On Monday, we reported that a company based in the United Arab Emirates has created a Shariah-compliant cryptocurrency trading platform named First Islamic Crypto Exchange (FICE). The company has also gathered an in-house Shariah Advisory Board in order to “ensure that Islam is finally included in the global cryptocurrency market.” And it will take advice from internationally recognized Shariah experts to make sure everything is Halal, according to the Arabian Business Community. The company hopes that the new exchange will support the inclusion of Muslim crypto enthusiasts and traders into the space.
A couple of stories showing how the cryptocurrency industry is trying to police itself were featured on Tuesday. A number of companies have jointly formed a Working Group to try and establish an industry-sponsored, self-regulatory organization (SRO) for cryptocurrency marketplaces operating in the USA. Initial participants in the Virtual Commodity Association (VCA) Working Group include: Bitstamp, Bitflyer USA, Bittrex, and Gemini Trust. Another group of actors in the industry (including Ecoinmerce, ICO Alert, GZH, Step VC, and New Economies) has created the Crypto Community Watch, a program which provides an anonymous tip line to report wrongdoing, with a total of 100 BTC to be used as a reward pool for whistleblowers.
Congresswoman Buys Crypto
An interesting discovery we reported on Wednesday is that a lefty American politician has invested in crypto during the 2017 mania. Tulsi Gabbard, the American congresswoman from the Democratic Party serving as the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, bought both ETH and LTC in December, 2017 according to her latest Financial Disclosure Report to the Clerk of the House of the Representatives. The disclosure doesn’t reveal her current cryptfolio but the initial investment, at least, was somewhere between $2,000 and $30,000 USD.
Tinder for Trading
On Thursday, we reported about the Dominican Republic-based Crypto Matchup, a new app to encourage social cryptocurrency trading. It aims to help cryptocurrency fans around the world arrange informal meet-ups to make trades in-person. In addition to BCH, it supports coins such as BTC, LTC, and DASH, a desktop portal and beta Android app are available. We also provided an update on the story of the 19-year old alleged simjacker: he apparently used his ill-gotten crypto to buy a McLaren sports car.
Bitmex Living Large
On Friday, it was reported that leveraged crypto exchange Bitmex has rented some of the most expensive office space in the world. The trading platform has leased the 45th floor of the Cheung Kong Center skyscraper, according to the Hong Kong Economic Times which cited unidentified sources. The building hosts some big names in the finance world, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Barclays Plc, and Bank of America Corp. According to the newspaper, rents in the Cheung Kong Center reach HK$225 ($28 USD) per square foot for the space of about 20,000 square feet.
A developing story throughout the week, the latest attempts by the Chinese government to curb the local industry have been featured on Saturday. A regulatory body responsible for monitoring online financial risks wants to investigate transactions to 124 trading platforms, many of which are Chinese-run businesses that moved abroad following the ban imposed in September, 2017. According to Xinhua, the agency noted that domains and IP addresses of websites located outside of the People’s Republic could be banned in order to decrease the number of people using them. The next step would be to apply control measures in regards to China-based companies providing transaction services to local residents.
XRP Is More Decentralized Than Bitcoin?
The most commented-on article during the week covered the claims by Ripple that its coin is more decentralized than the category leaders. Ripple Labs Chief Technology Officer, David Schwartz, wrote a piece about “The Inherently Decentralized Nature of XRP Ledger”. In it he stated that “While Bitcoin and Ethereum are becoming more centralized over time, the XRP Ledger is getting more decentralized.” Commenters were a bit skeptical, join the discussion to have your say.
This Week in Bitcoin Podcast
Catch the rest of this week’s news in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with host Matt Aaron.
What other stories in the Bitcoin world caught your attention this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.