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Cryptocurrency Morning Brief

Jul 26, 2018

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  • Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, has announced that the Venezuela’s new cryptocurrency-backed national currency will begin circulating on August 20th. The new currency is called the Bolivar Soberano (Sovereign Bolivar), and will have five less zeros than the current national currency, the Bolivar Fuerte (VEF). The currency will be anchored to the Petro (PTR), an oil-backed cryptocurrency launched by the government of Venezuela in February.
  • Popular cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC is under fire for reportedly suspending user accounts without just cause.  One victim, a 65-year-old woman, had her account locked for several months, even after submitting all required know-your-customer (KYC) documents. 
  • Iran is currently looking to develop a domestic cryptocurrency in order to bypass its economic sanctions. Alireza Daliri, Iran’s Science and Technology Department head in charge of investment affairs, reported that the project is being worked on with the Central Bank of Iran. The cryptocurrency would back Iran’s national currency, the rial, and would allow cross-border transactions ahead of the US sanctions going into effect next month.
  • California-based Propy, a global real estate company known for its decentralized title registry, has announced that it has successfully executed a real estate deal on the blockchain. The transaction was tracked every step of the process on Ethereum smart contracts, making this deal the first blockchain-recorded property deal in California, and only the second to be done in the world. The transaction used Bitcoin (BTC) as payment, effectively cutting out the role of banks for this deal.
  • Waves decentralized exchange (DEX) was hacked on Tuesday, the first day it exited its beta test.  Hackers were able to break into the exchange’s website and the company’s main site to phish for information in the personal wallets of users.
  • Ethereum Chrome browser extension MetaMask was pulled from the Chrome Web store yesterday.  It was listed again, 5 hours later.  MetaMask has said it is unsure why its extension was pulled from the Chrome Web store.  MetaMask is one of the oldest and widely used decentralized apps (DApps) on the Ethereum network.
  • Augur has launched a platform that permits users to bet when certain public figures will die.  If a user believes the public figure will die, they buy shares with ETH. If a user believes the public figure won’t die, they can short the bet by selling shares. If a user’s prediction is correct, they profit from the outcome. Augur uses a network of “reporters” who make sure that the bet is settled properly.
  • US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) Chairman Christopher Giancarlo says the CTFC is falling behind and needs to begin testing the blockchain technology during testimony to House Committee on Agriculture.  Chairman Giancarlo suggests the CTFC is four years behind other global institutions like the Bank of England (BOE) as it relates to testing blockchain.