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This Week in Cryptocurrency – August 17th, 2018

TWIC-81718

Tough Week for Ethereum

Last week, the total cryptocurrency market cap plunged 14.33%, largely as a result of the SEC postponing its decision on a Bitcoin-ETF proposed by CBOE, VanEck, and SolidX.

This week, the cryptocurrency market slid another 5.7%, which isn’t as bad when you factor in the steep drop Wednesday, hitting around $189,666,000,000, its lowest market cap since early November 2017.

Bitcoin is actually up 1.35% and its overall market dominance is up to 52.31%, its highest before sliding December 18th, 2017.

Vitalik Buterin’s brainchild Ethereum is down 16.90%, its lowest since early November 2017.

Ripple is down 5.12%, and a total of 91.46% down from its all-time high on January 4th, 2018.

Bitcoin Cash and EOS are down 8.42% and 11.46% respectively.


Domestic Cryptocurrency News

Bitangels Co-Founder Slaps AT&T with $224 Million Lawsuit:

Michael Terpin, cryptocurrency investor and co-founder of the first angel investor group focused on Crypto BitAngels, issuing telecom giant AT&T due to hacks that were enabled by AT&T’s SIM swap fraud. Terpin claims to have lost $24 million in cryptocurrencies to hackers and believes that his phones were exposed by an AT&T employee(s) collaborating with hackers. Terpin is also seeking $200 million in punitive damages. The complaint notes, “What AT&T did was like a hotel giving a thief with a fake ID a room key and a key to the room safe to steal jewelry in the safe from the rightful owner.”

SEC Fines and Bans 76 Year Old Fraudulent Oil ICO Founder:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it has taken action against a David Thompson Laurence and his oil and gas exploration company Tomahawk Exploration LLC. David Thompson Laurence, a 76-year-old California resident, is the sole managing member of the company.

Although the ICO failed to raise money, the SEC found issue with the tokens issued as part of the token sale’s bounty program and considers them securities. Laurence consented to a cease and desist order, an officer and director bar, a penny stock bar, and a $30,000 penalty.

Thompson allegedly inflated oil production projections that were contradicted by his own company’s internal analysis in his promotional materials, and misleadingly suggested his company has leases for drilling sites when it didn’t. Tomahawk also claimed that token owners would be able to convert the tomahawkcoins into equity and potentially profit from the anticipated oil production and secondary trading of the tokens,” the SEC claimed.

US Senate to Look Into Blockchain’s Energy Efficiency:

The US Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is set to meet on August 21 to discuss the impact that increased blockchain demand will have on electricity prices. It won’t be all negative rumblings, though. They’ll also be examining how blockchain can benefit the energy industry. This hearing will be the first of its kind in having a specific focus on blockchain and the energy sector.

Cleveland Becomes First City Partner of Blockchain Research Institute:

Cleveland may be last in the NFL, but the city is one of the top spots for blockchain adoption. Thursday morning, the Blockchain Research Institute announced a partnership with the Rock and Roll capital at a Greater Cleveland Partnership meeting. The two came together largely due to car mogul Bernie Moreno. Moreno hopes to make Cleveland a center of blockchain innovation through an effort dubbed “Blockland.”

SEC Starts Investigation into Riot Blockchain:

The first NASDAQ-listed company that focuses exclusively on blockchain and Bitcoin-based companies, Riot Blockchain Inc. ($RIOT), revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation that could prevent the owners and stockholders from selling shares under particular registration statements.

Riot Blockchain started attracting eyeballs in October 2017, when it rebranded from Bioptix and announced its pivot into the blockchain and cryptocurrency world. Following the announcement, Riot Blockchain’s stock price nearly doubled. Riot Blockchain also launched a series of acquisitions and purchases most   including an 11% stake in Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare and a mining operation in the American midwest with 3000 Antminer S9s and 12 MWs of power capacity

Playboy Sues Global Blockchain Technologies:

Looks like bunnies aren’t as soft and cuddly as they’d have you believe. Playboy Enterprises is suing investment company Global Blockchain Technologies for breach of contract. Apparently, Global Blockchain fell short on their promise to produce a digital wallet that would integrate with Playboy’s media site, Playboy.tv. Heff’s enterprise also claims that the investment firm failed to hand over $4 million, a significant part of the deal.

Ohio Legally Recognizes Blockchain Data:

After being orphaned for years, blockchain data is now being adopted into Ohio’s legal framework. The bill, signed into law last Friday, recognizes data stored on the blockchain and through smart contracts as electronic records. Ohio now joins Arizona in the cool kids club of states legally recognizing blockchain-stored data while California is still in the works.


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The CoinCentral Cryptocurrency Tool Kit: We asked our readers and cryptocurrency beginners about their biggest, burning questions. We consulted with cryptocurrency experts about the best sources of information and the most pertinent things anyone in the space should know. We did our own research based on personal experiences and packaged everything in a reader-friendly guide for just $7.


Cryptocurrency News from Around the World

Saudi Arabia Bans Bitcoin:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, declared that cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin are illegal in Saudi Arabia with the aim of “protecting subjects from themselves” from the “negative consequences” and “high risk” associated with digital currencies. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority is the kingdom’s central bank and is responsible for regulating and issuing the Riyal, overseeing banks and foreign exchanges, and monitoring and protecting the domestic financial system.

SAMA commented,  “The committee assured that virtual currency including, for example, but not limited to, the Bitcoins are illegal in the kingdom and no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices. The committee warns all citizens and residents about drifting after such illusion and get-rich scheme due to the high regulatory, security and market risks involved, not to mention the signing of fictitious contracts and the transfer of funds to unknown recipients/entities/parties.”

UEFA Distributes Super Cup Tickets via Blockchain:

Rejoice, sports fans. Blockchain-based tickets may become the new norm soon. The UEFA has been testing a blockchain system for mobile ticketing since the beginning of the year. And, so far, everything has been going swimmingly. So much so that the organization felt comfortable expanding the blockchain system distribution to the Super Cup this week. Tickets on the blockchain reduce the risk of fraudulent tickets and help to reduce the markup of secondary market sales. The UEFA stated that they will continue to use blockchain moving forward.

South Korea Bets Big on Blockchain:

South Korea is doubling-down on their technology. The Ministry of Economy and Finance revealed this week that the government has budgeted 1 trillion won (~$880 million) toward technological innovation in 2019. The technological spending will be in areas surrounding Big Data, AI, and, of course, blockchain. The 1 trillion won allocation is an 80 percent increase from 2018’s spending.

Iran Gives U.S. the Runaround, Developing Own Crypto:

In a move to circumvent U.S. sanctions, Iran announced plans to develop its own national cryptocurrency. The announcement is seemingly in response to President Trump’s declaration that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal. The Iranian economy has been shaky at best over the last few years, causing many Iranians to look towards outside assets such as Bitcoin to keep value. It seems as if the Iranian government hopes to retain capital within the country through the cryptocurrency launch.

U.K. Government Warms up to Smart Contracts in Law:

The UK Government is doing its part to stay with the times and keep British law in lockstep with modern technology. The UK Law Commission revealed in their annual report that a legal framework for smart contracts is in the works.  

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Getting Started Gold Bars.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.