Blockchain Report — 10/24/2018

Summary: Johnny Depp Signs Cryptocurrency Partnership; HTC Releases The First Blockchain-Powered Smartphone; Blockchain Startups In Israel Triple

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Johnny Depp Signs Cryptocurrency Partnership

According to Live Bitcoin News, Johnny Depp now has a partnership with the cryptocurrency project TaTaTu. TaTaTu raised $575 million in a pre-sale earlier this Summer, so they’re not exactly hurting for money to pay for celebrity endorsements and partnerships.

TaTaTu is a platform created by Andrea Iervolino. The platform uses tokens to pay users and creators. At the moment, the platform is currently developing a biopic on the creation of the Lamborghini which will star Antonio Banderas and Alec Baldwin. The platform also recently bought a documentary on William Friedkan, the director of The French Connection and The Exorcist.

As for the partnership between TaTaTu and Johnny Depp? Depp will help create new film and digital content for the platform. Depp initially worked with the platform to create a movie adaptation of the book Waiting for the Barbarians. Depp said about the partnership:

“In this era of democratized entertainment, I admire the imaginative ethos of Andrea and look forward to collaborating together in a liberating, progressive manner that will befit the principals of our respective entities.”

HTC Releases The First Blockchain-Powered Smartphone

According to Fortune, HTC has just launched the first-ever blockchain powered smartphone “EXODUS 1”. EXODUS 1 is completely dedicated to blockchain technology and encryption — so much so that the phone can only be bought using Bitcoin or Ethereum. The phone will cost 0.15 Bitcoin or 4.78 Ethereum. That comes up to almost $1000 USD at the time of writing.

Phil Chen, Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC, said about the phone:

“It’s been both 10 years since the launch of the first Android phone by HTC and nearly 10 years since the launch of Bitcoin and the Genesis Block. EXODUS 1 is a foundational element of the crypto internet… For digital assets and decentralized apps to reach their potential, we believe mobile will need to be the main point of distribution.”

The phone will also offer users an easy and secure way to recover cryptocurrency keys in case the phone is lost or users forget their keys. At the moment, EXODUS 1 can be purchased through the early access program website and will be available in 34 countries including the U.S., Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, UK, Austria, and Norway.

Blockchain Startups In Israel Triple

According to Forbes, the number of blockchain startups in Israel have tripled since the beginning of the year. This is based on findings from the Israeli Blockchain Association, which found that there are more than 200 blockchain startups in Israel. This might come as no surprise to some, because Israel is sometimes referred to as the “startup nation”. Gadi Isaev, Managing Partner of the Israeli Blockchain Association, said:

“Israel has a good chance to strengthen its Startup Nation brand, as well as to become a Blockchain Nation. This growth is happening thanks to effective regulation and close cooperation of many blockchain startups with educational and academic research organizations.”

The report found that most blockchain startups in Israel are related to Fintech, but there has also been a large increase in the security sector which accounts for 23 startups. Despite this massive increase, it appears many of these companies aren’t doing Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and instead using equity financing. Mor Asia, co-founder of iCapital, said:

“We have been through an extremely exuberant phase of ICO funding, which has slowed dramatically. Crypto companies, whether pre or post ICO, are resorting into equity capital raises at more reasonable terms. As the industry is maturing at a rapid pace, I see companies raising equity while also defining token economics, governance, regulation forming and a proactive ecosystem taking steps to create a more sustainable growth trajectory”

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