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The chairman of the Federal Reserve sees no issues with the massive expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet and believes that inflation will struggle to stay above the target.

Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, reported on the state of the economy at a Senatorial hearing held on June 16. During the initial report on the state of the economy and the actions taken by the Fed in response to the Coronavirus crisis, the chairman listed all of the extraordinary measures adopted by the bank since March. Part of that included an unprecedented expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet, which purchased securities on the market with newly created money as part of the practice of Quantitative Easing. The remainder of the session largely focused on the perspective of employment after the crisis, as well as the recent decision to purchase corporate bonds, which some senators criticized as being unnecessary.




The Advertising Standards Authority and the Internet Advertising Office joined forces to launch a system to remove scam ads.

The United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Internet Advertising Office (IAB) launched a new system on June 16 to detect and remove online fraud ads. According to the Telegraph, the system will allow people to report fraudulent ads, especially those that appear in paid-for spaces. One of the main motivations behind the alert system is ongoing concerns about the rise in ad scams that are mainly related to crypto-related fraud, said both authorities. Cointelegraph reported in January that the FCA will be monitoring anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) for companies carrying out cryptocurrency-related activities.




The World Economic Forum has recognized six blockchain companies on its list of 100 Technology Pioneers for 2020.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recognized six blockchain firms on its list of 100 ‘early to growth-stage’ companies as Technology Pioneers for 2020. According to the WEF’s website, the blockchain and crypto startups recognized for pioneering new technologies and innovations in 2020 are Lightning Labs, Chainlink, MakerDAO, Bitcoin analytics firms Elliptic, Latin America-based cryptocurrency startup Ripio, and Veridium Labs. They’re among 100 companies from around the world chosen for their contributions to bleeding edge technology, from “artificial intelligence to diagnose cancers and quantum computing systems, to carbon capture and removing technologies, cell-grown meat production and use of microbiome to track goods”.


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Tether (USDT) makes a $10 million equity investment in the crypto lending platform Celsius Network (CEL) at a $120 million pre-money valuation, bringing the post-money valuation to $150 million.

The company has raised $30 million in its first equity round. In 2018, Celsius completed a $50 million ICO. Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky told Cointelgraph that his company has continued its policy of not fundraising from venture capital. Mashinsky also pointed out that the equity sold in this round does not come with voting rights. This ensures that the investors will not be able to force the company to change its core mission of sharing 80% of the profits with the community.




Morgan Creek’s Anthony Pompliano presses pension funds to allocate 1-5% of their portfolios to Bitcoin.

As pension funds struggle with their funding, Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano continues to press them into adding more Bitcoin into their portfolios. In a letter to investors, Pompliano said pension funds like the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) will do well to invest in Bitcoin instead of increasing their allocations of illiquid assets.

Morgan Creek has long pushed for more pension funds to take at least 1% allocation in Bitcoin. CEO Mark Yusko said in January that if foundations had a 1% allocation five years ago, they would’ve made 9.2% in alpha--or the performance of a portfolio relative to a benchmark--than the 7.2% they actually made in that time period. So far, there are two pension funds from Virginia that invested in Morgan Creek.




VeChain’s medical records blockchain platform in Cyprus lets people prove, and control, COVID-19 test results.

Blockchain tracking platform VeChain announced on Twitter on June 20 that its blockchain-based medical data management platform co-developed with digital healthcare solution firm I-Dante has gone live and will store COVID-19 testing results. The platform, dubbed E-NewHealthLife, was deployed in the Mediterranean Hospital in the Republic of Cyprus.

Cyprus citizens who go to the hospital’s COVID-19 laboratory to undergo real-time diagnostic and antibodies testing, will have their medical and test records on the blockchain. The records will be encrypted, hashed and uploaded onto the VeChainThor Blockchain. The results will also be available on the E-HCert application. Adoption of E-HCert, the company said, reduces the cost of data storage and sharing.


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A study by Scamwatch suggests cryptocurrency scams are a real threat in Australia.

Australians filed 1,810 reports of cryptocurrency-related scams in 2019, collectively totaling more than $21.6 million AU ($14.9 million USD). According to a study by Scamwatch, an arm of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, younger Australians aged 25 to 34 were those most heavily affected by crypto investment scams. Scamwatch’s study reveals a sharp increase in total losses related to scams over the past two years, from $234 million in 2017 to $437 million in 2019.




CBDCs Don’t Fix Broken Monetary Policy, Say Execs at Stablecoin Saga. CBDCs promise to speed up existing systems but are unlikely to change the direction central banks have already been taking.

As countries around the world dive into central bank digital currencies (CBDC), many in the crypto industry look forward to what that means for adoption and even lucrative partnerships to develop such tokens. However, at least some commentators have noted that national CBDCs will likely disappoint those looking to update monetary policy. Saga operates a stablecoin, SGA, that launched in December. It is pegged to special drawing rights. The SDR is a basket of currencies that the International Monetary Fund bases on a varying ratio of dollars, euro, yuan, yen and pounds sterling.




Nanjing, China is basically using the blockchain to drive a local economic stimulus program.

In order to reduce the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on business, Chinese governments at all levels have been coming up with different policies and solutions to help the economy survive. Nanjing, the capital of China eastern Jiangsu province, is one of the first cities in China to leverage blockchain technology and issue so-called “consumption vouchers” on the blockchain as a kind of crypto-driven stimulus package, according to a local news report on June 23. These vouchers are exchangeable for things like food, transportation and electronics.


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Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden's central bank, took a 98-page deep dive into central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, referencing the country's own such asset — the e-krona.

"The second issue of Sveriges Riksbank Economic Review in 2020 has a special theme, namely central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and the e-krona," Riksbank's June 18, 2020 report said in an initial note to readers. In December 2019, Sweden unveiled intentions for a pilot program around its e-krona, in collaboration with Fortune Global 500 company Accenture.




Australians can now pay for Bitcoin (BTC) at the country’s post offices, thanks to a new collaboration.

According to a June 24 announcement, customers of local cryptocurrency exchange Bitcoin.com.au will be able to pay for Bitcoin at more than 3,500 Australian Post offices. Bitcoin.com.au customers were already able to pay for Bitcoin at 1500 retail outlets in the Blueshyft payment network. Founded by Synthetix’s Kain Warwick, Blueshyft also services numerous other exchanges.




Lending platform Defi Money Market (DMM) — backed by Tim Draper’s Draper Venture Network — has had a difficult birth.

The Initial DEX Offering (IDO) has completed successfully, raising $6.5 million in 48 hours, but investors reported problems with completing transactions, a confusing interface or raised trust issues around the company’s background.Despite the issues, DMM’s DMG token is currently trading at $0.87, over double the initial sale price of $0.36. DMG has also had the highest trading volume on Uniswap in the past 24 hours with $4.8 million being traded against Ether (ETH).


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As central bank digital currencies continue to be researched and tested by countries across the globe, it becomes more apparent that the United States dollar’s reign might be challenged once the concept is implemented on a regional scale.

While most retail CBDCs focus on internal economic matters, some projects aim to facilitate trade relations within a specific region, forming a digital alternative to the greenback. The most eloquent example would be the East Asia cryptocurrency that was proposed earlier in June — a virtual asset backed by a basket of currencies including the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, South Korean won and Hong Kong dollar.

The United States dollar remains the undisputed king when it comes to international trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, around 61% of all foreign exchange reserves are allocated in the dollar as of 2019. Similarly, the U.S. sovereign currency serves as the main medium for cross-border deals, even for deals not involving the U.S. itself. For instance, 86% of India’s imports are paid for in dollars, while only 5% of them actually originate in the U.S.




A group of researchers from SophosLabs state that hackers operating the cryptojacking malware, Glupteba, have been using the Bitcoin blockchain network to communicate in secret.

According to the report published on June 24, cybercriminals rely on a command and control center where they send encrypted secret messages that require a 256-bit AES decryption key. The purpose of the communication channel is for hackers to receive updated configuration information for the malware. This data is used by attackers to obtain precise instructions and thus update the malicious software. Glupteba is what’s known as a zombie or software robot that can be controlled remotely. It has various functions such as a rootkit, security suppressor, virus, router attack tool, browser stealer, and as a cryptojacking tool.




Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, one of the major traditional Japanese financial institutions, has unveiled a plan to develop a security token exchange. Tokai Tokyo is already an investor in Huobi Japan.

According to Nikkei, as the first step in the journey, Tokai Tokyo is investing in blockchain company Hash Dash Holdings to leverage the company’s knowledge to develop the exchange. Hash Dash aims to apply blockchain technology to the financial industry for issuing digital securities and providing a trading service on smartphones. The planned exchange will trade in tokenized real estate, and Tokai Tokyo, Hash Dash and ICHX TECH will explore this sector by digitizing Japanese real estate and trade it at iSTOX, a digital security exchange in Singapore it has invested in. They are also exploring digitizing IPs and corporate bonds.


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Zank

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News of the cryptocurrency market:




As central bank digital currencies continue to be researched and tested by countries across the globe, it becomes more apparent that the United States dollar’s reign might be challenged once the concept is implemented on a regional scale.

While most retail CBDCs focus on internal economic matters, some projects aim to facilitate trade relations within a specific region, forming a digital alternative to the greenback. The most eloquent example would be the East Asia cryptocurrency that was proposed earlier in June — a virtual asset backed by a basket of currencies including the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, South Korean won and Hong Kong dollar.

The United States dollar remains the undisputed king when it comes to international trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, around 61% of all foreign exchange reserves are allocated in the dollar as of 2019. Similarly, the U.S. sovereign currency serves as the main medium for cross-border deals, even for deals not involving the U.S. itself. For instance, 86% of India’s imports are paid for in dollars, while only 5% of them actually originate in the U.S.




A group of researchers from SophosLabs state that hackers operating the cryptojacking malware, Glupteba, have been using the Bitcoin blockchain network to communicate in secret.

According to the report published on June 24, cybercriminals rely on a command and control center where they send encrypted secret messages that require a 256-bit AES decryption key. The purpose of the communication channel is for hackers to receive updated configuration information for the malware. This data is used by attackers to obtain precise instructions and thus update the malicious software. Glupteba is what’s known as a zombie or software robot that can be controlled remotely. It has various functions such as a rootkit, security suppressor, virus, router attack tool, browser stealer, and as a cryptojacking tool.




Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, one of the major traditional Japanese financial institutions, has unveiled a plan to develop a security token exchange. Tokai Tokyo is already an investor in Huobi Japan.

According to Nikkei, as the first step in the journey, Tokai Tokyo is investing in blockchain company Hash Dash Holdings to leverage the company’s knowledge to develop the exchange. Hash Dash aims to apply blockchain technology to the financial industry for issuing digital securities and providing a trading service on smartphones. The planned exchange will trade in tokenized real estate, and Tokai Tokyo, Hash Dash and ICHX TECH will explore this sector by digitizing Japanese real estate and trade it at iSTOX, a digital security exchange in Singapore it has invested in. They are also exploring digitizing IPs and corporate bonds.


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Zank

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Building Cities Beyond (BCB) Blockchain, a Singapore based tech solution company for smart cities, has launched an innovation grant, worth $15 million, to encourage development on its ecosystem, according to Fintech News Singapore.

The BCB Innovation Grant is said to target up to 1,000 projects within Asia. The $15 million grant will cater to technology startups in the region, with grant participants also gaining access to BCB workshops and facilities to assist and bolster their development capabilities. BCB will also set aside $2.8 million of its innovation grant to fund game development projects on the BCB platform, in order to attract developers to its platform.




The Australian Cyber Security Centre said a group of “state actors” hacked Australian networks on June 19 and one of the vulnerabilities they exploited is related to cryptojacking malware attacks.

According to the 48-page report released on June 24, the threat actors exploited four critical vulnerabilities in Telerik UI, including CVE-2019-18935, which was recently leveraged by the Blue Mockingbird malware gang to infect thousands of systems with XMRRig, a Monero (XMR) mining software.




While 80% of the world's central banks are exploring digital currency, China has been on this particular journey for a good six years. In 2014, Xiaochuan Zhou, then Governor of the People's Bank of China, established a Digital Currency Research Institute with the goal of exploring its potential use for the PBOC, which is the country’s central bank. The following few years saw the birth of a few research centers scattering across the country.

Now that 6 years have passed, DCEP—the abbreviation for “digital currency, electronic payment”— is China’s answer to a digital currency issued by the central bank. (It’s 数字货币 in Chinese, which means “digital currency” but plenty of people there actually use the English "word" DCEP.) Pilot projects have been ongoing in Shenzhen, Xiongan, Chengdu, and Suzhou, where it’s being used for things like transportation, education, healthcare, and other consumer goods and services. It's slowly gaining momentum, and from the outside, DCEP looks awfully like any other cashless payment solution.


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Japanese blockchain company Soramitsu announced it would start testing a new local digital currency for retailers at the University of Aizu.

According to a June 29 report in the Nikkei newspaper, Soramitsu will begin testing “White Tiger,” a digital currency sitting on the company’s native Hyperledger Iroha blockchain. The digital asset will be tested at cafeterias and shops at the University of Aizu in Fukushima Prefecture, 300 km north of Tokyo, starting on July 1 before gradually being utilized at locations off campus. Soramitsu, based in Tokyo, is one of the blockchain startups behind the development of a central bank digital currency in Cambodia.




Ethereum-based market-making protocol Balancer has announced that it will compensate users who lost their tokens in a protocol attack associated with two deflationary tokens.

The attack took advantage of the fact that deflationary tokens STONK and STA both charge transfer fees when trading. At the same time, their associated Balancer pools do not immediately account for those fees. It means that the pool balance will show more STONK or STA than the actual number, leaving attackers opportunities to respectively trade STONK and STA, incurring transfer fees and thus draining the two tokens. When there were very few tokens left in the pools, the attackers called a function to sync the displayed balance of the pools with the actual balance, resulting in a sharp drop in STONK and STA supplies and pushing up their prices against other assets they paired with.

Balancer is expected to announce details of its reimbursement process by the end of the week.




Last week’s release of Apple’s iOS 14 developer beta for iPhone has made it more obvious than ever that many popular iOS apps are reading your clipboard data even when they have no clear reason to—and they can do so from other nearby Apple devices, too.

The alarm was first sounded back in March when researchers Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry reported that social video sensation TikTok and dozens of other apps were regularly recalling data from the iOS and iPadOS clipboard, even when you’re not in a text input box. And as Ars Technica pointed out in a recent report, that data could potentially include Bitcoin addresses or other sensitive financial information.


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SBI Financial Services, a subsidiary of Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, has bought a $30 million minority stake in British crypto liquidity startup, B2C2.

The investment marks the beginning of a strategic partnership between the firms as B2C2 is set to become SBI’s main liquidity provider. As announced on July 1, the collaboration is aimed to expand SBI’s crypto offering to millions of customers. B2C2 is intended to benefit from SBI’s distribution network as the London-based startup launches an electronic prime brokerage. As reported, SBI’s new crypto fund will mostly operate XRP, which is planned to account for 50% of the fund’s portfolio. Other digital assets include Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), comprising 30% and 20%, respectively, based on a chart from SBI’s presentation.




Kazakhstan says it will double its digital currency mining investment at the end of this year, and is eyeing a CBDC.

Kazakhstan officials revealed the nation’s digital currency development plan to experts from Russia and China at "2020 Astana Online Financial Day". According to the China Ministry of Commerce on July 1, Kazakhstan plans to double its digital currency mining investment by the end of this year, and continues to develop its central bank digital currency. According to the report, Kazakhstan's digital currency mining project attracted 82.6 million Tenge, which is about 20 million USD. The scale of this investment will increase by 80 million Tenge in 2020.




OKCoin's COO said a PayPal crypto listing would give the industry vast exposure.

Rumors recently surfaced of mainstream payment giant PayPal adding crypto as an option on its platform. Although he had no additional information on the legitimacy of the rumors, OKCoin COO Jason Lau said digital assets on PayPal would further crypto adoption.


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Per a July 2 announcement, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are opening up virtual hours for industry players looking to discuss innovation and new technologies in banking.

The new meetings will be capped at one hour in length and are currently slated for just two days, July 29-30. Those interested need to register by July 17. Depending on the success of these meetings, they may become a more regular feature. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s FinHub recently announced virtual meetups to build on a longer tradition of peer-to-peer engagement. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission similarly held one-off meetings in February, before COVID-19 lockdowns took hold around the U.S.




Jeff Bezos, CEO of online shopping giant Amazon, recently tapped record wealth levels, holding more personal wealth than all the speculative capital currently invested in crypto's largest asset — Bitcoin (BTC).

“Amazon stock shares surged 4.4% to a record $2,878.70 Wednesday, boosting the founder’s world-leading fortune to $171.6 billion,” Bloomberg said in a July 1 article. “That tops his previous high of $167.7 billion, set on Sept. 4, 2018, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.” At press time, Bitcoin holds a market cap of approximately $166.4 billion, according to Coin360 data, showing the value of all BTC in circulation at the asset’s current price level.




The Commons Foundation, a South Korean non-governmental organization, revealed its plans to develop a blockchain-based platform that aims to handle health epidemics in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

According to Digital Today, the NGO will rely on blockchain public services to create an epidemiological research system to suit the coming post-coronavirus era. The article quotes a statement from Choi Yong-gwan, chairman of the Commons Foundation, who expressed concerns regarding the ongoing violation of personal information due to the pandemic emergency. Such a situation motivated the NGO to develop a solution. The NGO explained that a public blockchain network, called “MicroBitcoin”, will be the one that the Common Foundation relies on to develop the platform. They have chosen it for its solidity and security, and state the technology is robust enough to prevent the compromisation of hackers.


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In a special announcement made at the Unitize conference on July 6, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Terra revealed a new DeFi savings product called Anchor that aims to offer dependable interest rates on stablecoins deposits.

The companies involved in the creation of Anchor plan to launch it across their respective blockchains at the end of Q3 this year and scale across to other PoS blockchains in the future. Anchor’s smart contracts receive stablecoin deposits and use a portion of them to acquire staking positions on compatible Proof of Stake blockchains. Users will receive their passive income from these staking rewards.





Seven-day average hash rate passes 123.4 EH/s for the first time as network fundamentals defy bearish price action.

An essential Bitcoin (BTC) metric has hit a new all-time high as miners pledge ever more computing power to securing the network. Data from various resources including Blockchain confirms that on July 6, Bitcoin’s seven-day average hash rate reached a new peak.




One of India’s largest farmer producer organizations plans to use blockchain to help farmers receive higher pay.

One of India’s largest farm producer organizations (FPO), Sahyadri Farmers Producer Co, is integrating blockchain into its business process. FPOs are member-based institutions of farmers that are the result of a government-led initiative. The organizations help fars sell agricultural produce at the most advantageous prices.


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