I just published Funding Blockchain Ecosystems
- JP Morgan has hired Oliver Harris, a 29-year-old in the In Residence Program, to run JP Morgan's new crypto-asset strategy division
- Oliver is also the new head of Quorum, JP Morgan's internal blockchain project
- The division will be focused on finding and developing new cryptocurrency projects, not trading them
Why Does This Matter?
Jamie Dimon famously said, "Bitcoin was a fraud." It's ironic that the bank is now exploring cryptocurrency services and projects. Nonetheless, Jamie Dimon had the incentive to discredit Bitcoin. He knew that it was a threat to his bank and people would listen to his opinion. He has now realized the pendulum has swung enough that if the bank doesn't begin investing resources into the area, that they will be trailing behind their competitors. The article linked above states one of the projects that JP Morgan will be focused on is custody. I think this is one of the few spaces where banks could have an advantage over newcomers. Even if a startup figures out the custody problem, they still have a major uphill battle to sell the service. The JP Morgan brand allows them to sell custody services much easier to customers because they already have the recognition. It's very optimistic to see bulge bracket banks entering the space and should help speed up adoption.
Buyer Beware: Hundreds of Bitcoin Wannabes Show Hallmarks of Fraud
What's the story?
- WSJ reviewed thousands of ICOs and found evidence of fraud in many of them.
- Many ICOs used stock photos and made up biographies of founders
- Millions of dollars have been stolen from investors for fraudulent ICOs.
Why Does This Matter?
This report doesn't come as a surprise. The ICO industry is filled with fraud. Many ICOs list people that have no association with the product and/or aren't even real people. A few months ago, an ICO put Ryan Gosling's photo on their site but used a different name for the executive listed. Anytime someone can raise millions of dollars anonymously from the internet; there is going to be countless opportunities for fraud. What I don't understand is how investors aren't doing due diligence on these projects. There is no excuse for ignorance. When a whitepaper sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Whats worse is that even the legitimate ICOs have little chance of succeeding. For a token like Tezos or EOS which have raised hundreds of millions with no product, you need a lot of things to go right for your investors to make a profit. Retail investors need to continue to be vigilant of these projects because I don't expect the scams to go away anytime soon.
Some Other Things I Read Today
- Coinbase’s first investment, Compound, earns you interest on crypto
- Fear of crypto copycats
- Move deliberately, fix things: How Coinbase is building a cryptocurrency empire
- NY Grants Fifth-Ever BitLicense to Crypto Exchange Genesis Global Trading
- The SEC Has an Opportunity You Won’t Want to Miss: Act Now!
- Jack Dorsey Hopes Bitcoin Will Become Web's 'Native Currency'