Top Trending Crypto News of the Week: SEC, Binance and CoinSquare Among Major Newsmakers

Key highlights:

SEC releases framework for digital assets
Turnkey Jet receives first “no action” letter from SEC for its ICO
Google searches for Bitcoin hit the highest point since November 2018
Coinsquare to Launched stablecoin pegged to Canadian Dollar
Binance to set shop in Singapore this week

SEC releases framework for digital assets
Finally, SEC has broken its silence of cryptocurrencies as it released the framework or “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets, but not many crypto enthusiasts have been happy with it. The document which was expected to provide legally-binding guidance actually tuned out to be only a framework that “represents Staff views and is not a rule, regulation, or statement of the Commission.” The document further effectively walks through the different pieces of the Howey Test and describes how they may apply to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Turnkey Jet receives first “no action” letter from SEC for its ICO
Turnkey Jet scripts its name in history as it becomes the first to receive a “no action” letter from SEC for its ICO. In the second important news of this week, SEC released a 13-page letter outlining the several points of the business including the token sale details, need for blockchain, and internal analysis of the Howey Test. The letter concluded that they would take no action as long as the company met certain required criteria.
Google searches for Bitcoin hit the highest point since November 2018
Finally, everything seems to have woken up again with the rise of bitcoin. Google Trend data reveals the spike in searches was single-handedly achieved on April 2 when the price of the cryptocurrency surged nearly 20 percent in a single hour to clock $4,961, its highest price since Nov. 19. While Google Trends does not provide the exact number of searches, it is apparent the amount of worldwide “bitcoin” searches reached 90 percent of what it was on Nov. 20
Coinsquare to Launched stablecoin pegged to Canadian Dollar
Stablecoin mania doesn’t seem to be subsiding as now we may soon see a stablecoin pegged to the Canadian dollar. Coinsquare the Canadian crypto exchange has announced that it is launching a stablecoin pegged 1:1 to the Canadian dollar (CAD). The exchange plans potential roles for its new “eCAD” token in cross-border payments and remittance, peer-to-peer lending, merchant payment solutions, as well as trade settlements and forex conversions.
Binance to set shop in Singapore this week
Binance is the progressing to a newer territory and this time in Singapore. This week Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, at the Deconomy event in Seoul, South Korea announced that the exchange is moving to Singapore in April. He also mentioned that It will be the exchanges next Fiat to Crypto exchange servicing $SGD [Singapore dollar].”
The post Top Trending Crypto News of the Week: SEC, Binance and CoinSquare Among Major Newsmakers appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Google & Baidu Search for Bitcoin Hit Highest Volume Since November Following Bull Rally

As soon as Bitcoin hits $5000 figures, the search volume of ‘Bitcoin as keyword’ on Google and Baidu search engines also hit at the highest level. Although Bitcoin might not out of a bear zone yet, the new figure is definitely a welcome call for other market enthusiasts.
Bitcoin on Baidu Search Engine
Reportedly, Bitcoin is recently the hottest crypto on Baidu, a Chinese search engine and the world’s ninth-largest internet company by revenue. It was reported on April 04 by cnLedger media;
Source: Twitter
However, its worth to note that China was the among the first countries that had imposed severe regulations on Crypto – nevertheless, it has recently approved 197 firms to serve blockchain solutions, noting that Alibaba and Baidu is also one such approved list of 197 firms.
Baidu is famously known as China’s Google and its quite clear that the mounting price of Bitcoin influenced the interest among masses.
Also Read: Crypto Market Review: Bitcoin Adds $17.5 Billion Dollars As Bull Run Soothes on Day 2
Bitcoin on Google Search Engine
Beside Baidu, Bitcoin search on Google is also hitting the peak volume. Per the Google trend report analyzed by Coingape for the period Jan 01, 2019 to April 05, 2019, the search volume for ‘Bitcoin’ as search term worldwide is increasing.
Source: Google Trends
To make it clear, Google trend doesn’t provide the exact number of searches on a keyword but looking at the graph, it’s apparent that the bull alert led to an interest in Bitcoin by masses across the world. In fact, the graph took the upward turn since April 01, 2019 when the price of Bitcoin move to $4900 and $5000 figure against the US Dollar. Nevertheless, the top countries where Bitcoin’s interest is renewed over the past 4 months are Nigeria, South Korea, St. Helena, Ghana, and the Netherlands.
 
Source: Google Trends
Bitcoin Runs on Bull Rally
Bitcoin’s rally towards positive figure is still running – as such, today’s value is up with almost 1% (i.e 0.98%) over the past 24 hours. At press time, Bitcoin is trading at $5024 against US Dollar and gaining momentum in terms of market capitalization as well, which counts at $88,584,361,167.
Source: CoinmarketCap
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Source: CoinGape

Amazon Will Soon Launch Mobile Ads, Are Google and Facebook Under Threat?

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Amazon Will Soon Launch Mobile Ads, Are Google and Facebook Under Threat?
E-commerce giant Amazon is going to sell video ad spots on its mobile shopping app, which will be a great revenue opportunity for the company.
Amazon Will Soon Launch Mobile Ads, Are Google and Facebook Under Threat?

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Google (GOOGL) Stock Rises on the Stadia Game Streaming Service Announcement

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Google (GOOGL) Stock Rises on the Stadia Game Streaming Service Announcement
Alphabet’s Google unveiled its new cloud-based video-game playing and sharing platform, Stadia, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon.
Google (GOOGL) Stock Rises on the Stadia Game Streaming Service Announcement

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Crypto Comeback: One Simple Chart Proves Altcoin Season Is Upon Us

The entire cryptocurrency industry is buzzing now that Bitcoin may have bottomed and a number of altcoins have started to break through downtrend resistance and cause a spike in price. The sudden, powerful rallies in the altcoin market have led many crypto traders and analysts alike to suggest an “alt season” is upon us.
The price charts of many individual smaller cap altcoins clearly depicts a change in sentiment and buying momentum amongst bulls. However, one simple chart shows that there has never been more interest in the alt market, proving that an “alt season” is already well underway.
Altcoin Season Is Here, According to Google Trends
Look at any number of altcoin price charts and there’s no doubt you’ll find a sudden rally following months of decline. It’s led to even experienced traders calling for an “alt season.” While almost each day a new coin is painting double-digit, and even triple-digit gains, the best proof that an alt season is upon us is by reviewing data on Google Trends.

The above chart clearly demonstrates a spike in interest in the altcoin market. In fact, there’s more interest now than there has been in over a year.
Related Reading | Experienced Altcoin Trader Outlines Expectations For Bitcoin and Alt Bull Cycles
It’s worth noting that the topic “altcoins” was used in the data, not “altcoins” the individual search term. Google describes topics as a collection of related search terms that are aggregated to give a more accurate overall snapshot of what people are searching for.

“In addition to helping with ambiguous search terms like “rice,” the new feature also automates counting many different searches that probably mean the same thing. So, when you measure interest in “Gwyneth Paltrow (Actress)” our algorithms count many other searches that mean the same thing “Gweneth Paltrow,” “Gwen Paltro,” etc. As our systems improve, we may even count searches like “Lead actress in Iron Man.” This can be particularly useful for topics that are commonly searched with misspellings and in different languages,” Google explains.

This means that not only is Google taking the exact search term “altcoins” into consideration when aggregating the total interest in a topic, it’s also taking related search terms such as “Litecoin,” “XRP,” and “Ravencoin,” into account in aggregate.
Current Interest in Altcoins Nearly Double That of the Peak of the Last Bull Run
Regardless of how Google pulls the data, Google Trends very clearly shows that interest in the altcoin market is the highest it’s been in a year. But when zooming out, the recent spike in interest is the highest level of interest ever witnessed in the alt market ever.

Not even the peak of the last bull run resulted in a similar level of interest in alts such as Litecoin or EOS. During that time, Ethereum had reached an all-time high of over $1,400, while other top cryptos such as XRP and Stellar reached $3.40 and $0.87 respectively.
Related Reading | Crypto Market Cap at Critical Resistance, Is Altcoin Season Around The Corner? 
Most altcoins are currently down 90% of more from their all-time high prices in USD, and even their ratio relative to BTC. At such low prices, altcoins are proving to be too attractive for investors to pass up.
Featured image from Shutterstock
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Google Agrees to Pay a Whole Bunch of Money to Cover Up Sexual Harassments

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Google Agrees to Pay a Whole Bunch of Money to Cover Up Sexual Harassments
A shareholder complaint has been recently filed to the court claiming that Google made payouts to two former executives who had been accused of sexual harassment.
Google Agrees to Pay a Whole Bunch of Money to Cover Up Sexual Harassments

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Amazon Just Made Online Shopping More Competitive

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Amazon Just Made Online Shopping More Competitive
Facing intensifying criticism from politicians and sellers on Amazon’s aggressive policies quite for a while, the company finally decided to let third-party sellers offer lower prices on other sites.
Amazon Just Made Online Shopping More Competitive

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Shutdowns and Ascents: Will the Political Crisis in the US Give a Boost to the Crypto Market?

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Shutdowns and Ascents: Will the Political Crisis in the US Give a Boost to the Crypto Market?

While the notorious US deadlock is officially over, it hardly affected the whole crypto industry and now the new scenarios urge companies look for faster and more reliable ways to attract funding. Here’re the most promising alternatives.

Shutdowns and Ascents: Will the Political Crisis in the US Give a Boost to the Crypto Market?

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Is Alphabet Stock (GOOG) Undervalued? Share Price Sinks!

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Is Alphabet Stock (GOOG) Undervalued? Share Price Sinks!

The last of the FAANG stocks to announce earnings, Alphabet [GOOGL] made $39.3bn in the fourth quarter, a 22% jump from the previous quarter, and $136.8bn up 23% year-on-year.

Is Alphabet Stock (GOOG) Undervalued? Share Price Sinks!

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Google Enters Crypto and Blockchain Search Business With New Tools

A new raft of crypto and blockchain analytics tools has just been launched by search giant Google. They will provide deep data sets for the top cryptocurrencies and aim to revolutionize blockchain search as the company did for information on the internet.
Six New Blockchain Datasets Added
Over the past year Google Cloud has released blockchain transaction history datasets for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Yesterday the company announced the release of six more datasets in addition to a deeper set of queries that enables multi-chain meta-analyses and integration with conventional financial record processing systems.
The six new blockchain datasets just released are Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Zcash. Google Cloud developer Allen Day told Forbes;
“I’m very interested to quantify what’s happening so that we can see where the real legitimate use cases are for blockchain. So people can acknowledge that and then we can move to the next use case and develop out what these technologies are really appropriate for.”
The company blog went on to explain that five of these particular crypto assets (BCH, LTC, DASH, ZEC and DOGE) have been chosen ‘because they all have similar implementations, i.e., their source code is derived from Bitcoin’s.’ The sixth one, ETC, is based on Ethereum – or as many will correct – is the original Ethereum blockchain. All datasets will update every 24 hours via a common codebase, the Blockchain ETL  (extract, transform, load) ingestion framework, which will enable real time streaming transactions for all blockchains by implementing a low-latency loading solution.
Google’s BigQuery data analytics platform started off with Bitcoin and Ethereum last year. During the period developers have been monitoring usage of the software in order to create the next six datasets. The search giant also has a machine learning (ML) tool which searches for patterns in transaction flows so it can provide basic information on how a crypto address is used.
In what has been termed as a ‘unified schema’ the data has been structured in a easy to access method maintaining consistency across datasets. This will enable easier and smarter blockchain data comparisons for data scientists and researchers. The blog post highlights a number of example queries and applications for the data extracted.
The first terabyte for these datasets will be free each month according to the report with costs charged per byte following for heavy users. Rival tech and retail giants Microsoft and Amazon have also entered into the cloud and blockchain space last year as the competition heats up. Google has been the leader in big data for several years at it clearly aims to remain there for the nascent crypto industry.
“This is not some kind of dependency on government agency reporting,” Day added, “We have all the data, and we can pull metrics and and look at them and reason about them over time.”
Image from Shutterstock
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Abra’s Blockchain App to Support Traditional Investments in Stocks, ETFs Using Bitcoin

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Abra’s Blockchain App to Support Traditional Investments in Stocks, ETFs Using Bitcoin

Abra’s new feature will allow global investors to invest in popular companies, commodities and other funds in a seamless manner without having to switch wallets or platforms.

Abra’s Blockchain App to Support Traditional Investments in Stocks, ETFs Using Bitcoin

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Google Alerts ZCoin Founder about Attempt by Government Backed Hackers on His Email

ZCoin founder Poramin Insom has revealed that government-backed hackers may be attempting to compromise his email account, in what some say is possible pushback from the Thai government over his involvement in one of the regime’s most humiliating climb-downs in recent times.
Posting on his Facebook profile on Friday morning, Insom displayed a screenshot of a security notice from Google warning him that government-sanctioned hackers are making attempts to hack his email.

ZCoin Antagonises the Thai Government
Thailand is one of the least forgiving jurisdictions for dissent, ruled by a powerful royal family and a military junta that seized power in a 2014 coup. Political activists and dissidents who dare to speak up often end up prosecuted under the country’s strict anti-dissent laws and censorship is a recurrent complaint by Thai activists.
In 2018, a Thai rap collective is known as “Rap Against Dictatorship” released an eponymous single that excoriated Thai authorities, using hip-hop’s raw, earthy medium to express dissatisfaction with government corruption, official high-handedness, censorship, and poor infrastructure. The video quickly went viral on YouTube, amassing more than 30 million views in less than two weeks much to the regime’s chagrin.
The country’s deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul quickly came out with a statement implying that the artists behind ‘Rap Against Dictatorship’ could be prosecuted for sedition. There were also whispers about the Thai junta leaning on Google to take the video off YouTube, and this is where the story got interesting from Insom’s point of view.
Using an IPFS link embedded in a ZCoin transaction, an unknown individual saved an indelible copy of “Rap Against Dictatorship” on the ZCoin blockchain – an action that made headlines around the world because, for the first time, the Thai government was genuinely rendered powerless to enforce censorship. As the founder of ZCoin, which is based on the Zerocoin protocol (different from the Zerocash protocol), Insom inevitably became a person of attention to Thai authorities.
Google’s “Government Hacker” Alert
In 2012, Google instituted a new warning system to alert users of apparent attempts to compromise their Google accounts by state-backed entities. In the announcement blog post, Google stated that while the new warning does not necessarily mean that the targeted account has been hijacked, it does signify that a significant government-backed attempt has been made, and the affected user should apply countermeasures such as changing their password immediately.
An excerpt from Google’s statement reads:
“You might ask how we know this activity is state-sponsored. We can’t go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors, but our detailed analysis—as well as victim reports—strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored.”
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Source: CoinGape

Google Security Expert: Crypto is Like Catnip for Cyber Criminals

In response to increasing security concerns around SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA) and the prominence of SIM-swapping schemes targeting crypto investors, Google last year released the Titan Security Key. The Titan Security Key enables advanced 2FA without the need to send a text message that could be intercepted by cyber criminals.
Google’s Head of Account Security Mark Risher, who helped develop the Titan Security Key, believes that crypto is like “catnip” for cyber criminals, and explains why the emerging asset class has become such a “hot target.”
Crypto Is a “Hot Target” For Cyber Criminals, Says Google Head of Security
2018 smashed all previous records for crypto-related thefts. While the bulk of the stolen cryptocurrencies are attributed to some prominent cryptocurrency exchange hacks, the rest of the stolen crypto resulted from phishing schemes, crypto giveaways scams, and a new issue involving attackers gaining access to a user’s mobile phone through SIM-card swapping.
One high-profile case involving early Bitcoin investor Michael Terpin filing a lawsuit against telecom company AT&T for their gross negligence that led to $224 million in crypto being stolen from Terpin. Cyber criminals impersonated Terpin to gain access to a SIM-card tied to his phone number, which was then used to send a text-message containing sensitive account information that led to the criminals gaining access to Terpin’s crypto wallets.
Related Reading | Pro League of Legends Gamer Robbed of $200K in Crypto in Sim-Hack
Terpin’s example proves that new methods – such as Google’s Authenticator App, Authy, or Google’s new Titan Security Key – are necessary to fight the growing problem.
But why target crypto investors? Google’s Head of Account Security Mark Risher, whose primary focus is around spam, phishing, and account security, says that “the instantaneous nature of it, the very, very low transaction fees, the frictionless nature of money moving around,” and “the pseudonymity” are key reasons that cyber criminals are targeting crypto investors in a big way.
“Cryptocurrency is like catnip for these attackers,” Risher added. He continued, explaining that cryptocurrency’s notorious price volatility could lead to its value doubling overnight, making investors in the new financial technology a “very hot target.”

How Can Crypto Users Protect Themselves From SIM-Swapping?
It has become increasingly clear that SMS-based 2FA solutions that protect most accounts are ineffective against preventing all attacks. And while as long as there is potential for human error, and no solutions will ever be 100% effective, cryptocurrency investors can take some key steps to protect themselves.
For one, never use SMS-based 2FA for securing cryptocurrency wallets or exchange accounts, or anything that has access to private keys or assets. Instead, use Google’s Authenticator app or Authy, which refreshes 2FA codes that can only be viewed in-app at regular intervals. Be sure to make backups of all of the QR codes to the accounts you have synced with Google Authenticator or there is risk of being permanently locked out of your own accounts.
Related Reading | Silicon Valley Execs Targeted in ‘SIM Swap’ Hacking, $1 Million in Crypto Stolen
Another commonly overlooked but highly recommended tip is to never publicly, or even privately, disclose your crypto holdings or that you are holding cryptocurrencies at all. Doing so could make you a target.
Finally, one could consider Google’s Titan Security Key. Risher says that having a Titan Key “physically present makes SMS a non-threat.”
“There’s no code that sends over the airwaves, nothing is sent to the telcos,” he added. “If your phone number has changed, we won’t even know as part of this flow, and if someone else has grabbed your phone number, they won’t have any higher credibility than a complete stranger.”
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Netflix Stock Leads the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Stock Rebound

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Netflix Stock Leads the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Stock Rebound

Dow Jones futures fell Monday morning, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures, even with U.S. stock markets closed Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King holiday.

Netflix Stock Leads the FAANG Pack, Could Make or Break the Internet-Stock Rebound

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Twitter Implements Scam Safeguards, but Google’s Account Still Gets Hacked

Twitter has been on the losing side of an ongoing battle with scammers who are leveraging the platform’s user base to steal cryptocurrencies. However, the company has revealed that it’s implemented some safeguards in an attempt to reduce the frequency of such scams and better protect its users.
Twitter Issues Statement, Implements Scam Countermeasures
Twitter, the popular social media platform originally known for limiting discussion to 140 characters, has been fighting a growing trend where cybercriminals hijack accounts – often verified accounts – of major brands, big-name celebrities, and cryptocurrency industry executives and entrepreneurs.
The likenesses are imitated, and then used to lure users into sending a small sum of cryptocurrency to a scammer’s wallet, with the promise of a larger sum being sent in return. Except the sending user is left high and dry after they realize they are not only getting the promised larger sum, but that they’ve lost the initially sent assets as a result of the scam.
Related Reading: Crypto Scammers Steal $150K Posing As Elon Musk
Yesterday, one of the U.S.’s largest retail chains, Target, had their verified account of 1.92 million followers hacked.
A posted tweet on it stated that it was doing a cryptocurrency giveaway that led to over $38,000 in Bitcoin being stolen from Target’s customers. Target issued a statement apologizing to its customers and explaining the situation. However, the retail giant cannot be too pleased with the way Twitter has allowed this problem to run rampant on its platform, and continue to escalate.
Following the incident, Twitter issued a statement.

“We’ve been in close contact with Target this morning and can also confirm that their account was inappropriately accessed for approximately half an hour, after which we swiftly locked the account so Twitter could thoroughly investigate the issue,” the company told Hard Fork.

Twitter also claimed it had discovered additional security breaches, and has since implemented some countermeasures aimed at thwarting future attempts from cryptocurrency scammers.
Google’s Account Hacked Following New Countermeasures
Not even hours later after Twitter’s statement, the G Suite verified account owned by Google was also breached, and used for wrongdoing. The G Suite account has over 800,000 followers, meaning that well over 2.5 million users were exposed to scammers in less than 24 hours due to the social media giant’s inability to stop the spread of the ongoing issue.
Google removed the tweet, and said they were “investigating with Twitter now.”
The company appears to be defenseless in the fight against these cybercriminals, which are said to reach as many as 15,000 bots as part of a growing botnet designed to scam Twitter users out of their crypto.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, claimed the firm was “on it,” and began exploring using “untapped potential” blockchain offers as a way to improve transparency and accountability on the social media platform.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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