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Gemini To Become First BitLicensed Exchange To Offer Trading in Zcash
The New York State Department of Financial Services has authorized Gemini Trust Company to offer trading of Zcash, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Tyler Winklevoss, Chief Executive Officer of Gemini Trust Company, LCC said, “We are proud be the first licensed exchange in the world to offer Zcash trading and custody services and look forward to providing customers with a safe, secure, and regulated place to buy, sell, and store Zcash, an incredible new form of digital cash.”

Crypto Mining Company Coinmint Moving To Revamp 1,300 Acre Alcoa Plot
Once used for aluminum smelting, an Alcoa plant in Upstate New York is going to be converted into one of the world’s largest bitcoin mining centers. CNBC reports Coinmint said Tuesday it “would invest up to $700 million in the upstate New York location, which it expects to be the biggest bitcoin mining center in the world. The project will create an estimated 150 jobs over the next 18 months.”

Cryptocurrency Theft Malware Now An Economy Worth Millions
According to a new research report titled “Cryptocurrency Gold Rush on the Dark Web” by Carbon Black, the market for malware and tools designed for the theft of cryptocurrency is growing swiftly. ZDNet states, “The researchers estimate that over the past six months alone, a total of $1.1 billion has been stolen in cryptocurrency-related thefts, and approximately 12,000 marketplaces in the underbelly of the Internet are fueling this trend.”

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/.

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Bitcoin Price Could Be In For A Boost As World Cup Fans Descend On Russia
Hotels in the Russia city of Kaliningrad — which will be playing host to some of the World Cup’s games — are accepting Bitcoin as payment. Forbes reports some airlines and travel agents, as well as bars will also be taking the cryptocurrency.

Bittrex Strikes Agreement With Bank To Offer USD Deposits and Trading Pairs
BlockExplorer’s own Tony Spilotro reports “The Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has revealed that the firm has struck an agreement with a United States bank to allow some of its customers to trade cryptocurrencies in USD, along with making USD deposits to the exchange’s wallets.”

The Humanitarian Side of Bitcoin
International Policy Digest has a thoughtful piece on how Bitcoin can help a socioeconomic crisis such as the one in Venezuela, a country actually going out of their way to ban Bitcoin. “Bitcoin, Blockchain and the whole host of other cryptocurrencies and related media have a real shot at not simply being the ‘next big thing’ as their acolytes incessantly seem to preach. They actually can help change lives for the better through circumventing oppressive state bureaucracies and structures in inspired acts of cryptocurrency-based agorism.”

Litecoin Founder Charlie Lee: LTC Network Extremely Secure, Mining Healthy
CryptoSlate says “Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has taken to Twitter to address community concerns regarding the Litecoin network sparked by a cryptocurrency security site that tracks the cost of launching a 51% attack against proof of work cryptocurrencies.”

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US Department of Justice, CFTC Investigating Bitcoin Market Manipulation
The United States Department of Justice has launched a probe into claims of market manipulation across bitcoin markets. BlockExplorer’s Tony Spilotro tells us that the investigation is in collaboration with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives of bitcoin and other coins.

Revolut Users Make 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin And Ethereum Exchanges Every Day
Forbes reports, “London-based fintech startup Revolut — which is today adding Bitcoin Cash and Ripple XRP to its cryptocurrency trading app — has revealed its users make around 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum exchanges everyday.”

Coinbase To Add Crypto Staking Feature in the Future
San Francisco-based Coinbase, one of the United States largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is following up their most profitable fiscal year with aggressive expansion, making a number of big-name acquisitions such as Earn and Cipher Browser, and rolling out an extensive suite of new products aimed at satisfying the needs of institutional investors.

American Express Announces a Blockchain Application To Its Membership Rewards Program
American Express is integrating blockchain technology developed by Hyperledger, an open source blockchain project, that will let merchants create customized offers for cardholders.

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Verge Blockchain Exploited Again, Hackers Steal $1.7 Million in Tokens
Last month, privacy-focused cryptocurrency Verge was the victim of a ’51 percent attack’ – an unfortunate scenario (for Verge and its investors) that resulted in roughly 250,000 XVG being stolen. Verge responded with a hard fork, but unfortunately, it appears the vulnerability still persists today despite countermeasures being taken. BlockExplorer’s Tony Spilotro reports.

Pentagon Contemplates Whether to Flag Cryptocurrency Owners as Risky
The Pentagon is trying to decide if owning cryptocurrency is an indicator of risky personal behavior, one that should flag extra scrutiny in security clearances.

TapJets Adds Ripple and Litecoin for Flight Bookings
TapJets, an American company that offers customers to submit private charter requests with their smartphones, makes it easy for users to pay for services with Bitcoin, and now also Ripple and Litecoin.

Bitcoin Cash is a Must-Own, Says Crypto Investor Brian Kelly
A proposed bitcoin cash development fund could give the digital currency more value, said cryptocurrency trader Brian Kelly to FastMoney this week.

​Akamai, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Announce Blockchain-Based Payment Network
The payment network, ZDnet reports, “is expected to be capable of processing more than 1 million transactions per second, thanks to blockchain.”

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News Bytes for May 3, 2018

Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

Crypto Exchange BitGrail Legally Forced to Shut Down Just Three Hours After it Opens

Yesterday BitGrail Tweeted “BitGrail is pleased to announce the re-open of our exchange!” only to announce three hours later that “We have temporarily disabled the BitGrail exchange pending further notice.” Users quickly became irritable, some pondering if they were “getting robbed”. BitGrail quickly responded with a post to their web site that they were “notified of a deed by the court of Florence requesting the immediate closure of BitGrail and this situation will persist until a decision is made by the courts…”

SEC Mulls Whether Ethereum is a Security Under US Law

US regulators are cracking down on non-compliant securities issuers, and senior officials are set to meet to discuss whether that group includes the founders of Ethereum.

Telegram Scraps Public ICO as SEC Cracks Down on Token Sales

The company behind wildly-popular encrypted messaging app Telegram has scrapped plans to open its initial coin offering (ICO) to the public, says an anonymous source close to the matter.

Goldman Sachs To Open Bitcoin Trading Desk

Goldman Sachs, hiring their first cryptocurrency trader, becomes the first major Wall Street bank to open a bitcoin trading desk. Trading will start in the next few weeks, accordingly to a New York Times report.

Reddit Likely to Bring Back Bitcoin Payments, Add Ethereum and Litecoin Support

Cryptocurrency payments will likely be returning to popular social media platform Reddit, a company executive said on Wednesday.