Cryptocurrency Weekend News Roundup

The JVCEA Sets Rules for Cryptocurrency Trading
Congress Representative seeks enhanced regulations on the cryptocurrency Industry while Japanese body is pushing for self-regulation.

A significant e-payment platform is introducing cryptocurrency trading services while Google bans some cryptocurrency apps. The SEC rejects a cryptocurrency ETF while another e-payment platform reveals that a rogue employee enriched himself using company hardware. Congressional Representative seeks enhanced regulations on the cryptocurrency Industry while Japanese body is pushing for self-regulation. Crypto traders look for inroads into trading platforms like the Nasdaq while Kaspersky reports the discovery of a cryptocurrency mining malware.

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Skrill Introduces Cryptocurrency Trading Services

Skrill, an internet payment company that facilitates money transfers, now has more than 25 million customers including over 120,000 merchant accounts. The company is now diversifying  into the cryptocurrency market. It announced that it would offer a platform for its clients to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Starting this week, Skrill customers can select ‘Exchange’ on their account interface and then buy, sell, or hold cryptocurrencies. These cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin (BTC-USD), Ether (ETH-USD), Bitcoin Cash (BCH-USD), and Litecoin (LTC-USD). They can buy using any of the forty fiat currencies available on Skrill, and they can access this service in over thirty countries.

Skrill facilitates these transactions through a recognized exchange for cryptocurrencies. It will now compete with established platforms such as Robinhood, Circle, and Square.

Cryptocurrency Mining Apps Banned From Google Play Store

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) introduced a ban on cryptocurrency miners on its Play Store platform affecting a vast number of mining apps. Some of the affected apps include MinerGate, NeoNeonMiner, and Crypto Miner. This ban follows the removal of cryptocurrency extensions from the Chrome Web Store in April this year. Google said that 90% of these extensions failed to comply with Web Store policies.

Apple implemented a similar policy in June this year by banning cryptocurrency apps on its App Store. It clarified that apps could facilitate the storage of virtual currencies, but they cannot mine them. Apple also stated that mining activities in the cloud are acceptable, but not as a separate background process within the device.

Opera Mini banned cryptocurrency mining apps as well in January this year. Opera mini announced that this ban was to prevent websites from using scripts that turn people’s devices into a processor for mining cryptocurrencies.

Rogue Qiwi Employee Mined 500,000 Bitcoins

Qiwi is an electronic payment firm that originates from Russia. The CEO of this firm is Sergey Solonin. Sergey recently revealed that an employee mined 500,000 Bitcoins using terminals that the company owned. Sergey made these revelations while he was speaking to a room full of students at Moscow’s Advanced Communications School.

This unapproved mining took place in 2011 according to the CEO. The employee would use the terminals when they were not in use making over $5 million in a couple of months. That means he made more money off these assets than Qiwi did. The developer called it quits after the managers at Qiwi asked him to surrender his earnings to the company.

Sergey also told reporters that the rogue employee lost all of these mined coins in a failed cryptocurrency exchange. In related news, Karma is a bitch.

SEC Rejects Cryptocurrency ETF Proposal

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected a proposal by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, AKA the Winklevae, on the formation of a cryptocurrency ETF. The SEC rejected the proposal for a crypto ETF by the Winklevoss twins citing lack of sufficient protection for investors. Three commissioners voted against it while one of them supported it. The majority of commissioners believed that Bitcoin is subject to a high level of fraud. They also felt that the cryptocurrency is susceptible to significant manipulation by offshore markets.

This ruling may lead to an adverse impact of similar proposals that are before the SEC. Many analysts are now eager to hear the SEC’s decision on another ETF proposal that is before it. It is likely that the SEC will make this decision in March 2019.

Congressional Representative Asks For Cryptocurrency Oversight

Bill Huizenga, a representative for the second congressional district of Michigan, wants Congress to enact laws to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. He claims that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and digital token trading are opaque processes. He decried the fact that this opacity increases the risk that investors might lose their hard-earned cash to fraudsters and market manipulators, but he probably just wants his cut from the crypto market.

Huizenga’s solution is the creation of laws to empower the Securities & Exchange Commission so that it can oversee this market successfully. He also suggests that these powers could go to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He proposes that one of these bodies should govern the cryptocurrency industry with similar rules to those governing stocks and currencies.

Huizenga made these remarks during a Bloomberg TV interview in his Capitol Hill office. Bloomberg interviewed him on Thursday this week.

Nasdaq Holds Closed Door Meeting On Cryptocurrencies

A high-level meeting took place this week between traditional exchanges, cryptocurrency traders, and Nasdaq officials. The Winklevoss twins attended this meeting. The details of this meeting are sketchy, but some analysts claim that these are systematic steps to encourage ETF listings for Bitcoin.

Interestingly, the Bitcoin ETF proposal by the twins was the second one rejected by the SEC. This recent meeting with Nasdaq representatives could have been a step towards seeing what cryptocurrency regulations are acceptable to stock markets.

Such discussions are likely to continue given the budding relationship between Nasdaq Inc. and the Winklevoss twins. Earlier this year, the twins had hired Nasdaq Inc. to spot cheaters for them in their cryptocurrency exchange platform known as Gemini.

The JVCEA Sets Rules for Cryptocurrency Trading

JVCEA is an acronym for the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association. This cryptocurrency group aims to establish itself as a self-regulatory body within the digital currency market in Japan. It can build this case for self-regulation by proposing rules to govern the industry. One regulation that it recently introduced was setting limits on customer trading.

This limit will protect crypto traders from suffering huge losses at any given time. It will provide room for flexibility as well because exchange operators can opt for a blanket ceiling or a conditional one. The cap on the conditional one is dynamic because it changes depending on the customer’s age, experience, income, and assets.

Other rules it proposed include prohibiting margin trading in principle and restricting orders for large lots. Another one is preventing minors from engaging in cryptocurrency trading if they do not have permission from their parents.

New Type of Cryptocurrency Malware Identified

Kaspersky Labs identified a malware that embeds itself into a mining system and spreads itself across the network. This malware is already causing problems in Turkey, Columbia, India, and Brazil. Some cryptocurrency traders in Europe and North America have reported it as well. Kaspersky published these findings in a report that it released on July 26, 2018.

PowerGhost is the name Kaspersky gave to this malware. The anti-malware identified it as a crypto jacker as well. A crypto jacker is a cryptocurrency mining malware that has no file. It will hide in a machine successfully because antivirus software cannot find it on your hard drive. It will get into a system through remote administration tools or exploits.

Kaspersky also reports that PowerGhost could cause downtime by disrupting the host’s system to mine. It can cause this disruption through a DDoS functionality that is visible on the hard drive. Therefore, antivirus software can detect this part of PowerGhost.

 

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