Luno News RoundUp: Guess who’s Bakkt?

luno roundup s2e1

We took a little break, but we’re back with season two of everyone’s favourite: the Luno RoundUp on #LunoTV.

To get all the latest on Bakkt, Telegram, and the $1 billion Bitcoin transfer, check out the first episode of season two. If you prefer to read, keep scrolling.

Bakkt is back (again)

After several delays, Bakkt has announced that they will debut their highly anticipated physically-settled Bitcoin futures contracts on 23 September. The news comes after announcing last Friday that they’d acquired a New York state trust charter through the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).  The announcement is a welcomed update after the firm announced a series of delays last year. Since announcing the launch date, Bakkt has already started accepting deposits and withdrawals, and announced just this week that their custody service would have a $125 million insurance policy. Great news, but is $125 million enough?

Telegram releases code for its $1.7 billion blockchain

Privacy-centric messaging service, Telegram, has finally released the Telegram Open Network (TON) testnet explorer and node software on 6 September. The release comes two months ahead of its rumoured launch of the Gram digital currency. Given the secretive nature of their preparations, it’s understandable that people would be sceptical, but the testnet suggests they’re on track.

New (blockchain) phone, who dis?

Huobi Global announced last week the launch of the “Acute Angle” blockchain phone for $515. The Acute Angle is made by Whole Network, a startup that Huobi invested in. Also announced yesterday, Whole Network’s NODE token will be listed on Huobi Prime. Running against competitors like Sirin Labs’ $1,000 “Finney” phone, the Whole Network device can be purchased with Huobi’s native token, HT, for roughly half the price.  Samsung Electronics is releasing a new edition of its Galaxy Note 10 smartphone that will come with a pre-installed cryptocurrency wallet in its bid to boost adoption of blockchain tech. LG has also held discussions with local dApp developers to work out a use case for a similar product.  Jennifer Bailey, vice president at Apple Pay, said the company is “watching” cryptocurrencies, but consumers shouldn’t expect anything soon. “We think it’s interesting,” Bailey said in an interview at a private event in San Francisco. “We think it has an interesting long-term potential, but we’re primarily focused on what consumers are using today.” Still waiting on you, Nokia. But actually, what even is a blockchain phone?

Elliptic raises $23 million in a Series B funding round

Blockchain forensics firm Elliptic has raised $23 million in a Series B funding round led by Tokyo-based financial institution SBI Holdings. This brings the total raised by the London-based startup to $35 million.

Bitcoin Hash rate reaches 100 quintillions for the first time

Data from statistics provider Blockchain shows that as of September 8, Bitcoin hash rate is 94 quintillion hashes per second. A record high in itself, the number looks set to reach 100 quintillions for the first time in Bitcoin’s history. Hash rate, which refers to the total computing power involved in processing Bitcoin transactions, is a good measure of how competitive Bitcoin mining is. As we can see, Bitcoin mining is as competitive as it’s ever been and this metric suggests that Bitcoin security and profitability are at unprecedented levels.

Who’s the Bitcoin whale?

Bitcoins worth $1 billion were moved to an unknown wallet last week, immediately making the wallet the richest non-exchange address. This was done for just $700 – far less than traditional means but still over the odds. And crypto twitter is unleashing its inner gossip, with speculation rife about who done it. Was it Bakkt related? Who’s the whale?

Rap battle: Alexander Hamilton vs Satoshi Nakamoto

Reid Hoffman, a co-founder of LinkedIn and a member of the PayPal Mafia, has released a new hip-hop video about central banks competing against cryptocurrency. The next Hamilton? We’re into it. Get it produced on stage, Reid. Send tickets to Luno offices. Watch the video here.  Hoffman’s interest in Bitcoin goes back years, yet it would be a mistake to lump him in with the burn-traditional-banking-down school of long-time evangelists. “I am a pro-government and well-run society guy,” he said, and yet Hoffman – a partner at VC firm Greylock – also believes a small handful of global cryptocurrencies will arise, inevitably, because they will enable things the world wants and needs.


We finish with a feel-good story. On September 6th, Bitcoiners around the world ran in memory of the late Hal Finney. Everyone was invited and an amazing number of fans took part. A great way to remember a true crypto pioneer and all-round inspiration.

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