Hackers: Coinbase has revealed the details of its insurance arrangements for cryptocurrency held on customers’ behalf, a rare move in an dense market. In a blog post published Tuesday, Philip Martin the exchange’s vice president of security, confirmed that it is covered for up to $255 million for coins held in so-called hot wallets – in other words, assets which are essentially online and open to potential hacks. San Francisco-based Coinbase holds less than 2 percent of customers’ assets in hot wallets, with the remaining 98 percent at arm’s length from third-party attacks in cold storage, where the private keys are offline. This policy was placed by Lloyd’s registered broker Aon and sourced from a global group of US and UK insurance companies, including certain Lloyd’s of London syndicates, Martin’s blog post said. He did not name the individual underwriters. Lloyd’s, which gathers under one roof a range of specialist insurance markets dealing with everything from crime and cyber-attacks to natural disasters, is viewed as a seal of approval when it comes to underwriting potential losses of crypto assets.
Bullish Key Players: BTC is trading at around $4,904 at press time, holding ground on the day after it broke the $4,500 price mark for the first time this year. The coin has gained 17.66 percent on the day, while its weekly gains are over 22 percent. Today, cryptocurrency bull Brian Kelly suggested that the next Bitcoin target is going to be $6,000, and that cryptocurrency market is finding its bottom. The second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Ethereum, is also seeing significant daily gains, up by over 16 percent at press time. The altcoin is now trading at $164.76, while its highest price point on the day was $163.63. As usual when the Bitcoin price shoots up, there is a mad scramble to explain the sudden shift. Speaking to Reuters, Oliver von Landsberg, CEO of crypto firm BCB Group, offered one potential explanation: “There has been a single order that has been algorithmically-managed across these three venues [Coinbase, Bitstamp, and Kraken], of around 20,000 BTC… If you look at the volumes on each of those three exchanges – there were in-concert, synchronized, units of volume of around 7,000 BTC in an hour”. Landsberg went on to state that the Bitcoin price action caused by these large, anonymous orders had triggered a flurry of automated trading. However, the reasoning behind the timing of the orders Landsberg refers to remains a mystery.
Banks & Institutions: San Juan Mercantile Bank & Trust International (SJMBT), a new Puerto Rico-based institution catering to traders of cryptocurrency, has opened for business. Announced Monday, SJMBT has accepted its first client deposit. Licensed last month as an international financial entity by Puerto Rico’s Office of the Commission of Financial Institutions, the bank is a unit of Mercantile Global Holdings, which also owns San Juan Mercantile Exchange, a soon-to-be-launched “institutional-grade electronic trading platform for digital assets.” The bank will provide custody and settlement services for both fiat and crypto traded on the exchange.
Adoption: Although we’d love to see it happen in a single day, cryptocurrency mass adoption takes time. Two new examples show that it is indeed inching towards being generally accepted. The Ontario town of Innisfil has announced that they will be accepting cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin first, for property taxes payments during a trial that will last a year. Meanwhile, Sweden-based crypto gift card provider Bitrefill now lets you book AirBnB rentals in the US using five different cryptocurrencies. Innisfil residents will be able to pay taxes with Bitcoin through a wallet called Coinberry Pay. The funds, sent in Bitcoin, will then be converted to the Canadian dollar and transferred to the town. Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and XRP may follow, according to national news agency The Canadian Press. The trial period for this payment option will last a year, starting in April.