Daily News Digest Featured News

Tuesday March 13 2018, Daily News Digest

BitStamp
Source: BitcoinCharts.com

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News Summary

United States

Ripple Loses Bid to Keep Its Cryptocurrency Fight in California (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Blockchain developer Ripple Labs Inc. lost its shot at a home-court advantage in a dispute with rival R3 Holdco over ownership of cryptocurrency XRP that was once worth more than $16 billion.

A New York court will probably be the sole decider after a San Francisco state appeals court denied Ripple’s bid to fast-track an appeal of an order quashing a lawsuit against R3.

How a Strong U.S. Economy Is Helping Cryptocurrency Ripple (TheStreet), Rated: A

The U.S. economy is so strong that it may be helping drive interest in a cryptocurrency such as ripple. TheStreet put that hypothesis to top ripple executive Daniel Aranda.

Coinbase Releases Cryptocurrency Tax Calculator (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase has launched a new gain/loss calculating tool as part of an effort to help its user base keep up with U.S. tax requirements.

In a blog post published on Tuesday, the firm explained that the calculator can be used to generate a report which outlines their capital gains (or losses) on its platform, using a first-in-first-out (FIFO) accounting method.

Chase Customers Get Extra Coinbase Purchase Charges Refunded (The Merkle), Rated: A

For instance, a lot of US bank customers who purchase cryptocurrency through Coinbase have received additional charges. This is due to Coinbase activity now being coded as a “cash advance” service, which is always subject to extra transaction fees. As such, plenty of users have complained about surcharges of US$5 and even US$10 per transaction made using Coinbase.

It seems there is finally some positive news in this regard, at least for customers of Chase bank. Earlier this week, the bank began refunding all of these extra charges to its customers.

Watch Out, Amazon And Microsoft: IBM Has 16,000 AI Engagements, 400 Blockchain, Several Quantum (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Hammering home the radical transformation IBM’s undergone during the last few years ago, CEO Ginni Rometty claimed last week that IBM has become the world leader in enterprise AI with 16,000 client engagements, in Blockchain with 400 active client engagements, and in the highly advanced realm of quantum computing with live projects underway with JPMorganChase, Daimler and others.

cloud revenue
Source: Forbes

If that seems like a silly claim, take another look at the graphic atop this article—and if you’re still not convinced, have a look at this chart showing that IBM generated more enterprise-cloud revenue in Q4 than both Microsoft and Amazon.

Q4 2017 cloud revenue
Source: Forbes

Rometty then framed out four strategic differentiators for the IBM Cloud, which in 2017 generatedd $17 billion in revenue, accounting for 22% of IBM’s total:

“Fourth—and perhaps this the most important differentiator—you have to be able to extend your cloud into everything that’s going to come down the road, and that could well be more cyber analytics but it is definitely Blockchain, and it is definitely quantum because that’s where a lot of new value is going to reside.”

Here’s Why PayPal will Start Accepting Litecoin (LTC) in 2018 (USACommerce), Rated: AAA

Especially after John Oliver dedicated almost his entire episode of his HBO show, Last Week Tonight, to the subject of cryptocurrency, it’s becoming quite clear that digital coins are slowly going mainstream. It is only a matter of time until there is a PayPal-like gateway where people can pay for stuff using their crypto coins.

Actually – that already exists. Litecoin (LTC) recently launched LitePay, which has actually been somewhat of a disappointment since its debit card feature is still on hold. On top of that, people are complaining that there are too many requirements to sign up as a merchant on LitePay.

But LitePay and Aliant are far from PayPal’s biggest threat on the market – Coinbase is. And Coinbase launched a payment gateway last month that essentially works in the same way makes, making that threat even larger.

Oh, and there’s one other big clue that this is the year: a week ago, PayPal filed for a patent related to a cryptocurrency fund transfer system that could possibly make Bitcoin (BTC) transactions fast and anonymous. We are assuming that the technology would work for other coins too.

Why PayPal will probably go with Litecoin (LTC), among others

We can assume that they will add more than one crypto coin to include in their payment gateway, which means that Litecoin (LTC) has a pretty solid shot.

Watch John Oliver explain Bitcoin using $ 15,000 Beanie Babies and rap videos (The Verge), Rated: A

The 25-minute video uses $15,000 Beanie Babies, an interview with a man using chicken McNuggets as a metaphor for blockchain, a video of Brock Pierce (The Mighty Ducks child actor turned crypto-entrepreneur) talking about his unicorn wedding at Burning Man, and a HODLGANG rap music video to explain the phenomenon.

Bitcoin Is Melting, Again (SeekingAlpha), Rated: AAA

After a failed attempt at $12K, Bitcoin entered the meltdown phase, cratering by roughly 30% in just a few days.

One of the elements that helped exacerbate the recent sell-off was the Binance hack. Bitcoin cratered by about 7% in minutes following the news.

At approximately the same time as the Binance incident, the SEC came out with an ominous warning signal to the crypto world. The statement suggested that further scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges was needed, and that the SEC was ready to hand out subpoenas to those that did not comply with the new rules. This piled additional selling pressure on top of the Binance news, which caused the sell-off to accelerate, prompting Bitcoin’s drop to increase to over 10% in just minutes. This also drove Bitcoin to fall through the all-important $10K mark.

Next, Japan, probably the world’s friendliest market for crypto trading, suspended trading at two of the country’s major exchanges, Bitstation and FSHO.

Ever since the drop occurred from $20K, Bitcoin has been steadily losing its popularity.

bitcoin market cap
Source: CoinMarketCap.com

Bitcoin failed a key retest at the $12K level, and it has been all downhill from there. To make things worse, this appears to be a clear double top at $12K, followed by a decisive break below $10K. The price action looks very negative and suggests we may not see prices above $10K for some time. Also, the clear downtrend may take Bitcoin significantly lower. I am not sure a retest of the $5-6k level will hold this time. Therefore, it is possible that Bitcoin may be headed considerably lower in the short term.

BitStamp
Source: BitcoinCharts.com

On the 10-day chart we can clearly see the massive down volume spike that occurred during the Binance/SEC statement sell-off.

However, one constructive element on the chart is the possible double bottom setup at $8,500. This level needs to hold, and if does not Bitcoin will very likely fall through $8K, and cascade lower to at least the $5-6K level, possibly lower.

How To Estimate Bitcoin’s Fundamental Value (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin pricing has rebounded of late to again approach the $10,000 mark, which is our estimate for its current fair value based on our bitcoin price estimator dashboard.

This video shows how to leverage our bitcoin pricing dashboard. While the dashboard looks extremely simple, in back-testing – a method to see how well it could have predicted prices in the past – it was about 96% accurate. As shown in the table below, the back-testing results are very similar to the actual figures.

bitcoin value
Source: Forbes

On the supply side, the number of available Bitcoins is capped, and about 80% of the capped number is already mined.

bitcoin active users vs. avg daily transaction volume
Source: Forbes

If a user believes that our transaction volume forecast is too high – for example, if you think that the April volume forecast should be about 1 billion, you can click on the April forecast and enter 1 billion. In this scenario, the Bitcoin predicted price drops to about $8,000 for April. This is fine, but in this case the $16,000 estimate by the end of the year looks high.

A Bitcoin crash won’t impact traditional markets (Digital Journal), Rated: A

A Bitcoin crash would probably derail other cryptocurrencies, according to new research. However, more traditional markets would be relatively insulated from a sharp devaluation.

In the study the researchers looked into the recent performance of three established cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ripple. In doing so the researchers assessed the relationship of these cryptocurrencies with a variety of other financial assets, including gold, bonds and stocks.

This analysis showed that variations in the price of Bitcoin prices affect Ripple, with a spillover of 28.37 percent. Bitcoin similarily affects Litecoin (42.3 percent). In terms of other assets, the largest spillover from a cryptocurrency to a traditional asset was Bitcoin to Forex ( the foreign exchange market for currency trading), which was at 15.25 percent.

Bitcoin Mining Turns Electricity Into Money (The Atlantic), Rated: A

But a profile of the town of East Wenatchee, Washington, by Paul Roberts in Politico Magazine is a must-read revelation about the physical reality of bitcoin mining. Whatever else bitcoin might be, it is—first and foremost—a way of converting electricity into money.

So, to make money as a bitcoin miner, the only things that really matter are scale and access to cheap electricity. That’s sent bitcoin miners scurrying all over the Earth looking for low electricity prices. They tend to find it near big dams, which corral river water through massive turbines. In the right geographical circumstances, this can generate the cheapest power on earth. And East Wenatchee is one of these places, thanks to the Columbia River and the Rocky Mountains that lend the water its power.

One estimate of the bitcoin network’s total energy consumption, the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, is up to 55 terawatt hours. A terawatt-hour would be 1,000 gigawatt-hours.

75% of $ 20M Bitcoin Auction from Drug Busts (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

Nabbed in conjunction with various administrative, civil, and federal prosecutions, the United States Marshals are preparing to auction over 2,000 bitcoin. The official sale is open to all countries, pending requirements, and will commence March 19th, 8am to 2pm Eastern, for a period of six hours. If successful, it could mean over 50 million USD in bitcoin has been auctioned from the agency in two months. 

bitcoin auction
Source: Bitcoin.com

War On Drugs Includes Bitcoiners

The Marshals’ auction site lists 20 cases, presumably those from which the present loot of bitcoin derives: 15 of those (75%) are due to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

We Need To Shut Bitcoin And All Other Cryptocurrencies Down. Here’s Why. (Forbes), Rated: A

Last week I wrote an article on illicit cryptomining – how hackers are sneaking cryptocurrency transaction processing software onto corporate networks, personal computers, and other devices. I attempted to raise the alarm, calling this threat the most dangerous of 2018.

I didn’t go far enough.

Upon deeper reflection, the implications of illicit cryptomining are profoundly frightening. Because this type of cyberattack is ‘relatively’ benign – for certain definitions of ‘relatively’ – it’s positioned to run amuck, taking over computers, networks, data centers, and cloud environments around the world.

A California asset manager has a cryptocurrency fund that’s up by 50% in 4 months (Markets Insider), Rated: A

Bitwise Asset Management is off to a strong start.

The firm’s HODL fund, which is made up of ten digital assets and weighted by market capitalization, is up 51% since its inception on November 22, a person familiar with the numbers said. By comparison, bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is up approximately 13.6% over the same period of time, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The fund now has more than 500 LPs, according to the person, including family offices and other accredited investors. Investors are required to invest at least $10,000.

 

bitcoin price
Source: Markets Insider

Four Takeaways from SEC Warning that Cryptocurrency Exchanges May Be Unlawful Trading Platforms (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

On the investor front, the SEC has identified three areas of concern: firstly, that many platforms refer to themselves as “exchanges,” which may lead to investor misimpression that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange; secondly, that the digital assets (a/k/a “coins”) available for trading on an online trading platform may not be of sufficient quality like the securities listed on a national securities exchange; and thirdly, the so-called order books and bid/ask spread quotations provided by an online trading platform may not have the same integrity as that provided by a national securities exchange.

  • Takeaway #1 – Review Current Legal Position – Any venture seeking to act as a wallet service or offering services where users store or trade cryptocurrency should consider with their legal counsel whether federal securities laws are implicated.
  • Takeaway #2 – Avoid “Hot Button” Terminology – In this latest public statement, the SEC has taken issue with the term “exchanges” and related terminology such as “order books” and “bid/ask spreads.” If these terms are currently used in any existing venture, they should either be avoided or else be appropriately and thoroughly explained (or disclaimed) to the reader, user or investor, to avoid any misimpression’s about such venture being a registered exchange, alternative trading system or broker-dealer.
  • Takeaway #3 – Review of Operations and Precautionary Measures Before the Regulators Ask – To the extent that there exists a reasonable expectation that the SEC, FINRA or other regulator may conclude any venture as being required to register as a broker-dealer, alternative trading system, or other entity requiring registration, consideration should be given as to whether additional compliance measures are needed before the regulators show up.
  • Takeaway #4 – Engaging with the SEC and Seeking Alternative Legal Advice – If a venture has not yet started operations, consideration should be given as to whether it would be beneficial to engage the SEC during the pre-launch process.

Reis & Irvy’s Vending Robots Introduce Coinbase Commerce to Exchange Cryptocurrency into Frozen Yogurt (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Reis & Irvy’s, Inc., a subsidiary franchise concept of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. (OTCB: VEND), announced today that it will be the world’s first mainstream vending machine company to accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for a range of delectable frozen yogurt and ice cream consumables.

The Reis & Irvy’s vending robots will be equipped with the capability to accept several types of cryptocurrencies including: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BTH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ethereum (ETH). The first Reis & Irvy’s robots will arrive at nearly 1000 select locations across the United States this spring and summer.

Samsa Indexes Hope To Metamorphosize Crypto Investments (BlockTribune), Rated: A

Samsa aims to bring indexes to the world of cryptocurrency, allowing users to create custom portfolios from a basket of indexes. The goal is to take crypto investments from single asset purchases to index investments, such as the Top 20 Coins, or Protocol Tokens, in a manner similar to stock indexes.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay. So, somebody arrives at your site. Then what happens? Walk me through it.
You first select whether you want to operate Samsa with GDEX or Binance, which are the two exchanges we operate on top of. Let’s say, for example, you select GDEX. It’ll take you to a step-by-step workflow to integrate GDEX with Samsa. It will give you a link to the part of GDEX where you create APIPs and open that in a separate window. It’ll first ask for the passphrase to generate the APIP. Then it will direct you to set of permissions on the APIP to “view and trade only”, which mean that we can’t withdraw funds. We can just manage them. Then it will generate that key and input it into Samsa. As soon as you’re done, after you’ve input your passphrase and your APIP, you hit “next” and it negotiates with the exchange. Before you even hit the dashboard, it knows all the assets that you hold on your exchange account and what the current value of those assets are. Then it takes you right into the dashboard, in less than five seconds.

TrueEx Teams With ConsenSys To Make Ethereum More Accessible To Institutional Players (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

New York-based fintech company trueEX has announced an upcoming release of a regulated derivatives marketplace for digital assets as well as a partnership between their newly created affiliate, True Digital Holdings (TDH), and Blockchaintech company ConsenSys to create a benchmark rate for the price of Ethereum (ETH).

FinCEN Labels ICOs and ICO Token Trading Platforms as Money Transmitters (The Merkle), Rated: A

In a letter from February, FinCEN makes it clear they do not take kindly to ICOs or any platforms supporting this business model. In fact, they would prefer if all ICOs registered as money services businesses. It’s an interesting approach that could easily destroy the ICO industry as we know it today.

House Subcommittee Holds First Ever Hearing On Cryptocurrencies, ICOs (Coin Central), Rated: B

The US House of Representatives finally gave ear to the emerging cryptocurrency market this Monday.  Mid-morning on March 14th, 2018, the Capital Markets, Securities, and Investments subcommittee held a testimony entitled “Examining Cryptocurrencies and ICO markets.”​

Former Docker CEO takes over Storj Labs’ top spot (ZDNet), Rated: B

So it is that Storj Labs, the leader in decentralized cloud storage, must be pleased as punch to announce that Ben Golub, former CEO and co-founder of Docker, is now Storj’s executive chairman and interim CEO.

BBVA Compass CEO: Money transfer test with Ripple went ‘very well’ (Dallas Business Journal), Rated: B

A successful test with money-moving technology Ripple was enough of a success to spur the bank into exploring further tries at the booming cryptocurrency business, the BBVA Compass’ chief executive Onur Genç.

Pura Cryptocurrency Experts on Why Digital Currency Is Uniquely Suited to Millennials (Digital Journal), Rated: B

PURA Cryptocurrency experts explain that, “Millennials do everything from getting a taxi and ordering food to finding employment and booking vacations differently from their parents. Cryptocurrency is yet another example of these differences.”

Studies have shown that market participants ranging between the ages of 22 and 40 are all heavily investing into cryptocurrencies such as PURA. As PURA is the world’s first cryptocurrency for the common good and environmental sustainability, this proposition is also a deciding factor in Millennial user behavior as environmental stewardship is highly valued by this age group.

Cryptocurrency Company Medadyn Announces The Appointment Of John C. Dong As Chief Financial Officer (Markets Insider), Rated: B

Medadyn, a cryptocurrency company that’s creating a new vehicle to finance projects within the media, music and entertainment sectors, announces the appointment of John C. Dong as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

International

Central Banks Urged to Study Digital Currency Risks and Rewards (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Digital currencies are a revolutionary tool that central banks should consider, but they remain far too risky to be used as legal tender any time soon, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

G-20 Debate

As Bitcoin and its peers threaten to invade central bankers’ home turf, national authorities are probing new ways of making payments, and the topic of regulation is on the agenda of Group of 20 finance chiefs who will meet next week in Buenos Aires.

Cyber Risk

The appeal of a such a currency would be more pronounced if it were interest-bearing. A liquid and creditworthy asset could compete with short-term government debt and regular bank deposits, potentially leading to more volatility in those financial-market segments, according to the report.

The BIS also highlighted that, like banknotes, digital currencies can fall victim to illegalities — as a direct target or a means of transaction.

Central Bank Cryptocurrencies Promising As Use Of Cash Disappears, Says Global Regulator Group (Forbes), Rated: A

Potential cryptocurrencies and other forms of digital currencies issued by central banks show promise as the use of cash is “rapidly disappearing,” a report issued today by a consortium of global regulators, the Bank for International Settlements.

“(Central bank cryptocurrencies or other forms of digital currencies) could bring substantial benefits,” said the whitepaper from the Basel, Switzerland-based consortium.

Central bank cryptocurrencies could undermine system, watchdog warns (The Telegraph), Rated: AAA

If central banks ever issued their own cryptocurrencies, they could become rivals to cash, draining funds from the commercial banking system and accidentally driving up market interest rates, a global watchdog has warned.

“Even if designed primarily with payment purposes in mind, in periods of stress a flight towards the central bank may occur on a fast and large scale, challenging commercial banks and the central bank to manage such situations,” said the BIS report, written by groups of analysis chaired by Klaus Löber at the European Central Bank and Aerdt Houben of the Netherlands Bank.

It added that “introducing a central bank digital currency could result in a wider presence of central banks in financial systems”, which could result in a “greater role for central banks in allocating economic resources, which could entail overall economic losses should such entities be less efficient than the private sector in allocating resources”.

However, there could be some advantages to policymakers.

Currently it is hard for officials to cut interest rates to zero or below, in part because savers can take their money out of the bank and put it under the mattress.

class asset bubble
Source: The Telegraph

Japan will urge G20 to step up on preventing cryptocurrencies for money laundering, says government official (CNBC), Rated: A

Japan will urge its G20 counterparts at a meeting next week to beef up efforts to prevent cryptocurrencies from being used for money laundering, a government official with direct knowledge of the matter said.

IBM Reveals 400 Blockchain Projects with 63 Future-Minded Companies (Bitsonline), Rated: A

To that end, there are 63 companies in IBM’s blockchain consortium at present.

Out of that 63, 25 companies are involved in global trade plays. Another 14 firms work in the food logistics industry. The last 14 companies are working on blockchain projects in the global payments sector.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Making Millions from Just Listing Coins (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

Coinbase is reported to have made over $1 billion last year, and Binance is on course to pull in $850 million annually.

The bigger the exchange, the higher the price that must be paid for tapping into its liquidity pool and army of existing users. Business Insider reports on ICO founders who claim to have been asked for between $50,000 and $1 million for having their token listed. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao questioned these numbers, and also defended listing fees, tweeting “most investment banks charge 7% for just underwriting an IPO deal”, by way of comparison.

It is rumored to cost up to $1 million for a listing on Binance, with the only exception being the community coin of the month that’s voted in by platform users. (One source has placed Binance’s listing fee at closer to $350,000, but expresses uncertainty over whether this is a one-off or annual fee.)

Could an Amazon Token Become a Viable Worldwide Cryptocurrency? (Bitcoin Magazine), Rated: A

Combining the benefits of a utility-based cryptocurrency and a company that exhibits the characteristics of a power law network creates the perfect opportunity for a globally adopted cryptocurrency –– the Amazon Token.

Airdropping Becomes Popular Method for Developers to Promote Cryptocurrencies (NewsBTC), Rated: A

Crypto developers are increasingly using a novel method to market coins and encourage mass crypto adoption: “airdropping” cryptocurrencies into people’s wallets. Airdropping is done by developers of newly minted cryptocurrencies who decide to give these new coins — for free — to holders of an existing cryptocurrencies.

Just a few weeks ago holders of NEO were selected to receive another crypto coin called Ontology. Others, including the developers behind Everipedia and a smart-contract system called United Bitcoin, are also planning airdrops.
Promotion
According to Rosza, digital coin developers are using the airdrop method to promote new projects instead of “spending money on billboards and T-shirts.” The aforementioned Ontology airdrop said it would distribute 20 million coins — or about 10% of total tokens — to NEO holders (both coins are distributed by China-based OnChain). For every NEO coin, investors are set to receive 0.2 Ontology tokens.

‘Oilcoin’ emerges as next trading trend in digital currency (Manila Bulletin), Rated: A

‘Oilcoin’, a digital currency that will be tied to a barrel of oil commodity, is seen as the next big trend that will infiltrate energy trading – aligned with the genre of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Daniel Eisner, co-founder of OilCoin Digital Reserve, told participants at the CERAWeek 2018 here, that “oilcoin” delves with the process of “tokenization of oil” as a commodity.

So far, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is biting into the idea of digital currency trading for oil commodities – but getting it done viably is still a subject of the global oil producer’s comprehensive study.

How to Mine Ethereum: Building an Ethereum Mining Rig (Profit Confidential), Rated: A

The three common types used in the Ethereum mining process are CPU mining, GPU mining, and Staking.

The goal of CPU mining is to ensure mining is accessible to everybody who has a computer with a central processing unit (CPU).

Graphics cards or GPUs are more effective at mining than CPUs. Most coins can be mined on a GPU, which does massive calculations in the blink of an eye. While an “Intel i7” processor (a top-end CPU) can compute at about 300 hashes/second, a GPU like the “AMD Radeon R9 290X” or “GeForce GTX 1080” will hash at about 600-900 kilo-hashes/second.

Staking:

In this form of mining, the miner holds coins and gets a steady stream of new coins based on the age of the coins and percent of the total coins in circulation that the miner holds. While this allows for fast transactions, the downside is that if you only hold a small amount of the coin, the earning would be low or even nothing.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build an Ethereum Mining Rig

Step 1: Build the frame for the case with the aluminum angles. The box will be 24 inches wide, 14 inches deep, and 14 inches high. To the base of the frame, attach three 14 inch wooden blocks, front to back.

Step 2: Rest the motherboard on these three blocks and screw it into the blocks.

Step 3: Attach the CPU to the motherboard. Once the CPU is in place, lock it in with the CPU cover.

Step 4: Place the heatsink fan directly over the CPU.

Step 5: Pop the stick of RAM into place on the motherboard.

Step 6: Add the power supply unit to the motherboard. Align the pins on the PSU to the holes in the motherboard.

Step 7: Connect the powered risers to the power source and to the GPUs. Using twist ties, hang the GPUs on the frame, away from the motherboard.

How to protect your website from cryptojacking attacks (The Next Web), Rated: A

In the past month more than 4000 websites, including government websites in the US and UK, such as the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), were reported to be serving the CoinHive crypto miner to its users. CoinHive crypto miner is a JavaScript script that can be installed on any website and was designed to mine cryptocurrency at the expense of its users’ CPU power.

What can be done?

One possible approach, as pointed out by Scott Helme, is to add Subresource integrity (SRI) attributes to the script elements loading the external scripts. He even suggests complementing this by employing Content Security Policy (CSP)’s to enforce the use of SRI tags.

80% of Companies Are Interested in Bitcoin Transactions, Survey Finds (Bitcoin.com), Rated: B

A survey found that 80% of companies have an interest in using cryptocurrency for transactions. Additionally, 48% of survey respondents said that the use of cryptocurrency could be a way for their businesses to generate income through delivering increased value.

On the negative side, 80% of respondents feared an increased risk of DDoS attacks should they be known to hold bitcoin, and 26% of said there was a greater risk to business by cryptocurrencies used for ransom attacks.

IPCHAIN Database: Protecting Intellectual Property with Blockchain (NewsBTC), Rated: B

IPCHAIN Database represents a unique use case of Blockchain technology and ensures the optimal protection of intellectual property – thanks to the cooperation with international IP authorities and stakeholders.

Wholesale carriers Colt and PCCW Global in trial of blockchain for speedy settlements (Capacity Media), Rated: B

Two major global operators have started trials to see how blockchain can speed up time for inter-carrier settlements and make them more reliable.

The two are Colt and PCCW Global, which have already started work on the project and believe that blockchain can cut inter-carrier settlement times from hours to minutes.

European Union

Belgium Warns of 19 Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms Showing Signs of Fraud (Bitcoin.com), Rated: AAA

The Belgian financial authority has published a list of 19 cryptocurrency trading platforms that it had received complaints about. The regulator says these platforms show signs of fraud.

They are 01crypto, Btc-cap, Capital-coins, Coinquick, Cryptavenir, Crypto-banque, Crypto-infos, Cryptos.solutions, Cryptos-currency, Ether-invest, Eurocryptopro, Finance-mag, Gme-crypto, Gmtcrypto, Good-crypto, Mycrypto24, Nettocrypto, Patrimoinecrypto, and Ydconsultant.

Phoenix project with its innovative financial algorithm gives wide trade opportunities for the users (The Merkle), Rated: A

Considering all advantages of the blockchain technology and the Ethereum platform, moreover, the growing popularity of cryptocurrency investments and existence of the risks accompanying them, the Phoenix project have developed an innovative financial algorithm which gives some exclusive trade opportunities and minimizes risks.

Cars on the Blockchain? Six Ways Automakers Could Employ the New Technology (Futurism), Rated: A

Porsche explored several potential uses for blockchain through their case study with Berlin-based startup XAIN. One of the most useful might also be the simplest: using blockchain to help drivers unlock their vehicles.

The company sees the potential for car owners to use blockchain to pay for the electricity to charge electric cars.

As Porsche noted in their news release, automakers could use blockchain to improve autonomous driving systems.

According to Reuters, BMW is working with London-based blockchain startup Circulor to ensure the cobalt they use for their electric vehicles’ batteries is ethically sourced.

Mercedes Benz’s parent company, Daimler AG, is using a car blockchain in a far more lighthearted way, to encourage eco-friendly driving.

A number of experts, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, think autonomous cars will take this to the next level. The car you summon to ferry you around town will no longer include a driver, and if you do own a car, you’ll have the opportunity to add it to the autonomous fleet whenever you aren’t using it.

Blockchain could help make this vision a reality.

KaratBank launches ICO for gold-based cryptocurrency (EIN News), Rated: A

As part of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), investors at the KaratBank can secure the first of a total of 12 billion KaratBank coins. KaratBank coins are the only cryptocurrency based on gold. During the ICO phase, the KaratBank secures 10,000 tokens with 0.1 grams of gold each.

Anyone who takes advantage now can save up to 30 percent. Currently, 1,000 KaratBank coins cost 0.03 dollars.

Delta Simplifies Cryptocurrency Portfolio Tracking and Adds Exchange Account Connections With Delta 1.6 (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Delta, the ultimate Bitcoin & cryptocurrency portfolio tracker app, today announces the launch of Delta 1.6 for iOS & Android, adding Exchange Account Connections with the ability for deposits, withdrawals and transfers. Beautifully designed for efficiency and simplicity, Delta 1.6 aims to save crypto investors’ time by automatically importing their exchange transactions whilst providing insight and visibility into their portfolios like never before without extra cost.

WePower Renewables Cryptocurrency Funding Platform: 5 Questions (Clean Technica), Rated: A

WePower is building a blockchain platform to allow renewable projects to get funding.

WePower started in Europe but has recently expanded to Australia. Its premise is that you can raise capital using their platform by pre-selling commitments to produce electricity.

What key metrics or key performance indicators do you consider critical for your offering and business model?

The key metrics and focus areas change as we grow and discover new better ways of realising our goals. For now we are focused on the total generation capacity of the green energy development projects as well as the share of the financing we can facilitate. We also see geographical coverage of the key areas we operate in and infrastructure partnership count and depth as very important indicators to our business. As we move forward, we also will increasingly be focusing on the trading volumes of WePower Energy tokens within our platform.

Dutch Finance Minister Calls for Multi-Tiered Cryptocurrency Regulations (BlockExplorer), Rated: B

The Dutch Minister of Finance told the country’s parliament that he believes cryptocurrency regulations must be implemented at both the national and international levels to address the threats that this nascent asset class presents to both investors and the government.

United Kingdom

Crowd for Angels Raises Money with £50 Million Liquid Crypto Bond ICO (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Crowd for Angels has launched a “Liquid Crypto Bond” initial coin offering (ICO). The hybrid security is a mix between traditional debt and “Angel tokens.” Crowd for Angels expects to raise up to £50 million with the 5 year Liquid Crypto Bond paying 4% interest per annum. Each investor in the bond will receive 99 Angel Tokens. Tokens are being issued to investors as method to reward for investing in the Bonds at no additional cost to them. A total of 5 billion tokens will be issued if the fund raise reaches its target of £50 million. At the choice of the Bondholder, interest may be paid either in cash or tokens.

Crypto investors unfazed by recent volatility as they plan to buy more digital currencies (City A.M.), Rated: A

Over the next year, 56 per cent of crypto investors plan to buy more, compared with 31 per cent who plan to retain or reduce their exposure, according to research by international communications agency Citigate Dewe Rogerson seen by City AM.

China

Beijing to set up standard organ for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (Technode), Rated: AAA

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced Monday its plans to set up a national committee for the standardization of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

China has witnessed an impressive growth for the sector with a 30-fold increase in the total cryptocurrency market capitalization during the year. The enthusiasm of Chinese tech giants is evident in the increasing number of firms involved in the sector. BaiduXiaomiand NetEase all launched their crypto pet project. E-commerce giant JD launched AI Catapult Accelerator to focus on blockchain startups.

Binance announcement to support EOS MainNet token swap (Ambcrypto), Rated: AAA

Binance is the fastest and one of the leading exchanges for cryptocurrencies in the world. In a short duration of 5 months, it has gained the 10th position among other top volume cryptocurrency exchanges/platforms. It is extremely popular because of factors such as multiple language support, neat user interface, and fast processing orders. This exchange only allows trading of cryptocurrencies, and thus, it is not available for any Fiat wired deposits.

Binance officially tweeted and confirmed stating that:

Binance tweet

 

Binance Team Shows Why the Exchange Is Leading the Field Following Bitcoin ‘Hack’ (BTCManager), Rated: A

Starting with “Fellow Binancians,” the company demonstrated true transparency in its bulletin surrounding a recent phishing attempt that would have cost users a fortune in digital currency.

“On March 7, UTC 14:58-14:59, within this 2 minute period, the VIA/BTC market experienced abnormal trading activity. Our automatic risk management system was triggered, and all withdrawals were halted immediately,” disclosed the leading exchange.

Although the Binance hack generated rumors that some observers have cited as factors in Bitcoin and other values taking major dips, the post has unambiguously assured users of the exchange’s security protocols at play.

Binance lists ONT and holds trading competition (NEO News Today), Rated: B

On March 9, 2018, Binance announced the listing of Ontology (ONT). In addition, Binance will be holding a trading competition, with ONT tokens distributed to top ranked participants as rewards.

Artful Asset Exchanges Skirt China’s Cryptocurrency Ban (Sixth Tone), Rated: A

Huobi.Pro, a global digital asset exchange headquartered in Singapore, unveiled the Huobi Autonomous Digital Asset Exchange (HADAX) on Feb. 12. For its first around, HADAX listed 60 proposed cryptocurrencies. Huobi allowed investors to vote using digital coins called Huobi Tokens (HTs) for their favorites from the HADAX list. Each vote cost one-tenth of an HT, and each user was able to cast up to 1 million votes. The 10 cryptocurrency projects that received the most votes by Feb. 28 were given the opportunity to file for an ICO — an initial coin offering.

The fledgling cryptocurrency that received the most votes was proposed as part of a blockchain-backed car database called “Engine.” The project’s 31,951,548 votes are equivalent to $4.8 million at the current exchange rate for HT — which at time of publication was two-thirds of a dollar.

NEO Network Suffered from Transactions Not Being Broadcast Properly (The Merkle), Rated: A

Earlier this week, one of the consensus nodes disconnected and left the network “hanging” for quite some time. The issue was eventually fixed and NEO went back to normal, as one would expect. That situation did not last all that long, as new issues arose later this week. With the block generation time increasing, it took users a lot longer to move funds from one address to the next.

It appears this was partially due to a few nodes suffering from synchronization issues.

Asia

Cryptocurrencies should be banned because regulating them is too difficult, says Indian economic expert (Independent), Rated: AAA

India should ban cryptocurrencies like bitcoin outright rather than even attempt to regulate them, one of the country’s most influential financial experts has argued.

It Looks Like South Korea Is Planning to Allow ICOs And Regulate Crypto Trading After All (Fortune), Rated: AAA

South Korea is preparing a policy plan for ICOs, or initial coin offerings, opening the door for Korean companies to raise funds on the crypto-crazed market despite the government’s prior reservations, The Korea Times reports.

Should the plan go through, it would mark a stunning policy about-face following the decision to ban ICOs last year, when South Korea’s Financial Service Commission (FSC) vice chairman Kim Yong-beom warned that ICOs were causing money to be “flooded into an unproductive and speculative direction.”

Thailand Dodges Extreme Cryptocurrency Regulations (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

The Thai Deputy Prime Minister has mandated that the law on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings be finalized within a month. The regulators have met and agreed that there is no need to invoke the country’s controversial Section 44 law but to introduce a “special law” for them instead.

This law will also regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs) including providing rules on parties involved in token sales such as investors, middlemen, issuers, and trading platforms, the news outlet detailed.

Card-based Digital Currency Unveiled by Crescent Donation Coin (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Singapore-based Crescent Donation Coin PTE, LTD.  has just announced that their groundbreaking cryptocurrency will be ready for ICO 5th of April called Crescent Donation Coin(CDC).

The hybrid digital currency is the product of a partnership between Korean IT solution company Braincore and Crescent Donation Coin PTE, LTD. The two teams worked together to ensure that the digital currency could be used with what seems like a tangible bank card.

WeatherBlock Harnessing Weather for Better Business Decisions (Digital Journal), Rated: B

But with the new technology where WeatherBlock is integrating advanced IoT weather stations and blockchain technology, it can provide weather solutions to a great extent and the sea transportation industry can make better decisions.

EARTH Token To Be Listed on Singapore-based CoinHub Digital Currency Exchange Hub (BTCManager), Rated: B

The EARTH Token team is pleased to announce that they have received listing confirmation from CoinHub.io, a digital currency exchange hub that is very selective on the projects they support. The date of the listing will be decided and announced after the conclusion of the official EARTH Token ICO sale which ends on Thursday March 15, 2018, 12:00 GMT.

Tron [TRX] Listed on Huobi Pro and Trades $ 50M on Day 1 (Stocks Gazette), Rated: B

Tron is now on Huobi Pro and is trading under the pair TRX/USDT.

Although Tron only has a 32% public interest as of today, this is likely to change in the coming months as the crypto makes inroads into the digital arena.

Today marks day two of TRX/USDT trading, and looks like it is already having an impact as TRX gains over 9.88%. (as of 16:00 GMT)

Latin America

Petro ICO Reportedly Rakes In $ 5B for Venezuela (cryptovest), Rated: AAA

Venezuela’s cryptocurrency, the Petro, is reported to have raised $5 billion from its initial coin offering (ICO). If true, the amount makes this the most successful ICO in history, according to TelSur.

Lunes, the biggest blockchain project in Latin America launches their pre ICO (MENAFN), Rated: A

Starting Point service by Lunes allows the user to create their own ICO and capture resources for their project or company.

MENA

DEEP AERO is Building AI-Driven Drone Technology on the Blockchain (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

DEEP AERO is building an AI-driven, autonomous, self-governing, intelligent drone/unmanned aircraft system (UAS) traffic management (UTM) platform on the Blockchain. It is designed to enable safe low-altitude civilian flights of manned and unmanned aircraft in the shared airspace.

The DEEP AERO UTM platform will harmonize integration between UTM systems globally and enable industry, including manufacturers, service providers, and end users to use drones safely and efficiently without disrupting the existing manned aviation system.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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