The top news in the last 24 hours are shown below:

Weiss Crypto Ratings Puts Bitcoin Aside EOS and XRP in Annual Outlook

Weiss Crypto Ratings has put Bitcoin (BTC) aside XRP, and EOS in its report on emerging trends in crypto markets published Tuesday, March 26. The report — dubbed “Dark Shadows with a Bright Future” — is based on the analysis of 120 cryptocurrencies, and assigns letter grades to cryptocurrencies that have the best combination of adoption and technology.

YouTube Reportedly Runs Malicious Ad for Bitcoin Wallet Electrum by Accident

Video-sharing platform YouTube purportedly ran a malicious advertisement for Bitcoin (BTC) wallet Electrum by mistake, according to a Reddit post published on March 26.

“The malicious advertisement is disguised to look like a real Electrum advertisement […] It even tells you to go to the correct link (electrum.org) in the video but when you click on the advertisement it immediately starts downloading the malicious EXE file. As you can see in the image, the URL it sent me to is elecktrum.org, not electrum.org.”

Hershey Chocolate Company Joins Blockchain Advertising Consortium

Blockchain-based consortium AdLedger has on-boarded The Hershey Company, a leading American chocolate production company, media outlet AdWeek reported on March 26. Hershey, along with French media group Publicis Media and The Global Audience Based Buying Conference & Consultancy (GABBCON), has reportedly joined AdLedger. AdLedger was founded by IBM, Tegna and blockchain company MadHive in 2018, and is a nonprofit consortium that develops shared ledger technologies for the digital advertising market.

Report: Lazarus Hacker Group Adopts New Methods, Continues Targeting Crypto

Alleged North Korea-sponsored cybercrime group Lazarus is still targeting cryptocurrencies and adopting new tactics, according to a new report from cybersecurity and anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab published on March 26. Kaspersky notes that the hackers are still targeting systems involved in the cryptocurrency and fintech industries, and advised players in those sectors to exercise caution:

“If you’re part of the booming cryptocurrency or technological startup industry, exercise extra caution when dealing with new third parties or installing software on your systems […] And never ‘Enable Content’ (macro scripting) in Microsoft Office documents received from new or untrusted sources…”

Alleged CabbageTech Crypto Fraudster Indicted on Nine Counts

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue unsealed a nine-count indictment against Patrick McDonnell today, according to a press release from the Department of Justice (DoJ) on March 26. Following his arrest earlier today, McDonnell — the owner and operators of purported investment firm CabbageTech — was charged with nine counts of wire fraud in connection with an alleged plan to defraud cryptocurrency investors. Donoghue said in the press release:

“As alleged, the defendant defrauded investors by making false promises and sending them fraudulent balance statements, hiding the fact that he was stealing their money for his personal use.”

Blockchain Reality Does Not Match Advertisement, Says World Bank Official

The World Bank has become the latest source of criticism over blockchain technology, this time urging caution over its role in land rights, Reuters reported on March 27. Speaking at the ongoing 20th Annual Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington, D.C. this week, Aanchal Anand, a Land Administration Specialist in the bank’s Global Land and Geospatial Unit, cautioned against the phenomenon informally known as “blockchain hype.”. “Tech can look big and flashy, and like it can solve all our problems … but the Big Mac burger never matches up to the one in the ad,” Reuters quoted her as saying, continuing:

“Sometimes we get lost in the fancy things, but basic tech can deliver the results.”

German Gov’t Says Blockchain Can ‘Support Europe’s Unity at a Fundamental Level’

Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAFM) has found that blockchain has far-reaching potential to improve asylum procedures. Following a completed proof-of-concept (PoC), the findings were published on March 26 in a white paper.

“Blockchain could be the ‘digital enabler’ of European federalism in the asylum context. […] A European platform for the decentralised management of asylum procedures […] would enable the transparent storage of a person’s place of initial registration. […] Digital identities are per se nationally agnostic and could thus support Europe’s unity at a fundamental level.”

Pantera Capital Nears $175 Million Target for Third Venture Fund

Cryptocurrency hedge fund Pantera Capital is close to completing funding for its third venture fund, already raising $160 million, the company announced in a blog post оn March 27. Pantera, which debuted its first fund in 2013, has since risen to become a conspicuous player in the crypto startup industry. Its latest project, dubbed Venture Fund III, has a fundraising target of $175 million.

Swiss Mortgage Bank Hypi Lenzburg Partners With Crypto Asset Manager TokenSuisse

Swiss mortgage bank Hypothekarbank (“Hypi”) Lenzburg has partnered with Swiss crypto asset manager TokenSuisse to expand the bank’s service offerings for crypto and blockchain firms. The development was announced on the bank’s official Twitter and in a TokenSuisse press release on March 25.

Coincheck Owner Monex Group Announces Major Management Changes

The Japanese broker that acquired the hacked cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck in April 2018 has announced significant changes in its management structure. The news was revealed in a press release published on March 27. The current representative executive officer and president of Monex group, Oki Matsumoto, will now also be the representative director and chairman of Monex, as well as chairman of Coincheck.

Börse Stuttgart, Axel Springer to Jointly Launch Crypto Trading Venue

Germany’s second largest stock exchange Börse Stuttgart is partnering with European digital publishing titan Axel Springer and its subsidiary Finanzen.net to launch a blockchain-powered trading venue jointly. The development was announced in an official press release from Börse Stuttgart on March 27.

Crypto Exchange CoinBene Assures Users That Prolonged Maintenance Not Due to Hack

Top-ranked cryptocurrency exchange CoinBene has reassured users that its prolonged maintenance downtime is not due to a hack, as some community members had feared. The exchange made its official announcement in an official tweet today, March 27. With the statement, CoinBene has responded to users’ ongoing concerns that delays in processing deposits and withdrawals were signs of a possible platform hack.

London Metals Exchange Endorses International Blockchain Initiative: FT

United Kingdom-based global metals trading mecca the London Metals Exchange (LME) is reportedly backing an effort to disrupt industry supply chains with blockchain, but would not confirm its involvement, the Financial Times (FT) reported on March 27. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the alleged plan, FT said that LME is supportive of an international program to use blockchain for the metals industry to increase transparency around its operations.

Ukrainian Man Faces up to 6 Years in Jail for Cryptojacking on His Websites

Ukraine’s Cyber Police have arrested a man who allegedly placed crypto mining malware scripts on his websites, local law enforcement reported on March 26. The cybercrime unit of the national police of Ukraine arrested a 32-year-old man from the Bukovina region who allegedly placed crypto jacking software on many educational websites that he created and administered.

Crypto Exchange Kraken Makes 2FA Mandatory and Forms New Security Lab

Nick Percoco, the chief security officer at United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, announced that two-factor authentication (2FA) is now mandatory for the exchange’s users in a post on the company’s official blog published on March 26. 2FA, in this case, is an additional component needed to access an account. Often 2FA requires the user, after entering their login information, to also enter a one time password (OTP) received via SMS. Per the announcement, Kraken supports Google Authenticator and YubiKey as 2FA implementations.

Huobi’s US Partner Hbus Forms New Group to Launch Institutional Products

The United States-based operator of crypto exchange Huobi, Hbus, has formed a new team to launch institutional products and services, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on March 27. The company’s new team will be led by Katelyn Mew, who previously worked at a global investment company BlackRock VP and is currently heading Hbus’ sales and marketing department. The other director is Oren Blonstein, Huobi’s vice president of technology, formerly of Tora Trading Services and Caspian.