Russian crypto exchange YoBit advertises pump scheme

Russia-based cryptocurrency exchange YoBit has announced a scheduled pumping of coins selected at random.

In its tweet, YoBit gave no specific reasons for its action, wherein “we will buy one random coin for 1 btc every 1-2 mins 10 times (total buy amount – 10 btc).” The exchange, which lists thousands of altcoins, also provided a timer 22 hours prior to the trades. As of this writing, there are six hours left before execution of the scheme.

We can only wait to see the effect on whatever coins are selected, but the tweet is notable for its unusual nature. Usually, when an asset is bought in the hopes of spurring demand from other investors, it is done more discreetly, so as to sell at a peak.

Last February, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which has classified cryptocurrencies as commodities under its jurisdiction, had already warned the public of pump-and-dump scams, saying, “As with many online frauds, this type of scam is not new-it simply deploys an emerging technology to capitalize on public interest in digital assets.” It remains to be seen, however, how regulatory agencies will react, given the forthrightness of the exchange.

Commenters on the YoBit tweet expressed disbelief, amusement, and outrage, as well as cluelessness. Several users on reddit have confirmed the existence of e-mails sent by the company, with address news-mailer@yobit.net, indicating that the exchange had not been hacked.

Already, trading platform Coinigy has tweeted its plan to delist YoBit from its network of cryptocurrency exchanges, “due to overwhelming negative experiences as documented on social media and forums, among other reasons.” However, it said it would be “asking for feedback first. As a popular platform in the crypto trading space, it is essential for us to be diligent and not promote sites that may harm our users.”

YoBit has been operating since 2015.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Juniper Research claims crypto market about to implode (spoiler alert: they’re wrong)

Juniper Research has released a report that predicts utter doom and gloom for the cryptocurrency industry. The report, ”The Future of Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin & Altcoin Trends & Challenges 2018-2023,” claims that the entire cryptocurrency market is ready to implode. Fortunately, it’s not the first time Juniper has been wrong.

According to the research company, the drop in the level of transaction volumes is an indication that the market is on a crash course for destruction. There’s no denying that the volumes are down—BTC has dropped from 360,000 late last year to 230,000 in September. Transaction values are down, as well, with BTC falling from $3.7 billion to under $670 million.

Based on this, and activity during the first half of the 2018 third quarter, “Juniper estimates a further 47 percent quarter-on-quarter drop in transaction values.” This doesn’t bode well for cryptocurrencies—on the surface.

What Juniper fails to take into account is that the markets are actually becoming more stabilized. The introduction of regulations and self-governing bodies around the world are helping to solidify cryptocurrency’s position in a global economic world. The current volumes are a reflection of a maturing of the ecosystem, not of an impending downfall. The days of meteoric climbs like what BTC saw last year are in the past, and this is a positive for the markets.

There has been a significant amount of resources and energy invested into stabilizing the cryptocurrency industry and those efforts are paying off. Fluctuations in prices are much more limited than they once were and more financial institutions around the world are warming up to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. If there were any indication that the industry was on the brink of disaster, there wouldn’t be the advances we see today.

Juniper’s insight has to be taken with a mere grain of salt. After all, this is the same company that predicted Tesla would be selling 17 million cars by 2020. In a report it issued on Tesla in March 2016, it stated, “Tesla, an OEM solely manufacturing electric vehicles, scored highly with strong sales, superior mileage range and firm commitment to their Tesla Supercharge scheme. Whilst BMW and Nissan have witnessed high sales, their electric vehicle capabilities lag behind Tesla.”

Out of the top ranked electric cars today, Tesla isn’t even among the top seven. In fact, Nissan’s LEAF is the top-selling car according to a report by CarMax from this past June. Another Carmax report from August that ranked the top hybrids doesn’t include Tesla among the top 10. Tesla has only sold barely 200,000 cars in the U.S.—a long way from the 17 million expected by Juniper.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Crypto thefts worldwide to hit over $1B in 2018

Cryptocurrency thefts globally are expected to reach over $1 billion this year, about four times the recorded thefts in 2017, according to a report from CipherTrace, a firm that specializes in ensuring legal compliance for blockchain transactions.

From the first three quarters of 2018, already $927 million worth of cryptocurrencies has been documented as stolen, according to the company.

Included in the listed amounts were high-profile hacks of cryptocurrency exchanges such as $530 million worth of tokens stolen from Japanese exchange Coincheck, and $195 million taken from Italian exchange BitGrail.

“Additionally, CipherTrace is aware of over $60 million in cryptocurrency that was stolen but not reported publicly,” the report read.

The company also pointed out that the figure for the first three quarters of 2018 was already 3.5 times larger than all of the previous year, where $266 million was reported stolen globally.

CipherTrace, which deals with blockchain forensics and enforcement solutions, stressed that stricter regulations in the cryptocurrency trade were in demand all over the world. “Establishing their countries’ reputations as ‘safe’ digital markets helps to attract trustworthy cryptocurrency exchanges and digital asset businesses,” according to the company.

It cited the European Commission’s fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive last July, and policies and monitoring of the Financial Action Task Force, as part of current regulatory initiatives.

The report also noted how existing anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) regulations for the cryptocurrency trade have been moving the use of cryptocurrencies for criminal activity to less regulated markets. The result is that 97% of BTC payments for criminal activity ended up in unregulated exchanges or in exchanges of countries with weak AML legislation.

According to CipherTrace, 4.7% of total BTC received in countries with weak regulations comes from criminal activity, which it defined as directly coming from sources such as dark market sites, extortion, malware, money laundering sites, ransomware, and terrorist financing.

The data analyzed came from 45 million transactions in the top 20 cryptocurrency exchanges, up to last September 29. Using U.S. Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs data, CipherTrace determined that 79 of 212 “have weak AML regimes” due to lack of government controls to regulate drug dealing and money laundering, to enforce KYC regulations, report large and suspicious transactions, and maintain records over time.

The data showed that 95% of BTC paid from exchanges to criminals, worth $1.5 billion at present prices, was sent from unregulated exchanges.

CipherTrace added that “the unregulated exchange is growing at 300%, with risky transactions and criminal transactions growing fastest.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Crypto exchange Binance delists 4 altcoins

In an effort to protect its users, cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that it would delisting four cryptocurrency tokens from its platform, effective Oct. 12.

On its website, Binance said it has decided to delist Bytecoin (BCN), ChatCoin (CHAT), Iconomi (ICN), and Triggers (TRIG). Though the altcoins will be officially delisted on Friday at 10 a.m. UTC, customers still have until Nov. 12 to withdraw these coins and tokens from the crypto exchange.

According to Binance, the four coins failed to “maintain a high standard of quality.” The crypto exchange took into consideration several factors, which resulted in the removal of the digital assets. These include the team’s commitment to the project, quality and level of development activity, network or smart contract stability, level of public communication and activity, responsiveness to Binance’s periodic due diligence, evidence of unethical or fraudulent conduct, and contribution to a healthy and sustainable crypto ecosystem.

“Going forward, we remain committed to protecting our users and all Binance stakeholders and will continue to perform periodic reviews of all listed coins and tokens,” the crypto exchange stated.

Since the announcement, the prices of the currencies have dropped drastically. BCN, in particular, saw its prices drop by over 15%.

The news comes on the heels of Binance’s announcement that it would be donating all the fees it collects from listing new cryptocurrencies to charities. The new policy is expected to take effect immediately, and the crypto exchange hopes the donation will be used for “greater good.”

Binance said it “will continue to use the same high standard for the listing review process,” noting that “a large donation does not guarantee or in any way influence the outcome of our listing review process.” The new policy applies to any new applications, as well as those that have already been submitting and which are waiting for approval.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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First central bank-backed crypto exchange in Persian Gulf to launch in 2019

Middle East is about to get its first central bank-licensed cryptocurrency exchange, courtesy of Rain Financial. After spending a year in the Bahrain regulatory sandbox, where projects are monitored before they receive licenses, Rain is ready to launch in early 2019.

Rain Financial has already opened its public waiting list, CoinDesk reported. The company aims to offer an institutional platform similar to Coinbase Pro as well as a brokerage for retail crypto investors. The exchange was co-founded by Abdullah Almoaiqel, a blockchain consultant from Saudi, and Yehia Badawy, an Egyptian investor, along with their business partners Joseph Dallago and AJ Nelson.

Rain Financial will be the first cryptocurrency exchange of its kind in the Persian Gulf. The crypto market is not very popular in the region and only a few residents participate officially. Despite Dubai being a pioneer in blockchain-based smart city applications, there’s still a shadow of doubt hanging over cryptocurrency. However, Badawy noted that a lot of crypto investors in the region are waiting for the right regulations and partners to be put in place before investing. He told the crypto news outlet,

“We are here to fill this demand, with institutional-grade infrastructure.”

According to the Rain co-founder, the crypto exchange has spent months educating regulators about the standards it aims to follow such as the know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) standards applied by Western exchanges. The sandbox environment also allowed Rain to explain to the Central Bank of Bahrain how it would operate and how it aims to limit damages should something go wrong. Also, the exchange has teamed up with several banks, ensuring that it can support all local Gulf currencies.

Crypto experts believe that the chances of Rain’s platform succeeding are quite high. Khalid Saad, CEO of Bahrain Fintech Bay, told CoinDesk that Rain has a potential of becoming the first officially regulated crypto exchange in the region, noting that the startup is “the most advanced and the closest to graduating” from the regulatory sandbox.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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South Korea’s Cashierest hit with lawsuit over price pumping schemes

A cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea has been sued over its alleged price-pumping schemes that involves token issuance. According to ZDnet Korea, Aone, a South Korean law firm, filed a complaint against Cashierest operator Newlink Co. Ltd., claiming that the exchange’s token violated the capital markets laws in the country.

The lawsuit, filed last Oct. 5, alleged that Cashierest engaged in “criminal pumping, the so-called ‘cage pumping,’ which induces price increases while restricting the withdrawa” of its dividend coin called CAP,” according to the news outlet. Aside from paying dividends, CAP also offers rebates on transaction fees.

Aone claimed the crypto exchange was involved in two illegal acts: the first was “violation of the securities issuance procedure,” under Article 119 of South Korea’s Capital Markets Act. The second was violation Article 178, which prohibits unfair trading.

The token in question was first issued in August. CAP has three features—dividents, referral mining, and trade mining. Its whitepaper claimed that CAP investors “can receive 100% of profits of Cashierest’s exchange charges,” while charges issued with each currency (KRW, BTC, ETH, and TUSD) will be 100% refunded in applicable currency.

On its website, Cashierest explained that CAP “pays the first dividend in KRW,” and that 100% of Cashierest transaction fee revenue” will be paid “in proportion to the customer’s CAP reserves by two snapshots a month.”

Aone claimed these, along with the other features listed on the Cashierest website, violate South Korean laws.

It seems Cashierest is not the only exchange involved in these illegal activities. According to Money Today, the law firm also plans to extend the lawsuit to include other exchanges such as Coinzest, Bithumb, and Coinbit.

Early this year, Cashierest made headlines after it was revealed that its users were allowed to withdraw up to five times their coin holdings due to a system glitch.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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QuadrigaCX sees $28M frozen as Canada’s ‘banking cartel’ steps up crypto attacks

The mainstream financial world has been outwardly hostile towards cryptocurrencies for some time. Banks in Canada have exemplified this attitude in recent months, withdrawing essential banking services from cryptocurrency businesses while continuing to ratchet up their anti-crypto rhetoric.

Some analysts say this is in response to the direct threat posed to banks and traditional fiat banking systems by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which offer fast international payments, low transaction fees and absolute security without the need for banks or other centralised institutions.

Now, in the latest example of banks taking exception to promising crypto businesses, press reports have revealed that Vancouver-based QuadrigaCX has been facing a freeze on assets worth as much as $28 million.

According to The Globe and Mail, the firm has been unable to access its account funds since January of this year. With the backing of local courts, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) froze a number of accounts connected to the firm, on allegations that it was unable to determine who legally owned the funds.

Subsequently, the bank has asked to court to rule on whether the bank can seize the funds to determine whether they belong to Quadriga, its affected customers, or the firm’s payment processor.

In response to the attacks on their assets, Quadriga has responded robustly, accusing the bank of an orchestrated attempt to squeeze their business for its affiliations with the cryptocurrency sector.

According to legal representatives for the exchange, the implication that Quadriga was involved in unsavoury businesses practices is untrue and “highly offensive.”

“This court should not succumb to the bank’s unsubstantiated and highly offensive speculation that there must be shady dealings afoot because Quadriga’s business is a trading platform for individuals trading in cryptocurrencies.”

In an email sent to customers impacted by the freeze, Quadriga said a “Canadian banking cartel” was intentionally making life difficult for them, and other crypto businesses, to encourage adoption in Canada.

This incident is but the latest in a series of similar swipes at the cryptocurrency sector from banks, both in Canada and further afield.

However, with Quadriga rival Coinsquare recently establishing a formal banking relationship with one of the country’s biggest banks, there remains some optimism that this attitude might be beginning to change, in favour of supporting the development of the nascent crypto sector there.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Electron Cash wallet open to crowdfunding

The popular Bitcoin BCH wallet Electron Cash has added a unique feature. The wallet’s lead developer, Jonald Fyookball, has announced that Electron Cash now includes a crowdfunding module that will give users the ability to raise funds using a simple flag, Sighash.

Electron Cash has added a slew of features recently. The additions have been made possible, in part, by the integration of the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP), which allows users to create custom tokens on the Bitcoin BCH blockchain. The new feature was added following the successful integration of the CashShuffle plug-in, which allows users to obfuscate transactions with those of other users in an attempt to enhance privacy.

In a post on Yours.org this past Monday, Fyookball explained, “[Bitcoin BCH] gives you the ability to do a crowdfunding type transaction through the All/Anyone-Can-Pay Sighash flag. This means a bunch of different people can sign only their own input but for the same transaction output — For example, let’s say I want to fund raise 100 BCH for a project. Individuals can donate 1 BCH, 2 BCH, 0.4 BCH, whatever they wish. None of the inputs will be valid unless the entire 100 BCH is raised.”

The developer indicated that the function is available through the Sighash-All flag framework. He added that users can donate varying amounts of Bitcoin BCH, but added that none of the transactions is validated on the blockchain’s mainnet until the goal of the fundraising activity is reached.

The new module is similar to that of Lighthouse.Cash; however, Electron Cash’s integration will provide increased value as it will be available to all of the wallet’s users. He added that the service is still in a development phase and won’t be released until developers sign off on the final product.

Fyookball further indicated, “So far the wallet has a new context menu from the UTXO (Coins) tab where you can select a coin to create an Anyone-Can-Pay input from — As well as a tool to create a fully assembled transaction from the inputs.”

Developments such as these are precisely why Bitcoin BCH is gaining favor. There are constantly being introduced new use cases that show the flexibility and strength of the network and the dedication the community has to creating a sustainable and stable blockchain that has endless real-world possibilities.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Coinfloor, UK’s first crypto exchange, lays off staff: report

Coinfloor, the UK’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange, is to lay off staff following the announcement of a slew of redundancies at the firm this week, Financial News reported.

Founded in 2013, Coinfloor is considered to be the first cryptocurrency exchange to setup in the UK. Focused on institutional and larger investors, the platform currently enjoys daily trading volumes in the region of $1 million.

However, according to informed sources, the exchange is now turning to significant redundancies amongst its 40 strong team, as part of a wider essential restructuring of their business.

Coinfloor CEO Obi Nwosu was quoted by the news outlet as saying the move has been prompted by changes in trading volumes at the exchange over recent months. He confirmed to Financial News, “Coinfloor is currently undergoing a business restructure to focus on our competitive advantages in the marketplace and to best serve our clients. As part of this restructure, we are making some staff changes and redundancies.”

The news comes at a time of increasing difficulties for some notable cryptocurrency exchanges, following the bear market conditions that have prevailed through much of 2018 so far.

In the last few weeks, similar rumours had emerged from Kraken, suggesting they too were laying off staff, with their offices in Halifax, Canada, earmarked for closure.

However, the firm subsequently denied this was the case, issuing an unequivocal statement that they “can confirm that we are not shutting down any operations in any specific place.”

Much of the difficulties can be attributed to the plummeting price of BTC, dramatically down on its highs of nearly $20,000 in late 2017. According to a growing number of crypto analysts, it looks unlikely BTC will even nearly recover this lost ground any time soon, if ever.

According to Nwosu, Coinfloor has handled as much as $1 billion in BTC transactions over the last 12 months—perhaps indicative of the current extent of their apparent problems.

While it remains to be seen whether the rumours of job losses are confirmed, the news is further confirmation of the dwindling relevance of the old BTC coin in today’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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FINMA issues landmark Swiss license for crypto asset management

Switzerland’s financial services regulator has issued its first license for cryptocurrency asset management, after greenlighting an application from a domestic cryptocurrency investment fund.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority granted licensing approval to Crypto Fund, an investment fund based in Zug, Swissinfo reported. Originally launched in 2017, the fund becomes the first in Switzerland to receive recognition under the new licensing regime.

The move enables crypto fund to offer a wider range of products, which it is expected could help encourage institutional investors into the space. And with the licensing system now officially up and running, the issue confirms Switzerland’s bid to become a ‘Crypto Nation’—a stated aim of the Swiss market amidst growing competition from rival jurisdictions.

Jan Brzezek, CEO of Crypto Fund’s parent company Crypto Finance, welcomed the license, which is seen as a significant win for the company. Brzezek was quoted by the Swiss news outlet saying, “The importance of crypto assets is growing and our aim is to accelerate maturity in these markets. Regulatory recognition remains highly sought after by participants, as seen in recent press and company statements.”

According to local media reports, the success of Crypto Fund could be followed by several others, with a number of firms thought to be progressing applications for the same license. These include applications to offer banking services to the crypto sector, which would solve the current lack of banking provision, and dismantle a considerable barrier to expansion of Zug’s ‘Crypto Valley.’

With the current regulatory setup especially appealing to corporate operators and institutional investors in the sector, the region is already regarded as one of the foremost jurisdictions for blockchain and crypto startups.

The announcement follows on from similar approvals given to a blockchain firm under anti-money laundering laws, by the Financial Services Standards Association, which itself is authorized by FINMA to oversee anti-money laundering compliance.

Zug has also been participating in a number of blockchain trials, including a model for handling municipal votes through a distributed ledger platform.

With the first new license of its kind issued to Crypto Fund, it remains to be seen how many more companies will follow suit, as Switzerland continues to establish its reputation as the cryptocurrency jurisdiction of choice for serious cryptocurrency businesses.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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