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

On the subject of Kardashians, though, I hope y’all got wind of Kim K’s bitcoin bet in a charity poker game over the weekend. What’s next, YeezyCoin or CoinYe?

Anyway, here’s a snapshot of how bitcoin and its buddies have fared in the past seven days as of August 3, 3:00 am GMT. Back in the red for a bunch, but Big Pippin thinks these might just be pullbacks!

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

Krugman blasts cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin and its buddies had been holding out for another set of positive updates to sustain earlier rallies, but sadly this week was off to a rough start.

An opinion piece by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman published on NYT broke down the reasons why he’s skeptical of cryptocurrencies, claiming that this will set the monetary system back by 300 years.

He went on to say that the current financial system works fine so he sees no need to reinvent the wheel, adding:

“Cryptocurrencies have a large market valuation, but they’re overwhelmingly being held as a speculative play, not because they’re useful as mediums of exchange.”

He also bashed digital assets for the absence of tethering or the backing by a trusted institution or source of value, warning that bitcoin could ultimately become worthless someday.

“Cryptocurrencies, by contrast, have no backstop, no tether to reality. Their value depends entirely on self-fulfilling expectations — which means that total collapse is a real possibility.”

Not another outage?!

The crypto gang had trouble getting back on their feet as major exchange HitBTC announced that it has gone offline due to a “hardware fault.” Cue investors rushing for the exit!

Not even the company’s reassurance that client funds are safe was enough to keep FUD in check as many worried that yet another hacking incident might have taken place. Wounds from Coinrail and Bithumb are still fresh, it seems.

It didn’t help that HitBTC tweeted that the downtime would just take a couple hours, but clients were kept in the dark for much longer as the actual outage lasted nearly twice as long.

South Korea to tax crypto?

Another factor that weighed on cryptocurrency price action this week is the news that South Korean authorities are looking to remove tax benefits for cryptocurrency exchanges.

Under current rules, these exchanges have been categorized as venture companies or small and medium-sized businesses eligible for tax exemption. However, it seems that the rapidly rising transaction activity and volumes have put them under closer scrutiny.

Officials warned that the security features of these exchanges might not be enough to monitor potential money-laundering or illegal financing activity that may be happening.

In its proposed Revised Tax Law 2018, South Korean lawmakers announced that by next year “virtual currency handling businesses will be excluded from the industries eligible for the tax reduction for SMEs”

Furthermore, officials are also looking into taxing the actual sale of cryptocurrencies but haven’t included this in their latest amendments to leave time for more research.

Ripple makes waves

Observing cryptocurrency charts over the past few weeks makes it seem that Ripple is in a world of its own. After all, CEO Brad Garlinghouse has been particularly vocal about how this particular asset seeks to differentiate itself.

It’s no secret that Ripple has been signing partnerships left and right, but perhaps a more noteworthy development is the launch of DCEX – the first digital currency exchange to use XRP as exclusive base currency.

You see, cryptocurrency exchanges are still relying heavily on bitcoin as the base currency even while offering other altcoins for trading. San Francisco-based DCEX believes that using XRP will allow for high-speed transfers of “up to one million transactions per second” that will allow clients to take advantage of price inefficiencies better.

The exchange is already registered with FINCEN but is still working towards being fully-compliant with the SEC, so that’s something to keep an eye out for.

Another Ripple-related event to watch out for is former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s keynote speech in Swell, which is Ripple’s global payments tech conference in October. Mark your calendars, people!