Today’s Highlights: Twelve Korean crypto exchanges have passed the self-regulatory standard checks, crypto crime is a focus of Trump’s new task force on consumer fraud, The Litecoin Foundation has acquired a 9.9% stake in Germany’s WEG Bank AG, Bitfinex launches crypto connection network for institutional clients and crackdown turns China from Bitcoin’s epicenter to a wasteland.
Editors’ thoughts today:
Editor-in-chief Florin Adrian Oprea (FAO): All kinds of “happenings” in the cryptoverse today AND we have New York Post’s Crudele again. Let’s hope Trump’s new crypto task force won’t limit their daily “crypto reading” to just Crudele’s posts.
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Marin Marinov – Cryptovest
Twelve Korean cryptocurrency exchanges have passed the self-regulatory standard checks with several deficiencies, the Korea Blockchain Association said. The exchanges, including the hacked Bithumb, met the general requirements with no problems while the cybersecurity test was passed at a minimum level with a big difference between participating trading platforms.
Benjamin Bain & David McLaughlin – Bloomberg (subscription)
In forming a new task force to protect consumers from fraud, the Trump administration made clear that one of the greatest threats to the public is just emerging: red-hot markets for crypto coins.
DNT: This Washington “concern” is just a “screen saver”. The reasons behind are much more profound and are linked to the control the cryptospace.
Oh, and we have the “bullhorn” of cryotocritics in the next story. However, his warning is good.
John Crudele – The New York Post
Let me give you a consumer alert that I can’t fully explain right now. If anyone — especially people selling a service — asks you to pay in bitcoin, run away. Bitcoin transactions are untraceable, so if a crook promises you a good or service, he can bolt after he’s in possession of your bitcoin.
FAO: Crudele is back! Although his intentions are good I think his lack of bitcoin-related knowledge is doing more bad than good. Question: is Crudele the best blockchain/bitcoin writer from the NYP? Considering that the guy is still writing about these issues it might mean he is…In which case we offer our support to NYP if they want to understand this universe first and then designate people to write about it…BTW we can offer a nice discount to our standard advisory fees – AND we accept bitcoin too…no worries – no upfront fees needed, so don’t run away.
Marie Huillet – Cointelegraph
The Litecoin Foundation has acquired a 9.9% stake in Germany’s WEG Bank AG. The deal is a result of a new strategic partnership with crypto-fiat payments firm TokenPay.
European investment bank Benson Oak said it has secured $25 million in investment commitments for a new Israel-dedicated fund and plans to raise $100 million in total.
Anthony Ha – TechCrunch
The team at Dirt Protocol is using blockchain technology to create a new approach to verify information. The startup doesn’t plan to launch its platform until later this year, but it announced that it has raised $3 million in seed funding from General Catalyst, Greylock, Lightspeed, Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, SV Angel, Avichal Garg, Elad Gil, Fred Ehrsam, Linda Xi and others.
Kate Rooney – CNBC
Despite payment company Square’s recent moves with bitcoin, the growth of its mobile payment app has been immune to the cryptocurrency’s price nosedive, according to Nomura Instinet.
Marin Marinov – Cryptovest
Bitfinex has revealed a new crypto connection service that targets institutional investors. The crypto connectivity network was built by Swiss service provider Market Synergy.
Kalina Tekelieva – Cryptovest
Canada’s cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare and blockchain investment bank DLTA 21 Blockchain have teamed up to establish a centralized digital currency exchange in Japan amid tightened scrutiny by the local authorities, the companies said.
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
The authority that governs the Philippines Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport is aiming to earn $67 million just by issuing cryptocurrency exchange licenses. According to a report from the country’s government news agency, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority has announced it has just granted a principle operation license to a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange.
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)
China’s clampdown on cryptocurrencies appears to have succeeded. Yuan-denominated trading in Bitcoin has dropped to below 1% of the global volume, according to China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, which cited the country’s central bank. China accounted for the majority of trading in Bitcoin before the government shut down the nation’s cryptocurrency exchanges last year.
Capital markets software house Cinnober is teaming up with virtual currency processor and security specialist BitGo to hawk their technology to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cinnober says that BitGo’s wallet technology will expand its trading and post-trade platform, enabling it to offer cryptocurrency exchanges an end-to-end secure, institutional-grade proposition.
FAO: A new line of business at Cinnober? A possible way to become profitable again…
Lea Nonninger – Business Insider
Blockchain consortium R3 has commercially rolled out its open-source blockchain platform, dubbed Corda Enterprise, which aims to enable more businesses to leverage blockchain technologies. This comes after R3 launched version 1.0 of the platform in October 2017.
Via Fortune – Ripple hired Facebook payments exec Kahina Van Dyke and named David Schwartz as new CTO.
Ollie Leech – Cryptovest
John McAfee steps up his conflict with the European-based virtual currency exchange HitBTC and announces to his Twitter following that he will be taking legal action against the company.
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William Suberg – Cointelegraph
Spain-based Banco Santander has announced the creation of a blockchain research team to look into the technology’s potential to change securities trading, according to press release.
Tom Simonite – Wired
Dawn Song, A Berkeley computer-science professor and MacArthur fellow, is a fan of cloud computing. Song says her startup, Oasis Labs, can curtail some of those problems with the help of blockchains, the new form of cryptographically secured record-keeping inspired by the digital currency bitcoin.
Ana Alexandre – Cointelegraph
Riyadh Municipality, Saudi Arabia, has partnered with IBM to jointly develop a strategy to streamline government services and transactions on а blockchain.
Park Si-soo – Korea Times
South Korean lawmakers are racing to make rules on cryptocurrency, ICOs and blockchain. Some have unveiled drafts of bills they will submit during an extraordinary session of the National Assembly from July 13 to 26.
Kevin Helms – Bitcoin.com
India’s central bank has responded to a representation about its crypto banking ban. The Supreme Court gave the central bank seven days to reply following a hearing last week of the petition by the Internet & Mobile Association of India against the ban.
Ian Allison – CoinDesk
Blockchain crowdfunding ideas may be ten-a-penny these days, but seeing the concept tested out by a financial regulator and a major stock exchange is pretty unique.
Rachel Wolfson – Forbes
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are the two federal agencies that serve as the primary regulators of cryptocurrencies in the U.S. However, while both agencies are taking a stance to define “cryptocurrencies” in order to enforce regulations, both have differing views.
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Jemima Kelly – Financial Times (subscription)
As cryptocurrency exchanges beef up security measures following a relentless run of heists, cyber criminals are turning their attention to stealing digital tokens directly from users. With the estimated total value of cryptocurrencies now in the hundreds of billions of dollars, bitcoin and its newer rivals have drawn in both amateur investors and crooks who see these inexperienced users as a soft target.
Catherine Ross – Cointelegraph
Sirin Labs, a Swiss-based smartphone developer, will release a blockchain-based phone in November this year, the company said. In December 2017, Sirin Labs raised $157.8 million for the project during their ICO with $110 million gathered over the first 24 hours.
Brian Heater – TechCrunch
HTC isn’t gone just yet. Granted, it’s closer than it’s ever been before, with a headcount of fewer than 5,000 employees worldwide — that’s down from 19,000 in 2013. But in spite of those “market competition, product mix, pricing, and recognized inventory write-downs,” the company’s still trucking on.
FAO: A new fashion item – the blockchain phone?
DNT: Sounds interesting…
Wilma Woo – Bitcoinist
The Bank of Finland has released a 133-page paper arguing the concept of digital currency is an “illusion.”
DNT: Hmmm, too many pages to demonstrate an “illusion”…
Noah Smith – Bloomberg (subscription)
The cryptocurrency is volatile, costly to store, hard to use and deflationary.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News