3 Hacks in 12 Months: The Reasons Behind Crypto Exchange Bithumb’s Failings

South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, which has been the most trusted digital asset trading platform within the country alongside UPbit, Coinone, and Korbit over the past few years, has been hacked for the third time in 12 months. Hackers Can Hack Any Cryptocurrency Exchange On June 20, Bithumb experienced a $30 million hacking attack, … Continued

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Bithumb Hack Prevents Corrective Cryptocurrency Rally, Market Drops

South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb experienced a hacking attack that led to a $30 million loss on June 20, leading the cryptocurrency market to drop by $6 billion within hours. Major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash, which successfully picked up some momentum throughout June 17 to 19, ended their corrective

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Korean Authorities Admit to Postponing Cryptocurrency Regulation Because it Legitimizes Market

Authorities have admitted that the South Korean government had postponed the regulation of the cryptocurrency sector because it feared consumers will acknowledge it as the government legitimizing the cryptocurrency market. Government is Aware Regulation Will Legitimize Market Last week, CCN reported that the government of South Korea and its financial agencies including the Korea Financial … Continued

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South Korean Government Agency Seeks Direct Supervision Over Crypto Exchanges

South Korean Government Agency Seeks Direct Supervision Over Crypto Exchanges

The South Korean government is reportedly seeking to bring cryptocurrency exchanges under the direct supervision of the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit. This will obligate crypto exchanges to follow anti-money laundering directives like banks do. This is the first time a government agency has said it will oversee crypto exchanges.

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

AML Obligations

South Korean Government Agency Seeks Direct Supervision Over Crypto ExchangesThe Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), under the supervision of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), recently held an Anti-Money Laundering Policy Advisory Committee meeting. The meeting was set up to discuss measures against money laundering and terrorism financing activities.

“We plan to include virtual currency exchanges under a direct supervision of the AML / CFT (Anti-Money Laundering/ Countering Terrorism Financing) system,” the committee was quoted by Maeil Business. Citing that “the legislation has already been introduced in the National Assembly,” the news outlet elaborated:

This is the first time government agencies have said they will oversee virtual currency exchanges…When the bill is passed, virtual currency exchanges will be obliged to monitor the suspicious money-laundering transactions and report them to the FIU.

The Need for Direct Supervision

Currently, the FSC and the FIU have no jurisdiction over crypto exchanges since cryptocurrencies are not considered financial assets. The regulators have to monitor money-laundering activities of crypto exchanges through banks.

South Korean Government Agency Seeks Direct Supervision Over Crypto ExchangesWith the proposed changes, according to the committee, “If a virtual currency exchange does not comply with these obligations, the FIU or the entrusted FSS [Financial Supervisory Service] will be able to inspect the monitoring system of the virtual currency exchange,” the publication conveyed.

According to the Hankyoreh, the FSS said that it will also tighten its oversight of banks that provide virtual accounts to crypto exchanges. For example, banks must report deposits of more than 10 million won per day or more than 20 million won over 7 days for crypto transactions to the FIU as suspicious transactions that could lead to money laundering.

Crypto Industry’s AML Measures

Recently, South Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchanges have been ramping up their AML measures.

South Korean Government Agency Seeks Direct Supervision Over Crypto ExchangesOne of the largest crypto exchanges in the country, Bithumb, has recently implemented some strong anti-money laundering measures. Last month, the exchange blocked the trading of 11 countries as well as tightened its verification process for foreign users. The exchange also lowered the withdrawal limits for crypto traders that do not fully verify their identity. The third largest exchange in the country, Coinone, also said that it is implementing similar withdrawal limits for accounts not using the real-name system.

Another major exchange, Upbit, has an anti-money laundering system in place in collaboration with Thomson Reuters. The exchange recently rewarded six people for reporting fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes.

What do you think of Korean government agencies wanting direct supervision over crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bithumb, and the FSC.


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Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto Schemes

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto Schemes

A major South Korean exchange, Upbit, has paid six people for reporting fraudulent crypto-related schemes. Ten cases were reported to the exchange and six of them were selected. Upbit also recently partnered with Thomson Reuters to operate a system to support transparent crypto transactions.

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

Upbit Paid Users for Reporting Fraud

One of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, the Kakao Corp-backed Upbit, has paid six individuals for reporting fraudulent crypto-related schemes.

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto SchemesThe exchange implemented a bounty system in March to reward users for identifying fraudulent schemes related to cryptocurrencies. The system is focused on identifying multi-level, illegal scams posing as cryptocurrencies or initial coin offering (ICO) tokens. “To the original complainant, Upbit pays a reward of 1 million won [~USD$931],” the exchange’s operator Dunamu Inc announced at the time.

Upbit said last week:

Since the implementation of the system, a total of 10 cases have been received and 6 of them have been selected. On June 6, we sent a reward of KRW 1 million with appreciation to the applicants.

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto Schemes
Lee Seok-woo, the representative of Dunamu Inc (middle), and four out of the six winners.

“We provide reward money to users who have reported fraudulent acts that impersonate [an] ICO to the investigating agency (police, prosecutors) and submit the necessary evidence documents to prove the declaration,” the exchange clarified. While Upbit indicated that proper reporting procedures were not followed “such as the lack of evidence of investigation agency reports,” it decided to pay out regardless, to reward users for participating in the system and “to create a sound cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto SchemesThe Kakao Corp-backed Upbit used to command the number one spot in the South Korean market in terms of overall trading volume. However, at the time of this writing, Upbit is the world’s eighth largest crypto exchange with a 24-hour trading volume of $201,594,215, according to Coinmaketcap. It is the second largest exchange in South Korea, after allowing Bithumb to retake the number one spot with $239,054,683 of trading volume over the same time period. Last month, news.Bitcoin.com wrote about the Korean authorities launching an investigation into Upbit.

World-Check in Partnership with Thomson Reuters

In addition to the aforementioned fraud notification system, Upbit has also recently created a system called World-Check. The system is part of a collaboration with Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm.

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto Schemes

The system is meant to support transparent cryptocurrency transactions and strengthen the company’s KYC (Know-Your-Customer) program. It aims to be “the trusted and accurate source of risk intelligence made available to help you meet your regulatory obligations, make informed decisions, and help prevent your business from inadvertently being used to launder the proceeds of crime or association with corrupt business practices,” the company described.

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto SchemesWhen a user joins Upbit, their membership information is checked against the World Check data. If the security risk is determined to be high in relation to crime and terrorism, the registration process is immediately terminated. The system also checks daily for criminal records of members against the World-Check database. The company believes that this will help prevent money laundering and terrorism financing activities using cryptocurrencies.

In an unrelated event, a small South Korean crypto exchange, Coinrail, claimed it was hacked over the weekend. The police are now investigating the case.

What do you think of Upbit paying users for reporting fraudulent crypto schemes? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Upbit.


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No Illicit Activities: South Korea’s Biggest Cryptocurrency Exchange Cleared by Government

Bithumb, South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has been cleared by local financial authorities and the National Tax Service (NTS). While the company was ordered to pay $28 million in taxes, the government found no evidence of illicit activities, tax evasion, and suspicious business operations. No Illegal Activity For many months, investors in the local cryptocurrency … Continued

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Korean Crypto Exchange Coinone and 20 Traders to Face Charges Over Margin Trading

Korean Crypto Exchange Coinone and 20 Traders to Face Charges Over Margin Trading

The South Korean police are reportedly preparing to charge Coinone’s executives, including its CEO, and 20 of the exchange’s members. This follows a 10-month investigation on allegations that the exchange provided gambling services through its crypto margin trading program.

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

Coinone’s Investigation Concludes

South Korea’s Cybercrime Investigation Unit of the Southern Provincial Police Department announced on Thursday, June 7, its plan to bring charges against Coinone over the exchange’s margin trading service, local media report.

Korean Crypto Exchange Coinone and 20 Traders to Face Charges Over Margin TradingCoinone, which opened in August 2014, is the country’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, after Upbit and Bithumb. Its 24-hour trading volume is $34,342,088 at the time of this writing, according to Coinmarketcap.

The police are reportedly recommending that the prosecutor’s office charges three of Coinone’s executives, including CEO Myunghun Cha, as well as 20 members. The former will be charged with providing illegal gambling services and the latter with illegally gambling.

In South Korea, gambling is a crime under Chapter 23 of the Criminal Act.

The investigation of Coinone “on allegations that the exchange provided gambling services for margin trading” began in August last year, the Kyunghyang Shinmun wrote, elaborating:

The police concluded that the ‘margin trading’ service of the virtual currency exchange is gambling.

According to the police, “The case was the first investigation related to the operation of a virtual currency exchange and it took considerable time to review the law,” Yonhap conveyed on Thursday.

Crypto Margin Trading vs Gambling

Korean Crypto Exchange Coinone and 20 Traders to Face Charges Over Margin TradingCoinone and its executives have been accused of providing cryptocurrency gambling services through its margin trading program from November 2016 to December last year. The exchange “allowed members to trade up to four times the amount of the deposit (margin) and to pay commission in exchange for the transactions,” the news outlet described, adding:

Margin trading is similar to the credit trading technique of the stock market, but it was based on gambling because it was not authorized by the authorities and that it was targeting virtual currencies instead of stocks.

The investigation reveals that 19,000 Coinone users, between ages 20 and 50, had been using the exchange’s margin service. Most of them are either office workers, unemployed, or self-employed. In particular, 20 members traded over 3 billion won [~US$2.8 million]. The news outlet noted that gambling “can be used to collect criminal proceeds, and therefore interest in coins and margin users will be widened according to the results of the trial in the future.”

Coinone Denies Charges

Throughout the investigation, Coinone and its executives denied the charges and maintained that they “did not know it was illegal because there is a similar service in the stock market.” An employee of the exchange was quoted by the news outlet saying:

We do not think it is illegal because it [the service] has been legally reviewed by lawyers before [we started] the margin trading service.

What do you think of South Korean charging Coinone for offering gambling services through margin trading? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coinone.


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PR: Tron Mainnet Launched – Young Team Dispelled Rumors with Sweat, Perseverance and Success

Tron Mainnet Launched - Young Team Dispelled Rumors with Sweat, Perseverance and Success

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

TRX made a hit as the first cryptocurrency whose value exceeded a hundred times of its issuance price in 2018 when the New Year had been only a few days away. In a flash, it squeezed itself into the Top 20 list of cryptos with highest market capitalization. Since then, TRON has recruited a mighty tech team and released a series of iterations. Albeit good news now and then, TRON is never short of controversaries and even rumors.

Yesterday, TRON launched its Mainnet. All rumors were dispelled, and TRON came again under the spotlights.

First, I’ll talk about highlights of the launch, in case you don’t know yet.

TRON Mainnet Launch began as scheduled at GMT+8 of May 31, 2018. Justin Sun, the founder of TRON, announced that TRON Mainnet was officially launched in a TRON T-shirt. Rephrasing the famous line of Neil Armstrong, the first human stepping on the moon, Sun proudly claimed that “Odyssey 2.0 launch is one small step for TRON, one giant leap for blockchain.”

Sun explained in English what TRON had done and would do as such:
1. TRON takes the crown for commits in Q2, totaling more than any other blockchain project in the world;
2. TRON has completed mainnet token migration and shed its identity as an ERC token;
3. With 1.08M tokenholders, TRON is now the #1 token on Ethereum, far ahead of any other cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin and EOS;
4. TRON attracts much more attention than other blockchains on Youtube, Twitter, Weibo, WeChat, Reddit and other online platforms, promising to be the hottest cryptocurrency globally;
5. With a consistent trade volume of between USD 500M – USD 1B, TRON has stabilized in the top 5 of most traded cryptos;
6. More than 100 trading pairs have been activated for international transactions;
7. As the TVM version is scheduled to be launched on July 31, TRON is expected to complete basic infrastructure for a decentralized ecosystem in Q3.

In the end of his speech, Sun urged all TRON users to participate in the June 26 Super Representative Election.

After Sun, Lucien Chen (CTO), Marcus Zhao (director of blockchain R&D), Haoqi Zhao (director of technical operation) and Wendy Yi (product director) gave their speeches about TRON and its plans. TRON’s commitment to community is apparent in its various programs for developers that include TRON Accelerator, hackathons and programming competitions, totaling up to USD 2B in rewards.

As token conversion is the most widely concerned issue among users, TRON has given its official manifesto. As the mainnet is launched, TRX will gain independence, no longer an ERC20 token as it was. There are a number of exchanges where holders can transfer conveniently their TRX into the mainnet at the fixed ratio of 1:1. Users can transact as usual while conversion is being processed.

Available exchanges include Bit-Z, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Bibox, gate.io, Binance, Coinrail, Coinnest, Bitpie, Bixin, RightBTC, DragonEx, Upbit, Bithumb, Liqui, BitKop, OKEX, CoinTiger, Huobi pro and OEX. Watch out for the continually updating list before June 25.

When the migration is completed, all TRX holders are entitled to vote in an election that yields 27 super representatives, or SR, who are somewhat like senior managers in a company. SRs have the access to book-keeping, and their duties include daily maintenance, performance optimization and boosting the ecosystem. By the time that this piece was written, more than 60 individuals or organizations from all over the world had submitted SR applications, among whom were 20+ big names like Node Capital, LinkVC, GENESIS, Next Genius, Antpool, BTCC and Top.one.

As a Java-based DApp platform, TRON is developer-friendly and promises high network performance. Over 20 star-ups have joined for various DApps including cold setup wallets and blockchain explorers for PC, web and mobile devices.

The price of TRX rose by 6%, though only for a short time, during the half hour after the launch began on May 31 (GMT+8) while it had been fluctuating around USD 0.06 on the same day.

As a matter of fact, now that Odyssey 2.0 is technologically available, its full-fledged functioning involves reaching consensus, which in turn requires coordinating the efforts of more than its 1M+ users. From the 1st to the 24th of June, the community developers will be carrying out additional tests on the Mainnet and generating consensus before the first block, also known as the Genesis Block, happens at midnight, June 25 (GMT+8).

As the momentum goes, TRON will have surprises for the blockchain community every month ahead just like the amazing six months before now.

Contact Email Address
trx@tron.network
Supporting Link
https://tron.network/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Bittrex Launches USD Fiat Trading

Bittrex Launches USD Fiat Trading

Bittrex has finally introduced fiat currency support. The US exchange, which was established in 2013, subsisted with tether as its USD surrogate until recently, before adding another stablecoin, TrueUSD, a couple of months ago. Around the same time, its CEO Bill Shihara revealed that the platform would be adding USD pairs and today they went live for corporate clients.

Also read: Weiss Ratings Publishes Complete List of 93 Cryptocurrency Ratings

More Fiat, Less Tether

Bittrex, along with exchanges such as Binance and Upbit, has been gradually weaning itself away from tether, which for a long time was the only dollar-based hedge available. It has been speculated that the desire to list other stablecoins, and to eventually pivot to USD, was partially born out of a desire to be less reliant on the notoriously opaque tether. Whatever the reasoning, Bittrex has now secured the banking facilities necessary to enable fiat-crypto trading, and in Malta Binance is believed to be following suit.

Initially, the Seattle-based exchange will offer the USD paired against BTC, tether (USDT), and TrueUSD. This means that traders can swap between dollar-pegged tokens, which could be useful in the event of needing to send dollars to another exchange, or in the event of a stablecoin slipping from its dollar peg, as previously happened to TrueUSD upon news of its Binance listing.

Bittrex Launches USD Fiat Trading

Bittrex Signs with Signature

Bloomberg reports that Bittrex has inked a deal with New York’s Signature Bank. This will allow corporate clients in certain US states to make fiat deposits. While retail investors will be unable to benefit from this facility initially, Bittrex hopes to eventually roll the service out to all users who reside in states where it is licensed. As of today, May 31, corporate traders in Washington, California, New York, and Montana can make fiat deposits. Due to the restrictions in place, which will prevent the majority of Bittrex’ three million users from being able to participate, USD trading volume is likely to be low to begin with.

Bittrex Launches USD Fiat Trading“It’s been a long path [towards securing a banking agreement],” Bittrex Chief Executive Officer Bill Shihara told Bloomberg. “It’s not just about banks being able to trust Bittrex. It’s about banks being able to trust crypto in general. And I think it’s really showing that crypto is turning the corner in terms of mainstream acceptance.”

“They really do look and pore through the entire business,” Shihara said. “They want to make sure that we’ve got robust AML/KYC processes, that we’ve got the right controls on our finances. They do background checks and everything. They really look at our business soup to nuts.”

Will you use Bittrex’ banking facilities to deposit fiat currency once they’re available to retail investors? Let us know in the comments section below.


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TRON: Upbit & Bithumb Support TRX Token Swap

TRON

TRON [TRX] – The TRON main net launch is just over a week away. The project’s token swap isn’t anticipated for another few weeks, as the development team wants to ensure there aren’t any flaws in the main net before the tokens are moved over. TRON’s team is working with the exchanges that currently trade TRX and are getting them to support the token swap, which makes things much easier for the current ERC20 TRX holders.

Justin Sun, TRON’s founder, just announced some big news.

#TRX $TRX #Upbit will support #TRON blockchain upgrade and ...

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Difficult to Charge Cryptocurrency Exchange UPBit Since No Investors Affected: Expert

Experts in the cryptocurrency sector of South Korea have stated that it will be difficult for the government and local financial authorities to file charges against UPbit, South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, given that no investors were affected. Funds Real, No Investors Affected Last week, CCN reported that UPbit was raided and investigated by local

The post Difficult to Charge Cryptocurrency Exchange UPBit Since No Investors Affected: Expert appeared first on CCN

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.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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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.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the South Korean government.


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Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets

Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets

Cryptocurrency markets are losing some gains today, as most digital assets are down between 3-15 percent during this morning’s trading sessions on May 16, 2018. The overall cryptocurrency market cap has shaved a few billion in losses since our last markets update, leading to the valuation of all 1,600 cryptocurrencies hovering around $374Bn today. During the last 24-hours Bitcoin Cash (BCH) value has dropped 10.4 percent and prices are around $1,258 per BCH. Bitcoin Core (BTC) prices have also dipped, but by only 5.6 percent with one BTC priced at $8,234 at the time of publication.

Also read: Circle Raises $110Mn With Plans to Launch USD-Backed Coin

BCH Markets Down 20% This Week

At least three-quarters of the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem has lost value today as many coins are seeing losses this Wednesday. Total 24-hour trade volume for today’s trading session is around $22.6B worth of exchanges. Bitcoin Cash markets have lost a bit of value since yesterday as the network experienced an upgrade which increased its block size to 32MB. BCH trade volume is thinner than the week prior as only $1Bn has been traded during the last day. The top five exchanges swapping the most BCH during today’s trading sessions are Okex, Bitfinex, Huobi, Upbit, and Hitbtc. Both the South Korean won and tether (USDT) BCH trading pairs have seen exponential volumes but BTC still dominates pairs by 34 percent. The BCH/BTC pair is followed by tether (USDT 25.4%), USD (22%), KRW (14%), and the EUR (1.4%).

Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets
BCH/USD market action on May 16, 2018, according to Satoshi Pulse.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the four-hour BCH/USD chart on Bitfinex the price is seeing some deep triangular consolidation at the moment. The MACd is on the rise after the initial dip took place and show more improvement could be in the cards. RSI levels show the oscillator is around 38 right now, showing oversold conditions seem imminent. Looking at the two Simple Moving Averages indicates the path to resistance to the upside still looks obtainable as the short term 100 SMA rides above the longer term 200 SMA trend line. Looking at order books on the upside, BCH bulls need to muster up the strength to break past $1,330-1,355 in order to make headway northbound. On the flipside, if the dips continue there are some solid foundations between the current vantage point and $1,210.

Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets
Bitfinex — BCH/USD May 16, 2018, at 10 am EDT.

A Brief Glimpse at Overall Cryptocurrency Market Action

The entire cryptocurrency ecosystem is seeing pretty decent losses today even though there’s been loads of good news coming from the industry this week. The number one cryptocurrency market cap held by Bitcoin Core (BTC) is wavering just below the $8,400 region with $7Bn in trade volume over the past 24-hours. Ethereum (ETH) markets has seen some dippage as well, as prices have lost 4 percent today. One ETH is hovering just above $700 USD at the time of publication. Ripple (XRP) markets are seeing heavier losses around 6.3 percent as one XRP is $0.69 cents today. Lastly, the fifth highest capitalization has been a contested position for a while now as many coins have been filling this area over the past year. EOS has held the number five spot for a few weeks now but its markets are down 11.7 percent today as one EOS is averaging $12 per coin.

Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets
The top ten cryptocurrencies today according to Satoshi Pulse.

The Verdict: Mid-May Market Action is Lackluster but Positivity Remains

So far, the mid-May bull run lots of enthusiasts were hoping for has been nothing but a fizzle this week. Many believed cryptocurrencies would begin to see larger gains after the Consensus conference in New York started but that forecast never came to fruition, at least not yet. The only coins that are doing well today are a few miscellaneous tokens and stablecoins like tether (USD, and TrueUSD showing traders are likely using these ‘stable’ currencies as shelter from the current storm). Optimism and positivity among traders on social media and trader groups on Telegram still seems bright, even though markets have shaved some decent gains over the past 72-hours.

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

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


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Investigation of South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Upbit Continues

Investigation of South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Upbit Continues

Since the South Korean prosecution started investigating Upbit, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, more events have unfolded. While local media still discuss allegations and raise questions about Upbit’s business practice, some people believe that Upbit is already in the clear. The investigation continues.

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

The Allegations

Investigation of South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Upbit ContinuesLocal media reported on Friday that South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit, is under investigation for alleged fraud. More information has surfaced since, casting doubt on whether the allegations can be considered fraud. No charges have been filed against Upbit at the time of this writing. However, the prosecutors have confiscated the exchange’s computers and records as part of the investigation.

On Monday, News1 Korea described:

Prosecutors searched Upbit for fraud charges triggered by coinless transactions, suspicion of insider trading during the listing process, and allegations of money laundering and leakage of money through US trading sites.

Liquidity Issue

Investigation of South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Upbit ContinuesThe first allegation, the most heavily scrutinized, concerns the liquidity of some of the coins listed on Upbit.

The exchange currently lists 137 cryptocurrencies but not all of them have wallets. South Korean prosecutors are accusing the exchange of “book-trading” where Upbit facilitates the trading of cryptocurrencies without actually having the coins in its possession. Joongang Ilbo elaborated:

Of the more than 130 cryptocurrencies currently traded on Upbit, about 40 do not support e-wallets.

News1 also pointed out that there is a viewpoint among investigators that if users request a transfer or withdrawal of their coins all at once, then Upbit will not be able to return their money immediately, which would render the original transactions fraudulent.

However, some argue that “most domestic trading sites are adopting this method” except those that handle a small number of cryptocurrencies such as Bithumb, the news outlet conveyed, adding that if this method is found to be an “apparent fraud…[then] the industry will not be much affected.”

Upbit Calls It a Misunderstanding

Upbit says that this investigation is “something that comes from misunderstanding,” Joongang Ilbo reported.

Investigation of South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Upbit ContinuesThe exchange has repeatedly dismissed the above accusation, emphasizing that it will secure the needed cryptocurrencies as soon as it has brokered a transaction for the coins without a wallet, the news outlet detailed. In addition, Upbit insists that it has “never bought or sold cryptocurrencies that it did not own since it opened last October.”

Furthermore, given Upbit’s exclusive partnership with the US exchange Bitrex, crypto experts believe that “the lack of understanding of the Upbit trading system that links the system with the overseas exchange has led to the suspicion of book trading,” the publication emphasized, adding:

Cryptocurrency traded in KRW is directly managed by Upbit, and when customers buy other virtual currencies…transactions are made through Bittrex under the responsibility of Upbit.

A representative of another crypto exchange explained that except for the won market, Upbit transactions are made through Bittrex. “It is a legitimate book deal, and the prosecutors seem to have misunderstood why they are selling cryptocurrencies that they do not have.”

Previous Internal Audit

Another factor at play is an article published by Money Today on Tuesday, referencing an internal audit which reportedly happened earlier this year. The news outlet quoted Lee Seok-woo, president of Dunamu Inc. which operates Upbit, saying that “In early March, when Upbit was suspected of only [conducting] book transactions without [holding the] coins…I have been notified that the amount of coins [in the books] is 100% identical to the number of coins” in the wallets.

Referencing the above article, Twitter user Crypto of Korea wrote, “Upbit claimed that they had the internal account audit…The audit shows that 100% of the coins are real, the ledgers all synced to their own wallets.”

Investigation of South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Upbit Continues

Some people subsequently took Upbit’s claim as the exchange being clear of wrong-doing in this current investigation, while others remain more objective. Twitter user Nash wrote, “Not concluded yet. It’s just “Upbit’s claim.” Meanwhile, Korean media still raise questions about Upbit’s operations and seek more answers at the time of this writing.

Insider Trading and Money Laundering Concerns

The prosecutors are also reportedly looking into allegations of insider trading and money laundering surrounding Upbit, News1 Korea wrote, noting that “some investors have raised strong suspicion that there is insider trading” at the exchange. “It is suspected that a person who receives information from an Upbit employee about an upcoming listing [on Upbit] would have bought the cryptocurrency from [an] overseas trading site and sold on Upbit.”

Furthermore, the investigators alleged that “illegal business funds are more easily transferred from the domestic [exchange] to the US due to the linkage with Bittrex,” the publication described.

As for any fraud charges, a lawyer was quoted by the news outlet commenting:

It is difficult to judge it as a fraud because there is no victim. If the capital market law applies to the transaction site [Upbit], it is a criminal offense. The lack of a clear baseline law is a bigger problem.

Joongang Ilbo further asserted that according to the position of the country’s financial regulators, “cryptocurrency is not subject to the Capital Market Law because it is not a monetary product.” In the unlikely event that the prosecutors can apply the Capital Market Law to this case, commissions through book transactions would be considered criminal proceeds, the news outlet explained.

Do you think Upbit has done anything wrong? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Upbit.


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Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto Exchange

Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto Exchange

Arrest warrants have reportedly been issued to three employees of a small South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, including its representative director. The three are “suspected [of] fraud and embezzlement,” according to local media.

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

Arrest Warrants for Crypto Exchange’s Employees

Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto ExchangeOn Monday, local media reported that arrest warrants have been issued to employees of a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange. “Three of the company’s executives, who operate virtual currency trading site HTS Coin, were arrested for [suspicion of] fraud and embezzlement,” Money Today wrote.

The Financial Investigation Division 2 of the South Korean Prosecutor’s Office “demanded a warrant for three employees, including…[the] CEO of HTS Coin,” Token Post detailed, adding that the other two employees are a program developer and a system operations manager. The news outlet elaborated:

According to the prosecution, Shin [the representative director] and his employees are suspected of taking money out of their accounts by transferring customer funds from a bank account to another account.

Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto ExchangeThe publication explained that the three are also suspected of “deceiving investors, [by] pretending to” have cryptocurrencies “on the computer side without having real cryptocurrencies.”

“The prosecution believes that they have falsified” records and “used the money in the customer’s account as a personal account of the exchange,” Joongang added.

Responding to media reports, the exchange posted a notice Monday on its website maintaining that “All services except Korean won deposits, such as Korean won withdrawals, coin deposits, and coin withdrawals, are operating normally,” clarifying:

HTS Coin is currently under investigation by the prosecution and we are working diligently…Unlike external concerns, we still have 100% of your deposits and coins. We keep customer deposits and coins that can be withdrawn promptly even if all customers request a withdrawal at the same time.

On-Going Investigations

According to Asiae, an “interrogation of the suspects before the arrest was held in the southern part of Seoul on the morning of the same day,” adding that in March the “prosecutors searched three virtual currency exchanges including Coinnest, and it was reported that HTS Coin was included in the seizure investigation at that time.”

Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto ExchangeJoongang confirmed this report, stating that “prosecutors searched three virtual currency exchanges including HTS Coin, Coinnest, and Komid last March.”

The news outlet further conveyed that “the prosecution has been investigating the illegal acts of virtual currency trading sites” in collaboration with the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) under the supervision of the Financial Services Commission (FSC). In March, “the investigation resulted in the arrest of four executives including CEO Kim Ik-hwan [of] Coinnest…Kim was handed over to trial last month.”

Last week the prosecution also started investigating South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Upbit as the regulators announced the widening probe of crypto exchanges. Money Today emphasized, “however, in the case of Upbit, there is no suspicion of embezzlement unlike Coinnest and HTS.”

What do you think of the Korean prosecutors going after HTS Coin’s employees? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coinnest.


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Korean Regulators Widen Investigation of Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Korean Regulators Widen Investigation of Cryptocurrency Exchanges

South Korea’s government is widening its probe on cryptocurrency exchanges, particularly the use of corporate accounts which the regulators say can lead to money laundering. This announcement follows the prosecutors launching an investigation on the country’s largest crypto exchange, Upbit.

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

Widening the Crypto Probe

South Korea’s top financial regulators are teaming up with prosecutors to widen their investigation of domestic cryptocurrency exchange operators. An official of the Financial Service Commission (FSC) was quoted by the Korea Times on Sunday:

Following a request by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) and the prosecution to address growing anti-money laundering compliance concerns and possible abuse of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and fraud, the FSC is looking into exchanges’ corporate accounts opened in local banks.

The use of corporate accounts for crypto transactions should have been discontinued when the government introduced the real-name system at the end of January. However, only 30% of all crypto accounts haveKorean Regulators Widen Investigation of Cryptocurrency Exchanges been converted into real-name ones so far.

The six banks that have the ability to 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 say that the use of corporate accounts can lead to fraud such as recently seen with Coinnest whose CEO was charged with embezzlement. The largest Korean crypto exchange by volume, Upbit, is also currently under investigation even though banks have been converting its accounts to real-name ones.

Collaborating with Other Countries

Korean Regulators Widen Investigation of Cryptocurrency ExchangesSouth Korea has been discussing a collaboration with other countries on cryptocurrency regulations. At a recent International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Board of Directors and Annual General Meeting held in Hungary, FSC Vice Chairman Kim Yong-beom discussed cryptocurrency issues with major national supervisory bodies. The need for IOSCO to cooperate on cryptocurrency and ICO regulations was stressed at the meeting.

An official of the FSC was quoted by the Korea Times saying:

The FSC is collaborating with authorities in other countries. Our latest findings show that the domestic exchange faked its balance sheets and deceived investors. The FSC is checking Upbit’s computer system with prosecutors and the FSS to audit the exchange’s virtual currency holdings.

Meanwhile, the new FSS governor Yoon Suk-heun recently indicated that he will look into easing regulations on domestic cryptocurrency trading, citing that “there are some positive aspects to cryptocurrencies.”

What do you think of the Korean regulators widening probe on crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Korean government.


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This Week in Bitcoin: Ghost Scares Markets, Facebook Mulls Coin

This Week in Bitcoin: Ghost Scares Markets, Facebook Mulls Coin

This week’s round-up features a colorful selection of bitcoin stories but we’ll start with the possible explanation for recent market dips. Most cryptocurrencies dropped in price over the period, following developments with depressing effect on traders. In Japan, Mt. Gox’s bitcoins stored in court ordered wallets have moved again, while in South Korea, the largest exchange Upbit has found itself under investigation for suspected fraud.  

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: “Social” Coins, Crypto Vending, Blockchain Mileage

Markets React to Disturbing News from Japan and Korea

The prices of leading cryptocurrencies dropped this week, with some recovery across the board on Sunday. The negative trend was probably determined by some notable developments in Asia, powerful enough to influence the mood of traders. Just as Bitcoin (BTC) looked poised to storm the $10,000 psychological threshold, the ghost of notoriously hacked cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox reminded bitcoiners it isn’t done with them yet. Tokyo-based court appointed trustee of the remaining bitcoin to be distributed among creditors, Nobuaki Kobayashi, seems ready to flood the market, again. According to Blockchain.info, over 8,000 coins from two court ordered cold storage wallets have been recently shifted. As soon as the news broke, BTC prices plummeted.

This Week in Bitcoin: Ghost Scares Markets, Facebook Mulls Coin

South Korean media reported that the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit, is under investigation on suspicions of fraud. The exchange confirmed the news in a statement and tried to reassure its customers that their assets are kept securely, while “all transactions and withdrawals are operating normally.” Reports suggested that Upbit is suspected of transferring customer funds from their cryptocurrency exchange account to a representative or executive account. Acting on that information, Korean prosecutors have conducted search and seizure against the company, securing computer hard disks and accounting records. Upbit is currently the world’s fourth-largest crypto trading platform.

China to Publish Monthly Crypto Report

This Week in Bitcoin: Ghost Scares Markets, Facebook Mulls CoinThe Chinese government has decided to keep a close eye on decentralized currencies, despite all crypto bans it has imposed so far. Beijing authorities are set to publish a regular monthly analysis of over two dozen crypto assets in the form of the new Global Public Chain Assessment Index. “This independent analysis of cryptocurrencies and global public blockchain technology demonstrates the confidence of the Chinese Government in the technology, and will act as a guide,” according to a government press release. Almost 30 cryptos will be analyzed. The coins included in the index are expected to conform to certain standards like having an independent main chain and an open block browser.

China is also working to develop a national standard for blockchain technologies and applications. The new system should be completed and introduced by the end of 2019, according to reports by state-controlled media in the People’s Republic. Initially the blockchain standard will include basic standards, business and application standards, process and method standards, credible and interoperable standards, and information security standards, but the scope of its applicability will be expanded in the future.

Localbitcoins Changes ToS to Comply With EU Law

The popular peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins has updated its Terms of Service (ToS), noting that the changes have been introduced mainly due to regulations in the European Union. The new ToS of the Helsinki-based trading platform highlight certain identification requirements. In some situations users will be required to submit a copy of ID, although identity verification is not yet implemented as a mandatory procedure for all traders. The company has detailed some of the situations in which identification will be necessary. These include trading over certain volume limits, cases of account hacking/recovery, and fraud investigations. The new terms will be enforced on May 25.

Facebook Mulls Own Token, Reports Say

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: “Social” Coins, Crypto Vending, Blockchain MileageThis week we also covered some interesting developments in our daily rubric “Bitcoin in Brief”. After introducing a ban on crypto-related ads earlier this year, social media giant Facebook is now considering creating its own cryptocurrency to facilitate on-platform payments, reports suggested. Sources familiar with the matter told the financial news outlet Cheddar that the network is serious about the project to introduce global crypto payments. A digital token would allow its two billion users around the world to take advantage of crypto transactions and skip state-issued fiat currencies. The company announced recently it had formed a team tasked to explore the uses for blockchain technologies that can be utilized to improve its business. The group is headed by David Marcus, former head of Facebook Messenger and ex-president of Paypal, who currently sits on the board of Coinbase.

BCH-Powered Social Media Apps Launch New Features

Two popular Bitcoin Cash social media applications, Memo and Blockpress, have introduced new features on their platforms this week. Users can now upload pictures, video, and even torrent magnets found on the Pirate Bay. Memo has recently added a bunch of features like replies, emojis, and a counter for typing. Its programmers also added a ‘Topics’ section where people can discuss any topic trending on the application. On Thursday, the Memo development team added image and Youtube video support. Users can now upload a picture or their favorite Youtube video utilizing an on-chain BCH transaction.

Last week, another BCH-powered social media application was launched – Blockpress. Just like Memo, the platform enables the ability to publish 77 characters via the Bitcoin Cash network. Its developer “Attila” said that after the May 15 BCH upgrade the Blockpress platform will provide the ability to upload much longer content. Currently, its users can add images to posts, a notification feed, community topics, and a sidebar of followed profiles on Blockpress.

Bitcoin and the Carnal Temptations

A bitcoin supporter hopes to replace New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned amid a sex scandal. Four women have recently complained about non-consensual physical violence by Schneiderman. Stock market lawyer and former stand-up comedian Manny Alicandro has announced his candidacy on the Republican ticket. He is described as bitcoin enthusiast and a crypto investor, who advises several blockchain startups. Alicandro’s campaign will highlight the current harsh regulation of bitcoin in the Empire State and may accept donations in bitcoin. He has been quoted as saying that he would like to see lighter rules for cryptocurrency businesses. Alicandro believes that New York’s Bitlicense regime is hurting jobs and stifling innovation.

This Week in Bitcoin: Ghost Scares Markets, Facebook Mulls CoinNY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned just hours after the news about the violent sex scandal broke. His administration was behind an investigation into the operations of bitcoin exchanges which was rebuked by representatives of the crypto industry like Kraken CEO Jessie Powell who sharply criticized the regulatory overreach of his office.

This week bitcoin and carnal pleasures were mentioned together more than once. Exotic dancer Brenna Sparks, featured in the article about a Las Vegas club where strippers accept bitcoin via QR tattoos, has published a blog post on an adult entertainment industry portal explaining the advantages of cryptocurrency to her colleagues. Noting that digital money can help with upholding privacy and fighting piracy, Brenna also points out the main advantage of cryptos like bitcoin – helping people in the business avoid paying almost 50% to middlemen.

What are your thoughts on this week’s bitcoin topics? Let us know in the comments section below.  


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Public Company’s ICO Paves the Way for Other Token Sales in Thailand

Public Company's ICO Paves the Way for Other Token Sales in Thailand

The first initial coin offering (ICO) by a publicly traded company in Thailand has begun trading on a couple of local exchanges. Meanwhile, the regulators are still drafting the legal framework for cryptocurrencies and token sales.

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

First Public Company to Launch ICO

The launch of an ICO by a publicly traded company has paved the way for other token sales in Thailand.

Public Company's ICO Paves the Way for Other Token Sales in ThailandJay Mart Plc’s subsidiary, J Ventures Limited, launched its ICO called Jfin Coin last week. Jay Mart Plc operates in the wholesale and retail sectors for mobile phones and technology accessories and is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).

The pre-sale of Jfin Coin was held on February 14 at the rate of 6.60 baht (~US$0.21) per token, which was sold out. Its ICO debuted on local cryptocurrency exchange Coin Asset at 6.45 baht, but quickly tanked 57.09% to roughly 3 baht before regaining some of its losses. It is currently trading at 3.94 baht (~$0.12).

Public Company's ICO Paves the Way for Other Token Sales in Thailand

Initially, J Ventures was going to trade the tokens on a much larger crypto exchange in the country, the Thai Digital Asset Exchange (TDAX). However, the company switched to Coin Asset, which has much lower liquidity, according to the Bangkok Post.

Jfin Coin also started trading this week on another local platform, Cash2coins. J Ventures CEO Thanawat Lertwattanarak told the news outlet that the company plans to list Jfin Coin on Hong Kong’s Hitbtc as well as South Korea’s Upbit in the near future. His statement came prior to Upbit being investigated by the Korean authorities for alleged fraud.

Other ICOs Follow

The Thai government is currently drafting the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and ICOs. However, some companies are not waiting for the legal framework to be introduced.

Public Company's ICO Paves the Way for Other Token Sales in ThailandFollowing Jfin Coin, Zmine Holdings Limited is also planning a token sale. CEO and co-founder Kasem Pativitvatana said the company expects to raise at least 180 million baht (~$5.6 million) through the issuance of 100 million ZMN tokens in order to expand its crypto mining business which began in 2014, Prachachat Turakij reported.

The pre-sale of ZMN tokens began last week. MGR Online reported that 2 million tokens were sold on the first day for approximately 3.5 million baht (~$109,825).

Recently, “the Finance Ministry took steps to put the brakes on the Initial Coin offering (ICO) bandwagon by threatening to hit the emerging ICO market with value-added tax and capital gain tax,” the Nation Multimedia described, adding:

Under the proposed new laws, the [Thai] Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would be responsible for regulating the ICO market, covering securities and other kinds of digital tokens. One key feature of a related new law covers the electronic-KYC (know your customers) requirement aimed at preventing money launderers and other criminals from taking advantage of the new funding channel.

Do you think the Thai government will let ICOs flourish? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin Asset, J Ventures, and Zmine.


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Cryptocurrency Market Sees $50 Billion Loss, Bitcoin Price and Tokens Down Significantly

The cryptocurrency market has declined by more than $50 billion over the past 24 hours, as the bitcoin price declined by more than 8 percent and other major cryptocurrencies along with tokens experienced an intensified movement on the downside. Bitcoin Price at $8,500 Over the past 24 hours, the bitcoin price has dropped by more … Continued

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