SVK CRYPTO PODCAST 103 – Exclusive interview with O3 Network!

Welcome to the SVK Crypto, 15 Minutes of Crypto Fame, brought to you by your host, Charles Storry. We provide daily cryptocurrency content and analysis on topics such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins and ICO’s.

We not only produce our daily content we feature CEO’s of all exciting ICO’s! Stay tuned to find out more!

In today’s episode we speak to the Co-Founder of O3 Network, Apisit Toompakdee. We discuss the launch of their mobile NEO wallet, getting sponsored by the NEO council and more! 



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Top Crypto News – 16/03/2018

So Long ICOs, Hello Airdrops: The Free Token Giveaway Craze Is Here


Imagine getting $1,000 just for joining a newsletter.

Well that’s effectively what happened for those that subscribed to Onchain’s newsletter early on in the project’s lifecycle. The company, which is building the Ontology network designed to connect real-world institutions to each other, gave 1,000 of its “ont” crypto tokens to people who signed up for its newsletter prior to a certain date.

Those crypto tokens were distributed earlier this month and are now trading for a little over one dollar per coin, according to CoinMarketCap.

“Ontology just raised a private round and then didn’t need to do a [public] crowdsale, so they just airdropped to eager NEO hodlers,” Keld van Schreven, a partner at blockchain investment company Kryptonite1, told CoinDesk.

Van Schreven’s comment speaks to a broader trend in the cryptocurrency space of token issuers raising the money they need in private initial coin offerings (ICOs) and then skipping the public sale for what’s being called an airdrop. Effectively these are just token giveaways to broader interested community members

Justin Schmidt of Translunar VC has seen the same trend, telling CoinDesk:

“As a non-accredited investor, it is proving to be very difficult to find public sales to participate in until the tokens are traded on an exchange.”

Whereas the idea around public sales was that the people who buy in are those that understand the platform’s value and will promote the token, airdrops look to accomplish a similar goal, yet expecting that if people hold tokens, they’ll be interested in seeing the network, and the token’s price, grow and promote the platform just the same.

An internet search for “airdrops” or “free tokens” yields lots of websites, subreddits and Telegram channels that people can follow to gather up crypto tokens. And there’s even a Pokémon Go imitator under development that would allow companies to distribute free tokens to people playing an augmented reality game.

But these airdrops might not only be about building a community but likely also have something to do with an uncertain regulatory environment.

For instance, in the U.S., many ICO issuers and investors have become convinced that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will eventually declare that all crypto tokens are securities and as such, need to be registered under those already established and cumbersome laws.

But even outside the U.S., completing know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance for public sales takes a substantial amount of work and time.

Speaking to token issuers stepping away from public sales, Minhui Chen, a partner at Global Blockchain Innovative Capital (GBIC) told CoinDesk, “Raising money from private sales is so easy.”

Tokens, away!

According to Althea Allen, ecosystem relations at payments startup OmiseGo, said her company pioneered the airdrop concept on ethereum in August last year, after announcing it would airdrop its “omg” tokens to every wallet that held more than 0.1 ETH.

OmiseGo decided to do an airdrop to raise awareness about the project, but Allen spoke to the broader benefits of airdrops, saying, “The real value of ethereum projects doing airdrops to all ETH holders is that it’s a crypto economic mechanism designed to incentivize ethereum project communities to maintain alignment with the entire ethereum community.”

The omg token’s price has since been volatile (many crypto tokens are), but it has trended up overall.

Yet because of the ease to airdrop, many, including van Schreven, think crypto wallets are starting to feel “like spam in email.”

Indeed, in China, many people refer to these offerings as “candy,” Chen said, continuing:

“Low quality projects are taking advantage of airdrops to make a fake community.”

And Schmidt echoed that, saying, “Not having the choice to decline these airdrops can, in my opinion, cause some issues in the future.”

As such, many investors, who nonetheless support the larger phenomenon, also believe the mechanism could be used more effectively.

Brayton Williams of Boost VC, a fund that favors crypto projects with a strong focus on community, thinks issuers could do a better job of targeting with airdrops. For example, he’d like to see issuers focus airdrops on people based on geography, demographics, etc. to cultivate the best market for the future platform.

Williams told CoinDesk:

“Airdrops combine the best of paid referral programs with stock options. Potential users get paid for joining or using the network and have the potential upside if the network increases in value.”

Some crypto companies are taking heed of this advice.

Swarm, a blockchain for tokenizing private equity, just announced a few airdrop promotions, two of which encourage referrals, although by far the largest token sale on the platform is one that just drops tokens to existing cryptocurrency holders.

And (formerly has offered a standalone product for startups to distribute tokens directly to its members since the end of January. Startups that want access to members pay small amounts of bitcoin to get users to sign up. But many are willing to pay a fee since the company validates every member, linking a wallet to one distinct person.

“The unique thing that offers really is the validation side of things,” Dave Bean, from’s sales team, told CoinDesk.

He added that while many platforms that allow token issuers to airdrop might have a lot of email addresses, many individuals could be gaming the system by signing up multiple times with different addresses.

Firewall USA

That said, issuers in the U.S. are still skittish about doing airdrops to promote platforms.

Stream, a blockchain-based video streaming platform, dropped a public sale that was on its roadmap for an airdrop (and subsequent airdrops to cement adoption), but currently, the airdrop has been delayed indefinitely, because of concern that airdrops could also be in violation of securities law.

“We can’t be sure,” said Todd Kornfeldt, Of Counsel at the law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP, pointing to SEC actions from 1999 which targeted companies giving away free traditional equity.

“Perhaps the SEC thought there was some kind of quid pro quo in giving those securities away and that resulted in a benefit to the issuer,” Kornfeldt said. “And that fact pattern is similar to the fact pattern of an airdrop.”

This will definitely affect token issuers since the U.S. is the largest market both for investment and technology users.

But until the regulatory environment in the U.S. becomes more clear, token issuers may experience far less hindrance in the rest of the world.

Although some aren’t letting the regulatory environment hold them back. For instance, Onchain isn’t done using airdrops to promote its platform.

“The next community reward opportunity will be for active participation in Ontology after the release of the mainnet in Q2 2018,” Daniel Assab, a spokesperson for the company, said. “It won’t be for anything like a newsletter subscription, but no further details for now.”

Still many advise against airdrops for now.

According to Chen, “We advise [token issuers]: Don’t do airdrops. Please do public sales.”

In his mind, public sales actually engender a more authentic community. In other words, it brings in people who understand the project well enough that they’re likely to actually hold some of the tokens they buy to use in the future, instead of just dumping them on price rises.

Schmidt tends to agree, but hedges saying:

“It’s very early to see how this trend will result, but I do believe you need the actual users to have access to the tokens.”

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Three South Korean Crypto Exchanges Raided for Diverting Funds


Embezzled Funds Spent on Cryptos Elsewhere

South Korean law enforcement officials have raided three companies offering cryptocurrency exchange services, local media reported. The searches have been conducted this week after an earlier investigation into suspicious money transfers.

Three South Korean Crypto Exchanges Raided for Diverting FundsProsecutors are investigating three cryptocurrency trading platforms on suspicion of buying bitcoin with money they stole from their customers’ accounts, the Chosun Ilbo reported. The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office raided the exchanges from Monday through Wednesday, a spokesman said, quoted by the daily.

According to South Korean authorities, executives and staff are believed to have diverted funds from customers’ accounts towards their own. They were then used to buy cryptocurrencies on other exchanges. Investigators will also try to find out if the companies have raised money by defrauding potential investors.

“The firms turned up on our radar in January, during our investigation of suspicious money transfers between bitcoin exchanges”, a prosecutor explained. The transactions were detected during an audit by the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Intelligence Unit. Hard disks, transfer receipts, mobile phones, and accounting files have been confiscated during the raids.

Theft and Fraud amid Regulatory Pressures

South Korean authorities have been trying hard to put the local crypto sector under control. A new mechanism to end anonymous trading was implemented earlier this year. Its main purpose is to enforce real name identity verification on traders. The Financial Services Commission and the Korean Financial Intelligence Unit conducted inspections in leading commercial banks, targeting accounts of cryptocurrency traders. Banks had been ordered to stop issuing “virtual accounts” used by crypto exchanges to manage their clients’ money.

Three South Korean Crypto Exchanges Raided for Diverting FundsRegulating and overseeing crypto activities has proved a tough task, however. Korean officials have complained about their limited powers within the existing legal framework. Nevertheless, Seoul authorities have announced stricter requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges, including measures against crypto-related crimes. The country is home to some of the largest providers of cryptocurrency exchange services in the world.

In January, the chairman of the South Korean Fair Trade Commission admitted it was “impossible in reality” to close cryptocurrency exchanges, as reported. His comments came during an investigation of 13 major trading platforms, following alleged violations of the e-commerce law. At the same time, the local crypto sector has taken steps towards self-regulation. At least 25 crypto exchanges are participating in the efforts lead by the Korean Blockchain Association.

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Abra Mobile App Adds 20 New Cryptocurrencies and ‘Stablecoin’ Technology


The Exponential Growth of Cryptocurrencies

AbraAbra Mobile App Adds 20 New Cryptocurrencies and 'Stablecoin' Technology is a mobile platform that allows users to fund their accounts with BTC, bank wires, ACH transfers, and Amex cards. The company says in the next few weeks it will be adding litecoin and ether deposits as well. Today the company added 13 out of 20 new digital assets and the ability to swap between 50 different fiat currencies worldwide. The list of new currencies added includes litecoin, ripple, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, dash, zcash, dogecoin, vertcoin, and more.

“With the exponential growth of cryptocurrencies and their increasing importance in today’s culture, the Abra app offers a timely mobile experience that provides more access and exposure to these new digital currencies in an easy, quick and safe way,” explains Bill Barhydt, founder and CEO of Abra during the announcement.

Our goal is to empower customers around the world, using their local currencies to freely invest in a wide variety of cryptocurrencies at any time, from anywhere without the restrictions of banks and fees.

Abra Mobile App Adds 20 New Cryptocurrencies and 'Stablecoin' Technology

Stablecoin Technology

Abra notes that the platform’s users don’t have to be verified with extensive KYC background checks as all that’s required is a users phone number. The cryptocurrencies are “held directly on the user’s phone, allowing them access to their coins at any time,” says Abra. In addition to the crypto-based assets, Abra users who might want to avoid volatility can swap into 50 fiat currencies utilizing a technology developed by the firm called “stablecoin.” The stablecoin protocol allows the creation of synthetic digital assets based on LTC and BTC by utilizing a multi-sig smart contract.

The Extension of More Cryptocurrencies and Possibly Stocks, Bonds, and Other Commodities

The General Partner at Multicoin, and the co-founder of Civic, Vinny Lingham, is pleased with the Abra development team’s efforts.

“By bringing 20 cryptocurrencies onto one platform, Abra has repaired a fractured system that has frustrated users who want to expand their crypto portfolios,” Lingham emphasized.

Abra also says that in the future it plans to add more types of investment vehicles and a slew of other cryptocurrencies. “Consumers in any country can now invest in any asset class regardless of where the asset originated — This model can be extended to stocks, bonds, commodities and more with no changes to the existing Abra app,” the company adds.

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Crypto Influencers Is a Who’s Who of Crypto Twitter


If Coinmarketcap Did Twitter

Crypto Influencers Is a Who’s Who of Crypto TwitterCrypto Influencers promises “an algorithmically generated list of crypto’s most influential people on Twitter” and is as good as its word. Despite some notable omissions, it does a reasonable job of ranking major figures on crypto Twitter. It’s an exercise which is bound to provoke debate, especially in regards to who’s placed in the top 10, though there are contentious entries throughout.

There are two categories on the Crypto Influencers website: people and brands. Both can be sorted by name, website, location, followers, following, and bio. There are a few possible use cases for the service. Firstly, Crypto Influencers makes a handy guide for anyone who’s relatively new to cryptocurrency. A journalist seeking a source to quote might want to start here, or an ICO seeking project advisers or media platforms to target. The other reason why Crypto Influencers has appeal comes down to the age-old human curse of curiosity.

Curiosity Killed the Crypto

Crypto Influencers Is a Who’s Who of Crypto Twitter
Crypto’s top 10

When the short-lived ethereum game Crypto All Stars launched, the value of each influencer card turned into a matter of personal pride for the traders featured on them. It’s the same with Crypto Influencers. Did you make the top 300, and if not why not? Why’s Tuur Demeester outside the top 10 and zcash developer Zooko inside it? These questions, and many more, can all be pondered while you peruse the site.

Like Forbes’ Crypto Rich List, there’s something crass about sizing up humans based on words they type into a micro-blogging network, but that’s the way the world works. It’s as much a game of spot the absentees on Crypto Influencers as spot the big shots; there’s no John McAfee, for instance, or Bitcoin News, but there is space for an abandoned Twitter account with 900 followers for a project called Streamium.

Explaining the algorithm behind the system, the site states: “Both Justin Bieber (105M followers) and Vitalik Buterin (600k followers) are influencers. There are people who pay attention to them and are ready to act based on what they say. While Bieber has more followers, the people who follow Buterin have significantly more capitals at their disposal. Therefore, Buterin is more influential under this definition.”

No one expected Justin Bieber to make the list, though they may be wondering where’s Cobra is. Or why Chris Burniske is only 58th. Or why Jacob Appelbaum, who’s been AFK for almost a year, is on the list. Crypto Influencers’ algorithm could use some work, but as guilty pleasures go, it’s hard to shake.

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SVK CRYPTO PODCAST 102 – Exclusive interview with Glen Goodman aka The Shares Guy!

Welcome to the SVK Crypto, 15 Minutes of Crypto Fame, brought to you by your host, Charles Storry. We provide daily cryptocurrency content and analysis on topics such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins and ICO’s.

We not only produce our daily content we feature CEO’s of all exciting ICO’s! Stay tuned to find out more!

In today’s episode we speak to Glen Goodman aka The Shares Guy. He is a cryptocurrency investor and former business correspondent for the BBC and ITN. We get his views on the crypto market and how he first became interested in the space!



If you’d like to stay in touch or get more info from me, please SUBSCRIBE to the channel and spread the good word!

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Top Crypto News – 15/03/2018

Japan to Urge G20 Nations to Prevent Cryptocurrency in Money Laundering


Japan plans to urge its G20 counterparts next week to strengthen efforts to prevent cryptocurrencies from being used for money laundering, according to a government official, Reuters reported.

However, the likelihood of the G20 finance leaders to agree on specific global rules and discuss them in a joint communique are low, considering the differences in each country’s approach, the official said. Another official involved in the talks next week offered the same view.

One official said the discussion will address consumer protection and anti-money laundering measures, as opposed to cryptocurrency trading’s impact on the banking system.

G20 Officials Wary Of Strict Rules

The G20 members are reluctant to support strict regulations, the official said.

G20 Central bankers and finance ministers will meet March 19 and 20 in Buenos Aires. Cryptocurrencies is on the agenda.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a group of 37 nations set up by the G7 industrial powers to counter illicit finance, will report its finding on keeping cryptocurrencies from being used in money laundering.

Policymakers in Japan are wary that while G20 nations agree action is needed, member nations have different levels of strictness in their regulations, creating loopholes for money laundering, according to one official.

Japan was the first nation to establish a nationwide system to monitor cryptocurrency trading. The country checked on several exchanges this year following the heist of $530 million from the Coincheck Inc. exchange.

European Leaders Seek Action

Germany and France have committed to making joint proposals to regulate bitcoin. A European Union official said a short-term strategy could apply rules on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, and warn consumers about the risk of trading cryptocurrencies and prevent banks from holding them.

The challenge nations face, according to Japanese officials, is to apply regulations to prevent illicit activity and protect consumers without undermining cryptocurrency and fintech innovation.

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Soft, Hard or Velvet? New Fork Promises Crypto Upgrades Without Controversy


Velvet has always been a sign of nobility, but in the crypto space, it’s now the name adorning a new and promising way for upgrading blockchain software.

At least that’s the hype behind “velvet forks,” a mechanism for upgrading cryptocurrency code that has some high-profile crypto enthusiasts intrigued.

“We think the most interesting part is the idea that you can introduce some new concepts to permissionless blockchains without necessarily having a majority of consensus participants agree to do so,” said Imperial College London research assistant Alexei Zamyatin.

And that complex statement cuts to the core of why Zamyatin and others believe velvet forks might be beneficial.

In short, in the cryptocurrency space, there have long been two types of forks that people generally discuss – soft forks and hard forks.

While soft forks are seen as less disruptive in that they’re backwards-compatible, they can still be controversial when used to initiate changes not all cryptocurrency users agree with. Further, hard forks are generally seen in a dubious light since they can split a blockchain in two if not all users decide to update to the new rules.

With velvet forks, however, some researchers think the cryptocurrency world can get around some of the disruptive politics that generally bog down major code changes.

First coined by computer scientists working on building proofs that can potentially be used to improve sidechains, a layer-two cryptocurrency technology for pushing transactions off-chain, a velvet fork allows developers to add new rules to a blockchain without full support from the entire ecosystem.

According to Zamyatin, “It’s not rocket science. It’s a pretty simple concept.”

As such, Zamyatin and several other researchers co-authored a new paper that dives deeper into where the mechanism can be applied, which he presented during the Financial Crypto 2018 conference in Curacao at the beginning of the month.

The new paper states:

“The velvet fork […] does not require support of a majority of participants and can potentially avoid rule disagreement forks from happening altogether.”

In the wild

Simply, a fork is a way to upgrade a cryptocurrency system to support important new rules, and throughout the history of multiple cryptocurrency protocols, forks have been used often.

From the hard fork that split ethereum into a competing cryptocurrency ethereum classic to less controversial forks like the one used to move bitcoin to a new signature scheme to the ever-growing number of forks designed to not only create new cryptocurrencies with new features, but also make entrepreneurs (or scammers) substantial amounts of money, forks have become a part of life in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

But these mechanisms come with a fair amount of controversy much of the time, which is partly why Zamyatin and other academics are so interested in the velvet fork approach.

In the December 2017 paper where velvet forks were first mentioned, the mechanism is described as one that allows for “gradual deployment” without harming the miners that haven’t upgraded to the new rules. In this way, it acts similar to a soft fork in that clients that upgrade to new rules are still compatible with those that don’t.

Further, the paper states that velvet forks require “no rule modifications to the consensus layer,” what some see as advantageous since these are the rules everyone in the system needs to agree with, or everything will break.

While it hasn’t become widely-used as a way of upgrading, velvet forks exist in the wild today in various forms (although researchers argue there wasn’t an official name for the mechanism before this recent wave of research).

For example, the decentralized mining pool P2pool regularly uses a velvet fork of sorts.

Since there is no one entity (replacing that with code instead) that controls the payments dispersed to the miners of the pool for their work, the pool created a second blockchain with an easier difficulty that only miners part of the pool can contribute to. This blockchain is used to gauge how much computing power each miner is contributing, so the protocol can pay them out proportionally.

Even though the blocks generated by P2pool use these extra rules, miners that don’t play by these same rules still accept P2pool’s blocks.

As such, P2pool is an example of a “velvet fork” because the blocks (from both their proprietary blockchain and the bitcoin blockchain) live side-by-side in harmony, without causing a split.

Bias and bribery

Still, velvet forks are a potential vulnerability.

Namely, the paper describes possible ways that velvet forks could be abused by bad actors for their own gain.

For instance, say a velvet is deployed. Zamyatin’s paper describes a scenario where some miners, called “velvet miners,” upgrade to new rules while others ignore the new rules. If the blocks that the velvet miners create are somehow more lucrative than regular blocks, the paper argues other miners could be “biased towards accepting upgraded over legacy blocks.”

“This, in turn, can have an unclear impact on the security assumptions of such systems, as current attack models mostly do not assume a variable utility of blocks,” the paper continues.

And Zamyatin himself described another attack vector, which involves “selfish mining.”

Selfish mining is a process whereby miners hide the fact that they’ve found a block, keeping other miners searching for that block while they move on to searching for the next block. This gives them a head start of sorts in also winning the next block. And according to Zamyatin, velvet forks could enable new opportunities here.

He told CoinDesk:

“I can bribe people to work on my chain. There’s no guarantee that I’ll win, but it could potentially offer an incentive to deviate from the protocol rules.”

Still, more research is needed, as Zamyatin admits he isn’t sure how serious these problems are in practice.

Opening the door

But both these vulnerabilities and the thought of the changes velvet forks might enable are reasons Zamyatin wants researchers to spend more time looking into velvet forks.

Although, Zamyatin acknowledges that velvet forks aren’t a silver bullet.

“This doesn’t work for something like Segregated Witness (SegWit) of course,” he said, referring to a bitcoin code change that fueled a two-year debate in the community over the technical direction of the protocol.

That said, it’s still potentially useful for other types of changes.

Zamyatin noted that he’s looking into how it might be possible to use a velvet fork for bringing GHOST, the protocol that ethereum was originally modeled after, to bitcoin. Because it completely restructures the system to try to speed things up, it likely wouldn’t get enough support for a soft or hard fork, and as such a velvet fork where some get to opt in while staying in consensus with those that don’t could be the only way.

And velvet forks might also help breath new life into older proposed innovations.

Cornell associate professor Emin Gün Sirer, for instance, said he “very much” likes the idea of using a velvet fork for adding the long-stalled Bitcoin-NG (standing for “next-generation”) protocol, an idea he pioneered which looks to improve throughput by rearranging the bitcoin blockchain, to the cryptocurrency.

“While [the paper is] short on the details, the overall idea of adding new functionality without incurring the risks and complication of either a soft or a hard fork is quite compelling,” Sirer told CoinDesk.

And perhaps most far-fetched but interesting of all, Zamyatin believes an even bigger vision could be realized with velvet forks.

He told CoinDesk:

“You could even have multiple versions running in parallel, perhaps even compatible to each other, and all this without necessitating often controversial soft or hard forks.”

Velvet image via Shutterstock



Bitcoin Drops to $8,030 as Cryptocurrency Market Continues to Slump


The price of bitcoin dropped by over 9 percent in the last 24 hours, as it declined from around $9,100 to $8,030. The valuation of the cryptocurrency market, which hovered in the $400 billion region last week, decreased to $336 billion.

All Cryptocurrencies Decline

Today’s correction isn’t exclusive to bitcoin. All major cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Cardano, and Litecoin have declined in value, at a similar rate as bitcoin. Ethereum recorded a daily loss of 10 percent, while Ripple and Bitcoin Cash both decreased by just over 9 percent.

Some analysts have attributed the decline in price of cryptocurrencies to the ICO hearing participated by US representatives and government officials, in which several representatives including Carolyn Maloney, Representative for New York’s 12th congressional district, claimed that the cryptocurrency market is a bubble.

The negative comments of US representatives followed a report released by $81 billion investment firm Allianz, which claimed that bitcoin has no intrinsic value and therefore, could fall in price. “In our view, its intrinsic value must be zero. A bitcoin is a claim on nobody – in contrast to, for instance, sovereign bonds, equities or paper money – and it does not generate any income stream,” said the firm’s global economics and strategy head Stefan Hofrichter.

However, the lack of intrinsic argument often brought up by experts in the traditional finance industry has been refuted by both cryptocurrency and technology experts on many occasions, as CCN reported.

The combination of the US ICO hearing, Mt. Gox sell off, overall market performance over the past month, and negative media coverage are contributing to the decline in the value of the cryptocurrency market.

Currently, the media is not portraying the innovative developments being pursued within the cryptocurrency industry, especially the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies in regions like Japan and South Korea. Last week, CCN extensively reported about South Korea’s largest internet conglomerate Kakao, which operates KakaoTalk, KakaoPay, KakaoTaxi, KakaoStory, and Dunamoo (UpBit), focusing on cryptocurrency development.

In fact, after reports around Kakao integrating cryptocurrencies and introducing the asset class to 12,000 merchants, 200 million KakaoTalk users, and millions of KakaoPay and KakaoTaxi users were released, Kakao invited Cardano creator and Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson to their headquarters in Seoul.

Despite the rising adoption of cryptocurrencies and innovative developments being led by the bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and Litecoin open-source developer communities along with other blockchain projects, the lack of momentum in the price of major cryptocurrencies is fueling the price fall of bitcoin.


Today, on March 14, the price of bitcoin fell dangerously close to the $7,000 region, and given that it dipped below $8,030, it is possible that bitcoin could fall to the $7,000 mark in the short-term, which would be a steep decline from its weekly high at $11,400.

While most cryptocurrency analysts unanimously agree that bitcoin will likely recover in the mid-term, at least in the summer of 2018, it is unlikely that the price of most cryptocurrencies will spike up in the short-term.

Written by Responds to John Oliver after HBO Host Ribs EOS in Crypto Segment

Capture. published an open letter in response to Last Week Tonight host John Oliver after the comedian ribbed the company’s flagship project — EOS — during Sunday’s cryptocurrency-themed episode.

John Oliver Ribs EOS, Brock Pierce in Crypto-Themed Episode

As CCN reported, Oliver devoted an entire episode to cryptocurrency, a topic which, in his words, “combines everything you don’t understand about money” with “everything you don’t understand about computers.”

Most viewers lauded Oliver for his overall balanced take on the ecosystem, but fans of blockchain project EOS took issue with the host’s characterization of this cryptocurrency — and its mammoth initial coin offering (ICO).

Specifically, Oliver poked fun at partner Brock Pierce, an early cryptocurrency adopter known for his eccentricities.

After playing several clips of Pierce, including one in which he discussed his “unicorn wedding,” Oliver said:

“I simply refuse to believe that a man who has the time to organize a unicorn wedding at Burning Man should be trusted around one and a half billion dollars. If someone turned up to mow your lawn and gave you that exact speech you would tell them, ‘No way! I don’t trust you with my lawn.’ He’s just gonna organize a warlock quinceañera on it.”

Oliver then extended his criticism to make EOS the poster-child of the ICO craze, which has seen a variety of dubious projects raise eye-popping amounts of capital.

“Who knows? Maybe EOS is going to be the next Google. I don’t think it is, and I certainly don’t think it can be worth over a billion dollars at this point, but I could be wrong. I’m absolutely not, but I could be,” Oliver concluded.

Block.One Responds to HBO Host

On Tuesday, responded to Oliver’s segment in an open letter published on the EOS blog.

In the statement, which was addressed to “Block Chainiver” (Oliver floated changing his name to increase his ratings, much as several companies have done in an apparent bid to pump up their share prices), said that the company enjoyed the segment and agreed with his overall points about doing proper research before investing cryptocurrencies.

However, the company also pushed back a bit against his criticisms, arguing that the company’s chief technical officer — Dan Larimer — is immensely qualified as a developer, given that he has built both BitShares and Steem. It also noted that Larimer and the other EOS developers are consistently making progress on developing the EOS blockchain and that these developments can be seen on the project’s Github repository. also revealed that — prior to the Last Week Tonight segment — the company and Brock Pierce had mutually agreed to part ways as he “transitions to independent community building and investment activities.”

The company concluded its statement by acknowledging that there is room for improvement in the way in which it conducts corporate communications.

“As a growing company building value through an open source community as opposed to traditional avenues of proprietary software ownership, we are conscious of the importance of robust corporate communications,” the company said. “We take professional standards seriously and are always focused on raising the bar as our company transitions from startup to aggressive growth.”

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Privacy Coin Verge Has Its Twitter Hacked and Developer Doxed


Verge Developer Sheds Some Privacy

Twitter account hijackings, while relatively uncommon, can happen to even the largest of accounts. They’ve happened to celebs, and in the crypto space they’ve happened to smaller players like Etherdelta and now Verge. When the XVG team regained access to their account, some hours after the hack, they instantly blamed AT&T, implying that the network had allowed itself to be socially engineered and the account ported over via SIM swap. This would be less embarrassing than if it were to emerge, for instance, that the project lead had failed to use 2FA.

After the hack had occurred, the compromised Verge account sent out the following message:

Privacy Coin Verge Has Its Twitter Hacked and Developer Doxed

It’s impossible to verify the claim that 1 billion XVG (or about 6% of the total supply) were stolen, though it seems unlikely. For one reason, if the account’s new owner was sitting on that much crypto, they’d have had no need to send out their next tweet, begging followers to send a little XVG to “receive more back”. The attacker seems to have just been having some fun in a community famed for its intolerance of negativity towards Verge.

Not FUD, Just News

XVG lead developer Justin was the target of the hack, which led to his personal account, as well as the official Verge account, being compromised, and his photo ID published. The Verge family were quick to suggest that the attacker acted because they had felt “threatened” by the altcoin’s ascendancy. They also blamed Twitter for the hack, in between asserting, perhaps in jest, that verge was “the real bitcoin”.

Privacy Coin Verge Has Its Twitter Hacked and Developer Doxed

While Verge’s Twitter account hasn’t had much luck with security, it’s fared better at developing a passionate and single-minded community. Once back in charge of its own account, Verge went on to retweet messages of support, including one which referred to “continuous attacks and FUD from those wanting to do harm to the coin”. In this case, the only harm seems to have been a loss of face for the lead developer, and perhaps a few XVG to anyone who was dumb enough to send money to the wallet address provided by the hacker. At least one community member shared the offending tweet in a Verge Telegram group, under the impression that the giveaway was real.

This particular incident hasn’t ended badly, assuming no coins were stolen and it was only a Twitter account that was temporarily taken. The case serves as a reminder, though, to everyone in crypto to use 2FA and be alert to signs of SIM swapping and other forms of social engineering.

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SVK CRYPTO PODCAST 101 – Exclusive interview with the Founder of Trinity Network!

Welcome to the SVK Crypto, 15 Minutes of Crypto Fame, brought to you by your host, Charles Storry. We provide daily cryptocurrency content and analysis on topics such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins and ICO’s.

We not only produce our daily content we feature CEO’s of all exciting ICO’s! Stay tuned to find out more!

In today’s episode we speak to the Founder of Trinity Network , David Yiling Li. We discuss the launch of Trinity’s testnet, the features they will be implementing in the future and how they plan on taking NEO from 1000 TPS to 100,000 TPS. 




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Top Crypto News – 14/03/2018

Binance Is Launching Its Own Blockchain


Binance Goes It Alone

Binance hasn’t had much use for blockchain to date. Like every centralized cryptocurrency exchange, all of its action takes place off-chain, with transactions settled simply by updating the order book stored on the company’s servers. Its own BNB token is an ERC20, but doesn’t have much use for the Ethereum blockchain it lives on since its only real use case is when using the Binance platform, where BNB transactions are again settled off-chain. The only exception is customer deposits and withdrawals. On March 13, however, the company broke the news of Binance Chain, a proprietary blockchain with a range of applications.

Binance Is Launching Its Own BlockchainThree paragraphs in, the statement reads: “After extensively researching decentralized exchange frameworks and analyzing existing implementations, we believe significant improvements can be made in providing Binance users with a level of trading experience to which they are already accustomed.” This is confusingly worded, but seems to be implying that if Binance were to switch to a hybrid model, user experience would not be impacted, for the statement continues: “Centralized and Decentralized exchanges will co-exist in the near future, complementing each other, while also having interdependence.”

Buy Why Blockchain?

The reason for Binance launching its own blockchain is buried deep within the statement, but it arrives, eventually: “As a public blockchain, Binance Chain will mainly focus on the transfer and trading of blockchain assets, as well as provide new possibilities for the future flow of blockchain assets. Binance Chain will focus on performance, ease-of-use, and liquidity. Binance Coin (BNB) will be upgraded to exist on its own blockchain mainnet, becoming a native coin. At the same time, Binance will transition from being a company to a community.”

Binance Is Launching Its Own Blockchain
Changpeng Zhao

Reading between the lines, and going by a subsequent tweet from CEO Changpeng Zhao, it looks like Binance will launch a decentralized exchange that will operate alongside its existing exchange. In addition to facilitating the trade of digital assets, the DEX will likely operate as a launchpad for new coins and ICOs. Binance is a platform on the up right now, and it has earned praise for the way it has handled incidents such as the viacoin pump and dump and the unexpected downtime it was subjected to last month. It’s also got cash to splash, having already earmarked $10 million for hacker bounties this week.

Binance Is Launching Its Own Blockchain
Following today’s announcement, the price of Binance’ BNB token leapt by 25%

12 months ago, Binance was a plucky contender that could only dream of taking on the likes of Coinbase and Bitfinex. It’s now on course to become crypto’s very own Google, a turnkey solution for a complete range of cryptocurrency services. Exchanges, perhaps in a bid to future-proof themselves and fend off the rise of DEXes and atomic swaps, are broadening their offerings, be it through custodial services, proprietary blockchains, or ICO incubators. Binance users have welcomed today’s news, but will be mindful of the risks of over-centralization and reliance on a single entity, even one whose platform may soon be partially decentralized.

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Japan to Call for Crypto Rules at the G20 Summit


Stringent Regulations Won’t Be Good

Japan, a country with a proactive fintech policy, is going to urge its G20 counterparts to look into cryptocurrencies and agree on some common regulations. Japanese authorities were among the first to adopt a regulatory framework with a mechanism to oversee trading on registered cryptocurrency exchanges. Their new initiative aims at implementing international guidelines for the quickly developing crypto industry.

Japan to Call for Crypto Rules at the G20 SummitAccording to unnamed Japanese officials, quoted by Reuters, Tokyo will urge G20 members to invest more efforts in preventing the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit activities, like money laundering. Other media reports suggest that one of the sources is Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. He has shared his expectations of active Japanese involvement in the G20 discussions on cryptocurrencies and their impact on the global economy.

Differences in each country’s approach, however, are likely to limit the chances of reaching agreement on specific global rules in a joint communique, the official said. Another source confirmed that discussions will focus on anti-money laundering measures and consumer protection, and not so much on how cryptocurrencies could affect the banking system.

The general feeling among G20 members is that applying too stringent regulations won’t be good.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 will meet in the Argentinean capital on March 19-20. Other nations also plan to put forward ideas for cryptocurrency regulation. In February, high-ranking French and German officials issued a letter urging their colleagues in G20 to discuss the implications of cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin. They stressed on the need for a transnational regulatory approach and announced intentions to jointly propose regulations.

The Trick: Regulate, but Don’t Stifle

The G20 countries intend to discuss issues related to cybersecurity, the fintech sector and cryptocurrencies, Russian Deputy Minister of Finance Sergey Storchak confirmed in the beginning of March. Digitalization has been included in the agenda on ministerial level for the first time. It has been discussed previously only by experts in the Financial Stability Council, Storchak said. In his words, very few of the G20 members regard cryptocurrencies the same way they view fiat money. The Russian official predicted that the summit would most likely confirm that position.

Japan to Call for Crypto Rules at the G20 Summit

What Japan is actually worried about is that some nations have looser regulations, when it comes to cryptocurrencies and their possible use for illicit purposes. Last month, Japanese authorities carried out checks on several exchanges after the theft of over $500 million from Coincheck. They revealed almost 700 cases of possible money laundering. In Argentina, the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is expected to present a report exploring ways to prevent the use of cryptocurrencies to launder illicit funds.

According to one of the Japanese officials quoted by Reuters, “the trick will be to apply regulations to protect consumers and prevent illicit activity, without stifling innovation in the fast-growing cryptocurrency and fintech sectors”. The G20 countries account for more than 80% of the world’s gross product and trade. Next week’s meeting will demonstrate if they are ready for a measured approach towards cryptocurrency regulation.

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Coinbase Receives E-Money License from UK Financial Regulator


Easier Tax Reporting

Coinbase Launches Cryptocurrency Trading Tax Calculator
Example of FIFO vs SpecID

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has anno

unced updated tax tools, now available to make reporting easier for its traders. The services are not designed for automatic reporting but rather as a method to help clients and their real tax professionals by simplifying the work.

Traders can get a complete view of all digital asset transactions by generating a single report with all buys, sells, sends, and receives of all currencies associated with their Coinbase account. This report provides a cost basis for all purchases and proceeds for all sales, including exchange fees. This is necessary to determine gains or losses, calculated by subtracting the cost basis from the proceeds for each individual trade. Lacking a clear standard guidance from the IRS tax professionals can be creative, but two approaches are common: First in first out (FIFO) and Specific Identification (SpecID).

The company reminds clients that “In order to create a complete view of your digital asset investments, you will need to download similar reports from all other exchanges you have used.” But if you haven’t used any other exchanges, Coinbase has an extra tool just for you.

Coinbase-Only Crypto Tax Calculator

For cryptocurrency traders who have only bought or sold on Coinbase, the excahnge also now offers a new tool that automatically calculates gains or losses based on a FIFO accounting method. The company says that this tool provides a preliminary gain/loss calculation to assist its customers, but “should not be used as official tax documentation without validating the results with your tax professional.”

The company warns that you can not use this tool if you have: Bought or sold digital assets on another exchange; Sent or received digital assets from a non-Coinbase wallet; Sent or received digital assets from another exchange (including GDAX); Stored digital assets on an external storage device (i.e., Trezor, Ledger, etc.); Participated in an ICO; Previously used a method other than FIFO to determine your gains/losses on digital asset investments.

Coinbase Launches Cryptocurrency Trading Tax Calculator

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Coinbase Receives E-Money License from UK Financial Regulator


Coinbase is officially expanding digital money services in the U.K. and EU.

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority granted Coinbase an e-money license, the company announced Wednesday. The license now enables the company the ability to provide payment services and issue digital cash alternatives, which can then be used to make card, internet or phone payments.

A Coinbase spokesperson clarified that e-money is different from cryptocurrencies. As such, the license comes with stringent regulations designed to protect customers, according to the press release.

To that end, Coinbase explained:

“We are committed to making sure customer funds are always secure and this update means that our e-money operations have safeguards and operational standards at par with other regulated financial institutions. An example of this is segregation of client funds, where all customer fiat balances will be separated from Coinbase’s funds and kept in separate bank accounts.”

Notably, the FCA license allows Coinbase to operate in 23 EU member nations, though it is unclear whether the upcoming U.K. exit from the EU will affect that.

The spokesperson said that Coinbase can trade within the union until the so-called “Brexit.” If certain rules allowing the company to continue trading are not preserved, the company will have to suspend operations until a second license from a member state has been granted.

In addition to its new e-money license, Coinbase announced it was joining the U.K. Faster Payments Scheme, which aims to provide efficient bank transfers to residents. While Coinbase will launch a pilot to begin with, every U.K. customer should have access within the next few weeks, according to the release.

The push into the U.K. and EU are part of Coinbase’s efforts to meet increasing demand in the European market. To that end, the company also plans to multiply its London team by a factor of eight.

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SVK CRYPTO PODCAST 100 – Exclusive interview with the CEO of Cobinhood

Welcome to the SVK Crypto, 15 Minutes of Crypto Fame, brought to you by your host, Charles Storry. We provide daily cryptocurrency content and analysis on topics such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins and ICO’s.

We not only produce our daily content we feature CEO’s of all exciting ICO’s! Stay tuned to find out more!

In today’s episode we speak to the CEO and Founder of Cobinhood, Popo Chen. We discuss how Cobinhood have developed since their ICO and what plans they have for the future!





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