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Monday May 6 2019, Weekly News Digest

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United States

Facebook Building Cryptocurrency-Based Payments System (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Facebook Inc. is recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system on the back of its gigantic social network.

The effort, should it succeed, threatens to upend the traditional, lucrative plumbing of e-commerce and would likely be the most mainstream application yet of cryptocurrency. It comes as the social-media giant is under intense pressure from regulators, users and shareholders to address privacy shortcomings.

10 Possibilities for Blockchain Applications on Facebook (Hackernoon), Rated: A

The Wall Street Journal coined Facebook’s blockchain project as Project Libra, approaching allies such as Mastercard and Visa. MIT’s Christian Catalini is said to be working on Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts.

Facebook blockchain
10 on-chain possibilities with blockchain at Facebook by Hashtag Capital. Source: Hackernoon

Facebook cryptocurrency may change how ecommerce works (Social Barrel), Rated: A

Facebook wants to focus on the Indian market before its goes global.


India has the highest amount of money transfers between family members. And cryptocurrency offers an easier option.

Farewell, Coinbase, it was fun: CTO Balaji Srinivasan departs (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: AAA

Balaji Srinivasan has left US-based crypto exchange Coinbase, where he served as Chief Technology Officer.

In a tweet, Srinivasan, founder of Earn.com, said that he had enjoyed his time at the company and that he will now take time off “to get back in shape and up to speed on everything happening” when he was “heads down” at Coinbase.

Bitcoin active nodes outnumber XRP active addresses (CryptoSlate), Rated: AAA

As stated by crypto commentator Kevin Rooke on Apr. 5th, Bitcoin nodes exceed the number of active XRP addresses. The most recent data shows the number of full nodes at 9,567 while the 30-day average for active XRP addresses sits at 7,570.

XRP addresses
Source: CryptoSlate

Bitcoin (BTC) Can’t Be Less Than $ 1M In Two Years: McAfee (Ethereum World News), Rated: A

Responding to an article that postulated that Bitcoin may hit $400,000 within two years, McAfee remarked that this is nonsensical not because the prediction was ludicrously high, but because it was well too low. In fact, he remarked that “anyone who can add and subtract,” and harness “point-set topology” knows that BTC “can’t be less than” $1 million in two years’ time. In a bid to accentuate his point, he asked, rhetorically, “does no one study math anymore?”

The Winklevoss Twins Are Giving Away 1 Bitcoin After Tron’s Tesla Fail (CCN), Rated: B

Gemini, the bitcoin exchange founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, has caught the crypto contest bug. The Winklevoss twins are giving away 1 BTC to the person with the best shot of the Gemini Crypto Bus.

Fidelity Will Offer Cryptocurrency Trading Within a Few Weeks (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Fidelity Investments, which began a custody service to store Bitcoin earlier this year, will buy and sell the world’s most popular digital asset for institutional customers within a few weeks, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Boston-based firm, one of the largest asset managers in the world, created Fidelity Digital Assets in October in a bet that Wall Street’s nascent appetite for trading and safeguarding digital currencies will grow.

According to the survey, which questioned 441 institutional investors from November to February, 72 percent prefer to buy investment products that hold digital assets, while 57 percent choose to buy them directly.

Fidelity crypt trading

Barclays crypto banker Chris Tyrer joins Fidelity Investments (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: B

Fidelity Investments has raided Barclays Investment Bank for a digital assets position.

Chris Tyrer, who served as Head of Digital Assets project at Barclays, joined the US financial services giant in April, according to his LinkedIn profile. The profile does not go into detail about the new job, just mentioning ‘digital assets’.

After An $ 850 Million Controversy, What Everyone Should Know About Bitfinex, Tether And Stablecoins (Forbes), Rated: AAA

There is a legitimate case to be made that Tether is one of the few systemically significant companies in the entire cryptosphere. Its (partially) dollar-backed stablecoin USDT has a market capitalization of $2.8 billion, and it is a key source of liquidity for exchanges and traders around the world. For instance, according to the research site CryptoCompare, about 80% of all bitcoin trading is done in USDT.

On April 25th, the New York Attorney General’s officesaid the team behind crypto exchange Bitfinex, who shares a parent company with Tether (iFinex), used funds (collateral) from Tether to cover up $850 million in (alleged) losses.

Ripple (XRP) Price Remains Vulnerable Below

Ripple (XRP) Price Remains Vulnerable Below $0.3050 (NewsBTC), Rated: A

.3050 (NewsBTC), Rated: A

This past week, there were decent gains in ripple price above the $0.3050 level against the US Dollar. The XRP/USD pair traded above the $0.3100 level, but it failed to gain strength above the $0.3120 resistance. As a result, there was a fresh decline below the $0.3080 and $0.3050 support levels. The price recently broke the $0.3000 support, and the 76.4% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $0.2949 high to $0.3125 high. It opened the doors for a break below the $0.2950 support level.

The price is currently trading with a bearish angle and below the $0.2960 and $0.2950 supports. If it extends losses, the next stop for the bears could be $0.2907 and $0.2900.

Source: NewsBTC

Ripple Adds SBI President To Its Board of Directors (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Blockchain payments startup Ripple has added new director to its board, Yoshitaka Kitao, who is currently president, representative director and CEO of Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings.


The volume of tweets and Google Search Volume Index (SVI) were found to be leading price indicators for Bitcoin and Ethereum, according to a research paper published by the Southern Methodist University.

Researchers gathered data on Twitter mentioning Bitcoin and Ethereum; the same was done using Google trends.

BTC sentiment analysis
Source: Southern Methodist University

Read the full report here.

Litecoin [LTC] falls by 7% over six hours as market correction ensues (AMB Crypto), Rated: A

The cryptocurrency market was painted red as most major cryptocurrencies saw falling prices. Among major cryptos, Litecoin [LTC] suffered the most, falling by over 5% in a day.

LTC noted a fall of 5.37% over the past day and was valued at $73.16. Over the past six hours, LTC fell by a massive 7.58%, pulling its price down from $76.34 to $70.55. The coin recovered from the loss, but continued to fall by 0.07% over the past hour. Over the past seven days, LTC fell by 4.98%, with a market cap of $4.51 billion. The 24-hour trading volume of the coin was reported to be $2.59 billion.

Source: AMB Crypto

Will Litecoin (LTC) Rally to ,000 After August 2019 Halving? (NewsBTC), Rated: A

In a podcast, Charlie Lee now reveals that he thought Litecoin (LTC) would surge above $1000.

How to Buy Litecoin with PayPal, Step by Step (with Photos) (Bitcoin Market Journal), Rated: A

Major exchanges like Binance and Kraken do not accept PayPal as a method of payment.

However, you still can buy Litecoin with PayPal. You just have to go through a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange like Paxful.

Paxful is the world’s #2 peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange, and it claims over 2 million users worldwide.

The State of TRON; As the Hype Settles, What’s Left for TRX Holders? (Hacked), Rated: A

TRON (TRX) has undergone several transformations since it wrapped up a $70 million ICO in 2017.

First it was a promising ICO prospect with a plucky, fresh-faced CEO who had graduated from the prestigious Hupan University, and came with references from Alibaba’s Jack Ma. Despite being so young, Justin Sun had already worked on the board of Ripple, and was soon being included in Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30’ list, which ranked promising up and coming entrepreneurs.

Digital Assets Data to enhance crypto data insights with $ 6m funding (Fintech Futures), Rated: A

Digital Assets Data, a financial technology and data company focused on the crypto-asset industry, has launched with the support of a $6 million funding.

Choosing The Cryptocurrency As Per Your Needs And Preferences [Part III] (CryptoNewsZ), Rated: A

The need for investment arises largely due to two reasons, either you need to plan for a future expense, or you don’t want your savings to sit idle. In both cases, there is a purpose and a need, according to which a person makes investment decisions.

Hackers hit Microsoft-owned GitHub, demand ransom (SB Dirty South Soccer), Rated: A

A new ransom technique is apparently sweeping the software development platform, GitHub, in which hackers scalp code repositories, and threaten creators with either publicizing the code or using it themselves, asking for a (fairly) modest fee for its safe return… However, one hacker has chose to start breaking into various accounts on the platform.

Blockchain primed for major growth in Nevada (NN Business View), Rated: A

Blockchain technology, officially recognized in Nevada since a law passed in 2017, has attracted about $300 million in investments statewide, according to Blockchains LLC.

Microsoft Partners With JP Morgan Chase To Improve Quorum’s Blockchain Technology (Use the Bitcoin), Rated: B

Microsoft has recently signed a new partnership with JP Morgan Chan in order to enhance the blockchain platform Quorum. This blockchain network has been developed by JP Morgan in order to perform transactions among different customers. The information was recently released by Microsoft in a statement.

Blockchain Technology Embraced by Maryland Legislature (Mofo), Rated: B

On April 30, 2019, Governor Hogan signed Senate Bill 136, which amends the Maryland General Corporation Law to permit certain corporate records (including a company’s stock ledger) to be maintained on electronic networks or databases, including through the use of distributed ledgers and blockchain technology. This legislation welcomes and facilitates the use of groundbreaking and innovative blockchain technology and provides Maryland companies with the statutory framework to migrate to a blockchain platform. These important amendments to the Maryland General Corporation Law will be effective October 1, 2019.


The Difference Between a $ 1 Billion Payments Rail and a $ 1 Billion Cash Equivalent (Future of Finance), Rated: AAA

Bitfinex is looking to raise $1 billion in capital to support the most popular stablecoin Tether, which it controls. Facebook is reportedly looking to raise $1 billion in capital from First Data, Visa and Mastercard and other payments companies to shore up its own stablecoin asset.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Tether (or USDT) has functioned as a “cash-sweep” or “money market fund” in the crypto ecosystem for years, and has amassed about $2.8 billion of market capitalization as a result.

Facebook users

20 Blockchain Projects With the Most Dev Activity on Github — April, 2019 (ConsenSys), Rated: AAA

You can tell a lot about the state of a project or application by the amount of activity it has on Github.

State of the Dapps does a great job of harvesting data from Github, including commits, pushes, issues, and pull requests from open source projects representing the most notable platforms that support decentralized apps — including Ethereum, EOS, Steem, and xDai. The result is a bird’s eye view of developer activity in the blockchain space.

For example: of the top 20 projects for developer activity, 16 are built on Ethereum, 3 are blockchain/interoperability networks, and 1 is trying to build on EOS.

Will BitFinex $ 1 Billion Trigger a Bitcoin (BTC) Sell-Off? (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

BitFinex, sources have it, will proceed with their IEO and the aim is to raise $1 billion in USDT. While it is pleasing for investors, the exchange is reserving $600 million for whales. Even so, its success would mean pressure on Bitcoin (BTC) which is up 9.5 percent in the last week.

BTC Bitfinex
Source: @PeterLBrandt

Stakeholders Call for Major Bitcoin Exchanges to Delist Tether (BTC Manager), Rated: A

There is currently a growing call from many in the cryptocurrency industry for major Bitcoin exchanges to delist Tether (USDT). This development comes amid an investigation into suspected fraudulent activity by Tether and Bitfinex running into almost a billion USD.

How Are Crypto Traders Distributed Across the Globe? (DataLight), Rated: AAA

As expected**, the USA leads the way in crypto trading by a long distance. With over 22 million monthly visits, the USA remains by far the most active crypto trading country.

Using website traffic data* from the 100 most popular crypto exchanges, the infographic shows which countries are actively trading and buying cryptoassets.

crypto traders
Source: DataLight

Wealthy look to increase cryptocurrency exposure (Techround), Rated: A

Carried out by deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, the survey shows that 68 per cent of poll participants are now already invested in or will make investments in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, before the end of 2022.

The 700-plus respondents are clients who currently reside in the U.S., the UK, Australia, the UAE, Japan, Qatar, Switzerland, Mexico, Hong Kong, Spain, France, Germany and South Africa.

Stakeholders appreciate stricter crypto regulations, says PwC (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

A few years ago, the global cryptocurrency ecosystem was completely unregulated. Anyone could publish a white paper to raise funds and even set up a digital asset exchange without applying for a special licence.

Today, however, regulators all over the world, including in Malaysia, are coming out with their own guidelines and frameworks for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and digital asset exchanges.

What Happens to Your Crypto When You Die? (CCN), Rated: A

Simon Goldring, a lawyer, and partner at British firm McDermott Will & Emery, wrote a piece in The National Law Review this week talking about the function of cryptocurrencies as an inheritance. Not a crypto expert, the lawyer still provides some sage advice on how to transfer crypto assets after you’ve died.

KPMG Dubs IOTA One of the 4 Most Innovative Cryptocurrency Projects (Blockchain Reporter), Rated: A

Accounting giant KPMG released a report on April 26, 2019, which puts IOTA as one of the four most important cryptocurrencies in the world today, along with bitcoinether, and Ripple’s XRP.


  • 1) Cryptocurrencies are borderless.
  • 2) Cryptocurrencies are digital.
  • 3) Cryptocurrency solves real-life problems. This makes its use attractive as it allows investors to interact with a larger number of people who do not have access to banking services (or who simply do not want to trust these institutions).
  • 4) Cryptocurrencies are more attractive to Young people.
  • 5) More and more institutional investors are joining, which can increase not only the global marketcap but also the credibility of crypto as serious technologies.
European Union

Ethereum Beats EOS & Tron to Emerge as Top Smart Contract Platform in April (CoinGape), Rated: AAA

The project attracted a total of 263,000 visitors within the month whose total transaction volume amounted to over $500 million.

Ethereum recorded the highest transaction volume and number of visitors as well, followed by EOS which had a transaction volume of $115 million and a number of visitors at 68,000.

ADAhad the next highest transaction volume of $113 million but with a much lower number of visitors at only 8,000 than it runner up, TRX. TRX, on the other hand, had a lower transaction volume of $27 million but a significantly higher number of visitors (68,000) than EOS.

smart contract platforms
Source: CoinGape

Ethereum 2.0’s Nodes Need to Talk – A Solution Is ‘Hobbits’ (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Ethereum 2.0 is by far the biggest upgrade on the agenda of developers said to bring massive improvements to scalability and usability on the now four-year-old blockchain network, which with its $17 billion market capitalization is the world’s second-most valuable blockchain. The work on the 2.0 iteration (also known as Serenity) continues apace, and according to Fredik Harryson, chief technology officer for client developer Parity, code specifications for the initial phased roll-out of the upgrade are about half complete.

The protocol, called Hobbits, was developed in partnership between blockchain performance testing company Whiteblock, ethereum venture capital studio Consensys, and ethereum 2.0 implementer teams Chainsafe and Yeeth.

Ethereum Development Keeps Pace With Crypto Boom: Proof of Stake Is On Its Way (NewsBTC), Rated: A

Reports have revealed that Ethereum (ETH)may soon transition to the early stages of Proof of Stake (PoS) integration, ensuring scalability is on its way.

Amazon Managed Blockchain May Boost Ethereum (Smartereum), Rated: B

According to the news on NewsBtc, Amazon now has an Amazon Managed Blockchain tool that businesses can use to create and manage scalable blockchain networks.

Bitcoin Manipulation, Binance, Bitfinex, Tether, And That 1.1 Million BTC (Ethereum World News), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin could still yet break $6,000 as momentum holds, but charges of manipulation and calls for Binance to delist Tether, the 1.1 million bitcoin at the centre of a long-running Florida court case and a New York State injunction threatening to cripple the operations of Bitfinex, are converging to provide market participants with plenty to chew on, if not choke over. At the centre of the angst is the British Virgin Islands registered Bitfinex exchange and the stablecoin operated by its sister company Tether.

1.65 billion BitTorrent Tokens worth $ 1.04 million transferred from an unknown wallet to Binance (AMB Crypto), Rated: A

A user transferred BitTorrent Token from an unknown wallet to a wallet on Binance. The user sent 1.65 billion BTT, worth approximately $1.04 million [$1,045,068].

Charles Hoskinson: over 50 full-time engineers working on Cardano (Crypto Insider), Rated: A

Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano (ADA), an open-source, public blockchain network for creating decentralized applications (dApps), has clarified that his team of developers are “building a product that is based upon new science and new ideas.”

Napoleon Group issues crypto investment strategy on eToro (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

eToro, the global multi-asset investment platform, has announced the launch of the NapoleonX CopyPortfolio. This strategy is managed by Napoleon Group, the first company in France to become a regulated crypto asset manager after being completely funded by an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018.

Digital Currency Exchange Bits of Gold Enters European Market (Finance Magnates), Rated: B

Israel-based digital currency exchange Bits of Gold has just announced plans to enter the European market.

Timeless Luxury Group Offers Crypto Investors a Slice of Luxury (Coinspeaker), Rated: B

Timeless Luxury Group AG, a Swiss business focused on offering premium luxury holiday villas, resorts and lifestyle products, announced today that it has launched its Digital Security Offering (DSO) as part of its planned expansion program.


Bitfinex issues details for $ 1 billion token sale; exchange plans to use money to cover frozen funds (The Block Crypto), Rated: AAA

Crypto exchange Bitfinex will conduct an initial exchange offering (IEO), aiming to raise $1 billion, according to details from an upcoming white paper reviewed by The Block. The final version of the white paper is still under review.

Bitfinex’s exchange tokens, dubbed LEO, would first be offered to private investors, then subsequently opened to the public after May 10 if there is any allocation left, according to the information shared by shareholder Zhao Dong.

Bitfinex Shareholder Starts Pre-orders for Exchange Token’s Public Sales (CoinDesk), Rated: A

On May 4, Renrenbit, a crypto-lending application founded by Bitfinex shareholder Dong Zhao, started taking in pre-orders from users who want to participate in the public phase of the exchange’s upcoming $1 billion token sale.

Beijing opens doors to blockchain Notary (Yahoo! Finance), Rated: A

China’s first blockchain-based notary office has opened in Beijing.

The lawyers’ offices in the centre of the capital mark a new era for legal services in the country as Chinese authorities look to embrace the use of blockchain – the same technology which underpins most of the world’s cryptocurrencies.


Qtum Launches Blockchain Development Suite on Google Cloud (BTC Manager), Rated: AAA

Blockchain project Qtum on May 2, 2019, announced its integration with Google’s Cloud Platform. With this, Qtum developers can now develop enterprise-grade decentralized applications and smart contracts on Google’s Cloud Platform.

Ontology to launch Regulated USD Stablecoin PAX on the Ontology blockchain (AP News), Rated: A

Ontology has announced its plans to launch Paxos Standard (PAX) , a regulated USD stablecoin,on the Ontology blockchain.

Malaysian Crypto-Powered City to Attract 3 Million Tourists (CryptoGlobe), Rated: A

Malacca City, the capital of the Malaysian state of Malacca, has reportedly become one of the world’s first regions that’s being referred to as a “crypto city.” Notably, Malacca City is expected to attract approximately 3 million tourists per year.

Ocean Token has begun trading on Bittrex International (Blockmanity), Rated: B

Ocean Token, the native digital currency of the Ocean Protocol network, has begun trading on Bittrex International from May 3, 2019. Their initial exchange offering was a success with 56.4 million tokens were for grabs. Bittrex is one of the world’s largest exchange based on exchange volume.


Quebec Might fill in for China mining ban – Low Tariff for Cryptocurrency Mining (The Currency Analytics), Rated: A

Hydro-Québec, the energy regulator in Canada’s Quebec’s province has allocated 300-megawatt of electricity for mining cryptocurrency.  This is an increase from the already allotted 368 megawatts to 668 megawatts without having to touch upon the underlying costs.

Bitcoin cash and Litecoin have reported the largest gains at 7.91% and 7.29%.


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George Popescu
Allen Taylor
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