By CCN.com: This week in crypto saw several interesting developments as regard exchanges, exit scams, and at least one failed ICO-funded company in the form of Giga Watt.
Crypto Media Clings to Story of Russian Government Buying Bitcoin, CCN Asks for Proof
CCN started the week off by debunking a mythical impending “$10 billion Bitcoin purchase” on the part of the Russian government. P. H. Madore received backlash for the article, which listed some of the sites which sensationalized the dubious claims of a little-known Russian economist.
How interesting it would be if sanctions would result in this. However, its dubious that the size of the market could sustain anything like this level of trade without it going bonkers. What do you think? https://t.co/AhOKvu1Jyd #bitcoin #russia #sanctions
— Pat Rabbitte (@PatRabbitte1) January 8, 2019
A few days later, CCN doubled down on our positivity that Russia has made no official announcement as regards buying a large block of Bitcoin.
One thing remains clear: the Russian government has not officially announced plans to buy Bitcoin as a hedge against anything at all. As far as we know, Bitcoin is still going through the regulatory process in the former communist country. A Russian official did speak to the issue of Bitcoin over-regulation this week, however.
Ethereum Constantinople Fork Delayed at Last Minute
Due to a last-minute reporting of a security flaw with EIP-1283, Ethereum developers decided to postpone the Constantinople upgrade. By Friday, a 6-week roadmap was announced. It remains unclear why security firm Chainsecurity waited until this week to reveal its findings. The presumable explanation is that this was the earliest they were able to confirm the bug, which was not found to be live in any smart contracts but would have allowed for “reentrancy attacks.”
DX.Exchange Exposed As Pivot Effort of Binary Options Scammers
CCN’s P. H. Madore and Samantha Chang did some hard-nosed reporting on the sensationally-reported DX.exchange, which has had rumblings of withdrawal/deposit issues. CCN was able to confirm through government records something the company denied until the last minute: its relationship to SpotOption, a Binary Options scam software provider that went out of business when Israeli banned the financial product wholesale.
Runescape Player Gets Bitcoin Donation Worth $70,000
A Runescape player received over $70,000 in a single donation while streaming on Twitch. As CCN’s Vignesh Selvasundar writes:
Initially, Sick Nerd received a donation of 4 BTC. He received more BTC throughout his stream. While the gamer at first thought that someone was messing with him, he received more throughout the session. He received a total of 20.49 BTC (approx. $73,000 at the time) by the end of the day.
Thank you to my mysteriously benefactor whoever you are, genuinely a life changing amount of money that I or nobody deserves but look what happened.
— Sick Nerd (@Sick_Nerd) January 11, 2019
Crypto Mining Company Finally Goes Out of Business
CCN reported on the final shuttering of Giga Watt’s hosting farms. The company had filed for bankruptcy last year but still had some operations going. Giga Watt funded with an ICO in 2017 to a high degree of interest. The WTT token will now actually have no value, although it still appears to be holding some on markets for inexplicable reasons.
BitMEX Ends Service to Customers in US and Quebec
BitMEX has decided to wind down its operations in the US and the Canadian province of Quebec. CCN’s Alan Wass writes:
BitMex is currently in the process of shutting down US trading accounts and also those in Quebec in the face of current crackdowns on unlicensed crypto exchanges. The popular trading platform is currently based out of Hong Kong and is known for inhabiting the most expensive office property in the heart of the Asian financial epicenter.
Cryptopia Gets Hacked
Cryptopia exchange suffered an exploit which cost it “significant losses.” As Habiba Tahir writes :
Finally, Cryptopia tweeted an official statement confirming the hack as a “security breach.” The crypto exchange claimed that it had suffered “significant losses” and had been trying to deal with the situation. In the course of a few hours, Cryptopia contacted New Zealand police and the High Tech Crime Consortium (HTCC) to investigate the incident.
Later in the week, Binance froze the Cryptopia hacker’s assets and NZ police gave some details on the investigation.
Exchange Giant OKCoin Lists Tron
Tron found itself on a new exchange, officially beginning on Thursday. CCN had the opportunity to speak to OKCoin CEO Tim Byun about the listing. Byun was quoted as saying:
We do not have an ATS or a broker-dealer license, so we cannot facilitate the trading of securities. We made sure that TRX is used today as a utility. That there is a use case, that it passes the Howey Test, kind of laid out by the prior rulings of an SEC case, that’s the best we have.
The Tron team also reportedly impressed OKCoin.
Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act
Friday saw good news for crypto, amidst a continuing downturn in the market values of all cryptocurrencies. The “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” was reintroduced into the US Congress. As CCN author David Hundeyin writes:
Tagged the ‘Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act’, it was initially introduced on the floor of the house in September 2018 alongside two other cryptocurrency-related legislative namely a House resolution to express support for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and the Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act of 2018, aims to address confusion surrounding how to report gains made as a result of cryptocurrency forks to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
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