Microsoft is getting into bed with Nasdaq. But why? Well, Microsoft runs a multifaceted cloud service called Azure which supports Internet of Things devices, deep learning, and blockchain tech. Nasdaq, meanwhile, runs the Nasdaq Financial Framework, a vast trading platform with a “modular” design, meaning traders can customize the platform to suit their specific trading needs.

Increasingly, according to Microsoft, these needs involve blockchains. So Nasdaq, in its infinite wisdom, has tapped Azure’s blockchain division to help integrate into its platform a “ledger agnostic” service that will support all kinds of blockchain—Ethereum, Nano, Bitcoin, Nasdaq’s own blockchains, DeepOnion, whatever.

Crucially, it will handle all the technical complexities itself, meaning Nasdaq traders won’t have to know a thing about zero-knowledge proofs, SHA hash functions, or off-chain governance to have fun with all their favorite blockchains.

Also, Nasdaq refers to Microsoft as a “leader in the blockchain space.” Who knew?

Private Keys for Private Keys

In a similar(ish) vein, the Bank of America has been awarded a patent for a maximum security storage device for private keys.

The proposed device, according to the patent filing, will have its own unique authentication procedure, distinct from the user’s existing private keys. Knowledge of such private keys, then, will not compromise the device. (It does contain a copy of the keys, yet deletes it upon any signs of tampering.)

If you’d like to know more, check out the fun, dense, fully-incomprehensible 3,000 word patent filing here.

BitQu’ran

A halal crypto exchange, dubbed FICE, has been announced by UAE-based crypto company ADAB Solutions, and hopes to reach $4.4 billion in monthly trading by 2020.

To ensure its sanctity, the “Department of Islamic Finance,” as well as the “Shariah Advisory Board”—a coterie of Shariah law experts—will work round the clock to check that each transaction is in line with Islamic teachings. Chiefly, this means that currencies must be exchanged, not speculated upon.

It’s an important development. Crypto won’t go mainstream if billions of people can’t use it for religious reasons. That ADAB is going to such lengths to avoid this is optimistic. Possibly.

Frozen

Enjoy sad tales of customers getting fleeced by crypto exchanges, like the bizarre MapleChange saga yesterday? Then you’ll love this.

WEX, the Russia-based scion of now-defunct exchange BTC-e, is in trouble with Binance. Wallets “associated” with the exchange, reports Coindesk, were frozen after former WEX customers filed a complaint to Binance that their inaccessible funds—around $18 million worth of ETH—were in those wallets, and were making their way to Binance’s own wallet.

Binance likely froze the wallets (it can only do so temporarily, it stressed) to avoid complicity in a possible money-laundering operation. WEX’s precedessor, BTC-e, ironically, was itself shut down for laundering funds stolen from Mt. Gox, the exchange from which $450 million-worth of bitcoin was hacked in 2014.

And WEX’s Binance-bound transactions? They, too, trace back to Mt. Gox. (Via a hilariously unreadable flowchart Coindesk screenshotted from Etherscan.)

Oh well, probably just an anomaly. We doubt our favorite Russian exchange, BitScam, will ever run into any problems like that.

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