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 MUST READS 

Facebook Libra Backers Are Not Official Partners Yet, Says Visa CEO


While Facebook’s Libra project was said to already have 28 founding partners when unveiled last month, that isn’t quite the case, according to Visa’s CEO and board chairman... go figure.

"So we have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join Libra. We’re one of – I think it’s 27 companies that have expressed that interest. So, no one has yet officially joined."
 

The ‘War on Bitcoin’ Is Almost Here – And It Will Get Ugly


For better or worse, bitcoin is now on the global political stage.

It was discussed in Congress. Donald Trump slammed bitcoin on Twitter. The Treasury Secretary called cryptocurrencies a national security threat, and the chairman of the Federal Reserve urged caution.

Meanwhile, India just proposed an all-out ban on bitcoin while China scrambles to create its own cryptocurrency.

What we’re seeing around the world is eerily similar to a theory put forward by Eric Voskuil. If the theory holds, we may see a “global war on bitcoin” emerge. Some interesting food for thought here...
 

📝 IRS Says It’s Sending Warning Letters to US Cryptocurrency Owners


Watch out, friends. The Internal Revenue Service has begun mailing more than 10,000 letters to cryptocurrency holders warning of stiff penalties if they fail to report income or pay tax on crypto transactions.

The service is sending out three variations of one letter, depending on the information it has on the recipient, reported the Wall Street Journal.
 

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 DEEP DIVE 

Rise of the New Crypto Mafia


In the early 2000s, the term ‘Paypal Mafia’ was popularized by early employees and founders who came out of Paypal and went on to start their own wildly successful tech companies. Drawing from that idea, this article seeks to cover the formation and flow of talent pools within the crypto landscape today.
 

It’s the Settlement Assurances, Stupid: How to Evaluate Blockchains


Another epic post by Nic Carter discussing settlement times for Bitcoin and other public blockchains. Certainly a good read for people with BTC questions like:
  • Does Bitcoin have any value?
  • Does it really provide "something" interesting?

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 REGULATORY FRONT 

The FBI Thinks Long Island Iced Tea’s Infamous Pivot to Blockchain was Sweetened by Insider Trading


Long Island Iced Tea Corp.’s pivot to blockchain was a particularly brash ploy to latch onto the crypto hype. The beverage company’s stock skyrocketed nearly 300% when it said it was changing its name to Long Blockchain on Dec. 21, 2017.

Today, court records show that authorities are still digging into what they believe was a sophisticated insider trading operation designed to supercharge the stock’s rise.

 

Andrew Yang's Super PAC Will Accept Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Donations


This could be the first time the Lightning Network officially impacts the U.S. presidential election.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang launched a crypto-friendly super PAC last week called the Humanity Forward Fund (Humanity FWD). Thanks to the PAC’s payment processor, OpenNode, the entity will be able to accept payments from lightning wallets.

Humanity FWD will only accept bitcoin donations for the first 21 days. After that, fiat donations will also be accepted.

 

SEC Declares 8th Grader’s ‘Quarters’ Tokens Aren’t a Security


Anotha' one. The SEC has cleared Pocketful of Quarters, a crypto gaming company, to issue blockchain tokens without registration, deeming the tokens to not be "securities."

Here's Marco Santori on why this is a small, yet very important development from the SEC.

 

 TWEET OF THE WEEK 

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