In this edition of The Daily we cover a planned U.S. regulated cryptocurrency exchange from Riot Blockchain, the arrest of a hacker in Japan who allegedly stole 15 million yen of monacoin, and a couple of new investors in Coinflex.
Riotx Exchange Details
Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its planned U.S.-based digital currency exchange, Riotx. The document shows that the company intends to launch trading on the exchange with bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), and ethereum (ETH), paired with one another and also for U.S. dollars. Riot Blockchain explained it has selected these coins based on internal and external reviews, and will only include currencies for which it has full regulatory and legal authorization to list.
The upcoming exchange will be comprised of three core services and Riot intends to acquire each of these by engaging third party vendors. Banking services will be provided by Synapse Financial Technologies, Inc. (Synapsefi); a trading engine will be provided by Shift Markets; and a provider of digital wallet services is still unannounced. The company anticipates launching its Riotx digital currency exchange by the end of the second quarter of 2019.
Before October 2017, Riot was a biotechnology company known as Bioptix, Inc. that specialized in the development of veterinary diagnostic tools. On October 4, 2017 Bioptix announced it was changing its name to Riot Blockchain and shifting its business focus to investing in blockchain technologies. In February 2018 it was hit with a class action lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida related to the move.
Monacoin Hacker Arrested
According to media reports from Japan, police forces have caught an 18-year-old man who allegedly stole a total of 15 million yen (about $134.5K) worth of monacoin. The young hacker is accused of committing fraud using computers, among other allegations. He reportedly took advantage of vulnerabilities in an online wallet called Monappy to steal the funds of about 7,700 people. Mona is a cryptocurrency based on a cat meme popular in Japan that was created as a fork of litecoin.
According to Japanese police, this is the first time a crypto hacker has been exposed in the country. This is despite the fact that he used Tor to hide his online identity and stored the stolen coins in an anonymous exchange abroad. The police claims to have identified him by analyzing blockchain transaction records.
New Coinflex Investors
Coinflex, a physically delivered crypto futures exchange, has announced the addition of investment firm Digital Currency Group and blockchain investment company Polychain Capital to its lineup of investors. Olaf Carson-Wee, CEO of Polychain, commented, “As a physically-settled futures exchange, Coinflex will be well positioned to capture significant order flow from speculators, institutional traders and Proof of Work miners seeking to hedge against crypto price volatility and hash rate volatility.”
The exchange also announced the creation of its own token, called flex coin, to encourage liquidity and reward members who trade on the platform. This is a practice that has spread among exchanges, with the seventh most valuable crypto asset by market cap in the world today – Binance coin – one such exchange token.
Based in Hong Kong and incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles, Coinflex is owned by a consortium that includes Trading Technologies International Inc., crypto trader Mike Komaransky, and Dragonfly Capital Partners. Market markers B2C2, Global Advisors, Alameda Research, Amber AI, Grapefruit Trading, Coinfloor and its subsidiary companies also have partial ownership of Coinflex.
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