Japan: Gov’t Mulls Securities-like ICO Regulations

Source: iStock/penguiiin The Japanese government could be set to introduce a set of initial coin offering (ICO) regulations, following recommendations from experts and the country’s top financial governance agency. Per media outlet Nikkei, the regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA) hosted the S

China Updates Crypto Ranking, Downgrades BTC Further

China Updates Crypto Ranking, Downgrades BTC Further

China’s Center for Information Industry Development has updated its ranking of 33 crypto projects, evaluated in three separate categories as well as overall. BTC has been downgraded further since the center’s previous update while EOS and Ethereum still top the overall ranking.

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

New Ranking

China Updates Crypto Ranking, Downgrades BTC FurtherThe China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID), under the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, announced a new update of its crypto project ranking on Monday. This is the center’s sixth update. The number of crypto projects evaluated remains 33, unchanged from the previous ranking.

EOS still tops the list overall, followed by Ethereum and then Bitshares. Falling from 10th place in August to 16th place in September, BTC now occupies the 19th spot in this latest update. BCH has gained a few positions, up from 31st place in September to 28th place. Meanwhile, NEM remains at the bottom of the list.

China Updates Crypto Ranking, Downgrades BTC Further

The ranking was organized and implemented by the CCID and jointly carried out by a number of organizations including the CCID Think Tank, under China Electronics and Information Industry Development Institute, and China Software Testing Center. “The purpose is to scientifically assess the development level of global public chain technology and accurately grasp the trend,” the center clarified. The first ranking was published in May.

EOS Remains China’s Favorite

Thirty-three crypto projects were evaluated in three broad categories as well as overall. The three categories are basic technology, applicability, and creativity.

China Updates Crypto Ranking, Downgrades BTC FurtherIn the overall category, EOS tops the list, followed by Ethereum. The two projects have been in the same spots since the center’s second update in June. The CCID noted that when the index was launched in May, the EOS main network was not online yet so the project was excluded from the ranking. Since then, “EOS and Ethereum have firmly occupied the top two [positions] on the list,” the center wrote, asserting:

At present, EOS and Ethereum are undoubtedly the preferred platforms for Dapp development worldwide, and EOS is showing a stronger momentum. The data shows that EOS Dapp is highly active and user increments are large.

China Updates Crypto Ranking, Downgrades BTC FurtherIn the basic technology category, the top projects have not changed from the previous update, the center explained. “The top five of the basic technology index for this period are EOS, Bitshares, Steem, Ethereum and Gxchain. The top five are consistent with the previous list.”

In terms of applicability, this latest ranking “has improved the evaluation methods of development tools and comprehensively evaluated APIs, SDKs, RPCs, smart contracts and other development tools,” the CCID elaborated. The top five projects in this category are Ethereum, Neo, Nebulas, Qtum and Dash.

In terms of creativity, the top five are BTC, Ethereum, EOS, Nuls and Cardano. “Compared with the previous index, the public chains with the largest increases in the innovation index are Ripple, Nuls, Iota, Nebulas and Bitcoin Cash,” the CCID detailed.

What do you think of China’s latest crypto project ranking? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and CCID.


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Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis: BCH/USD Rebound Faces Major Hurdle

Key Points

  • Bitcoin cash price is slowly recovering towards the key $430 resistance against the US Dollar.
  • This week’s followed important bearish trend line is intact with resistance at $430 on the hourly chart of the BCH/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair must break the trend line and $430 to gain momentum in the near term.

Bitcoin cash price formed a decent support near $420 and recovered against the US Dollar. BCH/USD is now facing a solid resistance near the $430 level.

Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis

Yesterday, we saw a solid upward move in bitcoin cash price above the $420 level against the US Dollar. The BCH/USD pair traded as high as $429 and later started a downside correction. It corrected lower and traded below the $425 level. It traded close to the 50% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $408 low to $429 high. However, downsides were limited as buyers appeared near the $420 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

Later, the price formed a decent support base near the $420 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. It started a fresh upward move and traded above the $425 level. There was also a break above the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $429 high to $419 low. The current price action is positive, but BCH/USD is facing a solid hurdle near $430. Moreover, this week’s followed important bearish trend line is intact with resistance at $430 on the hourly chart of the BCH/USD pair.

Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis BCH Chart

Looking at the chart, BCH price is showing positive signs above the $420 level. However, buyers need to clear the $430 hurdle for more gains in the near term towards $440 or $450.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for BCH/USD is now back in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BCH/USD is well above the 55 level.

Major Support Level – $420

Major Resistance Level – $430

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Grayscale Has Raised Nearly $330 Million This Year According to Q3 Report

Grayscale Has Raised Nearly $330 Million This Year According to Q3 Report

Grayscale’s Q3 2018 Digital Investment Report says the firm has raised around $330 million so far in 2018. Grayscale had raised $25.4 million at this time in 2017. 


The latest Digital Asset Investment Report from cryptocurrency firm Grayscale Investments signifies they are still going strong, despite market downturns for virtual currencies in 2018.

The report says the company managed to bring in $81.1 million for Q3, bringing the year-to-date total to a record $329.5 million. At this time last year, Grayscale had raised $25.4 million, according to CNBC.

Across 2018, 59% of investments flowed in from institutional investors. The nine cryptocurrency products Grayscale has available are just for institutional investors.

The vast majority of the company’s other clients are family offices or individuals with a high net worth. Overall, Grayscale’s customer assets now total $1.5 billion dollars.

Bitcoin Is Still King

The Grayscale report said 73% of monetary inflows in Q3 came into the firm’s Bitcoin Investment Trust.

Bitcoinist reported in early October how shares of the Bitcoin Investment Trust were down 80% since the end of 2017. At the time, some were also fed up with the fund’s high fees.

Grayscale noted how the Bitcoin Investment Trust and the XRP Investment Trust “[…]are bucking the trend on a possible reversal, generating the first positive quarterly returns for Grayscale products in 2018.”

In their July 2018 investment report, the firm said 63% of inflows were to the Bitcoin Investment Trust. At the time, the report commented how the “[…] pace of investment into Grayscale products has accelerated to level that we have not seen before.”

Institutional Understanding Has Increased

The Managing Director of Grayscale, Michael Sonnenshein, told CNBC how institutional investors have a better understanding of Bitcoin and the market. He said meetings have morphed from lectures on “Bitcoin 101,” to more nuanced discussions on topics like allocation sizes, transaction growth, and general “[…] thoughtful dialogue on the state of the industry.”

Sonnenshein characterized Bitcoin’s price slump as a way for the company to “broaden our relationships” since investors are understanding it is an opportunity to “[…] increase their exposure.”

At the tail end of its report, Grayscale listed a handful of reasons why they choose to compile and share investment activity data with the market on a quarterly basis.

The first reason was to give a “[…] unique perspective on digital asset investment activity that is distinct from what may be commonly understood.”

The second was a desire to help value and momentum investors “[…] identify dislocations between market prices and capital flows.”

What do you think about Grayscale’s YTD investment totals? Let us know in the comments below!


Image courtesy of LinkedIn, Shutterstock, Twitter (@GrayscaleInvest).

The post Grayscale Has Raised Nearly $330 Million This Year According to Q3 Report appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

‘Godfather of ETFs’ Says Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds Will be Approved ‘No Time Soon’

The “godfather of ETFs” Reggie Browne said that Bitcoin ETFs will be approved “no time soon,” speaking at Georgetown University's Financial Markets Quality Conference.

Reggie Browne, the so-called “godfather of ETFs,” said that Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) will be certified “no time soon,” Business Insider reported Nov. 1. Browne is a senior managing director and head of ETF trading at financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

Founded in 1945, Cantor Fitzgerald focuses on institutional equity, fixed income sales, and trading. The company reportedly has over 5,000 institutional clients, which includes such fields as investment banking, prime brokerage, and commercial real estate.

Speaking at Georgetown University's Financial Markets Quality Conference in Washington D.C., Browne reportedly said that BTC ETFs will be approved only after the development of a strong regulatory framework in the industry. Addressing the current state of BTC ETFs, Browne stated:

"It's very difficult for the [Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)] to wrap their heads around a positive approval because there's no data yet ... the markets just aren't here."

Earlier today, the CEO of investment management corporation BlackRock Larry Fink made a similar statement. When commenting on cryptocurrency ETFs’ future, Fink claimed that ETFs “ultimately” have to be backed by a government, and that a government will not greenlight such a financial instruments unless it knew the funds were not being used for illicit activities.

Following some widely publicized rejections of BTC ETF applications by the U.S. SEC, the CEO of crypto payment startup Abra Bill Barhydt suggested that the reason the SEC has insofar denied crypto ETFs is because the crypto industry does not fit the applicant archetype. In particular, the SEC has rejected crypto ETF applications because “people who are doing the applications don't fit mold of who the SEC is used to approving."

In August, the SEC temporarily rejected nine applications to list and trade various BTC ETFs from three companies, including ProShares, Direxion, and GraniteShares. The regulator previously denied the application for a BTC ETF by brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The SEC then justified its rejection by saying that “the record before the Commission does not support such a conclusion.”

Africa Dominates Trade Volume on P2P Bitcoin Exchange Paxful

Africa Dominates P2P Bitcoin Exchange Paxful With $64 Million Trades Each Month

Paxful Inc., a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange, is seeing significant growth in Africa. The U.S.-based company said Africans now accounted for the largest number of people buying and selling cryptocurrency on its platform, with average monthly transactions totaling $64.5 million.

Also Read: Brazilian Banks Ordered to Reopen Cryptocurrency Exchange’s Frozen Accounts

Millennials Drive Cryptocurrency Adoption in Africa

Over the past year, users from the African continent of 1.2 billion people soared by 225 percent, Ray Youssef, chief executive officer of Paxful, told South African media. Transactions on the exchange climbed 60 percent in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, 25 percent in South Africa, the continent’s most sophisticated economy, and by up to 100 percent in other parts of Africa.

Africa Dominates Trade Volume on P2P Bitcoin Exchange Paxful

“The adoption of bitcoin across the globe re-affirms our belief that crypto will take its place as a mainstream financial system,” Youssef was quoted as saying. “As has been the case with other disruptive financial tech innovations like mobile money, Africa is leading the peer-to-peer financial revolution.”

Each month, more people from Africa are opening new accounts with Paxful than from any other region of the world, he explained. The surge illustrates how Africa’s swelling population of millennials is quickly taking to cryptocurrencies, not only to circumvent the system (dominated by monopolistic institutions such as legacy banks and the state), but also to hedge against inflation and fiat currency volatility while enjoying lower transaction costs. On average, Africa’s young people spend $59 each on BTC via Paxful, Youssef said.

Governments Less Enthusiastic

However, the increase in adoption is in sharp contrast to the often heavy-handedness with which some African governments have responded to digital assets. This is despite the continent being a region where virtual currency is viewed by many as key to mainstreaming the 350 million unbanked adults. Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique have all banned cryptocurrency, while Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and South Africa have adopted a somewhat pragmatic approach.

Africa Dominates Trade Volume on P2P Bitcoin Exchange Paxful

Other data from peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins reveals that Russia dominates bitcoin trading with over a quarter of all the platform’s volume, followed by Venezuela at 12.2 percent and the U.S. at 11.8 percent. African countries trail, with transactions originating from Nigeria accounting for 7.6 percent of total volume, South Africa 1.3 percent and Kenya at 0.7 percent.

Artur Schaback, chief operating officer of Paxful, said African consumers tend to use cryptocurrency to buy goods, mostly from overseas, as well as investments in promising blockchain startups.

“As a company, we’ve learned a lot from African consumers. For instance, we’ve improved our mobile capabilities to cater to the widespread use of smartphones on the continent. Our experience in Africa has strengthened our capability to serve consumers regardless of geographical location or origin,” he explained.

What do you think about cryptocurrency adoption in Africa? 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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Morgan Stanley: Bitcoin is a New Institutional Investment Class

There is a rapidly growing interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies among institutional investors while there seems to be lethargy in the number of retail buyers operating within the space. As such, bitcoin and altcoins now constitute a new institutional investment class since 2017, according to new research from major US bank Morgan Stanley. In

The post Morgan Stanley: Bitcoin is a New Institutional Investment Class appeared first on CCN

Cardano Price Analysis: ADA/USD Sink and Stabilize Below 7 cents

Even if prices are low and on-chain development slow, Charles Hoskinson and Cardano are literally hitting milestones. Though it could take a decade or more before Voltaire, once it goes live Cardano might easily outperform competing platforms. This is so because Cardano’s foundation is thorough with scientific verification. Price wise ADA/USD is technically bearish. Unless there are strong moves above Oct 29 highs and key liquidating resistance trend line, bulls stand no chance.

Latest Cardano News

Any altcoin is as good as the team behind it. That has been the word from the very beginning and surely Cardano is living and breathing by it. Charles Hoskinson, the serial developer behind platforms as Ethereum Classic rarely flatter. So whenever there is a positive comment, his thorough analysis and/or criticism highlight brilliance. He recently commended Algorand, a blockchain project adopting the peer review path, claiming they now have a competitor.

Though this could be a bit harsh for existing platforms that brag on their exclusivity, flaws are inevitable. More often than not, Charles Hoskinson isn’t shy to highlight them and even proposing solutions as good will for the community’s sake.

In the grand scheme of things, Cardano progress is slow and almost stagnant at some point but still there are movements. Straight from SCALA and the Mantis Client where the team did recreate a copy of Ethereum with just 15,000 lines of code. What’s interesting about this is not the clone itself but the chain could be satisfactorily verified with property-backed testing.

Besides, developers can easily deploy the Ethereum Classic full node. Soon it will have the same support for the Ethereum client. Additionally, substantial development continues after the launch of IELE virtual machine for smart contract deployment. Already two test nets created from K-Framework semantics allowing for formal development of crypto developments are now with IELE and KEVM. If anything this is huge for Cardano and ADA.

ADA/USD Price Analysis

Weekly Chart

ADA/USD Price Analysis

Technically, the path of least resistance is southwards. It doesn’t matter the fall from 2017 highs because it appears that sellers are unrelenting in their effort. From the weekly chart, we easily note that ADA/USD sellers have been successful reversing all of 2017 gains. However, it appears that they are insatiable and breaks below 6 cents, the new ADA’s all time lows, could trigger another wave of sell pressure driving this coin to oblivion.

Like in our previous ADA/USD trade plans it all depends on whether there will be confirmation of the bear break out pattern of early August even in this consolidating market. If ADA cave-in, wiping out gains of week ending Sep 23 then conservative traders should sell on retests at 6 cents. Thereafter they shall let the trade run with safe stops at 9.5 cents.

Daily Chart

ADA/USD Price Analysis

In the meantime, cracks are beginning show in the daily chart. Though we were net bullish not because of Oct 15 rallies but because of the depth of ADA/USD correction, the reversal of Oct 15 bulls did push prices below 7 cents. This is minor support and sell trigger meaning trades with stops at 7.5 cents or Oct 29 highs are live.

Therefore, unless otherwise there are strong, high volume gains reversing Oct 29 losses, clearing stops and thrusting prices above the minor resistance trend line, our last ADA/USD price forecast hold true.

Traders should take every high as liquidation points in lower time frames with first targets at 6 cents. On the other hand, clearance of 7.5 cents mean risk on traders can begin becoming comfortable with gains above Oct highs at 9.5 cents as bulls build momentum for 12 cents resistance clearance.

Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed are those of the author and aren’t investment advice. Trading of any form involves risk and so do your due diligence before making a trading decision.

 

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IOT/USD Price Analysis: Altcoins Register Minor Gains, Still Bearish

The stability of altcoins should be another opportunity to sell according to trend definition of Oct 11. Subsequent confirmations of Oct 29 did place the lid on buyers even though prices are leveling out. But, it could get worse if losses print today. On the reverse side a stream of boosting fundamentals could propel pairs as IOT/USD, LTC/USD and even EOS/USD above key resistance levels relieving coin holders.

Let’s have a look at these charts

EOS/USD Price Analysis

EOS/USD Price Analysis

Market participants are beat out. It’s not by bears but by the indecision which is draining momentum from bulls as well as sellers.

Going forward, the lack of movement in the last 24 hours mean our last EOS/USD trade plan is valid. As such there is nothing much that we can recommend as far as trading goes.

Because of that we shall hold on to neutral position only trading if there is a convincing break and close above $4.5 on the downside. However, since the market correction has been deep, chances are we may see a correction above Sep 2018 highs and later $7 triggering both set of bull traders.

LTC/USD Price Analysis

Traders at Bokka Exchange can now trade several coins including LTC against TrustToken, TUSD. TrustToken is a stable coin and an alternative to USDT.

Tether Limited the company behind USDT or Tether is facing a lot of headwinds ranging from banking problems and audit of their reserves. Unresolved, traders and coin holders are skeptical if the USDT: USD peg holds as the company claims. On the other hand Bokka Exchange is a mobile crypto-to-crypto exchange that supports six coins and 13 popular ERC-20 tokens.

LTC/USD Price Analysis

In the meantime, what we have in the daily chart is a clear tussle between buyers and sellers. Since we are net bearish on LTC/USD pair with safe stops at Oct 29 highs, it will take a lot of convincing before we revert back to bulls.

From our price analysis, sellers should be unpacking LTC on every high because bears are technically in charge from an effort versus result point of view.

On the contrary, gains above $55 clear this position. In fact it could kick-start a path towards 2018 price recovery in line with Fibonacci Retracement rules.

XLM/USD Price Analysis

XLM/USD Price Analysis

In a shaky market, Stellar Lumens is generally stable. It’s up less than 0.5 percent in the last day and bearish in the last week. But, even as prices stall, our neutral stand will quickly shift to bullish first if there is a follow through today reversing Oct 29 losses.

Then aggressive traders can load up on dips in lower time frames with modest targets at 30 cents. Secondly, if the first trade condition goes through then momentum could lead to surges above Oct 15 high low reasserting bulls in an effort versus result point of view.

Add that to rising volumes and gains of last Sep and continuation in mid-Oct could spur a market wide reversal above a ranging market in Q4 boosting battered bulls.

ADA/USD Price Analysis

ADA/USD Price Analysis

The plunge below 7 cents on Oct 29 did invite sellers trading according to Oct 11 trends. Despite news of Cardano developments and updates from development, sellers are in pole position. In fact they could turn in a profit should they short on every high in lower time frames.

The reason for this projection is that events of Oct 29 did thrust ADA/USD below minor support at 7 cents. This level double up as Oct 15 lows meaning there has been complete reversal of Oct 15 high volume bar.

However, conservative traders should be in the side line. That is until after there are break outs above the minor resistance trend line and 9.5 cents according to our last ADA trade plan.

IOT/USD Price Analysis

IOT/USD Price Analysis

By adding 1.2 percent in the last day, IOTA did outperform all coins in the top 10. Most of these coins hold constant valuation in the last day as prices move horizontally. Regardless, break outs above the minor resistance trend line could feed bulls triggering short term aggressive traders to buy on dips with first targets at 55 cents.

From the way recent candlesticks are set, this is likely to print out today thanks to the yesterdays higher highs confirming the bull bar of Oct 31. Moving on, our last IOT/USD trade plan is valid and once bulls rally past 60 cents, risk-on traders can buy on pullbacks with first targets at 90 cents and higher.

On the contrary, the bulls’ failure to rally above the resistance trend line points to underlying sell momentum. In that case they should unload at spot with stops above Oct 29 highs with first targets at 40 cents and later 30 cents.

Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed are those of the author and aren’t investment advice. Trading of any form involves risk and so do your due diligence before making a trading decision.

The post IOT/USD Price Analysis: Altcoins Register Minor Gains, Still Bearish appeared first on NewsBTC.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Watch: Aiming for $7,000 Next?

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price is gaining traction on it bounce off the channel support on its 4-hour time frame.
  • A move to the next upside targets might be in the works and the Fibonacci extension tool marks these.
  • Technical indicators are hinting at weakening bullish momentum, though.

Bitcoin price looks ready to resume its climb and might aim for these upside targets marked by the Fib tool.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA seems to be crossing below the longer-term 200 SMA to indicate that bearish pressure might return, but it could also be a delayed reaction to the latest slide. If the short-term MA is able to hold its head above the 200 SMA, it could reinforce the presence of bullish momentum.

Bitcoin price could aim for the 38.2% Fib extension from here as this lines up with the dynamic inflection points at the moving averages. The 50% level lines up with the mid-channel area of interest around $6,700 and the 78.6% level lines up with the top of the channel at $6,900. The $7,000 mark might also serve as psychological resistance just before the full extension at $7,075.

Stochastic is heading north so bitcoin price might follow suit while buyers are in control. However, the oscillator is nearing overbought levels to signal exhaustion and a possible return in bearish pressure. RSI has more room to go before hitting overdone levels, which means that buyers could stay in the game for a bit longer.

BTCUSD Chart from TradingView

BTCUSD Chart from TradingView

Bitcoin price seems to be rebounding from a rough start this week as a brand-new month is setting in. This typically brings more optimism and reopening of positions after booking profits at the end of the month, which also coincides with futures settlement.

Besides, the ICE Bakkt bitcoin futures are rumored to be in the works and might usher in stronger volumes and increased activity this November.

The post Bitcoin (BTC) Price Watch: Aiming for $7,000 Next? appeared first on NewsBTC.

New York State Extends ‘Virtual Currency License’ to Coinsource

New York State Extends 'Virtual Currency License' to Coinsource

A November 1st press release from New York State’s Department of Financial Services shows that the dept. granted a virtual currency license to Coinsource. The press release says the move hopes to encourage regulatory risk-based standards.


The release from the Department of Financial Services (DFS) details Superintendent Maria T. Vullo’s announcement that Coinsource’s application for the license has been given the green light.

With the go-ahead, Coinsource, the world’s largest network for bitcoin (BTC) 00 ATMs, “[…] is the first DFS virtual currency licensee to operate Bitcoin Teller Machines (BTM).”

In the announcement, Vullo notes that the application approval is part of an effort to keep virtual currency operations on par with the standards of the DFS as a whole:

Today’s approval is a further step in implementing strong regulatory safeguards and effective risk-based controls while encouraging the responsible growth of financial innovation. New York’s financial services marketplace is thriving with companies committed to complying with DFS’s regulations that ensure the security of transactions, safeguard the industry and protect consumers.

Maria Vullo

Timely Response

The DFS press release notes that the new license is an adaptation to changes in technology among many lenders and exchanges. New York State has approved a total of twelve licenses to companies operating in the virtual currency sphere. The rigorous application process is based on a set of “stringent” conditions.

DFS has rapidly responded to innovations by licensing technology-based money transmitters under New York’s money transmitter law

The press release also mentions that Coinsource will receive intense monitoring from the DFS, while cementing “risk-based controls” dealing with money laundering, fraud, etc.

Albany, NY

Coinsource CEO Sheffield Clark expressed his pride in heading the only BTM company to hold one of the twelve DFS licenses:

Now that Coinsource is a license holder, our customers can buy and sell with confidence that Coinsource meets and exceeds the high standards set by the New York Department of Financial Services. New York represents not just a center of global innovation but also one of our largest target markets.

Coinsource currently runs 40 BTM kiosks throughout New York, as well as Los Angeles, D.C., and other cities and states.

What are your thoughts on the New York State virtual currency license extended to Coinsource? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of NOIAW, Shutterstock.

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Crypto Investment Firm’s Revenue Reaches Record $330 Mln in 2018, Despite Bear Market

Crypto investment firm Grayscale Investments Inc. has raised almost $330 million in annual revenue as of the third quarter 2018, despite a prevailing bear market.

Cryptocurrency asset management firm Grayscale Investments Inc. has reported revenue of nearly $330 million in 2018, according to its third quarter (Q3) investment report released Nov. 1. The company managed to reach this figure despite a prevailing bear market.

In the report, Grayscale highlights that it raised $81.1 million over the last three months, which brought the firm’s year-to-date inflows to almost $330 million, representing an increase of almost 1,200 percent from the same period in 2017, when the company raised $25.4 million. The current year is the strongest Grayscale has experienced during any calendar year since the beginning of its activity.

Grayscale cumulative inflows by investment product chart. Source: Grayscale

Grayscale cumulative inflows by investment product chart. Source: Grayscale

In Q3, institutional investment contribution reportedly increased to 70 percent, however, in comparison with the two previous quarters, the dollar-value invested remained lower. The Bitcoin Investment Trust saw 73 percent of inflows, while 27 percent were into Grayscale products pegged to other digital assets. The first positive quarterly returns for Grayscale in 2018 were generated by Bitcoin Investment Trust and XRP Investment Trust.

In terms of average weekly investment, Q3 saw $6.2 million, which is lower than the company’s average weekly investment across all products during 2018. “The average weekly inflow into Bitcoin Investment Trust was $4.5 million, down from the year-to-date average of $5.5 million. The average weekly inflow into “Non-Bitcoin” investment products was $1.7 million, down from the year-to-date average of $2.9 million,” Grayscale specifies.

Grayscale further notes that, despite the majority of new investment in Q3 going into Bitcoin Investment Trust, investors are diversifying their portfolios into other digital assets, with 66 percent and 34 percent respectively. 64 percent of all new investments originate from U.S. investors, who are followed by offshore investors, and investors from other parts of the world.

In the beginning of October, Bitcoin Investment Trust saw its net asset value hit the lowest point since the BTC price surge of 2017. Shares of Bitcoin Investment Trust reportedly dropped by around 80 percent since BTC hit almost $20,000 last December. The drop purportedly follows the fall of the BTC price, which is down nearly 66 percent during the same timeframe.

Crypto Investment Firm’s Revenue Reaches Record $330 Mln in 2018, Despite Bear Market

Crypto investment firm Grayscale Investments Inc. has raised almost $330 million in annual revenue as of the third quarter 2018, despite a prevailing bear market.

Cryptocurrency asset management firm Grayscale Investments Inc. has reported revenue of nearly $330 million in 2018, according to its third quarter (Q3) investment report released Nov. 1. The company managed to reach this figure despite a prevailing bear market.

In the report, Grayscale highlights that it raised $81.1 million over the last three months, which brought the firm’s year-to-date inflows to almost $330 million, representing an increase of almost 1,200 percent from the same period in 2017, when the company raised $25.4 million. The current year is the strongest Grayscale has experienced during any calendar year since the beginning of its activity.

Grayscale cumulative inflows by investment product chart. Source: Grayscale

Grayscale cumulative inflows by investment product chart. Source: Grayscale

In Q3, institutional investment contribution reportedly increased to 70 percent, however, in comparison with the two previous quarters, the dollar-value invested remained lower. The Bitcoin Investment Trust saw 73 percent of inflows, while 27 percent were into Grayscale products pegged to other digital assets. The first positive quarterly returns for Grayscale in 2018 were generated by Bitcoin Investment Trust and XRP Investment Trust.

In terms of average weekly investment, Q3 saw $6.2 million, which is lower than the company’s average weekly investment across all products during 2018. “The average weekly inflow into Bitcoin Investment Trust was $4.5 million, down from the year-to-date average of $5.5 million. The average weekly inflow into “Non-Bitcoin” investment products was $1.7 million, down from the year-to-date average of $2.9 million,” Grayscale specifies.

Grayscale further notes that, despite the majority of new investment in Q3 going into Bitcoin Investment Trust, investors are diversifying their portfolios into other digital assets, with 66 percent and 34 percent respectively. 64 percent of all new investments originate from U.S. investors, who are followed by offshore investors, and investors from other parts of the world.

In the beginning of October, Bitcoin Investment Trust saw its net asset value hit the lowest point since the BTC price surge of 2017. Shares of Bitcoin Investment Trust reportedly dropped by around 80 percent since BTC hit almost $20,000 last December. The drop purportedly follows the fall of the BTC price, which is down nearly 66 percent during the same timeframe.

CryptoKitties Creator Has Now Raised Almost $75,000 Per Daily Active User

Dapper Labs, who believe that their product CryptoKitties is the “world’s first and most successful consumer blockchain product” according to this press release, has raised $15 million from a few venture capital firms including funds run by heavyweights Google and Samsung in order to expand operations, including creating a US subsidiary with executives who formerly

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How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your Privacy

How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser

Major internet browsers now offer access to VPN services via a number of third-party extensions and in some cases through built-in features. These provide an easy and affordable means to protect your privacy and enjoy a censorship-free browsing experience.  

Also read: Arbitrators to Resolve Disputes in the Russian Cryptocurrency Industry

Chrome VPN Extensions You Can Buy With Cryptocurrency

Using a virtual private network (VPN) to surf the internet has become almost a necessity these days on account of the growing need to preserve your online privacy or circumvent restrictions that may apply to a specific location or jurisdiction you are visiting. A number of providers offer VPN services, and many of them accept cryptocurrency. Browser extensions and integrated features are making it even easier to obtain uncensored and largely untraceable access to the web.

How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your Privacy

There are many options available for Google Chrome users, and crypto enthusiasts should be interested in some of them. VPN Mentor suggests several extensions, the providers of which are happy to be paid with cryptocurrencies. Private Internet Access is one of them; it can be downloaded directly from the Chrome Web Store. Once you install it and sign up, you’ll be able to choose a subscription plan. Fees start at $2.91 per month for a two-year subscription and cryptocurrency is accepted.

How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your PrivacyExpress VPN is another popular choice. However, in order to take advantage of the Chrome extension, users need to install a desktop application first. Subscribers are required to register with an email on the VPN’s website, pick a plan ­– they start at a little over $8 per month – and choose a payment method. BTC is among the available options. Nord VPN is a simpler alternative, a proxy extension that hides your IP address but does not use the same tunneling/encryption technologies employed by VPNs. It can also be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. A three-year plan costs $2.99 per month.

In most cases, when you install a VPN extension you’ll see its icon to the right of the address bar of your browser. Use the dropdown menu to change the settings and choose a preferred location. Some VPNs support additional security features, ensuring protection against malware and unwanted ads which can be activated there as well.

Mozilla Testing VPN Subscription Service

The aforementioned VPN services are also available as add-ons for Firefox, the internet browser that supports a variety of useful and often free extensions. However, the software company that develops Firefox is currently testing a new feature that will allow users to boost their privacy with better encryption for around $10 a month. Mozilla has recently teamed up with the Swiss company Proton VPN to integrate the paid subscription-based service which provides a higher level of security.

How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your Privacy

In addition, the servers of Proton VPN are located in Switzerland, Sweden and Iceland where local laws prevent authorities from accessing the stored information. The company also claims it does not log any data about the usage of their service. In a blog post, Mozilla revealed that it will offer the experimental feature to a group of Firefox users in the U.S. over the next few months, starting on Oct. 24. The service is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android systems. The company noted that the launch is part of its efforts to explore additional sources of revenue.

Opera Offers Free VPN Feature

Opera, another popular browser, has gone a step further by integrating a free VPN service. The feature is activated with a dedicated button that’s on the left side of the address bar and can be customized in the Settings tab. It comes with unlimited data transfer and enables users to switch between virtual locations. Several options are available, including Europe, the Americas, Asia, and an automated “Optimal location” setting. When active, it does slow down connection speeds a little, although there’s an option to bypass the VPN for default search engines. Nevertheless, the Opera VPN is a useful built-in feature that will not cost you anything and does not require a subscription.

What is your opinion about VPN browser extensions? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Making History: CoinJoin Developer Sends Largest-Ever Anonymous Bitcoin Transaction

CoinJoin is a method of anonymizing bitcoins that developer Gregory Maxwell came up with in an effort to help bitcoin users remain anonymous. The idea is simple: when two users both want to make a transaction, if they make the transactions together, their information remains private or at least very hard to discern. On yesterday’s

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BlackRock CEO: Crypto ETF Will Come When Industry Is ‘Legitimate’

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that the company will not offer a crypto ETF until the crypto industry becomes “legitimate.”

The CEO of investment management corporation BlackRock, Larry Fink, does not see the company offering a cryptocurrency Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) until the industry is “legitimate,” CNBC reported Nov. 1.

BlackRock is a financial planning and investment management firm that currently has $6.28 trillion in assets under management, including equity, real estate, fixed income, and cash management.

Speaking at the New York Times Dealbook Conference in Manhattan on Nov. 1, Fink questioned the reasonability of launching a crypto ETF, at least until the industry becomes “legitimate.” “I wouldn’t say never, when it’s legitimate, yes,” Fink stated.

Fink reportedly said that ETFs “ultimately” have to be backed by a government, and that a government would not greenlight such a financial instrument unless it knew the funds were not being used for illicit activities. Fink noted Bitcoin’s (BTC) anonymity as a risk factor, since the leading digital currency could possibly be used for “tax evasion and all of these other issues." He added:

“I do see one day where we could have electronic trading for a currency that could be a store of wealth. But right now the world doesn’t need a store of wealth unless you need that store of wealth for things you should not be doing.”

Although Fink expressed some skepticism towards cryptocurrencies, he pointed out that the company is “a huge believer in blockchain.”

“The biggest use for blockchain will be in mortgages, mortgage applications, mortgage ownership, anything that’s labored with paper.”

Fink’s comments come ahead of the Nov. 5 deadline that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set for reviewing proposed rule changes related to a series of applications to list and trade various BTC ETFs. The review period affects nine separate ETFs that had been proposed by three different applicants, including ProShares, in conjunction with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ETF exchange NYSE Arca, and Direxion.

Last month, crypto analyst and host of CNBC’s show Cryptotrader Ran Neuner claimed  that a Bitcoin ETF is a “way bigger deal” than a cash settlement Bitcoin futures contract, since it “requires actual purchase of BTC.”

As Ethereum & Ripple (XRP) Plunged, Tron the Only Major Crypto Post Gains in October

The month of October saw many altcoins continue to bleed out in price, with ethereum (ETH) and ripple (XRP) each declining by more than 10 percent. After almost ten months of mostly bearish price action in the cryptocurrency space, there was just one crypto token that managed to tread water in October — tron (TRX).

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Holacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion

Holacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion

The following opinion piece on Holacracy was written by Max Borders, director of Social Evolution and author of The Social Singularity

Imagine turning on your mobile device one morning to find only two apps: Red and Blue. It’s bad enough that these are the only two choices. Only one works at a time–and not very well.

Also read: Markets Update: Traders Play a Lower Range After Cryptocurrency Prices Dip

And yet this is more or less the social operating system upon which most of the developedHolacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion world runs. The Madison-style Constitution was a great innovation, but it’s still built atop the 2000-year-old DOS (Democratic Operating System).

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government,” Winston Churchill remarked, “except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Really? Is this the best we’ve got? Such a fatalistic view gives us an excuse to accept the status quo, but it is a failure of imagination. It’s time to rethink governance.

Changing Our Relationship to Power

The strongest candidate for a new global-scale social operating system is Holacracy.

Never heard of it? Holacracy is a organization management system Brian Robertson developed to help businesses run without bosses. HolacracyOne’s mission is to “change our relationship to power” and the system does just that, which is exactly why some are skeptical. After all, command-and-control systems have been working for blue chip companies and standing armies for centuries.

But now, more than 1000 companies worldwide have adopted Holacracy, jettisoning the traditional firm structure.

If you’re into cryptocurrencies, you already know that command-and-control hierarchiesHolacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion can be destructive and inhumane. Satoshi Nakomoto, for example, wanted both to help us escape the inflationary Skinner box of central banking and build bitcoin in a decentralized way. The idea was to work with a growing team of coders and miners to build out the ecosystem, but no one would control the network. Satoshi changed our relationship to power — for both developers and users.

Holacracy provides a governance framework that is decidedly holonic — roughly, systems within systems. In this way, a holacratic organization approximates a living organism as opposed to a machine to be “run.” Practitioners aren’t arranged by managers as cogs within a traditional org chart, but rather define their own functional roles within wider spheres of activity, or “circles”.

Just as cells make up organs within organisms, people have roles within teams within organizations. And though certain cells and roles might hustle themselves into an “executive function,” both the organism’s and the holacratic organization’s brains are self-organizing.

How Holacracy Works

Holacracy makes an organization a complex adaptive system. Unlike command-and-control hierarchies, complex adaptive organizations respond with relative autonomy to stimuli that are, for lack of a better way of putting things, not quite right. Practitioners call these “tensions.” Every part of the organization wants to get things flowing, following constructal theorist Adrian Bejan. To resolve tensions is to get things flowing–that is, towards realizing the mission.

At the risk of oversimplification, let’s break it down:

  • Mission. Why the organization exists at all and the end all roles serve.
  • Holacracy Constitution. Sets out the relatively fixed protocols and fundamental rules that make up Holacracy’s (open source!) social operating system.
  • Tactical Meetings. A group process for addressing one-off, operational issues in a formalized way, relevant to some functional sphere of activity.
  • Governance Meetings. A group process for creating roles, making policies, or assigning ownership of responsibilities.
  • Data management. The inputs and output of meetings gets recorded so that anyone can see the rules, roles, policies and system interconnections at any time.

The devil is of course in the proverbial details. And learning the system is rather like learning a team sport: You can’t learn the game from the rulebook. You have to get out there and practice. But in doing so, practitioners can become Holacracy pros–increasing organization efficiency while scaling.

But how far up can Holacracy scale?

Teams within Teams (within Teams)

Complexity scientist Yaneer Bar-On warns of the coming breakdown of the current order:

Why should governments fail? Because leaders, whether self-appointed dictators, or elected officials, are unable to identify what policies will be good for a complex society. The unintended consequences are beyond their comprehension. Regardless of values or objectives, the outcomes are far from what they intend.

But Bar-on suggests a solution.Holacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion

It begins with widespread individual action that transforms society — a metamorphosis of social organization in which leadership no longer serves the role it has over millennia. A different type of existence will emerge, affecting all of us as individuals and enabling us to live in a complex world.

To be successful in high complexity challenges requires teamwork. Each team member performs one part of what needs to be done, contributing to the complexity and scale of what the team does while limiting the complexity each individual faces.

Holacracy — or something close to it — seems to be a system that that adequately deals with complexity through the application of superior team dynamics.

Scaling to Society

If Brian Robertson is to be believed, it’s possible for Holacracy to scale to the level of society. I think he’s onto something. Robertson draws influence not only from his computer science background, but from integral theorist Ken Wilber. In his philosophical work, Wilber expands on Arthur Koestler’s holarchy, that is, the idea that systems can give rise to systems (that can give rise to systems) at different levels of description.

And with that we come full holon. Robertson puts it best:

Anarchy comes from the greek “an”, meaning without, plus “arkhos”, meaning rulers. Anarchy doesn’t mean without rules, but without rulers. If you have the right rules, the absence of top-down rulers doesn’t remove order —i t simply enables order to emerge dynamically from peer-to-peer interactions distributed throughout a system, one tension at a time. So by this definition, you could describe Holacracy as a rule system for humans working together in anarchy—with rules, but without rulers.

Hmm. I thought anarchy was all punk rock and molotov cocktails.

Getting There from Here

By this point, you might want to know how to get there from here. With humility, I offer what can only be described as a set of interconnected cliches that one might associate with crypto-enthusiasts:

  • Start using it. Adoption shows its benefits better than any article.
  • Don’t half-ass it. Adulterated versions create problems that tarnish Holacracy’s reputation and cause people to re-embrace hierarchy.
  • Hold onto it. The longer you use it, the more wider ecosystems can develop.
  • Train others. The more we can reduce the time and cost of adoption, the better.
  • Underthrow. When hierarchy hits the fan, people will seek a more antifragile way to organize what’s left of society. Holacracy will already be in full flower.

I realize that last point is a rather dark note on which to close, but keep in mind that as society becomes more complex, hierarchical governments running on DOS will have a hard time keeping up with the information processing demands. Meanwhile, practitioners of Holacracy will be running their distributed organizations and changing their relationship to power. They already hold the source code for a new era of rules without rulers.

Do you think holacratic forms of governance will replace democracy? 


Image courtesy of Shutterstock and Kindling XYZ


OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

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BlackRock Won’t Launch Bitcoin ETF Until Crypto Is ‘Legitimate,’ Says CEO Larry Fink

BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager and ETF provider — has slowly been warming to crypto, but will not launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) until the industry becomes “legitimate,” said CEO Larry Fink. “I wouldn’t say never —  when it’s legitimate, yes,” Fink said at the New York Times Dealbook conference, as reported by CNBC.

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Financial Advisers Are “Shying Away” from Crypto Despite Investor Interest, Says eToro

Investor appetite to crypto is growing, yet independent professional financial advice for it is lacking, according to research.

A Genuine Lack of Knowledge

The study from social trading and crypto platform eToro, was conducted by Opinium, a market research company, among 206 advisers and 2,003 U.K. adults in September.

According to the data, 38 per cent of investors who seek financial advice regarding pensions would also seek financial help on crypto. Notably, though, 62 per cent of advisers admitted lacking the confidence to provide this information, reports the FT Adviser.

When it came to being questioned about cryptocurrency, 63 per cent of financial advisers indicated that clients had reached out to them. Yet, only nine per cent said they were confident in delivering this advice.

Speaking on the matter, Iqbal V Gandham, U.K. managing director at eToro, said:

“Investors clearly want help when it comes to cryptoassets and are looking to their adviser for the answers. However, whether due to concerns around long-term viability or a genuine lack of knowledge, [independent financial advisers] are shying away from these conversations.”

Gandham added that with the topic of regulation becoming more of a reality, there will be more interest in the sector. With a rise in the number of clients asking about cryptocurrency, financial advisers are going to have to think about getting up to speed.

Dan Farrow, director of SBN Wealth Management, said that while he wouldn’t “shy away from generic advice,” he would “not give any formal specific advice because it would jeopardise my business,” adding:

“Cryptocurrencies have got fraud potential all over them and advisers should not be touching them with a barge pole.”

Accountancy Firms Rush In

However, while financial advisers remain weary of providing advice on the industry, accountancy firms are doing their best to deliver.

At the end of October, it was reported that Big Four professional services, namely EY, PwC, and KPMG, were hiring blockchain specialists to deliver auditing services of crypto firms. At the time, Jeanne Boillet, a spokesperson for EY, stated that it was a “no brainer,” adding:

“We have no choice than to address this because some of our clients have invested in that space.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Nasdaq Says It Can Stop Cryptocurrency Market Manipulation

nasdaq

Nasdaq says it can lead the fight against market manipulation and fraud that has been plaguing the cryptocurrency market. In fact, a few exchange platforms are already adopting the exchange operator’s market surveillance technology.


Helping to Combat Cryptocurrency Fraud

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. stock exchange behemoth believes it can solve some of crypto’s issues – fraud and market manipulation. In a report published on November 1st, Nasdaq noted that it had a wealth of experience in dealing with the intricacies of the assets trading market.

A section of the Nasdaq report reads:

Regulators, brokers, and exchanges have surveillance teams that monitor activity constantly and advanced technologies to help capture and analyze abusive behaviors including pump-and-dump schemes, insider trading, wash trading as well as spoofing and layering.

Many virtual currency critics are quick to point to the lack of robust regulations in the industry as an incentive for all sorts of illegal trading practices. In the U.S., the Justice Department in conjunction with the CFTC began investigating allegations of price manipulation in the Bitcoin 00 trading arena.

The Chairman Of The CFTC Might Just Have Brought The Bitcoin Crash To An End

Exchanges Already Using It

According to Nasdaq, some significant players in the cryptocurrency trading space are already using its market surveillance technology.

In mid-2018, Bitcoinist reported that Gemini, SBI Virtual Currencies, and three other platforms were already using Nasdaq’s SMARTS technology. With more developments in the cryptocurrency trading space, the company appears to be in high demand.

Speaking to Bloomberg, the head of exchange and regulatory surveillance at the exchange operator, Tony Sio, said:

We’re now getting approached every week or two. We won’t work with all of these firms though since a lot of them are quite early stage or not reputable yet.

Nasdaq is Embracing Crypto

For Nasdaq, since the start of 2018, it has been a case of moving from tentative to more concrete involvement in the emerging virtual currency industry. CEO, Adena Friedman, has on many occasions expressed bullish sentiments about the prospects of cryptocurrencies while reiterating the need for more robust regulations.

Reports indicate that the company wants to open a cryptocurrency exchange platform. However, such plans rest on the emergence of a proper regulatory framework for the industry.

Can Nasdaq’s market surveillance tech prevent fraud and manipulation? Let us know below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Nasdaq Pledges To Help The Crypto Industry Stamp Out Fraud

crypto fraud

The cryptocurrency industry has come a long way, with Bitcoin celebrating its ten year anniversary yesterday. However, despite the great strides made, one challenge has continued to plague the industry: fraud. Nasdaq believes that it might have the answer and is willing to help the crypto industry weed out fraud from the industry. In a paper released today, the second-largest stock exchange in the world stated that with decades’ worth of experience policing all sorts of markets, it can help stamp out fraudulent activities from the crypto industry as well.

Weeding Out Fraud

Founded in 1971, Nasdaq has had over four decades of experience in policing markets, the company said in a paper released today, November 1. Over this time, it has developed tools that monitor hundreds of diverse markets, ranging from securities to currencies. Nasdaq is looking to use these tools to stamp out fraud in the crypto industry, a challenge that has kept many institutional investors at bay.

The paper outlined some of the challenges that face the crypto market and Nasdaq’s ability to weed them out. While the crypto market has taken a lot of criticism for most of these challenges, they aren’t unique to it and face the traditional markets as well.

Part of the paper read:

Regulators, brokers and exchanges have surveillance teams that monitor activity constantly and advanced technologies to help capture and analyze abusive behaviors including pump-and-dump schemes, insider trading, wash trading as well as spoofing and layering

Nasdaq has been quite progressive with cryptos, with the CEO Adena Friedman stating earlier this year that it would even consider becoming a crypto exchange in the future. Speaking in April, Friedman stated that Nasdaq is only awaiting the crypto industry to mature before it dips its toes into the crypto waters.

Nasdaq has already begun applying its market monitoring technology in the crypto industry with Gemini exchange. The Winklevoss twins-owned exchange struck a deal with Nasdaq in April to implement its SMARTS Market Surveillance technology to monitor its platform. At the time, Nasdaq cited the partnership as an indicator of its commitment to “expand the use of its market technology into non-traditional marketplaces, as well as new frontiers beyond the capital markets.”

Nasdaq has been getting many offers to collaborate with crypto marketplaces, the firm’s head of exchange and regulator surveillance revealed. Speaking to Bloomberg, Tony Sio stated:

We’re now getting approached every week or two. We won’t work with all of these firms though since a lot of them are quite early stage or not reputable yet.

With the crypto industry grappling with market manipulation, Nasdaq’s technology could go a long way in stomping it out. The manipulation has been attributed to many factors, one of which is through the use of the stablecoin Tether. Various researchers and academicians have observed patterns that indicate a close relationship between the price of Bitcoin and the release of new Tether coins. Bitfinex crypto exchange, which shares management with Tether, has also been widely implicated in these allegations.

Bot trading has also been accused of market manipulation through such tactics as wash trading and spoofing. Though illegal and punishable in the stock markets, several traders have openly stated that they use these methods in crypto trading, with some even suggesting that the bots should be availed to every trader as “if everyone cheats, then no one cheats.”

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Malta to Develop AI Strategy Following Success as ‘Blockchain Island’

Malta has launched a government task force to develop a national artificial intelligence strategy.

The Maltese government has announced the formation of a taskforce to develop a national artificial intelligence (AI) strategy, Cointelegraph reports Tuesday, Nov. 1 from the Malta Blockchain Summit.

The Junior Minister for Financial services, Digital economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri announced the launch of the governmental initiative “Malta.ai,” stating that Malta is aiming to become a top AI nation. He said that the country would develop a friendly regulatory environment for AI much in the same way as it has done for blockchain technology:

“After successfully positioning Malta as the ‘Blockchain Island,’ by being the first in the world to regulate DLT (distributed ledger technology) products and services, we now would like to position Malta amongst the top 10 countries in the world with an artificial intelligence policy.”

The government has already launched a website for its national AI strategy. According to official statements at the Malta Blockchain Summit, AI projects will be monitored by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority — the same organization that monitors DLT. The government’s objectives are:

“...to dialogue with stakeholders, to build awareness of the key topics and issues that will inform a national AI Framework, consult on a policy that considers for ethically aligned, transparent and socially responsible AI, identify regulatory and fiscal measures to strengthen Malta’s appeal as a hub for foreign investment in this sector and identify the underlying skill base and infrastructure needed to support AI.”

Malta.ai will collaborate with SingularityNET, a decentralized marketplace for AI services, in a pilot project to “explore a citizenship test for robots in the process of drafting new regulation for AI.”

SingularityNET, which is working with renowned robot Sophia built by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, has launched its own AGI token, with a total market capitalization reaching nearly $33 million according to CoinMarketCap.

Malta has gained a reputation as a proactive and friendly jurisdiction for blockchain and crypto-related business. The government announced its intention to make the country a leader in DLT in February of this year.

In early July, the country’s Parliament passed three bills setting a clear regulatory framework and legal environment for both the crypto and blockchain industries. The country has since become a popular area for crypto-related startups, including global crypto exchanges like Binance, OKex, and BitPay.