The most commented-on article during the week covered the latest development of the ongoing legal battle in the Ross Ulbricht case. In this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief, we reported about Twitter blocking ETH scambots mimicking Elon Musk, a US presidential candidate who accepts crypto donations, the expected arrival of a ‘herd of institutional investors’ and much more.
TCAP Explores Market
On Monday, we reported on another indication that mega banks are looking to enter the crypto dealing market. TP Icap plc (LSE:TCAP), one of the largest connectors between banks’ traders in the financial, energy and commodities markets, has set up a ‘working group’ to explore how it should approach cryptocurrencies.
The crypto working group includes some of TP Icap’s most senior executives. Additional stories included: Hashflare stoping its SHA-256 cloud mining contracts, encrypted email service Tutanota integrating cryptocurrency support and Huobi launching a new service for companies that wish to offer a white label exchange of their own.
A ‘Herd of Institutional Investors’
The main story on Tuesday was that Michael Novogratz expects more financial institutions to be coming into the crypto space soon. A “herd of institutional investors” is headed towards cryptocurrencies, the prominent hedge fund manager said in a speech at Blockchain Week Korea.
Other headlines included an upcoming crypto-custody service meant to answer increasing demand from high-net-worth and institutional clients in Hong Kong, and a study which reveals that about 30% of Brazilians are interested to invest funds in cryptocurrencies in the near future.
Crypto Crime Blotter
In Bitcoin in Brief on Wednesday, we covered a number of stories related to crime from around the cryptosphere. These included an exchange operator that plead guilty to securities fraud for trying to hide that hackers stole approximately 6,000 bitcoins from his venue, a scammer that was fined over $1.9 million for bitcoin and binary options fraud, London City police academy adding a cryptocurrency course for teaching cops on anti-money laundering related purposes, and a new type of bitcoin-demanding ransomware attack against porn viewers in Israel.
Skrill Launches Crypto Trading
On Thursday, we reported that Skrill, the online payments service formerly known as Moneybookers, has enabled its wallet users to instantly buy and sell cryptocurrencies, including BTC, BCH, ETH and LTC, using more than 40 supported fiat options. The new service is available in over 30 countries and the company plans to roll it out to additional markets and extend the service to its mobile app and Paysafe’s Neteller digital wallet in the next few months.
In other news: The White Company, a concierge and luxury marketplace, surpassed $100 million in cryptocurrency sales and transactions; Bitmex, an exchange offering cryptocurrency trading with very high leverage, reported more than 1 million BTC traded on the platform in the 24-hours period closing July 24; and AMD suffered a decline in GPU mining related sales in Q2, 2018.
Musk Bots Blocked
The big news on Friday was that Twitter is now finally automatically locking any unverified account that changes its display name to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Spacex. This only came after Musk recently pointed out the impressive skills of the scammers who are designing bots to mimic high profile people like himself and flood the social network with fake ETH giveaways.
In other news, an “anonymized” currency that can fluctuate wildly does not deserve to be considered as a medium of exchange, according to Mastercard President and CEO, Ajay Banga, who called cryptocurrency “junk.”
US Crypto Candidate
On Saturday, we reported that Democrat Andrew Yang’s campaign has begun accepting crypto donation for the 2020 US presidential election. The announcement released by his team to “our crypto donors” reads: “We currently accept Bitcoin and anything on the ERC20 standard.” It also comes with instructions on how to donate cryptocurrency and notes that the maximum for individual donations is set at the fiat equivalent of $2,500.
We also reported that Kickico experienced a security breach, with 70,000,000 KICK stolen – equal to $7.7 million. According to an announcement from the company, Kickico restored full control over the its smart contract and will return all stolen Kickcoins to their holders.
No Murder-for-Hire Indictment in Silk Road Case
The most commented-on article during the week covered the latest development of the ongoing legal battle in the Ross Ulbricht case. The Maryland district US Attorney filed a motion to dismiss a 2013 three-count indictment against the online marketplace Silk Road operator which included murder-for-hire allegations.