Crypto Weekly News — December, 25
What important crypto events happened last week?
The price of the XRP on Wednesday, December 23, drastically fell after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit alleging that Ripple, the blockchain company issuing XRP, conducted an offering of unregistered securities worth $1.3 billion. Ripple denies these charges, stating that XRP is a currency and should not be registered as an investment contract.
The head of Tesla and SpaceX wrote again about the “meme” cryptocurrency, as about his favorite. The asset’s price instantly hit the highest since July of this year.
Projects And Updates
The Stellar Development Foundation, which supports the development of the Stellar blockchain (XLM), has announced a strategic investment in Settle Network. The largest digital asset settlement network in Latin America for exchange and cross-border payments will receive up to $3 million in Lumens from the Stellar Development Foundation. The aim of the Settle Network is a mass adoption and demand growth for stablecoins, which corresponds to the mission of Stellar — putting blockchain technology and access to finance into the hands of people that need it.
The Cardano development team is implementing a system that will allow using smart contracts written in Solidity language in the cryptocurrency’s network. Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of the Input-Output Hong Kong, the startup behind the Cardano network, announced the launch of a service for developing applications for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The system named K Framework, KEVM, or simply K, will allow creating a permanent “bridge” between Cardano and Ethereum ecosystems.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against the blockchain startup Ripple. The SEC alleges that the company sold unlicensed securities, which, in their opinion, XRP tokens are, to retail investors for seven years. The regulator requires an injunction, the seizure of illegal income with interest, and the collection of fines. After the publication of this news, the price of XRP predictably sunk. The CEO of Ripple Brad Garlinghouse criticized the SEC’s intention to sue the company and called it an “all-out attack on the crypto industry.” He emphasized that the company’s management disagrees with the accusations and is ready to prove their case in court.
US Treasury searches for counseling experts on cryptocurrencies to address legal issues related to the industry. The US Treasury Department’s office, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, has posted two job applications for officers specialized in cryptocurrency strategy policy. The department is looking for professional experts on crimes related to digital assets. FinCEN expects these new officers to provide information on a wide range of areas, such as digital identification issues, regulatory and financial technologies.
This week Germany’s government approved a law allowing the use of blockchain technology for securities transactions. Now the paper form will be replaced by an entry either in the register maintained by the central securities depository or the custodian bank (so-called central-registered securities) or in the blockchain-based register of cryptographic securities. The new law also makes it possible to issue securities entirely in digital form.
Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the Duma Committee on financial markets and the main author of Russian legislation on cryptography, in his commentary for Parliamentary Gazette, said that in the opinion of his Committee, after the country’s first law on cryptography: “On digital financial assets” comes into force on January 1, 2021, there will be a massive and rapid issue of tokens. According to Aksakov, many large companies were applying to the Committee to keep up with the process of adoption, which shows that they are ready to issue stablecoins.
Juan Guiado, the leader of the opposition to the regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, held an “unofficial” referendum — millions of people participated in voting based on blockchain. The referendum was supposed to decide whether Maduro should step down or remain in power. Over 6.5 million Venezuelans voted using the pro-democratic Voatz blockchain platform. This enabled citizens to vote safely and transparently in the conditions of the pandemic.
Global cryptocurrency exchange Huobi returns to the United States, a year after they stopped their services in the country, as the company got a trust license in the state of Nevada. Huobi exited the U.S. market last year after abruptly shutting down operations in December 2019, citing regulatory concerns. A recent announcement shows that the company plans to operate in a regulated field to eliminate legal uncertainties.
Italian Banking Association (ABI), which includes 700 financial institutions, has started experiments with a digital Euro based on the blockchain. The study will examine the applicability of distributed blockchain ledger technology for such a project as well as the ways of further integration of digital Euro. The research will be conducted in two directions. Besides the infrastructure analysis, ABI will also test options for using the digital Euro, and its advantages over existing digital payment systems.
A database with information of over 270,000 users of Ledger hardware wallets, including their names and physical addresses, appeared on the RaidForums forum lately. Back in July, hackers gained access to the Ledger marketing database, which contained many emails and documents. The database included the users’ addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of the company’s customers. According to a Ledger representative, this database also leaked during the July hack. Since the attackers have access to the phone numbers, all Ledger users advised to make sure that their data was not compromised, and change their method of two-factor identification to one that is not using the telephone number.
In most cases, hackers get private keys by phishing, tricking the user into downloading a corrupted program or file, however, in this case, the vulnerability turned out to be related to a computer that was most likely controlled by hackers. On December 11, the MetaMask extension on Hugh Karp’s computer was remotely modified. On this day, he noticed that the computer screen blinked several times, but he did not pay much attention to it. On the day of the attack, he tried to get a reward for mining using MetaMask, which brought out a fake transaction. The transaction showed on the Ledger device, but the Nexus Mutual app did not send a confirmation. Karp described the attack in detail hoping other users would be more cautious and not fall for such bait.
The co-founder and CEO of HandCash, Alex Agut, shares his opinion on the tokenization of Bitcoin, talks about projects, and makes predictions for 2021 in an interview for Coingeek.
Last fall, Virgil Griffith, former Ethereum’s developer, was arrested after holding a presentation in North Korea, in which, according to the US Prosecutor’s office, he told how to avoid US economic sanctions with the help of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. The US authorities considered this a violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison. The defendant’s lawyers have previously filed a motion to dismiss the claim, because of the public availability of information voiced by Griffith during the presentation. The court made no decision on that motion. The trial will begin in September 2021, Griffith is released on bail and is under house arrest.
The new hedge fund of the former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci invested $25 million in Bitcoin. According to Scaramucci, he trusts Bitcoin as a hedge asset and sees it as a promising investment for the next decade. He also expects that the structure of the new fund will help investors to get simpler access to Bitcoin and to avoid overpayments.
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Originally published at https://coinjoy.io.