- Vulnerability postpones Ethereum’s Constantinople Hard Fork to Late-February
- Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange in Europe
- Security Token Trading Platform tZERO to Launch Next Week
- Japan could offer licenses to 7 exchanges soon
- Bakkt Acquisition Aims to Streamline Retail Payments
- US SEC says that examining crypto a top priority in 2019
Week 3 Jan 2019
21 Jan 2019
Happy Monday, y’all.
January is more than half done. Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’re learning a new instrument, hitting the gym, or reading a book every week, what matters is that you’re investing in your personal growth. Good for you.
While you’re growing in 2019, hopefully crypto and blockchain will follow your shining example. We’re already seeing some promising news like Binance’s new fiat-to-crypto exchange, tZERO finally launching its security token trading platform, and Bakkt trying to bring crypto payments into the mainstream.
If you haven’t started on your New Year’s resolutions, have already quit, or if it just isn’t going well, don’t worry, you’re not alone. All you have to do is start it up again. Things rarely go according to plan the first time around. Just ask the guys at Ethereum about their hard fork attempt.
Speaking of which…
Vulnerability postpones Ethereum’s Constantinople Hard Fork to Late-February
Ethereum’s Contantinople’s hard fork has been postponed to late-February after a vulnerability that allowed reentrancy attacks was discovered last week. Reentrancy vulnerabilities allow potential attackers to steal cryptocurrency from a smart contract by constantly requesting funds while feeding the contract false info about the attacker’s actual account balance.
This vulnerability is reportedly an unintended consequence of Constantinople’s introduction of an upgrade that allows for cheaper transaction fees on some Ethereum operations.
Major crypto exchanges including Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Huobi, and OKEx had confirmed their support for the hard fork before the vulnerability was discovered.
Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange in Europe
Source: Binance Blog
Binance, owner of the world’s largest crypto exchange, has launched Binance Jersey (https://www.binance.je/) in Europe. The new exchange provides fiat-to-crypto trading of the Euro (EUR) and British Pound (GBP) with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). A dedicated fiat-to-crypto exchange from the biggest global name in exchanges could offer a major boost to cryptocurrency adoption in Europe.
When we covered Consensus Singapore last year, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao outlined Binance’s plans to launch 5-10 fiat-to-crypto exchanges globally in 2019. It looks like Binance Jersey is just the first part of this plan.
In case you didn’t know, Jersey is a self-governing island between England and France. It is known for its beaches, friendly cryptocurrency regulation, and historic castles.
Security Token Trading Platform tZERO to Launch Next Week
tZERO, backed by Overstock.com, will go live by the end of next week according to Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne. Token holders can trade the native tZERO token at launch. tZERO is also in talks with around 60 companies about listing their security tokens on tZERO.
We previously published an overview of tZERO’s trading platform here for your enjoyment.
Japan could offer licenses to 7 exchanges soon
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) announced that they will consider license applications for 7 cryptocurrency exchanges in the coming months. The FSA may take 6 months to approve license applications as it involves thorough background checks, with high-profile exchange hacks (e.g. Zaif, September 2018, $60 million) are still fresh memories.
The FSA also said that Japan is still far from considering Bitcoin ETFs.
Bakkt Acquisition Aims to Streamline Retail Payments
Bakkt, which is planning to launch an institutional Bitcoin exchange platform, also has another goal. It wants to bring crypto into the mainstream by allowing customers to pay for everyday items with digital currencies. To this end, it has acquired the assets of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG), a futures commissions merchant.
RCG manages commodities accounts for institutions and investors. It moves money, handles collateral, and steers trades through clearinghouses. These assets and back-office processes can also be applied to streamline payments between merchants and customers. That means Bakkt could use RCG’s assets to allow you to pay for your Starbucks coffee in Bitcoin, for example.
Bakkt’s exchange platform is still awaiting approval.
US SEC says that examining crypto a top priority in 2019
Source: Invest In Blockchain
A new report from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has prioritized the monitoring of cryptocurrencies in 2019. The report, entitled “2019 Examination Priorities,” highlights the importance of ensuring regulatory compliance in digital assets due to their growth and risks. The areas for monitoring include the “offer and sale, trading, and management of digital assets, and where the products are securities.”
The report has not fully clarified how the SEC will approach ICOs, but they appear to be considering digital assets a legitimate asset class, which is good news for investors seeking regulatory clarity. The SEC’s ultimate goal is ensuring investor protection against fraud and theft.
Check back next week for more bite-sized crypto highlights!
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