Daily News Digest Featured News

Friday May 25 2018, Daily News Digest

monthly token sales
Source: Smith&Crown

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United States

US Department of Justice, CFTC Investigating Bitcoin Market Manipulation (BlockExplorer), Rated: AAA

The United States Department of Justice has launched a probe into claims of market manipulation across bitcoin and other cryptocurrency markets. The investigation is in collaboration with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives of bitcoin and other coins.

About $ 1.2 billion in cryptocurrency stolen since 2017  (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Criminals have stolen about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies since the beginning of 2017, as bitcoin’s popularity and the emergence of more than 1,500 digital tokens have put the spotlight on the unregulated sector, according to estimates from the Anti-Phishing Working Group released on Thursday.

The crackdown on cryptocurrencies is a good thing, say traders (CNBC), Rated: A

Regulating cryptocurrencies is a good thing and it might even help advance the digital currency market, crypto trader Ran Neu-Ner told CNBC on Thursday.

“When [regulators] come out with regulation, it’s going to open the floodgates for new money to come into crypto,” the host of CNBC Africa’s “Crypto Trader” said on “Fast Money.”

Uphold supports XRP Ledger (AMBCrypto), Rated: A

Uphold recently announced full support for the XRP Ledger. Traders on the Uphold exchange platform can move XRP to their wallets from the exchange after exchanging it with fiat currencies.

Bitcoin: Hash Rate Telling A Bullish Story (Forbes), Rated: A

Looking at the chart on Blockchain.info, we see a very steady increase in hash rate during the months leading up to and after the market sell-off. Looking at a chart of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization and hash rate side by side will show a clear divergence. Why is it that hash rate is increasing while prices are still in a continuing decline?

hash rate
Source: Blokchain.ifo; ThinkMarkets; @NaeemAslam23

The Record-Breaking $ 152 Million Battle Over Blockchain Betting Tool Augur (CoinDesk), Rated: A

In a civil lawsuit, Matthew Liston, 26, has taken four Augur associates to court, alleging that angel investor Joseph Ball “Joe” Costello, 64, and three other founding members, Jack “John” Peterson, 35, Joseph Charles “Joey” Krug, 22, and Jeremy Gardner, 26, committed fraud, breach of contract, and trade theft in connection with conflicts that arose out of Liston’s termination from the company and his stake in Augur’s token distribution, leaving him empty-handed.

Between August 7 and September 5, 2015, the project issued 8.8 million reputation (REP) tokens from a maximum circulating supply of 11 million tokens, each priced below $0.60, to raise over $5 million for the project.

Three years after the ICO, reputation tokens have traded as high as $100 per REP, meaning ICO participants have potentially profited up to 200 times on their principal investments.

Every cryptocurrency’s nightmare scenario is happening to Bitcoin Gold (Quartz), Rated: A

In recent days the nightmare scenario for any cryptocurrency is playing out for Bitcoin Gold, as an attacker has taken control of its blockchain and proceeded to defraud cryptocurrency exchanges. All the Bitcoin Gold in circulation is valued at $786 million, according to data provider Coinmarketcap. Blockchains are designed to be decentralized but when an individual or group acting in concert controls the majority of a blockchain’s processing power, they can tamper with transactions and pave the way for fraud. This is known as a 51% attack.

How to get blockchains to talk to each other (MIT Technology Review), Rated: A

Blockchain boosters love to compare the technology to the early days of the internet. Blockchains, it’s often said, will open the door to a new global financial system that works like the internet, except instead of moving around little packets of information, it moves money. But there’s a big problem with all that: at the moment, blockchains don’t talk to each other.

What taxi medallions can teach us about cryptocurrencies (The Hill), Rated: A

Limiting the number of taxi medallions a city would issue has a parallel in the crypto world — an artificial limit on the number of units of a particular cryptocurrency that could ever be issued.

Further, the computational effort required to “produce” each additional bitcoin steadily increases as that limit is approached, further enhancing that sense of scarcity.

The design of the bitcoin algorithm has been seen as brilliant, but in fact it is not, for artificial scarcities do not produce sustainable value.

In each instance, there is no real value — readily available permits issued without limit have no resale value.  Cryptocurrencies that can easily be replicated under a different name have no intrinsic value, they have no claim on real-world assets, there is no “there” there.

Blockchain and logistics startup ShipChain hit with cease-and-desist order (Freight Waves), Rated: A

The blockchain and logistics startup ShipChain received a cease-and-desist order from the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General, Securities Division. The order was signed on May 21 by Assistant Attorney General Taylor Faw, who requested its issue and is working under the authority of Alan Wilson, the state’s Attorney General and Securities Commissioner.

The cease-and-desist order relates to ShipChain’s failure to register as a security broker in South Carolina and its issuance of SHIP tokens.

Blockchain For Social Good Hype Requires ‘Recalibration,’ Ex-Treasury Official Argues (Forbes), Rated: A

But Michael Pisa, a fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C., argues that while blockchain offers the development community an important and powerful new tool, a never-ending echo chamber of hype and unrealistic expectations aren’t going to help anybody.

After heated meeting, development board denies TIF funding to reduce Bonner bitcoin noise (Missoulian), Rated: A

At a sometimes explosive meeting Wednesday, the Missoula Development Authority Board turned down a request from a crypto-currency mining operation in Bonner for over $135,000 in Tax Increment Financing to reduce what neighbors say is irritating and unhealthy noise from hundreds of fan blades that cool the huge computer server banks.

Exploring Blockchain Technology in Blacksburg (WVTF), Rated: A

Blockchain technology could become the next great communications platform. It promises to provide both transparency and security to transactions of all kinds. And Blacksburg, Virginia is poised to become a center for its development.

Google Could Have Offered Vitalik Buterin A Job (Ethereum World News), Rated: B

A tweet published by Vitalik Buterin a few days ago revealed a possible job offer that Google would have proposed to the creator of the Ethereum network.

Vitalik Buterin Google

Bloomberg Reporters Pulled Into Crypto Scam (PYMNTS), Rated: B

And scammers created bogus Twitter accounts that used the profile photos of two Bloomberg journalists, Olga Kharif and Lily Katz, Bloomberg reported. One account, for example, offered the journalists’ real followers up to 100 Ether tokens in exchange for a “small quantity of cryptocurrency,” Bloomberg reported.

International

Five Ethereum-Based Tokens That Made It Big (Hacked), Rated: AAA

EOS is currently ranked No. 1 among Ethereum projects with a total market cap of nearly $9.9 billion.

The Tron hype machine, led by founder Justin Sun, has catapulted TRX into a premier cryptocurrency when measured in terms of market cap and overall trade volumes.

VeChain hasn’t generated the same media storm as an EOS or a Tron but has quietly emerged as a top-20 cryptocurrency with a market cap close to $2 billion.

If we’re measuring the top ERC projects solely by market cap, then Binance Coin is a top-five coin. In terms of trade volume, it ranks all the way down in eleventh spot.

OmiseGo may not have the same name recognition as the top altcoins, but its fundamentals are among the strongest in the market. The company has made significant inroads in Southeast Asia, including signing a Memorandum of Understanding with a major South Korean credit card company.

Top Ethereum Token Protocols Which May Replace ERC20 (Coin Telegraph), Rated: AAA

User friendly logics and simplified structure turned Ethereum into a highly demanded framework, with almost 83 percent of projects choosing the Ethereum blockchain for the underlying structure.

ICO market share
Source: ICOWatchList

More than a dozen major tokens are based on ERC20 standard, and around 400 new coins are issued every day.

Ethereum tokens index
Source: Ethplorer

Right after implementation of ERC20, the number of ICO startups in the cryptocurrency market increased substantially with almost 86,000 tokens issued as of May 2018.

monthly token sales
Source: Smith&Crown

ERC223: Correction of ERC20 errors

To solve the vulnerability of the first version of the Ethereum protocol, a user named Dexaran developed the ERC223 standard, which forced the ERC20 standard to behave in the same way as when transferring ETH to smart contracts.

ERC827: New ERC20

ERC827 is one of the latest versions of the Ethereum protocols and was calledby blockchain journalist Dariusz R Jakubowski “a new ERC20”. Unlike its predecessor, this standard can transfer not only the cost, but also the transaction data.

ERC948: Paradise for B2C businessmen

The “subscription” model has become extremely popular in the digital world with over 11 mln customers attracted only last year. A study of the McKinsey company showed that 15 percent of all buyers had subscribed to e-commerce in 2017.

Here are the biggest hacks and scams in cryptocurrency history (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

However, in the history of cryptocurrency hacks, the $1.4 million heist ranks well down the list.

While it may make sense for exchanges to tighten security, the data suggests they are not. There have been 13 hacks of more than $10 million, with 12 of them coming after June 2016.

crypto hacks

The DAICO: ICO Savior Or Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

While the alt-coin market rumbles and SEC investigations roam free, a new experiment in token sales is underway. Last week, a gaming platform called The Abyss closed its sale and launched one of the first decentralized autonomous initial coin offerings (DAICO).

In a traditional ICO, a development team receives the entire amount raised in one lump sum at the beginning of the project. A DAICO, on the other hand, lets token holders stagger the funding over time. Over the course of the project token holders vote for the rate at which the funds are distributed to the team by opening and closing a “tap”. They can vote to keep the tap open, loosen it so that even more funds flow, or shut the tap and walk away with whatever is left.

It limits the likelihood of scams in an industry that has lost nearly 10% of investments to fraud.

Will Big Banks Make Or Break Bitcoin? (Forbes), Rated: A

For years, big banks played an important role in global capitalism. They have been the gatekeepers of national currencies flowing between central banks and the general public. And they have been collecting hefty fees for this role – fees that pay the salaries and bonuses of their employees and the dividends of their stockholders.

In recent years, big banks have played another role — the gatekeepers of money flowing between national currencies and Bitcoin.

That’s why big banks have the power to make or break Bitcoin. Which action will they take?

Qtum (QTUM) is Finally Launching the Qtum X86 Virtual Machine (Global Coin Report), Rated: A

Qtum has finally announced the date of the long-awaited project, known as Qtum X86 Virtual Machine. QTUM is considered to be one of the biggest “opponents” to Ethereum network, given the fact that this digital asset represents a smart combination of Proof-of-Stake, Ethereum Virtual Machine smart contract based on the principle behind the first original coin, Bitcoin. Thanks to this superb combination, the team is now presenting one of the greatest achievements of the QTUM team – Qtum X86 Virtual Machine.

4 Important Cryptocurrency Facts Business Owners Should Be Aware Of (Forbes), Rated: A

Bitcoin was created with the aim of taking the middleman (namely banks) out of the equation. Transactions are anonymous and usually have no fees associated with them. And because the coins aren’t tied to any country, they aren’t subject to government regulations, making them cheap and easy to engage in international payments.

There are many theories as to why bitcoin has surged so much in 2017 and has since become volatile in 2018. An overarching theme is its growing legitimacy. Now, even morning shows are talking about cryptocurrency when only technology aficionados knew of it. Earlier this year, the currency got a big boost when Japan recognized bitcoin as a legal method of payment.

Price movements are the biggest risk to the future success of bitcoin, with many influencing factors. Increased regulatory scrutiny is a big one: Investors have adjusted to governments around the world cracking down on cryptocurrency, but it’s no guarantee that they always will. If regulations get too stifling, it could send the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plummeting.

While many big retailers have started accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method, small businesses need to be careful. Because the price is so volatile, the value can change quickly, making it difficult for a business owner to accept it as payment. After all, bitcoin could be trading at $8,000 one hour and then plummet the next. But it can still be lucrative.

4 innovative businesses using blockchain (In the Black), Rated: A

For Aussie blockchain startup Power Ledger, utilising blockchain technology has led to huge growth, with the company recently earning the opportunity to pitch to Sir Richard Branson after getting into the finals of the Extreme Tech Challenge pitch competition in Las Vegas.

When the Queensland-based startup DHealthNetwork launched four years ago, founder Ivan Jasenovic was diligently building custom decentralised storage systems to enhance the sharing of health records, with the aim of facilitating better communication between patients and doctors and to minimise the risks of misdiagnosis.

Expanding on the medical applications of blockchain, the UK startup FarmaTrust is an international tracking system that aims to stamp out the widespread dissemination of counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs marketed online.

Change is developing a “multi-asset blockchain wallet” that not only supports the trade of a large (and constantly expanding) range of digital currencies but the system is moving towards also allowing users to make payments for goods and services using traditional currency.

Mobius Partners with Producers Market to Accept Crypto Payments (FXStreet), Rated: A

Mobius network, also known as Stripe for Bitcoin, has partnered up with the producers market to begin accepting cryptocurrency payments in the agriculture industry.

Accenture, IBM Push Blockchain, But Mainstream Usage Five Years Away (Investors.com), Rated: B

Mainstream corporate use of blockchain, the software technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is at least five years away, said a brokerage report Thursday.

A recent Gartner study says blockchain is still in the early stages of corporate trials.

EY’s Maritime Blockchain Insurance Tech Is Now Live (CoinDesk), Rated: B

A group of companies piloting a blockchain-based insurance platform for the global shipping industry announced on Friday that the technology is now live in commercial use.

NEO Foundation and Ontology [ONT] Foundation are now Co-Funders (AMBCrypto), Rated: B

NEO Foundation and Ontology Foundation contributed RMB 4 million for the co-funding event of their Joint Task Force, after signing a Memorandum of understanding [MoU]. The Joint Task Force will ace the development of API standardization, a sharing ecosystem of smart contract, building open standards for the smart contract, and cross-chain technology innovation.

European Union

ANX International Joins Malta’s Blockchain/Digital Currency Ecosystem (cryptovest), Rated: AAA

ANX International, a Hong Kong-based blockchain company focused on innovation and regulatory compliance, has announced its decision to join the blockchain and digital currency ecosystem of Malta.

A crypto stunt gone tragically wrong (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

The human toll of cryptocurrency scams are all too easily overshadowed by the industry’s excesses. But a line was crossed this month, when a self-described “publicity stunt” apparently led to a man’s death.

Earlier this week, we received a press release from ASKfm, a Ukraine-based social network planning an initial coin offering, or ICO. It said it had sponsored four Ukrainian “crypto enthusiasts” to climb Mount Everest and bury a hard drive holding cryptocurrency at the summit.

It only got worse from there, believe it or not.

Anti-theft sticker protects your valuables without revealing their location (Phys.org), Rated: A

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Streamr have developed a prototype adhesive ID tag based on blockchain technology, which enables valuable goods to be protected without revealing their location. Possible applications include electronics, jewellery and caviar.

Jibrel Network Got Swiss VQF License for Functioning as Financial Intermediary (Coinspeaker), Rated: A

Jibrel AG has become an official member of the Association for the Quality Assurance of Financial Services (VQF). As a conformation of its status, Jibrel got a license permitting its functioning as a financial intermediary in the Swiss parabanking sector.

Polish banks to put millions of confidential records on blockchain (Euromoney), Rated: A

But the decision in May by the Polish credit office, Biuro Informacji Kredytowej (BIK), the largest credit bureau in central and eastern Europe (CEE), to implement blockchain for storage and secure access to sensitive customer information may eventually prove a far more significant shift in the technological underpinnings of global banking than the emergence of bitcoin futures or billion-dollar equivalent initial coin offerings.

Blockchain Q&A: Dr. Omri Ross, Copenhagen University (Forbes), Rated: A

Having earned his Ph.D. in Mathematical Finance from the University of Cambridge, Dr. Omri Ross is Assistant Professor in Blockchain Technology at the University of Copenhagen.

Ross now represents Firmo, a company bringing financial contracts to the blockchain with a secure, domain-specific language, which translates smart derivative contracts to all major blockchain platforms.

German Bank and Steel Conglomerate Execute Forex Transaction via Blockchain (Coin Telegraph), Rated: B

German bank Commerzbank and steel company Thyssenkrupp have completed a €500,000 pilot transaction of a forex (FX) forward on a blockchain, reported Cointelegraph auf Deutsch May 24.

European Golfer Scott Jamieson Announces Sponsorship From Digital Currency Company LIFELabs.io (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

European Tour professional golfer, Scott Jamieson, announced this week that he is being sponsored by a digital currency company. The deal with LIFElabs.io is effective immediately and will see the athlete raise the profile of its digital currency, LIFEtoken and support its numerous charitable initiatives around the globe.

China

China’s State Council Orders Faster Blockchain Development (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

China’s State Council, the country’s central administrative branch of government, has sent its highest-level order demanding that local authorities speed up blockchain technology development, it was revealed on Thursday.

Shanghai Startup to Use Blockchain to Verify Wine Origin, Fight Counterfeits (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

VeChain, a Shanghai-based blockchain startup, is testing a blockchainapplication to verify of the wine supply chain and fight counterfeits, South China Morning Post reported May 24.

With blockchain’s rise, financial regulation must keep up with Industry 4.0 or lose control altogether (SCMP), Rated: A

Most people are somewhat aware of the fourth industrial revolution.  The fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, is concerned with artificial intelligence, roboticsgenomics, creative design and high-speed computing capability to revolutionise production, distribution and consumption.

What differentiates Finance 4.0 is the arrival of blockchain or distributed ledger technology.

Asia

Tech Giant GMO to Roll Out World’s First 7nm Bitcoin Miner (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Japanese IT giant GMO Internet is set to roll out the world’s first bitcoin mining device based on 7nm chips within the year.

According to an announcement on Wednesday, the firm said it is launching the new B2 miner on June 6 with mass production to follow and shipment starting by the end of October.

India’s Banking Bitcoin Battle Shows No Sign of Letting Up (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

On April 5, India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made a big move in the ongoing global regulatory push on cryptocurrencies as it decided to no longer provide services to any person or business that deals with cryptocurrencies.

Since then, there has been a battle building up, with the latest skirmish set for July 20 – the Supreme Court of India’s next hearing date for the latest petitions against the bank’s decisions.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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