CryptoAM: Korea, Institutional Investors, and the return of the DAO.

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Good morning everyone. Alex here, live from the west coast. So it looks like everyone’s hopes for a massive Consensus pump have fallen flat, just like the market for the last few weeks. That’s okay, there is tons of news coming out of crypto every day, and plenty of great buying opportunities.

4 things you need to know:

One: UPbit, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange was found to be compliant with regulations. Late last week, UPbit’s headquarters were raided by police under the suspicion that they were processing trades without actually holding the underlying assets. This was largely seen as the cause of the dip in the market over the weekend.

  • Takeaway: Due to the massive trading volume contributed by Korea, and that it historically tends to be very reactionary, especially towards negative headlines, it’s a safe bet that news coming out of Korea will almost always have a more significant impact on the market than news from anywhere else.

  • Read more…

Two: Coinbase announces Suite of Institutional Products. Coinbase has announced a number of tools designed for institutional participants such as hedge funds and financial institutions. They are as follows…

  • Coinbase Custody: “…the most secure crypto storage solution available… Coinbase Custody is proud to offer a service that couples Coinbase’s cryptocurrency security excellence with third-party auditing and financial reporting validation that operates at the high standard of an SEC-regulated, custodial broker-dealer.”

  • Coinbase Markets: “Coinbase Markets provides a centralized pool of liquidity for all Coinbase products… Coinbase Markets will introduce new features like low latency performance, on-premise datacenter colocation services, institutional connectivity and access, and settlement and clearing services.”

  • Coinbase Prime: “…we intend to offer lending and margin financing products to qualified clients, high touch and low touch execution services like over-the-counter (OTC) trading and algorithmic orders, and new market data and research products.

  • Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group: “Our Institutional Coverage group is focused exclusively on serving the needs of institutional clients by providing sales, sales trading, research, market operations, and client services support.”

  • My opinion: This will undoubtedly help pave the way for more institutional money to flow into crypto, a market which is mostly retail at the moment. Some people are against this because they see it as the big guys trying to take control of an asset class created to give back control to the little guys. I say bring it on.

Three: IBM in partnership with Veridium Labs plans to issue a token. The token will represent carbon credits. Carbon credits give organizations the right to emit a specific amount of emissions. These already exist and are widely used, but IBM wants to put them on the blockchain, specifically the Stellar network ($XLM -5.20%).

  • “The token will be backed by credits that Veridium’s sister company InfiniteEARTH receives for its development and management of the Rimba Raya rain-forest in Borneo, and can be bought by companies that want to offset their carbon emissions.”

  • Progress: When it comes to trading natural resources and energy, the blockchain provides a great use case. It’s wonderful to see some of these solutions being implemented beyond a whitepaper.

  • Read More…

Four: Amazon announces new partnership and new tools. Amazon is partnering with startup, “Kaleido”, in order to “give AWS customers an "easy button" to get into the same technology that underpins bitcoin.”

  • “They can focus on their scenario and they don't have to become PhDs is cryptography, we give them a simple platform to build their company on blockchain," said Steve Cerveny, one of the founders of Kaleido.

  • Kaleido uses the Ethereum blockchain. Any apps built with this tool will be Ethereum DAPPs.

  • My Thoughts: This is pretty big for Ethereum ($ETH -1.39%). It already has the largest developer community out of any cryptocurrency (BTC maximalists please don’t send me angry emails) and this will only help grow that community larger. For a utility token that derives it’s value from the number of people using the platform, this is a huge development.

What I’m reading today:

I read the DAOstack whitepaper yesterday. Not once, but twice.

  • Whitepapers are more often than not, something to get through, not something to enjoy. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when reading the DAOstack whitepaper to find that it was extremely engaging.

  • Since the failure of The DAO, there hasn’t been much talk of DAOs at all. Aragon ($ANT -8.01%) has severely underperformed the crypto market and hasn’t released anything very compelling, to my knowledge.

  • DAOstack ($GEN -2.59%) is attempting to become, “The Wordpress for DAOs”. I won’t bore you with the details, but I highly recommend you read their whitepaper.

  • I think DAOs are really, really, cool. If you don’t know what a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is, stay tuned.

One of the highlights of Consensus day one was this satirical protest staged outside of the convention center.
Need I say more?


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No TA today. That’s Avi’s Gig. If you agree, agree to disagree, or just flat out disagree, send me an email at