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The Blockchain Story

Bits and Bytes : Crypto Weekly, 8-14 April, 2019

  • By The Blockchain Story
  • Tue, 16 Apr 2019 00:00:00 AM
  • 0 comments
  • 1

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank launches quasi Cryptocurrency

IMF and World Bank have jointly launched a private blockchain having quasi-cryptocurrency called “Learning Coin”. The Asset will be accessible only within the IMF and World Bank, has no money value and is not a real cryptocurrency. It is launched in order to better understand the underlying technologies in crypto assets.

Blockstack has filed Regulation A+ application with US SEC to launch a $50 M token sale

NY based, Decentralised Internet creator, Blockstack via its subsidiary, Blockstack Token LLC, has applied under Regulation A+ of JOBS Act, 2012 with US SEC to raise $50 M in its token sales called Blockstack Stacks (STX). Total 295 M tokens to be issued with 215 M for $0.12 each and 40 M for $0.30 each

Coinbase has launched Visa powered Coinbase Debit Card for its UK Users

Coinbase card is connected with customers’ Coinbase account allowing them to pay in-store and online. It facilitates payments through contactless, Chip and PIN, as well as cash withdrawals from ATMs. When customers use their Coinbase Card, it instantly converts crypto to fiat currency to complete the purchase. Users can manage their spending by Coinbase Card app.


The Crypto Bits

  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Indian IT Giant has carried out the world's first cross-border securities settlement between two central depositories viz., Maroclear, Morocco and Kuwait Clearing Company, Kuwait using the Quartz blockchain.
  • Dharma Labs, a crypto lending firm has launched its service with support for Ethereum & decentralized Stablecoin (DAI).
  • Coinbase Pro now allows trading for EOS (EOS), Augur (REP) & Maker (MKR) tokens.
  • Mozilla Firefox has launched protections against Fingerprinting and Cryptocurrency Mining in Firefox Nightly 68 and Beta 67 versions.
  • Cohen & Company, Certified Independent Auditor reports says that 198,982,291 TrueUSD in circulation is fully backed by Dollar reserves.

Loss & Shutdowns

  • Forkmonitor, Monitoring tool of BitMex estimates that Bitcoin SV miners have accumulated gross losses of $2.2 M.
  • Bithumb Exchange has reported a net loss of around $180 M in 2018. 
  • Thor Token Project is shutting down as it was not able to achieve desired commercial success which resulted in lack of sales and failed to raise further investment.
  • Bitcoin Wallet Electrum is facing an ongoing Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack on its servers losing millions of dollars. Wallet advised affected users to disable auto-connect & select their server manually.

Collaboration & Partnerships

  • Western Union has partnered with Philippines Coins.ph exchange to enable around 5 M customers to receive money transfers directly into their Coins.ph wallets.
  • The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has announced partnership with Perlin, a Singapore based Blockchain Company, to support blockchain adoption among its 45 M members.
  • Digital Asset has announced that it is working with VMware, Inc to integrate DAML (Open Source Smart Contract Language) with the VMware Blockchain platform.
  • Binance has partnered with CipherTrace to strengthen its regulatory compliance by enhancing its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) measures.

Institutional Support

  • GSX Global Market of Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) starts listings of Digital Securities for institutional investors.
  • LGO Markets to offer BitGo Custody and Multi-Signature Wallet Services to its Institutional Investors

TestNet & MainNet

  • Telegram has launched a private beta testing of its blockchain, Telegram Open Network (TON) & provided access to a test version to a limited number of global developers.
  • Tron plans to expand its second layer scalability solution, the Sun Network. The TestNet will launch on May 30 and MainNet on August 10, 2019

Research & Survey

  • The World Economic Forum has released a report on Blockchain Cybersecurity emphasizing security as a cornerstone for success of Blockchain technologies.
  • According to a survey by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), only 2% of Russians have invested in Bitcoin till date.

Patents

  • Global Consulting Giant Accenture has patented two solutions focused on Blockchain Interoperability.
  • IBM patents Blockchain based implementation to manage data and interactions for Self-Driving Vehicles (SDVs).
  • Media Giant Thomson Reuters has received a patent for Blockchain Based Identity Management System.
  • US based Capital One has secured a patent for blockchain based Content Validation System.

Courts & Prosecutors

  • A Court in Hjørring, Denmark has sentenced a 33 year old man for 4 years and 3 months for money laundering via bitcoins.
  • Ruja Ignatova & Konstantin Ignatova founders of OneCoin have been charged by Singaporean Authorities for Crypto multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme.
  • US Court of the Northern District of Ohio, has convicted two Romanian cybercriminals of 21 counts relating to infecting over 400,000 victim computers with malware and stealing millions of dollars.
  • Seoul Special Judicial Police have arrested a crypto ponzi scheme suspects using AI trained robots. Investors were defrauded to the tune of $18.3 M.
  • U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff has sentenced Jacob Burrell Campos, a LocalBitcoins trader, who sold Bitcoin around 1,000 US residents & amassed more than $820,000 from Bitcoin sales, to serve two years in prison and forfeit $823,357 in illicit profits.
  • QuadrigaCX has been officially declared bankrupt following the approval by Justice Michael Wood of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
  • Andy Pag, the founder and coordinator, Mt. Gox Legal, a cooperative (for better legal coordination of claims) with over 1,000 creditors has quit his post and decided to sell his claim.
  • Former Kraken, employee Jonathan Silverman is suing the firm for over $900,000 dues.

Investments & Acquisitions

  • Bain Capital Ventures & Ripple’s Xpring have invested in early-stage Blockchain Venture Capital firm Robot Ventures.
  • Horizen Labs has raised $4 M from investors including Digital Currency Group & Liberty City Ventures.
  • US based Sparkswap raised $3.5 M in Seed Funding from investors including Pantera Capital, Y Combinator & Initialized Capital to create a Decentralised exchange on the Bitcoin Lightning Network
  • Binance Labs grants $45000 to three projects viz., Ironbelly, HOPR and Kitsune Wallet, supporting Open-Source Blockchain Development
  • WISeCoin AG (“WISeCoin”) has raised $7 M in an pre-funding round prior to launching a Security Token Offering (STO).
  • NY based, Flexa has raised $14.1 M in funding, led by Pantera Capital, 1kx, Nima Capital, Access Ventures, and other strategic partners
  • Facebook is looking to raise around $1 B for their cryptocurrency project. Tim Draper wants to hear what they have to say.

Government & Regulatory

  • Velocity Ledger Holdings Limited (VLHL) has received approval for public ICO from Bermuda’s Ministry of Finance.
  • Two lawmakers have reintroduced the Token Taxonomy Act to amend the Securities Act of 1934 seeking to redefine ‘Securities’ to exclude Digital Currencies
  • A new Law passed by National Assembly of France allows insurance providers in France to invest in cryptocurrencies with no limit on the amount of investment.
  • Ministry of Finance, Republic of Lithuania, plans to amend laws to bring legal certainty to crypto market.
  • NY Department of Financial Services has denied a BitLicense application of Bittrex, Inc resulting into immediate halt of operations.
  • Financial Services Commission (FSC), Mauritius has issued guidelines as ‘Guidance Note 2’ for Security Token Offering (STO).
  • Recently reintroduced Digital Taxonomy Act, 2019 to allocate $25 M annually to the Federal Trade Commission to prevent crypto-related crime
  • State Securities Board, Texas has issued a cease and desist order against trading platform FxBitGlobe.
  • Michigan lawmakers have voted to introduce amendments to Michigan Penal Code to incorporate crypto related offences.
  • Luxembourg based Bitstamp has received ‘BitLicense’ from NY Department of Financial Services.
  • EU has launched the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) with 100-plus members signing the charter.

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