Cryptocurrency Daily News Bulletin: August 15, 2018

August 15, 2018 1:53 pm Published by

General News

Jamaica Stock Exchange will soon be offering cryptocurrencies as tradeable assets for clients. The company said Tuesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with blockchain startup Blockstation for the creation of a new digital assets trading platform. While it is not clear which tokens will be initially listed, the platform is set to go live by the end of the year.

Axoni, an enterprise-focused blockchain startup completed a $32 million Series B funding round led by Goldman Sachs and Nyca Partners. Also participating in the round were Andreessen Horowitz, Citi, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Y Combinator and Digital Currency Group, among others. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs took part in a trial of an equity swaps DLT system in late 2017 that used Axoni’s AxCore platform. Most recently, Axoni teamed with Clearmatics to issue a derivatives contract on one blockchain and settle it on another – a milestone in blockchain interoperability.

Venezuela is set to begin using its “petro” cryptocurrency as an official accounting unit, according to the country’s president. The moves come as Venezuela’s government seeks to combat growing economic turmoil by relaxing its currency controls. In turn, the central bank will begin publishing the price of the sovereign bolivar as it relates to the petro “and the price of the petro according to international currencies.” Similar moves will see the country’s salary and pension systems tied to the petro’s value. Meanwhile, the country is also reportedly looking to launch a central bank for cryptocurrencies, as the country’s National Constituent Assembly is preparing to reform the Venezuelan Constitution to include it, along with a court above its Supreme Court.

China state-owned aerospace firm China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Ltd. is turning to blockchain technology to innovate its unwieldy electronic invoice system. China Aerospace’s existing electronic invoice services are end-to-end, covering issuance, delivery, filing, inspection and reimbursement for the country’s taxpayers and authorities. It has already issued some 2.5 billion invoices to date, the article notes. While electronic invoicing has reportedly entered a stage of “comprehensive promotion and adoption,” the article suggests that the existing system faces intractable hurdles, including over-reporting, false-reporting, and traceability issues in the process of invoice circulation.

Playboy is suing Canadian firm Global Blockchain Technologies (GBT), claiming that it failed to integrate blockchain technology into Playboy’s online media channels. Playboy Enterprises reportedly filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accusing the Canadian company of fraud and breaching a contract, which the two companies drew in March. Per the terms of the agreement, GBT would integrate the Vice Industry Token (VIT) on Playboy’s media sites. Playboy said that the blockchain firm not only failed to fulfill the requirements, but also omitted a payment of $4 million it promised in the agreement.

Fantasy Football League, called the Crown League wants to raise nearly $100 million dollars to create a new form of blockchain-based fantasy football. The project’s owner said that it seeks to form a professional fantasy football league, with 12 teams initially, which will collectively be owned by fans via the platform’s crypto tokens. In some respects, the league will act like other fantasy leagues, but it differs in being a single, unified entity operated by professional managers and owned by the general public.

Japanese messaging giant LINE has launched a token venture fund with a capital commitment of $10 million via its recently established subsidiary called Unblock Ventures. The publicly traded firm announced the fund in a release on Wednesday and said it aims to invest in blockchain startups in an effort to boost technological development. While Unblock Ventures, incorporated in Hong Kong in July, will be the fund’s manager, the $10 million capital is solely provided by LVC Corporation, another subsidiary of the LINE group. The company said it expects to increase the total amount of the fund in the future based on the development of the blockchain industry.

US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in an order Wednesday, August 15, it has barred and fined the creator of Tomahawkcoin over a fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Tomahawkcoin, which David T. Laurance ran as a token through his corresponding company Tomahawk Exploration LLC, failed to raise funds via an ICO in 2017. Having issued tokens via a “Bounty Program in exchange for promotional services,” Laurance, who has a previous record for securities fraud, again “violated the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.” Tomahawk presented investors with specious plans to drill for oil in California, erroneously claiming it had the right to do so.

South Korea: The government of South Korea announced it had excluded cryptocurrency exchanges from legislation governing venture businesses in a press release. The brief document from the country’s Ministry of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Startups (MSS) explained that contrary to previous decisions, it would “not encourage as a venture enterprise” and that “The Small and Medium Venture Business Department [of the MSS] has no intention to regulate cryptocurrency trading and disclosures (ICOs), but as problems such as speculation emerge, cryptocurrency exchanges are not a target for the government to encourage as a venture enterprise.” In other news, South Korea’s finance minister Kim Dong-yeon confirmedplans of a 5 trillion won investment toward its innovation program in 2019, a sharp 65 percent increase from this year’s budgetary spend. The South Korean government is keen on developing the infrastructure of a platform economy with a marked focus on blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence.


Bitcoin $6,407.30 USD (5.60 percent): Bitcoin’s volume has now surpassed the settlement volume of the OTC gold market. The OTC gold market is on track to settle USD 446 billion of transactions in 2018 while the Bitcoin market is on track to have a volume of USD 1.38 trillion in 2018. Meanwhile, a team of researchers from Northwestern University and bloXroute developed a novel proposal for Bitcoin scalability that does not compromise on decentralization and allows for zero-confirmation transactions. Further, former core developer Greg Maxwell’s privacy solution for Bitcoin (called Taproot Privacy), is practically completed, with the only hiccup being that it relies on technology (Schnorr Signatures) that don’t exist yet.

Ethereum $284.35 USD (6.34 percent): AirSwap is rolling out some pro tools to attract institutional investors to its decentralized exchange (DEX) for Ethereum tokens. The company is this week launching an interface for so-called over-the-counter (OTC) block trading. While to date AirSwap users have been signaling their intent to buy or sell a certain amount of tokens at a certain price on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, the new front end includes a chat feature so traders can negotiate the terms privately. Large, sophisticated investors often prefer trading this way rather than broadcasting a large order that could move the market. AirSwap claims its DEX, which fills orders via smart contracts on ethereum, offers a more efficient way to conduct OTC trades, which today are often negotiated over Skype and can take days to settle. Meanwhile, Prime Trust, a small U.S. financial institution that’s played a behind-the-scenes role in several dollar-backed cryptocurrencies, will announce next week that it can also handle cold-storage custody for ether and any token issued on the ethereum blockchain under the ERC-20 standard. Such services are in demand among institutional investors, who despite the bear market find crypto’s returns alluring, but don’t want the bother of protecting the private keys to a digital wallet and/or are required by law to use a qualified custodian.

Zcash $137.34 USD (2.07 percent): The code for an anonymous lightning network is now live. Dr Ayo Akinyele, a computer scientist who has focused his efforts on building a zcash implementation of anonymous off-chain payment architecture called BOLT, has released his implementation, publishing on Github today. First conceived by zcash founders Matthew Green and Ian Miers in 2016, the code is inspired by the bitcoin scaling solution, lightning network, and seeks to unlock high levels of transaction throughput while adding payment confidentiality. Using blind signatures and zero-knowledge proofs, BOLT obscures transactions, balances and sender and receiver identities. Plus, because it’s built to function along with privacy-oriented cryptocurrency zcash, users can open a channel using shielded transactions, thereby anonymizing the initial connection to the network.

Siacoin $0.005232 USD (11.77 percent): Siacoin core developers and community-governed ASIC manufacturers Obelisk are renewing efforts to develop code to fork mining giant Bitmain off the Siacoin blockchain. The startup that aims to offer alternative mining equipment for the protocol, has proposed code would give those running the software the option to exclude Bitmain’s ASIC miners by changing the rules so the machines are no longer compatible. The news is notable as it showcases how cryptocurrency communities are responding to the expanding business interests of Bitmain.

Tron $0.019798 USD (10.65 percent): Tron has just been added to the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange BitBox, leading to an upwards initial price swing of 13 percent, managing to edge out IOTA to claim the number 11 spot. To mark the occasion, the platform announced an airdrop of up to 9,000,000 TRX tokens. Meanwhile, the Tron community has elected BitTorrent as one of the 27 super representatives that will power the Tron network. Tron’s 27 democratically elected super representatives will be responsible for hosting nodes and validating network transactions., Izaan Khan

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