Bank of Thailand Is Open to Discuss Libra, Concerned Over Security

Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said that the institution is open to discussing Facebook’s Libra stablecoin with the company, local media Xinhuanet reported on July 19.

Per the report, Santiprabhob made his remarks at the Bangkok FinTech Fair on July 19, pointing out that Facebook had already contacted the central bank many times. He also noted that the institution had established a new team to study Libra’s whitepaper, but their analysis will take time. “We are not going to rush into a decision of Libra as yet,” Santiprabhob reportedly said, continuing to emphasize the importance of security:

“All kinds of new digital money have been emerging, therefore the Bank of Thailand monitors all and don’t give favoritism to any particular financial service. Security in financial services is the bank’s top priority. It will take time.”

Santiprabhob reportedly said that Libra cannot simply replace the Thai baht, concluding that “Libra cannot just step in and replace all currencies and digital money.”

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, Fiscal Policy Office legal officer Sumaporn Manason argued that Libra will likely run up against difficulties entering Thailand as the cryptocurrency does not fall under any local financial legislation currently existing.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Alleged Silk Road Drug Dealer Arrested in the United States

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman announced the arrest of alleged dark web drug dealer Hugh Brian Haney in a press release published on July 18.

Per the release, Haney has been charged with money laundering. He allegedly used cryptocurrency to launder more than $19 million of profits earned selling illegal drugs on the now-defunct darknet market Silk Road. Berman commented to the development:

“Today’s arrest should be a warning to dealers peddling their drugs on the dark web that they cannot remain anonymous forever, especially when attempting to legitimize their illicit proceeds.”

Angel M. Melendez, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent-in-charge, pointed out that — after Silk Road was closed in 2013 — cyber criminals simply sought other ways to “continue their criminal activities and more importantly launder their illicit digital currency.” Haney was allegedly one of those criminals. Melendez concluded:

“HSI special agents employed blockchain analytics to uncover and seize bitcoins valued at $19 million and usher Haney out of the dark web shadows to face justice in the Southern District of New York.”

The press release suggests that Haney operated on Silk Road under the pseudonym Pharmville. U.S. law enforcement reportedly made multiple controlled purchases of narcotics, including oxycontin, from Pharmville in 2011 and 2012. Those purchases resulted in a judicially authorized search of Haney’s house in Ohio in 2018.

The investigation allegedly exposed evidence that Haney was a high-ranking member or administrator of the Pharmville account. In 2017 and 2018, Haney reportedly transferred his Bitcoin (BTC) proceedings to a cryptocurrency exchange. In correspondence with the exchange, Haney claimed to have obtained his BTC through mining and from individuals he met online.

When Haney exchanged his cryptocurrency for fiat currency and moved it into an HSI bank account, the funds were seized pursuant to a judicially authorized seizure warrant from a custodial account at a bank in the Southern District of New York.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, $515 million in Bitcoin had been spent on illegal activities in 2019 as of the beginning of July, but this only accounted for 1% of total BTC transactions up to that point.

In May, German police, along with Europol, shut down servers of a dark-web marketplace and seized six figures in crypto from the arrested suspects.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Price Analysis 19/07: BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, BNB, EOS, BSV, TRX, XLM

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

The bashing of Libra continues, with G7 finance ministers warning that if the project is not regulated tightly, it can upset the global financial system. The ministers are against a private company issuing its own currency without any control.

Nonetheless, the project got support from unexpected quarters. The head of Germany’s central bank Jens Weidmann, who previously was not very supportive of cryptocurrencies, said during a G7 event that the regulators should not try to kill the project without allowing it to prove itself. If Libra can deliver on its promises, it can be attractive to consumers.

Even before its launch, Libra is challenging the way money is being transferred across borders. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, though not supportive of Libra, said that the high transaction fees of five to ten percent for cross-border transactions will have to be dealt with using technology. 

United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued his tirade against cryptocurrencies, repeating the same old story of how cryptocurrencies can be used for illicit purposes such as money laundering. 

We believe that these attempts to suppress the rise of cryptocurrencies will only cause a temporary hurdle in the short term. The long-term story remains optimistic and cryptocurrencies will only emerge stronger than before.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin (BTC) continues to be the strongest cryptocurrency. The dip below the 50-day SMA was bought aggressively and the price has reached the 20-day EMA. This shows strong demand at lower levels. However, the bears are trying to defend the 20-day EMA.

BTC/USD

If the BTC/USD pair turns down from current levels and plummets below $9,080, it will indicate a change in trend. The next support on the downside is at $7,451.63. The 20-day EMA is marginally down and the RSI is just below 50, which suggests that bears only have a slight advantage.

Conversely, if the next dip to $9,080 holds or if bulls scale above the 20-day EMA, it will indicate strength.  We view this fall as a buying opportunity, but we will wait for a bottom to form before proposing a trade in it.

ETH/USD

The pullback from the uptrend line hit a barrier at $$224.086. This level, which had previously acted as support will now act as resistance. With the 20-day EMA sloping down and the RSI in negative territory, the advantage is clearly with the bears. They will now try to sink Ether (ETH) below the uptrend line once again. If successful, it can drop to $150. 

ETH/USD

Contrary to our assumption, if the price rebounds from the uptrend line and sustains above $224.086, it can move up to the 20-day EMA. The ETH/USD pair has been among the stronger altcoins, hence, it might outperform when the recovery starts. We will wait for the uptrend to resume before suggesting a long position in it.

XRP/USD

The bounce in Ripple (XRP) from close to the critical support of $0.27795 is facing resistance at $0.3270. If bulls defend the next dip towards $0.27795, it will indicate demand at lower levels and might suggest a range formation. 

XRP/USD

Nevertheless, if the bears sink the XRP/USD pair below $0.27795, it will be very negative because this support has held on five previous occasions since mid-December last year. There is a minor support at $0.24508 below which the downtrend will resume. Both moving averages are trending down and the RSI is in the negative zone, which shows that the pair is in a firm bear grip. As the pair has been an underperformer, we will wait for buyers to return and a reversal setup to form before recommending a trade in it.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) rose sharply from close to $76, but hit a wall at the 20-day EMA. The previous support line of the channel will now act as a stiff resistance. If the digital currency turns down and breaks below $76, it can fall to the next support at $58.

LTC/USD

However, if the next down move holds above $76, it will indicate buying at lower levels. The pullback will signal strength on a breakout above 20-day EMA. The pair is one of the stronger altcoins, hence, traders should watch it carefully. We will wait for the LTC/USD pair to re-enter the channel and sustain it before recommending a long position in it.  

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is trading inside a descending channel. The recovery is facing selling close to $325. If the price breaks out of this overhead resistance, it can move up to the resistance line of the channel. A breakout of the channel will indicate a change in trend.

BCH/USD

On the other hand, if the BCH/USD pair turns down from the current level and breaks below $250, it can drop to $227.70. If this level also cracks, we can expect a deeper fall to $166.98. Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is in the negative zone, which suggests that the bears are at an advantage. Traders can wait for a trend reversal before initiating fresh long positions in it.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) is trading inside a descending channel. The bulls were able to push the price back above the uptrend line on July 18, which is a positive sign. Currently, the 20-day EMA is likely to act as a stiff resistance.

BNB/USD

If the BNB/USD pair turns down from the resistance and breaks below the recent low of $24.1709, it can drop to the next support at $18.30. However, if the bulls succeed in keeping the price above the uptrend line, it will indicate strength. The pair has been an outperformer, hence, it is on our radar. We will wait for the price to sustain above the 20-day EMA before proposing a trade in it.

EOS/USD

Though EOS climbed back above $3.8723, the bulls have not been able to ascend the next overhead resistance of $4.493. This shows muted demand at higher levels. Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is close to the oversold zone. This suggests that the bears are firmly in the driver’s seat.

EOS/USD

If the EOS/USD pair breaks down of $3.30, it will resume its downtrend. There is a minor support at $3, below which a fall to $2.70 is likely. Conversely, if bulls succeed in pushing the price above $4.493 and the 20-day EMA, the pair can move up to the resistance line of the channel. We will wait for the price to stop falling and for buyers to return before recommending a long position in it.

BSV/USD

Bitcoin SV (BSV) bounced off from close to $107 and has re-entered the descending channel. It can now move up to the 20-day EMA, which will act as a resistance. If the price turns down from the 20-day EMA, bears will try to resume the downtrend by breaking down of $107. If successful, there is a minor support at $93.680, below which the fall can extend to $50.030. The downtrending 20-day EMA and RSI in the negative territory suggests that the bears have the upper hand.

BSV/USD

Contrary to our assumption, if bulls push the price above 20-day EMA, the BSV/USD pair can move up to the resistance line of the channel. A breakout of the channel will signal strength. Until then, every pullback is likely to be sold into. We do not find any reliable buy setups at current levels, hence, we are not recommending a trade in it.

TRX/USD

Tron (TRX) turned around from $0.0204 on July 17 and is currently retesting the breakdown level from the channel. We anticipate the bulls to face stiff resistance at the channel line and above it at the downtrend line.

TRX/USD

If the TRX/USD pair re-enters the channel and breaks out of the downtrend line, it will indicate strong demand. However, if the pair reverses direction from one of the overhead resistances, it can again correct to $0.022. 

The next drop towards $0.022 will give us a better idea on whether the correction has ended or not. Presently, the downsloping 20-day EMA and the RSI in the negative zone indicates that the path of least resistance is to the downside.

XLM/USD

The bulls are attempting to keep Stellar (XLM) in the range but we anticipate strong selling close to the 20-day EMA. A breakout of this resistance will be a positive sign and will suggest that the cryptocurrency might trade inside the $0.080–$0.145 range.

XLM/USD

But if the XLM/USD pair turns down and breaks below the recent low of $0.076, it can correct to $0.072545. A breakdown to new yearly lows will signal weakness and a lack of demand at lower levels. Currently, both the moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is in the negative territory. This shows that bears have the upper hand. We should see a strong directional move within the next few days.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Oil Markets Could Save 30% With Blockchain, Data Gumbo CEO Says

Global oil operators can save at least 30% by using blockchain in their infrastructure, according to data by blockchain startup Data Gumbo.

Andrew Bruce, CEO of American blockchain startup Data Gumbo, discussed blockchain-powered automated contract execution in the oil industry on Bloomberg Commodities Edge on July 19.

When asked how much oil industry players can save by implementing blockchain applications such as blockchain-based contract execution instead of traditional paper contracts, Bruce argued that such solutions could save at least 30%, referring to internal studies by the company. According to Data Gumbo’s data, oil and gas market accounted for $2.6 trillion by 2017.

In May 2019, Data Gumbo raised $6 million from major global energy companies, including Equinor’s venture subsidiary Equinor Technology Venture and Saudi Aramco’s venture arm Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. With a total funding of up to $9.3 million, investors expect the company to improve oil and gas supply chains by eliminating disputes and delivering automated transactions, as well as reducing reconciliation times in the supply chain.

On July 18, co-founder of American tech giant Apple Steve Wozniak was reported to invest in Efforce, a new blockchain-enabled energy saving firm in Malta.

Previously, Cointelegraph reported that Philip Morris estimated its potential blockchain-powered savings to account for $20 million. Philip Morris’ global head of tech innovation said that manual work and the associated counterfeit risks end up costing the industry and governments $100 million a year.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

‘Samsung Coin’ Trademark Filing Unaffiliated With Samsung

On July 10, Kim Nam-jin applied for a Trademark 5 (TM5) on the name “Samsung Coin” with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). As per the filing, it appears that Nam-jin is seeking to trademark the name in both its Korean spelling in Hangul as well as in English.

However, per a July 19 report, a Samsung representative told CoinDesk that Kim Nam-jin is not affiliated with the Korean tech giant Samsung. “We don’t work this way,” the representative apparently said.

Additionally, the report says that the trademark was listed under categories including downloadable electronic money computer program, electronic money card, electronic encryption device, and IC card with electronic money function, although blockchain and cryptocurrency are not mentioned anywhere.

The report also notes that this is not the first time Kim Nam-jin has attempted to trademark a seemingly crypto-related term associated with a Korean tech giant. 

According to the report, Nam-jin also entered an application with KIPO for the name ThinQ Wallet on the same day the individual filed for Samsung Coin. However, in this case, LG Electronics had already filed to trademark ThinQ Wallet as of July 2, which is the name for a proposed, multi-functional crypto wallet.

As reported by Cointelegraph on July 10, Samsung announced that it has released its blockchain and decentralized application (DApp) Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK is designed for account management, payments, and cold wallet support among other things. The latest Samsung Blockchain SDK is apparently a superset of all previous SDKs, and contains the Samsung Blockchain Keystore SDK.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Ex-CEO of BTC-e Exchange’s Spin-Off WEX Is Arrested in Italy

Former CEO of now-defunct crypto exchange WEX, a spin-off of controversial BTC-e exchange, was arrested in Italy.

No official statement to date

Dmitri Vasilyev, who reopened BTC-e exchange as WEX.nz in September 2017, was detained by Italian prosecutors. While no official statement has been disclosed to date, BBC Russia reported the arrest on July 19. In the report, the publication cited an unnamed friend of Vasilev and two anonymous WEX investors. The reason for detention remains unclear.

In April 2019, Vasilyev became the subject of a criminal investigation by the police department in Kazakh city Almaty, as the alleged suspect was charged with defrauding a local investor in the amount of $20,000 through WEX exchange, as crypto media outlet Forklog reported. According to the report, the 32-year-old suspect was announced wanted under an international arrest warrant in the territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

WEX, a spin-off of troubled BTC-e, quickly fell under suspicion

Defunct BTC-e, WEX’s parent exchange, still remains subject to a $4 billion fraud investigation by Greece and the United States, with the alleged founder Alexander Vinnik currently in the custody of Greek police, BBC noted. 

Following Vinnik’s arrest in 2017, Vasilyev relaunched the exchange under name of WEX that soon was reported as exhibiting suspicious tendencies including overpricing Bitcoin (BTC) compared to global norms. Eventually, WEX halted withdrawals in July 2018, which led to claims from users that the platform was a scam.

In late 2018, WEX’s fellow exchange and major global crypto trading platform Binance froze funds sent from wallets associated with WEX after users claimed that the exchange was involved in money laundering.

Meanwhile, Russian authorities continue to fight for Vinnik’s extradition to Russia, with Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights having recently asked the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to help extradite the alleged criminal.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Tether’s Trouble With New York Attorney General — Will Crypto Cope?

Are Bitfinex and Tether in trouble? Maybe, but the thing is, we don’t know just how much trouble, because the stablecoin issuer has challenged the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) case against them. In claims filed in April, Attorney General Letitia James asserted that Bitfinex defrauded its customers, having lost $850 million in client and corporate funds, and then having attempted to cover up this loss by secretly helping itself to around $900 million of Tether’s cash reserves. 

Serious charges, but they’re denied by Bitfinex and Tether’s parent company, iFinex, which responded in April that the OAG’s claims were “riddled with false assertions” and that the lost $850 million is being safeguarded, although it didn’t specify whether this amount is being held by Crypto Capital Corp. (which initially received it) or by some other entity. Regardless, iFinex has applied to have the case dismissed, arguing that the OAG has no legal basis to sue it for the simple reason that Bitfinex wasn’t operating in New York during the period at issue.

However, while a New York judge has questioned the attorney general’s “vague, open-ended” claims and asked for a more precisely constructed revision, recent news surrounding theclosing of a New York-based bank account indicates that Tether and Bitfinex may very well have been operating in the state of New York. This would suggest that the OAG’s claims are legally valid and that Bitfinex and Tether may end up facing serious repercussions. But even if it does, certain crypto-related legal experts suggest that this wouldn’t necessarily be such a huge blow to crypto, which will endure with or without the liquidity provided by the Tether stablecoin, USDT.

The New York connection

On July 10, it was reported that the crypto-friendly Metropolitan Commercial Bank had closed accounts associated with iFinex. The company and its affiliates had held these accounts for around five months, after which they were closed, with iFinex itself stating that they were discontinued largely because of inactivity. According to iFinex: 

“Metropolitan Commercial Bank had limited, corporate operating accounts with Tether Holdings LTD, iFinex Inc, and Digfinex Inc, all with negligible activity, and requested the accounts to be closed after less than 5 months of the accounts being opened.”

As Cointelegraph has reported previously, iFinex denies that Bitfinex and Tether were operating in New York, and it’s partly on this basis that the company believes the OAG’s case should be thrown out. For its part, the OAG claimed in an affirmation filed in July that iFinex opened the accounts in December 2017 and “transacted in those accounts thereafter.” Similarly, it also notes that it held accounts with another New York-based bank, Signature Bank, and “transacted in those accounts until at least April 2018. During that time period, transactions were initiated in those accounts by a senior executive of Respondents located in New York.”

But even if iFinex held accounts with New York-based banks, there’s still no guarantee the OAG can legally establish that Bitfinex and/or Tether were actually operating in New York and serving New York-based customers. As crypto-specialized lawyer Preston Byrne told Cointelegraph, the simple fact of having an account with a New York-based bank isn’t likely to be enough on its own to legally establish operations in the state. He added:

“The short answer is that it depends on what the company is doing and what jurisdictional hook the state uses to regulate the conduct. For any company, the outcome of this analysis will be very fact-dependent. To the extent there is any possible nexus with New York State, businesses really should confer with New York counsel for that advice.”

Other lawyers agree that the simple possession of a New York-based account isn’t enough on its own to prove anything. Aviya Arika, a lawyer and the chief of blockchain at Aviya Law, explained to Cointelegraph that, during her time as a lawyer, she has opened dozens of bank accounts for clients in numerous nations when responding to the question of whether iFinex having New York-based accounts proves that it operated in the state. Arika said:

“This experience has taught me that having a bank account in country x doesn’t necessarily mean the company is targeting or soliciting clients in that country. Therefore my answer would be negative.”

“I don’t see a mandatory connection between the two,” she clarified, noting that, conversely, it’s also possible to target New York clients and have your bank account anywhere else in the United States. Arika also pointed out that iFinex isn’t the only crypto-related company to have set up with Metropolitan and that it’s likely many other clients of the bank don’t operate in New York State. She said:

“Metropolitan Bank has become very popular in crypto talk and I’m pretty sure not all companies who have accounts there are working with clients in New York. Because of the relative scarcity of crypto friendly banks, companies are not being as picky as to narrow down their options and approach only those within their target markets.”

The outcome

The above would suggest that the OAG may struggle in establishing that Bitfinex and/or Tether operated in New York. Nonetheless, it needs to be underlined that the attorney general is indeed making the claim that Bitfinex and Tether served New York-based customers and didn’t only have bank accounts located in the state. For example, in its affirmation from early July, Assistant Attorney General Bryan M. Whitehurst wrote that “documents obtained by the OAG in the course of its investigation demonstrate that Respondents did in fact allow customers located in New York to transact on the Bitfinex trading platform after January 30, 2017,” which is when Bitfinex announced that it was officially barring New Yorkers from the exchange.

The affirmation then proceeds to cite various pieces of evidence that Bitfinex was serving New York-based customers. For example, Whitehurst refers to enclosed evidence (not publicly available) of correspondence between Bitfinex and a digital currency trading firm located in New York, which used Bitfinex to trade on behalf of numerous “offshore vehicles” and which “conducted significant activity on the Bitfinex trading platform through at least early 2019.” Likewise, the OAG also cites evidence that Bitfinex set up an account for Galaxy Digital and “associated entities,” as well as evidence testifying to the use of Bitfinex by New York-based traders as late as 2019.

Given that these aren’t the only pieces of evidence the OAG claims to possess, it would seem that iFinex may not be successful in having the case thrown out. That said, there still isn’t certainty that the attorney general will succeed in proving a link with New York because, as Aviya Arika indicates, other factors complicate the issue. “Another interesting issue here would be the non-solicitation issue,” she said. “What the court’s approach will be if Tether had allowed NY residents to transact but had not solicited or targeted them and had created the relationship with them completely passively.”

Also, proving an operational link with New York is one thing, but proving the defrauding of customers — which the Attorney General is ultimately attempting to substantiate — is another. And it’s precisely here that the biggest uncertainty resides, with Byrne affirming that, because of the infancy of the legal battle, it would be unwise to stick your neck out with a decisive prediction either way.  Byrne clarified: “It’s impossible to know at this phase. I would imagine both sides of this litigation are keeping their cards close to the vest.”

Still, even with this uncertainty, it’s unlikely that the New York attorney general would have sued iFinex if it didn’t believe it had a strong case, as suggested by Aaraon Kaplan, a former lawyer who is now the CEO of New York-based trading platform Prometheum. He told Cointelegraph:

“The outcome of the NY AG’s case against Tether will be determined by the facts and circumstances. The attorney general tends to only bring cases they believe they have a good chance of winning. I anticipate that the NY Attorney General believes the state has a very strong case against Tether.”

Implications

But assuming for the sake of argument that Bitfinex and Tether had defrauded customers by covering up an $850 million loss, it would be interesting to consider the kind of impact their defeat in a legal battle would have on iFinex and on the wider cryptocurrency industry. For one, it’s likely that iFinex would be hit with a hefty fine, and given that Bank of America had to pay a $42 million penalty in 2018 in connection with electronic trading fraud, it’s possible that any fine it could potentially receive would be somewhere in the same region, although it is known that other firms have paid billion-dollar fines to the state of New York in recent years.

“The penalties Tether would face would be heavy fines that it would probably not recover from,” Arika said. This is a grave prediction, and while a $42 million-dollar fine probably wouldn’t be financially ruinous for iFinex, the damage to its reputation could be more far-reaching — as could be any legal orders it receives concerning its business practices in the U.S. (e.g., the New York attorney general has shut down companies in the past). And if we take the absolute worst-case scenario — the closure of iFinex and the end of Tether — then the implications for crypto could be very ominous. Byrne has also added that a bad outcome for Tether may affect the crypto market negatively:

“As to the wider market, all indications are that Tether plays an increasingly important systemic role in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets. Removing Tether from these markets for any reason would be likely to create a severe liquidity crunch among a number of overseas exchanges that rely on Tether for USD liquidity and could lead to substantial market disruption.”

Indeed, USDT has been pivotal in crypto bull markets over the past couple of years, with this year’s rally coming amid a doubling of the Tether supply. In fact, the supply of USDT more than doubled momentarily on July 13, when Tether printed 5 billion USDT tokens, only to burn them almost immediately after. According to the company’s chief technology officer, Paolo Ardoino, this was simply the result of putting a decimal point in the wrong place during the transfer of 50 million Omni-based USDT tokens to the Tron blockchain. However, given that Tether hadn’t been entirely honest regarding its 1:1 backing of USDT, for instance, a number of suspicious tweeters raised the entirely speculative possibility of foul play.

Tether’s past importance to crypto aside, other experts believe that the cryptocurrency market would continue to exist and thrive without Tether. As Weiss Ratings’ Juan Villaverde told Cointelegraph in a recent article, the post-April bull market has arguably seen Bitcoin become less dependent on the liquidity provided by USDT, saying, “Let’s not forget that the rally we’ve seen in Bitcoin accelerated around late April, precisely when the market was concerned about the sustainability of USDT as an asset class.” Villaverde continued on to clarify that much the same thing had occurred in October, when Bitcoin jumped by over 10% intraday, despite question marks surrounding the transparency of the Tether stablecoin. His point was that the market had already spoken on the issue of USDT, telling us that, even with doubts concerning the stablecoin’s sustainability, the markets were liquid enough to soak up any capital flight.

This may be an optimistic view of things, but Villaverde isn’t the only commentator who believes that Tether’s hypothetical collapse wouldn’t have massive knock-on effects for crypto. In much the same vein, Arika also believes that a hypothetical proof of Tether’s fraudulence wouldn’t irreparably affect the cryptocurrency industry’s reputation, saying:

“If Tether turns out to be a bad actor it would be unfortunate but it shouldn’t stain the whole crypto market. Bad actors exist in every industry. The problem is the negative buzz and the false reaffirmation that the crypto industry is fishy. Generally I think that the creation of case law and pragmatic application of the law to crypto companies is beneficial and constitutes a natural development.”

Kaplan agrees, explaining that a potential loss for Tether could be beneficial for crypto insofar as the industry is in dire need of standardization. According to Kaplan:

“The crypto industry needs to realize that in order for crypto to go mainstream there needs to be integrity in the market. That integrity will either be forced upon the industry by regulators and legal actions, or will require standardization and best practices to eliminate activities like commingling customer and exchange funds.”

Taken together, the above observations point to two main points: 1) there isn’t enough public evidence right now to conclude either way on whether iFinex defrauded New York-based customers; and 2) even if such evidence emerges and the New York OAG wins its case, the cryptocurrency industry will live on regardless. In other words, you should be worried about Tether’s fight with New York only if you happen to be Tether.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

US Chamber of Digital Commerce Onboards Crypto Exchange ErisX

The United States Chamber of Digital Commerce has taken aboard cryptocurrency exchange ErisX.

Per a press release shared with Cointelegraph on July 18, ErisX has become a member of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, an advocacy group that promotes the digital asset and blockchain industry. 

ErisX thus joined other heavyweights of the industry such as Fidelity Investments, Overstock.com’s Medici Ventures, enterprise blockchain software firm R3, stablecoin platform TrustToken and professional services company Accenture, among many others. ErisX CEO Thomas Chippas stated:

“The Chamber of Digital Commerce and its member initiatives are very much aligned with our objective to improve the digital asset trading and investing landscape. We are pleased they recognize our dedication to help bring mainstream adoption and accessibility to this space through an intermediary-friendly model and unified platform for spot and regulated futures.”

Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, said that “we look forward to bringing ErisX’s experience as a regulated market to the Chamber and to their participation in our efforts to educate policymakers as well as advocate for digital assets and blockchain technology.”

Recently, ErisX procured a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. ErisX is ostensibly planning to make digital asset futures contracts available for trade on its regulated derivatives market later this year via its new DCO.

Earlier this year, the Chamber urged the U.S. government to implement a national action plan on blockchain technology. The group believes that blockchain offers a “myriad of transformational benefits” for businesses, government and consumers. The group also thinks that, as a leading nation in tech, the U.S. has to fully embrace a national strategy on decentralized technologies.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Waves to Use Vostok as Utility Tokens for New Enterprise Blockchain Solution

Waves CEO Alexander Ivanov has announced a new department for enterprise projects that will be fueled by Vostok (VST) tokens. 

According to a July 18 press release, Waves is opening a new company department called Waves Enterprise, which will employ a corporate blockchain solution of the same name. The Waves Enterprise solution is a management system for businesses that need to handle data sets containing private information.

As per the report, VST tokens will be the utility token for Waves Enterprise, and will be exchanged for a variety of network-based services. As Ivanov states:

“VST will lay the foundation of the Web3.0 economy, enabling control of (and payment for) app development, as well as other ecosystem solutions. VST is the network’s internal currency, needed for connecting your node to the network, paying operational (mining) fees, and anchoring the corporate sub-chains to the main chain.”

Regarding the capabilities of the new blockchain solution, the press release states that it will support any algorithm in any programming language, including smart contracts. The technology supporting these capabilities is Docker, which is an automated system for application installation and management.

Ivanov also predicts that private and public blockchain solutions “will merge into one global and universal technology in the future,” as per the announcement.

According to its website, Vostok is a blockchain-based solution for enterprises and public institutions. The project uses a private blockchain platform and a proprietary system integrator.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Ivanov sold his stake in Vostok, a blockchain project launched by Waves, on July 16. Ivanov claimed that he sold his stake in Vostok in order to concentrate on developing the Web3 ecosystem through Waves. The GHP Group, an early investor in Vostok, is now the sole owner of the company. 

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Major Coins in the Green, Bitcoin Hovers Over $10,000

Thursday, July 18 — following Bitcoin’s (BTC) price retaking $10,000 earlier today, top-20 cryptocurrencies have seen notable gains on the day, with only UNUS SED LEO (LEO) casting a gloom on the prospects.

Market visualization. Source: Coin360

Market visualization. Source: Coin360

BTC is up 7.63% over the last 24 hours, and is trading at around $10,549 as of press time. Having briefly dipped to as low as $9,385 during the day, BTC has rebounded and is apparently pushing to the $11,000 price point. BTC is still down over 15% in terms of its weekly performance.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

The second largest coin, Ether (ETH), began the day at around $215.39, subsequently reaching its intraday high of $227,36. At press time, the major altcoin is trading at around $225,13, up 4.14% on the day.

Ethereum 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360

Ethereum 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360

Ripple (XRP) has seen smaller gains of 1.73% to trade at around $0.323 at press time. During the day, XRP slumped to its daily low of $0.307, but soon began to recover. On its weekly chart, XRP is in the red by 12.12%.

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Stellar (XLM) has also taken an upturn and is currently trading at around $0.088. Today,  Binance revealed that it unknowingly earned staking rewards of XLM in the amount of 9,500,000 XLM ($775,000 at press time) worth of extra XLM, and is going to share the gained XLM rewards to the entire community.

Stellar 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Stellar 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is currently over $286 billion, while the daily trading volume is around $82.9 billion.

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News source CoinTelegraph.com