We are changing the format of our “Monthly News Roundup” posts to be more succinct and informative. Instead of listing the top news story for each day of the previous month, we will rather summarize the top five or so stories related to cryptocurrency. Here are the major events in crypto from August…
As crypto markets continue to experience price fluctuations, Bitcoin has plateaued in the short term while many altcoins have gone by the wayside. In August, Bitcoinist noted that 54% of the market cap now belonged to Bitcoin, an increase of about 15% from just a few months ago. Those looking for a boost to crypto adoption were disappointed when the SEC denied applications for Bitcoin ETFs on August 22. The next day, though, the Commission stayed those orders, pending further review. Some SEC Commissioners have spoken very favorably of cryptocurrency in the past.
Other countries are taking further strides in cryptocurrency adoption. Sweden, on August 15, launched a fully-regulated Bitcoin ETN for U.S. investors. Although ETNs (exchange-traded notes) are seen as an alternative to ETFs (exchange-traded funds), many do not see this as significant of a step as the SEC allowing Bitcoin ETFs to be issued in the U.S. Meanwhile, a bank in Lichtenstein, Union Bank AG, became the first fully-regulated bank to announce that it will be issuing its own security token and fiat-backed stable coin. If crypto adoption continues at this pace abroad, the U.S. may be playing a game of catch-up later on.
In crypto security news, Kaspersky Lab announced that a North Korean hacking group succeeded for the first time in infecting a cryptocurrency exchange with malware with the intent of stealing large sums of money. Despite such security breaches, voluntary community efforts to clean up the crypto space of illegal activity are on the rise. An industry consortium recently launched the Crypto Community Watch Program to monitor for fraudulent activity, especially ICO scams. They’re backing these efforts with a reward pool of 100 BTC ($642,500 in USD according to today’s prices) for those whistleblowers that successfully report tips about imminent crypto security threats.
That’s the news from last month. See you in September!