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Latest News on Cryptocurrencies Today: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Neo

Da Hongfei on NEO’s Future and the Cryptocurrency World (CoinCentral.com)
To the NEO community, Da Hongfei needs little introduction. However, to those who have yet to dive into NEO, some foundational information is proper. Da Hongfei is the founder of NEO (formerly known as Antshares), a blockchain platform for distributed apps. He is also the founder and CEO of Onchain, a blockchain development company for enterprise-level companies and institutions. Hongfei is widely regarded as one of the principal figures in the cryptocurrency world, especially on the subject of blockchain adoption in China. Behind his amicable personality and candid jokes of his chubby and humble early cryptocurrency days is one of the key strategists behind a cryptocurrency with an all-time-high market cap of over $10.5 billion, and a burgeoning ecosystem of entrepreneurs and developers.

Venezuela About to Launch its ‘Petro’ Cryptocurrency (RT.com)
The pre-sale of the commodity-backed digital currency ‘petro,’ which has been announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, is expected to start on Tuesday. The country hopes this will help to replenish its depleted budget. The new cryptocurrency will be limited to 100 million units, called the mene. The petro token will be backed by Venezuelan oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves. Venezuela’s regulator said last week that it would draw investment from Qatar, Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries, as well as from European nations and the US.

Bitcoin Price Explodes – Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum Value Also Up in Cryptocurrency Comeback (Metro.co.uk)
The cryptocurrency markets are experiencing a dramatic comeback which has been the price of Bitcoin soar by more than one third over the past week. Confidence in virtual currencies has increased in the past fortnight after the EU ruled out a Bitcoin ban and the US Senate discussed the introduction of laws to regulate the notoriously volatile crypto-markets. Last week, the value of Bitcoin plunged to a low of almost $8,000, but it’s now close to $11,000 after hitting its highest level since January. Ethereum increased in price by about 25% over the same period, with LiteCoin performing similarly and Ripple up by about 15 percent.

Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Warns That Cryptocurrencies Could Drop to ‘Near-Zero’ (Fortune.com)
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain and its associated cryptocurrency, does not want people throwing their life savings into virtual coins just yet. “Reminder: cryptocurrencies are still a new and hyper-volatile asset class, and could drop to near-zero at any time,” he tweeted this weekend. “Don’t put in more money than you can afford to lose. If you’re trying to figure out where to store your life savings, traditional assets are still your safest bet.”

Western Union and Saudi Central Bank to Test Ripple’s Blockchain Solution (XRP / Ripple News Today) (Smartereum.com)
Ripple Company has completed separate partnership agreements for its Blockchain last week. Saudi Arabia’s central bank and popular money transfer company, Western Union, both agreed to Ripple Blockchain trials. Western Union set for XRP-based Trial: Money transfer giants, Western Union announced on Tuesday that it will start a Ripple-based Blockchain trial. This announcement confirmed rumors last month that both companies were in talks to start a blockchain trial. The company first partnered with Ripple in 2015. Western Union’s CEO Hikmet Ersek told Bloomberg that they “are looking especially in the processing settlement and working capital optimization, also in the regulation part, on the compliance part on the blockchain capabilities,” He also confirmed that they “have some tests with Ripple.”


Coinbase and Visa Deny Fault in Cryptocurrency Overcharging Disaster with Sly PR Tricks (TheNextWeb.com)
Following a deluge of complaints, Coinbase confirmed it suffered a glitch which resulted in charging numerous users multiple times for the same cryptocurrency purchase – some for up to 50 times the original sum. But while customers deal with negative balances, both companies remain reluctant to own up to this epic blunder. Despite initially admitting the erratic overcharges originated from its own payment processing network, Coinbase swiftly changed the tune, blaming the malfunction on Visa and recent changes to the MCC code implemented by a heap of leading financial institutions. “We’re currently investigating an issue where some customers were charged incorrectly for purchases of digital currency with credit and debit cards,” a Coinbase spokesperson told TNW. “This is related to the recent MCC code change by the card networks and card issuers charging additional fees.”

Hackers Target Jenkins Servers for Cryptocurrency (ITPro.co.uk)
A new cryptocurrency mining hack is targeting continuous deployment technology, tricking it into mining millions of dollars worth of Monero coins. A hacker or hackers have exploited an existing security vulnerability in Jenkins servers – continuous deployment servers written in Java – to download and install a Monero miner called XMRig. This vulnerability in the Jenkins Java deserialisation implementation, CVE-2017-1000353, means malicious content can be implanted into the server without requiring authentication. This has enabled hackers to install mining malware simply by sending two requests to the CLI interface, according to security vendor Check Point’s research team.

New Legislation Offers Legalizing Cryptocurrency Mining in Armenia (ArmRadio.am)
The opposition Yelk bloc proposes legalizing the cryptocurrency mining in Armenia “to avoid monopolization of the sphere.” The draft law on “Development of Digital Technologies” aims to exclude the unnecessary bureaucracy rather than regulate the field, says Mane Tandilyan of the Yelk bloc. Newly proposed legislation offers tax exemptions and other incentives to miners. If adopted, businesses will be able to operate mining facilities without any licensing. This will indirectly legalize cryptocurrency transactions. “We have information that there are plans to rapidly monopolize the sphere in Armenia. There are attempts to bring together individual miners and organizations in one place and ban mining in other venues. We have proposed legislation that would not allow this, as we believe the field can be a source of revenue for Armenia,” Mane Tandilyan told Public Radio of Armenia.

Litecoin Cash Fork on Litecoin Blockchain (Litecoin Cash Price Today/Predictions) (Smartereum.com)
Amidst debate about its legitimacy, Litecoin Cash project performed a hard fork on the Litecoin blockchain on Sunday 18th February 2018. The fork which happened at block 1,371,111 of the Litecoin blockchain created the Litecoin Cash (LCC) which is currently available on few exchanges. What does this latest fork mean for cryptocurrency? First off, Litecoin Cash Foundation is not affiliated to Litecoin. Though the name seems related, Litecoin cash only follows a trend of naming new tokens after their parent blockchain. This is just like Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold were named after Bitcoin, their parent blockchain. The foundation claims no affiliation to Litecoin, a fact Litecoin founder Charlie Lee further emphasized when he warned users about the fork.

South Korea’s Cryptocurrency Exchanges Made ‘$648 mln’ Taxable Revenue For 2017 (CoinTelegraph.com)
The Upbit exchange generated more than half of South Korea’s $648 mln cryptocurrency exchange revenues in 2017, new government figures claim. According to data released by lawmaker Park Kwang-on and reported by local news media outlet Yonhap News Sunday, total revenues for Korea’s burgeoning exchange sector ballooned 8025% compared to 2016, when it amounted to just $7.5 mln. Exchanges enjoyed a lively and competitive market for most of last year, before the South Korean government began threatening restrictions and even an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading beginning in December.


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