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Crypto Briefs is your daily bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – keeping you up-to-date with under the radar crypto news from around the world.
- As a possible solution to ticket fraud and for a better ticketing experience, Broadway has turned to blockchain technology. The Shubert Organization, the biggest theater operator on Broadway, will start the pilot program next year, according to the announcement. In order to accomplish this, through its Telecharge and Shubert Ticketing division the Organisation has partnered up with a Boston-based startup True Tickets, which offers a mobile ticketing solution that runs on IBM’s blockchain platform.
- South Korean conglomerate Lotte says it has developed a platform that uses blockchain technology to track livestock management, IoT device sales, chemicals and raw materials. Per NSP, the business group’s Lotte Data Communication subsidiary has masterminded the project, named Lotte Blockchain Platform. The company is particularly keen to integrate the platform with its sales operations across all of its 90+ business units.
- NBA team Sacramento Kings announced that they’ve partnered up with CryptoKaiju, Ethereum-based Kaiju toys, to launch the first in professional sports – physical crypto-collectibles. The companies will give away 100 limited-edition Kaiju collectable toys throughout the 2019–2020 basketball season, with each collectable backed by a non-fungible token making it unique.
- Wales plans to launch its own digital currency for businesses – the Celyn. According to the Welsh government, the Celyn is the digital currency network which would allow businesses to exchange services and products without the need to use fiat, and could possibly be a boost to the economy. Community interest company "Circular Economy Wales is being awarded GBP 100,000 to (USD 129,000) create a ‘Mutual Credit System’ based on the model in Sardinia that allows companies to trade with one another with credits instead of cash that must be re-used within the regional economy," says the announcement.
- Customers of digital payment service Coinbase Commerce can now pay for goods and services directly out of their Coinbase account, the major exchange said in the announcement. Copying complex cryptocurrency addresses and decimals of amounts is not necessary they say, as the customer only needs to log into their Coinbase account, select a wallet from which to pay, and everything else will be taken care of by the service "to ensure the correct amount of cryptocurrency reaches the correct merchant address."
- Russia’s top security agency the FSB says it is aware that terrorists are using privacy coins rather than Bitcoin to fund their activities. Per LetKnowNews, the FSB’s director Alexander Bortnikov stated, “So-called confidential cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used [by terrorists], guaranteeing the anonymity of transactions, unlike Bitcoin and [other leading cryptocurrencies].”
- Russia is the world’s biggest trader on the LocalBitcoins.com peer-to-peer exchange over the past 18 months, says Forklog, quoting CoinDance figures. Per the data in the top countries by Bitcoin volume since 2017 category, Russia-based transactions account for a whopping 24.3% of the exchange’s trade. The USA is in second place with 17.8%, followed by China with 13.1%.
- Bitfinex announced "the (r)evolution of the crypto community model," called the Bitfinex Affiliate Program, according to their post. The new affiliate program is now live. After a user generated their invite link, anyone who signs up through it, becomes the user’s referral. Every time a user’s referrals trade or perform certain actions on the platform, the user will receive a percentage of their trading fees. The website claims that its commission structure allows users to get a percentage of the trading fees up to three levels within their referral network, and if the referrals meet the requisite criteria, the users are also entitled to commission multipliers.
- Comments made by the owner of NBA team the Houston Rockets about Hong Kong have led to a price drop in Nike’s footwear-backed NKE.N token at American exchanges. Reuters reports that a Chinese trader had informed it that NKE.N token trading fell by 10% after Rockets owner Daryl Morey tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Morey has since deleted the tweet, but angry mainland Chinese web users have expressed their dismay on social media platforms such as Weibo. Nike, meanwhile, has decided to sever ties with the Rockets following the controversy. The sportswear company has had to remove all Rockets-branded items from its stores in China as the backlash continues to rage.
- American regulator the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued a Nevada-based company named Circle Society with a USD 11 million fraud charge, and has filed an action against the company and its owner. The regulator says, in a press release, that owner David Gilbert Saffron tricked at least 14 investors out of USD 11 million worth of Bitcoin. Calling Saffron’s operation a “Ponzi scheme,” the CFTC says it wants the company to return the money, pay additional fees – and proposes a ban on trading for Circle Society.
- South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Nexybit has been hit with a fraud charge in a civil case – with a group of disgruntled investors claiming they have been cheated out of their money. Investors say they were promised airdrop payments of Nexybit trading profits, payable in leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, it appears, according to ET News, that the exchange has instead offered payment in its own token, which the media outlet says has become “virtually worthless.” The group’s claim has won the support of the regulatory Financial Supervisory Service.
- Cryptocurrency financial services company Babel Finance said in an emailed press release that they’ve noticed a sustained, positive growth after a strategic investment by blockchain investment firm NGC Ventures back in October 2018. Babel Finance has since recorded a growth in loan volume from USD 5 million to USD 380 million, grown its staff size from 15 to 50 employees globally, and has expanded its footprint by establishing offices in Beijing, Seoul and Singapore.
- Major crypto market data provider CoinMarketCap announced their new product called Interest by CoinMarketCap, which ranks the most popular platforms for depositing and borrowing cryptoassets according to their interest rates. It is launching with 33 cryptoassets, each of which is listed together with wallets, exchanges and decentralized finance platforms that provide interest products on that particular cryptoasset. The provider says that users can find corresponding annualized interest rates, minimum duration for deposit before realizing returns, start times of deposit offerings, and a description of each platform and its offerings.