Daily News Digest Featured News

Friday May 4 2018, Daily News Digest

Monero media sentiment
Source: Nasdaq

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News Summary

United States

Coinbase Responds to New York AG’s Crypto Exchange Inquiry (CCN), Rated: AAA

The five-page letter, which was drafted by Mike Lempres — Coinbase’ chief legal and risk officer — is an abbreviated version of the one that the company sent to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), but it nevertheless contains some notable insights into the company’s meteoric growth over the past 18 months.

He also revealed that Coinbase now has more than 300 employees spread across its four offices and nearly 1,000 full-time personnel when including dedicated contractors. Approximately 20 percent of those employees work in the firm’s compliance division, highlighting how rocky the regulatory landscape is for companies operating in this nascent industry.

A look at the team leading Coinbase’s acquisition spree and its plans to become the Google of crypto (Business Insider), Rated: A

Leading the charge is Choi, VP of corporate and business development and business operations at Coinbase, and a recent addition from LinkedIn.

Among her goals: to echo Google’s acquisition strategy in the early days of Web 2.0 by acquiring products and talent that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with the technology at hand. Think Google’s 2004 acquisition of Keyhole, which provided the foundation for Google Earth.

Coinbase makes a key hire for a product aimed at luring Wall Street into the crypto market (Business Insider), Rated: B

Sam McIngvale joined Coinbase in March, according to his LinkedIn profile. McIngvale, who was the head of Digital Wealth at Apex, is the product lead of Coinbase’s custody product.

Crypto-Connection: Why News Sentiment Is A Vital Tool For Crypto Investing (Nasdaq), Rated: AAA

In the volatile world of crypto, there have undoubtedly been a series of twists, turns and dramatic market fluctuations over the past six months. There has also been an overwhelming amount of conflicting commentary and market speculation.

  •  Bitcoin [BTC]

Interestingly before the market dipped we can see from the CoinWatch platform an influx of 90 bearish versus 41 bullish Bitcoin news articles.

Bitcoin media sentiment
Source: Nasdaq

Right now, the bull story is fighting back. At the beginning of April, Bitcoin saw a huge uptrend (mirrored by the 61 positive versus 25 negative articles).

Monero media sentiment
Source: Nasdaq
  • Litecoin [LTC]

But the announcement that the coin was launching LitePay, a merchant payment processing system for Litecoin, created a substantial amount of media hype. This was reflected in the price. By February 15, Litecoin was up over $100.

Litecoin news sentiment
Source: Nasdaq

DC, California, New York And Jersey Join The Cryptocurrency Craze (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

But what can you do with cryptocurrencies, other than buy digital coins and hope you get more back in value? RewardExpert – a free service that helps users get the most value out of their spending – sought out to determine which states provide the best infrastructure for using cryptocurrencies as payment, and to evaluate which states’ residents are the most “crypto-curious.”

California tops Google Trends’ keyword search data for specific currencies, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple, scoring 98, 92, 97 and 85, respectively, out of a possible 100. It also ranks highly for searches for the term “cryptocurrency” itself, coming in at a score of 93. The state also has over 500 establishments where Bitcoin is an accepted form of payment.

interest in crypto

Payments Company Square Unveils Low Returns From Bitcoin Business Last Quarter (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

US payments processing company Square recently reported low profits from Bitcoin (BTC) trading in its Cash App last quarter, according to an article by Fortune Wednesday, May 2.

According to Square’s earnings report, Bitcoin-related business generated about 5 percent of overall revenue, amounting to $34.1 mln. However, the amount of profit from Bitcoin barely covered the funds spent to acquire it in the first place. Profits totaled around $200,000 or about 0.6 percent of the $33.9 mln spent.

Is Charlie Lee Leaving Litecoin (LTC) for the Sake of Decentralization? (Global Coin Report), Rated: A

It all started with a rumor that Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, is going to leave his own currency. The conversation with Charlie Lee started off on Twitter, triggered with a question asked by one of the Charlie Lee’s followers on Twitter. The question was: “The rumors are saying that you are leaving LTC, is it true?”

Even though Litecoin’s CEO confirmed that he is going to leave the team, he kept private the date when he will no longer be a part of Litecoin, so we can only wait for more updates on his departure or feel free to guess when this departure will occur.

The Three Layers Of Cryptocurrency Security (Forbes), Rated: AAA

This diagram illustrates the hierarchical nature of cryptocurrency security:

crypto security
Source: Wallarm Inc.

4 reasons cryptocurrency still hasn’t gone mainstream (CNBC), Rated: A

One factor many agree could make or break cryptocurrency is whether it can outgrow its current appeal to the FinTech crowd and join the real economy. It all depends on whether consumers adopt cryptocurrency as a payment method like any other. So far, they have proven reluctant to trade their fiat bills for crypto coins.

Here are four reasons why, and some solutions, too:

  • Crypto is hard to spend
  • Crypto is too abstract
  • Crypto is too volatile
  • Crypto prompts too many legal questions

3 Ways the IRS Is Taxing Cryptocurrencies (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

1. Capital gains tax from investing

The first way of taxing folks is pretty straightforward: if you buy virtual tokens and they increase in value, you’ll pay either a short- or long-term capital gains tax when you sell. Keep in mind, this means paying tax on capital gains anytime you sell a virtual currency for a profit. The like-kind exchange no longer applies, as of Jan. 1, 2018.

2. Capital gains tax derived from purchasing goods and services

In addition to traditional investing, the IRS also taxes virtual currencies when being used to purchase goods and services.

3. Cryptocurrency mining income

Finally, the IRS also aims to tax cryptocurrency miners based in the United States.

How to value cryptocurrencies—in theory, anyway (Quartz), Rated: A

In crypto, the network-value to transactions ratio (NVT) is considered the analog. If a cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, then it should be priced according to the amount of value its users are transacting.

More buzz = lower price?

Whereas most sentiment analysis suggests more hype translates into higher prices, two researchers at Western University in Canada, Sha Wang and Jean-Philippe Vergne, found that increased public interest, captured through Bing search volumes and Alexa web traffic rankings, resulted in negative returns for a basket of cryptocurrencies.

Nouriel Roubini says bitcoin is ‘bulls–t’ and only attracts ‘suckers’ (MarketWatch), Rated: A

The famously bearish NYU economist — who earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” for predicting the financial crisis — blasted bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.26%   fanatics as “suckers” and said repeatedly that its underlying technology was “ bulls–t.”

But at a Wednesday panel at the Milken Institute Global Conference here, Roubini called the blockchain a “glorified Excel spreadsheet,” noting that cryptocurrency holders still go through centralized exchanges to clear their transactions.

The Ultimate Beginners Guide To ICOs (King Passive), Rated: A

Another key feature of ICOs is the white paper.

The team behind an ICO prepares a white paper to describe details about their project.

Although there isn’t a standardized format for white papers, most cover things investors would care about, such as the following:

  • Introduction to the project
  • The problem the project is trying to solve
  • How the project’s technology works
  • The project’s roadmap or plan moving forward
  • Details about the project’s token distribution
  • How investor funds will be used
  • Anticipated outlook for the project’s success
  • Information about the project’s team and advisors
  • Terms and conditions and other formalities

Oscar Mayer Gets Cease and Desist Over Cryptocurrency Ads Because ‘Bacoin’ Already Exists (Gizmodo), Rated: A

It’s only been a few days since Oscar Mayer launched its horrendous “Bacoin” ad campaign, and a hero has come along in an attempt to kill it for good. Kirk Steele started a cryptocurrency called “Bacoin” a few years ago, and now he wants Oscar Mayer to cease-and-desist in conducting this viral travesty of a promotion.

UPDATE: In an email to Gizmodo, Steele said that he was able to reach a compromise with Oscar Mayer’s representatives. Steele writes:

“Heard back from Oscar Mayer, it was a good talk. They are making a donation in mine and their name to the Geek Group which has sessions related to cryptocurrency and other awesome building activities. They are also sending the Weinermobile to my house for my kids’ entertainment and supplying me with some free bacon as well.”

Arizona’s Cryptocurrency Tax Bill Sees Rollback On Crypto Acceptance (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

The Arizona House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 1091, a tax bill that would allow citizens to pay their taxes using cryptocurrencies, according to public records May 2. Following the recent vote however, this initiative has been stymied with amendments.

The bill, which passed the Arizona State Senate on Feb. 8, would allow residents of Arizona to pay their state taxes with digital currency. The state government would then convert the digital currency payments to US dollars within 24 hours of their receipt.

JPMorgan Seeks Patent for Blockchain-Powered Interbank Payments (CoinDesk), Rated: A

In a patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday (which was originally submitted last October), JPMorgan outlined a system that uses distributed ledgers to record payments being sent from one bank to another using a peer-to-peer network. According to the bank, the tech’s use would provide “a unique system for recording transactions and storing data.”

Reasons Why Civic Can Become the Most Promising Cryptocurrency in 2018 (Global Coin Report), Rated: A

Nowadays, online identity verification has become an inextricable part of our life which is majorly dependent on various digital platforms. Every person has to go through various tediously long identity verification procedures like KYC (Know Your Customer) whenever s/he wants to open a bank account, or apply for a job, or even participate in an ICO start-up. Civic coin was developed to revolutionize this procedure by providing a personal identity verification protocol to their users that can leverage distributed ledger technology for better management of digital identities.

Meet the blockchain for building better widgets, cheaper and faster (MIT Technology Review), Rated: A

Using a permissioned version of Ethereum, researchers there hooked up a computer numerical control (CNC) machine, a versatile piece of equipment that spits out parts on factory floors everywhere, to a small blockchain network. Then they showed that smart contracts could be used to program the machine to automatically record data about itself and share it to the blockchain—in this case, verification that the machine had been operating continuously for eight hours.

NANO (NANO) to Shake Off BitGrail Troubles with Binance Competition (cryptovest), Rated: B

NANO (NANO) will receive an additional boost after switching to a new ticker, through a Binance trading competition with a generous reward of 15,000 NANO:

Two companies under investigation for allegedly promoting cryptocurrency to Colorado residents (The Denver Post), Rated: B

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies is cracking down on two companies allegedly promoting cryptocurrency to Colorado residents, officials announced Thursday.

International

RCN launches Ripio engine to bring blockchain and smart contracts to loans (VentureBeat), Rated: AAA

Today, Ripio Credit Network (RCN) — a global credit network based on cosigned smart contracts — has released an entirely new version of its NanoLoanEngine, the driving mechanism behind its protocol. The upgrade, which is called Basalt, includes significant improvements that will offer lenders and borrowers more flexibility. The company also claims that the new engine lowers costs.

Will millennials be a cashless generation? (Brave New Coin), Rated: AAA

Perhaps surprisingly, it’s the emerging economies that are the early and most avid adopters of new payment methods. In India, 56 percent of consumers say they regularly pay for goods using mobile wallets; in Thailand that figure is 51 percent, whereas in Spain and the UK it’s 25 percent and 14 percent respectively.

Millennials are driving the change and shaping the future of money. By 2025, millennials (those born after 1980) will comprise three quarters of the global workforce and according to Pew Research, in the US, they will overtake the baby boomer generation by 2019 when the millennial population will increase to 73 million and the boomers sit  around 72 million.

Tainted by the legacy of the Global Financial Crisis, millennials arguably had the most reason to lose faith in the current financial system and according to research on the Future of Money report 76 percent of millennials are looking for new forms of banking. Millennials are driving the move to mobile banking

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian thinks Ethereum will increase in value by 2,000% this year (Business Insider), Rated: A

His prediction: While the price of Bitcoin will more than double by the end of the year, regaining its all-time high of $20,000, Ethereum will reach 21 times its current value — hitting $15,000 by the end of 2018. Bitcoin now stands at about $9,100, while Ethereum is valued at about $690.

These ICO Investors Are Getting Their Money Back – And It’s Not Clear Why (CoinDesk), Rated: A

In what seems like the latest sign concerns are impacting initial coin offerings (ICOs) broadly, Seattle-based Dragonchain is forcing one of its affiliate projects, Norwegian startup Iagon, to return funds it raised from investors back in April – and it’s currently unclear why.

Fraudsters Take Aim at Investors in Controversial KodakCoin ICO (CoinDesk), Rated: A

A representative for the company behind the long-in-the-making KODAKCoin initial coin offering (ICO) has accused a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange of fraud after it claimed it would host the token sale.

According to a page on the Hong Kong-based exchange LBank.io, the platform’s ICO section says it is about to open the KODAKCoin token sale on Friday, May 4 at 20:00 Beijing time, or 12:00 UTC, which will end at the same time on May 11.

Cryptocurrencies: Protecting Your Downside in the Face of Uncertainty (Duff and Phelps), Rated: A

Industry participants that want to “get it right” and protect their investors, assets and reputation must institute best-in-class regulatory compliance and security standards. Those seeking the longevity and continuity of their businesses must do the following three things well to ensure they are prepared:

  1. Focus on consistently improving compliance / security procedures;
  2. Be proactive in the ordinary course of business to upgrade to best practices; and
  3. Have regular, third-party reviews of security policies and procedure.

BitGrail Claims NANO Coin Only “Good on Paper” (CryptoRecorder), Rated: A

BitGrail troubles are far from over with the latest from the exchange claiming that Nano (NANO) Coin is only “good on paper.” The exchange’s founder alleges that the Nano team played a rather hanky-panky game on the hack attack that led to the disappearance of investor funds.

Binance And Cryptopia Trading Software Bot By Reformation Service (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: A

If you have always had an interest in making money off pumps, you will love this app by Reformation Service. You will be able to set your preference beforehand. During the pump, all you will need to do is type the symbol. The bot is then going to handle everything else. It will buy and sell for you. This bot has no emotions and is not prone to error. Besides that, it trades faster than any human does.

6 reasons why you shouldn’t bury Cryptocurrencies yet (TechRadar), Rated: A

  1. The New Generation of CryptocurrenciesThere are many other alternation alt-coins to choose from such as Ripple, Ethereum and Dash thus the possibilities are endless for cryptocurrency investment.
  2. Transparency & Trust
  3. Instant Ownership
  4. Companies are ready for changeMicrosoft, AirBnB and Uber have also all started to research how changing their practices to include cryptocurrency as a payment option could reap rewards in the long term.
  5. Simplicity
  6. Tighter Crypto Regulations

MASSMINER TAKES A KITCHEN-SINK APPROACH TO CRYPTOMINING (Threat Post), Rated: A

Though it falls squarely into the trend of cryptominers setting their sights on the Monero virtual currency, the MassMiner malware family is adding its own special somethin’-somethin’ to the mix. It targets Windows servers with a variety of recent and well-known exploits – all within a single executable.

In fact, MassMiner uses a veritable cornucopia of attacks: The EternalBlue National Security Agency hacking tool (CVE-2017-0143), which it uses to install DoublePulsar and the Gh0st RAT backdoor to establish persistence; an exploit for the well-known Apache Struts flaw that led to the Equifax breach (CVE-2017-5638); and an exploit for Oracle’s WebLogic Java application server (CVE-2017-10271). It also uses the SQLck tool to gain brute-force access to Microsoft SQL Servers, and it even incorporates a fork of MassScan, a legitimate tool that can scan the internet in under six minutes.

Is Blockchain’s Trajectory Tied to Chinese Money? (Investopedia), Rated: A

China’s historically wishy-washy stance on blockchain has caused some market hiccups and been the cause of much worry in the cryptocurrency industry, but the contrast between the government’s position and the opinion of its citizens is black and white. Chinese bitcoin mining operations represent over 80% of bitcoins mined today, largely due to cheap state-subsidized energy. Despite a string of bans, it remains popular among urban residents and in regions like Hong Kong, where Western-style laws complement the general obsession over crypto.

Verisart brings blockchain certification to the global art auction market (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Almost three years ago Verisart appeared on the scene with an unusual idea. It was going to use the immutability of blockchain to create certification to the fine art market.

Verisart is now launching the “P8Pass” developed in partnership with Paddle8, to bring blockchain certification and authentication services to the auction market.

Malware targets Drupal to mine for cryptocurrency (ZDNet), Rated: B

According to researchers from Imperva’s Incapsula, Kitty is the latest malware to attack the Drupal content management system (CMS) for the purpose of cryptojacking.

FacexWorm Facebook Messenger Malware Strikes Again (News4c), Rated: B

The malicious behaviors of FacexWorm include the following:

  • Steal the user’s account credentials for Google, MyMonero, and Coinhive
  • Push a cryptocurrency scam
  • Conduct malicious web cryptocurrency mining
  • Hijack cryptocurrency-related transactions
  • Earn from cryptocurrency-related referral programs

OPSkins and WAX Collectible Assets Now Have Their Own Crypto Wallet (Crypto Coin Spy), Rated: B

Now we can report that the OPSkins marketplace and the Worldwide Asset eXchange platform as a whole have the official support of their very own secure cryptocurrency wallet: Trust Wallet.

European Union

Can Casper, Plasma and Sharding Elevate Ethereum to New Heights? (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

Without getting bogged down in the technicalities of it all, sharding will basically divide data across multiple servers instead of just the one. Essentially the ledger will be fragmented in this scaling out process, Buterin elaborated on Reddit;

Plasma is another Ethereum scaling solution which involves a second layer of smart contracts over the main blockchain. Similar to sharding this method will mean that the entire network does not have to validate and broadcast every contract transaction. In theory Plasma would replace server farms with a peer-to-peer network upon which users collectively run dApps in a scalable and decentralized way.

The Casper update which will shift Ethereumfrom a Proof of Work to hybrid PoW/Proof of Stake model and introduce these new solutions is still several months away.

draglet Offers Its Cryptocurrency Exchange & ICO Platform Source Code for Sale (BusinessWire), Rated: A

draglet GmbH  is offering its proprietary exchange and ICO platform source code for outright purchase. This makes draglet the first exchange development company to make its source code available for sale to operators of cryptocurrency exchanges or companies launching an ICO. Competitors in the space keep their source code hidden from customers.

Born in a dishwasher drawer, an Italian spin on currency mining (Reuters), Rated: A

Two Italian entrepreneurs are raising up to 20 million euros ($25 million) as they try to carve out a new niche in crypto-currency mining – a dream that began in a dishwasher drawer.

Gabriele Angeli, 34, and Gabriele Stampa, 43, are founders of Florence-based Bitminer Factory, Italy’s largest currency-mining host, which has developed a computer “rig” they hope will underpin a plan to forge a unusual business model.

In eight months of operation, the “Bitminer 8” has helped to attract 140 miners to their mining operation on the outskirts of the elegant Renaissance city, which for several centuries from the Middle Ages served as a mint for European coinage.

United Kingdom

Standard Chartered to extend its use of the Ripple Network (AMBCrypto), Rated: AAA

Standard Chartered plans to extend its use of the Ripple network for cross-border payments to five more pairs of countries over the coming year.

China

Binance CEO details future company plans, exchanges’ security and responsibilities (AMBCrypto), Rated: AAA

In an interview with podcast Crypto 101 today, CEO and Founder of cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance, Chang Peng “CZ” Zhao, revealed the plans for the future of Binance and its focus in the present.

Asia

Coinsecure Cryptocurrency Exchange Heist Victims to Wait Indefinitely for Refunds (BTCManager), Rated: AAA

April 13, 2018, was undoubtedly a sad day for one of India’s leading bitcoin exchanges; Coinsecure. Over $3.6 million worth of the world’s leading digital currency was stolen from the firm’s crypto wallet, due to alleged negligence on the part of the exchange’s chief security officer.

Now, the company has announced that victims of the theft would have to wait indefinitely for their much-needed reimbursement.

India’s cryptocurrency investors bet trading will survive bank ban (WHTC), Rated: A

A month after India’s central bank barred regulated lenders from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions, trading volumes have surged dramatically alongside a sharp rally in prices.

New South Korean Bill Will Seek to Overturn ICO Ban (cryptovest), Rated: A

A long-anticipated bill that could lift the South Korean government’s ban on ICOs may reach the floor of the country’s National Assembly.

Indonesia Looks to Blockchain to Fix Its Dodgy Data Challenges (U.S. News), Rated: A

This approach to data management could help Southeast Asia’s largest economy, which has difficulties keeping accurate data and control over everything from food output to personal information for its 250 million people across 17,000 islands.

Indonesian banks are also looking at the technology: a survey by Bain & Company published last year found about 80 percent of executives at financial institutions think blockchain will significantly impact markets. A similar percentage expects to start using it before 2020.

Africa

Cardano pens deal to help Ethiopia put agriculture on the blockchain (The Next Web), Rated: AAA

Ethiopia is the latest African nation to express interest in blockchain-powered solutions. The country has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with fledgling cryptocurrency startup Cardano that will see developers use its blockchain in the local agriculture industry.

Cryptocurrencies hype and the prospect of an African digital money (The New Times), Rated: AAA

But the trade of cryptocurrencies is already happening in many African countries with various levels of sophistication or volumes be in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa or Zimbabwe.

Innovators from Kenya and their partners are banking on the reputation of M-Pesa to follow through with the BitPesa trading in Europe after they bought a Spanish exchange.

Taking the route of many innovators that develop and market crypto products for its efficiency, immutability and security, low fees to tackle on issues in the Africa context.

Can Solar Power Drive Bitcoin Mining in Africa? (Bitcoin Magazine), Rated: A

The Blockchain Africa Conference came to a close last month in Johannesburg, South Africa. Around the same time, the Kenyan government set up a task force to study the impact of the technology. There are plenty of other blockchain communities growing around Africa too, in places like NigeriaSudanand Algeria.

But with global bitcoin mining using more power than most African countries (only South Africa, Egypt and Algeria consume more), it’s hard to see how it’s going to be sustainable on the continent. On the flipside, solar power just might have the force to push bitcoin mining in Africa to the next level. Here’s how.

Caribbean

BITT Founder to Advise Bermuda Government on Digital Currency (Caribbean360), Rated: AAA

The founder of the Barbados-based financial technology firm Bitt will be a digital currency consultant and adviser to the Bermuda government.

Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt made the announcement yesterday, before signing an agreement with the digital assets and blockchain technology expert, who is also founder of the British Virgin Islands-based Digital Asset Fund.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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