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Here’s What You Need To Know About Cryptocurrencies Today

Ripple Papers Promise New Start for $40 Billion XRP Cryptocurrency (CoinDesk.com)
The startup that oversees development of the world’s third most-valuable cryptocurrency, XRP, is moving to upgrade the underlying technology on which it operates. Announced Wednesday, San Francisco-based startup Ripple is releasing two new white papers for peer review – one describing XRP’s consensus algorithm in a more formal way and the other outlining a way to improve the diversity of connections of each node, the software users run to relay and verify transactions on the network. Taken together, the moves show that Ripple, whose investors include banks like Santander and SBI, is ready and willing to invest in the core infrastructure supporting its cryptocurrency, which despite falling out of favor with the company at times, now secures more than $40 billion in value.

Litecoin’s Payment System “Litepay” Expected to Launch This Week – Here’s What It Is! (FactsChronicle.com)
Litecoin, one of the rivals of Bitcoin is seeing more surge in its market value ever since it announced to launch its unique payment processor called ‘LitePay’. The launch date is scheduled this week on 26th of Feb which has raised the public interest in Litecoin from all over the world. Litecoin is one of the most famous alternatives to Bitcoin as it poses a serious competition to it. The growth has been more than 50 percent since the announcement and 70 percent rebound seen by the market since 7th February, is surprising enough.

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Sergey Tarasov/Shutterstock.com

Ripple Adds 5 New Clients Across 4 Countries (Coindesk.com)
Distributed ledger startup Ripple has today announced new partnerships with five banking and money transfer institutions across four different countries. Going forward, the two banks – Itaú Unibanco from Brazil and IndusInd from India – along with money remittance companies InstaReM from Singapore, Beetech from Brazil and Zip Remit from Canada, will be adopting different Ripple platforms to facilitate real-time international payments, according to a press release. While Beetech and Zip Remit plan to use Ripple’s xVia product to facilitate international payment corridors aimed at individual customers, IndusInd, InstaReM and Itaú Unibanco plan to use xCurrent for real-time international transactions to financial institutions, according to Finextra.

Litecoin Cash Is “Hot” But Not “Solving A Real Problem,” Says Crypto Expert (Inverse.com)
The dust has settled around Litecoin’s “hard fork,” Litecoin Cash. The brand new cryptocurrency has settled at a price of $6.44 as of 11 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday, down from its $9.56 high on Tuesday. The fork has been a matter of contention. On one side, digital currency enthusiasts want to seize every new opportunity that is presented in the lucrative market. But more experienced investors are questioning how useful this new token actually is. Kyle Forkey, a cryptocurrency startup advisor and founder of the blockchain consulting group Ethmint, tells Inverse that this latest move is not adding any value to the sector as a whole, but is still making money because of the hype surrounding cryptocurrency investing presently.

Bitcoins for Free? Another Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Lands Itself in Hot Water (JapanTimes.co.jp)
A blunder at a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange let investors briefly buy bitcoins for free — though none were able to profit from the mistake. Zaif, a government-registered exchange run by Osaka-based Tech Bureau Corp. said on Tuesday that a system glitch had let seven customers buy bitcoin with no yen value during a 20-minute window last week. The exchange voided the trades after discovering the error, which happened on Feb. 16 — though it was still trying to resolve the issue with one customer who tried to transfer the knock-down bitcoins from the exchange, a spokesman said. Zaif’s operator had already faced checks after last month’s theft of $530 million in digital money from Coincheck Inc, with regulators fearing its systems were at risk from cyberattacks.

Bitcoin News: Earn Free Bitcoin by Beating this Game – MonteCrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma (Express.co.uk)
BITCOIN enthusiasts and passionate gamers have been thrown into the mix for an unprecedented chance to win a free bitcoin token. The catch? They have to beat the “impossible” MonteCrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma video game. MonteCrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma officially launched last night on Steam and has so far been met with a strong degree of apprehension from the players. On one hand gamers have praised the “gimmick” driving Gem Rose Accent’s marketing, while others have panned the game for being nigh impossible to beat. The game itself is a steampunk first-person puzzler in a similar vein to titles like The Witness or The Talos Principle.

UK and US Join Forces to Study Cryptocurrency (MyBroadband.co.za)
Regulators in the UK and US have announced a collaborative effort to work on Fintech projects. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will share information regarding market trends and developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. The agencies aim to improve business collaboration with regulators, in addition to studying blockchain projects to determine how they should be regulated.

Coinbase And Bitfinex Integrate Bitcoin Scaling Upgrade SegWit (CoinTelegraph.com)
Crypto exchange platforms Coinbase and Bitfinex both announced yesterday, Feb. 20, that they are now ready to implement the Segregated Witness (SegWit) scalability upgrade for Bitcoin (BTC). Coinbase tweeted the announcement that it has finished the final testing stages of SegWit for Bitcoin on the platform and is aiming for a 100 percent launch to all customer by mid-next week. Bitfinex announced an already functioning rollout of SegWit to all customers trading in BTC. Coinbase had first announced the SegWit upgrade in December 2017, and posted an update at the beginning of February, 2018 as they entered the final stages of testing.

Qtum (QTUM): The Bitcoin, Ethereum Blockchains Hybrid (Cryptorecorder.com)
Qtum (QTUM) is one of the emerging altcoins that investors should keep a close look at. This crypto coin is a hybrid that combines the infrastructure of Bitcoin core and the Ethereum Virtual Machine. By so doing, the coin brags of a super blockchain network with hybrid features borrowed from the two most successful cryptocurrencies in the world. But since the Ethereum blockchain is completely different from the Bitcoin blockchain, QTUM developers had to come up with a medium through which the two blockchains would link together. That is where the QTUM Account Abstract layer came in. This layer acts as the link between the Bitcoin codebase core 0.13 and Ethereum Virtual Machine.

Russia is Leading the Push with Blockchain Platforms (Smartereum.com)
Blockchain News-Russia is leading the pack with Blockchain platforms: Many countries are trying to create rules and regulations in order to use the blockchain technology as well as control cryptocurrencies. However, with the 2016 presidential elections just around the corner, Russia is surely leading the pack. Increasing democratic powers of citizens: Russia has granted the citizens more and more powers in a democratic way. Currently, the citizens are able to choose the colors as well as the other details of a sports arena as well as the Metro train. On the other hand, when it comes to cryptocurrency related news, there is a rumor that the vote counting would be based on the blockchain technology. This is specially true for the city of Moscow.