Bitcoin News Summary – October 15, 2018

Here’s what happened this week in Bitcoin in 99 seconds.

Major exchange and Tether operator, Bitfinex, has imposed a temporary ban on all fiat deposits. Clients are no longer able to deposit Euros, Dollars, Yen or Pounds to the exchange. Withdrawals are reportedly working normally. Bitfinex has said that they expect the issue to be resolved in the coming week.

Venezuelans will have to use the country’s new Petro cryptocurrency in order to purchase new passports. While the move is clearly aimed at anchoring the Petro in real-world usage, it may not succeed as passports reportedly cost four times the average monthly salary.

Blockstream announced the launch of their new Liquid Network. Liquid caters to major industry players like exchanges. BitMEX, Bitfinex, and Xapo are some of the 23 participants in the network, which enables faster and more private Bitcoin transactions as well as other custom features.

Cyber security firm CipherTrace published a report indicating that hackers stole almost $1 billion worth of crypto during 2018. They further report that 97% of these funds were channeled to unregulated exchanges in countries with light Anti-Money Laundering rules.

Finally, MasterCard  will ban payments to ICOs and crypto brokers starting this week. Binary option and Forex brokers are also affected. It’s believed that VISA will enact a similar ban this December. This news was reported by a third-party site and has not been confirmed by the payment companies themselves, details remain unclear.

That’s what happened this week in Bitcoin. See you next week.

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Hmm, OK, so where do I find these “unregulated exchanges in countries with light Anti-Money Laundering rules” ? As an expat I need something like that, because I cannot pass the verification procedures for most exchanges; they’re just not setup to deal with people living outside their own country, let alone renting an apartment at which all the utilities are in the owner’s name.