Cryptocurrency Daily News Bulletin: July 20, 2018

July 20, 2018 2:29 pm Published by

General News

Aon, a major insurance broker, claims to occupy 50 percent of the crypto-insurance market as they are seeing more crypto-specific protections catering to the new industry. Big-name insurers such as AIG, Allianz, Chubb, and XL Group are increasingly tailoring coverage options to protect businesses in the crypto space, with much higher premiums being provided due to its elevated risk. Another broker, Marsh & McLennan, has now formed its first-ever team dedicated to broker policies for blockchain startups.

Barclays Bank have applied for two patents revolving around account security. Most notably is an application for a patent which outlined a blockchain-platform which could facilitate cryptocurrency transfers. The bank also proposed streamlining KYC processes by storing identifying information on a private blockchain.

International Data Corporation: A newly published report expects spending on blockchain solutions to grow at an annual rate of nearly 75 percent, hitting $22 billion by 2022.

HSBC: Global Head of Digital, Josh Bottomley, said that the bank is “cautiously looking” at cryptocurrency use cases.

Huobi Group has announced the launch of a new platform, Huobi Cloud, that will allow users to build digital asset exchanges on top of Huobi’s existing platform. More than ten multinational companies have already become partners with Huobi Cloud. Partners will also be able to use the order integration and wallet systems, as well as the asset management and clearing system of the Huobi Global platform.

JP Morgan Chase filed for a patent application in January (published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office yesterday), outlining a method where users on a distributed network such as blockchain can tokenize assets and trade these virtual depository receipts. JPMorgan believes one use case for this proposed system is to allow companies to hold IPO’s in a blockchain environment.

Tutanota, a provider of an encrypted email service, has begun to accept donations in bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and monero to test payment processing using cryptocurrencies. The company believes decentralized payments could support an anonymous email service for human rights activists, whistleblowers, and journalists who require special protection.

Canada’s energy regulator of the province, Régie de l’énergie, gave the region’s utility firm, Hydro-Quebec, the go-ahead to impose a deterrent tariff that will see cryptocurrency miners paying double the rate that is levied on households and other utility customers (15 cents per kilowatt hour). This is to maintain consistency in supply until the hearing on crypto mining regulations commences next month. This comes after Toronto-based Bitcoin mining company Hut 8 announced the completion of its second mining facility in Canada, becoming the world’s “largest publicly-traded” operator by capacity.

Malta is now launching its first regulated and decentralised global stock exchange. After partnering with Neufund and Binance to launch the first decentralised bank (Founders Bank), the Malta Stock Exchange is now working with them on a decentralised exchange, truly progressing Malta as the world’s ‘blockchain island’.

Taiwan: The “big four” auditing firms — Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC —have joined 20 Taiwanese banks to pilot blockchain technology for fiscal audits. They will test a blockchain solution for auditing companies’ interim financial reports, focused on streamlining ‘external confirmation’ processes. These currently require an auditor to manually obtain and verify audit evidence of companies’ transactions with third parties. The processing time will be reduced from two weeks to within a day.

United Kingdom: The Law Commission has launched a research project investigating reforms that would bring legal clarity to the use of blockchain-based smart contracts. They believe that smart contracts have the advantage of increasing “trust and certainty” and boost transaction efficiency among businesses. As such, the current legal system should adapt to the nascent technology to make the U.K. attractive for enterprises.

United States: The CFTC has now issued their fourth warning to consumers, advising them to exercise caution and carry out comprehensive research before investing in any cryptocurrencies, including those advertised as utility coins or consumption coins. Meanwhile, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is launching a regulatory sandbox to encourage blockchain and other financial technology innovation.

Vietnam is closing in on a sweeping move to – temporarily – ban the import of ASIC cryptocurrency mining equipment after the central bank approved the proposed plan.

Mike Novogratz, former Wall Street executive, has predicted that mass adoption of crypto and blockchain is “still five to six years away”, citing increasing “costs of technical talent” as well as the doubts over conventional investors adoption.  

Steve Bannon, Trump’s former advisor, claims he is “working on some tokens now, utility tokens… for the populist movement on a worldwide basis”, whilst also reiterating his belief in the disruptive power of bitcoin and crypto’s.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin $7,452.50 USD (0.91 percent) peer-to-peer exchange, Paxful, is doubling down on developing markets. The startup plans to open an office in hyperinflation-ridden Venezuela in September and release an Android app, its first for mobile devices, in October. Co-founder Ray Youssef claims that exchange use is surging in developing nations, where mobile phones are abundant and cheap but access to crypto remains scarce. It is worth noting that BTC dominance has been ticking up significantly, hitting 45% today, as the rest of the market and the majority of altcoins pullback from the recent BTC-led rally.

EOS $8.36 USD (-2.82 percent): China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has just unveiled its third official cryptocurrency ratings index. EOS and Ethereum have maintained their first and second positions respectively, while Ripple, NEO and Stellar fell down the list. Meanwhile, the EOS Arbitration controversy will be eased with this new tool developed by Sagewise. Sagewise builds blockchain and crypto-based dispute resolving technology, and they have now launched a tool to verify frozen accounts. Sagewise’s tool allows users to prove that they own an Ethereum address. Additionally, it also allows the users to provide an EOS address where they want those tokens delivered and allows an independent third party to confirm the verification, thus increasing its reliability. This not only solves the centralisation issue of the frozen accounts but also the issue of over 3.3 million tokens being lost from 19, 587 wallets during the token migration.

Ethereum $463.31 USD (-3.36 percent): A new test network has been launched for Raiden, Ethereum’s payments channel project. The release features a minimal implementation of the scaling solution that will allow ethereum tokens to be traded on off-chain payment channels. This testnet will be the final one to battle-test the tech before it goes live for everyday users.

Ethereum Classic Cooperative $16.94 USD (-3.70 percent) is looking to use its surplus cash of $700k to transform ETC over the next few months, focussing on more aggressive marketing and gaining further partnerships.

OmiseGo $7.19 USD (-10.32 percent): Cryptocurrency exchange BitBay is launching a zero-fee fiat currency exchange and they have announced the listing of OMG to their exchange.

Stratis $2.79 USD (-8.82 percent) have announced the release of their free Stratis Identity App for Apple IOS devices. The app creates a permanent, unique identity for organisations or individuals on the Stratis blockchain that provides permission-only access to the identification.  

Tron $0.036656 USD (-5.37 percent) has been listed on cryptocurrency exchange Changelly, which officially opened TRX and US dollar (USD) trading channel. Users can use credit card to purchase TRX directly through the Changelly. Meanwhile, after announcing his candidacy to become a Tron “super representative” just one day ago, Justin Sun has successfully garnered enough votes to run one of just 27 elected nodes. Whilst claiming his candidacy was “a completely personal action” and will not represent the Tron Foundation, some followers have argued that this decision goes against the democratic procedure and could result in centralised influence.

ZenCash $29.00 USD (4.23 percent) has surged 50 percent this month as the project prepares to begin paying out the rewards for its new Super Nodes. Building off the momentum of the Super Node launch, the ZenCash team has made the decision to launch a brand expansion campaign in August to better fit its growing platform applications and growth aspirations.

WN.com, Jamie Saarloos



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