Maitland/AMO Cryptocurrency Monitor – 7 May 2020

7th May 2020

The Big Read

China starts major trial of state-run digital currency

The Guardian reports that China will begin trialling payments in its new digital currency in four major cities from next week, according to domestic media. In recent months, China’s central bank has stepped up its development of the e-RMB, which is set to be the first digital currency operated by a major economy. It has reportedly begun trials in several cities, including Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu, as well as a new area south of Beijing, Xiong’an, and areas that will host some of the events for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Bitcoin Price May Drop After Halving, Historical Data Shows

Bitcoin has again rallied sharply in the weeks leading up to its impending halving event. But if historic patterns are anything to go by writes CoinDesk, the cryptocurrency could suffer a temporary price pullback following the supply-altering event. The top cryptocurrency by market value has risen by over 130% since bottoming out at $3,867 on March 13 according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index.

Oscar-Winner’s Satanic Conspiracy Theory on COVID-19 and Crypto Goes Viral

CoinTelegraph reports that Oscar-winning Russian director, Nikita Mikhalkov, has espoused a bizarre conspiracy theory on local television. He claims that Microsoft’s recent patent for a sensor-based cryptocurrency mining system using body activity data comprises the first-step in a satanic plot to microchip the human race. On an episode of ‘Besogan TV,’ which roughly translates to ‘demon basher TV,’ Mikhalkov claimed the patent number of Microsoft’s cryptocurrency system — WO/2020/060606 — alludes to the occult nature of the technology.

Warren Buffett Killed His Reputation by Being Wrong About Bitcoin

U.Today writes that a tweet by Morgan Creek Digital co-founder, Anthony Pompliano, posted last Saturday and supported by the Binance exchange CEO, has brought up a wave of heated discussions on Twitter. Pomliano believes that Warren Buffett has dismissed many investments that proved highly profitable later on, with one of these being Bitcoin, and Keiser now says that Buffett has killed his reputation by being somewhat wrong about BTC. He tweets that the time has come to move past “the Oracle of Omaha”.

New Kid on the Block – The Technologies, Funds and ICOs you should know about

Japan's Financial Watchdog Certifies Two Cryptocurrency Regulatory Organizations

CoinTelegraph writes that Japan’s Financial Services Agency has certified two local organizations as Certified Financial Instruments and Exchange Associations. According to an April 30 announcement, the FSA has recognized the Japan STO Association and the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Business Association as self-regulatory groups for derivative transactions and security token offerings of crypto assets. JVCEA will subsequently be renamed the “Japan Crypto Asset Trading Business Association” on May 1.

Samsung Pay Now Supports Swipe's Cryptocurrency Visa Cards

Cryptocurrency Visa card platform Swipe announced a partnership with Samsung Pay on May 1. CoinTelegraph reports that the integration allows Samsung Pay users to make payments from their Swipe Visa card balances using Samsung Pay-enabled devices. The firm claims to have become the first digital wallet platform to provide multi-national support for both Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Scams, Sanctions and Suspicious Activity

Crypto Scammers Impersonate Members of Olympic Committee

The ongoing pandemic forced the postponement of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, with CoinTelegraph writing that this has triggered a series of online crypto-related scams, including an email from alleged members of the International Olympic Committee. In these emails, scammers ask unsuspecting victims for donations. As Trend Micro reported on April 30, scammers are asking for crypto donations so that Japanese organizers can recover from the economic impact produced by the postponement of the biggest Olympic sports event in the world.

YouTube Suspends Ripple CTO's Channel Days After XRP Scam Lawsuit Was Filed

Google-owned YouTube has suspended the channel of Ripple’s Chief Technology Officer David Schwartz, just days after the firm launched a lawsuit against it over its failure to stop XRP giveaway scams on its platform. CryptoGlobe writes that according to Schwartz, who also goes by “Joel Katz” online, YouTube suspended his channel for impersonation – something the scammers have done to promote fake XRP giveaways, sometimes with hijacked accounts from popular YouTubers.

Google Profits off Impersonations of Banned Cryptocurrency Celebs and Companies reports that cryptocurrency companies are banned on Google but the platform is allowing phishing sites to impersonate them. London-based bitcoin exchange Coin Corner showed that a fraudulent site mimicking it is allowed on Google’s advertising platform though its own evidence-backed appeals of legitimacy to Google Ads have been constantly ignored.

Bulls & Bears of the week

“I personally feel that money is so important that it has to be under democratic control” – Fintech guru David Birch

“It will be nasty, it will (be) maybe war — people have Bitcoins, some people don’t have Bitcoin, it’ll be some countries have Bitcoins, some won’t have Bitcoins, it will be the U.S. dollar losing its reserve status, it will be geopolitical, it will be military” – PlanB, creator of the Bitcoin price model, on the implications of a Bitcoin bull run.