Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Crypto payments processor, Moon, announced a new Chrome browser extension which will allow Amazon purchases via Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. Coinbase account holders will also be able to pay via Bitcoin’s base layer, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

 A survey of South Koreans revealed that 7.4% of the country’s population owns some form of crypto. South Koreans own an average of over $6,000 worth of crypto, which is a 64% annual increase. People in their 50s hold the largest crypto balances.

 South Korea’s Samsung conglomerate reported they have invested $2.9 million into French hardware wallet manufacturer, Ledger. This funding brings Ledger’s total valuation to $290 million. As we covered in previous reports, Samsung’s new S10 mobile includes support for crypto wallets.

 More than 400,000 confirmed Bitcoin transactions were recorded this week, which is the highest level since the transaction volume spikes seen briefly in December of 2017. However, the average transaction fee is about 6 times lower than what it was then, indicating that Bitcoin’s transaction processing capacity has greatly improved.

 New York’s Attorney General announced a court order against iFinex, owners of the Bitfinex crypto exchange and Tether stablecoin. The state’s attorney alleges that iFinex secretly used $850 million reserved for backing the Tether stablecoin to disguise customer and corporate losses on the Bitfinex exchange. Bitfinex denied the allegations, including the loss of any funds in a statement.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Belorussian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, last week called for a large Bitcoin mining center to be
constructed near the country’s new nuclear power plant which is expected to be fully operational by
2020. Belarus has already developed a special economic zone, the High-Tech Park, with significant
tax breaks for IT and crypto companies.

Sweden’s largest political party, the Social Democratic Party, tweeted that the Swedish Krona was
abolished in favor of Bitcoin and renamed its account to “Bitcoin Democrats”. Swedes were further
surprised by tweets about rising taxes and crime stats. It was revealed later that the account had
been hacked by a group of hackers who wanted to raise the attention to security gaps.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is expanding crypto-to-crypto conversions and trading services
to 11 more countries. The San Francisco-based announced that customers in several countries
in South-America and Asia can now access crypto-to-crypto exchanging services. The company said
that it is offering the services via both as well as Coinbase Pro, its professional trading

Andrew Yang, a Democratic candidate in America’s 2020 election, issued a statement arguing the need for uniform regulations for cryptocurrency. Yang said that different rules for crypto
among various states and agencies create unnecessary confusion. Yang also referred to New York’s
BitLicense as “onerous” and detrimental to the growth of crypto in the US.
Courtesy: 99 Bitcoins

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

  • France is reportedly going to try to convince other European Union member states to adopt cryptocurrency regulationssimilar to its own
  • Corporate Traveller, the largest travel management firm in the United Kingdom, is now accepting Bitcoin for payments
  • Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings will delist bitcoin cash (BCH) from its virtual currency exchange in June 2019, following several major crypto trading platforms delisting BSV, while OKEx announced that it decided not to delist BSV
  • EToroX, the blockchain division of global social trading platform eToro, has launched a crypto exchange for pro traders and issued eight stablecoins
  • Institutional-grade investment management firm Arca Funds filed with the SEC to issue digitized securities as ERC-20 tokens on the ethereum blockchain

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Professional crypto traders suggested that this week’s dramatic price rise was a result of a major short squeeze in a low liquidity environment. A major Bitcoin buy order was split between at least three major exchanges, and the resulting upwards price pressure led to $500 million in desperate short-covering occurring within an hour on BitMEX.

 As usually happens when Bitcoin price news is trending, search volume is exploding. Google Trends reveal that search interest for the keyword “Bitcoin” is at its highest level since last November. Meanwhile, China’s major search engine, Baidu, reported that “Bitcoin” was its fastest-rising search term.

 The US Security and Exchange Commission released regulatory guidance to help clarify which crypto offerings constitute a security, and thus fall under existing securities laws. Although the ICO mania has ended, any project issuing tokens to US citizens should now have much greater regulatory clarity.

Switzerland’s publishing giant, Netzmedien AG announced it will start paying salaries in Bitcoin, after workers voted to receive BTC rather than Swiss Francs. The company publishes 8 technology magazines and a website. Switzerland remains at the forefront of mainstream Bitcoin adoption.

 And finally, the World Economic Forum issued a report that over 40 central banks are exploring blockchain technology, some with a view to creating their own fiatcoins. A former under-secretary -general of the UN, called for a global currency based on the IMF’s SDR instrument.
| 99Bitcoins

Friday, April 5, 2019

Bitcoin Will See Global Need After Future Applications Emerge, Says Andreas Antonopoulos

South Koreans will need Bitcoin (BTC) once its as-yet-unknown applications have been developed, Andreas Antonopoulos told the ongoing Deconomy conference in Seoul on April 4.

Speaking at the event attended by a Cointelegraph correspondent, the celebrated Bitcoin educator and entrepreneur forecast a fundamental shift in Bitcoin’s presence on the world stage.

The largest cryptocurrency will usurp the current fiat-based banking system, Antonopoulos said, but only after developing the next generation of use cases will the true global need for Bitcoin become obvious for the average consumer.

“What we’re doing today is trying to simulate the existing system with fewer intermediaries and centralization, so that we can rapidly exceed and start doing applications that are absolutely impossible with the current centralized financial system,” he summarized. Antonopoulos added:
“And then — and only then — Koreans will need cryptocurrency.”

Antonopoulos highlighted the fact that, in contrast to the utopian visions of the future, current cryptocurrency usage remains either a niche hobby or a product of desperation with the banks.

At present, only a tiny fraction of consumers use Bitcoin: this is logical, he says, given the overall difficulty of crypto and the technical knowledge required to store and transact with it successfully.
Cryptocurrencies and open blockchains “are only being adopted in the places where the pain of the current financial system is so extreme that people are forced to use something that is difficult to understand, difficult to secure, with very poorly designed applications and with very difficult wording,” he said.

Nonetheless, with advances ongoing, Bitcoin is at least set to overtake extant payment systems such as Visa and MasterCard, in his opinion.

“We are poised to achieve ten thousand times their capacity,” Antonopoulos added, echoing findings from a report into Bitcoin as the future of payments released earlier this week.

As Cointelegraph reported, scaling solutions for Bitcoin should help take it to the status of preeminent world payment system in as little as ten years, research from software company DataLight forecast
Courtesy: Cointelegraph

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Wuabit crypto wallet will be accessible within WhatsApp. Bitcoin will be supported at launch, with altcoins set to follow. The wallet uses a simple and intuitive chat interface for transactions. This wallet has the potential to boost adoption, as WhatsApp has over a billion users.

Major Bitcoin investor, Tim Draper, met with Argentinian president, Mauricio Macri to discuss monetary matters. Draper bet Macri that Bitcoin will increase in value relative to the Argentinian peso. If Draper loses, he pledged to double the amount his fund is investing into Argentina. 

Bitmain’s attempt at a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has expired unsuccessfully. Their bid was not approved within the 6 month window, despite the company disclosing its somewhat precarious financial situation. Bitmain also announced this week its forthcoming 7nm mining chip and the addition of a new CEO to its ranks. 

ZebPay, formerly India’s biggest exchange, will now facilitate Lightning Network payments for all its clients. Using the ZebPay wallet, clients can send up to 10 Lightning transactions a day up to a current maximum value of 0.002 BTC, with all fees covered by ZebPay. 

And finally, Bithumb suffered a major hack last week. The major Korean exchange had roughly $12.5 million in EOS and $6,000 in XRP stolen from its hot wallets. Bithumb suspended deposits and withdrawals as it investigates the matter alongside local authorities