Blockchains and Bagels: the morning market update to get you ready for the day ahead. Today, Bitmain’s $40 billion plan to diversify from Bitcoin while Saudi Arabia deems Bitcoin Trading illegal.

Bitmain’s $40 billion plan to diversify out of Bitcoin

Bitmain, the Chinese company that designs and sells most of the world’s Bitcoin-mining equipment, is considering a stock-market listing. The proceeds would then be used to develop sophisticated hardware that allows it to compete with tech giants in areas beyond cryptocurrencies. A potential IPO could value Bitmain at $40 billion, 20 times that of its forecasted yearly earnings $2 billion.

Facebook executive leaves Coinbase board, driving speculation about cryptocurrency plans

David Marcus, who leads a blockchain-focused group within Facebook, announced that he would be departing from Coinbase’s board to avoid a conflict of interest between the executive’s two roles. Although Facebook has not publicly revealed its intentions for its blockchain group, this departure suggests that Facebook’s blockchain initiative is serious and developing.

Saudi Arabia deems Bitcoin Trading “illegal in the Kingdom”

The standing committee for unauthorized securities activities has warned against the trading of digital currencies due to the high risks placed on traders as a result of the lack of regulatory and government oversight. Ultimately, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority has ruled that virtual currency trading within the country is considered illegal and that no business/individual is licensed to trade the digital assets.

South Korea to spend on key sectors to drive growth, including blockchain

The South Korean government is spending $4.4 billion on key sectors, including blockchain, big data, and artificial intelligence, to drive growth within its economy. The spending seeks to help speed up innovative growth and facilitate the platform economy within South Korea. In addition, the government is spending another $50 million to support the hiring of 10,000 specialists within these sectors.

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