The top news in the last 24 hours are shown below:
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Fans are Closing Their Coinbase Accounts to Protest
#deletecoinbase is spreading throughout Crypto Twitter to protest Coinbase’s acquisition of blockchain analytics start-up Neutrino. Senior members of the Neutrino team used to work for the company Hacking Team which developed spyware for governments to commit human rights abuses. Clearly, it depends on how you define ‘bad actors’, as the founding members of Neutrino (CEO Giancarlo Russo, CTO Alberto Ornaghi, and CRO Marco Valleri) used to work for Hacking Team. Hacking Team is an Italian based surveillance software developer who has been caught selling spyware to governments such as Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. These countries have been linked to human rights abuses.
Binance Research: JPM Coin Unlikely to Directly Compete With Ripple’s XRP, for Now
The research arm of top crypto exchange Binance has published an analysis of JPMorgan Chase’s newly announced stable coin, arguing that the digital coin brings “minimal direct competition” to Ripple’s XRP token in the near term. The study was published on March 1 by Binance Research. As Cointelegraph has reported, JPMorgan Chase announced the forthcoming launch of its new blockchain settlement offering in mid-February: a stable coin dubbed JPM Coin, to be backed 1:1 by the bank’s USD reserves.
Investors in Overstock Crypto Subsidiary Reduce Investment from $404 Mln to $100 Mln
Chinese investment firm GSR Capital and Singaporean private equity firm Makara Capital will co-lead an investment of up to $100 million in tZERO, according to a press release on March 1. TZero is United States retail giant Overstock’s crypto-related subsidiary company. Overstock founder and CEO Patrick Byrne revealed that GSR and Makara had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to invest in tZERO’s common stock in April. According to Byrne, the investment will support diligence, regulatory approval, and negotiation of binding contracts, as well as assist with tZERO’s expansion into Asia and other regions.
FATF Issues Preliminary Guidelines on Digital Assets to Combat Money Laundering
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization that develops policies against money laundering, has published preliminary guidelines for cryptocurrencies on its website on Thursday, Feb. 28. The FATF held a meeting on preliminary crypto requirements on Feb. 22. According to the organization, the new text of the Interpretive Note to Recommendation 15 — which contains requirements for regulating and supervising digital asset services providers — has been finalized.
IMF Recommends Immediate Action on Malta’s AML and CFT Supervision
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has critical gaps in its supervision for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), and is recommending “urgent action.” The news was reported by local news outlet the Times of Malta on Feb. 28. A Financial System Stability Assessment Report was purportedly issued by the IMF on Thursday, Feb. 28, and represents an assessment of Malta’s financial system, the quality of the regulatory and supervisory framework, as well as the country’s ability to cope with financial crises.
Report: Blockchain and Crypto Firms in Malta Face Difficulty in Finding Banking Services
Blockchain companies in Malta are reportedly struggling with opening bank accounts, local news outlet the Times of Malta reported on Mar. 1. The Times of Malta allegedly contacted some legal firms and financial companies, who confirmed that banks were declining their applications to open bank accounts, saying that it was beyond their “risk appetite.” The sources reportedly said that banks did not differentiate between digital currency and blockchain, though they were not always connected.
Rhode Island Bill Would Exclude Some Tokens From Securities Laws
A bill in the state legislature of the United States state of Rhode Island would exclude “blockchain tokens” from state securities laws. The bill was introduced in the legislature on Feb. 27. The bipartisan bill H5595 proposes a series of amendments to the Rhode Island Securities Act, under which “a developer or seller of an open blockchain token shall not be deemed the issuer of a security,” should certain conditions be met. The token must be used for a “consumptive purpose” that is exclusively exchangeable for “the receipt of, goods, services or content, including rights of access to goods, services or content.”
Securities Lawsuit Against Ripple to Stay in Federal Court
An ongoing securities lawsuit against payment startup Ripple will stay in federal court, per a recent ruling. Lawyer Jake Chervinsky announced the news in a tweet on Mar. 1. “The Court has denied the plaintiffs’ motions to remand. This means the case stays in federal court, a minor but meaningful victory for Ripple,” Chervinsky wrote in the post. The ruling reads that United States District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton, of the Northern District of California, has ordered that the class action suit against Ripple Labs, its subsidiary XRP II, and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, for the sale of unregistered securities must stay in federal court.
Binance Offers Token Rewards for Testing New Decentralized Platform
Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance is offering a reward for testing the company’s new decentralized trading platform Binance DEX. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced the news in a tweet on Feb. 28. In the post, Changpeng Zhao, who also goes by CZ, invites users to test the recently launched exchange and thus help start the mainnet faster. Users will subsequently be rewarded with Binance’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB). Zhao wrote:
“To test the hell out of @Binance_DEX, we are giving away roughly $100,000 USD equivalent, in REAL $BNB, as reward for our testnet trading competition. Come and join the fun, and help us launch the mainnet faster!”
Major Saudi ATM Provider Partners With Blockchain Identity Platform
Saudi automated teller machine (ATM) provider Alhamrani Universal (AU) has collaborated with blockchain identity platform ShoCard to develop a blockchain-based biometric ATM, according to a press release published on Feb. 27. The collaboration will see AU and ShoCard create a new type of an ATM combining blockchain technology and biometrics as part of a five-factor authentication process. The ATM will reportedly allow customers to use a blockchain-based app and facial recognition instead of personal identification numbers to withdraw funds.
QuadrigaCX Wallet Have Been Empty, Unused Since April 2018, Ernst and Young Finds
Big Four audit firm Ernst & Young (EY) released its “Third Report of the Monitor” in the creditor protection proceedings of Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX on March 1. Within the report, the audit firm has identified six separate crypto wallets that were used primarily to store Bitcoin (BTC), the cryptocurrency most used on the platform. Apart from one inadvertent transaction of Bitcoin amounting to nearly $500,000, there have been no deposits in the wallets since April 2018. Furthermore, the report states:
“To date, the Applicants have been unable to identify a reason why Quadriga may have stopped using the Identified Bitcoin Cold Wallets for deposits in April 2018, however, the Monitor and Management will continue to review the Quadriga database to obtain further information.”
Blockstream Releases Upgrade of Its Bitcoin Lightning Network Implementation
Blockchain development company Blockstream has released a new version of its Bitcoin (BTC) scalability software, c-lightning, a post on the company’s blog reveals on March 1. C-lightning is an implementation of the off-chain Bitcoin scalability solution, the Lightning Network (LN), that is written in the C programming language. Per the announcement, this latest version, c-lightning 0.7, is the first major release in 8 months and brings performance enhancements, bug fixes, augmented privacy and new features, as well as improved documentation.
Ethereum’s Core Dev Team Is Searching for a New Hard Fork Coordinator
Ethereum’s (ETH), core developers, discussed the need for a new hard fork — or network upgrade — coordinator during a core developer meeting on March 1. As Cointelegraph reported in February, Afri Schoeden, release manager atEthereum infrastructure firm Parity Technologies, has quit all Ethereum projects after a controversial tweet that sparked outrage on social media.
P2P Markets Report: Iranian Localbitcoins Volume Gains 190% in a Week
The peer-to-peer (P2P) markets have seen a dramatic increase in Iranian and Indonesian trade activity, with both markets posting triple-digit volume gains in recent weeks. Localbitcoins volume has also surged in select Latin American markets this past week, with the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Venezuela posting some of their strongest trade on record.
Business Owner’s Seething Critique of the Lightning Network Goes Viral
A business owner who runs a media company in Australia and pays employees remotely in the Philippines has given his honest opinion on what it’s like to use the Lightning Network (LN). Jason Smith’s experience of attempting to use LN for payments was filled with frustration. He reports that the fundamental structure of the off-chain solution is riddled with problems.
America’s Signature Bank to Offer Services to Bermuda Crypto Companies
U.S. commercial bank Signature will start to offer a full range of banking services to licensed fintech companies in Bermuda, including those in the digital asset industry. The bank has reached an agreement with the government to provide the service, moving in to fill the gap left by local banks, which have been reluctant to deal with the island nation’s growing fintech community.
Indian Government Confirms Cryptocurrency Regulation in Final Stages
The government of India has told the country’s supreme court that the committee tasked with drafting crypto regulation is in the final stages of deliberations. The court plans to hear the petitions against the banking ban by the central bank after the government produces crypto regulation.
Markets Update: Diminished March Trade Volume Mirrors Previous Patterns
Over the last few days, cryptocurrency markets have been holding steady and consolidating after the correction on Feb. 24. Currently, the entire market capitalization is hovering around $129 billion, and trade volume have started to diminish slightly with $24.9 billion traded over the last 24 hours. The top contenders capturing most of today’s daily gains consist of litecoin (LTC), binance coin (BNB), and ethereum classic (ETC).