Crypto And Blockchain Weekly Wrap Up – 20 May 2019 – 26 May 2019

by | May 26, 2019 | Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Cryptocurrency News

Weekly Wrap up | Cryptocurrency | Blockchain | Update

The week kick-started with a sharp rebound as all top cryptocurrencies showed signs of growth, after some corrective moments in the past week. While Craig Wright’s claims of being Satoshi tested the ecosystem’s temperament, several launches and use case scenarios kept the week a good one. Here’s a recap of the week that was: 

Price points – 

As aforementioned Bitcoin and other top cryptocurrencies saw a sharp rebound on Sunday, which more or less set the rhythm for this week. Foremost cryptocurrency Bitcoin observed a 9% gain in the week and stands around $8000 as of press time

As for Ethereum, the token has been holding good and closes the week at a $249 price point, 4.5 % gain in the week. XRP observed a bearish trend throughout the week stands at $0.38. A surprising performer of the week came out to be Bitcoin SV (BSV) following Wrights filling copyright for Bitcoin whitepaper, wherein the token reached a 24-hour high of $139.31, more than 120 percent higher than its UTC opening price of $62.99. As of press time, BSV was at $90.47. 

Is Craig Wright Satoshi 

Well, a question everyone’s is asking. Craig Wright, the Australian entrepreneur who has been proclaiming himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto for some time now has reportedly filed for the United States copyright registrations for the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper. 

As per the court documents the U.S. Copyright Office has registrations with Wright as the author (i.e. Satoshi Nakamoto) of the white paper, along with most of the original code used to build Bitcoin. Wright has claimed to have written the cryptocurrency blueprint under the pseudonym. 

The immediate result of which, we have seen in BSV rally, however, to someone’s happiness and someone’s dismay, the U.S. Copyright Office has officially announced that it did not “recognized” anyone as the inventor of bitcoin.

Regulatory Update 

First crypto tax guidance soon – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has been working on its first tax guidance for cryptocurrency since 2014, which will purportedly be released soon, as stated by the agency’s commissioner on Monday. IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig outlined a non-specific plan to release in-depth guidance in the near future when Rep. Tom Emmer’s requested for further guidance on reporting cryptocurrencies.

Sec files charges against a California resident -The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sues a California resident, Daniel Pacheco, for allegedly conducting a multimillion-dollar cryptocurrency pyramid scheme. The injunction alleges that he sold unregistered securities through IPro Solutions LLC and IPro Network LLC, from January 2017 through March 2018. 

Reportedly, Pacheco fooled the investors by promising them “points” which could later be converted into the companies digital asset PRO Currency, siphoning off $26 million in the process. 

SEC seizes Diamond-backed cryptocurrency – The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) halted a confirmed cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme, following a steal worth $30 million. Jose Angel Aman, the principal behind Argyle Coin will now be subjected to legal action for running a Ponzi scheme and using the funds he gained from investors in his alleged diamond resale outfit.

Delayed Decision over Bitcoin ETF –  The hope for approval of a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) further dwindles, as the SEC delayed its decision on the VanEck bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal, according to an official SEC filing on May 20.

As per the filing, SEC has added a 35 day period in order to gather more information and opinions on the proposal that was initially filed by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) last year.

$5 Million spent on negotiations – The CEO of Canadian-based messaging startup Kik, Ted Livingston explained that the company spent over $5 million on ongoing negotiations with the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).  At the end of January, the SEC announced that it believes that Kik’s “Token Distribution Event” two years ago violated securities laws when the company raised $97 million during the sale.

After the SEC’s recommendation of an enforcement action in November 2018, Kik served a “Wells Notice,” i.e. a letter to the company that needs to be responded to within 30 days.

Montana’s new crypto-friendly bill –  The United States State of Montana passes a new bill titled “Generally revise laws relating to cryptocurrency,” that will recognize utility tokens and exempt them from state securities. Signed by the  Governor of Montana Steve Bullock on May 8, House Bill 584,  defines a utility token as a digital unit that is created and recorded over a blockchain. 

Israel calls Bitcoin an asset –  An Israeli court passes a new rule that classifies bitcoin as an asset and not a currency, thus subjecting it to capital gains tax (CGT). The Central District Court passed a ruling in a case that involved a  blockchain startup founder and the Israel Tax Authority, the latter ultimately won the decision. Reportedly, Noam Copel, the founder of DAV.Network, bought bitcoins in 2011 and sold them in 2013, earning a profit of 8.27 million Israeli new shekels ($2.29 million). 

Grayscale wins regulatory approval – Grayscale Investments, an American digital asset manager confirms that its Ethereum Trust (ETHE) gains regulatory approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for retail trading. Quoted to be the first public security based on Ethereum (ETH), the new product will follow Grayscale’s equivalent Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) Trusts, that are already public. 

Europol seizes Bestmixer – Dutch, Luxembourg authorities and Europol shuts down one of the three largest cryptocurrency tumblers, a cryptocurrency mixing service. As per the report, up till now the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) has seized six servers of major crypto tumbler Bestmixer.io.

Reportedly Bestmixer.io. quotes a turnover of at least $200 million since its launch in May 2018. Purportedly one of the three largest mixing services for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) among others.

Warning against cryptocurrencies – The central bank of Laos issues a warning against cryptocurrencies asking them to purchase or sell the digital currencies with caution. The warning was issued to financial market participants and the public reminding them that cryptocurrency transactions are considered illegal in the country. Previously, the bank banned financial institutions from conducting any operations with cryptocurrencies, as well as making investments in such an asset.

Russia and cryptocurrency – While the Russian government continues its anti-cryptocurrency stance, a state-owned holding conglomerate, Rostec proposes a roadmap on applying blockchain in all the governmental data systems

On the other hand, Russia’s central bank is reportedly considering using a gold-backed cryptocurrency in order to facilitate international settlements. The governor of the Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina stated on Thursday that the institution will be reviewing a  proposal for the development of the cryptocurrency. 

Pushing the envelope for mass adoption 

Blockchain implementation for citizens cards – The South Korean city of Seoul has stepped up its blockchain game to another level by implementing blockchain technology in its citizen cards.  The mayor of Seoul, Park Won stated that they will implement blockchain in collecting urban and administrative data that will enable new services such as integrated authentication system of citizen cards, as well as tools for easy access to various administrative services.

Brave to tip in cryptocurrency – Blockchain browser Brave is testing a tipping function for social media platform Twitter. The platforms’ Brave Nightly users will have access to the new feature for tipping tweets with the Brave Rewards program. The new feature is designed to award content creators via Brave native digital tokens, basic attention tokens (BAT).

Calastone switches system to blockchain – Calastone, a London-based global funds network announces that it made a massive switch of its entire fund trade clearing services system to blockchain Distributed Market Infrastructure (DMI). As per the release a migration of this level i.e. over 1,800 customers from more than 41 markets “represents the largest community of global financial services organizations connecting and transacting via distributed ledger technology.”

The institution further forecasted that the resulting savings for the mutual funds market will purportedly amount to over £3.4 billion per year ($4.33 billion). 

Functional Bitcoin Timepieces – Franck Muller, a Swiss luxury watchmaker, launches limited-edition timepieces, dubbed as “Encrypto”, that it claims as “the world’s first functional bitcoin watch.”  Launched in partnership with cryptocurrency trading platform Regal Assets, the dial of the watch aesthetically sports bitcoin’s logo and a QR code of bitcoin’s genesis block address.

AT&T to accept cryptocurrency payments –  AT&T, the United States telecom and media giant has started accepting cryptocurrency as online payment for phone bills.  AT&T will use crypto payments platform BitPay in order to process the bills paid in cryptocurrency. Reportedly, this new feature makes AT&T the first United States-based business in the wireless network industry to offer bill payments with BitPay.

Alibaba plans to integrate blockchain technology – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is planning to integrate blockchain technology into its intellectual property system of global enterprises and brands. The company’s director of intellectual property protection, Ali Xizhi stated that Alibaba is currently busy upgrading the filing of intellectual property rights by employing blockchain.

Alibaba plans to fully implement the technology by September and subsequently expanding to digital copyright protection, including visual content. 

New Developments

Stablecoin pegged to the Swiss franc – The Swiss national stock exchange group, SIX is reportedly working on creating its own “stablecoin,” a cryptocurrency pegged to the Swiss franc in order to facilitate transactions on the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX). 

Update on Facebook’s secretive Coin – Social media giant Facebook is reportedly in talks with major United States-based crypto exchanges for the issuance of its very secretive own cryptocurrency. Two people familiar with Facebook’s “Globalcoin” project stated that the firm has discussed the initiative with Coinbase, a major crypto exchange, and wallet and Winklevoss twins’ Gemini Exchange, notable rivals of  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

As per the report, the social media giant wants to ensure that its cryptocurrency is liquid, tradeable and secure. 

Telegram launches TON – Telegram, Privacy-focused encrypted instant messaging service creates a new programming language for its Telegram Open Network (TON). Dubbed as Fift, the new language is specifically designed for developing and managing TON blockchain smart contracts and to interact with the TON Virtual Machine (TVM).

Binance hints at Margin trading – Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, appears to be getting ready to add margin trading to its extensive list of trading options. On Tuesday, the platform posted a cryptic image that simply displayed the numbers “2.0” on its Twitter feed, a most likely a hint towards version 2.0 of Binance. One of the features that are expected in the upgrade is margin trading, giving users access to a new type of crypto investment opportunity. 

ABN AMRO launches Forcefield – ABN AMRO, a Dutch bank has announced the launch of a blockchain inventory tracking platform dubbed as Forcefield. As per the announcement, the platform is an Internet of Things solution that will enable the monitoring of physical trade inventories with sensors and near-field communication chips.

Developed over the past year, Forcefield is a stand-alone product that evolved as an independent company following a successful proof-of-concept that was conducted with consulting firm Accenture.

A trailblazer in blockchain patents – JD.com, a Chinese e-commerce giant applies for over 200 blockchain patents, while a major e-commerce competitor Alibaba applied for  262, Chinese internet titans Tencent and Baidu applied for 80 and 50 such patents respectively, as recorded by the Intellectual Property Center of China Information and Communication. 

As per the data provided JD.com was in first place for “global blockchain patent strength,” with Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu taking the second, seventh, and fifteenth place, respectively. The report went on to note that China has evolved a global forerunner in blockchain applications. 

Who said what 

Cryptocurrencies pose no threat to financial stabilities – The European Central Bank (ECB) published a paper on Friday concerning cryptocurrencies, within which the ECB claims that the digital assets do not pose a threat to financial stability in the eurozone. ECB states in the paper that the combined value of crypto-assets is small in relation to the financial system and “linkages” with the financial sector are still limited. It was further added that the banks in the EU do not appear to have “systemically relevant” holdings of crypto-assets.

51% Attack on Bitcoin Cash Blockchain –  A series of tweets from Guy Swann, the host of Cryptoconomy Podcast, claims that two miners have managed to execute a 51% attack on the bitcoin cash (BCH) blockchain. Though many may assume that such an attack is with malicious intent, this scenario seems to be different.  

Reportedly, this 51% attack occurred when two mining pools were attempting to prevent an unidentified party from taking some coins that were essentially “up for grabs,” due to a code update.

Image Source – Unsplash.com 

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