5 Biggest Crypto Exchanges Combined Comprise Less Than 1% of JPMorgan

New research from Hacken System’s Crypto Exchange Ranks (CER) shows that traditional banks like JPMorgan and Bank of America dwarf the nascent cryptocurrency exchange industry.

Uptown Top Ranking

Cryptocurrency exchanges are like the banks of the industry, acting as intermediaries between traders, investors, projects and other stakeholders. But the metric used to compare exchanges (daily trade volumes) is open to abuse and manipulation. New research from Hacken System’s Crypto Exchange Ranks (CER) suggests a more accurate ranking method.

In the rampant bull market of 2017, crypto exchanges appeared to have developed into significant players in global finance. Billions of dollars of daily traded volume fuelled investors confidence that they had bought into something huge. But centralized crypto exchanges display the polar opposite of the transparency that we hold so dear in Bitcoin.

These impenetrable black boxes of power, completely conceal the way they operate, store customer assets, and make profit. The preferred method for ranking exchanges became the (often self-reported) daily trade volumes, which poses obvious issues.

Techniques such as wash-trading allow exchanges to manipulate this metric, enabling unproven new exchanges to emerge at the top of the CoinMarketCap rankings. So how can we grade the exchanges’ genuine sustainability and liquidity?

All Aboard, The Blockchain

The solution, according to Hacken, is in the blockchain itself. As an immutable ledger we can rely on the information recorded.

Therefore, the only trustworthy data about the exchanges available now resides in their cold and hot wallet balances. This information may not be falsified and can be easily verified. Likewise, anyone can observe the wallets of a particular exchange and track all their changes and movements.

This also compares to client deposits in traditional banks, reflecting the level of liabilities for each. Despite the billions of dollars in reported trade volumes, exchanges fall far behind banks when considering this metric.

Don’t Believe The Hype

Hacken compared data from the five largest US and UK banks, five local banks in emerging countries, and the five largest crypto-exchanges (according to wallet balances).

The wallet balances of the exchanges are not even visible in the chart compared to the top five US and UK banks. Even taking these banks out of the equation, and just considering the five local banks in emerging nations paints a sobering picture.

On average the crypto-trading platforms lag behind local bank deposits by a factor of 15. And their wallet balances hold over 1000 times less than the top five global banks.

These figures may look depressing compared to the billion dollar volumes we have been fed in the past. But for cryptocurrencies to grow (and there is still a lot of that needed to achieve a truly global scale), it is important to have accurate data to rely on.

Perhaps now we can put the hype behind us, and concentrate on the measured and sustainable growth of the industry.

What do you think about these findings? Share your thoughts below!

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Source: Blockchain

Will The Real Satoshi Nakamoto Please Stand Up – No, Sit Down Craig, We’ve Been Through This Already!

craig wright not satoshi

He just doesn’t give up, does he? Self-proclaimed creator of Bitcoin, Craig Wright, now appears willing to testify under oath that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. Or that’s the conclusion Ran NeuNer draws, following Wright’s response to a comment request from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

I Promise To Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth

In December 2018, the CFTC published a Request For Input (RFI) on ‘Crypto-Assets Mechanics and Markets.’ This was primarily to understand more about Ethereum, and the differences between Ether and Bitcoin. As the CFTC is a federal agency, responses to RFIs should be… well, not fraudulent, at any rate.

On 15th February 2019, Wright posted his response, introducing himself and stating:

under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto I completed a project I started in 1997 that was filed with the Australian government… as BlackNet.

He goes on to claim that the amount of misunderstanding and fallacious information around blockchain systems (including Ethereum) has resulted in his decision to become more public.

It isn’t particularly relevant to the RFI, really serving only to repeat the claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto… albeit in a Federal forum.

I am Satoshi Nakamoto, And So Is My Wife

At this point, Wright’s claims are becoming a farce of Monty Python’s Life Of Brian proportions. After he first ‘came out’ as Satoshi Nakamoto, and the crypto-world widely coughed *bullshit* under its breath, he let it lie.

But now frontrunning his own project Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision), his alleged ‘amendments’ to historical documents seems to be going into overdrive. Only last week he was pulled up by WikiLeaks for altering a 2008 blog-post to make it look like he’d been working on crypto back then.

Mere hours prior, he was accused of using a forged a 2001 research paper as evidence of his lineage. It was a word-for-word copy of the October 2008 Bitcoin whitepaper. It even already had amendments that he (as Satoshi Nakamoto) made from the August 2008 draft of the same document. Oops… Or perhaps incredibly prescient?

Now, it’s alleged that even his 1997 BlackNet project was being worked on by Tim May several years before that.

But What If?…

Just imagine, if all of this time, Wright has been telling the truth. What would the consequences of that be?

Obviously, Wright is such an unpopular figure that we aren’t all going to start believing (and investing) in Bitcoin SV. Although one can only imagine that this is the point of all this alleged forgery.

Why carefully protect your identity only to then come out to the world via GQ – telling the critics to “piss off!” and reminding entire countries that he’s got more money than them?

But would we all eschew Bitcoin if we found out that he had actually been the inventor?

No, of course not. Even Coldplay had a decent single before they sunk into the mire of smug, self-satisfied, insipid, irrelevance that they became. And we can still listen to that… as long as nobody else finds out.

What do you think of Wright’s latest claims? Share your thought’s below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives

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Source: Blockchain

Barry Silbert: ‘Bitcoin Has Won The Race To Be Digital Gold’

Barry Silbert Bitcoin

“The vast majority of digital tokens… will go to zero,” Digital Currency Group CEO, Barry Silbert told CNBC. However, he is still “as bullish as he has ever been” on Bitcoin, despite the current bear market.

Losing The Dead Weight

Silbert confirmed that he is “not a believer in the vast majority of digital tokens,” referring to 2017’s ICO craze. On the back of the media frenzy around Bitcoin and all things crypto, the flood of ICOs took the industry’s market cap to over $800 billion. But he believes that most of these tokens will eventually be worthless.

Almost every ICO was just an attempt to raise money but there was no use for the underlying token. The vast majority of what’s out there will be eliminated.

Silbert applauded the crackdown on ICOs by the Securities and Exchange Commission, agreeing that most tokens were illegal, unregistered securities.

Barry ‘Bullish as Ever’ on Bitcoin

When it comes to Bitcoin, however, Silbert said he is “as bullish as he has ever been.” As an early investor, he has already seen bitcoin come through two bear markets, followed by full recoveries.

Part of the reason for this bullishness is based on his belief that Bitcoin 00 will unseat gold as a safe-haven asset. He said that “as far as I’m concerned bitcoin has won the race to be digital gold.”

Gold Litecoin's Charlie Lee: Buy At Least 1 Bitcoin... Before Litecoin

Younger investors don’t hold gold in the same hallowed view as their parents. $30 trillion of baby-boomer wealth is due to be passed on over the next two decades. Silbert thinks that of the proportion of this which is in gold, much may be converted into bitcoin.

…whatever money is in gold is not going to stay in gold. That gets handed down to millennials — I’m highly confident a lot of that will go into bitcoin.

When Bottom?

Silbert is highly invested in the entrance to the market of institutional investors, through his asset management firm, Grayscale Investments.

He believes that in 2019 the infrastructure for that to happen will finally be in place, and when it is, prices will “snap back hard.”

Do you agree with Silbert? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives

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Source: Blockchain

Chinese Billionaire, Zhao Dong, Says Get Bitcoin Now ‘While No One Really Cares’

bitcoin bank

Zhao Dong, Bitcoin billionaire and one of China’s biggest OTC traders, has taken to WeChat to opine on the industry. He predicts no thaw of crypto-winter this year, but says now is the best time to stock up and hodl.

The Public Chain Alliance Crossing The Bulls And Bears Elite Team

Dong made his comments in the WeChat group for ‘The Public Chain Alliance Crossing The Bulls And Bears Elite Team’. One can only hope that sounds better in Chinese.

He said that obviously fewer people are following bitcoin now than during 2017’s bull run, hence the natural price drop. Furthermore, he suggested that these people would not start paying attention again until the price returns to tens of thousands.

For most people, if they don’t pay attention to Bitcoin now, they won’t pay much attention to most of the time, so for them, only how many tens of thousands of bitcoins will break them will be noticed again. If you and I believe in the future of Bitcoin, so it is best to hold as much as possible when nobody cares.

A Man For All Seasons (Except Autumn)

When asked about industry trends, he said that for 2019, everyone should just try to have a good winter. 2020 would bring the spring, he thought, with summer not expected until 2021. Incidentally, back in November 2018, Dong predicted a bitcoin price of $50,000 by 2021, on microblogging site, Weibo.

He explained his rationale for investing, and why to buy in a bear market, thus:

In the bull market, I don’t persuade people to buy Bitcoin, because it seems easy to make quick money but in fact it is not. Now [in the bear market], I start to talk people into buying Bitcoin.

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

Back to 2019, Dong cautioned not to be too optimistic or pessimistic, saying that more companies and projects would die. However, he went on to say that some hope will be born of it because the next wave of projects will emerge from this period.

This, he said, would make 2019 both the best time and the worst time for entrepreneurs and investors. Despite the deaths of more companies and projects, good projects are cheaper to invest in. And entrepreneurs can take advantage of competitors at their lowest point.

Dong signed off with a simple piece of advice for investors and entrepreneurs alike:

The only thing you need is patience.

…only in Chinese, obviously.

Do you agree with Dong that patience is key? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock

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Source: Blockchain

Johnny Depp-Linked ‘Crypto-Netflix’ Signs New Indie Producers

johnny depp

TaTaTu, the $575 million dollar cryptocurrency entertainment platform, has signed content agreements with three independent film production companies. This will see the platform, which has a development deal with Johnny Depp, add 50+ new movie and television titles.

Big Fish

As announced by The Hollywood Reporter, TaTaTu has signed content licensing agreements with Lakeshore Entertainment, Kew Media Group, and FilmFour. This gives a significant boost to the platform’s offering, adding some of the most valuable libraries in the independent space.

The deals cover over 50 movies and TV shows, featuring a stellar line-up of talent. TaTaTu users will now be able to watch the likes of Jeff Bridges, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Craig, Tilda Swinton, Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, Winona Ryder, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kristen Stewart, in titles such as Heathers, The Amateurs, Hotel Splendide, The War Zone, and the Children of the Corn trilogy.

Company founder, movie producer, and entrepreneur, Andrea Iervolino, explained his approach:

Our aggressive acquisition strategy is making TaTaTu one of the largest AVOD platforms for content in the world

Little Fish

The platform launched in early 2018, raising $575 million in a private ICO sale. This made it the third biggest ICO to date, behind only EOS and Telegram. While this is clearly a serious amount of money, TaTaTu is still a little fish in the entertainment industry pond.

Its library cannot compete with giants like Netflix, who spend $100 million just securing the rights to Friends each year. So Iervolino is currently focussing on quality over quantity, targeting high-caliber movies and shows, and steadily building the library.

Independent Film's ICO says Goodbye to Hollywood

Another key difference with Netflix is that all-important ‘A’ in front of the ‘VOD’. TaTaTu is an advertising-supported ‘video-on-demand’ platform, meaning users do not have to pay a subscription fee. In fact, users get paid in TTU tokens 00 for watching content and even sharing recommendations with others.

Advertisers can only pay for advertising space with TTU tokens, which are then divided between content providers and viewers. Users can then spend these tokens in the TaTaTu e-commerce store, or sell them on the open market, to advertisers wishing to buy more ad space.

Cardboard Box

TaTaTu has also been busy, using its startup funding to strike deals for original content, and extending the utility of the TTU token. Aside from the Johnny Depp development deal, it has also struck deals with movie financier, Bondit Media Capital, and TV rights and services company, Fintage House.

This means TTU tokens are now recognized and accepted for financing certain motion pictures and funding specific management and rights deals. So technically, watching movies can now buy you an executive producer role. You can sign us up to that.

Will digital tokens become a thing in Hollywood? Share your thoughts below!

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Source: Blockchain

The Future of the ICO Hangs in the Balance

kick kik ico sec

The US Securities and Exchange Commission took a fairly harsh view on ICOs, judging almost all to be undeclared securities. But isn’t that response just reactionary, over-broad and perhaps even a little bit lazy? Canadian messaging company, Kik, are fighting back, and the industry as a whole should be glad that they are.

The Promise Of Untold Wealth

Initial Coin Offerings (or token sales) appeared on the cryptocurrency scene in 2013, with notable offerings from Ethereum (raising $16m) and Stellar ($39m) the following year. They became the darlings of the industry by 2017, allowing unbridled raising of start-up capital, and generally impressive returns for investors.

Like all things crypto, ICOs went thermo-nuclear in 2017, as media-frenzy meant everyone wanted a piece of the action. With seemingly not enough pieces to go round, that $hitcoin you just bought at pre-ICO prices could score a ten-fold return, even before launch.

Enter the criminals and the woefully under-skilled. Through fraud and/or mismanagement, over half of all ICOs collapsed within four months of the token sale. 2018’s Ethereum price free-fall didn’t help matters either. Somebody needed to act.

Saving Every Crypto-investor

In mid-2017, the SEC had issued a balanced and considered report, following investigation into the DAO project. The report warned ICO issuers and investors that securities laws ‘may’ apply to certain token offerings, DAO included. According to the commission, tokens which promised investors a return were essentially securities, implying that tokens with ‘utility’ were not.

This pretty much made sense to everybody. Selling a token as purely an investment was tantamount to selling company stock or bonds. Whereas a utility token didn’t need to go up in value, as it had other… um, utility. The fact that so many did was due to the buzz around any novel digital tokens at the time. That didn’t suddenly make these tokens securities.

Bitcoin ETF

Nobody wanted to see scammers in the space, so the scrutiny of the SEC was generally welcome. But still the speculators flocked, and they expected a return from every new token on the block.

They didn’t want the utility of a token, just an asset so they could get rich quick. And when they didn’t, they complained to the SEC… who weren’t very happy about it. Somebody had to save these idiots from themselves.

It started in February 2018, when SEC Chair Jay Clayton asserted that “every ICO I’ve seen is a security.” By June, Ethereum had distinguished itself as ‘not-a-security’, joining only Bitcoin as a decentralized cryptocurrency… although how decentralised is now debatable.

Pretty much everything else now fell into the category of securities, and the SEC started proceedings accordingly.

Through Kik and Kin

Kik’s first dealings with the SEC over their Kin token were friendly enough. Just a few informal questions. But over time, things ramped up and became more serious until the commission finally issued a Wells notice, outlining why they think there has been a securities infraction.

Kik’s defence hinges around the fact that it was sold as, and is in use as, a currency. Currencies being specifically excluded from being securities.

Of course, the internet has roundly mocked this, suggesting it is only used in apps, which Kik funded, but the internet is being a dick. By this argument Fortnite V-bucks are a security, as are Amazon vouchers, and perhaps even supermarket loyalty points.

“But,” says the Internet, “did Pantera and Polychain (who invested millions in the token presale) know that the tokens weren’t expected to make a profit?” with a smug look in its eye.

Sadly, we weren’t privy to that conversation. But at the time (Aug 2017), even if they read the white-paper, they likely still expected price to skyrocket, because, you know… August 2017. That still doesn’t make it a security.

But I Heard ICOs Were Already Dead

And you may well have heard it right here on Bitcoinist, but I respectfully disagree. The ICO has retreated, hurt and scared, into its cave, licking its wounds, and hiding from an uncaring world. How did it fall so far from grace? What must it do the regain its position at the crypto table?

It’s almost guaranteed that that the heavy-handed scaremongering of the SEC spooked the market far more than some dodgy ICO scammers. In trying to protect the greedy speculators with eyes too wide to read the small print, the SEC ensured that everyone got rekt… So thanks for that.

Tokens which clearly are securities, are now being shilled through STOs, but that’s really not in the pioneering spirit of Bitcoin. Neither are registration and securities regulations going to prevent STO investors from getting burned. This is not purely a crypto-phenomenon, and has been going on for as long as securities have existed.

Importantly, the SEC must accept that not all tokens are securities, however much investors wanted them to behave that way.

Kik fighting this in court is a good thing for the entire industry, and we should all hope they win. The SEC have overstepped their remit and need to be told so. ICOs are a perfectly valid way to raise funds in the crypto space. The current position of the SEC is only going to see its country falling behind because the Commission only has jurisdiction in the US.

But if they are challenged and beaten then the (not so) humble ICO could rise again…

Only this time, RTFMWhite-Paper.

Will Kik be successful in taking on the SEC? Share your thoughts below!

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Source: Blockchain

Top Bitcoin Lightning Apps You Can Use Today (Part 1)

lapps lightning network LN bitcoin

Not only does Lightning Network negate the existence of many altcoins but also takes a hatchet to smart contract platforms by enabling various apps (LApps). Harnessing the BTC network while enabling instant transactions and near-zero fees, these Lapps are already demonstrating some promising use-cases for Bitcoin’s second layer. 

It is just over a year since Blockstream introduced their ‘Lightning Charge’ API, allowing easier creation of Lightning Apps. So it’s high time we took a look at how far the market has come, with a round-up of the best LApps available right now.


The first thing you’ll need is a Lightning-enabled wallet. After all, it’s going to be very difficult to make and receive Lightning Network (LN) payments without one. Fortunately, user-friendly wallets have proliferated in the past twelve months, which means you won’t even need to set up your own Lightning node (though that is recommended to minimize trust).

Early players like Zap (iOS and Desktop), and Éclair (Android and Desktop) are still going strong. Or you may prefer brand new iOS and Android options like Shango or BlueWallet. Even old favorites like Electrum (Desktop) recently announced upcoming Lightning integration.

A (reasonably) comprehensive list is available here. Although it comes with the caveat that recent additions will likely contain bugs, be custodial or closed-source, etc.

In other words, it’s okay to be #reckless, but be sure to test this bleeding edge technology with only small amounts for the time being.


Now you’ve got your lightning wallet, why not use it to buy stuff? More and more online stores and marketplaces are integrating Lightning payments. Here are two favorites.

CoinMall is a peer-to-peer marketplace where you can buy and sell digital products with zero-fees. And Bitrefill is a popular online store selling mobile top-ups and a wide range of gift cards, with which you can buy just about anything.

They have even started selling gift cards for the Azteco-like FastBitcoins. So you can now buy or gift bitcoin, and have it delivered via LN.

Monetize Your Content

One of the great things about LN is the ability to instantly send (and receive) micropayments. This makes it feasible for content creators to receive bitcoin (even as little as a few satoshis) for their work.

Writers can publish their work on the Y’Alls website, which charges readers half a cent per article through LN. Or if you already have a WordPress blog, why not use Lightning Publisher For WordPress. This Blockstream LApp allows readers to see a preview of your post, but requires a Lightning payment to read the rest. BTCPay Server announced a similar service just yesterday.

Another Blockstream LApp is FileBazaar, which allows you to sell digital files through an ad-free storefront interface. Images, video, audio, pdfs, and text can be stored in a simple directory, browsed, previewed, and purchased.

Tips Gratefully Received

Perhaps all this is a bit too much and all you really want is a simple tip jar. After all, the world should be able to recognise your greatness from a 140 character tweet (for example), and reward you accordingly.

Again, you are spoilt for choice in this regard, with nanotip, LightningTip, and tippin.me all vying for your attention. CoinTippy is another service that specifically allows you to collect rewards on Reddit, Twitter, Telegram, and Twitch.

And That’s Just The Start…

Check part two for even more LApps, covering gaming, gambling, messaging, e-commerce tools and more.

Have you tried any Lapps? Let us know your favorites below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Blockchain

Bitcoin’s Liquid Sidechain Welcomes Japanese Yen Stablecoin

liquid sidechain blockchain

Blockstream has announced Crypto Garage, a joint venture with Digital Garage and Tokyo Tanshi, to serve the Japanese Bitcoin market. The partnership will soon launch the Liquid sidechain based SETTLENET suite, the first application of which will be a yen-pegged stablecoin.

SETTLENET on Bitcoin’s Liquid Sidechain

The SETTLENET suite aims to provide Japanese exchanges and OTC trading desks with enhanced liquidity, speed and security. Although why Crypto Garage feel the need to shout SETTLENET every time is anybody’s guess.

Exchanges can issue the JPY-token (L-JPY) on the Liquid sidechain, and trade it against Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) using atomic swaps. Atomic swaps allow instant, trustless, peer to peer trading between different types of digital asset.

Needless to say, Blockstream CEO, Adam Back’s tweet of the announcement attracted equal parts awe and mockery. The latter, in particular, from the Ripple-army, who were quick to point out how easily XRP could achieve this (though whether XRP is trustless is a different argument).

Compliant With Japanese Regulations

One of the Crypto Garage partners must have some friends in high places because SETTLENET has already received regulatory clearance. Both the Japanese Financial Services Authority and the Cabinet Secretariat approve. This leaves the JPY-token well-placed to be a key driver in Japanese Bitcoin market liquidity.

CEO of Crypto Garage, Masahito Okuma, said:

SETTLENET together with Liquid makes trustless Bitcoin trading a reality, in a sustainable regulated environment. This is going to lead to a huge boost in Bitcoin liquidity in Japan and cement the region’s place as a leader in the emerging Bitcoin industry.

Liquid Growth

The venture also marks the continuing growth of the Liquid Network sidechain since its launch last October. Blockstream market Liquid as a fast, secure, and confidential method for high trading-volume entities such as exchanges, brokers, and financial institutions to transact.

money laundering

JPY-token is just the beginning of Blockstream’s ambitions for the stablecoin market, according to CSO, Samson Mow:

We expect SETTLENET’s Japanese yen token to be the first of many stablecoin issuances on Liquid.

What do you think about the Liquid sidechain welcoming its first stablecoin? Share your thoughts!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter/@adam3us

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Source: Blockchain

Our Man At CES 2019 – Part One: Finding Crypto


Where better to check out all the latest crypto-tech than the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Actually, as it turned out, finding crypto at CES wasn’t as easy as first expected.

Technology Unveiled at CES 2019

The Sunday before the show hosts a media event called CES Unveiled, featuring the Best of Innovation awards.

After three hours feigning interested in a whole range of tech startups latest offerings, I was beginning to lose hope. The closest I’d come to anything blockchain related was a point-of-sale device, which the exhibitor said: “could develop to include cryptocurrency payments in the future.”


Just as the event was finishing I stumbled across the Archos booth, where they were showing a new hardware wallet, the Safe-T touch. I arranged to meet them again during the show proper, with the possibility that they might be able to source a review model.

On exiting the hall I was sequestered by a youth holding a sign saying CoinAgenda. Apparently there was a crypto-afterparty a short bus ride away. A quick straw poll of the guests suggested that nobody really knew what the party had to do with crypto. But there was an open bar, so nobody seemed overly concerned.

Conference Tracks

Monday was spent exploring Vegas, but I did chance upon this Bitcoin ATM in a Love Boutique.

Then Tuesday saw a full day of hosted panel-type discussions in the ‘Digital Money’ conference track. Access to these conference tracks required the purchase of an additional pass over and above the registration for the main event. Whilst I hadn’t found much to report from the Unveiled show, there was a rich vein of cryptocurrency and blockchain, playing a prominent part in events.

A diverse range of speakers and panel guests included Brock Pierce, Tim Draper, Michael Terpin of Transform group, and the Prince of the Netherlands. Sessions covered topics such as security, blockchain in the entertainment industry, regulation, and decentralization.

Last on the schedule was ‘The Second Annual Token Slugfest’, in which six companies gave four-minute pitches for their ICOs. This concluded with a clap-o-meter type judging of the pitches, and the crowning of an eventual winner.

Having spent the day bathed in the warm fuzzy glow of all things crypto, my spirits were rejuvenated. I planned to hit the show floor the next day to continue my search. Actually the (many) show floors. I hadn’t realized quite how big this CES thing was.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist

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Source: Blockchain

India Likely To Lift Cryptocurrency Ban in 2019

India's Supreme Court to Issue Final Ruling on RBI Cryptocurrency Ban in September

India’s long-running saga regarding the legality of cryptocurrency is likely to see a lifting of the current ban in 2019.

Indian Flip Flops

Reports suggest the Gov’t formed committee debating the matter are in favor of legalization, although with strong regulations.

India was a notable early adopter of Bitcoin, prompting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue its first cryptocurrency warning way back in December 2013. But Indians continued to embrace cryptocurrency with a fervor matched only by RBIs increasing animosity towards it.

Despite this, it is interesting to note that RBI was considering its own fiat-cryptocurrency, the Lakshmi, back in September 2017. In the end, though, it seems that the bank considered a ban to be a better solution.

But Who Banned What Exactly?

In April this year, RBI ordered financial institutions to stop providing services to businesses involved with cryptocurrency. Companies were given a three month grace period, so the ban came into force on July 5.

However, though the central bank’s position on the matter was made fairly explicit, the government’s position seemed increasingly at odds with this. Reports stated that the Indian government had no intention to enforce a blanket ban on cryptocurrency.

Ongoing Confusion

Lawyers for industry players are locked in an ongoing legal battle to repeal the RBI ban, which was allegedly implemented without any research being conducted.

Reserve Bank of India

RBI Headquarters in Mumbai

The government has been deliberating its final decision, suggesting that it may reach some conclusion before the end of the year. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court gave the government a two-week deadline to provide some clarity back in October – which it missed.

The government’s own suggested resolution date has again slipped back, and this latest report suggests the committee’s recommendations will come in February 2019 (a further delay).

When Clarity Comes

Companies are queuing up to (re)enter the Indian market if the ban does finally get lifted.

This includes social media giant, Facebook, which is supposedly working on a stable coin for WhatsApp. The initial focus of this venture is said to be the remittances market in India.

Will India eventually lift its ban on cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock 

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Source: Blockchain