News

Peter Thiel: Bitcoin Will Be the 'One Online Equivalent to Gold'
Annaliese Milano | 2018-03-16 21:35:19 UTC

Peter Thiel has once again endorsed bitcoin, which he recently argued is tantamount to digital gold.

And much like gold, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal conjectures that the cryptocurrency is destined to be a store of value rather than a means of payment.

"It's like bars of gold...

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SEC Official Says 'Dozens' of Crypto Investigations Underway
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-16 19:45:37 UTC

A top official at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has confirmed the existence of numerous investigations into initial coin offering (ICO) campaigns.

On Thursday, Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC's Enforcement Division, said the agency had "dozens" of investigation...

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US Trade Regulator Shuts Down Crypto Investment Scheme Promoters
Stan Higgins | 2018-03-16 18:25:11 UTC

A U.S. district court in Florida has issued a temporary restraining order against four individuals accused of operating a string of cryptocurrency investment schemes following a request from the Federal Trade Commission.

The agency announced Friday that three of the four defendants - Thomas...

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Kodak Could Earn $5 Million for ICO Brand Licensing Deal
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-16 18:15:13 UTC

New details have emerged about Kodak's cryptocurrency licensing deal.

According to the company's 10-K annual report for 2017, published on March 15, the company was paid $750,000 in cash by WENN Digital, which is developing KODAKCoin and the related digital rights management platform.

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Security Settles on Ethereum in Blockchain Post-Trade First
Michael del Castillo | 2018-03-16 17:00:15 UTC

In a first-of-a-kind transaction happening Friday, all it takes to switch from the old world of centralized clearing houses to the frontier of decentralized blockchains is the press of a button.

A company called Marex Solutions is issuing two separate structured notes. Both notes were creat...

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Lithuanian Central Bank Seeks Developers for Blockchain Sandbox
Annaliese Milano | 2018-03-16 16:00:12 UTC

Bank of Lithuania, the country's central bank, announced on Friday that it is soliciting proposals from software developers to kick off its LBChain initiative - a "service-based blockchain platform" aimed to serve as a regulatory sandbox for startups working with blockchain technology.

Intr...

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Crypto Featured for First Time in US Congress Economic Report
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-16 15:00:59 UTC

A new report from Congress that dubs 2017 "the Year of Cryptocurrencies" calls for lawmakers and industry stakeholders to cooperate on the technology's use.

The 2018 Joint Economic Report - an assessment of the nation's economic status and recommendations for the upcoming year - notably inc...

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VEN, BNB, NEM: Lesser-Known Cryptos Outperform Amid Bitcoin Slump
Omkar Godbole | 2018-03-16 14:35:09 UTC

It's been another gloomy week for the cryptocurrency markets, but, even so, NEM's XEM token and a couple of lesser-known altcoins managed to finish up with overall gains.

The total value of all cryptocurrencies fell to $316 billion on Thursday - down 61.9 percent from the record high of $83...

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New York Power Providers Cleared to Hike Rates for Crypto Miners
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-16 13:00:40 UTC

Cryptocurrency mining firms in the state of New York may be looking higher utility bills following a ruling from the public utilities regulator.

In an announcement from the New York State Public Service Commission on Thursday, its chair, John B. Rhodes, said that upstate municipal power aut...

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Airdrop Attack? Monero Fork Condemned as Privacy Threat
Rachel Rose O'Leary | 2018-03-16 12:00:51 UTC

Giving away free crypto might not be as easy as it sounds.

By gifting new assets to existing cryptocurrency users, so-called "airdrops" are proving explosive, enabling the sudden creation of massive amounts of value almost overnight. But as the method is perhaps being hastily adapted, unexp...

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MIT-Founded Startup Raises $20 Million for Supply Chain Blockchain
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-16 11:00:06 UTC

Eximchain, a supply-chain focused blockchain startup founded in 2015, has raised $20 million from a group of investors.

Founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's media lab, the startup raised the funds to continue developing its own public blockchain - powered by private smart...

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Israel Bars Crypto Firms from Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Indices
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-16 10:30:10 UTC

Israel's securities regulator has said that cryptocurrency-related firms may not be listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) indices.

According to an announcement from the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) on Wednesday, the watchdog said it will bar the entry of public companies who mai...

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Bitcoin May See Relief Rally, But Bottom Still Elusive
Omkar Godbole | 2018-03-16 10:00:05 UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) may see a corrective rally following losses this week, but it's still too early to call a bottom, the technical charts indicate.

The cryptocurrency has spent a better part of the last 24 hours trading in a roughly sideways manner in the narrow range of $7,900-$8,400, according...

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Singapore Central Bank Touts Blockchain for Payments
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-16 09:00:46 UTC

The chief of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state's de facto central bank, has spoken of blockchain's potential in international payments.

During a speech on Thursday at a financial industry event, MAS managing director Ravi Menon doubled down on his belief that one of...

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So Long ICOs, Hello Airdrops: The Free Token Giveaway Craze Is Here
Brady Dale | 2018-03-16 08:00:33 UTC

Imagine getting $1,000 just for joining a newsletter.

Well, that's effectively what happened for those that subscribed to Onchain's mailing list early on in the project's lifecycle. The company, which is building a distributed network designed to connect real-world institutions, gave 1,000...

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Crypto Escapes Scrutiny at Annual China Investor Event
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-16 06:01:49 UTC

Cryptocurrencies were not brought up for criticism at an annual Chinese consumer protection event, despite rumors to the effect.

Multiple sources had shared rumors with CoinDesk in early March that major policy changes would be announced on Mar. 15 night during a national TV program to curb...

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If Crypto Exchanges and ICO Teams Only Had a Brain...
David Silver | 2018-03-16 04:00:04 UTC

David Silver is the founder of Silver Miller, a plaintiffs' law firm that represents investors in cases against cryptocurrency exchanges and investment offerings.  The views expressed here are his alone.

You can reach him at Source

The Crown Prince of Liechtenstein Wants to Invest in Crypto
Annaliese Milano | 2018-03-16 00:50:28 UTC

There may be a literal "crypto-king" one day in the not-so-distant future. The Crown Prince of Liechtenstein said last Friday that his family is considering investing some of their $5 billion fortune in cryptocurrencies.

Crown Prince Alois Philipp Maria told CNBC that investing in cryptocur...

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G20 Reveals Names and Dates for Next Week's Crypto Talks
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-15 22:00:44 UTC

The G20 is set to hold two separate discussions on cryptocurrencies next week in an effort to seek what representatives call a "common response" on regulation.

A media representative for next week's summit, to be hosted by Argentina, which currently holds the G20 presidency, said that the f...

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French Regulator Blacklists 15 Crypto Investment Websites
Annaliese Milano | 2018-03-15 21:15:58 UTC

France's stock market regulator announced on Thursday that it has blacklisted 15 cryptocurrency and crypto-asset investment websites.

The Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) will add the offending platforms to its existing "liste noir," which already includes businesses that unlawfully of...

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Gibraltar Plans to Regulate ICO Tokens as Commercial Products
Annaliese Milano | 2018-03-15 20:20:30 UTC

Gibraltar's government provided new details about its plan to regulate initial coin offerings in a white paper published on Tuesday.

Notably, the paper states that most tokens are not considered securities under either Gibraltar or EU law. The classification of tokens and ICOs has troubled...

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American Express Patent Filing Touts Blockchain for Faster Payments
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-15 19:15:34 UTC

Global payment giant American Express may be looking into using blockchain to boost the speed of transactions.

In a patent application released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, the credit card company's travel arm - the American Express Travel Related Services Company -...

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US Government to Submit
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-15 18:10:31 UTC

U.S. prosecutors are planning an "oversized" response to a motion to dismiss in an ongoing - and potentially precedent-setting - initial coin offering (ICO) fraud lawsuit.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, Maksim Zaslavskiy has been accused of committing securities fraud in connection wit...

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Puerto Rico Aims to Attract Blockchain Startups With New Council
Bailey Reutzel | 2018-03-15 16:45:01 UTC

Puerto Rico's government has created an advisory council aimed at spurring the development of blockchain businesses on the island.

The move was announced Thursday during the Blockchain Unbound conference in San Juan. Manuel Laboy Rivera, Puerto Rico's secretary of economic development and c...

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Ethereum's First Production Scaling Project Is Here – But With a Catch
Alyssa Hertig | 2018-03-15 16:00:05 UTC

A TechStars-incubated startup has launched what looks like the first production-ready platform designed to increase the capacity of ethereum.

Called Loom Network, the little-known company is today releasing a developer toolkit that makes it possible to deploy scalable ethereum apps on the s...

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Abra Adds 18 New Cryptos for Mobile Investing
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-15 15:30:03 UTC

Crypto wallet startup Abra is expanding the number of cryptocurrencies it supports to 20 from just two - bitcoin and ethereum - currently.

Announced today, bitcoin cash, dash, dogecoin, ethereum classic, golem, litecoin, omisego, qtum, XRP, vertcoin and zcash will be immediately available o...

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Lightning Labs Launches Beta With Twitter CEO Backing
Leigh Cuen | 2018-03-15 15:00:43 UTC

A version of bitcoin's much-anticipated Lightning Network is finally ready for real users.

Announced today, California startup Lightning Labs has officially launched a beta version of its software (LND), making available what investors and project leads say is the first thoroughly tested ve...

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South Korea Raids 3 Crypto Exchanges in Embezzlement Probe
Daniel Palmer | 2018-03-15 14:15:00 UTC

South Korean prosecutors raided three cryptocurrency exchanges this week over suspicions that staff embezzled funds from customers' accounts, according to local news reports.

Exchange staff, including executives, are suspected of siphoning off money from customer accounts and using it to pu...

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US Bills Could Spell Disaster for Crypto Sex Industry
Leigh Cuen | 2018-03-15 12:15:32 UTC

Anyone who says crypto doesn't have a real use case hasn't been talking to sex workers.

Shut out of more mainstream payment methods, they've been among the first users of cryptocurrency, creating a symbiotic dynamic between the adult entertainment industry and blockchain technology that con...

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Taiwan Central Bank Chief Cautious on Central Bank Crypto
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-15 11:15:12 UTC

The new governor of Taiwan's central bank has said speculation has taken over from cryptocurrencies' original role as a payments tool.

Earlier this year, while still in his role as deputy chief of Taiwan's central bank, Yang Chin-long indicated that the central bank has started the evaluati...

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$6K in Sight? Bitcoin Price On Edge of Correction
Omkar Godbole | 2018-03-15 10:15:53 UTC

Bitcoin looks set to revisit November lows after a 22 percent drop, but a minor corrective rally looks to be in the offing beforehand.

At time of writing, CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) is seen at $8,228, having clocked a five-week low of $7,676 earlier today. Meanwhile, BTC's global...

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Crypto Investment Firm Violates Securities Laws, Warns Philippines
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-15 09:50:57 UTC

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning over a cryptocurrency investment platform that it alleges is offering unregistered securities.

According to an advisory issued Wednesday, the SEC takes aim at at firm dubbed Onecash Trading which, according to its...

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Chinese Investment Group to Launch Blockchain Funding Center
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-15 08:30:35 UTC

A government-led investment association in China is reportedly establishing a funding center to foster blockchain development in the country.

The initiative, dubbed the Global Blockchain Investment and Development Center (GBIDC), is said to be led by the Investment Association of China (IAC...

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Moscow's Blockchain Voting Platform Adds Service for High-Rise Neighbors
Marc Hochstein | 2018-03-15 06:00:42 UTC

Moscow is extending its use of a blockchain-based voting platform to the city block level.

Announced today, the municipal government of Russia's national capital has launched Digital Home, a service allows neighbors in high rises to electronically vote and communicate on issues like whether...

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Soft, Hard or Velvet? New Fork Promises Crypto Upgrades Without Controversy
Alyssa Hertig | 2018-03-15 05:00:01 UTC

Velvet has always been a sign of nobility, but in the crypto space, it's now the name adorning a new and promising way for upgrading blockchain software.

At least that's the hype behind "velvet forks," a mechanism for upgrading cryptocurrency code that has some high-profile crypto enthusias...

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Anheuser-Busch Owner Pilots Blockchain for Shipping
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-15 04:00:52 UTC

The parent company of beer maker Anheuser-Busch has taken part in a blockchain pilot in a bid to test the tech for global shipping uses.

The company is part of a wider blockchain consortium that experimented with technology developed by consultancy firm Accenture. Other participants include...

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Bitcoin Drops Below $8K Amid Crypto Market Sell-Off
Stan Higgins | 2018-03-15 02:55:33 UTC

The price of bitcoin is down to start the day, dropping below $8,000 during early-hours trading on Thursday according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

At press time, the price of bitcoin is roughly $7,811.22 across global exchanges, a figure that represents a decline of over $300 fr...

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Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to Pilot Bitt Blockchain Tech
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-15 02:00:10 UTC

Bitt Inc., the Barbados-based blockchain startup, has landed a pilot deal with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

A portfolio company of Overstock's Medici Ventures arm, Bitt said it had signed a memorandum of understanding  with the ECCB to test its technology for know-your-customer, anti...

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Australia Warns of Fake 'Tax Collectors' Demanding Bitcoin
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-14 21:45:21 UTC

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued a warning about would-be scammers trying to con people out of their cryptocurrency.

Since late last year, scammers have been calling Australians and impersonating the tax office, claiming that the victims owed funds in unpaid taxes, and asking the...

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UK Crypto Exchange to Launch Bitcoin Futures Contracts
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-14 20:45:54 UTC

A British cryptocurrency exchange is planning to enter the bitcoin futures market.

CoinfloorEX, a London-based exchange founded in 2013, announced Wednesday that it would launch bitcoin futures contracts next month, joining a number of other companies to offer such product to their customer...

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Crypto Is a 'Crock'? Twitter Reacts to House ICO Hearing
Nikhilesh DeAnnaliese Milano | 2018-03-14 19:45:15 UTC

Despite the overall measured tone among lawmakers at Wednesday's House subcommittee hearing on initial coin offerings, a few members of the panel made inflammatory statements.

Social media users responded in kind.

The most incendiary comment came from California Rep. Brad Sherman, who...

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Brazilian Officials Caught Using Bitcoin in $22 Million Scam
Leigh Cuen | 2018-03-14 18:40:09 UTC

Police officials in Rio de Janerio have uncovered a money laundering scheme in which state officials siphoned off money intended for prison supplies, using bitcoin to exchange some of the proceeds.

The scam involved misstating the budget spent on food for state-run prisons, ultimately diver...

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Bitcoin Price Sheds $800 In Drop to 1-Month Low
Stan Higgins | 2018-03-14 17:28:25 UTC

Bitcoin hit a one-month low on Wednesday as its price slipped below $8,300 during afternoon trading.

CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) had fallen to as low as $8,287.98 as of press time, representing a decline of more than $1,000 from the day's high of $9,313.03. Per BPI data, Wednesday'...

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ICOs Draw Fire at US Congressional Hearing
Stan Higgins | 2018-03-14 16:40:13 UTC

"Congress has a responsibility to ensure that investors are protected without unduly preventing growth."

So said U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Illinois during a Wednesday hearing of the House Capital Markets, Securities and Investment Subcommittee, which met in the morning in Washington, D.C....

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US Lawmaker Presses Treasury on Venezuela
Nikhilesh De | 2018-03-14 15:00:33 UTC

Florida senator Bill Nelson has joined the ranks of those hitting out at Venezuela's recently launched petro token.

In a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday, Nelson said he was "concerned by recent reports" that Venezuela, as well as Russia, are planning to use crypto...

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Florida State Employee Arrested for Allegedly Mining Crypto at Work
Wolfie Zhao | 2018-03-14 14:00:29 UTC

A state employee at Florida's Department of Citrus (FDoC) has been arrested for allegedly using official computers to mine cryptocurrencies.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has jailed Matthew McDermott, IT manager for the state government a...

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