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NYSE-Linked Bitcoin Exchange Bakkt Just Unveiled a Major Acquisition

NYSE-Linked Bitcoin Exchange Bakkt Just Unveiled a Major Acquisition

NYSE-Linked Bitcoin Exchange Bakkt Just Unveiled a Major AcquisitionNYSE-linked Bitcoin startup Bakkt just unveiled a major acquisition that could help it bring its institutional platform to market even faster. | Source: ShutterstockBy CCN: Bakkt – the cryptocurrency startup launched by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) owner Intercontinental Exchange – just yanked the lid off the full range of its blockchain ambitions.The firm announced today that it has acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC) as part of its efforts to gain regulatory approval for its crypto products.Reportedly, Bakkt is less concerned with merely building a Bitcoin exchange than they are with offering institutional custody and payment platform services, all of which still requires regulatory approval.Bakkt Acquires Crypto Custodian DACCBitcoin startup Bakkt acquired a crypto custodian to help bring its regulated platform to market. | Source: ShutterstockThe company recently announced its application for a BitLicense, and it is also pushing to become a trust company in New York. The company’s efforts have been repeatedly stalled by regulatory delays, despite positive news around its partnerships with Starbucks, Microsoft, and others.Coinbase previously acquired a trust charter with the New York Department of Financial Services. Becoming a trust can be a faster process than becoming a BitLicense recipient, which can take several years. Bakkt says in a new blog post that it’s applied for a charter, and recently we reported that they’re also seeking a BitLicense.Bakkt wants to offer Bitcoin futures contracts that pay out in cryptocurrency, which would set them apart from other Bitcoin futures offerings. Bakkt has several other ambitious projects in mind, but it must get through several layers of red tape before it finally launches.Adam White wrote in Bakkt’s blog today:“To provide regulated custody, we have filed with the New York Department of Financial Services for approval to become a trust company and in this capacity serve as a Qualified Custodian for digital assets. […] It is with that same commitment to setting a new standard for securely storing digital assets that we’re excited to announce that we have acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC). DACC shares our security-first mindset and brings extensive experience offering secure, scalable custody solutions to institutional clients. The team’s experience integrating multiple blockchains and operating cutting-edge consensus mechanisms is a valuable addition to our team and future product line.”Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler told Fortune:“From the ground up what ICE has been building for two years is the safest version of a custody solution for digital assets.”Custody: The Key to Mass Bitcoin Adoption?A lack of regulated custodians has kept many crypto-curious institutions out of the burgeoning asset class. | Source: ShutterstockBakkt and Coinbase have both claimed that offering secure, modern custodial solutions for cryptocurrency will encourage institutional investors to expand their portfolios to include the speculative asset class. Thus far, Coinbase and Circle’s offerings have yet to make a significant dent in the overall market.Fidelity, a traditional assets management company, also nears completion of its custodial solution. A range of options doesn’t necessarily equate to investor interest, but their availability may play a vital role during any future bull run. Institutional investors will, at a minimum, have several popular options to choose from if they consider getting into the market, opportunities that didn’t exist in previous times.Bakkt’s current push is three-pronged:They’ve acquired a company already engaged in playing custodian to digital assets.They’ve applied for a BitLicense.They’re working to become a registered trust.There are other avenues they might still pursue, such as operating without New York as an available market at first. What is clear is that the company is anxious to get into the game, and the recent bull market activity is probably not far from their mind. About The AuthorP. H. MadoreP. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014 and is currently Head of Crypto. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to [email protected] His website is http://phm.link
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Hackers made $32K in 7 weeks by fixing bugs in cryptocurrency projects

Hackers made $32K in 7 weeks by fixing bugs in cryptocurrency projects

In the past seven weeks, white hat hackers earned at least $32,150 by fixing security flaws in popular cryptocurrency and blockchain platforms like TRON, Brave, EOS and Coinbase.
According to data reviewed by Hard Fork, 15 blockchain-related firms have paid rewards to security researchers between March 28 and May 16, split across 30 publicly-released bug reports.

Omise, the software firm behind cryptocurrency OmiseGo, fielded the most fixes (six). Blockchain-powered prediction market Augur disclosed three reports, as did Brave Software, makers of the Brave browser, which features its own native token.

Projects adjust their HackerOne rewards to the severity the discovered security flaws. Whilst the majority of Omise’s reports were only worth around $100 each, other payments in the past seven weeks were much higher.
Block.one, the firm behind the EOS “blockchain,” rewarded one hacker with $10,000 for a single fix, as did budding network Aeternity.
TRON also paid $3,100 to the researcher who realized the network was susceptible to being flooded with malicious smart contracts, which would have brought its blockchain to a screeching halt.
The amount of hackers who prefer to fix security issues seems to be remaining steady — but sometimes they can make off with much bigger amounts exploiting vulnerabilities themselves.
Indeed, cryptocurrency exchange Binance revealed attackers had successfully stolen 7,000 BTC (then $40 million, now $55 million) from its own wallets last week.
Coincidentally, Binance runs its own bug bounty program with a maximum reward of $100,000 for the most critical of vulnerabilities. The Binance hacker remains at large.

Published May 20, 2019 — 15:21 UTC

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ABN AMRO signs on Accenture and ING Bank for its blockchain inventory platform

ABN AMRO signs on Accenture and ING Bank for its blockchain inventory platform

Despite abandoning plans to build its own Bitcoin wallet, ABN AMRO is not quite done with blockchain tech.
The Dutch banking giant has announced plans to launch a decentralized trade inventory platform in collaboration with Accenture and ING Bank, according to a press release (spotted by CoinDesk).

Codenamed Forcefield, the project will employ Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices to provide “real-time insight into trade inventories.” ABN AMRO claims the platform’s monitoring features “will lead to more secure physical handling processes and a reduction of costs.”
Upon launch, the project will focus on “refined metals,” but “functionality will be expanded across other dry bulk commodities” in the future.
In addition to ING and Accenture, a number of other companies – including Anglo American, CMST International, Hartree Partners, Macquarie, Mercuria, and OCBC Bank – have also signed a memorandum of understanding to join Forcefield.
Back in January, ABN AMRO teased plans to develop its own cryptocurrency wallet, called Wallie. But as Hard Fork reported, the bank has now ditched Wallie as cryptocurrencies are still “too risky.”
“We have approached all the people who have shown interest,” ABN AMRO press officer Jarco de Swart told Hard Fork. “We have concluded that cryptocurrencies because of their unregulated nature are at the moment too risky assets [sic] for our clients to invest in.”
ABN AMRO and ING are hardly the only banks looking to get in on the blockchain hype. Indeed, leading banks – including Barclays and HSBC – reportedly poured $50 million into a blockchain-based digital cash system, expected to launch in 2020.

Published May 20, 2019 — 15:00 UTC

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