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Crypto Cheers & Controversies

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⚖ FinCEN Penalizes Its First P2P Currency Exchanger

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

For the first time, the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has penalized a peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency exchanger for breaking anti-money laundering (AML) rules. FinCEN announced that the individual, Eric Powers, operated an unregistered money services business, did not have any written policies and procedures for compliance to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and failed to report and suspicious transactions. 

SOURCE: THEBLOCKCRYPTO


?? Coinnest Shuts Down

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

Coinnest, South Korea’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced it will be officially closing down. The decision comes as a result of the exchange struggling to cope with changes in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. They advised users will need to withdraw any funds on its platform by April 30

A few controversies the exchange experienced dealt with in the past year may be cause for its shut down. This January, the exchange reportedly lost $5 million worth in bitcoin and other digital assets, due to a mistaken airdrop. Last year, a top-level executive from Coinnest were arrested by Korean law enforcement agents and later convicted for fraud. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Creator Sues Podcaster for Libel

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

Craig Wrightthe self-proclaimed creator of bitcoin, has sued podcaster Peter McCormack, of What Bitcoin Did, for libel. Wright accuses McCormack of denying he is Satoshi Nakamoto and is seeking nearly $130,000 in damages.

SOURCE: CCN


? Bakkt Eyes New York Licence For Crypto Custody

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) –  the owner of the New York Stock Exchange – is reportedly eyeing a New York license for its long-delayed crypto exchange Bakkt. The launch of Bakkt has been delayed by over five months due to scepticism from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over concerns of how clients’ tokens, linked to bitcoin futures, will safely be stored.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG


⛓ Binance Chain Launches

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

Binance has officially launched its mainnet Binance Chain. The cryptocurrency exchange announced it will activate its native token, BNB, on the new network on April 23, allowing token holders to migrate their balances. In order to maintain a constant supply on both networks, old ethereum-based tokens will be destroyed as new BNB tokens are created on Binance Chain.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


⚖ Winklevoss Brothers Settle $26M Bitcoin Lawsuit

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have finally settled their lawsuit with Charlie Shrem, a bitcoin supporter and entrepreneur. Shrem claimed the Winklevoss twins owed him $26 million dollars worth of bitcoin. The U.S. District Court for the Sourthern District of New York announced a settlement has been reached by both parties. Both parties will have the right to reopen the case and proceed the trial within 30 days. 

SOURCE: BITCOINEXCHANGEGUIDE


? Coinbase Expands Crypto-to-Crypto Services to 11 Countries

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, introduced its Coinbase Pro trading platform to 11 more countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia including: Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Zealand.  The company announced that crypto-to-crypto trading is now available to users in 53 countries. 

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


?? Rakuten Opens Crypto Wallet Registration

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten, has started accepting account registrations for its upcoming cryptocurrency wallet, Rakuten Wallet. The company announced that users who have an account with Rakuten Bank or who already have a Rakuten member ID can sign-up prior to the official trading launch this June. 

SOURCE: COINGEEK


❌ Kraken Delists Bitcoin SV Following Community Poll

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

Kraken, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, set up a Twitter poll yesterday, asking its users whether it should delist bitcoin SV. Voters took to the polls and it was a 71% majority in favour of delisting the asset. Kraken’s decision follows in the footsteps of Binance, who dropped the coin earlier this week due to its founder’s “antiethical behaviour.”

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? USDT Launches on Tron Network

MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Tether has begun issuing its USD-pegged stablecoin, USDT, on the Tron‘s TRC-20 protocol. The development is an upgrade from the OMNI protocol-based USDT. Existing users of USDT can directly convert their tokens to USDT-Tron by contacting Tether or through exchanges. The network intends to allow zero fee transactions for the new coin.

SOURCE: COINGAPE


❌ Binance Delists Bitcoin SV (BSV)

MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has announced it is delisting bitcoin SV (BSV) starting April 22. The decision was made due to controversy around BSV’s founder, Craig Wright, who’s proclaimed he is the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright has been unrelenting on Twitter, attacking users who refute his claim. CZ earlier warned Wright that he would delist the altcoin if he did not change his behaviour; Wright did not heed his threats.  

SOURCE: COINDESK


?  Blockchain Watch: Oh Whale

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019
THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019
TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019
MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Official Crypto Beginnings & Ends

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? Binance Labs Grants $45K To Three Blockchain Projects

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019

Binance Labs, a venture arm of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, granted $15,000 to each of its first 3 open-source Fellowship projects:

  • Ironbelly: a mobile crypto wallet from Grin blockchain,
  • HOPR: a privacy-preserving messaging protocol, and
  • Kitsune Wallet: an upgradeable on-chain wallet.

Binance Labs Fellowship helps fund and support open-source development projects that contribute and have infrastructure value to the blockchain ecosystem.

SOURCE: CRYPTONINJAS


? WikiLeaks Receives BTC Donation Worth $20,000

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019

WikiLeaks leader, Julian Assange, was arrested by United Kingdom police for extradition to the United States. Assange has sought asylum since 2012 at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, but Ecuador recently withdrew this status. 

Since Assange’s arrest, WikiLeaks has plead for donations from the public to contribute to its official defence fund. The fund has received $20,000 worth of bitcoin at the time of this writing. 

SOURCE: DAILYHODL


? Coinbase Vice President Leaves After 5 Years

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019

Coinbase, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, will say goodbye to executive and vice president, Dan Romero, at the end of this month. Romero has been with the company since 2014 when there was only 20 employees; they now have over 700.

The announcement was officially made through Coinbase’s Medium account, but does not share any specific reason for his departure. A total of nine senior and mid-level employees have left Coinbase since its fundraiser October of 2018. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Bakkt Hires Former Paypal & Google Exec For New Chief Product Officer

THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019

Bitcoin futures exchange, Bakkt, has introduced their new Chief Product Officer (CPO), Mike Blandina, a former Paypal and Google senior engineer executive. Bakkt CEO, Kelly Loeffler, announced that Mike will lead efforts to “converge a trusted ecosystem for digital assets with payment use cases.”

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? 5th MakerDAO Poll To Increase in Stability Fee

THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019

Users of MakerDAO‘s stablecoin, DAI, are taking to the polls for the fifth vote this year to further increase the stability fee another 4%; a total increase of 11.5% per year if approved. The polls end today at 5 PM UTC and the majority so far is in favour of the increase. DAI is an ERC-20-based stablecoin pegged 1:1 with the USD via issuance of Maker-administered collateralized debt positions. 

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


?? China To Proposes New Policy on Crypto Mining

THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has published a draft proposal looking to restrict and/or eliminate virtual currency mining. It does not outright specify that mining should be banned, but says it’s necessary to control as the current industry heavily relies on fossil fuel energy which leads to increased environmental pollution. 

Half of all existing bitcoin mining operations occur in China. If the proposal were to become policy, it will not only alter environmental impacts of bitcoin mining, but also decentralised mining efforts: wider hash rate distribution, stronger network, and new mining locations using renewable energy.  

SOURCE: NEWSBTC


? Coinbase Card Launches in the U.K.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has launched Coinbase Card to allow users in the United Kingdom to spend cryptocurrencies in-stores or any online website. The card itself is a Visa card that works with any merchants on the Visa network.

Coinbase has also released a Coinbase Card mobile app to manage crypto balances. Users can directly access cryptocurrencies from their account, without needing to transfer assets from the main to card app. The card costs $6.50 and every transaction costs 2.49% in fees (1.49% conversion fee plus 1% transaction fee. 

SOURCE: TECHCRUNCH


❌New York Rejects BitLicense Application by Bittrex

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019

Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange, Bittrex, was rejected by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on their application for a  BitLicense. The NYDFS published a formal letter outlining all of the factors and deficiencies that contributed to their decision. This included Bittrex’s: inadequate BSA/AML/OFAC compliance program, inadequate coin/token due diligence, inadequate capital, and more. 

Bittrex has released their official statement in response to the NYDFS’ decision. The company has stated that at this time, they are unsure if they will reapply for the BitLicense. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Mt. Gox Creditors Leader Leaves Post

TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2019

Founder and coordinator of Mt. Gox Legal, Andy Pag, has stepped down from the organized creditor group. Pag spearheaded the group 18 months ago with the intention of advocating for the reimbursement of creditors of the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange, Mt. Gox. Fast forward to today, Pag has shared in an interview that he believes ongoing legal issues – especially with former startup partner Coinlab – may hold up the civil rehabilitation process for up to two more years. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Western Union Partners With Digital Wallet

TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2019

Money transfer giant, Western Union, has partnered with digital wallet provider, Coins.ph, to expand cross-border transfers to the users in the Philippines. Users can receive and hold international money transfers from Western Union’s digital and retail networks in more than 60 and 200 countries respectively. 

SOURCE: COINSPEAKER


✂ Bitfinex Removes Minimum $10K Balance Requirement

TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex, has removed its $10,000 minimum equity trading requirement. On their official blog, they advised the update is in response to increasing level of requests for access to trade on the exchange from a wide variety of traders. To support their new wave of customers, the company has redesigned their support centre, created a new KYC portal, and will start offering sentiment analysis for supported coins/tokens.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


⚖ QuadrigaCX Officially Declares Bankruptcy

MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019

On Monday, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled that the Canadian-based cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, will be entering bankruptcy. Since the end-of-January, QuadrigaCX has been operating under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to get assistance reclaiming access to funds located in cold wallets. Currently, the company owes 115,000 users more than $195 million worth in both cryptocurrency and fiat.

SOURCE: COINDESK


?  Blockchain Watch: Oh Whale

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019
THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019
TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2019
MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019
SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2019

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Cryptocurrency Triumphs & Troubles

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? U.S. Authorities Charge Leaders of ‘OneCoin’

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2019

United States prosecutors announced criminal charges against leaders behind OneCoin, a multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency pyramid scheme. Konstantin Ignatov, Ruja Ignatova, and Mark Scott were charged by the Southern District of New York for wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. An estimated $1.2 billion of investor money was laundered to at least 21 countries

SOURCE: NASDAQ


⏸  Fidelity May Delay Support for Ethereum

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2019

Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS) advises support for ethereum (ETH) may be delayed due to the latest hard fork upgrades. FDAS quietly launched this quarter and is a new company created by investing giant, Fidelity Investments. FDAS president, Tom Jessop, says they want ether and other cryptocurrencies to be available but the process it’s easy. Bitcoin (BTC) is currently the only digital asset supported on the platform.

SOURCE: COINDESK


?? South Korea Establishes Task Force To Fight Crypto Fraud

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2019

South Korean’s Supreme Prosecutors’ Office(SPO) has created a new task force to protect consumers from fraud, crimes, money laundering, and other suspicious activities related to digital currencies. Cryptocurrency related crimes in the country have risen from 53 in 2016 to 4,500 in 2018. 

SOURCE: COINGEEK


⚙️ OKEx Lists Tron On C2C Market

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, OKEx, adds Tron (TRX) to its customer-to-customer (C2C) trading platform. The decentralized C2C platform allows users to trade assets directly with one another. In addition, users can place orders with self-selected exchange rates and pay using cryptocurrency or support fiat currencies.

SOURCE: COINGAPE


? eToro Launches Trading Platform & Wallet in the U.S.

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2019

eToro, the social investing and trading platform, officially announces the launch of  its fiat-to-crypto platform in the United States. The platform is already available in 140 countries worldwide and will now operate in 30 states and 2 territories in the US. Users will be able to use popular like CopyTrader to follow trading habits of individuals with a proven track record. eToro’s multi-signature wallet provide multi-coin support such as BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, XRP and XLM

SOURCE: NEWSBTC


? SIX Teams Up With R3 Corda For New Digital Asset Exchange

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2019

The Swiss stock exchange, SIX, selects R3 Corda to provide its ucoming blockchain-based platform. It will use R3’s Corda Enterprise to power the Six Digital Exchange (SDX) platform to allow the issuing and trading digital assets, as well as tokenization of securities and non-bankable assets. 

SOURCE: FINEXTRA


? Coinbase Clarifies It Never Shared “Personally Identifiable” Customer Data

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2019

Coinbase is still in the hot seat since its acquisition of blockchain analytics firm, Neutrino. Tensions raised last Friday when Christine Sandler stated that the exchange’s previous analytics provider was “selling client data to outside sources” in her interview with Cheddar. A spokesperson from Coinbase has now advised Sandler misspoke and clarified the exchange never shared “personally identifiable information with any third-party blockchain analysis vendors.”

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Ripple Launches On Huobi’s OTC Platform

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi, now supports Ripple (XRP) on to its over-the-counter (OTC) platform which currently lists assets such as bitcoin, ethereum, tether, EOS, and Huobi Token. Huobi OTC aims to bridge the gap between fiat and digital assets, serving as an escrow for its users.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? Swiss Stock Exchange Launches Ethereum ETP

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2019

Swiss’ SIX stock exchange launches its first ethereum-based exchange traded product (ETP) under the ticker AETH. Ethereum ETP, backed by startup Amun AG, is the second cryptocurrency-based ETP to be made available, with bitcoin ETP being the first. SIX plans to list a total of five crypto-based ETP’s which will also include ripple, bitcoin cash and litecoin. These collectively make up the Amun Crypto Basket Index  (HODL5).

SOURCES: BITCOIN.COM


? MakerDAO Holds Vote on Fee Hike for DAI

UPDATE: FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2019

Votes are in! Users and holders of DAI in favour of increasing the DAI stability fee from 1.5% and 3.5%.

SOURCE: CRYPTOGLOBE

TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2019

MakerDAO is asking token holders of ethereum-backed stablecoin, DAI, to vote on whether to go forth with the proposed increase in stability fees from 1.5% to 3.5%. MakerDAO’s founder, Rune Christensen, states the rationale behind the fee hike is because DAI’s dollar-peg is “almost at a breaking point”. Token holders can cast their votes here.

SOURCE: COINDESK


⚖️ Quadriga Gets 45-Day Extension from Court

TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2019

The Canadian court has granted troubled crypto exchange, QuadrigaCX, a 45-day extension to allow for the continued search of $140 million worth of missing cryptocurrency. In addition, the court has appointed Peter Wedlake, a retired partner and senior vice president of audit firm Grant Thorton, to be the chief restructuring officer (CRO). The court has also ordered Amazon Web Services to overturn any data on the Quadriga platform originally created by Gerald Cotten, the former CEO.

SOURCE: COINDESK


☑️ Tron (TRX) Partners With Tether (USDT)

MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2019

Tron Foundation officially announces their newest partnership with Tether. The partnership will bring Tether’s USDT coin onto the TRON network by the end of Q2 2019, and allow the issuance of a TRC20-based USDT. This marks the first major cryptocurrency crossover and will allow TRX and Tether users to transact on the TRON network with access to a price-stable asset.

SOURCE: ETHEREUMWORLDNEWS


? Blockchain Watch: Hello Goodbye

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2019

Bitcoin whales moved a total of 9820 BTC, worth $38.4 million dollars.

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2019
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2019
TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2019
MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2019

Bitcoin (BTC) and Stellar whales start off the week strong.

SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2019

Ethereum whales are on the go, moving a total of 174, 450 ETH, worth $22.1 million dollars.

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

⚡️ Cryptocurrencies Go Live!

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?Bitcoin Finally in the Green After 6-Month Losses

FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2019

Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, ends its 6-month losing streak; finally out of the red. It closed at $3,900 at the end of February. Even in this crypto winter, BTC’s bullish momentum show signs of recovery.

SOURCES: NEWSBTCCHEPICAP


? Ethereum Hard Forks Now Activated

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2019

Ethereum (ETH), the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, successfully implements system upgrades Constantinople and St. Petersburg. Originally planned for January, the Constantinople fork was delayed due to concerns about potential security vulnerabilities. Both forks officially took place at block number 7,280,000. The upgrades are intended to increase the network’s efficiency and will reduce miner block rewards from 3 to 2 ETH.

SOURCE: ETHEREUM WORLD NEWS


?Facebook & Telegram To Rollout Their Own Digital Currency

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2019

Internet messaging giants like Facebook, Telegram and Signal, will be rolling out their own cryptocurrencies in next year. Their intent is to allow users to transfer money directly from their message platforms with the use of blockchain. The projects have been highly secretive and the question still remains whether the tech companies will fully control their cryptocurrency or if it there will be some form of decentralization.

SOURCE: NYTIMES


? Kraken Offers $100K Reward For Info On Quadriga’s Missing Funds

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken, announced they are offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who can provide the best lead on the discovery of missing coins from recently collapsed Canadian crypto exchange, Quadrigacx. It is estimated that a total of $190 million USD of Quadriga’s client funds remain inaccessible.  Kraken’s official blog highlights what is known to-date and any new tips can be submitted: here.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? Blockchain Watch: Ripple & Stellar On The Move

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2019
  • Ripple: 50 separate transactions of 10M XRP each moved from Bittrex to Upbit. The total value of the transactions is equivalent to $159 million USD
  • Stellar22 separate transaction of  10M XLM each moved from Bittrex to an unknown wallet. The total value of the transactions is equivalent to $19 million USD. 

SOURCE: DAILYHODL


☑️ Ripple Now Listed on Coinbase Pro

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2019

Users on crypto exchange, Coinbase Pro, can now buy and sell ripple (XRP) – the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Despite regulatory concerns, Coinbase stands its ground and makes XRP available to its users in the US (except New York), Canada, UK, supported EU nations, Singapore and Australia, with more jurisdictions to be added in the near future. Further developments can be found on Coinbase’s official blog post.

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Bitcoin & Ethereum Indices Now Live on Nasdaq

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2019

Nasdaq’s integration of Brave New Coin‘s bitcoin liquid index (BLX) and ethereum liquid index (ELX) is now live. The real-time indices are available for clients using Nasdaq’s Global Index Data Service SM (GIDS). This move affirms Nasdaq’s optimism towards cryptocurrency with Adena Friedman, president and CEO, previously expressing it is a “tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity.”

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


⚖️ US Government Retrieves & Returns Bitcoin to Bitfinex

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2019

The United States government has retrieved and returned 27.66270285 BTC (worth $104,000) to cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex. A total of 119,756 BTC were stolen during the hack of August 2016; the return represents only 0.023 % of this total.

SOURCE: COINDESK