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Crypto Weekly - Oct. 12

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Cryptocurrencies, led by Bitcoin, opened the week firmly in the green, boosted by the improvement in the market sentiment witnessed since late last week. However, they lost momentum soon and trended lower.

The market was highly volatile Thursday with Bitcoin falling nearly 5 percent intra-day and the market capitalization getting wiped off by about $6 billion. Cryptocurrencies were a mixed bag Friday morning.

Overall cryptocurrency market capitalization was $202.14 billion and the Bitcoin dominance rate was 53.9 percent as of 10:22 am ET on CoinMarketCap.

In some news, the International Monetary Fund warned that "Continued rapid growth of crypto assets could create new vulnerabilities in the international financial system."

And, economist Nouriel Roubini, also called Dr. Doom for predicting the global financial crisis, called cryptocurrencies "the mother of all scams." He made the remark at a senate hearing on Thursday. Crypto-enthusiasts, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, fought back on Twitter and other social media forums.

Here is a collection of the main news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space this week.

Google Talks About Cryptocurrencies In New Call Screen Ad

Google alluded to cryptocurrencies in its new ad for its Call Screen service. The ad, however, was not clear whether the internet giant's stance is positive or negative. The video ad featured a conversation between two people about cryptocurrencies, mainly regarding crypto mining.

Bitcoin Whales May Be Stabilizing Crypto Market: Study

A study by a cryptocurrency market watchdog showed that bitcoin's largest holders are a diverse group that may be stabilizing, rather than destabilizing the market. The results of an analysis of bitcoin's 32 largest wallets by research firm Chainalysis, came in the wake of rumors that a $2 billion whale, or out-sized bitcoin holder, was suspected of single-handedly setting off a 15 percent plunge in bitcoin's value by selling more than 50,000 coins in a month.

Study Says Mining Less Profitable; Top Exchanges Laundered $2.5 Bln Bitcoin

Bitcoin mining is looking less profitable despite the strong revenue growth, according to the latest report by blockchain research group Diar. This is particularly affecting miners paying retail electricity prices, and whose businesses are turning unprofitable for the first time in September. Separately, A new study has found that criminals have laundered $2.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and 97 percent of direct criminal Bitcoin transactions happened through unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges or in countries with lax Anti-Money-Laundering regulations. Cryptocurrency research group CipherTrace conducted an analysis of 45 million transactions from the top 20 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world to measure the level of bitcoin payments for criminal activities.

Roger Ver Mulls Own Crypto Exchange; Bithumb Sells Majority Stake

Bitcoin.com, a Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash digital wallet provider, is likely to buy or develop its own cryptocurrency exchange, according to its Chief Executive Officer Roger Ver. In an interview with Bloomberg, Ver said he is considering finding a partner to produce the platform, or may build one internally. Bitcoin Cash would be the base-currency for the exchange, he noted. And, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb sold more than a third of its interest, i.e. 38 percent, to Singapore-based BK Global Consortium for 400 billion won or $353 million, according to local media outlet Yonhap news. BTC Korea Holdings, which owned a 75.99 percent stake in Bithumb, has agreed to sell 50 percent plus 1 share of the ownership to blockchain investment consortium BK Global, headed by plastic surgeon Kim Byung Gun.

Coinbase Says Japan's Cryptocurrency Scrutiny 'Good For Us'

U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which awaits an operating license in Japan, remarked that the ongoing cryptocurrency crackdown in the country will give it an advantage due to its stricter stance on security. The exchange expressed confidence that it will win regulatory approval in 2019. Coinbase Chief Policy Officer Mike Lempres, in an interview with Nikkei Asian Review, said that talks for obtaining the license are going well with the country's financial regulator.

Stellar Blockchain Platform Smartlands Teams With Real Estate Major Colliers

Smartlands, a Stellar blockchain-based security tokenization platform, partnered with the Canadian real estate major Colliers International, aiming to create real estate-based security tokens. Under the deal, the companies will explore the possibilities of securitizing real estate assets and to jointly create a Stellar-based real estate tokenization project based on select properties managed by Colliers. The deal was signed last week in Lithuania.

BlackBerry's DLT Platform To Secure Medical Data; Blockchain Priority For Research In Aviation

Canadian enterprise software and services company BlackBerry launched a blockchain-powered platform in partnership with biotechnology startup ONEBIO to develop an 'ultra-secure' global healthcare ecosystem for the storing and sharing of medical data. And, Blockchain is fast emerging as the priority technology for future exploration among airport and airline companies, attracting the most research attention this year, a new study said. SITA, a Geneva-based company providing IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry, released the "2018 Air Transport IT Insights" Monday.

Pundi X Unveils Blockchain Phone; Forbes Moves Content To DLT Platform

After making the world's first blockchain-powered point-of-sale (XPOS) device, Singapore-based blockchain project Pundi X has now showcased the first ever phone call made on the blockchain at the ongoing XBlockchain Summit at the Inaya Putri, Bali. The phone call was made on the newest device known as the XPhone, using the new Function X blockchain-based OS and communication protocol for mobile devices developed by Pundi X. Elsewhere, Forbes Media, LLC is going to become the first major media organization to experiment with publishing content on blockchain. With technical help from the start up blockchain news network "Civil," Forbes will permanently archive its content to a decentralized environment ensuring that no third party removes or alters it.

Australia Testing Blockchain For Disability Insurance Scheme

The Australian government is exploring the application of blockchain-based "smart money" to make it easier for citizens with disabilities to settle insurance payments. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), an Australian state-run research firm, said its digital innovation center "Data61" in collaboration with Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has developed an app to test the potential for blockchain technology to make payments for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Current Prices

As of 10:22 am ET on Friday, Bitcoin was down 4.45 percent for the week at $6,207.98 and Ethereum was lower by 11.58 percent at $195.14 on Coinbase.

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