Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Morningstar Credit Ratings, a subsidiary of global financial giant Morningstar, plans to build an evaluation system for debt securities issued as tokens on the Ethereum blockchain first, followed by other blockchains, with the goal to “bring credibility to assets issued on blockchain,” Forbes reported. “We’re working very closely with a number of blockchain-oriented firms who are looking to issue debt instruments on a blockchain,” said Morningstar Credit Ratings Chief Operating Officer Michael Brawer. The upstart ratings agency last year passed USD 1 billion in revenue.
- Binance says Bakkt’s low-performing Bitcoin futures trading offering is a factor that is driving the current crypto-slump. In a report, Binance also stated that Telegram’s forthcoming TON network launch could also help October to become an “exciting month” for crypto traders.
- At Korea Blockchain Week, currently being held in Seoul, attendees from around the world have heaped praise on Bitcoin, explaining why they think the token is so dominant. Fn News reports that Nick Szabo, a professor at Francisco Marroquin University, told attendees that Bitcoin’s “core trust values” spurred the token’s popularity, and that “99% of other cryptocurrencies fail because they do not stay true to their core values.”
- Tim McCourt, global head of equity index and alternative investment products at CME Group, told Markets Media that CME has no current plans to launch physically settled bitcoin futures contracts. So far this year, nearly 7,000 CME bitcoin futures contracts, equivalent to about 35,000 bitcoin, have traded on average each day the number of large open interest holders reached a record 56 in July, according to the report.
- KR1, a digital asset investment company, announced that it posted a profit of GBP 4.5 million (USD 5.5 million) in the first six months of 2019. George McDonaugh, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of KR1 said: “Seeing a significant change in market character since December 2018, with Bitcoin bouncing off a low of USD 3,200 and peaking at over USD 13,000 some six months later, our investments have performed well during this volatile period. As ever, there is a strong correlation with Bitcoin across the crypto markets and we’ve seen encouraging results from our portfolio in recent months.”
- A group of ex-JPMorgan, Intel and TrustToken employees say they will develop a stablecoin pegged to the United States dollar. The group has formed a company named the Global Currency Organization and, per an announcement, say their new token, USD Digital, “is an ERC20 token built on Ethereum that is fully backed by U.S. dollars and redeemable.”
- A Swiss regulator has said of Facebook’s Libra: “We are not here to make such projects impossible.” Per Reuters, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) praised Libra’s “openness” and “transparency” and said that it would “respond to [Libra and similar projects] with an open mind.”
- Giants Visa and Mastercard are among the investors that are reconsidering their support of Facebook’s Libra, given the concerns it has raised with the regulators and the backlash from the European and U.S. government officials. The Wall Street Journal reports that these are just two of several yet unnamed backers who’ve refused to give a public support to Libra, even though Facebook has asked them to do so. Facebook’s David Marcus reacted on Twitter, saying “For Libra to succeed it needs committed members, and while I have no knowledge of specific organizations plans to not step up, commitment to the mission is more important than anything else.”
- South Korean credit card operator BC Card has teamed up with e-commerce platform Tmon, as well as blockchain specialists Chai and Terra for a prepaid check card project that will make use of blockchain technology. Per Fn News, the card will also make use of telecoms giant KT-developed blockchain technology, and will allow merchants to enjoy reduced payment fees, with consumers will benefiting from regular discounts of up to 10%.
- BitTorrent File System (BTFS) completed its official launch of the mainnet, Tron announced, with two new features and over 3,000 new nodes added to BT Client, “bringing BTFS one step closer to becoming the world’s largest and first scalable decentralized storage system.”
- A major bitcoin mining farm in China was burned down on Monday, destroying around USD 10 million worth of equipment at a data centre allegedly operated by Innosilicon, according to reports on Twitter.
- Russians appear to have lost none of their thirst for cryptocurrency mining. LetKnow News reports that customs officials in the Russian republic of Altai say they have caught a smuggler attempting to bring four ASIC Antminer cryptocurrency mining rigs across the border from Mongolia.
Cryptocurrency exchange news
- A court in Seoul has ruled that in the case of a hack on a Coinone account traced to an IP address in the Netherlands that left a customer over USD 48,000 out of pocket, the exchange was not entirely at fault. In a civil case, a Coinone customer had sought a full payout from Coinone, stating that the exchange should have capped daily transfer requests and blocked all overseas transactions. However, per media outlet Chosun although the presiding judge agreed that Coinone’s failure to cap the exchange was negligent, the court concluded that the exchange was not obligated to block overseas requests.
- InstaDApp, a DeFi (decentralized finance) portal that aggregates the major protocols using a smart wallet layer and bridge contracts, announced that they’ve raised a seed round of USD 2.4 million from a network of strategic investors, including Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures, IDEO Colab, Robot Ventures, and private investors such as Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan and Loi Luu (Kyber Network).
- Broadridge Financial Solutions, a USD 4 billion fintech company, acquired Shadow Financial Systems, a financial services company. Among other things, the acquisition adds capabilities across exchange traded derivatives (ETDs) and cryptocurrency, according to the announcement.