Daily News Digest Featured News

Thursday March 22 2018, Daily News Digest

blockchain for reinsurance
Source: CB Insights

News Comments

United States

International

China

United Kingdom

European Union

Asia

Canada

Russia

News Summary

United States

Google is adopting blockchain-like technology (The Verge), Rated: AAA

Google is planning to adopt a blockchain-like ledger system, people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg. Google will use the tech, the report states, as a means of differentiating its cloud business from rivals. The company would also supposedly license the ledger system so that other companies could run it on their own servers.

Coinbase bug made it possible to reward yourself with unlimited Ethereum (The Next Web), Rated: AAA

You might have missed a one-off opportunity to become a cryptocurrency multi-billionaire. It appears popular exchange desk Coinbase suffered from a flaw in its Ethereum smart contract setup, which made it possible to reward yourself with a virtually infinite sum of ETH, according to newly surfaced vulnerability report.

You might have missed a one-off opportunity to become a cryptocurrency multi-billionaire. It appears popular exchange desk Coinbase suffered from a flaw in its Ethereum smart contract setup, which made it possible to reward yourself with a virtually infinite sum of ETH, according to newly surfaced vulnerability report.

Coinbase to Remove Support for Multisig Vaults Within a Month (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced it will be winding down its support for existing multisig vaults (meaning accounts that require multiple signature to access) on the platform. The last day of support will be on April 19, 2018.

Coinbase’s Statement to Congress: “You Have all the Tools You Need to Regulate Appropriately” (BTCManager), Rated: B

The following are excerpts from Coinbase’s written testimony to Congress, where they feel new regulations are not necessary to nascent financial space.

“A Comprehensive Federal Regulatory Regime Exists Today:

We believe there is no need for Congress to create a new regulator or a new regulatory scheme because federal regulators already have sufficient authority to regulate this space effectively. There are at least four federal regulatory agencies that can effectively protect investors and the markets:

  • The SEC has authority over securities transactions;
  • The CFTC has authority over spot markets in commodities for fraud and market manipulation, and it has full authority over commodity derivatives transactions;
  • FinCEN has full authority for Know Your Customers (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) matters; and
  • The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has authority for false advertising and certain consumer protection.”

How Blockchain Could Disrupt Insurance (CB Insights), Rated: AAA

But the possibilities are endless, and insurance companies and startups alike are exploring insurance applications for the blockchain full-throttle.

These include:

  • Fraud detection and risk prevention: By moving insurance claims onto an immutable ledger, blockchain can help eliminate common sources of fraud in the insurance industry.
  • Property & casualty (P&C) insurance: A shared ledger and insurance policies executed through smart contracts can bring an order of magnitude improvement in efficiency to property and casualty insurance.
  • Health insurance: Through the blockchain, medical records can be cryptographically secured and shared between health providers, increasing interoperability in the health insurance ecosystem.
  • Reinsurance: By securing reinsurance contracts on the blockchain through smart contracts, the blockchain can simplify the flow of information and payments between insurers and reinsurers.

FRAUD DETECTION AND RISK PREVENTION

The total cost of insurance fraud (not counting health insurance) in the US is estimated at $40B a year. This isn’t just a problem for the insurance companies losing money — insurance fraud costs the average US family anywhere between $400 and $700 in the form of increased premiums.

blockchain
Source: Justin Ramos

PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE

blockchain for insurance
Source: World Economic Forum

HEALTHCARE

While the global Electronic Medical Records (EMR) market is estimated at $28B, different providers and insurers rely on different standards and formats for how they store patient data. Medical data often has to be reconciled by hand across hospitals, insurance companies, clinics, and pharmacies.

In the US, administrative spending accounted for nearly 15% of all healthcare spending in 2016. Costs can range from $20 for processing a visit to a primary doctor to $215 for a surgery. It’s estimated that two-thirds of these costs are related to billing and insurance. Considering that healthcare spending hit a whopping $3.3 trillion in 2016, that’s not table stakes.

blockchain for healthcare
Source: CB Insights

Insurance claim denials at US hospitals alone cost $262B in 2017. Denials can occur as a result of anything from failure to obtain proper authorization for a procedure, or improper data entry. While hospitals recoup roughly 63% of claims that were initially denied by insurers, securing payments itself is a costly process with a ton of administrative overhead.

REINSURANCE

blockchain for reinsurance
Source: CB Insights

Ian King Says Robinhood Could Help Cryptocurrency Values Soar (Hi-Tech Chronicle), Rated: A

Three million people use the app to trade stocks without paying any commissions.

One million people quickly registered to use Robinhood’s cryptocurrency trading program when it became available in early 2018. On the other hand, its top competitor already has 13 million customers. Both Coinbase and Robinhood have existed for about 60 months, but Robinhood focused on stock trading during much of this period. Nevertheless, Ian King predicts that the lure of commission-free transactions will enable the app to swiftly surpass its larger rival.

He points to a recent survey of American adults. It found that just five out of every 100 citizens possess cryptocurrency funds. At the same time, almost three-fifths of the respondents had been exposed to news reports regarding bitcoin trading.

Fed Should Consider Establishing Digital Cash (Economics21.org), Rated: AAA

In a new paper presented earlier this month at the Shadow Open Market Committee, Professor Michael Bordo of Rutgers University explains the merits of launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC), drawing on his joint research with Professor Andrew Levin of Dartmouth College.

Bordo suggests that the current cryptocurrency market is similar to that of the 19th-century banking market, where competing commercial banks within one nation would issue banknotes of differing values of gold and silver.

This system was inefficient and acted as an overall hindrance to the payment system. It ultimately led to a “process of standardization and consolidation,” where national banks were established, and currency was centralized through those banks.

Bitcoin, Ripple, And Ethereum Investors Should Watch The Fed Closely (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Investors in Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and other major cryptocurrencies should closely watch the Federal Reserve to get a sense of how fast and how far U.S. interest rates will climb. For an obvious reason: higher interest rates could deflate the price of these assets, as they did back in early 2000 with dot.com stocks.

Bitcoin Ethereum Ripple

Meanwhile, some cryptocurrency experts believe that the Fed’s policies won’t have a big impact on cryptocurrency prices. Shidan Gouran, President and COO of Global Blockchain, is one of them.

Darren Marble, CEO of CrowdfundX, agrees with Gouran that higher interest rates won’t have a big impact on the price of cryptocurrencies. He worries more about the uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations than he does about the prospect of rising interest rates.

Meanwhile, David Drake, CEO of LDJ Capital, sees Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as “a hedge against increasing interest rates as a new investment asset.” But he warns investors not to place a big portion of their savings in the digital currency.

How Will Today’s Fed Decision Impact Bitcoin And Gold? (Forbes), Rated: A

As a result, one might wonder how the two will react should the Federal Reserve (Fed) announce a rate hike this afternoon, as many believe it will.

After polling several experts, the consensus is that any increase in the Fed’s benchmark rate will have little impact on Bitcoin.

However, a rate hike could have an influence on the price of gold.

Mining 101: How To Use NiceHash To Earn Bitcoin (Forbes), Rated: A

Today’s article is an introduction to a service called NiceHash, which is an easy gateway into the mining world for people with existing Nvidia or AMD gaming rigs, or those of you who want to put your extra hardware to work.

NiceHash is a marketplace that buys and sell hashing power. Hashing power is the measure of mining performance your GPU or CPU has with any given coin algorithm. If you’re a seller (that’s you), you’re contributing your PC’s hashrate to buyers actually mining a certain coin. Those buyers use NiceHash as the middle man and pay you in Bitcoin for your efforts. You can then transfer your earnings to an exchange like Coinbase or GDAX and buy other crypto coins if that’s what you’re after, or simply connect a bank account and cash out.

To incentivize sellers, the NiceHash software auto-switches to the most profitable coin algorithm at regular intervals to maximize your earnings.

IRS Virtual Currency Amnesty? Not So Fast! (Law.com), Rated: AAA

Here are what IRS states regarding virtual currency:

  • Bitcoins are not a currency. They are considered personal property and taxed as a capital asset.
  • If a Bitcoin is converted into currency and there is a gain, it is subject to capital gain.
  • If goods or services are purchased with Bitcoins, the taxpayer must also account for the gains.
  • A taxpayer that receives Bitcoin as payment for goods or services must include the fair market value of the digital currency received measured in USD in the gross income on the date of the receipt.
  • Digital currency that is held and then sold at a gain is subject to either long- or short-term capital gains tax.
  • A taxpayer, who holds digital currency for sale in a trade or business, is subject to ordinary gain or loss upon sale.
  • Digital currency is recognized income immediately at the fair market value. This income could be subject to self-employment tax

For the “virtual currency investor” that thinks that he or she can go “undetected,” on October 2017, the IRS formally launched a new International Tax Enforcement Group dedicated to working significant international tax cases. The group will consolidate under one umbrella, subject experts that have worked cases of international tax compliance. The U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division will provide support to this group. The use of data analytics is critical to the success of the group; which will benefit from information sourced through:

  • The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)
  • Whistleblowers
  • The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
  • The Panama Papers
  • FATCA
  • IRS “John Doe” summons against Coinbase (a U.S.-based Bitcoin exchange) requiring  Coinbase to turn over the tax identifying information of 14,000 accounts

The taxman is coming for crypto investors,  and coiners are freaking out (the Hustle), Rated: B

To say the crypto market is volatile would be an understatement — Bitcoin’s price went from $997 at the beginning of 2017 to over $19k in December, only to plummet to around $8k on Monday.

It’s as if reality and pretend have collided for Thoway, who reportedly makes $47k a year as an office assistant in real life and can’t afford to pay his crypto-dominated tax bill now that the value of his “coins” have dropped to $30k.

Social Media site Empowr Says 500 Million Coins to be Airdropped Beginning April 15th (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Empowr, a social media startup, says it will airdop 500 million digital coins beginning on US tax day, April 15th. Each month, empowr says it will distribute 10 million coins through its Bounty Program. This “free” initial coin offering (ICO) is said to be a first.

Don’t buy your bitcoin from a place that could disappear overnight (CNBC), Rated: A

There are at least 190 exchanges in operation, with new ones popping up every day.

In addition, the IRS has labelled these currencies a property, meaning every transaction needs to be recorded and eventually taxed at your capital gains rate.

Experts say if you’re in the United States, you would be wise to pick an exchange based in the United States.

Look for an address for the company. If you can’t find one, that should be a red flag.

Not all cryptocurrency exchanges accept U.S. dollars. If you don’t have any digital tokens yet, like most people, you’ll need to find an exchange that takes cash.

Here’s Why More Americans Won’t Buy Cryptocurrencies (Fox Business), Rated: A

Finder.com’s surveyOpens a New Window. discovered that approximately 16.3 million Americans own some form of cryptocurrency, which translates to about 8% of the population.

While that’s a huge increase from the 1% ownership rate at the end of 2016 and helps to explain the exploding prices of bitcoin (BTC-USD) and other major cryptocurrencies throughout 2017, it still leaves 92% of Americans who own no cryptocurrencies whatsoever.

Not surprisingly, bitcoin (BTC-USD) is by far the most popular choice, owned by more than 5% of the U.S. population. Also not surprisingly, Ethereum is in second place, with a 1.8% ownership rate. Although there is significant ownership of bitcoin cash, Ripple, and a few others, no survey respondents owned more than 1%.

The 92% of Americans who don’t own any cryptocurrency were asked why they hadn’t bought any yet, and this is what they had to say:

  • There is no need or they are uninterested (39.7%)
  • It’s too high-risk (35.3%)
  • It’s too complicated to understand (26.8%)
  • It’s a scam (18.4%)
  • It’s a bubble (16.6%)
  • It’s too difficult to use (11.4%)
  • There are too many fees (5.8%)

CFTC Hits Wall Trying to Serve Bitcoin Fraud Summons (CoinDesk), Rated: A

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is having trouble serving a court summons to a binary options trader charged in January with stealing more than $1 million in bitcoin.

The U.S. commodities regulator claimed in a court filing Tuesday that Dillon Michael Dean is avoiding their attempts to present him with the summons. The CFTC is now asking the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York to give it permission to use email or an alternative method to serve Dean with the complaint, alleging that existing methods are proving difficult to perform.

IBM launches a cheaper platform for start-ups to build blockchain projects (CNBC), Rated: A

IBM has unveiled a new blockchain product that lets start-ups and developers build their own distributed ledger projects.

The service is a cheaper alternative to Big Blue’s current enterprise plan for firms looking to develop blockchain applications.

Facebook’s data privacy fallout could give a boost to the online ledger underlying bitcoin (CNBC), Rated: A

“In the future, someone like yourself no longer has to give their photos to Facebook,” Steves said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Fast Money,” on how blockchain would work with social media. “Instead, you could just share that photo specifically with people, and then you’d be able to track it and make sure it’s not shared with someone who gets access to your information.”

“You can 100 percent track all this stuff,” he said. “I think that’s where we’re going long term.”

Authentag sets new standards for pharmaceutical tracking with innovative Distributed Ledger Technology (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Authentag, LLC – an SAAS company that provides track and verify services for inventory management – has announced the creation of a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to be used in pharmaceutical tracking. Authentag’s existing platform for medical device inventory control is used by more than 150 manufacturers in 30 countries and has garnered the interest of pharmaceutical companies struggling to comply with new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations under the Drug Supply Chain Act (DSCSA).

SEC Dedicates Part of Its Website to Initial Coin Offerings (The Merkle), Rated: B

It was only a matter of time until the SEC dedicated a portion of its website to initial coin offerings. With dozens of investigations being launched against companies trying to raise money in unique ways, it is only normal that the agency wants to protect consumers in many ways. Judging from the SEC’s website, it is evident the agency wants to educate the masses on the potential risks posed by ICO projects.

Colorado bullish on blockchain (GCN), Rated: B

bipartisan bill in Colorado encourages state agencies to explore blockchain solutions in new and existing IT projects to secure data, eliminate redundancies, prevent fraud and save money.

Jack Dorsey believes bitcoin will be the world’s sole currency within 10 years (TechCrunch), Rated: B

In an interview with The Times of London, the Twitter and Square chief executive expressed a strong belief in bitcoin’s shot at outliving its growing pains in order to grow into a ubiquitous digital currency.

“The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin,” Dorsey said. He added that the timeline would play out “probably over ten years, but it could go faster.”

Just last week, Dorsey contributed to a $2.5 million seed round for Lightning Labs, a Bay Area startup focused on the Lightning Network, a protocol that layers on top of a cryptocurrency like bitcoin.

Everledger’s Kemp and OmiseGO’s Hasegawa join TC Blockchain (TechCrunch), Rated: B

Which is why TechCrunch  has decided to throw its hat into the ring and try to bring together the leading players in the space for a frank discussion and inquiry into this next phase in Zug, Switzerland, this July.

We’re delighted to announce that Jun Hasegawa, CEO / Founder of OmiseGO, a multinational payments company currently present in Thailand (HQ), Japan, Singapore and Indonesia that has raised over $50M in funding.

Leanne Kemp, is Founder & CEO of Everledger – a digital, global ledger that tracks and protects items of value.

Atek Grid announces cryptocurrency plans (Hypergrid Business), Rated: B

The Atek Grid has launched a new cryptocurrency, which will become the primary in-world currency, grid owner Frank Corsi told Hypergrid Business.

The new currency, Dosh Coins, is based on blockchain technology. This is similar to the way Bitcoin works, except that its based on a slightly different cryptocurrency technology, Etherium ERC20.

A movie about the founding of Atari is being funded through a cryptocurrency sale (The Verge), Rated: B

The producers of an upcoming film about the founding of gaming company Atari are looking to a cryptocurrency sale to lock down the movie’s financing. Variety reports that media company Vision Tree plans to sell “Bushnell tokens” — named after Atari founder Nolan Bushnell — as part of an initial coin offering, with hopes that it can raise as much as $40 million of the film’s budget through the sale. Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way is also producing the film.

International

Global Blockchain Patent Filings Spiked In 2017 (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Last year saw a sharp rise in global blockchain-related patent applications, according to the South Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).

In a data report released Wednesday, the government agency said the number of blockchain patent applications from the five most advanced countries and regions – the U.S., EU, China, Japan and South Korea – totalled 1,248 in 2017.

G20 Call for Regulation Suggestions by July Could Reduce Volatility in the Digital Currency Market (Coinsquare), Rated: AAA

Now, a G20 official announcement calls for regulatory suggestions by July 2018.

While some feared harsh regulatory actions at G20, it appears that strict regulations are not yet on the table. Instead, the announcement calls for the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to consult with its contemporary institutions like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in order to deliver its findings in July 2018.

Further, the announcement refers to digital currencies as “crypto-assets,” suggesting that G20 members do not view currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as currencies. The document goes on to acknowledge that the “borderless and intangible nature” of digital assets is reshaping the global economy.

What’s Wrong With Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin? (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

Investors who had the nerve and wherewithal to invest in cryptocurrencies early in 2017 and hold throughout the year were probably handsomely rewarded. Between the beginning and end of 2017, the aggregate cryptocurrency market cap gained almost $600 billion, which works out to an increase in value of more than 3,300%. For a single asset class, it might just be the greatest 12-month return we will see in our lifetimes.

Ethereum, which is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, increased in value by 9,383% in 2017, while Ripple and Litecoin, two other extremely popular digital currencies, surged by 35,564% and 5,260%, respectively. Meanwhile, bitcoin rose 1,364%.

This year has seen a complete reversal of the fourth-quarter 2017 trend. After hitting a high of $1,432 per Ether token on Jan. 13, Ethereum has pushed as low as $460, representing a loss in value of 68%. Ripple, which was unstoppable last year and hit an all-time high of $3.84 per XRP token on Jan. 3, has since seen its coin trade as low as $0.55 — a decline of 86%. Even Litecoin, which in some circles is viewed as bitcoin’s biggest rival, has plummeted from a peak of $375 on Dec. 19 to as low as $107 in early February.

Should you see Bitcoin and Litecoin as an asset or commodity? (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

Bitcoin is not a real asset. That’s the view of the Chief Executive Officer of US$285 billion Canadian based global asset manager Brookfield Asset Management.

Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey was quoted in a recent interview with The Times saying that he believes that the cryptocurrency will become the world’s single currency within 10 years.

Here’s my view:

Bitcoin is a commodity. There are many commodities that do not generate any cash and their quoted value on global markets is simply what other investors are willing to pay for them. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have no value. Think about gold and silver for example.

How Blockchain Will Revolutionize Online Marketplaces (Hackernoon), Rated: A

It’s often very hard for newcomers to start selling items on a marketplace as they have to build up their reputation. People tend to trust (luckily they do) sellers who have a proper reputation on the marketplace. However, I don’t need to tell you it’s very easy to buy fake reviews or create a new account after you have scammed someone successfully. Scammers are part of the marketplace ecosystem since the beginning as they like to abuse this concept of ‘trusting a complete stranger’.

Nowadays, blockchain is applied for the craziest use cases. But, why not using it for something as simple as a marketplace? Marketplaces can truly benefit from the power of blockchain as it’s build to create trust and transparency.

Stellar’s McCaleb: Blockchain Could Power ‘Universal Payments Network’ By 2028 (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Stellar CTO and co-founder, as well as Mt. Gox creator, Jed McCaleb told CNBC March 21 about his vision for a singular global payments system – one that will crucially involve Blockchain technology.

‘We Need an International Discussion on Cryptocurrencies’: OECD’s Medcraft (CCN), Rated: A

Greg Medcraft, Director of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs of the OECD, recently revealed that he believes we need an “international discussion on cryptocurrencies,” and that blockchain technology will propel the “next revolution.”

Is Venezuela’s “Petro” Digital Currency a Russian-Backed Move Against the US? (NewsBTC), Rated: A

Time has discovered evidence to suggest that the Venezuelan oil-backed digital currency, “El Petro”, was helped into existence by Russian officials, bankers, and businessmen. It’s believed that Russia wants to use the currency as an experiment in dodging US sanctions placed against the Eastern power.

Cryptojacking rates increased by 85 times in Q4 2017 as bitcoin prices spiked (The Verge), Rated: A

Instances of computers hijacked to mine cryptocurrency, a practice known as cryptojacking, rose 8500 percent in the final quarter of 2017, according to a new report by Symantec. The attacks make up 24 percent of all online attacks blocked in last December, and 16 percent of online attacks blocked in the last three months of 2017, correlating with the spikes in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ prices last year.

Overall, cryptojacking rose by 34,000 percent in 2017.

cryptojacking on Mac
Source: Symantec and The Verge

Pablo Escobar’s Younger Brother Launches ‘Diet Bitcoin’ Fork (NewsBTC), Rated: A

Roberto Escobar, the younger brother of notorious cocaine drug lord and cult figure Pablo Escobar, has entered the cryptocurrency market with his own ‘Diet Bitcoin’ which he promises will be the last digital currency standing.

Roberto Escobar’s Diet Bitcoin (DDX), is a hard fork from Bitcoin currently being launched in an ICO at a 96% discount from the stated $50 value. It will sell for $2 through the former cartel member’s namesake venture investment firm Escobar Inc.

According to the official website, Diet Bitcoin will be a lighter, faster version of Bitcoin set to have a total supply of 1,000,0000 tokens which will be distributed through three different sales levels.

How Blockchain Technology Could Solve 3 Big Problems Plaguing the Art Industry (Artnet), Rated: AAA

PROBLEM 1: THE LINGERING MYSTERIES OF PROVENANCE & AUTHENTICITY

Gaps in the provenance paper trail undermine both sides of the market, with collectors often left to wonder if they’re being presented looted works or outright fakes, and sellers sometimes forced to accept lower offers due to buyers’ hesitance over the uncertainties.

Rather than siloing analog provenance data with individual players, blockchain technology provides an opportunity to build a publicly searchable, fully collaborative, tamper-proof title registry for artworks. This database would securely track more than just ownership changes. It would also verify and aggregate every other event that affects an artwork’s value, such as professional appraisals, conservation treatments, inclusion in museum or gallery exhibitions, and much more.

There are still significant challenges ahead of any blockchain title registry.

First, collecting and digitizing thousands of years worth of analog data on existing artworks is a gargantuan task, even if everyone in the market desperately wants to participate.

Second, even if an artwork boasts a flawless provenance on the blockchain, it needs an equally secure mechanism for keeping the blockchain connected to the artwork itself in the physical world. Otherwise, a fraudster could detach one from the other and “verify” a fake by tying the forgery to a legitimate (block)chain of title.

Third, the viability of the project depends on buyers demonstrating that they are willing to pay a premium for data integrity.

WHY NOT CRYPTOCURRENCIES TO FUND THE SDGS? (Global Festival of Action), Rated: A

This week I am speaking at the Festival of Ideas about financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the city level. Given the planets changing demographics, 54% of the world’s population live in the urban space, with expectations rising to 70% by 2030.

The raising of funds via cryptocurrencies can be used to support the SDGs, Environmental conservation and social impact.

China

Ripple “very confident” of entering Chinese market this year (Global Trade Review), Rated: AAA

Ripple is “very confident” that its blockchain-powered payments solutions will have some traction in the Chinese market by the end of this year.

The company is in informal talks with regulators, banks and payment providers with a view to initially launching its XCurrent software in China, which allows banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking, but which doesn’t use cryptocurrency.

Huawei Is in Talks to Build a Blockchain-Ready Smartphone (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Shenzhen, China-based Huawei is in talks to license Sirin Labs’ operating system, called SIRIN OS, to run blockchain applications alongside Alphabet Inc.’s Android system, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Talks are preliminary and no agreement has been signed, the people said.

The Night $ 1 Million in Crypto Began Raining From the Sky (Fortune), Rated: AAA

The crowd, most of them wearing masks, squinted up at the raft of multicolored balloons floating near the ceiling, trying to make out the silhouettes of the coins suspended inside each one. And then, against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s neon-rainbow skyline, they raised their hands as the countdown began: “10, 9, 8…FREEDOM!” they screamed, amid a shower of confetti. Suddenly, the loud popping of a fireworks show filled the room as the balloons exploded, and the crypto tokens they contained fell into eager hands.

The spectacle Tuesday evening, held at the inaugural Token 2049 conference, released tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of free digital money. But it was just the first of 25 events in which a Utah-based secure messaging startup called Mainframe will give away about $1 million of its cryptocurrency—by literally making it rain crypto coins upon the heads of enthusiasts.

Enter the so-called “airdrop,” in which companies bestow a sprinkling of their crypto coins upon select supporters via the Internet. Now, Mainframe is pioneering a version of that concept in the real-life, physical world.

Jeff Huang Wants Mithril to Be ‘WeChat for the Crypto Generation’ (The News Lens), Rated: A

But Huang isn’t here to talk about 17, but rather his new venture, the blockchain-based social token Mithril (the name is inspired by the magical armor worn by hobbits in “The Lord of The Rings”) and why the project tempted Him to give up the high life in Vegas and return to Taiwan.

According to Huang, the Mithril ecosystem, which includes retail partners in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, aims to be “WeChat for the crypto generation.”

Mithril is a natural transition from 17 as it aims to replicate the live-streaming app’s revenue sharing model. For the time being, the Lit platform will focus on photos and video, rather than writing or blogging, which Huang concedes is the preserve of Steemit. .

United Kingdom

Britain unveils new fintech plans, including cryptocurrencies (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Britain will announce a task force on Thursday to exploit the technology underpinning cryptoassets, such as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as part of new plans to help fintech companies to find more customers.

UK launches task force to scrutinize cryptocurrency risks and benefits (CNBC), Rated: A

Hammond announced Thursday that the task force includes Britain’s central bank, the Bank of England (BOE), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog.

The CEO of a $ 20 billion financial data company tells us why he won’t touch ‘wild West’ cryptocurrencies (Business Insider), Rated: A

Lance Uggla, CEO of the $20 billion company, told Business Insider at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London this week that cryptocurrencies are “very speculative at the moment” and the market is “no different to a lot of young people that like to bet on the football.”

English Heritage latest charity to sign up to revolutionary blockchain charitable giving platform Giftcoin (GiftCoin Email), Rated: B

Giftcoin, the blockchain start-up that brings transparency and trust to charities, announced English Heritage as the latest charity to sign up to the revolutionary platform. The charity will use Giftcoin’s ground-breaking platform to attract new and younger tech savvy donors.

European Union

Ethereum-Based Tinder Hicky Raises $ 2 Million, ICO to End on March 26 (The Merkle), Rated: AAA

More than 24.1 million HKYs have been raised, surpassing its soft cap. Given that 1 Ether is equivalent to 7,500 HKYs, the blockchain project has already secured over $2 million in funding. The project has also secured some of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions in Harvard University and Stanford as official partners.

PayPal Hicky
Source: The Merkle

Hicky eliminates the possibility for any administrator or operator of the network to share the information of users, because like how non-custodial wallets do not keep private keys of users, Hicky does not have control of user information.

The EU Won’t Wait for Global Agreement on Cryptocurrencies (CCN), Rated: A

During the G20 summit, the Spanish Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Román Escolano Olivares, revealed that he doesn’t see cryptocurrencies as a threat to the global financial system and that the European Union (EU) may not wait for a globally coordinated effort to regulate cryptos.

Cryptocurrencies need monitoring, not banning (Reuters), Rated: B

Financial policymakers gathering in Buenos Aires on Tuesday agreed cryptocurrencies posed some risks but should not be banned altogether, the head of Italy’s central bank said on Tuesday after the meeting.

LR Foundation to fund maritime industry blockchain development initiative (Seatrade Maritime News), Rated: A

Lloyd’s Register Foundation and Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) announced a funding partnership to set up Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), which will explore the use of blockchain for the assurance and safety of critical infrastructure and drive new business models for the global maritime industry.

7 Interesting Facts about Ethereum (ETH) (CryptoRecorder), Rated: A

  1. Ethereum (ETH) is not simply a cryptocurrency
  2. Ethereum is favored by Banks – Quite recently a startup by the name of R3 used the help of 11 banks to troubleshoot a system that worked with a blockchain for trading.
  3. Solidity is used for smart contracts, dapps, and creating other cryptocurrencies
  4. Ethereum forked into Ethereum and Ethereum classic in 2016
  5. Ethereum is used to host ICOs
  6. There is no cap on Ether available – The only sort of limitation imposed on Ethereum mining is that only 18 million Ether can be mined every year.
  7. Ether is reaching new heights – Its popularity was evident when it reached its all-time high of $1,430 in January this year.

Crypterium Announces Tokens Available on HitBTC Exchange (Twitter), Rated: B

Tokens will be listed on HitBTC this month! More exchanges will be announced after the HitBTC listing, thank you for your patience.

Switzerland as an attractive location for digital innovations (Open Access Government), Rated: B

blockchain/ICO working group in Switzerland is investigating the legal framework for the provision of corresponding services and pointing out any need for action. The focus is on financial sector-specific applications using blockchain technology.

Asia

Why Indian startups are taking the ICO route to raise money (The News Minute), Rated: AAA

In 2017, $5 billion was raised through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) globally. However, the past few months have been a bear market for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, whose value fell to as low as $7,335.57 this week.

Even as regulatory hurdles around cryptocurrencies are causing a free fall in their values, initial coin offerings are continuing to gain popularity. Several startups are now opting to raise funds via ICOs

Could blockchain tech help prevent bank fraud? (American Banker), Rated: AAA

In a recent incident at Punjab National Bank, a deputy branch manager and his subordinate allegedly falsified 150 letters of undertaking directing other banks to give loans to a group of jewelry companies, with PNB providing surety for those letters. Virtually all of them defaulted, causing PNB to be on the hook.

What made the fraud so difficult to detect was that, as far as its internal systems were concerned, the transactions didn’t exist. The letters of undertaking were sent using the Swift network, but none were recorded on PNB’s internal record-keeping software, which wasn’t linked to the Swift system.

blockchain bank fraud

Panaesha Capital launches digital currency Feelium (United News of India), Rated: A

Singapore – based fintech startup Panaesha Capital On Wednesday announced the launch of its first initial coin offering (ICO) ‘Feelium’, a one of its kind digital currency which can be stored, used and traded through an integrated wallet and exchange services.

At the end of its pre-sale offering, it aims to raise 21 million USD.

Canada

Popular Ethereum App CryptoKitties Raises $ 12 Million in Series A Funding (CCN), Rated: AAA

Wildly-popular Ethereum application CryptoKitties has raised $12 million in a funding round led by venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures (USV).

Announced on Tuesday, the series A funding roundalso featured personal investments from major tech figures such as Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, AngelList CEO Naval Ravikant, and Zynga founder Mark Pincus.

Ethereum and Stellar? Kik’s Kin Token to Use Two Chains (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

While it might sound unlikely, social messaging app Kik has announced it’ll be doing just that with its “kin” token, which allowed the company to raise $98 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in September. After some back and forth about which blockchain the company wanted to host its crypto token on, Kik has decided to use ethereum (on which the tokens were first launched) for liquidity and stellar for transactions.

Canada could be poised to regulate cryptocurrency (CoinGeek), Rated: A

Amendments to Canada’s Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTF) of 2014 implemented changes to legislation that require businesses handling cryptocurrencies to register with FINTRAC, Canada’s financial intelligence unit. The amendments also prohibit banks from conducting business with entities that aren’t registered with FINTRAC.

Eurasia

Cryptocurrency And ICO Laws Submitted To Russian Legislature (ETH News), Rated: AAA

A group of officials, led by State Duma’s Financial Markets Committee chairman Anatoly Aksakov, submitted two cryptocurrency-related bills to Russia’s legislature on March 20. The titles of the bills are “On Digital Financial Assets” and “On Alternative Ways of Crowdfunding“.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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