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PR: Mycelium Wallet Partners with Changelly Exchange

January 28, 2018 |

Mycelium Wallet Partners with Changelly Exchange

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

Changelly, an instant cryptocurrency exchange, has partnered with Mycelium, one of the most reliable and prominent Bitcoin wallets that now goes global with multicurrency support and integrates Changelly’s API into the mobile wallet application.

Being largely known as one of the oldest and reliable Bitcoin wallets, Mycelium opens up for everyone who opts for alts and tokens by integrating Changelly’s API into the mobile app. The API is deployed directly into Mycelium’s interface enabling users to switch between currencies without using the Changelly website. Since Changelly allows to exchange huge amounts, there will be an option to buy up to 200 BTC at once just in a few clicks.

With Changelly onboard, team at Mycelium not only provides their loyal users with the best rates, but also takes the whole customer experience to a more user-friendly level.

In addition, Changelly offers a favorable revenue share model for Mycelium allowing to get more profit out of each transaction.

Konstantin Gladych, CEO at Changelly, stated, “We’re thrilled to be a part of such a great and reputable project. Our instant exchange option will not only provide Mycelium’s users with the best rates, but also help bring the wallet to masses.”

In turn, Jérôme Rousselot, Chief Revenue Officer at Mycelium is convinced that the partnership with Changelly will be fruitful, “At Mycelium we are very excited to start working with Changelly, an innovative company making crypto users’ life so much easier. Changelly understands the challenges of our industry, is a very professional partner and offers the best service.”

About Changelly

Changelly is a popular cryptocurrency exchange providing the ability to instantly and seamlessly exchange over 90 altcoins at the best market rate or buy them using a bank card.

Operating since 2015, Changelly has attracted over 1.5M registered users from around the world. Currently, the service processes more than 15K transactions daily with a monthly turnover of around 60K BTC.

Changelly offers its API and a customizable payment widget for any crypto service that wishes to increase its turnover. The exchange provides its Affiliate program with a quite appealing revenue share mechanism. Changelly is a partner with Mycelium, Jaxx, Coinmarketcap, Coinpayments, Uquid debit card, Coinomi, and other prominent companies.

About Mycelium

Mycelium is a Bitcoin company with the broad range of products, mostly known as one of the first (and best for crypto anarchists and geeks) Bitcoin wallets with more than 500 000 users. The wallet provides a set of tools and features for storing and sending Bitcoins in the safest manner possible. In 2014, Mycelium was granted the reputable award “Best Mobile App” as a wallet with superior bank-grade security.

Contact Email Address
sasha@changelly.com
Supporting Link
changelly.com

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

The post PR: Mycelium Wallet Partners with Changelly Exchange appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Australian Gold Refinery Announces Plan to Develop Cryptocurrency

January 28, 2018 |

Australian Gold Refinery Announces Plan to Develop Cryptocurrency

Perth Mint, Australia’s largest gold refiner, has announced plans for the development a cryptocurrency backed by physical gold. If successful in developing the altcoin, it will join a long list of virtual currencies seeking to entice cryptocurrency investors to experiment with commodity-backed virtual currencies, including Venezuela’s soon to be launched ‘petro’.

Also Read: Venezuela Considers Selling Its ”Oil-Backed” Cryptocurrency With a 60% Discount

Australian Gold Refinery to Develop Cryptocurrency

Australian Gold Refinery Announces Plan to Develop CryptocurrencyThe chief executive of Perth Mint, Richard Hayes, states that the company has identified a significant opportunity in “bring[ing] investors back to precious metals after a boom in alternative investments such as cryptocurrencies,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

“I think as the world moves through times of increasing uncertainty, you’re seeing people look for alternate offerings,” Mr. Hayes stated, adding “And you’re seeing this massive flow of funds into the likes of Bitcoin at the moment because people are looking for something outside of the traditional investments.”

Perth Mint CEO Claims Metal-Based Crypto Potentially Offers Price Stability

Australian Gold Refinery Announces Plan to Develop CryptocurrencyMr. Hayes explained Perth Mint’s decision to develop a gold-backed cryptocurrency, emphasizing the purported benefits of using distributed ledger technology for fast and efficient settlement, whilst potentially affording the cryptocurrency greater price stability than unbacked virtual currencies. The CEO stated that “us[ing] precious metals to back something […] allied to blockchain […] retains its intrinsic value,” adding that unbacked cryptocurrencies “rely on everyone believing that there’s something behind it.”

“With a crypto-gold or a crypto-precious metals offering, what you will see is that gold is actually backing it,” Mr. Hayes stated. “So it will have all the benefits of something that is on a distributed ledger that settles very, very quickly, that is easy to trade, but is actually backed by precious metals, so there is actually something behind it, something backing it.”

Commodity-Backed Cryptocurrencies Proliferate

Australian Gold Refinery Announces Plan to Develop CryptocurrencyIf successful in launching the cryptocurrency, Perth Mint’s altcoin will join a long list of virtual currencies purporting to be backed by gold. Last year, the initial coin offering (ICO) for Onegram – a purportedly Shariah-compliant, gold-backed, cryptocurrency – garnered significant international media attention for what the company hoped would be a more than $ 500 million USD token-sale.

At the closure of the first phase of the ICO, Onegram only saw the sale of 16,926 of the 12,400,786 Onegramcoins (OGC) that the company had hoped to sell – comprising less than 0.14% of the company’s goal. Presently, Onegram claims that the platform is still in development, and has given its investors the option to resell their OGC for a meager 25% return should they wish to liquidate their holdings.

Venezuela also recently announced that it will launch a commodity-backed cryptocurrency, the ‘petro’ – a national cryptocurrency purportedly backed by 5 billion barrels of Venezuelan crude oil. In recent weeks, Venezuelan officials have urged neighboring countries to adopt the cryptocurrency. At present, it appears as though the Venezuelan government will seek to sell the crypto in “private placements at a discount of up to 60 percent,” with the sale set to start of February 15.

What are your thoughts regarding gold-backed cryptocurrencies? Share your opinion in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, The Perth Mint Australia


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The post Australian Gold Refinery Announces Plan to Develop Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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U.S. Agency ICE Conducts Investigations That Exploit Blockchain Activity

January 28, 2018 |

U.S. Agency ICE Conducts Investigations That Exploit Blockchain Activity

On January 25 the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deputy assistant director, Greg Nevano, explained in a testimony that the agency was using “blockchain exploitation tools” to combat cryptocurrency use in illicit markets. Nevano’s testimony revolved around the growing opioid addiction problem in the U.S., and how the law enforcement organization is fighting the drugs deliveries stemming from international mail carriers.

Also Read: Oil Company Wants to Sell Bitcoin ATMs to Casinos, Stock Jumps 60%

ICE Is Combating Illicit Activities That Derive From International Mail Deliveries

U.S. Agency ICE Conducts Investigations That Exploit Blockchain ActivityThis week the ICE deputy assistant director Greg Nevano discussed how his department was focused on fight the opioid and fentanyl problem plaguing the U.S. The director’s report explains how ICE is combating illicit activities that derive from international mail deliveries, alongside other cyber-based tactics used for fighting crime. Nevano also details to the U.S. Senate committee that cryptocurrencies are being used to facilitate drug trafficking across multiple borders.

Darknet Field Investigations and Exploiting Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency Exchangers

U.S. Agency ICE Conducts Investigations That Exploit Blockchain ActivityThe ICE representative says the agency’s cyber-crime division is providing support to “field investigations” that target “darknet illicit marketplaces.” Nevano says that fentanyl and chemical precursors proliferate within these online markets and are sold for digital currencies. In 2014 the agency launched 37 investigations, and by 2015 the number increased to 100 inquiries. Today the ICE cyber-crime division is working on 600 probes and have over 500 requests for more field investigations.

“The cyber division is providing assistance with the development and management of online undercover personas in furtherance of online undercover operations and collaborates with joint agency strategies in taking down online sources of opioids,” the testimony details.

In support of its diverse financial investigative efforts ICE uses undercover techniques to infiltrate and exploit peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchangers who typically launder proceeds for criminal networks engaged in or supporting darknet marketplaces.

Training Agents to Understand Cryptocurrency and the Use of Blockchain Exploitation Tools

ICE says that it is training investigators from national and international law enforcement agencies to scrutinize cryptocurrency use that’s tethered to fentanyl/opioid or other narcotic purchases. Nevano’s testimony details that the organization is collecting “communication records such as phone toll records, Internet Protocol (IP) address activity records, email search warrants, and Title III wire intercepts” in these types of investigations. Further, the agency is also using tools that exploit blockchain networks tied to the digital assets used in illegal activity. Nevano states:

ICE leverages complex blockchain technology exploitation tools to analyze the digital currency transactions and identify transactors.

The testimony follows the recent actions taken by governments all around the world attempting to regulate the cryptocurrency economy. Moreover, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the blockchain surveillance company Chainalysis being contracted by ICE several times. Its likely that the Chainalysis blockchain monitoring products are just one of the exploitation tools deployed by the U.S. law enforcement agency. Nevano and ICE believe illicit narcotic smuggling in the international mail environment and cryptocurrencies are playing a role in the world’s opioid epidemic.

What do you think about ICE investigating the use of cryptocurrencies and the illegal opium trade? What kind of blockchain exploitation tools do you think this agency uses? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments below.


Images via Wiki Commons, ICE logo, and Pixabay. 


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The post U.S. Agency ICE Conducts Investigations That Exploit Blockchain Activity appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Indians Expect Clarity on Bitcoin Taxes within Days

January 28, 2018 |

Indians Expect Clarity on Bitcoin Taxes within Days

Under mounting pressure to make decisions and take steps to clarify cryptocurrency matters, the Indian government may soon shed some light on one of many unclear aspects – taxation. Local media have turned the spotlight on Budget 2018, but lots of titles end with question marks. The new financial frame is to be presented next week by the Finance Minister. Recent developments suggest that the status of bitcoin in India is likely to be determined, at least in terms of how much cream the government is willing to scoop out.

Also read: Tax Loophole Closing For South Korean Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Finance Minister to Answer Many Questions

Indians Expect Clarity on Bitcoin Taxes within Days
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

All eyes are on minister Arun Jaitley, the Financial Express wrote, asking: “Are Bitcoins Taxable in India?”. “Can the Budget Dodge Bitcoin?”, the Economic Times is wondering, referring to his budget expected on February 1. Anxiety about the true intentions Delhi hides behind mandatory warnings has been building up in Indian society. In short, “Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Wait for Clarity”, as Zeebusiness put it on its webpage.

Members of the Indian crypto community have been calling for clear government policies towards cryptocurrency trading and taxation. Companies planning to set up new mining facilities and POS terminal networks in the country have also asked for clear guidelines to steer their businesses.

Clarity, in regards to taxation, is likely to be offered with the new budget. There are strong indications of the government’s eagerness to tap into crypto income, despite its consistent hostility towards bitcoin. Back in December, the Income Tax Department carried out searches at major exchanges. More recently, Indian crypto traders received notices from the tax authorities concerning crypto investments not reflected on their tax returns, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

Last week local media revealed that India’s top banks had suspended some accounts of major crypto exchanges, suspecting “dubious transactions”. According to sources quoted by ET, at least eight accounts in various banks, including the State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank, have been suspended. Cash withdrawals from other accounts were limited. Zebpay, Unocoin, Coinsecure and Btcx India have been mentioned as targeted exchanges. The banks were asked to file reports of suspicious transactions with the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Taxation without Representation (What Are the Options)

According to a tax authority official, quoted by ET, a special team has been investigating the applicability of sales tax on bitcoin exchanges for the previous financial year. It has been estimated that some of them operate at margins reaching 20% due in large to the gap between buying and selling rates, reaching 25% in some cases. The total revenue figure for the top 10 exchanges is about 400 billion rupee (more than $ 6 billion USD), Indian media reports.

Taxing bitcoin income is another subject that needs clarification. As both the Reserve Bank of India and the Finance Ministry do not recognize cryptos as currencies and legal tender, two options remain on the table. Goods and Services Tax can be levied at bitcoin and altcoins – 12%, if they are considered goods, or 18% if they are deemed as services. Currently, Indians are not paying GST on their bitcoins, but the government is working on it, Karan Batra, CEO of Charteredclub, told FT. He also shared his hopes for clarity in the new financial year.

In December the Finance Ministry set up a special panel to follow developments, including the volume of bitcoin related trade, and help speed up the process of adopting regulation. Representatives of the Department of Economic Affairs, the Reserve Bank of India and the Income Tax Department have been invited to join the committee. Again, no members of the crypto community have been asked to participate or share opinion.

Indians Expect Clarity on Bitcoin Taxes within Days

Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general, is yet to be legally defined in India. Now it is neither classified as a commodity, an asset, nor as security or any other financial instrument. Some say there is no need to even mention bitcoin in the new budget. “It will die its own death”, says Asif Iqbal from Escorts Securities, quoted by FE. However, many Indians involved in crypto, and foreign investors eyeing the country’s potential, see a brighter future. Their participation in efforts to regulate, and why not legalize bitcoin, could have opened eyes in the corridors of power in Delhi. Unfortunately, they have not been given that chance by the authors of Budget 2018. Crypto India can only hope for some clarity.

Do you think that Budget 2018 will answer the outstanding questions about bitcoin in India? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 


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The post Indians Expect Clarity on Bitcoin Taxes within Days appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitcoin Cash Supporters Prepare for the Network’s Next Six Months

January 28, 2018 |

Bitcoin Cash Supporters Prepare for the Network's Next Six Months

It’s been six months since the inception of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network, and the decentralized currency’s infrastructure continues to grow. Over the past week, there’s been many new announcements surrounding the BCH chain and its ecosystem.

See also: Bitcoin ABC Developers Announce Medium-Term Bitcoin Cash Roadmap

Six Months In, the Bitcoin Cash Network Celebrates a Successful Hard Fork and Address Serialization Change

Six months have passed since the birth of the cryptocurrency bitcoin cash, and so far the protocol and economy continues to thrive despite the coin’s adversaries. Since the August 1st hard fork that produced the network, there’s been over 36,000 blocks mined, and the BCH chain is 8406 blocks ahead of the core chain. The Bitcoin Cash network recently had a successful hard fork which changed the protocol’s difficulty algorithm, and has kept mining profitability more consistent ever since the implementation. At 12.76 percent of the core chain’s difficulty, BCH is currently 5.6 percent more profitable to mine than BTC. Additionally this month BCH wallet providers and businesses implemented a new address format making it very difficult to send BCH to a BTC address.

Bitcoin Cash Supporters Prepare for the Network's Next Six Months

Bitcoin Cash Compatible Bitcoin Unlimited 1.2.0.1 Released, While Kucoin Exchange Launches BCH Trading Pairs  

Bitcoin Cash Supporters Prepare for the Network's Next Six Months Lots of infrastructure and support was added to the BCH ecosystem over the past seven days. This week the Bitcoin Unlimited development team released its Bitcoin Cash compatible client version 1.2.0.1. The release adds a few optimizations like a new and more performant logging system. In other news, the exchange Kucoin added BCH pairs section to its trading engine, bringing more liquidity to the BCH environment. The exchange details that the new BCH pairs section stemmed from lots of “community demand.”

The Village Catalog, an Online General Store, Focuses On Bitcoin Cash Acceptance; a New Woocommerce Plugin for BCH Released

Another addition to the BCH economy was the announcement from the Village Catalog an online general store that focuses on bitcoin cash acceptance. The Village Catalog sells a wide variety of healthy food products and cooking accessories for bitcoin cash.

“The Village Catalog is a place to find a quality product and have it shipped quickly and at a reasonable price — We use bitcoin cash because it’s peer-to-peer electronic cash in its original form: it is easy and cheap to transact with and secure to use,” explains the Village Catalog.

Bitcoin Cash Supporters Prepare for the Network's Next Six Months

Another announcement that adds more bitcoin cash merchant adoption is the new Woocommerce plugin called ‘Cryptowoo’ that offers an API to take orders paid in BCH. Woocommerce version 1.2.1 allows any merchant using Word Press the ability to accept cryptocurrencies much like Bitpay and Paypal integrations. Additionally, if BCH supporters want to wait for Bitpay’s plugin the company announced its Woocommerce, WHMCS, and Prestashop new implementations will include bitcoin cash support.

Tokenstars Organization Plans On Switching to Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash Supporters Prepare for the Network's Next Six Months Following the merchant plugin release the charity organization Tokenstars has announced it is making the switch from BTC to BCH because bitcoin core fees are “too expensive.” Tokenstars hosts charity auctions tied to luminary autographs, celebrity products and even a chance to dine with well-known individuals. During the company’s ‘Crypto Xmas Charity Auction’ the team decided to accept bitcoin cash.

“The projects we launched in December, ‘Tokenstars’ Team’ token sale and Crypto Xmas Charity Auction, have shown that bitcoin is being used less for payments now — When compared to our ACE ICO from fall 2017, there is a sharp decline in bitcoin transactions — Bitcoin became too expensive for making regular payments and instead, bitcoin’s volatility and high commissions turned it into an investment tool,” Tokenstars CEO, Pavel Stukolov explains to news.Bitcoin.com.

In order to expand the number of Crypto Xmas Charity Auction participants, we now accept bets in bitcoin cash. We will also start accepting bitcoin cash as payment currency for Team tokens during TokenStars’ ICO.     

Bitcoin Cash: What’s In Store for the Next Six Months?

Bitcoin Cash Supporters Prepare for the Network's Next Six Months Overall bitcoin cash had a decent few weeks minus the downwards market action that most cryptocurrencies experienced this January. Bitcoin cash has remained relatively stable compared to many digital assets in the space. And as we mentioned in our last Markets Update BCH markets have been strongly correlated with BTC’s market action. Bitcoin cash has remained consistently between 12-15 percent of BTC’s value. Usually, for every $ 1,000 BTC price drop, BCH dips about $ 100 and vice versa during more bullish market sentiment. BCH supporters believe the price will regain strength as proponents wait for more infrastructure support like Bitpay’s upcoming BCH invoice conversion. However, even though the two markets share a relationship right now the Civic CEO and entrepreneur, Vinny Lingham thinks bitcoin cash will someday outpace bitcoin core. 

“Bitcoin and bitcoin cash are focusing on two totally different markets right now,” Lingham said in a recent Fast Money interview on January 25.

When I look at it from the product standpoint, I think the greater demand is for peer-to-peer cash than for digital gold.

In addition to the past couple of weeks, the six months of life the Bitcoin Cash network has experienced has been very fruitful. The pace of transactions continues to rise while fees remain cheap and confirmation times come quickly for users. Moreover, BCH developers have released their roadmap recently which discusses some of the proposals going forward for the next six months. Bitcoin cash could see another hard fork that increases the block size, and a variety of other features like colored coins. Not only is Bitcoin Unlimited donating its resources, but developers and representatives from several projects including Bitprim, Nchain, Bitcrust, ElectrumX, Parity, and Bitcoin XT are also all collaborating to bolster the BCH protocol’s growth.

What do you think about the growth of bitcoin cash and it’s latest infrastructure additions? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Crypo-graphics.com, Pixabay, Tokenstars, The Village Catalog, Coin Dance, and Bitcoin Unlimited.


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Lawyers Are Taking Payment in Bitcoin Despite Conflict of Interest Concerns

January 28, 2018 |

Lawyers Are Taking Payment in Bitcoin Despite Conflict of Interest Concerns

An increasing number of lawyers are taking payment in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With many ICO startups destitute until their crowdsale, ether or tokens are often all they can offer. Rather than turn away business, some lawyers have admitted to taking payment in crypto. While increased acceptance of cryptocurrency – especially in such circles – is to be welcomed, it’s led to concerns that lawyers who are financially invested in a project may struggle to dispense impartial advice.

Also read: George Soros: Bitcoin is Propped Up by Dictators

Meet the Crypto-Chasing Lawyers

It would be easy to assume that cryptocurrency acceptance in the legal profession is limited to a handful of fringe mavericks and libertarians, but it’s attracted a number of mainstream advocates. A recent article in Law.com (paywalled) quotes several lawyers who now accept crypto including Washington-based lawyer Carol Van Cleef, who helps crypto clients with compliance matters. She explains: “I’ve known for a long time that my opportunity to expand in certain areas has been affected by not taking [cryptocurrency]”.

Historically, lawyers who’ve served the poorest and most marginalized members of society have done so for ideological reasons rather than pecuniary gain. In times gone by, it was not unheard of for defense attorneys to take payment in the form of firewood, food or whatever else their clients could spare. Had Breaking Bad been filmed five years later, it’s easy to imagine wheeler-dealer lawyer Saul Goodman accepting crypto and using it to help Walter White account for his vertiginous pallets of $ 20 bills.

Lawyers Are Taking Payment in Bitcoin Despite Conflict of Interest Concerns

Tokens for Attorneys

As cryptocurrencies have entered the mainstream, their association with illicit activities has diminished, and so has the stigma of accepting them. Lawyers must tread more carefully than professionals from other sectors however and accepting crypto from startups they’re advising raise possible conflict of interest concerns. It’s common practice for cash-strapped startups to offer team members payment in tokens.

Everyone from web designers to marketers can be pacified with the promise of tokens as soon as the project launches. Any legal expert entering into such an agreement would be obliged to rule that the token constituted a utility and not a security, as to do otherwise would mean they wouldn’t get paid.

Lawyers Are Taking Payment in Bitcoin Despite Conflict of Interest Concerns

Conflict of Interest or Credibility Booster?

If a lawyer has never sent or received cryptocurrency, they seem ill-equipped to advise crypto startups on their structuring model. Cryptocurrency theory is all well and good, but to truly appreciate and understand it, proponents insist, it is necessary to experience it in action, and not just once for test purposes, but as part of everyday life. Lawyers who have gotten their hands dirty, so to speak, by using crypto should be able to understand and explain it more effectively than their counterparts who are still crypto virgins. It would be hard to see bitcoin or ethereum acceptance as presenting a conflict of interest; a lawyer taking tokens for the platform they’re advising on, however, would be a much narrower crypto case, and one that is much harder to defend.

Lawyers Are Taking Payment in Bitcoin Despite Conflict of Interest ConcernsMainstream media organizations such as the New York Times forbid their bitcoin reporters from owning cryptocurrency, while other news sites expect their journalists to disclose any potential conflict of interest. While scribes such as the NYT’s Nathaniel Popper have earned praise for the quality of their reporting, it’s hard to shake the feeling that by watching from the sidelines, their reporting is in danger of being too detached. Just as Vietnam war journos had no qualms about hunkering down with the troops, crypto reporters with personal experience of the subject matter are likely to be better informed and more attuned to community matters.

Dirty Digital Money

Accepting crypto is “a symbol for the client about how vested you are in the area,” says DC lawyer Carol Van Cleef. Defense attorney Jay Cohen also accepts bitcoin but confesses “We cash it out when it comes in, because of the volatility”. This practice tallies with an opinion delivered by a Nebraska Supreme Court committee which advises lawyers to convert crypto to fiat expeditiously to prevent conflicts of interest caused by lawyers getting vastly over or underpaid due to bitcoin volatility.

Lawyers Are Taking Payment in Bitcoin Despite Conflict of Interest ConcernsThere’s another problem though that defense lawyers accepting crypto from their clients must address: ensuring that it has not come from illegitimate activities. Cohen confesses to having to turn down bitcoin payment from a client who was charged with money laundering. Obvious red flag-raising cases aside, there’s nothing to stop lawyers from accepting crypto, as a number of firms in the U.S. and elsewhere do.

Former assistant U.S. attorney Kathryn Haun put it best when she told Law.com via email: “There is no reason to believe that cryptocurrency is illegitimate and criminally-derived any more than any other form of currency or payment. Cryptocurrencies are not special in that regard and I would think would be treated like any other funds.”

Do you think lawyers should be entitled to accept payment in crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and AMC.


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Thailand Taking Steps to Regulate ICOs

January 27, 2018 |

Thailand Taking Steps to Regulate ICOs

As part of its balanced approach, Thailand is taking further steps to regulate initial coin offerings by expanding current guidelines. Discussions on the framework between relevant institutions have already started, with a public hearing to be conducted soon. The first ICO to be carried out by a locally registered company is scheduled for March. The plan is to raise more than $ 20 million for a decentralized lending platform.

Also read: New Research: 10% of Funds Raised in ICOs Lost or Stolen

Growth in Other Countries Convinced Thailand to Act

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) are discussing a comprehensive regulatory framework that will cover fundraising through initial coin offerings, the Bangkok Post reported. A public hearing is expected to be carried out in the near future. Once completed, the new set of rules will be presented to the Commission’s Board of Directors for further consideration.

Current guidelines limit the maximum investment for retail investors to $ 10,000 per ICO and $ 95,000 per person. Using additional information gathered from participants in the market, the SEC’s Board of Directors will finalize the regulatory framework for token sales and related financial transactions. The matter is expected to be raised with the board in the first quarter of this year.

The ICO issue requires a coherent national policy because it is a major issue

So said SEC Secretary-General Rapee Sucharitakul, noting that the rapid growth of ICO fundraising in many countries is the main reason behind Thailand’s decision to address the matter at policy level. Token sales will be discussed when SEC’s Board of Directors reconvenes.

If ICOs are not regulated, investors and other participants may question their legitimacy, Rapee warned in further comments on the need of regulatory support for this type of investment. The Thai official highlighted the increasing popularity of initial coin offerings with investors and startups from the tech sector. In his words, ICOs are trendy because they can raise funds swiftly without requiring a financial statement.

Thailand Taking Steps to Regulate ICOsOne such firm is planning to conduct an ICO in March. Jaymart subsidiary J Ventures is set to become the first SET-listed company to sell its own digital currency, releasing “JFin” through a token sale. The raised funds will be used to develop a decentralized digital lending platform integrated with blockchain technology. J Ventures hopes to collect more than $ 21 million USD in local currency in the first phase of the offering. Tokens will be priced at 6.40 baht each ($ 0.20 USD) and a total of 100 million coins will be offered through the ICO.

Initial Worries Set Aside

The SEC announcement represents a slight change in the generally positive attitude of the regulator towards initial coin offerings. Earlier comments by its representatives suggested some reservations but it seems that initial worries have been set aside. Assistant Secretary-General Praoporn Senanarong had previously stated that the new fundraising method posed “long-term disruptive risk to traditional financiers”.

At the time of his statement ICO regulation was promised by the second quarter of next year. Praoporn also shared concerns that token sales could replace initial public offerings in the long run. In his words, that would disrupt the traditional operations of asset management firms, investment banking, investment advisories, exchanges and brokers.

Thailand Taking Steps to Regulate ICOs

Seeking to adopt a “balanced policy with regard to ICOs”, last year the SEC expressed a desire to “strike the balance between supporting digital innovation and protecting investors from potential ICO scams”. The regulator warned that ICOs might be used as a tool for fraud, but also noted the potential of coin offerings to meet the funding needs of startups. Earlier this month Thailand’s regulators allowed bitcoin futures trading.

Under the new ICO regulations companies will be allowed to raise from retail investors up to 20 million baht (≈$ 640,000) per ICO project. The total fundraising amount is capped at 40 million baht (≈$ 1.3 million).

The Securities and Exchange Commission also intends to implement screening procedures for the ICO projects through a dedicated portal. Companies will be required to disclose the white paper detailing the project’s objectives, their business plans and models, intended use of proceeds, associated legal risks, management and advisory information, and details about the tokens.

Do you think that other countries in the region will follow Thailand’s move to implement balanced regulations regarding ICOs? Tell us in the comments section below.  

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Slideshare.net/PundiXLabs 


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PR: Okoin VR Project Launches 2nd ICO Round

January 27, 2018 |

Okoin VR ICO

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

The OKOIN project launches the second round of the ICO. According to the management of VR Technology, which owns the project, the second round will make the token more liquid and stable after entering the open exchange, and thanks to protection against speculative manipulations. The second round will last from January 25, 2018 to April 25, 2018. For its start, two additional programs are launched: Bounty and Affiliate ones.

During the first round, the OKOIN project managed to attract more than $ 25 million investment in equivalent. The current value of the token is $ 2.7. It is planned that during the second round the coin will also have a steady growth and the price will gradually rise to $ 8 (ROI 200-700%), after which the token will enter the exchange.

The main task of the second round is to protect the token from speculations and provide it an independent value with the infrastructure created to distribute the VR “18+” content, in particular, for viewing movies by using the virtual reality helmet VR OKO.

VR OKO is a self-contained innovative device developed by VR Technology, the virtual reality helmet for watching adult movies. VR OKO does not require a connection to the phone or computer and allows watching erotic movies for 6 hours without recharging. The video library of the project has more than 500 movies in 40 different genres. The helmet VR OKO can now be purchased for OKOIN tokens and ETH.

The OKOIN project launches two new programs in honor of the start of the second ICO round:

Bounty Program, in which anyone can receive a reward for being active in social networks (the Bitcointalk forum, Twitter, Facebook, Telegram messenger, etc.)
Affiliate (referral) Program, in which any user can receive a commission (2-5%) in ETH, plus a bonus in the OKOIN tokens.
In addition to the main programs, a special program “+100” is run for investors of the first round, within which each first round investor receives a bonus of 100% of the purchased tokens in the second round. Bonus tokens are accrued during one calendar month.

OKO STARS Party that was supposed to be held on January 26 has been shifted to April 25. The drawing of tickets will take place in the first days of April. The total number of tickets to be raffled –130. Investors of both the first and second rounds may participate in the drawing.

Participants of the Affiliate program, whose partners have invested more than 250 ETH in the project, are guaranteed to receive a VIP ticket to the party. The ticket completely covers flights, accommodation, and participation in the event.

Company website: https://okoin.io
E-mail: info@vrtechnology.cz
Legerova 1820/39, 120 00
Prague 2, Czech Republic
Company name: VR technology company s.r.o.

Contact Email Address
ico@okoin.io
Supporting Link
https://okoin.io

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

The post PR: Okoin VR Project Launches 2nd ICO Round appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Trading Tip `The Wall´ – Wall Street Price Manipulation? Go Long

January 27, 2018 |

Trading Tip `The Wall´ - Wall Street Price Manipulation? Go Long

Trading is arrogant, be it on Wall Street or across crypto exchanges. In order to trade rather than hodl, you must fundamentally believe you’re smarter, more disciplined or better informed than the other half of the market. Time will tell. But as long as you’re trading, we’ve established that you’re at least more arrogant than the other half of the market. Bitcoin is arrogant. In order to be a bitcoiner, you must fundamentally believe that a bunch of software engineers can create a better form of money than economists, governments and central banks.

Also read: Why Do We Fall, Bruce?

Wall Street Manipulation and Willy Bot

If you are a bitcoin trader (rather than just a hodler) you must be really smart. Or at least you must think you are really smart. A common trait I see in bitcoin traders is that they have theories for everything. They see through it all; the Mt.Gox “Willy bot” bubble, the Chinese wash trading, the Chinese government insider trading, the stop-hunting, Spoofy, Tether & Jamie Dimon trying to buy up cheap bitcoin. The latest conspiracy: Wall Street shorting futures and manipulating spot prices near settlement.

I’m not saying that these theories aren’t sometimes correct. The Willy bot really did exist, and Chinese volumes dropped 90% after zero fee trading was banned. What’s important is that regardless if they’re correct or not, these theories become significant drivers in the bitcoin price. Many times, they create the price movement they are afraid of, like a Harry Potter boggart. This week, either Wall Street drove spot exchanges prices downwards in an act of manipulation, or it was the traders who thought Wall Street would do that did.

The CME and Cboe are traditional financial marketplaces where institutional traders (“Wall Street”) have been able trade bitcoin futures contracts since December. A futures contract is a contract to trade a certain thing for a certain price at a certain time. The Cboe and the CME futures contracts are cash-settled, so what is traded in practice is the price difference between what one entered the contract at vs. the “real” price at the time of settlement.

The first batch of Cboe bitcoin futures settled on Jan 17. The first batch of CME bitcoin futures settled on Jan 26. Futures contract entry prices are negotiated on the Cboe & CME exchanges themselves, but the “real” price at settlement is determined by the spot exchanges. For Cboe, it’s determined by a Gemini auction, and for CME, it’s a composite of Bitstamp, GDAX, Itbit and Kraken.

What the Market Believes

From the Gemini auction data page we can see that the volume for the particular auction (Jan 17) setting the price for the Cboe futures was ~6.72 million USD.

Trading Tip `The Wall´ - Wall Street Price Manipulation? Go Long.

As a comparison, let’s look at the auction from the previous large dump (22 Dec):

Trading Tip `The Wall´ - Wall Street Price Manipulation? Go Long.

On that day, the volume was only ~1.53 million USD. Even on the most active day of December, the volume was ~3.73 million at most. So why was there such a huge spike in interest on Jan 17?

Could the reason perhaps have been the 1,058 Cboe bitcoin futures contracts (>11 million USD) that were still open on Jan 17?

Trading Tip `The Wall´ - Wall Street Price Manipulation? Go Long.

Personally, I don’t think so. We would have to look at the Cboe cumulative delta for that period to properly gauge how many of those were unhedged short positions, but even if we assume 100% were short positions, 11 million USD still doesn’t sound like enough at stake lot  to pull of such a stunt.

The Gemini auction doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If you wanted to artificially push the price down, you would cause an arbitrage opportunity between Gemini and the rest of the world. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume you were able to push the price down on Gemini ~10%, we’re still only talking about 11 million USD worth of contracts open. The heist would have been around 1.1 million USD — or in Wall Street terms, “a penny”, and not a rational amount to engage in market manipulation.

But that aside, the market believes what the market believes. If the market believes bitcoin dumped because of the Cboe futures on Jan 17, the market will believe bitcoin will dump again because of the CME futures on Jan 26.

So, What is Your Trading Tip Exactly?

I believe we are about to break out from an extended period of consolidation. I’ve been hoping to get in some long positions from ~$ 8k, but it appears to me that we would have gotten there thanks to the CME futures FUD if $ 8k was really going to happen. As the market runs out of paranoia, I expect us to start a Lightning Network-positivity-fueled recovery to ~$ 13000-14000 in the coming weeks.

Trading Tip `The Wall´ - Wall Street Price Manipulation? Go Long.

I’m opening a medium-sized long position (saving some of my trading balance in case we do get a chance at ~$ 8k). As usual, I timestamp my trades on Twitter for transparency so there can be no post-editing until this article is processed by Bitcoin.com.

As a final note, I find it a bit ironic that the category of people who are most determined that the market is rigged is the same category of people who are most actively trading it.  I think of it as the sailor superstitions of the crypto seas.

What are your thoughts on market manipulation? Let us know in the comment section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter.


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

The post Trading Tip `The Wall´ – Wall Street Price Manipulation? Go Long appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Discover Card’s 44 Million Customers Denied Crypto

January 27, 2018 |

Discover Card's 44 Million Customers Denied Crypto

The credit card company crypto squeeze continued this week with Discover Card announcing it would not allow its customers to use their card on cryptocurrency exchanges. It’s the latest in a string of credit card purveyors to block access.

Also read: Tezos Swiss Foundation Concept is “Old, Inflexible and Stupid”

Discover Card Removes Doubt: No Crypto

Discover CEO David Nelms, 56, told Jennifer Surane, “It’s crooks that are trying to get money out of China or wherever. Or if someone steals our credit card numbers they’re going to ask for payments in Bitcoin. Those are the only use cases I’m actually seeing today,” he dismissed, giving a decided thumbs down to cryptocurrency as a phenomenon. It’s “not like our customers are clamoring to use it.”

Discover Card's 44 Million Customers Denied Crypto

Discover Card holders were known to stalk online forums asking about other users’ experience with attempting to buy cryptocurrency on exchanges. The answer was clear: not possible. Mr. Nelms has removed all mystery with the above statements. Discover wants no part in the burgeoning market of decentralized money.

The company has been around in one form or another for over three decades. With 44 million customers, Discover ranks in the top five popular US credit cards behind Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

What’s in Your Wallet?

It’s hardly the only credit card to publicly come out against cryptocurrencies. In fact, Capital One recently tweeted “We currently decline credit card purchases of cryptocurrency. We’ll continue evaluating our policy as this market evolves.” In a follow up, Breitbart was able to get a more expansive comment:

“Capital One is currently declining credit card transactions to purchase cryptocurrency due to the limited mainstream acceptance and the elevated risks of fraud, loss, and volatility inherent in the cryptocurrency market. Capital One continues to closely monitor developments in cryptocurrency markets and exchanges and will regularly evaluate the decision as cryptocurrency markets evolve.”

Discover Card's 44 Million Customers Denied Crypto

Both of these come after Visa basically shut down huge European markets, leaving many crypto enthusiasts without much recourse.

One theory, beyond fear of eventual competition, is government regulations and liability, with regard to anti-money laundering laws and know your customer onboarding, make it too risky for credit card companies and banks to participate in crypto.

Whatever the case, Discover’s Q4 earnings fell short of analysts’ projections, and its profits dropped by over thirty percent, presumably unrelated to their prohibition on digital assets. Sooner or later, however, in freer economic arrangements, customers make known their preferences, and 44 million users being denied a chance to experiment with bitcoin and other digital assets could quickly demand alternatives. 

Do you use credit cards with crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Discover, Capital One.


Not up to date on the news? Listen to This Week in Bitcoina podcast updated each Friday.

The post Discover Card’s 44 Million Customers Denied Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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