Big Brokers, a Bigger Circle, and MakerDAO’s Round: This Week in Crypto

Make sure you check out our previous edition here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week. Also, make sure you subscribe for this week’s edition of The CCN Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.

Price Watch:

  • Bitcoin is down 2% to $6,333 this week after hitting $6,700 last week. The price varied minimally this week as compared to last weeks dramatic price movements. This included rapid oscillations between $6,300 and $6,400 and the price hiting $6,600 level and the $6,200 level within days of each other. This week saw much less variability.
  • Ethereum is down 10% this week reversing the 10% gain made last week. The gains of last week may be an anomaly with preceding week having a drop of 31% last week, 5% the week before and drops of 11%  and 24% in the preceding weeks with single and double-digit drops going back months. The recent drops have continued to be blamed on ICO sell offs. Further contributing to the price drops this week was the fact that UTRUST has partnered with the Ethereum Classic dev team in order to integrate ETC.
  • The Coin Market Capitalization was Flat last week owing to minimal changes by Bitcoin and with the losses of Ethereum being made up for by surging Stellar prices.

Banks:

  • Thailand’s Kasikornbank to Pilot Visa’s Blockchain Cross-Border Payments Platform – Kasikornbank, the biggest bank by market capitalization in Thailand is joining the Visa B2B Connect platform. Designed to enable fast and secure cross-border payments between businesses using blockchain technology, the platform relies on a permission private blockchain architecture which is operated by global financial services firm, Visa Inc.

Governments:

  • Brazil’s Biggest Brokerage Plans to Legally Processes Bitcoin Trades – Grupo XP, the largest independent brokerage in Brazil, has publicly released its plans to launch a Bitcoin and Ethereum trading platform by the end of 2018. The move comes after an investigation by the government of Brazil and its antitrust watchdog have launched a formal investigation into banks and major financial institutions in the country after receiving complaints that crypto exchanges received subpar financial services from local banks.
  • Dubai Upgrades Payment Portal DubaiPay with Blockchain technology – Developed in collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Finance (DoF), the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) launched the system aimed at enabling reconciliation and settlement transactions in real-time. on Sunday with a press release labeling it a “blockchain-powered upgrade to its financial system”.
  • India’s Supreme Court to Listen Final Arguments on Central Bank vs Bitcoin Case -The Supreme Court of India is set to hear the final arguments on the petition against the Bitcoin banking ban on Tuesday, reported local media.

Exchanges:

  • Gemini Eyes UK Expansion – The Financial Times reports that Gemini has hired advisors regarding a move into Britain and may soon submit an application to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for regulatory authorization to open an exchange in the country under the agency’s e-money licensing program. The move comes after a recent announcement of the Gemini dollar could mark a swipe at Coinbase, as the exchange e received such an e-money license from the FCA, authorizing it to provide payment and electronic money services to customers in the U.K. and 23 other European Union countries.
  • Crypto Giant Circle Lists EOS, Stellar, 0x and Qtum – Circle has announced in a blog post the addition of four new digital assets to the Circle Invest platform, bringing the total number of listed cryptocurrencies on the platform to 11. According to Circle’s blog post, the four crypto assets were chosen for listing based on their suitability, which was determined by the Circle Asset Framework. Since releasing Circle Invest in March, the platform has aggressively courted increased market share, listing Zcash and Monero in May.
  • $230 Million: Mt. Gox Trustee Confirms Past Bitcoin Sell-Off – According to a document published on the Mt. Gox website, Nobuaki Kobayashi, the exchange operator’s trustee, sold approximately 24,658 BTC and 25,331 BCH between the last creditor’s meeting on March 7 and the June 22 court ruling allowing the estate to exit bankruptcy and enter civil rehabilitation. Some have questioned wether this sell off has caused the bear market.
  • Google Unbans Crypto Ads – Google, the $828 billion search engine behemoth, has unbanned crypto-related ads, allowing regulated companies to utilize its platform to advertise their products.

Cryptocurrencies:

  • Brave Browser Hits 4 Million Monthly Active Users –  Brave, the web browser created by Mozilla founder Brendan Eich and funded through a $36 million ICO has hit 4 million monthly active users and 10 million downloads. The new numbers come after last weeks announcement of a partnership with blockchain identity startup Civic to allow verified publishers to accept their monthly BAT payments in an external Ethereum wallet rather than the default one provided by the browser.
  • Vitalik Says Ethereum Can Scale to 500 tx/s Using Zcash Technology – Writing on an ETH research forum in a post originally published on Saturday, Buterin said that Ethereum can borrow a technological innovation from privacy-centric cryptocurrency Zcash to “mass-validate” ETH transactions by  allowing relaying nodes to “verify the correctness of computations without having to execute them” or “learn what was executed”.
  • Bitmain Rival Ebang Launches New Line of Uber-Efficient Bitcoin Miners –  China-based Ebang Communication, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips for bitcoin miners, has unveiled the next generation of its flagship product line, complete with an upgraded chip that makes significant strides in energy efficiency.
  • Andreessen Horowitz Invests $15 Million in MakerDAO’s Asset-Backed Stablecoin – The American venture capital firm, which has invested in crypto startups like CryptoKitties and OpenBazaar in the past, purchased 6 percent of the total supply of MKR tokens through its $300 million crypto fund, a16z. The fund committed a total of $15 million to the MakerDAO project and marked their investment as a “strategic purchase.” Holding MKR tokens will offer a16z the rights to govern MakerDAO and the Dai Credit System as it becomes the first decentralized autonomous stablecoin organization.

Crime:

  • Indian Authorities Round up on Bitcoin Scammer’s Properties Worth $60 Million –  Indian law enforcement officers have confiscated immovable properties of the owner of GainBitcoin.com, including six offices in Dubai and the residential apartments and bank balances of two of his associates Hemant Bhope and Pankaj Adlakha, under the provision of Anti Money Laundering (AML) act.
  • Japan Slaps Crypto Exchange Operator after $60 Million Theft – Japanese financial authorities are ramping up their scrutiny into the domestic crypto exchange sector after last week’s ¥6.7 billion ($60 million) hack of Tech Bureau’s exchange Zaif.
  • Cryptojacking Surged by 86% in the Second Quarter of 2018: McAfee Labs – According to McAfee Labs, cryptocurrency mining malware attacks increased by 86% in the second quarter of this year. While the primary target of cryptocurrency mining malware has remained personal computers, cryptojackers have increasingly turned their attention to devices such as smartphones and other gadgets possessing an internet connection.

Noteworthy:

These are a few pieces that were particularly popular this week.

  • Meet The Man Who Tracks Kidnappers and Paramilitaries Using Blockchain – Profile of Ben Strickland, who used blockchain data to track down kidnappers. This article offers a look at the 10-30 daily reported cases of sexual extortion which use Bitcoin.
  • This Off-Grid, Solar-Powered System Sends Crypto Through Radio Waves – A overview of Burst,  a solar-powered blockchain that operates completely off-grid. Burst may be the first project to have performed a fully off-grid transaction, opening a use case for cryptocurrency in instances of natural disaster or areas with poor infrastructure.
  • Opinion: Is India’s Central Bank Nervous About Supreme Court Allowing Crypto Trading? – In-depth analysis of India’s Central Bank’s motivations surrounding its policies on cryptocurrencies.
  • Green Energy Bitcoin Mining Will Have ‘Insignificant Environmental Impact’ – An interview with Hass McCook, a civil engineer as well as a Bitcoin researcher and advocate who has done the deepest investigation into Bitcoin’s energy requirements that’s ever been carried out. McCook recently released a 39-page report on energy use in crypto along with a  ten-part Youtube series explaining his findings.
  • Bitcoin Mutual Fund CEO Explains Why Canada is More Blockchain-Friendly than the U.S. – In an exclusive interview with CCN, Sean Clark, CEO of First Block Capital Inc. — the operator of FBC Bitcoin Trust, the first bitcoin mutual fund to trade in Canada — discussed the underlying factors that make Canada a country that is friendly to new technologies such as cryptocurrency.
  • Interview: TechCrunch Editor-at-Large Josh Constine Talks Cryptocurrency – Sit down with TechCrunch editor-at-large Josh Constine. Josh is a media heavyweight, having interviewed the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Edward Snowden, and Cory Booker and having spoken at 120 events on a diverse set of topics.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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