Latest News on the Crypto Market: FEC Regulations, BTC Price Drop, and Hacks
Cryptocurrency Prices -The price trend for Bitcoin has been dropping and this week it has already dropped by 8%. Over the last month, in total, BTC dropped a little over 20%. Despite the price decreases, crypto analysts are still optimistic about the future of the market's top cryptocurrency. -Ethereum is also down, a little over 11% this week. A recent SEC ruling stated that Ether is not considered a security, but this did not increase the prices of the digital asset. Analysts have been studying the price trend for ETH and have come to a conclusion that the trends mirror BTC's price trends.  -The crypto market cap is on a decline of about 13% this week. Crypto researchers are saying that the decline could be because of a bullish rally prior to the main net release and criticism on the EOS constitution for being centralized. As of now, 34 accounts have been put on a freeze, due to hacks and phishing activity.  Rules/Regulations - A major key player in the cryptocurrency market, South Korea, is worried that regulation will make digital currencies more centralized/legitimized. At a meeting, just a few weeks ago, a KFIU director confirmed that South Korea's government has been slowing down the process with regulating digital currencies for a few years now, and this is because they don't want to legitimize it.  Hacks -A successful cryptojacking attack occurred on Siacoin, and $1 million worth of the coin was stolen. In China, more than 100,000 computers were infiltrated and infected with malware that mines digital currencies. 16 people have been linked with the jackings and have been detained.  -Bithumb, a Korean exchange platform, has been hacked 3 times within a year! Korean exchanges have been involved in hacking frenzies and Coinrail is also among Bithumb and has experienced losses. -A blockchain researcher believes that EOS will experience a "Massive Hack". Professor from Cornell University, Emin Gun, feels that the cryptocurrency is vulnerable and that the centralization will cause safety issues. In turn, the cryptocurrency won't be able to handle the safety issues and it will lead to a massive hack on the exchange.  Adoption - A candidate for the U.S. Senate, Austin Petersen, returned a donation that was made to his campaign for $130,000 worth of BTC. Petersen received 24 Bitcoins, however he was forced to return the large donations because they violated FEC regulations.  -BTC mining in China continues to be successful, even though there have been increases in regulations. Little or no efforts have been made by the Chinese government, to hinder the mining process for companies.  -Square has been granted the seventh ever BitLicense in the state of New York. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, has been granted the license through the New York Department of Financial Services. -Android app, Nano, is not safe to use. Just a few hours after the Android app Nano was launched, Nano is telling its users to move their funds from the app. The company has been receiving bad press from the massive hack it experienced in the beginning of the year. 
Australia Beach Town Accepting Bitcoin to Promote Tourism
Agnes Water, a beautiful beach town in Australia, is calling itself Australia's first "digital currency town". They are looking to attract international travelers so they can boost their most prominent business, which is tourism. An array of tourist companies are participating such as: tour operators, restaurants, local bars, and other providers. There is a population of 2,000 residents in Agnes Water. When first entering the city, there is a billboard that reads "Welcome to Agnes Water 1770, Australia's First Digital Currency Town". The town will be accepting cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Ethereum, NEM, and of course Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Agnes Water has shown interest in accepting cryptocurrencies since a local business owner by the name of Gordon Christian, started researching the Bitcoin payment process. He explored other local areas in Australia, such as Brisbane International Airport, that was already accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. He began discussing the payment method with local business owners in Agnes Water, and they were interested in the lucrative idea. Currently, around 31 businesses in Agnes Water are already accepting digital currencies. The businesses use a point-of-sale application that was created by TravelbyBit. Agnes Water has potential to attract international tourists more than other mainstream travel destinations. The town has made a good decision to allure to a niche market and industry. Imagine what cryptocurrencies can do for other poor countries who depend on tourism for a major part of their economies.
State of NY Grants its Seventh BitLicense to Fintech Startup
Just a few days after granting a BitLicense to a digital asset wallet company called Xapo, New York granted a fintech startup called Square, the ability to start operating in the state. Users of Square can now buy and sell Bitcoin. The New York Department of Financial Services or NYDFS gave its approval of Square's BitLicense, this week on Monday. New York is commonly recognized as the most scrupulous U.S. state to accept cryptocurrency practices. Square started to support Bitcoin through their famous app called "Cash App". By implementing this, the electronic payments company allowed its users to instantly buy and sell the global market's most prominent digital asset, through its platform. In doing this, Square's stocks have risen this year and the company has gained a profit of $34 million, just in the first quarter of this year. The NYDFS obviously put Square through a comprehensive screening to make sure the firm was not partaking in any fraudulent activities and to make sure they have consumer protection, cybersecurity, and capitalization policies in place.
CFTC Hits JPMorgan With a $65 Million Fine!
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission or CFTC has fined JPMorgan Chase Bank for a whopping $65 million! The reason being that JPMorgan has tried to change the value of the U.S. dollar benchmark index. CFTC has proof that JPMorgan traders have attempted to manipulate the USD ISDAFIX or the US Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix, which is an interest rate benchmark for a period of five years 2007-2012. The traders beefed up the index just before the daily reference point snapshot. There have been talks amongst many investors in regards to last years market trends and that the BTC price rally was manipulated. However, this just goes to show that almost every financial market deals with manipulation and is perpetrated by regulated financial institutions.
Coinbase Update: Launch of Index Fund for Big-Time Investors
Coinbase has recently launched their new digital currency index fund. The index fund was created to for big investors. They will have access to the five cryptocurrencies that are currently on the Coinbase platform. The index fund was launched this past Wednesday and Coinbase has already received a few positive hits from investors. This launch stemmed from the revamp and rebranding of Coinbase's original trading platform, called GDAX and it has since been changed to Coinbase Pro. The index fund will be available to investors who can invest a minimum of $250,000 up to $20 million.The current PDF of the index fund will comprise of Ethereum Classic (ETC). Even though the index fund has launched, it is not available in 30+ countries. A representative for Coinbase shared that they are working on more funds that can be available to all types of investors.
Overstock Raking in $120K Per Week in Crypto Revenues!, also known as the $1 billion online retailer platform, has shared that accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment has been a blessing for them. They also believe that it is a better payment source than accepting credit cards. With credit card payments, buyers can request refunds through third parties, and this can lead to legal issues which make it complicated for the company and the credit card company. Overstock does have an in house fraud department that looks into credit card payments and finds solutions for any issues that may arise.
A Director for the SEC Claims Ether is Not a Security
A top executive for the US Securities and Exchange Commission has said that the digital currency of the Ethereum network, Ether, is not considered a security under federal regulations. William Hinnan, who is a director for the SEC's corporate finance division, said that ether will not be a regulated security by the SEC. He also shared that even though ether was originally issued to create an ICO-style crowdsale, the network eventually became decentralized and that it did not have a controlling power. The assets that were initially sold as securities had the probability to lose that designation, down the line.
Coinbase Penetrating Japanese Market
Digital currency exchange giant is officially taking off in Japan. Coinbase is already accessible in 32 countries, and they have just announced that they will be launching in Japan. It makes sense, due to Japan being one of the largest crypto markets in the global crypto market. San Francisco based Coinbase stated that they will be working closely with Japan's financial regulators and the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Coinbase was trying to open business in Japan for two years now, ever since it received $10.5 million from Japanese investors.
World’s Largest Bitcoin Farm Coming to NY State?
Reports have been made that a $700 million mining farm will be coming to upstate New York. Crypto mining firm, Coinmint, will make New York hold the record for the world's biggest Bitcoin mining center if plans are carried out. Coinmint is a division of North Country Data Center Corporation and they have already invested $50 million into this project. They will be modifying a 1,300 acre aluminum plant that is located in Massena, NY. The plant can process 435- megawatts, and it would be considered the biggest BTC mining center in the world. Coinmint is planning to come up with a total of $700 million for this project and this will also create jobs for the next year and a half. The project and the facility will be up and running in the next 12 months.
Bittrex Supports Crypto-to-Fiat Transactions
Bittrex is one of the very few digital currency exchanges aside from UPbit and Bithumb (both located in South Korea), that allows their users to buy tokens using fiat currency. The CEO of Bittrex, Bill Shihara, has shared that Bittrex has a meticulous process when it comes to reviewing digital assets and approving them to their platform. Bittrex is mainly looking for innovation when they select from various cryptocurrencies on the market and they also look at each companies' founders and principles. Bittrex has a team of lawyers and third party independent law firms so they can make sure to adhere to regulations and avoid conflicts.


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