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Today in Crypto: Mon 27 Feb 2018

Headline News

Circle have purchased the Poloneix crypytocurrency exchange in a deal that Fortune say was worth around $400 million.
Circle is one of best funded cryptocurrency startups with Goldman Sachs and Baidu amongst the investors who backed the app which allows users to make digital payments to each other. They had divested Bitcoin from their platform, however the purchase of Poloneix puts them in touching distance of the likes of GDAX, Bittrex and Kraken. The deal also tops the valuation of other blockchan companies such as R3 and Chain but is far below that of Coinbase which is valued at $1.6b. Leaked strategy documents suggest that Circle will be working closely with regulators and many are speculating that they are looking to go public in the future.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-crypto-currencies-circle/goldman-backed-startup-circle-buys-major-crypto-exchange-poloniex-idUSKCN1GA1N4
https://twitter.com/nathanielpopper/status/968202570719117313

Craig Wright who claimed to be Satoshi back in 2015 is being sued for stealing Bitcoin from his former partner
Ira Kleiman, the brother of Dave Kleiman has filed a lawsuit against Craig Wright over 1.1 million Bitcoins, which Wright has been accused of stealing from Dave after his death. The court documents claim that Wright forged and backdated several contracts to transfer Kleiman’s assets unlawfully. Craig Wright controversially claimed he was Satoshi when Gizmodo and Wired identified him as a possible suspect in 2015. He claimed he wrote the software in partnership with Kleiman, who passed away following a battle with MRSA in 2013. Unable to provide proof for his claim to be Satoshi, Craig Wright has instead spent the last two years as chief scientist for a British firm called nChain whilst throwing his weight behind the forked Bitcoin Cash project.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/26/17055102/craig-wright-satoshi-lawsuit-dave-kleiman-stolen-bitcoin

Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 was released today with full support for Segwit
A new milestone release of Bitcoin Core, the reference client for the Bitcoin Network was announced today. Amongst the raft of bug fixes, features and updates in this version was the addition of full support for the “Segregated Witness” (Segwit) scaling technology. SegWit, invented by Bitcoin Core developer Pieter Wuille increases the controversial Bitcoin blockchain size by separating data from transactions related to the signatures, allowing more transactions to be included per block. Recently the Coinbase and Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchanges have added support for SegWit and Bitcoin Core now follow suit as well.
https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-core-0160-with-full-support-for-segwit-gets-official-release

Stories you shouldn’t miss

Payment processor BitPay attracts controversy from crypto community by beginning to police activities on its platform
One of the largest Bitcoin payment providers has contacted retailers in the adult industry to tell them that such content will no longer be allowed on their platform. BitPay which allows merchants to accept Bitcoin in payment for a transaction and counts Barry Silbert and Roger Ver amongst it’s early investors (and Peter Thiel, Richard Branson and Jerry Yang in more recent years) attracted controversy from all corners of the cryptocurrency community for the move. Merchants have 2 months to move from their platform and Blockchain CEO Adam Back condemned the stance saying it was ironic and against the ethos of Bitcoin. Bitcoin Core developer Luke Dash Jr however, a staunt Roman Catholic was one of the few in favour claiming porn itself should be made illegal.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitpay-payment-processor-begins-enforcing-ban-on-prohibited-activities-on-its-platform

50Cent claims he’s never owned any Bitcoin in a U-turn on previous claims he was a crypto millionaire. Meanwhile Elon Musk reveals how much Bitcoin he owns
American rapper 50Cent who previously claimed he earned 700 BTC from the sales of his ‘Animal Ambition’ album has now reversed his position. He says a third party dealt with the transactions and they were converted to fiat immediately. The estimates for the total Bitcoin payments has also dropped from 700 BTC to a meagre 6 or 7 BTC. Meanwhile Elon Musk was a victim of the on-going Twitter scam where well known personalities are impersonated by fake accounts promising donations to those who send them crypto. In the aftermath, Musk revealed that he owns no cryptocurrency apart from 0.25 BTC sent to him by a friend many years ago (now worth ~$2,500). 
https://www.coindesk.com/50-cent-never-owned-bitcoin-rapper-claims-court-filing/
https://cointelegraph.com/news/tesla-billionaire-elon-musk-says-he-owns-25k-in-btc-or-literally-zero-cryptocurrency

The latest price movements

Bitcoin rallied as the market edged back into green and the price climbed over the $10,000 mark. Whilst not good news for those that had leveraged shorts on Bitmex, the 9% increase over the last 24 hour period is a welcome relief and further consolidation should confirm the bullish turn in the market.

The alt coin market also saw gains, with NEO rising on the back of being the first project to be awarded an A-Tier rating from Weiss and Binance’s announcement that they will support the Ontology air drop to NEO holders. Litecoin also soared due to the imminent release of LitePay. Nano continued its recent gains, with Charlie dropping into Nano’s subreddit to discuss the project with the developers. Golem, QTUM and OMG were amongst the other winners today.

Meanwhile ZClassic (Bitcoin Private) and Electreneum ended up being the heaviest losers, the former continuing a rollercoaster month in terms of price movement. News that HitBTC will be listing Bitcoin Private is sure to tip the scales in the other direction.

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