Crypto Friendly Candidates Take California and Colorado

The crypto space has scored two big wins in this mid-term election as two crypto friendly candidates become governors of California and Colorado.

Gavin Newsom scored big, winning 59% of the votes. The Democrat defeated John Cox (R) to become California’s governor.

He has the backing of the Winklevoss twins, who collectively donated $116,800 to Newsom’s campaign up to December 2017.

That was in fiat, but he has a BitPay page where US citizens can donate in crypto, limited to bitcoin or bitcoin cash.

Newsom does not appear to talk much about blockchain tech, with his support for this space being more subtle. In 2014, he said:

“I should promote the technology ever so subtly by saying I’ll accept bitcoin in the campaign.”

Jared Polis has taken over Colorado, wining by 51.6% against Republican Walker Stapleton who managed only 45%.

Polis has been a big supporter of this space since at least 2014. His campaign page has a whole section on blockchain, where he says:

“My goal is to establish Colorado as a national hub for blockchain innovation in business and government. I believe strong leadership will put Colorado at the forefront of innovation in this sector – encouraging companies to flock to the state and establishing government applications that save taxpayers money and create value for Colorado residents.”

He too accepts donations through BitPay which currently is limited to only bitcoin and bitcoin cash, no ethereum.

Most of the above members of the Blockchain Congressional Caucus won in this election, but how the above list of 18 Congressmen – not one woman – will change, remains to be seen.

Polis has obviously left to become governor. So the above list will need to be updated. We’d like a 10x increase. A crypto sweep of congress.

Alas, the picture was a bit more mixed. No new anti-crypto candidate has entered congress as far as we can see. There were some who had anti-bitcoin campaigns, but they lost to neutral candidates. There were some who had pro-crypto campaigns but also lost to neutral candidates.

The most hated congressman in the crypto space, Brad Sherman, won 70% of the vote. He has been sitting in congress since 1997, hogging the seat and in effect stealing it from a new generation.

California’s 30th congressional district apparently did not care about all sorts of allegations. The #metoo movement seemingly having no power there, so we might have to listen to more Sherman drivel.

There hasn’t been any other big movement as far as we can see, with it perhaps a bit too early to say whether the American legislature has become overall more friendly to this space. The two big governorship wins might suggest so, but the picture is mixed.

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Winklevoss Twins Win Patent for Securely Storing Digital Assets

The Winklevoss twins have won a patent for securely storing digital assets which adds to a long list of nine successful patents won by the billionaire twins, per information published on the website of the U.S. Patent Office.

The new patent, labeled 10,068,228 sets out a plan for cold storage of digital assets by building a computer network, made up of isolated computers used to host secure storage wallets for cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchange-traded products (ETPs).

According to the filed document with the Patent Office, the computers will be physically separated from one another, but will be connected to the blockchain when moving assets and carrying out transactions on the network. As a result, they will effectively function as cold storage devices permitting user access only with the use of unique cryptographic keys.

New storage accounts on the network will have a separate cryptographic key, divided into several parts with each fragment saved onto an external storage device such as a USB drive, physically engraved onto paper, laminated cards and more.

An excerpt from the patent document abstract states that the “reference identifier” may be associated with each “digital asset account.”

“A respective reference identifier may be associated with each digital asset account. At least one of the one or more private keys corresponding to each digital asset account may be divided into a plurality of private key segments and written to a card along with the respective reference identifier to create sets of collated cards, wherein each set comprises cards corresponding to different private keys.”

The storage of the cryptographic keys starts at production. According to the document, they may be stored on both physical and electronic mediums, but at least, one set of the keys must be kept on an electronic storage device such as a USB drive. The document further states that, when keys are not created onsite at the storage location, they must be delivered in person or via fax to the storage location. Owners must also present three separate forms of identification when creating and accessing their accounts.

The application reads in part:

“In embodiments, private keys for a multi-signature account may be distributed to a plurality of users who are required to authorize a transaction together. In embodiments, private keys for a multi-signature account may be stored as backups, e.g., in secure storage, which may be difficult to access, and may be used in the event that more readily available keys are lost.”

Several industry heavyweights have been clamoring for a reliable custody solution. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs announced it was considering launching a crypto custody service. Famed crypto investor Mike Novogratz also weighed in on the matter, while speaking to Ran Neu-Ner on CNBC’s ‘Cryptotrader,’ where he suggested that a custody service from a trusted source could result in a price recovery of digital assets.

“I think the next move up is going to need custody from a trusting source. […] If I’m in the state of Wisconsin, I’m not going to risk my job on a company called BitGo.”

Author:  Jimmy Aki
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Winklevoss Twins Continue Moving Forward Despite SEC Bitcoin ETF Decision

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are working relentlessly to grow their cryptocurrency exchange Gemini despite the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision to reject their proposed Bitcoin ETF for the second time in late July.


The brothers have taken a few hits in 2018 so far, including dwindling trading volume on their Gemini exchange and declining prices for their cryptocurrency holdings. However, the SEC decision to deny their controversial ETF application is arguably the worst blow they’ve suffered thus far. The decision, which negatively impacted the markets, held a significant amount of stock for the exchange, as an approval would have proven to be tremendously profitable for Gemini and the brothers.

Winklevoss Twins Acknowledge That Wall Street is Slow to Enter the Cryptocurrency Markets

Regardless of having a rough year, the twins are continuing to work hard to progress their exchange through a variety of new programs. While speaking to Bloomberg, the twins discussed Wall Street’s hesitation to participate in the cryptocurrency markets, saying:

“Wall Street is taking cryptocurrencies seriously, however, the vast majority of Wall Street firms are still not participating in the cryptocurrency market, which remains primarily a retail driven market. This will change over time, but it will take time.”

Lack of regulatory clarity and solid investment onramps is partly to blame for the lack of institutional money entering the crypto markets. The approval of a Bitcoin ETF would aid the markets in that it would provide an easy, safe, and liquid way for groups to invest in Bitcoin.


Following the denial of the Winklevoss Gemini Bitcoin ETF, the markets tanked even though many familiar with the Winklevoss ETF felt that it wasn’t the best ETF in the running for approval. This was due to a variety of factors, including the fact that it based its pricing on Gemini’s prices rather than those of the aggregated markets.

Now, hopes for an ETF approval are resting on the CBoE VanEck-SolidX, which is seen by many as the ideal investment vehicle for Bitcoin. If approved, the markets could rally with newfound optimism, but if declined, the markets could see new yearly lows. A decision on this ETF is scheduled for September 30th.

Although the world is yet to see a Bitcoin ETF, Wall Street’s first small step into the cryptocurrency markets was the launch of the CBoE Global Markets Bitcoin futures contracts. Products do currently exist that could act as a good custodial option for institutions interested in investing in the cryptocurrency markets, including Coinbase Custody and Gemini’s custodial solutions.

Despite relatively low trading volume and lack of institutional interest, Gemini is still expanding at exponential rates. In 2018 alone, Gemini has doubled its staff to 150 full time employees and has plans to double it again by the end of the year. The exchange is also hiring industry experts, including Robert Cornish, the previous chief information officer at the New York Stock Exchange.

The Winklevoss twins also submitted a proposal to the U.S. government to create a Virtual Commodity Association, which would be an organization that regulates the cryptocurrency industry with the government’s backing. The group would also collaborate with other regulatory bodies to create do-no-harm regulatory frameworks.

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Author: Cole Petersen
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