Bitstamp, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has introduced an insurance policy that covers the theft and other losses of user funds held on its platform.
Binance Destroys $68 Million of BNB in Most Expensive Burn to Date
Binance recorded an all-time high spot trading volume in Q3
Other notable events include: - The Central Bank of the Bahamas has officially launched its national digital currency, the sand dollar - PayPal will be offering trading and transaction of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether and litecoin in the next few weeks Also, be sure to check out top altcoin gainers and losers of the week PayPal’s play PayPal will be offering trading and transaction of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether and litecoin in the next few weeks to its 346 million customers and 26 million merchants through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, although for some users, the features are already available. The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has granted the first “conditional BitLicense” to PayPal, a regulatory arrangement where interested companies can operate in the state’s “virtual currency marketplace” by working with already chartered firms. “DFS will continue to encourage and support financial service providers to operate, grow, remain and expand in New York and work with innovators to enable them to germinate and test their ideas,” the watchdog said. Many in the industry see this as a year-defining event that could rapidly expand crypto’s pool of potential users. Others take umbrage that the payments firm will not initially allow users to transfer crypto outside of the PayPal network. “You own the cryptocurrency you buy on PayPal but will not be provided with a private key,” the company wrote in a help post. It’s official The Central Bank of the Bahamas has officially launched its national digital currency, the sand dollar, an attempt to reduce the friction of bringing financial services to its dispersed, and often underbanked, population. This marks the first official deployment of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which will be rolled out initially to private-sector banks and credit unions. Personal wallets are secured with multi-factor authentication security and will be mobile-based, servicing the 90% of the population with smartphones. The sand dollar is backed 1:1 to the Bahamian dollar (BSD), which, in turn, is pegged to the U.S. dollar. https://preview.redd.it/mi0odgtajgv51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=93f8185bd1cadddb82145201d533969d59fc0fa2
How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation
In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.
Typical securities frameworks will cost Canadians millions of dollars (ie Sarbanes-Oxley estimated at $5m USD/yr per firm). Implementation costs of this proposal are significantly cheaper.
Canadians can maintain a diverse set of exchanges, multiple viable business models are still fully supported, and innovation is encouraged while keeping Canadians safe.
Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:
Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.
Regular Transparent Audits
Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.
Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.
Background and Justifications
Cold Storage Custody/Management After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems: • Funds stored online or in a smart contract, • Access controlled by one person or one system, • 51% attacks (rare), • Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or • Some combination of the above. For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program. The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms. • 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective. • The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated. The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II. On The Subject of Third Party Custodians Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems. However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies. There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both. On The Subject Of Insurance ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC. However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.” ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance. In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework. A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians. On The Subject of Fractional Reserve There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds. There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past. Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis. The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users. Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit. The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided. Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense. Hot Wallet Management The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets. However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process. A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage. Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.
Current Draft Proposal
(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage. (a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet. (b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time). (c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. (d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds. (e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers. (2) Regular and transparent solvency audits. (a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row. (b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored. (c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process. (d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify. (e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible. (3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions. (a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets. (b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy. (c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage. (d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange. (e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.
Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized. The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges. The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
Over $7 Billion Worth Of Stablecoins Are Now Under Ethereum’s Hat
Is The Stablecoin Market Showing Signs Of True Adoption Of Ethereum-Based Products And Services? Just two months before the much-anticipated ETH 2.0 network update, data from Ethereum monitoring service USDonEthereum.com shows that over $7,3 billion worth of stablecoins are currently circulating on the Ethereum’s blockchain. Stablecoin projects are designed to mitigate the volatility issues cryptocurrencies have, by pegging stablecoins to a single or a basket of cryptocurrencies. The most of the value stablecoins have on Ethereum’s blockchain goes to Tether (USDT), as the leader in stablecoins currently has over $5,73 billion worth of USDT tokens operating under Ethereum’s hat. The second most-influential stablecoin on the Ethereum’s network is USDCoin (USDC), with a total of $726 million worth of tokens. Paxos (PAX) is third with a little over $250 million, while BinanceUSD (BUSD) managed to secure $180 million of the total $7,3 billion stablecoin market share on Ethereum. Other stablecoin projects include Gemini Dollar (GUSD), MakerDAO’s DAI stablecoin, as well as Huobi USD (HUSD). Ethereum, however, is still the most dominant altcoin, mostly due to its smart contract capabilities, which made stablecoin projects bloom after the 2018 crypto winter. Meanwhile, in 2019 the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications market proliferated and secured over a billion dollars, locked in DeFi apps until February 2020. The most probable reason for the DeFi blooming is that Ethereum is freed from any fiat interference, as interest and loans are transferred solely on a decentralized ledger, which leads to a boost in the adoption of DeFi apps. Gaining traction in 2019 and going strong in 2020, stablecoins managed to outperform regular cryptocurrencies. For example, Tether (USDT) jumped over Bitcoin Cash to claim the fourth place in the ranking of the best-performing cryptocurrencies. And despite crypto prices stabilizing in the past week, Tether has always been targeted as a go-to “gateway” to the world of cryptocurrencies. Statistics show that in January 2019, USDT tokens on Ethereum’s network were worth only $60 million, compared to the entire share of stablecoins, running on Ethereum, which roughly estimated at $835 million. However, in April 2020, the share of USDT in Ethereum’s stablecoin mix is now $4,4 billion out of the entire ETH stablecoin share of $5.9 billion. In just a month Tether gained $1,3 billion, which correlates with respective trading activities in the crypto sector. Source: Messari Twitter account Tether is also constantly minting more and more tokens into circulation, as the demand for USDT increases. Crypto transactions watchdog WhaleAlert published a report, showing a fresh batch of 200 million USDT tokens entered into circulation on May 14. The minting spree also correlates with the 110% year-to-date market growth by the controversial stablecoin.
Stablecoin War Intensifies As Huobi Issues $1,3 Million HUSD
Stablecoin Issuers Are Battling For Larger Market Share, While Tether Remains Stablecoin Leader The race between stablecoin projects takes another step towards increasing competition, as crypto exchange Huobi minted a new batch of 1,3 million USD-backed HUSD tokens. Crypto exchanges like Binance and Huobi are also joining the race with their own stablecoin projects – the BinanceUSD (BUSD), and HuobiUSD (HUSD). Despite a slow start, crypto exchange-issued stablecoins are increasing in popularity, with Binance making several increases of the total supply in circulation for its BUSD projects in 2020 alone. In early February, Binance issued five million BUSD tokens, in cooperation with PAX Treasury. Just a week after the 5 million BUSD issuance, a new batch of 10 million BUSD tokens entered into circulation. However, Binance is no more a lone warrior in the field of exchange-issued stablecoins, as Huobi also makes a turn towards entering the stablecoin war. Huobi’s HUSD project was аnnounced in late 2018 when the entire crypto sector was in a bearish state. HUSD didn’t get much traction in 2019 and fell off the radar for stablecoin users. However, now Huobi seems to be reviving the project, putting in fresh HUSD tokens into circulation. Firstly, at the beginning of February, Huobi issued five million HUSD tokens, divided into three batches of around 1,7 million tokens per batch. Crypto watchdog Whale Alert announced the news. Whale alert also noted that another batch of 1,3 million HUSD tokens entered into circulation on February 27th. Despite Huobi and Binance jumping into the stablecoin race, Tether still dominates stablecoin transactions. Tether records $60-70 billion in daily trading volumes, while the world’s biggest cryptocurrency based on market capitalization, Bitcoin, recorded $10-15 billion less trading volumes. One of the most vital selling points of Tether is that the stablecoin is primarily used to enter the crypto sector and buy leading cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, later. Crypto experts tied Tether’s behavior directly to Bitcoin’s price, as Tether’s minting process impacts Bitcoin’s market valuation. The stablecoin war may also be provoked by Facebook’s plans of launching a native to the social media stablecoin, backed by a basket of currencies. The Libra project, however, caused real regulatory havoc. Furthermore, Telegram’s GRAM token would see further delays due to the continuing federal case, accusing Telegram of an illegal securities offering. Central banks also showed interest in fiat-pegged digital currencies, with China and Sweden making moves toward issuing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). China, for example, wants to tie its digital currency to the price of the traditional Renminbi, with plans to digitize China’s economy entirely. Meanwhile, exchange-issued tokens and stablecoins marked the most significant price increases since the start of 2020. BitMax Token’s (BTMX) price jumped with 34,8%, while Binance Coin (BNB) managed to record a 31,39% price increase. Huobi’s native token – HT, marked a 25% increase.
The Future Of Altcoins In 2020: Altcoin Season And Possible Price Pumps
The Crypto Sector Started 2020 In A Bullish Manner, Recording Almost 25% Market Capitalization Increase Since Jan 1st. As Of Press Time, The Crypto Market Is Worth $239,4 Billion. Despite the market being rather uniform on gains and losses, small cap cryptocurrencies are most likely to receive a 10-15% price increases in the next 24 hours. The reason, according to crypto watchdog Crypto Krillin, is the way of how small cap altcoins` prices move on the world’s largest exchange – Binance. The watchdog further explained that small cap moving averages (M.A.) seem “attractive”, considering their upward price moves. The momentum would also boost the gains on large cap altcoins, such as Cardano (ADA), Tezos (XTZ), and EOS. Smaller cryptocurrencies, which tend to have lower market capitalization and low liquidity, usually pairing with USDT or BTC. The fragileness comes up because a deviation in small cap altcoins could lead to drastic surges and plunges in their price, as the assets are mostly illiquid. However, projects like ADX, TOMO, and MATIC may be able to capture the wave and make substantial gains. On the other hand, large cap altcoins, like Ethereum, ADA, and EOS, are liquid and tend to follow the market rules, as there are more users and investors involved in the projects. The moving average charts on Binance could also suggest that the altcoin market is reviving from the crypto winter of 2018, where most of the illiquid altcoin suffered unrecoverable hits and eventually bankrupted. Also, the close price connection between the number one cryptocurrency – Bitcoin, and the rest of the pack, could indicate a bright future for the altcoin community. A one percent price increase for Bitcoin could skyrocket some of the small cap altcoins, and vice versa. Exchanges play a significant role in the adoption of a given crypto asset. MATIC, the first IEO organized on Binance platform, secured a deal with U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase for inclusion to Coinbase’s custodial service. The news provoked a massive surge for the cryptocurrency, recording over $75 million in trading volumes in the hours after the announcement. Controversial currencies like Craig Wright’s Bitcoin S.V. (BSV) also see enhanced gains, as opposed to Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Despite the market correcting itself and Bitcoin Cash almost losing traction, Bitcoin S.V. started the year with a gigantic leap. BSV is currently trading at $313.26, and Bitcoin Cash is just 30 dollars above – trading at $343,05 as of press time. The market cap difference also shrinks rapidly – the fourth largest crypto in the world, Bitcoin Cash, leads by only $547 million in terms of market capitalization. BSV recorded а 200% price increase in a matter of two weeks after U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom ruled in favor of Wright in the lawsuit against him by the Kleiman estate. The other major milestone, which could be one of the forces responsible for the price boost, is the scheduled for Feb. 4th “Genesis” hard fork. The update would eliminate the hard cap on block sizes, which could boost transaction volumes. However, the crypto community believes that the price pump before the hard fork would have little to no effect, as the price would dump back after the hard fork.
Cryptocurrencies are mixed as Bitfinex destroys 500 million USDT, more than half of its treasury supply
After Coindesk accused Bitfinex, a major cryptocurrency exchange and operator of stablecoin Tether (USDT), of publishing trading volume data from, “a market that doesn’t exist,”, Bitfinex responded, saying they do not publish fake numbers. In its article, Coindesk noted that Bitfinex does not offer a USDT/USD pair, however, their exchange reports substantial trading volume on its exchange for the pairing -- at the time of this writing, daily trading volume for USDT/USD on Bitfinex is reported as USD$33,598,474, or 18.30% of USDT’s total 24-hour trading volume. Bitfinex clarified in its rebuttal, saying they reach their daily trading volume calculation for USDT/USD by calculating the sum of USDT deposits and withdrawals to and from Bitfinex. Bitfinex provided a link to the application program interface (API) where this data is supposed to be visible, however, the link did not work at the time of this writing.
As per the Taipei Times, Taiwan is planning to release draft initial coin offering (ICO) regulatory framework by June 2019. The Taiei Times cited Welington Koo, chairman of Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), who spoke at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan Finance Committee, saying, “The more we regulate, themore this new economic behavior wanes.”
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Uganda’s first ever fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange, as per an official announcement on Medium. Currently, Ugandans are only able to trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) through the domestic Ugandan shilling (UGX). Called Binance Uganda, the new fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange is offering zero-fee trading until November 24th, 2018. According to the company statement, the launch of Binance Uganda is part of Binance’s initiative to contribute to blockchain technology development across the African continent -- shortly after their announcement, Binance’s charity wing donated USD$500,000 aid Uganda.
In a blog post published on Wednesday, Tether, the issuer of stablecoin USDT, announced that it, “redeemed a significant amount,” of USDT from circulation and that it will destroy 500 million USDT from its treasury wallet -- the 500 million destroyed USDT represents a whopping 52.8% of its total treasury supply for future issuances. This news comes after the value of USDT dipped below USD$0.90/token last week and after Circle and Coinbase partnered to list stablecoin USDC on Coinbase. Tether refered readers of the announcement to their white paper, where the firm states, "every tether issued or redeemed, as publicly recorded by the Bitcoin blockchain will correspond to a desposit or withdrawal of funds from the [company's] bank account."
Nasdaq, the world’s second largest stock exchange by market capitalization, has been awarded a new patent to tackle the implementation of blockchain in releasing new information to the media industry. Originally filed in January 2017, the patent references, “an information computer system […] provided for securely releasing time-sensitive information to recipients via a blockchain.” The patent explains the purposed system’s process, saying, “A submitter submits a document to the system and a blockchain transaction is generated and submitted to the blockchain based on the document […] An editor may edit the document and an approver may approve the document for release to the recipients.” This past June, Nasdaq tested a blockchain proof-of-concept system for securities collateral.
Setl, a UK blockchain startup, has received approval from French securities regulators and is set to enter the European Union’s settlement system. Setl aims to launch its Target2-Securities platform, a EUR1 billion network built to span across the European Union and settle securities processed by the European Central Bank. Setl is expected to launch in early 2019.
South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FCS) issued a statement today warning investors to be cautious when investing in cryptocurrencies. Documents published on the FSC’s website warn investors that they could be misled by cryptocurrency funds and that investors could mistake cryptocurrency funds for legal public funds that comply with South Korea’s Capital Markets Act. The FSC added that cryptocurrency funds must be approved and registered with the FSC to operate legally -- something no South Korean cryptocurrency fund has done yet.
Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20191031 (Market index 50 — Neutral state)
https://preview.redd.it/r89tzlw5ghw31.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a0ec1b849879d7dfa40aabcabe8c65b1a7d47820 https://preview.redd.it/tqhwks45s2w31.png?width=630&format=png&auto=webp&s=74a3c05d5b78de97716b76df2f9e1f7d28b1a67c Belgian Finance Watchdog Ups List Of Suspected Crypto Scams To 131Belgium’s financial sector regulator has issued a fresh warning over suspected cryptocurrency scam websites, bringing its running list to 131 domains. It noted that the anatomy of such frauds continues to be the same, with scammers promising riches in easy steps, regardless of prior knowledge of cryptocurrencies. But, it warned, “In the end, the result is always the same: the victims find themselves unable to recover their money!” Malta Financial Services Authority prompts Bitcoin Future to be at risk of fraudThe Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has recognized an entity called Bitcoin Future. The entity appears to exhibit the same deceptive characteristics as another entity, Bitcoin Revolution. The MFSA had previously issued a public warning on January 25, 2019 and August 29, 2019 at Bitcoin Revolution. Bitcoin Future is not a registered company in Malta, nor is it an entity operating under the provisional provisions of Section 62 of the Virtual Financial Assets Act, nor is it authorized to provide any financial services in Malta. In addition, the information obtained by the MFSA indicates that Bitcoin Future may be an international “fast get rich” cryptocurrency scam. Therefore, the public should avoid any business or transaction with an entity operating under the above name. Fortex Expands Crypto Offering With NDFsFortex Technologies, an institutional foreign exchange (FX) trading solutions provider, on Thursday (Oct 31) announced an expansion of its crypto services with the launch of crypto non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) and an institution-focused platform. With the institutional-grade platform, the company will provide an array of services including an end-to-end solution facilitating price discovery, liquidity aggregation, OEMS, risk management, white-label, and price distribution. https://preview.redd.it/9zj4aom7s2w31.png?width=630&format=png&auto=webp&s=bb34c41102d7682ae050e091fd8741c37afeafb7 Recently, there were mostly range moves above the $9,000 support area against the US Dollar. BTC corrected lower below the $9,150 level and settled below the 100 hourly simple moving average. The recent low was formed near the $9,013 and the price is currently holding the $9,000 support area. It is climbing higher and trading above the $9,100 level. Moreover, there was a break above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $9,534 high to $9,013 low. However, the price seems to be facing resistance near $9,200 and the 100 hourly simple moving average. Additionally, this week’s followed major bearish trend line is active with resistance near $9,150 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. Review previous articles:https://firstname.lastname@example.org
Encrypted project calendar（October 31, 2019）
Spendcoin (SPND):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Cross Ledger Mainnet “Cross Ledger Mainnet Release and SPND Token Swap,” during October 2019.Spendcoin (SPND):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blkchn University Beta “Blockchain University Beta goes live,” during October 2019.Stellar (XLM):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Minor Release “We will have 6 Minor Releases in 2019; one each in February, March, May, June, August, and October.”Bitcoin SV (BSV):31 October 2019 (or earlier) BSV Conference Seoul No additional information.Seele (SEELE):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Public Network Mainne launch has been moved to Oct 31 .Howdoo (UDOO):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Howdoo Live on Huawei Howdoo begins its exciting partnership with Huawei with listing as a featured app starting in October.Chiliz (CHZ):31 October 2019 (or earlier) App Soft Launch Soft launch of Socios App by end of October.Dent (DENT):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Loyalty Program “Afterburner loyalty program launch for all 21,6 Million mobile #DENT users will be in October!”IceChain (ICHX):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Wallet Release IceChain releases wallet during October.Chiliz (CHZ):31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Partnerships New sports and new teams joining Socios (+more updates and events) will be announced in the upcoming weeks.Horizen (ZEN):31 October 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA.PCHAIN (PI):31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Website No additional information.IOST (IOST):31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Game on IOST “Eternal Fafnir, a new role-playing game developed by INFUN is coming to you in Oct.”Achain (ACT)：31 October 2019 Mainnet 2.0 Launch “… The main network is officially scheduled to launch on October 31.”Mithril (MITH)：31 October 2019 Burn “MITH burn will take place on 2019/10/31 2pm UTC+8. “Aergo (AERGO)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Aergo Lite V1.0 Release AergoLite, which brings blockchain compatibility to billions of devices using SQLite, released during October 2019.TE-FOOD (TFD)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Complementary Product “Development of a new, complementary product with a new partner, which we hope to be launched in September-October.”Edge (DADI)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Full Open Source Code base for the network fully open-sourced in September or October.BlockStamp (BST)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing.Perlin (PERL)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) SSA Partnership “Perlin has partnered with the Singapore Shipping Association to create the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS)”Skrumble Network (SKM)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Exchange Release “3rd dApp: Exchange Release,” during October 2019.EDC Blockchain (EDC)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blockchain Marketplace “As you already know, our ECRO blockchain marketplace is ready for release, and will open to the global community in October!”BlockStamp (BST)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing.XinFin Network (XDCE)：31 October 2019 Homebloc Webinar “XinFin — Homebloc Webinar 2019” from 9–10 PM.Akropolis (AKRO)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Alpha Release “Delivers the initial mainnet implementation of protocol. All building blocks will be united to one product.”Hyperion (HYN)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Economic Model The final version of the HYN Economic Model launches in October.
Encrypted project calendar（November 1, 2019）
INS/Insolar:The Insolar (INS) Insolar wallet and the redesigned Insolar Block Explorer will be operational on November 1, 2019.VeChain (VET)：”01 November 2019 BUIDLer Reunion Party BUIDLer Reunion Party in San Francisco from 8–11 PM.uPlexa (UPX)：01 November 2019 Steadfast Storm — PoS/PoW split (Utility nodes ie. master nodes) — Upcoming Anonymity Network much like TOR — Privacy-based DApps — Reduced network fees.Enjin Coin (ENJ)：01 November 2019 MFT Binding “ICYMI: On Enjin Coin’s 2nd anniversary (November 1), Enjin MFTs will be bound to hodlers’ blockchain addresses…”Auxilium (AUX)：01 November 2019 AUX Interest Distribution Monthly interest distribution by Auxilium Interest Distribution Platform for coinholders. Also supports charity.Havy (HAVY)：01 November 2019 Token Buyback “Havy tokens buyback, Only in 1 exchange between Idex, Mercatox & Hotbit. The exchange depends on the most lower sell wall.”Egretia (EGT):01 November 2019 Global DApp Contest SF 2019 Egretia Global DApp Contest in San Francisco.EthereumX (ETX):01 November 2019 Snapshot for ETX Holders “Next snapshot of ETX balances will be taken on 1st November 2019.”Veros (VRS):01 November 2019 Transcoin Partnership “On November 1, Transcoin instant swap tool will be integrated into@VEROSFPplatform.”
Encrypted project calendar（November 2, 2019）
Kambria (KAT)：02 November 2019 VietAI Summit 2019 Kambria joins forces with VietAI for the annual VietAI Summit, with top experts from Google Brain, NVIDIA, Kambria, VietAI, and more!
Encrypted project calendar（November 4, 2019）
Stellar (XLM)：04 November 2019 Stellar Meridian Conf. Stellar Meridian conference from Nov 4–5 in Mexico City.Cappasity (CAPP)：04 November 2019 Lisbon Web Summit Lisbon Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal from November 4–7.
Encrypted project calendar（November 5, 2019）
Nexus (NXS)：05 November 2019 Tritium Official Release “Remember, Remember the 5th of November, the day Tritium changed Distributed Ledger. Yes, this is an official release date.”NEM (XEM)：05 November 2019 Innovation Forum — Kyiv NEM Foundation Council Member Anton Bosenko will be speaking in the upcoming International Innovation Forum in Kyiv on November 5, 2019.TomoChain (TOMO):05 November 2019 TomoX Testnet “Mark your calendar as TomoX testnet will be live on Tuesday, Nov 5th!”aelf (ELF):05 November 2019 Bug Bounty Program Ends On Oct 24th, 2019 aelf’s biggest bug bounty will launch with a large reward pool. The event will run for almost 2 weeks.
Encrypted project calendar（November 6, 2019）
STEEM/Steem:The Steem (STEEM) SteemFest 4 conference will be held in Bangkok from November 6th to 10th.KIM/Kimcoin:Kimcoin (KIM) Bitfinex will be online at KIM on November 6, 2019 at 12:00 (UTC).
Encrypted project calendar（November 7, 2019）
XRP (XRP)： 07 November 2019 Swell 2019 Ripple hosts Swell from November 7th — 8th in Singapore.BTC/Bitcoin:Malta The A.I. and Blockchain summit will be held in Malta from November 7th to 8th.
Encrypted project calendar（November 8, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2nd Global Digital Mining Summit will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from October 8th to 10th.IOTX/IoTeX:IoTex (IOTX) will participate in the CES Expo on November 08
Encrypted project calendar（November 9, 2019）
CENNZ/Centrality:Centrality (CENNZ) will meet in InsurTechNZ Connect — Insurance and Blockchain on October 9th in Auckland.HTMLCOIN (HTML):09 November 2019 (or earlier) Mandatory Wallet Update Mandatory Wallet Update: there will be a soft fork on our blockchain. This update adds header signature verification on block 997,655.
Encrypted project calendar（November 11, 2019）
PAX/Paxos Standard:Paxos Standard (PAX) 2019 Singapore Financial Technology Festival will be held from November 11th to 15th, and Paxos Standard will attend the conference.Crypto.com Coin (CRO):and 3 others 11 November 2019 Capital Warm-up Party Capital Warm-up Party in Singapore.GoldCoin (GLC):11 November 2019 Reverse Bitcoin Hardfork The GoldCoin (GLC) Team will be “Reverse Hard Forking” the Bitcoin (BTC) Blockchain…”
Encrypted project calendar（November 12, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The CoinMarketCap Global Conference will be held at the Victoria Theatre in Singapore from November 12th to 13thBinance Coin (BNB)and 7 others: 12 November 2019 CMC Global Conference “The first-ever CoinMarketCap large-scale event: A one-of-a-kind blockchain / crypto experience like you’ve never experienced before.”Aion (AION)and 17 others: 12 November 2019 The Capital The Capital conference from November 12–13 in Singapore.
Encrypted project calendar（November 13, 2019）
Fetch.ai (FET):13 November 2019 Cambridge Meetup “Join us for a@Fetch_ai#Cambridge #meetup on 13 November@pantonarms1.”Binance Coin (BNB)and 5 others: 13 November 2019 Blockchain Expo N.A. “It will bring together key industries from across the globe for two days of top-level content and discussion across 5 co-located events…”OKB (OKB):13 November 2019 Dnipro, Ukraine- Talks Join us in Dnipro as we journey through Ukraine for our OKEx Cryptour on 11 Nov.Centrality (CENNZ):13 November 2019 AMA Meetup “Ask our CEO@aaronmcdnzanything in person! Join the AMA meetup on 13 November in Singapore.”OKB (OKB):13 November 2019 OKEx Cryptotour Dnipro “OKEx Cryptour Ukraine 2019 — Dnipro” in Dnipro from 6–9 PM (EET).
Encrypted project calendar（November 14, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2019 BlockShow Asia Summit will be held at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore from November 14th to 15th.Binance Coin (BNB):and 4 others 14 November 2019 BlockShow Asia 2019 BlockShow Asia 2019 at Marina Bay Sands Expo, Singapore from November 14–15.Basic Attention Token (BAT): 14 November 2019 London Privacy Meetup “If you’re in London on Nov. 14th, don’t miss our privacy meetup! The Brave research team, our CPO@johnnyryan, as well as@UoE_EFIHorizen (ZEN):14 November 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA.
Encrypted project calendar（November 15, 2019）
TRON (TRX):15 November 2019 Cross-chain Project “The #TRON cross-chain project will be available on Nov. 15th”Bluzelle (BLZ):15 November 2019 (or earlier) CURIE Release CURIE release expected by early November 2019.Zebi (ZCO):15 November 2019 ZEBI Token Swap Ends “… We will give 90 days to all the ERC 20 token holders to swap out their tokens into Zebi coins.”OKB (OKB):15 November 2019 OKEx Talks — Vilnius “Join us for a meetup on 15 Nov (Fri) for our 1st ever Talks in Vilnius, Lithuania.”
Encrypted project calendar（November 16, 2019）
Bancor (BNT): and 2 others 16 November 2019 Crypto DeFiance-Singapore “Crypto DeFiance is a new global DeFi event embracing established innovators, financial market disruptors, DApp developers…”
Encrypted project calendar（November 17, 2019）
OKB (OKB):17 November 2019 OKEx Talks — Lagos Join us on 17 Nov for another OKEx Talks, discussing the “Life of a Crypto Trader”.
Encrypted project calendar（November 19, 2019）
Lisk (LSK):19 November 2019 Lisk.js “We are excited to announce liskjs2019 will take place on November 19th. This all day blockchain event will include…”
Encrypted project calendar（November 20, 2019）
OKB (OKB):20 November 2019 OKEx Cryptour Odessa Ukr “Join us in Odessa as we journey through Ukraine for our OKEx Cryptour!”
Encrypted project calendar（November 21, 2019）
Cardano (ADA):and 2 others 21 November 2019 Meetup Netherlands (AMS) “This meetup is all about how to decentralize a blockchain, the problems and differences between Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake…”Cappasity (CAPP):21 November 2019 Virtuality Paris 2019 “Cappasity to demonstrate its solution for the interactive shopping experience at Virtuality Paris 2019.”Horizen (ZEN):21 November 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA.OKB (OKB):21 November 2019 OKEx Talks — Johannesburg “Join us the largest city of South Africa — Johannesburg where we will host our OKEx Talks on the 21st Nov.”IOST (IOST):22 November 2019 Singapore Workshop Join the Institute of Blockchain for their 2nd IOST technical workshop in Singapore on 22 Nov 2019. The workshop includes IOST’s key tech.OKB (OKB):22 November 2019 St. Petersberg Talks “Join us in St. Petersberg on 22 Nov as we answer your questions on Crypto Security. “
Encrypted project calendar（November 22, 2019）
IOST (IOST):22 November 2019 Singapore Workshop Join the Institute of Blockchain for their 2nd IOST technical workshop in Singapore on 22 Nov 2019. The workshop includes IOST’s key techOKB (OKB):22 November 2019 St. Petersberg Talks “Join us in St. Petersberg on 22 Nov as we answer your questions on Crypto Security. “
(All citations are taken from The Wall Street Journal) · Facebook Libra’s potential financial partners reconsider their involvement following a backlash from U.S. and European government officials. · The new project has broad ambitions for itself as part of a shift from the company’s nearly complete reliance on targeted advertising. · Members of the Libra association have signed nonbinding letters of intent and they haven’t yet handed over the $10 million that Facebook requested from each member to fund the creation of the digital coin.
(All citations are taken from Bloomberg) · Opposing opinions say that central banks’ action to issue their own digital currencies can have a profound and negative impact on a nation’s economic and financial landscape. · One basic feature of the project would be to issue electronic deposits available to eligible citizens or businesses, allowing more people to have direct access to the accounting and payments mechanisms. · The primary objection to an official government e-currency is the potential regulations that will be imposed on more economic institutions.
(All citations are taken from Bloomberg) · The European Union’s antitrust chief said to take steps of scrutinizing Facebook Inc’s planned cryptocurrency because of the risk that the project would lead to a separate economy. · The EU competition commissioner has already opened an investigation into Facebook’s digital currency project. · Financial stability concerns may be as central to the probe as competition issues.
(All citations are taken from Bloomberg) · Tether, whose market capitalization is more than 30 times smaller than that of Bitcoin, accounts for about 70% of all the digital-asset world’s market value. · Tether was used in 40% and 80% of all transactions on two of the world’s top exchanges, Binance and Huobi. · It is also a pathway for most of the world’s active traders into the crypto market.
(All citations are taken from Coindesk) · The suite of services includes an Xpring software development kit (SDK) that allows programmers to integrate XRP apps in multiple programming languages. · It also includes a variety of new tools for working on both XRP and Ripple’s Interledger Protocol (ILP). · Developers could download the code and run it themselves, or now they can go to Xpring and plug into the service.
(All citations are taken from Coindesk) · 2020 congressional candidate hopeful Agatha Bacelar (D) is looking to unseat Pelosi in California’s 12th district, according to her campaign website. · Touting her background in the STEM fields, Bacelar’s claims the “once-bright future for crypto in America has been dimming” and “has suffered as federal intervention pushed innovators out of our district and the country.” · The candidate is also fundraising $1 million in cryptocurrency through the Coinbase exchange.
(All citations are taken from Coindesk) · In the closed-door staff meeting, Zuckerberg acknowledged that Libra has elicited large amounts of public criticism. However, he added, “The public things, I think, tend to be a little more dramatic.” · With illicit uses of Libra at the top of watchdogs’ concerns, he moved on to talk about know-your-customer (KYC) verification for the new payment network, saying Calibra and the Libra Association will have to do more to prove users’ identities.
(All citations are taken from Coindesk) · After personally investing in bitcoin in 2016, Malta-native Paula Pandolfino is now co-founder of the upcoming Founders Bank in Malta, scheduled to open in 2020. · Pandolfino said the bank raised $10 million so far and is looking to raise $30 million more in the near future. · The bank’s leading investors include the crypto exchange Binance (also based in Malta), the hedge fund Polychain Capital and the Czech firm Carduus Asset Management. (The contents above are all cited from corresponding websites, and don’t represent the opinion of BitMax.io platform)
• 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”
How this little-known crypto is giving Bitcoin a run for its money
1/8The tale of "altcoins" Bitcoin's share of the cryptocurrency market is sliding, with a host of alternative digital coins gaining ground as developers race to create digital cash that can gain a footing in mainstream commerce and finance. Monero - referred to as a privacy coin because it allows users to conceal nearly all details of transactions. It has become increasingly used for illegal purposes. Since its launch in 2014, Monero has grown to be the 12th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization with around $1.4 billion-worth in circulation. Let's dig a little deeper and understand it more. 2/8How is Monero different from Bitcoin? Every transaction involving Monero obscures the digital addresses of the senders and receivers, as well as the value of the transaction. That offers users near-total anonymity, allowing them to instantaneously send digital cash without leaving any clues. Bitcoin was initially seen as opaque, as the identity of the owners of digital wallets used to send and receive bitcoin is not public. But details recorded permanently on the blockchain after bitcoin is sent and received can, in fact, give up clues that can be used to pinpoint those identities. 3/8Why is it gaining attention? When Norwegian police earlier this year gave details of the kidnapping of the wife of a wealthy businessman, they said the family had demanded a ransom in cryptocurrencies. Local press reported that the suspects wanted to be paid in Monero. The unusual request underlined a growing trend for criminals to seek alternatives to bitcoin for illicit activities. 4/8What is it mostly used for? Monero's use on darknet marketplaces - sites used for buying illicit goods from drugs to stolen credit cars - is on the rise. Three of the biggest five darknet markets now accept Monero. Monero is also widely used for "cryptojacking," or illicit cryptocurrency mining, where hackers infect computers and steal their power to mine new coins - a highly lucrative endeavour. Monero's developers say its characteristics make it a useful tool for companies looking to maintain commercial secrecy. According to experts users in repressive countries looking to avoid censorship or surveillance can also safely move money in the form of Monero. 5/8Is law enforcement worried? What do regulators say? Cryptocurrencies are mostly unregulated. Though countries from Britain to the United States are looking at how to deal with the phenomenon, few have set out comprehensive strategies for dealing with digital coins.And though aware of the propensity for cryptocurrencies to be used for money laundering, few financial national-level regulators have specifically addressed privacy coins. Britain's finance ministry, which leads a task force that is looking at if and how Britain will regulate cryptocurrencies, said it was aware of the potential for Monero to be used for criminal ends. Japan's financial watchdog, sensitive to money laundering potential of privacy coins, last year asked a Tokyo-based exchange to review its listings. The exchange later ceased trading Monero. 6/8Who's behind Monero? Like bitcoin, Monero is governed by a virtual community of hundreds of developers that lacks any centralised authority. Cabanas is one of only two publicly-known members of its seven-person core developer team, who act as stewards for updates to its code. Mitchell Krawiec-Thayer, a San Francisco-based blockchain developer who is part of Monero Research Labs, said Monero is designed so it can be easily mined by individuals rather than powerful groups that team up to mine coins in industrial quantities. Monero has recently launched a response group, where those infected by malware can seek help, Krawiec-Thayer said. 7/8Who uses Monero for legitimate purposes? Data on who uses Monero, and why, is scarce. Daily transactions for Monero - one proxy for how widely the cryptocurrency is used - have hovered around 8,000 this month, data from website CoinMetrics shows. The number of active digital wallet addresses for Monero has hung around 5,000. By comparison, bitcoin sees around 320,000 transactions a day, with about 785,000 active addresses. 8/8Who are its contemporaries? Monero is not the only privacy coin. Others, such as ZCash, have grown popular with investors, often for speculative reasons but also because of interest in their privacy features. Grayscale, the world's biggest crypto asset manager with around $1.3 billion under management, allows investors like hedge funds to invest in ZCash. Amid growing acceptance of privacy coins, a number of major exchanges list Monero. For example, Malta-based Binance, one of the world's largest exchanges, allows users to trade the coin. Binance declined to comment on Monero, but said it has a comprehensive review process for evaluating coins and tokens for listing, and that it carries out periodic reviews on projects.
• Binance, Kraken and Shapeshift de-list’s Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BCHSV) from their respective platforms as a result of discontent with the behavior of one of its founders – Craig Wright.
CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADING SERVICES
• Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck adds Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) to its OTC trading desk. • KuCoin announces non-custodial services of private keys utilized on its platform. This is made possible in partnership with cryptocurrency custodial start-up Arwen. • eToro announces the release of its fully regulated cryptocurrency exchange – eToroX. New platform will offer 10 different stablecoins and 6 digital assets, totaling to 37 crypto-to-fiat pairs. • Gate.io raises U.S. $64,000,000 in an IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) for “Gate Points” – points that will be used towards trading fees on the platform. • Coinbase and Coinbase Pro launches crypto-to-crypto trading in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand.
• According to the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, entities dealing in cryptocurrency to employ comprehensive KYC/AML protocols. In addition, they must register with its Centre of Registers in order to legally operate. • The French Parliament adopts the “Pacte Bill” – establishing a legal framework for digital asset service providers and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire suggests EU partners to setup a single regulatory framework inspired by the French one. • Japan’s financial watchdog the Financial Services Agency (FSA) requires cryptocurrency exchanges to tighten security over cold wallets – digital asset storage devices that are not connected to the internet.
• CoinMarketCap launches its first Android app and revamps its existing iOS offering, offering portfolio tracking, candlestick charting and price alerts. These features are not yet made available on its website offering. • Binance deploys the genesis block of its native blockchain – Binance Chain. A mainnet swap of the existing ERC-20 tokens (BNB) will occur on April 23rd, 2019 for the new native token to be utilized on the new blockchain.
• FXCoin receives investment from Japanese conglomerate SBI Holdings for shares in its upcoming cryptocurrency exchange platform. • Japanese internet giant Rakuten begins offering online registrations for its wallet service – Rakuten Wallet. The product will be accompanied with a full fledge cryptocurrency exchange to scheduled to go live in June.
• Former director of Institutional sales at Coinbase, Christine Sandler joins Fidelity Digital Assets as Head of Sales and Marketing.
• @cz_binance – “Craig Wright is not Satoshi. Anymore of this sh!t, we delist!” • @danheld – “The world has an unlimited supply of fiat to buy a limited supply of 21M Bitcoin.” • @ErikVoorhees – “By holding dollars you are ultimately trusting politicians. By holding Bitcoin you are ultimately trusting open source code. Trust in politicians tends to fall over time. Trust in open source code tends to rise over time. And so, with time, which system likely advances?”
Cryptocurrencies are largely red as study finds 400% increase in demand for blockchain engineers
A long-awaited draft of the Russian bill concerning cryptocurrencies and blockchain regulation has been made public and it will reportedly let privately held businesses and legal entities ‘digitize’ their shares and store them on a blockchain ledger. The draft bill, “On Digital Financial Assets” was obtained by local news outlet, Vedomosti, and details the legalization of so-called, “digital financial outlets (DFA)” that would act as digitized equity for a company -- a DFA is essentially a cryptocurrency token, just under a different name. The new bill, if approved, would apply to limited liability companies as well as non-public stock companies.
A study conducted by Hired, called the 2018 State of Salaries Report, finds that the average salary of a blockchain engineer in 2018 has soared to between USD$150,000 and USD$175,000 per year -- this is notably higher than software engineers’ average salary of USD$135,000. While speaking to CNBC, Paul Mehul, CEO of Hired, said, “There’s a ton of demand for blockchain. Software engineers are in very short supply, but this is even more acute and that’s why salaries are even higher.” According to the Hired report, demand for blockchain engineers has risen 400% since a year ago despite the cryptocurrency bear market. A CNBC article also notes that demand for blockchain engineers have been further bolstered by tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft.
Bitmain, one of the world’s largest producers of cryptocurrency mining devices, has released a new software update for its Bitcoin mining device, Antminer s9, that activates a controversial code to mine Bitcoin more efficiently. The code in the update is controversial because it exploits a flaw in Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm that allows Bitmain’s Antminer s9 to mine Bitcoin 20% more efficiently. The exploit also saves miners roughly 13% on energy costs.
Experts are beginning to weigh in on the potentially gargantuan impact that Fidelity Investments could have on cryptocurrency markets after the investment management firm announced the launch of a new arm, Fidelity Digital Asset Management. According to BKCM CEO, Brian Kelly, the new stamp of approval by Fidelity on cryptocurrency markets is enough to appeal to institutional investors, including hedge funds, pensions, and endowments. Yesterday, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said on Twitter, “What happens when a fund like Fidelity allocates a mere 5% of their portfolio to crypto? Have you calculated how much that is?”5% of Fidelity’s assets under management equals roughly USD$360 billion, which would nearly triple the current size of cryptocurrency markets.
Stephen Hammond, a UK Member of Parliament, has joined the advisory board of IronX, a retail-focused cryptocurrency exchange, to offer guidance on government relations. IronX is a joint-venture by IronFX, a digital trading firm, and EmurgoHK, the developers of the world’s ninth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Cardano (ADA). The platform’s mission is to, “bring crypto trading to the mass retail trading market.” Hammond has served as a Member of Parliament since 2005 prior to a 20-year career in financial markets -- today, Hammond was quoted saying, “We are all on a steep learning curve to understand this new asset class.”
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has halted an initial coin offering (ICO) being conducted by Global Tech Exchange (GTE) that was launched in the Summer of 2018. Global Tech Exchange had a fundraising goal of USD$50 million to create an education-based trading and exchange platform. The ICO by Global Tech Exchange gained popularity after being endorsed by Michael Clarke, a former Australian cricket captain. On Global Tech Exchange’s website, however, a statement reads that Michael Clarke, “is no longer associated with Global Tech Exchange and the Global Tech Exchange Blockchain and awareness program”. Earlier in the fall, the ASIC announced plans to increase scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges and to crackdown on ICOs taking place in the country.
Visa announced in a press release on Sunday that it is set to launch its blockchain-based identity system in partnership with IBM in the first quarter of 2019. Dubbed Visa B2B Connect, the platform will offer financial institutions a way to securely process cross-border payments while verifying users’ identities. Global Head of Visa’s Business Solutions, Kevin Phalen, said in regards to the system, “B2B Connect’s digital identity greatly reduces the opportunity for fraud that might otherwise exist with checks, ACH and wire transfers today, while also helping companies remain compliant as part of the regulated financial ecosystem.”
Cryptocurrencies extend losses as Coincheck reopens new account signups and limited trading services
A user on a Malwarebytes forum, 1vladimir, reported yesterday of suspicious behavior surrounding a cryptocurrency price tracking application, called CoinTicker -- after further inspection of the application, users discovered that CoinTicker is a trojan horse that installs two remote back doors on a host computer upon being downloaded. The two remote backdoors allow a malicious actor to remotely take control of a host computer. At the time, it is unknown how many individuals may be affected by the malware.
An article by the Financial Times details that big four auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has hired as many as 400 blockchain experts in an effort to best serve clients’ blockchain needs. Ralph Weinberger, head of PWC’s global network assurance methodology group, told the Financial Times, “We are devoting significant resources to how we might provide audit services in not just cryptocurrency, but blockchain.” PwC has focused on helping companies understand compliance procedures involving cryptocurrencies while assuring firms properly meet tax obligations relating to crypto assets. The Financial Times’ article concludes that PwC has a strong desire to become a leader in blockchain compliance and technology, pointing out that the big four auditor already has a section of their website dedicated to blockchain.
eToro, a popular social cryptocurrency trading platform, has partnered with Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, to list Binance Coin (BNB) on eToro. This marks the first exchange to list BNB tokens for trading using fiat. BNB was first issued by Binance to serve as the “gas” that powers its cryptocurrency exchange -- often times, BNB is used on Binance to pay for trading fee, exchange fees, listing fees, and partner applications. The addition of BNB on eToro brings the total cryptocurrency assets offered on the exchange up to 13.
JPMorgan Chase Bank’s blockchain, Quorum, is going to be used to tokenize gold bars using smart contracts, according to an article by the Financial Review. Quorum was originally developed in partnership with the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance to be applied in the financial sector, however, employees at JPMorgan Chase have begun to test its applications in industries like healthcare, aviation, and banking. JPMorgan Chase’s head of blockchain initiatives, Umar Farooq, is quoted by the Financial Review, saying, “We are the only financial player that owns the entire stack, from the application to the protocol.”
Monex Group, a Japanese internet broker who purchased Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, Coincheck, after it was hacked in January 2018, is reopening new account signups and offering limited trading services on Coincheck, as per a statement issued Tuesday morning. This news comes after Coincheck reported yesterday of a 66% revenue drop in CY3Q2018. According to the announcement, users are now able to deposit four cryptocurrencies into accounts, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). A strict know-your-customer process will be in place for new users registering with Coincheck, the announcement detailed.
Russia’s Financial Monitor Service (FMS) has contacted the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to request an intergovernmental initiative to manage the supply and flow of cryptocurrencies. The FATF is a global financial regulating body -- this past June, it announced that it would build global-binding policies for cryptocurrency exchanges. Deputy Director of the FMS, Pavel Livadny, confirmed that the FMS is seeking cooperation from al FATF member countries, pointing to money laundering as the primary concern in cryptocurrencies. Livadny also went on to confirm that Russia’s FMS will seek to impose a restriction on cryptocurrency transactions over USD$9,000.
The cryptocurrency community is coming together to refute claims by Nature after it posted a research report claiming that Bitcoin (BTC) mining could help temperatures increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius in just 11 years, depending on BTC’s rate of adoption. Cryptocurrency experts are arguing that the study’s assumptions are “naive”, saying the study’s assumptions would require BTC to scale to an unrealistic 310 billion daily transactions on chain and that block sizes would have to be a massive 3.2 gigabytes.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is considering a ban on the sale of cryptocurrency-based derivatives, according to a Monday report by the Financial Times. The UK’s FCA published a statement Monday detailing that it is set to launch a consultation in the first quarter of 2019 concerning whether or not to place a ban on the sale of cryptocurrency-based derivatives at some point in the future. The FCA is also reportedly launching a parallel consultation into whether or not to extend its regulatory jurisdiction onto cryptocurrency assets themselves and the exchanges and wallet services that work with cryptocurrency assets. The FCA detailed in its statement issued Monday that it has, “made clear that in its view crypto assets have no intrinsic value and investors should therefore be prepared to lose all the value they have put in.”
→ South Korea to Invest $230M in Blockchain Technology DevelopmentSouth Korea revealed a Blockchain Technology Development Strategy on June 21st earmarking a total of 230 billion Won toward its development. → Crowdfunding Token Sales, the New ICO?The EU is to raise the crowdfunding exemption from accredited investors rules to €8 million ($9.35 million) from the current €5 million. → Robinhood Aims to Disrupt Further by Launching a Cryptocurrency WalletRobinhood is working on a crypto wallet. This would allow their customers to move their crypto from other wallets and brokerages into the platform without having to sell them first. Daily Performances General Comments: As Bitcoin bounced back after crashing below USD6,000 at the end of the previous week, some crypto bulls come out with optimistic views. Crypto bulls struggle to calm down speculative panic on the market by reminding traders and investors that Bitcoin has a history of deep corrections and even downside trends, but in the longer-term perspective it is still a viable investment and revolutionary concept. Weekly Top 5 Price comparison - BTC . - ETH . - XRP . - BCH . - EOS Technical Analysis -BTC BTC is changing hands at USD6,246, off Monday's high reached at USD6,300, but still in the green zone on daily basis. Once USD6,300 handle is cleared, the ultimate resistance of USD6,400 with come into focus. A sustainable break higher is vital for extended recovery. https://preview.redd.it/408dqus6zb611.png?width=1344&format=png&auto=webp&s=7300a6bab7069a47dbd4557514a28df757716159 -------------------------------------------------------------
Your Daily Crypto-News Recap: 97 of Top 100 Cryptocurrencies in the Green as Total Crypto Market Cap Adds $20 billion in 2 Days
A candidate for a local government position in Taiwan has made history, becoming the first politician ever to receive a campaign donation in Bitcoin. Hsiao Hsin-chen, who is running for a seat on Taipei’s City Council with the New Power Party ticket, received a donation in Bitcoin worth about USD$325 a month after the party announced it would accept cryptocurrency donations.
A New York University (NYU) professor discussed how US regulators are all fighting to establish dominance in regulating cryptocurrencies. Professor David Yermack detailed a turf struggle, pointing out the NY Office of the Attorney General’s report released earlier this week accusing crypto exchanges of lack of proper market oversight, the Department of Financial Services’ recent ruling on a Bitcoin ETF, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission also trying to take a lead in crypto regulation. Yermack questioned whether or not this was beneficial to citizens.
According to Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, cryptocurrencies have reached “seller fatigue” and he believes prices have bottomed. Novogratz went on to add that, although Bitcoin’s prices have dropped, it has held above USD$6,000 and established itself as a store of value.
Altonomy, a cryptocurrency trading advisory and digital assets management firm, has officially launched a sell-side over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trading desk. On top of that, the firm also launched a blockchain-based digital currency index fund, called Altonomy Taurus Index Fund. Altonomy claims to offer an unprecedented degree of transparency and professionalism while providing institutional investors a way to diversify into cryptocurrencies.
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s political watchdog, has ruled that political candidates will not be allowed to accept donations in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The vote on the issue occurred Thursday and favored the ban 3-1 with one individual abstaining.
CoinPayments.net, a business-to-business and business-to-customers platform for crypto payments, announced that they will be partnering with nonprofit Unify.org for World Peace Weekend. Occuring from September 21st to September 23rd, 1,300 events all over the world will take place to mark the largest global mediation in history, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Play2Live, a streaming platform for gamers and eSports fans, announced the launch of an open-beta of their blockchain streaming platform. Play2Live discussed participants’ ability to partake in monetization schemes, saying, “Everybody can be a part of the peer-to-peer interaction, and everybody, even the viewer, is able to earn money.”
South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, SK, has partnered with the country’s most valuable blockchain project, ICON, to implement blockchain and cryptocurrency technology in compensating users of its mileage system. ICON and SK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement blockchain into its mileage rewards system that is used by 35 million citizens.
The Co-Director of Enforcement for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Stephanie Avakian, vowed in a speech Thursday that the regulatory agency is going to practice more substantial enforcement of illegal ICOs. Avakian went on to mention that ICO’s are often high-risk investments masked by unrealistic assurances.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requested further comments regarding its decision on the listing and trading of a Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) in a release Thursday. The Bitcoin ETF is backed by investment firm VanEck and financial company SolidX, with the initial request filed on June 6th of this year. In the SEC’s release, the regulating authority notes that it has not reached any conclusions on the Bitcoin ETF and asks for interested parties to send comments to the SEC in regards to the sufficiency and viability of a Bitcoin ETF. So far, the SEC has received over 1,400 letters.
Two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Coinbase and Binance, have been on hiring sprees of late despite a heavy bear market in cryptos. In an interview with Bloomberg, Binance’s Chief Financial Officer, Wei Ahou, said the company is in the process of hiring 50 new employees for its new headquarters in Malta while it is also recruiting for its fiat-to-crypto exchange in Singapore. Last week, Coinbase announced it would be hiring about 80 employees for its new headquarters in NYC.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said in television appearance that Venezuela will adopt the state-backed Petro Token in international trade. While it is unclear in which sectors of global trade Venezuela will use the Petro Token, economists and analysts have doubts whether the token will be accepted by international markets.
Crypto Recap March 6: BTC Sellers Take Control, Support at $10k Back in Focus
Market Summary As seen in CoinLive News Terminal. A reality check for crypto traders, as the return of Bitcoin sellers sent a reminder of the state of affairs in the market. An environment dominated by unconvincingly feeble buy-side interest as we've been flagging up in recent times, with Google searches for Bitcoin and other related keywords at depressed levels, where a Bitcoin transaction takes one block to confirm and with a network value assigned to Bitcoin incongruent to the number of transactions through the network. It looks as though the damage done to the multitude of retail accounts buying into the hype of the irrational exuberance in December has forced many to jump ship on the idea of re-engaging in buying cryptos even at current discounted prices. Throw into the mix the unclear regulatory landscape, and the absence of sufficient institutional capital flows, not yet coming in the amounts to make a distinctive difference, and it's easier to understand why the overall interest in cryptos has been on the decline. Scanning through the top cryptos, as repeatedly mentioned, Bitcoin remains the magnet the rest of the Alts complex follows, and as a result, the 6% drop in BTC value led to similar negative percentage moves, with the exception of Vechain, up 4%. The total market value saw a slide from near $470b to currently stand at $440b. Despite the reduction in Bitcoin prices, the asset's dominance holds steady above the 40%, highest in 2018, which firms up the notion of a Bitcoin cycle phase. * Headlines below are listed in chronological order, as seen in CoinLive News Terminal Top Headlines Industry / Regulations
Japanese Consumer Watchdog Registers 3x Increase in Crypto/ICO Inquiries
To further cement the idea that interest in crypto has increased in Japan, the island’s Consumer Affairs Agency filed a new report showing a marked increase in cryptocurrency and ICO inquiries. This data was shared with the Financial Services Agency during a meeting in which the CAA was attempting to make a case for an increase in interest among consumers the cryptocurrency space. The year 2017 saw the agency busy with 2769 cases regarding cryptocurrencies and ICOs, compared to the 847 cases in the previous year. This is roughly a 3.27-times increase. When separating consultancy requests by gender, there’s little difference, with females making up 2082 consultation cases and males making up 2042. The FSA noted that most of the inquiries had much to do with the security practices of exchanges and concerns regarding whether an ICO is legitimate or not. It makes sense to get these kinds of requests, as Japan has already suffered two different breaches that were very costly. First, there was the Mt. Gox incident in 2014 that cost $450 million at the time. But now, the memory of the $500 million Coincheck hack is fresh in Japanese traders’ minds, overtaking Mt. Gox as the greatest cryptocurrency breach in history by volume of fiat money lost. Concerns about security have left agencies like the FSA scrambling to find ways to better regulate the ecosystem and ensure that they can prevent another such attack from happening. In March, the agency even went as far as to send a notice to Binance, warning it for operating without a license. This move may have been the reason for Bitcoin slipping in the latter half of March. Despite all of this, the report by CAA shows that the Japanese public is still interested in engaging with cryptocurrencies, albeit with a more cautious approach. Source
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