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Daily Byte: 10.17.2018




0x to be the first ERC20 token on Coinbase, Maldives denies issuing permits for crypto transactions, and a would-be Russian hacker faces five years in prison for hacking public servers.

Here's what's happening for October 17, 2018:

ZRX Is the First ERC20 Fully Compatible with Coinbase

My, look at how fast they grow up! According to a blog post, the 0x protocol token (ZRX) will be the first ERC20 token on the Coinbase platform. ZRX will join bitcoin, Ether, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase's assets listing.

"One of the most common requests we hear from customers is to be able to trade more assets on Coinbase," the blog posting reads. "Last month we announced a new process for listing assets, designed in part to accelerate asset addition. We are also investing in new tools to help people understand and explore cryptocurrencies."

The 0x sale, however, will not be available immediately to residents in New York state or the United Kingdom. Both jurisdictions have crypto money transmitter licensing requirements that 0x has not met. Coinbase indicated last month that it would add new assets on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, allowing for quicker integration of new tokens.

0x is a protocol that allows peer-to-peer exchange of ERC20 tokens on Ethereum. The protocol is intended to allow Dapps to share and trade tokens, permitting interoperability.

Maldives Denies Issuing Permits for Crypto Transactions

It is not uncommon for small nations to want to get into the crypto game. For a small investment and the willingness of local legislators to be "flexible," a cash-strapped country could have an inside line on an exciting and seemingly future-proof new industry.

In response to a growing number of ads on social media, Maldives' central bank, the Maldives Monetary Authority, has issued a statement denying that it has issued any permits to "conduct any financial transactions using crypto" in the country:

"All domestic and international money remittance businesses as well as money exchange businesses in the Maldives are governed by the MMA under Law no. 6/81," the statement reads. "Additionally pursuant to the same law, the MMA is the sole issuer of the Maldivian currency."
"[The] issuance of any legal tender by any other party is against the law."

Europe Surpasses United States, Asia in Crypto Sales

According to a new report from blockchain venture capital firm Fabric Ventures, Europe has taken the lead in token sales – nearly matching what has been sold in Asia and the United States in the first nine months of 2018, combined.

Citing economic development and positive regulatory infrastructure, ICO fundraising in Europe for 2018 approached $4.1 billion, compared to $2.3 billion in Asia and $2.6 billion in the US. Asian nations and the US are more likely to read ICOs as securities than Europe, increasing the regulatory hurdles ICOs need to clear to get started.

Increasingly, blockchain startups are seeking out nations like Gibraltar and Malta. Both nations have committed themselves to becoming blockchain startup incubators, setting up full regulatory frameworks for blockchain technology development and token sales. Larger nations, such as Switzerland and the United Kingdom, also reported significant ICO fundraising for the year, at almost $556 million and $490 million, respectively.

The report suggests that Europe's willingness to be first in the race for crypto regulations may have established the nation as the new center of the crypto universe. Most Asian nations and the US are still in the beginning stages of developing a comprehensive regulatory framework.

"While an increasing number of countries strive to attract crypto projects by creating a regulatory 'sandbox', the majority of founding teams and developer talent remain Europe-based," the report reads. "London, Zug, Berlin, and Tallinn are just a handful of cities leading Europe with robust blockchain talent. It comes as no surprise that these cities have historically been hubs for attracting top fintech startups."

Would-Be Russian Miner Faces 5 Years in Prison for Hacking Public Servers

Finally, in the "what not to do when mining crypto" category, a 21-year-old Siberian man faces felony charges for hacking public administration servers in three Russian cities with the intention of using them to mine bitcoin. If found guilty, the man faces up to five years of imprisonment.

The intrusion was discovered when the Internal Security Division in Yaroslavl noticed the attempted hacking of its equipment.

This case follows an increasingly growing pattern of electricity thefts and hacking attempts to cash in on crypto mining. As the electrical cost to mine has exceeded the value of bitcoin in most jurisdictions, many have taken to "creative means" to find a way to profitably mine the cryptocurrency.

In a similar case, a Chinese man was recently sentenced to 3.5 years for stealing electricity from a train station to power his bitcoin mining rig. The man was also fined 100,000 yuan (approximately $14,500 USD).

Be fast, be clever, be wise. Most importantly, be here tomorrow for your Daily Byte.

Frederick Reese

Frederick Reese is a politics and cryptocurrency reporter based in New York. He is also a former teacher, an early adopter of bitcoin and Litecoin, and an enthusiast of all things geeky and nerdy.

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