Thai Central Bank Defends Cryptocurrencies

Thai Central Bank Defends Cryptocurrencies

In the high-profile Thai crypto fraud case involving an actor, Thailand’s central bank has clarified that the fraud is not related to cryptocurrency trading, but a general misuse of money. Thailand has recently legalized seven cryptocurrencies, authorized seven crypto firms, and the Bank of Thailand has green-lighted commercial banks’ subsidiaries for crypto activities.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bank of Thailand’s Clarification

Thai Central Bank Defends Cryptocurrencies
Mr. Veerathai Santiprabhob.

The current high-profile fraud case involving over 5,564 BTC has received much attention in Thai media. It involves a well-known soap actor and model, Jiratpisit Jaravijit, also known as “Boom”.

The Thai News Agency reported on August 20 that the Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor, Mr. Veerathai Santiprabhob, has clarified that this fraud case is not about crypto trading. He pointed out that, as far as he knows, the scheme was not dependant on using cryptocurrencies. He emphasized that in this case:

The money is used for the wrong purpose. It is not a fraud that occurred during crypto trading.

Mr. Veerathai continued to warn investors that crypto investing is risky due to price volatility, reminding them that they should understand the risks and only invest what they can afford to lose.

Further Development of the Case

This case involves a Finnish bitcoiner and his partner being duped into investing in fraudulent investments including tokens called dragon coins, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

Thai Central Bank Defends CryptocurrenciesAccording to local media, the Thai police’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) summoned eight scam suspects on Thursday. They were Boom, members of his family, two businessmen and a former soldier, the Bangkok Post detailed.

The publication also reported that “a ‘whale’ investor in the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and staff at up to three Thai banks are suspected of being complicit” in the fraud. Three of the country’s largest banks – Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikornbank – were named. “All handled transactions involving part of the swindled money,” the publication noted and quoted the police explaining:

Police said several of the banks’ employees failed to report money transfers of 2 million baht [~US$61,040] or higher, a serious violation of bank rules. Staff are required to inform the Anti Money Laundering Office (Amlo) when sums of this value change hands.

Thai Central Bank Defends CryptocurrenciesThailand has recently enacted its cryptocurrency regulations. The country’s main crypto regulator, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has authorized seven crypto firms, five of which are crypto exchanges, to legally operate in the country. The regulator is also reviewing other applications. The seven cryptocurrencies that can be legally traded for the Thai baht are BTC, ETH, BCH, ETC, LTC, XRP, and XLM.

In addition, the SEC has revealed that about 50 initial coin offering (ICO) projects are seeking to launch, five ICO portals plan to open for business, and 20 crypto exchanges have applied for a license. Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand has green-lighted subsidiaries of commercial banks to engage in crypto activities.

What do you think of the Bank of Thailand’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Bank of Thailand.


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China Updates Crypto Ranking – Bitcoin Makes Top 10

China Updates Crypto Ranking – Bitcoin Makes Top 10

China has updated its crypto ranking, adding two projects to the previous month’s list. Bitcoin has significantly improved, making the top 10 list for the first time. Crypto projects are ranked in three categories: technology, application, and innovation.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

33 Crypto Projects Ranked

China’s Center for Information Industry Development (CCID), under the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, officially released its fourth crypto project ranking on Friday. The new list consists of 33 crypto projects, two more than the previous list.

China Updates Crypto Ranking – Bitcoin Makes Top 10The center began ranking 28 crypto projects in May. The following month it added 2 more projects: EOS and Nebulas. Last month one more was added: Gxchain. This month two more public chains were added: NULS and Tezos.

For the first time since the CCID began ranking crypto projects, Bitcoin made the top 10 list, jumping from the 16th place in the previous month to the 10th place this month. Meanwhile, EOS remains top of the list, followed by Ethereum.

China Updates Crypto Ranking – Bitcoin Makes Top 10

The CCID explained that its assessment “mainly examines the basic technology, application and innovation of public chains,” adding:

The current model is basically the same as the previous one, and only some data accounting methods have been revised. In terms of the composite index, the three public chains with the highest increase in scores compared to the previous period were EOS, Nano and Komodo, and the three public chains that have risen the fastest in ranking were Komodo, Nano and Bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s Lead and New Additions

The CCID elaborated that “in terms of innovation sub-indicators, Bitcoin’s recent code update is very active,” earning the project a score of 40.3 for this category – the highest on the list.

The overall ranking puts EOS at the top of the list, Bitcoin the 10th spot, Stratis the 13th spot, Bitcoin Cash 29th, and Hcash 30th. However, the center noted:

Compared with the previous ranking, the top five most improved [in terms of] innovation are EOS, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Hcash and Stratis.

The two new additions, NULS and Tezos, debuted in the 21st and 28th places, respectively. The former “is a blockchain infrastructure for customized services,” consisting of “microkernels and functional modules,” the center described. It occupies the 21st place overall “due to the short time its mainnet has been online, [and] many functions are still under development.” Similarly, the center ranks Tezos 28th even though “Tezos also has outstanding features in technological innovation,” the CCID detailed.

What do you think of the CCID’s new ranking? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the CCID.


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Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab States

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab States

Following the statement by Saudi Arabia declaring cryptocurrency illegal, the largest crypto exchange in the Middle East and North Africa is working with regulators across the region to develop crypto regulations. Bitoasis confirmed its platform is unaffected by the Saudi Arabian crypto stance.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitoasis Working With Regulators

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesDubai-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitoasis has revealed that it is working with the regulators from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) “to develop regulatory frameworks in light of Saudi Arabia’s ban,” Arabian Business reported on Thursday. According to its website, the exchange is currently present in UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesThe GCC is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The CEO of Bitoasis, Ola Doudin, described:

As a pioneer in the industry, we are working closely with regulators in a number of our key markets across the GCC to develop and comply with the necessary regulatory framework…Regulations are absolutely fundamental. They are essential to grow and formalise the industry, while minimising risks on customers.

Response to Statement by Saudi Arabia

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesOn August 12, the Saudi Arabian “standing committee for awareness on dealing in unauthorized securities activities in the foreign exchange market” issued a statement warning that “unauthorized virtual currencies are illegal inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” This committee is headed by the country’s Capital Market Authority, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Media, Ministry of Commerce and Investment and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.

The statement reads:

The committee assured that virtual currency including, for example, but not limited to, bitcoins are illegal in the kingdom and no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices.

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesReferring to the statement by Saudi Arabian authorities, Bitoasis commented, “the recent adverse announcement on digital asset trading in Saudi Arabia highlights the necessity for a clear and comprehensive regulatory framework to build confidence at the highest level.”

Citing that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology “are the future of money,” the exchange’s CEO was quoted explaining, “this fast-growing industry is at its early stage and regulations are currently being discussed and developed in every part of the world, including this region.” She elaborated:

As a whole, our region is progressive and quick to adapt to new technologies that can create more efficient, competitive, and smarter economies. Regulatory frameworks will affirm digital assets’ status as a reality in today’s world.

Bitoasis also confirmed that its “platform is still open to customers to safely and securely trade digital assets across the Middle East.”

What do you think of Bitoasis helping to develop crypto regulatory frameworks for the Arab states? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bitoasis.


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Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund

Three Japanese public companies have individually made announcements regarding their cryptocurrency operations. Forside has grown its mining operation with a plan to sell 7nm bitcoin mining rigs. Farsteps is planning a Singapore exchange launch. Meanwhile, Line Corp, the operator of Japan’s most popular chat app, has added crypto price quotes to its Clova AI assistant and has launched a token fund. In addition, human consultants are now available to answer questions about bitcoin for free from within the Line chat app.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Forside Expands Mining Operation

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token FundA Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company in the content and real estate-related businesses, Forside Co. Ltd. (TYO:2330), announced last week developments of its mining operation.

“Forside Financial Services Co. Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of Forside Co. Ltd., received OEM from LC Mining (GPU mining machines) developed by Lucky Cue Co. Ltd.,” the Zaikei Shimbun described, adding that the company will start selling these mining rigs under its brand name, FFSM.

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund
Picture of mining equipment provided by Forside.

Forside Financial Services has already started a mining operation in Canada. Its parent company says that the mining rig sale is “one of the efforts aimed at realizing the growth strategy development of the virtual currency mining business” at the subsidiary.

Furthermore, Forside announced:

In the future, our subsidiary will use semiconductor chips (mining chips) utilizing state-of-the-art 7nm process technology on its own mining [operation]…[and] selling ‘Next Generation Mining Board’ equipped with the chips.

While Forside did not reveal the supplier of its 7nm mining chips, in Japan, GMO Internet recently started selling 7nm mining rigs with a plan to sell its “Next Generation Mining Board.”

Fasteps Plans Exchange Launch in Singapore

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token FundAnother Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company, Fasteps Co. Ltd. (TYO:2338), recently announced that its Singaporean subsidiary plans to launch a crypto exchange in Singapore. The company mainly engages in system solution, media solution, and cost management businesses.

In June, Fasteps opened an exchange in Hong Kong called Bitone. It currently offers trading in three markets, with 11 BTC trading pairs, 10 ETH trading pairs, and 5 USDT trading pairs.

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund

Line Launches Token Fund, Adds Prices to Clova

Japan Roundup: Public Companies Unveil New Mining Plan, Exchange, Token Fund
Line Clova AI assistant.

Line Corporation (TYO:3938), the operator of Japan’s most popular chat app, has added crypto price quotes to its Clova AI assistant for Android and iOS operating systems. Crypto prices are provided by Kraken exchange.

The company also announced last week that its subsidiary, unblock corporation, has established a corporate token venture fund in Hong Kong called “unblock ventures ltd.”

With LVC Corporation, the subsidiary that operates the group’s cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses, as its sole investor, “unblock ventures focuses on token investments and has a capital commitment of USD10 million,” Line explained, adding:

By launching this new corporate token fund, Line is aiming to boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Meanwhile, Tokyo-based consulting center Bitcoin no Madoguchi is offering free consultation via the Line chat app. Users can add the company as a friend inside Line and start asking questions. According to Coinchoice publication, once a question is submitted, an answer will be delivered from a person working at the Bitcoin no Madoguchi office between 30 minutes and 7 hours.

What do you think of these Japanese public companies’ crypto operations? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Forside, Farsteps, Line Corp.


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Three Hackers Held in China Over $87 million Crypto Theft

Three Hackers Held in China Over $87 million Crypto Theft

Three suspects have been detained by Chinese police in connection with an alleged cryptocurrency theft. The supposed hackers stole bitcoin and other digital assets worth an estimated $87 million USD. Authorities say this is the biggest heist of this type in the People’s Republic so far.

Also read: South African Tax Authority Going After Crypto Traders

Coins Worth 600 Million Yuan Stolen by Hackers

Three Hackers Held in China Over $87 million Crypto TheftPolice in China have arrested three men suspected of stealing approximately 600 million yuan (over $87 million USD) worth of cryptocurrency through hacking. The presumed criminals targeted personal and corporate computers, local media reported.

The case has been described by law enforcement officials in Xian, capital of the northern Shaanxi province, as the “highest value cryptocurrency criminal investigation” in the country to date. An officer quoted by the South China Morning Post, commented:

Our bureau has not dealt with this kind of case before. It’s the first virtual currency-related case in Shaanxi.

The investigation was initiated in March, this year when one of the victims, a resident of Xian, notified local police that his computer had been hacked. He complained that the unknown attackers had appropriated 100 million yuan (almost $15 million) in bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH).

The Suspects Worked for Top Internet Companies

According to investigators, the men had been employed by leading internet companies and had extensive tech background. No details about the firms were revealed, however. After taking hold of the virtual funds, they sold the coins by splitting the digital cash into small amounts and conducting multiple transactions in order to cover their tracks.

Three Hackers Held in China Over $87 million Crypto TheftPolice analyzed enormous amount of collected data with the help of experts from the IT sector before identifying the first suspect, a resident of the central Hunan province named Zhou. Two months later they were able to find the other two supposed accomplices – Cui, a man from Beijing, and Zhang from Jilin province.

Security services put the men under around-the-clock surveillance before detaining them in coordinated raids this past Wednesday. Chinese authorities and media note that the investigation is still ongoing.

The popularity of cryptocurrencies in the People’s Republic has led to a significant increase in both crimes and disputes related to digital assets. According to a recent report, Chinese courts are overwhelmed by a growing number of such cases. With unclear regulations and an ambiguous ban on ICOs and cryptocurrency trading, Chinese judges find it hard to resolve many of them.

Do you think Chinese police have the capacity to investigate crypto-related crimes? Share your opinions on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year

Over the last year, SHA-256 mining, the process that’s used to find blocks on both the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) networks, alongside a slew of other cryptocurrencies, has grown exponentially. Digital asset trading markets have been in a slump over the last eight months of 2018, but the bearish sentiment has not affected the hashpower behind these cryptocurrencies and, in fact, it has increased aggressively.

Also Read: Bitmain Offers Wi-Fi Routers Mining Cryptocurrencies

The SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Has Grown Considerably Large Over the Last Year

The SHA-256 mining algorithm and other mining operations involve the process of computing devices verifying and compiling recent blockchain transactions, alongside solving computational problems in order to find a block. Miners who find a block are awarded freshly minted cryptocurrencies and all the fees associated with the transactions in the block. This incentivized system has grown significantly competitive which in turn has innovated both semiconductor production and a significant advancement in Exascale computing. Over the last few months, cryptocurrency markets have been bearish and prices have dropped considerably since the end of 2017. However hash power has not followed suit with the price and, in contrast, it has grown feverishly larger with each waking day.

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year
Today BTC captures around 47 exahash per second while BCH holds a little above 4 exahash.

Bitcoin Cash Network Hashrate Has Increased Fourfold in One Year

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year
BCH hashrate is averaging around 4.13 exahash today.

The Bitcoin Cash network at the time of writing is capturing around 4.13 exahashes per second today and over the last seven days, it’s averaged around 4. Right now there’s been over 65,000 BCH blocks mined since August 1, 2017, and the chain is over 6,600 blocks ahead of the bitcoin core (BTC) chain. On Sunday, August 19, 2018, the BCH chain is operating at 9.87 percent of BTC’s sum block difficulty. Since last August the Bitcoin Cash network hashrate has increased remarkably and the amount of mining pools has notably changed as well. For instance, during the first week of August 2017, there were only a few mining pools processing BCH blocks such as Viabtc, Bitcoin.com, an unknown miner from Hong Kong, and a few other unknown miners. Weeks later on August 21 many other miners joined the BCH network such as Bitclub, Antpool, Batpool, and BTC.com bringing the BCH hashpower up to approximately 2 exahash.

A Variety of BCH Mining Pools and New Leaders

Now a year later the BCH network has roughly 13 different mining pools including Coingeek, BMG Pool, Rawpool, BTC.com, Viabtc, Antpool, Bitcoin.com, BTC.top, Sbi Crypto, F2pool, Huobi, and a few unknown pools. Mining power has shifted hands since because twelve months ago the unknown miners and Viabtc commanded a large portion of the BCH hashrate. Now the biggest mining pool over the last seven days is Coingeek with 23.4 percent of the network hashrate over the last week and 31.9 percent today.

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year

Then there are two to three unknown mining pools (can be differentiated by coinbase data) that hold about 20 percent of the BCH hashpower. The following top BCH miners include BMG Pool (10%), Rawpool (9.8%), BTC.com (8%), Viabtc (6.7%), and Antpool (6.5%). Other pools like F2pool and GMO Group have mined the BCH chain a few times over the past year as well. Essentially since the first week of August 2017, the BCH hashrate has grown fourfold and a lot more miners are processing BCH blocks.

Bitcoin Core Hashrate Climbs to 48 Exahash Per Second

As far as the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network hashpower is concerned a lot has changed since the first 2017’s first week of August. During the second week of August 2017, the BTC hashrate was around 8-6 exahash per second but has since increased 500 percent to around 48.2 exahash per second today. Hashrate distribution has changed quite a bit in the BTC mining world as well as there are now roughly 16 different mining pools. Right now there’s an unknown miner processing 13.3 percent of the BTC network. The top BTC mining pools have also shifted quite a bit with the largest pool being BTC.com (16.6%) followed by pools such as Antpool (14.6%), unknown (13.3%), BTC.top (12.3%), and Slush Pool (11%).

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year

The Use of Overt Asic Boost Touches a High This Month

One particular interesting statistic is the use of overt “version-rolling” Asic Boost on the BTC network has increased since the Blockchain Defensive Patent License (BDPL) initiative was announced this past March. According to statistics, the use of Asic Boost whether overt or covert can increase mining efficiency by 20-30 percent. So far since March, the use of overt Asic Boost had crossed roughly 5 percent of the entire BTC network on August 1, 2018.

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year
Asic Boost has captured 5 percent of blocks found a couple times so far in August.

On August 13 the network touch around 4.4 percent of all blocks found with Asic Boost and the average is around 3 percent today. Slush Pool has found the most blocks on the BTC network using overt Asic Boost (40%) while F2pool follows slightly behind (20%). Other mining pools utilizing Asic Boost include Ckpool, Bitclub, Bitfury, Wayi.cn, Poolin, and an unknown miner. The unknown mining pool commands 11 percent of the sum of all overt “version-rolling” Asic Boost blocks found.

The Largest Computational Systems Worldwide Have Pushed Semiconductor Tech Forward

All of this means the power of SHA-256 mining has become one of the most powerful computational systems here on earth and it continues to grow. Further Satoshi’s design to create an incentivized system that processes and verifies transactions has also pushed the envelope when it comes to semiconductor and MOSFET innovation. SHA-256 mining has excelled the creation of 10nm and 7nm chips which were one year behind schedule according to Moore’s Law.

SHA-256 Mining Hashrate Climbs Significantly in One Year
The GMO B3 uses 7nm chip technology while the Insilicon T2 uses 10nm chips. 5nm technology should meet production in 2-3 years and SHA-256 mining may make that timeline move faster. 

These chips and the firms that have created super powerful mining rigs like GMO’s B3 (33TH/s), Innosilicon’s T2-Turbo (24TH/s), and Canaan’s newly introduced Avalonminer A9 (26.5-30TH/s) should push the overall SHA-256 hashrate even more exponentially. There are only four foundries worldwide that manufacture 7nm chips (Samsung, Intel, TSMC, and Global Foundries) and Satoshi’s creation has bolstered the demand for these innovative chips. 

Markets may be bearish this year but the mining industry is growing faster than we can fathom, and the computational power behind Satoshi’s invention proves more powerful than the fiat spot price per coin.

What do you think about this year’s mining statistics continuing to grow stronger while the prices of cryptocurrencies have been floundering? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Coindance, Blockchain.com charts, Fork.lol, GMO Group, Innosilicon, and Asicboostdance.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Prolific Bitcoin Dealer ‘Blew a Giant Hole’ Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal Framework

A Mexico-based “prolific bitcoin dealer” has been indicted and held without bond in the US on a number of international money laundering charges. He used Bitfinex for his exchange needs after Coinbase closed his account. His “activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws,” the Department of Justice wrote.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitcoin Dealer Indicted

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that a bitcoin dealer, Jacob Burrell Campos, was indicted for international money laundering and is being held without bond. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Ciaffa said during Burrell’s bond hearing on August 17 that:

Burrell was a prolific bitcoin dealer who sold approximately $750,000 worth of bitcoin to hundreds of buyers throughout the United States. He conducted 971 separate transactions with over 900 individual customers, and accepted cash in person, through his bank accounts, and through Moneygram.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkCiaffa told the court that Burrell operated as a “bitcoin exchanger” and his activities constituted a money transmitting business. He was therefore required to register with the Department of Treasury and comply with all anti-money laundering requirements including “reporting suspicious cash transactions.”

However, Ciaffa claimed that Burrell accepted cash “with no questions asked,” adding that he “supplied hundreds of individuals with an easy outlet to avoid the anti-money laundering laws applicable to all financial institutions, including licensed and registered bitcoin exchanges,” for a 5% fee.

The indictment states that Burrell sent 28 wire transfers totaling over $900,000 from his bank accounts in the U.S. to a bank account in the name of Bitfinex in Taiwan. Ciaffa elaborated:

Burrell sent the money from the United States to buy bitcoin and fund his business. With these and other funds, Burrell bought over $3 million worth of bitcoin in over 2,600 transactions. Burrell resorted to buying bitcoin through Bitfinex after his account was closed by Coinbase, a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange, for circumventing its ID verification process.

Blowing Giant Hole Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkBorn in San Diego, Burrell lives in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. He was arrested on August 13 while trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico. The 21-year-old “was ordered held without bail today in connection with a 31-count indictment charging him with operating an illegal money transmitting business, failing to maintain an anti-money laundering program, international money laundering and conspiracy to structure monetary transactions,” the DOJ announcement reads.

The indictment also charges him with conspiracy to structure the importation of monetary instruments. Ciaffa told the court that “Burrell agreed with others to smuggle over $1 million in U.S. dollars into the United States from Mexico, in amounts slightly less than $10,000, in order to avoid the currency reporting requirements.”

The Justice Department reported the assistant U.S. attorney saying:

Burrell’s activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws by soliciting and introducing into the U.S. banking system close to $1 million in unregulated cash.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkU.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford “ordered him held without bail,” citing that he has “significant ties to Mexico, citizenship in three countries, no steady employment in the United States, the ability to access large sums of cash, and a disdain and unwillingness to comply with U.S. laws.” She, therefore, “concluded that Burrell posed a substantial risk of flight.”

According to the DOJ, the 31 counts in the indictment against Burrell carry different prison terms and fines. The first count carries a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The second carries ten years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The third through 30th counts, for the charge of international money laundering, carry “twenty years in prison for each count, [and a] $500,000 fine.” The last count carries five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the Justice Department clarified that the charges and allegations “are merely accusations” and the defendant is “considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet

In South Korea, Bithumb was visited by officials of the Mongolian government. Upbit is offering free training leading up to its developer conference. A public company has unveiled a hardware wallet as it enters the crypto space. Meanwhile, hacked crypto exchange Coinrail has launched an international service for non-Korean customers, and a US bitcoin ATM operator plans to enter the Korean market.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Mongolian Government Officials Visit Bithumb

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware WalletSenior officials of the Mongolian government visited Bithumb’s headquarters on August 16, local media reported. They were trying to determine the feasibility of using blockchain and cryptocurrency in solar energy businesses in Mongolia. The Korea Economic Daily elaborated:

What they have focused on is the possibility of virtual currency remittance and payment functions and blockchain technology. Mongolia is seeking to utilize blockchains and virtual currency to activate new energy projects such as solar power generation at the government level.

“With the visit of high-ranking officials of the government, it is possible that Bithumb will pursue a business alliance with the Mongolian government or establish a local corporation,” the publication noted.

Ksign Launching Hardware Wallet

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet
Ksine’s CEO, Choi Seung-rak, introducing Touch x Wallet.

Kosdaq-listed company Ksine Inc. has commenced its cryptocurrency business with the launch of a hardware wallet called Touch x Wallet, the company announced on August 16.

Touch x Wallet uses locally developed fingerprint authentication technology and has a built-in battery. It can store up to 10 cryptocurrencies – including bitcoin, ether, and ripple – which the company plans to expand to about 50 by the second half of next year, Cctvnews reported. The wallet also has high-resolution electronic paper (e-paper) to display QR codes of addresses and allows users to check their balances.

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet

Upbit’s Crypto Training and Developer Conference

Dunamu Inc, the operator of South Korea’s major crypto exchange Upbit, announced on August 16 that it is holding a free crypto and blockchain training for the public on September 12. This is a pre-program leading to Upbit Developer Conference which will take place on September 13 and 14 at the Jeju Creative Economy and Innovation Center.

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware WalletThe class consists of two parts. The first focuses on the origin and history of blockchain and cryptocurrency. The second focuses on the theory and practice of blockchain including the basic understanding of Ethereum and Lambda chain, solidity and Dapp development, and smart contracts.

Recently, the governor of Jeju Island requested the central government to designate the island a special zone for blockchains and cryptocurrency.

Coinrail Launches International Service

Coinrail, which was hacked on June 10 and resumed services on July 15, announced last week that it has officially launched the Coinrail international service for non-Korean users. Foreigners can now access the exchange’s crypto-to-crypto markets. The service is available in English.

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet

Coinme Rolling out Bitcoin ATMs in Korea

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware WalletU.S. bitcoin ATM (BTM) operator Coinme revealed on August 16 that it is “seeking to roll out its service in Korea before the year-end,” the Investor reported.

Currently, the company’s ATMs are in 67 locations across the U.S., the new outlet noted, adding that “Coinme said it is eying Asia as the next spot for expansion, specifically focusing on Korea and other countries in the region, including Hong Kong and Singapore.”

CEO Neil Bergquist was quoted saying:

We have seen really promising interest in Coinme from Korea…There’s a large and sophisticated cryptocurrency community which understands the potential of a token tied to real world applications.

“The Coinme ecosystem also seeks to offer massively reduced transaction costs, so we see real synergies with the Korean market,” he added.

What do you think of all the crypto activities going on in South Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Zdnet, Bithumb, Upbit, Coinrail, Ksine, and Coinme.


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Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

Cryptocurrency prices have seen some recovery after our last markets update four days ago when a large majority of digital assets lost quite a bit of value. Since then, and more so over the last 48 hours, the entire crypto-economy capitalization ($216B) has gained roughly $20B. The action yesterday was more bullish as most of the top digital assets were up between 6-20 percent but have since lost some of those gains during this weekend’s trading sessions.

Also read: Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet

Up Moves, Down Moves, and Eight Months of Corrections

Last week was pretty bad for most of the top digital asset markets, except we mentioned during our last markets update that bitcoin core (BTC) spot market prices took the least of the blows downward. Then a little less than 48 hours ago and mostly yesterday cryptocurrency markets picked up again with BTC touching a high of $6,615 on Bitstamp. But on Friday, August 17 most digital asset markets besides BTC reaped a lot more gains as a good portion of the top markets saw 10-20 percent spikes.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

The biggest gainers were ripple (XRP), monero (XMR), and stellar (XLM) as the values of each currency are up between 2-5 percent over the last seven days. Top digital currency trade volumes today are held by BTC, USDT, ETH, EOS, XRP, and BCH. There’s been about $14B USD worth of trade volume swapped among all 1600+ virtual currencies.  

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH) markets are down today 4.3 percent while the past seven days show BCH is also down 2.2 percent. At the time of writing, BCH/USD markets are valued at $560 per coin with an overall market valuation of around $9.68B today. The top five exchanges swapping the most BCH this weekend are Okex, Coinex, Binance, Hitbtc, and Bitfinex.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

Market volume is fairly decent, but weaker with $420M USD worth of BCH traded over the last 24 hours. Right now the top currency paired with bitcoin cash on exchanges is tether (USDT) which captures 49.2 percent of all trades. This is followed by BTC (27.5%), USD (10.5%), ZB (3.44%), QC (3.16%), and the KRW (2.15%).

Bitcoin Core (BTC) Market Action

Bitcoin core (BTC) prices are up about 1 percent over the last seven days worth of trading sessions but are down 1.9 percent today. At press time the average price for BTC is around $6,430 per coin and BTC’s market capitalization is $110B. The top exchanges today trading the most BTC include Bitflyer, Binance, Coinbene, Bitfinex, and Okex.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

As mentioned above, BTC captures the top volume position with around $4B in 24-hour trade volume which is much weaker than the $5.5B traded four days ago. The top pairs trading with BTC involve the following currencies tether (USDT 59.1%), USD (19.6%), JPY (11.5%), EUR (2.9%), KRW (2.3%) and bitcoin cash (BCH 1.7%).

The Verdict: Uncertain Predictions

At the moment, even with prices showing some upswing, and some traders believing cryptocurrencies will enter a bullish trend, most traders still seem pessimistic. It’s difficult to see digital assets rise with dwindling trade volumes. Furthermore, a lot of confidence has been shot over the last eight months of false bull flags and many psychological price levels degrading. Some believe there is a noticeable support zone and prices may still move sideways and test these zones again. Other, more optimistic traders think the path of least resistance is towards the upside and markets are entering a bearish-to-bullish trend. Much of these short-term theories will likely be confirmed within the next 48 hours.

Where do you see the price of BTC, BCH and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


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Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet

A while back, the San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase announced the launch of an ethereum-based wallet called Toshi. The application was a private and secure messaging platform tethered to a non-custodial ETH wallet. Now Coinbase has decided to revamp the application and Toshi will become the ‘Coinbase Wallet’ which will not only offer ETH and it’s token derivatives but soon it will also hold BCH, LTC, and BTC.

Also read: The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

Toshi Platform Changes to Coinbase Wallet

Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet Next time someone tells you Coinbase is “not a wallet” you can tell them that the San Francisco firm does offer a non-custodial wallet that provides users with private keys. The wallet is called Coinbase Wallet, a rebrand of the Toshi Wallet the company introduced back in April of 2017. On August 15, the Coinbase engineer Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu revealed the ETH and ERC-20 wallet known as Toshi was changing names but the Coinbase Wallet will have a slew of new features including the ability to hold bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC) and litecoin (LTC).

“Toshi was developed by the Coinbase team a little over a year ago — When the product launched, it featured the world’s first mobile dapp browser — Later, we became the first wallet to launch crypto collectibles,” Coelho-Prabhu explains.

As part of our effort to be the most trusted brand in the space, we also set out to provide best-in-class secure storage. With Coinbase Wallet, your private keys are secured using your device’s Secure Enclave and biometric authentication technology.  

Testing the Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet

The Coinbase wallet provides users with a platform that manages ETH, and ERC-20s but also allows crypto collectible storage, and the ability to garner air drops. Furthermore, the application allows users to access decentralized token exchanges and relayer platforms. News.Bitcoin.com gave the wallet a test-run on iOS this week and the Coinbase Wallet does, in fact, allow the owner to procure their own private keys with a recovery phrase. The user is asked right away to write down and store the phrase in a safe location, but they can also choose to ‘backup later’ as well. Followed by the backup step, the wallet then asks if the user wants to utilize biometry (fingerprint) or set up a less secure six-digit passphrase. After all the security steps are complete the Coinbase Wallet provides an ethereum address screen that can also show tokens and collectibles.

Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet
News.Bitcoin.com testing out the new Coinbase Wallet on iOS. 

Then there’s a decentralized application browser inside the wallet, which features a wide variety of apps, gaming platforms, and marketplaces that can be used with ethereum, and other token assets. The wallet also has a messenger where you can chat with friends or chat and interact with group chats and wallet bots like the @Toshibot. Overall, the wallet is fairly intuitive like most light clients out there today, but people who are interested in the token economy will find it more useful. When BCH, BTC, and LTC are added, the wallet software will likely open up to a much larger audience.       

The Coinbase Wallet is available for Android systems and iOS and existing Toshi users just need to upgrade the client’s firmware to see the changes. The decentralized app browser works with any platforms that use web3.js, and the wallet also offers native support for ERC-721 tokens. For those who have absolutely no interest in the ethereum ecosystem, they may want to wait until Coinbase adds BCH, LTC, and BTC.

What do you think about the Toshi app changing into the Coinbase Wallet? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


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Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures

The South Korean government has announced the outcome of its inspection of 21 cryptocurrency exchanges. While a number of exchanges have completed implementing both short-term and wallet management measures, many security vulnerabilities remain at most exchanges.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

21 Exchanges Inspected

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security MeasuresSouth Korea’s government has announced the result of its mid-term review of 21 cryptocurrency exchanges. The inspection was conducted in June and July by the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology.

KISA security experts visited each exchange to check on the 85 items identified during its previous crypto exchange inspection, conducted between January and March. They focused on 17 items which needed immediate implementation; six were short-term measures and 11 concerned crypto wallet management.

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures“Intermediate checks were carried out in such a way as to confirm whether improvements had been made, focusing on the 17 security items recommended for quick action,” the government explained. These items include dedicated security and management staff, a password management system, crypto deposit and withdrawal controls, and a system to monitor wallets for abnormalities.

The agencies revealed that 11 out of 21 exchanges have completed the short-term measures. In addition, eight of them have also improved their wallet management systems. The eight are Upbit, Bithumb, Korbit, Coinnest, Coinlink, Coinone, Coinplug, and Huobi Korea, local media detailed. The government reiterated:

In the management of virtual currency wallets, most of the vulnerabilities in the business have not yet been improved.

Furthermore, twelve companies have been found to have insufficient security procedures to prevent data leakage and loss of funds from their cold wallets. Ten companies have inadequate systems to monitor hot wallets for suspicious activities. In addition, at least ten businesses lack wallet backup and recovery measures.

Further Inspections Planned

The final check on the implementation of recommended measures will be carried out next month, the agencies noted, adding that any new crypto exchanges will also be inspected.

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures“Because of the weak security of virtual currency exchanges, we should be careful in investing,” Kim Jong-sam, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Information and Communication, commented. “We will continue to check virtual currency exchanges to improve security.”

Referencing the hack of Coinrail and Bithumb in June, KISA described that “the leakage of virtual currency due to the hacking of recent dealers has directly led to the damage of users,” adding that after checking 85 security items, “there are many dealers with low security.”

Emphasizing that they have been asking crypto exchanges to “improve security levels by completing the recommendations for improvement,” the agencies revealed:

We plan to support the improvement of the security level of the dealers through continuous inspection of the dealers.

What do you think of the Korean government’s review? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

Scammers are threatening to reveal cheating husbands to their wives and asking for bitcoin ransom – check the details in this edition of The Daily. A porn streaming website now rewards its users with tokens, and hair sprays are sold for BTC and BCH. Also, find out what Brits think about blockchain and learn about the latest incarnations of the technology.

Also read: Binance Launches in Liechtenstein, ZB.com Opens Office in Malta

Scammers Threaten Cheating Husbands, Ask for Bitcoin

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and ThatThe U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recently issued a warning about new scams involving cryptocurrency: fraudsters have been sending letters threatening to reveal cheating husbands to their wives and relatives unless they are paid thousands of dollars in bitcoin (BTC). The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) says there’s been a significant increase in the number of extortion attempts of this kind.

A variety of scenarios have been reported but the scammers usually accuse people of cheating and visiting porn sites, and claim to possess other compromising information as well. Threats like “I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife” and “I installed malware on the adult video site” are often part of the correspondence.

People’s personal data like names, usernames, or passwords is included to intimidate the targeted individuals. In most cases, the recipient is instructed to pay a ransom in bitcoin. The Bureau asks victims to reach out to the local FBI office and file a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov, providing any relevant information including the extortion email and the BTC address.

Porn Site Rewards Viewers with Tokens

Speaking about earthly temptations, a leading adult website now wants to reward its users with cryptocurrency. Tube8, a subsidiary of Pornhub, one of the largest platforms in the genre which boasts over 150 million page visits a month, is now moving onto the blockchain. The porn streaming service told Hard Fork it is tokenizing itself through a partnership with Vice Industry Token (VIT). According to the report, the deal will allow users to earn VIT tokens while enjoying the Tube8 videos.

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

The transformation is scheduled to take place by the end of the year, promising to turn Tube8 into the very first major adult platform to pay its users for their activity in cryptos. By doing so, Pornhub, which is already accepting payments in verge, tron and zencash, is truly spearheading crypto adoption and blockchain implementation in the adult industry, taking advantage of the anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies, which is important for its customers.

Something for the Ladies: Buy Hairspray with Bitcoin

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and ThatThinking about finding new intersections between beauty and technology, beyond formula or packaging, R+Co, the beauty collective founded by stylists Howard McLaren, Thom Priano, and Garren, is now incorporating bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) payments into its business, The Cut reports. The team thinks it’s a logical next step.

Once you decide to pay for your hairspray with any of these leading cryptocurrencies, “The Culture of Hairdressing” promises a simple online checkout experience. After providing billing and shipping information, ladies will be prompted to choose a payment method and they can opt to spend cryptocurrency instead of reaching for the credit card. Selecting the bitcoin option will transfer them to Bitpay where they need to complete the purchase within 15 minutes. Excited about the new service, R+Co’s president Dan Langer said:

Blockchain technology is going to be one of the future disruptors in the beauty industry. It will allow consumers the ability to leverage their data and purchase behavior in all kinds of new shopping ways… from reviews to rewards to product benefits. In order to stay at the forefront of this emerging thinking we wanted to integrate components of it while still in its early stages – like paying with Bitcoin – and learn with it as it evolves.

Blockchain This, Blockchain That

Bitcoin payments – that’s fine, but “blockchain” is not something everyone accepts without prejudice. Almost half of Brits, for example, wouldn’t trust an organization using it, new research from IP EXPO Europe has discovered. The authors have found that over a third of British people (35%) would not trust a company employing the technology to keep their information secure. The main reason for their mistrust is not knowing what blockchain really is.

Another 11% of the respondents in the poll conducted by One Pulse, who believe they know what blockchain is, would also not trust an organization that’s using it. Both figures represent almost half of UK citizens. Add to that the 28% who say they wouldn’t trust a firm using any technology they don’t understand and you’ll realize how important it is for businesses to ensure they don’t confuse their customers while trying to improve their technical capabilities or simply riding the wave of the crypto craze.

The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

Nevertheless, the blockchain mania goes on and this week produced a number of examples. We learned that Italian insurance companies are testing a blockchain-based solution to resolve disputes involving car-liability claims, Wyoming farmers want to use the distributed ledger technology to track what their cattle eats and then brand their beef as superior, blockchain-proof probably, and the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation has developed a blockchain platform to improve electronic invoicing… What? Oh, and “China’s first blockchain social network is the brainchild of a 24-year-old female poker player,” mainstream media informed us.

Realizing the importance of blockchain education, Hong Kong authorities have granted $20 million USD to several local universities that are expected to use the funds to finance the research and development of blockchain-based payments systems. And in the Philippines, one of the oldest universities, Ateneo de Manila, is partnering with a healthcare service provider to set up a research laboratory powered by blockchain. All this is happening after Turkey’s Bahçeşehir University inaugurated the country’s first blockchain innovation center. Yes, a lot of education is needed when it comes to blockchain.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


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US Judge Orders Alleged Hacker to Pay Bail in Cryptocurrency

US Judge Orders Alleged Hacker to Pay Bail in Cryptocurrency

A US federal judge has ordered an alleged hacker to pay the equivalent of $750,000 in cryptocurrency for bail. The man was charged with hacking video game company Electronic Arts (EA), obtaining in-game currency used to buy and sell in-game items, and selling access to online games though black-market websites.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Judge Orders Bail Payment in Crypto

US Judge Orders Alleged Hacker to Pay Bail in CryptocurrencyFederal Judge Jacqueline Corley has ordered a “hacker charged with illegally accessing computer network of [a] Bay Area company” to pay bail in cryptocurrency, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week.

Martin Marsich, a 25-year-old Serbian and Italian national whose last known residence was in Udine, Italy, was arrested at the San Francisco International Airport on August 8 while boarding a flight to Serbia. At the federal court in San Francisco where he made his first appearance the next day, the DOJ described:

Magistrate Judge Corley ordered Marsich released to a half-way house on the condition that he post the equivalent of $750,000 in cryptocurrency for bail.

Judge Corley was frequently in the news last November for ruling in favor of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Coinbase. She ordered the crypto exchange to turn over information about U.S. taxpayers who conducted crypto transactions during the years 2013 to 2015.

The Case and FBI Complaint

A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent filed an affidavit in connection with the criminal complaint against Marsich on March 25. It states that “a video-game company headquartered in the Bay Area discovered that an individual had illegally accessed its internal computer network and granted access to parts of the company’s systems,” the Justice Department conveyed. “The intruder, later identified as Marsich, gained access to 25,000 accounts that allow customers to purchase items for use in video games.”

US Judge Orders Alleged Hacker to Pay Bail in CryptocurrencyFurthermore, the FBI complaint outlines that “Marsich allegedly used some of the information he obtained from the computer system to obtain in-game currency, used to buy and sell in-game items.” He was also accused of selling “access to the on-line game on black-market websites.”

According to the Daily Post, the Bay Area company is Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), a well-known American video game company headquartered in Redwood City, California. “After making the discovery of the intrusion, the company allegedly closed the stolen accounts and suffered a loss of approximately $324,000,” the DOJ further revealed, adding:

The complaint charges Marsich with intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization to obtain information for the purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain…and accessing a protected computer to defraud and obtain anything of value.

While clarifying that “a complaint merely alleges that crimes have been committed,” the agency noted that “If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate for each violation.”

Why Did the Judge Order Payment in Crypto?

US Judge Orders Alleged Hacker to Pay Bail in CryptocurrencySan Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe was quoted by the Daily Post saying that he “had never heard of anyone bailing out of jail with cryptocurrency in any courtroom.” While acknowledging that cryptocurrency is now acceptable in a federal court, he believes that “a cryptocurrency bail would fly in San Mateo County Superior Court.”

Although the DOJ’s announcement does not specify the reason for bail payment in crypto, U.S. Assistant District Attorney Abraham Simmons explained that “judges can order many kinds of bail, including real estate owned by another person,” the publication conveyed and quoted him describing:

The judge could order just about anything…It really is quite broad…What the objective is is to get the defendant to comply with an order to appear later.

Simmons also said he was “certain” that if the value of the cryptocurrency were to fluctuate dramatically, either party could file a motion to change the bail amount. “I would imagine that either side would alert the court of an extreme change in the value of the asset, but it doesn’t mean that the court would care one way or the other.”

What do you think of Judge Corley ordering bail payment in cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada

Chinese exchange Huobi and its partners are launching cryptocurrency exchanges in five regions: the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Canada. Partners “share Huobi’s order integration system, wallet system, asset management and clearing systems.” The exchange in Manila has launched with trading in three markets with over 40 trading pairs.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Five Partners, Five New Exchanges

Chinese digital asset and service provider Huobi has announced that it has chosen five partners to launch cryptocurrency exchanges in five regions.

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, CanadaHuobi is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, with a 24-hour trading volume of $915,183,234 at the time of this writing, according to Coinmarketcap. With offices in Singapore, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Australia, Huobi claims to serve millions of users in over 130 countries.

The five partners are Yatai International Holding Group, Vnesheconombank, Chi Fu Group, Asia International Finance Holdings (AIF) and Dbank Group, according to South China Morning Post. Each partner will utilize Huobi Cloud to set up a new cryptocurrency exchange in “the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Canada, respectively,” the publication added.

Huobi clarified on Thursday:

Corporate partners also share Huobi’s order integration system, wallet system, asset management and clearing systems; in addition to Huobi Global’s world-leading depth, liquidity and market data.

The company officially launched Huobi Cloud on July 20, aimed at “enabling its partners to build secure and stable digital asset exchanges quickly.”

Launch Schedule

Huobi has provided a rough schedule for when the new exchanges will be launched by its partners. The exchange in Bali, Indonesia, will be launched on August 22. The one in Taiwan will be called Shubao Digital Asset Exchange and will be launched on August 26. The one in Moscow will be launched on September 3. The company has not provided the launch date for the exchange in Canada at press time.

The only exchange that has already been launched by one of the above partners is in the Philippines; it is called Huibi. Launched on August 12, it is headquartered in Manila and co-founded by Ya Tai International Holding Group.

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada
Huibi exchange in the Philippines.

Huibi lists three markets on its platform: USDT, BTC, and ETH. Eight trading pairs are available for the USDT market, seven for the BTC market, and 26 for the ETH market. There is no fiat support.

Huobi is also expanding its presence in the U.S. On Wednesday, August 15, the company announced that it “has entered into a strategic partnership, including a significant investment” with Openfinance Network, a US compliant security token trading platform launched earlier this summer. This follows Huobi’s recent attempt to enter the US market with the launch of Hbus exchange.

What do you think of Huobi and its partners launching exchanges in these countries? Let us know in the comments section below.


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BTC Price Indicating a Bullish Trend Reversal? Jim Cramer May Disagree

BTC price

Two days after Jim Cramer made bearish comments on Bitcoin, the BTC price has started to revive itself. A bullish reversal is not yet confirmed, as Bitcoin would have to break above key resistance for that to happen.

However, the BTC price has moved back to above $6,000, which indicates a trend reversal could very well be in progress. 

And yet, Cramer has still thrown in the Bitcoin towel. He even did so on the day that Bitcoin crossed a high of $6,259. So what gives?

Jim Cramer BTC Price: Who Should We ...

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‘Crypto’ Thriller Starring Kurt Russell in Post-Production – Producers Share Details

‘Crypto’ Thriller Starring Kurt Russell in Post-Production - Producers Share Details

Crypto, an upcoming cryptocurrency-themed movie starring Kurt Russell and Alexis Bledel, is currently in post-production. The producers share their thoughts, confirming that the “overall message of the movie is positive” despite it being a thriller centered on crime and corruption.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

‘Crypto’ Thriller Coming Soon

The upcoming thriller movie called “Crypto” starring Kurt Russell, Alexis Bledel, Luke Hemsworth, and Beau Knapp is in post-production. News.Bitcoin.com first reported about this movie in June.

‘Crypto’ Thriller Starring Kurt Russell in Post-Production - Producers Share Details
Kurt Russell.

In an interview with Inverse, producers Jordan Yale Levine and Jordan Beckerman of Yale Productions revealed that neither of them “considers themselves to be experts in actual real-life cryptocurrency.”

“Both of us have dabbled,” Yale Levine was quoted saying. “I don’t know if either of us would consider ourselves expert. It was really our writers who fleshed out the topic and dove into the research. They were the ones who really became experts to make sure the film was authentic.”

The news outlet elaborated that “Crypto may not be as satisfying for die-hard cryptocurrency enthusiasts,” noting:

It doesn’t particularly focus on any particular coin…[But] the overall message of the movie is positive, even if [it] does focus on crime, corruption, and cryptocurrency.

Expected to be released next year, the movie “tells a classic crime thriller set against the backdrop of shady cryptocurrency dealings,” the publication described.

Emphasizing that he and Beckerman “hope that cryptocurrency is here to stay,” Yale Levine further commented:

We hope it [cryptocurrency] lasts for a long time…That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to do the film. We’re not into fads. We hope it stays around for a long time.

The Cast, Movie, and Filming Location

The producers told the publication that “Beau Napp was the first to sign on, thanks to a connection with one of the writers on Crypto…Next was Kurt Russell…As for Bledel, the Gilmore Girls actress is represented by the same agency as her two male co-stars, so the entire thing just fell into place.”

‘Crypto’ Thriller Starring Kurt Russell in Post-Production - Producers Share DetailsBeckerman detailed, “Bledel has won Emmys. Kurt Russell is a legend. I think it’s just a really strong cast that came on board.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Crypto is about a young money laundering agent (Knapp) living in a remote New York hometown. While his father (Russell) and brother (Hemswroth) struggle to maintain their family farm, the agent is “tasked with investigating a tangled web of corruption and fraud” involving cryptocurrency.

Yale Levine added, “Crypto was filmed 95 percent upstate…but we did shoot a couple of days in NYC.”

What do you think of this Crypto movie? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

Strengthening regulations will increase crypto investors’ protection, and the amateur speculation bubble will end, says Masayuki Tashiro, representative director of Fiscalo Digital Asset Group and market analyst, who handles a crypto business in Japan. The real value of cryptocurrency will be questioned after we leave the bubble, the expert says.

Also read: Japanese Association Seeks Authority to Enforce Self-Regulation on Crypto Exchanges

Is the Cryptocurrency Market Heading to Maturity?

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert SaysThe overall excitement and confusion around cryptocurrency in Japan is over as regulations had been strengthened. In many ways the environment surrounding Bitcoin has changed dramatically this year. Last December, the highest value for 1 BTC was 2.5 million yen (22,500$), then in January it dropped by more than half, at 700,000 yen (6,300$), when on January 26th, 58 billion yen (520 million$) worth of cryptocurrency Nem (NEM) went missing from Coincheck, a local exchange.

“The overheating feeling around cryptocurrency that went on until the beginning of the year was just a bubble,” Masayuki Tashiro said. Right after the Coincheck heist, Japan’s Financial Security Agency (FSA) took immediate measures in February and raided the company and other crypto exchanges to find out what was going on. Then six companies including the major registrants received heavy administrative sanctions in June. BTC price then fell to 600,000 yen (5,400$). Currently the price of one BTC is about 800,000 yen (7,200$), but it is a situation that is changing around all the time, the market analyst pointed out.

Real Value of Crypto Will Show After the Bubble Is Over

The real value of crypto will show after the bubble is over, the expert says. As the Coincheck management apologized during a press conference in Tokyo last January for failing to keep the cryptocurrency, its overall price dropped dramatically and the trend to regulate cryptocurrency accelerated drastically. “Futures traders in the US launching the BTC futures trading market last December also influenced the situation a lot. And those futures hedge funders entered the market as a tide, all at once, that influenced the bubble to burst too,” Tashiro explained, “the more the price falls, the more people tend to sell. And the biggest factor for the bubble bursting is the actions taken by beginners who don’t have the experience of investing in crypto,” he added.

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

“To begin with, there aren’t any investment measures with crypto such as PER (Price Earnings Ratio) and PBR (Price Book-value Ratio) as we see with stocks, so people shouldn’t touch upon it if they don’t understand it. Without any solid understanding, newbies shouldn’t have gotten involved in crypto,” Tashiro explained. Japan’s crypto industry has established a self regulatory association called the Japan Cryptocurrency Exchange Association in April, which is prospecting to set up self-regulatory rules by October. Rules and regulations around crypto have been strengthened globally, and the overall crypto boom seems to have dissipated.

Crypto Is Still a Remarkable Market

“Strengthening the rules is a good move,” the analyst said, “people will be able to invest with peace in their mind as the poor quality crypto vendors will exit and a strong anti-money laundering system will be put in place internally within each exchange,” Tashiro says. “Furthermore, last year BTC price rose by more than 40% twice,” he explained, “this is the same figure as the Nikkei average during the Lehman shock. In the near future, although we might not reach that high, we can still expect a rise in the range of 800,000 yen (7,200$). Although the price range at the moment is around 30,000 to 40,000 yen (270 to 360$), a rise always occurs, that’s why [crypto] is still a remarkable market.” Regarding future market trends, “personally I am bullish,” Tashiro said, “and by the time the outline of the regulations will come together in October, those investors who will feel safer will come back. I hope things won’t get as overheated as last year, but I believe BTC can win back the value of 1 million yen (9,020$) in range,” he believes.

The bubble which attracted or was caused by amateur investors is over, and the reinforcement of regulation is a rather securing outcome from the perspective of investors’ protection in the cryptocurrency market. From this Japanese expert’s point of view, it seems that there is still room for earning in crypto.

What do you think of this Japanese analyst’s expectations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in Thailand

Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in Thailand

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the names of seven cryptocurrency firms that have been authorized to legally operate in the country. Five of them are crypto exchanges; two are cryptocurrency dealers.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Seven Crypto Firms Authorized

Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in ThailandThe Thai SEC has announced the names of the cryptocurrency firms that have been authorized to operate in the country while their applications are being reviewed by the regulators. Seven firms, consisting of five crypto exchanges and two dealers, have been granted temporary approval to operate until their applications are either approved or denied.

Crypto exchanges that have been authorized are Bitcoin Co. Ltd. (BX), Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., Cash2coins Co. Ltd., Satang Corporation (Tdax), and Coin Asset. The two approved dealers are Coins TH Co. Ltd. and Digital Coin Limited (Thai WM).

Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in ThailandRecently, Coin Asset unveiled a crypto ATM that can handle six cryptocurrencies and multiple fiat currencies. Coins TH was launched in 2014 by Filipino remittance company Coins.ph.

Mr. Rapee Sucharitakul, Secretary-General of the Thai SEC, explained that cryptocurrency investing carries high risks. The Commission urges anyone being approached to invest in cryptocurrencies or crypto projects to first check whether those companies have been approved to legally operate in the country.

Why Seven? Two More Being Reviewed

Thailand’s crypto and initial coin offering (ICO) regulations went into effect on May 14. The Thai SEC, the main regulator of the country’s crypto industry, started accepting applications for licenses to operate crypto businesses in the country last month. News.Bitcoin.com reported last week that about 20 exchanges, 50 ICO projects, and five ICO portals have indicated interest in applying with the SEC.

Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in ThailandCryptocurrency firms that were operating in the country prior to May 14 could apply for a temporary license while their actual applications are being reviewed by the regulators. They had 90 days, until August 14, to apply.

On August 15 the SEC revealed that the seven companies above have applied and been granted temporary approval to operate until the regulators have either approved or rejected their applications.

In addition, the SEC is currently verifying two more crypto firms that claim to be in business prior to the enforcement of the regulations.

Other than the nine companies mentioned above, all other firms seeking to operate a crypto business in Thailand must obtain approval from the ministry of finance and the SEC before commencing a crypto business.

What do you think of the Thai SEC granting temporary approval to seven crypto firms while reviewing their applications? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Thai SEC.


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Crowd Source or Complete Tasks With Bitcoin.com’s Bounty Hunter Portal

Crowd Source or Complete Tasks With Bitcoin.com's Bounty Hunter Portal

Ever since the Bitcoin network was launched the online world of digital bounty hunting began to prosper significantly, allowing individuals the ability to scour the web for jobs that pay in cryptocurrency. Just recently Bitcoin.com revamped its portal, Bitcoin Bounty Hunter, a service that allows anyone to anonymously crowd source bounties to complete tasks. Armchair detectives and online bounty hunters can make a lot of money as the current bounty list has close to $400K in digital asset rewards available.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitcoin Bounties Enables Economic Prosperity from Remote Locations All Around the World

Bitcoin is an incredible technology that has not only revolutionized money but the protocol has also transformed many other facets of the world’s economy and the way we interact within the online world. The concept of cryptocurrency bounty hunting had naturally emerged almost immediately after Satoshi launched the peer-to-peer currency and thousands of individuals have completed tasks over the years in order to grow their coin reserves.

Crowd Source or Complete Tasks With Bitcoin.com's Bounty Hunter Portal
At the time of writing the listed bounties on Bitcoin Bounty Hunter add up to close to $400K USD worth of bitcoin rewards.

Bitcoin.com is all about economic freedom and prosperity through free market capitalism, so we’ve launched our own bounty portal that allows anyone the ability to crowdsource bounties. Furthermore, highly skilled bounty hunters looking to complete online ventures can visit the Bitcoin Bounty Hunter page so they can earn a bunch of bitcoin cash.

Bitcoin Bounty Hunter: Close to $400K USD Worth of Cryptocurrencies Available Now

At the moment, Bitcoin Bounty Hunter has close to $400,000 USD worth of bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) dispersed among six unsolved bounties. Some of the tasks include helping catch whoever is responsible for the missing 600,000 BTC from Mt Gox, find out who is responsible for the thousands of BTC stolen from Bitcoinica, help identify a Localbitcoins scammer named ‘Pablo777’ who stole 10 BTC from a trader, and a few more unsolved mysteries for online sleuths to solve.

Crowd Source or Complete Tasks With Bitcoin.com's Bounty Hunter Portal
Six bounties available today. All types of tasks can be crowd sourced like project building, design services, video work, writing tasks, software development, bug fixes, marketing needs, and really any undertaking you can think of that doesn’t involve violence or harassment. 

The bounties have full summaries of undertakings while also supplying important documents and clues. We originally started the bounty hunter page so we could help find the criminals who stole thousands of cryptocurrencies from innocent victims. But we have grown the service in order to include all kinds of tasks from within the crypto-community. If you have a task that you need accomplished take a minute and fill out the bounty request form.

Initiate All Types of Bounties or Help Complete Tasks in Order to Grow Your Coin Reserves

For instance, the types of bounties an individual or organization can initiate could include project building, design services, video work, writing tasks, software development, bug fixes, marketing needs, and really any undertaking that you are will to pay for with bitcoins. As mentioned above we allow bounties for a person who has committed a crime in which there is a victim, but we strictly prohibit any bounties involving violence or harassment.

There’s a lot of funds available for armchair detectives and online bounty hunters to complete already. Moreover, if a third party feels strongly about supporting a specific bounty they can anonymously contribute funds to the prize pool by donating to the associated bitcoin address tethered to each bounty.

So if you are in a position to fund tasks or you have the spare time to complete online bounties then you should check out our Bitcoin Bounty Hunter portal today!

What do you think about the Bitcoin Bounty Hunter page? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Bitcoin Bounty Hunter.


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The post Crowd Source or Complete Tasks With Bitcoin.com’s Bounty Hunter Portal appeared first on Bitcoin News.

SEC Fines and Permanently Bars Founder of Fraudulent Oil Exploration Token

SEC Fines and Permanently Bars Founder of Fraudulent Oil Exploration Token

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken action against an oil and gas exploration company and its founder who “perpetrated a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) to fund oil exploration and drilling in California.” The token sale failed to raise money but the tokens were issued as part of a bounty program, which the SEC considers securities.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

SEC Took Action

SEC Fines and Permanently Bars Founder of Fraudulent Oil Exploration TokenThe SEC announced Tuesday that it has taken action against David Thompson Laurance and the oil and gas exploration company he founded, Tomahawk Exploration LLC. Laurance attempted to raise money by issuing digital tokens, tomahawkcoins (TOM).

Founded by Laurance in 2010, Tomahawk “engaged in an offering of Tomahawk securities that constituted penny stock,” the SEC described. The 76-year-old California resident is the sole managing member of Tomahawk.

“The SEC’s order finds that Tomahawk and Laurance violated the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws,” the Commission detailed, adding:

Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Tomahawk and Laurance consented to a cease and desist order and Laurance consented to an officer and director bar, penny stock bar, and a $30,000 penalty.

The SEC has obtained a permanent officer and director bar against Laurance which prevents him from serving as an officer or a director of any SEC-reporting company.

The penny stock bar prohibits him from owning a penny stock in his own account as well as engaged in any activities related to an offering of a penny stock including acting as a promoter, finder, consultant, agent, broker, dealer, or issuer.

The Founder and his Company

According to the SEC, Laurance “perpetrated a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) to fund oil exploration and drilling in California.”

SEC Fines and Permanently Bars Founder of Fraudulent Oil Exploration TokenHe used “inflated projections of oil production that were contradicted by the company’s own internal analysis” in his promotional materials. In addition, he “misleadingly suggested that Tomahawk possessed leases for drilling sites when it did not,” the Commission clarified.

Tomahawk’s promo materials described Laurance as having a “flawless background,” omitting information about his prior criminal conviction for his role in fraudulent securities offerings. “Tomahawk also claimed that token owners would be able to convert the tomahawkcoins into equity and potentially profit from the anticipated oil production and secondary trading of the tokens,” the SEC detailed.

Robert A. Cohen, Chief of the SEC’s Cyber Unit, warned:

Investors should be alert to the risk of old-school frauds, like oil and gas schemes, masquerading as innovative blockchain-based ICOs.

No Money Raised but Bounty Tokens are Securities

SEC Fines and Permanently Bars Founder of Fraudulent Oil Exploration TokensTomahawk originally wanted to raise $5 million through the ICO after failing to raise funds through private investments and public capital markets.

The company, however, “failed to raise money through the ICO…[but] issued approximately 80,000 TOM as part of a ‘bounty program’ in exchange for online promotional and marketing services,” the SEC noted. Based on the facts and circumstances of the case, “TOM tokens are securities because they are investment contracts…and because they represent a transferable share or option on a security,” the Commission elaborated:

Tomahawk’s issuance of tokens under the bounty program constituted an offer and sale of securities because the company provided TOM to investors in exchange for services designed to advance Tomahawk’s economic interests and foster a trading market for its securities.

The SEC concluded that Tomahawk and Laurance violated the Securities Act by “offering and selling TOM without having a registration statement filed or in effect with the Commission or qualifying for an exemption from registration with the Commission.”

What do you think of the SEC’s action against Tomahawk and its founder? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the SEC.


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