LabCFTC Breaks On Its Own; Blockchain, Crypto, And Emerging FinTech Can Seek Help Regulatory Clarity

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced the expansion of it’s fintech and blockchain research wing called LabCFTC. The regulatory body has decided to bring in the lab under its own wing and make it a full-fledged office where it would be directly reporting to chairman Heath Tarbert.

LabCFTC was created in 2017 as a part of the CFTC Office of General Counsel’s oversight and has been helping the agency in formulating various policies related to emerging technologies of blockchain, fintech, and cryptocurrency.

The agency’s chairman noted the importance of the research wing and said,

“In its new capacity, LabCFTC will continue to be focused on both internal and external innovation.”

The prime focus of the LabCFTC would be to keep the agency up-to-date with new and emerging technologies, provide aid that the regulatory body can utilize better while enforcing and implementing tech tools during market manipulation attempts.

The research wing since its inception in 2017 has published two major research, one is an educational primer on smart contracts and another on a request for information for ethereum cryptocurrency.

Herbert said,

“our agency’s vision is to be the global standard for sound derivatives regulation. I want the agency to be a resource for you to help identify ways those technologies could fit into the current regulatory structure. Now that LabCFTC’s success has been demonstrated, we want to solidify its position within the agency. Now it will take on an even bigger role here at the CFTC and be a critical link to innovators for years, and perhaps decades, to come.”

LabCFTC is also actively working in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as it is a growing belief that AI can become a potential tool in detecting illicit activities and market valuation. CFTC believe AI can play a crucial role in improving the derivatives market.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Industry Insiders Analyze If Ransomware is Driving Up the Price of Bitcoin

It’s an obvious fact that Bitcoin and other cryptographic forms of money have been affecting cybercrime. Since 2019, the number of ransomware occurrences has ascended. The payment technique used is mostly digital currency, mostly using bitcoin. Emisoft representative, Brett Callow believes the BTC cost variances are connected to the expansion in the online usage of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin has demonstrated a very vivid graph, first moving to an unsurpassed high estimation of nearly $20,000 in December 2017, then in January 2029 dropping to below $3,500 and then coming back to around the $10,000 mark as per today’s reports.

We believe ransomware to be the primary reason behind the development of Bitcoin. Ransomware is a kind of malware that encodes the target documents. To recover access to the records, the unfortunate need to pay a payoff, the expense of which can go from a couple of hundred dollars for home clients to a huge number of dollars for significant organizations and public entities. As per a report by Malwarebytes, there has been a 363% year-over-year increment in 2019.

There Are a Few Reasons Why Bitcoin Has Turned Into The Accepted Cash of Ransomware:

Availability: Availability and convenience make it almost certain for unfortunate casualties to pay the payment utilizing a Mastercard, platinum card or bank move.

Verified: Bitcoin exchanges are reported in the blockchain, which permits cybercriminals to check that an installment has been made.

Anonymity: Services enable to recover installments and keep their personalities covered up.

In a medium post, it was proposed that the 2017 WannaCry attack, which left 300,000 PCs over the globe being infected, in turn, affected the BTC costs at the time. This year ransomware networks got greater ransom payout sums.

Alan Woodward – a Cybersecurity Professor said that ransomware might be a piece of it yet the cost of bitcoin is so unpredictable and has had such a powerful range. One of those elements could be that organizations expecting a ransomware assault may have purchased bitcoin in planning.

According to reports, the US right now holds the maximum percentage of being affected by ransomware with 53% and now that cybercriminals are changing to more prominent targets, more organizations could start purchasing bitcoin, which obviously will influence its cost.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

HTC’s New Low-Cost Blockchain Phone Exodus 1s Will Support Bitcoin Network By Running A Full Node

HTC – a Taiwanese electronics company has announced it’s new smartphone with the name Exodus 1s, empowering clients to run a full Bitcoin (BTC) node on a portable phone. Exodus 1s was launched this weekend at the Berlin’s Lightning meeting. HTC plans to clarify that the Exodus project is something beyond a unique case. Its accessibility will be in all the different forms of cryptographic money.

The new Exodus 1s is a lower-cost form of the evolving HTC’s blockchain-powered phone Exodus 1, which as of late has enabled the users to support BTC.

The firms stated that the estimated cost of the device would be $233 in the market. The new gadget will be accessible to purchase coins utilizing Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The Lightening payment network will be used to sell the upgraded version of Exodus 1 at the Berlin meeting.

Since it requires more data capacity to store the full bitcoin records, the gadget will enable its users to install a 400+GB SD card to enlarge its memory. As indicated by Blockchain, presently the size of the full record closes on 250 GB. The cell phone requires a wifi connection to run on a full node or a plug into a power source. Likewise, it can be utilized without such connections. Though the company recommends a connection to be used.

The cell phone features a built-in wallet to help clients safely store cryptographic forms of money. And features of the Exodus1 are 4 GB of RAM and 63 GB of capacity and keeps running on Android Oreo 8.1

The firm announced the device will be first available for clients in 27 countries like Europe, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. It does not plan to be offered on sale in the U.S yet.

Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC – Phil Chen, expressed that Exodus 1s’s launch, the firm has brought down the barrier at an entry-level for any individual to run a node and take an interest globally. Exodus 1s‘ forerunner Exodus 1 was available for orders for presale last year on October 23 in 34 areas, including the U.S., U.K. and Hong Kong.

Not only concerns related to purchasing and selling cryptocurrencies, but cell phone makers are also progressively looking at blockchain innovations as an approach to reassure clients worried about the security of their private data.

The Chief Officer at HTC said – “We care about this portable identity and users owning their identity and data, and we believe that the phone is the best place to do that’’.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Gartner Says Blockchain is Currently at the Disillusionment Stage Within the Hype Cycle

The blockchain technology is not living up to it’s big hype, at least according to Gartner’s Hype Cycle. A recent report made by The Next Web’s Hard Fork shows that the interest in the blockchain is decreasing and that many blockchain implementations are failing to live up to expectations. Because of this, investment is bound to decrease, too, unless some results are discovered.

The Hype Cycle is something created by Gartner, a graphical representation of how people get hyped about the new technology and then end up abandoning as they discover that the hype was too big. The company affirmed that the blockchain is “sliding into the trough of disillusionment”.

According to the company, most blockchain technologies are still from five to ten years away from having a real revolutionary impact in the world, but investors are often not that patient. They gave their money for development, now they want results.

Source: Gartner (October 2019)

Avivah Litan, an analyst from Gartner, believed that the blockchain has not been able to achieve the expectations mostly because it is still stuck in experimental mode, which is still set to happen for a quite long time.

According to her, the technology will only mature by 2028, when it will be fully operational and able to properly scale up. Fortunately, not everything is pure bad news. Some platforms will be scalable and interoperable by 2023, which will start some progress in the area and finally lead us to Web 3.0. Here is her direct quotes on the matter.

“Blockchain technologies have not yet lived up to the hype and most enterprise blockchain projects are stuck in experimentation mode,”

Adding; “Blockchain is not yet enabling a digital business revolution across business ecosystems and may not until at least 2028, when Gartner expects blockchain to become fully scalable technically and operationally.”

And finally “We are witnessing many developments in blockchain technology that will change the current pattern. By 2023, blockchain platforms will be scalable, interoperable, and will support smart contract portability and cross-chain functionality. They will also support trusted private transactions with the data confidentiality required. Altogether, these technology advances will take us much closer to mainstream blockchain and the decentralized web, also known as Web 3.0″

Gartner has been looking at the blockchain for a long time now and it noted back in 2016 that the blockchain already was suffering from being overhyped. While it might be frustrating to have to wait for so many years, at least there is hope for the future.

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Author: James W

Blockchain Bank Bankorus’ Is Effectively Shut Down; Investors Have Pulled Out, No More Cash

Overstock’s venture into the blockchain space continues it’s downfall after the departure of their ex-CEO, Patrick Byrne. This time Bankorus has shut down. Bankorus is an AI-powered, blockchain-wealth management platform, and security token marketplace built on the blockchain.

According to Sonic Zhang, Bankorus’ largest investor, the startup has shut down, with zero cash, no employees, and the only viable asset being a 1 million euro investment in a Lithuania-based credit union.

Bankorus has run out of cash because the second round investors pulled their funds. Reasons been the management position they hope to get from the Rato Credit Union didn’t happen as they had planned.

This credit union was operating under an old structure where there was no private equities, each of the 4000+ account holders has a vote, and each year in March there will be a member’s conference deciding how the credit union should be run and who should run it. And Bankorus didn’t have enough support from the board and management to have control.

According to Sonic all that’s left in Bankorus is about 1M Euro capital investment into this Rato deal, that if Rato wants to convert without us, they have to buy us out at least 1:1. He states:

“If we stick to this investment or increase the size, we will get private shares accordingly after the conversion. As it stands, the potential shares are looking at close to 40% after conversion, if Rato doesn’t gather additional funding from other investors to increase the total cap. It they do, we will be diluted but the total valuation might also go up.”

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Hacker Returns Stolen Ethereum Domains Names; Offered 25% Of Auction As Bug Bounty Reward

It’s easy to fall into a lull of new technology. To accept that everything new that comes your way, and is already tested for every possible mishap.

A hacker broke this illusion when they first stole, then returned the 17 Ethereum Name Server (ENS) domain name’s to OpenSea. They managed to exploit a bug that allowed them to buy the ENS domains for a lower bid than everyone else. Whoever it was tried to capitalize on their discovery, but was already within Opensea’s radar before they could get a large number of domains.

Among the short names of their acquisitions, apple.eth, love.eth, and wallet.eth stand at the forefront. Highly lucrative domains to own and then sell back to major groups. The way blockchain works is a beautiful thing, but it’s sheer immutability made it impossible for OpenSea to get it back after the hacker had captured them. Their only option was to blacklist the names and ask the hacker very nicely to give it back.

And the hacker did, but not out of love and charity. OpenSea promised the hacker a hefty 25% commission on every auction of the domain names they gave back. Whether or not the hacker’s intents were genuine or not, it’s honestly impossible to say.

The mystery with hackers, mainly unidentified ones like this one, is the intent. There are white hats, those out to better the Internet as a whole with their hacks. There are black hats, those out just for their own personal gain. There are even red hats, a weird mix of both.

OpenSea Owns Up, Plugs the Leak, Returns to Business

OpenSea had released an official statement apologizing for the exploit even existing. It’s sometimes easy to forget that massive bodies like these can also only be human. This hacker that captured those 17 domain names is the only one that managed to exploit an existing bug and get noticed. OpenSea is asking all individuals who gained ENS domains unfairly to return it, promising the same 25% commission for each.

They stated they’re going to extend invalidated auctions and plug the leak that made it happen to begin with. They’re going out of their way to notify users who suffered from the bug so they will have a clean, fair chance at winning the bids they were aiming for.

After that, it’s back to business, probably older and wiser from experience. Blockchain is the future, but the future is untested. It’s something many people forget in their over-eagerness to go to the new, profitable ideas of the future. OpenSea was not the first, nor will it be the last entity to make a mistake. It’s only their crack team that stopped the hacker from gaining more names as they slowly mapped out the exploit to its fullest extent.

In other news, Opensea promises to make a more enticing UI as well, and are going forward, stronger than they were before this.

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Author: Ali Raza

“It’s Alt Time, Whether you Like it or Not,” Analysts on the Start of Alt Season

  • Weekends are for altcoins to make gains, this time it’s BAT, IOTA, Cardano, and EOS’s turn
  • Altcoins will continue to catch up but investors getting “picky” about cryptos

This week has been a good one for altcoins as they surged in a long time while Bitcoin remained flat around $10,000.

If we take a look at the past 7 days performance of cryptocurrency market, while Bitcoin is in the green by just over a half a percent, top altcoins, Ethereum and XRP are still up by more than 17% and 10% respectively.

Stellar (XLM) is the biggest gainer with 22.54% gains followed by IOTA which is enjoying a rise of 20.65% in its value.

Other prominent gainers in terms of 7 days performance are Cardano (13.11%), LINK (14.37%), Maker (15.46%), BAT (18.67%), VeChain (14.14%), and ABBC Coin (1884%), as per Coincodex.

Today, altcoins are in the red with a few exceptions like BAT (6.66%), IOTA (3.04%), Tron (0.66%), Cardano (1.40%), and EOS (2.96%).

“Altcoins will continue to catch up”

Bitcoin is the king of the cryptocurrency market. In 2019, Bitcoin price soared more than 160% and BTC dominance went from 53% to 73%.

But now as Bitcoin takes a breather and its dominance start dropping below 70%, it might be time for altcoins to catch up “Altcoins will continue to catch up,”

Scott Freeman, co-founder of JST Capital told Bloomberg.

“With the realization that these technologies now are being adopted, they’re starting to solve real problems, and it’s coming to fruition at some level where the value proposition of these things is being recognized more broadly.”

But have to wait for a Bit Longer

Market analyst and trader CryptoWolf says while Bitcoin is expected to trade sideways for the next few months as the trading range gets thinner with possibly of dumps, “It’s alt time. Whether you like it or not.”

However, not everyone is sold on the idea of alt-season. It could be a bull run for some of the altcoins but not a massive one, for that matter.

For Mati Greenspan, eToro’s senior analyst, it’s too soon to call it the start of an alt-season.

“People are getting a bit more picky about what they’re investing in as far as cryptocurrencies. Seems like those who’ve been waiting patiently for the emergence of a new altcoin season are just going to have to wait a bit longer.”

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Author: AnTy

Blockchain Technology Adoption on the Rise in the Mining Industry

Blockchain Technology Adoption on the Rise in the Mining Industry

Its digital ledger, as well as encryption technology allows for the secure storage and sharing of digital currencies (cryptocurrency).

Blockchain is beneficial to the mining industry because it provides transparency and security in transacting business, changes made in documents, designs and other aspects of any transaction.

However, the benefits of blockchain technology transcends digital currencies, as it is beneficial to a whole lot of other industries. Taking the mining industry as a case study, here are three ways in which blockchain technology can be beneficial to the mining industry.

Compliance Made Simple

Blockchain technology would make compliance in mining and metals firms way easier and not so complicated. Companies which are focused on social responsibility, constantly handling technological improvements on equipment as well as increasing their transparency will definitely benefit from the blockchain environment.

Improved Safety And Less Errors

Shipments of companies being tracked by Blockchain technology will put some ease in the whole shipping process, because there is no risk of paper documents being lost, damaged, destroyed or altered (with nobody knowing). With blockchain technology, errors are reduced significantly.

Easy And Speedy Transactions

Blockchain technology allows for easier and faster transactions with the use of smart contracts. Processes are generally faster when blockchain tech is incorporated.

The growth potential and adoption of blockchain technology in the mining industry is majorly based on its ability to increase transparency and accountability in the mineral supply chain, a very important aspect of the mining industry as it becomes more consumer conscious.

Blue Hill Foundation (BHF)

Mongolia based mining company, Blue Hill Mining are already in the experimental phase of utilizing blockchain technology to increase transparency across supply chains.

The Blue Hill Foundation (BHF) is a gateway to Blue Hill Mining, a comprehensively regulated STO (security token offering) asset backed by one of Asia’s largest copper reserves.

Blue Hill Mining has witnessed significant feats in the close to a decade of geological planning. Huge amounts of nickel, cobalt, copper and gold have been found in research areas, which have very high demand across various industries.

Per the BHF lightpaper,

“Blue Hill Foundation is a 24% co-owner of the Blue Hill Mine alongside Blue Hill Mining. Blue Hill Foundation, as co-owner of the “Blue Hill Mine”, has entered the Blockchain space with the Bhf-Tokens, creating a financial strategy which opens the door to a 24/7 worldwide market”.

BHF Token Characteristics

  • Asset Backed
  • Exchangeable Token
  • Limited Token Offer

Blue Hill Mining plans on utilizing blockchain technology to track, store and log all data relating to mining and trading as well as to ensure the ethical sourcing of all raw materials across the mining industry.

Benefits Of Global Adoption Of Blockchain technology In The Mining Industry

Looking forward to how blockchain technology will affect the mining industry, there are still hanging questions on how the technology will be efficiently effected.

However, one thing is certain, blockchain technology will improve the security and transparency of supply chains as well as serve as an efficient way to track movement of materials from place to place.

All these will not come to actuality overnight, but if the adoption of blockchain technology keeps its steady rise, then, spreadsheets will be a thing of the past, sooner rather than later.

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Author: Osahon Okodugha

Best Bitcoin SV Wallets: Top BSV Token Storage Options in 2019

Best Bitcoin SV Wallets: Top BSV Token Storage Options in 2019

While bitcoin SV is relatively new on the scene –was a hard fork of the BCH token- it’s garnered enough support to warrant a loyal following.

These followers value the token and are actively seeking out the best possible wallets for the bitcoin SV token. This way, they can keep their bitcoin SV tokens safe, secure and out of the reach of hackers and cyber thieves.

If you’re in the market for highly secure bitcoin SV wallets, the following wallets are what you need. Just pick one or more –depending on your preferences- and keep your precious tokens safe.

HandCash Wallet

This is a mobile wallet that’s available on both the android and iOS platforms. HandCash boasts of a wide array of features designed to help keep your tokens safe and secure.

The additional perk of mobility helps ensure that you can use it while on the go. This wallet has no hidden fees. Also, users can input their own usernames. This makes it incredibly easy for users to remember their user IDs.

It’s a huge improvement on the regular string of alphanumeric characters found in many other wallets. Apart from that, the wallet comes with top notch security features designed to safeguard your Bitcoin SV tokens.

Coinomi Wallet

One of the oldest and still enduring cryptocurrency wallets, Coinomi has added bitcoin SV wallet support. This way, not only can you store your bitcoin SV in the wallet, you can also store others.

Coinomi is one of the oldest multicurrency wallets in the market. The reason they’re still around is because of their amazing security features that keeps all tokens safe. No wonder it’s a favorite among Bitcoin SV token holders.

Unlike HandCash that’s a mobile wallet, Coinomi is a desktop wallet that runs on multiple operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Mac.

So, if you have a healthy diverse crypto portfolio, and are looking for just one wallet that’ll take every token, you should definitely check out Coinomi.

Guarda Wallet

Another multicurrency wallet, this one also has cross-platform features. So, not only can you store multiple cryptocurrencies in the wallet, you can also use the wallet on your PC, access it on the web, and on your mobile device.

So, while it’s not purely a bitcoin SV wallet, it can house and protect the tokens. This is a very dynamic wallet, and once that individuals with a wide range of crypto assets should take advantage of. This is probably why it’s popular in the cryptocurrency community.

Exodus Wallet

This is another multicurrency wallet that runs on desktop alone. In fact, Exodus is one of the more popular cryptocurrency wallets, designed to house and secure multiple cryptoassets.

The company recently added a bitcoin SV support, which makes it an even better choice. For a wallet with a good reputation like this, you probably can’t do any better. Apart from security of your tokens, another reason for Exodus’ popularity is its in-built exchange feature.

With this, individuals can easily exchange their bitcoin SV tokens for other like bitcoin and ethereum at the official rates. This function makes it so easy to do business without having to move the tokens to and from the wallet.

Electrum Wallet

This is an incredibly popular wallet protocol, which is why many tokens have their own version of this wallet. The latest addition, which the ElectrumSV wallet, is a desktop based wallet client that makes storing your bitcoin SV tokens very easy.

Of course, this is a basic, but secure wallet. This means that if you’re looking for more advanced features, this is not the wallet to use. If you’re looking for something simple, intuitive and user-friendly, this is a great option.

And it’ll most likely be around for a really long while, thanks to the code, which is open source and available on GitHub.

Edge Wallet

This used to be known as AirBitz. This wallet has been around for eons in the cryptocurrency market -5 years. It used to be primarily used to store bitcoin tokens.

But now that it’s been rebranded as Edge, the wallet now has an impressive array of features. As a multicurrency wallet, it’s also been configured to support Bitcoin SV. It’s an incredibly secure mobile wallet that has a decent fan base.

This makes it easy for you to move around with your wallet without worrying about your assets’ safety and security. And if you’re interested, the wallet has other features that you might find interesting and useful.

Atomic Wallet

Another multicurrency wallet, this is a new player on the scene, but one that’s distinguished itself by offering support for hundreds of cryptoassets.

Most multicurrency wallets can only support a handful of tokens. Atomic Wallet is changing the game by ensuring that you can store hundreds of tokens in its wallet with ease. Its support for bitcoin SV is great, and it offers an atomic swap trading solution. Which makes it great for an effective closed system and eliminates the need for an external solution.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team