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Blockchain News

CEO Of Overstock Expects A Blockchain Products Market In 2019

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Jonathan Johnson, who is the CEO of Overstock, is in the blockchain events today, this time for sharing his optimistic views towards the field of blockchain. The current president of Overstock.com and the Medici Ventures has described the blockchain-focused venture fund’s goals for 2019.

As he said:

“People often say that ‘blockchain will change the world with dot-dot-dot.’ Now everybody needs to figure out what ‘dot-dot-dot’ is, and build it.”

Johnson also said that the focus of the coming year “should change from coming up with new ideas to executing on those ideas.”

It is easy to see that Overstock is aiming high when it comes to blockchain, especially when seeing its $175 million in investments from the Medici portfolio companies which includes companies such as the security token trading platform tZERO, the tech provider Symbiont, the voting app Voatz, the lending startup Ripio, the data managing platform Factom and others.

Even though it all started with Medici being an investment arm, the focus is to go big on blockchain in the years to come. As Johnson revealed:

“We want our portfolio companies to focus on having their products in production. When you have a product, it starts to open up the creative juices, [people start] asking ‘how we can use it’ and it changes the discussion. When it’s mostly about technology, people want to talk about the Merkle tree, mining, nonces… All that talk gets confusing and in the way of progress.”

Medici’s chief operating officer also agreed on this, stating the company’s narrative in his own words:

“We need to do more than just explain what blockchain applications can be,” he said in an interview. “We need to show people how amazing blockchain is by launching blockchain products. When people can use a product, they are half the way up the learning curve of what blockchain is. And now they actually care how it works.”

Noting that the US government is the “biggest middleman” in the country right now, Medici’s head believes that the regulatory environment can be changed step to step.

“If you look at travel agents and the internet — we didn’t get rid of them overnight, we just showed that they are less and less useful for us. So, we take incremental steps in this way, we see the middlemen less necessary, we see the regulation maybe unnecessary, and we get to a point when everybody can agree with it,” the CEO Johnson concluded.

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Blockchain News

Deloitte Features Blockchain In Its Annual Tech Trends Report

The latest news around blockchain on our DC Forecasts crypto news site show that the technology is gaining a lot of attention from different angles. As of recently, blockchain has been featured as 'a disrupting technology' in the Tech Trends 2019 report that was published by Deloitte, one of the global leaders in consulting and auditing. As one article states, the Big Four audit and consulting firm has put blockchain as one of the technologies that is rapidly growing and is on a path towards mass adoption. The report also cites one International Data Cooperation (IDC) projection which states that worldwide spending on blockchain solutions will reach $9.7 billion in 2021, while another predicts the number to hit $11.7 billion by 2022.
“Today, blockchain is to trust what the web was to communication: a profoundly disruptive technology that transforms not only business but the way humans transact and engage," the report notes.
Deloitte also agrees that blockchain is viral, saying that the technology is “capturing both mindshare and investment is remarkable considering that a few years ago the word blockchain was known only through its relationship to cryptocurrencies. One of the areas where blockchain is likely to develop in the coming year, according to Deloitte, is the technology that includes "gateways, integration layers and common standards." However, Deloitte also shared the obstacles of implementing the technology, mainly related to the time-consuming operations, lack of standardization, high costs and complex applications.
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Altcoin News

Stellar’s XLM Token Added To Greyscale’s Crypto Investment Trust Fund

Greyscale, the digital currency investment group officially launched their latest fund that is solely dedicated to Stellar Lumen’s Token XLM according to their tweet reaching our crypto news today. Greyscale has now approximately nine crypto funds that it operates and the company renamed all of their single-currency products to trusts. The company works as a ‘’single-asset investment products with maximum exposure’’ to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum Classic. The managing director Michael Sonnenschein said on an occasion that this newest addition is happening because of the investors demand to try to get more exposure to XLM’s price movements:
 “I think the theory is a sound one,” he said about Stellar’s business proposition for bridging crypto to fiat currency conversions. An American bank may be keeping large amounts of currencies in foreign banks, and to be able to bring those balances of foreign currencies onto a balance sheet as working capital is valuable. Financial institutions won’t be required to hold balances all over the place. This will improve efficiency and shore up balance sheets for other uses.”
Stellar had amazing performance especially in Q4 after striking a deal with crypto wallet provider Blockchain.com in order to start distributing XLM that is worth $125 million in an airdrop, hoping to increase bigger awareness and adoption. In the meantime, Greyscale had a mixed year in 2018 after bitcoin dropped to its 15-month low at $3,130. The company’s Bitcoin Trust was worth less than $1 billion for the first time in 2018. According to the crypto industry newsletter Diar’s research, Greyscale in the same apparently had holdings just over one percent of the total BTC in circulation. After the announcement, Stellar increased up by 1.22 percent.
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Blockchain News

SEAT Car Manufacturer To Start Working On Blockchain-Based Products Development

SEAT, a well-known Spanish automobile manufacturer, joined the Alastria consortium in order to work on developing blockchain-based products according to the report from the company reaching our Blockchain news today. The car manufacturer was founded in 1950 as a state-owned industrial company and it is currently Spain’s largest car manufacturer with a turnover of more than 9.552 billion Euro in 2017. According to the announcement, SEAT joined Alastria which is a multi-industry consortium that is backed by a national network with more than 70 companies such as Telecommunications provider Telefonica, Energy Company Repsol, and Banco Santander bank. The goal of the partnership is to promote the development of blockchain technology. SEAT also plans to see what the benefits of blockchain are in the field of finance at first, hoping to improve the currency processes and to optimize them even further but also to facilitate supply chain management. Also, the president of SEAT Luca De Meo pointed out that the company is ‘’convinced of the relevance that blockchain technology will have in the near future.’’ Meanwhile, Telefonica and SEAT also started working together on the proof-of-concept for a blockchain product that will be able to track all of the vehicle parts that go through the supply chain of SEAT’s factory that is located in Spain. In December 2018, the American car manufacturer General Motors also filed for a blockchain patent in order to find a solution to manage data from autonomous vehicles. Other car manufacturers such as Porsche AG also announced to be investing in blockchain and artificial intelligence with more than $176 million in the next five years.
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Bitcoin News

Bitcoin ATM Operator Coinme To Start Selling BTC At Coinstar Counting Machines

The Bitcoin ATM operator Coinme based in the United States reaches our blockchain news today after partnering with Coinstar to be able to sell Bitcoin at coin-counting kiosks that are owned by Coinstar according to an official press release published on January 17. Coinme is actually the first bitcoin ATM operator to obtain a license in the US back in 2014 and was quickly able to add multiple locations around the US. The CEO of Coinme Neil Bergquist noted:
 “Bitcoin is now accessible at your local grocery store via Coinstar kiosks, and this offering will make it even easier for consumers to participate in this dynamic new economy.”
Coinstar, on the other hand, offers coin-to-cash conversion in their kiosks in multiple countries around the world but it still remains unknown whether the Bitcoin feature will expand just as quickly as it did in the US. Coinstar’s CEO Jim Gaherty noted: Coinstar offers coin-to-cash conversion kiosks in various countries throughout the world. It remains unknown whether the Bitcoin feature will expand beyond the U.S., while the company did not provide figures on how many machines will offer it.
“Coinstar is always looking for new ways to offer value to our consumers when they visit our kiosks.’’
According to CoinATMRadar industry monitoring resource, there are more than 4187 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide and more than 60 percent or 2516 are in the United States. The market has grown plenty over the years and many operators are trying to get control of what they think to become a fairly popular trend for crypto usage.
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