Top Crypto News – 12/03/2018

Silicon Valley VCs Help Crypto Hedge Fund Reach Quarter Billion Target

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Quarter Billion Crypto Hedge Fund

Silicon Valley VCs Help Crypto Hedge Fund Reach Quarter-Billion TargetMulticoin Capital, a Texas-based crypto investment fund with a multi-year time horizon, now expects to close its $250 million flagship fund by the end of Q2 2018, up from just $100 million target when it was launched in October 2017. The higher goal is supported by the addition of new investors including: David Sacks and Bill Lee (Craft Ventures), Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, Compound, Vy Capital, Passport Capital, Adam Zeplain (mark VC), Ari Paul (Blocktower), and Elad Gil (Color Genomics, Twitter).

“We’re very fortunate to have some of the most well-known investors in New York City and Silicon Valley investing with us. The past six months have been absolutely incredible. Since launch, there’s been a torrent of interest in Multicoin Capital, validating the overwhelming need for professional fund managers that understand the market intimately,” said Kyle Samani, co-founder and Managing Partner, Multicoin Capital. “Today there are more than 200 crypto hedge funds in the mix. We stand out by simply doing what other investors like Buffet and Graham did in the stock market. We seek to build a brand and a reputation that accurately mirrors the intellectual rigor we put into each and every position we take.”

Crypto Investing is Different

Silicon Valley VCs Help Crypto Hedge Fund Reach Quarter-Billion TargetThe fund’s management expects more big brand financial services providers to enter the cryptocurrency markets this year. “What you’re seeing is the next wave of serious investment coming to an exciting, recently-legitimized asset class,” Samani told Reuters on Wednesday. Its flagship fund already reportedly manages approximately $50 million.

“While there are lots of similarities between crypto investing and traditional startup investing, there are many differences,” Samani explained. “Most obviously, crypto assets become liquid much sooner in their life cycles than traditional private equity,” he added. “In addition to liquidity, everything in crypto is open source, which requires thinking about investing in a fundamentally different way.”

Written by Bitcoin.com

 

Monero Mining Malware Attack Linked to Egyptian Telecom Giant

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Unidentified entities at a telecom company connected to the Egyptian government are using malware to trick Middle Eastern Web users into unwittingly mining monero, according to a new report.

Internet users in Turkey and Syria who downloaded Windows applications such as Avast Antivirus, CCleaner, Opera, or 7-Zip were unknowingly redirected to malicious versions with malware, the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab claimed in a study published Friday.

The report – which calls this scheme “AdHose – explained:

“We found that a series of middleboxes on Türk Telekom’s network were being used to redirect hundreds of users attempting to download certain legitimate programs to versions of those programs bundled with spyware….We found similar middleboxes at a Telecom Egypt demarcation point. The middleboxes were being used to redirect users across dozens of ISPs to affiliate ads and browser cryptocurrency mining scripts.”

Telecom Egypt is a major state-owned telecommunications company, and the middleboxes in question include Sandvine PacketLogic devices, which have been associated with government surveillance in Turkey and Syria. The researchers’ regional network sweep in January found 5,700 devices affected by AdHose.

When reached for comment, Sandvine pushed back against the report’s findings, telling CoinDesk:

“Based on a preliminary review of the report, certain Citizen Lab allegations are technically inaccurate and intentionally misleading….We have never had, directly or indirectly, any commercial or technology relationship with any known malware vendors, and our products do not and cannot inject malicious software. While our products include a redirection feature, HTTP redirection is a commodity-like technology that is commonly included in many types of technology products.”

The spokesperson also said that an investigation into the allegations is being undertaken because the company is “deeply committed to ethical technology development.”

The idea of cryptocurrency-fueled government spyware may seem far-fetched. However, researchers involved with the Tor Project’s Open Observatory of Network Interference noted a similar malware epidemic – minus the cryptocurrency mining element – in 2016. Tor researchers found the Telecom Egypt-owned internet provider TE Data, which controls the majority of Egyptian internet bandwidth, facilitated a man-in-the-middle attack with both malware and affiliate advertising.

Written by CoinDesk.com

 

Excessive Crypto Regulation Not Optimal, EU Banking Authority Says

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“Regulate and Restrict” or “Let Things Happen”

Speaking at the Copenhagen Business School on Friday, the head of EBA said he was not convinced cryptocurrencies should be placed under the regulations that apply to the traditional financial system. Several central banks have argued that cryptocurrencies lack the institutional backup and cannot fulfil the functions of money – unit of account, means of exchange and reserve of value, Andrea Enria said, admitting that crypto fluctuations seem to confirm this view. “Still, I am yet to be convinced that this is sufficiently strong argument to attract cryptocurrencies under the full scope of regulation”, he stressed. The official pointed out that cryptocurrencies can be used for payments, including international, thanks to an innovative mechanism – the distributed ledger technology.

Excessive Crypto Regulation Not Optimal, EU Banking Authority Says
Andrea Enria

Enria remarked that the policy debate on technological and financial innovation often focuses on two opposite approaches: “regulate and restrict” – banning innovative business not fitting into the rulebook; and “let things happen” – rooted in the belief that a dynamic financial sector needs breathing space to innovate. In his opinion, both regulatory strategies have shown their limitations, with the first being ineffective in open markets, and the second one increasing risks in the unregulated sector. EBA’s chief executive believes that a pragmatic approach involves the implementation of specific regulatory requirements in accordance with the different risks for the firms, their customers, the financial sector, and the whole economy.

Back in 2014, the authority outlined a framework for comprehensive regulation of cryptocurrencies, noting that its development would require many years and a nuanced strategy. Its approach was centered on fulfilling customer due diligence obligations, warning consumers that their crypto investments are not protected, and preventing regulated financial institutions from buying, holding or selling cryptocurrencies. EBA had also proposed segregating banks and crypto operators, in order to avoid “contagion”.

Informed and Measured Approach

Andrea Enria thinks certain functions, such as providing liquidity in crisis situations and lending, should be strictly reserved for the banks and subject to “enhanced regulation and supervision”. At the same time, services, like payments and issuance of electronic money, may be provided by other intermediaries. These services are not intrinsically related to the essential functions of banks, the head of Europe’s banking authority argued.

The crypto sector is changing fast and it’s difficult to regulate and supervise, Enria admitted. Authorities have to continuously review regulations, but they also need to maintain an informed and measured approach, he added. Small innovative startups cannot sustain the compliance burden placed on banks, Enria warned and stressed: “An excessive extension of the regulatory perimeter, attracting most Fintech firms under the scope of bank-like supervision, just because they compete with banks in some market segment, is likely to be a sub-optimal solution”.

EBA’s Chairman is convinced that such move would create the risk of “constraining financial innovation”. He advocates a “proportionate” and “less intense” approach in comparison to regulations applied to the banks, citing “lower potential for systemic risk” from the crypto sector.

In these areas of business, we may well let innovators experiment with new products and business practices.

The Chairman of EBA said, however, that regulators should never allow de factobanks to combine deposit-taking and lending outside strict regulatory requirements and effective supervision. Any financial firm doing that should be regulated and supervised as a bank, he insisted.

Conscious Choice

Excessive Crypto Regulation Not Optimal, EU Banking Authority SaysThe first step for regulators should be to understand how new products and business practices fit in the existing regulatory framework, Andrea Enria said. The conscious choice not to impose the full set of rules on a nascent technology can lead to a more mature and productive dialogue between innovative firms and regulators, he added.

According to EBA’s executive, the debate on how to regulate innovation is often “laden with prejudices and undue simplifications”. In his view a “proportionate, technologically neutral approach” to regulation should be pursued, while avoiding “inherent bias towards the status quo”. This can be achieved through monitoring the existing regulations and setting up sandboxes to facilitate consistent rules to support new technologies and innovative business models. To ensure that supervisors understand these new technologies, EBA intends to create a “knowledge hub” and introduce technological neutrality into supervisory guidelines.

Andrea Enria supported calls for consistent approaches towards regulation across Europe’s Single Market. That would guarantee entities across the Union receive equal treatment and opportunities. “Fintech firms must be able to scale up and offer services across the Single Market, providing benefits to all EU citizens”, EBA’s chairman said. He also noted that competition in the Fintech space is developing globally and warned European businesses would have to cope with significant disadvantages, if local authorities impose different sets of rules. Current variations may result in “regulatory arbitrage” or consumer protection risks.

Excessive Crypto Regulation Not Optimal, EU Banking Authority Says

The Fintech Roadmap

The European Commission has recently issued a Fintech Action Plan with several mandates for the European Banking Authority. Next week EBA will publish its “Roadmap on Fintech” defining a series of regulatory and supervisory priorities for the next two years. EBA wants to analyze provided services and their regulation to ensure consistency across the EU. The banking authority expects to report on its assessment before the end of 2018.

EBA will also conduct further analysis of implemented sandbox regimes to identify best practices and develop guidelines. The EU body will review approaches to licensing in member-states and may recommend amendments to the European financial services legislation. According to Andrea Enria, EBA will try to identify potential national barriers and consider steps to remove them, in order to allow scaling up of innovations.

Written by Bitcoin.com

“Regulate and Restrict” or “Let Things Happen”

Speaking at the Copenhagen Business School on Friday, the head of EBA said he was not convinced cryptocurrencies should be placed under the regulations that apply to the traditional financial system. Several central banks have argued that cryptocurrencies lack the institutional backup and cannot fulfil the functions of money – unit of account, means of exchange and reserve of value, Andrea Enria said, admitting that crypto fluctuations seem to confirm this view. “Still, I am yet to be convinced that this is sufficiently strong argument to attract cryptocurrencies under the full scope of regulation”, he stressed. The official pointed out that cryptocurrencies can be used for payments, including international, thanks to an innovative mechanism – the distributed ledger technology.

Excessive Crypto Regulation Not Optimal, EU Banking Authority Says
Andrea Enria

Enria remarked that the policy debate on technological and financial innovation often focuses on two opposite approaches: “regulate and restrict” – banning innovative business not fitting into the rulebook; and “let things happen” – rooted in the belief that a dynamic financial sector needs breathing space to innovate. In his opinion, both regulatory strategies have shown their limitations, with the first being ineffective in open markets, and the second one increasing risks in the unregulated sector. EBA’s chief executive believes that a pragmatic approach involves the implementation of specific regulatory requirements in accordance with the different risks for the firms, their customers, the financial sector, and the whole economy.

Back in 2014, the authority outlined a framework for comprehensive regulation of cryptocurrencies, noting that its development would require many years and a nuanced strategy. Its approach was centered on fulfilling customer due diligence obligations, warning consumers that their crypto investments are not protected, and preventing regulated financial institutions from buying, holding or selling cryptocurrencies. EBA had also proposed segregating banks and crypto operators, in order to avoid “contagion”.

Informed and Measured Approach

Andrea Enria thinks certain functions, such as providing liquidity in crisis situations and lending, should be strictly reserved for the banks and subject to “enhanced regulation and supervision”. At the same time, services, like payments and issuance of electronic money, may be provided by other intermediaries. These services are not intrinsically related to the essential functions of banks, the head of Europe’s banking authority argued.

The crypto sector is changing fast and it’s difficult to regulate and supervise, Enria admitted. Authorities have to continuously review regulations, but they also need to maintain an informed and measured approach, he added. Small innovative startups cannot sustain the compliance burden placed on banks, Enria warned and stressed: “An excessive extension of the regulatory perimeter, attracting most Fintech firms under the scope of bank-like supervision, just because they compete with banks in some market segment, is likely to be a sub-optimal solution”.

EBA’s Chairman is convinced that such move would create the risk of “constraining financial innovation”. He advocates a “proportionate” and “less intense” approach in comparison to regulations applied to the banks, citing “lower potential for systemic risk” from the crypto sector.

In these areas of business, we may well let innovators experiment with new products and business practices.

The Chairman of EBA said, however, that regulators should never allow de factobanks to combine deposit-taking and lending outside strict regulatory requirements and effective supervision. Any financial firm doing that should be regulated and supervised as a bank, he insisted.

Conscious Choice

Excessive Crypto Regulation Not Optimal, EU Banking Authority SaysThe first step for regulators should be to understand how new products and business practices fit in the existing regulatory framework, Andrea Enria said. The conscious choice not to impose the full set of rules on a nascent technology can lead to a more mature and productive dialogue between innovative firms and regulators, he added.

According to EBA’s executive, the debate on how to regulate innovation is often “laden with prejudices and undue simplifications”. In his view a “proportionate, technologically neutral approach” to regulation should be pursued, while avoiding “inherent bias towards the status quo”. This can be achieved through monitoring the existing regulations and setting up sandboxes to facilitate consistent rules to support new technologies and innovative business models. To ensure that supervisors understand these new technologies, EBA intends to create a “knowledge hub” and introduce technological neutrality into supervisory guidelines.

Andrea Enria supported calls for consistent approaches towards regulation across Europe’s Single Market. That would guarantee entities across the Union receive equal treatment and opportunities. “Fintech firms must be able to scale up and offer services across the Single Market, providing benefits to all EU citizens”, EBA’s chairman said. He also noted that competition in the Fintech space is developing globally and warned European businesses would have to cope with significant disadvantages, if local authorities impose different sets of rules. Current variations may result in “regulatory arbitrage” or consumer protection risks.

Excessive Crypto Regulation Not Optimal, EU Banking Authority Says

The Fintech Roadmap

The European Commission has recently issued a Fintech Action Plan with several mandates for the European Banking Authority. Next week EBA will publish its “Roadmap on Fintech” defining a series of regulatory and supervisory priorities for the next two years. EBA wants to analyze provided services and their regulation to ensure consistency across the EU. The banking authority expects to report on its assessment before the end of 2018.

EBA will also conduct further analysis of implemented sandbox regimes to identify best practices and develop guidelines. The EU body will review approaches to licensing in member-states and may recommend amendments to the European financial services legislation. According to Andrea Enria, EBA will try to identify potential national barriers and consider steps to remove them, in order to allow scaling up of innovations.

 

South Korea Internet Giant Moves Deeper Into Crypto

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Kakao to Make Crypto Ubiquitous in South Korea

주식회사 카카오 Kakao, sometimes romanized in press accounts as Cacao, has tentacled itself into every conceivable community platform: Kakaotalk chat application (app), Kakaomusic app, Kakaostyle mobile fashion service, Kakaopay e-wallet, Kakaobank, Kakao T taxi app, and those are just for starters.

The company’s penetration in South Korea is deep and growing, especially regarding cryptocurrency. Toward Fall of last year, these pages informed readers Kakaotalk had, through its inner-app Kakaostock, planned a cryptocurrency exchange to trade bitcoin and ether. The effort was to exploit the app’s 200 million worldwide users as well as its having gobbled up 95% of the domestic smartphone market.

South Korea Internet Giant Moves Deeper Into Crypto

Little more than a month later, the company announced launch of Upbit, with over 110 cryptocurrencies, making it the largest of its kind in South Korea. By December, “Kakao’s cryptocurrency exchange Upbit [claimed] to be the largest crypto exchange by volume in South Korea, one of the top three markets globally. Listing over 120 coins and leveraging Kakao Talk’s massive user base, Upbit currently facilitates an average daily trading volume of 5 trillion won,” News.Bitcoin.com reported.

아시아경제 Asian Economy, a Korean online news organization, reports the company isn’t letting up on its crypto business model. In fact, Kakao “will introduce a virtual currency payment system. It will be applied not only to its own platforms such as KakaoTalk, but also to more than 10,000 Kakaopay merchants.”

Kakao Coin

South Korea Internet Giant Moves Deeper Into Crypto

Huffington Post Korea quotes a Kakao official as saying, “We are discussing the introduction of a cryptographic business, including ICO, through subsidiaries,” and a more concrete announcement will be given on the 20th of this month. Its financial technology arm “has introduced a service to support virtual currency settlement in the first half of the year,” Asian Economy continued. Kakao is reportedly also considering its own proprietary coin, Kakao Coin, or something approximating. “When a consumer chooses to pay for a virtual currency,” merchant settlement will continue to be in won, but the crypto currency will be able to trade among all of Kakao’s platforms, from taxis to video games. It is unclear as to whether the latest platform will facilitate usage of other coins, such as bitcoin.

According to the Huffpo, “There is no reason not to enter the coin market for companies doing various content businesses like cacao,” an industry official is quoted as saying. “Instead of cash, you can use your coin to get payment data, and add it to your card company or payment agency. I do not have to pay a commission, so there are many advantages. The [coin] can attract overseas users, but the government has a negative view on ICO, so it should be more widespread whether it can be universally used in Korea.”

South Korea Internet Giant Moves Deeper Into Crypto

The company will reportedly smuggle it all under the subsidiary name of Kakao Blockchain, according to Money Today. The online source also indicates recent success of its global rival, Telegram, to raise hundreds of millions of dollars during an initial coin offering (ICO) has prompted Kakao to take a harder look at the investment opportunity. However, “ICO is illegal in Korea,” Money Today points out, “For this reason, it is estimated that the ICO will be conducted overseas in Singapore and Hong Kong.”

Written by Bitcoin.com

 

 

 

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