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Crypto Weekly - Feb.15


A summary of select stories from the cryptocurrency and blockchain world during this week.

No Need to Legally Define Cryptocurrency: Russian Minister

Russia's Minister of Justice said there is no need to bring cryptocurrency under the purview of law since its use as a means of payment is prohibited by the Constitution. In spite of increasing popularity for cryptocurrency transactions, Russia does not have a clear policy in place. Dozens of bitcoin ATMs are reportedly operating in the country.

JP Morgan launches own cryptocurrency JPM Coin

US investment bank JP Morgan announced the launch of its own cryptocurrency JPM Coin, becoming the first US bank to do so. The digital coin, issued on Quorum Blockchain, is designed to make immediate payments using blockchain technology between institutional accounts. The JPM Coin is not money per se. It is a digital coin representing U.S. Dollars held in designated accounts at JPMorgan Chase N.A. and always has a value equivalent to one U.S. dollar.

Forbes 2019 "Fintech 50" list features 6 blockchain firms

The Forbes magazine published the list of 50 "Most Innovative Fintech Companies" in the world. California-based personal finance company Acorns tops the "Fintech 50" list with a funding of $257 million. The companies featured under "Crypto & Blockchain" categories in the list are Axoni, Bitfury, Circle, Coinbase, Gemini and Ripple.

Crypto Analyst Mitoshi Kaku Says Bitcoin To Hit $5,000 This Month

In a series of Twitter posts at the weekend, Kaku shared his outlook on the basis of a new comprehensive analysis for BTC. "Two options I'm looking at right now in terms of targets or movements. Not touching my longs SL in place. Vigilant of the next few days and the Ichimoku action as they will be important to determine my next steps. Higher prices next week have a high probability," he tweeted.

Ethereum Overtakes Ripple as No.2 cryptocurrency by Market Cap

Ethereum has risen back to No. 2 rank in the list of the world's largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, overtaking Ripple's XRP digital token. ETH edged past XRP by a slight margin, and currently has a market capitalization of $12.6 billion, according to the latest CoinMarketCap data. XRP is ranked third with a market cap of $12.38 billion.

HSBC says blockchain helps in forex trading cost-cuttting

Asia-focused lender HSBC, through its blockchain-powered platform, has reduced the cost of settling foreign exchange trades by 25 percent, Reuters reported quoting a bank executive overseeing the project. The bank did not disclose the volume or value of forex trades settled by traditional processes, but said those settled on the blockchain platform represented a small proportion.

Mastercard, Ripple invest in Blockchain-Powered Remittance Platform

US-based overseas remittance startup SendFriend said $1.7 million has been raised in capital in a funding round from MIT Media Lab, Barclays, the Mastercard Foundation, Ripple, Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures, and 8 Decimal Capital. The Blockchain-powered remittance platform will help Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the U.S to securely transfer US dollar they receive to Philippines in pesos at low rates.

QuadrigaCX Loses Another $500K In Bitcoin By Mistake: EY Report

Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, which owes its customers millions in cryptocurrencies following the the death of its CEO, accidentally lost another C$500 thousand in bitcoin, according to a report by its court-appointed monitor Ernst & Young Inc. QuadrigaCX has been facing financial and legal troubles after its founder Gerald Cotton died in December. QuadrigaCX's nearly 115,000 customers lost around $190 million as the funds were placed in a cold wallet for safety, and Cotton was the only person who knew the password.

New Zealand's hacked Cryptopia exchange allowed to reopen

New Zealand police have given the green light to open a Christchurch-based crypto trading company that was forced to close after suffering a major hacking attack last month. Cryptopia had said on January 14 that it suffered a security breach that resulted in significant losses. The exchange has not disclosed the value of the losses, the tokens and currencies affected, or any measures to refund users.

Nasdaq to provide BTC and ETH Indices from February 25

The Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and the Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX) will "provide a real-time spot or reference rate for the price of 1 BTC and 1 ETH respectively, quoted in USD, and based on the most liquid ends of their markets," NASDAQ said in a statement. The move is expected help introduce cryptocurrency to traditional stock market investors on Wall Street.

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