U.S. Cryptocurrency Exchanges Set to Meet in September to Discuss Self-Regulation

A working group led by cryptocurrency exchange Gemini will hold its first meeting in September to discuss forming a self-regulatory organization (SRO) to oversee the burgeoning U.S. crypto trading market. Announced on Monday, the Virtual Commodity Association (VCA) initially includes participation from four cryptocurrency exchanges that serve U.S. customers: Gemini, Bitstamp, Bittrex, and bitFlyer USA.

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Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash is Now More Popular Than Venmo

Data from app research firm Sensor Tower and Nomura Instinet have revealed that cumulative downloads of Square’s Cash App have surpassed that of its rival, Paypal’s Venmo, per a Bloomberg report. Square’s Cash App now has a cumulative total download of 33.5 million, which exceeds Venmo’s 32.9 million for the first time, after a successful … Continued

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U.K. Exchange Crypto Facilities Launches Bitcoin Cash Futures

Bitcoin cash, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency, took another step into the big leagues on Friday when a European derivatives trading platform launched the first regulated, USD-denominated bitcoin cash futures. This product, which began trading on the U.K.-based Crypto Facilities on Friday at 4 p.m. local time, allows investors to bet on the future price movements of … Continued

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Binance, LCX Collaborate to Launch Fiat-to-Cryptocurrency Exchange in Liechtenstein

Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has partnered with Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX) to create and launch a cryptocurrency trading platform that allows users to trade directly against fiat currencies such as the euro. The Malta company announced Binance LCX as the forefront of their trading operations in the Central European economy. This

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Wall Street’s Crypto Caution Risks Coinbase Gaining ‘Unassailable’ Position

Cryptocurrency trading revenue is primed to explode within the near future, and Wall Street is running out of time if it hopes to stop industry giant Coinbase from gaining an indomitable market position. Writing in a new report titled “Crypto Trading — the Next Big Thing is Here?,” analysts at market research firm Sanford C.

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Coinbase FIles Patent for Direct Bitcoin Payments System

Crypto exchange Coinbase recently filed for a patent detailing a new system to enable online users to make Bitcoin payments more securely. The patent, filed on August 14, will allow users to make payments directly from their Bitcoin wallet. The patent cites the issue of customers being required to compromise on the security of their … Continued

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Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada

Chinese exchange Huobi and its partners are launching cryptocurrency exchanges in five regions: the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Canada. Partners “share Huobi’s order integration system, wallet system, asset management and clearing systems.” The exchange in Manila has launched with trading in three markets with over 40 trading pairs.

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

Five Partners, Five New Exchanges

Chinese digital asset and service provider Huobi has announced that it has chosen five partners to launch cryptocurrency exchanges in five regions.

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, CanadaHuobi is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, with a 24-hour trading volume of $915,183,234 at the time of this writing, according to Coinmarketcap. With offices in Singapore, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Australia, Huobi claims to serve millions of users in over 130 countries.

The five partners are Yatai International Holding Group, Vnesheconombank, Chi Fu Group, Asia International Finance Holdings (AIF) and Dbank Group, according to South China Morning Post. Each partner will utilize Huobi Cloud to set up a new cryptocurrency exchange in “the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Canada, respectively,” the publication added.

Huobi clarified on Thursday:

Corporate partners also share Huobi’s order integration system, wallet system, asset management and clearing systems; in addition to Huobi Global’s world-leading depth, liquidity and market data.

The company officially launched Huobi Cloud on July 20, aimed at “enabling its partners to build secure and stable digital asset exchanges quickly.”

Launch Schedule

Huobi has provided a rough schedule for when the new exchanges will be launched by its partners. The exchange in Bali, Indonesia, will be launched on August 22. The one in Taiwan will be called Shubao Digital Asset Exchange and will be launched on August 26. The one in Moscow will be launched on September 3. The company has not provided the launch date for the exchange in Canada at press time.

The only exchange that has already been launched by one of the above partners is in the Philippines; it is called Huibi. Launched on August 12, it is headquartered in Manila and co-founded by Ya Tai International Holding Group.

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada
Huibi exchange in the Philippines.

Huibi lists three markets on its platform: USDT, BTC, and ETH. Eight trading pairs are available for the USDT market, seven for the BTC market, and 26 for the ETH market. There is no fiat support.

Huobi is also expanding its presence in the U.S. On Wednesday, August 15, the company announced that it “has entered into a strategic partnership, including a significant investment” with Openfinance Network, a US compliant security token trading platform launched earlier this summer. This follows Huobi’s recent attempt to enter the US market with the launch of Hbus exchange.

What do you think of Huobi and its partners launching exchanges in these countries? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Huibi, and Huobi.


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Regulations Roundup: This Fall May Bring More Crypto-Friendly Jurisdictions

Regulations Roundup: This Fall May Bring More Crypto-Friendly Jurisdictions

August is not the best period for important decisions but it seems a good time to sketch plans for the second active half of the year. Authorities in several countries have shared their intentions regarding the regulation and oversight of the crypto space. The club of crypto-friendly jurisdictions may accept new members this fall. Others may take a different route, at least for now.  

Also read: Malta Tops Exchange-Based Crypto Trade, Russia Leads in OTC Volume

Ukraine to Take Example from Switzerland, Malta, Gibraltar

Regulations Roundup: This Fall May Bring More Crypto-Friendly JurisdictionsKiev, which has postponed the adoption of crypto regulations for some time, has indicated its decision to follow the examples set by crypto-friendly jurisdictions like Switzerland, Malta, and Gibraltar. That’s according to comments made by Timur Khromaev, head of the country’s National Securities and Stock Market Commission (NSSMC).

Ukraine needs a law in order to become a leader in creating conditions for the development of the crypto market, he said, quoted by local and Russian media. Khromaev also believes that cryptocurrency is a financial instrument, before anything else, and insists that it should not be viewed as a means of payment. This presumption is a corner stone of the new regulatory concept adopted recently by Ukraine’s Financial Stability Council of which the NSSMC is a member. The high-ranking Ukrainian official also stated:

We plan to legally recognize cryptocurrencies as a financial assets and allow people to invest and use these financial instruments.

The next step, Khromaev added, will be to implement a mechanism for taxation and define the regulatory responsibilities of relevant government institutions. According to the NSSMC’s president, the new legislation, which is currently being developed in cooperation with Ukrainian deputies and representatives of the industry, is expected to be adopted by the end of the year or in early 2019.

New Russian Crypto Law Coming Soon, Official Says

Regulations Roundup: This Fall May Bring More Crypto-Friendly JurisdictionsAccording to Elina Sidorenko, head of the interdepartmental group assessing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, the revamped Russian crypto legislation, which “takes into account earlier remarks, as well as the interests of the business and the financial regulators,” will be presented in the near future. The new draft will list “the rights, duties and responsibilities of participants in crypto-relations,” Sidorenko wrote in her Telegram channel.

In May, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, adopted three crypto bills on first reading – “On Digital Financial Assets,” “On Attracting Investments Using Investment Platforms,” and “On Digital Rights.” Deputies then attempted to synchronize the texts, taking out terms like “digital money” but keeping legal definitions such as “digital financial assets” and “digital rights.” The second and third reading of the bills were supposed to take place before July 1, as President Putin had ordered, but they were postponed for the new parliamentary session in September.

Latvia to Adopt a Law for Cryptocurrency Taxation

Regulations Roundup: This Fall May Bring More Crypto-Friendly JurisdictionsEarlier this year, Latvian authorities announced they were considering the possibility to recognize cryptocurrency as a means of exchange in order to impose tax on capital gains from crypto deals. Now, according to local media reports, the government in Riga wants to accomplish this through new legislation and the Latvian Ministry of Finance is preparing a draft law that’s supposed to be ready by December. The bill should determine the taxation procedures applicable to incomes of individuals from transactions with virtual money, including cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Alexander Kitchenko, member of the Latvian Bitcoin Foundation, revealed details about the proposed tax mechanism in conversation with the local outlet Baltnews.lv. Authorities, he said, intend to collect taxpayers’ data from crypto trading platforms. The monitoring will be performed on the entrance and exit of the crypto space, where corporate entities act like intermediaries for crypto-fiat transactions. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will most likely be taxed as digital property, the expert elaborated.

Hungary Mulls Crypto Regulations and Taxation

Regulations Roundup: This Fall May Bring More Crypto-Friendly JurisdictionsAuthorities in Budapest are considering and drafting regulations for the crypto sector in Hungary. Representatives of the central bank, the finance ministry, the tax service, and other government institutions have formed a working group tasked to assess the legal, economic, security and other aspects of cryptocurrencies, Hungarian media reported.

The Ministry of Finance, quoted by the local financial outlet Portfolio, reminded Hungarians that cryptocurrencies are not yet accepted as legal means of payment in the country. They do not qualify as legal tender, electronic cash, financial instrument, or cash equivalent, the ministry emphasized.

Nevertheless, local crypto investors are expected to pay taxes on their incomes from dealings in cryptocurrency even under the current legislation. Profits from crypto transactions are classified as “other income” on tax returns which means 15% tax is due, as well as 22% in the form of health insurance contributions. Legal entities are obliged to pay the treasury 9% income tax and 2% corporate tax.

Kazakhstan to Follow in the Footsteps of Belarus

Regulations Roundup: This Fall May Bring More Crypto-Friendly JurisdictionsKazakhstan, the Central Asian powerhouse which has been wandering for some time between two extremes – banning cryptocurrencies and supporting crypto development – may eventually implement a Belarus style solution. The Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), which was launched with the goal to turn the country into a regional financial hub, has put forward draft regulations that will place the oversight of cryptos and token sales under its control. That’s a much more crypto-friendly scenario than the alternative of letting the central bank be the main regulator. The National Bank of Kazakhstan has previously called for the prohibition of crypto transactions, exchange, and business.

The legal amendments are designed to facilitate investors, private individuals and corporate entities that want to work with cryptocurrencies in the AIFC, Forbes Kazakhstan reports. They envisage the classification of cryptocurrencies within the national legislation and the adoption of mechanisms to regulate and license the operators of cryptocurrency exchanges. Rules and regulations for crowdfunding through initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the use of smart contracts are also included in the proposed legal framework.

What are your thoughts on these regulatory developments? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

Strengthening regulations will increase crypto investors’ protection, and the amateur speculation bubble will end, says Masayuki Tashiro, representative director of Fiscalo Digital Asset Group and market analyst, who handles a crypto business in Japan. The real value of cryptocurrency will be questioned after we leave the bubble, the expert says.

Also read: Japanese Association Seeks Authority to Enforce Self-Regulation on Crypto Exchanges

Is the Cryptocurrency Market Heading to Maturity?

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert SaysThe overall excitement and confusion around cryptocurrency in Japan is over as regulations had been strengthened. In many ways the environment surrounding Bitcoin has changed dramatically this year. Last December, the highest value for 1 BTC was 2.5 million yen (22,500$), then in January it dropped by more than half, at 700,000 yen (6,300$), when on January 26th, 58 billion yen (520 million$) worth of cryptocurrency Nem (NEM) went missing from Coincheck, a local exchange.

“The overheating feeling around cryptocurrency that went on until the beginning of the year was just a bubble,” Masayuki Tashiro said. Right after the Coincheck heist, Japan’s Financial Security Agency (FSA) took immediate measures in February and raided the company and other crypto exchanges to find out what was going on. Then six companies including the major registrants received heavy administrative sanctions in June. BTC price then fell to 600,000 yen (5,400$). Currently the price of one BTC is about 800,000 yen (7,200$), but it is a situation that is changing around all the time, the market analyst pointed out.

Real Value of Crypto Will Show After the Bubble Is Over

The real value of crypto will show after the bubble is over, the expert says. As the Coincheck management apologized during a press conference in Tokyo last January for failing to keep the cryptocurrency, its overall price dropped dramatically and the trend to regulate cryptocurrency accelerated drastically. “Futures traders in the US launching the BTC futures trading market last December also influenced the situation a lot. And those futures hedge funders entered the market as a tide, all at once, that influenced the bubble to burst too,” Tashiro explained, “the more the price falls, the more people tend to sell. And the biggest factor for the bubble bursting is the actions taken by beginners who don’t have the experience of investing in crypto,” he added.

Amateur Crypto Investors Caused the Burst, Japanese Expert Says

“To begin with, there aren’t any investment measures with crypto such as PER (Price Earnings Ratio) and PBR (Price Book-value Ratio) as we see with stocks, so people shouldn’t touch upon it if they don’t understand it. Without any solid understanding, newbies shouldn’t have gotten involved in crypto,” Tashiro explained. Japan’s crypto industry has established a self regulatory association called the Japan Cryptocurrency Exchange Association in April, which is prospecting to set up self-regulatory rules by October. Rules and regulations around crypto have been strengthened globally, and the overall crypto boom seems to have dissipated.

Crypto Is Still a Remarkable Market

“Strengthening the rules is a good move,” the analyst said, “people will be able to invest with peace in their mind as the poor quality crypto vendors will exit and a strong anti-money laundering system will be put in place internally within each exchange,” Tashiro says. “Furthermore, last year BTC price rose by more than 40% twice,” he explained, “this is the same figure as the Nikkei average during the Lehman shock. In the near future, although we might not reach that high, we can still expect a rise in the range of 800,000 yen (7,200$). Although the price range at the moment is around 30,000 to 40,000 yen (270 to 360$), a rise always occurs, that’s why [crypto] is still a remarkable market.” Regarding future market trends, “personally I am bullish,” Tashiro said, “and by the time the outline of the regulations will come together in October, those investors who will feel safer will come back. I hope things won’t get as overheated as last year, but I believe BTC can win back the value of 1 million yen (9,020$) in range,” he believes.

The bubble which attracted or was caused by amateur investors is over, and the reinforcement of regulation is a rather securing outcome from the perspective of investors’ protection in the cryptocurrency market. From this Japanese expert’s point of view, it seems that there is still room for earning in crypto.

What do you think of this Japanese analyst’s expectations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Korea’s Crypto Industry Condemns Exclusion Plan from Venture Firms List

Crypto exchanges and blockchain startups in South Korea are protesting against a recent legislative proposal by the government to exclude the industry from recognized venture businesses. In a proposal outlined by South Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups this week, the government body revealed its intention to exclude the blockchain industry, including cryptocurrency exchanges, from

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Coinbase Effect: Ethereum Classic Price Surges Ahead of Listing

The cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic moved ahead of the market in recent hours when it surged by a further 15% on top of Wednesday’s 20% gains and is now trading at around $13.80 on Bitfinex. The upward gains follows crypto exchange giant Coinbase’s announcement, posted on Twitter, indicating that ETC would be available for purchase and

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Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in Thailand

Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in Thailand

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the names of seven cryptocurrency firms that have been authorized to legally operate in the country. Five of them are crypto exchanges; two are cryptocurrency dealers.

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

Seven Crypto Firms Authorized

Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in ThailandThe Thai SEC has announced the names of the cryptocurrency firms that have been authorized to operate in the country while their applications are being reviewed by the regulators. Seven firms, consisting of five crypto exchanges and two dealers, have been granted temporary approval to operate until their applications are either approved or denied.

Crypto exchanges that have been authorized are Bitcoin Co. Ltd. (BX), Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., Cash2coins Co. Ltd., Satang Corporation (Tdax), and Coin Asset. The two approved dealers are Coins TH Co. Ltd. and Digital Coin Limited (Thai WM).

Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in ThailandRecently, Coin Asset unveiled a crypto ATM that can handle six cryptocurrencies and multiple fiat currencies. Coins TH was launched in 2014 by Filipino remittance company Coins.ph.

Mr. Rapee Sucharitakul, Secretary-General of the Thai SEC, explained that cryptocurrency investing carries high risks. The Commission urges anyone being approached to invest in cryptocurrencies or crypto projects to first check whether those companies have been approved to legally operate in the country.

Why Seven? Two More Being Reviewed

Thailand’s crypto and initial coin offering (ICO) regulations went into effect on May 14. The Thai SEC, the main regulator of the country’s crypto industry, started accepting applications for licenses to operate crypto businesses in the country last month. News.Bitcoin.com reported last week that about 20 exchanges, 50 ICO projects, and five ICO portals have indicated interest in applying with the SEC.

Only Seven Crypto Firms Authorized to Legally Operate in ThailandCryptocurrency firms that were operating in the country prior to May 14 could apply for a temporary license while their actual applications are being reviewed by the regulators. They had 90 days, until August 14, to apply.

On August 15 the SEC revealed that the seven companies above have applied and been granted temporary approval to operate until the regulators have either approved or rejected their applications.

In addition, the SEC is currently verifying two more crypto firms that claim to be in business prior to the enforcement of the regulations.

Other than the nine companies mentioned above, all other firms seeking to operate a crypto business in Thailand must obtain approval from the ministry of finance and the SEC before commencing a crypto business.

What do you think of the Thai SEC granting temporary approval to seven crypto firms while reviewing their applications? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Thai SEC.


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Another Top-5 Cryptocurrency Exchange Plots Move to Malta’s ‘Blockchain Island’

Another day passes by and although August is a traditionally slow month in the business and finance circles, Malta does not seem to be resting on its laurels at all. After several announcements regarding cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto banks, we now have the announcement coming that ZB.com, the world’s fith-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading … Continued

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Coinbase Says in 2017 it was Signing up 50,000 New Users Daily

Coinbase

Coinbase, Inc., the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, was signing up 50,000 new customers a day last year, says CEO Brian Armstrong.

Crypto ‘Bubble’

Armstrong spoke at Bloomberg’s Players Technology Summit in San Francisco on Tuesday. Cryptocurrency had a huge rise last year, more particularly towards the second half of the year, but most investors who entered the game late have lost money.

From its all-time high of almost $20,000 back in December, Bitcoin has dropped nearly 70 percent. All of the other altcoins have followed suit, in a wave of panic selling. ...

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LINE Launches $10 Million Token Venture Fund, Lists TRON on Crypto Exchange

Japan’s largest messaging app LINE has established a new corporate token venture fund with $10 million in capital for startups in the blockchain and crypto industry. With over 600 million registered users and 200 million monthly active users worldwide on its messaging app, Japan’s LINE announced its entry into the cryptocurrency space after filing to

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