This post was last updated on October 22nd, 2019 at 08:54 pm
In this issue, we discuss:
- The exponential increase in Brave’s active users
- The new Incognito Node with support for BTC, ETH, and BNB
- Unstoppable Domains and its goal to replace crypto wallets
- Electrum’s next release with support for Bitcoin lightning payments
- The new crypto tax guidance, issued by IRS
We also cover the initiative by leading automobile producers to integrate a new blockchain and payment system in their new models.
All this and more in this week’s issue. But first, here’s some…
🚀 Updates From Nomics
- Nomics data was featured in the most recent issue of CoinDesk’s Institutional Crypto newsletter. Go here to subscribe.
- Nexo has generously offered to step up and sponsor this issue (and several additional issues) of Popular Crypto. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to sustainably produce this newsletter. With Nexo, you can use your #crypto as collateral to get cash in 45+ fiat currencies & #stablecoins without selling your cryptoassets. Go here to learn more about them.
- Full Binance order books now available on Nomics API. Our API now provides full Binance order book snapshots for up to 5000 bids and asks. Users can access this data through the order book snapshot endpoint.
- The Nomics $2K Bitcoin and Ether giveaway has concluded. The winner will be selected at random on Monday October 21st, and announced on October 22nd.
And now, let’s see what the cryptocurrency world has brought us this week.
😍 Thanks To Our Sponsor: Nexo.io
😎 Cool Products
- In its mission to make the internet a better place, Brave is now used by more than 8 million active users each month! The organization behind the private, secure and fast browser (and the BAT token), announced that it currently delivers more than 400 privacy-preserving ad campaigns with a CTR that is 12% higher the than industry’s average.
- The Incognito Node, an exciting new gadget that allows you to send, receive, and store crypto, starts shipping in a few days! According to the team behind the project, Incognito’s main advantages are privacy and the ability to earn from each transaction taking place on the network. Incognito supports BTC, ETH, and BNB, and comes with a one year guarantee.
- Alchemy, a tech company providing payment services, announced that it is launching a hybrid payment solution, supporting 30 digital currencies that will ease crypto adoption among retailers worldwide. The PoS crypto solution is integrated with QFpay, a leading company that provides payment services for more than 1.2 million merchants. For now, Alchemy’s product has been implemented mainly in Asia, in countries like Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong.
- This week marked the birth of Phoenix – a second-generation lightning wallet. According to ACINQ, the company behind Phoenix, the wallet solves many of the current UX challenges with Lightning as it allows users to create a wallet, receive money, make on-chain and off-chain payments, and do a full backup restore in less than 3 minutes.
- Just a few days until Cryptosteel, the Mother of All Backups is officially revealed. The new device will be smaller, lighter and more durable than its predecessor, the Cassette, while at the same time offers more capacity. It will come with a full ASCII character set supporting random passwords. The device will be compatible with most cryptographic key generation and secret-sharing schemes.
- Yubico and Google joined forces to manufacture the new USB-C Titan Security Key and make the strongest form of 2FA available in a new design and to a wider audience. Users from the US, Canada, France, Japan, and the UK now have access to the new gadget for enhanced security, compatible with Android, macOS, Chrome OS and Windows devices.
- Cryptocurrency wallets MyCrypto and Ambo announced major software updates. MyCrypto, which recently acquired Ambo, is adding a multi-account management system and a new UI (homepage, dashboard, screen lock, and an updated address book). Ambo, on the other hand, announced data-driven graphs and smart features designed to protect users’ investments, details for which still remain to be revealed.
- Wallets, as we know them, may soon disappear, according to Tim Draper! His new project, Unstoppable Domains, has launched a new “.crypto” domain registry, running on the Ethereum blockchain. According to the company’s press release, users will be able to make payments using only the domain name. The idea is to provide a more convenient way to make transactions and replace the long crypto wallet addresses.
- The cryptocurrency wallet Swipe teamed up with Coinbase Custody to provide a more secure service to individuals and businesses. From now on, all deposits made in Swipe, a crypto wallet system that combines digital multi-asset wallet and a Visa debit card, will be stored with Coinbase Custody, licensed as a fiduciary under banking laws in the state of New York.
- Electrum, one of the leading Bitcoin wallets worldwide, announced that its next release would support Bitcoin lightning payments. This makes Electrum one of the first few companies to cut Bitcoin transactions’ cost and speed by bringing the Lightning Network functionality to its users. The company revealed that it had built its own implementation of the lightning node on Python.
- The cryptocurrency Skycoin became the first one to release a hardware wallet. Currently, the Skywallet supports two assets – Skycoin (SKY) and Skycoin Coin Hours (SCH). The product is powered by a developer-friendly hardware development kit that allows for individuals to build support for their preferred cryptocurrencies on their own. The company also announced that it would soon launch support for BTC and ETH.
- Parity Technologies announced the release of the new version of the Parity Signer software that turns old mobile phones into offline crypto wallets. The open-source blockchain infrastructure company, founded by the former CTO and Chief of Security of Ethereum, revealed that the product is available on both iOS and Android, and supports Polkadot and Ethereum assets.
- Mobile cryptocurrency wallet BRD has joined forces with Ripple’s development initiative, Xpring, to bring XRP closer to the masses. The wallet users will be able to hold, buy, and sell XRP, as well as to make purchases via cryptocurrencies, credit cards, cash, or checking accounts. As a result of the strategic partnership, Xpring will invest $750 000 into BRD.
- If you have a ColdCard wallet and want to find out how to use it securely, make sure to check KIS Bitcoin’s in-depth tutorial, including multi-signature issues, transactions with Wasabi, and an address explorer guide.
- A1, one of the bigger mobile operators in Europe, announced that it starts accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. The pilot project will be launched in Austria, the operator’s home country, and, if successful, will go international.
- The IRS has published its first cryptocurrency tax guidance in five years. The newly-issued guidance tackles questions that have remained unanswered in its previous version from 2014. It covers topics like the tax liabilities created by cryptocurrency forks, the acceptable methods for valuing cryptocurrency received as income, how to calculate taxable gains when selling cryptocurrencies, and others.
- Bermuda residents are now able to pay their taxes in cryptocurrency. An announcement by the local government reveals that the country will start accepting USDC, a stablecoin designed by Coinbase and Circle in 2018, as an officially recognized tax payment method.
- After announcing the Node 2, Casa is back with more exciting news! The company announced the Casa Covenant, a Bitcoin inheritance service, that answers the common questions – what happens with your Bitcoins, once you… you know… die. Casa Covenant employs a protocol that allows you to pass your crypto to whomever you wish in a convenient and secure way.
- The word “Satoshi” is now a part of the Oxford dictionary. Alongside with the word “cryptocurrency”, which was also included in the latest quarterly update of the dictionary, it joins other blockchain- and crypto-related terms that are already present in the database, such as “bitcoin”, “blockchain”, and “miner”.
- Miami becomes the next airport with a crypto ATM. Bitstop, the largest Bitcoin ATM operator in Florida, announced that the new crypto ATM would help customers buy and sell BTC easily while traveling through one of the largest airline hubs in the US.
- Facebook’s Libra project is falling apart as four companies followed PayPal’s withdrawal two weeks ago. Visa, Mastercard, eBay, and Stripe have all announced that they will no longer be a part of the project, leaving PayU as the only payment service provider still involved.
- According to the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation’s (Europol) 2019 Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment report, cryptocurrency ransomware remains the most significant cybercrime in Europe. It is followed by thefts of credit and debit card information, online banking credentials, and crypto wallet keys.
- Alipay, Alibaba’s payment solution, announced that it is banning all crypto transactions. As the main reasons for this decision, the company points out “irregular behavior” and “compliance with relevant regulations.”
- A new Android tool helps solve the risk of double-spending by checking crypto payment apps. What Paynoway essentially does, is to test third-party applications that individuals and businesses rely on to accept on-chain cryptocurrency payments and provide a report, containing the transactions’ IDs and resolutions regarding transfers of digital funds.
- Leading car manufacturers announced that they are making the first steps in the world of blockchain payments. General Motors, BMW, Honda, Renault, and Ford will start testing a blockchain-based car identification and payment system in November. The pilot program will assign vehicles with digital IDs with information about ownership and service history. They will also have an integrated wallet allowing the car to pay parking fees, toll taxes, and maintenance fees automatically.
- Earlier this week Telegram asked the court to deny SEC’s action to classify its GRAM token as a security. However, the SEC has responded to Telegram’s counterclaim and further insisted that its tokens are nothing else but securities. It also warned that Telegram’s proposal to deny the injunction will allow the company to continue to be involved in violative conduct.
- OKEx announced that it is delisting several assets, including DASH, XMR, ZEN, ZEC, and SBTC. The reason for that is regulatory concerns, coming from the local Financial Action Task Force.
- A new listing was announced this week by Nasdaq. The AI-powered CIX100 index, created by Cryptoindex, was established in May 2017 as a benchmark for the crypto market. Since then, the index has gained more than 1100%. Based on a neural network algorithm that takes into account more than 200 factors, CIX100 analyzes data for the leading 100 cryptocurrencies.
- Coinbase Pro revealed that it is building a new mobile app for its clients. According to the company, thanks to the app, customers will no longer be required to choose between mobility or usability. The application will include the same features as the desktop platform, including real-time candles, depth charts, order books, and other tools for professional traders.
- Mohit Davar, Huobi’s EMEA regional president, announced that the exchange has partnered with one of the largest banks in Turkey to build infrastructure and compliance standards for a new fiat gateway. The fiat gateway is already being tested and will be released in December, if not earlier. It will grant local investors access to more than 250 cryptocurrencies.
- The Upbit cryptocurrency exchange is releasing a new app that allows for OTC securities trading. The platform will serve clients in South Korea and will make it possible to trade over 4000 securities. The process will be managed by Samsung Securities.
- Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, revealed this week that Binance DEX, the platform’s decentralized counterpart, has plans to list a token that is pegged to Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
🏆 Our Weekly Poll
In our last poll, we asked you about your favorite hardware wallet. Here are the results from your votes:
This week, we want to know about your favorite personal Bitcoin / crypto hardware node.
We’ll publish the results next week. See you then.