T.G.F.F. (Thank God For Friday)

If it hadn’t been for a last-minute rally this Friday, we would’ve seen a lot of double-digit red this week. The market hit a weekly high of about $115.8B before dropping to a low of just under $111B. Thanks to the end of the week rally, the entire market cap fell less than one percent over the week and is currently barely over $114B.

Cryptocurrency Market Stats (2/8/19)

A few altcoins really shined this past week. Litecoin rose 16.57 percent, leapfrogging a few currencies to reach the number four spot. Binance Coin flew up 24.62 percent to enter the top ten. And, Ark boomed 34.83 percent. The movement of our top three coins wasn’t as interesting.

Bitcoin fell just 0.52% over the last seven days.

XRP lost 2.81% of its price.

Ethereum grew a respectable 1.67% this week.

Domestic Cryptocurrency News

Fires, Buyers, and Aquihires: In the midst of widespread layoffs and shutdowns among cryptocurrency companies, a few outliers are moving the opposite way. This week, U.S. exchange Kraken acquired Crypto Facilities, a London-based crypto index provider. The goal of the nine-figure purchase is to add futures and index products to the core Kraken arsenal. Eligible customers will soon have access to six cryptocurrency futures.

In other positive industry news, Facebook achieved a personal first in acquiring blockchain startup Chainspace. Prior to the acquisition, the startup team was creating a smart contract platform utilizing sharding. However, Facebook seems more interested in the team rather than their product. The social media behemoth hired the majority of the Chainspace team into their relatively new blockchain division, and the original project is shutting down.

People Saying Things

Jack Attack: Twitter CEO and Square CEO Jack Dorsey had the cryptocurrency world abuzz this week with a series of pro-Bitcoin statements. Early in the week, Dorsey appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, touting that Bitcoin has the highest likelihood of becoming the native currency of the Internet. Following that, he laid out a series of tweets that outlined the same sentiment. The start-up boy wonder even hinted that Twitter may be looking into Lightning Network integrations.

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Cryptocurrency News from Around the World

Isle of Man (And Blockchain): You may not have heard about the small, self-governing British dependency, but the Isle of Man is looking to make a name for itself as a worldwide blockchain destination. The island recently formed a Blockchain Office and a Sandbox in which businesses can test out new blockchain technology. According to Lyle Wraxall, the chief executive of Digital Isle of Man, they “are looking to attract premium blockchain businesses and the world’s top exchanges to the Island.”

On top of the technology sandbox, legislators are planning to introduce “tech-agnostic regulation inspired by best practice that [they’ve] seen from other high-quality jurisdictions around the world.”

Death, Private Keys, and Maple Syrup: This week brought a story so juicy, it warrants its own Netflix special. Late last year, Gerald Cotten, the CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, suddenly passed away on a trip to India. Unfortunately, he took the passwords for the exchange’s cold wallets with him to the grave, leaving $190 million of user funds unobtainable. Although encryption experts are working to retrieve those passwords, the odds of success are slim.

Here’s where the story gets even more interesting. Some people have speculated that a) the exchange is using the death as a way to walk away with the money, or even b) Cotten faked his own death to defraud customers. It doesn’t help that Cotton’s co-founder is allegedly a convicted fraudster and money launderer who had been operating the exchange under a false identity. And you thought the market’s been boring lately…

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