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Number of Crypto Notables on Buffett Lunch Guest List Grows

Tron founder Justin Sun has invited more notable figures from the crypto space to a lunch with Warren Buffett.

Justin Sun, the founder of Tron and winner of the annual auction for a lunch with renowned investor Warren Buffett, has invited more notable figures from the crypto industry to attend. 

Earlier today, July 21, Sun invited the founder and CEO of trading platform eToro, Yoni Assia, to the lunch with the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway via tweet. Assia quickly responded saying, “Justin, it is my honor to join you for lunch with @WarrenBuffett. A big step for bridging between the traditional finance world and the new one!”

Yesterday, Sun invited the head of the Binance Charity Fund, Helen Hai. Hai reportedly responded within minutes and said the luncheon would be an opportune chance to discuss cryptocurrency and philanthropy. Binance Charity is the philanthropic arm of cryptocurrency exchange Binance. 

Earlier this week, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of crypto payments firm Circle, accepted a tweeted invitation to the lunch. In mid-June, Litecoin (LTC) creator Charlie Lee became the first guest Sun’s lunch with Buffett.

Other invitations are expected to follow ahead of the event, which will take place on July 25 at Quince, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in San Francisco. 

The auction and subsequent lunch event with the “Oracle of Omaha” began in 2000 as a way to support one of Buffett’s favorite charities, San Francisco’s Glide Foundation. Since its inception, the lunch auction has purportedly raised over $30 million for the charity. Sun paid a record-breaking $4,567,888 to win the charity auction.

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Iran Has Not Issued Any Licenses for Importing Crypto Mining Equipment

Iran’s customs administration has not issued licenses for importing digital currency mining equipment into the country due to the absence of approval from the government.

Iran’s customs administration has not issued licenses for importing digital currency mining equipment into the country due to the absence of approval from the government.

Deputy President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) Jamal Arounaghi said that the agency has not issued any licenses for importing cryptocurrency mining devices into the country, multilingual Tehran-based news outlet Mehr News Agency reported on July 21.

While cryptocurrency mining equipment is banned in the country, IRICA has determined a tariff rate for its import, defining it as related to the computers and central processors. Arounaghi noted that the presence of a tariff rate does not indicate than an item is legal or approved by the state, saying that the IRICA has tariff schemes for some illegal drugs as an example. 

The minister said that if the government authorizes import of crypto miners, IRICA will develop related directives.

Earlier in July, Cointelegraph reported that Iranian authorities are wrestling with the rising number of citizens turning to Bitcoin (BTC) mining and use as a means of coping with a sanctions-crippled economy.

At the time, Iran’s Minister for Information and Communications Technology, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said that the country has become “a heaven for miners,” adding:

“The business of ‘mining’ is not forbidden in law but the government and the Central Bank have ordered the Customs Bureau to ban the import of [mining machines] until new regulations are introduced.”

In a recent report, the American Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) assessed the current and future risks of cryptocurrency use by countries adversarial to the United States, including Iran.

The FDD warned that, in a scenario in which one of the countries convinces other nations to use a state-based cryptocurrency based on a major commodity export — such as oil — sanctions would be much harder to enforce.

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Crypto Banking Firm FairX Shuts Down Due to Lack of Financing

FairX, a financial services company involved with banking and digital assets, has shut down its operations as it failed to establish a licensed national bank.

FairX, a financial services company involved with banking and digital assets, has shut down its operations as it failed to establish a licensed national bank.

According to a FairX Twitter thread on July 19, the company has fallen short of setting up a licensed national bank due to a lack of funding. FairX was trying to raise funds for the planned bank over the past 14 months, which it described as:

“… a new, licensed, fully regulated national bank, modeled as a financial market utility, that would work with individuals and banks to create a dematerialized bank deposit, denominated in USD. The bank was Frank Financial.”

“This dematerialized bank deposit would act, in many respects, similarly to a stablecoin, except a stablecoin this was not. A stablecoin, by its definition, is not an asset that can settle transactions between banks in the context of, say, ACH [automated clearing house] or CC [credit card] transactions,” the posts further explained.

The company stresses that it succeeded in introducing its business idea to regulators, complying with Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules, as well as in receiving positive feedback from regulators. After initiating its binary stage, FairX realized that it needed another injection of capital.

At that point, the crypto investment community backed out purportedly due to the bank’s perceived centralization.

Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that Indian cryptocurrency exchange Cryptokart ceased its operations. Cryptokart’s founder, Gaurang Poddar, described the shutdown of the exchange as “difficult, given the hard work we’ve put in” but concluded that overall the experience was positive. Poddar said he was proud of the platform and seemed intent on remaining in the field, stating, “If you know anyone interested in launching their own exchange, please let me know.”

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South Korea: Crypto Crimes Cost $2.28B Since July 2017

South Korean authorities estimate that crypto-related crimes have caused 2.69 trillion won of financial damages between July 2017 and June 2019.

The South Korean Justice Ministry estimates that cryptocurrency-related crimes have caused 2.69 trillion won (about $2.28 billion) of financial damage between July 2017 and June 2019.

According to a July 21 report by English-language local media The Korea Herald, the ministry claimed that 132 cryptocurrency-related criminals and fraudsters had been indicted and detained, with another 288 indicted without physical detention during the aforementioned time frame.

The report states that, while Justice Minister Park Sang-kim has ordered stern measures against cryptocurrency criminals, a lack of clear regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges has led to an increase in the use of quasi-anonymous or opaque accounts. 

Despite a ban on anonymous crypto exchange accounts in January last year, minor exchanges reportedly started using so-called “beehive accounts” to circumvent the regulation.

Exchanges employing these kind of accounts keep user funds on their corporate bank accounts, keeping the identity of their users private. The government reportedly proposed to end the practice, but a court halted the initiative ruling that it would be inappropriate for the government to close the exchange’s corporate bank accounts.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, South Korea’s leading credit card firm Shinhan Card was granted a patent for a blockchain payments system.

On July 1, news broke that Busan, South Korea’s second most-populous city after Seoul, is considering the launch of a local cryptocurrency in collaboration with BNK Busan Bank, a subsidiary of local holding company BNK Financial Group.

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Major Coins Trading Sideways With Moderate Losses, Bitcoin Near $10,400

Crypto markets are trading sideways, remaining relatively quiet with slight losses throughout the top 20 coins.

Sunday, July 21 — Major coins are mostly trading sideways, remaining relatively quiet with moderate losses over the past 24 hours, according to data from Coin360.

Market visualization from Coin360

Market visualization from Coin360

The leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) broke the $11,000 threshold earlier yesterday, but could not hold its position and dipped to its current price point of $10,406, down by 1.86% on the day. In terms of its weekly performance, BTC has lost 2.20%.

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360

The second-largest crypto, Ether (ETH), has taken a downturn as well and is trading at $221.26 at press time, down by 1.34% on the day. ETH began the day at $233.61, hitting its highest mark at $236.05 in the middle of the day before reaching its current price.

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ripple (XRP) has also experienced slight losses over the last 24 hours, down 1.78% to trade at $0.323 at press time. The altcoin’s weekly chart is showing its price increase by 2.91%, with its lowest price mark of $0.293 on July 16.

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

On the top-20 digital currencies list, only Tether (USDT), EOS (EOS), UNUS SED LEO (LEO), Cosmos (ATOM), and Tezos (XTZ) are reporting gains, wherein XTZ is up by 9.37%.

Total market capitalization of all coins is over $288 billion at press time, which is its lowest point on the day. The daily trading volume of all cryptocurrencies is around $59.4 billion.

As reported earlier today, BTC outflows on major cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX notably exceeded the inflows after the firm was reported to be a subject in a regulatory investigation. Over the past 24 hours, BitMEX reportedly saw an outflow of $83 million worth of Bitcoin, while only $12 million came in.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here
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Bitcoin Retakes $11,000 Following Turbulent Week in Crypto

Bitcoin back over $11K following slump through a turbulent workweek.

Charts Courtesy of Coin360.com

Charts Courtesy of Coin360.com

July 20 — Bitcoin (BTC) has retaken the $11,000 price point on the heels of a turbulent week. 

Charts Courtesy of Coin360.com

Charts Courtesy of Coin360.com

After a bull market at the end of June brought the price of BTC to almost $14,000, the coin had largely been maintaining between $10,000 and $13,000 for most of the past month, briefly cracking $11,000 on July 15 before slipping below the $10,000 price point on July 16. For the past three days, BTC has been in the $10,000 range, but had faltered at the $11,000 resistance until now.

Charts Courtesy of Coin360.com

Charts Courtesy of Coin360.com

The past week has seen some major hurdles for cryptocurrency at large, particularly within the United States. On July 11, President Donald Trump voiced his opposition to cryptocurrencies, particularly BTC and Facebook’s planned Libra, in a series of tweets, saying:

“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.” 

Trump’s tweets came days before hearings on Facebook’s Libra before the US Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, July 16 and the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, July 17. The two hearings left little doubt as to Congress’s attitude toward Libra, which was overwhelmingly negative. Representative Madeleine Dean commented:

“It’s tough to trust when the collection, storage and misuse of the information of your customers generated a $5 billion fine.”

While Libra’s outlook may be bleak, the significance of the hearings for Bitcoin — with a market cap of $196,266,374,749 as of press time, the largest cryptocurrency — has remained unclear. 

Today’s price rally may mean that the storm has passed for BTC.

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Coinbase CEO Wants Firm to Move Beyond Trading in Next 5 Years

In a new AMA session, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that he expects the company to be less about trading, more about adoption.

Brian Armstrong, CEO of major American crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase,  believes that the firm will be less about trading and more about adoption five years from now.

Armstrong wants the firm to connect people in crypto industry

 In an AMA session on July 19, Armstrong presented his vision of the company in five years, claiming that he sees Coinbase as not just a crypto trading service provider, but rather a more universal entity driving adoption to crypto.

Armstrong pointed out Coinbase’s mission to help grow the global crypto economy by connecting people in the market and expanding crypto community to help people use cryptocurrencies for more than just buying and selling. In this regard, Armstrong cited some recent Coinbase developments, such as incentivized crypto educational program Coinbase Earn, as well as preparations to soon enable crypto lending and margin trading on Coinbase. Armstrong explained:

“In five years I hope that we’ll have it even further beyond that. There’ll be thousands of companies that’ll be crypto-first.”

Armstrong supports people who left Coinbase to run their own crypto projects

As a part of Coinbase’s crypto adoption driver mission, Armstrong has also expressed his positive stance to former Coinbase employees who decided to leave the company to launch a new successful crypto project. Coinbase CEO noted the existing term of Coinbase mafia, recalling roughly ten people who have quit Coinbase to run successful crypto companies.

Armstrong appeared to encourage these former employees, claiming that he really wants people to learn from Coinbase and spread their knowledge to bring more adoption. “We‘re just gonna keep doing more and more of that,” Armstrong said, still adding that Coinbase is a multi product company.

On July 12, Armstrong said that a recent anti-Bitcoin (BTC) tweet by United States President Donald Trump unlocked another achievement for crypto industry, indicating that crypto industry is independent of global powers and that those powers cannot shut crypto down.

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Bitcoin Approaches $11,000 With All Top 20 in Green

All top-20 coins by market cap are seeing significant gains, while Bitcoin approaches 11,000.

Saturday, July 20 — crypto markets have seen another upward move, with all top 20 coins by market cap seeing major gains, while Bitcoin (BTC) has approached $11,000 mark again.

Market visualization from Coin360

Market visualization from Coin360

After dipping below the $11,000 threshold on July 14, Bitcoin has approached the price point today, with its intraday high of $10,944, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The biggest cryptocurrency added 3.7% to its price to trade at $10,922 at press time. As Bitcoin has seen significant volatility this week, with its price having dipped below $9,500, the cryptocurrency is down around 3% over the past 7 days at press time.

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360

Ether (ETH), the second cryptocurrency by market cap, is up over 5% and trading at $232 at press time. The top altcoin is down 13.4% over the past 7 days.

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ripple (XRP), the third top cryptocurrency by market cap, added 6.4% to trade at $0.339, also seeing a notable growth over the past 7 days, adding up to about 2.6%.

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin SV (BSV), the ninth top cryptocurrency by market cap, has added over 25% to its value today, seeing the biggest growth among the top 20 coins by market cap.

As of press time, total market capitalization amounts to $298 billion after that number dropped below $250 billion earlier this week. Daily trade volume amounts to around $63 billion.

The new wave of green on crypto markets follows a recent bullish prediction by managing director and quant strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors Sam Doctor, who suggested that much-anticipated Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures contracts will launch in Q3 2019.

Additionally, India’s Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said yesterday that there is no legislation in India that expressly bans citizens from using cryptocurrencies.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here
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Cryptokart: Another Indian Crypto Exchange Shuts Down Operations

Founder of Indian cryptocurrency exchange Cryptokart Gaurang Poddar announced that the company is shutting down.

Founder of Indian cryptocurrency exchange Cryptokart Gaurang Poddar announced that his company is shutting down in a LinkedIn post published last week.

In his post, Poddar described the shutdown of the exchange as “difficult, given the hard work we’ve put in” but concluded that overall the experience was positive and that he was proud of the platform and seemed intent on remaining in the field, asking “If you know anyone interested in launching their own exchange, please let me know.”

Poddar announced that he was looking for opportunities in product management, and asked anyone who knew about such opportunities to contact him. Poddar launched Cryptokart in 2017, roughly one year and nine months ago.

The news comes after Indian crypto exchange Koinex ceased operations in June and in May Coinome — another crypto exchange operating in the country — announced the halt of its services. Both exchanges cited the hostile regulatory environment as the cause of their shutdowns.

As Cointelegraph reported last month, Indian lawmakers have reportedly proposed to enforce a 10-year jail term for citizens who deal with cryptocurrencies. The new tough crypto regulation is part of a recently proposed draft bill called “Banning Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019.”

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Chiliz to Provide Official Crypto of Football Club AS Rome via Socios

Italian football club AS Roma will join blockchain-based voting platform for sports through a partnership with sports and entertainment blockchain firm Chiliz.

Italian football club AS Roma will join blockchain-based voting platform Socios through a partnership with sports and entertainment blockchain firm Chiliz.

In an official announcement published on July 19, Chiliz revealed that AS Roma is joining Socios, a sports platform powered by Chiliz, in order to launch an AS Roma fan token. The dedicated tokens are set to provide fans with the right to vote in certain club-delegated decisions.

The post further explains that “the more fans vote and interact with the club through the app, the more rewards they can earn, competing for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and gaining access to exclusive merchandise, games and leaderboards.” The voting options are set to include naming a club facility, a voice in warm-up activities at the Stadio Olimpico, among others.

The tokens will be tradeable against Socios’ native token, dubbed $CHZ. Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO & Founder of Socios, commented on the partnership:

“This partnership gives us the opportunity to educate a huge audience of mainstream consumers to the benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, across Europe as well as Asia and Latin America. If you add up all the fan bases of our current partners, we’re already looking at a potential audience of hundreds of millions of sports fans and users for both $CHZ and Socios.com.”

In mid-May, Chiliz announced a strategic partnership with Binance Chain, the mainnet of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance. At the time, Dreyfus underscored that the new integration with the Binance Chain mainnet would increase Socios’ access to the liquidity pool of the worldwide Binance community.

The sports industry has been gradually embracing blockchain technology and digital currencies. Recently, major Portuguese sports club SL Benfica revealed it now accepts cryptocurrency for merchandise and tickets.