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As central bank digital currencies continue to be researched and tested by countries across the globe, it becomes more apparent that the United States dollar’s reign might be challenged once the concept is implemented on a regional scale.
 
While most retail CBDCs focus on internal economic matters, some projects aim to facilitate trade relations within a specific region, forming a digital alternative to the greenback. The most eloquent example would be the East Asia cryptocurrency that was proposed earlier in June — a virtual asset backed by a basket of currencies including the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, South Korean won and Hong Kong dollar.
 
The United States dollar remains the undisputed king when it comes to international trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, around 61% of all foreign exchange reserves are allocated in the dollar as of 2019. Similarly, the U.S. sovereign currency serves as the main medium for cross-border deals, even for deals not involving the U.S. itself. For instance, 86% of India’s imports are paid for in dollars, while only 5% of them actually originate in the U.S.
 
 
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A group of researchers from SophosLabs state that hackers operating the cryptojacking malware, Glupteba, have been using the Bitcoin blockchain network to communicate in secret.
 
According to the report published on June 24, cybercriminals rely on a command and control center where they send encrypted secret messages that require a 256-bit AES decryption key. The purpose of the communication channel is for hackers to receive updated configuration information for the malware. This data is used by attackers to obtain precise instructions and thus update the malicious software. Glupteba is what’s known as a zombie or software robot that can be controlled remotely. It has various functions such as a rootkit, security suppressor, virus, router attack tool, browser stealer, and as a cryptojacking tool.
 
 
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Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, one of the major traditional Japanese financial institutions, has unveiled a plan to develop a security token exchange. Tokai Tokyo is already an investor in Huobi Japan.
 
According to Nikkei, as the first step in the journey, Tokai Tokyo is investing in blockchain company Hash Dash Holdings to leverage the company’s knowledge to develop the exchange. Hash Dash aims to apply blockchain technology to the financial industry for issuing digital securities and providing a trading service on smartphones. The planned exchange will trade in tokenized real estate, and Tokai Tokyo, Hash Dash and ICHX TECH will explore this sector by digitizing Japanese real estate and trade it at iSTOX, a digital security exchange in Singapore it has invested in. They are also exploring digitizing IPs and corporate bonds.
 
 
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Building Cities Beyond (BCB) Blockchain, a Singapore based tech solution company for smart cities, has launched an innovation grant, worth $15 million, to encourage development on its ecosystem, according to Fintech News Singapore.
 
The BCB Innovation Grant is said to target up to 1,000 projects within Asia. The $15 million grant will cater to technology startups in the region, with grant participants also gaining access to BCB workshops and facilities to assist and bolster their development capabilities. BCB will also set aside $2.8 million of its innovation grant to fund game development projects on the BCB platform, in order to attract developers to its platform.
 
 
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The Australian Cyber Security Centre said a group of “state actors” hacked Australian networks on June 19 and one of the vulnerabilities they exploited is related to cryptojacking malware attacks.
 
According to the 48-page report released on June 24, the threat actors exploited four critical vulnerabilities in Telerik UI, including CVE-2019-18935, which was recently leveraged by the Blue Mockingbird malware gang to infect thousands of systems with XMRRig, a Monero (XMR) mining software.
 
 
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While 80% of the world's central banks are exploring digital currency, China has been on this particular journey for a good six years. In 2014, Xiaochuan Zhou, then Governor of the People's Bank of China, established a Digital Currency Research Institute with the goal of exploring its potential use for the PBOC, which is the country’s central bank. The following few years saw the birth of a few research centers scattering across the country.
 
Now that 6 years have passed, DCEP—the abbreviation for “digital currency, electronic payment”— is China’s answer to a digital currency issued by the central bank. (It’s 数字货币 in Chinese, which means “digital currency” but plenty of people there actually use the English "word" DCEP.) Pilot projects have been ongoing in Shenzhen, Xiongan, Chengdu, and Suzhou, where it’s being used for things like transportation, education, healthcare, and other consumer goods and services. It's slowly gaining momentum, and from the outside, DCEP looks awfully like any other cashless payment solution.
 
 
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Japanese blockchain company Soramitsu announced it would start testing a new local digital currency for retailers at the University of Aizu.
 
According to a June 29 report in the Nikkei newspaper, Soramitsu will begin testing “White Tiger,” a digital currency sitting on the company’s native Hyperledger Iroha blockchain. The digital asset will be tested at cafeterias and shops at the University of Aizu in Fukushima Prefecture, 300 km north of Tokyo, starting on July 1 before gradually being utilized at locations off campus. Soramitsu, based in Tokyo, is one of the blockchain startups behind the development of a central bank digital currency in Cambodia.
 
 
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Ethereum-based market-making protocol Balancer has announced that it will compensate users who lost their tokens in a protocol attack associated with two deflationary tokens.
 
The attack took advantage of the fact that deflationary tokens STONK and STA both charge transfer fees when trading. At the same time, their associated Balancer pools do not immediately account for those fees. It means that the pool balance will show more STONK or STA than the actual number, leaving attackers opportunities to respectively trade STONK and STA, incurring transfer fees and thus draining the two tokens. When there were very few tokens left in the pools, the attackers called a function to sync the displayed balance of the pools with the actual balance, resulting in a sharp drop in STONK and STA supplies and pushing up their prices against other assets they paired with.
 
Balancer is expected to announce details of its reimbursement process by the end of the week.
 
 
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Last week’s release of Apple’s iOS 14 developer beta for iPhone has made it more obvious than ever that many popular iOS apps are reading your clipboard data even when they have no clear reason to—and they can do so from other nearby Apple devices, too.
 
The alarm was first sounded back in March when researchers Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry reported that social video sensation TikTok and dozens of other apps were regularly recalling data from the iOS and iPadOS clipboard, even when you’re not in a text input box. And as Ars Technica pointed out in a recent report, that data could potentially include Bitcoin addresses or other sensitive financial information.
 
 
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SBI Financial Services, a subsidiary of Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, has bought a $30 million minority stake in British crypto liquidity startup, B2C2.
 
The investment marks the beginning of a strategic partnership between the firms as B2C2 is set to become SBI’s main liquidity provider. As announced on July 1, the collaboration is aimed to expand SBI’s crypto offering to millions of customers. B2C2 is intended to benefit from SBI’s distribution network as the London-based startup launches an electronic prime brokerage. As reported, SBI’s new crypto fund will mostly operate XRP, which is planned to account for 50% of the fund’s portfolio. Other digital assets include Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), comprising 30% and 20%, respectively, based on a chart from SBI’s presentation.
 
 
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Kazakhstan says it will double its digital currency mining investment at the end of this year, and is eyeing a CBDC.
 
Kazakhstan officials revealed the nation’s digital currency development plan to experts from Russia and China at "2020 Astana Online Financial Day". According to the China Ministry of Commerce on July 1, Kazakhstan plans to double its digital currency mining investment by the end of this year, and continues to develop its central bank digital currency. According to the report, Kazakhstan's digital currency mining project attracted 82.6 million Tenge, which is about 20 million USD. The scale of this investment will increase by 80 million Tenge in 2020.
 
 
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OKCoin's COO said a PayPal crypto listing would give the industry vast exposure.
 
Rumors recently surfaced of mainstream payment giant PayPal adding crypto as an option on its platform. Although he had no additional information on the legitimacy of the rumors, OKCoin COO Jason Lau said digital assets on PayPal would further crypto adoption.
 
 
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Per a July 2 announcement, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are opening up virtual hours for industry players looking to discuss innovation and new technologies in banking.
 
The new meetings will be capped at one hour in length and are currently slated for just two days, July 29-30. Those interested need to register by July 17. Depending on the success of these meetings, they may become a more regular feature. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s FinHub recently announced virtual meetups to build on a longer tradition of peer-to-peer engagement. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission similarly held one-off meetings in February, before COVID-19 lockdowns took hold around the U.S.
 
 
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Jeff Bezos, CEO of online shopping giant Amazon, recently tapped record wealth levels, holding more personal wealth than all the speculative capital currently invested in crypto's largest asset — Bitcoin (BTC).
 
“Amazon stock shares surged 4.4% to a record $2,878.70 Wednesday, boosting the founder’s world-leading fortune to $171.6 billion,” Bloomberg said in a July 1 article. “That tops his previous high of $167.7 billion, set on Sept. 4, 2018, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.” At press time, Bitcoin holds a market cap of approximately $166.4 billion, according to Coin360 data, showing the value of all BTC in circulation at the asset’s current price level.
 
 
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The Commons Foundation, a South Korean non-governmental organization, revealed its plans to develop a blockchain-based platform that aims to handle health epidemics in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
 
According to Digital Today, the NGO will rely on blockchain public services to create an epidemiological research system to suit the coming post-coronavirus era. The article quotes a statement from Choi Yong-gwan, chairman of the Commons Foundation, who expressed concerns regarding the ongoing violation of personal information due to the pandemic emergency. Such a situation motivated the NGO to develop a solution. The NGO explained that a public blockchain network, called “MicroBitcoin”, will be the one that the Common Foundation relies on to develop the platform. They have chosen it for its solidity and security, and state the technology is robust enough to prevent the compromisation of hackers.
 
 
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In a special announcement made at the Unitize conference on July 6, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Terra revealed a new DeFi savings product called Anchor that aims to offer dependable interest rates on stablecoins deposits.
 
The companies involved in the creation of Anchor plan to launch it across their respective blockchains at the end of Q3 this year and scale across to other PoS blockchains in the future. Anchor’s smart contracts receive stablecoin deposits and use a portion of them to acquire staking positions on compatible Proof of Stake blockchains. Users will receive their passive income from these staking rewards.
 
 
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Seven-day average hash rate passes 123.4 EH/s for the first time as network fundamentals defy bearish price action.
 
An essential Bitcoin (BTC) metric has hit a new all-time high as miners pledge ever more computing power to securing the network. Data from various resources including Blockchain confirms that on July 6, Bitcoin’s seven-day average hash rate reached a new peak.
 
 
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One of India’s largest farmer producer organizations plans to use blockchain to help farmers receive higher pay.
 
One of India’s largest farm producer organizations (FPO), Sahyadri Farmers Producer Co, is integrating blockchain into its business process. FPOs are member-based institutions of farmers that are the result of a government-led initiative. The organizations help fars sell agricultural produce at the most advantageous prices.
 
 
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The world’s second-highest-valued unicorn startup has partnered with the Chinese central bank to work on the forthcoming digital yuan.
 
According to an announcement DiDi shared with Cointelegraph earlier today, the company has entered into “a strategic partnership” with the Digital Currency Research Institute of the PBoC. Together, DiDi and the PBoC’s think tank will reportedly work to bring the DC/EP solution to the former’s large-scale transportation network, which DiDi also refers to as “the world’s largest one-stop on-demand transportation platform.”
 
Primarily known as the Uber of China, DiDi claims to have 550 million users across Asia, Latin America and Australia. Its services mainly include public transportation and food delivery, while the company’s latest reported plans are to create an autonomous vehicles subsidiary and release more than one million self-driving cars by 2030.
 
 
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The Japanese government will appoint Ryozo Himino as the next commissioner of Japan's Financial Services Agency.
 
iji Press reported on July 7 that the Japanese government has decided to appoint Ryozo Himino to the next commissioner of Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA). The official announcement will be made this month. Cointelegraph has reached out to FSA to confirm the news but has not received replies yet. Himino, currently the International Financial Deputy Counselor, is known on the international stage. Last September, he became the first Japanese Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Financial Stability Board (FSB). Himino is considered sympathetic to the crypto industry.
 
 
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Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, believes other countries are much more open-minded in terms of crypto regulation and taxes than America.
 
Lawrence Zlatkin, chief tax officer at Coinbase, shared the exchange’s outlook on taxation and the global cryptocurrency market during a Unitize panel on July 7. He was joined on the panel by Fidelity’s senior tax counsel Jessica Reif-Caplan and Deloitte’s global tax leader, Rob Massey. During the discussion, the speakers highlighted the lack of clarity around cryptocurrency taxation in the U.S.. According to the tax experts at Coinbase and Fidelity, the uncertainty is a result of the complex nature of digital assets as well as a huge variety of different types and features of different coins.
 
 
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Development of China’s central bank digital currency, or CBDC, continues to show signs of progress. On July 8, a major domestic e-commerce platform and a video sharing site both joined the CBDC project, according to local news.
 
Companies Meituan and Bilibilibili have apparently both begun to cooperate with a number of banks involved in the digital Yuan project. Meituan is a major service platform with over 240 million consumers and five million local merchants, and Bilibilibili is known as China’s largest video sharing website. In addition, Chinese multinational tech group, ByteDance, is also said to be in close discussion with the banks about CBDC collaboration.
 
 
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BitFlyer, the biggest crypto exchange in Japan in terms of trading volume, has announced a partnership with Brave, the privacy-protecting browser.
 
No further details about the new crypto wallet have been made available. Japanese users of Brave browser are rewarded with Basic Attention Token Points (BAP), due to regulations that prevent them from earning the cryptocurrency BAT, or trading their points for money on exchanges. The announcement is likely to fuel speculation that the new crypto wallet could pave the way to enable Japanese users to earn BAT, instead of BAP, or somehow convert between the two.
 
 
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The U.S. Department of Justice, or DoJ, indicted Andrey Turchin, known under the pseudonym "fxmsp," with various federal crimes. Turchin allegedly founded a cybercrime group that targeted the computer networks of several companies. After stealing each company’s data, Turchin’s group allegedly sold the data on the dark web.
 
Turchin, a 37 year old Kazakhstan national, is affectionately known on the dark web as "the invisible god of networks." He allegedly sold access to thousands of networks breached with his malware attacks, amassing a million dollar crypto fortune over the course of three years. The Western District of Washington is now conducting criminal indictment procedures against Turchin, who is accused of attacking companies based in over 40 countries.
 
 
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Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDCs, have been an increasingly popular topic in the cryptosphere and financial world as a whole, especially with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. In the United States, the need for a universal electronic payment system for stimulus checks gave rise to a proposition for the creation of a digital dollar and its implementation.
 
While members of the U.S. government move to create a CBDC on the back of the pandemic, it doesn’t end there. A recent report by the Bank for International Settlements has also revealed that the development of CBDCs may be accelerated by the impact of the coronavirus on retail payments, which have seen a sharp decline in cash payments due to concerns over viral transmission. However, CBDCs have been in the works for many years in some countries, as there are many other benefits in the eyes of lawmakers that speak in favor of introducing them. In fact, the Chinese government has been working on its digital yuan since 2015, with few details about the project being known.
 
 
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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is clear: The video games industry is thriving. As people around the world find themselves with more time on their hands thanks to government-mandated lockdowns and a partial economic shutdown, video game sales have skyrocketed.
 
Despite being overshadowed by some of the more glamorous uses for blockchain technology, the gaming industry may be poised for a generational leap forward with the advent of asset tokenization — a practice that could expose the gaming industry to a whole new wave of investors while simultaneously unlocking myriad benefits for the world’s 2.5 billion gamers.
 
 
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Digital currency payments may become a reality for G20 members before the next summit in Saudi Arabia.
 
As reported by Kyodo News on July 11, officials revealed that the G20 summit compromising representatives from 19 countries and the European Union will be laying the groundwork to accept digital payments. The changes are expected to begin in October, presumably at the G20 Finance Ministerial and Deputies Meetings in Washington DC and before the next summit in Riyadh in November.
 
 
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The World Economic Forum believes that blockchain could contribute to a $365 billion savings by 2030 by reducing food loss and waste in the food supply chain.
 
A report published by the World Economic Forum, or WEF, highlighted the critical role of fourth industrial revolution technologies. New technologies like blockchain could help stimulate growth by implementing “nature-positive” solutions following the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the “Future of Nature and Business” study shared with Cointelegraph, nature-friendly solutions could have the capacity to create 395 million jobs and generate $10.1 trillion in business opportunities by 2030.
 
 
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Xiao Gang, the former chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, says in his latest book on China capital market reforms that the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) will pave the way for digital stocks.
 
Stocks and currencies are separate entities in traditional finance, however blockchain-based digital currencies blur the boundaries between the two and raise new possibilities. Xiao adds that “digital stock is the natural product of digital currency in the future.” Before that can happen a number of challenges that need to be explored in theory and practice including: how to connect the CBDC with the digital capital market, how to prepare smart contracts to issue digital stocks, and how to use the digital currency to carry out digital stock trading and settlements.
 
 
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The Japanese government is expected to include consideration of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in its official economic plan. The news comes 10 days after the Bank of Japan’s announcement that it will start experimenting with the digital yen to check its feasibility from a technical perspective.
 
According to Nikkei, the consideration of CBDC will be included in the Honebuto Plan for Economic and Fiscal Revitalization. The Honebuto Plan is the basis for Japan’s economic and fiscal policy and the report says the Japanese government “will consider a CBDC while coordinating with other countries”. After China began testing its CBDC or digital yuan, the Japanese government has accelerated preparations for its own CBDC.
 
 
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Elliptic says 22% of bitcoins from Twitter hack were likely sent to a Wasabi Wallet address for mixing
 
Blockchain analysis company Elliptic released a report today saying 2.89 bitcoins were sent to an address it believes to be a part of a Wasabi Wallet. According to the report, the funds, which account for 22% of the funds obtained by the Twitter hacker, were sent to a Wasabi Wallet address late Thursday night. Elliptic used a special feature to identify Wasabi Wallet addresses using what it called "distinctive transaction patterns." Blockchain data analyzed by The Block Research previously identified signs of mixing transactions.
 
 
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The “Mekotio” trojan went from conventional banking malware one fine-tuned to steal crypto.
 
According to a report published by cybersecurity firm ESET, the malware is known as “Mekotio” and has been active since approximately March 2018. Since then, threat actors have been continuously upgrading the capabilities and range of attack, mostly known by targeting over 51 banks.
 
 
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Bitcoin’s (BTC) consistent failure to break the $9,400 level over the past three weeks has led to some analysts becoming skeptical about the chance of a positive breakout.
 
Although the $9,000 support has been holding strong for the past 50 days, any slightly negative indicator tends to get more attention from media and pundits. Recently, crypto media has focused on Bitcoin’s 25 % skew as proof that options traders are turning bearish in the short-term, but in reality there’s more to it than just interpreting signals from one data point.
 
 
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The former chief operating officer at disgraced payments firm Wirecard has reportedly transferred "significant sums" of bitcoin following his escape from Germany, according to reporting by a leading German business newspaper Handelsblatt.
 
Jan Marsalek was a key figure behind the breakdown of Germany-based Wirecard, which has made headlines for filing for insolvency and allegations of improper accounting tied to billions of dollars that went missing from its balance sheet. The transfer of bitcoin suggests Marsalek is now in Russia. As per German publication Handelsblatt, Marsalek has been missing for weeks and he "is said to have brought significant sums to Russia in the form of bitcoins from Dubai, where Wirecard had dubious operations" as per a translation of a Sunday evening report.
 
 
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Payments giant PayPal is said to have partnered with Paxos Crypto Brokerage to launch its crypto service.
 
Paxos Crypto Brokerage was launched last week, with Revolut U.S. as its first client. The API-based brokerage service allows fintech firms to integrate crypto buying, selling, holding and sending capabilities into their own applications. Paxos handles all regulatory, technological, and liquidity aspects, while fintech firms take care of front-end experiences.
 
 
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Barry Silbert, CEO of cryptocurrency investment firm Grayscale Investments and Digital Currency Group, believes the United States is past the point of no return for banning Bitcoin.
 
The CEO said relationships with regulators are much better off due to the effort made by groups including the Blockchain Association — a group speaking out in favor of many blockchain and crypto companies in front of the SEC — and Coin Center, a non-profit crypto advocacy group. Grayscale reported a substantial increase in the inflow of cryptocurrencies for Q2 2020, which totaled $905.8 million. This was up from $503.7 million in Q1.
 
 
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The government of South Korea has finalized its plan to charge a 20% tax on income generated from cryptocurrency transactions.
 
The country's Ministry of Economy and Finance amended its tax code on Wednesday, saying that an annual income of more than 2.5 million won (~$2,000) from crypto trading will be subject to a 20% tax for residents. Any income less than that amount will have no charge.
 
 
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Bitbond, a Germany-based firm that provides blockchain enabled tokenization services, announced on Tuesday that it had become a member of the German bank association Bankenverband.
 
In an emailed announcement, the firm said that the bank association has already been working with initiatives like the digital euro, and BitBond would contribute its expertise in the tokenization and digital asset custody area through its membership. Bankenverband, or the Association of German Banks, represents about 200 commercial banks in the country. Back in February, BitBond said it had partnered with the Munich based bank, Bank von der Heydt, to help integrate blockchain technology with the bank’s established securitization services.
 
 
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Leading NFT collectibles issuer Dapper Labs has announced a deal with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to launch tokenized collectibles depicting the firm’s iconic characters.
 
Dapper will sell digital packs of the crypto collectibles, allowing fans to assemble and curate NFT collections. Fans who assemble specific 'sets' of tokens will unlock exclusive content, and be able to access unique experiences beyond those offered by the purchasable packs.
 
 
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The CEO of a crypto firm that recently settled with the SEC over its 2017 ICO is suing T-Mobile over a series of SIM-swaps that resulted in the loss of $8.7 million worth of crypto.

According to filings published on July 22, the chief executive of crypto company Veritaseum, was first targeted by SIM-swappers during July 2017. Despite immediately reporting the incident to T-Mobile, Middleton claims to have been the victim of four successful SIM-swaps over the rest of 2017, and further attacks during 2018 and 2019.

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Gibraltar Finance, the business development arm of Gibraltar’s government, will provide support to the forthcoming Post-COVID Hackathon.

Gibraltar Finance has been announced as an official partner of the upcoming Post-COVID Hackathon — a global, online initiative intended to create open-source solutions addressing the health, social and economic challenges posed by the post-COVID-19 era. The event is expected to see participation from hundreds of teams internationally building in the distributed ledger technology (DLT) sector, with over 200 industry experts slated to assist participants.


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As real estate security tokens grow in popularity, tZERO has partnered with Aspen Digital to support trade in a five-star resort-backed token.

Leading security token exchange tZERO has partnered with Aspen Digital Inc. to enable trade for Aspen’s digital security. The ‘ASPEN’ token, previously dubbed ‘Aspen Coin’, represents $18 million worth of indirect ownership in the St. Regis Aspen Resort — a five-star, 179-room hotel situated in Colorado. ASPEN’s listing on tZERO comes as the popularity of real estate tokens continues to show steady growth.


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Brave Browser takes the security and privacy of iPhones and iPads to the next level by partnering with Guardian, provider of VPN and Firewall services.
 
July 27, Brave Software partners with Guardian to bring greater levels of security and privacy to the iPhone and iPad users. This partnership will combine the privacy stack of the two companies — Brave’s privacy focused browser with Guardian’s VPN and firewall service. The iOS users of Brave Browser will be able with one click to turn on Brave Firewall + VPN that will protect the entire device from privacy intruding trackers.
 
 
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China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) will be integrating with some of the most well-known public blockchains over the next 12 months.
 
He Yifan, CEO of Red Date Technology, the private company behind the BSN, told Cointelegraph that the network aims to integrate with 30–40 public blockchain networks by June 2021. In the following year, it will further integrate more blockchains to purportedly double that number. Launched in April, BSN is China’s first government-backed blockchain initiative that was initially positioned to help small to medium-size businesses and entrepreneurs build and deploy blockchain applications on permissioned blockchains. It has since registered 6,000 enterprises and individuals on the network.
 
 
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Registered by Swiss crypto investment manager FiCAS, the new Bitcoin Capital Active ETP trades crypto without direct investor involvement.
 
Swiss SIX Exchange, one of the world’s largest stock exchanges, is listing a new cryptocurrency exchange-traded product, or ETP. Dubbed the “Bitcoin Capital Active ETP,” the new trading product represents an actively managed crypto ETP, trading Bitcoin (BTC) against 14 top altcoins like Ether (ETH) and exiting to fiat without active involvement from investors. Claimed to be the world’s first actively managed crypto ETP, the new product is now listed on SIX Exchange under index BTCA.
 
 
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Bakkt breaks another record with more than 11,700 Bitcoin futures contracts traded on Tuesday.

Intercontinental Exchange subsidiary, Bakkt, is reporting record numbers of trades for its monthly Bitcoin futures contracts as BTC prices made a new high for the year. The institutional investing platform reported its highest ever figure for Bitcoin monthly futures on Jul. 28 with 11,506 contracts — an increase of 85% over the previous record. The move followed a surge in the underlying asset’s price to a 2020 high of $11,400.


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New York investment bank Goldman Sachs is raising its price target for gold while sounding the alarm about risks to the U.S. dollar.

In a note to clients Tuesday, the bank reaffirmed its position of gold being "the currency of last resort" amid uncertain economic conditions, raising its price target for gold to $2,300 per ounce after a surge to record levels earlier this week. The bank tied the metal's rally to a "potential shift in the U.S. Fed towards an inflationary bias against a backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions, elevated U.S. domestic political and social uncertainty and a second wave of Covid-19 related infection."


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Hackers have transferred roughly $38.7M out of $1.3B worth of Bitcoin from wallets connected to the infamous 2016 hack of crypto exchange Bitfinex.

Some of the 119,756 Bitcoin that was stolen from crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016 has started moving again. According to a series of tweets posted by Whale Alert on July 27-28, wallet addresses known to be associated with one of the largest breaches ever of a crypto exchange moved 3503 Bitcoin (BTC) — worth roughly $38.7 million — over 12 transactions. The largest individual movement was of 476.32 BTC, or approximately $5.2 million, while the smallest was 2.612703 BTC, or $28,849.


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In a letter to investors released on July 29, Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead noted that the United States has printed a shocking amount of money to combat the pandemic-induced financial crisis.

“The United States printed more money in June than in the first two centuries after its founding,” Morehead wrote. “Last month the U.S. budget deficit — $864 billion — was larger than the total debt incurred from 1776 through the end of 1979.” Morehead made it clear that Pantera Capital sees Bitcoin as the solution for the current crisis. He also contrasted the effects of money printing in recent months, to how the equivalent amount of currency had performed across centuries.


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Despite early hype, real estate tokenization has failed to garner significant momentum, leading some to question its future viability.

As the initial coin offering (ICO) boom subsided and the 2018 crypto bear trend began to set in, many analysts predicted that security tokens may drive the next market cycle — with the vast capital locked in the real estate sector being eyed hungrily for tokenization. However, with the Bitcoin halving, Ethereum 2.0, and the emergence of DeFi capturing the imagination of crypto markets recently, real estate tokenization is no longer the flavor of the month, and some are questioning its viability.


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US GDP dropped a mammoth 32.9% in Q2, sharply contrasting with a cryptocurrency market that grew over the same timeframe.

The gross domestic product of the United States just had its worst quarter-to-quarter drop in history. But the economic slump hasn’t had an adverse effect on Bitcoin crypto. According to the US Department of Commerce’s Q2 report, US GDP fell 32.9% in Q2, the worst quarter-to-quarter change in the country’s history. The second worst plunge came in 1921, when GDP fell some 28%. For comparison, the most drastic hit to GDP during The Great Recession was in the ballpark of 8%.


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Travala.com now offers a total of 3 million accommodation options users can book with cryptocurrency.

Online travel booking platform Travala.com has added one million new homes across 195 countries to its site with the release of a designated home bookings section called ‘Homes’. Holiday homes and apartments can be booked with over 30 different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), and Travala.com’s native coin AVA.


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ShareRing has launched an anonymous e-passport app with contact tracing in an effort to revive the $9 trillion global tourism industry.

Enterprise-focused blockchain company ShareRing has launched a blockchain based contact tracing solution it will offer to 2.6 million hotel and activity providers that currently use one of the company’s services. The anonymous e-passport app hopes to solve the privacy issues facing similar tracing apps. ShareRing’s app, which focuses on tourism’s $9 trillion tourism industry, allows users to upload important documentation, such as e-visa on arrival (eVOA), passport information, travel insurance, flight and accommodation bookings and a negative COVID-19 test result.


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Bloomberg finds Ethreum’s bull run to be speculative while contending that Bitcoin’s appreciation is driven by fundamentals.

The report points out that Ethereum faces “plenty of competition from similar crypto platforms and about 6,000 tradable coins.” On the other hand, Bloomberg has remained consistently bullish about Bitcoin, noting its gold-like qualities and increased institutional demand. The success of the DeFi space has led to the appreciation of Ether, with some comparing it to the ICO boom. As more smart contract platforms mature, competition will only get tougher. When it comes to the world of professional investors, Ether does not have a clear selling point like Bitcoin’s limited supply.


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The Chinese academic sector is “seriously lagging” in terms of keeping up with demand for blockchain specialists.

As the blockchain industry keeps expanding across China, there are concerns that the academic sector is failing to keep up with demand for comprehensive, undergraduate, blockchain-related educational programs. The head of the Digital Economy Development Research Center at the Beijing-based Communication University of China, Sun Daojun, said the first batch of “blockchain graduates” will start courses later this year and complete their studies in 2024.


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The Cannabinoid Association of the Netherlands has unveiled a blockchain-based CBD tracker for customers to trace a product’s journey from seed-to-sale.

Cannabidiol users concerned about the quality of their product in the EU can now trace the plant’s journey from when it was first planted in the fields to when it was sold in retail stores. An Aug. 6 statement from the Cannabinoid Association of the Netherlands (CAN) revealed it would make a blockchain tool — CanCheck — free for consumers to track cannabidiol (CBD) products in the EU online. HempFlax, one of the group’s founding members, and Europe’s largest independent grower and processor of industrial hemp, will be one of the first to offer traceable CAN products.


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A new analysis suggests the token supplies for most DeFi projects are not widely distributed, with up to 99% held by the top 500 addresses.

Token supplies for most decentralized finance (DeFi) projects are not widely distributed according to an analysis by the co-founder of DeFi Italy and Head of CryptoLab’s Digital Assets Investments Simone Conti. He compiled data from Defi Pulse and Etherscan that suggests that 90% of tokens for almost all DeFi projects are held by the top 500 addresses. For three of the projects, that figure rises to 99%.


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Researchers at the Black Hat security conference revealed that crypto exchanges might be vulnerable to hackers. Although crypto exchanges have high privacy and security to protect their funds, researchers still found three ways hackers can attack these crypto exchanges, according to Wired on August 9.

Aumasson, a cryptographer, and Omer Shlomovits, cofounder of the key-management firm KZen Networks broke down the attacks into three categories: an insider attack, an attack exploiting the relationship between an exchange and a customer, and an extraction of portions of secret keys.


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Blockchain and crypto data platform LongHash revealed on August 8 in a tweet that China’s blockchain sector has grown substantially despite the pandemic this year. It stated that over 10,000 blockchain companies were established between January and July.

The report also shows the current number of blockchain-related companies in China is on track to surpass 2017’s total figure. LongHash said 2020 could also pass 2018’s total of 18,500 and for a new all-time high.


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The president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, who once claimed the Federal Reserve was flush with cash, called for a nationwide lockdown to fight COVID-19.

In an op-ed in The New York Times, Neel Kashkari and co-writer Michael T. Osterholm of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota said a more restrictive lockdown of up to six weeks is necessary to fight the virus and save the economy.


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In a Cointelegraph interview, director of IBM financial services and digital assets, Nitin Gaur, shared how the technology company is helping financial institutions to capitalize on the DeFi movement.

Gaur — the author of Blockchain for Business — says it is essential that banks understand and embrace DeFi space. DeFi presents a set of regulatory challenges to financial institutions and IBM believes it can help their clients navigate it. However, most financial institutions are still in early exploratory stages when it comes to DeFi, and are stuck at the crossroads between true decentralized finance and just digitizing traditional securities. Regardless, Gaur foresees an entry “of the large banks, starting with investment banks.”


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With sentiment suggesting Bitcoin and the crypto markets are about to go on a bull run, seasoned old timers are warning about the lessons learned from previous rallies.

With Bitcoin correcting 5% in the past day, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index is back to 75. A measure of sentiment that looks at the volatility, market volume and social media activity of digital, a reading of 75 equates to “greed”, down slightly from 84 — or “extreme greed” on Aug. 10. But either way expectations are high of boom times ahead.


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Bitcoin acts more like a tech startup stock than digital gold — with investors reaping big rewards if it works but potentially losing everything if the crypto asset fails.

That’s the conclusion of an Aug. 10 report from digital asset manager CoinShares titled A Little Bitcoin Goes a Long Way. In it authors James Butterfill and Christopher Bendiksen argue that the fact Bitcoin (BTC) “starting its life at a price of zero” gave it a stellar reputation.


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The global P2P markets are pumping, with numerous African and Latin American markets touching new all-time highs for volume.

Combined global peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin trading volumes have surged to their highest levels since January 2018, with nearly $95 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) changing hands on Localbitcoins and Paxful in the first week of August. The spike comes as many Latin American markets have seen trade activity rally into new highs over recent weeks, with the Bitcoin P2P markets in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Honduras, Paraguay, Uruguay and The Bahamas all posting record highs since the start of July.


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A proposed capital gains tax cut could be good news for crypto traders in the U.S.

A proposed tax cut by U.S. President Donald Trump could be a big win — or a relatively insignificant win — for the crypto industry if it is passed. There is a debate over the extent of President Trump’s ability to deliver tax cuts. The long term capital gains rate of 20% is primarily governed by Congress, so to deliver a big cut he’d need to get lawmakers on side via negotiation.


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Yam Finance uncovered a bug the day after ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees called the project a scam.

Yam finance (YAM), the latest fad in the crypto space, recently warned the public of a technical bug affecting the ecosystem. As the decentralized finance, or DeFi, crypto boom continues, something called yield farming has come into the spotlight. Yield farming is essentially the latest passive income fad in crypto. Yam has risen to the top of conversation recently as the headline act in the yield farming sector.


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Bitcoin’s seven-day average hash rate passes 129 TH/s for the first time as the price continues to meet resistance at the $12K level.

Data from Blockchain.com confirms that on Aug. 15, Bitcoin’s seven-day average hash rate reached a new peak of 129.075 TH/s. The achievement comes after two weeks of fairly stagnant hash rate growth, with the previous record set on July 28. Bitcoin and gold may prove to have a stronger correlation in 2020 as many investors turn away from traditional finance during the Federal Reserve’s and other central banks’ response to the pandemic.


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Asian countries have found ways to use blockchain amid the pandemic.

The Corona pandemic prompted many Asian countries to adopt blockchain technology to secure their data via the Internet against hackers and cyber thieves, according to a report from the Nikkei Asian Review. This increase in adoption comes as The Business Research Company said the global blockchain market is expected to hit $15.88 billion in 2023.


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Bitcoins Are Being Tokenized Faster Than They’re Mined as DeFi Craze Continues

Since Sunday, 1,043 more bitcoins were tokenized through Wrapped Bitcoin than were actually created by bitcoin miners as the Ethereum-based decentralized finance (DeFi) boom shows no signs of abating. About 900 bitcoins are mined per day, given the current issuance rate of 6.25 bitcoins minted per block and the target 10-minute block time. At last check, nearly 31,000 bitcoins have been tokenized on Ethereum, according to Dune Analytics, 75% of which were minted by Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC).


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A Canada-based Middle Eastern restaurant chain just converted their entire fiat cash reserves into Bitcoin.

According to an Aug. 19 tweet from Tahini’s — ‘the best Middle Eastern restaurant in the world’ — the decision to switch its cash reserves to crypto had its genesis in March’s crash, and when the Canadian government began to provide assistance programs for businesses unable to stay open due to the pandemic. With the United States and Canada printing money to prop up their ailing economies, Tahini’s owner Omar Hamam started to see the financial system as “a game of musical chairs being played right now and the music will stop and some people will get left out.”


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Jeju Island, a southern island in South Korea, is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Koreans and has about 15 million visitors annually.

It now requires those visitors to use a decentralized identity (DID) blockchain technology based app that claims to offer private, secure COVID-19 contact tracing. An August 19 announcement said that Jeju Province had reached an agreement with South Korean blockchain company ICONLOOP to introduce the system.


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Technology pioneer and cryptocurrency advocate John McAfee has just announced his departure from his own privacy asset project, Ghost.

McAfee has bashed Bitcoin in recent months for its lack of privacy. The tech expert set out to make his own proof-of-stake, or PoS, privacy-focused asset, tweeting about the endeavor on April 11, 2020. Subsequent reporting in May showed the project plagiarized content from the white paper of PIVX, another anonymity-focused crypto asset.


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Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso suggested blockchain would be key in the world’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic as the technology can be used for contact tracing while ensuring privacy.

Aso gave the opening remarks for the Blockchain Global Governance Conference, also known as the FIN/SUM Blockchain & Business, on Aug. 24 in Tokyo. There are almost 24 million COVID-19 cases around the world, with more than 60,000 in Japan. Despite the topic of Aso’s speech, a limited number of people were allowed to physically attend the blockchain conference, with others watching speakers through livestream coverage.


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Blockchain data storage and privacy start-up Sharder wants to increase its data storage space as it looks to provide the storage hub for the Island blockchain application.

The new application, called Boxes, punches up Sharder’s storage by an additional 96 terabytes. It’s current storage hub currently handles 32 terabytes. Sharder provides secure storage of files across multiple blockchains. Data is encrypted and then split into fragments before being distributed to different nodes. The company said its model ensures data is more secured this way. It also allows for easier authentication and validation of data.


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Tachyon Protocol, a blockchain-based network set up by proof-of-stake creator Sunny King, reported its decentralized virtual private network, or VPN, reached 1 million users worldwide last week after only six months.

The VPN has seen tremendous growth since May when Cointelegraph reported it reached 100,000 users. According to the website, Tachyon VPN allows users to bypass internet activity restrictions. It provides many features such as a P2P network without central nodes, multi-path routing to prevent single-point attacks, protocol simulation to disguise traffic in transit and free access to Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, and other platforms.


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