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Category Archives: Cryptocurrency

Why this cryptocurrency just surged 16% on news of a key Binance partnership – CryptoSlate

Posted: March 26, 2020 at 6:41 am

Basic Attention Token (BAT), the native cryptocurrency of the Brave Browser, spiked by more than 16 percent following a Binance trading widget integration.

The Brave team said:

Brave Software and Binance, the global blockchain company behind the worlds largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume and users, today announced a partnership that enables Brave browser users to seamlessly trade cryptocurrency assets through Binance.

The partnership allows users of Brave Browser to trade cryptocurrencies on Binance on the new tab page of the browser.

The Brave Browser remains as one of the few products with a native cryptocurrency to have millions of active users on a monthly basis.

In January 2020, Brave Software co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich said that the number of active monthly users using the Brave Browser surpassed 11.2 million.

He said:

Brave finished 2019 with 11.2M MAU & 3.5M DAU. Since then DAU has passed 3.7M DAU, and growth continues.

That is more than a 10 percent increase in user growth within a two-month span, after seeing 8.7 million users in October 2019.

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, said that the long-term partnership with Brave will increase the utility of cryptocurrencies.

Zhao said:

The Binance widget on Braves privacy-oriented browser instills a safer way to buy and sell crypto and also reduces user friction to onboard, trade and interact with the Binance ecosystem. We are looking forward to our long-term partnership with Brave to make it even easier to interact with crypto and encourage more utility in the near future.

The recovery in the price of BAT comes at a much needed time of the year; since January 1, the price of the BAT cryptocurrency fell by nearly 50 percent against the USD.

It fell substantially as the Bitcoin price dropped sharply from $8,000 to sub-$4,000 on March 12, in one of the steepest pullbacks in the markets history.

Since bottoming out at $0.099 in mid-March, the price of BAT has increased by around 70 percent to $0.162.

The sharp correction of the U.S. stock market and the global financial sector led to a short-term decline in the valuation of the entire cryptocurrency market.

But, the industry has seen significant positive developments over the past three months. Most notably, the Supreme Court of India dismissed the circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India to prohibit cryptocurrency trading.

Investments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry have declined year-over-year, primarily due to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in key cryptocurrency markets such as China, South Korea, the U.S., and Europe.

Yet, industry leaders and major companies within the sector are working toward strengthening the infrastructure supporting cryptocurrencies, similar to every previous bear cycle in the last ten years.

Since 2009, Bitcoin has seen a repeated cycle of a bear market-build phase-accumulation phase-bull market many times over. Following every bear cycle, the industry had come out stronger in terms of fundamentals.

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The Role of Cryptocurrencies in the Rise of Ransomware – Cointelegraph

Posted: at 6:41 am

Cryptocurrency and ransomware have had a long history together. They are so closely intertwined, in fact, that many have blamed the rise of cryptocurrency for a parallel rise in ransomware attacks.

Ransomware attacks are certainly increasing they rose by 118% in 2018 but its not clear that this is due to cryptocurrency. While the vast majority of ransoms are paid in crypto, the transparent nature of these currencies actually means that they are a pretty bad place to hide stolen funds.

In this article, well take a look at the relationship between cryptocurrency and ransomware, as well as what the future holds.

There are at least two ways in which cryptocurrency is important for ransomware attacks. The first one is the most obvious the majority of the ransoms paid during these kinds of attacks are generally in cryptocurrency. This was the case, for instance, in the WannaCry ransomware attacks, still the largest attack of its kind in history. Victims of the attack were instructed to send roughly $300 of Bitcoin (BTC) to their attackers.

There is another way in which crypto and ransomware are intertwined, though. Today, plenty of hackers are offering ransomware as a service, essentially letting anyone hire a hacker from online marketplaces. If you are so inclined, you can even buy ransomware off-the-shelf from these marketplaces. Both of these services can be paid for in youve guessed it cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency is also implicated in many other forms of cyberattack. Cryptojacking a form of attack that uses victims computers to mine cryptocurrencies is also on the rise, and new forms of malware such as Adylkuzz can be used by almost anyone with even a slight level of technical knowledge. Though these forms of attack are not technically ransomware, they further suggest the deep relationship between cryptocurrency and cybercrime.

At first glance, it seems obvious that ransomware hackers would demand payment in cryptocurrency. Surely these currencies, based on anonymity and encryption, offer the best place to store stolen funds?

Well, not really. There is actually a different reason why ransomware attacks make use of cryptocurrencies. As Coin Center director of research Peter Van Valkenburgh wrote in 2017, it is the efficiency of cryptocurrency networks, rather than their secrecy, that attracts hackers. As he later put it:

Its electronic cash, so its easy to write software that can automatically demand payment and automatically demand that payment has been made.

The value of cryptocurrency during a ransomware attack is actually the transparency of cryptocurrency exchanges. A hacker can simply watch the public blockchain to see if victims have paid up, and can automate the process of giving a victim their files back once this payment has been received.

This point also suggests a slightly curious aspect of the role of crypto in ransomware attacks: Cryptocurrency is, perhaps, the worst place to store ransom money. The open, transparent, nature of Bitcoin blockchain transactions means that the global community is closely watching the ransom money. That makes it extremely difficult to convert these funds into another currency, and means that they can be tracked by law enforcement.

As the director of research at Coin Center, Peter Van Valkenburgh, stated:

In the U.S., every major bitcoin exchange is regulated by FINCEN. Right now the $50,000 extorted from victims is just sitting on the bitcoin network. ... That [exchange into local currency] is where youre vulnerable to being identified.

The fact that stolen funds can be tracked in this way doesnt necessarily mean that the hackers who stole them can be brought to justice, of course. The anonymity of cryptocurrency means that it is often impossible for law enforcement agencies to uncover the true identity of ransomware hackers, though of course there are exceptions.

Chief among these, according to Coin Center, is that the blockchain allows one to trace all transactions involving a given bitcoin address, all the way back to the first transaction. That gives law enforcement the records it needs to follow the money in a way that would never be possible with cash.

Because of that, and also in response to a number of recent high-profile ransomware attacks, some have called for cryptocurrency to be regulated more closely. Regulation will need to be implemented carefully, however, because one of the major attractions of cryptocurrency for ordinary citizens and hackers alike is the fact that it is anonymous.

This means that attempts to regulate the space may make catching criminals even more difficult. As pointed out by Will Ellis, head of research at community advocacy group Privacy Australia, cryptocurrency bans led to a rise in VPN use, as investors seek to circumvent Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering requirements in their home countries.

In addition, most governments simply dont have the understanding or the resources to regulate the crypto space effectively. Some are so far behind that they arent even certain how to define what cryptocurrencies are. In this context, it is difficult to see how the close link between ransomware and cryptocurrency can ever be broken.

Related: From the UK to Malaysia: How Countries Have Been Classifying Crypto Across the World

The lack of governmental oversight of cryptocurrency, combined with the rapid rise in ransomware attacks, means that individuals need to protect themselves.

Some companies and individuals have taken unusual approaches. Companies have stockpiled Bitcoin not as an investment, but rather in case they need to pay a ransom as part of a future attack. Some enterprising individuals have even taken matters into their own hands, such as the German programmer who hacked back following a cyberattack using his own systems.

For most of us, though, protecting against ransomware attacks means doing the basics correctly. You should ensure that all of your systems are up to date, subscribe to a secure cloud storage provider and backup frequently. Companies of all sizes should partner with a managed security services provider to monitor enterprise networks, perform risk assessments and make recommendations specific to their data environment.

Ultimately, the relationship between cryptocurrency and ransomware is unlikely to be broken anytime soon. And while cryptocurrencies are certainly involved in the majority of ransomware attacks, we should not make the mistake of blaming crime on the currency it is conducted in.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Sam Bocetta is a freelance journalist specializing in U.S. diplomacy and national security, with an emphasis on technology trends in cyber warfare, cyber defense and cryptography. Previously, Sam was a defense contractor for the United States Department of Defense, working in partnership with architects and developers to mitigate controls for vulnerabilities identified across applications.

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Cryptocurrency Market Update: Dash and Monero edge above Bitcoin to lead a remarkable recovery – FXStreet

Posted: at 6:41 am

Digital assets in the cryptocurrency market are maintaining a bullish momentum and trend for the second day in a row. Although there were setbacks over the weekend as prices retreated from Fridays highs, this weeks potential and recovery optimism remain high.

According to the data provided by CoinMarketCap, the recovery across the board has seen the total market cap grow by $22 billion from $163 billion recorded on Monday to $185 billion at the time of writing. The trading volume has also grown significantly from $131 billion to $162 in the same period. Bitcoins dominance has also grown by 0.7% from 65% as reported on Monday to 65.7%.

While Bitcoin is in the green with gains more than 3%, it is not the best performing cryptocurrency. Monero(XMR) is leading the recovery in the market with over 15% in gains followed closely by Dash (DASH) with gains more than 12%. Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ripple (XRP) are not very far behind due to their 7.7% and 7.39% respective growth on the day.

BTC/USD is trading at $6,744 after touching $6,861 (intraday high). Bulls are largely in control but the sellers are keen to ensure that Bitcoin does not break above $7,000. If the critical resistance at $7,000 is overcome, I expect a technical breakout with gains eyeing $8,000.

DASH/USD is trading at $70.27 after adjusting lower from an intraday high of $71.57. The prevailing trend is strongly bullish. At the same time, the bullish momentum is supported by the expanding volatility and volume. In other words, Dash price is likely to soar especially if the rest of the market is moving higher.

XMR/USD remains at the helm of the crypto market recovery on Tuesday. It is trading at $44.10 after correcting from $44.4 (intraday high). The bulls are in the driver seat owing to the strong bullish momentum and a sustained uptrend. Stability is expected in the coming sessions but bulls will most certainly push for more action above $50.

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Ranked: US cities with the most crypto owners – Decrypt

Posted: at 6:41 am

The city of Ashburn, Virginia has more cryptocurrency users per capita than anywhere else in the United States, but users in San Francisco are the wealthiest according to new research published last week by tax software startup CoinTracker.

The startup said it examined tens of thousands of anonymized user accounts to present a snapshot of US crypto users by location, wealth and their favorite cryptocurrencies.

The data suggest that more than 50% of cryptocurrency users hold Bitcoin, and nearly 30% have Ether, the second-most popular cryptocurrency by market cap.

The mid-Atlantic tech hub Ashburn, VA had the most users per capita, followed by Redmond, Washington, the headquarters of Microsoft.

US cities with most crypto owners per capita. Source: CoinTracker

But larger cities dominated when it came to total number of crypto holders, with San Francisco coming first, followed by New York and Los Angeles.

US cities with most crypto owners. (Image: CoinTracker)

San Francisco is also home to the wealthiest cryptocurrency holders. The average user has over $55,000 in their crypto portfolio. In fact, the Bay Area dominates the list of places with the wealthiest users, with San Francisco, Palo Alto, Santa Clara and San Mateo capturing each of the top four spots.

US cities with the richest crypto owners. (Image: CoinTracker)

San Francisco users also standout as having made over half of their crypto wealth from Ethereum, according to the CoinTracker data. But San Diego leads the country in concentration of Ether wealth, with 66% of users owning the cryptocurrency.

CoinTracker said its data was obtained from people who used the companys services for calculating crypto taxes between 2013 and 2020. The startup was launched in 2017 and is backed by investors including former Coinbase CTO Balaji S. Srinivasan, tennis ace Serena Williams. YCombinator, and Initialized Capital.

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Thousands of These Computers Were Mining Cryptocurrency. Now They’re Working on Coronavirus Research – CoinDesk

Posted: at 6:41 am

CoreWeave, the largest U.S. miner on the Ethereum blockchain, is redirecting the processing power of 6,000 specialized computer chips toward research to find a therapy for the coronavirus.

These graphics processing units (GPUs) will be pointed toward Stanford University's Folding@home, a long-standing research effort that unveiled a project on Feb. 27 specifically to boost coronavirus research by way of a unique approach to developing pharmaceutical drugs: connecting thousands of computers from around the world to form a distributed supercomputer for disease research.

CoreWeave co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Brian Venturo said the project has at least a shot at finding a drug for the virus. As such, CoreWeave has responded by doubling the power of the entire network with its GPUs, which are designed to handle repetitive calculations.

According to Venturo, those 6,000 GPUs made up about 0.2 percent of Ethereum's total hashrate, earning roughly 28 ETH per day, worth about $3,600 at press time.

There is no cure for the coronavirus just yet (though various groups are working on vaccines and research to combat the disease, including IBM's supercomputer). Venturo noted that Folding@home has been used to contribute to breakthroughs in the creation of other important drugs.

"Their research had profound impacts on the development of front-line HIV defense drugs, and we are hoping our [computing power] will aid in the fight against coronavirus," Venturo said.

The coronavirus is taking a toll across the world. Italy and Spain are on lockdown. Conferences, stores and restaurants are closing to stem the spread of the disease; by stoking fears, it's slamming the financial markets in the process.

World computer

When the idea of using GPUs for coronavirus research was mentioned to CoreWeave, the team didn't think twice.

They had a test system up and running "within minutes," Venturo said. Since then, the project quickly snowballed. CoreWeave has been contributing over half of the overall computing power going into the coronavirus wing of Folding@home.

"The idea of 'should we do this?' was never really brought up, it kind of just happened. We were all enthusiastic that we might be able to help," Venturo added.

Folding@home is a decentralized project in the same vein as Bitcoin. Instead of one research firm alone using a massive computer to do research, Folding@home uses the computing power of anyone who wants to participate from around the world even if it's just a single laptop with a little unused computing power to spare.

In this case, the computing power is used to find helpful information relating to the coronavirus. Much like in bitcoin mining, one user might detect a "solution" to the problem at hand, distributing this information to the rest of the group.

"Their protein simulations attempt to find potential 'pockets' where existing [U.S. federal agency Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] approved drugs or other known compounds could help inhibit or treat the virus," Venturo said.

Viruses have proteins "that they use to suppress our immune systems and reproduce themselves. To help tackle coronavirus, we want to understand how these viral proteins work and how we can design therapeutics to stop them," a Folding@home blog post explains.

Simulating these proteins and then looking at them from different angles helps scientists to understand them better, with the potential of finding an antidote. Computers accelerate this process by shuffling through the variations very quickly.

"Our specialty is in using computer simulations to understand proteins moving parts. Watching how the atoms in a protein move relative to one another is important because it captures valuable information that is inaccessible by any other means," the post reads.

Long shot

Folding@home could use even more power. Venturo urges other GPU miners to join the cause.

Even without these calls for participation, though, miners of other cryptocurrencies are already independently taking action. Tulip.tools founder Johann Tanzer put out a call to action to Tezos bakers (that blockchains equivalent of miners) last week, promising to send the leading contributor to Folding@home a modest 15 XTZ, worth roughly $20 at press time.

The initiative blew up, to Tanzer's surprise. Though they might not be contributing as much power as CoreWeave, 20 groups of Tezos miners are now contributing a slice of their hashing power to the cause. Tanzer's pot has swelled to roughly $600 as Tezos users caught wind of the effort and donated.

But that's not to say all miners can participate. While GPUs are flexible, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), a type of chip designed specifically for mining, aren't, according to Venturo. Though ASICs are more powerful than GPUs, they're really only made for one thing: To mine cryptocurrency. This is one advantage Venturo thinks Ethereum has over Bitcoin, since GPU mining still works on the former, whereas the latter is now dominated by ASICs.

"This is one of the great things about the Ethereum mining ecosystem, it's basically the largest GPU compute resource on the planet. We were able to redeploy our hardware to help fight a global pandemic in minutes," Venturo said. (However, it's worth noting that Ethereum has seen ASICs enter the fray. Not to mention, ether miners might soon go extinct when a pivotal upgrade makes its way into the network.)

ASICs are useless for the Folding@Home effort, but if bitcoin miners have old GPUs lying around from the early days that they could contribute, too.

Even if other miners join up, though, it's still a long shot that the effort will lead to a helpful drug.

"After discussing with some industry experts [...] we believe the chance of success in utilizing the work done on Folding@Home to deliver a drug to market to be in the 2-5% range," Venturo said.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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The Coder and the Dictator – The New York Times

Posted: at 6:41 am

Mr. Jimnez was fairly insulated. He had founded a start-up, The Social Us, that connected Venezuelan programmers and designers with American companies looking for cheap labor. Like many wealthier Venezuelans, Mr. Jimnez kept almost all his money in dollars, but this made transactions a headache. He had to illegally swap currency every few days, and a taxi ride would require a stack of bolvars so thick that most drivers accepted only wire transfers.

The situation rekindled Mr. Jimnezs long-running interest in cryptocurrencies. He began paying his employees in a digital coin; even with the crazy volatility of the crypto markets, it was more stable than a Venezuelan bank account, and it wasnt subject to the Maduro regimes diktats. The staff at The Social Us began touting cryptocurrency as a way for ordinary Venezuelans growing numbers of whom were buying Bitcoin on the street to deal with practical problems. One project they designed was a payment terminal that bypassed government limits on spending.

Initially, the Maduro regime saw Bitcoin as a threat. The technology, after all, used a decentralized network to create and move money, and no authority was in charge. But then some members of the government noticed that this cut both ways. Cryptocurrency could also be a way for Venezuela to escape sanctions levied by the United States and international organizations.

In September 2017, an official loyal to Mr. Maduro floated the idea of a digital currency backed by Venezuelas oil reserves. This was unorthodox: One of the tenets of Bitcoin is that its value does not derive from a natural resource or government fiat,only the laws of mathematics. But the distinction faded in the face of Venezuelas desperation. The official, Carlos Vargas, read about Mr. Jimnezs crypto work in a local publication and asked for a meeting.

Soon the hulking form of Mr. Vargas arrived at the office of The Social Us. As he consumed an entire bag of potato chips, Mr. Vargas flattered the young digital workers, saying they were among the only people in Venezuela capable of creating what he had proposed. The idea was exactly what Mr. Jimnez had hoped to hear. The goal was to create a new Venezuelan currency that would move freely over an open network, like Bitcoin. The government would be unable to control or bungle it. Mr. Vargas wanted to call it the Petro Global Coin, but Mr. Jimnez suggested something simpler: the Petro.

The Social Us put together a short pitch deck for the Petro project. But Venezuela is filled with people proposing crazy schemes, and Mr. Jimnez didnt put too much stock in it. Then, in early December, when Mr. Jimnez was at a conference in Colombia, he got an urgent text. Mr. Maduro had just announced a national cryptocurrency called the Petro. Mr. Jimnez threw open his laptop and found a video of the president, in his usual workmans shirt, telling a whooping crowd, This is something momentous.

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Bitcoin news: Price hit by dramatic value fluctuations amid coronavirus panic buying and selling – The Independent

Posted: at 6:41 am

Bitcoin has experienced wild price swings in recent days as cryptocurrency markets respond to the global economic uncertainty sparked by thecoronavirus epidemic.

The cryptocurrency has swung between highs of $9,000 and lows of 4,000 since the start of March, representing the most severe price volatility since the market explosion and subsequent crash in late 2017.

Over the last week the value of one bitcoin has risen by more than $1,000 to its current price of $6,600.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

The latest price rise came after the US Federal Reserve announced unlimited quantitative easing measures to help reduce the economic impact of coronavirus.

This follows similar announcements from other central banks like the Reserve Bank of Australia and the European Central Bank to artificially increase the money supply.

Such drastic economic policy is seen by some analysts as a potential opportunity for investors, who may consider bitcoin as a safe-haven asset due to its decentralised nature.

The limited supply of bitcoin only 21 million will ever exist means it is also immune to quantitative easing and other emergency monetary measures that fiat currencies are susceptible to.

The US Federal Reserves announcement effectively pumps billions of dollars into the market, so some investors may be weary that the dollar will lose its value, and are moving back into bitcoin to hedge against inflation, Simon Peters, a cryptocurrency analyst at the online trading platform eToro, toldThe Independent.

Because the amount of new bitcoin that comes on to the market decreases over time, it is by design a deflationary asset when compared with a fiat currency like the US dollar. In theory the value per bitcoin should increase over time.

Other major cryptocurrencies continue to experience similar fluctuations, though the full extent of the impact the coronavirus outbreak has had on markets is yet to be fully realised.

On 3 January, 2009, the genesis block of bitcoin appeared. It came less than a year after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled 'Bitcoin: A peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System'

Reuters

On 22 May, 2010, the first ever real-world bitcoin transaction took place. Lazlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins the equivalent of $90 million at today's prices

Lazlo Hanyecz

Bitcoin soon gained notoriety for its use on the dark web. The Silk Road marketplace, established in 2011, was the first of hundreds of sites to offer illegal drugs and services in exchange for bitcoin

On 29 October, 2013, the first ever bitcoin ATM was installed in a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The machine allowed people to exchange bitcoins for cash

REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis

The world's biggest bitcoin exchange, MtGox, filed for bankruptcy in February 2014 after losing almost 750,000 of its customers bitcoins. At the time, this was around 7 per cent of all bitcoins and the market inevitably crashed

Getty Images

In 2015, Australian police raided the home of Craig Wright after the entrepreneur claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He later rescinded the claim

Getty Images

On 1 August, 2017, an unresolvable dispute within the bitcoin community saw the network split. The fork of bitcoin's underlying blockchain technology spawned a new cryptocurrency: Bitcoin cash

REUTERS

Towards the end of 2017, the price of bitcoin surged to almost $20,000. This represented a 1,300 per cent increase from its price at the start of the year

Reuters

On 3 January, 2009, the genesis block of bitcoin appeared. It came less than a year after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled 'Bitcoin: A peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System'

Reuters

On 22 May, 2010, the first ever real-world bitcoin transaction took place. Lazlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins the equivalent of $90 million at today's prices

Lazlo Hanyecz

Bitcoin soon gained notoriety for its use on the dark web. The Silk Road marketplace, established in 2011, was the first of hundreds of sites to offer illegal drugs and services in exchange for bitcoin

On 29 October, 2013, the first ever bitcoin ATM was installed in a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The machine allowed people to exchange bitcoins for cash

REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis

The world's biggest bitcoin exchange, MtGox, filed for bankruptcy in February 2014 after losing almost 750,000 of its customers bitcoins. At the time, this was around 7 per cent of all bitcoins and the market inevitably crashed

Getty Images

In 2015, Australian police raided the home of Craig Wright after the entrepreneur claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He later rescinded the claim

Getty Images

On 1 August, 2017, an unresolvable dispute within the bitcoin community saw the network split. The fork of bitcoin's underlying blockchain technology spawned a new cryptocurrency: Bitcoin cash

REUTERS

Towards the end of 2017, the price of bitcoin surged to almost $20,000. This represented a 1,300 per cent increase from its price at the start of the year

Reuters

Bitcoin was launched in 2009in response to the financial crisis of the previous year, offering a revolutionary alternative to the traditional financial system.

The electronic cash system has failed to achieve mainstream adoption in the subsequent years, during which the global economy recovered and achieved sustained growth. Some experts believe that the advent of another economic collapse could be see a renewed interest in bitcoin as an alternative form of currency and store of value.

This is the first time the world has faced a financial crisis when there has been an alternative financial system, said Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of London-based cryptocurrency exchange Luno.

Cryptocurrencies are still very young, and at this stage in their development cannot replace fiat currencies, but as the problems global markets face increase we will see investors looking at digital assets as a way of distancing themselves from digital investments.

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Regulatory And Other Developments In Singapore On Cryptocurrency And Bitcoin Exchanges – Technology – Singapore – Mondaq News Alerts

Posted: at 6:41 am

To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com.

In our earlier CNPupdate article published on 9 May 2018, we discussed theregulatory approach to cryptocurrency and bitcoin exchanges inSingapore. In this article, we look at the regulatory developmentsfollowing the commencement of the Payment Services Act 2019("PS Act") on 28 January 2020.

Along with the PS Act, the following key regulations relating tothe new payment services framework have also come into effect on 28January 2020:-

Entities who operate or intend to operate Cryptocurrency andBitcoin Exchanges in Singapore (collectively,"Exchange Operators") may be required tocomply with the licensing requirements for providing a"digital payment token service" and operating a"digital payment token exchange" under the PSAct.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (the"MAS") formed a new Payments Departmentin February 2020 to supervise the payment services industry inSingapore the ("PD"). The PD isresponsible for supervising the regulation of the payments industryin Singapore. The PD formulates policies on the regulation ofpayment services, and supervises payment services providers (e.g.cross-border money transfer service providers, digital paymenttoken service providers and money-changers) as well as paymentsystems (e.g. GIRO, FAST, NETS Electronic Funds Transfer atPoint-of-Sale). PD also supervises non-bank credit and charge cardissuers regulated under the Banking Act, and credit bureausregulated under the Credit Bureau Act.

Over recent months, there have also been some notabledevelopments in the cryptocurrency landscape in Singapore. iSTOX, adigitised securities trading platform, graduated from the MAS'Fintech Regulatory Sandbox on 1 February 2020 [link]. Intercontinental Exchange, an approvedexchange regulated by the MAS, launched the Bakkt bitcoincash-settled monthly futures contract in Singapore on 9 December2019 [link]. Xfers, a provider of e-money issuanceservice, announced on 7 November 2019 that it plans to issue theXSGD token (powered by Zilliqa), a Singapore-dollar backed andpegged "stablecoin" under the project nameStraitsX [link].

This update is provided to you for general information andshould not be relied upon as legal advice.

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THE CORONAVIRUS’ EFFECT ON CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADING – Island Echo

Posted: at 6:41 am

The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect all walks of life, with everyone struggling to cope with what this means for what we think of as a normal way of life. Schools are suspended, most businesses closed until further notice, and governments all around the world are looking to both mitigate the spread while also lessening the fallout from the disease.

Within the financial world, Yahoo! Finance reports that insiders expect the global stock market to enter into a deep recession. This means that some are now looking to cryptocurrency as an alternative trading method, however crypto remains as volatile as ever. News outlets have either been praising cryptocurrencies rise or predicting its fall, and this news seems to change by the hour.

The rise of cryptocurrency

As of March 24, CNBC reports that the crypto prices have risento over 12 billion, which means their total value now amounts to about 155 billion. Bitcoin was up over 10%, while other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and XRP also rose. Cryptocurrency exchange expert Vijay Ayyar told the news outlet that investors are seeing this bullish rise as a positive, with investors gaining confidence and potentially seeing cryptocurrency as a safe haven amidst all the global stock market fears.

This rise comes hot on the heels of cryptocurrencys rough patch earlier this month. Just 11 days prior to this rise, cryptocurrency prices tanked as investors were trying to quickly sell off their stocks due to the coronavirus panic. Financial insiders used this time to bemoan cryptocurrencys role as a safe haven in the face of a global economic downturn, but this recent growth means that cryptocurrency may indeed be the economic haven that traders are searching for.

What this means for traders

The fall and subsequent rise of cryptocurrency at this time thus begs the question: What does this mean for traders? While cryptocurrencys volatility is what makes it exciting, beginner traders who are safely at home can use this time to better monitor its conditions. Plus500s trading platform was built to help mitigate cryptocurrencys extreme volatility by alerting users of any sudden price increases and drops. While no one will ever have a concrete hold on how cryptocurrency stocks move, such tools allow traders to manage their profits and losses. After all, understanding how to manage your risk is an extremely important lesson when it comes to cryptocurrency trading.

In line with this, Forekast News emphasises the growing numberof ordinary people who are now trying their hand at cryptocurrency investments. Tech writer and cryptocurrency trader Sumit Gupta suggests that while cryptocurrency does benefit large financial institutions, its decentralised nature also means that all kinds of traders can get in. This inclusion can then increase the purchasing power of the ordinary citizen.

Our post on decentralised hubs in the Isle of Wight speaks to just how far this tech has the potential to grow. As many people across the globe brace themselves for the virus worst effects, financial insiders will continue to monitor cryptocurrencys growth amidst all the panic.

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THE CORONAVIRUS' EFFECT ON CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADING - Island Echo

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Chinas Cryptocurrency Is Closer Than Expected, Already Working On Legislation – CryptoPotato

Posted: at 6:41 am

Despite the delay, the Peoples Bank of China (PBC) is closer to launching its official digital currency. By working together with several large private companies, the nations central bank has finished the development process and is working on the proper legislation before the CBDC is released.

After the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese central bank digital currency (CBDC) was delayed indefinitely. However, as the country is portraying initial stages of recovering after the deadly virus, a new report informed that the CBDCs launch is closer than anticipated.

The Chinese central bank has completed the development process by collaborating with several local firms, including Huawei, China Merchants Bank, Tencent, and the tech giant Alibaba.

The latter has reportedly publicized five patents related to the future digital currency from January 21st to March 17th. The patents cover various areas of the digital currencys future usage. Those include issuance, digital wallets, transaction recording, anonymous trading support, and assistance in supervising and dealing with illegal accounts.

Aside from all patents, the digital currency has to comply with local legislation as well. This, according to the report, could raise issues, because the currency has to operate with banking and insurance regulators on supervision. This process could be quite lengthy. Therefore, the exact time of the CBDC launch cannot be determined yet.

As the world is arguably entering the next, long-awaited, recession, most central banks are taking extreme measures to fight the economy curtail. The U.S. Fed, for example, cut the interest rates in an unprecedented manner and even announced unlimited quantitative easing.

Chinas approach for stabilizing its economy might differ substantially with the digital currency launch. Cao Yan, managing director of Digital Renaissance Foundation, believes that the PBC should accelerate the development of the CBDC.

He outlined two main merits; firstly, it would establish Chinas leadership position in this new digitally-oriented world. Secondly, a CBDC could be more efficient during times of uncertainty than simply lowering rates.

If there is a chance China is considering lowering its interest rate into negative territory as a final option and directing such policy to commercial loans and lending, a circulated digital currency rather than M0 will be able to achieve that. he explained.

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Chinas Cryptocurrency Is Closer Than Expected, Already Working On Legislation - CryptoPotato

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