ICO Scams, Antsy Enterprises and Massive Hacks: This Week in Crypto
- Bitcoin is down 13% this week after dropping roughly 1% last week. The price declined steadily this week as the whole cryptocurrency market sheds billions of dollars. Some have attributed this drop as being the result of market manipulation. These fears have not gone unnoticed and the U.S. government has opened up a criminal investigation on crypto market manipulation. Nonetheless, analysts are still bullish with Fundstrat’s Lee calling Bitcoin “underappreciated”.
- Ethereum is down 18% this week after dropping 5% last week. The price comes even as projects continue to be built on the platform and with much bullish sentiment. Ethereum was also in the news this week after Google attempted to hire Vitalik.
- The entire market declined by 14% this week as heavyweights Bitcoin and Ethereum dropped precipitously. While several high profile bulls have spoken out, other researchers are less optimistic. The market was helped out a bit this week when Zcash price increased by 50% ahead of news it will be listed on Winklevii owned exchange Gemini.
- Vanguard Bearish: Joe Davis, the chief economist for $5.1 trillion asset manager Vanguard, wrote in an ETF.com op-ed that although the firm is enthusiastic about blockchain technology in general, it does not believe “cryptocurrencies constitute a viable use case.” These statements have been largely disputed.
- Nokia Partners with Streamr: Nokia, has announced a project to give people in remote rural areas. This data will then be sold to Swiss cryptocurrency startup called Streamr that tokenizes data collected by Internet-connected devices.
- Coinbase almost as big as Fidelity: The exchange now manages over 20 million customer accounts, which is nearly as many as Fidelity Investments and twice as many as Charles Schwab. The report comes as Coinbase acquired decentralized cryptocurrency platform Paradex earlier this week.
- Walmart Files Blockchain Patent: A recently released filing by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) outlines a system that enables the tracking of retail products brought by a customer.
- Amex to Integrate Hyperledger in Rewards Program: American Express has deployed Hyperledger’s blockchain technology to allow merchants to create Membership Rewards offers on their own platforms to engage customers and at the same time offer card members more opportunities to earn points.
- ICO Scams Raise $1 billion: In an exhaustive analysis of more than 1,450 tokens the Wall Street Journal found that 271 “displayed all characteristics of deceptive ponzi-schemes.” So far, only about $273 million has been claimed in a series of lawsuits. The $1 billion is a huge percentage of the $9 billion raised in cryptocurrencies since 2017.
- Coincheck to Delist Major coins under regulatory pressure: Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck will delist trading pairs for privacy-centric cryptocurrencies Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Dash (DASH) next month after coming under massive pressure from Japan’s Financial Services Agency.
- Kazakhstan President Calls for UN Cryptocurrency Regulations: The president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, is urging the global community to work together to draft common rules regarding the use of cryptocurrencies. He further claims that the G7 and G20 formats, which have established baseline rules on cryptocurrencies, “do not adequately represent the interests of the global community”.
- South Africa Insists on Calling Cryptocurrencies ‘Tokens’: South Africa’s central bank is choosing to call cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as ‘cyber-tokens’ rather than currencies, arguing they do not ‘meet the requirements of money’. The move comes after Craig Wright, widely hated “creator” of Bitcoin claimed that he had more money than South African Neighbor Rwanda and did not want an African currency, but did “want the world”.
- Monero Announces Digital Asset Protocol: The lead developer of Monero has unveiled a new second-layer protocol that will allow users to create and trade digital assets on top of the privacy-centric cryptocurrency’s network. The protocol, called Tari, will make it possible to program and issue non-fungible assets like loyalty points, in-game items, and concert tickets over the blockchain. The protocol is similar to the Ethereum protocol that has allowed for the creation of programs like CryptoKitties.
- Cryptocurrency-Powered Browser Hits 5 million Downloads: The ad-blocking browser, which was co-founded by Mozilla Firefox creator Brendan Eich, reached this significant milestone last Thursday, just six months after crossing the one million download threshold. The browser has already established high profile relationships with several enterprises such as the Dow Jones Media Group. The browser previously raised $36 million in its ICO.
- ‘Operation Cryptosweep’ hits ShipChain: The securities division of the South Carolina’s Office of the Attorney General has ordered blockchain startup ShipChain to stop operating in the state. The order is part of a much larger “Cryptosweep” which was applauded by SEC chairman Jay Clayton earlier this week.
- Former Visa CEO Moves to Crypto Startup: Last week, on May 19, former Visa UK and Ireland CEO Marc O’Brien said during an interview that he has been appointed as the CEO of a cryptocurrency startup called Crypterium.
- UCL Terminates Ties with IOTA Foundation after Identifying Exploit: University College London, better known as UCL has officially terminated its ties with the IOTA Foundation as a response to the legal threats made by IOTA founders against cybersecurity researchers. The IOTA foundation emphasized in its response that it is not associated with the founder of IOTA.
- Monacoin Attacked: Between May 13th and 15th, Monacoin, a cryptocurrency developed in Japan, appears to have suffered from a network attack that caused roughly $90,000 in damages. The attack is known as a “selfish mining” attack and can allow an attacker to double spend.
- Hyundai’s Cryptocurrency Mining Pool Hacked: The mining pool of HDAC, a blockchain platform and company operated by Hyundai BS&C, a subsidiary of South Korea’s biggest car manufacturer and major conglomerate, experienced a hacking attack on May 24th and was forced to halt withdrawals temporarily.
- XMR Mining Malware Hits Macs: The malware creates a process called mshelper. MalwareBytes researched discovered the program is a copy of a legitimate mining software called XMRig. The only difference is this version is used to create the cryptocurrency for the benefit of the hacker.
- Taylor Suffers 2,500 ETH Hack: Taylor, a company that recently launched an initial coin offering (ICO) to raise funds to help develop a smart cryptocurrency trading assistant, has recently been hacked for 2,578 ETH (about $1.5 million) as well as 7% of its TAY tokens.
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