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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

Ready, Set, Crypto

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⚖ Mt. Gox Close to Settling Creditors’ Accounts

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019

Appointed trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, of the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange, Mt. Gox, issued a statement advising that those affected by the crash may see a decision very soon on their reimbursement plan. The expected settlement will be available in cryptocurrency or cash. Kobayashi has approved claims for 802,521 BTC (worth $3,233,256,500), 792,296 BCH ($124,953,000), $38,165,664 in USD and other fiat currencies as stipulated in this document.

SOURCE: CRYPTOVEST


✂  BlockFi Cuts Interest Rates Paid to 2% For Its Large Accounts

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019

A few weeks after launching, BlockFi, the cryptocurrency lending startup, has just changed the terms of their interest-bearing deposit account. The company stated in their official blog post that starting April 1, 2019 any accounts with more than 25 BTC or 500 ETH, they will only pay 2% on the amount deposited instead of the originally advertised 6%. Zac Prince, CEO and founder, advised the change is due an unexpected and overwhelmingly large demand from institution clients to deposit more than one million dollars worth of cryptocurrency. BlockFi raised $25 million in the last two weeks alone.

SOURCE: COINDESK


?Bayer Crop Science Partners With ConsenSys’ BlockApps

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019

Pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, and its German-based agricultural division, Bayer CropScience, have teamed up with startup BlockApps, backed by ConsenSys. The partnership was said to have begun early 2018 and they’ve been working on a number of blockchain initiatives to improve operation and the industry. Bayer CropScience was formerly known as Monsanto, the highly controversial agricultural company, before its acquisition.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


⚡ Huobi Global & OKEx Supports Tron-based USDT

THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019

Major cryptocurrency exchanges, Huobi Global and OKEx, have separately announced that they will be supporting the TRC20-based USDT stablecoin, USDT-TRON,launched by TRON and Tether. The new token will be operable with all Tron-based protocols and decentralized applications, improving liquidity in the ecosystem.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? Square Hiring Crypto Engineers

THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019

CEO of Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey, announced Square Crypto is seeking to hire three to four cryptocurrency engineers and one designer to build its upcoming crypto ecosystem. Dorsey has become a strong public proponent of bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the recent months. This initiative brings further optimism to the cryptocurrency community and the blockchain industry.

SOURCE: CCN


⛔ CBOE Discontinues Bitcoin Futures

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the first exchange to list bitcoin futures, has decided to stop listing the very same product. CBOE stated that it has not fully closed the door on cryptocurrency, but does not intend to list additional bitcoin futures for trading at the moment due to decreased demand.

SOURCE: FORBES


? Coinmarketcap Launches Crypto Indices on Nasdaq, Bloomberg and More

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

CoinMarketCap, announced it will launching two cryptocurrency benchmark indices on Nasdaq Global Index Data Service (GIDS), Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters Eikon (Refinitiv), Germany’s Börse Stuttgart, and its own platform. The indices cover the top 200 by market capitalization. The first index, CMC Crypto 200 Index (CMC200), includes bitcoin and covers more than 90% of the cryptocurrency market. The second index, CMC Crypto 200 ex BTC Index (CMC200EX) does not include bitcoin, in order to track market performance without its influence. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


⚡ Huobi Launches Token Sale Platform

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

Singapore cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi Global, announced on its blog that Huobi Prime, a dedicated token sale platform. The new platform is geared towards both large and small investors and allows individuals access to new altcoin tokens before they appear on major exchanges. The first project to launch is TOP and will take place on March 26, 2019

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? Cryptopia’s Trading Service Resumes After Hack

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange, Cryptopia, announced it is resuming its trading service after its hack mid-January. An estimated of 9.4% of the exchange’s total holdings were stolen. Currently, 40 trade pairs have been evaluated as secure and this list will continue to grow as Cryptopia clears more coins. See the full list: here

SOURCE: COINDESK


?? Purchase Bitcoin Down Under With Binance Lite

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has expanded its Binance Lite fiat gateway to Australia. 1,300 newsagent stores will be ready and allow customers to buy cryptocurrency with regular fiat money. In order to use this service, customers will need to pass account verification, including Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures.

SOURCE: THENEXTWEB


?? Switzerland’s Largest Online Retailer Accepts Bitcoin

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019

Digitec-Galaxus, Switzerland’s “Amazon”, is now accepting bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies as payment. Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Oliver Herren, says the company’s move to accept this form of payment method is to target a more tech-savvy audience and position itself as a forward-thinking company. The large online retailer has partnered with Coinify to process all cryptocurrency transactions. 

SOURCE: BITCOINIST


? Fortune 500 Company Accepts Crypto Payments

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019

Fortune 500 company Avnet, one of the largest electronic components distributors worldwide, announced it will now accept bitcoin (BTC) or bitcoin (BCH) as payments for its products and services. Avnet partnered with payment platform, BitPay, who will aid with verifying funds, processing orders, and completing transactions.

SOURCE: ETHNEW


? IBM Signs 6 Banks Ready To Issue Stablecoin

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

IBM officially launches its real-time global payments network, Blockchain World Wire (BWW), in collaboration with Stellar (XLM) is now live. IBM and Stellar announced that six international banks have signed up to issue their own stablecoins on the blockchain-powered payments network. BWW currently supports more than 47 currencies for payments across 72 countries.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


✋ Bitcoin Futures On the Bakkt Burner

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

The highly anticipated bitcoin futures market, Bakkt, by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has yet to receive regulatory approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). ICE originally intended to launch the platform in mid-December, but has since delayed the project indefinitely.

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Blockchain Watch: Whale Hello There

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019
TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019
MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock