In this issue, we discuss:
- The new plug-and-play Bitcoin node Casa Node 2
- UNICEF’s Cryptocurrency Fund
- UK’s tough regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies
- Cryptocurrency donations for political campaigns
- The latest issues surrounding the Libra project
We also cover the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s formal request that Telegram Group (the parent company of the Telegram encrypted messaging service) halt sales of its cryptocurrency Gram.
All this and more in this week’s issue. But first, here’s some…
Updates From Nomics
- Nomics engineering just shipped our new embeddable cryptocurrency price widget. It’s beautiful, fully mobile responsive, available for every asset on Nomics, and fast. As an example, here’s the BTC / Bitcoin price ticker widget.
- We recently published a case study on Smith + Crown’s use of the Nomics API for its snazzy new cryptocurrency intelligence product.
- Our $2,000 Bitcoin & Ether giveaway continues! (Ends October 17th at Midnight EST). Go here to enter.
And now, let’s see what the cryptocurrency world has brought us this week.
- This week brought us a new announcement from Casa, the bitcoin custody services provider. The company revealed Casa Node 2, a new version of its flagship plug-and-play Bitcoin full node. The new gadget is equipped with a faster processor on the Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB RAM and a 1TB SSD. Existing Casa members can get it for $300, while the price for new clients is set at $399.
- The Ministry of Nodes’ recently posted a video review of ColdCard (see above), one of the most popular crypto wallet solutions on the market. ColdCard also suggests one of its users’ videos for those who don’t know how the gadget works.
- If you often struggle with the storage of your private keys, wallet recovery seeds, or passwords, then you can subscribe to Cryptosteel’s email list and get notified when their brand new device comes live later this month. The gadget is said to be extremely durable, stainless, water-, fire-, and shockproof.
- A hot wallet, managed by Algo Capital’s CTO, was hacked, which resulted in a loss of between $1 and $2 million. Pablo Yabo, the CTO of the VC firm, revealed that the wallet contained USDT and ALGO tokens. Yabo insisted he takes responsibility for the incident and handled his resignation. He further added that he would try to cover the majority of the stolen funds by himself.
- Take a look at the world’s first crypto-friendly airport! The Brisbane Airport becomes the first international airport to accept cryptocurrency payments.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission has formally instructed Telegram Group, the parent company of the Telegram encrypted messaging service, to halt sales of its cryptocurrency Gram. The SEC says the company, and its crypto-focused subsidiary TON Issuer Inc., failed to register an early sale of $1.7 billion of its crypto tokens prior to the October 31st launch of its blockchain network.
- Russia revealed a new “digital rights act”, defining cryptocurrency tokens and smart contracts, and their interpretation in local law. According to the bill, digital rights are seen as securities or a set of contractual rights that define what their holder is entitled to. The new legislation comes as a step toward the official regulation of the cryptocurrency space in the country.
- A new report by the FCA reveals that consumers in the UK have lost at least £27m in crypto and foreign-exchange scams. The agency announced that it is taking a tough stance against companies involved in cryptocurrency-related businesses. This comes after earlier this year, the FCA revealed that it plans to ban cryptocurrency derivatives for retail investors.
- In response to the FCA’s increased regulatory scrutiny over cryptocurrency businesses, the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), which includes top exchanges like the CME, Nasdaq, and the Intercontinental Exchange, has asked the markets watchdog to reconsider banning cryptocurrency derivatives for retail investors. As the main reason, the WFE points out exchanges’ proper preparation to protect consumers when trading on their platforms.
- Agatha Bacelar, a Stanford engineer and a Democratic candidate, running against Nancy Pelosi for a congressional seat, announced that she has started to accept cryptocurrencies as campaign donations. The 27-yer-old candidate accepts Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and USD Coin (USDC), and aims to raise the equivalent of $1 million through Coinbase.
- A Japanese minister announced that political donations, made in cryptocurrency, will become legal in the country. Sanae Takaichi, the internal affairs and communications minister of Japan, revealed that the reason for the new status of digital currency donations is a legislative loophole in the Political Fund’s Control Act (PFCA).
- And for the DIY enthusiasts among you, here is a tutorial about the creation of the Quickening – an under $8 PoS terminal for bitcoin payments over lighting network, with the same functionalities as the M5StackSats project, but at a fraction of the cost.
- The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee requested Facebook’s top executives, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, COO, to testify about the company’s Libra project. Sandberg is expected to have a hearing before a U.S. House committee on October 29, while Zuckerberg is scheduled for January next year.
- Apple’s CEO Tim Cook criticized Facebook’s launch of Libra, describing the project as a “blatant power grab.” He has also entirely dismissed the idea of Apple launching its own cryptocurrency and said that, according to his opinion, a private company should avoid trying to gain power the way Facebook does with its digital coin project.
- The EU has sent a questionnaire to Facebook regarding Libra and the risks it possesses. The idea of the questioning is to help the oversight officials gain a better understanding of the project’s plans for development.
- In a fresh press release, UNICEF announced that it had become the first of the United Nations organizations that will have its own cryptocurrency fund! The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will help receive, hold, and spend donations made in ETH and BTC. The idea of the fund is to support open source technology, “benefiting children and young people around the world.” The fund is built with the help of the Ethereum Foundation, which is also the first one to donate.
- Cryptopay, a crypto wallet, and debit card service provider, revealed that its users are now able to fund their accounts and withdraw directly in GBP, avoiding costs for euro conversions. The company also plans further expansion to other European countries where it will offer additional services like a cryptocurrency exchange and prepaid cards.
- Samsung and Finablr, a Ripple partner and a global payments platform, announced a partnership that will introduce a new money transfer feature in Samsung Pay. Thanks to that, Samsung’s users will be able to use a secure cross-border payment system to 47 countries via several different payout methods.
- The Bank of England came out with rules for companies wanting to operate a cryptocurrency-related business in the UK. The regulator referred to Libra expressly, but also all new digital payments providers, by revealing what requirements they have to meet before operating in Britain. One of the requirements is for the entire payment chain to show its operational and financial resilience, and provide enough details for regulators to keep track of payments.
- First signs that the Bank of America is warming up to cryptocurrencies. Cointelegraph points out that the bank had stopped accepting applications for a position that leads the product management team for the Ripple Project. The move comes after the bank also filed a patent related to the technology in July this year.
- The Russian Central Bank announced that it sees no reason to launch a national cryptocurrency at this point. According to Elvira Nabiullina, chairwoman of the Bank of Russia, the regulator is investigating the matter, but currently, struggles to see what advantages a digital currency may bring over existing electronic non-cash payments.
- OKEx has started working on the development of a global compliance standard for cryptocurrency exchanges. The first step in the process is the establishment of a self-regulated organization (SRO), structured in a similar way to the World Federation of Stock Exchanges, FINRA, and the World Economic Forum. The members of the organizations will work together to define and adopt standards for market-making, listing, and delisting digital assets.
- Coinexchange.io announced that it would shut down its services on October 15th. According to the platform’s representatives, the decision has nothing to do with breaches in security, and the only reason for the closure of the business is financial difficulties. Although Coinexchange will allow withdrawals until December 1st, it urged all its clients to “cease any deposit and trade activity as soon as possible.”
- The state-licensed Venezuelan cryptocurrency exchange CryptoLago announced that it launches a new debit card that will allow its clients to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, Petro, and Dash easily. The card is offered in a partnership with the investment crypto bank Glufco and becomes the latest in a series of positive news, coming from the South American country and its openness towards wide cryptocurrency adoption.
- Binance announced a partnership with the crypto analytics startup Coinfirm in a bid to streamline its anti-money laundering compliance procedures. The deployed system will help assess AML-related risks for more than 1200 cryptocurrencies, offered on the Binance’s platforms.
- Bitwise and NYSE Arca will refile their Bitcoin ETF application after the SEC refused it. The officials revealed that they were pleased by the progress made by the SEC and said that they plan to refile “as soon as appropriate.”