Bitcoin is back above $9,000 after market sentiment improved as the news from the G-20 meeting in Argentina was seen constructive. Also, a Bitcoin bull predicted that the alt-coin bear market was almost nearing its end. However, results of a study that found links to child abuse on blockchain was more damaging to the image of the promising technology. Further, a report from Time magazine that Russia secretly helped Venezuela to launch its cryptocurrency and another news that the NSA is tracking Bitcoin transactions raised eyebrows.
Here is a wrap up of the main news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space over the past 24 hours.
Bitcoin Back Above $9,000 On G-20 News
The price of Bitcoin climbed back above $9,000 after finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations meeting in Buenos Aires in Argentina reportedly agreed to take a constructive approach to cryptocurrencies rather than banning them altogether. The group decided to submit specific recommendation on cryptocurrency regulation by July.
Bitcoin Bull Tom Lee Predicts End of Alt-coin Bear Market
Bitcoin bull Tom Lee predicted the bear market for alt-coins, which are small-cap cryptocurrencies, is over. The head of Fundstrat Global Advisors also said that investors should stick to larger cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the alt-coins are likely to go through a purgatory period before starting a bull market.
Study Finds Links To Child Pornography Within Blockchain
German researchers have found illegal content, including hundreds of links to child pornography within the blockchain, which is required to participate in Bitcoin. The report, published by RWTH Aachen University, Germany, noted that the findings especially endangers the multi-billion dollar markets powering cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, making it illegal in at least 112 countries in which possessing content such as child pornography is unlawful.
Russia Secretly Helped Venezuela To Launch Petro Cryptocurrency: Report
Petro, the cryptocurrency launched by Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro government, was the result of a hidden collaboration between officials and businessmen from the South American country and Russia, to evade the economic sanctions imposed by the United States, the Time magazine reported, citing sources familiar with the effort. U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday had issued an executive order banning U.S. persons from using, purchasing and selling Venezuela’s digital currency, Petro.
Snowden Leak Reveals NSA Tracking Bitcoin Users
US National Security Agency has been tracking Bitcoin transactions as early as 2013, online news outlet The Intercept reported citing classified documents made available by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. The NSA’s Bitcoin tracking was code-named Oakstar and targeted transactions on a software called Monkeyrocket that drew users looking for anonymity online. But, the tool send user data directly to the NSA, the report said.
IBM Developing Crypto-anchors In Products To Check Counterfeit
IBM said its researchers are developing tamper-proof digital fingerprints known as crypto-anchors, which can be embedded into products to tackle issues such as counterfeit and food safety. Cryptographic anchors will be used in tandem with blockchain’s distributed ledger technology to ensure an object’s authenticity from its point of origin until it reaches the hands of the customer, the tech giant said in a statement.
Switzerland’s Growing ICO Market
Switzerland is becoming the center of activity for Initial Coin offerings after the country’s financial regulator became the first to set out an impressive framework for ICO issuers in mid-February. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, on February 16, became the first regulator to issue ICO-specific guidelines about applying of Swiss laws to ICOs.
Russians To Turn Off Mining Equipment To Observe ‘Crypto Hour’
Cryptocurrency miners in Russia will observe “Earth Hour” on March 24 in their own way. They have named it “Crypto Hour”, and will turn-off their mining equipment for one hour – from 8.30 pm to 9.30 (local time). The campaign is led by Peter Dvoryankin, founder of International Investor Network CryptoLife. He made the call to all crypto miners in the world to create awareness about ecological mining, Russian news outlet Rambler reported.
Canada’s VersaBank To Launch Blockchain-based Safety Deposit Box
Canadian lender VersaBank is set to launch a blockchain-based safety deposit box for securely storing digital property such as cryptocurrencies that will have a combination of banking integrity and blockchain security. The initiative was initially announced on January 23. “Bitcoin and other crypto currencies are quickly gaining popularity and holders have already experienced their valuable holdings vanish from the less secure ‘digital storage’ options,” said David Taylor, President & CEO of VersaBank.
Whisky-backed Cryptocurrency CaskCoin Launched
The world’s first whisky-backed cryptocurrency has officially been introduced through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) that gives investors a share in a 40-million pound Scotch whisky portfolio. CaskCoin is created on the Ethereum blockchain, that combines with a physical asset investment in the form of maturing Scotch Whisky.
As of 8 am ET on Wednesday, Bitcoin was up 6.47 percent at $9,075 and Ethereum was higher by 9.06 percent at $581.10 on Coinbase.