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📝 Welcome to the Crypto Yoda. A journal on cryptocurrency highlighting blockchain technologies and startups.

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Crypto Yoda pinned «💥💥💥Waves Platform has announced the details of the second investment round for the Vostok project ✔️The second round will close on May 31, 2019. ✔️The plan is to sell 100 million VST at an estimated price of $1.20 ✔️Up to $120 million will be raised. 🔎The…»
​​​​➡️CNY Inflows Into Crypto Markets Surge After Shanghai Composite Spike

Back in January 2017, China’s financial authorities initiated their first crackdowns against domestic bitcoin exchanges, with a ban on mainland exchanges cryptocurrencies against the yuan coming shortly thereafter. Now, close to two years and three months later, a surge of CNY has been flowing back into the digital currency economy after the Shanghai Composite posting a 24 percent gain this week.

Since the increase in cryptocurrency volumes and some solid gains across the board, digital currency supporters have noticed a resurgence of Chinese yuan (CNY) pour into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. On March 17, the avid BTC trader Anton Pagi tweeted to his followers that the latest rally has been fueled by CNY. “Something to watch during this bull run, Chinese profits from their roaring stock market in recent weeks flowing into bitcoin,” Pagi detailed while explaining that exchanges dealing with CNY have “more than doubled in volume in the past week.” Moreover, the Shanghai Composite has spiked more than 24 percent and speculators believe investors are moving into alternative markets.
​​➡️Cryptopia Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading on 40 Crypto Pairs

New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has resumed trading on 40 trade pairs, according to a tweet from the firm on March 18.

In the tweet, the company announces that it has “resumed trading on 40 trade pairs that we have quantified as secure. We will continue to expand this list as we clear more coins.” The update follows the exchange’s recent announcement of the plans to reopen trading on its platform by the end of March, following a New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has resumed trading on 40 trade pairs, according to a tweet from the firm on March 18.

In the tweet, the company announces that it has “resumed trading on 40 trade pairs that we have quantified as secure. We will continue to expand this list as we clear more coins.” The update follows the exchange’s recent announcement of the plans to reopen trading on its platform by the end of March, following a $16 million hack in mid-January.

In January, Cryptopia suspended services after detecting a major hack that reportedly “resulted in significant losses.” The platform had initially informed the public it was undergoing unscheduled maintenance, issuing several updates before officially disclosing the breach.

After the initial reports of the hack, further evidence reportedly surfaced that hackers were siphoning crypto out of the exchange as late as two weeks later.
​​​​➡️Kakao Affiliate Dunamu Launches Blockchain Service Platform

Dunamu, the fintech arm of South Korea’s largest Internet corporation Kakao, is reportedly launching a blockchain service platform designed to help companies start businesses using blockchain. Korea’s JoongAng Daily reported the news on March 19.

The platform, which is called Luniverse and supervised by blockchain technology research lab Lambda256, is geared to help IT startups develop blockchain-based services. The platform reportedly has a high level of security and an automated scaling function, that can adjust blockchain sizes in accordance with the amount of data stored on it.

To implement the service, Dunamu reportedly collaborated with blockchain companies that provided various blockchain apps and products following clients’ business fields. Park Jae-hyun, CEO and former research head of Lambda256 said that “in the past, a lot of companies built their own blockchain, but an alternative is outsourcing the establishment of a blockchain in the form of a service offered on cloud systems.”

Yesterday, Kakao announced the integration of its cryptocurrency wallet in its messaging app KakaoTalk, which will purportedly enable more than 44 million South Korean KakaoTalk users to send peer-to-peer transactions using Kakao’s crypto-powered wallet.
​​​​​​➡️Brookings institute says the sec should regulate crypto-assets

A report from the Economic Studies program of US think tank, Brookings, claims better regulation will benefit the crypto industry. It states that crypto-assets currently fall into a jurisdictional gap, and that the SEC should fill that role.

The report immediately scores an own goal with the choice of title – “It’s time to strengthen the regulation of crypto-assets.”

This suggests that cryptocurrency itself is inherently insecure or in need of regulation, which is clearly not the case. The report actually discusses the regulation of cryptocurrency intermediaries, which, as recently noted by the Winklevii, is an altogether different thing.
​​​​​​​​➡️Casa-Branded Case Brings Military Tech to Bitcoin Wallet Protection

Bitcoin management startup Casa now offers a full suite of cypherpunk devices.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, Casa just rolled out “Faraday bags” for hardware cryptocurrency wallets – protective cases made to block electronic signals often associated with remote wiping or alteration of the data stored on hardware devices.

“We didn’t see anyone else providing a good enough case. So we went to the extreme and found a pro in the market and designed this together,” Casa CEO Jeremy Welch told CoinDesk via email.
​​​​​​​​​​➡️Lightning Introduces “Loop” To Keep Its Payment Channels Open

The Lightning Network is well known as an off-chain Bitcoin payment protocol that offers faster and cheaper transactions. Now, it has announced a related service called Loop, which will make it easier for users to receive a continuous flow of funds. This will also ensure that payment channels stay open. Lightning explains the current situation:

“Lightning channels are like tubes of money: the more you send the more you can receive, and the other way around. Money moves around in the tube, but the total amount of funds remains constant … Lightning requires ‘inbound capacity’ in order to receive funds.”

Right now, users are responsible for ensuring that their channels have a large enough capacity to handle incoming payments. Often, that involves opening a new channel when a previous channel reaches its capacity. It is possible to refill and rebalance channels, but this is not straightforward. Loop will make things easier.
​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️Overstock’s tZERO Exchange to Launch Bitcoin Trading App This June

Overstock’s security token platform tZERO is going full crypto.

Until now, security tokens had been the startup’s priority, but this summer, tZERO plans to launch its own mobile trading app for buying and selling bitcoin and, possibly, ether, CEO Saum Noursalehi told CoinDesk Thursday.

The app for IOS and Android devices is scheduled to launch in June and is being developed by Bitsy — a crypto startup in the portfolio of Overstock’s venture arm Medici Ventures.

“That’s part of the reason we acquired Bitsy — to accelerate time to market for our mobile app,” Noursalehi told CoinDesk, adding:

“They have an app for trading crypto, primarily bitcoin, in a beta-phase, they built a wallet and key recovery mechanism, and this will be the foundation of the mobile app for tZERO. They are also working on some cool stuff like biometric login.”
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️Streaming Service Twitch Removes Crypto Payment Options, Reddit User Reports

Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch has evidently removed Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as payment options for subscriptions. The change was reported by a Reddit user on March 23.

The user noted that Twitch had offered an option to pay with BTC and BCH employing BitPay as a payment processor, but has since “removed it in the last couple of weeks as a payment method for all countries.” One user, seemingly outraged, noted that they canceled all of their Twitch subscriptions and sent an assistance ticket to the company.

On March 20, another Reddit user claimed that Streamlabs — a popular streaming software widely used by Twitch users to receive tips — also removed support for cryptocurrency. According to the user, a new version of the software that has been recently released no longer contains support for crypto donations.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️E-Commerce Firm Rakuten Readies Cryptocurrency Exchange for April Launch After Name Change

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has completed registration of its cryptocurrency exchange Rakuten Wallet, which will go live next month, the company confirmed in a press release on March 25.

Rakuten, which follows several major Japanese tech players in entering the crypto exchange market, renamed its product from Everybody’s Bitcoin earlier this month.

The company had acquired the exchange under the former name in August last year for 265 million yen (at the time $2.4 million).

Following a consolidation period during which Rakuten made changes to its structure, executives have now confirmed that Everybody’s Bitcoin in its current guise will cease operations at the end of March.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️Russian State Duma Defers Consideration of Bill on Digital Financial Assets

The State Duma of the Russian Federation has deferred consideration of the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” to April 2019, local media outlet TASS reported on March 20.

The second reading of the draft federal law “On Digital Financial Assets” has reportedly been rescheduled for April, following a decision made at the morning voting on the agenda of the plenary session. The initiative was taken by the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, although he did not explain his motives.

The bill “On Digital Financial Assets” aims to formulate national cryptocurrency legislation, and was adopted by Russia’s parliament in the second reading earlier in March. Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the State Duma and coauthor of the draft bill, stressed then that the adopted amendments are aimed at fixing the difficulties related to the concept of digital rights.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️Fintech Firm trueDigital Expands Over-the-Counter BTC, ETH Reference Rate Distribution

New York-based fintech infrastructure provider trueDigital Holdings (TDH) is partnering with crypto data firm Kaiko and digital assets analytics company Inca Digital Securities to widen the distribution of its over-the-counter (OTC) reference rates for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The development was shared with Cointelegraph in a press release on March 25.

As reported last year, TrueEX created TDH as an affiliate in March 2018, immediately announcing a TDH partnership with prominent blockchain tech firm ConsenSys (created by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin) to create a benchmark rate for the price of Ethereum.

The newly forged strategic partnership deal will see Kaiko and Inca distribute trueDitigal’s reference rates to their clients, including asset managers and institutions. Inca will further reportedly use the OTC reference rates as the basis for new analytics.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Gang demanding ransom in bitcoin busted

Police claim to have unearthed a racket in which the suspects deman­ded ransom money in bitcoin for the release of a kidnapped person. Bitcoin is a crypto-currency, a form of electronic ‘cash’.

Surprisingly, the plot was hatched in the office of Lahore’s deputy commissioner (DC).

A police report revealed that DC’s phone operator Mazhar Abbas was part of the seven-member gang. Police arrested him on March 23 at an official ceremony when he was with the DC.

According to the report, police Constables Mohsin Abbas and Mohammad Arif, who were also involved in the crime, were the official guards of a high court judge. Mohammad Tahir of Lahore and Sheikh Abdul Rauf of Faisalabad were money exchange / bitcoin dealers.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior Owner Develops DLT Project With ConsenSys and Azure

French luxury goods giant Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH) is reportedly working with ConsenSys and Microsoft Azure to develop a blockchain platform for tracking its products, crypto media agency CoinDesk reports on March 26.

Dubbed AURA, the blockchain-powered platform is reportedly scheduled to go live in May or June 2019 with two major LVMH subsidiaries: Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior.

According to the report, the AURA platform is based on JPMorgan’s Quorum blockchain platform, which is running on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.

When reached by Cointelegraph, a ConsenSys spokesperson declined to comment on the alleged cooperation within the initiative.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Swiss Mortgage Bank Hypi Lenzburg Partners With Crypto Asset Manager TokenSuisse

Swiss mortgage bank Hypothekarbank (“Hypi”) Lenzburg has partnered with Swiss crypto asset manager TokenSuisse to expand the bank’s service offerings for crypto and blockchain firms. The development was announced on the bank’s official Twitter and in a TokenSuisse press release on March 25.

Hypi Lenzburg is headed by CEO Marianne Wildi, reportedly a former programmer, who first launched the bank’s lending services support for crypto and blockchain firms in June of last year — a notable move in a national context where banking support for the emerging industry is a fraught issue.

TokenSuisse AG is a Zug-based crypto asset and blockchain investment advisory firm and an official partner of crypto-fiat payments firm TokenPay. The firm, as financial media news agency FinNews reported, claims to have launched the world’s first global multi-crypto asset certificate, followed by a privacy coin certificate this February.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Pantera Capital Nears $175 Million Target for Third Venture Fund

Cryptocurrency hedge fund Pantera Capital is close to completing funding for its third venture fund, already raising $160 million, the company announced in a blog post оn March 27.

Pantera, which debuted its first fund in 2013, has since risen to become a conspicuous player in the crypto startup industry. Its latest project, dubbed Venture Fund III, has a fundraising target of $175 million.

“We project making a total of 35 investments, with an average deal size of $3.5 million, and an 11% target average equity stake,”
the blog post revealed.

Activity among entities building out the cryptocurrency-related ecosystem has remained brisk despite the ongoing market downturn.

To date, Pantera says, Venture Fund III has already injected $38 million of capital in 11 portfolio companies, leading five of those rounds itself.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Digital Asset Trader AlphaPoint Upgrades Security Token Services for Institutions

Digital asset exchange AlphaPoint has upgraded its security token service designed for institutional clients, according to a press release obtained by Cointelegraph Thursday, March 28.

The company that provides services to private equity, real estate, funds, and other institutional investors is now offering to issue asset-backed security tokens for its clients. AlphaPoint believes that tokenization will increase liquidity for high value asset classes.

As per the announcement, the updated service will allow institutions to create and trade tokens securely and privately.

AlphaPoint said that its new security token service is already used by a real-estate private equity firm Muirfield Investment Partners and an asset management firm Laureate Digital Securities Ltd. While the first is going to issue its own tokens to create a private equity investment structure, the second hopes to reduce the amount of time it takes to onboard customers.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​➡️​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​India to Use Blockchain to Improve Coffee Supply Chain

The Coffee Board of India has launched a pilot blockchain-based e-marketplace in order to integrate coffee farmers with markets. The development was announced by Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) on March 28.

The Coffee Board — an organization backed by the MCI to promote coffee production in India — has rolled out an e-marketplace for coffee producers in order to reduce the number of intermediaries between coffee growers and buyers.

The product will reportedly be delivered in the form of an application and aims to improve transparency and traceability of coffee produced in India “from bean to cup.” To implement the project, the Coffee Board collaborated with M/s Eka Plus, а digital commodity management platforms for аgriculture.
​​⛔️We suspend the work of this channel due to the market downfall.

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Crypto Yoda pinned «​​⛔️We suspend the work of this channel due to the market downfall. 💥Thank you for following us, and Good luck!»
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