Today in Crypto: July, 13, 2018 – Billionaire Steven Cohen Invests In Bitcoin, But Not Ripple
The market is starting to show some green lights, Bitcoin back up to $6,283, about a $100 jump from yesterday. Ethereum is at $439 and Litecoin is at $77.
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Billionaire Investor Steven Cohen Invests In Bitcoin and Ethereum 
Billionaire investor Steven Cohen is entering the emerging market by investing into a cryptocurrency hedge fund that favors Bitcoin and Ethereum over Ripple. Cohen Private Ventures — the hedge fund of Steven A. Cohen, whose estimated net worth currently stands at $14 billion USD — has invested in Autonomous Partners, led by early Bitcoin investor Arianna Simpson. Autonomous Partners invests in digital assets and blockchain startups while allocating a small share of its funds to buy well-established cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Notably, Cohen’s investment will not be exposed to Ripple. Arianna Simpson’s fund has shunned the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization due to concerns over its centralization — as Ripple holds the majority share of its XRP tokens.
Bitcoin Used To Pay For 2016 Election Hacking By Russian Officers 
In its indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers linked to hacking offenses in the 2016 election, the US Department of Justice said that the hackers used a network of computers located across the world, including in the United States, and paid for the infrastructure using cryptocurrency. The defendants conspired to launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
Square Cash App Grows 3x Over PayPal and Venmo 
Square Cash, a cryptocurrency-enabled trading app, is growing three times faster than PayPal’s fiat-based Venmo. Square Cash app added cryptocurrency functionality in January. Downloads of Square Cash year-on-year were up over 150 percent in June. Square also has regulatory permission to serve New York residents, which requires a bit-license. PayPal meanwhile continues to focus on more traditional upgrades, in June launching a debit card attached to the app and on Thursday announcing a partnership to allow direct payments for Uber rides.
Bitcoin Ownership Rises In Canada 
The Bank of Canada has released its findings from a two-year long study that was completed to better assess Canadians’ usage and adoption of Bitcoin. Canada has seen an increase in its bitcoin ownership rate from 2.9 percent in 2016 to 5.0 percent in 2017. Usage trends have also shifted, with most Canadians now holding bitcoin primarily for investment purposes. The published study revealed that the general knowledge on cryptocurrency for both owning and non-owning citizens had increased. Quebec saw the largest increase in awareness, with a 28 percent improvement in score from 2016 to 2017.
Robinhood To Kill Cryptocurrency Trading Fees 
As a new entrant into the cryptocurrency field, Vlad Tenev, co-CEO of online investment brokerage Robinhood, is following a time-honored business strategy, to undercut the competition. Launched early this year, Robinhood Crypto is differentiating itself with zero-fee transactions, with the ultimate goal of doing away with the concept of trading fees in the market altogether. Tenev wants to prevent consumers from from getting ripped off with 4 to 5 percent transaction fees on sketchy foreign exchanges. He says consumers “will begin to understand that they’re not getting much from paying those fees.” It’s still unclear how Robinhood intends to make money over the long term.