20/04/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. With $6.3bln, ICOs Have Already Raised More in 2018 Than The Whole of 2017

ICOs have already raised more funds in the first quarter of 2018 than the whole of 2017. The $6.3 billion raised in the first three months of 2018 is equal to 118% of the funds raised in 2017, though only 59% as many ICOs have been launched. The figure includes Telegram’s own token sale which raised a record-breaking $1.7 billion. These numbers prove that despite current regulatory uncertainty, ICOs are still a successful method for fundraising. The news comes following SEC’s announcement that ICOs classified as securities are now required to register with the agency. It has allocated part of its website to the issue.

2. JP Morgan and Bank of Canada Among Those Testing Debt Issuance On Blockchain

JP Morgan and Bank of Canada, along with other big firms, are testing the issuance of financial instruments on blockchain. The goal is to simplify various processes. Origination, interest rate payments and settlement would all benefit from the initiative. Other organisations involved in the project include Goldman Sachs Asset Management (fund management subsidiary of Goldman Sachs Group Inc), Pfizer Inc and Legg Mason Western Asset. The platform was created using JP Morgan’s in-house open-source blockchain Quorum. Quorum’s popularity has led to JP Morgan considering issuing a spin off. So far, many banks have invested a significant amount of money in blockchain technology.

3. EU Parliament Vote For Joint Crypto Regulation

The EU parliament has voted on a joint set of crypto regulations which would see EU countries working together more closely. The news was released through a press release on the official website. An agreement with the Council, dated December 2017, was backed by 574 votes, with 13 opposing and 60 abstaining. The accord is part of the EU’s Anti Money Laundering Directive. One of its intentions is to tackle the anonymity factor when dealing with virtual currencies, as well as related exchanges and wallets. Customer verification will now be required. The new legislation will be enacted three days after being published in the Official Journal of the European Union. EU countries will then have 18 months to transfer the new rules into national law.

4. Cryptocurrencies Remain Defiant, Despite America’s Tax Day

Fundstrat Global Co-founder Tom Lee previously stated that Bitcoin’s price would drop following a sell off induced by America’s Tax Day. However, Bitcoin surpassing $8,5000 and Ethereum nearing $600 are instead signs of a market which is improving. In 24 hours, Bitcoin grew 3%, mirroring the price from March 25. Still, Ripple was the most successful cryptocurrency, with an increase of 20% in the past 24 hours. One of the reasons behind the uptick may be growing institutional interest.

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