Make sure you check out our previous edition here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week. Also, make sure you subscribe for this weeks edition of The Bitcoin Podcast by CCN on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
- Bitcoin fell nearly 8% this week after jumping above $6,800 early this week. The market seemed to stabilize early this week but failed to hit the critical $7,000 support line. They later dipped below the $6,600 level. The fall continued with a quick drop below the $6,350 level. The price finally dropped to $6,150 on Thursday night and has stayed around that level. Nonetheless, analysts & executives remain optimistic citing technical analysis, increased transaction speeds (courtesy of the Lightning Network), and institutional money flowing into the space. Even so, low volume and a lack of retail interest continue to plague the space.
- Ethereum fell 10% this week to $434 closely following bitcoin’s movements. The price movement follows another hack of MyEtherWallet. Also happening this week was Vitalik’s comments about “centralized exchanges” burning “in hell”, and Ethereum Co-Founder (and Consensysfounder) Joseph Lubin stating that Ethereum had entered “phase 2” of its development.
- The entire coin market cap fell 8% this week as the bearish cycle continues. For several weeks now market capitalization has been around the $270 billion dropping above or below by around $30 billion. Tezos has taken the biggest drop among the billion dollar coins losing nearly 78% of its value since it raised $232 million last year.
- Coinbase ‘Exploring’ Support for 5 New Currencies – Coinbase announced in a blog post last night that it was exploring the addition of ADA, BAT, XLM, ZEC, and ZRX. The prices of all 5 assets shot up on the news. BAT and ZRX increased the most, going up by 25% and 15% respectively.
- $150 Billion Chinese Firm Adopting Blockchain – Ant Financial, whose majority shareholder is Alibaba founder & CEO Jack Ma and was valued at over $150 billion earlier this year after raising more than $10 billion from investors plans to use blockchain for “data privacy, security and sustainability issues.” CEO Zhang Hui also said he “hopes to expand their blockchain-based cross-border payment services globally and explore more B2C use cases.”
- SolarisBank Offers Financial Services to EU Crypto Companies – German-based solarisBank announced this week it would be providing financial services to crypto firms who have traditionally been shunned by the banking sector. The firm hopes to provide a “technological and regulatory bridge” between traditional banking and blockchain. The service is called BlockChain Factory.
- Walmart Files Blockchain Delivery Patents – The retail giant has been awarded another patent in the blockchain space for a “Delivery Reservation Apparatus and Method.” The goal is to create an Amazon-esque delivery locker that utilizes blockchain to track availability of lockers. The patent follows blockchain patents by the retailer earlier this year around drones, medical records, electric grids, and more.
- Amex Files Blockchain Patent: Credit card giant American Express has filed a patent for a blockchain based proof of payments system. The company is no stranger to blockchain having earlier deployed a revamped rewards program on Hyperledger earlier this year.
- Indians turning to Local P2p Exchanges following the ban barring banks from processing cryptocurrency purchases by the countries central bank. Indians who wish to trade now must rely on platforms like LocalBitcoins. Other than being more tedious this has led to people getting robbed while trying to exchange currency. We reported earlier this week that classifying currencies as commodities may help companies circumvent the ban.
- Australia Goes After Offshore Crypto– The ATO‘s deputy commissioner said in a recent interview that the tax authority will be going after traders hiding crypto offshore through data sharing agreements with other governments. They will also be continuing using their 100-point ID system to go after traders.
- Venezuelan Hyperinflation Causes Turn to Crypto – The user was able to buy more than 102 KG (224 lb) of food with only $77 in NANO donations. The user earlier stated that 0.5 NANO (~$1.32) was worth almost a months salary in the country.
- Delaware Awards IBM Blockchain Filing System Contract – Delaware has awarded IBM a $738,000 contract to build a blockchain based filing system. The effort is part of a push for Delaware to maintain its dominant position as the “incorporation capital” of the US. The win follows IBM’s AUD $1 billion contract to develop blockchain for Australia’s government. It also comes on the heels of IBM’s more recent Riyadh win earlier this week.
- Augur Platform Launches after almost 2 years in development. The company was one of the earliest companies to raise taking in more than $5.5 million in 2015 (over 1,000 BTC at the time). The company’s launch was heavily anticipated across the cryptocurrency space.
- Philippine Central Bank Approved Two New Cryptocurrency Exchanges this week. VHCEX and Etranss have been added to the list of approved exchanges meaning there are now 5 approved exchanges. Earlier this year the Philippine government announced plans to issue 25 exchange licenses. Digital currencies have proved huge for the countries economy with new exchanges consistently outperforming traditional banks, more than 5 million users on the countries top app and a large market for remittances.
- The Pirate Bay is Mining Monero again through popular XMR monetization tool Coinhive. This time they have added a warning instructing users to leave or install an adBlocker if they did not consent to mining.
- Oasis Labs raised $45 million from a16z and Binance earlier this week. The team hopes to create a ‘privacy-first cloud computing [solution] on a blockchain’. The company is now accepting applications from developers.
- Judge Throws Out ‘Mertiless’ CryptoKitties Lawsuit – A lawsuit, which alleged CryptoKittiescreator Axiom Zen had stolen trade secrets, has been thrown out. The allegations came from Starcoin who argued Axiom had stolen its idea.
- Kik Launches $3 million Developer Fund to Create 25 ‘Kin Economies’ – The Kin Foundation began accepting applications for it’s developer program which hopes to create an app store like marketplace using Kik’s new cryptocurrency Kin.
- Robinhood Added BCH and LTC trading this week. The company has a massive user base in millennials who have also shown a proclivity to cryptocurrency investments. The additions follow Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are already on the platform.
- South Korea I-Banks are 8% crypto: According to a report by local publication Yonhap the total share held by crypto assets in Korea was 26 trillion won ($23.39 billion USD) or 8% of total brokerage house deposits. For some, the number was lower than expected. Nonetheless, they’ve led to hastened regulations as the country struggles with how to regulate the currencies.
- CBOE filed for a Bitcoin ETF this week dramatically increasing the odds for approval. The exchanges submission states that the trust will invest exclusively in Bitcoin. The filing follows a rejection earlier this year of CBOE partner Gemini‘s ETF proposal being rejected by the SEC.
- FINRA Adds CryptoCurrency Reporting Requirement – In a notice earlier this week FINRA mandated its members to notify the authority if they engaged in any cryptocurrency activities.
- $23M in Stolen after Bancor Hacked – Bancor, a decentralized exchange which set a record last year by raising $153 million amid some controversy The exchange stated that a vulnerability was exploited to steal $12 million worth of ETH, $1 million worth of NPXS, and $10 million worth of BNT. BNT, the exchanges currency has been frozen, but it would appear that the stolen ETH and other tokens are still gone.
- Malware Developers Behind a $2 Million attack have been arrested this week. In a joint effort between many different Chinese law enforcement agencies, 20 individuals were arrested. The malware was another case of Siacoin being used for cryptojacking in China.
- Elon Musk Complained about Twitter’s Crypto Spambot Epidemic earlier this week on Twitter. Following the Tweet, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik stated that Musk’s first tweet about Ethereum had not been about scambots and publicly asked Twitter (and Square) CEO Jack Dorsey for help.
- MyEtherWallet was Hacked Again this week after hackers compromised free VPN service Hola. The company urged users on Twitter to move their ether to a different wallet if they still had access. It’s important to note that while Hola seems to be mostly responsible for this breach, MEW fell prey to a DNS attack earlier this year. Users are encouraged to use MetaMask to protect themselves or use a hardware wallet.
- Bitcoin Scam Targets Embarrassed Porn Viewers – A phishing email earlier this week went out to millions of people from previous breaches in the haveibeenpwned database claiming that it had footage of users watching porn and asking for varying sums of bitcoin.