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Thursday May 24 2018, Daily News Digest

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United States

Coinbase Acquires Paradex Exchange, Retires GDAX Name (Fortune), Rated: AAA

Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency trading service, has acquired a service called Paradex that lets customers trade all sorts of digital tokens on a so-called decentralized exchange (This article by Hacker Noon provides a good overview of how they work).

Paradex, which has 10 employees and is built on a protocol called 0x, is one of several startups pitching the technology as a way for consumers to get access to lesser known cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase will not immediately make Paradex available to American customers.

On Wednesday, Coinbase also announced a new brand called Coinbase Pro. The brand will replace GDAX, the company’s longtime trading platform for institutional investors.

Coinbase hires Grayling’s Elliott Suthers as second comms staffer (PR Week), Rated: B

Coinbase has hired Grayling veteran Elliott Suthers as director of communications, its second comms-focused role.

Ripple has 55 billion XRPs in escrow. Could that be linked to xRapid? (Global Coin Report), Rate: AAA

A frequent question among Ripple aficionados is about the use of Ripple’s XRP in xRapid. Does it come from the Escrow in which Ripple keeps fifty-five billion coins to guarantee the token’s availability or does it come from XRP tokens currently in circulation? 

The Ripple team decided to assuage the fans by locking away fifty-five billion XRP coins in an Escrow. The Escrow’s contracts are such that a billion tokens are released per month for Ripple Lab’s discretionary use. 

Bitcoin Falls 7% — Why Are Cryptocurrencies Plunging? (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and most other major cryptocurrencies are deep in the red on Wednesday — the latest in a two-week decline. In fact, all of the 25 largest cryptocurrencies by market cap (excluding Tether, which is based on the U.S. dollar) are down today.

Here’s a look at the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and how much each has changed over the past 24 hours. Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is down by more than 7% over the last 24 hours, and is actually the best-performing of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies. Six of the top 10 are down by double digits, and only three of the top 100 cryptocurrencies are positive on Wednesday. In short, this is about as broad of a sell-off as you can get.

Cryptocurrency Name (Code) Price in U.S. Dollars Day’s Change
Bitcoin (BTC) $7,594.90 (7.2%)
Ethereum (ETH) $588.48 (11.8%)
Ripple (XRP) $0.61 (8.4%)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $1,027.70 (11.7%)
EOS (EOS) $10.81 (16.7%)
Litecoin (LTC) $120.66 (7.6%)
Cardano (ADA) $0.21 (13.5%)
Stellar (XLM) $0.28 (9.4%)
TRON (TRX) $0.07 (10.8%)
IOTA (MIOTA) $1.48 (14.5%)

DATA SOURCE: WWW.INVESTING.COM. PRICES AND DAILY CHANGES AS OF MAY 23, 2018, AT 5:00 P.M. EDT, AND PRICES ARE ROUNDED TO THE NEAREST CENT WHERE APPROPRIATE.

Why are cryptocurrencies plunging?

There are a few possible negative catalysts. For example, some of the hype surrounding the well-publicized “Blockchain Week” in New York City may have bolstered prices, and now that it’s over, we could be seeing lower investor interest.

Perhaps the biggest catalyst driving down cryptocurrency prices is regulatory fears.

How Blockchain Can Help Brands Identify Power Users and Maximize Social Engagement (AdWeek), Rated: AAA

First, it’s important to forget every blockchain preconception you have, since its use for marketing purposes—particularly in incentivized referral marketing campaigns—is much easier to understand.

For those who leverage incentivized referral marketing, where a digital reward is offered in exchange for social shares, blockchain can provide a more accurate, detailed understanding of where posts originate from and the extent of their reach. Instead of watching the sharing of cryptocurrency back and forth among users, blockchain, in a referral marketing sense, delivers a clearly defined roadmap of the entire sharing process, from start to finish, helping to identify which posts and users helped to gain the most exposure.

Blockchain’s digital ledger creates a road map of social media success

Social media marketing is a challenge due to both the saturation of content in user streams and the constant platform changes that prioritize consumer content over brand content. Now, brands are coaxing everyday users into sharing their brand message by incentivizing this ask with a digital reward.

How to use blockchain’s ledger to identify ‘power users’

Integration of blockchain technology directly into a brand’s digital rewards and social referral marketing platform can help to track the entire process and reveal where each share in the program originated from and was sent to in order to identify these key moments and people.

Tom Lee Holds to $ 25,000 Bitcoin Price Prediction, Cites Three Supporting Factors (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Co-founder and Fundstrat strategist Tom Lee is holding to his prediction that Bitcoin (BTC) will reach $25,000, CNBC reports May 23. Lee identifies three key factors that make him believe the price will surge past the 2017 high.

The first key factor is the BTC production and replication costs.

Among the major factors which could trigger a possible price increase, Lee names institutional investors who, while interested in the crypto space, haven’t fully entered the industry due to regulatory uncertainties.

Lastly, data compiled by Fundstrat shows a historical trend, by which Lee recommends that investors hold on to their BTC.

Cryptocurrency freefall shaves $ 50 billion off market cap in 72 hours (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

The collapse in cryptocurrencies has seen the total value of all coins fall to $326 billion, down some $50 billion in just 72 hours, according to Coinmarketcap.

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest digital currency, fell through $8,000 late Tuesday and the slide has not abated. Bitcoin tumbled to a multiweek low of $7,442.92. Bounces have been limited, with a single coin last worth $7,528.89, down 7.1% from late Tuesday Eastern U.S. levels on the Kraken exchange.

Cryptocurrencies Have Bubbled And Busted But Will Rise Again (Forbes), Rated: A

The theory of market behavior is not generally respected by many participants. The livelihood of too many people hinges on behavior and skills market theory say are imaginary.

Random is not a pure thing. There are levels of random and markets aren’t infinitely random, they are just very random and watching the past can help you map where you are in the age old market story of boom and bust.

Without doubt, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have bubbled and busted. It is very unlikely they will not bubble and bust again, and likely again and again.

Bitcoin Cash Drops To Lowest In More Than A Month (Forbes), Rated: A

The price of Bitcoin Cash, which is a hard fork of the original Bitcoin, plunged to as little as $978.27 today, according to CoinMarketCap.

At this price, it had fallen more than 17% in 24 hours, additional CoinMarketCap figures show.

Further, it was down more than 25% since surpassing $1,300 on Sunday.

Will crypto firms score a banking charter? (American Banker), Rated: A

“The same issues are always going to affect banking regulators deciding whether or not to give a bank license: how do they confirm the identity of everybody who holds a wallet?” said Christine Duhaime, attorney at Duhaime Law.

Coinbase has been registered as a money service business since 2013, with 41 licenses in 39 states, according to a spokesperson.

But being a MSB is not the same as becoming a bank. MSBs can face less supervision than banking institutions, and do not face the same capital, liquidity and consumer protection requirements. Moreover, regulators have proven wary of crypto firms, with Federal Reserve officials saying they are watching the market carefully for signs it is a bubble. (As of now, officials have said it isn’t a big enough market to threaten the financial system.)

tiptoeing into crypto

TruStory, a new startup, just raised $ 3 million to identify ICO scams before they happen (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

According to data collected last month by CoinDesk, ICOs raised $6.3 billionin the first three months of 2018; that’s 118 percent more than projects managed to raise by way of ICOs in all of 2017.

Enter TruStory, a platform for users to research and validate claims that people make online, whether in a blog post, white paper, website or social media post. The young company’s aim is to “bring authenticity back into the digital and decentralized world.”

The outfit just raised $3 million in seed funding led by True Ventures  with participation from Pantera Capital, Kindred Ventures, Homebrew, Coinbase Ventures, Wonder Ventures, Abstract Ventures and former TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsis through her new fund Dream Machine.

Crypto Screening for New US Department of Defense Recruits (Cryptocurrency News), Rated: AAA

Bloomberg reported on May 22 that recognizing Bitcoin as a form of foreign currency may have an impact on the decision of the US Department of Defense (DoD) to recruit new employees.

The Pentagon’s biggest concern is whether an investment in cryptocurrency indicates criminal intent or the tendency to increase dangerous personal behavior. This may adversely affect the personal image of a job seeker during security checks that the Defense Department conducts.

At present, the U.S. Department of Defense has not yet formulated guidance on the ownership of cryptocurrencies. According to reports, the Pentagon is waiting for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other agencies to notify the legislative interpretation of cryptocurrency.

Crypto Investors Create Security Clearance Dilemma for Pentagon (cryptovest), Rated: A

In an attempt to deal with employees investing in coins that might allow them a degree of anonymity, the Pentagon is faced with making a decision on how it should treat people who own cryptocurrencies.

Chief among this agency’s concerns is the prospect of some employees engaging in illegal activities under the cloak of anonymity offered by these digital currencies. One example would be the sale of state secrets to an organization in exchange for Monero. Done correctly, this would effectively mask the perpetrators’ identities and make it extraordinarily difficult to investigate the matter.

About four million people in the US currently have some level of security clearance, making them privy to information that should not be in the possession of state enemies.

MIT Working On Smart Contract-Powered Bitcoin Lightning Network (BCFocus), Rated: A

The Digital Currency Initiative(DCI), a research group at MIT, has commenced demonstration of a lightning network node with smart code integration. The team has devised a test model to complete a transaction in the event of trigger controlled by smart contracts. The researchers are diving deep into the application of smart contracts on the lightning network to bring a higher degree of complexity to the scaling solution. The goal of the DCI is to bring together the sharpest minds at MIT and elsewhere to conduct the research necessary to support the development of digital currency and blockchain technology.

Smart Contracts Are Not as Smart as You Think (The Merkle), Rated: A

In fact, according to Amy Wan, the CEO and co-founder of Sagewise, smart contracts are not as smart as you think they are. While it’s true that such agreements provide a certain amount of security by virtue of existing on a blockchain network, Wan believes that “the term ‘smart contract’ may be a misnomer.”

“In 2016,” she says, “at least $60 million was lost in the blockchain space as the result of hacks. In 2017, that amount was estimated to be [anywhere from] $500 million to $1 billion. The DAO hack of 2016 alone resulted in the loss of $50 million. The Parity Wallet hacks of 2017 resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of value. Both of these were based on coding errors and alterations of important code.”

CheapAir.com Adds Litecoin and Dash, Opens Up Payment Options for Travellers (Coin Journal), Rated: A

The world’s first travel agency to accept bitcoin has announced that it is accepting Litecoin, Dash and BCH as payment for flight and hotel bookings, becoming the first to do so.

Sirrus Corp. to Establish Blockchain Notary Service Provider on Ethereum Network (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Sirrus Corp. (“Sirrus” or the “Company”) (OTC PINK: SRUP), an emerging cybersecurity solutions provider, is pleased to announce that the Company is establishing itself as a Blockchain Notary Service Provider on the Ethereum network.

SIMEX (OTC:ARGB) introduces the Prepaid Black MasterCard (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

SIMEX (ARGB), international digital asset platform introduces the SIMEX Black MasterCard – a Chip & PIN prepaid card tied to the user’s personal accounts. The company aims to simplify transactions and make a user-friendly tool for digital currency conversions. Following the company’s strategy to expand into the digital asset market, SIMEX prepares solutions for management of user’s fiat and digital currency holdings associated with the platform. The number-one priority is to elaborate a tool to facilitate deposit, transfer, and withdraw capabilities. SIMEX Black MasterCard is designed to address these problems.

SEC Again Urges ICO Issuers to Make Contact About Compliance (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Jay Clayton told an audience in Washington Tuesday that companies seeking to raise funds via digital tokens in an Initial Coin Offering should be proactive in contacting the agency regarding compliance, Law360 reports.

Indiana joins nationwide effort to crack down on cryptocurrency fraud (IBJ.com), Rated: B

Indiana has joined a national operation to crackdown on fraudulent cryptocurrency transactions and investments, state officials announced Tuesday.

The effort, dubbed “Operation Cryptosweep,” is being coordinated by the North American Securities Administrators Association. It has resulted in nearly 70 inquiries and investigations and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions since the beginning of May.

International

Market Players Envision Stock Exchange Powered by Blockchain (WSJ), Rated: AAA

As regulators crack down on the multibillion-dollar, fraud-tainted business of initial coin offerings, some market operators are exploring ways to bring them in line with U.S. securities law.

This week, a U.S. options exchange backed by Canada’s TMX Group said it would team up with online retailer Overstock.com to create the first regulated exchange for “security tokens,” which are essentially digital versions of stocks.

Ranking the Average Transaction Speeds of the 15 Largest Cryptocurrencies (The Motley Fool), Rated: AAA

Despite the stock market dazzling in 2017 with returns that handily outpaced its historic 7% return rate, inclusive of dividend reinvestment and when adjusted for inflation, the aggregate cryptocurrency market cap rose by more than 3,300%!

Which cryptocurrencies have the fastest average transaction speeds?

Market Cap Rank Cryptocurrency Average Transaction Speed
1 Bitcoin 78 minutes
2 Ethereum 6 minutes
3 Ripple 4 seconds
4 Bitcoin Cash 60 minutes
5 EOS 1.5 seconds
6 Litecoin 30 minutes
7 Cardano 5 minutes
8 Stellar 5 seconds
9 TRON 5 minutes
10 IOTA 3 minutes
11 NEO 15 seconds
12 Monero 30 minutes
13 Dash 15 minutes
14 NEM 30 seconds
15 VeChain Thor 6 minutes

DATA SOURCE: ABITGREEDY.COM, COINMARKETCAP.COM. TETHER, WHICH WOULD HAVE RANKED 15TH, WAS EXCLUDED. DATA ACCURATE AS OF MAY 20, 2018. TABLE BY AUTHOR.

Bet vs. Buy? The ICO Market Has a Serious East-West Divide (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

In the U.S., initial coin offerings (ICOs) are about ideas. In the Asian market, they’re about returns.

“At the very beginning, the information coming from Asia to the US was very limited. We didn’t know what’s really going on,” Zhuling Chen, co-founder of Aelf, a cloud computing startup out of Singapore, told CoinDesk.

So the Asian market took off on its own, informed by the ecosystems around bitcoin and ethereum but also distinct from them, such as when major Asian bankslaunched distinct efforts starting in early 2016. Some of the differences between the two markets became clearer as CoinDesk spoke to investors and entrepreneurs during Blockchain Week in New York City.

If one common theme ran through our conversations about Asia, it was this: retail and institutional investors all want returns to realize much more quickly than investors do in the U.S., which may help explain why it has always had a vigorous ecosystem of exchanges.

Blockchain helps us take green power into our own hands (CNET), Rated: AAA

One way to get a job with the company you think will help save the planet is to say you’ll work for free.

That’s what Canadian Meagan Cojocar told David Martin two years ago over coffee.

The company was Power Ledger, co-founded by Martin. The tiny Australian startup was at the forefront of a trend in solar energy: using blockchain technology in solar energy trading. Power Ledger had pitched an app: If you have solar energy panels, you can download the app and enter a marketplace for selling excess energy directly to your neighbors. The kicker? You can set the price, instead of being ripped off by stingy power companies.

IBM Will Marry Its New Verifier To The Blockchain, Transforming Diamonds, Olive Oil And Insurance (Forbes), Rated: AAA

If eyes really are windows to the soul, IBM’s latest product could lead to blockchain enlightenment.

Called a crypto anchor verifier, the technology, which is part artificial-intelligence software, part insanely sophisticated, internally developed lens, can see the cells of animals and distinguish between them.

Powered by a lens capable of rendering objects as small as a single micron, the verifier is also designed to search out—and understand—the difference between a fake drug and the real deal, a cheap bottle of wine and an expensive one, and imperfections in diamonds that are undetectable to human eyes.

Tron And EOS Mainnets Approaching, Here Is How To Prepare (Ethereum World News), Rated: A

Two of the top ten cryptocurrencies are poised to launch their own blockchains and gain digital independence. The Tron mainnet launch on May 31 will effectively split the cryptocurrency off the Ethereum ERC20 network and onto its own. EOS meanwhile will be launching their mainnet on June 1 and similarly moving away from Ethereum’s blockchain.

UN Division Looks to IOTA Ledger Tech for Higher Efficiency (CoinDesk), Rated: A

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is teaming up with the IOTA Foundation to see how the project’s distributed ledger technology can help the UN streamline its workflows.

The UNOPS announced the partnership on Tuesday, saying the two organizations are looking into increasing the operation efficiency of the UN office using IOTA’s tangle technology.

Was Coin Telegraph hacked? (Blockchain Times), Rated: B

This morning, while navigating to a couple of news articles posted on Coin Telegraph’s website, Blockchain Times received an Error 502 message, which is a Bad gateway message. This typically happens when there is an issue with a server. However, it can happen on the browser end. After clearing our cache and trying to access the site with another browser, it happened again. The problem later resolved itself and the two articles are in this issue of BT. Did anyone else experience this?

Coin Telegraph 502 error

Coin Telegraph error

 

European Union

Changelly Partners Up With Its Major Rival Binance (Hibusiness), Rated: AAA

Changelly, an instant digital currency exchange has joined forces with Binance which is the top digital currency trading platform in order to provide its digital currency users with a greater scope of tokens, better rates that are offered by Binance and quicker transactions.

Konstantin Gladych, the CEO of Changelly met the CEO of Binance in Malta, which is the new operation base of the exchange.

Binance Lists Sky Coin (SKY), Just in Time for Testnet Launch (cryptovest), Rated: A

Sky Coin (SKY) is the latest asset that boomed after being added to the Binance exchange. Right after the news, the coin was one of the few remaining in the green as the entire market slumped.

After the news, SKY appreciated rapidly, though volumes did not surpass previous record levels. SKY added more than 37% to its price, reaching $34.77, still potentially launching to peak prices above $45. SKY has been appreciating gradually in the past two months, starting from March lows around $9.

Experimental Voting Effort Aims to Break Ethereum Governance Gridlock (CoinDesk), Rated: A

As the community debates the various pros and cons of such proposals, Buterin has begun working with economics researcher Dr. Glen Weyl to experiment with the idea of enabling a new kind of voting for the ethereum users. In a blog post announcing the collaboration on May 21, Buterin described how ideas from Weyl’s recent book, “Radical Markets,” could help address these governance challenges and coordinate solutions for contentious issues.

No Blockchain Network is Remotely Close to Ethereum, Says Golem CEO (CCN), Rated: A

Zulian Zawistowski, the CEO of Golem, a smart contracts-based decentralized supercomputer, stated that Ethereum is the most promising blockchain platform in the global cryptocurrency sector and no other blockchain protocol comes remotely close to Ethereum’s potential and applicability.

Deutsche Boerse: We Are ‘Deep At Work’ Examining Bitcoin Before ‘Moving Forward’ (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

German shares and securities marketplace organizer Deutsche Boerse (DB) said it is “deep at work” examining cryptocurrency integration options, Bloomberg reports May 23.

DECOIN ANNOUNCING PECUNIO AS THE FIRST COMPANY ON ITS M CRYPTO INDEX (Bitcoinist), Rated: A

Decoin, one of the latest cryptocurrency projects raised almost $2M still in its pre-sale phase, has just signed Pecunio as the very first company to be a part of its D-TEP Crypto Index (DCI).

IBM plans to hire 1,800 people in France for blockchain and AI (TechCrunch), Rated: B

The company plans to hire 1,800 new people in France over the next couple of years. While this isn’t really groundbreaking as IBM has 380,000 employees around the world, it’s interesting to see the focus of these hires.

IBM plans to put together a research team focused on blockchain projects, artificial intelligence and the internet of things.

Covesting Joins the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Covesting, a fintech startup that is building a comprehensive cryptocurrency exchange and trading infrastructure, today announced that it has joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the world’s largest open source blockchain initiative.

United Kingdom

Revolut Users Make 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin And Ethereum Exchanges Every Day (Forbes), Rated: AAA

London-based fintech startup Revolut — which is today adding Bitcoin Cash and XRP to its cryptocurrency trading app — has revealed its users make around 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum exchanges everyday.

The fledgling company, which is Europe’s fastest growing so-called unicorn, said 20% of its 400,000 users have now unlocked cryptocurrency trading since it was made available on its app late last year.

Revolut adds Ripple and Bitcoin Cash support (TechCrunch), Rated: AAA

Fintech startup Revolut is adding Bitcoin Cash and Ripple to its cryptocurrency feature.

Behind the scene, the startup has partnered with Bitstamp to process the transactions. Revolut currently charges a 1.5 percent fee for cryptocurrency transactions.

ICO Fines Soar to Over £4m in 2017 Ahead of GDPR (Infosecurity-Magazine), Rated: A

The Information Commissioner’s Office handed out monetary penalties of over £4m during 2017, nearly £1m more than the previous year as the GDPR approaches, according to PwC.

In total, 54 fines were handed outin 2017 with 14 of these (26%) more than £100,000. However, although the ICO has the power to fine up to £500,000, it has never issued the maximum penalty.

London mosque becomes first to declare cryptocurrencies halal (Indian Express), Rated: A

A mosque in East London has become the first in the UK to declare cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, halal and said it would accept donations in such a form, according to a media report released on Wednesday.

Religious advisers at the Masjid Ramadan in Dalston, east London, said the currency is halal, or acceptable in the eyes of Allah, if it is “transacted in a lawful manner”.

Energi Mine Adds to Ecosystem of Energy Saving Partners with Simply EV Partnership (Bitcoin.com), Rated: B

Energi Mine, the blockchain platform that financially rewards energy saving behaviour using EnergiTokens (ETK), and Simply EV, a leading provider of EV accessories today, announced a partnership. The partnership will enable those with ETK to spend their currency on electric vehicle charging cables and accessories, as well as earn ETK through a rewards scheme at Simply EV.

TokenMarket Becomes Member of the AMLT Token Network by Coinfirm (PR Newswire), Rated: B

After the recent completion of its AMLT token sale, Coinfirm has on-boarded the first AMLT Network Member: TokenMarket. The AMLT Network was created to provide evidence for all actors in the crypto economy and help determine their further participation in the global financial system by illustrating their risk rating and in effect increasing the transparency and safety of the ecosystem.

APAC

India considers taxing cryptocurrencies instead of banning them (The Next Web), Rated: AAA

The government is considering a proposal to lay an 18-percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the trading of the cryptocurrencies, Bloomberg reports.

MAS Halts Initial Coin Offering (Finews), Rated: A

The financial regulator warned an initial coin offering (ICO) issuer to stop the offering of its digital tokens in Singapore, according to a media statement on Thursday. The offer was made without a MAS-registered prospectus, which is a Securities and Futures Act (SFA) requirement. The issuer since has halted the offer and returned all funds it had received from Singapore-based investors.

MAS warns 8 cryptocurrency exchanges (The Straits Times), Rated: A

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) warned eight digital token exchanges in Singapore not to allow trading in digital tokens that are securities or futures contracts without MAS’s authorisation, it said on Thursday (May 24).

Zilliqa News: Dev Team Unveil Scilla ‘Bug Resistant’ Language (Crypto Briefing), Rated: A

The development team behind sharding coin Zilliqa (ZIL) will be using a new smart contract coding language, Scilla, which they claim will be resistant to bugs.

TrakInvest Taps Hedera Hashgraph Next Generation Distributed Ledger Technology to Build its App (Coin Idol), Rated: A

TrakInvest will move its tokenized ecosystem, including academic certifications, trading data ownership, and reputation systems to Hedera hashgraph’s trustless and distributed consensus platform offering lightning fast, transparent, and secure mediums of direct exchange without the hassle of establishing trust first. The company will be leveraging this unique platform for its  Digital Certifications Program (“DCP”), enabling it to establish the required protocols and infrastructure to academically certify Asian institutions on a public distributed ledger.

3 Obstacles to Moving Social Media Platforms to a Blockchain (IEEE Spectrum), Rated: A

On average, there about 10 million active sessions a day on Taiwan’s version of reddit, a 25-or-so-year-old bulletin board system called PTT. That’s a respectable number considering Taiwan’s total population is 24 million. But lately the platform has been hit with many of the same problems that have muddied other social media sites—and now, its leaders are taking extreme measures to wipe it clean.

Thai Bank Pilots Cross-Border Transaction Using Blockchain (CoinDesk), Rated: B

Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya PCL successfully conducted a cross-border transaction with a bank in Singapore using a blockchain, it announced Tuesday.

HCL Joins BiTA to Deploy Blockchain Solutions for the Logistics Industry (Bitsonline), Rated: B

Indian multinational IT services company Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL) has become the latest member of the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA), a consortium dedicated to developing blockchain standards for the global freight industry.

Philippines Economic Zone Welcomes Cryptocurrency Startups (Coin Journal), Rated: B

The Cagayan Special Economic Zone has signed up the first 15 offshore fintech companies to locate in its new fintech and blockchain hub, among which several cryptocurrency and blockchain startups including CoinBundle, Madison Blockchain Strategy Investment Company, Asia Pacific Blockchain Association, and ANX International.

MENA

Israel seizes 1,000 BTC in $ 8M money laundering case (CoinGeek), Rated: AAA

In the indictment filed in Tel Aviv, Git is alleged to have used more than 800 credit cards to make more than $280,000 worth of purchases. Git is also being accused of laundering upwards of $8 million over 10 years, all of which was stored in a BTC wallet. The amount, approximately 1,071 BTC, was seized by the state pending the outcome of the trial.

Africa

Kidnappers snatch a 13-year-old South African boy and demand his ransom be paid in bitcoins (CNN), Rated: AAA

A group of South African kidnappers who snatched a 13-year-old boy as he played with friends have demanded a $120,000 ransom in bitcoin cryptocurrency, police say.

Eurasia

National Settlement Depository And Sberbank Test ICO Technology At Bank Of Russia’s Regulatory Platform (Mondovisione), Rated: AAA

Sberbank CIB, Sberbank’s corporate and investment banking business, and National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia’s central securities depository, announce the intention to test an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) technology at the Bank of Russia’s regulatory platform. Level One, a company that manages Moscow’s biggest commercial lecture hall, will be the issuer.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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