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Cryptocurrencies seized by Belgian law enforcement from online drug dealers are to be put under the hammer by an Ireland-based auction h...

$430K in Confiscated Crypto to Be Sold Off by Irish Auction House

Cryptocurrencies seized by Belgian law enforcement from online drug dealers are to be put under the hammer by an Ireland-based auction house.
Wilsons Auctions announced Monday that it has signed an agreement with the federal government of Belgium to hold an auction of the crypto funds with no reserve, including 104.99 each of bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin gold (BTG).
The total market value of the cryptocurrencies is around $431,660 at the time of writing.
“The bitcoins were seized by the Belgium police as a result of a drug trafficking case in which the criminals used the DarkNet to sell drugs,” Wilsons Auctions said.
The international auction will start at 12 noon (GMT) on March 1, with the cryptocurrencies divided into lots, the release states. The bitcoin will be sold in 0.5–4 BTC lots, while the BCH and BTG will be offered in larger lots.
This is not the first time Wilsons has held an auction of cryptocurrencies. Last month, it sold off 167.7 monero (XMR) tokens, which had been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act by a U.K. law enforcement agency.
Aidan Larkin, Wilsons’ head of asset recovery, said at the time that the monero auction received interest from 69 countries and that “following over 700 bids from registered participants, the final value realized was above the market value of monero for that day.”
The U.S. Marshals Service has also previously held several major crypto auctions. Most recently, in October, it announced it would hold an auction to sell off nearly $4.3 million worth of bitcoins the following month.
Bitcoin and gavel image via Shutterstock 

Eurex, a  Germany -based derivatives exchange operated by Deutsche Boerse, is reportedly planning to launch futures contracts tied to di...

Report: Major European Derivatives Exchange to Launch Cryptocurrency Futures

Image result for Report: Major European Derivatives Exchange to Launch Cryptocurrency Futures
Eurex, a Germany-based derivatives exchange operated by Deutsche Boerse, is reportedly planning to launch futures contracts tied to digital assets, financial technologies-focused news outlet The Block reported on Feb. 21.
People familiar with the matter reportedly told the Block that Eurex is planning to launch futures contracts tied to such digital currencies as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP), having already had meetings with market-making companies to discuss the products.
Deutsche Boerse has reportedly been considering the introduction of digital currency futures since December, 2017. A spokesperson for the exchange then said that “we are thinking about futures, with which private investors and institutional investors can protect existing investments in Bitcoin or set for falling prices of the cyber currency.”
In September 2018, Deutsche Boerse established a “DLT, Crypto Assets and New Market Structures” unit, that would explore the disruptive potential the technology could have for financial market infrastructure, as well as the new products the exchange could develop to enhance its existing offerings.
Founded in 1998, Eurex is an international derivatives exchange operated by one of the world’s leading stock exchanges, Deutsche Boerse. Eurex Clearing reportedly manages a collateral pool of 49 billion euro ($55.5 billion) and clears trades valued at 12.46 trillion euro each month.
Last month, Deutsche Boerse announced that it was “making significant progress” on its blockchain-based securities lending platform, the launch of which is scheduled for the the first half of 2019. Per the press release from Deutsche Boerse, six banks to date had confirmed their plans to join the ​​securities lending platform, and have initiated “their connectivity processes.”

The Bitconnect ponzi scheme managed to rope in a lot of investors in the two year period it was operational. From February 2016 till Jan...

The FBI Is Seeking Bitconnect Victims to Aid in its Investigations of the Ponzi Scheme

The Bitconnect ponzi scheme managed to rope in a lot of investors in the two year period it was operational. From February 2016 till January 2018, BCC was the coin that guaranteed profits for many investors. Some estimates put customer losses to around $1 Billion due to its eventual collapse. Bitconnect’s business plan allowed its investors to lend Bitcoin for interest.

FBI Seeking the Input of Victims to Aid in its Investigations on Bitconnect

A majority of its victims hailed from the United States. Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through its Cleveland, Ohio branch, is seeking individuals who invested in Bitconnect and were affected by its eventual collapse. The notice is on the official FBI website and invites all who were affected to fill out the questionnaire regardless of  geographical location.
The FBI is seeking potential victims who invested in the cryptocurrency Bitconnect coin (BCC), which was first released through an initial coin offering orchestrated by Bitconnect in November 2016.
The notice goes on to explain that for a majority of BCC’s existence, all its trading was through the proprietary exchange hosted by Bitconnect. BCC’s market cap by mid-December 2017 was over $2.5 billion. The ponzi scheme promised investors up to a 1 percent daily return on their investment and based on the amount of capital they put in. The more you put in, the higher your returns would be.

How to Aid the FBI

Any victim of Bitconnect can fill out a brief questionnaire by the FBI that is available here.  All responses are voluntary and will be used in the federal assessment of the case. Participants might be contacted by the FBI to provide further information based on their responses on the form.

Vitalik Buterin Had Warned Against Bitconnect in Early November 2017

The co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, took to twitter to warn investors that the 1% per day plan was a clear indicator that Bitconnect was a ponzi. His tweet can be found below.

The Famous Bitconnect Meme’s

One of the most popular videos of the Bitconnect team is still on Youtube and has been the subject of many memes. The video can be found below.

How it All Came Falling Down

Bitconnect’s operations came to a halt in late January 2018 when securities regulators from Texas and North Carolina  warned the public that its business model was a classic ponzi scheme. By January 17th, Bitconnect was shut down. The price of BCC crashed by 92% immediately after and its cryptocurrency was delisted from all exchanges by September 2018.
What are your thoughts on the FBI seeking for input from the victims of Bitconnect? Will it further help in the recovery of funds or getting the perpetrators arrested? Please let us know in the comment section below.
Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any additional opinion herein is purely the author’s and does not represent the opinion of Ethereum World News or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you.

Since February 17, within 4 days, the valuation of the crypto market has increased from $120 billion to $135 billion, by $15 billion. ...

Crypto Market Gains $15 Billion in 4 Days But Analyst Says Bitcoin Not Ready For $4,000

Bitcoin, bitcoin price
Since February 17, within 4 days, the valuation of the crypto market has increased from $120 billion to $135 billion, by $15 billion.
Crypto assets that have outperformed both Bitcoin and the U.S. dollar throughout February in the likes of EOS and Litecoin recorded 4 to 6 percent gains in the past 24 hours, showing strong momentum.
Litecoin Surges by More Than 50% in 3 Weeks, Source: TradingView
Litecoin, in particular, demonstrated a spectacular rally from $33 to $50, gaining 51.5 percent in less than three weeks.
However, a technical analyst with an online alias “The Crypto Dog” remains unconvinced that Bitcoin will initiate a large upside movement above $4,000 in the near-term.

DESPITE CRYPTO MARKET MOMENTUM, BITCOIN INVESTORS ARE PATIENT

Fundamentals of most major crypto assets have strengthened throughout 2019 in spite of the 85 percent decline in the valuation of the crypto market.
Some of the world’s largest financial institutions and technology conglomerates such as Fidelity, Nasdaq, ICE, and Samsung have started to build an infrastructure supporting the asset class.
On February 20, in San Francisco, Samsung officially announced the integration of crypto private key storage support on its flagship Galaxy S10. The move could expose cryptocurrencies to the mainstream in a magnitude previously unseen.
However, technical indicators generally point toward a minor retrace in the price of Bitcoin in the short-term following a rapid movement from mid-$3,000 to $4,000.
The analyst said that expecting the value of BTC to rise substantially in the $3,900 to $4,000 range could be risky.
He explained:
Potential bull pennant. I’m not trying to fade it, but not in a leveraged position either. If we break down 3,800 is the first major support and it may hold, but for now I’m just holding spot waiting for a long closer to $3,720.
This is starting to look and feel like ETH circa Jan 5. It could pump, sure, but I personally don’t want to long $39XX.
As Bitcoin demonstrates stability in a tight range near $4,000, small market cap crypto assets and tokens have started to regain momentum.
Tokens like ICON, Ontology, and Aelf recorded 5 to 15 percent gains against the USD on the day.
Overall, the many traders and technical analyst foresee the brutal bear market of cryptocurrencies coming to an end in the mid-term.
But, traders are cautious in expecting any strong upside rally in the upcoming months, projecting the cryptocurrency market to begin recovering from the 14-month correction by the end of the second quarter of 2019.

SENTIMENT IS IMPROVING

During corrections, especially amidst extended bear markets, low market cap and liquidity assets tend to struggle as investors reallocate their funds to alternatives such as Bitcoin, stablecoins, and exchanges.
The abrupt rise in the value of tokens in the past several weeks show that the sentiment in the crypto market is gradually improving.
The volume of the cryptocurrency market has substantially risen to above $29 billion and the daily volume of Bitcoin, which hovered at around $4 billion, has doubled to over $8 billion.
The trading activity in the global cryptocurrency exchange market has noticeably increased since the beginning of February, as the interest in the asset class rose in recent weeks.
The interest in the cryptocurrency sector is expected to increase over time with high-profile product launches such as Samsung’s crypto private key storage.
One digital asset researcher stated that the impact of Samsung Galaxy S10’s new feature could be larger than any other fundamental factor including Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures market launch.
“Twitter has 326 million active monthly users and Samsung shipped 70 million units In Q4 2018 alone. Tippin.me and the new Galaxy smartphones will do more for bitcoin adoption than @Bakkt and all the ETF’s in the pipeline combined,” the researcher said.

Weighed down by countless accusations of user-data violations, crypto-curious Facebook has signaled that it could turn to blockchain tec...

Facebook’s Crypto Division Might Build a Blockchain Identity System: Mark Zuckerberg

mark zuckerberg facebook crypto blockchain
Weighed down by countless accusations of user-data violations, crypto-curious Facebook has signaled that it could turn to blockchain technology for some tasks.
In a video discussion, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, that the social media giant could integrate blockchain technology into the platform’s login and data sharing systems.
This would allow its billions of users to enforce control on the apps that access their data, profiles, and pages. Additionally, the technology would empower users with regards to the amount of data they share.

FACEBOOK INTERESTED IN USING BLOCKCHAIN TO BOOT INTERMEDIARIES – APPLE ARE YOU LISTENING?

According to Zuckerberg, blockchain technology could be used also assist Facebook in getting rid of intermediaries. This would allow developers to build applications and features without having to worry about losing access if they violated third-party policy:
“For developers, one of the things that is really troubling about working with our system, or Google’s system for that matter, or having to deliver services through Apple’s App Store is that you don’t want to have an intermediary between serving the people who are using your service and you. Where someone can just say hey, we as a developer have to follow your policy and if we don’t, then you can cut off access to the people we are serving. That’s kind of a difficult and troubling position to be in.”
Zuckerberg seemed to be alluding to the social media firm’s woes in the hands of tech giant Apple. Recently, the iPhone maker revoked Facebook’s Enterprise Certification, effectively banning the social media giant’s Research app from the App Store.

APPLE PUNISHES FACEBOOK THEN RECONSIDERS

In reaching the decision, Apple argued that Facebook had violated one of its policies. According to Apple, the app was only supposed to be used internally and was not meant for general users. The iPhone maker, however, later reinstated Facebook’s Enterprise Certification.
While noting the potential of decentralized systems to “empower individuals,” Zuckerberg pointed out that enforcing accountability would be much harder:
It’s a lot easier to hold accountable large companies like Facebook or Google rather than a series of third-party apps. You’d also have more cases of abuse, and the recourse would be much harder.
Though Zuckerberg, did not explicitly say the social media giant will integrate blockchain technology into its platform, Facebook currently has the talent required to do so if it wanted to.

FACEBOOK NOW AMPLY STAFFED WITH CRYPTO TALENT

Earlier this month, the social media titan more or less acquired Chainspace, a smart contract development firm. The purchase allowed Facebook to absorb most of the startup’s employees into its blockchain division making it more of an “acqui-hire.”
Facebook is also rumored to be eyeing other acquisitions in the crypto space. As previously reported by CCN, the company has met with blockchain startups such as Basis, Keybase, and Algorand.
Prior to the Chainspace acquisition, Facebook’s blockchain division was estimated to have around 40 employees. The division is headed by David Marcus who is an ex-board member of U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Mark Zuckerberg Image from Shutterstock

Samsung Delves Into Crypto Wallets With “KeyStore” In December, as  reported  by Ethereum World News previously, SamMobile ran a story...

Samsung Confirms Crypto Key Storage Feature For Galaxy S10 Flagship

Samsung Delves Into Crypto Wallets With “KeyStore”

In December, as reported by Ethereum World News previously, SamMobile ran a story claiming that Samsung registered trademarks for a “Blockchain KeyStore,” among two other supposed products that involved the innovations. It was believed that the offering revealed that the South Korean tech giant was working on a crypto asset wallet.
A month after that, leaked images of Samsung’s next flagship device, the Galaxy S10, showed a pre-release version of KeyStore that said it only supported Ethereum, yet showed a picture of Bitcoin. Some claimed that this must of been a mistake/glitch, while others noted that this was entirely legitimate. These rumors were recently put to rest.
In Samsung’s Unpacked event, which came alongside the issuance of a company release, it was confirmed that the device would have a cryptocurrency wallet (or at least a semblance of one). The release reads as follows:
Galaxy S10 is built with defense-grade Samsung Knox, as well as a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.
More likely than not, the offering will support Bitcoin, Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, Bitcoin Cash, and many crypto collectibles. Yet, considering the nebulous wording of the release, it isn’t all too clear.
Trader “Lord of Crypto” remarked that this could potentially be the “most bullish news” of 2019. As seen below, the industry commentator noted that the fact that Samsung, the world’s most prominent smartphone provider, has effectively endorsed cryptocurrencies should be a positive sign. He added that many are underestimating the magnitude of this news, as other technology companies could follow suit.
Leading industry analyst Joseph Young also echoed this thought process over recent weeks, explaining that Samsung’s wallet could be just as important as an “ETF and Bakkt combined.”
He explained that common Joe consumers aren’t aware of Bakkt or crypto-related investment vehicles, but would understand if Samsung were to add a newfangled application to their devices.


More About The Galaxy S10

So now that you know more about Samsung’s latest crypto offering, here’s a bit more about the Galaxy S10 itself. The phone is one of 2019’s flagship devices from a leading manufacturer. It comes in three distinct subsets, the S10E ($750), S10 ($899), and the S10+ ($999), which are all slight variations on the middle model.
The S10 and the Plus have Samsung’s prominent “Infinity Display” that wraps around the edges, which is also AMOLED, has a Quad HD+ resolution, and touts a 19:9 aspect ratio.
The device’s specifics are as follows:
  • System-on-chip: Snapdragon 855 for the U.S., and Exynos’ latest offering in other regions
  • Memory: Eight GB or 12 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB to 512 GB for the S10, and up to 1TB for the Plus
  • Battery: 3,400mAh (S10) / 4,100mAh (S10 Plus)
  • Cameras: Rear wide angle, telephoto, and ultrawide, along with two selfie cameras.