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1  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-09-14]Blockchain’s Popularity Among Large Enterprises Soared 11% This Year on: September 14, 2018, 01:55:03 PM
Blockchain’s Popularity Among Large Enterprises Soared 11% This Year, Survey Finds

New research from fintech analysts Juniper House has found that blockchain’s traction with large enterprises has risen by 11 percent this year, according to a press release published September 11.

Juniper’s Blockchain Enterprise Survey: Deployments, Benefits & Attitudes (Second Edition) found that 65 percent of responding large enterprises – defined as those who employ a minimum of 10,000 staff – are “considering or actively engaged” in blockchain deployment, up 11 percent from the corresponding 54 percent figure last year.

Further data analysis shows that nearly a quarter of firms have moved beyond blockchain proofs-of-concept onto trials and commercial rollouts. The potential scope of the technology’s application has also expanded, with only 15 percent of firms’ proposed blockchain applications relating to payments – as compared with 34 percent last year.

The press release notes there has been “significant” interest in fields across logistics, authentication and smart contracts.

2  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-09-12]FINRA Charges Broker With Fraud for Trading Unregistered . . on: September 12, 2018, 02:36:46 PM
FINRA Charges Broker With Fraud for Trading Unregistered Cryptocurrency

The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has filed a complaint against Timothy Tilton Ayre, charging him with securities fraud and the illegal distribution of an unregistered cryptocurrency, according to a statement released on FINRA’s website Tuesday, September 11.

In the complaint, FINRA, overseen by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), states that Massachusetts-based Ayre tried to lure investment to his public company, Rocky Mountain Ayre, Inc. (RMTN), by selling HempCoin, which he misrepresented as “the first minable coin backed by marketable securities.”  The regulator writes that Ayre’s claims are “fraudulent, positive statements about RMTN’s business and finances.”

Furthermore, Ayre stated that HempCoin is a security backed by RMTN common stock, telling investors that each coin was equivalent to 0.10 shares. As a result, more than than 81 million HempCoin securities were mined in late 2017 and sold on crypto exchanges. As Ayre never attempted to register the coin, FINRA has decided to charge the RMTN head with the unlawful distribution of an unregistered security.

In addition to the above, from January 2013 through October 2016, Ayre reportedly made false statements about the nature of RTMN’s business and the creation and “unlawful distribution” of HempCoin, as well as making misleading claims in RMTN’s financial statements.

FINRA, which has started a formal proceeding against RMTN by filing a complaint, reminds the public in the statement that anyone named in a complaint can file a response and request a hearing. If FINRA admits there were violations, the firm or individual might get a fine, censure, suspension, or be barred from the securities industry.

3  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-09-05]Report: Crypto ATM Market Expected to Grow to $144.5 Million by 2023 on: September 05, 2018, 01:55:57 AM
Report: Crypto ATM Market Expected to Grow to $144.5 Million by 2023

The crypto automated trading machine (ATM) market will grow to $114.5 million by 2023, according a report published Sept. 4 on

Researchers expect the cryptocurrency ATM market to grow from $16.3 million in 2018 to $144.5 million by 2023, citing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54.7 percent from 2018 to 2023.

According to the study, significant growth during the forecast period will be from two-way ATMs, which let customers change digital currency into fiat and vise-versa using a single machine. The study says that the machines’ functionality is the key driver of two-way crypto ATMs’ popularity among users.

The authors of the report highlight rapidly expanding capabilities in developed countries like the U.S., Germany, and Japan, and the increasing rate of crypto adoption as prime growth factors in the crypto ATM market.

The North American crypto ATM market will purportedly hold the largest share of the crypto market by 2023. The presence of a large number of crypto ATM hardware and software providers, as well as a favorable investment environment will facilitate the dominant position of the U.S. in the market.

At the same time, the study also identifies regulatory uncertainty, in addition to lack of awareness and technical understanding of cryptocurrencies as factors that can limit the growth of the crypto ATM market. 

Targeting mainstream adoption, Ontario-based Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH)  ATM manufacturer LocalCoinATM installed a batch of ETH ATMs in three different locations in Canada, including Toronto, Brampton and Etobicoke in 2017. That year South Korean ATM manufacturer Hyosung officially integrated BTC into its international ATM models.

While the crypto ATM market is projected to grow over the next five years, traditional ATM manufacturers consider digital currencies a threat to their business. In March, the world’s largest ATM operator Cardtronics pinpointed cryptocurrencies among the major risks to their business in an annual report. Consumer behavior analysis reportedly showed a significant shift in preferred payment methods, with more customers now choosing electronic forms of payment over traditional physical banknotes, leading to a decline in the use of ATMs.

4  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-08-31]Reserve Bank of India Confirms It Is Looking Into Making a Central. on: August 31, 2018, 01:31:55 AM
Reserve Bank of India Confirms It Is Looking Into Making a Central Bank Digital Currency

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI), has confirmed the creation of an inter-departmental group tasked with analyzing the feasibility of issuing a rupee-backed central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Economics Times  reports August 30.

The group’s establishment and focus was detailed in the bank’s Annual Report 2017-18, confirming earlier details that followed a meeting of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in April.

The impetus for investigating the issuance of a fiat-tethered CBDC reportedly derives in largely from cost considerations: the Economic Times cites statistics that suggest the cost of printing paper notes in India was 6.3 billion rupees (about $89 million) for the financial year 2018. RBI’s report noted that:

5  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-08-28]JP Morgan CIO: Blockchain Will Replace Existing Technology on: August 28, 2018, 01:21:23 PM
JP Morgan CIO Lori Beer said at a press conference in Buenos Aires that blockchain will “replace existing technology” in a few years,  according to Argentinian website Cripto247 August 23.

“We will see a greater and wider use of blockchain [...] In a few years blockchain will replace the existing technology, today it only coexists with the current one,” Beer said.

Beer explained to Cripto247 that JP Morgan uses blockchain technology to “simplify the payment process and to store customers’ information related to KYC (Know Your Customer) policy.” She added that blockchain technology helps to prevent money laundering. Beer further explained the use of blockchain technology by the bank:

6  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-08-24]CNBC's Analyst Brian Kelly Says Bitcoin ETF Approval Likely by Feb. on: August 24, 2018, 03:03:32 PM
CNBC's Analyst Brian Kelly Says Bitcoin ETF Approval Likely by February 2019

Crypto analyst Brian Kelly has predicted that approval of a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) will “likeliest” and “earliest” come in February 2019, in an interview on CNBC’s Fast Money August 23.

Kelly’s forecast comes hot upon the heels of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) rejection of nine BTC derivatives-based ETF proposals from three applicants August 22.

An ETF is a type of mutual investment fund that divides ownership of a commodity, derivative,  index, or basket of assets, into shares. The fund tracks the value of the underlying asset(s) and is traded on exchanges, with shareholders entitled to any positive returns.

ETFs are marketable securities that require oversight by government authorities, and the current and prospective regulatory status of crypto-related ETFs remains unresolved and avidly discussed.

Kelly pointed out that while the SEC has recently chosen to delay its decision on a separate and high-profile BTC ETF application from investment firm VanEck and financial services co. SolidX until this September, the regulator in fact has the option to again defer its final decision on the proposal until February at the latest. Kelly suggested the agency would be likely to choose to do so, citing four further grounds.

First, Kelly responded to the concerns voiced by the SEC in all of its BTC-related ETF rejections to date, these being the agency’s qualms over inadequate resistance to “fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices” in an insufficiently sized BTC derivatives market and the largely unregulated underlying spot market. Kelly argued that:

7  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-08-14]Unhackable’ Wallet Reportedly Breached, Hackers Claim to Meet Bounty on: August 14, 2018, 12:38:09 PM
Unhackable’ Wallet Reportedly Breached, Hackers Claim to Meet Bounty Conditions

A group of researchers claims to have have hacked the Bitfi wallet, the Next Web reported August 12.

Bitfi's executive chairman, cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee, has called it “the world’s first unhackable device.” To prove his claim, McAfee challenged security experts to breach the device for a $100,000 bounty starting July 24.

Bitfi is a physical device, or hardware wallet, which supports “an unlimited amount of cryptocurrencies,” and revolves around a user-generated secret phrase instead of a conventional 24-word mnemonic seed that has to be written down. Additionally, Bitfi is purported to be “completely open-source,” meaning that the user stays in control of their funds “even if the manufacturer of the wallet no longer exists.”

Though several attempts to hack the wallet have been made since then, none of them met the bounty’s terms and the wallet has ostensibly not been fully breached until today. The researchers claimed they could successfully send signed transactions with the wallet, claiming they met the conditions of the bounty program by modifying the device, connecting to the wallet’s server, and transmitting sensitive data with it. Security researcher Andrew Tierney said:

8  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-08-10]Binance Releases Demo of Decentralized Exchange on: August 10, 2018, 10:41:51 AM
Binance Releases Demo of Decentralized Exchange

The CEO of cryptocurrency trading platform Binance Changpeng Zhao announced a demo of the platform’s decentralized exchange in a tweet today, Aug. 9.

In a six-minute video attached to the tweet, Zhao presented a “casual, early, pre-offer”  demo of the decentralized exchange. The CEO said not “to expect too much” for now, adding that it currently does not have a graphical user interface:

Zhao showed three essential features of the planned exchange, those being the creation, listing, and trading of tokens. As Zhao did not disclose the launch date, it remains to be seen when the exchange will be marketed and what volumes it will be able to handle.

Decentralized exchanges are lauded as more secure than their centralized counterparts, which are more vulnerable to hacks. Decentralized platforms are set up in a manner which allows users to retain ownership of their coins using private keys. This solution reportedly prevents cryptocurrencies from being accumulated in one centralized “honeypot,” or point of attack.

9  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-08-08] US SEC Postpones Decision Regarding Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund. on: August 08, 2018, 03:03:25 AM
US SEC Postpones Decision Regarding Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on the listing and trading of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) until September 30, according to an official document released by the SEC August 7.

ETFs are securities that track a basket of assets proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. They are seen by some as a potential step forward for the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies as a regulated and passive investment instrument.

The fund under consideration is powered by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, and is expected to list on the Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) BZX Equities Exchange. The SEC now has almost two more months to consider a proposed rule change by CBOE Global Markets Inc. that would allow the fund to list. 

10  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-08-04]NYSE Operator Announces New Global Digital Assets Platform, . . on: August 04, 2018, 05:09:54 AM
NYSE Operator Announces New Global Digital Assets Platform, Plans Bitcoin Futures Launch

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the operator of 23 leading global exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has announced plans to create a Microsoft cloud-powered “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets,” according to a press release published August 3.

The operator of NYSE is forming a new company, dubbed “Bakkt,” and will work alongside a marquee group of enterprises that includes BCG, Microsoft, Starbucks, and others, to create the new ecosystem.

The intention is to create an integrated platform that enables consumers, merchants, and institutional clients to buy, sell, store, and spend digital assets on a “seamless global network,” the press release notes.

First use cases will be for trading and conversion of Bitcoin (BTC) against fiat currencies, which ICE notes is currently “the most liquid cryptocurrency.” This conversion into fiat will enable consumers to purchase any item at their local Starbucks, in what will be crypto’s debut with the popular chain.

The ecosystem is expected to include “federally regulated markets and warehousing” alongside “merchant and consumer applications”:

11  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-7-22]Crypto Markets See Solid Upswing, Bitcoin Pushes $7,500. on: July 22, 2018, 05:41:21 AM
Crypto Markets See Solid Upswing, Bitcoin Pushes $7,500

The top cryptocurrency is currently trading at $7,426 at press time, up just under 1 percent on the day. Bitcoin saw an intraday low of $7,246.
Top altcoin Ethereum (ETH) has seen more significant growth over the past 24 hours, up almost 5 percent and trading at $466 at press time. The altcoin is holding weekly gains of almost 8 percent, peaking at over $500 on July 18.
Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is hovering around $282-283 bln, currently at $282.7, up about 2 percent over the past 24 hours to press time. Total market cap is down from this week’s peak of almost $300 bln.
Among the top ten cryptocurrencies on CoinMarketCap, Stellar (XLM) and IOTA (MIOTA) are up the most on the day, seeing over 7 and almost 5 percent growth respectively.

Other than stablecoin Tether, Cardano (ADA) is seeing the least 24-hour growth of the top ten coins, up only 1.53 percent. Cardona is however seeing major growth on the week, boasting a whopping 23 percent price increase.

Yesterday, July 20, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) reported that BTC futures daily average volume has increased by 93 percent in Q2 over Q1. The number of open contracts on Bitcoin futures also increased by 58 percent.

This week’s crypto market growth got further encouragement yesterday, July 20, when the CEO of crypto trading platform BitMEX suggested Bitcoin’s current bull run may give way to a price point of $5,000 before heading to $50,000 in 2018.

12  Bitcoin / Press / [07-17-2018]Boeing to Develop Blockchain-Enabled Unmanned Vehicles in New. . . on: July 17, 2018, 02:17:26 PM
Boeing to Develop Blockchain-Enabled Unmanned Vehicles in New Partnership

Boeing is partnering with an artificial intelligence (AI) company to develop pilotless vehicles and other products using blockchain, it announced in a press release July 17.

Texas-based SparkCognition, a company which Boeing invested in in a $32 million funding round last month, will work with the aviation giant on a platform which will track unmanned air vehicles and allocate flight corridors.

As a byproduct of this development, the partnership “will also provide a standardized programming interface to support package delivery, industrial inspection and other commercial applications,” the press release explains.

A buoyant SparkCognition CEO Amir Husain said the aerospace industry will go towards the creation of a giant new market worth upwards of $3 trillion.

“[...] The urban aerial mobility opportunity will lead to the creation of the largest new market in our (lifetimes),” he added.

Coming just days before the UK’s annual Farnborough Airshow, Boeing’s is not the only plan to receive a timely announcement.

On Monday, Accenture announced it would use the event to debut a blockchain-based platform specifically targeting aircraft supply chains.

“We're at a point in history where technological advances and societal trends are converging to demand bold solutions and a different way to travel,” Boeing’s CTO Greg Hyslop continued.

13  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-08]Crypto Markets Hold Weekly Gains Amidst Little Action. . on: July 08, 2018, 06:35:37 AM

Saturday, July 7: there is little action on the crypto markets today, with most coins either up or down by small percentages over the last 24 hours, according to Coinmarketcap. The total market capitalization is up by a little under $1 billion since the same time yesterday.
Bitcoin (BTC) is hovering around $6,635 as of press time. While it is experiencing almost no movement either up or down, it has still managed to keep this week’s gains, as it is up around 4 percent since last Saturday.
Similarly, Ethereum (ETH) is standing its ground, at around $467, up a little under 1 percent in 24 hours to press time and about 5.5 percent over the past seven days.

14  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-07]FedEx Institute Partners With Pharmacy to Use Blockchain for Cancer. on: July 07, 2018, 06:11:52 AM
FedEx Institute Partners With Pharmacy to Use Blockchain for Cancer Medicine Distribution

The FedEx Institute of Technology has announced its partnership with pharmacy services company Good Shepherd Pharmacy to develop new blockchain-based infrastructure to help cancer patients get medications, news outlet Commercial Appeal reported July 6.

The FedEx Institute of Technology is an organization that serves as a promoter of interdisciplinary research in emerging technologies that operates in tandem with the research infrastructure of the University of Memphis. The institutions launched the Institute in February of this year in order to make University of Memphis a center of technology and research.

Memphis-based Good Shepherd Pharmacy reportedly recognized blockchain as a means to retrieve unused medications from cancer patients and pass them on to economically disadvantaged patients who would not be able to regularly afford them. A secure and immutable ledger would allow for a safe and confidential distribution of medical information. Good Shepherd Pharmacy's CEO Phil Baker said:

15  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-06]YouTube Added as Defendant in Class Action Lawsuit Against BitCo. . on: July 06, 2018, 06:43:41 AM
YouTube Added as Defendant in Class Action Lawsuit Against BitConnect

According to court documents filed July 3, YouTube has been added as a defendant in a class action lawsuit against BitConnect.

The lawsuit was initially filed on January, 24 by six individuals represent by law firm Silver Miller. The claimants state that crypto investment platform BitConnect issued crypto tokens that were unregistered securities, and obtained additional funds through a “wide-ranging Ponzi scheme.” The plaintiffs stated that their personal losses totalled $771,000. BitConnect allegedly used the funds received from new investors to meet the expectations of the existing ones.

Per court documents acquired by Cointelegraph, BitConnect and its affiliated parties posted a number of promotional videos on YouTube, which were deemed inappropriate as the material allegedly lured potential investors to a fraudulent investment scheme. YouTube is said to have failed to delist and demonetize the published videos, which exposed “countless” YouTube users to injurious videos and illegally-promoted investments.

The top ten BitConnect affiliates on YouTube reportedly posted more than 70,000 hours of unedited content, which generated 58,000,000 views. The document says that the number of views of several of the affiliate promoters’ videos greatly exceeded the threshold numbers for the “enhanced” eligibility standards. Notably, a fair number of users notified YouTube of fraudulent activity by BitConnect, posting videos with titles such as “How bitconnect scam works in great detail,” “Craig Grant Explains the Bitconnect scam,” and others. In an email to Cointelegraph, David Silver of Silver Miller said:

16  Bitcoin / Press / [2018/07/04]Head of Russia’s Top Bank: the State Will Keep ‘Centralized Role’. . on: July 05, 2018, 06:15:02 AM
Head of Russia’s Top Bank: the State Will Keep ‘Centralized Role’ in Money Emission

The CEO of Russia’s largest state bank Sberbank, Herman Gref said he could not yet foresee governments “yielding their centralized role” in fiat currency creation as part of his comments on cryptocurrency.

Speaking to reporters during the Astana Finance Days international conference in the Kazakhstan capital July 4, Sberbank’s Herman Gref repeated the comments he has made “many times” about cryptoassets’ future role in the economy.

“Do I see a prospect of global use of cryptocurrencies as an alternative to fiat money? I don’t see it and I said it many times,” he said.

Gref’s words broadly reflect the ongoing metamorphosis of cryptocurrency’s regulatory status within Russia. This week sees the deadline for new legislation becoming law which cements cryptocurrency as a separate class of asset devoid of the status of legal tender.

Sberbank has nonetheless begun increasing its crypto interaction in the run-up to the new regulated era, revealing its plans to launch a crypto-based investment fund last month.

A week prior, Gref had nonetheless come out bearish, telling local news outlet Kommersant he “wouldn’t recommend [buying cryptocurrency] to anyone who does not like playing at a casino.”

17  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-7-4]Crypto Markets Holding Gains, With Bitcoin Above $6,500. . on: July 04, 2018, 02:18:41 PM

Crypto markets are relatively stable today, July 4, as data from Coin360 shows, with Bitcoin (BTC) holding above the $6,500 price point. Most of the top coins by market cap are seeing minor gains and losses on the day to pres time.

Bitcoin is trading around $6,752 to press time, up almost 3 percent over the 24-hour period. After a significant uptick starting June 30, the leading cryptocurrency continues to hold comfortably above the $6,300 resistance level, which Fundstrat’s Robert Sluymer earlier this week highlighted as crucial for reversing spring’s downtrend.

Top altcoin Ethereum (ETH) is trading around $477 to press time, up around 2 percent over the past 24 hours. The coin’s weekly high saw it trading at $483, and its gains on the week are now at 8 percent to press time.
18  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-6-24]Cardano Co-Founder: Wall Street Will Bring ‘Tens of Trillions of. . . on: June 24, 2018, 01:01:13 PM
The intersection of cryptocurrency and Wall Street has been welcomed by those who also see a potential influx in capital. In mid-May, cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Coinbase released a new suite of products designed to attract institutional investors by relieving security and regulatory compliance concerns. Speaking about the product release, the VP of Coinbase referred to “$10 billion” of Wall Street money that now had the potential to enter the market.

The “trillion” value has also been bandied around before, as Dan Morehead, CEO of $1 billion crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital said in April that a $40 trillion crypto market is possible, in part due to Wall Street’s increasing interest in clearing crypto trades.
19  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-6-23]Mt. Gox Crypto Exchange Begins Civil Rehabilitation Proceedings, Ends on: June 23, 2018, 03:03:43 AM
Mt.Gox Crypto Exchange Begins Civil Rehabilitation Proceedings, Ends Bitcoin Sell-Offs

A statement and accompanying documentation confirm the move, which will see attorney Nobuaki Kobayashi act as civil rehabilitation trustee.

Kobayashi was responsible for selling vast tranches of Bitcoin reserves beginning Q4 last year to reimburse Mt. Gox users who lost money in the exchange’s mass hack in late 2013. The sell-offs appeared to have a conspicuous effect on markets, Bitcoin prices tumbling immediately following each transaction, which Kobayashi performed on major exchanges.

“The power and authority to administer and dispose of MTGOX’s assets is still vested exclusively in me, and I will implement the civil rehabilitation proceedings, including the administration of MTGOX’s assets and the investigation of claims, subject to the Tokyo District Court’s supervision,” Kobayashi wrote in the new documentation.

However, due to the bankruptcy proceedings now being halted as part of the civil rehabilitation, Kobayashi will not sell any further bitcoins, with users set to receive compensation in BTC instead of fiat currency as originally intended.

“...In the civil 2 rehabilitation proceedings in this matter, claims seeking a refund of Bitcoins (“Bitcoin Claims”) will also not be converted into monetary claims after the commencement of the civil rehabilitation proceedings,” Kobayashi continues.

20  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-6-22]Chinese Gov’t Partners With Tencent on New Blockchain Security Allian on: June 22, 2018, 12:45:02 PM
Chinese officials are partnering with tech giant Tencent on the formation of a new China Blockchain Security Alliance, according to a report from state-owned ChinaNews June 21.

Aiming to promote security in the blockchain industry, the new alliance was announced at yesterday’s China Blockchain Security Forum in Beijing, hosted by the government-backed China Technology Market Association (CTMA).

According to ChinaNews, the alliance will consist of Tencent’s security arm, CTMA, the China Blockchain Application Research Center, and 20 other public and private institutions, including government advisory agencies, network security firms and blockchain-related organizations.

It is understood that the alliance will work to establish long-term mechanisms for the secure development of the country’s blockchain ecosystem, as well as working to crack down on illicit activities in the blockchain space, including pyramid schemes and fraud.

As ChinaNews notes, the Beijing conference was held amid the backdrop of a rising number of blockchain and crypto-related crimes in the country, most notably a recent suspected crypto pyramid-scheme alleged to have defrauded over 13,000 investors of ¥86 million ($13 million), leading to four arrests in the northwestern city of Xi’an this April.
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