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  • News - 16 November 2018, 8:47 am

    Maksim Zaslavskiy’s guilty plea could net him up to 37 months in prison for ICO token fraud. The suspect at the center of the U.S.’ first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fraud case has pleaded guilty in court, in part settling a case seen as a bellwether for the country’s securities laws, Bloomberg reported Nov. 15.Maksim Zaslavskiy, who faces a sentence of up to 37 months after lying to investors who put funds into two ICOs last year, confirmed he had lied about aspects of his operations.The court case involves REcoin and Diamond Reserve Coin, which had claimed to be backed by real estate and diamonds respectively. Investors lost money when both coins imploded, Zaslavskiy and his accomplices having never in fact secured any of the alleged backing.“I, along with others, made these false statements to obtain money from investors,” Bloomberg quotes him as telling the court in New York:“We had not yet purchased any real estate […] we had not purchased any diamonds.”The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) originally filed charges against Zaslavskiy in September 2017, the case since then becoming a topic of interest among commentators eager to see if the regulator would — or could — class the ICO offerings at hand has securities under its jurisdiction.As Cointelegraph reported, a U.S. district judge ruled securities laws could apply to cryptocurrencies in September. It would be up to a jury to determine whether those in this case should receive the same treatment.Zaslavskiy will return to court for sentencing in April 2019.Read More

  • News - 16 November 2018, 2:22 am

    Nvidia released its Q3 2018 results today, revealing a “crypto hangover” as GPU prices failed to adjust quickly enough to disappearing demand from crypto miners. Nvidia released its earnings report for the third quarter (Q3) of 2018 today, Nov. 15, revealing that demand for Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs) among crypto miners has dried up.In the financial results report, founder and CEO of Nvidia Jensen Huang said that the company’s “near-term results reflect excess channel inventory post the cryptocurrency boom, which will be corrected.”Put differently, the cryptocurrency frenzy drove up prices for Nvidia’s gaming cards, but once that demand disappeared, prices did not decrease quickly enough to attract customers who were waiting for more affordable cards. Huang told Reuters:“The crypto hangover lasted longer than we expected. We thought we had done a better job managing the cryptocurrency dynamics.”The company’s provision for inventories purportedly expanded to $70 million in Q3, having more than tripled for the first nine months of the current year to $124 million. This also resulted in the decrease of Nvidia’s gross margins by 1.8 percentage points in Q3 to 60.4 percent. The margins drop is also attributed to $57 million in charges related to the company’s previous generations of chips following the plunge in cryptocurrency mining demand.After Nvidia’s post of sales missed expectations for Q3, the company’s shares dropped over 16 percent in late trading:Nvidia stock following Q3 announcement. Source: QuartzPer the financial report, Nvidia’s overall revenue in Q3 was $3.18 billion, a 21 percent increase compared to $2.64 billion a year earlier, and up two percent from $3.12 billion in the previous quarter.In August, Nvidia forecasted its Q3 revenue to be between $3.19 billion and $3.32 billion, stressing that it does not expect to make significant blockchain-related sales for the rest of the year.At the same time, Nvidia’s revenue for the third quarter is higher than that recently projected by experts from analytical firm Trefis. The experts expected consolidated revenues to be a bit under $3.10 billion in Q3, of which 84 percent could be attributed to GPUs.Read More

  • News - 16 November 2018, 1:56 am

    Ethereum-based payment platform OmiseGo partnered with a Singapore firm behind a popular ride hailing app to develop a Proof-of-Concept and promote blockchain tech. Ethereum-based payment platform OmiseGo and blockchain protocol Mass Vehicle Ledger (MVL) have partnered to research blockchain technology, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Nov. 14. MVL is the protocol behind popular Singapore ride hailing app TADA.MVL and OmiseGo will develop a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) to ascertain whether the decentralized OMG Network is suitable for MVL’s data record-keeping system. During the PoC, MVL will record data collected from TADA on the OmiseGo platform.Moreover, the two companies have announced further technical and research cooperation on possible blockchain applications in TADA’s services.On Nov. 7, MVL received a taxi provider license from the Land Transport Authority of Singapore, allowing it to launch its new taxi booking service, TADA Taxi. According to Business Insider, over 2,000 taxi drivers have joined the app through  partnerships with local taxi companies.Other taxi companies and ride-hailing services have explored applying blockchain technology to their business models.  In May, Chen Weixing, the founder of Chinese ride hailing company Kuaidi Dache, revealed his plans to create a blockchain-powered ride hailing app, adding that the service might also include deliveries.The automotive industry has also shown a marked interest in applying new technologies like artificial intelligence  and blockchain. IOTA and Volkswagen demonstrated a PoC that used IOTA’s Tangle system for autonomous cars at Cebit ‘18 Expo in Germany last June.Daimler AG — which produces Mercedes Benz and Smart cars — presented its own Blockchain-based digital currency MobiCoin to reward drivers for environmentally-friendly driving habits, such as driving at low speeds.Read More

  • News - 16 November 2018, 12:47 am

    Chinese crypto mining manufacturer Canaan has let the application for its $400 million IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange lapse. Cryptocurrency mining equipment producer Canaan’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) application has lapsed, Reuters reported Nov. 15. The offering was set to take place on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX).Founded in 2013 in China, Canaan manufactures application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for digital currency mining. Canaan is the world’s second largest cryptocurrency hardware maker, collecting a revenue of 1.3 billion yuan ($187 million) in 2017. The company’s profit in the same year was 361 million yuan ($52 million), which is a 230 times increase from 2015, per business news outlet Quartz.Canaan revealed its IPO plans in May, claiming to create the largest Bitcoin (BTC)-oriented offering yet seen when it would debut on the HKEX in July. While not mentioning a specific fundraising target, Cannan said the figure “could” reportedly circle $1 billion. However, the company subsequently lowered its target to $400 million.Today, Reuters reported that Canaan has let its application for the IPO of at least $400 million lapse, purportedly due to questions about the company’s business model and prospects from the HKEX and regulators.Sources close to the deal reportedly told Reuters that the IPO would not be conducted this year since a listing hearing was not updated by the HKEX. Canaan purportedly can rebid its IPO with updated financial information.The news follows a recent statement issued by Hong Kong’s securities regulator, the autonomous Chinese territory’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), which sets out new guidelines for funds dealing with cryptocurrency, including exchanges. The statement read:“In order to afford better protection to investors, the SFC considers that all licensed portfolio managers intending to invest in virtual assets should observe essentially the same regulatory requirements even if the portfolios (or portions of portfolios) under their management invest solely or partially in virtual assets, irrespective of whether these virtual assets amount to ‘securities’ or ‘futures contracts.’”In October, Cointelegraph reported that major mining hardware producers, including Canaan, could be affected by recently imposed U.S. sanctions on Chinese goods. Analysts raised alarm as the technology had been reclassified by the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to fall under a stricter tariff regime.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 10:52 pm

    Hours after the start of the Bitcoin Cash upgrade, the Bitcoin ABC and Unlimited camps are leading in terms of hash rate and nodes. The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network update, which many predicted would lead to a hard fork, began as scheduled today, Nov. 15.At press time, Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin Unlimited are currently leading Bitcoin SV in terms of both hash rate and number of nodes, according to Coin.Dance. Under the new consensus rules, 41 blocks have been already mined, wherein Bitcoin ABC is 12 blocks ahead.The update has led cryptocurrency exchanges around the world to suspend BCH trading and withdrawals.The news about the protocol upgrade has divided the BCH community in two camps as there are two dominating proposals for the implementation of the BCH network in the form of Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision).Bitcoin ABC stands for “Adjustable Blocksize Cap”, and its proponents argue that the basic structure of BCH is “sound,” and “does not need any radical change”. Proposed changes include “removing software bottlenecks” and enabling node operators to change their block size limit.Bitcoin ABC is supported by crypto evangelist Roger Ver, while Bitcoin SV supporters are led by Craig Wright, who has previously declared himself to be the mysterious Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. The SV camp promotes radically changing the current BCH structure, where its split is designed to entirely overwrite the network scripts of Bitcoin ABC and increase the BCH block size from 32MB to a maximum of 128MB.The issue of a BCH upgrade caused a heated dispute in the community; Wright engaged in verbal battles with Bitmain’s co-founder Jihan Wu, who accused Wright of being a Blockstream spy. Wright’s messages to ABC, Roger Ver, and Bitmain have turned into bankruptcy threats and accusations of being engaged in Silicon Road machinations and child pornography.A continued feud between the crypto communities would have a significant impact on the crypto market in general, while a split caused by a hard fork will affect the entire network.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 15 November 2018, 10:28 pm

    After months and months of consolidation, the yearly support finally broke and now bitcoin has found itself in the lower $5000s for the first time since 2017:Figure 1: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Broken SupportBitcoin managed to drop a staggering 16% yesterday as the market sliced through the long held support like a knife through butter. The high volume and wide candle spread does not bode well for the bulls as we are currently witnessing an excess of supply in the market. We have blown through two levels of support and haven’t seen a significant retest just yet:Figure 2: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Support Levels (shown in blue)Figure 2 shows the next levels of support below us, but it seems for now we are content to consolidate at the $5400 level. The $5400 is pretty interesting because that is when the market went from being parabolic to *super* parabolic as the market took off on what’s referred to as a “hypodermic trend.” It’s when the market experiences parabolic blow-off toward the end of its parabolic cycle and the market actually breaks north of its parabolic curve. Almost one year to the day, we have found ourselves positioned at the exact same price it was previously. It was this time last year that we saw the major leaps and bounds in price as the market accelerated upward, following a strong round of media coverage over the winter holiday season.Something quite alarming for the bitcoin bulls is this massive descending triangle that broke downward yesterday:Figure 3: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Descending Triangle (shown in red)Over the entirety of 2018, the market consolidated in a pattern called a “descending triangle.” Typically, if a triangle breaks downward, it will be seen as a trend continuation to most traders and they are likely to short the asset. In our case, the trend continuation would be a downward continuation. It’s unclear where the actual market will lead, but the blue levels outlined in Figure 2 and the 78% Fibonacci retracement shown above are likely to entice some of the more patient bulls that sat out most of 2018. It’s still very early to tell whether the market will see a strong continuation or if the market is just attempting to find its floor. We will know more with the weekly close.Summary:The yearly support finally broke down as bitcoin shoved down a staggering 16% in one day.The move is still fresh, but the market is attempting to test support as the bulls decide whether they want to start a strong round of buying. One thing is clear though: Supply is very present.The breakdown of the descending triangle shown in Figure 3 is a sell signal for traders, as it typically is a sign of a trend continuation. The breakout is still fresh, so we will need to check back on the market to gather further insight.Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should…Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 9:29 pm

    U.S.-based tech giant Microsoft has launched a serverless blockchain-powered development kit for consortium environments. American software corporation Microsoft has released a serverless blockchain-powered Azure development kit, according to an announcement published Nov. 15.The new product dubbed the “Azure Blockchain Development Kit” purportedly improves the capabilities of Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Workbench. It contains features like off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging application programming interfaces (API) in a format that can be used to develop blockchain-based apps.Per the blog post, the initial release will focus on three core objectives, such as “connecting interfaces, integrating data and systems, and deploying smart contracts and blockchain networks.”The product will purportedly enable individuals, organizations, and devices to connect to a blockchain via user interfaces. Microsoft says that the development kit includes SMS and voice interfaces, Internet of Things (IoT) device integration, support for mobile clients, bots, virtual assistants, and other related solutions.In terms of smart contract interaction, Microsoft included Workbench integration scenarios into the development kit in such areas as the legacy apps and protocols, data, Software as a Service (SaaS), and registries, that generate a custom registry and registry item smart contracts.Microsoft has also introduced a whitepaper dubbed “DevOps for Blockchain Smart Contracts,” explaining how to use the development kit for blockchain-based apps in certain business environments.In August, Azure introduced a proof-of-authority (PoA) algorithm on its Ethereum (ETH) blockchain product, that purportedly allows a “more efficient” way of building decentralized applications (DApps) for private or consortium networks, where “all consensus participants are known and reputable.”One example of Azure technology deployment in the commercial area is its integration into stock exchange Nasdaq Inc.’s Financial Framework (NFF) in late October. This will purportedly facilitate easier buyer and seller matching, management of delivery, and payment and settlement of transactions.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 8:48 pm

    sponsored The players can now breed both ETH and EOS-based virtual pets. Blockchain Cuties, a decentralized crypto collectible game operating on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, has announced that it is now available on EOS. The developer company says the new step makes Blockchain Cuties “the first game which officially supports two blockchains simultaneously.” This is supposed to make transactions faster and the players can now breed both ETH and EOS-based cuties.Non-fungible tokens supportThe game announced that from now, players can log in to the game using their EOS Wallet and start breeding their first EOS cuties. Blockchain Cuties says importing the private key will take less than a minute – after entering the system the private key will be secured by storing locally. In order to start the game, the players should allocate CPU/Bandwidth and RAM – the resources that users have in the EOS blockchain. The company says that the amount of staked tokens can be “unstaked” at any time.One of the main reasons why Blockchain Cuties decided to implement the EOS blockchain into the game was the non-fungible tokens support that the platform provides. “There are not many blockchain platforms that support such digital assets,” the company says. All the crypto collectibles, or Cuties, are non-fungible tokens that are unique and have cryptocurrency value. These tokens are represented as pets and cute animals that players can buy and sell to each other, or trade on the in-game marketplace. The players can also breed their own fantasy creature by adding mutations which makes their Cutie more expensive.“Record-breaking” scalability featThe company says another reason for the cooperation with EOS’ blockchain was its transaction speed, mass adoption and “record-breaking” scalability feat which could solve the scalability issues.EOS is one of the first cryptocurrencies that implemented the Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. The company hopes that this technology will allow the platform to enhance scalability up to “millions of transactions per second.”Cuties as a trendBlockchain Cuties was officially released in April 2018. It became a part of the decentralized crypto games trend started with the launch of CryptoPunks, the first blockchain game ever made, in June 2017. The developers offered to the players to collect, bid and sell digital punks. A few months later, in November 2017, CryptoKitties took over by creating their own market and valuable assets — crypto cats. The developers invented a pioneering approach — making Ethereum networking lag. As the result, CryptoKitties broke the record of a million unique virtual kitties which players bred. The most expensive asset was sold for more than 600 ETH, or about $170,000.Blockchain Cuties became part of the next collectible games’ boom. They expanded the breeding feature from the kitties to other animals including lizards, puppies, bears, and fantastic creatures. Each non-fungible token has its unique genome that players decode, and each unique feature increases the price of the token.Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain,…Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 6:53 pm

    Major cryptocurrencies continue to see losses after yesterday’s drop in markets, XRP has overtaken Ethereum as the number two coin by market capitalization. Thursday, Nov. 15: yesterday’s fall in crypto markets continues today, with Bitcoin (BTC) dipping below the $5,400 mark, and total market capitalization dropping as low as $174 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.After an extended period of low price volatility, crypto markets experienced a massive decline yesterday, Nov. 14, with Bitcoin dropping from its average trading price of around $6,400 to as low as $5,506.The recent dive has marked a new volatility record for markets this year. According to BitMEX Daily Historical Bitcoin Volatility Index, Bitcoin volatility rate has exceeded the index of seven for the first time since April this year.BitMEX Daily Historical Bitcoin Volatility Index. Source: BitMEXWhile top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap are seeing more losses with some coins down almost five percent on the day, major virtual currency Ripple (XRP) has again overtaken Ethereum (ETH) as the second top cryptocurrency in terms of market cap at press time. according to CoinMarketCap.Market visualization from Coin360Bitcoin continues its downward trend today, with its price dipping as low as $5,358. As of press time, the biggest cryptocurrency is down around 4 percent, and is trading at $5,589. In terms of its 7 day outlook, Bitcoin is down almost 14 percent.Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapIn contrast, Ripple has managed to see some gains as of press time. XRP is up 2.2 percent and trading at $0.464 at press time. After seeing its intraday low of $0.43, Ripple has continued to hold a relatively stable support of around $0.45 over the day.Ripple 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapEthereum, the third top coin by market cap, has dipped below $180 and dropped to as low as $170 earlier today. The altcoin is down around 3.35 percent at press time, and trading at $177.95. Ethereum has seen big losses over the past 7 days, down almost 17 percent.Ethereum price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapTotal market cap has dipped even lower today, dipping below $180 billion. As of press time, market cap is $183.5 billion, seeing a slight rebound from $174 billion earlier the day. At press time, daily trade volume amounts to more than $22.3 billion. The total number of cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap has decreased to 2,080.Total market capitalization weekly chart. Source: CoinMarketCapMeltem Demirors, the Chief Strategic Officer (CSO) of crypto exchange-traded products firm CoinShares has subsequently commented on the recent breakdown, claiming that the cause of the sudden bear market is that institutions are “taking money off the table” due to the hard fork of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). With that, Bitcoin Cash is suffering the biggest losses over 7 days period, at almost 30 percent as of press time, and is trading at $420.The Bitcoin Cash hard fork is scheduled for today, Nov. 15. Yesterday, the world’s largest crypto exchange OKEx announced early delivery of BCH futures contracts in order to avoid market manipulation and to prevent the crypto markets…Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 15 November 2018, 6:11 pm

    Binance — one of the most popular digital currency exchanges across the globe — has announced that it will be adding the fiat-collateralized stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) to its trading platform on November 17, 2018. USDC will be grouped into trading pairs with bitcoin and Binance’s own token, BNB.The company made the announcement on its official blog, making particular note of the auditing process USDC undergoes to prove that each coin is backed 1:1 with the USD.“For increased transparency, USDC has engaged a top-ranking auditing firm to release monthly balance attestations of the corresponding USDC and USD balances held/issued,” the post reads.With this support, USDC will become the third stablecoin to see a listing from Binance, the first two being Tether (USDT) and TrueUSD (TUSD), respectively. Buzz surrounding stablecoins has grown exponentially this year. Typically tied to fiat currencies such as USD or the euro, stable currencies are designed to lessen the effects of volatility often witnessed in standard crypto assets like bitcoin and ether.Binance is the world’s largest digital currency exchange, boasting a daily trading volume of roughly $500 million. That’s about $460 million more than Coinbase, which was among the first cryptocurrency trading platforms to show support for USD Coin last month. The coin is a product of Coinbase’s and Circle Internet Ltd.’s joint efforts, and it was developed as a part of the Centre blockchain framework.  Prior, USDC began trading on the Circle-owned Poloniex exchange in September of 2018.  In a recent interview with TheStreet, CEO and founder of Binance Changpeng Zhao discussed his company’s success and said he’s aiming to be much more than just an exchange. “We are building an ecosystem,” he comments. “We want to be the infrastructure services provider for the blockchain space, so we have several different initiatives. Most of them are still quite small, including the exchange. I think if you compare us to traditional [market] exchanges, we are still quite small … but right now, our ecosystem is made up of the exchange, a wallet, labs, charity, info, an academy and more. We hope some of them will become the infrastructure for the industry.” This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 5:47 pm

    Executive Board member of the European Central Bank, Benoit Coeure, considers Bitcoin to be the “evil spawn of the [2008] financial crisis.” Executive Board member of the European Central Bank (ECB) Benoit Coeure considers Bitcoin (BTC) to be the “evil spawn of the [2008] financial crisis,” Bloomberg reports Nov. 15.Coeure reportedly made his acid remarks at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel. The BIS’ general manager Augustín Carstens has likewise previously made a spate of crypto-skeptical remarks, notably characterizing Bitcoin as a “combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster.”Explicitly recalling Carstens’ characterization, Coeure framed his criticisms of the ten year old innovation with a reference to the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in fall 2008 – the tipping point for economic turmoil, global recession, and, subsequently, the controversial “too big to fail” rationale for state intervention:“Few remember that Satoshi [Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin] embedded the genesis block with a Times headline from January 2009 about U.K. banks’ bailout. In more ways than one, Bitcoin is the evil spawn of the financial crisis.”After this historical overture, Coeure continued to address international monetary authorities’ present-day pursuit of cryptocurrency tokens and distributed ledger technology (DLT) initiatives. While acknowledging the widespread interest, he claimed that “there is broad agreement that a central bank digital currency, in whatever form, is unlikely to be issued within the next decade.”The ECB official’s stance is at odds with remarks from International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde just yesterday. Speaking at the the Singapore Fintech Festival Nov. 14, Lagarde urged the international community to “consider” endorsing central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDC), arguing they “could satisfy public policy goals,” specifically “financial inclusion.”Coeure’s argument is also directly contrary to that of Stanley Yong, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of IBM’s Blockchain for Financial Services, and a veteran of Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore.Yong stated this week that CBDCs are “the only way” to mitigate the “kinds of risks that came about during the Lehman crisis of 2008,” and could specifically prevent a settlement system freeze – a systemic failure that affected financial systems across multiple countries during the Lehman fallout.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 5:08 pm

    The head of major Russian bank Sberbank says blockchain technology will be adopted globally on an industrial scale in 1-2 years. The head of major state-owned Russian bank Sberbank has forecast that blockchain adoption will happen on an industrial scale in one to two years, local news agency TASS reported Nov. 13.Speaking to journalists this week, Sberbank CEO Herman Gref explained that the technology is entering the stage of its industrial development:“The hype around the technology [blockchain] is now over, and the technology is entering the stage of industrial development. It needs a year or two to be implemented at the industrial scale.”Gref argued that global markets are “not yet ready” for large-scale commercial adoption of blockchain, given the “immaturity of the technology.”Earlier in October, Gref gave a more general timeframe for blockchain adoption, stating it would be “ready” in three to five years, but not specifying on which scale.Sberbank is actively involved in blockchain trials, along with other major Russian banks and institutions. In December 2017, Sberbank partnered with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service to store documents and transfer data on blockchain.Later in June, Sberbank partnered with Alfa Bank to test cryptocurrency-based investment options for retail investors. In October, Sberbank became an advisor to state-owned power giant Rosseti in order to help it trial blockchain solutions.Another bank, the Russian branch of Raiffeisen Bank, announced recently that it would implement blockchain to issue digital mortgages and bank guarantees, planning to expand the implementation of technology to other areas.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 4:33 pm

    Bitcoin’s slump will take “weeks, if not months” to repair the damage and to build sustainable support for multi-month rally, analyst reports. lt will take “weeks, if not months” to repair the “technical damage” caused by the recent collapse of Bitcoin (BTC), according to a Fundstrat Global Advisors analyst, Bloomberg reports today, Nov. 15.In a note to clients yesterday, cited by Bloomberg, Fundstrat’s Rob Sluymer predicted that Bitcoin’s collapse yesterday has pushed crypto markets into a “deeply oversold” area, while “longer-term technical indicators aren’t so favorable.”Sluymer concluded that Bitcoin will be able to support a “multi-month rally,” but only after the “significant” damage done this week has been overcome:“This week’s breakdown produced significant technical damage that will likely take weeks, if not months, to repair to create a durable enough price ‘structure’ to support a multi-month rally.”Yesterday, the largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin dipped below the $5,600 price point for the first time since October 2017, breaking longstanding recent support around $6,000 and hitting multi-month records of volatility.A trader at eWarrant Japan Securities K.K. in Tokyo, Soichiro Tsutsumi, told Bloomberg today that the loss of $6,000 support looks like a “dangerous sign” for industry players, especially the ones with “business models reliant on a client pool.”The recent crypto market slump has also reportedly caused a decline in the shares of crypto-connected companies, including Japanese SBI Holdings and Monex Group. Both Monex Group, owner of crypto exchange Coincheck, and SBI Holdings suffered a slump of more than 2 percent to close at two-week lows in Tokyo, Bloomberg reported.Impact of Bitcoin’s slump on Asia Crypto Stocks. Source: BloombergFundstrat’s analysts has subsequently commented that the year-end market trend is “stressed, but not broken,” according to a tweet of CNBC journalist Carl Quintanilla. According to Quintanilla, Fundstrat claimed that they expect the “sectors hit the hardest to lead into YE,” which will lead to growth of stocks.Earlier in summer, Fundstrat’s head of research Tom Lee reiterated his prediction that Bitcoin will trade between $22,000 to $25,000 by the year’s end. Most recently, Lee expressed content with the recent stability of Bitcoin, claiming that he expected its volatility to be much higher.In early November, Galaxy Digital CEO Michael Novogratz claimed that Bitcoin has to “take out $6,800” in order to hit $8,800-9,000 by the end of the year. He also predicted that the biggest coin could hit “$20,000 or more” in 2019.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 3:40 pm

    Warren Davidson, Republican congressman for the 8th district of the U.S. state of Ohio, plans to introduce a bill that would allow ICOs to “sidestep” securities laws. Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson plans to introduce a bill that would allow Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to “sidestep” U.S. securities laws, according to a report from Washington Examiner Nov. 13.Citing a spokesman for Davidson – Republican congressman for the 8th district of the state of Ohio – the publication reports that the prospective bill would propose that ICOs be treated as products rather than as securities at the federal and state level.The move would reportedly “eliminate” the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s oversight of the industry.The Washington Examiner notes that while the congressman aspires to seal bipartisan support for his bill, the deregulatory impulse of his project would unlikely win favor among the incoming Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.The report also refers to signals from officials in the Trump administration – specifically Craig Phillips, senior adviser to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – who have reportedly hinted the department will advance its own crypto-related policy ideas.To some degree, the report adds, startups in the crypto and blockchain space are already “sidestepping” securities laws by turning to “traditional” venture capital (VC) funding in lieu of public or private token sales.2018 opened with SEC chairman Jay Clayton’s widely-reported remarks that that every ICO the Commission had seen so far would be considered a security. Since then, top Commissioners have adopted a more nuanced approach, with SEC Corporation Finance Director William Hinman judging that Ethereum (ETH), despite its token sale, had in its present state and “decentralized nature” evolved beyond a securities classification.As reported this fall, congressman Davidson hosted a “crypto roundtable” devoted to regulation, with over 45 representatives from major Wall Street firms and the crypto space, as lawmakers continue to appeal for more clarity over crypto and securities regulations.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 3:14 pm

    Malaysian lending giant CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. has signed on to use Ripple’s xCurrent technology for expediting cross-border payments. Malaysian lending giant CIMB Group Holdings Bhd has joined Ripple’s (XRP) cross-border payments network RippleNet, Bloomberg reports Nov. 15.The $53.5 billion market cap CIMB will integrate Ripple’s XCurrent product, a software solution for expediting cross-border payments, for its “SpeedSend” remittance product. As Bloomberg reports, CIMB’s product serves multiple Southeast Asian markets, including the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.As Bloomberg notes, Ripple is vying to outstrip incumbent money transfer giant SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) in the global cross-border payments industry. The latter’s website claims SWIFT currently serves over 11,000 clients across 200 countries.In an interview with Bloomberg at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2018 this week, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse responded to the reporter’s question in regard to rumors of a possible SWIFT partnership or even future takeover by Ripple, saying:“Swift is owned by banks, Ripple is here to help the banks […] what we are doing on a day-to-day basis is in fact taking over SWIFT. We’ve signed well over 100 banks, some of the world’s largest SWIFT-enabled banks are now using Ripple’s technology.”Bloomberg cites data from the World Bank that forecasts that the total value of global remittances is set to rise to $642 billion this year, up almost 5 percent from $613 billion in 2017.While XCurrent does not use Ripple’s native token XRP, the latter has soared by almost 77 percent in value over the past three months, according to Cointelegraph’s Ripple Price Index.The asset’s strong growth comes even as financial services and tech industry giants such as Standard Chartered (SC) and Ant Financial have been evolving alternative blockchain-based cross-border remittance solutions.Just two days ago, major Japanese bank holding and financial services company MUFG announced it was also joining RippleNet to create a new cross-border payments service to Brazil, as the network continues to gain traction with banks for remittance solutions worldwide.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 15 November 2018, 2:45 pm

    Despite a prolonged cryptocurrency bear market and regulatory uncertainties, OKCoin, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, is expanding to Latin America launching a new exchange platform headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina.Already active in 110 countries and 21 U.S. states, OKCoin USA CEO Tim Byun told Bitcoin Magazine that he is not worried about market volatility as they launch on a new continent:“Overall, we are very bullish on the cryptocurrencies markets throughout the world and in Latin America in particular. The growth might not be perfectly linear, but we fundamentally believe in the potential of cryptocurrencies to fix what ails many of the infrastructure problems that ail the global economy.”Launching today, November 15, 2018, OKCoin will allow traders in Argentina to deposit Argentine pesos (ARS) in exchange for cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, ada, stellar, zcash and 0x, with more being added soon. OKCoin plans to begin its expansion by opening an office in Buenos Aires and then building up a team to support its business throughout Latin America. Other Latin American fiat currencies will be added in the coming months. Why Argentina? “There is a huge opportunity within Latin America and Argentina, in part because traders in the region are extremely savvy and in part because the Argentine peso has experienced a lot of volatility,” Byun explained.“As the value of Argentina’s fiat currency remains uncertain, consumers there are looking for other options to invest in currencies that are not backed by any central bank or hard asset.”In a recent study of the top cities in the world for bitcoin adoption, the authors found that Buenos Aires had the 8th highest adoption rate in the world, making it the leading bitcoin city in South America.Buenos Aires has 130 merchants accepting bitcoin and three bitcoin ATMs in a city of 2.9 million people that is struggling with the volatile peso and a 32 percent yearly inflation rate. Argentina is also known as one of Latin America’s top destinations for software development, with blockchain startups like CoinFabrik that offer blockchain development for other startups.RSK Labs is also active in Argentina’s blockchain development ecosystem, creating Rootstock, a smart contract platform connected to the Bitcoin blockchain. RSK recently partnered with the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) to offer courses in blockchain technology as part of the university’s Information Engineering program. OKCoin and SecurityOKCoin says it puts a premium on the importance of security and calls it “the core and center to our business.”They told us they have assembled one of the industry’s largest teams of security and fraud experts to stay ahead of hackers, and, since its launch in 2013, the company has developed a sophisticated system of security measures to handle new challenges like its Latin American expansion.Byun added: “Preventing hacks is one of the most important roles for an exchange like ours, and we are proud to report that in the five years since our launch, our exchange has never been hacked, not even once.”…Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 2:32 pm

    sponsored A Hong Kong-based startup is aiming to integrate blockchain technology into soccer, linking soccer superstars, youth talents and fans. Soccer Legends Limited, a Hong Kong-based startup, is aiming to integrate blockchain technology into soccer, the most popular sport in the world. The project is designed to “bridge the gap between soccer superstars, youth talents and fans.” Soccer fans can use the 433 Token to support a future superstar, interact with the most famous players and to influence important soccer-related decisions.According to the company, Paul Scholes (Manchester United legend 11-times English Premier League champion) and Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan legend, UEFA Champions League Top Scorer, Ballon d’Or winner and Ukraine’s head coach) have officially joined the project. They not only support the project but will “personally participate in the ecosystem as mentor and event hosts.”Soccer Legends Limited says it has also an official partner in Global Legends Series (GLS), a league of retired soccer legends. The plan is to sign sign eight more famous players once fundraising is completed.Soccer meets blockchainHaving over 4 billion fans, soccer is estimated to be the most popular sport in the world.  There are around 300 thousand soccer clubs and 240 million active players across the globe. Soccer Legends Limited believes that blockchain technology can be the instrument for fans to become much more involved in their favorite sport and with their beloved stars and clubs. The company created its own ecosystem based on the new 433 Token, which is an ERC-20 compliant token built on the Ethereum blockchain.Soccer Legends Limited offers a system led by the “Fellowship of Legends”, a selected group of legendary soccer players. They have a “Principal” status and can pick young talented players – aged 16 to 18 – from different soccer academies and mentor them. This means the “Principals” meet their students at least four times a year personally, teach them techniques, ethics, leadership and also provide financial support if there is a need in physical training, nutrition, sports science. The soccer legends will also check the progress and introduce young players to the scouts, clubs, agents, and endorsements.Before the Principals start mentoring, they will offer 433 Token holders the opportunity of sponsoring the mentorship of the next superstars, via smart contract. Sponsors get to follow the mentorship closely and access the youth talents’ detailed training data.Bidding and votingAnother utility option that Soccer Legends Limited offers fans is bidding. The company is going to organize special events with personal participation of soccer legends, such as charity dinners, a personal guided Giuseppe Meazza Stadium museum tour or even a Legend-vs-Fans penalty shootout at Old Trafford. The events will be auctioned and fans all over the world can bid with 433 tokens. According to the company, the highest bidder will attend the event, the ones who are not that lucky will get their tokens back.Finally, 433 Tokens can be used for voting. Fans will be able to choose the venue, rosters or game format of upcoming Global Legends Series (GLS) games.…Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 2:12 pm

    Crypto exchange operator OKCoin launches services in Argentina, trading national fiat peso in pairs with several major cryptocurrencies. OKCoin, the parent company for world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, has  launched fiat-crypto trading services in Argentina, the company revealed in a tweet Thursday, Nov. 15.According to the company’s blog post about the move, customers can already deposit Argentine pesos (ARS) in exchange for major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Cardano (ADA), Stellar (XLM), Zcash (ZEC), and 0x (ZRX) “and more.”  OKCoin has also revealed its plans to extend its services all over Latin America, adding other local fiats to the list “in the coming months.” The company also revealed its plans to open an office in Buenos Aires in the near future, building up a team to support development in the region.As of press-time, OKEx, a global service based in Hong Kong, is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, reaching $1.6 billion in trades to press time, according to CoinMarketCap.Argentina has seen several crypto-friendly moves throughout the year. In May, local bank Banco Masventas began allowing clients to use Bitcoin for cross-border transactions; in June, crypto enthusiasts launched a travelling “Bitcoin-wagon” campaign to promote cryptocurrency awareness in rural Argentina.In another expansion move, Binance, the world’s second largest crypto exchange by press time, recently extended its fiat-crypto trading services to Uganda, letting customers trade crypto against the Ugandan shilling.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 15 November 2018, 1:58 pm

    The market for cryptocurrency tax services is growing rapidly, and it is providing forward-thinking tax professionals with an opportunity to capture oversized profits.While we’ve seen the market cap of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies dramatically fall from around $800 billion at its height to around $200 billion today, the number of developers, traders, companies and professionals joining the larger cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem has continued to increase in spite of this “crash.”What Does This Mean?For starters, it means that blockchain and crypto are very real technologies that aren’t going away anytime soon. Second of all, it means that the services, companies and professionals that are focused on providing support and infrastructure to the larger crypto market are seeing their demand curves go up and to the right; that is, they are increasing. This is true for those that provide cryptocurrency tax services.This begs the question: What does the future of cryptocurrency taxes look like?  In the United States, various agencies are still grappling with this question.Are Cryptocurrencies Securities?The first piece to nail down when looking into this question is the security one. Whether or not the IRS and government will continue to tax crypto the way that they currently do (as property similar to stocks) depends largely on if they see it as a security. The SEC noted earlier this summer that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether “are not considered securities at this time due to their decentralized nature.” However, the majority of other cryptocurrencies are. Summarizing William Hinman, head of the Division of Corporate Finance for the SEC, “If coin buyers are looking for a return on their asset, it is safe to assume the SEC will rule that piece of crypto a security.”The IRS, on the other hand, has remained rather silent and still treats all crypto as property for tax purposes.Moving forward, it looks as if the majority of cryptocurrencies will be classified as securities. This makes the most sense seeing that the vast majority of consumers who buy cryptocurrencies are doing so because they are hoping to make a return on their money.So crypto taxes aren’t going away?As long as crypto is treated as an investment, likely not. Where the Market Is TodayWe are in an interesting position at the present. The consumers that own bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being told by the government that they have to pay taxes on their gains. However, the average consumer lacks the training and knowledge to navigate the complex tax reporting process. Most Americans rely on tax professionals to handle and report their taxes each year. The IRS reported 63 percent of all returns were done by tax preparers in 2013. This is why companies like TurboTax and H&R Block exist. However, the majority of these “tax professionals” still have no clue what cryptocurrency even is, let alone how to properly report it on taxes. This puts the crypto owners in a difficult position as they don’t have many people to turn to for advice or guidance. Many are…Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 12:22 pm

    The prestigious State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow is launching a blockchain-based art patronage scheme. The prestigious State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia, is launching a blockchain-based art patronage scheme, Russian news agency TASS reports Nov. 15.The project, dubbed “My Tretyakov,” allows individuals or enterprises to make a private donation to contribute to the digitization of an item from the gallery’s collection, thereby becoming the artwork’s patron.The system, developed with business innovation collective RDI Digital, uses blockchain technology to assign and manage the patronage structure. According to a press statement from the gallery:”The donation amount is still under discussion. The system randomly selects which storage unit (electronic copy of an object of art) will be considered digitized with the help of a particular patron, and links the name to the object. The connection of the name or company name to the digitized exhibit is fixed using blockchain technology[.]”A presentation of the My Tretyakov initiative will reportedly be held today at the Business venue of the VII Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum, and is being pitched as “a new form of public involvement in art.”As previously reported, the world’s ostensibly “first” cryptocurrency art auction was held at U.K. fine art gallery Dadiani Syndicate this June, involving the sale of fractional ownership of Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs – worth $5.6 million.The auction made use of a blockchain platform developed by U.K. and Singapore-based startup Maecenas, which specializes in creating tamper-proof digital certificates linked to works of art on blockchain, which are then tradable on an exchange.Blockchain has also been used in the art world to verify the provenance, copyright, ownership, valuation and authenticity of works.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 11:55 am

    A South Korean Province is set to launch a “Blockchain Special Committee” with the goal of creating a new blockchain hub in the region. The government of South Korea’s Gyeongbuk province has launched a “Blockchain Special Committee” with the goal of creating a blockchain hub in the region, local media outlet Daily News reported Nov. 14.North Gyeongsang Province, also known as Gyeongbuk, plans to create a blockchain hub, inviting 40 domestic and foreign experts in the industry to consult on the project.Lee Cheol-uoo – a former member of the National Assembly of South Korea and current governor of the province – explained to local media the aims of the newly established committee as attracting investment for blockchain related businesses in the region. He also noted:”In order to nurture the blockchain industry, we will work with the special committee, composed of domestic and international experts, to preemptively respond and establish strategies.”The Committee’s establishment is not the region’s first venture into blockchain. This summer, the province’s government announced plans to issue its own local cryptocurrency, dubbed Gyeongbuk Coin, which will reportedly be accepted by merchants across the region.South Korea as a whole has recently signalled a push for development in blockchain. As Cointelegraph reported last week, the country’s government ruled to increase the federal budget for developing blockchain technology for the year 2019 to approximately $35 million, a three-fold increase from this year.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 11:07 am

    Acting U.S. attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker is being scrutinized for putting his weight behind an alleged scam that touted a pseudo time travel crypto, among other inventions. Acting U.S. attorney general (AG) Matthew G. Whitaker has come under fire for his association with an allegedly fraudulent patent company that involved cryptocurrency, U.S. news journal MotherJones reported Nov. 14.Whitaker, a Trump loyalist, was appointed by the U.S. president to replace former attorney general Jeff Sessions Nov. 7.Among other controversies, Whitaker is now being scrutinized for his involvement with “World Patent Marketing,” an alleged scam that marketed sundry outlandish products from aspiring inventors, including a “theoretical time travel commodity tied directly to price of Bitcoin.”As MotherJones reports, the marketed products also included a bespoke “masculine toilet” for “well-endowed men.”The crypto-related product, which reportedly never came to fruition, was dubbed Time Travel X, and had been pitched as “a technology, an investment vehicle and a community of users.”World Patent Marketing was shut down in 2017 and fined $26 million after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused it of having “bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars,” and fleecing its hopeful inventor clients through bogus patent contracts. As per the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the firm is now being investigated by the FBI.The WSJ refers to court documents that indicate Whitaker was paid $9,375 for his advisory board role, which he has reportedly not returned, even as the case has evolved beyond an FTC-led civil proceeding to potential criminal charges. The Washington Post reports that Whitaker spurned an October 2017 subpoena from the FTC seeking his personal records related to the company.The Washington Post has cited a statement from Justice Department (DoJ) spokesperson Kerri Kupec that “acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker has said he was not aware of any fraudulent activity. Any stories suggesting otherwise are false.”Yesterday, Nov. 14, four Democrat House Representatives announced an investigation into Whitaker’s role at World Patent Marketing.In taking over for Sessions, Whitaker assumed the latter’s oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian “interference” in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.Cryptocurrencies and the Mueller Investigation made headlines this summer when the DoJ released an indictment July 13 charging twelve Russian nationals with committing federal crimes — allegedly funded by cryptocurrencies — with the aim of interfering in the 2016 elections.More recently, in October, the U.S. DoJ charged seven officers from Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) with cryptocurrency-funded global hacking and related disinformation operations.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 10:45 am

    EOS’ governance model has been questioned again. Recently, Blockchain protocol EOS became subject of a new scandal: its governance model was exposed, as evidence suggesting that some confirmed transactions were reversed surfaced on Reddit.Crypto community was alarmed by the company’s attitude toward decentralization, which, however, is not the EOS’ top priority. According to co-founder Daniel Larimer, EOS team prefers to focus on “anti-censorship and robustness against being shut down.”What is EOS and how it works? is a blockchain-powered smart contracts protocol for the development, hosting, and execution of decentralized applications (dApps). It was launched in June 2018 as open-source software, while first test nets and the original whitepaper emerged earlier in 2017. The platform was developed by, a startup registered in the Cayman Islands and lead by Daniel Larimer and Brendan Blumer.EOS holds the absolute record in terms of funds raised during initial coin offerings (ICOs): it has managed to gather around $4.1 billion worth of investments, or roughly 7.12 million Ethereum (ETH), after fundraising for nearly a year. The number remains unmatched to date.The protocol is supported by the native cryptocurrency EOS, currently the sixth largest crypto by total market cap. Those tokens can be staked for using network resources either for personal use or leased out for developers use — as per the project’s whitepaper, dApp developers can build their product on the top of the protocol and make use of its servers, bandwidth and computational power, as those resources are distributed equally among EOS holders. Basically, attempts to represent a decentralized alternative to cloud hosting services.EOS employs a consensus model called Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS). That means that its investors are rewarded with voting power and decide who gets to mine the EOS blockchain.Thus, the EOS ecosystem rests upon at least two major entities — the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF), effectively its ‘judicial branch,’ and Block Producers (BPs), who produce blocks on the EOS blockchain — just like miners do within the Bitcoin’s (BTC) blockchain.BPs earn EOS tokens produced by inflation — according to some estimations, top three EOS BPs obtain around 1000 tokens per day. They are elected through the constant voting process, and their number is capped at 21 — consequently, the top is fluid, and BP candidates who earn enough votes can replace the BPs in power any minute.Decentralization supporters’ nightmare: EOS reverses previously-confirmed transactionsOn November 11, a screenshot showing a ECAF moderator reversing transactions which had already been confirmed, was posted on Reddit, and gathered hundreds of comments.According to Reddit user u/auti9003, a dispute allegedly involving a phished EOS account was referred to one of the platform’s “arbitrators” Ben Gates, who decided to reverse transactions that happened without the owner’s permission. This, the user noted, involved undoing transactions which had already received network confirmations — most of cryptocurrencies would require a hard fork for that (like Ethereum with DAO), but EOS relies on a more flexible model.Summarizing, the arbitrator referred to the EOS constitution as a basis for the decision.…Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 10:36 am

    Crypto exchange KuCoin has seen three lead investors contribute to its Series A funding round. Hong Kong-based international cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin has closed a Series A funding round worth $20 million, the company confirmed Nov. 14.Led by IDG Capital, Matrix Partners and Neo Global Capital, the funds will go towards the release of KuCoin’s 2.0 platform, expansion into new markets, research and more.“We will continue to spare no effort in exploring the best hidden gems in the crypto world while growing exponentially on a global scale and, more importantly, solidifying our position as ‘The People’s Exchange,’” officials commented in the release.Strategically affiliated with Chinese blockchain platform NEO, Neo Global Capital has made various investments in blockchain startups in recent months, including South Korean music project Muzika in September.KuCoin marks a further step in the continued divergence of Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency sector from mainland China, businesses seeking to relocate to the autonomous territory to avoid increasingly draconian measures enforced by Beijing authorities.At the start of November, authorities released new regulatory rules pertaining to both cryptocurrency funds and exchanges.Last month, Cointelegraph reported that “traditional” venture capital investment in blockchain and crypto firms has almost tripled in the first three quarters of 2018.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 8:55 am

    Binance has opened deposits for stablecoin USDC, with full trading functionality beginning on Nov. 17. Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced it would list Circle’s USD-pegged stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) in a blog post Nov. 15, with deposits opening immediately.USDC, which the financial services company announced in May this year and released in September, is one of an increasing number of cryptocurrencies notionally tied 1:1 with a major fiat currency.Binance is not the first major platform to list USDC, U.S. exchange Coinbase supporting the asset since the end of last month.“For increased transparency, USDC has engaged a top-ranking auditing firm to release monthly balance attestations of the corresponding USDC and USD balances held/issued,” Binance adds in its statement today.The exchange also noted that trading for USDC/BNB and USDC/BTC trading pairs will begin Nov. 17.Exchanges across the world have stepped up efforts to support fiat-backed stablecoins as more and more are issued, Cointelegraph reporting on how the currently world’s largest crypto exchange OKEx as well as major competitor Huobi recently opted to list four USD stablecoins at once.Binance has not been shy about its enthusiasm for stablecoins, CEO Changpeng Zhao saying he “hoped more” would surface when the exchange added Paxos’ USD-pegged asset in September.“Regulated stable coins [sic] serve as a middle ground where regulators maintain control, but the token also offers far more freedom than traditional fiat for users,” he wrote on Twitter at the time, adding:“Hope more will copy/follow/improve, and for other fiat currencies too.”Binance is currently the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trade volumes, seeing over $1.5 billion in trades on the day to press time.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 7:13 am

    ‘Weird and strange’ trading around hard forks means the current volatility in crypto markets is nothing unusual, says CoinShares CSO. Institutions “taking money off the table” was a major factor contributing to Bitcoin’s (BTC) and altcoins’ sudden price drop, the CSO of CoinShares told CNBC Nov. 14.Speaking on the network’s Fast Money Segment, the cryptocurrency exchange-traded products firm’s Meltem Demirors said volatility was a given in the run-up to the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork.“Any time there are hard forks things tend to trade weird and strange, so I think people are trying to take some risk off the table,” she explained.Markets began tumbling Wednesday, Cointelegraph reported at the time, with losses continuing at press time to see Bitcoin shed over 12 percent against the U.S. dollar.While many social media commentators were quick to blame events surrounding Bitcoin Cash, Demirors also noted that upcoming changes in the short term would likely improve the situation.“There are a number of exciting events coming up,” she said, highlighting the launch of Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) – the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) – Bakkt platform due Dec. 12 and Fidelity Investments’ crypto-custody service in January.Turning to altcoins, Demirors meanwhile noted the lack of trade volume meant that even the larger assets by market cap were “in the midst of a liquidity crisis.”“I think now we’re at a point where projects are running out of money… we’re going to see consolidation and some of these assets will inevitably get marked to zero,” she added.The ongoing market turbulence has seen Ripple (XRP) displace Ethereum (ETH) as the largest altcoin once again Wednesday, holding its place by press time, repeating a switchover that has occurred several times this year.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 2:58 am

    A recent poll of Moscow residents found that, among respondents who use non-cash payment methods, five percent expressed interest in using cryptocurrencies. Five percent of Moscow residents who use non-cash methods of payment are open to using cryptocurrencies, according to a recently conducted survey, Forbes Russia reported Nov. 13.The investigation into the e-payment market in Moscow was carried out by Russian payment service Yandex.Money and the Moscow Information Technology Department (ITD). The experts purportedly surveyed 1,000 Moscow residents of various age categories by way of a phone survey.The experts found that among those Moscow residents who use non-cash forms of payment, one percent also use digital currency, while 5 percent expressed readiness to start using cryptocurrency to pay for their purchases.Among the most common forms of non-cash payments, 96 percent of respondents said they use bank cards, 40 percent pay for their purchases via mobile bank apps, 32 percent use Internet banking, while 16 percent said that they use e-money.Ivan Buturlin, head of the analytics department at the ITD, reportedly said that “34 percent of Moscow residents use primarily non-cash methods of payment, wherein 63 percent conduct electronic transactions at least once a day.”The experts skeptically regarded respondents’ intent to pay with cryptocurrency, suggesting that people simply assumed a more broad usage of high-tech processes in the future.When asked why they refrain from using cashless payment systems, 40 percent of respondents expressed security concerns, 22 percent said they do not want to pay additional service fees, 11 percent said they did not understand how to use non-cash payment services, while 9 percent answered that they do not know what cashless payment methods are.“In order for non-cash payments to penetrate into the lives of a larger number of citizens, people should also change their perception to understand that this is a safe method of payment,” stated Ivan Glazachev, CEO of Yandex.Money.As Cointelegraph previously reported, 93 percent of British citizens have heard of Bitcoin (BTC), but only 4 percent claim to have bought it, per a poll by U.K. market research firm YouGov.Meanwhile, 55 percent of respondents in a recent German poll claim they have heard of cryptocurrencies, while 77 percent of those who are aware of digital currencies admit they are not likely to invest in them.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 2:25 am

    A security researcher has found four fake cryptocurrency wallets on the Google Play Store. Malware researcher Lukas Stefanko has found four fake cryptocurrency wallets on the Google Play Store that were trying to steal users’ personal data, according to a blog post published Nov. 13.The apps were posing as cryptocurrency wallets for NEO, Tether and an extension for accessing Ethereum (ETH), MetaMask. They were purportedly designed to phish users’ mobile banking credentials and credit card information.Stefanko classified the wallets into two groups, wherein the fake MetaMask app was a “phishing wallet” and the other three apps were “fake wallets.” Once the phishing app is installed and launched, it requests the user’s private key and wallet password.In a video attached to the blog post, Stefanko explained his research into the “fake wallets,” noting the example of the fake NEO app dubbed “Neo Wallet”, which had over 1,000 installs since its launch in October.The fake crypto wallets reportedly did not create a new wallet through generating a public address and a private key — which are needed to securely send and receive digital currency — but only displayed the attacker’s public address with no user access to the private key. Thinking that the app generated their public address, users would deposit their funds to that wallet, but were unable to withdraw them as the private key belonged to a cybercriminal.Stefanko noted that the apps were developed using the Drag-n-Drop app builder service, which does not require specific coding knowledge from the user. This means that nearly anyone is able to “develop” a simple malicious app to steal sensitive personal data, “once the Bitcoin (BTC) price rises,” according to Stefanko.The analyst states in the post that he reported the fake apps to the Google security team, after which the wallets were subsequently removed.Just yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that the official Twitter account of Google’s G Suite was supposedly compromised to promote a Bitcoin (BTC) giveaway scam. Scammers reportedly spread a message luring users to participate in a fraudulent 10,000 BTC giveaway.Read More

  • News - 15 November 2018, 1:13 am

    A Malaysian MP has urged the government to wait and develop appropriate regulation before approving the political Harapan Coin cryptocurrency project. A Malaysian Member of Parliament has urged the government to implement proper cryptocurrency regulations before undertaking the Harapan Coin (HRP) cryptocurrency project, local English-language news daily the Star reported Nov. 14.Launched by “a group of patriotic and concerned Malaysian citizens, within and outside of Malaysia,” Harapan Coin claims to be the world’s first political fundraising platform deploying cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The project’s mission is to raise money for the opposition party of Malaysia. The coin’s creators suggest that HRP has the “potential to become an official currency.”Fahmi Fadzil, director of the People’s Justice Party (PKR) of Malaysia has reportedly stressed the necessity of appropriate cryptocurrency regulations before they are used to finance political campaigns and initiatives. Fadzil, whose party is part of the ruling coalition, voiced concern over “the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency:”“The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency may open us up to a number of issues and we need to wait for guidelines from [the country’s central bank] Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in regard of cryptocurrency.”Per Malaysian news portal the New Straits Times, former prime-minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Razak previously called the creation of HRP in question, asking who would truly benefit from the “HRP scheme.” Razak reportedly ordered Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad — who had advocated for the coin and proposed it to BNM — to reveal the identities of the individuals behind the project.As the Star further reports, the paperwork and presentation of HRP will soon be handed over to BNM and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Though approval may take time, Khalid will purportedly continue to support the project.BNM initially planned to issue a directive to regulate the use of digital currencies in the country in early 2018, having discussed and worked on proposed cryptocurrency regulation for several months. In February, the country passed legislation requiring crypto exchanges to fully identify traders after the implementation of new central bank Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation.Later in March, BNM hinted it was planning to integrate blockchain in the banking sector, for which reason it had established a dedicated working group “to work on best practices.”Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 14 November 2018, 10:26 pm

    South Korea’s leading technology university, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is working with Theta Labs, the first blockchain-based video delivery system, to introduce students to an entirely new set of coursework regarding the applications of blockchain technology.  “We’re kicking things off with a seminar at the electrical engineering school this Friday [the 16th] where we’ll be providing a high-level overview of blockchain technology and current trends in development,” Theta Labs CEO Mitch Liu told Bitcoin Magazine. “We’ll also start a student club focused on the Theta project, where we’ll work with students to start building applications on the open-source Theta blockchain alongside our engineering team. In Q1 2019, our team will be teaching a one-week course at the K-School at KAIST, which is the university’s entrepreneurship-focused program. This will be a wide-ranging course on building a successful startup, from establishing a team and fundraising to go-to-market strategies.”KAIST is just the latest in a growing number of post-secondary institutions, including MIT and the University of Edinburgh, that have added blockchain-related courses to their curricula. Liu claims that South Korea is one of the most important leaders in the blockchain space, and that its biggest contribution is its ongoing investment in blockchain education and development. “The Ministry of Science is investing millions in public sector applications of blockchain [technology], and its top engineering schools like KAIST and POSTECH are creating a pipeline of talented blockchain engineers that will drive continued education in the space,” he said. “We hope to use this opportunity at KAIST to bridge the gap between academic research and real-world usage of blockchain [technology]. Our focus will be on applied knowledge that students can use to start working on their own projects.”In addition to working with KAIST, Theta has also announced partnerships with two of South Korea’s leading media companies — Maekyung Media Group and CJ Hello — to bring its decentralized video-streaming services to wider audiences. Liu says that both groups are very open to adopting new technology and understand the potential of using decentralized networks to improve their business models.“They expressed a desire to pioneer in using blockchain [technology] in the media space, and that’s exactly the type of early adopters we like to work with,” he concluded. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 14 November 2018, 10:22 pm

    Today, November 14, 2018, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced that it has approved the application of NYDIG Execution LLC, a subsidiary of NYDIG LLC, for a virtual currency license and a money transmission license. The approval of this so-called “BitLicense” or “Virtual Currency License” application is the 14th of its kind and is required under New York State law in order for a company to engage in “any Virtual Currency Business Activity.”Under the BitLicense, NYDIG Execution LLC is allowed to offer secure custody and trade execution services, as well as to operate as a custodian for virtual currencies, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, ripple and litecoin.DFS Superintendent Maria T. Vullo approved the request, stating, “Today’s approval further demonstrates that operating within New York’s robust state regulatory system leads to a stronger fintech marketplace and promotes innovation and necessary compliance with effective risk-based controls.” First enacted in August 2015, BitLicense regulations caused an outcry from the community. Some industry companies such as Circle pursued a BitLicense, and others such as itBit (now Paxos Trust Company) received approval to operate as a “chartered trust company” with DFS oversight. However, many left the state for more accomodating jurisdictions in what the New York Business Journal called “the Great Bitcoin Exodus,” citing overly burdensome regulatory hurdles, excessive disclosure requirements and financial disincentives in pursuing the license applications. San Francisco–based exchange Kraken withdrew from servicing New York residents because of the state’s new licensing requirements. In a blog post titled “Farewell, New York,” the founders of Kraken stated, “Regrettably, the abominable BitLicense has awakened. It is a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth.”The process of granting Virtual Currency Licenses had been slow initially, with Coinbase acquiring the third-ever BitLicense in January 2017, 16 months after the final rules around virtual currencies were adopted. However, 2018 has seen a rise in the number of licenses granted, with nine this year, the seventh of which was awarded to ATM operator Coinsource only two weeks ago. NYDIG’s license comes eight months after a proposed alternative to BitLicense regulations was put forth in the New York State Assembly. As of this writing, that proposed legislation is still in committee. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 14 November 2018, 8:40 pm

    In what is becoming an emerging trend, Twitter accounts of popular brands are being hacked in an attempt to scam unsuspecting users out of their cryptocurrencies.Target and Google are two high profile targets that have seen their accounts taken over by hackers who, in turn, have used them to scam followers by advertising fraudulent crypto giveaways. Google's G Suite Twitter Account is Hacked!!— Burton (@B_u_r_t_o_n) November 13, 2018 Target’s Twitter account, which is followed by nearly 2 million users, posted a tweet, confirming the hack which occurred on November 13, 2018. The retailer stated:”Early this morning, our Twitter account was inappropriately accessed. The access lasted for approx. half an hour & one fake tweet was posted during that time about a bitcoin scam. We have regained control of the account, are in close contact with Twitter & are investigating now.”Seemingly targeted by the hacking syndicate, Google’s G Suite Twitter account was breached hours after Target fell victim. The hack on Google was marked by the same tactics as the one that plagued Target — a scammy tweet ridden with typos promising free bitcoin to G Suite’s 800,000 followers.A Google spokesperson confirmed the hack to Business Insider in a statement:”This morning an unauthorized promoted tweet was shared from the G Suite account. We removed the tweet and are investigating with Twitter now.”These incidents are a more sophisticated version of the Twitter scams that have become a constant nuisance for the cryptocurrency community. Typically, these scams include bad actors merely imitating popular figures in the crypto industry with near-identical profiles, though it’s rare for the real accounts themselves to be taken over to advertise the scams. While it’s unclear how scammers are gaining access to the brands’ social media account, it’s obvious new measures are needed to combat the scams. Criticized in the past for its failure to devise a clear defense against these incidents, Twitter is reportedly working on counter security measures to prevent similar breaches like the one witnessed by Target on its platform in the future.Earlier this year, anti-fraud software company MetaCert released Cryptonite, a browser extension that safeguards users against fraudulent accounts. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 14 November 2018, 7:38 pm

    With contributing reporting from Jimmy Aki.Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), suggested a new course of action for central banks around the world: turn their fiat currencies digital.The IMF chair gave a speech at the Singapore Fintech Festival on November 14, 2018, titled “Winds of Change: The New Case for Digital Currency.” In it, Lagarde stated, “I believe we should consider the possibility to issue digital currency. There may be a role for the state to supply money to the digital economy.” She continued to laud the benefits of cryptocurrency payments, calling them “immediate, safe, cheap and potentially semi-autonomous” and saying that central banks should consider issuing digital assets so they can “retain a sure footing in payments.”Her speech comes two days after the IMF released a research paper that highlights many of the talking points Lagarde hits on. Titled “Casting Light on Central Bank Digital Currencies,” it details some of the benefits a state may see if it decides to issue digital currencies, including financial inclusion, consumer protection and privacy in payments.State sponsored digital currencies is not a new idea. Lagarde herself pointed out that the central banking authorities of Canada, China, Sweden and Uruguay were already considering the notion. However, she urged central banks to support digital currencies as a premise of the future, stating such currencies “could satisfy public policy goals, such as (i) financial inclusion, and (ii) security and consumer protection; and to provide what the private sector cannot: (iii) privacy in payments.”It should be noted that the IMF Chair referred to cryptocurrencies throughout her speech. The Chair espoused a nuanced view of crypto that, while not wholly supportive, showed the advancements of the industry were part of the IMF’s new outlook. “For their part, cryptocurrencies seek to anchor trust in technology. So long as they are transparent — and if you are tech savvy — you might trust their services. Still, I am not entirely convinced,” Lagarde stated.For Lagarde, cryptocurrencies still require “[proper] regulation of these entities” so that they “will remain a pillar of trust.” While the IMF’s view at this time is clearly for digitization of fiat currencies by central banks rather than through cryptocurrencies (it put out a paper to that effect), Lagarde asked these fundamental questions of central banking authorities: “Should we go further? Beyond regulation, should the state remain an active player in the market for money? Should it fill the void left by the retreat of cash?” The positive aspects of Lagarde’s speech is in contrast with the IMF’s opposition to the Marshall Islands’ plan to float a sovereign digital currency.Criticizing the island’s decision, the IMF stated that it feared the island’s currency could be used by crime syndicates or businesses running illegitimate operations. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 14 November 2018, 7:14 pm

    The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has recently moved to take custody of a large sum of assets from a crypto exchange currently frozen in accounts at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).According to a recent court document, the CIBC had frozen several accounts of some disputed assets at the crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, including $25.7 million CAD and $69,000 USD. The bank was allegedly unable to identify who the exact owner of these accounts was along with millions that were deposited by the exchange’s various clients, so it froze them indefinitely.This has prompted legal action on behalf of QuadrigaCX which has been trying to reclaim the money that they claimed entitlement to.With such large sums in limbo, many of this exchange’s customers have been unable to access their money at all, leaving the company’s day-to-day ability to function in jeopardy. Emails sent from representatives of QuadrigaCX to CIBC were submitted as evidence to the court, including concerns that the exchange was “under extreme pressure from many clients to address this ASAP” and that “lawsuits are being filed against us.”However, the court has evidently decided to take neither party’s side in this juncture. Judge Glenn Hainey has instead ruled that CIBC transfer custody and liability of these frozen assets to the courts themselves, so that they may more thoroughly inspect them to determine their specific ownership.Even a ruling in QuadrigaCX’s favor could still spell trouble for the exchange, however. According to the court documents, it was CIBC that originally made the application to make the court the final authority on these funds’ ownership, and the court specifically decided to grant CIBC’s request. The exchange may eventually see its funds returned, but Judge Hainey stated, “I am not in a position on this record to make any determination as to CIBC’s possible liability for [freezing the accounts].” Without some sort of damages paid to QuadrigaCX for the inconvenience of losing access to $26 million dollars, the lawsuits filed from the exchange’s depositors may prove a problem down the road. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More

  • Bitcoin Magazine - 14 November 2018, 6:26 pm

    Bitmain has denied reports that its CEO Jihan Wu was ousted as the mining firm’s board director while confirming that the board has undergone restructuring.Setting the record straight, Nishant Sharma, international marketing manager of Bitmain Technologies Limited, told Bitcoin Magazine that, instead of losing his position, Wu will continue on as a co-director of the board amidst a wider reorganization. “As is standard listing practice, Bitmain is restructuring its board and group structure, to ensure it meets regulatory requirements on its road to IPO. This is to simplify the board structure to facilitate its management. There have been no board departures and co-founder Jihan Wu will continue to lead the company as co-chair, together with co-chief executive officer, Micree Zhan,” Sharma wrote in an email correspondence.This clarification comes after numerous erroneous reports indicated that Wu had been demoted from director to supervisor, a relegation that would have neutralized the CEO’s clout and decision-making power in the company.The restructuring caps off a tumultuous year for the mining monolith. Mid-year, news broke that Bitmain has been planning an initial public offering (IPO), but this strategic move has since been shrouded in doubt regarding the company’s solvency and financial well-being. The firm, for instance, omitted information for Q2 in its 2018 financial report, and Blockstream CSO Samson Mow has claimed that this opacity points to multi-million dollar losses that were partly incurred from the firm holding over 1,000,000 bitcoin cash. To make matters worse, a handful of reported pre-IPO investors came out and denied reports that they had committed funding to the mining firm.Meanwhile, Bitcoin Cash is undergoing problems of its own, as a fork led by Craig S. Wright has splintered the community, threatening the Bitcoin Cash main chain as a result. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Read More