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Cryptocurrencies end week sharply lower as SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision until February

Dec 07, 2018

 

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies sorted by 7 Day Price Percent Change

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Name Ticker Price 1H %Chg 24H %Chg 7D %Chg Market Cap Volume
NEM XEM USD$0.07 -3.02% -6.65% -9.67% USD$601,828,762 USD$12,195,900
TRON TRX USD$0.01 -2.75% -7.04% -11.56% USD$829,564,543 USD$96,874,503
Bitcoin BTC USD$3312.01 -2.62% -9.64% -17.55% USD$57,666,848,185 USD$6,163,914,552
XRP XRP USD$0.3 -2.21% -9.85% -18.31% USD$11,897,232,005 USD$618,216,858
VeChain VET USD$0.0 -2.88% -11.39% -19.85% USD$211,264,887 USD$12,121,892

Developments in Financial Services

  • A consortium of international banks, including Commerzbank, ING, Natixis, and Rabobank, have completed a live commercial paper transaction based on R3’s Corda blockchain platform, according to a report by news outlet Finextra. The commercial paper transaction saw Natixis issue 100,000 euro notional with Rabobank acting as the investor and ING serving as the dealer and escrow agent. The commercial paper transaction was completed on R3’s Corda-based Euro Debt Solution.   
  • A new research study conducted by Imperial College London researchers Jiahua Xu and Benjamin Livshits finds that ‘pump and dump’ schemes on cryptocurrency markets account for roughly USD$7mm worth of monthly trading volume. The USD$7mm in monthly volume that ‘pump and dump’ schemes are responsible for only equates to 0.049% of today’s 24-hour trading volume of USD$14.2bn. To come to this conclusion, Xu and Livshits investigated 236 ‘pump and dump’ scams that occurred between July 21st, 2018 and November 18th, 2018.   
  • After speculation last week, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, Nasdaq, has confirmed that it will launch Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading services in the first half of 2019. Joseph Christinat, vice president of Nasdaq’s media team, detailed that the launch is subject to regulatory approval from the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). According to Christinat, Nasdaq has been eying the cryptocurrency space for years, saying, “We’ve put a hell of a lot of money and energy into delivering the ability to do this and we’ve been all over it for a long time -- way before the market went into turmoil, and that will not affect the timing of this in any way. No. Period. We’re doing this no matter what.”                   
  • Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, released a statement today announcing Binance Blockchain Week, the exchange’s first conference, to be held in Singapore in January 2019. Binance Blockchain Week will last two days and be the, “first-ever Binance SAFU (Secured Assets For Users) Hackathon,” the company release details. This news comes after Binance spent the beginning of the week teasing the launch of Binance Chain, a highly-anticipated decentralized exchange venture that will feature, “millions of coins.”  
  • Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced the launch of a multi-account feature aimed specifically at institutional cryptocurrency traders. The feature will allow institutions to set up multiple trading accounts for each firm, with options to grant different levels of access and control to each account. A single institutional account with Binance will now be able to have 200 sub-accounts under its umbrella. To be eligible for the institutional multi-account features, users must have a Binance Coin (BNB) balance of at least 1,000 with a minimum of 4,500 Bitcoin (BTC) trading volume in the last 30 days. 
  • Calastone, a London-based global funds network, will switch its entire system for fund trade clearing services to be blockchain-based, according to a Reuters report on Monday. Currently, Calastone processes trades for more than 1,700 financial companies’ mutual funds, including giants like JP Morgan Asset Management, Invesco, and Schroders. The decision to switch to blockchain will see roughly GBP 170bn (USD$217bn) of monthly mutual fund trades by Calastone processed on a blockchain network.  
  • Coinbase, the major US-based cryptocurrency exchange, has applied to trademark the cryptocurrency-industry term “BUIDL”, as per an application filed through the US Patent and Trademark Office. The word is an intentional spelling of the word “build” and is a play on the mainstream crypto community term “HODL”, which refers to the long-term holding of cryptocurrencies, rather than the actual use of them. The patent application specifically details a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, detailing that BUIDL SaaS services would include, “software for managing, buying, selling, storing, transacting, exchanging, sending, and receiving virtual currency.”  
  • ErisX, a new cryptocurrency exchange, raised USD$27.5mm in a funding round led by Fidelity Investments and Nasdaq Ventures, according to a Reuters report. Pending regulatory approval, ErisX aims to offer both spot and futures trading services for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC). Thomas Chippas, COE of ErisX, detailed that the funding will be used to hire staff as well as, “build out infrastructure and ensure the appropriate steps are taken to develop a regulated market for digital assets.” Two months ago in October, TD Ameritrade also announced an investment in ErisX.   
  • Itau Unibanco, Bazil’s largest private bank, is partnering with Standard Chartered, a UK-based bank, to build a blockchain-based platform for small loans, according to an official press by Itau Unibanco. The two banks, both of which offer international banking services, have already completed a successful proof-of-concept for the blockchain platform in question, which was based on R3’s Corda Connect. The two banks also recently partnered with US-based Wells Fargo to issue a test loan of USD$100mm on the blockchain platform.   
  • Japan’s National Tax Agency (NTA) will require transaction intermediaries, such as cryptocurrency exchanges, turn over data in an effort to combat tax evasion, according to a report by news outlet Mainichi Shimbun. The new system will allow Japan’s NTA to receive the names, addresses, and 12-digit individual identification number of users suspected of tax evasion. Japan's ruling coalition will begin to expand on the new tax system in late 2019 before introducing the system in April 2020. 
  • Japanese cryptocurrency exchange GMO Coin will resume Bitcoin Cash (BCH) trading, choosing the Bitcoin Cash ABC network for its BCH ticker, as per a report by Finance Magnates. The exchange announced that it will resume BCH trading on December 4th after suspending the coin in an attempt, “to avoid the disruption caused,” by the November 15th network hard fork. Cointelegraph reports that after more than two weeks since forking, the Bitcoin Cash ABC network appears to be the winning faction due to it being a more conservative network that did not introduce any radical changes.   
  • Morgan Creek Digital, a cryptocurrency-focused institutional asset manager, announced a USD$1mm bet that its Digital Asset Index Fund will outperform the S&P 500 Index, as per a press release. Morgan Creek’s Digital Asset Index Fund tracks a basket of ten major cryptocurrency assets. The bet, dubbed Buffet Bet 2.0, echoes a similar bet made by Warren Buffet in 2008, who wagered USD$1mm that the S&P 500 Index would outperform a group of hedge funds over a ten-year timeframe. The wager begins on January 1st, 2018 and will last 10 years.   
  • Poloniex, a large cryptocurrency exchange, announced the launch of trading services for institutional clients in a press release today. After being acquired by cryptocurrency payments firm Circle earlier this year, Poloniex will offer institutional accounts that support a variety of cryptocurrency trading pairs in addition to API interfaces. As part of its institutional trading services, Poloniex will offer and over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading desk where a minimum order size of USD$250,000 will be required.   
  • R3, an enterprise blockchain software firm, announced that Ripple (XRP) will be the first cryptocurrency token to be supported on Corda Settler, a new open source Corda-based decentralized application (CorDapp) built to be a universal payment settlement platform. According to a report by news outlet Finextra, Corda Settler allows payment obligations on the Corda blockchain to be settled on any parallel payment network that supports cryptocurrencies or assets. CTO of R3, Richard Gendal Brown, said in reference to the news, “The deployment of Corda Settler and its support for XRP as the first settlement mechanism is an important step in showing how the powerful ecosystems cultivated by two of the world’s most influential crypto and blockchain communities can work together.” 
  • Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) is partnering with Tunisian startup iFinTech Solutions to develop a suite of interbank blockchain tools, as per a press release last week. The joint project will be conducted through the IsDB’s private sector arm, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector (ICD) in order to increase Islamic financial institution's liquidity management capabilities and to improve overall efficiencies. IFinTech Solutions defines itself as an, “investment advisory firm focused on alternative financial solutions based on Islamic principles.” 
  • SBHI Holdings, a financial services giant based in Japan, is partnering with R3, a software firm, to promote and expand the use of blockchain platform Corda, as per Japanese news outlet Nikkei. As part of the partnership, SBI Holdings with increase its existing investment in R3 to create a joint venture geared towards promotion of Corda. “Europe is the most advanced in blockchain product development,” R3 CEO David Rutter said to Nikkei, adding, “The new joint venture will strengthen the Japanese language services, and promote adoption.”  
  • Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) released guidelines today for the regulator’s new FinTech license, which will be required of Swiss firms with blockchain-related or cryptocurrency-related operations. As per a press release on the FINMA website, the license has, “relaxed requirements,” that allow fintech companies to receive up to 100mm Swiss francs -- fintech companies will now be allowed to invest public deposits or pay interest on them. Companies applying for a Swiss FinTech license will be required to submit information such as a business description, financial plan, and asset storage method in addition to risk management and anti-money laundering (AML) policies. 
  • The Lightening Network, an off-chain scaling solution for Bitcoin (BTC), is growing at a rapid rated with total capacity now surpassing 460 BTC and reported channels now topping 16,000. In November, the Lightning Network had a total capacity of less than 125 BTC. On November 13th, the Lightning Network made news when it reached 4,000 total nodes for the first time in its history -- today, nodes on the Lightning Network now total 4,342. Many cryptocurrency pundits see the Lightning Network as a key to the wide-scale adoption of BTC -- check out our October Crypto QuantShot, “Why the Lightning Network Could ‘Spark’ Wide-Scale Adoption of Bitcoin,” to learn more. 
     

 

 

 

 

Regulatory Environment

  • A pre-solicitation document published by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Innovation Research Program indicates that the government organization wants to know if it is possible to track transactions conducted through privacy coins. The document begins by discussing that privacy and anonymity are key features on networks like Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR) before saying, “While these features are desirable, there is similarly a compelling interest in tracing and understanding transactions and actions on the blockchain of an illegal nature.” The document concludes by highlighting that three phases pertaining to a proposal will follow this document. 
  • Coinbase, a major US-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced today that clients using its retail cryptocurrency exchange, coinbase.com, can now buy, sell, send, receive, or store major privacy coin Zcash (ZEC). In an official release today, Coinbase announced that both transparent and shielded transactions can be conducted on coinbase.com using ZEC. The announcement comes after Coinbase rolled out ZEC trading services for Coinbase Pro, its institutional trading platform.   
  • Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) will introduce new regulations pertaining to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that are meant to protect investors from fraud, as per a report this weekend by Japanese news outlet JiJi.com. The report by JiJi.com cites “informed” sources who claim that firms conducting ICOs will be required to register with Japan’s FSA. Draft regulations are expected to be submitted in time for the Japanese parliamentary session that begins in January.  
  • Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC), the country’s financial regulator, and the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the country’s central bank, have issued a joint statement confirming that they will soon implement legislation pertaining to cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). This news comes after a Malaysian senior government official made comments in late November that the crypto sector could be regulated as soon as 1Q2019. “The SC will regulate issuances of digital assets via Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the trading of digital assets at digital exchanges in Malaysia,” the statement reads, adding, “Regulations are currently being put in place to bring digital assets within the remit of securities laws to promote fair and orderly trading and ensure investor protection.”  
  • Malta and Italy have issued a joint warning to their citizens pertaining to unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange OriginalCrypto. In a notice issued on December 5th, regulators ordered the exchange platform top cease operations. OriginalCrypto is a platform owned by SolutionsCM Ltd., who is now coming under fire from both European countries. In February of this year, monitoring website ScamBitcoin warned of OriginalCrypto, writing, “Portraying their platform as a cryptocurrency financial brokerage, OriginalCrypto.com has engineered a clever marketing approach to promote their illicit investment services to consumers across the world.” 
  • Medici Ventures, Overstock.com’s blockchain venture arm, is purchasing a USD$2.5mm equity stake (10%) in GrainChain, a blockchain-based agricultural project. GainChain has already developed a system that leverages blockchain technology to enable companies to track their supply chain related to agricultural products. The platform aims to aid primarily small and medium-sized farmers additionally by leveraging smart contracts to secure funds through the grain transaction process.  
  • Seven member states of the European Union (EU) agreed at a meeting of EU transport ministers in Brussels on Tuesday to release a declaration calling on other member states to help promote the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in the region, as per a report by news outlet the Financial Times. Reportedly initiated by Malta, six other member states agreed to the declaration, including France, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, and Greece. The declaration released cites, “education, transport, mobility, shipping, Land Registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare,” as services that can benefit from DLT in southern EU economies. 
  • Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence for the US Department of the Treasury, is calling on cryptocurrency industry members and regulators to work to prevent the malicious and illegal use of cryptocurrencies. While speaking at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference on Monday, Mandelker declared, “The digital currency industry must harden its networks and undertake the steps necessary to prevent illicit actors from exploiting its services.” Mandelker also went on to call upon global financial regulators to enhance anti-money laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulatory frameworks that apply to cryptocurrencies.   
  • South Korea’s Finance Ministry is deliberating taxing cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), news outlet The Korea Times reports. Hong Nam-ki, the new Minister of Economy and Finance in South Korea, discussed that South Korea’s approach to cryptocurrency taxation will be determined by global taxation trends in the industry. Additionally, South Korea will work to form a new stance on the cryptocurrency industry after the country instituted an ICO ban -- the new stance will be based on, “market conditions, international trends, and investor protection issues.” Nam-ki will sit through a confirmation hearing tomorrow, December 4th, 2018. 
  • Thailand’s Revenue Department will test a blockchain system in order to track value-added tax payments, according to a report by news outlet Bangkok Post. The report by the Bangkok Post cites Director General of the Thai Revenue Department Ekniti Nitithanprapa, who said that the department, “wants to use blockchain technology to prevent value-added tax refund fraud.” Specifically, Nitithanprapa believes that blockchain will, “help verify value-added tax invoices,” and, “root out fake invoices for value-added tax claims.” 
  • The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) is granting regulatory approval to Signet, a blockchain-based digital platform being offered by New York-based Signature Bank. Signet is built to facilitate the real-time transfer of payments with zero transaction fees, at any time and on any day. The system uses ‘Signets’ to facilitate the transfer and was subject to a, “comprehensive and rigorous review,” by regulators.   
  • The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is postponing its decision on nine Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) application, as per an official release by the regulator. For its decision on the BTC ETF applications submitted by investment firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX, the SEC has set a deadline for February 27th, 2019. “The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change,” the official release reads.  
  • This weekend’s G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina saw financial superpowers from across the globe call for the international taxation of cryptocurrency, in addition to coordinated regulation in order to combat money laundering, according to Japanese news outlet JiJi.com. A joint document released by G20 countries following this weekend’s summit calls for, “a taxation system for cross-border electronic payment services.” While G20 countries, “will consider the issue during 2019 when Japan will be the president of the summit,” a final draft of regulation is expected to be proposed and voted on in 2020. 
  • Two United States Congressmen, Representative Darren Soto (Democrat) and Representative Ted Budd (Republican), have introduced two bipartisan bills with an aim of preventing cryptocurrency price manipulation and to facilitate the adoption of cryptocurrencies. The two bills, titled, “The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018,” and the, “U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018,” have a combined goal of making the US a, “leader in the cryptocurrency industry.” At their core, the bills urge regulatory agencies like the Commodity Futures Trading Commision (CFTC) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to outline a clear roadmap for cryptocurrency regulation.  
  • Ueli Maurer, the Swiss Minister of Finance, rejected a potential blockchain law during a speech at blockchain conference Infrachain, as per Cointelegraph. Rather than introducing new laws and legal framework specifically pertaining to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, Switzerland will tweak pre-existing laws to allow for the new technology and its applications to flourish. Switzerland will reportedly propose changes to 6 pre-existing laws in 2019, including ones concerning civil code and bankruptcy. 
  • United America Corporation, a Florida-based company that experiments with blockchain technology, is taking multiple Bitcoin Cash (BCH) actors to court today, accusing the actors of a conspiracy to work towards their deterrent. The suit alleges that, amid the Bitcoin Cash hard fork in November, Bitcoin.com’s conversion of Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware as well as the renting of additional hardware for the benefit of the Bitcoin Cash ABC network was unfair practice and should have been allowed to complete under the rules of consensus of Bitcoin Cash. In the past, United America Corporation launched BockchainDomes, a unique approach to cryptocurrency mining hardware. 
  • United States’ cryptocurrency regulation needs a, “more nuanced approach,” according to two university professors who conducted academic research into the space. Carol Goforth from Oxford University and Clayton N. Little from Arkansas School of Law believe that the problem with the US’ cryptocurrency regulation comes from three separate regulatory bodies, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), trying to govern cryptocurrencies, but each from a different perspective. “Because different agencies in the US have different regulatory powers and responsibilities, each agency has tended to classify the very same assets differently in order to assert jurisdiction,” claims the academic paper. 
  • US Representative Warren Davidson (R) announced his intention to introduce legislation in the US House of Representatives that would establish regulatory framework to clearly define cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), as per a report by news outlet Cleveland.com.  The regulatory framework would effectively create an asset class for cryptocurrencies and digital assets. While the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) considers most cryptocurrencies to be securities, the regulatory framework, “would prevent them from being classified as securities but also allow the federal government to regulate initial coin offerings more effectively.     
  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has artificially raised the value of the country’s state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro, amid the country’s ongoing hyperinflation. According to a release by President maduro’s office, the value of the Petro is now 9,000 sovereign bolivars, up 150% from its previous value of 3,600 sovereign bolivars. Leonardo Buniak, an economist for major Venezuelan newspaper El Universal, called the move by President Maduro, “very bad news for Venezuelans,” adding, “to anchor the bolivar to Petro is equal to anchoring it to nothing.” 
     

 

 

General News

  • After Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced the development of Binance Chain on Tuesday, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange released a second preview of the soon-to-come decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. The preview includes segments revealing a sleek user interface, a wallet and block exploration tool, and confirmation of a testnet version that will be available “soon”. Binance Chain will reportedly be capable of supporting “millions” of separate digital assets.   
  • Amid the continued cryptocurrency bear market, Ethereum (ETH) blockchain software solutions firm ConsenSys is reportedly considering a restructure. In a note to its employees, ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin warned staff of an upcoming reorganization as the company enters its new phase, ConsenSys 2.0. As per a report by Forbes, the note details that ConsenSys now finds itself, “occupying a very competitive universe,” and that it, “must retain, and in some cases regain, the lean and gritty startup mindset that made us who we are.” 
  • Australian institute Blockchain Collective is offering Australia’s first fully accredited blockchain certification, titled the, “Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain,” according to a report by Australian news outlet Finder. The certification features six core modules and two electives and is the first fully accredited course by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). Blockchain Collective aims to equip students who receive the Advanced Diploma of Applied Blockchain with the, “knowledge and experience to apply blockchain frameworks to new and legacy business frameworks.    
  • Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it will deploy its own public blockchain, dubbed Binance Chain. While speaking on stage at Forbes Asia Forum: Decrypting Blockchain, Binance CEO Changspeng Zhao revealed that Binance Chain will be released within the next, “couple of months or so,” and that it will host, “millions of coins and thousands of blockchains.” Although he was asked, Zhao did not provide any price prediction for Bitcoin (BTC), saying that it would be treated as market manipulation. 
  • EOS (EOS) rekindled conversations regarding centralization in the world’s sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after one of its 21 nodes appeared to offer its token holders financial rewards in return for voting as its proxy. In a Medium Post last week, EOS node Starteos said that, “after delegating Starteos.io as proxy , you could get continuous and stable EOS revenue.” A report by Finance Magnates discusses that this system essentially pays users for strengthening Starteos ’ node, representing heavy centralization on the EOS network.  
  • In what is being hailed as a ‘first’ for the cryptocurrency industry, Dash (DASH) is reportedly implementing an upgrade to its existing InstantSend system that will make all transactions instant, permanent, and secure. InstantSend has been in trial as an optional feature on the masternode network of Dash, however, Dash’s upcoming 0.13 update will apply InstantSend features to all transactions on the Dash network. Dash maintains an emphasis on becoming the most user-friendly blockchain payment network in the world through its continued Evolution system upgrades.   
  • Joseph Lubin, co-creator of Ethereum and founder of Ethereum blockchain software solutions firm ConsenSys, discussed that the Ethereum network is growing at an exponential rate, saying, “Market cap doesn’t reflect activity. Decentralized networks are growing. 10 billion daily API requests served by Infura. 1 million Truffle downloads. 1 million MetaMask downloads. 12,000 live Ethereum nodes. 48 million unique Ethereum addresses. 3 times LinkedIn blockchain job openings.” Truffle, Infura, and MetaMask are three of Ethereum’s major products and are seen as the backbone of the decentralized network.    
  • Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) pundit, remains bullish in his outlook for cryptocurrencies, telling Bloomberg that the, “future is brighter than ever.” Ver, who in the past has criticized Bitcoin (BTC) in favor of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), put the cryptocurrencies’ differences aside while being interviewed by Bloomberg in Tokyo, Japan, saying, “Long-term, the future’s brighter than ever: there’s more awareness, there’s more adoption, there’s more stuff happening all over the world,” adding, “Of course I’m incredibly bullish on the whole cryptocoin ecosystem.” 
  • SK Group, a major South Korean technology holding company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ConsenSys, a large Ethereum blockchain software solutions company, as per an official press release. The MoU details an aim to develop an, “enterprise blockchain development hub,” in South Korea by using smart contracts, adding that, “The two companies will begin to explore business models for expanding their enterprise blockchain business through joint analysis of their respective blockchain platforms, technologies, and services.” Additionally, the partnership will explore education of Korean developers in Ethereum blockchain technology through both the ConsenSys Academy and SK Holdings C&C’s Tech Training Center.  
  • SP Jain School of Global Management, one of India's top ten business schools, has awarded 1,189 graduates with degrees based on a blockchain network, according to a report by news outlet Business World. The system of issuing degrees is designed to prevent fraud and will allow employers to verify the authenticity of an employee’s qualifications without contacting the school itself. The blockchain system is based on the Ethereum network.  
  • Swiss Post, Switzerland’s national postal service, is partnering with Swisscom, a state-owned telecommunications provider, to build a, “100% Swiss,” blockchain infrastructure, as per a press release today. The common blockchain shared between Swiss Post and Swisscom will be based on Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 software and will be the first private or permissioned blockchain to be operated jointly between two entities. The first aim of the blockchain infrastructure will be to build a system to handle sensitive business processes required by both enterprises and public authorities. 
  • The Synaptic Health Alliance group, a healthcare consortium including giants Humana, UnitedHealthcare, and Quest Dianostics  has announced a plan to trial blockchain solutions to improve data quality and reduce overall costs in the healthcare industry, as per a report by US news outlet Modern Healthcare. The blockchain trial will aim to leverage decentralized storage in order to maintain system security and to track healthcare information real-time with a goal of maintaining patient information accuracy. A research study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which analyzed data between September 2016 and August 2017, found that at least half of all information on Medicare Advantage Organizations contained mistakes.  
  • The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a press release on Tuesday calling on startups and small businesses to help design blockchain-based solutions to combat the forgery and counterfeiting of digital documents. The press release contains a link to a solicitation by the US DHS titled, “Preventing Forgery and Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses,” while calling on startups or small enterprises who have not had a government contract in the past 12 months (totaling more than USD$1mm) and that have a workforce of less than 200. Selected applicants can receive up to USD$800,000 in non-dilutive funding across four phases, the release notes. 
     

*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio

Sources:

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https://cointelegraph.com/news/swiss-post-swisscom-launch-100-swiss-blockchain-infrastructure  
https://cointelegraph.com/news/thailands-revenue-departments-tests-blockchain-for-tracking-value-added-tax-payments  
https://cointelegraph.com/news/top-exchange-binance-announces-safu-hackathon-conference-in-singapore  
https://cointelegraph.com/news/uk-based-global-funds-network-calastone-to-switch-entire-system-to-blockchain-in-may 
https://cointelegraph.com/news/us-brokerage-firm-td-ameritrade-to-invest-in-new-crypto-exchange  
https://cointelegraph.com/news/us-dept-homeland-security-calls-on-blockchain-startups-for-anti-forgery-solutions  
https://cointelegraph.com/news/us-treasury-official-calls-on-crypto-industry-players-to-combat-illicit-use-of-crypto  
https://cointelegraph.com/news/venezuela-maduro-raises-petros-value-by-150-percent-amid-ongoing-inflation  
https://de.cointelegraph.com/news/schweizer-finanzminister-maurer-es-wird-kein-blockchain-gesetz-geben 
https://github.com/dashpay/dash/pull/2140  
https://home.treasury.gov/index.php/news/press-releases/sm563  
https://icd-ps.org/en/news/signing-of-agreement-between-icd-and-ifts-to-implement-new-technology-solutions 
https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2018120100262 
https://jp.cointelegraph.com/news/sbi-and-r3-establish-a-joint-venture  
https://medium.com/circle-blog/institutional-accounts-now-available-on-poloniex-e28abf7afce  
https://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn88140352&docId=RFA20181005081748#docIndex=0&page=1  
https://twitter.com/cz_binance/status/1070241854514327552  
https://twitter.com/PresidencialVen/status/1068671019554983936 
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-funds-blockchain/fintech-company-calastone-to-shift-fund-network-to-blockchain-idUKKBN1O202C 
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-itau-unibco-hldg-standard-chartered-b/ita-and-stanchart-launch-blockchain-platform-for-loans-in-latin-america-idUKKBN1O22DK?rpc=401&  
https://www.asqa.gov.au/  
https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1586614/blockchain-undergoes-tests-for-tracking-vat-payments  
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2018-12-04/future-of-crypto-is-brighter-than-ever-says-bitcoin-com-s-ver-video  
https://www.ccn.com/binance-coin-bnb-grows-8-5-after-decentralized-exchange-demo-video-release/  
https://www.ccn.com/coinbase-is-attempting-to-trademark-crypto-rallying-cry-buidl/  
https://www.ccn.com/exclusive-dash-claims-crypto-industry-first-with-automatic-instantsend-transactions/  
https://www.ccn.com/g20-countries-to-regulate-cryptocurrencies-in-line-with-fatf-standards/ 
https://www.ccn.com/institute-announces-australias-first-fully-accredited-blockchain-courses/  
https://www.ccn.com/international-cooperation-critical-to-bringing-illegal-icos-to-justice-sec/  
https://www.ccn.com/investment-funds-network-to-migrate-entire-system-to-blockchain-in-2019/ 
https://www.ccn.com/lawsuit-accuses-crypto-heavyweights-bitmain-roger-ver-of-hijacking-bitcoin-cash/   
https://www.ccn.com/lubin-forget-price-ethereum-adoption-is-growing-rapidly/  
https://www.ccn.com/major-indian-business-school-issues-blockchain-certs-to-combat-fake-degrees/  
https://www.ccn.com/nasdaq-fidelity-invest-in-wall-street-crypto-exchange-erisx/  
https://www.cleveland.com/news/2018/12/us-rep-warren-davidson-announces-legislation-to-regulate-initial-coin-offerings-at-blockchain-solutions-conference.html  
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/06/crypto-index-fund-follows-buffetts-playbook-but-with-bet-against-the-sp.html  
https://www.coindesk.com/binance-releases-new-video-demo-of-its-decentralized-crypto-exchange  
https://www.coindesk.com/circle-acquires-poloniex  
https://www.coindesk.com/coinbase-adds-zcash-to-retail-crypto-trading-service  
https://www.coindesk.com/coinbase-wants-to-own-buidl-trademark-filing-reveals  
https://www.coindesk.com/crypto-exchange-poloniex-launches-institutional-trading-services  
https://www.coindesk.com/fidelity-bitmain-and-more-invest-27-million-in-crypto-trading-platform-erisx  
https://www.coindesk.com/lubin-wont-rule-out-layoffs-amid-refocusing-at-consensys  
https://www.coindesk.com/morgan-creek-digital-is-betting-1-million-that-crypto-can-beat-the-sp-500  
https://www.coindesk.com/overstocks-medici-invests-2-5-million-in-grain-tech-firms-blockchain-pivot  
https://www.coindesk.com/r3s-new-corda-app-supports-payments-in-xrp-cryptocurrency  
https://www.coindesk.com/swiss-post-swisscom-developing-new-blockchain-platform-on-hyperledger  
https://www.coindesk.com/thailand-government-trials-blockchain-in-fight-against-tax-fraud  
https://www.coindesk.com/treasury-official-global-regulators-must-follow-us-lead-in-crypto-enforcement  
https://www.coindesk.com/us-government-offering-up-to-800k-for-anti-forgery-blockchain-solutions  
https://www.coindesk.com/us-homeland-security-is-interested-in-tracking-privacy-coins  
https://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/press/pr1812041.htm  
https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/news/2018/12/04/news-release-st-seeks-collaborative-blockchain-innovations 
https://www.elperiodico.com/es/internacional/20181201/la-reunion-termino-con-consensos-minimos-y-una-disidencia-de-eeuu-7179240 
https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/1053533/Bitcoin-price-latest-news-btc-usd-blockchain-Nasdaq-list-crt  
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=0799e4c4e8c2a2eac1ba9d5700d6ff17&tab=core&_cview=0%5C  
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=7ed0c5ef2df7e26ffb5c1dee3ceaa171&tab=core&_cview=0  
https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/news/exclusive-gmo-coin-to-resume-bch-trading-with-abc-version/  
https://www.finder.com.au/australias-first-accredited-blockchain-courses-have-arrived  
https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/33077/r3-and-ripple-play-nice-as-new-corda-app-supports-xrp  
https://www.finma.ch/en/news/2018/12/20181203-aktuell-fintech-bewilligung/  
https://www.ft.com/content/95b57148-f7e1-11e8-af46-2022a0b02a6c  
https://www.itau.com.ar/Documents/Sobre%20itau/Press%20Release%20-%20Blockchain_ESP.pdf  
https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/biz/2018/12/367_259753.html  
https://www.longhash.com/news/lightnings-crazy-fast-growth  
https://www.mfsa.com.mt/pages/announcement.aspx?id=11676  
https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20181203/NEWS/181209999 
https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/12/05/consensys-ceo-is-planning-company-restructure-following-bear-market/  
https://www.swisscom.ch/content/dam/swisscom/en/about/media/press-release/2018/20181206-mm-sc-post-privateblockchain-en.pdf.res/20181206-mm-sc-post-privateblockchain-en.pdf  
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612496/machine-learning-identifies-cryptocurrency-scams-before-they-happen/  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN1Uvor4Hd8