Crypto Cafe and Coworking Space ‘Hash House’ Established in Xi’an, China

Crypto Café and Coworking Space Hash House Established in Xi'an, China

A new crypto cafe and coworking space, called Hash House, has been established in the city of Xi’an, China. It seems like a cool place to go whether you want to learn about the latest trends, develop your own project, or just grab a coffee for BCH.

Also Read: The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto Platform

Say Hello to Hash House

Crypto Café and Coworking Space Hash House Established in Xi'an, ChinaHash House is a new crypto-themed cafe and coworking space in the Chinese city of Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province and home of the famous Terracotta Army. After operating under the radar for about a month, the venture is planning to celebrate its official opening with a three-day “Blockchain Carnival” event in late August. Inside the cafe, Hash House have set up a mining exhibit that displays mining hardware and their history, cryptocurrency-themed decorations, and a crypto shop that sells related merchandise such as different hardware wallets from around the globe.

Serving as a crypto community center, Hash House also provides learning materials for free, such as white papers and relevant books. Every week the place will host seminars and meetups about different subjects to share the latest crypto news and trends to locals for free. And the cafe actually serves specialized food and drinks that can be paid for with Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Complementing the public cafe are professional development studios for relevant startups, offering a classroom, multiple meeting rooms, a 2000 square-meter exhibition area and 500 square meters of office space.

Giving Back to the Community

Crypto Café and Coworking Space Hash House Established in Xi'an, ChinaSpeaking with news.Bitcoin.com, the founder of Hash House, Kirk Su, explained the rationale behind the new venture. When he came back to China after graduating from Indiana University, Kirk noticed that actual adoption is still very low in his home country, outside the major coastal cities, compared to what he saw in the West. He was already involved in the crypto mining world for three years at that point and wanted to “give back to his community the culture of bitcoin because that is something that people deserve to know.”

The purpose of Hash House is to introduce new people to the concept of cryptocurrency and educate against any negative perceptions they might have, as the topic is often only reported by the general media regarding scams. And above all, the team will teach newcomers about the utility, history and legacy of Bitcoin Cash, which Kirk explains “is the real Bitcoin.”

By having a team who make Bitcoin-themed swag and drinks, as well as attractions like a Harley Davidson for sale for which the only crypto accepted is BCH, the place exudes a very cool vibe. Kirk explains that this, in addition to the various activities, gives people great photo-taking opportunities for social media, thus promoting Bitcoin Cash from the ground up to new people. And the attraction seems to be working, as the place has only been open for about a month and already people are flying in from all over China just to see it for themselves, Kirk says.

Are you looking forward to grabbing a coffee at Hash House next time you visit Xian? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Hash House.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Crypto Tax and Accounting Software Libra Raises $15M in Series B Funding

Crypto Tax and Accounting Software Libra Raises $15M in Series B Funding

Traditional venture capital investors seem to think that the field of crypto reporting apps is appealing. Cryptocurrency tax and accounting software development startup Libra has raised an extra $15 million in its Series B funding round.

Also Read: Opera Browser Opens Its Built-in Cryptocurrency Wallet to Desktop Users

$24.8 Million in Funding for Crypto Tax App

Crypto Tax and Accounting Software Libra Raises $15M in Series B FundingLibra, a provider of middle and back office technology and data services for the crypto-assets ecosystem, has announced the closure of a $15 million Series B round. The funding was led by its previous lead investor, described as a “prominent, multi-billion dollar European family office,” with continued participation from Series A investors, including Liberty City Ventures. This round brings Libra’s total funding to $24.8 million.

The company plans to use its new funding to continue building out its core product, the Libra Crypto Office platform, as well as support the release of new products and services later this year. It says that the capital raise not only strengthens the ability for further product growth but also the ongoing expansion into new customer segments such as miners, lenders and custodians. The venture originally started its operations back in 2014, by developing tax apps for average cryptocurrency day traders. It is now focused on transforming crypto transactional data into operational and audit-ready financial information for institutions.

Helping Crypto Hedge Funds Meet Reporting Standards

Crypto Tax and Accounting Software Libra Raises $15M in Series B Funding“Libra’s mission is to provide a system of record that allows institutions with crypto transactions to meet the reporting requirements of managers, investors, auditors and regulators,” said Jake Benson, Founder and CEO of Libra. “We are very excited our investors have affirmed their continued support for Libra with their contribution to our Series B raise. Their commitment allows us to expand our customer offerings, grow our team and increase our customer base.”

Indeed, investors seem to think the field of crypto reporting is worthwhile. Back in November 2017, Libra raised $7.8 million in its Series A funding round, adding to their previously raised $2 million seed round from firms like Fenbushi Capital. Investors who participated in the A funding round included Liberty City Ventures, Boost VC, and early Facebook investor Lee Linden. Another competitor in the space, crypto tax reporting software developer Node40, was acquired for $8 million earlier this year.

Is this development good for the ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Libra.


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The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s Extradition

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s Extradition

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover a number of new academic education centers around the world devoted to the research of the technology behind cryptocurrency, and demands by Vietnamese victims for an alleged fraudster’s extradition plus an update about Kickico.

Also Read: Okex Socializes Loss From Over $400 Million Bet Among BTC Futures Traders

Tsinghua University Research Center

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s ExtraditionChina Internet Nationwide Financial Services Inc. (NASDAQ: CIFS), a financial advisory services provider, has announced an agreement with Tsinghua University to establish an “Industry Trusted Blockchain Application Technology Joint Research Center”. The stated purpose of the center is developing key technologies to support the blockchain ecosystem in the country, as well as common architectural systems and models needed to support blockchain applications for a range of industries.

Mr. Bin Yang, Vice President of Tsinghua University, noted, “The development of industry-trusted blockchain application technologies has become a vital national strategy for all countries. It is an important goal for us to deeply build digital ecosystems, which once integrated into our economy should speed up China’s economic transition by upgrading the industry standard. The digital transformation has only just begun and the development of industry trusted blockchain applications is expected to have a number of positive impacts for the society.”

Bahçeşehir University Innovation Center

According to media reports from Turkey, the Istanbul Blockchain and Innovation Center was inaugurated on Friday at Bahçeşehir University. It is said to work with students and entrepreneurs who want to conduct academic studies in the field. “The purpose of the BlockchainIST project is to be the most important center of research and development and innovation in Turkey in which scientific studies and publications are made in blockchain technologies. To this end, it is crucial to cooperate with other universities, the business world and government institutions,” stated Director Bora Erdamar. “We will strive to train Turkey’s human resources in blockchain and enable the country to lead the world in this area,” he added.

Hartford, Connecticut Chain Valley

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s ExtraditionSeven Stars Cloud Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SSC), the fintech firm of Chinese media tycoon Bruno Wu, has announced that it will be establishing its global headquarters for technology and innovation, called Chain Valley, in Connecticut. The company said it will be transforming Uconn’s former campus in West Hartford into a center for research, training, and business development with a $283 million investment expected to create 330 jobs over the next five years.

“We are thrilled to have found such a wonderful spot right here in central Connecticut,” Bruno Wu said. “It is here that the first students to ever leave China, the Mission Boys, settled in the late 1800s to study Western science and engineering. It is in the spirit of these students that we will build a facility so modern and dynamic that it will attract the best talent and companies, making this site the blockchain capital of the U.S. and the world. This fantastic location provides access to a highly skilled workforce, as well as more than 40 institutions of higher learning, and several major metropolitan areas all in proximity of this site. It is an ideal location for our firm to write our next chapter, and we could not be more excited to soon join this wonderful community in West Hartford.”

Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s Extradition

The Daily: New Education Centers, Vietnamese Ask for Fraudster’s ExtraditionOver 1,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking for the extradition to Vietnam of Le Minh Tam, the CEO of Ho Chi Minh City-based crypto mining scheme Sky Mining. The petition claims that the alleged fraudsters behind the company “invited 5,000 persons with each investment package from $500 to $5000. They used money to buy machine to get Bitcoin and promised to share the profit with investors. But finally, they escaped with all money, estimated $36 million dollars. Their Victims are not only in Vietnam but also in Japan, Africa. Some of the victims borrow money or sold estate to invest, so now lose everything and someone had killed themselves. Cheaters buy house in San Jose California and now stay in Atlanta or Germany. We need them come back to Vietnam to solve problem. Please Expel them from your countries!” According to local media reports, the Vietnamese police said that Tam left the country on July 22 and flew to Doha, Qatar.

Kickico Update

Kickico, which recently recovered 70 million stolen KICK tokens following a hack, has promised to compensate all stolen KICK tokens and soon begin transferring funds to users’ wallets. The team has also reportedly planned an airdrop of a new project’s native coin (called U.Community) to current KICK token holders, and the estimated pool value may reach $40 million. “It was through the vigilance and collaborative efforts of our community and team which led to such a positive result. Clearly the market has positively reacted to our handling of the situation. Together with all the support from our users, this has led to the growth of the token’s value,” said Alexander Spirin, Head of Community at Kickico.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Japanese Firms Jointly Launch Corporate Crypto Accounting Tool

Cryptolinc Co. Ltd, which develops and provides cryptocurrency management and calculation systems, and Miroku Information Service Co. Ltd, a financial and accounting system management and information service, have jointly created a crypto corporate accounting tool for corporate cryptocurrency accounting.

Also Read: Japan Tax Agency Says Individuals Earning $1,800+ in Crypto a Year Will Declare Tax

Cryptolinc Corporate Accounting Shares Data in Collaboration with Accounting Firm

Through a collaboration, cryptocurrency transaction data will be incorporated into the financial and accounting system of Miroku Information Service, enabling an appropriate and complicated accounting process to be carried out smoothly, the companies explained in a statement.

By realizing a seamless data linkage with an API connection to Cryptolinc Corporate Accounting, the software should drastically help accounting companies to process corporate tax returns for cryptocurrency transactions, which are expected to increase in the near future.

Transaction Data to Be Collected From Each Exchange

“Cryptolinc Corporate Accounting beta version can prepare an income and expense calculation after uploading transaction data from each cryptocurrency exchanges,” the companies said in a joint statement. “[It] can capture data and insert it into an accounting software, such as the one Miroku Information Service provides. This is the first tool for corporate cryptocurrency accounting in Japan.”

With the crypto market having expanded rapidly in Japan, by March of this year the ASBJ, (Accounting Standards Board of Japan) issued the Practical Solution on the Accounting for Virtual Currencies under the Payment Services Act, which attracted everyone’s attention to accounting issues for crypto. However, calculating expenses and losses in virtual currencies is extremely complicated and takes a lot of time. Many accounting firms and corporate accountants are struggling to respond to such demand.

Japanese Firms Jointly Launch a Corporate Crypto Accounting Tool

“We focus on accounting of cryptocurrency transactions and we publicize them. When calculating income and expenses in crypto, it is difficult to calculate the difference between profit and loss, many accountants are struggling to respond to that,” Cryptolinc said.

What the software offers is management of transaction data collected through multiple crypto exchanges in a centralized way, and easy calculation of income and expense. Accounting data and results are collected by Cryptolinc Corporate Accounting, and in accordance with Japanese accounting standards, the data will be incorporated into the financial and accounting system of Miroku Information Service in a way that will allegedly satisfy tax compliance, enabling appropriate accounting and tax filing.

What do you think of corporate accounting firms using data shared by crypto exchanges? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and CryptoLinc Ltd. Co.


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Coinmarketcap Launches Professional API and Adds Derivatives Markets

Coinmarketcap Launches Professional API and Adds Derivatives Markets

Coinmarketcap (CMC), the popular cryptocurrency markets tracker portal, has launched a professional-grade API for aggregated market data and added support for derivatives markets as part of a major quarterly overhaul of its operations.

Also Read: 90% of Corporate “Blockchain” Pilots Will Never Materialize, Researchers Say

CMC Professional API

The professional API is meant to offer developers and institutional funds the ability to use CMC aggregated data in product offerings, providing price, market capitalization, conversions, and trading pair data that the site aggregates from hundreds of exchanges. The company explains that it was launched after a month-long feedback and beta process with hundreds of users. This tool is meant for projects and investors that need to run more accurate simulations and backtest trading strategies. The service has a few price tiers from $79 to $699 a month and there is even an option for a custom Enterprise plan with up to five years of historical data.

Coinmarketcap Launches Professional API and Adds Derivatives Markets

“As part of our mission to continue growing the cryptocurrency sector with our partners, our professional API will ensure that the CoinMarketCap data that users know and trust can be integrated into every application. Our API comes with a best-in-class developer dashboard that will help every developer – from hobbyist to large-scale cryptocurrency product teams – make the most of our data,” said founder Brandon Chez.

Additional Features

Coinmarketcap Launches Professional API and Adds Derivatives MarketsThe CMC quarterly update also includes the addition of derivatives markets, new exchange ranking, a newsletter, an events page, an iOS app update, and a glossary of crypto terms. With the addition of derivatives markets, the site now support futures, options and OTC exchanges, and the company promises to add other data comprehensively. The brand new events page will feature coverage of “community-led and fringe events.” The iOS app now includes currency conversions between 32 fiat and five cryptocurrencies.

As part of the exchange ranking update, standard fee, no-fee, and transaction mining exchanges are now marked clearly. Two weeks ago we reported that, Coinmarketcap responded to accusations that it is implicit in supporting wash trading after a platform called Crypto Exchange Ranks published detailed allegations of how the popular tracker incentives exchanges to report fake volumes. The company declared its determination to support “transparency and clarity”.

“As our new product releases show, we are constantly updating so that we can help to grow adoption of cryptocurrency. If you also believe in what we want to achieve, we look forward to having you join our decentralized team around the world,” added Chez.

Would you pay for professional grade crypto data from Coinmarketcap? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Thomson Reuters Eikon to Display Data on 50 Cryptocurrencies From Cryptocompare

Thomson Reuters Eikon to Display Data on 50 Cryptocurrencies From Cryptocompare

Institutional financial traders are about to receive access to new data feeds on fifty cryptocurrencies supplied by Cryptocompare. These will be added to Eikon, Thomson Reuters’ flagship financial information platform which was launched back in 2010.

Also Read: Banks Don’t Really Want to Use ‘Blockchain’ for FX Settlement After All

Increasing Demand for Crypto Coverage

Thomson Reuters Eikon to Display Data on 50 Cryptocurrencies From Cryptocompare

Toronto-headquartered multinational mass media and information firm, Thomson Reuters Corporation (NYSE: TRI), has entered into a strategic partnership with Cryptocompare, the cryptocurrency market data aggregator. Under the agreement, the aggregator will integrate order book and trade data for 50 crypto-assets, sourced from a variety of exchanges, into Thomson Reuters financial desktop platform Eikon.

Sam Chadwick, Director of Strategy in Innovation and Blockchain at Thomson Reuters, said: “Despite the decline in the price of many of the leading cryptocurrencies during 2018, we continue to see increasing demand from our customers for pricing coverage of the major names. We have been engaged with CryptoCompare since their involvement in our blockchain hackathon in September 2016, and continue to be very impressed by their approach to coverage of these challenging markets. This partnership puts pricing data for this emerging market alongside other asset classes, giving our customers a more comprehensive tradingview in Eikon.”

Fast-Growing Demand From Institutional Investors

Thomson Reuters Eikon to Display Data on 50 Cryptocurrencies From CryptocompareA long time staple for everyday traders and investors in the Bitcoin market, Cryptocompare, works by aggregating and analyzing ticker data from exchanges and integrating different data sets in the cryptocurrency price. It produces cryptocurrency trade data, order book data, block explorer data and social data.

Charles Hayter, CEO and Founder, commented: “As the digital asset markets mature, we see a fast-growing demand from the institutional investor community for comprehensive, real-time and global market data, which can be trusted as the basis for investment decisions. We are excited to enter into this partnership with Thomson Reuters; we have always sought to provide transparency to this market and this partnership provides a great opportunity for the institutional investor community to access not only our data, but also to benefit from our experience and insight.”

Is this a definitive sign that more hedge funds and investment banks are demanding access to the Bitcoin market? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Football Team in Gibraltar to Pay Its Players in Cryptocurrency

Football Team in Gibraltar to Pay Its Players in Cryptocurrency

Gibraltar just scored a major unexpected goal in the great tournament to be known as the most Bitcoin-friendly jurisdiction in Europe. A local football team made international sports headlines for deciding to pay its players with cryptocurrency.

Also Read: Banks Don’t Really Want to Use ‘Blockchain’ for FX Settlement After All

Gibraltar United to Pay Its Players in Cryptocurrency

Football Team in Gibraltar to Pay Its Players in CryptocurrencyGibraltar United F.C., a team founded in 1943 and currently playing in the Gibraltar Football League’s Premier Division, has decided to introduce cryptocurrency salary payments for its players. The club reportedly secured a sponsorship partnership with the help of the owner, Pablo Dana, an investor in the Quantocoin ICO. Dana told the UK’s Guardian newspaper that all player contracts will include payment agreements in cryptocurrency by next season.

The owner explained that a “preoccupation with transparency” prompted the introduction of cryptocurrency to Gibraltar United, predicting that the technology’s open-access nature could curtail the “corruption scandals that have plagued football.” It has also reportedly given his club an easy way to help foreign players who have difficulty setting up bank accounts in the British Overseas Territory. As for the legal environment in Gibraltar, Dana commented that: “It was the first [place that] regulated betting companies 20 years back, when everyone was seeing them as horrible. They put compliance and anti-money laundering regulations and created a platform – they have the intelligence to do the same with cryptocurrencies.”

Cryptocurrency involvement in the sports field is nothing new, but it usually focuses on betting, gaming and project promotion deals. And as the newspaper notes, in January the Turkish amateur league club Harunustaspor signed 22-year old Omer Faruk Kiroglu for 2,000 liras worth of BTC and 2,500 liras in fiat cash.

Crypto Hub

Football Team in Gibraltar to Pay Its Players in CryptocurrencyBesides this latest development, Gibraltar has a few other claims to be a cryptocurrency hub. As we reported at the time, regulatory mechanisms tailored to protect customers of cryptocurrency businesses, and its own reputation, went into effect on January 1, 2018. And just a few days ago, the cryptocurrency exchange platform subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange officially opened to the public with six cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, RKT, LTC, BCH and ETC.

Should everyone interested in Bitcoin try to negotiate receiving part of their salary in cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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IBM Backs the Development of Latest New Stablecoin, Stronghold USD

IBM Backs the Development of Latest New Stablecoin, Stronghold USD

It seems like a new alternative for Tether (USDT) pops up at least once a week recently. And the latest stablecoin to hit the market involves an interesting supporter, computer technology giant IBM. Stronghold USD is said to be backed one-to-one by fiat US dollars held at the company’s partner bank, Prime Trust.

Also Read: Malta-Based Company Launches New Euro Backed Stablecoin, EURS

Stronghold USD

IBM Backs the Development of Latest New Stablecoin, Stronghold USDStronghold, a trading platform built on Stellar which recently raised $3.3 million from Freestyle Capital, has launched a new stablecoin called ‘Stronghold USD’. The token is promised to be backed one-to-one by fiat US dollars, with reserves held by Las Vegas-based Prime Trust – the same state-chartered bank as competing stablecoin TrueUSD. The company also announced a collaboration with IBM to explore uses for the token within business networks on the IBM Blockchain Platform.

“The process for seamlessly managing and trading assets of any form from digital to traditional currencies, needs to evolve as financial institutions are seeking ways to break into new asset classes like cryptocurrencies,” said co-founder and CTO, Sean Bennett. “Asset-backed tokens can provide seamless access to all currencies, improving the global movement of money. We’re honored to work with IBM to explore new ways to use Stronghold USD within.”

That being said, don’t expect to be able to switch over from Tether so fast by yourself. The company states that Stronghold USD are pre-approved tokens that are solely designed as a B2B solution for financial institutions, multinational corporations, and asset managers. So the stablecoin is not available for retail customers yet, but it may become available sometime in the coming months.

IBM Blockchain Development

IBM Backs the Development of Latest New Stablecoin, Stronghold USD“The digitization of real-world assets using blockchain can dramatically transform many forms of financial transactions conducted around the world,” said Jesse Lund, global vice president of IBM Blockchain. “New types of fiat-backed instruments, like Stronghold’s USD token, have the potential to improve the backbone of international banking operations and payments, giving banks an easier way to integrate with public blockchain networks without significant changes to their core banking and compliance infrastructure.”

In general, IBM seems poised to not let the new technology leave it behind in any field. The company announced on Tuesday that it partnered with Columbia University to launch a new center devoted to research, education, and innovation at the New York-based academic institution. The Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency is said to combine cross-disciplinary teams of scientists, business people and government experts to explore issues related to the use of digital data with blockchain. It will focus on technologies such as secure multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, secure hardware, and fraud reduction.

Is the flood of new stablecoins good for the cryptocurrency ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than Fiat

UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than Fiat

A British Mosque has collected four times more donations in cryptocurrencies than fiat, showing another example of the growing importance of the innovative instruments in charity. People from all around the world donated to the mosque using cryptocurrency during Ramadan, including one transaction of over £5,200.

Also Read: The Daily: Poloniex Goes Mobile, Cobinhood Adds USD Fiat, Bitmain Expands

Crypto Mosque

UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than FiatThe Shacklewell Lane Mosque, also known as Masjid Ramadan, in Dalston, East London, UK has decided to accept cryptocurrencies as charity, as we reported back in May. The move has paid off well for the house of prayer as it reportedly collected four time more donations in crypto than fiat  during the month of Ramadan. It received £13,983 from cryptocurrency donations, compared with just £3,460 from fiat donations.

The Hackney mosque’s chairman, Erkin Guney, told local media inews: “Many people at the mosque were initially sceptical about us accepting this new money, but the fact we received four times more in cryptocurrency donations shows how important it is to be open to these new digital currencies.” He added: “When the donations started to flow in, we were blown away. We received four times more in cryptocurrency donations than in cash from our local worshippers during Ramadan, and we are still receiving cryptocurrency Sadaqah [donations]. It is amazing!”

Bitcoin Charity

UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than Fiat24 people from around the world donated to the mosque using cryptocurrency, including one transaction of over £5,200. The funds are earmarked for repairs to the facility, offering food and shelters to needy locals, as well as supporting poor Muslim families with funeral costs. Gurmit Singh, founder of London-based Islamic finance startup Combo Innovation who advised the mosque on how to support cryptocurrency donations, commented: “I hope other mosques and charities will now follow Masjid Ramadan’s lead to take advantage of this important new revenue stream”.

This is just one example how the cryptocurrency community is supporting all kinds of charitable organizations. Other recent cases include Binance donating $1 million to Japanese flood victims, and Paxful granting academic scholarships to female Afghan refugees in the US. And this mosque is not the first religious establishment to turn to aid from crypto users. Back in January we reported about ICF Zurich, an evangelical church from the largest city in Switzerland, which begun accepting voluntary offerings from its parishioners using cryptocurrency.

What is stopping more religious organizations from accepting crypto donations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than Fiat appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for Business

The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for Business

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover how Bitmain’s valuation reached $12 billion, the opening of a new US-based crypto exchange, and Binance’s decision to donate $1 million to flood victims in Japan. Additionally, we explore what parts of the current crypto ecosystem Vitalik Buterin hates.

Also Read: Youtube Dragged Into Bitconnect Class Action Lawsuit for Failure to Protect Victims

Bitmain Valued at $12 Billion

The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for BusinessBitmain Technologies Ltd., the Beijing-headquartered bitcoin mining machines (ASIC chips) producer, has raised up to $400 million in its latest fundraising round, valuing the company at $12 billion, Chinese media outlet Caixin has reported. The company’s B round of fundraising was led by the venture capital firm headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Sequoia Capital, along with the New York based tech sector hedge fund Coatue, and EDBI Pte Ltd., the private equity and venture capital arm of Singapore Economic Development Board, according to sources close to the deal. Based on this new valuation, Bitmain might seek a massive initial pubic offering (IPO) on the stock market in Hong Kong in the future.

New US Exchange Opens

The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for BusinessThe American crypto trading market is getting a little bit more competitive with a new exchange opening. HBUS, a strategic partner of Huobi, has begun accepting new user registrations by U.S. residents on July 6th. Users are able to deposit BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, USDT, CVC, DASH and TUSD. The actual marketplace will go live tomorrow, July 10th, when users will be able to trade and withdraw funds. The launch is not nationwide yet as HBUS does not currently serve residents in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington.

“Our strategic partner, Huobi, has grown to be the largest digital asset marketplace globally. As investors‘ acceptance of virtual currency and digital asset increases, we have seen incredibly high demand in the U.S. We are excited to launch as Huobi’s strategic partner, to serve the growing number of people participating in virtual currency trading,” commented Frank Fu, CEO of HBUS.

Huobi has been expanding globally for a while and most recently launched AUD trading in Australia.

Binance Donates $1M

The leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which expects to make a net profit of up to $1 billion this year, has announced it donated $1 million to Japanese flood victims. The company stated that “To help out the victims in West Japan that were affected by the heavy rains on 7/7/2018, Binance is donating $1,000,000 USD and calling for our crypto friends and partners to join us in the relief initiative.” According to Japanese agencies in the field, the death toll in the western part of the country reached 112 on Monday and many more people are still missing after floods and landslides destroyed homes, disabled infrastructure and sent around 23,000 people fleeing to evacuation centers.

Similar natural disasters have been on the mind of the Bitcoin community recently with floods in southern China affecting many miners.

Vitalik Hates Centralized Exchanges

The Daily: Bitmain Valued at $12 Billion, New US Crypto Exchange Opens for BusinessVitalik Buterin has recently expressed a deep hatred for the particular business model at the heart of the current crypto trading ecosystem. “I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible,” he said. A particular issue the Ethereum founder raised was how the centralized platforms can extract up to $15 million from projects that want to list their ICO tokens. According to Buterin, crypto-only exchanges are preferable to venues which offer fiat pairs as “the fiat world only has centralized gateways.” And he also seems to not be a big fan of Bitmain and its growing power. “Back in 2013, when GHash had 51 percent everybody freaked out. It’s happening a second time and people aren’t really talking about it this much,” Buterin said at a Techcrunch event.

OTCXN Live Test

OTC Exchange Network, Inc. (OTCXN), an institutional finance infrastructure company, has completed its first live test trades of tokenized USD and tokenized Bitcoin between two separate trading accounts over an electronic trading platform with assets held at a neutral custodian. The platform is designed to remove counterparty and settlement risk with an atomic exchange of assets and facilitates settlement of transactions instantly. “We believe that OTCXN’s platform will transform the marketplace, by enabling assured and transparent execution, becoming a trusted cornerstone driving the maturation of the fiat and crypto markets,” said Barry Thompson, Managing Partner of Volantis Escrow which served as the custodian. “We’ve received dozens of inquiries from trading firms and custodians about our launch date. I’m thrilled that our live test trades were a success and that we’ll soon bring our solution to the market,“ added Rosario M. Ingargiola, founder and CEO of OTCXN. The company plans to launch the public beta on July 9, 2018.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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Luxury Shopping Marketplace Fancy Offers Discount for Bitcoin Purchases

Luxury Shopping Marketplace Fancy Offers Discount for Bitcoin Purchases

Bitcoin whales and long term holders are always looking for places they can spend their cryptocurrency without having to touch fiat. Fancy allows just that, with a huge catalog of luxury shoes, high-end gadgets and much more. The site now accepts both BTC and BCH, and offers a special discount for crypto shoppers.

Also Read: The Daily: Fake Trezor Website, Floods Take Out Mines, and New Crypto Investments

Crypto Discount on Luxury Goods

Luxury Shopping Marketplace Fancy Offers Discount for Bitcoin PurchasesFancy.com, a curated luxury goods marketplace featuring over 250,000 products, has announced that, since the company doesn’t pay credit card processing or fraud protection fees on orders placed with crypto, the site is going to pass those savings on to the consumer. So anyone who pays with BTC or BCH can just type in the discount code “crypto,” and their price will be reduced by 3%. The company explains that at an average $1,000 per Fancy order, crypto customers stand to save $30 on each of their orders.

Fancy CEO, Joe Einhorn, said “Maybe we can be a part of the start of an enduring effort where all eCommerce companies adopt crypto and share the cost efficiencies with consumers.”

Bitcoin Cash Adoption

Luxury Shopping Marketplace Fancy Offers Discount for Bitcoin PurchasesFancy started accepting crypto payments on the platform via Coinbase Merchant Tools back in 2013. However, earlier this year Coinbase discontinued the product in favor of its newer Coinbase Commerce service and suspended custodial solutions for merchants, which led to “making crypto payments difficult” so Fancy now switched to Bitpay. Along with this recent change, the marketplace has also started accepting BCH payments.

Accepting Bitcoin Cash on Fancy was not just about the switch to Bitpay, but also about the philosophical underpinnings of the BCH community, according to the site’s CEO. “When you read about their hope for Bitcoin Cash, it sounds pretty similar our hopes and other people’s hopes about frictionless commerce and a world empowering not only consumers but vendors to conduct transactions in the most efficient way possible. On the surface, we think there’s an alignment philosophically with Bitcoin Cash,” Einhorn explained to Modern Consensus.

What type of goods would you want to buy with your bitcoin? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Abandoned Intel Manufacturing Complex Bought for $13M to Mine Bitcoin

Abandoned Intel Manufacturing Complex Bought for $13M to Mine Bitcoin

Following such places as Quebec and New York, the latest location in North America to attract large Bitcoin mining operations with a cheap supply of electricity is Colorado Springs. A miner has paid $13 million to convert an abandoned Intel chip manufacturing complex into an industrial mining farm.   

Also Read: Silicon Valley Whales Buy Diamonds in the Millions With Bitcoin

New 85,000 Square Feet Mining Operation

Abandoned Intel Manufacturing Complex Bought for $13M to Mine Bitcoin

3G Venture II, a California-based company, has paid $13 million for a big chuck of an abandoned Intel chip manufacturing complex at Garden of the Gods Road in Colorado. The owner of the company, John Chen from Los Angeles, reportedly plans to use the facility to mine bitcoin. The deal includes 30 acres and over 700,000 square feet in several buildings, with bitcoin mining planned for three buildings, totaling about 85,000 square feet, and the rest planned to be leased to others.

Michael Palmer, a broker with Quantum Commercial Group who marketed the real estate, revealed that the electricity network installed for Intel’s needs was especially alluring for the miner. The complex includes an on-site substation, two separate power feeds, and the new owner also asked Colorado Springs Utilities to increase capacity to the site, he said. Besides that, the location’s cheap energy prices have long attracted companies to enter the area, including for establishing data centers by Progressive Insurance, FedEx and Walmart, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

One Mining Farm Is Enough?

Abandoned Intel Manufacturing Complex Bought for $13M to Mine BitcoinEarlier this month we reported about a town in New York that welcomed a new giant mining facility at a former aluminum smelting plant. The main reason for that was the promise of over 150 jobs that were estimated to be added to the local economy as a result of the opening of the facility. However, it appears that there is less enthusiasm about the new industry in Colorado Springs as they don’t expect it to create many jobs.

Dirk Draper, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC, said the group didn’t seek out the miner, and instead just cooperated with him after he showed interest in the Intel complex. Moreover, the Chamber & EDC doesn’t plan to attract more such companies, he said. “While it is beneficial for some segments of the community to have the large base power users, and we understand that and are supportive of it, our focus is more on the employment side,” Draper explained.

Can bitcoin mining bring back manufacturing jobs to the US? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Women’s Interest in Crypto Trading Has Doubled, UK Exchange Reveals

Women’s Interest in Crypto Trading Has Doubled, UK Exchange Reveals

While women remain a minority among cryptocurrency traders and investors by all accounts, new data reveals that their interest in joining the field is growing fast. This increased openness to crypto is especially true among the young generation of women.

Also Read: This Week in Bitcoin: Still Ways to Make Quick Fortune in Crypto, Satoshi Revealed?

Women Leading the Way

Women’s Interest in Crypto Trading Has Doubled, UK Exchange RevealsLondon Block Exchange is a UK crypto platform offering GBP pairing with multiple  cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Core (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC). LBX is based in London’s Canary Wharf commercial district and is also an e-wallet services provider registered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Data from the trading venue shows that the amount of women thinking about investing in cryptocurrencies has doubled in the last six months. According to the new statistics, one in eight women, or about 13%, now say they would possibly decide to invest in cryptocurrencies, up from just 6% at the end of 2017. LBX’s market research also found that this growing female interest is particularity true among the millennial generation, as with one in five millennial women (20%) interested in investing.

Agnes de Roeyer, senior business analyst at London Block Exchange, told City A.M. that: “There’s still a common misconception that cryptocurrency is a game for men, but we’ve seen hundreds of women sign up for our exchange in the last few months and some of the most inspiring and knowledgeable investors, leading the way in the industry are female.”

Market Saturation Among Men

Women’s Interest in Crypto Trading Has Doubled, UK Exchange RevealsThe LBX statistics also revealed a stark difference in the attitude to crypto trading between men and women. Firstly, there was no significant growth in interest among men during the last six months, in contrast to the mentioned above. Second, women were found to be 50% less likely to suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) than men. Lastly, women were found to be twice as likely to ask for advice from friends and family before investing, in contrast to men who say they prefer to decide just by themselves.

Back in May we reported about a demographic analysis of people trading on cryptocurrencies using the social investing network and multi-asset brokerage, Etoro, revealing that women consist just a 8.5% market share compared with men’s 91.5%. While there could be other factors at play, that research seemed to indicate that one reason for the gap is that cryptocurrency is especially popular in technology and finance industries, both fields that suffer from a severe gender imbalance.

How could the bitcoin community attract more female users? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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ETH Round-Up: Parity Unfreeze Shot Down, Casper Code Made Public, Vitalik Slams Greedy Market Sentiment

ETH Round-Up: Parity Unfreeze Shot Down, Casper Code Made Public, Vitalik Slams Greedy Market Sentiment

A number of significant events have occurred pertaining to the Ethereum ecosystem in recent days. Last week, the code for the proposed first step of Ethereum’s technical transition toward the adoption of proof-of-stake mining, Vitalik Buterin made disparaging comments regarding 2017’s explosion in the initial coin offering (ICO) industry in an interview with Financial Times, and most recently, an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) seeking to restore a disabled contract to unfreeze 513,774 ETH held in 587 wallets used by Parity Wallet has been rejected.

Also Read: New Party in Ukraine to Fund Itself Only with Cryptos

Code for First Step in Casper Transition Unveiled

ETH Round-Up: Parity Unfreeze Shot Down, Casper Code Made Public, Vitalik Slams Greedy Market SentimentEthereum developers recently announced that code expected to comprise the networks first step towards the adoption of a proof-of-stake (PoS) mining model has been available for public review.

The proposed code, described in EIP 1011, states “This EIP specifies a hybrid PoW/PoS consensus model for Ethereum main net. Existing PoW mechanics are used for new block creation, and a novel PoS mechanism called Casper the Friendly Finality Gadget (Casper FFG) is layered on top using a smart contract.”

The transition from Pow to Pos has long been a pervasive issue within the Ethereum community, with discussions of such having been present “on the roadmap and in the Yellow Paper since the launch of the protocol.” How to conduct the transition, the EIP asserts, was “an open area of research” until the first paper detailing Casper FFG was published by Vitalik Buterin and Virgil Griffith in October 2017.

Casper FFG aims to reduce the energy consumed through mining ETH and provide resistance to ASICs. The EIP’s authors assert that “The Casper FFG contract can be layered on top of any block proposal mechanism, providing finality to the underlying chain,” adding that “the FFG staking mechanism requires minimal changes to the protocol.”

Proposal to Unfreeze Over $300 Million USD Worth of ETH Rejected

ETH Round-Up: Parity Unfreeze Shot Down, Casper Code Made Public, Vitalik Slams Greedy Market SentimentEIP 999, a proposal to implement a patch unfreeze 513,774.16 ETH held in 587 wallets related to the Parity debacle, has been rejected after a vote among the affected wallet owners. The EIP proposed “restoring the WalletLibrary by a patched version to allow the owners of the dependent multi-signature wallets regain access to their assets.” At current prices, said frozen ETH would be valued at over $325.7 million USD.

The vote saw 330 ‘no’ votes cast, a ten percent victory over the 300 ‘yes’ votes that were submitted. Nine “don’t care” votes were also cast.

Vitalik Buterin Slams ‘Get-Rich-Quick’ Sentiment in Crypto Markets

ETH Round-Up: Parity Unfreeze Shot Down, Casper Code Made Public, Vitalik Slams Greedy Market SentimentIn a recent interview with Financial Times, Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, lamented the transition of the cryptocurrency sphere from hosting a rebellious and clandestine cypherpunk culture, to that which is dominated by greed and the desire to get rich quick.

Of many cryptocurrencies that were baptized in the 2017 crypto bubble, Mr. Buterin states that “There’s projects that never had a soul, that are just like, ra-ra, price go up. Lambo[rghini], vrromm, buybuybuy now!” Vitalik states that “We’ve created a culture where some totally random project raising something like $8m is like, oh yeah that’s peanuts,” describing such as evidence that the cryptocurrency markets are in a “bubble.”

Mr. Buterin also argues that the market capitalization and prices witness by many projects are “far ahead of what this space has actually accomplished for the world.”

Do you agree with Vitalik’s comments? What are your thoughts on EIPs 999 and 1011? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Germany Gets Its First Crypto Exchange for Whales

Germany Gets Its First Crypto Exchange for Whales

Germany’s VPE Wertpapierhandelsbank AG (VPE) has announced its institutional investor cryptocurrency trading services and claims them to be the first of their kind for the country. Armed with a Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (Bafin) license, in expanding its brokerage offerings VPE purports to offer “best-in-class technology” to customers, “secure and regulated.”

Also read: Facebook to Be Sued for Defamation Related to Scammy Crypto Ads

VPE Launches Germany’s First Institutional Investor Cryptocurrency Trading Services

VPE Wertpapierhandelsbank AG spokesperson Katharina Strenski stressed, “Until now, institutional investors have faced high entry barriers to crypto trading. Our cryptocurrency trading services offer a much more convenient alternative.”

The world over, institutional investors, or whales, usually control vast sums of capital. They’ve been looking for ways to leverage cryptocurrency markets, but often run up against their own lobbying efforts in wielding government regulatory power to insulate themselves from competition. The consequences thus far include uneven access to a red hot and emerging asset class, arguably the future of finance in one form or another, cryptocurrency.

Germany Gets Its First Crypto Exchange for Whales

“Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and others have become a promising asset class in recent years,” Ms. Strenski detailed. “To date, trading digital tokens has been restricted to crypto exchanges and online marketplaces. We are pleased to be the first German bank to offer our customers cryptocurrency trading services.”

VPE is a German centric exchange-based OTC trader. Financial corporations, private investors, and institutional investors (whales) get brokerage services, investment advice, and portfolio management. Under that umbrella, the bank offers clearing services, settlement of transactions in securities, contracts for difference, options, and futures.

Germany Is an Economic Powerhouse

Germany is an economic powerhouse, and so any entry its companies make into the crypto space will undoubtedly move the needle. It ranks as Europe’s economic engine and its largest economy, is a constant innovator, and is a giant exporter of goods. Routinely the country can boast Europe’s lowest employment rate, and its citizens average over $50K per capita.

Germany Gets Its First Crypto Exchange for Whales

All this could point to a boost for the digital asset sector as German institutional investors are among the most profitable companies in the world. For its part, as a “securities trading bank,” the bank’s press release continues, “VPE has an impressive trading track record and has access to the appropriate networks and technical requirements for processing individual transactions. VPE also meets all necessary KYC (Know your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money-Laundering) requirements.”

VPE also offers automated crypto trades, “developed in partnership with Solarisbank, the first banking platform with a full banking license, and with support from leading banking and legal crypto experts. VPE’s virtual currency trading account is held in escrow by Solarisbank. Customers will also receive access to an individual virtual currency wallet hosted by VPE. This will make trading fast and simple while ensuring the highest security standards,” the company insists.

Do you think German institutional investors will be a boost for crypto markets? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Philippines Welcomes Crypto Economic Zone

After hemming and hawing in its strange relationship with cryptocurrencies and the businesses they imply, the Philippine government decided to make room for a set aside economic zone. The scheme is offered in hopes of generating more tax income, employment for its people, and perhaps a dedicated crypto university.

Also read: Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested

Philippines Allows Crypto Companies to Operate Economic Zone

Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) spokesman Raul Lambinos told Reuters, “We are about to licence 10 platforms for cryptocurrency exchange. They are Japanese, Hong Kong, Malaysians, Koreans. They can go into cryptocurrency mining, initial coin offerings, or they can go into exchange.” Exchanges providing onramps to the nation’s fiat money, on the other hand, are encouraged to launch offshore to avoid running afoul of Philippine law.

Raul Lambino

Such zones offer advantageous tax regimes in the hope of creating more employment for Filipinos. Early this year, the country legalized such zones for crypto, which appears to be more welcoming to digital assets than other countries in the region.

Local authorities estimate over two years crypto companies will invest more than $1 million, with ten percent of that going toward building a tax base. Ambitious plans also include a possible blockchain-based financial technology university to help feed workers to surrounding businesses in the zone.

A Strange Relationship with Crypto

The government appears to be responding to popular sentiment regarding cryptocurrency, as it has not been very supportive of late: its Philippine National Police arrested bitcoiners, accusing them of running a Ponzi scheme, and the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission came down against cloud mining, asserting such contracts are too close to securities.  

Senator Leila M. de Lima

And, as we wrote recently, opposition “leader senator Leila M. de Lima thinks that the legislative chamber needs to prioritize Senate Bill 1694, a proposal she filed a month ago. The recent Ordonio Ponzi scheme has compelled her to call upon her colleagues.’I hope that this occurrence will push my esteemed colleagues in the Senate to take my proposed bill seriously and help pass it into law soon.’”

Slightly before that, the SEC “revealed to the public that it plans to enforce securities regulations against cloud mining operations. According to the SEC’s statement, the regulatory agency believes these types of contracts should be defined as ‘securities,’” News.Bitcoin.com reported.

Acceptance, however, of an economic zone for crypto is a positive first start for the industry, and might signal a slight change of heart on the government’s end.

Do you think this initiative will be imitated by other governments in the region? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Facebook to Be Sued for Defamation Related to Scammy Bitcoin Ads

Facebook to be Sued for Defamation Related to Scammy Bitcoin Ads

In what is being referred to as a “groundbreaking lawsuit”, United Kingdom financial guru Martin Lewis is taking aim at Facebook’s lack of vigilance with regard to fake accounts. Mr. Lewis claims his likeness and reputation were used in multiple fraudulent instances, peddling mostly investment advice for assets such as bitcoin.

Also read: James Bond-Like Villain in $2 Million Bitcoin Heist Caught in Amsterdam

Facebook to Be Sued for Defamatory Bitcoin Ads

“I will issue High Court proceedings against Facebook,” the popular UK financial advisor posted in lieu of his regular column, “to try and stop all the disgusting repeated fake adverts from scammers it refuses to stop publishing with my picture, name and reputation.”

Mr. Lewis is proprietor of a consumer finance site and host of Independent Television’s (ITV) The Martin Lewis Money Show. “Within the last year,” a press release reads, Facebook “has published over 50 fake Martin Lewis adverts, which are regularly seen, likely by millions of people, in the UK. These adverts are often for scams. Many have big pictures of Martin and his name, alongside a raft of false promises or endorsements – some then link on to fake articles which continue the theme.”

Facebook to be Sued for Defamation Related to Scammy Bitcoin Ads
Facebook fraudulent ad

Increasingly, Facebook has come under fire for its privacy policies, including having to defend itself in front of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. The social network seems to understand there is a problem with crypto-related ads, taking action earlier this year, insisting “ads must not promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency.” Evidently their latest moves have yet to produce results.

As a result, Mr. Lewis will “issue High Court proceedings for a campaigning defamation lawsuit against Facebook and will be seeking exemplary damages. This is not being done for personal gain – he pledges any and all money paid out to him will be donated to anti-scam charities.”

Enough is Enough

The offending fake ad content revolves around get-rich-quick schemes. “‘Bitcoin code’ or ‘Cloud Trader,’” the release details, “are fronts for binary trading firms based outside the EU. Binary trading is a financially dangerous, near-certain money-loser, which the regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) strongly warns against.”

“Enough is enough,” Mr. Lewis said. “I’ve been fighting for over a year to stop Facebook letting scammers use my name and face to rip off vulnerable people – yet it continues. I feel sick each time I hear of another victim being conned because of trust they wrongly thought they were placing in me. One lady had over £100,000 taken from her.”

Facebook to be Sued for Defamation Related to Scammy Bitcoin Ads
Another Facebook fraudulent ad

He claims not to do advertisements, and has informed Facebook of that fact. “Any ad with my picture or name in is without my permission. I’ve asked it not to publish them, or at least to check their legitimacy with me before publishing. This shouldn’t be difficult – after all, it’s a leader in face and text recognition. Yet it simply continues to repeatedly publish these adverts and then relies on me to report them, once the damage has been done.”

The attorney leading the charge urged, “Facebook is not above the law – it cannot hide outside the UK and think that it is untouchable.  Exemplary damages are being sought. This means we will ask the court to ensure they are substantial enough that Facebook can’t simply see paying out damages as just the ‘cost of business’ and carry on regardless. It needs to be shown that the price of causing misery is very high.”

Do you think more lawsuits like this are coming for Facebook? Let us know in the comments section below.


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James Bond-Like Villain in $2 Million Bitcoin Heist Caught in Amsterdam

James Bond-like Bitcoin Villain in $2 Million Heist Finally Caught in Amsterdam

Amsterdam police have announced the re-arrest of Sindri Thor Stefansson. He was initially arrested days ago in Iceland in connection with a bitcoin hardware mining caper that included 600 computers worth $2 million. In a James Bond-like villain move, after his first capture he managed to escape, reportedly hitching a ride on a plane carrying Iceland’s prime minister.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: ICO Scares Investors with Ghost Prank

Bond-Like Bitcoin Villain Re-Arrested

Mr. Stefansson, after have absconded, wrote to a popular online site to plead his case. “I simply refuse to be in prison of my own free will,” he explained to Frettabladid, “especially when the police threaten to arrest me without explanation. I’m not trying to say that it was the right decision to leave, I really regret it…I didn’t expect an international arrest warrant to be issued against me, as I was legally free to leave, and believed it was out of the question that I would be labelled a fugitive. I would never have done this if I didn’t believe I was a free man.”

James Bond-like Bitcoin Villain in $2 Million Heist Finally Caught in Amsterdam
Sindri Thor Stefansson shown on CCTV while at large

It’s something straight out of a movie. Media outlets are claiming Sindri Thor Stefansson to be a “mastermind”. He, at the very least, was implicated recently in a major crime for the country of Iceland: $2 million in computer mining hardware is missing, believed to be part of an elaborate theft conspiracy, involving a gang of 11 others including Mr. Stefansson’s wife.

Mr. Stefansson escaped what local press refers to as “low-security” confinement after first being arrested. He was held in Sogn, an open prison 59 miles from the country’s international airport (95 km). It’s so loose it doesn’t have a fence, and detainees can even surf the net.

Thought He Could Avoid Capture Indefinitely

The mastermind slipped out through a window. He somehow later made it to the airport, procuring a flight boarding pass under an assumed name (though he paid with his own debit card), and managed to put himself on a flight to Sweden carrying Iceland’s prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir. He wasn’t discovered missing by guards until well after the plane was airbound. An international warrant was soon issued for Mr. Stefansson.

James Bond-like Bitcoin Villain in $2 Million Heist Finally Caught in Amsterdam
Downtown Amsterdam

The Big Bitcoin Heist, as it has been tagged on the frozen island, involved bitcoin mining rigs grabbed in conjunction with four data center break-ins. Iceland has become a magnet for crypto miners due to relatively cheap electricity and its cold climes, helping the notoriously overheated instruments cool as they mine.

Mr. Stefansson’s unorthodox public letter while on the run insisted he could remain elusive to authorities for “as long as I like”. Dutch police disagreed, arresting him downtown without incident and are presently arranging for his extradition back to Iceland. 

Do you think bitcoin mining rigs present a lucrative target to thieves? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Ether & Ripple Doomed As Securities According to Regulation Expert

Ether & Ripple Doomed As Securities According to Regulation Expert

Former Obama administration financial regulator Gary Gensler believes cryptocurrencies such as ether and ripple appear as unregistered securities, and in current violation of the law. His comments carry considerable weight in the broader financial community. They also come after venture capitalists and lawyers invested in ether projects met secretly with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to head off such regulation. Spokespeople for both coins insist they’re not securities.  

Also read: Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested

Ether and Ripple Might Be Securities

Former Obama CFTC head Gary Gensler told The New York Times, “I would be surprised if 10 years from now this isn’t somewhere in the financial system in a meaningful way. But so much of the stuff that is being promoted now will not be around.” The ‘this’ he’s speaking of is cryptocurrencies, and as part of his appointment to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mr. Gensler is weighing in on the phenomenon’s future with regard to regulation.

In particular, he’s focusing upon two of the most popular cryptos, ether and ripple, as potentially very susceptible to future designation as securities. Should that happen, many experts believe it would herald the decline of both. Securities regulation imposes a host of legal burdens upon registrants, and costs to comply are often prohibitive and burdensome.

Ether & Ripple Doomed As Securities According to Regulation Expert

“There is a strong case for both of them — but particularly Ripple — that they are noncompliant securities,” he told Nathaniel Popper. Bitcoin and others like it are decentralized to such an extent as to not trigger regulation, he believes. That’s not so clear in the cases of ether and ripple, both of which Mr. Gensler insists are in violation of securities law.

“2018 is going to be a very interesting time. Over 1,000 previously issued initial coin offerings, and over 100 exchanges that offer I.C.O.s, are going to need to sort out how to come into compliance with U.S. securities law,” the Times quotes him as saying. Indeed, representatives with heavy financial interests in ether-related projects recently were discovered to have secretly pled their case to the SEC in hopes of heading off what some say is certain regulation. That’s a potential problem for tens of billions of dollars in coins respectively when ether and ripple are combined.

Impact Not Good

Ether & Ripple Doomed As Securities According to Regulation Expert
Gary Gensler

Should such a designation be handed down, one of crypto’s largest markets, the United States, would essentially be cut off, made against the law for trading ETH and XRP on exchanges. It’s not too extreme to figure such a move would impact both coins’ prices, and probably not in a good way. 

Mr. Gensler, 60, was tapped by MIT’s Media Lab and its Digital Currency Initiative, along with being a lecturer at its Sloan School of Management (with a blockchain emphasis) for his expertise in the financial sector. His views on the future of regulation carry heft simply because of his past experience in the Obama administration, and previous connections to Goldman Sachs as well as helping to finance the ill-fated Hillary Clinton run of 2016. 

Asked for comment about Mr. Gensler’s claims, the Ethereum Foundation answered how it “neither controls the supply of nor has the ability to issue Ether, and the quantity of Ether that the foundation holds (under 1 percent of all Ether) is already lower than that held by many other ecosystem participants,” according to the Times. A Ripple spokesperson responded by insisting, “XRP does not give its owners an interest or stake in Ripple, and they are not paid dividends. XRP exists independent of Ripple, was created before the company and will exist after it.”

Do you think ether and ripple should be regulated? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested

Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested

After a Russian court enacted an immediate ban on the popular encrypted messaging service Telegram, the feisty company began to resist. Founder Pavel Durov insisted there were ways around the prohibition, including proxies and VPNs. It appears to have had some success even though millions of IP addresses have been blocked by the government. In response, some activists took to making paper airplanes (the company’s logo) in protest, flying them at the country’s notorious security agency’s headquarters, with some protesters being arrested. Mr. Durov took to his personal channel, urging Russians to fly their own paper airplanes in unison at a specific time.

Also read: Telegram Uses Bitcoin in Effort to Thwart Russian Authorities

Telegram Continues to Resist Russian Government Crackdown

“For 7 days Russia has been trying to ban Telegram on its territory – with no luck so far,” the still defiant founder of the encrypted messaging service posted to his personal channel. “I’m thrilled we were able to survive under the most aggressive attempt of internet censorship in Russian history with almost 18 million IP addresses blocked.”

Back on April 13, Dmitri S. Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson, stressed, “There is a certain legislation that demands certain data to be passed to certain services of the Russian Federation.” Judge Yulia Smolina agreed, ruling, “The ban on access to information will be in force until the [Federal Security Service’s] demands are met on providing keys for decrypting user messages.”

Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested
Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina

Roskomnadzor, a censuring media body, made the most vigorous argument in asking the court to shutter Telegram. Last month, the company appealed before the Supreme Court over Russia’s Federal Security Service’s (FSB) 800,000 ruble fine. The FSB ordered Telegram to decrypt messages in accordance with relatively recent anti-terrorism laws. “We don’t do deals with marketers, data miners or government agencies. Since the day we launched in August 2013 we haven’t disclosed a single byte of our users’ private data to third parties,” a Telegram blog post insisted. Telegram was summarily banned, effective immediately.

An initial response by Mr. Durov came also on his personal channel, explaining, “To support internet freedoms in Russia and elsewhere I started giving out bitcoin grants to individuals and companies who run socks5 proxies and VPN. I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause, and hope that other people will follow. I called this Digital Resistance – a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally.”

Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested
Paper airplanes flown at Russia’s security agency in protest over country’s ban on Telegram.

The Digital Resistance Gets Paper Wings

Activists took to the streets roughly 4 days ago, placing themselves in front of the Federal Security Services’ headquarters, armed with colored paper. They then began to make paper airplanes in remembrance of the iconic Telegram logo. Not soon after, busses of uniformed police rolled up, and began dispersing the crowd, and wound up arresting Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina. She was brought before a nearby magistrate, booked on blocking a public passageway, and released.

In response, Mr. Durov insisted on April 22, “If you live in Russia and support free internet, fly a paper plane from your window at 7 PM local time today. Please collect the airplanes in your neighborhood an hour later – remember, today is Earth Day. My thanks to all the members of the #Digitalresistance movement. Keep up your great work setting up socks5-proxies and VPNs and spreading them among your Russian friends and relatives. They will be needed as the country descends into an era of full-scale internet censorship.”

Do you think such protests make a difference? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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