How the Marshall Islands Envisions Its National Digital Currency Dubbed ‘Sovereign’

On Jan. 10, 2019, the team behind a national cryptocurrency for the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) — dubbed the Sovereign (SOV) — revealed that the coin is still being actively developed, despite previous disagreements among government officials, as well as reservations expressed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States Treasury Department on the subject.

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Crypto Markets Continue to See Mixed Signals, Dow Jones Up Over 360 Points

Feb. 15 — crypto markets have continued trading sideways after hitting a multi-month high of daily trading volume of more than $36 billion yesterday, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is slightly down over the past 24 hours, and is trading at $3,626 at press time.

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Messenger Giant Kakao Spent $57 Mln on New Tech, Including Blockchain, in Q4 2018

South Korean internet giant and messaging app operator Kakao Corp has published its Q4 2018 report that covers blockchain and AI operating expenses, Korean news website ZDNet reports Thursday, Feb. 14.

According to ZDNet, in Q4 2018 Kakao’s consolidated operating income was 4.3 billion Korean won ($3.8 million). At the same time,

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Japanese IT Giant GMO Confirms Launch of Yen-Backed Stablecoin GYEN in 2019

Japanese IT giant GMO Internet has confirmed that it plans to launch its yen-backed stablecoin GYEN this year, Cointelegraph Japan reported today, Feb. 12.

The news was revealed during an earnings presentation to investors held today, after GMO released financial results for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2018.

The firm’s founder and CEO,

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New Proposed ETF Would Encompass Bitcoin Futures Alongside Sovereign Debt Instruments

Reality Shares ETF Trust — a unit of crypto-focused fintech firm Blockforce Capital — has filed a proposal for an exchange-traded-fund (ETF) that would invest in a portfolio which includes both sovereign debt instruments and Bitcoin (BTC) futures.The ETF filing was submitted to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Feb 11.

ETFs are securities that track a basket of assets proportionately represented in the fund’s shares.

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How We Will Remember the Year of the Dog? ICO Market Decline, Trend Toward Compliance and Other Takeaways

Happy Chinese New Year! As the Year of the Yellow Mountain Dog has drawn to a close, it is time to look back at what happened.

While there was a promising start in January 2018, when most altcoins were enjoying their all-time highs, the bear eventually took over, and the market delved into the so-called “Crypto Winter.” Nevertheless,

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Forbes “Fintech 50” List, Reviewed: New Players, Veterans and Startups Which Didn’t Make the Cut

Recently, Forbes published the fresh edition of its “Fintech 50” list, counting the world’s top financial technology firms. Notably, there are just six crypto and blockchain companies featured this year, while the 2018 list contained 11 players from the field.

Given that the notorious crypto boom of 2017 has been followed by the relentless bear market,

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JPMorgan Securities Exec: 'Blockchain Is Still Far From Institutionalization’

Joyce Chang, global research chair at JPMorgan Securities, has said that blockchain technology is still far from institutionalization and must still overcome key hurdles before it can break through to cross-industry adoption at scale. Chang made her comments during an interview on the “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas” television show on Feb. 7.

Chang noted that blockchain adoption — if not yet institutionalized — is being spearheaded by industries with particular characteristics where the technology can bring real and immediate backend efficiency gains.

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Blockchain-Based Digital ID Systems Are Increasingly Finding Real-World Use

According to the latest estimates, we generate around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. That’s 2.5 followed by 17 zeros — or rather 2.5 trillion million — a number that’s impossible to visualize intuitively, but nonetheless has massive implications for our privacy online, our security and our ability to keep our digital identities within our own personal control.

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Report: Number of ICOs in Q4 2018 Increased, But Raised 25% Less Than in Q3

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Q4 2018 raised 25 percent less than in Q3, while the total amount of completed ICOs increased, according to a report by ICO rating service ICObench shared with Cointelegraph on Feb. 6.

The number of ICOs completed in Q4 increased to 594 from 554 in Q3, the report says.

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QuadrigaCX Is Filing for Creditor Protection Amid Liquidity Crisis, Community Remains Largely Skeptical

Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX is in hot water: Following the sudden death of its 30-year-old founder, Gerald Cotten, the exchange has allegedly lost access to its cold wallets, where most of the funds were stored.

Now, the exchange has taken to court to avoid the collapse, but some community members suggest that QuadrigaCX’s cold wallets never existed.

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Report: Analysts Identify Trail of Bitcoin Donations to Gaza’s Ruling Group Hamas

An Israeli blockchain intelligence firm claims to have identified proof of donations in Bitcoin (BTC) reaching Hamas, the de facto ruling authority of the Gaza Strip in Palestine. The development was reported by Israeli financial daily newspaper Globes Feb. 3.

Globes reports that a BTC wallet address for receiving the funds was first published Jan.

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SWIFT Announces PoC Gateway With R3, but Remains Overall Hesitant About Blockchain

On Jan. 30, major global banking payments network SWIFT announced it plans to launch a proof-of-concept (PoC) of a gateway — titled GPI Link — that will allow blockchain software firm R3 to connect to SWIFT’s Global Payments Innovation (GPI) payments from its platform.

Therefore, SWIFT has made another step toward adopting blockchain,

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Crypto Payment Processor CoinGate Adds Support for Ripple’s XRP

Cryptocurrency payment processor CoinGate has added Ripple’s native token XRP to its payment options for merchants, a company tweet revealed Feb. 1.

According to the firm’s accompanying blog post, using the service “XRP coin owners can now use it as a means of payment at more than 4,500 shops online.” CoinGate notes that,

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20-Year Old Hacker Pleads Guilty to $5 Million Cryptocurrency Theft

After stealing $5 million in cryptocurrency from 40 victims through SIM swapping, 20-year-old Joel Ortiz, pleaded guilty to theft and accepted a plea deal of 10 years in prison as reported by Motherboard, a division of news outlet VICE, on Feb 1.

Ortiz accepted the plea deal last week, according to Erin West,

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Germany's 2nd Largest Stock Exchange Boerse Stuttgart Launches Crypto Trading App

Germany’s second largest stock exchange, Boerse Stuttgart Group, has officially launched its crypto-trading app Bison, according to an official tweet today, Jan. 31.

According to the app’s webpage, the software was developed by FinTech Sowa Labs — a subsidiary of Boerse Stuttgart Digital Ventures. The developers’ reported aim in making the app is to ease access to cryptocurrencies for investors that are accustomed to using traditional markets.

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Report: Alipay and WeChat Pay Require Huobi to Remove Payment Methods from OTC Desk

Alipay and WeChat Pay reportedly requested that crypto exchange Huobi remove their payment services from its over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk, local media agency Sina reported on Jan. 25.

Major Chinese digital payments providers, Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay, have reportedly sent legal letters to Huobi, claiming that using both their services and logos on the exchange’s OTC market is unauthorized.

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Ukrainian Crypto Exchange Liqui Shuts Down, Cites Lack of Liquidity

Ukraine-based crypto exchange Liqui is shutting down its services, citing a lack of liquidity, Cointelegraph Japan reports today, Jan. 28.

Liqui said it decided to close all accounts and stop providing services because it currently does “not see any economic point in providing” them in a statement posted on its official website,

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Nvidia Decreases Q4 Revenue Estimates Citing Crypto Mining Decline, Conditions in China

Taiwan-based computer hardware producer Nvidia updated its financial estimates for Q4 for the fiscal year of 2019, according to a press release on Jan. 28.

The company is reflecting weaker forecasted sales in its gaming and data center platforms, which comes from excess mid-range channel inventory following the slump in cryptocurrency markets.

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Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 21–27: Top Stories, Price Movements, Quotes and FUD of the Week

Top Stories This Week

CBOE Withdraws BTC ETF Rule Exchange Request From SEC Amid Gov’t Shutdown

The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) BZX Equity Exchange has withdrawn its request for a rule change from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to list its Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).

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Crypto Critic Nouriel Roubini: Blockchain is ‘No Better Than an Excel Spreadsheet’

Nouriel Roubini, a notorious cryptocurrency critic, has stated that blockchain is “no better than an Excel spreadsheet” during a panel hosted by crypto exchange LaToken on Jan 25.

Roubini is also known for having predicted the 2008 financial crisis, earning him the moniker of Dr. Doom.

Speaking during a panel at the Blockchain Economic Forum in Davos,

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Ripple Sold $535 Million Worth of XRP in 2018

Ripple (XRP) sold $535.56 million worth of XRP in 2018, according its quarterly report for Q4 2018 released on Jan. 24.

The report further notes that the sales of XRP tokens in Q4 2018 amounted to $129.03 million worth, which is equivalent to 0.24 percent of global XRP volume. The Q4 average XRP daily volume was reportedly equivalent to $585.7 million and is the highest since the first quarter of the year.

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Unconfirmed: Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital to Raise $250 Million to Offer Crypto Loans

Mike Novogratz’s crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital is reportedly raising at least $250 million to offer loans to crypto-related firms, according to an unconfirmed report published by American news site Business Insider on Jan. 23.

Citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter, the news outlet claims that Galaxy Digital is purportedly planning to close the first fundraising round for its crypto credit fund in March.

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ZB.Com User Accuses Crypto Exchange of Reporting Him to Police

A Chinese user of the cryptocurrency exchange ZB.com said that the exchange reported him to local police in a post on the 8btc forum, a major Chinese crypto community, on Jan. 21.

In the post, which has been viewed over 12,000 times with 135 comments, the user claims that ZB.com froze his account containing a 400,000 yuan ($58,000) balance.

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