Crypto Exchange Gemini Hires Former NYSE Tech Chief


Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has hired former New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) chief information officer Robert Cornish to serve as its first chief technology officer.

The exchange, founded by investor-brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, announced Friday that Cornish would be in charge of Gemini's technology team and strategy, according to a press release. Further, Cornish will be overseeing the deployment of Nasdaq's SMARTS Market Surveillance, a benchmark for «real-time and T1» solutions for market surveillance.

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Cloud Provider Xunlei Launches Blockchain File System


Chinese technology company Xunlei Limited, known to some as the BitTorrent of China, announced Friday that it has launched a new distributed file system aimed at supporting blockchain platforms.

The ThunderChain File System (TCFS), as well as three ThunderChain Request for Comments (TRC) standards, will help support blockchain development, the company said in statements. The new file system, in particular, aims to combine features of existing platforms like IPFS and filecoin, while adding new security and flexibility tools.

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With Journalists on Ethereum, Will Fake News Meet Its Match?


Before discussing the launch of a blockchain platform for newsrooms, there was one thing I had to clear up with the Matt Coolidge, co-founder and communication lead at the Civil Media Company: was he planning to put me out of a job?

«Our visions of world domination stop short of disrupting CoinDesk,» he said.

A truce achieved, it was time to move onto the details.

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Blockchain for IoT: A Big Idea Meets Hard Design Questions


One of the most ambitious ideas in blockchain is that the technology could enable not just people and businesses to transact with each other seamlessly, but also machines.

If this scenario, first articulated a few years ago, comes to pass, devices ranging from refrigerators to automobiles would not only collect and share data as part of the emerging internet of things (IoT), they would also be endowed with cryptocurrency wallets and unique, blockchain-based identities.

The business possibilities from this physical internet of value are vast, potentially expanding the transactional economy in once-unimaginable ways. Self-driving cars might pay each other to cut ahead, for instance; a fridge equipped with sensors would know when it's running low on milk and zap the grocer some crypto to deliver a fresh carton.

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Among Blockchain-Friendly Jurisdictions, Malta Stands Out


Marlene Ronstedt is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in German and English publications including WIRED Germany. Currently, she is working for Neufund as a blockchain reporter.

André Eggert is a partner at the law firm of LACORE LLP and the legal architect of Neufund.org, a platform for primary offerings of tokenized equity.

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Among the handful of blockchain-friendly jurisdictions around the globe, Malta stands out with perhaps the most forward-thinking regulatory agenda.

In a testament to its success, the European island state has attracted a couple dozen blockchain businesses, such as the crypto exchange Binance and our company, the equity fundraising platform Neufund. A recent study from Morgan Stanley shows that Malta has established itself as the No. 1 spot for crypto trading.

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Big Insurers Are Uniting Behind R3's Blockchain Tech


R3 has scored another win in the insurance sector, giving the startup a wide lead over other distributed ledger technology (DLT) providers in the sector.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, the RiskBlock Alliance, whose members include such insurance heavyweights as Chubb, Marsh and Liberty Mutual, has decided to build its first set of use cases using R3's Corda platform.

The news comes soon after B3i, the European reinsurance consortium, decided to switch from Hyperledger Fabric to Corda. With the addition of RiskBlock, R3 now counts all the major insurance blockchain consortia as Corda users, including the Insurwave marine insurance platform created by EY and Maersk as well as regional initiatives in India and Italy.

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Huobi's New Voting Rules Anger Crypto Fund 'Supernodes'


A change to the rules for voting on new token listings has caused a backlash against Huobi's HADAX cryptocurrency exchange platform.

On Friday of last week, Huobi published an update – «HADAX Super Nodes and Voting Rules Updates and Subsequent Arrangements» – which outlined that, henceforth, HADAX will rely on two separate groups of funds to help with deciding on new listings.

The company introduced the idea of «Standing Nodes,» for which the HADAX platform will invite 14 large, traditional venture capital firms to join, such as ZhenFund, FBG, Unity Ventures, and Draper Dragon.

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Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Says Bitcoin Book in the Works


An individual claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto has announced they are writing a book about bitcoin and its history that will include personal stories of its creator, though it's unclear whether the person is the actual inventor of the world's first – and still biggest – cryptocurrency.

Last Friday, a website named nakamotofamilyfoundation.org posted a letter signed by Satoshi Nakamoto – the (probably pseudonymous) name of the author of the notable 2008 bitcoin white paper, whose real identity still remains unknown.

According to the post, the book, if it ever comes out, will be divided into two parts and named «Honne and Tatamae,» according to the results of a «cryptopuzzle» published with the post.

An explanation from Wikipedia indicates that the name in Japanese means «the contrast between a person's true feelings and desires and the behavior and opinions one displays in public.»

Further, the post's author claims the book will contain information about the personal life of bitcoin's creator, saying:

«But to be certain, there are countless conversations I found to be enlightening that I hope make it to be part of the story. There will be many new names and individuals appearing throughout the book in any case, as it is a story about my personal life.»
Published alongside the announcement is an excerpt from the supposed book, which briefly recaps the development of bitcoin and covers new issues that have emerged since the creation of bitcoin such as scaling, the concept of blockchain and the arrival of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners.

The excerpt also goes on to explain why the name Satoshi Nakamoto was chosen in the first place:

«I wanted the most common name, which I knew no one outside of Japan had any recollection that Satoshi Nakamoto, was the equivalent of 'John Smith.' It took time for the public to come to this conclusion, but most with direct access to me had figured it out long ago.»
However, whether the post's author is indeed the real Nakamoto cannot yet be verified.

Craig Wright, an Australian academic and chief scientist at nChain, who claimed to be Nakamoto in 2015 (though has not provided proof adequate for most observers), took to Twitter after the book announcement came to light, saying that its author «cannot get the dates nor technical details correct.»

Thai Securities Firms to Team Up for Crypto Exchange Launch


A group of traditional securities firms in Thailand is planning to jointly launch a new cryptocurrency exchange, a report indicates.

According to the Bangkok Post on Monday, the Association of Securities Companies (ACE) – a body that represents the country's securities firms – said it is in talks with regulators about allowing established financial firms to offer crypto exchange services.

Furthermore, the association's chairwoman, Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, said in the article that at least several securities companies are filing a registration application with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as preparation for the launch of a crypto exchange.

Dilokrungthirapop explained that, since traditional financial companies need to incorporate new systems to protect investors' assets, and keep those assets separate from their own, they may be better off uniting to build a single platform to «reduce operating costs and collaborate on sharing innovative technology.»

ACE said the move comes at a time when its member companies have shown increasing interest in stepping into crypto-related businesses, such as offering trading and facilitating initial coin offerings.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, Thailand passed a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in May, which is now pending publication in the country's Royal Gazette before becoming law.

Under the new rules, any entity that conducts crypto exchange transactions or initial coin offerings in Thailand must be registered and approved by the SEC.

Coinbase's New Custody Service Is Now Live


Coinbase's institutional product has begun accepting deposits, the exchange announced Monday.

Coinbase Custody, aimed at institutional hedge funds and other clients who can deposit a minimum of $10 million, accepted its first deposit last week, the company announced on Twitter. Now, the new service is live for all customers.

The exchange currently holds more than $20 billion in crypto assets, it also said Monday — a number the company hopes Custody will help raise by another $10 billion.

First announced in November 2017, Coinbase Custody's clients will pay $100,000 as a set-up fee and a 10 basis point fee-per-month on the assets being held, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

The product was formally launched in May, when the firm further explained its plans to work with a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-regulated broker-dealer. The exchange went one step further earlier last month, when it announced it was in the process of acquiring a broker-dealer license, an alternative trading system license and an investment advisor license.

Should the licenses be approved, Coinbase will be able to begin offering securities on top of its current products.

At present, Coinbase Custody is open to clients in the U.S. and Europe. While no firm timeline was announced, the exchange said it hopes to open up to clients in Asia by the end of 2018.