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NYSE Parent ICE Anticipates Over $20 Million Spend on Bakkt This Year

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Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, estimates it will spend more than $20 million this year in building Bakkt, its bitcoin futures trading and custody platform.

In an earnings call for Q4, 2018, on Feb. 7, Scott Hill, ICE’s chief financial officer, said the firm’s investment in Bakkt will result in $20 million to $25 million of its estimated expenses for the fiscal year 2019.

The estimation comes just six weeks after Bakkt announced a massive $182 million fundraise for its bid to roll out the trading platform with regulatory approval. However, the platform’s live launch has been postponed two times, a situation exacerbated by the recent U.S. government shutdown, as it works to get the green light from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

In the earnings call, ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher said the company’s investment in Bakkt is “a bit of a moonshot bet” and is not a typical ICE product. The platform’s infrastructure, though, has attracted some “very, very interesting” companies companies for investment such as Microsoft’s venture fund and Starbucks.

Sprecher continued to say he expects Bakkt to do other rounds of financing in the future. Currently, Bakkt is a separate company with ICE as the major investor, but it may be fully spun off at a later stage, he said.

Sprecher was once more vague about Bakkt’s launch timeline, however, and only said users could expect to see it live “later this year.”

With market anticipation of Bakkt’s launch building, last week fraudsters made an attempt to use the Bakkt brand to con users out of their bitcoin.

The impersonators sent out emails claiming Bakkt will be launched on March 12 and would hold another round of financing to raise $50 million. They asked prospective investors to register and send cryptos to a fake Bakkt website that CoinDesk confirmed has no official association with the platform.

Source:coindesk

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Swiss SIX Digital Exchange CEO Departs Due to ‘Strategic Differences’

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The CEO of Switzerland’s SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), the cryptocurrency-focused arm of the the country’s principal SIX Swiss Exchange, is departing the company, local news outlet SwissInfo reported on Aug. 14. 

CEO departs before SDX launch

Martin Halblaub will step down after eight months into his job when his contract expires at the end of August following disagreements on how the trading platform should be run. 

Halblaub reportedly wanted SDX to launch as an independent company, while the board of the parent company — SIX Group — disagreed. He commented on the decision:

“I fully support SDX’s ambition and business model and would have loved to lead SDX into the future. However, I have decided with a heavy heart — given our differing ideas on strategy, combined with the stretch the role is for my life model — that I cannot engage in a long term commitment as Head of SDX.”

Halblaub’s temporary successor will be Tomas Kindler, who will take place as the firm’s CEO on Sept. 1. SIX Group CEO Jos Dijsselhof also thanked Halblaub in an internal company memo, saying that he successfully led the company through its initial phase.

SIX Digital Exchange known for pioneering crypto products

SIX is known for being one of the first stock exchanges in the world to offer a Bitcoin and crypto exchange product. In November 2018, SIX listed a pioneering cryptocurrency exchange-traded product, which tracks five major cryptos including Bitcoin.

As Cointelegraph reported in May, a top SIX Exchange executive has revealed the company will look to issue its own digital tokens as part of its forthcoming blockchain-powered digital exchange.   

In July 2019, SIX also announced that it hopes to become the first market infrastructure in the world to offer a fully integrated end to end trading, settlement and custody service for digital assets.

Ultimately, SIX expects its blockchain-based SDX digital exchange to supersede its existing marketplace within a decade. The company is also considering launching its own Security Token Offering — pending regulator approval — which will offer investors an equity stake in exchange for capital.

Source:cointelegraph

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CEO of IOHK, Charles Hoskinson Reveals 1.6 Cardano Blockchain Update Release

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In a tweet made on Tuesday, August 13, the CEO of IOHK, Charles Hoskinson revealed that the 1.6 Cardano update will roll out in “the next few days”. The tweet further read,

“Send me some screenshots of the new Daedalus and let me know if you like it.”

As for what this release means, it has been previously reported that user interface changes are expected to improve Daedalus usability.

Other added features include status icons indicating the overall functioning of its core system, user customization, guided manual updates, wallet UTXO distribution screen and new icons for linking external content among others.

In terms of the problems that will be resolved upon updating to the latest version, users have been advised that Daedalus will no longer require administrative privileges on Windows when starting and that the notable configuration issue with TLS certificates will automatically be detected and fixed.

Hoskinson Works With Polymath to Initiate Blockchain for Regulations-based Tokens

Coin Telegraph reported on another endeavor Charles Hoskinson is part of, which also involves security token platform, Polymath.

The duo is working on a project called Polymesh, which aims to creating a blockchain for tokens working towards abiding by regulators. Hoskinson was quoted saying:

“After co-founding Ethereum and Cardano, two of the most widely used blockchains in the world. I am looking forward to working on Polymesh. There are quadrillions of dollars of financial securities and building a blockchain to secure them in an incredibly exciting task.”

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CEO of Dash Core Group discusses SEC’s ‘no-action letter’ and PrivateTransaction development

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CEO of Dash Core Group discusses SEC’s ‘no-action letter’ and PrivateTransaction development

2019 has witnessed a series of announcements from the Dash Core Group community. DCG first revealed that they were planning a testnet release in December for Dash Platform, also termed as Evolution.

It was indicated that project Evolution would allow developers to release their own devnet and also register independent test identities with the Dash Platform Naming Service.

However, in the crypto ecosystem, Dash was receiving minor attention and the crypto was placed 15th in the crypto rankings behind the likes of Stellar, Cardano and Monero.

In a recent Q&A segment on the dash forum, DCG was asked about current complications that were stunting Dash’s global growth and what the Core members thought needed to be done to substantially improve Dash’s crypto standpoint.

Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group, explained that over the past year, the core developer’s focus was more based on Dash’s status as security and the development of PrivateSend transactions.

Taylor also emphasized that their work with SEC had “yielded” desired results. Taylor mentioned that he and Glenn Austin, Chief Financial Officer of DCG, had traveled to Washington DC and communicated with multiple agencies and departments with the SEC office.  He said,

“I don’t think that it’s realistic to expect them to issue a no-action letter. They haven’t done it for any projects except for one I believe at this point. I think that the SEC was a potential concern for us at one point in time. I don’t think it’s a concern any longer.”

However, Taylor mentioned that with PrivateSend, there was still a lot to be done. He stated that they still needed to spread the word and personally approach “regulators, influencers, consultants and compliance departments” in order to comprehensively educate the community about PrivateSend transactions on Bitcoin’s blockchain.

He added,

“This is this is going to be a substantial effort on our part, but I think it’s important to ensure that we continue to have access to trading pairs and access to the traditional financial system. So we’ve to really put some priority behind this.”

Source:ambcrypto

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