In this file:

 

·         Bitcoin Price Soars as Jerome Powell Confirms Crypto’s Threat To U.S. Dollar

The price of bitcoin soared after Jerome Powell acknowledged that systemic threats have triggered a lot of digital currency projects.

 

·         Censorship surrounding Coronavirus outbreak in China shows the need for secure blockchain messaging apps

·         Cryptocurrency crime losses more than double to $4.5 billion in 2019, report finds

·         JP Morgan said to mull merger of blockchain unit with ConsenSys

 

 

 

Bitcoin Price Soars as Jerome Powell Confirms Crypto’s Threat To U.S. Dollar

The price of bitcoin soared after Jerome Powell acknowledged that systemic threats have triggered a lot of digital currency projects.

 

Author: Francois Aure, CCN

Feb 11, 2020

 

o   The price of bitcoin jumped on Tuesday after Jerome Powell stressed that the Fed is investing a significant amount into digital currency developments.

o   Adding fuel to the fire, Powell also acknowledged how quickly crypto could become a systemic risk to the USD.

o   China’s “Belt and Road” initiative is expected to roll out a digital currency very soon, and the Fed Char was clear that the U.S. was doing its best to keep pace.

 

An otherwise dull testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell got very interesting for bitcoin, as BTC/USD spiked 4% to $10,200.

 

Cryptocurrency markets soared after Congressman Bill Foster raised concerns about the need to keep pace with China’s digital currency ambitions to which Powell responded that the Fed has a “lot of projects” underway.

 

Bitcoin Surges After Powell Acknowledges Fed Is Working Hard On Crypto

 

It is well documented that China has tremendous ambitions in the realm of digital currency. Congressman Foster’s concerns about Beijing’s ambitions centers on the risks posed to the U.S. dollar’s status as global reserve currency.

 

Bitcoin investors took this as a positive development, as BTC/USD soared on Powell’s acknowledgment that the Fed would “keep the fire lit” regarding blockchain development.

 

Despite the impressive response from cryptocurrency markets, the Fed chair was still guarded about the implementation of a digital dollar due to privacy concerns:

 

    The idea of having a ledger where you record everyone’s payments isn’t particularly attractive in the U.S.; it’s not a problem in China.

 

Fed Chair: Dollar Could Face Systemic Risk From Digital Currency

 

Despite this, Powell was clear that the theoretical implementation of Facebook’s Libra had been a game-changer, and that his institution now understands the importance of making “quick progress in this area.”

 

It’s quite obvious why bitcoin would rally so aggressively in this instance, as the most powerful man in finance acknowledged the speed and scale in which digital currency could disrupt the dollar. This is a definite change of tone from the FOMC’s historical opinion on this issue.

 

China’s Belt and Road Initiative Expected To Utilize Crypto ...

 

Bitcoin To Benefit From Better Institutional Understanding ...

 

more, including links 

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-price-soars-jerome-powell-confirms-cryptos-threat-to-dollar/

 

 

Censorship surrounding Coronavirus outbreak in China shows the need for secure blockchain messaging apps

 

Priyeshu Gar, CryptoSlate

February 12, 2020

 

The news about the Coronavirus could have been broadcast much faster and the outbreak handled much more effectively if the doctors working on the cases had access to censorship-resistant messaging platforms.

 

According to cryptographer David Chaum, the founder of xx network, could help overcome societal barriers such as censorship, which are prevalent in countries such as China.

 

Could the massive Coronavirus outbreak have been suppressed if the doctors working on it weren’t censored?

 

One cryptographer seems to believe so

 

According to David Chaum, the founder of metadata shredding quantum-resistant blockchain platform xx network, if it wasn’t for the persistent censorship efforts from the Chinese government, the Coronavirus outbreak could have been handled much better.

 

The death of Dr. Le Wenliang, one of the seven doctors whose attempts to warn against the spread of the virus in its early days were suppressed by the authorities, has sparked a nation-wide conversation about the effects of censorship in China.

 

In a rare show of resistance and solidarity, people across China took to Weibo to speak about the injustice against Dr. Wenliang, creating a movement around the hashtag #IwantFreedomofSpeech. However, local reports have shown that the hashtag and the posts containing it have been removed within hours.

 

By silencing the doctors who were warning about the early cases of Coronavirus, the Chinese authorities effectively created a monster of a virus that thrived thanks to the lack of information about it. All of this, Chaum believes, could have been avoided with blockchain.

 

Solving censorship, one blockchain message at a time ...

 

more

https://cryptoslate.com/censorship-surrounding-coronavirus-outbreak-in-china-shows-the-need-for-secure-blockchain-messaging-apps/

 

 

Cryptocurrency crime losses more than double to $4.5 billion in 2019, report finds

 

Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Reuters 

Feb 11, 2020

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Losses from cryptocurrency crime surged to $4.52 billion last year, as insider theft soared even as hacking losses declined, according to a report from blockchain forensics company CipherTrace seen by Reuters.

 

Last year’s losses were up nearly 160% from 2018’s total of $1.74 billion.

 

Blockchain, which first emerged as the system powering bitcoin, is a shared database maintained by a network of computers.

 

Cryptocurrency user and investor losses due to fraud and misappropriation in 2019 increased by more than five times, while hacks and thefts fell by 66%, the report showed.

 

“We noticed a significant uptick in malicious insiders scamming unsuspecting victims or leaching on their users through Ponzi schemes,” Dave Jevans, CipherTrace chief executive officer, told Reuters. “Attacks from the inside of organizations lead to significant exits with major consequence to the crypto-ecosystem.”

 

Since bitcoin’s launch more than 10 years ago, governments and regulators around the world have grappled with the opaqueness and lack of transparency in the cryptocurrency market that has led to massive losses for investors.

 

Two large losses early last year were the main drivers for the surge, CipherTrace said.

 

Users and customers lost roughly $3 billion from an alleged Ponzi scheme involving crypto wallet and exchange PlusToken.

 

The other significant loss was the almost $135 million that customers lost from Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX following the unexpected death of its co-founder, according to CipherTrace...

 

more

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-crypto-currencies-crime/cryptocurrency-crime-losses-more-than-double-to-45-billion-in-2019-report-finds-idUSKBN2051VT

 

 

JP Morgan said to mull merger of blockchain unit with ConsenSys

 

EJInsight

Feb 12, 2020

 

US banking giant JP Morgan Chase is considering merging its proprietary blockchain Quorum with ConsenSys, a startup working on decentralized technology applications for enterprises, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the plans.

 

Founded in 2014, Brooklyn, New York-based ConsenSys is one of the prominent blockchain startups developing and supporting decentralization technology projects built on top of the ethereum blockchain, one of the most popular public blockchains.

 

Banks and other large corporations have been investing millions of dollars to develop and test a range of business applications using blockchain technology.

 

In 2017, JP Morgan created Quorum as its own private blockchain that runs the Interbank Information Network (IIN), a payment network that connects more than 300 banks, allowing payments to reach beneficiaries faster with fewer steps and better security.

 

In February last year, the bank announced plans to use Quorum to issue the first US bank-backed digital currency, JPM Coin, a token to enable instant transfers of payments between institutional accounts. But the digital currency is still yet to be released.

 

Quorum is also built on top of the ethereum blockchain network, the software that underpins ether, one of the most well known cryptocurrencies.

 

The ConsenSys deal is likely to be formally announced within the next six months, but financial terms are still unclear, Reuters said.

 

Around 25 people currently work on the Quorum team globally, and it is unclear whether they will join ConsenSys after the merger.

 

Quorum is open source, meaning its code is free and may be modified and redistributed. A merger with ConsenSys will have no impact on the IIN and other JPMorgan projects running on Quorum, Reuters cited one of its sources as saying.

 

JPMorgan has been considering spinning off...

 

more

http://www.ejinsight.com/20200212-jp-morgan-said-to-mull-merger-of-blockchain-unit-with-consensys/