Europe’s New AML Rules Made Crypto More Attractive to Institutions, Says Boerse Stuttgart Exec

The fifth anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5) has unexpectedly increased institutional interest in cryptocurrencies, according to an executive at the crypto trading subsidiary of Boerse Stuttgart. Speaking at the CryptoCompare London conference Tuesday, Boerse Stuttgart’s chief digital officer, Dr. Ulli Spankowski, admitted he had been “surprised” by the positive effect 5AMLD had on attracting traditional financial institutions into cryptocurrencies. “I actually didn’t think anything would happen because banks and other financial institutions could already do crypto custody [and] could do crypto trading,” Spankowski said. But since the law came into force…

What the Oil Market Says About Bitcoin’s ‘Safe Haven’ Status

Monday’s historic financial tumult reached beyond stocks, sinking commodities and even bitcoin markets. “I don’t think any asset is safe right now – except cash, U.S. dollars,” said Ali Khedery, formerly Exxon’s senior Middle East advisor and now CEO of U.S.-based strategy firm Dragoman Ventures. While bitcoin prices dropped nearly 10 percent over the weekend, Saudi Arabia slashed its export oil prices when Russia refused to support an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) effort to reduce oil production. Coronavirus quarantines mean fewer cars on the road, economic slowdown…

Moonshots Capital, DCG, Tezos Back $2.5M Fundraise for Crypto Software Provider

Crypto software firm Zabo, which claims it can connect bank accounts directly to cryptocurrency wallets, raised $2.5 million to build out its engineering team and add new customers. The Dallas-based firm announced Thursday that it had successfully completed a funding round, with participation from Castle Island Ventures, the Tezos Foundation, CoinShares and Digital Currency Group. The round was led by Moonshots Capital, an early-stage investor that has backed the Slack messaging platform in the past. Zabo says it can connect bank accounts to crypto wallets using just a few lines…

Bitcoin Drops 2% Following Fed’s First Emergency Rate Cut Since 2008

Bitcoin prices slid Tuesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced an emergency cut in interest rates to counteract risks to the economy from the spreading coronavirus.  The largest cryptocurrency by market value was down 2.2 percent to $8,722 as of 15:28 UTC (10:28 a.m. ET). Prices had surged 4.6 percent on Monday, rising alongside U.S. stocks as traders in traditional financial markets bet the Fed would soon cut rates to address the economic impact of the contagion. Efforts to contain the outbreak have disrupted travel and business activity while threatening…

Binance Lets Turkish Customers Directly Deposit Fiat With Bank Integration

Binance has launched a direct channel integration with a Turkish bank, providing clients with a gateway enabling seamless transfers between fiat currencies and digital assets. Binance said Monday that its new integration with Istanbul-based Akbank, its first-ever direct link with a bank, will allow users to seamlessly deposit Turkish lira into their exchange accounts and instantly withdraw value back out again. Turkish citizens with an Akbank bank account can use the direct channel as of today. Founded in 1948, Akbank is one of the largest banks in Turkey. More than…

Ex-Employee Steals User Data From Derivatives Exchange Digitex

Decentralized derivatives exchange Digitex has fallen victim to a significant data breach believed to have exposed the email addresses and possibly other information of more than 8,000 users. A former employee stole private information for more than 8,000 users, Christina Comben, who heads Digitex’s communications, said Friday. Comben told CoinDesk the exchange was “aware of a leak of confidential data,” continuing: “We can confirm that this was not an external hack but an internal security breach orchestrated by an ex-employee with a conflict of interest against the company.” Digitex has…

Coronavirus Hits US Stocks, Bitcoin Climbs, Haven Status Unclear

The spreading coronavirus sowed a new bout of fear among investors, triggering a stock market sell-off and flight to safe-haven assets like gold and U.S. Treasury bonds, with 47 countries now reporting infections amid widespread reports of travel cancellations, shipment delays and business interruptions. U.S. stocks fell for the sixth straight day, Treasury yields slid to a record low and gold prices were little changed close to a seven-year high. Bitcoin’s price climbed 1.4 percent to $8,902, rising along with popular cryptocurrencies including ether. Analysts for the Wall Street firm…

Draper-Backed Exchange in Lockdown Following ‘Sophisticated’ Attack

Coinhako, a cryptocurrency exchange backed by Tim Draper, has restricted user withdrawals after falling victim to a “sophisticated attack.” The Singapore-based exchange told users Friday that account send functions for cryptocurrencies had been temporarily disabled. Although a spokesperson initially said this was for “network maintenance”, the exchange admitted Saturday it had been victim to an attack and that it would impose account restrictions to prevent “unauthorized transactions,” until the matter had been fully resolved. The exchange has not provided further details on the attack’s nature, or any information on whether…

CoinDesk Explains SIM Jacking – CoinDesk

For early access before our regular noon Eastern time releases, subscribe with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica or RSS. In the pantheon of crypto hacks, “SIM jacking” is one of the worst. The hack, which is less a hack and more social engineering, is basically a form of identity theft, with the attacker swapping a victim’s SIM card remotely, usually with the help of your cell-phone carrier, and then breaking into that victim’s email, crypto, bank accounts, basically all the stuff you definitely don’t want someone to break into. And the consequences can be dire,…

Revolut Bank Valued at $5.5B in $500M Funding Round

Revolut, the London-based bank that allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies on its app, has raised more than $500 million in a Series D funding round. Revolut announced Tuesday the round, led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm TCV, means the bank is now valued at over $5.5 billion. Although investors from previous rounds have also participated, the company has not disclosed any other names. Revolut looks to challenge existing traditional banks, for example by undercutting their prices on services. Tuesday’s news means the company has now raised a total of…