Regulations Round-Up: Central Bank-Issued Digital Currencies, Regulatory Clarity

Regulations Round-Up: Central Bank-Issued Digital Currencies, Regulatory Clarity

In recent regulatory news, Spain’s Central bank has issued a report favoring the development of a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC), the president of Taiwan’s central bank has advocated caution regarding CBDCs, the Blockchain Research Institute has published a summary of recent roundtable discussions calling for great regulatory clarity, and a Russian court has a warned a publishing company for breaching advertising legislation with an ad pertaining to cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: Brazil’s Pro Bitcoin Presidential Candidate: É Boa Pra Caramba!

Spanish Central Bank Report Favors Central Bank-Issued Digital Currency

Spain’s central bank, Banco de Espana, recently published a report that seeks to consider the potential impacts that cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology may have upon the Spanish economy.

The report advocates that the introduction of a central bank-issued digital currency would allow Banco de Espana to more efficiently implement monetary policy, stating: “An argument that could be considered at the time of assessing the introduction of CBDC is related to the improvement in the conduction of monetary policy through a better control in the market returns that savers and borrowers have to face. Also, the possibility of eliminating the restrictions associated with the zero level of the interest rate is theoretically attractive, especially in an environment of low interest rates such as the current one.”

Taiwan Central Bank President Advocates Caution Regarding CBDCs

By contrast, the president of Taiwan’s central bank, Yang Jinlong, recently advocated that financial institutions adopt a cautious approach regarding the central bank-issued digital currency.

During the Finance Technology Ecology Summit, Mr. Jinlong stated: “The financial authorities should be cautious about issuing central bank digital currency (CBDC). We will continue to pay attention to this issue, as well as the development of virtual currency, which may also drive out the debating topic of whether the central bank should issue CBDC. At present, the international consensus towards CBDC is that the general CBDC to the general public should be treated with cautious because of the complexity of issues involved, including the technology, security, policies, and user privacy protection issues.”

DLT Think Tank Advocates for Clarity Regarding Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Regulation

Major distributed ledger technology (DLT) think tank, the Blockchain Research Institute, has published a report calling for increased regulatory clarity regarding DLT and cryptocurrencies.

The report, the “2018 Blockchain Regulation Roundtable,” drew upon discussions involving “executives from blockchain start-ups,” “senior representatives of various global banking and securities regulators,” “senior non-regulatory government officials,” “business leaders from various established industries that are experimenting with blockchain in their business models and practices,” and “lawyers, accountants, investment bankers, and other key industry professionals.”

The report emphasized four “core issues” pertaining to regulations that it calls to be addressed: “The lack of regulatory clarity, the obsolescence of statutes and regulations, the lack of a mechanism for meaningful dialogue between regulators and other stakeholders, and the lack of dialogue between financial service providers and blockchain entrepreneurs.”

The report makes six key recommendations, advocating that the roundtable participants “form a multistakeholder action committee, prepare all stakeholders and the public for self-sovereign identities and pass legislation to recognize digital identities as valid, institute a national regulator with oversight of the nascent industry rather than allow individual agencies to create their own regulations piecemeal, agree on distinctions among cryptoassets and regulate accordingly, discourage discrimination against blockchain entrepreneurs and support start-ups in the space, and encourage the formation of special interest groups to move governance issues forward across applications and domains.”

Russian Court Warns Publisher for Breaching Advertising Laws With Crypto Ad

The Eleventh Arbitration Court of Appeal in Moscow has warned a publishing company after one of its newspapers published cryptocurrency-related advertising deemed to be in violation of Russian laws.

The dispute involved Unity NK – the company producing the newspaper Unity Nizhnekamsk, The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (OFAS) for Tatarstan, and the Volga-Vyatka Central Administration of the Central Bank of Russia. The case arose following the discovery of an advertisement in Unity Nizhnekamsk for “Invest[ment] in cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash” and the “Creation and setting up mining farms” by employees of Russia’s central bank – which then appealed to the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service due to concerns that Unity NK had violated advertising legislation.

The Tatarstan OFAS determined that “From the meaning of the content of the above advertising it follows that Blumchen Richard Timurovich [the owner the phone number provided in the advertisement] provided financial services, and not consulting,” and as such, Unity NK should be brought to administrative responsibility due to the ad’s failure to detail the name of the individual offering to provide financial services, as is mandated by Russian advertising legislation.

After initially considering fining Unity NK 50,000 rubles (approximately $738 USD), the court chose just to warn the company instead. “The court of first instance reasonably considered that the application of a fine of 50,000 rubles will be unjustifiably punitive, not corresponding to the gravity of the offense and the degree of guilt of the person brought to justice,” the judge stated. “The warning meets the general constitutional principles of punishment justice, its individualization, proportionality to the constitutionally established goals and protected legitimate interests, and is sufficient to implement the preventive nature of administrative liability measures.”

What is your opinion on central bank-issued digital currencies? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


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Bitcoin Trading in Chinese Currency Drops Below 1% of World Total

Bitcoin Trading in Chinese Currency Drops Below 1% of World Total

Bitcoin trading in renminbi (RMB) has dropped to less than 1 percent of the global total, the central bank of China announced. The People’s Republic banned yuan-crypto trade last year, prompting the exodus of hundreds of Chinese crypto businesses, including some of the world’s leading trading platforms.    

Also read: Crypto Exchange Binance Expects up to $1 Billion Profit in 2018

‘Zero-Risk’ Exit for 88 Exchanges, the People’s Bank Says

The trading of Bitcoin with the Chinese national currency, the renminbi (RMB), has fallen to less than 1 percent of the world’s total, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) announced this Friday, quoted by Xinhua. At its peak, the RMB/BTC trade reached more than 90 percent of the volume, the state-controlled news agency noted in its report without detailing the data.

In September, 2017, Beijing authorities imposed a ban on the trading of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin with the Chinese yuan, referring to the presumed financial risk associated with the rapidly expanding crypto market. The measure also prohibited Chinese businesses from conducting crowdfunding campaigns through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Bitcoin Trading in Chinese Currency Drops Below 1% of World Total

In its announcement, The People’s Bank of China said the country had ensured a “zero-risk exit for 88 virtual currency exchanges and 85 ICO trading platforms,” since last year. Xinhua also quoted a “blockchain analyst” saying that “The timely moves by regulators effectively fended off the impact of sharp ups and downs in virtual currency prices and led the global regulatory trend.” The opinion belongs to Zhang Yifeng from the Zhongchao Credit Card Industry Development Company.

In February this year, reports came out in Hong Kong that advertisements of products and services offered by companies from the crypto industry no longer appear in China’s major search engines and social networks. The absence of sponsored crypto content prompted local media to allege that the ban also censors all crypto-related ads.

Chinese Platforms Expanding Across the Globe

PRC regulators imposed a comprehensive ban on bitcoin trading in September, 2017, when they ordered local exchanges to suspend their operations. The authorities in the People’s Republic also tried to block access to foreign cryptocurrency trading platforms offering services to Chinese residents. The restrictions encompassed the crypto-yuan trade hitting some of the world’s largest trading platforms.

The ban forced exchanges with Chinese roots, like Huobi, OK Coin, and Binance, to halt all trading in the country and seek to relocate to more favorable jurisdictions. The trading platforms founded new entities and opened offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and the United States, which allowed them to continue their activities and even grow significantly.

Bitcoin Trading in Chinese Currency Drops Below 1% of World Total

Huobi, once one of the largest Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges, is now headquartered in Singapore and maintains presence in Hong Kong, the US and Japan, although it recently decided to close the accounts of Japanese residents as a result of compliance issues. The exchange also announced the launch of a trading platform in Australia supporting 10 pairs against the AUD, including bitcoin cash (BCH), with plans to add new cryptos in the future. Huobi confirmed it will open an office in London, too.

In April, the Hong Kong based Okex, the digital asset exchange founded by OK Coin CEO Star Xu, revealed plans to expand its operations to Malta. Its announcement came after in March, Binance, currently the largest crypto exchange by trade volume, shared its intention to move to the island nation. Binance wants to offer EUR and GBP pairs from Malta, which is a member of the European Union. The company is also launching a fiat-crypto trading platform in Uganda.

Do you think Chinese regulators will eventually reverse the ban on crypto trading? Share your expectations in the comments section below. 


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Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019

Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019

In recent regulatory news, the United States Office of Government Ethics has issued a document advising employees of the U.S. executive branch to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings. In other news, Bank of Korea has rejected the notion of central bank-issued digital currencies, Crypto Finance AG has received licensing from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), and France is expected to develop a framework for regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) by 2019.

Also Read: Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense

U.S. Office of Government Ethics Advises Employees of Executive Branch to Disclose Crypto Holdings

Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019The United States Office of Government Ethics has published a legal advisory that requires all employees of the U.S. executive branch to disclose their virtual currency holdings.

The advisory states that “U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has determined that virtual currency is ‘property held . . . for investment or the production of income’ for purposes of public and confidential financial disclosure, pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act. […] Executive branch employees are therefore required to report their holdings of virtual currency on their public or confidential financial disclosure report, subject to applicable reporting thresholds for property held for investment or the production of income.”

The advisory also makes note of potential conflicts of interest that may arise through government employees owning crypto assets, stating, “Virtual currency is an investment asset and, like other property held for investment, it may create a conflict of interest for employees who own it. Furthermore, it is not subject to the conflict of interest exemptions in 5 C.F.R. part 2640. Agency ethics officials should, therefore, analyze whether their employees’ official duties would have an effect on the value of their virtual currency, just as they would any other property held for investment or the production of income. They should also alert their employees to the potential conflict of interest risk posed by ownership of virtual currency.“

Bank of Korea Rejects Central Bank-Issued Digital Currencies

Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019Korea’s central bank, Bank of Korea, has flatly rejected the notion of central bank-issued cryptocurrencies. A report issued by the bank concluded: “It’s desirable that the BOK is the only entity to entirely control issuing money.”

In the report, Kwon Oh-ik, a researcher at Bank of Korea’s economic research institute stated: “We reviewed the possible feasibility of digital currencies as currency; however, our thoughts are that digital currencies have been exposed to various categories of risk associated with credit, liquidity and legal management.”

Kwon also stated that “Technology improvements don’t mean private sectors will be allowed to have the rights for money issuance. If this happens, the BOK should regulate them but properly.”

Crypto Finance AG Gains FINMA Licensing

Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019Crypto Finance AG, a Zug-headquartered company providing financial services pertaining to cryptocurrencies, has successfully received licensing from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The licensing makes the firm a legitimate distributor of collective investment schemes in Switzerland.

Jan Brzezek, the chief executive officer and founder of Crypto Fund AG, stated: “For us, getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction, to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.”

France Expected to Regulate ICOs by 2019

Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019A forthcoming bill providing regulatory guidelines for initial coin offerings is expected to be delivered to the French Council of Minister this month.

A report published by law firm Kramer Levin states that “The proposed legislation would introduce a new chapter to Book V, Title V of the French Monetary and Financial Code, or CMF, which will be renamed ‘Intermediaries in Miscellaneous Property and Token Issuers.’ Chapter 2 of Title V will be titled ‘Token Issuers’ and will detail the rules applicable to ICOs in articles L. 550-6 et seq.”

“Chapter 2 provides a definition of tokens, indicating that a token is intangible property representing, in numerical form, one or more rights that can be issued, registered, conserved or transferred using a shared electronic registration mechanism that facilitates the identification, directly or indirectly, of the owner of said property. It also defines an ICO as any offer to the public, in any shape or form, to purchase tokens. However, it excludes offers made to a small number of buyers. Under the proposed legislation, the issuer should notify token buyers of the status of the project the ICO funds were used to finance, and of the establishment of any secondary market for the tokens,” the report continues.

Kramer Levin characterizes the proposed regulations as differing significantly from the legislative apparatus adopted by other nations – arguing that France is moving toward the development of a unique regulatory framework from the ground up, as opposed to attempting to apply existing securities laws to the virtual currency sector.

Do you think that employees of the U.S. executive branch should be required to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Opinion: Cashless Society

Opinion: Cryptocurrency grasped mainstream attention back in mid-2017, but the world’s first digital currency, Bitcoin (BTC) was born back in 2008 and introduced to the world in 2009. Around this time, the stock market collapsed and fell 777.68 points within a single trading day.

The cause? The subprime mortgage crisis. U.S. banks got greedy and granted mortgages to individuals that couldn’t actually afford them, and there weren’t enough mortgage-backed securities to feed the demand. Home prices fell in 2006 and it triggered massive defaults across the nation. The risk then spread to pension funds, mutual funds, and corporations ...

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Revolutionising Online Transactions

The financial industry has witnessed many disruptions and welcomed new technologies that have radically changed traditional processes. In today’s world of cryptocurrency and digital transactions, a new type of technology is steadily taking over – the blockchain technology. Blockchain has caused many disruptions, but what are the top blockchain disruptions?

Blockchain technology is causing financial institutions to take note and consider alternative methods to the traditional processes they have come to rely on, such as online transactions.

Blockchain technology facilitates online transactions. These transactions are encrypted and processed over a decentralized peer-to-peer network. Encryption means that ...

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Why is the New Tech Currency Moving Overseas?

Benefits for Blockchain and Technology Specialists when relocating to Malta

Malta is positioning itself as a Blockchain hub and is attracting Blockchain and Technology specialists. Binance (an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange company) has announced its move to Malta permanently placing the country on the Blockchain map for already existing companies as well as newly emerging businesses seeking a crypto-friendly jurisdiction.
Please be advised that users of virtual currency may lose some or all of their investment as the value of the virtual currency may change substantially in a short amount of time. Also be aware that transactions may be ...

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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Why is this Emerging Tech Market Moving Overseas?

Benefits for Blockchain and Technology Specialists when relocating to Malta

Malta is positioning itself as a Blockchain hub and is attracting Blockchain and Technology specialists. Binance (an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange company) has announced its move to Malta permanently placing the country on the Blockchain map for already existing companies as well as newly emerging businesses seeking a crypto-friendly jurisdiction.

Please be advised that users of virtual currency may lose some or all of their investment as the value of the virtual currency may change substantially in a short amount of time. Also be aware that transactions may ...

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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Virtual Currencies to Become “Part of the Economic Practices” of All Nations – CFTC Commissioner

Virtual Currencies to Become "Part of the Economic Practices" of All Nations - CFTC Commissioner

United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner, Rostin Behnam recently gave a speech in which he predicted that “virtual currencies […] will become part of the economic practices of any country.” The CFTC commissioner predicted that cryptocurrencies will have a transformative effect in providing financial services to unbanked populations, and undermine corruption through increasing financial transparency.

Also Read: Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives

“Cryptocurrencies Will Proliferate to Every Economy and Every Part of the Planet” – CFTC Commissioner, Rostin Behnam

Virtual Currencies to Become "Part of the Economic Practices" of All Nations - CFTC CommissionerWhilst speaking at the recent BFI Summit at the United Nations Plaza in New York, CFTC Commissioner, Rostin Behnam, expressed his belief that virtual currencies will be integrated into the economic practices of all nations.

Mr. Behnam stated that “virtual currencies may – will – become part of the economic practices of any country, anywhere. Let me repeat that: these currencies are not going away and they will proliferate to every economy and every part of the planet. Some places, small economies, may become dependent on virtual assets for survival. And, these currencies will be outside traditional monetary intermediaries, like government, banks, investors, ministries, or international organizations.”

“We are Witnessing a Technological Revolution. Perhaps We are Witnessing a Modern Miracle”

Virtual Currencies to Become "Part of the Economic Practices" of All Nations - CFTC CommissionerMr. Behnam predicts that virtual currencies will undermine financial corruption, however, he also warns that the “economic […] kleptocracy” exerts excessive influence over the cryptocurrency markets, that virtual currencies could become a vehicle for further capital accumulation for the financial elites.

Mr. Behnam states “One of the often discussed problems in developing countries is corruption. I know it is a perennial problem, undermining the work of the United States and virtually all international organizations. It may be the single greatest impediment to social justice, equality, hunger, peaceful resolution of conflict, and a host of other problems […] Now, with the advent of virtual assets, technology may provide a solution. And, the single greatest weapon against corruption may be the cell phone. There are 6.8 billion cell phones in the world, almost one for every person on the planet. Technology could simply bypass corruption. Here is our chance to put money directly into the hands of those who need it, without bribery, rake-offs, graft, and shakedowns. Virtual currencies could transform the economic and social landscape. It could mean a massive, and equitable, shift of wealth. Technology could be transformational, without a military take-over, civil war, or political or religious creed.”

“However,” he continued, “economic elites know all this. They will not be idle. This is what I mean by a powerful danger. If the kleptocracy controls technology and the means of distribution, then they simply accumulate more wealth at the expense of their citizens, draining wealth in cryptocurrencies rather than dollars or euros. Virtual assets may be a stranglehold. In other words, technology can be a weapon against the work of the United Nations and others trying to alleviate poverty or violence. Virtual assets become a means of deeper control of wealth and a means of exploitation.”

Virtual Currencies Provide Financial Services To Unbanked Populations

Virtual Currencies to Become "Part of the Economic Practices" of All Nations - CFTC CommissionerThe CFTC commissioner discusses the potential for cryptocurrencies to serve as a means through which the vast populations lacking access to basic financial services can attain greater economic autonomy.

“Traditionally, there has been a need for a trusted intermediary – for example, a bank or other financial institution – to serve as a gatekeeper for transactions and many economic activities. Virtual currencies seek to replace the need for a central authority or intermediary with a decentralized, rules-based and open consensus mechanism,” said Mr. Behnam.

“The so-called ‘unbanked’ could now be on the virtual grid. And, those without computers, some four billion people, could gain an important connection through cell phones. And, the discussion has extended to micro-lending, micro-transactions, greater transparency, and greater financial inclusion,” he added.

What are your thoughts regarding Commissioner Behnam’s speech? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


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Johannesburg Gets a New Crypto ATM, Ban Threatened Harare May Lose One

Johannesburg Gets a New Crypto ATM, Ban Threatened Harare May Lose One

A new crypto teller machine is now operational in South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. The ATM, which supports several digital coins, has been installed at a supermarket in the north-western part of the city’s metro area. It is the latest addition to a growing number of terminals offering automated crypto-fiat exchange services in the country and across the continent. Not all is rosy in the region, however. A crypto ban in neighboring Zimbabwe may deprive Harare of its bitcoin ATM. Nevertheless, crypto teller services are spreading in Africa.   

Also read: Coinsource Installs 20 Bitcoin ATM Machines Around Washington DC

Multicurrency ATM Installed in a South African Supermarket

Johannesburg Gets a New Crypto ATM, Ban Threatened Harare May Lose One
Johannesburg

The Republic of South Africa, the continent’s economic powerhouse, and neighboring Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s most troubled nations, have at least one thing in common – the growing interest in cryptocurrencies, although under different circumstances. In recent years, both countries have been experiencing their own versions of crypto development. The process has led to improved access to the crypto ecosphere but now their paths may diverge again.

A South African outlet reported this week that the nation has got its “first” cryptocurrency ATM in its largest city. The teller machine has been installed at a store in Northwold, part of one of the biggest retail chains in the country – Spar. The automated terminal is a multicurrency device, according to Business Insider South Africa. Customers can buy bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH) and litecoin (LTC) with fiat cash. Unfortunately, it supports one-way transactions, which means only purchases of cryptocurrency are available.

Of course, “the first” is almost always a doubtful label. Unsurprisingly, right after the report came out, the breaking news information was corrected by other media. “While this is undoubtedly a forward-looking move, it is most certainly not the first cryptocurrency ATM to go live in South Africa,” Mybroadband wrote in a piece putting forward another example. According to member of the local crypto sector, multiple cryptocurrency ATMs are operating in South Africa. Jacques Serfontein, CEO of mining hardware supplier Bitmart, said his company has installed one last year at its store in Nelspruit, east of Johannesburg. It supports multiple cryptocurrencies, as well, including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, dash, and zcash. Serfontein added he knew of several other crypto ATMs in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Midrand.

The new Johannesburg’s ATM may not be the first in the country after all, nevertheless, it’s arguably the first one in Northwold. The good news is that the residents of another South African neighborhood will be able to buy digital cash with a simple QR scan and a fiat payment. The teller machine has been installed by the Spar store manager, George Neophytou, who is a crypto enthusiast and entrepreneur. “I asked permission to use this location because I work here. What better place to set it up, so that if a user required help, I’d be on-site to help,” Neophytou said. His initiative was supported by Vendibit, a company developing software and hardware blockchain solutions, and his partner, Daniel Cappiello, director of the Danish firm Copencoin.

Johannesburg Gets a New Crypto ATM, Ban Threatened Harare May Lose One

The future of cryptocurrencies in South Africa is still unclear. A “self-regulatory approach” has been mentioned as part of the solution for the country’s crypto sector, while the central bank is expected to formulate a comprehensive regulatory framework. In April, the South African Revenue Service announced it expected residents to declare crypto gains on their tax returns, although cryptocurrencies are not regarded as currencies for income tax purposes. Despite the uncertainty, cryptos have been gaining popularity both as investments and as means of payment. Last year, the country’s second largest supermarket chain, Pick n Pay, started testing bitcoin payments. It has been reported that drivers can pay tickets with cryptocurrency.

South Africa – Not the First and Only in Africa

The teller machine in Johannesburg is definitely not the first to offer automated crypto teller services on the continent, as well. Bitcoin has been gaining ground in SA’s neighbor Zimbabwe, where cryptocurrency exchange Golix has recently installed a BATM in its Harare office, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Another local trading platform, Styx24, has announced plans to introduce a second machine in Gweru. Neither of the two companies, however, are licensed to provide these services. Besides, Zimbabwe’s central bank issued this month a circular effectively banning all crypto-related activities.

According to recent reports by local media, some of Golix’s bank accounts have been closed already and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has ordered the company to cease all crypto-exchange operations. If the trading platform shuts down, residents of Harare will probably lose the only bitcoin ATM in their city, which Golix has installed in its office.

Johannesburg Gets a New Crypto ATM, Ban Threatened Harare May Lose One

Further north, an ATM in the Kenyan capital Nairobi supports four cryptocurrencies – bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and dogecoin (DOGE), according to data provided by Coinatmradar. Again, only crypto purchases are available. To the east, the tiny nation of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa offers a crypto teller machine operating 24/7. Customers can both buy and sell bitcoin (BTC) through the ATM located at the Appart Hotel Moulk in the capital city.

The Spanish Canary Islands, situated off the west coast of Africa, have at least three crypto teller machines. The one in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, capital of the largest island, offers support for two cryptocurrencies – BTC and LTC, but it’s a “buy only” terminal. The other two BATMs, in Costa de Adeje and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, can be used for both purchases and sales.

Undoubtedly, many more cryptocurrency ATMs operate in Africa and its neighboring regions. Naturally, it’s up to local crypto communities and crypto media to spread the news about them.

Do you think ATMs increase the availability and popularity of cryptocurrencies? Tells us in the comments section below.


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Markets Update: BCH Prices See Uncorrelated Movement Gain 13%

Markets Update: BCH Prices See Uncorrelated Movement Gain 13%

Cryptocurrency markets are seeing some gains today as most digital assets are up over the past 24-hours between 3-15 percent. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) values spiked considerably during the day’s trading sessions on May 5 touching a high of $1,740 per BCH. At the time of publication, the price of BCH is hovering around $1,720 per coin, adding another $500Mn in 24-hour trade volume.

Also read: Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange Accounts 

Bitcoin Cash Markets See Action as BCH Values Spike Considerably During the Weekend Trading Sessions

Bitcoin Cash markets have been surging on Saturday, May 5 as the decentralized cryptocurrency surpassed the $1,700 range during the days earlier morning trading sessions. Overall most digital assets markets are up in general, as at least 2/3rds of the top 500 cryptocurrencies are all seeing gains. BCH, in particular, has made a notable rise jumping over 13 percent over the past 24-hours. After a few weeks of BCH averaging over 0.1 BTC per BCH, the cryptocurrency is slowly approaching 0.2 BTC per coin showing some distinct non-correlated market activity lately. At the moment the top five exchanges swapping the most BCH today include Upbit, Huobi, Okex, Bitfinex, and Bithumb. Over the past few days on South Korean exchanges, BCH spot prices have been consistently $20-80 higher on trading platforms like Upbit and Bithumb.

Markets Update: BCH Prices See Uncorrelated Movement Gain 13%

The top currency swapped for bitcoin cash today is Bitcoin Core (BTC), capturing 36.9 percent of all BCH trades. Following the BTC pair volume, is tether (USDT 24.6%), USD (16.8%), KRW (16.8%), and the EUR (1.4%). Two other notable currencies paired with BCH that have increased in trade volumes over the past day are ethereum (ETH 1%), and the Japanese yen (1%). The Korean won paired with BCH has also seen double the volumes since our last markets update. Further, over $3Bn has been added to the BCH market capitalization since our last report as well, as the total BCH valuation in circulation rests at $28.8Bn at the time of publication.

Technical Indicators

Looking at the charts shows BCH bulls are struggling to break resistance around the $1,750 mark at the moment. The 4-hour chart shows the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) have a nice gap in between with the 100 SMA well above the longer term 200 SMA trendline. This indicates after eating through some sell orders the path to resistance should be on the upside. RSI levels are 71 right now, showing markets are a touch overbought at the moment and some slight downtrend and consolidation taking place at this vantage point is to be expected.

Markets Update: BCH Prices See Uncorrelated Movement Gain 13%

The MACd, however, is heading northbound and it shows there’s more room for improvement over the next few hours. On the upside looking at order books shows bulls will need to muster enough strength to surpass thick resistance up until the $1,775 price range. On the flip side if bears take the reigns then there are some strong foundations between $1,625 down to the $1,500 zone before buys start to thin out.

The Verdict: Optimistic — Market Action Will Likely Continue to Emulate from Consistent BCH Progress

BCH advocates have been happy about the price but most are more concerned about development, spreading adoption, and preparing for the upcoming 32 MB upgrade that’s now ten days away. There’s been a bunch of development with things like Memo, Joystream, Blockpress, Cointext, Cash Shuffle, and many more projects on the horizon. The price to most BCH supporters is rather unimportant and its considered merely a reflection of all the effort that’s been put into the growing BCH ecosystem since the project’s inception.

Where do you see the price of BCH headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

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


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Markets Update: BTC and BCH Prices Continue to Slide

Markets Update: BTC and BCH Prices Continue to Slide

Cryptocurrency values are still slumping downwards as they have been for the past three consecutive months. Currently, the overall cryptocurrency market valuation of all 1,500+ digital assets is $248Bn after losing billions over the past few days. BTC/USD markets are below the $7K territory and recently touched a low of $6,510 per coin.

Also read: Huobi’s Sentiment Index Shows Cryptocurrency Investors Still Bullish

The Dumping Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Markets

Markets Update: BTC and BCH Prices Continue to SlideThe dumping continues to ensue as markets are still feeling the effects of a bearish phase the past few months. So far BTC/USD values have not yet double bottomed to the $5,900 low point but have been meandering awfully close to that price region. Today BTC volumes are weaker than usual as the past 24-hour trade volume has shaved a billion and rests at $4B right now. The top five exchanges swapping the most BTC includes Bitfinex, Okex, Binance, Bitflyer, and Huobi. All of the trading platforms are seeing much lighter trade volumes than our recently published Markets Update.

The Japanese Yen Comes Close to Capturing 60% of Global BTC Trades

One striking metric during today’s trading sessions is the amount of trade volume with BTC against the Japanese yen. The yen currently captures 57 percent of the global trade volume today with the USD falling behind (21%). Below the USD is tether (USDT 12.6%), the euro (3.1%), and the South Korean won (2.8%). BTC prices have a market cap dominance level of 45 percent out of the $248Bn and all 1500+ assets are swapping a measly $10.5 billion today.   

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Technical indicators show buyers are trying to breach past the $6,600 zone but have been unsuccessful so far. Most of yesterday’s trading sessions remained sideways at $6,800. Today there’s a touch of bullish action happening at the moment looking at the 4-hour BTC/USD chart but it’s not much. Both Simple Moving Averages (SMA) are again spread with the 100 SMA well below the long-term 200 SMA trendline. Both Macd and RSI Stochastic oscillators have been sliding southbound following the bearish divergence. Order books show that walls above the $7,600-8,200 zones are not too bad but bulls need to accumulate momentum to take the price to those levels. On the back side, BTC/USD order books show some really strong support around the $5,900 range once again. That specific foundational support flows all the way to the $5,400 range and traders can expect pit stops in those areas.

Markets Update: BTC and BCH Prices Continue to Slide

Bitcoin Cash Markets Nurse Deep Price Wounds and Flat Volumes

Markets Update: BTC and BCH Prices Continue to SlideBitcoin cash (BCH/USD) markets are down 4 percent and the price is hovering just above the $600 territory at the time of publication. Volume is flat for global trade volumes as the BCH market has traded only $228Mn over the past 24-hours. The top five exchanges trading the most bitcoin cash during today’s trading sessions includes Hitbtc, Lbank, Okex, Huobi, and Bit-Z. Bitcoin core (BTC) trades against BCH is the most prominent currency pair today as the currency captures 54 percent of exchanges. This is followed by the USD (18%), tether (USDT 17.2%), the South Korean won (3.7) and Binance Coin (BNB 2.2%). Bitcoin cash is the eighth most traded cryptocurrency today by volume and the market holds a $10.3Bn market capitalization.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

BCH/USD charts also show a significant bearish divergence as bitcoin cash has lost roughly $50 in USD value per coin since yesterday. Just like BTC, the SMA trendlines for BCH/USD markets are very similar as there’s a gap in between the 100 SMA and 200 SMA. The 100 SMA is well below the 200 SMA which indicates the path to resistance will be on the downside. Looking at the 4-hour window shows RSI Stochastic oscillators also indicate some bearish short-term sentiment. BCH/USD order books show much tougher buy and sell walls. There’s some solid resistance from the current vantage point of $650-675. On the backside, there are strong foundations between the $575 and $540 territories.

Markets Update: BTC and BCH Prices Continue to Slide

The Verdict: In the Real World Spring is Approaching but the Dreaded ‘Crypto Winter’ is Still Scaring Traders

Nearly every single cryptocurrency market besides tether USDT is down in value and some digital assets are struggling to recover. One notable altcoin market the past couple days is EOS/USD which actually has seen some gains. The cryptocurrency EOS has silently captured the number six position on Coinmarketcap just behind litecoin (LTC). The bearish markets have set a thick layer of uncertainty and skepticism towards crypto markets lately. Many traders are hoping for a reversal but there haven’t been any good signals indicating a frothy comeback is in the cards. For now, most traders are either weathering the storm by ‘hodling’ or riding the waves by shorting bitcoin all the way down on exchanges like Kraken and Bitmex.

Where do you see the price of BTC and BCH heading from here? Do you think cryptocurrencies will see more gains? Let us know in the comments below.

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


Images via Shutterstock, Bitstamp, Trading View, and Coinmarketcap.


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The post Markets Update: BTC and BCH Prices Continue to Slide appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Emin Gün Sirer Discusses Cryptocurrency Academics and Proof-of-Stake

Emin Gün Sirer Discusses Cryptocurrency Academics and Proof-of-Stake

At the Satoshi’s Vision Conference in Tokyo, our Bitcoin.com video host Mike Malley chatted with the Cornell CS professor Emin Gün Sirer about on-chain scaling and the Bitcoin Cash network.  

Also Read: ABC Developer Amaury Séchet on the Future of Bitcoin Cash

The Academic Side of Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency Solutions

Emin Gün Sirer is a well-known researcher who specializes in computer networking and peer-to-peer systems who also teaches as a computer scientist professor at Cornell University. The professor has been very vocal during the course of the great scaling debate and a person who is not afraid to criticize cryptocurrency community actors. At the Satoshi’s Vision Conference Gün Sirer discusses the academic side of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency solutions.

“This field is really exciting because it sits on the intersections of so many others — so it combines elements from systems building, economics, game theory, programming languages at times, and a series of databases. Often a bunch of other elements from the computer science spectrum,” Gün Sirer explains during his discussion with Bitcoin.com.

Emin Gün Sirer Discusses Cryptocurrency Academics and Proof-of-Stake

Building Things That Offer Real World Use Cases

The Cornell professor then explains that his work focuses very much on the implementation side of the industry and building concepts that bring real-world value.   

“My particular place in the spectrum is very much towards the implementation side. If I could sort of try to map everyone onto a singular linear scale, where on the right-hand side you have wizard hats, the theoretical people, and on the left-hand side, you have people who build stuff with hard hats. I am very proud of my hard hat; I am very proud of being someone who actually builds things that work,” Gün Sirer emphasizes to Mike Malley during their discussion.

Emin Gün Sirer Discusses Cryptocurrency Academics and Proof-of-Stake

The Year of Proof-of-Stake Consensus Mechanisms

Moreover, Gün Sirer explains that he is excited about new consensus mechanisms and believes there will be a significant shift in the next year and a half.    

“My group has been looking at what should the infrastructure of blockchains be. We are at a very interesting time, and people are coming up with new consensus protocols daily — Something I keep an eye out for is new consensus protocols — This coming year, not this particular year but the year after, I suspect will be the year of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocols,” Gün Sirer tells our video host.  

The ones that exist today are still incredibly complex and even in my field doesn’t feel like they are justified well enough that they secure enough to really ‘bet the farm on.’ In about a year in a half you will see PoS really start to take shape — I’m really excited about that.      

During the rest of the video, Emin Gün Sirer discusses node communication and how networks can communicate better. If you want to hear the rest of the Cornell professor’s chat with our host, then make sure you check out the video below.

What do you think about Emin Gün Sirer commentary and his Satoshi’s Vision Conference interview with Bitcoin.com? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Bitcoin.com and Emin Gün Sirer.


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Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

Cryptocurrency markets are bouncing around in value over the course of the weekend as the entire crypto-market capitalization currently rests at $329 billion USD. BTC/USD markets briefly jumped above the $9K region on Sunday, March 25 but dropped an hour later to a low of $8,398. Most of the digital currencies within the crypto-economy have followed suit with BTC as most coins have lost 3-5 percent in value during the late night (EDT) trading sessions.

Also read: Slush Pool Mines the First ASIC Boost Block Sparking More Debate  

Crypto Markets Hold Steady As Traders Wait for the Next Big Move

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still UnclearThe past few days most cryptocurrencies have been somewhat stable as they have been following the same triangular sideways pattern as BTC/USD markets. At the time of publication BTC’s price is hovering above the $8,540 range as global markets are swapping roughly $5.4Bn worth of trades over the past 24-hours. The top five exchanges trading the most BTC includes Bitfinex, Binance, Okex, Bitflyer, and Upbit.

One of the most traded cryptocurrencies traded with BTC right now is Tron on the Binance exchange. According to Shapeshift, the top trade today on the peer-to-peer platform is ETH for BTC. At the moment Japan is leading the global trades for BTC markets as the yen is capturing over 57 percent of trade volume. This is followed by the USD (20.8%), tether (USDT 13.6%), the South Korean won (3%), and the euro (2.4%).

Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour, daily, and weekly BTC/USD charts show some bearish divergence taking place during the Saturday evening trading sessions. The two Simple Moving Averages (100-200 SMA) have crossed hairs just a few hours ago as the long-term 200 SMA is now above the short term 100 SMA. This indicates bears have taken control for now as BTC/USD markets lost $500 in value today. However, a reversal pattern took place during yesterday’s trading sessions showing a long bullish engulfing candle. This indicates the current bearish divergence may not last long.

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

MACd is currently heading southbound following suit with both RSI and Stochastic oscillators. Another indication that bears have taken control for the moment after resistance above $9K could not be broken. Order books show that there’s some solid resistance around the $9K territory but even more so around $9,250. From there if bulls manage to muster up some strength after the last dip resistance is less after the $9,550 area. On the back side, if bears manage to keep dragging the price down with shorts then there are some solid foundations between the current price to $7,900. If the Displaced Moving Average ($7,245) breaks then BTC/USD prices could sink back to much lower levels. However, it doesn’t look like bears can bring the price down that low from the current vantage point.

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

Digital Asset Markets in General

Cryptocurrency markets, in general, are seeing losses over the past 24-hours. Although over the last hour there have been improvements across the board. The weekly charts show the top ten digital assets are all still up between 5-51 percent, except ethereum markets which are down 0.69 percent. Ethereum (ETH) prices are hovering around $521 per token and over the past 24-hours, ETH is down 3.7 percent. Ripple (XRP) markets are down today 3.5 percent as one XRP $0.63 cents per coin. The fourth highest market capitalization bitcoin cash (BCH) is down 3.7 percent and one BCH today is coasting along around $982. Lastly, litecoin (LTC) markets are also down 4.1 percent and each LTC is roughly $159 per token. Overall cryptocurrency volume across all 1583 digital assets is around $14.1Bn over the past 24-hours.

Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear

The Verdict: Short-Term Bearish Sentiment — Long-Term Bullish Optimism

Digital asset proponents seem very optimistic that markets will recover in the short term. The reversal has added some positivity among a lot of traders as there are far more long bets than shorts this week as opposed to two weeks ago. There is far less regulatory FUD swarming through the community and there’s been a lot more positivity lately. However, trade volumes are still fairly flat and its nowhere near what it was during the all-time highs. Even though there have been some bullish signals, hardcore traders are still skeptical that we are out of the woods and safe from bear attacks.  

Where do you see the price of BTC and other digital assets heading from here? Do you think cryptocurrencies will see more gains? Let us know in the comments below.

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


Images via Shutterstock, Bitstamp, Trading View, and Coinmarketcap.


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post Markets Update: Trader Sentiment Optimistic But Signals Still Unclear appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin drops below $10K after three days of cryptocurrency correction

 The crypto crash that began two days ago accelerated yesterday and today, with essentially all top 100 coins down anywhere between 15-30 percent. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is hovering around $450 billion, down ~30 percent from $650 billion just 48 hours ago. Yesterday, Bitcoin was just a few dollars away from dropping below $10,000, but it bounced back around $11k,… Read More