July 30 – August 5, 2018 | Payment Processing, Litecoin Valuation & More Crypto News

North iQ Weekly Newsletter is curated to provide insights on digital asset industry developments, market announcements, and performance analysis.

Starbucks Partners With Microsoft and ICE to Bring Crypto Payments

August 3, 2018 – Starbucks will be introducing the ability for consumers to pay with cryptocurrencies through a new partnership with Microsoft and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). The partnership will introduce a new payment platform, named Bakkt, to Starbucks locations across the US. The platform will allow both consumers to pay for products, and companies to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies. Those skeptical of cryptocurrencies have historically pointed to the lack of adoption in retail markets; however, brick-and-mortar retailers like Starbucks adopting cryptocurrencies as a means of payment could accelerate wider spread adoption of digital currencies. A number of retail companies already accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, such as Expedia, Shopify, and Overstock.com, among others.

“As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into US dollars for use at Starbucks,” said Maria Smith, the vice president of partnerships and payments for Starbucks. Brian Kelly, the CEO of crypto investment firm BKCM, thinks that “Starbucks is seeing some kind of demand for acceptance of crypto and bitcoin, and to tie up with a huge regulated institution like the ICE is really positive for the space.”

Read the full article here.

Analyst: Litecoin Price is “Massively Discounted”

August 1, 2018 – Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro, believes that despite its established position, litecoin is still trading at a massive discount to its peers. In an eight-page report, Greenspan analyzes litecoin off several fundamental and technical factors. Greenspan credits Litecoin developers for structuring the cryptocurrency as a “complement” to bitcoin, emphasizing the importance of litecoin being the second oldest cryptocurrency, behind bitcoin. Due to its early introduction, Litecoin developers have been able to consider the same development upgrades as those considered on the Bitcoin blockchain, such as Segregated Witness (SegWit) and the Lightning Network.

Greenspan also notes that the daily active addresses (DAU) in litecoin are substantially higher than some cryptocurrencies that have larger market capitalizations and similar use cases. He sees the DAU to market capitalization ratio in litecoin as an indicator that the cryptocurrency is undervalued. Additionally, Greenspan notes that the daily transaction volume of litecoin exceeds the other cryptocurrencies that have similar use cases, such as bitcoin cash. He concludes his report by announcing that litecoin has an “established and stable working product, as well as significant adoption”, despite the recent selloff in cryptocurrency markets that have led to litecoin being significantly oversold and undervalued.

Read the full article here.

Crypto Payments Could Come to Millions of Online Retailers

August 4, 2018 – Major crypto firm Coinbase has introduced a new web plugin that will potentially allow millions of online merchants to start accepting cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. Through its Coinbase Commerce non-custodial cryptocurrency payment solution, and the WooCommerce Plugin, online retailers using WordPress’ e-commerce platform will be able to integrate cryptocurrency payment functions to websites. WooCommerce is one of the largest e-commerce platform plugins in the world, powering over 28% of all online stores.

“Note that all payments made through Coinbase Commerce are truly peer-to-peer — when customers send money from their cryptocurrency wallet it’s sent directly to a merchant-controlled cryptocurrency address and processed on-chain by the respective blockchain. This means merchants never have to pay transaction fees to accept payments and always remain in complete control over their funds,” said Coinbase in a blog post.

Read the full article here.

Bank of Thailand: Banks can Open Subsidiaries for Crypto Services

August 4, 2018 – The Bank of Thailand has reportedly allowed its local banks to begin setting up subsidiaries to deal with cryptocurrencies. Through subsidiaries, Thai banks will now be able to issue their own digital tokens, provide crypto brokerage services, offer banking services to crypto companies, and directly invest in cryptocurrencies. Despite the banks themselves still barred from dealing directly with cryptocurrencies, banks can create subsidiaries to establish a foothold in the crypto market. New crypto-dealing branches will only be able to offer their services to other businesses who have been approved by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of Insurance Commission.

While the subsidiaries still won’t be able to offer services to the public or to the owning bank’s clients, the decision by the Bank of Thailand to allow subsidiaries of local banks to offer crypto services points to successful development of the regulation of cryptos. Previously, the Bank of Thailand released a circular paper to banking institutions in Thailand prohibiting the investment or trading of cryptocurrencies, as well as developing or providing banking services to crypto exchanges.

Read the full article here.

Chinese Billionaire to Build a $300 Million USD Crypto Hub

August 2, 2018 – Bruno Wu, a billionaire Chinese investment mogul, is planning to build a $300 million USD crypto innovation hub in Connecticut, which may include a college entirely dedicated to fintech and crypto-related initiatives. Wu has selected Hartford, Connecticut to be the location for the multi-million dollar crypto hub, notably for its close proximity to top US colleges such as Yale and the University of Connecticut. The “Fintech Village” will be a hub for students and those interested in fintech, cryptocurrencies, robotics, and machine learning. Through anticipated partnerships with nearby colleges, Wu and his firm Seven Stars Cloud will seek to create an “accredited entity” that will specialize in cryptocurrencies and other fintech topics through innovative courses.

The cryptocurrency and blockchain job markets have been in hot-demand, as LinkedIn reportedly had a four-fold increase of related job postings in 2017 over the previous year. The importance of education and talent in the crypto market is important, as qualified employees remain in short supply. According to Miha Grcar, the head of business development for major crypto exchange Bitstamp, the shortage of talent in the cryptocurrency industry may be one of its biggest challenges. “Globally, the pool of talent — people with experience in blockchain and distributed-ledger technology — is somewhat limited,” said Grcar. “This is a big challenge.”

Read the full article here.

3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund: Price as at August 3, 2018

3iQ is the first regulator approved multi-cryptoasset portfolio manager in Canada, providing accredited investors with exposure to bitcoin, ether, and litecoin through its 3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund.

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This Weekly Cryptoasset Newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, either explicitly or implicitly, any provision of services or products by 3iQ Corp (“3iQ”). Investors should determine for themselves whether a particular service or product is suitable for their investment needs or should seek such professional advice for their particular situation.3iQ Corp. makes no representation or warranty to any investor regarding the legality of any investment, the income or tax consequences, or the suitability of an investment for such investor. All content is original and has been researched and produced by 3iQ unless otherwise stated therein. No part of the content may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without the express written permission of 3iQ. All statements made regarding companies, securities or other financial information contained in the content or articles relating to 3iQ are strictly beliefs and points of view held by 3iQ and are not endorsements of any company or security or recommendations to buy or sell any security. No securities regulatory authority has expressed an opinion about these securities and it is an offence to claim otherwise. By visiting and/or otherwise using the 3iQ website in any way, you indicate that you understand and accept the terms of use as set forth on the website and agree to be bound by them. If you do not agree to the terms of use of the website, please do no access the website or any pages thereof. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by or affiliation with 3iQ with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by 3iQ. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by 3iQ and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom 3iQ exercises no control. 3iQ expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites. The information contained herein, while obtained from sources believed to be reliable, is not guaranteed as to its accuracy or completeness and confers no right on purchasers. Past performance of cryptoassets is not indicative of future performance and should not be used to forecast any return that an investor may realize.

Fred Pye

Frederick T. Pye


Frederick T. Pye is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director of 3iQ Corp. He is also the Chairman and Director of 3iQ Digital Holdings Inc. Mr. Pye is recognized for creating and promoting creative and unique investment products for the investment industry.

Mr. Pye has managed private client portfolios with Landry Investment Management and various other investment dealers. Prior to this Mr. Pye was Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Argentum Management and Research Corporation, a company dedicated to managing and distributing quantitative investment portfolios including the first long-short mutual fund in Canada.

He was also Senior Vice-President and National Sales Manager of Fidelity Investments Canada and an integral part of the team that saw assets rise from $80 million to over $7.5 billion in assets under management during his tenure. He also held various positions with Guardian Trust Company, which listed the first Gold, Silver and Platinum Certificates on the Montreal Exchange.

Mr. Pye obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Concordia University.