BitMex faced with a $300m lawsuit | Inside Cryptocurrency - December, 12th 2019

Inside Cryptocurrency (Dec 12th, 2019)

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Market Watch: Industry prices remain mostly unchanged during trading today, with the majority of coin prices down across the board.

  • Bitcoin: $7,211 (⬇️ 0.98%) // $130.5 billion market cap.
  • Ethereum: $143 (⬇️ 1.30%) // $15.6 billion market cap.
  • XRP: $0.220 (⬇️ 1.22%) // $9.5 billion market cap.
  • Tether: $1.01 (⬇️ 0.85%) // $4.1 billion market cap. 
  • Top 100 Winner: Enjin Coin: $0.086 (⬆️ 8.07%) // $67 million market cap.
  • Top 100 Loser: Matic Network: $0.015 (⬇️ 15.69%) // $40 million market cap.

Prices are as of 1:40 p.m. ET.

1. Crypto exchange BitMex and founder Arthur Hayes have been hit with a $300 million investor lawsuit for allegedly cheating an early investor. Back in 2015, Frank Amato and RGB Coin Ltd. claim to have been the first seed investor in the crypto platform. According to the lawsuit, a $30,000 investment was meant to be converted into equity, which currently amounts to $50 million; however, this wasn't granted. Amato is stating that Hayes presented misleading information. As a result, they are attempting to reclaim the $50 million plus $250 million in punitive damages. This is the latest mishap for the exchange. Last month, it accidentally leaked sensitive data related to its users in a mass email. –BLOOMBERG

2. Crypto exchange Binance and peer-to-peer trading platform Paxful have announced that they are working together to promote the adoption of Bitcoin. As a result of the partnership, Binance users will be able to use Paxful to purchase Bitcoin with 167 fiat currencies. Some of these include the Russian ruble (RUB), the Vietnamese dong (VND), the Indonesian rupiah (IDR), the Nigerian naira (NGN), the Colombian peso (COP), the British pound (GBP), the Mexican peso (MXN), the Canadian dollar (CAD), the euro (EUR), and the Argentinian peso (ARS). Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that this "marks a significant partnership between a crypto exchange and peer-to-peer platform." The partnership aims to reach and aid an estimated 2 billion unbanked people worldwide. –THE BLOCK

3. Throwback Thursday: The run-up to Bitcoin's all-time high

It may feel like a lifetime ago, but on December 17, 2017, Bitcoin hit an impressive $19,783 for the first time.

It was reported that this was due to the expected activation of a Bitcoin futures product from the CME Group, which saw its value steadily rising from November. With the price of Bitcoin increasing, investors didn't want to miss out and so quickly joined the party to get in on making as much money as possible.

However, it wasn't long before a decline in value was seen in the new year. January 2018, known as the cryptocurrency crash, was the worst sell-off month for the market. For Bitcoin, it fell more than 65 percent between January 6 and February 6 from its all-time high.

4. Dutch bank ING is reportedly working on developing a crypto custody technology designed to help clients store their assets safely. Still in the early stages of development, this is purportedly one of the bank's blockchain initiatives. In a statement, the bank said that it "sees increasing opportunities with regard to digital assets on both asset backed and native security tokens." The move comes at a time when financial establishments are turning their attention to providing custody services for digital assets such as Bitcoin. In October, investment manager Fidelity launched its custody and trading service for institutional investors. –REUTERS

5. Switzerland-based cryptocurrency bank SEBA has expanded its services to nine new countries. According to SEBA, the accounts are now active for institutional clients and accredited investors in Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, and the U.K. The bank already takes clients from its home nation of Switzerland. –FINANCE MAGNATES

6. Payments company Circle is reported to have let go of a further 10 employees. According to a company representative, Circle has "streamlined some departments and eliminated 10 roles." The spokesperson added that it is focusing its attention on its USDC stablecoin. The news comes after co-founder and co-CEO Sean Neville left Circle earlier this month. A new CEO will be installed at the beginning of 2020. –COINTELEGRAPH

7. Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) revealed which instructors will be taking part in its free seven-week crypto school startup, which is projected to launch in February. Participants include general partner at Andreessen Horowitz Chris Dixon, professor of computer science at Stanford University Dan Boneh, and Brian Armstrong, CEO and co-founder at Coinbase. –A16Z

8. Denmark's tax agency, the Skattestyrelsen (Skat), has reportedly started sending tax compliance letters to crypto users. According to a report, the agency is asking for users to provide information on all their cryptocurrency transactions, including losses and profits from 2016 to 2018. Robin Singh, founder of cryptocurrency tax startup Koinly, stated that filing tax on such trades is a "difficult task" because traders usually hold different accounts and wallets and freely exchange between them. –COINTELEGRAPH

9. Multi-asset investment platform and social network eToro is reportedly planning to launch a debit card in the second half of 2020. The service is likely to launch in the U.K. first. However, other details about the plans remain unclear. –BUSINESS INSIDER

10. Samson Lwanga, one of the directors of alleged crypto Ponzi scheme Dunamiscoins Resources Limited, has been seized by police in Uganda. The company is reported to have involved over 10,000 people, resulting in the loss of $2.7 million from victims. Lwanga has reportedly stated that the firm is willing to refund the money; however, the Financial Intelligence Authority has frozen their accounts as it investigates. –DAILY MONITOR

This newsletter was written and curated by Rebecca Campbell. She has been writing and reporting on various industries for the past 10 years, more specifically tech in the last three. Connect with her on Twitter.

Edited by Sheena Vasani, Inside Staff Writer and Inside Dev Editor.

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