Argentina’s Government to Invest in Local Blockchain Projects and Huobi OTC Adds Ripple
Governments are slowly warming up to cryptocurrencies and the blockchain space. Argentina’s government is committed to investing in local blockchain projects that are receive backing from Binance’s venture arm Binance Labs. Huobi’s crypto-to-crypto trading platform has added XRP to its fold. Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is buying Bitcoin in both small and large chunks, reaffirming his trust in the world’s leading digital asset by market capitalization. CEO of blockchain software company Parity believes that an Ethereum fork could result in the recovery of more than 500,000 Ether frozen in an attempted hack in 2017.
A Nasdaq-powered trading platform adds support for tokenized ETFs
Estonia-based digital trading platform DX.Exchange has added support for tokenized exchange-traded funds (ETFs), reported Cointelegraph on March 6. The supported ETFs can be purchased using crypto and fiat during trading hours and after-hours as well.
The new service tokenizes popular ETFs such as SPY and QQQ. DX.Exchange chief operating officer Amedeo Moscato believes that the platform’s new service exposes crypto holders to a large number of popular financial assets.
“As of today, there’s over 130 Billion USD worth of Crypto that can now be invested in Digital Stocks and ETFs. Crypto investors who wished to hedge part of their crypto portfolio had only USD stable coins or limited options. Now they can invest in real-world assets on the blockchain,” said Moscato.
Argentinian government to invest in local blockchain projects backed by Binance Labs
Government investments into the blockchain space are increasing in leaps and bounds.
The Argentine government is planning to invest in early-stage blockchain startups backed by Binance Labs, the venture arm of the cryptocurrency exchange.
Argentina’s Ministry of Production and Labor announced that it will match every investment of up to $50,000 made by Binance Labs and LatamEX Founders Lab into local blockchain projects. The Ministry is targeting to invest in 10 projects per year over a four-year period.
The founder and CEO of LatamEX and Founders Lab Pablo Orlando said Latin America is a lucrative market for blockchain projects.
‘‘Latin America presents one of the most attractive markets for blockchain adoption and real use cases and Argentina is leading the way by serving as the market-opening gateway,’’ said Orlando.
The co-investment deal was triggered after Binance Labs chose Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires among its hubs for its second season of the incubator program.
“We are very excited to support blockchain projects, entrepreneurs and developers through our Buenos Aires chapter, to advise and mentor them, to find product-market fit, and provide them with in-time access to global blockchain technology development to solve local problems,” said the head of Binance Labs Ella Zhang in a statement.
Israel regulator ready to let cryptocurrency trading flourish but only under strict conditions
Israel is joining the league of nations taking a softer and more pro-active stance on cryptocurrency trading and the industry as a whole.
Israel’s market regulator, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) recommended the creation of a digital platform to trade cryptocurrencies but only under tighter regulation, reported Reuters on March 6.
The new platform would allow companies to raise money from investors by selling their digital tokens. This is exactly what initial coin offerings have been doing in the past except that they lacked regulation and exposed investors to scams and fraudulent actors.
The recommendation comes after the ISA spent nearly two years studying the crypto sector.
“The excitement that defined the field in 2017 has cooled off, but the technology is here to stay,” said ISA chair Anat Guetta.
She said this in reference to distributed ledger technology, the technology that digital assets such as Bitcoin.
Fewer companies in Israel are now publicly traded and the capital raised through public offerings has dropped in comparison to a decade ago. The ISA is in search of new ways to attract investors and raise capital.
The committee working on the case also suggested applying securities laws to cryptocurrencies, which would need to be customized.
The ISA is going to make a final decision on the matter but did not disclose the timeframe.
VaultTel LLC launches custody solutions for crypto assets on mobile phones
Crypto custody and security firm VaultTel LLC announced on March 5 new custody solution that allows users to store the private keys of digital assets via a mobile app and chip.
The firm combines its secure software solution (VaultTel App) with the VaultTel card chip to securely store digital assets and cryptocurrencies using encryption and biometric authentication.
The service will be initially rolled out to customers in the U.S. and will be expanded to the European market through the firm’s London (UK) office.
The VaultTel card is a chip that goes in the SIM CARD tray of Android smartphones with dual SIM capability and is used as an accessory for iPhones.
VaultTel’s custody solutions key features include:
- Biometric authentication is used to access the wallet and its passcode
- Device lock – wallets are only accessed on specific devices. An optional feature Device Identifier is stored on the chip
- GeoLock for locking the access to the wallet to a particular Geofence.
- AES 512 that encrypts data using military grade techniques
VaultTel prides itself as the only cryptocurrency custody solution specifically designed for mobile phones. Other competitors on the market utilize external devices that need to be connected to computers.
“VaultTel’s multi-actor authentication security designed for cryptocurrency storage on mobile phones is the first of its kind and that really sets us apart,” said VaultTel CEO Isaac Daniel.
Blockchain software company files an application for uplisting to the Nasdaq Capital Market
A U.S.-based blockchain software company Surge Holdings Inc. announced on March 6 that it has filed an application for uplisting on the Nasdaq Capital Market.
“We believe uplisting from the OTC Market to the Nasdaq Capital Market will increase corporate visibility, improve liquidity, and broaden awareness in the financial markets,” said Surge’s CEO and board chairman Brian Cox.
Cox further said the listing on Nasdaq’s Capital Market is a good thing for both the company and its shareholders.
Swiss exchange SIX launches Ethereum ETP
Switzerland’s leading stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange has launched an Ethereum exchange-traded product (ETP), according to information on the group’s website.
The news of the Ether ETP comes a week after the exchange launched Bitcoin ETP. The exchange also launched an index – HODL5 – of the industry’s five leading digital assets in late 2018.
All the mentioned financial products were issued by Amun AG, a Swiss startup in the cryptocurrency space.
The Ethereum ETP will be listed under the AETH ticker symbol and the Bitcoin ETP is listed under the ABTC symbol.
Although an ETP does not carry as much weight as an ETF, they both provide investors with the opportunity to take a plunge into cryptocurrency investments without the need to own the digital assets.
Cisco research: college campuses are the second largest crypto miners across industry verticals
University campuses are now churning much more than college graduates but cryptocurrency as well, at least according to a report by security researchers at Cisco.
Cisco security experts who have been monitoring cryptocurrency mining across several industries have found that college campuses are the second largest crypto miners at roughly 22 percent.
This is attributed to the opportunity that students have to create mining rigs in their dorm rooms.
During a discussion with RSA on Mar. 5, Cisco threat researcher Austin McBride said college students can run their mining rigs for about a couple of years and obtain virtual currencies in return.
“You leave [the mining rig] running in your dorm room for four years, you walk out of college with a big chunk of change,” said McBride.
The energy/utilities industry is the largest cryptocurrency mining sector coming at 34 percent. Manufacturing, managed service providers, local government, and financial services account between 2 and 4 percent each.
College students can easily mine digital assets without having to worry about electricity costs. In an email to PCMag, McBride said, “So you can run your mining rig in your dorm or school library and not worry about those costs eating into your mining profitability.”
Huobi OTC desk launches XRP trading
Leading Singaporean based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced on Mar. 6 that its Over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk has launched Ripple (XRP) trading.
The users of the platform can now exchange XRP peer-to-peer for a number of selected digital assets including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Huobi Token (HT), and Huobi’s comprehensive stablecoin HUSD.
Huobi Global CEO Livio Weng said that the addition of Ripple marks a step forward for the firm as it expands its offerings.
“In addition to serving as Huobi Global’s main onramp, Huobi OTC is also our main platform for users who prefer peer-to-peer trading. It’s very important [to] our overall trading ecosystem. The addition of Ripple is a big step forward in expanding our already extensive offering here,” said Weng.
Huobi Group is one of the largest blockchain companies with 10 “upstream and downstream enterprises.” The company has a cumulative turnover of more than $1 trillion.
An Ethereum fork upgrade may unlock Parity’s frozen cryptocurrency
An Ethereum fork could result in the recovery of millions of cryptocurrency frozen in 2017. More than 500,000 Ether – now worth more than $60 million – stored in Parity wallets was accidentally frozen in 2017.
The Ether holdings were lost when a would-be-hacker exploited a bug that resulted in the funds being frozen. The Constantinople (which includes the CREATE 2 upgrade) hard fork upgrade conducted last week now provides a new way for Parity to get the funds back.
Parity CEO Jutta Steiner appeared on Fortune’s episode of “Balancing the Ledger” in which she talked about the possibility of recovering the funds.
“If that functionality CREATE2 had existed at the time, there wouldn’t have been a vulnerability, basically.” Said Steiner.
She added that “So if you think now, okay, we introduced and sort of fixed the tooling, then wouldn’t it be the right thing to do to also fix the issues that arose when we didn’t have the tooling?”
In the past, Parity developers have unsuccessfully pushed for a hard fork that could restore the funds but now feel that they have a strong case to remedy the situation after the implementation of the Constantinople hard fork upgrade.
Steiner added that the recovery of the funds won’t happen immediately but requires another fork.
“It still requires another hard fork where that particular state change is made, but it gives a much more solid argument to why it’s the right thing to do and recover the funds,” she said.
Tech billionaire and Twitter co-founder buys Bitcoin worth $10,000
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is undoubtedly a darling of the crypto community. He has expressed his bullish sentiments on Bitcoin and claims that it could become the native currency of the internet.
He is one of the torchbearers of the Lightning Network – a social experiment designed to raise awareness of the Lightning Network and highlight its use cases.
He has declared that the Lightning Network payments will be supported by Cash App, a subsidiary of Square, a payments firm he owns and leads as the CEO.
Dorsey mentions that he uses Cash App to buy Bitcoin – although there is a weekly limit of $10,000 on his purchases. He did not specify if he does this on a weekly basis or how long he has been doing it. What is known so far is that the tech billionaire is stacking Bitcoin both in small and large sizes.
Dorsey’s revelation that he has been buying Bitcoin in bulk is more or less like free marketing for the crypto sector. This is also another indirect nod for the crypto sector from an influential tech person.
The world is not ready for cryptocurrencies, says Kaspersky CEO
Is the world ready for cryptocurrencies? The CEO of the cybersecurity giant Kaspersky Eugen Kaspersky doesn’t think so.
In a recent interview with the financial news website Arabian Business, Kaspersky stated that “cryptocurrencies are a great idea but the world is not ready for them.”
Kaspersky believes that the world may be unified under a single government and have a single digital currency although this will likely happen in a century.
He believes that digital currencies will face little competition in the future as he predicts that a single currency will be in circulation.
“Some other currencies may be available, but on a global scale the currency will be unified,” he said.
Kaspersky further highlighted that digital currencies will be dominant in the future and argued that the current digital currencies such as Bitcoin do not have the potential to replace the current financial system.
“Some of the ideas and techniques on which these [crypto]currencies are based can be used in the future currency with little modification, leveraging blockchain technology,” argued Kaspersky.
Kaspersky has previously made similar statements and at one point, he said that “cryptocurrency is a great invention” but also argued that “geopolitically this world is not ready to use it yet.”
OnMiners S.A. launches game-changing cryptocurrency mining rigs
OnMiners S.A., a crypto firm started by investors with the aim of improving efficiency in cryptocurrency mining announced on March 6 that it has launched powerful endothermic mining rigs that have the potential to change the scope of the space dominated by traditional names such as Bitmain.
The firm said that the newly-launched multi-algorithm miners offer the largest hash rates while reducing heat generation, power consumption, and noise.
The firm currently offers three mining rigs that can mine Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Zcash.
Hashrate is a major factor when choosing a mining rig. Higher hash rates give miners a high probability of finding the next block and receive newly minted digital coins.
“The importance of hash power was taken into consideration by OnMiners while designing their three miners. The result is the creation of three products with hash rates that are second to none in the market,” said the firm in the press statement.