Aside from the latest crypto plunge, November 2018 will go down in history as the month when the world’s first Crypto Exchange Traded Product (ETP) was launched. SIX Swiss Exchange has approved the Amun Crypto ETP, which will track multiple cryptocurrencies.
Huobi’s plans in Russia are further proof that cryptocurrency market instability doesn’t affect big players. The world’s third-largest crypto exchange has opened an office in Moscow and has serious plans for this huge market.
In addition, India is finally about to release the draft bill of its long-awaited cryptocurrency regulations.
However, not everything is peachy in the crypto world. After numerous crypto and ICO scams, we’re now experiencing a wave of SIM swap fraud.
World’s first crypto ETP goes live in Switzerland
Switzerland is the first country in the world to launch a Crypto Exchange Traded Product (ETP). On November 19, SIX Swiss Exchange gave the green light to the Amun Crypto ETP to launch in Swtizerland. Company officials said they chose Switzerland because it has the best legal conditions for crypto businesses.
An ETP is a kind of security traded exclusively on securities exchanges. Its value is based on a commodity, currency, bond, or in this case cryptocurrency. This crypto ETP will track multiple cryptocurrencies, allowing investors to buy the market instead of specific crypto assets. Half its assets will be invested in Bitcoin, while the other half will be distributed between Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
This approval is a huge milestone, especially for the Swiss market. Most in the crypto world expected the U.S. to launch the first crypto ETP. However, Swiss regulators were faster.
Huobi’s big plans for Russia
Huobi – the world’s third-largest crypto exchange – has recently opened an office in Russia. Huobi will offer services such as a Russian-language call center and back office support for trading and listing. The company also plans to rent out space for mining.
This crypto exchange will also start a blockchain education center at the Plekhanov University of Economics. The aim is to train local blockchain entrepreneurs and start-ups.
SIM swap fraud flourishing in the U.S.
By now we all know about the dangers of ICO scams and cryptojackings. But there’s a new crypto threat on the horizon.
SIM swap fraud is causing huge problems for crypto’s already shady reputation. A SIM swap scam is easy to pull off; all hackers need is access to the victim’s SIM card.
Once they have the SIM card, scammers just need to transfer the victim’s phone number to a new SIM card. They can then use that phone number to reset the victim’s passwords and gain access to their accounts, including those on cryptocurrency exchanges. From that point, hackers can clean out the victim’s crypto assets and send them to hot wallets.
The only difficult part of this scam is gaining access to the victim’s phone number. Some hackers are doing this by offering huge payments to employees of telco operators via Reddit. Employees just need to give the attacker an Employee ID and PIN, and the hacker will do the rest.
Usually, scammers target prominent members of the cryptocurrency community. Christian Ferri, CEO of cryptocurrency firm BlockStar, reported one SIM swap fraud in which he lost $100,000 worth of cryptocurrencies. This is a relatively new phenomenon; the first well-known SIM swap case happened in July 2018. Police arrested Joe Ortiz – a 20-year-old from California – who hacked around 40 victims.
Blockchain certificate verification to tackle degree frauds
Blockchain technology is proving useful in yet another industry: education.
In order to lower the incidence of students faking their degrees, the Malaysian Ministry of Education will soon introduce blockchain certificate verification. Currently, all universities in Malaysia verify thousands of degrees via email and telephone. Besides being inefficient, these methods of verification are susceptible to fraud.
Blockchain offers a much better solution. By the end of November, the Ministry of Education will implement e-Scroll, a blockchain certificate verification system based on the NEM blockchain.
Once the system is implemented, university degrees will contain their own unique QR code. Whenever there is a need to verify a degree, authorities can simply scan the QR code to prove its validity.
Cryptocurrency regulation finally coming to India
After months of uncertainty, India is finally set to launch the draft proposal of is cryptocurrency regulations. The draft bill will propose regulations for virtual currencies and the use of distributed ledger technology in the financial system. In general, it aims to establish a framework for digital currency in India.
This draft first needs to pass an inter-governmental committee tasked with creating legal frameworks for cryptocurrencies in the local market. The committee will begin assessing the drafted bill in December.
With this development, we can expect to see cryptocurrency regulation coming to India, but not until 2019.