Bakkt to the Senate: How Loeffler Became One of Crypto’s Most Influential

Since the 2017 mania, every year in the crypto and blockchain space has been increasingly eventful. 2019 was no exception: Along with Facebook’s Libra project and China’s digital yuan endeavors, Intercontinental Exchange’s digital assets platform Bakkt was finally launched. Its CEO, Kelly Loeffler, ensured a smooth start for the exchange, then swiftly left her business to pursue a political career by the end of the year.

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Crypto Fraud Now Exposing Legacy Banks to Compliance Issues, Reports CipherTrace

The nature of cryptocurrency fraud is shifting away from exchange hacks, and toward Ponzi-style frauds, pyramid schemes and exit scams. A massive 533% rise in the value of such crimes means that as misappropriated funds are laundered, the traditional banking system is increasingly exposed to risk under upcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rules.

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Top 10 Books Recommended by Crypto Thought Leaders

At the end of 2019, Cointelegraph collected an interesting and sometimes unexpected selection of books from people without whom the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain would be completely different.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, Changpeng Zhao, John McAfee, Grigory Klumov and the Cointelegraph team shared the most interesting books that they read in 2019.

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As the WEF Warms Up to Crypto, Its Head of Blockchain Talks Empowerment

The 50th World Economic Forum is over, and Cointelegraph was happy to cover the most important highlights from the event and reflect on the role of crypto in Davos discussions. 

The person who knows more than anyone about the potential that our favorite technology could have on the WEF community is its head of blockchain and decentralized ledgers.

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Indian PM Awards Crypto App Creator as Supreme Court Deliberates on Ban

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi awarded young entrepreneur Harshita Arora, the developer of a cryptocurrency price tracking application, amid an ongoing battle in her home country over the status of cryptocurrency.

In a tweet on Jan. 24, Modi said that Arora’s “passion towards science, technology and human welfare are clearly visible.” She received the Bal Shakti Puraskar 2020: an award recognizing youth’s contributions in the fields of social service,

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Singapore Crypto Consultant Kidnapped for $1 Million Ransom

Singaporean Mark Cheng was recently kidnapped in Thailand and tortured for a $740,000 ransom in Bitcoin (BTC), the South China Morning Post and others report on Jan. 14.

After transferring all his available funds of $46,000, he allegedly made a daring escape as his captors prepared to murder him.

Cheng was on a business trip to Thailand with associate Kim Lee Yao Wei when a group of masked men grabbed them and put them in a nearby truck,

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Japan Crypto Exchanges Face Imminent Margin Trading Limits: Report

Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan will face significant restrictions on margin trading as soon as this Spring, according to reports.

Referencing sources at Japan’s finance regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), local English-language news outlet Japan Times revealed plans to limit margin leverage to twice the total of traders’ deposits.

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2019 to 2020: Insiders, Outsiders and Experimenters in Crypto Regulation, Part 3

This is the final part of a three-part series covering the regulatory landscape for cryptos in 2019 and thinking about the prospects for 2020. The first two parts covered the “Insiders” of Europe, North America and the Pacific Rim, and “Outsider” nations such as China, Russia and India. This piece covers the prospects for the “Experimenters”: countries that have made efforts to foster innovation and welcome crypto projects to their shores.

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Who Got Gifts from Crypto Santa in 2019… and Who Got Coal

On Christmas Eve, Crypto Claus did his rounds after checking the list to see who was naughty and nice. But who got some lovely presents after making a positive impact in 2019 — and who got coal for setting the industry back? Here, we take a look at the people and businesses who have had a year to remember — and those who have had a year to forget.

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2019 to 2020: Insiders, Outsiders and Experimenters in Crypto Regulation: Part 2

This is the second part of a three-part series that covers the regulatory landscape for digital currencies in 2019 and looks at the prospects of 2020. While the first chapter in the series looked at the “Insiders,” this installment covers the prospects for the so-called “Outsiders” — i.e., China, Russia, India and the developing world.

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2019 to 2020: Insiders, Outsiders and Experimenters in Crypto Regulation: Part 1

In 2019, we witnessed crypto regulations leave the domain of stuffy legal pontification and enter the realm of geopolitics (as a stuffy legal pontificator, I have mixed feelings about this). We saw President Trump tweet about crypto regulations, as well as powerful international organizations express their agenda on how crypto should be regulated. We saw bold,

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Chinese Regulators Worry About Crypto Resurgence, Issue New Warning

China’s securities regulators has urged Beijing authorities to carry out relevant actions aimed at preventing the usage of cryptocurrencies by the public.

In a Dec. 27 announcement on the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) website pointed out the risks of the resurgence of digital currencies, such as the escalation of crypto trading activities,

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Rakuten Customers Can Use Their Loyalty Program Points to Buy Crypto

Japanese retail giant Rakuten now lets its customers convert its Rakuten Group loyalty points to major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).

According to an official announcement on Dec. 24, this capability is immediately available for Rakuten users in Japan who have an account with Rakuten Wallet, a crypto exchange subsidiary of Rakuten.

The company says its clients can convert their loyalty points to three different cryptocurrencies,

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Chinese Authorities Confiscate Nearly 7,000 Crypto Mining Machines

Chinese authorities have seized nearly 7,000 crypto mining machines, illegally consuming electric power, local news outlet CCTV reported on Dec. 22.

The cryptocurrency mining confiscation came as part of an inspection of more than 70,000 households, 3,061 merchants, 1,470 communities, as well as factories, mines, courtyards and villages in the Kaiping District of Tangshan city.

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SBI Partners With Stock Exchange Boerse Stuttgart to Drive Crypto Adoption

Japanese financial services giant SBI has partnered with Germany’s second-largest stock exchange Boerse Stuttgart Group to promote the adoption of digital assets.

Specifically, SBI will invest an undisclosed amount in two digital asset-focused subsidiaries of Boerse Stuttgart Group — Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange (BSDEX) and Boerse Stuttgart Digital Ventures, Cointelegraph Japan reports Dec.

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Chinese Crypto Fitness App Reportedly Under Investigation for Fraud

A Chinese cryptocurrency fitness app has reportedly been placed under investigation for allegedly illegal fundraising practices and financial fraud.

Nikkei Asian Review reported the news on Dec. 18, citing documents ostensibly accessed by its affiliate publication, KrASIA. 

Investors in limbo

According to the report, the market regulator in Changsha,

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BRICS Nations Discuss Shared Crypto to Break Away From USD and SWIFT

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or the BRICS economic bloc, are engaging in discussions to issue cross-national digital money in order to reduce the dependence of their economies on the United States, as reported by Cointelegraph on Nov. 14. What will the new cryptocurrency look like, how does the BRICS group plan to use it and are there any existing projects underway that seek to achieve a similar goal of independence on such a high level? 

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89% of Chinese Blockchain Firms Have Tried to Issue Crypto: Report

89% of China’s blockchain firms have allegedly tried to create their own cryptocurrency, according to a senior exec at a local blockchain association. 

According to the state-run CCTV on Nov. 21, Yedong Zhu, the president of the Beijing Blockchain Technology Application Association (BBAA), revealed that the vast majority of blockchain industry in China is focused on tokens,

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Crypto Asset Diversification Vs. All Eggs in One Basket

What’s an effective way to diversify a crypto portfolio? Are crypto assets able to be diversified at all? These are the questions that many “Hodlers” have been asking. The slow bleed of Bitcoin (BTC) and other major cryptocurrencies prices has been challenging investors and their holding powers. Despite BTC still able to maintain its 112% year-to-date gains so far — thanks to the massive bull run in the second quarter and the recent China-inspired rally — the recent price correction could pressure some of the latecomers.

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Binance.US Now Provides Institutional Liquidity to Crypto Brokerage Firm Tagomi

Binance’s cryptocurrency trading platform for United States-based users, Binance.US, has partnered with crypto brokerage firm Tagomi to provide institutional liquidity for its users.

The partnership was announced in a Nov. 21 press release, detailing that Binance.US will now offer institutional liquidity for Tagomi’s users, including quant funds, venture funds, family offices, individual retirement accounts and high-net-worth individuals.

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Singapore: Crypto Derivatives Set to Come Under Regulatory Oversight

Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has proposed bringing crypto derivatives trading under its purview.

According to a BNN Bloomberg report on Nov. 20, the MAS’ proposal would make the trading of derivatives based on underlying assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) subject to the city-state’s Securities and Futures Act.

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Canada’s Largest Bank Refutes Rumors About It Launching Crypto Exchange

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) — the largest bank in Canada with $499 billion in assets under management — will not launch its own digital currency trading platform, contrary to previously published news.

Last week, rumors that the RBC was exploring the possibility of launching its own cryptocurrency exchange began circulating the internet on a range of finance and economics-focused publications.

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Indian Parliament Will Not Consider Total Crypto Ban in Winter Session

The Indian government will not be considering a cryptocurrency-related draft bill during the winter session of Parliament as was previously planned. The draft bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies” is not included in the session agenda issued in India’s lower house of parliament, Lok Sabha, on Nov. 14.

In August 2019,

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HTC Launches Limited Run of Smartphone With Crypto Exchange Binance

Taiwan-based smartphone maker HTC will launch a limited edition of the Exodus 1 featuring services by major global crypto exchange Binance. The Binance Edition Exodus 1 supports the Binance public blockchain, Binance Chain, as well as its decentralized counterpart Binance DEX, the firms announced Nov. 12.

Exodus 1’s native crypto wallet is integrated with Binance DEX

HTC and Binance announced the news at a Binance Super Meetup in Singapore attended by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and CFO Wei Zhou,

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Peter Schiff: China's Gold-Backed Crypto Would Be Bearish for Bitcoin

China launching a digital counterpart of the yuan backed by gold puts Bitcoin (BTC) at a disadvantage, veteran gold bug Peter Schiff claims. In a tweet on Nov. 2, Schiff, notorious for his cynicism when it comes to Bitcoin, attempted to counter criticism of his stance by Keiser report host, Max Keiser. 

Schiff tells Keiser: gold backing beats BTC

“According to @maxkeiser I’m an idiot because I think #gold is better money than #Bitcoin,” he wrote. 

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