Our CMO Steve Capone wrote an article in July titled, The Media Industry Can't Afford to Ignore Crypto. At that time Google, Twitter, and many other media outlets had banned crypto advertising from their platforms. Facebook had just altered its policy to prohibit ICO advertising but allow most other crypto ads.

We predicted that with Facebook leading the way, other media companies would soon follow suit. In just a few short months, we were proven right. Both Twitter and Google reversed their advertising bans. Little did we know, this was just the beginning

News of Facebook’s first crypto acquisition broke this week. The social media giant has reportedly hired multiple Chainspace employees to join their growing blockchain department. Chainspace describes itself as a “distributed ledger platform for high-integrity and transparent processing of transactions within a decentralized system.”

The acquisition comes after reports emerged that Facebook was developing its own stablecoin to allow WhatsApp users in India to transfer money on the app. While the details of the project remain a mystery, the opportunity for the cryptocurrency is huge. WhatsApp has more than 200 million users in India and 1.5 billion worldwide.

Facebook isn’t the only social media company pursuing a cryptocurrency. Early last year, Telegram completed a pre-sale for their own smart-contract platform, raising $1.7 billion between two rounds. This week Telegram announced that their coin, Telegram Open Network’s (TON), is nearly 90 percent ready and is slated for launch in March.

The social buzz continued this week when the CEO of Square and Twitter Jack Dorsey hit his own social media platform to talk about Bitcoin. He excited the community when he Tweeted that he only owns Bitcoin.

While there’s been no official word from the Twitter founder, there’s long been speculation that he could merge Square and Twitter. Based on the work being done by Facebook, Telegram, and potentially Twitter, it looks like the future of social media companies will intersect both communication and fintech, and this could change the way humans around the globe interact.


NEM Foundation Plans Layoffs Amid Financial Crunch

Singapore-based NEM Foundation is under clutches of the crypto bear market as it is planning a massive layoff following harsh budget cuts, the company announced in a community post. Read more.

Palo Alto Networks: Mac malware steals your cryptocurrency exchange cookies

Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 security division recently discovered malware that targets the Mac platform and enables hackers to steal browser cookies, or login credentials, associated with mainstream cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet service websites. Read more.

NYDFS Grants BitLicense to Third Bitcoin ATM Operator

Cottonwood Vending LLC was granted one of the virtual currency licenses Thursday, the New York Department of Financial Services announced on Twitter, joining a select group of fewer than 20 crypto companies to receive regulatory approval to operate within the Empire State. Read more.

TD Ameritrade: Discount Bitcoin Has Piqued Investor Interest in Crypto Futures

In a late December video that was just posted on YouTube this week, TD Ameritrade Manager of Trading Strategy Shawn Cruz told Nasdaq TradeTalks that TDA clients had regained interest in Bitcoin following its dive below $4,000. Read more.

Belarus’ Biggest Bank is ‘Working on’ Launching Its Own Cryptocurrency Exchange

According to a report by local news outlet BeITA, Belarusbank, the largest bank in Belarus, is considering the launch of its very own cryptocurrency exchange platform. Read more.

Top Russian Official Urges Parliament to Discuss Draft Crypto Bill Without Further Delays

The chairman of the upper house of Russian parliament has urged MPs to expedite their work on digital economy bills that include a draft on crypto regulation, local news agency TASS reports on Tuesday, Jan. 29. Read more.

Local Media: Iran Reportedly in Talks With 8 Countries to Use Crypto Transactions

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. Federal Reserve is scrutinizing how Germany’s largest banking According to the article, Iran has already entered negotiations with Switzerland, South Africa, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Austria, Germany and Bosnia, and the countries have reportedly visited Iran to discuss the matter. Read more.

Monero’s Riccardo Spagni: “Financial privacy is a basic human right”

Speaking in Davos at an event co-hosted by The Block and E8 Partners, Riccardo Spagni, the lead maintainer of a privacy project Monero, spoke about why privacy matters to him and why he thinks it should matter to everyone. Spagni is convinced that financial privacy is a basic human right. Read more.

4 South Korean Crypto Exchanges Team Up to Tackle Money Laundering

Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit, and Upbit jointly announced Friday that they will create a hotline to share real-time wallet information on suspicious crypto trades. They aim to identify trades with suspected links to phishing, predatory lending, pyramid schemes and other illegal activities and share related information via the hotline, the exchanges said. Read more.

Bahamian Firm to Boost Local Economy with Blockchain-Based Sunken Treasure Project

Bahamian tech company PO8 has developed a project that aims to register data of excavated sunken artifacts on blockchain, according to a press release published on Jan. 29.

PO8’s project addresses blockchain as a unique method to boost the local economy by profiting from sunken treasures in the waters surrounding the island country, which is reportedly worth around $100 billion. Read more.

Can Blockchain Solve the Mess of Medical Records? IBM Announces Tie-Up With Healthcare Providers

Even as U.S. healthcare spending grew by 3.9% in 2017, the system remains riddled with waste, inefficiencies and data silos. In response, a consortium of healthcare giants that include Aetna and Anthem are testing out blockchain technology as a possible fix. Read more.

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