Dec 15, 2018 12:30 UTC
Dec 15, 2018 at 12:30 UTC
Weekly Roundup: November 10, 2018 to November 15, 2018
All the essential crypto and Blockchain news from everywhere in the world- our news roundup is your weekly digest of all the latest happenings in the industry.
Let’s take you through the headline-making news this past week.
The Deputy Governor of the Chinese central bank People’s Bank of China, Pan Gongsheng has termed STOs as ‘illegal.’ He elaborated on the Chinese Central Bank’s hard-line stance towards Security Token Offerings.
With the cryptocurrencies touching new lows, a lot of people are putting forth their opinions on the markets. One such person is Peter Mallouk. The President of Creative Planning, a Kansas-based investment firm, Mallouk has called Bitcoin ‘a dead man walking.’ He elaborated on the world’s first cryptocurrency saying, “It won’t go quietly, but the recent precipitous drop may be the beginning of its inevitable and inexorable death spiral, Or there could be a dead cat bounce. Either way, I see bitcoin as a dead man walking.”
Another interesting statement was made by Cornell University Professor, Emin Gun Sirer. Sirer said that cryptocurrencies are a ‘poor store of value.’ Seconding the above-mentioned viewpoints by Mallouk and Sirer is Harvard Economist, Kenneth Rogoff. The Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and the recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, Rogoff has recently made a bold assumption about the future of Bitcoin saying that Bitcoin is ‘a lottery ticket.’ He referred to the history of the volatility of the emerging asset class as an indicator of the inevitable doom of the cryptocurrency. Rogoff also said that the future worth of BTC is “more likely to be $100 than $100,000.”
On the world map, a South Korean Blockchain-based startup by the name of Presto has filed a constitutional complaint against the South Korean government for banning ICOs. Notably, South Korea had banned Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) within the country almost a year ago.
In Australia, the Australian National Transport Insurance (NTI) company has announced that it will integrate blockchain technology in the beef supply chain for exports to foreign countries. In another news from South Korea, seven major South Korean Crypto exchanges have collaborated together to promote a safe and healthy crypto environment. Mutual efforts in the likes of information sharing and the real-time monitoring of unusual transactions will be carried out by them to achieve the said goals.
The mining giant Bitmain is reportedly being forced to shut its Israel development center. The company’s research center in Israel by the name of Bitmaintech Israel is interestingly just two years old. The slump in the price of cryptocurrencies is said to be the reason behind the shutdown. Another news from the Middle East has revealed that the central bank of the Kingdom of Bahrain has initiated a round of interactive and consultative deliberation regarding the fate of crypto frameworks in the country. The draft set of regulations are meant to give a proper structure to the process of monitoring the actions of crypto asset-based platforms. Besides, these regulations are also intended to clarify criteria and procedures related to the licensing of virtual currency services.
In Ukraine, Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has proposed adoption and implementation of blockchain technology to counter corruption. Interestingly Tymoshenko, who is currently campaigning for the March 2019 elections, is trying to solidify her persona as a potent force against corruption.
In the United States, the government has arrested the CEO of Romanian BTC Exchange called CoinFlux on the grounds of money laundering. Vlad Nistor, the CEO of the said exchange is now awaiting extradition.
In France amidst the civil turmoil over fuel price hike and the states’ constant struggles to keep the protests in check, two pro-crypto MP’s of the ‘Parlement français’ have asked for a 500 million euro investment to make France a ‘blockchain nation.’ Deputies Jean-Michel Mis and Laure de La Raudière have put out a report outlining 20 measures to support the development and adoption of blockchain technology.
The American international information tech company, IBM, has announced that it may work with Indian telecom companies to offer blockchain solutions which can be used in MNP and DNC registries. The vice-president of IBM Research, Sriram Raghavan, was quoted as saying, “We have completed proof of concepts and pilots with all the major telecom providers and with Trai in this space. We anticipate that going into the New Year, we’ll start to see blockchain solutions getting rolled out.”
Atletico Mineiro, a Premier League football club from Brazil, has launched a crypto token for fans called the “GaloCoin” recently. The GaloCoin follows the principle of a stablecoin. It is pegged to the exchange rate of the country’s national fiat currency, the Brazilian Real. As a result, each GaloCoin’s value is exactly the same as that of one Brazilian Real.
The second half of 2018 has witnessed the EOS DApps losing upto $1 million because of system hacks. Known as Ethereum killer, this blockchain was doing rather well in trumping the major features of the Ethereum blockchain. However, it now seems that just like Ethereum had run into security issues with regard to DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) earlier, EOS is having trouble ensuring its dApp platform is bolstered against threats from rowdy raiders.
The US-based insurance group State Farm is in the process of testing blockchain technology as part of a new platform for insurance subrogation. The company announced on December 10, 2018, that it was putting Blockchain technology on trial to try and make the manual and time-consuming process of insurance subrogation faster and more efficient.
Metaps Plus and EMURGO have announced the launch of the world’s first crypto card. The card will help users to spend their Cardano tokens at over 30,000 offline merchants in South Korea including popular convenience stores like GS25 and Emart24.
The Augmentors Game has become the first Blockchain-based game to be added on a mainstream platform like Apple’s App Store! With Apple featuring the Blockchain game, this step will give Blockchain a boost for adoption in the mainstream culture.
According to a Medium blog post published on 11th December 2018, The Winklevoss twins, who have long enjoyed a substantial degree of prominence in the world of crypto, are launching the new Gemini Mobile App which will combine trading options with an innovative investment vehicle.
According to a report by Reuters, Kakao, the firm that operates the largest messaging application in South Korea, has made a substantial investment in Israeli blockchain startup Orbs.
OneGold, the online marketplace for buying, selling, storing, and redeeming precious metals, is collaborating with BitPay to allow crypto payment for precious metals. This alliance will now allow users to purchase gold, silver, and other precious metals with utmost ease, as will now be supported by OneGold in a secure way, while BitPay will solve the problem of credit card chargebacks.
The Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (WSBA) has announced on Wednesday, 12th December that it has joined Hyperledger as an Associate Member. The new partnership will strive to help financial institutions by identifying, prototyping, developing, and implementing Blockchain solutions all across the industry. The main focus on their areas of collaboration will include identity management, and trade finance, smart contracts, asset tokenization, supply chain, accounting, payments, and legal services.
As per news reports, the US-based stable cryptocurrency project Basis is set to close its operations and subsequently refund the investors. The stablecoin project will return most of the USD 133 million that it had raised during a private funding round in April 2018. The investor’s in Basis’s stable, algorithmic cryptocurrency protocol include some of the biggest names in the industry such as Andreessen Horowitz and Bain Capital Ventures.
With Samsung having filed 3 blockchain trademarks in the European Union, respectively ‘Blockchain Keystore’, ‘Blockchain key box’ and ‘Blockchain Core’ under the trademark category of ‘Smartphones: Software applications for use with mobile devices’, speculations are rife that the company is looking to offer crypto custody services on smartphones. Post the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY; it won’t be a stretch to assume that Samsung might be looking to soon launch their own ‘blockchain smartphone’!
The American telecom powerhouse AT&T has applied for a patent for a Blockchain-based social media “map.” The patent was published by the USPTO on December 13th.
Ripple is joining forces with the UAE Exchange, one of UAE’s largest remittance firms, to start a new payment system by next year. Interestingly, Asia was one of the biggest recipients of remittances worth roughly $613 billion sent globally in 2017. The large swathe of the amount came from the expatriate workers in the Middle East, where UAE Exchange is one of the key players.
The OpenFinance Network has become the first of its kind to launch a regulated security token trading platform in the United States. OFN announced on December 14, 2018, that it has successfully moved out of beta to activate the trading functionality.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), multinational professional services network headquartered in London, is collaborating with Bitfury Group, the leading providers of security and infrastructure for Bitcoin blockchain, to facilitate the creation of a blockchain accelerator for business in Russia.
Ether-based community trading system Ethfinex has announced its full integration of the Rigoblock asset management infrastructure on Ethfinex Trustless. According to Ethfinex’s blog, the integration means that “anyone, anywhere, can set up, run and invest in Ethereum-based token pools in a matter of minutes.”
When it comes to exciting revelations, and reports, it has been reported that ‘What is Bitcoin’ figures as one of the top ten questions that people asked on Google, at least in the United States of America, in 2018. It was about this time a year ago when Google searches for Bitcoin had overtaken searches related to Donald Trump. In another recent report by the Blockchain Transparency Institute, it has been suggested that 87% of the trade volume on the top 25 crypto exchanges might be inflated and fake. As per the report, this method has become a sort of a trend, and most of the exchanges have turned this into a money-making strategy. As per a report published by the professional social network LinkedIn on December 13, 2018, it has been revealed that the hottest job in the US market is blockchain development at the moment. The data reveals that the demand for blockchain developers has increased 33 folds in the past 12 months. Cities like San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta shows the highest order for blockchain developers.