HyperLinq : Weekly Digital Asset Digest 16

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Rohan Raman
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The HyperLinq Weekly Digest is the one-stop source for the HyperLinq community to access relevant news involving digital assets, where we essentially outline key industry updates that our members may have missed. We are always open to suggestions and feedback so please do not hesitate to let us know what you think!


Binance to Stop Serving US Traders Following Announcement of US-Dedicated Platform : Marie Huillet | CoinTelegraph

Major crypto exchange Binance announced today, June 14, that it has updated its terms of use, which notably includes a restriction of services to United States-based individual and corporate traders. The restriction follows yesterday’s news that the company is launching a separate, fully regulated fiat-to-crypto platform for the U.S. market. Sums above this threshold would require users to provide evidence that they are complying with the platform’s Terms of Use. Earlier this month, it was reported that the decentralized exchange developed by Binance will use geo-blocking to restrict website access to users in 29 countries, including the U.S. As Cointelegraph has previously reported, CZ revealed in September 2018 that the company intends to launch five to ten fiat-to-crypto exchanges — two per continent — within one year, without specifying the exact locations. As reported yesterday, Binance is establishing its U.S. platform in partnership with BAM Trading Services, which is approved by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network . In June, Binance revealed that it would be issuing its own stablecoins pegged to different fiat currencies, but with the exception of the U.S. dollar.

$346 Billion Giant E*Trade Begins Marketing to Crypto Traders, Bitcoin Trading Desk Imminent? : Tony Spilotro | NewsBTC

As Bitcoin price surges once again, interest has returned to the crypto market in a major way. Not only are crypto powerhouse mainstays like Coinbase and Binance doing more than ever to cater to the growing demand across the crypto market, traditional asset managers like Fidelity have begun to enter the emerging market in hopes of bridging the gap between the asset class and institutional investors. According to the reports, searching Google for the search term "crypto trading" results in E*Trade being listed among Google’s advertising results, alongside San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken, and margin trading platform PrimeXBT. The three companies can be seen leveraging Google’s search term advertising product, formerly known as AdWords, in order to target crypto traders researching potential platforms. The marketing tools allow companies to promote advertisements they create and specify, whenever the chosen search term comes up in a user’s search query. E*Trade’s fame stemmed from both its ease of use during the early days of dot com stock trading, and for its marketing campaign that proved that the platform was so simple to use, even a baby could learn to trade effectively.

Yahoo Japan-Backed Exchange Launches Crypto-Yen Markets and Margin Trading : Jamie Redman | Bitcoin.com

Yahoo Japan Corporation has officially entered the cryptocurrency trading industry with its newly launched exchange Taotao. Yahoo Japan is an internet company tethered to the American multimedia corporation Yahoo. The web portal operated by Yahoo Japan is the most visited website in the country, offering services like email, Roku, Gyao, Geocities, auctions, shopping, and travel. The company’s exchange was initially called Bitarg up until Yahoo Japan acquired the trading platform last February and renamed it Taotao. Users can trade with BTC and ETH in a traditional spot market fashion with their smartphone while also playing with leverage on LTC, XRP, and BCH. The Yahoo Japan-backed Taotao claims to offer top-notch trading in a completely isolated environment from the external networks. Funds are kept in cold storage and Taotao also offers multi-signature technology which requires the approval from multiple individuals at the time of withdrawal. There have already been advertisements on Yahoo Japan’s web portal when the company announced the pre-registration account openings for March 25 and gave up to 11,000 yen in reimbursements for advance registrations. Taotao will compete with a slew of trading platforms and the Japanese forerunner Bitflyer, one of the world’s leading digital asset exchanges by volume. For instance, on Monday, June 10, Bitflyer has processed over $58 million or 7,315 BTC worth of trade volume in the last 24 hours.

Nasdaq and CryptoCompare Partner on Institution-Oriented Crypto Pricing Product : Marie Huillet | CoinTelegraph

The world's second-largest stock exchange, Nasdaq, and crypto data provider CryptoCompare have partnered to release a cryptocurrency pricing product targeted at institutional investors. The news was revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on June 11. The new product, dubbed the "Nasdaq/CryptoCompare Aggregate Crypto Reference Prices", will be made available on the Nasdaq-owned platform Quandl — which reportedly provides financial and economic alternative datasets for over 400,000 financial professionals globally. The new Nasdaq-CryptoCompare pricing product will be based on CryptoCompare’s aggregate index datasets, which provide ostensibly minute-by-minute pricing data from those cryptocurrency markets that have the highest liquidity. The product aims to enhance institutional investors’ capabilities in the crypto markets, across "trading strategy, quantitative research, risk modelling, NAV calculations and back-testing", the press release notes. In an official statement, CryptoCompare CEO and co-founder Charles Hayter has argued that reliable data is the bedrock of transparent, liquid markets", and can offer global, institutional investors and traders a competitive edge in the crypto sector. In late 2018, Nasdaq had ostensibly confirmed its plans to launch bitcoin futures in the first half of 2019, having deferred an earlier planned rollout. In February 2019, Nasdaq started listing two cryptocurrency price indices from United States blockchain and crypto market data firm Brave New Coin , including BNC’s Bitcoin Liquid Index and Ethereum Liquid Index.

Google Responds To Allegations Of Blacklisting Cryptocurrency News Sites : Benjamin Pirus | Forbes

On June 10, 2019, popular cryptocurrency news site CCN.com announced the closure of its operations, statedly due to an update in Google's algorithm, which, according to CCN, led to decreased readership numbers. Providing clarification on its algorithm, Google explained to me that its updates may have varying effects on websites. The popular search site often updates its systems to keep up with the fast-paced internet environment, a Google representative wrote in an email to me in response to a question about Google's algorithm and any recent changes the company has made that may have affected crypto sites. Google aims to give relevant results to those searching the web, the email explained. The Google representative added, «With any update, some sites might not perform as well as in the past, while other sites might perform better.» Google detailed that some sites, at times, may see better results after updates due to those sites not previously seeing benefits of their high relevance. The Tweets entailed similar information, expressing the occurrence of updates, and that some sites may be affected more than others. The representative also shared links for Google's webmaster guidelines page and its webmaster community forums.

9 Days Until the Crypto Industry Must Verify the Identity of Anyone Sending $1,000 or More : David Cannelis | TheNextWeb

In just nine days, new rules by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering will force cryptocurrency businesses in roughly 200 countries to verify the identities of anyone sending or receiving more than $1,000 worth of digital assets, effectively nullifying their pseudonymity. A number of US-based firms have responded by exploring the viability of a «global parallel system» that would allow the world’s cryptocurrency exchanges to share data in a bid to remain compliant, Bloomberg reports. Factoring in the additional costs, FATF’s new rules could end up hurting small and medium-sized enterprises that might not have the resources to implement the new legal requirements – similarly to how BitLicense affected companies back in 2015. According to Bloomberg, services with licenses to transmit money could face increased scrutiny from local government agencies, and risk losing them altogether if they don’t comply with FATF’s rules. It’s no surprise, then, that the central banks and finance ministers of G20 nations publicly pledged commitment to the FATF’s incoming guidelines at a recent summit in Japan. In the past, cryptocurrency companies have faced heavy criticism for forcing Anti-Money-Laundering and Know-Your-Customer restrictions on their customers at the behest of government agencies – but it looks like soon they won’t even have a choice.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency to debut next week backed by Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and others - WSJ : Jon Porter | TheVerge

Facebook has secured the backing of over a dozen companies for its upcoming Libra cryptocurrency set to be announced next week, The Wall Street Journal reports. These companies include major financial organizations like Visa and Mastercard, and internet darlings like PayPal, Uber, Stripe, and Booking.com. Each will invest around $10 million to fund development of the currency, and will become part of the Libra Association, an independent consortium that will govern the digital coin independently of Facebook. For Facebook, establishing an independent body is thought to provide cover with users and regulators, who have grown increasingly wary of both the amount of power Facebook wields, and its cavalier attitude towards the responsibilities this brings. The cryptocurrency, which will reportedly be called Libra, will be unveiled on June 18th, according to TechCrunch, with a full release planned for 2020. The company is reportedly also looking into developing ATM-like physical terminals for people to convert their money into Libra. Facebook will need to overcome numerous regulatory hurdles before it’s able to launch the currency, and will need to address concerns around fraud and money laundering .

Russia Is Getting Serious About Blockchain, but Remains on the Fence About Cryptocurrencies : Stephen O'Neil | CoinTelegraph

Last week, an annual forum featuring Russia’s top people from the economic sector was held in St. Petersburg, and cryptocurrencies were a hot topic there. Notably, government agents and state-controlled businesses were vocal about their interest in blockchain, but seemed to distance themselves from digital tokens. First, the prospect of using a substitute for conventional money was deemed "illegal" by financial ombudsman Pavel Medvedev. Then, the Kremlin supposedly decided that a pet stablecoin could "minimize the amount of anonymous transactions", or even help evade Western sanctions, thereby greenlighting the project.However, the CryptoRuble ended up on the back burner in the end, as the current status of the project is unclear. There have been numerous attempts to define cryptocurrencies legally since then. At different times, Russian lawmakers have been urged to introduce a regulatory framework by President Putin , the local Supreme Arbitration Court and the Financial Action Task Force. Last month, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly said that the popularity of cryptocurrencies "has decreased", which is why the regulation issue "not that relevant" anymore.Notably, a year ago, he urged the government to legislate at least some basic crypto terms. Despite the prime minister’s suggestion that cryptocurrencies have decreased in popularity, they were widely discussed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum , an annual Russian business event for the economic sector, which took place from 6 to 8 June.

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Rohan Raman

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