Altcoins, Bitcoin, Blockchain, COVID-19, Crypto Mining News, Cryptocurrency, Economy, Fraud and Scams

Bitcoins and Pieces: Weekend Edition

Blockchain News

  • The Russian telecom MTS and commercial bank VTB Bank announced they had directed the nation’s first-ever blockchain-powered commercial transaction on the Masterchain blockchain network. According to Prime, the deal meant a $5.4 million stake for MTS and made no use of paper-based documentation. Masterchain is the idea of the Central Bank and a group of commercial, financial entities, and the Central Bank is confident it will soon put the network to use in a project that could see banks in the nation to start offering paper-free, blockchain-based mortgages.
  • Moreover, in Russia, an expert has dropped the idea of creating blockchain-powered “digital bio passports” for residents in the nation who have received the coronavirus vaccine. Russia began vaccinating its citizens with the Sputnik V vaccine earlier this month. A few have advised offering a “passport” system that would allow vaccinated individuals to bypass lockdown measures without fear of punishment. But BFM cited Dmitry Kulish, a professor at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, as declaring that a biotech blockchain-based solution would open the door to “hackers” who would proceed to make their services “available for $50 in the black markets of Moscow, Odessa, Brussels and Gibraltar.”

Mining News

  • A crypto platform for mining and trading, NiceHashannounced that they had fully compensated all users affected by the security breach in December of 2017 when the firm became “the victim of the largest theft in Slovenian history.” “Still unknown criminals stole 4,640 bitcoins from our users, worth 55 million at the time and over 100 million US dollars today,” they appended.
  • Core Scientific, a primary blockchain hosting provider in North America, announced that it has agreed with China-based major Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain to aid Core Scientific hosting customers’ purchase through September 2021 of over 58,000 additional S19 Series Bitmain Miners. The purchase agreement will bring total purchases to 76,024 S19 and S19 Pro Antminers for the past 16 months, they stated in an emailed press release.

Exchanges News

  • Bitpanda, a European digital investment platform, said that it plans to invest EUR 10m ($12 million) in Poland over the next few years to establish a Technology & Innovation Hub in Krakow. The Hub is planned to employ a team of 300, doubling Bitpanda’s current size, which currently has 280 full-time employees representing 50 nations at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, they said in an emailed press release.
  • LocalBitcoins, a central peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, said they expanded their partnership with Onfido, an identity verification, and authentication provider. Users need to take a photo of their government-issued identity document (ID) and a selfie to complete the verification process for users opening an account. Users looking to access higher trading volumes need to take a selfie video and a photo of their ID.
  • Coinbase has had a board shakeup, appointing former GE Healthcare Systems Chief Financial Officer and the ex-Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of CISCO Kelly Kramer as its newest board member. In a blog post, the company also added that Marc Andreessen, the Co-founder and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz, would be “transitioning” from his role as a Board Observer to become the company’s Board Director. The company wrote, “This shift will allow Marc to take a more active role as a full-time board member for Coinbase.”

Regulation News

  • The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a Digital Assets Primer today. This primer’s focus is broader to include virtual currency and smart contracts, and other digitized representations of value or ownership, they said. It also identifies areas and topics for further consideration, including digital assets’ governance and regulatory authorities’ appropriate role like the CFTC.
  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission announced it charged central trading app Robinhood for repeated errors that neglected to disclose the firm’s receipt of payments from trading firms for routing customer orders to them and failing to satisfy its duty to seek the best reasonably available terms to execute customer orders. Robinhood agreed to pay $65 million to settle the charges, the SEC said.

Crypto Adoption News

  • While the US dollar authority is likely to continue, historical precedents of sudden changes suggest that new developments, such as the emergence of digital currencies and new payments ecosystems, could accelerate the transition to a new landscape of reserve currencies, according to a recent report, given by the International Monetary Fund.
  • Engiven, a crypto donation services company, stated that the Salvation Army Western Territory had selected the Engiven platform to enable BTC and Ethereum (ETH) donations across the US. When donors provide their zip code, the donations will fund their local Salvation Army initiatives.

Staking News

  • KR1, a UK-based digital asset investment company, stated it generated a further 141,564.69 Polkadot (DOT) tokens since the last staking update announcement in August 2020. All generated tokens have been sold at an average price of $5.63 per DOT token, realizing $796,943.
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