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Moonday Mornings: Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten may be getting into cryptocurrencies

Your weekly dose of over-the-weekend cryptocurrency news is here

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With Bitcoin up 2.7 percent over the past week, the cryptocurrency market closed in the green this weekend. But is the trend here to stay or are the bears coming to leave investors bleeding yet again? Let’s take a look at the news and find out.

Here are some of the hottest blockchain stories you might’ve missed over the weekend:

1. Scammers be scamming. Mumbai police department has busted a group of swindlers involved in a racketeering scheme that amassed over $14 million worth of cryptocurrency (about 1 million rupees), The Times of India reports. The scammers launched a cryptocurrency called Cashcoin, promising to double backers’ investments. According to Indian law enforcement, the fraudsters hustled a number of investors in the cities of Mumbai, Surat, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh.

2. Japanese internet behemoth Rakuten – often referred to as “Japan’s Amazon” – might be getting into cryptocurrencies. In its latest earnings report, the company revealed an upcoming update to its Rakuten Pay mobile app will support a variety of payment solutions “embedded into one platform.” Industry insiders are speculating some of these payment solutions will be cryptocurrency-based. We’ll have to wait until March 18, when the update lifts, to find out.

3. In another episode of Mt. Gox drama, co-founder Brock Pierce has indicated his desire to relaunch the notorious cryptocurrency exchange and pay off all creditors who lost money years ago, when the exchange shut down. Pierce says that once the Mt. Gox is back up and running, the plan is to issue debt tokens that will represent customers’ losses. Former Mt. Gox owner, Mark Karpeles, has voiced his doubt over how feasible Pierce’s plans are, though. So don’t count on it too much.

4. The United Arab Emirates is working on launching a waste permit management portal based on blockchain technology, local outlet Emirates News Agency reports. The portal will rely on the technology to “validate, process, and store transactions” in hopes of reducing the time the process of issuing permits from several days to a few hours. It’ll be interesting to see how this vision pans out.

5. The central bank of Spain, Banco de España (BDE), isn’t quite sold on Bitcoin. In a recently published report, the bank concluded that – due to its decentralized design and its intensive validation process – Bitcoin is not a particularly efficient payment system. As you could expect, the report goes on to suggest centralized systems are much better and cheaper to use for such purposes. No surprises there.

So there you have it: another week of wild scams, mainstream adoption rumors, unrealistic use case announcements, and banks throwing shade at cryptocurrencies. Sounds like a normal week of blockchain news, if you ask me.

Consider yourself filled in. Catch you next week!

Published February 18, 2019 — 10:09 UTC