Things Are Not Looking Good in India

Things Are Not Looking Good in India
Large Indian Bank Clamping Down on Cryptocurrencies
  

One of the largest banks in India

is asking its users to consent that they won’t be using their accounts to trade Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The bank also asks for authorization to immediately shut down an account if it’s associated with digital currencies.

On April 6th, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ordered all regulated financial institutions to refrain from working with cryptocurrency-related businesses of any kind. The move was met with a swift response from the industry which challenged the order. However, a few months later, on July 3, the Supreme Court of India upheld the ban, delivering a heavy blow to the entire field.

It wasn’t long before this took its toll on the industry. In October, India’s very first Bitcoin ATM was shut down and both of the founders of the company which operated it were arrested. In December, Live Bitcoin News reported that the country is allegedly planning to end its statewide cryptocurrency ban. Purportedly, the Government has created an interdisciplinary committee which is figuring out ways to legalize and regulate the cryptocurrency industry instead of banning it straight away. However, a month later, one of the country’s biggest banks has also gone against crypto.

HDFC Jumps on the Anti-Crypto Bandwagon

A Twitter user CryptoIndia YT (@Cryptoindia) shared that HDFC has requested users to confirm that they won’t use their bank accounts for trading Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. Additionally, the bank has also requested its clients to “authorize the bank to close the above account without any further notice if it is observed in future that transactions have been carried out for Bitcoin/virtual currencies.” HDFC is currently the third largest bank in India and it has around 89,000 employees throughout its branches.

Article Produced By
Joshua Morris

https://www.livebitcoinnews.com/large-indian-bank-clamping-down-on-cryptocurrencies/

 

Ex-Soviet State Uzbekistan Considers New Crypto Move

Ex-Soviet State Uzbekistan Considers New Crypto Move

Uzbekistan cash.
The country’s new Digital Trust fund is studying raising funds via security token offerings.

The former Soviet state of Uzbekistan, finally under new leadership after decades of Islam Karimov running the show, has discovered cryptocurrency at a time when no one seems to want it. No, they are not launching a cryptocurrency like Venezuela’s Petro coin or the breakaway province of Abkhazia’s coin plans over in the nation of Georgia. New president Shavkat Mirziyoyev says crypto is legitimate tender, at least for cryptocurrency traders. He legalized exchanges in the Central Asian nation in September and created a fund that same month to invest in blockchain-related startups and research and development called Digital Trust. Other than being an investment vehicle for new technology, Digital Trust is stepping on the crypto bandwagon in trying to bring security token offerings (STO) to a country few in the crypto world have even heard of.

Uzbekistan may not be on anybody’s radar, but its foray into STOs are another testament to crypto being akin to a potential godsend for raising capital in emerging and frontier nations like Uzbekistan. “We are looking very carefully at STO and just starting to build the framework for it,” says Bobir Akilkhanov, investment director at Digital Trust. “We understand that ICOs were a hype tool for investors, with no assets to back up those coins. STOs are more of a legitimate investment because you can tokenize your assets. We are working on the laws to build the market. We don’t want to hurry through it and make all these mistakes and have something that is not useful.”Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev launched a blockchain fund in September, two years into his presidency. Crypto exchanges and trading is legal in Uzbekistan. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

He did not disclose the funds assets under management. And they have no STOs or cryptocurrencies in the portfolio. Right now, this is just Uzbekistan testing the blockchain waters, which is separate from the muddy crypto waters, of course. Neighboring country Kazakhstan is doing the same with blockchain so as not to miss anything. One of their core holdings in the fund is Delta City, a large scale real estate project in Tashkent with all the smart-city bells and whistles … and no tokens.

Uzbekistan traditionally attracts investors from South Korea, China and Russia. For crypto and blockchain, the ones showing interest are from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. STOs are sort of like the grown-up, Wall Street-ish version of the initial coin offering, the cryptocurrency market that ushered in the euphoria for crypto between 2016 and 2017 until that bubble burst in 2018. Coindesk, one of the premier publishers of crypto/blockchain news, hasn’t published a story about an ICO since December 5, and before that … November 14. If cryptocurrency investing is ever to professionalize, it needs traditional investors, and traditional investors seem to prefer the STO.

Digital Trust says it ideally wants to see if they can raise money for Uzbekistan assets in STO offerings, either belonging to private or public companies. The fund is currently looking to establish partnerships with leading blockchain service providers where they can test drive a homegrown STO market.Workers operate sewing machines at the Platinum Moynaq Cotton Cleaning Factory in Uzbekistan in March 2018. Proponents of cryptocurrency say that poor countries will have an easier time raising money from foreign investors via cryptocurrency. Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg photo credit: © 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP© 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

“Companies can raise money the old-fashioned way too, through bond offerings. But STOs are an interesting avenue because it makes some of your state assets more readily accessible to foreign investors,” says Igor Khmel, CEO and founder of BankEx in New York, a fintech company providing STO services. “For the same reason you are using a smartphone instead of a rotary phone, STOs are faster, cheaper and more efficient because of the blockchain-based securitization of assets. They are easier than an initial public offering, easier than venture funding and more accessible than the bond market."

Some are suggesting that STOs could help $1 trillion of assets migrate onto various blockchain platforms before the end of the decade. Like the dying ICO market, STOs have true believers. “If it plays out the way I think … it is likely to be the greatest investment opportunity humanity has seen in this era,” CEO of Polychain Capital in San Francisco, said during a panel discussion at the Web3 Summit in Berlin in October.Olaf Carlson-Wee, founder and chief executive officer of Polychain Capital. STOs are “the greatest investment opportunity” in crypto. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg photo credit: © 2017 Bloomberg Finance LP© 2017 Bloomberg Finance LP

According to a report in Longhash, a blockchain news and information portal with offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, OpenFinance Network and tZERO are STO-focused exchanges set to offer a flood of listings in 2019. Coinbase recently acquired a broker-dealer license and an alternative trading system license, along with a registered investment advisor license, out of the expectation that cryptocurrency investing and fundraising is far from dead. Binance plans to launch an STO trading platform with the Malta Stock Exchange. And in Uzbekistan, BankEx is the early entrant in an otherwise tiny crypto market. Digital Trust brought them there.

“The main thing about these markets is you have to have open networks, which makes it kind of borderless, so it doesn’t matter where you are anyway,” says Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar, founder of RSK Labs in Argentina and a well-known bitcoin guru throughout Latin America. “Blockchain is just the combustion engine to all these things related to cryptocurrency, but you need the full car. You need an internet of value for all of these investment plans to come to fruition,” he says, adding that countries where economies are volatile are more apt to see crypto thrive over time, so long as the infrastructure exists to make it happen.

The Uzbek currency, the som, is relatively stable. It was allowed to free-float under the new government and lost over half of its value in the process. But since September 2017, it’s been relatively steady between 8,000 and 8,300 to the dollar. Their GDP growth rate has been over 5% since 2004, according to the World Bank. It’s poorer than India, with a GDP per capita of less than $1,600. It would take the average Uzbek a year to buy half a Bitcoin.

“Our goal is to starting our STO platform in niche markets, or niche regions like Uzbekistan,” says Khmel. BankEx is also present in the crypto havens of South Korea and Japan. They are moving into Thailand mainly for digital-asset custody. “Uzbekistan is different. We will be doing STOs there. The government wants to become a blockchain-centric government,” he says. “Each country has something unique to offer, I think. They can become one of the main markets in the region for companies considering STOs. We are taking the first steps with them to make it happen.”

Article Produced By
Kenneth Rapoza

Kenneth Rapoza

Volume of Crypto is Dropping is Bitcoin Headed Below 3000?

Volume of Crypto is Dropping, is Bitcoin Headed Below $3,000?

  

In the last 48 hours,

the volume of the crypto market has dropped from $15 billion to $13 billion as the Bitcoin price fell below the $3,600 mark. Analysts have started to demonstrate concerns regarding the declining volume of digital assets and the potential scenario of cryptocurrencies free falling without significant sell pressure from bears.

Is $3,000 Inevitable For Bitcoin?

Generally, traders in the crypto market expect a lackluster year with low volatility, at least until cryptocurrencies escape the last stage of a 12-month-long bear market and initiate a strong accumulation phase. In the short-term, however, many traders envision most cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin testing key support levels in a low price range.

A cryptocurrency trader Josh Rager wrote:

As the volume continues to slowly descend Bitcoin could see more sideways ranging This could last for days or weeks until a decrease in buyers, currently holding up the market, at these levels. Nice support below $3,000 with lots of buyers waiting there.

Currently, following an intense sell-off on January 11, the crypto market is demonstrating stability in the range of $122 to $124 billion. But, the combined valuation of all cryptocurrencies in the global market is down nearly $100 billion since November 2017 and the asset class is struggling to demonstrate signs of a trend reversal. Considering the lack of momentum of cryptocurrencies and the inability of dominant digital assets in the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum to breakout of important resistance levels, a cryptocurrency technical analyst DonAlt suggested that 2019 may turn out to be a boring and a low volatile year.

“I’ve been relatively inactive this year – for one reason – there just hasn’t been too much to trade. I wouldn’t be surprised if ’19 plays out like this, boring, choppy and frustrating to trade. The worst thing you can do is force trades when your system doesn’t give you any,” the analyst said. As Bitcoin approaches the low $3,000 region, similar to its corrective rally in mid-December, it may initiate a relatively sharp recovery triggered by big buy walls on major cryptocurrency-to-fiat exchanges such as Coinbase and Bitstamp.

How About Other Cryptocurrencies?

If Bitcoin continues to fall below $3,500 and possibly to its 12-month low at $3,122, cryptocurrencies with low market caps and daily volumes are expected to experience intensified downward price movements against both Bitcoin and the U.S. dollar. Digital assets that have shown strong upward price movements in the past several weeks due to product launches and protocol upgrades including TRON and Ethereum have already begun to drop in value, affected by the negative sentiment surrounding the short-term trend of the cryptocurrency market.

The price movement of Bitcoin, until the January 11 correction, was seen as a positive short-term breakout above $4,000. But, based on the intensity of the sell-off over the past week, it will likely have a minimal impact on the performance of the asset class in the weeks to come.

Article Produced By
Joseph Young

Hong Kong-Based Finance and Cryptocurrency Analyst. Contributing regularly to CCN and Hacked. Providing unique insights into the crypto and fintech space since 2012.

https://www.ccn.com/volume-of-crypto-is-dropping-is-bitcoin-headed-below-3000/

THE RESULTS of the reddit cryptocurrency survey – a comparison of opinions demographics and portfolios of redditors from different subreddits

THE RESULTS of the reddit cryptocurrency survey – a comparison of opinions, demographics and portfolios of redditors from different subreddits

  

One month ago I posted a survey of over 40 questions

to a range of different cryptocurrency subreddits and collected just over 300 responses. Since then I have processed the data and taken a look at the different demographics, opinions and portfolios of different users as well as comparing the results from different subreddits. This post is the results of this survey.

In this post I have condensed the results to a number of key stats and graphs. If you want to take a look at the graphs or read the discussion, they can be found in the full report. For the graphs, just scroll down to each section in the report and you will see them.

How do steemit users compare to reddit users?

I don't know so I have set up an almost identical survey for all steemit users to respond to if they like. If I can collect enough responses then I will make a comparison post like this one comparing reddit users and steemit users! If you would like to fill out the survey, you can do that here.
The live raw data collected from this survey can be found here:

Key Stats:

Section 1: Reddit and social media use

• Two thirds of cryptocurrency subreddit users frequently browse non-crypto related subreddits.

• Over 70% of cryptocurrency subreddit users used reddit previous to finding out about cryptocurrencies.

• For 1 out of every 8 cryptocurrency subreddit users, reddit is the only social media platform they use to keep up with crypto.

• 94% of cryptocurrency subreddit users check the price of their cryptocurrencies daily!

• Over 40% of cryptocurrency subreddit users check the price of their cryptocurrencies over 10 times per day and 80% check the prices at least 3 times per day.

Section 2: Demographics

• 95% of cryptocurrency subreddit users are male.

• The median age of cryptocurrency subreddit users is between 26 and 30 years old.

• Almost 50% of cryptocurrency subreddit users are from Europe and another third are from North America.

• Over 75% of cryptocurrency subreddit users either have a University degree or higher or are currently studying at University (University is the same thing as college for any Americans reading this).

• More cryptocurrency subreddit users are living off money they made from crypto than there are users who work in the blockchain industry.

• Over 20% of cryptocurrency subreddit users are students, of these students, 60% of them are at University.

• Nearly 40% of cryptocurrency subreddit users consider themselves gamers.

• 2 of the 331 cryptocurrency subredditors sexually identify as an attack helicopter. It is fair to say that I have learned not to add an “other” gender option in future surveys!

Section 3: Experience and interest in cryptocurrencies

• 70% of cryptocurrency subreddit users consider themselves HODLers.

• Decentralisation is the main ideological reason for cryptocurrency subreddit users to be into crypto and blockchain tech.

• 36% of cryptocurrency subreddit users got into cryptocurrencies in 2017 and 27% got into crypto in 2013.

• 45% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have previous experience in the stock market.

• The average cryptocurrency subreddit user is into crypto for the money but still has a significant interest in blockchain tech.

• Most cryptocurrency subreddit users consider themselves very likely to mention cryptocurrencies to a friend.

Section 4: Crypto Portfolio

• The median cryptocurrency subreddit user has somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000 invested in cryptocurrencies.

• Nearly 45% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have invested either less than 10% or more than 90% of their total savings in crypto.

• Nearly 10% of cryptocurrency subreddit users would rather not share what price category the size of their investment in crypto fits into for this semi-anonymous survey.

• 80% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have made a profit off their crypto investments.

• 60% of cryptocurrency subreddit users who invested in crypto after June 30th 2017 have made a profit off their crypto investments.

• 60% of cryptocurrency subreddit users own altcoins outside the top 10 coins by market cap.

• 50% of cryptocurrency subreddit users own 3 cryptocurrencies or less.

• Nearly 30% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have invested in an ICO before.

• The average (median) cryptocurrency subreddit user is signed up for 3 cryptocurrency exchanges.

• For just one third of cryptocurrency subreddit users, altcoins outside the top 10 coins make up more than 10% of their portfolio.

Section 5: Cryptocurrency Knowledge

• Most cryptocurrency subreddit users believe that they understand blockchain technology quite well.

• More than 50% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have fully read a whitepaper.

• Over 75% of cryptocurrency subreddit users know of Satoshi Nakamoto, Vitalik Buterin and Charlie Lee and who they are.

Section 6: Opinion

• Most cryptocurrency subreddit users think that 3-5 of the current top 10 cryptos will still be in the top 10 in 3 years.

• Nearly 40% of cryptocurrency subreddit users don’t support SegWit2x.

• Just 10% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Bitcoin.

• Nearly 70% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have a favourable opinion of Ethereum.

• More participants have a favourable opinion of Ethereum than Bitcoin.

• More than 55% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Bitcoin Cash.

• Almost 75% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Bitcoin Gold.

• 50% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Bitconnect while a further 47% don’t know how they feel about it or don’t know enough about it to have an opinion.

• 45% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Ripple.

• Nearly 55% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have an unfavourable opinion of Ethereum Classic.

Final Section: Subreddit Comparisons

• Over 70% or r/Bitcoin users are opposed to Bitcoin Cash while just under 20% of r/BTC users are opposed to it.

• Over 25% of r/ETHTrader users don't have an opinion of Bitcoin Cash.

• 80% of r/BTC users approve of SegWit2x while just 6% of r/Bitcoin users approve of it.

• Over 50% of both r/Ethereum and r/ETHTrader users don't have an opinion of SegWit2x.

Which Subreddit has the highest rate of ICO investment?
The highest rate of ICO investment by users from r/CryptoCurrency where 38% of users have invested in an ICO.

Which subreddit has the most compulsive price checkers?
The two trading oriented subreddits (r/BitcoinMarkets and r/ETHTrader) had the most compulsive price checkers, with r/BitcoinMarkets having a significantly higher percentage of compulsive price checkers.

Which subreddit rates their crypto knowledge the highest?
r/Cryptocurrency, r/Bitcoin and r/BitcoinMarkets all have similar distributions with the same averages (median of 7 out of 10 and very similar mean values just below 7). r/ETHTrader rated their crypto knowledge the lowest with a median of 6 out of 10 and a mean just above 6 which as about 0.7 lower than the mean values of other subreddits.

Closing Words

That's it! If you want to read through the full report I made or want to see the rest of the graphs, I have left a link to the report where you can find them near the top of this post. I will also leave the raw data and the spreadsheets I used to process the data below if any of you are interested. Finally I’d like to thank everyone who participated and especially those who gave criticisms and feedback on what I covered in the survey and how I formatted it. I’m open to any recommendations for next time and criticisms of this survey so that I can make my next survey better.

Article Produced By
trickybits

https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@trickybits/the-reddit-cryptocurrency-survey-a-comparison-of-opinions-demographics-and-portfolios-of-redditors-from-different-subreddits

Ireland moves to limit crypto money laundering

Ireland moves to limit crypto money laundering

New AML bill given thumbs up by cabinet
will lead to stricter rules, and ease police access to bank accounts. 

The Irish Cabinet has approved a bill that purports to stiffen laws aimed at tackling money laundering, and puts the use of cryptocurrencies front-and-centre for their alleged role in financing terrorist activity. At the heart of the new legislation is the passing of the fifth EU money laundering directive, released in July of 2018, into Irish law by amending the country’s existing statutes on the matter. That new EU policy widened the purview of existing rules – unsurprisingly, the fourth EU money laundering directive of 2015 – on Anti Money Laundering (AML) to cover virtual currencies, wallet providers and exchanges. That means as of now, any such operation in the country must be fully compliant with its demands or face prosecution.

The speed at which the legislation has been updated again, of course, reflects the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies in that time – and the threat they are now perceived as by authorities looking to track criminal activity. As well as targeting cryptocurrency related business, the laws also look at the roll of pre-paid debit cards, as well as sellers of high-value items and art. According to The Irish Times, banks and other financial institutions will also “be required to carry out stricter due diligence before taking on new clients. Credit and financial institutions will also be prevented from creating anonymous safe deposit boxes.”

It also says that the the bill provides upgraded powers to the Garda and Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau to access bank accounts during money laundering-related investigations.While the legislation will not be enacted in post-Brexit UK, at least not in such an obvious transposition as this, Jonas Karlberg – the boss of crypto advisory firm, Amazix – believes that such enhanced regulation will bring more parties to the market.

“The continued development of crypto-related regulations globally will mean that more traditional areas of business and financial institutions will adapt to expand their services to crypto. 2019 will also see the full implementation of the 5th AML directive in the EU – allowing the full spectrum of cryptocurrencies and possibly token offerings to operate within full compliance”, he said.

“This new trend will challenge traditional consultancies to think about adequate control measures to comply with applicable laws and regulations. All the usual integrity risk concerns and compliance burdens of a conventional financial institution will now apply to crypto businesses: money laundering, terrorist financing, tax avoidance/evasion, sanctions and cybercrime”.

Article Produced By
John Moore

https://cryptonewsreview.com/ireland-moves-to-limit-crypto-money-laundering/

 

 

 

Indian Central Bank’s Report Shows Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a Threat

Indian Central Bank’s Report Shows Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a Threat

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has published a report indicating that cryptocurrencies are not a threat currently. However, the central bank says, with rapid growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies, this assessment could change, adding that constant monitoring of cryptocurrencies is needed.

No Threat Currently

The RBI published its “Report

on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2017-18” on Dec. 28. The report cites an analysis by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international body which monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system. Quartz India summarized on Thursday, “A global financial body, which includes India, says cryptocurrencies aren’t a threat.” India’s central bank wrote in

its report:

The FSB has undertaken a review of the financial stability risks posed by the rapid growth of crypto-assets. Its initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability currently.

The RBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Ministry of Finance are all members of the FSB, along with 23 other countries plus international organizations such as the European Commission, the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

  

The wording in the RBI report resembles the FSB’s

own report released in October which states that “crypto-assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time.” The central bank’s latest report echoes its annual report which states that “Though cryptocurrency may not currently pose systemic risks, its increasing popularity leading to price bubbles raises serious concerns for consumer and investor protection, and market integrity.”

RBI Says Constant Monitoring Needed

  

The RBI reiterated in its latest report

that it has repeatedly cautioned users, holders and traders of cryptocurrencies about the various risks associated with these assets. Furthermore, the central bank issued a circular on April 6 prohibiting regulated entities from providing services to crypto businesses. The central bank gave them three months from the date of the circular to exit relationships with crypto companies. A number of industry participants have filed petitions against the ban. The supreme court is set to hear the case this month, after postponing it repeatedly last year.

The RBI continued to describe in its latest report:

The market continues to evolve rapidly, however, and this initial assessment could change if crypto-assets were to become more widely used or interconnected with the core of the regulated financial system … Cryptocurrencies need constant monitoring on overall financial stability considerations, given the rapid expansion in their usage.

No Hurry for Crypto Regulation

   Indian Central Bank's Report Says Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a Threat

On the same day, Dec. 28,

the Indian Ministry of Finance reportedly provided some clarification to Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament, about the country’s cryptocurrency regulation. Despite the media reporting that the draft regulatory framework would be ready last September or by the end of last year, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, indicated no urgency for cryptocurrency regulation. He wrote, “In absence of a globally acceptable solution and the need to devise [a] technically feasible solution, the department is pursuing the matter with due caution. It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations.” Following this report, the CEO of local cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx, Nischal Shetty, told news.Bitcoin.com, “in a way it also puts out any fear of ban in India.”

He elaborated:

Next step is to see if [the] supreme court sees this as the basis to grant [a] stay against the RBI banking restriction as this means that government of India does not see crypto as a threat or matter of immediate concern.

Article Produced By
Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

https://news.bitcoin.com/indian-central-banks-cryptocurrencies-not-threat/

Startup Nation’s SEC Turns To DLT To Battle Cyberterrorism

Startup Nation’s SEC Turns To DLT To Battle Cyberterrorism
 

The Israeli Securities Authority, 

the equivalent of the American SEC, is incorporating blockchain technology into its information systems, in an effort to improve the cybersecurity of its nation-level critical systems against cyberterrorism attacks.

Why It Matters

A public embrace of blockchain technology from any government agency signals a very positive move towards wide adoption, especially when coming from the innovative startup nation’s cybersecurity specialists. The ISA has already embedded the technology into their existing communication system used to deliver messages to entities supervised by the government regulator. It is also planning to use blockchain technology to develop two additional systems: one is an online voting system for investors to cast their vote on decisions taken in ISA assemblies and the other will be a system for tracking financial reports submitted by supervised entities.

BLOCKTV spoke to Eran Ovadia, the project lead from Taldor, who implemented the infrastructure for the ISA, in order to understand why they chose blockchain, and what blockchain technology does for the project that other technologies do not.

Cyberterrorists Never Sleep

The ISA’s systems are constantly being targeted by cyberterrorism attacks and hacking attempts originating from hackers backed by foreign governments and hostile actors around the globe. Specialized teams monitor incidents 24/7. But the availability of the ISA's systems is highly critical, since if any hacker could manage to take it down, it would practically paralyze the stock exchange and the entire nation's economy. That is simply something the ISA cannot afford to let happen. 

Enter Blockchain

The innate decentralized nature of blockchains make them resilient to hacker’s attempts to take them down, compared to taking down one central server. Another critical factor of the ISA’s systems is the integrity of financial reports submitted. The ISA cannot allow hackers to tamper with reports' data stored on central databases. Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) helps make its systems more resilient to attempts of fraud or tampering with messages. It validates the immutability of the entire data within their system, similar to the way the Bitcoin consensus would not allow tampering with currency transactions. A hacker could not manipulate any part of the system without it being immediately detected. They even implemented smart contracts to automatically revert to the system's last valid state in any case of inconsistency.

In the vote casting system, Taldor said it’s using multi-factor authentication to verify voters’ identities, and is performing consensus validation by using a hybrid public and private ledger. They initially based their system on the Ethereum platform, but eventually chose to use a lighter validation method, since the algorithms used to validate cryptocurrency transactions were too heavy to process. The ISA’s new blockchain-based system is an attempt to keep up with the fintech industry’s global trend to apply innovative technologies, and according to Natan Hershkovitz, director of ISA’s Information Systems department, puts it ahead of the race as one of the leading government authorities in the world in implementing information

cybersecurity and authenticity.

"We are witnessing a growing trend toward incorporating of innovative and pathbreaking technologies in the financial industry. The implementation of blockchain technology in the ISA's information systems positions it as one of the leading government authorities worldwide in the security and reliability of information."

With the current step, the ISA is joining the growing trend of governments and official establishments adopting blockchain technology as a viable and useful technology. As the Israeli entity in charge of regulating the financial investment market, the equivalent of the American SEC, the ISA members are much quicker in expressing a more accepting approach towards blockchain technology, compared to their American colleagues, who are known for taking their time with the infamous Bitcoin ETFs submissions. 

Article Produced By
Ofer Sharon

Reporter

Currently, I am researching, dissecting and creating high-caliber content for BLOCKTV. I focus mainly on the new Financial Technology, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, AI and ML developments, as well as IoT. With the media and technology fields both competing for my attention, I was a software developer for the larger portion of my career, and recently decided to start investing myself full-time in a field I always kept close to my heart. I am now a researcher, tech journalist and content writer for BLOCKTV.
 

 

Crypto Startups Forked Out 878000 To White Hats In 2018

Crypto Startups Forked Out $878,000 To White Hats In 2018

  
Bitcoin may have been dubbed the
“world’s most secure transaction settlement layer”

by Anthony Pompliano, but the industry surrounding the protocol may not be all too secure. Case in point, crypto startups have forked out over $878,000 in bounty to white hat hackers in 2018, specifically for solving bugs that slipped under the radar.

Crypto Startups Awarded $878,000 To “Goody Two Shoes” Hackers

The Next Web’s Hard Fork column recently reported that over the course of 2018, blockchain firms awarded $878,504 to goody too shoes hackers for rectifying bugs. Block.one, the company behind the crypto juggernaut in EOS, forked out upwards of 60% of the aforementioned sum. Considering that the startup raked in an approximated $4 billion for its EOS token offering, one of the most hyped cryptocurrencies of all-time, it makes sense why Block.one awarded $534,500 to white hats.

Interestingly Coinbase, the seemingly unhackable $8 billion upstart, comes in behind Block.one with $290,381 in paid bounties. But, HackerOne, the cybersecurity platform that compiled the data, didn’t divulge how much of that sum was a result of 2018 bugs, as Coinbase purportedly began its disclosure program in 2014. Justin Sun-headed Tron, which recently surpassed a number of pertinent milestones, has found itself behind Coinbase, allowing white hats to score $76,200. Yet these quintuple and sextuple figures are edge cases, as a HackerOne spokesperson told Hard Fork that “the average bounty [paid] for blockchain companies in 2018 was $1,490, that is higher than the Q4 platform average of around $900.”

Still Vulnerable 

While many crypto projects talk a big game, the bottom line is that many blockchains and cryptocurrency-friendly startups remain vulnerable. As reported by NewsBTC in early-August, Altex, a lesser-known crypto asset exchange, saw its ARQ stash get looted. The platform claimed that it “lost a big amount,” specifically due to a bug that hails from the Monero codebase.

Just two months later, Pigeoncoin (PGN) fell victim to an odd inflation bug, CVE-2018-17144, that allowed a bad actor to whip up 235 million PGN within a day’s time. Interestingly, the bugged line of code comes from the Bitcoin protocol. The issue has since been patched by Bitcoin Core (the software) developers, but this event still shocked consumers en-masse.

Ground-breaking bugs aren’t limited to the small-cap cryptocurrencies. In July, SlowMist, a Chinese cybersecurity firm, claimed that an anonymous user managed to double spend 694 Tether (USDT). According to SlowMist, a transactor was able to gain credit for 694 USDT on an exchange without sending the funds. Upon digging, it was discovered that the issue was the fault of the victimized exchange. Dacoinminister, a founder of the Omni Protocol, which Tether is based on,

wrote:

“It appears that what happened here is that an exchange wasn’t checking the valid flag on transactions. They accepted a transaction with valid=false (which they should not have), and then the second “double spend” transaction had valid=true, which they also accepted.”

Regardless of where this problem originated from, the three aforementioned cases only accentuate the fact that this industry remains nascent. So, this industry’s developers still have a ways to go until crypto is spick and span, and ready for worldwide consumption.

Article Produced By
Nick Chong

https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/12/30/crypto-startups-white-hats-2018/

Nearly 1000 Cryptocurrency Projects ‘Died’ During This Year’s Bear Market

Nearly 1,000 Cryptocurrency Projects 'Died' During This Year's Bear Market

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  • Coinopsy and DeadCoins have identified nearly 1,000 crypto projects which have "died."
  • Dead projects are those that were scams, never delivered a product, or have very low trading volumes and adoption rates.

  

Approximately 1,000 different cryptocurrency-related projects failed in 2018,

according to data from DeadCoins and Coinopsy. Some of them were relatively well-known bear market victims. Many of the dead crypto projects were outright scams which were orchestrated under the guise of initial coin offerings (ICOs). Included in DeadCoins and Coinpsy’s long list of abandoned and/or fraudulent digital currency schemes is BitConnect, which is considered one of the largest crypto-related Ponzi scheme scams in history.

Coinopsy: 483 Inactive Digital Currency Projects

Deadcoins, which has compiled one of the most comprehensive information sources on inactive cryptos, revealed there are at least 934 digital currencies that are now dead. In July 2018, DeadCoins reported about 800 abandoned crypto tokens. Meanwhile, Coinopsy has found 483 digital currency projects that are no longer active.

According to Coinopsy, a crypto may be considered dead if its token or coin has been abandoned by its founders, was a scam, and/or its website is dead. A crypto project may also be considered dead if its coin has no trading volume or transaction validating nodes to support it, Coinopsy noted. If there are unresolved technical issues with software supporting the cryptocurrency such as problems with wallets used to store it, then the crypto may be considered inactive.

Notably, Coinopsy has categorized dead coins as: ICO Dead Coins, Joke Dead Coins, Abandoned Dead Coins, and Scam Dead Coins. There are currently 113 ICO Dead Coins identified by Coinopsy, meaning these projects launched an ICO but never seemed to have delivered a product or updates regarding their platform’s ongoing development. Crypto tokens may also be classified as dead ICO coins (by Coinopsy) if they were used to carry out pump-and-dump schemes or other types of market manipulation, while not seeing any real adoption.

Wall Street Journal Finds Plagiarized Whitepapers

A Joke dead coin, according to Coinopsy, is any crypto launched with the intention of just being a joke and no serious plans of becoming a useful digital asset. There are presently 17 coins listed as joke cryptos on Coinopsy. Additionally, Coinopsy found at least 40 cryptocurrency projects that were scams and 313 abandoned coins. Coinopsy explains that a token may be considered dead if it ranks below 1000 in terms of market capitalization for 3 consecutive months. A token whose trading volume is below $1,000 for 3 months is also dead, Coinopsy noted.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) looked into inactive crypto projects as well. WSJ’s latest research findings showed that more than 15% of crypto projects that raised funds via ICOs during 2017 and 2018 had plagiarized whitepapers or just copied ideas from other cryptos. There were also a fairly large number of ICO projects that had promised “improbable returns” and then failed to deliver, the WSJ revealed.

Article Produced By
Omar Faridi

I enjoy writing about all topics related to Bitcoin, Blockchain, and other cryptocurrencies. The topics that interest me most are crypto regulations, quantum resistant blockchains, Ethereum and Bitcoin Core development, and scams orchestrated under the guise of ICOs. My academic background includes an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I also possess a Master of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix.

While completing my coursework, I engaged in independent study programs focused on public-key cryptography and quantum computing. My professional work experience includes working as an application developer for the University of Houston, data storage specialist at Dell EMC, and as Teacher of Mathematics in the United States, China, Kuwait, and Pakistan.

https://www.cryptoglobe.com/latest/2018/12/nearly-1000-dead-cryptocurrency-projects-identified-by-coinopsy-deadcoins/

 

Survey Finds 14 of Chinese Citizens Have Invested in Cryptocurrencies

Survey Finds 14% of Chinese Citizens Have Invested in Cryptocurrencies

  

A survey conducted by Panews has found that 14% of Chinese citizens

have invested in cryptocurrencies. The survey also found that 98% of respondents indicated familiarity with the concepts of cryptocurrency and bitcoin – 3% more than those who stated that they had heard of blockchain technology.

Panews has published the findings of a survey that queried 4,200 Chinese citizens on their familiarity and opinions regarding Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The survey found that just 75 respondents had not heard of cryptocurrency or blockchain technology, equating to roughly 2% of the survey’s sample. The survey also found that 40% of respondents expressed a willingness to invest in cryptocurrencies in the future, despite nearly 83% of the sample describing cryptocurrency investment as a new trend.

14% of the sample, or 598 respondents, stated that they have invested in cryptocurrencies, nearly 70% of whom purchased their crypto via an exchange platform. 266 respondents came to possess their crypto through airdrops, followed by mining, with 263. The sample indicated that social media is the dominant means through which Chinese citizens have become exposed to cryptocurrencies, with 38% of respondents claiming familiarity with crypto stating that they became exposed to such through social media, followed by “relatives and friends” with 26%. Panews also noted that the majority of respondents associated cryptocurrencies with investment products primarily, and not as a medium of exchange.

Cryptocurrency Moving Towards Becoming Household Concept in China

While 4,125 respondents indicated familiarity with the concepts of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and blockchain technology, only 372 individuals described themselves as possessing a strong understanding of pertinent topics, amounting to roughly 9% of all respondents. Only 17 respondents claimed not to have heard of cryptocurrency, while 103 stated that they were unfamiliar with Bitcoin. 60% of respondents described common perceptions regarding the complexity of exchanging and storing cryptocurrency as the primary barrier to greater crypto adoption.

Overall, the study found that bitcoin and cryptocurrency have made significant strides toward penetrating mainstream economic discourse in China, asserting that “the cryptocurrency industry has made considerable progress in the public’s cognitive level” since “the early days.”

Article Produced By
Samuel Haig

Samuel Haig is a journalist and entrepreneur who has been completely obsessed with bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012. Samuel lives in Tasmania, Australia, where he attended the University of Tasmania and majored in Political Science, and Journalism, Media & Communications. Samuel has written about the dialectics of decentralization, and is also a musician and kangaroo riding enthusiast.

https://news.bitcoin.com/1-7-chinese-invested-cryptocurrency/

 

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