Daily News Digest Featured News

Friday September 21 2018, Daily News Digest

Source: Forbes

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News Summary

United States

Coinbase denies trading cryptocurrencies for its own benefit (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Cryptocurrency firm Coinbase has denied engaging in proprietary trading after the New York Attorney General said that almost 20 percent of transactions on its platform were attributable to the company.

Proprietary trading is when a firm invests for its own gain rather than on behalf of its clients. Coinbase has its own crytocurrency trading platform and wallet.

Coinbase Issues Statement Clarifying It Doesn’t Engage in Proprietary Trading (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

According to Coinbase, media coverage has “inaccurately characterized” the results of the New York Virtual Markets Integrity Report, to which Coinbase had voluntarily contributed information about its practices by participating in a Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Questionnaire.

The firm thus emphasized that “self-trading” – as the information had been misconstrued by third-party reporting – inaccurately distorts what is in reality “customer-driven volume via Coinbase Consumer.”

Coinbase Appoints Brian Brooks as Chief Legal Officer (Finance Magnates), Rated: B

Coinbase, a San Francisco-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange, announced on Wednesday that it has added Brian Brooks to its legal team as the firm’s Chief Legal Officer. Brooks is a seasoned law expert and will be taking over from Mike Lempres, who has been leading the company’s legal efforts until now.

Kraken Joins Coinbase in Rebuking ‘Malicious’ Implications in New York Attorney General’s Exchange Report (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Another major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange criticized a report from New York’sAttorney General Wednesday, September 19, after it chose not to respond to a voluntary information request.

Why I Think Ethereum Will Sink To $ 100 (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Crypto was last year’s bubble and now we are in the pit of that crash. Perhaps not the bottom of the pit but we are certainly getting there and for altcoins, getting there fast.

In my mind without doubt, just like the dotcom spawned a pile of listed companies with no business at all and huge valuations, the same is true in cryptocurrency and tokens. The market contains a huge amount of trash like the Nasdaq did in 1999 and like the trash loans wrapped up in the fancy investment bank derivatives of the credit crunch in 2008.

Source: Forbes

Meanwhile ethereum is another matter. Let me be clear, as someone blamed by the crypto press as a serious factor of bitcoin’s slump back down from $10,000, it is about time I crashed ethereum. I need to flex my pundit power.

Source: Forbes

This destination is $100 a coin. By the way, I do own some ethereum.

Bitcoin Traders Should Watch $ 5,600 And $ 8,900 (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Still, traders should watch these two prices closely: $5,613.89 and $8,931.47.

The first price is the average of Hayes’ and Wheatley’s models. “Something I found interesting is that the average of Hayes’ and Wheatley’s models is beginning to converge closer to Bitcoin’s actual price,” says Greg Giordano, my co-author of a research paper on Bitcoin prices. “The average of Hayes’ and Wheatley’s models is currently $5,613.89 compared to Bitcoin’s price at a little over $6,300.”

The second price is an estimate produced by the Market Model, which combines the Hayes’ and Wheatley’s models.

Forecasting Model Price
Hayes $10,157.16
Wheatley $1,070.77
Market Model $8,931.47

Bitcoin Price Lacks Direction After Defense of $ 6,200 (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Bitcoin (BTC) is trapped in a no-man’s land between $6,200 and $6,600, technical charts indicate.

A bear flag breakdown witnessed Monday was expected to yield a drop to $6,000 (February low), but bitcoin’s resilience spoiled the bear party.

The leading cryptocurrency bounced off trendline support at $6,202 on the same day and has since risen back above $6,350, neutralizing the immediate bearish outlook.

At press time, BTC is changing hands at $6,320 on Bitfinex – up 1.23 percent on the day.


Bitcoin ETFs Delayed Again as SEC Seeks Comment on Fund Proposal (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Despite already receiving more than 1,400 comment letters on a proposal to list an ETF from Van Eck Securities Corp. and SolidX Management, the Securities and Exchange Commission is inviting more feedback, the agency said Thursday in a filing. Those who wish to comment have 21 days after the SEC’s order is published in the Federal Register, while rebuttals have 35 days from that date.

The agency is seeking views on market manipulation — including whether Bitcoin is less susceptible to manipulation than other commodities that back exchange-traded products — as well as surveillance.

Circle wants more women to invest in cryptocurrency (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Crypto finance company Circle  thinks accessible, educational resources are the answer. As of today, the company has added a new feature (pictured above) to their crypto investing app, Circle Invest. Their hope is that simple, jargon-free explainers — sort of a ‘Cryptocurrencies for Dummies’ built into the app — will make it easier for new demographics to get their foot in the door of the crypto universe and learn a thing or two along the way.

The inspiration for the new feature came after the results of a study showed a serious lack of diversity among crypto investors. The study, commissioned by Circle, surveyed 3,000 Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers in the U.S. and found that Millennial men are more than twice as likely to invest in crypto in the next year.

Crypto Exchange Poloniex Dumps Eight Underperforming Coins (Bitcoin Magazine), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex is delisting eight coins: BitcoinDark (BTCD), Bitmark (BTM), Einsteinium, (EMC2), Gridcoin (GRC), NeosCoin(NEOS), PotCoin (POT), VeriCoin (VRC) and BitcoinPlus(XBC).

Charlie Lee tweetstorm explains Litecoin’s value proposition (Finder), Rated: A

“Recently there has been a concerted effort to suppress Litecoin price by people/funds that are shorting LTC and by groups that see Litecoin as a threat. I will clear up this FUD and show why Litecoin has tremendous value,” Litecoin founder Charlie Lee said, introducing a relatively concise 10 part Twitter rampage.

Points and counterpoints

  • “FUD: Litecoin has lost its edge and can’t differentiate itself from hundreds of other altcoins.”
  • “TRUTH: Litecoin has one of the most secure networks of all altcoins. Litecoin has over $150MM of ASIC hardware protecting it. Litecoin dominates Scrypt mining by far…. Miners have no incentives to attack the network because it will destroy the value of their ASIC hardware. Litecoin has a ton of liquidity, which is important for people to get in/out of LTC. It is on practically every fiat and crypto exchange (Gemini soon), even more than ETH.”
  • “FUD: Litecoin is no longer needed now that Bitcoin can scale with LN.
  • “TRUTH: Many of the LN clients and apps also support LTC because they see the value of Litecoin. With atomic swaps, LTC interoperates with BTC on the Lightning Network.”
  • “FUD: Litecoin as Bitcoin’s testnet is not worth $3B.”
  • “TRUTH: Even if Litecoin’s only use case is a testnet, you can’t put an absolute value on it. Need to look at it relative to Bitcoin. Litecoin’s marketcap is only 3% of Bitcoin’s marketcap. That is not very large at all!”
  • “FUD: Litecoin has no development in the past 6 months.”
  • “TRUTH: We don’t work on the master branch, where people are looking. This is generally good Git practice! Proof: we released 0.16.2 last week and just released 0.16.3 today, which fixed the recent critical DoS bug.”

Digital Currency Exchange OKCoin Expands With Five New Coin Offerings (Investing.com), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency exchange platform OKCoin announced on Tuesday the addition of five new coins to its US listings, comprised of Cardano (ADA), Ripple (XRP), Stellar lumens (XLM), 0x (ZRX), and Zcash (ZEC). The move followed a successful launch in California several months ago, the company said in a statement.

IBM Patent Eyes Blockchain for Drone Fleet Security (CCN), Rated: A

Computing giant and prolific blockchain researcher IBM has applied to patent a system that would use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address privacy and security concerns associated with the increasing usage of drones in both commercial and recreational applications.

SEC Director Vows ‘More Substantial’ Enforcement Against Illegal ICOs (CCN), Rated: A

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) co-director of enforcement Stephanie Avakian mentioned in a Sept. 20 speech that the regulatory agency is most likely going to recommend “more substantial remedies” against those who fail to follow proper initial coin offering (ICO) registration requirements in the future

SEC Commissioner Argues for Relaxed Cryptocurrency Regulations (Dash Force News), Rated: A

She then transitioned to discussing how the cryptocurrency community has the ability to regulate itself if it is allowed to expand by regulatory agencies.

“What authority do we have to require that assets underlying securities be regulated as if they were securities? Even if we had this authority, private markets can and do regulate themselves. The crypto community includes lots of people who are very willing to speak up, criticize one another, and bring to light technological, corporate governance, and other perceived weaknesses in cryptocurrencies.”

She then continued to discuss why the SEC should allow cryptocurrency financial products to proceed with minimal additional regulations since this will foster greater innovation.

Texas Issues Emergency Cease and Desist Orders Against Three ICO Projects (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

The Texas State Securities Board(TSSB) has issued emergency cease and desist orders against three ICO/cryptocurrency projects soliciting investors in Texas: Coins Miner Investment Ltd., DGBK Ltd. (DigitalBank) and Ultimate Assets LLC.

All three projects allegedly used misleading information to promote their projects, and none are licensed to sell securities in Texas.

SparkLabs is launching a cybersecurity and blockchain accelerator program in the US (TechCrunch), Rated: B

Investment firm SparkLabs has run accelerator programs across APAC, now it has announced its first that’ll be based on U.S. soil and it’s a cybersecurity and blockchain program that’ll be located in Washington, D.C. from next year.

The program will be led by former Startup Grind COO Brian Park and Mike Bott, who is ex-managing director of The Branderyaccelerator.


The Sun May Never Set on Binance: Leading Crypto Exchange Plans 5 Continent Expansion (SludgeFeed), Rated: AAA

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao revealed this week that the company is planning to launch 5 to 10 new fiat-to-crypto exchanges across 5 different continents.

BNB currently has a market cap of $920 million, making it the 16th largest coin in the AltDex 100 Index (ALT100), a benchmark index for large-cap cryptocurrencies and tokens, and first in the AltDex Exchange Token Index (ALTEXC).

Crypto Exchange Begins Hiring Spree in Europe and Asia (Bloomberg), Rated: A

Binance wants to hire for roles in Singapore, as well as 50 new employees in its headquarters in Malta. The year-old company currently employs nearly 300 people across 39 countries and is targeting additional staff across operations, compliance, and customer service.

ING, Citigroup, Shell And ConsenSys Partner to Create Ethereum-Based Platforms (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

As per a short, but sweet four-page document, entitled “Industry Players and Banks Join Forces to Launch Blockchain Platform to Transform Commodities Trade Finance,” 15 of the “world’s largest institutions,” along with blockchain startup ConsenSys, have joined hands to make a collaborative foray into the enterprise-level blockchain platform space via a new firm called komgo SA.

Source: NewsBTC

Business spending on blockchain development reaches $ 1.7 billion, despite hurdles to use cases (Freightwaves), Rated: AAA

A survey done by consulting firm Greenwich Associates shows that annual spending by financial services firms on blockchain rose 70% this year to $1.7 billion.

But the spending levels vary widely. Most firms are spending less $500,000 on blockchain, but about 11% of the survey’s respondents were spending $10 million or more.

blockchain budgets

XRP, IOTA, NEO And Cardano Are ‘Absolute Steals,’ Weiss Ratings Says (Ethereum World News), Rated: A

For the renowned financial analysis firm, the four cryptocurrencies with the most significant opportunity for growth are IOTA, NEO, XRP, and ADA.

Source: Ethereum World News

Like Uber, but for Cartographers (CityLab), Rated: A

Right now, few direct alternatives to Google exist. But a new startup wants to pioneer a different way of creating and distributing place data—by paying you to map. With $1 million in seed funding, Streetcred is building a business model based on the blockchain, where digital tokens called Ether—a Bitcoin-esque cryptocurrency with a fluctuating dollar value—would be paid out to contributors anywhere in the world to populate maps with new points of interest.

Here’s How Blockchain Will Remove Inefficiencies in Global Mining Supply Chains (NewsBTC), Rated: A

A report published yesterday by international law firm White & Case claims that blockchain technology could help improve transparency and remove inefficiencies from the global mining supply chain. It states that the industry’s adoption of the innovation backing Bitcoin is a matter of “when, not if.”

How Honeyminer Works (Twitter), Rated: A

is probably the fastest and easiest way to start mining cryptocurrencies with your home computer. CEO joins our show to explain how it all works.

Switzerland and Israel Collaborate on Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Regulation (CCN), Rated: A

The Swiss Minister for Finance Ueli Maurer recently visited Israel along with State Secretary for International Financial Matters Joerg Gasser, citing their goal as gaining bank access to Israeli markets to allow Swiss banks to trade there.

Reuters reports that the two nations have now agreed to collaborate on financial technology, cryptocurrency, and blockchain regulation following their discussion with the Israeli government.

Genesis Blockchain Technologies & Gopher Protocol Enter Exclusive License Agreement (AP News), Rated: B

Gopher Protocol Inc. (OTCQB: GOPH) (“Gopher”), a company specializing in the creation of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence enabled mobile technologies, including a global platform with both mobile and fixed solutions, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to exclusively license Gopher’s GRC Blockchain-Based Radio Generated Digital Currency proprietary technology to Genesis Blockchain to integrate into Genesis’s Blockchain based lines of business.

European Union

Binance Crypto Exchange Announces Binance Info 2 Rating Reports Platform (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: AAA

Binance has recently announced Binance Info 2.0 on social media. This tool will be a comprehensive platform for third-party rating reports. As the cryptocurrency industry has developed a lot in recent years, it is Binance’s vision that the largest exchange in the world by volume has a responsibility with the industry and this is part of an effort to help the industry.


Learn more on Medium.

Europol Concerned About Increasing Illicit Activities Using Cryptocurrencies (Dash Force News), Rated: AAA

A new report by the EU-focused law-enforcement organization’s “Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2018” (IOCTA) says that cryptocurrency users and exchanges are at increasing risk of “criminal abuse” by bad actors within the space.

data breaches europe
Source: Europol

Read the full report here.

Copyright on Blockchain, Explained (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

Can someone post one of my photos or illustrations on blockchain without permission?

Not right now… but this could change in the future.

The reason why it isn’t possible at the moment is merely technical. Scaling problems (something we’ve reported extensively on at Cointelegraph) mean there’s a limit to the amount of data that can be processed in a single block. As a result, blockchain isn’t incredibly compatible with images in its current form.

What are the laws outside of blockchain?

It varies from country to country – but generally, copyright protection is granted automatically.

In the UK, for example, this means that any artworks, illustrations or pictures you take are protected by copyright instantly – without cost. It prohibits others from copying them, distributing copies of them or putting it on the internet, but the law doesn’t currently mention the ramifications when it comes to blockchain.

How could copyright be officially applied within blockchain?

Well, we may see governments around the world adopt this technology for themselves.

Could industry bodies also get involved?

Major players in music, photography and literature are also starting to devise their own solutions with the hope of becoming market leaders.

What’s the deal with my social media posts? Are they copyrighted?

Again, the waters are murky here – even the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is vague on some of the details.

When it comes to tweets, WIPO says that, in actuality, some of them may be too short to qualify for the copyright protection usually enjoyed by authors.

Analyzing Ethereum Smart Contracts, Gas And dApps Relationship For Future Ether (ETH) Price (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: A

On the same note, a new debate has been stirring around the degree of decentralization that people are looking for in their products. The consensus seems to be that people are not looking for much decentralization. For instance, many are wary of forgoing customer service and user experience just to eliminate the need for a third party.

Sagewise, a platform built on the Hashgraph blockchain, works to provide contract resolution as a safety net for smart contracts that provides third-party arbitration in disputes. According to the platform’s co-founder, Daniel Rice, “One of the biggest issues with smart contacts is even if there is not an explicit bug, there might just be something in the contract that gives a single party a massive amount of control.”

He further added, “We’ve seen several ICO contracts that allow the creator to freeze or in some cases even execute custom code inside the smart contract. This can defeat the purpose of using a decentralized smart contract completely and is the reason we provide tools that allow for more reasonable governance of individual contracts.”

Poland’s Top Bank to Launch Blockchain Platform for Document Management Within ‘Days’ (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Poland’s largest bank will launch a blockchain solution for its customer documents via a partnership with UK-based Coinfirm “in the coming days,” the parties confirmed in a press release Thursday, September 20.

Consortium of Swiss Investors Launch Blockchain Incubator with $ 100 Million Goal (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Switzerland-based consortium Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC) has launched a blockchain incubator with a $100 million goal, swissinfo.ch reportedSeptember 20.

CV VC has reportedly launched its initial incubator dubbed “Genesis Hub” in the canton of Zug, also known as Switzerland’s Crypto Valley.

Trezor Crypto Wallet’s SatoshiLabs Withdraws Support For Hacker’s Congress Paralelni Polis (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

In a blog post uploaded by SatoshiLabs on September 18, the company explains that they will be withdrawing from the Hacker’s Congress Paralelni Polis (HCPP18) due to different private conflicts.

United Kingdom

ICO Token Misfortune is Crypto Hedge Funds Benefit, Reaching $ 5 Billion in Assets (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: AAA

Greyspark, the capital consultancy company, has released a report which charts the evolving landscape of the world of cryptocurrency investment. And while the marketplace continues to mature, there are two profound changes taking place: the first being that Initial Coin Offerings are failing to hit their mark when it comes to alluring retail investment, and alternative avenues for institutional investors to enter the space are increasing significantly.

Within the same research, Greyspark points out that more than half of ICOs that went on the market from 2017 and 2018 failed to meet their funding targets, with as many as 890 token sales raising no funds at all. And during the same period, more than 40% of ICOs, which equates to 743 firms, raised more than $1 million.

Greyspark’s report discovered that in the second quarter of 2018, roughly 15% of ICO projects had an already working product, in contrast with only 6% of projects within the first quarter of the same year.

Leading Stellar Wallet, LOBSTR, Announces Support for the DigitalBits Blockchain; Launches Wallet for DigitalBits Tokens (ChipIn), Rated: A

LOBSTR, the leading wallet in the Stellar ecosystem, announced today the launch of XDB Labs LLC, and will soon launch XDB Wallet, to support custodial and wallet storage for digital assets on the DigitalBits blockchain. Recently launched, DigitalBits, a fork of the Stellar blockchain, is a protocol focused on becoming the transaction and trading layer of certain digital assets, including the points economy.


ASIC gets serious about ICO crackdown (ZDNet), Rated: AAA

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is getting serious about its financial scam ban, announcing that it has stopped several proposed initial coin offerings (ICOs) or token-generation events that targeted retail investors.

The country’s financial regulator said it also acted to prevent ICOs raising capital without the appropriate investor protections in five other matters since April 2018 and stopped the issue of a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for a crypto-asset managed investment scheme.


What does Southeast Asia hold for cryptocurrencies and ICOs (Technode), Rated: AAA

Cryptocurrency and ICOs are entering a new phase. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) opened the floodgates with their foray into Bitcoin futures trading in 2017. During the first six months of this year, many traditional financial institutions were reported to be exploring cryptocurrencies. And today we are seeing more and more institutional investors coming into the scene.

In the first 5 months of 2018, a total of 537 Initial Coin Offerings with a volume of $13.7 billion have been closed successfully—which is more than all pre-2018 ICOs combined, according to PwC and Crypto Valley. But not everyone is convinced that the ICO will continue to be a significant form a fundraising in the future. China, for instance completely banned ICOs in late 2017.

blockchain asia

Japan Cryptocurrency Theft Cases Tripled in H1 2018, $ 530 Million Stolen (CCN), Rated: AAA

According to the NPA, the number of incidents involving the theft of funds from cryptocurrency exchanges and individual accounts tripled in the first half of this year compared to a similar period last year.

During the entire 2017, a total of 149 cases were reported and more than 660 million yen was stolen but so far this year more than 60 billion yen has been stolen with the reported incidents in the year’s first half reaching 158.

In the cryptocurrency thefts targeting individual accounts, over 60% of the incidents involved the use of similar login details across online accounts and platforms, according to the National Police Agency. With regards to the cryptocurrencies stolen, XRP was among the most targeted digital asset with 1.52 billion yen worth of the digital stolen seized in 42 cases.

Hackers steal $ 60m from Japanese cryptocurrency exchange (Financial Times), Rated: A

Tech Bureau, operator of the Zaif exchange, said it was hacked between 5pm and 7pm on September 14. Thieves made off with assets worth ¥6.7bn ($60m), of which ¥4.5bn was customer money.

South Korea’s Leading Dunamu Exchange To Launch Digital Currency Platform For Trading in Singapore (Market Exclusive), Rated: A

The South Korean Dunamu cryptocurrency exchange is planning to launch a virtual currency exchange in Singapore in October this year. Dunamu runs Upbit, local exchange with a branch set up in Singapore in February 2018. The platform wants to tap the Asian cryptocurrency market and is aggressively pushing to venture into new markets.

Singapore Approves FuzeX Crypto Wallet And Debit Card As A Stored Value Facility (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

A cryptocurrency payment ecosystem that offers crypto debit cards, FuzeX, announced that its staff met with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in order to present their product launch on a lawful basis.

The discussion was fruitful as FuzeX received an approval as a SVF (stored value facility), getting the green light to launch its product and services within the regulations and laws of Singapore.

Zilliqa partners with DMM and LayerX to expand adoption of Scilla in Japan (Token Tops), Rated: B

Zilliqa, the scalability-focused blockchain platform, has just announced it signed a partnership with two Japanese companies that will help the project with mass adoption of their smart contract language, Scilla, in Japan.


Unicorns Integrate Cryptocurrency Payments, Showing Blockchain Is Far From Done (Forbes), Rated: AAA

It has also recently been announced that Wix, a publicly traded unicorn allowing small businesses and individuals to create web sites, will be adding a crypto payment method as one of its billing methods. This is done by a blockchain payment company called PumaPay, which have raised almost 120 million dollars in a private sale.


George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

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