Goldman Sachs Drops Plans to Open Crypto Trading Desk

Goldman Sachs has reportedly dropped its plan of opening a bitcoin trading desk, at least in the near future, moving it down the list of products it’s set to offer in the cryptocurrency markets. The move comes as bitcoin dropped over 5% in about 90 minutes.

According to a report published by Business Insider, the Wall Street giant has decided to downgrade its plans over the cryptocurrency space’s regulatory landscape. The news outlet’s report, citing sources familiar with the manner, noted Goldman Sachs’ bitcoin trading desk plans may be later on revived.

The company will, for now, focus on developing other projects like its crypto custody service, which could see the bank hold cryptocurrency and even track price changes on behalf of large institutional clients.

Goldman Sachs itself had been taking baby steps to enter the cryptocurrency space and launch its bitcoin trading desk. Back in October of 2017, reports suggested it was studying cryptocurrencies through with a group of employees, and in December it was claimed a bitcoin trading desk would be ready in June.

In April of this year, as CryptoGlobe reported, the Wall Street firm hired crypto trader Justin Schmidt as its head of digital asset markets. In May, the NYTimes reported Goldman Sachs was waiting for regulatory approval while figuring out how to deal with holding cryptocurrencies in a safe way.

At the time, Business Insider notes, Schmidt was considering trading bitcoin and not just derivatives, if Goldman Sachs managed to get regulatory approval. The outlet’s unnamed sources claim it now ran into a “regulatory roadblock,” without adding more details.

Its report suggests the bank was looking for regulatory developments that haven’t yet materialized. These would likely help protect the bank from the risks associated with trading and holding cryptocurrencies.

Various analysts believe Goldman Sachs’ move is behind bitcoin’s $400 drop that saw it dip below the $7,000 mark. Speaking to Bloomberg Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro, stated:

The expectation of adoption by Wall Street has been a major theme for the cryptocurrency market for the last year, so any kind of updates on that can certainly move the prices. Even if it’s not true, it should be enough to cause a minor selloff like this in cryptocurrencies.

Mati Greenspan

Goldman Sachs is notably still moving forward with its crypto custody service. This means it’ll be competing with the likes of Coinbase and BitGo. Other major Wall Street firms, including JP Morgan and Fidelity, are said to exploring similar products.

Google Adds Ethereum Blockchain Dataset to Its Big Data Analytics Platform

Google BigQuery, Google Cloud’s Petabyte-scale data warehousing solution, has made the Ethereum dataset available to enable the exploration of smart contract analytics, the company announced on a blog.

BigQuery has made it possible to explore all of Ethereum’s historical data. Ethereum’s ETL project on GitHub includes all source code that can be extracted from the blockchain and entered into BigQuery. Google is seeking new contributors and blockchains.

MAKING BLOCKCHAIN DATA ACCESSIBLE

The purpose of making the Ethereum blockchain data accessible on Google Cloud is to make all data stored on the blockchain easily accessible. While Ethereum’s software contains APIs for functions that can be accessed randomly, such as checking wallet balances, the API endpoints are not easily accessible for all data stored on the blockchain.

While API endpoints do not enable viewing blockchain data in aggregate, BigQuery’s OLAP features enable such analysis. The blog displayed a chart showing Ether transfers and transaction costs year to date, aggregated by day. Such visualization supports tasks like prioritizing changes in the Ethereum architecture, should an upgrade be needed.

Google Cloud can synchronize the Ethereum blockchain to computers equipped with Parity, an Ethereum client for building applications, the blog noted.

It also extracts data daily from the Ethereum blockchain ledger, such as token transfers, and stores partitioned data for efficient exploration on BigQuery.

In addition, the BigQuery Python library allows clients to query data tables in Kernels, a free in-browser coding platform on the public data science platform Kaggle.

SMART CONTRACT ANALYTICS

Google BigQuery has already enabled analysis of smart contract function calls, transaction times and smart contract function analytics.

BigQuery has demonstrated querying the contract tables and dataset transactions to identify the most used smart contracts based on transactions. The accompanying chart shows the 10 most popular Ethereum ERC-721 contracts by transactions.

The smart contract for the CryptoKitties game is the most popular ERC-21 smart contract. Where the contract source code logs a birth event to the Ethereum blockchain, the table allows users to query instances of this event.

If someone wanted to discover games similar to CryptoKitties, they can measure this by deploying the Jaccard similarity coefficient, a statistic that is used for comparing the diversity and similarity of sample sets using a JavaScript UDF.

Another query measures the 10 most popular tokens by transaction volume.

It is possible to measure a token by time window such as the daily number of token transfers for a particular token and to create a visualization of the data for a specific time period, as shown in the accompanying chart.

Also read: Banking services giant to use Google Cloud platform for real-world blockchain testing

MORE VISUALIZATIONS POSSIBLE

It is also possible to use directed graph data structure to glean insights about the data since it includes a set of transfers among wallet addresses.

In one example, the first 40,000 transactions contained at least two trading partners. The blog gives an example of a graphic made with Gephi, a visualization software, showing nodes color labeled by groups of addresses that transfer often with each other. The Modularity algorithm was used to calculate this graphic.

Much of the smart contract source code is available for free, allowing Google users to discover what functions contracts perform based on the name, even functions that don’t have the source since the common function names carry a common signature.

Google Cloud has given momentum to smart contract analytics through BigQuery.

IoT Chain (ITC) gains 40% in a day as daily volumes climb to a seven month high after Bithumb listing

The internet of things blockchain has seen a tremendous rise in price in the past 24 hours as Bithumb exchange announced listing the token on Friday 31st August.

IoT on Chain (also known as IoT Chain or ITC) announced on its Medium page this Friday August 31, 2018 of its listing on the Bithumb cryptocurrency exchange. The announcement saw a soar in price of the ITC token by 42.86% in a few hours as investors bought into the coin. The price of ITC increased from a low of $0.24 USD to climb above the $0.3 USD mark at $0.367039 USD. The coin is currently ranked at position 200 on the Coinmarketcap listings with a total market capitalization of $22,979,160 USD

IoT on Chain (ITC) gains listing on Bithumb Exchange

The other cryptocurrency projects mentioned above i.e. VeChain, WaltonChain and Iota are some of the largest projects in the IoT industry and also rank highly amongst top cryptocurrencies. One of the major advantage such tokens hold is the listing they hold on many exchanges across the crypto universe. This ensures adoption across a larger market to the project. ITC aims at increasing the number of exchanges trading the coin to increase overall adoption.

Bithumb exchange announced on Friday, 31st August 2018 that it will list IoT Chain pairs for trading on the platform. This will become the fifth major exchange to list the ITC token after Kucoin, OKEx, Huobi and Bibox. The exchange currently carries out daily trades worth $300 million USD and ITC recent listing will see its total daily volumes traded increase significantly.

The Bithumb 1% payback event:

To celebrate ITC’s listing, Bithumb will run ‘1% payback event’ that will reward any deposits and trading on the platform with a 1% ICT tokens used. The 1% payback event is set to begin this Friday, August 31, 2018 and will run through till Thursday, September 6th 2018.

What will happen during the event?

1% payback on all ITC deposit and trading during that time

Deposit period: Deposit address opens ~ Sep 02, 2018 at midnight (UTC+9)

Trading Period: Listing of ITC ~ Sep 06, 2018 at midnight

IoT Chain (ITC) aims to become biggest internet of things blockchain

The brilliance if the Internet of Things (IoT) is beyond what most imagined. In the world of cryptocurrency, the battle for the iron throne is heated up as projects such as IOTA, WaltonChain and VeChain providing IoT services on their blockchain. The IoT Chain (ITC) blockchain is however proving to be a force to reckon with in the field of communication amongst devices.

IoT on Chain looks to solve current IoT security and safety issues using distributed ledger technology. Using a hybrid approach of blockchain, Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT), and blockless Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) architecture, we are able to create a decentralized IoT network with unparalleled speed and security that allows users to maintain their data sovereignty.

Playboy Sues Canadian Blockchain Firm for Fraud and Breach of Contract

Beverly Hills-based Playboy Enterprises is suing Canadian firm Global Blockchain Technologies (GBT), claiming that it failed to integrate blockchain technology into Playboy’s online media channels, the Los Angeles Times reported August 14.

Playboy Enterprises reportedly filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accusing the Canadian company of fraud and breaching a contract, which the two companies drew in March.

Per the terms of the agreement, GBT would integrate the Vice Industry Token (VIT) on Playboy’s media sites. Playboy said that the blockchain firm not only failed to fulfill the requirements, but also omitted a payment of $4 million it promised in the agreement.

Now, Playboy is seeking compensation, the amount of which has not been disclosed. GBT dismissed the lawsuit as a “normal dispute” between two businesses, saying that the charge of fraud is “frivolous.” The company told the Los Angeles Times:

“Global believes it has a strong defense to the action and will be vigorously defending same.”

In March, Playboy first announced its plans to develop an online wallet that would enable customers to use crypto to pay for the company’s online media and support the Vice Industry Token. Later in May, GBT announced it was working on the Playboy wallet, including an interface to various platforms.

VIT raised $22 million in Ethereum in the first 24 hours of its Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The blockchain-powered platform for the adult industry rewards viewers on sites with VIT for watching content.

The adult entertainment industry has been gradually adopting digital currencies. In April, streaming site Pornhub partnered with cryptocurrency Verge (XVG) to accept the coin as a payment option for Pornhub purchases. Pornhub Vice President Corey Price said in a press release:

“History has proven that the adult entertainment industry plays a critical role in adoption for innovative technology. We saw that with VHS, Beta Max, credit card payment icons and, most recently, VR goggles. We expect to see widespread adoption of crypto and blockchain in short order.”

US Federal Court Denies Motion to Remand Against Ripple

The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California has ruled to deny a motion to remand against Ripple, its subsidiary XRP II, and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, according to an official document issued August 10.

The original lawsuit was first initiated by XRP investor Ryan Coffey in a San Francisco court on May 3, 2018, claiming that he lost $551.89 while trading XRP tokens. The class action was filed by law firm Taylor-Copeland, alleging that Ripple sold XRP tokens in violation of both the U.S. the Securities Act and the California Corporations Code. The plaintiff also claimed that XRP is not genuinely decentralized.

According to court documents, the plaintiff failed to show whether the presence of a Securities Act issue was sufficient to bar the defendant from removing an action under the Class Action Fairness Act. In the ruling the court found that, “The parties candidly admit that their research failed to turn up any case directly addressing this question and the court’s own research fared no better.”

The plaintiff was seeking a “rescission of all XRP purchases, damages, and a constructive trust over the proceeds of defendants’ alleged sales of XRP.”

At the time the lawsuit was first filed, David Silver, a partner at Silver Miller Law Firm, commented to Cointelegraph that “lawsuits like this are simply private litigants testing the legitimacy of these companies,” claiming that it will bring more judicial clarity.

A Ripple spokeswoman said that at the moment the lawsuit was filed, the SEC had not yet decided whether XRP is a security. She claimed, “We continue to believe XRP should not be classified as a security.”

In early June, Ripple appointed former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mary Jo White as a representative in the class action filed by Coffey.

Recently, Ripple released the second quarter 2018 report for its digital asset, arguing that the XRP token price was in line with the overall trend in crypto markets, which “[underscores] XRP’s independence from Ripple.”

Square’s Bitcoin Integration Turns $37 Million Revenue in Q2 2018

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s payments service Square generated over $70 million in revenue from the cryptocurrency in Q2 2018, compared with $34 million for the previous quarter.

Total revenue for the company for Q2 2018 was $814 million, according to the report.

Square caused a stir in February when it rolled out Bitcoin buy and sell functionality to almost all users of its Square Cash app, with reactions suggesting clients had been waiting for the option for some time.

“We support Bitcoin because we see it as a long-term path towards greater financial access for all. This is a small step,” Dorsey tweeted at the time.

Since then, the company has worked on resolving regulatory hurdles in jurisdictions such as New York, acquiring a BitLicense in June to enable residents to transact with Bitcoin via the app.

At the same time, Dorsey’s bullish forecasts for Bitcoin have contrasted with the line taken by his flagship Twitter, which together with giants Facebook and Google moved to ban cryptocurrency advertising earlier this year.

Facebook and Google have now partially reversed the ban.

Actual profits from Bitcoin for Square meanwhile remain low, with costs totalling almost as much as revenue –– a situation which remains unchanged since Cointelegraph reported on it in May.

Bitmain's profit in the first quarter of this year reached a record $ 1 billion.

The co-CEO of Bitmain Technologies, the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining company, recently revealed plans to conduct an initial public offering in Hong Kong, or in an overseas market with U.S. dollar-denominated shares. The IPO would give early investors, including Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital, an opportunity to cash out.

Term Sheet has obtained an email from a source close to the company, which includes some of Bitmain’s latest financials ahead of its planned IPO.

— Bitmain is raising further cash in addition to a $400M round reported in early June. The new funding would value Bitmain at approximately $14 billion, implying a 10 to 11x earnings multiple, according to the email. This is a 16.6% increase from the company’s most recently reported $12 billion valuation.

— The email cites a KPMG audit of the business and reports that Bitmain produced $1.2 billion in net profit and an approximately 50% net margin in 2017.

— Bitmain reportedly brought in $1.1 billion in net profit just in the first quarter of 2018. According to the email, a conservative estimate of what the company could earn in net profit for the full year hovers at approximately $2 to $3 billion.

— The email also says that “Bitmain plans to file for an IPO very soon.”

Fortune recently sat down with Bitmain co-founder and co-CEO Jihan Wu, in which the billionaire addresses some of the controversy and conspiracy theories that have swirled around his company. Read the full story here. Wu was also featured on Fortune’s Ledger 40 Under 40 last week.

Fortune has reached out to Bitmain for comment.