The Intersection: Crypto and Wall Street This Week As bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies get increasing attention from investors, Wall Street and its traditional banks continue to adjust to the shift. Catch up on this week's top stories highlighting the intersection of these old guard and new school areas of finance with this recap compiled by The Fly: 1. BITMAIN UNVEILS MINING SYSTEM: China-based Bitmain unveiled a specialized digital currency mining system for ethereum, which analysts predicted could harm demand for graphics cards, potentially impacting AMD (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA), CNBC reported Tuesday. The system will ship in mid-to-late July for $800 each. Analysts now expect the company will dominate the ethereum mining market, which is estimated to account for roughly 20% of AMD's sales and 10% of Nvidia's revenue. 2. SEC FREEZE OF LONGFIN STOCK SALES: The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Friday it has obtained a court order freezing more than $27M in trading proceeds from allegedly illegal distributions and sales of restricted shares of Longfin (LFIN) stock involving the company, its chief executive officer, and three other affiliated individuals According to the SEC's complaint, Longfin's founding CEO and controlling shareholder, Venkata Meenavalli, caused the company to issue more than two million unregistered, restricted shares to Altahawi, who was the corporate secretary and a director of Longfin, and tens of thousands of restricted shares to two other affiliated individuals, Penumarthi and Tammineedi, who were allegedly acting as nominees for Meenavalli. The subsequent sales of those restricted shares violated federal securities laws, said the SEC. Meanwhile, Longfin shares have been halted for additional information requested by Nasdaq. 3. COINBASE LAUNCHES VENTURE FUND: In a Friday blog post, Coinbase said, "Here at Coinbase, we're committed to creating an open financial system for the world...That's why today, we're announcing the formation of Coinbase Ventures. We'll be providing financing to promising early stage companies that have the teams and ideas that can move the space forward in a positive, meaningful way. At least in the beginning, our goal is simply to help the most compelling companies in the space to flourish....You may also see us invest in companies that ostensibly look competitive with Coinbase." 4. COINCHECK ACCEPTS MONEX TAKEOVER OFFER: Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, which suffered a $530M theft in January, has accepted a takeover from Japanese online brokerage Monex Group, Nikkei Asian Review reported Friday. Coincheck will restructure its management in an attempt to regain investor trust with Monex COO Toshihiko Katsuya being appointed as new president. 5. RBI BANS CRYPTO DEALINGS: The Reserve Bank of India announced that regulated financial institutions in the country can no longer legally deal with cryptocurrencies, CNBC reported Thursday. "In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling [virtual currencies]," the bank said. 6. SOROS PREPARES TO TRADE CRYPTO: George Soros' $26B family office, Soros Fund Management, is planning to trade digital assets despite Soros previously calling cryptocurrencies a bubble in January, Bloomberg reported Friday. Adam Fisher, who oversees macro investing at the firm, has secured internal approval to trade the virtual currency in the last few months, although he has yet to make a wager. 7. RIPPLE STRUGGLES TO LIST: Ripple, which controls the world's third-largest cryptocurrency XRP, has been unable to close deals to list on U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges Gemini and Coinbase even after offering to pay financial incentives to the venues, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The company, which has had banks sign onto its networks and purchase equity stakes in it business, has faced a major headwind from warnings by U.S. officials to unlicensed exchanges to not list tokens that could be deemed securities. CRYPTO STOCK PLAYS: Cryptocurrency revenues have been pointed to as reasons to be bullish on Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia in select research. Overstock (OSTK), DPW Holdings (DPW), Long Blockchain (LBCC), Kodak (KODK), Seven Stars Cloud Group (SSC), Riot Blockchain (RIOT), Longfin, Pareteum (TEUM) and Social Reality (SRAX) are other stocks that have been touted, or promoted themselves, as a way to play the crypto theme PRICE ACTION: As of time of writing, bitcoin dropped roughly 0.7% this week to $6,596 in U.S. dollars according to CoinDesk. WANT BITCOIN NEWS ALERTS?: To receive alerts on stories relating to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Fly subscribers can enter "Bitcoin" into the "Add symbols" box of their portfolios.
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