Bitcoin News — Hong Kong

Hodler’s Digest, November 5-11: Star Trek’s Captain Kirk Defends ETH Decentralization, While Fake Elon Musks Overrun Twitter

Posted by Molly Jane Zuckerman on

The central bank is China comes out against crypto air drops, while a flood of fake Elon Musks take Twitter promising crypto giveaways.

Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Elon Musk Impersonators Flood Twitter With Fake Crypto Giveaways

Although impersonators on Twitter pretending to be famous celebrities offering crypto giveaways are many, this week saw an influx of these crypto pretenders posing as Tesla CEO Elon Musk. After compromising verified accounts with the blue check mark, scammers would change the name and picture to appear to be Musk, asking in comment threads for people to send them small amounts of crypto in exchange for more crypto sent back in a fake “giveaway.” According to news reports, one fake Musk account received around $170,000.

China’s Central Bank Scrutinizes Crypto Airdrops, Questions Their Legality

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, has begun to scrutinize crypto airdrops, which is refers to as “disguised” Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). This week’s report from the bank notes that the entity is strictly anti-ICO and crypto trading, noting the high risks of financial fraud and pyramid schemes. The report notes that “airdrops” are potentially evading the regulation concerning the public token sale model, adding that they capitalize on speculation in the market to drive their own profits.

Star Trek’s William Shatner Tweets Thumbs up in Support of Vitalik Buterin

William Shatner, the former Captain Kirk on popular American television show Star Trek, tweeted a thumbs up at Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin this week. The celebrity’s tweet led to backlash from crypto Twitter trolls that criticized the Ethereum network’s supposed centralization, leading Shatner to quote ERC standards in response. The 87-year-old Shatner then received kudos from other crypto Twitter participants for his seemingly in-depth knowledge of the network.

Apple Apparently Briefly Removes Crypto Podcast Reportedly Ranked #4 in Investing

The podcast “Off the Chain,” hosted by Morgan Creek Digital partner and crypto analyst Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano has apparently been removed from the U.S. iTunes store this week. According to a tweet from Pompliano, the podcast was ranked 4th in the “investing” category before it was “mysteriously” taken down. The episode, which contained an interview with “Bitcoin Maximalist” Murad Mahmudov about the current worldwide monetary system, is available by press time.

Joseph Lubin Thinks Blockchain Will Take “A Little Longer” to Develop Than the Internet

In an interview this week, Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin said that blockchain will “probably take a little longer” to develop than the Internet, because it is “much more complicated. Lubin, who is also the creator of ConsenSys, noted that blockchain is developing similar to the web, due to its exponential growth and the “hundred of projects” to date. Lubin also said that DLT will be able to “permeate society more than the Internet” and make way for Web3.0.

Most Memorable Quotations

“His viewpoints don’t take into account the fact that the code has to be audited by an auditing firm and approved by consortium or it doesn’t get accepted. He thinks it exists in a bubble.

That’s why we have ERC-20, ERC-721... ERC-1701”William Shatner (Captain Kirk), defending the Ethereum network’s decentralization

“We are NOT tolerant. We will not capitulate. We will not surrender. We will not negotiate. We will not end,”Craig Wright, speaking about his own Bitcoin Cash (BCH) faction before the upcoming hard fork

Laws and Taxes

Thai Revenue Department Plans to Use Blockchain to Track Tax Payments

Thailand’s Revenue Department is planning to track payments using blockchain and machine learning, utilizing the tech to verify the validity of taxes paid as well as increasing the speed of the tax refund process. The machine learning use will help to expose tax fraud and support more transparency, as a digital tax collection system based on modern technologies is a stated goal of Thailand’s government.

French Parliament Finance Committee Adopts Amendments to Crypto Tax Bill

The Finance Committee of the lower house of France’s parliament has adopted regulations this week that would ease taxes on cryptocurrency sales. The Finance Committee of the National Assembly has submitted a draft of the government finance bill for 2019, specifying that the tax on crypto sales will be equal to capital income tax. If the amendments to the budget are accepted in the hearings scheduled for next week, the rate will be reduced from 36.2 percent to 30 percent starting Jan. 1, 2019.

US Judge Ends Freeze on Charlie Shrem’s Assets Amidst Winklevoss Lawsuit

A U.S. judge has ruled this week to end the freeze on Charlie Shrem’s assets in a lawsuit brought against him by the Winklevoss twins. The twins alleged in their lawsuit that Shrem took part of their $250,000 investment in his now-defunct exchange BitInstant to buy 5,000 Bitcoins (BTC). Shrem’s lawyer has said that his client is innocent, and that the claims have “no basis in fact or law.” According to the Winklevoss’ lawyers, the freeze should continue as Shrem possess $12 million in crypto, real estate holdings, and other assets. However, at present time only $10 in assets have been identified.

Thailand’s Securities Regulator Promises to Certify One ICO Portal in November

The general secretary of the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said this week that “at least one” ICO “portal” will be able to operate legally in the country in November. Rapee Sucharitakul said that they “might” starting approving ICO offerings in December, noting that five such “operators” are currently under consideration by the Finance Ministry. Thailand’s legislation requires that the Thai SEC vet crypto entities like ICOs, exchanges, and “digital asset operators” who wish to operate in Thailand.

Adoption

Wallet Provider Blockchain.Com to Airdrop $125 Mln in XLM After Adding Stellar Support

Crypto wallet provider Blockchain.com will now support altcoin Stellar (XLM), accompanied by an airdrop of $125 in XLM to its user base. The provider noted that the large airdrop is a “great way to drive decentralization and adoption for new networks,” noting that crypto airdrops allow consumers to “test, trade, and transact” newer crypto assets without need to mine or invest in them first. The choice to add support for Stellar was driven by the scalability of the token’s network, as well as its ability to create custom tokens that represent “real-world or virtual goods and services.”

Decentralized Network Bancor Partners With EOS for Cross-Blockchain Trading With ETH

Decentralized liquidity network Bancor said this week that it had partnered with EOS in order to allow for cross-blockchain swaps between Ethereum and EOS-based tokens. Bancor has now expanded to the EOS blockchain, using its DApp BancorX for the conversation. Bancor noted that the cross-blockchain DApp was built in collaboration with LiquidEOS, Bancor’s EOS “Block Producer.” According to the press release, this conversion DApp paves the way for “vastly more blockchain” to be included in cross-blockchain trading.

Trading Platform eToro Releases Crypto Wallet Supporting Bitcoin, Three Altcoins

Global crypto and fiat trading platform eToro has released its own cryptocurrency wallet this week with support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The platform noted that they plan to add a “whole host of additional functionality” including additional crypto and fiat tokens, crypto-to-crypto conversion, and fiat deposits. eToro currently supports 14 total cryptocurrencies on its platform and has more than 10 million registered users.

Major Crypto Wallet Coinbase Launches Support for Basic Attention Token

Crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase announced this week that it would add support for a rollout of full trading of the Basic Attention Token (BAT) for its Android and iOS apps. As per the announcement, Coinbase customers can now buy, sell, send, receive, and store BAT on the platform, except for initially those residents of New York. Last week, Coinbase had noted the addition of inbound transfers of BAT to Coinbase Pro, specifying that the token would undergo four listing stages until it reached full access.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships

Port of Valencia Integrates Maersk and IBM’s Blockchain Shipping Platform

The Port Authority of Valencia, Spain, has joined IBM and Maersk’s blockchain ecosystem, the TradeLens platform, which aims to apply blockchain tech to global supply chains. According to the announcement, the port has integrated into the platform as “Early Adopters,” meaning that the port will be a part of the platform’s early development. There are currently more than 20 participants in the TradeLens ecosystem, which has already reportedly processed 154 million “data-sending events.”

Deloitte Partners With Identity Management Startup for Digital ID System

“Big Four” accounting firm Deloitte has partnered with identity management firm Attest Inc. in order to create a blockchain-based digital identity system. The Chicago-based Attest offers a shared identity platform that allows its clients to conduct transactions, including its governmental customers, which can provide identity services to citizens. The partnership plans to develop a digital identity offering for government-compliant identifiers to be used for existing products, including a cryptographically secured identity storage wallet.

South Korea’s Bithumb Partners With E-Commerce Giant Qoo10 for Crypto Payments

South Korea’s leading virtual currency exchange Bithumb announced a partnership this week with Asian e-commerce fim Qoo10 to create a cryptocurrency payment service. Qoo10, which covers Asian markets including Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Indonesia, will work with the Bithumb Cache system to purchase products through Qoo10. The two companies will use both the Qoo10 settlement service and the cache system, which is a password settlement service that allows Bithumb customers to convert their funds for use in payments with their password.

Nine Major Shipper Operators Launch Blockchain-Based Global Business Network

Nine major terminal operators and shipping companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop an open digital platform based on DLT. The MoU is aimed at forming a consortium of shipping operators to develop the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), noting that the software solution will be provided by Hong Kong-based shipping and logistics firm CargotSmart. The new alliance includes such shipping giants as PSA International, a Singapore-based company and one of the world's largest port operators, and Shanghai International Port Group, leading operator of ports in China.

Funding Rounds

Major Mining Provider Bitfury Raises $80 Million in Closed Funding Round

Bitcoin mining infrastructure provider Bitfury raised $80 million this week in a closed funding round led by European venture capital fund Korelya Capital. Other participants in the funding round included South Korean Internet giant Naver Group, Asian institutions Macquarie Capital and Dentsu Japan, and Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital. The funding round comes several weeks after rumors circled that Bitfury was considering an IPO.

Winners and Losers

The crypto markets are seeing mixed signals, with Bitcoin trading for around $6,404.13 and Ethereum at $211 by press time. Total market cap is around $212 billion.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are Traco, Pedit, and the Internet of Things. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Simmitri, empowr coin, and OBXcoin.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

FUD of the Week

Turkish Police Arrest 11 in Reported Hack of Crypto Wallet Accounts

The Cybercrime Department of the Turkish National Police arrested 11 suspects this week while investing the alleged hack of crypto accounts, with victims reporting more than $80,000 in losses. 14 individuals so far have reported crypto wallet hacks to local prosecution authorities, noting that their Bitcoin had been transferred to other wallets. Police have since seized two fake identity cards, as well as a number of devices allegedly used in the hacks such as 18 mobile phones and SIM cards, 22 memory sticks, from the hackers. The investigation notes that it found the suspects by tracking new SIM cards registered to exchanges by the hackers.

Texas Regulator Issues Emergency Cease and Desist to Australian Cloud Mining Company

The Texas State Securities Board has issued an emergency cease and desist order this week to Australian cloud mining firm AWS Mining PTY LTD for selling unregistered securities. AWS Mining, along with many of its employees, are charged with violating the Texas Securities Acts by convincing Texas residents to purchase AWS’ unregistered cloud mining power contracts promising a “200 percent passive return on every investment.” The cease and desist notes that AWS did not follow through on its promised profits to investors, as well as failed to register as a securities broker-dealer.

Swiss Financial Regulator Recommends Banks to Set Crypto Risk Coverage at 800%

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said in a report this week that banks and other financial institutions could calculate risk coverage for cryptocurrencies at 800 percent of their current market value. The confidential letter, seen by a local Swiss news outlet, noted that the recommendation for a flat risk weight at 800 percent are to "to cover market and credit risks, regardless of whether the positions are held in the banking or trading book.” The news outlet reports that 800 percent is at the upper end of the range, meaning that FINMA sees crypto as a volatile asset.

US SEC Charges EtherDelta Founder With Operating Unregistered Securities Exchange

Zachary Coburn, the founder of crypto token trading platform EtherDelta, has been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with operating an unregistered securities exchange. EtherDelta has operated as a secondary marketplace for trading ERC20 tokens, letting users buy and sell digital assets using an order book and smart contracts on the ETH blockchain and placing a total of more than 3.6 million orders (some involving those considered securities) over an 18-month operating period. Coburn neither denied nor admitted the findings, but agreed to pay $300,00 in unlawful profits, as well as $13,000 in prejudgement interest and a $75,000 penalty.

Chinese Mining Giant Bitmain Sues Unknown Hacker for $5.5 Million Crypto Theft

China-based BTC mining firm Bitmain has sued an anonymous hacker for the reported theft of crypto work about $5.5 million from Bitmain’s account on Binance this April. As stated in the U.S. court documents, the “John Doe” hacker used stored Bitcoin after taking over Bitmain’s Binance account to manipulate the price of altcoin Decentraland (MANA) and then abscond with the profits. Bitmain notes that the hacker was able to steal $5.5 million in digital assets, including about 617 BTC. The documents also note that the hacker carried out transactions between BTC and MANA from Bitmain’s wallet and their own, completing the theft by transferring BTC from their Bitmain account into a digital wallet on Bittrex.

Prediction of the Week

Tim Draper Maintains Bitcoin Prediction of $250,000 by 2020

Venture capital investor Tim Draper said this week that he still believes that Bitcoin will experience 40 times returns and reach $250,000 by 2022. Although his initial prediction was for the coin to hit this price point in April of this year, Draper said that the industry merely needs to make it so that “Bitcoin could be used to buy Starbucks coffee” and the world will “open up.” Draper also added that he didn’t trust “political currencies” that are “determined by some weird political party,” adding that he sees a future with blockchain and smart contracts taking on a more prevalent role in states.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Morgan Stanley Report Shows Strong Institutional Investment for Bitcoin

At the end of October, multinational investment bank and financial services firm Morgan Stanley released a report on how Bitcoin has been a new “institutional investment class” since 2018. The report, which shows a relatively bullish outlook for 2018, brings attention to the stablecoin phenomenon, noting that not all stablecoins active currently will survive.

The SEC Stops Accepting Public Comments on Bitcoin ETFs, Takes Time to Make Decision

Last week, the cryptoverse buzzed with misinformation that the U.S. SEC was finally going to make a decision about Bitcoin ETFs. However, last week’s deadline concerned a close to the acceptance of public comments, leaving the SEC to now make their decision on the nine BTC ETFs on their own. Cointelegraph delves into the possibilities for the SEC’s decision, as well as looks into the root of where this deadline confusion came from.

Blockchain Advocates Storm Governors’ Mansions and Retain House Seats in US Midterm Elections

The U.S. saw midterm elections that week that led to the Democratic Party taking back the House, leaving the Republicans still in control of the Senate. Amidst the party lines, the governorships in both California and Colorado were won by crypto- and blockchain-friendly candidates Gavin Newsom and Jared Polis respectively. Beyond his strong blockchain policy push in his state, Polis (also the first openly gay elected governor), co-founded and co-chaired the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress. Electorally, the Caucus has done exceptionally well in the midterms: both of the co-chairs and 10 out of 12 regular members who stood for reelection retained their seats.

Read more →

Japan’s Shinsei Bank, Nippon Wealth Form Business Alliance with Blockchain Startup ConsenSys

Posted by Marie Huillet on

Japan’s Shinsei Bank has signed a MOU with blockchain startup ConsenSys to widen its exploration of the technology’s applications.

Japan’s Shinsei Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with blockchain startup ConsenSys to widen its exploration of the technology’s applications for finance, Cointelegraph Japan reports Nov. 8.

According to an English-language press release published the same date, the MoU entails a business alliance between Shinsei Bank, Hong Kong-based restricted license bank Nippon Wealth, Singaporean private equity fund Tribay Capital, and ConsenSys. The latter was founded in 2014 by Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Joseph Lubin, and is currently headquartered in New York.

The alliance between the four entities will focus on exploring the use of ConsenSys’ decentralized applications (DApps) to develop new financial products and services, with Nippon Wealth spearheading a study of blockchain infrastructure and protocols for the banking sector.

According to the press release, Nippon Wealth has “completed a capital injection through a third-party allocation of shares of OJBC Co., Ltd., its owner. The alliance means that Tribay Capital will become a new shareholder of Nippon, with Shinsei Bank nonetheless remaining its majority shareholder — retaining 50 percent of shareholder rights, according to CT Japan.

Following the study, the parties have indicated they will roll out blockchain-related offerings and details of new services on their banking platforms “at a later date.”

This week, a cybersecurity subsidiary of Japan’s Nomura Research Institute (NRI) announced a new blockchain security alert tool while also confirming a partnership with ConsenSys.

As recently reported, blockchain is becoming a key focus of Japan’s traditional financial sector, with multinational IT firm Fujitsu announcing late October its plans build an interbank settlement platform using blockchain technology as part of a joint project with nine domestic banks.

Also in October, Japanese financial services giant SBI Group debuted a Ripple (XRP)-powered settlement system that harnesses Ripple’s xCurrent solution to enable domestic bank-to-bank transfers in “real time.”

Read more →

Mining Pool of China’s Oldest Bitcoin Exchange BTCC to See ‘Indefinite’ Closure

Posted by William Suberg on

China’s oldest exchange BTCC says “business adjustments” mean its mining pool will cease to function, but the decision may not be permanent.

BTCC Pool, the mining operation of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange BTCC, will close “indefinitely” at the end of this month, a statement from the firm confirmed Nov. 6.

BTCC Pool, which began mining activities in 2014, is shutting down due to unknown “business adjustments,” the company wrote, without giving details about the circumstances that led to the decision.

Today’s statement reads:

“Today, we regret to announce that due to business adjustments, the BTCC pool will shut down all mining servers on November 15 and will cease operations indefinitely from November 30.”

Concluding its outlook for the market, BTCC nonetheless expressed a sense of optimism, hinting that the decision to close down was not strictly permanent.

“We firmly believe that the cryptocurrency assets and the blockchain industry represented by Bitcoin will continue to develop and improve,” the statement added, concluding:

“[W]e will see you again!”

BTCC, which was China’s first Bitcoin exchange, formerly known as BTC China, announced last month that it is set to launch trading services in South Korea.

Today’s announcement comes amid notable shifts in the Bitcoin mining landscape. After stagnant price action pushed up costs for miners across the board, industry heavyweights Bitmain and Bitfury continue to spark rumors of an imminent public flotation.

As Cointelegraph reported today, Bitfury has also completed a giant $80 million closed funding round from a group of international investors.

For its part, Bitmain just announced two new 7nm (nanometer) “Antminer” crypto mining machines, reportedly available for purchase Nov. 8.

Yesterday, Nov. 5, soon after reporting that its crypto-mining related sales for Q3 2018 were “negligible,” U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturer AMD evidently partnered with seven major tech companies to produce eight new cryptocurrency mining rigs it is marketing as “blockchain compute solutions.”

Read more →

HSBC, BNP Paribas, StanChart, Others Launch Hong Kong Blockchain Trade Finance Platform

Posted by Marie Huillet on

A new blockchain trade finance platform developed by a dozen banks, among them HSBC, BNP Paribas, and Standard Chartered, launched Oct. 31 in Hong Kong.

A new blockchain trade finance platform developed by a dozen banks, among them HSBC, BNP Paribas, and Standard Chartered, launched this week in Hong Kong, Reuters reported Oct. 31.

The platform, dubbed eTrade Connect, aims to improve efficiency in the financing of international trade by reducing the time needed to approve trade loan applications from thirty-six to just four hours. HSBC is reported to have earned $2.52 billion in trade-finance revenue in 2017, making it one of the global banking leaders in the industry.

As of 2017, trade finance transactions were worth over $9 trillion, and the industry remains heavily reliant on legacy systems and cumbersome paper-based systems, according to Reuters.

The eTrade platform digitizes trade documents and automates many trade finance processes, streamlining the interactions between counterparties. Beyond efficiency, the system is expected to mitigate the risks of fraud in letters of credit (LoC) and other relevant documents, Reuters reports.

The first successful transactions to be exchanged and confirmed on the new platform were purchases by Pricerite, a furniture and households goods retailer. The company’s chairman, Bankee Kwan, told Reuters that “[b]lockchain has transformed a cumbersome, complex process into a simpler but more secure and efficient way of conducting trade.”

Alongside HSBC, BNP Paribas, and StanChart, the Agricultural Bank of China was reportedly involved in the platform’s development, which was facilitated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

Trading platform we.trade, which also counts HSBC as founder bank, alongside Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale, UniCredit, Deutsche Bank, and others, collaborated with Hyperledger Fabric-powered European blockchain to complete its first live operations this July.

This May, HSBC completed what it was reported to be “the world’s first ever” trade finance transaction powered by blockchain: an LoC (Letter of Credit) for food and agricultural giant Cargill, the U.S.’ largest private company by revenue.

Read more →

Hong Kong Regulator Announces New Plans for Cryptocurrency Industry

Posted by Kevin Helms on

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong has announced new plans to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. The regulator issued two circulars on Thursday outlining new rules for crypto exchanges as well as crypto asset portfolio managers, intermediaries, and fund distributors. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space New Regulatory Approach The Hong […]

The post Hong Kong Regulator Announces New Plans for Cryptocurrency Industry appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Read more →