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​​💥Craig 'Satoshi' Wright Claims to Have Filed 666 Blockchain Patents

The race to file blockchain patents has accelerated lately with one specific firm, Nchain Holdings, attempting to capture hundreds of distributed ledger-related patents. According to reports, self-proclaimed Satoshi – Craig Wright – and his Nchain business claim to have filed 666 patent applications to date, capturing a gigantic portfolio of intellectual property.

The notorious Craig Wright, a man who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, is continuing his effort to obtain hundreds of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related patents. Wright is the chief scientist of Nchain but is best known for his attempts to prove he created Bitcoin over a decade ago.

Nchain has been relentlessly filing for digital currency and blockchain patents. According to a report published on March 7, Craig Wright and Nchain Holdings have applied for a total of 666 patents and they proudly announced this watershed moment after reaching this symbolic number.
​​💥Why Africa Continues to Lag Behind in Cryptocurrency Adoption

Africa continues to dominate Google Trends search interest for “bitcoin,” but that has not translated into widespread adoption of cryptocurrency by users and businesses. Apart from opaque regulation and a lack of awareness, one of the major reasons for this failure has been the expansive use of mobile money on the continent.

According to Google Trends, the biggest search interest for bitcoin in the world is by potential investors from Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya – the three biggest cryptocurrency markets in Africa. That dominance is, however, predominantly limited to trading activities on exchanges. On a few occasions, bitcoin may be used as a means of payment, mostly to overseas suppliers.

But despite that world-leading interest, Africa still lags behind the rest of the world in everyday BTC use and adoption. The cryptocurrency has found it difficult to break the stranglehold of convenience, simplicity and efficiency that, like a magnet, draws millions of Africans to mobile money. The continent of 1.2 billion people is home to over 50 percent of the world’s mobile money services.
​​💥Changes to Tether’s Terms of Reserves Raises Fresh Concerns

Controversial stablecoin Tether is in the spotlight again after changes to the details of the way in which it backs up tokens in supply.

As reported on March 14, various online users noted and posted disconcerting changes to the Tether website, which have seemingly altered the way that the company is providing surety for the tokens it issues.

Tether is a stablecoin backed up by the United States dollar at a 1:1 ratio, meaning the company has $1 for every USDT that is in circulation. This has long been a point of contention by the wider cryptocurrency community due to the fact that Tether has never carried out a third-party audit of its financial accounts.
​​💥Crypto Town Hall Meetings Grow to 8 Indian Cities for More to Voice Regulatory Ideas

The number of open town hall meetings for the Indian crypto community to voice regulatory suggestions has grown from four cities to eight. The organizer of the meetings has shared details with news.Bitcoin.com. Meetings will be hosted in four new cities in April and the best suggestions for crypto regulation will be submitted to the government, the organizer has explained.

Blockchained India has added four more cities to its town hall roadshow meetings across India due to popular demand. Three meetings have already taken place — in Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. The next meeting will be on March 30 in Bengaluru. The four newly added cities are Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Kolkata.

News.Bitcoin.com spoke with Akshay Aggarwal, National Head and co-founder of Blockchained India. He explained on Monday that the four new meetings will be run by volunteers. While the dates still need to be confirmed, he noted that “The topics and everything else will be the exact same,” elaborating:

Tentatively we are looking at 6th for Kolkata, 13th for Goa, 20th for Ahmedabad and 27th for Pune.
​​💥US Institutional Crypto Exchange Seed CX Expands to Asia With New Partnership

United States-based institutional cryptocurrency exchange Seed CX has partnered with Singapore-based fintech company Hydra X to offer its trading service in Asia. Seed CX announced the development in a press release published on March 21.

Per the announcement, Seed CX will join the list of supported digital asset trading venues available on the Sigma trading platform offered by Hydra X, which is currently in public beta. The partnership will also reportedly allow institutional Sigma users to access Seed CX’s fiat-crypto gateway.

Seed CX is a licensed digital asset exchange for both spot market and U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)-regulated derivatives. As Cointelegraph reported at the time, Seed CX closed a $15 million funding round led by alternative investment firm Bain Capital in September last year.
​​💥Mineable Cryptocurrencies Are Far More Valuable Than Non-Mineable Coins

There are 2,121 digital currencies tracked on market websites with a net valuation of around $140 billion. Statistics for the end of Q1 2019 show mineable digital assets to be the most valuable cryptocurrencies on the market today, with the top eight mineable coins representing 68 percent of the entire cryptoconomy.

There are a lot of cryptocurrencies these days but only a handful have a significant fiat value and a large community of supporters. Currently, there are only four cryptocurrencies within the top 10 market capitalizations that are mineable. The remainder have already been minted like Ripple’s XRP, Stellar’s XLM, various initial coin offerings and a few that use the proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism. The four cryptocurrencies in the top 10 (BTC, ETH, LTC, and BCH) that can be mined have a combined market cap of around $91.7 billion. These coins constitute approximately 65.5 percent of the entire crypto ecosystem’s net worth. The rest of the top 10 non-mineable cryptos are worth a combined total of about $24 billion, which is 17 percent of the whole economy.
​​💥Finland's Regulatory Watchdog Plans to Supervise Localbitcoins Operations

On Monday, the Helsinki-based peer-to-peer crypto exchange Localbitcoins announced it is adding several different identification processes in order to improve AML and KYC requirements. The move to bolster the new customer verification procedure follows Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) mandating supervision over exchange operations.

The BTC trading platform Localbitcoins specializes in peer-to-peer and over-the-counter bitcoin exchange throughout nearly every major city in the world. Years ago, the Helsinki operation was well known for providing a platform that allowed people to trade in a private fashion. In those days, traders could swap fiat for bitcoins or vice versa without the KYC processes involved with other exchanges. However, over the last two years, Finland’s regulations and newly introduced policies have made it harder for many crypto businesses to allow trading without verification. In February, Localbitcoins notified customers that changes were coming due to the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) that was enforced by the European Union. Now, this week, the company based in Southern Finland says the FSA’s new exchange supervision mandate has made it impose even stricter AML/KYC guidelines.
​​💥How a Large Cryptocurrency Mining Operation Is Handling the Current Market

Cryptocurrency miners of all sizes have been suffering from the bear market that has heavily depressed prices, causing some to abandon the field as their proceeds were no longer covering expenses. However, for others this period has formed a time to grow while their competitors are struggling. To find out how one operation is handling the situation, news.Bitcoin.com talked to the CEO of Bitfarms about a big step his company recently took.

Bitfarms Ltd. (TASE: BLLCF) notified investors earlier this month that it has secured $20 million in strategic debt financing to fund the crypto mining company’s ongoing operational expansion. The capital is being provided by New York-based Dominion Capital and will be made available in four $5 million tranches tied to various milestones such as infrastructure building and hardware purchases. The loan will bear a 10 percent interest rate and Dominion will receive approximately 6.7 million equity purchase warrants that can be exercised to acquire Bitfarms’ common shares.
​​💥Coinbase to Give Away Over $100 Million in XLM to Users Who Study Stellar Protocol

United States cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced that it is giving away 1 billion Stellar Lumens (XLM) (about $106 million) to users that are willing to study the Stellar protocol. The news was revealed in a Coinbase blog post published on Tuesday, March 26.

The move is part of Coinbase Earn, the exchange’s crypto-focused educational program. The company stated that this particular session of the program is its “biggest yet.” Each eligible U.S. user can gain up to $50 for using the program to study the Stellar protocol.

According to the Coinbase Earn website, the program developed in partnership with Stellar consists of five educational videos of up to three minutes each. After watching the videos and completing a set of corresponding quizzes, users reportedly will earn XLM tokens as a reward.

The company noted that it has already sent the first group of invitations to join the program to its U.S. customers. Users outside the U.S. are invited to sign up for a waitlist.
​​💥Coincheck Owner Monex Group Announces Major Management Changes

The Japanese broker that acquired the hacked cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck in April 2018 has announced major changes in its management structure. The news was revealed in a press release published on March 27.

The current representative executive officer and president of Monex group, Oki Matsumoto, will now also be the representative director and chairman of Monex, as well as chairman of Coincheck.

Per the announcement, within Monex, “diverse employees will be aggressively promoted to managerial positions.” The press release also reveals that three Coincheck executive directors will also serve as executive directors of Monex to enhance cooperation between group companies. The current senior executive officer and chief investment officer of the company, Koichi Tateno, will resign and become a senior advisor.

The firm noted that all personnel changes are set to take effect on April 1, 2019.
​​💥Top US Energy Provider Ameren Eyes Blockchain Promise in Clean Energy Boost

Major United States energy firm Ameren and Canadian software engineering and solutions company Opus One Solutions will explore the potential use of blockchain technology. The participants announced the news in a press release on March 28.

Ameren, which currently services around 2.4 million electric and 900,000 gas consumers, will examine blockchain as one of a range of options in its clean energy initiative. As of May 2018, Ameren was listed among the top 20 U.S. gas and electric utility firms, based on market value.

Blockchain is set to feature in the firms’ so-called Transactive Energy Marketplace (TEM), a microgrid built using Opus One’s technology to improve supply and demand ratios.
​​💥Blockchain Gaming Startup Announces Global Licensing Agreement With Formula One

Blockchain startup Animoca Brands announced it had signed a global licensing agreement with Formula 1® to publish a blockchain game based on the world-renowned racing series. The news was revealed in a press release from Animoca published on March 26.

Formula 1® — which reportedly draws ~1.6 billion television viewers across over 180 territories and engages 506 million fans worldwide — has reportedly signed a licensing agreement that will allow Animoca to publish a blockchain game “F1® Delta Time,” based on non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The forthcoming blockchain game F1® Delta Time — the first phase of launch being set for May 10 — will reportedly have a collectible component based on NFTs, as well as a racing component that utilizes those NFTs.
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