Texploxe hope you all have a great month!
The top news in the last 24 hours are shown below:
Putin Issues Cryptocurrency Regulation Adoption Mandate
Vladimir Putin, the country’s leader, has now put forward a new deadline for the government to come up with a robust regulatory framework for the digital currencies. The report comes directly from the Russian President’s official website. Which states the deadline to be for July 1st. Judging by the fact that the government has only one month to come up with a regulation, it will require several institutions to take part in it. Which means that both the Council of the Federation of Russia and the Federal Assembly need to cooperate to fit into the timeline.
Fidelity Backs $1.9M Seed Round in Blockchain Analytics Startup Coin Metrics
As it has become known, a Cambridge-based blockchain analytics startup, Coin Metrics, has managed to close its seed funding round with $1.9 million raised. Castle Island Ventures led the round. The startup also has gained support from many other prominent names, including Highland Capital Partners, Dragonfly Capital and Fidelity Investments that recently has expressed its deep interest to the crypto industry
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Lost Respect for Mark Zuckerberg, but Not Bitcoin
During his recent interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, February 26, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak openly praised Bitcoin. Although not a crypto investor himself, he said that Bitcoin provides “massive value creation”. Steve Wozniak has been a long time supporter and proponent of Bitcoin (BTC). Last year in June 2018, Wozniak stated that he believes that Bitcoin will be the single native currency of the globe.
Ethereum’s Constantinople Hard Fork Goes Live Today
In less than 24 hours, the world will see the upgrade of Ethereum, the second largest token by market capitalisation. As Etherscan’s countdown timer shows, the upcoming Ethereum Constantinople and St. Petersburg Upgrade will take place at approximately 20:08:59 UTC. The long-awaited Constantinople and St. Petersburg upgrades will be a significant amendment to the Ethereum network, as many significant changes will be brought to the platform, improving its efficiency. The significant alterations will affect such vital things as the network’s core protocol specifications, contract standards, and client APIs.
Japanese Banking Giant Mizuho Unveils Its Own Crypto on March 1
Mizuho Financial Group, one of Japan’s largest financial institutions plans to launch its digital currency named J-Coin. Last week, February 21, local news publication Nikkei Asian Review reported that Mizuho will launch the J-Coin by March 1. Furthermore, the J-Coin is likely to be pegged to the Japanese Yen in 1:1 basis. According to the Nikkei report, Mizuho is in talks with 60 local financial institutions in Japan for using the J-Coin. Together, these 60 financial institutions serve a total of 59 million user accounts. If all these institutions onboard the J-Coin Pay platform, they will directly serve as digital wallets for its users.
Crypto Exchange Circle Partners With Financial Surveillance Provider Nice Actimize
On Feb. 27, Boston-based cryptocurrency finance firm Circle announced a partnership with Nice Actimize financial crime detection and prevention technologies unit. Circle follows other large cryptocurrency exchanges that have opted to add a compliance and surveillance solution.
Cryptopia Lost Almost a Tenth of Its Assets in January Hack
New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has published a series of tweets detailing the extent of the losses it suffered during an attack by hackers in January. It said: “We have calculated that worst case 9.4 percent of our total holdings was stolen.”
New Pwc Report on Crypto Insolvency Captures the ICO Chaos
Accounting firm Pwc’s Hong Kong branch recently released a crypto insolvency report guiding crypto business owners on what to do “when things start to go wrong.” News.Bitcoin.com spoke to the crypto head of Pwc’s Asia operations, part of the team who released the report, on how he views the current cryptocurrency landscape, the factors that are causing crypto firms to become insolvent, and why he believes industry regulation is unavoidable.
35 Countries Urged to Regulate Crypto Exchanges Like Banks
The Financial Action Task Force has finalized its requirements for the supervision and monitoring of cryptocurrency service providers. The inter-governmental body has reportedly urged all of its 35 member countries to regulate crypto exchanges, in the same manner, they regulate commercial banks.
Europe’s Regulatory Head Seeks Further Control of Crypto Assets
Steven Maijoor, who chairs the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), has shown support for further regulation of crypto assets. Maijoor said he would like to see financial instrument regulation applied to cryptocurrencies in line with Europe’s securities laws, ostensibly to “help protect investors.”
Crypto Exchange Huobi Adds Support for Ethereum-Based Tether
Huobi Global crypto exchange has launched support for the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain-based version of USD-pegged stable coin, Tether (USDT), according to a press release published on Feb. 27. Starting today, Huobi will offer deposit and withdrawal services for major stable coin Tether in both its original Bitcoin (BTC)-based Omni Layer Protocol and its more recently launched ERC-20 token form, which is built on the Ethereum blockchain.
ShapeShift Presents Six-Episode Show Dedicated to Crypto Enthusiasts
Switzerland-based crypto exchange ShapeShift announced the launch of a six-episode show, dubbed “Down the Rabbit Hole,” which is dedicated to crypto enthusiasts. The exchange posted a trailer for the film on its Twitter page on Feb. 26. Company’s official Twitter account, @ShapeShift_io, has posted six previews with a brief summary of each episode. The first one, “The Technologist,” is dedicated to Zooko Wilcox, CEO of Zcash. The entrepreneur talks about his path in crypto, the privacy issues and the advantages of cryptography.
Crypto Exchange Gemini Joins British Telecom’s Radianz Cloud Broker Community
Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, has joined the British Telecommunications (BT) Radianz Cloud broker community, a BT press release reports on Feb. 27. The Radianz Cloud is described in the press release as “one of the world’s largest, secure networked financial cloud communities,” comprised of thousands of institutions, exchanges, brokers and clearing and settlement houses. Now the members of this community will reportedly have access to the crypto market though Gemini.
Wall Street Journal CIO Network: Blockchain Adoption Is Still Early
Experts and industry players have said that the adoption of blockchain technology is still in its early stages at the annual meeting of The Wall Street Journal CIO Network, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Feb. 26. The regular Wall Street Journal CIO Network is a membership exclusively for chief information officers and technology experts from the largest companies around the world. The event gathered a range of experts from startups, large corporations and governments to share their views on the development of enterprise technology.
New York-based Entrepreneur Charged With Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Scheme
The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged a New York-based operator of a purported cryptocurrency payment services firm with wire fraud and unlawful monetary transactions. The DoJ announced the allegations in a press release on Feb. 27. According to the release, New York citizen, Randall Crater founded and managed My Big Coin Pay Inc. (My Big Coin), a purported cryptocurrency and virtual payment services company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. From 2014 to 2017, Crater and his associates allegedly developed a fraudulent cryptocurrency “My Big Coins” and marketed it to investors.
Crypto Mining Service Coinhive to Shut Down Operations in March
Cryptocurrency mining service Coinhive is shutting down, as the project has reportedly become economically inviable. The team behind Coinhive announced the news in a blog post on Feb. 26. Per the announcement, the mining service will stop its operations on March 8, 2019, while users’ dashboards will be accessible until April 30, 2019. Among the reasons behind the closure, the developers note the over 50 percent drop in hash rate following the last Monero (XMR) hard fork.
SingularityNET Platform Launches Beta Decentralized AI Marketplace After $36 Mln ICO
Blockchain artificial intelligence (AI) platform SingularityNET has officially launched a beta version of its Ethereum-based decentralized marketplace on Thursday, Feb. 28, according to a press release obtained by Cointelegraph. Ben Goertzel, the CEO and chief scientist at SingularityNET, noted in the press release that the pre-beta version was stress tested by the community and volunteers before the launch.
Moscow Government Plans to Use Blockchain Tech in E-Voting for Parliamentary Election
The city council of Moscow, Russia’s capital city, has submitted a bill to use blockchain technology for an electronic voting system, major Russian news agency Tass reported on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The Moscow City Duma, a local parliament of the Russian capital city, plans to protect the process and results of electronic voting in the upcoming elections through the use of blockchain technology. The news was announced by one of the authors of the relevant bill, the deputy of ruling party United Russia Dmitry Vyatkin.
Crypto Brokerage Firm Voyager From Uber’s Former CTO Acquires Wallet Startup Ethos
Voyager Digital, a crypto brokerage firm co-founded by a former CTO of Uber, is acquiring crypto wallet startup Ethos, an announcement published by Voyager on Feb. 27 reveals. This acquisition is building on a strategic partnership between Ethos and Voyager, which was first announced in September last year. According to the announcement, the Ethos Universal Wallet software, first released in July 2018, will be integrated into Voyager’s retail and institutional businesses enabling self-custody integrated with a brokerage solution.
South Africa’s Standard Bank to Launch Permissioned Blockchain for Overseas Exchange Services
South Africa’s Standard Bank will soon launch its private permissioned blockchain for overseas exchange trades on behalf of corporate clients, fintech news outlet FinExtra reports Thursday, Feb. 28. The platform, which is set to go live in the second half of 2019, is based on the Hyperledger Fabric — a foundation for developing applications or solutions for enterprise with a modular architecture. The South African bank is also planning to connect its foreign currency trading app, Shyft, to the blockchain platform.