Asia & Australia,  Bitcoin,  Ethereum,  Media,  Tether

Must-reads for October 24, 2018: New cryptophone, ETF advocates meet SEC, and more Tether drama

These are the crypto stories you should be following today

HTC launches its blockchain-focused phone, but you can only buy it in cryptocurrency (CNBC)
The new Exodus 1 phone ban be bought for 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH—but you can’t buy it with fiat. “The Exodus 1 comes with a secure enclave — a secluded area on the phone’s chip kept separate from the Android operating system (OS) it runs on — that uses technology made by SoftBank’s Arm Holdings to keep a customer’s cryptocurrency safe,” writes CNBC’s Ryan Browne.


SEC Publishes Memorandum From Meeting on SolidX, VanEck BTC ETF Proposal (CoinTelegraph)
The meeting occurred October 9. Besides SolidX and VanEck, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) was also represented. This is all in an effort to get the SEC to change its mind and approve a Bitcoin-based ETF. The SEC has been cool on an ETF because they fear market manipulation in Bitcoin. The counter argument is, hey, it’s all good, dude, only institutions (like, maybe, pension funds) are going to gamble grandma’s pension away on this. Hazard to guess how this will turn out?


Bitfinex Is Publishing Data for a Tether Market That Doesn’t Exist (CoinDesk)
This is turning into a rather controversial piece. It seems there’s USDT/USD on CoinMarketCap that is supposed to be from Bitfinex. The problem is, Bitfinex doesn’t have such a trading pair. “We do not have a direct USD/USDT pair on Bitfinex so I believe it represents deposits/withdrawals of some kind,” a Bitfinex spokesperson told CoinDesk. Later, the same flack said, “”CoinMarketCap displaying a pair does not equate to Bitfinex publicising data that doesn’t exist. CoinMarketCap track our API’s and them displaying this pair is not something which we have control over, nor is it something we have pushed for.” The plot thickens…


Just A Week After Getting Installed, India’s First Bitcoin ATM In Bengaluru Seized; Co-Founder Arrested (Times of India)
There was some press when Unocoin opened up a Bitcoin ATM India. But the good times didn’t last long. The country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, banned crypto earlier this year. Unocoin’s Sathvik Viswanath hasn’t been cool with it. “We got a lot of bad press after the finance minister announced a ban in February 2018. The minister’s statement was clear: Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India. He did not say ‘illegal tender’. There’s a huge difference. It means you bear the risk of your investment and there’s no regulation for the industry,” he said to the Times of India.


Here’s how blockchain could help Scotland win independence (The National)
Every so often, a sizeable minority in part of a G8 country decides it wants to split off and start its own, struggling country all in the name of sovereignty. A chunk of Quebecers thought it would be possible in the ‘90s and even had the nutty idea that Jacques Parizeau could be a head of state (seriously, that was what they had to look forward to). A portion of Scotland has also talked itself into such a fever dream a few years ago and nearly broke up the U.K. Now the sovereigntists there want another go at it so they’re doing a poll. The interesting part is that the poll is secured by blockchain technology because if you’re going to vote to sink your economy into a pit, what better way than to make sure your voice is heard securely and irrevocably?


U.S. Marshals Set To Auction $4.2M In Bitcoin Next Month (Forbes)
The Feds are only accepting cold, hard fiat cash, not Tether.


Which Major Country Will Be The First To Truly Adopt Cryptocurrency? ( via NASDAQ)
“What are we, chopped liver?” cries Malta.


Could this startup end Nigeria’s reliance on generators? (CNN)
Nigeria is a member of OPEC and is one of the most populated nations on earth. Still, energy is a problem. OneWattSolar thinks it has a solution: “The clean energy outfit has come up with a way of allowing thousands of Africans to pay for solar energy using blockchain tokens without having to pay for the solar system infrastructure, which is funded through financial backers….OneWattSolar’s systems will include solar panels and a fitted internet enabled router that will automatically collect data on energy usage that is charged monthly on a pay as you go basis,” writes CNN’s Nosmot Gbadamosi.


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Lawrence Lewitinn, CFA was the founding editor in chief of Modern Consensus. Disclosure: Lewitinn owns no cryptocurrencies in his portfolio.