While there wasn't much Bitcoin price action to speak of, it was nevertheless a memorable week for the cryptocurrency industry. From Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pumping Bitcoin to Iran launching its own crypto token, catch up on what you missed in the blockchain space this week.
Cryptopia Hackers Strike Again
Chainalysis competitor Elementus discovered through its monitoring of Cryptopia that a second hack happened over the past week. CCN was hot on the story.
The hackers illegally withdrew roughly another $3.2 million over the course of a 24-hour period. As we noted in our reporting, new deposits continued to roll in:
"Notable in all this is that funds continued to arrive from the free world. People willingly continued to make deposits on Cryptopia following the massive breach of the New Zealand exchange. Any Cryptopia user who has done so, we would appreciate you writing CCN and letting us know your rationale. Remember: not your keys, not your coin. Not really. Cryptocurrency works by a different set of laws."
Elementus believes these deposits are from mining outfits who have automatically set their funds to deposit to Cryptopia. CCN wonders if there is a certain percentage of people just not aware of Cryptopia’s security woes.
QuadrigaCX Files for Bankruptcy Protection, Says It Can’t Locate Cold Storage Wallets
Formerly the largest crypto exchange in Canada, QuadriaCX’s website is now nothing more than a note on the progress of recovering funds. On that note, they’ve been unable to locate several wallets worth millions of dollars. CCN’s Joseph Young and P. H. Madore both covered the story. Young writes:
"In the case of QuadrigaCX, the founder and CEO was solely responsible for overseeing the funds, and since he passed away, no one could access the funds that he previously maintained. […] Currently, the exchange has requested for a stay of proceedings that protects the firm from potential class action lawsuits that may be filed by investors on the platform. […] If the company fails to recover user funds, Robertson said in the affidavit that the firm would consider selling the business to reimburse users with the acquisition capital. The exchange has received several offers already."
Iran Launches Cryptocurrency to Subvert SWIFT and Sanctions
Iran was kicked off the SWIFT international banking payments network last year. The country’s economy has only gotten worse as a result. As a result, the Iranian government flirted with the idea of its own cryptocurrency all throughout 2018. This past week, it became a reality. CCN wonders who would actually want to hodl such a token.
BitTorrent Token Sells Out in 15 Minutes
The BitTorrent token sold out in both markets in a matter of roughly 15 minutes on Binance Launchpad. The token has a supply of 990 billion. It is only listed on a few exchanges so far, notably Binance and Bithumb’s Korean version (not its global version). Therefore its true price is very much in discovery mode. The token will be used to incentivize quality seeding of torrents on the BitTorrent network.
Pro-Bitcoin El-Erian Shortlisted for World Bank President
A Bitcoin-friendly banker has found his way onto the list of people who might become president of the World Bank. Josiah Wilmoth writes:
"While Utermann has argued that regulators should “outlaw” cryptocurrency, [Mohamed] El-Erian has called bitcoin a “disruptive” technology that could play a major role in the future of peer-to-peer transactions."
South Korea Continues Ban on ICOs
South Korea has had a complicated relationship with initial coin offerings. At one point, the parliament legalized them in response to ICOs fleeing to other jurisdictions. Then in September 2017, the financial regulator banned them altogether. This week they have reportedly upheld the ban.
CBOE Re-Submits Bitcoin ETF Application
"CBOE had previously sought approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to list the VanEck bitcoin ETF, but it withdrew the application on Jan. 23 after the prolonged US government shutdown made it virtually certain that the SEC would fail to greenlight the product before the application’s late February decision deadline."
Ledger CEO Preparing for “Crypto Nuclear Winter”
CCN’s Christina Comben met with Ledger CEO Eric Larchevêque, who said:
"We think we could have 12-24 more months of a bear market. Or some kind of nuclear winter in crypto. So we are just adapting the growth of the company to make sure we can withstand two years of bear market."
Larchevêque thinks the counter-fiat movement of cryptocurrency is overblown, among other thoughts he shares in the interesting interview.
Jack Dorsey Promotes Bitcoin
Jack Dorsey went on the Joe Rogan Experience and spoke of a “native” Internet currency, saying:
"I believe the Internet will have a native currency and I don’t know if it’s Bitcoin. I think it will be [Bitcoin] given all the tests it has been through and the principles behind it, how it was created. It was something that was born on the Internet, was developed on the Internet, was tested on the Internet, [and] it is of the Internet."
Reportedly, Dorsey’s non-Twitter project, Square Cash, is now the second-most popular app on the Apple Store. Joseph Young writes:
"Although some analysts claim that the Bitcoin integration of Square Cash has been overplayed by the media, it has played a vital role in attracting new generation and millennial users."
Binance Integrates Simplex
Binance now allows for credit card purchases of three cryptocurrencies to trade on its platform. It charges a $10 or a 1.5% fee, whichever is higher. The payments are facilitated by Simplex, a service that is available to US users.
7 Cryptocurrencies Did Better Than Bitcoin in January
CCN analyst Yashu Gola made an interesting observation this week: 7 altcoins outperformed Bitcoin in the month of January. Augur, Tron, and Chainlink are among them. Read the full report for more information.
Pantera Capital Says Bitcoin Winter Is Just a Season
Samantha Chang covered statements by the CEO of Pantera Capital, who believes that “the fundamentals are much stronger” in the current bear market. Certainly, crypto traders hope that Dan Morehead is right. For true believers, the down times are nothing more than an acquisition phase, after all.
BitGrail CEO Found Liable for Claims from Users
The BitGrail case reached a new stage this week. Reports came in that the Italian bankruptcy court has found that CEO Francesco “The Bomber” Firano is personally liable. In response, the government has seized over $1 million of his personal assets. The court date brought several new aspects to light about BitGrail, like the fact that Firano had attempted to get people to sign agreements not to sue him or the company in exchange for pennies on the dollar.
FreedomCoin Doesn’t Make Sense
CCN’s Josiah Wilmoth questions why a major gun-trading website is going with an altcoin called FreedomCoin instead of using Bitcoin. Wilmoth writes:
"You see, I’ve actually used cryptocurrency to purchase firearms. A few years ago I sent a bitcoin payment to Central Texas Gunworks, a licensed dealer, and there was nothing about the experience that made me think it would have been improved if I only had access to a crypto token developed exclusively for the gun industry."
Incidentally, guns were one of the only things Ross Ulbricht didn’t allow to be sold on the Silk Road, fearing attention from the ATF.
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