Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin (LTC) and former Director of Engineering at Coinbase, has taken some bold steps recently in the crypto world. In December, Lee announced in a Reddit post that he had sold and donated all of his LTC, citing a conflict of interest. In January, Lee tweeted a proposal for a Litecoin soft fork that would allow for a new type of fee market to develop for the altcoin. At this year’s Blockchain Connect conference in San Francisco on January 26th, Charlie stated “Long term, I’m very bullish for Litecoin and Bitcoin price-wise, but for short-term fluctuations it can move drastically in either direction and it’s hard to predict” (cointelegraph).
Bitcoin dropped below $8000 today, February 2nd, for the first time since November, 2017 as continuing pressure causes fresh sell-offs across cryptocurrency markets. Support appears to be in place to keep prices above the $7500 barrier, although commentators are nonetheless calling lows closer to $7000 before a reversal could take place. Bitcoin’s losses also spurred knock-on effects for altcoins across the top one hundred. In total, cryptocurrency markets have shed over $100 billion from their combined market cap since yesterday, February 1st (cointelegraph).
The Thai Ministry of Finance’s permanent secretary Somchai thinks that the Bank of Thailand and Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) need to officially warn customers of the risks of investing in crypto markets, as reported in the The Bangkok Post today, February 2nd. According to Somchai, a working committee on cryptocurrencies, formed by the Bank of Thailand, the SEC, the Ministry of Finance, and the Anti-Money Laundering office, will soon release a report on how to move forward with crypto regulation. In reference to the future of regulating crypto market investing, Somchai said, “Allowing Bitcoin transactions to be made without warnings and direction from regulators is not acceptable” (cointelegraph)
The Canadian based firm Harvest Portfolios’ plans to launch Canada’s first blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF) and has officially been granted the ETF. The Ontario Securities Commission has approved of Harvest Portfolios’ plan to launch the country’s first blockchain ETF, appropriately titled Blockchain Technologies ETF. The new venture will carry the HBLK ticker, as well as a management fee of 0.65 percent. The country’s first blockchain ETF is set to mirror the performance of the Harvest Blockchain Technologies Index, which tracks the performance of issuers across the blockchain industry, with a focus on North American exposure (bitcoinist).
And lastly, ConsenSys, one of the most prominent startups in the ethereum ecosystem, will work with the European Commission on its EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which officially launched Thursday. The Commission first announced the initiative last spring, citing its desire to expand institutional knowledge of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. Revealing the partnership, the EC stated “As an important actor in the blockchain community, ConsenSys will bring strong commitment to blockchain development, solid expertise and connections with the global blockchain ecosystem, and an entrepreneurial approach to engage with stakeholders and experts in the EU and worldwide,” (coindesk).
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