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Daily Roundup-16 Oct 2018

News From Around the World

Binance Listing Fees: Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Will Donate All Fees to Charity


Binance, the top cryptocurrency trading platform by its daily trade volume, just made a big announcement regarding its Binance listing fees.

Binance Listing Fees

Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s Founder, said that he wrote down the Blockchain Charity Foundation four years ago, but wasn’t able to execute it at the time. With Binance’s catastrophic growth last year, it seems the founder believes now is the perfect time to launch the charity foundation.

In addition to his charity initiative, the founder posted:

Binance holds one of the biggest order books in the world and starting yesterday, it will now donate all listing fees to its Charity Foundation. Another addition to this is that all fees will now be completely transparent.

The Binance trading fee announcement reads:

“Starting immediately, and going forward, we will make all listing fees transparent and donate 100% of them to charity. Project teams will still propose the number they would like to provide for a ‘listing fee,’ or now more appropriately called a ‘donation.’ Binance will not dictate a number, nor is there a minimum required listing fee.”

Pushback from Investors

Before the new rule went into effect, the previous listing fees and agreements were not transparent, and the exchange has kept investors in the dark.

One crypto enthusiast pointed that out by saying:

Source: Cryptocurrency News


Is Ripple Becoming the Microsoft of Crypto? One CEO Says Yes


Aside from a dozen lawsuits and a few XRP price drops, Ripple has had quite the year. And big things continue to stir. One CEO has even likened Ripple to Microsoft. But is that an accurate comparison?

Ripple and Microsoft: Two Peas in a Pod?

This week, we’ve seen a few headlines about the company behind XRP. While the news of xRapid expanding into commercial production with RippleNet made waves on Tuesday, it’s the headlines from the day before that caught people’s attention, including mine.

On Monday, October 1st, Phillip Nunn, who is the CEO of The Blackmore Group and Wealth Chain Group, called Ripple “the Microsoft of crypto.” A bold statement, but is it true? In Nunn’s mind, it is; which is interesting, considering the CEO even said he hasn’t ever “been a supporter of Ripple.”

But, when there’s visible progress, we need to put aside our issues and recognize what’s happening. That’s precisely what Nunn is doing, tweeting that he is putting aside his problems with Ripple’s offering “as they become so important in flying the #crypto #blockchain flag.”

According to Nunn, there are “similarities to Microsoft’s place within the advent of the internet.” He also said “the next wave of crypto” is about adoption, and “XRP and Ripple are getting into all the banks and positioning themselves.”


How’s XRP Doing Today?

Nunn’s optimism around XRP and the company behind it was not enough to send the altcoin in the green, nor was yesterday’s news about xRapid and RippleNet. But, that might not be Ripple’s fault, considering all of the top-ten coins on CoinMarketCap are currently trading in the red.

At press time, according to CoinMarketCap, XRP is trading at $0.527248, which puts the altcoin down 4.48% in the past twenty-four hours.

The Takeaway

What do you think about Nunn’s claim that Ripple is becoming the new Microsoft? Do you see similarities? Let us know what you think in the comments below!


Source: Cointelegraph


‘Everyone Is the Bank’: Blockchain Network Allows Anyone to Launch Their Own Coin


A new blockchain network believes its platform offers the “next step” from Bitcoin – speeding up transaction times and giving crypto enthusiasts the chance to change between different digital currencies with ease.

In a bid to reduce the delays that some transactions on blockchain face, Minter claims it can process them in five seconds flat – meaning thousands of transactions per second can be completed without delays or additional confirmations.

Minter hopes to stand head and shoulders above the competition by giving anyone the opportunity to create their very own cryptocurrency and set a price for it. These coins can then be exchanged for other assets including Bitcoin and Ethereum, in addition to fiat currencies such as US dollars.

The startup claims that all of this is achieved with a transaction fee that’s below $0.01, and it hopes to drive forward its offering through a “large community of users and developers” who are invested in helping the platform thrive.

Three main goals

Minter says it has been established with a triad of objectives in mind. Firstly, it wants to ensure users have access to an easy-to-own cryptocurrency that is optimized for everyday use. The company has also concocted the irresistible notion that “everyone is the bank,” meaning anyone can issue and manage their own currencies. Minter also prioritizes liquidity, and says “every coin should have instant and absolute liquidity.”

At the beating heart of Minter is a native token known as Blockchain Instant Payment (BIP). As well as having “a lot of competitive advantages over common coins,” the startup claims it has the potential to distinguish itself from mainstream financial institutions. While the commission charged on transfers through the likes of PayPal and old-fashioned banks can be as high as 5 or 10 percent respectively, Minter says that BIP’s costs are less than $0.01 – or sometimes even free. Whereas a bank transfer can take days, its payment solution wraps things up in five seconds. And while Ethereum and Bitcoin are not mobile-ready, Minter’s platform is.

The company argues that its solution is necessary as certain platforms are never going to change. Its white paper explains: “PayPal will always have a high commission as its main goal is to protect buyers across the globe; banks will never be able to speed up transfers as they are all just too different and need intermediaries to facilitate payments.”

Integration with Telegram

The blockchain has recently announced that it is integrating with the Telegram Open Network – enabling Minter users to transfer any coins issued on its network to TON’s blockchain. With one of the services Telegram plans to roll out, TON Payments, Minter users will be able to send and receive micropayments in Minter-based coins using the Lightning Network.

This is the latest announcement to be made about the cooperation of Minter and Telegram. Early adopters of the blockchain network have been able to pass “know your customer” procedures via Telegram Passport in the space of a few minutes, which was marked by Telegram on its official blog.

Once Minter officially launches, the platform is planning to hold what it describes as “the largest airdrop in Telegram’s history” – with users receiving BIP and other Minter-issued coins worth almost 1,000 Bitcoins – for those who sign up before October 31, 2018. In addition, the project is offering a 25 percent bonus to all users who top up their balance until October 19 2018, 19:00 UTC.

In its white paper, Minter says it is passionate about teaming up with TON because its founders, Pavel, and Nikolai Durov, are “vocal advocates of freedom and independence.”

The startup wants to be developer-friendly, enabling new apps to be built, to push the platform forward. Other features include usernames as addresses, meaning that crypto enthusiasts will no longer need to memorize long strings of random characters whenever they want to complete a transaction and future compatibility with payment systems such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. Minter plans for BIP tokens to be gradually released over a seven-year period.

Source: Cointelegraph


Daily Round up Oct 15 2018

News From Around the World

One of India’s oldest cryptocurrency exchanges is shutting down; What this means for the country’s cryptoverse


One of India’s oldest and largest cryptocurrency exchange, ZebPay has shut down, making it one of the first major casualties of the Indian government’s indecisiveness on cryptocurrencies.

Zebpay, operated by Ahmedabad-based Zeb IT Service Ltd, announced its plans to shut down exchange operations late last week blaming the regulatory chokehold as the reason it chose to shut down.

“The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully,” Zebpay said in a blog post last week. “At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business,” the post said.

In April 2018, India’s central bank told entities like banks that come under its regulatory purview to stop providing services to businesses and individuals dealing with cryptocurrencies. People who owned cryptocurrencies could no longer convert it to fiat or the other way around.

For central banks around the world, the adoption of cryptocurrency is a cause for concern as they render the regulatory tools to control Money ineffective. As we’d written earlier, these include monetary tools like capital controls, money supply, and interest rates as well as law enforcement in the form of anti-money laundering, taxation, and financial investigation.

Some Indian exchanges introduced peer-to-peer transactions to stay afloat. Peer-to-peer transfers don’t need banks in middle and users can simply transfer cryptocurrencies to each other. Zebpay had over 3 million users. So the move to shut operations comes as a surprise to many.


India’s current regulatory climate not only affects Zebpay but also all the other exchanges that operate from the country. Many of them have restructured operations or introduced a new platform anticipating the chilling effects of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification.

Mumbai-based WazirX and Koinex, for instance, launched peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency transaction platforms in addition to their exchange that allows users to transact in cryptocurrency.

Bengaluru-based cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin also launched its crypto-to-crypto (C2C) exchange called Unodax. Other exchanges like Giouttus and Instashift also launched Rupee-based P2P trading. Coinsecure, which was allegedly hacked in in April and lost over 438 BTC, is currently in the process of reimbursing its customers for their losses.

Since the C2C and P2P markets are not restricted by geographic boundaries, traders often rely on over the counter(OTC) and P2P markets that allow transactions using cash, gift cards, and bank transfers. This has increased trading volumes on platforms like Bisq, LocalBitcoins, Paxful, and HodlHodl among others. According to data from Paxful, the platform saw weekly BTC trades volumes from India rise to reach a peak of Rs 50 lakh earlier this month. Even though the due diligence required to trade on these platforms is higher, as fraudulent transactions are possible, investors and traders see these methods as better for trading than not having any at all.

Source: Factordaily


Cryptocurrency mining malware found hidden in Adobe Flash updater


A windows installer carrying legit Adobe Flash update has been flagged as a potential source of cryptocurrency mining malware.

The fake installer, when run, brings Adobe Flash Player to the latest version, leading the user to think it's authentic.

However, in the background, it installs the malware to mine cryptocurrency.

Here are the finer details.


What does this fake updater do?

Discovered by security researchers at Palo Alto Networks, the fake Flash updater sneaks a cryptocurrency bot called XMRig while installing the Flash update.

The bot mines for Monero and has been deceiving users for nearly three months now.

Users get a legit Flash version from the installer so that they don't realize what it might be doing to their machine in the background.

How the malware was discovered?

The researchers found the cryptocurrency miner while analyzing one of more than 100 fake 'AdobeFlashPlayer' installers on the internet.

On running the program, it sought permission to download software from unknown publishers, but given the looks, most victims would have continued with the installation.

Next, the bot got into action and connected to a Monero mining pool in the background. 

Then, the system takes the load, mining cryptocurrency

After establishing the connection, the bot started mining Monero for the scammer, running the victim's CPU at full throttle.

The cryptocurrency mined, in this case, was being redirected to a single wallet, the researchers found.

However, it is worth noting that this is not the first case of cryptocurrency mining with a malware like this.

Source: Newsbyteapp


‘Too Many Disappointing ICOs’. Crypto Payment Startup Launches With ‘No Funding’ Strategy


The team behind a new cryptocurrency platform designed to transfer the way consumers and businesses are paid, says it is putting its money where its mouth is – and has managed to launch without the need for an initial coin offering (ICO).

BLOC argues that too many ICOs have been popping up in the crypto world – disappointing users by failing to offer real products at their conclusion. By contrast, the startup says its platform already boasts “an exclusive set of mining tools, world-first features, and an unrivaled ecosystem to connect buyers and sellers.” The upbeat company has a “strong belief” in its no funding strategy, saying: “If we make a cool product, the value will create itself.”

The buzzwords BLOC uses to describe itself are “fully decentralized, secure, private, fungible, fast, and egalitarian.” It wants to help the crypto world shake off its image of only being suitable for investment by enabling individuals to use coins, as they would any other type of cryptocurrency.

QR codes would be one of the driving factors in making this happen, enabling consumers to offer it for scanning whenever they want to pay a merchant. BLOC says that these transactions would be processed instantaneously – offering security, not dissimilar, from contactless payments.

BLOC says that its platform is going to be open to developers, enabling companies to build their own products and engage with clients in a tailor-made way. Ideas proposed in its white paper include loyalty programs and automated regular payments.

A busy time since launch

The company takes pride in the milestones it has achieved so far without the need of an ICO over a five-month period. As well as developing a BLOC crypto wallet for Windows, Mac, and Linux, it has created a bot and successfully translated its ecosystem into three languages: French, Russian, and Chinese. Mining pools are online in North America, Europe, and Asia, the platform for developers launched, and an “innovative dashboard” has been introduced. As of October, the crypto wallet has also been made available for iPhones through the App Store.

BLOC says it has made efforts to dismantle some of the barriers to entry for mining by ensuring that anyone – whether they have hi-tech hardware or a humble smartphone – can mine “with the same probability of coin reward, in what it describes as a “true egalitarian proof of work.”

Changing the way we are paid

One of the concepts BLOC has unveiled is PAYCHANGE, which aims to take advantage of the popularity of contactless payments by encouraging cryptocurrencies to be used instead of conventional credit and debit cards. It hopes to integrate into standard payment methods including Apple Pay – “creating bridges between the real world and cryptocurrencies.” In order to educate the public and fuel widespread adoption, PAYCHANGE plans to launch physical stores around the world for the “hassle free” purchase of cryptocurrencies – and provide visitors with the courses they need to understand more about how the technology works. From here, they would have the chance to purchase the accessories they need to make the most out of their crypto.

In a sign of how ambitious BLOC is, it has also created TRAAKX, which aims to “revolutionize the sport talent management system using advanced hardware to track and record the activity of an athlete.” This would enable members of the public to financially support their favorite athletes, and give up-and-coming stars the encouragement they need to thrive. Over time, the startup believes that tokenization of sports will help create a much-needed boost for the sector – enabling audiences to grow and new stars to be discovered.

Source: Cointelegraph



Daily Round-up Oct 11

News From Around the World

SEC Asks Court to Enforce Subpoena in ICO Inquiry


The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday that it has asked a U.S. district court to enforce a subpoena as part of a probe into alleged pump-and-dump tactics that involved claims of a $100 million initial coin offering (ICO).

According to the October 9 statement, officials at the U.S. regulator are investigating Saint James Holding and Investment Company Trust and its trustee, Jeffre James, months after the agency first moved to suspend trading in penny-stock company Cherubim Interests, Inc.

The SEC explained that it believes Cherubim lied to investors about its claims around the so-called SJTCoin, which it said in January was "designed for cooperative living, working and healthier lives and offers extensible diversity in the use of the coin over current coins like Bitcoins for both financial and societal gain."

The agency said in its Tuesday statement:


"Based on its ongoing, nonpublic investigation, the SEC has reason to believe that to 'pump' its stock price, Cherubim issued false public statements in January 2018 claiming that the company had executed a $100,000,000 financing commitment to launch an initial coin offering ('ICO') for St. James Trust. After Cherubim's stock price and trading volume increased on this news, certain individuals associated with the company may have 'dumped' their overvalued Cherubim stock for significant profits."

Yet to date, James and the St. James Trust have yet to respond to the subpoena, despite "personally [serving] James with copies of the subpoenas."

"The SEC's application seeks an order from the court compelling James and St. James Trust to produce all responsive documents," the agency said.

At the start of the year, the SEC made waves as it moved to scrutinize a number of small-cap stocks that rode a wave of public interest around blockchain, having warned in August 2017 that it would seek to punish public companies that use ICO-related claims to hoodwink investors.

Source: coindesk


Singapore Moves to Help Crypto Startups Receive Banking Services


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state's central bank, is working to ensure cryptocurrency startups receive domestic banking services as part of the country's efforts to boost fintech development.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Ravi Menon, the institution's managing director, said the central bank is trying to "bring the banks and cryptocurrency fintech startups together to see if there's some understanding they can reach."

Menon added that a major issue currently facing Singapore-based crypto startups is that traditional banks are reluctant to open bank accounts because some aspects of the industry could appear "obscure and dangerous" to both regulators and financial institutions.

"The nature of this business is a bit different, so banks may need to employ other ways in which they can establish bona fide," Menon was quoted as saying.


He added:

"I hope we can bring minds together on this so that we can get over this hurdle."

That said, Menon cautioned that this approach does not mean the MAS will adopt a loose regulatory stance just to attract crypto startups.

The central bank, he said, currently has no intention to employ a licensing scheme for crypto exchanges as its Japanese counterpart has done – assigning licenses to 16 Japanese exchanges so far, in part, to help them obtain banking support.

As CoinDesk reported in mid-September, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is now seeking to open a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Singapore that supports trading pairs for the Singapore dollars.

Source: Coindesk

Image Source: Shutterstock


Mastercard Patent Hints at Plan for Multi-Currency Blockchains


Mastercard has won a patent for a proposed system that would allow for the launch of different kinds of blockchains – including those that support multiple currencies.

Published Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the patent explains that a group or company may need to store different types of transaction information on a single platform – something that is currently difficult to do on a single blockchain.

To counter this issue, MasterCard describes how a specific block-generation method for a permissioned blockchain can ensure that different blocks store different types of information.

The document, which was first filed in July 2016, explains that "the transaction records stored in the blocks comprising a blockchain are often required to be of the same format and include the same types, and sometimes even sizes, of data."


However, "in the case of an entity that wants to use multiple types of blockchains, such as a different blockchain for several different currencies," that source might need to run multiple blockchain platforms, which in turn would require a large amount of computing power.

The patent goes on to explain:

"There is a need for a technological solution to provide a partitioned blockchain that is capable of storing multiple transaction formats and types in a single blockchain, reducing the computing resources and processing power required for deployment and operation of the blockchain, while also providing for enhanced usage of permissions for permissioned blockchains."

The patent adds that an appropriately partitioned blockchain can receive information about transaction types from different computing devices. Each partition, referred to potentially as a "subnet" by the patent, would store information about a specific type of currency or otherwise hold different types of information than the other subnets.

Among financial companies, Mastercard has become a prolific filer of proposed patents, all developed around various use cases of the technology.

For example, earlier this year, the firm scored a patent for a system that, as envisioned, would speed up cryptocurrency payments within a proposed system.

Source: CoinDesk

Image Source: Shutterstock