Daily News Digest Featured News

Friday June 1 2018, Daily News Digest

Bitcoin rally
Source: Tom Aspray - ViperReport.com

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United States

Tenth Largest Crypto TRON to Leave Ethereum, Launches Beta Version of Own Blockchain (Coin Telegraph), Rated: AAA

Altcoin TRON (TRX) launched a beta version of its independent public blockchain at 12 am UTC, today May 31, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph. Tron is currently the tenth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

The move to Tron’s MainNet – also dubbed Odyssey 2.0 – is part of a transition away from the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, which currently underpins the cryptocurrency’s network. According to the press release, MainNet’s beta testing period will span most of June. The full launch of the network’s Genesis block is set to take place on June 25, styled ‘Independence Day’ by the TRON foundation.

Coinbase Board Member: Crypto Ecosystem Will Not See Regulation for Years (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Kathryn Haun, board member of Coinbase and HackerOne claimed that cryptocurrency and blockchain will not see regulation for years, Techcrunchreports May 31. Haun made her statements on regulation at the Code Conference in California today.

Bitcoin has found a bottom after plunging 60% from December highs, says technician (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin has touched its key support level around $7,000 several times this year and recovered. Most recently, prices moved as low as $7,054 this week before bouncing higher.

Bitcoin’s relative strength index, a measure of momentum, is currently trading around 40. A level close to 30 typically indicates oversold conditions.

Bitcoin
Source: CNBC

Bitcoin may have found its bottom, technician says from CNBC.

Bitcoin is up more than 2 percent on Thursday and last traded at $7,558.

What Does Bitcoin’s Rally Failure Mean? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

From the early May high of $9593, the NYSE Bitcoin Index (NYXBT) has dropped 21.8% to $7497 as of the close on May 30th.  In my March post “A Technical Lesson In Bitcoin”, I urged anyone who was thinking about buying Bitcoin to look at the technical evidence before they bought.

At the time, I pointed out that the 38.2% Fibonacci support at $11,382 and the 50% support at $9347 had been violated by early February. This turned the focus on the 61.8% Fibonacci support at $7326.  A violation of this support would be a sign that the bitcoin rally was over (see Fibonacci Investing Basics)

Bitcoin rally
Source: Tom Aspray – ViperReport.com

The rally from the low at 6589 took NYXBT to a high of $9593, which was a rally of over 45%. These gains quickly evaporated, as in the past three weeks, Bitcoin has given up over $2000 of its gains. The weekly chart now shows a weekly downtrend (line a) which turns the focus back on the early April low of $6589. The long-term chart shows next major support at $4833. The weekly MACD analysis is still clearly negative with no signs of turning around.

Bitcoin index
Source: Tom Aspray – ViperReport.com

Cryptocurrency mining rigs are just PCs — so why won’t Stripe let you sell them? (The Verge), Rated: AAA

At the end of 2017, and the height of the cryptocurrency craze, Noah Katz decided to start a mining rig company called Artesian Future Technology. His plan was simple: he would make custom computers for people who didn’t have the time or know-how to do so on their own, but wanted to enter the wildly volatile field of cryptocurrency mining. However Katz’s offering quickly reached stratospheric prices: the basic computer he sold cost $1,899, but customers could fill it with GPUs sometimes costing upward of $47,990. These machines were listed on Katz’s website and eBay, where they were explicitly labeled as mining rigs. Those machines would then mine alternative cryptocurrencies, and in theory at least, eventually pay for themselves.

Katz’s business took off — he sold over 25 mining rigs in December and over 40 in January, with payments of $1,432.26 and $8,014.20 rolling into his PayPal account. But soon he ran into trouble with PayPal, which flagged his account for unknown reasons. He then moved to Stripe, which also flagged his account, citing his sale of “crypto-mining setups” as the reason why the platform withheld payments.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency startup Paxos raises $ 65 million (Reuters), Rated: A

Blockchain and cryptocurrency startup Paxos has raised $65 million from investors including venture capital firms RRE Ventures and Liberty City Ventures, the New York-based company said on Thursday.

Has Amex found a data gold mine with its rewards blockchain? (American Banker), Rated: A

Amex has built a distributed ledger that merchants can use to tie card rewards to products they want to move off the shelf. For instance, if an auto insurance company wants to sell more policies or a coffee shop wants to serve more large coffees, it could offer American Express reward points for the featured items to make them more appealing. A merchant that wants to get people to download its app or join a program could offer the same enticement.

The blockchain lets merchants for the first time offer Amex rewards on their own channels, such as websites and apps, rather than through the card company’s channels.

American Express blockchain
Source: American Banker

One Word Could Make a Hyped ICO Look Very Unhyped (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Swap the word “contribute” for “invest” and what happens to securities-law liability?

On the other hand it is—and this is of course not legal advice—but it is plausibly a good legal word. If you invest in a tradable token that you expect to gain value due to the efforts of others, then that is, customarily, a security, and there’s a good chance that the people offering it to you are breaking the law by not registering it with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

6 Ways to Avoid Getting Scammed by an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Fraud (TheStreet), Rated: A

According to the North American Securities Administrators Association, up to 70 investigations are already underway with additional cases pending.

  1. Research the team
  2. Look for a viable product
  3. Follow the money – “If there is no caveat or disclaimer as to where the money invested is going; when the sale is; or any links, news, or video/images to document what they’ve already done, all you have is a company or group of people who are just talking emptily and taking your money and you for fools,” says Andrew Rossow, an attorney and expert on internet crime.
  4. Look for traction – “Never invest in a project that talks about the potential future value or returns of their token,” says Jared Psigoda, CEO at Bitguild.
  5. Make sure you do your legal homework
  6. When in doubt, trust your personal connections – Addy Crezee, CEO of Blockshow, one of the biggest blockchain conferences in Europe, concludes that there is never a way to be 100% certain an ICO isn’t fraudulent.

Policing Cryptocurrencies Has Become a Game of Whack-a-Mole for Regulators (The New York Times), Rated: A

The nonprofit Anti-Phishing Working Group estimated that about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies has been stolen since early 2017. Just this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained an emergency court orderhalting an initial coin offering by Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services that the agency claimed had defrauded investors out of about $21 million.

But fighting fraud in virtual currencies has almost become a game of Whac-A-Mole for regulators and federal prosecutors, who find each new iteration seemingly a few steps ahead them.

How can criminals manipulate cryptocurrency markets? (Chron), Rated: A

From researching blockchain and cryptocurrencies for the past three years, I know that blockchain systems have some immutable security features. For instance, if I sent you some amount of bitcoin, and that transaction were recorded in the blockchain ledger, I couldn’t force the system to give that money back. The technology itself prevents the transaction from being reversed.

But that is only true if transactions happen within the system. And there are other elements of cryptocurrency technologies that actually make fraud easier.

Can Blockchain Solve Identity Fraud? (Forbes), Rated: A

As demonstrated by consumer data breaches — including those affecting OrbitzSaks Fifth Avenue and more recently, Delta Airlines — our personal information is highly susceptible to fraud when stored in centralized databases. As an increasing amount of the world’s banking and commerce moves online, the temptation for mischief and theft has increased as well. However, blockchain may hold the key to keeping identities safe through its core feature of decentralization.

Bitcoin For America: Cryptocurrencies In Campaign Finance (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Last week, Secretary of State of Colorado Wayne Williams proposed a new set of rules for financing political campaigns, which now includes a section on cryptocurrencies. The original edition of the draft introduces the same caps for crypto donations as for fiat ones, while limiting anonymous contributions to $20. The move renders the overall picture of individual states’ handling political crypto contributions spottier than ever, as the last few months saw states adopting divergent approaches to the issue.

What Is The Future Of Blockchain For Ad Fraud? Six Entrepreneurs Weigh In (Forbes), Rated: A

We asked members of the Forbes Agency Council about blockchain’s potential for being used as a solution for ad fraud. The answers revealed an uncertainty that is reflective of many thoughts on the blockchain.

1. Blockchain Offers Additional Security Layers

Blockchain has three important attributes that can solve ad fraud: it’s trustless, permissionless and decentralized.

3. Blockchain Is Better Used As An Open Ledger

This city’s subway system just got new bitcoin ATMs — and it’s not alone (CNBC), Rated: B

And Prague isn’t alone. There are bitcoin ATMs all over America, according to Coin ATM Radar, an online tool that tracks the machines.

Coin ATM Radar’s tracking shows that the United States boasts the most bitcoin ATMs in the world by far, with 1,960 of them.

International

Watch Out Crypto Exchanges, Decentralization Is Coming (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Notably, a few big players – both centralized and custodial in nature – handle the bulk of trading volume for the $381 billion-worth of the world’s crypto assets.

exchange traded volume
Source: Coinhills

In general, we can classify exchanges into three groups:

  • Custodial exchanges
  • Non-custodial exchanges
  • Decentralized exchanges (DEXs)

An estimated 99 percent of trading volume flows through centralized exchanges. About 73 percent of these exchanges are custodial. Custodial exchanges act as managers of their customers’ crypto wallets. The most popular crypto exchanges are all custodial — Coinbase, Bitfinex, Gemini, etc.

Custodial exchanges
Source: CoinDesk

A non-custodial exchange is still centralized, but with a critical difference. It does not manage users’ wallets. Instead, it matches orders through an internal order book and takes a fee off of the top.

One of the most popular non-custodial exchanges is ShapeShift, founded by Eric Voorhees. As per Voorhees, the company averages $10 to $15 million in transaction volume and roughly 15,000 orders daily.

Decentralized exchanges

“99% of cryptocurrency transactions still go through centralized exchanges; this trend is expected to be reversed in the coming years.” — Nathan Sexter, Consensys

Decentralized exchanges
Source: CoinDesk

But there are downsides to DEXs in their current state as well. Several of these mirror the challenges of non-custodial exchanges:

  • Inability to convert between fiat currency and crypto
  • Low liquidity
  • Less interoperability than non-custodial exchanges. Inter-chain trading (i.e. BTC to ETH) makes up 98% of all cryptocurrency trading, as per coinmarketcap.com, 2018. This doesn’t bode well for DEX’s which depend on a single chain for trading.

11 CEOs and founders on whether cryptocurrencies will be mainstream in 2019 (CNBC), Rated: A

“Other than a few selected digital coins, most of those available today hold no value at all. In 2019, the regulations will centralize the market into just a handful of leading, real coins. Then, people will be able to trade them using only a few major and controlled exchanges. So when you take down all the worthless coins, and stop using exchanges that aren’t safe, it might be easier to mass adopt in 2019.”

— Brandon “Synth,” founder of Skycoin, a blockchain and web decentralization platform

“Currently, the internet is far from decentralized. The biggest crypto exchanges are successful and have great user experience, but in no way are using the peer-to-peer aspect that makes blockchain a unique technology. In order to mass adapt in 2019, decentralized applications will need to focus on their user experience and so the ecosystem needs to invite designers, product thinkers and researchers into the field.”

— Chris Tse, CEO of Cardstack, a decentralized application framework

2019 will mark another year of research and a slightly more mature landscape — and significantly larger communities of early adopters. However, challenging computer science problems — in particular blockchain scalability and security will remain the core focus for many researchers.”

— Carl Bennetts, co-founder of Status.ima mobile crypto operating system using peer-to-peer technology

“In my opinion, we are far from real adoption.”

— Evgeny Yurtaev, Founder and CEO of Zerion, an ecosystem that connects crypto investors with blockchain companies

Can The ‘AI Blockchain’ Combo Finally Crack The Crypto Market? (Forbes), Rated: A

Researchers and a number of companies have recently been embracing AI and ML to drive innovation and solve problems. While previously inaccessible due to the costs and expertise barriers, blockchain-based AI and ML platforms are now gaining traction.

TraneAI, for instance, is leveraging blockchain’s distributed computing to speed up the machine-training process without the need for large centralized infrastructure.

Then we can cite DeepBrain Chain and SingularityNET, who also use blockchain’s decentralization to create a low-cost and accessible neural network to power AI efforts. And, Santiment, which is based in Germany, collects and sells live markets data feeds to crypto traders.

India Rejects Venezuelan Crypto Despite 30% Discount (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

The government of India has formally rejected Venezuela’s state-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, despite an attempt to entice India with a 30% discount. 

Blockchain Prophet Or Snake-Oil Salesman? Embattled Founder Launches First Ethereum Religion (Forbes), Rated: A

It’s been three and a half years since the disputed former Augur CEO Matt Liston was unceremoniously forced out of the company he helped found.

In the aftermath of the bitter years-long feud with his fellow co-founders, which was documented earlier this month in a $152 million lawsuit, Liston has emerged a reborn man.

Called 0xΩ, the religion, inspired by the way blockchain helps groups reach consensus, is part of an even larger effort Liston has conceived that is aimed at moving the way traditional religions receive donations, spend them—and do pretty much everything else—to the ethereum blockchain.

Q&A With Robert Stanley of Based Global (cryptovest), Rated: A

CV: So, let’s say I buy a ticket right now, and I decide I want to sell it at a markup?

RS: The original person has the ticket, they bought the ticket, their ID is with us. And if there is a no-sale attachment to the smart contract, then the problem is solved. Why we want to do this is not to kill secondary sales. We want to hand control back to the artists. As an idea, if a ticket is 50 Euros, the artist reads this and he says, “Okay. If you want to resell my ticket, and it goes over 100 Euros, then all profits and extra money goes to charity.” So, the person that controls that ticket makes the decision.

Hackers Commandeered 3 Cryptocurrency Networks, Stole Millions (Futurism), Rated: B

This week, three cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin Gold, Verge, and Monacoin — were hit with a rarely-seen cyber attack. The hack, called a 51 percent attack, allowed the hackers to steal about $20 million, mostly from the Bitcoin Gold ledger.

European Union

Ethereum’s Active and Unique Addresses Overtake Bitcoin (CryptoSlate), Rated: AAA

Effectively doubling in size since December 2017, the Ethereum network now hosts 35 million unique addresses — 100,000 new registrations being logged each day. According to its last-known position in March 2018, Bitcoin stands at 24 million (its blockchain explorer no longer provides this data).

Ethereum
Source: https://etherscan.io/chart/address

First Alpha Release of Trinity for Ethereum Is Live (The Merkle), Rated: A

Scalability remains one of the biggest problems in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Overcoming it successfully will warrant a very unique approach. For Ethereum, a major development is on the horizon. The first alpha of the Trinity client for Ethereum heralds a new era for this ecosystem.

Cryptocurrency Hackers Are Stealing from EOS’s Billion ICO Using This Sneaky Scam (Fortune), Rated: AAA

Scammers have breached an internal system of the company behind the record-setting EOS ICO—and succeeded in tricking the cryptocurrency’s investors out of as much as millions of dollars’ worth of their new money.

The ruse is easy to fall for, and often takes the form of a sophisticated-looking email, four of which were sent directly to my Fortune inbox. The emails, two of which came bearing the subject line “The most anticipated event has arrived!,” feature EOS’s gem-like chestahedron logo and multiple links to Block.one’s actual website (including in an official-seeming copyright line at the bottom). The text accurately describes several technical details of the EOS ICO, while mimicking Block.one’s superlative-filled marketing language.

It then provides a button recipients to “claim” EOS’s “unsold tokens” during the last 48 hours of the ICO. That’s where it gets tricky.

In the World of Cryptocurrency, Even Good Projects Can Go Bad (The New York Times), Rated: AAA

While scams proliferated in the unregulated world of virtual currencies over the last year, a company in Switzerland seemed to be among the more legitimate outfits creating its own cryptocurrency.

The company, Envion, said it had collected $100 million from investors this year with a plan to bring clean energy to the computers that manage Bitcoin. The project was reinforced by partnerships with German businesspeople and politicians and with a German academic institution, as well as by promises of compliance with Swiss and American laws.

But like so many other projects that have pulled in millions of dollars through so-called initial coin offerings, or I.C.O.s, Envion is now melting down, with its creators accusing one another of fraud.

Which European Countries Are Best for Cryptocurrency Startups? (Entrepreneur), Rated: A

One of the countries where many companies already decided to run their business is Estonia. There are a few reasons why you should take this country into consideration.

For starters, Estonia is one of the countries with the highest internet penetration rates in the world. There are Bitcoin ATMs, the first of which opened in Tallinnback in 2015. Moreover, the country’s government seems to be ready to take it to the next level, as it plans to create the so called “estcoin” — technically not a cryptocurrency, as it’s more of a token, but still a great step into the crypto world.

Another country perfectly suitable for cryptocurrency businesses is Switzerland. The Alpine country aims to become the first “crypto nation,” as the Swiss Economics Minister declared at Crypto Finance Conference St. Moritz, in January 2018.

Norway’s Largest Bank to Explore Applications for IOTA’s Distributed Ledger Technology (Coin Telegraph), Rated: B

DNB ASA (Den Norske Bank), Norway’s largest financial services group, and the IOTA Foundation (IOTA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), according to a press release May 31. DNB and IOTA will now reportedly cooperate to explore applications of the IOTA Tangle, a “third-generation” distributed ledger (DLT).

United Kingdom

Bitcoin company Blockchain hits 25 million crypto wallets (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Nevertheless, Blockchain, the company, which is the world’s No. 1 provider of free wallet software for storing cryptocurrency, hit a significant milestone this week: 25 million customer wallets. (For the uninitiated: if you own cryptocurrency, you must store the access keys to your coins in a digital wallet— or to be extra cautious you can practice “cold storage” by using a hardware wallet.)

Blockchain, which is headquartered in the UK, has long offered bitcoin buying services there, but not in the U.S., where about 40% of its users reside. This year, Blockchain has slowly begun rolling out the option to buy and trade bitcoin in the U.S.

WAVES ADDRESSES WAVE OF FAKE NEWS (Bitcoinist), Rated: B

Waves, a popular open-source blockchain platform that allows users to launch their own custom cryptocurrency tokens, has officially addressed the rumors and false information being published in regards to the alleged liquidation of the Waves legal entity registered in the UK.

According to an official statement on the company’s blog, the Waves Platform remains fully active and any information on the project’s bankruptcy is false.

Waves Platform AG already moved its headquarters to the famously cryptocurrency-friendly country of Switzerland in December of last year.

China

Binance Establishes $ 1B Fund To Invest In Blockchain Projects (China Money Network), Rated: AAA

Binance, a multi-language cryptocurrency exchange, announced plans to establish a US$1 billion fund, Ella Zhang, head of Binance Lab, announced in an online conference.

Crypto Wallet That Attracted $ 35 Billion Wins IDG Backing (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Take ImToken Pte., a Chinese startup that developed one of the first cryptocurrency wallet apps to support the Ethereum blockchain. The free software has attracted 4 million users, who’ve used it to stash $35 billion of crypto assets over the past year, more than at big-name competitors including Coinbase Inc.

The previously unreported figures help explain why venture firm IDG Capital is betting $10 million on the business. The Series A funding round, announced by ImToken on Thursday, is the latest indication that some investors are looking past this year’s tumble in virtual currencies to back startups seen as vital to the crypto ecosystem.

imToken
Source: Bloomberg

The $35 billion stored in the app over the past year compares with “more than $20 billion” in customer assets held by Coinbase, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. crypto platform. ImToken users accounted for about 10 percent of the average daily activity on the Ethereum blockchain since the start of the year and about 21 percent in May, according to data provided by ImToken and analyzed by Bloomberg.

Dianrong to land on distributed ledger Corda (Technode), Rated: A

Dianrong (点融), a leading Chinese online P2P lending service provider today announced cooperation with R3, a global platform specializing in distributed data technology. The Chinese fintech company’s supply chain finance solutions will land on Corda, R3’s open-source distributed ledger.

APAC

Monero (XMR) adds new features to its crypto wallet (BCFocus), Rated: AAA

Monero (XMR) launched the Monero wallet last month, much to the delight of the crypto community. It provided users with new and upgraded features that were never before seen in crypto wallets. Now, it has decided to include newer features, which would put it among the best crypto wallets ever!

  • Faster Syncing: Monero (XMR) claims that the wallet can be downloaded, installed and synced with the PC in a really short span of time.
  • High level of security: Remembering the private keys of the crypto wallet or storing them in a safe place could be much of a hassle. Hence, Monero (XMR) wallet offers a feature of cold storage, which means that the majority of the assets would be stored in an offline cold storage. Also, while sending and receiving amounts during the transactions, the wallet address of the users will be blurred to maintain privacy.
  • 10 language support:  
  • Hassle-free switching between devices:  

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Lists 4 Major Altcoins to its Trading Platform (CoinGape), Rated: A

GMO Internet, Inc. the Japanese internet giant recently made the announcement of adding four top altcoins. Apart from Bitcoin (BTC), now Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC) will also be available to trade against the Japanese currency.

Philippines’ Crypto Wallet Reaches 5 Million Users, Adds More Coins (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

Averaging more than a million onboardings per year,Philippines’ Coins.ph announced it reached a whopping five million users this week for its mobile payments application (app) and hot crypto wallet. Not content with merely adding numbers for their own sake, the company also revealed it would add two new popular coins: bitcoin cash (BCH) and ether (ETH).

ASUS’ new motherboard is designed specifically for cryptocurrency mining (The Next Web), Rated: A

ASUS, the Taiwan-based electronic manufacturer, is making cryptocurrency mining easier for individual miners. The company announced the launch of its H370 mining master motherboard on Wednesday.

The motherboard has been designed specifically for mining cryptocurrencies. Among other features, the product will support up to 20 graphics cards, and let USB riser cables plug directly into the printed circuit board (PCB) to simplify connectivity.

The device is available on Amazon for $141.98.

LATTICE80 set up a foundation to offer free Blockchain programmes to local students (FintechAsia), Rated: B

LATTICE80 is setting up a foundation to offer free Blockchain education programmes to local students in Singapore.

The objectives for us are to:

  • Help train a generation of talent with the latest understanding of Blockchain technology
  • Ensure Singapore’s global readiness in this fast evolving ecosystem
  • Facilitate exchange of knowledge with rest of the world through our KAYA Network
Canada

Québec to Lift Moratorium on Digital Currency Mining (Coinsquare), Rated: AAA

According to Le Journal De Montreal, the government of Québec will lift its moratorium on supplying electricity to digital currency miners. The move follows the province’s at-times shifting opinion on the currency mining landscape.

NDAX announces soft launch of digital currency exchange with zero deposit fees (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

National Digital Asset Exchange Inc. (“NDAX”) is pleased to announce the soft launch of Canada’s newest and most advanced digital currency exchange. Users will feel secure knowing their Canadian dollars are deposited in a segregated bank account at a trusted Canadian banking institution. An introductory offer of zero deposit fees will be available to users for the remainder of 2018. The soft launch is a planned strategy to put NDAX’s platform through a stress test and identify areas of improvement before officially going live.

Two Canadian Banks Hacked, Cryptocurrency is the Better Store of Value (NewsBTC), Rated: A

CIBC owned Simplii Financial was the first to announce on Monday that hackers had accessed and stolen the personal information of 40,000 customers.  Later the same day the Bank of Montreal announced it also had had its security breached by hackers who had gotten the personal information of 50,000 customers. In both cases, it seems that the hackers were also the tipsters that let the banks know about the crime. In each tip, proof of the hack was given in the form of names with account numbers plus dates of birth and SIN numbers.

Users of digital money may be more security conscious due to the technology involved in trading but there has been an estimated $1.2 billion stolen in cryptocurrency since 2017.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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