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South Korea Found a Way to Tax Cryptocurrencies Under Current Law

January 8, 2018 |

South Korea Found a Way to Tax Cryptocurrencies Under Current Law

The South Korean government has announced that some taxes can be applied to cryptocurrencies under the current law, which will be finalized in the first half of this year. Other taxes are also being considered but some are not easily implemented under the current tax system.

Also read: Russian Regulators Draft Law to Restrict Crypto Mining, Payments, and Token Sales

Some Taxes Coming Soon

South Korea Found a Way to Tax Cryptocurrencies Under Current Law
Choi Young-rak.

The South Korean government has been discussing ways to tax cryptocurrency transactions. “Virtual currencies are not taxable under the current Income Tax Act,” Chosun described. Previously, the regulators had not confirmed if the current legal framework allows the taxation of cryptocurrencies.

However, at a briefing on the amendment bill for the Enforcement Decree of the Revision of the Tax Code on Sunday January 7, Choi Young-rak, head of the tax department of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, was quoted by the Kyunghyang Shinmun:

There are some things that can be taxed under the current law.

Specifically, “Under current law, corporate taxation is possible,” Edaily quoted him explaining. The publication noted that the tax plan is expected to be finalized within the next six months. News1 Korea added, “The part that can be taxed by the current law will be taxed in the first half of this year.”

Specific Taxes Being Discussed

South Korea Found a Way to Tax Cryptocurrencies Under Current LawThe Virtual Currency Taxation Task Force was recently created following the releases of government’s measures for crypto regulation. The group met for the first time recently with related experts and ministries including the Korean Ministry of Internal Affairs and Internal Revenue Service, according to Choi.

He was quoted by Asia Today, “There are some areas where legislation is necessary, such as capital gains tax. We need to review whether it is appropriate to impose capital gains tax and legislate.”

News1 Korea elaborated:

At present, it is concluded that the taxation of income tax, corporation tax, transfer income tax, etc. is possible in the case of virtual currency, while taxation of virtual currency is difficult in terms of value-added tax.

In addition, at a recent meeting of the National Economic Advisory Council, presided over by President Moon Jae-in, an official was quoted saying “countermeasures against the difficulty of tracking tax revenue are also necessary.” He added, “there is a need to regulate brokers who mediate virtual currency transactions such as exchanges and accumulate taxation information.”

How many different taxes do you think the Korean government will impose on cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Edaily.


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The post South Korea Found a Way to Tax Cryptocurrencies Under Current Law appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Tron, Cardano, Verge and Ripple – Four Cryptocurrencies That Actually Meet the Definition of Vaporware

January 8, 2018 |

Four Cryptocurrencies That Meet the Definition of Vaporware

‘Vaporware’ is a term that’s tossed about loosely, often against cryptocurrency projects that have no clear use case. It’s an easy accusation to make given that many crypto projects are still at the development stage, and haven’t had a chance to prove themselves. This year’s vaporware could be next year’s ethereum – or at least so the investors hope. While a vast number of cryptocurrencies are derided as vaporware, the following four attract this jibe more than most.

Also read: People Selling ‘Fully Verified’ Crypto-Exchange Accounts On the Rise

Catching the Vapors

Vaporware has been defined as “software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed”. That definition applies to 90% of all ICOs right now, which are either still tallying up their ether or hunting down devs capable of bringing their six-page white paper to life. It will be months or even years before we discover which projects proved their worth, and which were wearing the emperor’s new clothes: ”blockchain” dressed up as innovation.

Four Cryptocurrencies That Meet the Definition of Vaporware

The vaporware meme gained traction in November after Nate Murray published a graphic describing the top 100 cryptocurrencies in four words or less. In it, Veritaseum was labeled as vaporware, though there are coins much higher on the list that arguably warrant that epithet like Kin, a billion dollar token with zero uses at present. The following projects have every chance of success. To their detractors, though, they’re little more than software in search of a solution – and unbuilt software at that.

Tron

Tron founder Justin Sun is a rising star, listed in Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 and CEO of a company that’s risen from nothing to attain a $ 13 billion valuation in under six months. Tron has been one of 2018’s biggest success stories, despite the year being barely a week old. The token soared into the cryptocurrency top 10 after its market cap quadrupled in a day and a half. On January 5, Tron commanded a $ 16 billion market cap: not bad for a company that has no product whatsoever. Not everyone is a fan though, including Monero’s Riccardo Spagni.

Four Cryptocurrencies That Meet the Definition of Vaporware

The outspoken developer of the darknet’s favorite privacy coin conceded, however, that he bought Tron in December, explaining “just because I can identify scams doesn’t mean I’m averse to making money.” Critics have called Tron “the $ 14 billion whitepaper with no product” and the project seems to borrow heavily from LBRY, which launched last May.

The Tron roadmap looks like this:

Four Cryptocurrencies That Meet the Definition of Vaporware

Provided those TRX tokens keeping pumping for the next nine years though, everything should be just fine.

Verge

Verge appeared on Nate Murray’s cryptocurrency list as “privacy dogecoin”. Given that the coin started life as a doge fork known as dogecoin dark, that figures. Verge has come a long way since then in fairness, but has that journey taken it forwards or sideways? XVG is meant to be a privacy coin. The trouble is, it doesn’t appear to be very good at that. News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on a website which claims to expose IP addresses used in verge transactions.

Four Cryptocurrencies That Meet the Definition of VaporwareThe verge community bitterly dispute the accuracy of the site in question, although with no word from Verge themselves, the matter remains unresolved. The operator of the site is adamant that the data is accurate, and also reports that only 2% of verge addresses use Tor, despite anonymous deep web transactions being XVG’s USP. One writer scathingly opined that “Verge fails to offer real privacy and is indistinguishable from a scam”.

The Verge team are currently working on something called the Wraith Protocol, which supporters are prone to referencing in hushed tones. It’s “a technology that allows the user to seamlessly switch between public and private ledgers on the Verge Blockchain”, which sounds like the sort of functionality that’s been built into coins like Zencash for some time. Whether the Wraith Protocol proves to be the savior of privacy coins remains to be seen. Either way, it’s immaterial, since the majority of the verge community are only interested in using verge to speculate on the price of verge.

Four Cryptocurrencies That Meet the Definition of Vaporware

Cardano

Four Cryptocurrencies That Meet the Definition of VaporwareWith a $ 25 billion market cap, Cardano is cryptocurrency top five royalty. The project will form “a decentralised platform that will allow complex programmable transfers of value in a secure and scalable fashion” which could describe most crypto platforms. What’s so different about Cardano? Apparently it “differentiates itself by being designed from the ‘ground up’ to deliver a secure and sustainable blockchain that can protect user privacy whilst allowing for regulation,” which doesn’t help a lot. Also “Cardano aims to be a mature blockchain”, which is something that surely only time can apply.

Vaporware or not, decentralized cryptocurrency purists aren’t convinced by Cardano’s assertions that “full anonymity can be counterproductive, as can complete lack of regulatory oversight. The project’s founders aim to find “the right mix of individual privacy protection and provision for regulatory control”. One person who’s certainly not a fan is Dan Larimer. The Bitshares, EOS, and Steem founder is rustled by the fact that the Cardano white paper doesn’t cite his own dPOS work. He seethes:

Cardano’s Ouroboros algorithm is not mathematically secure due to bad assumptions regarding the relationship between stake and individual-judgment being distributed by the pareto principle. Furthemore, their algorithm is not “new” but a less secure slower variation of the DPOS algorithm I originally introduced in April 2014.

Larimer has his own platforms to protect, of course, so was never going to smile kindly on a competitor. Still, $ 24 billion for a decentralized anything seems like a lot of money for a product that exists only as a whole lot of documentation, one section of which is named Haddock.

XRP

Four Cryptocurrencies That Meet the Definition of VaporwareRipple is a fully functioning company and one of the longest established players in the cryptocurrency space. It’s still working on building up those all-important banking partnerships, but at least it has a service to offer. But what about XRP, its centralized cryptocurrency without a purpose? Ripple claims to have signed up over 100 banks, but the trouble is none of them seem to be using XRP tokens for money transfer.

The NYT quotes Blocktower Capital’s Ari Paul as saying: ““I’m not aware of banks using or planning to use the XRP token at the scale of tens of billions of dollars necessary to support XRP’s valuation.” One Mexican financial company has committed to using XRP so far. And that’s it. Still, like all of the cryptocurrencies on this list, ripple has enriched its early adopters, and for investors who are sitting comfortably in profit, that’s reason enough for its existence.

Four Cryptocurrencies That Meet the Definition of VaporwareTo be fair to the likes of Tron and Cardano, any new cryptocurrency that shoots into the top 10 is liable to be labeled vaporware until proven otherwise. And it’s not as if these are the only coins rocketing in value: altcoins across the board, from the tiniest microcaps to the largest unicorns, are currently in the green. Even Kekcoin, a meme coin for frog worshippers, is up 68% on Cryptopia this week. Then again, with a total supply of just 11 million, Kekcoin can boast one attribute that none of the tokens on this list have – digital scarcity.

Which cryptocurrency projects do you think are vaporware? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and @TheBlueMatt on Twitter.


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The post Tron, Cardano, Verge and Ripple – Four Cryptocurrencies That Actually Meet the Definition of Vaporware appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Crypto Card Issuers Seek Solutions in the Wake of a European Ban

January 8, 2018 |

Crypto Card Issuers Seek Solutions in the Wake of a European Ban

Intervention by Visa spelled an end to European crypto debit cards for the majority of customers on Thursday. Around a dozen crypto companies were affected by the shutdown, which instantly wiped out their services across Europe. Issuers such as Bitwala, Tenx, Bitpay, and Xapo were left high and dry after a Visa subsidiary stopped processing payments. Two of the companies affected have since spoken to news.Bitcoin.com, revealing their plans to find an alternative solution.

Also read: Visa Veto Leaves Several European Cryptocurrency Cards Locked Out

Crypto Card Holders Are Locked Out

On Thursday, news.Bitcoin.com reported on a sudden crackdown on crypto cards within Europe, orchestrated by Visa subsidiary Wavecrest. The report explained how “the prepaid cards, which have become extremely popular in the crypto community, provide a means of indirectly paying for goods and services using cryptocurrency.”

Bridging the gap between fiat and crypto is one of the biggest challenges cryptocurrency platforms face. Hybrid cards, which allow a debit card to be funded with crypto and then used to make purchases in the local fiat currency, were seen as a smart solution. That all changed this week when hundreds of thousands of European crypto-holders found their cards had been rendered useless.

Crypto Card Issuers Seek Solutions In the Wake of a European Ban

Tenx was one of those companies affected by the ban. The company’s co-founder, Dr. Julian Hosp, told news.Bitcoin.com that around 200,000 customers had been impacted, but signaled that a resolution is on the horizon:

Tenx was prepared for this, as the company has recently entered partnership  with a new card issuing partner and is in the process of getting the new cards live to replace the old ones as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Tenx customers will be able to withdraw their funds from their accounts as of Monday evening (January 8), while they await developments.

Dr Hosp also appeared on a live Hangout on Saturday to explain more about the current situation. The company’s co-founder seems upbeat, telling news.Bitcoin.com of plans to introduce a “live virtual currencies card” and obtain a banking licence for better fiat currency integration.

The Hunt for a New Issuer

Wirex is another crypto card firm that finds itself without a payment processing partner after Visa slammed the door. The company claims to be Wavecrest’s largest client, with over one million customers – most of whom don’t use crypto cards, it should be noted. Nevertheless, the effects of the Visa veto were still dramatic: around 600,000 Wirex plastic or virtual card holders were left without service after the ban.

Crypto Card Issuers Seek Solutions In the Wake of a European BanInterestingly, Wirex CEO Pavel Matveev asserts that Visa are blameless in this, insisting that the blame lies solely with Wavecrest. He told news.Bitcoin.com: “Wavecrest have been violating Visa rules for months…it’s 100% Wavecrest’s fault and they knew it was coming a couple of months ago.”

Like Tenx, Wirex is confident the situation won’t leave its European customers serviceless. Pavel says they have four alternative issuers to choose from, one of which is based in Europe. “For us,” he said, “it’s a question of switching issuer and re-issuing cards, so it’s just a temporary problem; but for a lot of companies it’s the end of their business – they don’t have an alternative issuer and finding one plus integration might take anyway from 6 to 18 months”.

Who’s to Blame?

Crypto Card Issuers Seek Solutions In the Wake of a European BanSome in the cryptocurrency community were swift to point the finger at Visa in the aftermath of the ban, though there is no evidence as yet that the order came from up high. Given that it processes more than 100 billion transactions a year versus bitcoin’s circa 130 million, it’s premature to assert that Visa is feeling threatened by cryptocurrency. Whatever bitcoin is, be it a store of value or a medium of exchange, it is not, as yet, a Visa killer. Nor is Visa, or its subsidiary Wavecrest, a crypto killer.

It seems likely that the majority of European card issuers will be able to resume service in the near future. Customers will be wary, though, of putting all their faith in one crypto card, in the knowledge that a repeat of the Wavecrest incident could see service suspended at any time.

Do you think Visa are culpable, or was this matter none of their doing? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Crypto Card Issuers Seek Solutions in the Wake of a European Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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After The Rise of its Controversial ”Digital USD” Tether Releases EURTs

January 8, 2018 |

After Creating a Digital USD Tether Limited Creates EURTs

Tether, creator of a USDT token claimed to be backed by the U.S. dollar, has been a hot topic of conversation lately to say the least. The company has been very successful so far issuing tokens to individuals and exchanges, but many skeptics are worried the digital currency is not backed by real fiat. Skeptics aside, just recently the company has announced the issuance of a new fiat backed tether called EURT that will represent euros with ERC20 standard compatibility.

Also read: French Entrepreneur’s Case to Overturn the Bitlicense Dismissed

Tether Issues Digital Fiat

After Creating a Digital USD Tether Limited Creates EURTs Tether (USDT) is a digital asset that’s been issued over the Bitcoin core blockchain through the Omni Layer protocol. The organization that created USDTs is called Tether Limited, and according to the firm, tether tokens can always be redeemed 1:1 with the U.S. dollar through the company’s platform. Tether has been around for a couple of years now and has been very successful as a wide variety of cryptocurrencies had a phenomenal year of growth. Some skeptics believe the growth has been unnatural and tether has been accused of ‘pumping’ the entire digital asset ecosystem. These critics think there are no real dollars behind the USDT system.

Meet the ‘EURT’

Meanwhile, Tether Limited is now creating a euro tether (EURT) that is issued over the Ethereum blockchain and will be compatible with the ERC20 standard.        

“As the first platform to facilitate the transfer of fiat backed currencies over a blockchain network, Tether has made headway by giving customers the ability to transfer value across the blockchain without the inherent volatility and complexity typically associated with a digital currency,” explains Tether Limited.

Following the widespread success of our Bitcoin-based USD Tether, issued via the Omni Layer Protocol, we have today launched and issued both US Dollars and Euros as Ethereum-based Tether, compatible with the ERC20 standard.

After Creating a Digital USD Tether Limited Creates EURTs
Tether Limited announces the creation of USDT and EURT that are compatible with the ERC20 standard.

Several of Tether Limited’s Partner Exchanges Are Working to Integrate EURTs

The new system allows for the transfer of both tokenized USD and EUR says the firm. Additionally, the company explains that the protocol will be interoperable with Ethereum network applications and pegged assets.

Another reason for the ERC20 compatible tethers means transactions will have “much lower network fees and much faster confirmation times.” Tether Limited believes this will create far more liquidity and exchange arbitrage.

“Several partner exchanges are already working to integrate the new tokens,” reveals the firm.

EURT Contracts Get Two Codebase Audits

Alongside this, the company says it has completed two audits of the codebase and contracts using Zeppelin Audits and Phil Daian as third-party auditors. The inspections say there were no critical or high severity issues found and recommended some medium severity solutions. Zeppelin had updated the report and stated:  

The Tether team has followed our recommendations and updated the Tether token contract.

Phil Daian’s audit is 20 pages long and concludes that if the company follows the recommendations, the ERC20 Tether contracts “will launch in a well tested, secure state.”

What do you think about Tether Limited creating a euro token? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below. 


Images via Shutterstock, the Tether logo, the Tether Limited blog and Pixabay. 


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The post After The Rise of its Controversial ”Digital USD” Tether Releases EURTs appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Headed by Ex-Goldman Sachs VP Raises $140 Million

January 8, 2018 |

Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Headed by Ex-Goldman Sachs VP Raises $  140 Million

It looks as if Silicon Valley and Wall Street are coming together just to see who can shower cryptocurrency ventures with more money.

Also Read: Strong Cryptocurrency CFD Volumes Bring Record Revenues for Plus 500

Blocktower Capital Crypto Hedge Fund

Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Headed by Ex-Goldman Sachs VP Raises $  140 MillionBlocktower Capital is a cryptocurrency hedge fund headed by former Goldman Sachs vice president Matthew Goetz. The new venture was only launched in August 2017 and has already said to have raised about $ 140 million.

Investors in Blocktower reportedly include family offices and other entities such as venture capital firms such as Union Square Ventures LLC and Andreessen Horowitz.

Some of the raised funds were apparently redirected towards boosting the company’s staff, now estimated to sport eight executives. On Thursday Blocktower issued a statement that it hired Michael Bucella, who was also with Goldman Sachs since 2008. Bucella’s last role at the bank was related to multi-asset sales in Canada, where he headed strategic partnerships and business development.

Alpha Potential Is Abundant

Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Headed by Ex-Goldman Sachs VP Raises $  140 MillionOn its sparse website Blocktower Capital’s only description of its investment strategy, goals or operation is “bringing professional trading and portfolio management to an emerging digital asset class.” There is no mention of what cryptocurrencies they will focus on for trading, as well as whether they will invest in ICO tokens or stocks of any ‘blockchain’ companies.

However, CEO Goetz, described what is the opportunity the fund can capitalize on: “It’s a wildly inefficient market where alpha potential is abundant — more than anything we’ve seen in our careers. We think it’s a rare opportunity for investors. It’s not often there’s a new capital market being born in front of you.”

This sentiment appears to be shared among more and more investors in both the finance and the venture capital worlds. A few notable examples include legendary value investor Bill Miller who now holds half of his hedge fund in bitcoin, TechCrunch and CrunchFund founder Michael Arrington‘s $ 100 million XRP hedge fund, billionaire investor Michael Novogratz and most recently Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

Would you invest in a cryptocurrency hedge fund run by former ex-Goldman Sachs executives? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


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The post Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Headed by Ex-Goldman Sachs VP Raises $ 140 Million appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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People Selling ‘Fully Verified’ Crypto-Exchange Accounts On the Rise

January 7, 2018 |

People Selling 'Fully Verified' Crypto-Exchange Accounts On the Rise

Over the past few months, cryptocurrency exchanges across the globe have been swamped with new customers looking to trade or acquire digital assets. Trading platforms have been having a hard time keeping up with the new registrants. Users are complaining that identity verifications are now required and take weeks to process, while some exchanges are not accepting new customers at all. This has led to rise of individuals selling “fully verified” accounts for a variety of popular digital currency platforms.

Also Read: Several Bitcoin Exchanges Are Closing Their Doors to New Traders

As Exchanges Stop Accepting New Registrants and Require More Identity Verification — A Great Number of Fully Verified Accounts Are Being Sold for Bitcoin   

Just recently news.Bitcoin.com reported on how some exchanges like Bittrex, and Cex.io have temporarily stopped accepting new customers due to the heavy influx of registrants these days. Further, we reported on how one of the leading trading platforms, Binance, disabled new user accounts a few days ago. Meanwhile, in December Poloniex announced it required legacy accounts to verify their identity or the accounts would be closed. All of these issues has led to significant verification delays, and people finding it more difficult to trade cryptocurrencies. However, some individuals are selling “fully verified” cryptocurrency exchange accounts for bitcoin and other digital assets.

People Selling 'Fully Verified' Crypto-Exchange Accounts On the Rise
Poloniex and Bittrex accounts for sale this week on the forum Bitcointalk.

Verified Accounts Lead to Much Larger Withdrawal Limits

People Selling 'Fully Verified' Crypto-Exchange Accounts On the Rise
One user is selling accounts on the Selly platform.

For instance, there are many examples of people selling accounts on forums over the past few months. On Bitcointalk.org one user is selling a Poloniex Verified Account (Level 3 Verified) that comes with a  $ 25,000 daily withdrawal limit for $ 12. The same person is also selling a Bittrex enhanced account for $ 10. Verified accounts have been for sale for years, but these days the amount of people selling them has increased significantly. Just last week another individual was selling a Bittrex account with “proof” on the Selly platform, and announced the sale multiple times on forums stating;

Hello guys, I’m selling a Bittrex verified account with a daily withdrawal limit 100 BTC.

The Frustrating Verification Process Has Led to the Blowback of Underground Sales

Having your identity verified on exchanges is pretty much a requirement for over 90 percent of the trading platforms online, no matter which country you live in. Even exchanges that used to have very little verification requirements, like BTC-e, have changed to fully regulated platforms requiring KYC/AML. In order to get verified, users often have to upload a state-issued license, verify their phone number, and even submit various papers that show your residential address. With all these requirements many users get frustrated and won’t even sign up for an exchange. If they do register their identity, they wind up waiting a long time and even weeks on end.

People Selling 'Fully Verified' Crypto-Exchange Accounts On the Rise
People are selling verified accounts on Telegram.

In addition to these posts found on forums account dealers are also selling verified accounts on messenger apps like Telegram. Cryptocurrency groups on Telegram in particular have various individuals selling accounts to Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bittrex, GDAX, Binance, and many more exchanges. With governments making it more difficult for exchanges to operate without abiding by KYC/AML background checks comes with some blowback — The rise of underground verified cryptocurrency exchange account sales.

It’s safe to say purchasing one of these accounts is really not the smartest move, as the seller could easily hold some credentials to the account and unload the user’s funds when the person least expects it.

What do you think about the number of people selling fully verified accounts for cryptocurrency exchanges? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support the product or service where people are selling verified accounts. The links provided in this article are for source purposes only and news.Bitcoin.com does not recommend or consider these account vendors trustworthy.  
Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned links or any of the vendor’s services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcointalk, Selly, and Telegram.


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The post People Selling ‘Fully Verified’ Crypto-Exchange Accounts On the Rise appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Chinese Authorities Ask Local Miners to Submit Monthly Status Reports

January 7, 2018 |

Chinese Authorities Ask Local Miners to Submit Monthly Status Reports

Xinjiang Province regulators have issued an official document informing local bitcoin miners to submit status reports on a specific schedule.

Also Read: Japanese ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ Spreading Cryptocurrency Knowledge

    An Orderly Exit

Chinese Authorities Ask Local Miners to Submit a Monthly Status Report

Bitcoin mining companies were told to write a status report before Jan. 5, according to a government notice signed by a Xinjiang committee in charge of overseeing internet finance risks (The Committee) that was circulated online and verified by people familiar with the matter. The document reads that:

Xinjiang is home to multiple bitcoin miners, which are both energy-intensive and highly speculative. To curb financial risks and encourage real economy, approaches must be taken to guide miners toward an “orderly” exit from the business.

The document detailed that the Xinjiang Commission of Economy and Information Technology shall update the operation and exit status of mining companies before the 5th of every month and submit relative materials to The Committee.

Which Approaches Be Taken?

Chinese Authorities Ask Local Miners to Submit a Monthly Status Report

Many of the world’s largest miners have set up in remote and mountainous Sichuan and Yunnan provinces for cheap electricity. But Chinese authorities proposed restrictions on power consumption to curb the industry.

Based on another document signed by the Financial Market of the PBOC, the authorities plan to limit the industry’s power use. It says that:

Local governments shall coordinate with multiple departments to take actions concerning electricity price, land use, tax and environmental protection in an effort to guide miners orderly exit .

Chinese Authorities Ask Local Miners to Submit Monthly Status Reports
a small bitcoin miner emptied

Compared with China’s ICO ban in September, these proposed restrictions on mining failed to cause panic among the Chinese community. A Sichuan miner told news.bitcoin.com that he is confident that Chinese mining companies will remain in the leading position in the mining industry. “It’s too late for regulators to take moves. I feel that people are immune to regulations now.”

What do you think of the restrictions? Do you think the cryptocurrency industry will be reshaped? Leave your comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Wechat channel and Sina Finance.


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The post Chinese Authorities Ask Local Miners to Submit Monthly Status Reports appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Vietnam Expedites Cryptocurrency Legal Framework – Ready End of January

January 7, 2018 |

Vietnam Expedites Cryptocurrency Legal Framework – Ready End of January

The government of Vietnam has taken steps to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrency regulation that will affect Bitcoin. The executive power in Hanoi has insisted that the framework should be ready by the end of January. Amendments to the tax code are expected to help tap into proceeds from “virtual property and digital money”.

Also read: Cryptocurrency Mining Soars in Vietnam – Over 7000 Rigs Imported

Indochina Catching Up

The new impetus was given by a high-ranking government official who insisted on hastening the legal process. Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has asked the Ministry of Justice and the State Bank to quickly complete the legal framework and report to the government. According to Vietnamese media, the documents should be presented to the Council of ministers by the end of the month.

Vietnam Expedites Cryptocurrency Legal Framework – Ready End of JanuaryThe central bank of Vietnam shall assume prime responsibility for proposing amendments to the taxation laws. Respective supplements related to cryptocurrencies should be promulgated soon after the introduction of the regulatory regime. It is not yet clear whether the new legislation will define Bitcoin and its alternatives as investment assets, means of payment, or both. The exact tax rates and their scope in regards to income and profit from trading and mining are still to be defined.

With its indentations to speed up the process of “managing Bitcoin”, Vietnam is trying to catch up with China and South Korea, which recently moved in the same direction. But the Vietnamese authorities now have a chance to do a better job. They can take into account certain mistakes made by their Asian neighbors who are tightening the loophole.

Stalemate in the Status Quo

In Vietnam, and elsewhere on the Asian continent, cryptocurrencies drew significant attention in the past year, despite warnings by some experts and officials about the risks stemming from their volatile character in the absence of comprehensive legal guidance. The disruptive nature of “virtual money”, as cryptos are referred to by many in power, has divided opinions around the world about how to “manage” the phenomenon while taking advantage of it. Officials have been wondering how to sheer off some of their value worth more than $ 800 billion now…Or stop them in their tracks, if they prove too damaging to the status quo.

Vietnam Prime Minister Expedites Cryptocurrency Legal FrameworkThat’s a dilemma that Vietnamese officials are also facing and scratching their heads over. At a National Assembly hearing in November, the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Le Minh Hung said that under current Vietnamese regulations, bitcoin was not legal tender or a “permitted means of payment”, as the bizhub edition of Việt Nam News reported. According to the central bank, the issuance and use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for payment purposes was prohibited. However, Hung added that “from the perspective of treating it as an investment asset”, the SBV would co-operate with the justice ministry to “study the legal framework for managing” Bitcoin.

A project to develop this framework, “with an aim to protect legal rights of investors”, was approved by the government back in August. The Việt Nam News article also reads that the nature of cryptocurrencies must be clarified and the country “must learn from international experiences” – in order to minimize risks, while “ensuring flexibility and promoting innovation”. But then:

It is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people…

Rush Part of Broader Move

Whether Vietnamese authorities are losing their “Cronkites” or local media is simply relaying the mood in the corridors of power in Hanoi is hard to tell. It is important to note, though, that the rush towards cryptocurrency regulation is part of a broader move to implement changes in the “economic management” of several sectors. Ministries and other branches of the executive structure have been assigned duties and responsibilities to “quickly finalize and propose plans” to do that.

Beside the legal framework for managing Bitcoin, the finance ministry has been urged to complete a project on expanding the tax base of the non-state sector. And the Ministry of Planning and Investment was asked to provide a statistical overview of the whole Vietnamese economy. So, if Bitcoin is not singled out and put up against the wall, maybe peace is on the way in Vietnam.

Do you think Vietnam will employ a more positive approach towards Bitcoin regulation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Korean Government Starts Inspecting Major Banks for Crypto Regulation Compliance

January 7, 2018 |

Korean Government Starts Inspecting Major Banks for Crypto Regulation Compliance

The South Korean authorities will start inspecting major banks for their compliance with cryptocurrency regulations on Monday. This move follows the regulators’ recent announcement prohibiting the use of virtual bank accounts for anonymous trading.

Also read: Russian Regulators Draft Law to Restrict Crypto Mining, Payments, and Token Sales

Inspecting 6 Major Banks

Korean Government Starts Inspecting Major Banks for Crypto Regulation ComplianceThe South Korean Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), under the Financial Services Commission (FSC), and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said on Sunday, January 7, that they will jointly inspect 6 major banks for compliance of cryptocurrency regulation.

The inspection will take place between January 8 and 11. Woori Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Korea Development Bank (KDB), and Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) will be inspected.

This move follows the government’s clampdown on the use of virtual accounts for anonymous trading at the end of last month, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Financial News described:

The FIU and FSS will check whether banks have properly implemented their anti-money laundering obligations to operate virtual accounts…The FIU has imposed more than 40 checklists on suspicious transactions, stipulating virtual currency as a ‘high risk’ transaction.

The Korea Herald commented, “It is rare for the two organizations to conduct a joint survey, a move that industry watchers viewed as beyond a watch on anti-money laundering measures by the banks and ultimately intended to cool the overheated market.”

Real-Name System Expected Around Jan 20

Korean Government Starts Inspecting Major Banks for Crypto Regulation ComplianceLast week, the FSS revealed that the amount of fiat deposits at crypto exchanges as of December 12 last year amounted to 2.067 trillion won [~USD$ 1.95 billion]. Furthermore, 111 virtual bank accounts were detected at the six aforementioned banks at the end of December, the news outlet detailed.

In an effort to end anonymous trading, the government has prohibited banks and crypto exchanges from both issuing new virtual accounts and adding new members to existing ones, as news.Bitcoin.com previously explained.

The government is developing a real-name identification system which is expected to be introduced around January 20. Joongang Daily elaborated:

The real name confirmation service that banks are building by the end of this month is a method of allowing deposits and withdrawals only when the account of the trader who is identified and the account of [the trader at] the virtual currency exchange are the same.

What do you think of the government inspecting major banks for crypto regulation compliance? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Asia First.


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Japanese ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ Spreading Cryptocurrency Knowledge

January 7, 2018 |

Japanese 'Virtual Currency Girls' Spreading Cryptocurrency Knowledge

Japanese female idols have teamed up to form the ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ group to promote the knowledge of cryptocurrencies through entertainment. Each of its 8 members represents a cryptocurrency: bitcoin cash, bitcoin, ether, neo, nem, ripple, mona, and cardano.

Also read: Russian Regulators Draft Law to Restrict Crypto Mining, Payments, and Token Sales

‘Virtual Currency Girls’ Idol Group

The Japanese idol agency called Cinderella Academy has created a female idol group called “Virtual Currency Girls,” consisting of members chosen from an already-established idol group with a zodiac constellation theme created by the same agency.

Japanese 'Virtual Currency Girls' Spreading Cryptocurrency Knowledge
‘Virtual Currency Girls’ idol group.

Each of the group’s 8 members represents a cryptocurrency that is popular in the Japanese market. According to local publications, 18-year-old Naruse Lara who represents bitcoin cash (BCH) is the leader of the group. Representing bitcoin (BTC) is 16-year-old Hinano Shirahama. 22-year-old Suzuka Minami is neo (NEO). 17-year-olds Kanako Matsuzawa and Koharu Kamikawa are cardano (ADA) and nem (XEM) respectively. 15-year-old Hinata Kozuki is ripple (XRP). Ether (ETH) and monacoin (MONA) are represented by Ami Amo and Momo Aisu respectively; the two did not disclose their ages.

Japanese 'Virtual Currency Girls' Spreading Cryptocurrency Knowledge
Members of the ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ group.

Idols Promoting Cryptocurrencies

The Japanese idol phenomenon began in the early 1970s. Today it is a multi-million dollar industry in Japan and South Korea. Talent agencies hold auditions for boys and girls with little or no prior experience in the entertainment industry. The youngsters are trained and marketed as idols or aspiring stars/starlets to be role models and adored for their sweetness and innocence. They sing, dance, perform in plays, and appear in television commercials, among other public-facing work.

Japanese 'Virtual Currency Girls' Spreading Cryptocurrency KnowledgeAccording to the announcement by Cinderella Academy, the group intends “to promote [through] entertainment that virtual currency is not a tool for speculation but a technology that creates a wonderful future.”

They cited concerns over initial coin offering (ICO) fraud and financial damages through speculation, adding that “If you leave as it is, there will be a massive crash somewhere, and the number of people who make a big loss will increase.”

The group accepts cryptocurrencies for tickets to their live performances as well as merchandise sales. Leader Naruse Lara commented:

[Virtual Currency Girls] is a unit that carefully selects future currencies from a number of virtual currencies and spreads correct knowledge through entertainment.

What do you think of this ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ idol group? Do you think they will effectively spread knowledge of cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Cinderella Academy, and Virtual Currency Girls group.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japanese ‘Virtual Currency Girls’ Spreading Cryptocurrency Knowledge appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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