Israel’s Securities Watchdog Builds Blockchain Into Its Messaging Tool

Israel’s Securities Watchdog Builds Blockchain Into Its Messaging Tool

Israel’s securities regulator has launched a blockchain-based messaging system in a bid to improve security. As reported by The Times of Israel, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) announced Wednesday that the tech had been rolled out initially across its “Yael” platform, which the agency uses to communicate with entities under its jurisdiction. The Times indicates that the blockchain integration has been developed in recent months by Israeli cybersecurity firm Taldor. By using an immutable blockchain technology, the agency aims to verify the authenticity and provenance of messages, as well as avert fraud by preventing communications from being altered. The ISA is quoted as saying that the integration provides an extra layer “ensuring the credibility of the information relayed to the supervised bodies.” Going forward, the ISA also aims to integrate blockchain in two other systems – an online shareholder voting platform developed by the ISA and a regulatory document archive called Magna. Natan Hershkovitz, director of the agency’s Information Systems Department, said: “Implementing blockchain technology in the ISA’s information systems makes it one of the global leading authorities in securing the information provided to the public.” While the regulator – like similar entities worldwide – is obviously sold on the benefits of blockchain, it has been more cautious when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Back in March, the ISA banned companies that primarily hold, invest in or mine cryptocurrencies from listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Citing high volatility in the markets, the agency said it was protecting passive investors with the move, since their portfolios track the bourse’s indices. With Israel becoming something of a hotbed for crypto and blockchain startups, however, the regulator has seen fit to release guidance on what tokens it would class as securities. Also announced in March, the ISA said at the time it would evaluate new tokens on a case-by-case basis, and that it would allow use cases such as utility and payments to be classified outside the securities box. Israeli flag image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Crypto Assets on Winklevoss Gemini Exchange Are Now Insured

Crypto Assets on Winklevoss Gemini Exchange Are Now Insured

Crypto exchange Gemini has obtained insurance coverage for the digital assets it holds in custody, it announced Wednesday. The Gemini Trust Company, co-founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, said in a press release that its insurance will be provided through a consortium of insurers arranged by global professional services firm Aon, which provides “a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.” According to the release, the exchange received coverage after it could prove to underwriters that it “is a leading, best-in-class exchange and custodian.” This insurance comes on top of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured dollar deposits that the exchange holds. Gemini head of risk Yusuf Hussain said in a statement that “consumers are looking for the same levels of insured protection they’re used to being afforded by traditional financial institutions.” He added: “Educating our insurers not only allows us to provide such protections to our customers, but it also sets the expectation for consumer protection across the crypto industry.” The news comes just weeks after the exchange announced it was launching a dollar-pegged stablecoin approved by the New York Department of Financial Services. Gemini is backing its stablecoin with dollar holdings similarly insured through the FDIC, it said last month. Gemini image via Jarretera / Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

South African Startup Centbee Launches Bitcoin Cash Payments App

South African Startup Centbee Launches Bitcoin Cash Payments App

Wallets Centbee of South Africa has announced the launch of its bitcoin cash wallet app in beta, as adoption continues to grow in Africa and elsewhere around the world. Some shops in Kenya already accept bitcoin cash for purchases. Also read: BCH Roundup: Merchant Adoption, Wallet Services And Hackathon. Centbee Wallet App Allows Users to Send Bitcoin Cash to Friends via Mobile South African cryptocurrency firm Centbee has released the beta version of its bitcoin cash wallet, allowing users to send BCH to one another via cellphone. The app, which allows people to receive, hold, and spend BCH, has been in alpha testing for the past few months, with users trying out its performance through test coins. Users have asserted that “its most useful feature is the ability to send bitcoin cash to friends by selecting from their phone’s contacts list,” according to reports. Centbee co-chief executive officer Angus Brown said he was “extremely confident of the final product” after the company included comments from customers in the beta version. “Cryptocurrency as a form of payment costs a fraction of what users would pay using their bank accounts, especially for cross-border payments. This is the future of money,” he was quoted as saying. We’re in BETA! Download @CentbeeWallet on the App Store or Google Play and start sending Bitcoin cash to your friends simply by tapping your phone contacts. Download on Google Play: https://t.co/GisusqxWA2 Download on the App Store:https://t.co/RaRfj4CzNe#BitcoinCash #BCH pic.twitter.com/sZJoClSiY4 — Centbee (@CentbeeWallet) October 2, 2018 Africa Sees Steady Growth in BCH Adoption Bitcoin cash offers reliable, fast and inexpensive cryptocurrency transactions when compared to traditional means of sending money. In Africa, the cryptocurrency, which split from bitcoin core just over a year ago, has seen steady growth as a payment means for goods and services. According to the Coinline bitcoin cash directory of merchants, BCH as a payment method is currently established in two countries on the continent, Kenya and South Africa, though it continues to flourish elsewhere in the world. BCH merchant directory In South Africa, the latest launch proves the growing acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrency, regardless of regulatory concerns and falling virtual currency prices. South Africa, which recently gained its first multi-currency crypto ATM, has this year consistently ranked highest worldwide in search interest for “bitcoin”, according to data from…

PR: Contentos Announces Investment From Binance Labs

PR: Contentos Announces Investment From Binance Labs

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release. Decentralized global content ecosystem, Contentos, has been catching the attention of major industry players, receiving a multi-million dollar investment from Binance Labs. Shanghai, China – Contentos, a decentralized global content ecosystem, announces today a multi-million dollar investment from Binance Labs. Launched by Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Binance Labs is an incubator and social impact fund that invests in top projects that are using blockchain technology to transform diverse industries. “The idea for Contentos began when I noticed a serious need for a decentralized content ecosystem offering transparent and fair monetization of creators’ content, and no third-party censorship or removal of content,” said Mick Tsai, CEO and co-founder of Contentos. “The Contentos team is thrilled to have the support of Binance Labs in pursuing our goal to revolutionize the preservation and monetization of digital content, while working towards creating a more positive ecosystem for all content creators, influencers, and content consumers.” As of now, Contentos is one of the first open-source-code blockchains that includes content distribution amongst its capabilities. Contentos aims to provide a decentralized ecosystem for content creators to have creative freedom and to leave their digital footprint without the risk of third-party interference. Unlike similar projects building new products and features to adapt to blockchain technology, the Contentos team has already integrated with three successful products, LiveMe, PhotoGrid, and Cheez, and is currently available to users around the world. Ella Zhang, Head of Binance Labs, said, “We are dedicated to identifying the real use cases to implement blockchain technologies. There’s a clear pain-point to be solved in the content creation industry, and we see Contentos is the right team with critical resources to solve the problem.” Through direct investments, collaborations with other industry partners, and the Labs incubation program, Binance Labs is committed to helping top BUIDLers jump start their ideas and realize the full potential of blockchain technologies. Recently, Contentos also announced partnerships with Ontology and NEO Foundation. Contentos’s partnership with Ontology acts…

Brazil: Antitrust Watchdog Sends Questions to Crypto Exchanges After Bank Account Closures

Brazil: Antitrust Watchdog Sends Questions to Crypto Exchanges After Bank Account Closures

Brazil’s antitrust regulator has sent a questionnaire to crypto exchanges whose banks accounts have previously been closed, major Brazilian financial newspaper Valor Economico reports Tuesday, October 20. The Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), operated by the local Ministry of Justice, sent the questionnaire to ten companies: Bitcoin Market, Bitcambio, BitcoinTrade, Foxbit, Walltime, Braziliex, BitBlue, Open Digital Capital (OTC), e-juno, and Profitfy. The move comes shortly after CADE launched a probe into six major banks to find out whether they had closed accounts for crypto exchanges. The initial request, sent by the Brazilian Association of Cryptomoedas and Blockchain (ABCB), claimed that Banco do Brasil had closed the account of crypto exchange Atlas Quantum. CADE has set Friday, Oct. 19, as a deadline to respond to the questions, noting that the companies will be fined up to 5,000 Brazilian reals (approximately $1,300) if they fail to send in answers. The penalty could be increased up to 20 times if necessary, reaching 100,000 reals (around $25,800), CADE clarifies. In the questionnaire, the exchanges have to reveal the identity of those who will answer the questions, local Brazilian crypto outlet Portal do Bitcoin writes. Furthermore, they must explain how their business functioned in Brazil and clarify if they were unable to open a bank account, or if the account was closed by some financial institution. According to Portal do Bitcoin, one of the reasons why banks may have decided to close the crypto exchanges’ accounts was that they did not comply with the National Classification of Economic Activity. For these reasons, the questionnaire touches on the issue of how the exchanges declared their activity to banks while registering their accounts. As Cointelegraph reported earlier, another South American country, Chile, has also faced a legal battle between banks and crypto exchanges. A group of exchanges applied to the courts to fight multiples banks’ decision to shut down their accounts. At the end of April, Chile’s anti-monopoly court ordered two banks to re-open crypto exchange Buda’s accounts.

Bitcoin’s Price Is Testing a Month-Long Trend Line

Bitcoin’s Price Is Testing a Month-Long Trend Line

Bitcoin bears have been emboldened by repeated rejection from a key moving average hurdle, but they may take a breather over the next 24 hours as the price heads for another key trendline of support. The world’s premier cryptocurrency is lacking a strong bullish or bearish bias in the near-term given that its price action has largely traded sideways since the beginning of September. That said, the repeated failure to find sustained acceptance above the 50-day moving average and $6,850 resistance gives the upper hand to bears, as it indicates that the path of least resistance is still to the downside. Bulls might be ready to fight back, however, after bouncing off of a month-long ascending support trendline that has allowed prices to form a series of higher-lows. As of writing, BTC is changing hands at $6,506 on Bitfinex, after having bounced off of the support trendline at $6,424 earlier today. Daily chart As seen above in the daily chart, any bullish momentum for BTC has been halted by the 50-day moving average and $6,850 resistance zone. It’s worth noting the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) is also nearing a bearish cross which may hint at more downside action to come. However, the bearish MACD cross has yet to be confirmed. On top of that, bulls may be able to put up a fight by finding support on the ascending trendline that has been in effect since Sept 8th. Bitcoin’s price has been able to form a higher low on the trendline three times in the past, so making a fourth is not out of the question. Also of note: the compressing relative strength index (RSI) and narrowest Bollinger Band width since Dec. 2016 suggest price is overdue for volatility. 4-hour chart Having failed to find acceptance above the 200 EMA on the 4-hour chart, again, confirms the path to the upside remains filled with obstacles. That said, it is evident that bears have not yet gained full control since a near oversold 4-hr RSI – when combined with the ascending support – has allowed the price to form a series of higher lows. Currently, in a stalemate, bears will look to extend losses to the previous higher low of $6,328 if price finds acceptance…

Retail Brokerage TD Ameritrade Backs New Crypto Exchange

Retail Brokerage TD Ameritrade Backs New Crypto Exchange

Brokerage firm TD Ameritrade is investing in a brand new cryptocurrency exchange, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. Dubbed ErisX, the exchange will allow investors to trade bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin, as well as bitcoin futures, a spokesperson told the news source. The exchange, built by derivatives market provider Eris Exchange, is also backed by DRW Holdings and Virtu Financial. Adding more detail, the report indicates that the futures contracts traded by the exchange in particular will be physically delivered, not cash-settled. Moreover, while at present TD Ameritrade customers can trade bitcoin futures contracts through the Cboe market, managing director J.B. Mackenzie told Reuters that ErisX may also allow customers to trade ethereum and litecoin futures eventually. TD Ameritrade executive vice president of trading and education Steve Quirk told Bloomberg that “our retail clients are seeking to access and trade digital currency products in the same way they do with traditional capital markets – through a legitimate, regulated and transparent exchange.” ErisX is currently in the process of self-certifying its futures contracts with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and will clear its derivatives products through its parent firm’s clearinghouse if and when it is approved. Should the CFTC give ErisX the go-ahead, it will begin cash-trading processes sometime from March to June next year, and begin trading derivatives in the second half of the year. TD Ameritrade image via Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

CFTC Chair Explains Why US Has Regulated Bitcoin Futures but Not Bitcoin ETFs

CFTC Chair Explains Why US Has Regulated Bitcoin Futures but Not Bitcoin ETFs

Regulation The chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has explained why bitcoin futures have been approved in the U.S. but bitcoin ETFs have not. He also shared his thoughts on the future of cryptocurrencies and how they can potentially solve currency-related problems in as much as two-thirds of the world’s countries. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals Bitcoin Futures vs Bitcoin ETFs CFTC Chair Chris Giancarlo. CFTC Chair Chris Giancarlo discussed on Monday why there are bitcoin futures trading on regulated exchanges in the U.S. but not bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). While bitcoin is a commodity, bitcoin ETFs are securities under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In an interview with CNBC, Giancarlo explained the disparity. “We are old agencies, our statutes are written in the 1930s,” he began, adding that the two agencies are trying to work with statutes that were written when there were no innovations that exist today. He then elaborated: More broadly, the SEC, their oversight is over capital formation markets with a big retail focus. Ours, at the CFTC, our focus is on risk transfer markets and we are always focused on derivatives and a lot of that is institutional trading. So we are focused on institutional investments, they are focused on retail. He further pointed out that the CFTC and the SEC have “different orientations, different histories, so we do come at these things from different perspectives.” CFTC’s Regulatory Focus Sharing the regulatory focus of his agency, Giancarlo detailed, “We are very focused on the fraud and manipulation aspects of cryptocurrency markets right now.” He then referred to the recent landmark ruling involving My Big Coin. “Last week, we just won a big victory in the federal court in Boston, certifying our authority to prosecute fraud and manipulation in the crypto space,” he described, adding that “We have been very active at it.” Noting that his agency is balancing between regulation and innovations, the chairman claimed: It’s the United States that’s gone forward with the very first bitcoin derivatives, with bitcoin futures trading on the CME and also bitcoin options and bitcoin clearing – we are ahead of the world in that. There is no question that the…

US Brokerage Firm TD Ameritrade to Invest in New Crypto Exchange

US Brokerage Firm TD Ameritrade to Invest in New Crypto Exchange

Retail brokerage firm TD Ameritrade has announced that it is backing new crypto exchange ErisX, according to a press release published on the company’s website Wednesday, October 3. TD Ameritrade, which currently provides investment services to up to 11 million clients, did not reveal the details of the deal. However, according to Bloomberg, investing company DRW Holdings and high-speed trader Virtu Financial are also participating with investments. Both agreed to be market makers for ErisX, which might help ensure a deep order book, Bloomberg writes. ErisX, a reboot of traditional futures market Eris Exchange launched back in 2010, is going to announce its business plan later today, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has learned. The exchange is expected to start a direct sale of cryptocurrencies along with futures contracts in early 2019. As Bloomberg notes, it will allow investors to trade in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC). The head of futures and foreign exchange trading at TD Ameritrade, J.B. Mackenzie, told WSJ that the brokerage firm wanted to convert cryptocurrency into “something they [investors] feel comfortable with in regulated space.” As cited by Bloomberg, another TD Ameritrade official, executive vice president of trading and education Steve Quirk, stated that the brokerage clients had expressed interest in coin trading, noting: “Our retail clients are seeking to access and trade digital currency products in the same way they do with traditional capital markets — through a legitimate, regulated and transparent exchange.” As Cointelegraph has reported earlier, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) launched BTC futures trading back in December — a move that attracted so much trading volume that the CBOE website temporarily went down. In early January, Cointelegraph wrote that the release of BTC futures might indicate that even more traditional institutions on Wall Street might want to recognize BTC as a legitimate asset. Later that month, CBOE closed its first Bitcoin futures contract at $10,900.

Ripple Grapples With Its $21 Billion ‘Gorilla’: Crypto Asset Adoption

Ripple Grapples With Its $21 Billion ‘Gorilla’: Crypto Asset Adoption

The organizers of Ripple’s two-day Swell conference in San Francisco didn’t beat around the bush when they named the final panel of the event “The 800-Pound Gorilla.” The question of crypto asset adoption was certainly on many of the attendees’ minds, especially since Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse announced the previous day that xRapid, the company’s product the leverages the XRP cryptocurrency for “on-demand liquidity” in cross-border payments, is now being used in commercial payments by three companies. At the time of the event, the combined value of all XRP in circulation was worth roughly $21 billion, with each asset trading for around $0.50. XRP previously traded at above $3.50 earlier in the year (at a $130 billion market capitalization) and at around $0.20 at the time of its inaugural Swell conference last year. Widely circulated estimates suggest Ripple owns as much as 60 percent of the overall market for the asset, though many remain under trading restrictions. Representatives of two of the companies in question were on the panel: Brad Ganey, COO of Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union, and Nicolas Palacios, CFO of Cuallix. (The third company using xRapid commercially is MercuryFX.) They were joined by Kwon Park, head of business development at Bittrex, a cryptocurrency exchange that has partnered with Ripple to facilitate the fiat-to-XRP transactions at the center of xRapid; and Alfredo O’Hagan, SVP of payment services at IDT, a telecoms firm that provides international payment services and has trialed xRapid in the past. As might be expected from a group that uses cryptocurrencies in their businesses, the panelists were mostly enthusiastic about the adoption of digital, cryptographic assets in cross-border payments. “There’s a big difference” between xRapid and traditional systems such as SWIFT, said Palacios, in terms of “cost efficiency, time efficiency, transparency” and customer experience. “We see a lot of competitive advantage to this moving forward,” Ganey said of xRapid, given that sending international wires is costly, time-consuming and “not the cleanest process.” Rather than thinking of the service as a totally new or alien technology, he added, it may be better to describe it as “a digital wire. It’s a faster wire.” Garlinghouse perhaps captured the unsatisfactory nature of the incumbent payment infrastructure on the first day of the conference, when he said that…