The Binance team conducted a big and comprehensive review on the crypto assets which are on the platform to ascertain their compliance to the standard of the quality. Unfortunately, some cryptocurrencies do not satisfy these requirements.
Drawing upon the received data, Binance decided to “delete” four digital assets, namely:
Bitcoin is one of the most famous cryptocurrencies in the world. It is actually the first one, thus, no matter what might be, it has already gone down in history. Even though the cryptocurrency may not be that popular right now, due to various reason, some changes are already inevitable, hence, let us just check on trends which will become a part of everyday life in 2019.
1. Bitcoin ATMs
The number of Bitcoin ATMs is growing rapidly. It is a kiosk which allows a person to buy/sell Bitcoins in cash or by credit card. They actually look like an ordinary terminal, yet, it is connected not to bank account, but to Bitcoin exchange. The number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world accounts for 4292 at the time of writing.
Such ATMs will definitely encourage people to use cryptocurrency, since now it becomes more understandable for ordinary people. If people get accustomed to use Bitcoin ATMs, then crypto will see a bright future.
2. Central banks and Bitcoin
Some people do not want to get involved in crypto as it lacks regulation, including bank regulation. However, in 2019, one of Bitcoin trends may become partnership between central banks and cryptocurrency.
Several banks have already introduced systems how to work with crypto. Bank of America, for example, has officially patented a system for saving crypto actives for significant corporations. Moreover, this week, one of the biggest American banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co, has announced that it developed its own digital coin – JPM Coin.
Perhaps, such implementations will bring positive effect on the relationships between crypto and financial institutions.
3. Bitcoin in smartphones
Since the beginning of the third millennium, a cell phone has become an integral part of our everyday life. By using a smartphone we can do almost everything that is connected to our work, study, leisure, or hobby. Financial transactions, including crypto operations, are no exception.
On May, 2018, Huawei Technologies Corporation provided users of its smartphones with the opportunity to use Bitcoin wallet BTC.com. At the end of the past year, HTC company released the smartphone Exodus, powered by blockchain. A person can only purchase the phone with digital currencies.
It is too early to say whether these phones will be successful and useful or not, yet still it is very important that world is trying to meet the needs of everyone.
One of the biggest Internet companies in the world, Japan-based GMO Internet Inc., posted a report on its financial performance. An operating loss accounts for ¥1.3 billion (~$11.75 million) in 2018.
GMO’s mining business
According to the report, mining business fared very poorly in 2018 which resulted in great losses. The company explained that the business did not increase as expected due to the collapse of cryptocurrency market in Q4. The report provides the table where we can see the real revenue and real loss of the company. The data provided below does not include “extraordinary losses” of approximately $319.2 million.
Alongside, Internet giant announced that it would implement a policy change regarding to their mining business model. The company will sell its bitcoin mining assets at cheaper rates to compensate for a portion of its annual losses.
Moreover, GMO plans to relocate mining centers to the regions where power supply is cheaper. The centers allegedly will be somewhere in Northern Europe.
GMO’s Bitcoin exchange
According to the report, the company’s quarter-revenue has fallen by 66.7%, even though the company annually posts about its 7% profit from its crypto exchange GMOCoin.
In 2018, GMOCoin recorded a net sales of ¥4.02 billion (~$36.33 million). In Q1, crypto exchange has lost about ¥76 million, yet, high sales of next quarters compensated them. The fall of cryptocurrency market has also played a significant role in GMO’s revenues. Each phase ended on a lower note than a previous one in terms of sales, while the profits remained marginal.
Cyber attack and crypto crimes in every shape and form are quite abundant on the market of digital assets right now. They all have different goals and different levels of harm. The careful and thorough analysis of such attacks will make it possible to predict them and protect sites, platforms and companies from breaches and money losses.
However, there is a weird tendency going on among the analytical reports, which we will try to explain down below.
Two major cyber security companies Chainalysis and CipherTrace released their analytical statements at the end of last year. Both reports contained statistics on hacker attacks and crypto crimes and an outline of current trends.
The main focus of CipherTrace was different money laundering techniques, cryptocurrencies that are the easiest targets for crypto criminals that choose this path, AML regulations and other related info.
Whereas Chainalysis told its readers on the scale and profitability of such Ethereum scams as phishing and various Ponzi schemes.
Surprisingly, there seems to be nothing about the infamous SIM-swapping.
Just to remind you, SIM-swapping is a kind of a cyber attack aimed at money theft. Simply speaking, a hacker convinces the phone provider to “swap” the number of a victim to a new device. In such way, criminals get full access to the personal information of their victims, still their identity, and later money.
SIM-swapping scams have been involved in multiple scandals with the biggest cell-phone providers of America, the crimes involving this technique resulted in huge money thefts and loud arrests of witty hackers, yet very few reports actually mention it.
However, this still does not diminish the dominance of SIM-swapping over many other types of crypto crimes. In order to fight it, we not only need more coverage from the mass media and analytical firms, but also the cooperation from the cell phone companies to protect the users, their info and their money.
According to the report of TrustNode, Bitcoin volumes have surpassed all time high in Venezuela, rising above 2,000 BTC for the first time on peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins.
Bitcoin is the only way to feed family in Venezuela
You may have heard that Venezuela has been experiencing economic crisis as the national currency – the Venezuelan bolivar – has collapsed and become valueless.
The citizens suffer from a lack of basic supplies, including products, medicines, etc. The supermarket shelves are bare. Children are fainting from hunger in their classrooms. The situation changed even worse when the government of Nicolas Maduro blocked U.S. humanitarian aid from coming into the country through the Columbian border.
The administration of the opposition leader Juan Guaidó remain optimistic, they are convinced that they are able to pass the aid to the people. However, the Venezuelans do not trust anyone anymore, and the only hope left is Bitcoin. People started mining Bitcoin to convert it into dollars to purchase foods and other necessities.
All-time high of the Bitcoin trading
As the 2019 Venezuelan protests caused by presidential crisis are in full swing, people started to trade Bitcoin at full. That is why, the weekly volume of the BTC-to-Venezuelan bolivar (VES) pair increased to 2,454 BTC. It is worth $8.95 million per week and $1.29 million per day.
2454 bitcoin weekly volume x $3650 = $8,957,100 this week ÷ 7 = $1,279,585 per day on average, higher if you account for the ~40% price premium which I didn't.
Tuesday is going to be a big day for Venezuela, according to the Washington Examiner, on Tuesday, February 12, the Venezuelan people plan to demand Maduro’s resignation on the streets all over the country, and try to bring U.S. aid across the Colombian border. Nicolas Maduro has ordered his military to stop them. So the future of Bitcoin depends on who will win.
If Nicolas Maduro remains to be the President of Venezuela, then Petro coins will have more power than Bitcoin. However, if the opposition leader Juan Guaidó overthrows the current government, then Bitcoin will definitely have future in Venezuela as Juan Guaidó gives preference to Bitcoin over Petro.