Cash is not disappearing. Your plastic card is.

LMAX Digital Volume, Stone Ridge Interval Bitcoin fund, Bitfury, Kraken, Brave, Bitfinex & Lightning and more

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🕵️ Cash is not disappearing. Your plastic card is.

He also says that cash is currently only about 8% of global money and that number has been going down steadily over the last fifty years as digital money has taken over - Andreas Antonopoulos in Fred Wilson Blog

People love to predict the end of cash but the reality is that payments are evolving and cash is still ruling. See below some high level notes.

  • The proliferation of mobile phones, contactless technology used in many debit and credit cards and services storing payment card digitally (e.g. PayPal, text message) make it easier than ever to pay for things. On top of this, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin create new payment systems.

  • All of these drivers should make it clear that cash (ie notes and coins) are disappearing. However, the data says otherwise.

  • Based on the “Red Book” statistics, cash in circulation and card payments (a proxy for e-payments) have both increased between 2007 and 2016 . Only Russia and Sweden show evidence of substitution between cards and cash

  • So why is the demand of cash remaining robust or even increasing (e.g. South Korea, Mexico, Singapore)?

  • Cash is both used as means of payment and as a store of value (SoV), however, over the last decade, the demand for large-denomination notes has outpaced that for smaller denominations. In short, cash is increasingly seen as a store of value driven by ‘older’ generations less likely to use electronic means of payments as well as low interest rates diminishing opportunity cost

Government, banks and cards provider dislike cash meanwhile consumers see value

  • Meanwhile governments, banks and cards are doing everything they can to move towards a cashless society in order to ensure (i) less bank runs (no cash = no bank run), (ii) less larger notes = impact on black economy (iii) less cash = more smaller payment = more transaction fees and data for bank / card providers

  • But consumers may prefer cash as (i) easier to monitor spending, (ii) cash is money in many cultures (e.g. Switzerland) and (iii) purchases remain anonymous. In addition, there is also some stigma from past bank runs where people would not be able to withdraw their own money (see recent bank runs in Cyprus or UK)

  • Cash is unlikely to disappear in most parts of the world. Though the definition of cash, ie. coins and notes, may evolve to something else driven by a generational shift. The $100bn+ questions include: Will Bitcoin replace cash? When will it appear? Will something else appear e.g. Libra?

What’s next for the Western world? Look at India and China and you will have some answers.

  • China: PBoC’s intention is to have cash replaced by a central bank-issued digital currency. The aim is to support the Yuan’s circulation and internationalisation. Meanwhile, 75% of the population prefer digital payments thanks to mobile wallet and QR code. On the other hand, China has a love-and-hate relationship with Bitcoin. One day is ban. The other is not.

  • India: The government declared in 2016 that 1,000 and 500 Rupee notes would no longer be valid despite strong resistance to change and temporary cash shortage. As a consequence, the number of taxpayers increased but illegal money was not uncovered. Moreover, a recent report by Harvard and IMF researchers showed the cash shortage caused by demonetisation generated a decline in national economic activity of roughly three percentage points or more in November and December 2016.

What’s your thoughts on the future of cash?


🐦 Tweets of the week

The team at Skew recently pointed out that LMAX has been consistently growing over the past 12 months, driven by their institutional graded infrastructure and institutional clients…

One of the most important news of last week is Stone Ridge interval Bitcoin securing SEC approval to create its Bitcoin Futures Fund. More products will make it easier for a proper Bitcoin ETF - not sure about timeline, more something in the 2-5 years…

🤹 Startups News

  • Kusama has officially been released into the wild. Network governance is now decentralized and permissionless, and transfers are now live LINK

  • Bitcoin mining giant Bitfury is now in the business of enterprise blockchain with the launch of Exonum Enterprise, the first blockchain built to let large corporations streamline their business and increase transparency using the Bitcoin blockchain LINK

  • San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is adding support for its latest fiat asset, the Swiss franc (CHF) LINK

  • Gemini hired a former senior executive from United Kingdom-based Starling Bank LINK

  • Congrats to Brave Browser passing 10m monthly active users, tripled their daily active users in the last 12 months, and their Verified creators have grown 12x over 2019 Link

🎁 Startups Product & Partnership

  • Leveraging Lightning, Bitfinex Users Can Now Shop at Bitrefill to buy a wide range of gift cards or to top up their prepaid phone credit LINK

  • Sibex, the Zug-based provider of a decentralized cryptocurrency-trading platform, has teamed up with stablecoin issuer Paxos to facilitate peer-to-peer OTC trading using its bullion-backed crypto asset (Pax Gold) LINK

🏭Corporates

  • Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, Boerse Stuttgart Group, has gone live in full capacity with its trading venue for digital assets. The newly launched Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange (BSDEX) is available to all users in Germany and also for residents in the European Economic Area (EEA) LINK

  • WisdomTree Investments, with $60 billion in client assets, launched a Bitcoin exchange-traded product. The ETP is listed on Swiss stock exchange SIX LINK

  • Deutsche Bank has published "Imagine 2030 — the decade ahead" – an 80-page research report with predictions how the 2020s may evolve. What’s intriguing is that the first chapter is called ‘The end of fiat money?’ and another chapter is about Cryptocurrency (not Bitcoin but more central bank digital asset) LINK - I would recommend to take 5-10mn to read through the research paper pretty well written

Eventually, it is possible that inflation will become more and more embedded in our system and doubts will rise about the sustainability of fiat money. The demand for alternative currencies will therefore likely be significantly higher by the time 2030 rolls around. Will fiat currencies survive the policy dilemma that authorities will experience as they try to balance higher yields with record levels of debt? That’s the multi-trillion dollar (or bitcoin) question for the decade ahead.

🏦Regulations / Universities

  • A Danish court ruled that Nordea Bank has the right to prevent its employees from investing in Bitcoin LINK

Copenhagen-based court ruled that “Cryptocurrency is risky, and the risks justify the restriction.” In response to this, Denmark’s Union for Financial Industry Employees said “We filed suit because of the principal that everyone obviously has a private life and the right to act as a private individual.” The bank’s position is that investing in Bitcoin may damage the employer’s reputation. Thus, owning Bitcoin is a breach of etiquette for Nordea Bank employees.

  • The EU’s AML directive comes into law this January. EU states must decide how to implement the directive as it pertains to cryptocurrency. The Dutch Ministry of Finance (FIN) and Dutch National Bank (DNB) have laid out their own interpretation. Critics say they could do irreparable damage to the young crypto industry LINK

  • The Ukranian government has approved the final version of a money laundering law that will handle virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) per FATF guidelines LINK

One of the guidelines focuses on individual crypto transactions worth less than 30,000 hriven ($1,300), from which the government will only collect the public key of the sender for the purpose of financial monitoring. 


Everyone is talking about San Francisco as the epicentre of everything in crypto. Well, I wanted to shed light on Europe and show how exciting the ecosystem is.

If you are looking to hire, share news or want to sponsor a newsletter please email me at etienne@blockwyre.com - we are 1,200+ and growing. Sign up


Common Market: Galaxy Digital Q3 '19, $423m Assets, Long BTC

Matrixport, Bitpanda, HodlHodl, Ramp, Kraken, Huobi, Skrill, Germany and Hut8 mining

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for supporting the European crypto ecosystem 🇪🇺. If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here.

We are looking for new projects for 2020 looking to advertise, be interviewed or showcase their product. Just email me!

Etienne Twitter, etienne@blockwyre.com)


🕵️ Q3 Report Galaxy Digital

The team at Galaxy Digital released their Q3 report, here are some (high level) notes (Source + Press)

  • Galaxy promoted Ashwin as CFO formerly chief accounting officer

  • Trading: The number of on-boarding increased in Q3 vs Q2 despite lower trading volume. In other word, investors want to be prepared in case the market pick up

  • New products: Launched the Galaxy Bitcoin Fund and the Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund, both are passively managed funds targeting institutional and HWNI investors and competing directly with Grayscale offering (DCG)

  • Galaxy EOS VC: New investments in Loopland Group Holding LLC (Don’t find any information, if anyone has a clue let me know!), Verisart, Inc. (Certify and verify artwork), Immutable, Predictive Pop, Inc. (Next-Gen DMP & Data Agency), and a follow-on investment in FinCo Services, Inc (Don’t find any information, if anyone has a clue let me know!)

  • GDCM: Galaxy capital management was composed of $325m AuM from EOS VC and $11m AuM from their index fund

  • Advisory: The advisory business started to see some growth with Canaan IPO and Silvergate IPO in November ‘19 which is not accounted in this report.

  • Cash: Galaxy had $78m of cash as of September 2019 and about $124m of digital assets (BTC, ETH, FTX and WAX)

  • Burn: Total Opex for Q3 ‘19 was $22m vs $29m in Q3 ‘18. Total Opex for 9months ‘19 was $64m vs $54m. The bulk of the costs was salary, G&A and equity compensation.

  • Business line: The table below highlights the different business lines as of September ‘19 for Q3 ‘19. The main revenue driver was the AM business with $1.3m

  • Holding: Galaxy has an active principal investment arm including investment in Equity (Ripple, BlockFi etc..) / 75% of the portfolio at fair value and LP position (Pantera, Blockchain Capital) / 25% of portfolio at fair value .

  • Equity: BlockFi and NuCypher are the current winner in their portfolio. Ripple is the largest single position of Galaxy with $27m at fair value or about 19% of total fair value

  • Digital Assets - Long BTC and a bit of FTX: In terms of digital assets, Galaxy bought for $124m of Bitcoin, $16m of Ethereum and (surprisingly) $1.2m of FTX tokens at about $0.67 per token (As a reminder, FTX is the token of FTX crypto derivative exchange). The current fair value of the total top 4 digital assets were $124m vs $190m at cost in Q3 ‘19

🐦 Tweets of the week

My friend Larry asked an interesting question on bitcoin mining. If anyone has some insights feel free to share! Would love to hear your thoughts

🤹 Startups News

  • Matrixport, launched by former Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu, will expand its services from Asia to Europe through its new Zurich office. Registered under the name of Chaintech in Switzerland, Matrixport will begin offering its trading, lending and custody services in the country. More info

  • Bitpanda welcomes Michael Poetscher as CMO to lead global marketing strategy and former TourRadar CMO. Note, Bitpanda has 1m+ registered users and 160 staffs since started seven years ago… More info

  • HodlHodl launched a liquidity week to support Lebanon citizens during the tough economic period More info

  • Another great analysis by Deribit Insights on Rollback and Reimbursement More info

  • Ramp Instant went live inside web, mobile dApps and wallet with ZerionMultisAdEx and Universal Login SDK As a reminder, Ramp uses a non-custodial and peer-to-peer mechanism combined with a escrow mechanism on smart contract. More info It’s great to see open API being leveraged though it would be interesting to see if it gets traction outside of Europe

🎁 Startups Product & Partnership

🏭Corporates

  • Global payment provider Skrill added a new feature that allows buying all cryptocurrencies available on the platform directly with Bitcoin. It effectively eliminated the need for converting Bitcoin into fiat in order to make a purchase. More info

🏦Regulations / Universities

  • A proposed change to legislation in Germany could allow banks to facilitate the sale and custody of digital assets, including Bitcoin. If the law is successfully put onto the books More info

    “​​starting in 2020, financial institutions will be able to offer their customers online banking, virtually at the touch of a button, along with classic securities such as stocks and bonds, as well as cryptocurrencies”

  • In January 2020, the regulatory landscape for crypto businesses will completely change in Europe. It will affect funds managing digital assets and provider of fiat on-ramp. The aim is to combat money laundering and combat terrorism

  • Europe is planning to build an improved instant payment system to taper off U.S. payment giants’ dominance across the continent. More info

“By that time, everyone in the EU, people and companies, should be able to carry out domestic and cross border instant payment transactions in all payment situations” via banks, said Dombrovskis.

💰Fundings & M&A

  • Hut 8 Mining Corp, a Canadian company indulged in digital asset mining, announced the acquisition of nine Blockbox AC data centers from the Bitfury Group, costing $7m. More info The news was seen very positively by the market with a +7.5% price increase following the announcement


Everyone is talking about San Francisco as the epicentre of everything in crypto. Well, I wanted to shed light on Europe and show how exciting the ecosystem is.

If you are looking to hire, share news or want to sponsor a newsletter please email me at etienne@blockwyre.com- we are 1,100+ and growing. Sign up

Common Market: Crypto, Data and Privacy in Europe

Lacero (Platform for crypto safeguarding to sit on top of custody solutions)

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for supporting the European crypto ecosystem 🇪🇺. If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here.

Etienne Twitter, etienne@blockwyre.com)


🏦 Ledger Vault

Thank you Ledger Vault for supporting the crypto European ecosystem 🇪🇺

🙈Who’s behind this?

This section aims to give the opportunity to introduce some of the best 🇪🇺 founders. Most people loves their products but don’t know who are the founders behind them. Hello World.

Lacero (Platform for crypto safeguarding to sit on top of custody solutions)

Hi Rashid, after a career in investment banking you started Lacero with Yuri Vizitei and Stuart Winter, can you share a bit of the background on yourself and your team members and how you met them?

Whilst working in finance I was an active investor in technology startups, and an LP in some outstanding early-stage tech funds like Hoxton Ventures and Entrepreneur First. When I met my partners Yuri and Stuart they had some very compelling technology — an invention for Data Security — that they had developed and were looking to commercialise it. I was so impressed and saw such significant potential that we agreed I would join them as a partner to help bring its value to the market.

Read the rest of the article

🐦 Tweets of the week

Congrats to the Skew team for having record day!

🤹 Startups News

“Market conditions necessitated early action [...] The layoffs are a preemptive measure, meant to stave off the unexpected, including the possibility of an economic downturn [...] We think that acting now is best for the long-term health of the business.”

🎁 Startups Product & Partnership

🏭Corporates

🏦Regulations / Universities

💰Fundings & M&A

Starting from 2020, the scheme will make €100 million available to support AI and blockchain-based products and services. This is expected to attract a further €300 million from private investors.


Everyone is talking about San Francisco as the epicentre of everything in crypto. Well, I wanted to shed light on Europe and show how exciting the ecosystem is.

If you are looking to hire, share news or want to sponsor a newsletter please email me at etienne@blockwyre.com- we are 1,100+ and growing. Sign up

Crypto, Data and Privacy: Quedex (Derivatives and Options)

Quedex interview, Skew and options, Tezos ETN, FunFair new CEO, New BTC fund etc..

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for supporting the European crypto ecosystem 🇪🇺. If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here.

We are soft launching a paid version of the newsletter. Why you may be interested in subscribing?

  • You’ll receive proprietary research

  • You’ll have a direct slack channel with our team

  • The weekly newsletter will continue to be free but we will launch a second weekly newsletter with full interviews and deep dives only for paid subscribers

  • More info next week!

Etienne Twitter, etienne@blockwyre.com)


🏦 Ledger Vault

Thank you Ledger Vault for supporting the crypto European ecosystem 🇪🇺

🙈Who’s behind this?

This section aims to give the opportunity to introduce some of the best 🇪🇺 founders. Most people loves their products but don’t know who are the founders behind them. Hello World.

Quedex (The first globally regulated crypto futures and options exchange)

Hi Wiktor, you serve as the CEO of Quedex, which in July 2019 became the first globally regulated crypto futures and options exchange; can you share a bit about your background?

My background is a hybrid between computer science, maths and finance, leaning more towards tech. I started in traditional finance, was briefly at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and spent more time working on algo trading, machine learning and big data (quant research and coding) at Banking Science / University College London, which later became a hedge fund backed by one of London’s leading fund of funds.

How did you get into the bitcoin and blockchain industry?

Continue reading this article

🤹 Startups News

  • Wallet provider Blockchain.com is reportedly on track to lend out more than $120m this month. The lending business started out by making loans to other cryptocurrency lending firms on a “case-by-case basis.” The big question is how does all these lenders price their loan? Are all loans collateralized? The lack of regulation, cheap credit with almost no due diligence are all red flags. But as lending is one of the best business model after being an exchange in crypto, it is likely to continue.

  • Emmanuel, CEO of Skew wrote an excellent article on crypto derivatives. Great read

  • Stefan Kovach named FunFair CEO as Jez San becomes Group Chairman. FunFair is one of the leading company in the gambling space. More info on the move here

  • Ex-Cinnober Blockchain Lead Joins Nordic Crypto Fund to Bet Big on Bitcoin. Aimed at high net worth Scandinavians and institutional investors globally, the fund is an investment branch of Arcane, a crypto firm running a technology team, trading arm and a crypto news portal Kryptografen.com

🎁 Startups Product & Partnership

🏭Corporates

🏦Regulations / Universities

  • The German federal financial supervisory authority (BaFin) has been quite active. They warned investors of the activities of 5 Capital, a Bulgarian broker that has been offering financial products in the country without authorization and orderedKaratGold Coin’ Issuer to Cease Operations (The name is so comical that I don’t think I need to add additional background info.)

  • Central Bank of Tunisia is to be the first to release a digital currency. The ‘E-dinar’ was tested at the Forex Club of Tunisia, with a symbolic transfer of one dinar between the head of the central bank, Marouane El Abassi, and a representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  • Dutch police have arrested the founder of blockchain game development startup Komodore64 that allegedly raised 78m euros ($86 million) from investors

💰Fundings & M&A

  • An anonymous organization dubbed “Unknown Fundis planning to give away $75m in Bitcoin (BTC) to startups that are focused on anonymity and the protection of personal data. I am big fan of fund investing in fighting the misuse of people’s personal data. However, this launch seems all too cool. ‘started on 4chan, anonymous, BTC, data etc…’ Call me skeptical but I would have been much more bullish of them backing companies such as Samourai Wallet and others and having a more tech focus page with a proof of fund and more information on how they can help the companies. Alternatively, building a DAO could have an another alternative. Oh well. let’s see! As Yannick shared on Twitter, maybe it’s a VC using a new dealflow strategy. This would be pretty cool.

  • Meanwhile, the Privacy-centric coin Grin received an anonymous 50 Bitcoin (BTC) donation to its General Fund on Nov. 11, sparking a bizarre rumor that the generous soul behind it was Satoshi. If you don’t have enough BTC you can always buy some of their swag


If you are looking to hire, share news or want to sponsor a newsletter please email me at etienne@blockwyre.com- we are 1,100+ and growing.Sign up

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