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Coinbase executive

Coinbase Executive Leaves | 3 Major Departures in 6 Months

According to reports, Coinbase executive Dan Romero is stepping away from his role as vice president of international business. His departure will bring the number of executives to leave the company in the last six months to three.

Another Coinbase Executive Leaves

Romero announced in a Medium post earlier today that he will be leaving the crypto exchange at the end of April. He joined Coinbase in April 2014.

The Coinbase executive didn’t give a specific reason for his departure but simply said he was “planning to take some time to figure out what’s next.” And further:

“Staying true to a mission often requires doing hard (or even unpopular) things. But I’ve been lucky to learn first-hand that it’s those hard things that often generate the most value.”

In the five years he has been with Coinbase, Romero has seen the staff grow to over 700, from its earlier-days headcount of only 20.

What’s Going On?

Coinbase is one of the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges. It raised over $300 million in 2018 and has a current valuation of $8 billion. Despite its rockstar status, there have been an unusual amount of departures in recent times—as stated, Romero is the third Coinbase executive to leave in six months.

Its director of institutional sales, Christine Sandler, left the firm two weeks ago. She opted for a role with Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest financial services providers. Then, in earlier 2019, Soups Ranjan, director of data science and risk, left, as did senior compliance manager Vaishali Mehta.

Further, it’s estimated that around nine other senior or mid-level employees have left since its October fundraiser.

>> Harvard University Purchases Blockstack’s Crypto Tokens

Best Places to Work?

The news is somewhat ironic considering Coinbase recently made LinkedIn’s top 50 US places to work list. Hitting the list at number 35, the firm beat out financial players such as JP Morgan. It was also the only cryptocurrency relative company to feature on the list.

Do you think there’s an issue that caused this Coinbase executive to leave? Or is it a simple case of bad timing?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © vadimphoto1@gmail.com

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Crypto Tokens

Harvard University Purchases Blockstack’s Crypto Tokens

In the news making headlines in the cryptocurrency industry, Harvard University Endowment has made an investment in the crypto token sale of Blockstack.

Blockstack Offering 95.83 million Crypto Tokens

A filing made with the US Securities Exchange Commission listed designees affiliated to the Havard Management Company including Charlie Saravia, Rodolfo Gonzalez, and Zavain Dar who have been participating in the purchase of 95.8 million Blockstack tokens, worth $11.5 million. Although it’s not clear how much the Harvard University Endowment has purchased, it is, however, the first time a major endowment has invested in cryptocurrency.

In a tweet, Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital indicated that Havard Endowment had directly invested $5 million to $10 million in the Blockstack token sale.

This investment from a leading university is going viral, and it’s a move that will hopefully encourage other institutional investors to invest in crypto tokens as well. The attitude is building up, and this will encourage investors to try small crypto tokens such as TCAT tokens.

Institutional Investors Seeking Regulated Custodians

Institutional investors have been hesitant about getting involved in the crypto market and with major assets such as Bitcoin, the reason being crypto’s lack of regulations. Even when Bitcoin was on a bullish run in 2017, achieving a price of $20,000, there were no regulated investment channels or custodial solutions that could encourage the institution to invest in crypto. In 2018, however, the trend began to change, and institutional investors have slowly started dripping their toes in the crypto waters.

>> Bakkt Hires PayPal and Google Veteran as Chief Product Officer

Pantera Capital CEO, Dan Morehead, indicated that the crypto industry has been empowered with the necessary infrastructure and it can now handle large money from institutions. He added that institutions are concerned about having a well-regulated custodian, something that the crypto industry has yet to attain.

Blockstack CEO, Muneed Ali, stated that once the offering gets approved, it will be the first-ever SEC-qualified crypto token of its kind. He adds that proceeds from the offering will be put in the development of their decentralized app ecosystem.

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Bakkt

Bakkt Hires PayPal and Google Veteran as Chief Product Officer

Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt has a new chief product officer. Announced via Medium earlier today, the exchange has added Mike Blandina to its team.

Bakkt Hires New CPO

In previous years, Blandina has worked at PayPal where he served as head of payments and credit engineering. He has also been director of engineering for Google Wallet.

In most recent years, Blandina was chief technology officer and product and engineering at OneMarket. CEO of Bakkt Kelly Loeffler wrote in the blog post:

“As our CPO, Mike will lead our efforts to converge a trusted ecosystem for digital assets with payments use cases, two elements of Bakkt that help bring real-world applications to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

Development

Bakkt is still awaiting regulatory approval in order to launch. It has faced multiple delays already with the initial launch expected back in November. However, in Loeffler’s posting, she said that “race day is approaching.” This comment has led some to wonder if the team has more clarity on its regulatory situation that it has yet to disclose.

She wrote further:

“As a former marathoner, this point in time recalls the stage in the training regimen when you’re putting in long runs with your training team […] there is more work to be done […] I’m proud to be going the distance with this growing team and of the culture we are building, while bringing digital assets into the mainstream economy.”

What is Bakkt?

Bakkt wants to offer a federally regulated market for Bitcoin, transforming Bitcoin into a trusted global currency with broad usage.

>> Coinbase Card: Now You Can Spend Your Crypto Instantly

Its main goal is to make Bitcoin a secure offering for the biggest global financial institutions that currently shun it. Bakkt is looking to create a path for these major money managers to offer Bitcoin pension funds, mutual funds, and ETFs as highly regulated, mainstream investments.

Approval

As stated, Bakkt is still waiting on approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to list its Bitcoin futures contract. One major consideration for the CFTC is that Bakkt’s proposal would see it warehousing its own Bitcoin. This may be one cause for delay.

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Coinbase card

Coinbase Card | Now You Can Spend Your Crypto Instantly

The Coinbase card is looking to make cryptocurrencies easier to pay with.

Over a long time, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple’s XRP have been criticized that they are hard to use and spend in the real world compared to fiat currency.

Last week, the price of Bitcoin surged to $5,000, but due to its volatility and instability, BTC is still not considered the best means of payment. Bitcoin is thus considered to be a store of value just like gold instead of being an exchange currency.

However, these perceptions are about to change following the teaming up of Bitcoin and Coinbase with Visa. The aim of the collaboration is to try and change the criticism surrounding cryptocurrency with the launch of the Coinbase Card that will allow users to spend cryptocurrency effortlessly like traditional fiat currency in the bank.

Coinbase Card Could Be Used to Spend Bitcoin

Coinbase’s Visa debit card can be used with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple’s XRP in various locations across the globe. When the card is used, it converts Bitcoin to fiat currency, and the store or merchant receives the pay in fiat currency.

Using the new app, users will be able to choose their preferred cryptocurrency on the card. The card has the capability of backing all crypto assess available on the Coinbase platform. Users will be able to monitor their spending as the new app is able to produce receipts, spending and transaction details.

>> Bitcoin Price is in the Green but EOS is Today’s Real Winner

“This is the first debit card to link directly with a major cryptocurrency exchange, allowing people to spend their crypto balances direct from their Coinbase account,” Coinbase said in a statement, announcing the launch of the card. “Previously available crypto cards required users to pre-load a specified amount of crypto onto their card, adding a point of friction to the process.”

The card is available in the UK, and Coinbase plans to launch it in other countries across Europe. The service will not be available for users outside of Europe. However, US Coinbase users will get to spend Bitcoin from their accounts through Apto payments, which is providing Coinbase with the technology.

The poaching of Christine Sandler by Fidelity Digital Assets from Coinbase is great news for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies eyeing institutional support.

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Bitcoin price

Bitcoin Price is in the Green but EOS is Today’s Real Winner

The cryptocurrency top ten are in the green! Well, eight of them are at least. According to CoinMarketCap, the total cryptocurrency market cap today is $182,807,737,820.

As usual, when Bitcoin price is in the green, the rest of the market tends to be too. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is showing gains of a respectable 1.13%—a continued increase from a bull run now lasting over a week. Further down the chart, EOS is running away with a 6.84% increase.

What has Bitcoin in the green as of late? The entire market is bullish so let’s check out why this is.

Bitcoin Price

At the time of writing, Bitcoin price is $5,285.08 USD, up 1.29% at the time of writing. Bitcoin has been on a bull run since April 2nd and not only has maintained the high but has continued to steadily increase.

Over the course of a few hours on April 2nd, Bitcoin jumped from approximately $4,110 to $4,800. Now it has hit a current high of over $5,285. The rally has extended throughout the market with other coins also showing massive growth. For example, Litecoin gained over 50% and Bitcoin Cash roughly 80% in the same period.

Bitcoin Price: Why the Jump?

Two theories have emerged as to what caused Bitcoin to suddenly jump. The first is that $100 million worth of BTC was bought across exchanges Coinbase, Kraken, and Bitstamp by one person. A sudden pump of money into the market spurred on further bullish sentiment, and the gains have continued.

>> How Cryptocurrency Traders Benefit from Blockchain Technology

Another theory is that because Bitcoin mining rewards will “half” in May of 2020, interest to buy BTC has sparked. The idea is to accumulate it now for the future when Bitcoin will be harder to mine and therefore become more scarce. As with any product, when it becomes more scarce, it becomes even more valuable. When mining rewards do halve in 2020, Bitcoin price can be expected to jump.

So far in Bitcoin’s history ‘Halving’ has occurred twice–once in 2012 and once in 2016.

What do you think? Do you have you a theory for the recent bull run?

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