Сryptocurrency and ICO news

Most important news for today
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.”
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.
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.
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.
LG, Korea’s minting corp. to launch 1st national public blockchain platform
LG CNS, the IT subsidiary of LG, has been chosen by South Korea’s minting corporation to establish a blockchain platform for the public sector to provide a number of services including issuing a community token to the masses. The blockchain will be built on top of LG’s enterprise blockchain platform ‘Monachain’ that specializes in digital authentication, digital supply chain management and, notably, digital currency. KOMSCO, the Korean government-owned corporation that prints and mints fiat banknotes, coins, stamps, passports and other government documents, is eyeing a number of key services including the issuance of a community token, digital authentication for the public and document certification over the open blockchain platform that will be established over the cloud. KOMSCO plans to issue community tokens in a multitude of digital gift certificates that can be distributed in cooperation with local governments and institutions' directly into users’ digital wallets.
SEC Commissioner: it’s “silly” for SEC to write ICO rules
SEC Democratic Commissioner Robert Jackson Jr. said that it's "silly" for SEC to set rules for ICOs as it such a quickly changing investing mechanism. Because of the rapid change, rules written today could look foolish three months from now, Jackson said according to Forbes. He pointed to guidance on ICOs as the best tact for the Commission. The commissioner also added what keeps him up at night is retail investors are losing some of their retirement savings to unscrupulous ICO promoters. At the same time, Jackson said he agrees that all ICOs are securities.
Binance: separate fit-to-crypto exchange in Malta

Binance, second largest crypto exchange, announced plans to allow fiat-crypto trading this year through a separate Malta-based exchange, according to Cointelegraph.

Binance representative clarified to Cointelegraph that “Binance.com is a pure crypto-to-crypto exchange.” They confirmed that crypto-fiat trading will only be offered through a separate local exchange the company is opening in Malta. Binance Malta will most likely begin fiat trading with a euro-Bitcoin (BTC) pair, the representative told Cointelegraph. Binance had announced the opening of an office in Malta at the end of March after receiving a warning letter from Japanese financial authorities about its unregistered status.
Wells Fargo bans crypto purchases with its card

Wells Fargo, San-Francisco-based bank, which is the third largest bank by assets in the US, has announced that it will no longer allow its customers to purchase cryptocurrency using its credit cards.

Wells Fargo said that its customers are now prohibited from purchasing digital currency on their credit cards issued by the financial institution. A bank spokesperson said that the decision was made in order to avoid “multiple risks” associated with cryptocurrency usage. With this move, Wells Fargo joins a wave of financial institutions banning the purchase of cryptocurrency with their credit cards right after J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and several other in Canada, India, Australia etc.

BitTorrent sold to Tron (TRX) founder
File-sharing pioneer BitTorrent Inc. has been sold to Justin Sun, Tron platform and its TRX cryptocurrency founder. Unfortunately, there are no details concerning plans of both parties as the participants of the deal were advised not to talk to press. Nevertheless, BitTorrent barely survived recent years and its not clear how exactly Tron is planning to integrate with this service as their primary aim is to build "decentralized internet".
ICOcrunch.io – fresh design, unique features and more
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Netherlands finds blockchain promising, but insufficient for now
The central bank of the Netherlands (DNB) after a three-year test concluded that blockchain technology cannot currently meet the needs of a financial market infrastructure. The test indicated that the solutions cannot meet financial market infrastructure needs, including efficiency, safety, reliability authorization, availability, resilience, payment finality, scalability, cost, capacity and sustainability. On the other hand, distributed ledger technology could improve payment efficiency of different currencies, the report noted. DNB continues to find blockchain technology promising, and believes it is possible new algorithms could meet all requirements for financial market infrastructure. The bank continues to experiment with the technology.
Canada releases regulations on KYC/AML processes

The Canadian government has released an official draft of new regulations on crypto exchanges and payment processors.

According to the draft, the new regulations seek to address a “number of deficiencies” that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) outlined after their evaluation in 2015-16, namely in strengthening Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Regime (AML/ATF).

The new regulations will treat crypto exchanges and payment processors as money service businesses (MSB), which requires them to report large transactions — those over $10,000 CAD ($7700 USD) — and a new Know Your Customer (KYC) threshold set at transactions of $1000 CAD ($770 USD).

Thus, it may cause a lot of troubles for exchanges, because the process of recording all the details about every transaction is difficult to implement.

Coinrail exchange hacked, $40 million possible loss
Coinrail, South Korea's crypto exchange, said on Sunday its platform was hacked with cryptocurrencies stolen that appeared to worth $40 million at the time of the event. According to Coinrail's website, the exchange has already suspended its service to conduct system maintenance since it has suffered from what it calls a "cyber intrusion," which resulted in a range of ERC-20 based tokens stolen from the platform. The investigation is going on, few accounts on several decentralized exchanges are under suspicion. Nevetheless, this event became one of the downtrend drivers in the market in recent hours.
Coinbase steps forward to add new coins
Coinbase acquired three companies: Keystone Capital, Venovate Marketplace and Digital Wealth, which came with several licenses. Thus, Coinbase continues to cover possible risks, which may appear after Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally decides the way they will regulate this sphere. The SEC has yet to give formal guidance about which digital tokens it plans to regulate, though it has indicated that it will do so in the near future. It's not clear when Coinbase will add more coins to trade, but these steps, along with Paradex acquisition in late-May, shows us that the platform is working in this direction.
Bitmain considers an IPO
Jihan Wu, who runs Bitmain, the world’s dominant producer of cryptocurrency mining chips, announced that the company is seeking the way to expand beyond crypto industry. Eventually, it can lead to initial public offering (IPO), according to Bloomberg. An IPO would not only open Bitmain’s books to the world, it would also allow the stock market to assign the company a value in real time. While Wu said he has no specific plans at the moment, he’s open to a listing in Hong Kong – or in an overseas market with U.S. dollar-denominated shares – because it would give early investors including Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital a chance to cash out.
$ 1.1 billion in crypto has been stolen in H1 2018
According to a study, completed by Carbon Black Security, almost $1.1 billion has been stolen in the first half of 2018. Carbon Black Security strategist Rick McElroy, who was interviewed by CNBC, said that it is easy and cheap to do for some experienced engineers, which are usually stand behind most of the thefts. Moreover, exchanges were the most popular target for cybercriminals this year, making up 27 percent of attacks. The main problem is that ryptocurrency holders do not have institutional support to protect their savings or cover their losses in case of a fraud or hacker attacks.  
IBM and Intel to participate in blockchain summit and discuss the future of ICOs
 London Blockchain Summit (June, 26-27) - one of the most important blockchain events of the year - looks set to be the biggest yet with over 2,500 attendees confirmed. Representatives from some of the world’s leading players in the field of technology, consultancy and financial services including IBM, PWC, SAP, Intel, Oracle and Accenture. Among the closing talks at the summit is The Future of ICOs due to overhelming success of this fundrising model in 2018 in line with the need of regulation.
ICOcrunch digest
  1. Finance industry executives have argued that Google’s decision to ban cryptocurrency advertising is not only ill-conceived, but unethical as well as Facebook has done earlier. Some people believe that the main reason is the interest of mentioned parties in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
  2. Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO, told cointelegraph that they established a bank account in Malta as the first significant step on the way to moving its headquarters to the island. The primary aim is to implement fiat-to-crypto deposits and withdrawals on the platform.
  3. On June, 14, Yahoo Finance will hold its second live All Markets Summit: Crypto. Among the participants are Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, Ethereum cofounder and Consensys founder Joseph Lubin and others.
  4. Blockchain platform Maecenas announced that it will hold the world's first cryptocurrency art auction. The platform will be selling fractional ownership of Andy Warhol’s 14 Small Electric Chairs – worth $5.6 mln – at crypto-friendly UK fine art gallery Dadiani Syndicate on June 20.