Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly Drafts Law to Create Central Bank for Crypto

Venezuela's Constituent Assembly Drafts Law to Create Central Bank for Crypto

A member of the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly has reportedly revealed that the assembly is preparing a reform to the country’s Constitution that includes a central bank for cryptocurrencies. This follows the Venezuelan government’s latest effort to tie the new bolivar currency to the petro.

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

Central Bank for Cryptocurrencies

Hermann Escarra, a member of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly, has revealed the assembly’s plan for cryptocurrencies in an interview with Reuters in Caracas on Thursday. He divulged:

The National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela…is preparing a reform to the Constitution that would include a central bank for crypto-assets and a superior court to the Supreme Court of Justice.

Reiterating that the central bank for crypto will be incorporated, he elaborated, “There will be the central bank with its functions in exchange, monetary and financial policy.” He also emphasized that, as part of the reform, “a court will be created that will be above the supreme court.”

Venezuela's Constituent Assembly Drafts Law to Create Central Bank for Crypto
Hermann Escarra in an interview with Reuters. Photo credit: Reuters.

Escarra, described by Reuters as “one of the most influential members of the assembly that prepares the changes to the 1999 constitution,” said that “the draft changes to the Constitution will be presented in 35 days to the board of the Constituent Assembly.”

In May last year, Maduro called for a constituent assembly to draft a new Venezuela Constitution to replace the 1999 Constitution of his predecessor, Hugo Chávez. The Constituent Assembly elections were held on July 30 last year. However, “The assembly was controversial from the start, with opposition activists denouncing it as unconstitutional while its supporters argued it would bring peace to the polarised South American nation,” the BBC detailed.

Escarra further elaborated:

The reform is expected to include the petro, a cryptocurrency announced by the government of President Nicolás Maduro in February as a way to increase its foreign exchange earnings, in the midst of the economic crisis and the sanctions imposed by the United States.

Venezuela’s ‘Crypto’ Efforts

Earlier this year, the Venezuelan government launched a digital currency called the petro which Maduro claimed to be a cryptocurrency backed by the country’s oil reserves.

Venezuela's Constituent Assembly Drafts Law to Create Central Bank for CryptoHowever, the petro is met with much controversy since all claims regarding this digital currency, including how much money it has raised, are not backed by any proof. In addition, “Cryptocurrency experts have said the petro suffers from a lack of credibility because of a lack of confidence in Maduro’s government and the mismanagement of the country’s existing national currency,” Reuters described.

In June, the Maduro government dismissed the country’s Superintendent of Cryptocurrencies, Carlos Vargas, who was in charge of promoting and selling the petro. He was replaced by Joselit Ramírez. Economist Víctor Álvare told El Nacional publication that “The measure is due to the fact that Superintendent Carlos Vargas failed to sell the cryptocurrency.” He detailed:

The measure is a revelation that the objectives, goals and expectations of obtaining 5 billion dollars from the petro were not met, a matter that practically disappeared from the official discourse.

On July 25, Maduro announced that the country’s new currency, the Sovereign Bolivar (Bolivar Soberano), will be linked to the petro. The new bolivar is scheduled to be released on August 20, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

What do you think of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly drafting law to create the central bank for cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin in Brief: Crypto Payments via SMS, Coin Tips for Tweets and Posts

Bitcoin in Brief: Crypto Payments via SMS, Coin Tips for Tweets and Posts

Financial software developer Intuit has been awarded a patent for processing BTC payments via SMS and we’ve covered the details in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Also in The Daily, Brave browser plans to enable BAT tips for tweets and Reddit posts, cryptocurrency is projected to constitute 5 percent of the portfolios of US investors next year, and in Thailand, a famous actor has been arrested for an alleged crypto investment fraud.

Also read: Ledger Adds Coins, Okex Launches Coinall, Exmo Partners with Mistertango

Intuit Awarded Patent for BTC Payments via SMS

California-based company Intuit, a financial software developer, has been awarded a patent for processing bitcoin core (BTC) payments via text messages (SMS), according to a filing published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on August 7. The patent that outlines a system to transfer BTC funds by sending text messages on smartphones was filed back in 2014. According to its abstract:

The method includes receiving, by a payment service, a payment text message comprising a payment amount and an identifier of a payee mobile device, validating the payment text message based on a payer balance of a virtual payer account maintained by the payment service for the payer […] transferring, in response to creating the virtual payee account, the payment amount from the virtual payer account to the virtual payee account […].

Despite the prolonged consideration of the patent application, Intuit has been continuously developing its crypto-cash payment solutions in the meantime. Earlier, the company announced it had reached a partnership agreement with the payment provider Veem to build a system for processing international cryptocurrency payments.

Brave Browser to Enable Tips for Tweets and Posts

Brave, the privacy-oriented web browser that supports opt-in ads and crypto payments between users and website publishers like Twitchers and Youtubers, is now planning to expand its service to Twitter and Reddit. The startup intends to introduce support for the two platforms in the fourth quarter of this year, according to an announcement quoted by CNET.

Bitcoin in Brief: Crypto Payments via SMS, Coin Tips for Tweets and PostsTo take advantage of the tipping system, which uses Brave’s basic attention token (BAT), users have to enable the payments in the browser. Then, if another Brave user decides that a tweet or a post is worth rewarding, they can send a BAT tip. “The model will be tipping – a user likes a tweet and can give BAT to the tweeter, and optionally tweet back that he tipped,” the company explained. The mechanism for Reddit users will be similar.

Brave is essentially trying to redefine how online advertising works. Its browser is blocking ads by default and people’s attention is rewarded with tokens. BAT payments can be made between users, publishers and advertisers. The opt-in system allows anyone who sees a Brave-placed ad to get a portion of the revenue from the advertiser. Brave claims to have more than 20,000 verified publishers and 3.25 million monthly active users who can send and receive BAT tips. The Brave browser project was funded through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and launched by Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich.

Crypto Expected at 5% of US Investments in 2019

Despite declining prices of most cryptocurrencies amidst a continuous bearish trend in crypto markets this year, a new survey has found that digital coins are becoming a permanent part of many investment portfolios in the US, decreasing the dominance of traditional instruments such as stocks, bonds and real estate. The authors of the study have detected a growing desire among US investors to get exposed to cryptos, considered by many to be the next big asset group.

Bitcoin in Brief: Crypto Payments via SMS, Coin Tips for Tweets and PostsThe Harris Poll survey, conducted on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), has established that cryptocurrencies will represent 5 percent of the investments of those 35 percent of Americans that consider themselves investors or plan to invest in 2019. At the same time, Exchange Traded-Funds (ETFs), which have received much attention in the crypto space recently, account for 8 percent of the projected investments.

The study has attempted to assess the knowledge and awareness of cryptocurrencies among active investors in the United States. According to the published results, their levels remain relatively low with almost half of the respondents admitting having little or no understanding of the matter. “Cryptocurrency appears to be foreign to many investors. The survey found that nearly half of U.S. adults (48 percent) are not familiar with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin,” the AICPA commented on the findings.

Thai Actor Arrested for Alleged Crypto Investment Fraud

Bitcoin in Brief: Crypto Payments via SMS, Coin Tips for Tweets and PostsPolice in Thailand have arrested Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit, a famous Thai actor, for his alleged participation in a fraudulent crypto-investment scheme. According to local media reports, he lured a foreign national into investing 797 million baht (~$24 million USD) in digital currency. Mr. Jiratpisit, who was apprehended on Wednesday after the Thai Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant in July, has been also charged with collusion in money-laundering.

The actor is one of seven suspects who allegedly committed the crime, The Bangkok Post reported. Law enforcement officials said they acted after receiving a complaint that the accused had defrauded the foreigner into sending them the money in bitcoin (BTC). The fraudsters assured the person the funds would be used to buy shares in companies that had invested in the Dragon Coin digital currency. The investor, identified as the Finnish national Aarni Otava Saarimaa, met the suspects in June, 2017. The Thai actor has denied the charges.

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


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G20 Asks FATF to Clarify AML Standards for Cryptocurrencies

G20 Asks FATF to Clarify AML Standards for Cryptocurrencies

Financial ministers and central bankers from the G20 states met over the weekend in Argentina to discuss the challenges for the global economy. They reiterated their position that cryptocurrencies do not pose a risk to the financial stability. The officials also called on the Financial Action Task Force to clarify by October how its anti-money laundering standards apply to crypto-assets.   

Also read: Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council Supports Crypto Regulatory Concept

Reiterated: Cryptocurrencies Not a Risk to Stability

The representatives of the G20 member-states said in a communique released after the meetings on July 21-22 that growth remains robust and unemployment is at a decade low. However, they also noted the need to strengthen the dialog and adopt measures to mitigate the risks for economic development like “rising financial vulnerabilities, heightened trade and geopolitical tensions, global imbalances, inequality and structurally weak growth.”

G20 Asks FATF to Clarify AML Standards for CryptocurrenciesThe statement does mention cryptocurrencies, or crypto-assets as they are called, but not among the risks that need to be addressed immediately. “While crypto-assets do not at this point pose a global financial stability risk, we remain vigilant,” the government officials stated. G20 members also issued a warning that sounds familiar – cryptos “raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Ministers and bankers didn’t miss the chance to point out, not for the first time, that crypto-assets, “lack the key attributes of sovereign money.” And, of course, they didn’t skip another favorite talking point of governments and regulators – “technological innovations, including those underlying crypto-assets, can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy,” a confession that’s not really a concession.

G20 Wants AML Crypto Standard in October

The participants in the meeting reiterated their commitments from the G20 summit in March regarding the implementation of the standards on combating money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation adopted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). They called on FATF to clarify in October this year how these AML standards apply to crypto-assets. The G20 also welcomed the updates provided by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the standard setting bodies, adding that it expected them to continue to monitor the potential risks of crypto-assets and assess multilateral responses.

FSB, an international organization that makes recommendations about the global financial system, announced last week a framework to monitor the financial stability implications of crypto-asset markets, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. It has been developed together with the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), another international body serving as a standard setter for payment, clearing, and settlement arrangements.

G20 Asks FATF to Clarify AML Standards for Cryptocurrencies

The previous meeting of the Group of Twenty, on March 19-20, ended with pretty much the same results, as far as cryptocurrencies are concerned. The forum did not adopt unified crypto-related regulations but urged FATF to apply their standards to crypto-assets. Right before the last summit, the Financial Stability Board dismissed calls from member-states for global crypto rules. FSB’s assessment at the time was identical – crypto-assets do not pose risks to the global financial stability.

The G20 is an international forum of government officials and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union – the economies that account for 85% of the gross world product and 80% of the world trade. Many of its members have already called for adopting global crypto regulations.

Do you expect the G20 to eventually propose common rules or guidelines for regulating the crypto space? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.   


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G20 Watchdog Unveils Framework to Monitor Crypto

G20 Watchdog Unveils Framework to Monitor Crypto

A framework has been developed for the G20 countries to “monitor the financial stability implications of crypto-assets markets.” The Financial Stability Board says cryptocurrencies “do not pose a material risk to global financial stability” but supports their “vigilant monitoring.”

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

G20’s Crypto Monitoring Framework

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) announced Monday that it “has developed a framework and identified metrics to monitor the financial stability implications of crypto-assets markets.” The framework was developed in collaboration with the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI).

G20 Watchdog Unveils Framework to Monitor CryptoThe board also published and submitted a report detailing its work on crypto-assets to the G20 as requested by finance ministers and central bankers at the G20 meeting on March 19 and 20 in Buenos Aires.

The FSB is an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system to G20, an international forum for governments and central bank governors. The CPMI supports financial stability by promoting the safety and efficiency of payment, clearing, settlement and related arrangements.

G20 Watchdog Unveils Framework to Monitor Crypto

“The objective of the framework is to identify any emerging financial stability concerns in a timely manner,” the report states, adding:

The framework discusses the primary risks within crypto-assets and potential transmission channels to financial stability risks. The framework identifies which metrics the FSB might usefully monitor in the short-to-medium term.

The report also notes that “in general, monitoring the size and rate of growth of crypto-asset markets is critical to understanding the potential size of wealth effects, should a decline in valuations occur.” Furthermore, “the use of crypto-assets for payment or settlement is another transmission channel to be monitored.”

FSB’s Proposed Metrics

Citing that the crypto market and its public data sources, which the proposed monitoring metrics are based on, are “rapidly evolving,” the FSB warned that “the quality of the underlying data can vary, and might not always be satisfactory.” The report explains:

Market-related figures, such as metrics on prices, trading volumes, and volatility may be manipulated by generally prohibited practices such as ‘wash trading,’ ‘spoofing,’ and ‘pump and dump,’ the existence of which cannot be ruled out at this stage.

G20 Watchdog Unveils Framework to Monitor CryptoThe FSB also pointed out that “the proposed metrics may not fit all types of crypto-assets equally.” Nonetheless, it believes that they “provide a useful picture of crypto-asset markets and the financial stability risks they may present.” Over time, the FSB and the CPMI will consider improvements to the metrics as well as add new ones at a later stage.

No Material Risk to Financial Stability

The FSB report refers to decentralized, unbacked cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets as “first generation private digital tokens,” which are dismissed as “unsafe money.” However, it notes that “safer central bank issued cash may be less convenient in an era of electronic payments.” The report continues:

Crypto-assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time…At present, like crypto-assets in general, crypto-asset platforms do not pose global financial stability risks. Nevertheless, they raise other significant concerns, including consumer and investor protection, market integrity and money laundering/terrorism financing, among others.

The FSB further revealed that the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is currently “conducting an initial stocktake on the materiality of banks’ direct and indirect exposures to crypto-assets.”

While the FSB does not believe crypto-assets pose a material risk to global financial stability, it supports “vigilant monitoring in light of the speed of developments and data gaps,” the report details.

What do you think of the FSB’s crypto monitoring framework? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


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Presidential Decree Sets the Stage for Legalizing Cryptocurrencies in Uzbekistan

Presidential Decree Sets the Stage for Legalizing Cryptocurrencies in Uzbekistan

The executive power in Uzbekistan has advanced towards legalizing cryptocurrencies and implementing blockchain technology in both government and economy. A new decree signed by President Mirziyoyev mandates licensing for trading and other activities related to the circulation of digital coins. The document also calls for regulating crypto mining and smart contracts.

Also read: No License Needed to Mine Cryptocurrencies in Ukraine

Preparing the Legal Ground for Crypto Activities

Following in the footsteps of Belarus, Uzbekistan – another former Soviet republic – has taken steps to legalize its crypto sector as part of the efforts by the government in Tashkent to boost the country’s development through innovation. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has issued a special decree that will help prepare the legal ground for the implementation of blockchain technologies, the circulation of cryptocurrencies, and the regulation of mining.

Presidential Decree Sets the Stage for Legalizing Cryptocurrencies in UzbekistanThe document, “On measures for the development of the digital economy in the Republic of Uzbekistan,” was signed on Tuesday and published on July 4. Decree №ПП-3832, which enters into force with its publication, notes that the technologies of blockchain, artificial intelligence, supercomputers, as well as the activities related to crypto assets are some of the main directions for digital development in many countries around the world.

Uzbekistan’s head of state has marked several tasks to further the development of the digital economy, the improvement of government systems and the creation of conditions for innovations in his country. Topping Mirziyoyev’s list is the introduction and expansion of activities related to the circulation of crypto assets, mining, smart-contracts, crowdfunding and blockchain technologies that can diversify investment and entrepreneurship. Some of these terms have been given proper definitions.

The decree also states that currency operations conducted by corporate entities and natural persons, including non-residents, related to the circulation of crypto assets, are not subject to taxation, and incomes received from such operations are not part of the taxable base. Also, crypto transactions by licensed entities will not be governed by the provisions of the regular currency law, according to the president.

Introducing Licensing for Crypto Exchanges

Advancing towards legalizing and regulating the sector, the presidential decree mandates the introduction of a licensing regime for activities related to the circulation of crypto assets. Newly created trading platforms will be issued licenses starting from October 1. The government body charged with overseeing licensing is the National Agency for Project Management under the Presidential administration.

Presidential Decree Sets the Stage for Legalizing Cryptocurrencies in Uzbekistan

NAPM and Mininfocom, Uzbekistan’s IT and telecom ministry, have been tasked to develop proposals on creating conditions for the development of the crypto space and present draft amendments regarding the licensing regime within two months. Both institutions should also prepare and offer for discussions a draft law “On digital economy and blockchain technologies” by January 1, 2019. Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov has been charged with overseeing the implementation of the presidential decree.

The legal basis will be developed in close interaction between the state and the private sector. As part of the efforts to digitize the country, Uzbekistani authorities also want to organize training courses for blockchain professionals in cooperation with foreign organizations and experts. The Central Asian republic plans to implement blockchain in government procurements, services, registries and data bases, as well as in the corporate management of the large state-controlled enterprises, in clearing operations, payment processing, financing and fundraising. All this is supposed to happen by January 1, 2021.

Behind Schedule on Crypto Regulation

Presidential Decree Sets the Stage for Legalizing Cryptocurrencies in UzbekistanUzbekistan is actually falling behind its own schedule for introducing crypto regulations. In another decree issued in February, President Mirziyoyev stated that government institutions should finalize a draft law to legally regulate “electronic money” by September 1, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Mirziyoyev also ordered respective authorities to set up a special Center for Distributed Ledger Technologies within Uzbekistan’s Mirzo Ulugbek Innovation Center.

Opinions on cryptocurrencies in Tashkent, as well as in the neighboring Central Asian capitals, have gradually changed over time and become more positive. Initial warnings about the risks and the possible illicit uses have given way to declarations of support for the implementation of crypto technologies. Kyrgyzstan has announced intentions to introduce crypto payments in public projects, while in Kazakhstan, interest in cryptocurrencies has increased fifteen-fold over the past year.

Do you expect Uzbekistan to quickly legalize cryptocurrencies and crypto activities? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Abu Dhabi Global Market Launches Crypto Regulatory Framework

Abu Dhabi Global Market Launches Crypto Regulatory Framework

The financial authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market has launched a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency activities following the completion of a public consultation. The market’s financial watchdog has also published a guideline explaining how crypto asset activities are now regulated.

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

Crypto Regulatory Framework Launched

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced this week that it has launched a “framework to regulate spot crypto asset activities, including those undertaken by exchanges, custodians and other intermediaries in ADGM.”

Abu Dhabi Global Market Launches Crypto Regulatory FrameworkADGM is the international financial center in Abu Dhabi which collaborates with global financial centers, institutions, and regulators to “develop and supports member institutions with the regulatory framework, legal jurisdiction and attractive business environment they need for sustainable business growth,” its website describes. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is the market’s watchdog. ADGM wrote:

“The framework is designed to address the full range of risks associated with crypto asset activities, including risks relating to money laundering and financial crime, consumer protection, technology governance, custody and exchange operations.”

FSRA Takes the Lead

This regulatory framework follows the completion of a public consultation on the introduction of a crypto regulatory framework by the FSRA on May 28. By incorporating public comments, “several refinements have been made to the regulatory framework, with a key change being the implementation of the daily value trading levy imposed on crypto asset exchanges on a sliding scale basis,” ADGM’s announcement details.

Abu Dhabi Global Market Launches Crypto Regulatory Framework

Richard Teng, the CEO of ADGM’s FSRA, commented:

By introducing a comprehensive and best-in-class regulatory framework, the FSRA is taking a leading role in instilling proper governance, oversight and transparency over crypto asset activities, positioning ADGM as a destination of choice for crypto asset players.

The FSRA said in February that “virtual currencies, although not legal tender, are gaining interest globally as a medium of exchange for goods and services,” Reuters reported.

New Crypto Framework Explained

The FSRA has also published a 34-page guide for the regulation of crypto asset activities in ADGM. The document explains the regulatory framework for crypto assets including the requirements for operating a crypto asset business, exchange or custodian.

Abu Dhabi Global Market Launches Crypto Regulatory Framework

“Applicants that qualify for authorization under the Spot Crypto Asset Framework will be granted an FSP [Financial Services Permission] to carry on the regulated activity of OCAB [Operating a Crypto Asset Business],” the document describes. According to the Spot Crypto Asset Framework:

Market intermediaries (e.g. broker dealers, custodians, asset managers) and crypto asset exchanges dealing in or managing crypto assets will need to be licensed / approved by FSRA as OCAB holders. Only activities in accepted crypto assets will be permitted.

The document also clarifies that this framework does not apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs). The FSRA has already published a separate guidance for ICOs in October last year.

What do you think of Abu Dhabi Global Market’s crypto regulatory framework?  Let us know in the comments section below.


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Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

If you thought crypto in India was over, you were probably wrong. According to a recent statement by a high-ranking official, the long-awaited regulations are on the way. A draft framework has been prepared, and authorities in Delhi hope to “wrap this up” as early as the first half of next month. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to review a petition against the RBI ban earlier than expected, resetting the hearing for July 3.  

Also read: Taiwan’s Financial Regulator to Conduct Limited Oversight of Cryptocurrencies

Committee Decides the Fate of Bitcoin in India

The new Indian regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies is likely to be presented in the first half of July, according to a recent statement by Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance.

A draft has been put together and will be discussed in the first week of next month, the official said in an interview with the news channel ET Now. Garg, who is heading the committee tasked to determine the future of Bitcoin in India, explained:

We are fairly close to developing a kind of template which we think might be in the best interest of our country. We have prepared a draft which we intend to discuss with the committee members in the first week of July.

The Finance Ministry representative also noted that the committee has made a lot of progress in regards to determining “what part of business should be banned, what should be preserved, and what not.” In his words, the lower detail work has already happened. “We should be in the position to wrap this up in the first fortnight of July,” he elaborated.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

Assets, Not Currencies, Still Valuable for Some

In previous comments, Mr. Garg said the Indian government “does not read this [cryptocurrency] as currency” and would not allow its use in the country’s payment system. This, he explained, means the executive power “would do something to eliminate” the illegal use of “crypto assets.” Nevertheless, he recognized that some people may still find value in cryptocurrencies and that would require introducing certain regulations so that crypto transactions are legal and transparent. Earlier reports that the roles of regulators had been decided and that the new rules were coming soon were not confirmed by concrete actions.

Subhash Garg also noted that cryptocurrency exchanges in India are not regulated and indicated that the upcoming regulations would introduce legal requirements for know your customer procedures and record keeping for transactions. In February, he expressed hope that his committee would finalize its recommendations within this financial year. Then, legal changes would have to be made and regulatory responsibilities assigned. Indian media points out, however, that the panel headed by Garg is the second body formed to come up with a solution, after the first committee failed to complete the task.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

Indian authorities have been sending mixed signals about the future of cryptocurrencies, along with issuing warnings and applying restrictive administrative measures. In his budget speech in February, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated the official position that cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender and said the government will crack down on their use for illegal activities. Since then, the Income Tax Department has issued notices to thousands of crypto investors accusing them of tax evasion. For its part, the Reserve Bank of India ordered all regulated financial institutions to quit providing services to businesses and individuals dealing in cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, there are voices within the Indian government that insist Bitcoin has its place in India.

Supreme Court Resets Hearing Date to July 3

The RBI gave commercial banks three months to comply with its directive formally motivated with the need to protect consumers and prevent money laundering. Recently, the central bank admitted it had done no proper research into cryptocurrencies before issuing its circular. In the past few weeks, local exchanges have been preparing for the ban by terminating fiat deposits and withdrawals while launching and expanding crypto-to-crypto trading.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official RevealsA number of Indian crypto companies filed petitions against the restrictions that eventually reached the Supreme Court, which barred all other courts from accepting new petitions. The hearing was initially set for July 20, two weeks after the RBI comes into effect, on July 5, which triggered protests by the members of the country’s crypto community.

One of the companies that has filed a petition challenging RBI’s measures is the operator of the Indian exchange Coinrecoil, Kali Digital Eco-Systems. Its co-founder and director, Kunal Barchha, told news.Bitcoin.com that the Supreme Court has rescheduled the hearing for an earlier date on request by one of the other petitioners – the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The review is now set to take place on July 3, before the enforcement of the ban. Mr. Barchha also said that Coinrecoil’s lawyer will file a similar request on July 2 and he expects the court to honor it.

Do you think Indian authorities will eventually adopt looser regulations on cryptocurrencies and crypto transactions? Share your expectations in the comments section below.   


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Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to Investors

Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to Investors

Crypto Fund AG has been granted a license to distribute funds on behalf of “qualified investors” in Switzerland. The permission has been issued by the country’s financial market regulator, FINMA. The firm also seeks approval for another crypto-related service.

Also read: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and Digital IDs

First Point of Contact for Crypto Assets

Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to InvestorsCrypto Fund AG, a Zug-based subsidiary of the Swiss Crypto Finance Group (CFG), has received a license to distribute collective investment schemes to qualified investors, Reuters reported. According to an announcement by CFG, this is the first time a crypto business is granted such permission by the authorities in Switzerland.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) confirmed the decision. However, the financial watchdog did not specify if this was in fact the first license of this kind.

According to another important clarification in the report, the permission does not mean the firm is allowed to operate as an asset manager for crypto funds. Nevertheless, the acquired license is a deliberate step, as confirmed by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jan Brzezek:

Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.

Crypto Fund AG is also seeking another permission from financial regulators in Switzerland. This one would allow it to create a passive investment vehicle tracking a bench marked index of up to 10 of the most liquid cryptocurrency assets and digital tokens on the market. The index is calculated and maintained by Swiss bourse SIX.

Crypto-Friendly Nation with Positive Attitude

Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.In recent years, Switzerland has established itself as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction. The country has its “Crypto Valley” in the canton of Zug, where Crypto Fund AG is registered. Many other crypto and blockchain businesses are either headquartered or represented there, including companies like the Chinese mining giant Bitmain. The Alpine nation has been considering the possibility to issue a state-backed cryptocurrency, although its central bank has admitted through an official that private digital currencies are better than any state-issued coin.

Businesses from the traditional financial sector have also benefited from the positive regulatory attitude of Swiss authorities. Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, a legacy financial institution, recently announced it was offering bank accounts to crypto companies, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. The bank’s management expressed desire to work with the young crypto sector, speaking of that as a “matter of credibility.”

Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.But not only the private fintech industry and financial sector are interested in cryptocurrencies and the underlying distributed ledger technology. The fully state-owned Swiss Federal Railways, for example, has been selling bitcoin to its passengers for almost two years at over 1,000 ticket vending machines.

And the city of Zug, home of the Crypto Valley, is accepting payments in bitcoin and ether for municipal services, including company registrations. Authorities there are also planning to conduct a blockchain-based vote on questions of local importance.

Do you think Swiss regulators will issue more licenses for crypto-related financial services in the near future? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

In today’s Bitcoin in Brief – Zencash has lost $550,000 in two double-spend transactions following a 51% attack on the network. Developers have taken measures to increase the difficulty of future attacks. The event-ticketing platform Ticketfly is also trying to recover from a hijack. 26 million accounts have been reportedly compromised by a hacker who asked for bitcoin ransom.

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: Digital Money Makes the World Go Round

Zencash Attacked with Two Double-Spends

The Zencash network has been targeted in a 51% attack on Saturday, June 2. The attacker managed to successfully perform two double-spend transactions while reorganizing the blockchain multiple times and reverting 38 blocks in the longest reorganization.

According to a released statement, the Zencash team received warning of potential attack from a pool operator and took measures to raise the difficulty of future attacks on the network, contacting exchanges to increase confirmation times and recommending a minimum of 100 required confirmations.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

The attacker(s) caused the reorganizations of the blockchain between blocks 318165 and 318275. They performed the double-spend attacks in blocks 318204 and 318234 – for 13,000 and 6,600 ZEN, respectively, worth more than $550,000 at current prices.

According to the forensic analysis conducted with the affected exchange, the suspect pool address is znkMXdwwxvPp9jNoSjukAbBHjCShQ8ZaLib and the suspect exchange deposit address is zneDDN3aNebJUnAJ9DoQFys7ZuCKBNRQ115.

At the time of the attack the network’s hashrate was 58MSol/s. Developers believe that the attacker has a private mining operation large enough to conduct the attack and/or supplement with rental hash power. Zencash is a proof of work coin based on the equihash algorithm. All equihash-based networks are exposed to possible influx of new equihash power, the team noted.

Ticketfly Hijacked by Hacker, Trying to Recover

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for RansomTicketfly has been reportedly attacked by a hacker who breached its website last week and demanded a ransom in bitcoin to release it. The event-ticketing platform is still trying to recover from the “cyber incident.” “We’re working to bring ticketfly.com back up as soon as possible,” its team said, notifying users that the site is offline.

In correspondence with Motherboard, the supposed hacker claimed to have warned Ticketfly of a vulnerability that allowed him to take control of its database and website. The hijacker asked for 1 bitcoin (BTC) to explain the issue in details but did not receive a reply. According to the publication, after no ransom was paid, the attacker posted the user data online.

“We have learned that some customer information has been compromised as part of the incident, including names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers of Ticketfly fans,” the company admitted without revealing how many accounts have been affected. According the data breach tracking website haveibeenpwned.com, more than 26 million accounts have been compromised, Marketwatch reports.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

It’s unclear whether any event tickets have been stolen but a number of promoters, clubs and upcoming shows have been affected by the breach. Ticketfly is owned by San-Francisco based Eventbrite, which bought the platform from Pandora Media in a $200 million deal about a year ago.

Avalon Blockchain Unwinds Acquisition of Crypto Assets

Avalon Blockchain Inc., formerly known as World Mahjong Ltd., has announced it has reached an agreement with Avalon Life S.A. to unwind the acquisition of crypto mining assets and cryptocurrencies it has previously bought. According to a press release, the two sides have not been able to reach a consensus in regards to the holding, conversion, trading, and arbitrage of the acquired digital currencies.

World Mahjong Limited, a provider of online games and entertainment services, decided to enter the crypto sector through the acquisition of crypto mining abilities and cryptocurrency assets from the mining and community knowledge network Avalon Life SA and Avalon Projects Canada Inc. More than 27,000 ASIC mining machines were purchased, along with a number of Dash, Vivo, and Pura coins.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Zencash Targeted in 51% Attack, Ticketfly Hijacked for Ransom

Earlier this year it was reported that the company had also changed its name to Avalon Blockchain. In its latest statement, however, it said it was unable to execute its proposed business plan involving these crypto assets. Following the agreement with the vendor, Avalon Blockchain will return them to Avalon Life SA and will arrange the cancellation of 120,000,000 common shares that have been issued.

Avalon Projects Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Avalon Blockchain, has completed the offering of 37,154,502 subscription receipts, at a price of $0.50 each. The company now intends to allow subscribers to rescind their subscriptions. All of them will be offered the option and will be entitled to a full refund of all subscription proceeds tendered to the company.

What are your thoughts on today’s topics in Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments section below.


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IMF Chief Envisages Large-Scale Shift Towards Cryptocurrencies

IMF Chief Envisages Large-Scale Shift Away From Government Fiat Towards Cryptocurrency

IMF chief Christine Lagarde has dedicated her latest two blog posts on the official IMF website to cryptocurrencies. In her latest post, she outlines multiple benefits of crypto and envisages a large-scale shift away from government-issued currencies towards cryptocurrencies.

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

2 Blog Posts Dedicated to Crypto

IMF Chief Envisages Large-Scale Shift Away From Government Fiat Towards CryptocurrencyThe managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, dedicated a blog post on the IMF website to the benefits of cryptocurrencies on Tuesday. This positive post follows her other post last month which she outlined the drawbacks from her viewpoint. Citing that she previously “looked at the dark side of crypto-assets, including their potential use for money laundering and the financing of terrorism,” Lagarde proceeded to say:

Here, I want to examine the promise they [cryptocurrencies] offer. A judicious look at crypto-assets should lead us to neither crypto-condemnation nor crypto-euphoria.

IMF Chief Envisages Large-Scale Shift Away From Government Fiat Towards CryptocurrencyShe acknowledged the many cryptocurrencies in circulation and said, “it seems inevitable that many will not survive the process of creative destruction.” According to Coinmarketcap, there are currently 1,568 cryptocurrencies.

“The crypto-assets that survive could have a significant impact on how we save, invest and pay our bills,” the IMF chief believes. “That is why policymakers should keep an open mind and work toward ­­an even-handed regulatory framework that minimizes risks while allowing the creative process to bear fruit.”

Lagarde Explores Benefits of Crypto

The first benefit Lagarde pointed out was:

Crypto-assets enable fast and inexpensive financial transactions, while offering some of the convenience of cash.

IMF Chief Envisages Large-Scale Shift Away From Government Fiat Towards CryptocurrencyShe emphasized that “Some payment services now make overseas transfers in a matter of hours, not days,” adding that “If privately issued crypto-assets remain risky and unstable, there may be demand for central banks to provide digital forms of money.”

The next point Lagarde discussed was a potential balance in the financial landscape brought about by cryptocurrencies. While emphasizing her belief that “the fintech revolution will not eliminate the need for trusted intermediaries, such as brokers and bankers,” she detailed:

There is hope, however, that decentralized applications spurred by crypto-assets will lead to a diversification of the financial landscape, a better balance between centralized and decentralized service providers, and a financial ecosystem that is more efficient and potentially more robust in resisting threats.

No Immediate Danger

Regarding financial stability, Lagarde revealed, “Our preliminary assessment is that, given their still-small footprint and limited links to the rest of the financial system, crypto-assets do not pose an immediate danger.” Nonetheless, the IMF chief calls for regulators to remain vigilant of the potential of cryptocurrencies “to magnify the risks of highly leveraged trading, and to increase the transmission of economic shocks should they become more integrated into mainstream financial products.” She further described:

Moreover, banks and other financial institutions will face challenges to their business models, should there be a large-scale shift away from government-issued currencies toward crypto-assets. Regulators might find it harder to ensure the stability of a more diffuse and decentralized financial system. Central banks might have more trouble acting as the lender of last resort in case of a crisis.

What do you think of Lagarde’s latest assessment of cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


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PR: Digital Ticks Just Launched First Look of Their Mobile App

Digital Ticks Launches Mobile App

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.

Digital Ticks, the hot, new ICO in town is out with their First Look of Mobile app of their exchange well ahead of their schedule!

This is very exciting news as this is no ordinary crypto exchange. Digital Ticks is the first ever Commodity Crypto exchange. Users will be able to trade all the different types of crypto assets as well as commodity to crypto assets.

Why Digital Ticks?
The platform is the first ever commodity to crypto exchange to be built by the traders for the traders. With a simple to use User interface, it is designed to be used by both the novice as well as experienced traders.

The team believes in helping the investors make their decisions based on the work done and not based on plain statements.

The CCO of Digital Ticks, Mayur Poddar quoted saying
“We want people to see the results and our progress first-hand, and we want to enable them to make an investment choice based on statistics rather than statements.” This is again reassuring each and every participant of the ICO that their team is dedicated and will get the job done.

After the success and the huge participation received during the pre-sale whole team was extremely geared up to deliver a quality product ahead of the timeline.

“The pre-sale contributions and the overwhelming response of the contributors are both exciting and ensuring that Digital Ticks is on the right path in the journey to make every commodity tradable using crypto. And we believe that we are stepping into the future of cryptocurrency with a new dream and our footsteps would be followed by all others who share the same dream.”
– Quoted by CEO of Digital Ticks- Jitu Bajaj.

Company’s decision to launch First look of Mobile App Interface at the same time as its Public token sale starts in fact prior to it is in contrast to most other companies which only have a white paper and website at the time of their public sale. Fuelled by the huge success of the pre-sale, the team went on to deliver Apps for both Android and IOS platform along with multiple Blockchain smart contracts. This gives public token sale participants confidence in the ability of the team behind the project.

Closing Thoughts
With their Public token sale started on 15th April 2018, the team has worked day and night and have already released their Mobile App’s First Look well before their planned release date. At this current pace, they will be able to get the entire platform up and running well before the deadline and might just end up being one of the greatest ICO’s.

To be a part of this revolution and experience it, you can download App through google play store for Android and Apple App Store for IOS version.

Download Digital Ticks – First Ever Commodity Crypto Currency Exchange Mobile App
For Android :- click here
For IOS :- click here
Crypto enthusiasts can participate in DTX public token sale by sending Bitcoin / Ethereum / Bank Wire Transfer directly to their Dashboard of Digital Ticks by just signing up on https://www.digitalticks.com

Website: https://www.digitalticks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DigitalTicksExchange
Telegram: https://t.me/digitalticksexchange
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DigitalTicks

Contact Email Address
marketing@digitalticks.com
Supporting Link
https://www.digitalticks.com/

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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These Are the Best Performing Cryptocurrencies of 2018

These Are The Best Performing Cryptocurrencies of 2018

Picking a winner in this year’s crypto markets has been a tough task. With assets deprecated across the board, even the best performing coins are in the red. To put it more accurately then, these are the least worst performing cryptocurrencies of 2018.

Also read: Eight Ways to Profit in a Crypto Bear Market

None of the Top 20 Cryptos Have Held Their Value This Year

Bitcoin is down 58% in three months and down 66% from its all-time high. Most cryptocurrencies have shed even more since January, but a few have outperformed bitcoin. The handful that are in the green, such as ontology (up 110%) are only up because they weren’t introduced until 2018 was well under way. Had ontology, which was airdropped to NEO holders, been launched last year, there’s every likelihood it too would be in the red.

Of the cryptocurrencies that were trading at the start of this year, just two assets are in the green. Digixdao, a gold-backed token, is up 12% in three months, and bytom, a Chinese altcoin is up 2%. Neither of these two coins has produced the sort of return that the hodl strategy was conceived for. In fact, hodling through 2018 is one of the worst strategies a trader could have plumped for. That’s easy to say in hindsight of course. Short of sitting in tether for months, the most effective buy-and-sell strategy would have involved one of the following altcoins.

These Are The Best Performing Cryptocurrencies of 2018
The majority of this year’s best performing coins were listed only recently.

Meet 2018’s Least Worst Performers

Aside from digixdao and bytom, Binance Coin (BNB) has produced the best three-month return, down just 3%. In addition, Coincodex lists 29 crypto assets that have outperformed bitcoin. The likes of luminocoin and compcoin aren’t exactly household names, and with returns of -12% and -20% respectively, holding them would have brought little satisfaction. A look at the cryptocurrency top 20, based on market cap, reveals which recognizable altcoins have outperformed bitcoin in the past three months. Litecoin, EOS, NEO, monero, binance coin, vechain, and omisego are the only coins to pass this test, and both litecoin and monero are within a percentage point of bitcoin.

These Are The Best Performing Cryptocurrencies of 2018

On the balance of probability, if you’d attempted to counteract bitcoin’s decline by switching to altcoins, you’d have lost, and lost heavily. Ripple and cardano are down 84% in three months, and NEM has fallen further still. Unless you’re a margin trading demon, your best bet is to keep the majority of your portfolio in bitcoin and forget about it. When the curtain falls on 2018, it’s safe to assume the year’s top performing crypto assets will look very different.

What’s your trading strategy for this year? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Slump Begone: What’s Next For Cryptocurrencies? Tokens & Purpose

I know most of you are worried about price and the recent slump in the overall market valuation. Personally speaking, that does not concern me one bit as I believe this price and volume downfall is just temporary. As I mentioned before the market is no-where near maturity as the basis technology – distributed ledgers

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G20 Argentina Ends With No New Cryptocurrency Regulation

G20 Argentina Ends With No New Cryptocurrency Regulation

Nations forming the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Argentina this week issued Comunicado oficial de la primera reunión de ministros de Hacienda y presidentes de Bancos Centrales del G20, or first communication from the world’s central bankers concerning their work. The two page document is crammed with statements, and on the final page bankers seemed to table cryptocurrency regulations, while acknowledging both their potential for “efficiency and inclusiveness” but also “tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.” Bankers urged the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to apply their standards to “crypto-assets” in order to “advance global implementation.”

Also read: Bitcoiners Demand More Crypto CFDs and Spread-Betting in the UK

G20 Will Tackle Crypto Regs Mañana

“We acknowledge that technological innovation, including that underlying crypto-assets, has the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system and the economy more broadly,” G20 central bankers noted in their publication, Communiqué: Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors,19-20 March 2018, Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Crypto-assets do, however, raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing. Crypto-assets lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies. At some point they could have financial stability implications.”

G20 Argentina Ends With No New Cryptocurrency Regulation

The G20 is an international forum for governments and central bankers from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union, (plus Spain as a permanent guest member). Collectively, they represent two-thirds of the world’s population and over 80% of the globe’s economic output.

“We commit to implement the FATF standards as they apply to crypto-assets,” the online posting continued, “look forward to the FATF review of those standards, and call on the FATF to advance global implementation. We call on international standard-setting bodies (SSBs) to continue their monitoring of crypto-assets and their risks, according to their mandates, and assess multilateral responses as needed.”

Crypto Enthusiasts Breathe a Sigh of Relief

The FATF ahead of this week’s meeting issued their own report, FATF Report to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors March 2018. The 12 page document discusses standards for “virtual currencies,” noting “Virtual Currency Payment Products and Services (VCPPS)” will continue to be monitored, especially “particular methods of terrorist financing activity that pose an emerging threat, as well as at products and services that may represent an emerging vulnerability.” Later, they describe the current state of crypto as a patchwork of “regulatory framework across different countries” which “can be exploited by criminals, stifle innovation and create uncertainty,” stressing the how “FATF will continue its work on FinTech and virtual currencies, including considering how to promote and ensure a more coherent and consistent approach by countries to mitigating the risks and supporting financial innovation.”

G20 Argentina Ends With No New Cryptocurrency Regulation
Mark Carney

The Paris-based FATF is an intergovernmental organization (also known as Groupe d’action financière) focused mainly on money laundering with a particular emphasis on terrorism financing. Its jurisdiction is among 37 member states, operating a blacklist of uncooperative nations … which can amount to severe financial pressure without formal sanction.

Overall, cryptocurrency enthusiasts took a giant breath of relief. Prior to the meeting, crypto markets were tanking. The run-up to Argentina was largely seen as a black cloud, as many member nations had openly called for tighter crypto restrictions on a global level. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, a letter from the chair of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), Mark Carney, advised the G20 against new rules regarding crypto, suggesting what eventually became evident: there is no consensus among global leaders with regard to regulation. News sent markets into bull mode with bitcoin’s price rising above 9,000 USD as of this writing.

Do you think crypto is headed for another bull run? Let us know in the comments!


Images via Pixabay, G20. 


At news.Bitcoin.com we do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.

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G20 Watchdog Says Cryptos Not a Risk, Resists Calls for New Rules

G20 Watchdog Says Cryptos Not a Risk, Resists Calls for New Rules

The Financial Stability Board, G20’s global watchdog, does not consider cryptocurrencies a risk to financial stability. In a letter to the Group of 20 central bankers and finance ministers, its Chair Mark Carney said FSB was pivoting away from designing new policies and focusing on reviewing existing rules. His comments suggest there is no G20 consensus on common crypto regulations, despite calls from member-states for adopting global guidelines.

Also read: Japan to Call for Crypto Rules at the G20 Summit

No Consensus for Global Crypto Regulations

G20 Watchdog Says Cryptos Not a Risk, Resists Calls for New RulesThe Financial Stability Board (FSB), the body that coordinates financial regulation for the G20 countries, has effectively dismissed calls from member-states to adopt global cryptocurrency rules. “The FSB’s initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time,” its Chair Mark Carney said in a letter to central bankers and finance ministers, Reuters reported.

Representatives from G20 countries are meeting today in Argentina. Statements in several member-states suggested that crypto regulations would be on the agenda of the summit. In February, high-ranking French and German officials issued a letter urging their colleagues to discuss the implications of cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, within the G20 format. According to recent reports from Tokyo, Japanese representatives intended to push for global rules on cryptocurrencies.

Carney’s comments suggest, however, that there is not enough consensus for a common approach to cryptocurrency regulation. The Financial Stability Board insists on more international coordination in monitoring the rapidly evolving crypto sector. “As its work to fix the fault lines that caused the financial crisis draws to a close, the FSB is increasingly pivoting away from design of new policy initiatives towards dynamic implementation and rigorous evaluation of the effects of the agreed G20 reforms,” its Chair said.

G20 Watchdog Says Cryptos Not a Risk, Resists Calls for New Rules
Mark Carney

Mark Carney, the serving governor of the Bank of England, recently called for greater regulation of cryptocurrencies. “The time has come to hold the crypto-asset ecosystem to the same standards as the rest of the financial system,” he stated in a speech earlier this month. Carney described the volatility associated with crypto markets as “speculative mania”. Commenting on the possibility of adopting global crypto rules, he admitted the regulation would likely be on a country-by-country basis.

“I would have a greater expectation for a series of national steps rather than some big coordinated approach,” the central banker said. He also voiced support for the idea to regulate some elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to “protect the safety and soundness of the financial system”.

Carney will stand down as FSB’s Chair next year, when his term as Governor of the Bank of England ends. The G20 summit will take place in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on March 19-20.

Do you think it’s possible to adopt global cryptocurrency regulations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.  


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Data Reveals the Reasons Behind Bitcoin’s Big Dip

Data Reveals the Reasons Behind Bitcoin’s Big Dip

As everyone knows, bitcoin has dropped roughly three-fold from its December peak. At the height of the mania it touched $20,000 but has since fallen to as low as $6,000. The question of what caused the great decline is one that most bitcoiners have an opinion on. In a bid to settle the matter once and for all, Chainalysis has pored over the data to determine what happened.

Also read: South Korea Planning to Formally Allow ICOs

Bitcoin and the Bottomless Dip

Chainalysis is a respected research team whose data scientists and blockchain analysts have previously claimed to have worked out where Mt Gox’ missing bitcoins wound up. In “The Great Bitcoin Price Dip: Its Causes and a Way Forward”, Chainalysis turns its attention to BTC price action over the past three months. A lot of what’s in the report could have been deduced without glancing at a graph, but it’s interesting to see these observations backed by evidence.

According to Chainalysis, bitcoin’s big sell-off was a result of “Regulatory news driving trading volumes and a peak of positive sentiment pushing price; and a lack of fundamentals resulting in herding behaviour across increasingly correlated exchanges and cryptocurrencies.” Basically, we’re all just a bunch of herd animals driven by our emotions, and when one of the flock gets spooked, we all do.

Data Reveals the Reasons Behind Bitcoin’s Big Dip

How Much Is a Bitcoin Worth?

Determining a “fair” valuation for the price of 1 BTC has kept the brightest cryptonomists up at night. Chainalysis acknowledges the difficulty of valuing bitcoin, part of a new asset class, writing “Traditional markets have an established set of market fundamentals that help investors understand and contextualize price and volume fluctuations. The cryptocurrency world is still figuring out the correct fundamentals to use in situations of massive price volatility.” It then adds: “Trading volumes were sensitive to regulatory news, while price was driven by sentiment.”

Anyone who followed bitcoin’s trajectory throughout 2017 will have been aware of bitcoin’s susceptibility to regulatory news; the cryptocurrency saw a major sell-off following news that China was to ban bitcoin, but made a full recovery within weeks. In its report, Chainalysis also references other commonly used markers to denote the mania phase that bitcoin settled into through the latter half of last year, Google searches climbing faster than the price. Bitcoin couldn’t maintain its insane upward trajectory and something had to give:

In the stock market, a price correction is defined as a decline of at least 10% and a bear market is a decline of over 30%. Between 17 December and 6 February, the Bitcoin price declined by 70%.

Lessons Learned

The broad conclusions drawn by Chainalysis – that regulatory events and emotions drive the markets – are not surprising. The report does contain some interesting findings however, such as the fact that trading volume across major exchanges became increasingly correlated through December and January compared to the whole of 2017. This meant that what happened on one exchange would be mirrored almost instantly on another. If one whale got spooked and dumped – say, the Mt Gox trustee for example – everyone got spooked.

Data Reveals the Reasons Behind Bitcoin’s Big Dip
Cryptocurrencies are more closely correlated than ever before.

As bitcoin mania reached fever-pitch in December, exchanges experienced a “new in-flow” of bitcoin: investors were depositing more crypto than they were withdrawing. “As a consequence, supply was increasing at a greater rate than demand, and therefore the high price levels could not be sustained,” notes Chainalysis. The report concludes by providing evidence that altcoin prices are “increasingly correlated with Bitcoin prices”. There might be more altcoins and tokens than ever before, but some things never change: what happens to bitcoin happens to them all.

Do you think Chainalysis’ findings are accurate, or do you think other factors contributed to bitcoin’s big sell-off? Let us know in the comments section below.


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France Warns of 15 Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Investment Platforms

France Warns of 15 Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Investment Platforms

The French financial regulator has issued a warning and published a list of 15 unauthorized cryptocurrency exchange and investment platforms. These companies keep marketing to the French public despite the agency’s warnings.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

France Warns of Unauthorized Crypto Platforms

France Warns of 15 Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Investment PlatformsThe Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) issued a warning on Thursday regarding cryptocurrency platforms that have been blacklisted by the agency. The AMF is France’s stock market regulator, an independent public body responsible for safeguarding investments in financial instruments and other savings as well as maintaining orderly financial markets.

France Warns of 15 Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Investment PlatformsAlong with the warning, the agency published a list of 15 cryptocurrency companies, which, it says, are “unauthorized companies proposing atypical investments without being authorized to do so.” Examples of such investments are “Diamonds, rare earths, wine or ‘crypto assets,’” the AMF wrote, adding that it has been providing a list of unauthorized diamond investments platforms since July of last year. In December, it decided to add “other miscellaneous assets” to this list, which includes “companies proposing to invest in ‘crypto assets’, some of which are presented as cryptocurrencies.”

Recently, Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) also issued a similar warning, listing 19 cryptocurrency platforms that it had received complaints about and show signs of fraud. Like FSMA, the AMF emphasized that its list is neither complete nor exhaustive of all platforms that do not comply with the country’s regulations.

Approval by AMF Required

The addition of cryptocurrency platforms to AMF’s list is in accordance with “Law No. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 on transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernisation of economic life (the ‘Sapin II’ law),” the regulator explained, adding that:

Consequently, no offer [of miscellaneous assets] can be directly marketed in France on without prior allocation by the AMF of a registration number.

France Warns of 15 Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Investment PlatformsThe regulator says that the 15 companies it has listed “keep advertising and/or marketing to the French public” despite “the warning of the AMF regarding this new regulation.”

They are akj-crypto, bank-crypto, bcoin-bank, bit-crypto, boursebitcoin, crypteo, cryptobankweb, crypto-major, cryptopartnersinvest, crypto2.bnd-group, crypto.private-finances, ecs-solutions, ether-invest, krakenaccess, and minedecrypto.

Safety Investing Guidelines

The AMF also reminds investors of various safety guidelines before investing. “No advertising materials should make you overlook the fact that high returns always involve high risk,” the regulator began, adding that investors should:

Learn as much as you can about the company or intermediary trying to sell you a product (authorisation/certification, company history, location of head offices, etc.)…only invest in a product you understand.

In addition, the regulator urges investors to ask themselves “how, and by whom, the purchase price or selling price of the advertised product is set, and find out the precise terms and timeline for selling the product, especially in cases where the product invests in an asset class with low liquidity.”

What do you think of France warning and publishing a list of unauthorized crypto platforms? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Circle Acquires Poloniex, to Focus on Crypto Assets and Bringing Fiat Pairs

The post Circle Acquires Poloniex, to Focus on Crypto Assets and Bringing Fiat Pairs appeared first on CCN

Circle, a payments and cryptocurrency company that raised over $100 million from leading venture capital firms and financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, has acquired cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex to serve the token market. Crypto Assets, Fiat Pairs Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, the co-founders of Circle, officially announced the acquisition of Poloniex by Circle on February

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British Couple Lawyer Up as $840k Cryptocurrency Divorce Heats Up

British Couple Lawyer Up as $840k Cryptocurrency Divorce Heats Up

Divorce is never fun and rarely simple, but when one party – generally the male – owns cryptocurrency, there’s an added layer of complexity. With cryptocurrency still relatively new as an asset class, there have been very few cases to date in which the unhappy couple have squabbled over altcoins. A British law firm professes to be handling three such cases at present, with the largest involving a tug-of-war over crypto valued at $840,000.

Also read: Divorce is Messy – Especially When You Own Bitcoin

Kissing Goodbye to the Ball and Blockchain

It was only a matter of time until a high profile, high value crypto divorce grabbed the headlines. In the event, it was Britain that claimed the dubious honor of hosting the world’s largest cryptocurrency untethering to date. “Crypto cash divorce nightmare looming” reads the cheery press release published by UK law firm Royds Withy King, on Valentine’s Day no less. Bolstering the stereotype about opportunistic lawyers, it reads:

Royds Withy King is acting on three separate high value divorce cases where spouses are seeking the disclosure and a potential share of cryptocurrency assets.  These are a first wave of cases that the firm is expecting. The three cases all involve husbands that have invested in or have purchased cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and Ethereum.

The most lucrative of these cases – for all parties – concerns “an original investment of £80,000 [of cryptocurrency] in November 2016, which was valued at £1m in December 2017 and is now worth £600,000 [$840,000]”.

British Couple Lawyer Up as $840k Cryptocurrency Divorce Heats Up
Vandana Chitroda of Royds Withy King

One of the firm’s partners speaks of there being “a traceability nightmare” in cases where a spouse hasn’t disclosed their assets. One partner’s nightmare, of course, may be another’s dream. As previously ventured on news.Bitcoin.com, “Parting with half of one’s cryptocurrency collection doesn’t come easy…Progressive males let their wife keep her surname and give up half their crypto come the divorce. Patriarchal oppressors put it all in monero and deny everything.”

British Couple Lawyer Up as $840k Cryptocurrency Divorce Heats UpWhile onlookers who aren’t embroiled in a crypto divorce may derive a degree of schadenfreude from such cases, there are serious issues at stake. In many countries, a 50% division of assets is awarded, despite the husband often being the main breadwinner, because the wife’s contribution is recognized in other domains, including caring for their children and supporting his career. Making money from cryptocurrency calls for shrewdness, foresight, and iron hands, but qualifying it in the same bracket as a 40-hour-per-week job may be stretching it. Unless the husband embroiled in the $840k case is a full-time crypto trader, he likely made his money simply from buying early and hodling.

Always 50/50 In Relationships?

Even if the man’s spouse isn’t seeking an equal division of cryptocurrency, he may, for various reasons, begrudge parting with a portion of his portfolio. As Vandana Chitroda, a partner at Royds Withy King, points out: “[Volatility] presents a real challenge when valuing cryptocurrencies. Valuations will have to be carried out a number of times during the divorce process as the case progresses.”

If the couple are to reach an amicable resolution, the wife may find her husband more willing to come to an agreement in a bear market than during a bull run. Whether she’d be willing to accept a payoff while the crypto markets are mired in the red is another matter entirely. In the years to come, divorce courts may be prove to be a prime testing ground for determining how cryptocurrencies are classified and valued.

Do you think crypto assets should be equally apportioned in the event of a divorce? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Royds Withy King.


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World Central Banker to Central Banks: Bitcoin Is a Bubble, Ponzi, and Disaster

World Central Banker to Central Banks: Bitcoin is a Bubble, Ponzi, and Disaster

General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Agustín Carstens, gave a talk at Goethe University in its House of Finance, Tuesday, 6 February in Frankfurt. Titled Money in the Digital Age: What Role for Central Banks?, the talk saw Mr. Carstens acknowledge “We have seen a bit of a shift, to issues at the very heart of central banking. This shift is driven by developments at the cutting edge of technology. While it has been bubbling under the surface for years, the meteoric rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led us to revisit some fundamental questions that touch on the origin and raison d’être for central banks.”

Also read: Market Risk Advisory Committee: Bitcoin Futures Self-Certification Works

World’s Central Banker: Bitcoin Challenges Heart of Central Banking

As the central banker to the globe’s central banks, the BIS special drawing rights balance nears a quarter trillion in reserves. The body is made up of 60 member states, heavily weighted toward Europe with over half its membership. The Depression-era organization in its current incarnation is a collaborative body issuing stress tests, acting as a prime counterparty, and a trustee to the world’s central banks.

Mr. Carsten’s appearance is part of a lecture series sponsored by Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, the Center for Financial Studies, and the Deutsche Bundesbank. At issue to the GM were three principal questions: “What is money? What constitutes good money, and where do cryptocurrencies fit in? And, finally, what role should central banks play?,” he asked.

World Central Banker to Central Banks: Bitcoin is a Bubble, Ponzi, and Disaster
Mr. Carstens

Money, he asserts, is flatly connected to government, “an indispensable social convention backed by an accountable institution within the State that enjoys public trust.” Setting the tone, he immediate claims, “Private digital tokens posing as currencies, such as bitcoin and other crypto-assets that have mushroomed of late, must not endanger this trust in the fundamental value and nature of money.”

After a brief discussion of money’s history, he stumbles upon what amounts to patting himself on the back, insisting “laissez-faire is not a good approach in banking or in the issuance of money. Indeed, the paradigm of strict bank regulation and supervision and central banks overseeing the financial and monetary system that has emerged over the last century or so has proven to be the most effective way to avoid the instability and high economic costs associated with the proliferation of private and public monies,” which sets up a dramatic conflict with cryptocurrency such as bitcoin.

Basically Just Mega-Sudokus

Dismissing almost out of hand the distributed ledger technology undergirding bitcoin, he waxes, “Who would have thought that having people guessing solutions to what was described to me by a techie as the mathematical equivalent of mega-sudokus would be a way to generate consensus among strangers around the world through a proof of work? Does it thus provide a novel solution to the problem of how to generate trust among people who do not know each other?,” he asked rhetorically.

He then characterizes bitcoin as having three “obvious flaws.” Debasement, trust, and inefficiency are hallmarks of what Mr. Carstens views as “novel technology.” Debasement, he contends, happens through forks, creating seemingly endless versions of bitcoin which he believes are essentially inflationary, contrary to its claim of being scarce. “After all, it just takes a bunch of smart programmers and a catchy name. As in the past, these modern-day clippings dilute the value of existing ones, to the extent such cryptocurrencies have any economic value at all,” he warns.

World Central Banker to Central Banks: Bitcoin is a Bubble, Ponzi, and Disaster

Any trust crypto has garnered has come through centralization, through trading with fiat currencies on exchanges, he argues. “More generally,” Mr. Carstens continues, “they piggyback on the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system and on the trust that it provides. This reflects their challenge to establish their own trust in the face of cyber-attacks, loss of customers’ funds, limits on transferring funds and inadequate market integrity.”

Bitcoin in particular seems wholly inefficient as he understands it, and “while perhaps intended as an alternative payment system with no government involvement, it has become a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster,” he urged. “Accordingly, authorities are edging closer and closer to clamping down to contain the risks related to cryptocurrencies. There is a strong case for policy intervention. As now noted by many securities markets and regulatory and supervisory agencies, these assets can raise concerns related to consumer and investor protection. Appropriate authorities have a duty to educate and protect investors and consumers, and need to be prepared to act,” he said ominously.

What do you think about the General Manager’s talk? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, BIS.


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