BitPay Undergoes Security and Confidentiality Certification Audit

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Major cryptocurrency payment services provider BitPay has undergone a security and confidentiality compliance review, the Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2).

Per a Sept. 30 press release, business advisory company Aprio confirmed BitPay’s compliance with the SOC 2, a tech audit and a requirement for technology companies that assures that customers’ personal data is kept secure and confidential.

Continue Reading at cointelegraph.com

Retail Giant Overstock Seeks to Restructure Cryptocurrency DividendBy

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By Ana Alexandre

American e-commerce giant Overstock hopes to liberalize its planned digital dividend shares trading.

According to a Sept. 18 press release, Overstock is working with regulatory authorities on making its digital asset-based dividend freely tradable by non-affiliates following distribution.

As such, the company will not have to put its dividend shares on the six-month holding period as required under Rule 144 enforced by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Commenting on the development, interim CEO of Overstock Jonathan Johnson said:

“We have received a great deal of interest surrounding our Series A-1 dividend from shareholders, broker-dealers, regulators, and the general market. [...] It also introduces blockchain technology to enhance the investor experience. It is an important step on the journey to demonstrate that blockchain technology has enormous potential to transform society for the better.”

Continue Reading at Cointelegraph.com

Warner Music to Build Token on New Blockchain by CryptoKitties Creator

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By Helen Partz

Global media giant Warner Music Group will be creating digital assets using new public blockchain backed by CryptoKitties creator.

Warner Music’s to create assets on Flow

According to a Forbes report on Sept. 12, Warner Music has joined an $11.2 million investment in CryptoKitties creator Dapper Labs in order to collaborate on the deployment of the company’s new blockchain network called Flow as well as building tokens on top of it.

While Warner has reportedly invested less than $1 million in the form of a convertible security, other contributors included major industry investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Digital Currency Group, Union Square Ventures and Venrock, the report notes.

Continue Reading at Cointelegraph.com

Amazon Web Services Announces Cryptography-Using Quantum Ledger Database

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By Joeri Cant

Amazon Web Services, Inc., an Amazon.com company, announced that the Amazon quantum ledger database (QLDB) was now available.

Transparent and immutable transaction log

According to a post on Sept. 10 from Amazon Web Services (AWS), the newly available Amazon QLBD is a new class of database that provides a transparent, immutable and cryptographically verifiable transaction log ‎owned by a central trusted authority.

The post continues to explain that Amazon QLBD eliminates the need to engage in the complex development effort of building one’s own ledger-like applications or rely on the capabilities of a blockchain framework.

Shawn Bice, a VP at Amazon Web Services, Inc. told Business Wire that AWS has been using a version of Amazon QLDB for many years to store data for some of its most critical systems, and has benefitted from being able to view an immutable history of changes. He added:

“Today, we are proud to announce Amazon QLDB, offering customers a fully managed service that provides the same ledger capabilities, along with the ability to cryptographically verify data integrity. We are excited to see customers streamline their operations and enhance their customer and partner experiences by using Amazon QLDB.” 

Continue Reading at Cointelegraph.com

Mystery 94K BTC Transaction Becomes Richest Non-Exchange Address

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By Helen Partz

The recipient wallet of the $1 billion Bitcoin (BTCtransaction on Sept. 6 is now presumed to be the first richest non-exchange address.

The recipient wallet of the massive 94,504 Bitcoin ($1.031 billion) transaction is the top richest Bitcoin address that is not reportedly associated with any crypto-related company, according to data from monitoring resource Bitinfocharts.

A third of the coins came from Huobi

According to data by London-based blockchain data provider TokenAnalyst, at least one third of the mysterious transaction directly originates from Huobi exchange. Another analyst, blockchain data and metrics firm Glassnode tweeted that at least 73,000 BTC from the transaction originate from Huobi.

According to an earlier tweet by Crypto Herpes Cat, at least two Bitcoin wallets involved in the notable transaction belong to Huobi. One of the specified wallets is directly involved in the transaction. 

Continue Reading at Cointelegraph.com

Binance Joins Forces With Paxos to Launch USD-Backed Stablecoin ‘BUSD’

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By Joeri Cant

Binance, the biggest crypto exchange by volume,and digital asset trust company Paxosannounced its partnership to launch a USD-backed stablecoin, which has received approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS)

Binance USD available later this month

In a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 5, Paxos co-founder and CEO Asia Rich Teo shared that the NYDFS’s approval of the stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD) is a vital step towards long term stability in global crypto markets. He continued by saying:

“We are proud that our stablecoin as a service offering enables trusted companies like Binance to introduce products customized for their users. The Paxos brand symbolizes regulatory integrity, consumer protection and transparency for all of our partners."

BUSD will be available for direct purchase and redemption 1:1 for U.S. dollars on the Paxos platform and for trading against Bitcoin (BTC), Binance Coin (BNB) and Ripple’s XRP on Binance.com.

CZ excited to work with Paxos

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao — commonly known as “CZ” — said that Paxos is leading the digital trusts space and expressed that Binance is excited to work with them in developing their native stablecoin. He went on to say:

“We hope to unlock more financial services for the greater blockchain ecosystem through the issuance of BUSD, including more use cases and utility through the power of stable digital assets.”

Continue Reading at Cointelegraph.com

Bahamas Blockchain Company Raises Crypto for Hurricane Dorian Relief

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By Joeri Cant

PO8, a blockchain company headquartered in the Bahamas, is asking the crypto and blockchain communities to help them bring relief to the victims of Hurricane Dorian. The firm made its appeal in a blog post on Sept. 2.

Devastation in the Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian brought devastation to Bahamas islands on Monday and Tuesday. Satellite images show the region has suffered heavy flooding, with more than 60% of Grand Bahama Island submerged. 

Call to help Dorian victims

PO8 has witnessed the devastation firsthand and is asking the crypto and blockchain communities to help rebuild and restore the islands most affected. A recent post on the PO8 website said:

“PO8 has pledged 1 billion PO8 tokens to hurricane relief efforts. For every dollar worth of crypto donation, PO8 will match it 100%.”

Crypto donations can be made with Bitcoin or Ethereum (ETH). Cash donations can also be made on the PO8 GoFundMe page.

PO8’s blockchain platform aims to democratize access to marine archeological artifacts by establishing their provenance and preventing their sale.

Charity and crypto

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are increasingly being applied for charitable efforts. Following the Notre Dame cathedral fire earlier this year, France’s Minister of State for the Digital Sector Cédric O said he was open to cooperating with cryptocurrency platforms for donations to reconstruct the cathedral.

In an August report, independent public charity Fidelity Charitable said that it has received $100 million in cryptocurrency donations since it began accepting cryptocurrency in 2015.

Via: Cointelegraph.com

Bitcoin.com Opens Crypto Exchange to Compete with Coinbase and Binance

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By Liam Frost

Bitcoin.com, a website previously focused on covering Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and general cryptocurrencies news, announced the launch of its own digital assets exchange.

Per the announcement published on Sept. 2, the platform “will host a slew of trading pairs including popular cryptocurrencies like litecoin (LTC), ripple (XRP), tron (TRX), zcash (ZEC), stellar (XLM), and EOS.” It is also noted: 

“Exchange.Bitcoin.com will have markets denominated in base currencies like bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin core (BTC), and tether (USDT).”

Always aim high

Managing director of Bitcoin.com exchange Danish Chaudhry told industry news outlet Decrypt that the platform “is hoping to compete against the bigger, more established exchanges, such as Coinbase and Binance by catering to its base.” He also claimed:

“Bitcoin.com is one of the most trusted brands in the industry.”

To attract new users to its exchange platform, Bitcoin.com also offers a few promotional benefits. For example, it is promised that “new accounts will get paid to trade by benefiting from negative 0.3% trading fees for the next three months.”

Month of permutations

As Cointelegraph reported on Aug. 2, Bitcoin.com has appointed Stefan Rust as the company’s new chief executive officer as Roger Ver left the post.

Ver, however, will not be completely gone, but will serve as Bitcoin.com’s executive chairman. The announcement did not clarify what duties this role will entail.

On Aug. 20, Bitcoin Twitter handle with one million followers renounced Bitcoin Cash. At the time, Bitcoin’s best-known names played a guessing game after one of the industry’s most controversial Twitter accounts changed its views overnight.

via Cointelegraph.com

Stablecoins Vulnerable to Regulatory Uncertainty: European Central Bank

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By Helen Partz

Stablecoins with a clear governance framework may be hampered by the uncertainty of the lack of regulation, according to the European Central Bank (ECB).

Four major types of stablecoins outlined

On Aug. 29, the ECB released a new paper devoted to stablecoins, which it describes as digital units of value that are not a form of any specific currency but rather rely on a set of stabilization tools in order to minimize fluctuations in their price.

The ECB’s paper is called “In search for stability in crypto-assets: are stablecoins the solution?” and proposes a classification of stablecoins based on different key concepts used to keep their value stable. Specifically, the ECB outlined four major types of stablecoins including those specified as tokenized funds, off-chain collateralized stablecoins, on-chain collateralized stablecoins and algorithmic stablecoins.

54 stablecoins totally $4.8 billion in July 2019

According to the ECB’s data, there are at least 54 existing stablecoin projects, with 24 of them being operational. The total market capitalization of stablecoin initiatives almost tripled from €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) in January 2018 to over €4.3 billion ($4.8 billion) in July 2019, while the average volume of stablecoin transactions was €13.5 billion per month within the period between January and July 2019.

Tokenized funds are the most popular stablecoin type, accounting for almost 97% of the monthly volume of all other stablecoin initiatives, according to the ECB.

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Classification of 54 active stablecoin initiatives. Source: European Central Bank

Uncertainties in the field pose major risks

In the report, the ECB emphasized existing uncertainties in governance and regulatory treatment of stablecoin projects. Specifically, the bank wrote that stablecoin adoption may require improvements to its governance, including the processes of updating the smart contracts at the core of the project. 

On the other hand, stablecoins with a clear governance framework are also at risk as far as they may “nevertheless be hampered by the uncertainty relating to the lack of regulatory scrutiny and recognition,” which is specifically relevant in the event that financial institutions use the same tech for recording of traditional assets. In that situation, stablecoins would be redundant in the use of DLT outside crypto-asset markets, the bank concluded.

In July 2019, an official at the ECB raised concerns over stablecoins use, claiming that there is no reason to be alarmed but there is reason to be vigilant with stablecoins.

Via Cointelegraph.com

Americans are googling the Dow — here’s why that could spell trouble

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By William Watts

Stock-market volatility can undermine consumer confidence: analyst

Main Street is paying attention to Wall Street — and that might not be a good sign for the economy.

Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, observed on Aug. 8 that Google searches for “dow jones” were higher than they were in May, when the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.78%  retreated 6.7% and the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.51%  suffered a 6.6% decline due to a flare-up in U.S.-China tensions over trade policy. Through Monday, the Dow was down 3.6% this month, while the S&P 500 was down 3.4%.

In a Tuesday note, he wrote that Google searches for “dow jones” for the week of Aug. 11-17, the last full week of data, are up 28% from the peak May week (see chart below).

MarketWatch.com

MarketWatch.com

So what? While the S&P 500 index is indeed the preferred measure of U.S. stock-market performance and the benchmark for funds, Colas said that “Main Street googles ‘dow jones’ when they are worried about stock-market volatility.” The concern for investors is that stock market volatility and more chatter about recession indicators flashing warning signs could lead to make U.S. consumers more cautious headed into the 2019 holiday season, he said.

There might be a small bit of comfort in that search volumes are still 14% below the 12-month high seen during the last week of December, when markets suffered a sharp rout. Attention turned away from the market in January as the market recovered, Colas noted.

The main take-away from the current search interest, he said, is that even if average Americans don’t own equities, they know that volatile stock markets signal the potential for job losses and even recession.

“We’ll have to wait to see how markets perform over the rest of 2019,” Colas wrote, “but one thing is sure: Americans are watching.”

Via marketwatch.com

Bitcoin Rewards App Lolli Partners With Major US Pet Store Chain

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By Max Boddy

Lolli, an app that provides Bitcoin (BTC) rewards to users when they shop with partner stores, has teamed up with major American pet retailer Petco.

The rewards deal with Petco

Lolli announced the new partnership in an official blog post on Aug. 23. In the announcement, the company notes that there are two new veins of rewards that come with the partnership. One is that Lolli users can earn up to 3.5% satoshis (sats) of their purchases on Petco’s website, Petco.com. 

Another is that Lolli users can earn a flat 5,000 sats payment for sharing a photo of their dog and commenting on the partnership. A satoshi is 0.00000001 BTC. Therefore, these users would earn 0.00005 BTC for promoting the partnership with their dog photos. At press time, this amount of Bitcoin is equivalent to a little over $0.51.

Petco is the second-largest pet chain retailer in the United States, controlling nearly 20% of the market according to data from Statista.   

Lolli’s expansion with other stores

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Lolli partnered with the American grocery chain Safeway near the end of July. As is the case with the Petco partnership, Lolli announced that they would offer 3.5% back in BTC for their total purchases.

Lolli also partnered with the booking service Hotels.com back in June. This website apparently lists over 325,000 properties in approximately 19,000 locations globally.

Via Cointelegraph.com