China’s Central Bank Issues Warning Regarding ICOs and Crypto Trading

The Shanghai branch of China's central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBC), released a notice on Tuesday warning investors and consumers about risks associated with ICOs and cryptocurrency trading. The financial authority said they are still keeping a close eye on offshore exchanges and activity related to ICOs.

The warning from the PBC comes about a year after the authority banned ICOs in the nation, castigating them as an illegal fundraising tool.

Clampdown on Cryptocurrency Remains Resolute

According to the central bank, their restrictions have been successful. They noted how the “global share of domestic virtual currency transactions has dropped from the initial 90% to less than 5%.”

However, the release mentions how trading activity for domestic investors still remains high at offshore exchanges.

The central bank noted how they are still keeping tabs on offshore servers associated with up to 124 cryptocurrency trading platforms in an effort to maintain control over the sector.

Some of these digital exchanges have been busy changing domain names and shuffling servers around to keep ahead of investigation by authorities.  

Still Closely Monitoring ICOs

In the release, the PBC asked Chinese residents to report those who are operating ICOs, or a variant, if they are engaging in any suspected illegal crimes or activities.

The bank said they are still keeping a watchful eye on ICOs and will continue to research the sector in order to “proactively fight and prevent concerns.”

A government-led crackdown on ICOs back in September 2017 led to about $1 billion dollar’s worth of investments being returned to investors.

The PBC also noted how authorities have blocked public numbers that were suspected of releasing hype information related to ICOs and cryptocurrencies.  

Despite Chinese crackdowns on cryptocurrency and ICOs, the nation seems to be more bullish on blockchain. The Supreme People’s Court of China said earlier this month that blockchain was now legally permissible to be used in court to verify evidence as authentic. Research also shows that around 68% of worldwide blockchain-related patents come from firms in China.

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Coin Metrics: Over 94% of Daily BSV Transactions ‘Generated by a Weather App’

Siamak Masnavi

According to the latest research by blockchain analytics/research boutique Coin Metrics, as of July 14, over 94% of Bitcoin SV's daily transactions are reportedly being generated by "a weather app."

Coin Metrics' findings were published on Tuesday (July 16) in issue #8 of their weekly newsletter "State of the Network".

This shocking discovery was made while Coin Metrics was doing research on the on-chain activity of Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin SV (BSV). 

Although Coin Metrics found that BSV's "overall transaction count has been growing," they noticed that the majority of these transactions include the OP_RETURN opcode.

According to the Bitcoin Wiki, OP_RETURN is "a script opcode used to mark a transaction output as invalid" and "any outputs with OP_RETURN are provably unspendable."

This means that this opcode can be used to store data on the blockchain. However, as the Bitcoin Wiki points out, many Bitcoiners "believe that use of OP_RETURN is irresponsible in part because Bitcoin was intended to provide a record for financial transactions, not a record for arbitrary data," and it's "less costly and far more efficient to store non-currency data elsewhere."

In the case of the Bitcoin SV blockchain, it appears that BSV transactions are "increasingly including OP_RETURNS", and that, since May, the majority of OP_RETURNs are coming from a web-based weather app, "WeatherSV", which records to and retrieves from the Bitcoin SV blockchain weather information.

The WeatherSV website says that it is demonstrating "the ability to index and retrieve climate data immutably stored on a distributed ledger."

Furthermore, Coin Metrics found that the majority of BSV’s overall transactions are being generated by WeatherSV, in fact over 94% (as of July 14):

Coin Metrics Chart - 16 July 2019.png

According to data from CryptoCompare, at press time, BSV is trading at $11.31, down 11.04% in the past 24-hour period:

BSV-USD Chart - 17 July 2019.png

Featured Image Credit: Photo via BSV Chart Courtesy of Coin Metrics.