Maitland/AMO Cryptocurrency Monitor – 22 November 2019
The Big Read
The Financial Times has stated that a US recession could fuel a new cryptocurrency boom and bust, noting that despite proving an initial haven, it could also bring financial ruin. The article notes that history has shown that even the smallest bump during a major stock market downturn would lead to a boost in the crypto industry, with investors drawn into the benefits that alternative currencies would have against the economy. However, the article suggests that a recession-linked crypto-rush would end in a crash.
A state-run newspaper in China has published a front-page story hailing bitcoin as the first successful application of blockchain technology, the Independent writes. The praise marks a significant shift in Beijing’s stance towards the currency and comes as the country prepares to launch its own digital currency. A law is also set to be introduced in January that will “facilitate the development of the cryptography business and ensure the security of cyberspace and information.”
CoinTelegraph reports that Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro has announced that the Christmas bonus of the country’s retirees and pensioners will be paid to them in the national cryptocurrency Petro. The currency was first released in February last year, however, raised concerns from foreign and domestic investors, with many calling the currency an opaque government “stunt”.
New Kid on the Block – The Technologies, Funds and ICOs you should know about
Scorechain, a crypto-tracking and risk management solutions provider, has launched a new artificial intelligence tool, which is able to detect fraud patterns, in its Anti-Money Laundering cryptocurrency transaction monitoring software. The feature according to HedgeWeek will aim to provide a more accurate risk-scoring for cryptocurrencies activity, to help combat criminal activity.
Fidelity Digital Assets, the cryptocurrency company of Boston-based Fidelity Investments, has been granted a license by New York’s financial regulator, the company said on Tuesday. Reuters reports that the limited-purpose trust company charter from the New York State Department of Financial Services will allow the company to offer its cryptocurrency trading and custody services to companies based in the state. The President of the company explained that over the next year Fidelity Digital Assets plans to start offering its services for other types of cryptocurrencies and is considering opportunities overseas.
Scams, Sanctions and Suspicious Activity
The US Justice Department has revealed that two alleged thieves have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars through targeting cryptocurrency executives and threatening their families. The two men, according to CNBC, have attempted to steal $550,000, with the indictments highlighting fears that scammers will target highly public participants in the still-young cryptocurrency space.
Cryptodaily reports that the first person in the United States to be convicted of managing a fraudulent initial coin offering, Maksim Zaslavskiy, has been granted a sentence of a year and a half. The computer programmer from Brooklyn was given a prison sentence of 18 months for being the mind behind two ICO’s scams. Both of the scams were falsely advertised as being backed by collateral, including diamonds and real estate.
Bulls & Bears of the week
“Blockchain is changing the way companies approach trust and transparency,” Adam Caplan, Salesforce’s SVP of emerging technology.
“The funny thing is that almost as often as bitcoin is referred to as a “safe haven”, it is referred to as uncorrelated from other assets; indeed, the two ideas do not seem to be seen as incompatible.” – Jemima Kelly, Financial Times