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The State of The Market — February 5, 2019
BTC: $3,467.03 (+0.37%)
XRP: $0.299218 (-0.72%)
ETH: $107.75 (+0.11%)

The market continues to remain unchanged, as the total market cap added just about $200 Million in the last 24 hours. Bitcoin failed to even move past $3,480 yesterday. The overall outlook is still bearish, and Bitcoin would have to test more lows before the next bull run. Most coins have changed by less than 1%.

In other news, Seba Crypto AG, a Switzerland-based crypto bank, has formed a partnership with Swiss mortgage bank Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AG. The partnership will see the integration of Seba’s blockchain-based software into Hypothekarbank’s core banking system called Finstar and Seba will also be able to use Finstar services. Also, data from Bitcoin network monitoring site Earn.com shows that China decreased its Bitcoin node share throughout December and January. In January, Chinese lawmakers quietly passed legislation that essentially made it illegal to run a domestic Bitcoin node and the rule targets any “entity or node that provides the blockchain information service to the public and the organization that provides technical support for the blockchain information service.”

1) Kraken exchange has acquired a United Kingdom-based crypto exchange and futures provider called Crypto Facilities. The UK-based exchange had been in operation since 2015 and is fully regulated by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority. The acquisition provides Kraken with a major foothold into the European market and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said, “We are excited to introduce eligible clients to these industry leading futures and index products [and] over the coming months, our teams will continue to enhance and expand these offerings.” Kraken’s acquisition of Crypto Facilities follows the trend of cryptocurrency exchanges and startups moving abroad to expand their services while also circumventing restrictions and the regulatory confusion created by the lack of clarity from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (Read More)

2) Last week the Venezuelan Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information (MIPPCI) published a “Constituent Decree on the Integral System of Crypto Assets” and the document essentially institutes a new active regulatory framework for how crypto-related businesses will operate in the country. All entities working with crypto assets are now required to register with Sunacrip, which is Venezuela’s superintendency for all crypto-related activities. The regulatory body will set the registration requirements and failure to register will result in a 100 to 300 Petro fine in Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency. Sunacrip is now the highest crypto authority in Venezuela and the regulatory body also announced that henceforth it will carry out routine inspections and audits of all crypto-related companies. (Read More)

3) On Monday, Cheddar, a financial news outlet reported that Facebook had quietly acquired a blockchain firm called Chainspace. According to the Chainspace website, the project is “a planetary scale smart contracts platform” that utilizes a “distributed web of blockchains for scalability, speed, and privacy.” A Facebook spokesperson also confirmed that Chainspace employees are working within its blockchain wing and the spokesperson said “This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t’ have anything further to share.” Cheddar described the deal as an “acqui-hire” which suggests that Facebook could be more interested in Chainspace’s research team and not its technology. Some analysts believe Facebook is creating a cryptocurrency for its WhatsApp communications app and sources say it will likely take the form of an integrated fiat-backed stablecoin. (Read More)

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Kraken Acquires Crypto Facilities And Venezeuala Mandates Registration For Miners And Exchanges was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.