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Tokyo police have arrested eight men suspected of involvement of a pyramid scheme, collecting about $68.4 million in cash and BTC.
Tokyo police have arrested eight men that are suspected of collecting a total amount of $68.4 million in cash and cryptocurrency using a pyramid scheme, Japanese daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun reports Wednesday, Nov. 14.
The suspects claimed to run a U.S. investment company dubbed “Sener,” conducting seminars with foreign speakers. The police report that at least one of the meetings has been recorded, with video uploaded on YouTube. During the seminars, the group of suspects promised monthly returns from 3 to 20 percent for the investments. The suspects also asked the participants to pledge to invite other investors in order to get additional returns.
The investigators believe the suspects received cash and Bitcoin (BTC) from about 6,000 people in 44 prefectures, including Tokyo. A group lawsuit was filed at the Tokyo District Court by 73 victims of the fraud, seeking approximately $3.2 million in damages. According to Asahi Shimbun, six men have already admitted to the allegations, while two others deny them.
The Tokyo police believe the suspects tried to avoid prosecution by using cryptocurrencies, as they are in a “gray zone,” according to Japanese financial regulation. As explained by Financial Services Agency (FSA), digital currencies are not considered as securities that are under the jurisdiction of current law. However, they can be regulated depending on the structure of the investment, the FSA added.
The FSA, which issues licenses for crypto exchanges to operate in the country, gave the local crypto industry self-regulatory status in October, certifying the Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) to monitor the space.
Furthermore, a Japanese taxation policy committee is seeking to facilitate cryptocurrency tax reporting. In October, the officials held a debate discussing the current legal framework and offering to stimulate a more thorough reporting of cryptocurrency gains.
A wobble in Bitcoin has spelled increased volatility for the majority of big-name cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency markets are showing red across the board Nov. 14, as a steep drop in Bitcoin (BTC) ricocheted across major assets.
Data from Cointelegraph’s price tracker, Coin360, and Bitcointicker confirms BTC/USD bouncing off support around $6,150 on exchanges, at press time hovering above $6,200 again.
Market visualization. Source: Coin360
The dip to $6,150 marks a fresh test of the stability seen in Bitcoin for the past several weeks, the largest cryptocurrency not testing the barrier since mid August.
No major events appeared to contribute to the latest declines, with some analysts nonetheless predicting the ongoing bear market would continue into 2019 — longer than many had previously assumed.
“Putting together the blockchain view, I suspect the timing for a bottom may be around Q2 2019,” technical analyst Willy Woo, creator of data site Woobull, commented on social media Nov. 13, adding:
“After that we start the true accumulation band, only after that, do we start a long grind upwards.”
Figures such as Galaxy Digital’s Michael Novogratz and Fundstrat’s Tom Lee had claimed a reversal in Bitcoin’s fortunes would be apparent by Q2 next year as institutional investors began interacting with markets.
Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph
Bitcoin’s wobble had a knock-on effect on major altcoins meanwhile, with Ethereum (ETH) dropping around 3.3 percent at press time to just hold on to support at $200.
Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph
The coin has lost over 10 percent in the past 24 hours, performing the worst out of all assets in the top twenty listed on CoinMarketCap.
NEM (XEM) also reversed gains that Cointelegraph had reported on Monday, after Japanese exchange Coincheck resumed trading of the token following its major January hack. XEM’s daily losses so far extend to 8.7 percent.
2018 was meant to be the year of security tokens. The number of projects seeking to launch security token offerings (STOs) would mushroom, we were told, and a string of accredited trading venues would emerge where these instruments could be exchanged. The release of two new reports into the STO market provides an opportunity to reflect on whether security tokens have lived up to the hype.
The Quest to Securitize the World
When the utility token craze took off in 2017, raising billions of dollars through initial coin offerings (ICOs), skeptics predicted that the mania couldn’t last. Many of these so-called utility tokens, it was claimed, were actually securities, and it was only a matter of time until a lettered agency such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stepped in to call a halt to proceedings. In the event, the demise of the utility token has had less to do with enforcement, and more to do with market conditions that have made it virtually impossible for ICOs to raise funds. A string of underperforming ICOs, including several that were outright scams and others that simply failed to deliver, have blunted public appetite for this fundraising mechanism.
STOs have the potential to overcome several of the drawbacks to ICOs, including the regulatory uncertainty. Because security tokens represent a claim to an asset, such as equity, investors have a degree of reassurance that, in the event of the project faltering, they will have legal redress. This contrasts with utility tokens, which are sold on the understanding that they may be worth nothing and that holders have zero claim to any sort of assets. Two new reports from Hashgard and ICOrating.com provide an insight into the health of the nascent security token market.
STOs See Modest Growth in Q3
ICOrating.com reports that STOs saw a steady increase in interest during Q2 and Q3 of 2018. The share of projects offering a security token increased by a slender 1.66 percent in Q3 over the previous quarter, while the number of projects offering utility tokens decreased by 10 percent. One impediment to projects seeking to launch an STO is a shortage of platforms that are capable of listing their token. Until traditional cryptocurrency exchanges, including a number of Malta-based entities, receive approval to sell securities to accredited investors, a handful of platforms will hold sway.
Leading security trading platforms and frameworks include Tzero, Polymath, Swarm, Harbor, Securitize and Securrency. Different exchanges often use different token standards to facilitate the trading of security tokens. In the case of Polymath, for instance, it’s the ST20 protocol for Ethereum-based tokens. Startengine, meanwhile, has introduced its own ERC1450 standard for digital stock certificates. “To date, we have issued ERC1450 tokens to all 3,500 Startengine shareholders, and there are 165 more eligible companies that use Startengine Secure and are expected to be listed on the ERC1450 smart contract,” explained CEO Howard Marks.
2019 — the Real Year of Security Tokens?
Significant progress has been made over the last 10 months in developing security token standards, trading platforms, and obtaining regulatory approval. In terms of capital raised, however, STOs have yet to make any major headway. Singapore’s Blockchain Capital raised $10 million via STO, while other security token projects include high-tech investment fund Spice VC and incubator fund Science Blockchain. Many other aspiring STO projects are still waiting patiently for the SEC to approve their Reg A+ application that will enable them to sell security tokens to the public.
As demand for utility tokens continues to decrease, expect to see security tokens outstrip them and become the preferred fundraising method for tokenized projects. From a building perspective, this year has recorded plenty of headway in the security token market. Predictions of 2018 being the year of the security token look to have been overstated however. It seems likelier that accolade will go to 2019 instead.
Do you think security tokens will eventually replace utility tokens as the leading fundraising mechanism? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, ICOrating.com and Hashgard.
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The Australian Taxation Office has warned citizens about scammers demanding tax payment via Bitcoin ATMs.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has published a warning Nov. 14 about scammers demanding tax payments through Bitcoin ATMs. The post notes that the number of scammers who request payment through BTC has now exceeded those who ask for iTunes giftcards.
Kath Anderson, the Assistant Commissioner at the ATO, said this year that the number of scammers pretending to be associated with the ATO in order to request fraudulent taxation payments had increased, asking “Australians to be on high alert for tax scams.”
Back in the spring, the tax regulator had previously warned citizens that scammers claiming fake tax debt on behalf of the ATO were demanding tax payment via different cryptocurrencies, as Cointelegraph reported Mar. 16.
The ATO’s Assistant Commissioner now voiced concerns that Australians share their personal information with scammers that makes them vulnerable to fraud actors.
The Nov. 14 ATO warnings states that Australians have reported over 28,000 scam attempts associated with the ATO since July 1, and have paid nearly $1 million to scammers, who often ask for “unusual” payment methods like iTunes gift cards and BTC. Anderson noted:
“That’s just not how we do business [...] November is a prime time for scammers as they know lots of people have tax bills to pay. Be wary if someone contacts you demanding payment of a tax debt you didn’t know you owed.”
Earlier this fall, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) had already warned citizens on “misleading” Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and crypto-asset funds targeted at retail investors, Cointelegraph reported Sep. 20.
In other crypto scam news this week, Google's G Suite official Twitter account was reportedly hacked, advertising a fraudulent BTC giveaway to more than 800,000 followers, Cointelegraph wrote yesterday, Nov. 13.
Banks are now required to provide fair services to crypto exchanges in South Korea by the court.
On October 30, South Korea’s main financial authority officially cleared banks to work with crypto exchanges for the first time in history, establishing a major milestone for the local cryptocurrency sector.
At the state affairs audit, held by both government parties of South Korea to evaluate and track the progress of every government branch and agency under the administration of President Moon Jae-in, Financial Services Commission (FSC) commissioner, Choi Jong-ku, stated that the FSC has cleared banks to work with cryptocurrency exchanges by providing virtual bank accounts.
On the digital asset trading platforms of South Korea, every bank account holder is provided with a virtual bank account by the account issuer, in this case a local bank, to provide an instantaneous and efficient system to withdraw and deposit funds.
Cryptocurrency investors in South Korea are not required to wait one to five days for deposits and withdrawals to clear, as they can safely store the South Korean won on exchanges by leveraging the security of local banks.
Commissioner Choi stated that banks and financial institutions are authorized to provide virtual bank accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges, given that the exchanges have strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems in place that do not allow anonymous accounts and users to trade digital assets.
“There exists no issue in banks providing virtual bank accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges. If digital asset trading platforms have KYC and AML systems in place, there is no problem in issuing virtual bank accounts to exchanges.”
The approval of banks by the FSC, to open virtual accounts for cryptocurrency investors, is not equivalent to the approval of anonymous accounts. Virtual bank accounts in South Korea refer to replica accounts of bank holders, provided to third party platforms like cryptocurrency exchanges to allow instantaneous deposits and withdrawals.
Major milestone for South Korea and local exchanges
Throughout the past five years, despite the increase in demand for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the government of South Korea has been skeptical towards regulating the asset class and the market because it feared that the implementation of a regulatory framework would come across as an endorsement of the asset class to the public.
However, the abrupt increase in the valuation of the cryptocurrency market in late 2017, which saw the price of Bitcoin skyrocket from $5,000 to $20,000, and briefly reach $25,000 in South Korea due to the so-called “Kimchi Premium” that refers to premium rates on major cryptocurrencies, encouraged the government to strictly regulate the market and demand local cryptocurrency exchanges to enable investor protection.
In June, Kim Yong-bum, the vice chairman of the FSC, officially declared that the Kimchi Premium in the cryptocurrency exchange market of South Korea has dematerialized, eliminating the possibility of investors overseas, to take advantage of the premium and arbitrage.
“The government’s practical policies led the ‘Kimchi Premium’ to disappear in South Korea. At its peak, the ‘Kimchi Premium’ in the local cryptocurrency exchange market reached 50 percent, due to unusual spike in demand and speculation. As of current, the price of cryptocurrencies is nearly identical to other markets, demonstrating stability in the South Korean cryptocurrency market.”
At the time, the FSC had taken its first approach towards regulating the market to prioritize investor protection. Seeing some progress in its efforts, the FSC and the rest of the local financial authorities in South Korea continued to regulate the space. In hindsight, the formation of the Kimchi Premium and the lack of investor protection in the cryptocurrency market throughout late 2017 and early 2018 led the government to properly regulate the market.
The latest decision of the FSC to clear banks to cooperate with crypto exchanges represent the willingness of the government to legitimize the market, reflecting the government’s previous plans released in July, to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges as proper financial institutions.
All of the major cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea including Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone, and Korbit, the top four trading platforms in terms of daily trading volume, and every other minor cryptocurrency exchange will be entitled to fair banking service moving forward, as legitimate financial businesses.
Banks will not be able to reject crypto exchanges for any reason other than money laundering. As long as cryptocurrency exchanges are compliant with local KYC and AML regulations, then banks are not permitted to refrain from providing banking services to trading platforms.
South Korea’s court sides with crypto exchange in dispute with bank
On October 30, the Seoul Central District Court ruled on a case between a cryptocurrency exchange and a major bank in favor the exchange, further solidifying and strengthening the right of digital asset trading platforms to obtain fair, transparent, and stable banking services from local financial institutions.
On the same day FSC chairman Choi officially approved banks to work with crypto exchanges, the Seoul Central District Court released its decision on a court case between local cryptocurrency exchange, Coinis, and major commercial bank, Nonghyup.
In early September, Coinis filed a complaint in court after Nonghyup unilaterally ended its banking services to the exchange. Kim Tae-rim, a Seoul-based attorney who represented Coinis, claimed that Nonghyup had no right to abruptly end its services to the exchange.
Although Nonghyup responded that it had followed the guideline of the FSC, in lawfully rejecting to provide services to the exchange, the court sided with Coinis and requested the bank to resume services to the platform.
Attorney Kim stated that the case is a historic achievement for the cryptocurrency sector, as it will establish a precedent in the long-term and will discourage banks from unilaterally refusing to provide services to digital asset exchanges.
“Cryptocurrency exchanges, by default, have the right to freely deposit and withdraw funds to and from major banks in South Korea, and an abrupt termination of partnership and services by the bank [in this case Nonghyup] without sufficient evidence or reasoning falls under the breach of contract.”
For eight months, since January, Nonghyup also refused to provide services to Bithumb, which disallowed the largest exchange in South Korea from registering new users.
Image taken from CoinCap.io, top five exchanges in the crypto market
The renewal of the contract between Nonghyup and Bithumb came about after the exchange overhauled its security and internal management systems, subsequent to suffering two consecutive hacking attacks.
But, given the timing of the contract renewal, it is possible that the bank was anticipating the stance of the FSC prior to publicly announcing its deal with Bithumb. A Bithumb representative said at the time:
“Bithumb is now able to issue virtual bank accounts for new users after a partnership has been established with NH Bank. Bithumb will continue to comply with the bank’s guideline strictly while cooperating with the government to create a transparent and robust market for local investors.”
Throughout the years to come, exchanges that are approved by the FSC and local financial authorities, will face no issues in receiving bank support from every major bank in the country.
Chairman of Korea’s National Policy Committee calls for proper crypto adoption
On October 2, Min Byung-du, the chairman of Korea’s National Policy Committee, called for a proper adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, encouraging the government to end its cautious approach towards regulating the space.
Chairman Min specifically addressed the imposition of a blanket ban on domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) and firmly stated that the government has to embrace the rapidly growing market with practical, positive, and efficient regulatory frameworks that can facilitate the growth of the local sector.
Under the premise that money laundering, extreme speculation, and fraudulent operations are prevented with necessary regulation, chairman Min emphasized that the government should allow ICOs and other cryptocurrency-related activities.
“Regulation is not bad. Regulation is necessary, it is the only way to legitimize the market and allow investors to build trust towards the cryptocurrency market. The government cannot dismiss ICO. It needs to allow companies to conduct ICO. ICO has become a new trend in the global market and it is the responsibility and ability of the government to embrace new technologies. We can see that the flow of investment is clearly changing compared to ICO and angel fundraising. The ICO has raised $1.7 billion for Telegram and $4 billion for Block.One, It is getting bigger and bigger."
During his speech delivered to the Congress, chairman Min referred to ICOs as a primary example of innovation related to the fourth industrial revolution that is currently blocked out by the government. But, Min also added that other potential technologies and activities related to the asset class and the crypto sector have to be allowed for the country to remain at the forefront of blockchain technology development.
Perhaps influenced by the call of chairman Min, local publications have reported that the government is planning to allow domestic ICOs by the end of the year.
In January, a spokesperson of a cryptocurrency task force, established by the government of South Korea, told mainstream media outlet, Chosun, that the government was planning to allow institutional investors to invest in domestic ICOs. However, the report was met with fierce criticism and outrage from local investors.
“Currently, the task force is considering imposing stricter regulations for investor and consumer protection within the cryptocurrency market.” The spokesperson added “in regards to ICOs, the government will likely impose regulations to enable institutional investors to invest in ICOs.”
While Cointelegraph reported that FSC commissioner Choi expressed a negative stance towards the unregulated nature of ICOs, on October 26, Ministry of Science and ICT minister, Yoo Young-min, said the ministry is exploring the legalization of ICOs.
According to a local publication, a key government official explained that it is difficult to ban investors from participating in ICOs because they are conducted in a peer-to-peer manner using Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The official stated that it is better for the government to provide clarity, regulation, and taxation policy to regulate the space with sufficient investor protection.
“It is realistically difficult to outright ban ICOs. Given that it is challenging for local financial authorities to impose a blanket ban on ICOs, the government is currently favoring several policies like restrictive access to ICOs or strengthened regulation on ICOs as alternative solutions.”
Jeju Island, which operates as an independent state that is permitted to have its own laws outside of federal laws, has also released its plans to adopt cryptocurrencies and legalize ICOs. Jeju Island is also currently finalizing its plans to create a special zone for global blockchain and cryptocurrencies that will operate as a crypto hub within the country.
Aspects of the local market that need improvement
On September 11, South Korea’s venture enterprise division formally decided to eliminate cryptocurrency exchanges from the newly drafted and proposed venture bill that provides small to medium-size companies with a variety of benefits including tax and investment merits.
The rationale of the venture enterprise division for eliminating digital asset trading platforms was its acknowledgement of cryptocurrency trading as gambling, which contradicts the government’s stance towards cryptocurrency exchanges and the recently released statement of FSC commissioner Choi.
Local exchanges, investors, and the South Korea Blockchain Association requested for clarity from the government regarding the questionable decision of the venture enterprise division that went against all of the positive efforts the government has demonstrated over the past eleven months to regulate the space.
“We cannot understand the government’s stance on cryptocurrency regulations, and it is completely illogical for the government to leave a rapidly growing industry out of a major bill like this,” an exchange operator who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue, said.
The FSC also recently warned investors against cryptocurrency hedge funds, claiming that many public funds fail to represent legal investing tools that comply with South Korea’s Capital Markets Act.
Overall, the cryptocurrency market of South Korea remains highly positive in regards to the decision of the FSC to allow banks to work with crypto exchanges and issue virtual bank accounts to trading platforms without the risk of unilateral termination of service.
Over the months to come, the government is expected to work with the South Korea Blockchain Association, to strengthen KYC and AML systems employed by cryptocurrency exchanges and to implement sophisticated transaction monitoring systems to eliminate money laundering.
The Thai branch of IBM will promote blockchain and AI to turn the country into a major sales hub in the surrounding region.
The Thai branch of U.S. global IT company IBM will promote blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) in order to turn the country into a major sales hub in the surrounding region, English-language daily news outlet The Bangkok Post reports Wednesday, Nov. 14.
According to the article, IBM is going to promote blockchain in collaboration with the country’s central bank, Bank of Thailand. A recent survey by IDC-IBM shows that global spending on blockchain will reach $9.7 billion by 2021.
Moreover, IBM is also discussing the possibility of blockchain education in local schools and universities, aiming to provide enough member of the workforce for the industry in the nearest future.
IBM concurrently plans to use Watson AI, a computer system equipped with AI and capable of answering questions by using its database, to find insights for different areas in the country, such as retail, education, finance, business, and energy.
Thai officials have recently started applying blockchain in different areas. In early October, the Thai Ministry of Commerce revealed it started conducting feasibility studies on the use of blockchain in copyright, agriculture, and trade finance. And later in November, the local Revenue Department announced its plans to track tax payments using blockchain and maсhine learning.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, IBM is also actively promoting blockchain technology, elaborating decentralized solutions for different areas in numerous patents. In late August, the number of patents filed by IBM comprised 89, which made the U.S. corporation one of the biggest players in the area, surpassed only by China’s Alibaba with its 90 applications.
IBM has filed several more blockchain-related patents since then, including patents for a blockchain-driven platform for scientific research and another for the decentralized storage of trusted locations for augmented reality (AR) games.
A further player has entered the crypto malware arena in the form of Monero miner WebCobra, a McAfee Labs analysis shows.
Displaying the more “classic” behavior of so-called “cryptojacker” malware, WebCobra runs almost without a trace, McAfee Labs says, the only noticeable difference for the end user being reduced hardware performance.
“Coin mining malware is difficult to detect. Once a machine is compromised, a malicious app runs silently in the background with just one sign: performance degradation,” researchers write, adding:
“As the malware increases power consumption, the machine slows down, leaving the owner with a headache and an unwelcome bill.”
As Cointelegraph previously reported, instances of such malware have shot up almost 500 percent in 2018, leading commentators to warn of an epidemic. Monero, as a cryptocurrency focused on privacy and anonymity, was reported as forming the preferred target for miners.
As Thailand is set to confirm its first licensed cryptocurrency entity this month, an exchange operating without a licence has been condemned by regulators.
Thailand’s financial regulator has told a cryptocurrency exchange to cease advertising and warned citizens not to use it due to legal uncertainty, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (Thai SEC) reported Tuesday, Nov. 13.
The Q Exchange, which reportedly offers ten crypto including Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC), noted that it had plans to launch its Q Token on Oct. 25, Thai news outlet Lokwannee reports. Cointelegraph notes that although several Thai news sources reported on the launch and announcements surrounding the Q Exchange, we have been unable to locate a current online presence for the exchange.
Following a royal decree in May this year, cryptocurrency businesses such as exchanges and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) operators must seek permission from and register with authorities before beginning activities in Thailand.
The first officially-licensed platform should appear before the end of November, Cointelegraph reported last week.
“The SEC would like to inform the public that Q Exchange Co Ltd is not a licensed digital business operator,” the Thai SEC writes, adding:
“The public and investors should be cautious in engaging in digital asset and electronic money trades with this firm because such actions might not be lawfully protected by the SEC.”
Thailand has sought to strictly control its domestic crypto market this year, with various actors calling for tighter controls in addition to the regulatory package now signed into law.
Earlier this month, the country’s deputy prime minister highlighted the need for additional security practices in order to safeguard against the threat of malicious actors using cryptocurrency.
In this edition of The Daily, we report on Coincheck’s decision to resume nem (XEM) trading and relist two other coins — ether (ETH) and lisk (LSK). Also, Digital asset exchange Okex has added support for the Vietnamese fiat currency on its C2C platform and we cover the reasoning behind the move. Also in The Daily, a Canadian company has reached an exclusive agreement to negotiate the acquisition of a large European cryptocurrency exchange.
Nem Price Spikes as Coincheck Resumes Trading
Japanese digital asset exchange Coincheck has resumed trading of three digital coins including nem (XEM), the cryptocurrency that was in the focus of arguably the biggest hack in crypto history. Approximately $530 million worth of nem were stolen in the attack on the platform in January of this year. According to its website, Coincheck has also relisted ether (ETH) and lisk (LSK) after a “technical safety confirmation” was obtained in cooperation with external experts.
The resumption of XEM deposits, withdrawals and trading resulted in a spike in the price of the cryptocurrency. Its market capitalization briefly surpassed the billion-dollar mark in the hours following the announcement. The market has since corrected itself and after losing almost 10 percent in the last 24 hours, XEM is selling for less than $0.11 at the time of writing and has a capitalization of around $955 million. On Oct. 30, the recently reopened exchange reintroduced bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum classic (ETC), and litecoin (LTC).
Okex Adds Support for Vietnamese Dong
Cryptocurrency exchange Okex has updated its customer-to-customer (C2C) trading system in order to allow users to place orders in another fiat currency, the Vietnamese dong, according to an announcement published on Tuesday. The Malta-based Chinese company launched its C2C platform last year, a variation of the peer-to-peer model, to enable customers to trade cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies. According to an earlier press release, no additional charges, other than what the users see as a buy/sell price, will be applied.
— OKEx (@OKEx) November 13, 2018
In the past few years, Vietnam has become an important cryptocurrency market and blockchain hub in the region of South East Asia. The country’s government, however, is still undecided on the question of how to regulate the industry and whether to legalize crypto-related transactions. Authorities in Hanoi are currently reviewing several alternative approaches to governing the sector, as news.Bitcoin.com reported recently. These range from imposing a total ban on activities involving digital assets to introducing a relatively lax regulatory regime. Several other platforms, such as Remitano, Mesito and Localbitcoins, are already offering peer-to-peer services for Vietnamese residents.
Canadian Company Poised to Acquire Exmo
Gover Media Plus, a company incorporated in Canada, has recently signed a Letter of Intent with Exmo, a leading European digital asset trading platform. The non-binding agreement will allow the holding company to exclusively negotiate the terms of the acquisition of the cryptocurrency exchange. According to a press release, the parties will unite their efforts in order to formulate a structure for the proposed transaction, making sure it is cost effective and compliant with legal and regulatory requirements. Upon successful completion, the new entity will continue Exmo’s business activities, providing services to over 2 million users in Europe, North America and Asia, said Roland Bopp, CEO of Gover Media.
The news about the upcoming acquisition comes after Exmo’s recent decision to update its deposit/withdrawal terms. The trading platform, popular in countries from the former Soviet space, has increased the fees for some of the available payment options. For example, the commission for withdrawals of funds in Russian rubles to Mastercard and Visa cards has jumped by one percentage point to 6.95 percent plus 100 rubles (~$1.5) per transaction. The fee for Advcash withdrawals in U.S. dollars has been increased as well, from 3.45 percent to 4.45 percent. The applicable commission for ruble withdrawals to Payeer accounts has been cut down to 1.95 percent.
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Smartmockups.
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The global cryptocurrency stock exchange Bithumb is holding its third commemorative event in celebration of its fifth anniversary.
The ‘Super Airdrop Festival’ event has two parts, the Login Event and Air Drop Event, and is open to participation for anyone who is a Bithumb member.
Members can participate in the Login Event until December 11th by logging into Bithumb and clicking on the enter event button. In this event, 15 Bitcoins (valued at USD 97,789 as of today) are provided to one winner, who is selected by lottery after the event is concluded. The winner is scheduled to be announced on December 24th.
In the Air Drop Event, prize money is given to top 500 with the greatest amount of accrued transactions in the past week. As for prize money, 7 Bitcoins are given to first place (1 person), 100 Ethereum coins are given to second place (4 people), and 8,000 Ripple coins are given to third place (10 people) every Wednesday.
In addition, Bithumb is selling a coupon for 10,000 KRW that allows holders to use Jet Cash, Monero, Dash, Bitcoin Gold, OmiseGO (total of 5 Coins) for free for one hour.
The Air Drop Event is to be continued until further notice, and the event conclusion date is expected to be announced prior to the date.
Furthermore, Bithumb plans to extend the new membership event that it has been holding since last month for foreign members. Bithumb will give out 20,000 Bithumb cash for those who sign up for membership and pay for 20,000 KRW (based on Bithumb cash) worth of transactions within the event period, from November 15th to December 19th.
According to Head of Marketing Department of Bithumb, Andy Choi “interest towards not just Bitcoin and Ethereum, but cryptocurrency as a whole is increasing worldwide,” and stated that “We are happy to hold various events to return Bithumb members’ support who always trust and use our service.”
On the other hand, Bithumb joined forces with a US based fintech company SeriesOne on the 31st of last month and plans to build a stock-type token exchange in the US during the first half of next year. It is strengthening its position as a global firm specializing in block chain by also opening a decentralized exchange site ‘Bithumb DEX’ on the 15th of last month through its foreign subsidiary.
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IMF head Christine Lagarde says relevant actors “should consider the possibility to issue digital currency.”
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the international community should “consider” endorsing central bank issued digital currencies (CBDCs) in a speech at the Singapore Fintech Festival Nov. 14.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said that despite being “not entirely convinced” on the concept of cryptocurrencies more generally, there may be a case for states to issue government-backed tokens or similar assets.
“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 told the event.
The comments come a day after the IMF published a dedicated report on CBDCs, examining what it views as the pros and cons of the financial tool.
As Lagarde noted, various jurisdictions are currently considering or starting out on the journey to implement state-sponsored tokens.
If done properly, CBDCs could “could satisfy public policy goals,” she said, specifically “financial inclusion,” “security and consumer protection,” and “privacy in payments.”
As Cointelegraph reported in September, the IMF has not always been as keen on the concept as Lagarde suggests today.
In a report at the time, the organization suggested the Marshall Islands, which wants to issue a national digital currency to circulate in tandem with the U.S. dollar, should reconsider its plans over money laundering concerns.
This week, the country’s president survived a no confidence vote over the issue, which should now continue on its path to digital currency issuance.
During the speech in Singapore, Lagarde meanwhile continued on the “downsides” of CBDCs,
“I would also like to highlight risks of stifling innovation — the last thing you want. My main point will be that we should face these risks creatively.”
The Bank of America has won a patent for a system for enterprises to store customers’ crypto deposits.
The patent, first filed in mid-June 2014, outlines the background to the invention by stating that “as technology advances, financial transactions involving cryptocurrency have become more common,” and noting:
“For some enterprises, it may be desirable to aggregate cryptocurrency deposited by customers in an enterprise account.”
The patent filing outlines different interactions between customers’ crypto holdings and an enterprise account, with the latter functioning to securely store (or “aggregate”) customers’ crypto deposits. In one proposed setup, the enterprise account itself would be able to conduct transactions on customers’ behalf, debiting or crediting the customer accounts in question as appropriate.
To this end, the patent outlines methods for storing private keys associated with customers’ accounts, determining public keys, and generating “vault keys” for storage.
In other instances, the patent suggests that aggregating customer crypto deposits in an enterprise account could “negate” the need for the enterprise’s customers to use a third-party exchange to convert currency, thereby “simplifying the purchase and exchange of currencies and cryptocurrencies and reducing the fees associated with doing so.”
To achieve this end, the filing outlines an example in which an enterprise cryptocurrency server could communicate over a network with a third-party cryptocurrency exchange server (giving OKCoin and Bitstamp as examples).
The document also deals with tackling crypto-fiat conversions, outlining that the system would be able to “determine a plurality of exchange rates associated with converting the first currency into the second currency and determine an optimal exchange rate,” initiating an “essentially simultaneous” conversion.
As previously reported, the Bank of America has filed over 50 blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related patents to date, even as it maintains a publicly critical stance toward decentralized crypto assets such as Bitcoin (BTC).
The bank’s most recent crypto-related patent award, which was sealed Oct. 30, referenced storage methods for private keys, with the perspective that current systems for ensuring they remain untampered are inadequate.
Susquehanna’s analysts say that due to the slump in crypto markets and declining network hashrates, mining Ethereum using a GPU is no longer profitable.
Mining Ethereum (ETH) using a graphics processing unit (GPU) is no longer profitable, according to an analysis from U.S.-based global trading and technology firm Susquehanna. CNBC reported Nov. 13 on Susquehanna’s findings, which point to the protracted slump in crypto markets and declining network hashrates as reasons for the profit decrease.
In Susquehanna’s analysis, profit per month for ETH miners using GPU-based setups hit a round $0 as of Nov. 1 this year, down from almost $150 in July 2017. Susquehanna notes the decline in Ethereum’s price as a major factor, with the altcoin currently trading at $204, down almost 85 percent from its record-high of around $1,350 in mid-January 2018.
Notably, however, on July 17, 2017, when Susquehanna’s figures indicate a $147 profit for GPU-reliant miners, the asset was trading at around $175, just slightly lower than today’s valuation.
To explain this pattern, Susquehanna analyzed a second factor: the Ethereum network’s hashrate, which fell substantially in 2018. A higher hashrate is more advantageous for miners, as it increases their opportunity of computing the next block and being remunerated in ETH.
Susquehanna’s graph showing decline in ETH mining profits. Source: CNBC
Susquehanna semiconductor analyst Christopher Rolland told CNBC that in this context, using chipmaker Nvidia’s flagship GPU card “is no longer profitable,” noting that the company’s crypto-derived revenue is down around $100 million quarter over quarter. He forecast this revenue would likely be “close to zero” in the forthcoming Nvidia 3Q report, set to be released this week:
"We estimate very little revenue from crypto-related GPU sales in the quarter, consistent with management's prior commentary that they were including no contribution from crypto in their C3Q18 outlook.”
As reported just yesterday, experts from analytics firm Trefis have in fact forecast that Nvidia’s overall Q3 revenue will rise, yet like Susquehanna, they projected that sales from cryptocurrency-related activities will remain in a downtrend.
In August, Nvidia stocks fell amidst a decrease in digital currency mining as the crypto markets saw a downturn.
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We have been closely tracking the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork set to take place at 16:40 pm UTC (11:40am EST) on Thursday, November 15th and what it means for you. The outcome of the hard fork will likely be two different blockchains and tokens. But not to worry, we’ve got you covered!
First, your funds are safe, but we are taking some precautions on your behalf. We will temporarily disable Bitcoin Cash services starting at 13:40pm UTC (8:40am EST) on Thursday until we can determine that the situation is stable. During this time, you will still be able access Bitcoin, Ether, and Stellar services within the Wallet.
Following the fork, your Bitcoin Cash balance will reflect the value from 24 hours before the fork. The the fiat value of your Bitcoin Cash holdings will begin updating as soon as the network stabilizes.
No immediate action is required on your part. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will make sure to update you via our social channels and from within the Wallet. Have a specific question? Drop us a line, our Social Team is here to help.
I just wrapped the Strike API if anyone is interested in accepting lightning payments for their app. I figured I would post it here in case any other Ruby Bitcoin enthusiasts were interested.
I will probably right one for Node.js in a bit if no one else does. Anyway -- it seems like we should probably start accepting LN/BTC in all of our apps now.
Have a great night!
Xerox was awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a blockchain platform that can track amendments made to electronic documents.
Xerox — known for its eponymous printing and digital copying appliances — first filed the patent in August 2017. The patent describes a blockchain-based system for the secure recording of revisions made to electronic documents.
The technology offered by Xerox can supposedly detect whether a file has been altered and tracks the history of changes made. Owing to the decentralized verification mechanism, the system thus becomes resistant to tampering, the filing states.
Explaining the technology behind the patent, Xerox describes a series of blockchain nodes that may approve or dismiss each amendment made. The filing also implies that the management network will alert its users whenever a particular node fails to approve the document or the content differs from its verified version.
Xerox believes that the newly patented technology can be used to audit electronic files in many areas, such as medical and financial records, tax papers, and educational documents. The filing specifically mentions criminal investigation records, such as interview notes, crime scene photos and DNA test results that must be protected from alterations and tampering.
In 2016, Xerox filed a similar patent., aiming to create a blockchain-based timestamp protocol for data such as copies or pictures. According to the filing, the company wanted the marks to be irrevocable, meaning that data bearing such a mark could be submitted in court as evidence.
Major tech and electronics companies have filed a slew of patent applications for various proprietary iterations and applications of blockchain technology. A September report stated that IBM had filed more blockchain-related patent applications than any other company at the time of publication.
The Twitter account of Google’s G Suite was reportedly breached to advertise a 10,000 Bitcoin giveaway scam.
The G Suite Twitter account was reportedly hacked to advertise a BTC giveaway scam to the page’s more than 800,000 followers. Scammers supposedly spread a message luring users to participate in a fraudulent 10,000 BTC giveaway, concurrently announcing that Google’s G Suite now accepts cryptocurrency as a means of payment.
Screenshot of the scam message. Source: The Next Web
According to the Hard Fork, the message disappeared barely more than 10 minutes after it had appeared. At press time, Google has not replied to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
The scam follows a recent pattern of fraudulent activity involving the Twitter accounts of high-profile companies and individuals. On Nov. 5, several verified Twitter accounts were hacked to impersonate Elon Musk, with one reportedly collecting almost $170,000. Scammers changed the profile name and picture in order to pose as the Tesla CEO, and subsequently posted in comment threads started by the real Elon Musk, so as to give the impression of legitimacy.
As previously reported, Google introduced a ban on cryptocurrency advertisements on Jun. 1 to purportedly protect its customers from fraudulent offerings. The ban affected all Google products, meaning that companies would not be able to serve crypto-related ads on the search engine giant’s own sites, as well as third-party sites in its network.
However, in September Google rolled back some of its restrictions, allowing some crypto businesses to advertise on its platform. Per the new policy, only registered cryptocurrency exchanges could advertise on the Google Adwords platform, targeting U.S. and Japanese audiences.
In October, Google implemented new restrictions on Chrome Web Store extensions, which will likely affect cryptojackers. Chrome extensions submitted to the Web Store would reportedly not be allowed if they contained “obfuscated” code. Google’s Oct. 1 post reads:
“Today over 70% of malicious and policy violating extensions that we block from Chrome Web Store contain obfuscated code.”
Japan’s GMO Internet has postponed the shipments of its two lines of 7nm bitcoin mining rigs. A representative of the company has clarified the situation to news.Bitcoin.com, noting that some refunds have already been issued. In addition, the company is planning to relocate its mining operations.
GMO Internet announced on Monday that it has postponed the shipments of its 7nm ASIC bitcoin mining equipment. The company has two lines of mining rigs: B2 and B3. The former was scheduled to start shipping at the end of October and the latter in November.
A representative of GMO revealed to news.Bitcoin.com on Tuesday that the shipments of both lines have been postponed, elaborating:
It is because the parts we need for our mining machines are actually very difficult to acquire right now … It is difficult to acquire some of the electronic components, such as resistors, due to the tight global supply-demand balance.
He added that the company has not decided whether to ship any miners this year.
GMO Internet launched the B2 line in June and the B3 line in July. In August, the company upgraded the B3 case shape design in order to improve its cooling performance and operational stability. Both B2 and B3 are priced at $1,999 and are sold out.
The representative emphasized that refunds will be issued to any customers who ask for them, noting:
We asked our customers whether they wish us to refund at the time of delay announcement. So far, we have already completed issuing refunds to customers who demanded them.
Relocating Mining Operations
Through its Swiss subsidiary, GMO engages in three mining business areas: in-house mining; developing, manufacturing and selling mining machines; and cloud mining.
On Nov. 5, the company released the monthly report of its mining business which shows that 595 BTC and 875 BCH were mined in October. GMO’s total hashrate increased to 674 PH/s during the month from 479 PH/s in the previous month.
In its quarterly earnings presentation, the company still says it aims “to become No. 1 in the field of cryptocurrency.”
The internet giant further detailed that its mining business recorded a loss during the third quarter even though the expansion of mining facilities progressed as planned. The company attributed the loss to a small net sales increase of only 1.249 billion yen ($11 million) year-on-year “because of a decline in profitability due to the deteriorated macro environment including stagnant bitcoin price and an increase in hash rate,” reiterating:
Cryptocurrency mining business experienced a decline in profitability due to a downturn in the macro environment.
At Monday’s press conference, GMO Internet’s founder and CEO, Masatoshi Kumagai, unveiled his company’s plan to relocate its mining operations in an effort to boost profitability by lowering electricity and production costs.
The GMO representative confirmed the plan to news.Bitcoin.com. However, he noted that the details of location and timeframe are “under consideration at this moment,” emphasizing that “we have not decided it yet.”
What do you think of GMO postponing the shipments of its 7nm bitcoin mining equipment? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet.
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An Ontario Superior Court Judge has ruled with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in a dispute with Canada’s largest crypto exchange regarding frozen funds.
A $19.6 million disputed sum between Canada’s largest crypto exchange QuadrigaCX and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) has been handed into the custody of the Ontario Superior Court, per a court document filed Nov. 9.
On Oct. 8, Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail reported that Vancouver-based QuadrigaCX had been experiencing difficulties accessing $16.3 million of its funds since January, when CIBC froze five accounts belonging to the exchange’s payment processor, Costodian Inc., and its owner, Jose Reyes. The bank purportedly froze the accounts due to an inability to identify the funds’ owners.
CIBC subsequently requested the court to withhold the disputed funds and decide whether they belong to QuadrigaCX, Costodian, or the 388 users who had deposited the funds. In response, QuadrigaCX told the court that the bank froze the funds mistakenly and claimed to be the undisputed owner of the greater part of the funds.
In the recent court file, Judge Glenn Hainey of the Ontario Superior Court ruled in favor of the bank, agreeing that the owner of the funds is not clearly established. Per the ruling, CIBC now has to pass the funds over to the Accountant of the Superior Court, so the court can identify the owner of the money.
Regarding the legitimacy of CIBC’s actions in freezing the accounts, Judge Hainey concluded that he is “not in a position on this record to make any determination as to CIBC’s possible liability for doing so,” adding:
“Accordingly, it would be inappropriate for me to extinguish any liability that CIBC may have for freezing the accounts in the absence of an evidentiary record that establishes that CIBC has no liability.”
Gerald Cotten, chief executive at QuadrigaCX, told the Globe and Mail that “more importantly, the court has made no ruling yet on whether CIBC acted appropriately in freezing the funds in the first place. Regarding this point, we are considering our next steps.”
Today, Cointelegraph reported that lawyers representing payment startup Ripple in its ongoing securities lawsuit are trying to move the case to a U.S. federal court. Court records confirm the application to move the case from the state to federal level, which would allow Ripple to prove definitively that its XRP token is not a security under U.S. law, should it win.
The lawsuit against Ripple Labs was originally filed in May by law firm Taylor-Copeland for the sale of unregistered securities. The claimants all lost money from purchasing XRP at high prices earlier this year, but opted to sue to include all possible parties affected since 2013.
Bitcoin Group SE, operator of major German crypto trading platform bitcoin.de, has acquired a 100% stake in investment bank Tremmel Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH.
German holding company Bitcoin Group SE has acquired a 100 percent stake in investment bank Tremmel Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reports today, Nov. 13.
Bitcoin Group SE, based in Herford, Germany, operates what is reportedly the country’s only regulated crypto exchange, Bitcoin Deutschland AG, also referred to by its domain, Bitcoin.de. Upon acquisition of the banking institution, which according to its website focuses on securities trading, the crypto holding will in turn obtain the use of Tremmel’s banking license.
As a press release from Bitcoin Group SE states, the banking license will allow the holding to “significantly expand” its crypto-related offerings and operate ATMs for cryptocurrencies in Germany, stating it would be able to:
“[...]issue its own cryptocurrency products, carry out proprietary trading in cryptocurrencies, and operate cryptocurrency ATMs is now available under the securities service provider's banking license.”
Tremmel’s managing director, Rainer Bergmann, will continue to be responsible for the bank and expand it into a custodian bank together with Bitcoin Group SE, the release notes.
According to the press release, the purchase price for Tremmel is "in the lower seven-digit euro range.” The release notes that the closing is set to be completed in the first half of 2019, pending relevant regulatory approval.
At the end of October, Germany saw the establishment of its first Bitcoin ATM, set up in a Munich gambling hall.
Today, Cointelegraph reported that publicly-traded Canadian holding firm GoverMedia Plus Canada is set to acquire U.K.-based crypto exchange EXMO, both parties having recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI).
A recent report by Trefis suggests Nvidia will see strong GPU sales growth in Q3, though revenues from crypto-related activities will remain in a downtrend.
Experts from analytical firm Trefis have forecasted increased sales of Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs) at the end of the third quarter (Q3) of this year, Forbes reported Nov. 13. Trefis notes that, while overall GPU sales will be up, sales from cryptocurrency-related activities will remain in a downtrend.
American GPU manufacturer Nvidia is purportedly set to release its Q3 results on Nov. 15, and Trefis experts have predicted an earnings growth by slightly over 20 percent on a year-on-year basis.
Revenues will primarily be driven by Nvidia’s gaming GPUs, which are in higher demand due to the new Max-Q technology; and the Datacenter, which is experiencing a strong demand for its Volta architecture, the analysts say.
The experts also forecast Tegra Processors and GPU segment growth “in the high teens.” Tegra Processor revenues will reportedly grow to $490 million in Q3, which — the experts explain — is led by Automotive and System on a Chip (SOC) modules for the Nintendo Switch gaming console.
Despite the overall positive outlook for GPU revenues, the report notes the decline in sales associated with crypto-related activities, as well as the impact of U.S. tariffs on some Chinese goods, which were introduced earlier this year.
The analysts reportedly expect consolidated revenues to be a bit under $3.10 billion in Q3, of which 84 percent could be attributed to GPUs, while Tegra Processors will make up for the rest. The report further explains:
“We forecast the [earnings per share] to be $1.63 in Q3, and $7.09 for the full year 2018. We use a [trailing twelve months] price to earnings multiple of 35 times to arrive at our price estimate of $248 for Nvidia. This implies a premium of over 30 percent to the current market price.”
As Cointelegraph previously reported, Nvidia’s stock price declined more than five percent in the extended session following an announcement of the company’s Q3 estimates. The firm’s revenue was affected by a decrease in crypto mining as digital currency markets slumped earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Trefis experts outline an over 20 percent decline in Nvidia’s stock during the past month, which reportedly follows the weak Q3 figures from some tech stocks and the market’s reaction to the tariffs.
A survey recently conducted by Hermes shows that one third of German logistics managers believe that blockchain will improve cooperation in supply chains.
More than a third of German logistics managers believe that blockchain technology has the potential to significantly improve cooperation in supply chains, according to a Hermes survey published Nov. 12.
The survey polled participants on which technologies they believed were important for improving cooperation within the supply chain. 35 percent of respondents recognized the importance of blockchain, while 33 percent said that big data is important.
Participants also noted the importance of Cyber-Physical Systems (56 percent) , Enterprise Resource Planning systems (46 percent), and sensor monitoring and data acquisition systems (44 percent).
In larger companies — specifically in companies with more than 250 employees — the estimate is even higher, with half of all the managers noting blockchain technology’s potential in the industry. The poll specifies that the changes will go well beyond the "normal" digitization process.
The survey also shows that three quarters of German companies believe that cooperation will be crucial to increasing supply chain efficiency in the future. According to the report, blockchain technology “is considered to have great potential in this context.“
More than half of respondents from larger companies believe that blockchain technology is increasingly important for improving data security in the collaboration process. One third of logistics managers from small companies expect the technology to be a valid security improvement.
Knowledge about blockchain technology is scarcer in smaller companies. 42 percent of the managers from bigger companies have researched the technology, while only 21 percent of all respondents have done the same.
Interest in applying blockchain technology for the logistics industry is on the rise. Recently, nine major terminal operators and shipping companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch an open blockchain-based platform.
A Bitcoin Cash hard fork will happen on Thursday, November 15th.
Bitcoin Cash is already a hard fork of Bitcoin and has since grown to become the fourth-largest cryptocurrency. Now the digital currency will split in two, creating a second cryptocurrency.
The two digital currencies go by the names Bitcoin ABC, which is the continuation of the current or core Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV, which will follow new rules and stands for Satoshi’s Vision.Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork
A hard fork occurs when network participants no longer agree on a proposed ...
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Bitcoin Group SE has bought 100 percent shares of investment bank Tremmel for an undisclosed amount. This is the German digital currency exchange operator’s second acquisition in 2018. Bitcoin Group, which holds current assets of $40 million, said Tremmel allows it to issue its own cryptocurrency-related products, conduct proprietary trading and operate bitcoin ATMs.
Acquisition to Expand Bitcoin Group Services Portfolio
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange-listed company operates Bitcoin.de, Germany’s only regulated digital currency exchange, trading BTC, BCH and ETH. It hopes to use Tremmel’s banking license to expand the range of its service portfolio. For example, Bitcoin Group said it is now possible for the trading platform to maintain an order book and even quote prices, while simultaneously ensuring more liquid trading.
“We are very pleased that in Tremmel Wertpapierhandelsbank Gmbh…we have been able to gain an excellently positioned partner with in-depth knowledge of the market,” Marco Bodewein, managing director of Bitcoin Group, said in an online statement on Nov. 12. “This will enable us to take the corporate development of Bitcoin Group SE to a new level,” he added.
The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019, subject to approval by relevant regulatory authorities. Bitcoin Group did not disclose the actual purchase price, but said “it is in the lower seven-digit euro range.”
Rainer Bergmann, the previous sole shareholder and managing director of Tremmel, is to continue working at the investment bank in the same capacity. The bank, which trades shares, bonds and other stock exchange products on behalf of local and foreign banks, insurance companies and asset managers, will be expanded into a deposit-taking institution, Bitcoin Group said.
Digital currency exchanges are looking for growth in new areas or to consolidate existing positions to help boost revenue and minimize risk from an uncertain regulatory environment in their home economies.
In January, Bitcoin Group, which has 753,000 investors actively using its exchange to buy and sell digital assets, bought a 50 percent stake in financial investment broker Sineus Financial Services Gmbh, to diversify risk. “In the future, this will enable the group to offer additional financial services in the cryptocurrency sector,” the company said at the time.
For the first six months of this year, Bitcoin Group reported net profit increase of 306 percent to $3.85 million from $0.95 million a year earlier. Revenues tripled to $6.57 million from $2.1 million in the comparable period a year ago. Operating profit climbed 368 percent to $5.64 million. The exchange said about $707.6 million worth of BTC was traded on the platform at the end of last year, when the price of the cryptocurrency peaked at $20,000.
After close Tuesday, shares of Bitcoin Group were down 0.36 percent at $31.41 in Frankfurt trading. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has reached a low of $28.02 and a high of $97.18.
What do you think about Bitcoin Group’s latest acquisition? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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After ten months of stagnancy, the newly re-opened Japenese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has resumed its NEM (XEM) trading. According to a South Korean news source FNNews, Coincheck has restricted its platform by external ‘security experts.’
— Coincheck(コインチェック) (@coincheckjp) November 12, 2018NEM (XEM) Trading Resumes on Coincheck
Back in January, Coincheck suffered the largest cryptocurrency exchange hack in history. $530 million USD worth of XEM was stolen from the Japanese exchange. After the investigation, the company announced it would repay the 260,000 investors affected by the hack.
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Cryptocurrency markets have seen a slight drop on the day, with BCH being the only token out of the top 10 to make some gains.
Tuesday, Nov. 13: Cryptocurrencies have experienced a slight decline over the last day, with almost all top 20 coins by market capitalization in the red after seeing some growth yesterday, Nov. 12.
Market visualization from Coin360
The leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) is down less than a tenth of a percent today, trading at $6,370 at press time. During the day, the lowest BTC price point was $6,345, with an intraday high aof $6,395. BTC has lost around 1.34 percent over the last week.
Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap
The second largest coin Ethereum (ETH) has been trading relatively stable on the day, fluctuating between $210 and $206. ETH is down 1.26 percent over the past 24 hours, trading around $207 at press time. In terms of a weekly view, the altcoin is down over 4 percent.
Ethereum 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap
Ripple (XRP) has seen bigger fluctuations over the 24-hour period, down by over 2 percent and trading at $0.510 at press time. The coin is down almost 5 percent on its weekly chart. On its monthly chart, XRP is still up by more than 22 percent.
Today, Cointelegraph reported that lawyers representing payment startup Ripple in its ongoing securities lawsuit are trying to move the case to a U.S. federal court. Court records confirm the application to move the case from the state to federal level, which would allow Ripple to prove definitively that its XRP token is not a security under U.S. law, should it win.
Ripple 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap
Bitcoin Cash (BCH), with a market cap of around $9.12 billion, is up by 1.23 percent on the day and trading at $522 at press time. BCH is the only coin out of the top 10, which has broken the downtrend over the last 24 hours.
Today, recently re-opened Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck announced it has resumed NEM (XEM) crypto token trading after a restructuring of its platform by external “security experts.” In January, Coincheck suffered an industry record-breaking hack when $534 million worth of NEM was stolen from its wallets. At press time, NEM is trading at around $0.109, up 1.55 percent on the day.
NEM 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap
Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is over $210 billion as of press time, down from an intra-week high of $220.7 billion on Nov. 7, according to CoinMarketCap.
Total market capitalization weekly chart. Source: CoinMarketCap
Earlier today, engineering and electronics company Bosch partnered with IOTA, integrating its new data collection Internet of Things (IoT) device with the decentralized IOTA Data Marketplace.
The device reportedly combines various sensor, data storage and network technologies so that users with varying levels of programming experience can collect data real-time, and sell it on the IOTA marketplace. At press time, the IOTA token is up 1.19 percent on the day, trading at $0.498.
Just stay patient no matter how hard it is. I feel sorry for the poor fools who bought in the 12-17k and sold super low because they panicked. The Longer it stays bouncing and above the 5800-6000 support the higher the chance it will go back up. Right now its not doing much but when it does it happens fast. Get in low before you miss out. (not a financial advisor just a guy giving his opinion on market sentiment)
A South Korean hospital plans to use blockchain tech for cross-hospital healthcare information exchange.
One of the South Korea's largest hospitals has partnered with a local tech company to develop a medical services platform based on blockchain technology, according to the hospital’s official press release Nov. 12.
Myongji Hospital, located in the city of Goyang, South Korea, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Korean IT company BICube, which markets itself as a machine learning platform.
The two parties plan to use blockchain technology to create a healthcare information exchange system. According to the hospital’s release, the aim of the project is to “build a hybrid cloud [platform] that combines a public cloud and a private cloud.”
The medical information exchange service’s hybrid cloud functionality will allow patients to share sensitive medical data with other medical institutions upon authorization, without the data being stored centrally.
According to the release, the two parties plan to commercialize the service by 2019.
In September of this year, the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) and the Ministry of Science and ICT announced plans to expand their public blockchain pilot program from six to twelve projects and spend about $9 million to spread blockchain throughout public and private sectors.
Later, the Korean government announced that it would invest $35 million in next year’s budget to develop blockchain technology, tripling the previous budget for the industry, Cointelegraph reported Nov. 8.
Major crypto exchange EXMO has signed a Letter of Intent for Canadian publicly-traded holding company GoverMedia Plus Canada to acquire the platform.
Publicly traded Canadian holding firm GoverMedia Plus Canada will acquire U.K.-based crypto exchange EXMO per a recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI), according to a joint announcement published Nov. 13.
The LOI reportedly enables GoverMedia to exclusively negotiate the transaction within the next 180 days. Upon the completion of the transaction, the joined entity will continue to conduct business on the EXMO platform and will be listed on a stock exchange.
According to the announcement, the acquisition deal will “comply with all necessary legal and regulatory requirements” after observing due diligence measures. The LOI implies that the final structure of the transaction will be determined by a mutual agreement between GoverMedia and EXMO.
Commenting on the recent agreement, GoverMedia CEO Roland J. Bopp claimed that the successful completion of this “business combination” will lead to “over 2 million active users,” with expected expansion to European, North American and Asian markets.
EXMO was founded in 2013, and has offices in London, Kiev, Barcelona and Moscow. According to EXMO’s website, the cryptocurrency exchange has 1.5 million users. At press time, EXMO is the 47th largest crypto exchange by 24 hour trade volume on CoinMarketCap at over $26 million.
GoverMedia Plus Canada is a publicly held holding firm that operates Russian tech subsidiary Govermedia.plus. The firm operates a platform for various services such as e-commerce, crowdfunding, corporate auctions, corporate database, as well as social media, multimedia, and messaging.
In September, the fourth top global crypto exchange Huobi acquired controlling stock interest in Hong Kong-based public company Pantronics Holdings. The move was considered by some experts to be an alternative way for the exchange to go public — namely via a so-called “reverse IPO.”
In recent regulatory news, we report on an authorized mining company in China that has had its operations temporarily halted for tax inspection and implementation of real-name registration processes. We also look at the Michigan Secretary of State’s ban on crypto-based political donations, as well as the recent certification of X8’s stablecoin for Shariah compliance. In addition, we focus on the operator of a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme who has been punished for misappropriating $601,000 in BTC and LTC from his employer.
Chinese Mining Farms Suspended
According to a statement published by an unidentified cryptocurrency mining company, Chinese state agencies have ordered the suspension of its mining farms in southwestern Guizhou Province and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for tax inspections and to implement real-name registration processes.
“According to the needs of the public security department’s network information security work, in the future, our company will implement higher standards for the company’s business real-name system according to the work needs of the public security department,” the anonymous company said. “For customers with the latest standard real-name systems, the data center will have to suspend reloading, restarting, moving in and out, etc.”
Michigan Secretary of State Says ‘No’ to Crypto
In a letter addressed to William Baker, a recent candidate for the Michigan state legislature, the office of the Michigan Secretary of State has formally barred cryptocurrency donations to political campaigns.
Baker, who lost his bid in the state’s Nov. 6 election, had previously sought clarification on how the value of donations in the form of cryptocurrencies should be recorded. He also asked whether virtual currency exchanges would qualify as valid secondary depositories for the storage of crypto assets.
Baker asserted that “it is self-evident that digital currency is a valid way to receive political contributions.” However, the state secretary’s office responded by stating that “the law does not authorize such a vehicle, and the department has never determined that digital currencies are a valid way to receive political contributions.”
The letter also highlighted concerns pertaining to the price volatility of cryptocurrencies. “As with stocks and commodities, bitcoin’s worth fluctuates daily,” the office said. “There is no way to ascertain the precise monetary value of one bitcoin on any particular day.”
The Michigan Secretary of State raised additional objections to the use of cryptocurrencies as donations. In the letter, the office added that state legislation also “requires that committees deposit funds in an account in a financial institution, which is not an option for cryptocurrency.”
X8 Stablecoin Certified as Shariah Compliant
X8C, the stablecoin issued by Swiss fintech company X8 AG, has obtained a certificate showing that its stablecoin is compliant with Shariah law. It received the certification from the Shariyah Review Bureau, an Islamic advisory firm licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain.
Francesca Greco, director and co-founder of X8, announced that the company will soon establish a regional office in the Middle East. Greco also indicated that X8 plans to launch a Shariah-compliant virtual currency exchange, adding that the company has already met with representatives of exchanges based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain.
“The Gulf region is a really good place for financial technology companies, because they all want to become hubs for fintech,” Greco said.
CFTC Fines Crypto Scheme Operator Over $1.14M
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has ordered Joseph Kim, a resident of Phoenix, to pay more than $1.14 million for operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. Kim was also sentenced to 15 months in prison on “related criminal charges” filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. According to the court order, Kim pleaded guilty to “orchestrating a fraudulent Bitcoin and Litecoin scheme that led to more than $1 million in losses.”
Kim was found to have misappropriated $601,000 worth of BTC and LTC from his employer — described as “a Chicago-based proprietary trading firm” — before attempting to fabricate security-related issues to obfuscate the misappropriation of funds. Despite this, the company fired Kim in November 2017 after the theft of the cryptocurrency was discovered.
Between December 2017 and March 2018, Kim then sought to repay his former employer through profits that he had generated through the operation of a cryptocurrency trading scheme. According to the CFTC, he “falsely told customers that he would invest their funds in a low-risk virtual currency arbitrage strategy, when, in fact, Kim made high-risk, directional bets on the movement of virtual currencies that resulted in Kim losing all $545,000 of his customers’ funds.”
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The travel arm of financial services giant American Express has filed a new blockchain-based patent for “linking digital images with related records.”
Financial services giant American Express (Amex) has filed a patent for a blockchain-based system to capture and transmit the image of a receipt, according to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent filing published Nov. 13.
The patent applicant is listed as American Express Travel Related Services Co., Inc., the company’s travel subsidiary. The new filing, titled “Linking digital images with related records,” includes a new method for receiving, recording and transmitting the image of a receipt.
The filing describes how the system lets a user with a mobile device capture the image of a receipt. The system then, via “optical character recognition,” deciphers the image and matches it with “related records,” namely transaction history.
The filing mentions of the use of “data blocks” and specifies that “Any databases discussed herein may include relational, hierarchical, graphical, blockchain, or object-oriented structure and/or any other database configurations.”
The reported benefits of using blockchain technology in particular for data storage are further elaborated in the filing:
“The blockchain structure may include a distributed database that maintains a growing list of data records. The blockchain may provide enhanced security because each block may hold individual transactions and the results of any blockchain executables.”
Back in July, American Express Travel Related Services Co. had filed another patent for a blockchain-based system that would automate proof-of-payments by encrypting payment payload data with a public key on an initial node of a blockchain.
Previously this spring, Amex announced it was integrating blockchain to let merchants design customized offers for cardholders in order to increase customer engagement.
The Chinese city of Loudi in Hunan province launches a real estate blockchain platform backed by local land, tax and real estate departments.
The platform is backed by land, tax and real estate departments in the city, which is located in central Hunan province. Starting Nov. 15, the new system will let citizens avoid lines and other bureaucratic processes when submitting documents to the above-listed departments, the newspaper states.
Also today, the first real estate electronic voucher was issued in the city via the new blockchain-based system.
China is among the countries actively adopting blockchain technology on both the public and private levels. In September, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) announced the “Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Dawan District Trade Finance Blockchain Platform,” which aims to provide an ecosystem for cross-border trading in the mentioned areas.
Also in September, the state Bank of Communications using blockchain to issue digital mortgages worth $1.3 billion. Earlier, in July, the Agricultural Bank of China issued a loan via blockchain worth around $300,000, which was backed by a piece of local agricultural land.
As Cointelegraph reported previously, blockchain has been actively tested in the sphere of real estate globally, especially in issuing digital mortgages to reduce paperwork and increase interoperability between different institutions.
There are less than two days left until the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network faces a contentious hard fork and BCH markets are showing some unusual activity. They are being driven by heavy trading volumes that have doubled in the last two days, while BCH/USD short positions on Bitfinex have touched an all-time high. At the moment, bitcoin cash is trading for $529 per coin with more than $900 million worth of global swaps in the last 24 hours.
Cryptocurrency Rally Stalls
As news.Bitcoin.com stated during our last markets update, all eyes are on bitcoin cash prices before the pending fork and this is still the case. On Tuesday, Nov. 13, the overall cryptocurrency economy is valued around $214 billion with over $13.3 billion in global trade volume over the last day. Currently, bitcoin core (BTC) prices are hovering around $6,359 with a market valuation of about $110.4 billion. BTC prices are down 0.64% over the last 24 hours and down 0.95% for the last seven days. The second highest valued market held by ethereum (ETH) is valued at $21.5 billion today and one ETH is swapping for $209. Ripple (XRP) has dipped in value as well and the token is down 0.12% over the last 24 hours. Spot markets show one XRP is trading for $0.52 and ripple trade volume is around $579 million. Lastly, stellar (XLM) markets are down quite a bit as markets have lost over 3% today and one XLM is trading for $0.26.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action
Even though it looks as though some of last week’s BCH spurred digital asset rally has stalled, a lot is going on behind the scenes. One BCH is trading for $527 per coin and the total market valuation is around $9.9 billion this Tuesday. According to statistics, bitcoin cash has the fourth largest trade volume just below tether (USDT) and ETH. This is because BCH trade volume has spiked considerably over the last day as the 24-hour volume is steadily approaching $1 billion. The trading platforms swapping the most BCH today include Lbank, Okex, Binance, Hitbtc, and Bitfinex. BTC is the largest pair trading with BCH and captures 39.5% of the market. This is followed by USDT (30.9%), USD (12.4%), ETH (7.1%), and QC (3.8%).
BCH/USD Technical Indicators
Looking at the BCH/USD 4-hour chart and the daily on Bitfinex and Bitstamp shows BCH bears have managed to push the bitcoin cash price down and suppress the value over the last few hours. Similar to our last markets update, the short term 100 Simple Moving Average (SMA) is still well above the long-term 200 SMA trendline. This confirms the path toward the least resistance is still the upside at the time of writing. On the 4-hour chart, the Relative Strength Index oscillator is meandering in the middle (44-56) and not giving much indication toward the next move.
Order books show bulls need to surpass the current suppression and prices above the $560 range to gain some more leeway. On the backside, order books show some solid foundations between the current vantage point and $485. Again, there is a massive buy wall at $445 which could hold for a decent period of time. However, the moving averages and current MACd show things may not be so dismal in the short term and the massive trade volume injected in the BCH ecosystem in the last 24 hours suggests a quick and unexpected trend change could definitely be in the cards.
Chain Split Token Markets and Short Positions
As mentioned above, the clock is ticking towards the pending Bitcoin Cash network fork slated for Thursday, Nov. 15. Additionally, BCH/USD short positions on Bitfinex are still riding extremely high at the moment with people betting the currency’s value will plummet. Yet some traders believe the massive BCH daily trade volume coupled with short positions at an all-time high is a recipe for danger for margin traders without equity and many short positions could get “rekt.”
Many traders have also been watching the BCH futures markets on Poloniex with BCH-ABC and BCH-SV being swapped against USDC and BTC pairs. At the moment, BCH-ABC is trading for $385, USDC and BCH-SV is around $139 per token. Moreover, Bitfinex has announced introducing new “chain split tokens” (CSTs) on Nov. 13 allowing traders to swap futures with the CSTs that have the dedicated ABC and SV symbols “BAB” (ABC implementation) and “BSV” (SV implementation). It’s safe to say that lots of eyes will continue to remain focused on the BCH market activity and possible reaction before the fork.
Where do you see the price of bitcoin cash and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”
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E-commerce giant Amazon has won two patents related to methods for protecting the integrity of digital signatures and improving data storage in distributed computing networks.
E-commerce giant Amazon has won two patents related to methods for protecting the integrity of digital signatures and improving distributed data storage. The two patents were published by by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today, Nov. 13.
The first patent document, first filed in April of this year, outlines a “signature delegation” method for “protecting the integrity of digital signatures and encrypted communications,” by allowing for the generation, distribution, validation, and revocation of one-time-use cryptographic keys.
In the proposed system, these keys are arranged in what is known in cryptography as a “Merkle Tree” structure, which is a binary tree of hashes constructed from the bottom up.
As tech media platform Hackernoon outlines, Merkle Trees are a “fundamental part” of blockchain systems, as they allow for a large body of data to be efficiently and securely verified:
“The Merkle Root summarizes all of the data in the related transactions, and is stored in the block header. It maintains the integrity of the data. If a single detail in any of the transactions or the order of the transactions changes, so does the Merkle Root. Using a Merkle tree allows for a quick and simple test of whether a specific transaction is included in the set or not.”
According to the newly published patent document, Amazon’s proposed Merkle Tree-structured, encrypted system aims to tackle how to delegate signing authority from a central entity to the various subordinates that are authorized to sign on its behalf.
As the patent filing reads: “the signature authority provides a key-distribution service that distributes blocks of cryptographic keys to authorized signing delegates. An authorized signing delegate contacts the key-distribution service and requests a block of cryptographic keys.”
In cases where a given cryptographic key is “marked as invalid,” after a “key revocation service queries the Merkle tree of delegable keys,” then the service “provides the verifying entity with a revocation value associated with the revoked cryptographic key.” Amazon outlines that in some cases, the key revocation database may be implemented using blockchain.
Amazon’s second patent, released today and first filed mid-Dec. 2015, relates to issues pertaining to distributed data storage.
Amazon’s filing proposes a “grid encoding technique,” using groups of collected “shards,” where each shard represents a logical distribution of data items stored in a given grid. The patent filing suggests this method can help to minimize storage redundancy, while allowing for maximum availability, durability, and means of recovery.
Notably, several tech startups, such as Filecoin, Sia, Storj, and Swarm have all attempted to tackle similar issues with distributed data storage using blockchain technology, often combined with cloud storage solutions.
Beyond pursuing blockchain, cryptography and distributed data storage-related patents to expand its technological arsenal, Amazon has also filed for cryptocurrency-specific inventions. In April, Amazon Technologies was awarded a patent for a streaming data marketplace that would enable users to receive real-time crypto transaction data.
The Russian branch of Raiffeisen Bank partners with major oil industry company, Gazprom Neft, and others to issue a bank guarantee via blockchain.
The Russian subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International has partnered with local state-owned oil giant Gazprom Neft to issue a bank guarantee on blockchain, Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported Nov. 12.
According to Kommersant, the bank guarantee was issued to conduct a trade finance transaction involving four parties, Raiffeisen, Gazprom Neft, Belarusian firm Mozyr Oil Refinery, Priorbank of Belarus. Raiffeisen acted as an advising bank for the Russian oil company, while Priorbank of Belarus, which is part of Raiffeisen bank group, issued a bank guarantee for the deal via blockchain.
The system used was reportedly developed by Raiffeisen, on the basis of the bank’s blockchain platform R-chain, which it released in 2017. According to Tatyana Ivashkova, head of documentary transactions and trade finance at Raiffeisen Russia:
"Four nodes participated in the transaction, that is, all parties were fully connected to the platform.”
Normally the banks would release a guarantee via their internal system, notifying the client only after the fact, Ivashkova states. Using blockchain, however, reportedly allows all participants to have access to the documents simultaneously, allowing the deal to be finalized as soon as the payment is made, shortening processing time.
Raiffeisen has already tested blockchain before, issuing an electronic mortgage using local blockchain platform Masterchain — a Russian interbank platform created by major market players to transfer valuable data via a decentralized network. The bank then revealed its plans to connect Rosreestr, the Russian state agency that collects data on real estate, to streamline e-mortgage issuance.
As Cointelegraph reported Nov. 12, a group of major global oil companies have recently announced the launch of a blockchain-driven platform for energy commodity trading. The decentralized network, which includes banks ABN Amro, ING, and Societe Generale, along with major trading houses, will officially begin operations by the end of November in the North Sea oil market.
U.K. startup Revolut has announced that its customer base has surpassed three million users. The fintech platform, which has quickly become a viable online alternative to traditional banking, was established in 2015. It currently offers payment and exchange services for a growing number of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.
Fintech Startup Defies Skepticism
The company marked the milestone on Twitter: “Three years ago, banks and investors laughed at us. Today, we have signed up three million customers and no one is laughing now. Thank you!” The announcement came about three months after Revolut launched a new debit card that offers support for some of the leading digital coins.
Revolut Metal is the platform’s premium service. For a monthly fee of €13.99 (less than $16), users can get a free U.K. current account and an Iban account for euros, with unlimited exchange in 24 fiat currencies. The new card also offers access to five cryptocurrencies — bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and ripple (XRP) — as well as the ability to spend over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate.
The contactless Revolut Metal card comes with fee-free ATM withdrawals of up to €600 per month (over $670). According to the product page, the online banking startup also offers cardholders cash back on all their payments and purchases — up to 0.1 percent within Europe and up to 1 percent elsewhere.
The launch of the exclusive card, which supports digital assets and can be used anywhere that Mastercard is accepted, has likely played a role in the expansion of Revolut’s customer base. There are very few other options on the market in the European Economic Area matching the services offered by the U.K. company.
Plans for Expansion to Other Continents
Revolut’s platform is currently available to residents of the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. The company plans to enter markets outside Europe as well, including North America (U.S. and Canada) and Australia.
The British startup with Russian roots also plans to operate in the Russian Federation. In June, Revolut announced a partnership agreement with Qiwi, the country’s leading payments provider. Russian users will be granted access to Revolut’s services via Qiwi’s online banking infrastructure. It has been reported that in Russia, Revolut will initially only provide financial services to private individuals. At launch, they’ll be able to install the company’s online banking app and order a free Visa card with support for multiple currencies.
Revolut is likely to face some competition. Oleg Tinkov, the founder of a Russian project offering similar services, said at a recent fintech forum that there’s no reason for the U.K. startup to go to Russia. The holders of the Tinkoff Black card can already open accounts in 30 currencies and take advantage of favorable exchange rates. What Tinkov didn’t mention, as noted by news outlet Bitnovosti, was that his platform does not support cryptocurrencies.
Revolut’s Russian-born founder and CEO, Nikolay Storonsky, responded:
We are not going to abandon our plans … Large players see us as a serious competitor. They try to copy our products and break down into
emotions in our presence.
Storonsky, whose company raised $250 million at a valuation of $1.7 billion this past spring, also recently commented on the possible influx of institutional investors into the cryptocurrency space. The entrepreneur voiced skepticism over these expectations, as such players have not expressed much interest thus far. “I just don’t think banks will catch up,” he said.
One thing Storonsky’s unicorn startup has been criticized for is that its platform does not support transfers of cryptocurrencies to other wallets. Responding to another suggestion to introduce the feature in the comments below the “three million customers” tweet, Revolut admitted that it does not have any immediate plans to do so. However, it promised to pass the feedback over to its development team.
Do you think Revolut will expand its set of services related to cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section.
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Crypto exchange Huobi’s U.S.-based strategic partner HBUS has hired former VC director of Draper Athena as VP of Corporate Development.
HBUS, the strategic partner of top crypto exchange Huobi, has hired a former executive of venture capital (VC) firm Draper Athena, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Nov. 13.
The HBUS trading platform, which currently employs around 40 people in their headquarters in San Francisco, has officially announced the appointment of Jay Ryu, formerly of Draper Athena, as Vice President of Corporate Development.
According to the report, with seven years of experience as Venture Capital Director at Draper Athena, Ryu led technology investments across Silicon Valley, Asia, and the Middle East. Apart of Draper Athena, the VC expert is also a founder of investment consulting group Rage Partners, as well as a former managing partner and strategic advisor for the private equity group Checkmate Capital.
The new HBUS entrant commented in the release that the current condition of the crypto and blockchain industry is “drastically different than what we witnessed last year,” stressing that the community is “rapidly maturing,” which attracts more institutional players to the field.
Huobi, the third largest crypto exchange by trade volume, first announced their U.S. strategic partner in June this year. Following the announcement, HBUS’ trading platform went live on July 10, offering its customers trading in 22 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Reportedly positioning themselves as “aggressively” competitive with major crypto services such as Coinbase and Robinhood, HBUS has recently announced the release of its API for “experienced traders,” intending to expand crypto-related tools for institutional investors.
At press time, Huobi is ranked 3rd among crypto exchanges on CoinMarketCap by daily trade volumes, with about $388.2 million in trades. HBUS is ranked 142nd for daily trade volumes, seeing about $255K in trades over the past 24 hours.
In today’s edition of The Daily, we feature an upcoming bitcoin cash token backed by physical diamonds and an American coffee company that has decided to add cryptocurrencies to its payment options. Additionally, we look at a public mining company that may get a dual listing in Canada, as well as the latest investment by Bitfury.
Rosetta Coffee Adopts Bitcoin Payments
Rosetta Coffee, a specialty coffee company based in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Outer Banks, North Carolina, has announced that it will soon adopt cryptocurrency payment options. On the client-facing side of the business, transactions will go through Shopping Cart Elite’s e-commerce platform. With this, the online store will be able to accept BCH, BTC, BCD, DASH, ETH, LTC and XZC.
Rosetta Coffee emphasized that farmers will also directly benefit from the new process, as part of its commitment to purchasing fair-trade coffee. “Cryptocurrency allows them to receive payment directly and immediately without paying a middleman. They will be able to take home more of what they earn,” said Aaron Skeen, co-founder of Rosetta Coffee. “We think this is awesome and it aligns directly with our mission. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be working with farmers to iron out this process and make it more accessible.”
Hello Diamonds Developing BCH Token
Hello Diamonds, a part of the Cyprus-based Hello Group — which acquired the domain Bitcoincash.io earlier this year — is developing a new token backed up by physical diamonds. The company revealed that the “Diamcoin,” which is scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2019, will be based on a bitcoin cash (BCH) smart contract protocol.
“The Bitcoin Cash network allows for fast and cheap transactions and this is fundamental to our reasoning,” the developers explained. “We firmly believe that the Bitcoin Cash smart contracts will be the best choice for Hello Diamonds and we aim to scale and be the world’s most used stablecoin.”
The token will use the Wormhole protocol, which creates the WHC “second layer” on top of the BCH network, a process which Hello Diamonds concluded “scales much better than Ethereum.”
Bitfarms Seeks Listing in Canada
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange-listed cryptocurrency mining company Bitfarms has started the regulatory process to examine the potential of having its shares listed on a Canadian exchange. The Canada-headquartered company has filed a preliminary prospectus with the Ontario Securities Commission, which was made available to the public on Nov. 12. It details a potential business arrangement between Bitfarms and a newly created Canadian private company, Bitfarms Canada, for the planned move.
“We are currently evaluating a listing in Canada as we endeavor to grow Bitfarms’ visibility, improve our access to capital and streamline expenses,” commented Wes Fulford, chief executive officer of Bitfarms. “Our analysis suggests that Canada has one of the most active public markets in our emerging industry, with several blockchain infrastructure and cryptocurrency mining companies having listed and raised significant capital over the last 12 months.”
Bitfury Invests in Institutional Crypto Company
Bitfury Group, the San Francisco-based manufacturer of bitcoin mining hardware — which recently completed an $80 million private placement funding round — has announced a new investment of its own. The company has acquired an undisclosed but “substantial” minority stake in Final Frontier, a specialist cryptocurrency investment firm operating out of Switzerland’s so-called “Crypto Valley” region.
This move is meant to help Bitfury to develop institutional-grade financial products and services for professional investors. “This is a groundbreaking partnership between a blockchain technology firm and an experienced team from traditional finance,” said Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury. “With the blockchain space institutionalizing, we consider it an important step forward for the entire ecosystem and for our own mission to be the world’s leading full-service blockchain company.”
What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Engineering and electronics manufacturer Bosch has partnered with IOTA, integrating its new data collection Internet of Things device with the IOTA Data Marketplace.
Engineering and electronics manufacturer Bosch has partnered with IOTA, integrating its new data collection Internet of Things (IoT) device with the decentralized IOTA Data Marketplace, according to a tweet from Bosch Nov. 12.
The IOTA Marketplace is a decentralized data marketplace where parties can buy or sell access to active data streams, using MAM (Masked Authenticated Messaging). According to a post on Bosch’s blog, MAM is a second-layer data communication protocol that allows for data to be shared peer-to-peer securely via an encrypted channel. Data subscribers can in this way “trust the source and integrity of data even though the identity of the source is masked,” as the blog post outlines.
Bosch’s new connectivity device, Bosch XDK (Cross Domain Development Kit) is described as a “a programmable sensor device and Internet of Things prototyping platform,” which also functions as a sensor node solution. The device reportedly combines various sensor, data storage and network technologies so that users with varying levels of programming experience can collect data real-time, and sell it on the IOTA marketplace.
As Bosch notes, previously there has been no open source code accessible for developes to connect Bosch XDK and the IOTA “Tangle,” which is the name given to the architecture of IOTA’s protocol.
Tangle is different from blockchain, in that it does not use “blocks” or mining, but rather is built upon a directed acyclic graph (DAG), a topologically ordered system in which different types of transactions run on different chains in the network simultaneously.
Alongside the XDK device, the “XDK2MAM” development team have therefore now made the open source code available for the IOTA community, to facilitate interaction between the hardware and Tangle.
As reported late August, Japanese ICT conglomerate Fujitsu announced the launch of an IOTA-based proof-of-concept (PoC) for audit trail processes in the manufacturing industry. The company is reportedly looking to use the IOTA protocol as an “immutable data storage medium” for audit trails across “industrial production environments and supply chains.”
In June, IOTA and Volkswagen demonstrated a PoC that uses IOTA’s Tangle system for autonomous cars, enabling Volkswagen to use Tangle to transfer software updates “over-the-air” as part of the car manufacturer’s new “Connected Car” systems.
Just last week, the IOTA foundation announced it would be integrating IOTA token MIOTA with Ledger’s hardware crypto wallets. At press time, MIOTA is trading at $0.49, down 1.25 percent over the 24-hour period.
New Linux-targeting crypto-mining malware is able to upgrade itself and hide from being detected, cybersecurity firm Trend Micro reports.
The new strain is reportedly able to hide the malicious process of unauthorized cryptocurrency-mining through users’ CPU by implementing a rootkit component. The malware itself, detected by Trend Micro as Coinminer.Linux.KORKERDS.AB, is also reportedly capable of updating itself.
According to the report, the combination of hiding and self-upgrading capabilities gives the malware a great advantage. While the rootkit fails to hide the increased CPU usage and the presence of a running crypto-mining malware, it is also improved by updates, which can completely repurpose the existing code or tools by editing a few “lines of code,” the report notes.
The new crypto-mining malware strain infects Linux PCs via third-party or compromised plugins. Once installed, the plugin reportedly gets admin rights, with malware able to be run with privileges granted to an application. In this regard, Trend Micro mentioned another case of Linux-targeting crypto malware that used the same entry point, and took place in September this year.
Based on web server statistics, the estimated market share of Linux on personal computers amounted to around 1.8 percent in 2016. The share of Microsoft Windows systems in 2016 was around 89.7, while Mac OS served around 8.5 percent of users.
Recently, Cointelegraph reported that a group of South-Korean hackers will face trial for a cryptojacking case that allegedly infected more than 6,000 computers with malicious crypto-mining malware.
In September, a report revealed that leaked code targeting Microsoft systems, which hackers allegedly stole from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), sparked a fivefold increase in cryptocurrency mining malware infections.
Unsubstantiated reports quoting a lawyer from Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain suggest co-founder Wu no longer has executive power.
Citing an unnamed “financial news” source, Sanyan quotes a lawyer for Bitmain, Tian Yangang, saying that as a result of the redistribution of positions at the company’s executive board, Wu had been demoted from being a “director” to a “supervisor.”
“After changing to a supervisor, there are no voting rights, so [Wu’s] power is smaller and [he] cannot participate in the business decision-making of the enterprise,” a rough translation of his comments reads.
Wu currently owns a 20.25 percent stake in the Bitcoin mining giant, which released its latest mining hardware, the Antminer S15 and T15, last week.
The president of the Marshall Islands, Hilda Heine, has narrowly survived a no-confidence vote. One of the principal catalysts for the challenge to Heine’s leadership has been opposition to her plan to introduce a national virtual currency.
Heine Barely Survives No-Confidence Vote
Heine, the 67-year-old president of the island nation and the sole female head of state in the Pacific region, barely survived the parliamentary no-confidence vote, which took aim at her leadership. The parliament voted 16-16, just one vote shy of the 17 votes needed to overthrow Heine.
Despite the lack of formal political parties in the Marshall Islands, Heine’s opposition appears to have been led by Casten Nemra, the country’s former president. Nemra has argued that Heine’s plans to introduce a state-backed digital currency, the Sovereign, have tarnished the government’s international reputation. Eight Marshallese senators supported this claim against Heine before the no-confidence vote was brought to parliament.
Finance Minister Brenson Wase has indicated that the government intends to proceed with its plans for the Sovereign once it has met the requirements of the U.S., Europe and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The proposed rollout of the Sovereign would see the virtual currency given the same recognition as the U.S. dollar within the Marshall Islands.
In September, the IMF issued a warning to the Marshall Islands regarding its plans to introduce the Sovereign, stating: “The potential benefits from revenue gains appear considerably smaller than the potential costs … In the absence of adequate measures to mitigate them, the authorities should seriously reconsider the issuance of the digital currency as legal tender.”
Other Challenges to the President’s Leadership
The former president also accused Heine’s government of failing to investigate the loss of $1 billion from the Marshall Islands Trust Fund. The fund was established by the United States to compensate Marshallese citizens who were affected by past nuclear tests.
Additionally, Heine has faced another political challenge. She has been accused of undermining the sovereignty of the Marshall Islands through her support for a Beijing-backed plan to turn Rongelap — an atoll inhabited by just 20 individuals that is under the administration of the Marshall Islands — into a special administrative zone that would host a tax-free port and offshore company registrations. Speaking to the parliament, Heine described the no-confidence vote as comprising a “referendum about our own politics.”
Do you think Heine’s government will be successful in its plan to introduce a national cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck has announced it has resumed NEM crypto token trading after a restructuring of its platform by external “security experts.”
Recently re-opened Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck has announced it has resumed NEM (XEM) crypto token trading after a restructuring of its platform by external “security experts,” South Korean news outlet FNNews reports Nov. 13.
This latest development from Coincheck reveals the exchange has “joined the Japan Security Association and is “ready to renovate its image.” Alongside NEM trades, the platform has also opened support for Ethereum (ETH) and Lisk (LSK).
Coincheck is quoted as saying that "technological safety has been verified through cooperation with external experts on NEM, Ethereum, and Lisk handling (on our exchange)."
As FNNews notes, Coincheck is a member of both the Japan Network Security Association (JNSA) and Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA).
The latter is a self-regulatory body that sets rules to protect customers' assets, elaborates on anti-money laundering (AML) policy, and gives working guidelines to domestic crypto exchanges. The impetus for its formation this April was in fact sparked by the industry aftershocks of the high-profile Coincheck incident.
In the wake of January’s hack, Coincheck received a business improvement order from Japan’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), Mar. 8.
The watchdog demanded “drastic” reforms to the exchange’s management system, enhanced AML and counter-terrorism financing (CFT) measures, and revised assessment criteria for the risks for each crypto offering.
In April, Coincheck was acquired by Japanese internet broker Monex Group Inc. as part of a major rehaul of its shareholder composition and management.
Monex’s fiscal results published late Oct. revealed that Coincheck had seen a 66 percent decline in revenue for Q3 2018. FNNews cites Monex as today saying that it has “made clear” its “commitment to normalization.”
On Oct. 30, Monex announced it had reopened new account signups and limited trading on Coincheck, beginning with purchases and deposits of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
In the 24 hours since Coincheck’s announcement, NEM has soared a strong 6.18 percent, and is trading at $0.11 to press time, according to CoinMarketCap.
Ripple’s legal team has filed to relocate its securities lawsuit to a national arena.
Lawyers representing payment startup Ripple in its ongoing securities lawsuit are trying to move the case to a U.S. federal court in a show of what one legal commentator described as “tactical brilliance” Nov. 9.
In the removal filing, litigation partner Peter Morrison said the case “meets each of (the) requirements” needed to allow the change to go ahead, legal industry magazine Law.com notes.
The latest development is another step in the complex road to court for Ripple investors, four of whom originally brought separate claims against the company over its alleged securities law violations.
The claimants all lost money from purchasing XRP at high prices earlier this year, but opted to sue to include all possible parties affected since 2013.
The lawsuits have now been consolidated into one process.
Commenting on the idea by Ripple’s defence team to switch venue to federal level, securities lawyer Jake Chervinsky applauded what he said was a “slick” move.
“I can't speak to their odds of winning since the case is still so young & I don't know all the facts, but it's fair to say Ripple's lawyers think they have better odds of winning in federal court than in state court (or else they wouldn't be trying so hard to remove the case),” he wrote on Twitter Nov. 9.
A platform which hopes to speed up the closure of house purchases through blockchain technology has been legalized by Japanese authorities.
A blockchain-based startup which bills itself as “the future of real estate” has announced that its project has been legalized by Japanese regulatory bodies, including the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission.
Ruden Holdings says inaccurate information, poor record management and inefficient processes are currently blighting the property sector – costing businesses time, money and even credibility. Data cannot be shared easily between organizations – and some cases have seen property owners struggle to prove their ownership of a building.
The company has a goal of creating digital identities for real estate properties, helping to enhance the quality and consistency of information given to buyers and sellers. It also plans to reduce the costs associated with completing transactions through smart contracts and cryptocurrency payments – and believes this could offer big advantages to overseas investors who are making a purchase on the other side of the world.
According to Ruden’s white paper, one of the main advantages to digitizing certificates for properties – offering a thorough history of every building – is that it helps stop fraud. Blockchain’s encrypted and tamperproof nature lends itself to transparency, thwarting those who want to hide illicit funds through properties. Illustrating its potential, its team wrote: “Governments are now trying to use blockchain technology to register real estates and improve the transparency of lands and real estate ownership.”
In time, the company also hopes its technology could speed up the time it takes to get a mortgage – a prospect that would be welcome news for buyers. Research on the US market by Fannie Mae suggests that the closing time for a new purchase is 46 days – with the process creating endless amounts of stress and anxiety for parties involved.
Fresh from being recognized by Japanese regulators, Ruden Holdings has raised $10 million from private equity firms across Asia.
The startup is now planning to strike new relationships in jurisdictions beyond Japan and Singapore. Executives from Ruden recently attended the controversial Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where their project attracted the attention of the Lebanese ambassador. The company is also gearing up for “high-level” talks with the finance minister of Lithuania in the not-too-distant future.
In addition, Ruden believes that there are some exciting prospects for growth to be found in the United Arab Emirates, which plans to ramp up its adoption of blockchain. As reported by Cointelegraph, the state wants to become a world leader in using the technology by 2021 – and one of its objectives involves a commitment to making 50 percent of transactions via blockchain over the next three years.
Jacky Hai, the company’s chief technology officer, told Cointelegraph: “Blockchain is a powerful tool for us which will enable us to define the future of real estate.
“It will speed up the process of buying property and open up the Japanese real estate market to foreign investment. The Ruden token allows us to incentivise the uploading of current real estate data which will unlock the value of large-scale data analysis.”
Building a home for real estate documents
In the fourth quarter of 2018, the startup has been embarking on fundraising with the goal of driving interest in its native Ruden coin. From here, it is expected to be listed on overseas cryptocurrency exchanges by Dec 1 2018.
Next year, the emphasis will shift onto building a platform where real estate can be securely purchased using cryptocurrency – and designing an “information registration and query system” to benefit its user base.
The CEO of Ruden Holdings is Susumu Nishioka, who has been in position since 2009. He worked at a law firm before starting his own business – and according to the company, he is now known as a “pioneer of one-room condominiums for investment purposes.”
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, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.
Zachary Coburn, the founder of EtherDelta, has just been charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with operating an unregistered securities exchange. The SEC released the news via a press release yesterday.EtherDelta Charged
According to the report by the SEC, over the course of 18 months, EtherDelta users placed over 3.6 million orders for digital currencies. Among those ordered were coins considered securities by US federal laws.
Under the current law, EtherDelta was supposed to register in the US or apply for an exemption. However, the cryptocurrency exchange failed to do ...
Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Teachers Mine for Ethereum: Mining for cryptocurrency comes with its controversy. Energy consumption is already the most eyebrow-raising aspect. So what about using the local school’s computers to mine for Ethereum… during school time? Oh, and you’re the principal of the school.
This is exactly what happened in Hunan Province, China.Teachers Mine for Ethereum: What Happened?
According to Hong Kong news outlet HK01, two Puman Middle School principals were caught using the school’s power to mine Ethereum.
The school’s general manager noticed the computers’ fans were louder than normal and this ...
US financial service company Square (NYSE:SQ) just announced that its Q3 Bitcoin (BTC) revenue jumped up from its previous earnings in Q2. Square detailed its full company earnings in a shareholder letter released yesterday.
In the third quarter of 2018, we continued to drive strong growth at scale. $SQ https://t.co/HPhSMfVgac
— Square IR (@SquareIR) November 7, 2018Bitcoin (BTC) Revenue Q3 2018
Square released a full digest of its total earning and financial activities. The release was far more colorful and interactive than most public companies’ earnings reports. It included ...
New blockchain to be launched in a few weeks
[MALTA, November 7, 2018] Bitdepositary Ltd, the world’s first investment community for safe and secure returns on investments, is pleased to announce that its very own Bitdepositary Blockchain, BitdepositaryChain is just a few weeks away from launch. The new blockchain will move away from Ethereum in an effort to accelerate the introduction of its solutions.
Bitdepositary will officially launch the Bitdepositary Blockchain Solution in a few weeks. With fast and consistent work, Bitdepositary has built its own hybrid blockchain to serve its customers’ needs: some ...
Anyone looking to invest in bitcoin or any other form of cryptocurrency has surely spent some time researching and reading about it. Entering the crypto world without any knowledge would be a crazy and reckless thing to do, especially if you are planning to invest money into it. While blogs, forums, and the many available cryptocurrency websites put no limit to the amount of information available for anyone looking for help, there is no denying that the best way to understand a cryptocurrency would be to read its white paper. A white paper is like a blueprint to ...
On October 30th, Ernst & Young (EY) announced a world-first for distributed ledgers. Called the Ernst & Young Ops Chain Public Edition, the company created a new blockchain prototype that combines the security of the public ledger model with the privacy of the private ledger model—thus a private blockchain.
It does this by using zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology on the public Ethereum blockchain. The result, it claims, is a network that will suit the needs of institutions, especially in the financial sector.
But why the need to combine the pro’s of both networks, what’s ...
Earlier this month, the NY Times reported that the crypto-famous Winklevoss twins have accused Bitcoin Foundation founder Charlie Shrem of Bitcoin fraud. The Winklevoss lawsuit has now turned into a heated battle between both parties.Winklevoss Lawsuit
According to the report by the NT Times, Shrem made several lavish purchases in 2018, that caught the attention of the Olympian twins. The pair filed a civil lawsuit against Shrem accusing him of stealing thousands of Bitcoin from them in 2012.
“Either Shrem has been incredibly lucky and successful since leaving prison, or—more likely—he ‘acquired’ his ...
As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies gain more popularity and usage across the world, the new Exchange.Blue online platform is now making it possible to exchange and trade Bitcoin for Perfect Money in a fast, secure, and easy process.
[New York], [New York], November 6, 2018 – Exchange.Blue, an online exchange platform run by a team of young successful entrepreneurs, is proud to announce the unique service that now makes it possible to sell Bitcoin for Perfect Money and exchange Perfect Money for Bitcoin in an easy instantaneous process. This is an innovative P2P exchange platform that ...
With a bear market and a change in sentiment around ICOs, the risk of using such a fundraising mechanism now constitutes a cheaper, more reliable way of hosting a crowdsale. A staggering collapse this year in ICO funding – from $2.5 billion in February to $181 million by September – means that it has become vital for startups to actively reduce their risk and costs.
This means trimming the fat where possible. An equitable way of achieving this is through one of the emerging ICO platforms wherein a token sale can be launched inexpensively in a ...
Bitcoin (BTC) futures hit record low volatility in October on the US Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), MarketWatch reported yesterday.CBOE Bitcoin (BTC) Futures
Kevin Davitt, a Senior instructor at CBOE Options Institute, published a video on November 1st outlining the volatility decline.
In the video above, Davitt outlines that the average weekly volatility for XBT-CBOE Bitcoin (BTC) futures on the week ending October 26th was just three percent. This is the lowest level of volatility since the futures contracts launched on December 10th, 2017.
As of the first of November, the ...
The Blockchain Wallet is designed so users can control their crypto with ease and truly use it. But we’d be nowhere without the tens of millions of people that have used the Blockchain Wallet and allowed us to pioneer user-controlled finance at scale.
There are so many ways we could say thank you to our 30M (and counting!) Wallet users - but we narrowed it down to 125 million.
Starting today, in celebration of adding full support for XLM in the Blockchain Wallet, we’ll begin giving away $125,000,000 of Stellar (XLM) to YOU, our users. With nearly 30M Blockchain Wallets to date, we’re excited to add an entirely new way for users to get their first crypto.
And just as Blockchain never charges listing fees to join our platform, we aren’t keeping a single XLM for ourselves. We’re giving them all away. That’s a lot of 0s to distribute. In fact, this is the largest airdrop in the history of crypto and likely the largest consumer giveaway ever.
Why are we doing this? We’ve already shared our thoughts on how Blockchain Airdrops are a great way for crypto creators to drive decentralization and adoption for new networks. We think they’re great for crypto users too. They let you test, trade, and transact with the next generation of crypto assets without having to buy them or mine them. Your Blockchain Wallet has always been the safest and easiest way to use crypto. Now, with the launch of the Blockchain Airdrops program, you can count on your Blockchain Wallet as a place to learn and discover new assets, too - all for free.
We’re starting with Stellar because its network is built for scalability. Its token, XLM, enables quick, low cost, worldwide transactions, even when millions of people are using it at once. Stellar can even create custom tokens representing real-world or virtual goods and services. Lastly, Stellar has a world class development community and a vibrant, functioning ecosystem.
We’re also partnering with a number of organizations on this airdrop, including the Stanford d.school's emerging tech initiative, Code.org, and Network for Good, who share our vision for using this transformational technology to build a better future. And we'll be partnering with charity: water to make donations in support of their mission. More details on those partnerships will be revealed in the coming weeks!
By growing the Blockchain community, we can help more people own and control their financial future. Our first Blockchain Airdrop, Stellar XLM, is another step in driving this mission forward. Visit blockchain.com/getcrypto to be among the first to claim yours.
China does not like cryptocurrency. The country has repeatedly imposed strict sanctions against its use and relative businesses. Now the central bank of China is adding to its list by banning crypto airdrops.China Bans Crypto Airdrops After ICO Abhorrence
The People’s Bank of China, or PBoC, has classed token airdrops as “disguised” Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). It detailed its new scrutiny in a financial stability report, published on Friday, November 2nd.
The bank’s regard for crypto airdrops echoes its abhorrence of ICOs, describing them as “illegal” fundraisers that lead to financial fraud, pyramid ...
Bancor, a decentralized liquidity network, has just announced it has completed its partnership with Block.one to provide cross-blockchain token swaps with EOS and Ethereum (ETH).
We are thrilled to announce that our Cross-Blockchain Decentralized Liquidity Network, #BancorX, has officially been pushed live — enabling automated token conversions between 110+ ERC20 and EOS-based tokens. https://t.co/E54nlUElmG pic.twitter.com/NSocQZr11A
— Bancor (@Bancor) November 5, 2018EOS and Ethereum (ETH) Automated Token Conversion
The company originally announced its partnership and venture in September. The announcement just published a few hours ago reads:
The Winklevoss twins have filed a lawsuit against infamous BitInstant founder Charlie Shrem. They claim the Bitcoin investor stole 5,000 Bitcoins from them in 2012.Winklevoss Twins Lawsuit
According to the New York Times, Shrem made several lavish purchases in 2018 that caught the attention of the Winklevoss twins. They filed a civil suit against him, convinced that Shrem made these purchases—which include a $2 million house and luxury cars—using the Bitcoins he had stolen from them in 2012.Shrem Worked for the Winklevoss Twins Before Lawsuit
The twins hired Shrem in 2012. Tasked ...
A new Hong Kong-based blockchain trade finance platform has just launched this week that was developed by twelve major global banks, Reuters reported this Wednesday. The platform was developed by Canadian-based HSBC, France-based BNP Paribas, Great Britain-based Standard Chartered, and nine other major banks.Blockchain Trade Finance Platform
The new platform is called eTrade Connect, and on Wednesday, HSBC said it reduced the time it takes to approve trade loan applications. Usually, these loans would take a day and a half to process, but thanks to eTrade, it has been reduced to four hours.
Blockchain acquires London-based team as company continues hyper growth
We’ve been busy executing on our mission to deliver more products and services that enable you to store, trade, transact and most importantly maintain complete control of your crypto. At the core of investing in the future is investing in scaling our world class team. Today, we’re excited to announce an important step forward with the acquisition of Stratagem.
Stratagem has brought together some of the brightest minds in Europe across data science, quantitative research, and machine learning. Since their founding, they have developed cutting edge machine learning software to understand the highly volatile nascent market of sports betting. We were instantly impressed with the braintrust they had created and found immediate synergies between our two companies.
"We are thrilled to join Blockchain and strongly believe this is the right platform to leverage the expertise built up at Stratagem since its founding. We're delighted to join the team and look forward to the journey ahead!" - Charlie McGarraugh, CEO of Stratagem
At Blockchain, we will apply their talent and machine learning technology inside our execution services platform, smart order router, machine trading platform and more to further ensure we’re offering best execution to both our retail and institutional customers.
The Stratagem team hails from top institutions including Cambridge, Oxford and the financial sector with careers at Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and UBS. We’re thrilled to have the Stratagem team work alongside us to develop machine learning and AI for crypto as we work to build an entirely new financial system.
Blockchain has doubled since the start of the year and we’re not stopping! If you’re interested in joining us, visit blockchain.com/careers to see our open roles and apply.
Global investment bank Morgan Stanley has given Bitcoin bulls something to cheers about. The institution has stated that it classes Bitcoin as an institutional investment class. (And the day after Bitcoin’s birthday… how thoughtful)
What this means is that it recognizes Bitcoin as a type of asset similar to shares, property, bonds, cash, or commodities. It also means good news for those hoping for a Bitcoin ETF.Research Concludes Bitcoin an Asset
The bank’s research division reviewed the last six months of Bitcoin usage.
What the researchers discovered was that permanent ledger ...
JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has always been tough when it comes to his stance on Bitcoin (BTC). Back in September of 2017, Dimon even went as far as calling it a “fraud.” He later retracted his statement and said that he was wrong for calling it a fraud but was still wary of the digital currency.
Well, it seems Dimon has something different to say about Bitcoin now. Again.Jamie Dimon vs. Bitcoin (BTC): October 2018
Two days ago at an AXIOS conference, the CEO was asked about changing his ...
Welcome to the World Crypto Con Spotlight series. Today’s guest: Jordan French.World Crypto Con
World Crypto Con (WCC) is a platform for industry leaders to share their knowledge of the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, as well as introduce their projects to the world. WCC welcomes both experts and novices to attend; there’s something for everyone.
Our World Crypto Con Spotlight series will be focusing on moments from the conference, speaking to headliners about their experience with WCC.
Thanks to World Crypto Con, we at CryptoCurrencyNews.com had the pleasure of interviewing Jordan ...
The major US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has just announced that it won’t IPO any time soon but will be adding hundreds of more coins in the next year. Coinbase’s President and COO Asiff Hiriji told Bloomberg his company’s plans this morning via Bloomberg TV.Coinbase Denies IPO
Yesterday, it was announced that Coinbase is now valued at over $8 billion USD after it closed its series E investment last week. This funding round was worth $300 million USD. With its value rising, some began to speculate whether the major cryptocurrency company was eyeing an Initial Public ...
Welcoming ETH to the most popular and trusted block explorer
The tenth anniversary of the bitcoin whitepaper is coming up and we're a bit nostalgic. When we first started out in crypto, we wanted to solve a critical issue - creating a simple way to see what was happening in the bitcoin ecosystem. Our first product was a bitcoin explorer that allowed everyone the ability to find detailed information on transactions, mined blocks, and statistics across the entire network. Since then, the explorer has provided users around the world direct access to the block chain and has become the most trusted source for bitcoin data.
Today, almost 7 years to the date, we’re excited to continue to give users more control with the addition of Ethereum which puts ETH data right at your fingertips. We’re also giving the explorer a fresh new look and streamlining the way users interact with the data. Now you can view top network statistics, watch real-time incoming transactions, search for blocks, addresses, or transactions, and more all from one place.
Whether you’re a wallet user who wants to find more information about your addresses and transactions, a researcher looking for data on the health of the networks, or a crypto enthusiast who wants to make informed trading and transaction decisions - the explorer has all your data needs covered. So go ahead and dive deep into the new Ethereum explorer or check out your bitcoin favorites from the same place you always have.
Keep an eye out for future updates! As more protocols and assets emerge, we’ll be expanding the explorer functionality to support the growing ecosystem.
The Explorer through the years:
The Original Bitcoin Explorer circa October 2011
Who remembers our old logo?
We continued to evolve...
Now our new look
We built the Blockchain Wallet because we’re driven by a relentless passion for making crypto easy to use. We want everyone to be able to use it, not just invest in it.
We believe that owning and controlling your own private key is the single most important aspect of using crypto. Without a private key, you aren’t using crypto - you’re just speculating and you’re missing the defining part of crypto: user controlled, sovereign money.
It was enabling that exact need that underpinned the development of the Blockchain Wallet six years ago. The mission? Make it easy for every user to have their own private key, to get users away from storing funds at exchanges and “bitcoin banks”, and to enable everyone to be their own bank.
Fast forward six years and we’ve achieved a few things that we’re proud of:
- Building the first cross-platform, non-custodial, and cross-chain wallet
- Signing up 30 million wallets in 140 countries globally
- Powering over $200 billion in consumer transaction volume and over 80 million consumer crypto transactions in the last two years alone
- Championing the cause of financial sovereignty and user-control with regulators around the world. (We’ve spent thousands of hours and millions on education and outreach.)
- Helping our users store millions of BTC, BCH & ETH coins and generate over a quarter of bitcoin network traffic alone
Most importantly, it’s been a honor and privilege to be the first place tens of millions of people turn in order to actually use crypto and hold their own keys.
But there’s a lot still to do.
At the end of the last bull run, we did a serious self-assessment and asked ourselves, what do users need that we aren’t delivering today? We identified four common requests and frustrations:
- Better, faster ways for new users to get their first crypto and make their first transaction
- More storage types, like hardware, as users’ balances increased
- More assets as users want to store and use an increasingly diverse asset set
- Better, more reliable sources of liquidity as trading and investing across assets continues to increase
Satisfying these demands meant building a huge extension of our platform, at scale. We’ve had our heads down much of this year doing exactly that and starting today we’re excited to begin delivering new solutions to you, beginning with two new capabilities.
First, we’re launching Swap by Blockchain: a next generation trading product with best-in-class liquidity and execution, powered by our new machine trading software platform that ensures best execution across assets. Blockchain Wallet users will now have access to exchange-like prices without giving up control of their keys or their crypto. And trade limits will increase from hundreds to thousands of dollars of crypto per trade.
While the system currently has deep liquidity drawn from a variety of sources, we plan to add more liquidity sources over time, including decentralized exchange protocols. We’ve rebuilt our risk and KYC systems, so that you can onboard with ease, in minutes. Swap ensures our users stay liquid and can trade at the best prices in the market, regardless of overall market volatility and challenges. We’ve started rolling Swap out today and everyone will have access over the next two weeks.
Secondly, we’re launching Lockbox: a hardware vault in your pocket, built in partnership with hardware leader Ledger. Lockbox is simple to use and is even more secure thanks to a locked endpoint that prevents phishing and spoofing attacks. It’s hardware made easy, with a setup that takes just a few moments thanks to our custom hardware-software integration.
With Lockbox you’re able to check your balance and receive transactions, on mobile and web, without the inconvenience of having to plug your device in every time. In an industry first, you’ll also be able to trade directly from your Lockbox while still maintaining your keys. In conjunction with Lockbox, we’re also excited to let current Ledger device owners seamlessly pair with the Blockchain Wallet and trade directly from the Ledger device they already own.
And we have more coming this year, including additional assets and new products within the Blockchain Wallet that will bring you new, faster, and better ways to get started in crypto.
We’re here to build a new financial system and the Blockchain Wallet is your passport to that new world. Store crypto, trade crypto, transact with crypto and most importantly truly own and control your crypto.
We’re dedicated to building the functionality you want, without compromising your control of your key. Your crypto is yours, and it should stay that way.
At Blockchain, we know that crypto tokens thrive on decentralization and network effects: the more individual users of a network, the more useful and valuable the network’s token becomes. To bootstrap these networks, creators have increasingly turned to airdrops as a simple, transparent method of distributing free cryptoassets to a wide audience. We think that airdrops, when executed properly, have the potential to meaningfully drive decentralization and supercharge network effects.
That’s why we’re thrilled to share a set of guiding principles that will inform Blockchain Airdrops. In a Blockchain Airdrop, token-based network creators distribute tokens directly to our users via our (almost 30 million!) wallets.
Blockchain Airdrops are great for network creators whether they’re looking to drive decentralization for new networks or amplify the reach of existing networks. More importantly an airdrop directly to addresses controlled by users can ensure the power of a network rests in the hands of many, rather than just a few. This is particularly important as protocols increasingly shift to proof-of-stake security models. A properly targeted airdrop can even achieve regulatory goals: a decentralized network is less likely to make its issuer a money transmitter, and less likely to create risks under the securities laws.
Airdrops are good for the crypto ecosystem, too. They serve a discovery function, driving exposure for new assets and creating a testing ground for network participants. They also encourage new and existing users to experiment with new cryptoassets and build awareness of the power of decentralized networks.
Finally, airdrops are great for users, who get crypto without having to buy it, mine it, or work for it. Buying crypto on an exchange can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Mining, even more so. In a Blockchain Airdrop, getting crypto is free and easy for everyone. Even better, since Blockchain users self-custody, they have immediate control, ownership and use of their newly-airdropped crypto. They can participate directly in the network without going through a cumbersome intermediary.
Our Guiding Principles articulate our thinking around asset selection, distribution methodology, economic rationale, and legal considerations. You can read more here or watch this short explainer video:
Developer? Network Creator? Want to learn more? Email us at email@example.com.
We’re delighted to announce the publication of The State of Stablecoins, a major research report focused on the rapidly growing world of stablecoins.
The report is the first of its kind to take a full look at the current state of the stablecoin market - an under-discussed but increasingly important part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. And a space where we expect to see significant innovation in the coming years.
As stablecoins are tied either to the price of a commodity or to the operation of an algorithm, their prices are much less volatile than other cryptoassets. This means they’re appropriate for a whole host of use cases in the longer-term, ranging from store of value and derivatives, to smart contracts and remittances. Collectively, these are potentially worth tens of trillions of dollars. This means that stablecoins could act as a tipping point into wider crypto-asset adoption.
It’s an area that is also gaining increasing attention from investors, with over $350m committed to date from established funds such as Bain Capital Ventures, Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, among others.
The State of Stablecoins report takes a detailed look for the first time at the strengths, trade-offs and concerns associated with all 57 active stablecoins, including both live and pre-launch projects, using a new data set that includes previously non-public information.
The report gives an overview of the different stablecoin formats currently in use, their relative performance and provides insights into the regulatory landscape. It also gives projections for how the market will develop over the next few years.
This report is also the first publication from our new research team, led by Dr. Garrick Hileman, Head of Research at Blockchain, who was recently named one of the 100 most influential economists in the U.K. and Ireland by City A.M.
As well as providing great products to our users, Blockchain has been committed to shining a light on the state of the markets, ever since the early days of Blockchain.info, when we first launched our block explorer service.
We hope you find this report interesting and informative. We look forward to sharing more of our team’s research in the future.
You can read the full report or take a look at the summary slides at blockchain.com/research.
We’re excited to welcome Katie Wells to the Blockchain team as our General Manager for the Blockchain Wallet. Katie joins us from Twitter, where she spent the past two years as a General Manager of Twitter’s Live Video business, a business she helped grow from before its launch. Prior to that, she was Twitter’s Head of Consumer Product and Strategic partnerships.
When we launched the Blockchain Wallet, we had a simple goal - give individuals the ability to manage their crypto via their own private keys through an easy-to-use digital wallet. This was a radical approach, but as the digital asset ecosystem has evolved the Blockchain Wallet has been the leading way to store, transact, and invest in crypto around the world. More than ever, people want autonomy and control over their financial futures. Katie’s experience will be key as we realize our vision building the next generation of finance.
Katie has spent most of her career in consumer technology and financial services. Before Twitter, Katie was Head of Mobile Product Strategy and Partnerships at American Express, helping build mobile experiences for cardholders. She also worked on Amex’s Strategic Planning Group, an internal strategy consulting team reporting directly to the CEO, primarily focusing on expanding international acceptance. Katie was previously a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and a sales and trading associate at Lehman Brothers specializing in interest rate derivative products.
"The Blockchain Wallet was designed to be the single easiest way to get started in crypto and we’re proud to serve such a diverse user base,” said Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder at Blockchain. “Katie’s expertise will be integral as the ecosystem evolves and we’re thrilled to welcome her to Blockchain.”
“I’m thrilled to join Blockchain to continue supporting the needs of our existing 28 million users, and to open up the crypto world to new users, regardless of their level of experience or knowledge about the space,” said Katie Wells. “I believe that innovation in this space is offering people more financial empowerment, and I look forward to building on Blockchain’s mission of connecting the world to crypto.”
Blockchain works hard behind the scenes to protect crypto users from scams, frauds and false advertising. Indeed, every year there are hundreds that target just our users alone. Our teams work closely with search engines, social media platforms, and law enforcement to call them out and shut them down.
Today we filed a complaint in U.S. federal court against a company calling themselves blockchain.io. As we allege in that complaint, blockchain.io is run by a defunct Bitcoin company called “Paymium”.
The old guard of crypto will remember Paymium best as “Instawallet”, which in 2013 lost its users’ funds in a widely-publicized hack. Soon after the hack, the company officially closed its claims process, leaving many of its users with substantial financial losses. Their behavior also fueled concerns that the company had run away with people's money. In an attempt to hide this from its users, Paymium just rebranded to “blockchain.io.” with Pierre Noizat, the Founder & CEO of Paymium, back in charge.
Paymium is about to launch an ICO using the Blockchain.io name and we have strong concerns about how they are representing their offer.
They claim to raise money to offer some technologies that don’t actually exist. They also claim the ICO is registered with the SEC but there’s no registration statement in place for the offering. This means users won’t be able to trade the token publicly as Paymium led them to believe. The SEC just announced last week an enforcement action against an ICO project that made this same misrepresentation. Similarly, blockchain.io claim that their ICO is registered with the French regulator the ACPR, but we can find no evidence of this.
What’s more, we are particularly concerned that they are confusing consumers into thinking they are Blockchain. Their name and branding reflect a worrying number of similarities including:
- similar domain name to our website (blockchain.io)
- similar colors to our website (shades of dark blue)
- similar logo (a cube instead of a square) made up of similar geometric shapes (circles instead of rounded boxes).
- Repurposed our tagline “connecting the world to crypto” through a thesaurus to come up with “your gateway to the internet of value.”
We’ve received questions from people who have come across blockchain.io and asked whether we were doing an ICO. Blockchain is not doing an ICO. When we inspected blockchain.io’s social media and Telegram channels, we discovered that many more people had assumed that blockchain.io was Blockchain.
To protect our users and maintain the trust we’ve worked so hard to build, we’ve had to take action. Today we filed a complaint in US federal court. We’ll file more complaints in other courts if we need to and we will continue to fight false and misleading statements that endanger the crypto community.
We’re excited to welcome the latest addition to our institutional team, Jamie Selway as our Global Head of Institutional Markets. Jamie is a widely respected expert on electronic trading and market structure and the former Head of Electronic Brokerage and Head of Execution Services at the global agency broker-dealer and trading technology firm Investment Technology Group (ITG).
Over the course of his 20 year career, Jamie has held a series of leadership roles at top financial institutions. For the past seven years he has been with Investment Technology Group, the multinational agency brokerage and financial markets technology firm that works with 75% of the worlds largest asset managers. During his tenure at ITG, he was responsible for global electronic products, the US electronic, single-stock, and portfolio execution businesses and managed hundreds of million in revenue for the firm. Prior to joining ITG, Jamie was Managing Director of White Cap Trading, an institutional agency brokerage that he co-founded in 2003. Also, he previously served as Chief Economist at Archipelago, which was later acquired by the NYSE.
As regulators continue to develop frameworks and guidance on the securitization of digital assets, actively engaging with policymakers will be crucial. Jamie has significant experience engaging globally policymakers including the US Security and Exchange Commission. He also served as a Director of the BATS Exchange and as a member of SIFMA’s Equity Markets and Trading Committee, the Nasdaq Quality of Markets Committee, and the NYSE Euronext Market Structure Advisory Committee.
“Many institutional investors are still waiting for the mature critical infrastructure they need to trade, secure, and analyse digital assets,” said Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder at Blockchain. “Jamie has spent decades building world leading market infrastructure, and I’m proud to welcome him to Blockchain where he will drive the development of products to serve our institutional customers."
The crypto market has traditionally been driven by retail investors, with many institutional investors choosing to wait until trading, security and custody systems mature before engaging substantially in the sector. Jamie will bring his extensive expertise in trading solutions and financial infrastructure to build out Blockchain’s product suite for institutional clients. This will involve continuing to develop the foundational infrastructure for institutional digital asset markets, including critical tools to support trading execution, asset custody, and regulatory compliance.
“My entire career I’ve focused on improving markets and I’m thrilled to join Blockchain, which is one of the most established companies in the crypto industry, to do just that for digital assets,” said Jamie Selway, Global Head of Institutional Markets. “I look forward to building new products and services for institutional clients that offer lower costs, greater transparency, and increased efficiency.”
We’re thrilled to announce that George Sax, a former Deputy Assistant Director of the United States Secret Service within the Department of Homeland Security, has joined Blockchain as our Global Head of Security. George has decades of experience managing complex security operations across the nation and around the world.
Over the course of his 25-year career in security, George has held a variety of leadership roles and has dedicated himself to keeping the nation’s most precious infrastructure and individuals safe. Most recently, he oversaw investigations where he led a global team of over 2,000 people across 161 offices. George was responsible for combating cyber-related financial crimes and developing comprehensive programs to protect the United States’ financial infrastructure. In his new role, George will draw on his experience to further develop our security philosophy, focusing on operations, infrastructure, and product security.
Also, George will be applying decades of physical and personal security insights to Blockchain. For years, he was responsible for the executive protection of multiple U.S. Presidents and their families as well visiting foreign heads of state. This included managing security at a number of high-risk events, including the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign and the 2017 U.S. Presidential Inauguration.
“George is a recognized security leader with decades of valuable experience protecting the most important people, infrastructure and systems in the United States,” said Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Blockchain. “We are proud to welcome him to Blockchain and for him to lead our security efforts as we continue to make crypto safe and easy to use for everyone.”
As the oldest and most trusted software provider for digital assets, our innovative non-custodial Blockchain Wallet gives users complete autonomy and control over their crypto. We recently surpassed 26 million wallets and have more customers than Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade combined. We also introduced a comprehensive institutional grade platform, Blockchain Principal Strategies, to enable institutional customers the ability to secure, manage and evaluate their digital assets with the same peace of mind and security that has become synonymous with the Blockchain name. As we continue to rapidly grow and launch new products and services, George will be key in developing security programs that enhance our unmatched track record.
“Blockchain is helping to build a fairer financial future by democratizing access to digital assets,” said George Sax, Global Head of Security at Blockchain. “I look forward to applying my experience at the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Department Treasury, and the US Department of Homeland Security to the company’s already robust security program and enable millions across the globe access to this new financial system with confidence.”
With summer’s arrival, banks now have their fair share of holidays, but (lucky for us) the crypto space is open and active 365 days a year. Before heading off on your summer vacation, catch up on this short-but-sweet collection of product updates from the last quarter, plus we revisit milestones and exciting steps forward.
What’s new in Q2 2018?
- Bitcoin cash joins bitcoin and ether on iOS
- On web, total spendable balance no longer includes watch-only balances
- European users can once again set up recurring bitcoin orders
- Our 25 million wallet milestone
- Announcing blockchain.info migration to blockchain.com
Bitcoin Cash Comes to iOS
As part of our mission to make digital currency more easily accessible, the same bitcoin cash functionality released to web and Android users is now also available on iOS. iOS users can now send, request, and exchange bitcoin cash, safely manage their balance, and monitor the bitcoin cash market price from one central place.
Watch-Only Balances vs Your Total Spendable Balance
As a way to more easily differentiate between your wallet’s spendable and non-spendable balance, we released an update for our web users so watch-only balances will no longer show in your total balance. To view them you can go to Settings -> Addresses. Mobile users should see this feature rolled out in the near future.
In case you’re unfamiliar with what “watch-only” means, it refers to the bitcoin or bitcoin cash address import feature in our wallet designed for monitoring purposes only. Conveniently, users are able to keep an eye on the balance and activity of virtually any bitcoin or bitcoin cash address from within their wallet. It’s important to remember, however, that watch-only balances are not imported with their corresponding private key and therefore aren’t spendable on their own.
Recurring Buy Returns
Mentioned in our Support Team’s latest monthly update, our recurring buy feature made its anticipated return this quarter. The re-launch incorporated user feedback to help make it easier to avoid unknowingly setting up a recurring order when intending to place a one-time order. Available to our European users, the feature makes it easier to acquire bitcoin little-by-little with automatic regularly occurring orders.
Reaching 25 Million Wallets and Beyond
It wouldn’t be a proper product update if we didn’t recap our 25 million wallet milestone, which we celebrated this quarter. When Blockchain initially launched, our vision was to make it easier for anyone to learn about and study the Bitcoin ecosystem. Since then we’re proud to have built a strong and safe growing community of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Thanks to your trust and support, we get to continue driving innovation forward.
Blockchain.info’s Moving Domains
As you may have heard, we recently announced our decision to consolidate blockchain.info into blockchain.com. The site migration took place late last week, and our support team @AskBlockchain kept users in the loop throughout the process. Going forward, users will only need to visit one destination, instead of two, for all their crypto needs. Have questions about the move? Here’s what you need to know.
If you’d like to help us build the future of finance, check out our open positions here. For our earlier product updates, click here.
Today, we’re excited to announce the debut of our comprehensive institutional platform known as Blockchain Principal Strategies (BPS). BPS provides institutions, family offices, and individual investors unparalleled and tailored access to markets, research, and services on the most trusted digital asset platform worldwide.
With the launch of BPS, we’ll harness our unmatched track record in securing, managing, and evaluating digital assets to offer investors an opportunity to gain exposure to the growing digital asset ecosystem.
“We are thrilled to debut Blockchain Principal Strategies, an institutional grade platform customized for institutions, family offices, and individual investors,” said Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Blockchain. “BPS provides clients the opportunity to invest in digital assets with the same peace of mind and security that has become synonymous with the Blockchain name.”
Through BPS, investors have access to an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk which offers a white-glove trading service led by a world-class team hailing from Cooley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and UBS. The OTC desk also operates as a best-in-class matchmaker and direct counterparty to clients, executing trades and managing associated risk. Our long standing position in the market and technical expertise allows for trading across major currencies and digital asset pairs, powered by a sophisticated smart Order Management System (OMS) that combines liquidity from across the market to ensure best execution.
In addition to trading, BPS provides clients a customized portfolio view, as well as exclusive insights into market fundamentals, risk metrics, and access to a research team that includes the leading cryptocurrency economist, Garrick Hileman. Clients will be able to explore a variety of managed investment offerings including the opportunity to make direct equity investments into promising companies in the larger digital asset ecosystem, as well as gain access to early stage token offerings - all sourced and vetted through Blockchain’s global network.
“I joined Blockchain to help modernize the financial system, and launching BPS is the first step in our longer term strategy to execute on that vision,” said Breanne Madigan, Head of Institutional Sales and Strategy. “In addition to the BPS platform itself, we will also offer educational and networking opportunities with hopes of creating a broader, well-informed community around digital currencies moving forward.”
Blockchain Principal Strategies can now be accessed at bps.blockchain.com and we’ll be rolling out additional institutional products throughout the summer.
Earlier this week we announced that we’ll be consolidating blockchain.info into blockchain.com to create a unified experience for our users. As a reminder, this means you’ll soon be accessing all of your .info favorites from blockchain.com. Before anything changes for you, we want to make sure to address any questions or concerns you may have.
Why are you consolidating blockchain.info into blockchain.com?
For you! We know that your needs as users are ever-changing and we want to be prepared to offer you the end-to-end experience you’ve been waiting for. Before we can get to releasing the new and improved products we’re working on, we want to simplify how you interact with us so you only have one place to look for all of your crypto needs.
When will this domain move happen?
We want to make sure everything works perfectly when we release this update so we’re tying up any loose ends as we speak. We don’t have an exact date for you yet, but you can expect to see the move over to blockchain.com later this month.
Where will I log in to my wallet and how do I know I’m not on a phishing site?
You’ll soon be logging into your wallet at login.blockchain.com. You can bookmark this new URL to make sure you’re always logging in at the right place.
You may be used to seeing our SSL certificate on blockchain.info as a way to make sure you’re not on a phishing site.
This will now be shown across all of our sites and products, so you can rest assured that you’re always in the right place.
How will this affect my wallet and transactions?
The only thing that will change for your wallet is where you log in, which will soon be at login.blockchain.com. You’ll continue using the same wallet ID and password that you’ve always used. Once you’re logged in, your balances, transaction history, and imported addresses will all be ready and waiting for you.
Will this change how I use your block explorer?
Our block explorer will be getting a new look and feel in the coming months as we prepare to expand on the currencies we support. Until then, the only change you should expect is how you access the explorer. Once we consolidate domains, blockchain.info will be found at blockchain.com/explorer.
What if I have a problem once the domains move?
We’re hoping you won’t run into any issues, but we know things happen. If anything comes up, please reach out to our support team and we’ll help to figure out a solution as quickly as possible.
How will this impact the use of Blockchain’s APIs?
Our APIs will continue to work as normal following this migration.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be consolidating blockchain.info into blockchain.com, making it seamless for our users to access all of our products through a single web experience.
Like with all big moves, we’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic. Way back in August 2011, blockchain.info was created with the simple idea to make bitcoin transactions and its ecosystem more accessible. It was one of the first platforms of its kind and quickly became the most popular and trusted resource for diving into the Bitcoin block chain in real time.
Seven years later, we’re now one of the oldest, most established company in the industry and so much more than a bitcoin explorer. We’re the world’s leading crypto wallet where 25 million users invest in and store Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). We also allow users to analyze the top cryptocurrencies via our markets page and are continually expanding our widely used API services to make it even easier for developers to build on top of the block chain.
We’ve done a lot over the years, but have a lot more to do in building the future of finance. As we move forward through 2018, we know that your needs are ever-changing, and we need to be prepared to offer you the end-to-end experience you’ve been waiting for. Before we can get to releasing new and improved products for you, we want to simplify how you interact with us.
Later this month, we’ll be consolidating all pages on blockchain.info under our one and only blockchain.com domain. We’ve been looking forward to this merger for quite some time, because it means you’ll only have one place to go for all of your crypto needs, instead of two. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to access all of your .info favorites from blockchain.com. Along with creating one destination at blockchain.com, we’re excited to roll out a fresh new look!
In the meantime, we’ll be preparing for this move so that when it happens, you don’t have to worry about a thing. All you need to know now is that when this migration happens, the URL that you use to access your wallet, the explorer, and all other .info pages will be located on blockchain.com.