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Crypto News 4 Sep 2018, 10:06
Over US$8 Million Lost by 2,600 Investors in South Korea’s ‘Treasure Ship’ ICO

Millions of dollars are estimated to have been sunk by investors seeking a piece of the ‘Russian treasure ship’ ICO fronted by a South Korean ‘treasure-hunting’ firm.

According to South Korean police, it has been tentatively concluded that about 2,600 people invested around 9 billion won or slightly over US$8 million in Shinil Group which claimed to have discovered a shipwreck containing gold worth US$130 billion.

As initially reported by The Korea Herald, investors also poured money on a token known as Shinil Gold Coin which the South Korean firm claimed would be backed by the treasure from the wreckage of the Russian warship known as Dmitrii Donskoi. The Russian warship was run aground off the South Korean coast by her crew following severe damage during combat with the Japanese in the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war.
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Crypto News 3 Sep 2018, 10:24
Tom Lee: Bitcoin to Hit $20k in 2018 Despite Struggle of Emerging Markets

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee, a Bitcoin permabull known for his optimistic price targets for the dominant cryptocurrency, has said that Bitcoin will likely end the year explosively higher possibly at $20,000.

In an interview with CNBC, Lee stated that over the past year, Bitcoin, which has failed to show a correlation with the broader financial market and traditional assets like gold, has demonstrated a similar mid-term price movement as emerging markets.

Specifically, Lee discussed emerging markets ETFs like iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF, which enables investors to allocate funds into a diverse portfolio of assets and stocks in developing markets and regions.

“Both really essentially peaked early this year, and they both have been in a downward trend. Until emerging markets begin to turn, I think in some ways that correlation is going to hold and tell us that sort of the risk on mentality is those buyers aren’t buying bitcoin,” said Lee.
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Crypto News 31 Aug 2018, 10:40
Bitcoin Price at $7,000: Market Recovers After Minor Drop, WaltonChain Surges 30%

As bitcoin price rebounded and averted a large drop to $6,500, most tokens and small market cap cryptocurrencies recovered, pushing the valuation of the cryptocurrency market to $227 billion.

WaltonChain Spikes 30%
Internet of Things (IoT) blockchain network WaltonChain experienced a major spike in value primarily due to the listing of WTC by Bithumb, the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea.

The listing of WTC by Bithumb was initiated merely one day after local mainstream media outlets reported that Bithumb has secured an agreement with NH Bank, a major financial institution in South Korea, which will provide virtual bank accounts to the digital asset trading platform.

Previously, NH Bank declined to renew its partnership with Bithumb subsequent to the platform’s $40 million security breach. NH Bank formally requested Bithumb to demonstrate evidence of infrastructure overhaul and security system update, which it completed by suspending deposits and withdrawals for a month.
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Crypto News 30 Aug 2018, 08:57
Australia Will Develop a Nationwide Blockchain Platform

The platform, which will be called the Australian National Blockchain (ANB) is being touted as potentially game-changing infrastructure within Australia’s digital economy, helping businesses around the country make use of legally-enforceable smart contracts and exchange data, as well as confirm the status and authenticity of legal contracts.

When it is fully operational, the ANB will permit Australian businesses to electronically manage the entire life cycle of a smart contract from negotiation through to execution under complete transparency and trustless, permissioned-based access among parties on the platform.

In other words, Australian businesses will gain the ability to use smart contracts to automatically trigger business events and processes using preset milestones. The smart legal contracts (SLC) provided by ANB include clauses to accommodate recording of information from external data sources such as IoT devices, with the ability to self-execute once conditions listed in the contract are met.
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Crypto News 29 Aug 2018, 10:18
UAE Startup Launches First-Ever Sharia-Compliant Islamic Crypto Exchange

According to a report from Trade Arabia, an in-house Sharia Advisory Board (SAB) made up of independent international Sharia experts will be in place to ensure that the exchange achieves full compliance with the tenets of Islamic law at all times.

The purpose of the project is to “ensure an enhanced quality of assets on exchange, as well as enhanced inclusion of Islamic cryptocurrency enthusiasts and traders.”

While to the uninitiated, the move may seem somewhat left field, there is actually a large amount of synergy between the functions of cryptocurrency and Sharia law. Under Sharia law for example, the fractional reserve lending system that underpins most fiat currencies is considered to be usury and is frowned upon.

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in contrast, operate with a principle of finite supply and scarcity, which makes them function like acceptable Sharia commodities like Gold or Salt. From a Sharia point of view therefore, it makes sense to encourage the growth of a financial system that does not depend on usury.
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Crypto News 28 Aug 2018, 10:58
‘BankSign’: Samsung Launches Blockchain Certification Platform for Korea’s Banks

Samsung, under its IT arm Samsung SDS Co., has unveiled its blockchain based platform, BankSign, to allow people to make transactions at different banks more easily.

The Korea Federation of Banks (KFB) launched BankSign in June as a way to allow domestic retail banks to strengthen their verification systems by digitizing both mobile and online banking.

The platform allows customers to make transactions using the mobile banking systems of different banks. The user can conduct transactions at different banks with just one bank’s certification.
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Crypto News 27 Aug 2018, 11:28
China’s Crackdown Leads to WeChat, AliPay Blocking Crypto Transactions

In support of the Chinese government’s tightening clampdowns on local crypto-industry, a mobile payment giant has decided to bar virtual currency transactions on its platform.

WeChat Pay on Friday issued a statement stating that they would prohibit users from sending or receiving funds related to cryptocurrencies on its social media platform. The Tencent-backed firm cleared that their firm does not tolerate any activity that endorses or financially support the virtual currency-related fundraisers. Furthermore, Tencent has established a risk control model that monitors and reports virtual currency transactions to concerned authorities.

WeChat Pay recently tipped the Chinese regulators about some public accounts that were involved in the promotion and moderation of ongoing Initial Coin Offering projects, Tencent spokeswoman told state media. In response, the China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office had permanently banned these accounts.
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Crypto News 24 Aug 2018, 12:38
Blocks Above 0.9MB Uneconomical for Dash Crypto Miners, Study Finds

Earlier in the year cryptocurrency Dash and the Blockchain Research Lab of Arizona State University announced a US$350,000 partnership. Now, out of a study conducted under the partnership, a report dubbed ‘Block Propagation Applied to Nakamoto Network’ has been released highlighting the scaling challenges as well as the potential opportunities for the Dash blockchain.

To conduct the research whose aim was to investigate the scaling limitations that Dash faces, networks had to have a minimum of 6,000 nodes in each simulation. Additionally, in order to account for variance, the research effort ensured that the period the simulations were run was long enough to guarantee that a minimum of 700 blocks were simulated.
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Crypto News 22 Aug 2018, 10:31
Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Spikes Near $6,900 as BitMEX Goes Offline

The bitcoin price took a major leap on Wednesday morning, spiking nearly $300 in less than a minute to break out of what had been two days of mostly sideways trading for the flagship cryptocurrency.

The incident in question occurred at exactly 1:00 UTC, when BTC leaped from $6,466 to $6,745 during a single one-minute candle on Bitfinex, and the bitcoin price continued to increase from there, rising above the $6,800 mark and peaking at $6,899 before settling back down to a present value of $6,840 at 1:34 UTC.
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Crypto News 21 Aug 2018, 10:14
Thailand: Stockbroker Indicted in $24 Million Bitcoin Fraud Pleads Innocence as Victim

Prasit Srisuwan, a well known Thai stock investor who has been roped into the ongoing probe over a $24 million bitcoin fraud case has denied being a party to the fraud.

The Bangkok Post reports that Srisuwan told a press conference that he is in fact a victim of a fraudulent transaction which left a Finnish investor out of pocket to the tune of 5,564 BTC.

New Developments in Pioneering Case

CCN earlier reported that Srisuwan was included in the probe alongside employees of three Thai banks, as the police seek to uncover why Anti-Money Laundering regulations that mandate reporting of any transaction over $60,000 were not followed.

Responding to the reports in a press conference, Srisuwan stated that his role in the transaction between Finnish national Aarni Otava Saarimaa and DNA 2002 Plc owned by chief suspect Prinya Jaravijit, was restricted to brokerage.
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Crypto News 20 Aug 2018, 10:59
Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash is Now More Popular Than Venmo

Data from app research firm Sensor Tower and Nomura Instinet have revealed that cumulative downloads of Square’s Cash App have surpassed that of its rival, Paypal’s Venmo, per a Bloomberg  report.

Square’s Cash App now has a cumulative total download of 33.5 million, which exceeds Venmo’s 32.9 million for the first time, after a successful July where it grew three times faster than Venmo. Both companies had made their peer-to-peer platforms a priority, introducing new features in a bid to increase the user base and monetize it.
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Crypto News 18 Aug 2018, 09:16
Capital One Wants to Authenticate Users on a Blockchain

Blockchain adoption continues to rise in the banking sector, with the news that Capital One has applied for a patent to potentially develop a blockchain system that authenticates new users in a secure manner.

Capital One is a bank holding company specializing in credit cards and bank loans, making security a primary concern. According to documents published this week, the company has applied for a patent entitled “Blockchain Systems and Methods for User Authentication.” The patent was filed in Virginia, USA, with Johnathan Weimer and Ryan Fox listed as the inventors of the authentication system.

The abstract to the patent describes the project in more detail, stating that computer-implemented methods and systems are provided for blockchain-mediated user authentication and going on to list potential applications of a user system, which will include verification messages indicating that the root system successfully authenticated the user and including an authorization code for receiving, from the root system, a root system secret
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Crypto News 17 Aug 2018, 09:12
Interview: MakerDAO CEO Rune Christensen Talks Stablecoins

I recently spoke with MakerDAO CEO Rune Christensen. MakerDAO is the company behind not one, but two, top 2oo-cryptocurrencies by market cap. One of these is Dai, sitting at #107 with a modest market capitalization of $46 million, and the second is Maker (MKR), which currently sits at #29 with a market capitalization of $272 million. At its peak, MKR had a market capitalization of over $1 billion.

The market performance of either of these coins individually would be impressive. The fact that the coins exist together and one governs the other makes it even more impressive. Dai is a stablecoin, intended to behave in a similar fashion to Tether (e.g., pin the value of the coin to a fiat asset, in the case of both Tether and Dai this is the US Dollar). The similarities between Tether and Dai, however, pretty much end there.
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Crypto News 16 Aug 2018, 09:55
Malta Regulator Issues Virtual Assets Rulebook – Reaction from Stakeholders Muted or Negative

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has now published a Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Rulebook specifically pertaining to the regulation of Issuers of VFAs under the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA).

However, it seems that the publication of this rulebook has not got down very well with financial services providers who spoke to CCN. Some have lamented that it is onerous and over-cautious in several aspects and makes business slightly more complicated where cryptocurrencies and blockchain are concerned.

Speaking to CCN, Joseph Borg, Partner at WH Partners said that although the publication of the rulebook was a positive step, this needs to be polished to be actually effective.
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Crypto News 15 Aug 2018, 09:04
Goldman Sachs, Wall Street Banks Sink $32 Million into Enterprise Blockchain Startup

We may, as Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark said earlier this year, be entering a “bitcoin not blockchain” world, but the global banking cabal isn’t ready to capitulate on its support for enterprise blockchain products just yet.

Indeed, Axoni, an enterprise blockchain startup founded in 2013, has just concluded a $32 million Series B funding round headlined by a group of Wall Street’s largest financial institutions.

Announced on Tuesday, the funding round was led by Goldman Sachs and Nyca Partners and featured investments from major financial industry firms such as Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Franklin Templeton. The funding round also included more conventional blockchain investors, including Digital Currency Group, Andreessen Horowitz, and Y Combinator.

“Our strategic partners have been critical to our success so far; we are delighted to strengthen and expand those relationships with this financing as we continue to deploy Axoni’s technology,” said Greg Schvey, CEO of Axoni.
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Crypto News 14 Aug 2018, 11:57
Square Cash Opens Bitcoin Buying and Selling in All 50 States

Less than two weeks after sharing Square’s cryptocurrency profits had doubled in the second quarter, the payments company made the long-awaited announcement on Twitter: users can now use Cash App to buy bitcoin in all fifty states

The announcement appears to be effective immediately, with users reporting wide availability in tweets.

The move is yet another in a string of moves and statements by Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who has long expressed a bullish view of the cryptocurrency.

“The internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin,” Dorsey said.

Square, which added bitcoin purchase and sale functionality to its payments app in late 2017, had slowly expanded bitcoin functionality in the time since. The simple mobile interface was made available to users in select states before the payments company acquired a bitlicense from the New York Department of Financial Services and added support in New York state in June.
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Crypto News 13 Aug 2018, 12:06
Asia’s Largest Stock Exchange is Honestly ‘Troubled’ by a Cryptocurrency Firm

The planned acquisition of a Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company by a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency firm is reportedly raising concerns within the bourse.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is receptive, even welcoming, to foreign firms entering the Japanese market – unless they’re a cryptocurrency firm.

According to the Nikkei on Sunday, the exchange operator is evidently sweating over the prospective takeover of Beat Holdings, a company listed on its bourse by Noah Ark Technologies, a Hong Kong company reportedly looking at launching cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan and other jurisdictions alongside plans for an ICO launch
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Crypto News 7 Aug 2018, 10:04
A Pro-Crypto Gamer Hid Free Bitcoin in No Man’s Sky

Looking to find some free bitcoin? A pair of planets on the No Man’s Sky action survival game are hiding 0.004 BTC, according to Hackernoon. Players can claim the bitcoin by finding the corresponding communications stations in the game.

Jon Creasy, a crypto enthusiast and investment adviser, says more hidden bitcoin will soon be forthcoming. More importantly, he hopes his fellow gaming enthusiasts follow his example and offer crypocurrency rewards. He thinks gamers could bring about mass adoption of cryptocurrency.

Creasy could be on to something, considering gaming has been one of the most proactive industries to adopt cryptocurrency.
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Crypto News 6 Aug 2018, 13:42
Starbucks Clarifies ‘Coffee for Bitcoin’ Media Reports

Contrary to reports in mainstream media, Starbucks has clarified that it will not be accepting direct bitcoin payments at coffee retail outlets.

As reported by CCN on Friday, Starbucks is part of a new cryptocurrency venture with Microsoft and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) dubbed “Bakkt”, a regulated Wall Street platform that could fundamentally bring cryptocurrencies like bitcoin into the mainstream.

“We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets [cryptocurrencies like bitcoin] across global markets and commerce,” Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said following the announcement.

It’s a groundbreaking development for the cryptocurrency sector, enough for ICE founder and chief executive Jeff Sprecher to claim bitcoin “has the potential to become the first worldwide currency”.

Several mainstream media outlets lapped up the story with the likes of CNBC running with the headline “New Starbucks partnership with Microsoft allows customers to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin”, implying that the Seattle-based coffee retail giant will begin accepting cryptocurrency payments.
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Crypto News 3 Aug 2018, 10:15
Cryptographic Experts Reveal Security Issues in Telegram Passport

Virgil Security, Inc., a cryptographic services provider, has published a report which raises concerns regarding the security of Telegram Passport.

Telegram Passport is the latest feature introduced by the messaging app last month. It allows users to upload personal identification documents such as passports, identity cards, and drivers licenses to be stored in the Telegram cloud. These documents are encrypted so that users can verify their identities on third-party services without exposing their personal data.

Virgil, however, thinks that this feature is not secure at all.

Firstly, Telegram uses Secure Hashing Algorithm 2 (SHA-512), which is cryptographically weak. Virgil explains that in order to secure passwords, it should take a hacker more time to guess each password.

“It’s 2018 and one top-level GPU can brute-force check about 1.5 billion SHA-512 hashes per second.”

Salting is a way to include random data in a password; , however, even that won’t help in SHA-512’s case. Only a strong password will keep a users’ account safe from brute force attacks.
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