1. Crypto exchange Bithumb Denies Accusations of Wash Trading

Crypto exchange ratings and analytics service CER has accused Bithumb of faking up to 94 percent of its trade volume since late summer of 2018. In response to the accusations, Bithumb reportedly told Forbes that “Bithumb is doing nothing to inflate trade volume. Bithumb is not selling mining-based coin. Bithumb is trying to get more customers by providing various promotions just like any other company in the world as a normal business.” (CoinTelegraph)

2. ‘HODL’ Turns Five

Exactly five years ago yesterdat on December 18th, 2013, the famous ‘I AM HODLING’ thread appeared on the BitcoinTalk forums. User ‘GameKyuubi’ asserted how they were ‘HODLING’ Bitcoin in the midst of price crashes because “I’m a bad trader” and you “only sell in a bear market if you are a good day trader or an illusioned noob.” As of press time, the original post had been read 789,530 times. (CryptoGlobe)

3. Nomics Crypto Data Platform Raises $3 Million

Nomics, a platform focused on displaying highly accurate market data gathered from crypto exchanges, including charts, prices and more, has raised $3 million from investors like CoVenture, CityBlock, Crypto Exchange Coinbase Ventures, to further develop its platform, according to a press release on December 18, 2018. (BtcManager)

4. Illegal Crypto Mining Booming In Africa

Africa (countries in Africa) just like many other countries are still yet to fully adopt the technology of cryptocurrency. The major reason for this can be traced down to law enforcement organizations who are still uncertain on what to categorize cryptocurrencies. These uncertainties are largely the cause of the slow adaptation rate of crypto in Africa. Seeing that this is the case, it still remains puzzling that the African cryptocurrency scene is experiencing such a thing as illegal mining. (ZyCrypto)

5. Blockchain Goes To Hollywood

Yesterday, December 18, a group of entertainment companies announced it has formed an alliance to promote blockchain adoption in the industry and develop best practices and standards. The Blockchain Global Entertainment Alliance (BGEA) will initially have no representation from the major American studios or distributors – though Millennium did produce “The Expendables” movies as well as “Olympus Has Fallen.” (EthNews)

6. OKEx Launches No-Expiry Bitcoin Derivative Product

Announced Tuesday, the product, dubbed a “perpetual swap,” allows crypto traders to speculate on the future value of Crypto Exchange OKEx’s bitcoin (BTC) to U.S. dollar (USD) index. Each swap contract has a notional value of $100 equivalent in BTC, the exchange said in a statement, adding that traders can either long a position to profit from an increase in bitcoin’s price or short a position to profit from the decline in bitcoin’s price. (CoinDesk)

7. Jibrel Network Releases Jwallet, a new Ethereum Wallet

Jibrel, a blockchain development company that recently conducted the world’s first Sukuk transaction on the blockchain, today announced the launch of its new Android app, the Jwallet. Jwallet is designed as an easy to use yet secure multi-crypto wallet that supports Ethereum (ETH) and all ERC20 tokens. As a licensed financial intermediary under VQF in Switzerland, Jibrel is focused on putting traditional financial assets on the Ethereum Blockchain. (CryptoNinjas)

8. Privacy Coins perfect for buying Cannabis in Canada

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has released a guidance document which addresses some of the concerns marijuana users need to address in regard to their personal information. Recreational cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018. However, as of yet, it’s still illegal in most jurisdictions elsewhere in the world. Hence, the personal information of cannabis users can be particularly sensitive. (Bitcoinist)

9. Vitalik Buterin Gives 3000 ETH to Three Startups

Although there has been a lot of excitement surrounding Ethereum 2.0 and its eventual launch, the development of supporting applications for the platform has been moving slowly. In a Twitter thread addressing this issue, Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s creator, noticed some of the developers citing a lack of funding as the primary motive for the stunted progress. His response was immediately to give 1,000 ETH (about $100,000) to Prysmatic Labs, a startup working on the scalability aspect of Ethereum 2.0. (CryptoVest)

10. Coinbase Just Moved $5 Billion

Crypto exchange Coinbase is moving to significantly expand the number of digital assets listed on its platform. The process that has led to a radical rethinking of how the startup safeguards billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies. To this end, Coinbase moved retail traders’ crypto assets – worth some $5 billion – into its upgraded storage model last week. That migration included 5 percent of all bitcoin, 8 percent of all ethereum, and 25 percent of all the litecoin in circulation. (CoinDesk)

Bonus

Tezos lead architects launch Nomadic Labs

Several of the lead architects behind the Tezos project have formed a new research and development company called Nomadic Labs. The new company consists of Benjamin Canou, Grégoire Henry, and Pierre Chambart, all originally part of OCamlPro. According to the release, the new team will be focused “on contributing to the development of the Tezos core software, including the smart-contract language, Michelson.”. In addition to the three mentioned, Nomadic Labs has grown to over 30 permanent developers all focused on research and development of the Tezos protocol. (TezorInsider)

Central Banks Are Exploring Digital Assets

According to the IMF report, central banks from around the world are exploring and testing digital currencies as they recognize that this alternative means of payment may shrink the importance of fiat. The report emphasized there are central banks envisioning a future cashless society and they want to be a part of that future. They see that a fully-digitized means of payment which is fully secure will be the way forward. (InvestInBlockchain)