Bitcoin’s Price May Rise after Congress Hearings on Facebook’s Libra Сryptocurrency

Coinspeaker Bitcoin’s Price May Rise after Congress Hearings on Facebook’s Libra СryptocurrencyDavid Marcus, the head of the department managing Libra project at Facebook, will soon have to testify to the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee of the United States. The hearings are scheduled for July 16 and July 17 correspondingly.Ahead of the session, Bitcoin showed a $3,000 value drop in as little as five days, and currently, it is trading at a price below $10,000.The Facebook cryptocurrency Libra, anticipated in early 2020, already demonstrated a correlative effect over the price of Bitcoin. The evidence came when BTC jumped to the mark of $13,800 from $9,000 in a bit more than a week after Facebook’s disclosure of Libra White Paper on June 18. According to recent projections, Libra may boost the chances of Bitcoin hitting the threshold of $100,000 by 2021.In the past, Bitcoin already proved to be vulnerable to Congress decisions. The biggest recorded change occurred in early 2018 when BTC lost its value from $12,000 to $6,000 in just 10 days following congressional hearing led by the Senate Banking Committee. The good news is, Bitcoin rose from the ashes and normalized to the level above $11,700 as a result of a positive outcome. The story can repeat if Libra officially gets green light from the US government.Libra’s receptionFrom the very first days, Libra has been fuelling fervent discussions as of its odds to be unveiled to the world. Even now, the future of Libra does not seem to be cloudless on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.In Europe, Libra did not get a warm reception from the European Central Bank (ECB), whose executive board member Benoit Coeure called upon the regulators to take actions. As he explained further, an active response has to be adopted to combat the potential risk streaming from Facebook’s project. What is more, the UK is not particularly fond of Libra either. The country’s Central Bank looks into the possibility with caution and does not rush to grant it an approval.The situation gets even more complicated in the US. In a recent tweet, Donald Trump expressed harsh criticism of Libra and cryptocurrency in general:I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019Further, the Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman Jerome Powell openly declared that the Libra project cannot move forward unless all of the serious concerns coming with it are resolved. In the same way as ECB, Fed is also cautious and worries about Libra’s resulting effect on the soundness of the existing financial system. It only remains to be seen what effect it will produce over the decision of Congress.Bitcoin’s Price May Rise after Congress Hearings on Facebook’s Libra Сryptocurrency

Binance Successfully Concluded Its Mainnet ’Galileo’ Upgrade

Coinspeaker Binance Successfully Concluded Its Mainnet ’Galileo’ UpgradeThe Binance Chain Mainnet has completed the upliftment of its testnet services right after the commemoration of its second anniversary. The number one cryptocurrency exchange by volume has recently confirmed the completion of its mainnet upgrade on its both CEX and DEX platforms most-commonly referred to as ’The Galileo Upgrade’. The upgrade was nicknamed, just in the spirit of innovative advancement, after the famous Scientist – Galileo Galilei.What’s New?According to the latest findings, the Binance Chain Mainnet has been released along with an introduction of a number of added features. Adding to this, the leading cryptocurrency trading platform published on its announcement channel that a stable version of testnet services has become available to the general public as at 2019/07/15 8:00 AM (UTC).The list of the added platform’s functionalities includes:Matching Engine Revision. A user-friendly matching logic which includes Taker and Maker concepts has been introduced.Delist Trading Pairs on Binance DEX. Validators on the Binance Chain can now register a delisting proposal by means of governance. This voting mechanism is set in place to outsource tokens with credit issues as well as tokens with an elongated period of a reduced trading volume with regards to one of its trading pairs.Time Locking of Token Assets on Binance Chain. Now businesses can block a certain amount of tokens for pre-defined periods of time, and vest them in the future according to the schedules. For example, some projects may lock some issued tokens as a commitment by the founding team or as collateral for value.State Sync Enhancement. The state sync implementation has been refactored in order to improve user experience and reduce syncing time. Now users can specify the height from which they want to state-sync.Commemorating the 2-year anniversary of Binance, the DEX arm of the exchange tweeted a post inviting its followers to get familiarized with more details of the updates.#Binance Chain Galileo Upgrade CompleteWhat’s new and improved after upgrade:– Matching Engine Revision– Delist Trading Pairs on Binance DEX– Time Locking of Token Assets on @Binance Chain– State Sync EnhancementFull details below🔗👇👇👇https://t.co/8SQPDH9AX2 pic.twitter.com/yq4ktCiqDx— Binance DEX (@Binance_DEX) July 15, 2019The HardFork UpgradeDuring a Hardfork upgrade, the codebase of the underlying system architecture undergoes overhauling hence previously released codes become null and void. So, they become incompatible with the new system which results in a breach between the nodes involved with the recent upgrade and those still running on the previous code release. In a detailed report posted on the platform announcement page, Binance revealed some more details related to its hardfork upgrade:”A hardfork in Binance Chain requires +⅔ validators to choose to upgrade to keep producing blocks. If the existing full nodes in the network do not upgrade, they will not be able to receive and produce more blocks after the hardfork block height.”However, the application logic modifications on the Binance Chain could only be initiated at a specific block height. As we have already reported, the block number for this new upgrade was scheduled for 20,300,000 blocks and was estimated to take place at about 7:00 AM (UTC) on Monday, 15th July 2019. After this event, the blockchain is able to handle and implement neoteric codebase as well as different transaction types. Binance Successfully Concluded Its Mainnet ’Galileo’ Upgrade

Three Men in India Held and Beaten Over Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency is often tied to ransom and cybertheft, but very rarely do cryptocurrencies warrant physical attacks on people. While they do happen, they are relatively rare when compared to the illicit behavior that occurs through digital means.
Physical Attacks Pertaining to Crypto Can Happen
In recent news, one of those physical attacks have taken place. A criminal gang in India sought to kidnap three cryptocurrency traders and hold them against their will in exchange for a bitcoin ransom. All were tortured while the gang demanded a whopping 80 units of BTC.
The three men were held against their will for a total of 15 days. Seven members of the gang were arrested following a raid on their holding quarters after 13 hours of police negotiations which came to a standstill. The victims are now being identified as Luftan Shaikh, age 19; Mohammad Shazad, age 36, and Malang Shah, age 44. They were rescued from a high-rise building after having been beaten for several days.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Vikas Sharma explained in a statement:
The gang kidnapped Shaikh and Shazad, two bitcoin traders, and demanded 80 bitcoins… Shah was kidnapped two days later. The gang demanded [money] from his family members.
Most of the time, cryptocurrency attacks occur through digital means, either via hackings or cyberattacks in which thieves steal funds through crypto exchanges. This recently occurred with a Japanese trading platform known as Bit Point. In all, approximately $32 million worth of crypto funds disappeared and made their way into the hackers’ hands.
In addition, theft can also occur through SIM-swapping, in which hackers bribe employees of a users’ cell phone provider to garner their private data and account information. If the user happens to own crypto, the hacker can sneak into their account unnoticed and coordinate their attack from there.
Cryptocurrency has also been at the center of several ransomware cases or malware, the most common being crypto-jacking software that allows a hacker to take control of a users’ computer or digital device without their permission. They can mine cryptocurrencies for a profit from the person’s computer, who all the while earns nothing from the process other than high energy bills.
Following the raid, the kidnappers took flight and engaged authorities in a 20-minute chase that saw them arrested in a suburban area of Jaipur. The culprits had lured the traders to their hideout by alleging sales of low-priced bitcoin units.
Afraid and Alone
India-based media platform NDTV is quoted as explaining:
[The gang] wanted to extort money from the trio. They held them hostage in the flat and had threatened to kill them if their demands were not met. Not even their family members were aware of the abduction. The victims had lost all hope because they had no access to anyone.
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Winning the Jackpot? It’s All a Numbers Game at CryptoSlots

Casino jackpots are of huge appeal to online players. Traditionally, they are progressive jackpots, which means that a small percentage of every bet made at the casino is added to the winning amount. The number progressively grows until it is won at random by a lucky player of one of the slots or other casino games.
In this way, it all comes down to luck. There is no way to predict when the jackpot will be hit and who the lucky winner of the prize money will be. But as a cryptocurrency-only casino, CryptoSlot eschews the jackpot norm.
What makes CryptoSlots special
CryptoSlots is a relatively new casino, launched last year, currently accepting Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Monero as payment methods with more altcoins already in the works. Players are promised more freedom and control than the average casino. Accounts can be set up with no personal details divulged, payments can be easily traced, etc.
These ethics are also extended to the way the jackpot works. Instead of a progressive pot of winning money, the CryptoSlots jackpot is set at the impressively high amount of $1,000,000. To clinch this win, players play the Jackpot Trigger – a unique slot game with high payouts, the highest being a million dollars.
The aim of the game is to align symbols by both number and color across 10 paylines. The Jackpot Trigger gives players more control over their reels with the exclusive Hold Feature. This allows you to freeze symbols for a second spin and increase chances of a win.
The Provably Fair Jackpot
Like all other slots at this crypto casino, the Jackpot Trigger is a Provably Fair game. This blockchain-inspired concept offers players the rare opportunity to check their game results for fairness. CryptoSlots is one of the rare casinos online which offers solely Provably Fair games. This makes its $1M Jackpot even more accessible to the crypto player.
This cryptocurrency jackpot is more transparent than traditional jackpots. The player has more control in this numbers game, the million dollar win is not just down to luck.
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Image by stokpic from Pixabay
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Facebook’s Libra Succumbs to Regulators’ Requests

It appears Facebook’s Libra is finally giving in to regulatory pressure. Following weeks of going back and forth with members of Congress and other world leaders, David Marcus, who heads Facebook’s blockchain division, is expected to announce a halt to the currency’s growth this week until all regulatory questions “have been answered.”
Libra Puts Its Plans on Hold… For Now
Facebook’s Libra has been the talk of the crypto space for several weeks. The company has tried desperately to assure both legislators and users alike that the coin is being developed in an ethical way. Facebook has been riddled with scandal for the past several years, the biggest being Cambridge Analytica in 2018. The company was caught selling users’ private data to third parties for advertising purposes, and users’ trust in the social media conglomerate has fallen through the floor.
Despite its efforts, Facebook has not been able to convince those at the top that Libra is strong enough to keep people’s financial information safe and secure. Rep. Maxine Waters, who heads the House Financial Committee, asked prior that Facebook refrain from building Libra any further until all the currency’s ideals can be fully analyzed, and it appears Marcus and his team are finally succumbing.
Marcus has commented:
We recognize the authority of financial regulators and support their oversight of this project… Overseeing the Libra blockchain and the Libra reserve will be a significant undertaking and responsibility. No single organization can, or should, be solely responsible for it. We believe a cooperative approach is both warranted and necessary.
Trying to put other fears to rest, Marcus has told potential users that the currency will not be controlled fully by Facebook, but by several financial and tech companies that have pledged support – financial or otherwise – to the venture. Among these companies are PayPal, Uber, Visa and Mastercard.
The problem with this is that in the long run, Libra will be designed to run the way these companies think it should, suggesting Libra will be a centralized currency. While Marcus has commented that the asset will be decentralized, this is hard to believe considering power over the coin will not be placed in the hands of its users but rather by the companies behind it.
Several Legislators Don’t Trust Facebook’s Cryptocurrency
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has commented that Facebook’s crypto plans give rise to “serious concerns,” while other regulators, such as Bank of England governor Mark Carney, have stated that while they will keep an open mind regarding Facebook, the currency cannot be granted any special privileges, and must be subjected to strict regulatory practices.
The currency’s development isn’t fully cancelled. Rather, it’s simply being postponed until lawmakers have had a chance to examine the currency’s properties in full before its release.
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New York Gives Bitlicense to Crypto Derivatives Provider Seed CX

Coinspeaker New York Gives Bitlicense to Crypto Derivatives Provider Seed CXThe New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) granted virtual currency licenses to two subsidiaries of crypto derivatives provider Seed CX. Seed Digital Commodities Market and Zero Hash have received approval from NYDFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell who announced that both companies received BitLicenses, adding that Zero Hash has also been granted a money transmitters license.Seed CX, through its subsidiaries, offers a licensed exchange for institutional trading and settlement of fiat and digital asset products. The company also plans to offer a market for CFTC-regulated digital asset derivatives.Seed Digital Commodities Market and Zero Hash received the 20th and 21st virtual currency licenses issued to date that signifies another landmark announcement for parent company Seed CX. Lacewell said:“We are pleased to have approved over 20 virtual currency businesses, and welcome Seed Digital Commodities Market and Zero Hash to New York’s growing virtual currency marketplace. The Department’s approval of these new licenses will provide institutional customers with more choice while also protecting consumers and the public through strong anti-money laundering, cybersecurity and other compliance standards in a continuously evolving global financial services marketplace.”DFS has authorized SCXM to serve as a matching engine for buyers and sellers of cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin) and as a platform for cryptocurrency block trades, for large financial institutions and trading firms. Zero Hash will function as the money transmitter for the trading activity resulting from its affiliated exchange, SCXM.Edward Woodford, co-founder and CEO of Seed CX said:“Being granted two virtual currency licenses by the New York Department of Financial Services marks the next step in our growth to becoming the leader in institutional trading of digital assets.As virtual currency license holders we will be able to expand trading and settlement services to New York firms through our institutional platform that offers the strong institutional technology, the operational support, and the regulatory compliance that institutions demand.”Last month, Seed CX was voted Best Institutional Digital Asset Infrastructure Provider by the 2019 Profit & Loss Reader’s Choice Awards. In addition, Zero Hash was named Innovator of the Year.These licenses will enable Seed Digital Commodities Market and Zero Hash to facilitate digital asset trading and settlement for New York trading groups. The company currently offers trading and settlement for BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, and PAX, and has the capability to settle in 20 different fiat pairs.The virtual currency licensing process involves undergoing a comprehensive review of anti-money laundering, fraud, capitalization, consumer protection, and cybersecurity policies. In addition to the virtual currency license, Zero Hash also simultaneously received a money transmitter license from NYDFS, permitting Zero Hash to custody and settle fiat currency.Seed CX also provides institutional investors and professional traders with the market structure and technology they need, in order to confidently add digital assets to their portfolios and investment strategies through excellence in trading, risk management and operations, and settlement and custody.Seed CX and its subsidiaries now hold the following registrations and licenses: Swap Execution Facility (CFTC), Introducing Broker (NFA), Money Services Business (FinCEN), FX Dealer (FinCEN) and Money Transmitter (34 states), and has applied for Broker-Dealer registration with FINRA.New York Gives Bitlicense to Crypto Derivatives Provider Seed CX

Switch.ag Announces SwitchDex, the Simplest Way to Trade on a Decentralized Exchange

Coinspeaker Switch.ag Announces SwitchDex, the Simplest Way to Trade on a Decentralized ExchangeOne of the biggest hurdles faced by entry-level cryptocurrency traders is the complexity of navigating on exchanges. As exchanges attempt to offer more and more options, greater services and advanced features, the average trader can be overwhelmed with confusing interfaces. The SwitchDex platform, one of the easiest ways to exchange one crypto asset for another, offers a decentralized exchange that continues its legacy of simplicity.The SwitchDex is a decentralized exchange that is designed from scratch, offering the easiest user interface you can find in a full-fledged crypto exchange. The exchange already has listed in excess of 100 tokens available for instant trading. What’s more, trading is made even easier with 6 base pairs to choose from.Apart from the broad trading pairs or the increasing number of tokens, the exchange offers a combination of features that are difficult to match, even by the biggest exchanges. First of all, tokens are held by users. This means that, as a decentralized exchange, the ownership of tokens lies with traders, not the platform itself. Secondly, there is no maker, deposit or withdrawal fee – only a standard 0.2% taker fee is charged. This taker fee can even be eliminated altogether with a one-time payment.  And, finally, half of all fees generated from the platform’s native tokens is airdropped to token holders.The Switch ecosystem, both the simple swapping and decentralized exchange, the Switch.ag and SwitchDex, have their own native tokens, DESH and SDEX. These tokens offer instant benefit to the users of the platforms through airdropped profits generated from fees, and also give further discounts to users. ESH is another token that has been recently listed on the SwitchDex platform and token holders are also given the opportunity to earn airdropped fees of both the Swtich.ag and SwitchDex platform (50% of gross fee).The ESH token has already been listed on DOBI and Instant Bitex exchanges. Two more exchanges, Mercatox & IDEX, have also confirmed an imminent listing of ESH. This token is also preparing for more exchange listings soon.Switch.ag and its decentralized counterpart, SwitchDex, have already generated immense interest in the online community. A number of high-profile personalities have agreed to be advisors to the Switch ecosystem. Digital security guru John McAfee headlines this list of advisors. McAfee is a household name when it comes to security of computers. His anti virus software is one of the most downloaded and used in the world.Other notable persons include Mate Tokey, a man known to have a knack for creating crypto portals that are among the most-visited ones in the industry. Simon Cocking, the Editor in Chief of CryptoCoinNews is also advising the platform.With simplicity at its core, the Switch.ag and SwitchDex platforms are offering an easy and intuitive user interface that allows people to make efficient and effective trades.Switch.ag Announces SwitchDex, the Simplest Way to Trade on a Decentralized Exchange

Leaked Document Shows India Will Ban All Cryptocurrency except Its Digital Rupee

Coinspeaker Leaked Document Shows India Will Ban All Cryptocurrency except Its Digital RupeeIndia hasn’t always been the most crypto-friendly country but things might be getting worse. According to a leaked bill being circulated on the internet, India might be seriously considering an outright ban of all cryptocurrencies apart from the Digital Rupee.On Monday, the 15th of July, Varun Sethi, a tech lawyer, uploaded a document purported to be details of a bill to be deliberated on by the Parliament of India. Titled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies”, the document is 18 pages long and contains a few specifics regarding definitions and plans to outlaw the use of crypto in the country.Though the document is unconfirmed, its existence is already on the lips of many as they discuss the possible effects this bill may have on cryptocurrency in the country and the global sector in general. Nischal Shetty, the founder and CEO of Indian cryptocurrency exchange – WazirX – has taken to Twitter to comment on the matter. According to him, even if the document is verified as authentic, the Monsoon session of Parliament will not be debating the bill. Shetty also pointed out that it takes a long time for any bill to be passed as law.Definition and SpecificsThe document contains an extensive delineation of cryptocurrency, defining it as “any information or code or number or token not being part of any Official Digital Currency, generated through cryptographic means or otherwise, providing a digital representation of value…or functions as a store of value or a unit of account and includes its use in any financial transaction or investment.”The “Prohibition” part of the document, however, expressly states that the Digital Rupee will not fall under the term “Cryptocurrency” which means that it will not be banned with the others. The document specifically states:“No person shall mine, generate, hold, sell, deal in, issue, transfer; dispose of or use Cryptocurrency in the territory of India.”The Digital Rupee would be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) subject to approval from the Central Government. It will also be governed and be subject to regulations as may be stipulated by the RBI.Distributed Ledger Technology is Still AllowedEven though cryptocurrency will no longer be used either as a unit of account, a medium of exchange or a store of value, the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is still very much allowed. DLT remains lawful for experimental, educational and research purposes, as long as cryptocurrencies are not used on them.Furthermore, DLT can also be used by financial institutions or any other service providers who might need it to create or improve on their network or services for whatever reason, as long as no cryptocurrencies are used. The document states that anyone who contravenes the law would have to pay a yet to be disclosed fine or serve a ten-year jail term, or both.Last month, a report showed that the RBI was working on its own blockchain platform for its Research and Development branch and possibly to host its own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). However, it has now reportedly shelved the plan.Also, it is rumored that Facebook does not plan to operate its Libra in India because of the country’s anti-crypto stance.Leaked Document Shows India Will Ban All Cryptocurrency except Its Digital Rupee

Whale Alert Revealed a Huge Tether Mistake: What Really Happened

Mistakes come in all shapes and forms, but not a lot of them are worth 5 billion USDT tokens. According to Whale Alert, Tether minted and later burned 5 billion USDT tokens.
Thanks to Whale Alert, this “small” mistake quickly spread like wildfire. Originally, Whale Alert was designed to help investors by reporting large and extremely large crypto transactions.
A suitable explanation for the account’s purpose would be the very large transaction of 50 million USDT tokens from the crypto exchange Poloniex to the Tether Treasury. The account reported that the transaction was done via the Omni protocol on the Bitcoin blockchain
Interestingly enough, Whale Alert reported that 5 billion USDT tokens were minted by the Tether Treasury on the Tron blockchnain. After a short while, the very same tokens were burned.
Afterwards, 50 million USDT were minted on the same chain. In about 20 minutes or less, another 4.5 billion USDT was burned.
Whale Alert users saw obvious money laundering
To further increase speculation and confusion, 50 million TRON-based USDT were finally transferred to a wallet that was said to belong to Poloniex. Many twitter users were quick to say that this was an obvious case of money laundering.

While preparing the issuance for Omni to Tron swap there have been an issue with the token decimals. Please check the burn transactions below @Tether_tohttps://t.co/reEW51qCqihttps://t.co/zo5i3ayTuQ https://t.co/h1Y9Mnr4Oq
— Paolo Ardoino (@paoloardoino) July 13, 2019

Paolo Ardoino, the CTO of Bitfinex and Tether, stated that mistake was made with the decimals. The original goal was to swap 50 million Omni-based USDT to the TRON blockchain.

Paolo is correct – this occurred while Poloniex was conducting a USDT chain swap with the help of Tether. An incorrect amount of USDT was accidentally minted, and this has since been resolved to the intended value.
— Poloniex Exchange (@Poloniex) July 14, 2019

Poloniex later confirmed Ardoino’s statement and the mistake became apparent.
This has definitely not been a very good week for Tether as Metropolitan Commercial Bank recently announced that it will shut down all accounts associated with the stablecoin.
Companies affiliated to Tether also had their accounts shut down. It was clarified that the request to close all accounts came from the bank itself, not iFinex, Digfinex or Tether.
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BITPoint Hack Seems to be More Serious Than Originally Thought

On July 12th, $32 million was stolen from the Japanese crypto exchange BITPoint. After the BITPoint hack became known, all transactions and services were suspended.
A total of 3.5 billion yen, 2.5 billion from customer accounts and nearly 1 billion from the main deposit account were stolen.  First reports of the BITPoint hack were received in the late evening of July 11th.
The exchange currently works with BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC and XRP. After the BITPoint hack became public, the exchange quickly announced that all damage will be compensated as fast as possible.
There is already progress on the case as Japanese authorities were asked to help with the investigation. BITPoint revealed that 250 million yen or $2.3 million of the stolen crypto has been located on overseas exchanges.
Despite the location of the assets, there is no guarantee that the funds can be wired back to the exchange. BITPoint’s parent company, Remixpoint Inc., lost 19% in value after the services of the exchange were suspended.
The BITPoint hack will have some serious consequences
After the scale of the BITPoint hack became known, Remixpoint went untraded in Tokyo. This is another blow to Japanese crypto exchanges after Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), issued multiple business improvement orders to local crypto exchanges.
FSA’s main concerns lie with crypto exchanges’ ability to comply with the anti-money-laundering (AML) requirements. This is mainly because FSA inspectors have found out that many crypto exchanges fail to apply proper Know-Your-Customer (KYC) checks.
Another huge issue which grabbed FSA’s attention, was the fact that there were countless cases where the client’s funds were not adequately separated from those of the exchanges.
FSA’s issued orders came a few weeks after Money Forward Inc, announced plans to launch a crypto asset exchange by the end of 2018.
Money Forward (MF) is the operator of one of Japan’s most popular personal budgeting apps. The press release, detailed MF’s plans to launch the crypto exchange.
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