Op-Ed | Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Consume Significantly Less Resources than Fiat Money

Earlier this week, I wrote on social media that it costs significantly less energy to produce cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum. The responses were, “that’s not true, once fiat money is created, no additional energy is required.” Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have an energy problem? People at the FED don't sit around painting Benjamin Franklin all

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Six Japanese Public Companies Announce Plans to Launch Crypto Exchanges

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto Exchanges

This week, a number of companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange revealed their plans to enter the crypto exchange business for the first time. They include one of the most popular budget-managing app operators, an entertainment conglomerate, one of the largest music labels, and a medical corporation. These corporations join other public companies that previously announced their plans to launch crypto exchanges such as SBI Group, Line Corp, and Yahoo! Japan.

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

Money Forward

Budget-managing app operator Money Forward Inc (TYO: 3994) made two crypto-related announcements this week. Launched in 2012, the company “has grown rapidly to become one of the hottest financial technology startups, with its namesake application now boasting 5.5 million users,” the Japan Times described.

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto Exchanges

The company announced on Wednesday the establishment of a wholly-owned subsidiary, Money Forward Financial Co. Ltd., adding:

Money Forward Financial Co., Ltd. (‘MF Financial’) will start media related to blockchains and virtual currencies from the summer of 2018 and aim to establish a virtual currency exchange office within 2018.

Money Forward “is known as a pioneer in developing a digital kakeibo (household bookkeeping) app, where users can keep track of financial accounts for banking, credit card, e-wallet and point services,” the news outlet added, noting that “The company’s free app for the Android platform has won the best finance app award on Google Play for three consecutive years since 2013.”

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto Exchanges

Another announcement made on the same day is the plan to partner with 20 crypto exchanges in Japan and overseas to provide accounting solutions for crypto traders. Citing that it is already cooperating with Bitflyer, Coincheck, and Zaif crypto exchanges, the company says it is now in the process of collaborating with Btcbox, Bitbank, Quoine, and Fisco.

Drecom

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesDrecom Co. Ltd. (TYO: 3793) engages in the development and marketing of entertainment content for mobile and PC. The company announced on Wednesday partial amendments to its Articles of Incorporation, adding a number of businesses it plans to start including crypto businesses. The amendments will be presented to shareholders at the next annual meeting.

The amendments state that the company plans to enter the “virtual currency exchange” business, particularly the “Planning, operation and management of exchanges relating to virtual currencies.” Furthermore, the company plans to offer cryptocurrency settlement services.

Yamane Medical Corporation

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesYamane Medical Corporation (TYO: 2144) operates in the nursing and personal care sector. The company “operates a home care center for elderly people under the Nagoya Residence name in Japan. The company’s care center offers off-site, accommodation, housing services, etc., as well as safety confirmation and lifestyle consultation, on-site day, emergency response, and medical services,” Bloomberg describes.

Local media reported on Friday that the company is planning to submit partial amendments to its Articles of Incorporation to add a number of crypto-related businesses. According to Minkabu Press, “system provision and consultation related to virtual currency” will be added as well as a “virtual currency exchange business.”

Adways

Adways Inc (TYO: 2489) is a Tokyo-based global mobile app marketing company whose main business includes an ad agency, an ad network and a third party tracking tool.

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesOn Thursday, the company announced the partial amendments to its Articles of Incorporation which will be presented at the next annual shareholder meeting. “The company shall make efforts to engage in the following businesses,” the amendments read. Under “virtual currency related business,” the company wrote, “virtual currency exchange business based on funds settlement law.”

This law went into effect in Japan in April last year which legalized cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in the country and requires all crypto exchanges to register with the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Avex

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesAvex Inc (TYO: 7860) is an entertainment conglomerate and one of the largest music labels in Japan. The company was founded by Max Matsuura, Japanese talent manager, record producer, songwriter, and radio personality. Avex manages J-pop talents such as Ayumi Hamasaki and internet sensation Pikotaro. The company has also expanded into other business areas such as anime, video games, and live music events.

On Thursday, Avex published amendments to its Articles of Incorporation to add “virtual currency exchange” as a new business venture. The amendments will be presented at the company’s next meeting of shareholders.

Daiwa Securities Group

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesOne of Japan’s largest securities brokerage firms, Daiwa Securities Group (TYO: 8601), also hinted at the possibility of entering the cryptocurrency space in the future. President and CEO Seiji Nakada told Sankei newspaper this week that, regarding cryptocurrency, “there is enough possibility of becoming a highly useful platform if conditions such as legal maintenance are in place.” While noting that the price movements of cryptocurrencies “are unstable and subject to speculation,” he emphasized:

There will be times when major companies have to enter to improve the environment.

Japan currently has 16 fully licensed crypto exchanges. Another eight exchanges‘ applications are being reviewed by the FSA. Furthermore, the agency revealed recently that about 100 more companies are interested in entering the space including Line Corp and Yahoo! Japan.

Do you think more public companies should launch crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Money Forward, Daiwa, Drecom, Yaname, Adways, and Avex.


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331 High-Income Traders Declared Crypto Profits in Japan

331 High-Income Traders Declared Crypto Profits in Japan

The Japanese tax authority has for the first time revealed the number of high-income taxpayers who declared cryptocurrency profits in the year 2017. Out of the total number of taxpayers with miscellaneous income of 100 million yen or more, excluding public pension, 60% of them reported income from crypto transactions.

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

Declaring Crypto Income

The Japanese National Tax Agency announced on Friday the number of people with 100 million yen (~US$914,000) or more miscellaneous income that includes income from cryptocurrency transactions, according to local media. Nikkei elaborated:

It is the first time that the agency announced the result of the counting of virtual currency related declarations.

331 High-Income Traders Declared Crypto Profits in Japan

The tax agency revealed that 21.98 million people filed income tax for the year 2017. Last year, “The number of taxpayers with miscellaneous incomes of 100 million yen and over from sources other than public pensions jumped from the previous year’s 238 to 549,” according to Jiji Press. Of these 549 people, more than 60% or 331 of them “gained income from cryptocurrency transactions,” the news outlet conveyed.

331 High-Income Traders Declared Crypto Profits in JapanThe “total income [reported for all taxpayers] was 41.4988 trillion yen [~$379 billion] (up 3.4% from the previous year),” the Sankei Shimbun detailed, noting that the “declared tax payments amounted to 3.0207 trillion yen [~$28 billion] (a 4.6% increase), which was the highest in 10 years.”

According to Nikkei, tax reporting of crypto transactions is challenging because each crypto exchange reports transaction data differently. According to industry stakeholders, some exchanges do not separate purchase and sale transactions and “there may be upper limits on the number of transaction records that can be acquired,” the publication added.

55% Tax Possible

The National Tax Agency released guidance on how cryptocurrency profits are taxed in December last year. “In Japan, profits from cryptocurrency trading are categorized as miscellaneous income,” Jiji Press explained. The Japan Times described:

If you earn ¥200,000 [~$1,828] or more from cryptocurrency trading, you must pay tax.

There are seven tax brackets based on taxable income. Those earning 1.95 million yen (~$17,823) or less are taxed at 5 percent, the news outlet described, adding that the highest tax rate is 45 percent for taxpayers who earn more than 40 million yen (~$365,600). However, the publication pointed out that “your income is also subject to a residential tax of 10 percent. Together, the maximum tax rate is 55 percent.”

What do you think of how Japan taxes crypto transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the National Tax Agency.


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Wendy McElroy: The Centralization of Crypto and the Banality of Evil

The Centralization of Crypto and the Banality of Evil

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 3: Decentralization
Chapter 8, Part 3
The Centralization of Crypto and the Banality of Evil

First we must realize that all actions are performed by individuals… If we scrutinize the meaning of the various actions performed by individuals we must necessarily learn everything about the actions of the collective whole. For a social collective has no existence and reality outside of the individual members’ actions.

–Ludwig von Mises

In 1963, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote a book Eichmann in Jerusalem, about “the banality of evil,” which redefined that concept forever. Evil is not usually committed by sadistic monsters, she argued, but by ordinary people who relinquish personal responsibility for their actions and obey the orders or rules of a corrupt system. (Here, evil is defined as deliberately and callously inflicting great harm on innocent people.)

Arendt reached this conclusion while reporting for The New Yorker on the trial of high-ranking Nazi Adolf Eichmann, which occurred in Israel. As a German Jew who fled the rise of Hitler, she should have been appalled to be in the same room with Eichmann. Instead, Arendt was fascinated by him. There was no guilt, no rage, no sense of responsibility, nothing exceptional. As her book explained, Eichmann kept repeating that, “He did his duty…; he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed the law.” He was also assisted by a vast network of average people—clerks, railroad workers, low-ranking soldiers—who sent innocent others off to prison or worse fates, without a second thought. It was the law.

Cryptocurrency confronts the banality of an economic system for which the word “evil” is not too strong a word. Opening with Arendt may seem like hyperbole, but it captures something important. The central banking system and the other economic controls imposed by government seem benign because they are so familiar; people grew up with them. And bank clerks can be very pleasant as they demand Know Your Customer data; if the customer objects, they answer “I am doing my job, and it is the law.” Nothing benign occurs in the system. Hard-working people are robbed of their wealth through measures like inflation and the monopoly of fiat currency; food is taken from the mouths of children; innovators who could produce a better world are shackled; in some nations, people die for want of nourishment or medical care.

Venezuela is an extreme example of economic evil, as well as an example of the remedy. When the economy collapsed in 2014, many people’s lives were ruined while many others survived by using the only alternative they had to worthless fiat: cryptocurrency. President Nicolas Maduro was well aware of the dynamic. That’s why he issued the first-official state crypto—the Petro—which was announced last December (2017). The Petro is doomed,  of course. When centralized in Maduro’s hands, it will become just another form of fiat. But the Petro indicates one of the main ways the economic system will try to defuse the threat of crypto—namely, centralize crypto by either issuing coins or regulating a few institutions approved to handle it, such as exchanges.

Two main factors in how long the Petro will last are the centralization of power, and how many average people will accept the official status quo because it is (or will become) the law. These are the people who will work in the financial system, or turn in a neighbor for mining, or vote to ask for regulation. They are the banality of economic evil, without which the system could not exist.


Methodological Individualism

The harm done to freedom by those who act against decentralized-market crypto is more than just a denial of financial independence to others. Free-market crypto  fortifies some of the most important concepts of liberty. One of them is “methodological individualism,” which is the exact opposite of what Arendt called “the banality of evil.” Instead of individuals relinquishing their responsibility for actions to an institution, like central banking or the military, individuals are entirely accountable for their own behavior.

The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises rested much of his philosophy on methodological individualism. He declared that, ultimately, only individuals exist; only individuals act. Even within the dynamics of a collective, such as the state or society, it is individuals who comprise the structure and carry out all actions. Mises famously stated, “The Hangman, not the state, executes a criminal.” Individuals who look at the hangman [and] see the state in action do so only because they have created an abstraction known as ‘the state’ in order to provide a context. The hangman may be pressured to perform his job, but the performance is ultimately his choice. Equally, people never truly see or hear a group conversation. All they see or hear are individuals speaking, and then they label the sum of the exchange as ‘a group conversation’.”

Mises argued that collectives-such as family or society–were valuable abstractions that people used to describe their interactions with others within a specific context. He did not deny the worth of many collectives. Quite the contrary. He explained, “Methodological individualism, far from contesting the significance of such collective wholes, considers it as one of its main tasks to describe and to analyze their becoming and their disappearing, their changing structures, and their operation. And it chooses the only method fitted to solve this problem satisfactorily.” Individualism was the key to understanding collectives.

What does this have to do with cryptocurrency?

The most difficult area in which to implement methodological individualism is  finance, which is one of the most powerful collectives in existence. Central banks, tax agencies, and reporting forms are ubiquitous types of evil. Governments do not produce any wealth. And, yet, they need vast amounts of it to finance bureaucracy, the military, and the other centralized trappings of power. This means governments need to steal vast amounts of wealth. But to do so directly would cause resistance. So they issue fiat and bonds, and force all finance to go through institutions they control. For a long time, for most people, there was no viable path around the centralization.

And, Then: Cryptocurrency

Free-market crypto is methodological individualism writ large in an essential area of life. Methodological individualism is an incredibly powerful challenge to the centralized control of economics. It was designed to be so.

The concept arose in response to the theory of social holism that became popular in the early twentieth century. Social holism claims that systems must be viewed as wholes rather than as collections of their parts. It maintains that a collective has a dynamic that differs from the sum of its parts. In short, the collective is greater than the individuals who comprise it.

Marxists often accuse those who espouse methodological individualism of being atomistic, or unable to bow to the greater social good. Some go so far as to assert that the individual, and not society, is the true abstraction. That is, individuals do not exist without society. As Mises observed, “The notion of an individual, say the critics, is an empty abstraction. Real man is necessarily always a member of a social whole.”

Karl Marx argued this point by using a Robinson Crusoe example. An individual who had been born and immediately abandoned on a desert island, he contended,  would not be a human being at all. His point was that human beings are social organisms-social constructs, if you will-who cannot be lifted from their defining context and still remain human. Reversing Misesian logic, Marx claimed that society created its individual members. To create the “right” type of people, all social institutions had to be thoroughly regulated for the social good, however that was defined. The brutal conformity of communism is an example of centralization. So is the expression, “I was only following orders.”

Classical liberals argued that a person raised in utter isolation would still be a human being with human characteristics. For example, he would have a scale of preferences, and he would act to achieve the highest one first. Without social interaction, of course, huge parts of the person’s humanity would never develop. But this would not make the individual less human. Collectives do not define humanity. Human beings define collectives.


Conclusion

Coerced centralization is so inculcated into the culture that it is considered to be normal and healthy. Public schools, central banks, public works, tariffs, …many people cannot envision society through any other lens. But coerced centralization demands that people surrender their moral compass to a collective authority. It is the source of Arendt’s banality of evil.

Methodological individualism is the cure, especially through the dynamics of a  free crypto, which is implemented through decentralization. But how does a decentralized society create the free-market institutions valued by Mises? The answer is another key concept of liberty: spontaneous order.

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters


Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”

SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”

Cryptocurrencies don’t meet the requirements of money, according to the South African Reserve Bank which has decided to call them by a different name. It’s one that does not imply either currency or cryptography. “We prefer to use the word ‘cyber-token’,” said a high-ranking official of the central bank in Pretoria, adding another entry into a long list of substitutes favored by financial authorities over the original term.  

Also read: The Government Dilemma: How To Tax Something One Pretends Does Not Exist

Cyber Tokens – But Why?

It’s not unusual for officials around the world to refrain from uttering the word. For many of them, “cryptocurrency” probably sounds like a bad omen. Central bankers are the worst – “crypto” is usually a “no-no” in their financial vocabulary. But the spread of cryptocurrencies has forced policy makers and government experts to demonstrate some linguistic ingenuity. Many now speak more and more often about them with artificially invented synonyms. The list of generic terms is growing and we owe the latest entry to the South African Reserve Bank.

“We don’t use the term ‘cryptocurrency’ because it doesn’t meet the requirements of money in the economic sense of the stable means of exchange, a unit of measure and a stable unit of value,” the central bank’s Deputy Governor, Francois Groepe, told reporters in Pretoria this week. “We prefer to use the word ‘cyber-token’,” he added, quoted by Bloomberg.

SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”

The popularity of cryptocurrencies has been growing exponentially around the globe and South Africa is no exception. Regulators in the country, like many of their colleagues abroad, are finding it hard to keep up with the pace of crypto progress. SARB has recently set up a special unit tasked to review its position on “private cryptocurrencies.” The main goal is to prepare a policy framework that would lay the foundation for the future regulatory regime to govern the fintech sector.

As part of the discussions on the upcoming crypto regulations, a self-regulatory approach has been proposed by legal experts working with the industry. Whether the SARB team will listen to these calls is yet to be seen. So far, authorities in the country have mostly discussed cryptocurrencies in the context of taxation. In April, the South African Revenue Service announced it expected all crypto gains to be reported by taxpayers. Obviously, the fact that “cyber tokens” like bitcoin are not regarded as currencies is not an obstacle to collecting taxes on their transactions.

A Long List of Nicknames

SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”Government officials and central bankers invent nicknames for cryptocurrency probably because they fear that using the original term would amount to an unwanted recognition of the decentralized digital money. At the same time, they seem to turn a blind eye to the fact that taxation is a recognition of both their existence and their characteristics as means of exchange, unit of account and store of value. Nevertheless, the long list of synonyms continues to grow.

Authorities in Ireland have recently clarified their position on crypto taxation. For the sake of objectivity, the Irish revenue service has referred to digital coins with their real name – cryptocurrencies. Despite that, decentralized cryptos have been denied currency status, with one notable exception – bitcoin is currency only for VAT purposes.

Russia has been preparing its crypto regulations for quite some time. Of the three draft laws that hit the floor of the State Duma this week, only one mentions and defines cryptocurrency directly. In the other texts, and during the preceding discussions, cryptos and tokens have been called “digital money,” “digital financial assets,” “digital rights,” “other property,” “electronic property,” “money surrogates,” and what not.

“Virtual currency”, however, remains by far the most popular generic term among politicians and financial officials around the world. It has been used in place of the colloquial and original “cryptocurrency” in countries, unions, and organizations, including the US, the EU, the IMF, Mexico, Malta, the Philippines, and many more.

Why do you think government officials and central bankers avoid using the term “cryptocurrency”? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitun.


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DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

Investigations are all about the crypto ecosystem, but a recent report regarding a US Department of Justice price manipulation crackdown was widely said to be the cause of market caps falling, and by a lot. Fundstrat, the ecosystem’s favorite financial professional crypto bull, is on record as welcoming government regulation, what it calls “adult supervision.”

Also read: Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision of Crypto

Legacy media, thanks to a Bloomberg article, ran wild with fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) this week, regarding a supposed US Department of Justice investigation of price manipulation. Weaker hands in response effectively sent bitcoin core (BTC) well below $8K, heading for 7, and the entire crypto market cap slid accordingly.

Debate about regulation in the US and around the world has raged the entirety of cryptocurrency’s near decade-long life. Bitcoin licensing in New York, senate hearings, G20 central bankers urging global crypto laws, the requisite jockeying and lobbying for exclusive access to regulators, taken together, seems to be slouching toward something major coming down from financial minders. And well-publicized recent hacks haven’t helped confidence. There seems to be a new initial coin offering scam daily. 

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

Rumors the DOJ is teaming with US bitcoin futures regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and possibly patching-in the US Securities and Exchange Commission can spook animal spirits, of course. Anecdotal evidence abounds. Add to that six rather frightening words, when strung together by regulators, that make speculators’ ears perk, “neither confirm nor deny an investigation” becomes all the evidence anyone needs to dump positions. Even large exchange Bitfinex has been subpoenaed by the CFTC.

The ecosystem’s favorite bull, Thomas Lee of Fundstrat, in a client letter, put a finer point on happenings: “These stories have pressured the crypto market, as regulatory action (and related headline risk) reduces risk appetite and also is a further deterrent for near-term inflows from new investors. However, these actions signal that adult supervision is coming to crypto and adding such oversight incrementally improves the structural integrity and legitimacy for crypto-currency investor. In other words, in order for institutional investors to be more actively engaged in crypto markets, such adult supervision is a necessary precondition.”

Regulation is an Anathema to Bitcoin

Prior to welcoming crypto regulation, Mr. Lee ate a giant, warm slice of humble pie following his Consensus conference bump prediction of many thousands in BTC price increase. Just the reverse, of course, happened, and Mr. Lee, to his credit, reappeared on as many shows to take his medicine. He acknowledged getting it badly wrong, but ultimately attributed the decline due to unforeseen regulatory rumors and, ironically, saturation at the conference of hype.

In a slide presentation graphic, Fundstrat continued to use “welcome,” as in crackdowns being “welcome and also widely anticipated.” On price specific manipulation investigations, they urged “this probe is again, a very welcome development.”

DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

To crypto enthusiasts, they are decidedly torn. On the one hand, nearly everyone will agree bitcoin was developed to essentially leave government regulatory environments. Government regulations are not issued out of benevolence toward the hoi polloi. No, rather they’re instead an effort to pick winners and losers in terms of which sector of businesses lobbied the hardest, greasing wheels of states in their direction. Regulations enforce burdens often on startups, insulating more established and connected businesses from too much competition. Corruption, then, can and does become institutional. Present day banking is proof enough. Bitcoin, in Satoshi’s vision, releases adopters from financial cartels, at least in theory. To invite regulators goes against everything crypto stands for.

On the other hand, regulation does seem to be inevitable. And if it is, shouldn’t the ecosystem get out in front? Seems rational enough, and that’s a generous reading of Mr. Lee and Fundstrat’s comments. Nevertheless, the company remains bullish on bitcoin core (BTC). They point to Coinbase in particular and its staggering growth to 20 million customers, and BTC related wallet downloads of more than 3.5 million. They do, however, hold to a degree of caution if headlines remain negative and mining rewards/price reach parity.

Do you think regulation of crypto is inevitable? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Fundstrat.


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2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

In the heady days of 2017, Revolut Ltd promised it would continue to add cryptocurrency choices for its customer base. The future promise was made after its rollout of onboarding bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and ether (ETH) to eager users. Just this week, the England-based company made good by further adding bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP).

Also read: Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Revolut Adds Bitcoin Cash and Ripple to its Crypto Offerings

In a series of questions and answers format for their unconventional press release this week, the company asked itself “Why did you only add XRP and BCH?” The answer was “Simple – these were the two most popular cryptocurrencies our community wanted, so we rolled up our sleeves and made it happen.” They went on to stress how they’re looking to do even more crypto-related service in the future, asking customers “make some noise and let us know what you want us to add next. We’ll take care of the rest.”

2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

London’s Revolut kept its promise. Following eager anticipation of its initial embrace of three cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, LTC), and successful implementation, the skyrocketing financial technology company announced this week it is now implementing bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP) to its basket of cryptos.

The three year old digital bank has a popular prepaid debit card, peer-to-peer payments platform, and both currency and cryptocurrency exchanges for its two million customers. To stay competitive, Revolut operates a loss leader fee structure for many of its services (free). Its proprietary application allows fiat-to-crypto in over two dozen government currencies, serving at over 100 countries worldwide. The company’s backend transactions are managed by crypto exchange heavy Bitstamp.

Open and Available to Everyone

“With hundreds of thousands of customers now actively exchanging cryptocurrencies in the app,” Revolut explained in a cheeky announcement, “the popular view was that we needed to add more digital currencies in addition to bitcoin, litecoin and ether. After months of debate and hard work, we’re extremely proud to welcome XRP and BCH to the Revolut app, which means you can now instantly exchange any of our 25 supported fiat currencies directly into XRP and BCH.” 

2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

And even though many establishments balk at direct crypto commerce and trade, Revolut customers will be able to use either their Mastercard or Visa regardless. Revolut does all the conversions instantly which could go a long way in enabling the currency aspect of cryptocurrency. Premium customers are provided a concierge-like service along with 1% crypto cashbacks.  

“We have always believed that the world of cryptocurrencies should be open and available to everyone, and not reserved for the tech savvy and digital currency enthusiasts,” the company detailed. “So, back in December, we launched a product that would allow millions of our customers to instantly buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies at the touch of a button. No exchanges. No private keys. No cold storage. Just instant exposure at your fingertips.”

Do you think Revolut will dive more? Let us know what you think of this subject in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Revolut, Bitstamp.


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John McAfee Bitcoin Price Prediction is Baseless, Bears Say

John McAfee

John McAfee – who is known for making big price bets, has presented a bullish thesis for the next cryptocurrency market rally. He predicts a few coins – including Bitcoin (BTC) and EOS (EOS) will achieve robust price growths next month,  before collapsing in July.

Bitcoin price currently trades around the $7,500 level but John McAfee expects BTC price to trade at around $15,000 next month.  He also predicts that EOS price will hit $32 next month.

Source Image: twitter.com

Bears, however, don’t accept his price bet, as he’s backed ...

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Bitcoin Wallet Xapo Implements Scaling Solution SegWit

Ted Rogers, the president at Xapo, a widely utilized cryptocurrency wallet and vault, has revealed that the platform has activated Segregated Witness (SegWit), the scaling solution developed by the Bitcoin Core development team. SegWit Adoption and Importance of Xapo Earlier this month, Tom Metcalf at Bloomberg reported that Xapo’s cold wallet stored in its underground … Continued

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Move Over Verge: Stormy Daniels is Adding VIT to Her Porn Site

Stormy Daniels is Adding VIT to Her Porn Site

If you thought the porn industry wasn’t involved in crypto enough, then you’re in luck. Stormy Daniels is adding VIT to her adult website.

Maybe you know Stormy Daniels from watching her, maybe you know her from her potential involvement with Donald Trump, maybe you don’t know her at all. Whichever the case, Stormy Daniels has partnered with Vice Industry Token (VIT) so that visitors to her site, StormyDaniels.com, will be rewarded with crypto for all their viewing pleasures.

The adult movie actress’ site is run by Darkreach Communications, which plans to offer VIT ...

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Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

Chinese exchange Zb.com has set up a branch in Thailand with a plan to turn it into the regional crypto trading hub in Southeast Asia. The move came as the Thai government finalizes the country’s regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.

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

Creating Regional Hub

Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub
Dawei Li. (Photo credit/Matichon)

Chinese cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider Zb.com recently announced that it has set up a full-fledged branch in Thailand, called Zbthailand (Zbth), with the aim for it to become the regional crypto trading hub in Southeast Asia, according to local media.

Zb.com already has a presence in China, the US, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, and South Korea, Matichon publication detailed, adding that Zb.com currently has over 3 million customers. According to Coinmarketcap, Zb.com lists 59 coins with a 24-hour trading volume of $160 million.

Dawei Li, the exchange’s co-founder, told the publication:

The company plans to expand its digital currency trading platform in Thailand…in addition to providing knowledge and understanding of blockchain technology and investment in digital assets to Thai investors, including recruiting strategic partners to attract more foreign investors to invest in Thailand.

Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

The new exchange offers the trading of 16 cryptocurrencies against the Thai baht, BTC, and ETH. The supported cryptocurrencies at the time of this writing are BTC, LTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, EOS, QTUM, NEO, SNT, AE, ICX, ZRX, EDO, FUN, MANA, and TZB. “All transactions fees are 0.1%,” according to the new exchange’s website.

Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

In November last year, Zb.com partnered with licensed Japanese exchange Quoine and Chinese bitcoin mining solution provider BW.com “to support and facilitate liquidity across isolated cryptocurrency & fiat markets,” the companies jointly announced.

Thailand’s Crypto Regulatory Framework

Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading HubThe decree to regulate cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) went into effect in Thailand on May 14, putting the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in charge of the regulation and “requires sellers and operators of such assets to register with the SEC within 90 days,” Reuters details. The last day for registration is August 14, according to Matichon publication.

The Commission is expected to issue the regulations by the end of June after holding a public hearing. SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul was quoted by Reuters:

Offerings of digital tokens will not be allowed until the regulations are announced.

According to Rapee, the public hearing will take approximately 2-3 weeks “because investments in digital tokens are complicated and carry high risks.”

What do you think of Zb.com setting up a hub in Thailand? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Matichon, and Zb.com.


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Kraken Review – The Largest and Oldest Exchange

Kraken Review

Exchanges are a fundamental part of the cryptocurrency world. While there are many to choose from, not all are safe and secure. That’s why we have to do our homework so we can find a secure crypto exchange best suited to our needs. 

Coinbase and Bittrex are two popular cryptocurrency exchanges, as is Kraken. Below is a comprehensive review of the latter. 

Kraken Review 

Founded 7 years ago, and launched to the public in 2013, Kraken is recognized as one of the oldest crypto exchanges. It is a popular choice for an exchange across ...

Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Bitcoin Price Drop From $20,000 Likely Due to Market Manipulation: Traders

Since December 17, the bitcoin price has been on a continuous decline, falling from $19,900 to $5,980 at its yearly low. While the bitcoin price has seen two mid-term recoveries and corrective rallies, both failed to test two major support levels at $12,000 and $10,000. Market Manipulation Theory Recently, a group of cryptocurrency researchers and

The post Bitcoin Price Drop From $20,000 Likely Due to Market Manipulation: Traders appeared first on CCN

Bittrex Review: A Secure and Efficient Crypto Exchange

bittrex review

Cryptocurrency and exchanges go hand in hand. In fact, we need exchanges to trade our currencies. That’s why, if you’re looking to start buying cryptocurrency, you will have to do some research on the various exchanges available to the masses. Coinbase may be thought of as one of the more popular options, but there are other crypto exchanges out there. For instance, meet Bittrex. This is a crypto exchange that has been operating since 2014, and below is our comprehensive review on Bittrex! 

Bittrex Review 

Founded in 2014, and headquartered in Nevada, Bittrex was launched by ...

Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges.

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BitShares Review

BitShares Review

While it’s true that centralized exchanges have their benefits, such as being easy to use and easy to access, these exchanges also have security risks. This is why decentralized exchanges are spiking in popularity. That said, even though decentralized exchanges are becoming increasingly more popular with every passing day, individuals are still required to do a reasonable amount of research before selecting a crypto trading platform. 

One example of a decentralized exchange is Bitshares. Below is a comprehensive review of the trading platform.

BitShares Review

Launched in the summer of 2014, BitShares is a ...

Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

First it happened to verge. $1.8m of cryptocurrency swiped in a matter of hours. Then to bitcoin gold, plundered in an $18m double spend attack. Then to verge again, this time to the tune of $1.7 million. Along the way, monacoin is also believed to have been hit. Someone is methodically working their way through Proof of Work coins, controlling their hashrate, and then launching 51% attacks. Other PoW teams are now on high alert for signs that their coin could be next.

Also read: Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services

Following a Spate of Attacks, PoW Teams Batten Down the Hatches

Verge Struck By Second PoW Attack in as Many Months51% attacks, in which a malevolent miner controls the majority of the network hashrate and then uses it to force through fraudulent transactions, are commonly discussed but rarely encountered. That all changed on April 4 when verge was hit by a 51% attack. At the time, the incident was put down to the general fog of incompetence that surrounds verge; the exploit was quickly patched and everyone moved on. Then, just over a month later, verge was hit again along with bitcoin gold and possibly monacoin too. The spate of attacks has caused a crisis of confidence in Proof of Work coins and forced their development teams on the defensive.

Although called a 51% attack, in reality it’s often possible to control the network with a much lower hashrate. Because verge uses five different hashing algorithms, for example, the attacker was able to reduce the mining difficulty for just one algorithm and focus all their firepower on that, armed with just one fifth of the hashpower they would otherwise have needed. The second time around, they modified their attack slightly and targeted verge with a dual blast using two different algorithms. Bitcoin gold, meanwhile, was targeted due to its equihash algorithm, the same one used by such coins as zcash and komodo.

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

The Cost of Staging a 51% Attack

Following the run of 51% attacks, teams have rushed out updates to reassure the community that their coin is safe, and to deter would-be attackers. The cost of attacking ethereum classic has been estimated at $70m, for example, and estimates have been made for doing the same with the top 10 PoW coins. BTC is priced at $2.2 billion to attack, whereas zcash comes in at $87m. In his blog post, Husam Abboud claims that “If a zCash miner with +8% of Nethash [switches] to mine Bitcoin Gold, he is +51% BTG nethash, that brings the cost of 51% attack on BTG to 580 ZEC/day ~$200k”.

Because bitcoin gold has a much lower hashrate than coins such as zcash, it is a far easier target to pick off. Now that the feasibility of double spending a recognized PoW coin has been proven, aspiring attackers are calculating the costs of renting hashing power from a provider such as Nicehash and using it to take over a target of their choosing. This is one of the dangers with an altcoin using an existing algorithm: it’s easy for an attacker to switch from mining one to another at the flick of a switch, leaving low hashrate PoW coins vulnerable to hostile takeover without warning.

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

There’s a Storm Brewing

PoW teams are hitting back, and have enacted various measures to thwart future attacks. On request, Binance has upped the number of confirmations required to deposit equihash-based coins onto the exchange. The more confirmations that are required, in theory, the more likelihood there is of detecting and thwarting a 51% attack. Maidsafe, meanwhile, has proposed a new consensus mechanism called PARSEC, though some believe it may be vulnerable to other threats such as Sybil attacks, which are a recurring theme with staking algorithms.

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

For the coins that are committed to remaining with Proof of Work, most of which descended from Bitcoin at some point in time, it’s a case of remaining on high alert for possible signs of foul play. One PoW altcoin team has set up a script to constantly monitor their hashrate. In the event of a spike of over 10%, they will be automatically notified. Should the newly added hashrate emanate from an unknown pool, or be in danger of tipping an existing pool over 50%, they have a large quantity BTC on standby with Nicehash ready to purchase their own firepower to counter the attack. It’s a high stakes game and PoW teams can’t leave anything to chance. No one wants to be the next bitcoin gold.

Do you think the spate of 51% attacks is over for now, or is there more trouble ahead? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Autonio Review – First Decentralized AI Trading Platform

Autonio Review

The future of currency could very well be in the form of cryptocurrency, and because of that, the cryptosphere is heating up. Many recognize this, which means there’s competition in the industry. Specifically, competition between the various crypto-trading platforms; and finding a trustworthy crypto trading platform is essential, so it’s important to know which ones you can trust.

If you’re looking at AI-powered trading platforms, there are many to choose from. However, not every platform has the competitive edge that Autonio has. Autonio is AI-powered, and it aims to be a self-learning trading platform. It’s different ...

Get latest cryptocurrency news on bitcoin, ethereum, initial coin offerings, ICOs, ethereum and all other cryptocurrencies. Learn How to trade on cryptocurrency exchanges.

All content provided by Crypto Currency News is subject to our Terms Of Use and Disclaimer.

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token Exchanges

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token Exchanges

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has warned eight digital token exchanges operating in the country over unauthorized securities trading. The regulator also stopped an initial coin offering, prompting its issuer to return all funds received from Singapore-based investors.

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

Eight Token Exchanges Warned

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token ExchangesSingapore’s central bank and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), announced on Thursday that it has “warned eight digital token exchanges in Singapore not to facilitate trading in digital tokens that are securities or futures contracts without MAS’ authorisation.” Without naming the eight platforms, the announcement states that under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA):

If the digital tokens constitute securities or futures contracts, the exchanges must immediately cease the trading of such digital tokens until they have been authorised as an approved exchange or recognised market operator by MAS

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token ExchangesHowever, MAS did not indicate that these platforms are engaged in suspicious activities or that there are complaints about them, unlike a few other regulators that recently issued warnings about exchange platforms.

This week, the Ontario Securities Commission issued a warning on five unlicensed crypto firms it had received complaints about. In March, French regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers warned of 15 unauthorized crypto investment platforms and Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority started publishing a list of crypto platforms showing signs of fraud.

ICO Issuer Warned Amid Growing Market

In addition, MAS “also warned an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) issuer to stop the offering of its digital tokens in Singapore.” According to the announcement, MAS has assessed that this issuer’s “tokens represented equity ownership in a company and therefore would be considered as securities under the SFA.” Citing that the tokens are offered “without a MAS-registered prospectus, which is a SFA requirement,” the regulator revealed:

The [ICO] issuer has ceased the offer and has taken remedial actions to comply with MAS’ regulations. It has also returned all funds received from Singapore-based investors.

However, the central bank “declined to name the ICO and it is not clear how much was taken from investors or when the offering was issued,” the Strait Times reported on Thursday.

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token ExchangesRecently, news.Bitcoin.com reported that Singapore has emerged as a mecca for token sales, especially for companies from China and South Korea where ICOs are banned. Earlier this month, digital asset banknote manufacturer Tangem launched smart bitcoin banknotes at the Megafash Suntec City store in Singapore.

Lee Boon Ngiap, MAS’ Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), confirmed that “the number of digital token exchanges and digital token offerings in Singapore has been increasing.” He clarified:

We do not see a need to restrict them if they are bona fide businesses. But if any digital token exchange, issuer or intermediary breaches our securities laws, MAS will take firm action.

What do you think of MAS’ warnings? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Financial Tribune, and MAS.


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The post Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token Exchanges appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Snips announces an ICO and its own voice assistant device

French startup Snips has been working on voice assistant technology that respects your privacy. And the company is going to use its own voice assistant for a set of consumer devices. As part of this consumer push, the company is also announcing an initial coin offering.

Yes, it sounds a bit like Snips is playing a game of buzzword bingo. Anyone can currently download the open source Snips SDK and play with it with a Raspberry Pi, a microphone and a speaker. It’s private by design, you can even make it work without any internet connection. Companies can partner with Snips to embed a voice assistant in their own devices too.

But Snips is adding a B2C element to its business. This time, the company is going to compete directly with Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers. You’ll be able to buy the Snips AIR Base and Snips AIR Satellites.

The base will be a good old smart speaker, while satellites will be tiny portable speakers that you can put in all your rooms. The company plans to launch those devices in 18 months.

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By default, Snips devices will come with basic skills to control your smart home devices, get the weather, control music, timers, alarms, calendars and reminders. Unlike the Amazon Echo or Google Home, voice commands won’t be sent to Google’s or Amazon’s servers.

Developers will be able to create skills and publish them on a marketplace. That marketplace will run on a new blockchain — the AIR blockchain.

And that’s where the ICO comes along. The marketplace will accept AIR tokens to buy more skills. You’ll also be able to generate training data for voice commands using AIR tokens. To be honest, I’m not sure why good old credit card transactions weren’t enough. But I guess that’s a good way to raise money.

Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services

Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services

On May 23 the cryptocurrency portfolio and risk management platform Caspian Tech announced a partnership with the Seychelles based trading platform the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (Bitmex). The move aims to bring Caspian closer to being an all-in-one platform with access to multiple exchanges.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Full Stack Portfolio Management Firm Caspian Partners With Bitmex

Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services The firm Caspian is making partnerships across the cryptocurrency ecosystem in order to become an all-in-one institutional, investor-focused portfolio management system. This week the firm partnered with Bitmex so now Caspian customers will have a unified trading module with more liquidity. Additionally, the firm provides Order and Execution Management System (OEMS), Risk Management System (RMS), and a Portfolio Management System (PMS).

Arthur Hayes, the co-founder of Bitmex, says the collaboration with Caspian makes sense because “Bitmex employs the latest in multi-factor security, inside and out.”

Bitmex offers quite a bit of liquidity as in the last 30 days the exchange has managed to swap $3Bn in trade volume. The firm offers leveraged trading and futures for multiple cryptocurrencies and claims to have “300 percent more Bitcoin/USD liquidity than any other platform.” Robert Dykes, CEO of Caspian, believes the company can leverage the firm’s multi-factor security – which is an issue of increasing interest to the company’s target market.               

“Our aim at Caspian is to drive exponential growth in crypto-trading participation amongst institutional and sophisticated investors,” Dykes explained during the announcement.

Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services
Bitmex states they have 300 percent more Bitcoin/USD liquidity than any other cryptocurrency trading platform.

Caspian Has Also Partnered With the OTC Fund Octagon and the Gemini Exchange

Essentially Caspian is a joint venture tethered to the firm Tora which provides an OEMS global trading platform alongside a blockchain firm called Kenetic. The company says its main mission is to offer sophisticated traders bank-grade security and trading technology. This month Caspian has been making partnerships with market makers like Bitmex as the firm recently partnered with Octagon, Asia’s largest OTC crypto-fund, and the Gemini exchange on May 4. The news follows many cryptocurrency exchanges looking to offer institutional grade financial services within their platforms while Caspian hopes to provide a Swiss army knife of exchanges.

What do you think about the Caspian services partnering with exchanges to offer a sophisticated trading service for institutional investors? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Caspian, and Bitmex. 


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