Daily News Digest Featured News

Tuesday February 6 2018, Daily News Digest

bitcoin mining
Source: Bloomberg

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United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

India

Asia

Russia/Ukraine

Israel

News Summary

United States

Two UK Investors Eye $ 80 Million in Token Sale for VC Platform (U.S. News), Rated: AAA

Scottish entrepreneurs Doug Barrowman and Michelle Mone are seeking to raise about $80 million in a token offering next month to finance an investment platform that they say should open up venture capital investing to a wider audience.

EQUI is a web-based application on the popular Ethereum blockchain. Projects are showcased on the platform and participants use EQUI tokens to acquire a stake in projects. Upon completion of the project, returns are then distributed to the venture’s investors.

Token buyers will be able to invest in business projects with a leaning toward technology, specifically in the blockchain space, according to EQUI’s whitepaper.

Bitcoin Miners Fried in Game of Chicken (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

With the cryptocurrency hitting $6,000 on Tuesday, only the biggest and most efficient can stay above water, but even these are balancing on a knife edge, according to a Gadfly analysis.

bitcoin price drop

The arms race among participants has brought 40 percent more mining power online since Bitcoin prices went above $19,000 on Dec. 18. That’s resulted in the rebalancing system built into the digital currency making it 51 percent more difficult to complete a block, according to data from Blockchain.info.

Had Bitcoin stayed at its 50-day moving average of $13,200, then the average miner could expect to print $80 per week in profit at current levels of computation (hash rate) and difficulty.

bitcoin mining
Source: Bloomberg

If the price doesn’t rise, then the average miner is set to lose $3 per week at current levels.

A History Of Bitcoin Price Collapses Over the Years (CCN), Rated: AAA

The price of Bitcoin has fallen a stomach-wrenching 64.5% since December 17, 2017. The combined market capitalization of the industry now stands at just $338 billion.

bitcoin price history
Source: CCN

VISA and Mastercard make it harder to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Sometime in the last week Bitcoin investors started noticing additional fees on their bank statements. It turns out that VISA and Mastercard both decided (how convenient!) to reclassify the way Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency purchases are processed on their networks.

Currently, if you want to buy bitcoin, ethereum or any other alt-coin instantly, the only option is to use your debit or credit card. Transferring funds from your bank has lower fees, but takes several days. Coinbase has long accepted debit and credit cards for instant buys, however, passing on to the buyer the standard 4 percent credit card transaction fee.

Now, it seems VISA and Mastercard have quietly reclassified the way Coinbase credit card purchases are processed on their networks. Coinbase transactions (and presumably all other exchanges, as well) are now being labeled as a “cash advance” rather than a “purchase.” Fees will vary by institution, but what this means is that using a credit card will result in an additional 5 percent fee tacked on by your credit card merchant, in addition to the 4 percent credit card transaction fee already passed on by Coinbase.

Regulators Aside, Banks See Crypto As A Credit Risk? (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

The recent announcement by several large financial institutions that they would be banning purchases of cryptocurrencies (OTCQX:GBTC) with credit cards is likely to cause a significant reduction in market demand for cryptocurrencies, as the inflows and leverage that fueled much of cryptocurrencies’ recent boom the past few months is reduced for the foreseeable future.

Amid swirling regulatory threats to cryptocurrency (Pending:COIN), it is clear that cryptocurrencies are now also facing some levels of restriction by financial institutions that are trying to rein in the credit risks that the recent crypto bubble has posed.

credit for crypto
Source: Seeking Alpha

recent December 2017 poll, in the midst of the crypto spike from November to December, showed that over 18.15% of consumers primarily relied on credit cards to fund their cryptocurrency purchases.

crypto credit card purchases

While the survey showed that the bulk of credit card purchasers (77.87%) paid off their purchases quite quickly after using it to buy cryptocurrency, likely meaning they used the card for convenience and/or speed, 22.13% haven’t.

Assume, for example, someone purchase $20,000 of Bitcoin on credit, with an average national APR of roughly 16.15%. They may have been planning to exit their “investment” once their Bitcoin assets appreciated to $30,000, thus netting a $10,000 or 50% seemingly easy and quick profit.

However, now their Bitcoin assets in the span of just a month has decreased to roughly just $10,000, leaving them a net $10,000 in the red and with an additional estimated $1,600 total yearly interest payment.

delinquent credit

Cryptocurrencies are far from unregulated (American Banker), Rated: A

The fact is that federal regulators have been thoughtfully on top of cryptocurrency issues for years. And if more oversight is needed in new digital currency markets, that power would best rest with the federal authorities, rather than with the states.

Enron 2.0: How Cryptocurrency Could Lead to Another Meltdown (CCN), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs have found ways to tokenize everything from time to real estate. What struck my attention most, though is the tokenization of power.

Cryptocurrency traders are notoriously bullish. This is a continuing challenge facing coins like SolarCoinWePower, and blockchain plays like peer-to-peer retail energy provider  Drift. Most similar in it’s challenges to Enron is PowerLedger.

Like most of these markets, PowerLedger runs on a token, POWR, which is tradeable for electricity. In a similiar manner to every other energy token and the free traded energy services offered by Enron, POWR is subject to rampant price fluctuations.

 

What’s Blockchain Technology, and Why Are States Hesitant to Adopt It? (Governing), Rated: A

The thought of a government converting its databases to blockchain, the digital ledger technology underpinning the cryptocurrency bitcoin, is like that — but about a million times more overwhelming.

That’s what makes a proposed state Senate bill in Colorado so unusual. It aims to make the state an early blockchain adopter at a time when most government agencies are only vaguely aware of the technology.

The legislation would require state entities to, among other things, annually assess the benefits and costs of implementing blockchain technology and consider secure encryption methods to improve data security.

Case in point: The Governing Institute and consultant KPMG recently conducted a survey of state officials about automation technology (of which blockchain is a type). Despite most respondents being able to list several major benefits, like increased quality and efficiency, just 8 percent said they had a “very high” interest in implementing intelligent automation technologies. Seven in 10 indicated low interest or indifference, and 22 percent said they didn’t even know what their interest level was.

Forget Cryptos, These Tech Leaders Do Blockchain Well (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

First-mover advantage isn’t everything, but IBM’s (IBM) ability (with the help of others) to get its platform to a production-ready version last year is a good sign. Linux tech already underpins much of the Internet, so it’s encouraging to see it rolling up its sleeves and contributing to the blockchain ecosystem. IBM’s contribution involves its work on Hyperledger Fabric, a framework that will allow for development of blockchain applications using modular architecture.

Microsoft (MSFT) has excelled at staying on the forefront of new developments: enterprise software, cloud services, and now, blockchain. MSFT’s first offering in this space was in 2015, with the release of its enterprise toolkit for use with Ethereum. Since then, MSFT has been involved in different capacities in this space. MSFT introduced its Coco framework last year, which is designed to help build out enterprise networks across public platforms like Ethereum.

Notable among American bulge bracket firms is JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and its Quorum project, a distributed ledger protocol that it is tailoring to the financial services industry and based on Ethereum.

Intel has also recently launched its own blockchain offering, Sawtooth, and like IBM, it’s part of the Hyperledger project. It has big partners already, with Huawei, T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) all onboard in different capacities.

How Hyperledger is Accelerating Blockchain for the Enterprise (CMS Wire), Rated: A

Once again, this suits the big business, a world that can marvel at the power of the public blockchain like the rest of us, but which cannot use it due to its uber-public nature.

She also outlined how blockchain technologies are changing the way big pharma is cracking down on counterfeit medicine, recalling drugs and improving service delivery. Additionally, she mentioned how Danish shipping enterprise Maersk is currently trialing blockchain to simplify the processes that help send trillions of dollars worth of products around the world.

An infographic published by NewsCo depicts how blockchain technology can transform industries such as travel, hospitality, education, food, retail and the energy sector.

7 Predictions for Blockchain Technology in 2018 (Influencive), Rated: AAA

  1. Many more people and institutions will understand blockchain tech. Some blockchain companies, such as UBIQUICOIN, are creating global solutions to crypto volatility.
  2. Tech giants and B2B participants will emerge. Google has been one of the largest corporate blockchain investors, and that will continue in 2018. Amazon is jumping on board as well. They announced a partnership with R3’s Corda in December 2017.
  3. We will see many more use cases and companies. A number of companies, like FarmaTrust, are using the blockchain to improve daily life. FarmaTrust is working to eliminate counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs with their platform and provide value-added services to governments and pharmaceutical companies.
  4. Crypto will be used as an everyday payment mechanism. More companies are announcing that they will take crypto as a payment. The list currently includes WordPress, Subway, Expedia and Shopify stores. Sparkle Coin offers a cryptocurrency that can be used to purchase from major e-tailers within their 3-company ecosphere.
  5. There will be a surge in smart contract applications. For instance, JoyToken is developing an infrastructure protocol for the gaming industry that uses decentralized, autonomous agents (smart contracts) to safely guarantee and audit game records. Another interesting startup, meVu, is leveraging smart contracts to become the most revered global platform made exclusively for players to bet anything, anytime against anyone.
  6. Blockchain will reshape the developing world. Acorn Collective, a blockchain-built crowdfunding platform, will bring crowdfunding to the developing world by opening access to all legal projects with no fees. Another interesting initiative is ExsulCoin, a project looking to help refugees integrate, both socially and economically, into their new homes.
  7. Blockchain will disrupt deep-rooted industries. ODEM has burst onto the scene to revamp the way traditional education works.

Blockchain as a Service: 23 Million Reasons to Help Advance the Future of Blockchain (Hackernoon), Rated: A

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is poised to play an important role in the information technology sector for many years to come.

Once we have understood the scope for how large blockchain technology is set to be, and once we have understood how many industries blockchain will disrupt, the need for BaaS becomes clear.

We will take the position that BaaS will serve as an essential catalyst for bringing about the adoption of technology. Taking the burden of difficulty out of the equation will allow a wide range of businesses and industries to adopt blockchain into their existing platforms.

Can Blockchain Save Struggling Retailers? (Fox Business), Rated: A

The application of blockchain technology is currently being tested in the logistics, healthcare, energy, and retail industries, all with unique purposes.

First, retailers would be able to take advantage of the efficiency and transparency of blockchain-supported supply chains.

The other possibility here is that a tethered cryptocurrency could be created and used in place of a current loyalty program to create a value-based rewards system that keeps consumers coming back. In other words, remove the current loyalty programs that can result in adverse errors for a business (e.g., extra rewards handed out to consumers), and implement a virtual coin-based reward that can only be redeemed within a store or chain of stores.

Recently, a report from ValuePenguin examined a number of retailersOpens a New Window. that could consider an initial coin offering to create a loyalty program that would boost foot traffic, consumer interest, loyalty, and even investment in the brand. Topping its list was struggling retailer Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD).

New Blockchain-Based Project Intends to Challenge the Status Quo of Neobanks (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

As the rules of the game change in the neobanking sector or mobile banking system of the next generation, and new players enter the scene, the presumed disruptive factor might pose aggressive ergonomics, unstable pricing and inflexible user experience. This game changer compels people used to the conventional online banking ecosystem to check out the alternative Blockchain technology.

Blockchain Technologies Poised To Disrupt Stagnant Trial Timelines (Forbes), Rated: A

A recent study from IBMrevealed that 16% of healthcare executives plan to put a commercial blockchain solution in place this year, while 56% expected to do so by 2020.

The enormous amounts of data generated in clinical trials, along with trends towards globalization and increasing regulatory constraints, is outstripping the ability of legacy data management platforms to manage the competing needs of data sharing, patient privacy and data integrity.

Patient enrollment by some estimates is responsible for 30% of the time it takes to conduct clinical trials, with some sites never enrolling a single patient. Blockchain databases have the potential to dramatically improve the recruitment process by connecting patients with trials in an anonymous fashion. Pharmaceutical or CRO organizations would then have access to a treasure trove of information about potential participants and associated investigative sites who are likely to be motivated to join a study.

Part 2: Healthcare Blockchain – A Path to Success in 2018 (HIMSS), Rated: A

In our first blog post, the HIMSS Blockchain Work Group set out on a course to provide thought leadership, best practices and key use cases for how blockchain technology might affect the healthcare ecosystem in the future. For this post, we leverage our work group’s experts from across all healthcare sectors with deep collective knowledge of blockchain and its potential value to healthcare for guidance on next steps.

The majority of healthcare data today is stored within various enterprise system data silos with healthcare providers, payers, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, or business associates/data processors. With only limited sharing of such data, there remains vast, untapped potential to improve the quality of patient care and reduce healthcare costs by sharing this data in a targeted and secure manner.

healthcare blockchain
Source: HIMSS

Existing healthcare B2B networks have been identified as near-term opportunities for blockchain to add value.

Smart contracts will enable more code to be executed directly on blockchains, versus only within healthcare organizations enterprise systems as is done today.

Layer 3: Cryptocurrencies and Tokens Enable New Commerce and Incentive Systems may be built upon blockchains and smart contracts.

AI early diagnosis could save heart and cancer patients where AI and ML can help analyze various types of scans for heart disease and lung cancer, enabling earlier detection and improving patient care options, while also estimated to save the UK NHS more than £300m annually.

Blockchain Sports Betting Platform BlitzPredict Looks To Future Of Wagering (Legal Sports Report), Rated: B

US-based startup BlitzPredict is set to bring one of the first blockchain-based products to the sports betting market.

Illinois builds momentum for blockchain (GCN), Rated: A

Over the past year, the Illinois Blockchain Initiative has grown from a nascent project based at the Illinois Department of Technology into a program with two completed pilots and renewed momentum for the next stage of research.

IBI recently completed work on a pilot with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds related to land title registries.

For the other pilot, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR) worked with Hashed Health on a health provider registry. The pilot leveraged a blockchain-based registry to streamline licensure and credentialing information sharing about health care workers.

Work with Evernym on a birth-record registration pilot was announced in August and is still ongoing.

Delaware eases off early blockchain zeal after concerns over disruption to business (Delaware Online), Rated: A

Nearly two years ago, then-Gov. Jack Markell launched the Delaware Blockchain Initiative. Partnering with a New York-based software company called Symbiont, the state had plans to move a portion of its corporate franchise business, and its public archives to the blockchain – making Delaware the first state to embrace the disruptive database technology.

Yet hopes of Delaware’s blockchain supporters appear to have been overblown as the current administration under Gov. John Carney has shown far more caution than its predecessor.

Deputy Secretary of State Kristopher Knight played a big role in pumping the brakes.

Buffett’s BNSF railroad eyes blockchain for shipping freight (Reuters), Rated: A

BNSF Railway Co, a unit of the billionaire’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N), on Monday said it has become the first major U.S. railroad to join the Blockchain in Transport Alliance.

The alliance is a group of more than 200 companies examining how best to use the digital ledger technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the transport industry.

Emergent Technology Announces Gold Blockchain Platform (Business Insider), Rated: A

The platform has two components:

  • The Responsible Gold supply chain – the only permissioned blockchain that tracks responsibly sourced gold from mine, to refiner, to vault
  • G-Coin – a new digital token backed by responsibly sourced, physical gold

Miners, refiners and other supply chain participants use a mobile application that scans smart chips in tamper-proof seals to record transfer of custody and other data on the Responsible Gold blockchain.

G-Coins are digital tokens of responsibly sourced gold. Each G-Coin equals one gram of gold that is secured in a vault.

THE DITCH-IT APP LAUNCHES ICO & ALLOWS PEOPLE TO TURN EVERY DAY CLUTTER INTO SERIOUS CRYPTOCURRENCY (Bitcoinist), Rated: A

Research conducted by the Huffington Post showed that 84% of Americans worry that their homes are cluttered and/or unorganized. This is where the Ditch-It App comes in handy. Ditch-It not only answers the “clutter” problem, it allows people to earn Cryptocurrency by selling their used goods.

Quantum Medical Transport, Inc. Releases $ 50 Million ICO (Initial Coin Offering) Private Placement Prospectus (GlobeNewswire), Rated: A

Quantum Medical Transport, Inc. (OTCBB:DRWNQuantum Medical Transport, Inc. is pleased to announce it has released its $50 Million ICO (Initial Coin Offering) Private Placement Prospectus to raise capital for growth, debt restructuring, stock repurchase and acquisitions. The company plans to launch its Pre-ICO offering via the Ambisafe Etheruem Platform.

Sharing Selfies Could Now Help You Earn Money in Cryptoworld (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

startup called Selfllery wants to create a new take on that of social media influencers on Instagram, Snapchat and other well-known picture sharing platforms- just with a crypto twist.

We have just tipped over to 2018, but according to statistics about 1.2 tln digital photos were taken last year.

The company allows users to monetize their visual content by rewarding them in YOU tokens, Selfllery’s own cryptocurrency, built on the Ethereum Blockchain.

Man sues T-Mobile for allegedly failing to stop hackers from draining his cryptocurrency account (The Verge), Rated: A

A man sued T-Mobile on Sunday, claiming that the company’s lack of security allowed hackers to enter his wireless account last fall and steal cryptocoins worth thousands of dollars.

Cryptocurrency hearing will have SEC, CFTC chiefs trying to juggle allowing innovation with protection against fraud (MarketWatch), Rated: B

Idaho Republican Sen. Michael Crapo and ranking member Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, will hold a full Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern to explore the SEC and CFTC oversight role for virtual currencies.

Abine Blur developer wins ConsenSys uPort prize for identity on blockchain (Business Insider), Rated: B

A senior developer at Abine, the online privacy company, has won a prize in the ConsenSys uPort contest for Blockchain Identity.

By combining the features of the Blur privacy, identity, and password manager with uPort API’s, the ability to seamlessly login to traditional web sites using uPort blockchain identity as a “master key” to authenticate was achieved.

Canadian blockchain company expands into Wyoming (SFGate), Rated: B

Canadian blockchain company BlockCrushr Labs has opened its first Wyoming office.

The company opened its office in Cheyenne just before the state Legislature convenes to consider proposals that would encourage more such businesses to operate in the state.

United Kingdom

All major cryptocurrencies are falling after bitcoin dipped below $ 6,000 (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin briefly fell below $6,000 at around 8.00 a.m. GMT (3.00 a.m. ET) for the first time since mid-November.

Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, said on Tuesday morning: “The most famous digital currency has fallen 69% from December’s record high, and almost 56% from the start of the year.”

Here’s the scoreboard at 12.25 p.m. GMT (7.25 a.m. ET):

bitcoin
Source: Business Insider

Healthcare blockchain startup Medicalchain lists its tokens on exchanges after raising $ 24m in an ICO (City A.M.), Rated: A

London-based Medicalchain has created a blockchain platform for medical records, which allows for the secure, fast and transparent exchange of medical records by patients and doctors.

The firm raised $24m (£17m) through an ICO on 1 February, and it will now launch its MedTokens on five exchanges: Huobi Pro, Kucoin, Gate.io, Coinbene and Qryptos.

 

China

 

China To Crack Down On International Cryptocurrency Trading By Its Citizens (Investopedia), Rated: A

After clamping down on domestic trading of cryptocurrencies, China is looking to do the same to international crypto trading by its citizens. According to a news report in the South China Morning Post, a government-run publication, China will “step up” measures to remove offshore platforms for virtual currency trading or ICOs.

Neo (NEO) Worst Hit By Chinese Cryptocurrency Ban (CryptoRecorder), Rated: A

Neo (NEO) has won itself a special place at the heart of the Chinese people earning it the name “Chinese Ethereum”. At a time when almost every cryptocurrency is getting jittery about the actions of the Chinese government towards the booming cryptocurrency market, it is wonder how the NEO cryptocurrency will continue stealing the show in China.

The ban of cryptocurrency trading in China has started biting even amid expectations that the ban may be lifted soon.

European Union

This European royal family might invest in cryptocurrencies (CNBC), Rated: A

The Crown Prince of Liechtenstein has told CNBC that blockchain and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin could be one way to help his family restore its wealth.

Draghi Says ECB Studying Digital Currency Risks for Banks (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Mario Draghi said the European Central Bank’s supervision arm is studying the risks that digital currencies may pose to banks’ balance sheets.

International

A Fake Bitcoin Cash Token has Been Created on the OMNI Blockchain (Live Bitcoin News), Rated: AAA

Tether’s OMNI address sent a transaction for 1 Bitcoin Cash. This is quite odd since that is not possible by default. It seems someone created a Bitcoin Cash token on OMNI.

While creating such a token is not illegal, it does create a lot of confusion. More specifically, novice users can’t tell the difference between the real and fake BCH. It is doubtful this OMNI-based token is trading anywhere on particular exchanges, though.

How One Man Caused The Prices Of Cryptocurrencies To Plummet (Cryptodaily), Rated: A

31 year old Brandon Chez, the creator of coinmarketcap.com has been held responsible for this recent drop. The developer launched his site years ago in 2013, and it has been designed to track the changing value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, by combining data from other exchanges. As virtual currencies became more popular, his website quickly became one of the most popular in the world.

The demise began when he made a huge change to his website, by removing South Korean trading activity from the algorithm that picked pricing. His reason behind doing this was because values in this country were consistently higher than anywhere else. Instead of announcing plans for this change, he just did it, which immediately drove down the value of cryptocurrencies.

 

Banks, Retailers, China Have All Turned On Bitcoin (Forbes), Rated: A

Here’s why everyone has turned on it. China’s regulators will reportedly blocklocal investor access to cryptocurrency exchanges anywhere in the world, not just in mainland China. If you’re a Chinese gambler in crypto, it will become even harder to buy from your laptop in Shanghai using exchanges in Hong Kong or Singapore.

Mobile payment systems firm Stripe said in January it will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment. At least four other e-commerce operators have said the same, including Microsoft, which is no longer accepting Bitcoin.

On Sunday, Lloyds Banking Group added its name to a chorus of American banks no longer allowing their credit card holders to buy cryptocurrencies on debt.

Blockchain for Identity: 6 Hot Projects (Bank Info Security), Rated: A

Hyperledger’s Indyproject covers decentralized identity. The idea is to use a blockchain for storing identities that could potentially be used across different services but also leave a person in control of their information – a concept referred to as self-sovereign identity.

Civic of San Francisco is another company developing a self-sovereign ID system that would let consumers selectively share information with companies.

Sovrin is a non-profit foundation that is managing the development of one of the first self-sovereign identity networks.

Evernym of Herriman, Utah, is one of the many private companies developing products and services around self-sovereign ID.

Spain’s national blockchain project, Alastria, will use a semi-public ethereum-based blockchain that requires permission to access.

Alastria
(Source: Alastria)

uPort, based in Brooklyn, New York, has developed a smartphone app that embodies the principles of self-sovereign identity.

blockchain projects
(Source: Australia Post & The Boston Consulting Group)

How Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Will Fix the Global Remittance Industry (Hackernoon), Rated: A

The global remittances market is a great example of a legacy financial industry acting largely as a toll collector for the unbanked. However, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain have the potential to provide almost instant transfers of money from one country to another. With truly nominal fees, migrants who wish to send money home will no longer have to spend an average of 7% in commissions and fees.

  • There are $4.8 trillion in transactions on foreign exchange markets daily
  • According to World Bank statistics, global remittances will grow to $616 billion in 2018 ($601 billion in 2016)
  • Remittances to low and middle-income countries are expected to grow to $466 billion in 2018 ($441 billion in 2016)
  • The global average cost of sending $200 is 7.2% of the total
  • A reduction of costs in cross-border payments by 5% will result in $16 billion in savings each year

Can KYC Be Baked Into Security Tokens on Ethereum? (Polymath), Rated: A

In the future, token holders replace shareholders in the global economy. That’s because Polymath is ushering in a new era: The era of “Security Token Offerings” or “STOs”.

The Polymath protocol verifies cryptocurrency addresses and links them to an individual’s identity. Issuers can rest assured knowing that only authorized investors, who meet the criteria for their particular security offering, can transact with that token.

Goodbye Kickstarter? The Blockchain-based Project Aims to Challenge the Crowdfunding Sector (Coin Telegraph), Rated: B

A new Ethereum Blockchain based platform called Acorn seeks to create an open, global community and marketplace for crowdfunding- opening it up to new participants such as those living in developing countries.

Influencer platform Jet8 to complete initial coin offering (The Drum), Rated: B

Mobile influencer platform Jet8 is to launch a token to the public called J8T.

According to Jet8, taking the company to the public via an initial coin offering (ICO) is part of a strategy to make its platform more accessible globally, outside of its current operational markets of Southeast Asia and South Africa.

India

Inside the Indian government’s months-long struggle to curb cryptocurrencies (Quartz), Rated: AAA

India may finally have a set of draft rules for cryptocurrencies by the end of the year, but not before the debate within government circles heats up further. It is, as of now, a tug of war between the stakeholders: suspicion on one side, and a stiff upper lip on the other.

The fear of money laundering via investment in these currencies and ensuring customer protection from the price volatility and complex nature of these assets are the main reasons why the government has not been comfortable with these digital assets. The hesitation is not entirely unfounded: The price of one bitcoin, valued at over $19,000 in December, is now worth less than $7,000.

India currently has around 10 cryptocurrency exchanges with five million users and monthly volumes of Rs10,000 crore ($1.5 billion), according to industry estimates from early January.

India’s aversion to virtual currencies was first displayed in December 2013 when the central bank issued a few words of caution. Since then, as a rally in prices drove hordes of people to invest in cryptocurrencies, the frequency of these warnings has increased.

Asia

North Korea is a suspect in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency heist (Quartz), Rated: AAA

North Korea is no stranger to cryptocurrencies: The rogue regime has been accused of launching a global ransom attack to raise bitcoin, hacking South Korean exchanges, and mining crypto both within its borders and secretly on your computers. Now, it has become a suspect in the world’s largest crypto heist, Reuters has reported.

South Korea’s national spy agency told a parliamentary committee on Monday that North Korean hackers may have been behind the theft last month of about $530 million worth of digital tokens from Japanese exchange Coincheck, according to the Reuters report, which cited anonymous sources.

Why the Cryptocurrency World Is Watching South Korea (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Many South Koreans are obsessed with cryptocurrencies. The country’s lawmakers? Not so much. From the prime minister down, officials have warned that the speculative mania surrounding Bitcoin and its peers is dangerous. Demand for the virtual currency was so extreme at one point in January that it lifted prices in Korea 50 percent higher than those in America. The premium has since receded, but policy makers are still worried. Given the nation’s outsized role in the crypto world, the prospect of a clampdown has captured the attention of traders worldwide.

Bank Indonesia Studies the Use of Central Bank Digital Currency (Indonesia Investments), Rated: A

The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) said it needs about two years to complete a study about the possibility of issuing a digital rupiah currency (Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC).

The Decentralized Web Just Might Need Databases, Too (CoinDesk), Rated: A

At least that’s according to Bluzelle, which recently raised $19.5 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) aimed at creating a network of decentralized online databases.

While several companies, including Filecoin and Storj, are already working on decentralized file storage, Bluzelle is targeting the databases that keep data quickly and easily accessible for websites and applications to pull from.

These databases make the internet more useful for interactive tasks, such as updating weather and stock prices. And Bluzelelle wants to bring that flexibility to the decentralized web, which is currently as slow as molasses.

Bluzelle sold 33 percent of its total pool of 500 million crypto tokens to 7,058 people and organizations.

 

Russia/Ukraine

Russia Urges 4 Other Countries to Develop Common Approach to Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin.com), Rated: AAA

The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has asked the leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union countries to jointly develop a common approach to cryptocurrencies. Both the Russian central bank and the prime minister believe that cryptocurrencies should not be restricted to one nation’s framework.

The EAEU has five member countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

Ukrainian deputy Olexandr Danchenko, head of the Committee for Informatization and Communications in the Rada, suggested that cryptocurrencies and crypto mining should be regulated separately.
“Ukraine’s share of the global cryptocurrency mining market has shrunk to just 3%”, Danchenko noted, quoted by Interfax-Ukraine.
Raids on several mining facilities in Kiev, Kiev Oblast (the adjacent region) and Cherkasy Oblast were conducted on Thursday. 400 mining rigs have been confiscated during a search in the PJSC Kvazar plant in the capital. Police have seized more than a thousand graphics cards, 1,500 hard disks, 500 motherboards and several laptops.
Israel

Researchers Propose New Version of Scalable Blockchain Alternative (Coin Telegraph), Rated: AAA

PhD candidate Yonatan Sompolinsky and Dr. Aviv Zohar, both of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, released a paper this week on a new scalable BlockDAG — an alternative network structure to Blockchain — protocol called PHANTOM.

PHANTOM
Source: Coin Telegraph

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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