Cryptocurrency Daily News Bulletin: August 14, 2018

August 14, 2018 12:56 pm Published by

General News

South Korea’s Jeju island is seeking to become a free zone for initial coin offerings (ICOs) – a plan, if approved, would allow crypto projects to conduct token sales in the self-governing province despite the country’s tough stance on the issue. The governor of the Jeju province has proposed the plan in a meeting last week with central government officials and lawmakers including Korea’s finance minister.

EU: A draft proposal released by Ashley Fox MEP of the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs suggests creating new regulations for public ICOs, according to a document published Friday. The draft is intended to create a new set of standards and protections for “new and innovative ways of funding”, however only applying for public sales that raise less than €8m.

Barbados-based fintech startup Bitt Inc. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) to research the possibility of issuing a digital guilder. The parties intend to develop a central bank digital currency to facilitate financial payments within the monetary union of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Per the announcement, the bank is looking to “reduce the level of cash usage within the monetary union” and facilitate “more secure, more Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) compliant” transactions between the islands.

Saudi Arabia: A governmental committee comprised of Saudi Arabian regulators has issued a statement clarifying that cryptocurrency trading is illegal in the kingdom, warning against trading in cryptocurrencies due to “negative consequences and high risks on traders as they are out of government supervision.” It also further clarified that “the committee assured that virtual currency including, for example but not limited to, the Bitcoins are illegal in the kingdom and no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices.”

Spain’s left-wing political coalition, Unidos Podemos formed from left wing parties Podemos, United Left, Equo and others has suggested that the Spanish government establish a subcommittee responsible for studying the potential of blockchain technology as well cryptocurrency regulation. Alberto Montero, the deputy of the political alliance, has reportedly registered the request in the lower house, along with a project plan. The blockchain-focused body would bring together public administrations, state authorities and public officials, as well as industry experts. According to a Montero, the initiative aims to explore the “enormous potential” of blockchain tech in terms of reducing costs of government operations and boosting the level of security for social and economic transactions.

Microsoft’s two new patents reveal that the tech giant is looking to bolster its blockchain solutions with the use of trusted execution environments (TEEs), according to two filings published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Both applications outline how the use of TEEs could further improve security within a consortium blockchain network, which requires that specific nodes are endorsed to act as validator nodes (VNs) on the blockchain.

Coinbase has announced that it will reduce its Index Fund’s annual management fee “for all new and existing investors” from 2 to 1 percent, explaining, “We’re reducing our fee in order to attract investors who are familiar with lower-fee index funds in other asset classes. This will help introduce a new category of institutional investors into the cryptocurrency space.”

Square recently announced that users can now use Cash App to buy bitcoin in all fifty states in the US, only less than two weeks after sharing Square’s cryptocurrency profits had doubled in the second quarter. The move is yet another in a string of moves and statements by Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who has long expressed a bullish view of the cryptocurrency. Brian Grassadonia, Head of Cash App, noted the significance of the approval in New York state: “Square and the New York State DFS share a vision of empowering people with greater access to the financial system and today’s news is an important step in realizing that goal.”

India’s Government is mulling the launch of crypto tokens of its own for financial transactions in the country despite an ongoing banking ban on decentralized cryptocurrencies. An inter-governmental committee tasked to study and propose a regulatory roadmap for the cryptocurrency sector is also examining the usability of crypto tokens in the public sector


Bitcoin $6,083.50 USD (-6.18 percent): Trumpeted as a way to scale Bitcoin to handle mainstream adoption, added benefits to running lightning nodes to allow users to send cheap, instant payments include making transaction fees at lower levels than card payments but quicker than existing Bitcoin TPS. Meanwhile, Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has sought arrest warrants of six more people in an ongoing $24 million Bitcoin scam case.

Ripple $0.265381 USD (-13.97 percent) has now effectively erased most of the gains seen during last year’s bull run and is down 92 percent from its all-time high of $3.75. According to price data, XRP was trading at $0.16 cents exactly one year ago, leaving some to speculate a further drop in price. However, XRP has been added to Netcoins, a virtual crypto ATM that can be installed on computers, iPads, smart phones and other devices, allowing retailers to become crypto resellers. Further, XRP’s psychological decentralization barrier (a worry to many in the crypto space) has finally been broken.

Bitcoin Cash $497.83 USD (-15.35 percent): Recently leaked documents from Bitmain’s pre-IPO investor deck show that, as of March 31, the China-based firm was holding more than 1 million bitcoin cash (BCH) on its balance sheet, worth nearly $600 million at the present exchange rate. This follows Bitmain’s announcement last year that it was throwing its weight behind bitcoin cash ahead of the latter’s decision to pursue a divorce from the main BTC network due to irreconcilable differences over blockchain scaling.

Ethereum Classic $11.12 USD (-17.53 percent): Coinbase’s recent announcement regarding annual fee reduction for its index fund to attract institutional investors also includes plans to rebalance its fund to incorporate Ethereum Classic (ETC), following the altcoin’s official listing on Coinbase last week.

Cardano $0.093379 USD (-18.67 percent): Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK, the development team of Cardano, just dropped a series of surprise announcements, such as the introduction of Icarus, a Google Chrome extension that can be ported to other platforms such as Mozilla Firefox and mobile applications (a full wallet running in Google Chrome) and that IOHK will start to open up Cardano for third-party contributions. The plan is to create “community-driven flow” to tackle goals through an open-source approach. On the mobile side, the goal is to create a consumer-friendly experience that can spur adoption. Through third-party support and a growing ecosystem, Hoskinson expects to see merchant adoption for ADA. He envisions a sort of “ADA Pay” as a BitPay competitor. Hoskinson also noted that it won’t be long before people can issue digital assets with Cardano and that there will be a user-friendly framework that allows token issuers to get listed on exchanges and have stable wallet access.

Ethereum $267.07 USD (-17.17 percent): After roughly four-and-a-half months on its Rinkeby test network, the startup Minds will be moving to the Ethereum mainnet for its full live launch. The firm claims to provide a censorship-resistant, accessible social network for users, especially those in potentially authoritarian nations, according to a press release. The platform already sees around 500,000 daily page views, CEO Bill Ottman told CoinDesk. The platform also claims roughly 1.25 million registered users, about 75 percent of whom have already earned test tokens. These users will be eligible to receive the platform’s live token via a free “airdrop” distribution as a result.

NEM $0.104161 USD (-7.57 percent) has announced a partnership with Unibright, the unified framework for blockchain based business integration and a Germany-headquartered company aimed to provide blockchain technology and smart contracts to mainstream usage. Both are teaming up and start an official strategic partnership by adding NEM oriented code generation to the Unibright framework and adding Unibright to the NEM Service Partner (NEMsp) Program. Through this relationship, Unibright developers will receive blockchain training and certification through the Global NEMsp Network., Izaan Khan

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