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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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Crypto Start-up Gives Millions to Top Schools to Encourage Blockchain Adoption
San Francisco-based Ripple has announced the University Blockchain Research Initiative – a partnership with 17 top universities from around the globe focused on supporting and accelerating “academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments.”

Samsung SDS Unveils Blockchain-Based Finance Platform Nexfinance
Samsung SDS unveiled Nexfinance, a platform that will offer services such as digital identity, finance concierge, an artificial intelligence virtual assistant, and automatic insurance payment, according to ZDNet.

Bitcoin May Finally Be Bottoming, Chart Watcher Says
Rob Sluymer, a technical strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, sent a note to clients, as reported by MarketWatch, “While it is premature to conclude the correction is over, there was a positive technical development this week suggesting the first stage of a three-stage bottoming process is developing.”

Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple Price Predictions
The three main Cryptocurrencies kept their bullish profile over the weekend. FXStreet analyzes the three, “This is a very particular technical scenario, as each one of this trio of Cryptos has its own different scenario, but with similar results in the price action.”

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San Francisco-based Ripple has announced the University Blockchain Research Initiative – a partnership with 17 top universities from around the globe focused on supporting and accelerating “academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments.”

To fund the new research initiative, Ripple has committed to investing $50 million to support various research projects. In the announcement, Team Ripple talks about the motivation behind their investment in the University Blockchain Research Initiative:

‘Interest in blockchain is soaring, with a groundswell of activity taking place on the campuses of the world’s top universities. From new business use cases — such as making cross-border payments faster, lower cost and more transparent — to uses of blockchain for good, students and faculty globally are emerging as major contributors to the creation of a more robust and valuable blockchain and payments ecosystem.’

The statement continues:

“As one of the most mature companies in the space, Ripple is uniquely suited to partner with the academic community and help lead development of this ecosystem.”

Despite Ripple funding the efforts, universities will be able to choose their own research topics. The 17 universities included in the initiative are as follows:

  • Australian National University College of the Law
  • CITP at Princeton
  • CSAIL at MIT
  • Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)
  • Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil)
  • Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
  • IIT Bombay
  • International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H)
  • Korea University
  • McCombs School of Business, UT-Austin
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • UCL (University College London)
  • University of Luxembourg
  • University of Nicosia (Cyprus)
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Waterloo

Ripple hopes by combining a “broad cross-section of geographies and markets, as well as a rich blend of academic disciplines” the initiative will achieve greater breakthroughs in their research.

Ripple is no stranger to assisting educational efforts. In March on “Best School Day,” the firm donated $29 million in XRP to purchase school supplies and other materials.

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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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