Inside | Real news, curated by real humans
Inside Bitcoin

Inside Bitcoin (Jan 16th, 2020)

Market Watch: Following highs across the board earlier this week, the market has experienced a slight price correction. Bitcoin SV has replaced Bitcoin Cash in fourth place but is currently down over 11 percent in a 24-hour period.

  • Bitcoin: $8,754 (⬇️ 0.21%) // $159 billion market cap.
  • Ethereum: $163 (⬇️ 1.15%) // $17.9 billion market cap.
  • XRP: $0.228 (⬇️ 3.69%) // $9.9 billion market cap.
  • Bitcoin SV: $325 (⬇️ 11.37%) // $5.9 billion market cap.
  • Top 100 Winner: Augur: $15.96 (⬆️ 41.21%) // $175 million market cap.
  • Top 100 Loser: MaidSafeCoin: $0.077 (⬇️ 12.33%) // $34 million market cap.

Prices are as of 11:30 a.m. ET.

1. Binance is reportedly planning to restrict transactions to Japanese residents, according to an announcement on the platform. The post states that at present, there are no restrictions on trading, and all services are available; however, limitations are to be implemented gradually. Binance further noted that "as soon as the details of the transaction restrictions are determined, we will contact you shortly." It's not yet known why Binance has decided to take this step. Notably, though, the crypto exchange moved its operations to Malta in 2018 following a warning from Japanese regulators that it lacked a national exchange license. -BINANCE

2. The Gemini Exchange, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, has launched an insurance company to insure Gemini Custody for up to $200 million. The insurance company is called Nakamoto, Ltd. Following the launch, Gemini's custodial clients will be able to buy more insurance from Nakamoto, Ltd., so that they can secure their assets. It also means that institutional clients can meet regulatory requirements. According to the head of risk at Gemini Yusuf Hussain, the move "is consistent with Gemini’s approach of being a security-first, compliance-first, and regulatory friendly exchange and custodian." -COINTELEGRAPH

3. Throwback Thursday: Coincheck Exchange Hack

Toward the end of January 2018, Tokyo-based crypto exchange Coincheck became the victim of hackers who managed to steal $532.6 million worth of NEM tokens. At the time of the attack, the coins were stored on a hot wallet, which was connected to the internet, therefore making it more vulnerable to hacking. This is compared to a cold wallet, which is stored offline.

Since April 2018, Japan's government recognized Bitcoin as a legal form of payment and required exchange operators to register with the financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Notably, when the hack took place, Coincheck wasn't registered with the FSA but was allowed to continue operating on a provisional basis while its application was being assessed.

4. Russia has been called on to develop its digital economy by the new Prime Minister (PM) of the Russian Federation. Mikhail Mishustin was approved as the new PM by the Russian parliament today and succeeded Dmitry Medvedev, an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to a domestic report, Mishustin noted that Russia should introduce modern information technologies, which also includes a national digital economy. In a roughly translated text, he said: "without a doubt, the state should be a digital platform that is created for [the] people." -RIA NOVOSTI

5. Officials in Thailand are investigating an alleged cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that involved the loss of around $2.5 million. A human rights lawyer has taken the case to the country's Department of Special Investigation (DSI), which involves roughly twenty victims. According to a report, the alleged pyramid scheme, Khung Nong Cryptocurrency Trading, started operations in 2018, with promising returns that were as high as eight percent per week. -THE BANGKOK POST

6. The Liquid Exchange has announced that it canceled the sale of Telegram's Open Network's (TON) Gram token sale. All funds have been returned to Liquid users who took part. The exchange returned funds back to users because the TON network was not launched by Nov. 30, 2019. It had previously been anticipated that the network would launch by 31 October 2019, however, this didn't happen. The launch has been impeded, though, by an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which argues that it was an unregistered sale of securities. -LIQUID

7. South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb has filed a complaint with the National Tax Service (NTS) over a tax bill amounting to $69 million. According to the platform, the bill is "groundless," given the fact that cryptocurrency is not a legally recognized currency and lacks the authority to place a bill of any kind. The tax tribunal now has 90 days to decide whether to grant or dismiss the exchange's motion. -THE KOREA TIMES

8. Blockchain company Bitfury is partnering up with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on a project designed to reduce its carbon footprint in Kazakhstan. The project intends to help the country reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent to meet the 2016 Paris Agreement. In order to reduce Bitfury's carbon emissions, the company will create 20 hectares of forestland to begin with. -THE ASTANA TIMES

9. New research shows that the use of the blockchain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can save the country over $3 billion. In a whitepaper, titled "Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain: Case Studies and Learning from the United Arab Emirates," researchers found that 80 percent of the more than 100 organizations from government and non-governmental entities highlighted application blockchain solutions as the most important factor early on. -EMIRATES NEWS AGENCY

10. The United Nations has warned people to stay away from a crypto conference in North Korea next month, stating that it will likely constitute a sanctions violation. This comes as a confidential report is expected to be submitted to the UN Security Council later this month. The news also comes after independent UN experts informed the council that North Korea made around $2 billion from cyberattacks that stole from banks and crypto exchanges. -REUTERS

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, staff writer at Inside.

Subscribe to Inside Bitcoin