Current State of The Crypto Market (August 19th, 2019)

Hackers:  In a series of tweets on August 16th, the Twitter account known as Bnatov Platon published an outline of Binance Know-Your-Customer records allegedly in his or her possession.  The events lead on from the original hack scare which occurred earlier this month. As Cointelegraph reported at the time, Binance denied any compromise to its user data, arguing the entity behind the alleged theft was a fraud.   While investigations are ongoing, no official representative from the exchange has formally acknowledged any issue.

The United Nations has launched an investigation into North Korean cyber-attacks which targeted cryptocurrency exchanges in the neighboring countries. The UN has been ramping up its investigation of North Korean cyber-attacks following the release of a report detailing efforts to accumulate wealth for weapons programs. According to the SCMP there have been at least 35 incursions in 17 countries.  A high level North Korean military intelligence agency called the Reconnaissance General Bureau is believed to be behind the attacks. The preliminary report stated that over $2 billion has been amassed from a hacking spree which targeted financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges, predominantly in South Korea.  Ten of the 35 attacks were on South Korean targets with India suffering three while Bangladesh and Chile had two apiece.

Key Players:   There are few things Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash partisans agree on these days, but there’s still one activity that brings the two halves of crypto’s Great Schism together – bashing Craig Wright.  The controversial Wright claims to have invented Bitcoin, which he subsequently abandoned following the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, only to abscond to a third project – Bitcoin SV – a year later. On Wednesday during an interview with financial news outlet Wright said “The whole idea was about micropayments. It’s about a system that enables commercial internet use. It enables you to have rapid-fast settlement, secure systems, many other things. It was never a store of gold.”  He also goes on to add “The other camp – the cypherpunks and whatever else – they’re the guys who want this to be something else. They want it to be a store of value. They want it to be outside government. That’s not Bitcoin. Bitcoin doesn’t work outside government.  Wright’s interview incited the expected rage on Crypto Twitter, but notably, the brunt of the firestorm wasn’t directed at Craig Wright – but rather at Cheddar, the news outlet the interview was held on, for having the audacity to let him speak at all.

Banks & Institutions:  Silvergate Bank, one of the cryptocurrency industry’s few go-to financial service providers, is planning to become a crypto lender.  According to an updated IPO filing, Silvergate, which serves some of the cryptocurrency world’s top firms like Coinbase, Bitstamp, Genesis Trading, Blocktower Capital, Polychain Capital and Xapo, has seen increased demand from the industry and is aiming to become an even more crypto-focused institution.  In particular, the bank is planning to offer fiat loans, collateralized with crypto, to institutional clients as a part of the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN) – a payment system specifically designed for crypto exchanges and their big clients.

Adoption: Crypto.com has launched “Pay Your Friends,” which will offer no-fee, direct crypto payments and offer a $50 equivalent in rewards for referring friends to use the Crypto.com Chain according to sources. The company who formed in 2016 launched the brand with the aim to increase the world’s transition to cryptocurrency.  Now they have managed to create the new direct in-app payment system to allow peers to share payments and cash in addition to their debit card business which allows you to pay for things with your cryptocurrencies.  It seems like the company are going from strength to strength as In May, the company launched two key products to their finance product line: Crypto Credit and Crypto Earn.