March 2018 has been a wild month for the global cryptocurrency community.
Here’s a list of the news that topped headlines in March 2018.
1. Bill Gates says cryptocurrencies cause deaths
During an AMA on Reddit, the Microsoft founder expressed his thoughts on the impact of anonymity in digital currencies:
The main feature of crypto-currencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing. The government’s ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing…. Right now, crypto-currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way. I think the speculative wave around ICOs and crypto-currencies is super risky for those who go long.
2. Wellington Management Co. joins the crypto conversation
In a recent report, the Boston-based, $1 trillion firm expressed interest in including cryptocurrencies in some portfolios, writing:
Various Wellington teams are already positioning portfolios to take advantage of mining and blockchain implementations by, for example, investing in select chipmakers making components” for tracking and creating digital coins, the report said, without naming specific stocks.
3. Olympic gold medalist Apolo Anton Ohno talks new blockchain-based cryptocurrency effort
As if snagging 8 medals across the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Olympics weren’t enough, Ohno is now focusing on a new blockchain venture called HybridBlock, which touts itself as an “all-in-one cryptocurrency trading ecosystem.” HybridBlock will launch its ICO in April.
4. Berkeley to Launch An “Initial Community Offering” to fund affordable housing
The city of Berkeley announced its ICO—an “Initial Community Offering”—in hopes of addressing systemic homelessness. The ICO is slated to launch in May. Berkeley City Council Member Ben Bartlett explained that the idea emerged after President Donald Trump signed the tax bill into law late last year:
We [decided] to explore new forms of finance in response to the cuts from DC and corporate tax cuts that took away our ability to fund affordable housing. There are more than one-thousand homeless people living in Berkeley, which is projected to increase by a factor of five in the coming years. Many cities, just like Berkeley, are under a funding assault – we have to think outside of the box in order to solve this problem.
5. Craig Wright is being sued after alleged plot to steal billions of dollars of Bitcoin
The infamous Australian who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto was dealt a $10 billion lawsuit from Ira Kleiman, brother of Wright’s ex-colleague (deceased) David Kleiman, claiming Wright “forged a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to Craig and/or companies controlled by him. Craig backdated these contracts and forged Dave’s signature on them.”
The $10 Billion lawsuit against Craig Wright claims Wright used a computer-generated font called Otto to forge Dave Kleiman’s signature and acquire hundreds of thousands of bitcoins.
6. SEC sets its sights on crypto hedge funds
Inside sources claim that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is now targeting hedge funds that have sprung up in the past few years to invest and trade cryptocurrencies, including ICOs and token sales. The body recently sent requests for information from a number of crypto hedge funds probing their compliance and their pricing of digital investments.
7. Wyoming defines ‘Utility Tokens’ as new asset class
Amid news of federal regulation via the SEC and CFTC, the Wyoming legislature passed five bills into law regarding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Specifically, the “Utility Token Bill” (Wyoming House Bill 70), which was signed into law March 7, makes Wyoming unique among any state in the world, defining utility tokens as a completely new asset class.