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Staying updated on the ever-changing cryptocurrency market doesn’t have to be as tough as predicting FIFA World Cup standings. I’ve rounded up the latest set of news to help y’all stay in the loop.

First off, here’s a snapshot of how bitcoin and its buddies have fared in the past seven days as of July 13, 3:00 am GMT. And we’re back in the red!

Cryptocurrencies Weekly Perforamce (Image from Coin360)
Cryptocurrencies Weekly Performance (Image from Coin360)

Some bashing to start the week

So much for a positive start for the quarter! Bitcoin and its buddies erased nearly half of their earlier gains when three well-known economic gurus talked smack about cryptocurrencies.

This isn’t really a surprise coming from the three – Kenneth Rogoff, Nouriel Roubini and Joseph Stiglitz – as they’ve already shared their gloom and doom bitcoin forecasts on separate occasions the past.

In an interview with Financial News early in the week, Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor at Columbia University Joseph Stiglitz cited that bitcoin’s anonymity prevents it from fostering transparency in the banking industry.

Stiglitz also mentioned governments will step in to prevent “nefarious activity” using bitcoin. However, he added that regulators aren’t dropping the hammer yet because the cryptocurrency market is negligible

Former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and Harvard University professor Kenneth Rogoff also noted that “people in power” will take action to regulate “anonymous transactions.” 

NYU economist Nouriel Roubini, who is known for predicting the 2008 financial crisis, emphasized that bitcoin’s price volatility prevents it from being a reliable store of value.

Not another security breach!

Further dampening high hopes for an industry rebound was this week’s security breach on Israel-based decentralized exchange Bancor. According to their tweet:

It is estimated that over $13 million in cryptocurrency holdings were affected, with CEO Konstantin Gladych citing that part of the stolen tokens were changed via instant conversion service Changelly.

The company announced that the Bancor Network was back online on July 11 after issuing a few updates and clarifications on Twitter.

In an open letter to the community, co-founder Guy Benartzi assured that the incident, while troubling, will not divert them from their goals. He added:

“These types of events emphasize that our ability to build the future we all deserve depends on unity in the blockchain community to collectively fight criminals who attempt to profit at the expense of honest people and the greater good.”

Progress for Ethereum

There were a couple of positive developments worth noting for Ethereum, although none of these managed to pull it up to positive territory for the week.

First up, Joseph Lubin shared in a panel interview that they are moving to phase two of the Ethereum blockchain this year. According to him, this is where greater scalability will be seen.

“We’re moving into a space where Ethereum can serve as the layer one trust system, and built into Ethereum we’ll have hundreds of thousands of transactions in the layer two systems and we’re going to see that ramified this year.”

Meanwhile, Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently shared that he mines ETH along with his 10-year old son. Quite the family bonding activity, I’d say!

Brin explained that the success of Google can partly be attributed to recognizing emerging technologies, adding that he sees “extraordinary” potential for the cryptocurrency industry. He said:

“It’s mind-boggling. I see the future as taking these…research-y, out-there ideas and making them real.”

On regulation

Just a few quick updates on regulation for those of y’all keeping tabs and staying wary of more crackdowns.

In the U.S., a new government task force was formed to “provide guidance for the investigation and prosecution of cases involving fraud on the government, the financial markets, and consumers.”

An executive order issued this week created the Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud, which includes some SEC members under its wing. It will also have members from the U.S. Department of Justice, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

In South Korea, policymakers also remain hard at work in refining legislation for the cryptocurrency space. Drafts of bills on ICOs and blockhain technology are set to be presented at an extraordinary session of the National Assembly starting today until July 26.

And in India, a source close to the government revealed that it will refrain from issuing a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies. Instead it would just treat these as commodities and regulate them as such.

Furthermore, the source added that regulators are just keen to find out where the money is coming from in order to fight against money laundering and illegal financing.