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Thursday March 7 2018, Daily News Digest

Venezuela bitcoin
Source: LocalBitcoins

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United States

Coinbase acquires Keystone Capital in bid to become a regulated broker-dealer (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced it would acquire securities dealer Keystone Capital in a bid to become a fully SEC-regulated broker dealer, the company said Wednesday.

Our path to listing SEC-regulated crypto securities (Coinbase), Rated: A

Today, we’re announcing that Coinbase is on track to operate a regulated broker-dealer, pending approval by federal authorities. If approved, Coinbase will soon be capable of offering blockchain-based securities, under the oversight of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This step forward is being made possible by our acquisition of a broker-dealer license (B-D), an alternative trading system license (ATS), and a registered investment advisor (RIA) license.

Ultimately, we can envision a world where we may even work with regulators to tokenize existing types of securities, bringing to this space the benefits of cryptocurrency-based markets — like 24/7 trading, real-time settlement, and chain-of-title. We believe this will democratize access to capital markets for companies and investors alike, lowering costs for all participants and bringing additional transparency and inclusion to the ecosystem.

Circle Seeks Banking License, Trading Venue Registration to Expand Crypto Services (Coin Telegraph), Rated: AAA

Peer-to-peer payments platform Circle Internet Financial Ltd., is pursuing both a federal banking license with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and registration as a brokerage and trading venue with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The news comes from a Bloomberg report today, June 6.

Jeremy Allaire, Circle CEO, noted that Circle has already been delisting tokens that don’t confirm with SEC guidance from digital token platform Poloniex — which they acquired for $400 mln at the end of February — and could remove more if they move forward with the SEC:

Nasdaq finally shuts door on Long Blockchain Corp for ‘misleading’ crypto investors (Blockchain Technology), Rated: AAA

The Nasdaq stock market has announced today (June 6) that it will delist the common stock of Long Blockchain Corp, having suspended its stock on April 12 of this year.

Shady ICO Issuers Are Taking ‘Bags of Cash’ to Border, U.S. Says (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, speaking at a conference in New York, said companies raising money through digital-token sales shouldn’t have any illusions that the government will treat them differently than firms participating in traditional stock offerings. He added that the market deserves close attention because the SEC has already seen examples of fraudsters fleeing the country after persuading U.S. investors to back their ICOs.

Despite a crackdown by the U.S., China and other countries, companies’ have already raised more than $9 billion through ICOs in 2018, surpassing last year’s record of less than $4 billion, according to ICO data tracker CoinSchedule. Messaging service Telegram attracted $1.7 billion while Block.one, a startup behind the EOS token, is on track to raise about $4 billion in an almost yearlong offering expected to close Friday, which would make it the largest-ever fundraising of its kind.

ICO fund raises

EOS: The Biggest Cryptocurrency You (Probably) Haven’t Heard Of (Investor Place), Rated: A

After some big moves in December, the cryptocurrency market has cooled off and the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has fallen 45% since Jan. 1.

You may know the names of the four biggest cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash. However, unless you read InvestorPlace contributor Josh Enomoto’s recent article, you probably haven’t heard of the fifth-most valuable cryptocurrency: EOS.

According to CoinMarketCap, EOS currently trades at $12.42 per token and boasts a market capitalization of $11 billion.

Potential Bull Market Coming as Litecoin (LTC) Breaks the Descending Trend Lines (Stocks Gazette), Rated: A

Litecoin (LTC), like most other cryptocurrencies began the week in the red, faltering to as low as $116.

For Litecoin (LTC) to hit a major bull run, it must break the $122 resistance, which it is not so far away from.

Following a hike of 2.94% over the last 24 hours, Litecoin (LTC) is currently trading at $121.24 USD.

Litecoin
Source: Stocks Gazette

Litecoin Foundation brings #PayWithLitecoin to your door step (AMBCrypto), Rated: B

Up till now, the #PayWithLitecoin’s top 10 most requested business platforms by the Litecoin community includes Amazon, Seamless, Uber, Apple, Lyft, eBay, Netflix, Starbucks, Walmart, and Spotify.

PaywithLitecoin
Source: Twitter

Litecoin Cash 51% Attack Highlights Insecurity of Smaller PoW Coins (Live Bitcoin News), Rated: A

In the case of Litecoin Cash, it seems the currency recently suffered from a 51% attack. This has become an ongoing trend across a few minor coins as of late.

The number of required network confirmations increased to at least 100 after developers contacted exchanges. All other currencies suffering from a 51% attack took similar measures.

Ripple Smart Contracts Creator Targets Ethereum with New Tech Launch (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Ripple’s former CTO Stefan Thomas is going up against Ethereum with the launch of a new smart contracts platform.

Well, “new” isn’t quite right – the platform Thomas released implementations for today is Codius, an open-source project that Ripple released in beta in 2014 but shelved the following year. Now, though, having announced his departure from Ripple in May, Thomas is re-launching Codius as the technical backbone for his new company, Coil.

Opening Up Envilope – The World’s First Blockchain-Based Postal Service (Forbes), Rated: A

Naturally, blockchain is the buzzword that can apparently cure all internet ills, but the recent entry of Envilope, a company that describes itself as “the world’s first blockchain-based postal service” may prove to be an important addition to email security.

This apparently superannuated technology, however, is not as defunct as it would appear. According to Palo Alto-based technology research company The Radicati Group, in 2017, the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day was a staggering 269 billion.

Radicatia says this figure is expected to continue to grow at an average annual rate of 4.4% over the next four years, reaching 319.6 billion by the end of 2021.

Academia Endowment Funds of Top US Universities Are Crypto Investors & Hodlers (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: A

News reaching us is that some US East Coast universities are stretching the Investment and Usage Policies of their Endowment Funds by making investments in “risky” cryptocurrencies.

While we cannot pinpoint which specific cryptos their funds rests at or universities they represent, John Lore, a lawyer and owner of the Capital Fund Law Group said portfolio managers of these Endowment Funds are finding cryptocurrency yields irresistible.

For perspective and perhaps to quantify the scale of what this means then you should realize that Endowment Funds from leading US universities have more than $120 billion under their belt. And that’s according to 2014 statistics.

What Is Cryptocurrency Spoofing? (Investopedia), Rated: A

Price fluctuations don’t just occur on a larger time scale such as this one, stretching out over weeks and months. In fact, they also take place from second to second as well. It is this fact that has allowed some criminal operations to benefit from flash crashes of popular digital currencies, buying up the hottest tokens at low prices and then selling them once the prices are corrected. Now, a new trend has caused the cryptocurrency community concern as well. Called “spoofing,” it is the process by which criminals attempt to artificially influence the price of a digital currency by creating fake orders.

Sagewise Using Hashgraph Blockchain to Underpin Smart Contract Resolution (BlockchainNews), Rated: A

The California-based tech firm Sagewise announced on Wednesday that it’s utilizing the blockchain platform Hedera Hashgraph to underpin its efforts to provide resolution of disputes involving smart contracts.

Can a cryptocurrency company raise $ 325 million to build a chemical plant in Kentucky? (Kentucky.com), Rated: A

Pike County received its first repayment last week on a controversial $400,000 loan it made in 2014 to RCL Chemical — a company promising hundreds of jobs in Eastern Kentucky at a proposed plant that would convert natural gas into various liquid products.

Money for that $50,000 payment, though, was raised from a very unconventional source: cryptocurrency.

SAP latest enterprise player to offer cloud blockchain service (TechCrunch), Rated: A

SAP  announced today at its Sapphire customer conference it was making the SAP Leonardo Blockchain service generally available. The latter is a cloud service to help companies build applications based on digital ledger-style technology.

SEC director ‘underwhelmed’ by rate of cryptocurrency exchanges self-reporting (CNBC), Rated: A

The Securities and Exchange Commission has made it clear that ICOs are securities by its standards and that exchanges trading those assets need to register with the agency. Yet one director said he is surprised by the lack of self-reporting.

SEC chief won’t ease securities rule for cryptocurrencies (The Hill), Rated: B

The chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Wednesday that the agency should not change its longstanding definition about what constitutes a security to ease the rules for cryptocurrencies.

“We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of a security that has worked for a long time,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC on Wednesday.

Investment Firm VanEck Attempts New Bitcoin ETF Filing, Aims at Institutional Players (Coin Telegraph), Rated: B

VanEck and SolidX Partners Inc. have filed a request to list a Bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bloomberg reports June 6.

International

Binance Coin Hits Record High Against Bitcoin (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

BNB achieved the new milestone of 0.002287 BTC at 10:45 UTC Wednesday, and was last seen changing hands at 0.0022 BTC on Binance, up 8 percent since yesterday.

The sharp rally pushed BNB’s market capitalization to a five-month high above $1.9 billion, making it the 17th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Binance Coin
Source: CoinDesk

BitPay, Coinbase or Others: Can Anybody Replace Visa? (Coin Telegraph), Rated: AAA

The issue of transition to decentralised payment networks was raised again last week. On June 1, Visa, which usually processes more than 150 mln transactions daily, suddenly failed. Millions of people in the UK and Europe were unable to pay for goods or services, and Visa payments were also disrupted for US residents.

Several hours later, the problem was solved, but the mere fact of widespread failure indicated the need for decentralized and stable alternative systems, where such incidents are simply impossible.

Payment processing
Source: Coin Telegraph

BitPay

Founded by Tony Gallippi and Stephen Pair in May 2011, BitPay became the first operator to work with Bitcoin. The development of this project began due to the need to create a fast, safe, and cheap way of paying for goods and services. According to the creators of BitPay, the aim of the platform is to become crypto equivalent of Apple’s Apple Pay payment system, which is reflected in the similarity of their names.

Coinbase

When it comes to reputation, it’s worth noting one big player which launchedon Feb. 14. The Coinbase Commerce service comes from the Coinbase exchange, and allows merchants to accept payment in digital currencies with the funds directly credited to the wallet of the user, leaving them in full control over the account. Functionally, the Coinbase Commerce plug-in is very similar to the PayPal payment system, requiring a phone number and an email address only.

The the lowdown on other crypto payments processors here.

Most major cryptocurrency exchanges lack sufficient background checks, research report says (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

According to a report by P.A.ID Strategies, a payments and identity security consulting firm, more than two-thirds of 25 prominent crypto exchanges in Europe and North America come up short when scrutinizing new customers. The report found 68% of the exchanges allow its users to trade both crypto and fiat with no formal identification and no know-your-customer, or KYC, checks.

crypto exchanges
Source: MarketWatch

The 10 Largest Companies In the World Are Now Exploring Blockchain (Forbes), Rated: A

At the very top of the list, for the second year in a row, is the imposing Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), with $165 billion in sales, and total assets of $4.2 trillion.

Following closely behind ICBC, with what appears to be slightly more advanced public work, is the China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB), which counts $143 billion in sales and total assets of $2.61 trillion.

In third place on the Global 2000 is JPMorgan, the largest company in the diversified financial category, with $118 billion in sales and assets valued at $2.7 trillion. In spite of company CEO Jamie Dimon’s vociferous railing against bitcoin itself, his company has emerged as one of the most visible, and committed enterprises to the underlying blockchain technology.

Development of Lightning Mobile Wallets Promises Faster Bitcoin Payments (Bitcoin Magazine), Rated: A

Here are some of the mobile wallets currently in development.

Eclair

Developed by Paris-based ACINQ, Lightning-ready Bitcoin wallet Eclair currently has 3,000 wallet downloads, and it came about as a result of three years of working on Lightning.

Bitcoin Lightning Wallet

Bitcoin Lightning is an SPV BIP37-based wallet developed by Anton Kumaigorodski. It features full Lightning Network support that provides for both on-chain and off-chain network transactions and is available in both testnet and mainnet.

Rawtx

Rawtx, short for “raw transactions,” is a mobile Lightning Network wallet for Bitcoin that allows users to send and receive testnet bitcoins on the blockchain and Lightning Network.

European Union

World’s Top Crypto Exchange Binance Sets Up Bank Account in Malta (Coin Telegraph), Rated: AAA

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO and founder of Binance, revealed the company has set up a bank account in Malta, in an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph Wednesday, June 6th.

Binance wary of listing risky coins which got a boost on the KuCoin exchange (BCFocus), Rated: A

Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange and issuer of the Binance Coin (BNB) token is wary of listing risky coins. After the fallout from the Centra (CTR) coin, it seems the crypto-exchange is doubly cautious about listing such digital currencies.

Ethereum Software Parity to Update After Critical Bug Detected (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

A critical consensus bug has been uncovered in a testing environment used by one of the two principal softwares crucial to the operation of the world’s second-largest blockchain.

Revealed last night by UK-based Parity Technologies in a blog post, the issue was found to cause those running the software to fall out of sync, meaning others using different software would not recognize their transactions. While the vulnerability was found on a testnet, the worry is that it could be exploited on the mainnet as well.

As such, Parity is now urging all users to update their software to a newly patched version.

Why Ethereum (ETH) Has A Tough Road Ahead With Several MainNet Platforms Going Live (Ethereum World News), Rated: A

Mid last month, Ethereum World News shared a list of 5 MainNet Launches that were scheduled for the third quarter of 2018. In the list, were the fan favorites of Tron (TRX), EOS (EOS), Zilliqa (ZIL), VeChain (VEN) and Cardano (ADA). 

After Ethereum World News shared the article above, the crypto community was quick to add a few more projects that were not included in the above list. They include Oyster Pearls (PRL) that has already released its MainNet on the 29th of May; Ontology (ONT)that is scheduled to launch its MainNet this month; and Aeternity (AE) that should also launch either in late July or early August.

CoinMetro Acquires Trading License From Estonia (Nulltx), Rated: A

CoinMetro has recently acquired a trading license from the nation of Estonia. CoinMetro believes that complying with regulations is the best way of bringing cryptocurrency to the masses.  

United Kingdom

Google and Facebook should face investigation by the UK competition watchdog claim researchers (The Telegraph), Rated: AAA

According to recent report on consumer data by Which?, the media giants have substantial market power on some of the most important data-dependent services that many consumers view as essential to their daily lives.

The UK Government’s Official Archive Is Testing Blockchain (CoinDesk), Rated: A

The National Archives (TNA), the official record-keeper of the UK government, is investigating the use of blockchain for records sharing.

China

Chinese Ethereum Wallet Holds Up To $ 35 Billion Now (Hibusiness), Rated: AAA

At the moment, the wallet has up to $35 billion worth of crypto assets, including funds owned by major cryptocurrency companies like Coinbase. The wallet also announced that it has received about $10 million from a leading investment firm IDG Capital and will soon introduce BTC.

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi plans its first decentralised blockchain (SCMP), Rated: A

Huobi, the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, plans to build its first public and decentralised blockchain and fund it with 30 million Huobi Tokens worth about US$174 million.

Huobi said that after its public blockchain project – called Huobi Chain – is complete it will move its cryptocurrency operations to the platform.

NEO Develops New Smart Contract Framework With Ontology (ICO Examiner), Rated: A

NeoContract is a smart contract platform for users of the NEO blockchain. The smart contracts will cover a broad range of use cases including transaction validation, tokens sale management and general DAPP development.

NeoVM is an integral part of the smart contract ecosystem and consists of an execution engine, stacks and interop services. It was developed with low-coupling architecture which it means it can also be used with other blockchains and even outside of a blockchain environment.

Australia

COINJAR OPENS THE TRADING FLOOR WITH AUSTRALIA’S FASTEST DIGITAL CURRENCY EXCHANGE (PRWire), Rated: AAA

Australian cryptocurrency company CoinJar, has launched its new high-speed digital currency trading platform, CoinJar Exchange.

The exchange is the fastest in Australia, and will allow cryptocurrency traders to trade Bitcoin and Australian Dollars against popular cryptocurrencies Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple.

Asia

South Korea’s Richest 2018: The Tycoons Going Crazy For Crypto (Forbes), Rated: AAA

South Korea emerged as the world’s third-largest market for trading bitcoin last year. The country sprouted three of the top five exchanges for ethereum, accounting for between 35% and 40% of the coin’s global trading volume. An estimated 3 million people in a country of 50 million had set up cryptocurrency accounts by the end of 2017.

The feverish demand, coupled with government rules that make sending Korean won abroad cumbersome, led to a 30% to 50% premium on the purchase price of the most popular coins, a phenomenon known as the Kimchi Premium.

1. Kim Jung-Ju
Kim holds 83% of Korbit, South Korea’s first cryptocurrency exchange, through his holding company NXC. He made his first investment last September, when he paid $85 million for an initial 65% stake.

2. Kwon Hyuk-Bin

3. Bang Jun-Hyuk

There’s more here.

Korea’s Unique Ability To Make Its Reverse ICO Fad Permanent (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

By the end of the last century, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) leveraged macroeconomicsindustrial engineering, and other relevant fields of knowledge to bring invaluable efficiencies to government-backed heavy industries and become a globally competitive economic powerhouse. Industrial output went from zero to one. On a national scale, South Koreans skillfully mastered economics and technology to catalyze an industrial revolution and rapidly enrich their economy. Once again, by leading the charge with the “reverse” ICO, South Korean companies are hoping to harness the efficiencies that microeconomics and cryptocurrency engineering bring to venture ecosystems to renew national competitivity and prosperity.

The reverse ICO is most broadly defined as the process of buying out the equity of an established company with cryptocurrency acquired through a token sale.

India’s biggest cryptocurrency scam gets murkier and murkier (Quartz), Rated: AAA

On June 05, British businessman Raj Kundra—the husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty—was questioned by India’s enforcement directorate (ED). He was allegedly involved in a scam that saw Amit Bhardwaj, founder of bitcoin firm GainBitcoin, reportedly duping investors of around Rs2,000 crore ($300 million).

It is essentially a Ponzi scheme that impacted over 8,000 bitcoin investors in India. Kingpin Bhardwaj is a software developer and former Infosys employee who jumped on to the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

Indian police involved in another $ 75M cryptocurrency scam (The Next Web), Rated: A

A police official is under investigation for aiding in a $75 million cryptocurrency scam in Mumbai, India.

The initial coin offering (ICO) scam by the name of Money Trade Coin (MTC) was uncovered by local crime branch of the Mumbai Police on Monday. The investigation came about following a complaint by a businessman who fell for the scam.

Another digital currency fraud surfaces, 2 booked (The Times of India), Rated: B

The Samarth police have booked two persons, one of them a woman, for cheating several persons to the tune of Rs 20.54 lakh between December 2016 and January 2018 by promising them handsome returns on investments in cryptocurrencies.

Latin America

Bitcoin Buying on the Rise Again in Venezuela (Coin Telegraph), Rated: AAA

Venezuelans’ interest in buying Bitcoin has increased significantly over the last three months, Criptonoticias news outlet reports Wednesday, June 6, citing data from the LocalBitcoins exchange.

Venezuela bitcoin
Source: LocalBitcoins

Kleros Introduces a Gamedrop to Test its ‘Schelling Point’ Economic Model (Kleros Email), Rated: A

Kleros, a new decentralized arbitration system for virtually any transaction on the internet, has introduced a ‘gamedrop’ as an alternative to the conventional token airdrop with the goal of testing the application of the ‘Schelling Point’ principle to collective decision making. By incentivizing people to participate in the program and earn PNK tokens, the company hopes to replace traditional airdrops by a more engaging method of token distribution.

Traditionally, airdrops have issued tokens according to the number of ETH an address already holds or based on simple tasks such as following the project on social media or sharing an affiliate link. Despite completing a successful token airdrop in April, the Kleros team has been exploring more egalitarian distribution methods consistent with the principles underpinning its justice protocol.

Canada

Imaginea Ai to Launch Fully Regulated Security Token Offering in Canada (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Imaginea Ai Inc., an artificial intelligence (AI) company based in Canada, is prepping to launch a fully regulated initial coin offering. Imaginea says it has been working closely with the Alberta Securities Commission to ensure the Security Token Offering (STO) is compliant to provincial law. In Canada, all securities offerings are regulated at the provincial level. While there has been a push to completely harmonize securities laws in Canada it is a heavy policy lift and not likely in the near term. Imaginea says they are one of the first regulated STOs in Canada.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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