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| October 16, 2018

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Hong Kong Government Bans Pro-Independence Party

September 24, 2018 |

Authorities in Hong Kong on Monday took an unprecedented step against separatist voices by banning a political party that advocates independence for the Chinese territory on national security grounds. John Lee, the territory’s secretary for security, announced that the Hong Kong National Party will be prohibited from operation, the AP…
Newser

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

September 22, 2018 |

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

Using cryptocurrency for political donations has been a hot topic in many societies. Two recent developments demonstrate different views on the matter. A Taiwanese politician who has accepted bitcoin from his supporters believes crypto donations can help keep his country’s political system clean and transparent. At the same time, the California campaign watchdog says cryptocurrency can raise questions about transparency and is hard to track.

Also read: Russian Law Won’t Mention ‘Cryptocurrency’, Russians Won’t Stop Trading

Bitcoin Donations Help Transparency, Taiwanese Politician Says

Cryptocurrency has entered Taiwanese politics. A candidate for the Taipei City Council announced on social media he had accepted a number of small bitcoin donations – a first, according to local media reports. Hsiao Hsin-chen, a representative of the minority New Power Party, received the digital cash worth NT$ 10,000 (~US$ 325) from anonymous supporters. The money was sent after an announcement on Facebook last month that his campaign is ready to accept donations in BTC.

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans ThemIn his call for support, Hsiao said the development has political as well as technological implications. Crypto donations could help keep Taiwan’s political system clean, he stressed, quoted by the Taiwanese Business Next outlet. The nature of the cryptocurrency, the fact that every transition is recorded on a public blockchain, can lead to more transparency, he added. “Accepting bitcoins as a political donation is more symbolic than the act appears,” claimed the politician.

In Taiwan, crypto contributions are currently classified as non-cash political donations – a definition given by the Interior Ministry. According to the country’s recently updated Political Donations Act, candidates can accept up to NT$ 10,000 from anonymous donors, a limit that applies to the value of donated cryptocurrency as well.

If the sum exceeds the maximum amount, politicians are obliged to return the excess money to the donor or hand it over to the state. However, it’s unclear how the value of crypto donations will be estimated as the prices of digital assets can change significantly in a short period. Control Yuan, a government monitoring agency, has advised candidates to keep full records of their donations.

‘Independent’ Commission Says No to Crypto Donations in California

Officials in the US state of California, however, share a different view of campaign contributions in crypto. A commission charged with overseeing the political process in the Golden State has recently announced that donations cannot be made with cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, according to an Associated Press report. On Thursday, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) voted 3-1 to ban them. The watchdog says it may be hard to track the origin of cryptocurrency contributions which could raise questions about transparency.

According to its website, the FPPC is an “independent, non-partisan” commission responsible for the administration of the state’s Political Reform Act which regulates campaign financing along with other potentially controversial aspects of political campaigns such as conflicts of interest and lobbying. Promoting transparency and fostering public trust in the political system are two of its core objectives.

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

The Commission is composed of five members appointed for four-year terms. The Chair and another member from a different party are appointed by the Governor. The other members are appointed by the State Controller, Secretary of State and the Attorney General. No more than three commissioners may be from the same political party. Currently one of the seats is vacant, which may be interpreted as a positive in terms of finding the balance in the generally bipartisan political landscape of the US.

A similar body on national level, the Federal Elections Commission (FED), allows bitcoin donations to federal candidates. In 2014 the FED decided that every US citizen can donate cryptocurrency worth up to $ 100. A number of states have already addressed the issue as well – Colorado and Montana allow crypto contributions with certain restrictions, South Carolina and Kansas have banned them. In April, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission discussed a proposal to cap crypto donations with the limit applicable to cash contributions – $ 100. Larger donations require a credit card or a bank check.

What is your opinion about campaign contributions in cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Twitter Bans Alex Jones After New Violations

September 6, 2018 |

Twitter Inc. on Thursday said it permanently banned Alex Jones and his website Infowars, effectively taking away one of the last few online microphones available to the right-wing provocateur.
WSJ.com: US Business

Rising Democratic Star Bans All Media From 2 Events

August 18, 2018 |

Seems President Trump isn’t the only one with media issues . Now rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has entirely banned reporters from two town-hall-style events, CNN reports. The congressional candidate hosted the “listening tour” community meetings last week—one in the Bronx on Wednesday and one in Queens on Sunday—where…
Newser

Judge Bans Another Word at Manafort Trial

August 1, 2018 |

The judge in Paul Manafort’s trial told prosecutors Wednesday not to use the word “oligarchs” to describe wealthy Ukrainians who paid millions to the former Trump campaign chairman, the AP reports. US District Judge T.S. Ellis III told attorneys for special counsel Robert Mueller that the term “oligarchs” has…
Newser

White House Bans Reporter for ‘Asking Inappropriate Questions’

July 26, 2018 |

In what CNN calls “another serious escalation against the press by the Trump administration,” one of its White House reporters was banned from a press event Wednesday, apparently because she asked questions that President Trump didn’t like. As the pool reporter representing five networks during Trump’s meeting with European Commission…
Newser

Australian Bank Bans Use of Mortgage Funds for Crypto Speculation

July 14, 2018 |

Australian Bank Bans Use of Mortgaged Funds for Crypto Speculation

One of Australia’s oldest financial institutions, Bank of Queensland, has prohibited the use of home equity loans for virtual currency speculation. The move has been attributed to concerns pertaining to the growing regulatory oversight of the cryptocurrency sector in Australia.

Also Read: Tether Announces Appointment of New Chief Compliance Officer

Bank of Queensland Cracks Down on Customers Using Mortgage Funds to Trade Crypto

Bank of Queensland has banned its customers from using loans that are leveraged against home equity for the purposes of cryptocurrency speculation due to concerns pertaining to the increasing regulatory oversight of cryptocurrency activities in Australia.

Contracts issued by Bank of Queensland will now caution prospective borrowers “any loan purpose that involves the acquisition of or usage of cryptocurrency is unacceptable.” The Australian Financial Review (AFR) recently reported that a spokesperson for Bank of Queensland “has confirmed the changes.”

Whilst borrowers cannot invest the capital loaned for property straight into the cryptocurrency markets due to such being paid directly to the vendor, many opportunistic debtors have used funds that are redrawn from their mortgage in order to purchase virtual currency. Other traders have reportedly sought cryptocurrency exposure through accessing a line of credit – where the borrower draws on predetermined lines of credit accessed against property equity.

Australian Regulators Increasingly Target Cryptocurrency

Australian Retail Bank Bans Use of Mortgaged Funds for Crypto SpeculationA mortgage broker who wished to remain anonymous discussed financial institutions’ concerns pertaining to virtual currency speculation with AFR, asserting that lenders are increasingly monitoring debtors accounts for indications that they may be involved in cryptocurrency trading.

“They are concerned because the Australian Taxation Office, Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia and AUSTRAC are crawling all over it,” the broker said.

Additionally, AFR asserted that Australian “Lenders and prudential regulators are also concerned to prevent anything that might worsen the nation’s worrying household debt levels, which is already among the world’s highest.”

Other uses for mortgage funds typically prohibited by Australian financial institutions include the refinancing of payday loans, the payment of government fines or penalties, and payments to debt collection agencies.

What is your reaction the Bank of Queensland’s move to ban the use of mortgaged funds for cryptocurrency speculation? 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 Australian Bank Bans Use of Mortgage Funds for Crypto Speculation appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Supermarket Bans Black Man for Questioning Its Policy

June 23, 2018 |

A Maine man says he’s pursuing legal action after an unpleasant encounter that smacks of racism, the Hill reports. Rory Ferreira, 26, says he wasn’t surprised to be carded Tuesday when buying wine at a Shaw’s store in Saco, Maine—but got suspicious when his wife was carded too. “I…
Newser

Delta bans pit bulls as emotional support animals, citing dog attacks

June 22, 2018 |

Kathryn Hurley, a director at a Los Angeles dog rescue service, has been flying for years with her pit bull dog, Jax, an emotional support animal that has been trained to behave on a flight.

She learned the hard way that Delta Air Lines has new restrictions on traveling with animals: Hurley had…


L.A. Times – Business

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain’s Official Account

June 16, 2018 |

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account

This week the Twitter handle @Bitmaintech was locked down because Twitter administrators claimed the account belongs to a 4-year-old. The Twitter handle’s owner and Bitmain’s head of marketing have complained to the social media company’s support team and Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey. The account lockdown marks the second high profile bitcoin-related account that’s been banned from Twitter in just a few months.

Also Read: Study Reveals ASIC Miners Represent 30% of the Equihash Mining Hashrate

The Official Bitmain Tech Twitter Account Has Been Suspended

On June 14 Bitmain Tech’s head of marketing Nishant Sharma tweeted to his followers that the company’s official Twitter account @Bitmaintech had been banned from Twitter. At the moment the Twitter account is completely inaccessible to the public and the Beijing-based company’s active ad campaigns have been paused.   

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account
The official @Bitmaintech Twitter account was locked on June 14, 2018.

Bitmain’s account accumulated thousands of Twitter followers over the past four years and now the account is unable to post or utilize the social media platform in any manner until the case is resolved.          

“The @Bitmaintech account is temporarily inaccessible because apparently, Twitter thinks that the people behind the account are as old as Bitmain i.e. 4 years old,” says Sharma.

It should be back soon (and long before Bitmain turns 13). @Jack help please. Case# 85911059

The Recent @Bitcoin Account Suspension

The account removal comes at an awkward time for the Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, who has been asked to address multiple issues tied to the social media platform. For instance, just recently the @Bitcoin account was banned and the topic was very controversial. The account with over 750,000 followers was initially suspended and then the account was restored with a much lower follower count than it had prior to the ban. Some people accused Dorsey of being biased and showing a conflict of interest towards supporters of the Lightning Network (LN) by allowing the banning of the @Bitcoin account. The reason for this speculation is due to Dorsey’s recent investment into the LN project.

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account

 Legitimate Accounts Banned, but ETH Bot Impersonation Thrives

Twitter users within the cryptocurrency industry are also dealing with the vast amounts of scamming ETH bots that have cloned nearly every well-known person in the crypto-community. The ETH bots have managed to scam millions worth of ether because Twitter will not remove the fraudulent accounts impersonating digital currency luminaries. So essentially people are pretty frustrated that Twitter has managed to ban and censor legitimate users like @Bitcoin and @Bitmaintech, while allowing fraudulent scammers to run amuck all over the platform.

Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain's Official Account

The case of Bitmain losing it’s official account, because Twitter admins believe it belongs to a four-year-old, seems absurd, but Twitter has been a whacky place lately, and the company hasn’t been very responsive. The issues with Twitter also follows the recent accusations and admissions stemming from other social media platform CEOs abusing their powers. Back in 2016, the Reddit CEO Steve Huffman admitted to editing comments on the pro-Donald Trump subreddit, r/the_donald. This year Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been scrutinized for selling user data to Cambridge Analytica. And now Twitter users are complaining about banned accounts and censorship and many of them are pointing their fingers at Jack.   

What do you think about Bitmain’s Twitter account getting banned because admins believe the account belongs to a four-year-old child? Do you think Jack Dorsey and Twitter have a lot of explaining to do? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Bitmaintech, the Twitter logo, @bitcoin, @bitmaintech, @laurashin 


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 Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain’s Official Account appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News