🇲🇹 Malta Loves Crypto 🏛️ Exchange Updates — Cryptos for the Rest of Us

Bitcoin dips below the US$6,000 handle bringing YTD losses to around 60%. Pundits calling $5,700 the big support level so it will be interesting to see if this holds.

Bitcoin: $5,906 / -11.4% on the week
Node Index: 57.58 / -15.6% on the week

🇲🇹 Malta Loves Crypto

What’s the Story?

Malta passed three cryptocurrency related bills. These bills are designed to create a regulatory framework that allows cryptocurrency related businesses to operate in the country.

What are the bills?

1. The Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA)

The VFA outlines rules that companies must follow when launching ICOs. In this bill ICOs are referred to as ‘Initial Virtual Financial Asset Offerings’. The requirements include a white paper that discusses adherence to Maltese law. The VFA also regulates advertisements and requires issuers to appoint independent, registered VFA agents to oversee the project.

2. The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA)

The MDIA outlines the duties of an authoritative body responsible for handling innovative technology including cryptocurencies. It is designed to protect consumers and investors while bringing Maltese standards closer in-line with EU standards.

3. The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act

This bill is designed to create a mechanism that allows distributed-ledger technology based ventures to be recognised and regulated. This serves as the bedrock for the VFA and MDIA to operate on. ‘Innovative Technology Arrangements’ are explicitly defined and discussed distributed ledgers and smart contracts.

Definition of ‘Innovative Technology Arrangements’

What Does this Mean?

Malta have been actively courting cryptocurrency businesses. As a result, Binance, OKEx, and BitBay have all announced plans to move their operations to Malta.

It’s interesting to see how they are creating a framework for ICOs too. It’s reasonable to assume that this will attract new projects to be based out of Malta.

Malta have been very quick to create a regulatory framework that not only permits, but encourages cryptocurrency business. It will be interesting to see how this translates into an economic advantage going forward.

🏛️ Exchange Updates

👺Line to launch exchange in July

Line announced that they would launch their cryptocurrency exchange in July. Line is Japan’s most popular chat app with over 200 million users worldwide. The exchange will be called ‘Bitbox’ and handle over 30 cryptocurrencies. However, the exchange will not initially launch to Japan and the US as they are still applying for licenses.

🇦🇺Huobi opens early registration in Australia

Huobi is preparing to launch in Australia. They have opened early registrations for prospective users of the platform. Huobi is a Chinese exchange that relocated its headquarters to Singapore after the China ban. Huobi will offer zero commission trading for the first 30 days for early signups. There is not launch date set yet.

💰Bithumb recovered nearly half of funds stolen in last week’s hack

Bithumb was hacked last week for approximately USD30 million. Bithumb is Korea’s largest exchange. They have reported that they have recovered more than 45% of the stolen funds.

Bithumb’s loss report.

Bithumb said they managed to recover the funds by cooperating with other exchanges. Presumably the exchanges froze the funds when the attackers attempted to launder them. Bithumb are still committed to refunding the full amount to affected individuals.

🇺🇬Binance to launch crypto-fiat trading in Uganda

Binance announced that they will be launching Binance Uganda. Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. If successful, this will mark the first time that Binance touches a fiat currency.

Uganda [is a] really interesting situation, only 11 percent of the population has bank accounts. It’s both a challenge and an opportunity. So it may be easier to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of currency instead of trying to push for bank adoption. It’s an interesting experiment — Africa’s a big market, that’s why we’re there.
 — CZ, Binance CEO

☎️Coinbase to open Portland office, hire 100 people

Coinbase announced that they would open an office in Portland to centralise their customer support. Coinbase is the largest exchange in the US. They expect to hire as many as 100 people for the new office. The new office will be called a ‘Center of Excellence”. This follows months of customer complaints that led to a 134 page complaint report sent to the SEC.

🗞️ Extra Reading

‘Whale’ Moves 48,000 Bitcoin for 4 Cents in Fees As Scaling Solutions Develop

 The development of scaling solutions, along with a decrease in Bitcoin transaction throughput, has allowed for Bitcoin fees to drop under a dollar.

Skycoin Employees Kidnap CEO, Steal His Life Savings

 Skycoin, one of the biggest upcoming cryptocurrencies on the market, was just dealt a heavy blow after members of the company’s team kidnapped and attempted to steal the life saving’s of the company’s founder, Synth.

Virtual real-estate crypto company raises $26M in 30 seconds

 Slowly and unsteadily, the mysterious blockchain is emerging from the shadows and making its way into a still murky future. Don’t count it out.

eBay and Foxconn Join the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

 eBay and Foxconn are among the newest companies to join the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the largest open-source blockchain consortium.

Facebook lifts cryptocurrency ban amid rumours of Coinbase takeover

 Facebook has reversed its controversial ban on cryptocurrency adverts, prompting further speculation that the tech giant may be planning something major in the space.

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