132 crypto investors have filed a lawsuit against the Japanese-based crypto exchange Coincheck, seeking 228 mln yen (around $2 mln) in damages, local news outlet Sankei reported Tuesday Feb. 27. Coincheck suffered a major hack in late January that resulted in the theft of more than 523 mln NEM, worth around $530 mln at the time. The exchange has since promised to refund all of its customers in full at a rate of about 82 cents per token. Despite the company’s refund promise, ten crypto traders had already filed lawsuits against Coincheck on Feb. 15 at the Tokyo District Court over the company freezing crypto withdrawals. Coincheck began allowing yen withdrawals on Feb. 12, which settled one of the claims against the exchange. At the time of the Feb. 15 lawsuit, the traders’ lawyer, Hiromu Mochizuki, told Reuters that a new lawsuit to claim damages for the hack may be forthcoming. This newest lawsuit with 132 claimants seeks payment in 13 types of currency, including yen, Sankei reports. Mochizuki’s Twitter bio describes him as the “Secretary General of Coincheck Damage Counterparty Lawyer,” and he often links to the Twitter page of the so-called “Coincheck Damaging Countermeasure Defense Team.”
Crypto exchanges BTCXIndia and ETHEXIndia have informed their customers via email that they are stopping trading activities, citing the “stress” on their business caused by governmental actions discouraging crypto, local Indian news outlet the Economic Times reported yesterday, Feb. 28. BTCXIndia and ETHEXIndia’s websites both currently display a message to customers informing them that any deposits received after Jan.1 will automatically be sent back to the investor’s bank account. According to the email, BTCXIndia was opened in 2014, and the exchange then opened ETHEXIndia opened two years later. BTCXIndia customers are told they have until March 4, 2018 to withdraw their funds in either Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), or the rupee (INR) before an annual wallet maintenance fee is applied. The exchange’s Ripple/INR trading will be halted on March 5.
Digital payments firm Square views Bitcoin as a “transformational technology,” and analysts predict that the company could one day launch a cryptocurrency exchange. The company made waves last year when it announced that it was launching a Bitcoin trading pilot program through Cash App, the firm’s peer-to-peer transaction platform. A month ago, Square released the feature to virtually all of its US-based users, providing them with one of the most seamless Bitcoin purchasing experiences currently available. Square executives discussed the feature following the release of its first-quarter earnings report Tuesday, stating that while Bitcoin trading is “still not material to our results,” the firm views cryptocurrency as “transformational” and intends to build out more products and services that leverage it. Dorsey has issued similar statements in the past. When Square officially released Bitcoin trading to its Cash App customers, Dorsey said that the firm views Bitcoin as a “long-term path towards greater financial access for all.”
As a result of the latest Bitcoin Core 0.16 update, the usage levels of Bitcoin SegWit have been taking off. This significant uptick in usage levels can also be attributed to a number of major exchanges and wallet providers such as Coinbase and Bittrex finally implementing this technology into their platforms. This uptick means that there could be a significant decrease in global bitcoin transaction fees and times. Segregated Witness (SegWit) is a way of bundling transaction together into blocks, which is a much more efficient way for transactions to be processed. The Bitcoin network has experienced high levels of congestion since its popularity exploded in 2017, with issues abound as to how to scale the network. This led to higher fees and slower transaction times which were turning a lot of people away from using Bitcoin. The adoption of SegWit is aimed at drastically reducing this level of congestion. The main issue that has been holding back the widespread adoption of SegWit across the space is that it has to be specifically enabled on wallets and exchanges. This means you need to have specific SegWit wallet addresses and these cannot be used to bridge non-SegWit and SegWit transactions.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has given its employees the green light to trade cryptocurrencies, a decision that came in response to “numerous” inquiries from agency staff. The policy, which Bloomberg reports was announced in a Feb. 5 memo written by CFTC general counsel Daniel Davis, said that because the agency has determined that cryptocurrencies are commodities, employees can trade them like they would precious metals, barrels of oil, and other commodities. However, this policy has several caveats. CFTC employees may not trade cryptocurrencies on margin, nor may they take advantage of any insider information they acquire in the course of their work at the regulatory agency. The CFTC first determined that cryptocurrencies are commodities in 2014, giving the agency a modicum of oversight on cryptocurrency trading. While the agency does not have the authority to supervise cryptocurrency exchanges — which are currently regulated at the state level under money transmitter laws — it has direct oversight of US cryptocurrency futures markets, the first of which launched in December on Chicago-based exchanges CBOE and CME. CFTC regulators may also investigate fraud and manipulation in the spot markets, and the agency has brought suits against several alleged cryptocurrency investment scams.