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Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts

February 21, 2018 |

Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts

Just recently the startup Smartbtc announced the execution of a bitcoin-based smart contract written in the Python codebase. The team intended to grow their Twitter following by creating a contract that paid 0.011 BTC after it accrued 1,000 followers in sixty days. After the goal was met, Smartbtc’s Python contract executed on February 19.

Also read: United Bitcoin May Be the Most Controversial Fork to Date

Python Based Contracts Tethered to BTC Payouts

Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts Smartbtc is a platform that facilitates smart contracts tethered to BTC chain payouts, and contracts are written entirely in Python code. The contract’s programming considers the agreement fulfilled after the “def contract()” Python method returns ‘True.’ One thing to note is Smartbtc is a centralized service and contracts are executed periodically until it is fulfilled or it expires. Even though the contracts rely on a level of trust and Smartbtc’s servers, the developer believes a centralized type of contract infrastructure tied to BTC payments will still be needed. Smartbtc’s creator thinks existing financial institutions and average users will gravitate towards these types of maintained agreements as opposed to a system that’s entirely decentralized. Even smart contracts written in Ethereum’s Solidity codebase require a level of trust in the autonomous nature alongside putting faith in codebase audits. 

Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts
Smartbtc’s Python contract platform.

Helping Entrepreneurs Pay for Results

The application fees are calculated by the agreement period and execution interval which can be anywhere between 1-2 percent. If the contract obligation is not fulfilled the owner will be charged 0.5 percent of the arrangement cost and the rest of the sum is returned back to the originator. “If the smart contract is fulfilled the promisee will get the specified amount minus the miner fee,” explains Smartbtc’s website FAQ. The application’s code is available for review on Github and the Twitter following Python commitment was designed to showcase the platform’s ability to execute.     

“On our platform, smart contracts are written entirely in python code, to make it extra easy to write and understand,” explains the developer. “First things we have to set are: amount, receiver (contract promisee), python version (only 2.7 is supported now), how often should the contract execute (execution interval) and the duration of the contract (contract period).”

We help entrepreneurs pay for results, and to make sure the people that provide valuable services get paid every time they do amazing jobs.

Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts
The executed Twitter follower contract.

Contracts Don’t Have to be Difficult to Write

For the specific Twitter arrangement, the software collaborated with a Twitter API to get the approximate Twitter follower count and utilized ‘pip’ for install requests. Contracts cannot be seen by anyone, but if a person is provided with the contract’s link they will gain access and can view the deal. The Python commitments also have execution limits that are 500 MB of memory, a 30-second execution timeout, and 5 GB of disk space. Moreover, contracts cannot be terminated unless they are fulfilled or the obligations expire. There is no other way of terminating it ahead of schedule,” the company emphasizes.

Of course, some individuals take issue with the fact that Smartbtc’s services are centralized but the creators believe there are many cryptocurrency firms like Coinbase, Bitpay, and others that require a form of central trust.

“The idea I was trying to portray is that smart contracts don’t have to be difficult to write, hard to understand and limited in functionality,” Smartbtc’s creator details. “I find the idea amazing that somebody can pay somebody else if a piece of code returns the right thing — This project is how I thought I could help the community.”

What do you think about Smartbtc’s services? Do you think some individuals and businesses will seek out centrally executed contracts such as these? Let us know what you think about this platform in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.
Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned 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 this article.


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The post Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto Companies

February 21, 2018 |

Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto Companies

Public consultations on a new regulatory regime for crypto companies in Italy are now closed. Interested parties were invited by the Ministry of Economy and Finance to share suggestions and comments on a draft decree introducing registration and reporting requirements in the sector. The new set of rules will come into force within 3 months of adoption.

Also read: Spain Mulls Tax Breaks for Blockchain and Crypto Firms

Italy Trying to Understand the Phenomenon

Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto CompaniesThe ministerial decree has been designed to “explore and understand the various aspects of the virtual currency phenomenon”. The legal document, aimed at implementing Italy’s updated and “strengthened” anti-money laundering laws, was published by MEF’s Treasury Department on February 2. Interested parties had two weeks to express their opinions and suggest amendments.

In May 2017 the Italian government issued another decree requiring “service providers related to the use of virtual currency”, like exchanges, to fulfil their obligations to prevent money laundering and illicit crypto transactions. The new document introduces additional responsibilities for crypto businesses. They will have to report regularly their activities to the Finance Ministry.

The text of the proposed decree clarifies that although cryptocurrency is used as a “means of exchange for the purchase of goods and services”, it is not issued by a central bank or other public authority. The embedded disclaimer also states that cryptos are “not necessarily connected to a currency that is a legal tender”.

Exchanges and Merchants to Register and Report

The new notification regime will also be applicable to commercial companies accepting cryptocurrency payments for goods, services and utilities. The Ministry wants to conduct a “systematic survey” starting with determining the number of operators in the sector. Upon commencing activity, every company should register with the Italian Agency of Intermediaries OAM in order to operate legally in the country.

Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto Companies

The Department of the Treasury has already completed a preliminary evaluation of the technical specifications for the register, the Ministry of Finance said in a press release. The new regulatory regime is to be launched within 3 months after the decree enters into force. Its implementation responds to the need to understand the new phenomenon and its dimensions, said Roberto Ciciani, Head of the General Directorate for Prevention of Financial Crimes.

Regulators point out that the revised Italian legal framework will comply with the latest EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive – 5MLD, which introduces stricter rules to prevent financial crimes. The previous directive was adopted in Italy on May 25 last year.

The use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by individuals remains largely unregulated in Italy. However, a law requiring identification of parties in crypto transactions has been introduced in the parliament. In 2016 the Italian tax authority Agenzia delle Entrate stated that cryptocurrency purchases and sales are exempt from VAT. With some limitations, personal crypto holdings and gains from transactions do not generate taxable income.

Do you think the new requirements for Italian companies to register and report will lead to more restrictions or to legalization of the crypto sector? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter.


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The post Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto Companies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Venezuela Says Pre-Sale of Oil-Backed Petro Cryptocurrency Has Raised $735 Million

February 21, 2018 |

Venezuela Says Pre-Sale of Oil-Backed Petro Cryptocurrency Now Available

Venezuela has announced that the pre-sale of its oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, has attracted $ 735 million on the first day. The government has also published a buyer’s manual and confirmed that buyers can use “hard currencies and cryptocurrencies, but not bolivars.”

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

Petro Pre-Sale Starts

The private pre-sale of Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, was scheduled for February 20 at 8:30 am (Venezuela time 04:00 UTC), according to the petro’s whitepaper. However, at midnight local time on February 20, the government announced that the petro pre-sale had started and published a buyer’s manual as well as an anti-money laundering (AML) compliance manual.

Venezuela Says Pre-Sale of Oil-Backed Petro Cryptocurrency Now Available
Petro’s pre-sale launch event.

A total of 82.4 million petro tokens are offered for the pre-sale phase, the whitepaper details. The country’s vice president, Tareck El Aissami, confirmed from Miraflores Palace on Monday, “The petro cryptocurrency tokens can be purchased by Venezuelan nationals as well as other foreign nationals.”

The Superintendent of Cryptocurrencies, Carlos Vargas, was quoted by Telesur TV:

The presale and initial offer will be made in hard currencies and cryptocurrencies, but not bolivars…Our responsibility is to put (the petro) in the best hands and then a secondary market will appear.

Interested buyers can visit the Etherdelta platform to place private orders to the Ethereum address given by the Superintendent. However, at the time of this writing, no orders have been matched and no prices are displayed on the price chart. This could be due to technical glitches in the buying process such as a Javascript error which prevents users from completing their purchases.

Venezuela Says Pre-Sale of Oil-Backed Petro Cryptocurrency Now Available

According to the Minister for University Education, Science and Technology, Hugbel Roa, the traffic to the petro website “quintupled with the global announcement of the pre-sale of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency,” shortly after midnight local time.

Venezuela Says Pre-Sale of Oil-Backed Petro Cryptocurrency Now Available
Hugbel Roa’s traffic chart for the petro’s website.

Despite technical challenges, Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, claimed:

Venezuela had received $ 735 million in the first day of a pre-sale of the country’s “petro.”

Instructions to Buy the Petro

Venezuela Says Pre-Sale of Oil-Backed Petro Cryptocurrency Now Available
Maduro announcing petro’s pre-sale.

“The only thing needed for the petro is to open a digital petro wallet,” according to the petro’s website. “Once opened, your wallet will generate an email address that you can share with anyone who wants to transfer PTR to your wallet. You will be able to receive and deposit your PTRs in this email address.”

The buyer’s manual details a step-by-step process of how to register and gain access to a petro wallet, which requires prospective buyers to download a zipped, self-deleting installation file. “The data package for the creation of the digital wallet is configured to self-destruct once the installation is complete,” the instructions warn.

Alongside the steps to register and install the petro wallet, the manual goes over protecting users’ private keys but stopped short of asking users to generate a public key, which would be needed for any kind of cryptocurrency deposit. More curiously, however, was the vague announcement regarding the use of the NEM blockchain:

The Blockchain launched by the Venezuelan State has robust security mechanisms since its programming elements are related to a technological platform called: NEM blockchain.

The cryptocurrency NEM, which uses centralized servers running closed-source code, has recently been in the news frequently following the hack of one of the largest Japanese crypto exchanges, Coincheck, which lost 58 billion yen (~USD$ 539 million) worth of the cryptocurrency.

Do you (still) want to buy the petro? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.


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The post Venezuela Says Pre-Sale of Oil-Backed Petro Cryptocurrency Has Raised $ 735 Million appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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ICOs Have Raised $2 Billion This Year – Mostly from Private Sales

February 21, 2018 |

ICOs Have Raised $  2 Billion This Year – Mostly from Private Sales

Despite the quality of this year’s initial crowd offerings being patchy at best, investors’ appetite for them remains unsated. $ 2 billion has been raised already, placing 2018 on course to comfortably surpass 2017’s total of $ 5.7 billion. But with the structure of these sales now geared increasingly towards private investors, the public have been left to fight for the scraps. Data shows that 84% of all ICO fundraising this year has come from private and presales.

Also read: Crypto Index Fund Bitwise Delivers 45% Return in First Two Months

Private Sales Are Helping the Rich Get Richer

When crowdsales first emerged, they were presented as a democratic means of raising funds and creating a diverse, engaged community. For a while, that’s more or less how it played out, but in 2018 the ICO landscape has changed. Last year, private investors still got first dibs on the best crowdsales – BAT was notorious for selling out in minutes after a handful of whales took their fill of tokens – but this year, the public sale is almost an afterthought. All the action is taking place at the pre- and private stage, leaving slim pickings for the crowds.

ICOs Have Raised $  2 Billion This Year – Mostly from Private Sales

Recent figures released by Tokendata show that of the $ 1.97 billion invested in ICOs this year, $ 1.63 billion – or 84% – went to private investors. Moreover, this data doesn’t take into account the reported $ 850 million being raised in the Telegram private sale, an event so exclusive that only the biggest of the big shots are invited. Telegram’s $ 600 million pre-sale finishes at the end of February, but already investors are supposedly flipping their token allocation for as much as 2x. Projects such as this are good for helping the rich get richer, but they fail to give the platform’s users a stake in the project.

ICOs Dispense Modest Gains

Of the 94 ICOs Tokendata has been tracking this year, 28 now have tokens available for trading on exchanges. At this stage, the average ROI for tokens purchased via ICO and sold on an exchange is a mere 2.17x, and the return on ETH is just 0.75x. In other words, it would have been more profitable in many cases to hold onto ether since the start of the year than it would have been to swap it for tokens. It’s still early days of course, and there’s plenty of time for the crop of 2018 to come good.

ICOs Have Raised $  2 Billion This Year – Mostly from Private Sales

Thanks to the generous discounts applied during pre-sales, it’s a lot easier for private investors to turn a profit than it is for public sale participants. Moreover, with pre-sale tokens often ending up on decentralized exchanges immediately, the role of the public sale has been relegated to a footnote. On paper, crowdsales are more popular than ever. But in reality, their biggest benefactors are the 1% with the connections and the capital to profit.

Do you think it’s unhealthy for ICO tokens to be snapped up predominantly by private investors? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Tokendata.


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The post ICOs Have Raised $ 2 Billion This Year – Mostly from Private Sales appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Tim Draper on Bitcoin: “Why Would I Sell the Future for the Past?”

February 21, 2018 |

Tim Draper on Bitcoin: “Why Would I Sell the Future for the Past?”

One of the most intriguing things about the cryptocurrency space is the diverse, eclectic, and often eccentric characters it attracts. Everyone from Wall Street brokers to cypherpunks and from industrialists to anarchists can be found staking their claim in the fledgling crypto economy and saying their piece. In a recent interview, venture capitalist Tim Draper was on fine form, producing a number of memorable quotes which encapsulate the bullish mood permeating the cryptoverse once more.

Also read: Kathleen Breitman: Tezos Will “Go Rogue” and Launch Soon

Hodling the Future in Place of the Past

“I think bitcoin is the future currency,” opined Tim Draper on Thursday. In a typically upbeat interview, the entrepreneur, whose net worth has been placed at $ 1 billion, had a lot of nice things to say about bitcoin. In the most quoted segment of his Bloomberg interview, Draper reasoned, ““People ask me, ‘Are you going to sell your bitcoin [for fiat]?’ and I say, ‘Why would I sell the future for the past?’” This augments previous remarks when Draper was quoted as saying: “I don’t know why anyone would want to go back to fiat when crypto is distributed, secure and global, while fiat is subject to the whims of political forces”.

Tim Draper on Bitcoin: “Why Would I Sell the Future for the Past?”While bitcoin’s status as a pure currency is a matter of some debate, it and the crypto assets it shares a space with are forming a new class of wealth storage and money transfer that offers a viable alternative to the status quo. Like most business moguls who are heavily invested in crypto – Michael Novogratz; the Winklevoss twins – Draper is very bullish about where bitcoin is going. The 59-year-old made his money at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the venture capital firm famed for its investment in billion-dollar startups.

Fortune Favors the Brave

More than 30 years since Draper founded his company, which oversees assets of $ 5 billion, he’s reinvented himself as a crypto entrepreneur willing to put his money where his mouth is. An entrant in Forbes’ recent Crypto Rich List, Draper made much of his crypto wealth through having the perspicacity to snap up the Silk Road bitcoins auctioned by U.S. Marshals in 2014. He was fortunate, of course, to have the capital and the accreditation required to acquire those 32,000 bitcoins, which now look like a snip at $ 18 million.

Tim Draper on Bitcoin: “Why Would I Sell the Future for the Past?”For all the success that foray brought him, Draper’s immersement in all things crypto hasn’t been without its controversies. A high profile backer of Tezos, he’s been forced on the defensive as delays have dragged on and the lawsuits have piled up. One of the biggest bones of contention with the Tezos affair is the extent to which bitcoin has since grown in value. This has benefited Tezos but has done nothing for the investors who parted with their BTC last year on the promise of XTZ tokens.

When questioned about bitcoin’s volatility on Bloomberg, Draper brushed aside suggestions that this was a turn-off for “regular people”. Instead, he chose to focus on the confidence he has in bitcoin, averring: “My bitcoin is more secure than my dollars in the banks…my bitcoin is very secure”. While some entrepreneurs, most notably Steve Wozniak, have conceded that the rough and tumble of the cryptocurrency markets is not for them, Tim Draper seems to be enjoying the ride, and has no intention of selling “the future for the past”.

Do you think Tim Draper is correct to call bitcoin the currency of the future? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Wikipedia.


Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables near-instant, low-cost payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network. Read all about it at wiki.Bitcoin.com.

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US Federal Authorities Arrest Man for Selling 9.99 Bitcoin

February 20, 2018 |

US Federal Authorities Arrest Man for Selling 9.99 Bitcoin

If you are thinking about selling bitcoin for cash inside the Unites States to people you don’t know, caution is advised. A reminder to stay alert for undercover government agents who might try to entrap you has been served by a recent California case.

Also Read: Cryptocurrency Regulator Found Dead at His Home in South Korea

Another Bitcoin Arrest in the US

US Federal Authorities Arrest Man for Selling 9.99 Bitcoin
ICE Headquarters in Washington, DC

An American citizen was arrested earlier this month for selling bitcoin by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, the federal government law enforcement body under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Homeland Security.

According to case records from the Southern District Court of California, Morgan Rockcoons (aka Morgan Rockwell) is accused of laundering monetary instruments and the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business. The government also seeks the forfeiture of all his assets related to the matter, the records further show.

Abusing Hash Power?

US Federal Authorities Arrest Man for Selling 9.99 BitcoinWith regards to the money laundering count, the defendant is accused of knowingly conducting a financial transaction with a law enforcement officer for the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity. He allegedly exchanged 9.998 bitcoin (than valued at about $ 9,208) with an undercover agent for $ 14,500 in fiat that he was told was the proceeds of manufacturing and distributing “hash oil” (an oil containing tetrahydrocannabinols). THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis and listed as a controlled substance under Schedule I by US federal law.

As for the count regarding the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business, it is a more broad accusation which the US authorities can apparently pin on any individual who trades in larger amounts of bitcoin not on an approved exchange. In a previous case where a Localbitcoins user from Michigan was charged, an agent claimed that any transaction of $ 3,000 or more must comply with know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.

What steps can off-exchange bitcoin traders take to stay safe from criminals and the police? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

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Bangladesh Authorities on “Hunt” for Bitcoin Traders

February 20, 2018 |

Bangladesh Authorities on "Hunt" for Bitcoin Traders

Bangladesh – one of the few countries presently attempting to enforce a ban on cryptocurrency trading and use – has announced that several major state institutions will begin ramping up efforts to crack down on bitcoin adoption among Bangladeshi citizens.

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

Bangladesh Central Bank Warns Financial Institutions Against Cryptocurrency Users

Bangladesh Authorities on "Hunt" for Bitcoin TradersBangladesh Bank officials have again issued a warning pertaining to cryptocurrencies, this time seeking to deter the country’s banks from providing services to bitcoin users.

An official from the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) told reporters that “Banks and other financial organizations of the country have been ordered to maintain a strict vigil on cryptocurrency trading. A circular will soon be sent out detailing the matter,” adding “There is no way to purchase these currencies legally through banking channels. Cybercrime investigators are working on the matter.”

Bangladeshi Authorities on “Hunt” for Bitcoin Traders

Bangladesh Authorities on "Hunt" for Bitcoin TradersInvestigators from the BFIU are reported to “have already begun to look for bitcoin traders,” with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) allegedly aiding said investigations. Officials representing the BFIU and BTRC have held four meetings regarding cryptocurrency so far.

Nazmul Islam, the assistant deputy commissioner of Bangladesh’s cybercrime unit, stated “We have already located a few bitcoin users, and are on the hunt for more, along with a few web pages which are being checked for authenticity. Investigating cryptocurrency trading is a complex matter.”

A high ranking official from Bangladesh’s central bank also indicated that the country’s Foreign Exchange Police Department, among other state institutions, is actively monitoring bitcoin – with a report soon expected to be delivered to the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the impacts and potential policy ramifications of virtual currencies.

Cryptocurrency Use Prohibited in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Authorities on "Hunt" for Bitcoin TradersLocal media has reported that “the trading and usage” of cryptocurrency remains “rampant” in Bangladesh, despite the central bank’s announcement at the end of 2017, revealing the country’s prohibition on bitcoin use.

In addition to groups devoted to facilitating peer to peer trading proliferating on social media platforms, Dhaka Tribune states “Localbitcoins.com says that [crypto]currencies are being traded in Bangladesh through banks, bKash, Rocket, and other methods of mobile banking.”

What is your response to Bangladeshi authorities seeking to “hunt” bitcoin traders? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Israeli Bitcoin Company Sues Banks for Not Letting it Open Accounts

February 20, 2018 |

Israeli Bitcoin Company Sues Banks for Not Letting it Open Accounts

An Israeli company that was created in January has gotten its business rejected by all banks in the country, and is now suing them. Without a bank account, an Israeli exchange would not be able to legally receive fiat transfers from clients, effectively preventing it from starting operations.

Also Read: Israel Tax Authority: Bitcoin is Property, Not Currency

Banking Cartel

Israeli Bitcoin Company Sues Banks for Not Letting it Open AccountsBitflash LTD, a new Israeli company which was established to provide digital currency trading services based in Acre, has asked the Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday to order all 11 banks in the country to open a current account without credit for it. The company claims that the banks’ refusal to open an account for it is in violation of the law and shows lack of good faith, as some of them manage similar accounts for competing companies.

The lawsuit states that there is a concern that the banks have illegally incorporated as a cartel and unjustifiably prevent the opening of the account to the plaintiff, thus thwarting its activity and causing it ever increasing damages on every passing day it is unable to operate. Unfortunately for Bitflash, the court ruled last year that a bank can refuse to work with a bitcoin exchange in the case of Bits of Gold vs. Leumi. However, by focusing on the banks as a cartel instead of each individually the company might persuade the court that they should not have the collective power to prevent the growth of a new industry.

Banks All Say No

Israeli Bitcoin Company Sues Banks for Not Letting it Open AccountsAccording to Bitflash, since its establishment over a month ago, it approached a number of branches of each Israeli banking corporation for the purpose of opening an account, but was outright refused on the grounds that its business in digital currencies is not to the liking of branch managers. In some of the branches the company was told explicitly that “the bank’s policy is not to open accounts for those who deal with digital currencies, regardless of the nature of the business.”

According to the plaintiff, through its attorney Alon Huberman, the company emphasized to the representatives of the banks that it has no need for credit, its account will be in perpetual positive credit balance, and that it needs only a current account that will allow the transfer of money from its clients inside Israel to its account. According to company, some of the banks justified the refusal by claiming that they would not be able to trace the source of the funds deposited in the company’s account, but even after it was made clear to them that the account would only be used to transfer funds from individuals and entities with a bank account at the same bank, removing this fear completely, they still refused.

Should banks be allowed to refuse to open accounts for bitcoin companies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

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”Zen Master” Steven Seagal Eyes Up a Replacement for Bitcoin

February 20, 2018 |

Steven Seagal Eyes Up a Replacement for Bitcoin

Steven Seagal is eyeing up a cryptocurrency to replace bitcoin. Bitcoiin – count those I’s – may look and sound similar to bitcoin, but is very different. It runs on the Ethereum network, confusingly, and boasts “zen master” Steven Seagal as its brand ambassador. To add to the confusion, Bitcoiin with two I’s sports a website that’s one letter away from this one and styled in the same colors. The whole affair could be dismissed as another crypto joke, were it not for a tweet from Seagal’s official account throwing his considerable weight behind the project.

Also read: The ICO Scam Train Arrives in Sweden – Meet “Starflow”

Dotting the I’s and Crossing the T’s

Steven Seagal Eyes Up a Replacement for BitcoinBitcoin has survived all kinds of foes, but in Steven Seagal it may have met its biggest threat yet. The man who spent his professional life beating up bad guys has one final boss in his sights: bitcoin. If Seagal has his way, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency will be dealt a lethal one-two combo courtesy of bitcoiin2gen (B2G).

Pronounced, presumably, in the same manner was one would pronounce bitconeeeeeeect, bitcoiin is being billed as the ultimate sequel that will be “bigger and better” than the original. Naturally there’s an ICO, a white paper, and a roadmap which speaks of $ 50 million of venture capital being raised in September of last year. Apparently $ 50 million isn’t enough to launch a cryptocurrency these days. With “unlimited potential clients” and a “worldwide network approach”, Bitcoiin is quite the groundbreaking project.

Zen Master Zteven’s version of Bitcoin.

A Token Project with a Token Ambassador

News.bitcoin.com will refrain from linking to the site to prevent link confusion, though the curious are welcome to explore Bitcoiin dot com for themselves. With a four-tier ICO referral scheme, Bitcoiin is a literal pyramid. As for what happens after the ICO, hypothetically at least, the main event is December 2018, when B2G is projected to be trading at the curiously precise price of $ 388 a token – and ‘token’ is the key word here, for this is an ERC20 project.

Steven Seagal Eyes Up a Replacement for BitcoinAnyone trying to wrap their head around Bitcoiin may wish to scrutinize the official press release. Scam, spoof, or ‘legitimate’ project, it makes little difference: all that matters is Steven Seagal is fronting an ICO named Bitcoiin. It seems strangely fitting that the star of Exit Wounds and Above the Law should wind up promoting a dubious cryptocurrency. The twilight of the 65-year-old’s career has been dogged with sexual misconduct allegations. Bitcoiin could be the final nail in the coffin for the Marked for Death actor.

What do you make of Bitcoiin and Steven Seagal’s involvement in crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Israel Tax Authority: Bitcoin is Property, Not Currency

February 20, 2018 |

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.


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