An investigation by BBC’s Russian arm has revealed audio recordings which show that the cryptocurrency worth $450M that went missing from cryptocurrency exchange Wex in 2018 may have been transferred to accounts held by Russia’s spy service Federal Service Bureau (FSB).

The BBC stumbled upon the audio recordings while probing the BTC-e exchange, which was shut down by FBI over allegations it was involved in a money-laundering operation worth $4 billion. The recording centers around a Russian billionaire Konstantin Malofeev who is under US sanctions for financing the Russian army’s offensive in Ukraine and Wex founder Alexey Bilyuchenko who was also Co-founder of BTC-e.

The phone calls were recorded in April 2018. The audio transcripts reveal that Malofeev had urged Moscow to bring Wex under its control following which FSB officers summoned Bilyuchenko to their headquarters in Moscow and coerced him to handover details of all cold wallets on Wex. Using these details, over 30,000 BTC and 700,000 Litecoins, along with other cryptocurrencies, were transferred from the cold wallets. The total amount of cryptocurrencies transferred was $450 mn. FSB officers told Bilyuchenko that the money would go to the FSB Russia Fund.

The revelations raise several questions about transparency in the cryptocurrency sector. Bilyuchenko should not have been allowed to start Wex after BTC-e was shut over money-laundering charges. A more robust regulatory framework would have prevented such oversight. It also raises questions over the security of cryptocurrency accounts. For all its vaunted decentralization, a single person had access to thousands of digital wallets. He has to hand over these details either under coercion or under some other influence, and voila, we hit the jackpot.

According to US cryptocurrency exchanges, XRP is a security. The council of Crypto Ratings gave XRP, a good ⅘ on being a perfect security asset. The San Francisco-based Ripple, specializing in blockchain remittance, had traded XRP tokens as well as the token interests prior to the utility’s existence. Also, Ripple had endorsed XRP. This implied that the firm demonstrated the reliability of the asset in long-term opportunities for investments.

Coinbase is considered to be on an expansion drive. The exchange recently released its platform supporting XRP trading for its users in New York.

Ripple, summed up CRC, in security linguistics while promoting XRP. None the less, the development of the asset and its usage remains decentralized. The council reminded:

The score does not reflect a legal conclusion and is no indication of the qualitative value of an asset or suitability for investment or any other purpose.

CRC is a US regulatory backed up cryptocurrency exchange, that includes names like Circle, Kraken, and Coinbase. This maintains XRP’s alignment with the securities standards as consolidated by the SEC, along with “Framework for Investment Contract of Digital Assets.”

The council validated Ripple’s in house asset with the statements by officials of SEC, ruling out its odds to be a security asset.

The report from the Wall Street Journal said that the US exchanges of virtual currencies require an understanding on which tokens are pertinent to be on the list and which are not, on their platforms for trading. This need has led to a unification of CRC, as a council that studies and categorizes the cryptocurrencies according to their status of securities’. These firms said that they might go wrong on the methods that they resort to, to analyze these cryptocurrencies. Hence, firms who believe that the score of their token is wrong can face a dispute.

It’s our hope the SEC will view this as a positive step,” said Mary Beth Buchanan, the general counsel at Kraken, adding that their report shows “the SEC what each exchange is doing to come to a decision.

Ripple, is also fighting the battle on legal forefronts with the investors accusing the firm of trading the “unregistered securities.” The CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, also repudiated the accusations, saying that XRP is exclusive of Ripple, a  has just managed to develop a technology that employs the asset in making cross-border transactions.

Financial institutions and Insurance companies by implementing blockchain based solutions within their organization will definitely advance their solutions and offer fast and reliable services to its customers. More and more financial organization are approaching to blockchain technology and experimenting with it to develop unique solutions. The analyst expects blockchain technology will revolutionize financial institutions across the world.

Blockchain technology secures the data on insurance and provides more accurate information. Insurance firms mostly use blockchain technology to enhance their quality, transparency, and accessibility of insurance data. It offers amazing tools for insurance firms to exchange and share data.

An Insurance technology company, named BlockClaim, successfully received funding of worth $627,000 (approx. €500,000) for developing its claims solution powered by blockchain. Official blog post, the statement read on 17th June 2019, stated.

The Insurance Company did not generate the fund from a single firm; instead, various capital venture companies helped the insurance company to raise such a hefty amount. The capital venture firms that have contributed towards the funding are namely, Pragmatica- a software company, Amadeus Capital Partners, angel investors, and others.

BlockClaim on its website mentioned, the insurance firm makes use of secret blockchain technology to simplify the claims procedure. By using the private blockchain technology features, enables the firm to maintain clean and accurate data, increases the processing time, and also scales up to the visibility of claim within the ecosystem.

According to insurance firm information, BlockClaim utilizes blockchain based technology to computerize its claiming techniques. Adding more to this, the insurance firm mentions the product decreases the claim cost by almost 20 percent and also enables for quick settlements.

The blockchain based product of the firm apparently uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology that allows the company to detect fraud. For example, the post states, the blockchain platform of BlockClaim utilizes image recognition tool of an artificial intelligence module, and this will examine the images registered in vehicle accident claims are appropriately representing the defective vehicle in question.

The features that will be added to the blockchain AI system are self-learning fraud detection and intelligent claims routing.

Earlier to this, another leading insurance company Legal and General had partnered with the leading e-commerce firm Amazon so as to use its blockchain platform to develop a blockchain system for corporate pensioners.

The CEO of Legal and General Reinsurance, Thomas Olunloyo stated the usefulness of blockchain technology to achieve its objectives saying, the blockchain platform of Amazon enables information and transaction to sign, record and maintain them in a permanent and secure manner for the lifetime of contracts. The lifetime of these contracts might be for 50 years or more.

Currently, BlockFi is winning more attention in the cryptocurrency market, and it is not the first lending startup firm in the market. Meanwhile it is also facing some heat from community members.

BlockFi is based in New York and is a verified bank moneylender that provides loans in USD to crypto asset owners who secure the loan along with their crypto resources. The products of crypto asset owner provide more liquidity to the blockchain resource segment and also resolve issues of the people and institutions maintaining blockchain resources.

BlockFi was established in 2017 and started making fiat loans in January 2018, along with crypto collateral. In recent time, the company had gained a lot of attention when the company introduced an interest-bearing deposit account. The BlockFi product invites investor offering returns of up to 6.2 percent per year for maintaining their bitcoin or any other digital currency. BlockFi holds Ether and Bitcoin of users with a registered executive and issues loans to their specific bank’s accounts in USD. As of now, the product of BlockFi is operating in the beta version which provides loans to retail financial experts and organizations of the US.

The main objective of the BlockFi is to offer liquidity, productiveness and transparency to the digital markets.

The product as of now seems to be getting an attraction. The founder and CEO of BlockFi, Zac Prince said that more than 35 million dollars of crypto have been deposited by the users and 80 percent of the deposit is in bitcoin, into their interest-bearing accounts ever since when the beta testing of the product was started in January. Out the total $35 million, almost $25 million was collected after March 5 launch.

Caitlin Long, Wall Street veteran said that depositing crypto with BlockFi will allow people to open themselves to risk. BlockFi may open itself to legal problems in some parts of the US as well.

Few others said that the deposits are not secured because they are not in the bank, the advantage is limited to 6.2 percent, and if the BlockFi fails, then your setback is 100 percent.

Although the controversies over the products have signalled that there is clear market interest in the product.

Objectives of BlockFi

  1. The important feature of the product is the ability to use one’s crypto portfolio as security for loans. The loan interests are moderate along with flexible repayments plans.
  2. BlockFi is the lending system that is designed with high-security standards which are important when controlling cryptocurrencies. The team that is handling the system is highly professional who have involved themselves a lot in digital funds.

BlockFi as of now is providing two types of products to retail customers namely, cryptocurrency based loans and interest accounts funded by crypto. With the help of the loans, the customers can borrow US dollar for a period of one year at an interest of 4.5 percent by depositing Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ether as a guarantee. The customer can only borrow up to 50 percent on the crypto’s worth, promised at that time.

In a movement that is intended to put an optimistic turn on the Bitcoin ETF state of affairs, European Union supervisory bodies have affirmed that they possibly will decrease the regulatory stress on cryptocurrencies if in case a Bitcoin ETF notices proper support.

The European Fiscal Advisory team had previously supposed that cryptocurrencies might be a risk to investors and the existence of marketplace reliability. The statement notifies:

“These concerns are not distinctive to crypto assets dealing platforms; they might be aggravated in the matter of crypto-assets as a result of their elevated cost instability as well as frequent down liquidity.”

The statement additionally requests home governments to not consider cryptocurrencies as legal as a result of their instability and the reality that they are not fiscal tools. In the exact phrase, the entity has, in addition, suggested a standardized method to put an order to cryptocurrencies. There exist more than a few associations which encompass an enthusiastic concentration in the Bitcoin ETFs, and the chief association is the Winklevoss brothers-operated, i.e., Gemini exchange.

In recent times, the Winklevoss affirmed that the Securities and Exchanges Commission of the US was looking out for additional marketplace supervision and security in the market. Cameron Winklevoss stated:

“We are fully aware of the commission’s worries. We have listened to them clearly, and they are mainly looking out for extra marketplace supervision and security in the market to keep away from, put off against calculating activities and other similar movements. Therefore, Gemini has constructed a marketplace supervision squad.”

The brothers in addition discussed upon the setting up of the Virtual Commodity Association, an individual-regulatory association for the cryptocurrency business in the U.S. The Winklevoss brothers additionally stated that we are required to put everything in the right order and therefore were eager to acknowledge the reality that we need to do our groundwork and be prepared at all levels.”

In the similar phase, the Bitcoin ETF, also, encompasses its critic, and the latest one is the CSO of CoinShares. Meltem Demirors and the CSO had stated that the SEC is not going to authorize the Bitcoin ETF. He additionally supposed:

“I believe citizens fail to remember that the SEC along with CFTC is public selected, and these are nothing less than political spots. And therefore in this present class of tie, where you enclose the Democratic House along with the Republican Senate, you observe some conflicting instances. Present are extremely diverse viewpoints on fiscal modernization, and what is required to take place however I believe that currently, it won’t be advantageous to authorize an ETF.

A year ago, in December 2017, when Bitcoin was at its pinnacle and nearly came to $20,000, everyone was extremely excited for the main digital currency developing, yet for recent months, the digital currency crash has drawn out the rationalists. Truth be told, the progressing Crypto Winter is a sound purifying of the environment because the redress is successfully isolating long-term value traders from short-term investors. The individuals who are searching for the quick benefit with low investment are the momentary, short-term informal investors, and then again, individuals with sensible investment and patience are the profit makers. Moreover, when the Crypto Winter is over, and Crypto Spring arrives, cryptographic money will lead the business sectors as Institutional Capital.

As per the experts, there are a few purposes behind financial specialists to trade digital currency across 2018 and in 2019, preceding it replaces fiat cash and turn into the principal method of payment around the globe. A few reasons are:

U.S. controllers have been produced about crypto lately

Financial experts and investors in the U.S., and over the world, have understood that cryptographic money is the future and it will be broadly acknowledged in the market. Bitcoin as the real cash can replace the fiat money and turn into the main method of payment. After these perceptions, Government specialists and controllers have been exceptionally productive about crypto. Numerous Governments have authoritatively reported and endorsed digital currency and have made changes in their legislation when required, to best suit the client. Numerous Governments have been charging tax on digital currency and amenities gave against crypto. Governments are exceptionally hopeful about the selection of crypto in the market. With this Flexible conduct three issues should be considered:

  • Identifying those people who have been cheating financial specialists with fake ICOs (Initial coin contributions).
  • Defining the contrasts between utility tokens and security tokens.
  • Working with crypto organizations to make proper regulations to ensure financial specialists without harming Innovation.

Generally speaking, the industry and controllers are going the right way; however, it could take a couple of more years before they create basic measures. Tighter regulation will handle a significant number of the crypto scams which have ceased investment, as every single new coin and Investment openings should adhere to the specific criteria.

Functional quality of blockchain arrangements

The basic innovation of blockchain isn’t just the foundation of the digital currency world; it is doing as such considerably more behind the scene than any of us truly give an acknowledgment for. Blockchain innovation is changing the world at a quick pace. With its entry in 2008 after the coming of Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper, the innovation has been taken care with massive demand both for improvement and commercialization. Over the coming ten years, businesses across banking, horticulture, supply chain administration and information, will use the blockchain to enhance productivity. The developing impact of the blockchain and its innovation is changing the manner in which individuals are working together. Blockchain and its innovation arrangements are achieving things that just the most energetic geeks could have envisioned.

Cryptographic forms of money give an interesting and attractive blend of profits and unpredictability

Digital currency is presently the business that grows day by day, and nobody will be unconcerned. It’s never again only digital money. It’s a huge speculation opportunity that pulls in consideration of the Government’s, vast associations and big business ventures like Walmart. Similarly, as with any investment, you have to keep concentrated on the long-term feasibility. On the off chance that you wind up fixated on smaller scale examination, each variation in cost will make you stress that you’ve made the wrong decision. This could make you panic, to sell at a lower cost than you got it for when in all actuality, holding until the point that the value recovered, and afterward went significantly higher, would have been the more intelligent move.

Cryptographic money prospects, subsidiaries, and forward contracts are picking up acceptance

After the Governments and administrative experts around the world have acknowledged cryptographic money, investors are drawing closer to Bitcoin as a progressively reasonable Investment opportunity, expanding the digital currency luminosity and credibility at the standard level, and prevailing upon the trust of numerous individuals who suspected that crypto is only an air bubble. Besides, regulated trades like LedgerX, Binance, and Coinbase are decreasing the risks, boosting liquidity, and attracting progressively institutional speculators to the digital currency market.

Administrative endorsement for a crypto ETF is most likely inevitable

There is a conspicuous requirement for a part or a market-based trade exchanged reserve to enable financial specialists to diversify risks. A few crypto organizations, for example, Gemini and Bitwise, have petitioned for crypto ETFs, though up until now, regulators have not affirmed any. Moreover, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may move its position. The organization is presently progressively worried about controlling frauds that propose ETFs as opposed to the ETFs themselves. We trust that SEC could support a crypto ETF.

Expansive money related Institutions are pushing forward with crypto commodities

Crypto resources have drawn the attention of institutional financial specialists. Extensive Institutions, for example, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, and Blackrock have begun to create cryptographic money items and the basic Blockchain technology. Apparently, Goldman Sachs is near launching a Bitcoin trading work area. Fidelity came out with crypto funds a year back and is effectively assembling groups for crypto care and other related services. Blackrock, the world’s biggest venture executives’ firm, as of late reported plans to put resources into the Bitcoin in the near future. We hope to see more organizations enter this industry and offer an assortment of crypto-based derivative items.

According to a survey conducted by the United States Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Fintech could be a potential threat to the current economy.

Recently, DTCC conducted a risk survey in which around twenty percent of the respondents to the “DTCC Systemic Risk Barometer,” believes fintech to be among the systematic risks for the 2019 global economy. The result has gone up in comparison to last year’s fifteen percent.

Stephen Scharf, DTCC’s Managing Director and Chief Security Officer talks about an increasing concern of the potential risks and the need for evaluation of both positive and negatives outcomes associated with fintech initiatives. At a press meet, he reiterated on the fact that as the industry continues to acknowledge the fintech innovations like artificial intelligence, cloud solutions, and blockchain as part of the current economic system, the regulators have to see that these innovations do not put the safety and security of the current global financial marketplace at risk.

Traditional finance has often expressed concerns on the usage of cryptocurrency and its associated technology behind it – the blockchain. As per a leading publication in the United States, a top executive from a financial institution in Europe defined Bitcoin as the nemesis of 2008 global economic breakdown.

Earlier this month, the CEO of a major investment management firm said the possessions associated with crypto trading should be banned during a panel meeting in London. Now it is left to the crypto regulators to look into the adverse effects from such trading and bring in new regulations if any.

Yes, you heard it right, on Nov. 12, the gaming hardware manufacturer- Razer wants its customer to mine cryptocurrency for them. The interested gamers are to do download this software called- ‘SoftMiner program’ which will allow them to mine cryptocurrency with the computing power of the customers’ personal computers.

Well, here comes the twist- nope, the customers who will generate the cryptocurrency will not get to keep the digital currency, and interestingly neither the company (Razer) will get its hands on it. Then who gets to keep the mined cryptocurrency and what is the benefit of all this, right? Well here is where the plot gets clearer.

The Cryptocurrency will be rolled to another platform called ‘GammaNow.’ Razer has recently partnered with GammaNow. In lieu of the mining and providing the computing power of their personal computers, the customers get a fee to permit this mining by Razer. This fee will be offered in the form of loyalty points called ‘Silver.’ The customers/ gamers can redeem the ‘Silver’ loyalty points in the form of a discount on the Razor products and service. It is indeed a unique mix of the gaming world and the cryptocurrency landscape.

GammaNow will manage the cryptocurrency generated on the Razor’s mining software on the customers’ machines. These cryptocurrencies will include Ether (ETH), other native tokens of Ethereum Blockchain, among other tokens.

“The cryptocurrency that is being mined through this program is not touching Razer’s hands nor the user’s hands. We get a fee from the third party for generating cryptocurrency,” as per Kevin Allen (a Razer spokesperson, on a telephonic conversation.)

The GammaNow in lieu of mining cryptocurrency through the mining software is offering the customers ‘Gamma Points.’ These points can be redeemed in the form of rewards such as skins, and e-sports tickets.

In an email, Razer explained that GammaNow is taken over the loyalty points called ‘Silver’ from Razor. GammaNow will, therefore, reward the customers directly through their platform. The email further said- ‘GammaNow is handling the immediate sale of what cryptocurrency is mined.’

This arrangement by Razor to set foot in the cryptocurrency landscape and pooling in the customers through mutual benefits is stirring two kinds of reactions. It is stirring both agitation and confusion because of the convoluted nature of the arrangement. Since mining cryptocurrency is a heavily resourced demanding process, as it involves exhaustive usage of graphics cards as well as takes up a lot of electricity during the long computing mining time; customers are not in fully confident stance for this novel proposal by Razer. The bargain questions the psychological satisfaction of customers after giving in their computers for crunching computing process on a literally 24/7 basis, for generating cryptocurrency that they won’t even get their hands on. The appropriateness of the ‘Silver’ rewards is, therefore, being questioned and weighed again and again.

Razer also announced another aspect to this arrangement. Razer introduced ‘Razer Cortex.’ It is a performance booting desktop application. The idea behind this application is to up the performance of the ‘SoftMiner’ software. This app should help the customers to mine more and more cryptocurrency in order to get more and more Silver Rewards. The mining will also depend on the type of graphics card and computing time a customer can afford.

With reference to the newness of the cryptocurrency mining Allen said, “This is something that if it has a lucrative business model will stay.”

Fidelity, the fourth largest asset management firm is expanding their investment from Bitcoin to other crypto assets in the crypto industry. The head of Fidelity Digital Assets, Tom Jessop has expressed his opinion regarding the extension of the company assets and stated that the company is analyzing the demand along with the performance of the top five leading cryptocurrencies in the market and considering expansion of their asset base to other assets.

The Fidelity executive expressed his opinion at the Block FS Conference conducted in New York. He said that there is a great demand for the next top 4⎯5 cryptos by order of their market capitalization. He was quoted as saying “I think there is demand for the next four or five in rank of market cap order. So, we will be looking at that.”

Meanwhile, the major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs ($70 billion) and State Street ($27 billion) are eagerly waiting for more transparency in dealing with regulatory issues and customer demand for the cryptocurrency. 

The cryptocurrency market is not performing well from the past eleven months due to which the values have fallen by around 85% and hence, the demand for cryptocurrencies is experiencing a significant downtrend since this January. 

However, the addition of other assets by Fidelity will need restructuring in their custodian services and changes in their infrastructure which will in turn create enough demand from the institutional investors, and thereby, help support the dipping product. 

Purchasing cryptocurrencies can be a multifaceted procedure. Novices to the trade can be effortlessly postponed by the number of ladders and due assiduousness wanted to begin their speculation trip. That’s where Singapore-based KuCoin needs to make a change.

Michael Gan CEO and co-founder self-confessed that it’s more complex to invest in cryptocurrencies than in old-style monetary assets such as bonds and stocks. He’s on an assignment to make cryptocurrency interchange “nearby to the multitudes by contributing a user-friendly podium.

KuCoin has augmented it operates so it can offer 24/7 client provision in Chinese and English through social messaging app Telegram. At presently supports 12 dissimilar languages, as Gan exposed that language is a chief barrier for numerous dealers.

Nowadays, KuCoin proclaimed the close of a US$20 million series an overweight from IDG Capital, Matrix Partners, and Neo Global Capital (NGC). The business now ranks 49th in the biosphere in terms of interchange volume at US$23.9 million and entitlements to have over 5 million listed users.

Gan became engrossed in bitcoin mining throughout his academic days. After rolling from Chengdu University in 2010, he and his co-founders lodged on an in-depth blockchain research, which provided them the impression for KuCoin. They happening to shape the platform’s building in 2013.

The business finally started its business in 2017, selecting to list in Singapore. The city-state is home to its fair share of crypto exchanges, such as Kryptos-X, iStok, EurekaPro, and Coinhako. Gan even informed that severer rules and occasionally even absolute bans are among the main tests faced by cryptocurrency trading trades. Numerous markets like China are very down on crypto exchanges. Though, Singapore has taken a somewhat hands-off method in regulating manufacturing.

With the new funding, KuCoin plans to expand its business globally in hopes of increasing its user base. It is exploring several new markets including Vietnam, Turkey, Italy, and Russia as well as Spanish-speaking countries. KuCoin aims to have a total of 10 global communities up and running by the second quarter of 2019.

To do this, the company will tap into the network and expertise of its new investors. It will leverage IDG Capital’s marketing power, as well as Matrix Partners’ resources and support. Crypto asset investor NGC, on the other hand, will help connect KuCoin to other promising blockchain projects it invested in to form synergies.

KuCoin will also invest heavily in its blockchain training center. Already operational, the center is aimed at addressing the talent gap in the industry by training people to become blockchain developers, programmers, and engineers, as well as data scientists.

KuCoin is also improving its platform’s security system and totaling many features to see clients difficulties. Like most crypto exchanges, KuCoin originates its income from trading dues. Scheduled for launch in 2019, KuCoin 2.0 will present a new fee construction to incentivize its customers.

“The charges of the trading will differ based on customers’ trading volumes. This means the more you trade, the more trading fee discount you can enjoy,” said Gan.