Bittrex-Backed Euro Stablecoin Can Be Staked for 8% Interest

Bittrex-Backed Euro Stablecoin Can Be Staked for 8% Interest

A group of six blockchain firms called Universal Protocol Alliance is launching a euro-pegged stablecoin next month. The alliance announced the news Thursday, saying that its “universal euro” (UPEUR) token is aimed at users looking for a low volatility cryptocurrency. The stablecoin can also potentially offer holders an annual rate of return of 8 percent, the group said. “In countries with high inflation or limited access to traditional banking, users can now lend their Euro-pegged assets and earn interest,” the companies said. Aside from Cred, the alliance comprises of the Bittrex crypto exchange, blockchain-based web browser Brave, cryptocurrency finance startup Uphold, student organization Blockchain at Berkeley and blockchain auditing platform CertiK. Together, the group says it sets out to build “unique digital currency products designed to appeal to mainstream users on a massive scale.” The alliance has previously released other similar products such as a U.S. dollar stablecoin (UPUSD) and a bitcoin-pegged token (UPBTC). The UPEUR stablecoin will be available directly through the Uphold platform, the alliance said, adding that it can be used to earn interest  via crypto loans firm Cred’s CredEarn program, which pays back interest for loans of digital assets. To earn interest, users “in eligible jurisdictions” will be able to stake the stablecoin through the CredEarn application on Uphold. UPEUR holdings can also be custodied with cryptocurrency storage service providers such as Ledger and BitGo. Dan Schatt, co-founder of both the alliance and Cred, commented: “The Universal Euro offers access to a high rate of return and the same commitment to code quality, investor safeguards and transparency. UPEUR is architected with institutional-level security in mind and designed to allow for quick, low-cost conversion of UPEUR to fiat currencies, UPUSD, UPBTC or other digital assets.” In a similar development earlier this week, TrustToken, developer of dollar-pegged stablecoin TrueUSD, also announced that the token’s holders can now leverage their funds to earn “up to 8 percent” in annualized returns. TrustToken also partnered with Cred for the effort, while Uphold, BitGo, Bittrex and Ledger joined as custody providers. Euros image via Shutterstock 

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles to Appeal Conviction

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles to Appeal Conviction

Mark Karpeles, former CEO of the long-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, is to appeal his conviction on data manipulation charges earlier this month. According to a report from The Associated Press on Friday, Karpeles said he had decided to appeal because the Tokyo District Court did not fully look at the defense arguments. Karpeles said: “During the opening of my trial in 2017, I swore to God that I am innocent of all charges. I believe appealing to the judgment is appropriate so that I can be judged again in full consideration of all the facts.” A different report from The Mainichi on the Karpeles case, today cited anonymous sources as saying that Japanese prosecutors have decided not to appeal the court’s acquittal of Karpeles on charges of embezzlement. The prosecutors had been seeking a 10-year jail term on the charges. On March 15, the Tokyo District Court found Karpeles guilty of wrongfully making electronic records connected to Mt. Gox’s books, but innocent on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust. He had first been charged by the prosecutors last December, alleging he used about $3 million of customers’ funds for his own personal use. In early 2014, Mt. Gox revealed it had previously suffered a massive hack involving 850,000 bitcoin, some of which was later found. The exchange officially filed for liquidation in April of that year. Nobuyasu Ogata, Karpeles’ lawyer in the case, told AP that he welcomed the court’s acquittal of Karpeles on some charges as “a proper decision.” He further argued that his client was “actually a victim” and had been trying to minimize damage at the exchange after the breach, so, as such, Karpeles’ actions shouldn’t be considered “illegitimate.” Karpeles has reiterated his innocence and apologized several times since the collapse of Mt. Gox. He once said, “I never imagined things would end this way and I am forever sorry for everything that’s taken place and all the effect it had on everyone involved.” Last August, the Japanese bankruptcy court that initially oversaw the case sided with creditors who made a petition to move the case to civic rehabilitation. As such, creditors could file claims for their original bitcoin from Mt.Gox, rather than having them converted to fiat currencies and be paid out…

Facebook’s Blockchain Hiring Spree Continues With 5 New Job Postings

Facebook’s Blockchain Hiring Spree Continues With 5 New Job Postings

Social media behemoth Facebook is advertising for five more blockchain-related positions – adding to the 20 positions already posted by the company in the last month or so. The new blockchain-related positions, all of which are based at the company’s Menlo Park HQ in California, include: production manager, business operations manager, data scientist, software engineer and growth product manager. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been talking a lot in public about blockchain and cryptography of late. His comments suggested a move to embrace end-to-end encryption of users’ data on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. However, some critics are calling his decentralization and privacy mantra nothing more than a PR message. In a video interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, Zuckerberg speculated on the prospect of Facebook using a blockchain model to enable decentralized logins without its servers acting as authenticators. Meanwhile, the New York Times recently reported that Facebook is developing a digital currency that its users can trade among each other and exchange on cryptocurrency exchanges. Whatever Facebook is up to, it’s definitely hiring. The latest ads also provide some insight into Facebook’s crypto strategy. The company said the blockchain team “is a startup within Facebook and we’re exploring lots of areas of interest across all facets of blockchain technology.” It’s also talking up the silver-lined promises of blockchain, saying: “Our ultimate goal is to help billions of people with access to things they don’t have now – that could be things like healthcare, equitable financial services, or new ways to save or share information.” Facebook image via Shutterstock

Bitmain’s Jihan Wu: ASICs Are Making Ethereum More Decentralized

Bitmain’s Jihan Wu: ASICs Are Making Ethereum More Decentralized

Jihan Wu, co-founder of crypto mining giant Bitmain, has argued that ASIC miners make blockchain networks more decentralized – the opposite of what is often argued by members of the crypto community. Speaking at a keynote to discuss proof-of-work and decentralization during a blockchain event in Chongqing, China, on Wednesday, Wu told a mix of newbie and experienced participants in the industry that he believes ASIC miners – powerful processors designed for crunching specific algorithms – are less of a centralizing force than more general purpose graphics processing units (GPUs) that are also commonly used in cryptocurrency mining. The discussion also led Wu to cast doubts on ethereum’s ProgPow upgrade (for Progressive Proof-of-Work), which, by altering the network’s mining algorithm, is designed to block ASIC machines and improve the computing advantage of GPUs. He told the audience: “While we have seen various network upgrades that aim to become ASIC-resistant, such as Cuckoo cycle and ProgPow, but what we can foresee is that, very likely, there will still be ASIC miners for these two algorithms.” Recently, the ethereum community voted to approve the network’s ProgPow upgrade. However, the timeline for activation is not confirmed yet, as a period is needed for auditing the code. It’s a change that, if activated, could have an impact on ethereum’s mining rewards – a market that’s estimated to be worth over $600 million a year. Wu added that the ethereum network is already centralized to some extent, pointing to statistics that two major ethereum mining pools – Sparkpool and Ethermine – together control over half of the network’s computing power. He further cited rumors, without providing any evidence, that certain individuals involved in the ProgPow proposal directly report to the CEO of NVIDIA, a major maker of GPU hardware with a dominant market share. Wu alleged: “To me, ProgPow is clearly an effort to achieve centralization, in an attempt to exclude other integrated circuit designers to participate in ethereum mining. And GPU hardware is strongly protected by patents, so having a tailor-made algorithm for this type of hardware is certainly a way to avoid a fully competitive market.” And switching from the proof-of-work algorithm, as used by ethereum currently, to proof-of-stake (supporting a network by holding a stake of its native tokens)…

Cryptojobs Is a Platform With 1,300 Vacancies in the Cryptocurrency Industry

Cryptojobs Is a Platform With 1,300 Vacancies in the Cryptocurrency Industry

The sight of new job ads being published regularly, at a time when some businesses have been downsizing to cope with the crypto winter, is a positive sign. The importance of job boards connecting companies with professionals is growing, with Cryptojobs one such platform. Also read: Coingapp Allows You to Exploit Arbitrage Opportunities Between Exchanges 1,300 Ads on a Crypto Job Board Cryptojobs (crypto.jobs) is among the leading platforms specializing in posting new openings for those who wish to begin or continue their career in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. The website currently lists almost 1,300 jobs and adds new vacancies almost every day. Users can filter the ads by categories, which include tech, design, business development, sales, marketing, operations, customer support, analyst, and other, as well as browse them by skills. They can also toggle between all jobs and remote positions, some of which are restricted to a particular territory. Each job posting contains a description of the respective position and the specific requirements for the candidates. The ads also indicate if the job is a full-time or part-time engagement, a temporary contract or an internship. Cryptojobs enables companies to post new jobs free of charge. A $199 paid upgrade provides them with unlimited applications, highlighted ads on the homepage, push notifications to subscribed candidates and other additional services. Job seekers can upload their resumes thanks to a recently added feature. Have you used the services of a crypto-specific job platform? Tell us in the comments section below. Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more. Tags in this story Ads, candidates, companies, crypto, crypto industry, Employees, employers, job board,…

Hong Kong’s Securities Regulator Issues Detailed Guidance for Security Token Offerings

Hong Kong’s Securities Regulator Issues Detailed Guidance for Security Token Offerings

Hong Kong’s securities regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued official guidance on security token offerings (STOs), in a statement published on March 28. The guidance aims to clarify the legal and regulatory requirements for parties engaging in STO-related activities. The document opens with a proposed working definition of a security token and sale, noting that: “STOs typically refer to specific offerings which are structured to have features of traditional securities offerings, and involve Security Tokens which are digital representations of ownership of assets (eg, gold or real estate) or economic rights (eg, a share of profits or revenue) utilising blockchain technology.” According to the SFC, security tokens are “likely to be ‘securities’” under Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Ordinance, and thus fall under existing securities laws. Unless an exemption applies, this therefore means that any Hong Kong-based STO — or STO targeting Hong Kong investors — must acquire a license and register for dealing in securities under the provisions of the ordinance. Engaging in securities dealing (defined as a “Type 1 regulated activity”) without a due license is a criminal offense, the SFC notes. Intermediaries that intend to market or operate an STO are also required to comply with the existing Code of Conduct for entities that are licensed or registered with the securities regulator. The statement also notes that security tokens are deemed to be “complex products,” for which additional investor protection measures further apply. Lastly, the SFC states that prospective STO operators are required to observe the guidance it has previously outlined in a November 2018 circular for crypto exchanges and intermediaries engaged in the distribution of virtual asset funds. This guidance stipulated three points. First, observing the aforementioned license and registration requirements, as well as an explicit restriction of STO sales to professional investors only. Second, intermediaries are required to conduct due diligence in order to develop a thorough understanding of the STO in question. Intermediaries are also tasked with ensuring that any information provided to investors is sound and not misleading. Lastly, they are required to provide investors with transparent information, as well as to issue warnings that outline the risks associated with virtual asset investments. In the United States context, multiple crypto industry figures and lawmakers have…

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles to Appeal Data Conviction

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles to Appeal Data Conviction

Mark Karpeles, former CEO of the long-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, is to appeal his conviction on data manipulation charges earlier this month. According to a report from The Associated Press on Friday, Karpeles said he had decided to appeal because the Tokyo District Court did not fully look at the defense arguments. Karpeles said: “During the opening of my trial in 2017, I swore to God that I am innocent of all charges. I believe appealing to the judgment is appropriate so that I can be judged again in full consideration of all the facts.” A different report from The Mainichi on the Karpeles case, today cited anonymous sources as saying that Japanese prosecutors have decided not to appeal the court’s acquittal of Karpeles on charges of embezzlement. The prosecutors had been seeking a 10-year jail term on the charges. On March 15, the Tokyo District Court found Karpeles guilty of wrongfully making electronic records connected to Mt. Gox’s books, but innocent on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust. He had first been charged by the prosecutors last December, alleging he used about $3 million of customers’ funds for his own personal use. In early 2014, Mt. Gox revealed it had previously suffered a massive hack involving 850,000 bitcoin, some of which was later found. The exchange officially filed for liquidation in April of that year. Nobuyasu Ogata, Karpeles’ lawyer in the case, told AP that he welcomed the court’s acquittal of Karpeles on some charges as “a proper decision.” He further argued that his client was “actually a victim” and had been trying to minimize damage at the exchange after the breach, so, as such, Karpeles’ actions shouldn’t be considered “illegitimate.” Karpeles has reiterated his innocence and apologized several times since the collapse of Mt. Gox. He once said, “I never imagined things would end this way and I am forever sorry for everything that’s taken place and all the effect it had on everyone involved.” Last August, the Japanese bankruptcy court that initially oversaw the case sided with creditors who made a petition to move the case to civic rehabilitation. As such, creditors could file claims for their original bitcoin from Mt.Gox, rather than having them converted to fiat currencies and be paid out…

Coinbase Custody launches staking support for Tezos, MakerDAO governance to follow

Coinbase Custody launches staking support for Tezos, MakerDAO governance to follow

Tezos (XTZ) staking dashboardToday, we’re announcing Tezos (XTZ) baking for Coinbase Custody clients. We’re proud to be the first full-service, regulated, comprehensively-insured, and 100% offline staking provider in crypto. In the coming weeks, we will add governance support for the Maker (MKR) protocol. We launched Coinbase Custody with a simple thesis: institutions need a regulated and trusted partner to help them store their crypto assets. That approach has helped us scale to more than 60 clients and $600 million in assets under custody. Today we’re taking the next step of our journey — from helping our customers store their assets to enabling them to actively, safely and easily participate in crypto networks. Crypto-native passive income from offline assets Proof-of-Stake (“POS”) assets incentivize participants to help secure the blockchain by “staking”, or “delegating”, their assets to someone running the blockchain software. If you delegate to a trusted node (also known as a validator), you can share in the rewards that the validator receives for mining blocks. Anyone holding the blockchain’s token can participate in this process, making POS networks one of the first crypto-native ways to earn passive income on crypto assets. Most Coinbase Custody clients are fund managers who act as fiduciaries to their investors. Participating in POS networks has raised an interesting tension for them: to stake or not to stake? Staking avoids deflation, but products to date increased risk. Prior to today, the risk necessary to actively participate in staking has mostly outweighed the return. As a result, many institutional investors have elected to sit on the sidelines. Coinbase Custody changes this calculus. No other staking provider has our track record of security and regulatory compliance, nor our comprehensive, best-in-class insurance coverage. “The launch of Tezos staking through Coinbase Custody serves an acute need that existed up until now: a way for institutional participants who rely on a secure, offline custodian to take an active role in the network,” offered Kathleen Breitman, co-founder of Tezos. “Achieving our mission of creating a ‘digital commonwealth’ means facilitating participation for all, and that includes the institutional customers that Coinbase Custody brings to the space.” How network participation and governance will work We spent months thinking through how best to offer staking and governance services to our clients. We chose Tezos…

Coinbase Custody Begins Staking Services With Tezos, Maker to Follow

Coinbase Custody Begins Staking Services With Tezos, Maker to Follow

The institutional asset custody arm of United States cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched staking for Tezos (XTZ), the company announced in a blog post on March 29. Coinbase Custody, which provides storage facilities for institutional investors, is seeking to expand its suite of services to include staking — a means by which Proof-of-Stake (PoS) cryptocurrency networks incentivize activity. Through its offline storage service, investors will be able to participate in networks such as Tezos using Coinbase as a regulated intermediary. “The launch of Tezos staking through Coinbase Custody serves an acute need that existed up until now: a way for institutional participants who rely on a secure, offline custodian to take an active role in the network,” Kathleen Breitman, co-founder of Tezos, commented in the blog post. She continued: “Achieving our mission of creating a ‘digital commonwealth’ means facilitating participation for all, and that includes the institutional customers that Coinbase Custody brings to the space.” Following the move, Coinbase revealed it would add similar support for decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) MakerDAO’s governance token Maker (MKR), with further tokens to appear throughout the year. “In Q2–19, Coinbase Custody clients will be voting on Maker proposals and Tezos amendments as well as validating Cosmos and more,” the blog post concluded. The announcement marks the second expansion for MakerDAO this week, Cointelegraph also reporting on a deal to use its separate Dai stablecoin to purchase a new token tied to the U.S. stock market. Tezos passed a milestone of its own this week meanwhile, holding the first voting for two upgrade plans in a demonstration of its functionality. On the back of this and the Coinbase announcement, its XTZ token has grown rapidly, seeing daily gains of 16 percent at press time.

Bitcoin Price Hits 5-Week High With Chart Echoing 2015 Pre-Rally Pattern

Bitcoin Price Hits 5-Week High With Chart Echoing 2015 Pre-Rally Pattern

View Bitcoin jumped to a five-week high of $4,100 earlier today, reinforcing the bullish view put forward by the recent bounce from the crucial 30-day moving average support. That, coupled with the flag breakout on the 4-hour chart, indicates scope for a re-test of $4,190 (February high). The short-term bullish case would weaken if prices fail to close today above $4,055 (March 21 high). On the downside, a bearish reversal would be confirmed if and when prices find acceptance below the 30-day moving average, currently at $3,900. Additionally, bitcoin’s 200-candle moving average (MA) on the three-day chart – a lagging indicator – is flatlined for the first time since early 2015. If history is any guide, then BTC could oscillate in the recent trading range of $3,100–$4,300 in the next few months before breaking into a bull market once the 200-candle MA begins trending south. Bitcoin is slowly gaining altitude with a long-term lagging indicator flashing signs similar to those seen before the 2015 bull breakout. The crypto market leader rose to $4,100 at 10:30 UTC on Bitstamp today – the highest level since Feb. 24 – validating a bullish higher low established along the crucial 30-day moving average (MA) support earlier this week. Prices, therefore, could rise further toward the February high of $4,190 in the next few days. As of writing, BTC is changing hands at $4,075, representing 0.5 percent gain on a 24-hour basis. While BTC’s short-term prospects seem to have improved with the move, a longer term bullish reversal above $4,236 still remains elusive. A convincing break above that level, however, could happen in the next few months, according to historical data related to bitcoin’s three-day chart 200-candle moving average (MA). That average is based on two-year-old data and tends to lag price by more than a year. For instance, bitcoin’s price topped out at $20,000 in December 2017 and has been charting lower highs ever since. The 200-candle MA, however, continued to trend north indicating a bullish setup throughout 2018 and shed the bullish bias (turned flat) this month – three months after price sell-off ran out of steam near $3,100. A similar action was seen in months leading up to the long-term bullish reversal of October 2015, as seen in the chart…