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September Crypto News Compilation

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This page chronicles the adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies from 2018 and forward. If anyone asks you how the blockchain adoption came about – you can point them to this page.

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Last updated: 25-November-2019

South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) is shutting down crypto-linked exchange accounts

First National Bank of South Africa has put all the crypto exchange linked accounts on notice about closing their accounts. We can confirm that FNB has decided to close our account with effect from end March 2020, along with other crypto exchanges in South Africa,” Luno Africa general manager Marius Reitz told the news.  

Alibaba to bring film rights to blockchain

Alibaba will introduce blockchain to boost the film industry.  Li Jie, senior vice president of Alibaba Pictures, believes blockchain has specific advantages that can be brought to film industry that has been slowing down because of online entertainment options, such as – Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.,  

Binance acquires WazirX to bring multiple fiat-to-crypto gateway

binance logo“The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the Indian people and strengthen the blockchain ecosystem in India as well as another step forward in achieving the freedom of money,” said CZ (Changpeng Zhao), Binance CEO, talking about WazirX’s acquisition that will bring Indian Ruppee onto the multi fiat-to-crypto gateway to the next most populated country outside of China.  “The next phase of mass adoption for Crypto will arise from developing nations around the world. India with more than a billion people is primed for massive crypto adoption and this acquisition by Binance gives us the opportunity to not only cater to India but every developing nation where fiat on-ramps have to be built. The acquisition is yet another step towards achieving our shared mission with Binance of decentralizing the world,” said Nischal Shetty, WazirX CEO.

US is looking into the possibility of issuing its own CBDC

China’s recent foray into Digital Currency that could threaten the US Dollar primacy as the global reserve currency is getting the attention it deserves.  Chair of The Federal Reserve System, Jerome Powell, has sent a letter to House of Representatives, stating that Federal Reserve is “carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of issuing general purpose CBDC.” 

Bitcoin dies one more time, this time on the account of Google and Citi partnership

bitcoinPack up guys – Bitcoin has died, again.  The lack of maturity in the space was once again evident when Forbes ominous “kill bitcoin” phrase made rounds.  Forbes was referring to Google’s partnership with Citi to offer checking accounts.  Last time market reacted with euphoria on the news of Facebook releasing its own cryptocurrency.  Market was already beaten up with the ongoing war of words between Binance and The Block and Google’s partnership re-emerged to push the market to lower lows. Bitcoin maximalists who have seen Bitcoin die over 300 times seem unphased with the news.  

Binance CEO, CZ, threatens to sue media outlet The Block

Fake news or not, The Block, a media news outlet, was subject of massive frenzy over the news it published about Binance offices being raided by police in Shanghai. CZ, who at the beginning seemed to be expecting an apology got further furiated when The Block doubled down on its ‘police raid’ claim with change in language from ‘raid’ to ‘visit from authorities’. In response, CZ tweeted “we will be suing them.”  While CZ responded saying “Binance hasn’t had an office in Shanghai for more than two years.” To this, The Block followed up with an article stating “The Block subsequently verified the address of the first office with an industry source, who declined to comment on the record for fear of reprisal. The source confirmed the address of the one office, saying that the address was given to her on an occasion they needed to pick something up from Binance.” The consequences of this silly feud was felt by the crypto space with Bitcoin losing over $1000 in 24 hours (on 22nd) and shows how immature this whole space is from a market resilience perspective.

Oman Oil & Orpic Group uses blockchain with HSBC on R3 Corda’s platform

According to Oman Observer, “man Oil & Orpic Group and HSBC Bank Oman SAOG have successfully executed the first blockchain trade finance transaction in the country.”  HSBC Oman issued a fully digitized Line of Credit on R3 Corda’s blockchain platform. Issuing the Line of Credit over Blockchain is safer and faster, in fact, according to the news, it took less than 24 hours to complete the transaction instead of 5-10 days in the traditional model.  While the speed is enhanced significantly, the blockchain based transaction has not skipped any process steps that are followed in the traditional system. Nizar al Lawati, Chief Financial Officer of Oman Oil and Orpic Group said: “As an integrated Group, we are proud to be among the first in the region taking serious steps in digitising Trade Finance through exploring Blockchain technology and responding to the 4th Industrial Revolution. This wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of our team, our customer’s cooperation and the support we received from the Central Bank of Oman and HSBC Oman.”

Harvard University hosts “Digital Currency Wars: A National Security Crisis Simulation”

Is the threat to US Dollar real? Harvard University’s National Crisis simulation looked to address this and other issues surrounding China’s decision to issue digital currency to “bring more and more countries to use Chinese Yuan.”

China bans anti-blockchain sentiment

china bans antiblockchainA ban worth cheering we suppose. China has banned anti-blockchain rhetoric in the wake of its plans to launch National Digital Currency. An article in Independent refers to the Twitter handle, cnLedger, that tracks sentiment in China for blockchain and cryptocurrencies.  The tweet also noted that “China’s most popular app, Xuexi Qiangguo (study for becoming powerful nation) now has a recommended course focusing entirely on blockchain, which contains  Bitcoin & Ethereum lessons. The app released by CPC to help ppl learn about its political doctrines like Xi’s thoughts.”

Bakkt to offer cash settled futures

bakkt latest newsA war of sorts is underway between Bakkt and CME.  CME is set to launch its Options on Bitcoin Futures on Jan 13, 2020 and Bakkt announced its launch for December 9, 2019.  Now, Bakkt has upped the game by proposing Cash settled futures. “The new contract is based on customer feedback and is designed to hedge or gain bitcoin exposure, generate income, and offer cost and capital efficiencies,” read the Medium announcement.



Bitcoin Suisse and Worldline to offer crypto payments options at 85000 stores

Bitcoin Suisse has announced that it has entered into an intent of partnership with Worldline to bring crypto payments to the customers across 85000 stores that accept payments using Worldline services.  “Our partnership with Worldline is a major step forward on the journey to bring crypto payments into broader adoption. Bitcoin Suisse is proud to serve as the processor of cryptocurrencies in Worldline’s payment service system. We applaud them for their pioneering spirit in taking this monumental step and pointing the way forward for others,” said Dr. Arthur Vayloyan, CEO of Bitcoin Suisse.

China to spend over $2 Billion on Blockchain Technology by 2023

China Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP)-CoinzajeeraAccording to the news, China’s spending on Blockchain Technology is expected to surpass $2 Billion by 2023. “The country’s expenditures on blockchain technology will see a compound annual growth rate of 65.7% from 2018 to 2023,” according to the global market intelligence firm IDC. This is in line with the recent u-turn from China on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.  The crackdown on media channels promoting blockchain and cryptocurrency has now turned into a crackdown on media sites that talk ill of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

VeChain showcases First Cross-continental Logistics and Trades Solution; China President Xi Jinping

Vechain“VeChain announced a tripartite collaboration with ASI Group to initiate the first cross-continental logistics and trades solution powered by the VeChainThor public blockchain for food & beverage industry named Foodgates.” VeChain in joint collaboration with DNV GL and ASI Group has developed FoodGates, the first cross-continental logistics and trade solution for the Food and Beverage industry.  Chinese President Xi Jinping along with China delegation was in attendance to at The China International Import Expo 2019 (CIIE).  President Xi Jinping “had a tasting session of the Limousin Label Rouge Beef from Limousin Promotion introduced by President Macron.”  VeChain is among the top supply chain projects in the blockchain space.



RUSSIA: Ministry of Internal Affairs will develop a mechanism for the arrest and confiscation of cryptocurrencies

russia crypto newsAccording to a Google Translated news from Russia’s news outlet, Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs is working on developing a framework to give the legal basis for the authorities to confiscate cryptocurrencies.  The proposals are expected to be drafted by December 2019. “The trend of a constant increase in the number of crimes using virtual assets, the insecurity of individuals from this type of criminal encroachment, of course, dictate the need to develop mechanisms for legal regulation and control over the circulation of virtual assets,” says Alena Zelenovskaya, head of criminal and administrative law practice at NSA Amuleks.”  While countries like Switzerland and Singapore are broadening their legal framework to enable FinTech space, Russia is thinking into the future to create proper legal basis to prosecute the crypto criminals.

Coca-Cola bottlers and SAP to bring 21 billion-a-year supply chain operation to Blockchain

Coca cola blockchain newsAccording to Business Insider, Coca-Cola and SAP are bringing transparency to a 21 billion-a-year supply chain using blockchain.  This move is expected to improve transparency, operational efficiencies and faster transactions while keeping data security intact among the bottling franchisees.  This move brings over 70 franchises and 160,000 transactions a day on to blockchain.

According to the Business Insider article, “what we achieved here with blockchain is creating a document flow across the supply chain,” said Torsten Zube, the head of the SAP Innovation Center Network.  Coca-Cola currently ranks 100 on the Fortune 100 list and is among the Fortune 100 companies using blockchain technology in their businesses.



China launches blockchain-based identification system

 china blockchainBlockchain and China are appearing together more often now. According to Global Times, “China has published an independently developed identification system for cities as part of the smart city infrastructure based on blockchain technology, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.”  While American politicians are busy spreading FUD about blockchain and cryptocurrency, China has been busy integrating blockchain into its smart cities initiative.  The recent move to digitize China’s currency was viewed as a threat to the US Dollar’s dominance, so much so that, Mark Zuckerberg used that as a justification to appeal to US congress to allow the Facebook’s Libra.  In fact, according to CNBC’s article, China-Russia and some European Nations are actively taking steps to move away from the US Dollar.

eToro acquires crypto portfolio tracker Delta

etoro logoDelta, one of the most popular crypto portfolio trackers, has been acquired by eToro. This is part of eToro’s strategy to accelerate its penetration into the crypto space.  eToro’s Crypto platform allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. They also have ‘copy trader’ feature that allows investors to follow other successful traders. Yoni Assia, co-founder and CEO of eToro, in a statement said, “We are a trading and investing platform that not only provides clients with access to the assets they want, from commission free stocks and ETFs through to FX, commodities and cryptoassets, but also lets customers choose how they invest. They can trade directly, copy another trader or invest in a portfolio. We believe in empowering our clients and the acquisition of Delta will allow us to add an important new element to our offering.”

Buy Starbucks with your Bitcoin in 2020

starbucks bitcoinBakkt is ramping up its digital assets based payment facilitation efforts. In a recent post, Bakkt announced that users will be able to use their digital assets at a Starbucks store. Mike Blandina, Bakkt’s Chief Product Officer wrote in a medium post, “Billions of dollars in digital assets exist today across the world, such as bitcoin, cashback and rewards, in addition to other forms of digital value relied upon by consumers and merchants. A key feature of the model we’ve designed is to support a superset of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, as seamlessly as investors transact in stocks in a retail brokerage account. Our vision is to provide a consumer platform for managing a digital asset portfolio, whether they wish to store, transact, trade or transfer their assets.”

Tunisia issues Digital Currency backed by Fiat

tunisia digital currencyTunisia was the first country to announce the transfer of part of the country’s money supply to electronic form,” reads the Google translated news on Tunisia digitizing its dinar. Universa is helping Tunisia’s efforts to digitize its National currency. “Electronic banknotes cannot be faked – each such banknote, like the paper version, is protected by cryptography, it, like the paper counterpart, has its own digital watermarks. And the production of such a banknote is 100 times cheaper than wasting ink, paper, electricity for the printing press, “says Alexander Borodich, founder and CEO of Universa. Tunisia joins other Nations (including China, Marshall Islands) who are eager to digitize their currency to bring transparency and accountability using blockchain technology.

China to launch Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) soon and a RUMOR alert

China Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP)-Coinjazeera China is rushing to launch its Central Bank Digital Currency sooner than anticipated.  Mark Zuckberberg’s comments on Libra as a leverage to protect USD dominance through a digital currency probably struck a nerve with China and they are speeding up the process of making National Digital Currency a reality.  While this Tweet from CF40 confirmed that DCEP is underway, CoinJazeera has outdone itself by declaring that the new digital currency will be called XitCoin and that it has already launched – this is potentially a rumor since no other major outlets have reported on this. Whether this DCEP is called Xitcoin or not, one thing is clear – if the United States does not act – they may lose reigns on the world reserve currency.

Samsung launching Blockchain Platform SDK

According to the Samsung’s news release, Samsung is launching Blockchain Platform SDK which they claim “is a comprehensive solution that tackles two of the biggest obstacles in expanding the DApp ecosystem: security and the complexity of building a mobile-compatible DApp.”  Samsung has been slowly creeping into the blockchain on smartphone space and had more tools available on their phones than any other competitor, including:  Wallet App, Blockchain Keystore and now they are introducing Blockchain Platform SDK. This is good news for the broader space as it validates the future viability of blockchain.

Bitcoin beats American Express as a method of payment in Italy

 bitcoin vs american express In an analysis carried out by SEMrush, Italians prefer PayPal, PostePay and…. BITCOIN.  In that order. American Express took 4th place with 189,000 transactions per month while Bitcoin was used 215,800 times in the same period.  PayPal has over 1.3 Million transactions per month. While Bitcoin’s transaction count is not as impressive as PayPal, the fact that more and more countries are accepting it as a regular payment method shows how quickly bitcoin is penetrating into the financial system.  Google translation reveals “The Bitcoins, in fact, until not long ago, were regarded with suspicion and skepticism by most consumers, who could not fully understand its meaning. Even today, most e-commerce sites do not accept this payment method, nevertheless, it is a tool that, in the last year, seems to have been used often in our country. The month in which the highest number of Bitcoin payments was recorded is June 2019 (368,000 times).”

Argentina increases restrictions on buying USD

bitcoin adoption in argentinaIn an effort to revitalize the economy, Argentina has increased restrictions on Argentine Citizens buying US Dollar to $200 per month through banks and $100 per month in cash.  This was a sharp reduction from the earlier $10,000 per month limit. Argentinian’s have been using USD as a reserve currency to protect their wealth.   As more and more people pull out their money from the Pesos and convert them to US Dollars, the inflation just kept rising with no end in sights. Most crypto evangelists are calling out to Argentinians to buy Bitcoin with slogans such as “if you have to ask permission, it’s not your money.” 

Airport identity verification is coming to Blockchain

Airports using blockchainZamna, a blockchain startup, has raised $5 Million to enhance blockchain-powered identity verification to simplify the security system at the airports.  According to this news, Zamna’s spokesperson commented “The aspiration is that, as more passenger identities are verified digitally over time and shared securely between parties, the airport security process will become automated and passengers will be able to travel through the airport without needing any physical documentation or repeated ID checks.”

Samsung Blockchain SDK adds TRON

At least some of the hypes that Justin Sun touts are coming true.  While the lunch with Warren Buffet might have been a bust but his claims on Samsung partnership have come to pass, although, we wouldn’t call it a partnership.  Samsung has integrated Tron platform on its Blockchain SDK along with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Klaytn.

eToro’s teaser trailer goes Goojybooboo

Finally, on a lighter note, eToro’s teaser trailer goes Goojybooboo.  eToro released a teaser trailer that is making people curious about what to come and what goojybooboo means…we just have to wait and see!

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China passes Crypto Law, to take effect on Jan 1, 2020

China approves crypto lawAccording to Google translated of a news on CCTV, “National People’s Congress voted on the afternoon of the 26th to pass the cryptography, which will take effect on January 1, 2020.”  This move comes in the light of China’s President Xi Jinping commenting, “We must take the blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies.” Blockchain and Crypto News followers remember that China is moving forward with its digital currency efforts and a direct endorsement from the President and Crypto Law that goes into effect by 2020 all hint toward a blockchain race that China is starting to lead.

LabCFTC to become independent operating office

To meet the growing demands of the FinTech space, LabCFTC, which was “designed to make the CFTC more accessible to FinTech innovators, and serves as a platform to inform the Commission’s understanding of new technologies,” is going to become an independent operating office.  During a FinTech Forward Conference, CFTCs Chairman, Heath P Tarbert, announced that “Blockchain, digital assets, and other developments hold great promise for our economy. Now is the time for LabCFTC to play an even greater role as we work to develop and write the rules for these transformative new products. That reality requires engagement at the highest levels within the CFTC, which is why I am elevating LabCFTC to be an independent operating office of the agency and a direct report to me.”

7 Mining and Metals companies partner with WEF on a Blockchain Initiative

Metal companies miningIn an effort to promote responsible sourcing of raw materials, 7 mining and metals companies have partnered with World Economic Forum (WEF) to start a Blockchain Initiative.  These companies include: Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group Sàrl, Glencore, Klöckner & Co, Minsur SA, Tata Steel Limited, and Anglo American/De Beers (Tracr).  According to the announcement, “Key areas of collaboration and development could include carbon emissions tracking and supply chain transparency. They will work to use blockchain technology to increase trust between upstream and downstream partners, to address the lack of industry standardization and to track provenance, chain of custody and production methods.”

Mark Zuckerberg testifies in front of Congress about Libra

Facebook LibraIt is no secret that we hate Libra. We also know that Libra will see the light of the day. If things continue to go the way they are right now, we could be proven wrong and we will be elated if that happens. Nevertheless, we still stand by our position that Libra will see the light of the day. Mark Zuckerberg faced the Capitol to talk about Libra.  It did not go well. Congress grew more discontent about Libra than they were before the start of the session. Congress’s woes on Facebook’s Libra are completely justified given that Facebook Libra could potentially dethrone US Dollar from being the world’s reserve currency.

Opera allows crypto payments within the browser through in-built Crypto Wallet

Opera has just become one of the first major browsers to come with an in-built crypto wallet.  The wallet is expected to facilitate sending, receiving and making payments in crypto possible, all right through the browser.  No additional apps or extensions are required. Browser supports tokens and collectibles. While Brave Browser is quickly gaining traction, it is nowhere close to the market share of other major browsers, and Opera is the first browser in the top 5 browsers to embed crypto payments.

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Facebook’s Calibra Sued for Trademark Infringement

facebook users volumeFacebook Libra’s growing list of concerns just got a bit bigger.  Current, an alternative app based banking startup, sued Calibra for Trademark infringement. According to the complaint lodged in NY, Current claimed that Calibra’s Logo(s) “have deceived and are likely to deceive the relevant consuming public into believing, mistakenly, that Current’s online and mobile banking app and related banking and financial services are somehow associated or affiliated with Calibra, or that they are sponsored or authorized by Calibra.”

FSB raises concerns about Stablecoins

FSB Financial Stability Board Stable coinsFinancial Stability Board has raised concerns about the role of Stablecoins and possible disruption of the financial systems integrity. In its letter FSB states that “the introduction of “global stablecoins” could pose a host of challenges to the regulatory community, not least because they have the potential to become systemically important, including through the substitution of domestic currencies. These include challenges for financial stability; consumer and investor protection; data privacy and protection; financial integrity including AML/CFT and know-your-customer compliance; mitigation of tax evasion; fair competition and anti-trust policy; market integrity; sound and efficient governance; cyber security and operational risks; and an appropriate legal basis.”

Bank of Canada cryptocurrency

Canada cryptocurrencyBank of Canada wants to introduce a National Digital currency that can be made “widely” available. These plans were revealed in an internal presentation to the Chairman of the bank. According to an article in the Financial Post, “We need to innovate to stay in the game,” the presentation reads. A digital currency would provide “all the benefits” of a central bank-backed asset, it says, as well as “all the convenience and security of wireless, electronic payments.”  This move comes from Canada on the verge of countries racing to create its own National Digital Currencies.



Fidelity rolls out cryptocurrency

Fidelity cryptocurrency newsAccording to Financial Times, Fidelity is ready to roll out its Cryptocurrency custody service. There are people out there with significant amounts of wealth in cryptocurrencies, probably bitcoin, and they’re looking for somebody to hold those coins for them because in the event of their passing — which is going to happen at some point or another — you’ve got to have a plan to be able to get those coins to somebody else,” Ms Johnson said, according to FT.  Although there are many custody services in the crypto space, no one has the connections or range of services as Fidelity which manages 2.8 Trillion in assets.

ETH ETF may soon be a reality

Ethereum ETH ETFHeath Tarbert, Chairman of the CFTC, stated during a Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit, that Ether is a commodity in his view. “As a chairman of the CFTC, it is my view that Ether is a commodity,” he said.  Mr. Tarbert was also confident about Ether’s futures contract as the next natural transition. “My guess is that, in the near future, you will see Ether related futures contracts and other derivatives.”  Market seems to welcome this message as Ether prices moved from $183 on 9th October to $193 on 10th October when this interview became public knowledge.  What is more interesting is that Mr. Tarbert is also of opinion that all hard forks coming out a commodity should be also be a commodity. Mr. Tarbert also stated that “in the next 12 months it is absolutely possible to see Ether Futures contracts.”

IRS issues guidance on Cryptocurrency taxation, industry says it’s not enough

irs cryptocurrenciesIRS issued a ruling this week that laid out rules around taxation of hard forks and airdrops. IRS Ruling 2019-24 specifically addressed the impact of hard forks and taxation based on dominion (possession) rather than just potential of receipt.  The ruling also talked about taxation of air drops, however, it is seriously lacking about the timing of determining the fair market value and what happens if a token that gets air dropped has initial value in the market but not enough volume to liquidate the assets.  This ruling actually raised more concerns than to clarify a position since it was clear that this was written by individuals with no direct experience in the crypto space, according to the general opinion in the crypto market.

EU to regulate digital currencies soon

European Union digtal currencyReuters headline reads “Spooked by Libra, EU pledges to regulate digital currencies,” which openly addresses the issues that we have been screaming about all along. Facebook is too big and too corrupt in our opinion to take over the reigns of global currency.  While Facebook seems to be facing backlash from all corners of the world, we are still certain that they will be launching their Libra project because of the resources they have at their disposal.  They just go away with 5 billion dollar fine for breaching the fundamental tenets of trust. We will have to wait and see how many more sensational news we will have to endure to realize that ‘powerful lobbying can undermine any power’, in our opinion.


Chainlink forges forward with bold partnerships

Chainlink logoIt is not often that we cover a particular cryptocurrency in our news feed, however, exceptions are meant to be made for worthy endeavors. Chainlink is forging forward with great partnerships and bold innovations. Ever since Chainlink was mentioned in Google’s official announcement of using Chainlink’s oracle smart contract to “making internet-hosted data available inside an immutable public blockchain: placing BigQuery data available on-chain using a Chainlink oracle smart contract,” crypto space has been celebrating it. Chainlink recently announced that they will help “Drive Demand for Enterprise Smart Contracts Using the Trusted Computation Framework and Attested Oracles via Chainlink.”  Apart from Google, Chainlink boasts working relationship with Intel, Hyperledger among renowned brands.

1.4 Trillion Class action lawsuit against BitFinex and Tether

Bitfinex-Tether lawsuitVel Freedman and Kyle Roche, same lawyers who successfully fought the case against Craig Wright, have filed a class action lawsuit against BitFinex and Tether for the damages of 1.4 Trillion dollars. The complaint reads “Part-fraud, part-pump-and-dump, and part-money laundering, the scheme was primarily accomplished through two enterprises — Bitfinex and Tether — that commingled their corporate identities and customer funds while concealing their extensive cooperation in a way that enabled them to manipulate the cryptocurrency market with unprecedented effectiveness.”  Bitfinex and Tether were thought to be involved in various pump and dump schemes based on when massive amount of Tether was minted and the ensuing impact on bitcoin price action.

United Nations agency UNICEF to launch Crypto Fund

Unicef crypto fundUNICEF, an agency that raised over 6.7 billion dollars in donations last year, is starting a Crypto Fund to be able to accept bitcoin, ethereum and potential government backed digital currency donations. The Crypto Fund will also “invest in early-stage, open source companies working with children,” according to the Forbes article. Christina Lomazzo, who is leading this effort with her team also is quoted in the article saying “We don’t see the Crypto Fund so much as being crypto, what we really see it as is being ready for a digital future.”

 



SEC rejects BitWise’s ETF proposal

BitwiseSEC released its decision to reject BitWise’s ETF proposal. SEC’s disapproval letter states that while SEC “although the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change, the Commission emphasizes that its disapproval does not rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin, or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment.” While we held the opinion that BitWise’s proposal was one of the most promising applications, the SEC said that the only reason for rejection is that the company “has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), and, in particular, the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be “designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.””

eBay, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe and others exit Facebook’s Libra association

Facebook Libra paypalIn a welcoming news, companies are coming to their senses and leaving Facebook’s Libra in strides.  This week, eBay, Mastercard, Strip, Mercado Pago were among the companies that abandoned Facebook’s Libra Association.   Business Insider reported “The exits, combined with intense scrutiny from lawmakers, represent a huge blow to the initiative and leave its future uncertain.”  David Marcus, Chief Executive of Libra initiative tweeted “I would caution against reading the fate of Libra into this update. Of course, it’s not great news in the short term, but in a way it’s liberating. Stay tuned for more very soon. Change of this magnitude is hard. You know you’re onto something when so much pressure builds up.”

CFTC, FinCEN and SEC issue a joint statement

Leaders from the CFTC, FinCEN and SEC issued a joint statement to remind “persons engaged in activities involving digital assets of their anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).”  The joint statement also clarified that “the nature of the digital asset-related activities a person engages in is a key factor in determining whether and how that person must register with the CFTC, FinCEN, or the SEC.  For example, certain “commodity”-related activities may trigger registration and other obligations under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), while certain activities involving a “security” may trigger registration and other obligations under the federal securities laws.  If a person falls under the definition of a “financial institution,” its AML/CFT activities will be overseen for BSA purposes by one or more of the Agencies (and potentially others).”


Gold backed Stable Coin: Perth Mint to launch World’s first government backed Gold Token

Gold and US DOLLARIn a media release, Government of Western Australia backed Perth Mint has disclosed the information about launch of what is dubbed as “Perth Mint Gold Token (PMGT)”.  The media release stated “The Perth Mint Gold Token (PMGT) will be the first digital gold token on a public blockchain backed by government guaranteed gold.”  PMGT will be ERC-20 compatible.  PMGT is expected to offer greater transparency and act as an alternative to existing stable coins which do not come with the same guarantee of gold or government backing. Richard Hayes, Chief Executive Officer of The Perth Mint, said “The digitisation of gold via a public ledger is a natural progression for the global commodity markets. It will promote gold as a mainstream asset, enhance its accessibility, and offer greater liquidity, transparency and auditability of the real assets backing this type of digital token.”

Liechtenstein approves Blockchain Act, first country to have comprehensive token economy regulations

Liechtenstein cryptoGoogle translation of the official announcement reads “With the new law, Liechtenstein is the first country to have comprehensive regulation of the token economy. On the one hand, the law regulates the civil law issues in connection with customer or asset protection. On the other hand, adequate supervision of the various service providers in the token economy is introduced. In addition, there are measures to combat money laundering by subjecting service providers to the due diligence rules. In addition, the law creates clarity with respect to fully digital securities.”  More and more countries are now racing to be regarded as the world’s friendly places for blockchain tech to prosper.  Switzerland, Singapore, Malta and now Liechtenstein join that list of friendly places for blockchain tech.



Paypal leaves Facebook’s Libra Association

Facebook Libra paypalIt is not a secret that we are not big fans of Facebook’s Libra.  We made that clear in our earlier articles about how Facebook’s numbers scare everyone, why Facebook’s Libra backfired and we were the first ones to call Facebook’s Libra a copycat coin.   Lawmakers have started cracking down on Facebook’s attempt to ‘monkeying’ with the money supply.  Now, PayPal, one of the 28 members of the Libra Association has withdrawn its participation.  Financial Times reported (according to The Verge) that at least one primary concern for PayPal has been the lack of attention Facebook executives have paid to Libra’s considerable backlash.”  In spite of the lawmakers backlash, PayPal withdrawing its support, we still believe Libra will launch as planned in 2020.

Walmart pilots end-to-end traceability of Shrimp from Andhra Pradesh, India

WalmartWalmart is forging forward with its food safety through blockchain initiative.  It has added Shrimp to the end-to-end traceability catalogue.  This will be the first blockchain project to track Shrimp from India to other countries.  According to the news article in The Hindu, “Shrimp is India’s largest agricultural export, with the U.S. as its largest market, taking a 46% share of India’s shrimp exports by value in 2018.” The article also states that Andhra Pradesh State Government “is encouraging farmers to improve quality standards and comply with stringent U.S. monitoring programmes to win the trust of U.S. retailers and consumers.” Leveraging Blockchain technology to enable end-to-end traceability is a great way to garner trust.  Food traceability is one of the use cases of Blockchain that is quickly gaining traction.

Morningstar to rate cryptos backed by real-world assets

MorningStar crypto ratingsCredit Ratings race is on in the crypto. Weiss Ratings may have been one of the early players but the big names are making their moves. Morningstar is now working on introducing crypto ratings, specifically for cryptos backed by real world assets.  Entrance of brands like Morningstar will legitimize this space even further.  With the announcements from JP Morgan, Fidelity and others, bitcoin and blockchain space has been gaining traction for the past few years. Forbes article states “Morningstar’s entrance into the space could unlock billions of dollars waiting for the moment when cryptoassets assets finally become credible.”

World’s first invoice with smart contract and digital cash to purchase from IKEA

According to a press release, Tradeshift and Monerium announce first successful transaction utilizing smart contract and digital cash.  The transaction took place on Ethereum blockchain to help Nordic Store purchase goods from IKEA Iceland.  Stefán Árnason, CFO of IKEA Iceland, said “a programmable financial supply chain, where trading partners can connect information flows to money flows through smart contracts, will transform how suppliers and customers interact.”



Block.one settles with SEC

block.one settles with SEC“It’s easy to say sorry than to ask for permission,” is an old adage in the business world.  Block.one, the creators of EOS, have once again proved this adage true.  The company raised close to 4 billion dollars in the ICO which SEC says is an unregistered ICO.  Now, SEC has settled the case with a meager 24 million in penalty.  To put that into context, the total amount raised by Block.One through EOS ICO is 4 Billion dollars and their penalty of 24 million represents .6% (under 1%).  While we are glad that SEC has decided to help move things forward, in our opinion, it just sends the wrong message to the industry that don’t bother asking for permission as long as you can pay millions in fines.  This is another reason why we said in spite of drama Facebook’s Libra will see the day of light and Ripple will get away with civil fines for minting 100s of millions of dollars each month.

Google’s Quantum Supremacy and its impact on cryptography

Google’s Quantum SupremacyA quantum milestone in computing may just have been accomplished by Google.  According to an article on Financial Times, Google claimed to have achieved “Quantum Supremacy”. The whole technology community is going bonkers over the claim. Some stating that claim to be not entirely true while others expressing their concern about internet security. Article on The Verge quotes that the quantum supremacy could help us do “in minutes what used to take thousands of years.” The Crypto community is freaking out over the news and how this could disrupt the cryptographic shields. Some veterans of crypto are ruling out any impact of Google’s quantum capabilities on cryptography.

SoFi starts zero-fee crypto trading

Sofi zero fee tradingOne of our favorite traditional lending platforms, SoFi has started trading crypto. SoFi sent ripples in the traditional lending market by offering a low interest rate and zero processing fees, that means, if you take out a loan for $10000, you get $10000.  Most other lending platforms take substantial amount as ‘processing fees’. It looks like, SoFi is slowly encroaching into the services offered by Robinhood. SoFi now has option to buy shares in dollars instead of share value.  The latest addition of crypto trading is another stamp of approval for the crypto future.

“Feedback from our members has made it clear that a significant percentage are not only interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies but are also already buying and selling crypto,” said SoFi CEO Anthony Noto in a press release. Keeping with their brand, SoFi will offer Zero-Fee trading for cryptos.

First and only crypto insurance company goes live

Coincover LogoTouted as the first and only in the industry, Coincover has launched its services. It’s website reads “Coincover is the first and only service to guarantee digital funds will not be lost or stolen.”

Company offers 24/7 wallet monitoring, lost key recovery and theft protection among its services.  The theft protection costs $2 for every $1000 insured and a cap of $100,000 is set for general users.  For higher caps, you have to request special quote. Coincover does only work with approved wallets. David Janczewski is the CEO of the company and the site shows he has worked on “government grade solutions with The Royal Mint, CME Group and HM Treasury.”  This is a much needed solution for the space to bring confidence and legitimacy.



Fold App raises $2.5 Million and makes spending bitcoin easy

FoldappFold App is making it easy to spend bitcoin and to receive the cash back in Bitcoin. For everyone who joins the program now gets 20,000 sats for free.  App allows options to join the program anonymously as well, which is refreshing to see.  You can buy cards for Amazon, Starbucks, Burger King, Macy’s etc., and instantly get cash back in satoshis.  You can even spend the satoshis you earned on future purchases.  All in all, this could act as an easy gateway into bitcoin spending.  

Venezuela’s Central Bank is considering holding Bitcoin in its reserves

venezuela cental bank cryptocurrencyAt the request of State run Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PSDV), Venezuela’s Central Bank is exploring the options of holding cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum, as currency reserves.  Growing inflation, the US government sanctions and shrinking market has prompted Venezuela to look into crypto as an alternative to circumvent the US sanctions. Under the framework, PSDV could transact with its customers using cryptocurrency and then transfer that crypto to the central bank which in turn settles in fiat.

Infosys and R3 conclude trial of blockchain based trade finance

r3 and infosysAccording to the official press release on the Infosys website, “Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY), today announced the successful completion of a global blockchain trial in partnership with R3, one of the fastest growing enterprise blockchain software companies in the world.”  18 banking groups from across 19 countries participated in this trial.  

More than 25000 stores in France to accept bitcoins by 2020

bitcoin-2020France may be against Facebook’s Libra, but it is encouraging bitcoin and cryptos in general. Based on the legal framework laid out in PACTE Law, French company, Global POS, is introducing EasyWallet which will enable more than 25000 point of sale (POS) to accept crypto payments. Global POS is aiming to simplify accepting cryptocurrencies and thus help economy enter into a blockchain commerce era.

NEO becomes the first blockchain member on the .NET Foundation

Neo blockchain dotnetMarking a milestone for a blockchain company, NEO has become a member of .NET Foundation.  Jon Galloway, Executive Director of the .NET Foundation, noted that, “The .NET Foundation is very excited to welcome NEO as the very first blockchain platform to join our community.  NEO is a pioneer in adopting the .NET platform, and we support them in building an innovative decentralized platform and developer community.” This move is expected to help NEO build most-developer-friendly blockchain infrastructure.



The US Congress to hold a hearing with SEC

us congressHearing titled, “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission: Wall Street’s Cop on the Beat,” is scheduled to be held on 24th September. The hearing is expected to deal with topics like public company disclosures, private markets vs. public markets, enforcement, and cryptocurrency (including discussion of Facebook’s Libra).

Bank of America joins Marco Polo Network

Bank of America bitcoinCorda’s distributed ledger technology is finding adoption through its Marco Polo Network.  It already has great brand names on its network and Bank of America announced that they are joining the network to provide transformative solutions on a global scale.  Other members of the Marco Polo Network include “BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, LBBW, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Natixis, Bangkok Bank, SMBC, Danske Bank, NatWest, DNB, OP Financial Group, Alfa-Bank, Bradesco, BayernLB, Helaba, S-Servicepartner, Raiffeisen Bank International, Standard Bank, Credit Agricole and National Bank of Fujairah.”

Wells Fargo is launching Digital Cash run on DLT to serve global markets

wells fargoIn our opinion, JP Morgan may have been behind the inspiration for Wells Fargo to enter the digital cash race. Wells Fargo, 4th largest bank in the US, is launching its own digital cash to help settle the cross border payments and expand the number of hours it serves the money movement in a day. “As a result of the increasing digitization of banking services globally, we see a growing demand to further reduce friction regarding traditional borders, and today’s technology puts us in a strong position to do that,” said Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo. “It’s faster than SWIFT, cheaper and definitely more efficient,” she said according to other news sources.

North Korea to introduce its own ‘bitcoin like’ digital currency

north-korea-bitcoin-adoptionLooks like the countries are racing in the digital currency space. Venezuela started with its national currency that resulted in sanctions. Marshall Islands announced that it will launch a national currency on blockchain. China has been in the news for quite awhile now with its digital currency efforts. Facebook (which is the biggest virtual nation of all) wanted to set up its own digital currency and faced backlash from the congress. Now, North Korea is planning to launch its own ‘bitcoin like’ cryptocurrency. “North Korea has shown extensive interest in cryptocurrency, showing expertise in mining, hacking exchanges, cryptojacking, and more,” Kayla Izenman, a research analyst at London-based think tank the Royal United Services Institute, told VICE News.


CME group to launch bitcoin futures contracts in 2020

CME GroupAccording to a press release, CME group is planning to launch Bitcoin futures contracts in Q1 of 2020. They are currently working on the regulatory approvals. “Based on increasing client demand and robust growth in our Bitcoin futures markets, we believe the launch of options will provide our clients with additional flexibility to trade and hedge their bitcoin price risk,” said Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products.  People who have been in the crypto space before 2017 may remember that CME group’s announcement in 2017 about bitcoin futures caused market to break all new records in bitcoin price.

ABRA brings bitcoin to over 3000 7-Eleven stores in Philippines

ABRA bitcoinABRA is bringing the bitcoin to all 3000 7-Eleven stores across the Philippines. Abra’s site reads “Today we announced a new partnership with ECPay allowing more ways for Abra users in the Philippines to conveniently add money to their Abra wallet through any of ECPAY’s 6,000 retail outlets across the Philippines, including all 7-Eleven stores. The process of buying bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) is expected to be very simple and the purchased crypto loads to ABRA’s wallet.

This space is gathering a lot of steam recently. Looks like the blockchain and crypto jets are about to be fired…legal weather permitting.

France refuses development of Libra “on European soil”

FranceWe anticipated a lot of backlash for Facebook’s Libra project. As we saw in earlier news, a US delegation made trip to Switzerland to discuss Libra.  Now, France is not playing the diplomatic game.  France said it will not allow development of Libra.  As per the google translated version of the news, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, said “I want to say it with great clarity: under these conditions, we can not authorize the development of the Libra on European soil,” said the minister. In his eyes, “the monetary sovereignty of states is at stake”.  The ‘under these conditions’ note probably leaves room for France to change its stance if the ‘conditions’ change.  However, only time will tell how things pan out for Libra.


Will we see an SEC approved Bitcoin ETF?  “Yes,” says SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton

sec commisionIn an interview with CNBC (Minute: 4.29), SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton addressed a question on ‘Whether we are any closer to getting an Bitcoin ETF’. Clayton said “short answer is YES, however, there is a lot of work to be done, especially on the custody front.”  At this point, market has stopped speculating about a Bitcoin ETF, however, a stamp of approval from the SEC will go a long mile in the bitcoin adoption journey.

LCX to tokenize $25 Million movie fund with Wesley Snipes

LCXLiechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX) announced that it will work with Wesley Snipes to tokenize $25 Million in a movie fund to produce a movie and TV shows.  This tokenization is expected to open doors for retail investors to invest in the entertainment industry alongside big name producers and icons.  The fund will be called Daywalker Movie Fund (DMF) and Wesley Snipes production studio Maandi House will produce the movie and the shows with the funds raised from the tokens.

“Cryptocurrencies are the most important innovation since the internet” says Travis Kling of Ikigai Investment

IKIGAI LogoAdmitting to have not invested in Bitcoin when he first came across the asset in 2014 and only noticed it when the prices went up in 2016, Travis Kling of Ikigai Asset Management, in a recent interview on CNN, said once he started learning about this technology, he came across “one revolutionary concept after another, and collectively, over about 500 hours of self-study convinced myself that this technology is the most important innovation since the internet and most significant investment opportunity of a generation.” He also joked about that no one wants to “be the Bitcoin Pizza guy that spent 10k Bitcoin on a pizza.”

FanDuel now accepts Bitcoin deposits, offers up to $2000 in bonus

Fanduel LogoFanDuel, a sporting entertainment company that generated $220 Million in entry fees alone is now accepting Bitcoin deposits on their platform through BitPay. “NFL Football is one of the most popular sporting events to watch and the start of the football season makes it a perfect time to introduce Bitcoin to these fans,” said Sonny Singh, BitPay’s Chief Commercial Officer. “We wanted to have the option in place for Bitcoin users to deposit cryptocurrency into their FanDuel accounts and take advantage of the daily fantasy sports games,” Bitpay’s press release stated.  The press release further states that the “first-time FanDuel customers can deposit a minimum of $10,000 to receive an additional 10% deposit, up to a $2,000 bonus.”


FCA approved Arbitrage Fund raises $50 Million

Nickel Asset ManagementNickel Asset Management, a UK based hedge fund manager, has secured approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to launch its Crypto Investment Fund.  This new vehicle has already raised $50 Million. Nickel Asset Management CEO Anatoly Crachilov explains that their vision “is that it’s simply a matter of time until digital assets become part of institutional portfolio.” The approval from the UK government agency will help Nickel Asset Management to manage funds of up to $100 Million and target institutional investors.

Marshall Islands moves forward with its plan to issue national cryptocurrency

To be the first ever for a government, Marshall Islands is moving forward with its plans to issue national cryptocurrency on blockchain. David Paul, Environment Minister and Minister-in-Assistance to the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), said “This is something which no other government has done, made possible by blockchain.”  The cryptocurrency will be called Marshallese Sovereign (SOV).  Paul said “Blockchain won’t just let us create our own money for the first time — the sovereign is a new kind of money, one which enshrines our Marshallese values.”

Warner Music Group will work on Blockchain and joins $11 Million investment fund

Warner Music GroupDapper Labs signed a contract with Warner Music to “offer unique digital assets on a new blockchain,” according to an article on Forbes. “The main goal is to create new avenues where the fans of our artists can explore their fandom,” says senior vice president of business development Jeff Bronikowski, who oversees Warner Music’s innovation group, “and engage with the artists in new and different ways that they haven’t done before.”

Apple is “watching the Cryptocurrency”

Could Apple be the next Facebook to shake the market by introducing its own cryptocurrency?  Probably not anytime soon but Apple is watching the space with keen interest.  During an interview with CNN, Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay  said “We’re watching cryptocurrency. We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 to make holding cryptocurrency friendlier

samsung galaxySamsung is about to unveil its KlaytnPhone, a smartphone that can“boast the blockchain platform’s full breadth of transaction services,” according to the Wall Street Journal. While the blockchain phones are not new, Samsung itself has released included crypto wallets on its Galaxy S10 and HTC had opened pre-order last year for its blockchain phones.  However, KlaytnPhone is expected to be the one with full transaction service capabilities.


Burundi bans crypto in totality!

crypto banned in burundiEast African nation, Burundi, has banned crypto trading in totality according to Bloomberg. It looks like the title has later been changed to “Burundi bans trading of Digital Currencies”, however, the original title appears to be “Burundi says ‘none of that craze here’” according to the google search result and the text in the web address.

This makes Bitcoin and Ethereum illegal in Burundi.  However, what happens to the individuals who have bought these digital assets before the ban and whether holding would be criminal is unclear since the ban explicitly states ‘trading’.

VanEck and SolidX to offer Bitcoin ETF to large investors

SEC may be testing the patience of the companies that have patiently waited in the queue for ETF approval.  However, VanEck and SolidX may be taking an alternative route:  Offer the Bitcoin ETF to Institutions and Accredited Investors, according to Bloomberg.  Article reads “The companies said in a statement on Tuesday that by using Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933 they’ll be able to issue shares in the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust to qualified institutional buyers. The shares are the first Bitcoin product for institutions that is cleared and features the same creation-and-redemption process common with traditional ETFs, according to the statement.”

Bitwala makes Crypto Mobile Bank available to 31 countries

Bitwala cryptocurrencyCustomers from 31 countries in the European Economic Area can access Bitwala’s Bitcoin Banking services on the phone.  According to the Press Release, “Bitwala is Germany’s cryptocurrency flagship with the mission of building the bank to bridge traditional and Blockchain-based finance.”  Deposits of up to EURO 100,000 is covered by the Germany deposit guarantee scheme.  “Hacking Bitwala is as useless as breaking the Blockchain itself and that our customers are fully in control of their Bitcoin wallets at all times. Therefore, we are the safest way to buy, sell, and store bitcoin – now even on your smartphone,” said Christoph Iwaniez, Chief Financial Officer at Bitwala.

Japan’s messaging giant LINE gets crypto license

Line gets crypto licenseMost popular messaging app in Japan, LINE, has successfully acquired license for crypto exchange business. As the messenger based crypto payments appear to be the next big payment modality, LINE’s approval helps it to build solutions to compete with AliPay and Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.

Bakkt on track to open its Futures on September 23, as planned

BakktIn a Tweet, Bakkt confirmed that it is on track to offer Bitcoin Futures on its platform on September 23, 2019 as planned.  Company said it is on track to launch the platform to the public.  “Today our Warehouse opens for customer bitcoin deposits and withdrawals as we prepare for the Bakkt Bitcoin Daily & Monthly Futures, launching September 23. The availability of physical delivery brings more flexibility in managing bitcoin exposure,” tweet read.


Daimler to use blockchain to track used cars value in real time

DaimlerAccording to an article in Freight Waves, Mercedes-Benz will utilize blockchain to track the value of used cars.  This move is expected to increase buyer confidence in the resale value of their car by providing reliable data that is tracked in real time.   This is also expected to normalize the parity in used cars depending on the source.  Benz is working with PlatOn to develop this used car management system.  “Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has been quite busy within the blockchain space looking to leverage the nascent technology – specifically in the payment space,” according to the article.

PwC will accept bitcoin for payments start October 1, 2019 accepting

PWC accepts crypto paymentsFor a conservative public accounting firm to accept bitcoin in payments is a bullish sign for the space.  However, their press release hints a more bullish future for crypto space.  “PwC Luxembourg is stepping further into blockchain and crypto-assets by accepting Bitcoin payments from its clients as from 1 October 2019, in a move acknowledging the needs of clients and the willingness of the Luxembourgish Firm to support the growing national crypto ecosystem.”

Crypto firms have to register with De Nederlandsche Bank

DNB cryptoFrom January 10, 2020 companies serving in the cryptocurrency space will have to register with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and will have to comply with similar rules to that of other banking businesses.  DNB said it is ready to speak with the companies operating in the space in building the framework.

Burger King is accepting bitcoin for online orders in Germany

Bitcoin appeared on the Burger King’s payment methods on their official website in Germany. The site reads (translated using google translate) “Click through the menu, fill your cart and pay for your food online via Klarna, PayPal, Bitcoin, debit or credit card. You can also pay for your BURGER KING® delivery in cash.”  Some folks are saying that this is only through a food delivery service that accepts bitcoin and Burger King itself doesn’t accept bitcoin.  However, bitcoin as a payment method on its official website makes it official.

Craig Wright loses in court

Self-proclaimed bitcoin creator, Craig Wright, may be digging himself deep into legal troubles. Craig’s claims about him being Satoshi and having millions in Bitcoin puts his bitcoin asset value at $10 Billion. Court has already leaned toward sharing all the bitcoin mined by Wright before 2013 with Kleiman.  In a recent video interview, Craig suggestions indicated that he is probably going to shy away from the court orders and since he doesn’t have any assets in the US, he believes that the US court may not have much to seize.



Switzerland’s FINMA re-affirms the applicability of financial laws to blockchain technology

Switzerland crypto adoptionIn a guidance published on August 26, 2019, FINMA has reaffirmed its technology neutral approach to blockchain technology.  Because of the potential risks of money laundering and terrorist financing aspects that come with the anonymity of blockchain based transactions, FINMA reminded companies operating in the blockchain space to ensure they follow the financial laws as they relate to AML and KYC.

Estonia grants crypto trading and custody license to WEG Bank

estonia crypto adoptionWEG Bank confirmed in a tweet that it has now secured license to be a crypto trading and custody services provider in Estonia.  The official tweet read “Working out of a premium regulatory environment is one of our key assets. We announce that as of today we have secured full access to a crypto trading and custody license in Estonia and are equally applying for a securities trading and custody license in Germany.”

US Air Force joins SIMBA Chain for Supply Chain Security & Constellation for big data management

Simba Air force logoMicrosoft Azure based SIMBA Chain has been chosen to help the US Air Force with its complex supply chain aspects.  “With SIMBA, the Air Force’s BASECAMP project will be able to decentralize Additive Manufacturing in the field while maintaining the integrity of data. This means that repairs to vehicles can’t be tampered with by a third party, as top-secret 3D printing plans could be transmitted to forward forces without unwanted surveillance,” according to the press release.

USAF also joined Constellation to tackle its big data and blockchain initiatives.  USAF stated, in a Press Release: “AFRL and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. Beginning in SBIR 18.2, and now in 19.2, the Air Force has begun offering ‘Special’ SBIR topics that are faster, leaner and open to a broader range of innovations.”

Wikipedia joins BAT Network

Wikipedia logoBAT network is growing fast.  They onboarded Twitter few weeks ago to enable tipping using BAT.  Now, Wikipedia has become a verified publisher on the BAT network. “Wikipedia is now a Brave Verified Publisher, Ready to Receive BAT Donations from Brave Users,” read the official announcement on BAT website.

Binance starts lending business

binance logoCZ announced on Twitter that Binance will enter lending business.  According to the information on Binance website “Whether you’re a crypto HODLer trying to maximize gains or a frequent trader who wants to take a break from the action, Binance’s Lending products allow you to accrue interest & increase your token balance regardless of how the market moves.”

Probably a great time to open Binance account to participate in lending to earn interest.



Elwood Asset Management targets to reach $1 Billion in Crypto assets

Elwood Asset Management cryptoLondon based Elwood Asset Management is looking to design portfolios for crypto investors to help them pick the right portfolio based on the investor’s appetite for risk.  Elwood has partnered with Invesco Japan in July to increase penetration in crypto space.  Bin Ren, CEO of Elwood, commented: “We are very excited to be partnering with Invesco Japan to offer Japanese investors exposure to blockchain technology. In Japan there are currently very few investment offerings which provide access to the opportunity presented by blockchain, perhaps due to the fact that its application has been typically thought of in the narrowest of terms and predominately linked to cryptocurrencies.”

TELX facilitates crypto transactions via SMS

telx crypto adoptionNow you can send Cryptocurrencies via SMS, thanks to TELX SIM smartphone card.  This SIM card is expected to work in 180 countries.  TELX will support multiple cryptocurrencies and facilitates sending cryptocurrency via SMS to any phone number in the world.   TELX is also using a phone number which will become the address in place of confusing public keys. 

Smartlands closes Security Token Offering in Student Accommodation in UK

smartlands security tokenSecurity Token Offering that promises 16% return per year over 3 years (for a NET total of 47%) has successfully finished its offering.  Smartlands.io made the announcement: “The investment target was reached during the private placement of security tokens as beneficial interest in shares of a student accommodation block in Nottingham, UK, valued by Knight Frank at £12.06 million in Sept, 2018.”

BitPay shows why centralized entities are bad for Crypto

Bitpay-cryptoWhile the Amazon forests continues to burn, Bitcoin community is infuriated over another issue: BitPay. The company came under attack from Bitcoin community when they blocked a $100,000 donation made to Amazon Watch to help with the wildfires rescue.  We are learning that for the decentralization movement to work the way it was intended to work, open source is probably the way to go.

Securitize becomes SEC registered Transfer Agent

Securitize cryptoTransfer Agents helps record the ownership, changes, movement of securities throughout its lifecycle. They help confirm the ownership and reduce securities fraud. In the world of Digital Securities, Securitize became the first company to be approved by the SEC to be the Transfer Agent for Digital Securities.  We were not able to confirm the registration status on SEC website but this is a great first step towards tokenizing stocks (and then everything).

Rakuten launches Crypto Exchange with 3 cryptos trading

Rakuten digital currencyThe name Rakuten, according to their site, which literally means ‘Optimism’, a belief in the future, seems to have a lot of optimism for crypto.  The company has launched its own crypto exchange and will release its app, although the time has not been set for release data.  The exchange will start trading 3 cryptos at the start: Bitcoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash.



Institutions constitute 60% of trade on Coinbase Pro; $200 – $400M institutions crypto deposits per week

Coinbase ProBrian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, tweeted that Coinbase is “seeing $200-400M a week in new crypto deposits come in from institutional customers.”  He had earlier stated in a video he tweeted about 60% of Coinbase Pro trades coming from Institutional investors.  The flow could be a direct result of much broader custody options that are now available in the market, including from Coinbase.

China: Digital Currency Research to be part of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone

The fight for global reserve currency continues.  Facebook’s Libra can now relax for a while as the US and China fight over the digital currency race.  In an effort to encourage the digital currencies movement, China is poised to recognize Digital Currency Research as part of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.  Special Economic Zones provide tax breaks, special assistance and facilitates economic incentives to companies working in specific listed industries.

Black Manta Capital Partners receive license to offer Security Token Offerings

Black Manta Capital STOIn an unexpected move, Germany’s BaFin has granted license to offer Security Token Offerings.  Germany continues to be have a hard stance against crypto in general and this approval comes as a pleasant surprise. In a Press Release, Black Manta Capital Partners stated that “ As of August 1st 2019 and after 9 months of intense and fruitful procedures with the German regulator, BMCP GmbH is now a Financial Services Institution.”

Austria’s Telekom Giant, A1 Telekom Austria, to accept Crypto payments

A1 Telecom Austria crypto adoptionAccording to the news in FutureZone, Austria’s A1 Telekom will accept crypto payments in their shops.  Google translation of the news reveals, “the mobile operator announced that payments will be accepted as part of the pilot project with Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, Ripple and Stellar.”

Walmart applies for Blockchain based Drone Delivery patent

Walmart crypto adoptionAccording to a patent application dated August 1, 2019, Walmart is looking into a ‘delivery management system’ using Drones backed by Blockchain Technology.   The patent application reveals “drone-drone communications using blockchain.” Walmart seems to be heating up the blockchain and crypto space together first with its digital currency patent and now with the Drone based delivery system.  Fortune 1 is literally leading the way in the blockchain space.



Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) recommends Blockchain

COACCOAC, in its report titled “Next Generation Facilitation” has recommended the use of Blockchain by the Customs Border Patrol (CBP). The report which is dated Aug 21, 2019 (yes, it is future dated) states “COAC recommends that in order to encourage the adoption of blockchain, CBP should strive for global data standards and protocols consistent with WCO principles that promote trade facilitation, transparency and compliance in the context of cargo entry, clearance/release and post entry review/audit processes.”

Turkey ramps up Bitcoin adoption in the midst of its failing economy

Turkey Bitcoin AdoptionWe published the case for bitcoin in case of a recession, and one of the factors we talked about how the countries with uncontrollable inflation and failing economies may use Bitcoin as a safe-haven.  Turkey has been ramping up demand for Bitcoin as the economic woes rise in the country. “These countries are attracted to bitcoin because it can’t be controlled by the government and it’s not fully under the sway of any single country,” CNN’s article states.

Dallas Mavericks become the second NBA to accept Bitcoin

MavericksFans can now buy the game tickets using Bitcoin.  In a press release, Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks announced that they will accept Bitcoin as a method of payment, thanks to BitPay’s payment gateway.    “We want our fans who would like to pay with Bitcoin the opportunity to do so. BitPay allows our global fans to seamlessly make purchases with the Mavs,” said Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, as per the press release.

Norwegian Air offers discounts for Bitcoin payments

Norwegian AirNow you can buy flight tickets using Bitcoin at a discount. Norwegian Air is launching cryptocurrency based payment system in September. “NBX will launch as a standalone marketplace in September, enabling users to exchange fiat currencies (initially NOK, followed by SEK, DKK, EUR and USD) for digital ones (initially Bitcoin, Ethereum and US Dollar Coin, a USD-pegged stablecoin),” according to an article in Forbes.

China’s digital currency may soon be a reality

bank of chinaChina’s Central Bank announced that they will soon roll out the digital currency.  While this digital currency will leverage the blockchain capabilities, it may not be a pure blockchain based currency.

 

Metro Wireless accepts Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

Metro WirelessBusiness Internet Service Provider (ISP), Metro Wireless, has become one of the first Business ISPs to accept cryptocurrency.  In a press release, the company announced that they will accept Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. “This latest move enables customers to use virtually any Payment Protocol compatible (also known as BIP-70) cryptocurrency wallet to complete a transaction,” the press release stated.



VeChain continues its momentum

Vechain updatesVeChain, easily among the elite Blockchain projects, has started its Phase 2 with introduction of Penfold Bin 407, Australia’s prominent wine manufacturer, to empower them with Blockchain capabilities through VeChain’s Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) using Wine Traceability Platform (WTP). Over 20 wine products imported by D.I.G are already live on the WTP platform who have “experienced a 10% increase in sales due to increased consumer confidence.” 

New Jersey Blockchain Initiative Task Force

Bill Senate No. 2297 was enacted by the Governor of New Jersey, Phill Murray, formed a New Jersey Blockchain Initiative Task Force which is expected to study the benefits of blockchain in public records maintenance and role of public and private blockchains.  

Binance hack: KYC data of its users exposed

One of the most popular and quick to fame Binance Crypto exchange has been hacked and the KYC documents of its users has been compromised.  The hackers are now blackmailing Binance for a ransom.


Coinbase Ventures is Empowering the Open Financial System

coinbaseCoinbase is working on the long term vision of blockchain and crypto by investing in the companies that are working to make financial system more inclusive.  The company’s website lists the companies in which Coinbase has already made an investment. 

South Korea’s partial ‘Regulation-Free’ zones open doors to Crypto

While the politicians in the US are busy making uninformed statements about Bitcoin and comparing it with USD and nefarious activities, South Korea is creating spaces to nurture blockchain technology.  Busan has been declared as the ‘regulation-free’ zone for Crypto operators to set their businesses.



Walmart applies for Digital Currency patent

WalmartThe quality of this application leaves us asking for more, nevertheless, Walmart has joined the race of digital currency using blockchain.  Walmart is the largest retail store in America and if it introduces Walmart coin with a boat load of discounts for using it – the adoption could be much easier and faster than Facebook’s Libra.  This space is getting hotter by the minute.

IRS issued letters to Crypto taxpayers

irs cryptocurrenciesInternal Revenue Service has issued notice letters (Format 6173, 6174, 6174-A) to close to 10,000 taxpayers who had cryptocurrency transactions. We will be providing more guidance on these letters and what to do if you received one yourself. Stay tuned.


New York establishes Research and Innovation Division to license Crypto businesses

“It will house the Department’s division responsible for licensing and supervising virtual currencies, and it will assess new efforts to use technology to address financial exclusion; identify and protect consumer data rights; and encourage innovations in the financial services marketplace to preserve New York’s competitiveness as a financial innovation hub,” read the Press Release.

TD Ameritrade launches Bitcoin futures trading

AmeritradeWith 1.2 Trillion dollars in assets under its management, TD Ameritrade’s launch of Bitcoin futures marks yet another milestone in the journey of Bitcoin mass adoption.  At this time, the futures are available for professional clients with a minimum of $25,000 in the account.


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calls Bitcoin a “National threat”

Steven MnuchinBitcoin is a “National threat” opined the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, while holding a briefing on regulating cryptocurrency.  We do not expect Politicians to know a lot about bitcoin, however, being a Treasury Secretary – Steven Mnuchin was expected to be more ‘balanced’ in his approach, however, that was not the case.



Canada’s City of Richmond Hill accepts bitcoin for tax payments

City of Richmond Hill in Canada has approved a proposal to accept bitcoin to settle tax payments. “We believe that the demand for a digital currency payment option is only going to grow in the coming years, especially amongst millennials”, said Richmond Hill Deputy Mayor Joe Di Paola who moved the motion.

IRS’s leaked Cyber Crimes training deck sends ripples in the Crypto community

irs cryptocurrenciesBlanket Subpoenas against Apple, Google and Microsoft to backtrack the crypto activities was among the suggestions proposed in an IRS Cyber Crimes training deck that was leaked on the internet.  IRS is building capabilities to use Chainalysis to track the wallets back to the owners.

 

The Miami Dolphins have an official Cryptocurrency: Litecoin

Miami DolphinsWhat better way to get the word out than sports?  Litecoin managed to become the official cryptocurrency of The Miami Dolphins team giving them access to the NFL hardcore fan base.  Moves like these are paving the way for Cryptocurrency to the mainstream.

 

SEC is seeking blockchain data provider to help its efforts to monitor

sec commisionSecurities Exchange Commission of the United States intends to “procure Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf (COTS) enterprise-wide data subscription for blockchain ledger data to support its efforts to monitor risk, improve compliance, and inform Commission policy with respect to digital assets” according to its solicitation.  

Prime Factor Capital receives authorization as Alternative Investment Fund Manager

Prime Factor CapitalFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA) has authorized Prime Factor Capital to act as Alternative Investment Fund Manager.  Nic Niedermowwe, CEO of Prime Factor Capital, comments: “This is a significant milestone not just for Prime Factor, but for the industry as a whole. Being FCA-regulated brings us under the purview of one of the most recognised financial markets regulators globally. This is particularly relevant in the cryptocurrency space, which has repeatedly captured headlines for poor operating standards and even fraudulent activity. Investors need to be able to trust their managers not only to generate returns, but also to act responsibly and in their best interest.” 

Facebook is asked to halt its cryptocurrency, Libra, project

facebook libraThere is a new villain in the Cryptosphere and everyone is glad that it is ‘Facebook’. U.S. House of Representatives asked Facebook to appear in front of Congress to discuss its Libra project.  Governments have realized just how detrimental Facebook’s Libra could be to the Fiat’s existence and they are using all the excuses in the book to undermine it.



ErisX gets approval for physically settled Digital Asset Futures Contracts from CFTC

ERISXCommodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has granted Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) license.  “As a registered DCO, the ErisX clearinghouse will offer the clearing of digital asset futures contracts traded on ErisX’s regulated derivatives market, which will launch later this year” read their official Medium post.

Coming soon: Ethereum on Amazon 

Ethereum-AmazonThanks to two startups, Clic Technology and Opporty, we could soon be able to use Ethereum to make purchases on Amazon.  These two startups are launching a browser extension that could bring the modern day token economy one step closer to reality.

Google integrates Chainlink 

Google-Chainlink“Possible applications are innumerable, but we’ve focused this post on a few that we think are of high and immediate utility: prediction marketplaces, futures contracts, and transaction privacy” read the announcement from Google which is integrating Chainlink into its initiative.

Rumors about Crypto ban in India intensify

Indian GovernmentFirst it was South Korea, then China, and now India. Rumors about the ban on cryptocurrency have intensified in India.  A draft bill made rounds on the internet that proposes severe punitive measures against people dealing in cryptos.



Apple unveils CryptoKit

Framework around Cryptographic Developer tools that enable Cryptographic operations has been unveiled by Apple under the name CryptoKit.

Microsoft adds BTC symbol to Excel 

Excel Btc logoNerds and crypto enthusiasts welcomed the addition of BTC sign to Microsoft’s Excel tool.  This gesture comes after Google and Apple both beat MS to the punch in adding the BTC sign.  Better late than remaining MS.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) tightens the grip on Crypto exchange firms

FATF

FATF is closing in on ‘liberal’ crypto exchanges who have ignored the KYC and AML requirements.  Lot of the banking rules (like reporting the sender/receiver details under the ‘travel rules’ issued by FinCEN) could be applied to Crypto exchanges.  The direction of FATF was met with resistance from the crypto communities who argue that these rules are being designed to ‘stifle’ the blockchain and crypto revolution.

Montana catches up with times; exempts utility tokens from Securities Laws

Catching up with the times is not confined to Silicon Valley or NYC and Montana proved this by introducing House Bill 0584  which exempts utility tokens from Securities Laws as long there is a ‘utility’ for the token as defined in the bill.



Twitter and Square to make Bitcoin adoption INEVITABLE

Twitter SquareJack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, is a known advocate of Bitcoin.  He is showing his love for Bitcoin into business by making bitcoin and crypto payments available on Square.  Square is a 30 Billion dollar company and bringing crypto payments to the platform can make adoption of Bitcoin and Crypto payments inevitable. 

Blockchains LLC buys Nevada based Kirkwood Bank

Kirkwood Bank of Nevada blockchainIn an effort to bring Crypto mainstream, Jeffrey Berns, CEO of Blockchains LLC, has acquired Nevada based Kirkwood Bank.  These dents into the mainstream financial service industry is what is needed to onboard blockchain businesses into our daily lives.

 

China includes Blockchain as one of their top strategic priorities

Deloitte’s 2019 Global Blockchain Survey included Blockchain regional analysis in which they shine light on China’s “real economy” initiative in which blockchain was included as the top strategic priority.

Euro 6.5 Million Real Estate deal conducted on Blockchain in Paris

A real estate deal worth Euro 6.5 Million was closed in Paris using Blockchain.  This transaction further cemented the utility of Blockchain in the Real Estate space.



MIT says it developed a cryptocurrency that reduces the bandwidth by 99%

MITIn a Press Release, MIT announced that it has developed a cryptocurrency that reduces data users to join the network and verify the transactions by 99%.  They have named this cryptocurrency as “Vault”.

 

LedgerX, a New York based clearing house, gets approval to physically settle bitcoin futures contracts

Ledger XThe first federally regulated exchange and clearing house to list and clear fully-collateralized, physically-settled bitcoin swaps and options for the institutional market, LedgerX LLC, is the first entity to get CFTC approval to physically settle the bitcoin futures contracts.

 

Congressman joins the blockchain race

Gary Cohn

Former chief economic adviser to President of the United States, Gary Cohn, joins Spring Labs, who also held Chief Operating Officer post at Goldman Sachs. Talk about acceptance of the mainstream business of blockchain.

Prominent crypto news site dies and resurrects from the dead in less than 3 days

CCN Site CRASHCCN.com (formerly CryptoCoinsNews.com) announced that they were going to shutdown following Google algorithm updates that slashed the mobile traffic for the website. However, thanks to the outrage and all the searches flooding their way – they announced that they were back from the dead.



Visa’s move may be RIP for Ripple

ripple updatesOur readers know that we are not big fans of Ripple, even to the peril of being on the wrong end of an otherwise lucrative investment.  We are willing to live with that chance. Swift, then Stellar, then IBM, all ventured into what Ripple was hoping to, however, the latest to enter this space is Visa. With its massive network and infrastructure, this could be something that can finally sing RIP for Ripple. Of course, we don’t want that to be the case, just to be clear.

Niall Ferguson retracts his comments about Crypto and joins Ampleforth

AmpleforthFirst he openly accepts that he was completely wrong about assuming Crypto being worthless, then, Niall Ferguson joins a crypto startup that wants to develop a stablecoin pegged against goods instead of dollar.

Justin Sun wins lunch bid with Warren Buffet and hopes to turn him into a blockchain believer

Warren Buffet4.6 Million, that’s what costs to sit with Warren Buffet at lunch.  Justin Sun has invited blockchain pundits to join him with Warren Buffet for lunch, and hopes to change his views on bitcoin and blockchain.

 

Facebook introduces its CopyCat coin

facebook libraSocial media giant, Facebook, will announce its own cryptocurrency that will facilitate messenger payments.  The verdict is still out on whether or not this is good for crypto space. You can read our opinion here.



Microsoft releases tool to verify smart contracts

MicrosoftFormal verification of smart contracts developed in solidity programming language is now possible, thanks to Microsoft.  These strides are necessary for building confidence in smart contracts and blockchain platforms.

SEC sues Kik

kikYou cannot raise $100 Million without appropriate meeting the requirements of the SEC. Kik was sued by SEC according to their official press release.


Google and Apple add Bitcoin sign to the keyboard

bitcoin keyboardIt may just be a sign for the ignoramus, but for bitcoiners it is a great sight to see Bitcoin sign on both Google and Apple keyboards.


IRS to issue, finally, guidance on Cryptocurrency taxation

irs cryptocurrenciesCryptocurrency taxation guidance might finally be available this year.  This guidance is expected sometime in June, however, even if we get this before the end of the year – that would be a great stamp of approval for the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies.

State Farm and USAA are working together to test a blockchain solution

Two insurance giants announced a joint subrogation solution to test blockchain technology in speedy processing of auto claims.

Ernst & Young and Deloitte join Ethereum network

EthereumFirst it was EY, and then Deloitte, both accounting behemoths are now on Ethereum network building their own service solutions for the blockchain space with Ethereum as the underlying platform.



Samsung Pay to utilize blockchain to onboard its 10 million users

Samsung PayKorea Herald reported that Samsung Pay could include crypto wallet that could give direct access to its 10 million users to the crypto world.

 

Montana exempts utility tokens from securities law

Who would have thought that Montana would lead the way for other states to wake up, but that is just what happened, Montana exempted utility tokens from the purview of securities law.

Robinhood comes to New York

Robinhood Trading platformCommission-free cryptocurrency trading platform enters New York marking a milestone. Robinhood’s entry into global financial hub is a ceremonious moment for the crypto fans.



AT&T becomes first mobile carrier to accept bitcoin

AT&TWe are not sure why anyone would exchange their bitcoins for fiat, but if one so chooses, he/she can use bitcoin to pay AT&T bills.

 

Swiss Exchange (SIX) to launch blockchain and stablecoin in 2019

swiss exchange sixStable coin fever is everywhere.  It is more rampant than blockchain itself.  Swiss Exchange is the latest to catch this fever, however, we are glad because it’s the Swiss.

 

CBS’s 60 minutes on bitcoin

60 minutes is probably one of the longest running shows that has not lost its credibility because of tenure. Now Anderson Cooper hosted 60 minutes show on Bitcoin titled “Bitcoin’s wild ride”.  Adoption, here we come in the disguise of sensational titles.

Bitconnect is coming back, but why?

bitconnect coming backAfter the spectacular fall from $435 to under 30 cents in the shortest span of any asset class’s history, Bitconnect site hints its resurrection. Our only question is – WHY?

 

Crypto dominates IMFs survey on preferred payment method

IMF21000 out of 37000 preferred cryptocurrency to other payment methods. Of course, this survey may have been swarmed by crypto evangelists but nevertheless that is quite an overwhelming outcome to IMFs survey

Amazon files patent for Proof of Work

Amazon logoIt may not be long before the USA will mean Unified Shoppers of Amazon.  It just feels like Amazon is in everything. Now Amazon made its omnipresence known with a patent for Proof of Work with US Patent office.



FDIC insurance comes to crypto

FDIC InsuranceCrypto is getting more and more legitimate by the day.  The latest in this journey is the FDIC insurance, thanks to SFOX and its partnership with M.Y. Safra Bank.

 

FinCEN issues guidance on virtual currencies

FINCENAddressing many questions from the businesses and individuals in the virtual currency space, FinCEN has issued guidance that many interpret to be restrictive, read it yourself.

Fidelity may offer cryptocurrency trading for pros

FidelityInvestment mammoth, Fidelity, is looking to open its doors for cryptocurrency trading to professionals.

Maryland passes bill to embrace blockchain

States are in a race to put out a ‘blockchain friendly’ face for the techies.  Maryland embraced blockchain by signing Senate Bill 136 that allows companies to record stock ledgers and accompanying information on blockchain.

London Stock Exchange could use blockchain

London-Stock-ExchangeFor a 300 year old financial institution to acknowledge blockchain is a big deal, it’s even sweeter deal when that institution is London Stock Exchange.

Washington gives legal status to blockchain

Records entered on Distributed Ledger Technology, including Blockchain, will now be legally binding in Washington. Bill 5638 is now passed into law.

Amazon Managed Blockchain service opens

Amazon logoA fully managed blockchain service is now available via Amazon Managed Blockchain services.

 

Philip Morris International pivots blockchain use

Philip Morris InternationalThe cigarette giant wants to use public blockchain to track tax stamps on the cigarette boxes to ensure that the taxes are actually paid.

 

Northern Trust

A company with about 10 trillion dollars in assets enters into cryptocurrency space, more specifically hedge funds betting on Bitcoin and Ethereum.  In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Northern Trust’s President, Pete Cherecwich, said this “I do believe that governments will ultimately look at digitizing their currencies, and having them trade kind of like a digital token — a token of the U.S. dollar — but the U.S. dollar [would still be] in a vault somewhere, or backed by the government”

If you ask us, Government adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies is even more bullish case for crypto space than success in the business side.


Bakkt

InterContinental Exchange (ICE) announced launching a company named Bakkt (spelled Backed) to introduce physical Bitcoin backed futures which means more and more Bitcoins will go out of circulation in the coming months.

Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security and utility,” said Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt.

According to the news article in Fortune.com if Bakkt successfully executes its plans, we could see Bitcoin becoming accessible via retirement plans and  “Millennials getting their first 401(k)s [offering Bitcoin]; Wall Street could then tap Bitcoin’s popularity as an alternative to stocks and bonds to generate giant trading volumes.”

We are at a time when majority of workforce consists of Millennials and Millennials love their coffee and crypto. What do you imagine will happen when Millennials can access crypto assets via their retirement plans, ponder on that for a second!

Coinbase Custody

Coinbase opened its custody service in July 2018.  This opens up the crypto market to institutional investors that are looking to invest but stayed away because of lack of custodial services.  This development from Coinbase happened during the bear market which means that market, consisting of retail investors, is yet to see its potential.

Susquehanna International Group

This Pennsylvania based firm which has been dealing with crypto assets silently for its select clientele is extending its trading desk to a small group of 500 clients.  They plan on expanding the desk in future.

Gemini and Paxos issue USD backed stable coin

It’s not just USD Tether now, Gemini and Paxos have issued USD backed stable coin to help ease the volatility in the market related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

Huobi acquires public company for 70 million

Why is this news significant? It is significant and one that people seem to be ignoring is the easiest way to become a public company is NOT to go IPO. It is to acquire an existing public company.  That is what Huobi just did. Huobi also entered Japanese market by acquiring BitTrade exchange recently.


Real Estate goes Blockchain

Propy enabled first Real Estate transaction recorded on Blockchain took place in California for a 10-acre land. This land transaction was followed by a million-dollar home being sold on Blockchain.  This is just the beginning – Blockchain is expected to create a borderless global real estate market.

People Insurance Company of China (PICC) goes Blockchain

PICC is going Blockchain to transform its insurance business.  The insurance industry has been surprisingly fast in embracing Blockchain to simplify the claims process, reduce costs and improve efficiencies.  PICC chose VeChain which also partnered with PwCDNV GL all of which are pointing toward greater traction in coming future.

In another success story of Insurance industry embracing Blockchain technology, Korean Insurance company Kyobo has chosen ICON platform to its improve its insurance business.


And then there is the size of the Market itself

How can an article about Bulls not talk about market size? We didn’t think so.

But before we go into the discussion, see below tweet from CZ (Binance fame).

What is CZ talking about?
Let’s see, all values in USD and from this source
Silver market’s total capitalization is 100 Billion
Amazon, just one company with market cap of 1 Trillion
World’s richest people’s net worth is 1.9 Trillion
World’s currency market is 7.6 Trillion
Gold market’s total capitalization is 7.7 Trillion
World’s stock markets amount to 73 Trillion
World’s currency including non-physical instruments is 90 Trillion
Global Real Estate market valued at 217 Trillion
Derivatives market is estimated 544 Trillion to 1.2 Quadrillion

To put that in a visual on a single sheet of paper is very difficult. First it will be comparing a pebble against a mountain.  So we will dissect these figures into multiple charts to give you some perspective.

Crypto currency market compared only up to Gold market

bull stampede

Now let’s add the Stock market and see how Crypto stacks up

See what happens when we include Derivatives!

Even the behemoth like Amazon don’t even get a speck of a line in this chart and Amazon is 5 times bigger than entire crypto market as of today!

When successful, Blockchain Technology (and digital assets along with it) are expected to take on world’s stock market, ETFs, Derivatives and most types of financial instruments. To even say we are at the beginning of a revolution bigger than Internet is an understatement.



82% of Fortune 100 companies

Do not take our word for it, below we present the 82% of Fortune 100 companies that have played with Blockchain technology in one form or another.

 

RANKNAMEIndustryNEWS
1WALMARTRetailWalmart is implementing blockchain for its food businesses
2State GridElectricityThe State Grid Corporation of India is using blockchain technolgy to impove data sharing
5Royal Dutch ShellOil & GasRoyal Dutsch says Blockchain will revolutionize and disrupt oil industry to trillion Dollar Industry
6Toyota MotorAutomobileToyota seeks blockchain technology in developing Self Driving Cars
7VolkswagenAutomobileVolkswagen implements and backs Blockchain technology to drive the automobile industry to a new level
8BPOil & GasBP, formerly known as British petroleum has announced that they will be partnering with blockchain startups which are running ICO’s and also have already tested ithe tokens internally
9Exxon MobilOil & GasBig names in Oil Industry are looking forward to blockchain patents, as they see the potential.
10Berkshire hathawayConglomerateWarren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathway is planning to utilise blockchain technology for shipping freights
11AppleTechnologyApple’s Co founder is considering to implement blockchain technology
12Samsung ElectronicsElectronicsSamsung looks into blockchain to track their worldwide shipments and also believes it might reduce the costs
13MckessonHealth CareMckesson implementing blockchain and forecast a better future for healthcare IT solutions with blockchain
14GlencoreCommodityWorld’s largest producers of Cobalt are considering the implementation of blockchain technology, but its not being confirmed yet.
15United Health groupHealth CareOn April 2 2018 United health group has confirmed its usage of blockchain, to maintain and keep the date upto date.

Click here to see the complete list of Fortune 100 companies.

The growing number of crypto friendly nations

Mainstream news goes berserk when a country indicates that they are going to introduce a new law or ban ICOs or similar. They fire up the FUD ante so much that – market drops from $800 Billion to $200 Billion. What they don’t highlight is the silent fight that is taking place among nations to be among the leaders in the Blockchain space. Well, here are the top locations that not only recognize this technology – they are enabling it.

CountryDescription

Belarus

The country recently announced that they are welcoming blockchain and crypto investors and businesses to boost the economy. They have legalized mining and ICOs.

Estonia

With its e residency facility, Estonia happens to be the most business friendly country and its boasting to be the leading country to evolve in blockchain technology applications. They are even thinking to launch national digital currency.

Gibraltar

While other countries on this list have taken a supportive stance, Gibraltar happens to be the first country ever to set regulatory framework for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. Many new ventures are moving their base to Gibraltar.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has set Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies as HIGH Priority for Securities and Futures Commission to stop bad players from exploiting gullible investors at the same time provide clarity to the genuine ones.

Japan

First country to recognize Bitcoin as legal currency (the news that gets the least attention but the one that started rally in 2017), first country to have numerous crypto ATMs and first country setting up a framework that could potentially guide many other nations.

Jeju Island, South Korea

Jeju Island aims to be the Global Blockchain innovation hub. While the nation is still debating many aspects of blockchain and cryptocurrency – Jeju is acting inspired to become global force in the space.

Malta

It’s not just Binance and OkEx but many crypto startups and trading platforms are looking to call Malta their headquarters. Malta has been the most talked about country for the past year or so in regards to crypto, with low taxes and friendly government.

Singapore

While rest of the world is still debating crypto currencies and their impact, Singapore is in talks to develop a platform to launch securities tokens, that tells you a bit about the Nation’s vision.

Slovenia

Slovenia an Central European Nation is crypto friendly and gives special considerations such as no VAT on mining income.

Switzerland

Switzerland happens to be at the forefront of digital revolution. Many Blockchain giants such as Ethereum, Tezos, ICON established their headquarters in Switzerland for a reason!

In the pipeline

E(W)TF

While Andreas Antonopoulos is vocal in advocating against Bitcoin based ETFs, market seems to have an unhealthy sentiment attached to a possible ETF. Every time an ETF application which is guaranteed to be rejected gets rejected – market reacts irrationally. We at cryptotapas believe that an ETF is inevitable but not before 2019 and that it will have lesser impact than Bakkt. CBOE has a better chance of approval.

Wellington Capital

Wealth management company managing over trillion dollars is exploring investing into cryptocurrency space. Click on this link to access the report issued by Wellington.

Fidelity

Fidelity may be on a secret mission (not so much of a secret anymore since we are talking about it) to build a digital asset exchange of its own.  Fidelity had earlier introduced a way for its users to connect their coinbase accounts to their Fidelity accounts. Turns out – this is just a small part of major plan to get into digital currencies market in future.

Goldman Sachs trading desk

Goldman Sachs revealed its plan to enter into crypto market by introducing various financial vehicles tied to Bitcoin price.  While there have been rumors against this in September, their CFO clarified that – the plan is still on.

Andreessen Horowitz crypto fund

This leading venture capital fund raised over 300 million for a crypto-focused fund.


Coinbase is exploring Bitcoin ETF

And they have sought help from one of the world’s leading financial institution – Blackrock.

State Street a fund with 2.7 Trillion in assets is eyeing digital asset custodian service.

Venrock, the fund that manages Rockefellers wealth joined forces with CoinFund to start investing into cryptocurrencies.

SmartContracts are coming to BTC

Rootstock is bringing customizable smart-contracts to Bitcoin and this could spell death of many altcoins that have no specialized niche or use-case. However, this along with BAKKT entry could start a whole another rally for Bitcoin even before the halving event and we all know what follows when Bitcoin goes on a bull run.

Yale CIO’s are getting into Crypto Market

Blockchain Capital’s Spencer Bogart says Yale CIO’s move into crypto is first step to a new crypto b

Spencer Bogart, Blockchain Capital, on the bull case for crypto. With CNBC’s Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Tim Seymour, Carter Worth, Steve Grasso …

Berkeley, CA proposes to issue Municipal Bonds on Blockchain

What can a meekly city to do when Federal government decides to cut funding other than roll back and take it?!  But Berkeley, CA wants to do just the opposite, it wants to build its own highway of funds on Blockchain. What could be a trendsetting event in the Blockchain space, Berkeley proposed to issue its Municipal Bonds on Blockchain. We anticipate that in next 5-10 years State’s will choose the public funding via blockchain route.

Billion users & a 25 fold increase?: Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong expects Crypto users to grow from current 40 million users to 1 billion users in 5 years.  At the current user base, market at its lowest point from January 2018 highs is hovering around 200 Billion.  What can a 25 fold increase in users plus increase in use-cases and mass adoption do to crypto space? Let your imagination chew on that one!



Chain’s acquisition by Stellar (read closely there could be a secret here):  Stellar acquires Blockchain startup Chain for 500 Million dollars. Nasdaq had partnered with Chain in 2015 to pilot a blockchain based digital ledger technology made available to private companies.  Now that Chain is part of Stellar, there are speculations rumored that Nasdaq might launch its Bakkt platform on Stellar network!

Own at least 6.1% Bitcoin suggests Yale University Research: In a research paper named “Risks and returns of cryptocurrency” by Yukun Liu and Aleh Tsyvinski of Yale University, they concluded that for a good portfolio diversification should include 6.1% investment in Bitcoin.

Rich are investing in crypto: Someone said do not pay attention to what rich are saying – watch closely to where they are investing in. George Soros, Mike Novogratz, Steven Cohen, Steve Wozniak, Tim Draper, John McAfee  all hold a bullish outlook for Bitcoin and crypto space, some predicting a million dollar Bitcoin by 2020.

SEC says it will re-review the ETFs that it has rejected earlier. SEC has earlier this year talked about adopting ‘do no harm’ policy (similar to the same stance as they took with internet).

3.6 Trillion by 2028

This is least favorite of our inclusions (hence it came all the way at the end). Bloomberg issued a research report from Statis that predicts that each Bitcoin will be $96,000 in 5 years and Crypto market cap might reach 3.6 Trillion dollars in 10 years. About 18 fold increase in total market valuation from today’s market cap (at 196 Billion).

Why then is this research paper our least favorite?

      • They don’t know what they are talking about in our opinion
      • 6 Trillion over 10 year period is rather slow. In our opinion, this market will grow larger than that in next 5 years if favorable regulations come to play
      • Just one State in US going 100% digital currency on blockchain itself will catapult the market into multi-Trillion dollar space

There it is crypto-frontrunners. An enormous, although not exhaustive, list of Bullish future for the Blockchain and Crypto market.

Let us know if we have  missed any important updates in the comments.

Consider subscribing to get ONE email per week with all the important curated information, tax alerts and free eBooks.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

About the author

RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Read more about the author here.

CryptoSpace

Lessons from the Veteran HODLERS to the Newbies!

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Lessons in Crypto

For all those who entered the crypto market after the 2017 bull run – here are few lessons from the HODLERS from the last bull run(s).

This is our attempt at making all you newbies aware of the mistakes veteran cryptoers did.

Let’s get started…

Don’t FOMO in to all the hype

FomoIt’s hard not to FOMO in crypto.  The trick is to make sure you don’t lose your shirt in crazy bets.  Always limit your bets to what you are comfortable losing.

The common ways you can become victim of FOMO are:

  • Following your favorite YouTuber without actually doing your own research on the project.
  • Investing into projects at the top.
  • Believing in promises of 100x or 1000x without any substance behind those claims.

HODLing far too long

Remember why you are into crypto – to make the money.

Never fall in love with your crypto, and HODL the tokens even when they are 10x and more.

Have a strategy to take your capital out before you become a HODLer.  

If you believe the project really has what it takes to go beyond 100x and more, just sell in instalments so as to not miss the ride.

One of the best ways to HODL is to take your capital in full and profit in tranches.

This rekt story will give you a right perspective of what it looks like, it’s one of many:

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Never go all in on one project. No matter how strong the project may look, even the projects with strong fundamentals don’t do well sometimes. 

And, you will be kicking yourself watching other projects go up and your portfolio just doesn’t seem to make a move.

And don’t over do it and have a portfolio with over 100 projects either. It is very difficult not to have invested in more than 15 projects but anything less than 20 is a good way to go, in our opinion. 

Put aside the share of Profits for Taxes.

One way you can get a good night’s sleep is by paying taxes. 

Always keep a habit of putting aside a % of your profits in USDT or other stable coins, as a reserve to take advantage of market volatility and also to meet your tax obligations. 

Exchanges are more evil during bull run

Foreign ExchangesDon’t trust exchanges. Yes we already know that, but they play more games during bullrun, some intentional and some technical. 

Many exchanges tend to go under maintenance when the prices shoot up too high too soon (Coinbase?), and you can’t sell. 

And the shady exchanges scam out before you know.

Regulators seem interested when the market cap of these projects goes through the roof, which then adds FUD around the project crashing the prices.  

Exchange may freeze funds pending investigations when such issues arise.

Take for example OKEx. Users are unable to withdraw their assets from the exchange for almost a month now, not certain if they ever will, and all that started with the legal dispute.

Never fall for Arbitrage gains

Arbitrage is when you buy in one exchange at a lower rate and sell on the other for a higher rate to take some profits. 

Some shady exchanges show a lot higher prices than the other genuine exchanges and when you deposit your assets to sell at those prices there won’t be actual volume to execute the trade. You may be stuck with either a high fee for withdrawal or other funky rules to take your own money out. 

Remember, there is no free Giveaway

Free CryptoScammers rise with the rising market.  

When the crypto market buzzes with all time highs – scammers cash in big time on newbies.

The most lucrative scam in crypto is ‘Free Giveaway’. Whether it be through YouYube ads or discussion groups and wherever they can get your attention.  Read this article on various sophisticated scams that are being deployed.

We hope these lessons help you through your trades and crypto life.  Stay safe and always DYOR.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

 

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Crypto Roundup: All Your YouTube Influencers in One Place

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crypto news

Visit our Crypto Roundup section daily for a dose of all your favorite Crypto YouTube influencers in one place.    

Worried about missing updates from your favorite YouTube crypto influencers?  

Welcome to the Crypto Roundup.  

On this page, we will post a quick summary of the videos from some of the most popular YouTube crypto influencers.

Ivan on Tech  Altcoin Daily

Crypto Zombie Box Mining

Ellio Trades Lark Davis

Data Dash Bitboy Crypto

MMCrypto Chico Crypto

Altcoin Daily

Video title: The United States Just Brought Bitcoin into the National Conversation!! | Cryptocurrency in 2021

Date: 16-Nov-20

  • Former National Treasurer and the new US Senator Elected, Cynthia Lummis, said Bitcoin fits the bill as a good store of value as it is finite and limited, unlike the inflationary fiat currency.

  • Grayscale adds over 7000 more bitcoin in just the last 24 hours.
  • Just over 16% ETH staked for ETH 2.0 launch on Dec 2 2020.
  • Bitcoin Cash hard fork takes place tomorrow.

Crypto Zombie

Video Title: WARNING!!! BITCOIN 2017 BEAR FRACTAL RETURNS!!! BTC WORST CASE SCENARIO…

Date: 14-Nov-2020

  • Institutional money starts flowing into bitcoin.

  • Paypal goes live with its crypto trading platform for eligible customers. They have also raised the buying limits from the initially set $10,000 to $20,000 per week.
  • DIA, an DeFI Oracle provider, integrates with Polkadot.

Ivan on tech 

Video Title: BITCOIN WILL DO SOMETHING INSANE THIS WEEK!!!! -30% DUMP AHEAD vs $20,000 PARTY – Programmer

Date: 16-Nov-2020

  • Bitcoin could make a big move this week, either hit 20K or we may see a 20% to 30% drop
  • Chainlink partners with Etherisc to deliver agricultural insurance in Kenya.

Ellio Trades

Video Title: UNLOCKING $100 TRILLION? This low cap gem seeks to bridge CeFi and DeFi

Date: 15-Nov-2020

  • DeFI could be similar to the ICO craze in 2017
  • Low cap gem: AllianceBlock
  • AllianceBlock is bridging the gap between DeFi and CeFi
  • AllianceBlock Partnership with Orion Protocol and Chainlink.

Chico Crypto

Video Title: WARNING! An “EVIL” Entity Wants Control of BITCOIN…

Date: 15-Nov-2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45Ac-5y2ofg

  • 90% of Bitcoin’s mining pools are controlled by China based mining pools
  • As the value of bitcoin goes up – there is a threat of push to ‘control’ the network from China
  • Binance is looking to push through the 50% mining share and Chico believes this could be dangerous

Visit our Crypto Roundup section daily for a dose of all your favorite Crypto YouTube influencers in one place. 

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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CryptoSpace

Be Aware of these Latest Scam Attempts!

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Different ways of crypto scams

Scammers are getting savvy.

This is bad news for every hardworking person out there.

If you are not careful – you could be handing over keys to your hard earned money to scammers, literally.

Here are few of the latest scams that we came across that we want to alert the community about.  

These scams are broadly targeting the general public, but with recent breaches at the exchanges and user data out in the open – the targeted attacks on crypto users has seen spikes.

Be careful and warn your friends, family and fellow Crypto folks.

YouTube Comment scam

Let’s say I am watching a video from CryptoZombie and I see one of the comments below with a CryptoZombie username with the same logo and everything.  

Crypto Zombie youtube scam

It is very easy to sometimes fall for these comments which usually talk about ‘an offer’ or ‘financial service’.

Be careful when you are acting on comments anywhere, whether it is on a blog or YouTube video.  Verify the username multiple times before deciding on acting on the information. 

Given this is a somewhat new scam – more and more people are falling for this.  

Newsletter scam

Newsletter scamIn an all new trick, scammers are creating mock-up versions of popular newsletters and blasting it to crypto folks.

The unassuming recipient clicks on the links that appear to be from brand names, however, are in fact a clever decoy to lure you into a scam.

CoinDesk recently reported that its emails have been forged to carry on scams. 

According to CoinDesk: “Over the past few weeks, CoinDesk has seen evidence scammers are copying our newsletters in their entirety, adding a malicious link at the top and changing the subject line to emphasize that link. They then send the email to a list of active and perhaps crypto-curious email addresses likely acquired from privacy-ignoring data brokers or the dark web, completing the phishing scheme.”

Even a newsletter is not safe from the scammers web – so always follow the golden rule: Check it before you click it.

‘Email from the exchange you trade’ scam

If you see an email that looks like it comes from an exchange that you use, for instance, Coinbase, it is quite natural that you click on the links instinctively.

Be very careful to hover over the link without clicking it to see where it originated from. 

Email Check

This extra check that is only going to take you a few seconds could save you from a potential phishing scam.

Good old ‘YouTube Livestream’ scam

Youtube giveaway Scam

Yes, they are still a thing.

With so many new video streaming services on the market, scammers are branching out.  

Scam is quite simple: scammers play a video of a press release or conference from the past as if it is going on live and right below it will be an offer to multiply your crypto.

Send 1 ETH to this address and receive 5 ETH.  

What makes this super cunning is there will be comments right below the offer where scammers use phony accounts to ‘assure’ that someone else has received the multiplier.

We assure you – no one has and no one ever will, except the scammer getting hands on your stash.

Phone text verification scam

Phone verification scamWhenever an exchange data is breached, a lot of information is leaked including your email and phone number.

When you receive a text from a number claiming to be from the exchange, it is very easy to fall for it.

For one, you wouldn’t expect scammers to know that you use that particular exchange.  

However, never click on the links.  

A good exchange always reaches out to you via email (don’t forget to hover on the link to confirm in that case).

Look for the check mark

Most of the social media platforms have a check-mark against the owner of the account.

Account verification on twitter

Look for the check-mark before you rely on the post. 

In some cases, if the offer is too good to be true even if it is from the verified account, in our opinion, it is better to stay away from it. [Remember: Twitter accounts got hacked and hackers scammed a lot of people.]

Conclusion

Scammers are deploying innovative tactics to scam people.  

It is important for each of us to stay vigilant. If you are aware of other creative scams that are not covered here – please share them for everyone’s benefit.

Also, remember the golden rule that applies to all your interactions on the internet: Check it before you click it.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

Continue Reading

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