Cryptowhispers: DDoS Attacks, Major Exec in Serious Crash, Twitter Drama

Cryptowhispers: DDoS Attacks, Major Exec in Serious Crash, Twitter Drama

Cryptowhispers explores the wildcatting world of direct denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and why the socially maladjusted tend to flock to that particular vector … especially for coin projects they hate; a popular cryptocurrency trading application executive was involved in a serious car accident on the eve of an anticipated cross promotion at Comic Con; and what would a crypto gossip column be without Twitter drama.

Also read: Philippines Embraces Cryptocurrency: Exchanges Issued Provisional Licenses

Cryptowhispers at Comic Con San Diego 2018

Rumor has it a multibillion dollar smartphone cryptocurrency trading application executive was involved in a serious car accident Friday, July 20th, ahead of a major promotional reveal. The company has been on a tear this year in particular, expanding its offerings while staying hungry enough to try new, innovative marketing.

Cryptowhispers: DDoS Attacks, Major Exec in Serious Crash, Twitter Drama
As far as anyone knows, these two were not paid for their efforts.

Its cross promotion over several days at the Comic Con International San Diego gathering, where an estimated 300,000 cargo-shorts wearing nerds descended upon the city’s convention center and famed Gaslamp District, was set to climax Saturday, early afternoon. The company partnered with Lionsgate to feature two products: the studio’s forthcoming movie and the app’s crypto platform.

Fans were led via social media in an effort to find literal money drops off campus, around San Diego’s downtown. At about 1 am that morning, just hours before the final drop, the very high up trading app executive emailed involvement in the accident and of sustained injuries bad enough to warrant an emergency room visit. That’s right, the executive, while under trauma examination and still at the ER, was sure to apologize for not being able to make the final event. Such dedication might be at least one reason said company is thriving.

Cryptowhispers: DDoS Attacks, Major Exec in Serious Crash, Twitter Drama

Crypto Twitter Aflutter as Craig Wright is, well, Craig Wright

Vinny Lingham, voted one of the world’s top CEOs, founder of Gyft and Civic, and a Bitcoin Cash supporter, is the latest to be bounced by Mr. Wright, the controversial once-thought-to-be-Satoshi-but-admitted-he-wasn’t and prolific academic entrepreneur. He’s apparently clearing up follower space. Mr. Wright has also recently excommunicated Vin Armani of CoinText fame. Even prominent Bitcoin Cash developer, Amaury Séchet, has had enough of Mr. Wright’s social media theatre. 

Cryptowhispers: DDoS Attacks, Major Exec in Serious Crash, Twitter Drama

With talk in some quarters of how Bitcoin Cash is controlled or centralized, those claims are increasingly becoming more difficult to sustain. BCH proponents are taking polar opposite sides on the coin going forward, and debate seems more of feature than a bug. But it does make trolls very happy. 

Mr. Lingham is taking the latest weirdness in stride, retweeting the spectacle. Mr. Wright has also more recently taken to outright bizarre diatribes against “anarchists,” insisting they had little-to-nothing to do with crypto’s development. Each tweeted rant usually ends with Mr. Wright “not giving a fack,” emphasis mine on the last word to underline his Aussie patois.   

DDoS Attack on Bitcoin Cash Projects

Avinoc.com is an initial coin offering (ICO) accepting bitcoin cash (BCH). Understanding how, in some quarters, trolls were prone to make incorporating BCH an issue of derision or worse for entrepreneurs, Avinoc gave previously hidden 5% post-deposit bonuses. They also used airdrop promotions, common in the ICO space, whereby the company hatched user missions, tasks, one of which involved promoting BCH and a faucet — a previous tradition in the community is to give away small amounts of BCH to entice folks into downloading a wallet and giving the BCH experience a try.

Cryptowhispers: DDoS Attacks, Major Exec in Serious Crash, Twitter Drama

Word got out, and before its latest BCH faucet promotion could commence, the Avinoc site was held up by a direct denial of service (DDoS) attack vector, effectively preventing customers from using the site (now closing-in on 200,000). Rumors are the company relocated entry servers in anticipation of future malicious acts.      

A person familiar with the matter explained the attack lasted at least “a day. The website was down for several hours. Well, not really down, but unreachable. [The company] had another small one yesterday very early in the morning, but [they] were already able to handle that.” Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver voiced exasperation, “The fact [attackers] are willing to do such things shows that their morals are in the wrong place.”

“Everyone [at the company] is a huge Bitcoin Cash fan, but […] it can be dangerous to publicly state this. […] the token contract creation [was purposefully delayed] in the hope to have it working on BCH, but the May hard fork was too little. [The company hopes] that OP_GROUP will be added ASAP [so they] can eventually move [the project] from ETH to BCH,” a personal with firsthand knowledge noted.

Cryptowhispers: DDoS Attacks, Major Exec in Serious Crash, Twitter Drama

BTC Trolls Getting Desperate as BCHers Continue to Build

As ICOs go, Avinoc is a compelling idea, at least theoretically. They “have a working product for business aviation since almost 10 years ago. And it is a real competitive advancement for its users. However, the real problem of the Bizav is that is has more than 50% overhead ($150+Billion/year),” a person in the industry detailed. That’s “because there is no unified global data solution. And even the best product is always a competitor to all other solutions. So the only solution to crack that issue is to create something that is not a competitor.” Thus the reason for the company’s “blockchain based data layer. [Permissionless], every competitor can […] integrate it and eventually it will eliminate all the overhead.”

Avinoc is also rumored to have moved servers out of Asia altogether, and to an undisclosed location in “the west.” An anonymous source ranted, “For real, those Core trolls should do something productive with their lives. The world is full of real enemies of freedom, there are plenty of actual real enemies worth to be fighting against.”

Cryptowhispers: DDoS Attacks, Major Exec in Serious Crash, Twitter Drama

Placing the blame at the feet of BTC trolls comes only as an inference. The source has “some experience with regular DDoS attacks on Bitcoin sites, [and] usually one gets an email with some demand. This time we got nothing, so that clearly indicates that the DDoS was not to get a ransom.” This was very personal.

Rumors also include the company being bullish on BCH going forward, even with hater potential at annoyance level. The source insists, BCH is “the real Bitcoin, and frankly ETH is a mess compared to Bitcoin,” and the company sees “a great potential for it in the future.” A mainnet launch is in the works with the current token referred to as “just a placeholder,” as BCH is the company’s go-to.

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. 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. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. 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 information in this Op-ed article.

What juicy tidbits do you have? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay, Twitter. 


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Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: Report

Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: Report

According to the head of Iran’s Blockchain Association, over 500 BTC belonging to Iranians were confiscated by the U.S. government last year, and the number is still rising. He explains that Iranians are unable to take action through proper channels from within their country due to Iran’s legal status of cryptocurrency.

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

Iranians’ 500 BTC Seized by US Government

Sepehr Mohammadi, the president of Iran’s Blockchain Association, told Ibena news outlet last week:

Last year, a remarkable volume of bitcoins which belonged to some Iranians were confiscated for unspecific reasons by the federal government of the United States, and the process of confiscation is still continuing.

Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: ReportHe admitted that the exact number of confiscated BTC “is not clear, but it is expected to be over 500 bitcoins, worth approximately 25 billion tomans ($5.77 million)” at the time, the publication quoted him.

“Some people believe that this confiscation is because bitcoin owners were circumventing U.S. sanctions,” Mohammadi added.

Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: ReportRecently, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the government of Iran is considering using cryptocurrencies to evade long-held U.S. economic sanctions. Mohammad Reza Pour-Ebrahimi, the chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Economic Commission, said in an interview with Mizan news agency on July 15 that digital currencies are among the major mechanisms that Iran can use to the evade the sanctions. He noted that the Iranian parliament will soon discuss this issue.

Legal Challenge

Mohammadi further explained to Ibena the challenges Iranian citizens face to recover their cryptocurrencies:

The owners of confiscated bitcoins are unable to take legal action against the U.S. inside Iran as cryptocurrencies are banned in the country. The association is looking to take international legal action, but they have not yet found a legal expert in anti-money laundering law who will handle the case.

Over 500 BTC Belonging to Iranians Seized by US Government: Report
Central Bank of Iran.

In April, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) banned banks and financial institutions in the country from dealing with cryptocurrencies. The CBI claimed that “All cryptocurrencies have the capacity to be turned into a means for money laundering and financing terrorism and in general can be turned into a means for transferring criminals’ money.”

Nonetheless, Pour-Ebrahimi told Ibena in May that even though “few people in Iran are cryptocurrency users,” according to his data, “more than 2.5 billion dollars has been sent out of the country for buying digital currencies.”

What do you think of the US government seizing Iranians’ BTC? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Financial Tribune.


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Costa Rican Workers Can Be Legally Paid in Cryptocurrency

Costa Rican Workers Can Be Legally Paid in Cryptocurrency

Employees in Costa Rica can receive part of their salary in cryptocurrency and that wouldn’t be against the law. Certain provisions in the national legislation allow companies to pay their workers not only with fiat money but also with goods, and some legal experts believe cryptos can fit in this category. Besides, Costa Rican laws provide for the use of commonly accepted assets as means of payment.   

Also read: New BATM Supporting BTC, BCH Launches in Sofia

Cryptos in Costa Rica Can Be Goods, Assets, Quasi-Money

Workers in Costa Rica may soon start receiving a portion of their salary in cryptocurrency, local media reported. As far as Costa Rican law is concerned, there is no reason this cannot happen. The country’s legislation allows employers to partly remunerate their staff with goods that are not currency, as long as the legal minimum wage is paid in money. It also develops the concept of “quasi-money”, or any asset that can be used as a means of payment and has been widely accepted as such in the society.

Costa Rican Workers Can Be Legally Paid in Cryptocurrency“This is a trend that could take hold in the country,” said Rolando Perlaza who is working at Nassar Abogados, a prominent law firm in Central America. “This type of payment would in no way replace traditional or liquid cash. It would rather become an incentive for the workers, who could decide if they accept these currencies as payment for their services,” the expert elaborated, quoted by the Costa Rican News. He also emphasized that in any case employees are protected by article 166 of the country’s Labor Code.

The publication notes that in October last year, the Central Bank of Costa Rica (CBCR) issued a directive which established that cryptocurrencies are outside the national banking system. The document also indicated that carrying out any type of commercial transactions with digital coins is a “limited option” in the country. Along with that, the central bank warned that those who use cryptocurrencies assume the associated financial risks.

Costa Rica’s Growing Crypto Sector

Costa Rican Workers Can Be Legally Paid in CryptocurrencyDespite CBCR’s assessment, the local crypto sector has been developing steadily in recent years with a growing number of merchants and other businesses, including many hotels and companies from the tourism industry, accepting cryptocurrencies as a legitimate payment method. Costa Rica, which has remained relatively open towards business ventures in the crypto space, has also seen a number of bitcoin ATMs popping up in the capital San Jose and elsewhere.

According to the report, the Latin American country also offers favorable conditions for crypto mining thanks to its renewable sources. “Our Costa Rica-based crypto mining facility utilizes renewable energy options such as solar and wind. We think renewable energy has to be an essential part of any crypto related project. This green approach is good both for us and for the planet and makes the new business opportunities even better,” said Daniel Yépez, a local crypto entrepreneur. “Cryptocurrencies are here to stay and we are embracing the changes,” added Yépez whose company, SH Mining Technologies, specializes in providing cloud mining services.

Can cryptocurrencies be used as legal means of payment under the current legislation in your country? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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UK Police Top up Budget With Proceeds From Sale of Seized BTC

UK Police Top up Budget With Proceeds From Sale of Seized BTC

A UK police department has sold 295 BTC which they say were legally seized from a drug dealer. The court ordered him to forfeit his crypto stored in a hardware wallet. The police reportedly get to keep 18.8% of the sale proceeds.

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

British Police Seized BTC from Drug Dealer

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the principal public prosecuting agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales, unveiled this week the details of a case involving 295 BTC. The CPS wrote:

A drug dealer and money launderer who was using cryptocurrency to conceal his funds has had over £1.2 million [~US$1.6 million] worth of bitcoins seized, restrained and then converted into British pounds in the first case of its kind.

UK Police Top up Budget With Proceeds From Sale of Seized BTC
Sergejs Teresko.

Sergejs Teresko, a 31-year-old Latvian, was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and drug offenses in April last year. A “cannabis factory,” a number of fake identification cards, luxury goods such as jewelry and Rolex watches, gold bars, expensive cars and large sums of cash were found at his home in Surrey, a county in southeast England.

He pleaded guilty on October 6 “to one count of being knowingly concerned in the production of a controlled drug, one count of possessing criminal property, one count of possession of articles for use in frauds and six counts possession of an identity document with improper intention,” the CPS detailed.

Teresko “was later convicted of money laundering and drug offenses at Kingston Crown Court where he was sentenced to nine years, three months in prison,” the agency noted:

In total, Teresko was found to have made £2,058,613 [~$2,703,578] from his crimes with an available amount of £1,447,935 [~$1,901,574] to pay back. He was given three months to pay the order or would have to spend a further 10 years in prison.

Kingston Crown Court ruled on Thursday that Teresko must forfeit the £1,447,935 “of his ill-gotten gains, including bitcoin,” the Financial Times reported.

Keepkey Wallet Found

According to Surrey Live, a Keepkey hardware wallet was found at Teresko’s home. Surrey Police then secured a warrant to access the device. DI Rob Bryant of South East Regional Organised Crime Unit was quoted by the news outlet:

We didn’t think we were going to actually find anything in these wallets. We thought we would open them and there’d be nothing there.

The cops, however, found two wallets on the device. The first did not contain anything but the second had 295 BTC. When they found out the coins’ worth, “the colour started to drain from a number of faces,” the publication quoted Bryant saying.

The Independent elaborated:

Surrey Police has now become the first UK force to successfully seize bitcoin, convert it into sterling and be granted permission by a court to keep the cash for government and police coffers.

Police Can Keep 18.8%

Using “powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act,” Surrey Police seized Teresko’s coins, the CPS revealed.

UK Police Top up Budget With Proceeds From Sale of Seized BTCCiting BTC’s “extreme volatility and the risk of it being moved on or stolen,” the cops applied to the court to seize the coins and convert them into sterling, Surrey Live described. They convinced the judge that “bitcoin was a real thing that could be seized,” the news outlet wrote.

The CPS explained that it “applied to have the restrained bitcoins converted into pounds. The 295 bitcoins were then sold by Surrey Police through an approved bitcoin exchange.”

According to the Financial Times, the police “set up its own bitcoin wallet and then used an offshore exchange to transfer and convert” the seized BTC. The proceeds were then “transferred to a police bank account,” the publication added:

Surrey Police gets to keep 18.8 percent of the proceeds of Teresko’s crimes — about £273,000 — which the force can use to top up its operating budget.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Surrey Police.


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Indian Central Bank Makes a Case Before Supreme Court Against Allowing Crypto Use

Indian Central Bank Makes a Case Before Supreme Court Against Allowing Crypto Use

India’s central bank told the country’s supreme court on Friday that “allowing dealings in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin would encourage illegal transactions.” Other crypto petitions being heard include one asking the government to “take emergency steps to restrain the sale and purchase of illegal cryptocurrencies.”

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

RBI’s Argument

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, appeared before the supreme court Friday to defend its position regarding cryptocurrencies. RBI issued a circular on April 6 banning financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto companies.

According to the Economic Times, the central bank told the court:

Allowing dealings in cryptocurrencies like bitcoins would encourage illegal transactions and it has already issued a circular prohibiting use of these virtual currencies.

Indian Central Bank Makes a Case Before Supreme Court Against Allowing Crypto UseRBI explained that crypto is “a stateless digital currency” that operates independently of a central bank such as itself, thereby “rendering it immune from government interference,” the news outlet noted.

The Financial Express elaborated that the central bank believes “it is necessary to regulate the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to check illegal transactions which will impact the international flow of funds.” Senior counsel Shyam Divan, appearing for RBI, reiterated that the central bank has a particular stance and other departments may have other positions.

Petitions Being Heard

Petitions against the RBI crypto banking ban are not the only ones that the supreme court is hearing. The Economic Times described:

Some petitions challenged the use of virtual currencies and alleged that they posed grave dangers to the traditional economy and they also sought framing of guidelines to regulate them … They also sought a direction for the Centre to take emergency steps to restrain the sale and purchase of illegal cryptocurrencies.

Indian Central Bank Makes a Case Before Supreme Court Against Allowing Crypto UseThe Hindu pointed to one particular petition, filed by father and son Siddharth Dalmia and Vijay Pal Dalmia. “Mr. Dalmia, in his plea, has sought a direction to the Centre to take steps to restrain sale and purchase of illegal cryptocurrencies like bitcoins, which were being traded openly for ‘illegal activities’ like funding terrorism and insurgency,” the publication wrote.

The supreme court already heard the duo’s initial petition in November last year and subsequently issued notices to various government departments including RBI. The central bank responded at the time that it had warned people against the usage and risks associated with crypto. However, the Dalmias were not happy with RBI’s reply and filed a new petition, pointing out the inadequate action by the central bank.

At the hearing on Friday, the supreme court gave the government until September 11 to respond to all petitions.

What do you think of RBI’s view and action? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and RBI.


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Bitcoin (Almost) Everywhere: 5 Crypto Debit Cards Worth Checking Out

Bitcoin (Almost) Everywhere: 5 Crypto Debit Cards Worth Checking Out

Mass, mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies might take a route few original cadres of developers and enthusiasts imagined — major payment processing, plastic debit cards. They’re incredibly handy for those wishing to use crypto while merchant adoption works itself out. Here are five such cards to consider: Wirex, Bitpay, Cryptopay, Xapo, and Shift.  

Also read: World Cup Goes Crypto!

5 Crypto Debit Cards Worth Checking Out

Significant strains of the broader crypto community (strident veterans of an ideological bent) chafe at cryptocurrency debit cards. They do in large part because such cards are in bed with sworn enemies, legacy banking: Visa, Mastercard. Indeed, it is the height of irony the very institutions crypto was designed to thwart are arguably crypto’s most popular onboarding forms.

Bitcoin (Almost) Everywhere: 5 Crypto Debit Cards Worth Checking Out

Wirex: A well known company, Wirex has a solid customer base. Along with virtual products, it offers a pin card. It also is notorious for fees, and they add up. And while no company is ever guaranteed to stay solvent, something to consider is shelf life (they tend to come and go). Wirex seems well poised for the longer term: Spring of last year it received confidence funding in the low millions from SBI Group, a prominent Japanese financial player. It has nearly one million customers spread out through most countries, with about a billion dollars in transaction volume last year. This year they’ve added litecoin, and they basically pioneered contactless debit cards in the space. The regular fees are pretty similar to other cards, hovering around 3% for international transactions, $2.50 for withdrawals, $17 to purchase a physical card.

For most everyone else, crypto’s slow merchant adoption is a giant pain in the ass. No matter how much one loves crypto and its potential, people need food, clothing, tchotkes. And, no, the fact your brother has a hat store, or the fact that random pizza parlor down the street accepts crypto, are not immediate solutions. A person can only have so many hats and eat so much of your brother’s greasy pizza.

Bitcoin (Almost) Everywhere: 5 Crypto Debit Cards Worth Checking Out

Bitpay: Another well regarded provider is Bitpay. Its card is accepted the globe over, though it’s only available to US residents. No chip and pin, so verification is needed. Simple KYC, AML identification is mando, so all one needs is a government issued ID, street address, and Social Security number. The card is available in all US states. It’s loaded through a separate wallet client, prepaid. They use Visa, and for around 10 bucks USD a physical card will be sent along. Outside the US, a 3% fee is placed on all currency conversions (along with $3 for any outside the US withdrawals). Withdrawals in the US vary from bank to bank in terms of fees. Using it is a snap, very convenient. Withdrawal limits are generous.

Crypto debit cards, then, are a splitting the baby, kissing your sister kind of way to advance money’s future while still being able to enjoy life’s material pleasures. Done right, crypto debit schemes go anywhere major payment providers, such as Visa and Mastercard, are accepted. At the very least, they’re a nice hedge.

Bitcoin (Almost) Everywhere: 5 Crypto Debit Cards Worth Checking Out

Cryptopay: Like Wirex, they offer virtual and physical cards. It is available around the globe. It can also be a little fee laden with load fees and maintenance fees, etc. It’s, of course, a Bitcoin debit card. Its selling feature is lack of personal verification. They might require more if limits are increased, however, above a couple thousand dollars. The card is right around $15, withdrawals are $2.5, and they charge 3% on international transactions.

Scouring the known crypto debit world, those presented are by no means exhaustive. Such cards are designed to help anyone inclined to get started. There are many others, as the market sees them popping up all the time. If these don’t live up to your standards, there are, again, plenty others.

Xapo: Xapo is most everywhere, and has a solid reputation among enthusiasts. It too was an earlier mover in the space. No chip and pin standard, though it’s offered. The cost of the card is roughly $20, and it carries an annual fee. Like most other cards, so long as users stay under about $2,500 in withdrawal limits, fees are relatively tame.

Bitcoin (Almost) Everywhere: 5 Crypto Debit Cards Worth Checking Out

Shift: Easily connects to your Coinbase account, relatively low fees. Available only in 45 states around the US, Coinbase is limited to certain countries as well. Shift position themselves as “the first US Bitcoin debit card”. The card costs a reasonable $10 to produce and has no ongoing fees. There is of course the standard 3% international transaction fee and $2.5 flat ATM withdrawal fee.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support these products/services. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned 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 this article.

What bitcoin debit card do you use? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay.


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Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto Game

Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto Game

A growing number of big-name insurers are getting into the crypto space. They are exploring new product options in this area and meeting with cryptocurrency custodians and trading platforms about coverage. However, exclusions can add up fast for crypto businesses and premiums can be more than five times that of a normal business.

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

Large Insurers Getting into Crypto

While most big-name insurers are reluctant to provide coverage to crypto startups, some are slowly coming around and quietly entering the space. Two leading insurance brokers that help companies shop for crypto policies, Marsh & Mclennan and Aon, were quoted by Bloomberg on Thursday:

Business has been brisk this year.

Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto GameMarsh has formed a dedicated team to service blockchain startups while Aon says it has “seen some insurers tweak general company policies to include crypto-specific protections,” the publication detailed, adding that Aon also claims to have over 50 percent of the crypto insurance market.

According to the company’s website, “Aon has been working to understand these evolving technologies and actively collaborates with the insurance marketplace to develop innovative risk transfer solutions.” Its subsidiary, Aon Risk Solutions, has “developed a policy form to protect against the loss of cryptocurrency along with other initiatives designed to meet the emerging risks posed by cryptocurrencies and digital ledger technologies,” Business Insurance magazine described.

Big Opportunities

Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto GameEuropean insurer and asset manager, Allianz SE, has 88 million retail and corporate clients in more than 70 countries. The Munich-based company “began offering individual coverage for digital-coin theft in the past year,” the publication conveyed and quoted the company’s spokesman, Christian Weishuber, saying:

Insurance for cryptocurrency storage will be a big opportunity…Digital assets are becoming more relevant, important and prevalent on the real economy and we are exploring product and coverage options in this area.

American International Group (AIG) “has also been adding crypto coverage into standard policy forms” and has “met with cryptocurrency custodians and trading platforms about coverage,” the news outlet detailed and quoted a source familiar with the matter:

Over a dozen underwriters, including Chubb and XL, currently provide coverage to crypto-related businesses.

In February, Reuters reported that XL Catlin, Chubb, and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance firms started offering protection against crypto theft.

Costly Premiums

Big-Name Insurers Stepping Up Their Crypto GameCrypto companies are also increasingly seeking to obtain insurance coverage to help attract more clients. A London-based startup focused on crypto custody services, Trustology, is one of the businesses in talks to obtain coverage, according to Bloomberg. The company wants to insure its customer accounts for up to £85,000 (~US$111,630), which is the same standard as a U.K. bank account.

However, insurance premiums for crypto-related coverage are costly and policies can take months to get approved, the publication conveyed, adding that “exclusions can add up fast.” For example, while losses from an interruption of service may be covered, the theft of cryptocurrency that caused the interruption may not.

Citing that many startups cannot afford to pay the high premiums, the news outlet elaborated:

The premiums from insuring such risk can be substantial. By some accounts, underwriters can charge a crypto-related company upwards of five times or more than your average business for coverage against loss or theft.

Do you think soon all big-name insurers will soon get into crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Allianz, and Aon.


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Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public Opinion

Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public Opinion

A great deal of cryptocurrency proponents are hoping for a positive outcome when the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) decides on whether or not they will approve the latest bitcoin-based ETF application file by Cboe. The US regulator had asked for public opinion concerning the ETF again, and this time around the number of responses sent to the regulator is 10X the amount that was sent this past April.

Also Read: Bitcoin Futures Volume Spike As Cboe Awaits ETF Decision 

SEC Receives 10X the Number of Responses for the Upcoming Bitcoin ETF Decision

Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public OpinionVirtual currency enthusiasts really want a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) approved by US regulators. Over the past few weeks, since Cboe filed an application with the SEC, so it can list shares backed by the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust (“the Trust”), the SEC office received a large swathe of opinion letters from more than 90 individuals according to recent reports. The number of responses sent was 10X the amount of opinions written last April during a prior bitcoin ETF decision.

Reports also detail that Cboe’s bitcoin-based ETF has been so popular that the SEC has pushed another cryptocurrency related listing off until this September. The attempted Cboe ETF has been a popular discussion among cryptocurrency enthusiasts and some speculators believe digital asset prices will rise in anticipation of the SEC’s decision. Cryptocurrency markets have seemingly already reversed their bearish trend and a good amount of proponents believe this decision will cause a spike either before and after the ruling if it is positive.

SEC Decision Date Discrepancy and a Possible Crypto-Bull Run if the Ruling Is Positive  

There’s also been a discrepancy on when the official decision would be made as many people and publications assumed the verdict would be on August 10. However, according to a Reddit user, who claims to be a securities lawyer, on the forum r/cryptocurrency, an August 10 decision is impossible.

“The way this works is that the SEC issues a notice, which is then published in the Federal Register — As you will find stated clearly in the notice, the period is within 45 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register — not the date the notice is released by the SEC (edit: failure to understand this distinction is the source of the incorrect August 10th date),” explains the post.  

The date of publication in the Federal Register was July 2nd — This means they have until August 16th. Bear in mind that it can be extended, and even once the period ends, the SEC may “initiate proceedings” to assist in making a decision.

Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public Opinion

A Possible Crypto-Bull Run if the SEC Ruling Is Positive

If an ETF judgment is made on August 16 there is well over a month until that date, so a lot could happen to cryptocurrency spot markets between now and that time. People who hope this ETF will happen believe it might be approved because of Cboe’s previous experience with bitcoin futures markets introduced this past December. So far the derivatives markets offered by both Cboe and CME Group have done well, and growing volumes show there is interest in these mainstream cryptocurrency investment vehicles. Arthur Hayes the co-founder and CEO of Bitmex exchange explains on the CNBC broadcast Fast Money that a positive ETF ruling could prime the next massive bull run.

“We’re one positive regulatory decision away — maybe an ETF approved by the SEC — to climb through $20,000 and even to $50,000 by the end of the year,” the Bitmex CEO states.

What do you think about the SEC being swamped with letters about the bitcoin ETF decision? Do you think a positive decision will cause a cryptocurrency bull run to happen? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, and Pixabay


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Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council Supports Crypto Regulatory Concept

Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council Supports Crypto Regulatory Concept

Ukraine has taken a positive step towards legalizing cryptocurrencies. A new regulatory concept, one that recognizes coins and tokens as financial instruments, has won support from the members of the country’s Financial Stability Council. The body includes representatives of the National Bank, the Finance Ministry and other government agencies.

Also read: Minsk Mulls Rules for Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

Ukraine Adopts Regulatory Concept for Cryptocurrencies

It’s been quite a while since Ukraine made any notable progress towards regulating its crypto sector. A new decision in Kiev, however, qualifies as an important development. The country’s Financial Stability Council has supported a concept to regulate crypto transactions. The body is composed of representatives from the National Bank of Ukraine, the Ministry of Finance, the Deposit Guarantee Fund, the National Securities and Stock Market Commission, and the National Financial Services Market Commission.

Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council Supports Crypto Regulatory ConceptThe news about the decision of the council was announced on social media by Timur Khromaev, head of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission (NSSMC). “This is an important first step in building a consensus among government agencies and financial regulators which confirms the readiness to work with the Verkhovna Rada and the crypto market on forming a legislative and a regulatory framework that will ensure transparency and quality of relations between investors and crypto market participants,” Khromaev said in a Facebook post.

The newly approved concept recognizes certain categories of cryptocurrencies and tokens as financial instruments. It also determines the roles and functions of government agencies, such as the National Bank, the Finance Ministry, the State Fiscal Service, the State Financial Monitoring Service, and the NSSMC, in regards to regulating the circulation of cryptos, licensing of participants in crypto transactions, and disclosure of information.

Cryptocurrencies Still Unregulated, Not Legal in Ukraine

The status of cryptocurrencies in Ukraine is still undetermined. Three bills designed to legalize and regulate them and the related economic activities have been filed in the Rada since October but no significant progress has been made towards their adoption. These are the laws “On the Circulation of Cryptocurrency in Ukraine”, “On Stimulating the Market of Cryptocurrencies and Their Derivatives”, and a supplementary draft addressing crypto taxation. The recently voted Currency Law did not mention cryptocurrencies at all.

Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council Supports Crypto Regulatory ConceptThe NSSMC, one of the regulators that would be responsible for overseeing the crypto industry, did not support the bills introduced in the Rada. At the time, the commission objected to the use of the term “cryptocurrency” in the legal texts, stating that it is a result of what it called “financial engineering” and not a currency. The National Bank, the National Securities and Stock Market Commission and the National Financial Services Market Commission did not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal means of payment or money surrogate.

Cryptocurrencies have been steadily gaining popularity in Ukraine, especially in the last couple of years. Local media claim that the country is among the top 10 by number of crypto users. According to some recent reports, the estimated daily crypto-hryvnia turnover on the three major Ukrainian exchanges reaches $1.9 – $2 million USD. The actual volume may be much higher, given the large number of small trading platforms and individuals offering exchange services.

Do you expect Ukraine to adopt comprehensive crypto regulations? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Timur Khromaev (Facebook).


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EOS Leads China’s Blockchain Rankings Once More

China ranks EOS number one

The third round of blockchain rankings has been released by the Chinese government. Yet again, China ranks EOS number one.

The rankings, released by the government-backed China Electronic Information Industry Development (CCID), evaluate the public blockchain networks with three different metrics. The metrics include technology, applicability, and innovation.

Previous Leaders

CCID released its first set of rankings back on May 16th, where Ethereum was ranked the world’s top blockchain network.

4/ Detailed scores of the first crypto ratings by CCID Research, China’s Ministry of Industry & Information Technology pic.twitter.com/7LiJIWokge

— ...

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Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today but RBI Ban Stays

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban Stays

India’s Supreme Court heard the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today. After hearing some arguments from both sides, the court decided to set another hearing date, allowing some of the regulators involved to respond to the petitions.

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

Supreme Court Hearing on July 20

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThe long-awaited hearing at which the Supreme Court of India was scheduled to address all of the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank has finally taken place.

Today’s hearing follows the hearing on July 3 of the petition by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The court did not grant a stay against the ban at that time. Last week, the central bank responded to a representation by the association but did not change its stance on crypto.

The latest chapter of the courtroom saga did not see an overturn of the ban. The court also did not hear all arguments by both sides. Crypto Kanoon, a platform engaged in crypto regulatory analysis, legal awareness and news, detailed:

Limited arguments were advanced on behalf of IAMAI and RBI today.

Another Hearing Date Set

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThere are at least five writ petitions filed against the RBI ban. However, according to Crypto Kanoon, “SEBI [the Securities and Exchange Board of India] and few others have not filed their response to the petition seeking regulation…All (remaining) parties to file their reply within 4 weeks.”

Sohail Merchant, CEO of crypto exchange Pocketbits, commented on the outcome of today’s hearing:

Final hearing [is] slated for 11th of September. Now that is the Judgement Day.

According to lawyers familiar with the case, the central bank has been challenged on two grounds. They concern article 19(1) (g) and article 14 of the Indian constitution. The former “allows citizens to enjoy the right to carry on any occupation, trade, or business,” Quartz explained, adding that the latter “prohibits discrimination and mandates equal protection under the law for all.”

P2P Services Live

In response to the RBI banking ban, a number of crypto exchanges in the country have set up peer-to-peer (P2P) services.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysKoinex launched its P2P platform called Loop on July 17. “Loop is a peer-to-peer fiat to crypto trading platform where registered users can trade in cryptos with other registered users in INR,” the exchange described.

“To ensure user safety, a built-in escrow system is employed which releases the cryptocurrency only after the seller double confirms the exact payment of the trade.” According to its website, the service currently offers the buying and selling of BTC, ETH, and XRP without network or transaction fees.

Last week, Wazirx launched its P2P service, also without network or transaction fees. The exchange recently claimed to have 125,000 users on its main platform after operating for four months. Meanwhile, Coindelta is also preparing to launch a P2P service called Flux.

What do you think of the Supreme Court hearing today? Do you think RBI’s ban will eventually be lifted? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, Belarus, which legalized crypto activities this spring, is now turning its attention to adopting standards for companies operating crypto exchanges and issuing tokens. We’ve covered the decision of the Russian payment provider Qiwi to motivate its employees with tokens. The Daily also features crypto news from China and Canada.

Also read: Anti-Crypto Politician Backed by Payments Firm, Grayscale Raised $250m in H1

Belarus Working on Standards for Crypto Exchanges

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens
Belarus Hi-Tech Park

Having legalized crypto-related activities earlier this year, Belarus is now fine-tuning and expanding the regulatory framework. The Hi-Tech Park in Minsk (HTP) is currently developing standards for companies operating crypto exchanges and providers of services related to issuing and placement of tokens. According to media reports, state bodies and representatives of the legal and tech communities in the country are involved in the process.

The new set of rules and regulations is intended to supplement the basic framework outlined in the presidential decree “On the development of the digital economy”, which entered into force on March 28, Denis Aleinikov, senior partner at a Belarussian law firm, told Forklog. He shared details on the progress so far: “We’ve established that a token is not a security […]. Any organization is allowed to issue and sell tokens through residents of the High-Tech Park.”

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

The legal expert added that entities in the field will be obliged to prove charter capital of at least $500,000. The standards will also regulate the activities of HTP residents and detail the requirements for those that want to issue and trade digital tokens. The Hi-Tech Park is actively participating in the process after it was granted right of legislative initiative with another presidential decree in June.

Payment Provider Qiwi to Award Employees with Tokens

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with TokensThe blockchain subsidiary of the Russian payment provider Qiwi plans to supplement the salaries of its employees with awards paid in tokens. The motivational program will be launched by Qiwi Blockchain Technologies in the second half of 2018 and will be based on the Russian Masterchain platform. Several dozens of employees will receive their awards in QBT tokens by the end of the year. The subsidiary plans to allocate up to 50 percent of its profit to the program.

The tokens will be divided into two categories. Part of them will come with voting rights, allowing their holders to participate in different company decisions. Employees won’t be able to exchange the tokens for fiat money but will have the opportunity to convert them to corporate bonuses. According to Konstantin Koltsov, Director for Corporate Affairs, the system will allow employees to be directly involved in the company’s development. Qiwi also plans to create a blockchain-based HR platform.

Companies with ‘Blockchain’ in The Name Surge in China

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with TokensIt’s no secret that adding “crypto” or “blockchain” to the name of a company comes with some image benefits. Since cryptocurrencies are not favored by authorities in Beijing, Chinese companies from the crypto sector have been left with only one choice. As a result, China has seen a sixfold increase in the number of new firms registered with “blockchain” in their names, The South China Morning Post reported.

According to an estimate based on government data gathered by Qixin.com, there are now more than 4,000 Chinese companies that identify with blockchain. Over 3,000 firms registered since January use the Chinese translation of the term describing the distributed ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin – “qukualian”. In comparison, their number for the whole 2017 was only 555.

The analysis of the official data has produced another interesting finding – 16,600 companies that were established within the past 12 months had “blockchain” listed as part of their lines of business. SCMP comments that despite the reservations of the Beijing government on crypto exchanges, coin offerings and mining, the interest towards the technology in China remains strong.

Bitcoin Ownership and Awareness Increase in Canada

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with TokensA survey conducted by the Bank of Canada has detected a twofold increase in the number of people owning bitcoin (BTC) over 12 months. About half of crypto owners said they regularly use bitcoin to buy goods and services or transfer money. The Bitcoin Omnibus Survey was carried out in December, when the prices of cryptocurrencies reached all-time highs, but the results were published recently.

According to another study, “Bitcoin Awareness and Usage in Canada: An Update”, the awareness of Canadians about bitcoin increased from 64 to 85 percent during the same period. The authors also found that the residents of the predominantly francophone province of Quebec were the most Bitcoin-aware citizens.

Meanwhile, the province’s state-owned power company Hydro-Québec has been allowed to charge crypto miners and blockchain promoters increased rates until regulations for the industry are introduced. Régie de l’énergie du Québec, the local energy sector regulator, has recently accepted most of the new Hydro-Québec’s demands. A rate of 15 cents (CAD) per kWh, double the tariff for residential clients, will be applied.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, HTP.


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Bitcoin Skeptic Peter Schiff to Joe Rogan: BTC Will Plummet, Voorhees Debate Rigged

Bitcoin Skeptic Peter Schiff to Joe Rogan: BTC Will Plummet, Voorhees Debate Rigged

At the hour and twenty four minute mark, slightly more than half way in their time together, famed bitcoin (BTC) skeptic Peter Schiff brought the conversation back to his favorite foil: cryptocurrencies are bunk. It was Mr. Schiff’s third appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, and he took the opportunity to blast the world’s most popular decentralized money, insist a recent debate between him and the CEO of Shapeshift on the subject was rigged, and how he believes BTC’s price will crash further to $1,000 and lower.

Also read: Philippines Embraces Cryptocurrency: Exchanges Issued Provisional Licenses

Skeptic Peter Schiff Blasts Voorhees Debate, Bitcoin

The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) keeps bringing bitcoin skeptic Peter Schiff back on. And it’s no wonder, as each time the two men hold close to three hour uninterrupted conversations over the last four years, the public seems to eat it up: JRE #445 (2014) not quite a quarter million views, #1002 (2017) has racked up over 1.1 million views, and #1145 (2018), of only a few days ago, already is nearing 700k views.

When all is said and done, over two million people would have been exposed to free market economics and expressly mainstream US libertarian thought — those, and also why bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are horrible bubbles.

Widely acknowledged as a gold bug, Mr. Schiff explained to Mr. Rogan how “… that’s the whole selling point of bitcoin. It’s digital gold.” He further noted BTC does have similar properties, but that its being math and not physical means it ultimately lacks real utility (something like the Greater Fool theory).

“Technically, I lost the debate, but I think it was rigged,” Mr. Schiff then concluded, moving his monologue through a non sequitur. The reference is to a contest on the subject of bitcoin hosted by The Soho Forum in New York City earlier this month, whereby he debated Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees. Mr. Schiff blamed his loss on a largely pro-bitcoin audience, which he also assured was told to fib on the initial poll of their true feelings about crypto so as to ensure his eventual defeat.

Bitcoin Skeptic Peter Schiff to Joe Rogan: BTC Will Plummet, Voorhees Debate Rigged

BTC Will Fall Thousands More in Price

The format of the debate was such that winners were determined by the percentage grown to a debater’s position — so even if the audience was already in the bag for bitcoin, all Mr. Schiff had to do was convince more of them than Mr. Voorhees. That didn’t happen, and by a lot.

Transitioning on his way to explaining how bitcoiners are cultish (Mr. Rogan described them as very “tribal”), naive playboys living it up in his new home commonwealth island of Puerto Rico, he admitted to having missed out on a pretty radical runup since BTC’s inception to now. He explained the digital asset was “taylor made” for him and his politics, but he “knew” even back then it was something of a scam. He called it a bubble. He also insisted a lot people are destined to be hurt financially.

Bitcoin Skeptic Peter Schiff to Joe Rogan: BTC Will Plummet, Voorhees Debate Rigged

Ironically, as Mr. Schiff was once again predicting BTC’s death (something he’s been doing for almost a decade), the price actually rallied to well above the seven thousand mark. Nevertheless, Mr. Rogan followed Mr. Schiff’s line of reasoning, asking, “… you think it’s going down?” Mr. Schiff affirmed enthusiastically, patting himself on the back as knowing bitcoin well enough not to be fooled … as he mistakenly referred to “Satoshi Nakamora” [sic] as its pseudonymous founder (Mr. Schiff is also famous for malapropisms). He ranted, when BTC dips “… and it keeps falling, it goes down to $1,000, or lower, where I think it’s going … that’s going to create a lot of problems.”

Perhaps, Mr. Schiff’s most salient point was when, in his doom scenario, BTC loses a lot of people a lot of money, this will bring in government crackdowns like never before. The fear, he insists, is that such a crash and resulting government response will prove to the public how free markets and capitalism are best served through intense regulation. He believes that will inadvertently buttress hopelessly “flawed” fiat currencies, something everyone in the current debate dreads.

Does Peter Schiff have a point? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Euro Pacific Capital, Joe Rogan Experience.


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CryptoSoccr: Can I Earn a Football Player Salary with this Website?

Do you ever find yourself reading blockchain articles in disbelief at the reported profits? Or, if you’re anything like me, seem to stumble across these money-making opportunities just a little too late? If, like many experts say, Bitcoin has already boomed, Ethereum smart contracts are where the future is at.

If you’re curious about being part of the growing Blockchain community,  but like me, you don’t know where to begin placing your bids, let me tell you a bit about my latest discovery: blockchain trading games, which are set to send smart contract investments soaring in ...

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TRON (TRX) Now Supported on Ledger Nano S

Ledger Nano S supports TRON

Ledger Nano S supports TRON: TRON (TRX), the world’s eleventh largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has just made the big announcement that it is now supported on the popular cold storage wallet the Ledger Nano S.

Thanks @LedgerHQ for supporting $TRX on your hardware wallet Ledger Nano S! pic.twitter.com/QoyDb9zbzF

— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) July 18, 2018

But things don’t appear to be all sunshine and rainbows just yet.

Connection Issues

One user reported an error when trying to connect to TRON on the Ledger Nano S.

anyone else ...

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EOS is Breaking Transaction Processing Speed Records

EOS transaction speed: Transaction time is important. It has been a point of concern for many on the Bitcoin network for one, where congestion on the network has created a problem and transaction processing currently takes an average of 8-9 minutes.

In fact, transactions on Bitcoins network have ranged anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes to even 7 days, 23 hours and 53 minutes at its peak in 2017.

But then there is EOS.

EOS Transaction Speed Breaks Record

EOS is blowing transaction times out the window with its near instant ...

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Malta paves the way for a decentralized stock exchange

Malta AKA “Blockchain Island” has been making waves lately in the world of cryptocurrency and governance. Their latest move involves the crypto exchange Binance and the ICO builders at Neufund.

The plan is simple: Neufund will help MSX, the Malta Stock Exchange’s skunkworks, create tokenized securities. Binance has agreed to carry these securities on its own exchange, essentially creating a straight path to regulated tokens via the already regulated Malta Stock Exchange. In short, this enables Malta to become the first country to be able to offer tokens alongside traditional equities as well as an easy way to go public in multiple ways including via ICO.

The plan is still in the pilot stage. This year they will begin “the public offering of tokenized equity on Neufund’s primary market which may later be tradable on Binance and other crypto exchanges pending regulatory and listing approvals” said Neufund CEO Zoe Adamovicz.

“We are thrilled to announce the partnerships with Malta Stock Exchange and Binance, that will ensure high liquidity to equity tokens issued on Neufund. It is the first time in history, that security tokens can be offered and traded in a legally binding way. The upcoming pilot project will allow us to test the market’s reaction and realize the overall project idea in an environment with minimized risk.” said Adamovicz.

“We are delighted to welcome Neufund as our key partner in building a Blockchain-based exchange that is fully integrated with established financial markets. With the upcoming pilot project we become a worldwide pioneer in digital finance,” said Joseph Portelli, chairman of the Malta Stock Exchange.

This move is interesting in that it offers a parallel track to companies wishing to go public via token sales. While even the terminology isn’t completely hashed out in regards to the future of these systems, having a spot like Malta lead in the matter of token sales selling alongside equities is a solid decision. Malta is increasingly becoming the testbed for these sorts of experiments and, even if this is not yet a real project, it could create a turnkey solution for ICO launches on the island.

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation

Seiko Noda, Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs & Communications, and Minister in charge of Women’s Empowerment, was questioned by the Japanese press on Thursday over her involvement with an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange, which was allegedly violating the Japanese fund settlement law.

Also read: Japan Tax Agency Says Individuals Earning $1,800+ in Crypto a Year Will Declare Tax

It was revealed on Thursday that, on January 30, Noda’s secretary and aide allegedly invited an agent of the FSA and the representative of an unnamed unregistered cryptocurrency exchange operator to her parliamentary office. The said exchange operator was under investigation by the FSA for operating without registration, Jiji Press reported. The FSA had slapped the Tokyo-based company with a warning on January 12, saying it was suspected of violating the law.

Given Her Position as a Cabinet Minister, Noda Risked Being Accused of Exerting Pressure on a Government Investigation

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation
Seiko Noda, Minister for Internal Affairs

“Because there has never been any administrative ties between this company and my office, I believe there is no exerting pressure on the front of this government investigation.” Noda told the press at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on Thursday.

According to Noda, her secretary and aide solicited an FSA agent for general background briefing regarding crypto exchanges’ legal framework and organized a meeting at her parliamentary office with an acquaintance who represented the company. Noda said she was not present at the meeting. The unnamed company was under government investigation on suspicion of violating the fund settlement law at the time, but Noda’s team claims it was not aware of that fact. An FSA official visited Noda’s office at the Diet members’ building on January 30 to explain Noda’s aide and the representative of the company under investigation the FSA’s positioning on regulations concerning funds raising by issuing cryptocurrency and other matters.

A senior agency official noted that the request from Noda’s office for a briefing could be interpreted as pressure. “A public servant will likely take it as pressure if an aide to a sitting Cabinet member calls for a meeting in which an employee of a company the agency is looking into is also present,” the official was quoted saying to Asahi newspaper.

Noda told reporters that she hasn’t received any political contribution, nor had she made any investment with the company. “I promise I will take more prudent responses in the future.” She added.

The company, which began dealing in its own cryptocurrency in October 2017, received administrative guidance in February 2018 not to continue selling cryptocurrencies.

The Amended Settlement Act

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation
The National Diet, the seat of the Japanese government

Japanese lawmakers amended the Act on Settlement of Funds in May 2016 to regulate businesses handling virtual currencies. This law was amended after Mt. Gox went bankrupt in Japan in February of 2014 due to the misappropriation of customers’ assets by its operator.

In response to these background events, Japanese lawmakers enacted the Amended Settlement Act with three pillars of regulation as follows:

  • Registration requirements on virtual currency exchange business in Japan;
  • Regulation against money laundering and terrorist financing; and
  • Introduction of rules to ensure customer protection.

What do you think of this Minister’s implication in government investigation into the crypto exchange operator? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Jiji Press and Japan Times.


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

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