Binance Applies for Singapore Crypto License Under The New Payment Services Act

Binance crypto exchange through its parent company has applied for Singapore’s new operating license. This follows an upgrade of laws governing crypto in the FinTech friendly jurisdiction. Singapore sought to advance its payments’ ecosystem legalities as more firms’ leveraging blockchain tech and tokenization set up in the country.

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), has since cleared the air for Binance Holdings noting that its local entity was among the first stakeholders to apply for this new license. According to Mr. Zhao, Binance Singapore is quite open-minded and has been working closely with local authorities since its launch.

Singapore’s Payment Services Act

The payment services act came into being at the beginning of 2020 and is meant to harmonize digital payment operations. This act now regulates crypto market players whose business involves tokens like Ether or clearing and settlements networks that facilitate digital currency transactions.

One of the major reasons for advancing crypto regulation in Singapore was risk minimization. The new payments’ laws are set to empower the country’s Monetary Authority in issues money laundering, terror financing and cybersecurity exposures. Furthermore, it will be much easier to regulate all crypto-oriented firms in Singapore going forward under the same law.

Other firms that have signaled an intention to acquire the new license include Luno and Liquid Group Inc. The two are headquartered in London and Tokyo respectively but have a significant part of their operations in Singapore.

Binance’s swift move in compliance shows that the company’s market prospects in Singapore are promising. The exchange’s operation within this jurisdiction are run under Temasek Holdings’ VC wing, Vertex Venture. Since its inception, Binance has been on an upward growth trajectory despite regulatory uncertainties in booming markets like the U.S. This firm’s journey began with a crypto-to-crypto exchange mindset but is now making game-changing moves in both product innovation and compliance in new territories like Singapore.

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Author: James W

IOTA Trinity Wallet Is Under Attack, Coordinator Node Has Been Turned Off

Through its official Twitter handle, IOTA Foundation revealed that the Trinity wallet is under a possible hacker attack. After various IOTA holders complained about missing coins, the foundation said it was suspending its platform’s node known as the Coordinator as investigations are ongoing, an IOTA status update indicated on Feb. 13.

According to a report by Cointelegraph IOTA emerged as one of the dominant innovations during the 2017 crypto bull run. The IOTA coin is not developed on blockchain technology, making it one of the unique cryptocurrencies in the market. The virtual asset that is contained on the tangle via Directed Acyclic Graph platform which is shortened as DAG.

The Coordinator is run by the IOTA Foundation which is a temporary protection measure within the Tangle platform. While IOTA still depends on the Coordinator but had initiated a discussion to eliminate the node in 2018.

The Trinity wallet was released last summer to store IOTA. on Feb. 12, a team from IOTA Foundation used its Twitter account to urge IOTA holders not to access their private wallets until all the investigations are finished.

After preliminary investigations, the team of investigators from IOTA Foundation revealed that the culprits had acquired the private keys of the affected accounts. The investigators also found that about 10 accounts had been affected and all of them comprised of the use of Trinity wallet. The investigators also stated that about 50% of the affected people had reported cases.

The IOTA Foundation also said that it will provide a full report of the prevailing events after the conclusion of the investigations. The Foundation stated that it was limiting the information released to the public in efforts not to provide the hackers with information they can use to enhance their activities. The Foundation also stated that the current data is not yet fully decisive.

IOTA has faced various troubles since its inception in 2017. In December 2019, the platform shutdown its mainnet for 24 hours.

We will update you as we get more information about the issue.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

IOTA Co-Creator Threatens to Sue Foundation Director over $8 Million But Yields to an Apology

The 22nd largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $895 million has been going through a lot of disturbance as top-level executives fought among themselves.

Earlier this week, co-creator and former lead developer of IOTA, Sergey Ivancheglo wrote a post on Medium where he threatened IOTA Foundation director David Sønstebø with a civil/criminal lawsuit if he doesn’t receive his 25 million MIOTA tokens, currently worth $8.05 million.

In response, Sønstebø wrote a letter to the community where he recited the whole background about where it all started and that after distancing himself from the IOTA project and having “sold all his iotas,” Ivancheglo threatened to fork IOTA and sue the Foundation, insisting his fork is the real brand.

The IOTA community’s reaction to the drama wasn’t in favor of Ivancheglo and tried to follow Sønstebø advice to not “feed the troll.”

Ivanchenko, however, emphasized that the IOTA community is involved in this because an “IF’s director is about to be accused of embezzlement,” he said. He also insisted that Sønstebø “should resign” from his position.

Ivancheglo also took to Twitter to announce that he will be publishing fragments of a private conversation with Sønstebø in retaliation to the private info the IOTA foundation director shared about him and won’t stop until Sønstebø apologizes. And after a few hours, he did… He closed the Twitter thread and deleted his previous “drama” related conversation because apparently, he received an apology.

This, however, isn’t the first time that Ivancheglo threatened someone with legal action. Since 2018, he has also been in disagreement with senior management.

Meanwhile, MIOTA is up nearly 100% in 2020 while trading at $0.323, a level last seen in July. MIOTA, however, is still down 94% from its all-time high of $5.54.

[Also Read: IOTA’s Chrysalis Upgrade To Increase The Usability Of The Blockchain Prior To Coordicide]

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Trading Insights: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) Price Analysis For January

Even as the rest of the world labored through the first month of the new decade enshrouded beneath louring apocalyptic clouds – a world war seemed briefly imminent, half of Australia turned to ashes, flash floods ravaged East Africa and the most virulent virus since the Spanish flu broke out – Bitcoin marched on impregnably to register the most bullish January in the post-Mt. Gox era.

Indeed, while reward halving could be adduced as a key factor, there is a compelling theory that the impact of the novel coronavirus epidemic on traditional financial markets has led investors to flock to Bitcoin as a readily accessible uncorrelated safe-haven asset in these times of uncertainty caused by pandemic fears.

Bitcoin (BTC) January Price Analysis

Despite tailing off towards the end of the month ahead of the Chinese new year, BTC/USD closed the month of January in a convincing bullish engulfing at 9327, a 30% gain from December’s close of 7168.

In the early sessions of February, the 50-day SMA rose above the 100-day SMA to complete a golden cross and continues to pursue a cross above the 200-day SMA, which, being a more telling signal, would elicit a stronger wave of bullish market sentiment.

During the course of December and January, the pair continued trading in a potential inverse head and shoulders pattern, formed around .618 Fibonacci retracement level, which was duly completed towards the end of January.

However, the breakout has found resistance around 9700 and price continues to dither, finding support at the .382 level as RSI finds resistance around overbought territory of 70. A decisive daily close above 9700, backed by volume, is required to climb towards the target of 11200 from the inverse head and shoulders pattern breakout.

Ethereum (ETH) January Price Analysis

After languishing in the shadows throughout 2019, altcoins stumbled upon a new lease of life in January. ETH/BTC completed a cross above both 100-day SMA and 200-day SMA on successive days on the last day of January and the first day of February respectively. This was immediately followed by a sharp bullish MACD divergence.

The next target for ETH/BTC would be breaking above 0.022 BTC, a level which the pair has struggled to breach since July 2019. The pair currently finds support at 0.02 BTC.

Ripple (XRP) January Price Analysis

XRP/BTC also finds itself on the brink of breaking above 200-day SMA for the first time since March 2019 after the market reacted strongly to a bullish RSI divergence at the end of January. A strong daily close above the 200-day SMA could spur the pair on to test the next level of resistance at 3600 sats.

Other Top Altcoin Price Analysis

Elsewhere, Bitcoin Cash (BCH/BTC) BCH 0.84 and Litecoin (LTC/BTC) LTC 0.12 also witnessed a significant amount of bullish momentum in January, surging 42% and 31% respectively. This meant that Bitcoin’s market dominance slumped from 68% to 65%.

It should be interesting to see if the altcoin rally continues to gather further momentum in February or if Bitcoin begins to claw back to assert its dominance as the block reward halving draws ever closer.

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Author: Lamps T

Acquisition of Circle Leads Poloniex Wallet Users to Yank Out Funds

  • Poloniex has delisted many coins through the last few years of decreasing liquidity, leaving the platform with just 98 trading pairs.
  • One of the most controversial coins to be delisted was DigiByte, which may have led to the gutting of the exchange.

Circle, Inc. recently made a game-changing decision for their customers, abandoning the US market entirely as they moved away from Poloniex. However, the decision has led many consumers to a drastic decrease in deposits for wallets on the Poloniex exchange. According to a recent article by Bitcoinist, the Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet users moved their coins to other markets instead, citing the decision to leave behind the US market as the main reason.

By the time Circle original acquired Poloniex, the supply of coins was already starting to dwindle. The exchange was dealing with technical and regulatory issues, and their traders were slowly decreasing. Tweets by CoinMetrics revealed that the supply that Poloniex held of BTC and ETH dropped dramatically during the Circle acquisition. As it stands, the exchange has not seen levels this low since 2016.

While the cryptocurrency market wasn’t regulated, Poloniex stood strong as one of the first exchanges to actually survive the years. However, the exchange also recorded many outages and disruptions in trading during that time, leaving it with a reputation for being unreliable. As recently as this year, Poloniex was forced to liquidate BTC collateral, leaving them with losses over the volatile CLAMS coin.

The socialized loss of about 1,800 BTC greatly angered traders, and the funds have still yet to be paid, which Bitcoinist suggests is one of the reasons that some traders have walked away from the exchange. While many analysts and experts would advise consumers not the store their funds on the exchange, the socialization of losses was definitely unexpected.

With the low liquidity, Poloniex also had to delist some of the coins that it previously had touted, which has mostly been unproblematic. However, when the exchange pulled DigiByte from their listing, the community became enraged, potentially becoming one of the reasons for the substantial outflow from Poloniex.

Considering the recent path that this platform has taken, Bitcoinist suggests that the focus of Poloniex is on the Tron ecosystem. As one of the larger carriers for the TRON-based Tether token (USDT), their listings have recently been opened up to other TRC-20 tokens. In fact, the TRX crypto asset is even an integral part of the earnings program for Poloniex, according to recent tweets from the latter.

Following this trend, the PoloniexDEX, which only recently launched, has already rebranded as the TRXMarket, now being used as a way for traders to access related coins and tokens.

Presently, daily trading accounts for $44 million on the Poloniex exchange, though these numbers are relatively low for an international exchange. Even with the many delisted tokens, the exchange still has 98 trading pairs, giving them a little standing against the competition of the market.

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Author: Krystle M

Telegram Under Scrutiny by the SEC for its $1.7 billion Token Sale; Former Chief Investment Advisor Issued a Deposition to Testify

According to the filings made through the U.S District Court in New York, SEC’s main agenda is to stop the launch of Telegram’s blockchain ‘TON’ which is to be accompanied by its native token sale ‘grams’. The commission has in the past touted grams to be unregistered tokens as per the securities legislations.

Bone of Contention

Hyman who has previously worked with Renaissance Capital and Morgan Stanley currently resides in the United Kingdom. The SEC now wants the former Telegram advisor to testify given his close involvement in TON’s token sales over the course of 2018 and part of 2019.

Emails by Hyman to Telegram investors reveal that the firm may have breached some procedures in raising its $1.7 billion during the pre-token sale.

Some of the irregularities in the email threads to investors include a follow-up on the gram token secondary prices despite Telegram’s intention wait until its network is running for valuation in the grey market. Hyman had also stated in the past that Telegram would have a 3rd round token sale for private investors but this never happened.

In addition, advise to HODL gram tokens did not hold water for the TON investors as the tokens were accepted by several crypto markets/stakeholders.

Pavel Durov, the CEO of Telegram, had introduced Hyman to a fair number of potential investors. These include popular figures in the FinTech arena like Softbank’s Rajeev Misra and Dave Munichiello from Google Ventures.

These are some of the interactions that the SEC is after but so far has met resistance from Hyman who is yet to comply with a deposition issued against him.

Earlier on, Hyman through his counsel Greg Campbell had agreed to appear for talks with the SEC.

This has however took a different turn after Campbell went dark on the SEC ignoring emails and calls from the commission. The SEC has stood its ground that gram tokens are not exempted under the Regulation D securities and therefore Telegram mislead its investors during the token sale.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum Booming in Preparation for Istanbul Network Upgrade

There is now just a day left before Ethereum goes through the Istanbul network upgrade. Scheduled for Saturday, December 7, this upgrade will occur at block number 9,069,000.

After Byzantium and Constantinople, Istanbul is yet another long-awaited upgrade which is part of the Ethereum network’s move from proof-of-work (PoW) to Proof-of-stake (PoS). This would be the final hard fork before Ethereum moves to Casper.

Upcoming Improvements

The latest Istanbul update involves a total of six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). One of the EIP 152 implements the compression function to allow interoperability between the EVM and Zcash.

EIP 1108 will re-price the precompiles that would “greatly assist” with the privacy and scaling solutions on Ethereum. EIP 2200 is net gas metering changes for SSTORE opcode, reducing excessive gas costs, and enabling new usages for contract storage.

Due to the growth of the Ethereum state, certain opcodes have become more resource-intensive than they were previously as such EIP 1884 will raise the gas codes for those opcodes.

EIP 2028 is another one that will reduce the gas cost of Calldata from the current value of 68 gas per byte to 16 gas per byte. The reason behind this is

“higher bandwidth of Calldata improves scalability, as more data can fit within a single block.”

To take advantage of this lower gas fees, IDEX, a decentralized exchange (DEX) for ERC20 tokens is launching a new DEX on top of Rollup technology. Rollup is a layer two scalability protocol that has been made possible by this latest hard fork only.

The reduced gas fee has the Rollup-based smart contracts become a suitable scalability tool. This could help reduce gas on the new platform by as much as 90%, according to IDEX CTO Jason Ahmad.

The Growing Addresses

Before the Istanbul network upgrade is finally implemented, EtherScan announced the release of Beacon Chain 2.0 Testnet explorer.

Also, those running the nodes are required to upgrade to the latest version of Parity Ethereum, v2.5.11-stable and v2.6.6-beta, to make sure you are Istanbul ready.

Just before Istanbul, the new wallets on Ethereum shot up by 38,164 in just 24 hours. Just a couple days before on Dec. 2, 70,000 new addresses were also created.

The growing numbers on Ethereum Network are the result of the growth seen by DeFi (decentralized finance) that has about $450 million tied up in DeFi applications.

Ethereum price meanwhile is trading at $147, down 5% in the past 7-days, as per Coincodex.

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Author: AnTy

Binance Supports New Fiat Onramp to Buy Crypto Assets with the Indian Rupee via WazirX

Binance can now purchase Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies through Rupee bank transfers that are powered by WazirX, the Indian digital exchange for assets.

Not banned in the country, people in India still find it difficult to trade and buy Bitcoin because banks don’t have the green light to work with crypto exchanges and companies. WazirX is one of the very few exchanges that’s still operating on the Indian market, having over 200,000 users and a monthly trading volume of $30 million. This trading volume is quite low when compared with the rest of the country’s market.

Binance CEO Doesn’t Worry About the Potential Indian Crypto Ban

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance has stated that he doesn’t worry about India’s regulations on the Bitcoin. He says, it’s a “proposed” bill, not [a] passed bill.” He also added that Binance is now helping 1.3 billion more people to get use of the crypto world.

WazirX Acquired by Binance

The Ruppe integration arrives a week after WarizX has been acquired by Binance for a sum between $5 to $10 million, as reports are saying. This is what Nischal Shetty, the CEO of WazirX had to say about the acquisition:

“[The] Binance acquisition helps us get all the help and support we need to achieve rapid growth. Binance believes in the scope of Crypto in India.”

6 Supported Fiat Currencies on Binance

At the moment, Binance’s trading platform supports 6 fiat currencies, including the already mentioned Indian Rupee (INR), the Russian Ruble (RUB), the Nigerian Naira (NGN), the Euro (EUR), the Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT) and the Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH). Bitcoin can be purchased with Rupees, but Binance doesn’t offer trading against this fiat currency at the moment.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Movie Piracy Investigation Leads New Zealand Police to Seize $4.2 Million in Cryptocurrency

  • Police state that Jaron David McIvor has been laundering money through his PayPal and bank accounts, thanks to his online streaming movie website.
  • McIvor’s attorney states that the client is denying these allegations.

Cryptocurrency has dealt with many different scams, but one recent issue arose in a separate arrest in New Zealand. The national police force reportedly seized a total of NZ$6.2 million and NZ$6.7 million in cryptocurrency. The seizure came as a result of a local man who is believed to have been involved in online movie piracy, performed in the United States.

Based on the police report, the New Zealand police restrained about NZ$6.7 million at 5:00am local time on November 23rd. There was another NZ$1.1 million in bank funds, based on the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act, which were allegedly confiscated by Jaron David McIvor, a 31-year old software programmer.

An hour after this interaction, a press statement was released by authorities that claimed that the authorities had seized $6.2 million in cryptocurrency, plus $800,000 in bank funds over the summer, though they did not name the suspect. Another $472,000 in cryptocurrency and $377,000 in bank funds from in November from an associate.

A high court judge is part of the CPRA process, required to decide if the wealth and benefits accrued by an individual has been done through criminal activity. If the processes confirm this method, then the assets related to the alleged criminal activities can be frozen and confiscated.

For this case specifically, the local police believe that McIvor is participating in money laundering, since he helped to create an illegal movie-streaming website that has seen the inflow of millions of dollars. Detective Senior Sergeant Keith Kay stated that he and his team received a tip from the IRS, which had been tipped off by suspicious activity reports from PayPal. This path eventually led the tax officials with the Asset Recovery Unit in Waikato to McIvor, who was located in New Zealand.

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, the police stated that McIvor’s streaming site had brought him about $2 million, which went into his bank accounts after processing through PayPal, Stripe, and international wire transfers. Kay added:

“Introducing illicitly-obtained funds into New Zealand constitutes money laundering and police will thoroughly investigate and restrain the assets of those who undertake such activity […] regardless of where in the world the crime is committed.”

The lawyer handling McIvor’s case, Truc Tran, stated that his client is presently denying allegations against him for money laundering, but no other details have been released.

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Author: Krystle M

Morocco Deploys the Blockchain Technology To Improve Its Financing Sector

Morocco is planning to boost its financial sector in the country through the deployment of blockchain technology. The Governor of the Central Bank of Morocco, Abdellatif Jouahri, announced during the Africa Blockchain Summit in Rabat that the country is in the process of applying technology to improve financial services. The implementation of this fintech project targets the underserved Moroccans as part of Morocco’s financial inclusion policy.

The blockchain tech, being the most influential tech currently, will help reach the underprivileged citizens in the financing sector. According to Jouahri, the adoption of fintech, including the blockchain tech will help the country offer “all businesses and individuals equal access to financial services and products in a bid to endorse social and economic inclusion,” says Jouahri.

The country’s central bank is already building low-cost business models that will see underserved Moroccans get access to financial services under friendly conditions for cashless transactions.

Recently, Morocco has been making strides in blockchain and cryptocurrency development. The country is also interested in decentralized ledger tech and has been making trials in the space. Morocco has partnered with international companies to use Quartz blockchain to make one-of-a-kind securities settlement between different central depositories. This project will be the first cross-border settlement in the world.

It was reported in September 2019 that Morocco had partnered with Soluna, an American bitcoin mining firm, to develop a 36-Megawatt cryptocurrency mining company. The investment project was a power purchasing agreement that would help the company establish itself in the region and expand its sales offshores in the next couple of years.

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Author: Denis Miriti