Hi Bitcoiners! I’m back with the 28th monthly Bitcoin news recap. For those unfamiliar, each day I pick out the most popularelevant/interesting stories in Bitcoin and save them. At the end of the month I release them in one batch, to give you a quick (but not necessarily the best) overview of what happened in bitcoin over the past month. You can see recaps of the previous months on Bitcoinsnippets.com A recap of Bitcoin in April 2019 Adoption
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
• Effective September 12th, 2019, U.S. customers to be blocked from trading on Binance.com.
CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADING SERVICES
• Polish cryptocurrency exchange Coinroom shuts down overnight and takes users funds • Coinbase now offers its crypto-to-Visa card for its users in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands. • On June 21st, 2019, Bittrex will restricts 32 token trading markets for its U.S. customers • Binance to launch new exchange focused on U.S. customers with FinCEN-registered partner BAM Trading Services. • Leading cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX reports an increase in attacks on user account credentials. As a result, withdrawal requests must be verified via email and the firm is looking to make 2FA mandatory on the platform.
• The mayor of Vancouver pushes for outright ban of crypto ATM’s in the city. A decision to regulate, monitor or ban will be reached by Q4 2019. • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is set to finalize guidance for cryptocurrency businesses by June 21st, 2019. • In an official business plan issued by The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), the regulatory body looks to apply existing securities regulations to address crypto assets by 2022. The watchdog will first research and identify emerging regulatory issues and then proposing solutions to mitigate them.
• Visa launches Visa B2B Connect Network, a service designed to help Visa’s corporate clients create near instant international payments powered by distributed ledger technology.
• The largest bank in South Korea, KB Kookmin is gearing up to launch a digital asset custody solution in partnership with blockchain start-up Atomrigs Lab. • Bakkt will begin user testing for its physically delivered Bitcoin futures product on July 22nd, 2019. • Facebook brings on Visa, Mastercard and PayPal as backers of its own cryptocurrency. Each of the firms will invest U.S. $10 million into a foundation that will govern the asset. The list has since included Ebay, Coinbase, Andreessen Horowitz, Mastercard and Stripe.
• Code contributor Michael Ford will join existing maintainers Wladimir van Der Laan, Jonas Schnelli, Marco Falke, and Samuel Dobson to maintain the latest version of the bitcoin node software. • The cryptocurrency arm of payments company Square has announced former Director at Google, Steve Lee as its first hire. • Chief Marketing Officer of ConsenSys, Amanda Gutterman steps down from her role and will instead remain as an advisor.
• @nic_carter – “The role of a Bitcoin evangelist should be to manage expectations, not to inflate them” • @nic_carter – “Bitcoin may well be environmentally costly, but it is absolutely worth it, even if it cost 10x more. Because Bitcoin disempowers debt-financed consumerism which the ultimate environmental scourge” • @barrysilbert – “The launch of Facebook's cryptocurrency will go down in history as THE catalyst that propelled digital assets (including bitcoin) to mass global consumer adoption. Will be remembered as just as important -- and transformative -- as the launch of the Netscape browser. Buckle up”
Before reading this article, a crucial video i suggest to new readers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvGwPa9dFm4&feature=youtu.be In this article, the first thing I would like to clarify that is what is TNC ? TNC, Trinity Network Credit, is an off-chain scaling solution for NEO. Trinity project is a state channel network. State channels was inspired from Raiden Network. It is a private channel payment network so everybody can send/receive transfers instantly and privately. It can be utilized for very complicated and high frequency transactions as well. Trinity is specifically built for NEO and NEO has a very unique bottom layer chain. It has a very different account design and smart contract design compared to Ethereum. The basic state channel design is similar to others but there were many adoptions required to meet and be geared specifically for NEOs platform as it uses completely different programming languages. NEO already has a high transaction throughput but in the long term the exponential growth of this platform will need a solution in order to scale globally at the speed of the demand of the market. You can also find more valuable information about TNC here : https://trinity.tech/blog/index.html?id=4 I really recommend readers that always do their own research before investing any thing. The NEO Development Conference was hosted January 30–31st, 2018 in San Francisco with a huge success. Many new projects were presented highlighting potential problems in the near future of blockchain technology. Scalability becomes one of the most important factors as cryptocurrencies grow in popularity and utility. Increasing the number and speed of transactions per second, creating privacy and protection over assets, and achieving the lowest transaction fees are what most distributed application platforms like NEO are seeking. Trinity Network Credit (TNC) demonstrated a strong potential to succeed in the coming eleven months. TNC has a market cap of roughly $70 million USD with its token value of approximately $0.21. TNC is a token that will live and die by the side of NEO. Trinity is the scaling solution for NEO once it outgrows its current platforms capabilities. TNC will commence its public testing of its protocol on the NEO testnet at the end of February. TNC is also working on an ERC20 and NEP-5 token mobile wallet. Considering that Ethereum was one of the top performers in 2017, NEO should be able to follow ETHs footsteps towards its recent success. Capturing a portion of Ethereums market share would create a situation where NEO will need a scaling solution in the near future. The founder worked on the NEO/Antshares team previously and still has strong ties to them(their TNC offices are next door to NEOs). Also the Founder and co-founders have ties to the chinese government and mostly likely will have some sort of partnership or deal announced later on this year. They will not go into details on this. TNC will encourage 500 ppl max to lock up their TNC on the blockchain for special incentives, which will lower the circulating supply. Details will be announced at the end of March. According to David. He said that investors also have a chance to stake. Trinity Network Credit serves the purpose of a utility token that transports NEP-5 (NEO) based assets from one wallet to another. TNC is unique because it adopted the use of state channels and off-chain scaling schemes to solve this problem. TNC is the equivalent of the Lightning Network for Bitcoin (BTC), Stellar Lumens (XLM), or Raiden Network Token (RDN), but it is for the NEO blockchain. Both RDN and XLM have had huge successes in 2017. If NEO builds on any of ETH’s momentum, then TNC will be the significant solution people will be talking about in 2018. Trinity’s success is directly connected to NEO’s growth rate. Some important points I noted in this article to help readers understand deeply. As the article states above, the TNC team will soon publicly test and then later launch the ability to transfer and convert NEOs NEP5 TNC tokens to TNC ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. (If demand is high for this feature I speculate that this will lead to allowing other NEP5 to ERC20 tokens being converted back and forth as well as NFTs. But that is just speculation on my part). TNC team is actively working with and looking for game developers that will require off-chain scaling solutions to run their games on the blockchain. Gaming dapps will require large amounts of TPS and this would be good for TNC holders. There will be financial incentives(not yet announced) for TNC holders that run a node on the Trinity network. There will not be TNC master-nodes. Only normal nodes run on the network. TNC will be involved in blockchain related supply chains(no info release atm). TNC will be involved with IoT(TBA). The decentralized exchange Switcheo which launches in a few days has contacted TNC to add their token onto their platform. Sometime this year, TNC will get listed on Binance. It will probably be around the time the User app is launched in June.
General info and list of exchanges for Karatgold Coin (KBC)
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THE KARATGOLD COIN (KBC) is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency specifically designed to be used as a generally accepted electronic payment means for all who consider gold as a traditional, true, secure and value-stable medium. READ OUR AUDITWHITEPAPER KARATGOLD KARATGOLD Karatgold Coin (KBC) ICO rating Karatgold Coin (KBC) ICO rating KARATGOLD IS LISTED ON KARATGOLD IS LISTED ON Already has a WORKING PRODUCT 120 Countries 500,000 Customers 120 MLN EUR Total Investment The desire of gold is not for gold It is for the means of freedom and benefit Ralph Waldo Emerson AS SEEN ON... AS SEEN ON... DEVELOPMENT PLAN DEVELOPMENT PLAN August 2018 With our in-house wallet, you can use the gold-covered payment system as easily as the other benefits, such as the transfer of real gold without banks or other intermediaries. September 2018 Preparations for our own crypto exchange are in full swing. With our in-house Exchange, you can take advantage of all the benefits you expect from an advanced crypto exchange, adding the important factor of exceptional geographic and cultural closeness. Here you and your wishes are understood very well. October 2018 Use the benefits of KBC and other KaratCoin banking services whenever you want, wherever you want: With our own app, this is easily possible. This app is available for iOS and Android. Through 2018 Listing of Coin on further major exchanges. Number of acceptance partners increase to 20. Market capitalization: USD 80 million Until 2020 2% market penetration. Market capitalization: USD 500 million THE PROBLEM THE PROBLEM In former times, gold was a direct payments means, particularly in the form of gold coins. However, Gold has continuously been replaced by bank notes, which nowadays are not, or only to a marginal percentage, backed by state-owned gold. Therefore, the value of the bank notes issued by the different countries rely on the trust that the respective country is able to pay its bills. Only this is less sure than in former times. Especially in less developed countries, the trustworthiness of legal tender moves towards zero. THE SOLUTION THE SOLUTION The Coin perfectly meets worldwide needs because it is based on gold. Each coin represents a certain weight of gold and can at all times be exchanged into physical gold in the form of CashGold. Furthermore, it can be exchanged for all fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies worldwide. Exchangeable Borderless Value-Stable Based on Gold The Coin is cryptonized gold that can be transferred borderlessly, cost efficiently, securely and in real-time. Its value is predictable because the value of gold has a long tradition and everybody has an idea about its stability. Therefore, the Coin has the ability to become generally accepted worldwide. DETAILS ABOUT KARATBARS DETAILS ABOUT KARATBARS The international distribution partner Currently, more than 500,000 customers from more than 120 countries have already bought smallest gold bars from Karatbars GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany. The total investment of these customers amounts to nearly EUR 120 million. It is therefore obvious that with this customer basis, the Coin will achieve a high market capitalization: it will write a success story. It is designed to be used as a generally accepted electronic payment For all who consider gold as a traditional, true, secure and value-stable medium Each coin represents a certain weight of gold Can at all times be exchanged into physical gold in the form of CashGold Can be exchanged for all fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies worldwide BANK INDEPENDENCE COST EFFICIENT PREDICTABLE VALUE CRISIS-PROOF VISION To become a general accepted payment means by consumers as well as merchants and servicers MISSION To provide a payment system that is safe, private, and easy to use for the purchase of goods and services EXECUTION More than 500,000 customers from more than 120 countries. Investment amounts to nearly EUR 120 million EXCHANGES WE ARE CONTACTING EXCHANGES WE ARE CONTACTING BUY OUR PRODUCTS BUY OUR PRODUCTS Bronze Card Silber Card Gold Card VIP Card DETAILS ABOUT THE COIN DETAILS ABOUT THE COIN The «Coin» is based on the Ethereum blockchain protocol Therefore, it is safe, cost-efficient and fast. Furthermore, it allows to use smart contracts within its protocol. Token name Karatgold Coin Ticker Symbol KBC Currency Symbol Current Price 1 KBC for USD 1.32$See Audit Maximum KBC produced 12 Billion (technical limit) Maximum KBC for sale 7.2 billion Fundraising Goal $ 72 million Minimum Purchase 1,000 Coins Payment methods Bitcoin, ETH and Karatpay payments ICO WHITEPAPER WHITEPAPER AUDIT VALUATION SMART CONTRACT SMART CONTRACT VIEW ON GITHUB SMART CONTRACT AUDIT THE ADVANTAGES OF THE KARATGOLD COIN THE ADVANTAGES OF THE KARATGOLD COIN
Borderless: Exchangeable into CashGold at any time Fast: Facilitation of real-time payments anywhere and anytime Free and borderless transferable Immediate large number of points of acceptance Low fees payable by merchants for the use of the Coin and the Ecosystem
WHY A GROWING DEMAND FOR COIN? WHY A GROWING DEMAND FOR COIN? The value of the Coin is expected to strongly increase. The market capitalization of the Coin will reflect the billion Euro business that will rely on gold and the gold price based on the CashGold. The global acceptance and recognition of gold as a safe and secure harbor will make the Coin and the CashGold one of the leading payment means worldwide. Therefore, holders of Coin will not only enjoy protection against inflation and vague governments and economies, but also have the opportunity to participate in the value increase which will be achieved in the future. Such value increase can be realized by everybody through the sale of the Coin, or through the purchase of goods and services. The Coins will be available on major cryptocurrency exchange platforms such as Poloniex, Bithumb, Bitfinex, Bittrex, etc. The coins will be permitted to float and be traded p2p. The price of the Coin will be determined by market forces and cryptocurrency exchange mechanisms, as well as by the global gold prices. The value of the Coin will reflect the degree of penetration of the worldwide payment systems and, to a substantial extent, the price development of pure gold. The more Coin will be used – thus driving customer adoption – the greater the demand for the Coin will be. The popularity of the Coin and the Ecosystems will most probably grow very fast. Buy Tokens now SAFE. SECURE. CASHGOLD. SAFE. SECURE. CASHGOLD. Gold, in the form of gold coins and gold bullions, has served as international payment means as well as solid investments for more than 4,000 years. Although legal currencies presently are not backed by gold, gold reserves still serve many central banks in the world as a currency reserve. Private and institutional investors invest in gold. In times of economic crises, gold is deemed to be a stable investment with the potential to a value increase in comparison to other investments. The intrinsic value of gold is caused by its relative rarity as well as by the high cost of mining. This may also be the reason why investments in gold, unlike e.g. investments in interest-bearing securities, do not have default risk. However, gold coins are not used for payment anymore, and it is not feasible or practical to hold and pay with gold in the traditional form. The new alternative is the CashGold. It is reliable, globally available, secure, practical in use, and compatible with other payment means. The idea behind CashGold is to implement small gold bars on a specific paper which partially looks like a bank note. However, instead of mentioning a specific currency amount, the weight of the implemented gold bar is displayed. ABOUT THE VISIONAIR ABOUT THE VISIONAIR Harald Seiz was born in 1963 in Calw near Stuttgart, Germany and has been successfully working as a financial consultant since 1982. In 2011 he founded the Karatbars International GmbH in Stuttgart, of which he is the managing director. Since then he has consistently and successfully internationalized the business. In 2016, he was awarded the Senatorial Degree by the Federal. Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA). He is also the author of the successful book 'The Future of Money', published in 2017 and available everywhere. In his book he outlines the history of money and the methods of payment; describes what factors are dependent on trust in money and hard cash; how these factors influence the economic and monetary policy frameworks, where the risks of the past and present payment methods and systems lie. He also introduces a few (for some of us possibly exotic) methods of payment and tries to answer the question of what would happen in the case of an IT blackout or cyber-attack – and how we would be able to get by and pay for the essentials – for example, in the form of gold and crypto currencies. The book's jacket text: Never before in times of peace has the subject of money evoked the uncertainty it does today. Although, we live in affluence here in Germany, many people begin to ask themselves whether the value of our money is dwindling away. Cash seems permanently under attack as the media bombards us with theories on the 'End of Cash'. Concerns about the future of money are not without basis: in many countries, massive restrictions on the use of cash have now become a reality, with India at the forefront. Overnight, 86 percent of their rupee reserves were removed from circulation and declared worthless - is cash in the euro zone next? What is the future of money - a means of exchange, anonymous payment or an opportunity to hoard wealth? How will we pay in the future? What forms will digitization open up to us? And what forms could be forced on us by the state or circumstances, such as a crisis or catastrophe? Are you prepared if ATMs or online banking no longer function? Publisher: FinanzBuch Verlag (2017) ISBN-10: 3959720823 ISBN-13: 978-3959720823 THE MANAGEMENT TEAM THE MANAGEMENT TEAM Thomas Valet
Head of Marketing & Sales European Financial Consultant
Chief Operating Officer German Economic Council
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CPI Technologies GmbH
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Head of Support & Communications at Karatbars International GmbH
Hi everyone. Quick into: I've been reading and researching crypto every single day for about 6 weeks now. Would have invested sooner but coinbase doesn't accept my debit card and I don't have a bank account. Debit card is through my work. Other places to buy in cost around $30 in fees. Anyways, a Bitcoin atm has just been installed near me. I plan on going and testing it out with $100 today. First question: when i buy from the atm, can I have it sent straight to my Binance Bitcoin wallet or do I need to have it sent to a Bitcoin wallet, then transferred to Binance? Next question: I plan on instantly trading for an altcoin or 2. I've read about Binance keeping fractions of coins because you can only trade even amounts. Would I be better off using a different exchange since I won't be working with a lot of money at first and could possibly do a couple trades once on an exchange? I really appreciate any and all help anyone is willing to give. I wish everyone the best of luck and good fortune.
Well thats pretty much it. I have really no idea what I am doing. That said, I have dome some research and attempted to get started. I have a few wallets as of now, some or most still waiting verification. I have setup at epay, paxful, cryptopay, binance, coinbase, and blockchain as of yet. I have an interest in some alt coins vs bitcoin but I assume more research in time will determine where I invest and start my new business. I have a little understanding on mining and the hardware used, I am aware of GDAX and some crytpos now being traded on the stock exchange. I see the trend in an upward direction and the IRS is now taking note, the new tax bill has some provisions regarding crypto trading, etc... So I feel it is really happening and the decentalization of money, fiat... is a good thing and a must needed step we have to take if we wish to continue our process of evolution. I have some questions though: I cannot use my debit card for coinbase because it determines it as a prepaid debit card. Now one is just that, a prepaid visa, I put a small amount of money on it just to get started. The other debit I have is from the federal government. It is an account I can wire from but I cannot wire to. It is not a prepaid account but coinbase determines it as such. I would like to find a way around this. Even though I see the fees and such with CB I still feel I want to get some expereince in with that interface. Im also aware that you can instead of using CB to buy btc, you can use GDAX. I like the looks of GDAX... and after getting my account made and verified with CB, I went to GDAX to login. I had to authorize my computer to login, and thus after I was given a notice on the login screen claiming my account was temperarily locked and that I had to seek [email protected]. So I went thru that process and after filing for request I received the confirmation of request and now I am waiting for them to get back to me. I used my android to make the CB account. Used a computer to use GDAX, did receive the successful authorization notice and reloaded page to login but was shutout. I know I can purchase btc from GDAX but not sure if my debit cards will work there, as with the issue with CB? I have similar isses with the other "vendors" or are they simply "brokers" ie broker and wallet... The paxful and blockchain wallets are up okay but I cannot figure out how to jsut buy btc at the going value noted on coinmarketcap. It seems like, I have to buy btc from a seller, and there are fees from them, and or a third party software or wallet, or broker... and I then can give my wallet address for the deposit. I get the very basic idea here? I had to send in my id, my pasport, my ss number, dob... lol address... these are crucial idenfying factors... I thought this crypto was meant to be anonmyous? What do I not understand? I have read some guides and watched tons of videos but don't think I am understanding it, now that I have a direct intention, or goal, idea, on how I want to use crypto, and that maybe the issue among other things? paxful for example. is a p2p trade platform, if my assumptions are correct. There, you can buy with debit, or credit, or a direct bank transfer, etc... even some with gift cards, but the small details kinda concern me. I had to get authorized and validated with paxful... but why then do i need to send a pic of my id, passport, write a note, and have the card in hand all in a selfie... if I had verified with the broker? Am I correct to consider paxful the broker in this case? the seller, the individual, is also charging a going rate on top of the actual value of the btc... so Im getting the feeling like, identity scam, theft, AND you loose money in the transfer... lol from usd to btc. At least having the risk of the theft and scam of my ID is enough to close the window and laugh out loud and think just a second, from an idiots perspective, this is no where near anonmyous, no where near safe... what the hell is this shit? I have to buy at one place, then exchange, then I can trade on a different platform, I need to have a hardware wallet so I dont get hacked... I mean ... this seems like a lot to take in all at once and I wish it didnt seem so risky. There seems to lack a one stop shop for common deals... I just want to walk up to an atm, put in cash and get a receipt with a number or code I can scan and it be added to my wallet, via hardware or software or online... I plan on using online or software with the very little money I decided to invest with at the moment but will be getting a hardware wallet once I understand better what is going on. Also, seems to be a lot of opinions on youtube etc... about likes and dislikes... and it really hurts prospective noobs who needs only the facts and the details so we can make a better choice starting out. I don't mean to be a critic here and not offer something in response that could help, I just don't yet understand this and I have decided to go in, but I really need a GREAT source of information for research, like videos for specific trades, sources, and means. I'm already discouraged, I set up several wallets, or what I thought was a broker to buy btc and trade on, but there are tons of limitations or transfers I have to do... and now all these companies have my sensitive information. I understand this is all a learning experience and I am not freaking out, :) I just need a little hand holding maybe for a few issues I have atm and once I get past that, I think all will be nice. I really like GDAX, and want to buy from there, but can I use debit... prepaid debit, and if not, where then can I just pay with prepaid debit straight to btc, and I am okay with then moving it to a waller like blockchain or binance. Im constantly looking for help with the basics, but am flooded with opinions on which is best to trade, and everyone saying HOW EASY IT IS TO BUY BTC ... okay, maybe true but there are tons of limits or redtape, or even fees... and with the sensitive info. it all just makes it a lil discouraging. Could use some help please. I would really appreciate it. Thanks. PS - just to note. The new tax laws... yea wtf... I think now maybe crypto may be such the risk its just not worth my identity and the problems with the irs... I have to report and track all transactions... is this why everyone needs my id cards pictures and selfie with me holding it, or whatnot? seems like a great way to get fucked over... for a few bucks. Looks like, crypto is dead. no anonimity, I have to pay all these fees, I now have to pay tax on EVERY SINGLE transaction... so its looking like its too late. and If I invest now, its just trouble. Now maybe a new trype of crypto will come out that will be of a different operation, name and function, so that IRS has to make new law for that, ... so that its not considered a crypto currency, because crypto, imho being the moron here, looks like it was targered and its initiative is lost. they did this to kill it. the US dollar is dominate, though I dont think its really is, and eventually it will fall, by design it is not sustainable. I want out... but IDK how to get in to the new without being a target by the IRS, and or having to play by their rules. we want out and the dollar will collaspe, I feel rather concerned and desperate tbh... its kinda scary. fuck the irs. and fuck you wallstreet. i wouldnt mind if you all made out big but with 9/11 and all that insider trading and the wars and wars, and wars,... the collasping of the housing economy... lol youre not even taking care of your own, how the fuck do you expect to survive much longer? its actually comical, retarded at best. if at least you groomed your front yard, maybe america could be great again.
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Made a huge mistake today using one of the bitcoin ATMs near me. Well my coinbase account is locked from purchasing and i wanted to invest in some alt coins so i decided to try the ATM. big mistake they took an 18% fee (not what im here to complain about but still jesus). My real question is when will my funds actually arrive? are all BTC transactions being delayed or was a i scammed from this ATM? i mean they took 180 bucks out of my pocket without telling me and couldnt even give me a decent transaction time? I used my binance wallet address to deposit the bitcoin to it and it hasn't arrived nothing is pending. Getting a bit worried here idc that the price is down ill hold until i have my money back and some just hoping it eventually comes ... if anybody has any feedback as to how long this is supposed to take i would appreciate it. The ATM was one from bitcoindeposit. At this point i just would like some peace of mind that the pollution is just holding it up and it will come through. But everytime ive deposited to my binance wallet transactions usually pend and nothing is pending so i am a bit nervous. They also didn't email me back.
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