After last week’s pump, the price of bitcoin failed to retake the $4,000 mark and closed the week five percent lower at around $3,850 versus last week’s close.
The Lightning Torch continues to be passed around with Fidelity Digitial Assets being the first financial institutions to become a holder at the end of last week. The Lightning Torch may seem like just another viral meme on social media to some but for the bitcoin community that believes that the Lightning Network will solve Bitcoin’s scalability issues, this movement a testament to the success of this second layer technology.
Perhaps the biggest news in crypto this week was a report by the New York Times, which suggested that Facebook has secretly been working on its own blockchain-powered digital currency. While it should not come as a surprise to anyone that Facebook intends to implement its payment solution into its ecosystem of applications, it will be interesting to see how a “Facebook Coin” would be received by consumers in light of the long list of exposed privacy breaches of Facebook’s users.
The cryptocurrency community, unsurprisingly, thinks very little of a centralized coin issued by a major corporation. Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos’ statement on Twitter about Facebook Coin illustrates the community’s broader opinion well. He said:
“When Facebook launches a coin, many people will use these candy-colored financial surveillance systems. The question is, what will you use?”
Leading altcoins are down between five and ten percent with the exception being Binance Coin and Bitcoin SV. Binance is in the process of launching its new decentralized exchange, and Bitcoin SV announced in a press release that it has found and patched a vulnerability in its code, which helped these two digital assets to close the week in the green.
Social media giant Facebook is contemplating launching its digital currency in the first half of 2019, according to February 28, 2019, report published by the New York Times.
Building on from speculative reports of Facebook launching their own cryptocurrency, the latest story by the New York Times has confirmed that the multi-billion enterprise is working on a digital token that users of Whatsapp could send to family and friends instantly.
Speaking to the New York Times anonymously, four people close to the matter said that Facebook has already reached out to several cryptocurrency exchanges in a bid to list its coin on and sell it to consumers.
Staunch proponents of the cryptoverse don’t exactly view the foray of large enterprises in the industry as a good sign. These companies are the living definition of centralized power and have been involved in numerous instances of personal data breaches. Bitcoin, on the other hand, works on a decentralized ideology where the underlying digital asset is not under the custody of any third-party.
The Lightning Torch found a new home on February 22, 2019, when it was passed to Fidelity Investments, who then gave it to the Harvard School Blockchain & Crypto Club.
The Lightning Torch is a concept similar to that of the Olympic torch; members of the Lighting network are “passed” the torch and, in turn, must pass it to another group or individual.
The use of the Lightning Torch first began when a network member called Hodlonout sent 10,000 Satoshis to another member who then added 10,000 satoshis to the balance and sent it to another member. This chain has continued since then with several people, including an octogenarian and Jack Dorsey of Twitter receiving the torch at some point.
Fidelity assets received the torch and then passed it to the Harvard School Blockchain & Crypto Club, who will add another 10,000 satoshis to the balance and pass it on.
The Russian President ordered his country’s government to fast track the adoption of federal laws related to cryptocurrencies no later than July 1, 2019. The latest order is similar to one he made about cryptocurrency regulation back in 2018.
That the government is committed to working on this matter is illustrated by the firm deadline set by the Russian Duma and confirmation from an executive order appearing on the Kremlin’s official website on February 27, 2019.
The President of the republic, Vladimir Putin, asked the Federal Assembly to ensure all the necessary steps are taken so the laws can be in place by July 1, 2019.
The order read:
“Federal laws aimed at the development of the digital economy, including determining the procedure for conducting civil law transactions in electronic form, as well as regulating digital financial assets and attracting financial resources using digital technologies. Deadline – July 1, 2019, Responsible: Medvedev DA, Volodin VV.”
The mandate given to the legislative body becomes the second deadline from Putin, who asked last year that laws be passed regarding the legality of digital currencies. The order specifically referred to “federal laws aimed at the development of the digital economy.”
The current order is asking for a regulatory framework for digital financial assets, financial resources based on digital assets and the regulation of civil law settlements.
The bitcoin SV Node Implementation Team, a branch of Craig Wright’s nChain, have remained steady in their unwavering commitment to Bitcoin SV (BSV). During their cooperation with Trail of Bits, the BSV team discovered three medium severity vulnerabilities in BSV. They believed it was inherited from Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and the team has immediately sought to address them.
The Bitcoin SV and the Bitcoin Association stated in a recent press release that the February 11, 2019 version 0.1.1 release of Bitcoin SV Node had fixed the three vulnerabilities found in the code.
If left unchecked, the three weaknesses would allow malicious actors to overload the system with traffic by jamming the network and node processors with useless packets. The possible damage, however, would not harm businesses or users and would not result in them losing any funds or transactions.
On February 28, 2019, cryptocurrency exchange platform Kraken announced through a blog post that it was offering up to $100,000 as a reward for legitimate tips passed by people regarding the QuadrigaCX exchange fiasco.
In another twist to the QuadrigaCX story, Kraken, one of the largest digital asset trading platforms in the world, is offering up to $100,000 to people who could help discover the missing $190 million worth of crypto assets left behind by the late CEO of the Canadian crypto exchange.
People with relevant information about the matter can submit their tips here.
In its blog post, Kraken said the exchange wants to bring awareness and attention to the QuadrigaCX case so that it becomes easier for the investigating authorities to discover some or all of the lost client funds.
Notably, all information collected by Kraken will be given to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement agencies involved in the case’s investigation.
On February 28, 2019, Thailand’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), updated the list of cryptocurrencies which can be used for initial coin offering (ICO). The list now comprises of a total of four digital currencies – bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), XRP, and stellar lumens (XLM).
Crypto enthusiasts the world over got the first glimpse of it on February 4, 2018, when it came to light that the SEC and the Stock Exchange of Thailand were working to develop a legal and inclusive ecosystem for ICOs in the country.
In the latest step by the SEC, the financial watchdog has updated its list of cryptocurrencies eligible for ICO investments and base trading pairs by removing bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum classic (ETC), and litecoin (LTC).
The official announcement reads in part: “Key factors taken into consideration regarding the cryptocurrencies on the list include relevant developments and news, as well as other important factors related to cryptocurrencies. The list will be updated periodically.”
The SEC clarified that the update would have no impact on any of the existing digital assets business or investors because no ICO has been launched so far. Also, the existing cryptocurrency exchanges have never used ETC, BCH, or LTC as base trading pairs.