Bitcoiin2Gen ICO Leaves ‘Zen Master’ Steven Seagal On Deadly Ground

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When future historians chronicle cryptocurrency’s ascendance into the mainstream, 2017 will likely be remembered as the year of the initial coin offering (ICO). Critics, though, have often complained that this nascent fundraising model has the industry Under Siege. But although a myriad of scams have left the ecosystem with Exit Wounds, ICO fundraising has proven

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Japanese Crypto Exchanges Tap Star Power for Marketing Arms Race

Japanese Crypto Exchanges Tap Star Power for Marketing Arms Race

Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges have been very active in advertising their services. Several exchanges including Bitflyer, DMM Bitcoin, Tech Bureau’s Zaif and the hacked exchange Coincheck have been tapping into star power and launching TV commercials with original music.

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

Japanese Exchanges’ TV Commercials

Japanese Crypto Exchanges Tap Star Power for Marketing Arms Race
Actress in Zaif’s commercials.

Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges have been actively advertising their businesses. Last week, Tech Bureau’s Zaif exchange joined Bitflyer, DMM Bitcoin, Bitrade, and Coincheck in tapping into Japan’s star power to promote its services.

According to CM Soken Consulting, a commercial researcher operated by Tokyo Kikaku Co, “the presence of TV commercials by cryptocurrency exchanges has significantly increased in the past year,” Japan Times reported. “Between Dec. 20 to Jan. 19, TV ads by Coincheck and Bitflyer were aired 819 times in the Kanto region, comparable to major firms such as Toyota Motor Corp, NTT Docomo Inc, and Mcdonald’s Japan.”

Japanese Crypto Exchanges Tap Star Power for Marketing Arms Race
Actress in DMM Bitcoin’s commercials.

The news outlet also pointed out that a huge billboard for “DMM Bitcoin featuring a Japanese celebrity coated in gold” is prominently displayed in Shibuya, one of the busiest and most famous shopping districts in Tokyo. “When I was in London I would see ads all over Facebook, but never on TV or in the streets like this,” a 20-year-old British tourist admitted as he stood beneath the billboard.

Kenji Harashima, a senior researcher specializing in financial technologies for the Mizuho Research Institute, was quoted:

Japanese exchanges are the most active in the world. Not only is this the result of tight regulations in China and South Korea, it is also because you can use leverage to make investments.

DMM Bitcoin, Bitflyer and Coincheck “have all advertised on web platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. These same exchanges have also aired TV commercials,” the publication added.

Tech Bureau’s Zaif

Last week, Tech Bureau which operates Zaif crypto exchange started broadcasting a commercial nationwide featuring Japanese actress, model, and singer Ayame Goriki. According to her Wikipedia page, she has been in 37 TV series and has appeared in 7 movies.

The 1-minute commercial also features an original song loosely translated as “Zaif for bitcoin” by a band called “Kaneko Mari & Zaif 2 Da Moon.” Zaif says that the nationwide promotion is aimed at increasing service awareness as well as “improving the image of the industry as a whole.”

Bitflyer

Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, Bitflyer, was the first to run TV commercials at the end of April of last year, according to Japan Times. At the time, the Japanese government had just legalized bitcoin as a legal method of payment.

Bitflyer hired Japanese actress and model Riko Narumi to be the company’s spokesmodel and appear in its commercials.

DMM Bitcoin

Japanese Crypto Exchanges Tap Star Power for Marketing Arms Race
DMM FX commercial featuring Laura.

DMM Group started advertising for its bitcoin exchange at the start of the year. The company launched a crypto exchange under the brand name DMM Bitcoin in January which supports 7 cryptocurrencies. Recently, it also launched a mining farm and a showroom in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.

DMM Bitcoin’s commercials feature an actress and model known as Laura and another actress called Rika Nakagawa. Laura has also been in other DMM Group’s commercials including those for the company’s foreign exchange arm, DMM FX.

Too Much Ad Spending?

Bittrade and Coincheck crypto exchanges have tapped into star power to advertise their businesses. Bittrade hired Japanese actress Ruriko Kojima to be its face. Coincheck hired popular local comedian Tetsuro Degawa. However, Coincheck’s ads were removed following the hack that cost the exchange 58 billion yen worth of NEM.

“Coincheck executives have admitted that they might have put more priority on attracting customers with ads rather than enhancing security,” Japan Times wrote and quoted SBI Holdings’ CEO Yoshitaka Kitao saying:

The thing that makes me the most angry is that they spent money on commercials that should have been spent on their systems.

The Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA), an industry group with over 150 members including Coincheck, has requested its members to “advertise responsibly.”

What do you think of Japanese crypto exchanges’ advertising strategies? Which ads do you like most? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Zaif, Bitflyer, and DMM Bitcoin.


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Israel Tax Authority: Bitcoin is Property, Not Currency

Israel Tax Authority: Bitcoin is Property, Not Currency

Israel Tax Authority issued a professional circular on February 19 (4 Adar 5768), clarifying the country’s tax policy on cryptocurrencies in general and bitcoin in particular. “Bitcoin and its like” are discussed in what’s referred to as a “final circular” on crypto and value-added tax (VAT) along with capital gains.

Also read: Switzerland Enacts ICO Guidelines

Israel VAT Good News on Crypto

“The Tax Authority’s position, which was expressed in the past, is [bitcoin is] a property, not a currency,” the Israeli agency clarified upfront. Israel is the economic jewel of Southwest Asia, routinely ranking alongside countries many multiples its size in terms of innovation and output. Punching above its weight in cryptocurrency as well, the country has grappled with bitcoin since at least 2013 in one form or another. Openness to the decentralized currency idea extends all the way to its current Prime Minister. Its tax policy might be not only a regional trendsetter but a world model.

Going forward, “For purposes of income tax – in accordance with the circular, a distributed means of payment is an asset, and therefore a person whose activity as aforesaid does not reach a business is only entitled to capital gains tax and the person whose activity in the field reaches a business (trade in a distributed method of payment and / Such a measure), tax will be paid as any business activity,” the circular noted, suggesting it was speaking to the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) policy as well.  

Value-added tax (VAT) in Israel is applied to most goods and services at the 17% mark, and electronic accounting for VAT is regulated by law in the country. As such, “a distributed means of payment is an intangible asset, and therefore anyone whose activity in the field is for investment purposes only, which does not reach a business, is not liable for VAT,” which leaves the average Israeli investor be, at least on that score.  

“A dealer whose receipts are accepted by means of a distributed payment method will be paid VAT according to his business activity,” however, “regardless of the manner of receipt, so that as a rule, VAT will not be paid; A person whose activity in a distributed means of payment reaches a business (from such trade) shall be classified as a financial institution; And those whose activities are mining, will be classified as a dealer for VAT purposes,” the agency explained.

Israel Tax Authority: Bitcoin is Property, Not Currency

Because bitcoin is an asset, property, it is subject to Israeli capital gains, which range to a high of 25 percent. Miners, if the implications remain, seem to be stuck with the worst of it, as they’re not only to pay capital gains but also VAT, which could boost their tax bill to some 42%.

What do you think about the Israeli plan? Let us know in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Pixabay.


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South Korea Govt Will Support Cryptocurrency Transactions: Financial Regulator

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The head of South Korea’s financial regulator and watchdog has now confirmed the government will support cryptocurrency trading while encouraging banks to facilitate transactions with exchanges, effectively killing any fears of a rumored ban. In noteworthy remarks made today, South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) chief Choe Heung-sik said the government will back the cryptocurrency … Continued

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PR: Hamster Marketplace Presents First Blockchain Platform to Sell Innovative Electronics

Hamster Marketplace for Electronics

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.

The launch of the ICO for Hamster Marketplace, the first decentralized retail platform offering gadgets and niche electronics. The project was created to directly connect small manufacturers of exclusive electronics with their target audience and to solve the central problems of retail: excess middlemen, high markups, and limited choices.

The dominance of major networks has led to a dissonance in online retail. The lion’s share of the market is currently concentrated in the hands of the giant retailers, who offer buyers a limited array of products. Individual manufacturers have no chance of breaking out onto the major sales platforms: it’s hard for them to compete with large suppliers and look-alike cheap products, and buyers are, in effect, deprived of choices.

Hamster Marketplace will help all talented manufacturers show off their products to an audience of a million strong that can appropriately value their inventions. Buyers will be able to find goods not available on other platforms and buy them at the manufacturers’ price. The retail platform will be managed by the vendors themselves, which will significantly decrease costs. What we will have here is a new open market free of middlemen and low-quality copycats.

“Many promising and ambitious electronics projects get stuck on the same step, the one that requires scaling business and production,” says CEO Denis Bulavin. “In a way, the developers find themselves “between Kickstarter and Amazon”: they can conduct a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, distribute the first batch, and still not find a permanent path to their buyers. Hamster Marketplace gives each manufacturer the opportunity to present their products to a target audience of a million. Benefits go to both the manufacturer and the buyer, who now owns a unique and useful item.”

The tech presented on the platform can be purchased for fiat currency, cryptocurrency, and HMT tokens. The project tokens offer several advantages: they provide a discount when purchasing, make it possible to sell without incurring the platform commission, give access to additional features, and much more. In addition, the number of HMT tokens is limited, which will maintain their value. The project team has also addressed the possibility that early token buyers or bounty hunters could sell them off in massive numbers on the exchange and thereby send the value off a cliff. Tokens distributed to the founders and team members will be frozen for up to 9 months. And for those who participate in the bounty program, an alternative bonus payout method has been devised: instead of tokens they can receive fiat currency (at an exchange rate of 1 HMT = $2).

The project is being developed by a professional team with a lot of experience in retail, IT, finance, and marketing. Experts with experience at top positions with Amazon and eBay are involved in the project. The Hamster Marketplace founder is entrepreneur Denis Bulavin, an electronics manufacturer and founder of a company that builds tablets and robots.

The token sale will last until March 19. In all, 10 million tokens, created under the Ethereum ERC20 standard, will be issued in this issuance. The project will distribute tokens as follows: 70% of the tokens are reserved for the crowdsale, 27.5% are reserved for rewarding the team, founders, advisors, and early buyers, and 2.5% will go to the bounty program. Coins not sold during the token sale will be destroyed after the ICO concludes, and no additional issuance is planned. The limited, constantly shrinking number of coins in circulation is one of the factors maintaining liquidity in HMT tokens.

The price of one token is $2. Coins can be bought during the ICO or on the secondary market after the token sale ends. Tokens may be purchased with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and several other common cryptocurrencies: BitcoinCash, EthereumClassic, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, Monero, Emercoin, Waves, and many others. The minimum purchase is just $10. Investors who have undergone verification will also be able to send and receive tokens with their hmstr.io and Ethereum wallets. The funds raised will be put toward launching and developing the Hamster Marketplace platform, as well as gathering a large community of vendors and buyers.

To read the White Paper, view the project roadmap, or buy tokens, you can visit the Hamster Marketplace website.

Contact Email Address
prdrofa.ltd@gmail.com
Supporting Link
https://hmstr.io

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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Bitcoin Will Be Taxed as an Asset: Israel Tax Authority

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Israel’s official tax authority has confirmed that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will be taxed as an asset with investors subject to capital gains tax. In an updated circular released on Monday, the Israel Tax Authority doubled down on its previous position of deeming cryptocurrencies as ‘assets’ rather than currencies. The authority first issued an early official … Continued

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Cryptocurrency Regulator Found Dead at His Home in South Korea

Cryptocurrency Regulator Found Dead at His Home in South Korea

South Korea has been a leading market for bitcoin over the last year or so in terms of adoption, trading volumes, and regulatory response. Now one of the top figures in the government associated with regulating cryptocurrency has passed away, with stress suspected to be a contributing cause.

Also Read: Polish Financial Authorities Paid Youtuber to Smear Cryptocurrency

South Korean Cryptocurrency Regulator

Cryptocurrency Regulator Found Dead at His Home in South KoreaJung Ki-joon, Head of the Economic Policy Coordination Office for the South Korean Government, has been found dead in his apartment in Seoul on Sunday morning. According to local reports he most likely passed away on Saturday night before his body was found by his family in the morning.

The official’s death is considered to be a shocking development in Korea as the man was only 52 years old and wasn’t known to be suffering from any life-threatening illnesses. Korean police forces have reportedly begun an investigation into the matter but the exact cause of his death cannot be confirmed until the police get a report from the coroner’s office.

Cryptocurrency Regulator Found Dead at His Home in South Korea
Yonhap News illustration.

Too Much Stress to Blame?

Cryptocurrency Regulator Found Dead at His Home in South KoreaSouth Korea became obsessed with all things crypto in 2017 and the local government saw it as its responsibility to protect citizens from the riskier aspects of the rapidly evolving ecosystem, from anonymous trading on exchanges to participating in ICOs and more. For a long while the country and its regulatory efforts dominated headlines in both cryptocurrency forums and mainstream financial media as it was widely speculated to be one of the leading factors in driving the price of bitcoin.

Back in late November of last year, the South Korean government decided on a regular meeting schedule of vice ministers, led by Hong Nam-ki, the minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, to discuss how to further regulate cryptocurrency transactions. Jung Ki-joon was in charge of coordinating the opinions of the different ministries and offices involved to prepare for the weekly meetings of Hong and relevant vice ministers. The late official is presumed to have suffered a heart attack in his sleep according to local media, and his colleagues are quoted as saying he had been under “heavy stress” since taking charge of these efforts.

How do you feel about this unexpected news? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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