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Bitcoin ATM Boom, OKEx's Lightning, India's Blockchain Plan + More News

Bitcoin ATM Boom, OKEx's Lightning, India's Blockchain Plan + More News 101
Source: Adobe/Anton Gvozdikov

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Crypto adoption news

  • CoinFlip, a major US-based Bitcoin ATM operator, said it grew its network from 441 ATMs in January 2020 to over 1,400 by year’s end, with terminals in 45 of the 50 states. Additionally, CoinFlip claims it saw an average 48% increase in the unspecified amount per customer transaction in 2020. The company aims to expand its network beyond North America this year. CoinFlip said it already increased its Chicago-based workforce from 17 employees at the start of 2020 to a team of 160 and is looking to hire more people.
  • Circle and the Stellar Development Foundation announced today that USD coin (USDC) is now live on the Stellar (XLM) network. Stellar USDC is available on Stellar's decentralized exchange.

Exchanges news

  • OKEx said it will integrate the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a second-layer scaling solution based on the Bitcoin blockchain, in the coming quarter. This "will dramatically decrease transaction fees and times," the major exchange added.

Regulation news

  • The Indian government will explore the use of blockchain technology for the digital economy, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said today, as reported by gadgets.ndtv.com. "It was announced in the Budget Speech of the year 2018-19 that the government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coins and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,” Thakur reportedly added.

Trading news

  • Bitwise Asset Management said it has begun the regulatory process to allow shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin Fund to trade on OTCQX. If approved, shares of the fund would be available for trading in traditional brokerage accounts and for custody with many traditional custodians, they added.

Blockchain news

  • A Chinese farmers’ market is now making use of blockchain-powered invoices and receipts, reported ST Daily. Stall owners at the Wuyi Farmers Market, in Pu’er City, Yunnan Province, are issuing customers paying as little as USD 1.05 with blockchain-powered receipts on their smartphones via a dedicated app. The market, reported the media outlet, is the center of a new pilot that will be expanded to farmers’ markets throughout the city and the surrounding area if it proves successful. The pilot has been applied to all vegetable and fresh fruit vendors selling their produce at Wuyi, and allows customers to access key information on their purchases, and verify the credentials of stallholders.
  • Schoolchildren aged between 13 and 15 in Satka, a city in the Southern Ural Chelyabinsk Region of Russia, have been invited to take a free “master class” in blockchain technology. Per Satka74, the Russian antivirus and software firm Kaspersky Labs will organize three IT-dedicated training sessions this month in conjunction with the Ministry of Information Technology, Communications and Digital Development of the Chelyabinsk Region, with one session wholly devoted to blockchain technology. Kaspersky has been pursuing blockchain-related business of late, and late last year announced that it was working on creating a blockchain-powered voting platform for nations to use as part of their democratic activities.

Darknet news

  • Darknet markets set a new revenue record in 2020, bringing in a total of USD 1.7bn worth of cryptocurrency, according to Chainalysis. This record comes as individual purchases from darknet markets declined, falling from 12.2m in 2019 to fewer than 10m in 2020, they said, adding that nearly all of the growth in darknet market activity we see in 2020 can be attributed to Russian-speaking countries-focused Hydra, the largest darknet market in the world, accounting for over 75% of darknet market revenue worldwide in 2020.

Mining news

  • Canaan, a provider of supercomputing solutions, said it will be supplying 6,000 units of its A1246 model of AvalonMiners to Core Scientific, a major crypto mining operator in the United States. Machines should be received and installed over the course of three months, the company said in an emailed announcement.

Staking news

  • ConsenSys, an Ethereum (ETH) software company, and Securosys, a cybersecurity specialist, launched a new method for long-term Ethereum 2.0 staking. The partnership provides the possibility to create Ethereum 2.0 withdrawal keys in Securosys Hardware Security Modules (both on premise and as a cloud service) directly from the ConsenSys Codefi Staking API, according to the companies.

Fraud news

  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission said it charged three individuals with defrauding hundreds of retail investors out of more than USD 11m through two fraudulent and unregistered digital asset securities offerings. From approximately December 2017 through May 2018, Kristijan Krstic, founder of Start Options and Bitcoiin2Gen, and John DeMarr, the primary US-based promoter for these companies, fraudulently induced investors to buy digital asset securities, the SEC said.

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