Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

| August 23, 2019

Scroll to top

Top

news.bitcoin.com Archives - Page 3 of 568 -

Philippines Increasingly Crypto Friendly – A Look at Driving Forces

August 18, 2019 |

Philippines Growing More Crypto Friendly - A Look at Driving Forces

There are many reasons why the Philippines is becoming increasingly crypto-friendly. Not only has its central bank registered more crypto exchanges recently, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has also been actively finalizing crypto guidelines. The country has an active crypto community, and one of its largest banks has engaged in multiple crypto projects.

Also read: Central Banks Worldwide Testing Their Own Digital Currencies

Rising Number of Crypto Exchanges

The number of approved crypto exchanges has been increasing in the Philippines. The country’s central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), has registered 13 of them so far: Betur Inc. dba Coins.ph, Rebittance Inc., Bloomsolutions Inc., Virtual Currency Philippines Inc., Etranss Remittance International Corp., Fyntegrate Inc., Zybi Tech Inc., Bexpress Inc., Coinville Phils Inc., Aba Global Philippines Inc., Bitan Moneytech Co. Ltd., Telcoin Corp., and Atomtrans Tech Corp. The latter two were added to the BSP’s list of approved exchanges last month.

The central bank adopted a formal regulatory approach to cryptocurrency through the issuance of Circular No. 944 back in 2017. It requires businesses engaged in the exchange of cryptocurrencies for fiat money in the Philippines to register with the central bank as remittance and transfer companies.

Philippines Growing More Crypto Friendly – A Look at Driving Forces

Among the registered companies is Rebittance Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI), a fintech company building a blockchain ecosystem in the Philippines. Co-founder Miguel Cuneta told news.Bitcoin.com that, besides the 13 registrants, many others are in “in the process of applying.”

In addition, the Philippines has a special economic zone where many overseas crypto exchanges have been licensed to operate. The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) revealed in June that it had licensed 37 crypto exchange operators. In collaboration with property developer Northern Star Gaming and Resorts, the authority has been building “Crypto Valley of Asia” for companies operating in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport. However, CEZA’s licenses do not entitle licensees to “sell securities to Filipinos or to exchange tokens into fiat currency,” the authority clarified, noting that a BSP license is needed for such purpose.

Growing More Crypto-Friendly

Cuneta further shared with news.Bitcoin.com that he believes “The Philippines has always been one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world,” highlighting several factors.

Firstly, he emphasized that the Philippines is “one of the first in the whole world” where the central bank registers companies wanting to provide services using cryptocurrency. The BSP started registering them in 2017, the same year Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), began registering Japanese crypto exchanges. The FSA has registered 19 operators to legally operate crypto exchanges in Japan so far. Moreover, Cuneta elaborated:

We also now have new draft guidelines from our own SEC on ICO fundraising and order-book exchange regulations, paving the way for a more mature ecosystem with our own crypto marketplace for local price discovery.

The SCI co-founder additionally remarked that his country has “an active community and active meetup groups established since 2014.” He also acknowledged that CEZA “allows overseas crypto companies to register and cater to offshore customers.” After conveying various reasons for the crypto savvy image of the country, he concluded that “Definitely, the Philippines is becoming more and more crypto-friendly.”

Philippines Growing More Crypto Friendly – A Look at Driving Forces

Luis Buenaventura, founder and chief strategy officer at Bloomsolutions Inc., shares a similar sentiment. Describing his country as “one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world,” he told news.Bitcoin.com: “Not only do we have an actual regulatory framework for crypto exchanges, but we’re also a predominantly English-speaking population that can use all the same tools and apps as North American or European audiences with minimal localization. Thus we tend to be a launchpad for U.S. startups looking to expand in the region.”

As an example, he mentioned popular mobile bitcoin wallet and investing app Abra. The startup has been offering its crypto-to-fiat conversion network in the Philippines since 2016, trialing it in the country first, before expanding to others. Many Filipinos are also trading bitcoin cash on Bitcoin.com’s peer-to-peer marketplace.

Crypto Adoption Advancing

Buenaventura estimates that there are approximately two million people in the Philippines who have had some exposure to crypto; some were “caught up in the buying frenzy of late 2017.” He further shared with news.Bitcoin.com:

We have a fairly sizable expat population, mostly Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese so there’s a lot of cross-pollination when it comes to financial technologies and payment systems.

Cuneta also believes that crypto adoption is growing in the Philippines, “at least in terms of the number of on-ramps and off-ramps we have for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country,” he explained to news.Bitcoin.com. “You can send money, pay bills, buy phone credits, and exchange crypto to fiat using several central-bank licensed exchanges and service providers.”

Philippines Growing More Crypto Friendly – A Look at Driving Forces

Another factor recognized by the SCI co-founder was that “Banks and other business are also more comfortable working with companies that are licensed by the central bank, unlike when we were starting out in 2014 and banks would just shut down our accounts as soon as they found out we are dealing with bitcoin.” He continued, “In terms of user adoption, we see more sophisticated and knowledgeable users, traders, and enthusiasts as compared to the speculative mania of 2017.”

While asserting that “Bitcoin-as-retail-payment has never caught on here,” Buenaventura opined:

Less than 2% of payments in the Philippines happens digitally so the importance of creating cash-to-crypto bridges can’t be overstated.

Stressing the growing number of places where “people can actively exchange physical cash for crypto,” he disclosed that his company “powers about a dozen physical locations, and they’re all licensed FX outlets, and we’re aiming to be in 50 by the end of the year.”

Unionbank’s Crypto Initiatives

The Union Bank of the Philippines (Unionbank), one of the largest banks in the country, has engaged in a couple of crypto projects. Following the installation of a bitcoin ATM at its branch in Makati called The Ark, the bank has reportedly launched a stablecoin.

The Philippine Star reported on July 26 that Unionbank had issued “a stablecoin dubbed PHX and became the first bank in the country to conduct transactions using the blockchain technology.” This stablecoin is not to be confused with the Red Pulse Phoenix coin which uses the same symbol. Unionbank backs the value of its coin, which is guaranteed to be at parity with the Philippine peso at all times, the publication conveyed.

Philippines Growing More Crypto Friendly – A Look at Driving Forces

A senior vice president and head of the fintech business group at Unionbank, Arvie de Vera, revealed that live PHX transactions were implemented on the bank’s i2i platform. Project i2i, which stands for island-to-island, institution-to-institution, and individual-to-individual, is the bank’s clearing system that connects rural banks through blockchain technology. Three banks participated: Summit Rural Bank in Luzon, Progressive Bank in Visayas and Cantilan Bank in Mindanao. Each performed buy, transfer, redemption transactions and domestic remittances using the stablecoin. Initially available only to i2i participants, the coin can be purchased and redeemed by debiting from and crediting directly to their Unionbank accounts. According to de Vera:

PHX is a stable store of value, medium of exchange and is a programmable token with self-executing logic. It enables transparent and automatic execution of payments.

Philippines Growing More Crypto Friendly – A Look at Driving Forces

SEC’s Digital Asset Exchange Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines has published a document entitled Rules on Digital Asset Exchange, which primarily governs the registration and operations of digital asset exchanges accessible in or from the Philippines.

The document has 10 main sections covering areas such as registration requirements, anti-money laundering measures, as well as the powers and responsibilities of digital asset exchanges, including capitalization maintenance requirements. “The digital asset exchange shall maintain the unimpaired paid-up capital of one hundred million pesos (Php 100,000,000.00 [~$ 1,912,450]) at all times … in a form, and amount as the Commission determines is sufficient to ensure the financial integrity of the digital asset exchange and its operations,” the SEC document reads.

Stakeholders, exchanges, broker-dealers, investment houses, the investing public, and other interested parties had until Aug. 14 to submit their input regarding the proposed rules.

What do you think of the Philippines’ crypto ecosystem? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post Philippines Increasingly Crypto Friendly – A Look at Driving Forces appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

IRS Revoking Passports Shows How Government Erodes Everything We Hold Dear

August 17, 2019 |

Government Parasitism - Why Crypto, Geo-Mobility and Sustenance Are Critical

If you have outstanding tax debt, the IRS may now want to take your passport. For U.S. crypto holders still waiting on promised IRS guidelines for filing — especially those overseas who may have missed these warning memos — the over 400,000 agency notifications issued since February last year are troubling. This kind of behavior from government is nothing new, however, but an oft-repeating pattern of parasitism which sucks value from producers of goods, services and surplus, and punishes progress.

Also Read: Elon Musk Supports Yang – But Does Andrew Yang Really Support Bitcoin?

True Tyranny Is Vague

It has been said that the most cruel and insufferable forms of tyranny are not those with the most rules, but those with the rules that are the most unclear. Even under extremely unfair and unjust law, if one knows what is expected, one can often survive. It’s the proverbial drunken hand of the volatile, abusive caregiver, who one day is reserved about some small matter, and the next flies into a violent rage about the same, which is truly the crushing burden to bear. In the case of the caregiver, old, unaddressed emotional wounds are likely to blame. In the case of the state, the leveraging of ambiguity to produce fear is intentional.

In May, IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig wrote in a statement: “We have been considering these issues and intend to publish guidance addressing these [crypto issues] and other issues soon.” To date, no such guidance on filing crypto taxes has been issued. What has been issued, however, are vague threats and warnings to crypto holders and traders.

IRS Revoking Passports Shows How Government Erodes Everything We Hold Dear
IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig has announced that letters will be sent to crypto holders who may have misreported or neglected to file, even in the absence of promised guidelines.

Since February, 2018, notifications have been going out to over 400,000 taxpayers who owe more than $ 51,000 (recently adjusted to $ 52,000) in overdue taxes. Since June this year, letters specifically targeting crypto holders have been issued. These letters also clarified inexplicably that, contrary to Rettig and the IRS’s previous statements, crypto is not simply treated as a property under U.S. policy. Every transaction except for buying crypto with fiat is a taxable event.

Expats, who may not have gotten these letters due to residing overseas, could potentially have their passports revoked. Those attempting to visit the U.S. may find themselves trapped in an airport, now without a recognized nationality, unable to return home to their families overseas should they set off alarm bells at immigration. Such mobility-stifling measures are a key means to contain and control financial assets, as the value creators moving them are then unable to relocate to more favorable economic climes.

IRS Revoking Passports Shows How Government Erodes Everything We Hold Dear

The Attack on Sustenance

But, where there’s blood, there will be ticks. Where there’s self-sufficiency, surplus and charity, the government will be there to suck it dry. Attacking the geo-mobility of wealth holders through passport revocation is one desperate way to do this. But that’s not where the punishment of productivity ends, of course.

Much like the free exchange of bitcoin in the financial realm, being able to grow one’s own food is a major threat to the forced dependency of government. States worldwide have a long, continuing history of destroying food for price regulation, and shutting down private businesses serving their communities.

Just last month, for example, the U.K.’s sole organic hemp farming co-op was forced to destroy its crop worth an estimated £480,000 (~$ 583,000) due to licensing issues. The group, Hempen, states it had been completely forthright and transparent with officials, who had seen no problems for years until recently, suddenly deciding to revoke their license. The rationale for the revocation is of course, defined in tyrannically vague terms.

According to a BBC report, Hempen co-founder Patrick Gillen, lamenting the waste of potential tax revenue and benefits to the country from his products, stated:

Instead of capitalising on the booming CBD industry, the Home Office’s bureaucracy is leading British farmers to destroy their own crops, and millions of pounds’ worth of CBD flowers are being left to rot in the fields.

IRS Revoking Passports Shows How Government Erodes Everything We Hold Dear
U.S. price control regulations have repeatedly forced Michigan cherry farmers to destroy massive portions of their produce.

Historically, the New Deal legislation of the Great Depression (which also included the abandonment of the gold standard and a mandatory surrender of privately held gold) made these types of practices a norm in the U.S., when regulations were introduced in a bid to protect prices. John Steinbeck describes the travesty in sobering fashion, in his classic novel, “The Grapes of Wrath”:

And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges … A million people hungry, needing the fruit- and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains … And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange.

Though fiction, the novel describes actual events that took place during that tragic era. These wasteful practices continue in the U.S. today. After being ordered to dump 30 million pounds of cherries to rot on the ground in 2009, for example, Michigan cherry farmer Rob Manigold echoed Steinbeck’s words:

The food pantry shelves are bare, people going hungry, and here we are dumping millions of pounds of cherries on the ground.

Arguments for such massive waste based on “the greater good” or “necessary regulation” don’t hold up to economic principle or moral scrutiny, as stifling production where demand is present is irrational, unless justified by one class of individuals possessing a supposed right to determine what others may or may not do with their own bodies or property, which is slavery.

IRS Revoking Passports Shows How Government Erodes Everything We Hold Dear

Why Crypto Is the Final Target

So what in the hell do mountains of rotting fruit and revoked passports have to do with crypto? Quite a lot, it transpires. A money that cannot be centrally regulated provides the same essential power that a flourishing, productive private farm does, but on a whole new level. Self-sufficiency. A passport allows free movement, which is another necessity for self-sufficiency. Once the state is not needed for money, however, that’s the very end. At that point, centralized governance is not needed at all. The advent of bitcoin made the financial transcendence of central banks, geopolitical restrictions, and third party oversight possible.

With global devaluation of fiat currencies ever growing, and reckless low and negative interest rate policies being instituted to create more credit bubbles worldwide, the state is beginning to panic. That’s a good sign. The way to sense a debate has been won is often to simply observe one’s opponent beginning to react with fear or irrational outbursts. In the state’s case the reaction is actual violence, however, and that’s why no matter how hard anyone might try, it cannot be said that there is any freedom to be had without a very real risk. What price one is willing to pay for that freedom is entirely up to the individual.

What are your thoughts on government parasitism? Let us know in the comments section below.

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. 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 information in this Op-ed article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post IRS Revoking Passports Shows How Government Erodes Everything We Hold Dear appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitcoiners Brace for More Performance Art and Another ‘Satoshi Reveal’

August 17, 2019 |

Bitcoiners Brace for More Performance Art and Another 'Satoshi Reveal'

On Friday, a variety of paid press releases were published stemming from a company called Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings, a firm that claims a big “reveal” is coming on Sunday, August 18. According to the announcement, Satoshi Nakamoto will divulge his “real-life identity” alongside his “country of origin, education, professional background, and why he has yet to move any of his 980,000 bitcoins.” Many cryptocurrency supporters believe the press release is nothing more than a market ploy similar to the Gotsatoshi.com ruse ‘unveiled’ last May.

Also read: Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Appears in the High Profile Bitcoin Lawsuit

Another So-Called Satoshi Plans to Reveal His Identity

There have been so many self-styled Satoshi Nakamotos over the years it’s starting to get hard to keep track of them all. Now this weekend on Sunday, August 18, another person who claims to be Bitcoin’s inventor is supposedly doing a “reveal” to show the world he’s Satoshi. The press release published by a PR agency called Ivy McLemore & Associates never mentions who the mysterious man is, but claims that the person will be disclosing his true “real-life identity.” “After a decade of anonymity, Satoshi Nakamoto will break his silence in Part I of his ‘My Reveal,’” the media release explains. The statement to the press stemming from the company Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings can be found on various paid press service websites.

Bitcoiners Brace for More Performance Art and Another 'Satoshi Reveal'
The reveal website.

“Indicative of the compelling evidence he presents in each part of the series, Nakamoto will illustrate the role that cyphers and encryption related to his devotion to Chaldean numerology played in many decisions in his creation of Bitcoin,” the announcement claims. Moreover, the so-called Satoshi revealer aims to publicize why he registered the website Bitcoin.org 11 years ago. The statement adds:

Nakamoto also will disclose why he chose the date August 18 not only to register Bitcoin.org in 2008 but also to release Part I of “My Reveal” this coming Sunday on the 11th anniversary of his registration of Bitcoin.org through Anonymousspeech.com.

Here We Go Again — There’s No ‘Blank Slate’ When It Comes to All the Satoshi Marketing Ploys

The company behind the reveal says that the revelations will allegedly culminate Tuesday with part II and III being published on the two websites mentioned in the media statement. The public will be introduced to the “Tabula Rasa, his clean-slate vision for Bitcoin’s transformational rebirth, and the declaration of his identity.” The Tabula Rasa is a theory defined by John Locke that suggests humans are born with a “blank slate” and everything is learned through one’s sensory experiences. What this theory means for the Bitcoin network is anyone’s guess, and it’s likely written in a cryptic way to keep a person curious about the so-called reveal on Sunday. The reveal day follows a similar announcement made last May when the creators of the website Gotsatoshi.com revealed themselves, and it turned out to be a cryptocurrency news feed app for mobile phones. Despite the last Satoshi reveal marketing ploy, the cryptocurrency community has been discussing the matter. “Cryptographically signed message or piss off,” exclaimed the Casa CTO Jameson Lopp.

Bitcoiners Brace for More Performance Art and Another 'Satoshi Reveal'
The PR team behind the Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings reveal.

Since the whole Craig Wright fiasco and the multitude of other self-proclaimed Satoshi’s, people seem to be getting tired of deception and sensational tactics. “Even if somebody did sign/verify the genesis block it doesn’t mean they are Satoshi,” the Twitter handle Bitconsultants responded to Lopp’s tweet. “It just means they have the keys. At this point, it’s next to impossible to prove who Satoshi is/was,” the account further remarked. Digital currency enthusiasts have also been responding to the announcement tweet stemming from Ivy McLemore. “Just get him to move a coin from the genesis block, then people will be bothered,” one person wrote to the PR agency. Another individual tweeted:

This would literally be the single stupidest move he/she/they could make and it would be known to be — 100% bullshit.

And the Satoshi LARP Award Goes to…

The story highlights the fact that there are a great number of people in search of the mysterious Nakamoto, but now marketers and businesses are using this desire to their advantage. It also shows the ridiculous number of Satoshi suspects and those who have claimed to be the currency’s creator. There’s the Hawaiian domain owner, Bitcoin Origins writer Scronty, the writer called “Duality,” the Bulgarian Debo Jurgen Etienne Guido, and of course the Australian who has claimed to be Satoshi for years. There are also Nakamoto suspects who are not alive or are in jail like the criminal mastermind Paul Le Roux, the forensics investigator David Kleiman, and the renowned cryptographer Hal Finney. There have been so many claimants over the years that it’s not even unbelievable anymore that people are willing to come forward and say they created Bitcoin. If anything the crypto community might want to host a live-action role-playing (LARP) award ceremony for all the nuts who say they are Satoshi.

Bitcoiners Brace for More Performance Art and Another 'Satoshi Reveal'
There have been so many Satoshi LARPers there needs to be an award for the best performance art.

These Satoshi revealers have put far more energy into the Nakamoto LARP in contrast to the simplicity of merely verifying an old message or private keys. Instead, we have people creating domains using Satoshi’s name for marketing purposes, people writing memoirs, and Bitcoin inventors with their own PR teams. A great example of these ludicrous theatrical performances was back in May 2016 when Quartz columnist Joon Ian Wong reported that Craig Wright allegedly used the rockstar David Bowie’s PR agency, Outside Organisation, to help with the big reveal that week. Outside Organisation was so good that they were able to get the public’s eyes fixated on Bowie, David Beckham, the Spice Girls, and allegedly the self-proclaimed Satoshi. Wong’s Quartz article details that during the Wright reveal ceremonies reporters from three different publications were “selected” for “proof sessions.” In addition to David Bowie’s PR firm, the selected journalists from the Economist, GQ, and the BBC publications were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) in order to participate in the reveal, Wong detailed.

The Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings PR attempt is not much different than the slew of wannabes and attention seekers in the past. Part I of his “My Reveal” on Sunday, August 18, at 4 p.m. EDT will be shown on the company website, Satoshinhr.com. Its likely people will tune in to hear what the person has to say for a brief period of time, but its more probable that the reveal will be nothing more than a tacky marketing attempt in order to highlight something else. An illustration of the announcement’s marketing nonsense can be read under the Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance (SNR) Holdings business description, which states the company is a provider of “blockchain technologies to help transform people’s lives.” In reality, the only thing this announcement will likely provide is another attempt at Satoshi performance art — And a poor one, too.

What do you think about the so-called Satoshi reveal scheduled for Sunday? Do you think it’s just another marketing ruse? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Satoshinhr.com, and Twitter.


How could our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool help you? Use the handy Bitcoin address search bar to track down transactions on both the BCH and BTC blockchains and, for even more industry insights, visit our in-depth Bitcoin Charts.

The post Bitcoiners Brace for More Performance Art and Another ‘Satoshi Reveal’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Passing the Burden of Negative Rates to Bank Clients Opens Door for Cryptocurrencies

August 17, 2019 |

Passing the Burden of Negative Rates to Bank Clients Opens Door for Cryptocurrencies

Record low and negative interest rates have put commercial banks in a difficult spot. Across Europe, they have been passing the burden to their clients. Some have introduced fees for those with large account balances, while others are punishing everybody equally. In any case, some bankers fear this could lead to withdrawal of large amounts in cash, jeopardizing the cashless society traditional financial institutions have been building. Cryptocurrencies and their users have a lot to win in this situation.

Also read: EU Members Adopt Tougher Crypto Rules Than AML Directive Requires

Danske Bank Sees Risks for Society

Danske Bank, the troubled Danish institution which is struggling to overcome the consequences of a large money laundering scandal, is among those European banks that have been dealing in negative interest rates the longest. Denmark was arguably the first country on the continent to introduce them after the 2008 crash. In the summer of 2012, the central bank lowered its benchmark rate to -0.2% and has kept it around or below zero ever since.

Passing the Burden of Negative Rates to Bank Clients Opens Door for Cryptocurrencies
Benchmark interest rate in Denmark

With unprecedented low interest rates in Europe, many financial institutions have made a decision to pass the burden on to their account holders and even introduce fees on large cash balances. However, Danske has recently vowed not to punish its wealthy depositors with additional charges, unlike other major banks in the region. Chief Financial Officer Christian Baltzer warned in a recent interview with Bloomberg that charging customers with large deposits could pose a risk to society, as he put it.

Baltzer said that Danske acknowledges the difficult conditions in the financial sector, but emphasized Denmark’s leading bank does not plan to impose negative interest rates on personal savings or current accounts. In his opinion, charging private customers to hold money in their accounts could add new risks, one of which would be the erosion of the progress toward developing a cashless society. He further commented:

Doing so could have a negative impact at the societal level, including the risk of customers withdrawing more deposits in cash.

Negative interest rates are becoming the norm in Denmark, and corporate clients have already felt the brunt of the shift. Some banks admit they are about to pass the costs to retail depositors as well, something Danske views as a risky move and states they’re not even considering. Also, the Danish bankers association is now trying to convince Denmark’s central bank to introduce measures mitigating the pain for account holders.

Sub-zero rates have left investors in the Nordic country and elsewhere in Europe with very few options. Denmark’s government debt is currently trading at negative yields across all maturities. For example, the yield on the 10-year bonds has dropped to -0.6%. By the way, that’s not a phenomenon isolated only to the Scandinavian region. Bond yields in the rest of Europe and in industrialized countries elsewhere have been close to zero or negative for some time.

Big Banks Impose Fees on Big Deposits

In these unfavorable circumstances, Danske Bank, which has been dogged by various problems, is trying to avoid a move other banks have already decided to make. Starting from November, UBS, the largest Swiss banking group with global presence, is going to apply an interest rate of -0.75% to CHF deposits of more than 2 million francs (approx. $ 2.04 million) and charge an annual fee of 0.6% on deposits of €500,000 ($ 550,000) or more.

Passing the Burden of Negative Rates to Bank Clients Opens Door for Cryptocurrencies

The adjusted fees will be paid by the bank’s individual clients who hold Swiss francs with the Group’s bank in Switzerland, where other financial institutions like Julius Baer have already imposed similar rates and fees on cash deposits, Reuters reported last month quoting an official UBS statement. Another giant, Credit Suisse, also revealed it might do the same in regards to wealthy customers. Banks operating in the Eurozone are charging corporate depositors to cover the cost of negative rates but most large institutions have not levied such fees on private accounts yet.

Benchmark interest rates in the developed world remain historically low as central banks stubbornly insist on applying the same old recipe against recession. It’s a recipe that in an atmosphere of uncertainty and looming trade wars has largely failed to stimulate tangible economic growth but has instead inflated new bubbles, in the property market for instance. The Swiss National Bank policy rate and the rate it charges on commercial banks’ sight deposits remain in negative territory at -0.75%. The European Central Bank is expected to cut its deposit rate by 10 basis points to -0.5% next month. Denmark has its main interest rate set at -0.65%.

A Chance for Cryptocurrencies

A decade after the 2008 global financial crisis, banks are once again facing serious challenges. Beside Danske, other prominent European banks like Deutsche Bank, Raiffeisen, and KBC also had to deal with money-laundering accusations last year. In a first sign of what may be the next big financial meltdown, several banks in the U.S., Europe and China have already failed and had to be bailed out. The wave of job cuts in the industry is another indication the banking sector is struggling to overcome major problems.

In this situation, passing the burden of low rates on to bank account holders is going to hurt the traditional financial system. Even if wealthy depositors aren’t charged with additional fees, the negative interest rates are enough of a punishment for all clients in general. And it would be much easier for ordinary Europeans who keep billions in numerous small accounts to cash out their money, or even switch to alternative digital assets.

Passing the Burden of Negative Rates to Bank Clients Opens Door for Cryptocurrencies

Such transition would happen even faster if people take a minute and think about what cash deposits really are. When you give your money to the bank, it becomes an asset of the financial institution and your account is only a liability. From a legal standpoint, you no longer own the money, just the right to withdraw under the terms agreed to with the bank for your checking or savings account. These terms define your rights when it comes to accessing what used to be your funds.

Things work differently in the world of cryptocurrencies where you are the sole owner of your holdings. The troubles of the traditional financial system have reignited interest in decentralized digital coins, the prices of which do not depend on benchmark interest rates determined by central banks. But at the same time, in case you prefer to receive stable income for your crypto assets, new platforms have emerged offering banking services in this space and the interest rates are in fact much higher.

If you are looking to securely acquire bitcoin cash (BCH) and other leading cryptocurrencies, you can do that at Buy.Bitcoin.com. And thanks to a new partnership between Bitcoin.com and Cred, you can now earn up to 6% on your BCH holdings. The offer shows that saving in digital assets can be much more profitable than keeping fiat in a bank account. This not only when prices are going up, but also through newly developed crypto banking services introducing more traditional products to the nascent industry.

Do you think banks should pass the burden of interest rates onto their clients? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradingeconomics.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post Passing the Burden of Negative Rates to Bank Clients Opens Door for Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

How Coinbase Quietly Became the World’s Biggest Bitcoin Bank

August 16, 2019 |

How Coinbase Quietly Became the World’s Biggest Bitcoin Bank

On August 15, the San Francisco-based digital currency exchange Coinbase announced that it had acquired the cryptocurrency custody service Xapo’s institutional branch. The business move puts Coinbase in the limelight, making it the largest custodial service for digital assets worldwide, with more than $ 7 billion under custody.

Also Read: Hong Kong Protest Leader Hopes to Incite Run on Chinese Banks

Coinbase Acquires Xapo’s Institutional Arm and Now Commands $ 7 Billion Worth of Digital Assets

As early as 2010, Bitcoin supporters such as Hal Finney predicted that someday most BTC transactions would occur between massive bitcoin-backed banks. Finney believed that if a digital currency like bitcoin was to gain mass adoption, the network would not be able to include every single financial transaction in the world. The renowned cryptographer said that large bitcoin-backed banks would fill the void and “work like banks did before the nationalization of currency.” Fast forward to today, where firms like Coinbase are holding massive amounts of digital assets in custody. On Thursday, the California exchange announced that it had acquired Xapo’s institutional crypto operation and established itself as one of the largest crypto custodians worldwide. Coinbase published a blog post in regard to the acquisition and stated:

In just over one year since launch, Coinbase Custody has grown to over $ 7 billion in Assets Under Custody (AUC) stored on behalf of more than 120 clients in 14 different countries, making it the largest, most globally recognized and most trusted institutional custodian in the world.

How Coinbase Quietly Became the World’s Biggest Bitcoin Bank

Coinbase Growth Since 2012: $ 8 Billion Valuation, $ 600 Million in Annual Revenue

Coinbase has come a long way since Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam started the company back in 2012. That year Coinbase allowed users to buy and sell BTC using a bank transfer and quickly became one of the biggest BTC providers next to Mt. Gox. Throughout 2012 and 2013, investors and venture capitalists started seeing potential in Armstrong and Ehrsam’s company and began to invest. The founders participated in a Y Combinator startup incubator, received $ 5 million from Fred Wilson in May 2013, and $ 25 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures (USV), and Ribbit Capital in December 2013. By 2014, Coinbase users grew to more than one million accounts and the assets under the company’s control continued to grow exponentially from there. The cryptocurrency community really took notice of how large Coinbase had grown two years later, when in February 2016, Brian Armstrong told the public that “[Coinbase is] now storing about 10% of all bitcoin in circulation.”

How Coinbase Quietly Became the World’s Biggest Bitcoin Bank
In February 2016, Coinbase claimed to store 10% of all BTC in existence.

Coinbase is now valued at over $ 8 billion, after closing a funding round in 2018 for $ 300 million to “accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.” In 2019, despite stiff competition, the San Francisco tech company has estimated revenue between $ 569-650 million. Binance comes close to Coinbase, with The Block reporting in February that the exchange pulled in $ 446 million in profits. Kraken captures $ 150 million annually, Bitstamp $ 17M, Bitfinex $ 10M, and Itbit $ 4M in revenue. Coinbase has around 800 employees and the firm has made roughly 10 acquisitions since 2012. The company acquired startups like Blockr, Earn.com, Cipher, Digital Wealth, Keystone Capital, Blockspring, and now Xapo’s institutional arm. Coinbase has also made various equity investments like the recent cryptocurrency derivatives exchange Blade as well as acquiring Horizon Games, Textile, Near, and Dharma.

In 2017 Speculators Estimated Xapo Held $ 10 Billion Worth of Bitcoin With Keys Spread Across 5 Continents and a Swiss Military Bunker

Xapo started its business similarly to Coinbase, but did not offer its bitcoin wallet and cold storage vault services until March 2014. The Hong Kong-based company was founded by Wences Casares and Federico Murrone and quickly became a well-known crypto brand. In 2015, the company moved its headquarters to Zug and two years later the firm was granted a European e-money license in Gibraltar. That year, during the all-time highs of 2017, it was estimated that Xapo’s Swiss bitcoin vaults held billions of dollars’ worth of digital assets. Quartz columnist Joon Ian Wong reported on Xapo’s vault in Attinghausen, Switzerland when he visited the facility. The security was extreme and resembled a James Bond movie, Wong noted during his visit.

“[Xapo] won’t tell me how much bitcoin is stored in the vault, but he says he sometimes takes customers with “millions” of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency stored with Xapo to tour the vault,” the reporter wrote in October 2017.

Despite the company not disclosing how many coins are held in the Swiss vault, estimates from Bloomberg in the spring of 2018 said Xapo held more than $ 10 billion. By the summer of 2018, Xapo Inc. received the sixth Bitlicense and was approved to operate in the state of New York as a regulated Bitcoin business.

Over the last two years, Xapo has made around $ 4.2 million in revenue annually. Additionally, Xapo employs around 52 people and the company has raised a total of $ 40 million since its inception in 2014. Reports stemming from Xapo’s vault in Switzerland have made speculators believe the company’s institutional vault still has a massive amount of digital wealth under its wing. Moreover, during Wong’s visit to the vault three years ago, Xapo told him the vault operators can never unwind. “This is not a race. It is a chess game. You have to think about the opponent’s next movement. You can never relax,” the Xapo executive detailed.

Members of the Crypto Community Discuss the Current Custodial Trend

Coinbase and Xapo have scared some cryptocurrency advocates who think that storing a vast array of coins in custodial services might not be a good idea. Digital currency pundit Jill Carlson tweeted: “The Xapo [and] Coinbase collaboration has me asking: ‘What happens if someday one entity just custodies all 21 million bitcoins? Aren’t we just recreating the same, broken financial system?’” Edge Wallet founder Paul Puey responded by saying: “You need more than just the option too. You need a majority of crypto held in noncustodial solutions. Otherwise, we run the risk of losing the ability to transfer funds without a third-party.” Puey continued:

Bitcoin then just becomes an overleveraged asset class like a gold ETF.

Using a cringe-face emoji, Monero developer Riccardo Spagni jokingly wrote: “A few months back a VC told me that ‘custody is the most exciting space in the ecosystem right now.’” The Block writer Frank Chaparro (Fintech Frank) said that no smart asset manager would custody all of their coins with one provider. “There is a need for multiple custodians – we see this even in the so-called broker financial system,” Chaparro insisted. However, Coinshares executive Meltem Demirors revealed that she believes “everyone custodies their coins with one provider.” “Did you know that everyone in the U.S. custodies their share certificates with one entity – the DTCC?” Demirors wrote.

How Coinbase Quietly Became the World’s Biggest Bitcoin Bank
Did you know you can now easily buy Bitcoin in minutes with a credit card? Visit our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely, and keep your coins secure by storing them in our free noncustodial Bitcoin mobile wallet.

Mega Bitcoin Banks Issuing Their Own Digital Bucks and Verifiable Proof-of-Reserves

The mega crypto bank discussion has many crypto enthusiasts wondering if the massive amount of digital currency custodianship is good for the environment. Coinmetrics executive Nic Carter sarcastically explained that he’s “waiting for a major custodian/exchange to implement proof of reserves” with a picture of a rotting skeleton next to a computer. It’s a stark cry from Hal Finney’s 2010 prediction, when he said that megabanks would be “the ultimate fate of Bitcoin.” “Most Bitcoin transactions will occur between banks, to settle net transfers,” Finney detailed. He also said that these banks would use the BTC to be “high-powered money,” which would serve as a reserve. Then these Bitcoin-backed banks could “issue their own digital cash,” Finney emphasized.

How Coinbase Quietly Became the World’s Biggest Bitcoin Bank

We have seen Hal’s prediction already start to occur within the cryptocurrency industry as large exchanges, which have silently become the largest crypto banks in the world, are starting to mint their own digital assets. Binance has created binancecoin (BNB), which holds the sixth largest crypto valuation out of more than 2,000 digital asset markets. Coinbase and Circle Financial have the Centre foundation, which controls the regulated stablecoin USDC. With a transparent blockchain system, a true “proof-of-reserves” type of scheme could transpire, unless people decide to trust these companies like the financial institutions today. If the community simply trusts these mega crypto banks without verification, then unsustainable banking techniques like fractional reserves could proliferate unchecked.

How Coinbase Quietly Became the World’s Biggest Bitcoin Bank

The way things are moving, with the recent Coinbase acquisition of Xapo and digital currency exchange providers becoming far bigger than traditional institutions, it begs the question: are mega bitcoin banks the shape of cryptocurrency custody to come? It may not be the future we chose, but it’s the one that’s fast becoming a reality.

What do you think about the Coinbase acquisition of Xapo? Do you think that custodial services will dominate the crypto industry? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Coinbase, Xapo, Pixabay, Twitter, Centre, Circle, Jamie Redman, and Wiki Commons.


Enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free noncustodial Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH, BTC, ETH, BNB, and other popular coins securely.

The post How Coinbase Quietly Became the World’s Biggest Bitcoin Bank appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Hong Kong Protest Leader Hopes to Incite Run on Chinese Banks

August 16, 2019 |

Hong Kong Protest Leader Hopes to Incite Run on Chinese Banks

The 11th week of protesting in Hong Kong has passed as the world has witnessed massive sit-ins at the national airport and demonstrations across several locations citywide. The 2019 anti-extradition bill protests have affected Hong Kong’s local economy, investors have dumped on the benchmark Hang Seng index, and now pro-independence activist, Chen Haotian, has called upon the country’s citizens to withdraw bank deposits. The chairman of the Hong Kong National Party, Haotian further told the public that the “primary goal” of the bank run is to target “Chinese banks.”

Also Read: Bitcoin Trades for a Premium in Hong Kong During Protests

Hong Kong Independence Activist Proposes a Run on Chinese Banks

The protests in Hong Kong have been taking place now for many weeks and just recently things started escalating. It all began in March, with tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents taking to the streets to protest the 2019 extradition bill. If the bill is enacted into law, it would allow Chinese authorities to come in and extradite any Hong Kong citizen to mainland China if they are accused of a crime. In April and June, protests gathered a lot of momentum and in the eyes of many Hong Kong residents, the fight has turned into a giant independence movement in order to secede from China’s rule. On Sunday, June 16, the streets of downtown Victoria Park were filled with protestors who marched against the Chinese government’s communist rule. This week on August 12, the country’s airport had to suspend flights for days because thousands of protestors used the international travel hub for a demonstration sit-in.

Hong Kong Protest Leader Hopes to Incite Run on Chinese Banks
Hong Kong International Airport.

Now, chairman of the Hong Kong National Party and well known independence activist, Chen Haotian, is calling for a bank run on Chinese banking entities. The term: ‘run on a bank’ describes the situation where a very large group of people withdraw funds from their financial institution at the same time. The bank run act could cause a bank to basically stop functioning, due to the fact that most financial institutions today operate with fractional reserves. Essentially, if a great majority of depositors run on a bank most likely there are not enough funds to go around to everybody who initially deposited. On August 15, China Press reported:

[Chen Haotian] called on Friday (August 16) that Hong Kong citizens take out all bank deposits. The primary goal is Chinese banks, but [Haotian] said other banks should also be targeted, otherwise Chinese banks can borrow money from other banks to solve problems.

Hong Kong Protest Leader Hopes to Incite Run on Chinese Banks
Pro-independence activist, Chen Haotian.

The Threat of a Massive Bank Run Is Serious

The news of a bank run follows the reports of Hong Kong investors dumping the country’s most valuable stocks amid the protests. Some have speculated that these funds have moved into alternative markets like cryptocurrencies and precious metals. The bank run threat in the country should be taken seriously as Hong Kong has had bank runs in the past and even attempts during the 2008 financial crisis. At the time, the people thought the Bank of East Asia (BEA) would fall to insurmountable withdrawals after rumors sent thousands of Hong Kong residents to bank branches during a citywide run. Citizens flocked to BEA branches to withdraw deposits, but BEA executive Li Ka-Shing and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) told the public the institution was financially sound.

Hong Kong Protest Leader Hopes to Incite Run on Chinese Banks
Police have tear-gassed protestors in the streets and railways in Hong Kong. At the airport sit-ins over 700 protestors have been arrested for “taking part in a riot” and “unlawful assembly.”

Prior to that fiasco, the people of Hong Kong witnessed a multi-day bank run in August 1991, when thousands of depositors ran on the financial institutions Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank Hong Kong. Politicians were not pleased with Hong Kong residents and David Nendick, the Secretary for Monetary Affairs, called the banks runs “malicious.” At the time, one Hong Kong citizen standing in the long bank run lines at Standard Chartered, said: “Nobody listens to the government any more — Better to listen to your friends and neighbors and to other reports.” Nendick, however, told the public that Hong Kong would wind up being “the laughing stock of the financial world” if the bank run antics kept up. At that time in 1991, Hong Kong was still a British dependent territory, but the sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred to China in 1997. Many residents who live within the nation have wanted independence from China for quite some time and two years after the Occupy Wall Street protests, the Umbrella Movement pushed this cause to the forefront.

Hong Kong Protest Leader Hopes to Incite Run on Chinese Banks
Bank runs in Hong Kong have happened before. Back in 1991 and during the worldwide financial crisis of 2008. Chinese banks were hit on the mainland during the Umbella Movement protests of 2014.

The World Is Watching

Just like today, the Umbrella Movement and other Hong Kong protestors wanted independence from China after the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) added reforms to the country’s electoral system. That same year, in 2014, a large Chinese financial institution was targeted after rumors spread that Jiangsu Sheyang Rural Commercial Bank in China was on the brink of liquidation. The Reuters journalist reporting from the scene stated that the financial institution decided to stay open 24-hours. The bank was allegedly bringing in truckloads of cash in armored cars to gratify depositors. Meanwhile, the Umbrella Movement urged Hong Kong citizens to continue protesting and China censored images of the 2014 protests on the mainland.

The 2019 protests in Hong Kong have a lingering resemblance to the prior Umbrella demonstrations. There likely won’t be a surge of Hong Kong citizens swiftly moving into cryptocurrencies if a bank run happens, but economic events like these have definitely given digital currencies and precious metal markets a push upwards in recent weeks. For decades now China has ruled over Hong Kong and history shows that individuals pursuing independence and autonomy have always found a way to succeed. Bank run or not, the world’s eyes are fixated on Hong Kong just as they were during the protests in Paris.

What do you think about the independence activist Chen Haotian inciting a bank run in Hong Kong against Chinese banks? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Getty, AP, and Zerohedge.


Do you need a reliable Bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy Bitcoin with a credit card.

The post Hong Kong Protest Leader Hopes to Incite Run on Chinese Banks appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

These Portfolio Tracking Tools Will Also Prepare Your Crypto Taxes

August 16, 2019 |

These Portfolio TrackingTools Will Also Prepare Your Crypto Taxes

Tax season is months away, which is why you need to start preparing for it now. Leave everything to the last minute and you’ll only end up cursing your procrastination. Organize your cryptocurrency activity in advance and you’ll breeze through tax deadline day without so much as flinching. Despite maddeningly vague or unfair legislation, filing your crypto taxes is surprisingly simple thanks to an array of tools that make tracking and calculating your obligations a cinch.

Also read: Argentina’s Peso Collapse Shows Governments Shouldn’t Control Money

Crypto Taxation Doesn’t Have to Be Testing

Whatever your thoughts on paying tax, the fact of the matter is that it’s an unavoidable obligation. Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in a country that doesn’t impose income tax (here’s looking at you Bermuda, Monaco, Bahamas, Andorra and the United Arab Emirates), come April, you’re going to have to pay your dues. There’s no getting around it, but that doesn’t mean you have to approach the close of the tax year with a sense of dread. With the right planning, you can automate much of the process, saving yourself no end of time, hassle and expense.

These Portfolio TrackingTools Will Also Prepare Your Crypto Taxes

Accurately filing your crypto taxes calls for maintaining detailed records of all your transactions and trades that occur over the course of the year. As a result, most of the specialist tax software on the market also doubles as an excellent portfolio tracker. That’s right: even if you have no interest in paying tax, you can still derive value from a product that records all of your crypto gains (and losses), and presents them in an attractive package that can be viewed on desktop or mobile. The following tools provide all that plus a whole lot more.

Koinly

Koinly promises to help cryptocurrency owners calculate their taxes and minimize their bill in the process. It’s compatible with the tax system in over 100 countries and is free to start using: you’re only charged when you need to generate a tax report. When you sign up, you’re prompted to select whether you wish it to realize gains every time you trade crypto; if you select no, Koinly will simply serve as your portfolio tracker. Like the other tools profiled here, Koinly requires you to link exchange accounts and wallets, which can be done manually or via API. You can then review your transactions, tag airdrops, forks, and lost or gifted coins. 33 exchanges are supported as well as six blockchains including BCH, LTC, and BTC.

These Portfolio TrackingTools Will Also Prepare Your Crypto Taxes
Koinly

Koinly automatically matches transfers between your wallets and shows you gains or losses for each transaction. There are also tools for analyzing your trading habits, tax loss harvesting, and cost tracking including mining expenses. The Hodler plan ($ 79 per year) covers 300 transactions and can record income and capital gains tax. The Trader plan ($ 179) covers 3,000 transactions, while Oracle ($ 399) has capacity for 10,000 transactions and offers enhanced support and import assistance.

Blox

Blox offers many of the same features as Koinly, but is targeted at crypto businesses as well as individuals. It benefits from CPA tools that allow teams to create an auditable record of all crypto activities, which can be exported as a CSV or imported directly into accountancy software that Blox has integrated with. Your current portfolio is neatly displayed in the dashboard, where you can view an account overview, access specific transactions, and see a daily snapshot of your portfolio. With thousands of cryptocurrencies listed within Blox, even the most dubious of tokens can be tracked and the corresponding tax obligations calculated.

These Portfolio TrackingTools Will Also Prepare Your Crypto Taxes
Blox

If you don’t feel confident filing your crypto taxes yourself, Blox provides the means to export the data for your bookkeeper, who can take care of the rest. There’s also a suite of tools devised specifically for cryptocurrency miners, including cloud-hosted mining solutions. Blox even operates its own nodes to help ensure that transactions and balances are accurate. The Pro plan is free and covers 100 transactions (tx) and up to $ 50K AUM, while the Business plan, at $ 99 per month, covers 10K tx and $ 20M in assets. There’s also an Enterprise plan ($ 249) for heavy users that will accommodate a whopping $ 60M AUM.

Cointracking

Cointracking’s greatest strength is as a cryptocurrency portfolio monitor. Its tax prepping properties are also useful, but the quality of the insights it provides active traders is particularly good. There’s a timeline tool, which populates with trading milestones, there are charts displaying your balance per day, trades per month, trades per exchange, average purchase price and much more. When it comes to taxes, Cointracking supports the FIFO, LIFO, HIFO and LOFO methods, of which FIFO (first in, first out) is the most commonly used.

These Portfolio TrackingTools Will Also Prepare Your Crypto Taxes
Cointracking

There’s the ability to track coins that have been held for longer than a year, and which can thus be sold tax-free in certain jurisdictions. Other tools include the ability for U.S. citizens to create an FBAR report in the event of them owning foreign financial accounts containing assets worth over $ 10,000. The number of exchanges and wallets that Cointracking supports via API or CSV is impressive; there’s even legacy support for closed exchanges, from Btce to Mt. Gox. The free plan covers 200 tx, rising to 3,500 for Pro. There’s also an Unlimited plan for heavy traders. Another good thing about Cointracking is that you can pay for your subscription in BTC including the option to take out a lifetime license.

Don’t Let Tax Take Over Your Life

In many countries, the U.S. especially, the laws concerning crypto taxation are unfair, vague, and subject to interpretation. Only last month, North Carolina’s Rep. Ted Budd reintroduced the Virtual Value Tax Fix Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill seeks to put a stop to the double tax that is currently imposed on cryptocurrency, making it unnecessarily complex to calculate and record tax every time a purchase is made.

As a cryptocurrency user, there’s little you can do to influence government policy when it comes to taxes; the state moves ponderously, and it may be a while yet before citizens in the U.S. and elsewhere see anything approaching a fair crypto tax policy. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is record your transactions using a purpose-built tool and then get on with your life in the knowledge that the hard part is done. Automate your tax and then you can relax.

What other tax tracking tools do you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party companies or any of their 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 third party content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you want to keep an eye on moving cryptocurrency prices? Visit our Bitcoin Markets tool to get real-time price updates, and head over to our Blockchain Explorer tool to view all previous BCH and BTC transactions.

The post These Portfolio Tracking Tools Will Also Prepare Your Crypto Taxes appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Samsung Adds Bitcoin Support to Its Blockchain Keystore

August 15, 2019 |

Tech Giant Samsung Adds Bitcoin Support to the Blockchain Keystore

On August 13, Samsung, the South Korean multinational conglomerate, published the company’s new Blockchain Keystore SDK for developers and the latest release supports Bitcoin Core (BTC). The version follows Samsung’s previous Keystore release which only supported ETH and the ERC20 standard.

Also Read: Exploring the SLP Token Universe Built on the Bitcoin Cash Chain

Samsung Quietly Adds BTC Support to Its Blockchain Keystore

Cryptocurrency advocates were pleased to notice that Samsung (OTCMKTS: SSNLF) had finally added BTC support to the company’s Blockchain Keystore software development kit (SDK). The news came on Tuesday, August 13, when Samsung published the SDK with release notes, API reference, and programming guide. The reference to BTC can be found in a table that mentions “Cryptocurrency Specification,” “Cryptocurrency Limits,” and “Transaction Type Limits.” The cryptocurrency limits section notes that there’s a limit of 21,000,000 BTC or 2,100,000,000,000,000 satoshis. Transaction type limits include P2PKH (Pay To Public Key Hash), P2PK (Pay To Public Key), P2SH (Pay To Script Hash), and P2WPKH (Pay To Witness Public Key Hash). The transaction type limits are meant to require a sender to supply a valid signature within a wallet application that utilizes the Samsung Blockchain Keystore.

Samsung Adds Bitcoin Support to Its Blockchain Keystore
The Samsung Blockchain Keystore specs

The new Samsung BTC support can only be accessed by app makers and developers right now and only residents from South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the U.S., Germany, Canada, and the U.K. can use the Samsung Blockchain Keystore. Interestingly, the tech giant added support for the Klaytn blockchain as well. This means developers using the Note10s, Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+, S10 5G can use ETH, any ERC20, BTC, and KLAY tokens. Samsung says there are two benefits to integrating the Samsung Blockchain Keystore SDK into an Android application:

  1. Developers can use Samsung Blockchain Keystore API to request the Samsung Blockchain Keystore to sign a cryptocurrency transaction.
  2. Developers can link a user’s Blockchain address like a user’s account. With the address returned from Samsung Blockchain Keystore, developers can check and show users how much cryptocurrency balance is in the account as well as view the transaction history.
Samsung Adds Bitcoin Support to Its Blockchain Keystore
The Samsung Blockchain Keystore specs. Did you know Bitcoin.com also has blockchain developer tools and SDKs for the Bitcoin Cash network? This includes Bitbox SDK, Badger SDK, SLP support, Cashscript, and much more. Check out Developer.Bitcoin.com today.

Software engineers who use the Samsung Keystore SDK are able to leverage many features that are commonly used in applications like noncustodial lite wallets. For instance, the Keystore will generate a cryptocurrency’s keypair (public & private key) on the device itself, while also storing the keys in a secure environment within the mobile device. “[Samsung] does not rely on other network or a third party to generate these keys,” the Keystore 1.1.0 version SDK specification reads. All the mnemonic words (seed phrase words) are compatible with the BIP-39 standard allowing users to deploy the recovery phrase on another device if the phone was ever lost or stolen. However, sending a signed transaction is out of Samsung’s scope, the company explains, and engineers who want to send signed transactions need to rely on their own nodes or a public node.

Opening the Door for Bitcoin Cash Support and the Race to Lead Blockchain Development Within the Smartphone Industry

With BTC being added to the Samsung Keystore, the cryptocurrency spec opens the door for similar networks like Bitcoin Cash. BCH also uses transaction types like P2PKH and P2PK and has a hard cap of 21,000,000 BCH or 2,100,000,000,000,000 satoshis. In the Keystore specs, Samsung notes “We plan to support more cryptocurrencies and expand supported regions in the near future.” People who want to test the Keystore functionality cannot simply download the application from the Galaxy store as Samsung’s blockchain SDK is preloaded on selected devices only. Software developers can test the Keystore application by using Samsung’s Remote Test Lab, which is located in the Samsung Developers Site.

Samsung Adds Bitcoin Support to Its Blockchain Keystore
Apple published the Cryptokit with iOS 13 last June.

Posts on social media and Reddit forums show that crypto advocates appreciate Samsung finally adding BTC to the Keystore. Currently, there are 17 cryptocurrency-related applications that can be used with the select Samsung phones and the Keystore. This includes decentralized applications (dapps) such as Enjin, Cryptokitties, Coinduck, and Cosmee. Samsung’s dapp store also recently gained two new dapps in the form of Mars and Jupiter, developed by fellow South Korean tech company Trustverse.

There have been unconfirmed rumors that eventually Samsung Pay will sync with the Keystore wallet so people can pay for goods and services with digital assets. The recent BTC support from Samsung follows the released Cryptokit for iOS 13 from the company’s California-based rival Apple. The Cryptokit from Apple gives speculators reason to believe that the Cupertino tech giant will release its own in-house crypto wallet system. Similar to Samsung’s Keystore SDK, the Apple Cryptokit provides three specific attributes:

  1. Compute and compare cryptographically secure digests.
  2. Use public-key cryptography to create and evaluate digital signatures, and to perform a key exchange. In addition to working with keys stored in memory, you can also use private keys stored in and managed by the Secure Enclave.
  3. Generate symmetric keys, and use them in operations like message authentication and encryption.

Apple and Samsung entering the cryptocurrency industry by silently releasing software development kits shows that mobile phones that have blockchain capabilities and offer cryptocurrency solutions are here to stay. The mobile phone giants are neck and neck in terms of sales, and adding cryptocurrency features may give them an edge among the lucrative tech- and crypto-savvy demographic.

Samsung Adds Bitcoin Support to Its Blockchain Keystore
In May 2018, Huawei added pre-installed Btc.com wallets to the company’s mobile phones.

The Chinese communications technology company Huawei already beat Samsung and Apple to the punch by selling phones pre-installed with Btc.com’s cryptocurrency wallet in May 2018. Even the phone manufacturer Oppos is on the heels of these three tech giants with its system that could help a peer-to-peer network of cryptocurrency node operators validate transactions in regions with poor internet services.

Samsung Adds Bitcoin Support to Its Blockchain Keystore
Oppos Mesh Talk could allow for cryptocurrency transactions being sent without Wifi, cellular data, and Bluetooth.

According to reports, Oppo’s Mesh Talk system could allow phones to exchange blockchain key data without using Wifi, Bluetooth, or cellular data within a radius of three kilometers. With all of the blockchain-related developments from Huawei, Samsung, Apple, and Oppos smartphones, it’s safe to assume that the mobile giants are well aware that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

What do you think about Samsung adding BTC support to the company’s in-house Blockchain Keystore? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Samsung, Wiki Commons, Huawei, Apple, Oppos, and Pixabay.


Do you need a reliable Bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy Bitcoin with a credit card.

The post Samsung Adds Bitcoin Support to Its Blockchain Keystore appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Ron Paul Slams Fednow Payment System and Encourages Crypto Competition

August 15, 2019 |

Ron Paul Slams 'Fednow' Payment System, Encourages Crypto Competition Instead

Ron Paul, the muckraking former congressman from Texas, is stirring things up once again, this time taking aim at the new real-time digital payment system proposed last week by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Presented as an innovative solution by government and media voices, the cryptosphere received the news of the Fednow program with little more than a disinterested shrug. Paul is not impressed either, maintaining that the implementation will crowd out competing protocols like Bitcoin, placing even more power in the hands of an already dangerously incompetent federal government.

Also Read: Argentina’s Peso Collapse Shows Governments Shouldn’t Control Money

Paul: Fednow Is Unnecessary

In a press release issued August 5th, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it will develop “a new round-the-clock real-time payment and settlement service, called the FedNow Service, to support faster payments in the United States.” While the Fed already works with the private sector to provide such services via the Fedwire system, Fednow would be available 24-7, 365 days a year. While Fed representatives and some mainstream media outlets are making much ado over the announcement, with CNBC citing instant check clearance and cost reduction as a nice bonus, Ron Paul sees things a little differently.

The former congressman and medical doctor released a statement to campaignforliberty.org yesterday, saying: “Consumers already have numerous options to make real-time payments, so the Federal Reserve’s decision to begin work on a central bank-run and controlled real payments system — what Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow John Berlau calls “FedNow” — is baffling.”

Paul continued:

A Federal Reserve-run real payments system will crowd out private alternatives, leaving consumers with one government-run option for real-time payments. This will be bad for consumers and real-time entrepreneurs but good for power-hungry Federal Reserve bureaucrats who will no doubt use FedNow to help “protect” the Federal Reserve’s fiat currency system from competition from crypto currencies.

Though no expert on the technical inner workings of blockchains, Paul has been a strong proponent of crypto — and the underlying philosophy of financial autonomy and freedom from government control — for a while now. In a July 14 interview on CNBC’s Squawk alley, Paul maintained that “I’m all for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, because I like competing currencies.”

Ron Paul Slams Fednow Payment System and Encourages Crypto Competition

Competing Currencies Are Good for the Economy

As news.Bitcoin.com recently reported, several countries worldwide are now working on implementing their own central bank digital currencies (CBDC). Some of these are blockchain-based and others are not. Interestingly, various states are creating their own digital assets while simultaneously standing opposed to the free market use of bitcoin and other decentralized, permissionless assets. Although competition can be very good for consumers and value holders, voices like Paul point out that this competition is a very real, direct threat to central banks and governments who wish to maintain a violent monopoly on the money supply.

Ron Paul Slams Fednow Payment System and Encourages Crypto Competition
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard has conflicting opinions on currency competition.

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “Competition in the marketplace is good for consumers and good for business. Competition from many different companies and individuals through free enterprise and open markets is the basis of the U.S. economy.” Of course, this quote references goods and services, and not necessarily currencies themselves, but the same foundational principles apply, either way. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard addressed the topic of crypto and currency competition specifically at a meeting on July 19:

Cryptocurrencies are creating drift toward a non-uniform currency in the U.S., a state of affairs that has existed historically but was disliked and eventually replaced.

Who exactly disliked this competition is not specified, and maybe for good reason. The free banking era of competing currencies in America was ended by the National Bank Acts of 1863 and 1864, implemented to help the U.S. government collect more taxes via a centralized, one-currency framework, and to raise money for the Civil War.

Currency competition can sometimes create difficult situations, as various media of exchange battle for dominance. Still, competition — especially in a borderless, digital age — ultimately means more options for the individual value holder, consumer, and spender, and a choice as to what is paid for. This doesn’t bode well for broke governments frothing at the mouth for war, additional spending programs, or virtually limitless debt ceilings.

Ron Paul Slams Fednow Payment System and Encourages Crypto Competition

Forced Monopolies Engender Trade Wars, Competition Provides Aid

Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.

– U.S. President Donald Trump

This may be money to Trump, but to the average individual, money certainly matters for more than just an ego boost. Its soundness and market value are of prime importance for individuals securing their everyday needs for life, survival, and enjoyment.

Centralized monopolies on currency potentiate volatile trade wars, as currently witnessed between the U.S. and China. With no competition to turn to when one currency is co-opted by bad actors or political interests, folks have no option but to “play the game” of fiat, and go down with the ship, so to speak. Now that free banking eras are a thing of the past, to not finance these trade wars via taxes is to risk imprisonment.

The global economy can be a lesson in the value of competition as well. Take Venezuela, and the aid that has poured in via crypto donations; the survival that has been enabled for some, in dumping the hyperinflated, virtually worthless bolivar for bitcoin. Zimbabwe’s astronomically inflated economy (perhaps laughably, if not so tragic) forced the state to print 100 trillion-dollar bills. Other world currencies, including P2P crypto, showed up to shore the walls and bring stability to the reeling society. Bitcoin has been trading at reported premiums of 4% to 10% in Argentina, after the country’s peso plummeted 30% on Monday. Without competing currencies, none of this would be possible.

Ron Paul Slams Fednow Payment System and Encourages Crypto Competition

Fednow Is Not Ready, Bitcoin Is

The Federal Reserve has stated that the new payments system is set to be rolled out in 2023 or 2024. As Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard claims, “Everyone deserves the same ability to make and receive payments immediately and securely, and every bank deserves the same opportunity to offer that service to its community.” No more overdraft fees, no more waiting on that check to clear, and no more inconvenience in having to wait until money is received to pay one’s bills or taxes.

What Brainard and others are missing, according to Dr. Paul’s prognosis, is that centralized, violence-backed convenience isn’t anything wonderful or special. It’s akin to talking about the convenience of never having to walk long distances anymore, because luckily the state broke both of your legs. Should violence-backed fiat powers continue in creating centralized CBDCs, pushing agendas to remove paper money from societies worldwide, in combination with forbidding crypto competition, humankind could soon feel the real inconvenience of total financial immobility, firsthand. All this in view, maybe it’s best for the Fed to heed the doctor’s orders this time, and let the medicine of free market competition do its work.

What do you think about Fednow? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post Ron Paul Slams Fednow Payment System and Encourages Crypto Competition appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

PR: Australian Bitcoin Cash Conference Brings Cryptocurrency Leaders to Townsville

August 15, 2019 |

PR: Australian Bitcoin Cash Conference Brings Cryptocurrency Leaders to Townsville

Global leaders from the Bitcoin Cash community will gather at the first Bitcoin Cash City Conference in Australia, being held in Townsville on September 4 & 5.

Townsville has really embraced Bitcoin Cash, so hosting this conference in the cozy, coastal suburb was a natural next step. Australia’s first gathering of enthusiasts and global business leaders will convene to use the low-cost, friction-less payment system and digital money, while enjoying the region’s temperate climate and many attractions.

Bitcoin Cash has caught-on among merchants in Townsville, mostly because it enables anybody to move any amount of money anywhere in the world: instantly, securely, and consistently, with fees less than a cent. Essentially, Bitcoin Cash does away with banks and puts users in full control of their money. According to locals, merchants are taking up Bitcoin Cash because it competes with Visa and Mastercard, eliminating fees and giving them an extra three percent on all payments. Local enthusiasm for the cryptocurrency has made Townsville a hotbed of Bitcoin Cash activity: many Townsville businesses from coffee shop owners to helicopter operators now accept Bitcoin Cash as payment for goods and services, via a smartphone app.

Noel Lovisa, CEO of Townsville-based software company Code Valley explained, “Townsville enjoys the highest per capita merchant adoption of Bitcoin Cash in the world. The North Queensland Bitcoin Cash Merchants’ Group leveraged that to secure the Bitcoin Cash City Conference.” Townsville has become known as “Bitcoin Cash City,” and so the conference naturally takes advantage of such notoriety. North Queensland has also quietly founded nearly a dozen Bitcoin Cash-related software companies, several attracting venture capital in the millions.

Lovisa continued, “We’ve got 20 top international Bitcoin Cash speakers coming to this conference. The number one speaker, Amaury Séchet, helped write the original Bitcoin Cash client known as Bitcoin ABC, successfully upgrading Bitcoin to scale on-chain. That was the genesis of getting the original Bitcoin mission back on track after it was derailed.”

Hayden Otto, CEO of Townsville-based BitcoinBCH.com stressed a key difference in this first-of-its-kind conference for Australia. “Bitcoin Cash is so popular in Townsville that conference delegates will be able to pay with it for everything they need during their stay,” Otto insisted. “In addition to flights, accommodation, car rental and tourism activities, you can get all your food, drink and even pay for your laundry with Bitcoin Cash.”

He says the Bitcoin Cash City Conference presents a unique opportunity for Australians to discover the potential of cryptocurrency. “I want to personally invite you to the world’s premiere Bitcoin event. Bitcoin is peer-to-peer electronic cash that’s paving the way for financial sovereignty and greater economic freedom for people of all walks of life. Not everyone understands this, but we’re bringing together all those who do for an unparalleled conference which won’t be forgotten.”

Through a free Bitcoin.com wallet app, attendees can navigate the brave new world of cryptocurrency while learning more from guest speakers such as developers, legal experts, and entrepreneurs active in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.

Noel adopted Bitcoin Cash initially to solve a problem for Code Valley’s emergent coding project. “We’ve created a new technology for producing software by combining tiny fragments from around the world. Bitcoin Cash enables me to send a million dollars or as little as 20 cents to somebody in another country with it clearing instantly for a tenth of a penny. I can operate in 150 countries without needing to support 150 currencies,” he recalls. “There is also a roadmap of regular upgrades to meet demand so Bitcoin Cash is very reliable. And it’s hassle-free because there is no central point of authority. Bitcoin Cash is going to be the world’s number one cryptocurrency. Come along to the conference to find out why.”

The Bitcoin Cash City Conference will be held on September 4 and 5 at Quayside Terminal, Lennon Drive, South Townsville, Queensland.

Full details and registration: https://bitcoincashcity.com
Press enquiries:
Tel: +61416022287
email: sarita@admedia.net.au

The post PR: Australian Bitcoin Cash Conference Brings Cryptocurrency Leaders to Townsville appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News