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Cryptocurrency News Today: Shakepay, Monero, Petro, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and a Lot More

Shakepay Launches Cryptocurrency Mobile Wallet In Private Beta (
Montreal-based fintech startup Shakepay has announced the release of its digital wallet in private beta. The mobile app allows Canadian users to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, directly from their phones. Through the mobile app, Shakepay users can transact with one another, interact with the blockchain, and move in and out their funds easily. Funds are added to Shakepay mobile wallets via Interac e-transfers, and users can easily withdrawal their CAD by bank wire. The company plans to provide support for other conventional currencies in the near future. Crypto funds are non-custodial, stored on a user-generated private key on sign up, according to the company’s FAQ.

EC to Talk Cryptocurrency Regulation Next Week (
Cryptocurrencies in Europe have never been in any serious danger. The markets are mostly left to their own devices, and each country determines what rules to impose on traders and exchanges. However, European Commission (EC) Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis has plans to discuss regulation at a roundtable event slated for next week. “Next week, on 26 February I will chair a high level roundtable on virtual currencies. The Commission has invited key authorities, including central banks and supervisors, as well as market players to share their insights. The aim is to look at long-term trends linked to virtual currencies, and examine if current regulation is fit for purpose,” he said during the ECOFIN press conference on Tuesday.

Bitcoin Price and Cryptocurrency Markets Recover (
Bitcoin prices and cryptocurrency markets have improved marginally in the last 24 hours. At 13:20 UTC, the price of a single bitcoin was $10,217.41, up 3.94% in the last 24 hours. Earlier this morning, it had dropped to a low of $9,676.90. South Koreans have buoyed the original cryptocurrency once again, and it is changing hands at a kimchi premium of $200 in exchanges there. But chances that bitcoin will sustain the current uptick in prices are low. Among the top 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash – both of which had sustained the biggest losses yesterday – recovered partially. Litecoin was up by 6.15% while Bitcoin Cash increased by 6.42% in its price in the last 24 hours. The overall market capitalization for cryptocurrencies was $453.2 billion at 13:52 UTC, up 5% in the last 24 hours.

Pixabay/Public Domain

Pixabay/Public Domain

L.A. Times Website Injected with Monero Cryptocurrency Mining Script (
The cryptojacking attack appears to have persisted for weeks before being addressed, as it was configured to not max out CPU usage. Hackers injected it through an unsecured AWS S3 bucket. The Homicide Report, a website operated by the L.A. Times that lists people killed within in Los Angeles county over the last 12 months, was hacked to include a JavaScript miner for the Monero cryptocurrency. This attack, like many others, leveraged the Coinhive mining platform. While Coinhive is technically a legitimate operation, granting website owners the capability to mine cryptocurrency on the computers of end users, the number of illegitimate uses of the service seem to outweigh legitimate ones.

Georgia Becomes Latest State to Consider Bitcoin for Tax Payments (
Two state senators in Georgia have proposed a bill that would allow citizens to pay their tax obligations in bitcoin, marking the second legislative effort of its kind to emerge this year. Public records show that the measure submitted on Feb. 21 by senators Michael Williams and Joshua McKoon would, if passed, tweak the rules governing the state’s Department of Revenue, letting it accept both bitcoin and other as-yet-to-be-defined cryptocurrencies. “The commissioner shall accept as valid payment for taxes and license fees any cryptocurrency, including but not limited to bitcoin, that uses an electronic peer-to-peer system,” the bill states. The proposed law largely tracks with one that is currently moving through the Arizona legislature.

Venezuelan President Asks Banks to Mine the National Cryptocurrency. Unions are Aghast. (
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is doubling down on his support for the Petro, encouraging the country’s banks to mine and use the recently-launched national cryptocurrency. That authorization has led to howls of protests from unions, which say Maduro is abusing his power. Servando Carbone, the national coordinator of the National Federation of Public Sector Workers, said the Bitcoin alternative “is an invention of the government to launder drug money”. Maduro has also reportedly ordered several state-owned companies, including an oil and natural gas company and aluminium and gold producers, to use the Petro for a percentage of their sales and purchases moving forward.

Archos Announces a Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet (Yes, Archos) (TechCrunch)
Remember Archos? Yes, that Archos, the company that made portable multimedia players (PMPs) with below average touch screen ten years ago. The company is still around, selling cheap Android phones, cheap tablets, cheap drones and more. And yet, for the first time in many years, I’m excited by an Archos product again. The company announced (via Next INpact) a cryptocurrency hardware wallet ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — the Safe-T mini. Archos expects to ship its hardware wallet in June 2018 for $62 (€50).

These Cryptocurrency ‘Forks’ Could Beat Price Rise of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple (
If you’ve never bought Bitcoin, it’s easy to feel jealous of anyone who amassed a huge stash when they were worthless and then became unfeasibly wealthy. But there’s hope for anyone who’s worried they have missed the boat in the form of several new cryptocurrencies created by ‘forking’. That’s the name for a process in which a new coin is created by creating a branch on an existing blockchain – the name for the virtual ‘ledger’ which stories cryptocurrency transactions. The most famous forked currency is Bitcoin Cash, which was created in August 2017 August 1 when a group of Bitcoin miners announced that they would be ‘forking’ to create a new currency which makes trading faster and easier.

Wells Fargo Has No Plans to Ban Cryptocurrency Purchases on Its Cards (
EXCLUSIVE – Wells Fargo will not be joining some of the other big banks in banning its customers from purchasing cryptocurrency with their credit/debit cards, Bank Innovation has learned. Wells Fargo, senior VP of senior vice president, design and delivery leader in the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo told Bank Innovation in a recent interview that the bank currently doesn’t block any cryptocurrency purchase on its cards, debit or credit, nor does not have any plans in place to do so in the foreseeable future. This view stands in contrast with some of Wells Fargo’s rivals, including Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, all of whom do not allow the purchase of any cryptocurrency on their cards.

Litecoin Cash is Surging, but It May Not Last Long (
Litecoin Cash is riding high, but it’s not certain that it will keep going. The fork from Litecoin, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency, has been dismissed as making little changes to the original token and even described as a “scam” by Litecoin creator Charlie Lee. A lack of support from exchanges could signal a potential end to its run. The cryptocurrency enjoyed a strong day on tracker CoinMarketCap, reaching a peak of $7.75 per token. Its current valuation of $6.72 means it has gained 32 percent in value over the past 24 hours.

The Ace Plan Of Ripple XRP (
While investors in XRP may be feeling a tinge of disappointment regarding the crypto’s recent 5.9% drop in value, the smart money is on investment in Ripple being a long game – and here’s why: Ripple is strengthening access to emerging markets in Brazil, India and China. Figures from the World Bank suggest that global remittance payments are on course to increase by approximately 3.4% – that’s $466 billion – in 2018, with two of the previously mentioned countries (India and China) having the highest incoming flows last year. Emerging markets are home to 85% of the global population, accounting for nearly 60% of global GDP. With this comes a need for efficient, cost-effective and transparent payment systems – something which RippleNet provides.

Arizona Silver Announces Founding Membership in Ethereum Blockchain Strategic Alliance (
Arizona Silver Exploration Inc (CVE:AZS, OTCQB: AZASF) has announced its founding membership in the formation of an Ethereum blockchain strategic alliance for gold-and-silver-asset-backed cryptotokens. The alliance’s members will seek to collaborate on the future offerings of cryptotokens and potential future initial token offerings (ITO). These offerings may be backed by gold and/or silver forward delivery, using gold and/or silver royalty streaming and other asset backed models, to develop future financing models for financing future exploration, feasibility studies, mine development and/or mine expansion, by its member companies.