Ian Balina: A shadow of a made man | Facebook acquires its first blockchain startup | Shares for crypto exchange Circle are being offered at a massive discount

Bitcoin $3,466                    Ethereum $108.29 
Crypto Mkt Cap $114B              BTC Dominance 53.20%  

“I think just like the internet changed how we transfer information, blockchain technology is going to change how we transfer assets.” — Jonathan Johnson, President Medici Ventures

The Big Block

At the height of the 2017 ICO mania, Ian Balina was one of the biggest influencers in the ICO universe. Balina had catapulted himself into the pantheon of spokespeople whose support and endorsement meant the difference between a coin’s success and failure — and tens of millions of dollars were at stake. During his rise as an ICO influencer, Balina amassed hundreds of thousands of followers across Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and his ‘Mastermind’ Telegram group. He reportedly made over $5 million after starting with just $37,000.

However, after the market tanked and Balina lost his whole portfolio in an April 2018 hack, he found himself in a difficult position. As a result, he began to look for sponsorship deals that would help him return to his perch. 

The Block has gained possession of one of Balina’s proposals from this period, included below, that include significant financial payments to Balina as well as an unusual and highly questionable token listing clause. As part of the sponsorship deal with one large exchange, Balina requested that “all Ian Balina Projects [be] available on their exchange for trading.” This clause would have violated the exchange’s own listing policies and the exchange rejected the partnership, according to a source.

Read More on The Block (8 Minutes)

Around The Block

‘Prop firms are hard to sell:’ Shares for crypto exchange Circle are being offered at a massive discount

Count this as a potential sign that the crypto bear market is putting pressures on some of the best-known companies in the market for digital currencies.

Private shares of Circle, the cryptocurrency exchange-operator, are being offered at a massive discount on SharesPost, a platform that allows accredited investors to exchange shares of private companies. At the time of its Series E fundraise in May, shares of Circle were worth $16.23 apiece at a valuation of $3.01 billion, but now shares are available to be purchased at just $3.80. To be sure, it is not clear how many shares are being offered at this new price, nor is it clear if any shares have exchanged on the platform at this price. This share price implies a $705M valuation. — More

Alena Vranova on The Block: Meet the self-proclaimed workaholic hell-bent on crypto security

It was in a drowsy Prague university library in 2010 that Alena Vranova first discovered the world of crypto. She had taken on the mighty task of dissecting the international monetary system, a research effort spurred by her explorations in academia after working in financial services.

“I kind of realized that having one international money issued by Fed is not the optimal solution, and neither is the euro because I already saw that as a failing project. So I found out about Bitcoin,” she said. — More

Facebook acquires its first blockchain startup — More

Medici Ventures president, Jonathan Johnson, talks about his investment strategy — More

Venezuelan government proposes new legal framework for cryptocurrencies — More

Bitfury and Commons Foundation to launch bitcoin mining centres in Paraguay — More

Kraken acquires crypto trading platform Crypto Facilities in a nine-figure deal — More

The SEC is looking for a blockchain analysis tool — More

Nvidia may have under reported cryptobusiness revenue by $1 billion, an analyst claims — More

Hashpower share operated by Bitmain dwindles to a 16-month low — More

Cyber thieves charged for using SIM swapping to hack crypto accounts — More

Wyoming Senate passes bill recognizing cryptocurrency as money — More