the filter: the five most important stories in crypto

The Halvening is finally here, so what happens now? Has the market really priced in the halving of mining rewards? There was clear profit-taking as the price hit resistance at the all-important $10,000 level, but BTC is inching back to that zone. There’s more institutional acceptance at the highest levels as JP Morgan completes its total 180 on Bitcoin, now offering bank accounts to Coinbase and Gemini. We have  the latest updates in long-running courtroom dramas in China and the US, as regulators lay down arguments for the future of crypto in their country. And TON, sadly, is officially dead: Telegram has shelved its blockchain project in light of losing its battle with the US regulator, the SEC.

 telegram abandons TON blockchain project after losing SEC battle

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has officially called time on his company’s highly-anticipated blockchain project TON after losing a court battle with the SEC. The US regulator alleged that the encrypted social media messaging giant conducted securities fraud when it raised $1.7bn in 2018 by selling tokens in an ICO. Telegram fought the case, but the nail in the coffin was the regulator winning an injunction that stopped Durov and his team from distributing TON tokens. Durov had said at the end of April that investors could receive 72% of their funds back immediately, or 110% back in a year, once TON had launched. That’s no longer an option.  Read more here.

 the halvening is here: so what happens now? 

All eyes are on Bitcoin as the once-every-four-year Halvening is completed. The spot BTC price has bounced off strong resistance at the psychologically-important $10,000 level. Mining rewards are now cut in half to 6.25BTC per block, so smaller miners will either go offline or be subsumed into giant mining pools. Futures interest is soaring and Bitcoin’s inflation rate has now dropped lower than gold.  Read more.

JP Morgan’s bitcoin 180 complete: coinbase, gemini offered banking services 

The Wall Street Journal reports that JP Morgan’s 180-degree turnaround on Bitcoin is complete, as the banking giant is now offering its services to Coinbase and Gemini. The two are JP Morgan’s first cryptocurrency industry clients.  This wholesale turnaround comes just three years after JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon famously dismissed Bitcoin, calling the cryptocurrency “worse than tulip bulbs” and “a fraud”. Read more.

Shanghai court rules bitcoin an asset protected by law

Despite China’s ban on cryptocurrency, last month Chinese courts declared Ethereum legal property. This month, the same can be said for Bitcoin, as another long-running court battle comes to a close.  Chief judge Liu Jiang finally came to a conclusion in an epic case that has dragged on for years. Thieves stole 18BTC and thousands of altcoins in a robbery. They returned the altcoins but refused to do the same for the Bitcoin, arguing the cryptocurrency was not a protected asset under Chinese law. The Court has now ruled against them. Jiang explained that documents release by the People’s Bank of China have never denied Bitcoin is an asset and Chinese laws do not prohibit citizens from holding them. Read more here.

BitMEX ‘early investors’ want half a billion in equity, damages

BitMEX is back in hot water this week with an updated court filing claiming early investors in the crypto derivatives exchange are owed more than half a billion dollars. Plaintiffs Frank Amato and RGB Coin Ltd claim to have invested $30,000 in seed funding for BitMEX in 2015, an investment that was supposed to be converted into equity after BitMEX publicly raised funds for the first time. That didn’t happen, the lawsuit claims, and updates a $300 million claim registered in December last year to an incredible $540 million. Read more here.