Weekly Roundup: November 26, 2018 to December 1, 2018

By Swati Kishore

Welcome to our weekly roundup crypto enthusiasts! Let’s take you through some of the headlines that created a stir this week.

Blue Helix’s decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, BHEX, has raised $15 million in funding. The raised amount will be used by BHEX to offer a more secure service. Ledger, the French crypto firm has added top crypto asset Monero (XMR) to its Ledger Nano S blockchain. It makes Ledger Nano S compatible with the latest version of the Monero GUI wallet. Coinbase announced in a blog post that Coinbase Pro will start accepting ZCash. The announcement led to hike in the prices of Zcash cryptocurrency.

In a bid to expand and explore blockchain technology, the Tezos Foundation announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Yonsei University. The partnership aims to develop unique talents and better expertise in the field of Blockchain Technology.

Getting hacked is almost always a nail in the coffin for cryptocurrency exchanges, and Zaif hasn’t been much of an exception. The recently hacked Japanese cryptocurrency exchange has finally been taken over by Osaka-based Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange (FCCE).  

Coinbase-backed startup Coinmine is all set to launch the Coinmine One, a quiet device which uses less energy than a PlayStation in December 2018. Another interesting launch comes from SIRIN Labs. With a launch party for their Blockchain-based smartphone held on November 29, 2018, SIRIN Labs has announced that their smartphone will start retailing in the month of December.

Ledger, the company behind the popular hardware wallet devices has revealed that its U.S. presence has been extended to the New York City. Demetrios Skalkotos has been appointed as the head of Ledger Vault‘s global business unit operations, which will now be headquartered at its new office.

SportsFix, a mobile-based live streaming platform for sports fans, announced its partnership  with the ProximaX Sirius platform. SportsFix has witnessed massive growth which over the last two months and it is starting with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals in December 2018.

Decentralized public Blockchain platform and home of the Ada cryptocurrency, Cardano has successfully  introduced Ada Debit Cards in South Korea.

Computing platform, Lambda has become the first organization to introduce a transparent Proof-Of-Space-Time (PoST) protocol with unique capabilities such as high-speed verification capabilities, repetition computation, and streamlined proofs.

The New York-based CLS group launched a Blockchain-based payment netting service by the name of of CLSNet. It was built in partnership with IBM. American investment behemoths such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are amongst the first users of the service.

The prominent Blockchain investment fund, NEO Global Capital (NGC) has announced that it is collaborating with AERGO, an open source Blockchain platform for decentralized applications, for a strategic partnership that will help NGC to facilitate innovation in the AERGO ecosystem.

It is interesting to note that at a time when several mining products companies are trying to move away from the mining market, Sapphire is making a move in the opposite direction by jumping straight in. The company is all set to launch its new mining rig that goes by the name of ‘INCA CS 14 Block-Chain Compute System’. It features a Linux-based operating system and as much as 14 Central Processing Units.

Mexico seems to be welcoming Blockchain Technology with the news of the establishment of the first Blockchain association in the country. Big industry names including software firm ConsenSys feature in the group of founders. The association’s primary goal would be to establish industry standards and practices, and to set down a robust legal framework before the technology becomes widely used in the country.

Reports from local sources in South Korea have revealed that the South Korean satellite operator, ST KAT is interested in exploring the avenues in which blockchain could be incorporated within the satellite industry. KT SAT has plans to bring blockchain and cybersecurity companies together via their new workgroup, the KT SAT Eco Alliance. In another news from South Korea, a Blockchain-based voting system will be developed by South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT, and it will go on trial in the private sector in December 2018. South Korea has also introduced a bill to push crypto trading in the country. The bill proposes the formation of a committee which would be responsible for the promotion and support of crypto-related issues in the country. With South Korea making monumental strides in the adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, North Korea is toeing the line by announcing that it will host the International Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference in Spring 2019.

All the way in the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, Cristopher Woolard has said that UK regulators are planning a “comprehensive response” to the illicit adoption of cryptocurrencies by local retailers and consumer. However, FCA has added that it does not see cryptocurrencies as a threat to the economic and financial stability of the country.

In the United States, Ohio has become the first state to accept tax payments in Bitcoin. The State of Ohio has often been in the news as a state trying to promote and encourage the use and adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, so the move does not come as a surprise. The state has opened an official online portal, ohiocrypto.com, that will enable businesses to make their payments with the digital currency. Another news from the North American continent revealed that the E. Coli Outbreak in the US has prompted the FDA to consider Blockchain Tracking.

In Asia, the country of Malaysia has made it clear that all cryptocurrencies issued in the country will require an approval by the nation’s central bank.

From the African continent, Nigeria has made news with the Union Bank Of Nigeria announcing that it will start monitoring accounts used for digital currency trading. The announcement however caused an outrage amongst the cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts who took to Twitter and other social networks to vent their doubts about the integrity and financial literacy of the country’s banking sector.

A quick recap of the major headlines made by famous personalities. Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national who was arrested for laundering millions of dollars on the now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e, has revealed that his defense will be to go on a hunger strike. The head of the group of lawyers representing Vinnik, Timofey Musatov  said that the reason for was hunger strike was because “Vinnik was stripped of the right for defense in France and, consequently, in Greece,” and noted that, “it became clear that the European arrest warrant expired.”.

The man behind Bitcoin Cash Satoshi Vision (BCH-SV), Craig Wright, has predicted that BCH SV transactions will increase by 1000x in 2 years.

Kaspersky, a security service provider, which has been critical of the cryptocurrencies from the beginning has predicted a ‘Bubble-Burst’ for the cryptocurrency markets in 2019.

Larry Sanger, one of the co-founders of the Wikipedia, has recently talked about the implementation of blockchain in the current education sector. During an interview with Boxlife.tv, Larry shared some of the insights and plans on implementing blockchain to the Wikipedia and how it would benefit the writing community as a whole.

Mohammad El-Erian, who serves as the Chief Economist with Allianz, recently opined that while cryptocurrencies will make it past the bearish gloom they have known this year, they are unlikely to substitute fiat currencies in the near future. El-Erian is of the view that crypto will revive in the next year but it will never be able to replace fiat.

A brief look at the world of controversy! As much as $1 Million were stolen by ‘sim swappers’ after they gained access into the phone of a Silicon Valley executive and managed to get away with cryptocurrency.

China-based automobile finance platform, Jiurong was compromised by a hacker with malicious intent who gained access to data records of almost 300,000 customers. The data is now being sold on the dark web at the price of 1 Bitcoin (BTC). The compromising data includes personal data of Jiurong users including phone numbers and government-issued ID numbers.

The US Treasury Department officials successfully busted a Bitcoin ransomware scheme and slapped sanctions on two Iranian citizens allegedly connected to the said scheme. The ransomware programme was called SamSam and the accused duo, Mohammad Ghorbaniyan and Ali Khorashadizadeh were allegedly engaged in unlawfully converting Bitcoins into Iranian currency IRR or Iranian Rial.

The CEO of AriseBank, which was supposedly the “first decentralized crypto bank” of its kind, 30-year old Jared Rice Sr. was taken into custody by the FBI on Nov. 28. He is being indicted for the crime of defrauding hundreds of investors out of over $4 million.

A new Facebook crypto scam also came to light this week. The fraud in question used Facebook sponsored ads to target people and collect their sensitive data, which is beyond the rules and regulations set by the company.

Another bizarre event that got everyone’s attention was the movement of USD 510 Million worth of Binance coins to an unknown wallet. Whale Alert, a twitter handle which is known for tracking the activities on the crypto wallet, reported that a total of 98,776,172 Binance Coin (BNB) were moved.

Swati Kishore

Swati has a keen interest in emerging technologies and she loves to write about them. She loves trance and is also interested in the philosophy of life.

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