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The Blockchain Story

Bits and Bytes : Crypto Weekly, 15-21 April, 2019

  • By The Blockchain Story
  • Mon, 22 Apr 2019 00:00:00 AM
  • 0 comments
  • 2

Crypto ransom rose by 90% in Q1 of 2019

According to Coveware’s Q1 Ransomware Marketplace report - Dharma, Ryuk, and GandCrab are top three ransomwares. Bitcoin accounts for 98% ransomware payments. If ransom paid- in 96% cases, decryption tool is delivered which resulted in 93% data recovery. Avg incident duration 7.3 days & avg. downtime cost is $64, 645.

Ernst & Young launches multiple blockchain developments

E&Y has launched beta test version of its Smart Contract Analyzer, a smart contract testing and security service for Ethereum blockchain.Also, it has announced that it will release its zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) private transaction protocol into public domain. Further, it has launched new version of its analytics tool EY Blockchain Analyzer.

Coinbase & Coinbase Pro expand crypto-to-crypto trading to 11 more countries

Coinbase has launched its services in 11 more countries across Latin America and Southeast Asia- Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand.


The Crypto Bits

  • Binance, Shapeshift & Kraken to delist BSV amid calls of boycott from Crypto Community.
  • Data marketplace Ocean to sell token on Bittrex International, after token sale on CoinList failed to reach its target.
  • BSV experiences block reorganizations raising questions about network efficiency.
  • Gate.io has completed First Phase of POINTs sale and Gatechain Token (GT) reward distribution with over $2.9B worth of orders.
  • Mithril (MITH) becomes the first project to migrate to Binance Chain with MITH token to migrate from ERC-20 to BEP2.
  • ING Bank has announced a new cryptographic extension ‘Bulletproofs’ to improve upon its existing zero-knowledge set membership (ZKSM) code.

Patents

  • PayPal has secured a cybersecurity patent designed to protect users from CryptoRansomware.

Crypto Derivatives

  • Bakkt plans to acquire NY Department of Financial Services’ BitLicense.
  • LedgerX plans to launch physically-settled Bitcoin Futures contract.
  • BitMEX, plans to launch a crypto options platform in 12-18 months. 

Crypto Exchange

  • Bithumb plans to expand to the American and Japanese markets.
  • US based, Huobi.com has added three trading pairs for XRP
  • Coincheck, Japan now offers Ethereum and XRP via its OTC service.
  • Money Forward Inc., Japan has postponed its plan to launch crypto exchange amid bearish market.
  • Poloniex adds support for Tether on Tron Blockchain.
  • Crypto Exchange, Gemini has updated its wallet infrastructure to include support for segregated witness (segwit) bitcoin addresses.
  • Rakuten, Japan has begun registrations for its Crypto Wallet & Exchange.
  • eToro has launched a Crypto Exchange for pro traders, also issues 8 Stablecoins.

TestNet & MainNet

  • Binance Chain launches its mainnet and plans to execute Mainnet Swap on April 23, 2019.
  • Algorand, has released its public TestNet to gather feedback from community.

Crypto Charity

  • Binance has launched ‘Rebuild Notre-Dame’, a crypto donation program to support the reconstruction of the Notre Dame cathedral.
  • France’s Minister of State for the Digital Sector expresses his openness for cooperation with crypto platforms to enable crypto donations in newly-launched website for Notre Dame donations.

Revenue Generation

  • Coinbase has generated around $520 M revenue in 2018.
  • Binance generated $78 M profit in Q1 2019, up 66% from previous quarter as per extrapolated data from Binance’s seventh quarterly Binance Coin burn data.

Research & Surveys

  • Arbitrage Bots are being used to employ manipulative profit making strategies on Decentralised Exchanges, claims Cornell Tech Research.    
  • U.S. Federal Government Blockchain spending to increase by 1000% in 2019–2022, IDC study predicts.
  • As per a Survey by Global Custodian, The TRADE Crypto and BitGo, 94% endowments have invested in crypto-assets either directly or through a fund in 2018.
  • Portland State University (PSU) researchers have published a blockchain protocol to check counterfeit pharmaceuticals from market.
  • Lack of a standard terminology for cryptoassets& blockchain industry across jurisdictions hampers the development of a coordinated regulatory response, says a report by Cambridge University.
  • Central Bank of Russia has published a policy brief detailing its review of the potential benefits and drawbacks of Central Bank Digital Currencies.

Partnership & Collaborations

  • Wirecard partners Telegram Open Network Infrastructure Developer TON Labs to develop a digital financial service, payments and banking platform.
  • The National University of Columbia is joining Bloxberg, the global blockchain consortium for science.
  • Volkswagen has joined IBM Blockchain Platform for mineral Supply Chains.
  • Trading Technologies International, Inc.(TT) has partnered with HDR Global Trading, the owner of BitMEX, to offer its trading tools to crypto derivatives traders via the TT platform.
  • Nestlé, Carrefour & IBM have partnered to track the supply chain & production of ‘Mousline’ instant mashed potatoes.

Investment and Acquisitions

  • KZen has raised $4 M from investors including Samsung to develop its ‘private key’ less wallet ZenGo.
  • ConsenSys, NY is seeking $200 M from investors at $1 B valuation.
  • FXCoin, Japan has raised capital from SBI Holdings via third-party allotment of shares.
  • Utop, a Vietnamese Blockchain startup,has raised $3 M from FPT Corporation and SBI Holdings.
  • Chainalysis has raised an additional $6M, to close its $36M Series B round, from MUFG Innovation Partners and Sozo Ventures.
  • Bolt Labs has raised an undisclosed amount for its seed round from investors including Xpring & Electric Coin Company, a firm backing Zcash.
  • Bithumb has received $200 M in Series A funding round from ST Blockchain Fund, Japan.

Government & Regulatory

  • French Minister of the Economy and Finance has stated that France will try to convince other EU countries to adopt crypto regulations similar to those of France.
  • The Reserve bank of India Fintech Sandbox Regulations includes blockchain but excludes Crypto.
  • Arca, is seeking approval from US SEC to issue its digitized securities, Arca UST Coins, on Ethereum blockchain.
  • FSA, Japan plans to introduce new rules regarding cold wallets for storing crypto at exchanges
  • Central Banks of Afghanistan & Tunisia plans to raise money through bitcoin bonds.

Hiring, Layoffs & Shutdowns

  • Lukas Hohl to join Swisscom Blockchain AG as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  • Unocoin, Indian Crypto Exchange has fired half of its staff reducing headcount to 14.
  • Coinnest, South Korean Crypto Exchange to shut down, process to complete by June 30.
  • Sirin Labs has laid off a quarter of its workforce, 15 of its 60 employees.

Court & Prosecutors

  • Manhattan District Attorney has indicted three individuals for selling counterfeit drugs on the dark web and laundering $2.3 M in bitcoin
  • Charlie Shrem & Winklevoss twins have settled the lawsuit wherein Shrem was accused of stealing 5000 Bitcoins in 2012.
  • US FinCEN has fined Eric Powers, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanger, for $35000 and handed future debarment for violating money transmission laws.
  • Craig Wright has filed a libel claim against cryptocurrency journalist/podcaster Peter McCormack in UK Courts.

 

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