The CEO of Russia’s state bank Sberbank Herman Gref doesn’t expect cryptocurrency to replace fiat currency anytime soon nor in the future, according to the interview at the Astana Finance Days international conference in the Kazakhstan capital July 4. Grew cannot yet imagine governments “yielding their centralized role” in currency emission. read more
The world’s first cryptocurrency auction will be held by Blockchain platform Maecenas at a fine art gallery Dadiani Syndicate in the UK on June 20. The platform creates tamper-proof digital certificates linked to works of art on the blockchain, and this lot is one of them: a painting by Andy Warhol from 1980 Reversal series. Buyers can obtain 49% ownership using ART token, BTC or ETH.
The painting “14 Small Electric Chairs” by Warhol is worth $5.6 million.
The city of Zug in Switzerland is about to try out a blockchain-powered municipal vote at the end of this June. The upcoming event will implement the city’s digital ID (eID) system launched in November 2017. Using the new system, citizens get the chance to vote via their mobile devices, yet results of the vote won’t be counted since this is a trial. Crypto Valley in Zug became an international hub for the crypto and blockchain community, and today Switzerland is considered to be one of the blockchain-friendliest countries.
Opera began to test a mobile browser with a built-in crypto wallet, thus becoming the first major browser creator to facilitate crypto trading. As the makers say, it is going to be a new version of the familiar Opera browser for Android that contains an easy in use crypto wallet functionality supporting Web3 API. The project is now in private beta available for users to join. This simply means that users no longer need to install any services to send and receive crypto money – the wallet is already there for them.
"We believe the web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow…By becoming the first major browser to open up to Web 3.0, we would like to contribute to making the internet of the future more accessible,” Charles Hamel, the product lead on Opera Crypto, explained.
Iran is going to issue its own cryptocurrency as way to sidestep new sanctions enacted by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Preparing the Grounds to Adopt Blockchain Technology
The U.S. announced its withdrawal from a 2015 atomic agreement with Iran in May reactivating economic sanctions that will forbid Iran's access to U.S. dollars next month.
The plan to build up an "indigenous" digital money is on the agenda of the government’s Science and Technology Department, as indicated by Iran's official news outlet PressTV. "We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country," Alireza Daliri, the department’s representative head in charge of investments, was cited as saying in the report. read more
A research made by ICO advisory firm Statis Group discovered that more than 80% of initial coin offerings (ICOs) in 2017 were scams. The study considered their lifecycle from the very beginning to the maturest phase of trading.
“Over 70 percent of ICO funding (by $ volume) to-date went to higher quality projects, although over 80 percent of projects (by # share) were identified as scams,” the study says. Furthermore, 4% of ICOs failed, and 3% had gone dead. By “dead” the researchers imply ICOs that are “not listed on exchanges for trading and has not had a code contribution in Github on a rolling three-month basis from that point in time.” read more
As blockchain-based technologies are being developed at a faster pace every day, the popularity of cryptocurrency grows in a geometric progression. ING International Survey prepared a research named “Cracking the code on cryptocurrency”, in which examines people’s engagement in the crypto industry. They carried out a survey across Europe, the United States, and Australia, and here are the results: read more
The ruling Indian political party Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is being accused of money laundering through Bitcoin by another, The Indian National Congress (INC) party, the largest one in the country. Congress Party claims that the BJP is converting “black money” in the Western state of Gujarat. INC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil stated that the accused party’s leadership was involved in a bitcoin scam which is worth between $727 million and $12.79 billion. read more
Bank of Thailand (BoT) governor Veerathai Santiprabhob brought the project up at Nomura Investment Forum Asia (NIFA) in Singapore. Creating a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) for internal use is a “new way of conducting interbank settlement”, says Santiprabhob. It is expected to help decrease the time spent on transaction and validation and expenses since fewer intermediaries will be needed read more
Cryptocurrency miners and owners in Russia will be regulated under the Internal Revenue Code, as the Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, told the local news media Izvestia July 18. Individuals and legal entities will be taxed separately but in accordance to the existent Tax Code of Russia. Thus, physical people will be regulated under the conditions of the personal income tax, while entities – conforming to their form of business. Aksakov mentioned that in the future specific taxation schemes may appear if the government wishes so, but for now, no new laws will be introduced. Lawmakers are planning on passing the bill on cryptocurrency mining and holding during the Autumn session of the Duma. read more
Thomas Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors and one of the most influential crypto analysts named the probable cause for the recent weakness in Bitcoin. According to Lee, the expiration of cryptocurrency linked futures affected the coin which consequently dropped 20% last week.
Since the launch of CME futures on CBOE, 6 contract expirations have occurred, and the last one – on June 13 – took place in the period of all cryptocurrencies’ particular instability. That day Bitcoin was worth $300 less – it fell from $6,600 to $6,300. read more
Business and financial software developer from California Intuit has been granted a patent for processing bitcoin installments via text message.
Published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, the patent details how a network of virtual accounts could empower two users to transfer funds utilizing their phones. The patent was filed in 2014, not long after the company had launched its QuickBooks Bitcoin Payments service that allowed small businesses to accept bitcoin instead of fiat currency.
The post on nakamotofamilyfoundation.org introduces an excerpt of the book apparently written by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the first and still biggest cryptocurrency – Bitcoin.
Up to this day the crypto community isn’t aware of Satoshi’s actual origin, name, nor if it’s a single person or a group of people. Yet the post clarifies that the pseudonym “…is not a real name. Specifically, not a legal name. It is primarily the essence of thoughts and reason.” read more
A U.S. Secret Service official called Congress on to consider potential legislative action towards cryptocurrencies that boast privacy-enhancing features.
Before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Robert Novy claimed that cryptocurrencies and services intended to obscure transactions require a particular attention from the government. But, no active measurements are expected anytime soon.
"As such, continued Congressional attention is warranted to ensure law enforcement agencies maintain lawful access to critical sources of evidence, regardless of where, or in what form, that information is stored," Novy stated.
Chat app Kik encourages its users to earn and spend kin – the app’s domestic cryptocurrency after the launch of “crypto-economy” announced Wednesday. Users are able to get kin tokens in the Kin Marketplace Beta by completing polls, quizzes and creating tutorials. Tokens can be spent to purchase premium tools inside the app. read more
For the first time, bitcoin mining projects have been added to the list of “unicorns” – a rating of privately owned companies valued over $1 billion.
Climbing up to the Top
Hurun Research Institute based in Shanghai published a report featuring 3 Chinese cryptocurrency companies: Bitmain is ranked 13th on the list since its value reached as much as 70 billion yuan (approximately $10.3 billion). Two other firms to be listed are Canaan Creative valued at $3 billion and Ebang worth circa $1.5 billion, which are at the 32nd and 53rd positions respectively.
South Korea’s legislature is developing new rules on cryptocurrency, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Blockchain technology. Lawmakers will introduce drafts of the bills at an extraordinary session of the National Assembly between July 12 and 26.
Central bank-issued cryptocurrency might be financially beneficial for Canada and the U.S., as indicated by a central bank analyst.
What Do Numbers Say?
In a working paper published July 26, the Bank of Canada's S. Mohammad R. Davoodalhosseini states that presenting a central bank digital currency (CBDC) "can lead to an increase of up to 0.64 percent in consumption for Canada and up to 1.6 percent for the US, compared with their respective economies if only cash is used." read more
A cryptocurrency mining malware had operated for 2 years not being noticed until now. The virus infected over a million computers in China and brought $2 million to its creators, according to a local news report.
Cybercriminals created and embedded the malware inside internet browser plug-ins they had previously developed for diverse purposes. The police of China’s Da Lan city arrested 20 suspects who had profited from mining on a large number of seized computers. Since minor cryptocurrencies require less power, the backend mining processes are quieter and are yet to be noticed by computer owners, which explains the longlasting crime's stealthiness.
This morning, bypassing the dull routine, I had directly dived into the seething pool of unhackneyed minds’ outgivings on Medium and ran into an article that seized my attention: "Why Everyone Missed the Most Mind-Blowing Feature of Cryptocurrency." I ingested the text for breakfast and by the lunchtime had already formed my response. So, what does the author consider the most mind-blowing feature of cryptocurrency? I wish he let us know the answer somewhere at the beginning of the 16-minute long read, but alas. And I won’t be indulgent either. read more
A high-end global payments giant Mastercard has won a U.S. patent for accelerating cryptocurrency transactions, according to the document published on Tuesday, July 17, by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The new public blockchain-based method will allow clients to manage “fractional reserves of blockchain currency”, thus associating fiat assets and blockchain money. Up to that moment, cardholders could only pay for things using legal tender – a currency recognized as official money by the government. Mastercard proposed to make purchases using bitcoin stored on a credit card. read more
Rivemont Crypto Fund, a Canadian company owned by Rivemont Investments, keeps approximately 91% of its assets – $2.3 million – in fiat currency, and only the insignificant rest in Bitcoin.
Rivemont Putting an Eye on the Altcoins
Rivemont Investments offers investment strategies basing on the market’s volatility. Its subsidiary Rivemont Crypto Fund, established in December 2017, is the only active cryptocurrency fund in Canada, according to the official data. The fund trades Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ethereum Classic (ETC), and is registered in 3 provinces with the Ontario Securities Commission, the Alberta Securities Commission, and the British Columbia Securities Commission. Rivemont Crypto Fund is considering investments in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and alternative coins such as Neo and Dash.
Authorities of South Korea has begun an investigation of a conceivable crypto investment scam. The key figure involved in the scam is the Seoul-based Shinil Group, as Korea JoongAng Daily revealed July 31. Shinil Group (Shinil) allegedly guaranteed to pay investors in gold lifted from a sunken Russian ship. read more
Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela announced the National Cryptoactive Plan of Venezuela for the next 10 years which is also an official launch of the national oil-backed cryptocurrency El Petro (PTR).
Be My Petro
He encouraged Venezuelans to buy and use El Petro. For that reason, an official Petro website has been already launched as well as Petro Wallet that is now available on Google Play.
The president stated that the national cryptocurrency is now available on the six largest and the most popular crypto exchanges. Yet the public sale of the cryptocurrency starts November, 5.
Apologizing, Starbucks has cleared up that it won't be accepting Bitcoin (BTC) or any other digital money, disproving the deceiving reports published by Bloomberg and CNBC.
Headlines Leading to Confusion
August 3, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) operating New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) reported its plans to build a new “global platform and ecosystem for digital assets” called "Bakkt," together with global companies including Starbucks, BCG and Microsoft. read more
The Philippines is about to present new regulations allowing startups to legitimately raise funds through initial coin offerings (ICOs).
All Tokens Are Securities Expect When They Are Not
Before the regulations go into effect, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is waiting for the people’s feedback concerning the draft rules published on Thursday, August 2nd. read more
Researchers from one of the major universities in China reportedly have built up a decentralized exchange, not for crypto assets but rather for unused power.
Enabling Users to Trade Energy
In January, a group from China's Fudan University has filed a patent application, which was released last Friday, August 3. The document introduces the workings of an electricity exchange based on blockchain, that will assign power sellers and purchasers as nodes on the network and enable them to safely trade unused power without middlemen.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is pausing its intention to open a cryptocurrency exchanging desk, as Business Insider reported September 5.
Vague Regulation Environment to Pause the Project
In December, Bloomberg announced the bank’s plan to launch a crypto-centered unit by the end of June 2018. Sources claimed that Goldman Sachs was willing to become "the first large Wall Street firm to make markets in cryptocurrencies."
However, since the regulatory policy remains rather vague, the bank has brought down the priority of the project. It might take some time before a regulated bank could exchange digital assets, claim the sources.
Iran has recognized crypto mining as a legal activity, making steps toward issuing its own cryptocurrency; the news prompted a rapid rise in Bitcoin’s price on local exchanges.
Cryptocurrency Mining Is a Lawful Activity
As indicated by a local media outlet IBENA associated to the Central Bank of Iran, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme Council of Cyberspace said that digital money mining "has been accepted as an industry in the government."
Even though a final policy legislating for mining hasn’t been presented yet, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (ICT), the Central Bank and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance has come to consensus.
Various financial regulators from over the globe are teaming up to facilitate the development of financial technologies including those of distributed ledger – such as blockchain.
The Creation of a “Global Sandbox”
The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) unites regulators from Hong Kong, the U.S., Australia, Abu Dhabi and 7 other members, as the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced.
Analysts have uncovered a gigantic botnet that imitates existing legitimate accounts on Twitter to spread a cryptocurrency "giveaway" scam.
Tricky Cryptocurrency Giveaway
According to ITPro, the scam was discovered by Duo Security that took 88 million Twitter accounts from May to July into consideration utilizing machine learning to detect bots. The group ran into a single network consisting of over 15,000 bots that spread cryptocurrency giveaway.
Opera Ltd, the Norway-based company running the browser used by 322 million people, introduced a desktop version with a built-in crypto wallet.
Going Further With Crypto Integration
Last month, CoinTrend announced the launch of Opera browser for Android with a cryptocurrency wallet in it. The company received a positive reaction from the public and decided to roll out a desktop browser open for crypto.
Honeyminer, a crypto mining application that gives clients the chance to earn bitcoin with laptops, is quickly gaining popularity.
The app was launched in June, and its client base has reached 50,000 since then. A third of the new users are located in developing markets, and 5 percent hail from Africa, according to the company.
"We've stumbled into something that was far bigger and more international than we imagined." Honeyminer co-founder stated.
Chinese police have captured 3 people who had reportedly stolen bitcoins and other digital currencies worth approximately $87 million.
Tracking Down the Suspects
Chinese media Xinhua reported that the three were arrested on August 15 after a months-long investigation.
Сhinese regulators are fighting against announcements anyhow related to cryptocurrency, and giant mobile payment platforms WeChat Pay and Alipay declare to be collaborating with the government in the fight.
Taking Drastic Measures
Five regulatory organizations in China, including the People's Bank of China and the Banking Regulatory Commission, warned against any digital currency-related fundraising and exchanging operations.
One of the largest corporation for asset managing in the world, Fidelity Investment, decided to step out the fear and step in the future of the crypto industry.
The corporation is going to provide security and storage services, trade execution and customer service for digital asset.
Lourdes Miranda, a financial crimes investigator, and Ross Delston, Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), said that Pyongyang is about to create its own cryptocurrency. They added that North Korea is using cryptocurrency like bitcoin (BTC), not just for mining but money laundering.
The Durov brothers, creators of social network VK and Telegram messenger, claim that the issuance of their cryptocurrency – TON – is going to be a major event in the crypto world in 2019.
What Do We Know About TON
The new cryptocurrency will be tested and audited in the next quarter, and by the end of the year, the system’s wallet will begin its operation. The coin will be available in the very beginning of the next year. TON is a name for both token and the network, but later, after the token issuance, the coin will be renamed Gram.
Prime minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, has expressed his positive view on the potential of cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology at the 73rd Session of the General Assembly of the U.N.
There’s No Escape from Cryptos
In his speech on September 27, Muscat stressed cryptocurrency’s importance for the financial industry:
"Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies the inevitable future of money, more transparent since it helps filter good businesses from bad businesses."
The London Block Exchange opened last November is going to launch a new pound-pegged cryptocurrency LBXPeg in 10 days. According to the official statement, the new cryptocurrency (aka “cryptopound”) “will be tied to the value of pound sterling (‘GBP’) held in an auditable UK bank account on a 1:1 basis.”. LBXPeg is going to be provided by the Ethereum blockchain, later The LBX will be using other platforms if their compliance controls can be maintained.
Japan’s self-regulating body for cryptocurrency operators is going to tighten the rules on the management of customer’s assets after another hacking incident this September. JVCEA is planning to limit the number of digital currencies that a user can manage online. According to The Japan’s Times, “the ceiling is likely to be around 10 to 20 percent of customer deposits.”
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has been accused of being insolvent in a series of articles on Medium. In Sunday’s blog post, the company denied the rumors by providing counter-arguments.
It’s All Good
Bitfinex stated that it is not insolvent, and “as one of only a very few exchanges operating since 2013, with a small team and low operating costs,” they do not understand the accusation, which, in their opinion, is unfounded.
A user has started a petition to make cryptocurrency Ripple (XRP) an official currency of the Olympic Games in 2020 and got almost 10,000 signatures.
Ken Takahashi, a creator of the petition, is going to propose to National Olympic Committee to make Ripple as a currency of the Olympics. Takahashi thinks that it is a perfect solution of the language barrier, long queues and other issues that always strike worldwide events.
India might launch its own government-backed cryptocurrency that would make the crypto-situation difficult for any other altcoins.
The finance ministry panel was established in December 2017 to regulate cryptocurrency. The plan that regulates the crypto industry in India had to be presented in July but was deferred to the end of the year.
The popularity of stablecoins is growing day by day. We’ve already informed you about the launch of pound-pegged coin LBXPeg, and here goes Japan.
GMO Internet, Inc. develops Internet infrastructure. The corporation started cryptocurrency exchange business in May 2017 and mining business later in December
The company is listed as #1 at Tokyo Stock Exchange. GMO Japanese Yen (GJY) will be available in the market in 2019.
A website spreading fake news has used images of Jacinda Ardern – New Zealand Prime Minister – to promote a crypto startup.
According to the local media outlet Stuff, a number of sponsored publications popped up on Facebook on Friday, October 12. “New Investment Plan for Kiwis” – one of the headlines would read. The posts were targeted at the audience aged between 30 and 45.
Indian authorities form a committee to attract the government to the blockchain technology.
As we reported in July, an Indian state Telangana had already known how to use blockchain in the political sphere. Now, it is a formed committee which is going to explain the rest of the government the importance and necessity of the technology.
The largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance is opening a branch in Uganda this week, as was announced on the official website today, October 15.
Maintaining the Economy
According to the release, the exchange in Uganda has already begun the know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, and will start accepting deposits and withdrawals of the local currency, Ugandan shillings (UGX), in two days. Initially, the branch will support only Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), but other currency pairs will be added in time.
Drop It Like It’s Hot
Monday morning saw an extreme rise of the largest cryptocurrency by the market capitalization Bitcoin (BTC). The price for 1BTC reached over $7200 on Bitfinex exchange.
At the press time, the price of BTC is slightly dropped. The current BTC market price is $6925 (according to bitfinex.com).
Recent news around BTC confused Twitter users as they asked to explain what had happened to Bitcoin: