India's National Stock Exchange Trials Blockchain E-Voting for Listed Companies

The National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) is testing a blockchain platform developed by Elemential Labs to conduct e-voting for listed companies, local news outlet Hindu BusinessLine reports September 27.

The NSE’s pilot will entail tokenizing voting rights and using the blockchain platform to connect the firm, registrar and transfer agents (RTA), and the regulator. Hindu BusinessLine notes that tokenized votes are both easy to transfer and to proxy, and the test will reportedly be used to evaluate how easy it is to audit the entirety of the voting procedure using blockchain.

Sankarson Banerjee, CTO of projects at NSE, is quoted as saying that the blockchain system offers features that can bring the exchange “closer to an environment of improved corporate governance and compliance,” outlining that:

“The immutable nature of blockchain will ensure that every action taken by a network participant is transparent to the regulator. Additionally, the smart contract framework enables synchronisation of the vote count process between the company and the regulator in real time.”

Elemential Labs’ platform uses the Hyperledger framework, and NSE will reportedly take charge of developing and managing the front-end application of the system.

Elemential CEO Raunaq Vaisoha echoed Banerjee in advocating for blockchain’s power to ensure regulatory compliance in real time and to offer “highly transparent and clear corporate governance,” which he considered to be “an operating standard that most companies aspire to.”

As reported earlier this month, the Union Cabinet of India — the country’s chief decision-making body led by prime minister Narendra Modi — has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BRICS members on collaborative research into blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLT).

This summer, the Indian state of Telangana announced it would be signing several MoUs with blockchain firms as to eventually implement the technology across government services.

As blockchain makes inroads with the country’s government, India’s Supreme Court is currently in the midst of reviewing the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s controversial ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related entities. Just this week, the court listened to the final round of petitions on the ban, which has officially been in force since July 6.

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UK-Based Crypto Platform Launches $1.45 Million Crowdfund Campaign to Bank the Unbanked

Nebeus, the London-based crypto platform, has launched a 1.1 million pound ($1.45 million) crowdfunding campaign as they set out their ambitious goal of bringing financial services to people around the world. According to the World Bank, there are 1.7 billion adults globally who remain unbanked, yet two-thirds of them own a mobile phone that they could use for online banking. The Nebeus’ campaign went live on Sept. 24, 2018 and has already attracted more than 400,000 pounds ($527,490).

The goals of the campaign

Backed by industry expert Brett King, the Nebeus campaign will last until October 23, 2018. Currently operating in 45 countries, they now plan for expansion across Europe, Asia and South America. The company wants to make banking simple for people and encourages a wider use of cryptocurrency in everyday spending, offering user-friendly Bitcoin wallets and its recently launched Exo card. The new prepaid card allows users to seamlessly convert crypto into fiat, making transactions convenient online, offline and even at ATMs.

“We want to create an ecosystem where those who add value are rewarded, and those

who consume services and products can do so in a competitive and secure

environment, built on blockchain technology. Our current campaign will bring us a step

closer to achieving this,” Konstantin Zaripov, co-founder and CEO of Nebeus, said.

How the platform works

Nebeus is a new crypto bank which facilitates crypto-collateral Bitcoin loans globally. The company says it is working on “bridging the gap between crypto and fiat finance through the use of blockchain technology.” According to the company, 30,000 users of the Nebeus platform have already created active blockchain-based wallets.

The fintech startup was founded in 2014, and the peer-to-peer (p2p) exchange platform was launched at the end of 2017. Nebeus has already enabled the transaction of 34 million euro ($39.9 million) and facilitated 1.9 million pounds ($2.23 million) in p2p Bitcoin loans. Their trading platform allows users to purchase and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum with instant deposits into their accounts.

Nebeus’s open API allows third parties to develop value-added products and services on top of the Nebeus platform or incorporate Nebeus’s services into their existing ecosystems.

The Nebeus card, launched in the summer of 2018, allows for converting cryptocurrency into fiat and also has some additional features. For example, all the users’ cryptocurrencies can be stored, easily accessed and managed in a Crypto Basket. Moreover, the Nebeus card functions as a regular debit card. It is accepted in over 40 million locations and can be used in stores, for online payments or for ATM withdrawals. The card can be issued to consumers worldwide.

The expansion to unbanked regions

In June 2018, Nebeus announced it was entering the African market through local telecommunications and mobile money. The company said that cryptocurrency users in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana have received full access to the startup’s “crypto bank.” The company expects to enable over 400 million people with crypto services through help of local partners that already have an established network in the region.

Some of the latest research from the World Bank proves that Nebeus’s targeting of mobile money is justified. The organization’s analytics came to the conclusion that “in Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile money drove financial inclusion.” While the share of adults with an account with a financial institution remained flat in the region, the share with a mobile money account has almost doubled since 2014. Moreover, mobile money accounts have spread from East Africa to West Africa and beyond.

However, there are still a lot of unbanked adults in other continents too. According to the World Bank, account ownership in Europe and Central Asia was 65 percent in 2017 (58 percent of adults in 2014) and 71 percent in East Asia and the Pacific.

 

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Operator of Hacked Crypto Exchange Zaif Gets Third Warning From Japan's Watchdog

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has issued a third business improvement order to the owner of hacked crypto exchange Zaif, Tech Bureau. The news was reported by Cointelegraph Japan today, September 25.

As previously reported, as a result of a security breach on the Zaif exchange September 14, hackers succeeded in stealing 6.7 billion yen ($59.7 million) worth of crypto assets belonging to both users and to the exchange itself. The Financial Services Agency had already ordered Tech Bureau to make business improvements first in March, and subsequently in June this year.

The FSA considers that Tech Bureau’s investigation into the causes of the recent hack – as well as its response to customers – have been inadequate. While the firm reportedly announced it was in talks with Fisco Group to receive financial support of 5 billion yen on Friday, September 21, the FSA says it did not receive a concrete report on the matter from the firm directly.

The FSA’s newly-issued business improvement order specifies the following contents as necessary measures that are to be urgently addressed:

“(1) Determination of the facts and causes of the hacking incident (including clarification of the attribution of responsibility) and [the] formulation and execution of measures to prevent [its] recurrence

(2) Prevention of [the] expansion of customer damage

(3) Response to customer damage

(4) Review and implement concrete and effective improvement plans based on the hacking incident, [as well as the] contents of [two prior business improvement orders] from 8 March and 22 June [this year]

(5) Submit written reports pertaining to (1) and (4) above by Thursday, September 27.”

According to CT Japan, FSA staff are continuing to undertake on-site inspections of Tech Bureau. Based on their findings, the agency will reportedly potentially issue more stringent measures such as a business suspension order and/or cancellation of the exchange’s registration.

Earlier this summer, the FSA published the results of its on-site inspections of cryptocurrency exchange operators, deciding on the basis of its findings to apply more rigorous oversight into new applications from exchanges hoping to receive an official operating license. According to the agency, there are currently “hundreds” of companies awaiting its review.

In the wake of January’s industry record-breaking $532 million hack of crypto exchange Coincheck, the year has seen the agency unfold a series of increasingly exacting measures for domestic operators.

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US Tech Firm Eyes Blockchain Supply Chain Solution for Major Chinese Ports

U.S.-based technology company Ideanomics has partnered with the Asia-Pacific Model Electronic Port Network (APMEN) Trade Tech Co. to streamline supply chains with blockchain tech, a press release reports Thursday, September 20.

Together with APMEN Trade Tech Co., Ideanomics aims to leverage blockchain and what it calls “super artificial intelligence” to cut out “layers of middlemen” in port clearance and shipping handling for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) online port clearance system.

The first instigation of the tools will take place in two major Chinese ports, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the former holding the title of the world’s busiest port in 2017.

The move marks the continuation of a growing trend in the blockchain sector, with a raft of major corporations aiming to disrupt legacy supply chain infrastructure with the technology’s introduction.

In the press release about the Ideanomics and APMEN Tech Trade Co. partnership, Bruno Wu, chairman and co-CEO of Ideanomics, stated:

“We will integrate business data from various partners, establishing a risk control model in cooperation with a single window to provide risk control services for regulatory authorities and enterprises.”

Ideanomics will have a 60 percent stake in the new venture, promising it will list on an unspecified Chinese stock exchange before the end of the year, the press release notes.

As the industry expands, some sources have more recently become skeptical of blockchain supply chain efficiency, cautioning the “hype” that may be associated with the phenomenon.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in China last week, Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng even went as far as to say blockchain was not suitably “high performance” in its current state to suit such purposes at scale.

“Whenever people say blockchain, I think what they’re really saying is they would like to connect things digitally,” he suggested.

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Hodler’s Digest, September 16-23: Elon Musk Wants Advice on Twitter Crypto Scammers, the US SEC Wants Comments on BTC ETFs

Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Zaif Hacked Of Reported 5,966 Bitcoins

As a result of a security breach on September 14, hackers have managed to steal 4.5 billion yen from Japan’s Zaif cryptocurrency exchange, as well as 2.2 billion yen from the assets of the company, with total losses amounting to 6.7 billion yen or around $59.7 million. Tech Bureau Inc, which operated Zaif, stated this week that the exchange detected a server error on September 17, after which Zaif suspended deposits and withdrawals. On September 18, the exchange realized that the error was a hack, and reported the incident to Japan’s financial regulator, reporting losses of 5,966 bitcoins (BTC) in addition to some Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and MonaCoin (MONA).

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Turns To Dogecoin Creator To Stop Crypto Scammers

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Elon Musk asked Jackson Palmer, the creator of Dogecoin (DOGE), to help him combat “annoying” cryptocurrency scammers on Twitter this week. Musk, directing his tweet at Palmer, asked for help getting rid of scam spammers, to which Palmer replied by sending Musk a short script in direct messages to try to fix the problem.

US SEC Postpones VanEck Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund, Asks For Further Comments

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested further comments regarding its decision on the listing and trading of VanEck and SolidX’s Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), which is expected to list on the CBOE BZX Equities Exchange (BZX). In a notice, the SEC asks for additional comments from interested parties addressing the sufficiency of the BZX’s statement in support of the proposal. In particular, the SEC is seeking comments on eighteen key issues, among which are commenters’ views on BZX’s assertions that BTC “is arguably less susceptible to manipulation than other commodities that underlie exchange-traded products (ETPs).”

New York Attorney General Report: Crypto Exchanges Vulnerable To Manipulation

A new report published by the New York Attorney General’s office states that cryptocurrency exchanges are vulnerable to manipulation, conflicts of interest, and other consumer risks. The findings, part of the “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative” that consisted in surveying 13 cryptocurrency exchanges, found that an absence of standard methods for auditing virtual assets results in the lack of a consistent and transparent approach to independently auditing digital currency traded on exchanges.

Researchers Explain How Gemini Dollar Transactions Can Be Changed Or Paused

The implementation of the recently launched Gemini dollar (GUSD) stablecoin can be completely changed by a Gemini custodian every 48 hours, according to a study authored by blockchain researcher Alex Lebed and crypto consultant Alexey Akhunov. In the study, the authors review the code of the GUSD’s smart contract in order to demonstrate that the implementation of the Gemini USD can become non-transferrable or frozen at any moment, which is noted in the Gemini dollar’s white paper.

Most Memorable Quotations

“The data age is major opportunity for manufacturers to reform the industry. But blockchain and IoT will be meaningless tech unless they can promote the transformation of the manufacturing industry, and the evolution of the society towards a greener and more inclusive direction,” — Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba

“Cryptocurrencies are perfect, but are used for bad purposes today, so [one has to be] careful. Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are also perfect, they are big, big tools,” — Francisco Gonzalez Rodriguez, executive chairman of multinational Spanish banking group Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)

“As the government and regulators decide whether the current Wild West situation is allowed to continue, or whether they are going to introduce regulation, consumers remain unprotected,” — UK Treasury Committee on cryptocurrency regulation

Laws And Taxes

Ukrainian Parliament Seeks To Tax Cryptocurrency Assets With New Bill

Ukraine’s parliament has proposed a bill that would tax operations with crypto assets with a five percent tax on individuals and legal entities operating with virtual currency assets, such as cryptocurrencies and tokens. Starting Jan. 1, 2024 crypto-related profits by businesses would be taxed at 18 percent, which is a basic rate for corporate and personal income tax in Ukraine. According to the lawmakers, the introduction of this tax would make it possible to “draw 1.27 billion hryvnia ($43 million) to the budget annually from 2019-2024.”

US Lawmakers Send Open Letter To IRS Asking For Crypto Taxation Clarity

U.S. lawmakers have called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to issue clarified and “comprehensive” crypto taxation guidance in an open letter this week. The representatives deem that the IRS has had “more than adequate time” to work through complexities after its preliminary rules were issued four years ago, arguing that while the IRS has proactively continued to remind taxpayers of the penalties for non-compliance with its guidance, its failure to introduce a more robust taxation framework “severely hinders taxpayers’ ability” to meet their obligations.

Financial Task Force Says International AML Standards For Crypto Coming Soon

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said it is getting closer to the establishment of a global set of anti-money laundering (AML) standards for cryptocurrencies. The agency’s president Marshall Billingslea reportedly said that he expects the coordination of a series of standards that will close “gaps” in global AML standards at an FATF plenary in October. At that time, the FATF will purportedly discuss which existing standards should be adapted to digital currencies, as well as revise the assessment methods of how countries implement those standards.

Adoption

Binance To Soon Begin Private Beta Testing Of Crypto-Fiat Singapore Exchange

Binance, the largest global crypto exchange, will soon start private beta testing a crypto-fiat exchange in Singapore, as Binance co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) tweeted this week. According to CZ, the testing will be launched on September 18, and while no further details have been specified, the crypto-fiat Singapore-based exchange will presumably support the local Singapore dollar.

US PNC Bank To Use RippleNet For Customers’ International Payments

PNC, which is ranked among the top ten U.S. banks with 8 million customers and retail branches in 19 states, will use RippleNet to process international payments for its customers. A particular PNC unit — Treasury Management — will use Ripple’s blockchain solution xCurrent to speed up overseas transactions held by U.S. commercial clients. Ripple emphasises that xCurrent will allow PNC business clients to receive payments against their invoices instantly, changing their approach to managing both accounts and their working capital.

Ripple Executive Hints Of xRapid Launch Coming Soon

Head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East at Ripple Sagar Sarbhai told CNBC this week that Ripple has been making strides toward the launch of its product xRapid, noting that a commercial version of its payment platform could launch “in the next month or so.” The xRapid product is a real-time settlement platform designed to speed up international payments that addresses the issues of minimizing liquidity costs and making cross-border payment transactions faster.

Canadian Coinsquare’s Investment Subsidiary Launches Two Tech-Based ETFs

Coinsquare’s subsidiary — Coin Capital Investment Management — has reportedly become the 30th ETF operator in Canada, with the launch of the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). LDGR is a research-focused ETF that intends to provide investors with global equity securities of firms that invest in the development of blockchain technologies, while THNK, aims to provide investments in global equity securities concentrated around four “megatrends” in technology — biotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and nanotechnology.

Brazil’s Largest Brokerage To Launch Bitcoin, Ethereum Exchange

The largest brokerage in Brazil, Grupo XP, will enter the crypto space by launching an exchange for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) in the near future called XDEX with around forty employees. Grupo XP is the biggest financial group in Brazil, comprising companies with various business models. XP has reportedly set a goal to have $1 trillion reais ($245 billion) under custody by 2020, which is four times what the company expects to raise by the end of this year. In addition, XP will launch a bank in the next few months.

Mergers, Acquisitions, And Partnerships

Crypto Exchange Huobi Joins Russian Bank Innovation Fund

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has joined Russia’s VEB Innovation Fund to share notes on crypto regulation. Russia’s cryptocurrency regulation draft law, which passed in a first reading in May, are tentatively set to be passed in October. One of the main goals of the partnership with Huobi and the VEB Innovation Fund is to draw on the crypto regulation experience gained by Huobi and to apply it in Russia, especially for adjusting the legal framework on digital assets.

Switzerland And Israel Agree To Share Blockchain Regulation Experience

Switzerland and Israel have agreed to share their experience on regulating the blockchain industry.Switzerland’s Minister of Finance Ueli Maurer and State Secretary for International Financial Matters Joerg Gasser have recently visited Israel to officially request access to the local markets for Swiss banks.As Gasser told Reuters, by the end of 2018 he plans to prepare a report on blockchain regulation for the Israeli officials that would outline general recommendations.

R3, Dutch Digital Security Company Partner For Blockchain-Based IDs

Blockchain consortium R3 has deployed a digital ID application developed by Dutch digital security company Gemalto on the latest version of the Corda Platform. The parties now expect to conduct several pilots of the application — called the Trust ID Network —  that will reportedly be launched later this year. The application enables digital service providers to operate “fully verified and secured” user personal data by creating a Digital ID, allowing consumers to register within various banking, e-commerce, and e-government services while avoiding repeated due diligence procedures.

Poland’s Largest Bank Partners With Coinfirm To Launch Blockchain Solution

Poland’s largest bank , PKO Bank Polski, will launch a blockchain solution for its customer documents via a partnership with UK-based Coinfirm “in the coming days,” the parties confirmed this week. As part of a drive to enhance security of customer data, PKO Bank Polski will use Coinfirm’s Trudatum to provide blockchain-issued paperwork to its some five million account holders.

Funding Rounds

Chinese Blockchain Fund To Raise Almost $13 Million For Japanese Stablecoin

Yao Yongjie, whose $1.5 billion Grandshores Blockchain Fund has the backing of well-known Chinese Bitcoin investor Li Xiaolai and the local government of the city of Hangzhou, is seeking to create up to three new stable cryptocurrencies (stablecoins) pegged to various fiat currencies. The first reported stablecoin project would involve the Japanese yen, and a second company Yao chairs, Hong Kong-based Grandshores Technology, aims to raise HK$100 million ($12.7 million) in financing for the cryptocurrency.

Winners And Losers

The crypto markets have experienced a comeback this week, with Bitcoin trading for around $6,756 and Ethereum at $245. Total market cap is now around $228 billion.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are Carebit, Bob’s Repair, and the Ultimate Secure Cash. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Protean, Abulaba, and Bitmark.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

FUD Of The Week

Bitcoin Core Updates Fixes Vulnerability That Could “Take Down The Network”

Bitcoin Core has released an update following the recent detection of a vulnerability in the software: Bitcoin Core 0.16.3 was released with a fix for a denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerability.The vulnerability could reportedly cause a crash of older versions of Bitcoin Core if they attempted processing a block transaction that tries to spend the same amount twice. According to Casaba Security co-founder Jason Glassberg, the recent vulnerability found on Bitcoin Core software could “take down the network.” He explained that the network crash “does not appear” to target users’ wallets, but would rather “affect transactions in the sense that they cannot be completed.”

China’s Central Bank Warns Public Of Risks With ICOs, Crypto Trading

The People’s Bank of China has issued a new public notice this week “reminding” investors of the risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crypto trading. Today’s notice ,released from the bank’s headquarters in Shanghai, censures the “unauthorized” and “illegal” ICO financing model for posing a “serious disruption” to the “economic, financial and social order.”

German Finance Minister Doubts Whether Crypto Could Ever Replace Fiat

Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz doubted publicly this week that cryptocurrencies can currently replace traditional fiat currencies. Scholz compared cryptocurrencies to the tulip fever bubble in the Netherlands in the 17th century saying, “and the danger is great that there will be such a tulip inflation,” noting that cryptocurrencies should also be closely observed by regulators, as they could be used for terrorist financing, money laundering or other criminal activities.

Reuters: Brazilians Antitrust Regulator To Inspect Six Major Banks Over Crypto Trade

Brazil’s antitrust regulator, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), is reportedly inspecting six major national banks for alleged monopolistic practices in the crypto space, according to Reuters. The probe, which was initiated n the request of the Brazilian Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association (ABCB) following several complaints, will determine whether the country’s largest banks closed the accounts of brokerages trading in Bitcoin.

Malware Reportedly Stolen From NSA Contributes To Skyrocketing Cryptojacking

Leaked code targeting Microsoft Systems which hackers allegedly stole from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) sparked a fivefold increase in cryptocurrency mining malware infections, according to a report from the Cyber Threat Alliance. Eternal Blue, which was reportedly stolen and then used for the infamous cyberattacks WannaCry and NotPetya, has been used by hackers to gain access to computers in order to covertly mine for cryptocurrency, with detections up 459 percent this year.

Prediction Of The Week

Bitcoin To See 30 Percent Rally By End Of 2018, Says Mike Novogratz

Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz predicted this week on Twitter that Bitcoin will see a 30 percent rally by the end of 2018. Stating that the $8,800 to $10,000 threshold would be the the defining moment for institutional investors to enter the space, Novogratz claimed that it is impossible for BTC to not reach the $8,800 to $10,000 price points by the end of the year.

Best Features

Bitcoin Miners Flock To New York’s Remote Corners, But Get Chilly Reception

The New York Times visits Massena — a region formerly filled with American corporations offering unions jobs — that now has one of the state’s highest unemployment rates. However, as the Time notes, the “abundant, cheap electricity flowing from a dam in the St. Lawrence River,” has brought in the cryptocurrency mining companies, bringing mixed reactions from the area’s residents.

No One Knows What to Call the Hottest Cryptocurrency

After Ripple (XRP) saw an unprecedented amount of growth this week, the question arose: what is it really called — Ripple or XRP? While Ripple Labs Inc. notes that the tokens are different than its open-source network, the token did used to be referred to as “ripples (XRP).”

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Report: Hong Kong Stock Exchange Eyeing Blockchain Firm Acquisitions

Insider sources have suggested that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) is eyeing takeovers in the blockchain and other tech sectors, according to a Bloomberg article published September 21.

Bloomberg cites “people with knowledge of the matter” as saying that the exchange is considering a change in strategy due to stalling trading links with exchanges in China, citing worsening U.S.-China trade relations as a further cause for concern.

The sources reportedly told Bloomberg that HKEX CEO Charles Li has met with “at least three investment banks” to discuss diversifying the exchange’s model, including a possible set of takeovers in the “data, analytics and blockchain sectors.” Due to the sensitivity of the matter, Bloomberg’s sources asked to remain anonymous.

They reportedly suggest that Li has been looking to the venture capital arms of U.S.-based stalwart exchanges CME Group Inc. and Nasdaq Inc. “as possible models,” with Bloomberg noting that Nasdaq saw 19 percent of its 2017 revenue from data products and 13 percent from market technology.

By contrast, Bloomberg’s data indicates that HKEX generated almost 100 percent of its 2017 revenue from clearing and trading fees.

Bloomberg’s sources further allege that potential technology acquisitions were “the focus” of two recent key HKEX meetings — a strategy discussion with senior managers on September 10, and a board member meeting on September 12. They report that the exchange is due to launch a three-year strategy plan starting in 2019, of which the details are currently under discussion.

Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp., told Bloomberg in an email that:

“The strategy is in the right direction but it is not easy to achieve the targets. HKEX needs to maintain a momentum of growth by exploring new businesses.”

According to Bloomberg, HKEX has “struggled to integrate” its 2012 acquisition of London Metal Exchange, and the article cites an unnamed HKEX advisor as saying that there are “industry concerns” surrounding the success of future deals.

As previously reported, within China itself, blockchain has been making inroads into the very infrastructure of major stock exchanges. Earlier this summer, the world’s fourth-largest stock exchange, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) released plans to adopt the technology for use in securities transactions.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is also planning to implement blockchain to replace its current system for processing equity transactions, a switch that is currently slated for spring 2021.

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Alibaba's Ant Financial to Launch Blockchain Backend-as-a-Service Platform

Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is launching a blockchain BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service) platform, local news outlet China Money Network reports September 21.

The announcement was reportedly made by Ant Financial vice president Jiang Guoefei at the Ant Technology Exploration Conference (ATEC) in Hangzhou yesterday. The new BaaS platform is being launched in tandem with an enterprise-focused “ant blockchain partner program” that will reportedly enable small- and medium-scale businesses to implement and innovate new blockchain solutions.

The announcement aligns with what Gueofei characterized as a move to “open up” Ant’s in-house technologies to the wider commercial sector:

“In the past two years, Ant Financial has been working on two aspects about blockchain. One is to improve the technology, and the other is to open it up and accelerate the commercialization of blockchain applications.”

As part of its impetus to commercialize the technology, Ant Financial trialed its very first blockchain remittances earlier this summer, using its newly-developed blockchain-based electronic wallet cross border remittance service. The trial demonstrated a transfer of funds between Ant Financial’s AliPayHK — the Hong Kong version of Ant’s popular mobile payment app Alipay — and Filipino payment app GCash.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has signalled increasing involvement of AliPay in blockchain for several years, with Ant Financial most recently securing $14 billion in funding for the technology’s development this June.

Fresh data published late August revealed that Alibaba had sealed first place globally on a new list that ranked entities by the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date; the e-commerce conglomerate has filed a staggering 90 such patents, outflanking even IBM.

Nonetheless, Ma delivered a keynote lecture earlier this month in which he noted that blockchain is one of a host of advanced technologies that still need to prove they can help evolve society in a “greener and more inclusive” direction.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 19

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Germany’s Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz believes that cryptocurrencies are not yet ready ro replace traditional fiat money, but he is not so confident about “20 to 30 years” into the future. This is a bullish sign, which confirms that the world is gradually coming to terms with the fact that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

Yet, China continues to “remind” investors about the risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crypto trading. A committee of lawmakers in the UK has urged the regulators to act by introducing measures for consumer protection.

In the U.S., a study by the New York Attorney General’s office has found that many cryptocurrency exchanges lack sufficient customer protections, and have “serious conflicts of interests.” The report observed that only a few crypto trading platforms have market surveillance capabilities to deter trading manipulation.

A robust system is needed to attract large players, who are accustomed to the traditional exchanges that have many protective measures built in against market manipulation and fraud. Price volatility, however, might remain for even longer time as the market matures.

Over the past several months, we have shown how the traders can keep their risks low when trading cryptocurrencies. Let’s see if we can spot any buy setups today.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin has held $6,200 for the past two days, but is struggling to move up. Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is also in the negative territory. This shows that the sellers are in command.

A break of the $5,900–$6,075.04 support zone will complete two negative formations, a head and shoulders pattern and a descending triangle pattern. Though head and shoulders is primarily a reversal pattern, it can also work as a continuation pattern, as is the case currently.

The lower levels that can offer some support are $5,450 and $5,000. However, after a break from such a major support, a number of stops will be hit, resulting in a quick drop. Therefore, we suggest traders avoid catching the falling knife if $5,900 breaks down.

If the bulls defend the support zone and push price above the moving averages, the BTC/USD pair can rally to $6,900 and $7,400. We suggest an aggressive buy on 50 percent of the desired position size on a close (UTC time frame) above $6,600.

The remaining positions can be added after the digital currency closes above the downtrend line of the descending triangle.

ETH/USD

The trend in Ethereum is still a downward one, but we find some buying interest around the $183–$192 area. However, on the upside, the 20-day EMA is proving to be a major resistance as the bulls have failed to scale this level for the past four days.

ETH/USD

If the bulls break out of the 20-day EMA, a move to the 50-day SMA is likely, with minor resistance at the downtrend line of the descending channel. We shall turn bullish if the price sustains above the channel for three days in a row.

If the ETH/USD pair turns down from the current levels, it can slide to $192 and further to $183. The pair is at a critical level and we should get a clearer picture within the next couple of days.

XRP/USD

Ripple bounced sharply from $0.27 on September 18 and broke out of the 20-day EMA. Currently, it is facing resistance at the 50-day SMA.

XRP/USD

If the bulls break out of the 50-day SMA, the next resistance is at $0.37390. The downtrend line is also located just above this level. If the XRP/USD pair sustains above the downtrend line, we can expect the trend to change from down to up.

If buying dries up at higher levels, the virtual currency might spend some more time inside the range of $0.27–$0.37390. Though the bounce from the lows is a positive development, we shall wait for additional evidence before suggesting any trades on it.  

BCH/USD

When the sentiment is negative, any uncertainty drives away the investors and that is what seems to be happening with Bitcoin Cash. With a looming split, the buyers are not taking any fresh positions, which has kept the cryptocurrency near its year-to-date lows.

BCH/USD

The trend is down, as both moving averages are sloping downward and the RSI is in the negative territory. A break of the September 11 low of $408.0182 will resume the downtrend and the BCH/USD pair can slump to the next support zone of $280–$300.

The bulls have to overcome the resistance from the 20-day EMA, the 50-day SMA and the downtrend line of the descending channel to signal a change in trend.

EOS/USD

EOS has been holding above $4.4930 since August 17. If this support breaks, the slide can extend to the next support at $3.7823. Therefore, traders can keep their stops on the remaining long positions at $4.4.

EOS/USD

On the upside, the bulls have been facing a stiff resistance at the 20-day EMA and $5.65. The EOS/USD pair will gain strength if it breaks out of $5.65.

Though the 50-day SMA is sloping down, the 20-day EMA is trying to flatten out. The RSI continues to be in the negative area. This shows that the virtual currency is in a range but with a negative bias.

XLM/USD

Stellar has formed a range inside a range. Since September 11, it has been trading inside the range between $0.184 and $0.21489857. If the bulls break out of this range, a rally to the top of the large range of $0.184–$0.24987525 is probable.

XLM/USD

The critical level to watch on the downside is $0.184. If the XLM/USD pair breaks and sustains below the range it will complete a descending triangle pattern, which is a negative sign.

On the other hand, if the bulls break out of the range and the downtrend line of the descending triangle, it will invalidate the bearish pattern, which is a bullish sign. We shall wait for the virtual currency to show some strength before recommending any trades on it.

LTC/USD

The bulls defended the critical support on September 18, but the pullback is facing resistance at the downtrend line and the 20-day EMA. Currently, Litecoin is consolidating in a large range of $49.466–$69.279 – a process, which began August 8.

LTC/USD

The LTC/USD pair will resume its downtrend if it sustains below $47.246. The next support on the downside is between $40 and $44.

On the upside, the virtual currency can rally to $69.279 if it breaks out of the moving averages. We might suggest a long position on a break out of the range because it will indicate a probable double bottom.

ADA/USD

Cardano broke out of the tight range of $0.060105–$0.071355 but is finding it difficult to sustain the higher levels. Currently, the price has dipped back into the range.

ADA/USD

Both moving averages are trending down and the RSI is in the negative zone. The trend remains headed downward. The ADA/USD pair will have to enter a bottoming formation before a change in trend can be confirmed.

Until then, any pullback attempts will face resistance at the moving averages. The downtrend will resume if the bears force a break down from the range.

XMR/USD

The bulls are trying to defend the support at the moving averages but are finding it difficult to break out of $120. Monero has turned volatile and trendless in the past few days, as both moving averages have flattened out and the RSI is close to the neutral territory.

XMR/USD

A symmetrical triangle is developing close to the bottom. A break of the trendline of the triangle will be a bearish development. It will increase the probability of a retest of $76.074, though the pattern targets are way lower. We suggest holding the long positions with the stops at $95.  

On the upside, the XMR/USD pair will face resistance at the downtrend line and at $122.6. It will attract buyers only after these two resistances are crossed.  

IOTA/USD

IOTA has been range bound between $0.5 and $0.6170 since September 6. The 50-day SMA and the downtrend line are also close to the upper end of the range. Hence, $0.6170 will act as a stiff resistance. The cryptocurrency will show strength if it can break out of this resistance.

IOTA/USD

The 50-day SMA is sloping down and the 20-day EMA is also starting to turn down, after trying to flatten in the past few days. This shows that the path of least resistance is to the downside.

A break of the $0.5 support can sink the IOTA/USD pair to $0.45 and further to $0.4. Traders can keep the SL of $0.46 on the long positions.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

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‘Not High-Performance’: Tradeshift CEO Prudent on Blockchain Supply Chain Potential

Digital invoicing startup Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng countered “hype” over blockchain’s role in supply chains Wednesday, September 19, telling CNBC the technology “wasn’t ready yet.”

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, Lanng highlighted the use cases for blockchain in areas such as identity and certifications, but argued supply chains were too much of a challenge for the technology in its current state.

“If you want to have authenticity, if you want to know where it is sourced, that it is done in a responsible way […] [blockchain] is a great technology to manage that kind of flow and be sure of the integrity,” he told the network, adding:

“The problem is just it’s not a high-performance technology.”

Talk of the promise of enhancing supply chain performance using distributed ledger technology has become commonplace across the global economy this year. As Cointelegraph continues to report, multiple global heavyweights are considering and working on implementing blockchain-based solutions to legacy infrastructure.

For Lanng, however, the optimism is premature. “Whenever people say blockchain, I think what they’re really saying is they would like to connect things digitally,” he continued, noting:

“I don’t think blockchain is a mature enough technology yet to carry that … I also want to be a little bit cautious for some of the hype.”

Lanng also highlighted cost hurdles and the difficulty of creating an “at scale” blockchain deployment.

The innovation has nonetheless already seen some success, as a joint shipping supply chain product from IBM and Maersk received heavy praise from logistics partner CEVA as a “big step forward” in August.

More recently, UK’s leading port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP), signed an agreement with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International to develop blockchain use for port logistics.

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China's Central Bank Warns Investors of ICO, Crypto Risks

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), has today, September 18, issued a new public notice “reminding” investors of the risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crypto trading.

The notice, released from the bank’s headquarters in Shanghai, reiterates the severe line that has been adopted by the country’s Office for Special Remediation of Internet Financial Risks, which first introduced a blanket ban on ICOs in September 2017.

Today’s notice censures the “unauthorized” and “illegal” ICO financing model for posing a “serious disruption” to the “economic, financial and social order”:

“[ICOs are] suspected of illegally selling tokens, illegally issuing securities, illegal criminal activities, financial fraud, pyramid schemes and other illegal and criminal activities.”

The PBoC has today hailed the successes of the country’s stringent restrictions that have targeted ICOs and a broad spectrum of crypto-related activities to date, claiming that:

“[T]he global share of domestic virtual currency transactions has dropped from the initial 90% to less than 5%, effectively avoiding the virtual currency bubble caused by skyrocketing global virtual currency prices in the second half of last year in China’s financial market. The impact has been highly recognized by the community.”

Nonetheless, the bank recognizes that several challenges remain, notably the prevalence of offshore exchanges that are used by investors to circumvent the mainland ban.

The PBoC notes that the Office for Special Remediation of Internet Financial Risks has now adopted a series of targeted measures, including blocking up to 124 IP address suspected of providing a gateway to domestic crypto traders.  

It further points to redoubled efforts to “clean-up” payment channels and strengthen monitoring and inspection mechanisms, noting that around 3,000 accounts have already been closed as a result of increased oversight. Lastly the notice outlines recent measures undertaken to counter the circulation of crypto “hype” materials.

As previously reported, on August 25 the PBoC had already issued a fresh risk alert against “illegal” ICOs, warning that blockchain and the idea of “financial innovation” are being used to lure investors as a “gimmick” that conceals essentially fraudulent Ponzi schemes.

This summer has seen an onslaught of toughened anti-crypto measures from Beijing, which have included a ban on commercial venues from hosting crypto-related events in certain districts.

Alongside ‘offline’ measures, China’s tech titans – Chinese ‘Google’ Baidu, Alipay’s Alibaba and WeChat-developer Tencent – have all tightened their monitoring and acted to ban accounts suspected of engaging in or propagating crypto and even blockchain related activities.

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Former SpaceX Engineer Targets Consumer Traders With His LXDX Crypto Exchange

A former engineer at Elon Musk’s SpaceX has announced his new firm LXDX would launch a public cryptocurrency exchange, Leaprate reports Monday, September 17.

Previously engaged in automation and propulsion at SpaceX, Joshua Greenwald has since turned his attention to institutional-grade cryptocurrency trading.  

While already operating for institutional investors, Greenwald now wishes to hook the mainstream consumer market.

“Our immediate focus is on cryptocurrency and enabling every investor to utilize the exclusive tools, like smart order routing, that only institutions previously could access,” Leaprate quotes him as saying.

LXDX received backing from a mixed bag of investors in August, chief among which was Dymon Asia Venture Capital Fund, before confirming a move into Malta last week.

The announcement comes as the institutional investment sector becomes an increasingly important focus for traditional finance heavyweights, rumors circulating last week about plans from both Citigroup and Morgan Stanley to begin offering exposure to Bitcoin.

“Cryptocurrencies are a wholly new asset class,” Greenwald told Venturebeat after announcing the August funding round.

“To the extent that they can be integrated into the existing infrastructure, we seek to facilitate that integration […] We anticipate massive scaling in tokenization and securitization.”

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Korean Mobile Carrier LGU+ Launches Blockchain-Based Overseas Payment System

South Korea’s LG UPlus, a mobile carrier owned by the country’s fourth largest conglomerate LG Corp., is launching a blockchain-based cross-carrier overseas payment service, Korea Times reports today, September 16.

Last Thursday, September 13, LG UPlus had signed an MoU to develop the new service alongside three global partners: Taiwan-based Far EasTone Telecommunications, Japan’s SoftBank, and U.S.-based TBCASoft. Through the new service, users of one telecoms carrier will be able to frictionlessly complete transactions on the payment networks of another.

According to the Korea Times, the first trial of the LG UPlus partners’ blockchain-based cross-carrier payment system (CCPS) is slated for the beginning of 2019.

CCPS will reportedly deploy blockchain to enable a prompt settlement mechanism in cross-carrier services. This will mean that users can avoid fees on overseas credit card transactions, and are insulated from the effects of fluctuating foreign exchange rates as they are ultimately billed through their carrier in their home currency.

For example, the service will allow LG UPlus Korean subscribers to purchase retail goods when using their cellphones in Taiwan and Japan, while Far EasTone users from Taiwan will enjoy the same convenience in Korea and Japan.

Ling Wu, founder and CEO of TBCASoft, told the Korea Times that the cross-carrier payment system is the first in a planned series of telecoms-specific blockchain-based solutions, noting that systems designed for “identity and authentication” are next.

Far EasTone, SoftBank, and TBCASoft are all among the initial founding members of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), a global blockchain consortium of telecom carriers that launched in late 2017. As reported earlier this summer, CSBG has recently unveiled the creation of a new blockchain working group that will focus on global remittance services, as well as adding six further major global telecoms firms to its ranks.

Just last week, Softbank unveiled a new proof-of-concept (PoC) in partnership with Synchronoss Technologies and TBCASoft to use CCPS to allow users to conduct peer-to-peer money transfers globally using legacy messaging services such as SMS and email.

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From Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan: How Cryptocurrencies Are Regulated in Central Asia

As been reported on September 2, the president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, ordered the establishment of a state blockchain development fund called the “Digital Trust.” Earlier in September, a decree legalizing crypto trading — also making it tax-free — and mining in the country came into force, making Uzbekistan a crypto-friendly state. But how is the rest of the Central Asia region is holding up?

The list below is based on thorough news research, but should in no way be considered complete. If you have more detailed information on banks and the crypto relationship in your country, we encourage you to share it in the comment section.

Kazakhstan

Regulation

Kazakhstan has clearly shown its interest in cryptocurrencies. According to a study published by the search engine Yandex in March, locals have been searching for crypto-related terms in frequency and the amount is several times higher this year as compared to 2017.

However, a definite regulatory framework has yet to be introduced in the country. There are signs that this situation might change in the near future, however: In May, Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, called for global cooperation in terms of crypto regulation.

Nazarbayev stressed that “most countries are actively exploring the possibility of adapting cryptocurrency to the current configuration of financial systems,” adding:

“At the same time, we see completely separate actions of states in this issue. And these disparate actions will lead to inefficiency. It is necessary to start developing common rules.”

The president’s comment followed the National Bank of Kazakhstan’s (NBK) announcement that they are going to ban crypto trading and mining in the country. On March 30, CBK head Daniyar Akishev declared in an interview with RIA Novosti:

“In Kazakhstan, the National Bank is very conservative toward [cryptocurrencies], I welcome only relatively tight regulations. To elaborate, we want to prohibit buying and selling of cryptocurrencies with the national currency, we want to ban exchanges on this field, we want to ban any kind of mining.”

Akishev cited investor protection, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) measures as primary reasons behind a potential blanket ban on cryptocurrencies. He added that NBK’s point of view is shared by “the majority of public authorities” in Kazakhstan and that his agency has already “prepared” amendments to the law.

Blockchain

Kazakhstan is actively trying to become the region’s main blockchain hub: In June, the country’s capital, Astana, held “the most important event for fintech in Central Asia” — a large blockchain conference supported by some public authorities and the Kazakh Association for Blockchain and cryptocurrencies (KABC).

KABC was registered in November 2017 by at least six organisations, some of which are led by people who previously worked at local regulating bodies. The coalition’s chairman has previously stated that their primary goal is to “define the rules for crypto and blockchain’s market jointly with the watchdog.”

Some of the country’s public authorities have already started researching crypto’s underlying technology. Thus, in April, the Ministry of Finance announced it was going to launch a blockchain-powered database, while a local cluster of innovation teamed up with IBM to study how the IT giant’s Hyperledger Fabric could be implemented for the local economy.  

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan explicitly banned cryptocurrencies back in July 2014, when the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic issued a statement warning that the use of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies as a form of payment is illegal under the national law:

“Under the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, the sole legal tender on the territory of our country is the national currency of Kyrgyzstan som. The use of ‘virtual currency,’ Bitcoins, in particular, as a means of payment in the Kyrgyz Republic will be a violation of the law of our state.”

The central bank also warned the citizens about Bitcoin’s lack of regulation and high levels of volatility. Around the same time, a Bitcoin ATM machine was installed in Bishkek by Italian financial analyst Emanuele Costa, who argued that the ATM could greatly impact the way migrant workers in Kyrgyzstan send money back home. According to the World Bank, migrant remittances from 2013 totaled 31 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP.

Despite the central bank’s harsh stance on crypto, virtual currencies are present in the country. As Valery Tutykhin, head of the International Finance Centre Development Agency, told local news agency 24.kg, investing in cryptocurrencies is possible in Kyrgyzstan:

“Our local investment market infrastructure can be used to legally invest into any crypto assets. Does someone want to buy cryptocurrencies? Let him do it through the local commodities exchange, and he will pay local taxes. Does someone want to raise capital for a startup through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)? Let him do it through the local stock exchange. Its listing rules are not so complex.”

Blockchain 

Despite the regulatory uncertainty, the Kyrgyz Republic has proven to be blockchain-friendly. According to a March report dubbed “The Legal Status of Blockchain Technology in Kyrgyzstan” that was commissioned by the Kyrgyz Stock Exchange and the International Finance Centre Development Agency and prepared by Geneva-based law firm John Tiner & Partners, the law of Kyrgyzstan does not prohibit or hinder the development of blockchain-based projects, including cryptocurrency mining and trading. 

Specifically, the Kyrgyz Stock Exchange has been developing a blockchain-backed project to facilitate trade securities and make real-time settlements. Moreover, in April, the State Patent Office of Kyrgyzstan (KyrgyzPatent) announced that it will digitize patent records and create a blockchain-powered database with the help of the Russian National Intellectual Property Transactions Coordination Center (IPChain).

Tajikistan

Tajikistan

Regulation

Cryptocurrencies are neither legal nor banned in Tajikistan. However, in January the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) voiced its opinion regarding the issue for the first time, calling Bitcoin “a terrorism financing tool.”

“Being based on experience of financial institutions, the National Bank warns nationals of Tajikistan of risks related to use of Bitcoins,” NBT declared in a written reply to Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service.

Blockchain

While the government of Tajikistan seems to ignore the technology, there are some blockchain projects in the country. Specifically, in June 2017, Hong Kong-based blockchain startup Bitspark teamed up with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to study the potential for blockchain remittances as a way to improve financial inclusion in Tajikistan.

According to Bitspark research, Tajikistan remains an underbanked country, as an estimated 85 percent to 90 percent of the population do not have formal banking accounts. Instead, they rely on alternative services for domestic and international payments, an area where blockchain has shown some progress.

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan

Regulation

There’s no concrete information regarding virtual currencies’ legal status in Turkmenistan. According to responses posted on a thread on a Russian mining forum, where the opening poster asked whether it was possible to buy cryptocurrencies in Turkmenistan, even the over-the-counter (OTC) markets are barely present in the region. Reportedly, virtual currencies there can only be bought with U.S. dollars, but the government has been actively limiting access to foreign currency for local companies and citizens.

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan

Regulation

Recently, Uzbekistan has introduced a number of positive regulation laws for the local crypto industry, namely recognizing trading and mining, as well as exempting local crypto traders from taxation.

The country’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has signed a law legalizing the activities of crypto exchanges, which came into force on Sept. 2. According to the decree, foreign nationals can only trade cryptocurrencies in Uzbekistan by means of creating a subsidiary in the country. The law also specifies a minimum capital requirement of roughly $710,000 to register a crypto exchange.

Moreover, crypto traders will not be subject to Uzbek stock market regulations and will be relieved of their obligation to pay taxes on trading revenues.

Under the new legislation, crypto exchanges must also comply with counterterrorism and AML laws. They are also bound to store information on crypto transactions, clients’ personal data and their correspondences for five years.

Blockchain

The local government has not ignored blockchain, either. In September, President Mirziyoyev also ordered the establishment of a state blockchain development fund titled the “Digital Trust,” according to a document published on the official government website.

The fund’s primary goal is to integrate blockchain into various government projects, including healthcare, education and cultural areas. The organization will also be responsible for international investment in the Uzbek digital economy. The Digital Trust will reportedly be funded by the National Agency of Project Management, in addition to international loans and grants.

Furthermore, in July, Mirziyoyev signed the order “On measures for digital economics development in the Republic of Uzbekistan.” The document makes provisions for blockchain to be integrated into local public administration.

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IBM Joins Decentralized ‘Yellow Pages’ for Blockchain Projects

IBM has joined a decentralized cross-blockchain registry initiative which it states is a Yellow Pages analogue for blockchain projects, according to an announcement September 13.

The initiative called Unbounded Registry will be led by blockchain startup HACERA, and is designed to provide “a decentralized means to register, look up, join and transact across a variety of blockchain solutions, built to interoperate with all of today’s distributed ledger technologies.”

The project will reportedly address major issues in the field, including reserved naming for blockchain projects, the discoverability of blockchain networks and applications, and a catalogue of domain-specific functions and services.

Other members of the registry include Intel, Chinese tech giant Huawei, Batavia, Hitachi, and the Australian Blockchain Association.

IBM is known for its openness to the study and application of blockchain technology across various fields. Earlier this month, the tech giant revealed a Stellar-based “near-real-time” blockchain payment network called Blockchain World Wire (BWW). The solution is developed to facilitate international settlements between banks.

In August, IBM and Danish transport and logistics giant Maersk jointly launched their global blockchain-enabled shipping solution. The platform is reportedly able to track critical data about each shipment in a supply chain in real time, generating a distributed, immutable record on the fly.

In June, IBM iX, the business and tech consulting wing of IBM, in partnership with software supplier Mediaocean, launched a blockchain-powered tracker for digital media transactions to “clean things up” in the media buying industry.

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Japan’s Financial Regulator Expands to Handle Influx of Crypto Exchange License Demand

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) plans to bolster its workforce by 12 personnel to better handle the growing influx of applications for crypto exchange licenses, Reuters Japan reported September 12.

At a crypto exchange study group meeting Wednesday, the FSA’s vice commissioner for policy coordination, Kiyotaka Sasaki, said that the agency is currently conducting its oversight of crypto exchanges with a team of around 30 people, whose work includes the review of license applications.

Yet Sasaki reportedly stressed that with over 160 firms currently awaiting review, the dedicated number of personnel is insufficient, saying the agency would need to add 12 further persons in 2019 to handle its “biggest problem” – the burgeoning number of license applications.

According to a document released after the meeting, the FSA has to date been reviewing sixteen cases, twelve of which withdrew their application at the FSA’s request and one of which has been rejected. Three, including Coincheck — which notoriously suffered the largest hack in crypto industry history this January — await a final decision.

The document further states that the agency plans to refine its risk profiling mechanisms as part of its “ongoing in-depth monitoring” of the exchange space, and to work increasingly closely with related ministries and agencies vis-a-vis non-registered firms, both domestic and overseas.

The document highlights concerns over insufficient anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorism financing prevention measures among exchanges, and points to other concerns regarding business models, risk management and compliance, internal audits, and corporate governance.

As previously reported, the FSA published the results of its on-site inspections of crypto exchange operators last month, finding that  the total digital assets of domestic exchanges have surged to 792.8 billion yen ($7.1 billion) — an over six-fold increase within the space of one year.

Meanwhile, as today’s document reiterates, most exchanges’ system personnel are fewer than 20 people, meaning that one employee on average was found to be managing digital assets worth 3.3 billion yen ($29.6 million).

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Uber’s Largest Shareholder to Launch Cross-Carrier Mobile Payments Service Based on Blockchain and RCS

Japanese tech giant SoftBank is developing a blockchain-powered cross-carrier mobile payments service, the company reported in an official press release published September 12.

SoftBank’s new proof-of-concept (PoC) development was announced in partnership with telecoms-focused blockchain firm TBCASoft and Synchronoss Technologies, provider of cloud, messaging, digital, and Internet of Things (IoT) services and platforms.

The upcoming mobile payment service will be based on the Rich Communication Services (RCS) global messaging standard and TBCASoft’s cross-carrier blockchain platform. The service will will enable users to conduct peer-to-peer money transfers globally, as well as to carry out internal purchases directly from their device via the RCS wallet application or a legacy messaging service like SMS or email.

According to the statement, Uber’s largest shareholder SoftBank teamed up with TBCASoft in order to develop a cross-carrier blockchain platform Cross-Carrier Payment Service (CCPS), which aims to boost mobile payment services among global telecoms carriers. In turn, Synchronoss has provided a multi-channel communications platform that combines text messages (SMS), email, and RCS. The platform was launched earlier in 2018, the statement says.

Softbank’s vice president Takeshi Fukuizumi noted that the upcoming cross-carrier payment service will allow merchants to operate “at a scale that was previously only available to big brands.”

According to Synchronoss CEO and president Glenn Lurie, the upcoming blockchain-powered RCS mobile service will “disrupt the current messaging and payments market,” stating that SoftBank is “at the forefront in bringing to market new cutting edge technology.”

On August 10, Cointelegraph reported that blockchain startup Zulu Republic has launched a platform for Litecoin (LTC) transactions via encrypted messenger Telegram, also planning to introduce LTC transactions via SMS to support users with poor Internet connection.

Earlier in August, U.S. software firm Intuit was granted a patent for processing Bitcoin (BTC) payments via SMS. The patent was reportedly filed in the same year that Intuit’s DIY tax solution QuickBooks partnered with BitPay to enable business clients to pay their invoices in Bitcoin.

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Despite Ban, China Keeps Trading Cryptocurrency Thanks to Tether and VPNs, Says Report

Chinese traders are using virtual private networks (VPNs) as a major tool to circumvent the ongoing government crackdown on cryptocurrency trading, local media outlet South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported September 8.

According to SCMP, referencing reports from Beijing-affiliated Shanghai Securities Times, traders have begun leveraging stablecoin Tether (USDT) as a means of entering and exiting cryptocurrency markets.

Combined with a VPN, two traders can use an exchange platform notionally registered outside China as an intermediary to swap cryptocurrency for fiat currency and vice versa.

“[T]wo individuals who have both completed a ‘know-your-customer’ procedure with an exchange would swap ‘fiat’ currencies […] to tether,” the publication reports:

“The exchange plays the role of an overseer of such trades, and stands ready to adjudicate in cases of failed trades, or transactions that are not honoured.”

A Beijing district stepped up the general ban on cryptocurrency exchanges last month, seeking on a local level to ban over 120 websites of platforms attempting to serve would-be domestic consumers.

This, Hong Kong and Taiwan exchange TideBit CEO Terence Tsang told SCMP, is “targeted at a batch of smaller exchanges that had claimed to be foreign entities, but are in fact operating in China claiming they have outsourced their operations to a Chinese company.”

At the same time, the Post notes, there is currently no successful scheme in operation to block VPNs, allowing smarter traders to maintain access to forbidden online resources.

Chinese traders have pursued various means of crypto trading since authorities first began cracking down on the practice in September 2017, Cointelegraph has reported.

These have taken the form of using Hong Kong as a home from home for platforms themselves, while traders have resorted to peer-to-peer options, something the Chinese government has now also sought to shut down.

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South Korean Official Proposes Greater Cooperation for Global Crypto Regulation

An official from South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has proposed greater international cooperation between regulators for crypto and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) regulation, local news outlet Asian Economic TV reports Friday, September 7.

Yoon Suk-heun, governor of FSS, made a statement about the potential for more cooperation during the opening ceremony of the 20th Integrated Financial Supervisors Conference (IFSC) held in Seoul Thursday, September 6, and attended by officials from 15 countries.

The South Korean official stressed that country’s main aim is to “improve transparency in transactions to prevent illegal activities.” As Asia Economic TV reports, Yoon Suk-Heun urged the need for international coordination, including information sharing among countries, in preparation for the risk of money laundering that could rise as new financial products or services emerge.

The FSS governor also mentioned that cryptocurrency regulation must include a consumer protection system and internal control of finance companies.

IFSC is an organization which supervies the financial industry including banks, security and insurance companies. South Korea, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Canada, the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Iceland, Denmark, and Ireland are among ISFC members.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier, South Korea has previously expressed interest in integrating cryptocurrencies and blockchain to various services. The country’s officials have visited Switzerland’s Crypto Valley to gain an understanding of technologies, while South Korean lawmakers have also discussed creating their own “Blockchain Island”.

However, South Korean officials have also taken strict measures to regulate crypto market. In August, the government excluded cryptocurrency exchanges from legislation governing venture businesses, Cointelegraph wrote.

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Energy Firm ENGIE Partners With Consulting Firm to Create Blockchain Software Offering

French electric utility company ENGIE and consulting firm Maltem Consulting Group have jointly established a blockchain development firm designed for commercial customers, according to a press release published September 7.

The new project called Blockchain Studio received seed funding totalling €1.9 million (around $2.1 million). Blockchain Studio has created a software suite for commercial enterprises comprised of two fundamental tools. One tool is focused on the development of smart contracts and enables its application by users without technical background. The other tool manages the creation of cloud-based or server-based blockchain infrastructure.

According to the announcement, the company is planning to roll out its services primarily on the Asian market at the beginning of 2019, with an office in Singapore. By the end of the first financial semester of next year, Blockchain Studio will also open operations in Southern Europe.

Yves Le Gélard, ENGIE’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Digital Officer expressed enthusiasm towards the new project:

“We are very pleased to be contributing to this development, which should allow Blockchain technology to be made accessible to many actors. It is an excellent example of an innovative tool contributing to ENGIE’s digital transformation.”

ENGIE has previously explored blockchain applications in its energy business. In July, the corporate research center of the ENGIE Group, ENGIE Lab CRIGEN, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IOTA Foundation. The collaboration is focused on the exploration of and experimentation with IOTA Tangle technology in the energy sector.

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China’s Supreme Court Rules That Blockchain Can Legally Authenticate Evidence

China’s Supreme Court has ruled that evidence authenticated with blockchain technology is binding in legal disputes, in an official announcement released today, September 7.

The new ruling comes as part of a series of more comprehensive rules that clarify litigation procedures for internet courts across China, and comes into force immediately.

According to today’s announcement, the Supreme Court declares that:

“Internet courts shall recognize digital data that are submitted as evidence if relevant parties collected and stored these data via blockchain with digital signatures, reliable timestamps and hash value verification or via a digital deposition platform, and can prove the authenticity of such technology used.”

In what had been dubbed a “world first,” in August 2017 the Chinese city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province opened a court dedicated to processing trials for internet-related disputes on an online ‘netcourt’ web platform. The court handled its first case with legally valid blockchain-derived evidence this January.

As today’s announcement clarifies, China’s Internet courts conduct cases online, with “litigation acceptance, delivery, mediation, evidence exchange, pre-trial preparation, court trial, and sentencing” all settled on the web. China currently has two further internet courts slated for the country’s capital, Beijing, as well as for the southern city of Guangzhou.

As a Cointelegraph expert take has outlined, blockchain-related innovations are not only being legally recognized as capable of authenticating evidence, but even —  as in the case of smart contracts — considered to have the potential of becoming a major disruptive force to the legal sphere. The immutable, time-stamped data generated on a blockchain provides an auditable trail with which smart contracts interact according to binding, pre-specified rules.

Earlier this summer, the U.K. Law Commission announced it would review legal frameworks to ensure that British courts remain a “competitive” choice for businesses that use smart contracts, and would aim to offer the necessary flexibility and clarity to keep pace with technological developments.

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Blockchain and Elections: The Japanese, Swiss and American Experience

Free and fair elections are one of the pillars of healthy democracies. From the United States to Sierra Leone, advocates of blockchain believe that the technology can bring a new level of transparency, fairness and efficiency to the electoral process. In spite of the enthusiasm of the blockchain community — and tentative support from political bodies — attempts to implement the technology have enjoyed mixed success and have faced impassioned criticism.

Japan’s scientific hub trials blockchain

In late August, the Japanese city of Tsukuba trialed the use of blockchain technology in its  voting system. Tsukuba is a city already closely associated with scientific research, and the recent blockchain trial is the city’s latest move to explore new ways to innovate.

Voters were able to participate by using their My Number Card — a 12-digit ID number issued to all citizens of Japan, which was introduced in 2015.

A release published on the city’s official website stated that the voters were able to cast ballots for the implementation of different social programs. Participants were able to choose which of the 13 initiatives they felt were most worthy of financial support, varying from the development of equipment to improve cancer diagnosis to a program for sound navigation in cities and new equipment for outdoor activities.

As cited by Cointelegraph, the trial was conducted to establish whether blockchain’s democratic and transparent properties would lend themselves well to the minimization of foul play in the voting process.

Although initially skeptical about the potential of blockchain, Tsukuba’s mayor Tatsuo Ugarashi said:

“I had thought [blockchain] would involve more complicated procedures, but I found that it’s minimal and easy.”

Although Japan’s most recent trial with blockchain appears to have gone smoothly, not all government efforts to capitalize on the technology’s potential have enjoyed the same reception.

Sierra Leone: The blockchain election that wasn’t

On March 7, 2018, it was reported that Sierra Leone had become the first nation to implement blockchain technology in the electoral process.

Agora Technologies, a Swiss company, published a series of tweets stating that it had overseen Sierra Leone’s first blockchain-based election:

The reality turned out to be a little different. In fact, Agora had actually been observing the voting process and running an entirely separate blockchain trial alongside the election to illustrate how future elections could be carried out using the technology.

The National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (NEC) sprang into action and published its own statement via twitter, denying that there had been any use of blockchain technology during the election:

Agora CEO, Leo Gammar, was forced to rectify Agora’s seemingly misleadingly statements. The fact that the group were accredited to trial their own blockchain system alongside the election indicates that, in spite of the media frenzy, governmental bodies are opening the door to new ways of of making the electoral process more efficient — and blockchain is one of them.

In spite of the seemingly rosy relations with Sierra Leone’s NEC, reception of the company’s involvement in the election has been mixed. Morris Marah, founder of the Freetown-based Sensi Tech Hub, expressed his concerns to RFI:

“What these guys [Agora] are saying is great. But they haven’t really tested it because they basically took a paper card of the results and put it on their system. That’s what everybody else is doing, that’s not new.”

Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ trials blockchain voting

In recent years, the Swiss town of Zug has become famous less for its mountain views and quaint Swiss architecture, but more for its association with low tax rates and cryptocurrency. The recent influx of crypto groups establishing bases in the central canton has led to it being dubbed “Crypto Valley.”

Keen to establish itself as a blockchain capital, the municipality allows payment in Bitcoin for services and recently completed a successful trial of blockchain voting.

The small-scale vote involved only 72 out of the 240 citizens with access to the online voting system, who participated in the non-binding trial vote between June 25 and July 1. The test questionnaire asked citizens to vote on both minor municipal matters as well as if they think a blockchain-based eID system should be used for referendum votes in the future. The Swiss News Agency writes that three people indicated that it was not easy to vote digitally, 22 responded that they would use blockchain for tax returns or surveys, 19 responded they would pay parking fees with their digital ID, and three said they would use it for borrowing library books. Communications Chief for Zug, Dieter Miller, called the premier a success.

West Virginia trials blockchain voting, but clouds threaten its blue sky thinking

West Virginia is set to allow citizens serving in the armed services — along with other citizens living abroad — to vote via smartphone with an app called Voatz in November 2018. This will be the first instance of voting on a smartphone in a federal election.

West Virginia officials posted a PDF outlining the process:

“All that is needed to cast their vote is a compatible Apple or Android mobile device and approved, validated State or Federal ID.”

The idea for the app first surfaced at a hacking summit hosted by the South by Southwest technology festival in Texas.

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner was impressed with the app’s system of biometric authentication and the elements of blockchain-based security. Both Warner and the Boston-based startup that created Voatz claim the system is secure.

The state successfully carried out a pilot in May.

The recent fanfare over blockchain technology in voting procedures is being played out against a backdrop of scandal in relatively recent electoral history. The year 2000 saw reports of a miscount and, in 2016, several individuals were alleged to have cast ballots in more than one state.

A Brookings Institute report stated that the National Conference of State Legislatures has put forward a number of considerations needing to be addressed for a wider-scale implementation of electronic voting — such as security, voter coercion, authentication and the inconvenience for local officials. Although positive about the potential for blockchain technology to transform the voting process, the report concluded that blockchain needs to be comprehensively tested to take into account the cost and scale of wider implementation.

Matt Blaze, a cryptography and security researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, voiced criticism to the report, stating that blockchain introduces weaknesses into the system. Blaze also said that securing the voting system “is more easily, simply, and securely done with other approaches.”

Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting, also blasted the Voatz app, stating that it is less of a blockchain-based app and more of a standard mobile app with a blockchain attached. The key concern is that, although the app encrypts the voter’s data, the current system cannot guarantee the voter’s phone and service network will be free from vulnerabilities. With regard to the protection of sensitive information as it travels over the internet from the app, Schneider said:

“I think they’ve made a lot of claims that really don’t justify any increased confidence in what they are doing versus any other internet voting system.”

Voatz claims the criticism leveled against it is “false propaganda” and that “most comments in the thread are incorrect or misrepresentations.”

However, criticism of the app’s capabilities are not entirely unfounded. A trial in Utah resulted in the startup being unable to support a high concentration of downloads shortly before polls opened. Voatz, however, remained upbeat and described the incident as a “valuable learning experience.”

Critics remain unimpressed

While most of the criticism for online and mobile voting has been targeted at specific flaws in programs, there are several prominent critics who disagree with the notion entirely.

Bruce Schneier, a cryptographer, computer scientist and author of several books on cryptography and computer security, published a blog in opposition to the use of blockchain in elections.

“The only way to reliably protect elections from both malice and accident is to use something that is not hackable or unreliable at scale; the best way to do that is to back up as much of the system as possible with paper.”

Schneier believes that past efforts to automate the voting system bear a message about the potential dangers of such a transformation. In 2007, the states of California and Ohio carried out comprehensive audits of their electronic voting machines. The outcome was far from positive. The review found that vulnerabilities were endemic throughout almost all components:

“Researchers were able to undetectably alter vote tallies, erase audit logs, and load malware onto the systems. Some of their attacks could be implemented by a single individual with no greater access than a normal poll worker; others could be done remotely.”

This is not the only instance where electronic voting machines have been compromised. In 2017, the Defcon hackers’ conference collected 25 pieces of equipment and challenged the attendees to compromise them. By the time the weekend was over, the participants had loaded malicious software onto devices, anonymously compromised vote counts and caused the devices to crash. “These were bored hackers,” writes Schneier, “with no experience with voting machines, playing around between parties one weekend.”

With regard to the best solution, Schneier wrote:

“Security researchers agree that the gold standard is a voter-verified paper ballot. The easiest (and cheapest) way to achieve this is through optical-scan voting. Voters mark paper ballots by hand; they are fed into a machine and counted automatically. That paper ballot is saved, and serves as a final, true record in a recount in case of problems. Touch-screen machines that print a paper ballot to drop in a ballot box can also work for voters with disabilities, as long as the ballot can be easily read and verified by the voter.”

The most scathing criticism for the concept comes from the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Joseph Lorenzo Hall, who calls the whole thing a “horrific idea”:

“It’s internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.”

However, this barrage of criticism does not seem to have deterred governments from seeking to implement the technology in the near future. By now, we can talk only about the municipal, not national experiments, but given they were held in the U.S., Japan and Switzerland, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to acknowledge a certain interest in DLT from the world’s leading democracies.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 4

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Along with the traditional safe havens like gold, the U.S. dollar, and the Japanese Yen, cryptocurrencies have also made their presence felt in Turkey and Venezuela, which are reeling from economic crises.

The increased volume of trading during moments of crisis in these nations shows that when the next major economic crisis hits the world, demand for cryptocurrencies will skyrocket, pushing prices higher.

China and the U.S. are on the verge of a trade war, which is detrimental to the global economy. If not controlled, it can balloon into a full-blown crisis. Therefore, we believe this will put a floor beneath digital currencies.

With most governments and regulators keeping an eye on cryptocurrency markets, we do not expect a vertical rally. Prices are likely to rise gradually, which is good for the long-term growth of virtual currencies.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin has continued its journey northwards, closing in on the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement level which might act as resistance.

Both moving averages are trending up, which shows that the bulls are in command. A bullish crossover will provide further strength to the current rally. The virtual currency will lose momentum if it breaks below the trendline.

The 20-day EMA will act as a strong support for any declines. The BTC/USD pair can rally to $8,000 and above it to the top of the range at $8,566.40.

Traders can hold their long positions but raise the stops to breakeven. The virtual currency will turn negative if it sinks below the $6,955.79 level.

ETH/USD

Ethereum has been trading inside the symmetrical triangle since August 11. It will start the next move after breaking out or breaking down from the triangle.

ETH

On the upside, the ETH/USD pair will face selling at the downtrend line and then at the $358 level. Though the 20-day EMA has turned flat, the 50-day SMA is still trending down.

The virtual currency has not convincingly broken out of the 50-day SMA since May 24, and as such, it will act as stiff resistance. We will turn positive when the price scales the 50-day SMA.   

If the price breaks down of the symmetrical triangle, a retest of August 14 lows could be possible.

XRP/USD

Ripple has been consolidating between $0.31–$0.37390 since August 18. The 20-day EMA has turned flat while the 50-day SMA is trending down, which shows that selling has subsided.

XRP

The XRP/USD pair will show signs of a change in trend if the bulls break out and sustain above the 50-day SMA, which is just above the upper end of the range. The first target on the upside is a rally at the $0.50 downtrend line.

Traders can buy the breakout and close (at UTC time) above the 50-day SMA and keep the SL at $0.309. As the trend has still not turned up, we are only attempting to catch the pullback. Therefore, we recommend to keep the position size at 50 percent of normal. If the bears break below the range, a retest of the lows is probable.

BCH/USD

After being stuck in a tight range from August 15 to August 31, Bitcoin Cash rallied sharply on September 1 and 2 and broke out of the downtrend.

BCH

The BCH/USD pair is currently facing resistance at the 50-day SMA. If the bulls break out of the 50-day SMA, a rally to $880 is probable. The 50-day SMA has turned flat while the 20-day EMA is gradually turning up. The RSI has also entered into positive territory, which increases the probability of an upward move.

Therefore, traders can initiate a long position above $670 with a stop loss of $470. On the downside, the 20-day EMA is likely to act as a strong support.

EOS/USD

EOS triggered our buy recommendation when it closed (UTC time frame) above the 50-day SMA on September 1. However, it has not picked up momentum as we had expected.

EOS

EOS has been consolidating close to the 50-day SMA for the past three days. The 20-day EMA has turned up while the 50-day SMA has gone flat, showing an advantage for bulls in the short-term.

On a breakout above $7.25, the EOS/USD pair could quickly rally to $9. On the downside, the zone between the 20-day EMA and $5.65 should act as strong support. As the chart patterns point to a probable change in trend, we suggest traders hold their positions with the stipulated stops.

XLM/USD

Trading in Stellar has been lacklustre as it remains range bound between $0.184 and $0.24987525. Both moving averages have flattened out and the RSI is also close to the 50 level, which confirms a state of equilibrium.

XLM

A breakout of the range has a pattern target of $0.3157505, but we anticipate a rally to $0.35. The longer the XLM/USD pair remains in the range, the stronger the eventual breakout will be.

The downtrend line might offer minor resistance, but we expect it to be crossed easily. Therefore, we maintain our buy call initiated on August 27.   

LTC/USD

Litecoin is showing signs of a turnaround, and is currently trying to break out of the downtrend line and the 50-day SMA. If successful, it can quickly move up to $74. The 20-day EMA has turned up while the 50-day SMA is flattening out. This shows that the bulls have the upper hand in the near-term.

LTC

If the LTC/USD pair sustains above $74 for three days, the probability of a rally to $94 increases. Short-term traders can continue to establish long positions with suitable stops.

Our bullish view will be invalidated if the bears defend the overhead resistances and sink prices back below the $58 level.

ADA/USD

Cardano has been consolidating near the upper end of the range for the past six days. Though it has failed to break out of the range, it has not given up much ground, showing that traders are not dumping their positions.

ADA

The 20-day EMA has turned flat but the 50-day SMA continues to trend down. If the ADA/USD pair scales above $0.111843, it has a pattern target of $0.140494, but may face resistance at $0.13. We do not see a reliable buy setup at current levels and hence, we do not recommend a trade.

IOTA/USD

IOTA has been stuck between the 20-day EMA and the 50-day SMA for the past seven days. The flattening moving averages and the RSI in the positive zone show that selling has subsided. A break out of the downtrend line and the $0.9150 resistance will signal a change in the trend. Therefore, we suggest that traders hold their long positions with the appropriate stop loss.

IOTA

If the bulls sustain above $0.9150, the IOTA/USD pair can rally to $1.24, where it is likely to face resistance.

Our bullish view will be invalidated if the bears breakdown of the support zone between the 20-day EMA and $0.5750.

XMR/USD

Monero fulfilled our buy recommendation on September 1 when it closed above the long-term downtrend line. The positive close was followed up by a further move towards the overhead resistance of $150. Moving averages are on the verge of a bullish crossover, which confirms that the trend is changing.  

XMR

As the RSI has entered into overbought territory, the virtual currency might consolidate close to the $150 level for a few days before breaking out.

The XMR/USD pair will turn negative if bulls fail to hold the next dip above the $109.22 level. Therefore, we suggest holding the current long position with a stop loss of $90. Traders can trail their stops higher in a couple of days.   

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

Article First Published here

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China To Embrace Blockchain Technology

The Chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has said that the bank will focus on blockchain technology development, BiaNews reported September 1.

Founded in 1984, the ICBC is reportedly the largest bank in China with over 5,000 corporate and 530 million personal customers. In 2017, the bank focused on the construction of “intelligent banking” and “accelerated deployment in the field of financial technologies.”

The ICBC Chairman Yi Huiman reportedly said that the financial institution will focus on innovations in cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and Internet of Things (IoT).

According to BiaNews, the bank will work on finding use cases for “smart banking,” which reportedly helps to improve service in the financial ecosystem and secure financial data that is shared with third parties.

While China is known for its negative stance towards digital currencies, tightening regulations on crypto since September 2017, the country has embraced the benefits of blockchain, and is actively working to develop and apply the technology in various industries.

Last week, the Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County of Sichuan Province and Beijing Sinfotek Group jointly established a new blockchain company, for “forestry economic development and industrial poverty alleviation.”

In the beginning of August, the Communist Party of China (CPC) released a primer on blockchain technology and its possible applications. By introducing the book, the CPC reportedly aims to assist government authorities in understanding the concept of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and consider the benefits and challenges of adopting blockchain on a national scale.

Article First Published here

Hodler’s Digest, August 26–September 2: Both Eminem and Yahoo Finance Embrace Bitcoin in Wins for Crypto Adoption

Top Stories This Week

Yahoo Finance Integrates Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin on iOS App

Yahoo Finance has integrated BTC, ETH, and LTC on its iOS app this week, with a version briefly appearing and disappearing on its desktop version despite Yahoo noting that the desktop, mobile web, and Android version won’t be available for several weeks. A Yahoo Finance press release notes that users that wish to trade crypto on Yahoo Finance will have to link a broker account via integrated third party service TradeIt.

“Operation Cryptosweep” Produces More Than 200 Crypto-Related Investigations

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced this week that their “Operation Cryptosweep,” which is a probe into potentially fraudulent crypto investment programs that was introduced in may, has resulted in over 200 investigations of ICOs and crypto-related investment products. The NASAA noted that investors should perform their own due diligence before investing in crypto-related projects, and stated that any project qualified as a security should be registered with the appropriate regulatory agencies or apply for an exemption from registration.

Report: North Korea Attempted to Mine BTC, While Local Firm Develops BTC Exchange

According to a report from South Korea’s state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), North Korea (DPRK) has attempted to mine Bitcoin (BTC). According to a local news outlet, the mining attempt – which was reportedly conducted on a “on a small scale” between May and July 2017 – seems to have been unsuccessful. KDB’s research team also reported that North Korean tech firm Chosun Expo is allegedly now in the process of developing a BTC crypto exchange, without any further details provided.

JPMorgan CIO Thinks Blockchain Will “Replace Existing Technology” in Short Time

Lori Beer, the chief information officer at JPMorgan, believes that blockchain tech will eventually replace the current technology in the span of a few years. According to an Argentinian media source, Beer noted that JPMorgan uses blockchain technology to “simplify the payment process and to store customers’ information related to KYC (Know Your Customer) policy.” Beer also added that the bank currently only supports what is regulated in terms of cryptocurrencies, and has specialists who are “evaluating what is happening.”

Bitcoin Mentioned on Eminem’s New Album “Kamikaze”

U.S. rapper Ryan Daniel Montgomery, better known as Royce Da 5’9’, mentioned major cryptocurrency Bitcoin on rapper Eminem’s new album, “Kamikaze.” In “Not Alike,” the ninth track on the new album, co-star Royce Da 5’9” sings:

“Remember everybody used to bite Nickel, now everybody doing Bitcoin.” Forbes describes the line as an important sign of Bitcoin’s presence in mass culture and the realization that the cryptocurrency has a range of use cases beyond criminal.