fund status for a regulated bitcoin trust. That means Canadians can invest their hard-earned retirement Hudson Bay pesos in bitcoins. What could possible go wrong?

Lawrence Lewitinn, CFA is editor in chief of Modern Consensus. Disclosure: Lewitinn owns no cryptocurrencies in his portfolio.

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