US Marshals Service Announces Auction of 660 BTC

US Marshals Service Announces Upcoming Auction of 660 BTC

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) has announced an auction of 660 BTC that is scheduled to take place on Nov. 4. Under the auction rules, interested participants must formally identify themselves to the USMS and submit deposits of $200,000.

Also Read: Trump Tariffs to Impact Chinese Mining Hardware Manufacturers

USMS to Auction Forfeited BTC in Seven ‘Blocks’

US Marshals Service Announces Upcoming Auction of 660 BTCThe auction is scheduled to take place across two “series” and seven “blocks.” The “Series A” portion is set to comprise six individual auctions of 100 BTC each, while the “Series B” round will involve a single auction for the remaining 60 BTC. The bitcoins were confiscated from undisclosed parties in various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases, with many of them forfeited to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Bidder registration will open at 8:00 a.m. EDT on Oct. 22 and is scheduled to close at noon EDT on Oct. 31. Bidders will not be permitted to view competing bids and will not be able to change the value of their bids after submission.

Deposits to Be Returned to Ineligible Bidders

US Marshals Service Announces Upcoming Auction of 660 BTCThe USMS is scheduled to notify all prospective bidders of their eligibility to participate in the auction process by no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Nov. 1. Applicants who are deemed to be ineligible to participate in the auction will have their deposits returned to them. The deposits of participants whose bids are not selected as winning bids will also be returned.

In addition, the USMS states that “bids that are contingent on financing terms of any kind will not be considered.” In addition, it requires that “all bids must be made in U.S. dollars.”

Winning Bidders Expected to
Pay BTC Transfer Fees

US Marshals Service Announces Upcoming Auction of 660 BTCThe USMS will retain the deposits of the winning bidders and credit them toward their purchases. Winning bidders who fail to finalize their transactions will forfeit their deposits, as long as the USMS is not at fault.

The USMS also notes that “any transfer fees associated with the transfer of the bitcoins will be paid by the buyer.” However, buyers will be given the chance to choose the fees that are charged in the transfers.

The USMS will start to return deposits to auction participants as soon as the bitcoin transactions are finalized. It adds that it aims to process all returns within five business days. However, it acknowledges that return times could take slightly longer depending on how many people participate in the seven auction blocks.

What is your response to the United States Marshals Service’s upcoming BTC auction? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Two US States Issue Cease and Desist Orders Against Five ICO Issuers

Two US States Issue Cease and Desist Orders Against Five ICO Issuers

The U.S. states of Colorado and North Dakota have independently issued cease and desist orders against companies promoting initial coin offerings in their states. Their tokens are potentially fraudulent securities offerings, according to the two states’ securities commissions. One scheme promises a return of 10 percent per month and claims to be pegged to the price of gold.

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

Colorado Targets Two ICOs

Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome signed two final orders on Oct. 12, directing a pair of companies to cease and desist offering or selling unregistered securities in the form of initial coin offerings (ICOs) in his state.

Two US States Issue Cease and Desist Orders Against Five ICO IssuersDavor, which issues Davorcoin, and Cyber Capital Invest, which offers the CCI token, “received the orders as a result of an investigation into potentially fraudulent securities offerings in Colorado in the form of ICOs,” the state’s Division of Securities announced.

According to the regulator, the ICOs offered by the two companies are not registered in Colorado or exempt from registration. Nonetheless, they were offered to residents of the state without full and fair disclosure of the risks associated with them.

Davorcoin’s website describes the token as a new cryptocurrency aiming to become an alternative to coins such as bitcoin and ether, the securities division explained, noting:

Investors were promised returns as high as 10 percent per month for participating in a ‘staking pool’ and were told that davorcoins are pegged to the price of gold and can be traded on exchanges.

Cyber Capital Invest’s website states that the CCI token is a “profit share token” allowing investors to receive a guaranteed daily return of between 0.75 and two percent based on the “access level” they select. In addition to direct sales, the company offers commissions to the promoters of its token through a bounty program.

North Dakota Targets Three ICOs

North Dakota Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler issued cease and desist orders on Oct. 11 against three companies promoting ICOs in her state. The state’s securities commission explained that the three firms promote tokens that are unregistered and potentially fraudulent.

Two US States Issue Cease and Desist Orders Against Five ICO IssuersThe orders resulted from investigations that are part of Operation Cryptosweep, a coordinated investigation and enforcement effort involving over 40 U.S. and Canadian securities regulators. In August, there were more than 200 crypto-related cases being investigated and 46 enforcement actions taken.

The commission wrote, “The companies that are the subject of the orders are Crystal Token, Advertiza Holdings (Pty) Ltd., and Life Cross Coin.” They are not registered in North Dakota to offer securities, but their websites are active and available to the state’s residents.

Commissioner Tyler explained that Crystal Token’s website offers an “evolutionary multi-utility token” to trade in other cryptocurrencies. It also claims that investors can earn interest of up to two percent per day, paid in another token, the order details, adding:

Crystal Token’s website contains allegedly fraudulent statements with claims of excessive unsubstantiated rates of return on investment, fails to provide sufficient disclosure of the management team’s credentials, and purposely withholds their identities.

Two US States Issue Cease and Desist Orders Against Five ICO IssuersAdvertiza Holdings’ website suggests that the holders of its token “can expect to make a profit from the appreciation” of its value. The regulator alleges that this advertisement indicates that the firm’s representation of its token “as a utility token is incorrect and it is in fact a security.” Furthermore, “Advertiza falsely claims it has made a filing with the SEC [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] under federal Rule 506c of Regulation D.”

Life Cross Coin’s website claims that its token will be used for the donation and support of charitable organizations, the order describes, adding that it advertises “huge return on investment.” Moreover, “The website contains allegedly fraudulent content including the people represented to be the executive team, who all appear to have fake names,” the commission found, noting:

Life Cross Coin, aka Lifecrosscoin, operates a website from a Berlin IP address associated with ransomware, trojans, and identity fraud.

What do you think of Colorado and North Dakota issuing cease and desist orders against these ICO issuers? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Blockchain Surveillance Firm Partners With Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

Blockchain Surveillance Firm Partners With Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

On Oct. 17, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, Binance, announced a partnership with blockchain surveillance company Chainalysis. According to the exchange, Chainalysis has implemented a compliance solution that meets regulatory guidelines worldwide.

Also read: Bizarro World: Federated Sidechain Technology Promoted Over Nakamoto Consensus

Binance Is Using Chainalysis for Compliance   

According to a press release published on Oct. 17, Binance and Chainalysis have joined forces to create a compliance solution for trading operations. The collaboration will further ensure that Binance exchanges comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) laws. The co-founder of Chainalysis, Jonathan Levin, explained during the announcement that all cryptocurrency businesses face the challenge of “earning the trust of regulators, financial institutions and users.”

“We expect many to follow Binance’s lead to build world-class AML compliance programs to satisfy regulators globally and build trust with major financial institutions,” Levin detailed. “Chainalysis’ compliance software, Chainalysis KYT (Know Your Transaction), is the only real-time transaction monitoring solution for cryptocurrencies.”

Blockchain Surveillance Firm Partners With Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

To Some, Regulatory Compliance and Permissionless Innovation Mix Like Oil and Water

Levin says that the Chainalysis software uses methods like proprietary algorithms and pattern recognition that can raise alerts when suspicious transactions happen. Binance will be able to leverage the KYT software and other services Chainalysis offers. Wei Zhou, CFO at Binance, says the collaboration helps the exchange build a “foundational compliance program.”

“Our vision is to provide the infrastructure for a blockchain ecosystem and increase the freedom of money globally, while adhering to regulatory mandates in the countries we serve,” Zhou stated.

Blockchain Surveillance Firm Partners With Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

Overall, both companies believe the compliance solution will enhance the cryptocurrency environment. Moreover, Chainalysis thinks exchanges working with them will make it easier for cryptocurrency firms to open bank accounts and establish relationships with legacy financial providers. However, on forums and social media, many digital asset proponents voiced their displeasure at the announcement. Most cryptocurrency users wholeheartedly believe in privacy, and are concerned by a growing trend for blockchain surveillance.

What do you think about Binance teaming up with the blockchain surveillance firm Chainalysis? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


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Markets Update: Stable Cryptocurrencies and Unstable Pegged Coins

Since our last markets update, cryptocurrencies have been steadily moving sideways as traders are patiently waiting for the next big move. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, bitcoin core has been hovering between $6,400-6,550, while bitcoin cash has been coasting along around $425-500 per coin. The market capitalization of all 2,000+ cryptocurrencies hasn’t budged much over the last two weeks and currently rests at $213.4 billion.

Also read: Bizarro World: Federated Sidechain Technology Promoted Over Nakamoto Consensus

Stablecoins Show More Action Than Most Cryptocurrencies This Week

Markets have been trading in a triangular and consolidated pattern since the last big spike on Sunday, Oct. 15. That day, bitcoin core (BTC) spiked to a high of $6,760 on a few exchanges like Bitstamp, and bitcoin cash touched $501. Additionally, exchanges that use the stablecoin tether (USDT) saw BTC and BCH prices rise even higher than most spot markets and BTC values saw highs above $7,000. This market behavior was due to USDT dropping below the value of USD, hitting a low of $0.86 per token.

Markets Update: Seemingly Stable Markets and Unstable Pegged Coins

Other stablecoins like TUSD, GUSD, and USDC saw significant volumes this week as lots of money poured into these specific markets. On Oct. 16, Circle’s stablecoin USDC grew 2,000 % in seven days on partner exchanges and that day’s USDC volume surpassed the week prior’s.

Markets Update: Seemingly Stable Markets and Unstable Pegged Coins

During that time, other stablecoins like GUSD and TUSD rose above their dollar pegs while USDT dipped below. Following the jump in value, BCH and BTC prices have dipped a hair and USDT values have regained momentum.

Markets Update: Seemingly Stable Markets and Unstable Pegged Coins

The Top Cryptocurrency Markets

Bitcoin core markets are down today around 1% and one BTC is trading for $6,534 according to Satoshi Pulse data. Ethereum (ETH) prices are down 1.4%, as each ETH trades at $207 this Wednesday. Following behind ETH is ripple (XRP), which is up 1.8% over the last 24 hours. XRP prices are hovering around $0.46 at the time of publication. Lastly, EOS is down 0.68% today and the digital asset is swapped for $5.39 per coin. Overall, the top contenders are down between one to 13% over the last seven days of trading sessions.

Markets Update: Seemingly Stable Markets and Unstable Pegged Coins
The top ten cryptocurrency markets on Oct. 17, 2018.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash spot markets are seeing BCH trade for $451 per coin with the currency’s value down 1.7% over the last 24 hours. Percentages are down even lower for the week as seven-day statistics show BCH has dipped around 11.7% this past week. The top five exchanges swapping the most BCH this Wednesday are Lbank, Hitbtc, Binance, Okex and Huobi. BTC is the top trading pair exchanged with BCH, capturing 41.8% of all spot market trades. This is followed by the trading pairs USDT (27%), ETH (16%), USD (5.2%), and KRW (5.2%). Bitcoin cash has the sixth-largest trading volume, as $301 million worth of BCH trades have been processed in the last 24 hours.

Markets Update: Seemingly Stable Markets and Unstable Pegged Coins
BCH/USD seven-day.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the four-hour and daily Bitstamp and Bitfinex BCH/USD charts shows some serious sideways action since the last spike. Many other digital asset charts like BTC/USD are following similar patterns, as traders seem to be finding new positions over the last two days. Currently, the BCH four-hour relative strength index (RSI -40) oscillator is meandering in the midrange and not granting many clues. The two simple moving averages (100 & 200 SMA) indicate a change may be in the cards as the two look as though they will be crossing hairs soon.

Markets Update: Seemingly Stable Markets and Unstable Pegged Coins
Oct. 17, 2018, BCH/USD Bitfinex

Unless things change, the 100 SMA looks to be dropping below the 200 SMA trendline, showing the path toward the least resistance will be the downside. Order books show there are big hurdles for BCH bulls from now until $465 and another pitstop above the $500 region. If things change and the price heads south, BCH bears will be stopped at $415 and $390 respectively.

The Verdict: Uncertainty Is in the Air

The verdict this week depends on who you ask, but can be generalized with one word: uncertainty. Some traders believe a bearish-to-bullish change is imminent, while others think cryptocurrency prices may sink lower. BTC/USD and ETH/USD shorts are fairly high, but not as much as they were a few weeks ago. The consolidated tight pattern and lack of shorts this week show uncertainty in the minds of traders waiting for a breakout in either direction.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin cash 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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Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities In India

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in India

Zebpay is reportedly expanding its global presence after suspending cryptocurrency trading operations in India due to the banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. According to information on its website, an entity has been set up to operate the Zebpay exchange in Malta to serve 20 countries.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Malta-registered Exchange Serving 20 Countries

Cryptocurrency service provider Zebpay has posted information on its website regarding its overseas operations but has yet to make any announcements about them.

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in IndiaIndiabits, a community of blockchain enthusiasts, tweeted on Friday about Zebpay’s two overseas entities: one in Singapore and one in Malta. “Zebpay is going global,” the group wrote, adding that “Zebpay will provide cryptocurrency exchange and OTC services to 20 countries in Europe.”

On its website, under Terms of Use, Zebpay described a Malta-registered entity called Awlencan Innovations Malta Ltd. This company was established on Sept. 17. Zebpay wrote:

Awlencan Innovations Malta Limited (C-88318), a Maltese registered company with office address situated at: 48, Triq Stella Maris, Sliema, SLM 1765, Malta, which owns and operates the ‘Zebpay’ VFA [virtual financial assets] exchange platform in Malta.

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in IndiaThe page also provides a list of 20 countries which Zebpay offers its services to. They are Malta, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden.

For know-your-customer (KYC) purposes, Zebpay explained that each client can only have one account. “Multiple accounts with same KYC documentation is not eligible for registration of additional accounts,” the firm added, noting:

Zebpay provides the platform to match the orders, and prices are therefore set by the market-forces of supply and demand.

Zebpay was one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. However, its exchange activities in India were shut down at the end of September due to the cryptocurrency banking ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The ban went into effect in July and a number of petitions have been filed against it. The country’s supreme court has been trying to hear them but the case keeps being postponed.

Growing Global Presence

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in IndiaOn its Global Legal page, under Terms of Use, Zebpay wrote, “Zebpay shall mean and include … Awlencan Innovations Pte. Ltd. incorporated in Singapore.”

Awlencan Innovations Pte. Ltd. is a Singapore-based blockchain technology company established in May, soon after the RBI issued its circular in April which banned financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto businesses.

In addition, Awlencan Innovations India Ltd. was registered on Sept. 28, the day Zebpay suspended its exchange activities. According to reports, there are 3 directors listed for this company. One is Kailash Atmaram Singhal who is also listed as a director of Zeb It Service Ltd., which operated the Zebpay exchange in India.

What do you think of Zebpay setting up operations overseas after shutting down exchange activities in India? Let us know in the comments section below.


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BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea

Hong Kong-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange BTCC is reportedly launching services in South Korea this month. In addition to a cryptocurrency exchange, the company will offer a wallet service, a mining pool, and a consumer payments service, according to its Korean website.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

BTCC Expanding Into South Korea

BTCC, formerly known as BTC China, is launching services in South Korea on Oct. 31, according to the Investor. The beta service will start this month and the exchange “will make its official debut in November,” the publication added.

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea“The world’s first cryptocurrency exchange BTCC is preparing to open in Korea,” the company wrote on its Korean website’s homepage. Four services are listed: an exchange, a wallet service, a mining pool, and a service to facilitate consumer payments. “BTCC is establishing an on / offline payment system using cryptocurrency,” its website states, adding that it “is expanding services for real-life use.”

The news outlet elaborated:

BTCC said it will expand its footprint through strategic tie-ups with local and global firms.

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South KoreaFounded in 2011, BTCC was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world by trading volume before the Chinese government cracked down on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September last year. The government’s action caused all major cryptocurrency exchanges to exit China and move their operations overseas.

Following the crackdown, BTCC shut down its operations in China and re-launched its services in Hong Kong. The company is now headquartered in Hong Kong but serves a global customer base. The new BTCC exchange offers the trading of five cryptocurrencies against the USD — BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and DASH. In addition, the latter four cryptocurrencies can be traded against BTC. The BTCC Korea exchange, however, has not announced which coins will be supported.

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea
Cryptocurrencies supported on the main BTCC website.

Korean Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South KoreaThe South Korean cryptocurrency market is dominated by four exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. Bithumb is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country by trading volume while Upbit is the largest by the number of coins listed. Upbit, which offers the trading of 164 coins in 276 markets, is a partner of U.S.-based exchange Bittrex and is backed by Kakao Corp., the operator of the country’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk.

On Oct. 12, Bithumb confirmed that it was sold to a consortium led by a well-known plastic surgeon, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

Another major cryptocurrency exchange that exited China and entered the South Korean market following the Chinese government’s crackdown is Huobi. The exchange launched its Korean operations in March, offering the trading of over 100 coins in over 200 markets, according to its website.

What do you think of BTCC expanding into South Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.


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50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Fifty traders who use Indian crypto exchange Instashift have shared their thoughts on the current crypto environment in India. Most of them said that they “hodl” and would continue to invest in crypto despite regulatory uncertainty.

Also read: RBI Argues Supreme Court Should Not Interfere With Its Crypto Decision

Most Respondents Are Hodlers

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in IndiaA survey was conducted in the first week of October by Indian cryptocurrency exchange Instashift exclusively for news.Bitcoin.com. Launched in March, Instashift offers the buying and selling of over 80 cryptocurrencies.

Fifty active traders in India participated. The goal of the survey was to find out what they think about various crypto-related issues including their investment concerns, the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and whether they will keep investing in crypto despite regulatory uncertainty.

Among the 50 traders who responded, 43 said that they hodl while seven revealed that they invest short-term.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Furthermore, 40 traders believe bitcoin is a safe haven against rupee inflation while 10 traders disagree.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Crypto Investing Despite RBI Ban

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in IndiaIndia is currently drafting crypto regulations which were supposed to be ready in September but have been delayed. Meanwhile, RBI, the country’s central bank, has banned financial institutions under its jurisdiction from providing services to crypto businesses. A number of petitions have been filed against the ban. The country’s supreme court has been trying to hear them since Sept. 11, but the hearing has continually been postponed.

The banking ban by the central bank has adversely impacted some exchanges. One of the country’s largest crypto trading platforms, Zebpay, recently shut down its exchange operations due to the banking problem.

Despite the ban, 32 Instashift traders said that they would continue to invest in crypto even if the RBI intensifies its crackdown such as freezing crypto accounts. Another 12 traders noted that they are also likely to continue trading while six respondents said they would discontinue crypto trading.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

In addition, 36 traders believe that the Indian government will amend existing laws to accommodate cryptocurrencies. Ten respondents believe that the regulators will remove restrictions on crypto. However, only four traders believe that crypto will be legalized and regulated in India.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Preferred Cash-Out Methods

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in IndiaA number of crypto exchanges in India have come up with their own solutions to the RBI ban. Some have introduced exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer trading services, which they claim have gained much popularity.

Respondents were asked about their preferred methods of cashing out cryptocurrencies into rupees. Forty-eight traders said they prefer to cash out using peer-to-peer sites. Five traders prefer to use local cash deals, four prefer to use gift cards and online deals, and four others prefer to cash out using prepaid crypto Visa and Mastercard services.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

On Sunday, another cash-out method was introduced by one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, Unocoin. The company has launched crypto ATMs to bypass the RBI ban and allow its users to deposit and withdraw rupees. This option was announced after the Instashift survey had concluded, so it was not included in the survey.

As for where to keep their funds, 24 traders prefer to keep them in BTC, 14 prefer altcoins, and 12 specifically prefer stablecoins. Recently, an increasing number of crypto exchanges in India have started listing stablecoins such as tether (USDT) and trueusd (TUSD).

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Future Prospects of Crypto Ecosystem in India

Amid the banking ban, 35 respondents believe that the fear of regulatory uncertainty is the biggest hurdle stopping the Indian crypto economy from flourishing. Twenty-six traders believe that the lack of banking support is the biggest challenge. Twenty-five traders put the lack of understanding of the crypto industry as the most important factor, while 18 traders attributed the lack of liquidity in the market as the top reason.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Despite all the hurdles, 41 traders said that they are long-term investors and will continue to invest in crypto. Seventeen traders admitted that they are apprehensive but expect the government to eventually create a positive environment for cryptocurrencies. However, four respondents are entertaining the idea of exiting the crypto space altogether.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

What do you think of the current crypto environment in India? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Binance Opens Fiat-To-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

Binance Opens Its First Fiat-To-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

On Oct. 15, Binance announced the launch of its fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange in Uganda. The world’s biggest digital currency exchange said users in the East African country are now able to complete full account verification starting immediately. Deposits and withdrawals of the local fiat currency, the Ugandan shilling, start on Wednesday.

Also read: Bitcoin After Death: The Perils of Sharing One’s Fortune

Exchange to Initially Support Trades Between Ugandan Shilling and BTC, ETH Only

“We are extremely proud to officially launch our first fiat-crypto exchange in Uganda,” said Wei Zhou, chief financial officer at Binance, in a press statement. “We have been diligently preparing for this exchange with our local partners since our team first visited Uganda in April 2018.”

Zhou also stated that: “This is only the first step in our efforts to use blockchain technology to support sustainable economic development in Africa, and we look forward to bringing more innovations to the region.”

The exchange will initially support trading of the local shilling unit with bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), Binance said. More trading pairs are to be added in the coming months, it detailed, adding that “users are exempt from trading fees during the first month.” The Ugandan subsidiary is capable of processing 1.4 million transactions per second, with 24-hour client support.

Binance is the world’s biggest digital currency exchange, with 24-hour volume of about $1.97 billion worth of BTC alone, according to data from Coinmarketcap.  The company has revealed plans to open fiat-capable exchanges in Liechtenstein, Malta and Singapore. Until now, the exchange had been optimized for crypto-to-crypto trades only.

In Uganda, cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption and development continue to see growth. That’s despite warnings by the Bank of Uganda against the use of unregulated currencies in the form of bitcoin and other digital coins. The country of 44 million people is home to various blockchain conferences, associations and communities, with support at Cabinet level.

African Investors Welcome Binance’s Ugandan Presence

Investors in Africa have cheered Binance’s move into Uganda. “This is great news!” Michael Kimani, a leading Kenyan crypto proponent, tweeted.

“(It) will spark a race across African countries on setting up [a] favorable environment for cryptocurrency trading against African currencies. Muhimu (vital) for cross border trade, intra-African trade, online payments, remittances, trading, investing…” he wrote.

Binance Opens Its First Fiat-To-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

Binance’s presence in the East African nation is expected to boost financial inclusion in a country where only 33 percent of citizens use registered financial accounts. But this is a place where bitcoin looks likely to flourish unhindered. Some shops and restaurants in Kampala – Uganda’s capital – now accept bitcoin as a means of payment.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has spoken positively about blockchain technology – but not cryptocurrencies. He told the Africa Blockchain conference organised by the Blockchain Association of Uganda in Kampala in May of the need “to look for a new technology of enabling things to move faster and new systems that go with it.”

His central bank governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile had apparently spoken to the contrary in an earlier address to the same conference. Mutebile accused blockchain technology of lacking the necessary support to sustain a currency. But Ugandans, mostly professionals, have taken a particular liking to virtual money, bitcoin especially.

What do you think about Binance’s move into Uganda? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitpay Announces Stablecoin Support for Merchant Settlement

Bitpay Announces Stablecoin Support for Merchant Settlement

On Monday the cryptocurrency payment processor Bitpay announced the company is now supporting settlement options using two stablecoins — the Gemini dollar and the Circle Centre coin. Not only can Bitpay merchants settle in BCH, BTC, and local fiat currencies, but they can also utilize a US dollar-equivalent digital currency.

Also read: BCH Devcon Streamlines Bitcoin Innovation in San Francisco

Bitpay Now Supports Settlement With Two Stablecoins — USDC and GUSD

Bitpay Announces Stablecoin Support for Merchant SettlementStablecoins have been a hot topic recently as a slew of new assets has joined the crypto-economy’s ranks. On Oct. 15 the Atlanta-based firm Bitpay announced the company will now support stablecoins for merchant settlement options. This means Bitpay merchants can choose to accept the Gemini dollar (GUSD) or Circle’s Centre coin (USDC) for settlement instead of settling in BCH, BTC, or local currencies.     

“Bitpay was founded to make payments faster, more secure, and less expensive using Bitcoin for organizations around the world,” explained Stephen Pair, co-founder and CEO of Bitpay during the announcement.

Bitpay Announces Stablecoin Support for Merchant Settlement
Bitpay merchants can now settle in USDC and GUSD.

Using Stablecoins Can Produces Faster Settlement Compared to Traditional Bank Transfers

Pair also adds that stablecoins give merchants more options and a new alternative to settling in BTC and BCH. The Bitpay founder also details that stablecoins give individuals and organizations the ability to transact more fluidly with a “non-volatile settlement solution that does not rely on traditional bank wires.”

“Customers can skip costly, complicated cross-border wire transfers and receive or send international payments with Bitpay with accuracy, reduced fraud risk and quick bank settlement,” the payment processing firm emphasized.

The company also believes that global areas such as South America, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region would benefit significantly from the use of stablecoins. Using Bitpay’s services, traditional fiat bank settlement is initiated the next business day and it can then entail another 24 hours until the final settlement. Stablecoins, BCH, and BTC settle in a much quicker fashion and US dollar-equivalent digital currency prices tend to be far less volatile than regular decentralized assets.

What do you think about Bitpay supporting GUSD and USDC for merchant settlement? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Bitpay


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Bitcoin Price: BTC Skyrockets Nearly 10% and Pulls Rest of the Crypto Market Back into the Green

Bitcoin Price

This morning, Bitcoin (BTC) rose almost 10% in less than an hour. After the Bitcoin price jump, investors began dumping money into the other digital assets, causing the market to widely shift green.

Bitcoin Price Movement

Last week, Bitcoin had its first major sell-off in months, but this morning it rose nearly $600 in less than an hour. Late last week, it looked as if Bitcoin was going to drop just below the $6,000 mark, but it’s now comfortably trading over $6,500.

According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $6,655.71 a coin, up ...

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Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official Says

Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official Says

The South Korean government is expected to announce its position on initial coin offerings in November, according to a high-ranking official. The decision will follow the outcome of the survey which the country’s Financial Supervisory Service recently sent out to domestic blockchain companies.

Also read: RBI Argues Supreme Court Should Not Interfere With Its Crypto Decision

ICO Stance Expected in November

Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official SaysHong Nam-ki, Chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, conveyed during a parliamentary audit on Thursday that “The Korean government is likely to announce its stance on the much–disputed status of initial coin offerings [ICOs] in November,” the Investor reported.

He explained that a survey on ICOs has been sent to local blockchain companies by the country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). The FSS is responsible for setting some policies on cryptocurrencies including anti-money laundering measures. The aim of the survey is “to gather their [survey recipients] views on the current legal framework” for ICOs, the publication added. “We did the survey as some companies are conducting or preparing for ICOs despite the ban here,” Hong clarified and was further quoted saying:

We have had several discussions (on ICOs)…Once the survey results are in by end-October, we plan to finalize the government’s stance.

Money Today also quoted him reaffirming, “I intend to form a government position on ICOs next month.”

The South Korean government banned all forms of ICOs in September last year but has yet to introduce any law governing them. This has caused a number of Korean blockchain companies to launch their tokens abroad, providing the opportunity for domestic investors to continue to invest in ICOs.

Korean Government’s ICO Survey

Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official SaysThe ICO survey sent by the FSS has troubled businesses that received it, according to local media. Questions in the survey concern any ICO projects companies may be involved with or are planning to engage in, including reasons to issue tokens and their methods of distribution, the Korea Economic Daily reported.

While the FSS says that the survey is not mandatory and that it only seeks “to understand the exact situation of the industry, not for sanctions,” companies are reluctant to disclose certain information since ICOs are currently banned in the country, the publication noted. An official of a company that received the survey told the news outlet:

We have decided [that it’s] our internal policy to respond to [the survey due to] the concerns that it may be disadvantageous to be listed on the [government’s] blacklist if it is declined.

FSC’s Current ICO Stance

Meanwhile, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), South Korea’s top financial regulator, has reaffirmed its stance on ICOs for the time being.

Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official Says
FSC Chairman Choi Jong-ku.

“The government does not deny the promise of the blockchain industry,” FSC Chairman Choi Jong-ku was quoted by Yonhap saying on Thursday. However, “I do not think it is necessary to equate the virtual currency business with the blockchain industry,” he said, elaborating:

Many people say ICOs should be allowed, but ICOs’ uncertainty remains, and damage is too serious and obvious.

Choi also emphasized the need for more crypto exchanges to use the real-name system that the government implemented in January. The regulator aims to convert all crypto trading accounts to real-name ones. However, banks have only been providing the real-name conversion service to the country’s four top crypto exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. All other exchanges continue to use their corporate accounts which the regulator says are prone to money laundering.

“We have to convince the banks,” Choi asserted, recognizing that currently “commercial banks do not give real-name accounts to some virtual currency exchanges.”

What do you think the Korean government will announce in November? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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PR: Exosis Launches ICO to Create a Multi Utility Platform

Exosis Launches ICO to Create a Multi Utility Platform

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Exosis is a multi utility blockchain platform with five blockchain sites which include, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, a virtual masternode, a decentralized e-commerce site, e- wallet and an OTC platform.

The cryptocurrency industry has been growing exponentially over the past couple of years. Currently, it is maintaining the market capitalization at $250-300 billion. This indicates that it is a market that has investment potential. The Exosis development team has realized that the best way to create a good cryptocurrency platform is by creating a multi-functional platform that has utility. Exosis is a realization of the dream. It features five different platforms in one. It has a decentralized exchange, a decentralized e-commerce site, an OTC platform, a Virtual Masternode, and a multiplatform e-wallet. These five different business models all rely on the Exosis coin. This Gives Exosis coin Utility, unlike most other cryptocurrency platforms.

The only way to succeed in the cryptocurrency industry is by differentiating yourself from competitors. Most of the altcoins are Ethereum-based coins that only offer one of the highlighted Businesses. Unfortunately, this means that investors have to speculate a lot. Such coins are driven more by demand and supply trends making them volatile. Exosis hopes to be different by first relying on its own mainnet. This allows us to control the security and the scalability of the platform truly. Second, having five different Businesses on the same platform provides the Exosis coin with Utility. The coin will be used to pay transaction fees on these five different Sites creating a constant demand for the coin. This will enable the Exosis coin to appreciate. The coin will be less volatile and more lucrative over time making it the perfect coin for Holding. The passive income opportunities for these Businesses will also endear investors Who want-to make a consistent profit on Their investment with relatively low risk.

Exosis ICO has already begun gathering massive attention from private investment groups, individuals and the media in general. Its decentralized exchange will be one of the core components of the Exosis ecosystem. Lately, there has been numerous challenges facing some of the established cryptocurrency exchanges as a result of increasing regulation, security issues and order processing speed. Exosis exchange is a decentralized exchange which means that it is a decentralized market that does not rely on a third party service so as to hold customer funds. The exchange will be completely anonymous and decentralized which means there will be no government involvement.

Aware that not everyone has the hardware or internet connection to run a masternode. Exosis has offered this opportunity to others by creating virtual masternodes that users can run without the hardware. It offers our users a passive income opportunity. The requirements to run a virtual masternode will be only 100 coins. The rewards will be the same as running the core wallet, but the difference is that the duration of staking will be locked. We will offer flexible durations of 1, 3, 6 and 12 months.

Exosis ICO main goal is to support the development of the entire blockchain together with the individual projects. The firm projects to start with an initial 21 million Exo. From this, 2 million coins will be pre-mined. The pre-mined coins will be used in preparation for the main ICO. There will be 10% used for referrals, 10% for bonuses, and 10% for the bounty while the rest will be distributed to the social media, other listings, and marketing. The rest of the ICO funds will be allocated to the following different functions. There will be 50% that will be reserved for market back up. 30% that will be used for promotion and advertisement, while the remaining 20% will be used for development.

The Exosis ICO will sell EXO in exchange for BTC, BCH, DASH, ZEC, and DOGE as payment methods. The sale price of The ICO will be $5 with The Soft Cap at I million EXO while the Hard Cap will be at 2 million EXO. There shall be three bonuses stage with each stage receiving a specific bonus percentage amount. Prime shall be carried out After the end of ICO sale date. The ICO will start on 21st October 2018 and end on 19th November 2018.

For complete information, please visit https://www.exosis.org/

Contact Email Address
aravind@exosis.org

Supporting Link
https://www.exosis.org/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban

A major crypto exchange in India, Unocoin, has officially announced the launch of its crypto ATMs. CEO Sathvik Vishwanath told news.Bitcoin.com that, initially, the company plans to deploy 30 machines in three Indian cities. “These ATMs help people to cash in and cash out which was not possible before” due to the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank.

Also read: RBI Argues Supreme Court Should Not Interfere With Its Crypto Decision

30 Crypto ATMs in 3 Cities

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking BanUnocoin has officially announced the launch of its cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATMs). Last week, the exchange confirmed the existence of the project after someone spotted one of the machines and posted a picture of it on social media.

Sathvik Vishwanath, Unocoin’s CEO, revealed to news.Bitcoin.com on Sunday:

The first ATM will be operational in Bangalore tomorrow…In the first phase we plan to deploy 30 machines…The first one is in Bangalore followed by Mumbai and New Delhi in the upcoming week.

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban
Unocoin’s ATM. Photo credit: Twitter.

The company explained that all customers of Unocoin and its crypto-to-crypto trading platform, Unodax, can deposit and withdraw rupees using the ATMs. “Users are subject to some limits on deposits and withdrawals per transaction and per day subject to cash handling restrictions in India,” the exchange clarified. The minimum amount for deposits and withdrawals is 1,000 rupees (~$13.57) and must be in multiples of 500 rupees.

Vishwanath emphasized, “all coins on Unocoin and Unodax can be bought using the money deposited through ATM machines. We presently have 30 coins that can be bought.”

Established in 2013, the Bangalore-based crypto exchange now has 120 full-time employees. The exchange claims that it has processed transactions worth more than 2 billion rupees for over 1.3 million customers.

Solution to RBI Crypto Banking Ban

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking BanIndia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), issued a circular in April banning financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto businesses. The ban went into effect in July and all crypto exchanges in India subsequently lost their ability to provide rupee deposit and withdrawal services. Unocoin announced the suspension of its fiat support on July 13. The company has been looking for new mechanisms to allow its users to deposit and withdraw rupees ever since.

Vishwanath clarified to news.Bitcoin.com that “the ATMs deployed by us do not need any banking partnerships. These are stand-alone machines that can accept and dispense cash,” elaborating:

These ATMs help people to cash in and cash out which was not possible before due to RBI restriction on banks to not provide bank accounts. The gap is now completely filled by these ATMs except that physical access is required to deposit and withdraw money.

How to Deposit and Withdraw INR Using Unocoin ATMs

In its Sunday announcement, Unocoin detailed how users can deposit and withdraw rupees using its ATMs.

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking BanTo deposit INR, a user needs to “enter his user ID and the OTP [one-time password] that he just received as SMS on his registered mobile number,” the company explained. After confirming account details and depositing funds into the machine, the user’s account will be updated and funds credited for use on both Unocoin and Unodax.

To withdraw INR, “users have to make a request by visiting Unocoin.com or through Unocoin mobile app where he would specify [the] desired amount for withdrawal.” A 12-digit reference number from Unocoin will then be sent to the user to enter into the ATM, along with the OTP sent to the user’s registered mobile number.

What do you think of Unocoin launching 30 crypto ATMs in three Indian cities? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Unocoin.


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An In-Depth Look at the Keepkey Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet

Keeping cryptocurrencies safe is a fundamental part of participating in the digital economy, and hardware wallets have become popular security solutions. These days there is a slew of devices on the market, each with its own options and features. One of these is the Keepkey wallet, a product that’s been well received by digital currency investors over the last three years.

Also read: A Review of the Swiss-Made Digital Bitbox Hardware Wallet

The Keepkey Hardware Wallet

Testing and Comparing the Multi-Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet KeepkeyEarlier this week I took a look at the Keepkey hardware wallet, a device that allows users to store multiple cryptocurrencies in a secure fashion. Keepkey is sold for US$129 per device, which is more expensive than the Ledger Nano, Coolwallet S, and Trezor One. Nevertheless, the small rectangular device is more pleasing to hold and the screen looks very nice when the Keepkey is operating. The case the Keepkey comes in is packaged well and resembles an unopened Apple product. Keepkey, Coolwallet, and the Ledger all have well-packaged boxes compared to the Trezor One packaging.

Testing and Comparing the Multi-Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet Keepkey
Keepkey’s PIN system is identical to the Trezor entry method. Numbers are displayed on the device and the user has to submit the order on the Keepkey client’s on-screen pin-pad. 

The black Keepkey box is sealed in plastic wrapping and when removed there’s also a piece of tamper-resistant tape holding the box closed. After inspecting the tape and making sure the box has not been opened previously, a knife is needed to cut the tape’s seal. Inside the box is a Keepkey, a 12-word seed card, a USB cord, and some warranty information. The Keepkey has a plastic anti-scratch film laid over the device’s screen and is encased in black foam. Keepkey’s large OLED screen is pleasing to look at and is probably one of the device’s best features. After opening the Keepkey, I headed over to the company’s Getting Started page and downloaded the Keepkey application for Google Chrome. Keepkey only works with Chrome, but it’s the same with most hardware wallets now.

Connecting to Chrome and Initializing the Seed

After installing the application to Chrome, the platform asks you to plug your Keepkey in to get started. Immediately after initiating the Keepkey it required a firmware update and would not start the process of initiating a seed until the firmware was downloaded into the device. Removing the USB cable from my Keepkey was an uncomfortable feeling and it took a bit of force to insert and remove the cord compared to other devices. Ledger Nano is probably the best as far as connecting the cord, with the Trezor One following behind because my Trezor device has always had a weird connection feeling as well. However, after using the USB connection a few times with the Keepkey, connecting was easier and got much more comfortable to insert over time.

Testing and Comparing the Multi-Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet Keepkey
Overall the Keepkey user interface is fairly intuitive and easy to navigate.

Moving on, the Keepkey begins by initiating a new device name, seed and PIN. The program makes you double check the PIN twice and then asks you to write down the seed phrase, which is located on the device itself. Unlike other hardware wallets, the Keepkey does not require you to double check the 12-word phrase. After this process, you are granted access to the first account which is dedicated to BTC. In order to add other cryptocurrencies, there is a dropdown menu that allows users to add BCH, DOGE, LTC, ETH, plus a range of ERC20 tokens.

Transactions, Shapeshift, and Comparisons to Other Models

Unlike other hardware wallets, Keepkey needs to be plugged in to view accounts and they can’t be seen when the device is disconnected. After the initial seed had been set up, I created a bitcoin cash (BCH) wallet to send myself some funds. Anytime I test a new wallet I always send a small fraction of crypto just to make sure the application is working properly. The wallet immediately saw the transaction; you can view confirmed and unconfirmed transactions in a separate window that’s tethered to a block explorer.

Testing and Comparing the Multi-Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet Keepkey
Keepkey transactions can be viewed in a separate window and searched with the platform’s tethered block explorer.

The Keepkey’s interface is fairly intuitive, and you can change things like the PIN or use the wallet’s in-client Shapeshift option within the settings section. Sending and receiving is simple and the actual device itself is used for signing verification, while also showing sending/receiving addresses on the screen as well.

Testing and Comparing the Multi-Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet Keepkey
Keepkey shows account addresses on the device’s screen.

Following the transaction, I decided to look at the client’s Shapeshift integration. Keepkey is owned by the firm Shapeshift AG and was one of the first hardware wallets to offer trading abilities within the wallet. Recently, however, Shapeshift has changed the platform’s business model to a membership exchange and all Keepkey users have to register using the client.

Testing and Comparing the Multi-Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet Keepkey
Keepkey users can use Shapeshift in-wallet but have to register for the company’s membership program and verify their identity in order to trade.

The required items needed to use Shapeshift include a verified email and the user must submit a photo ID to trade. All of these tasks can be done through the Keepkey client and a quick email verification. After the account is processed you can trade on the Shapeshift exchange in-wallet using the “quick” or “precise” trading options.

Overall, the Keepkey operates fairly smoothly and I didn’t really have any problems throughout the setup and funding the device. The Keepkey’s user interface is more comfortable to move around and use than the Ledger Nano, and Keepkey operates similarly to the Trezor One. Unlike the Trezor or Ledger, the Keepkey uses one button navigation but still works fluidly with the wallet’s tasks like sending and receiving. The device doesn’t have support for too many cryptocurrencies right now, and other products offer a greater selection. But as far as the coins it does hold, the Keepkey offers an easy to use operating system and is just as secure as its competitors by using similar opsec techniques.

What do you think about the Keepkey hardware wallet? Let us know what you think about this device in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: This editorial should be considered Review or Op-ed material. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Review editorials are intended for informational purposes only. There are multiple security risks and methods that are ultimately made by the decisions of the user. There are various steps mentioned in reviews and guides and some of them are considered optional. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses, mistakes, skipped steps or security measures not taken, as the ultimate decision-making process to do any of these things is solely the reader’s responsibility. For good measure always cross-reference guides with other walkthroughs found online.


Images via Jamie Redman, Keepkey, Shapeshift, and Pixabay. 


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Court Refuses to Drop Money Laundering Charge Against UBS, $5.8 Billion Fine Looms

Court Refuses to Drop Money Laundering Charge Against UBS, $5.8 Billion Fine Looms

A French court has reportedly rejected a request by the largest Swiss bank to drop money laundering charge against it. UBS Group and a number of its executives are accused of tax fraud and money laundering. If found guilty, the bank could be fined up to 5 billion euros or $5.8 billion. Its executives could also face jail time.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

UBS Wants Money Laundering Charge Dropped

Court Refuses to Drop Money Laundering Charge Against UBS, $5.8 Billion Fine LoomsThe tax fraud and money laundering trial in France of UBS Group AG and its executives began last week after seven years of investigation.

The largest bank in Switzerland with offices in over 50 countries has asked for the French constitutional court to “drop money laundering charges and limit proceedings to complicity in tax fraud, which carries lighter penalties,” Reuters reported Thursday. However, the court rejected this request, noting that the bank’s arguments were “devoid of seriousness,” the news outlet detailed, elaborating:

UBS Group AG, its French unit and six executives and former executives face charges of aggravated tax fraud and money laundering in an investigation into allegations they helped wealthy clients avoid taxes in France.

Up to 5 Billion Euros Fine Plus Damages

Court Refuses to Drop Money Laundering Charge Against UBS, $5.8 Billion Fine LoomsDuring the investigation, UBS Group turned down the authorities’ settlement offer of 1.1 billion euros, the publication conveyed. “The amount corresponded to what the Swiss bank had already paid as a court bond, according to judicial sources.” The news outlet further described:

If found guilty of money laundering, UBS could be fined up to 5 billion euros ($5.8 billion). French criminal law lets judges enforce fines as high as half the amount laundered and in this case prosecutors estimate that up to 10.6 billion euros was denied to the French tax authorities.

According to Reuters, the bank could also face damages awarded to the French tax authorities for the missing revenue and the executives risk jail time.

Court Refuses to Drop Money Laundering Charge Against UBS, $5.8 Billion Fine LoomsThe whistleblower told the publication that he hoped for a stiff penalty for Switzerland’s largest bank, stating that “If they set an example with UBS, most other banks will be scared.”

In 2009, UBS went through a similar trial in the U.S. and paid $780 million in settlement. In 2014, the bank was on trial in Germany and paid 300 million euros in fines.

Recently, a number of other megabanks have been under fire for alleged money laundering activities. Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank, allegedly engaged in money laundering through its Estonian branch that could total 200 billion euros. The probe into Danske Bank has also implicated Citigroup and Deutsche Bank. Last month, Netherland’s largest retail bank, ING Group, was fined $900 million for money laundering. News.Bitcoin.com also recently reported that Nordic region’s largest bank, Nordea, was suspected of money laundering.

What do you think of the French court refusing to drop money laundering charge against UBS and its executives? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and UBS.


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South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based Consortium

South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based Consortium

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea by trading volume, Bithumb, has reportedly been sold to a Singapore-based consortium for approximately 400 billion won or $354 million. Bk Global Consortium, led by plastic surgeon Kim Byung-gun, will acquire the controlling stake and become the largest shareholder of Bithumb.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Bithumb Sold

A spokesman for Bithumb confirmed Friday that the exchange “was sold for about $354 million to a consortium led by a plastic surgeon,” Reuters reported and quoted him saying:

Bk Global Consortium, led by Kim Byung-gun, plastic surgeon and blockchain platform investor, signed a deal on Thursday to buy 50 percent plus one share in the exchange’s biggest stakeholder, BTC Holdings, for about 400 billion won ($354.09 million). The deal makes Bk Global Consortium the largest stakeholder of Bithumb.

South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based ConsortiumThe deal will be finalized in February, Bloomberg further quoted the spokesman. Bithumb’s April audit report shows that BTC Holdings was the largest shareholder, with a 75.99 percent stake in the exchange. The second largest shareholder, Vidente Co. Ltd., held a 10.55 percent stake, followed by Omnitel at 8.44 percent, Chosun detailed.

Kim founded Bk Plastic Surgery 23 years ago and is the representative of the Bk Medical Group, which links China, Singapore and Korea, MTN detailed. He also established an ICO platform in Singapore last August.

About Bithumb

South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based ConsortiumBithumb is currently South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. According to Vidente, the exchange posted 218.6 billion won of operating profit and 39.3 billion won of net income in the first half of the year, Bloomberg described. Semi-annual reports of BTC Holdings show that Bithumb’s sales reached 303 billion won in the first half of this year.

In addition, News Asia reported that the price which Bk Global paid for Bithumb is lower than the exchange’s $880 million valuation appraised in early February, adding that the consortium’s own valuation of the exchange is even higher, at more than two trillion won plus the management rights premium. The news outlet quoted a Bk Global Consortium official asserting:

We will also promote the introduction of a stable coin to stabilize the payment system. We will be in conjunction with the global exchange scheme to take advantage of the coin linked to the US dollar.

In June, Bithumb said it was hacked and 11 cryptocurrencies were stolen. The estimated damage was about 19 billion won. This week, the exchange launched two indices to track the cryptocurrency markets.

What do you think of Bk Global Consortium acquiring the controlling stake of Bithumb? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bithumb.


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Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to Fisco

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to Fisco

Japanese crypto exchange Zaif has concluded a business transfer agreement with another regulated crypto exchange in Japan. Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange will take over all of Zaif’s services and will be responsible for repaying users who lost their coins when Zaif was hacked last month.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Business Transfer Agreement

Tech Bureau, the operator of Zaif, has signed an agreement to transfer Zaif’s business to Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange (FCCE), the company announced Wednesday.

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to FiscoZaif claims that it was hacked on Sept. 14, with approximately 7 billion yen ($62 million) stolen. On Sept. 20, Fisco Co. Ltd., the parent company of Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange, announced a plan to provide 5 billion yen to help Tech Bureau compensate its affected users in exchange for the majority of the company’s shares. Fisco and Tech Bureau have since been working on a business transfer agreement with a tentative transfer date of Nov. 22.

“While the details of specific measures addressing damages to Zaif users are under consideration, a formal business transfer agreement for the Zaif business to FCCE was concluded,” Fisco wrote, adding:

It has been decided that all of Zaif’s services will be passed to FCCE including handled cryptocurrency, exchanges, vendors, credit transactions and Bitcoin Airfx [derivatives trading]. FCCE will also carry out the return of cryptocurrency that Zaif users lost in the outflow during the hacking incident, etc. (including debt for payment in kind for reasonable amounts of money).

Japan currently has 16 regulated crypto exchanges. Both Zaif and Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange were licensed by the country’s Financial Services Agency in September last year. In August 2017, Fisco announced the launch of “Japan’s first bitcoin-denominated bonds.”

Fisco’s Long-Term Agreement With Tech Bureau

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to FiscoThe two companies have been working together since 2016. When Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange began operations in August 2016, it licensed the use of Tech Bureau’s white label system to provide liquidity to the new exchange.

Two days prior to the hack, on Sept. 12, Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange reviewed its system in order to stop using Tech Bureau’s white label system and start using its new trading system provided by Ccct Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caica Inc.

Plan to Compensate Zaif’s Users

After discovering the security breach on Sept. 17, Zaif immediately suspended several services, including deposit, withdrawal, and merchant payment. The exchange claims that 5,966 BTC, 42,327 BCH, and 6,236,810 MONA were stolen.

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to FiscoAccording to Wednesday’s announcement, Zaif has resumed some services for BTC and BCH, including “transactions, buying and selling through simple transactions and savings.” Tech Bureau clarified that deposit and withdrawal services “are scheduled to resume after operations have been assumed by Fisco Cryptocurrency, with the specific resumption date to be announced at a later date.”

For MONA, “compensation will be made in Japanese yen to the equivalent value” of the amount held by each user at the rate of 144.548 yen per coin, Tech Bureau detailed. At the time of this writing, MONA is trading at 148.4 yen on Zaif.

What do you think of Zaif transferring all crypto services to Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Zaif, and Fisco Co. Ltd.


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Markets Update: Heavy Selling Across Leading Markets, ZRX Rallies

Markets Update: Heavy Selling Across Leading Markets, ZRX Rallies

The cryptocurrency markets appear to be consolidating following the significant sell-off that transpired on Thursday. The event saw BTC produce the largest percentage red daily candle posted since Sep. 5, driving losses across most major markets. ZRX was the most notable exception to the bearish price action that erupted through most cryptocurrencies, rallying significantly following the announcement that Coinbase Pro would be launching three ZRX pairings.

Also Read: Win $100 of Bitcoin Cash in Bitcoin.com’s Paper Wallet Design Contest

BTC Consolidates Within Triangle as Inter-Exchange Spreads Extend

BTC experienced a sharp sell-off yesterday, shedding nearly 6% against the dollar in little over an hour as it fell from roughly $6,630 to $6,250 on Bitfinex, and 7.35% as the market fell from $6,530 to a low of $6,030 on Bitstamp.

BTC/USD – Bitfinex – 1H

Despite the bearish move, the range of price action for BTC continues to consolidate and tighten within a long-term triangle formation, with many traders anxiously awaiting a significant move to break the triangle and establish a short-term direction for price action.

As of this writing, there is a significant spread in the price of BTC across various exchanges, with BTC trading for $6,330 on Bitfinex, $6,223 on Bitstamp, and $6,278 on Binance.

BCH Drops by 16%

BCH lost approximately 16% of its value when measured against the dollar yesterday, falling from $516 to $434 on Bitfinex, and from $510 to $428 on Bitstamp.

BCH/USD – Bitstamp – 1H

As with BTC, BCH is trading for a roughly 1% premium on Bitfinex. However, the majority of leading BCH markets by volume appear to be in unison, with BCH for approximately $451 on Bitfinex, and $446 to $447 across most leading exchanges as of this writing.

When measuring against BTC, BCH fell by 11% yesterday, dropping from 0.08 BTC to 0.0692 on Bitfinex. As of this writing, BCH is trading for 0.07115 BTC.

BCH/BTC – Bitfinex – 1H

ETH Slips Below $200, XRP Bounces Strongly

ETH lost more than 15% against the dollar yesterday, slipping from $226 to approximately $190 on Bitfinex, and is now trading for around $195.

ETH/USD – Bitstamp – 1H

When measuring against BTC, ETH lost approximately 10% as it fell from 0.034 BTC to 0.03. As of this writing, ETH is trading for approximately 0.0315 BTC.

ETH/BTC – Bitfinex – 1H

XRP suffered a loss of roughly 18% as it fell from $0.466 to $0.0383 on Bitfinex yesterday, before posting one of the stronger bounces of the major crypto markets today. XRP is currently trading at roughly 0.435% – approximately 12% higher than yesterday’s closing price, after retracing from its intraday high of almost $0.45.

XRP/USD – Bitfinex – 1H

XRP/BTC fell by roughly 12% yesterday, slipping from 0.00007 BTC to 0.000061 BTC. Despite the significant drop, XRP/BTC produced a significant recovery today as it rallied back to 0.00007 BTC, before retracing to its current price of roughly 0.000068 BTC.

XRP/BTC – Bitfinex – 1H

ZRX Rallies On Coinbase Pro Listing

Whilst most market suffered heavy losses yesterday, ZRX closed 2.7% above yesterday’s opening price of $0.76 after rallying on the news of Coinbase Pro listing USD, EUR, and BTC pairings.

Initially, ZRX fell by 15% from $0.765 to $0.646 in two hours yesterday, before news of the Coinbase Pro listing broke. The markets quickly recovered to the day’s opening price, before rallying as high as $0.9 on Bitfinex – roughly 17.5% higher than yesterday’s opening price. As of this writing, ZRX is trading for $0.79.

ZRX/USD – Bitfinex – 1H

When measuring against BTC, ZRX opened yesterday’s trading at 0.000114 BTC, before falling 8.5% to set an intraday low of 0.000104. ZRX then rallied to post an intraday high of 0.000144 BTC 26% higher than the day’s opening price, before closing the day up 8% at 0.000123 BTC. As of this writing, ZRX is trading for 0.0001255 BTC.

ZRX/BTC – Bitfinex – 1H

Do you think we will see a break down or a breakout when BTC exits its triangle? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradingview


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.”

The post Markets Update: Heavy Selling Across Leading Markets, ZRX Rallies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices

The largest crypto exchange in South Korea by trading volume, Bithumb, has launched two cryptocurrency market indices. One tracks all coins listed on the exchange while the other tracks only altcoins. Meanwhile, Upbit, the country’s largest crypto exchange by the number of coins listed, has two similar indices and sub-indices divided into three broad categories.

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

Bithumb Launches Crypto Indices

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market IndicesBithumb announced Wednesday the launch of Bithumb Crypto Index (BTCI) which comprises two separate indices.

The exchange detailed:

BTCI has been developed in consideration of market representation and liquidity to provide investors with a single indicator that can show the trends of the cryptocurrency market. It consists of Bithumb Market Index (BTMI)…and Bithumb Altcoin Market Index (BTAI).

BTMI is calculated based on all cryptocurrencies listed on Bithumb while BTAI only takes into account “all non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies” listed on the exchange. The former aims to provide “an overall view of the price changes in the cryptocurrency market” while the latter “a view of the price changes in the cryptocurrency market excluding bitcoin.” Bithumb began calculating BTCI on July 1. The index is calculated real-time and updated every 10 seconds.

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices

At the time of this writing, Bithumb is South Korea’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, according to Coinmarketcap. With 53 cryptocurrencies listed for trading against the Korean won, the exchange has a 24-hour trading volume of $726,488,270.

Upbit’s Crypto Indices

The country’s largest crypto exchange by the number of coins listed, the Kakao-backed Upbit, also has a crypto index called Upbit Cryptocurrency Index (UBCI). Launched in May, the index consists of two main indices: Upbit Market Index (UBMI) and Upbit Altcoin Index (UBAI). However, there are also over 20 sub-indices grouped into three broad categories: market, theme, and strategy.

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices“The index is designed to help investors grasp the movements of the cryptocurrency market at a quick glance,” Business Korea detailed at the time and quoted Lee Seok-woo, the president of Dunamu Inc. which operates Upbit, commenting:

The UBCI will become a standard in observing the whole cryptocurrency market…We will improve it in terms of technology and management to make it a representative index not only in the Korean market but in the global market.

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices

At the time of this writing, Upbit has a 24-hour trading volume of $292,249,180, making it the second-largest crypto exchange in Korea by trading volume, according to Coinmarketcap. The exchange currently has 166 coins listed and supports 276 markets.

What do you think of Korean exchanges’ crypto indices? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bithumb, and Upbit.


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Zigzag Platform Provides Cryptocurrency Swaps Over the Lightning Network

Zigzag Platform Provides Cryptocurrency Swaps Over the Lightning Network

There’s a new exchange system under development called Zigzag.io, an app that allows users to swap bitcoin core for other digital assets like bitcoin cash, dash, and ethereum over the Lightning Network. The beta application is currently available to test cryptocurrency trades as the project launched on the main-network during the first week of September.

Also Read: Electron Cash Developer Reveals In-Wallet BCH Fundraiser Prototype

Lightning Network Trading

Zigzag Platform Provides Cryptocurrency Swaps Over the Lightning NetworkOver the last few years, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have been searching for different types of exchange solutions. A new platform launched by Zigzag.io provides a digital currency trading system that utilizes the Lightning Network (LN) for exchanges. The open source project enables users to swap coins by making a payment with any LN wallet to the exchange similarly to the way Shapeshift works. The Zigzag exchange only needs two cryptocurrency addresses to complete the process, and it doesn’t require any KYC data. 

Although, in order to use the Zigzag exchange, users need to send coins with the LN enabled wallets like Zap, Eclair, Lightning, or Htlc.me clients. The beta version only allows a maximum exchange of US$100 per trader for now. Additionally, since the application is in beta if something goes wrong the team has created a refund system. In the future, the team plans on designing a custodial wallet service where people can deposit BTC, BCH, DASH, ETH, and LTC and trade without having any prior LN knowledge.

“We highly appreciate the work of Lightning Network community. But there are still people out there for whom Lightning Network is hard to use, we think to introduce more people to Lightning there has to be a way to try it free of any technical expertise,” the developer’s blog states.

Zigzag Platform Provides Cryptocurrency Swaps Over the Lightning Network
The Zigzag exchange user interface.

Another Lightning Exchange Service on the Horizon

After the software’s first week of launch, the developers said they got a lot of feedback and feature requests from the community. Since then, Zigzag programmers have added reverse exchanges to the application. Two other requests they have not implemented yet was adding new trading assets and lifting the exchange cap of $100.

Zigzag Platform Provides Cryptocurrency Swaps Over the Lightning Network
Zigzag shows the latest swaps.

The team says they do plan to add more coins in the future, but it is not a primary focus. The move to lift the $100 trading cap is a bit trickier due to the maturity of the Lightning Network, the Zigzag team emphasized.

“This is a tricky question as Lightning Network is still in beta, we’re also still in beta, we also need to clarify legal part of our service, so for now we’re keeping limits low,” says the Zigzag team.

There’s been a slew of new trading platforms launching recently and testing out different trading techniques. Moreover, lots of cryptocurrency enthusiasts are in search of trading platforms that don’t use KYC. There’s also another open source Lightning Network exchange called Sparkswap that provides traders with the ability to exchange cryptocurrencies using LN technology and atomic cross-chain swaps. The Zigzag exchange and Sparkswap platform announced their platforms around the same time. Zigzag was developed by Andrey Samokhvalov, and Denis Khvostov and the application’s users can give the exchange operators feedback using the developer Slack channel.

What do you think about the Zigzag Lightning Network trading platform? Let us know what you think about this technology in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company/product or any of its affiliates or services. The author and Bitcoin.com are not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.  


Images via Shutterstock, and Zigzag.io


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