Cryptocurrency Daily News Bulletin: August 21, 2018August 21, 2018 1:09 pm
South Korea: A group of judges, lawmakers and industry experts in South Korea are forming a new group aimed to discuss legal issues surrounding blockchain technology. Called the Blockchain Law Society, the group is holding its founding conference on Aug. 24 in the Seoul Central District Court, during which participants will discuss both regulatory issues around blockchain and how to utilize the tech in the legal space. According to a press release published Monday, Jung-yeop Lee, the presiding judge of the district court in the city of Daejeon, founded the organization as an industry-led initiative intended to foster dialogue within the country’s justice and legislative arms, as well as elsewhere in society.
China: Blockchain and AI technology company Seven Stars Cloud Group has scored a major deal to help raise $24 billion to fund large-scale electric bus upgrades for China’s biggest full-service operator. According to a press release published Monday, under an exclusive contract made with the National Transportation Capacity Co Ltd (NTS), Seven Stars Cloud will issue fixed income lease financing-based products through its regulatory complaint blockchain ecosystem, including one campaign based in China and the other open to the global markets. In other news, Zheshang Bank, one of the largest privately held commercial banks in China, has completed an issuance of securities worth $66 million using its proprietary blockchain platform. Based on public documents, the bank filed a prospectus with the Shanghai Clearing House on Aug. 13 saying it would back the securities with a portfolio of account receivables from various corporations. According to a report from China Securities Journal on Monday, the bank subsequently completed the issuance on Aug. 17, becoming one of the first institutions in the country to have made such an issuance over a blockchain network
Softbank China Venture Capital (SBCVC) along with Baidu have completed a $3 million equity seed round in Atlas Protocol (run by ex-Google ad employees). The startup believes that the data accumulating on blockchains today can be used to better market to internet users tomorrow, an idea that has already received validation from some of the biggest names in Asian business. Google, of course, earns the lion’s share of its money by gathering data about user behavior and using it to advertise to them all over the web, while users have very little control over how much data the company collects about them. As such, Atlas is positioning itself to come out ahead of Google if more of the web begins directly interacting with public blockchains. The Atlas team knows the Google playbook well. It was incubated by the xGoogler Blockchain Alliance, an organization made up of former Google employees now deeply involved in building out the blockchain ecosystem.
Bakkt: Two weeks after the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) introduced Bakkt, a new digital assets platform, the latter’s CEO, Kelly Loeffler, has set out to explain what the service will offer consumers. Loeffler outlined the fundamentals for a platform to trade, store or spend cryptocurrencies in a post published on August 20. The platform is currently working with what she described as “a proven framework that underpins exchanges” which will include three characteristics: it will be consistent with existing regulations, provide a transparent system for price discovery and offer “institutional quality pre-and post-trade infrastructure.” Notably, Loeffler emphasized the critical role that the physical delivery of cryptocurrencies plays in trusted price formation, which is the foundation of advancing the promise of cryptocurrencies, and thus the platform will not support margin trading, according to the post.
Winklevoss-founded exchange Gemini along with a group of other cryptocurrency exchanges have combined forces to launch a new industry-focused self-regulatory organization (SRO). First proposed in March, the Virtual Commodity Association aims to “foster financially sound, responsible and innovative virtual commodity markets” by developing industry standards and encouraging cryptocurrency exchanges to prevent market manipulation and other fraudulent actions. On Monday, the proposal took its next step, with Gemini launching a working group to begin developing these standards. As explained by an introductory post on the VCA’s website, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has legal jurisdiction over commodities, such as bitcoin and ether, though it does not necessarily have jurisdiction over cash and spot markets derived from commodities.
US Government will help fund a distributed ledger platform being developed by researchers at the University of California-San Diego. Subhashini Sivagnanam, a researcher and software architect with the Data Enabled Scientific Computing division at the San Diego Supercomputing Center, won $818,433 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the Open Science Chain (OSC), a proposed distributed ledger which will help researchers efficiently access and verify data collected through scientific experiments, according to the NSF’s website. NSF, a long-standing scientific organization, serves as a key conduit for research initiatives in the U.S. to tap federal resources. The government organization has funded a number of blockchain projects in previous years, including those focused on different aspects of cryptocurrency incentive mechanisms and blockchain technology use cases.
Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings announced in a press release Monday, Aug. 20, that it had made a second investment in troubled cryptocurrency exchange LastRoots. SBI, which last month opened its own cryptocurrency exchange after gaining regulatory licensing, without disclosing the amount of the investment, which follows its initial cash injection in December 2017. “We are preparing to strengthen our in-house team to register the virtual currency exchange business,” the company explained in the release about its plans for LastRoots. One of the exchanges singled out by regulators for improvement following Coincheck’s $530 million hack in January this year, LastRoots has had to make drastic changes to its business model in accordance with strict regulatory requirements under Japan’s new licensing scheme.
Bitcoin $6,451.61 USD (0.15 percent): Chaincode Labs, led by veterans Alex Morcos and Matt Corallo, concerned about the lack of easy user experience to utilize bitcoin through its scalability layer the lightning network, are holding coding programs focused exclusively on bitcoin’s lightning network. Announced Monday, Chaincode is launching a new “residency” in New York from Oct. 22 to 26, one that will focus on helping developers build their own Lightning Network apps. The goal, according to Chaincode engineer and bitcoin software maintainer Marco Falke, is for the program to create tech “for normal people on the street, not just weird developers.” In short, they’re looking for some fresh blood. Any and all experienced web developers are welcome to apply – no bitcoin expertise required.
Bitcoin Cash $533.85 USD (-2.22 percent): A review of payments received by the world’s 17 largest crypto exchanges has shown that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use in commerce has decreased, according to blockchain analytics firm Chainanalysis, Bloomberg reported Aug. 20. A group of analysts from Chainanalysis found that BCH payments dropped to $3.7 million in May from $10.5 million in March, while the volume of Bitcoin (BTC) payments was estimated $60 million in May, down from a high of $412 million in September. Kim Grauer, senior economist at Chainalysis, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg: “There are fewer users of Bitcoin Cash, fewer holders.” This year, the BCH price decreased by 75 percent, while BTC dropped by about 55 percent. Grauer sees “concentrated ownership” as the reason for the low BCH adoption rate, where almost 56 percent of the cryptocurrency is controlled by 67 wallets that are not located on exchanges.
Tron $0.020940 USD (-3.78 percent): At least five employees have left BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer networking pioneer, following its June acquisition by Justin Sun, the founder of the controversial blockchain protocol Tron, CoinDesk has learned. According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the acquisition and company operations, the departures were related to concerns about the acquisition, as well as the direction proposed for the company by Tron leadership. Sources said three of the employees left on their own accord, while two others were dismissed. Among those departed were at least two individuals serving in leadership positions, the sources indicated, performing key roles such as general manager and head of marketing.
Siacoin $0.005573 USD (-2.91 percent): An effort to keep the $200 million siacoin blockchain free from corporate interests is devolving into chaos amid accusations against the companies at the center of the effort. At issue is the conduct of the protocol’s coders, and the motivations behind their push to alter the rules of the blockchain they maintain. With a proposal, introduced last week, developers including siacoin creator David Vorick have floated changes that would keep some mining equipment operators from earning value by securing the distributed storage protocol. Simply put, the code would fork siacoin so that products offered by Bitmain, the China-based firm on the verge of an initial public offering, and its competitor Innosilicon, would be disabled. But while such efforts have been met with enthusiasm on other blockchains, satisfying concerns about how such changes could impact the balance of power on their networks, there’s just one problem – in the case of siacoin, the equipment that would still work is being sold by a company operated by siacoin’s developers.
Huobi $2.12 USD (-4.03 percent): Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Group has launched a new product designed to streamline the token listing application process. According to a statement shared with Cointelegraph, the new service, which Huobi developed to provide a more transparent listing process, is called the Huobi Automated Listing Platform. Per the announcement, projects that want to list on Huobi Global or an autonomous digital asset exchange Huobi HADAX, will have to register and submit specific documentation about the project. The announcement states that the Huobi Automated Listing Platform “will not automatically list any token or coin that applies.” Upon passing the verification process, applicants will receive a unique login account, which provides access to submit, edit, amend, and review documents and status of the token listing.
– WN.com, Izaan Khan