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The CEO of top cryptocurrency exchange Binance has said President Trump’s crypto-related tweets can only be a good thing for the industry.
The CEO of top cryptocurrency exchange Binance has said President Trump’s crypto-related tweets can only be a good thing for the industry.
‘The president of the United States is talking about cryptocurrency’
Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”) told CNBC in an interview published on July 23 that even though Trump has been critical of the asset class in his rhetoric, he has not done anything as of yet that damages the industry. On the contrary, the publicity — coming from the highest echelons of power in the Western political world — in itself is a win for crypto:
“Trump so far has not done anything positive or negative, he’s just said he’s not a fan. The fact that he tweeted about it, and the president of the United States is talking about cryptocurrency, it’s a good thing.”
CZ even entertained the scenario that were Trump to go so far as to outright ban cryptocurrency ownership in the United States, the asset class would prevail, arguing that:
“Cryptocurrency will survive regardless of any one country. Most countries that try to ban bitcoin cause their citizens to want cryptocurrency more.”
The CEO also separately addressed this spring’s $40 million hack of Binance’s hot wallets, arguing that traditional financial institutions remain culpably more opaque in regard to such incidents:
“Banks get hacked but they’re not transparent with the numbers. You see billions of dollars in fines for banks. Whereas with cryptocurrency there’s more transparency, which is actually good for the users because now they know what’s going on.”
Trump tweets and regulators muscle in
Ahead of CZ’s comments, the CEO of another industry-leading trading platform — Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong — had similarly characterized the president’s crypto-dedicated tweets as being “yuge” for the industry, an opinion that was shared by a host of crypto space commentators:
“Achievement unlocked! I dreamt about a sitting U.S. president needing to respond to growing cryptocurrency usage years ago. ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ We just made it to step 3 y'all.”
To recall, Trump tweeted that he was “not a fan” of “Unregulated Crypto Assets” (capitals in the original), underscoring their potential use in the drug trade and other illicit activities.
Meanwhile, Capitol Hill has been grilling social media titan Facebook on its planned cryptocurrency project Libra, homing in on concerns such as privacy, trust and regulatory compliance. Beyond the U.S., the G7 finance ministers have been voicing concerns over what they perceive to be the potentially systemic financial risks of Facebook’s plans.
“Wanting to see a push back up to the neutral area or resistance. If not, more 4 digit BTC to accumulate,” investor Josh Rager summarized in his latest daily price note noting the importance of the $10,200-$10,350 range.
As Cointelegraph reported, Bitcoin struggled in the wake of mixed views from the United States Congress last week, a geopolitical factor compounded Monday by fresh indications that India would seek to ban cryptocurrency altogether.
At the same time, however, Bitcoin’s network statistics continue to set new records, with mining difficulty, hash rate and total value of transaction outputs all hitting new daily all-time highs.
As Twitter user and Lightning Torch creator Hodlonaut noted, politics did not necessarily have a fairly-weighted impact on price action. One Congressman, he noted, had described Bitcoin as impossible to stop by any government.
“9 days ago Bitcoin had not yet been called an 'unstoppable force' in the U.S. Congress. Still, price was almost 30% higher than now. Some dips are tastier than others,” he wrote.
Altcoins fall in line
For altcoin traders, meanwhile, there was less to celebrate. As BTC fell 5.5% on the day, most tokens in the top twenty cryptocurrencies by market cap saw similar losses.
Tron (TRX) and NEO (NEO) fared worse, each losing around 13%, while the largest altcoin Ether (ETH) dipped 5.6% to hit $212.
Major American retail brokerage firm TD Ameritrade has launched Bitcoin futures trading.
This article has been removed due to noncompliance with Cointelegraph’s quality policy. We carefully monitor the quality of the materials produced by us and this article did not pass the post-inspection. We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause.
Tron founder Justin Sun must postpone the Warren Buffet charity lunch due to medical reasons.
The Tron Foundation is pushing back the Warren Buffett Lunch and press conferences to an unspecified date.
According to an official Twitter post, Justin Sun — who successfully procured the lunch with Buffett by winning the affiliated charity auction — is currently out of commission due to kidney stones, and associated parties have agreed to reschedule the lunch.
In June, Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun won a charity auction on eBay to have lunch with Buffett, the famously successful investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Sun’s winning bid was apparently $4,567,888 — the highest bid in the event’s 20 year history.
On July 19, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire accepted Sun’s invitation to join him at the lunch. In addition to Allaire, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee will also reportedly attend the event.
Warren Buffett has notoriously voiced some incendiary anti-cryptocurrency views. Last May, Warren said that cryptocurrencies will end badly, and called Bitcoin “probably rat poison squared. "
More recently, Warren claimed in February that Bitcoin (BTC) is a delusion, apparently because blockchain does not depend on BTC or actively produce something. Warren said:
“You can stare at it all day, and no little Bitcoins come out or anything like that. It’s a delusion, basically.”
Bitfinex and Tether have replied to the Attorney General’s affirmations against case dismissal by arguing that they did not serve New York customers.
Lawyers for Bitfinex and Tether, in the course of an ongoing case against the New York Attorney General (NYAG), submitted multiple fillings on July 22 alleging that the companies never served customers within New York.
In one filing, attorney Stuart Hoegner noted the provision in Bitfinex’s terms of service that require that customers that transact be foreign entities:
“Under Bitfinex’s and Tether’s Terms of Service, Eligible Contract Participants (“ECPs”) that transact with Bitfinex or Tether must be foreign entities. Although those foreign entities may have shareholders or personnel who reside in, or otherwise have contact with, the United States or New York, Bitfinex’s and Tether’s customers are the foreign entities themselves … Bitfinex and Tether do not transact with any New York ECPs.”
In another filing, representatives from the firms Steptoe & Johnson LLP and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP wrote:
“... for purposes of personal jurisdiction, OAG [the Office of the Attorney General] cannot show Respondents engaged in any business activity purposefully directed at New York. OAG tries to confuse matters by referring to isolated instances where Respondents’ foreign customers have shareholders or other personnel in New York. But in those circumstances, Respondents’ counterparties — the ones with which Respondents actually transacted business — are the foreign entities.”
Additionally, the lawyers also argue that even if the NYAG were successful in showing that the companies served New York residents, they have not established that the investors were affected by the companies’ activities.
They argue that the dozens of documents filed by the Office of the NYAG submitted to establish the companies’ connection with New York residents only demonstrate “a grab bag of miscellaneous and unrelated New York contacts” rather than evidence that investors were actually harmed. The filing further states:
“After broad jurisdictional discovery, OAG has not shown that any aspect of the Crypto Capital relationship or the loan transaction — the basis for the § 354 Order — touched on New York in any way. OAG has failed to identify a single New York customer who was misled or even considered representations about tether’s backing, nor any New Yorker harmed.”
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the New York-based Metropolitan Commercial Bank shut down accounts associated with Tether. A bank spokesperson reportedly said that Tether only held its accounts for five months, and that they saw negligible activity during this period.
The Ontario Securities Commission has reached a settlement agreement with CoinLaunch over its alleged failure to register with the Canadian watchdog.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has reached a settlement agreement with the crypto firm CoinLaunch Corp as of July 22.
According to an announcement by the OSC, there will be a public settlement hearing on July 24 to determine whether the agreement is in the public’s interest.
As per the OSC’s official statement of allegations, CoinLaunch offered a number of crypto-related services, with securities trading among those. More specifically, the statement alleges that CoinLaunch offered to market and promote token offerings, including security tokens, without observing the proper registration requirements with the OSC.
As such, the firm purportedly violated Ontario securities law. Katrina Gustafson, the senior litigation counsel for the OSC’s enforcement branch wrote:
“CoinLaunch engaged in and held itself out as engaging in the business of trading in securities, without registration under Ontario securities law and where no exemption from the registration requirement was available.”
According to the statement, CoinLaunch provided services to issuers of the BCZERO and ECOREAL tokens. According to the OSC, these tokens qualified as securities in the form of investment contracts.
CoinLaunch also reportedly ran an ERC-20 smart contract platform, which supported the ability for users to create and issue tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
According to the statement of allegations, CoinLaunch has filed its intent to dissolve with the Canadian government.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Canadian Securities Regulatory Agency (CSRA) included an entry on crypto assets within its 2019–2022 business roadmap. The CSRA is apparently interested in determining requirements for crypto custodians, as well as how to regulate funding rounds for blockchain-based securities.
CertiK has released a blockchain with purported top-to-bottom security features, including support for DeepSEA-based smart contracts.
Blockchain cybersecurity company CertiK has launched its native CertiK Chain blockchain. The CertiK Foundation announced its new release in an official blog post on July 22.
According to the announcement, CertiK Chain aims to provide a blockchain infrastructure that is comprehensively secure.
The full nodes of this blockchain will reportedly run on CertiKOS, which they say is a “fully verified hypervisor / concurrent OS kernel” that provides purportedly military-grade security against hacking attempts. Additionally, the announcement states that the blockchain is underpinned by the CertiK Virtual Machine, which uses the company’s Formal Verification platform to make sure it is implemented correctly.
Smart contracts can then be developed in the functional programming language DeepSEA, which reportedly guarantees security by means of the code. Additionally, any on-chain smart contracts will reportedly have cryptographic certificates that serve as proof of verified security; smart contracts without such certificates could reportedly be run with additional fees, however.
As per the blog post, one of the claims of CertiK is that blockchains need adequate security in order to scale up in size. CertiK hopes that its blockchain can be a long-term solution that will enable mass adoption of blockchain technology.
According to its website, CertiK currently offers blockchain-focused cybersecurity services through security auditing, penetration testing and platform customization. Additionally, the company has partnerships with major blockchain organizations such as Binance, which CertiK announced in January.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Ethereum Foundation provided the DeepSEA project with funding in March. Open source blockchain project Qtum also provided DeepSEA with funding in the amount of $400,000 back in December. The project was led by Professor Ronghui Gu at Columbia, who is also the co-founder of CertiK.
The Ugandan government has partnered with blockchain startup MediConnect to trace counterfeit drugs in the country.
The Ugandan government has partnered with blockchain startup MediConnect to trace counterfeit drugs in the country, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on July 22.
The President of Uganda, Yoweri Musevini, Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng, and other government officials granted support for MediConnect’s blockchain-based platform designed to deal with various issues in the pharmaceutical sector. Specifically, the government stated that it would deploy the platform for tracking counterfeit drugs.
The platform enables the recording of prescription medication, thus identifying counterfeit drugs and preventing their distribution in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Per the Ugandan National Drug Authority, 10% of medications prescribed in the country have counterfeit copies publicly available on the market. Dexter Blackstock, CEO of MediConnect, said:
“The Ugandan President, Minister of Health and National Drug Authority all understand the need to act fast to tackle the country’s counterfeit drug problem and recognise the benefits offered by tracing medication on the secure, scalable blockchain framework we are developing. We see this as an important opportunity for MediConnect to form part of Uganda’s national infrastructure and protect its citizens by ensuring all drugs in circulation are authentic and safe.”
The parties entered into a partnership following the 2019 Africa Blockchain Conference in Kampala led by Museveni. Museveni reportedly supported the use of blockchain technology in Uganda during his inaugural speech.
Recently, 46 organizations joined the Binance Charity Foundation to promote the “Pink Care Token” (PCAT) geared to helping improve feminine health in developing countries. The first delivery of PCAT and sanitary pads was set to take place in mid-July in Uganda.
QuickBit crypto exchange announced that some sensitive user data had been exposed due to a data management issue.
Database issues at the Swedish digital currency exchange QuickBit resulted in a breach of sensitive user data, according to an official announcement published on July 22.
In the announcement, QuickBit revealed that personal data such as names, addresses, email addresses and card information of 2% of its customers was exposed. QuickBit said that no passwords or social security numbers, complete account or credit card information, cryptocurrency or private keys, or financial transactions were exposed or affected.
QuickBit initially published its suspicions about the data incident on July 19, stating that their internal investigation indicated that neither QuickBit nor the company's customers had been affected. Later that day, the exchange’s managing director Jörgen Eriksson wrote that external security experts warned the company that some data had been poorly protected.
In today’s announcement the exchange explained how the database was exposed:
“QuickBit has recently adopted a third-party system for supplementary security screening of customers. In connection with the delivery of this system, it has been on a server that has been visible outside QuickBits firewall for a few days, and thus accessible to the person who has the right tools.”
QuickBit further claims that its technicians have taken steps to ensure that all servers are protected and prevent the possibility of similar incidents, adding that it will publish a public version of the incident report on its website.
In late June, South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb was prosecuted for its alleged failure to take adequate measures to protect personal information, which was later presumably exploited by hackers to steal funds from the platform. Prosecutors alleged the data breach led directly to the second hack affecting the platform, in which almost $7 million in user funds was stolen.
EnCirca has opened up applications for website names ending in “.ETH,” citing a lack of cyber-squatting protection for blockchain brand names.
Domain registrar company EnCirca has announced that it is accepting pre-registration applications for the Ethereum website extension, “.ETH”. EnCirca said that it will be accepting applications until August 10, in a press release on July 18.
EnCirca also said that they were the first registrar approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to accept applications for Ethereum domain websites.
According to its website, ICANN is a not-for-profit public-benefit group that serves to coordinate and develop policy for Internet naming conventions.
According to the press release, EnCirca was motivated to start including blockchain-related extensions in its registrar due to the lack of regulation for these extension names. Encirca says that some domain names like “.COM” and “.ORG” are regulated, while blockchain domain names are not.
One reported upshot of this is that there are no safeguards in place to prevent cyber-squatting for brand names, which are made available through trademark protection.
The president of EnCirca, Tom Barrett, also commented on the growing number of blockchain wallets as a motivation for implementing brand security mechanisms for blockchain-related trademarks:
"Billions of internet users will soon have blockchain wallets for sending and receiving cryptocurrencies [...] In response, EnCirca has made it easy for brand owners to protect their trademarks on the blockchain."
According to the press release, URLs ending in “.ETH” and starting with a preceding string length of seven or more have been publicly available since May, 2017. So far, EnCircle says approximately 300,000 names like this have been registered.
For shorter names with a 3–6 character length, EnCircle says it will grant priority to pre-existing URLs registered under a different domain, such as “.COM”. According to the announcement, the applicant who can show the longest continuous use of such a name will receive the corresponding “.ETH” name. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, a mysterious individual filed to trademark the name “Samsung Coin” with the Korean Intellectual Property Office. The individual filed under the name Kim Nam-jin on July 10, while also attempting to trademark ThinQ Wallet — a name that LG Electronics had already applied for on July 2. A representative reportedly told CoinDesk that Samsung was not affiliated with the trademark filing.