BCSC Investor Alert: Steer Clear of Cloud Token and WoToken Cryptocurrency “Smart Wallets”

British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) warns Canadians about Cloud Wallet and WoToken Wallet ‘smart’ cryptocurrency apps as possible pyramid ponzi schemes.

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) issued an investor alert on 2nd October, 2019 against two cryptocurrency smart wallet apps – WoToken Wallet and Cloud Token Wallet.

These platforms – both tied to Canada – purportedly store a person’s crypto-assets and earn money for the depositors. Much like robo-advisors, these wallets claim to provide wealth management services by using artificial intelligence to carry out high-frequency trades of crypto-assets on various exchanges to earn high returns that seem “too good to be true”. Once users make a deposit on the app, the automated trading is not under their control.

To get started on either of the apps, an investor needs to make a minimum deposit ranging between US $100 and US $1,000 in crypto-assets. WoToken Wallet claims to earn 6 to 20 per cent monthly returns for its users while CloudToken Wallet’s claim is somewhere around 6 to 15 percent.

Besides the exceptional return, these apps also claim to offer pyramid-scheme like payments to people who bring others in to use the app. These promises of referral income and unnaturally high returns may have cautioned the BCSC, instigating it to release the warning.

If a depositor’s recruit convinces more people to use the wallet then the depositor receives additional bonuses that are handed out in crypto-assets, which are unique to the two wallets. These crypto-assets can later be converted into more conventional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ether.

BCSC director of enforcement, Doug Muir has said that the two apps have been live for a year now and that he is unaware of the number of users each app has or whether there are more apps that pitch a similar product. In the press release, Muir said,

“Big promises and pyramid-like payouts are both classic warning signs of risky investments. We urge everyone to approach these apps with extreme caution.”

A spokesperson from Cloud Wallet claims that the app is not a ponzi scheme. To register themselves on the Apple Store, the app had to establish its legitimacy by passing a multi-step approval process.

Till then, the BCSC is urging caution from investors who trade in crypto-assets through trading platforms. There is no crypto-asset trading platform that is recognized as an exchange or otherwise authorized as a marketplace or dealer in Canada.

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TCS Launch A Blockchain-Based Customer Loyalty Platform: Multi-Brand

TCS on wednesday took a significant Blockchain move by launching a blockchain-based multi-brand customer loyalty platform by making use of enterprise Corda, the blockchain company R3’s platform.

TCS, the IT services provider, wishes to open up a market opportunity to bring in together customer loyalty programs offered by various brands. The company has created a loyalty platform that uses blockchain to facilitate tokenized value exchange, which in turn aids to “streamline and consolidate fragmented ‘earning and burning’ channels from participating brands across industries,” it explained.

Lakshminarasimhan (Lakshmi) Srinivasan, the Global Head of Blockchain Services in TCS, mentioned, “Customer loyalty programs have proven their ability to bring consumers and brands closer together. The key to unlocking further exponential value is to provide complete control to the consumer on how they like to earn and burn.

An open, incentivized ecosystem can make trillions of loyalty points fungible as digital tokens. We are excited to launch this next-gen loyalty platform for orchestrating the tokenized value exchange.”

TCS’s Blockchain Services have a lot to offer from blockchain advisory to consult, and not just that, they have also been building products that specifically cater to enterprises across industries.

David E. Rutter, Chief Executive Officer, R3, agrees that this is indeed a truly innovative approach that works towards enhancing brands and customer interaction through loyalty programs. “Corda was built and designed to deliver precisely these types of process and efficiency improvements to the interactions across multiple organizations, consumers, and channels,” he further added.

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Top Crypto Wallet, Data and Exchange Provider Blockchain.com Invests into Enjin Gaming Platform

Blockchain Ventures of Blockchain.com makes its first equity stake into Enjin distributed ledger technology gaming platform to further in-game item tokenization and purchasing.

Blockchain Ventures is a cryptocurrency wallet, data, and exchange provider. Now, the firm has defined its stake in Enjin, the blockchain game technology.

Making the publication on Tuesday, Blockchain Ventures stated it’s the first ownership funding scheme in the gaming tech firm. The investment that permits random generated game items to be transferred across ETH-Based titles enables by using its structure. Blockchain Ventures, however, declined to state the exact figure.

Enjin is a Singapore based gaming platform that has built several apps to enhance its operations. These include a game creation system that permits blockchain inclusion by third party developers, a market for collectibles, and blockchain wallets.

In March, news spread about the Samsung Galaxy S10, where they had included the Enjin Wallet  During that time, enjin-coin, the gaming firms token value swelled by 70%.

According to Blockchain Ventures, they back Enjin because,

“The economic representation of Enjin token, whereas Enjin Coin (ENJ) will operate only on the network of a particular carrier within virtual in-game items and freely exchangeable tokens (non-fungible tokens- NFT) is something we had never experienced before. This makes it possible for price determination and value recovery that has been a major dare for NFT.”

In July, Blockchain Ventures reported they were launching PIT, a new cryptocurrency exchange. They are claiming to have raised $50 million for the project.

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Facebook’s Libra May Not Get The Green Light As It Has Shaken Up The Central Banking Community

European Think Tank President is with the rest of the world leaders in having high concerns over the privacy for the cryptocurrency like Libra. While he believes it won’t go live in 2020, it will spark the creation of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) all over the world.

Facebook’s Libra, according to the president of a European think tank, might not get approved for its launch next year but it could definitely spur the creation of a different digital global currency.

In June this year, the social media giant first proposed its plan to create a new cryptocurrency called Libra, but since has been facing regulatory scrutiny worldwide. On Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US House Financial Services Committee, but lawmakers aren’t satisfied.

Beatrice Weder di Mauro, president of the Centre for Economic Policy Research, believes Libra is unlikely to get the green light.

“What libra has done is … it has shaken up the central banking community,” she said, because a private sector-backed, global digital currency has suddenly become a real possibility. And this is why it is not going to happen, she said, because “the regulators are right now saying we are not going to allow it.”

But what makes it “threatening” to central banks? It is that the stablecoin is promoted as an international currency backed by the world fiat currencies and could be rolled out “very, very quickly.”

As such,

“The probability of something like this happening, either from the private sector or because central banks actually get together and do something … is higher now,”

Weder di Mauro said.

“Central banks would be able to, if they banded together, to issue a global currency themselves,”

she added.

This can show the advantages of an international monetary system with a global currency over the current system where “there is a huge dominance of the dollar.”

Libra has generated a “tremendous amount of new thinking”

Earlier this week, Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore also said that central banks “need to answer” the challenges posed by Facebook’s faster and more affordable payments network.

About 1.7 billion worldwide are still “unbanked” while according to a study on worker remittance by the World Bank, the global cost of sending as much as $200 remains high at about 7%.

Facebook’s project, Menon says, has generated a “tremendous amount of new thinking” in certain areas.

He continued,

“They are pointing to a correct problem, they are offering a solution,” he said. However, the challenge is to see if similar results can be achieved “within the existing banking framework — which is tried and tested,”

As for the project itself, banks may be forced to stop working with the company if it launches Libra, said ING CEO Ralph Hamers, citing money laundering concerns.

“We can take measures and exit the client, or not accept the client, so those are discussions you would have to have,”

he said.

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Two New Counties In Oregon Will Launch Blockchain-Based Mobile Voting With Voatz

Two new state counties in the United States have recently announced that they would enable the locals to use a blockchain-based app to vote on the upcoming elections, which are set to happen in November.

According to the reports, two counties in Oregon, Umatilla and Jackson, are the next ones to adopt the technology. They will do this with a partnership with Tusk Philanthropies and the mobile app Voatz. With the project, voters will be able to vote on the elections from their own homes by using their smartphones.

The app uses facial recognition technology and blockchain as a way to determine the identities of the voters and to secure their votes in a way in which it is impossible to fake them.

At first, only a small number of voters will be able to use the program. This was mainly decided because the project is still highly experimental, so the pilot test phase is very important. Most of the people on the project are living in other countries at the moment, so they will be able to vote remotely.

Other jurisdictions of the country are also offering the option to vote remotely using the blockchain. West Virginia, for instance, was the first state in the U. S. to do it with the Voatz platform. Since then, Utah, Colorado and Denver also had some counties which adopted the technology and were successful with the system.

In the near future, it is expected that even more companies will follow this route and start experimenting with the technology.

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Telegram Denies SEC’s Claims: Stating That TON’s GRAM Tokens Are Not Securities

Telegram reacts to SEC’s complaint against the company, contending that Gram, the local digital currency for the Telegram Open Network (TON), isn’t a security.

As of late, The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the well known encrypted messaging app- Telegram, to stop the launch of its token in a “crisis” claim. By October 31st, Telegram would have liked to disperse $1.7 billion worth of pre-purchased “Gram” tokens to its investors however due to the order placed by the SEC it had to put a hold to that arrangement.

As per the document in the court, Telegram pushed back the U.S. regulators by asserting that its Gram token isn’t a security. The firm underlined the fact that under the Securities Act 1993, previously Private Placement was regarded as a protection offering compliant by Telegram with legitimate exceptions to enrolment. The firm also stated that with the launch of TON blockchain, the grams will just be regarded as cash or product such as gold or silver, yet not a security.

The issue is a significant one for Telegram. The reason the tokens were booked before was because Telegram guaranteed the progress of TON’s blockchain framework. Investors were requested by way of an email for an extension of time for the network to function. An inability to do so by the end of October would qualify for a full refund to its investors. The uncertainty of Gram’s association with initial coin offering (ICO) items was considered by Telegram. Telegram expressed that it has never given security to people in general through an ICO. Telegram clarified that the firm went into private purchases as opposed to doing an ICO-like item, with a predetermined number of buyers that gave the future installment for Gram currency.

Telegram, in the filing, requests the court to deny the SEC’s complaint, including the SEC’s interest for Telegram to present before them its reports and witnesses; also have the court date for both SEC and Telegram to present an expedited case schedule to resolve the legal issues underpinning the SEC’s claims.”

A former SEC counsel – Philip Moustakis said – In the event that Telegram loses in court, it is most likely to face one of two common punishments, one being “disgorgement,” which would constrain the organization to surrender its illegal profits, and the other “rescission,” which would allow speculators to sell their tokens back and recover any misfortunes.

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QTUM 2.0: First Successful Hard Fork Among Proof of Stake (PoS) Blockchains

QTUM announced the first successful hard fork of its proof of stake (PoS) blockchain on Thursday.

According to the official post on Medium, the development team discovered a number of imperfections on its consensus algorithms which led to the fork occurring. The Qtum 2.0 blockchain incorporates new smart contract opcode additions proposed by the community to enhance smart contract functionality.

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QTUM 2.0 Hard Fork Occurs on Block 466,600

The cryptocurrency community voted on the hard fork happening once the 466,600th block was mined. According to the QTUM blockchain explorer, the block was mined on October 17th bring a wave of developments on the blockchain that solve the scalability and smart contract challenges on consensus algorithms.

The fork has activated a wide array of possibilities on Qtum blockchain including an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) upgrade and smoother block difficulty adjustments. The official QTUM page tweeted,

QTUM responds on some of the qualities of QTUM 2.0 (Source: Twitter)

The New Upgraded QIP Protocols

The new upgraded blockchain includes for major improvements and additions on the platform. The QIP 5, QIP6, QIP7, and QIP9 will all be updated on to the platform for better consensus algorithms.

The QIP 5 upgrade “adds signature verification to the output script of the contract transaction”. Furthermore, the QIP 5 (and QIP 7) upgrades will allow exotic and complex smart contract execution and room for future upgrades.

“The QIP 6 consensus protocol upgrade “adds btc_ecrecover precompiled contract to the Qtum EVM; QIP-7: Upgrade the Qtum EVM to the latest Ethereum EVM Constantinople; and QIP-9: Modify the difficulty adjustment algorithm to make the block time more stable.”

 

 

BlackBerry’s Cylance: Malicious Code Used By Hackers In WAV Audio Files To Mine Cryptos

Researchers of BlackBerry Cylance – a software company that creates anti-virus programs, uncovered a malicious code used by hackers to mine digital currencies in WAV audio files. Each WAV file was combined with a loader part for decoding and executing the infected content while subtly work through the data of the audio file. At the point when played, a portion of the WAV file would create music that had no noticeable quality issues or challenges. Others would just create static background noise. Steganography is a form of malware campaign where programmers disguise malware codes in conventional-looking records.

“Adopting this strategy introduces an additional layer of obfuscation because the underlying code is only revealed in memory, making detection more challenging,”

Cylance said.

There arises an uplifting requirement for improved security foundation to watch out for such assaults. Even though steganography methods have been utilized previously by Turla (otherwise known as Uroboros) through WAV records, it is viewed as the first time where audio files have been misused for infusing crypto-mining malware.

Hackers are thus enabled to convey CPU miners onto the target’s gadgets through the infected files. It captures the processing resources and produces a huge number of dollars every month from mining cryptographic money.

Therefore, hackers consider crypto miners as a prevalent malware payload because they help them get a monetary advantage while working in the background without the client’s information. An assault as such is called crypto-jacking.

Apple Mac falls as a victim to North Korean hackers

The Lazarus APT Group, which is a group of infamous North Korean hackers, has made another malware where Apple Macs falls as a victim, according to CoinTelegraph. The virus is made as such that it covers behind a phony digital money firm named JMT Trading to execute their assault.

On being notified to be cautious, the researchers claim that the virus undetected itself by VirusTotal’s engines. The sample was assumed to have all the earmarks of being firmly identified with a strain of Mac malware recognized by Kaspersky Labs back in the fall of 2018.

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Singapore’s CIMB Group Bank Completes First Ever Blockchain Transaction Using iTrust

One of Asia’s largest investment banks, CIMB Group’s Singapore-based bank, CIMB Bank Berhad Singapore, settled its first ever transaction on blockchain technology on Oct. 17. According to a Yahoo Finance press release, the bank partnered with iTrust, a trade finance blockchain solution, to efficient, instant and transparent channels of global trade.

The CEO of CIMB Bank Berhad, Singapore, Mak Lye Mun, spoke on the recent partnership and looks forward to a fruitful partnership with iTrust in future while developing global blockchain based trade solutions. He said,

“This blockchain trade financing with iTrust will present an opportunity for CIMB Singapore to support our customers more efficiently and cost-effectively. It mitigates fraud risk, and alerts us of any unauthorized movement of the financed cargo.”

The First Blockchain Based Transaction

The banking industry is rapidly adopting blockchain technologies in a bid to reduce costs and enhance security and transparency of data. CIMB Singapore becomes the latest to join the band of banks in blockchain including JP Morgan, Santander Bank (adopted Ripple Inc. technologies) and recently Bank of America.

According to the report, the bank completed a transaction involving dairy products imported into China using the iTrust blockchain platform. The dairy import industry in China contributes close to $100 million USD but faces a number of challenges in the supply chain.

The iTrust blockchain platform ensures transparency in the supply chain of the cargo from one agent to another and provides clear tracking of the goods while in transit and storage conditions in the warehouses. By combining internet of Things (IoT) technologies and blockchain, the iTrust platform records data and documents securely in a distributed ledger and shares the information to all network participants in real-time.

CIMB Group in Blockchain

In November last year, another subsidiary of CIMB Group, CIMB Group Holdings, joined the RippleNet, a network of over 150 banks and financial institutions using the blockchain for cross border transfers. At the time, the CEO of CIMB Group, Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, said,

“CIMB will focus on the ongoing efforts to enhance its digital banking proposition by providing speedy and cost-efficient solutions to our customers across ASEAN [using blockchain technology].”

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Huobi To Expand Into Turkey By End Of 2019; Adding A Crypto To Fiat Gateway with Lira-Tether

Huobi, one of the global crypto exchanges, is planning to roll out a fiat gateway for Turkey. This could give local investors access to over 250 forms of cryptocurrency.

This comes in the wake of Turkey putting forward a more specific form of the legal framework for the crypto market of the country to adhere to. Mohit Davar, Huobi’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regional president, released a statement. He explained that Turkey is a country that already has a large number of cryptocurrency holders.

Davar stated that the Huobi had partnered up with one of Turkey’s most significant local banks. This was with the intent to build the compliance standards and infrastructure Huobi needed to facilitate the new fiat gateway. Strangely enough, Huobi has declined to disclose the name of their local partner.

Davar stated that the partnership would be announced with its new offering’s launch. He said that it would happen, at the latest, in December, but the actual date could be earlier as Huobi had started testing the gateway platform already.

Davar continued, saying that Huobi established a partnership with this mysterious bank back in June. They have since been trying to address the biggest problems that the Turkish banks have voiced. Davar stated that a lack of precise regulation in the framework had left banks with no choice but to make their own choice about the matter. He noted that the banks want to ensure that, should they partner up with Huobi, they would fulfill their obligations.

The fiat gateway is a relatively simple concept. It will enable transactions between the fiat currency, Lira, and the Dollar-based stablecoin Tether. When the users have bought Tether through their bank account, they are then free to trade however they wish with the other cryptocurrencies on Huobi Global. Huobi itself considers the Lira USDT pairing something that enables easier transactions for the local market. The alternative would be to number-crunch ever single currency’s exchange rate compared to Lira.

Davar explained that it’s no easy feat to offer full liquidity in over 250 forms of cryptocurrency against the local one. He said that you could convert Lira to the dollar-pegged Tether at a comfortable rate, without worrying about extreme volatility common through many forms of cryptocurrency.

Davar disclosed the exchange’s fee structure, citing that Turkish users can trade at a 50% discount and a 0.1% transaction fee. The transaction fees are even lower if the users hold HuobiTokens.

The exchange has already launched a mobile app and a Turkish version of its trading website. The next step would be to onboard its local team and start the operation. As a bonus, Davar states the partnership is non-exclusive. This allows the firm to add more banking partners as time goes on.

Huobi Burning Money

As Huobi plans on expanding to Turkey, they are also reducing their supply of the local Huobi coin. In the third quarter, they have managed to burn over $40.63 million in Huobi tokens. This is a stark 70.6% increase from last year’s burning.

Huobi buys back outstanding Huobi Tokens from the various investors, then factor it out of the system ultimately to reduce the circulation of HT and thus stabilize their currency’s price. They burn different amounts of HT per quarter, mostly dependant on the market conditions.

The Huobi Token is the second largest form of exchange coin tokens, only beaten by the Binance Coin. Huobi itself cites the reason for its token burn this quarter was its great success in derivatives trading and spot trading.

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New Blockchain Education Alliance Formed by Tron And Stellar To Train Developers from Students

Tron, as well as Stellar Development Foundations, have joined hands with other companies to form a new alliance that is meant to produce the next generation of blockchain developers, Cointelegraph reports.

The new initiative dubbed Blockchain Education Alliance will be an international education initiative which is developed to offer the requisite skills, knowledge, and expertise to students on how the blockchain works.

Stellar and Tron are part of the inaugural thirteen firms that make up the Blockchain Education Alliance. The 13 companies will jointly come up with various educational initiatives as well be the main financiers in efforts to create awareness about the blockchain technology among the masses.

The new alliance is headed by MouseBelt, which is both a VC fund as well as design studio. MouseBelt aims at bringing different industry players together to bring blockchain technology to the masses via education and research. According to Ashile Meredith, MouseBelt director, the current crop of students are tech-savvy and are eager and yearning to become renowned blockchain experts in the future. Meredith added that universities and other learning institutions require experts about blockchain who can help in the development of curriculum as well as projects and companies like Tron and Stellar can be of great help.

Meredith also indicated that the project can’t be a success without the involvement of the universities. In this regard, MouseBelt is currently speaking with universities trying to bring them on-board. So far, the company has already signed official partnerships with engineering departments in three universities and it is seeking to reach out to Latin American universities as well.

MouseBelt has already rolled on a blockchain education initiative at UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and UC Los Angeles with the aim of supporting a blockchain-based education, research as well as entrepreneurship.

MouseBelt is hopeful that the launching of the Blockchain Education Alliance will encourage the inaugural founding members to commit extra funds to go towards students’ activities as well as expansion of educational opportunities within the field.

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Overstock Rolls On State-of-the-Art Blockchain R&D Campus In Ireland, Over $1.1 Million Invested

US e-commerce and tech giant Overstock has announced that it has established a blockchain research and development center that will be based in Ireland.

In a press statement issued on Oct. 9, the company revealed that the new R&D base will be situated in ‘IDA’s flagship North West business park in Sligo’. The statement also stated that the center will employ its hundredth employee who will be Irish before the end of the year. At the moment, the center boasts of approximately 80 technologists.

The press statement also stated that the new R&D center in Ireland is worth more than €1 million ($1.1 million). According to the firm’s vice president who also doubles as the site head, David Kenny, the company was excited with the opening of the new center that will see all the teams under the same roof. Kenny explained that the new center was a validation of Overstock’s preference of the North West as a friendly area for business and the creation of high-performance teams for software development.

He added that the blend of varied career paths as well as high-quality tech environment coupled work-life balance had gone won excellently with the techies. This, he stated, was an added incentive for the numerous individuals who have continued to be part of their team.

Here is his exact quote:

“We’re absolutely delighted with our new home and getting all our teams back under one roof. It further validates Overstock’s choice of the North West as a great place to do business and build high performance software development teams. The combination of a diverse career path, a cutting edge tech environment and a great work life balance has really resonated with the techies who continue to join our growing team.”

The press statement was also categorical in that the new center will not only focus on blockchain but also on emerging innovations within the e-commerce sector as well as the machine learning domain.

Despite the opening of the new center, not all is smooth with the company. The tech giant is embroiled in a controversy which has contributed to negative effects on its reputation. A fresh complaint has been filed in Utah alleging that the immediate former Overstock CEO, Patrick Byrne as well as the former CFO Greg Iverson were in the middle of a securities fraud. In this case, it remains unclear whether the opening of the new R&D center will add to the company’s fortunes.

Cointelegraph reports that Overstock is following in the footsteps of IT firm Cisco which opened an innovative center in Singapore in February that also focuses on blockchain.

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Russian Central Bank Head Says “No Obvious Need” to Issue a National Cryptocurrency

Speaking at the Finopolis forum of innovative financial technologies, Elvira Nabiullina, Russian economist and head of the Central Bank of the country said the regulator doesn’t see a need to issue a national cryptocurrencyreported Russian News Agency, Tass.

“As Russia’s Central Bank, we have been studying this topic and the need to issue a national cryptocurrency is not obvious for us,”

said Nabiullina addressing Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China Fan Yifei.

“Not only for technological reasons, but also because it is (difficult) to really estimate what advantages will the national digital currency give, for example, in comparison with existing electronic non-cash payments. There are many risks, and the advantages may not be obvious enough,”

she added.

Back in July, Nabiullina said that one day the institution could launch its own digital currency but the technology must ensure “reliability and continuity.” But at that time as well, she said that fiat currency settlement systems are improving and already have

“good dynamics.”

She has repeatedly pointed out in the past that the regulator does not support the legalization of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate payment facility.

Earlier the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma adopted a bill on digital assets.

Meanwhile, Fan Yifei said China is exploring the possibility of creating a national cryptocurrency. He believes it is important to cooperate with other countries so that regulatory standards could be developed.

After five years of research, China is finally ready with its cryptocurrency which is expected to launch soon.

Fan YiFei didn’t specify the launch date but said first there is a need to conduct studies and also take into account other countries’ experience.

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Vanguard to Create a Blockchain Platform with Symbiont for $6 Trillion Forex Market

Vanguard, a mutual fund giant of the financial industry, has started a partnership with Symbiont, a company backed by Nasdaq Ventures. Together, these two firms are set to develop a $6 trillion currency market platform focused on forex trades.

The main idea of the platform is to lower costs. Vanguard manages $5.2 trillion USD for very wealthy clients and it wants to decrease transaction costs without cutting its profits, so using the blockchain is a pretty good idea.

The CEO of Symbiont, Mark Smith, affirmed that the platform has been operational for around two months and that some of the first trades were already. Despite the progress, the platform was still not properly launched, as there are still some tweaks to be made.

Symbiont, which was founded in 2013, has raised over $35 million USD. The company had a seed round in 2014, a Series A in 2017 and recently a Series B round, in which it was able to raise over $20 million USD.

A spokesperson from Vanguard affirmed that the company is currently piloting the project to improve the efficiency of forex trades and reduce risks, which could help it to provide a much more efficient service. If the project is successful, it will certainly be an important milestone for Wall Street, as there is no similar platform at the moment.

The two companies have already worked together before. The two developed an index fund back in 2017 that would streamline the process of data collection using smart contracts.

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Two Senators Warn Mastercard, Stripe, & Visa On Associating With Facebook’s Libra

Facebook’s Libra stable coin’s problems are mounting by the day, PayPal one of the key members of the Libra Association has already withdrawn from the project amid growing pressure and questions being raised about the legitimacy and privacy concerns associated with the project.

Now Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio and Senator Brian Schatz from Hawaii have urged there more associate members of Libra Association to reconsider their decision, reported Bloomberg. In a letter written to three payment processing companies Stripe, MasterCard and Visa, the Senators have tried to address the various issues that the Libra project. The letter noted that Libra not only poses a risk to the global financial network but could turn into an Achilles heel for various private payment processing giants as well.

The letter also mentions several news reports on how difficult it has become for the Libra Association members to obtain details about the organization’s management roadmap as well as various risks involved.

Both the Senators in a statement said that,

Congress, financial regulators, and potential Libra Association member companies have struggled to get sufficient details from Facebook about risks that Libra may pose, including facilitating criminal and terrorist financing, destabilizing the global financial system, interfering with monetary policy, or exposing consumers to risks currently limited to accredited investors.”

They added further,

“We urge you to carefully consider how your companies will manage these risks before proceeding, given that Facebook has not yet demonstrated to Congress, financial regulators — and perhaps not even to your companies — that it is taking these risks seriously,”

they said in the letter.

Facebook’s Libra has too many Concerns on its Hands

Right from its announcement, regulators and policymakers around the globe have been raising alarm bells about the complexities and issues associated with Facebook’s past record and the working structure of Libra.

The Senators pointed out Facebook’s inability to curb wrong use of customer’s private data which include grave offenses such as privacy rights violation, failing to curb spreading of disinformation, accusations of election interference and fraud.

Brown and Schatz, both the senators warned the associate members saying,

“You should be concerned that any weaknesses in Facebook’s risk management systems will become weaknesses in your systems that you may not be able to effectively mitigate.”

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The Economist Talks Banning of Crypto Derivatives by Global Financial Regulators

On September 24th the price of Bitcoin tanked from near highs of $10,000 USD to below $9,000 USD in a couple of minutes. The huge drop in BTC led to over $600 million USD in long positions on BitMex exchanges being liquidated. With such volatility being experienced on BTC’s price, an article published on the Economist suggests regulators will soon start cracking down on exotic assets related to the cryptocurrency.

Tough Regulation for Crypto Derivatives

After yet another massive price swing at the end of September, a blog post on the Economist sees regulators tackling derivatives underlying Bitcoin. According to the article, regulators across the globe are looking to halt crypto derivatives trading for retail investors.

In May this year, the House of Representatives in Japan accepted a financial service bill on crypto regulation that requires traders to have stringent registration procedures before trading crypto derivatives. Hong Kong, France, and Germany are getting in on the act barring retail crypto investors from making crypto price bets.

FCA Joins in Regulation of Crypto Derivatives

In early July BEG reported the British financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), proposed rule changes to ban retail investors from making price bets on exotic crypto assets. On October 3rd, the agency held a consultation meeting on the proposed rule change with the final decision expected to be announced in early 2020.

The long waiting period, however, is not expected to heavily impact the decision to ban crypto derivatives, the Economist report further stated.

A Regulated Future for Crypto Retail Traders

The roadblocks on the cryptocurrency industry, given its young stage in growth, is set to continue according to the report. However, FCA does not want to stifle the development of the industry but help in it in growing in a regulated environment. In early Sep, the FCA granted a license to CF Benchmarks making it the first crypto index provider in Europe.

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India’s RBI Anti-Crypto Laws Block Police From Returning $1.2 Million In Stolen Money

As the government of India slowly moves more and more against Cryptocurrencies as a whole, an unexpected problem popped up for the city of Pune’s police department. They found themselves unable to transfer over 85 million rupees ($1.2 million) back into the State Bank of India’s treasury branch within the city.

Pune’s cyber police department had ceased a substantial amount of funds when they shut down a Ponzi scheme utilizing the Bitcoin format last year. This Ponzi scheme had accrued a total of 244 Bitcoin units in total, and the Pune Police Department wanted to put it back into the treasury.

The Pune Police had hired a tech firm by the name of Discidium Internet Labs Private Limited. With Discidium’s help, they planned on converting said bitcoin back into Rupees, then giving it back to their branch of the State Bank. This was eventually forcibly stopped as the Indian Reserve Bank when they froze Discidium’s account, situated at the Central Bank of India’s Worli branch.

Pune’s Cyber Police Department’s Senior Inspecter, Jairam Paygude, has released a statement expressing this information. The RBI prohibits dealings in virtual currencies, and they did not make a handy exception for situations like this.

Ujjwala Pawar, the district government pleader, explained that the police are going to make a formal request to the RBI to unfreeze the account.

The RBI itself had released a statement explaining that they had done no such thing. They expanded by denying that they told the Central Bank of India to do something similar.

India: First Large Democracy to Ban Crypto

India’s stance on cryptocurrencies as a whole would be easily summed up in the word “Hostile.” At the moment of writing, there is a bill in the works of being passed that would sentence anyone having dealings with cryptocurrency within the country to ten long years in prison.

The draft is, rather aptly, named the Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Currency Bill 2019. This bill would see anyone who generates, mines, holds, sells, disposes of, transfers, deals, or issue cryptocurrency in any way, shape, or form. This is a genuinely troubling move for the country, as cryptocurrencies are considered by many to be the future.

While the bill isn’t in effect yet, it’s causing a scare and subsequent brain drain of the country. Many crypto-based companies are now forced to move their businesses to other countries, fearing criminal persecution.

With the RBI freezing crypto assets as it’s transferred back into the country, one can’t help but wonder how this bill will look after it has passed. Preferably, this bill won’t pass, and India will have access to a $10 trillion industry.

Crypto is changing the way people see the world’s money, for better or worse.

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Litecoin Creator Charlie Lee Explains Why LTC Is Always Profitable for Exchanges

The creator of the Litecoin network, Charlie Lee, recently talked about his creation. He was interviewed by podcaster Dan Gambardelo, known as the founder of Crypto Capital Venture, and talked about the benefits of the cryptocurrency.

Gamberdelo asked his Twitter followers to come up with unique and original questions for him, so they did. One person asked a pretty interesting question: why Litecoin does not need to pay to be listed on any platform while most altcoins do?

Lee’s answer was, that it makes business sense, basically. Exchanges see Litecoin as a highly traded asset that can bring in a lot of revenue because people actually use it. The same cannot be said for many cryptocurrencies in the market.

The community also came up with several other questions. For instance, someone asked Lee if Binance charged him for listing the asset. He affirmed that they did not. When asked if he still mined LTC,  Lee confirmed that he had stopped to mine tokens himself around 2016 or 2017.

Someone also asked him if he ever talked to Satoshi. Charlie Lee affirmed that he did not have the chance to do it because Satoshi was already gone when he entered the crypto space.

Unfortunately, though, the situation is not looking good for Litecoin, despite what Charlie Lee states. The token is entering a bearish trend after losing some of its value recently and several LTC investors are already bracing for a long Winter ahead at this point. After the BTC sell-off, LTC went down together and it is now the 6th largest token by market cap.

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With The US Recession Scare, Will Bitcoin Or Gold Become The Best Safe Haven Asset?

There has been much talk among groups that Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies like it, are the future of the world. Even so, as the last two days heralded a possible US recession, investors are turning a blind eye to cryptocurrency and focusing on the thing that always glitters: Gold.

Last Tuesday, the US Institute of Supply Management released a statement that their manufacturing index had dropped to an all-new 10-year low. With a reading of 47.8%, last month, it’s fallen from 49.1 in August. Anything below 50% indicates a contraction in manufacturing, so this doesn’t bode well at all for the US.

Holger Zschaepitz, a popular analyst, has released a tweet describing the US’s risk of recession to be above 40%. However, the yield curves indicate a staggering odds of 60%, but stocks and corporate bonds don’t show any increased risk.

As the recession scare works its way through the financial world, it’s dragging global equities down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average took a big hit from this, dropping more than 450 points in day two of a sell-off.

Gold vs BTC

As is usual for big recession scares like this, gold’s price climbed rather happily from $1 460 to a nice, even $1 500 per ounce within the last 48 hours. The historically precious metal will doubtlessly be eternally considered a haven asset, and now is no exception. As recession concerns rise and groups decide to avert risk, gold will be many’s go-to for financial security.

Bitcoin hasn’t enjoyed this level of success, however. While gold prices rise, Bitcoin remains trapped in a range of $8 200 and $8 500 since Tuesday. Bitcoin’s bounce from its $7 700 low has run out of steam within the 200 day moving average resistance of $8 483 within the last 48 hours.

Many voices have toted the argument that Bitcoin was the new, digital form of gold. While true that many investors consider BTC as a means of hedging against aggressive central bank policies, it doesn’t seem to have skyrocketed like the price of gold.

In fact, bids are in a bit of a dry spell. When the European Central Bank decided to cut rates by ten basis points back in September, the cryptocurrency fell from $10 000 to $8 000 per BTC.

Whether it be only its nature, or the public as a whole not yet willing to accept this new format of haven assets, BTC has lost this round to gold. Perhaps next time there’s a significant need for haven assets, people will turn more to Bitcoin. Bitcoin exhibits the ability to act like one, having no direct link to any government and is deflationary by design. This gives Bitcoin an inherent “value” like gold has.

As an interesting footnote, Lego’s also exhibit haven asset behavior. If investors are too keen on using physical, tangible assets, they may turn to plastic before being forced to go Crypto.

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OKEx To Form A ‘Self Regulatory Organization’ To Standardized Exchange Compliance Polices

Malta based crypto exchange OKEx is looking to make crypto exchanges self-regulated for a while.

The organization will be similar to FINRA in the United States, FINMA in Switzerland, The World Federation of Stock Exchanges, and the World Economic Forum, OKEx is engaging exchanges and market participants in the global crypto trading community to become members of this initiative.

Andy Cheung, the Head of Operations for OKEx says:

“Cryptocurrencies are global and decentralized, and the industry remains nascent, thus regulations by jurisdiction are not enough. […] The only way for exchanges to grow and deliver impact is by joining together to develop practices and policies that will set a global standard and adapt to regional regulatory frameworks.”

Headquartered in Malta, OKEx is a top-tier digital asset exchange offering more than 400 token and futures trading pairs to millions of customers in 150+ countries. OKEx offers the most diverse trading products in the market, ranging from spot trading, fiat-to-token trading, margin trading, and crypto derivatives. The company also helps traders, miners, and institutional investors optimize their investment strategies.

Talking about the compliance in the industry, he says:

“You’re gonna have the competitive matrix — it’s gonna be there all the time — you’ll compete on price, you’ll compete on speed, you’ll compete on listings, but you have to have a sandbox where everybody can play. And fortunately we have a sandbox already set up. What’s unfortunate is that we are trying to go regulator-to-regulator, instead of saying let’s just set some high level rules that fit into all these regulations at some level.”

Member exchanges will work together to define and adopt standards that will promote digital asset adoption globally, educate governments and regulators, and develop metrics and criteria for trading, listings, and reporting.

OKEx was recently involved in a tangle with Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) on issues related to wash trading and reporting fake trading volumes.

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