17 Dec 2020 · 4 min read
Regulatory Crypto Primer, NiceHash Reimburses BTC 4.6K Hack Victims + More News
Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a Digital Assets Primer today. The focus of this primer is broader to include not only virtual currency, but also smart contracts and other digitized representations of value or ownership, they said. It also identifies areas and topics for further consideration, including the governance of digital assets and the appropriate role of regulatory authorities like the CFTC.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission said it charged major trading app Robinhood for repeated misstatements that failed to disclose the firm’s receipt of payments from trading firms for routing customer orders to them, and with failing to satisfy its duty to seek the best reasonably available terms to execute customer orders. Robinhood agreed to pay USD 65m to settle the charges, the SEC said.
- NiceHash, a crypto platform for mining and trading, said that they have fully reimbursed all users affected by the security breach in December of 2017, when the company 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 added.
- Core Scientific, a major blockchain hosting provider in North America, said that it has agreed with China-based major Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain to facilitate 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 said in an emailed press release.
Crypto adoption news
- While the US dollar dominance is likely to endure, 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, shared by the International Monetary Fund.
- Engiven, a crypto donation services company, said that the Salvation Army Western Territory has 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.
- Bitpanda, a European digital investment platform, said that it plans to invest EUR 10m (USD 12m) 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 major peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, said they expanded their partnership with Onfido, an identity verification and authentication provider. For users opening an account, they need to take a photo of their government-issued identity document (ID) and a selfie to complete the verification process. 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.”
- KR1, a UK-based digital asset investment company, said 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 USD 5.63 per DOT token, realizing USD 796,943.
- The Russian mobile operator MTS and commercial bank VTB Bank said they have conducted the nation’s first-ever blockchain-powered commercial transaction on the Masterchain blockchain network. Per Prime, the deal involved a USD 5.4m guarantee for MTS, and made no use of paper-based documentation. Masterchain is the brainchild of the Central Bank and a group of commercial financial entities, and the Central Bank is hopeful it will soon put the network to use in a project that could see banks in the country start offering paper-free, blockchain-based mortgages.
- Also in Russia, an expert has dismissed the idea of creating blockchain-powered “digital bio passports” for citizens in the country who have received the coronavirus vaccine. Russia began vaccinating its citizens with the Sputnik V vaccine earlier this month, and some have suggested introducing a “passport” system that would allow vaccinated individuals to bypass lockdown measures without fear of punishment. But BFM quoted Dmitry Kulish, a professor at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, as claiming that a biotech blockchain-based solution would open the door to “hackers” who would proceed to make their services “available for USD 50 in the black markets of Moscow, Odessa, Brussels and Gibraltar.”