Among the day’s headlines in the crypto space: the Kin Foundation launches a fund to take on the SEC; a number of high-profile names in the blockchain industry confirm job moves; and JPMorgan unveils an extended implementation of a privacy protocol created by Stanford and Visa Research.
After many consecutive days in the green, the cryptocurrency markets have consolidated over the past 24 hours. At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $8,494.0 (-2.6%) and $262.8 (-2.2%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 4,121.2 (-4.0%).
Kin Prepares for SEC Showdown with Defend Crypto Fund
The Kin Foundation – the Kik-owned entity stewarding the development of the Kin blockchain protocol and cryptocurrency ecosystem – launched a crowdfunding initiative to support a (potential) court battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in relation to its near-$100 million initial coin offering (ICO) from late 2017.
The Kin Foundation’s fund – dubbed Defend Crypto – includes $5 million of its own capital in the form of bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), and Kin (KIN). According to its website, Defend Crypto counts Circle, ShapeShift, Messari, Arrington XRP Capital, Fight for the Future, and the Kin Foundation as supporters. Interestingly, Coinbase has been removed as a Defend Crypto supporter at some stage over the past 24 hours.
Blockchain Talent Carousel Gets Busy
Monday saw the confirmation of several key personnel changes within the blockchain and crypto space. One of these regarded IBM’s (now former) head of blockchain for financial services and digital currencies, Jesse Lund. The high-profile ex-banker – who joined IBM in January 2017 – told CoinDesk he had indeed left the information technology giant.
Additionally, reports from The Block revealed Tim Plakas has left his job at Coinbase – where he previously led its over-the-counter (OTC) desk – to work in the OTC unit of Galaxy Digital, the investment management company owned by Mike Novogratz. Plakas begun working for Coinbase in July 2018.
Also, Blockchain Capital – a leading venture capital firm within the industry – announced the hiring of serial entrepreneur and investor Ben Davenport as a venture partner. Davenport is the co-founder and former chief technology officer of BitGo. He also co-founded a group messaging client called Beluga, which was later acquired by Facebook and transformed into Messenger.
Finally, top cryptocurrency wallet provider Blockchain.com told The Block it recently lost its head of institutional sales and strategy, Breanne Madigan, to payment technology company, Ripple Labs. Prior to joining Blockchain.com in April 2018, Madigan served as Goldman Sachs’ head of institutional wealth services. Her role at Ripple will be to lead its global institutional markets team.
JPMorgan Spins Off Privacy Protocol by Stanford, Visa Research
JPMorgan Chase has built an extended implementation of Zether, per reports from CoinDesk. It This implementation will likely be used by the U.S.-headquartered banking giant’s Quorum, an enterprise-focused version of Ethereum.
In a boon for the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem, the U.S.-headquartered banking giant has open-sourced its anonymous extension of the Zether protocol. A cryptographic protocol for confidential payments, Zether was initially proposed by researchers from Stanford University and Visa’s research arm.