Daily News Digest Featured News

Tuesday May 1 2018, Daily News Digest

risk-level heat map
Source: Hong Kong Financial Services

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News Summary

United States

Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver May Be Sued For “Controversial” Bitcoin Cash Propaganda (The Oofy), Rated: AAA

The Bitcoin.com CEO and Bitcoin.com’s first investor, Roger Ver, will probably be sued for charging the ‘controversial’ Bitcoin Cash (BCH) propaganda.

Money Trigz , a named telegram user, recently set up a web page named Bitcoin.com case / vic and a web page named Bitcoincomdavası. There are 561 people in the group and they all want to file a lawsuit with Bitcoin.com for all the wrong information they have given Bitcoin Cash [BCH] as real Bitcoin [BTC].

Litecoin and Dogecoin Have More Transactions Than Bitcoin Cash (Live Bitcoin News), Rated: AAA

According to Whalepool, BCH isn’t the chain for transactions and merchants. Instead, it has fewer transactions than both Litecoin and Dogecoin. 
Bitcoin Cash Litecoin Dogecoin
Source: https://twitter.com/whalepool/status/973045439451803648/photo/1

While those numbers didn’t look good in March of 2018, things have changed a bit. Looking at the current figures, Bitcoin Cash has almost overtaken Dogecoin in terms of transaction volume.

With a current average of under 20,000 transactions per day, Bitcoin Cash is doing just fine. Litecoin has around 30,000 TX, whereas Dogecoin sits at just over 20,000.

As of April 1, each unit of Bitcoin was selling for $6,816, roughly one-third of the value that Bitcoin hit at its peak (near $20,000) last December. At the end of April, though, Bitcoin was worth roughly $9,300. That’s an increase of 36% during the month. In other words, if you bought $1,000 worth of Bitcoin at the start of April, you’d be $360 richer right now.

We were curious about which period would have been best (and worst) for a theoretical short-term investor who scooped up some Bitcoin at the beginning of the month and unloaded it by month’s end. Here are the numbers:

November 1: $6,750
November 30: $9,916
Increase: 47%

December 1: $10,859
December 31: $13,860
Increase: 28%

January 1: $13,412
January 31: $10,166
Decrease: 32%

February 1: $9,052
February 28: $10,309
Increase: 14%

March 1: $10,907
March 31: $6,926
Decrease: 36%

April 1: $6,816
April 30: ~$9,300
Increase: 36%

This Bitcoin Milestone Is a Bit Deceiving (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

In other words, the only gold we’re ever going to have is what’s still buried in the ground or has been mined. No more, no less. This physical supply limit is what makes gold scarce, and is a big reason why it commands a per-ounce price that’s north of $1,300.

Some folks feel similarly about bitcoin. With a limit of 21 million tokens, it, too, is perceived to be scarce and an intriguing store of value.

But there’s a problem with this assumption. Namely, it’s not entirely correct. Even though bitcoin recently hit another “scarcity” milestone, its cap isn’t set in stone, per se.

Warren Buffett Says Buying Bitcoin Is Gambling, Not Investment (Forbes), Rated: A

Ramping up to Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting, Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett — currently third-richest man on the planet — shared his thoughts on Bitcoin with Yahoo Finance.

As it turns out, the “Oracle of Omaha,” whose word is considered sacrosanct among investors worldwide, believes that buying Bitcoin is speculation rather than direct investment.

Bitcoin has ‘elements of all of the different asset classes,’ CFTC chairman says (CNBC), Rated: B

The ecosystem around bitcoin is still changing, but U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said the popular cryptocurrency is part currency, part security and part digital coin.

How Bitcoin Investing Can Work For Seniors (Forbes), Rated: A

The best advice I found came from Matthew Murawski, a financial advisor at Goodstein Wealth Management. He recommended that seniors buy bitcoin as a birthday or Christmas gift for their grandkids and nephews as a cool investment gift that may or may not work out.

Should You Have Bitcoin In Your 401(k)? (Forbes), Rated: A

In a recent paper written by Charles Hodge at Milliman, a benefits consulting firm, the best advice is to wait on adding cryptocurrencies to retirement plans.

Hodge, however, likes the prospects of the underlying technology behind Bitcoin, which is called the blockchain.

Mobile Pay Service Square Shares Fall After Stock Commentator Slams Bitcoin Strategy (CoinTelegraph), Rated: B

Shares of financial services and mobile payment company Square dropped Monday after a critical tweet by short-seller Andrew Left’s Citron Research, CNBC reported April 30. Citron claimed excitement for Square’s Bitcoin (BTC) trading solution was exaggerated.

$ 1.6 billion cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has snagged a veteran trader from Barclays (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

A recent hire by Coinbase, the cryptocurrency trading company, shows it is serious about building the crypto-version of the New York Stock Exchange.

The firm has hired Hunter Merghart, a former director of equity trading at Barclays. Merghart, who previously worked at RBC Capital Markets and Credit Suisse, was hired as a sales trader.

Litecoin [LTC] Aiming at Becoming More Decentralized like Bitcoin Soon (Zycrypto), Rated: AAA

In an interview with Tenx on Friday the 27th of April, The founder Charlie Lee disclosed his desire to make Litecoin an entirely decentralized coin just like the world flagship cryptocurrency, bitcoin.

According to him, “Litecoin is more centralized because I’m around, so it has a more centralized foundation. I can steer litecoin towards my vision, and people will listen to me because I created it.”

Meet the New Smartlands Wallet, Where You Can Trade Stellar Assets (usaCommerce), Rated: A

Stellar (XLM) is an interesting distributed network, because the whole thing also works as a decentralized exchange. Any asset that a user has created on the network, like a freshly-issued token from a new decentralized application (dApp), can be traded on the network and exchange history is recorded on a distributed ledger. Now, there’s a new desktop application on the Stellar network that works as an interface for trading on the decentralized exchange – the Smartlands cryptocurrency wallet.

Circle Adds Zcash to Crypto Investment App (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Circle is adding the privacy-focused cryptocurrency zcash to its list of offerings for its investment app, the startup announced Monday.

Cryptocurrency ‘Villain’ Tells His Side of the Story (Newser), Rated: A

One of the most infamous figures in Bitcoin history has endured death threats, interrogations, and a year in solitary at a Tokyo jail. Now Mark Karpelès is telling his full story for the first time.

CFTC Aims to End Cryptocurrency Pump-and-Dumps With a Bounty Program (The Merkle), Rated: A

Pump-and-dump schemes are nothing new in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Such scams and hype cycles come around virtually every other week. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is all too aware of such developments. As such, the agency has created a bounty program meant to encourage whistle-blowers to expose these schemes.

Andra Capital sells tokens to invest in late-stage tech startups (Silicon Angle), Rated: A

The Andra Capital LLC “Silicon Valley Coin” is a security-tied token that aims to “democratize venture capital by allowing global investors to participate in top-tier Silicon Valley investments.” By contrast, the firm said, “traditional investments have previously been restricted to closed VC networks and large investment firms.”

BitCoinage ICO (XBCN Token): Arbitrage Crypto Trading Exchange? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: A

BitCoinage is an ecosystem consisting of three core products, including an arbitrage exchange, an online education program, and an insurance company.

The overall goal of the ecosystem is, according to the official website, “to create a whole new sector in cryptocurrency…one that exists between the centralized banking system and the decentralized world of cryptocurrency…a hybrid area where people who are new to cryptocurrency can have peace of mind while enjoying the additional earning potential of cryptocurrency.”

Someone wrote a kids’ book to explain bitcoin and blockchain (CNET), Rated: B

Meet Blocky.

Blocky is the main character in A Place in the Blockchain, a children’s story designed to explain blockchain and bitcointechnology to kids. It’s the creation of Brett Biery, a software developer and blockchain enthusiast.

International

Meet The Russians Behind Your Blockchain (And Cryptocurrency, Too) (Forbes), Rated: AAA

In the often hard-to-understand, cryptic world of blockchain and the cryptocurrencies that depend on it, few can claim two A-listers in the industry. The Russians can.

Here are the two household names: Vitalik Buterin, the young founder of the Ethereum blockchain, enabling cryptocurrency issuing startups to flourish in a way venture capital never has. He is now a millionaire many times over.

Pavel Durov continues to make headlines. He fights the law and wins. His messaging app Telegram is currently building its own blockchain platform called the Telegram Open Network. They’ve issued around a billion dollars worth of new coins to help fund it. Durov is a rock star. He lives somewhere between Dubai and St. Kitts. He recently fought a Russian spy agency ban on Telegram. Forbes lists him as a billionaire thanks to his bets on high tech innovation. His new blockchain platform may make him a billionaire many times over.

What the cryptocurrency market can learn from the 300 year old history of derivative markets (Hackernoon), Rated: AAA

The history of derivatives is as old as the history of commerce, with a promising hypothesis that Sephardic Jews carried derivative trading from Mesopotamia to Spain during Roman times and the first millennium AD, then to the Low Countries in the 16th century.

It’s easy to see how today the law will quickly catch up with commercial practice as ICOs and tokens are legalized and legitimized further.

The crypto community as a whole needs to do what the London Stock Exchange did; rather than relying on public regulation to enforce contracts, brokers consciously found a way to solve this dilemma by creating and enforcing a system of private rules. For many years the London Stock Exchange had no formal constitution and it was not until 1812 when they issued their first rulebook. In 1877 even the government declared that the Stock Exchange’s rules “had been salutary to the interests of the public” and that the Exchange acted “uprightly, honestly, and with a desire to do justice”.

Flexibility Is Strength: Evolving The ‘Smart’ Contract (ETHNews), Rated: AAA

Perhaps a better name is “Executable Distributed Code Contract,” or EDCC. They’re simple binary agreements that work on the Ethereum blockchain. (We’ll stick with Ethereum for this example, but there are a good number of blockchains that allow for EDCCs.)

These small programs living on the blockchain are termed “distributed code” because they are a set of instructions (erm, code) distributed throughout the entire Ethereum platform. And they’re described as “executable” because they have the necessary agency to autonomously perform functions on the blockchain when the correct prerequisites or inputs are met.

SALT Price Analysis – A smart contract lending platform which uses crypto-backed collateral (Brave New Coin), Rated: AAA

SALT is a loan platform that aims to marry the old and new world of finance by enabling cryptocurrency collateralized blockchain-backed loans with smart contracts. Currently, only Bitcoin and Ethereum collateralized loans are obtainable. Further crypto-collateralized loans are also on the roadmap, as well as a SALT credit card set to launch after June 30th.

The loan process occurs in stages. First, a borrower opens a membership account and forwards their collateral to the SALT Oracle Wallet (SOW), a multi-signature wallet that functions as a repository for collateral and manages the lending terms. Once the loan is approved, the funds are transferred to the borrower’s bank account or address. The borrower makes periodic payments to the lender, and once the loan is repaid, the borrower’s collateral is returned.

SALT Lending
Source: Brave New Coin

SALT Lending Holdings, LLC, has also created a Blockchain Asset Management company, which acts as an investment advisor with a “focus on income-producing loans that offer indirect exposure to blockchain based assets via secured credit instruments” through the SALT platform.

The platform currently has 65,981 active members and $39,109,000 in funded loans. The lender to borrower ratio, the number of successful loans that have occurred, and the default or liquidation of collateral percentage do not appear to be publicly available.

SALT membership currently has three tiers. “Base” allows for up to US$10,000 in borrowing, with an annual cost of 1 SALT token. “Premier” allows for up to $100,000 in borrowing, with an annual cost of 10 SALT tokens. “Enterprise” allows for up to US$1,000,000 in borrowing, with an annual cost of 100 SALT tokens.

The ICO raised 100% of their US$48,500,000 goal, distributing almost 55 million, or 45%, of the 120 million tokens created.

The SALT market cap now stands at US$491 million, based on the 120 million total supply, with exchange-traded volume of US$12.55 million in the past 24 hours.

SALT Lending price analysis
Source: Brave New Coin

Technical Analysis

The flat Kumo at ~US$11 should be considered a high probability target now that price has breached Cloud resistance. Price has also recently completed an Adam and Eve double bottom and has broken resistance on extremely high volume.

SALT Lending technical analysis
Source: Brave New Coin
SALT Lending analysis
Source: Brave New Coin

Quantstamp (QSP) Reveals Why They Helped In Auditing Binance’s ERC20 Tokens (Crypto Recorder), Rated: A

statement by the Jonathan Haas, head of security at Quantstamp reflects that the security firm commends the immense diligence Binance, saying they value their immeasurable dedication to the security of their customers.

“Quantstamp shares Binance’s safety-first philosophy in protecting their customers and supports the exchange’s ambitions to create the gold standard in security for the mass adoption of digital currencies. In light of the recent vulnerabilities, we are proud to have assisted Binance in its mission to help protect their token holders and the wider Ethereum community”

Crypto lending may be risky, but these firms say they’ve solved the riddle (American Banker), Rated: A

A new crypto lender, Nexo, will launch Monday in a market where existing participants have already withstood trial by fire.

Such lenders extend credit to those who want to own digital currency, such as bitcoin and ether, and hold onto it long-term while investing it in real estate and elsewhere. But crypto lenders have been severely tested of late as digital currency prices dropped about 70% between December and February.

crypto lending

Nexo

The team behind Switzerland-based Nexo runs a consumer lending operation called Credissimo that has made more than a million loans to consumers of up to $2,000 in Europe.

Salt Lending

Denver-based Salt Lending, which started crypto lending earlier this year, has made just under $40 million in loans and has had no losses, according to co-founder Blake Cohen.

Unchained Capital

Unchained Capital, which publicly launched in November, is originating “single-digit million dollars of loans per month,” according to CEO Joe Kelly. The typical loan size is $120,000; the average interest rate is 12%.

 

Top 2 New Cryptocurrencies With Unique Applications In 2018 (Stocks Gazette), Rated: A

CyberMiles (CMT)

CyberMiles (CMT) is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency platform that is designed to provide smart contracts optimized for e-commerce. It is a utility token whose value goes beyond just being used as a speculative tool.

The platform has a partnership with 5Miles that will see over 12 million users adopt its blockchain solution.

Cortex (CTXC)

The world is slowly gravitating towards the AI technology and Cortex wants to be the crypto that disrupts that ecosystem using a decentralized AI and blockchain-based system. As more projects in machine-to-machine (M2M) launch, the CTXC token will seek to provide a robust platform for easier understanding and launch of such projects.

This startup wants to create a merchandising and banking cryptoeconomy (The Next Web), Rated: A

Last year ecommerce sales tallied $2.3 trillion worldwide with revenues tipped to grow to $4.88 trillion by 2021.

Korona, a Swiss-Hungarian startup, is throwing its hat into the ring by developing its own marketplace using distributed ledger technology and its own dedicated Ethereum-based cryptocurrency token.

5 Things CMOs Need To Know About Blockchain And Influencer Marketing (Forbes), Rated: B

Companies like AC3 are recreating the online creator marketplace by partnering with online educators and influencers on their own platform, but in a brand new way.

1. Crypto companies have a robust user base.

A successful Initial Coin Offering (ICO) requires a large like-minded user base, which crypto companies have established with crypto purchasers and Telegram/Twitter/Slack followers.

2. Partnerships create better marketing opportunities for crypto companies.

3. Partnerships benefit the marketing budgets of both companies.

4. Partnerships lend legitimacy to crypto companies, and vice versa.

5. Larger companies are helping grow the blockchain market.

The Hyperledger Project Just Keeps Growing, 13 New Members This Week (Crypto Coin Spy), Rated: B

The global, collaborative, open source umbrella project Hyperledger announced the inclusion of 13 new members this week.

Some of the latest general members now part of Hyperledger include: CAREiQ, Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) Pte Ltd, Eden Partners, Equidato Technologies AG/SophiaTX and the IPCHAIN Association.

Furthermore, Hyperledger also welcomes new associate members, Blockchain at Berkeley and Zhejiang Blockchain Technology Application Association.

European Union

Security Audit Firm Discovers Critical Vulnerability in EOS Smart Contract System (Crypto Coin Spy), Rated: AAA

Chengdu LiaAn Technology Co (LianAn Tech) and its research platform VaaS (Verification as a Service), part of the EOS.CYBEX group, has identified a critical vulnerability embedded in the EOS smart contract architecture.

Ethereum’s Dialogue Divide Is Slowing Answers to Its Toughest Questions (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

As ethereum, now the world’s second most valuable blockchain, grows larger and more diverse, it’s becoming clear its mechanisms for getting input from its constituency are proving problematic.

And while many prominent developers, including software creator Vitalik Buterin, are pushing back on the idea that a split is probable, it remains a technical possibility, both because of the extent of the disagreement and the fact that anyone who runs the code is capable of choosing to fork off the network to take advantage of it at any time.

Detecting batchOverflow (and Similar Flaws) in Ethereum Smart Contracts (Consensys), Rated: AAA

Last week it finally happened: Ethereum received its first branded vulnerability. Security startup PeckShield reported batchOverflow, an integer overflow vulnerability in a standard ERC20 function that allows attackers to create arbitrary amounts of tokens out of thin air.

One of multiple live smart contracts affected by batchOverflow is the Beautychain (BEC) token contract. To analyze BEC token, I first obtained its verified source code from Etherscan and saved it in a local Solidity file named BecToken.sol.

$ myth -x BECToken.sol:BecToken
==== Exception state ====
Type: Informational
Contract: BecToken
Function name: transfer(address,uint256)
PC address: 5162
A reachable exception (opcode 0xfe) has been detected. This can be caused by type errors, division by zero, out-of-bounds array access, or assert violations. This is acceptable in most situations. Note however that `assert()` should only be used to check invariants. Use `require()` for regular input checking.
--------------------
In file: BECToken.sol:28
assert(c >= a)
--------------------
==== Integer Overflow  ====
Type: Warning
Contract: BecToken
Function name: transfer(address,uint256)
PC address: 5149
A possible integer overflow exists in the function `transfer(address,uint256)`.
The addition or multiplication may result in a value higher than the maximum representable integer.

Mythril reports a total of three issues. The output shows the program counter address, line number, and source code associated with each issue. The first two issues reported are an integer overflow and an exception in line 27 and 28, respectively. These code lines form part of the function add in the SafeMath library.

source code
Source: Consensys

Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin: Sharding is Coming (CryptoSlate), Rated: A

Ethereum mastermind Vitalik Buterin released a new proof of concept that demonstrates how the sharding scalability solution can be “bolted on” to the Ethereum main chain. The demonstration follows a recent “minimal sharding protocol” initiative from the Ethereum cofounder that aims to dramatically enhance the transaction throughput and scalability of the Ethereum blockchain.

The integration of the sharding scaling solution appears to have kicked into high gear over the last month, with Buterin announcing a “minimal sharding protocol” as a new development target earlier this month.

New Store Sells Cryptocurrencies for Regular Old Cash in Croatia (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

A “Bitcoin store” has opened doors in Croatia. It sells bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and even issues receipts. The shop is a welcome addition to the steadily growing crypto sector in the Balkan country. The team behind the project plans to expand to all major Croatian cities and even other countries in the region.

Spanish Company Sends Olive Oil to the Blockchain with Smart Contract Quality Control (ICO Examiner), Rated: A

Spain is the world’s largest olive oil producer, producing one million tons of it each year.

On a less cynical note, two of the biggest problems in the commodity supply chain are price volatility and quality control. Olivacoin hopes to solve both issues for the olive oil industry with its ICO, launching tomorrow.

Covee uses blockchain to allow experts worldwide to collaborate (TechCrunch), Rated: B

Covee, a startup out of Berlin, has raised a modest €1.35 million in a round led by LocalGlobe in London, with Atlantic Labs in Berlin and a selection of angels.

Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan joins the speakers at TechCrunch’s first blockchain event (TechCrunch0, Rated: B

We’re announcing another big name for our upcoming blockchain event in Zug, Switzerland, on July 6 after Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan joined the line-up.

United Kingdom

Litecoin Cash whitepaper is released (MENAFN), Rated: AAA

Litecoin Cash Team is happy to announce that we have just released the first version of our whitepaper here:
Litecoin Cash Whitepaper V1.0
https://litecoinca.sh/downloads/lcc_whitepaper.pdf

For your convenience, we’ve made the Litecoin Cash whitepaper available here.

London Block Exchange Lists Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic Due to Popular Demand (PR Newswire), Rated: A

London Block Exchange (LBX) – the UK’s only dedicated multi-cryptocurrency exchange – has today added Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) to its offering of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin hijackers found at least one sucker for scam Chrome extension (The Register), Rated: A

Security researchers have caught a Bitcoin-hijacking Chrome extension that only managed to grab one BitCoin transaction before being exposed.

FacexWorm propagates in malicious Facebook Messenger messages, the company said, and only attacks Chrome; if another browser is detected, the user is directed to an innocuous-looking advertisement.

FacexWorm
Source: The Register
China

Researchers confirm tokens on Binance weren’t affected by ERC20 bug (The Next Web), Rated: AAA

Last week, a number of cryptocurrency exchange desks temporarily suspended trading after blockchain security company PeckShield discovered two critical vulnerabilities in multiple ERC20 tokens.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has however ensured that none of the ERC20 tokens listed on its platform suffer from these vulnerabilities.

A Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur Will Run For Mayor In Taipei. What If She Wins? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Regulators neither support the likes of Bitcoin nor oppose use of the new-age tool for investment or commerce.

Now Cheng Yi-ting, CEO of the local cryptocurrency exchange OTCBTC, is calling the issue out as she runs for mayor of Taipei this year. She declared online April 13 she would run in the election scheduled for November. She will probably face the independent incumbent of four years and candidates from Taiwan’s major political parties. Cheng is running party-less and pledges to stimulate the island capital’s crypto industry.

Hong Kong Report Suggests Cryptocurrency Is Largely Left Out Of City’s Organized Crime (Forbes), Rated: AAA

The Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury (FSTB) has released its Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment Report. The report comes amid an increasingly tense debate on whether the city is adequately combatting financial crime. The number of suspicious transactions has quadrupled in the past six years, while convictions have gone down.

risk-level heat map
Source: Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury (FSTB)

At the same time, businesses around Hong Kong have been complaining that they are being denied banking services on a large scale because of the banks’ overreaching fear of money laundering risks. This has particularly hit the cryptocurrency community hard.

ML investigations
Source: Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury (FSTB)

Read the full report here.

Wait, Did China Just Take An Explosive Blockchain Lead? (Forbes), Rated: A

Recently such outlets as Financial Times reported that China just snapped up the number one spot for the greatest number of patents pertaining to blockchain technology over any other country in the world.

Onething Technologies, the cloud computing arm of Xunlei Limited, a leading cloud-based acceleration technology company in China, recently announced that it launched a high-performance blockchain platform called ThunderChain, which can concurrently conduct millions of transactions per second. ThunderChain is designed to realize confirmation and interaction among homogeneous chains and enable multiple transactions to be executed on different chains in parallel.

China’s Mother of All Chains (MOAC) Seeks to Compete With Ethereum (CryptoSlate), Rated: A

Can China’s Mother of All Chains (MOAC) outperform the world’s second largest cryptocurrency?

As one of the first cryptocurrencies to launch, Ethereum has since revolutionized the blockchain industry through its introduction of dApps and smart contracts – which have been used to launch countless ICOs worldwide.

The Mother of All Chains improves on Ethereum’s decentralized network by adding additional layers (MicroChains) to the blockchain for distinct transaction types based on required computation power.

CoinGeek Conference highlights why Bitcoin Cash is cash (CoinGeek), Rated: A

For cryptocurrencies to be successful over the long-term, they need to be versatile and fungible. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has already proven to be both, and will set the bar for how the eCommerce industry accepts digital currency going forward. For anyone in the eCommerce or retail space, the inaugural CoinGeek conference will be the definitive spot to learn why BCH has become so important, as well as to network with other professionals.

The inaugural CoinGeek Conference will be held on May 18 at the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong.

ICBC’s First Blockchain Patent Is Now Public (CoinDesk), Rated: B

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of the country’s four largest state-owned commercial banks, is exploring a way to authenticate digital certificates and store data in a sharable blockchain.

According a patent application filed with China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), the bank aims to use a blockchain system to improve the efficiency of certificate issuance and save users from repetitively filing the same document to multiple entities.

Australia/New Zealand

ASX Exchange Targets 2020 for DLT Settlement System (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Details about the system’s progression toward production launch were included in an 87-page consultation paper published Friday, which included a timeline for when the switch will be made as well as descriptions of the types of functions it will and won’t support.

ASX is targeting a rollout date sometime in the quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021. But before then, ASX – by way of the consultation paper – is seeking early feedback on its plans as they exist today.

ANZ and IBM develop blockchain solution for Suncorp (CIO.co.nz), Rated: B

The project is one of the first of its kind in New Zealandto utilise blockchain, a distributed ledger technology.

The goal is to make the data transfer and payment reconciliation process faster and more transparent between brokers and insurers.

India

How bitcoin’s biggest rival could overtake it (Times of India), Rated: AAA

“Ethereum has the possibility to overtake the market capitalisation, and thus value, of bitcoin,” Hubert Olszewski, director of business development at Blockchain Board of Derivatives, tells The Independent. “This is because from the get-go it was a more versatile tool.”

Some, like litecoin and bitcoin cash, have improved transaction times and lowered transaction costs. Ethereum’s aim, by contrast, is far more ambitious than simply improving upon bitcoin’s credentials as a payment system and store of value.

APAC

Asia Is about to Have a New Crypto Hub (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

According to the Reuters agency, the Philippine government intends to license 10 cryptocurrency platforms and blockchain companies permitting them to operate within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone.

Raul Lambino, Chief of the CEZA that manages the economic zone, stated that they would allow Initial Coin Offerings, mining and exchange operations.

To take advantage of the economic zone preferences, companies should invest at least $1 million over 2 years and pay license fees of $100,000.

Usechain To Become World’s First-ever Self-sovereign Identity Blockchain (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Identity is the new money. New Blockchain project Usechain is becoming the first-ever Blockchain Ecosystem to achieve self-sovereign identity for individuals and institutions. Usechain aims to fuse innovative technologies with off-chain identities to create a public Blockchain ecosystem based on real identity, addressing the issue of distrust due to anonymity in current Blockchain projects, while maintaining uncompromised security.

While 99% of Blockchain projects are anonymous, Usechain aims to create a more transparent Blockchain built on real identities. Real identity makes the revolutionary Identity consensus technology come true with high security; Usechain also uses Mirror Identity Technology to protect privacy in Usechain public chain system.

Japanese Regulator Sees Boost In Cryptocurrency Queries (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Japanese consumers filed over three times the number of enquiries about cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings in 2017 as compared to the previous year, according to data released by Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA).

A hot crypto hedge fund keeps poaching talent from Goldman Sachs (Business Insider), Rated: A

Two former Goldman Sachs employees have joined prominent cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital in the past three months, Business Insider has learned.

Steve Lee, a former portfolio manager and trader at Goldman, is one of the most recent hires by the Connecticut-based hedge fund, which was co-founded by a former Goldman vice president, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

He has been leveraging the relationships he made in Japan, South Korea and Singapore to improve BlockTower’s strategic partnerships and business development in Asia.

The move follows two other Goldman hires by BlockTower, including Elizabeth Ralston, a former vice president at the bank.

Blue Frontiers Announces Cryptocurrency to Power the Economies of Floating Cities– Presale is live! (Reddit), Rated: A

With a program to build sustainable floating communities with independent governing frameworks, Blue Frontiershas announced a cryptocurrency called Varyon that will power transactions and be required to purchase property on the seasteads.

Regtech Cynopsis Creates Subsidiary Traceto.io to Handle ICO KYC / AML (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

Stating that Cynopsis Solutions is already the largest provider of KYC services to blockchain and cryptocurrency based projects in Asia Pacific, the company has launched an initial coin offering (ICO) program via a subsidiary called traceto.io. This new entity seeks to expand its decentralized platform to meet increasingly strict regulatory compliance standards. The new company launched an initial coin offering (ICO) as the private sale kicked off last week.

Alphacon Network, the Blockchain Based Healthcare Big Data Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Alphacon Network, a differentiated blockchain based healthcare Big Data platform which collects, analyzes, standardizes, and distributes healthcare Big Data, has announced the release of their White Paper and the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) schedule for Alphacon (ALP) tokens on the official homepage (https://alphacon.io).

 

MENA

Iran: Model Of State-Issued Digital Currency Now Ready, Says Gov’t Minister (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

An Iranian government minister has confirmed that an experimental model of a domestic digital currency is now ready, Reuters reported Saturday, April 28. The move closely follows the country’s recent banking blockade on cryptocurrency trading.

Miner One takes Bitcoin mining to new heights with space mission (Digital Trends), Rated: A

In an effort to show its confidence in Bitcoin’s performance in 2018, Miner One sent its rig to space to mine cryptocurrency for a few hours.

The mining mission began this morning, April 30, when the Miner One team used a balloon to send a carbon fiber capsule equipped with an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a Raspberry Pi 3, battery, satellite phone, GoPro Hero 5, and a metal souvenir coin for a competition winner, to the height of more than 35,000 meters, or roughly 100,000 feet.

Police Use AI Tech To Locate And Arrest Gang Suspected Of $ 1.9 Mln Armed Bitcoin Heist (CoinTelegraph), Rated: B

Police in Dubai have arrested ten members of a gang who reportedly stole 7 mln AED ($1.9 mln) in an armed Bitcoin heist in the Al Muraqqabat area of Dubai on Wednesday, Gulf News reports Sunday, April 29. Lieutenant Colonel Adel Al Joker, Director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), told Gulf News:

Africa

Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority moots new unit to police digital currency trading (Standard Media), Rated: AAA

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has proposed the creation of a special unit to deal with issues arising from the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies.

In the proposal, the capital markets regulator says the special unit would be an arm of all relevant regulators such as itself and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to help address challenges that come with adopting digital currencies.

Canada

ICO Promoters Can Expect Canada to Be as Tough as the US (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

On Aug. 24 of last year the Canadian Securities Administrators (an umbrella organization of Canada’s provincial securities regulators) published CSA Staff Notice 46-307 on cryptocurrency offerings, in which the authors posit that “[A] coin/token may still be a ‘security’ as defined in securities legislation of the jurisdictions of Canada. Businesses should complete an analysis on whether a security is involved.”

The Staff Notice goes on to confirm that Canada, through the seminal Pacific Coast Coin Exchange v. Ontario Securities Commission decision, has adopted the United States’ Howey Test in determining whether a particular investment constitutes an investment contract and therefore a security.

Take for example the 2016 Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) decision of Furtak.  The issuers in this case were selling licenses to use relatively complex financial software agreements which granted users the right to use the financial software to trade futures contracts.

Why Canada has Emerged as a Leading Blockchain and Crypto Nation: Expert Take (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Canada has emerged as a leading crypto nation based on its innovation, low energy costs, high internet speed and favorable regulatory regime.  While it ranks third in the world behind the U.S. and the UK when it comes to embracing Blockchain technology, Ethereum Blockchain technology adoption around the world with a wide variety of applications in finance, government, legal, health, education, space, national and multinational cryptocurrencies, energy, initial coin offerings and others is unparalleled.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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