Сryptocurrency and ICO news

Most important news for today
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Novogratz: a rally to start in Q1-Q2 2019
Investor and cryptocurrency bull Mike Novogratz said BTC would not break $10,000 in 2018. The Galaxy Investment Partners creator had previously called a “bottom” in the market in mid-September. He thinks more time is required for momentum to build to take prices higher, and the long-anticipated wave of institutional investors piling into the cryptocurrency space will only occur next year. Novogratz was speaking the day Fidelity Investments announced it would release a custody solution tailored to such institutional investors looking for security when interacting with cryptoassets. While this was a boon for Bitcoin, Novogratz said, the solution needed testing prior to it attaining mass interest based on investor trust. “They’ll probably be up and running in January or Q1, then you’ve got to run some water through the pipes, so my guess is you start seeing institutional flows into purely cryptoassets late first quarter or early second quarter.”
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Coinbase opened an office in Dublin
Coinbase has opened a new office in Dublin, Ireland. In addition to helping expand its operations in Europe, the new Irish offices are reportedly part of a contingency plan for when the U.K. leaves the E.U. The Dublin team will take on a number of new business-related functions, while London will remain Coinbase’s main office in Europe. Coinbase’s U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz told the Guardian that the company is looking to capitalize on the talent pool available in Ireland. Feroz further added that the Irish office would enable Coinbase to serve its customers in the E.U. if U.K. leave: “It is also a plan B for Brexit. As we plan for all eventualities, it’s important that we continue servicing our customers across Europe, and Ireland would be our preferred choice there if it comes to it.” British finance minister Philip Hammond expressed hope that blockchain technology could help ensure seamless post-Brexit trade between the U.K. and the E.U., as it enables product movement to be recorded transparently and without changes. Ireland itself has gained a reputation in Europe as a hub for the tech industry, due in part to its low corporate taxes and proactive measures to bring business to the country. In June, IDA Ireland, a governmental agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment, started an initiative to promote blockchain investment and development in the country.
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Bakkt CEO to deliver a revolution in the sector
The CEO of Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) forthcoming cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt has said she wants to deliver a “revolution” in the sector in a similar way to energy trading fifteen years ago. Kelly Loeffler forecast a repeat performance of ICE’s market-making moves last decade. “The digital market is fragmented like the energy market in the early 2000s. ICE was the pioneer attracting more and more institutions to trade energy, which is what created today’s liquid market,” she told the publication. Bakkt, which is set for launch next month, intends to avoid unpopular leveraged and non-custodial trading products for its increasingly broad institutional investor base, alleviating some concerns from cryptocurrency industry figures that a lack of physical interaction with Bitcoin itself would ultimately damage its profile and success. ICE will now compete with offerings from Wall Street stalwarts Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, all of which have said they intend to become active in the trading sector.
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IMF: rapid growth of crypto could impact financial system
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated in a recently released report that the rapid growth of Bitcoin and crypto could impact the international finance system. The report entitled “World Economic Outlook: Challenges to Steady Growth” published by the IMF read: “Cybersecurity breaches and cyberattacks on critical financial infrastructure represent an additional source of risk because they could undermine cross-border payment systems and disrupt the flow of goods and services. Continued rapid growth of crypto assets could create new vulnerabilities in the international financial system.” Despite the 80 percent decline in the valuation of the crypto market, the industry has seen some of the most positive developments regarding the institutionalization, regulation, and development of cryptocurrencies as an emerging asset class in the past nine months. The cryptocurrency industry and infrastructure employed by exchanges are relatively new and fundamentally different from the technologies implemented by the traditional finance sector. As such, it is appropriate for the IMF and government agencies to describe the rapid growth of the asset class a risk to global finance. But, continuous efforts to strengthen the infrastructure of the cryptocurrency market and improve investor protection will reduce the risk cryptocurrencies have on the global finance industry. Emin Gun Sirer, a professor at the prestigious Cornell University and a highly regarded expert in the space of cryptocurrency and blockchain, stated that the acknowledgement of cryptocurrencies as an asset class by the IMF is optimistic for the industry.
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Microsoft to implement blockchain-based system for content creators
Microsoft announced an ambitious plan to collect royalty payments for authors, software developers, and other creators using blockchain technology, which creates a tamper-proof record system across multiple computers. The project aims to streamline the current process of tracking and collecting copyright payments, which has long relied on a series of middlemen, and which critics say shortchanges creators. Microsoft says it will begin deploying the blockchain tool in its vast online gaming system, working with partners like video game giant Ubisoft to implement it. When the project is fully deployed, the companies predict they will be able to process millions of transactions a day, and replace a royalty distribution process that can take 45 days with one with daily pay-outs and it can serve any creative industry. The process, which relies on a species of blockchain technology known as Quorum, is also designed to protect confidential business arrangements.
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Enigma partners Intel to improve security
Guy Zyskind, founder and CEO of Enigma, said that the company has partnered with Intel to develop privacy preserving computation technologies. Enigma will use Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGXs), allowing data to be protected while computation takes place. Both companies are looking to solve the privacy, security and scalability challenges facing blockchains, Zyskind noted. Enigma has developed a unique protocol using SGX to protect information while permitting computation to occur over the data. This capability will be integrated in Ethereum smart contracts.  
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Goldman Sachs is taking crypto serious now

Goldman Sachs, leading U.S. investment banking group,  is exploring cryptocurrency trading derivatives, Goldman Sachs Chief Operating Officer (COO) said in an interview with Bloomberg, June 20.

COO David Solomon stated that the company is already assisting clients in publicly-traded derivatives such as Bitcoin (BTC) futures, and that the company is “very cautiously” considering “some other activities” in the field. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein also confirmed his positive stance on cryptocurrencies, claiming that the adoption of digital coins like Bitcoin could happen similarly to the adoption of paper fiat money, which replaced gold and silver coins.

Thus, the adoption of crypto by financial institutions is growing which may eventually give the necessary impulse to the industry.

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EOS froze 7 accounts, so where is the promised decentralization?

EOS has frozen seven accounts compromised by the registration process through phishing scams, according to a Steemit post by EOS42, an EOS block producer (BP) candidate. Thus, it led to allegations that BPs have violated their own constitution.

The impetus for the account freezing came from the EOS911 initiative, created by EOS42, that is designed to help the victims of EOS phishing attacks and those with compromised private keys. EOS Block Producers discussed the decision to freeze the accounts over a two hour conference call, ultimately deciding that since the EOSIO constitution has not yet been ratified, they could ignore the EOS Core Arbitration Forum’s (ECAF) decision not to freeze the funds. The fact that a decision could be made by a small number of players on a conference call has led to several crypto influencers on Twitter bringing up questions about EOS’s decentralized format.

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Bithumb was hacked, $30 million stolen
South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb said it was temporarily suspending deposit and withdrawal services after about $30 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen, but they would be covered from Bithumb's own reserves. Moreover, all users' assets are being transferred to safer "cold wallet." It's not the biggest theft, but it is still a problem as a crypto market has just begun going upwards. On the other hand, such hacks can be usefull as it motivates founders to pay more and more attention to security. Worth noting that at the beginning of June Bithumb recieved a tax bill and had to pay $28 million following an audit from South Korea’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
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Turkey’s national crypto turns out to be scam
Turcoin, presented as a “Turkey's national crypto” has been exposed as just another Ponzi scheme, after the executives of the project suddenly disappeared, according to local press. The Turkish altcoin was launched by the Istanbul-based company Hipper A.Ş. founded by Muhammed Satıroğlu and Sadun Kaya last year. In what sounds like a familiar scenario, every new participant in the network was supposed to bring more revenue to the person who signed them up – classical pyramid. And as it happens with most financial pyramids, Turcoin crumbled as soon as growth grounded to a halt amid rising suspicions.  
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SEC made John McAfee stop promoting ICOs and working with them
John McAfee, one of the most famous crypto enthusiasts, said on Twitter that he is no longer working with ICOs due to US SEC threats. Worth noting that some community members are sure that John participated in pump-and-dump schemes earlier. Also, in April he unvieled that he made paid publications on Twitter for nearly $105,000 per one. Still, this situation shows the degree of SEC interest in regulating crypto industry.
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TrustToken raised $20 million
Asset tokenization platform TrustToken just raised $20 million in a strategic token sale with the help of major venture corporations. The startup announced Monday that the cash raised in the funding effort, which was also backed by BlockTower Capital and Danhua Capital, will be used to continue developing its platform, which seeks to list different tokens back by physical assets, according to a press release. The funds will also help TrustToken expand its legal, product and engineering departments. TrustToken has so far released one such token already – a "stablecoin" called TrueUSD.
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Circle CEO disagrees with Bank of International Settlements

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has said that cryptocurrencies cannot scale to function as money, in an article published yesterday, June 17, as part of its annual economic report.

According to the BIS – an organization based in Switzerland made up of 60 of the world’s central banks – cryptocurrencies will not be able to scale to become a medium of exchange in a global economy. The BIS report outlines three key “shortcomings” that will prevent crypto from replacing money – these being “scalability, stability of value and trust in the finality of payments.” BIS criticizes the decentralization of cryptocurrencies as a flaw rather than a strength, alleging that “trust can evaporate at any time because of the fragility of the decentralised consensus through which transactions are recorded.” At the same time, the CEO of Goldman-backed firm Circle, Jeremy Allaire said that every currency in the world will have its own cryptocurrency version and "it seems inevitable at this point". Allaire's start-up offers a blockchain-powered app that lets people send money to each other for free. The $3 billion company is backed by U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs and Chinese internet giant Baidu. Earlier this year they bought cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. Circle recently said it wants to introduce a stable coin pegged to the U.S. dollar, called "USD Coin."
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First marriage secured on the Bitcoin Blockchain
The Bitfury Group announced that team member Alex Shevchenko secured his marriage registration on the Bitcoin Blockchain. By using the Bitcoin Blockchain to secure their marriage registration, Alex and his wife, Daria, can ensure that proof of their marriage is stored in an immutable database that is accessible from anywhere in the world. By attaching the marriage certificate to a small amount of bitcoin and sending it as a transaction, the marriage certificate is now a matter of global public record and will maintain the highest level of security and perpetuity. Bitfury’s main goal is to enable government registries to operate on the blockchain. In Georgia, Bitfury is successfully implementing blockchain to secure land titles with the intent of implementing the technology in other government departments.
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Syscoin was hacked, necessary actions to avoid losses
According to the Syscoin’s development team, a hacker replaced the official Windows client with another version containing malware. Thus, users who downloaded the Syscoin 3.0.4.1 Windows client between June 9, 2018 (10:14 PM UTC) and June 13, 2018 (10:23 PM UTC) are at risk. The malware reportedly compromises both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the client software. The team advised users to check the installation date of their Windows Syscoin software to see if falls within the time of the hack. If the check turns out to be positive, users are advised to some precautionary steps: perform a full backup of all vital wallet information; run an anti-virus scan to identify and remove the trojan malware; change all passwords used since the time of the hack, preferably on a different computer; transfer funds from unsecured wallets to more secure ones.
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EOS, ICON faced code issues
EOS crashed shortly after its nainnet launch, which was described by Block.One as a coding problem relating “to an issue with how deferred transactions were handled” within the EOS blockchain code. A fix was rolled out 4 hours later, but many are focusing on the fact that the EOS blockchain platform itself may have more fundamental issues. Brendan Playford, chief executive officer of Constellation Labs, told Investing.com that the EOS model sacrifices the dream of decentralization at the altar of scalability, highlighting the issue of its mixed model. At the same time, another big project – ICON – faced an error in its smart contract code, which doesn't allow to move ICX tokens from the wallet. As this is one of the fundamental functions and it won't be easy to fix, it led to a massive negative feedback. The main point is that the project with $800 million capitalization hasn't paid much attention to testing and auditing.
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Ukrainian cyberpolice busted 6 fake crypto-exchanges
Ukrainian cyberpolice arrested 4 persons that are responsible for making 6 fake cryptocurrency exchanges. The victims were sending money to electronic wallets registered with fake documents of foreign citizens. At the time funds arrived, scammers stopped the work of the web-exchanger and instead opened a new one. Attackers also had their own CMS-system for managing the content of web-sites, which allowed them to simulate legal activity with a multitude of options for converting crypto currency and fictitious positive responses. Mentioned exchanges are: moneycraft.info, wowex.online, swapex.net, myexchanger.lv, iconvex.net, likechange.biz.
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Russia to replace SWIFT with Masterchain
The Russian Association of Corporate Treasurers is joining the government-led Masterchain blockchain initiative, a platform developed by the central bank to facilitate communication within Russia’s banking market. Russia is reportedly looking to use the platform to replace SWIFT’s inter-bank communications network. Russia’s FinTech Association and 14 of the nation’s largest banks collaborated on the development of Masterchain. The initiative eventually hopes to join banks and government agencies that collaborate on contract registration and regulation. Using Masterchain will reduce operating costs by up to five times, the white paper claims, and will accelerate contract processing. European Union sanctions against Russia sparked concerns that SWIFT may remove Russia from its system. Reports said that has forced the country to experiment with alternatives to facilitate payments and inter-bank messaging and communication.
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Former Pavel Durov colleague to launch derivatives trading platform
Anton Rosenberg, Pavel Durov former colleague, plans to launch blockchain platform Mikado for derivatives trading. The idea was born during reselling of Telegram tokens, as it is prohibited by Telegram. Thus, the primary aim is to provide liquidity of the blocked tokens and a possibility to trade them. Mikado GmbH, Austria-based company, plans to hold an ICO for summer 2018 with the hard cap of EUR 10 million.
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Tezos’ contributors face KYC/AML process after investing
Tezos Foundation announced that it would be carrying out know-your-customer and anti-money laundering (KYC/AML) checks on investors who bought into its July 2017 ICO. At that time, investors bought $232 million worth of XTZ tokens, making Tezos the largest ICO ever completed up to that point and they were not asked to provide any personally identifiable information. The main problem is that people, who cannot proceed through this process may lose all their funds invested or just don't get their tokens without any refunds. It is a part of agreement between parties, as it is a "contribution" and all the contributors are taking all the risks. There was long and tough road of developing this project and they've already crossed the Rubicon, so the problem should be resolved soon. Besides, Vitalik Buterin already proposed on Twitter "to scan the BTC/ETH blockchains, see how much everyone contributed, calculate how much XTZ everyone should get, and generate the genesis block without Tezos Co involvement. That's how the Ethereum launch worked"
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Oxford professors may launch first decentralized university

A group of Oxford professors are seeking full-degree granting powers in the EU for the world’s first “blockchain university”.

According to the team of academics behind Woolf Development, led by Joshua Broggi from Oxford, blockchain tech and smart contracts can help democratize the traditional structure of higher education.

The proposed “blockchain university” will adopt the traditional Oxbridge course and collegiate structure by focusing on individual tutorial-led modules that will be available to students either on- or offline. Woolf’s whitepaper suggests that a blockchain-powered university can address many of the issues currently affecting universities worldwide, including sky-high tuition fees for students, cumbersome bureaucracy and administration costs, precarious and underpaid academic teaching posts. Moreover, the immutability of blockchain can function to prevent students from falsifying their academic records, with smart contracts automating students’ attendance, credits and academic paper submissions.

More info: https://icocrunch.io/ico/woolf/

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EOS goes live, but self-gornance voting may be insecure
EOS blockchain goes live, but there may be some problems concerning security. As EOS is set up to enable self-governance by its users, it's these individuals and companies who have to make the first move, electing who they'd like to process transactions that occur on the network in an elaborate global vote. The problem is that they have to prove their stakes with their private keys to vote - for some people quite a complicated process. Thus, the security may be breached, because when it comes complicated for some users - some persons may use this weakness of the system. Moreover, there is a software from third parties used to prove a stake, which adds a reason to worry. If you're holding EOS tokens and participating in voting - stay alert.
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SEC: Ethereum and Bitcoin are not securities
SEC does not determs Ether as a security, but some derivatives - can be. The same vision Commission has concerning Bitcoin, announced earlier. “In cases where there is no… central enterprise being invested in or where the digital asset is sold only to be used to purchase a good or service available through the network on which it was created,” that digital asset is “out of the purview of U.S. securities laws”, according to statement from William Hinman, the director of the division of corporation finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit. For the SEC, while cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether are not securities, token offerings for stakes in companies that are built off of those blockchains can be, depending on the extent to which third parties are involved in the creation or exchange of value around the assets.
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Ledger is interested in supporting Tron (TRX)
Ledger, one of the leading hardware wallets on the market, has announced its interest in implementing support for Tron [TRX]. The French company mentioned that although they do not have current support for Tron [TRX], they welcome developers to work with them on future support. The work required to achieve this implementation is especially complicated since Tron now operates its own mainnet. Previously TRX were simply tokens running on the Ethereum network. The terms are not clear yet as there is only invitation from Ledger to Tron developers to "evaluate the technical complexity related to TRON's new blockchain".
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Adblock Plus to detect fake news via using blockchain

Adblock Plus developer eyeo GmbH will use blockchain technology in its browser extension Trusted News.

Ben Williams, the company’s director of ecosystems said that the project is merely in its testing stages, and that eyeo wants to determine whether the product is something users find helpful. He also said that there will be no “whitelist” by which certain websites might bypass ratings.

The extension works with the MetaCert protocol, which uses an anti-fraud URL registry to maintain the database for the project. The database will eventually be migrated to the Ethereum blockchain. The company also plans to issue MetaCert tokens to track rewards and to avoid the risk of bad actors manipulating or spoiling data.

Trusted News has been launched in beta and so far is only available for Chrome.

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Hackers stole $20 million in ETH
Hackers have succeeded in stealing over $20 million by hijacking insecure Ethereum nodes. Notably, this issue was highlighted in March this year by Chinese security giant Qihoo 360 and now it has become obvious that hackers just never stopped to use the vulnerability - scanning port 8545, looking for geth clients and stealing their cryptocurrency. The crypto community has already been shaken with the news of $40 million theft from Coinrail recently and several other incidents this year. Crypto industry is rapidly developing, attracting hackers as well. Be cautious and contact the Support managers of your service right after you noticed some unusual activity!
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VeChain and Deutsche Bahn developed a DApp for logistics industry in China

Singapore-based blockchain startup VeChain (VEN) and global logistics provider DB Schenker have co-developed a blockchain-based supplier evaluation system.

A new decentralized application (DApp) will use the VeChainThor blockchain to score DB Schenker’s third-party logistics partners in China based on collected data –  the result being an evaluation for services such as packaging, transportation, and the quality of goods. The Vechain Foundation claims that the DApp is the first ever implementation of blockchain for supplier management purposes. Earlier this year, leading members of the logistics industry  – which employs the most people in the world – told Cointelegraph that blockchain technology is “a matchless solution” for innovating the transfer of goods, services and value globally.
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South Korea to regulate crypto industry
South Korea is planning to launch regulations for the cryptocurrency industry. The Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU) and other agencies will oversee crypto exchanges, imposing the same regulations that are currently in place for banks. Along with the regulations, the exchanges will be required to follow strict anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines to help clean up the industry and ensure the exchanges aren’t used for nefarious activities. Nowadays, Cryptocurrency exchanges are able to conduct business in South Korea as a communications vendor by purchasing a $40 license. Due to the lack of control, no entity, including the Free Trade Commission, currently has judicial control or authority over the exchanges. A spokesperson for the KFIU commented, “Under current regulations, there are clear limitations in preventing money laundering on crypto exchanges because the only way authorities can spot suspicious transactions is through banks. If the bill of lawmaker Jae Yoon-kyung from the Democratic Party of Korea passes, local authorities will be able to impose identical regulations on crypto exchanges that are implemented on commercial banks.”
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Coinbase to open its gates for ETC and U.S. investors
Coinbase, one of the most well-known exchanges, announced its plans to add Ethereum Classic (ETC) to the platform. The successful addition of the currency will be followed by a public launch date, Coinbase said. Moreover, later Coinbase said in a blogpost that it will open an opportunity to invest in Coinbase Index Fund for investors from U.S. Thus, the platform may attract huge capital and more users, considering expanding its operations, but U.S. market is different and SEC won't help to make long story short as it is in the middle of huge investigation.