Daily News Digest Featured News

Tuesday February 19 2019, Weekly News Digest

Source: CCN

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United States


European Union



News Summary

United States

JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business (CNBC), Rated: AAA

The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it’s from J.P. Morgan Chase.

J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, move to the blockchain. That’s the database technology made famous by its first application, bitcoin. But in order for that future to happen, the bank needed a way to transfer money at the dizzying speed that those smart contracts closed, rather than relying on old technology like wire transfers.

J.P. Morgan Creates Digital Coin for Payments (JP Morgan), Rated: A

JPM Coin is a digital coin designed to make instantaneous payments using blockchain technology. Exchanging value, such as money, between different parties over a blockchain requires a digital currency, so we created the JPM Coin.

Over time, JPM Coin will be extended to other major currencies. The product and technology capabilities are currency agnostic.

Wall Street analysts throw cold water on J.P.Morgan’s ‘cryptocurrency’ (The Block), Rated: A

The project’s centralized nature was met with fierce scrutiny by the crypto community — with many calling it a fake cryptocurrency since it’s not permissionless. Crypto skeptic and economist Nouriel Roubini called the venture a “joke.”

Others pointed out that the move by J.P.Morgan isn’t unique considering other financial firms have their own versions of J.P.Morgan’s new coin such as Signature Bank. Signature Bank’s blockchain-based Signet system has on-boarded more than 100 clients who are using it to send millions of dollars a day. There’s also the USC project, which began in 2015 to apply DLT tech to the way central banks move funds around.

Billionaire Tim Draper reacts to Jamie Dimon launching his own cryptocurrency (Fox Business), Rated: A

But to others, especially billionaire and bitcoin. enthusiast Tim Draper, who has millions invested in the cryptocurrency, its “great news” for overall industry.

“Not many bitcoin knockoffs have worked particularly well, but they all add to the interest in bitcoin,” Draper told FOX Business on Sunday.

JP Morgan’s cryptocurrency (SPR Email), Rated: B

“JPMCoin is looking to streamline the institution’s business-to-business money movement flows by reducing counterparty and settlement risk and enabling instant money transfers amongst their institutional clients.

There aren’t any inconsistencies between what [CEO] Jamie Dimon has said publicly about Bitcoin and JP Morgan’s foray into distributed ledger technologies and applications, because JPMCoin isn’t a true cryptocurrency. It’s not intended to replace or even compete with cryptos like Bitcoin. This is an application of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to improve specific business cases that JP Morgan and their institutional clients have.”

Kevin McMahon, executive director of emerging technologies at SPR.

Forbes: JPMCoin is a “Slap in the Face” for Ripple (XRP) (Ethereum World News), Rated: A

JPMCoin will be a stablecoin, with the plan to peg the value of the currency 1:1 with U.S. dollars. While the move is hardly a surprise, given the high price volatility of cryptocurrency and risk-averse nature of most banks, it immediately positions the coin in a class separate from digital assets more suited for investment. However, by making JPMCoin a stablecoin, in addition to marketing the coin as a remittance and bank-to-bank payment solution, JPMorgan Chase appears to be going after Ripple and third largest market cap coin, XRP. In an article titled “Is JPMCoin a Serious Threat to Ripple?” agrees with the sentiment that the announcement has greater implications for the team at Ripple.

Bitcoin To Break 5 Consecutive Months Of Losses. What Is Behind The Move? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

One thing that the J.P. Morgan’s digital coin has brought to the crypto space is a positive month for Bitcoin. I will discuss this in more detail later. Let’s focus on some facts about the price action first.

The cryptocurrency king is on track to secure its first positive month since July 2018. The trading action for the past two months shows that downward moves were not supported by volume. The six consecutive months of sell-off were the longest losing streak since 2014, when we had five consecutive months. The tide may be about to change.

Bitcoin Awaits Triangle Breakout as Price Squeeze Continues (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Bitcoin’s (BTC) price is largely unchanged on the day and maybe building for a strong exit from the weeks-long period of consolidation.

The leading cryptocurrency hit highs above $4,100 on Jan. 8 before moving lower to around $3,500, where it’s become trapped in a tightening trading range.

The bears have persistently failed to keep prices below $3,500, weakening the bearish case put forward by the 9 percent drop seen on Jan. 10. That strong support level has seen the formation of a descending triangle pattern over the last 2.5 weeks, with an upper edge at $3,600 and the base located near $3,500.


Blockstream Publishes Schnorr-Based Test Code for Bitcoin Blockchain Upgrade (CoinTelegraph), Rated:  A

The Schnorr-based multi-signature scheme MuSig, a test code for a potential upgrade to the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain, has been released by blockchain tech firm Blockstream, according to an announcement published on Feb. 18.

What Caused EOS to Surge 30%, Flip Litecoin and Lead Today’s Crypto Rally? (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

Following yesterday’s positive start to the weekcrypto markets have continued to rally adding another $8 billion to total market capitalization. Ethereum started the run but EOS is today’s moon shot as it surges 30%.

EOS has been a train over the past 24 hours pumping from $2.90 to an intraday high of $3.80 resulting in a 30% gain in a single day. It has since pulled back a little but is still the best performing altcoin in the top one hundred at the time of writing.

Bitcoin Spikes but EOS Skyrockets 25% in 24 Hours; How Far Can It Go? (CCN), Rated: AAA

EOS, the Enterprise Operating System, which was developed by Block One, saw a huge increase, more than double that of Bitcoin by percentage, in the past couple days. The base token had been pushing the $3 mark while Bitcoin bumpered around inside the $3600 range.

Source: CCN

How Bitcoin’s Protocol of Peace Can End the Nuclear Age (Bitcoin Magazine), Rated: A

As Bitcoin reached its 10-year anniversary last month, this breakthrough of computer science now further reveals its value proposition. Perhaps the fundamental ethos of this technology is hidden in the mystery surrounding the identity of its creator, the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. The genesis of Bitcoin is rooted in anonymity.

Litecoin (LTC) Price Up 5.2% Over Last 7 Days (Fairfield Current), Rated: A

Litecoin (CURRENCY:LTC) traded up 7.4% against the dollar during the twenty-four hour period ending at 8:00 AM Eastern on January 26th. Litecoin has a market capitalization of $2.80 billion and approximately $1.23 billion worth of Litecoin was traded on exchanges in the last day. Over the last seven days, Litecoin has traded 5.2% higher against the dollar. One Litecoin coin can currently be bought for about $46.31 or 0.01220798 BTC on major exchanges including Liquid, CoinsBank, BigONE and BtcTrade.im.

Unlike Bitcoin, Litecoin (LTC) ‘Snapped’ Its Long-Term Bear Trend (Ethereum World News), Rated: A

Although many have lauded Ethereum (ETH) for its stellar performance since finding itself in the $80 price range, little attention has been given to Litecoin (LTC), save for last week. According to a recent tweet from Mati Greenspan, eToro’s in-house crypto trader, the “OG” Bitcoin fork, is up by 111% in terms of U.S. dollars since its December 14th low, when BTC fell to $3,150 is a rapid turn of events.

Statistics from Coin Price Watch would corroborate this fact. The site states that since hitting $23 in December, the asset has surged to a current valuation of $48.88 a pop. In the same time period, Bitcoin moved from $3,150 to $3,950 — a move of 25%, compared to Litecoin’s 111% and Ethereum’s 70%.


ETH/USD rises to 150.00 level and gains 8% on Monday (FXStreet), Rated: A

  • ETH/USD is trading below the 200-day simple moving averages (SMAs) on the daily chart.
Source FXStreet

Crypto Community Condemns Coinbase’s Cloud Storage for Private Keys (Blockonomi), Rated: A

Coinbase wants you to keep your crypto holdings safe, but they also want you to have access to the funds, even if you lose your mobile device. According to its latest announcement, Coinbaseusers can now back up their Wallet’s private keys to their cloud storage accounts, including Google Drive or iCloud. The new initiative will provide a safeguard for users, where they end up losing their funds because they misplaced their private keys.

Coinbase-Supported Bitcoin Debit Card to Shut Operations in April (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

The Shift Bitcoin (BTC) debit card, which allows United States cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase users to spend BTC using a Visa debit card, is reportedly shutting down its operations. The development was posted to Reddit on Feb. 18, with the upload of an email purportedly from the Shift team.

The differences between cryptocurrencies, virtual, and digital currencies (The Next Web), Rated: AAA

Rife with complex terminology, the world of cryptocurrency can be daunting at the best of times, but things got even more confusing last week when JPMorgan announced the launch of its own coin, which many argued was a digital currency – possibly a stablecoin – but most definitely not a cryptocurrency.

With this in mind, Hard Fork put together a primer on the differences between cryptocurrencies, digital, and virtual currencies – three terms that are often used indiscriminately but don’t actually mean the same thing.

Can NEO 3.0 Return NEO to the Top 10 Cryptocurrency Projects? (Dapp Life), Rated: A

In a Bitcoinist article reviewing Erik Zhang’s DevCon announcement of NEO 3.0’s most important new features, NEO’s co-founder is quoted as saying, “No blockchain is currently capable of supporting large scale commercial applications.” NEO 3.0 is designed to make NEO one of the best options available for these “large scale commercial applications,” fulfilling NEO’s long-stated goal of becoming a protocol that powers the smart economy.

Can Blockchain Help ‘Fast Fiction’ Disrupt The Streaming Media Disruptors? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

To understand the true power of disruption that streaming media leaders like Netflix and Spotify have brought to their respective markets, you need to follow the money.

Given its greenfield status, the fast fiction market is an ideal place to disrupt how content producers are paid – at least, that’s the vision of Quibi competitor Fiction Riot.

Fiction Riot’s vision: build a subscription-based fast fiction platform that fairly compensates the producers of all content on the platform, from the big-name pros to the individual crew members at shoestring startups.

Bitcoin Aside, After ICO’s Are STO’s The Everyman’s IPO? (Forbes), Rated: A

The death of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) – while overstated – is more an evolution of this popular crowdfunding mechanism than a demise. Having reached dizzying heights and helped projects raise billions of dollars in funds, the ICO market also caused millions in losses and produced shockingly few success stories.

SIMBA Chain Secures $ 500,000 in Pre-Seed Funding (Business Insider), Rated: A

SIMBA Chain, a startup working to democratize blockchain technology by making it accessible to everyone, has raised $500,000 in a recent pre-seed round. Backers include Elevate Ventures, Notre Dame Pit Road Fund and Tracy Graham, CEO of Data Reality. AECI International CEO Hari Agarwal is an investor and is also joining the board of directors.

SIMBA Chain will use the funds to continue to build out its Blockchain-as-a-Service platform, which makes it easy for anyone to implement blockchain distributed apps for iOS, Android and the web.

Eye on Cryptocurrency: Demise of a Visa Card; Crypto for Truck Parts; a Calmer Bitcoin (Digital Transactions), Rated: A

A Visa-branded debit card from Shift Financial Inc. that enabled consumers with accounts at digital currency exchange Coinbase to spend based on funds held in their Coinbase accounts reportedly will cease operations in April, said the CoinTelegraph.com news site.

The card, issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank, reportedly faced a limited market and flagging demand, the site reported. No further information about the decision was immediately available.

BuySellHODL Launches First of Its Kind Cryptocurrency Ratings & Price Targets (PR Newswire), Rated: A

Newly launched cryptocurrency app BuySellHODL has announced the launch of its proprietary crypto ratings and price target feature, with Bitcoin as the initial coin rating launch. The rating feature is currently free and the first of its kind in the crypto space. It gives users real-time ratings and price target data that is entirely quantitative, creating an invaluable analysis tool for beginners and experts alike.

Bitcoin has earned a “Buy” rating with a 12-month price target of $6,662.29. The ratings distribution breaks down as follows: 60 percent Buy, 22 percent HODL, and 19 percent sell.

How Blockchain Can Drive Finance And Audit Performance (Forbes), Rated: A

In 2017, bitcoin, a cryptocurrency based on blockchain, skyrocketed in value and caught the eye of executives around the globe. While most of us have focused on the currency aspect, it’s no secret that blockchain, a distributed ledger technology, could see its most effective and widespread application in the corporate world, specifically in finance.

Cigna, Sentara Healthcare join IBM blockchain initiative (Healthcare IT News), Rated: B

The group of providers building a health utility network using blockchain has just grown by two members, with not-for-profit system Sentra Healthcare and Cigna joining the IBM-backed network.

US Regulators SEC and CFTC May Join Forces for Cryptocurrency Rules, Adding Bitcoin Futures are Easier to Approve (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: A

The regulatory situation for the United States and cryptocurrency has been complicated. Multiple entities are in charge of regulating the environment, and the lack of approval so far from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) has been arduous for applicants. So far, the regulator has expressed clear apprehension about approving any of these requests, but there’s been little information about the reasons behind it, apart from market volatility.

Dr. Craig Wright affirms he’s Satoshi, wants to address CFTC (CoinGeek), Rated: A

Dr. Craig Wright, nChain’s chief scientist and Bitcoin SV (BSV) intellect, is not happy with the path cryptocurrencies in general are taking. In an effort to help redirect the crypto vision and put things back in order with how they were originally intended, he has become more vocal in publicizing the fact that he is, indeed, Satoshi Nakamoto. He is now made that official with the U.S. Commodity Futures Traiding Commission (CFTC), responding to a request for input (RFI) introduced by the commission regarding crypto assets.

10 Ways to Keep Your Cryptocurrency Safe (U.S. News), Rated: A

News that crypto exchange QuadrigaCX founder Gerald Cotten died with clients unable to access $190 million in bitcoin and other funds is alarming to investors. Cotten’s widow says the passwords to the cold storage of the cryptocurrencies are unknown to her, leaving investors with few remedies. The continued hacking of digital currency exchanges is another concern. Bitcoin and other virtual currencies remain a highly popular target for hackers because hiding their tracks is simple as their footprints can be erased digitally. Digital currencies remain unregulated by a government entity or central bank, leaving investors without legal recourse when an account is hacked. So here are 10 tips for protecting a cryptocurrency investment.

FBI Outline Key Features of Scam ICOs, Warns Investors to Be Vigilant (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has outlined what it believes to be the consistent threads running through fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) schemes. The Bureau’s perspective was shared in an interview with Netherlands-based financial news site the Paypers on Feb. 19.

Microsoft Store apps caught illegally mining cryptocurrencies (TechRadar), Rated: A

A shocking new report by security firm Symantec alleges that at least eight apps on the Microsoft Store have been mining for cryptocurrency in the background after being downloaded.

In a blog post describing the security threats, the apps, which include Fast-search Lite, Battery Optimizer, VPN Browsers+, Downloader for YouTube Videos, Clean Master+, FastTube, Findoo Browser 2019 and Findoo Mobile & Desktop Search all engaging in ‘cryptojacking’.

Cryptocurrencies May ‘Upend the Digital World,’ Says Institutional Investor Consultancy (CoinTelegraph), Rated: B

Crypto represents a sound investment for institutional investors in the long term, consultancy firm Cambridge Associates has advised, according to a Bloomberg report on Feb. 18.

Tezos saga continues as lead plaintiff withdraws from lawsuit (CoinGeek), Rated: B

The lead plaintiff has been Arman Anvari, an investor who put in $270,000 into the project. However, in what has been a process full of twists and turns, Anvari has recused himself as the lead plaintiff.

ATPTrucks to Accept Cryptocurrency Payments Including Bitcoin Diamond (PR Newswire), Rated: B

Automotive specialist ATPTrucks has announced that it will accept payments in cryptocurrency, powered by e-commerce project Chimpion. Founded in 2007, ATPtrucks specializes in truck performance, upgrades, parts and accessories. By now accepting an array of coins that includes Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin (BTC), DashEthereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Zcoin (XZC), ATPTrucks is making its inventory of tens of thousands of truck parts available to the world.


Bitcoin (BTC) Proves to Be an Attractive Global Reserve Currency, As BBVA Blocks Accounts of Over 4k Chinese Nationals (Smartereum), Rated: AAA

The second largest bank in Spain – BBVA – recently sparked protests in Madrid after the bank made a decision to lock a lot of people out of their fun. BBVA recently blocked thousands of accounts owned by Chinese nationals. According to the protestors, their accounts were blocked by the bank due to money laundering regulations.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, TRON, Stellar, Binance Coin, Bitcoin SV (Coin Telegraph), Rated: AAA

CNBC commentator and CEO of digital currency investment firm BKCM LLC, Brian Kelly, believes that, “Bitcoin is about 50 percent undervalued.” However, just because it is undervalued is not a good enough reason for it to move up. Kelly opines that due to extreme negative sentiment, he will not be surprised even if Bitcoin drops to $1,500.


A breakout above $4,255 will complete a double bottom pattern, that has a target objective of $5,273.91. Traders can add the remaining 70 percent position on a breakout and close above $4,255.



Ethereum (ETH) broke out of the overhead resistance at $134.50 on Feb. 17 and has soared higher. Its next target is $167.32. Traders who have long positions can trail half of their stops closely so as to protect about 75 percent of paper gains. The remaining position can be held with the stop at the breakeven. We do not recommend booking complete profits because we anticipate a move to $167.32 and higher. Hence, we will give some wiggle room for half of the positions.



EOS has broken out of the overhead resistance zone of $3.05–$3.2081. Its next target objective is $3.8723 and above it $4.4930. The gradual up-sloping 20-day EMA and the RSI in the overbought zone shows that bulls have the upper hand. Traders who are long can protect half of their positions with a tight stop and trail the rest with a stop at $2.50.




The bulls are attempting to stabilize TRON (TRX) for the past five days but are facing resistance at the 50-day SMA. The moving averages are on the verge of a bearish crossover, which will indicate weakness. A breakdown of $0.02344160 can drag it to $0.02113440 and below it to $0.01830000.


Binance Coin

Bitcoin And Ethereum Prices Follow Litecoin’s Sudden Surge (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

The Litecoin price, Bitcoin price and Ethereum price all surged dramatically on Friday, adding billions of dollars in value to the cryptocurrency‘s market capitalization. Litecoin led the way with a dramatic 30% early in the day, and then bitcoin followed close behind with an 11% gain.

Ripple/XRP could be integrated into our global payments system, says Remitly CEO (AMBCrypto), Rated: A

According to a recent report, Remitly, an international payments company, is interested in Ripple’s XRP and is planning to integrate the cryptocurrency’s blockchain technology into their financial transaction services.

Remitly, which is a fairly new international transaction payments company, was founded in 2011. The organization has been transferring nearly $6 billion a year, which currently makes them the largest independent international money transmitter in the USA.

Why Crypto Investors Need To Differentiate Between Security Tokens And Tokenized Securities (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: A

As regulators are starting to pay closer attention to the cryptocurrency and blockchain markets, security tokens are a new definition that has spread in the space. According to Acheson, we must be careful when we say security token and tokenized security. Using them interchangeably is confusing and also misleading. They are so different that they can even be regulated differently.

Product Hunt Lists Educational Binance Academy as Third Most Popular Service (Coin Telegraph), Rated: B

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s education portal has reached the top three most popular products on Y Combinator-backed exposure platform Product Hunt, the website’s listings revealed on Feb. 18.

European Union

Ethereum [ETH] Constantinople hard fork scheduled to take place in ten days (AMBCrypto), Rated: AAA

According to the recent announcement, the hard fork is estimated to take place on 28 February, 2019, ten days from now. The fork will occur on block #7,280,000 around 6:07:41 PM UTC.

According to CoinMarketCap, at press time, ETH was trading at $139.24 with a market cap of $14.6 billion. The coin showed a trading volume of $4.84 billion and recorded a rise of over 14% in the past seven days.

$ 6 million worth of Ether aggregated into 53rd richest wallet address ahead of hardfork (AMBCrypto), Rated: A

On February 17, 2019, a total of 41,905 Ether was transferred from a wallet to multiple wallets which were aggregated to a single wallet, making it the 53rd richest wallet. This transfer could be in preparation for the impending hardfork for Ethereum, which is right around the corner.

53rd Richest Wallet Holds $ 25 Million in ETH Ahead of Ethereum Hard Fork (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

The Ethereum hard fork is right around the corner and ahead of this, a total of 41,905 Ether was disbursed into several wallets.

After this, the wallets were then combined into a single wallet that now holds the spot of the 53rd richest crypto wallet in the world, holding about $25 million. It is believed that the transfers were done in preparation for the hard fork that will be taking place soon.

Binance Banishes Previous Market Top-Dogs Substratum and SALT, Among Others (Be In Crypto), Rated: AAA

The cryptocurrency exchange king Binance recently made another round of cuts, delisting five more tokens from its trading platform. Two of the five tokens which got the boot had been previously in the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap.

The delisting announced on the Binance website includes Substratum (SUB), SALT (SALT), Modum (MOD), CloakCoin (CLOAK), and Wings (WINGS). As expected, the prices of these coins and tokens reacted quite negatively to the news, some losing upwards of 50 percent in a single day.


While SALT only lost about 20 percent in the aftermath of being delisted from Binance, the token saw a 99 percent loss from its all-time high of $20 at the end of 2017.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Substratum (SUB)

Just like SALT, SUB has seen a massive loss of over 99 percent from its all-time high of nearly $3 per token in early 2018. In the days following the delisting announcement, SUB lost 51 percent bringing it to rank 269 from an all-time best of 71.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Tomorrow’s Aeternity Hardfork – All You Need to Know (Blockchain Reporter), Rated: A

In order to unleash the full potential of the system, aeternity has to run on its own blockchain. This process is associated with many hurdles. Because aeternity has previously run on Ethereum blockchain, its Aeon (AE) coin was an ERC-20 token. That means that the tokens have to be migrated to the mainnet. It is important to point out that it will be possible to migrate AE tokens to the mainnet up until the end of the last phase in the end of September 2019. What’s more, the new blockchain has to be tested for bugs to ensure it is stable enough for use. The aeternity team hopes to overcome these inconveniences by splitting the migration procedure into four phases. Each of them ends with a hardfork, with the first hardfork scheduled for February 20, 2019.

Germany consults industry about blockchain potential (Reuters), Rated: A

Germany has opened a consultation process on how to tap into the potential of blockchain technology ahead of presenting a strategy by the summer, government sources said on Monday.

There is great interest from would-be participants and investors across a raft of industries including cars, pharmaceuticals, energy and public sector administration that hope to transform mass market processes via blockchain.

IOTA Partners With Cofoundery, Nova, to Launch Seed Fund Supporting DLT Start-ups (AP News), Rated: A

IOTA Foundation, a non-profit foundation focused on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and permissionless ecosystem development, today announced a partnership with Liverpool-based cofoundery, Nova. Under this collaboration, the two companies will work together to increase the number of successful startups utilizing the next generation of Distributed Ledger Technology.

Liechtenstein’s Official Postal Service Adopts Over-the-Counter Crypto Exchange Starting with Bitcoin (AllStocks), Rated: A

Liechtenstein’s official postal service, Liechtensteinische Post AG, took it a step higher as it incorporated this technology into its everyday exchange. As a new business opportunity, the Liechtensteinische Post AG – which comprises of nine postal offices – announced a few days ago that interested customers can now exchange Bitcoin at its counters.

Lithuania’s Central Bank Issues Updated Position On Cryptocurrencies And ICOs (BlockTribune), Rated: A

The Bank of Lithuania, the country’s central bank, has updated its position on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offering (ICO) to ensure a level playing field for all financial market participants (FMP).


Liberstad, a libertarian city in southern Norway, has reportedly dumped fiat currencies and cash. In their place, it has instituted its own cryptocurrency — City Coin. 

Crypto Payment Processor PayBear Rebrands to Savvy (CoinJournal), Rated: B

PayBear, a Zug-based cryptocurrency payment processor claiming over 3,000 merchant customers, has rebranded to Savvy and announced the release of two products: an update to its core merchant API offering, Savvy Merchants, and a new multi-currency crypto wallet, called Savvy Wallet, the company said on Monday.

United Kingdom

Ethereum Client Parity’s Afri Schoeden Quits Social Media Amid Community Infighting (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

Afri Schoeden, release manager at blockchain infrastructure firm Parity Technologies, has withdrawn from social media amid a spate of infighting in the Ethereum (ETH) community.

In a tweet posted on Feb. 17, Schoeden stated that “until further notice […] I will no longer respond on Gitter, Skype, Discord, Slack, Wire, Twitter, and Reddit.”


$ 13 million cryptocurrency scam busted in Mumbai; fuels government’s fear in cryptocurrencies (AMBCrypto), Rated: AAA

The Indian subcontinent is one of the major economies in the world that hasn’t implemented or legalized any form of cryptocurrency payments yet. Adding to the government’s disbelief in cryptocurrencies, the Mumbai Crime branch has managed to bust a gang which allegedly orchestrated a 100-crore [$13 million] cryptocurrency fraud over multiple states.

Blockchain helps businesses to profit from social progress (Nikkei Asian Review), Rated: AAA

After wiping the sweat off her brow and adjusting her straw hat, Liswati walks along one of her fields under Indonesia’s hot tropical sun, eventually squatting down to inspect her crops. Instead of jotting down some notes with a pen and paper, she keys information about soil quality and other conditions into her smartphone.

With very little effort, she has given thousands of others involved in Indonesian agriculture — from government officials to nongovernmental organizations — data that can be analyzed and possibly utilized to boost the country’s farm output.

Liswati is using a system provided by Singapore-based Hara Token, which connect farmers to lenders, insurers, buyers and other parties.

Japan’s Number Two Bank by Assets Completes R3 Blockchain-Based Trade Finance Trial (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Japan’s second-largest bank by assets, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), has completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) using blockchain consortium R3’s Marco Polo trade finance platform. A press release confirmed the PoC completion on Feb. 18.

SMBC, which is the only Japanese bank participating in Marco Polo, said it had partnered with Japanese multinational Mitsui & Co. to enhance efficiency in trade processes.

Japan’s Largest Online Retailer, Rakuten Might Consider Introducing Crypto Payments (CryptoGlobe), Rated: A

Rakuten, one of Japan’s largest online retailers, is reportedly considering accepting bitcoin (BTC) payments.

Indonesia Passes Rules for Trading of Cryptocurrency Futures (CoinDesk), Rated: A

An Indonesian financial watchdog has set out new regulations for the trading of crypto assets on futures exchanges in the country.

The Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti), an agency under Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade, announced the new rules Monday, stating that cryptocurrency futures exchanges must be registered and approved before operating.

The agency has also confirmed that crypto assets are officially recognized as commodities that can be traded on the country’s futures exchange – a decision first reported last June.

Alleged Bitcoin Mining Scam Reported in Thailand (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Victims of an alleged cryptocurrency mining scam have filed claims against the suspected perpetrator with the Technology Crime Suppression Division in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reports on Feb. 18.

Per the report, 30 people have filed a complaint with police, stating that they were fooled into an alleged investment scam called “CryptoMining.Farm.” This purportedly led the loss of 42 million baht ($1.34 million). Local authorities reportedly suspect that a total of 140 individuals were affected by the scam.

Ginco launches enterprise wallet for cryptocurrency exchanges (Cryptoninjas), Rated: B



QuadrigaCX CEO Was an Advocate for Storing Private Keys on Paper, Old Podcast Reveals (Blockonomi), Rated: A

In light of the discovery of a five-year-old podcast, it would appear that the story of QuadrigaCX and its pursuit of millions in digital currencies could take yet another turn.

Back in 2014, while speaking on the True Bromance Podcast in Vancouver, Cotten informed the hosts on various issues, including the state of the cryptocurrency industries in both the U.S. and Canada, the role of QuadrigaCX, and how the exchange manages its private keys.


Blockchain Startup Takes on Mainstream Crowdfunding Sites to Cut Number of Failed Projects (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

Pledgecamp says its approach involves offering transparency through the form of smart contracts — and ensuring that entrepreneurs and the platform they host their projects on are equally invested in a campaign’s success.


Hackers are targeting South African cellphone owners to mine cryptocurrencies (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Cryptocurrency-related crime is on the increase in South Africa, with hackers using people’s phones to mine cryptocurrencies, Riaan Badenhorst, managing director of cybersecurity experts Kaspersky Lab Africa, said.

Cryptocurrencies are speculative magic beans, this SA finance professor believes (Business Insider), Rated: A

Investing in cryptocurrencies is probably the biggest financial risk South African investors can take at the moment, says professor Co-Pierre Georg. Georg lectures in finance at the University of Cape Town and is director of the university’s Financial Innovation Lab.

Ripple partner Bank of Dhofar goes live (AMBCrypto), Rated: B

Ripple and its blockchain technology are flourishing in the UAE and the Gulf at an exponential rate as yet another bank has announced that they are going live with Ripple’s blockchain payment solutions.

As per Navin Gupta’s [Managing Director, South Asia and MENA at Ripple] tweet, Bank of Dhofar is now live on RippleNet.

Non-Resident Indians can now transfer money to India in under two minutes.


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