Daily News Digest Featured News

Wednesday March 14 2018, Daily News Digest

cryptocurrency returns
Source: Investopedia

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News Summary

United States

Google Bans Bitcoin Advertisements in Policy Change (The New York Times), Rated: AAA

Google, the largest provider of digital advertising on the internet, announced on Tuesday that it plans to change its advertising policy for certain financial services, including cryptocurrencies, starting in June. The new restriction would apply to both space on Google’s platforms, like YouTube, and to third-party websites where Google sells advertising space.

Winklevoss Twins Want to Regulate Cryptocurrencies (Barron’s), Rated: AAA

If having a self-regulatory organization is a sign of market maturity, then cryptocurrencies are one step closer to growing up.

The Winklevoss twins, who operate the Gemini exchange for trading bitcoin and ether, have submitted a proposal to set up the Virtual Commodity Association, Bloomberg reports. The nonprofit organization would develop industry standards and promote transparency.

Ripple Invests In Startups That Adopt XRP (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

XRP is only behind Bitcoin and Ethereum based on market cap, with a total of $30.5 billion as of writing, about half of Ethereum and a fifth of Bitcoin. Having peaked to $128 billion market cap during the cryptocurrency rush in late 2017, XRP lost value in the subsequent market crash and has also come under fire for a perceived lack of use as it attracts only cross-border payment services as customers.

On account of those plans, Ripple and two of its executives led a $25 million investment in Omni, a San Francisco-based startup that offers storage and rental services for goods.

RIPPLE CEO: BITCOIN ‘IS THE NAPSTER OF DIGITAL ASSETS’ (Bitcoinist), Rated: B

Though the Ripple CEO says that comparisons between his cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are ultimately compliments, he also took the chance to compare the dominant cryptocurrency to peer-to-peer file-sharing internet service Napster — which was revolutionary for its time but failed to maintain any sort of lasting relevance.

Binance and Coinbase Beware: A New Challenger Is Coming! (cryptovest), Rated: AAA

J. Robert Collins Jr., who served as president of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), wants to create a cryptocurrency exchange firm for brokers and professional investors interested in trading digital currencies like Bitcoin or Ripple, Bloomberg reports.

The San Juan Mercantile Exchange, as the venture is called, is expected to launch in October of this year. Collins revealed that his new entity is meant to increase reliability in the cryptocurrency space, something that most of the current exchanges cannot achieve.

A gentle critique of the new Coinbase index fund (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Investment index funds have much promise for investors:

  • low fees for easy access to the broad, diversified market
  • low turnover, so high tax efficiency
  • long-term compounding with fewer stock selection and market timing mistakes

Before they deploy customer capital, Coinbase needs to fix some of these issues and hire an index or factor-based portfolio manager to research and re-design the index rules.

Premature launch: Coinbase would be wise to wait until they launch 10 major assets to launch the index fund (see BitWise Hold 10). Otherwise people will be buying into 60% Bitcoin via the fund and they’ll be selling Bitcoin aggressively just because new assets are added given that Bitcoin is about 40% of the market right now.

Supply fixed in the index. There are massive differences in the rates of supply inflation between assets and the index needs to take them into account over time.

But the Coinbase Index has two larger flaws:

  1. The digital asset space is not mature enough to just use market cap weightingsCheck out the sources of liquidity for Cardano: the #6 or #7 Market Cap Asset on Coinmarketcap and Onchainfx. By our estimates, ~80% of volume over the past month has been on one Korean exchange.
  2. The Index automatically lists the assets traded on Coinbase and excludes anything not traded on Coinbase. While expedient for Coinbase, this fails a fiduciary test for the Index investors.

Coinbase Wallet Fixes SegWit Implementation Bug, Refunds Affected Users (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

The Coinbase wallet and exchange service has fixed a bug in the payment gateway system which caused users to lose their funds from Bitcoin transactions via the platform. The issue emerged two weeks after the cryptocurrency exchange announced the launch of Segregated Witness (SegWit) support for its transactions.

Hedera Hashgraph Thinks It Can One-Up Bitcoin And Ethereum With Faster Transactions (Forbes), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency startup Hedera announced plans to launch a new virtual currency platform in the second half of this year. So far, Hedera has raised $18 million in funding from accredited investors, including cryptocurrency holding company Digital Currency Group.

The Hedera Hashgraph Platform, formerly known as Hashgraph, is not built on a blockchain, the technology that underpins most crypto networks. It uses a different mathematical approach called a directed acyclic graph (DAG). CEO Mance Harmon says it will be able to process hundreds of thousands of transactions per second. By comparison, Bitcoin typically processes less than 10 transactions per second, and Ethereum usually processes less than 25.

Hashgraph wants to give you the benefits of blockchain with the limitations (TechCrunch), Rated: A

The hashgraph  algorithm, invented byLeemon Baird, the co-founder and CTO of Swirlds, is a consensus mechanism based on a virtual voting algorithm combined with the gossip protocol to achieve consensus quickly, fairly, efficiently, and securely. Today, the founders of Swirlds, a permission-based ledger that uses the hashgraph consensus mechanism, launched the Hedera Hashgraph Platform, a separate venture dedicated to developing a public ledger based on the hashgraph.

While many ledgers use the gossip protocol, Baird combined the gossip protocol in the form of “gossip about gossip” with a voting algorithm to reach consensus quickly and securely without proof of work. The gossip protocol shares new information that other nodes don’t know, and the gossip about gossip includes where that new information originated.

When the new messages include the hash of previous messages into one, then you have the entire history of who talked to who in the network and in what order.

DAV Foundation Wants To Bring Open-Source Blockchain Platform To Mobility (Forbes), Rated: A

One that does is Noam Copel, CEO and founder of the DAV foundation and he and his team are trying to use it create some of the connective tissue for the future mobility ecosystem.

The ultimate goal is to create a decentralized transportation network that enables any number of companies to participate with any number of customers. Much like the internet, any user on this network can communicate and transact with any other user whether those users are people or vehicles. This is in distinct contrast to today’s situation where almost every mobility service provider such as carsharing, ride-hailing, micro transit or mass transit is siloed from all of the others. Blockchain lies at the heart of this open-source networking system.

What Should Be in an ICO White Paper? (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

Promoter’s locationOne that does is Noam Copel, CEO and founder of the DAV foundation and he and his team are trying to use it create some of the connective tissue for the future mobility ecosystem.

At least one credible academic study notes that in roughly 32 percent of ICOs, it is not possible to identify the issuing entity’s or promoter’s origin.

Problem and proposed technology solution

For most of these offerings, it is not a company’s past performance, or even financial statements, that are the window through which value is perceived, but more the venture’s technology proposition. Consequently, ensuring that investors (including retail buyers) understand the basic contours of the underlying technology solution is paramount as ICOs become more popular means of fundraising.

To that end, an optimal disclosure system for ICOs would require to the extent possible a “plain english” description of the technology problem and solution. Furthermore, for larger fundraises, the more technical parts of the whitepaper would ideally be subject to a system of third party validation (a “technology audit”) confirming that the solution disclosed in the whitepaper complies with sound engineering and mathematical principles.

Description of the token

Tokens can have a variety of different qualitative and economic features, for example utility, securities and currency. If the tokens will be based on a technological format that must comply with certain rules, such as the ERC20 standard, the disclosures should clarify what that means to a typical holder. Similarly, if special efforts will be made to list a token, such as to list a securities token on a regulated alternative trading system (ATS), or if there are trading restrictions on the security, those facts should be disclosed in a manner that is clear to the token holder.

Blockchain governance

Along these lines, the consensus mechanism for a virtual currency’s Blockchain should be disclosed, along with an overview of how governance decisions and other decisions affecting the network, for example software upgrades, will be coordinated among the various stakeholders such as developers, users and miners.

Qualifications of the technical team

Information about the business experience of executive officers and directors is a common disclosure requirement in registered offerings.

Risk factors

ICOs should include disclosures concerning the most significant risk factors affecting token holders in the offering document.

How to spot a cryptocurrency scam (VentureBeat), Rated: A

The team is the biggest success factor in raising a successful ICO. Having the wrong team can be the breaking point and easily derail a project. Because of this, it common for scammers to create fictitious founders and advisers to make their project sound more appealing — which will hopefully lead to investment.

However, if you can’t find the team on LinkedIn, Facebook or other social channels, be cautious. If they do have social channels, read them carefully. Do they post rarely, have zero engagement yet have over 10,000 followers or likes? Chances are, those people are not real, and the subscribers have been bought.

Read the whitepaper

An ICO whitepaper is a great piece of collateral that will outline and detail exactly how the intricacies of the proposal work, how the technology will work and the next steps pending a successful ICO. Not only do you want to read a very thorough whitepaper but keep an eye out for a host of complementary resources such as the financial model, SWOT analysis, legalities, and roadmap.

Review the token sale progress

To raise a successful ICO, or an ICO of any kind, it must have its own currency system, and this system and sale progress should be easy to view. Any successful ICO is effortlessly charted by their token sale address, whereas a scam ICO will hide their progress behind individual contribution addresses.

Is there transparency?

The more transparent the company is to the community, the more likely that they are who they say they are.

Assess the project feasibility

The moral here, is that any project you are thinking of investing your money in, not only needs to be a solid idea now but also in the future. Innovation and excitement are great, but does the project have longevity?  Is it fixing a problem for the long-term, or is it just fixing a problem right now?

CoinLion Launches ICO Research Portal (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

CoinLion, a digital asset management platform, has launched the CoinLionResearch Portal. CoinLion is a cryptocurrency exchange and portfolio management platform that has its own Lion token.

Within the CoinLion Research Portal, users can engage with each other and follow content similar to some social media sites, users can personalize their profile and share articles from external sources as well.

Addressing The Litecoin (LTC) and Litecoin Cash (LCC) Power Struggle (Global Coin Report), Rated: A

When comparing the two, it may seem at the first glance that Litecoin is still holding the upper hand in this Cryptocurrency arms race. But just like every other thing in this market, price movements and value of the currencies can change due to a variety of factors, with the major one being Market sentiment. At the time of writing(08/03/2018), Litecoin’s price stands at $181.60 USD with a Max supply of  84,000,000 LTC tokens compared to  Litecoin Cash’s price of $0.480927 USD. However, the maximum supply of tokens for Litecoin Cash is much higher, currently at 840,000,000 LCC.

Despite the volume of criticism they faced, the Litecoin Cash team set the mining difficulty level at a minimum for the first 24 blocks.  It will be followed by the dynamic adjustment of difficulty, based on the observed time for current block generation on the network. This ensures that existing Litecoin Cash miners do not have an advantage over new entrants.

Bitcoin boosters partied hard at SXSW as the currency sinks — here’s what it was like (Business Insider), Rated: A

BYOBitcoin, a startup based in Austin that builds and maintains facilities for bitcoin mining, threw the first-ever “Just Hodl It” party at the SXSW film festival and tech conference on Tuesday.

Fears of a global crackdown on cryptocurrencies led to a violent sell-off at the start of 2018. The price of bitcoin fell to $5,947 in February, or about 225% below its record high in December.

Still, the mood was merry at Rio.

Randall Crowder, whose LinkedIn account describes him as chief operations officer and “chief crypto zealot” at software makerPhunware, Inc., searched for the silver lining in the situation.

Cryptocurrencies have created “one of the largest transfers of wealth going on in the history of the world,” Crowder said during the panel. He added, “It’s just getting started.”

For some workers, that paycheck could be in cryptocurrency sooner than later (CNBC), Rated: A

Workers who make money on digital apps and work on their own schedules, can live very different lives than their traditional employee counterparts.

Soon, they might not even be paid the same kind of money.

A number of companies are designing payment platforms and cryptocurrencies specifically for the sharing economy, which they say is in need of a more fair and efficient path to compensation.

Cryptocurrency mining attacks increasing exponentially, no end in sight (SC Media), Rated: A

The proliferation of miners is reflected in Check Point’s monthly malware report. For February three of the top four malware types most spotted by the security firm were miners, Coinhive, Cryptoloot and JSEcoin and even the fourth malware, RigEK, is also involved as it is being used to distribute miners.

Check Point found that every 10 minutes bitcoin commits a new block of transactions to its ledger and awards 12.5 bitcoins to its miner, this equates to – depending on the currency’s value, to about $130,000 every 10 minutes or $6.8 billion annually. Monero creates much less of its currency each year, but it is still a substantial $430 million.

With these amounts in play it has caused the number of attacks to increase exponentially with just over 8 million per week taking place per week by mid-February 2018. This is up from almost none in August 2017. The trigger for the increase was when bitcoin’s valuation surpassed $10,000 per bitcoin in late November 2017.

Solving blockchain’s security problem one smart contract at a time (Silicon Angle), Rated: A

After seeing the low quality of smart contracts surrounding initial coin offerings at crypto hedge funds, Sawhney and his partner Yo Sub Kwon set out to create Hosho as an efficient, reliable auditing tool.

What Sawhney hopes to do with Hosho is partner with these hedge funds and affirm their commitment to security early on, both internally and within the smart contract. Hosho secures these agreements by doing a line-by-line code review of each smart contract that’s written, conducting a gas analysis and a static analysis, and making sure that the smart contract follows the guidelines of its white paper.

Forget tariffs. Use blockchain ‘smart contracts’ to ‘punish cheaters’ without ‘hurting friends’ (CNBC), Rated: A

But as a believer in free, open markets the dumping of government subsidized products (steel from China for example) is disruptive to market structure. So how do you punish cheaters without hurting friends?

Innovation and the creation of distributed ledger technology, known as Blockchain, is the answer. Too often, because of the misunderstood nature of the industry, blockchain is associated with cryptocurrencies. The reality is that blockchain is a disruptive technology which can do much more. It gives us the ability to create a supply chain using a distributed ledger which can replace tariffs forever.

Distributed Ledger Foundation Launches To Improve Governance Of Decentralized Networks (PR Newswire), Rated: A

The Distributed Ledger Foundation (DLF), a non-profit, technology-agnostic organization devoted to the mission of securing distributed ledger systems and shaping their future governance, announced its launch today in New York.  The DLF aims to be a global resource for its members and policy makers, and to provide awareness, information and education on business, legal, and technology issues surrounding decentralized networks.

Free and Fair Voting Initiative

One of the first initiatives the DLF will focus on is a Free and Fair Voting Initiative, funded by a $500,000 challenge grant from the Hedera Hashgraph Council (Hedera).

Crypto craze stunts growth of underlying blockchain technology (The Hill), Rated: A

Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies generally, are harming the development of productive applications of blockchain technology. The time has come to move past the fantasy of cryptocurrency riches and to productive uses of this technology.

One expert recently suggested as much, stating that “skepticism about the value of blockchain may be rooted in unease about its connection to bitcoin and other virtual currencies known as cryptocurrencies.”

Subutai Launches “Blockchain-In-A-Box” Smart Contract Blueprint (NewsBTC), Rated: B

World’s first intelligent Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Cloud computing platform, Subutai, announced the immediate availability of the Subutai Blockchain-in-a-Box blueprint. This blueprint provides an instant environment for programming decentralized blockchain-based applications on the Ethereum network.

Regulatory Tokens May Answer the ICO Question (MarketsMedia), Rated: B

However, if a token is deemed a utility token then it likely eligible to trade in the secondary market via an online trading platform or over-the-counter relatively quickly, she added.

Making sure that only accredited investors can buy or sell security tokens is difficult since many of them rely on open protocols that do not include access-control features to limit their movement.

AlphaPoint and other vendors are working on ways to ensure that tokens do not fall into the wrong hands by implementing smart contracts that bring the regulatory framework to the blockchain.

SEC Gets Asset Freeze Extended In AriseBank ICO Suit (Law360), Rated: A

A Texas federal judge on Friday extended an asset freeze and other emergency measures put in place earlier this year for AriseBank and its top executives after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused them of running an illegal and fraudulent initial coin offering.

U.S. State Of Wyoming Defines Cryptocurrency ‘Utility Tokens’ As New Asset Class (Forbes), Rated: A

Over the last several weeks, the Wyoming legislature has passed five bills into law that relate to the advancement of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. And while all of these are notable, one law in particular makes Wyoming standout as being the first state in the world to define cryptocurrencies as an entirely new asset class.

Wyoming House Bill 70 Signed Into Law

Wyoming government officials believe that it is setting a strong example for the way in which the U.S. government will define cryptocurrencies with the passing of House Bill 70. Labeled the “Utility Token Bill,” Wyoming’s House Bill 70 was passed by the Wyoming State Senate on March 7th of last week. Governor Matt Mead just signed the bill into law this past weekend.

Alibabacoin’s wallet introduces advanced facial recognition and other features for more security and reliability (Digital Journal), Rated: B

The ABBC wallet is secured using specific algorithm backed by a deep and complex security platform which makes it almost impossible for anyone to hack it. Even if the user loses their device, the facial recognition feature will make sure that no other person is ever able to make transactions within the wallet. The company is also in the process of implementing session option for the application which will allow the platform to automatically log out if the user is idle for more than the set time in the backend.

International

Returns From Cryptocurrencies Have Varied Massively In The Last 12 Months (Investopedia), Rated: AAA

According to a new research report by Bitwise Asset Management, the difference in returns between the top- and bottom-performing coins tracked by Bitwise’s HOLD10 Index rose to 784.9% in December. The average price difference between the top- and bottom-performing coins over the entire year was 300.1%.

Bitwise’s report, entitled “The Case for Diversification Within Crypto Investing,” tracked the price of top 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies over a year, starting from March 2017.

For example, XRP’s returns of 373% in May 2017 quickly slid to negative 36.1% by July. The cryptocurrency’s price during that time period fell from $0.40 per pop to a new low of $0.15 by August.

cryptocurrency returns
Source: Investopedia

IMF’s Lagarde calls for bitcoin crackdown (The Guardian), Rated: AAA

Christine Lagarde has called for a crackdown on bitcoin by using the technology behind the digital currency to “fight fire with fire”.

The head of the International Monetary Fund said authorities around the world could harness the potential of cryptocurrencies to help bring them under control, warning that failure to do so would allow the unfettered development of a “potentially major new vehicle for money laundering and the financing of terrorism”.

She cited as an example of international coordination, the closure of the online criminal marketplace AlphaBay, which accepted cryptocurrency payments. Before the site was taken offline, more than $1bn had been exchanged through digital currencies, she said.

Bitcoin not the answer to a cashless society (Europa.eu), Rated: A

Next week, Group of 20 policymakers will discuss bitcoin and other blockchain-based digital tokens. Such cryptocurrencies are poor imitations of money. Almost nobody prices goods in bitcoin, few use them for payments, and, as a store of value, they are no better than gambling in a casino. Policymakers are rightly worried about consumer and investor abuses, as well as illicit use.

Unicorn Visions: Bitcoin’s Startups Aren’t Startups Anymore (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Coinbase may not be just a seven-year startup that aims to get acquired by PayPal. Rather than merger bait, it sees itself as a consolidator.

Similarly, Bitmain last week revealed a somewhat out-of-left-field plan to invest in blockchain-powered “private central banks” – a signal that the company’s controversial co-founder, Jihan Wu, has bigger ambitions beyond its flagship businesses of mining cryptocurrency and manufacturing the tools for it.

With China recently becoming less hospitable to miners, Bitmain has also quietly been setting up a subsidiary in the U.S. But Wu’s comments at the D.C. Blockchain Summit made it clear that he has a lot more on his mind than running a back office for bitcoin.

Researchers tap AI in the fight against ICO scams (The Next Web), Rated: A

A Chinese startup called Shannon.AI, working with researchers from Stanford, University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Michigan, recently unveiled a white paper detailing an AI designed to sniff out cryptocurrency scams.

Tokenomics: What are the Classifications of ICO Tokens? (ICO Alert), Rated: A

Digital currencies are the best-known type of digital token. The majority of crypto-tokens fall under this category.

Utility tokens give a user the ability to use a platform. Within a blockchain-based platform that provides a certain service, tokens are required in order to access it. These tokens provide the holder with the authority to exist within a platform.

Equity tokens provide the buyer with part ownership of a project. Usually distributed through ICOs, equity tokens are essentially giving the buyer the right to a portion of the project. This is in proportion to how many of the tokens acquired. In other words, equity tokens can be viewed as digital shares in a company.

Asset Tokens

Also referred to as asset-backed tokens, these are digital tokens that are used to signify or substitute a physical asset. They are being used to introduce a greater level of security within the physical asset market.

Reputation/Reward Tokens

Finally, there are reputation tokens. These are tokens that signify a users standing within an ecosystem. Using the number of reputation tokens a user holds, it is possible to determine if they are trustworthy. Users will typically acquire these tokens based on participation in a blockchain platform. Because of this, they are also called reward tokens.

Digital currency sales face rocky path with more regulatory focus (Reuters), Rated: A

A global regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies created by startups to finance new projects could slow the pace of virtual currency sales as questions mount about their transparency and the risk of scams for investors.

More than 500 digital technology startups around the world have raised funds by selling their own cryptocurrencies, or tokens, that sidestep banks or venture capital firms as intermediaries.

In 2017, startups raised $6.3 billion from ICOs, up from roughly more than $100 million in 2016, according to data from cryptocurrency research firm Smith + Crown.

Platform Plans to Unite World Karate Community Through Blockchain and Cryptocurrency (CoinTelegraph), Rated: B

Global karate organization BoutsPro aims to bring together an estimated 190-mln strong karate community by using Blockchain. As there are so many different styles of karate, there are many different governing organizations (Such as ITKF, WKF and WFF) overseeing tournaments and rankings. The BoutsPro white paper outlines how bringing all elements together needs a strong fund management system which can generate revenue from multiple sources, for example, sponsorship and advertisements.

Rumour: Nvidia and AMD Plan to Make Each GPU Gen Last Longer to Improve Profitability (Game-Debate), Rated: B

In a nutshell, these reports suggest Nvidia and AMD are intending to develop each new GPU architecture at a slower rate in order to generate more profit off of each generation of graphics cards. The hope here would be that more people will upgrade from one generation to the next, rather than sit out a generation of GPUs safe in the knowledge that next year there’ll be a better GPU to buy.

In related news, demanding for GPUs from the cryptocurrency mining industry appears to be slowing down, and Nvidia is growing wary of the potential damage a crash could do to the gaming side of its business. Nvidia has allegedly started placing restrictions on some AIB partners preventing them advertising their graphics cards for cryptocurrency miners, nor from actively selling these GPUs to crypto miners. Instead, Nvidia wants these graphics cards to be directed at the gaming market where they’re intended.

United Kingdom

Coinbase Receives E-Money License from UK Regulator (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority granted Coinbase an e-money license, the company announced Wednesday. The license now enables the company the ability to provide payment services and issue digital cash alternatives, which can then be used to make card, internet or phone payments.

Crypto exchange Coinbase is a planning a London hiring spree (Quartz), Rated: A

Coinbase is ramping up its hiring in London—Brexit be damned—as part of its expansion plan in Europe. The cryptocurrency exchange said it expects to boost headcount in the UK capital by roughly eight times, with a staff in the “hundreds” by the end of the year.

Coinbase users

China

Crypto Exchange Binance Launches Decentralized Trading Network (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

The largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume is developing a public blockchain for the transfer and trading of digital assets, the company said in a statement posted on its website. The network, called Binance Chain, will provide coin traders a decentralized exchange that handles transactions through an automated process, eliminating the need for a third party to hold and trade funds.

Binance Coin Jumps 25% On News Of Its Own Blockchain (CCN), Rated: A

Binance Coin was up more than 25% in the last 24 hours, hitting a high of $11.00, driven on news that it will launch its own “tailored blockchain” in an apparent first step toward building a decentralized exchange (DEX). The market cap was just shy of $1 billion. Close to $200 million had traded in the last 24 hours. The currency has a total supply of almost 200 million coins.

Binance Coin ranked as the 24th largest cryptocurrency today based on market capitalization, according to coinmarketcap.com, surpassing Zcash, the 25th cryptocurrency with a market cap of $780.431 million.

Binance Coin
Source: Coinmarketcap.com

Binance Gets Defense Against Fake Volume Accusations (cryptovest), Rated: A

Binance, one of the most active exchanges of late, has been mentioned in a recent research stating that crypto trading relied on fake volumes. However, a user went forward to refute some of the claims, giving as evidence the robust trading volumes on the exchange, which result in transparent quarterly earnings.

According to a recently performed revenue analysis of Binance, the BNB token is in fact quite valuable. Due to the high trading activity and usage of the coin, there is a potential for a fair price of $39. At the moment, BNB trades around $7.92, after reaching a peak near $20.

Why China’s Neo Can Do What No Other Cryptocurrency Can (Investopedia), Rated: A

Amid recent bans imposed by China, Neo has the potential to emerge as the cryptocurrency of choice in the heavily regulated nation, and perhaps across the globe.

Neo theoretically describes its Smart Economy System as (Digital Assets + Digital Identity + Smart Contract = Smart Economy)

Assets can be easily digitized on the Neo blockchain in an open, decentralized, trustworthy, traceable, and transparent manner that is free of intermediaries and associated costs.

Users are able to record, buy, sell, exchange, or circulate various kinds of assets, as Neo provides the necessary platform for linking the physical asset with an equivalent and unique digital avatar on its network. Neo also supports protection of assets, as assets registered on its platform through a validated digital identity are “protected by law.”

A Solution for China?

The Neo platform acts as the foundation of Onchain’s DNA concept. Neo provides decentralized, public blockchains while OnChain’s DNA fills the need for private blockchains. Linking both these systems enable one to get the best of both worlds.

Taipei is using a blockchain alternative to transform into a smart city (Technode), Rated: B

In January, Taipei signed a partnership agreement with the Germany-based IOTA Foundation to explore smart city solutions based on Tangle. The city has already launched a number of projects including digital identification and air quality monitoring systems. Taipei has become one of the first cities in the world to test out IOTA.

Bitcoin Exchange Binance Offers $ 10 Million Bounty For Arrest of Crypto Hackers (Investopedia), Rated: B

Popular bitcoin exchange Binance does not take hacking lightly, and is prepared to pay $10 million in bounties to tipsters who help them arrest cyberthieves.

European Union

Initial Coin Offering And The Related Tax Consequences (Mondaq), Rated: AAA

Properties of the tokens as basis for tax appraisal

Roughly speaking, a distinction can be made between three different types of functions:

  • Currency Token is a digital currency, like bitcoin. Coding mechanisms determine the denomination of the currency and enable the verification of remittances.
  • In contrast a Utility Token is a digital currency, which enables access to specific services or platforms.
  • Tokenised Securities on the other hand constitute rights against the issuer of the tokens or a third party. These may be rights to assets or codetermination. From an accounting perspective they may be equity or debt.

Corporate income tax treatment of

Utility Tokens

The tax treatment of the TGE does not differ essentially whether a corporation or a foundation carries out the TGE. However, on federal level (and in most cases also on cantonal level) the tax rate for foundations is lower than the rate applicable for corporations.

a) Income arising from a TGE

According to Art. 58 Para. 1 lit. a of the Direct federal tax law (“DBG”) (at cantonal level Art. 24 Para. 1 StHG) the statutory accounts of a Swiss company are the basis for determining taxable income.

As a result of this, the tax treatment of a TGE is highly dependent from the provisions of the Swiss Commercial Law (“OR”). According to Art. 959b ff. OR the income statement includes revenues from supplies and services, revenue from other sources, and all operating and nonoperating expenditures.

b) Expenses and costs of a TGE

In general proceeds from supplies and services are (at least partially) offset by costs of raw material, goods and employees and other expenditures incurred for the purchase or production of the products and services sold.

VAT treatment of the issue of Utility Tokens

Any service rendered by a taxpayer against consideration is subject to VAT, unless the Swiss VAT Law (“MWSTG”) provides for an exemption (Art. 18 Para. 1 MWSTG).

HOW NBT AND WEEVE ARE SOLVING THE SCALING ISSUE OF ETHEREUM (Bitcoinist), Rated: A

CryptoDaily predicts that Ethereum’s value could exceed Bitcoin’s as early as 2018. The moment when a non-Bitcoin cryptocurrency surpasses Bitcoin’s value is popularly known in cryptocurrency circles as “The Flippening,” an event so anticipated that Flippening Watch is devoted purely to tracking its progress.

Ethereum has already experienced a higher number of transactions over 24 hours, higher 24-hour mining rewards, and a greater number of nodes. While its market cap, overall trading volume, and Google Trends measurements still lag behind Bitcoin, it seems clear that Ethereum is still on the rise.

 

Australia

Australian Digital Currency exchange opens OTC desk for institutions (Leaprate), Rated: AAA

Independent Reserve, the Australian Digital Currency exchange, announced that it has opened Australia’s first over-the-counter trading desk for institutions wanting to make large digital currency trades.

Asia

Thailand to Draft Plans to Regulate and Tax Cryptocurrencies (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

Thailand’s cabinet agreed Tuesday to draft a law to oversee cryptocurrency trading, seeking to tax the largely unregulated market.

Government spokesman Nathporn Chatusripitak said the Ministry of Finance also proposed the new regulations to help prevent use of digital currencies in money laundering and fraud.

He said details of the proposed regulations would be announced later in the month.

Thai Bank Extending Ripple Remittances to Euro and Pound (CoinDesk), Rated: A

According to a report from the Bangkok Post on Tuesday, SCB, one of the largest commercial banks in the country, is now adding euros and British pounds to its cross-border remittance system powered by tech from Ripple, the San Francisco-based blockchain startup.

Crypto investors are hopeful that Mt Gox’s bitcoin sell-off will be halted until September (New Haven Register), Rated: A

However, multiple reports in the bitcoin specialist pressreported that Mt Gox’s trustees won’t sell anymore bitcoin until at least September this year. The next Mt Gox creditors meeting is not until September 18. NewsBTC said:“Many are hopeful that with the next Mt. Got court date six months away, Kobayashi won’t be able to dump another load of coins on the market.”

Cambodia Blocks Crypto Transactions While Launching Its Own Cryptocurrency (CCN), Rated: A

The Cambodian government, while pursuing its own cryptocurrency Entapay, has paradoxically banned financial institutions from engaging in cryptocurrency transactions, creating a state of confusion for the country’s cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.

Canada

First Public Demo of Etherparty’s Token and Crowdsale Contract Creator Slated For Unveiling at Token Fest 2018 (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

Blockchain platform Etherparty will be conducting the first public demonstration of its token sale and crowdfund creation software product at this year’s Token Fest event in San Francisco, which runs March 15-16.

Marathon Patent Group Successfully Launches Canadian Bitcoin Mining Operation (NewsBTC), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency mining has become a very big industry as of late. Companies from all over the world are searching for lucrative areas to mine Bitcoin. Canada has proven to be a rather promising region in this regard. The Marathon Patent Group is the latest company to set up a Bitcoin mining operation in Canada.

MENA

In latest initial coin offering scam, hardware wallet startup Giza vanishes with $ 2.4M (Silicon Angle), Rated: AAA

Scammers have allegedly stolen $2 million from investors through the promotion of a dubious initial coin offering that used fake LinkedIn accounts for promotion.

The company, called Giza, was promoting an “innovative hardware wallet,” a physical cryptocurrency storage device that would allow users to send and receive payments from each wallet via a browser extension.

Sheikh Saeed backs Dubai-based cryptocurrency (Arabian Business), Rated: A

The Seed Group, a group of diversified companies owned and chaired by the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, has signed up for a pilot programme with Dubai-based Jibrel Network to develop new cryptocurrency jCash in the UAE.

The cryptocurrency is designed to be a decentralised means of storing and transferring traditional financial assets on the Ethereum blockchain.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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