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Wednesday March 7 2018, Daily News Digest

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News Summary

United States

Virtual currencies are commodities, US judge rules (CNBC), Rated: AAA

U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn ruled that the CFTC had standing to bring a fraud lawsuit against New York resident Patrick McDonnell and his company Coin Drop Markets, allowing the case to go forward.

Weinstein also entered a preliminary injunction barring McDonnell and Coin Drop Markets from engaging in commodity transactions.

FinCEN: Money Transmitter Rules Apply to ICOs (CoinDesk), Rated: A

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published a letter Tuesday that indicates the U.S. agency will apply its regulations to those who conduct initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Bitcoin exchange Coinbase launches the ‘Dow’ of cryptocurrencies (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Popular online exchange Coinbase is releasing a weighted index fund for cryptocurrencies.

The Coinbase Index Fund will give accredited U.S. investors exposure to all assets listed on the company’s current exchange, GDAX. The currencies will be weighted based on market capitalization.

Much like how the Dow Jones Industrial Average is a basket of 30 stocks meant to give a sense of the American economy, this fund will try to reflect major trends in the cryptocurrency market.

$ 1.6 billion cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase isn’t adding Ripple after all — and it’s obvious why not (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Coinbase has since come out with an explicit guide to how it decides upon new assets, called the GDAX Digital Asset Framework, which emphasizes that, among other things, new coins must be secure, backed by outside investors, and stable.

But the guide also requires that new coins be decentralized — which XRP is not. Bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin are all decentralized, meaning there is no centralized server hosting the technologies, and there is no central decision maker controlling them either.

By contrast, XRP is centralized under Ripple, meaning it doesn’t qualify under the GDAX Digital Asset Framework.

Ripple is a Coinbase competitor

Another reason why XRP may never get added: Ripple is a Coinbase competitor.

Ripple
Source: Business Insider

Coinbase’s bitcoin cash trading rollout cost investors $ 5 million, lawsuit says (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Coinbase’s botched roll-out of bitcoin cash trading cost investors more than $5 million, a lawsuit alleges.

When the company did its surprise December trading rollout, bitcoin cash soared well above $3,000. The short notice didn’t allow enough interest from buyers and sellers to build before trading launched. Four minutes later, trading was suspended as a lack of sellers caused high volatility, according to a company representative.

Coinbase eventually rolled out bitcoin cash trading the following day. The bitcoin offshoot was trading near $1,182 Tuesday, while bitcoin was around $10,634, according to data from CoinDesk.

bitcoin cash
Source: CoinDesk and CNBC

In a separate case filed filed last week against Coinbase, a California and a Michigan resident claimed the crypto company emailed them fractions of a bitcoin in 2013 when it was trading below $200, according to CoinDesk.

bitcoin prices
Source: CoinDesk and CNBC

The Praetorian Group files $ 75 million ICO with the SEC (NASDAQ), Rated: AAA

The Praetorian Group filed what appears to be the first initial coin offering (ICO) registering tokens with the SEC. It plans to raise $75 million by offering 15 million “PAX tokens” at $5 per token.

The company admits that PAX tokens may not constitute a security that needs to be registered with the SEC, but states that regulatory uncertainties led it to preemptively seek the SEC’s approval.

LeadCoin ICO Secures $ 50 Million Funding In Less Than 30 Minutes (Forbes), Rated: A

According to a recent report from crypto news site Bitcoin.com and its analysis of ICO tracker, Tokendata, there were 902 ICOs initiated in 2017.

Of these so-called crowdsales, 142 failed at the initial funding stage and a further 276 have since failed, making a grand total of 46% of failed ICOs.

Back in 2018 and the ICO world, the mind-boggling numbers continue to come… not least LeadCoin, the first ‘lead-sharing network on blockchain’, that last week raised more than $50 million in only half an hour.

Google Searches for Bitcoin Drop to Lowest Since October (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Google searches for the search term “bitcoin” at the lowest level since October

bitcoin searches
Source: Bloomberg

Litecoin Price Forecast: How Twitter Trends Are Driving Litecoin Adoption (Profit Confidential), Rated: A

#PayWithLitecoin is one of the top trending meaningful hashtags within Twitter’s crypto community.

Charlie Lee likewise urges investors to use Litecoin for digital payments wherever it’s accepted, instead of making it a tool of speculation. This is why he repeatedly reminds investors to watch Litecoin’s transactions chart and not the price chart to gauge its true value.

Litecoin
Source: TradingView.com and Profit Confidential

On Monday, the company sent another email update to its mailing list subscribers, providing little information as to when the service will be fully functional.

Litecoin fans on the altcoin’s subreddit showed little to no optimism regarding this latest update. Draco1200 noted that merchant registration might be more convoluted than other popular payment services.

The Stanford Bitcoin Mafia (Forbes), Rated: A

In winter quarter of 2013, Stanford officials were perplexed that 10% of the energy used in a 100-person dorm seemed to be consumed by one room. They kicked down the doors and walked in to find a room hotter than a sauna, with machines and equipment whirring – students had put together a Bitcoin mining rig in their dorm room. The first wave of Bitcoin mania was sweeping through Stanford.

Srinivasan later went on to found Earn, formerly 21.co, a Bitcoin startup with $115 million in funding that monetizes email and social media accounts.

Other crypto founders like Nadav Hollander of Dharma Protocol were students in the class, but the Stanford Bitcoin Group consisted of seven core members. In addition to Bromberg, the group included John Backus and Alain Meier, founders of Bloom and Cognito, Ryan Breslow, founder of Bolt, Chris Barber, an investor, Matt Rials, a developer at Coinbase and then Netflix, and Pat Briggs, a developer at Google. The students were mentored by Srinivasan and Pande in a variety of Bitcoin related projects.

BitIRA Now Offers the World’s Only Fully-Insured Digital Currency IRA (PRWeb), Rated: A

BitIRA, a market leader in providing cryptocurrency options for retirement accounts, today rolled out new security protocols that make it the only fully-insured, cold storage digital currency IRA storage solution available. In addition to Bitcoin, the company’s digital currency IRA service now offers Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP). These new altcoins and safety procedures, along with the company’s customer-friendly pricing, together make BitIRA the top solution for digital currency IRAs.

The company’s unmatched security strategy is made up of several key elements:

  • End-to-end Insurance – All assets held in storage are fully insured through an all-risk policy from Lloyd’s of London, the world’s leading provider of specialized asset insurance. Additionally, assets are protected during the transaction, against any internal cases of fraud or theft, by a second policy from Lloyd’s of London.
  • Multi-signature Wallets – All cryptocurrencies are stored in multi-signature wallets, with individual keys held in separate physical locations.
  • Custom, Secure Hardware Storage – Wallets for each account are held on personal, custom hardware devices that are encrypted with secure passcodes.
  • True Cold Storage – All wallet storage devices are held in 100 percent offline, cold storage at a state-of-the-art depository with UL and ULC-rated, multi-redundant security systems, inside Class 3 vaults that are protected round-the-clock by armed guards.
  • CCSS Compliance – The entire process is fully compliant with the CryptoCurrency Security Standards, a series of globally accepted techniques and methodologies designed to ensure the highest degree of security for cryptocurrency systems.

The Creator Of GBTC Launches New Products For Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin And XRP (MarketWatch), Rated: A

What Happened Grayscale said it’s launching a Bitcoin Cash Investment Trust, an Ethereum Investment Trust, a Litecoin Investment Trust and an XRP Investment Trust, presumably all structured in a similar way as the Bitcoin Investment Trust.

Will Cryptocurrencies Benefit If Banks Crack Down On Gun Purchases? (Investopedia), Rated: A

 

Guncoin is a coin that has been developed exclusively for the firearms industry. A cursory search for bitcoin on gunbroker.com reveals 304 entries that are “bitcoin eligible,” as of this writing.

First, the decentralized nature of crypto blockchains is a perfect cover for individuals or cryptocurrencies seeking to expedite the bureaucracy and checks imposed for real-world purchases. Gun purchases are categorized as high-risk sales and are governed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. Then there is the fact that the anonymity of privacy-focused coins, such as Monero, could help gun owners evade detection from lawmakers.

Cryptocurrency mining malware now as lucrative as ransomware for hackers (ZDNet), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency mining has become a popular means for cyber crooks to earn money. The attacks are successful because the mining malware remains hidden while it uses the infected PC’s processor to carry out its task. While increased cooling fan activity might be noticeable in some instances, the average user isn’t going to think about it as much as a concern, let alone make the link to being infected with malware.

A campaign by a a group of unnamed ‘sophisticated’ threat actors is potentially one of the most lucrative cryptocurrency mining operations discovered to date, with analysis by security company Kaspersky Labsuggesting this campaign made the cyber criminals behind it millions of dollars in the second half of 2017.

How Cryptocurrency and Blockchain are Changing Philanthropy (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Fidelity Charitable, which houses the nation’s largest donor-advised fund, received $69 mln in cryptocurrency donations in 2017, up from $7 mln received in 2015 and 2016 combined.

Beyond charity donations are many innovative platforms and projects happening in the emerging “crypto-philanthropy” space. These include crowdfunding platforms such as BitHope, which allows donors to make Bitcoin donations to selected charities for their fundraising campaigns. Besides, some new tools like GiveTrack and Alicecan track the flow of donations from donor to a donee openly, and to verify what charities have received and achieved, all on a Blockchain.

VideoCoin raises $ 35M for blockchain to rival Amazon video (CNET), Rated: A

Longtime tech entrepreneur Halsey Minor has a plan for tapping into all those idle servers — think of them as “zombie” computers — sitting in data centers and having them process, store and distribute video. And he says that plan will cost far less than rival services from Google and Amazon.

Oh, and he’s come up with a way for content creators to pay owners of the computers they’re effectively renting that uses a new blockchain-based cryptocurrency called VideoCoin.

Synthium Health Introduces Blockchain-Enabled Smart Contract Management Platform, Strengthens Presence in US Market (Digital Journal), Rated: A

Healthcare supply chain service startup, Synthium Health has announced that it will soon launch its latest blockchain technology-based product, the Smart Contract Management Platform.

By leveraging Block chain technology, this solution can provide both physical and virtual visibility from the Manufacturer through GPO, Distributor and 3PL, all the way to the Point of Care. Optionally, commissions and rewards can be disbursed automatically by using Synthium’s own utility tokens (SHP) via smart contract option. This end-to-end feature will be especially useful for healthcare providers (such as hospitals, surgery centers, physician offices etc.) manufacturers, GPO’s and others .

Illinois House Bill Would Ban Restrictions On Blockchain, Smart Contract Use (ETH News), Rated: B

Section 20 of HB5553, submitted to the legislature by Rep. Michael Zalewski (D), states:

“A unit of local government shall not:
(1)   impose any tax or fee on the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity;
(2)   require any person or entity to obtain from the unit of local government any certificate, license, or permit to use a blockchain or smart contract; or
(3)   impose any other requirement relating to the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity.”

Crypto Market Loses Chinese Investors due to Regulation (FXPro), Rated: B

Credit Karma reports that the percentage of U.S. investors that have reported profits from crypto investments in their 2017 tax forms is less than 0.04%. A likely cause of this could be that investors do not perceive cryptocurrencies in the same manner they perceive traditional assets like stocks or currencies.

cryptocurrency market cap

United Kingdom

Introducing BITRUST: The First Cryptocurrency Insurance Platform (CoinIdol), Rated: AAA

BITRUST is a peer-to-peer Ethereum-based, decentralized cryptocurrency insurance platform. Each smart contract can involve two or more parties and it works like this:

For example, I’d like to ensure against ETH (with a value of $100) dropping in price by 30% against BTC for a period of 96 hours. I am willing to pay in digital currencies an equivalent of $5 as an insurance and claim an equivalent of $15 in case the price drops to $70 or below. My counterpart then has to agree to these proposed terms or make a counter offer proposing slightly amended terms.

Then we lock our agreed sums in a BITRUST smart contract. I lock an equivalent of $5 (insurance cost) and my counterpart locks an equivalent of $15 (insurance body). The total BITRUST smart contract then will be equivalent to $20.

In 96 hours, if the ETH token drops by 30% against BTC, the BITRUST smart contract executes a pre-agreed deal and sends the equivalent of $20 to me: $5 of insurance fee plus $15 of the actual insurance body. In the opposite case the equivalent of $20 is sent to the other side.

The buyer and the seller of insurance both lock their funds in BITRUST tokens (BTFs) or a certain set of other cryptocurrencies that will be permitted by BITRUST platform. However, there is a great motivation to use BTFs in particular.

China

NEO Is Either a Raging Success or a Total Disaster (Bitcoin.com), Rated: AAA

One of the project’s more vocal critics is Store of Value blog, whose author has described NEO as “A Multi-Billion Dollar Disaster”. In a damning post, they outline their reasons for this pejorative, including the following:

  • Blockchain slowdown during popular ICOs, questioning NEO’s claim to be able to support 1,000 tps. A post named The Story Behind the Worst ICO of 2018 outlines the problems that beset The Key’s crowdsale.
  • Developer issues with getting smart contracts to work coupled with high deployment costs running into tens of thousands of dollars. Based on the current price of GAS, it would cost $15,000 to create a smart contract.

The other major issue affecting NEO is that its main use, at present, is as a springboard for ICOs. These projects need to prove themselves by adding real value and usability to the NEO ecosystem.

PBoC’s Yao: Chinese Digital Currency Should Be Crypto-Inspired (CoinDesk), Rated: A

A central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) released by the People’s Bank of China should incorporate elements of cryptocurrencies, according to Yao Qian, who spearheads the central bank’s research in this area.

European Union

Fabric Token Raises More Than $ 1 Million Less Than 24 Hours After Token Generation Event (The Merkle), Rated: AAA

Estonian decentralized DApp building startup, the Fabric Token, has announced that it has surpassed an initial funding target of over 1 million dollars within the first 24 hours of its Token Generation Event (TGE). The Fabric Token ecosystem is a platform which will allow users to generate smart contracts and DApps, without the need for technical experts. The TGE has raised more than 1.1k ETH, which was equal to more than $1 million USD at the time of printing.

Why Blockchain Is Booming In Liechtenstein, The Sixth Smallest Country In The World (Forbes), Rate: AAA

With a population of 40,000 and only a single hospital, Liechtenstein is smaller than small, but a low tax rate over the years has made it a hub for financial services – part of the reason it’s now home to more registered businesses than citizens.

France’s Bitit adds support for Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC) (Cryptoninjas), Rated: A

Bitit, a cryptocurrency exchanger service hosted and regulated in France today announced they have added support for Ripple and Litecoin purchases.

Users can now buy Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin and Ethereum by credit card, cash and wire transfer using more than 14 fiat currencies (such as USD, EUR, JPY, KRW, CNY, TRY and more).

Paytomat Will Run a Token Sale to Bring Cryptocurrencies to Your Next Door Cafe and Grocery Store (The Merkle), Rated: A

Paytomat, the decentralized system for cryptocurrency payments, announces its token sale, which will start on March 12th. The idea behind Paytomat is increasing the transactional usage of cryptocurrencies in everyday life, providing additional incentives for businesses, customers and crypto core teams. Launched from Ukraine in 2017, Paytomat is expanding its business globally and aims to develop its own unique blockchain-based loyalty program, fueled by PTM and PTX tokens.

Opera’s built-in cryptocurrency price converter is actually pretty useful (The Next Web), Rated: B

Earlier this year Opera announced it is updating its built-in currency converter to support cryptocurrency, starting with Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).

For those unfamiliar, the currency converter essentially lets you convert fiat currencies to BTC, BCH, ETH or LTC by simply highlighting the original amount – without leaving the site or using third-party converters.

International

How Much Does it Cost to Mine One Bitcoin in Your Country? (CryptoCurrency), Rated: AAA

bitcoin mining cost

Given a current Bitcoin price of 11,332 USD (according to coinmarketcap.com), one could still technically make a profit by mining in the majority of countries examined. In reality however, the cost and expertise required to set up the equipment causes the operation to be a non-starter for most.

bitcoin mining profitability

Ripple Partners with Payment Provider Fleetcor to Foster XRP Use (CryptoSlate), Rated: A

Fleetcor announced on March 1 that they have entered a pilot program which uses Ripple’s xRapid platform to bring together their international payments subsidiary Cambridge Global Payments and enterprise blockchain solution firm Ripple to process over $20 billion worth of B2B transactions.

Ripple CTO Makes 5 Predictions For 2018 (CryptoDaily), Rated: B

  1. ICO token bubble is about to burst
  2. Global adoption of digital assets
  3. Blockchains will begin to cross-pollinate
  4. Hybrid blockchains will appear

LITECOIN, DOGECOIN, AND BITCOIN CASH ARE NECK-AND-NECK IN THE PAYMENTS RACE (Bitcoinist), Rated: A

In its six months of existence, the transaction count for Bitcoin Cash — the Bitcoin spinoff focusing on cheaper and faster transactions for everyday payments — has petered out since record highs at the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, other altcoins also focusing on cheaper and quicker payments, namely Litecoin and the tongue-in-cheek Dogecoin cryptocurrency, have followed a similar course as cryptocurrency users still overwhelmingly prefer Bitcoin.

Only three instances have been recorded where spikes in Bitcoin Cash transactions surpassed that of Litecoin, specifically in mid-August and mid-November 2017, and once again in mid-January 2018.

The world’s ultra-rich are investing more in cryptocurrencies — even if they may not understand them (CNBC), Rated: A

Around 21 percent of respondents in an annual survey of wealth advisers and private bankers said their clients increased investments in cryptocurrencies in 2017, according to the latest Wealth Report by Knight Frank.

ConnectJob Looks to Bring Blockchain Innovation to the $ 900 Billion Gig Industry (The Merkle), Rated: A

The startup has already raised over $7 million USD, surpassing the soft cap goal it set for itself at the onset of its fundraising efforts.

Furthermore, the ConnectJob platform implements a reputation and identity system that attempts to reduce identity theft and disincentivize bad actors. It also helps prevent underperforming workers from getting more jobs in the future — creating a more efficient world by promoting a more effective workforce.

Using geolocation and smart contracts, the ConnectJobnetwork allows users from anywhere in the world to engage professional and skilled jobbers in their local region or offer their services as one. Every engagement is backed by smart contract and each smart contract has been integrated with the local work insurance laws.

HOW BLOCKCHAIN IS ENABLING LOCALS TO MONETIZE CITY SAVVINESS (Bitcoinist), Rated: A

The travel industry has been stagnant for years, and since there is very little current innovation, the door has been left open for startups to shake things up. And that’s exactly what London-based travel company, Cool Cousin, seeks to do.

Cool Cousin is the world’s first decentralized peer-to-peer travel agency, directed at younger generations. The platform serves on-demand city insights to travelers based on their style and preferences, provided by like-minded locals. The community of 500,000+ locals (or “Cousins”) that act as pseudo, personalized travel agents exist in over 70 cities worldwide.

Other blockchain-based, non-profit travel startups like Winding Tree seek to upend the current paradigm by cutting out middle-men like Expedia, effectively decentralizing the travel industry and reducing costs for adventurers.

Blockchain technology helps to eliminate this type of travel industry corruption and puts information back into the hands of ordinary people. With blockchain, people can capitalize off their own data and cultural acumen by selling it directly to buyers as opposed to surrendering it to some centralized monolith.

Within this framework, city locals can become sovereign individuals, capable of generating their own revenue solely off the expertise they have harvested by living their lives.

Blockchain Gets Into The Big Leagues (PYMNTS), Rated: A

As PYMNTS recently reported, around half of those smaller ICOs have already failed. Out of 902 ICOs in 2017, 142 never raised enough capital to get off the ground, 276 got lost in the noise or turned out to be scams, and 113 stopped talking about their project online or simply did not attract enough adopters to succeed.

Amazon

Perhaps it’s not surprising, given the number of consumers who have invited Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa into their homes, but more than half of Amazon users said they would consider using an Amazon-built cryptocurrency around the site – and Amazon Prime members were even more eager, with 58.27 percent in favor and only 21.9 percent opposed.

Alibaba

The Chinese eCommerce giant will reportedly use blockchain technology for its cross-border supply chain. This will enable Chinese consumers from anywhere in the country to track information on 30,000 goods from 50 countries represented on T-Mall’s mobile app.

Facebook

CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the new year by declaring his intent to explore cryptocurrencies in Facebook’s ongoing battle against the proliferation of fake news and hate speech.

Mastercard

Mastercard CFO Martina Hund-Mejean said the company would not work with any unregulated currency that does not have the support of government, so bitcoin is out – but that doesn’t rule out other applications of blockchain.

She said that Ripple’s use of blockchain to create a messaging format similar to SWIFT – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which connects financial institutions around the globe – could have some potential.

Rakuten

In 2016, Rakuten acquired a bitcoin wallet startup, Bitnet. Now, the Japanese eCommerce platform is leveraging that acquisition to create a new cryptocurrency called Rakuten Coin, which meshes with its current loyalty program, Rakuten Super Points.

Starbucks

Executive chairman Howard Shultz said last week that Starbucks may use blockchain technology within a new payments app based on a “proprietary digital currency.” Shultz commented that the integrated app would most likely sit on blockchain rails rather than a more centralized system of accounting.

 

Australia

Bloxian Technology Partners With R3 to Build Products and Solutions on Corda Distributed Ledger Platform (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Bloxian Technology has partnered with enterprise software firm R3 to develop innovative products and solutions for commerce on its Corda blockchain platform.

Asia

Ripple Develops Blockchain Payments App With 61 Japanese Banks (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Ripple, the U.S. digital payments company, is working with 61 Japanese banks on an application that will enable customers to settle cash transfers instantly around the clock, the latest effort to apply blockchain technology in finance.

LATTICE80 will Launch Initial Coin Offering Private Sale this Month, Token “KAYA” (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Singapore based Fintech Hub LATTICE80 will begin their Initial Coin Offering (ICO) at some point this month (March). The ICO will commence with a private sale for approved investors. LATTICE80 will issue “KAYA” tokens as part of its vision to connect Fintech and Blockchain startups globally within the KAYA Network.

LATTICE80 has previously stated their intent to incorporate:

  • New Asset Class in Alternative Asset Portfolio: LATTICE80 wants to institutionalise this new asset class to offer a new alpha opportunity for HNWIs and institutional investors.
  • Institutional Level Compliance: Will only consider cities in the most innovative and advanced jurisdictions such as Singapore, Tokyo, London, New York, and Abu Dhabi.
  • Beyond Just an ICO: Additional plans to partner with licensed platforms to offer services ranging from a licensed cryptocurrency exchange to e-payments, and even a fully functioning digital bank.

South Korean Travel Site with Over 50,000 Hotels to Accept 12 Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

One of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Bithumb, announced on Tuesday its business alliance with Seoul-based With Innovation Corp. Thanks to this partnership, customers will be able to pay with cryptocurrencies for over 50,000 accommodation facilities, including hotels, motels, inns, motels, guest houses, and campers.

ENTREPRENEURS-ONLY VENTURE HOTEL TRIBE THEORY TO ACCEPT BITCOIN, ETHEREUM (Bitcoinist), Rated: B

According to CNBC, the price per capsule bed in one of flagship hotel’s shared dorms goes for about $26 per night. The hotel, which was launched in Singapore earlier this month, has some more good news: guests can pay in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

ELECTRIFY raises US$ 30mil to develop blockchain solution for energy (Digital News Asia), Rated: A

ELECTRIFY, Singapore’s first retail electricity marketplace, has raised US$30 million (RM117.1 million) in funding from institutional and individual investors via its token sale.

This funding will be used to power ELECTRIFY’s expansion into priority markets outside of Singapore, including Southeast Asia, Japan and Australia.

 

 

Far Eastern Air Transport based in Taiwan to Accept Digital Currency as Payment for Airline Tickets (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Far Eastern Air Transport or FAT Taiwan Inc. has announced it will “fully accept encrypted digital currency” to purchase airline tickets and related services.

Singapore company cancels blue diamond initial coin offering (The Washington Post), Rated: B

The Singapore-based organizer of a $2 million initial coin offering linked to a promotion involving a 2.08-carat blue diamond ring and luxury dinner raffle cancelled the plan Tuesday, leaving thousands of investors from dozens of countries in need of refunds.

Eurasia

Russia Drafts Law to Criminalize the Use of Cryptocurrencies as Money (Bitcoin.com), Rated: AAA

The Russian Ministry of Finance proposed last week to “criminalize the turnover of money surrogates,” including cryptocurrencies, Interfax reported. Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev revealed during Vnesheconombank‘s conference that his ministry has “prepared a draft law on criminal liability for the turnover of money surrogates,” Business FM elaborated, adding:

The ministry assumes serious responsibility, right up to criminal ones, for arranging schemes, issuing money substitutes and receiving them…This concerns the payments in cryptocurrency.

MENA

Dubai To Launch Blockchain Marketplace For Tourism Industry ‘To Be 10 Years Ahead’ (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

Dubai is launching a virtual business-to-business tourism-specific marketplace using Blockchain technology as part of its Dubai 10x initiative “to be 10 years ahead of other world cities”, local news outlet Arabian Business reports today, March 3.

How an Israeli Startup Helped the Marshall Islands Adopt a Digital Currency (Haaretz), Rated: A

On leaving the Pacific island nation this week, Israeli entrepreneur Barak Ben-Ezer, who is one of the owners of Neema, wrote: “Thank you, Marshall Islands, for enabling us to help you become the first country adopting a cryptocurrency as legal tender. As a practical matter, SOV then becomes real money from a legal standpoint. Finally, without capital gains tax, without a securities regulator claiming that the currency is stock. SOV is a sovereign currency like the dollar, the euro and the yen.”

Ben-Ezer’s efforts to turn a digital currency into an official currency required finding a country willing to adopt it as an official form of legal tender. “I looked for a country that would be open to the idea,” he said. “I developed a list of all of the countries that I thought would accept the cryptocurrency as legal tender.”

“Up front, I excluded countries such as Sweden and went with the smallest countries in the world that not many people had heard about and that vote with us [Israel] in the United Nations. The smaller that a country is, the easier it would be for it to adopt such a currency. I [also] added another parameter: that the country not have a currency of its own, which is how I got to the Marshall Islands,” Ben-Ezer told TheMarker last week.

Hacker returns $ 17 million worth of stolen Ethereum (HackRead), Rated: A

In July of last year, an Israeli cryptocurrency venture called Coindash was preparing for the Initial Currency Offer (ICO), but as soon as the sale began, a hacker intercepted the company’s website and stole about 43,000 worth of Ethereum. At the time, the stolen cryptocurrency equivalent to the US $ 7.4 million, but today it costs approximately US $ 35 million.

However, it seems the hacker seems to have regretted it and there is a change of heart. Almost a year after the robbery, he returned $ 17 million of stolen Ethereum. In September last year, about 10,000 Ethereum were returnedto Coindash from the attacker’s address. Now, last Friday, he returned another 20 thousand Ethereum.

13 cryptocurrency breaches which took place from July 2017 to February 2018:
1: July 4th, 2017: Bithumb hacked and 1.2 billion South Korean Won stolen. 2: July 17th, 2017: CoinDash hacked and $7 million in Ethereum stolen. 3: July 24th, 2017: Veritaseum hacked and $8.4 million in Ethereum stolen. 4: July 20, 2017: Parity Technologies hacked and $32 Million in Ethereum stolen. 5: August 22nd, 2017, Enigma marketplace hacked and $500,000 in Ethereum stolen. 6: November 19th, Tether hacked and $30 million worth of tokens stolen. 7: December 7, 2017: NiceHash hacked and $70 million stolen. 9: December 21, 2017: EtherDelta hacked and $266,789 in Ethereum stolen. 10: January 26th, 2018: Coincheck hacked and $534 Million stolen. 11: January 29th, 2018: Experty ICO hacked and $150,000 in Ethereum stolen. 12: February 3rd, 2018: BeeToken’s ICO Phishing Scam; $1M worth of Ethereum Stolen. 13: February 12, 2018: BitGrail exchange hacked; $160 million in Nano stolen

Canada

Hut 8 Lists on TSXV, Claims to be World’s Largest Public Currency Mining Firm (Coinsquare), Rated: B

Hut 8 commenced trading of its common shares on the TSX Venture Exchange. With the announcement, the Toronto-based corporation claimed that it is now the world’s largest publicly traded digital currency mining company.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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