This week’s summary of various cryptocurrency news and developments
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase reveals 4 banks are blocking credit card purchases
According to popular cryptocurrency exchange and wallet platform Coinbase, four US banks are currently preventing cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards. Per a tweet the company sent out, users from Capital One, Bank of America, Citi and JP Morgan Chase are currently prohibited from buying cryptocurrencies on the platform using their credit cards. Since bank transfers and other payments channels are still available, Coinbase advised users to go with these alternatives.
This week it was also revealed that British banking group Lloyds is reportedly blocking credit card holders from several its major subsidiaries from purchasing the cryptocurrency on credit.
Customers using credit cards on Coinbase: the following card issuers are now blocking purchases of digital currency with credit cards.
Bank of America
We're encouraging affected customers to switch to debit card or bank account payment methods.
— Coinbase (@coinbase) February 6, 2018
Forbes releases its first-ever cryptocurrency rich list
Forbes, world-renowned for their yearly billionaire list, recently released its first-ever cryptocurrency rich list, detailing the richest individuals in the cryptocurrency space. On top of the rich list is Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen who, thanks to holding 5.2 billion XRP tokens, has a net worth of about $7.5 to $8 billion. Next comes Ethereum co-founder and Consensys founder Joseph Lubin, with a net worth estimated to be between $1 and $5 billion. Next is Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who’s believed to have earned $1.1-2 billion from the platform. The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are believed to have between $900 million and $1.1 billion from founding crypto exchange Gemini and investing in Bitcoin early on.
You can check out Forbes’ rich list here.
Report shows darknet users are turning away from Bitcoin
Threat intelligence company Recorded Future recently revealed that dark net users are increasingly turning away from Bitcoin to use Litecoin and, to a lesser extent, Dash. The company analyzed 150 dark web message boards, marketplaces and illicit services, and discovered Litecoin is now the second most used cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, with Dash coming in third place. Recorded Future’s analysis found that Bitcoin payments became economically unfeasible, as fees and transaction times kept rising throughout 2017.
A poll among several hundred darknet forum members found that there was no agreement as to which coin should be adopted. While 21.8% of users preferred Monero, 20.61% preferred Dash and 19.39% went with Ether. Litecoin, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash followed with lower percentages. Recorded Future’s study found that English speaking users favored Monero, while Eastern European users preferred Litecoin, as Bitcoin remained the most frequently used coin.
MyEtherWallet co-founder launches rival Ethereum wallet service
According to various reports, a MyEtherWallet co-founder recently released a competing Ethereum wallet service dubbed MyCrypto. Through blog post released alongside the new service, the co-founder, Taylor Monahan, gives users a brief history of the project and what motivated her to create the MyCrypto web portal, which at press time boasts a user interface similar to that of MyEtherWallet. Monahan further revealed that her fellow MyEtherWallet co-developer, Kvhnuke, is still in charge of the project’s GitHub repository, domain, and AWS instances. Explaining her move, Monahan stated:
- “MyEtherWallet LLC was sufficient for the early stages of growth. MyCrypto is designed with next-level scaling in mind from the beginning.”
SEC, CFTC show a positive stance toward cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology
According to CoinTelegraph, Bitcoin received an unlikely boost from US regulators that led to a complete turnaround of a huge market dip. The Commodities and Future Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) recently weighted in on their sentiment towards cryptocurrencies. Both organizations showed a positive attitude towards the cryptocurrency space, with the CFTC pointing out that if there was no Bitcoin ,there’d be no blockchain technology. CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo stated:
- “Virtual currencies mark a paradigm shift in how we think about payments, traditional financial processes, and engaging in economic activity. Ignoring these developments will not make them go away, nor is it a responsible regulatory response. The evolution of these assets, their volatility, and the interest they attract from a rising global millennial population demand serious examination.”
SEC chairman Jay Clayton echoed his sentiments, and credited the space for helping potentially improve the capital markets and the financial services industry.
South Korea says the North’s regime stole billions of won in crypto
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) recently revealed that it believes North Korean actors stole billions of won from its cryptocurrency exchanges last year, local news outlet Kyodo News reports. Officials are, in fact, investigating whether North Korea was involved in last month’s attack on Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck that saw over $500 million worth of NEM leave its hot wallet. The NIS further reveals it secured evidence that the regime was behind last year’s attack on Bithumb, that saw $7.2 million stolen, along with the personal information of over 30,000 users.
Arizona may soon accept cryptocurrencies for taxes
The Senate of Arizona recently passed a bill that’s set to allow residents to pay their taxes with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The bill has since been sent to the state’s House of Representatives for further consideration. Although the bill may still have to potentially go through possible reconciliation, it shows cryptocurrencies are getting closer to mainstream adoption. Jeff Weninger, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, spoke to Fox News about it and revealed that its goal is to make the state an accommodating region for cryptocurrency users. He said:
- “It’s one of a litany of bills that we’re running that is sending a signal to everyone in the United States, and possibly throughout the world, that Arizona is going to be the place to be for blockchain and digital currency technology in the future.”
Bitcoin continues to recover from steep correction, trading at $8,467
The cryptocurrency ecosystem’s steep correction is seemingly over. It saw Bitcoin’s price reach a low of little over $6,000 before it started to recover to $8,647 at press time. According to data from CoinMarketCap, the cryptocurrency’s market cap is of $146 billion, while its dominance is now at 34%.
Ethereum at $877.9 as the market recovers
Ethereum saw the market correction drop its Ether token down to about $580 this week, but the cryptocurrency then recovered back to $877,.9 at press time. Ethereum is maintaining its position as the number two cryptocurrency with a market cap of $85 billion. Ethereum’s market share of the cryptocurrency ecosystem is now at 19.79%.
Ripple’s XRP sees 30% gains in the last 24-hour period to $1.11
Ripple’s XRP token surged by 32.49% in the last 24-hour period, helping it reach $1.11. This means Ripple’s market cap is of $43 billion, and the cryptocurrency’s market share is just above 10%.