Announcements, Stories, Opinions And Ideas

A weekly digest of relevant news about digital assets and crypto, outlining crucial blockchain industry updates that you may have missed.

TradingView Adds First Crypto Index to Charts and Analysis Platform : Yogita Khatri | CoinDesk

A cryptocurrency index has been added to the TradingView platform for the first time, called the HB10 Index. The index can already be explored on the TradingView website. The HB10 Index was launched by crypto-exchange Huobi, last May to track a basket of the top cryptocurrencies traded on its platform and currently lists nine major cryptocurrencies : Bitcoin (BTC), EOS, Ether (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), TRON (TRX), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ontology (ONT) as well as Huobi's native Huobi Token (HT). All of Huobi's crypto-to-crypto trading pairs have been added to TradingView's platform as well. Huobi also said that this was a move that shows the "continued maturation" of the digital assets industry.

Russia to Introduce Special Crypto Regulations for "Russian Offshores" : Ana Alexandre | CoinTelegraph

The Russian Ministry of Economic Development is reportedly working on the third set of measures to develop the "Russian Offshores", which they define as places where companies have legitimate tax exemptions or relaxed regulations or both. A special clause for digital assets and shipping will be included in these regulations. Currently the constitution and and financial system legislation in Russia "categorically prohibit" using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, however, last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to enforce crypto-regulations by the end of June, 2019. These regulations will include a regulatory framework for digital assets and also attract greater digital-based financial resources. The State of Duma also plans to introduce crypto-regulations in March, while the former Energy Minister of Russia, Igor Yusufov has also proposed an oil-based crypto.

Futures Trading Nears $1 Billion in First Month at Kraken Crypto Exchange : Nikhilesh De | CoinDesk

Ever since US based crypto-exchange Kraken acquired crypto-futures provides Crypto Facilities, the latter has seen colossal growth. Their trading volume has increased by more than 500% since being acquired for $100 million at the beginning of February. Crypto Facilities' user base has grown 400 % over the last month as well, with most of the new customers coming in from Kraken. That means 5000 new customers since February 4, 2019, none of them from the US. Crypto Facilities team is constantly reviewing customer feedback and improving their interface, upgrading features and tools and planning to add more new products in the near future, about which no details have been revealed as of date. The volume of trades on the Crypto Facilities platform increased by 565%, the liquidity for their contracts by over 200% and other minor contracts jumped by over 1000%.

‘Coffee for Bakkt’? Starbucks Equity Deal Will See Crypto-Based Payments, Source Claims : William Suberg | CoinTelegraph

Ever since Starbucks partnered with US based crypto-platform, Bakkt, in August last year, there is a possibility that the coffee giant will accept Bitcoin (BTC) and allow US customers to use Bakkt to pay for its products. However, the cryptocurrency earned by Starbucks will instantly be converted to Fiat and not be processed. The idea of paying using Bitcoin was originally denied by Starbucks, but ever since they secured considerable equity in the crypto-platform, it appears that they will accept crypto-payment indirectly. It has also been reported that only US customers will have access to Bakt's BTC-USD services at first. Bakkt is targeting investors looking to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies and is hoping that this move attracts as many of them as possible. This is considered to be a positive move towards the acceptance of BTC as a trustworthy mainstream asset, with Bakkt expected to increase the public profile of the cryptocurrency.

New Crypto Hardware Wallet Fits Your Phone’s SIM Card Slot : Yogita Khatri | CoinDesk

VaultTel, a startup based out of US has launched a tiny cryptocurrency hardware wallet that sits in the SIM tray on mobile phones. The wallet solution stores cryptocurrency private keys safely on mobile devices using "military grade" encryption and biometric authentication, which ensures that only the phone's owner can transfer funds using the wallet. Moreover, since you're not using your laptop or system resources, screen recorders and Trojans cannot record what's happening on your hardware wallet. The new crypto-solution combines an app and the VaultTel Intellichip card, which uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 512 which not only securely stores data but also possesses the option to restrict wallet access to one particular device, and even one particular geographical area, a feature that VaultTel calls "Geolock". Users can also backup their wallets on other VaultTel cards. The product currently launched only for the US market, is expected to hit European countries almost immediately through VaultTel's UK subsidiary.

Fidelity announces Bitcoin [BTC] custody service live with select group of eligible clients : Priya | AMBCrypto

On March 8, 2019, the digital asset solution branch of Fidelity Investments, the largest asset management firm released its Bitcoin (BTC) Custody Service to a "select group of clients". Their solutions on the needs of hedge funds, family offices, pensions, endowments and other institutional investors. This move is one of the first steps taken to open the cryptocurrency market (especially BTC) to institutional investors. The broader motive for Fidelity Digital Assets, is to ultimately provide services to a "broader set of institutions" for which the initial clients play an extremely important role in the final testing and refinement period. Digital Asset stakeholders hope that these changes brought about by Fidelity also shed some light in the regulatory stance of cryptocurrencies.

Leading Social Investing Platform EToro Launches Crypto Services in 32 US States : Adrian Zmudzinski | CoinTelegraph

On March 7, Social Investing Platform EToro, launched its own cryptocurrency trading service in the United States. The platform, with currently over 10 million registered users, supports Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Stellar (XLM) and Ripple (XRP). Etoro will allow users to send and receive the supported assets, and also release a cryptocurrency multi-signature wallet to customers in 32 US states and territories. EToro's crypto-service comes along with a feature called "CopyPortfolios" which allows users to allocate funds to automatically trade proportionately to the portfolio of another user.  Finally, EToro also announced the launch of its own cryptocurrency exchange, eTorox later this year.

Enjin [ENJ] Coin Gains 400% in a Fortnight as Samsung Creates Euphoria in the Cryptocurrency Market : Nivesh Rustgi | CoinGape

Last month, Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S10 with an inbuilt cryptocurrency wallet for crypto cold and hot storage. The cryptocurrencies expected to be supported on their platform are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Enjin (ENJ) and Comee, a blockchain based social media platform. However apart from Enjin, the market has remained neutral towards the cryptocurrencies. ENJ was trading at 1000 Satoshi (the smallest unit of Bitcoin currently recorded on the blockchain; 1BTC = 100 million Satoshis) and after the Samsung adoption, is currently trading at 5050 Satoshi. Moreover, this growth happened on March 8, 2019 in less than 6 hours.