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The Blockchain Story

The Story : Crypto April

  • By The Blockchain Story
  • Tue, 30 Apr 2019 00:00:00 AM
  • 0 comments
  • 1

Special Edition | The Story - Crypto April | 2019

“Airdrop Venezuela” campaign to donate $1 M to Venezuelans

Airdrop Venezuela is a charitable effort that aims to donate $1 M worth of cryptocurrencies to Venezuelans.

Prof. Steve H. Hanke is leading AirdropVenezuela. He is a Professor of Applied Economics and Co-Director of The Johns Hopkins Institute and has served as advisor to various Presidents and cabinet members for different countries. During an interview he commented:

“Airdrop Venezuela will be a demonstration of how relief agencies all around the world can easily deliver aid and relief to people in need”.

The beneficiaries will be a total of 100,000 Venezuelans and the funds donated can be quickly converted to dollars. The non-profit has registered 60,000 beneficiaries and raised $292,000 in donations till date. Maximum donations have been received in Bitcoin Cash, around 670 BCH ($194,900).

Technion, Israel has filed IPR violation suit against its faculty Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson

The Technion Israel Institute of Technology has filed a civil suit against one of its faculty members Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson, accusing him of violating their IP Rules.

The suit filed at Haifa District Court accuses Ben-Sasson of using resources/grants of Technion to establish its company Starkware and launch its first product, a zero-knowledge protocol (STARK) that solves blockchain scaling problem. Technion is asking for 50% of Ben-Sasson’s shares in Starkware.

Prof. Sasson claims that Starkware never used invention or resources of Technion. Instead, “the company has raised millions of dollars and has recruited workers to develop the software and intellectual property it needs.” Starkware has already raised around $36 M from investors.

China may ban Bitcoin Mining

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a state planning agency tasked with handling microeconomic policies and industrial infrastructure has released a draft of activities which it seeks to curb, encourage or eliminate.

The list, around 450 points long, identifies activities that it deems to be not in consonance with relevant laws and regulations, pose a safety hazard, or are not environment friendly.

The Agency is seeking public comments on the draft list until May 7.

India’s Central bank issues Fintech Sandbox Regulations- includes blockchain but excludes Crypto

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Central Bank of India has issued a Draft Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox for Fintech Sector.

Sandbox may run a few cohorts (Thematic) with a limited number of entities in each cohort testing their products during a stipulated period. The cohorts may run for varying time periods but should ordinarily be completed within six (6) months.

The focus should be narrow in terms of areas of innovation, and limited in terms of intake. Sandbox shall begin the testing process with 10-12 selected entities through a comprehensive selection process.

Although, Blockchain technology has been welcomed by RBI for Sandbox, Cryptocurrencies have been specifically and explicitly excluded from such regulations.  


Research

Gold IRA Guide surveys American Retirees finds 56.7% are aware but not interested in Bitcoin

Gold IRA Survey predicts that American retirees have a sceptical outlook about cryptocurrencies. Around 56.7% of respondents say that they know about bitcoin but are not interested in buying it.

Around one in three survey takers i.e. 33% claims that they have no idea what bitcoin is. There is a small but important group of retirees – 3.4% who wish to invest in Bitcoin but do not have any knowledge about how to buy it.

Around 2.7% American retirees own Bitcoins – this is a very small group but nevertheless, it indicates that not all retirees are sceptical about cryptocurrencies.    


From The Crypto Bits

  • Bitpanda has received a payment service provider license from Austria’s Financial Market Authority.
  • Coinbase & Coinbase Pro expand crypto-to-crypto trading to 11 more countries
  • Societe Generale SFH, has issued $112 M of covered bonds (OFH) as a security token on the Ethereum Blockchain.
  • Andreessen Horowitz is restructuring by registering all of its employees as qualified financial advisors.
  • IMF and World Bank have jointly launched a private blockchain having quasi-cryptocurrency called “Learning Coin”
  • Digital Asset has open sourced its Smart Contract Language “Digital Asset Modeling Language”(DAML).
  • The Boerse Stuttgart owned Swedish Exchange Nordic Growth Market (NGM) has listed new exchange-traded products (ETPs) that track the value of XRP and Litecoin.
  • Masayoshi Son, founder of SoftBank Group, lost over $130M in Bitcoin.

Research & Surveys

  • 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.
  • Blockdata reports that China is leading the world in the number of Blockchain projects currently underway- 263, accounting for 25 % of the global total.
  • The Global Blockchain in Telecom Market is expected to witness a CAGR of 77.9% to reach $1.37 Billion revenue by 2024 claims Research and Markets, Ireland.
  • The World Economic Forum has released a report on Blockchain Cybersecurity emphasizing security as a cornerstone for success of Blockchain technologies.
  • Arbitrage Bots are being used to employ manipulative profit making strategies on Decentralised Exchanges, claims Cornell Tech Research.    

Patents

  • PayPal has secured a cybersecurity patent designed to protect users from CryptoRansomware.
  • 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.
  • IBM secures a patent for a ‘mobile data sharing method’ enabled by DLT.
  • Nike files a trademark application for the phrase “Cryptokicks”. 

Government & Regulatory

  • Arca, is seeking approval from US SEC to issue its digitized securities, Arca UST Coins, on Ethereum blockchain.
  • Luxembourg based Bitstamp has received ‘BitLicense’ from NY Department of Financial Services.
  • US SEC has issued its first ever “no-action” letter to TurnKey Jet Inc., confirming that the TKJ tokens sale will not constitute securities.
  • Blockstack has filed Regulation A+ application with US SEC to launch a $50 M token sale
  • Bitfury secures EU Regulator Approval for Institutional Bitcoin Mining Fund.
  • SeedInvest secures approval as Alternative Trading System from FINRA

Investment and Acquisitions

  • Twenty Thirty or 20|30 has raised $3.9 M with tokenized shares and settling them in a test environment on the LSE’s Turquoise platform.
  • Chainalysis has raised an additional $6M, to close its $36M Series B round, from MUFG Innovation Partners and Sozo Ventures.Bithumb has received $200 M in Series A funding round from ST Blockchain Fund, Japan.
  • Bain Capital Ventures & Ripple’s Xpring have invested in early-stage Blockchain Venture Capital firm Robot Ventures.
  • Tangem raises $15 M from SBI Group, Japan. To relocate to Crypto Valley, Zug.
  • Celo, Blockchain Payments Startup has raised $30 million from Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
  • Binance Labs grants $45000 to three projects viz., Ironbelly, HOPR and Kitsune Wallet, supporting Open-Source Blockchain Development

Courts & Prosecutors

  • Charlie Shrem & Winklevoss twins have settled the lawsuit wherein Shrem was accused of stealing 5000 Bitcoins in 2012.
  • ATB ICO Case – Courts rejects Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss – Howey Test satisfied.
  • Beijing Internet Court has processed 14,904 cases till date- the court employs AI and Blockchain to render judgements.
  • 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.
  • The Supreme Court of India has granted interim bail to Amit Bhardwaj and Vivek Bharadwaj, founders of GainBitcoin Pyramid Scheme which defrauded investors of $300M.
  • QuadrigaCX, Canada has been officially declared bankrupt following the approval by Justice Michael Wood of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Collaboration & Partnerships

  • Wirecard partners Telegram Open Network Infrastructure Developer TON Labs to develop a digital financial service, payments and banking platform.
  • Nestlé, Carrefour & IBM have partnered to track the supply chain & production of ‘Mousline’ instant mashed potatoes.
  • ICC, Paris partners with Perlin, Singapore to support blockchain adoption among its 45 M members
  • Protocol Labs partners with Ethereum Foundation to develop a Verifiable Delay Function
  • Wirex partners with Stellar- adds support for XLM, plans to launch 26 new stablecoins on stellar network.

Tests & Releases

  • Telegram’s blockchain, Telegram Open Network (TON) is live in beta with access to a test version to a limited number of global developers.
  • Binance launches its Mainnet Binance Chain  
  • 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
  • Samsung SDS has released ‘Nexledger Universal’ a new version of its Enterprise Blockchain Platform
  • ING Bank has announced a new cryptographic extension ‘Bulletproofs’ to improve upon its existing zero-knowledge set membership (ZKSM) code. 

Exchanges

  • Binance launches DEX & Singapore Exchange.
  • Robinhood seeking Bank License from Regulators
  • Binance, Shapeshift & Kraken to delist BSV.
  • Coincheck, Japan now offers Ethereum and XRP via its OTC service.
  • Gemini includes support for segregated witness (segwit) bitcoin addresses.

See whats happening in Blockchain & Crypto space around the world on BCS. Download the Android | IOS app.

 

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