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Current State of The Crypto Market (May 12th, 2019)

Hackers:   Cryptocurrency exchange Binance said it is revamping security measures after losing some 7,000 bitcoin worth over $40 million in a hack earlier this week.  “Significant” changes related to its application programming interface (API), two-factor authentication (2FA) and withdrawal validation are being made, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a blog post published on Friday.  The exchange did not disclose more details regarding these efforts, but said it is also improving its risk management and know-your-customer procedures to fight phishing, among other additional security measures at the back-end.  Binance will take action of some of the measures within this week and in the coming weeks in order to resume services at the earliest, according to the post. Zhao said tentatively, the exchange is looking to resume withdrawals and deposits “early next week.”

Bullish Key Players:   Last Saturday, Berkshire Hathaway’s Vice Chairman Charlie Munger told attendees at the company’s annual meeting in Omaha that “people who are professional traders that go into trading cryptocurrencies, it’s just disgusting.”  Eric Kovalak, a managing partner for Vellum Capital, a hedge fund management firm specializing in crypto assets, says, traditional investors are trying to translate the value of cryptocurrencies into a traditional model where they’d use something like P/E.  While there is a calculation called NVT Ratio (i.e., network value to transactions ratio) that mirrors a kind of P/E ratio for Bitcoin, its creator says it’s “not always” a valuation metric for other cryptocurrencies.

Banks & Institutions:  Cryptocurrency wallet and investment app Abra now allows users to connect accounts from “thousands” of U.S. banks, the firm announced Thursday.  The expanded bank options come courtesy of an integration with Plaid, a fintech service that enables applications to connect with users’ bank accounts using APIs.  Until now, Abra users in the U.S. and EU have had the option to fund their wallets via a bank transfer. With the new feature, they will have banks connected in-app for funding their purchases.  Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra, said:  “The addition of these new liquidity enhancements in our app gives users more ways to move between crypto and fiat.

Adoption: Taiwanese electronics company HTC announced that its new blockchain smartphone, the EXODUS 1s, will have the capability to host a Bitcoin full node. The budget version of the phone will retail under $300.  The EXODUS 1 was first announced in October of 2018 at the Web 3 summit in Germany. The company has stated that it has been developing the crypto-focused phone since May of 2018.  The phone’s main selling point is built-in hardware and software features that will allow users to manage their own private keys. The EXODUS will support social key recovery, which allows a user to distribute a security seed phrase among trusted contacts. Such a system allows a user to recover lost private keys from friends and family.

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