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French financial institution Job Posting Reveals Digital Currency Program

In a job opening posted on October 16th and listed under the Financial Stability and Operations branch of the bank, the bank involved an analyst with experience in crypto-economics, theory of games and public or private blockchain. The bank is additionally hiring a development engineer to review the appliance of blockchain to key banking functions. Banque de France declined to comment.

For the analyst position, the institution cited Quorum, Hyperledger and Corda as samples of private blockchain experience and therefore the bitcoin and ethereum blockchains as samples of public blockchain experience.

The bank also wants the analyst to experiment with other blockchain specialists within the eurosystem, participate in blockchain proof-of-concepts within and out of doors the bank and identify economic issues associated with how monetary policy is conducted.

Historically, Banque de France has been aggressively focused on blockchain and not bitcoin.

In December 2016, the bank ran a digital identity trial that tested using blockchain within the management of identification markers wont to establish the identity of creditors within the only Euro Payments Area. a couple of months then trial, the bank’s governor announced that it might open a fintech innovation lab, which might include blockchain startups.

Despite its interest within the technology underlying bitcoin, the bank proposed banning insurance companies, bank companies and trust companies from touching crypto-assets in March 2018.

The bank’s position softened recently, however, with Denis Beau, a deputy governor of the bank, calling for a worldwide regulatory framework on crypto-assets earlier this year.

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Bithumb Global Launches Native Token for Exchange Ecosystem

Launched under the “BT” ticker, Bithumb Coin will work as a medium of exchange for the ecosystem, the corporate told CoinDesk during a statement Tuesday. The Bithumb Chain itself is predicted to launch sometime within the half-moon of 2020.

From a mechanics side, the exchange will mint a tough cap of 300 million Bithumb Coins. half the exchange’s revenue are going to be wont to burn 50 percent of BT’s token supply over time – almost like Binance Chain’s Binance Coin (BNB) – leading to a final 150 million token supply. Initial token distribution are going to be split between on-exchange incentives and chain development, moreover.

Bithumb says the exchange will utilize the coin for handling fees, rights to use Bithumb Chain and future payment mechanisms. Earlier this month, the exchange announced its “Exchange-as-a-Service” feature to develop decentralized finance applications or decentralized exchange (DEX) protocols using Bithumb Chain as a backbone.

Bithumb says its tokens are often wont to choose chain governance, like investment decisions, for Bithumb Chain.

A part of Bithumb Korea, one among South Korea’s largest exchanges, Bithumb Global operates out of Singapore with a mean daily trade volume of nearly $700 million, consistent with Coinmarketcap.

Bithumb image via Shutterstock

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UPS Ships Beef to Japan, Tracked and Monitored Using Blockchain Tech

The global shipping giant announced on Monday that, in partnership with blockchain livestock tracing firm HerdX, it had tracked, monitored and delivered a full shipment of beef from Kansas to a Tokyo steakhouse.

UPS, which built a knowledge visibility tool that integrates with HerdX’s blockchain platform to supply constant updates, hailed the shipment as a breakthrough in international logistics and tracking.

The beef – Aberdeen Angus steak packaged by the Japanese-owned Creekstone Farms – began its journey in Arkansas City, Kansas, where it had been loaded into UPS temperature-controlled packaging for its trip across the world . During that flight, a bevy of sensors kept tabs on the steak and uploaded readings to the HerdX blockchain, consistent with the handout .

It was delivered to a Ruby Jack’s steakhouse in Tokyo. There, guests could order the steak and consider its freight provenance via QR code. Diplomats in Tokyo celebrated its arrival last Friday and dined on the steak, the firms said.

Romaine Seguin, President of UPS Global Freight Forwarding, said during a statement that tons went into the project:

“Blockchain verification for international air freight shipments is complex and requires an excellent amount of experience in customs and freight forwarding. Getting it right has implications for several industries, like restaurants, food & beverage, and retail.”

It was the primary time HerdX’s solution had been wont to track beef with blockchain tech on this route. HerdX focuses on building blockchain-based livestock verification tools for farmers, its website shows.

Used by firms as a way to verify the provenance and freshness of food products on the thanks to stores – also as as a marketing method to appeal to health, environment and animal welfare-conscious consumers – blockchain tracing platforms are beginning to make their way into the availability chains of major companies like Walmart, Carrefour and Cargill.

The initiative adds to blockchain-based works underway by UPS, including inking a deal in March with e-commerce company Inxeption to develop a platform supported the tech to facilitate business-to-business sales. The firm has also applied for a patent for an idea that uses blockchain as a part of a distributed system for sending packages worldwide.

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Winklevoss Capital, Coinbase Back $1.8 Million Round for Bitski Crypto Wallet

Bitski thinks its developer platform can help the crypto sector overcome a key hurdle: for many folks, fixing a wallet may be a pain. By having one pre-loaded into, say, your favorite computer game , Bitski says its single-sign-on wallet can move the needle on mainstream adoption.

“We’re using this money to expand the funnel of individuals that are building on blockchain,” Bitski co-founder and CEO Donnie Dinch said of the $1.81 million in fresh capital. (The startup’s total fundraise is $3.54 million, including a late-2018 pre-seed round, Dinch said.)

Bitski also announced its product is getting used by a pair of game development studios, an ethereum-powered sports betting site and YouNow, the live-streaming platform behind the SEC-regulated props token.

“There are tons of projects out there that are interesting to the core crypto users but we’re trying to figure on things that have broad mainstream appeal,” Dinch told CoinDesk, adding that gaming has been the company’s early focus.

“We’re excited for Bitski to assist catalyze subsequent wave of companies integrating blockchain into their products,” Winklevoss Capital partner Sterling Witzke said during a statement.

The wallet’s simple UX does accompany a tradeoff on self-custody, Dinch said, though the bet is most users will like better to have a 3rd party handling key management for them. All user wallets are stored using hardware security modules (HSMs) in “biometrically-secured” data centers, Dinch added.

Compound protocol founder Robert Leshner, who participated within the Bitski seed round through his Robot Ventures fund, says the startup might be a serious on-ramp for brand spanking new crypto users.

“Public-key cryptography is that the bedrock of the growing decentralized application ecosystem – but because it stands, it’s just too cumbersome and confusing for a mainstream user experience,” Leshner told CoinDesk via email, adding:

“Bitski may be a necessary experiment to (re)imagine how we interact with blockchains. They remove the friction and difficulty of wallet management, while preserving security and increasing portability.”

Bitski is currently a four-person team based in San Francisco . Three of the co-founders worked previously on WillCall, a ticketing app acquired in 2014 by Ticketfly.

Team image courtesy of Bitski

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Kik Suffers Setbacks With ‘Void for Vagueness’ Defense in SEC Case

As reported last month, Toronto-based Kik’s legal team attempted to influence the district court of the Southern District of latest York that the SEC’s case – alleging the 2017 token sale violated securities laws – was void supported the premise that the legal definition of an “investment contract” is unclear. Kik argued that this “vagueness” precluded the definition from applying to its “kin” token offering.

The firm also sought to depose SEC officials during a bid to point out the securities watchdog wasn’t during a position to offer clear guidance on token sales at the time of Kik’s ICO.

The SEC, not surprisingly, vigorously opposed the “void for vagueness” defense, stating at the time:

“This defense asserts that, notwithstanding 70-plus years of well-settled jurisprudence, the term ‘investment contract’ within the securities laws is void for vagueness as applied to Kik’s investment scheme. This claim is untenable and will be dismissed.”

Soon after our previous report, the judge within the case, Alvin K. Hellerstein, sided with the SEC view and refused Kik’s motion for discovery.

Not only that, but Hellerstein on Tuesday threw out a subsequent motion to reconsider from the previous messaging app company, tearing up Kik’s vagueness defense with the explanation:

“Defendant’s motion for reconsideration may be a reargument of matters that were before me once I denied the invention sought. Defendant doesn’t mention any new matter of fact or law, or any binding precedent that I did not consider. that’s enough to deny the motion. Furthermore, as I originally held, the deliberations within workplace sheds no light on the appliance of the statute or regulation in issue. If the law is vague, or confusing, or arbitrary, as defendant argues, which will be argued objectively. Proper discovery should be focused on what defendant did, and not why the agency decided to bring the case.”

Last month, Kik’s messaging platform was acquired by MediaLab, a company with Whisper and other apps in its portfolio. Kik CEO Ted Livingstone has said the SEC action prompted the sale.

So what’s next? within the latest filing, also made public Tuesday, the SEC asks Judge Hellerstein to permit it to depose seven individuals after the present fact discovery deadline of Nov. 29.

These individuals include blockchain author and investor William Mougayar, kin app developer Luc Hendriks and Ilan Leibovich, who was Kik’s VP of product round the time of the ICO. Hellerstein has yet to reply to the SEC’s request.

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Data Provider Messari Closes $4 Million Funding Round

Uncork joins existing Messari investors including Blockchain Capital, CoinFund, Danhua Capital, Fabric Ventures, Semantic Ventures and Underscore VC, among others.

In a statement, Messari co-founder and CEO Ryan Selkis described “one of the industry’s toughest problems” as being the “coordination challenges of self-regulating an emerging asset class and providing accurate, timely data to investors with diverse compliance requirements.”

In a Telegram conversation with CoinDesk, Selkis described Messari’s relationship with Uncork:

“Clavier may be a square shooter that hasn’t bought the crypto hype, but likes picks and shovels businesses building infrastructure within the space.”

The additional funding will help Messari automate on-boarding data and registry participants along side offering new products for subscribers in its self-described effort to sift out “bad actors” from the crypto space. Messari’s funding round began last May, closing six months later. The “broader macro challenges within the industry this year” slowed securing funding quickly, Selkis said.

Founded in 2018, Messari offers investment products like a Bloomberg Terminal–styled registry and data analytics via its Messari Pro interface, an API service. The firm says it’s some 60 projects and a number of other exchanges utilizing its data.

Disclosure: The author of this post may be a former Messari employee.

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As Bitcoin Cash Hard Forks, Unknown Mining Pool Continues Old Chain

The old chain, Bitcoin ABC 0.19.0 mined by the unknown pool, considers the new chain invalid while the new chain, Bitcoin ABC 0.20.06 mined by mining pool BTC.com, considers the old chain invalid.

But under the Nakamoto consensus mechanism employed by bitcoin cash and other proof-of-work (PoW) protocols, the chain with the longest history would be considered to be the trusted ledger, invalidating the rogue chain.

Seeing old chains continue went on before as some miners, who run software that makes the blocks forming the chain, forget to upgrade to the new software required for hard forks before the forking date.

As BitMEX Research noted during a tweet, mining the incorrect chain comes at a price .

The opportunity cost for mining the wrong chain could reach up to 25 BCH, or about $6,600, if the unknown pool had beat other miners in securing the 2 correct blocks, additionally to the electricity costs related to mining.

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Tether to File Motion to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Based on NYAG Claims

The class action lawsuit seeks retribution for damages of quite $1 trillion. It’s supported an allegation made by the ny Attorney General’s office in April that USDT wasn’t backed 1:1 by U.S. dollars and a study published by professors at the University of Texas at Austin alleging that one account used USDT to approach half the worth of bitcoin’s 2017 surge.

The letter, sent to the U.S. District Court within the Southern District of latest York, claims that the plaintiffs’ lawsuit ignores a subsequent version of that academic paper where the authors withdrew one among its central allegations – that trading patterns reveal the issuance of unbacked Tethers.

Last week, during a statement, Tether described the revised paper as “a watered-down and embarrassing walk-back” of the primary version. As for its reserves, the corporate also points to the Transparency section of their website that shows $4.5 billion in assets, with a $100 million cushion above its liabilities.

In the letter, Tether also claims that the plaintiffs couldn’t prove Tether and Bitfinex, the exchange that issues Tethers, were liable for the transactions that occurred or that the traders actually suffered injury from the market crash.

The letter also refuted claims that Tether had monopoly power over the stablecoin market, had participated in racketeering, and committed common law fraud among other allegations.

The original lawsuit, filed by David Leibowitz, Benjamin Leibowitz, Jason Leibowitz, Aaron Leibowitz and Pinchas Goldshtein, was filed by Vel Freedman and Kyle Roche – the lawyers who won a federal case against Craig Wright. Bitfinex, Tether, Digfinex and current executives; former chief strategy officer Philip Potter; and payment processor Crypto Capital are named as defendants within the case.

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Stablecoin Crisis Could Wreck Global Finance, Fed Warns in New Report

The U.S. Federal Reserve System Board on Friday warned that a stablecoin crisis could wreak havoc on the worldwide economy and outlined the steps issuers must fancy protect the established order .

The central bank’s prognosis – buried deep within the November edition of its semiannual “Financial Stability Report” – rests on a stablecoin worst case outcome: a run on the issuers, during which coin holders panic en-masse and demand the return of the fiat they staked.

Stablecoins are a sort of cryptocurrency that maintain their value by staking themselves to fiat reserves. While the volatility of bitcoin, the foremost widely-owned cryptocurrency, may be a favorite point of its detractors, stablecoins are digital currencies backed 1:1 with a fiat asset or basket of currencies, and designed to take care of a gentle value.

The report’s concern is that something could fail with the way the stablecoin works – be it, with operations, liquidity, or credit. “This loss of confidence could lead on to a run,” it said.

“In an extreme scenario, holders could also be unable to [liquidate], with potentially severe consequences for domestic or international economic activity, asset prices, or financial stability.”

Since the fraught launch of the Libra stablecoin concept in June, the Fed Governors, along side U.S. regulators and counterparts abroad, are sounding alarm bells. Beyond the digital currency question, the mixing with mass consumer social network might be disastrous, the report warns.

“Stablecoin initiatives that are built on existing large and cross-border customer networks, like Facebook’s Libra, have the potential to rapidly achieve widespread adoption,” the report said, echoing comments made by Fed Governor Lael Brainard last month.

But now condensed into one document, the report consolidates and formalize regulators’ concerns and notes the steps required to stop a stablecoin catastrophe.

The Fed’s report said:

Issuers must disclose how their staking mechanism works
Issuers must protect customer data privacy while maintaining KYC records to stop illicit use
Issuers must disclose their terms of service
Issuers must inform customers if they need any rights to the underlying asset

“As the Group of Seven has noted, ‘no global stablecoin project should begin operation until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks outlined [in this report] are adequately addressed, through appropriate designs and by adhering to regulation that’s clear and proportionate to the risks.’”

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XRP is employed in Crime, But Far Less Often Than Bitcoin, Elliptic Says

Some $400 million worth of XRP are often traced back to a spread of Ponzi schemes and darknet activities, Elliptic said during a report released Wednesday. While which will sound sort of a lot, it represents just 0.2 percent of XRP transactions. By comparison, $829 million of bitcoin, or 0.5 percent of that network’s transactions, are spent on the dark web, the analytics vendor said.

“Regardless of the quantity , it just demonstrates that there’s illicit activity happening during this coin,” said Tom Robinson, chief scientist and co-founder of Elliptic. “Therefore, if you’re a business handling a number of these transactions then you would like to be checking for it because you do not want to be the organization that’s getting used to launder those proceeds.”

Such concerns are especially acute for XRP’s target market, regulated financial institutions. Ripple, the distributed ledger technology (DLT) startup that owns an estimated 60 percent of the XRP supply and periodically sells the tokens to fund operations, has been pitching banks software that utilizes XRP for the previous couple of years.

A Ripple spokesperson said: “Like other cryptocurrencies, XRP is open source and decentralized – it’s available to anyone to use. Ripple enabled XRP transactions are secure and thru regulated institutions.”

Blockchain forensic firms like Elliptic tackle crypto involvement in things like drugs, weapons, child sexual assault material and ransomware-as-a-service. within the case of XRP, much of the transactions associated with scams and Ponzi schemes, said Robinson.

For instance, an outsized chunk was accounted for by the Plus Token “investment” scheme. Earlier this year, Chinese authorities arrested six Chinese nationals on the Pacific island of Vanuatu suspected of orchestrating the scam, which collected billions in crypto from people in China and South Korea .

There has been a rise within the use of crypto to get things like stolen mastercard numbers on the dark web and Elliptic had detected variety of these sites accepting XRP alongside other cryptos.

But Robinson said the relatively bit of illicit use of XRP could be down its association with traditional finance, compared to other cryptocurrencies.

“The incontrovertible fact that the Ripple network itself has been targeted at large traditional banks maybe doesn’t resonate with criminals trying to use it,” he said.

Ripple began to supply an inexpensive and efficient cryptocurrency bridge to attach correspondent banks then provide near-instant cross-border payments. Back in 2015, it had been among the primary crypto companies to receive a fine from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for AML failings. But this was viewed as a positive among a fledgling crypto industry because it meant Ripple was closer to being regulated than other crypto firms at that point .

The same might be said for XRP within the context of getting its tires kicked by Elliptic, said Robinson, since highlighting illicit XRP activity will only improve the network’s credibility.

“Wherever you’ve got any quite value transfer mechanism there’s getting to be potentially some illicit use,” said Robinson. “I think having clarity of that and having the ability to understand where it’s happening should give banks comfort instead of a cause for concern.”

To be clear, Elliptic was handling XRP, the crypto asset only. “We haven’t had any interaction with the Ripple company,” said Robinson.

Another large investor in XRP is Japan’s SBI Holdings (previously referred to as Softbank Investment), which also led a $23 million investment round in Elliptic earlier this year.

Tomoyuki Nii, military officer for overseas investment at SBI Investment, said in an interview at the time that the bank was interested in Elliptic because it had been the simplest blockchain sleuthing firm when it involves XRP.