It’s been another busy week here at HQ. Easter Monday had fooled us all into thinking that we had an easy 4-day week ahead of us, oh how wrong we were. So, what’s gone on this week? Rather a lot actually, so without further ado, here’s the second instalment of our infamous Crypto Refresh. The end of the first quarter Yes, this week saw the start of a new month and the end of the first quarter of the year for cryptocurrency markets. Essentially, it’s been a disaster, the markets are down, and enthusiasm has depleted, so I won’t go on about it. But, what this does signify is a new leaf, a new chapter and obviously a new quarter in the year. Hopefully going into the second half of this year we will see massive improvements on what has been quite the disappointing start to the year for many people. Ripple accidentally announce partnership with international bank network So, no official announcements have been made, however a spokesperson for Ripple informed an audience at the Bangkok Fintech Fair discussed that Ripple XRP currently had between 40 and 50 international central banks working with them on their plans to develop a flawless cross border payments system. Whilst none of these partnerships are official, this could be a significant turn in Ripples journey. For now, we just need to wait and see exactly what or who, these 40 to 50 organisations are. Google to ban cryptocurrency mining extensions Google played another anti-cryptocurrency card this week in a move that tore up headlines, for the majority of the week actually. Google announced that they would no longer allow cryptocurrency mining apps to appear as extensions on Google Chrome, the companies renowned web browser. It’s not a shocking turn of events, but it does stick another spanner in the works of the rest of the cryptocurrency community. Bitcoin showed signs of recovery And then it stopped. John McAfee charges a lot for his tweets, a lot a lot It came out this week that the ever-famous technology pioneer by the name John McAfee has been charging companies a considerable amount of money for him to post tweets about their ICOs. In some instances, it transpired that McAfee’s team charged $100,000 just for a single tweet. As he has around 800,000 followers that works out at $0.125 per person that could potentially see the tweet, with no guarantee his followers will actually see the tweet, or care about it for that matter. Astonishing. Verge, went up and up and up and then down, fast. This section of the Crypto Refresh was going to be very different, until Thursday. The start of the week saw Verge climb at an incredible rate, away from the doom and gloom of the sinking markets, Verge literally looked unstoppable. However, Wednesday evening saw a 51% attack take place within the Verge network, consuming a lot of their computing power and a huge percentage of their assets. Now as we know, the 16th of April has been established as the date for Verge’s big announcement in light of their successful crowdfunding campaign, this led the hype that has seen (and caused, I think) the huge demand for the currency over the past few days. The attack, puts a great big 51% shaped obstacle in the way of Verge’s planned announcement now. They have lost both money and value from this attack, moreover, it has truly damaged their reputation. How can they get investors onboard after this? People are starting to draw lines between the announcement date, the crowd funding and the attack, I’m not saying anything yet, but I’m a bit weary about what is going to happen here. TRON has looked fantastic Among the markets, TRON has performed quite nicely this week. It seems to have broken off from the wake of Bitcoin et al. recently. Perhaps they are just on a lucky streak at the moment but either way, in a market of stoops and drops, TRONs ability to hold itself has been tested and its stood up very well, despite it being down today. Other notable performances this week go to Ontology, Verge (until the attack) and Dragonchain. Monex to rescue Coincheck Broken and damaged cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck has finally been bought out by Monex. We have been following this story all week and its been a bit of a dead end, until today thankfully! Initial costings put the buy-out at around 25bn Yen, however today it transpires that Monex have spent just 3.6bn Yen on the exchange, hardly spare change but also a significant saving on the initial figures. Monex have said: “Through integrating Coincheck’s knowledge on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency with our knowledge on financial industry, we will accelerate the 'Monex’s new beginning' and contribute to the sound development of the cryptocurrency industry.” They are obviously very excited about their new project and as are we, we wish them the best of luck and can’t wait to see how Coincheck develops for the future. Fraudulent Centra ICO Centra, have been charged by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for allegations of fraud. The launch of their ICO was deemed deceitful and misleading and thus the company have faced legal proceedings. Two superstars – Floyd Mayweather and DJ Kahled where among the ambassadors for the ICO, whilst they have not been drawn into criminal proceedings, apparently, they have taken abrupt warnings from the SEC. Reserve Bank of India hit out at cryptocurrency users This week, the RBI have threatened to remove customers from their service if they continue to invest and interact with cryptocurrency after a set deadline. This really upset a lot of people, rightfully so. It’s a regressive move from what has been seen as quite a progressive nation in terms of cryptocurrency, some authorities have recently rolled out a new initiative to educate young people on cryptocurrency in a drive to improve employment and wealth in certain cities. Then, the RBI go and do this. It has been yet another exciting week in the cryptocurrency universe. There are little entities in the universe that attract such constant levels of interaction and exposure as cryptocurrency does. Its quite unbelievable how much we have to talk about! Next week, we expect a few things to happen, keep an eye out from further announcements from Verge and there’s probably going to be more news about Google banning something else, they just love banning things don’t they. We also expect the RBI saga to unfold further, lots of people are upset about it yet little word in the way of justification has come from the RBI. Time will tell… it always does.