The vibe at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 was a bit more subdued Tuesdaymorning (perhaps a consequence of partying the night before). Also, much of the morning content focused on enterprise use cases for blockchain, which, while important to the development of the space, are perhaps not as electrifying a topic as cryptocurrency.
Among the significant announcements, ConsenSys revealed a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to streamline enterprise blockchains.
The crowd perked up in the afternoon for Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken Exchange, and ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees – introduced as the “original refugees from the BitLicense.” Attendees booed at the first mentions of that controversial New York State regulation and of the former regulator who crafted it, Benjamin Lawsky. R-rated jokes were made at the expense of former New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman.
And the audience laughed and cheered when Voorhees asked why you can’t sell CryptoKitties two miles from the Statue of Liberty. “Follow the damn statue in the harbor,” he advised policymakers.
Punchlines aside, the entrepreneurs raised serious policy questions related to financial privacy, technological innovation and intra-jurisdictional competition for businesses and jobs. And to be fair, regulators in the U.S. are sensitive to some of these concerns – on an earlier panel, several said they didn’t want to hinder the industry’s growth.
Circle has closed a $110 million Series E fundraising, a figure that effectively values the startup at nearly $3 billion, according to figures from the company. Led by China-based mining outfit Bitmain, the round includes support from Accel, Blockchain Capital, Breyer, Digital Currency Group, General Catalyst, IDG, Pantera and Tusk Ventures.
Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) is partnering with the ethereum design studio Consensys to make enterprise blockchains easier and faster to deploy.
Announced Tuesday at Consensus 2018, the two firms’ business blockchain cloud service, Kaleido, aims to smooth the onboarding process for enterprise consortium members – a major challenge in the space – while simplifying the operation of private blockchain networks.
eToro, the social investing platform, is launching a full-fledged cryptocurrency exchange and mobile wallet and expanding into the United States.
the Israel-based company has opened the waiting list for people in the U.S. who want to trade bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, XRP, dash, bitcoin cash, stellar, ethereum classic, NEO, and EOS.
“Consumers all over the world should have access to the tools they need to participate in cryptocurrency markets, regardless of their expertise,” CEO Yoni Assia said.
U.S. regulators are still looking into cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, but don’t aim to suppress the industry, according to comments made during a panel at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforcement director James McDonald, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division Cyber Unit chief Robert Cohen and associate deputy attorney general Sujit Raman participated in a panel discussion on enforcement activities in the space Tuesday. They were joined by Kiran Raj, chief strategy officer at crypto exchange Bittrex, with the panel moderated by attorney Steve Bunnell.