The top news in the last 24 hours are shown below:
E-Commerce Firm Rakuten Readies Cryptocurrency Exchange for April Launch After Name Change
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has completed registration of its cryptocurrency exchange Rakuten Wallet, which will go live next month, the company confirmed in a press release on March 25. The company had acquired the exchange under the former name in August last year for 265 million yen (at the time $2.4 million).
Russian State Duma Defers Consideration of Bill on Digital Financial Assets
The State Duma of the Russian Federation has deferred consideration of the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” to April 2019, local media outlet TASS reported on March 20. The bill “On Digital Financial Assets” aims to formulate national cryptocurrency legislation, and was adopted by Russia’s parliament in the second reading earlier in March. Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the State Duma and coauthor of the draft bill, stressed then that the adopted amendments are aimed at fixing the difficulties related to the concept of digital rights.
New York-based fintech infrastructure provider trueDigital Holdings (TDH) is partnering with crypto data firm Kaiko and digital assets analytics company Inca Digital Securities to widen the distribution of it’s over-the-counter (OTC) reference rates for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The development was shared with Cointelegraph in a press release on March 25.
OKEx Follows the Lead of Binance Planning to Launch Its Own Decentralized Exchange
OKEx plans to catch up with Binance by scheduling the launch of its in-house decentralized exchange, DEX, for this June. The DEX will run entirely on OKEx’s blockchain. It plans to launch the DEX on a testnet this June. The latest announcement comes as OKEx’s global utility token OKB reaches a year since its launch.
Pay People in Bitcoin Through WhatsApp: Mass Adoption on Its Way
The Daily Express newspaper has reported that soon you will be able to pay people with Bitcoin through WhatsApp, Telegram, and SMS. Is this the breakthrough needed to propel Bitcoin forward to mass adoption? This has been made possible by using Wuabit. Wuabit is a cryptocurrency wallet that can work in the chat interface in WhatsApp. Its developers have described it as a ‘software agent’ powered by specialized AI.
Financial Comparison Sites Start to List Cryptocurrency Exchanges
A growing number of large comparison websites are now starting to introduce support for cryptocurrency exchanges within their price analysis tools. This is allowing consumers to get a more comprehensive overview of different cryptocurrency exchanges, to find which one suits them the best. Just one of these pioneers is the financial price comparison service Financer. As such, it is rapidly becoming more accessible than ever to find the best deals for purchasing cryptocurrencies.
Crypto Town Hall Meetings Grow to 8 Indian Cities
The number of open town hall meetings for the Indian crypto community to voice regulatory suggestions has grown from four cities to eight. The organizer of the conferences has shared details with news.Bitcoin.com. Sessions will be hosted in four new cities in April, and the best suggestions for crypto regulation will be submitted to the government, the organizer has explained.
Owner of ICO That Never Happened Attempts to Sell Project on eBay for $60,000
The owner of a startup that never launched its initial coin offering (ICO) is trying to sell the project on eBay for $60,000, according to an offer on the e-commerce website that expires Friday, March 29. The startup, named “Sponsy,” is described as a blockchain project that is fully prepared to launch both ICO and security token offerings (STO). The author of the offer claims that an investment firm audited the project and approved by investment bankers. Moreover, the advertisement states that the solutions developed by Sponsy comply with the European Union and the United States regulations.
CME Group CEO Terry Duffy: No Bitcoin Deficit a Problem for Regulators
Terry Duffy, CEO of leading United States derivative market CME Group, told Business Insider Monday, March 25, that Bitcoin’s finite amount is a challenge for regulators. According to Duffy, the inability to run Bitcoin (BTC) on a deficit is challenging for regulation. He further explained:
“The governments can’t run unless they can run on a deficit. I am trying to figure out why they would say, ‘Sounds good to me, because I want to be responsible and run everything on even-for-even basis. I can’t borrow against anything.'”
Microsoft’s Bing Blocked Over Five Million Cryptocurrency-Related Ads in 2018
Microsoft-owned search engine and advertisement platform Bing noted that it blocked over five million cryptocurrency-related ads last year in its “Ad quality year in review 2018” report published on March 25. Bing notes that the pseudo-anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) “made cryptocurrency a prime target for fraudsters and scam artists to defraud end-users.” Bing claims that this is the reason for the ban of cryptocurrency-related content from its advertising platform that resulted in over five million ads being blocked.
Insurance Blockchain Startup B3i Raises $16 Million
Zurich-based blockchain startup B3i Service AG has increased its capital by $16 million in February, according to recently published filings from the Swiss commercial register. B3i Service AG — a blockchain initiative formed by “Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative” B3i in 2018 and run by several international insurance companies including Munich Re and Swiss Re — has raised about $16 million, having maximized its capital to 22,475,945 Swiss francs ($22.6 million).
Report: Blockchain Spending in the US to Reach $41 Billion by 2025
Blockchain spending in the United States will increase from $3.12 billion to $41 billion by 2025, according to a new report published on March 25. A new report dubbed the “United States Blockchain Business Opportunities and Outlook Databook Series (2016-2025)” forecasts that blockchain spending in the U.S. will report a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44.5 percent, rising from $3.1 million to $41.1 million by 2025. The report was released by market and research data platform Research and Markets.
Vitalik Buterin: Crypto Must Leave Behind the Individualism of the Early Cypherpunks
Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has argued that the crypto community should evolve beyond the individualism associated with its early cypherpunk days and harness technology to create new, equitable and innovative systems with positive social impact. Buterin made his comments during a keynote speech at the RadicalxChange conference in Detroit, Michigan on March 24, BreakerMag reported on March 25.
Chinese Province’s Transport Upgrade Plans Will Make Full Use of Blockchain, IoT
Blockchain will be one of the technologies local Chinese authorities will leverage in an overhaul of local transport infrastructure, a government bulletin reported on March 25. New plans recently approved reference blockchain, in addition to other disruptive tools such as big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), as being useful for implementation in the Jiangsu Province, north of Shanghai.
Singapore: Crypto Exchange DragonEx Reports Hack of Both Platform, User Assets
Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange DragonEx has notified its users that it suffered a hack, according to an official announcement on the platform’s Telegram Channel on March 25. The incident— described as “attacks from hackers” that resulted in the transfer and theft of both “users’ […] and Platform crypto assets,” reportedly occurred on March 24, and was immediately detected by DragonEx. An admin from the exchange notified users that:
“Part of the assets were retrieved back, and we will do our best to retrieve back the rest of stolen assets. Several Judicial administrations were informed about this cyber crime case including Estonia, Thailand, Singapore, HongKong etc. and we’re assisting policemen to do investigation. All platform services will be closed and the accurate assets loss recovery situation will be announced in a week.”
Samsung SDS President and CEO: Blockchain Can Improve Productivity in Manufacturing
The president and CEO of Samsung SDS — an IT and consultancy subsidiary of the South Korean tech conglomerate Samsung Group — has said that blockchain can improve productivity in the manufacturing industry. Local media agency Sina Technology News reported president and CEO Hong Yuan Zhen’s comments on March 26.
“In the whole process of supply chain management, communication is very important, data needs to be collected, and through blockchain and AI, we can improve processes and enhance trust so that we can share information better, so a healthy process is established.”
Bank of America CTO Catherine Bessant: I’m Privately Bearish on Blockchain
A senior executive at Bank of America (BoA) is not bullish on blockchain despite the bank holding more patents than any other financial firm, CNBC reported on March 26. Speaking to the publication in an interview, chief technology officer Catherine Bessant said that even though the bank’s official stance on the technology was palpably buoyant, her personal views were entirely different.
Central Bank of Korea Includes Research on CBDCs in Annual Report
South Korea’s central bank has included a summary of research on central bank digital currencies (CBDC) in its 2018 annual payment settlement report issued Tuesday, March 26. The development of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and crypto assets has fueled a debate over CBDCs, especially after Uruguay and Tunisia issued their own, the report reads.
Crypto Exchange Coinbene Announces Ongoing Maintenance While Customers Suspect Hack
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbene ranked 16th on CoinMarketCap by adjusted volume, has announced it is undergoing maintenance on Tuesday, March 26, as the crypto industry discusses rumors that the exchange has been hacked. Coinbene’s reply to his tweet reads:
“In order to enhance the user experience, CoinBene upgraded the platform wallet on March 26, 2019. During maintenance, it will affect related operations such as deposit and withdraw, trading will not be affected.”
Report: Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior Owner Develops DLT Project With ConsenSys and Azure
French luxury goods giant Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH) is reportedly working with ConsenSys and Microsoft Azure to develop a blockchain platform for tracking its products, crypto media agency CoinDesk reports on March 26. Dubbed AURA, the blockchain-powered platform is reportedly scheduled to go live in May or June 2019 with two significant LVMH subsidiaries: Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior.
Over 130-Year-Old Liquor Company William Grant & Sons to Track Whiskey on Blockchain
Premium scotch whiskey brand Ailsa Bay is reportedly about to release what it believes to be the world’s first scotch whiskey tracked with a blockchain-based system. Liquor-related news website The Drinks Business reported on the development on March 26. Ailsa Bay is owned by William Grant & Sons (WG&S), a liquor company founded in 1887 that, according to Crunchbase, has yearly revenue of about $80 million. Per the report, WG&S has partnered with blockchain company arc-net to develop the new products and a system that will track the complete distilling and manufacturing process from the source to the store.
Binance Partners With Risk Management Firm IdentityMind for KYC and AML Compliance
The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, has partnered with risk management and compliance firm IdentityMind, Binance announced in a blog post on March 26. The companies have teamed up to address data security and compliance measures for Binance’s global operations by enabling IdentityMind’s tools for Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance.