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Coincheck to Start Compensating Hack Victims and Resume Operations Next Week

March 9, 2018 |

Coincheck to Start Compensating Hack Victims and Resume Operations Next Week

Hacked Japanese exchange Coincheck is getting ready to start compensating its customers next week as it plans to resume operations. The exchange has been slapped with two business improvement orders so far by Japan’s financial regulator and may stop trading some cryptocurrencies for safety reasons.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Repayment Beginning Next Week

Coincheck to Start Compensating Hack Victims and Resume Operations Next WeekMajor Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck announced on Thursday that it will start compensating customers next week, according to Nikkei. The exchange was hacked on January 26 and lost approximately 58 billion yen (~USD$ 550 million) worth of the cryptocurrency NEM, held by approximately 260,000 customers. The incident forced the company to suspend nearly all of its services.

Coincheck’s repayment plan revealed on Thursday is in line with the company’s announcement in February, according to COO Yusuke Otsuka. The exchange has promised to repay victims 88.549 yen for each of the NEM coins stolen, which is a total of 46 billion yen. However, some are criticizing this decision, demanding compensation of the full amount at the time of the hack.

Coincheck to Start Compensating Hack Victims and Resume Operations Next Week
Coincheck’s press conference on Thursday.

The exchange is also repaying victims in Japanese yen, rather than in cryptocurrency, adding that the funds will appear in customers’ accounts starting next week. Meanwhile, multiple lawsuits have already been filed against the company by victims for the return of their cryptocurrencies.

Method of Attack

Coincheck to Start Compensating Hack Victims and Resume Operations Next WeekThe investigation by the Japan Exchange Group (NEC) and five financial security companies revealed that “the cause of the leakage is seen as a malware infection via email to employee PCs,” Oricon reported. Multiple Coincheck employees received the malware-laced email, Otsuka described. Once an infected link was clicked, the virus spread, leading to the NEM theft, Nikkei explained.

However, the COO cannot reveal whether the email originated from overseas or within Japan. “I am under investigation and I cannot reveal it,” the news outlet quoted him saying. Emphasizing that cryptocurrencies will be stored in cold wallets going forward, he detailed:

In order to prevent re-attacks, we reconstructed our internal network, [which is] constantly monitored…restructured servers in new environments, and fully replaced business PCs.

FSA’s Improvement Orders

Following the hack, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) immediately summoned Coincheck to explain the situation and slapped the exchange with a business improvement order. Then on Thursday, the agency handed the exchange another improvement order, as it punished six other exchange operators with inadequate customer protection measures.

Coincheck to Start Compensating Hack Victims and Resume Operations Next Week“We will undertake a fundamental review of the management system in response to the second improvement order, examine the contents and report it” the Sankei Shimbun quoted Otsuka saying in a press conference. Furthermore, he emphasized, “We believe that we can continue the service.”

Otsuka added that “From the second half of last year the price of the entire virtual currency [market] soared, the number of users increased, and our business expanded.” CEO Koichiro Wada admitted:

Personnel was not enough for [securing our] system…I tried to expand by utilizing recruiters and introduction companies, but it led to a case like this [hack].

Furthermore, the exchange plans to resume operation next week, Nikkei reported, elaborating that “Coincheck gradually will resume trading for those digital currencies it has deemed safe and may stop handling cryptocurrencies with a high degree of anonymity.”

What do you think of Coincheck’s plan to compensate victims and its business decisions going forward? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coincheck.


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The post Coincheck to Start Compensating Hack Victims and Resume Operations Next Week appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Wirex Launching Bitcoin Debit Cards in Europe

March 9, 2018 |

Wirex Launching Bitcoin Debit Cards in Europe

New crypto debit cards, with multiple currency accounts in GBP, EUR, USD, and BTC are offered by Wirex in Europe. The first plastic Visa cards were issued on Thursday, according to media reports. The new cards were made available for UK users on March 8. The service should be offered to customers in other EU countries by the end of the month. 

Also read: Bitpay Launches Bitcoin Cash Debit Card Top Ups

Crypto Cards Back in Europe

Cryptocurrency bank Wirex is launching new debit crypto cards for its customers in the European Union. The new generation supports multiple currency accounts and comes with contactless payment functionality, according to a company press release, quoted crypto media. The first new plastic Visa cards were already issued Thursday, the announcement states.

The redesigned Wirex accounts and the new cards are available in the UK since March 8, the reports say. Users in France, Germany and Italy will be able to order the cards on March 20. The launch date for other EU countries is said to be March 27.

Wirex Launching Bitcoin Debit Cards in Europe

Earlier this week, Wirex Community Manager Raphael Shalaby confirmed successful beta tests, both internal and external, with a number of payment processors. Items have been purchased from merchants like Amazon, using the new Wirex card. “Rollout will start within 14 days on a country by country basis”, Shalaby said in the company’s forum. He added that virtual cards were “days away” and the plastic cards are being manufactured. Their release would take another 5-6 weeks, he said.

Three types of payment cards will be offered by Wirex – a virtual card, a physical one, allowing contactless payments (initially in GBP, later in EUR), and a pre-paid debit card similar to the original Wirex card (available for other currencies). Responding to questions about the pending launch, Raphael Shalaby said he did not have an exact timeframe, but added:

It’s a priority. I can only say it will happen ASAP!

The company’s website reads that users can access their virtual cards immediately after registration, and claiming one is free of charge. Ordering a plastic card currently requires joining a waiting list. According to Wirex Community Manager, people on that list will be prioritized.

Wirex cards can be used for cryptocurrency payments, as well as instant exchange between digital coins and fiat money. The company claims it is currently the only provider offering Europeans the opportunity to pay for goods and services by converting cryptocurrency.

Wirex Launching Bitcoin Debit Cards in Europe“Shopping, purchasing goods on the Internet, and withdrawing funds at an ATM have becoming much easier”, said cofounder and CEO Pavel Matveev, quoted by Russia media. He confirmed the integration of cryptocurrency wallet accounts with contactless Visa debit cards.

Several crypto card issuers ceased operations earlier this year, after Visa Europe put an end to its cooperation with Gibraltar-based payment provider Wavecrest. Visa representatives explained the move with “continued non-compliance with operating rules” and said crypto-fiat card programs in other jurisdictions would not be affected by the termination of Wavecrest’s membership.

Services to Be Offered in Japan, Southeast Asia

The new Wirex cards allow for free and instant bitcoin transfers between account holders, with multisignature bitcoin addresses for improved security. The company says encryption is better now, and merchants will enjoy more freedom of action with reduced risk of fraud. UK residents will be able to use individual e-money accounts with unique numbers for third party payments.

Both plastic and virtual cards can be ordered. They will support 3D secure “Verified by Visa” transactions. “As soon as virtual cards are available, we’ll be able to switch on the buy bitcoin exchange feature”, according to a previous update on the company’s website.

Wirex also says similar proposals are on the way for users in Japan and markets in Southeast Asia. The UK-based crypto bank will introduce its new cards in several stages to ensure stable and secure support. Wirex is among the most popular providers of crypto wallets linked to physical and virtual debit cards.

Do you think more crypto cards will be offered in Europe in the near future? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Wirex Launching Bitcoin Debit Cards in Europe appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

ICOs Brush Off Regulatory Concerns, Raising $1 Billion for the Third Month in a Row

March 9, 2018 |

ICOs Brush Off Regulatory Concerns, Raising $  1 Billion for the Third Month in a Row

Despite all the talk of increased regulation and looming lawsuits, ICOs seem immune. Many new tokens are struggling to trade above their ICO price on exchanges in the current bear market, but crowdsale allocations are still selling out. In February, ICOs raised $ 1 billion for the third month in a row. They’ll be sternly scrutinized in March, however, as the U.S. Congress prepares to discuss ICOs on March 14.

Also read: Ex-Trump Chief Strategist Bannon: Cryptocurrencies Make Central Banks Redundant

ICOs Are Making More Money Than Ever

Crowdsales are a lucrative business in 2018 – for the project teams at least, if not for their investors. In February, they raised $ 1.2 billion, down slightly from the $ 1.56 billion recorded the month before, placing them on a par with December’s total. It’s the third month in a row that the symbolic $ 1 billion threshold has been passed. As a result, ICOs in 2018 have already raised 50% of last year’s total. Tokendata’s latest report singles out three countries as having risen to prominence in the ICO space: the U.S., China, and Lithuania.

These countries have proven to be hotbeds of ICO activity. Of the billions raised this year, $ 788 million has come from projects based in the U.S., $ 265 million from China, and $ 249 million from Lithuania. (Switzerland, Europe’s crowdsale heartland, is fourth with $ 249 million). What’s notable about these figures is that investors based in the U.S. and China are largely excluded from participating in ICOs. As a consequence, the innovation is occurring within their borders, but the funds are coming from overseas.

ICOs Brush Off Regulatory Concerns, Raising $  1 Billion for the Third Month in a Row
Crypto startups are thriving in Vilnius, Lithuania

The Crowdsales Keep Coming

For all the brouhaha surrounding ICOs right now, the majority aren’t as hilariously bad as Miroskii, led by its star designer “Ryan Gosling”. This week, European cryptocurrency broker Bitpanda announced it was getting in on the act with the launch of Pantos, a “multi-blockchain token system”. With its ICO scheduled to kick off in just 12 days, that doesn’t leave much time for investors to perform due diligence. Regardless of the merits of Bitpanda’s new project, there’s every chance it will reach its cap, just like February’s top performers, which eased past $ 1 billion with room to spare.

ICOs Brush Off Regulatory Concerns, Raising $  1 Billion for the Third Month in a RowTokendata’s figures for February would be markedly higher if two of this year’s biggest hitters had been included, Telegram and Dragon Coin. The former is on course to raise a staggering $ 2 billion, having already amassed $ 850 million over the past two months in its private sale. Its ICO remains active however, as does Dragon Coin, which has reportedly surpassed $ 320 million in its private sale already. The project, which has its sights set on high rollers in the lucrative Asian casino market, is gunning for $ 500 million. If achieved, it would make the crowdsale one of the largest projects to date after Telegram.

Congress Hearing to Shed a Light on ICO Regulation

At the start of February, a “landmark” Senate hearing saw cryptocurrencies examined in earnest for the first time before a government committee. ICOs were discussed by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, but they’ll have the spotlight all to themselves on March 14 when “Examining the Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets” kicks off in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. The hearing has been described as “educational”, giving lawmakers a chance to learn before they charge in and start legislating.

ICOs Brush Off Regulatory Concerns, Raising $  1 Billion for the Third Month in a Row

Regulation talk has been rife for days, with the SEC cranking up its rhetoric and a federal judge decreeing cryptocurrencies to be commodities. Coupled with the release of a research paper predicting a flurry of ICO lawsuits, it’s left investors more than a little confused about what they’re buying – security; commodity; something new altogether – and what the implications will be in terms of taxation and regulation. While U.S. regulators seek to clarify the legal status of crowdsales, ICOs are pressing ahead in their quest to tokenize all the things.

Do you think the Congress subcommittee hearing next week will spell good news for ICOs, or is more regulation coming? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.


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

The post ICOs Brush Off Regulatory Concerns, Raising $ 1 Billion for the Third Month in a Row appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

PR: New Cryptocurrency Exchange Market – CoinDeal.com

March 9, 2018 |

Cryptocurrency Exchange Market - CoinDeal.com

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.

Finally! You can trade on the new cryptocurrency exchange market. Here comes the solution for all the problems that other markets have had recently.

In a nutshell:

  • quick Support 24/7
  • transparent platform’s funds
  • the highest security
  • voting system for new cryptocurrencies
  • Affiliate Program
  • cryptocurrencies: BTC, BTH, ETH, LTC, DASH, QTUM
  • fiat available: BTC/EUR

CoinDeal’s team
CoinDeal.com is a cryptocurrency exchange market that has been created by an experienced team of people who aren’t just theoreticians. Quite the opposite, CoinDeal’s team consists of cryptolovers who have been interested in blockchain and cryptocurrencies for years. They not only know what it is all about but also meet the real problems that show up during trading on cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Thanks to that, CoinDeal’s team can easily put itself in users’ place to understand what is really important for them.

CoinDeal’s creators

Behind every great team, there are people with even greater minds. People who can not only invent some new solutions but also implement them successfully. Behind CoinDeal, new cryptocurrency exchange platform, stands Adam Bicz, Kajetan Maćkowiak and Filip Dzierżak. Three Poles who complement each other with knowledge. Adam is an experienced programmer who worked, among others, in Dubai. Now, with Kajetan, who perfectly knows how to move in marketing and business world, he has become the owner of cryptocurrency exchange platform. Filip is watching over the company’s finances and supports the IT department. Dzierżak is also Chief Operating Officer in CoinDeal. This project, CoinDeal, was preceded with other cryptocurrency businesses like BuyCoinNow.com – a service where you can buy Bitcoin, and BitcoinApi.co – a payment gateway for cryptocurrencies. Maćkowiak and Bicz are also funders of VerifiedSolutions.co – software house specialized in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

What are the characteristics?

CoinDeal.com’s top priority is the contact with its customer. That’s why, CoinDeal won’t let you wait for an answer for a long time. The Support is available for your needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In CoinDeal, creators know how annoying and unprofessional it is to wait for an answer for over a week . That’s why an efficient Support was one of the most important assumptions in the creation of cryptocurrency exchange market.

Another priority is safety of users and theirs funds. That’s why, apart from all typical precautions like the most advanced SSL standards or mandatory 2FA, a user also gets email notifications about login attempt from different IP than usual. CoinDeal is also protected by CloudFlare security and funds are stored in cold wallets. To prevent the situation in which cryptocurrency exchange platforms are using users’ money to exist – CoinDeal.com keeps everything bright and clear. Users can check the funds, which belong to exchange market, and are not mixed with private funds of users. CoinDeal also provides 100% uptime of its platform to let its users trade anytime they want without missing any good opportunity. What’s more, after a transaction you won’t feel cheated as all the fees are visible in Fees Table.

Voting system
The CoinDeal platform really cares about its users. That’s why every new cryptocurrency will be implemented after achieving the success in “Vote for cryptocurrency” voting system. Right now, on CoinDeal.com you can trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and Dash. Every new cryptocurrency has to be approved by winning in the voting system. This leads to the most important thing; every user has an impact on cryptocurrency exchange market development. Why? Because this solution is created for YOU.

Activate users
CoinDeal.com is not only trying to become the most successful and easy in use cryptocurrency exchange market, but also its goal is to create a community of people who are open for discussion and to help others. To make it happens, CoinDeal offers an Affiliate Program in which you can invite your friends to trade on CoinDeal and receive 20% of their trading fee as a reward. For the first 3 months of running, CoinDeal award for referral will be increased to 50%.

CoinDeal.com isn’t just empty words. Register and check yourself the new, innovative cryptocurrency exchange market.

Contact Email Address
info@exchange-technologies.com
Supporting Link
https://coindeal.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: New Cryptocurrency Exchange Market – CoinDeal.com appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Russians Think Bitcoin Makes a Great Present

March 9, 2018 |

Russians Think Bitcoin Makes a Great Present

Cryptocurrency is gaining popularity in Russia as a good idea for a gift. According to a new survey, more and more Russians believe cryptos, like bitcoin, would make their girlfriends and wives happy on special occasions. The 8th of March is celebrated as Women’s Day in Russia and in many other countries.  

Also read: Popular Social Networks in Russia to Accept Bitcoin

Bouquets, Gadgets, and Bitcoins

Russian women expect special attention on March 8. The International Women’s Day is celebrated as official holiday in the Russia Federation and around the world. According to an online poll, conducted by Hi-tech Mail.ru, the crypto craze is influencing decision-making when it comes to choosing the right present for the occasion.

Russians Think Bitcoin Makes a Great PresentThe survey reveals that cryptocurrency is becoming a popular choice for a ladies gift. More Russian men admit they would rather surprise women with cryptos than with rubles. A third of the respondents say they are going to buy flowers. Gadgets are also quite popular – 14 percent think a new iPhone sounds like the perfect gift. Only a tenth of those questioned claim modern Russian women don’t need a present for the Women’s Day.

Another 13 percent of the polled intend to surprise their girlfriends or wives with some crypto cash, saying that’s the best present. Almost 60 percent of them prefer bitcoin, while ethereum takes the second place with 22 percent. Litecoin and the centralized Ripple are next with 5 percent each. 7 percent think of some other currency. More than 4,000 people have participated in the online survey.

On the Other Hand…

New search statistics suggest that Russians may be losing general interest in cryptocurrencies, however. Their popularity among internet users has been going down with their rates. The trend has been confirmed by both Google, and Yandex, the most popular Russian search engine.

According to Google Trends, searches mentioning bitcoin have decreased more than 80 percent in the last couple of months. At the same time, the monthly number of bitcoin-related queries in Yandex has decreased from 8.5 million to 4.3 million. On December 17, when the price of the leading cryptocurrency approached $ 20,000, Google and Yandex registered record numbers of bitcoin searches, according to the Russian edition of Forbes.

Russians Think Bitcoin Makes a Great PresentBitcoin has been one of the most popular words in Russian queries last year, according to Google’s Year in Search 2017 report. Similar results have been registered in neighboring Ukraine and across the region.

In February, the price of bitcoin fell to as low as $ 6,000 USD. Russian experts believe, however, that both the price and the popularity of bitcoin will recover, as more countries recognize and accept cryptocurrencies.

“What we are seeing now is the testing of a new technology before its adoption in societies”, founder of Digrate, Stanislav Shakirov, says. In his words, the serious growth is yet to come.

What are your expectations for the future of cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

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Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed

March 9, 2018 |

Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed

From wrecking the environment to making it harder to search for alien life, cryptocurrency mining has been blamed for a multitude of sins. But to cause time itself to slow down is a fresh charge and one which, on the surface, sounds impossible. Something strange is happening in Central Europe right now: clocks are running slow, and not by fractions of a second, but entire minutes. Could large scale crypto mining be responsible or is it being made a convenient scapegoat?

Also read: New Study Looks at the Cost to Mine BTC Across the Globe

Overclocked Miners May Be Slowing the Clocks

Ever since mid January, the Continental European Power System has been experiencing anomalies. This huge belt of 25 countries, running from Spain to Turkey and from Poland to the Netherlands, has been subject to “a continuous system frequency deviation from the mean value of 50 Hz” reports the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The location of the disturbance has been identified – Kosovo and Serbia – but the cause has not.

The power deviations that have been affecting electrical frequencies have had the weird knock-on effect of delaying clocks that calculate their time based on the frequency of the power system. As a result, these are running at “a delay of close to six minutes”. It’s unclear exactly how this slowdown manifests itself, over what period, and whether these clocks can be manually adjusted to show the correct time. What is clear is that the power drain responsible for this anomaly is huge: 113 GWh, which is equivalent to the power consumption of Greenland for six months. Central heating timers and oven clocks are among the systems affected.

Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed
Red lines show the main power lines in the European region responsible

The Search for a Culprit Intensifies

ENTSO-E is clearly unhappy about the missing power and its strange side effects. In fact it’s seething, but is literally powerless to act. The situation, it acknowledges, is largely a political one that would require the cooperation of the countries suspected of causing the huge power drain. On the Swiss Grid website, the current deviation from 50 Hz can be viewed in real time. At the time of publication it was sitting at 49.970 Hz, causing a grid time deviation of 345 seconds. The site explains: “There are still many clocks which go by the frequency in the electricity grid. If the frequency is higher, they go faster. If the frequency is lower, they go more slowly.”

Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed

The question of what could be siphoning off electricity on such a grand scale remains unresolved. It could be a top secret project involving a particle accelerator akin to the Large Hadron Collider. It could be government impropriety or incompetence. Or it could be crypto miners. Suspicions are falling on the latter option. Electricity rates in Serbia and Kosovo are among Europe’s cheapest, with the price of mining one bitcoin in these regions estimated to be $ 3,133, placing them on a par with China. “The first step [to resolving the issues] is to cease the deviation,” writes ENTSO-E. “The second step is to compensate for the missing amount of energy.” Crypto miners could yet be exonerated of all charges. But until the culprit can be identified, an enormous rogue mining operation remains a strong possibility.

Do you think crypto miners could be responsible for the power drain, or are they a convenient scapegoat? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Swiss Grid.


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

The post Europe’s Clocks Are Running Slow and Crypto Mining Is Being Blamed appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Plattsburgh Officials Want Bitcoin Miners to Vacate the Small Town

March 9, 2018 |

Plattsburgh Officials Want Bitcoin Miners to Vacate the Small Town

Last week officials from the small town of Plattsburgh New York filed a moratorium request against bitcoin mining operations that currently reside in the town and future mining endeavors. The proposal was issued by the Mayor’s office and cites concerned over electricity use and energy consumption.

Also Read: From ‘Attack’ to ‘Optimization’ — Slush Pool Reveals ASIC Boost Compatibility

A Moratorium Filed Against Bitcoin Miners in Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh Officials Want Bitcoin Miners to Vacate the Small TownA few Plattsburgh politicians are concerned about bitcoin mining operating within the borders of the small American town. The town’s old paper mill is now occupied by a mining operation and residents from Plattsburgh have environmental concerns over energy consumption. Then on March 2 a local law has been proposed called §270-28-J under Chapter 270 which imposes a moratorium on commercial mining operations in the town of Plattsburgh. There will be a public hearing in regard to the discussion on March 15 at the Common Council Chambers.

“This local law shall impose a moratorium on applications or proceedings, or the issuance of approvals or permits for commercial cryptocurrency mining operations in the City of Plattsburgh,” explains the Mayor’s proposal. “The moratorium imposed by this local law shall be in effect for a period of eighteen (18) months from the effective date of this local law.”

Any firm, person, corporation, or other entity that shall establish, place, construct, erect or in any way site or locate a Commercial Cryptocurrency Mining operation described in this local law in the City of Plattsburgh in violation of the provisions of this Local Law shall be subject to, in addition to any penalties prescribed by state or local law, a civil penalty of not more than $ 1,000.00 for each day or part thereof during which such violation continues.

If They Employed More People Read Would Be More Favorable Towards the Business Model

Plattsburgh Officials Want Bitcoin Miners to Vacate the Small Town
Mayor Colin Read

This past February Mayor Colin Read explained to the New York Times how mining operations were flocking to his town and consumed 10 percent of the town’s power. Read told the publication he considers the miners to be a public nuisance. He said he would rather see operations that use that amount of electrical consumption have lots of employees in contrast to just machines. Read mentions the company Mold-Rite Plastics which consumes a lot of power but has over 200 employees. Read explains his issues stating:

The mining companies? They hire a security guard, and a guy who comes when something breaks.

The moratorium request will have to be deliberated in a public setting before Plattsburgh politicians can move forward. Mining operations within the area will likely defend their business operations in order for them to stay in business. Otherwise, if the Plattsburgh environmentalists and bureaucrats get their way it’s ‘lights out’ for mining operations within the town’s borders.

What do you think about the town officials from Plattsburgh New York wanting to shut down mining operations? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Bitcoin.com, Wikipedia Commons, and AP.


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Bitcoin News

Poll Suggests Young Romanians Want to Pay with Crypto

March 9, 2018 |

Poll Suggests Young Romanians Want to Pay with Crypto

More than half of Romanians living in cities know about cryptos, and 60 percent of people under 40 believe they are the future of payments. Half of young people want to pay with digital coins, according to a new poll. The survey shows growing awareness of cryptocurrencies in the country. Many of its citizens want to take advantage of the opportunities they present.

Also read: More Belarusians Search “Crypto”, Question “Legalization”

17 Percent of Romanians Plan to Buy Cryptocurrency Soon

Poll Suggests Young Romanians Want to Pay with CryptoAccording to the poll, 57 percent of Romanians in urban areas have heard of cryptos. Almost a third of them believe that they are the currencies of the future. 17 percent of the respondents admit they are planning to acquire digital coins within a year. Another 8 percent say they have already bought cryptocurrencies in the past 12 months.

“The fast development of the digital environment is pushing the limits in almost every field. It is not surprising that a payment instrument, which doesn’t know geographical borders, is becoming increasingly popular”, said Traian Nastase, managing partner of Isense Solutions – the company that conducted the study. The poll confirms that Romanians have started to become familiar with the term cryptocurrency. They want to keep up with the trends and take advantage of the opportunities generated by new technologies, he added.

Nastase also noted that cryptocurrencies remain a sensitive topic, as there is a very low degree of regulation in the market. “That is why any communication in that direction should be based on significant efforts to correctly educate and inform consumers”, the Isense representative said, quoted by local media.

More than a Third of the Respondents Have Trust in Cryptos

The survey shows many of those who are familiar with cryptocurrencies want to use them as means of payment – 44 percent. At the same time, 35 percent say they have trust in them. The poll was conducted among 500 internet users from urban areas, aged 18 – 65, who participated in the Research Romania panel.

Young Romanians are more enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies. A total of 61 percent of the respondents under the age of 40 believe that digital coins represent the future of payments. 44 percent have trust in cryptocurrencies and half of them want to be able to pay with crypto. 22% say they intend to purchase at least one coin in the next 12 months.

Poll Suggests Young Romanians Want to Pay with Crypto

The study also measures the popularity of different cryptocurrencies among Romanians. More than half of people living in the cities have heard about bitcoin, and 19 percent know about bitcoin cash. Ethereum (11 percent), Litecoin (10 percent), and Ethereum Classic (7 percent) complete the top 5.

Romania, like other countries in Southeast Europe, is a tech-savvy nation and the willingness of its citizens to embrace cryptocurrencies is no surprise. The country offers some opportunities for crypto-related businesses. With electricity rates of less than $ 0.14 per kWh, it welcomes miners relocating from places with toughening regulations and increasing expenses. Recently, a Canadian-based company announced an investment to build a wind-powered crypto mining facility in Eastern Romania.

Do you think countries like Romania have will quickly adopt cryptocurrencies and implement related technologies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post Poll Suggests Young Romanians Want to Pay with Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Regulatory Loophole Helps Startups in India Accept Bitcoin Without Breaking the Law

March 9, 2018 |

Regulatory Loophole Helps Startups in India Accept Bitcoin Without Breaking the Law

Some businesses in India believe that they have found a loophole in the finance minister’s speech that sought to clamp down on the use of cryptocurrencies. While this loophole may allow startups to accept bitcoin without breaking the law, experts question its viability.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

The Loophole

Regulatory Loophole Helps Startups in India Accept Bitcoin Without Breaking the Law
Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley.

As the Indian government is working on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, startups in the country are finding a way to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without breaking the law.

The country’s finance minister Arun Jaitley announced during his Budget speech last month that “the Indian government considers cryptocurrencies illegal and vowed to stamp out their use,” Tech Circle wrote and elaborated:

However, Jaitley did not specifically state that trading in cryptocurrencies was illegal, which is why it continues to be business as usual for Indian cryptocurrency exchanges such as Zebpay and Unocoin.

The news outlet interviewed the operator of a used car marketplace in Mumbai, Truebil, which is “capitalising on this apparent loophole.” The startup, founded in 2015 and operated by Paix Technology Pvt Ltd, has devised a way to accept cryptocurrencies as payment, specifically bitcoin. Each month, the company claims to sell 200 cars and add 1,000 new listings, Techcrunch reported.

Partnership with Unocoin

Regulatory Loophole Helps Startups in India Accept Bitcoin Without Breaking the Law“Truebil will be accepting bitcoin payments at its brick-and-mortar stores using Unocoin’s POS application,” the publication clarified. The company itself does not display any prices in bitcoin and does not accept payment in the digital currency online. Its co-founder and marketing head Shubh Bansal told the publication that “this move is perfectly legal,” emphasizing:

We are not accepting the [crypto] payments directly…Unocoin as our partner will receive the ‘crypto-assets’ from the consumer and then change it into a fiat currency before depositing it in our bank account. This brings it under the legal purview of existing laws.

Regulatory Loophole Helps Startups in India Accept Bitcoin Without Breaking the LawUnocoin is not charging the startup or its customers, Truebil noted. Vice president of sales and business alliances at Unocoin, Naveen CT, told the news outlet that “the partnership with Truebil will help increase the number of points where cryptocurrencies are accepted in India.”

There are other businesses in India looking to accept digital currencies without breaking the law. An industry expert explained, “Many companies are taking a route similar to that opted by game companies which allow users to buy virtual coins and spend them in the game,” the publication conveyed, adding that “This is quite legal and is in common use by Android game developers.”

Is This Arrangement Really Legal?

The news outlet asserted that legal experts have doubts about this arrangement. Prashant Phillips, a partner at law firm Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan told the publication that “Such transactions would most certainly be on the government’s radar.”

While acknowledging that there is no specific provision to penalize crypto transactions, “the government has clearly indicated that it considers the validity of such dealings to be on par with ponzi schemes,” he explained, adding:

If a formal notice is passed declaring such transactions as ponzi schemes, then such transactions may be punishable in terms of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.

Do you think the Indian government will have a problem with this method of accepting cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Unocoin.


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Bithumb Launching Kiosks at Restaurants for Food Orders and Crypto Payments in Korea

March 8, 2018 |

Bithumb Launching Kiosks at Restaurants for Food Orders and Crypto Payments in Korea

Korean crypto exchange Bithumb is entering the retail kiosk business to accelerate crypto adoption in the country. These order-taking and payment facilitating kiosks will be placed in restaurants and cafes for customers to browse menus, place orders and pay for food. Cryptocurrency will be among the payment options.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Bithumb’s New Venture

Bithumb Launching Kiosks at Restaurants for Food Orders and Crypto Payments in KoreaOne of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Bithumb, announced on Wednesday that it is introducing the “Touch B” brand and entering into the kiosk business. Describing a kiosk as an unmanned order and payment system, Yonhap elaborated:

Bithumb has agreed to supply kiosks to food and beverage franchise stores, small restaurants, and cafes under the brand Touch B, in partnership with kiosk manufacturers.

Bithumb Launching Kiosks at Restaurants for Food Orders and Crypto Payments in Korea“The entry into the kiosk business is meaningful to provide substantial benefits and low-cost rents to small business owners,” Bithumb was quoted by Zdnet Korea. “We will continue to work in various industries based on the blockchain technology…to provide total solutions for small businesses through our partnership.”

Bithumb Launching Kiosks at Restaurants for Food Orders and Crypto Payments in Korea

The Kiosk Culture in Korea

Bithumb Launching Kiosks at Restaurants for Food Orders and Crypto Payments in Korea
Tros Systems’ kiosks for food ordering.

In South Korea, ordering food using kiosks is popular. Bithumb partnered with several kiosk manufacturers in February including Unos Pay, Tros Systems, and I’m U “to supply kiosks optimized for small businesses that operate food and beverage franchises, small restaurants, and cafes,” the publication detailed.

Furthermore, the exchange plans to charge a rental fee that is 10% below the industry rate for kiosks. “This will help SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] reduce costs, increase sales and provide efficient store operations,” the publication described, adding that:

The kiosk is a multimedia device that combines touch screen, graphics and communication functions. It is an unmanned information guidance system that provides efficient information to users…and simplified payment.

Bithumb Launching Kiosks at Restaurants for Food Orders and Crypto Payments in Korea
Mcdonald’s kiosks in South Korea.

Bithumb also plans for the kiosks to take cryptocurrency as one of the payment options. The exchange believes that the kiosk business will create a synergy among all of its offerings.

What do you think of Bithumb’s kiosk business? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tros Systems, and Bithumb.


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