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| January 22, 2019

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Banking Agency Advises European Commission to Assess Common Crypto Approach

January 9, 2019 |

Banking Agency Advises European Commission to Asses Common EU Crypto Approach

The European Banking Authority (EBA), a regulatory agency of the European Union, has published its assessment into the application of EU law to crypto assets. The agency, which is headquartered in London, recommends that the European Commission tables a response to the risks regulators associate with the field such as money laundering.

Also Read: FBI Agents Raid Tech Campus Over Unauthorized Crypto Trading

Crypto Activity Is Outside Scope of EU Banking Rules

Banking Agency Advises European Commission to Assess Common Crypto ApproachIn the report released on Jan. 9, the EBA examines the application of current EU banking, payments, e-money and anti-money laundering laws to crypto assets, wallet providers and trading platforms, as well as the related activities of credit institutions, investment firms, payment institutions and electronic money institutions.

It determines that the current relatively low level of such activity in the EU does not create a risk for financial stability. However, the agency also found that activities involving crypto assets typically fall outside the scope of EU banking, payments and electronic money regulation. It believes this raises risks for consumers that are not addressed at EU level.

The report further details that, as a result of the development of national level responses, regulatory differences between European countries are starting to emerge. It fears these present risks to the level playing field the union is supposed to maintain between its members. The banking agency also sees a need for a review of EU anti-money laundering legislation.

More Monitoring of Institutions’ Activities

Banking Agency Advises European Commission to Assess Common Crypto ApproachFollowing the findings of the report, the EBA has advised the European Commission to make a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis to determine what action is required at the EU level at this stage. The agency also advises the commission to note the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force from October 2018, and to take steps to promote consistency in the accounting treatment of crypto assets. The banking regulator also plans a number of steps to take in 2019 in order to enhance the monitoring of institutions’ activities and consumer-facing disclosure practices.

The agency’s Executive Director, Adam Farkas, commented: “The EBA’s warnings to consumers and institutions on virtual currencies remain valid. The EBA calls on the European Commission to assess whether regulatory action is needed to achieve a common EU approach to crypto assets. The EBA continues to monitor market developments from a prudential and consumer perspective.”

What are your thoughts on the European Banking Authority’s reports into crypto asset regulation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, EBA.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Banking Agency Advises European Commission to Assess Common Crypto Approach appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Banking Struggle Drives Bitcoin ATM Manufacturer Lamassu to Switzerland

January 3, 2019 |

While governments and banks in some countries are trying to hamper the development of cryptocurrency-related businesses, other locations are cashing in on the investments and new jobs that the industry brings. The latest example of this is the establishment of bitcoin ATM manufacturer Lamassu in Switzerland.

Also Read: European Exchange to Offer Investing in Stocks With Cryptocurrencies

Lamassu Industries AG

Banking Struggle Drives Bitcoin ATM Manufacturer Lamassu to SwitzerlandLamassu, the well-known cryptocurrency ATM manufacturer, which assembles its machines in Portugal, announced on Jan. 1 that after years of searching for a home, it is now officially Lamassu Industries AG of Lucerne, Switzerland. The reason given for choosing the Alpine country is a more welcoming environment for crypto-related businesses, in contrast to other locations where the company struggled to maintain a bank account, leaving it bankless for the past year.

“We must have been rejected by 15 banks just because we manufacture terminals for bitcoin. Note that as a company we only manufacture hardware and take no part in trading or storing cryptocurrencies,” explained Lamassu co-founder Zach Harvey. “Just as we arrived in Switzerland we had a nice chat with a small bank in Canton Aargau and now we have a full account at a bank that is completely aware of our business model and happy to have us on board. In fact, you should expect to see one of our cryptomats in their headquarters early this year.”

Welcome to Switzerland

Banking Struggle Drives Bitcoin ATM Manufacturer Lamassu to SwitzerlandDespite some difficulties, Switzerland’s approach in offering “a place where rules are well defined and regulators are pro-innovation,” has been quite successful so far in attracting crypto entrepreneurs. According to a report from October 2018, the top 50 cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies in the local version of Silicon Valley alone were worth $ 44 billion combined, and altogether cryptocurrency firms employ about 3,000 people in the country of just about 8.5 million people.

“Crypto Valley is alive and kicking and we’re excited to be in an area so rich in crypto development and blockchain events,” stated Harvey. “Although hype often exceeds reality in cryptoland, exciting stuff is happening in Switzerland at every level.”

As its first community project, the Lamassu team is starting a monthly meetup dedicated to ideas of privacy, free speech, free markets, decentralization and cryptoanarchy.

Will major countries eventually acknowledge that they are losing business due to unwelcoming behavior by banks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Banking Struggle Drives Bitcoin ATM Manufacturer Lamassu to Switzerland appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Digital Currency Platform Revolut Receives European Banking License

December 13, 2018 |

On Thursday, Dec. 13, digital payments platform Revolut announced that the company has been approved for a banking license in Europe by the region’s central bank. According to Revolut, the license will help it provide better access to digital currencies and also offer traditional banking services.

Also read: Google Trends Reveals One of the Top Questions of 2018 — ‘What Is Bitcoin?’

License Approved by the European Central Bank

Digital Currency Platform Revolut Receives European Banking LicenseRevolut is a UK-based digital currency company that allows people to purchase, sell, and store cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash, ripple, ethereum, and others. Founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut has raised $ 336 million since its inception. On Dec. 13 the team revealed it was approved by the European Central Bank for a banking license that allows the company to provide more financial services to customers. Revolut has explained that at first everything will be done “behind the scenes” so that the company will eventually be able to offer full current accounts, overdrafts, and other traditional financial services.

“If you choose to open a full current account with Revolut Bank in the future, any funds you deposit will be protected up to €100,000 under the European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS),” Revolut’s blog announcement detailed.

Digital Currency Platform Revolut Receives European Banking License

Revolut Plans to Roll Out Overdraft Features and Personal Loans

Additionally, the Revolut team says customers will have access to overdraft facilities and this means users won’t have to worry about ‘insufficient funds’ notifications, automatic top-ups, and negative balances.

The company further emphasized:

The competitive personal loans we plan to offer will help out when your budget can’t cover a bigger purchase when you want to book that long-overdue holiday, or for anything else that requires a small cash injection before your next payday.

Digital Currency Platform Revolut Receives European Banking LicenseRevolut says it will start to experiment with the license in 2019 in Lithuania and hopes it can expand the services to other European regions after the testing. Furthermore, the license will give it the opportunity to provide U.K. direct debit payments. The British-based company also says that it is currently constructing its in-house payment processor. Revolut hopes to implement everything involved with the newly approved banking license over the next 18 months. According to the digital currency payment platform’s website, Revolut will additionally roll out services in the U.S. in the near future.

What do you think about the Revolut platform getting approved for a banking license in Europe? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Revolut, and Pixabay. 


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Digital Currency Platform Revolut Receives European Banking License appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Crypto-Focused VCs Invest $30 Million in Digital Banking App

December 11, 2018 |

Crypto-Focused VCs Invest $  30 Million in Digital Banking App

Good Money, a digital banking startup, has announced it’s raised $ 30 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Galaxy Digital with investments from Breyer Capital, Blocktower Capital, Boost VC, Ken Howery, Blockchange Ventures, Cross Culture Ventures, Troy Carter, Mitch Kapor, Peter Diamandis, Blake Mycoskie, Justin Rosenstein and others.

Also Read: Law Professor: Confusing Crypto Regulations Will Hamper Innovation

Banking With a Social Focus

Crypto-Focused VCs Invest $  30 Million in Digital Banking AppBesides peer-to-peer banking services, Good Money will offer FDIC-insured savings accounts bearing a 2 percent yield, free usage of fiat ATMs across the U.S., no-overdraft fees and low consumer loan rates. However, it seems that the people behind the venture believe a strong social focus is what will attract the most interest in the app. They promise that Good Money users will be able to direct 50 percent of the platform’s profits to projects focused on fixing environmental, social and economic inequality issues. The company’s founding team has also pledged half of their own equity to philanthropy.

“The combination of an activist brand with deep direct-to-consumer experience at scale, positions Good Money to be a leader in the historic disruption of the banking industry … Good Money is led by world-class founders who have built billion dollar companies, with marketing experience and relationships that can bring tens-of-millions of users into the ecosystem quickly,” said Sam Englebardt of Galaxy Digital.

Putting Equity in Clients’ hands

Crypto-Focused VCs Invest $  30 Million in Digital Banking AppGood Money plans to launch a waiting list in January 2019 and reward users with equity for securing their place in line for the full platform which will be released later in the year. Every customer will receive equity when they open an account and thus become an owner of the banking platform and users may earn additional equity by installing the app, setting up a direct deposit or referring friends.

The startup is headed by Gunnar Lovelace, the founder of Thrive Market, an online grocery that previously raised $ 180 million in funding.

“Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we face as a society — from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Lovelace. “We founded Good Money to help consumers take their money out of a system that’s both destroying the planet and extracting wealth from the most vulnerable and put it into a new system focused solely on benefiting people and planet. As we scale Good Money over the next 10 years, we will empower consumers to realize they should own the businesses they buy from as an evolutionary step in improving capitalism by leveling the economic playing field.”

Is a strong social focus the right approach to attract young people to the digital ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Good Money.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Crypto-Focused VCs Invest $ 30 Million in Digital Banking App appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

ECB Nominates Italian Economist as Region’s Top Banking Supervisor

November 24, 2018 |

The European Central Bank said it had nominated Italian economist Andrea Enria as the region’s top banking supervisor amid renewed investor scrutiny of Italian lenders.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

Seba Crypto Expects Swiss Banking License, Independent Reserve Integrates Tax Tool

November 15, 2018 |

Seba Crypto Expects Swiss License, Independent Reserve Integrates Tax Tool

In recent exchange news, Seba Crypto AG has predicted that it will receive a Swiss banking license within the first half of 2019. We also look at the Independent Reserve, which has integrated a tax estimator tool into its user interface, as well as Point95 Global, which has announced plans to launch a “crypto quantitative fund” based in the Cayman Islands.

Also Read: Bitfinex Introduces Fees, Bitmex Rejects Claims It Trades Against Customers

‘Crypto Bank’ Aims to Secure License in 2019

Seba Crypto Expects Swiss License, Independent Reserve Integrates Tax ToolGuido Bühler, the chief executive officer of Seba Crypto, has predicted that the company — which recently raised $ 103 million to launch a so-called “crypto-bank” — will receive a banking and securities dealer license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) before the end of the second quarter of 2019.

Bühler indicated that Seba Crypto already sees significant demand from major financial institutions. He claimed that “five large asset managers from Germany and abroad have already made representations to [Seba Crypto].”

Australian Exchange Integrates Crypto Tax Estimator

Independent Reserve, an Australian cryptocurrency exchange, has announced the launch of a tax estimator developed by KPMG. The tool will allow the exchange’s users to estimate the tax obligations of their portfolios from its user interface.

Seba Expects Swiss License, Independent Reserve Integrates Tax ToolAdrian Przelozny, the chief executive officer of Independent Reserve, described the tool as “a piece of critical infrastructure that will help our users understand and help manage their risk.”

Laszlo Peter, head of blockchain services at KPMG Australia, emphasized the need for cryptocurrency traders to diligently observe their tax obligations. “The possibility of being non-compliant is a major source of legal risk,” Peter said. “We want to provide an easy-to-use tool that may assist participants in the newly emerging token-based economy to understand their tax obligations.”

Point95 Global to Launch ‘Crypto Quantitative Fund’

Seba Expects Swiss License, Independent Reserve Integrates Tax ToolPoint95 Global, a Shanghai-based digital asset management firm, has announced plans to launch a “crypto quantitative fund” in partnership with an unnamed asset manager in Hong Kong. The fund, to be domiciled in the Cayman Islands, will target professional investors and will use algorithms to capitalize on arbitrage opportunities across various crypto-asset markets.

Point95 Global claims to already be using these strategies to trade the top 10 cryptocurrencies by capitalization. It has put forward $ 3 million in seed capital, with the initial size of the fund expected to be $ 30 million.

Ye Jingyuan, the co-founder and chairman of Point95 Global — as well as the former vice-president of the global markets division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London — expects to launch the fund before 2019. He stated that the company is “aspiring to be one of the first crypto quantitative fund platforms that are compliant with the Hong Kong securities regulations, by operating with the right licenses.”

Do you think there is demand for financial institutions offering cryptocurrency-related services? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Seba Crypto Expects Swiss Banking License, Independent Reserve Integrates Tax Tool appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Seed Banking Won’t Work for 36% of Threatened Plants

November 9, 2018 |

The UN’s Global Strategy for Plant Conservation program has set a 2020 deadline for conserving 75% of the world’s threatened plant species outside of their natural habitat. But, based on the results of a new study, the prospects of meeting that target aren’t very good. According to a paper published…
Newser

Goldman Changes Asia Banking Leadership as New CEO Digs In

October 21, 2018 |

Goldman Sachs is shaking up its leadership in Asia, where a high-profile corruption scandal has dampened an otherwise strong stretch of deal-making.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

October 16, 2018 |

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

Bitfinex has restored the ability of customers to make fiat currency deposits. Details of its new deposit system remain shrouded in secrecy, however, with the exchange going to extraordinary lengths to conceal the identity of the bank(s) in question. Its “distributed” system, designed to circumvent censorship, has brought the critics out in full force.

Also read: The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

Convoluted Fiat Deposit Process

The Daily: Bitfinex Building Decentralized Exchange, Bitpanda Adding ZcashAfter being forced to suspend fiat currency deposits last week, when HSBC terminated its proxy banking relationship, Bitfinex assured customers that an alternative would soon be in place. And the exchange, the world’s second largest by trading volume, has been as good as its word, confirming its new banking relationship earlier today (Oct. 16). However, the opaque nature of the statement, and the odd language it was couched in, have raised more questions than they have answered.

“Today we are introducing a new, improved and increasingly resilient fiat depositing system for sending fiat currencies to Bitfinex,” began the blog post. “This new process will once again allow KYC-verified users from around the world to initiate deposits across USD, GBP, JPY and EUR.”

The exchange then proceeded to describe a complex process by which customers must deposit a minimum of $ 10,000 of fiat currency from now on. This involves creating a deposit request to signal interest, waiting up to 48 hours for Bitfinex to approve it, sending money to the bank account, and then waiting six to 10 days for the funds to clear. Coinbase, by way of comparison, takes an average of three to five days to clear bank transfers.

Customers Sworn to Secrecy

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking SystemBitfinex’s statement ends on a defiant note, with the exchange asserting: “We believe this system to be significantly more durable in the face of sustained attacks by our competition and their supporters. Ongoing campaigns against us will only result in our company becoming stronger and better.”

While Bitfinex undoubtedly has its share of haters who would like to see the platform toppled, most traders simply seek clarity. The inability of the exchange’s operators to publish a full audit of Tether, exacerbated by its own nebulous banking arrangements, has not helped matters. Still mindful of what happened to Mt. Gox, the crypto community would like reassurance that funds are safe.

There may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public.

The Block has revealed that Tether has obtained a new bank, after recently severing ties with Nobles. It is unclear, however, whether the same bank will also handle Bitfinex’s customer deposits.

Anyone attempting to initiate the new fiat deposit process on the exchange is greeted by a disclaimer that warns in almost apocalyptic terms: “Divulging this info could damage not just yourself and Bitfinex but the entire digital token ecosystem … you are cautioned that there may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public.”

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

The status of Bitfinex/Tether is becoming a new battleground in the cryptocurrency community, with lines drawn and both tribes seemingly incapable of backing down. On the one hand, there are those who are certain of impropriety of some kind and are waiting to be vindicated when the house of cards topples. On the other hand, there are the defenders of Bitfinex, who are weary of fighting what they deem to be endless FUD. Today’s statement has done nothing to resolve the impasse.

What are your thoughts on Bitfinex’s latest banking arrangements? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

The post Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban

October 14, 2018 |

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban

A major crypto exchange in India, Unocoin, has officially announced the launch of its crypto ATMs. CEO Sathvik Vishwanath told news.Bitcoin.com that, initially, the company plans to deploy 30 machines in three Indian cities. “These ATMs help people to cash in and cash out which was not possible before” due to the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank.

Also read: RBI Argues Supreme Court Should Not Interfere With Its Crypto Decision

30 Crypto ATMs in 3 Cities

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking BanUnocoin has officially announced the launch of its cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATMs). Last week, the exchange confirmed the existence of the project after someone spotted one of the machines and posted a picture of it on social media.

Sathvik Vishwanath, Unocoin’s CEO, revealed to news.Bitcoin.com on Sunday:

The first ATM will be operational in Bangalore tomorrow…In the first phase we plan to deploy 30 machines…The first one is in Bangalore followed by Mumbai and New Delhi in the upcoming week.

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban
Unocoin’s ATM. Photo credit: Twitter.

The company explained that all customers of Unocoin and its crypto-to-crypto trading platform, Unodax, can deposit and withdraw rupees using the ATMs. “Users are subject to some limits on deposits and withdrawals per transaction and per day subject to cash handling restrictions in India,” the exchange clarified. The minimum amount for deposits and withdrawals is 1,000 rupees (~$ 13.57) and must be in multiples of 500 rupees.

Vishwanath emphasized, “All coins on Unocoin and Unodax can be bought using the money deposited through ATM machines. We presently have 30 coins that can be bought.”

Established in 2013, the Bangalore-based crypto exchange now has 120 full-time employees. The exchange claims that it has processed transactions worth more than 2 billion rupees for over 1.3 million customers.

Solution to RBI Crypto Banking Ban

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking BanIndia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), issued a circular in April banning financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto businesses. The ban went into effect in July and all crypto exchanges in India subsequently lost their ability to provide rupee deposit and withdrawal services. Unocoin announced the suspension of its fiat support on July 13. The company has been looking for new mechanisms to allow its users to deposit and withdraw rupees ever since.

Vishwanath clarified to news.Bitcoin.com that “The ATMs deployed by us do not need any banking partnerships. These are stand-alone machines that can accept and dispense cash,” elaborating:

These ATMs help people to cash in and cash out which was not possible before due to RBI restriction on banks to not provide bank accounts. The gap is now completely filled by these ATMs except that physical access is required to deposit and withdraw money.

How to Deposit and Withdraw INR Using Unocoin ATMs

In its Sunday announcement, Unocoin detailed how users can deposit and withdraw rupees using its ATMs.

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking BanTo deposit INR, a user needs to “enter his user ID and the OTP [one-time password] that he just received as SMS on his registered mobile number,” the company explained. After confirming account details and depositing funds into the machine, the user’s account will be updated and funds credited for use on both Unocoin and Unodax.

To withdraw INR, “users have to make a request by visiting Unocoin.com or through Unocoin mobile app where he would specify [the] desired amount for withdrawal.” A 12-digit reference number from Unocoin will then be sent to the user to enter into the ATM, along with the OTP sent to the user’s registered mobile number.

What do you think of Unocoin launching 30 crypto ATMs in three Indian cities? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Unocoin.


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

The post 30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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