Crypto News Digest – July 8th, 2019

Here’s a brief overview of what has been happening in the crypto world in the last week.

US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services has requested that Facebook immediately stops the development of the Libra digital currency. The proposed moratorium was submitted by a wide range of groups and individuals, who feel that the new project might present a threat to financial markets and possibly national security.

Sina Finance, a trading application with around 10 million users, has added the ability to track 36 different cryptocurrencies. Another app called Tonghuashun had integrated a similar feature earlier in May but had to remove it under pressure from the Chinese government. As the economy is beginning to slow down, traders need a new source of growth.

Cuba’s president Miguel Diaz-Canel has announced the country should use cryptocurrency to offset the economic impact of American sanctions and the crisis in Venezuela. It is expected to be similar to Petro launched by Maduro, however, the government can turn to existing solutions which could prove less volatile or let them raise the capital more quickly.

Argo Blockchain, a British mining company, has declared a 24% rise in its revenue during Q2 2019. It has recently ordered 5,000 Antminer S17 at an estimated total cost of over $13 million. The company’s shares went up as well, and it is expected to become one of the dominant players on the cryptocurrency mining market.

Bloomberg’s Chainalysis report revealed that since the beginning of 2019 darknet markets had seen over $515 million worth of Bitcoin in turnover. By some measures, Bitcoin’s popularity has increased by close to 50%, while the overall share of illicit activities in Bitcoin has gone down from 1% to 7% since 2012. In short, Bitcoin is gaining momentum in the dark web, but even more so elsewhere.

Binance Chain is scheduled to receive a major update that will result in a hard fork on July 15 at around 7 am UTC. It will bring a number of changes to both BNB and Binance DEX, including the ability to remove tokens by a vote or to lock them for a set time period, as well as upgrades to the synchronization mechanism, the bid matching engine, and the consensus algorithm.

Liquid Network, a Bitcoin-pegged sidechain developed by Blockstream, has launched atomic swaps between all supported assets. It is now possible to swap Bitcoin for Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) and then quickly trade the token without a third party. Designed for a broad spectrum of interactions, Liquid has many useful features, such as the ability to hide the amount in a transaction.

Financial Conduct Authority, the British regulator, has given its first license for a cryptocurrency hedge fund run by Prime Factor Capital. All the while, the authority is also proposing to ban crypto derivatives whatsoever, referring to the absence of a basis for the valuation of these assets. The contradicting actions show that FCA still has no comprehensive plan on how to deal with these new products.

Taringa!, a social network based in Argentina, has recently announced its plans to create a system of reward points that can be converted to the MakerDAO’s USD-pegged stablecoin DAI. Named “Taringa! Pioneers”, it will safeguard regular contributors on the platform from the economic instabilities hanging over many regions in South America.

Overall, it’s been a good week for crypto. Even though the bulls failed to break above the late June’s high of around $13,000, the price of Bitcoin continued to hover between $11,000 and $12,000. Altcoins have yet to recover their strength as BTC continues to dominate the market with a weekly gain of over 21%. Concerning the most popular coins available in this wallet, TRX and ETH have risen by close to 11%, BSV has gone up by 7%, while BCH and BNB have both experienced growth of around 5%. These are the top performers of the week.