Daily News Digest Featured News

Monday February 5 2018, Daily News Digest

VINchain
Source: Bitcoinist

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United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia

India

APAC

MENA

News Summary

United States

Bitcoin price drops below $ 8,000 for first time since November 24 (4WWL), Rated: AAA

The volatile digital asset fell as low as $7,695.10 on Friday according to CoinDesk, marking the first time it has fallen below the $8,000 level since November 24. CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index tracks prices from digital currency exchanges Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Bitfinex.

The price of bitcoin recovered to $8,618 mid-Friday morning New York time.

Bitcoin at Million by 2020: McAfee Doubles Down on Bullish Bet (CCN), Rated: A

John McAfee, whose fame exists rather heavily due to the software company he founded in the late 1980s, took to Twitter yet again on February 2, 2018, to reaffirm that he was indeed bullish on bitcoin.

Bitcoin Mining Comes To New York As Lawmakers Approve Power Allocation (Coin Telegraph), Rated: B

Cloud mining service Coinmint has won approval to take over an abandoned smelter for Bitcoin mining operations on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Bitcoin Is Going Below $ 5,000 (Forbes), Rated: B

There may be a time to buy Bitcoin again, but it isn’t until it breaks $5,000.  That is the level when I will reevaluate what to do next.

The buzz of bitcoin: Cryptocurrency for sale at vape shops, bars and gas stations (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A

Unlike banks and currency exchanges, where people can trade foreign currency and U.S. dollars, a Naperville vape shop, an Aurora gas station, and bars in Elgin and St. Charles are some of the spots where people are purchasing cryptocurrency, which some see as the future of money.

In Naperville, there are machines in Vape N Tobacco, 1224 W. Ogden Ave., and the lobby of Van Buren Place, 35 S. Washington St., where digital currencies such as the popular bitcoin can be bought.

VINCHAIN LAUNCHES ICO – RAISES OVER $ 1 MILLION IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS (Bitcoinist), Rated: AAA

VINChain, the blockchain-based decentralized vehicle information platform, launched its much-anticipated ICO on February 1, 2018. In less than 24 hours, eager investors contributed 1670 ETH – nearly $1.5 million at current prices.

The ICO, which will be held in stages, will run from February 1 through April 15, 2018. Each stage is limited to a specific amount of ETH. Once that amount is reached, the next stage begins. A graduated bonus structure, ranging from 40% to 5% is available at each stage as follows:

VINchain
Source: Bitcoinist

Digital Currency Litecoin Gearing Up to Launch Payments Processor LitePay (Coinsquare), Rated: AAA

LitePay is a new payment solution that aims to bridge the gap between fiat currency and Litecoin.

LitePay plans to use Litecoin’s core blockchain technology to create a borderless global payment network. The technology behind LitePay allows merchants to easily accept Litecoin as payments, both online and in-store.

Why Litecoin & Monero Could Benefit From A Partnership (Cryptodaily), Rated: A

In perhaps the biggest news to come out of the cryptocurrency scene in recent days, two of the major players in the alternative finance sector – Monero and Litecoin – appear set to merge with one another, to make each brand interoperable with one another.

How Two Unexpected Factors Will Drive What’s Next In Cryptocurrency Trends (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Business Insiderreported that nearly every major cryptocurrency dropped more than 15 percent. In fact, all main cryptocurrencies had dropped from close to $500 billion to about $375 billion in that 24 hour period.

Reports said that experts in the field felt that decline was based upon impending regulatory moves. And the Facebook banning of cryptocurrency advertisements at nearly the exact same moment didn’t help matters.

Butterfly Labs agreed to a monetary judgment of $38,615,161; however, the judgments were suspended based on the defendants’ inability to pay.

Making a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico (The New York Times), Rated: AAA

Dozens of entrepreneurs, made newly wealthy byblockchain and cryptocurrencies, are heading en masse to Puerto Rico this winter. They are selling their homes and cars in California and establishing residency on the Caribbean island in hopes of avoiding what they see as onerous state and federal taxes on their growing fortunes, some of which now reach into the billions of dollars.

And these men — because they are almost exclusively men — have a plan for what to do with the wealth: They want to build a crypto utopia, a new city where the money is virtual and the contracts are all public, to show the rest of the world what a crypto future could look like.

Economist Paul Krugman Calls Bitcoin Fans “Nasty as Well as Crazy” (Bitsonline), Rated: A

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is back at it again, this time calling Bitcoiners “cultists” and saying he’s “happy watching the Bitcoin etc bubble deflate.”

Specifically, Krugman noted that he felt what he dubbed “cryptofreude” — a reference to the word “schadenfreude,” which can be defined as “pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.”

How Scammers Steal Your Computing Power to Mine Cryptocurrencies (Slate), Rated: AAA

While it’s most common in the sketchier corners of the internet, hackers have also been able to inject the cryptojacking software onto websites for Showtime and PolitiFact and on e-commerce platforms. Patrons of a Buenos Aires, Argentina, Starbucks branch discovered in December that its Wi-Fi service was covertly using their computers for mining, and last week disgruntled netizens complained on social media that YouTube adswere also stealing mining power. AdGuard estimates websites can earn up to $326,000 per month from cryptojacking based on traffic to popular websites found to have the mining software.

Coinhive and other in-browser miners are often employed in a deceptive manner. AdGuard released data in December showing that four of the most popular streaming and video-conversion sites (Streamango, RapidVideo, Openload, and OnlineVideoConverter), which collectively receive about 992 million monthly visits, take users’ processing power for mining without informing them.

cryptojacking
Source: Slate

Startup creates chip that connects industrial IoT devices to blockchain (VC Circle), Rated: A

An American startup has developed a new software and chip called Blocklet which facilitates secure data transactions on industrial and enterprise devices and sensors using blockchain technology.

According to Nevada-headquartered Filament, its distributed blockchain capabilities leverage open protocols so that devices are able to independently process and record transactions while ensuring digital trust.

Smart Contract Execution as a Service – Solving a Fundamental Blockchain Problem (Benzinga), Rated: A

Today, DApp City announced the release of Ping Chain (http://www.pingchain.co) to provide Smart Contract Execution as a Service.

OriginClear Engages The Coin Lab To Help Develop WaterChain Blockchain Protocol (Guru Focus), Rated: A

OriginClear Inc. (OTC/QB: OCLN), a provider of water treatment solutions, announced today that it has engaged London-based The Coin Lab (www.thecoinlab.io) to help develop a blockchain protocol, with industry participation, called WaterChain™ (www.waterchain.io).

Bitcoin machines bring cryptocurrency to bars, other Fox Valley businesses (Chicago Tribune), Rated: A

Signs of what some see as the future of money can be found in bars, gas stations, a currency exchange and other mom-and-pop businesses in ElginAurora and elsewhere in the Fox Valley.

The machines that look like ATMs allow people to exchange cash for digital money known as cryptocurrency, like bitcoin .

Leaked Photo Suggests NSA Infiltrated Cryptocurrencies (Investopedia), Rated: A

Recent news that the National Security Administration (NSA) may have successfully launched investigations into “Tor, I2P, and VPN,” with an additional pending request for projects focused on cryptocurrencies, is likely to go over poorly with the cryptocurrency community.

Tor and I2P are commonly used as means of accessing the dark net, including illegal black markets like the former Silk Road marketplace.

Besides the successful investigations into encryption methods, the memo suggests that the NSA may be looking into cryptocurrencies themselves.

NSA
Source: Investopedia

Grid complexity is increasing exponentially. Is blockchain the answer? (UtilityDIVE), Rated: A

Ravens notes that “energy trading requires a fair amount of mediation and it needs that centralized market control.” And settlement — ensuring the energy was delivered and everyone got paid — can take weeks for some products. “Blockchain can do away with all of that … I hesitate to use the term ‘real-time,’ because it definitely won’t be, but you can settle the market far quicker, and open the market up to much smaller participants,” Ravens said.

CINEMAWELL PAYS YOU FOR WATCHING VIDEOS – WOULD YOU INVEST IN ITS TOKEN? (Facts Chronicle), Rated: A

CinemaWell is the newest platform out there which has adopted a rather unique strategy to set up a video streaming website which pays you for watching videos.

CinemaWell is a new social platform for online cinemas. It uses Internet Video Co-viewing (IVCV) and lets anyone make a virtual cinema. For example, a person opens up a cinema on the platform, they can then load up their content such as a movie. They can then send out tickets like one would with a regular cinema. However here, you can send out tickets to an infinite amount of people since its a platform that can host millions of users. The platform hosts multiple features.

It was initially launched in 2014 which aimed at providing filmmakers a platform to showcase their content. However, the company has come up with their second attempt at the platform with the 2.0 version. This version makes use of blockchain technology. The platform also has its own cryptocurrency ApplauseCash (APLC)which is used to pay filmmakers and users.

SENS Research Foundation Receives $ 2.4 Million Ethereum Donation From Vitalik Buterin (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

SENS Research Foundation (SRF), a Silicon Valley nonprofit focused on diseases of aging,  announced today the receipt of a $2.4  million Ethereum donation from Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum and the co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine.

Texas Takes Aim at Overseas ICO with Cease-and-Desist (CoinDesk), Rated: A

According to an emergency order signed on Jan. 24, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) is taking aim at a Hong Kong-based firm dubbed R2B Coin, which the agency alleges is issuing unregistered securities to Texas residents with false and misleading information.

Here is why LOC token will cut travel prices with up to -20% in 2018 (Use the Bitcoin), Rated: A

Blockchain-powered service LockChain.co that creates a technological solution and a decentralized marketplace for property booking without intermediaries has announced in its official blog that its alpha version marketplace has officially been launched.

The announcement comes shortly after the company has struck partnerships with around 100,000 hotels around the world. The hotels are expected to be integrated and ready for booking by the end of February 2018.

Booking.com and Airbnb.com charge on average 20% from each booking that is made through their platform. Our plan is to utilize advanced blockchain technology and to cut out any commissions.”

5 Reasons Why Futereum Smart Contracts Are The Future of Crypto (The Currency Journal), Rated: A

Futereum (FUTR) and by extension Futereum X (FUTX), are two digital assets that have some of the most potential to transform the way we perceive and use utility on the Blockchain in the coming 2-3 years.

  • Futereum is more equitably distributed than most digital assets.
Futureum top token holders
Source: The Currency Journal
  • Futereum makes the Ethereum Virtual Machine more efficient and thus has a positive effect on the technology’s ecosystem. In the case of Futereum and Futereum X, by collectively shoring up nearly 600,000 Ether tokens per cycle, over time about 1%-3% per year of Ether will be employed at any one time in the Futereum smart contract.
  • Futereum is the perfect way of both reducing the risk of holding a lot of Ether and improving the potential returns of holding Ether.
  • Futereum Tokens act in a similar way to a forced savings account, enabling a digital asset speculator to grind through the ups-and-downs of digital currency volatility to take advantage of the huge potential long term gains. Many Ether holders are fully aware that the price of ETH may increase multiple thousands of percent over the next 1-3 years. However, in reality, how many of us can sit on an asset as it soars above 1000% without taking any profits at all?
  • Futereum gets more and more valuable intrinsically over time. 
Futureum
Source: The Currency Journal

Viewly Announces February Token Sale for its Blockchain-Powered Video Platform (Korea IT Times), Rated: B

Viewly is poised to reshape the way people view videos on their computers and mobile devices through its unique new decentralized video platform that utilizes the blockchain. The company is launching its token sale this month.

Securities Class Action Lawsuits Continue To Test The “Utility” Token Sale Model (Mondaq), Rated: B

On January 30, 2018, dissatisfied crypto token purchasers filed a class action lawsuit against Paragon Coin, Inc. (“Paragon“) and founders Jessica VerSteeg and Egor Lavrov, alleging that the Paragon initial coin offering (“ICO“) violated the federal securities laws.

United Kingdom

Lloyds Bank bans customers from buying bitcoins using credit cards (The Guardian), Rated: AAA

Lloyds Banking Group has banned credit card customers from buying bitcoin amid fears it could be left in debt as the cryptocurrency’s value deflates.

Ehab: A Decentralized Platform for the Disruption of Housing Development (NewsBTC), Rated: A

The problem: housing is currently built for profit, not people.  

The Solution: to provide a decentralized platform which puts people first, connects them with developers with quality products and use crowd financing to circumnavigate the banks.

China

How cybercriminals are making quick money from cryptocurrencies (South China Morning Post), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin’s popularity and the emergence of about 1,500 other digital coins or tokens have drawn hackers into the red-hot cryptocurrency space, expanding opportunities for crime and fraud, cybersecurity firm Digital Shadows warned in a report on Thursday.

European Union

Ripple-Powered Mobile Payments to Debut at Santander (Fortune), Rated: AAA

Santander Group, the international Spain-based bank, will introduce a mobile app that uses technology from the cryptocurrency startup Ripple to power fast cross-border payments. However, the product does not use XRP, the cryptocurrency that exploded in value in 2017 on the promise that it would become the backbone of Ripple’s new global bank settlement system.

Instead, Santander’s app, according to CoinDesk, will use a Ripple product called xCurrent, which is not based on a public blockchain and does not have an associated cryptocurrency. The xCurrent-based service, referred to simply as “Pay” in a recent Santander earnings presentation, is projected to go live in the U.K., Spain, Brazil, and Poland in the first quarter of this year.

One Chart Shows Why Ethereum Weathered the Cryptocurrency Crash (Profit Confidential), Rated: A

Ethereum prices are actually up despite the broader market crash! Yes, you read that right. It’s mind-boggling.

ethereum
Source: Profit Confidential

So the only reason ETH prices are remaining stable is that buyers demanding this coin are continuing to balance the scale. For other cryptocurrencies, the scale has tipped in favor of the sellers because there is now a dearth of buyers.

Vitalik Buterin Does Not Want to Give You Free Ethereum (Coinsquare), Rated: A

Twitter has recently been hit by a plague of phishing scams promising free digital currency. Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, was recently targeted by fake accounts.

Replacing one letter in a Twitter username is often enough to fool people. For example, replacing a small letter ‘L’ for a capital ‘I’ is how someone faked the name ‘Vitalik’. Buterin voiced his frustration with the problem on Twitter.

Ethereum Price Predictions: Experts Estimate Where Ethereum Will Be In Six Months (International Business Times), Rated: AAA

While Ethereum has been hit by the market downturn that has sent values of some coins plummeting, it has remained near its 2017 high. It still represents a drop from its 2018 high of  $1,432 in reached in January, but the cryptocurrency has mostly weathered the storm.

A number of experts suggested that the cryptocurrency markets will be subject to additional scrutiny in the coming months and only the strongest cryptocurrencies with legitimate uses will likely come out unscathed. Ethereum is one of those coins that is expected to survive—and even thrive—in that environment.

Michael Hunte, director of community operations at DFINITY, offered one of the boldest predictions for Ethereum’s position. He said the cryptocurrency will be valued at $4,000 by mid-2018/

ethereum predictions
Source: International Business Times

EU Launches Blockchain Observatory With Ethereum Startup (CoinDesk), Rated: A

ConsenSys, one of the most prominent startups in the ethereum ecosystem, will work with the European Commission on its EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which officially launched Thursday.

The Commission first announced the initiative last spring, citing its desire to expand institutional knowledge of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

Asian investors boost Swiss cryptocurrency wealth manager’s US$ 50 million digital fundraising (South China Morning Post), Rated: A

The fintech company SwissBorg’s initial coin offering received strong interest from Asian investors who bought nearly 30 per cent of the ICO to become members of the first blockchain-based wealth management community for cryptocurrencies, according to chief executive officer Cyrus Fazel.

The fintech company SwissBorg’s initial coin offering received strong interest from Asian investors who bought nearly 30 per cent of the ICO to become members of the first blockchain-based wealth management community for cryptocurrencies, according to chief executive officer Cyrus Fazel.

Questions Linger as WePower Pulls Off Largest Energy ICO (cryptovest), Rated: A

Blockchain-based clean energy trading platform WePower has raised $40 million, clocking 22,933 contributors to set an initial coin offering (ICO) record in the energy space, the company said in a statement. Registrations numbered close to 300,000, and some 50,000 were whitelisted to participate.

he company specified it had raised $30 million during the pre-sale, with $11 million coming from a pre-sale round in October of 2017. Another $19 million was raised from strategic investors and funds.

Central Banks Considered Issuing Cryptocurrencies, Italy’s Economy Minister Reveals (BTCManager), Rated: A

Italy’s Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan has revealed that some central banks have already begun deliberation on the pros and cons of issuing a cryptocurrency. The minister spoke at an event in Milan on January 31, 2018, said that the primary reason banks were considering releasing crypto offerings was to dodge bubbles.

Even More Ethereum-Based Pyramid Schemes Pop up out of Nowhere (The Merkle), Rated: A

There is something seriously wrong with a lot of people if they think transparent pyramid schemes are a great use case for smart contract technology. While it is true we need to find as many use cases for smart contracts as possible, running a pyramid scheme is not something that will get many positive headlines. The big difference is that projects such as EthPyramid are completely transparent and warn investors well in advance that they can – and probably will – lose money at some point.

Effect.ai – NEO Powered Decentralized Artificial Intelligence Network (Chipin), Rated: A

While academic achievements in this space are available to the public, most are being developed by large corporations with deep pockets. This means that AI is in danger of being a “black box” technology, for the most part, that benefits only a select few.

Effect.ai proposes a radically different, blockchained alternative.

They are creating a private, decentralized ecosystem for AI development and AI related services called The Effect Network. The network will be empowered by smart contracts deployed on the NEO blockchain.

Effect.ai
Source: Chipin

JOLYY Is A Blockchain Platform Allowing 1% Commission Beauty Bookings (The Merkle), Rated: A

Online beauty and hair bookings company JOLYY is building a blockchain platform intended to lower commissions for bookings to 1%, compared to rates of over 20% currently in the industry.

International

The Cost of Crypto Is Turning Miners Towards Green Power (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Vakhtang Gogokhia’s plan to extract cryptocurrencies from the netherworld of cyberspace relies on a strategy familiar to many old-school manufacturers who use a lot of energy — the cheaper the fuel, the better.

That’s why Gogokhia, who heads a startup called Golden Fleece, put a cargo container with Chinese-built computers inside a dilapidated Soviet-era tractor factory in Georgia, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of the Black Sea. The site made sense for running servers 24 hours a day because it has access to low-cost electricity generated by water flowing from the nearby Caucasus Mountains. There also are plans for solar panels and wind turbines.

Renewable energy is becoming the preferred way of mining digital currencies like Bitcoin as prices surge and the industry seeks more computing power. While traditional fuels like coal remain staples for many utility grids, big miners including Bitmain Technologies Ltd., HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. and Bitfury Group are tapping clean power in places like Canada, Iceland and Paraguay — and luring investors worried about the industry’s carbon footprint.

Bitcoin alone was valued at more than $325 billion in December — exceeding the market capitalization of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., after jumping to almost $20,000 each from less than $800 a year earlier.

crypto mining green energy
Source: Bloomberg
cryptocurrency green
Source: Bloomberg

 

REINVENTING ICO RESEARCH AND REVIEWS WITH REVAIN (Bitcoinist), Rated: A

By using a blockchain to record reviews removes any possibility of tampering and filtering, it becomes an immutable source of genuine information. If both positive and negative reviews are open for discussion and can be contested more accurate picture of a product or service can be formed. Revain is providing this ecosystem by providing a blockchain based reviews platform powered by the RVN token.

Scammers Steal Over $ 1.8 Mln By Posing As Admins of Seele ICO (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

The Initial Coin Offering (ICO) of Seele, a Blockchain project that bills itself as “blockchain 4.0,” has been compromised by scammers who stole over $1.8 mln worth of Ether. The attackers manage to dupe investors by posing as admins in the company’s Telegram channel, as reported in an article published Sunday, Feb. 4 by the Finance Magnate news site.

Cryptos you can still mine from home on a computer (Brave New COIN), Rated: A

Monero is largely recognized as the most advanced anonymous digital currency. Furthermore, this altcoin’s network was designed specifically to be able to resist the development of Monero (XMR) specific ASIC’s.

Though the digital currency started out based on a meme, Dogecoin has grown to be an altcoin with a substantial user base.

Vertcoin has been designed to be specifically suited for small mining operations.

Anonymous cryptocurrency Bytecoin is another altcoin that is easy to mine on your home computer.

6 cryptocurrencies that could become the next Bitcoin (Tech Radar), Rated: A

Bitcoin Cash was forked from the original Bitcoin in August 2017, and currently has a market cap of $28 billion (£20 billion).

Litecoin dates back to 2011, and was created by ex-Google engineer Charlie Lee. It is often thought of as the ‘little brother’ to Bitcoin – a kind of silver to Bitcoin’s gold, if you will – with a current market cap of $10 billion (£7 billion), and a hard limit of 84 million Litecoin ever to be issued.

Monero is an open source, crowdfunded approach to cryptocurrency, which dates back to July 2012.

Another advantage of Monero, compared to Bitcoin, is that Monero is fungible, and therefore transactions are private, and there are no ‘tainted’ coins.

IOTA is getting some attention these days, following its release as an alternative cryptocurrency back in 2014. The name derives from ‘Internet Of Things Application’, and this virtual currency was developed for a future where IoT devices trade their resources and services directly with each other, and IOTA is used for the payment. It’s a cryptocurrency which was designed to offer efficient, low-cost microtransactions.

Cardano is a relative newcomer, having been released in 2017 following a lengthy ‘initial coin offering’ from 2015.

Cardano is blockchain-based, and takes a scientific approach to cryptocurrency, being based on published academic papers with academic institutions overseeing its growth and evolution. Their goal is to balance the needs of regulation, while still adhering to privacy and decentralization principles.

Vertcoin was launched in 2014, and is similar to Bitcoin and Litecoin, although it’s certainly not as well-known. Vertcoin is open source, decentralized, and has a block time of 2.5 minutes. It also endeavors to be ‘the peoples’ coin’.

Australia

Intel’s Sawtooth blockchain – All the details (My Broadband), Rated: AAA

Hyperledger recently announced that the Sawtooth blockchain project had reached version 1.0, making it the second Hyperledger blockchain to reach production status.

In 2016, Sawtooth Lake implemented its Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) consensus mechanism, which freed it from the constraints of Proof of Work and allowed it to create secure smart contracts.

Sawtooth is similar to the Ethereum blockchain, with the following exceptions:

  • Consensus mechanism – Sawtooth supports a Proof of Elapsed Time mechanism, which relies on secure instruction execution.
  • Permissions networks – The platform allows the creation of permission apps and distributed networks, while remaining secure.
  • Separate core system and application level – Sawtooth provides a clear separation between its core systems and the application level. This allows for smart contract abstraction and support for multiple EVMs or languages.
  • Parallel transactions – Executing transaction confirmations in parallel grants Sawtooth a performance boost.
  • Event broadcasts – The blockchain can broadcast event-dependent messages to nodes.

The Sawtooth documentation defines the following real-world examples:

  • XO – A demonstration app which shows users how to construct transactions and play a game of Tic-tac-toe.
  • Sawtooth Supply Chain – This app traces the information of assets as they are traded across the blockchain, including contextual and provenance information.
  • Sawtooth Marketplace – The marketplace facilitates the trade of custom assets with other users on the blockchain.
  • Sawtooth Private UTXO – This app demonstrates the creation and trading off assets, including off-ledger transactions and private trades.
India

Yes Bank, GSTN make the first move to enterprise blockchain (The Ken), Rated: AAA

As of 31 January, Yes Bank has officially deployed a blockchain solution commercially. This comes a whole year after it became one of the first banks in India to use IBM’s Hyperledger to build a custom application for its client Bajaj Electricals—an experiment with distributed ledger technology (DLT) where the bank had digitised financing for Bajaj Electricals and its suppliers.

This is the first commercial deployment of an enterprise blockchain solution in India. Second in the world.

APAC

Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer launches world’s first blockchain-based digital wallet (International Business Times), Rated: AAA

Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) Krisflyer frequent-flyer programme on Monday announced the launch of a digital wallet that can be used for purchases at retail outlets.

The first-of-its-kind lifestyle digital wallet app for an airline loyalty programme will be enabled through blockchain technology, using an SIA-owned private blockchain involving only merchants and partners.

It will allow the extensive KrisFlyer membership base to use ‘digital KrisFlyer miles’ for point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants, the airline said in a statement.

IOTA’s Tangle Protocol to Transform Taipei into a Smart City (BTCManager), Rated: A

The city of Taipei has joined hands with IOTA foundation to achieve it smart city goals. The capital of Taiwan is striving to integrate the technology’s “blockless” distributed ledger technology, Tangle, to its multiple programs of the smart city project.

How cryptocurrencies ease money transfers for migrant workers (Southeast Asia Globe), Rated: A

Bloom Solutions uses blockchain technologies to drastically reduce the cost of sending funds overseas. In July, the Philippines-based company was accepted into Google’s Launchpad Accelerator programme and has overseen $100m worth of remittances. Co-founder Luis Buenaventura Il broke down the company’s business model and gave his two cents on what’s in store for cryptocurrencies.

M’sian Startup Launched A Token That Could Fix One Of Bitcoin’s Biggest Problems (Vulcan Post), Rated: A

GoldX is an Ethereum-based token representing actual, physical gold.

The token is a fully operational ERC20 token, and it’s backed by 99.99% investment-grade gold in vaults in Singapore, held by Bullion Star International.

Aguirre orders NBI probe on digital currency firm (Canadian Inquirer), Rated: A

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has ordered a criminal investigation of Digital Currency Co. Ltd. (DCC), a virtual currency firm allegedly using the name of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to attract customers.

Philippines SEC Issues Cease & Desist for KROPS ICO (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

The KROPS Initial Coin Offering has received a Cease & Desist (C&D) from the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission.

KROPS is described as the “World’s First Agriculture Marketplace Crypto Equity ICO;”

MENA

Big Investors Circle Telegram’s ICO While Veteran Crypto Insiders Pass (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

The Dubai-based company’s ICO has attracted major investors with its $2 billion target, a well-known brand and a user base for its encrypted messaging service in the millions. Sequoia Capital and Benchmark Capital expressed interest in buying coins for the so-called TON network, according to three people familiar with the conversations who weren’t authorized to speak publicly, and the Financial Times recently reported that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is investing.

But while venture-capital heavyweights are stepping forward, cryptocurrency-focused funds are stepping back. Charles Noyes of Pantera Capital, which invested in Bitcoin since 2013 and manages about $800 million of blockchain-related assets, said they passed on the digital token offer.

ICO funds raised
Source: Bloomberg

Israel Becoming “Crypto Powerhouse,” But ICO Regulation Uncertainty Could Hinder Growth (NewsBTC), Rated: A

In April 2017, Tel Aviv-based law firm Herzog, Fox & Ne’eman established a cryptocurrency unit under its E-commerce department. Today, the department’s team has met with over 200 entrepreneurs looking to enter the industry and has 30 projects under its wing, according to partner Roni Cohen-Pavon in an interview with Calcalist.

UAE’s Securities And Commodities Authority Issues Circular Warning Investors Against Digital, Token-Based Fundraising  (Mondovisione), Rated: B

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) raised the alarm about all digital, token-based fundraising activities or investment schemes in the UAE, whether referred to as initial coin offerings (ICOs), initial token offerings, token presale, or token crowdsale.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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