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Wednesday April 25 2018, Daily News Digest

GPU crypto miners
Source: HotHardware

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United States

Suspicious event hijacks Amazon traffic for 2 hours, steals cryptocurrency (ars technica), Rated: AAA

Amazon lost control of a small number of its cloud services IP addresses for two hours on Tuesday morning when hackers exploited a known Internet-protocol weakness that let them to redirect traffic to rogue destinations. By subverting Amazon’s domain-resolution service, the attackers masqueraded as cryptocurrency website MyEtherWallet.com and stole about $150,000 in digital coins from unwitting end users. They may have targeted other Amazon customers as well.

The Case for Central Bank Electronic Money and the Non-case for Central Bank Cryptocurrencies (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis), Rated: AAA

In Berentsen and Schär (2017), we argue that Bitcoin links several technological components together in such a way that the units of value are issued under competition and have both a virtual representation and a decentralized transaction process. In this way, the Bitcoin system has created money that is substantially different from any other money—such as commodity money, cash, or electronic money.

central bank cryptocurrency
Source: St. Louis Fed

Each form of money has its benefits and drawbacks. This is why many forms of money coexist. The benefits of cash are that the user can remain anonymous and there is a permissionless access to the cash payment system. In particular, users do not need to open bank accounts to use cash. Furthermore, the decentralized nature of cash transactions makes the cash payment system very robust. It is not possible to destroy it by attacking the payment infrastructure, and people do not need to fulfill any prerequisites to participate. In contrast, centralized payment systems are vulnerable: If the centralized payment processor is attacked, the entire system can come to a halt.5
cash

Cash has many advantages, but its end might be near 

There are political and technological reasons why the use of cash may be diminishing. Cash is being condemned by many politicians and economists. According to Berentsen and Schär (2016), the argument of these cash critics essentially is based on three claims: First, the use of cash is inefficient and significantly more expensive than electronic payments. Second, cash promotes crime and facilitates money laundering and tax evasion.10 Third, cash hinders monetary policy by limiting the central bank’s ability to use negative nominal interest rates as a policy option.

The Non-case for Central Bank Cryptocurrencies

In theory, a central bank could easily introduce a central bank cryptocurrency. There exist standards such as Ethereum’s ERC20 or ERC223 token standards that can be used to create new fungible tokens that are compatible with the Ethereum blockchain’s infrastructure. Alternatively, one could attach additional value components to fractions of existing cryptoassets, such as Bitcoin. The additional value—in this case, fiat currency—would then be part of a specific fraction of a Bitcoin (or more precisely an unspent transaction output) and could be represented and traded on the Bitcoin blockchain. This is usually referred to as “colored coins.” Finally, a central bank can develop a brand new blockchain. All approaches are fairly straightforward to implement and would allow for the issuance of a central bank cryptocurrency on a public blockchain.

Popular crypto wallet MEW hit by DNS attack that drained some users’ accounts (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

There is concern, tears and lost money in the world of crypto once again after MyEtherWallet (MEW), one of the most popular wallets on the internet, was hit by a DNS hack that saw some users lose their cryptocurrency.

MEW said in a statement that “a couple of Domain Name System registration servers were hijacked around 12PM UTC 24 April to redirect users to a phishing site.” Not all visitors to the site during the hijack were impacted, but MEW said that “a majority” of those who were had been using Google’s DNS.

Coinbase Reportedly Trying to Acquire Cloud Development Play Koding (Bitsonline), Rating: A

According to Modern Consensus, top U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is reportedly poised to acquire Silicon Valley tech startup Koding, a cloud development play that “allows coders to collaborate remotely in real time.” The move comes as Coinbase has been involved in a flurry of acquisitions since the start of the year.

Is ZRX (the 0x protocol) coming to Coinbase in 2018? (OracleTimes), Rating: B

Rumours are swirling in the cryptocurrency world over whether Coinbase will soon add the growing ZRX project, better known as the 0x protocol, to its expanding database of digital coins. The top trading platform for all things crypto, Coinbase has hinted at significant expansion in 2018 with the inclusion of new and growing currencies. Is ZRX (the 0x protocol) coming to Coinbase in 2018?

Embracing Blockchain Could Completely Change The Way Artists Sell Music And Interact With Fans (Forbes), Rated: A

By logging all the rights holders to a specific song on the blockchain, you basically create one big transparent database which can be viewed by anyone at any time. Artists receive their share immediately instead of months or even years later as is now the case.

Musicoin, a streaming platform with its own accompanying cryptocurrency, is aiming to do exactly that. Artists who choose to publish their music on the Musicoin platform receive compensation on a pay per play basis. More surprisingly, the users listening to music on Musicoin can do so for free. You won’t find any ads on the platform. Instead, Musicoin encourages listeners to tip their favorite artists or purchase show tickets and merchandise all with the $MUSIC currency.

Startups Love This Cryptocurrency Strategy. Regulators Say Not So Fast. (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Startups are raising money from venture capitalists and other wealthy investors by rewarding them with new cryptocurrencies, in a bid to avoid much of the cost and regulation of traditional stock sales.

One problem: Regulators haven’t recognized the arrangement as a valid way to raise money in compliance with investor-protection laws.

The strategy is known as a presale of tokens, or Simple Agreement for Future Tokens. Companies say the SAFT is a credible attempt to fit the new world of cryptocurrencies into laws that date to the Great Depression.

SAFT deals
Source: Securities and Exchange Commission

Bitcoin is the greatest scam in history (recode), Rated: AAA

In my opinion, it’s a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen. In a pump-and-dump game, promoters “pump” up the price of a security creating a speculative frenzy, then “dump” some of their holdings at artificially high prices. And some cryptocurrencies are pure frauds. Ernst & Young estimates that 10 percent of the money raised for initial coin offerings has been stolen.

The losers are ill-informed buyers caught up in the spiral of greed. The result is a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary families to internet promoters. And “massive” is a massive understatement — 1,500 different cryptocurrencies now register over $300 billion of “value.”

Why Some Cryptocurrencies Are Only for the Wealthy (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Initial coin offerings, which have become the ground floor for investing in cryptocurrencies that hope to soar like Bitcoin, raised almost $6 billion last year. In most cases, the issuer had no product — only a white paper jam-packed with business ideas — and said its coins (or tokens) weren’t securities because they’d be used in running whatever venture it was. Regulators didn’t buy that. Some crypto startups are now pitching their digital coins in a different way, by calling them security tokens, ones that can take advantage of exemptions in securities laws.

Mutual Fund Giant Bars Employees from Investing in ICOs (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Capital Group, an 87-year-old financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets under management, has barred its associates from investing in initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The Abyss Files Form D with SEC to Raise up to $ 63 Million in DAICO (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The Abyss platform, a crypto-reward system for gamers and developers, has filed a Form D 506c with the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the filing, Abyss expects to raise up to $63 million in a “purchase agreement for cryptocurrency.”

LinkedIn Co-Founder Launches ICOHub Platform to Weed out Scammers (The Merkle), Rated: A

Eric Ly, the co-founder of LinkedIn, acknowledges that something needs to change. While he is also a fan of the ICO industry as a whole, the problems found in that particular sector should not be overlooked. It is very difficult to build trust over the internet, especially with money changing hands and companies raising millions of dollars without regulation.

His solution comes in the form of the ICOHub platform. As the name somewhat suggests, it is a new platform allowing investors and interested parties to verify ICO teams’ integrity.

Investigations by the SEC Signal Crypto and ICO Regulations Tightening (CryptoSlate), Rated: A

Arguably the most contentious issue surrounding initial coin offerings (ICOs) is SEC compliance. The crux of the matter lies on whether tokens issued through the blockchain are securities or “utility tokens.” New regulatory actions from the Securities and Exchange Commission clarify the agency’s stance.

Is a Blockchain-Based Stock Exchange a Pipedream? (The Market Mogul), Rated: A

For instance, there have been recent reports suggesting that in the not so far future, stock exchanges, which have already started to experiment with blockchain technology, could overhaul the traditional systems and replace them with blockchain-based peer-to-peer networks, but they have received their fair share of criticism.

This Regtech Entrepreneur Aims To Professionalize Blockchain And Crypto (Forbes), Rated: A

In January, the crypto market passed $700bn – a new record. There are now thousands of blockchain-based businesses across the world, and a new report almost daily espousing how the technology will revolutionize a certain industry. Recently, for example, tech firm Calastone estimated that asset managers could save over $2.7bn a year if they replaced laborious manual fund purchasing processes with a distributed ledger technology. And this spans far beyond finance, with blockchain land registration services, aid distribution mechanisms and food provenance records.

What happens to your cryptocurrency stash when you die? (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

Without a will, every cryptocurrency stash becomes a ghost story.

There are three main challenges with passing on cryptocurrency, says Reuvers-Hone. First, whoever is handling your estate needs to know it exists – an easy one if you’re reporting your gains on your taxes. Second is your estate trustee or representative need the authority to deal with your asset. And the third, is you need to enable the transfer to the beneficiary who you want to have the cryptocurrency.

There’s a weird link between coffee and cryptocurrency (Futurity), Rated: A

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, applied physics doctoral student William Gilpin of Stanford University describes how swirling liquids, such as coffee, follow the same principles as transactions with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

This parallel between the mathematical functions governing cryptocurrencies and natural, physical processes may help in developing more advanced digital security and in understanding physical processes in nature.

A New Level for Cryptoinvesting: Why Market.space is Accepting Sia and Storj (Finance Magnates), Rated: A

Levels of investment in promising digital technology have increased significantly over the last few years. In particular, 2017 saw a tenfold rise in the popularity of ICOs: while in 2016 initial coin offerings raised a total of about $240 million, last year that number had grown to $5.6 billion, according to the TokenData team.

Both Storj (2014) and Sia (2015) have been on the market for a few years now. Both services use a similar model: hosts rent out unused space on the hard drives of their PCs, receiving payment in tokens. Unfortunately, using private computers does not guarantee a high level of fault tolerance or stable operation speeds, and until now many global issues in this field, such as the lack of user privacy, unreliability in system operation, and the risk of data loss or leaks, remained unsolved.

California on the verge of embracing blockchain (CoinGeek), Rated: B

The bill was introduced by Senator Bob Hertzberg. The Democrat represents the San Fernando Valley area, and authored Senate Bill 838 which was presented to the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.

SB 838 governs the use of blockchain specifically for formal corporate documentation. It would allow blockchain to be used in a corporation’s articles of incorporation, and would be an initiation of the decentralized technology into California. It would introduce “cryptography-fueled security” into corporate share certificates that would subsequently be stored on the blockchain.

PSCU joins CULedger’s industrywide distributed ledger technology initiative (CUInsight), Rated: B

PSCU – the nation’s leading CUSO – has announced its investment in CULedger, a credit union industry initiative for developing applications of distributed ledger technology. This technology, which offers a protocol that allows innovation around financial transactions, may become the system on which the future of financial processes is built.

Grayscale Investments Hires Samantha McDonald to Lead Finance Team (The Virginian-Pilot), Rated: B

Grayscale Investments, LLC today announced that Samantha McDonald has joined the company as Vice President, Finance. McDonald most recently served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of SPDR Gold (NYSEARCA: GLD) and SPDR Long Dollar Gold Trust (NYSEARCA: GLDW). GLD is the largest ETF to invest directly in physical gold. Reporting to Grayscale CEO Barry Silbert, McDonald will oversee finance, accounting, and legal for Grayscale.

Want to give digital currency to a political campaign? State ethics panel mulls if and how (Wisconsin State Journal), Rated: B

If and how digital currencies such as bitcoin can be used to make campaign contributions in Wisconsin remains an open question after the state Ethics Commission considered it Tuesday.

International

Sequoia Sues Crypto Exchange BinanceAfter Investment Deal Collapses (Coindesk), Rating: AAA

According to a report by Bloomberg published Wednesday, Binance’s Zhao Changpeng is currently facing a lawsuit brought to the high court in Hong Kong by California-based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.

Citing court documents dating back to March, the news source said the issue stems from a discussion of an injection of capital into the company last year when the platform was first launched.

Changelly Announces New Partnership with Binance (The Daily HODL), Rated: A

changelly

Cryptocurrency Developers Are Protecting AMD And Nvidia’s Lucrative Ethereum Tailwind (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) greatly benefited from strong sales of their video cards since Q2 2017. This was due to the massive demand for discrete GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) from Ethereum miners. As per Jon Peddie Research, over 3 million (worth $776 million) discrete GPUs were sold to cryptocurrency miners last year. Jon Peddie Research identified AMD as the main beneficiary of the Ethereum GPU mining craze last year.

AMD denied this and said cryptocurrency sales only accounted for a single-digit percentage of its $5.33 billion revenue last year.

GPU crypto miners
Source: HotHardware

The $800 Bitmain Antminer E3 can mine Ethereum and it will ship out this coming July. The extreme efficiency of an ASIC mining hardware is already apparent – the Antminer E3 can reportedly do 180 MH/s hash rate using 800 Watts of electricity.

mining pool operation

MarketWatch Is Tracking Eight More Cryptocurrencies (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

On Wednesday, the company said that on top of its bitcoin tracking tool, MarketWatch will display information for ether, XRP, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ether classic, monero, dash and zcash. The website has been tracking the price of bitcoin since 2014.

The new service will post real-time quotes for both the U.S. dollar and the euro – as well as historical price trends for the nine crypto-assets – using data from the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken.

 

MobileCoin, a cryptocurrency from the creator of Signal, just raised $ 30M for mobile payments (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

On Tuesday, the team at MobileCoin announced that Binance Labs, the major blockchain incubator associated with the Binance  exchange, led a $30 million round denominated in bitcoin and ether for the new cryptocurrency. MobileCoin will enjoy “priority consideration” for being listed on Binance as part of the relationship.

TRON announces generous Airdrop of 30m TRX for Ethereum community (Global Coin Report), Rated: AAA

Tron has launched an airdrop for the Ethereum network community; the digital asset is still being tested and will be distributed to the Ethereum users soon. The TRX tokens airdrop will introduce 30M TRX project and show the advantages that people using the Ethereum network will get from the project.

Ripple (XRP) tearing through the markets (Global Coin Report), Rated: AAA

The current market analysis indicates Ripple (XRP) is having a buoyant run this week ripping through the markets yet again. The crypto coin saga seems not to be out of the woods as of yet as Ripple (XRP) is showing dominance, and signs of dethroning bitcoin with a 78% and an 8.85% increase.

On April 10th XRP reached a high of 0.4932, on April 15th Ripple was trading at 0.64. Today it has hit an impressive 0.9185 —indicating its value is moving towards the much celebrated $1.

Why Ripple (XRP) Will Reach $ 5 USD Sooner Than You Think (Stocks Gazette), Rated: A

The Revolut Bank has indicated that they will be adding XRP to their portfolio. This was reported earlier in the year, but its implementation is expected before the end of April. This could happen by 30th. If XRP is added to the Revolut wallet and exchange, it’d make purchasing the cryptocurrency instant and accessible to a wider population via the mobile app.

Thomson Reuters Survey Finds Increasing Interest in Cryptocurrency Trading (Bitcoin Magazine), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency trading by financial firms could increase in 2018, according to a new Thomson Reuterssurvey, with approximately 20 percent indicating they are considering trading cryptocurrency over the next 3–12 months. The survey was conducted among more than 400 clients across all of Thomson Reuters trading solutions, including Eikon and REDI, as well as its FXplatforms.

Ethereum Proposal To “Resurrect” Disabled $ 360 Mln Parity Contract Shut Down (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

A week-long vote on a proposal in regards to the Parity hack wallet reversal, which proposed to restore a disabled contract to unfreeze 587 wallets holding 513,774.16 Ethereum (ETH), equal to around $360 mln at today’s prices, has ended with a majority “no” vote today, April 24.

ethereum parity
Source: CoinTelegraph

Blockchain Project to Give Users ‘Telepresence’ Anywhere Via Live Streams They Can Control (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

A Blockchain-driven company plans to “give people the power to be instantly everywhere” by creating a marketplace where users can hire someone’s physical presence in order to see and hear the world as they do.

UbiatarPlay says it is bringing to life technology that has only been seen in sci-fi movies until now. Its system would see individuals, known as Avatars, be paid to live-stream their smartphone camera at a location their “Usar” chooses. A “revolutionary” Graphical User Interface would enable the customer – who could be thousands of miles away – to direct the Avatar and move them where they desire.

Invictus seeks to deliver a broad cross section of data-science-backed funds, alongside CRYPTO20, for those cryptocurrency investors seeking diversified access to the cryptocurrency market. With their fund-as-a-token model, the third-party fees that extract a portion of investor profits are eliminated.

European Union

Ethereum’s Top Developers Think a Blockchain Split Might Be Inevitable (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Ethereum may be on the brink of a blockchain split.

At least, that was the mood at a meeting of top ethereum developers late last week where a discussion on a controversial code proposal called EIP 999 led some to speculate the scenario is now a possibility. Indeed, it’s now believed the proposal, which which seeks a technical fix that would return $264 million in lost funds, is so contentious, some users may chose to defect to a new version of the code.

EOS cryptocurrency trading and investing lands on eToro (The Next Web), Rated: A

Social trading platform eToro has expanded its existing cryptocurrency trading and investing offerings with a new token: EOS.

United in Diversity: A Blueprint for the Pan-European Distributed Ledger (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Recent legislative developments in Europe showcase policymakers’ diverging approaches to cryptocurrencies and a wider array of non-monetary Blockchain applications. Crypto regulation is tightening, driven by the tide of anti money laundering measures that the European Parliament approved last week.

China

Binance Releases “Convert Dust to BNB” Exchange Broom Sweeping Feature (Bitccoin Exchange Guide), Rated: AAA

Popular digital currency exchange platform Binance has finally heed to the call of crypto investors to develop a mechanism of making ‘dust’ useful. Dust is the colloquial term used to refer to the total amount of coins that an investor is unable to trade. The new feature, known as the broom, will enable users to convert their dust to BNB, the native currency of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange.

How blockchain was deployed to combat Chinese censorship in a #MeToo moment (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

It all started with a #MeToo moment at a school campus in China. Xin Yue, a senior at the prestigious Peking University, and seven students filed a request for information disclosure on a sexual harassment case involving a former professor. Yue was not involved in the case which took place more than 20 years ago.

Then things turned sour. In an open letter on Monday, Yue accused the school of trying to silence her, making her delete information about the request and even asking her parents to confine her to her home.

Frustrated by the censorship, some people turned to blockchain technology — encoding the English and Chinese version of the letter on the Ethereum blockchain, which cost about 50 cents.

Australia/New Zealand

Meet the quantum blockchain that works like a time machine (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

A new — and theoretical — system for blockchain-based data storage could ensure that hackers will not be able to crack cryptocurrencies once the quantum era starts. The idea, proposed by researchers at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, would secure cryptocurrency futures for decades using a blockchain technology that is like a time machine.

You can check out their findings here.

Asia

SIX.NETWORK PARTNERS WITH GLOBAL ALLIANCE TO LAUNCH BLOCKBUSTER ICO (Bitcoinist), Rated: AAA

The ICO industry was shaken up this week with the announcement of a new ICO that is being launched by the biggest and most reputable firms in Asia. SIX Network along with YDM Global, Computerlogy and OOKBEE U which is a JV company between OOKBEE and Tencent, China’s leading provider of Internet value-added services.

With a team like this, it’s no wonder they were able to reach their $15 Million softcap in one week.

Korea’s Largest Telecom Operator Announces Blockchain Service For Asset Management (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

South Korean telecommunications operator SK Telecom announced the release of an asset management service with Blockchain tech, as well as a platform for linking Blockchain startups with investors, local news outlet The Korea Herald reports today, April 24.

NYNJA Coming to Tokyo for d10e (GlobeNewswire), Rated: B

NYNJA Group Ltd., a global communications and mobile technology company, announced presentation of the world’s first blockchain-enabled communications platform and on-demand marketplace at d10e Tokyo, one of the world’s leading conferences on decentralization. NYNJA’s Chief Strategy Officer, Marshall Taplits, will introduce NYNJA, a cross-device platform built for individuals and enterprises, enabling communication, cross-border trade and secure payments in a decentralized on-demand cryptocurrency marketplace. Taplits will present NYNJA in a keynote address on the morning of April 30th.

Africa

Binance Plans to Bring the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Uganda (The Merkle), Rating: AAA

It is of the utmost importance for cryptocurrency companies to make a positive impact on the world. Doing so often requires a unique approach which may not necessarily seem feasible at first. In the case of Binance, the firm has made a lot of headlines, mainly due to its efforts in the cryptocurrency world. However, it seems the firm is also looking beyond its own market to make a positive impact.

According to a recent tweet by the company’s CEO, the current goal is to partner with major organizations in Uganda. As most people are aware by now, Uganda is – along with other African nations – not in the best place when it comes to employment, technology, and innovation. Helping foster the next “industrial revolution” in those areas is a venture that’s well worth looking into.

Leading cryptocurrencies advance 75% in a month (Tech Central), Rated: AAA

The world’s biggest cryptocurrencies rose again on Tuesday, extending their April rally deep into its fourth week and taking this month’s increase to more than 75%.

Ethereum, bitcoin cash and EOS helped lead the advance, prices compiled by Bloomberg and Coinmarketcap.com show. Market leader bitcoin climbed 4.4%; its trading volume in the 10 biggest exchanges has topped US$2bn during the past 24 hours — similar to Google parent Alphabet’s daily volume — according to Coinmarketcap.com.

Latin America

Brazilian Exchange Launches its ICO with an Aggressive Growth Proposal (Coinspeaker), Rated: A

With an aggressive growth proposal, CriptoHub is a Brazilian exchange that launched its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in the past few days.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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