03-29-2018: IBM Blockchain To Have Central Bank Digital Currency On Stellar

Cryptocurrency investment app Abra’s CEO forecast that “all hell will break loose” in Bitcoin and altcoin markets this year. after the startup announced it had raised $40mln in new funding since October, CEO Bill Barhydt said western institutional money would begin to “dip its toes” into crypto assets in 2018. In doing so, Barhydt continues a popular narrative that institutional investors ‘waiting’ for an opportune moment will transform Bitcoin and major altcoin price performance. [Cointelegraph]

OKEX plans to shut down its Bitcoin Cash (BCH) market, as the floundering cryptocurrency struggles to keep up with Bitcoin’s Segwit. In an announcement on the digital asset trading platform’s official website, OKEX is set to close its Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market in token trading on March 30th. The company stated “We will close all the trading pairs in BCH market of Token Trading at 18:00 Mar 30, 2018 (Hong Kong time, UTC+8) due to inadequate liquidity.” Bitcoin Cash will still be available for trading in BTC, ETH and USDT markets. OKEX recommended users to cancel pending orders as soon as possible or their system will cancel them all at the closing time. [Bitcoinist]

IBM’s Jesse Lund recently revealed that the firm has been working with several central banks on digital currency projects, and said that a central bank digital currency will be issued soon. In an informal ask-me-anything session on reddit, which began on March 22 and appears to be ongoing, IBM’s head of blockchain solutions for financial services, Jesse Lund, said that the public should “definitely” expect to see a central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued on the Stellar network “soon.” IBM has been using Lumens, the native token of the Stellar blockchain, “as a bridge asset to support real time [foreign exchange] and settlement” in what Lund calls its “cross border payment solution,” which is ostensibly aimed at commercial banks. However, the firm is also pursuing technology that would allow for “other digital assets,” including digital currencies, to be used in transactions on the Stellar blockchain “as an alternative and complement to Lumens.” [ETH News]

Switzerland’s financial regulator will use recently published ICO guidelines to assess whether entities that have previously conducted ICOs in the country did so in accordance with the new directions. Mark Branson, the CEO of Switzerland’s official financial watchdog, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), has revealed that the regulator will evaluate ICOs that have already taken place in the country to determine whether they were carried out in a way that is compatible with the ICO guidelines it released last month. Branson stated “We will judge the ICOs that were already done in Switzerland along this template or this grid. That makes our work easier when looking at these ICOs to see if they would have been subject (to the guidelines),” The document in question relates that certain types of cryptocurrencies are considered securities. [ETH News]

And lastly, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Wednesday that consumers should watch out for would-be scammers posing as cryptocurrency exchange support staffers. The agency’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) sounded the alarm about tech support scams in the March 28 notice, stating that it constitutes “a problematic and widespread scam.” In its statement, the center said that consumers submitted roughly 11,000 complaints and claimed losses in excess of $11 million connected to tech support fraud in 2017. According to the FBI warning, cryptocurrency investors are becoming an increasingly more common target for fraudsters, “with individual victim losses often in the thousands of dollars.” [CoinDesk]

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