Top Stories This Week
CEO of Defunct Mt. Gox Exchanges Faces 10 Year Jail Sentence Over Embezzlement
Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of now-defunct Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, could be facing a 10-year jail sentence over charges of embezzlement. Karpeles, who headed the exchange during the major hack in 2014 that resulted in the loss of 850,000 BTC ($2.87 billion at press time), has denied any wrongdoing. Prosecutors in a Tokyo court this week have claimed that Karpeles had stolen around $3 million worth of funds from the exchange, in a case not connected to the hack.
Only Two ASIC Mining Rigs Remain Profitable in Current Crypto Markets
During this week’s cryptocurrency market crash, crypto mining machines are having trouble making a profit for their operators, according to data from a mining profitability site. At one point this week, ASICMinerValue.com — which calculates real-time profitability for ASIC miners — found that only two were currently making any profit. Both of the profit-reaping miners were released in October 2018 and were making $0.58 and $0.21 in profits at the time. At press time, however, more than just these two miners are now in the green.
Canadian City of Calgary Launches Digital ‘Calgary Dollar’ for Intracity Transactions
The Canadian city of Calgary, located in the province of Alberta, has launched its own digital currency: the Calgary Dollar. The digital currency will allow citizens, using an app on their devices, to support small businesses and nonprofits by keeping funds within the city. The Calgary Dollar can be used at shops and restaurants that participate in the program and can be earned in various ways, such as by inviting friends to the app or posting an ad for goods and services priced in the digital currency.
US SEC Chairman Speaks Positively of Initial Coin Offerings as Capital Raising Tool
The chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, said this week that initial coin offerings (ICOs) “can be effective” instruments for raising capital. During a speech given this week, Clayton noted that there are a “number of concerns” related to ICOs, but that they can be effective ways to raise capital providing that securities laws are followed. Clayton also mentioned the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), which will facilitate the agency’s involvement in fintech.
Samsung Refutes Rumors of Plans to Add Crypto Cold Wallet on Galaxy S10 Smartphone
Korean-headquartered transnational tech conglomerate Samsung has refuted rumors this week that it plans to launch a crypto cold wallet on its Galaxy S10 smartphone. The rumors began after the company filed three European Union trademarks for blockchain and cryptocurrency software. SamMobile confirmed to Cointelegraph that the trademarks are part of the development of a Samsung proprietary cold wallet, which “may be launched” with the Galaxy 10 smartphone.
Cypherpunks Co-Founder Tim May Passes Away of Natural Causes
Timothy C. May, the co-founder of Cypherpunks, died of natural causes this week, as reported by a Facebook eulogy posted by cypherpunk Lucky Green. May is the author of “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto,” where he seemingly predicted some of the ways that governments would regulate the use of cryptocurrencies in the future, as in citing “national security concerns,” use by drug dealers, and “fears of social disintegration.” The Facebook eulogy notes that May co-founded the group along with Eric Hughes and John Gilmore in 1992.
Winners and Losers
The top three altcoin gainers of the week are Bolenum (BLN), Vestoria (VSTR) and SURETY (SURE). The top three altcoin losers of the week are BitF (BITF), KWH Coin (KWH) and DACH Coin (DACH).
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“I believe that ICOs can be effective ways for entrepreneurs and others to raise capital. However, the novel technological nature of an ICO does not change the fundamental point that, when a security is being offered, our securities laws must be followed,” — Jay Clayton, United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman
“We’re totally at home in winter,” — Tyler Winklevoss, speaking about the crypto bear market
“The audience is more sober now—the drug is gone. [...] But it’s not going to zero. We’re at the methadone clinic,” — Mike Novogratz, founder of Galaxy Digital
Prediction of the Week
Tom Lee: Bitcoin’s Fair Value Price Could Reach as High as $150,000
Crypto bull and co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors Tom Lee said this week that Bitcoin’s (BTC) “fair value” is much higher than its current price. In a note from this week, Lee also said that the coin’s fair value is between $13,800 and $14,800, also adding that the value could reach as high as $150,000. Lee added: “In fact, working backwards, to solve for the current price of Bitcoin, this implies crypto wallets should fall to 17 million from 50 million currently.”
FUD of the Week
China: Central Bank Governor Defines STOs as ‘Illegal Financial Activity’ in the Country
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, highlighted the illegality of security token offerings (STOs) in the country in a statement this week. Pan Gongsheng reportedly told a summit in Beijing this week that both STOs and ICOs were “rampant” in the mainland, despite the “nationwide clean-up” of the crypto markets in China last year. In regard to the “STO business” in China, Gongsheng added that cryptocurrencies are still associated with crime.
Major Stablecoin Profit Basis to Shut Down and Return Funds to Investors
Major U.S.-based stablecoin project Basis will shut down operations and return most of its funds to investors. The algorithmic stablecoin project will return the majority of its $133 million in funding that it raised during a private placement in April, according to a report.
Bloomberg later reported that Basis CEO Nader Al-Naji confirmed that the impetus to close the project came from regulatory concerns over a type of token in Basis — as well as other algorithmic stablecoins — a system known as a “secondary token,” which helps keep the coin’s price stable. Al-Naji noted that there was no way to “escape” classification as a security.
Head of Largest Romanian Crypto Exchange Arrested for Fraud on US Warrant
Vlad Nistor, the CEO of Romania's largest crypto exchange, Coinflux, was reportedly arrested on a warrant from the U.S. for fraud, organized crime and money laundering. Coinflux is an online digital currency trading platform, with reportedly more than 200 million euro worth of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) in transactions. Nistor was allegedly arrested in Romania at the behest of the U.S.
After this arrest, CoinFlux posted an announcement about a temporary suspension of all digital currency exchanges, noting that the investigation has also restricted its access to some parts of the platform.
Best Cointelegraph Features
Cointelegraph explores how Europe is orienting itself toward blockchain and digital ledger technology as a whole. Looking at several initiatives, including the European Blockchain Partnership and the blockchain-based healthcare project, the analysis examines how Europe is working to become a “global leader” in DLT.
In this analysis, Cointelegraph looks at how different companies and areas in the food industry use blockchain technology to bring transparency to their food chains, and why the traditional use of blockchain doesn’t always work here.