The Daily: Proxy Bitcoin, Simjacking, Zencash Becomes Horizen

The Daily: Proxy Bitcoin, Simjacking, and Zencash Becomes Horizen

In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, we’ve got details of a new interoperability alliance to create proxy tokens such as bitcoin that can be represented on a single blockchain. There’s also news of UAE’s first Shariah-compliant exchange, more simjacking shenanigans, and Zencash has a makeover. We’ve got a lot to chew over, so let’s tuck in.

Also read: Hiding Bitcoin Cash in Pictures With the New Pixel Wallet App

Simjacking for Sports Cars

The Daily: Proxy Bitcoin, Simjacking, and Zencash Becomes HorizenSimjacking, in which a fraudster ports a victim’s cellphone account to a new handset, with the intention of stealing their crypto, is on the rise. Last month we reported on Joel Ortiz, who’s accused of stealing $5 million in bitcoin in this manner. Motherboard has now revealed details of his 19-year-old co-accused, who, according to the indictment, has been living the dream while enacting all the crypto memes. Xzavyer Narvaez is believed to have invested some of his ill-gotten simjacking gains in a McLaren sports car, and was pictured alongside it in a now deleted Instagram post with the caption “Live fast, die young”. Narvaez has been released on bail but his alleged partner in crime Joel Ortiz remains in detention.

Zencash is Now Horizen

After enlisting the services of a branding company and performing extensive community consultation, Zencash has pulled a Raiblocks/Nano and claimed a new name. As of August 22, the cryptocurrency is known as Horizen. The project’s co-founder Robert Viglione said: “The Zencash project has greatly evolved since its inception more than a year ago, and it’s now time to expand our brand to more accurately reflect our mission to promote the fundamental human right of privacy worldwide.”

“What initially launched as a privacy-focused cryptocurrency has transformed into a much broader and deeply capable platform that will host a variety of privacy-focused applications, including secure messaging and publishing.” One bonus of the rebrand is that the cryptocurrency will get to retain its ZEN ticker.

The Daily: Proxy Bitcoin, Simjacking, and Zencash Becomes Horizen

UAE Launches First Sharia Compliant Exchange

Earlier this year, a research paper claimed bitcoin to be compliant with Shariah law. That theory has now been put into practice with the establishment of the UAE’s first Shariah-compliant exchange. The platform, which is being created by Adab Solutions, will service Muslims in the Emirate states who wish to purchase cryptocurrency whilst adhering to Islamic teachings on finance. Just to ensure it’s compliant with all things Shariah, the exchange plans to set up an in-house Shariah Advisory Board.

Crypto Matchup Enables Social Trading

The Daily: Proxy Bitcoin, Simjacking, and Zencash Becomes HorizenFrom the UAE to the Dominican Republic now, the home of Crypto Matchup, a new app to encourage social cryptocurrency trading. One of the biggest successes of the bitcoin cash community has been humanizing the act of sending and receiving crypto through a range of fun mini-projects such such as Pixel Wallet. Crypto Matchup can be added to that list. It aims to help cryptocurrency fans around the world arrange informal meet-ups to make trades in-person. In addition to BCH, it supports coins such as BTC, LTC, and DASH. A desktop portal and beta Android app are available to try now.

Proxy Bitcoin, Anyone?

Uphold, Cred, Blockchain at Berkeley, and Brave have teamed up to create a coalition that will oversee the Universal Protocol Platform. It will enable proxy tokens of all kinds to be created and managed, overcoming the interoperability problem that obliges coins such as ethereum and bitcoin to exist on separate chains. Proxy tokens will serve as a representation of the underlying asset.

The Daily: Proxy Bitcoin, Simjacking, and Zencash Becomes Horizen“The early days of the internet were very similar to the world of blockchain today, with many different technology platforms fragmented and incapable of communicating with one other,” said JP Thieriot, co-founder of Uphold. “We believe that the Universal Protocol Platform is a technology that has the potential to connect blockchain technologies, much like the breakthrough of the TCP and IP protocols that drove the internet towards mass adoption.”

What stories from today’s roundup caught your attention? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Motherboard, and Crypto Meetup.


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Australian Bank Bans Use of Mortgage Funds for Crypto Speculation

Australian Bank Bans Use of Mortgaged Funds for Crypto Speculation

One of Australia’s oldest financial institutions, Bank of Queensland, has prohibited the use of home equity loans for virtual currency speculation. The move has been attributed to concerns pertaining to the growing regulatory oversight of the cryptocurrency sector in Australia.

Also Read: Tether Announces Appointment of New Chief Compliance Officer

Bank of Queensland Cracks Down on Customers Using Mortgage Funds to Trade Crypto

Bank of Queensland has banned its customers from using loans that are leveraged against home equity for the purposes of cryptocurrency speculation due to concerns pertaining to the increasing regulatory oversight of cryptocurrency activities in Australia.

Contracts issued by Bank of Queensland will now caution prospective borrowers “any loan purpose that involves the acquisition of or usage of cryptocurrency is unacceptable.” The Australian Financial Review (AFR) recently reported that a spokesperson for Bank of Queensland “has confirmed the changes.”

Whilst borrowers cannot invest the capital loaned for property straight into the cryptocurrency markets due to such being paid directly to the vendor, many opportunistic debtors have used funds that are redrawn from their mortgage in order to purchase virtual currency. Other traders have reportedly sought cryptocurrency exposure through accessing a line of credit – where the borrower draws on predetermined lines of credit accessed against property equity.

Australian Regulators Increasingly Target Cryptocurrency

Australian Retail Bank Bans Use of Mortgaged Funds for Crypto SpeculationA mortgage broker who wished to remain anonymous discussed financial institutions’ concerns pertaining to virtual currency speculation with AFR, asserting that lenders are increasingly monitoring debtors accounts for indications that they may be involved in cryptocurrency trading.

“They are concerned because the Australian Taxation Office, Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia and AUSTRAC are crawling all over it,” the broker said.

Additionally, AFR asserted that Australian “Lenders and prudential regulators are also concerned to prevent anything that might worsen the nation’s worrying household debt levels, which is already among the world’s highest.”

Other uses for mortgage funds typically prohibited by Australian financial institutions include the refinancing of payday loans, the payment of government fines or penalties, and payments to debt collection agencies.

What is your reaction the Bank of Queensland’s move to ban the use of mortgaged funds for cryptocurrency speculation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce Transactions

Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce Transactions

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade has prohibited organizations and individuals involved in e-commerce business in the city from using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This follows a directive signed by the country’s prime minister intended to strengthen the legal framework of cryptocurrencies.

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

Banning Crypto Use in E-commerce

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade announced on Saturday that it has sent document No. 1638 / SCT-QLTM to “organizations and individuals directly or indirectly related to e-commerce business in Hanoi [to] not use bitcoin and other virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies) to settle e-commerce transactions online.” Citing that if violations are detected, “they shall be strictly dealt with according to the provisions of the law,” the regulator wrote:

The Department of Industry and Trade requires organizations and individuals who are directly or indirectly involved in e-commerce business in Hanoi to strictly abide by the above-mentioned regulations and do not use bitcoin and other virtual currencies….in payment of e-commerce transactions, online purchases and sales, [and] payment [of] online services in contravention of Vietnamese law.

Vietnamese Law on Crypto

Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce TransactionsCiting provisions of the government’s Decree No. 101/2012 / ND-CP on non-cash payment instruments, the document reiterates, “bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not legal means of payment in Vietnam; The issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and similar virtual currency is prohibited in Vietnam.”

Violations are subject to a “fine of between VND 150,000,000 [~US$6,608] and 200,000,000 [~$8,810] for individuals and for organizations with two times the fine level for personal,” the document emphasizes. Furthermore, as of January this year, issuing and using cryptocurrencies “may be subject to criminal prosecution.”

Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce TransactionsLast week, the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc signed a directive to strengthen the management of activities related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This follows reports of the country’s “biggest digital money fraud in history,” which duped approximately 32,000 Vietnamese out of VNĐ15 trillion (~$658 million). The police are currently investigating the case.

Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), and related agencies are working on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. According to the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, the number of bitcoin mining rigs legally imported into the country has skyrocketed since last year, prompting the department to propose a ban on their imports. Earlier this year, the department revealed that, in the first three weeks of January, almost 8,000 mining rigs were legally imported into the city.

What do you think of Hanoi prohibiting the use of crypto for e-commerce transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.


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