Brazilian Bitcoin Exchange Wins Standoff as Bank Reopens Account to Avoid Fines

Bitcoin Max, a Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange, has recently seen two banks in the country, Santander and Banco do Brasil, reopen its accounts following preliminary decisions made by Brazil’s Federal District Court. They reportedly reopened the exchange’s accounts to avoid paying fines. Banks Reopen Crypto Exchange Accounts According to local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, failing

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Goldman Sachs is Signing up Customers for its Bitcoin Trading Product: Report

Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has quietly begun signing up a limited number of customers for its yet-to-launch bitcoin trading product. Citing a source familiar with the matter, The Block reports that the 149-year-old Bulge Bracket bank has onboarded a “small number of clients” to actively trade the derivative, a non-deliverable forward, which is a

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Coinbase Predicts $1.3 Billion In Revenue, Weeks After Being Valued At $8 Billion

Cryptocurrencies may have shed three-quarters of their market capitalization from January to date, but one company is rising from the ashes like a phoenix and raking in the big numbers. Occupying three floors in San Francisco’s Market Street, U.S’ largest cryptocurrency exchange has been steadily growing since it was founded in 2012. And now, despite the trading volume taking a nosedive, documents availed to the media have revealed that Coinbase could rake in $1.3 billion in revenue this year. The revenue projection comes barely three weeks after Coinbase closed a funding round that valued the company at $8 billion.

‘Like Wells Fargo During The Gold Rush’

Founded by its current CEO, Brian Armstrong and Fred Erhsam in 2012, Coinbase was perfectly positioned to capitalize on the rise of cryptos over the years. However, it hasn’t always been rosy. In 2016, the company only brought in $17 million in revenue, running into a $16 million net loss. In 2017, buoyed by the skyrocketing prices of cryptos and their rising popularity, the exchange made a $380 million profit from $923 million worth of revenue.

The progress has continued this year despite the heavily bearish crypto market. According to the documents which were availed to Bloomberg, Coinbase projects to generate $456 million in profits.

The company generates its revenue from commissions and fees charged for trading on its platform. It also has stashes of cryptos under its ownership which also add on to its revenues. According to the documents, Coinbase has $503 million in cash in its bank accounts.

The figure is even more impressive given that crypto prices have tanked this year and subsequently, the trading volume has fallen drastically. According to estimates, the number of active traders on Coinbase has fallen by 80 percent. However, most cryptos are still trading higher than they did at this time last year.

The impressive figures are however not a surprise given the firm’s recent moves that have aimed at positioning it for domination. From acquiring strategic firms to launching new products for institutional investors, Coinbase has been positioning itself to be the Wells Fargo of the digital gold rush.

The revelation comes less than a month after Recode reported that Coinbase had closed a funding round that had valued the company at $8 billion. This thrust it into the list of the top 10 most valuable startups in the U.S, above titans such as collaboration software developer Slack Technologies and big data startup Palantir.

According to the report, the funding round was led by New York-based investment giant Tiger Global and saw the exchange raise $500 million. Coinbase reportedly added $250 million in new money, with the rest being used to buy out some of the existing investors. The investment was the first major move that Tiger Global has made in the crypto industry, underlining the amount of faith investors have in the future of Coinbase.

Speaking about the latest funding round, the firm’s COO, Asiff Hirji stated:

The companies interested in investing in us know that this is the next wave of tech innovation. This was an opportunistic round. We didn’t have to go out and raise capital.

He further revealed that during this round, the firm only invited investors who had a long-term view of the industry, not a get-rich-quick scheme.

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German Regulator Advises Investors to “Keep Their Hands Off” ICOs

The president of BaFin, Germany’s financial watchdog, is supportive of a global regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs). Critical of cryptocurrency financial rounds, Felix Hufeld advises private investors to “keep their hands off such things”.

BaFin’s President Hufeld Supports International Standards for Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

German’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), an independent institution under the wing of the Federal Ministry of Finance, is the financial regulatory authority in the country. ICOs are likely to fall under its supervision once regulation is established.

It remains to be seen whether ICOs develop into a normal part of the financial system, but BaFin’s President Hufeld says regulators are discussing ways to properly develop financial regulation, he told Handelsblatt.

“We do not want to stifle innovation, but must avert dangers at the same time. For example, it is important for us to take action against money laundering and safeguard privacy rights of investors. In addition, there should be certain minimum standards for the underlying terms of the contract,” he said.

The agency has already published consumer warnings as the number and volumes per ICO keep growing enormously and investors are insufficiently protected. “Therefore, I can only advise private investors to keep their hands off such things”, he commented.

Not totally unregulated, cryptocurrency fundraisers which fall under existing securities law would be supervised by BaFin. Hufeld is against regulating faster than the market develops. “There is rarely anything good about it”, he said.

The Berlin Court of Appeals has recently ruled against the regulator’s view that Bitcoin et al. are units of account and thus financial instruments, which would fall under BaFin’s supervision. Hufeld said the court’s decision further pressures policymakers to set up regulation for cryptocurrencies and fundraisers.

“Such considerations are necessary for the sole reason that it is necessary to make financial regulation future-proof, also with a view to new technological phenomena such as crypto-tokens. As I have said, international standards seem worthwhile for me, so discussions take place in a variety of international forums.”

The regulator is not bound by the decision and it is plausible that it will not change its practice until new legislation is put forward or an administrative court confirms the Berlin court’s decision.

International law firm Reed Smith LLP advises cryptocurrency-related businesses to take a cautious approach and seek legal advice and the authorisation of BaFin. Without one, market participants may eventually be ordered to immediately cease business operations and pay a fine or serve up to five years in prison.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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South Korea Cracks Down on Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Funds

South Korea Cracks Down on Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Funds

South Korean financial regulators are cracking down on unauthorized cryptocurrency funds. In particular, one crypto fund launched by a local exchange is reportedly being investigated. The exchange claims no wrongdoing as its token activities were carried out overseas, but has promptly canceled its plan to launch a second fund.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Unauthorized Crypto Funds

South Korea Cracks Down on Unauthorized Cryptocurrency FundsSouth Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) have warned investors of unauthorized cryptocurrency funds. The warning followed the launch of a financial product where “cryptocurrencies collected from some investors are managed through initial coin offerings (ICO), and profits are distributed at their expiration dates,” Business Korea described.

The regulators specifically referred to the fund launched last month by crypto exchange Zeniex called “ZXG Crypto Fund No. 1,” which is “the first virtual currency fund in Korea,” the publication detailed, noting:

The virtual currency fund has never been registered with the Financial Supervisory Service … None of the management company, sales company and the trustee have been approved by the Financial Services Commission.

Maeil business newspaper reported on Tuesday that “The financial authorities have handed over the circumstantial data for the investigation to the prosecution.”

South Korea Cracks Down on Unauthorized Cryptocurrency FundsZeniex explained that while funding was made through its platform, “the actual recruitment and token issuance were made by overseas management companies,” the news outlet conveyed. Noting that less than 1 billion won ($878,080) has been raised, the company believes that there was no reporting obligation. An official of the exchange was quoted asserting:

An indirect investment in a virtual currency fund is an attractive tool to raise market soundness … It’s unfortunate that innovative attempts will not continue until the government’s guidelines are set.

The South Korean government banned ICOs in September last year but has yet to introduce guidelines for them. A number of proposals have been submitted to the National Assembly and the government is expected to announce its ICO stance in November.

Zeniex’s Funds and Capital Markets Law

South Korea Cracks Down on Unauthorized Cryptocurrency FundsBusiness Korea explained that under the Korean Capital Markets Act, all investment funds must be registered with the FSS.

In addition, “Public offering funds that collect funds from general investors must file securities reports,” and “an asset management company that manages a fund and the fund sales company that sells it have to obtain necessary financial approval,” the publication detailed.

The company must also “honor regulations on business practices such as the maintenance of minimum capital for soundness and the prevention of conflicts of interest and [has] a duty to explain to investors.”

As for Zeniex’s fund, an FSS official was quoted by Maeil saying, “It is the interpretation of the authorities that the fund must follow the investor protection system set out in the capital markets law as long as it is sold to domestic financial consumers.” However, the official admitted:

There is no way to check whether the platform is operating as claimed by Zeniex, because the financial authorities have no regulatory authority at present.

Zeniex had planned to launch its second fund this month. However, the company issued a statement on Monday stating that “The authorities are concerned that there is room for illegality,” adding that it “will completely cancel the launch of the second product because it could lead to misunderstandings of investors and regulators.” Local media then reported on Tuesday that Zeniex has canceled the launch of its second fund.

What do you think of South Korean regulators cracking down on unauthorized crypto funds? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Zeniex.


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Chinese Retail Giant JD.com Launches Blockchain Research Lab

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has partnered with two technology institutes to launch a blockchain research lab to examine new applications of the technology.

Chinese retail giant JD.com is further gaining a foothold in blockchain technology by launching a research lab for blockchain in partnership with two technology institutes, according to an announcement published Oct. 30.

Jingdong Group (JD.com) is a leading Chinese e-commerce company, controlling roughly 30 percent of the business-to-consumer online market in China with 314 million active users, according to Financial Times. The company focuses on implementation of new technologies in e-commerce, delivery services, and finance.

Per the announcement, JD has collaborated with the Ying Wu College of Computing at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS) to establish a blockchain technology lab. The lab will be geared towards solving efficiency problems and examining new applications for the technology.

Among other objectives of the lab, JD cites long-term joint research efforts in fundamental consensus protocols, privacy protection, and security in decentralized applications (DApps). Zhong Hua, deputy director of the Software Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, stated that “through this partnership we will bring about blockchain innovation and promote industrial applications of blockchain technology.”

Last month, JD established the Smart City Research Institute at its headquarters in Nanjing aimed at facilitating the development of “smart city” construction with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and blockchain technologies. The Institute will reportedly influence “the entire East China region” and aims to reduce industry costs and increase efficiency.

In August, JD revealed its new Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform dubbed JD Blockchain Open Platform. The new product is designed to help commercial customers to build, host and implement blockchain solutions without having to develop the technology from scratch.

Moreover, in August the company revealed plans to issue asset-backed securities (ABSs) on a blockchain in conjunction with Huatai Securities and Xingye Bank. Within the collaboration, the partners would purportedly assess blockchain’s potential to improve asset security.

Swamp not Drained? 64% of US Voters Fear Politicians Will Misuse Crypto Donations

Mistrust of politicians is nothing new, but the perception that bitcoin and other crypto tokens are unregulated has heightened the suspicions of eligible US voters. According to a survey conducted by blockchain research firm Clovr, 64 percent of respondents across the US political landscape were fearful of politicians coming up with ways to illegally take advantage

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Bitstamp Is Looking Towards ‘Global Expansion’ After Being Acquired by South Korean Investors

Bitstamp has been acquired by Brussels-based investment firm.

On October 29, the cryptocurrency exchange, Bitstamp, was acquired by Belgium-based investment firm NXMH, which in turn, is owned by South Korean media conglomerate NXC Corp.

The Luxembourg-registered exchange is now controlled by the same company that bought the majority stake in the South Korean crypto exchange, Korbit, last year, while its CEO remains in office to continue with Bitstamp’s “global expansion.”

Brief history of Bitstamp, Europe’s oldest and most legally compliant crypto exchange

Bitstamp was launched in August 2011 by Nejc Kodrič and Damijan Merlak in their native Slovenia. As Kodrič recalled in an interview, their business started out in a garage “with an initial capital of just a thousand euros, two laptops and a server.” The idea to open up an exchange came to the entrepreneurs after they experienced difficulties buying Bitcoin in Europe.

As they told Forbes, when they were originally registering their exchange with a Slovenian bank in 2011, it didn’t object because people in Slovenia “didn’t know what Bitcoin was.” In April 2013, Kodrič and Merlak outsourced support, compliance, and legal needs to the U.K., because they couldn’t do all the screening "necessary to keep bad guys out" in their home country. Bitstamp was now a UK registered limited company.

In 2016, Bitstamp became Europe’s first fully legal crypto exchange after it received a license from Luxembourg to operate as a payment institution. To receive the document, the exchange went through two years of various checks, including an audit by Ernst & Young. Being a compliant business, Bitstamp has stuck to strict Know-Your-Customer (KYC) principles.

In 2017, Bitstamp became one of four crypto exchanges that provides the CME Group with pricing data for its Bitcoin futures trading. Kodrič told Cointelegraph at the time:

“It’s essential that we ensure that all data provided does not include any forms of manipulation that could affect the index. We’re proud that we’ve earned the trust of the industry and were chosen to be a part of the new Bitcoin futures market.”

Security seems to be one of the main priorities for Bitstamp, especially after the 2015 hack, when the exchange lost 19,000 BTC (around $5 million at the time). The fraudsters stole the funds from Bitstamp’s hot wallet in a typical phishing attack — the exchange employees received personal emails and Skype messages from seemingly friendly sources. As a result, the person responsible for security, Bitstamp system administrator Luka Kodrich, downloaded malware onto the work computer, which led to the exchange’s security getting breached.

Compensation did not follow, but the security regime was significantly toughened. Specifically, carrying out transactions on Bitstamp now requires using multisignature, and 98 percent of the cryptocurrency is stored in a cold wallet.

Established back in 2011, Bitstamp is the oldest active crypto exchange in the world. It is currently ranked 26th on CoinMarketCap, seeing around $65,858,358 in trades in the 24 hours before press time. Kodrič told Reuters their volume has been down between 60-70 percent comparing to previous years, but stressed that Bitstamp remained profitable in 2018 because current cryptocurrency prices were still higher than they were for most of last year.

Buyout details: Kodrič remains CEO, investor ‘helps with global expansion’

On October 29, Reuters reported that Bitstamp has been acquired by Brussels-based investment firm NXMH in an “all cash deal.” Prior to that, the exchange had raised a total of about $14 million from investors including Pantera Capital, which invested $10 million in Bitstamp in 2014.

NXMH is a family investment holding which has over 2 billion euros in assets “managing the wealth of an Asian tech entrepreneur,” as per its Linkedin profile. It was founded in 2011 and focuses on European consumer and tech investments. The firm is a subsidiary of South Korea-based media giant NXC Corp, which bought a 65.19 percent stake in South Korean crypto exchange Korbit last year.

The deal between NXMH and Bitstamp was reportedly finalized on October 25. Whilst Kodrič declined to share the full terms to the media, he informed Reuters that in 2016 Bitstamp was valued at $60 million, up from $39 million in 2014. Interestingly, in March 2018 the exchange was rumored to be “in the final stages” of being acquired by South Korean investors (of which NXMH is technically a subsidiary) for $400 million.

NXMH now has an 80 percent stake in Bitstamp, with Kodrič retaining his 10 percent ownership interest and staying on as CEO. NXMH has also reportedly obtained “part” of Pantera Capital’s $10 million stake in the exchange, however it will keep a six percent ownership stake in the exchange. Kodrič’s co-founder, Damian Merlak, has reportedly sold all of his 30 percent stake in the exchange in the NXMH deal. According to Kodrič, his co-founder has “not been active since 2015.”

Bitstamp CEO does not believe anything will change for either the exchange’s customers or its 180 employees following the acquisition, as he told Fortune:

“We have kind of the same opinion as NXMH — why change something if it works perfectly well?”

He added that a merger between Bitstamp and Korbit (both owned by one parent company NXC Corp.) was in the talks, but the parties decided to run the exchange separately in the end. The crypto exchanges still plan to share technology, research, and development resources, according to Kodrič.

NXMH was one of four interested bidders for Bitstamp in a process that began in “mid-2017.” He added that they initially struck the deal last December, as the price of Bitcoin was peaking near $20,000, and it took several months for the companies to receive regulatory approval for the arrangement.

Kodrič claims that he and Merlak “were not looking to sell,” and “were definitely not looking for investment because they “didn’t need to raise the capital.” Nevertheless, he took the opportunity to cash out on the majority of his share in the company while keeping 10 percent and remaining the CEO:

“[Bitstamp and NXMH] were very much aligned—where we see the industry going and what the company wants to be [...] They’re willing to help us along the way, and help us with our global expansion.”

Other major acquisitions of 2018: Poloniex, BitTrade, Bithumb

Earlier in February, Goldman Sachs-backed, Circle startup, acquired the US-based Poloniex crypto exchange for $400 million.

In late May, Japanese crypto exchange BitTrade was acquired for S$67 million ($50 million) by a Singaporean multi-millionaire and entrepreneur, Eric Cheng. After purchasing a 100 percent stake in the company, Cheng became the first foreign investor to own an exchange licensed by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).

On August 31, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, with a market capitalization of over $12.5 billion, revealed a 265 million yen ($2.4 million) deal to acquire domestic crypto exchange, Everybody’s Bitcoin.

In October, BK Global Consortium, a group led by one of South Korea's leading plastic surgeons, Dr. Kim Byung Gun, closed a deal to obtain “50 percent plus one share” of BTC Holding Co. – the largest investor in Bithumb crypto exchange. According to Bloomberg, the purchase was settled at around 400 billion won ($352 million) and will be finalized in February 2019.

Survey: 60% of US Voters Support Bitcoin Donations in Federal Elections

A poll conducted by IT firm Clovr has found that 60 percent of participants who are eligible voters are in favor of legalizing cryptocurrency donations in federal elections in the U.S.

A number of states have already restricted or ruled against such donations and the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) accepts cryptocurrency as in-kind contributions limited to $100.

60 Percent of Eligible Voters Want Crypto Donations Under Same Rules as US Dollars

Clovr surveyed 1,023 registered U.S. voters for their take on how digital currency could affect the political process.

It found that participants want cryptocurrency and U.S. currency to be treated the same in federal elections, with only 21 percent of respondents feeling otherwise.

The current federal law accepts both U.S. dollars and cryptocurrencies as acceptable forms of political donations, but while USD can be received in checks, cash, and credit card transactions, cryptocurrency donations are considered as an in-kind contribution limited to $100.

“From a political perspective, the overriding issues of cryptocurrency acceptance are the same ones the federal government and private sector are still wrestling with, namely value and security.”

Clovr asked participants whether digital currency is secure enough to be used for political purposes and found 54 percent saying “Yes,” 26 percent saying “No,” and 21 percent unsure. Republicans (63 percent) showed more confidence towards crypto than Democrats (52 percent), but both political affiliations were clear about their attitude towards the issue.

On financial stability, 42 percent of participants answered “Yes” whereas 35 percent answered “No” and 23 percent were unsure. The majority of Republicans were confident of cryptocurrency’s stability for political purposes, but crypto-friendly Democrats lagged behind with 42 percent, almost tied with the “No” respondents.

Those who would contribute larger amounts of cryptocurrency donations if allowed amounted to 22 percent of Republicans, 16 percent of Democrats, and 12 percent of independents. The survey also asked participants how more likely they are to contribute if they were allowed to make donations in cryptocurrency.

“An average of just under 25 percent of eligible voters in our survey indicated they would be more likely to contribute to political campaigns if cryptocurrency donations were an option,” it added.

Foreign interference, however, is currently a serious issue in American politics and respondents showed concerns about the role of cryptocurrency donations in the political system. Of those asked, 60 percent said foreign interference would be more common if cryptocurrency contributions were allowed, with only 15 percent disagreeing with that statement. Democrats (66 percent) are the most concerned, followed by Republicans (58 percent) and independents (56 percent).

“64 percent of people reported being extremely familiar with cryptocurrency believed if it was used in the policital system, it would make foreign interference in elections more common”.

Of those who believe cryptocurrency donations would increase unscrupulous activity in the U.S. political system, this accounted for 62 percent. Additionally, 64 percent of participants believe politicians would illegally take advantage of looser regulations on cryptocurrency donations, and 56 percent feel the same about political parties.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Coinbase Now Worth $8 Billion, Raises Funds to Accelerate Crypto Adoption

Coinbase, the giant digital currency exchange, reports that it added $300 million USD after its latest fundraising round. As a result, the company says that its value now surpasses the $8 billion USD mark.


Coinbase Sees Tremendous Promise in Crypto

On October 30, 2018, Asiff Hirji, President and CEO, Coinbase, announced that the company had raised the additional amount of USD 300 million in its latest fundraising effort which was led by Tiger Global Management. Coinbase officially announced:

Today, we’re pleased to announce that Coinbase will add an additional $300 million of investment at a valuation of over $8 billion to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies and digital assets. The Series E equity round is led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain and others.

Several other investment management firms also participated in the fundraising, such as Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, and Polychain.

In making the announcement, Hirji expressed his optimism about the future of the crypto industry,

We see tremendous promise in crypto to build the next great phase of the internet (often referred to as Web 3), which has the power to put control back in the hands of consumers, unleash a new era of innovation, and offer greater access to economic opportunities to more people around the world.

What’s more, the company also released its first ever video commercial, which you can check out below.

Coinbase Doubles Its Engineering Staff as Part of Its Business Expansion Strategy

The San Francisco-based exchange thus shows that it continues full steam ahead with its strategy of global expansion. It already boasts more than 1,000 employees, including contractors, distributed around the world. Early this year, the company asserted that it had doubled the size of its engineering team in the past year.

Coinbase Aims to Obtain Banking Licenses

Steady with its expansionist plan, the company will be using this additional financing to accelerate the adoption rate of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, to speed-up the offering of crypto assets, and to encourage financial institutions to participate in the crypto market, among other initiatives.

Coinbase blog details how it will use the financing as follows:

• Global expansion–building the infrastructure between fiat and crypto in regulated markets around the world;

• Offering more crypto assets, quickly — we see hundreds of cryptocurrencies that could be added to our platform today, and we will lay the groundwork to support thousands in the future;

• Utility applications for crypto — like the recently announced support for a stablecoin (USDC) on Coinbase and our continued development of Coinbase Wallet; and

• Bringing institutions into crypto — adding features and crypto assets to our Custody offering to bring more institutional funds into the crypto space.

To achieve its expansionist objectives, Coinbase needs to attract more talent, so if you’re interested, you can check this job site.

What do you think of Coinbase’s efforts to accelerate its global expansion? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Microsoft to Integrate Blockchain Offering Into Nasdaq Services Following New Partnership

A new partnership between Microsoft and Nasdaq Inc. aims to integrate the Azure Blockchain offering with Nasdaq’s Financial Framework product.

American software corporation Microsoft will integrate its Azure Blockchain technology into stock exchange Nasdaq Inc.’s Financial Framework (NFF), according to an Oct. 30 press release.

Per the recent announcement, Microsoft will integrate its Azure blockchain service with NFF, a technology which provides software for trading infrastructure and operations outsourcing, and fulfills Nasdaq’s risk and surveillance technology offering.

Within the collaboration, the parties will reportedly develop a “ledger agnostic blockchain capability” that will allow for operability across multiple ledgers. The new product will purportedly facilitate easier buyer and seller matching, management of delivery, and payment and settlement of transactions.

Integrating Azure Blockchain will reportedly allow NFF customers to deploy various blockchains through one common interface, in addition to promoting blockchain development.

Tom Fay, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Architecture at Nasdaq, said that the partnership with Microsoft removes some of the complexities of integrating blockchain technology into existing infrastructures. He added:

“Our NFF integration with their blockchain services provides a layer of abstraction, making our offering ledger-agnostic, secure, highly scalable, and ultimately helps us continue to explore a much broader range of customer use cases for blockchain.”

Recently, Nasdaq revealed a new blockchain patent, which makes reference to “an information computer system [...] provided for securely releasing time-sensitive information to recipients via a blockchain.” With the patent, the company is reportedly looking to ease releasing timely information to the media while keeping it secure and watertight from a legal standpoint.

Last month in an interview with Cointelegraph, Nasdaq’s Head of Alternative Data Bill Dague said that it is exploring adding crypto datasets to its market analytics tool. However, whether or not the exchange will launch a crypto-related product remains to be seen.

In August, Azure introduced a proof-of-authority (PoA) algorithm on its Ethereum blockchain product. A PoA algorithm is based on the principle of approved identities or validators on a blockchain, and does not require competition in completing the transactions.

The new Ethereum product on Azure is equipped with a number of features to ensure its correct functioning and security, such as an identity leasing system, Parity’s web-assembly support, Azure Monitor, and a Governance Decentralized Application (DApp).

Oyster Protocol Founder Exit Scams, Steals $300,000 from ICO Smart Contract

Oyster Protocol is a hybrid IOTA/Ethereum smart contract platform designed to help websites garner revenue. Instead of traditional advertising, users of websites contribute their computing resources, enabling the website owner to garner Oyster Pearls (PRL) by securing and contributing to services offered by Oyster. PRL — which is an ERC-20 token and runs on Ethereum

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LocalBitcoins Seller Pleads Guilty to Operating Unlicensed Business

A LocalBitcoins seller pleaded guilty of operating an illegal money transfer business in a Southern California federal court earlier today.

The defendant admitted to buying thousands of Bitcoin over a 16-month period and selling them through the popular peer-to-peer marketplace without the correct licence to do so.

Bitcoin Dealer Agrees to Forfeit Over $820,000

According to a news release from the Southern California Department of Justice, a San Diego man has pleaded guilty of operating an unlicensed money transmitting service today.

Jacob Burrell Campos admitted to illegally selling hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin without taking necessary precautions to abide by federal financial regulations.

Campos had used the platform LocalBitcoins to advertise his operation.

According to the news release, at first he was buying the Bitcoin from a “U.S.-based, regulated exchange” and then selling them privately at a 5% premium. He would accept a range of payments including: cash, ATM deposits, and MoneyGram transfers and often communicated trades via email or SMS.

Shortly after setting up shop his initial account was shut down following a “large number of suspicious transactions”. This prompted him to move to a Hong Kong-based exchange. The report indicates that this account was used to buy $3.29 million BTC over a series of several transactions.

During the period between January 2015 and April 2016 Burrell is thought to have served over 1,000 independent customers sourced from LocalBitcoins. However, federal law requires money transmitting businesses of this size be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury and operate according to know-your-customer and anti-money laundering regulations. The San Diego man’s operation was compliant with neither of these regulations.

Finally, the 21-year-old also admitted to being involved in a dollar smuggling operation. The combined effort of this are thought to have resulted in over $1 million crossing the Mexico – America border between late 2016 and early 2018. The group are thought to have been arranging the transfer of amounts just under the $10,000 reporting requirement.

In the plea agreement, Campos states that he is willing to forfeit $823,357 to the U.S. government. He could also receive up to five years in jail for his crimes or a $250,000 fine. The 21-year-old will be sentenced on February 19.

U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman added:

“Unlicensed money transmitting businesses, especially those operating at or near the border, pose a serious threat to the integrity of the U.S. banking system, and provide an ‘open door’ for criminals to utilize such businesses to launder the proceeds of their illicit activities.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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UK Government Moots Ban on Cryptocurrency Derivatives

Report: U.K. Government Moots Ban on Cryptocurrency Derivatives

The U.K. government is considering a ban on cryptocurrency-linked derivative products. The Financial Conduct Authority said in a report on Oct. 29 that it will begin consultations on whether to ban the sale of derivatives based on digital coins like BTC as well as to restrict crypto-based contracts of difference to the public. Virtual currency futures and options will also be looked into, in discussions slated for the first quarter of 2019.

Also Read: Coincheck Reports Deepening Losses of $5.3 Million in Third Quarter

FCA Worried About Consumer Protection and Risk of Cryptocurrency-Related Illegal Activity

“Given concerns identified around consumer protection and market integrity in these markets, the FCA will consult on a prohibition of the sale to retail consumers of all derivatives referencing exchange tokens such as BTC, including CFDs, futures, options and transferable securities,” the financial watchdog said.

UK Government Moots Ban on Cryptocurrency Derivatives

“The proposed prohibition would not cover derivatives referencing cryptoassets that qualify as securities,” it stated, in a report compiled by the Cryptoassets Taskforce, made up of the Bank of England, the FCA and the British Treasury. Contracts of differences on securities are to remain subject to the short-term restrictions of the European Security and Market Authority.

Whereas futures allow investors to pay for commodities or financial instruments to be delivered sometime in the future at a certain price, CFDs are basically financial derivatives that pay an investor the difference between the opening and closing price, in this case of a digital asset.

 Regulator Targets ‘Robust Response’

European regulators have complained that cryptocurrencies are risky, and repeatedly alleged that they help to fuel money laundering and terrorism while placing investor funds at the mercy of fraudsters. Their alarmist entreaties have ramped up pressure on governments to act, with many promulgating a series of regulations ostensibly to safeguard public funds and prevent the risk of financial instability.

The FCA, which has oversight of cryptocurrency derivatives because they are classified as financial instruments, rehashed similar concerns in its latest report. “The U.K. will not tolerate the use of cryptoassets in illicit activity, and the authorities will take strong action to address these risks by bringing all relevant firms into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) regulation,” it warned.

The latest report comes hardly two months after some U.K. lawmakers, calling for regulation, likened the cryptocurrency market to the “Wild West.”

UK Government Moots Ban on Cryptocurrency Derivatives

According to the taskforce, British authorities are developing a robust regulatory response that will address identified risks. It indicated that regulators will go significantly beyond the requirements set out in the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD), in the hope of delivering what it claimed to be “the most comprehensive responses globally to the use of cryptoassets for illicit activity.”

“The government will consult on its proposed actions in the new year, and will legislate during 2019 to give effect to this response,” the FCA detailed, adding that fiat-to-crypto exchange firms and custodian wallet providers will be brought within the scope of anti-money laundering regulation.

The Cryptoasset Taskforce was set up in April following concerns that the generally unregulated digital currency market is susceptible to fraud and manipulation, and can be used by criminals to expedite money laundering. This is despite clear evidence showing the legacy financial markets, led by central banks and credit card cartels, to be significantly more complicit in abetting such behavior.

What do you think about the potential ban on cryptocurrency derivatives in the U.K? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Bitcoin Price Intraday Analysis: BTC/USD Expecting More Losses

Bitcoin on Tuesday remained calmer compared to the action noted at the beginning of this week. The bitcoin-to-dollar exchange rate moved sideways above its newfound support at 6212-fiat as volume dipped once again. The pair is now more than a percent down from its yesterday’s high at 6288-fiat, trading at 6211-fiat at this moment. The

The post Bitcoin Price Intraday Analysis: BTC/USD Expecting More Losses appeared first on CCN

Unocoin Founder Recounts His Arrest Following Indian Crackdown on Bitcoin ATMs

Just one week ago, Indian officials arrested the co-founder of an Indian cryptocurrency exchange, Unocoin, for operating a Bitcoin ATM kiosk which the police called “illegal”. One of Unocoin’s co-founders has now given a recount of his arrest in a recent interview.

The Unocoin co-founder’s arrests were largely publicized and was seen by many as the Indian government’s way of flexing their muscles against the cryptocurrency industry, which they have been at war with since they first barred crypto exchanges from engaging in banking relationships earlier this year.

On October 23, Harish BV, one of the co-founders, was arrested at the Kemp Fort Mall in the southern city of Bengaluru just a week after Unocoin had installed, what it has advertised as, India’s first-ever Bitcoin ATM. Harish was working on the ATM and making sure that all the systems were flawless and fully operational before it went live.

Indian Government Not Wanting Exchanges to Bypass Ban Via Bitcoin ATMs

The ATM was unique in that it was meant to be a fiat gateway for Indian cryptocurrency investors looking to trade cryptocurrencies, as they could deposit funds that could in turn be used to trade cryptocurrency on the Unocoin platform. Users would also be given the opportunity to withdraw funds from their account.

Harish said that the operational tests and upgrades were in their final stages when police entered the mall and took him in for questioning. After questioning, they took him into custody, claiming that the ATM had violated Indian law as it lacked the required approvals.

The next day, Sathvik Vishwanath, another Unocoin co-founder, was also arrested by the police.

The kiosk cleverly exploited a loophole in the government’s so-called “cryptocurrency ban”, as it allowed investors to deposit and withdraw funds by removing the banking middle-man. The arrests were likely the governments way of saying that they will not tolerate exchanges utilizing any loopholes to bypass the banking relations ban.

After posting bail, Vishwanath recounted the situation to Quartz India, saying:

“I knew this was coming after Harish was charged. I was at home that morning, trying to figure out what needs to be done to get Harish out of police custody, when the officials came to my house. They took me for questioning and later I was also charged and sent to judicial custody.”

He also noted that the police had unfoundedly accused his exchange of duping customers, saying that he had “promised 2x returns” and was “trying to cheat customers”. Vishwanath noted that his exchange has never made any such promises to their clients, and that they have never received a complaint regarding anything of the sort.

The police’s cybercrime department also spoke about the arrests, saying that the exchange had not received permission from the state government to operate the kiosk, and further noted that they were operating “outside the remit of the law”.

Swaroop Anand, the lawyer representing the Unocoin co-founders, spoke about why the government’s actions were not justified, saying that the mall in which the kiosk was located would have already received the necessary approval and licensing to hold a kiosk of this sort.

“It is a kiosk that is being set inside the mall and the mall would have had already taken trade permissions. Therefore, there was no need for Unocoin to take any other permission and there had not been any violation of licence requirements.”

It still remains to be seen whether or not the police will begin arresting other cryptocurrency exchange executives on baseless charges in an effort to censor the industry.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

The post Unocoin Founder Recounts His Arrest Following Indian Crackdown on Bitcoin ATMs appeared first on NewsBTC.

Daily Crypto Roundup 10/30/2018

Today in Crypto is news of Coinbase raising even more funds, an interview with Blockstream’s Allen Piscitello, more Roger Ver drama, Bittrex news, and regulatory insights. Let’s dive into today’s news!

Coinbase Raises $300 Million Following IPO Rumors

News this morning from Coinbase shows them raising $300 million in its first funding round since 2017.

The funds raised will be used “to accelerate adoption, expand their crypto offerings, build new utility applications for the space, and make it easier for institutions to participate”, reported Crypto Insider.

Coinbase President and COO Asiff Hirji states in their blog announcement, that “[w]e see tremendous promise in crypto to build the next great phase of the internet (often referred to as Web 3), which has the power to put control back in the hands of consumers, unleash a new era of innovation, and offer greater access to economic opportunities to more people around the world”.

Read on Crypto Insider

Interview: Blockstream’s Allen Piscitello  On Liquid, The Lightning Network, And Bitcoin Core

Crypto Insider had the opportunity to interview Blockstream Director of Product Management Allen Piscitello. Mr. Piscitello works on Bitcoin’s Liquid Network (a scaling solution for Bitcoin).

Mr. Piscitello has significant experience in the crypto space, describing that he’s been involved for almost seven years.

Mr. Piscitello speaks on many topics, but mostly about the Liquid Network for Bitcoin — network risks, criticisms, decentralization, the difference between Lightning Network and Liquid Network, as well as other interesting information.

Read on Crypto Insider

More Drama With Roger Ver/Jimmy Song $1 Million Bet

Today saw notable Bitcoin maximalists Jimmy Song and Tone Vays talking on YouTube about an ongoing bet between Song and Roger Ver.

According to a previous Crypto Insider report, Ver bet Song back in September, that Bitcoin Cash would overtake Bitcoin in price within ten years time. The bet was for $1 million dollars. (Bitcoin Cash is currently around $415, and Bitcoin around $6,265 according to Blockmodo live data.)

Song has since had an ongoing discussion with Ver, trying to come to official terms for the bet. It seems as though the two parties still cannot fully agree to a deal at this point in time.

Read on Crypto Insider 

Bittrex Launches Malta-based ‘International’  Trading Platform, Minus U.S. Customers

A Bittrex blog post yesterday showed the platform’s intention to launch an international exchange which will see new tokens approved more quickly for listing.

The Bittrex blog post headlines that “Bittrex International will Combine Streamlined Token Approval Process with Bittrex’s Cutting-Edge Trading Technology for International Customers”. 

Bill Shihara, CEO for Bittrex, stated they “are committed to being a driving force in the blockchain revolution by increasing adoption of this innovative technology around the world”, according to their blog post.

However, CoinTelegraph reports that customers based in the U.S. will be barred from using these new international markets, but can still use the current Bittrex exchange.

Read on CoinTelegraph

Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen Is ‘Not A Fan’ Of Bitcoin

Janet Yellen spoke her mind on concerns about Bitcoin, during the Canadian Fintech Forum yesterday. She also stated worries about “the idea of central bank-issued cryptocurrencies specifically”, reported CoinDesk.

CoinDesk goes on to show Yellen stating -“I know there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies and maybe something is coming down the line that is more appealing but I think first of all, very few transactions are actually handled by bitcoin, and many of those do take place on bitcoin are illegal, illicit transactions”.

Yellen was previously a chairman for the U.S. Federal Reserve, holding the position for the past 4 years.

Read on CoinDesk

*Crypto Insider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement with them, CI may occasionally link to, and quote, Blockmodo when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff. CI sponsors have no say in any of CI’s editorial decisions.

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 10/30/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Better, Faster, Cheaper: Ripple Exec Claims XRP is ‘Bitcoin 2.0’

Ripple’s New Chief Market Strategiest, Cory Johnson, is certainly a known quantity in the traditional financial world. He co-founded TheStreet.com with CNBC’s Jim Cramer – that guy who’s always freaking out over charts and events on Wall Street – and worked with a number of different start-ups over the years before eventually finding himself at

The post Better, Faster, Cheaper: Ripple Exec Claims XRP is ‘Bitcoin 2.0’ appeared first on CCN

Slight Slump in Markets Continues, Ethereum Trades Below $200

Following a period of prolonged stability, crypto markets see the second day of a slight slump.

Tuesday, Oct. 30: Crypto markets are mostly trading sideways after the recent drop-off that took place on Monday, Oct. 29. The top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap are seeing mixed signals with insufficient fluctuations, with total market capitalization hovering around $203 billion.

Market visualization from Coin360

Market visualization from Coin360

After dipping below the $6,400 threshold yesterday, Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading around $6,330 for the most part of the day. As of press time, the major cryptocurrency is slightly down 0.13 percent, and is trading at $6,299, with an intraday high of $6,364.

Bitcoin weekly price chart

Bitcoin weekly price chart. Source: Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum (ETH) is down around 0.27 percent over the past 24 hours, trading at $196 at press time. The second cryptocurrency by market cap dipped below the $200 price point yesterday, and has since been hovering around the same levels. Recently, Cointelegraph reported that the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) released new standard specifications for developers using the Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum 30-days price chart

Ethereum 30-days price chart. Source: Ethereum Price Index

In contrast, Ripple (XRP), the third top cryptocurrency by market cap, has seen a slight rebound after yesterday’s sell-off. At press time, the coin is up around 0.6 percent, and is trading at $0.442. On the week, Ripple is down around 1.4 percent.

Ripple 30-days price chart

Ripple 30-days price chart. Source: Ripple Price Index

After dropping to as low as $201 billion yesterday, total market cap has been hovering around $203 billion for the most part of the day, amounting to $202.8 billion at press time.

Total market capitalization daily chart

Total market capitalization daily chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

VeChain (VET)  is down more than 3 percent over the past 24 hours, trading at $0.01. According to CoinMarketCap, the coin is down over 10 percent over the past 7 days.

The recent drop-off in crypto markets is in line with a number of the industry-related events that took place on Monday, Oct. 29. Speaking at a recent interview at the 2018 Canada FinTech Forum, former U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen argued that Bitcoin is “anything but” a useful store of value. Yellen pointed out low volumes of transactions, slow capacity in “handling payments,” as well as “difficulty” caused by Bitcoin’s “very decentralized nature.”

Also on Monday, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) claimed that the agency will consider banning sales of crypto-based derivatives, including contracts for difference (CFDs), options, and futures. The announcement followed a report by the U.K. Cryptoassets Taskforce, which suggested changes to cryptocurrency regulations and raised questions about the existing rules of trading digital assets.

Coinbase Raises $300 Million, Reaching $8 Billion Valuation

US Cryptocurrency Platform Coinbase Raises $300 Million in Funding

The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage service Coinbase announced on Tuesday that it had raised $300 million in series E equity funding. This latest round confirms Coinbase’s status as the largest cryptocurrency organization of its kind, bringing its market valuation up to $8 billion.

Also read: Bitstamp Confirms Acquisition by South Korean Company

Coinbase Raises More Funds in Order to Expand Global Efforts

Coinbase Raises $300 Million, Reaching $8 Billion ValuationCoinbase has raised more money this month after raising $100 million in August in a series D funding round. The company announced on Oct. 30 that the corporation has secured another $300 million from various venture capital investors. The companies who participated in the series E round include Polychain Capital, Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, and Andreessen Horowitz. According to the company’s blog post, Tiger Global Management led the latest Coinbase investment round.

“We’re pleased to announce that Coinbase will add an additional $300 million of investment at a post-money valuation of over $8 billion to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies and digital assets,” explained the San Francisco company’s blog.

The exchange details that the new funding will be dedicated to expanding services across the globe and that Coinbase plans to “lay the groundwork” to support “thousands” of cryptocurrencies in the future. The cryptocurrency service also detailed that it plans on enticing more institutional interest towards the digital asset economy by bolstering the company’s custody offering. Coinbase just received a trust charter from the New York Department of Financial Services on Oct. 23 which will help them build a standalone entity called the Coinbase Custody Trust Company.

Coinbase Raises $300 Million, Reaching $8 Billion Valuation

Coinbase Envisions ‘Tremendous Promise’

The cryptocurrency exchange also discussed how it recently added the USDC stablecoin and plans to add more “utility applications for crypto” in the future. Coinbase further emphasized that with the new series E funding they will remain “a crypto-first company.” Coinbase has performed well within the cryptocurrency economy since its inception in 2012, gathering roughly 44 investors and seven large funding rounds.

There are a few other online digital currency platforms that will compete with Coinbase in the U.S. One such competitor could be the new startup Voyager backed by Uber co-founder Oscar Salazar. There’s also Circle Financial, another unicorn cryptocurrency business that’s raised $246 million to date. After the recent funding round, Coinbase has now raised a total of $525.3 million and the company has reassured the crypto community that the money will be well spent towards spreading cryptocurrency adoption worldwide.

“We see tremendous promise in crypto to build the next great phase of the internet (often referred to as Web 3), which has the power to put control back in the hands of consumers, unleash a new era of innovation, and offer greater access to economic opportunities to more people around the world,” Coinbase concluded.

What do you think about Coinbase raising $300 million in a series E funding round? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Coinbase, and Pixabay. 


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The post Coinbase Raises $300 Million, Reaching $8 Billion Valuation appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Crypto ‘An Intellectual Experiment’ That Can Still Fail – Says Xapo CEO

cryptocurrencies

Xapo CEO, Wences Casares, described cryptocurrency as “an intellectual experiment” that might still fail, in a recent interview with Bloomberg. However, he further stated that the experiment was more likely to succeed, although the results are still several years away.


Experimental

Casares, the Argentinian entrepreneur known as ‘patient zero’ for his role in promoting bitcoin within Silicon Valley, says that the experiment may work or may not work. However, he points out that the experiment is happening right now, so it’s worthwhile paying attention.

Wences Casares

He certainly feels that the experiment is more likely to succeed, but that it is irresponsible to ignore the possibility of failure. The technology is robust, but humans created it and humans are fallible. Perhaps something that we haven’t found in the past ten years will materialize to create a failure.

The Internet – 1992

Casares likened the current state of blockchain to the internet in 1992. Back then, all you needed to know, was that a new protocol could move information from anywhere to anywhere, in real time, for free. That had the potential to change information forever. It would have been churlish at the time to complain that you couldn’t yet watch a movie on it.

Similarly, he states that Bitcoin and blockchain bring certain attributes that haven’t been achievable before. Firstly, a computer system which is sovereign, or autonomous. A system which only obeys its own rules. Added to that, the system is uncensorable, and (in the case of Bitcoin) there will only ever be 21 million issued.

A Measure of Success

Casares states that the success of the crypto experiment is still at least seven, maybe ten or twenty years away. He feels like the success of Bitcoin 00 would see it used as a global (non-political) standard of value and settlement. In the same way that we have global units of weight and length (unless you live in the US), the price of everything from dollars to oil to gold would be given in bits.

Bitcoin (BTC)

Casares concludes by saying that he doesn’t think Bitcoin will replace currencies as that scenario doesn’t make sense to him. However, he does fell that Bitcoin can change money the way the internet changed information.

Do you agree with Casares’ statements? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Crypto ‘An Intellectual Experiment’ That Can Still Fail – Says Xapo CEO appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

J.P. Morgan to Use Ethereum-Based Quorum for Tokenizing Gold Bars in Pilot Experiment

J.P. Morgan’s Quorum blockchain, an enterprise-grade DLT solution built on Ethereum, is being deployed for tokenizing traditional assets to test the robustness of blockchain technology, reported Financial Review on Oct. 29, 2018.

Tokenizing Gold Bars

The New York-based investment bank will leverage blockchain technology for tokenizing gold bars to allow miners to earn premiums on globally-traded markets. If tests are successful, the bank aims to apply similar concepts to different asset types, in a move that signifies the adoption of blockchain in the future of trading and asset management.

Quorum’s custom-built smart contracts allow for high-grade security and performance features for clients, apart from a verifiable, swift method to track one’s investment. Apart from such benefits, a lucrative use for blockchain technology is to digitize various asset types and move them on to distributed ledgers – mitigating the need to transport quantities of a physical asset between bourses and custodians.

Umar Farooq, head of blockchain initiatives at J.P. Morgan, stated the company is a “big believer in Ethereum,” adding the firm is pioneering ownership of the entire trading mechanism, “from the application to the protocol.”

With the development, interested parties can conduct trades directly without the need of a bourse or other intermediaries. The arrangement can help reduce costs and risks associated with third-parties while ultimately result in markets that allow multiple assets traded under a single token.

Farooq believes tokenization of commodities can create new opportunities for global trading markets:

“They can track the gold bar from the mine to endpoint – with the use case being, if you know it’s a socially responsible mine, someone will be willing to pay a higher spread on that gold versus if you don’t know where it comes from. Diamonds is another example.”

J.P. Morgan’s Shifting Blockchain Stance

If it proves to be successful as an entity, Quorum could form an independent business under J.P. Morgan, finding use in secondary markets, capital markets issuance, secondary markets, and custodian services.

While the bank’s chief executive Jamie Dimon famously referred to bitcoin as “a fraud” last year, he expressed regrets over the statements earlier in 2018, adding “blockchain is real.”

EEA Aims to Standardize Blockchain Implementation With New Enterprise Ethereum Architecture Stack
Related: EEA Aims to Standardize Blockchain Implementation With New Enterprise Ethereum Architecture Stack

Interestingly, J.P. Morgan joined as a member of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance in 2018, a self-appointed corporate body that works towards the setting of blockchain standards in the Ethereum ecosystem. At the time, Farooq stated the bank stands to benefit from “upgrades made to the public blockchain and to tap its growing developer community.”

Meanwhile, the bank has no plans to make its blockchain available for public viewing, instead of keeping Quorum data accessible to qualified and authorized participants. Farooq cites the nascency of the market creates disbelief of public networks being the right direction for financial institutions, while concluding with “you never know what is going to happen in five years.”

The post J.P. Morgan to Use Ethereum-Based Quorum for Tokenizing Gold Bars in Pilot Experiment appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Coincheck Resumes New Account Openings, Customers Deposits

Coincheck, the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange victim of a $500 million worth theft, has resumed new account openings, customer deposits, and purchasing of some digital currencies.

The operator had suspended some services following the late January incident in order to protect customers’ assets and investigate the cause of hacking.

Coincheck Exchange Resumes Trading of BTC, ETC, LTC, BCH, New Accounts Exclusive for Japan Residents

The theft of $500 million worth of NEM in early 2018 caused alarm in Japan, forcing the hand of the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), to be more demanding of cryptocurrency exchanges operating in its jurisdiction.

Coincheck has improved its governance and internal control throughout the year in order to safely restart its activities, the company explained in the announcement.

“In particular, we resumed JPY withdrawal in February 2018 and remitting and selling of cryptocurrencies gradually during the period from March to June 2018. And now, here we announce that Coincheck has resumed “new account openings” and “customers’ depositing and purchasing some cryptocurrencies” services today.”

The cryptocurrencies made available for deposit are BTC, ETC, LTC, and BCH, which are also available for purchase. Bitcoin trading on Coincheck was never suspended and users were always able to sell any cryptocurrency on their portfolios.

New account openings are only available for customers residing in Japan. The registration process includes the submission of identification documents and a KYC check, before receiving a postcard-sized letter from Japan Post instructing the account activation.

Coincheck requests existing customers to generate a depositing address when reusing the depositing service. If a remittance is sent to the old deposit address, the operator will not reflect it on the user’s balance nor return it back.

The operator, which was acquired by Monex Group for $33.5 million, warns customers that trading services may be temporarily suspended if the platform experiences a significant increase in the volume of transactions or sudden price fluctuations.

Coincheck is yet to resume depositing and buying of ETH, XEM, LSK, XRP, and FCT, as well as leveraged transactions for new positions, its affiliate service, JPY depositing through convenience stores, JPY quick depositing (Pay-easy), Coincheck Payment, and Coincheck DENKI (electricity). The services are expected to resume once they are confirmed safe and ready to be offered, the operator added.

In May 2018, the cryptocurrency exchange announced it was ordered to delist Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), Dash and Augur’s Reputation (REP) in accordance with Japan’s FSA’s new policy which aims at banning cryptocurrencies that offer significant anonymity.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

The post Coincheck Resumes New Account Openings, Customers Deposits appeared first on NewsBTC.

Crypto Exchange Service Helps Bithumb Recover 1 Million XRP After Massive June Hack

Prague-based crypto exchange Changelly announced that it helped South Korean exchange Bithumb recover over 1 million XRP following a massive hack in June.

Prague-based crypto exchange service Changelly has announced that it helped South Korean exchange platform Bithumb recover 1,063,500 Ripple (XRP) in stolen assets following a massive hack in June, a press-release stated, Oct. 26.   

In June 2018, hackers attacked South Korea’s leading crypto exchange Bithumb. As soon as security specialists had detected the theft, the exchange temporarily suspended all deposits and withdrawals, and moved its customers’ funds to a cold wallet.

Bithumb initially lost over $30 million worth of cryptocurrencies due to the hack. Four months after the incident, Bithumb recovered approximately $14 million in stolen digital assets after it collaborated with global counterparts.

According to Ilya Bere, CEO of Changelly, the service quickly cooperated with Bithumb and the South Korean police to offer its help. The company implemented Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures targeting several malicious addresses recognized by Bithumb and prevented transactions from going through the application program interface (API).

As a result, Changelly managed to capture a significant amount of cryptocurrency with a suspicious origin and keep the funds secured. The recovered funds were worth about $585,000 at the time of the hack, according to the press release. Bere further explained that the case could serve as an example of industry-wide engagement:

“This case sets a precedent for how the joint work of the key players in the cryptocurrency market can positively affect the industry, bringing security improvements to the crypto-trading projects.”

The Bithumb hack is one of the largest of 2018 so far, with the price of Bitcoin (BTC) dropping by $200 soon after. The incident is only surpassed by the attack on Japanese exchange Zaif, which resulted in the theft of around $59 million worth of cryptocurrencies in September.

More Drama With Roger Ver/Jimmy Song $1 Million Bet

Image Courtesy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74sbIdTgMv4

Notable Bitcoin maximalist Jimmy Song went live with Tone Vays on YouTube today discussing further drama about a bet made last month.

The bet saw Roger Ver (a head figure for Bitcoin Cash) betting Jimmy Song on the future prices of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Ver challenged that the price of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) would be higher than the price of Bitcoin (BTC) in ten years.

Updates

Today, Tone Vays and Jimmy Song discussed recent developments of the bet via YouTube. Jimmy describes that Roger Ver continues to change the terms of the bet, and the two have not been able to officially come to an agreement.

The most recent action on the side of Ver, includes his stipulation that “the million dollars has to a charity of the winner’s choice”, explained Song in the YouTube video.

Song went on in the video to say that those terms would not work for him. According to Song’s blog post chronicling the bet, Song discloses his acceptable terms, which are:

  1. “$1M has to be transferred to the winner within 14 days of the conclusion of the bet (whether with early termination or at the 10-year mark) in the currency of the winner’s choice.
  2. Winner donates a minimum of 25% of the proceeds to charities as the winner sees fit.”

Song’s reasons for adjusting the amount donated to charity? “I think that’s a lot fairer. That doesn’t allow for shenanigans. I don’t want him to get a tax deduction off of this bet”, as stated by Song in the mentioned YouTube video today.

The Original Bet

The origin of the bet between Ver and Song dates back to the Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise, in September of this year. Song and Ver faced off in a debate about Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

According to a report last month from Crypto Insider, Ver rebutted one of Song’s arguments by stating “I’ll bet a million dollars, equivalent to whatever cryptocurrency you want, that within ten years, Bitcoin Cash will have a larger market cap than the BTC version of Bitcoin today”.

Bets All Over The Place

In the same month, Roger Ver also made a bet with Litecoin founder Charlie Lee on September 9. According to an article by Crypto Insider, the terms of that bet were as follows:

  • “Will run for 18 months from September 9th, 2018
  • Ends Monday, March 9, 2020
  • If Lightning Network has more than 1000 merchants, Charlie Lee wins!
  • If Lightning Network has less than 1000 merchants – Roger Ver wins!
  • Loser wears the opponent’s company clothing and makes a video saying they were wrong.”

Some speculate that Ver already lost this bet with Lee. In a Steemit post earlier this month, author “bengiles” references a link from CoinGate’s blog.

CoinGate-blog-Lightning-Network-Used-in-Ver-Song-Bet-Update-Article

Image Courtesy: CoinGate Blog

Notice the date of the CoinGate announcement — which is before the Ver/Lee bet even occurred.

*Crypto Insider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement with them, CI may occasionally link to, and quote, Blockmodo when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff. CI sponsors have no say in any of CI’s editorial decisions.

The post More Drama With Roger Ver/Jimmy Song $1 Million Bet appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Bitcoin’s ‘Patient Zero’: Crypto is an Intellectual Experiment That May Fail [But Probably Won’t]

Crypto is a robust intellectual experiment that could fail, but it probably won’t. That’s the assessment of Argentine tech entrepreneur Wences Casares, the founder of Xapo, a bitcoin wallet provider based in Palo Alto, California. “We are living through a really interesting intellectual experiment,” Casares told Bloomberg TV (video below). “And it’s going on right in

The post Bitcoin’s ‘Patient Zero’: Crypto is an Intellectual Experiment That May Fail [But Probably Won’t] appeared first on CCN

Daily Arbitrage Options: Dash, DOGE, XMR, XLM, USDT, LSK

arbitrage

Arbitrage is an excellent way of generating revenue from cryptocurrencies during an extended bear market. The year 2018 has offered a rather lengthy bearish market trend, yet the arbitrage opportunities have been rather appealing as well. The following six currencies can yield some healthy profits throughout the day, depending on exchange liquidity.

#6 Lisk (Poloniex / Livecoin / YoBit)

No one will be surprised to note YoBit remains an integral part of arbitrage opportunities these days. Every single day, this exchange has higher prices for some coins, whereas values for other currencies are lower compared to other platforms. In today’s case, the Lisk price on this exchange is 2-3% higher compared to both Poloniex and Livecoin.

#5 Monero (Poloniex / HitBTC)

It is not all that common to see a Monero arbitrage opportunity on the market, albeit it remains to be seen how this can be exploited in terms of liquidity. For the time being, buying XMR on Kraken and selling on HitBTC can yield a nice profit. Especially now that HitBTC has lowered XMR withdrawal fees, a bit more profit can be made in quick succession.

#4 Stellar (Kraken / KuCoin / HitBTC)

For users who prefer to dabble with Stellar, there is a small arbitrage gap waiting to be explored at this time. Buying XLM on Kraken will wallow for a sale of Stellar on either KuCoin and HitBTC for a minor profit. Although it is a less than 1% profit, one has to embrace every opportunity with open arms these days.

#3 USDT (Bittrex / KuCoin)

It is somewhat disconcerting to see how USDT still hasn’t fully recovered from its price debacle earlier this month. Even in late October, there is an arbitrage opportunity involving this stablecoin, something which shouldn’t be possible. Buying USDT on Bittrex and selling it on KuCoin can lead to a 1.35% gain.

#2 Dash (Kraken / HitBTC)

For those who want to explore the safer side of this arbitrage, it is evident buying Dash on Kraken and selling it on HitBTC will yield the better results. There is also an option to buy on Kraken or Poloniex and selling Dash on YoBit for a gain of up to 3%.

#1 Dogecoin (Livecoin / Poloniex / YoBit)

Many things can be said about Dogecoin these days, but it is also subject to arbitrage trading across different exchanges. Its value on YoBit is surprisingly high compared to Livecoin, HitBTC, and Poloniex. Buying on either of those exchanges and selling on YoBit will usually yield a gain of 2.5% or more.

The post Daily Arbitrage Options: Dash, DOGE, XMR, XLM, USDT, LSK appeared first on NullTX.