Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis joins Duolingo, Patreon on Forbes’ next billion-dollar startups list

Crypto compliance and investigation provider Chainalysis has become the only blockchain company to make Forbes’ next billion-dollar startups list of 2019, joining the ranks of tech giants—Patreon and Duolingo. Its efforts to tackle crime in the crypto industry and build tools to enable easy regulatory compliance have made it one of the most promising companies in the industry.

Forbes believes Chainalysis will be the next billion-dollar startup

With crime and uncertainty plaguing every corner of the crypto world, it’s no wonder why one of the industry’s most valuable companies is a startup working on combating these issues. Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company founded in 2014, recently became the first crypto company to make Forbes‘ “next billion-dollar startup” list of 2019.

Chainalysis has joined the ranks of 24 other tech giants, who Forbes believes have the potential to achieve a billion-dollar valuation (unicorns). The company has joined the ranks of Patreon, one of the most popular crowdfunding platforms in the world, and Duolingo, the globally popular language learning app, alongside a slew of other tech innovators that include Cyberason, Syntego, Truepill, and Front.

The legendary publication seems to believe that the astronomic growth the company has seen in the past two years will help Chainalysis join the handful of unicorns in the crypto business.

The company just launched a new tool that helps traditional banks and money processing services automatically comply with regulations. It enables banks to quickly and securely verify the source of their clients’ funds – an invaluable tool for banks looking to serve more crypto companies.

That very effort helped Chainalysis’s revenue reach an estimated $8 million in 2018, Forbes reported, adding that it also landed the company more than $50 million in venture funding.  While it’s certainly not the highest funding round in crypto, it put the company under the spotlight and helped it gain mainstream recognition.

“We’re now helping banks understand how they can build programs to allow cryptocurrency businesses to access banking services but also make sure there’s no illicit activity going on,” Jonathan Levin, the co-founder of Chainalysis, said in the interview.

The most valuable accident in the crypto industry

With over 160 employees in offices in New York, Washington, D.C., London, and Copenhagen, it’s hard to believe that Chainalysis’ status as the leading crypto detective was an accident.

At just 24 years old, Levin co-founded Chainalysis to study how people use Bitcoin. The company’s efforts quickly shifted to identifying criminal behavior linked to the world’s largest cryptocurrency. Levin told Forbes the company started focusing on crypto thefts and Bitcoin usage on the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace.

Chainalysis’ ability to identify blockchain patterns became known to the public when the company managed to locate 650,000 bitcoin stolen from Mt Gox. The attention Levin and Chainalysis got after testifying in front of a U.S. financial services panel meant that the company had found its true calling – cracking down crypto crime.

Binance Partners with Chainalysis to Stamp Out Money-Laundering
Related: Binance Partners with Chainalysis to Stamp Out Money-Laundering

There has been a steady increase in companies looking to challenge Chainalysis in the past couple of years. London-based Elliptic and California-based CipherTrace both raised more than $10 million each to track illegal activities on different blockchains. Bitfury, Chainalysis’ biggest competitor, also made the inaugural Forbes Blockchain 50 list and is currently valued at more than $1 billion.

However, despite increased competition and an entirely accidental foray into blockchain investigation, Chainalysis still remains one of blockchain’s most promising companies.

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Congressman Brad Sherman calls for a complete ban on cryptocurrency, says Bitcoin only facilitates “nefarious transactions”

Congressman Brad Sherman, a vocal critic of the crypto industry, again called for a complete ban on cryptocurrencies. Sherman said Bitcoin had no real use other than to fund illicit activities and warned about the risks cryptocurrencies pose to the political and financial stability in the U.S., he said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Cryptocurrencies only facilitate nefarious activities, California Congressman says

While the attitude of the U.S. Congress towards Bitcoin has been mellowing down in the past couple of weeks, there is still a strong political current fighting for a world without cryptocurrencies. Congressman Brad Sherman, a ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, seems to be leading that current.

Sherman recently appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the dangers of Facebook‘s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, saying that it poses an unprecedented threat to the U.S. economy and national security. However, the discussion quickly turned to cryptocurrencies in general, with Sherman saying that they serve no function unless it’s to facilitate “nefarious transactions.”

His believes that the U.S. government should prohibit cryptocurrencies because they disempower the Federal government. Sherman pointed out that there was a strong libertarian and anarchist train in the U.S. that rejoices every time the federal government loses a bit of its power. This, he explained, only serves to weaken the country and goes against what both Democrat and Republican parties stand for.

Libra will become a Bitcoin offramp favored by criminals

To support his stance that Bitcoin is used to fund illegal activities, Sherman cited an unnamed “peer-reviewed” study that found that 46 percent of its transactions are “for people who are doing things illegally under U.S. law.”

But, unlike some of his Congress colleagues, Sherman doesn’t seem to believe that Bitcoin is an unstoppable force. California’s San Fernando Valley representative indicated that Bitcoin is just a symptom of a larger problem.

“Bitcoin is a small baby here. You can’t buy a pack of gum for a Bitcoin. It has to have to an off ramp so that you can then convert it into a sovereign currency,” he said Bloomberg TV.

Libra, he said, solves that problem, as it would allow “drug dealers” and other criminals to seamlessly get the money they can then spend on luxuries without needing to exit the crypto world.

As expected, Sherman’s interview was not well received by the crypto community. Many Twitter users mocked his limited knowledge of the crypto industry, saying he was clueless about how Bitcoin actually works. They cited numerous ways one can use Bitcoin to purchase goods and services, ranging from buying legal marijuana to buying a new Tesla.

We are yet to see whether Sherman’s words will have any impact on any of the following hearings scheduled for Libra. Bitcoin, on the other hand, seems largely unbothered as its price seems to be retaining upward momentum above $10,000.

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Major drawdowns normal in Bitcoin bull markets, analyst says

Bitcoin surged past $9,000 before plummeting to $8,000 and then recovering around $8,400. While the 8 percent drop was met with concern, one cryptocurrency analyst said that large drawdowns are actually normal in Bitcoin bull markets, adding that even more extreme drops are bound to happen.

Bitcoin breaks $9,000 before dropping back into consolidation

Believed to be in a major upward momentum, Bitcoin managed to surprise the market yesterday as it spiked 4 percent and then dropped another 8 in less than an hour. According to data from Coinbase, Bitcoin jumped from $8,743.62 to $9,090.00 around 15:40 UTC, cementing the belief that it was on the verge of a bull run.

However, the world’s largest cryptocurrency managed to hold above $9,000 just 10 minutes before dropping to the lower bound of its 48-hour trading range. The coin dipped to $8,100 before consolidating at around $8,400. Some places reported even bigger drops, with BTC falling as low as $8,000 on Bitstamp.

With most of the market believing BTC was in the middle of a bull run, the drastic decline was largely unexpected. Josh Rager, a prominent crypto analyst, noted that the sharp spike could be a result of a fakeout.

Significant price corrections normal in bull runs, analyst says

While Bitcoin’s drop caused quite a stir in the market, many were convinced this was nothing more than a “bearish outside day,” and that the coin’s upward rally will continue throughout June.

An interesting observation was made by Crypto Quantamental, a popular Twitter account led by an experienced Wall Street portfolio manager. The account tweeted that short-term drawdowns are “normal and to be expected” in a bull run.

The analyst also noted that Bitcoin’s volatility enables sharp drops in price even during major upward rallies, a trend that was first noticed during the bull market of 2017. The tweet was accompanied by a chart showing just how common these drops are.

The chart showed 20 different price drops Bitcoin experienced, ranging from as low as 6.5 to as high as 25.49 percent. What came as the biggest surprise, though, was the fact that each one of these 20 drops happened between Oct. 17 and Dec. 13.

Despite these drops, Bitcoin was up 370 percent during this period, the chart showed.

In the following tweet, it was also explained that only composite prices were used in the chart, making the number relatively smooth. When looking at data from BitMEX or some of the illiquid exchanges from the time, Bitcoin’s moves are even more extreme.

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Nevada Bitcoin broker on LocalBitcoins sentenced to 2 years in prison

Morgan Rockcoons, a Nevadan man accused of wire fraud and operating an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange for using LocalBitcoins, was sentenced to nearly two years in prison. According to a government press release, Rockcoons will also have to forfeit $80,600 in illicit profits.

Operating unlicensed Bitcoin exchange results in a 2-year prison sentence

Morgan Rockcoons, who also goes by Morgan Rockwell, was sentenced to 21 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia for wire fraud and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Apart from serving almost two years in prison, Rockcoons was also ordered to forfeit $80,600 in illicit profits. The Las Vegas resident has been in police custody since his arrest on October 29, 2018, and pleaded guilty on Mar. 7.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Rockcoons admitted he operated a Bitcoin exchange without registering with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury.  He also admitted to defrauding individuals by selling land that he didn’t own.

A report from Forbes showed that Rocknoons owned just under 5 acres, but had sold 18 acres of land in Nevada’s Elko County. The land was supposed to be used to build Bitcointopia, a “Bitcoin megacity,” where the world’s largest cryptocurrency would be the “legal tender.”

This wasn’t the first time Rockcoons was indicted—the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California revealed that Rockcoons was indicted on Nov. 8, 2017, for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. While awaiting trial following his Feb. 9 arrest, Rockcoons began promoting Bitcointopia, which led to prosecutors combining these two cases in a superseding indictment.

The Department of Justice follows through on new FinCEN guidelines

Rockcoons’ sentencing marks an important step for FinCEN and the enforcement of its newly established rules. Earlier in May, FinCEN, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury, released new guidance on types of cryptocurrency-related businesses which are subject to regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).

According to the new guidelines, those who trade and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over platforms such as LocalBitcoins are subject to the BSA. The guidelines noted that this is “regardless of the regularity or formality of such transactions or the location from which the person is operating.”

Rockcoons had been advertising his Bitcoin exchange services on LocalBitcoins.com for years. In 2015, the Homeland Security Investigations identified him as the most prolific seller based in San Diego. By April 2016, the defendant’s profile showed that he had engaged in more than 500 transactions—a number that doubled in the following year.

Rockcoons’ arrest is proof that U.S. regulators are following through on FinCEN’s guidelines and cementing their zero-tolerance policy towards unregulated trading.

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Binance announces 28 new use cases for BNB, more coming

There are now at least 83 different use cases for storing, using, and spending Binance Coin. The exchange said that its #UseBNB initiative will further increase this number, as more and more platforms are being launched on Binance Chain.

There are now 83 different places where you can use BNB

Binance Coin (BNB), one of the best performing tokens in 2019, has seen both its value and its use cases increase by 50 percent in the past month. According to an official announcement from Binance, there are currently 83 different use cases for storing, using, and spending BNB.

The management at Binance explained that there were around 55 use cases in March, the last time the exchange issued such an announcement, which means that their number increased by more than 50 percent in just over a month.

In an official blog post, Binance noted that 28 more legitimate use cases for BNB have been added to the list. A very large percentage of the growth in use cases for the utility token was attributed to the launch of Binance Chain, the exchange’s own blockchain platform that features a decentralized exchange.

Since the Binance Chain went live at the end of April, there have been dozens of crypto projects that have expressed an interest in releasing new tokens on the “high-performance blockchain,” Binance said.

The exchange claims that there are currently at least 24 different projects “publicly declaring” that they will be launching their crypto tokens on Binance Chain. While this information is yet to be confirmed, the popularity of Binance’s blockchain platform cannot be disputed.

More than two dozen different ways to use, store, and spend BNB

List of all the projects using BNB (Source: Binance)

The sharp increase in the number of use cases for BNB was attributed to the relatively large number of new crypto projects now running on Binance Chain. As BNB is the native token of the platform, all transactions involving other tokens on the Binance Chain will use BNB to pay for fees on the network.

“As more projects use Binance Chain and more people use the tokens on the blockchain, more BNB ends up being used,” the exchange said in the official blog post.

High-profile projects that have launched their own tokens on Binance Chain include Mithril, a decentralized social media platform that rewards content creators, Raven protocol, and Harmony.

Some of the new use cases for BNB include BitTorrent, BayPay, Coinify, MachiX, and Magnum Wallet.

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Craig Wright’s libel lawsuit could cost Peter McCormack up to £750,000

Peter McCormack, the host of the “What Bitcoin Did” podcast, revealed details about the lawsuit Craig Wright had filed against him in April. In a lengthy Twitter thread, McCormack explained the horrific legal ordeal he will have to suffer through to defend himself from Wright’s accusations.

McCormack explains his options in the Wright libel case

Peter McCormack, a prominent figure in the crypto industry and host of the “What Bitcoin Did” podcast, shared the most recent developments in the libel lawsuit Craig Wright filed against him.

Earlier this year, McCormack challenged Wright’s claim that he was the one who developed Bitcoin under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. The controversial entrepreneur filed a claim in a United Kingdom court on April 17, accusing McCormack of libel. In the official court report, Wright noted that he believes the attacks against him were actually meant to hurt Bitcoin SV, a notion disputed by McCormack several times.

Bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack offers Craig Wright £100,000 to prove he’s Satoshi
Related: Bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack offers Craig Wright £100,000 to prove he’s Satoshi

After a few uneventful weeks, McCormack finally shared an update on his legal case with Wright, saying that he had until Friday, May 31, to make a decision on what to do.

The first thing McCormack will have to decide on is representation—he can choose between representing himself, hiring a legal counsel to represent him, seek mediation, or not contest the claim. Choosing lawyers to defend him against Wright’s £100,000 claim could cost McCormack anywhere from £25,000 to £50,000.

If the libel case was to go to full trial, these expenses could increase fifteen-fold and amount to £750,000. Should McCormack lose the case, these expenses could double as he’d be obliged to pay Wright’s legal fees as well.

McCormack’s legal woes draw incredible support from the crypto community

The podcaster also noted that not contesting Wright’s claim was an option he was considering as it will prevent Wright from taking him to court. However, the option would cost at least £100,000.

While many of his Twitter followers suggested reaching a compromise with Wright, McCormack explained that it was highly unlikely one could be reached.

Out of all the options, McCormack said that representing himself wasn’t too bad of a choice. He said that some lawyers argued that not having legal counsel could work in his favor, but could take up a lot of time.

There was no sugarcoating the situation from McCormack, either—he was clear that any decision he’d make will be a tough one.

Fortunately, an incredible number of people came out to support McCormack in his fight against Wright, with hundreds of Twitter users saying they would donate to help cover his legal expenses. Dozens of Twitter users also reached out to Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance.

Zhao was one of many high-profile figures in the crypto industry that publicly criticized Wright, and has even gone as far as to delist Bitcoin SV from his exchange and offer to help McCormack pay for his legal fees.

However, it seems McCormack is reluctant to accept outside assistance:

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US dollar has lost 99.99% of its value against Bitcoin

The price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency increased by almost 170,000 percent in the past seven years, which caused the United States dollar to lose nearly 99.99 percent of its value against BTC. The trend is surprisingly similar to the behavior of Germany’s Papermark during 1920s hyperinflation.

Bitcoin’s price trajectory looks a lot like the old German gold mark

The novelty of the crypto market has made predicting its future seemingly impossible. Many analysts have tried comparing the volatility of crypto assets, especially Bitcoin, to those of traditional markets such as stocks and bonds but never managed to find a correlation that would explain the coins’ trajectory.

However, a recently published data chart found incredible similarities between Bitcoin and the long-abandoned currency of the Weimar Republic—the Papiermark. According to planB, a cryptocurrency analyst, the US dollar’s price against BTC has decreased by 99.99 percent since 2011.

The chart compared the relationship between Bitcoin and USD with the relationship between Germany’s Papiermark and its predecessor, the Goldmark. Introduced in the German Empire in 1873, the Goldmark was on a gold standard until it was replaced with the Papiermark in 1914.

The outbreak of World War I broke the link between the Goldmark and gold which led to the switch to paper currency. As a result, the Papiermark became a symbol of the 1920s hyperinflation.

USD value against BTC follows the trajectory of the Papiermark

PlanB’s chart showed that Bitcoin’s performance against the USD in the past eight years looks incredibly similar to the last five years of the Papiermark’s devaluation. According to the chart, one Papiermark was roughly equal to a Goldmark at the beginning of 1918. By 1923, however, one Goldmark was worth one trillion Papiermarks.

The analyst likened the events to modern-day quantitative easing, a policy where central banks increase the money supply by purchasing government bonds or other financial assets.

While many experts are divided on whether or not Bitcoin could replace gold as the ultimate store of value, cryptocurrencies have seen increased use in countries battling with hyperinflation. Furthermore, Bitcoin’s scalability issues have made many question its use as a universal payment system. Other, however, have argued that its recognizability and market cap will give it a key place in the future economy.

Gold 2.0?

Brendan Blumer, the CEO of Block.one, argued that Bitcoin’s ability to be a store of value will remove any need for scaling, and called the cryptocurrency “Gold 2.0.”

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Former Coinbase CTO: “I don’t think any crypto can compete with Bitcoin”

Balaji Srinivasan, the former CTO of Coinbase and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, believes that the “blockchainification” of every major web app is the obvious investment strategy for the next 10 years. Srinivasan shared his thoughts on the future of blockchain in a lengthy Twitter thread, revealing that the decentralization of everything is “inevitable.”

The disruptive power of decentralization

Srinivasan pointed out that “newer” technologies such as email, GPS, online maps, smartphones, and video streaming are no longer new and have become a new normal for everyone. As a serial investor, he often thinks about ways in which a tech product can be disrupted, and decentralization almost always seems to be the answer.

He pointed out that in a young industry, a centralized actor can radically disrupt the UX and business model of a company. However, if the feature set of an industry has already been established, decentralization becomes its biggest threat. Srinivasan used the switch from the commercial Unix operating system to Linux, its free and open-source alternative, as a prime example.

The former general partner at Andreessen Horowitz called this the “second phase” of progress. The “first phase,” as Srinivasan put it, represents centralized companies slowly creating a monopoly over a service or a product.

Blockchain will disrupt everything

Srinivasan said that crypto today is what Linux and IBM clones were to computer programming 25 years ago. People have a tendency to gravitate towards free and decentralized software, but the fact has become increasingly obvious with the arrival of cryptocurrencies.

He added that, in order to succeed in the industry, one must base the service it offers on the UX of a successful, but ultimately monopolistic product. After that, companies should “blockchainify” the backend to add incentives for early adopters and improve censorship resistance.

And while the process of putting more services on a blockchain is pretty straightforward, Srinivasan pointed out that finding the first technically feasible candidate to do that is a huge problem the industry is dealing with.

It will, however, be the best and most obvious investment strategy in the next decade, he explained.

Srinivasan also believes that text-based apps will be the first to decentralize. It’s easier to build “blockchain-based versions of Twitter or Craigslist in the next few years than something high bandwidth like YouTube or Snapchat,” he noted.

Srinivasan’s thoughts received a lot of support from the crypto community, with many praising his realistic views of the industry’s future. When Brad Mills, the host of the ‘Magic Internet Money’ podcast, asked him what would ultimately disrupt centralization, Srinivasan gave a pretty surprising answer.

Mills wanted to know whether Srinivasan thought Facebook’s GlobalCoin or another cryptocurrency competing with Bitcoin fits into this narrative, Srinivasan said that he believes no crypto can compete with Bitcoin.

However, he added that he thinks that public blockchains have what it takes to break the power of internet monopolies that have been strengthened by regulations such as the GDPR.

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Justin Sun announces an announcement, TRON and BitTorrent jump

Justin Sun caused the value of both TRON and BitTorrent to jump on Sunday morning after announcing that he might share a “huge” announcement on Twitter in the next few days.

Tron’s Justin Sun pumps TRX by announcing a possible announcement

Justin Sun, the founder of Tron and one of the most vocal crypto personalities on Twitter, caused quite a stir in the crypto community. On Sunday, May 26, Sun posted a tweet saying that “something huge and amazing” is going to happen with Tron and BitTorrent.

Teasing a possible future announcement isn’t anything new to Sun, who has become an internet meme in the crypto industry due to his sensationalist tweets. However, Sun’s latest announcement was more cryptic than usual, as he even noted that there was only a “70 percent chance to win and nail it.”

Sun’s tweets caused quite a reaction on social media, with many users mocking him for basically announcing an announcement that won’t happen for days.

Others have pointed out that the move was a marketing ploy used to pump the value of TRX and BTT.

TRX and BTT jump after Sun’s announcement teaser

As a testament to Sun’s ability to influence the market, the price of both TRX and BTT skyrocketed. TRON jumped by 11 percent within two hours of Sun’s announcement, trading at $0.03 at noon on Sunday. According to CoinMarketCap, the price growth was followed by a 30 percent influx in daily trading volume, which reached $800 million.

Source: CryptoSlate

BitTorrent, meanwhile, rose by 18 percent by noon the same day, which showed that the crypto industry was betting on something big going on with BTT.

Source: CryptoSlate

BTT bulls weren’t wrong. Sun released yet another announcement in the early hours of May 27, revealing the “first scalable file decentralized system,” the BitTorrent File System (BTFS), will go live in the next 3 days.

According to the update, BitTorrent will be a huge step up from Tron, which currently has over 1,000 full nodes. BTFS will have around 100 million user nodes, Sun said, making it the largest decentralized peer-to-peer network.

The market was quick to respond for the second time in 24 hours, and BTT gained another 12 percent following Sun’s remarks. According to CoinMarketCap, BTT gained over 100 percent since May 1 and recorded two ATHs this week alone.

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European Central Bank: Bitcoin isn’t a threat, cryptocurrency not a new asset class

The European Central Bank (ECB), Eurozone’s chief financial regulator, has released its report on cryptocurrencies and their implications on the financial stability of the region. The paper took a neutral stance towards digital assets and said that they weren’t a threat to the economy.

The European Union’s stance towards cryptocurrencies

However, while the crypto industry celebrated this as a win, many aspects of ECB’s paper went unnoticed. We dug deep into the document to show you what this really means for cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies have grown from a tiny niche to an industry with a $250 billion market capitalization in less than a decade, but their immense growth seems to have been tough to follow. Financial regulators across the globe have been struggling with how to police an industry, and assets, that are difficult to track. Countries such as China, Taiwan, and Russia have all banned cryptocurrency transactions and have gone out of their way to control the industry.

Other countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Australia have taken on a much more balanced approach to the new asset class, which has caused the industry there to flourish.

The European Union has been much more neutral when it comes to cryptocurrencies, and, unlike the US, has passed no specific legislation regarding the new asset class.

With 28 countries in the Union, it’s hard coming up with legislation that will fit the financial needs of every member.

Therefore, the European Central Bank, the Eurozone’s main financial regulator, has taken on the responsibility of conducting a thorough review of the market every few years. These reports were published in 2012 and 2015. The bank’s May report is titled “Crypto-Assets: Implications for financial stability, monetary policy, and payments and market infrastructures,” and much more important than the two previous ones.

This year’s report is special, as it comes a year after a historic crash and at a time where cryptocurrencies are getting more media attention than ever before. ECB’s mere interest in the matter is frequently seen as a positive move for the industry, despite the regulator being skeptical about digital coins.

Bitcoin isn’t money, but it isn’t a threat either

The main takeaway from ECB’s report is the fact that the regulator described cryptocurrencies as not being a threat to Europe’s financial stability.  The report said.

“The ICA-TF analysis shows that crypto-assets do not currently pose an immediate threat to the financial stability of the euro area. Their combined value is small relative to the financial system, and their linkages with the financial sector are still limited.”

And while this was celebrated across the crypto industry as a win for everybody, the fine print revealed that mainstream adoption is still a long way ahead.

When examining the crypto market, and Bitcoin, in particular, the report raised concerns with regard to money laundering, market integrity, and consumer protection. It acknowledged that these are real dangers the market faces and has deferred any further analysis of the matter to “relevant authorities.”

However, the European Central Bank found that Bitcoin and other coins posed no threat to the financial stability within the union. While cryptocurrencies were described as being “more volatile than traditional stocks, bonds, and commodities,” they have no tangible impact on the real economy, the report said. Therefore, they don’t and shouldn’t have any significant implications for monetary policy.

ECB also pointed out that the crypto market’s linkage to the wider financial system remains limited, despite the market’s increasing market cap. This claim seems to be the one that might get disputed the fastest, as growing institutional interest is slowly pushing cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.

The report continued:

“The sector nevertheless requires continuous careful monitoring, as market developments are dynamic and linkages to the wider financial sector may increase to more significant levels in the future.”

This might prove to be the most important sentence in the report, as proves that even Europe’s highest regulators foresee a future where cryptocurrencies stand at odds with traditional markets such as stocks and bonds.

Blockchain: young, promising, but ultimately insufficient

ECB distinguished between blockchain and cryptocurrencies within the first few paragraphs of the report. While this might seem like an unimportant detail, it shows that the potential distributed ledger technology has is clearly recognized by Europe’s financial regulators.

European Banking Authority Calls for New Unified Legislation Regarding Crypto Assets
Related: European Banking Authority Calls for New Unified Legislation Regarding Crypto Assets

There is no need to read between the lines, either—the report acknowledged that DLT and other innovative technologies have the potential to increase the efficiency of financial intermediation and the financial system as a whole. The European Central Bank, the European Banking Authority (EBA), and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) are all said to be actively monitoring developments and applications in the sector.

However, blockchain technology’s potential application in the financial system didn’t convince the ECB that cryptocurrencies themselves were a legitimate financial instrument.  The report clearly stated that digital coins could not be characterized as a new asset class.

Throughout the report, cryptocurrencies are referred to as “crypto-assets,” as the ECB believes calling them “currencies” has created a false idea around the concept. In the paper, the term “crypto-asset” does not represent either a financial claim on or a financial liability of any natural or legal person. It also doesn’t embody a proprietary right against an entity, the report noted

Cryptocurrencies also cannot be defined as electronic money, ECB noted, as they don’t represent a claim on the issuer, which is regulated by the Second Electronic Money Directive. They also aren’t scriptural money or any kind of financial instrument.

Why these definitions matter

While going over the list of things cryptocurrencies aren’t might seem futile, it shows what the crypto industry is actually fighting against.

Having such a high-profile financial institution say Bitcoin is not a threat to economic stability isn’t winning a war. It isn’t even close to winning a battle. Buried into the fine print is the fact that Europe’s highest banking institution essentially sees cryptocurrencies as investment toys without value.

The crypto industry cannot be regulated until central banks and other financial authorities recognize digital currencies as financial instruments and acknowledge their value in the market.

While removing “threat” from the equation doesn’t automatically equal success, this is a very important moment for the entire crypto industry, as it now shows what it has to stand against.

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Former CrunchFund HQ sold via blockchain-powered real estate platform Propy

The former headquarters of CrunchFund, a venture capital firm founded by Michael Arrington, was sold via Propy, a blockchain-powered real estate platform. The San Francisco-condo was sold for $1.6 million and is a testimony to blockchain’s growing popularity in real estate.

Founder of TechCrunch closes sale on former CrunchFund HQ via blockchain

Blockchain’s potential in the real estate industry has grown considerably throughout the years but has almost always been limited to high-profile, multi-million dollar mansions or commercial properties such as hotels.

The sale of a condo that served as a headquarters to venture capital firm CrunchFund managed to slip through the media radar but nonetheless marks a very important step in real estate. According to the company’s founder, Michael Arrington, the San Francisco apartment was recently sold for $1.6 million via Propy.

The blockchain-powered transaction platform received nothing but praise from Arrington, who is also the founder of online media outlet TechCrunch. In a May 23 tweet, he said that Propy’s platform was a “stellar product” that has become increasingly popular in the real estate industry.

The reactions from Arrington’s followers matched his own excitement—many Twitter users saw this as an opportunity to celebrate the use of blockchain technology in real-life transactions.

Even Changpeng Zhao, the CEO and founder of Binance, congratulated Arrington on the successful blockchain transaction.

Propy aims to revolutionize real estate sales

Propy was created with the intent to simplify international real estate transactions by digitizing key processes, such as contractual and ownership formalities. The company describes itself as a “global property store with decentralized title registry” that wants to opens up cross-border investment opportunities to everyone.

The company’s Ethereum-based platform allows users across the globe to see the properties it has listed for sale. Anybody can make real estate purchases through Propy’s platform via smart contract, as well as pay and receive registration of ownership much faster than traditional transactions.

In July of last year, Rick Hilton, the chairman of Hilton Hotels, listed his $38 million Roman mansion on Propy. The company’s ability to instantly issue title deeds online has made it attractive to the luxury real estate market across the world. Propy currently operates in global real-estate hotspots such as San Francisco, London, Beijing, and Dubai.

While the sale of CrunchFund’s former HQ doesn’t even compare to the price of luxury properties on Propy’s platform, it marks an important step both for the company and the entire industry. With the median home value in San Francisco currently around $1.3 million, blockchain-based real estate sales has become even more available to average homeowners.

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Brave Browser testing BAT tipping for Twitter

Brave browser is currently testing a new feature that will allow its users to tip tweets with Brave Rewards. Users of Brave’s Nightly desktop version will now have the option to be paid Basic Attention Token for each tweet, the company said.

Brave rolls out new feature for tipping tweets

Having entered the second quarter of 2019 with a bang, Brave Browser has continued to grow and rapidly introduce new features. The company is now currently testing a new feature that would allow its users to tip tweets via the Brave Rewards system.

According to the company’s tweet, users of Brave browser’s Nightly desktop version will now have the option to be paid for each individual tweet. The process of tipping is pretty straightforward, the company explained. After opening Twitter in the Brave desktop browser, users will see a designated tip button on each tweet in their feed.

To send a tip directly to the author, users just tap on the button and tips get sent instantly. If you are on the receiving end of the tip, the funds will appear in your Brave Rewards account within minutes, Brave explained. All users that are verified through creators.brave.com are eligible to receive tips.

However, if the author of the tweet isn’t verified, the tips will be held in the user’s browser for 90 days. If the author of the tipped tweet doesn’t register with Brave Rewards in that time the funds will then return to the sender.

Tipping feature still in beta, could launch for other versions soon

The new initiative, which is part of Brave’s broader push to reduce creators’ dependency on ads, is only available for Brave Nightly, a testing and development version of Brave. While the company didn’t provide any details on when this feature could launch on other versions of the browser, the positive feedback it received could bring the launch sooner than expected.

The company has also asked its users to submit feedback and offer ideas on how to expand the feature. The reactions posted on Brave’s community page have been overwhelmingly positive, with many users suggesting implementing the feature on platforms such as Medium and Telegram.

Twitter recently joined the ranks of Brave Verified publishers. High-profile publishers such as the LA Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post, as well as websites such as YouTube are among the websites verified. Basic Attention Token (BAT), Brave’s native cryptocurrency used to send tips, has also grown considerably—the token has seen a 170 percent year-to-date growth.

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Facebook’s bitcoin-inspired cryptocurrency—GlobalCoin to launch in 2020

Facebook, the social media giant that owns WhatsApp and Instagram, is finalizing its plans to launch its own cryptocurrency next year. According to BBC, “GlobalCoin” will roll out in 2020, with tests starting by the end of this year.

Facebook wants to target the unbanked with GlobalCoin

After months of speculation about when Facebook’s rumored cryptocurrency will launch, newest reports suggest that it might be sooner than expected. Dubbed the “Project Libra”, Facebook’s plans for a digital currency network were first reported last year.

According to a May 24th report from BBC, Facebook’s Bitcoin-inspired cryptocurrency, GlobalCoin, is set to be rolled out for testing by the end of 2019. The company’s digital payment system should be available in about a dozen countries by the first quarter of 2020.

GlobalCoin will reportedly be pegged to a basket of international fiat currencies, including the US dollar, the Japanese yen, and the euro. The move is supposed to eliminate the volatility associated with cryptocurrencies, which should bring them closer to more people.

Facebook allegedly raising as much as $1 billion for its cryptocurrency stablecoin
Related: Facebook allegedly raising as much as $1 billion for its cryptocurrency stablecoin

More detailed plans about GlobalCoin will be revealed this summer, BBC said, adding that the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has already spoken to the Bank of England, Western Union, and the US Treasury Department.

Last month, Zuckerberg met with Mark Carney, the governor of Bank of England, with whom he discussed the opportunities and risks involved in launching a cryptocurrency. Talks with money transfer companies such as Western Union could help Facebook find cheaper and faster ways for people without a bank account to send and receive money.

The US Treasury has also reportedly advised Facebook on how to deal with operational and regulatory issues regarding cryptocurrencies, including how to conduct the process of identity checks.

Nobody seems happy about Facebook’s cryptocurrency

However, Facebook’s ambitious plans haven’t been well received. Earlier in May, the US Senate and Banking committee wrote an open letter to Facebook and Zuckerberg. In the letter, the committee questioned how Facebook’s cryptocurrency would work and how the company will protect consumer data.

Blockchain expert David Gerard told BBC that launching GlobalCoin would enable Facebook to gain access to spending data that could be more valuable than the revenue from the cryptocurrency itself.

Nonetheless, he noted that there was no need to create a separate cryptocurrency in order to harvest that data. Instead, he said that Facebook could have created its own payment platform similar to that of PayPal, which would allow users to transfer both fiat and cryptocurrencies.

Back in February, Alex Stamos, the former chief security officer at Facebook, said that Facebook would be faced with extraordinary challenges when creating a cryptocurrency, which could spell disaster for the company.

“I can’t think of a tech project with a more important privacy/safety balancing act than this one,” he tweeted.

If Facebook’s GlobalCoin was to be a private stablecoin, its ties to an encrypted messaging service would make it a hotspot for money laundering.

However, if GlobalCoin doesn’t implement advanced privacy features, having all that data in the hands of Facebook could be an unprecedented global privacy risk.

We are yet to see how far the use of GlobalCoin spreads after its launch, as the service will reportedly target the unbanked across the world, especially in India.

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FINRA approval opens up Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust to individual investors

Grayscale, a New York-based asset management company, received approval from FINRA to list its Grayscale Ethereum Trust shares on OTC markets which will become the first publicly-quoted Ethereum-based securities.

Ethereum Trust receives FINRA approval for public quotation

Grayscale Investments, a New York-based digital asset management company, made history today for being the first company to offer publicly traded Ethereum-based securities.

The company announced the news on Twitter on May 23, saying they received the approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to list eligible shares of its Grayscale Ethereum Trust. Having received secondary-market trading approval, Grayscale’s Ether investment vehicle will now be open to mom-and-pop buyers, Bloomberg reported.

Michael Sonnenshein, managing director of Grayscale Investments, said that the secondary market opens up the opportunity for “any and all investors.”

Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE) currently has $12.5 million in assets under management and was launched in December 2017 during the height of the crypto bubble. The trust was initially only available to accredited and institutional investors at a minimum of $25,000 through private purchases, Sonnenshein explained.

With ETHE, Grayscale now manages 10 funds—Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Horizen (ZEN), Litecoin (LTC), Stellar Lumens (XLM), XRP, and Zcash (ZEC).

Opening ETHE to the public will make investing in crypto more accessible

According to the company’s press release, as of April 30, each Share of ETHE would be equivalent to 0.09662399 Ethereum. However, the company also noted that the Ethereum in each share would decrease over a period of time as ETHE would not “generate income.” To combat this, it will be “regularly distributed” to clear-out expenses.

The launch of Grayscale’s Ethereum product will remain subject to full compatibility with the Depository Trust Company (DTC), the world’s largest securities depository, the company said.

“There will be no trading volume in the Shares’ public quotation until the Shares are DTC eligible, which ETHE is expected to receive soon. Investors will be able to find current financial disclosure and Real-Time Level 2 quotes for Shares of ETHE on the OTC Markets website once trading commences,” Grayscale stated in the press release.

As reported by Bloomberg, investors in the Ethereum Trust who have held shares for at least a year will now be able to sell these shares over the counter.

Considering how well Grayscale did with its Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) and Ethereum Classic Trust (ECT), it’s no wonder why investors have gone crazy over ETHE. According to Insider Financial, Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust has rallied by more than 300 percent since the start of the year. Last month, the company reported that 99 percent of its client investments were in BIT.

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Investors in the company that created EOS will see 65x returns in stock buyback

Cryptocurrency startup Block.one made history by returning more than 6,567 percent returns to its earliest investors in less than three years. According to a report from Bloomberg, the ROI translates into $6.6 million for a $100,000 stake.

Block.one pays out outlandish returns to its investors

Seeing your original investment return several thousand percent is not unheard of—companies such as Netflix have had a 5,000 percent ROI in just 10 years. Early investors in tech giants such as Google, Apple, or Amazon have all seen their thousands turn into millions, but these kinds of returns for equity investments are seldom talked about in the crypto industry.

That is until a blockchain startup shook the industry by raising $4 billion in what was the largest sale of digital tokens to date. Recently Block.one, a Hong Kong-based and Cayman Islands-registered company, announced that it will return as much as 6,567 percent to its earliest investors.

The buyback of 10 percent of its stock values the company at about $2.3 billion, up from a $40 million valuation in its 2017 seed round, Bloomberg reported. Block.one will be repurchasing its stock for $1,500 per share. Compared to the $22.5 per share investors paid in 2017 and 2018 fundraising, that is a 6,567 percent return.

That means that a $100,000 investment made in 2016 would bring just under $6.6 million today. Billionaire tech investors Peter Thiel, Alan Howard, and Louis Bacon could all see these returns from their investments back in July of 2018.

Private stock buyback could indicate problems within the company

“Block.one is very much the odd one out in the crypto market,” said Tom Shaughnessy, co-founder of Delphi Digital, a crypto research firm in New York.

He explained that Block.one stands out from all other companies in the crypto industry because of the “scope of its ambitions and the size of its balance sheet.” The company’s promise to produce key building blocks for a new blockchain version of the internet enabled it to raise the huge sum of capital, in crypto, from investors.

However, the company’s CEO Brendan Blumer said that the company’s transparent business model has been causing trouble. In a November interview with Bloomberg, Blumer said that “too much transparency into everything that we are doing on an ongoing basis can actually take away a lot of the competitive advantage when we’re trying to put out new types of technology.”

Therefore, the newest buyback could be an attempt to gain more control over both resources and information at the company. Nic Carter, a partner at blockchain investment firm Castle Island Ventures, said that a private buyback could be a sign of trouble. He explained that the company could be dealing with a lack of growth opportunities, or that it was a desperate attempt to consolidate ownership to avoid media scrutiny.

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Bitcoin went from $8,000 to $10,000 in 11 days in 2017—could it happen again?

During the bull run of 2017, Bitcoin’s price jumped from $8,000 to over $10,000 in 11 short days. The momentum continued to accelerate, with the coin only taking 8 days to jump from $16,000 to $18,000. Seeing how Bitcoin currently hovers around the $8,000 mark, many believe its value could catapult to 2017 highs in much the same way.

Bitcoin’s YTD price surge points to another bull run

Why BitMEX CEO believes the bitcoin bull market is just starting
Related: Why BitMEX CEO believes the bitcoin bull market is just starting

In November 2017, Bitcoin had a speculator jump from $7,800 to almost $20,000 a month later. Now, traders and enthusiasts are scrambling to predict when the next bull run will happen.

As the world’s largest cryptocurrency finally broke the dreaded $8,000 mark earlier in May, many analysts saw this as a clear sign that the bear market was finally over.

Their optimistic predictions are not without base—after plunging to just $3,150 in December 2018, Bitcoin’s year-to-date price surged by 113 percent. While Bitcoin managed to jump to $8,000 in just 6 months, most of its growth happened in April and May.

Thomas Lee, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global, said that Bitcoin historically recorded the majority of its gains over a handful of days.

Lee noted that BTC generally generates all of its performance within a 10-day window, an observation confirmed by cryptocurrency researcher Alex Saunders. Saunders said that the last time Bitcoin hit the $8,300 mark, it only took 13 days to achieve a new all-time high at $20,000.

Could the next jump happen faster than expected?

While most predictions about the future of Bitcoin are optimistic, there seems to be a lack of consensus among traders on when another bull run will happen.

However, one person on Twitter made an interesting assertion—there are no reasons why Bitcoin should stay at $8,000, but there are a ton of reasons why it could grow way beyond its all-time-high. The crypto trader, that goes by the moniker the Rhythm Trader, also said that it took BTC just 11 days to jump from $8,000 to $11,000 in 2017, and just a day to go from $14,000 to $16,000.

When taking into account the fact that no major financial institutions were trading cryptocurrencies and that there were just a handful of places scattered across the globe that accepted BTC payments, it’s really in the wake of 2017 that crypto saw a major breakthrough for adoption.

There is an argument to be made that Bitcoin will be able to reach its ATH much faster in 2019, as the entire crypto industry has seen unprecedented expansion.

Earlier in May, the same user pointed out that the last time Bitcoin broke the $8,000 mark no major companies or financial institutions were backing it.

And now—with support from major institutions, investors, and companies—Bitcoin has the potential to reach heights that weren’t possible before.

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Crypto exchange Cobinhood files for bankruptcy in alleged exit scam

Cobinhood, a well-known Taiwanese cryptocurrency exchange, allegedly pulled an exit scam after filing for bankruptcy. The exchange’s associated company DEXON Foundation, and its DXN token, raised $3.5 million last month. The company is currently in the process of laying off employees and restructuring.

Controversy with Cobinhood

Niche exchanges have long been hotspots for malicious trading and business practices, and it seems that Cobinhood is no exception. The Taiwanese crypto exchange is known for its wide array of coins. That said, analysts assert that a large number of listings can be an indicator of limited regulation and lackluster due diligence.

Cobinhood reportedly filed for bankruptcy today and appointed a liquidator tasked with laying off its staff. While the company first mentioned layoffs months ago, it was always talked about in the context of “increasing efficiency.” It seems Cobinhood’s restructuring plans turned out to be much more intense than the company led its investors to believe.

While companies in the crypto industry go bankrupt all the time, Cobinhood’s timing forced many to believe that the exchange was facilitating an exit scam. The news shocked both investors and analysts, since the company just successfully completed the Dexon ICO last month, raising $3.5 million.

Confusion around token dump

All of the tokens sold in Dexon’s ICO were scheduled to be unlocked on May 20, when investors would gain access to their funds. However, come May 20 and investors have still not received the tokens they purchased through the ICO.

The DXN trading chart showed that a large number of tokens were dumped, with the price falling by over 85 percent in just a few hours.

And while DXN managed to rebound after the massive dip, it saw almost 60 percent of its value wiped out. The news also affected the price of Cobinhood’s native coin (COB), which suffered a 50 percent loss.

Company’s founder Wei-Ning Huang commented on DEXON Telegram group saying that while the Taiwanese company is being restructured everything should be working as usual. He also told the community that they did not dump any foundation owned tokens, addressing claims that Cobinhood dumped its own token.

There is still no official information for when Cobinhood will be closing its doors, with the exchange still handling a daily trading volume of just under $1 million. However, there are still conflicting claims around the exchange’s bankruptcy filing.

The company announced the news of bankruptcy last week but has maintained that it wouldn’t impact Cobinhood’s day-to-day operations. Yet, the evidence suggests operations have been impacted. Until more information is available it will be difficult to determine whether the interruptions stem from negligence, mere bankruptcy pains, or worse.

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Investors snap up Kraken stock in $10.2 million tokenized equity offering

Kraken, one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges, reached out to its customers via email offering them tokenized stock in the company. The stock, which can be bought in chunks as small as $1,000, will be sold through a regulated investment company called “Bnk to the Future.”

Kraken reaches out to customers offering stock

Companies in the crypto industry have been coming up with ways to raise funds for almost a decade now, and have gone full circle from ICOs all the way to IEOs. However, one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world is looking past these crypto-specific funding methods and is instead going head first into selling tokenized equity as a security token offering (STO).

Source: Bnk to the Future as of May 21, 18:44 UTC.

Kraken, a San-Francisco based crypto exchange founded in 2011, reached out to its customers offering preferred shares of its stock. According to the email with the offer, the opportunity will be open until June 20 with a minimum investment of $1,000.

If Kraken raises the maximum $10.2 million for a 0.255 percent equity stake, then the company would boast a value of $40 billion.

The exchange partnered with Bnk to the Future, a global online investment platform that allows qualifying investors to invest in alternative financial products, including crypto companies. The little-known platform has endorsements from names such as Sir Richard Branson and Stephen Corcoran, the head of the Bitcoin Capital forum.

Both companies announced the news on their Twitter profiles.

70 percent of raise completed on first day

Apart from mentioning the investment minimumKraken’s email was very vague. The company said that users will need to register with Bnk to the Future before investing and that all of their questions will be answered in Bnk’s instructions.

But, upon creating an account with Bnk, users realized that they must have a net worth exceeding $1 million and an income exceeding $200,000 to be eligible to buy stock. These thresholds are part of Regulation D private placement offerings for securities that do not need to be registered with the Securities Exchange Commission.

According to Bloomberg, Bnk facilitates the purchase of security tokens that track share prices and commit investors’ funds to the Ethereum network, where they can’t be meddled with. If Kraken raises the full amount it would make the offering one of the largest successful security token offerings.

The too-good-to-be-true offer, however, wasn’t well received in the crypto community. While some said they don’t believe they’ll see the returns they were used to with crypto, others were more critical of the entire ordeal. Several Redditors said they received the offer on emails that were never registered on Kraken. Also, having such a large exchange ask its users to sign up with a relatively unknown platform was a red flag for many.

Apart from that, many users said they’d steer clear of owning Kraken stock due to the company’s liabilities. In 2016, Kraken acquired Cavirtex, Canada’s oldest crypto exchange that became the first crypto company to sell its own stock. The company then faced a class action lawsuit from investors after offering to buy back their stock for an amount 4 times less than their market value.

Kraken still owns the company that owes money to its investors. And, Kraken is unwilling to publish financial statements for the exchange. In culmination, these concerns resulted in many passing on the offer.

Yet, it seems that there are still plenty of wealthy investors looking to purchase a stake in the lucrative cryptocurrency exchange business.

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Bitcoin whitepaper and software copyrighted by Craig Wright, Bitcoin SV doubles

Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, filed copyright registrations for the Bitcoin whitepaper and the original Bitcoin code with the US Copyright Office. The office ‘recognized’ Wright as the author, making it the first government agency to do so.

Copyright registrations for Bitcoin’s original whitepaper

One of the most controversial figures in the crypto industry, Craig Wright, saw his claims to the crypto throne culminate today after being granted copyright claims to the original Bitcoin whitepaper and software code.

According to the official website of the US Copyright Office, Wright’s claim has been registered on May 20. The Copyright Office granted Wright two copyrights—one for the whitepaper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” and the other for “Bitcoin,” the cryptocurrency’s original code.

“Wright is now legally establishing that he is Bitcoin’s creator after being dismayed to see his original Bitcoin design bastardized by protocol developer groups—first by Bitcoin Core (BTC) in 2017 and then again by Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developers in 2018,” said Wright-sympathetic news site CoinGeek.

The registration recognized Wright as being the author of the whitepaper under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, as well as being responsible for writing “most of version 0.1 of the Bitcoin client software.”

Jimmy Nguyen, the president of nChain, where Wright is chief scientist, said that the company was “thrilled” that Wright was recognized as the author of Bitcoin’s whitepaper.

“Better than anyone else, Craig understands that Bitcoin was created be a massively scaled blockchain to power the world’s electronic cash for billions of people to use, and be the global data ledger for the biggest enterprise applications,” said Nguyen.

Wright’s copyrights only prove that BSV is easily manipulated

Neeraj Agrawal from CoinCenter was the first to break the story, sharing Wright’s copyright claims on Twitter. And while the news was met with reactions ranging from amusement to rage, it was quickly determined that the claims themselves actually mean little.

Jerry Brito, the executive director at CoinCentral, said that anyone can register a copyright with the US Copyright office, as it only involves filing a form. Since the Copyright Office doesn’t investigate the validity of the claims filed they have almost zero legal weight.

Brito also pointed out that someone else could also file a copyright claim to the Bitcoin whitepaper, and the Office will just register all of them. While this will definitely invite a lawsuit from Wright, the validity of both claims would be decided by a court.

However, even if Wright’s claim was found to be false it would have little consequence As Chris Harvey, a venture capital lawyer with the Harvey Esquire APC pointed out, no company has ever been prosecuted for false copyright registration, which is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500.

Source: Cryptoslate Bitcoin SV

The price of Bitcoin SV jumped by over 120 percent in less than an hour to almost $140 but has stabilized at around $100 at press time. Wright’s stunt might have given BSV a temporary price spike, but many analysts believe it will prove detrimental to its value in the long run.

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JPMorgan finally admits Bitcoin has value, here is how they measure it

The world’s largest cryptocurrency has surged beyond its “intrinsic value,” mirroring a similar move in 2017 which preceded the industry’s biggest slump, JPMorgan Chase strategists wrote in a note on Friday.

Chief strategists at JPMorgan say Bitcoin’s overpriced

Bitcoin’s latest rally caught many by surprise,  not to say that it wasn’t a welcome development in the crypto community. With the value per BTC  exceeding $8,200 at one point, many saw this as an indicator that the dreaded bear market is finally over.

Goodbye bear market? Top bitcoin analyst says bull season is 99% in
Related: Goodbye bear market? Top bitcoin analyst says bull season is 99% in

The incredible price jump didn’t go unnoticed by JPMorgan, the US banking giant and previously one of Bitcoin’s most vocal critics. According to a note obtained by Bloomberg, strategists at JPMorgan believe that the world’s largest cryptocurrency might have gotten ahead of itself with its recent rally.

Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, one of the authors of the note, said that Bitcoin has surged beyond its “intrinsic value.”

The note explained that the intrinsic value of Bitcoin was decided by treating the cryptocurrency as a commodity and then calculating its “cost of production.” Inputs such as estimated computational power, electricity expense, and hardware energy efficiency were used to calculate the total “intrinsic value.”

“Defining an intrinsic or fair value for any cryptocurrency is clearly challenging,” the strategists wrote as a caveat. “Indeed, views range from some researchers arguing that it has no fundamental value, to others estimating fair values well in excess of current prices.”

JPMorgan’s note seen as a major win for the crypto industry

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, is infamous for his criticism of Bitcoin.

Dimon gained notoriety in the crypto industry in 2017 when he called Bitcoin a fraud and “worse than tulip bulbs, later threatening to fire any of the bank’s employees caught trading cryptocurrencies.

And while Dimon later regretted calling Bitcoin a fraud, he maintained his position that it is essentially worthless. However, JPMorgan’s latest report contradicts the bank’s overall position on cryptocurrencies, as it essentially acknowledges Bitcoin’s value.

Anthony Pompliano, the co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital, noted this in a tweet, warning that one should be wary of what banks say about cryptocurrencies in general.

While many laughed off JPMorgan’s report as being ridiculous, others have seen it as being very dangerous for the market. Responding to Pompliano’s tweet, many users called out JPMorgan for trying to devalue Bitcoin in order to hoard the coins.

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Cryptocurrency exchanges see massive increase in monthly trading volume, bull market solidifying

CryptoCompare, a leading provider of cryptocurrency data and indices, found that the top 15 exchanges all experienced an increase in monthly volume. FCoin exchange led the way with a 300 percent increase in trading, beating much larger and more established exchanges such as Binance, OKEx, and UpBit.

Crypto exchanges see a substantial increase in monthly volumes

Seen as a good way to gain insight into the current state of the cryptocurrency market, CryptoCompare’s monthly review has once again provided those watching the industry with data-driven developments in the space.

Source: CryptoCompare

The company shared its April review with CryptoSlate, where it found that the top 15 cryptocurrency exchanges all saw another increase in monthly volume in April with an average increase of 57 percent. However, what came as the biggest surprise was the fact that at $37.1 billion, FCoin saw a 300 percent increase in monthly volume since March.

How some cryptocurrency exchanges incentivize wash trading
Related: How some cryptocurrency exchanges incentivize wash trading

That said, FCoin is one of the exchanges actively participating in wash trading. The exchange incentivizes trading by reimbursing trading fees to users with the exchange’s native Fcoin token (FT).

By using the transaction fee mining model, the exchange managed to reach third place for 24-hour trade volume in August 2018 after only five months of operation. The move attracted criticism and could be what is behind FCoin’s 300 percent volume increase.

The Hong Kong-based exchange surpassed both Binance and ZB, which saw a 12.4 and 18.8 percent increase in monthly trading volume since March. Binance, one of the most popular exchanges, ranked 4th with a reported monthly volume of $27 billion.

Other high-performers included Gate.io and CoinTiger, both of whom have seen their volume increase by 145 and 109 percent, respectively.

CryptoCompare highlights key developments in the exchange market

The crypto industry has seen a steady increase in derivatives trading. CryptoCompare found that at $1.57 billion, bitFlyer Lighting (XBTJPY perpetual futures) traded with the highest average daily derivatives volume in April.

When it comes to regulated Bitcoin derivatives products CME dominated the industry. The impressive performance comes after CME’s major competitor Cboe discontinued its Bitcoin futures products.

Grayscale Investments Reports 56% of Incoming Crypto Capital Is From Institutional Investors
Related: Grayscale Investments Reports 56% of Incoming Crypto Capital Is From Institutional Investors

The exchange saw a 263 percent increase in average trading volume in April, increasing from $70.5 million in March to $256 million in April. Meanwhile, Grayscale’s bitcoin trust product (GBTC), saw a 239 percent increase to $29.7 million.

April saw another significant increase in volume from crypto to crypto exchanges, with the trading volume on exchanges that only offer crypto pairs increasing 49 percent. Meanwhile, those that offer fiat pairs saw their volume increase by 25 percent. CryptoCompare found that crypto to crypto exchange trading volume represented 84.5 percent of total spot volume in April.

Bitcoin to fiat volumes also saw a large increase. In April, 60 percent of all Bitcoin trading into fiat was made into U.S. Dollar, which is a 46 percent an increase since March. Bitcoin to USD volumes also increased by 75 percent, from 0.92 million BTC to 1.60 million BTC.

An increase in trading volumes across the crypto exchange industry is in line with the general surge in all major cryptocurrency prices. If the market manages to stay in the green then next month’s report could post even larger volumes.

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Send Bitcoin and Litecoin transactions over WhatsApp

WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging platform, will now allow its users to transfer Bitcoin and Litecoin via the Lite.Im bot. Developed by blockchain platform Zulu Republic, the bot will also enable transactions in ETH and ZTX, the company’s native token.

Users can now send and receive Bitcoin and Litecoin on WhatsApp

Cryptocurrency exchanges are no longer the only place where people can send and receive digital coins. There has been a steady increase in the number of platforms that enable cryptocurrency transactions between its users, and WhatsApp has now become one of them.

Source: Zulu Republic

All 1.5 billion of WhatsApp’s users will now be able to send and receive Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) through the platform thanks to a recently developed bot by Zulu Republic. The Zug-based company announced the launch of its WhatsApp bot, the Lite.Im, on May 19.

Platforms enabling SMS-based crypto transactions on the rise

While Lite.Im has seen its debut on WhatsApp, the bot as actually been around for almost a year. Zulu Republic first introduced the bot in August 2018 to Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and regular SMS via carriers.

Then, in December 2018, the company announced that their service will allow the purchase of cryptocurrencies directly in Messenger, Telegram, and SMS via credit and debit cards.

Zulu Republic was quick to issue these updates as Wuabit, a Spanish tech startup was reportedly working on a similar service. Wuabit was building a service that would allow WhatsApp users to send and receive cryptocurrencies through an AI-powered chat. However, the company’s planned public beta test scheduled for April has been canceled and no updates have been issued since.

With evidence suggesting Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company, is working on its own stablecoin, Zulu Republic’s bot could see tough competition in the near future.

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Bitcoin Pizza Guy featured on Anderson Cooper’s 60 Minutes

The beloved “Bitcoin Pizza Guy,” Laszlo Hanyecz, will be featured in the next airing of 60 Minutes where he will explain how he spent almost $800 million on pizza. Set to air on Sunday, it will be the first TV interview Hanyecz has ever given and will help bring Bitcoin to a much wider audience.

Bitcoin Pizza Guy to give the first interview on the 9th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day

A computer programmer from Florida has been featured on 60 Minutes and the crypto industry has gone crazy. Set to air on Sunday, May 19th at 7 pm ET, the report has left many people wondering what the fuss is all about.

The Bitcoin Pizza is Worth $83 Million Today
Related: The Bitcoin Pizza is Worth $83 Million Today

The programmer in question is no other than Laszlo Hanyecz, the Bitcoin Pizza Guy, a legendary figure in the crypto industry. Hanyecz made history as being the first person to conduct a real-world transaction involving Bitcoin. However, a few years later, he also became known for spending a total of 100,000 BTC mostly on pizza when Bitcoin was worth less than 1 cent.

At the time of the interview, one Bitcoin was worth around $8000, which means Hanyecz spent $800 million worth of BTC on pizza. In the interview snippet, Anderson Cooper, the new host of 60 Minutes, looked flabbergasted, to say the least.

“Are there nights you wake up,” Cooper asks, “where you think, ‘I could have had $800 million… if I hadn’t bought those pizzas?'”

Hanyecz says:

“I think thinking like that is… not really good for me.”

60 Minutes brings more media attention to Bitcoin…and pizza?

Tomorrow’s 60 Minutes will be focused on cryptocurrencies and the ways they have shaped the world. Hanyecz isn’t the only well-known figure in the crypto industry that will be featured in the show – Lael Brainard, the US Federal Reserve Governor, Neha Narula, director of the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, and Marco Streng, the CEO of Genesis Mining are all interviewed as well.

Charlie Shrem, BitInstant founder and the first person to become convicted for crypto fraud, also makes an appearance.

While the report has caused quite a media frenzy among the crypto community, it put cryptocurrencies under the spotlight. Having a network like CBS focus on the industry so much will definitely increase interest in Bitcoin.

As May 22nd, the 9th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day is getting nearer, it seems that pizza is also getting more media attention. Charlie Bilello, a cryptocurrency writer and investor, recently pointed out an interesting fact. Domino’s Pizza, which went public in July 2004, has a return of almost 4,200 percent.

Google, one of the largest companies in the world, went public a month later, in August 2004. Its investors, however, have only seen a return of 2,228 percent so far.

Many attribute the incredible ROI Domino’s has seen to the new and improved business model implemented by its retired CEO, Patrick Doyle. Others have also pointed out that Domino’s switch from a restaurant to a tech company, alongside its implementation of crypto payments, is what created the most value for investors.

Watch the interview with Laszlo Hanyecz below:

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Analysis of active addresses: Bitcoin, XRP, Dash, and Dogecoin see major growth

A recent comparison from Coinmetrics showed that Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Dash, and Ripple have seen a significant increase in the number of active addresses. While these coins have performed very well this year, other solid performers such as NEO saw a 70 percent drop.

Active addresses a good metric to measure coin popularity

Source: Coinmetrics

Getting a clear picture of the crypto market is a daunting task, as there are tens of thousands of variables to consider. Market capitalization has long been thought to be the best way to measure the popularity of a certain cryptocurrency and get a clear idea of where the market is going.

However, looking at other data points can add additional insight in conjunction with market capitalization. For example, according to LongHash, one of the best ways to measure a coin’s popularity is to consider the number of active wallet addresses on its blockchain.

Active addresses, meaning those that have engaged in crypto transactions during the past 24-hours, are a better metric than just the number of addresses, as it shows how much actual usage a coin actually gets.

Ceteris Paribus, a well-known Twitter account focused on cryptoanalysis, compared the number of active addresses of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), NEO (NEO), and XRP (XRP).

Crypto analyst compares the number of active addresses for top coins

The tweet compared the 30-day average number of active addresses for each of these coins from May 14, 2018, to May 14, 2019.

According to the data gathered from Coinmetrics, Bitcoin had 633,000 active addresses last year, followed by Ethereum’s 366,000. Litecoin came in third with 115,000, while Dogecoin and Bitcoin Cash had 71,000 and 52,000, respectively.

Dash, one of the most widely used coins in sanction-stricken countries such as Venezuela, had a 30-day average of just over 46,000 addresses, while Neo counted 11,000. Ripple, however, came in last, with just over 6,000 active addresses.

Fast forward to May 14 this year, and Bitcoin is, unsurprisingly, still in the lead. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has seen a 20 percent increase in the number of active addresses on its network. Ethereum, with just 259,000 addresses, has seen a 29 percent decline this year.

This drop was the most surprising of all the coins, as the sheer size of its network and the number of dApps built on it should have resulted in more active users. Litecoin also dropped 40 percent and only had 69,000 addresses this month.

Dogecoin and Ripple saw a 27 and 38 percent increase, respectively, and were among the top five performers when it comes to network usage. Bitcoin Cash stayed approximately the same, reporting a drop of only 9 percent.

NEO, the blockchain network dubbed “Chinese Ethereum,” saw the largest losses, with active addresses on the network dropping 70 percent from 11,000 in May 2018, to just 3,000 May this year.

The cryptocurrency with the most activity on its network was Dash, which saw a massive spike in usage in Venezuela, where sanctions and inflation pushed people into using the fast and reliable Dash. The network saw a 58 percent increase in the number of active addresses and went from 46,000 to over 74,000 in a single year.

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Data shows mainstream interest in Bitcoin is surging

Cryptocurrencies have grown from a niche market to a huge industry with a $230 billion market cap in less than a decade, but are yet to become a financial norm in a large part of the world.

However, there has been a steady increase in the amount of recognition the industry gets, from organic Google listings to traditional news outlets reporting on bitcoin. We explore all the ways crypto has entered the mainstream and what does this mean for the industry.

The ultimate goal for crypto—mainstream adoption

Ever since the first Bitcoin block was mined in January 2009, the goal of the crypto industry was to challenge traditional finance. And while the number of enthusiasts that gathered around Bitcoin increased year after year, it still may take decades before it would reach the number of people needed to make it become “mainstream.”

Congressman calls for a bill to outlaw cryptocurrency in the US
Related: Congressman calls for a bill to outlaw cryptocurrency in the US

Increased pressure from financial regulators also didn’t help—while some countries such as China, Taiwan, Pakistan, and Iran have outright banned crypto trading, others have imposed banking bans and made it impossible for crypto companies to effectively operate.

Even in the United States, where owning and trading cryptocurrencies is currently legal, there is a small, but not insignificant movement calling for a ban on crypto trading.

However, cryptocurrencies have managed to defy all odds and reach heights few could have imagined just a few years ago.

New evidence proving that mainstream adoption is just around the corner is popping up everywhere—from Google listings and major news coverage to more inconspicuous places like the Apple App Store.

Google says Bitcoin is worth a look

Getting a direct recommendation on Google Search would be a cause for celebration for any business, but it’s especially so in the case of Bitcoin. When googling “USD,” Bitcoin appears in the recommended searches.

A quick check using a different browser, a VPN, and incognito mode proved the claim correct—Google does recommend Bitcoin when searching for USD.

This, however, isn’t a result of any kind of lobbying or intentional influence, as Google’s algorithm highlights the most searched word combination.

This means that not only has the usage of Bitcoin increased, so too has the interest in the cryptocurrency and its value in US dollars. Omar Bham, a crypto news curator, recently tweeted a chart showing that interest in Bitcoin has surged on Google Search Trends.

The surge preceded Bitcoin’s latest price spike so it wouldn’t be bold to assume that it was a result of an organic increase in interest.

This can also be seen in the number of tweets mentioning Bitcoin—over the last 24-hours, the 7-day average tweets per day were 23,500, up from 17,400 this time last month.

More people own bitcoin than ever before

It’s not just that people are talking about crypto—they own it, too. Kevin Rooke, a cryptocurrency analyst, recently shared a graph showing the increase in the number of addresses that own more than 1 Bitcoin.

According to his data, there are currently 733,000 Bitcoin addresses that hold 1 or more BTC. While this is a slight increase since last year, comparing the number with any previous year shows an enormous change. In May 2013, just over 200,000 addresses owned more than 1 BTC, while in  2010, that number was less than 50,000.

Apart from owning more, people are also trading more, especially when it comes to Bitcoin. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has seen a 20 percent increase in the number of active addresses on its network since last year, while Dogecoin, Ripple’s XRP, and Dash increased by 27, 38, and 58 percent, respectively.

Judging by the previously mentioned stats, more trading equals more attention, which helps bring Bitcoin closer to a much larger audience.

Some of the world’s largest corporations opened their doors to crypto

The increase in attention caused by a surge in trading has opened up new doors for cryptocurrencies. Crypto payments are no longer a thing that’s bound to happen in the future—it’s a reality for some of the biggest merchants across the world.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash now accepted at thousands of retail locations including Whole Foods, Lowe’s, and Nordstrom
Related: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash now accepted at thousands of retail locations including Whole Foods, Lowe’s, and Nordstrom

Earlier this month, crypto payments have been enabled at tens of thousands of merchants in the US on the Flexa network. Flexa’s first app, SPEDN, allows users to spend crypto at some of the biggest brands in the US, including Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, and dozens of others.

After retailers such as Steam and Twitch have reversed their decisions to accept crypto payments, exposing such a large number of globally known merchants is regarded as a major win for crypto acceptance.

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, pointed out that crypto is slowly going from niche to mainstream. During this week’s Consensus conference in New York, he said:

“In crypto, the most mainstream thing you can think of is swiping your credit card at Starbucks. That will probably be the last area that’s disrupted by crypto.”

And while cryptocurrencies might come to Starbucks in the near future, Coinbase itself has come to a much larger audience than anyone could have expected. The largest cryptocurrency exchange to come out of the United States has made it to the list of trending apps on the Apple App Store.

Some Twitter users have pointed out that the last time Coinbase, or any other crypto exchange for that matter, was trending on the App Store was almost a year and a half ago.

Increased interest brings a more stable market

Having the interest in the crypto market frequently go up and down isn’t a new thing—mentions of Bitcoin on Twitter peaked at the beginning of December 2017 but fell to a historic low just a month later.

However, what we have seen in the past six months is a slow but steady increase in the attention cryptocurrencies receive. This makes it more likely that the entire industry’s market capitalization will follow that growth.

Steady growth, followed by an increased interest in owning and trading cryptocurrencies will ultimately be what brings stability to the industry.

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New Ethereum-based digital collectibles market Meme Factory goes live

A new Ethereum-based digital collectibles market called Meme Factory went live this week. The platform was created by district0x, a network of decentralized marketplaces behind the DNT token, and will allow users to create, issue, and trade rare digital collectibles.

Users can now trade “provably rare” digital collectibles on Meme Factory

The digital collectibles industry has grown immensely since the launch of Crypto Kitties and is now a burgeoning niche within the crypto industry. A new blockchain-based marketplace went live this week, giving users another place to trade digital collectibles.

Meme Factory, a marketplace created by District0x Network, launched today. The Ethereum-based platform will enable users to create and issue “provably rare” digital collectibles on a “truly decentralized marketplace,” the company said.

Meme Factory will enable its users to create original memes that can be tokenized. Every meme created on the platform will be submitted for consideration to the “Dank Registry.” The registry will be run by curators, who are also the holders of the platform’s native DANK token and decide on what memes make it to the platform.

Ethereum-based Meme Factory samples
A few of the memes available as “provably rare digital assets” on Meme Factory

An Ethereum-based platform that has been a year in the works

According to District0x, Meme Factory has been in the works for more than a year. The early-stage company managed to raise $9 million via ICO in 2017 and was backed by major venture capital firms such as Boost VC and CoinFund.

The funds enabled District0x to develop various apps and features, such as the ability to buy the memes approved for the Dank Registry using ETH. The platform will also enable users to trade and resell existing memes on secondary markets.

The company also plans on enabling developers to build websites on Meme Factory in the future. The so-called “districts” will essentially be decentralized autonomous organizations that enable posting, searching and payments.

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Roger Ver strikes back at Craig Wright for libel suit

The increasingly litigious Craig Wright sued Bitcoin Cash figurehead, and former business partner, Roger Ver for libel after being called a “fraud and a liar.” Ver responded to the lawsuit by seemingly debunking Wright’s claim that he controlled several high-profile Bitcoin addresses, which would have suggested that Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto.

Craig Wright called out, again

Craig Wright, one of the most controversial figures in the crypto industry, has been at the center of media scrutiny for a string of seemingly frivolous lawsuits. Now, the vocal founder of Bitcoin SV is in the news because it appears he was caught lying in court.

Wright, who gained notoriety for claiming he is Satoshi Nakamoto, submitted a list of Bitcoin addresses to a U.S. District Court in Florida. These addresses are owned by him and a trust he operates.

The addresses, which were described as a “lazy copy-paste job,” was supposed to prove that Wright owns some of the first Bitcoin addresses ever created.

However, Wright’s nemesis and former partner, the similarly controversial Roger Ver, debunked his claims by using one of the listed addresses to create a signed message.

Verifying the Signatures

“Address 16cou7Ht6WjTzuFyDBnht9hmvXytg6XdVT does not belong to Satoshi or to Craig Wright. Craig is a liar and a fraud,” said a message on Bitcoin social network Memo.

Crypto enthusiasts and avid followers of the Wright drama were quick to verify the signature, which did indeed show that the address was not owned by Wright.

While Roger Ver, the CEO of Bitcoin.com, hasn’t publicly acknowledged that it was him, the similarities between the signed message and Ver’s recent snub aimed at Wright are undeniable.

The move wouldn’t be out of line with Ver’s media modus operandi. He is known to criticize other prominent figures in the crypto industry, especially those who are vocal about their preference for Bitcoin over Bitcoin Cash.

Earlier this month, Ver was also on the receiving side of one of Wright’s many libel lawsuits. It wouldn’t be surprising if Wright’s libel claims were what sparked the back-and-forth between two of the industry’s most controversial figures.

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Louis Vuitton’s conglomerate bringing Ethereum-based blockchain technology to luxury fashion

ConsenSys entered into a partnership with LVMH and Microsoft to launch a new blockchain platform tailored for the luxury industry. The consortium, named AURA, will be based on Ethereum blockchain technology and utilize Microsoft’s Azure platform and enable customers to prove the authenticity of their goods.

Blockchain penetrates the luxury fashion industry

Two of the biggest players in tech, one in blockchain, the other in software, have partnered with LVMH, the biggest luxury goods conglomerates in the world, to bring blockchain technology to the luxury industry.

In a press release shared with CryptoSlate, ConsenSys and Microsoft announced AURA, a platform that aims to serve the entire luxury industry with powerful product tracking and tracing services. The platform will be based on the Ethereum blockchain and utilize Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform.

Several brands of the LVMH Group, such as Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior, the perfumes and cosmetics subsidiary of LVMH, are currently involved, ConsenSys said in the press release. Advanced discussions to onboard additional brands from the LVMH group and other luxury groups are currently underway, the released added.

Tracking goods and proving the authenticity with blockchain

The AURA project is the culmination of Louis Vuitton’s Track&Trace program launched more than three years ago and will see its implementation in various other companies. LVMH prides itself on the production cycle of its goods, which can now be tracked start to finish with blockchain technology. During production, each product will be recorded on the ledger. The end consumer will be able to use the brand’s application to redeem the AURA certificate of bought goods and while verifying the authenticity of products.

“[Aura is] proud to contribute and to work with LVMH on an initiative that will serve the entire luxury industry, protecting the interests,  integrity, and privacy of each brand,” Ken Timsit, managing director of ConsenSys Solutions, said.

Implementing a consortium model to AURA will enable any luxury brand to become a full member, which will ensure that the possibilities of the technology will be equally accessible and flexible to all, the company explained.

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National Public Radio (NPR) becomes a Brave verified publisher, now accepting Basic Attention Token for donations

The National Public Radio (NPR), a non-profit media organization based in Washington, DC, has become the latest major news outlet to become a Brave verified publisher. The website will now allow its readers to give them tips and recurring contributions in Basic Attention Token, Brave Browser’s native cryptocurrency.

America’s largest non-profit news outlet joins Brave

Brave, the company behind the eponymous browser, has been at the forefront of revolutionizing the online advertising industry. The company has entered the second quarter of 2019 with a bang and has seen impressive growth since.

Its browser has seen its user numbers grow considerably. Basic Attention Token (BAT) has also appreciated 160 percent year-to-date, while the number of high-profile websites enabling Brave Rewards has exploded.

CryptoSlate is now verified as a Brave Publisher
Related: CryptoSlate is now verified as a Brave Publisher

Joining the ranks of high-profile publishers such as the Los Angeles Times, Archive.org, The Guardian, the Washington Post, LADbible, and CryptoSlate, is NPR. America’s most popular non-profit media syndication has now become a Brave Verified Publisher, which means that its readers and listeners will be able to submit tips and recurring contributions on its website.

The news first broke in the early hours of May 16th, where it was met with overwhelming support. Many online said they applauded NPR’s decision to join Brave.

Others have announced that they have already donated to the website, saying that enabling BAT tips will ensure NPR maintains its reputation for quality journalism.

Over 22,000 publishers have joined the Brave network

While the NPR is yet to comment on joining the Brave network, many have seen this as a step in the right direction for such a large publisher. Online news outlets are heavily dependent on large advertisers, which often interferes with their objectivity.

However, there is a case to be made that BAT tips will never be able to replace traditional advertising. Archive.org, also known as the Internet Archive, is currently the 250th most visited website in the US but has only managed to accumulate around $2,500 in BAT donations since joining the network in 2017.

According to Alexa, NPR ranked 687th globally and is the 151st most visited website in the US. The incredible number of visitors and listeners of the network could result in more BAT donations, but it would still be a long way from ditching other advertisements altogether.

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Unsurprisingly, Got Satoshi turned out to be another Bitcoin-fueled marketing stunt

A website that claimed to know the true identity of Bitcoin’s true creator, Got Satoshi, turned out to be a marketing stunt planned and executed to promote a new crypto news outlet. The Satoshi that was revealed wasn’t a real person but instead was an “AI-powered” news anchor.

A website claiming to know Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity disappoints

Got Satoshi, an online social media campaign that promised to reveal the true identity of Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto turned out to be nothing more than a cheap marketing trick.

Satoshi Nakamoto turns out to be a vaguely caucasian AI news anchor

Launched last month, the one-page website gotsatoshi.com hosted a countdown timer that was scheduled to end on May 14th, when the ‘true’ identity of Satoshi would finally be revealed. The website was short on details, but a connected Twitter account has been actively posting for a couple of weeks, trying to create hype around the identity reveal.

The Got Satoshi campaign didn’t attract a very large audience, nor did it manage to convince anyone that it actually had anything important to reveal.

And while few expected anything but a scam, the final reveal was even more disappointing than anyone could have thought, as it turned out to be a poorly planned advertisement for a newly launched crypto news outlet.

PAI news debuts AI-driven anchor, the internet spares no effort to mock

It turned out that the Got Satoshi website was made to create a hype around the launch of PAI News and its AI-powered news anchor named Satoshi. The (shameless) 3D rendering of ‘Satoshi’ was created by ObEN, an artificial intelligence company, and it was announced as the world’s first “AI-powered news anchor in the world.”

The person behind the Got Satoshi twitter account said John McAfee, the creator of the eponymous anti-virus software, might be aware of who he is, but has been firm in his assertion that he is not Craig Wright.

McAfee, however, warned his followers that the website was trolling them even before the reveal.

The PAI News marketing campaign is yet another example of using sensationalism to promote and boost a product that’s bound to disappoint. This is not the first time, nor the last, that the brand around Satoshi Nakamoto and Bitcoin will be used to promote dubious products.

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