According to recent reports, a bank located in La Jolla, California, recently applied for the New York trust license, with intentions of providing custody and settlement for cryptocurrency, including settlement services for bitcoin trades. While the bank is already known for providing U.S.-dollar banking services for businesses that deal in cryptocurrency, the new plan will enable it to directly handle digital assets itself. The bank is also reportedly working on increasing the number of fiat currencies it supports for cryptocurrency trading. In related news, this week Ripple announced a new partnership with a major money remittance services company focused on the Latin America and Caribbean corridor. Together they aim to provide faster, more transparent cross-border remittance services between the United States and Mexico.

Late last week, Camfrog (a video chat app) and Listia (a marketplace trading app) announced plans to integrate YouNow's "Props" token. The token was granted a Reg A+ qualification from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and is used to reward content creators for driving income on YouNow's video-streaming platform. Camfrog plans to integrate the token this month; Listia expects it to go live in March. Also last week, the LVC Corporation, a subsidiary of a major Japanese messaging app, announced plans to trade its digital currency, LINK, in Japan as early as April 2020. LINK is issued by an LVC-affiliate and was launched on the BITBOX cryptocurrency exchange in October 2018, but had not been previously available to users in Japan.

The U.S. Marshals Service is auctioning approximately 4,040 bitcoin, worth nearly $40 million at press time, that were forfeited in various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases. The auction will take place during a six-hour window on Feb. 18. Potential bidders must register by Feb. 12. This is the first major U.S. government bitcoin auction since 2018.

According to reports out last month, 49.9 percent of the computing power on the Bitcoin Network operations is controlled by five China-based mining entities. All five entities are available through BitDeer, which allows consumers to rent mining power without buying their own mining hardware. This concentration of power has some worried, because a miner with more than 50 percent of hash power can potentially manipulate the network by, for example, double-counting coins, stopping certain payments and stalling transactions.

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