This week we are looking at some very interesting developments in the crypto sector, and if you want a brief overview of the most important parts, you are reading the right article. The latest news show a certain maturity which has been lacking in the crypto industry, with celebrities Floyd Mayweather and Khaled being officially fined by the SEC, Coinbase launching an institutional OTC desk, South Korea testing blockchain voting, and Bitmain launching a cryptocurrency index fund.
Many of these news stories are connected by a change of mind from leaders in the industry. The adoption, understanding and acceptance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is on the rise. More and more companies see some sort of benefit from having adopted blockchain technology in the short-past.
Bitcoin price for the week
Bitcoin has been on the rise for this week, following the significant dip in price the week prior. While it did show some volatility, Bitcoin’s price has been remarkably stable, suggesting a strong supporting influence. On the 29th of November, Bitmain announced a cryptocurrency index and we can clearly see the influence of that on the price chart below.
Another positive influence can be noticed between the 1st and 2nd of December, where numerous events took place. Namely, two German Bitcoin mining investment funds were launched, and Calastone announced a complete transformation of their settlement systems using blockchain technology.
New York woman detained for supporting ISIS using Bitcoin
A New York citizen was detained at JFK airport by federal police, who have been trailing her for months on suspicion of materially supporting terrorist organizations. Zoobia Shahnaz admitted to having sent more than US$150,000 to various bank accounts in Pakistan, China, and Turkey, as reported by CNBC.
The scheme used by the woman involved buying Bitcoin from cryptocurrency exchanges, exchanging it for cash, and then wiring it to her accomplices in the above-mentioned countries.
The most concerning fact in the entire story is that she managed to use stolen or fraudulently obtained credit cards to facilitate the crypto purchases. With the strong eye on regulation and proper KYC/AML procedures most cryptocurrency exchanges have, it is surprising that she managed to pull it off. We don’t know at which exchange she obtained the Bitcoin used for her deeds, nor which service she used for the exchange to cash.
Quartz talks with Vitalik Buterin about IBM, books, and more
Malicious updates to open-source code repository endanger CoPay users
Bitcoin’s total hash rate is dropping
Overstock leadership to sell the company in order to focus solely on blockchain
Bulgarian criminals arrested for stealing US$3 million worth of crypto
Coinbase launches OTC desk for institutional investors
Institutional investors are going to be able to enjoy better conditions when they decide to buy cryptocurrency, as Coinbase launched a new OTC desk solely focused on providing easier access to cryptocurrencies for institutions.
Coinbase Prime users, a status given to institutional investors, will be able to enjoy delayed settlement and access to Coinbase Custody, as well as lower costs whenever they decide to acquire cryptocurrency. By using OTC they are able to avoid crashing or pumping the price of any digital asset they acquire directly. For the regular market participant however, the benefit is singular. Coinbase’s (as well as their competitors) efforts into OTC cut down the volatility associated with large volume trades.
Reuters exposing “pay-to-play” methodology of crypto influencers
South Korean cryptoexchange Upbit receives first ISMS license
Do you use a hardware wallet? Check these 10 security tips
“Getting stuck in a fiat-based mindset is a mistake”, says Tim Draper
South Korea will battle-test blockchain for online voting
South Korea will use a blockchain-based system in the upcoming elections this month. The country’s National Election Commission worked side-by-side with the Ministry of Science and ICT (which did receive a hefty bonus to their blockchain experimentation budgets) to improve the security and eliminate fraud risks from the existing e-voting solution.
The current solution is used by more than 5 million people in the country, making this project a potentially valuable asset for political figures to receive real-time data about how elections are developing. In related news, the Canton of Geneva will completely remove the possibility to vote digitally.
ICO-funded startups should go see the SEC immediately, says Chairman Jay Clayton
Payment settlement giant CLS launches a blockchain-based netting service
CFTC releases elementary textbook for smart contracts
Intercontinental Exchange CEO Jeff Sprecher is confident in the future of crypto
SEC issues memorandum from meeting with VanEck, SolidX, Cboe, and Patomak
Mayweather and Khaled officialy fined for unethical promotion
The SEC made an example out of these two celebrities by charging them with fines for their activities in promoting various cryptocurrency projects and their ICOs without informing their followers that they received payment for the production of their messages.
The total amount fined for their promotion totals up to US$767,500, the majority of which has to be paid by Floyd Mayweather. This is important because of the subtle nature of media and messages. Full disclosure to investors and followers is incredibly important because followers need to know that content is financially incentivized.
TRON to create TRON Arcade, a US$100 million fund to support gaming
Blockchain-based oil trading platform goes live, Reuters claims it can revolutionize the market
Sirin Labs’ “Finney” smartphone to be distributed 15th-25th December
Huawei officially launches its “Blockchain Service” for global use
Bitmain launches a cryptocurrency index fund
Following the craze of what is happening in the US regarding ETFs, we now turn our attention to the East. Bitmain has established a cryptocurrency index fund, that contains 17 different digital assets. The index will be completely managed by Bitmain with a real-time price calculation, and a once-per-day price reference. It is called “BLC10” and tracks the top cryptocurrencies using aggregate data from various exchanges. In addition, various API functions have been enabled, so that the index can be referenced.
Microsoft Japan partners up with LayerX to support blockchain adoption
Mike Novogratz is betting on 2019
Early access review of the Finney smartphone
China’s Xunlei attributes US$19.2 million to blockchain adoption
Xunlei, an online payment sevice provider, reported an increase of US$19.2 million on account of having expanded their public offer to also include blockchain services. The company itself had created various tokens until the Chinese government cracked down on cryptocurrencies, at which point it started turning towards the creation of platforms.
The new solutions, the first of which have been implemented in early 2018, have shown positive net results starting from the second quarter. The benefits of the decision are also visible in the third when compared to the company’s performance last year.
TRON sees higher dApp usage than Ethereum
The Russian government is struggling with conducting proper crypto legislation
Amazon misses the mark with their blockchain service offer
German investment company Xolaris launches Bitcoin mining investment funds
Intel’s 2016 Bitcoin mining system patent approved
Intel’s luck may be drawn out in this case, if you listen to what other publishers are saying about this story. Intel got a patent filing approved about a system that supposedly is better and faster than the current ASIC machines. If this is shown to be true, Intel may actually be reborn as a leader in cryptocurrency, slowly chipping away at Bitmain’s dominance on the cryptocurrency mining market.
Bitcoin SV to process 1TB blocks in 2020, says Craig Wright
London-based transaction network Calastone to completely adopt blockchain technology
Bug in NEO may enable remote-access to funds
G20 concludes with no new crypto information, regulation is still the main topic
Many expected new information to be released at the G20 in regards to cryptocurrency laws, but the main topic stays the same. Regulations need to be put in place to prevent the facilitation of malicious deeds. The main conclusion is that the majority of participants have agreed to come up with a unified global approach to regulating cryptocurrencies in accordance to the standards established by the Financial Action Task Force.