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Chatter Report: Vitalik Doesn’t Believe in Proof of Work, Chris Pacia Discusses Big Blocks

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In this latest roundup of crypto chatter from social media, Vitalik Buterin sparks debate by declaring that he doesn’t believe in proof of work. Also, developer Rhett Creighton is accused of foul play in the Bitcoin Private pre-mine scandal. Finally, Chris Pacia clarifies his stance on large block limitations.

Also read: A Look at Some of 2018’s Most Popular Cryptocurrency Traders

Vitalik Doesn’t Believe in Proof of Work

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin turned a lot of heads recently when he tweeted to Bitcoin maximalist Giacomo Zucco that he doesn’t “believe in proof of work.”

Crypto Twitter erupted with responses. One commentator, Crypto Domains, pointed out the ridiculousness of Vitalik’s comment, comparing it to not believing “in oxygen.” Crypto Domains’ remark resonated widely, not least since Ethereum itself currently runs on a proof of work model.

Bitcoin Community Skeptical of Rhett Creighton

The Bitcoin Private team recently released an official statement explaining that they had no prior knowledge of the BTCP coins that were covertly created during the fork that birthed the project. Instead, they were mislead by developer airk42, they insist. Airk42 had started out innocently by accepting a bounty the team had placed. He then managed to became a BTCP developer and was promoted to contributor on Github. However, when airk42 merged his own code, he left out one crucial line and a bad actor exploited this bug, creating approximately 2 million additional coins.

Many in the cryptocurrency community were suspicious of the BTCP team and their official response. In a recent live stream by bitcoin trader Tone Vays, developer Jimmy Song pointed out that former BTCP developer Rhett Creighton left the project in a rather cryptic manner that foreshadowed the hack.

Likewise, Vays expressed skepticism at Creighton’s sincerity and quickly theorized that he may have secretly been airk42. Cryptocurrency trader Nick Core also agreed with Tone, explaining that scammers are prone to “leave projects before they are finished.”

Chris Pacia Clarifies Tweet on Blocksize Limitations

Bitcoin commentator u/satoshi_vision 1 recently called out Openbazaar developer Chris Pacia on the r/bitcoincashSV subreddit for Pacia’s comments that bitcoin software will start to break down when blocks reach about 22 MB in size. u/satoshi_vision 1 was criticizing Pacia, as Coingeek had mined a 64MB block at block height 557335.

We were told by Chris Pacia that 22MB blocks would not work, not we have blocks nearly 3x that size. from bitcoincashSV

Pacia was unable to defend himself on the subreddit, as he had been banned from participating on r/bitcoincashSV, despite never having commented on it before. Instead, Pacia took to Twitter to defend himself, explaining that his tweet wasn’t about the ability to mine a single large block.

Rather than large single blocks, Pacia was referring to the ability to mine many large blocks in tandem. He then went on to point out that the average blocksize over a one-hour period never went above 7 MB when BSV was mining 32 MB blocks.

What do you think of Vitalik’s thoughts on proof of work? Let us know in the comments below.


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Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-Regulation

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In an exclusive interview with news.Bitcoin.com, Japan’s top financial regulator revealed its expectations for the self-regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan. The agency has approved a self-regulatory organization, which it is working closely with to ensure compliance. All 16 regulated crypto exchanges in Japan are members of this self-regulatory organization.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Working Together

Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-RegulationThe Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA), the country’s top financial regulator, granted the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (Jvcea) self-regulatory organization (SRO) status under the Payment Services Act in October.

The JFSA explained to news.Bitcoin.com that it believes “the SRO can take actions flexibly to keep up with the fast-changing environment surrounding crypto-assets,” adding:

We think it necessary [for us] to work with the Jvcea closely so that the association can successfully perform self-regulatory functions through the establishment and application of self-regulatory rules and monitoring of their members.

Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-RegulationThe association is expected to cooperate with the JFSA to instruct and supervise its members to “operate their businesses appropriately.” It is also expected work with them “to improve the safety of related systems through investigation and research on security” and disseminate “information externally to increase the awareness of exchange users,” the agency described.

Furthermore, the association is expected to “set out detailed wallet management processes from the system security point of view and the cross-sectoral rules in areas that are not covered by the laws/regulations, for example, margin trading, for the users’ protection,” Japan’s top financial regulator noted, elaborating:

We expect that through self-regulation, clearer and more detailed rules will be provided as to provisions that are not specified under the existing laws/regulations, as well as self-discipline in areas that are not covered by the laws and regulations.

Adhering to Self-Regulatory Rules

Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-RegulationAll of Japan’s 16 registered cryptocurrency exchanges are members of the Jvcea. Initially, only registered exchanges could join the association. However, after it was granted SRO status, the association opened up membership to other cryptocurrency operators. According to local media, deemed dealers, which are companies that have been allowed to operate while their applications are being reviewed by the JFSA, can also join the association.

Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-RegulationThe JFSA confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com that “It is not a legal obligation for virtual currency exchange service providers to be a member” of a self-regulatory organization. “However, from the perspective of user protection, the JFSA monitors whether virtual currency exchange service providers conduct their businesses appropriately, taking self-regulatory rules into account.” In other words, crypto exchanges are expected to uphold self-regulatory standards even if they are not members of the Jvcea.

The agency revealed that it “works closely with the association by exchanging views about various issues on a regular basis and sharing information on members, unregistered business providers and user complaints,” emphasizing:

In cooperation with the Jvcea, the JFSA has been monitoring virtual currency exchange service providers as to their compliance with self-regulation as well as the laws and regulations.

In terms of whether the JFSA will approve another self-regulatory organization, the agency noted that “There is no limit to the number of SROs under the laws/regulations.” The regulator added, “In the event that another SRO submits an application for approval, the JFSA will scrutinize it from the viewpoint of the applicant’s effectiveness in performing self-regulatory functions.”

What do you think of Japan’s approach to self-regulation for the crypto industry? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

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Madison Holdings Group Ltd. has agreed to buy 67.2 percent of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitocean for 1.68 billion yen ($15.12 million). Inclusive of fees, the wines and alcoholic beverages company will pay a total $30.12 million. According to local media reports, the deal is to be completed through a subsidiary, Madison Labs.

Also read: Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

Acquisition to Diversify Operations and Expand Income Sources

Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

Madison is an investment holding company popular for selling top-end French wines. The $546 million-valued company is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM), a junior segment of the bourse. The company also has interests in corporate finance activities, financial advisory services and asset management.

Bitocean is registered as a crypto exchange with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, but has not commenced trading yet. According to papers filed with GEM, sometime this month, Madison is buying the stake from “independent third parties,” in what management said was part of the company’s “diversification strategy.”

A report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) also detailed plans by HDR Cadenza Management – a unit of HDR Global Trading, owners of crypto exchange Bitmex – to acquire a 51 percent stake in Madison Labs for $17.14 million. Both deals have yet to be closed. Raymond Ting Pang-wan, chairman of Madison, stated:

Our wine business is stable and profitable, but then it is small. It is hard to make wine trading into a very big business. This is why we have to diversify into financial technology and the cryptocurrency business – to achieve a better return for our shareholders. Virtual currencies and blockchain are getting more popular. Investing in the virtual currency sector will expand our income source.

Lured by Japan’s Robust Crypto Regulation

Pang-wan told SCMP that his company was not concerned about the current market slump, which has seen the price of bitcoin core (BTC) plummet by more than 80 percent from its December 2017 all-time-high of almost $20,000. “Bitcoin is cheap, which has created a good opportunity for us to enter the market. We are eyeing the long term, so we are not worried about short-term volatility,” he was quoted as saying.

Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

He said the decision to enter Japan, which controls about a fifth of the global cryptocurrency trading total, was motivated by the existence of a comprehensive regulatory framework in the Pacific island nation. “We wanted to invest in a platform that was under proper regulation,” said Pang-wan.

Japan is building one of the strongest regulatory frameworks for the cryptocurrency industry, ostensibly to prevent cases of theft of investor funds. The $530 million Coincheck hack in January marked a crucial turning point in crypto regulation in the country. Today, Japan has the Virtual Currency Exchange Association, a self-regulatory body, while exchanges applying for a license with the Financial Services Authority have to go through a rigorous verification process.

According to the SCMP report, Gary Cheung Wai-kwok, chairman of the Hong Kong Securities Association, said:  “This is a small investment for the company (Madison), so it will not take too big a risk. It makes sense for the company to diversify its business to achieve higher income.”

What do you think about Madison’s deals with Bitocean and Bitmex? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

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Kucoin has delisted 10 digital assets, including bitcoin gold and mobius, and Huobi has put 32 trading pairs on notice. Both exchanges cite issues to do with weak liquidity and trading volume as reasons for their action. But the flurry of delistings also point to how the cryptocurrency market downturn has taken a toll on many altcoins.

Also read: Bitcoin Equipment Maker Ebang Reapplies for Hong Kong Listing

Delisting Result of Low Liquidity

Kucoin said it had “disqualified” tokens such as bread, bitclave, wepower and ethlend for failing to meet the Chinese exchange’s listing requirements as set out in its “special treatment rule (ST).” Digital coins at risk of being delisted are placed under the so-called ST for “mandatory review over a specified period of time.”

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

Tokens are indicted particularly for low liquidity or when the project is faced with the risk of bankruptcy or liquidation, security breaches and other issues. “The exchange may delist … the project (if it) fails to meet the basic liquidity requirements by the end of the observation period,” explains Kucoin on its “special treatment rule” page.

Any trading or deposits of the 10 delisted cryptocurrencies has now been suspended, even though withdrawals are permitted for a time. Kucoin said the decision had been taken in order “to provide a solid user experience” on the exchange.

Kucoin is the world’s 54th largest digital currency platform by daily trade volume, with $20.35 million worth of coins traded in the last 24 hours, according to data from Coinmarketcap. Currently, the exchange offers over 300 token trading pairs.

Altcoins on the Brink as Markets Struggle

The rout in global cryptocurrency markets this year has left hundreds of altcoins haemorrhaging value against the U.S. dollar and struggling to retain liquidity. Many are down by 90% or more from their all-time high, making the tokens almost worthless in some cases.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

The latest Kucoin purge comes in the same week as an announcement from Huobi, the world’s fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange, that it is planning to remove about 32 digital assets from its platform. The tokens were cited for low trading volume and have been placed in Huobi’s version of the ST risk category.

“In order to promote the healthy development of the blockchain industry and protect the legitimate rights and interests of investors, Huobi regularly carries out comprehensive reviews of the listed tokens in accordance with the Token Administration Regulations of Huobi,” said the exchange.

Huobi is to reexamine the affected assets on Dec. 26, and those that fail to meet the listing requirements will effectively be trading under caution, with a real risk of being delisted. Some of the affected tokens include enigma, datum, my token, medishares, wepower, appcoins and bitcapital vendor. Salt, tieron, untrust, quantstamp, medical chain and others are also at risk of being delisted.

Do you think more low cap altcoins are in danger of being delisted from major exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory Uncertainty

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Despite regulatory uncertainty and banking restriction imposed by the country’s central bank, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange is seeing record trading volumes every month. The CEO of Wazirx told news.Bitcoin.com that the recent uptick in crypto prices has prompted a lot of Indians to start trading again.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Record Trading Volumes

Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory UncertaintyIndian cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx is seeing record trading volumes despite a number of conditions that dampen trader sentiment such as the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The exchange’s CEO, Nischal Shetty, told news.Bitcoin.com on Monday that “In a flat market coupled with banking restriction,” there is little motivation for Indians to trade cryptocurrencies. However, he elaborated:

The recent uptick in the crypto prices has gotten a lot of Indians trading again … whenever there’s volatility people forget the problems and start trading. That’s exactly the reason why we’re seeing our volumes shooting up so fast.

Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory UncertaintyThe RBI issued a circular in April banning financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto companies. Responding to the banking restriction, Wazirx launched an exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) platform in July, with Shetty repeatedly saying that the response to this service has been “tremendous.”

He further shared that his exchange has been “hitting new peaks in volume every month,” adding that this month it surpassed 200 BTC in daily trading volume for the first time. “200 BTC in 24 hours was our record high and the highest by any exchange in India right now,” he claimed. Noting that this record high was achieved within nine months of launching his exchange and during a bear market, he concluded:

Considering the banking restriction in place, this is great news for the Indian crypto sector.

On Localbitcoins, the number of BTC traded in INR has also been growing, with 302 BTC traded in the week of Dec. 22 as well as in the previous week.

Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory Uncertainty

Regulatory Uncertainty

Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory Uncertainty
Subhash Chandra Garg

The Indian government is expected to finalize the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the near future. The panel, tasked with providing recommendations regarding crypto regulatory measures, has reportedly submitted its report to the government. This panel is headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, the country’s Economic Affairs Secretary.

Commenting on the upcoming crypto regulatory framework, Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com, “I have to remain optimistic,” noting:

I believe in our government, that they’ll listen to our voices. I’ve been running a Twitter campaign and it’s gaining traction amongst Indian crypto users. As the campaign grows it’ll be harder to ignore.

The CEO started his Twitter campaign on Oct. 31, calling for positive regulations for the Indian crypto space. Meanwhile, the country’s supreme court is set to hear the petitions against the RBI ban in January.

What do you think of the crypto ecosystem in India? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin Obituaries Records 90 ‘Deaths’ in 2018

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According to the Bitcoin Obituaries webpage, the cryptocurrency ‘died’ 90 times in 2018. Since the inception of Satoshi’s great invention, almost a decade ago, economists and financial news publications have informed the public that bitcoin has passed away a grand total of 336 times.

Also read: Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

Dead Currencies Have ‘No Chance of Success’

Ever since the general public started hearing about cryptocurrencies, many financial bigwigs, well known pundits, Keynesian economists, and Wall Street executives have explained in great detail how Bitcoin has ‘died’. This has occurred on numerous occasions over the years. Mainstream media outlets have also stated time and again that Bitcoin was officially deceased. The Bitcoin Obituaries webpage hosted on the site 99 Bitcoins has around 336 recorded bitcoin ‘deaths’ over the years. 2018 has claimed 90 of those deaths during a spell when the crypto-economy was extremely bearish all year long.

Bitcoin Obituaries Records 90 'Deaths' in 2018

One would think that because cryptocurrency markets did so well in 2017 there would be fewer deaths declared than in 2018. However, the cryptocurrency bull run last year resulted in 125 obituaries for the digital asset. In 2018, most of the top cryptocurrencies lost more than 80 percent of their values since hitting all-time highs last year in December. The last death call of 2018 was a post written by Seeking Alpha author Anthony Garcia titled “Bitcoin: the decline is fundamental, unsolvable, and the end of BTC.” In the post Garcia states:

Bitcoin is literally worth nothing — Bitcoin has no chance of success because it’s worthless. It has nothing backing it but an illusion; no gold or silver or even a decree that it’s legal tender. It has no intrinsic value and no one needs it.

2017 and 2018 Had the Most Bitcoin Deaths per Year

Before that article, Santa Clara University Professor of Finance Atulya Sarin’s opinion piece on the financial publication Market Watch said that bitcoin is “close to becoming worthless.” Sarin explained in his 1,049-word document that the digital asset was the victim of the infamous “death spiral.” This past October the notorious Nouriel Roubini, otherwise known as Dr. Doom, sparked controversy when he said that “bitcoin represents the ‘mother of all bubbles.’” Roubini, a professor of economics at the New York University Stern School of Business, called digital currency advocates “crypto scoundrels.” The professor emphasized that the bubble is “clear” enough to see and “blockchain technology is nothing better than a glorified spreadsheet or database.”

Bitcoin Obituaries Records 90 'Deaths' in 2018
Nouriel Roubini’s post got crypto advocates all upset on Twitter in October.

It’s safe to say that as long as financial pundits like Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffet’s opinions are still catching headlines then Bitcoin will continue to die in 2019. To these bigwigs and many others, Bitcoin is a gimmick, and yet some of them like “blockchain technology” as long as it is centralized. One interesting phenomenon is the fact that even though bitcoin has grown immensely in value since 2010, it has died increasingly year after year. Bitcoin ‘died’ the most consecutive times throughout 2017 and 2018 with close to ¾ of the deaths during those years. Otherwise, 2015 was a distant third with 39 total bitcoin deaths. Bitcoin’s oldest published obituary according to 99 Bitcoins was written in 2010, which claimed the asset could never be a currency. When bitcoins were worth $0.23, the Underground Economist author stated at the time:

Either it will remain a novelty forever or it will transition from novelty status to dead faster than you can blink.

What do you think about bitcoin dying 90 times this year? Why do you think the cryptocurrency has had so many obituaries over the last two years? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


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Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining Machines

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Japanese internet giant GMO has announced that it will no longer develop, manufacture, and sell cryptocurrency mining machines. The company will, however, continue to mine in-house but will relocate its mining center to a region with cleaner and less expensive energy.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Exiting the Mining Equipment Business

Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining MachinesGMO Internet Inc. announced on Tuesday following a board of directors meeting that it “will no longer develop, manufacture, and sell mining machines.” The company is posting an extraordinary loss of 24 billion yen (~$218 million) related to these activities for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending December 2018.

Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining Machines“Regarding the current mining machine markets, the environment is increasingly competitive because of the decreased demand mainly due to the decline in the cryptocurrency price, the decline in the sales price, etc,” the announcement reads. After considering changes in the current crypto environment, GMO wrote:

The company expects that it is difficult to recover the cryptocurrency mining business-related assets through selling mining machines, so the company has decided to stop the development, manufacture, and sales of mining machines, thereby recording an extraordinary loss.

In addition, GMO noted that it has purchased mining machines and paid the costs required to manufacture its 7nm machines. With the decision to exit the manufacturing business, GMO revealed that it will transfer related assets held to MP18 Llc, a special purpose company of Tani Electronics Corporation.

Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining Machines

GMO first announced the development of its 7nm bitcoin mining equipment in September last year. Miner B2, the first line of its mining equipment, went on sale in June for $1,999. Another line, Miner B3, went on sale in July for the same price. The first batch of B2s was supposed to be shipped at the end of October and B3s in November. However, to date, no mining machines of either type have been shipped.

In-House Mining

Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining MachinesFor its in-house mining business, launched in December last year, GMO is posting an extraordinary loss of approximately 14 billion yen on an unconsolidated basis (11.5 billion yen on a consolidated basis) for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending December 2018.

The company explained that the profitability of its in-house mining business “decreased as the cryptocurrency price declined and our mining share did not increase as expected due to the rise of the global hash rate, which went beyond our initial assumption,” noting:

After taking into consideration changes in the current business environment, the Company expects that it is difficult to recover the carrying amounts of the in-house-mining-related business assets, and therefore, it has been decided to record an extraordinary loss.

GMO mined 696 BTC and 400 BCH in November. Its hashrate has been steadily growing as planned, its latest in-house mining report shows. “We will introduce the mining machine from other manufacturers to the in-house mining. Our plan is to see
our hash rate surpass 800 PH/s by the end of December,” the company said earlier this month.

In its Tuesday’s announcement, GMO noted that “Depreciation cost of mining machines and electricity cost comprise the majority of operating expenses,” elaborating:

In terms of the electricity cost, we will relocate the mining center to a region that will allow us to secure a cleaner and less expensive power supply.

What do you think of GMO exiting the business of manufacturing and selling mining machines? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

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After an intense 2017, filled with cryptocurrency market spikes, the following year was loaded with letdowns as a great majority of digital assets plunged well over 80 percent in value since their all-time highs. 2018 was also filled with lots of headlines about digital currency regulations, exchange hacks, and postponed exchange-traded funds.

Also read: Feed 7 Different Species at the River Forest Farm’s ‘Bitcoin Cash Zoo’

2018 Saw Hundreds of Billions Shaved Off the Entire Cryptocurrency Market Cap

It’s safe to say that 2018 was the exact opposite of 2017 as far as the year-over-year cryptocurrency market price changes. On Dec. 31, 2017, the top ten market capitalizations and the prices of each coin were vastly different than today. The top five coins had considerably more fiat value at the time with bitcoin core (BTC) trading for $13,170 per coin, ripple (XRP) $2.12, ethereum (ETH) $721, bitcoin cash (BCH) $2,459, and cardano (ADA) $0.69.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

Throughout the entire year, all of the biggest coins by market valuation have lost more than three-quarters of their net worth since December 2017. The entire ecosystem’s market valuation saw an all-time high of more than half a trillion dollars and today that metric is just above $100 billion.   

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

South Korean Regulation

Throughout most of January and February, talks of digital currency regulation began to heighten across the globe. These two months, in particular, saw a lot of regulatory discussions stemming from South Korea. Headlines deriving from Korean government officials were so frequent and very similar to the countless People’s Bank of China (PBOC) ‘ban’ announcements in the past. At the end of January 2018, for the first time ever a South Korean court ruled that bitcoin has economic value. Moreover, the country introduced a nationwide cryptocurrency account system, which banned the anonymous trading of digital assets in South Korea.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
After the country became a cryptocurrency hotbed in 2017, the first quarter of 2018 saw a lot of digital currency regulation in South Korea.

Compromised Exchanges

In addition to all the news about South Korea, the Japanese exchange Coincheck was compromised for $400-534 million USD worth of the cryptocurrency NEM, on Jan. 26. While digital asset proponents witnessed yet another historic exchange hack, the platform’s loss didn’t affect markets that much. Another hack took place this past April, when the Indian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure’s wallet was breached for $2.7 million worth of BTC. At the time, the company blamed it’s CSO Amitabh Saxena for playing a role in the incident. Last September, Indian law enforcement filed charges against a few suspects and explained that an insider had helped facilitate the crime.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
Coincheck and Coinsecure were the biggest exchange hacks of 2018.

Lots of ICOs Fail Miserably

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories2018’s Q1 saw the beginning of big initial coin offerings (ICOs) having lots of troubles with special agencies like the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). One of the first busts last year was when the Texas Department of Banking Commissioner issued a cease and desist order to an alleged ‘decentralized cryptocurrency-bank.’ The Bitshares-connected Arise Bank was one of the first of many ICOs that started having troubles with the law. In February, the cryptocurrency community had learned that 46 percent of 2017’s ICOs had already failed. All year long, there have been numerous crackdowns throughout the world specifically targeting ICO operations. U.S. regulators charged music producer DJ Khaled and the boxer Floyd Mayweather this past November for failing to disclose payments they took for ICO promotion.

Maduro’s Petro

Another interesting story this year was the introduction of the world’s first state-issued cryptocurrency in Venezuela. Well, no one’s really sure if the ‘petro’ works yet, but all year long Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has touted the benefits of the ‘oil-backed’ token. This past November, the Ministry for Communication and Information enacted a new law which established the petro for commercial transactions inside the country. Further, just recently, Maduro raised the petro’s price from 3,600 to 9,000 bolivars. The entire world has been watching the Venezuelan people suffer from economic hardships, while Maduro and fellow associates toy around with a so-called ‘multi-asset backed’ cryptocurrency created in secrecy.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro is pushing the first state-issued cryptocurrency called the Petro. 

Delayed Institutional Trading Products

Even though markets dumped all year long, cryptocurrencies did see a lot of institutional interest this year. Crypto-advocates will remember patiently waiting for a U.S.-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval once again in 2018. Back in July, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) filed an application for a BTC-based ETF that will be tethered to the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust. The same month, the SEC postponed its decision concerning five bitcoin-related ETFs filed by NYSE Arca.

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
US regulators postponed many ETF decisions in 2018.

This was the case throughout all of 2018, as Bitcoin ETFs were delayed all year long. U.S. regulators had also asked for public opinion concerning Cboe’s ETF filing and received an overwhelming response. On Dec. 6, the SEC delayed its decision again and explained it will decide on the fate of the Vaneck Solidx bitcoin ETF in February 2019. Moreover, bitcoiners have been waiting for the Bakkt bitcoin daily futures contracts offered by the Intercontinental Exchange, which was supposed to start trading this month, but the product was also delayed.     

Bitcoin Cash and the Tale of Two Forks

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network had an interesting year, to say the least, as it underwent two forks in 2018. The first fork in the spring was quite successful, resulting in a bunch of new features like re-enabled opcodes and a 32MB block size increase. Since the upgrade, BCH saw a huge influx of development, including many new applications like Memo.cash, Blockpress, Joystream, Marco Coino, Coinfundr, Akari, Telescope, Simple Ledger Protocol, Wormhole, and more. In the first week of September, the Bitcoin Cash network processed millions of transactions on a daily basis during a week-long ‘stress test.’

Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories
Back in May, the BCH protocol upgraded successfully with new opcodes and a 32MB block size increase. However, in November the scheduled fork on the 15th became contentious and led to a blockchain split.

On Sept. 1, BCH miners confirmed 2,060,041 transactions (tx) in 24 hours and statistics showed that the BCH chain had processed 85,835 tx per hour, and 23.8 tx per second.

However, after the stress tests, the planned hard fork for Nov. 15 became contentious and the fork resulted in a blockchain split. After gaining the most proof-of-work and a majority of the infrastructure support, the Bitcoin ABC side of the fork was rewarded with the “BCH” ticker, and the other network’s ticker is listed as “BSV” across global exchanges. The BCH community is steadily moving on from the split, and the decentralized cryptocurrency saw a 140 percent increase in value over the last week.

In 2019 the Crypto-Landscape Is Sure to Be Interesting

Most crypto-markets have done much better during the end of this December, and many enthusiasts are curious about what next year will bring. Of course, most cryptocurrency supporters believe the long haul will pay off in the end, and there will always be some hurdles along the way. There was a whole lot of other interesting events in 2018 and 2019 is sure to be just as intriguing. One thing is for certain, no matter what year it is — There’s never a dull day in Bitcoin-land.

What do you think about 2018 and cryptocurrencies this year? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


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PR: XRP Is Now Available on EO.Finance

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This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

We are pleased to announce that Ripple XRP has been added to EO.Finance! For those unaware, XRP is currently the second largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. Ripple is the name for both a digital currency (XRP) and an open payment network within which that currency is transferred.

With the recent addition of card payments to EO.Finance it is now possible to buy XRP with your credit and debit cards. You can also exchange a number of cryptos to XRP and back, deposits and withdrawals have also been introduced.

This is a timely new inclusion as XRP has emerged as a front runner during the last months Bear market, growing 50% in the last week alone – it rose from $0.28 to $0.42, and is much tipped to lead any future Bull Run. Despite XRP showing much promise, not many wallets have offered support, meaning EO.Finance is one of the few places you can purchase XRP with such ease.

EO.Finance is part of a fully licensed ecosystem, it holds European licenses for crypto wallet #FVR000161 and crypto-fiat exchange #FRK000193.

To register an account simply download the app on iOS or Android, EO.Finance is also accessible through browsers, as well as Chrome and Firefox extension.

Website: https://eo.finance
iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/eo-finance-crypto-fiat-wallet/id1415386724
Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eofinance

Video on how to buy cryptos with EO.Finance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25oKGgAawn8

Supporting Link
https://eo.finance/
Contact Email Address
press@eo.finance

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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