08/03/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. Crypto Exchange Coincheck to Reimburse Victims Of a Previous Hack

Tokyo-based crypto exchange Coincheck has stated it will reimburse victims of a hack. NEM coins were stolen from 260,000 users on Monday, January 26th. They can now expect to receive compensation next week, at the conversion rate recorded after the attack ($0.81 for each token). According to CEO Koichiro Wada, the funds which will be used for the compensation were obtained through spread trading. Wada and COO Yusuke Otsuka also added that more information will be available in the coming days. The exchange has also increased its security measures. It has to be noted that the event affected NEM’s price, which fell to 30 cents following the hack. However, the recent announcement by Coincheck helped the cryptocurrency growing by 7%.

2. Blockchain Bank-To-Bank Pilot a Success For SWIFT

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has published a report in conjunction with 34 other global transaction banks, on how distributed ledger technology (DLT) Proof of Concept (PoC) can benefit Nostro account (a bank’s account held in another bank in a foreign currency) recognition. The PoC is Hyperledger Fabric v1.0-based. The pilot, which was considered a success, involved Nostro account holders sharing confidential transactions, which were recorded on the ledger, with their servicers. However, despite the positive results obtained during the testing, it was also noted that further improvements are necessary for the DLT as well as a re-engineering for the PoC, in order to make its adoption feasible.

3. CFTC Commissioner Calls For Crypto Self-regulation

Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Brian Quintenz discussed cryptocurrency and regulation at the Yahoo Finance All-Markets Summit, which took place on Wednesday, February 7, in New York. The US commissioner said that the cryptocurrency industry should establish a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) rather than wait for the government to intervene. When interviewed on Closing Bell by CNBC, on the same day, he went on to say that regulations would add credibility to the industry, which is what its participants want. He noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission announced earlier today that it will now require digital assets trading platforms to register with them. However, he does not think that the move will be enough by itself. Even with government regulation, the commissioner still thinks there should be a SRO.

4. First Presidential Vote Powered by Blockchain Held in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone, a country located in West Africa, held the first presidential vote powered by blockchain. Agora, a blockchain voting startup, tracked the entire process using DLT. The results were being supervised in real time using a private permissioned blockchain. The data is then passed on to individuals with the right level of clearance to ensure the process is democratic. Other countries are already getting in touch with Agora to use their service for their own elections. Agora’s COO Jaron Lukasiewicz shared his enthusiasm with what this could mean for countries fearing tainted elections. Furthermore, he discussed how for some, it could come as a surprise the fact that Sierra Leone was the first country to have a blockchain-powered vote. It was also discussed how the process still has room for improvement as, for instance, the votes are manually inserted in the blockchain.

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