Cryptocurrency Exchange Huobi Poaches CEO from Major Rival OKEx

Former OKEx CEO Chris Lee has joined rival cryptocurrency exchange Huobi as its vice president of global development, just days after stating that he was leaving his former employer so that he could spend more time with his family. Huobi made the announcement on Monday, explaining in a statement that Lee would help spearhead the

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This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in Florida

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in Florida

A notable week for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – the network successfully upgraded the blockchain protocol by extending the block size to 32MB. The change will allow a greater number of transactions to be processed with inexpensive and consistent transaction fees. Also, Seminole County in Florida will accept tax payments in both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) thanks to a partnership with Bitpay.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Warren Warned by Billboards, Coinbase Tempted by Banking

Bitcoin Cash Upgrades Blockchain Protocol

The Bitcoin Cash network has smoothly and successfully upgraded the blockchain protocol this Tuesday by extending the block size from 8MB to 32MB. The implementation of the new consensus rules went into effect at block height 530356.

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in FloridaThe change represents one of the largest block size increases in blockchain history. The upgrade also includes an increased default data-carrier-size, from 80-bytes to 220-bytes, and re-enabling previously disabled Satoshi OP_Codes, which could add the ability to code colored coins and binary contracts.

The fourfold block size increase will allow vast amounts of transactions to pass through the network with consistent and inexpensive transaction fees. It also gives developers plenty of breathing room to adjust the size if it starts getting closer to its limit and paves a path for mass adoption. The block size limits are currently set by the miner, and developers are able to set the capacity so that blocks cannot get full in the immediate future. This means that the fees will remain low for quite some time and also reliable, even when transaction usage becomes as extreme as in the last quarter of 2017.

Bitpay Enables BCH and BTC for Tax Payments in Florida County

US-based crypto payment processor Bitpay has announced a formal agreement with Florida’s Seminole County Tax Collector, Joel M. Greenberg. Both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) can be used for tax payments starting this summer. County residents will be able to pay in crypto for driver licenses, ID cards, and even property taxes.

“We live in a world where technology has made access to services on demand, with same-day delivery and the expectation of highly efficient customer service, and we should expect the same from our government,” Greenberg said. He added that the aim of his tenure in office is to make customer experience faster, smarter, and more efficient, and to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st. One way to achieve that, the official says, is to add cryptocurrency to the available payment options.

China Ranks Almost 30 Cryptos, Finds Over 400 Fake Coins

The government of China, one of the first to ban cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, has come out with official crypto rankings. The Chinese Center for Information Industry Development (CCID) will be judging leading digital coins according to three major criteria – innovation, technology, and application – although details about the applied methodology are yet to be shared. A total of 28 cryptocurrencies and their respective blockchains have been ranked. Of the top four coins by market capitalization, Ethereum was ranked first, followed by Bitcoin Core (BTC) at number 13, Ripple is 17th, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – 25th. The Chinese top five include Ether, Steem, Lisk, NEO, and Komodo.

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in FloridaAnother sign of growing attention to cryptocurrencies in China is the publication of a report on fake coins by a government-backed industry organization. The National Committee of Experts on the Internet Financial Security Technology (IFCERT) has identified 421 fake cryptocurrencies. The organization pointed out that 60% of these cryptos are deployed overseas. IFCERT also outlined some major red flags of the fake coins. According to the Committee, they often adopt “pyramid-based” business models and claim high returns. The cryptos have no real code – they either do not have a blockchain or cannot generate blocks for one. These coins are not traded on legitimate exchanges, the report also notes.

US Government Launches Scam Crypto Site

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has created and published its own version of an initial coin offering (ICO) scam website. “Combining the two most growth-oriented segments of the digital economy, blockchain technology and travel, Howeycoin is the newest and only coin offering that captures the magic of coin trading profits and the excitement and guaranteed returns of the travel industry,” the mock SEC website claims. It promises partnerships in all segments of the travel industry and “earning coins you can trade for profit.”

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in Florida

“The rapid growth of the ‘ICO’ market, and its widespread promotion as a new investment opportunity, has provided fertile ground for bad actors to take advantage of our Main Street investors. We embrace new technologies, but we also want investors to see what fraud looks like, so we built this educational site with many of the classic warning signs of fraud,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton explained. He also noted that distributed ledger technology can add efficiency to the capital raising process, but promoters and issuers need to make sure they follow the securities laws. “I encourage investors to do their diligence and ask questions,” Clayton said.

EU Adopts Rules to Reduce Anonymity for Crypto Users

EU Adopts Rules to Reduce Anonymity for Crypto UsersThis week, the European Union moved closer to its goal to minimize anonymous crypto transactions. The EU Council adopted a directive, which updates the European anti-money laundering legislation. The new rules come with requirements for crypto platforms to introduce know-your-customer procedures. The amendments were adopted at a meeting of the General Affairs Council on Monday, following an agreement with the European Parliament form December. In April this year, MEPs voted to support the deal to “bring cryptocurrencies under closer regulation.”

The main changes involve addressing the “risks linked to virtual currencies” by taking steps to reduce anonymity for both crypto traders and crypto-related transactions. Providers of exchange services between virtual and fiat currencies, as well as custodian wallet providers, will be obliged to identify suspicious activities. The directive states that authorities should be able to monitor the use of cryptocurrencies through these platforms, and the national financial intelligence units should have access to information allowing them to associate crypto addresses with the their owners.

South Korean Regulators Widen Investigation of Crypto Exchanges

The government in Seoul is widening its probe on cryptocurrency exchanges focusing on the use of corporate accounts for crypto transactions, which the regulators say can lead to money laundering. The practice should have been discontinued when authorities introduced the real-name system at the end of January. However, only 30% of all crypto accounts have been converted into real-name ones so far. South Korea’s top financial regulators are now teaming up with prosecutors to widen the investigation.

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in FloridaThe six banks that can issue real-name accounts have chosen to only service the country’s largest crypto exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. Nonetheless, not all accounts at these exchanges have been converted into real-name ones. In addition, all small and medium-sized exchanges continue to use corporate accounts for crypto transactions. The regulators warn that the use of corporate accounts can lead to fraud. The announcement of the widening probe follows the launch of an investigation on the largest South Korean crypto exchange, Upbit.

What are your thoughts on the top stories we’ve covered this week? Let us know in the comments section below.


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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.


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Zcash Price Jumps Over 50% for the Week Ahead of Gemini Listing

Zcash, the 21st-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of more than $1.4 billion, jumped more than 50% this week, according to CoinMarketCap, pushed by the news that the Gemini exchange will list the cryptocurrency next week. The New York Department of Financial Services approved Gemini’s request to add three ZEC markets – ZEC/USD, ZEC/BTC and … Continued

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Coincheck Delists XMR, DASH, ZEC, REP – Prompted by Japanese Regulator

Coincheck Delists XMR, DASH, ZEC, REP - Prompted by Japanese Regulator

Japanese exchange Coincheck has confirmed that it is delisting three privacy coins: monero, dash, and zcash. Augur’s reputation token will also be delisted next month. The exchange made this decision after receiving a business improvement order from the country’s financial regulator following the NEM hack.

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

Coincheck Delisting 4 Cryptocurrencies

Coincheck Delists XMR, DASH, ZEC, REP - Prompted by Japanese RegulatorFollowing reports that Coincheck was going to delist monero (XMR), zcash (ZEC), and dash (DASH), the exchange has now confirmed that those cryptocurrencies will be delisted along with Augur’s reputation token (REP).

The four cryptocurrencies will be delisted on June 18, Coincheck emphasized, adding:

The target currencies [XMR, ZEC, DASH, and REP] held on the discontinued date will be sold at the market price and converted into Japanese yen.

The sales’ proceeds will then be credited to the customers’ accounts. Before that date, customers can sell or transfer these cryptocurrencies. The exchange says it has received many transfer requests, warning that it may be several days to complete the transfers.

Business Improvement Order

Coincheck Delists XMR, DASH, ZEC, REP - Prompted by Japanese RegulatorFollowing the NEM hack in January, Coincheck received a business improvement order from the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) on March 8. The exchange is a “deemed dealer,” meaning it has been allowed to operate while its application is being reviewed by the agency. The exchange has now been acquired by Monex Group. After delisting the above cryptocurrencies, Coincheck will continue to support BTC, ETH, ETC, LSK, FCT, BCH, XRP, XEM, and LTC.

In complying with the FSA order, the exchange says it is “drastically reviewing” its internal control and management control systems, as well as rethinking its “management strategy that thoroughly protects customers,” the announcement reads, adding that:

It is necessary [for us] to further develop and strengthen the management system of AML / CFT [Anti-Money Laundering/ Counter-Terrorist Financing] in the future.

Monex CEO Oki Matsumoto “expects the exchange to secure an official license in Japan next month,” Fortune reported on Friday.

FSA Cracks Down on Privacy Coin Listings

Nikkei reported earlier this month that the FSA has set new criteria for crypto exchanges. One of them concerns the types of cryptocurrencies listed on exchanges. “Those granting a high level of anonymity and easily used for money laundering will as a general rule be banned,” the news outlet described.

The FSA “strongly requests money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures not only for Coincheck but also for other virtual currency exchange operators,” News24 wrote.

Out of the 16 licensed crypto exchanges in Japan, none have listed XMR, ZEC, DASH, or REP on their applications with the FSA.

What do you think of Coincheck delisting the four cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Indian Cryptocurrency Exchanges Undeterred By Central Bank Crackdown; New Players Still Entering The Market

A famous quote says “Water always finds a way,” and this seems to be the motto of beleaguered Indian cryptocurrency exchanges, who are circumventing the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) blanket ban on digital currencies by a flurry of methods. Central Bank Tries To Shut Industry A country of 1.4 billion, India undeniably had a

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Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for Expansion

Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for Expansion         

Coincheck, the Japanese crypto trading platform that found new owners after it was hacked earlier this year, is now planning to offer services on the US market. The exchange expects to be licensed in Japan next month, according to the chief executive of Monex, the online brokerage which bought the troubled company last month.    

Also read: Coincheck Resumes Monero Withdrawals and Sales

Coincheck’s US Plans – Part of the Comeback

Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for ExpansionRecognizing the need to “study carefully” the legal framework for cryptocurrencies in the US, Japanese exchange Coincheck is planning to expand its operations and its customer base in America, building on top of over 2 million accounts in Japan. No timeframe has been specified yet, but the move is under consideration by the platform’s new management. Its operator, Coin Check Co., became a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group in April after losing some ¥58 billion worth of NEM (~$550 million USD at the time) in a hacker attack in January – one of the biggest heists in crypto history.

“The legal framework for cryptocurrency in the US is somehow wandering right now – money transfer, commodity, security. And, the rules are different state by state. So, we have to study this carefully. But the short answer is ‘yes’,” Monex CEO Oki Matsumoto told Bloomberg in an interview about Coincheck’s future intentions. He also revealed that the exchange, which spent a lot of funds and efforts to improve security and restore confidence, is expecting to receive a license in Japan next month. Matsumoto’s comments indicated that bringing the trading platform to the US is also part of the plans for the comeback.

Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for Expansion

For many observers, the purchase of the notoriously hacked cryptocurrency exchange for $34 million might have looked like a risky investment, but the takeover has so far proven to be a positive move for Monex. Its shares have almost doubled in price since the news of the acquisition broke in April. Doing crypto business in the US may not seem like a great idea either, given that the company comes from Japan, a country known for its much friendlier crypto atmosphere.

A Different Perspective of the West

Matsumoto, however, has a different reading of the situation as he sees favorable conditions forming in the West, including lower taxes and growing interest from institutional money managers. France was mentioned in the interview in the light of last month’s government decision to lower the crypto capital gains tax rate by more than half – to 19 percent, compared to Japan’s 55 percent.

Japanese Exchange Coincheck Eyes America for ExpansionAnother sign of the warming climate in Paris was the Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire’s statement this week that he was wrong about cryptocurrencies before. “I was a neophyte a year ago, but now I’m passionate. It took me a year, so let’s […] make France the first place for blockchain and crypto innovation in the EU,” Le Maire was quoted as saying at a meeting with entrepreneurs and representatives of the French startup Blockchain Partner. According to Bitcoin.fr, he also assured the members of the French crypto community of his “total support.”

The Japanese government does not plan any tax cuts for crypto-related incomes and gains and that, according to Oki Matsumoto, means that cryptocurrency will remain a “plaything for speculators.” Despite legalizing crypto trade last year, Tokyo has yet to determine the status of crypto-related financial products such as futures contracts, which will require some amendments to the Japanese securities law.

“Japan may seem like it’s one step ahead in crypto, but in terms of deciding what’s a security or a token, and in terms of attracting institutional investors, the US and Europe are moving ahead,” the chief executive of Monex said. In his opinion, the classification of cryptocurrencies in the United States will create regulatory clarity which is necessary to draw more investors. Matsumoto believes that the decisions US regulators take will influence the role of cryptocurrencies, in general, and have a huge impact on the crypto policies in his country, in particular.

What are your expectations for the future of crypto industries in both Japan and the US? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.  


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Coincheck Plans to Expand into US Market

Coincheck will expand into the US

Monex Inc., the new owner of the cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, has announced that Coincheck will expand into the US.

Monex acquired Coincheck back in April, not long after Coincheck experienced one of the largest crypto hacks of all time. Coincheck has been working to recover ever since but hasn’t fully succeeded yet. Now, in the hopes of helping the exchange to recover further, Monex plans to expand Coincheck into the US, reports Bloomberg.

Getting over the crypto hack isn’t the only reason Coincheck is expanding into the US, though. The CEO of Monex, Oki ...

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Five Petitions Pile Up Against India’s Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to Ignore

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India's Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to Ignore

Five writ petitions have now been filed against the order by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banning banks from providing services to entities dealing with cryptocurrencies. The country’s Supreme Court has set a date to hear all petitions but has barred all other courts from accepting any new ones.

Also read: US State Issues Emergency Cease and Desist Orders to Two Crypto Investment Firms

Latest Writ Petition Against RBI Order

Five petitions have been filed with Indian courts against RBI’s order banning financial institutions under its control from dealing with cryptocurrencies and servicing entities that deal with them including crypto exchanges. RBI has set “a three-month deadline or by July 5 for financial institutions to comply with its notice, putting the cryptocurrency businesses in India in a disarray,” the Economic Times elaborated.

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India's Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to IgnoreThe latest writ petition was filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a non-profit industry body representing the interests of online and mobile value-added services industry. It was filed on Tuesday according to IAMAI president, Subho Ray, and the Supreme Court website, Inc42 reported.

Crypto exchanges that are part of the association include Unocoin, Zebpay, and Coinsecure. They were originally part of another industry body called the Digital and Blockchain Foundation of India which merged with IAMAI, the publication detailed.

Four Other Writ Petitions

The fourth writ petition was “filed by a group of 11 different representatives from various crypto-related businesses,” the Economic Times conveyed on Monday. One of the petitioners told the news outlet:

Banking is an essential service. How can one deny access to an essential service when I am not doing anything illegal? You have not declared VCs (virtual currencies) illegal in the country.

Three more writ petitions were previously filed. One was by Kali Digital Eco-systems and another by Flinstone Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which conducts business under the trade name Money Trade Coin (MTC).

Moreover, a joint writ petition was filed by four cryptocurrency exchanges in the Supreme Court against the RBI circular on May 8. According to lawyer Mohammed Danish, the four exchanges are Coindelta Exchange run by Bitfair Technologies, Koinex Exchange run by Discidium Internet Labs, Throughbit Exchange run by Throughbit technologies, and Coindcx run by Neblio Technologies.

Supreme Court Taking Charge

Five Petitions Pile Up Against India's Crypto Crackdown – High Courts Ordered to IgnoreFollowing the petition by IAMAI, the Supreme Court on Thursday reportedly refused to stay RBI’s order. “However, it allowed cryptocurrency exchanges, their shareholders, traders and other individuals to present their cases within two weeks to the RBI, which will look into the issue in accordance with the law,” the Financial Express explained.

All petitions relating to RBI’s crypto directive will be heard by the Supreme Court; the hearing is set for July 20. Pending petitions have been transferred to the Supreme Court from two high courts – two in Delhi High Court and one in Calcutta High Court.

Furthermore, high courts have been ordered not to entertain any more petitions regarding RBI’s crypto order, Business Standard described, adding:

No court shall accept petitions on the subject of cryptocurrency.

Do you think the Supreme Court will reverse RBI’s order? Let us know in the comments section below.


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South Korea to Follow G20 Unified Cryptocurrency Regulations

South Korea to Follow G20 Unified Cryptocurrency Regulations

The South Korean government reportedly plans to soften its crypto regulations in line with the policies set by the G20 nations in an effort to create “unified regulations.” The Korean regulators have also agreed to apply the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force to its crypto policies.

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

G20’s Unified Crypto Regulations

South Korea is reportedly planning to follow the policies set by the G-20 nations and soften its crypto regulations, the Korea Times reported.

The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.

South Korea to Follow G20 Unified Cryptocurrency Regulations

The top financial policymakers of these countries have agreed to acknowledge and regulate cryptocurrencies as financial assets, the news outlet noted, elaborating:

Financial policymakers of G-20 nations have set a July deadline for the first step toward ‘unified regulations’ of cryptocurrencies. One reason for the move by the G-20 is that they see cryptocurrencies as ‘too small to jeopardize’ financial markets. The combined market value of cryptocurrencies is less than 1 percent of the global GDP.

Financial Action Task Force Standards

While the G-20 classifies cryptocurrencies as financial assets, the Korean government has earlier classified them as non-financial products due to their speculative nature. Acknowledging the differences, the country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) was quoted expressing:

It’s almost certain that cryptocurrencies will be classified as assets and the main issue will be centered on how to regulate them properly under the unified frame that will be agreed upon between G-20 nations. Given the current stance, this isn’t good, but we will step up efforts to improve things.

South Korea has also agreed to apply to cryptocurrencies the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body formed to fight money laundering and terrorism financing, the publication conveyed.

Softening Crypto Policies

Recently, the new FSS chief indicated that he will ease the country’s cryptocurrency regulations. Governor Yoon Suk-heun said there are many positive aspects of cryptocurrencies, promising to release updates on this issue in the near future.

South Korea to Follow G20 Unified Cryptocurrency RegulationsMeanwhile, the country’s National Tax Agency has been collaborating with the finance ministry to collect tax data in order to establish crypto tax policies. While cryptocurrency transactions are currently tax-free in Korea, crypto operators are required to pay income taxes, the news outlet detailed.

Despite the new FSS chief suggesting an easing of crypto regulations, his department has launched an investigation into crypto exchanges, in collaboration with other related authorities. In March, the prosecution arrested four employees of crypto exchanges including the CEO of Coinnest. Last week, they started investigating the country’s largest crypto exchange, Upbit. This week, three people were arrested from HTS Coin exchange for alleged fraud and embezzlement charges.

Do you think South Korea will soon ease crypto policies? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted Bitlicense

Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted Bitlicense

On May 17 the Digital Currency Group initiative and Over-the-Counter (OTC) cryptocurrency service, Genesis Global Trading, announced that Genesis was recently granted the New York state Bitlicense. The company that provides OTC solutions to institutional buyers can now operate freely in New York — A territory that many call, ‘the financial capital of the world,’ as Genesis aims to provide significant BTC, BCH, ETC, LTC, ZEC, XRP, and ETH liquidity in the state.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Upgrade Milestone Complete: 32MB and New Features  

DCG Backed Genesis Global Trading Granted New York State Bitlicense

Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted BitlicenseGenesis Global Trading has announced the firm has been granted the Bitlicense, and the company will be allowed to operate in New York with other approved businesses such as Coinbase, Circle, and Itbit. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) approved the company and provided Genesis with the Bitlicense — which will allow the firm to trade the various digital assets it holds with institutional investors. Before the company was granted the Bitlicense the firm operated under the DFS “safe harbor” provision.

Genesis was launched in 2013 and is backed by the venture capital organization the Digital Currency Group (DCG), a firm founded by Barry Silbert. The company is a regulated cryptocurrency OTC dealer that “provides access to institutional investors and high net worth individuals looking to buy or sell large sums of digital currencies.” Genesis has offered deep pools of liquidity, 24-7 trading, and same-day settlement since the company’s inception.

“We are very pleased that DFS has approved the Genesis Global Trading BitLicense application,” said Michael Moro, CEO, Genesis Global Trading.

Although we have operated under a safe harbor provision in recent years, today’s decision is an important step forward and reaffirms the robust compliance measures we have enacted as an established trading partner.    

Barry Silbert Hopes More Cryptocurrency Businesses Are Approved in NY

Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted Bitlicense
Barry Silbert.

To use the Genesis platform, traders have a $75,000 USD minimum deposit, and all users are subject to AML and KYC regulatory guidelines. In addition to being an approved brokerage service that can sell Bitcoin Core (BTC), the DFS has also approved to procure Zcash (ZEC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), and Litecoin (LTC). Genesis also states the firm is also registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and Finra as well.

The Digital Currency Group’s founder Barry Silbert was excited for Genesis commenting on the subject over Twitter.

“Congrats to the team at Genesis Trading on being granted a Bitlicense, joining Coinbase Circle, Ripple, Bitflyer USA, and Itbit,” Silbert states.

 

Hoping to see the NYDFS ramp up their licensing pace so that NY does not continue to fall behind.

What do you think about Genesis Global Trading receiving the Bitlicense? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


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Bitfinex Forces Users to Submit Tax Information, May Share with Government

Major cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has recently notified some of its users that they are required to submit their tax information so the company can then send it over to the British Virgin Island’s (BVI) government, which “may” exchange the info with the tax authorities of its users’ country of residence. The exchange’s message reads: “The … Continued

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Bitfinex Starts Sharing Customer Tax Data with Authorities

Bitfinex, an exchange famed for its opaque banking arrangements, has begun ordering its users to submit their tax details. The platform, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands, a known tax haven, will retain this information and may share it with tax authorities in their customers’ jurisdiction. The news has caused quite a stir.

Also read: Thailand Waives 7% VAT for Individual Cryptocurrency Investors

Bitfinex Wants Your Tax Details

In an email issued to a portion of its users, Bitfinex has outlined a new KYC policy. Not content with knowing the identity and location of its customers, it now wants their tax details. It has been stated that this is to accord with local laws in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) where the exchange is registered. The platform’s tax data gathering won’t stop there however: it notes that the BVI government “may then exchange that information with the tax authorities of the customer’s country of residence”.

Bitfinex Starts Sharing Customer Tax Data with Authorities

Up until a few months ago, Bitfinex didn’t even enforce basic KYC for its users. It’s now gone from being one of the laxest major exchanges to one of the most regimented, with a tax sharing policy that surpasses anything enacted by the likes of Coinbase or Bittrex. After Bitfinex’ new policy was called out on Twitter, the exchange clarified its position, explaining: “We have not sent this message to all users. We have deliberately targeted users that we believe have an obligation to self-disclose. If a user has _not_ received a message from us, she need _not_ self-certify anything to us at this time.” There appears to be an inference, however, that all users will eventually be obliged to comply.

Bitfinex Users Plan a Boycott

Bitfinex Starts Sharing Customer Tax Data with AuthoritiesPredictably, a number of Bitfinex customers have stated their desire to boycott the platform and take their trading elsewhere. Due to increased regulation, coupled with the transparency that is inherent to blockchain technology, cryptocurrency users are already among the most heavily scrutinized investors in the world. Many feel that Bitfinex’ latest policy, regardless of its legal basis, is a step too far. Coming from an exchange synonymous with operating out of tax havens and failing to fully audit its Tether stablecoin, the irony of Bitfinex now wanting to audit its customers is not lost.

If you’re a Bitfinex user, will you continue trading on the exchange in light of this news? Let us know in the comments section below.


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