Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Major news outlet CNN told its multi million audience that Bitcoin (BTC) is the best investment of the decade. “According to a recent report by Bank of America Securities, if you invested USD 1 in bitcoin at the start of the decade, it would now be worth more than USD 90,000,” an article on edition.cnn.com, which had more than 60 million visits in November, said. However, they stressed that bitcoin remains a highly speculative investment. “But it has soared during the past decade as it emerged as the most-popular and widely accepted cryptocurrency,” they added. At pixel time (16:37 UTC), BTC trades at c. USD 6,840 and is up by more than 1% in the past 24 hours. The price reached USD 6,480 earlier today. BTC is down by 20% in a month, trimming its annual gains to 92%.
- Taiwanese tech giant HTC said that it’ll downsize in order to stay competitive and to focus its attention to specific products, including its blockchain smartphones Exodus, reported CNA. No specific information regarding the departments or the number of people to be fired have been released yet.
- The Beirut Digital District (BDD), a community dedicated to creating a hub for the digital and creative industries in Lebanon, said it has signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with blockchain company ConsenSys in order to promote the use of blockchain technology in the country and train programmers and entrepreneurs. Thanks to the partnership, ConsenSys will run meetups, workshops and trainings, provide BDD startups with advice and guidance, and source international experts and advisors, and it gets access to BDD network and facilities in Lebanon.
- The European Central Bank (ECB), the central bank for the Eurozone, says that it is possible to build a simplified payment system for central bank digital currencies, and that this system would safeguard users’ privacy for low-value transactions while ensuring that higher-value transfers are subject to anti-money laundering checks. According to a published paper on exploring anonymity in central bank digital currencies, this is achieved by using “anonymity vouchers,” which allow users to anonymously transfer a limited amount of “central bank digital currency” (CBDC) over a defined period of time. The paper says that, under the coordination of the ECB, the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) has established a proof of concept for anonymity in digital cash – referred to as CBDC – but that it’s not geared towards practical implementation and does not imply any decision to proceed with CBDC.
- San Francisco-based blockchain company Alchemy has launched its infrastructure platform that enables enterprises to build real-world applications on top of blockchain technologies. The company said it has raised USD 15 million in Series A funding from a group of leading institutional investors including lead investor Pantera Capital, Stanford University, Coinbase, Mayfield, SignalFire, Samsung, StartX, Kenetic, and Dreamers, and leading individual investors including Charles Schwab, John Hennessy (chairman of Alphabet), Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), Tom Glocer (former CEO of Thomson Reuters) and Jerry Yang (co-founder of Yahoo).
- TokenSoft, a platform for financial institutions issuing securities on blockchains, recently hired Alex C. Levine as Chief Legal Officer of TokenSoft and President of DTAC – the platform’s recently approved affiliate transfer agent. The company says that Levine previously worked as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at fintech company Pangea, Chief Regulatory Officer and Head of Legal at fintech company TrustToken, and Head of Legal and Chief Compliance Officer at LedgerX.
- South Korea’s Coinplug says it is hoping to launch its decentralized ID (DID) wallet in 23 Latin American nations in 2020. Per Fn News, the blockchain-powered authentication solution will be used for games, finance and e-commerce applications as of February next year, with partner companies in Mexico, Brazil, Peru and elsewhere.
- Riccardo Spagni (a.k.a. fluffypony) is stepping down as the lead maintainer of Monero after five years and will serve as a backup maintainer. The vacant position will be taken by Snipa, a longtime contributor to Monero, known for developing a popular piece of Monero pool software and supporting the network with well-connected nodes, says the Core Team, among other updates provided in the post.
- BitPay, the major blockchain payments provider, said that Eden D. Doniger has joined the company as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. “Over her nearly 20 year career, Ms. Doniger has built and transformed Iegal and compliance programs and is an expert in privacy, cybersecurity, litigation, and media law,” the company said.
Cryptocurrency exchange news
- Bitfinex said that, starting today, customers will no longer be required to pay a fee for deposits of less than USD 1,000 equivalent. The small deposit fee was first introduced in December 2017 to counter the high number of small deposits made in an attempt to spam the platform and slow down their services, the company said, adding that they now have other means to thwart these deposit-related spam attacks.
- American financial services and bank holding company State Street Corporation announced a new digital asset pilot in collaboration with crypto exchange Gemini. The pilot performs reporting scenarios on a user’s holdings within Gemini Custody, initially of two cryptocurrencies chosen for liquidity reasons, but can then be adapted to report on holdings of other digital assets, such as security tokens. It also allows users to consolidate the reporting of their digital assets serviced by Gemini, with their traditional assets serviced by State Street, the company says.
- OKEx will enable its users to directly deposit Dai and stake it in the Dai Savings Rate (DSR) on the Maker Protocol, starting with December 23. This will allow users to earn the savings rate plus an additional reward that is exclusive to OKEx, without leaving the OKEx platform, says a blog post by MakerDAO, an Ethereum-based decentralized finance platform.
- A slew of law cases, fraud accusations and civil cases will rock South Korean crypto exchange operators, blockchain companies into early 2020, reports Fn News. These include executives at crypto Bithumb, who are the subject of a class action lawsuit brought forward by a group of 60 disgruntled investors. Major blockchain startups such as Glosfer and Bloom Technology have also been subjected to legal scrutiny in recent weeks.
- U.S.Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard launched a broadside against Facebook’s Libra digital currency project on Wednesday, saying it faces a “core set of legal and regulatory challenges” including clarity about how it would be tied to some basket of underlying assets, Reuters reported.
- The Colombian central bank has refuted rumors circulating online claiming that its governor is a Bitcoin enthusiast. Per an official tweet, the central Banco de la República de Colombia has denied that its head, Juan José Echavarría, wants to launch a state-run “crypto-promotion” platform named Bitcoin Time. The bank called the reports “fake news” and reiterated that its stance on all things crypto-related remains unchanged.
- Russian media outlet RBC has pointed out a strange correlation between Russian central bank rulings on cryptocurrencies and dips in Bitcoin (BTC) prices. RBC points out that a number of slumps have followed on directly from central bank rulings. The most recent – a declaration that the central bank would work with a government agency on plans to outlaw crypto pay made in mid-November – was followed by a massive market dip. Within a week of the announcement, BTC prices were down by over USD 1,000.
Securities tokens news
- Japanese venture capital company Standard Capital says it has struck an MOU deal with Huobi Indonesia, and says the companies will look to offer securities token trading services. In a press release, the parties say they are considering the possible launch of a trading platform in the country. The move is Standard Capital’s second foray into the South East Asian crypto market, after a previous investment in the Philippines’ Cagayan Economic Zone blockchain project.