Bitcoin traded near $10,000 on Thursday and according to data from CoinMarketCap, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalizations rose above $11,000 for the first time since January earlier this week. Adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology continues to increase. On Wednesday, Ripple, the startup behind the digital token XRP, announced five new customers joining its blockchain-based international money-transfer network, called RippleNet. According to a statement, Patrick Griffin, head of business development at Ripple, believes that blockchain solutions can play significant role in financial institutions in emerging markets. DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. (OTC: DMGGF), Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: KODK), Net Element International Inc (NASDAQ: NETE), NXT-ID Inc (NASDAQ: NXTD), MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTC: MGTI)
On Tuesday, two leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Bitfinex, announced a new software update called Segregated Witness or SegWit, which aims to lower bitcoin transaction fee and make transactions faster. According to MarketWatch, Alex Sunnarborg, founding partner of Tetras Capital, said, “New exchanges like Bitfinex and Coinbase integrating SegWit is great news for bitcoin…The most noticeable changes in the short term should be more efficiency when transacting – a user can expect to see decreased transaction fees and improved speed (as a result of being able to fit more SegWit transactions in bitcoin blocks due to the separation of ‘witness’ data).”
DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. (OTC: DMGGF) also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker ‘DMGI’. On February 20th, the company announced the, “appointment of Varun Gupta, Lou Kerner, and Samuel Osei to the Advisory Board of DMG. Each advisor brings a unique set of skills and knowledge to assist DMG in its diversified business model.
Varun Gupta – Head Legal Advisor – Mr. Gupta is a leading lawyer in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, having been the founding Chief Legal Officer of BitFury. He has over 20 years of corporate and regulatory legal experience and has been a Partner at major international law firms such as Latham & Watkins, Akin Gump, and Allen & Overy. In private practice, Mr. Gupta worked on numerous high-value, cross-border M&A and IPO transactions. Mr. Gupta graduated from Georgetown Law School, and after a prestigious federal clerkship, he began his legal career at a top Wall Street law firm. He resides in San Francisco.
Lou Kerner – Cryptocurrency Advisor – Lou Kerner is a Founding Partner of CryptoOracle, a Crypto VC and Advisory firm focused exclusively on investing and advising entities leveraging, blockchain, cryptocurrency, smart contracts and decentralization. CryptoOracle co-hosts BlockFin, the largest Crypto Focused FinTech Conference in the world. Mr. Kerner has been a Crypto enthusiast, investor, public speaker and thought leader since 2013, when the Wall Street Journal called Lou “Wall Street’s Bitcoin Expert”. Mr. Kerner is ranked among the most influential Crypto bloggers on Medium, regularly keynotes major Crypto industry events, and often appears on TV and in print speaking about Crypto. Mr. Kerner had a distinguished career as an equity analyst following media and technology companies for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. He has a B.A. from U.C.L.A. and an MBA from The Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Samuel Osei – Legal Advisor – Samuel Osei is a certified bitcoin professional and lawyer specializing in commercial and blockchain/cryptocurrency law. Samuel is the principal of Samuel Osei Law Corporation, a Vancouver law firm at the forefront of crypto-legal work. Mr. Osei’s experience in the crypto-legal field includes advising companies, facilitating large cryptocurrency transactions and engaging in litigation. Mr. Osei’s understanding of cryptocurrencies and their associated technologies have made him a highly sought-after professional for companies and individuals, alike, seeking legal guidance in this space.
“In an ever-evolving regulatory environment, it is important for DMG to have highly experienced advisors that provide proper perspective and guidance, as we scale our business. Mr. Gupta is regarded as one of the most knowledgeable and experienced cryptocurrency attorneys having previously worked at Bitfury, a leading Blockchain and Cryptocurrency company. With DMG’s diversified approach to cryptocurrency and blockchain, it is crucial for us to have a vast array of advisors to assist us in achieving our goals for our customers and shareholders,” commented Daniel Reitzik, CEO and Director of DMG.”
Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: KODK) last month announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights management platform and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management. Utilizing blockchain technology, the KODAKOne platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. With KODAKCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform.
Net Element International Inc (NASDAQ: NETE) recently reported that it has joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (“EEA”), the world’s largest open-source blockchain initiative with over 250 member companies. Net Element’s membership to the prestigious alliance is complementary to the Company’s recently announced decentralized blockchain technology solution that will enable an unlimited number of value-added services (“VAS”) and support the adoption of Ethereum in the enterprise. Net Element is developing a decentralized crypto-based ecosystem to act as a framework for a number of value-added services that can connect merchants and consumers directly, via blockchain technology, while increasing the economic efficiency of all transactions conducted within the ecosystem.
NXT-ID Inc (NASDAQ: NXTD) announced this week that it is now accepting pre-orders for Flip™, a new contactless payment device that will enable cryptocurrency holders to use the value of their currency to make purchases at millions of retail locations. The new device, which was announced earlier this month, uses value exchanged from cryptocurrency to make traditional payment transactions. “Flip represents an exciting expansion of the FitPay Payment Platform by connecting cryptocurrencies to the payment ecosystem,” said Michael Orlando, COO of NXT-ID and President of Fit Pay, Inc. “We founded Fit Pay to fundamentally change the payment experience, and making contactless payments with cryptocurrency is a big step toward that goal.”
MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTCQB: MGTI) earlier this month announced that it has executed a new purchase order with Bitmain Technologies for 1,000 S9 Antminer mining rigs, with shipment expected in March 2018. Also, the Company purchased and has received an additional 1,000 new S9 Antminers from a third party. Following shipment and setup, and in conjunction with the Company’s current rigs in operation or undergoing deployment, MGT’s cryptocurrency mining operations will be comprised of over 7,000 Bitmain S9’s plus 50 GPU-based Ethereum miners. The Company expects all rigs announced to date to be operating by the end of the first quarter of 2018, at which point the machines are expected to generate nearly 100 Ph/s of total hash power.