LedgerX Introduces CFTC Licensed Bitcoin Savings Accounts

LedgerX has introduced a Bitcoin savings product licensed by the CFTC. The Bitcoin asset management platform has designed this new product to cater to long-term hodlers. The LedgerX Bitcoin ‘Call Overwrite’ Launched on May 15th, the LedgerX Bitcoin savings account enables investors to earn a fiat-based yield on their Bitcoin holdings. Instead of hodling in the hope of a significant price increase, savers can now earn revenue from a call overwrite. Usually, overwrite contracts are for

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Blockchain.com Hires Author of First Cambridge Crypto Course to Head New Research Team

Garrick Hileman, the University of Cambridge’s first ‘cryptocurrency academic,’ has joined Blockchain as head of research.

Cryptocurrency data resource and wallet provider Blockchain.com announced it had hired a Cambridge academic as its new head of research May 16.

In a blog post, Blockchain.com revealed that Garrick Hileman, author of multiple cryptocurrency research publications, would “lead a new research arm aimed elevating block chain (sic) technology to its full potential.”

The move marks the second high-profile hire for the company in weeks, April seeing ex-Goldman Sachs executive Breanne Madigan join as head of institutional sales and strategy.

While the career pivot seems a natural progression for Hileman, who also developed Cambridge University’s first cryptocurrency course, he stands out among academics and economists alike in his bullish views on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Speaking to Business Insider following the appointment, Hileman said he was surprised that figures such as Nouriel Roubini and Paul Krugman “have a hard time seeing the technology.”

“Some of them don’t have the best track record for understanding technology, to be frank,” he told the publication.

“Paul Krugman famously thought the internet wasn’t all that more significant than a fax machine. I’m not sure I would have a lot of success helping them understand the significance of this technology as a new platform, as something that in some ways can be compared to the internet.”

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Bitcoin Price Declines To Nearly $8k Amidst Bing Crypto Ad Ban

Crypto markets see a sharp decline over 24 hours, almost all of top 100 altcoins on Coinmarketcap are in the red.

May 16: Crypto markets have seen a sharp decline over the past 24 hours with almost all of top 100 coins listed on Coinmarketcap (CMC) in the red.

COIN360

Market visualization from Coin360

After losing the $9,000 support on May 11, Bitcoin (BTC) continued its fall, now approaching the $8,000 level. Having lost almost 3 percent of its value in 24 hours to press time, the original cryptocurrency is currently trading at $8,288. Despite this most recent fall, Bitcoin has seen over 3 percent gains over the last 30 days, according to Cointelegraph Price Index.

Bitcoin price chart

Bitcoin price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum (ETH) has dipped below $700, now hovering around the mark with a 2.31 percent loss over 24 hours to press time.

Ethereum price chart

Ethereum price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Total market cap has lost nearly $100 bln over the last 10 days, dropping to as low as $381 bln at press time.

Total market capitalization chart

Total market capitalization chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

EOS and Stellar (XLM) have seen some of the biggest declines over 24 hours at over 5 and six percent, respectively. The coins are currently trading at $12.31 and $0.329 respectively.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is down almost 7 percent over a one-day period, trading at $1,269 at press time. Yesterday, May 15, BCH implemented a hard fork that increased its block size from 8MB to 32MB and reactivated Bitcoin script operation codes (Op codes) – an upgrade, which has so far apparently failed to produce a positive effect on the price.

The decline in crypto markets coincided with the recent decision by Microsoft-owned search engine Bing to join the ranks of other internet giants in banning crypto-related ads from its network by July 2018.

Cryptocurrencies also came under criticism by European financial authorities. Monday, May 14, European Central Bank (ECB) board member Yves Mersch claimed that banks should “segregate” their dealings in cryptocurrencies from other activities, citing high volatility of crypto markets and stressing that digital tokens “do not qualify as money.”

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Russia’s Digital Economy Bill Supported by State Duma Committee in Move Towards Crypto Regulation

The State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work will support a digital economy initiative that will “minimize” the risks of citizens using digital assets.

Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work will support the first reading of an initiative that will add the basic norms of digital economy to the Russian Federation Civil Code.  This is the latest step on the road to regulating cryptocurrency in the country, local news outlet Izvestia reports Wednesday, May 16.

Pavel Krasheninnikov of political party United Russia and head of the Legislative Work committee, told Izvestia that the initiative aims to “minimize the existing risks of using digital objects for transferring assets into an unregulated digital environment for legalization of criminal incomes, bankruptcy fraud or for sponsoring terrorist groups.”

The initiative, which is scheduled to be considered next week, does not mean that digital currencies will now become a legitimate means of payment. Instead, a separate law developed by the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Economic Development will set conditions for digital currencies to be used as payment “in controlled quantities.” The initiative does assert that digital confirmation by a user in a smart contract is equal to his written consent.

Russia first prepared a bill “On Digital Financial Assets” in March of this year, which would provide federal laws governing cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) inspired by President Vladimir Putin’s decision to begin crypto regulation on July 1.

The March 20 draft defines crypto and digital tokens are assets only to be traded on authorized exchanges, also requiring user account at crypto exchanges to comply with AML and counter terrorism financing regulations. A review draft of the bill from mid-April added that the exchange of crypto for fiat above around $9,600 will be subject to mandatory currency exchange regulation.

Igor Sudets, the director of the program “Blockchain for Lawyers” at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Moscow, told Izvestia that “it is important that the crypto currency and tokens are included in the legal field of the Russian Federation”:

“On the one hand, these are opportunities that we have no right to miss. On the other hand, while they are outside the legal field, they can be used to give bribes, withdraw money in the case of bankruptcy, pay ‘black salaries, and simply get stolen – with no repercussions [for criminals].”

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New Data Storage Platform Intends To Become The Safest Way Of Storing Information Online

A new blockchain-powered data storage platform is planned to be entirely decentralised and self-sufficient. By default, 10 copies of the data will be stored in order to prevent deletion.

A new blockchain-powered data storage platform, Memority, is aiming to provide “the most secure ever developed” solution for anyone looking to safely store sensitive data. The system would be entirely decentralised, self-sufficient, and protected against forgery and data deletion. Memority has also stated that “since we use Proof of Authority mining, there is no need for high computation resources.”

No reliance on a centralised system

The modern world continues to shift more and more information from physical to online storage. By 2020, it is estimated that over $100 bln will be spent annually by businesses on cybersecurity.

Memority acknowledges that there are several other ‘safe’ storage platforms available, however, the team claims that there are many factors which differentiate their product from their competitors. For example, it is entirely decentralised, and access to the datasets is restricted only to the owners who hold the private key. By default, 10 copies of the data will be stored in order to prevent accidental or malicious deletion, with a monitoring system in place to detect and replace missing files.

The files are also protected from forgery as a result of data identifiers, with the monitoring system able to scan for fake datasets and restore the correct copies. All of these features take place in a ‘completely self-sufficient and independent’ manner, due to the lack of reliance on a centralised system. A detailed breakdown of all of the differentiating factors of Memority is available on their website.

Their white paper states that the mission of Memority is to “create a self-sufficient ecosystem that includes many applications to meet the needs of businesses, government organisations and individuals in the ultra-secure storage of all kinds of valuable data.” In order for the platform to work, users around the world will provide memory from their computer hard drives to act as independent repositories. Their incentive for doing so is the aim to connect the maximum number of “ordinary computer users” as possible with the Memority system, thus maximising the number of independent repositories available. The platform will be powered by the Memority specific crypto token, MMR, using the smart contacts system. The team has highlighted that “5 percent of all payments for data storage will be distributed between miners who take part in block creation”, further incentivising users. Hosts will receive 90 percent of the payment from data owners for their file hosting services.

Roadmap and ICO

The Memortiy team holds a vast range of experience in blockchain, web production, financial systems and cybersecurity between them. The idea for Memority came to the team in 2016, platform development began in 2017,  and progress has been steady up until the recent release of the working alpha version, which is available now for users to test from the Memority website. The Beta release is planned for July 2018, and the fully finalised Memority 1.0 platform is scheduled to be live by March 2019.

The ICO begins on May 16 and will conclude on October 1 (1 MMR = 0.1 USD). It will be soft capped at $5 mln and hard capped at $85.5 mln. A detailed breakdown of token distribution and money distribution following the token sale is available on the Memority website.

 

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Binance Co-Founder Denies Rumors of Company’s Plans to Build Blockchain Country on Private Island

Binance’s co-founder He Yi has dismissed the sci-fi-esque claims of a Chinese fintech media platform that the company plans to build its own crypto nation on a private island.

Co-founder of Binance crypto exchange He Yi has dismissed the sci-fi-esque claims of a Chinese fintech media platform that his company has hatched a so-called “Genesis Plan.” The plan was to build Binance’s own blockchain-powered country on a private island, QQ News reports Wednesday, May 16.

The fintech media outlet, ‘Yibencaijing,’ reportedly a reputable platform, cited “insider sources familiar with the matter,” to corroborate its story. The sources allege that the company has already “bought an island” and has exciting plans to trial unprecedented blockchain applications in the crypto paradisal kingdom, where cryptocurrencies would be legal tender.

Yibencaijing’s pathos-ridden article suggests Binance has been hounded by the Chinese, Hong Kong and Japanese authorities, tormented by VC firm Sequoia, and forced to seek respite in the blockchain-haven of Malta, itself perhaps the real-world inspiration behind the story’s claims.

He Yi’s rebuttal of the outlandish claims emphasized that the company’s vision is indeed to “promote the legalization of the blockchain and crypto industries globally,” but that:

“The article [in question] is maliciously tarnishing the image of Binance and caus[ing] regulators in the country to have a bad impression of Binance. To create a country? It is absolutely absurd to fabricate such a story.”

Yibencaijing also cites a popular Chinese white paper that circulated in crypto circles this year, entitled “Republic of Blockchains,” a project for a sovereign blockchain-driven country at the frontier of the UN, which would liberate mankind from the centralized nation state machine, dubbed “a cruel jungle law of mutual distrust.”

Binance is currently the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, and its CEO Zhao Changpeng has previously claimed his personal fortune is worth as much as $2 bln. The company has refuted claims it has tried to evade regulatory oversight by relocating its headquarters to Malta, stressing instead the positive outlook of the island’s robust and transparent crypto regulatory climate.

Last month, Bermuda’s Minister of Finance signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Binance, which reportedly plans to develop a “global compliance base” there. Indeed, Yibencaijing took apparent inspiration from Zhao’s enthusiastic Bermuda tweet last month to draw a fashionable portrait of its future fantastical crypto kingdom:

 

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Binance Co-Founder Denies Rumors of Company’s Plans to Build Blockchain Country on Private Island

Binance’s co-founder He Yi has dismissed the sci-fi-esque claims of a Chinese fintech media platform that the company plans to build its own crypto nation on a private island.

Co-founder of Binance crypto exchange He Yi has dismissed the sci-fi-esque claims of a Chinese fintech media platform that his company has hatched a so-called “Genesis Plan.” The plan was to build Binance’s own blockchain-powered country on a private island, QQ News reports Wednesday, May 16.

The fintech media outlet, ‘Yibencaijing,’ reportedly a reputable platform, cited “insider sources familiar with the matter,” to corroborate its story. The sources allege that the company has already “bought an island” and has exciting plans to trial unprecedented blockchain applications in the crypto paradisal kingdom, where cryptocurrencies would be legal tender.

Yibencaijing’s pathos-ridden article suggests Binance has been hounded by the Chinese, Hong Kong and Japanese authorities, tormented by VC firm Sequoia, and forced to seek respite in the blockchain-haven of Malta, itself perhaps the real-world inspiration behind the story’s claims.

He Yi’s rebuttal of the outlandish claims emphasized that the company’s vision is indeed to “promote the legalization of the blockchain and crypto industries globally,” but that:

“The article [in question] is maliciously tarnishing the image of Binance and caus[ing] regulators in the country to have a bad impression of Binance. To create a country? It is absolutely absurd to fabricate such a story.”

Yibencaijing also cites a popular Chinese white paper that circulated in crypto circles this year, entitled “Republic of Blockchains,” a project for a sovereign blockchain-driven country at the frontier of the UN, which would liberate mankind from the centralized nation state machine, dubbed “a cruel jungle law of mutual distrust.”

Binance is currently the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, and its CEO Zhao Changpeng has previously claimed his personal fortune is worth as much as $2 bln. The company has refuted claims it has tried to evade regulatory oversight by relocating its headquarters to Malta, stressing instead the positive outlook of the island’s robust and transparent crypto regulatory climate.

Last month, Bermuda’s Minister of Finance signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Binance, which reportedly plans to develop a “global compliance base” there. Indeed, Yibencaijing took apparent inspiration from Zhao’s enthusiastic Bermuda tweet last month to draw a fashionable portrait of its future fantastical crypto kingdom:

 

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Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Releases Client Specifications To Facilitate Interoperability

The EEA’s release of the Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification follows an earlier release of an Architectural Stack, with a testnet and certification program to follow.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has released the Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification 1.0 today, May 16, that will enable interoperability for companies that use Ethereum blockchain-based solutions.

The EEA, which was formed in March 2017 by Santander, JPMorgan, and a variety of other members, now numbers 500 enterprise members. It focuses on improving the privacy, scalability, and security of Ethereum blockchain applications.

At the beginning of May, the EEA’s Enterprise Ethereum Architectural Stack went live, a software stack which standardizes the specifications for business applications based on Ethereum. The next steps for the EEA will be building a testnet to test proofs-of-concept and a revision of the specifications ideally by the end of the year, followed by a launch of an EEA certification program.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, EEA head Ron Resnick, said that the EE Client Specification is “basically the catapult that launches the whole ecosystem”:

“Without interoperability, the big players aren’t going to want to jump in, because they don’t want to be locked in to one particular vendor for a proprietary solution […] It attracts more and more of the bigger players to come in and make a commitment, because they feel a little more safe that they’re not going to get stuck.”

Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of Hyperledger, said that the release of the specifications is “yet one more way in which the Hyperledger and Ethereum communities are not competitors but allies:”

“We’re very happy that the Hyperledger Sawtooth developer community has the goal of EEA 1.0 compatibility.”

Last week, the Blockchain Research Office of China’s IT Ministry announced that they aimed to release nationwide blockchain standards by the end of 2019. When asked about the compatibility of EEA specifications for the ETH blockchain and potential blockchain standards coming from China, Resnick told Cointelegraph that “we would have to come up with a way to partner:”

“At the end of the day, if 500 companies, and now let’s say we double it to 1000, if all the global countries in the world are basing their solutions on Enterprise Ethereum specification, I would suggest that if China is working on something, they would want interoperability […] All we would do is engage with them, we would share. Our spec, we can have it […] I would think that they would probably want to take a look.”

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President of Chile’s Central Bank Considers Cryptocurrency Regulation, Says It Is Useful for ‘Monitoring Risks’

The president of Chile’s Central Bank believes that cryptocurrency regulation could allow better monitory of risks in the market.

Mario Marcel, the president of Chile’s Central Bank, is considering regulating cryptocurrencies in the country in order to monitor risks, local news outlet El Economista reported Tuesday, May 15.

Cryptocurrencies in Chile are not currently considered as money or securities, but there are no laws in place that prevent citizens from exchanging crypto for goods and services.

During a forum of the Finance Commission of Deputies, Marcel said that “incorporating regulation will allow having a registry of participants in these activities and thus have information to monitor the associated risks”:

“These activities could be developed under more robust standards and mechanisms, especially in terms of market transparency, consumer protection, and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.”

At the end of March, Chilean crypto exchange Buda and Crypto MKT asked the Chilean Association of Banks (ABIF) to provide a clear position on crypto and crypto trading after some of their accounts were closed by various Chilean banks.

In mid-April, three Chilean crypto exchanges – Buda, Orionx, and Crypto MKT – went to an appeals court to protest this closure, which was seen by some as the banks using their power to curtail the cryptocurrency industry. At the end of April, Chile’s anti-monopoly court ruled that Buda’s accounts must be reopened at state bank Banco del Estado de Chile and Itau Corpbanca.

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JPMorgan Co-President Jerry Pinto: Cryptocurrency “Will Play a Role” in Future

Bitcoin futures remain on the radar at JPMorgan, co-president Jerry Pinto has confirmed.

JPMorgan co-president Jerry Pinto confirmed the bank was “looking into” the Bitcoin space May 16, saying cryptocurrency “will play a role” in the future.

Speaking to CNBC over two interviews, Pinto, who could be in line to succeed CEO Jamie Dimon, said that JPMorgan is able to trade Bitcoin futures but has not yet opted to do so.

“We are looking into that space. I have no doubt that in one way or another, the technology will play a role,” he responded when asked about trading Bitcoin-based products.

“If we need to clear futures of bitcoin, can we do it? Yes. Have we done it? No.”

Pinto’s neutral stance continues the investment banking giant’s somewhat mixed signals about Bitcoin in 2018.

Despite banning customers from purchasing cryptocurrency using its credit cards, senior executives – including the once infamously bearish Dimon – have variously spoken out about the beneficial aspects of both Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Pinto, too, sees the future of the economy incorporating aspects which were born with the mainstream entry of cryptocurrency.

“The tokenization of the economy, for me, is real,” he continued.

“Cryptocurrencies are real but not in the current form.”

JPMorgan is working on blockchain integration, Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, filing a patent for real-time p2p interbank transfers using the technology.

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