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Cryptocurrency Morning Brief

Jul 09, 2018

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  • The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is requesting that member firms submit details regarding their cryptocurrency activities. The request is supplementing its existing efforts to “ascertain the extent of its member firms’ involvement. FINRA is looking for whether member firms have been trading cryptocurrencies, accepting cryptos from customers, managing a crypto fund, participating in token sales, or offering crypto advice. This new regulatory notice is not mandatory but reflects FINRA’s oversight regarding “fraud and other securities law violations involving digital assets”.
  • A cryptocurrency mining malware infected over a million computers in China and earned its creators more than USD$2mm over the span of two years. Police in China’s Da Lian city have arrested 20 suspects from a computer technology firm. The suspects allegedly created and embedded malware inside internet browser plug-ins which were advertised via display ads to 5 million computers. The suspects reportedly developed a network of more than 100 agents to assist with the hacking.
  • Cloud computing startup Oasis labs raised USD$45mm in a private token pre-sale that will develop a blockchain platform aiming to rival Amazon Web Services. The sale was led by “a16z”, a new crypto fund sponsored by Andreesen Horowitz. Investors in the fund include: Accel, Binance, Pantera, Polychain, Metastable, Foundation Capital, Electric Capital, DCVC and Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam. Oasis CEO, Dawn Song said the company’s architecture will allow transactions to be verified with far less duplication with the same level of integrity and security. Additionally, he said that the “architecture also supports for more computationally intensive tasks like machine learning and AI, which are not possible with today’s blockchain technologies”.
  • BitRewards has announced a partnership with OSA Decentralized. BitRewards is a blockchain-based rewards and loyalty system for e-comerce businesses. OSA Decentralized is an AI-drive blockchain platform that collects and analyzes data from retailers, manufacturers and consumers. OSA is an acronym for optimal shelf availability. The retail industry precedes shortages and understates inventory which results in USD$400bn lost in sales annually. The dual partnership will aim to solve major challenges across the globe involving distrust and lack of transparency plaguing the supply chain industry. BitRewards will provide to retail customers BIT tokens as a cash-back for their purchases. OSA was established in 2015 and already services companies like Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Mars and many others
  • China’s Central Bank has called the country’s ban on cryptocurrency a huge success as the Chinese Yuan is currently used in less than 1% of crypto-trades. The Yuan used to be responsible for 90% of all crypto trades. China outlawed initial coin offerings (ICOs) and then began cracking down on crypto trading. The Chinese government has reportedly shut down 88 cryptocurrency exchanges and 85 ICOs. Despite the ban on crypto trading, China is heavily investing in blockchain technology projects. Additionally, China leads the world in crypto mining and in the future may offer a national cryptocurrency issued through the Peoples Bank of China.