Crypto Weekly – January 4, 2018

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The end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 has seen quite a change in the top 10 cryptocurrencies. Ripple surged to 2nd place with the news that three Japanese credit card companies have reportedly agreed to adopt Ripple for payment processing. In addition,  Japan Bank Consortium, which consists of 61 banks, is also working on cross border payments with two Korean banks. There are also some rumors that Ripple will be listed on Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US.

Data source: www.coinmarketcap.com as of January 3, 2017 (UTC, EOD).

Regulation:
  • South Korean exchanges have started complying to the new regulation, which kicks in on Jan 20 and  includes the discontinuation of services to minors and non-Korean residents. In addition, the exchanges cannot provide virtual accounts which enables customers to remain anonymous when making deposits and trading.
    • Anguk Law Offices, a Seoul-based law firm has reportedly filed a constitutional appeal over the regulations claiming that it is a breach of property rights.
  • Israel Securities Authority head announced that a proposal will be reviewed by the board which looks to ban companies that have a big exposure to bitcoin trading from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
  • The Belarus government passed a favorable statute for cryptocurrency and blockchain companies which includes tax exemption for 5 years beginning Jan 2018.
  • An ECB council member has suggested that bitcoin should be regulated and taxed, but an official structure or plan is yet to be put in place.
  • The Grand Mufti of Egypt, the highest religious leader, issued a fatwa with his comments that cryptocurrency trading is forbidden under Islamic religious law given the associated risks involved.
  • The Bank of England established a research unit to investigate the the introduction of central bank backed cryptocurrency.
  • Malaysia’s finance minister, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani will not ban cryptocurrencies, as that would limit financial innovation. However, regulations to be imposed on the industry are still under consideration.
Exchanges:
  • Poloniex, a cryptocurrency exchange declared that it will start conducting a KYC exercise on existing customers and disable those accounts that do not comply. In addition, any new accounts opened will only be open with valid KYC documents.
Market adoption:
  • Goldman Sachs is planning to set up its cryptocurrency trading desk by June 2018 and is assessing security and custody details.
  • CBOE filed 6 Bitcoin futures ETFs with the US SEC – the First Trust Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the First Trust Inverse Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the GraniteShares Bitcoin ETF, the GraniteShares Short Bitcoin ETF, the REX Bitcoin Strategy ETF and the REX Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF.
  • Ducatus Cafe is the first cryptocurrency cafe which accepts bitcoin as a means of payment or its own virtual currency, Ducatus.  
  • Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin sold all his coins in order to prevent conflict of interest.
Last 12 months Charts:

Data source: www.coinmarketcap.com

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