Blockchain & Crypto News Flash: 09-19-2019

The latest Blockchain & Crypto articles - algorithmically curated, ranked, and summarized just for you.


News Flash is a weekly publication that features the top news stories for a specific topic. The stories are algorithmically curated, evaluated for quality, and ranked so that you can stay on top of the most important developments. Additionally, the most important sentences for each story are extracted and displayed as highlights so you can get a sense of what each story is about. If you want more information for a particular story, just click on it to read the entire article.

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How Decentralised Technology can Help Restore Trust in our Economy?

Highlights:

  • Bitcoin was the first successful public blockchain to demonstrate the potential for this new technology to be used as a decentralised yet trusted store of value.
  • Building on this early success, next-generation blockchains, such as Ethereum and Neo, demonstrated the potential for blockchain platforms to provide decentralised computing services, enabling more complex applications and reaching more markets than straight forward storage of value.
  • Traditional blockchains maintain an ever-growing chain of blocks of data that allows any node to go back and check the full history of every token maintained on the blockchain as well as any data stored on the blockchain, including in some cases smart contracts.
  • While this feature is handy for creating trust in the network and auditability of the data stored on the blockchain it does introduce a significant problem known as blockchain bloating.
  • In Bitcoin, the algorithm used during the competition is called Proof-of-Work (PoW) and is designed to allow participants in the network to reach consensus without trusting one another.



China's Inner Mongolia to Shutter ‘Illegal’ Bitcoin Miners by October - CoinDesk

Highlights:

  • China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region is carrying out an inspection to eliminate “illegal” bitcoin mining operations by October, a government spokesman told CoinDesk, confirming a local report.
  • Existing bitcoin mining businesses that pass the inspection will be categorized as “limited companies” that should pay the official electricity rate and not negotiate with power stations directly.
  • Inner Mongolia, in northern China, is among the most suitable areas to operate bitcoin mining businesses thanks to its cheap electricity supply, low land prices, cold weather and a small population.
  • China started to crackdown on bitcoin mining operations before the draft proposal in April by the National Development and Reform Commission, the primary government agency for economic planning.
  • The NDRC’s position indicated that the mining industry should be phased out of China as it does not fit in the future economic development plan of the country.



Binance Is Pitching Its Stablecoin as a Government-Friendly Libra Competitor - CoinDesk

Highlights:

  • Crypto exchange Binance is now explicitly positioning its Venus stablecoin project as a government-friendly alternative to Facebook’s Libra, just a month after downplaying any suggestions of rivalry between the two.
  • Last month, when Binance launched the initiative to develop localized stablecoins and digital assets pegged to fiat currencies across the globe, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”) said that if anything, “this should help Libra, if you think about it”.
  • Speaking to CoinDesk last week during the OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum, Samuel Lim, Binance’s chief compliance officer, said of Venus.
  • Binance’s refined sales pitch for Venus comes on the eve of the exchange’s expansion into the U.S. (Binance US is set to begin taking deposits Wednesday) and capitalizes on concerns about Libra raised by governments of major economies.
  • David Marcus, the CEO of Facebook’s Calibra subsidiary, rebutted such claims Monday, arguing that since Libra would be backed by a basket of fiat currencies, it wouldn’t be usurping central banks’ power to create money.



4 Countries That Really Don't Like Facebook's Crypto Libra - CCN.com

Highlights:

  • Governments around the world went on high alert after American social media giant Facebook announced a permissioned blockchain digital currency, named Libra.
  • France has, perhaps, been the most vocal opponent of Facebook's cryptocurrency — stating last Thursday that the country will block the development of Libra.
  • The country's Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, stated yesterday that German policymakers refuse to accept parallel currencies and that Berlin will oppose Libra and any similar projects.
  • Germany also backed up its European counterpart on Friday when France stated that Libra presents risks to the financial sector and must not be allowed on the continent.
  • Almost immediately after Libra was announced, the U.S. Congress asked Facebook to halt development of the cryptocurrency while lawmakers take a good hard look at the situation.



Facebook's Libra will be disruptive, says ECB's Coeure - Reuters

Highlights:

  • LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Digital currencies such as Facebook’s (FB.O) Libra will disrupt the financial system, either by forcing central banks to innovate or by grabbing a global role that could challenge the dominance of the dollar, ECB board member Benoit Coeure said on Tuesday.
  • Benoit Coeure, board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), is photographed during an interview with Reuters journalists at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, May 17, 2017.
  • Looking to set up a cheap global payment network, Facebook announced plans earlier this year to create the Libra “stablecoin” by next year, spooking global regulators who are now scrambling to come up with the needed regulation.
  • While regulators have expressed serious concerns about Libra, Coeure noted the attractiveness of such currencies, which could even allow them to compete more effectively with the dollar, something the euro was never able to do.
  • Facebook’s aim is to connect Libra to the WhatsApp messaging service, adding a payment leg to an already global application.



Two Arrested for ‘Old-Fashioned Shakedown’ of Cryptocurrency Startup

Highlights:

  • Authorities in the United States have arrested two individuals who allegedly threatened to destroy a startup crypto company if they were not paid millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.
  • On Sept. 18, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, together with the FBI, announced the arrest of Steven Nerayoff and Michael Hlady.
  • Soon after, both defendants allegedly started showing signs of extortion when they demanded millions of dollars in raised capital and company tokens, despite not offering any additional services.
  • This Office and our partners at the FBI are committed to protecting businesses from extortion, whether the demands are for U.S. dollars or cryptocurrency”.
  • Cointelegraph reported in August that, according to a report by Symantec, cybercriminals managed to earn $1.2 million in Bitcoin (BTC) through sextortion and bomb threat scams in 12 months.



Brazil wants more visibility into cryptocurrency trades

Highlights:

  • New regulation has been approved that requires users to disclose more information about their cryptocurrency trades, and businesses are now required to register their holdings as well.
  • Furthermore, the Central Bank of Brazil (Bacen) has officially recognised Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as monetary assets which can be used as a means of payment.
  • These actions show that the Brazilian government wants cryptocurrency trading to be a taxable event, supporting the new companies that are emerging by giving them a path to do business.
  • Following the swathe of taxation news coming from Brazil, some have suggested that adding taxes to fiat-to-crypto transactions could potentially help the Bitcoin market.
  • For P2P purchases, the operation would be the same – the seller would already add the tax to the final value of the cryptocurrency transaction, making Bitcoin more expensive to buy.



Wells Fargo to Pilot Dollar-Linked Stablecoin for Internal Settlement - CoinDesk

Highlights:

  • U.S.-based financial giant Wells Fargo is developing a U.S. dollar-linked stablecoin that will run on the firm’s first blockchain platform.
  • Dubbed Wells Fargo Digital Cash, the tokenized dollar will be used in a pilot initially for internal settlement across the company’s business.
  • When contacted by CoinDesk, Wells said its DLT is built on Corda Enterprise, the paid-for enterprise version of R3’s blockchain technology.
  • Wells Fargo Digital Cash has the potential to enable Wells Fargo to remove barriers to real-time financial interactions across multiple accounts in multiple marketplaces around the world”.
  • Wells Fargo has previously launched other blockchain projects, including a banking prototype and a trade finance platform aimed at the cotton market.



Crypto Analyst: Brutal Wyckoff Distribution Expected As Bitcoin Cools Offs

Highlights:

  • Throughout much of the bear market, one of the themes that kept crypto investor’s hope alive in crypto investors was the thought that Bitcoin was being accumulated, according to Wyckoff theory, at low prices by major players and institutions.
  • Bitcoin price is currently locked inside a tightening trading range within a triangle pattern formation and could break out in either direction ending the market’s indecision and choosing the trend ahead.
  • If Bitcoin is to break up from the triangle, the consolidation would be viewed as a reaccumulation phase before the crypto asset trends much higher, potentially setting a new all-time high and resuming a bull run.
  • In the above Wyckoff schematic depicting what a distribution phase looks like, the current Bitcoin price action since June has been superimposed over the schematic to demonstrate how they may or may not compare.
  • If Bitcoin price is in reaccumulation and not distribution, things will indeed get brutal, but only for bears shorting Bitcoin during a confirmed bull market.



Overview of What’s New in Ethereum 2.0

Highlights:

  • The first version of Ethereum was launched in 2015, and since then a lot of events have taken place in the life of the versatile blockchain.
  • The hardfork that caused a split in the Ethereum blockchain, giving rise to two versions, Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC), happened in 2016.
  • In the video below, Danny Ryan, core researcher at the Ethereum Foundation explains what Ethereum 2.0 is all about.
  • Apart from the PoS implementation on the Ethereum network, several other basic solutions have been lined up to be added on the Ethereum network.
  • The other solutions that will address various aspects of the Ethereum network include Sharding, eWASM, Plasma, Raiden, etc.



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