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.


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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.


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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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Date Set: Japan’s Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6

Japan’s GMO Internet announced that it will unveil its flagship bitcoin mining machine, called GMO miner B2, equipped with the 7nm chips on June 6. Interested customers can register now for the upcoming information session.

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

Launching on June 6

The wait for 7nm bitcoin mining products from Japanese internet giant GMO may be nearing to a close, as the company announced Thursday:

GMO Internet Group will launch GMO miner B2, which is our own high-performance computer for mining (mining machine), on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. We will mass-produce the world’s first mining machine equipped with a cutting-edge 7 nm process based semiconductor chip (7nm mining chip; ‘GMO 72b’), which will be shipped at the end of October 2018.

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6
Illustration of GMO miner B2 provided by GMO.

The company has been working on research and development of the 7nm mining chip since September last year.

GMO has been using “store-bought mining computers” for its mining operation launched in December, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Now it is ready to start producing its own mining equipment made with this 7nm chip, which GMO will use for its in-house mining operation as well as offer “the others to potential customers who are planning to mine,” the company confirmed.

While GMO has not released images of the real mining hardware, the company has provided some illustrative images of the GMO miner B2 currently in development.

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6
Illustration provided by GMO.

Interested Customers Can Register Now

“An information session for potential customers considering the purchase of GMO miner B2 will be held on Wednesday, June 6 in Shibuya, Tokyo, and we will explain the details of GMO miner B2, such as price and performance,” GMO’s announcement reads.

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6

There will also be an information session for the company’s cloud mining service on the same day. The sessions will be in Japanese. Registration is open to both interested customers and institutional investors. “Customers who have not registered in advance will be refused admission,” GMO emphasized.

Furthermore, GMO Internet no longer plans to use an initial coin offering (ICO) for the sale of its 7nm mining boards as announced in October last year. A representative of the company told news.Bitcoin.com, “for this mining machine sales and cloud mining, we don’t plan to utilize ICO.”

How powerful do you think GMO’s 7nm miners will be? Do you want to buy one?Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet.


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Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four Months

Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four Months

Employees of a regional police department in Ukraine were recently caught mining cryptocurrencies using the department’s resources, according to the court document. They had been mining for four months before they got caught and their mining farm seized.

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

Police Mining Farm Discovered

Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four MonthsEmployees of the National Police of Ukraine reportedly set up a cryptocurrency mining farm in their workplace and mined cryptocurrencies for four months before they were caught, local media reported this week. The employees work at the Rivne Oblast regional police headquarters’ Communications Department. This information was revealed in the Rivne City Court document number No. 569/8710/18, Finclub reported.

Ukrainian news agency Glavcom elaborated, “In April of this year, employees of the Department of Homeland Security of the Police Headquarters in Rivne Oblast identified the [crypto mining] equipment at the office of the Communications Department,” adding:

The same day, the investigator of the regional administration removed from his colleagues two wooden frames, which featured eight graphics cards, six power units, two hard drives, a motherboard and a complete system unit.

The Investigation

Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four Months“A pre-trial investigation in the criminal proceedings under Part 1 of Article 185 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on the fact of theft of electricity” has already begun, the publication detailed, noting that the court decided not to reveal the cryptocurrencies mined.

The investigation “established that from the beginning of 2018, officials of the Communications Department…abused their official position, acting in contravention of the interests of the service,” the news outlet quoted the court document. The employees unilaterally used the electricity of the region “for their own purposes, for the proper functioning of the equipment for the extraction of cryptocurrencies, which caused significant damage to the interests of the State Enterprise of the Rivne region,” the court document details.

368.media described:

The policemen are charged with the theft of electricity belonging to the management of the National Police in the Rivne region, which they used to extract cryptocurrency, but it is not known how much electricity they used.

In Ukraine, there is currently no regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies despite having multiple proposals. However, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Oleg Churiy, recently revealed that the central bank is working on a bill to regulate them.

What do you think of these police officers mining cryptocurrencies at work? Let us know in the comments section below.


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NEO and Ontology Announce “Joint Task Force”

NEO and Ontology

NEO and Ontology: After signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier on May 14, 2018, with the Ontology Foundation, the NEO Foundation announced on Thursday that the two would be co-funding a “Joint Task Force”.

NEO and Ontology: The Task Force

The task force will focus on developing “a sharing ecosystem of smart [contracts], building open standards for smart [contracts], and cross-chain technology innovation.”

According to a recent post from NEO, the Joint Task Force was funded with a total of RMB 4 million, or approximately $627,180 USD in capital, and will be comprised ...

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Bitcoin Gold (BTG) Double Spend Attack: More to Come?

Bitcoin Gold (BTG) double spend attack

A Bitcoin Gold (BTG) double spend attack was successfully accomplished last week, and there’s concern that the attack may not be over yet. Are these concerns valid? Here’s what’s happening.

The Bitcoin Gold (BTG) Double Spend Attack

A malicious miner was able to take temporary control over the Bitcoin Gold network by scooping up 51% of the total hashpower.

Once they had control of the network, the miner started depositing Bitcoin Gold (BTG) into crypto exchanges and then immediately sending those deposits to a wallet they owned. Because the miner held the majority of ...

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Verge suffers a new 51% attack

Verge Hack

Verge Hack: Verge has been experiencing a series of difficulties that have further divided the user community between haters and hodlers. The security flaws have become more evident than ever. This problem along with an unorganized development team has led the crypto to a questionable position within the crypto sphere.

Previously known as Dogecoin Dark, Verge became famous after being recommended by John McAfee as an altcoin with excellent growth potential.

However, after the hype, its price went on a really bearish trend, leading many to believe that it would be possible to try ...

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VeChain Thor [VEN] [VET] Public Beta Launch – New Development Plan & Whitepaper

VeChain Thor

VeChain Thor [VEN] [VET] – The VeChain Foundation unveiled a few days ago, a new development plan and whitepaper for its project.

Unveiling our “Development Plan and Whitepaper” with an updated governance structure, economic model, and new use cases. This piece will gradually be updated throughout its existence to reflect the goals and growth of the VeChainThor Blockchain.https://t.co/6tjZOaWIrK

— VeChain Foundation (@vechainofficial) May 20, 2018

This new development plan is centered around four key obstacles that the foundation feels must be overcome in order for widespread adoption of cryptocurrency to occur. VeChain’s ...

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Monero (XMR) Lead Helps to Launch New Tari Blockchain

Tari Blockchain

Monero (XMR) lead Riccardo Spagni, also known as “Fluffypony”, is joining forces with Dan Teree and Naveen Jain. Together, the trio is creating a brand new blockchain that will sell event tickets for the benefit of the event producers. The new venture is called the Tari Blockchain.

The Tari Blockchain

The point of this new blockchain, otherwise just known as Tari, is to cut out the middleman reports Fortune. It’s to ensure that the artist, or whoever is actually putting on the event or show, receives the majority of ticket sales.

Riccardo Spagni will ...

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Overstock.com’s t0 to Launch Regulated Security Token Exchange

Overstock.com’s t0 to Launch Regulated Security Token Exchange

Overstock.com’s Tzero is planning to launch a regulated exchange for security tokens in collaboration with Box Digital Markets. The companies will seek the approval of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the new exchange.

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

Security Token Exchange

Overstock.com’s t0 to Launch Regulated Security Token ExchangeOverstock.com’s fintech subsidiary t0.com Inc (Tzero) and Box Digital Markets announced on Tuesday their plan to “launch industry’s first security token exchange.” The new platform will “list and publicly trade security tokens for companies that issue, or convert existing stock to, security tokens,” according to their joint announcement. Both companies will equally own the new joint venture and they will seek the approval of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for their new exchange.

Overstock CEO and founder Patrick Byrne told Reuters in a phone interview:

I would like to see something trading in Q3.

Overstock.com’s t0 to Launch Regulated Security Token ExchangeTzero is the first SEC-regulated crypto alternative trading system (ATS). Box Digital Markets is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Box Holdings Group LLC, which owns and operates Box Options Exchange, a Registered National Securities Exchange under Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The CEO of Box Digital and president of Box Options Exchange will serve as the CEO of the new joint venture.

Byrne noted:

Going hand in hand with a blue-chip partner like Box would be a great advantage for us.

Tzero CEO Saum Noursalehi added, “Together [with Box Digital], we will continue to work with the SEC as we develop a first-of-its-kind platform that will integrate blockchain capital markets into the current U.S. National Market System.”

STOs Instead of ICOs

In April, Byrne told CNBC that there is a safer way to raise money than initial coin offerings (ICOs), referring to Security Token Offerings (STOs). “It’s the new term…The industry is distinguishing very clearly now between ICOs and STOs,” he detailed, adding:

The ICO craze of last year created a toxic waste dump of financial assets. To me, that world of ICOs is a Superfund site…What we’re developing is a mechanism so that there will be a legal way to go forward and not create any new toxic waste.

After the company launched its own token sales on December 18 last year, the SEC began investigating its offerings in February. “While the SEC is trying to determine whether there have been any violations of the federal securities laws, the investigation does not mean that the SEC has concluded that anyone has violated the law,” Tzero explained.

What do you think of Tzero launching a regulated security token exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Overstock.com, and T0.com.


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South Korean Crypto Exchange Korbit Drops XMR, ZEC, DASH, REP, and STEEM

South Korean Crypto Exchange Korbit Drops XMR, ZEC, DASH, REP, and STEEM

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Korbit has announced that it will no longer support the trading of five cryptocurrencies: dash, monero, zcash, augur, and steem. This announcement came just days after hacked Japanese exchange Coincheck confirmed the delisting of privacy coins.

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

Farewell to Five Cryptocurrencies

South Korean Crypto Exchange Korbit Drops XMR, ZEC, DASH, REP, and STEEMKorbit, one of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, announced this week that it will be delisting the cryptocurrencies currently offered through its Other Digital Assets service.

“We will bid farewell to the Other Digital Assets service through a gradual termination of the buy and sell functions for the following coins,” Korbit wrote, adding that the affected coins are dash (DASH), monero (XMR), zcash (ZEC), augur (REP), and steem (STEEM).

This service gives Korbit users access to the above five cryptocurrencies in addition to those regularly supported by the exchange: BTC, XRP, ETH, BCH, ETC, LTC, and BTG.

South Korean Crypto Exchange Korbit Drops XMR, ZEC, DASH, REP, and STEEM

For the five affected cryptocurrencies, Korbit emphasized that the buy functionality will be terminated “After 15:00 on 05/28/2018” and the sell functionality “After 15:00 on 06/21/2018.” However, the exchange hinted at the possibility of re-listing some of them at a later date, elaborating:

We strive to facilitate secure trades of more cryptocurrencies, but we have yet to determine the date for resumption of trades of the affected coins. We thus advise you to protect your interests by either selling or withdrawing the said cryptocurrencies.

Reason for Termination

Korbit’s announcement does not give the reason why the five cryptocurrencies are being dropped other than stating, “We are fully committed to building the most secure place for you to trade cryptocurrencies.”

South Korean Crypto Exchange Korbit Drops XMR, ZEC, DASH, REP, and STEEMFurthermore, there have been no reports of the South Korean regulators pressuring crypto exchanges to drop privacy coins, unlike the Japanese regulator.

Since Coincheck was hacked in January, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has strengthened oversight of crypto exchanges including setting new criteria for their registration. One of them concerns the types of cryptocurrencies listed. “Those granting a high level of anonymity and easily used for money laundering will as a general rule be banned,” Nikkei reported.

South Korean Crypto Exchange Korbit Drops XMR, ZEC, DASH, REP, and STEEMSubsequently, Coincheck announced just days before Korbit that it is dropping DASH, XMR, ZEC, and REP after it received a business improvement order from the agency. STEEM is not listed on Coincheck.

The reason Korbit is dropping STEEM may be related to a notice the exchange posted on May 8, stating:

Due to external issues, STEEM withdrawals are being suspended indefinitely.

What do you think of Korbit dropping these cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nikkei, and Korbit.


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70+ Investigations: 40 Regulators Crack Down on Suspicious Crypto Schemes

70+ Investigations: 40 Regulators Crack Down on Suspicious Crypto Schemes

Forty regulators in the US and Canada are reportedly collaborating in the largest coordinated crackdown on cryptocurrency scams to date by state and provincial officials. The operation has triggered over 70 investigations so far, with 35 cases completed or pending.

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

Mass Crackdown

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) said Monday that US and Canadian securities regulators have launched nationwide investigations on suspicious cryptocurrency investment schemes, the Washington Post reported. This is “the largest coordinated crackdown to date by state and provincial officials on bitcoin scams,” the news outlet wrote. CNBC elaborated:

More than 40 state and provincial watchdogs are participating in ‘Operation Crypto-Sweep,’ which has triggered at least 70 investigations so far.

70+ Investigations: 40 Regulators Crack Down on Suspicious Crypto SchemesNASAA is a voluntary association whose members are securities administrators from states, provinces, and territories in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico. According to its website, the association is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection.

The association, which helps coordinate Operation Crypto-Sweep, confirmed that “as many as 70 investigations have been opened in the sweep, with more expected in the coming weeks.” Furthermore, the Washington Post detailed, “As many as 35 cases are pending or already completed, with some resulting in cease-and-desist letters warning the alleged schemes that their unregistered activity violates state securities law.”

The efforts focus on “unregistered securities offerings that promise lucrative returns without adequately informing investors of the risks” as well as initial coin offerings (ICOs), the regulators explained.

Fighting Fraud

By posing as members of the public, the NASAA task force found roughly 30,000 crypto-related domain name registrations, the news outlet described, adding that “Many of the alleged scams use fake addresses, slick marketing materials and promises of over 4 percent daily interest,” the news outlet described. “A few have even used unauthorized photos of high-profile individuals, such as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to portray themselves as aboveboard.”

70+ Investigations: 40 Regulators Crack Down on Suspicious Crypto SchemesThe director of enforcement at the Texas State Securities Board, Joseph Rotunda, was quoted saying, “Although the international task force’s work is far from complete, my suspicions have already been confirmed: The market for cryptocurrency investments is saturated with fraud, and our work is only revealing the tip of the iceberg.”

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published a study showing that out of 1,470 ICOs, 271 were found to contain “red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams.” Investors have poured more than $1 billion into these 271 ICOs, the publication added. In addition, a Chinese government-backed industry organization also published its fake crypto analysis last week, claiming that its monitoring system has detected 421 fake cryptocurrencies.

Massachusetts’ Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Francis Galvin, emphasized on Monday:

Not every ICO or cryptocurrency-related investment is fraudulent, but we urge investors to approach any initial coin offering or cryptocurrency-related investment product with extreme caution.

NASAA president and the director of the Alabama Securities Commission, Joseph Borg, explained that “consumers face higher risks of being misled at a time when the intense demand for bitcoin has prompted many retail investors to take extreme steps to gain exposure to the currency, such as taking out a bigger mortgage.”

What do you think of Operation Crypto-Sweep? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Ethereum [ETH]: Vitalik Buterin Scouted by Google

Ethereum [ETH]

Ethereum [ETH] – Ethereum’s [ETH] co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, seems to be a hot commodity in the tech space, as he tweeted two days ago that Google was actively trying to recruit him for a job. Buterin asked his followers if he should ‘drop’ Ethereum and work for Google and then tweeted a poll following the question.

Source: Twitter

Surprisingly, there was a high volume of people that felt it was a good move for the founder to go to the tech giant. Buterin has since deleted the tweet and poll.

...

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Spanish Regulator Open to Approving Funds Investing Directly in Cryptocurrencies

Spanish Regulator Open to Approving Funds Investing Directly in Cryptocurrencies

Spain’s financial regulator has clarified its position on regulated investment funds investing directly in cryptocurrencies. These type of funds are legal under Law 22/2014, and investments can be made through three types of legal entities.

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

Funds Directly Investing in Cryptocurrencies

Spanish Regulator Open to Approving Funds Investing Directly in CryptocurrenciesSpain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV – Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores) recently clarified its position on registered funds investing in cryptocurrencies directly. The CNMV is the Spanish government agency responsible for regulating the securities markets.

In a Questions and Answers document addressed to fintech companies on activities and services that can have a relationship with the Commission, one of the questions was “Can a fund registered by the CNMV directly invest in cryptocurrencies?” The Commission replied:

This type of funds would have a legal place in Law 22/2014, which regulates, in addition to venture capital entities, other collective investment entities of closed type and their management entities.

Law 22/2014 establishes, among others, closed-end collective investment entities (EICC), closed-end investment funds (FICC), and closed-end investment companies (SICC), Iclg describes.

EICC, FICC, or SICC

The CNMV explained that the investments could be made through EICC, FICC, or SICC.

Spanish Regulator Open to Approving Funds Investing Directly in Cryptocurrencies
CNMV building.

For EICC, Article 2.1 of the above law mandates that “the divestment policy of its participants or partners” must meet two requirements. Firstly, the fund’s “disinvestments [must] occur simultaneously for all investors or participants,” the Commission detailed. Secondly, “what is received by each investor or participant is based on the rights that correspond to each one of them, according to the established terms in its bylaws or regulations for each class of shares or participations.”

Both FICC and SICC have their own “numerous requirements and conditions,” the CNMV noted. For example, an FICC registered with the Commission must be “managed by a management company of closed-end type collective investment entities (SGEIC) or by a collective investment institution management company (SGIIC) that is authorized to manage this type of funds.” The Commission also noted that “the FICC and the SICC are not subject to the supervision of the CNMV (except [for] self-managed SICC)” based on the provisions of article 85 of Law 22/2014.

While registered funds can theoretically invest in cryptocurrencies directly, the Commission emphasized that there are many factors to consider, reiterating:

The investment of FICC and SICC in cryptocurrencies raises a series of practical problems on how to comply with the regulations regarding the valuation of assets, the management of liquidity and the custody guarantee.

European Regulation

Europa Press reported earlier this month that the CNMV “will apply [its] securities regulations to cryptocurrencies until there is European regulation.” The news outlet quoted CNMV’s general director of Strategic Policy and International Affairs, Víctor Rodríguez, saying:

The approach adopted by the CNMV is to try to apply the existing securities regulations as long as we do not have an international or European reference standard.

What do you think of the CNMV’s approach to cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin Cash Stabilizes, But Tron Is Making Dramatic Moves

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is stable today, but TRON (TRX) is outperforming industry trends: Bitcoin Cash is among the crypto coins that have been making noteworthy sideways moves over the last two months. Its price has stabilized around $1,300 range today. The BCH coin hit $1,800 mark a few days ago before falling back to $1,100 on last Friday.

The downside volatility in Bitcoin Cash price was unexpected. The market participants were expecting BCH coin to hold the momentum instead of losing all the gains in few days. The selloff was only driven by broader ...

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Canadian Regulator Warns Investors of Five Cryptocurrency Firms

Canadian Regulator Warns Investors of Five Cryptocurrency Firms

The Ontario Securities Commission has issued a warning against five unlicensed crypto companies involved in schemes to encourage investors to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies. The regulator started gathering information about these platforms after receiving complaints about them.

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

Warning to Investors

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) published an Investor Alert on Friday, warning the public of five firms that “appear to be involved in schemes that target Ontario investors and encourage them to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies,” stating:

Btcreal, Bitserial, Hypercube Ventures LP, Cabincoin OÜ, and Baappay Inc. are not registered in Ontario to solicit investments or provide advice on investing in, buying or selling securities.

Canadian Regulator Warns Investors of Five Cryptocurrency FirmsThe Commission started gathering information on several crypto trading platforms last month after it received a number of complaints about them, CBC reported, adding that to date no platform has been recognized by the OSC as an exchange or exempted from recognition. Any platform that offers cryptocurrencies that fit the definition of securities “must determine whether it is a marketplace. Marketplaces are required to comply with the rules governing exchanges or alternative trading systems,” the news outlet elaborated.

Last month, the OSC issued an Investor Alert on Bitconnect, Bitconnect Coin and the BCC Exchange. “Bitconnect, the BCC Exchange and representatives of Bitconnect are not registered in Ontario to solicit investments or provide advice on investing in, buying or selling securities,” the regulator wrote.

The Five Unregistered Firms

Canadian Regulator Warns Investors of Five Cryptocurrency FirmsThe first firm mentioned in Friday’s warning is Btcreal. This company “claims to provide full investment services for cryptocurrency-related investments and forex,” promising investors “high returns in short periods of time,” the OSC described. The company’s website advertises “6 high ROI [Return On Investment] plans.”

Canadian Regulator Warns Investors of Five Cryptocurrency FirmsThe next company is Bitserial which “claims to offer opportunities to invest in BTE Tokens.” The firm also “encourages investors to participate in a lending program where they can exchange bitcoin, litecoin, or ethereum for BTE Tokens that are ‘lent out’ for high returns,” the Commission detailed.

The third company is Hypercube Ventures LP which manages multiple websites to encourage investors to buy “emission pools” in order to generate “VNN cryptocurrency,” according to the Commission.

Canadian Regulator Warns Investors of Five Cryptocurrency FirmsThe fourth is Cabincoin OÜ which “is currently advertising an unregistered token sale for Cabincoin Tokens,” claiming that “the future value of these tokens will far exceed their initial price,” the OSC wrote.

The last on the list is Baappay Inc. which “is a multi-layered platform that integrates both fiat and cryptocurrency payment services for merchants, that will confirm and guarantee all payments in seconds,” its website describes. The OSC says this company “is also currently advertising an unregistered token sale.”

What do you think of the OSC’s warning? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, the OSC, Btcreal, Bitserial, and Cabincoin.


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Japanese Crypto Exchange Continues Global Expansion – Now in Five Countries

Japanese Crypto Exchange Continues Global Expansion - Now in 5 Countries

A Japanese government-approved cryptocurrency exchange has resumed expanding overseas. Already operating in five countries with a plan to launch in more in the near future, the exchange aims to construct a global network of crypto transactions.

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

Building Global Network

Japanese Crypto Exchange Continues Global Expansion - Now in 5 CountriesBitpoint Japan was among the first crypto exchanges to be fully licensed by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). It is a subsidiary of Remixpoint (3825.T), a listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Bitpoint has started a new round of expansion overseas, after entering a few countries last year. The company announced on Thursday that its Malaysian exchange has begun operations.

The Kuala Lumpur-based Bitpoint Malaysia opened its doors on May 17, offering spot trading and leverage trading. The fee for spot trading is 0.5% while leverage trading carries no fee. Deposits and withdrawals in Malaysian Ringgit are free during the grand opening. The exchange wrote:

We offer leverage of 2, 5, 10 and 25 times.

Five cryptocurrencies are supported: BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, and XRP. Bitpoint Japan says it “will support Bitpoint Malaysia as a system and liquidity provider.”

Global Operations

Japanese Crypto Exchange Continues Global Expansion - Now in 5 CountriesIn addition to Malaysia and Japan, Bitpoint is also operating in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The exchange also opened an office in China in July last year before the Chinese government shut down all crypto exchanges in the country.

In addition, the exchange is reportedly preparing to enter Singapore, Thailand, and other Asian markets in the near future. Bitpoint detailed:

By continuing to provide overseas exchanges using the Bitpoint system in the future, we will continue to realize the construction of a global network of virtual currency transactions.

Tougher Rules and Competition in Japan

Since the hack of Coincheck, one of the most popular crypto exchanges in Japan, the FSA has tightened its cryptocurrency oversight. The country still has 16 fully-licensed crypto exchanges, which have recently formed an association to focus on self-regulation in an effort to rebuild public trust in the crypto industry.

However, out of the 16 “deemed dealers,” which are those allowed to operate while their applications are being reviewed by the FSA, only 8 remain. The agency recently revealed that the other 8 have indicated that they are withdrawing their applications.

Meanwhile, the agency confirmed that over 100 companies are seeking to enter the space, including Yahoo! Japan and Line Corp, which operates the popular chat app Line.

What do you think of Bitpoint’s global expansion plans? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bitpoint.


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China Has Found 421 Fake Cryptocurrencies

China Has Found 421 Fake Cryptocurrencies

A Chinese government-backed industry organization has published a report on fake cryptocurrencies. As of April, its monitoring platform has found 421 fake cryptocurrencies, 60% of which are deployed overseas. The Committee has also outlined major red flags of these cryptocurrencies.

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

421 Fake Cryptocurrencies

China Has Found 421 Fake CryptocurrenciesThe National Committee of Experts on the Internet Financial Security Technology (IFCERT), a Chinese government-backed industry organization, published the results of its analysis on fake cryptocurrencies on Friday.

China Has Found 421 Fake CryptocurrenciesCiting that “In recent years, virtual currencies represented by bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum, etc. have received continuous attention,” IFCERT pointed out that “some criminals are engaged in financial fraud or pyramid schemes under the cover of virtual currency.” The Committee added that fake cryptocurrencies frequently appear, “causing investors to suffer major losses.”

IFCERT’s National Internet Financial Risk Analysis Technology Platform continuously monitors fake cryptos, the Committee detailed, elaborating:

As of April 2018, the technology platform has found 421 fake virtual currencies, of which more than 60% of fake virtual currency website servers are deployed overseas. Such platforms are difficult to find and difficult to track.

The Red Flags

China Has Found 421 Fake CryptocurrenciesThe Committee outlined some major red flags of these fake cryptocurrencies. Firstly, they adopt “pyramid-based” business models, claiming that their cryptocurrencies will generate high returns.

Secondly, they have no real code, IFCERT described, noting that they either do not have a blockchain or cannot generate blocks for one.

Thirdly, they will not be traded on legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges, “so they often trade on over-the-counter or proprietary exchanges,” the report detailed, adding that:

There is a phenomenon that prices [on these platforms] are highly controlled by institutions or individuals, which tends to cause the illusion of rapid price increase. However, users often cannot conduct transactions or withdraw cash.

IFCERT emphasized that fake cryptocurrencies have no value and are illegal, asserting that “Many of these platforms do not have business premises and business information, and servers are often deployed overseas,” so it will be difficult to recoup any losses for victims.

271 Fake ICOs

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal independently published its finding after a review of documents produced for 1,450 initial coin offerings (ICOs). The publication “has found 271 with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams.”

Investors have poured more than $1 billion into these 271 ICOs, the publication detailed, adding that “some of the firms are still raising funds, while others have shut down. Investors have so far claimed losses of up to $273 million in these projects, according to lawsuits and regulatory actions.”

Do you think there are many more fake cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and IFCERT.


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