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| June 23, 2018

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Stocks open higher; energy companies and oil prices surge

June 22, 2018 |

U.S. stocks are rising Friday morning as energy companies climb along with the price of oil. Oil producers in OPEC are discussing an increase in production, a step investors have expected for the last few weeks. Industrial and basic materials companies are rising too, while technology companies…


L.A. Times – Business

China’s Xi can make life tough for U.S. companies, from Apple to Walmart

June 20, 2018 |

China doesn’t import enough from the U.S. to match President Trump’s tariffs dollar for dollar, but President Xi Jinping can still retaliate by squeezing American companies in other ways.

American businesses including Apple Inc., Walmart Inc., Boeing Co. and General Motors Co. all operate in China…


L.A. Times – Business

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies

June 20, 2018 |

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies

Cryptocurrency, a technology based upon principles of transparency, accountability, and censorship-resistance, is facing further censorship. Blogging service Medium joins a long list of platforms to have clamped down on crypto content together with Facebook, Google, and Mailchimp. As a service that’s meant to support free speech, Medium’s crackdown is all the more mystifying.

Also read: Freedom of the Press Foundation Now Accepts Five Cryptocurrencies

Medium Wields the Banhammer on Bug Bounties

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto CompaniesMedium is the crypto community’s platform of choice for long reads and thought leadership pieces. It’s a place where the latest thinking on tokenomics, hashing algorithms, blockchain scaling and much more can be found. It’s also where ICOs and other cryptocurrency projects publish details of their crowdsale, bug bounties, and other initiatives for the benefit of their community. In the past week, however, Medium has begun inexplicably suspending the blogs of crypto projects. The reasons for its decision are sketchy, but the suspensions seem to be triggered by content discussing airdrops or bug bounties.

In a post entitled “Status, Medium, and Censorship”, Ethereum-based messaging platform Status wrote, on June 15: “Medium is currently one of the primary communication channels of the cryptosphere. Blockchain-based visionaries, both affiliated with projects and independent free-thinking technologists, have all made Medium a critical part of how they communicate. Recently, we attempted to publish a blog post announcing our latest Bug Bounty Program. The post was immediately suspended, followed by an automated email noting a general violation, without detailing any specifics, and a link to Medium’s recently updated policy regarding cryptocurrencies.”

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies
Status

They continued: “Though we had not violated any of these policies, we re-submitted several revisions that carefully edited out any potential trigger words, like “bounty”, “ETH,” and “SNT”. The post was never successfully published.” Status is not the only project to have been suddenly suspended without warning: this week Blockchain.io’s Medium page also succumbed to the same fate. It’s since been restored, but the most recent blog post, discussing its airdrop, has gone. While Blockchain.io’s Medium blog is hosted on the Medium platform, Status’s is self-hosted on their own domain. In each case, the end result has been the same: sudden suspension.

Creeping Censorship Is an Attack on Cryptocurrency

When Google and Facebook announced that they were calling a stop to ICO ads, few mourned their loss. But when other platforms joined in, including Twitter and, bizarrely, email marketing service Mailchimp, it led to fears that cryptocurrency was facing a concerted global attack. Be it through imitation or collusion, company after company has begun censoring or excluding crypto projects, whilst allowing far more egregious content including affiliate schemes, hate speech, and spam.

Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies
Evan Williams

In its terms of service, Medium states that “We can remove any content you post for any reason” but does not specify what sort of content might give the company grounds to exercise that right. There is nothing that explicitly excludes cryptocurrency, airdrops, or bug bounties. Medium was founded by former Twitter CEO Evan Williams. While fellow co-founder and current Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is extremely bullish on bitcoin, Evans’ only discernible comment on cryptocurrency is a single tweet posted five years ago.

“We worry that the seemingly arbitrary decision to suspend our blog is a sign of a troubling trend,” finish Status. “We’re concerned about the creeping censorship around cryptocurrencies. We want our society to be freer for everyone. We believe the forces of censorship and centralization often are closely bound and we worry when we see the power to freely express ourselves so arbitrarily limited.”

Why do you think Medium has begun censoring crypto content? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Medium


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The post Medium Is the Latest Platform to Start Censoring Crypto Companies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Seattle repeals tax on big companies after pressure from Amazon and others

June 13, 2018 |

Seattle leaders on Tuesday repealed a tax on large companies such as Amazon.com and Starbucks after a backlash from businesses. It was a stark reversal from a month ago, when the City Council unanimously approved the effort to combat a growing homelessness crisis.

The council voted 7-2 after supporters…


L.A. Times – Business

Large Passenger Bus Companies in Brazil Start Accepting Three Cryptocurrencies

June 11, 2018 |

Large Passenger Bus Companies in Brazil Accept Three Cryptocurrencies

Two major passenger bus companies in Brazil have started accepting cryptocurrency payments for ticket sales. The companies say they are the first in the sector to accept crypto payments in the country. One of them has more than 800 buses; the other claims to have the newest and most modern fleet in Brazil.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Three Cryptocurrencies

Large Passenger Bus Companies in Brazil Accept Three CryptocurrenciesTwo public transportation companies of the GBS Group have decided to accept payments in cryptocurrencies. Brasil Sul and Viação Garcia both started accepting BTC payments for online ticket sales on June 6. The crypto payment option has already been added to their websites.

The companies wrote, “In the country, it is the first group of passenger transports to accept” crypto payments, adding that:

The group opted, initially, to use bitcoin (BTC), the most popular virtual currency on the market today…[and] by July, two other cryptocurrencies will be accepted: bitcoin cash and litecoin.

Large Passenger Bus Companies in Brazil Accept Three CryptocurrenciesViação Garcia was founded in 1934. Today, the company is one of Brazil’s five largest companies in the sector, its website claims. “The modern fleet of more than 800 buses runs 5.5 million kilometers per month.” Meanwhile, Brasil Sul’s website claims that the company “has the newest and most modern fleet in Brazil.”

Large Passenger Bus Companies in Brazil Accept Three Cryptocurrencies
A Brasil Sul bus.

Buy Tickets With Crypto

Large Passenger Bus Companies in Brazil Accept Three CryptocurrenciesThe two companies both explained on their websites that “when choosing the bitcoin [payment] option, the client should open their wallet and scan the code that appears on the site screen.” The purchase is completed after the customer confirms the order.

The voucher will be forwarded to the customer’s email address to confirm the payment and the shipment, both firms similarly noted.

GBS vice president Estefano Boiko Junior indicated that the rest of company’s operations can also be carried out with cryptocurrencies, emphasizing that “the transport sector could not be left behind,” Cripto Tendencias conveyed and quoted him saying:

Cryptocurrencies represent changes in financial relationships. They facilitate purchases online. Many of the economic and commercial operations are migrating to the digital world and the segment of passenger transport by road could not be different.

What do you think of the two companies accepting crypto payments? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GBS Group.


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The post Large Passenger Bus Companies in Brazil Start Accepting Three Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

More Japanese Public Companies Entering the Crypto Space

June 11, 2018 |

More Japanese Public Companies Entering the Crypto Space

Following reports of six publicly listed companies launching their own cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, three other firms listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange have announced plans to enter the space with various crypto offerings.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Publicly traded companies in Japan are increasingly seeking to enter the crypto space to offer various crypto-related services. News.Bitcoin.com recently reported that six public companies are planning to launch their own cryptocurrency exchanges including Money Forward, which operates one of Japan’s most popular personal finance apps. An additional three companies have also announced their plans to enter the space with different product offerings.

Samurai & J Partners

Samurai & J Partners (TYO:4764), established in 1996, offers investment banking, fintech, and IT services. In its core business, the firm “invests in listed companies using the method called PIPE (private investment in public equity) investment,” its website describes.

More Japanese Public Companies Entering the Crypto Space

A subsidiary of the company operates a crowdfunding platform that “connects individuals wanting to manage assets and companies that need money.” The platform, called Samurai, already lists a crypto-related fund called the Virtual Currency Mining Fund. On its website, the company also indicates a new service for token offerings.

Furthermore, the firm recently announced its plans to enter into a “money lending business for virtual currency holders.”

Appbank Inc

More Japanese Public Companies Entering the Crypto SpaceAppbank Inc (TYO:6177) plans, produces and manages content distribution such as through videos and live broadcasts of social games. It operates a gaming and smartphone-related media site called Appbank.net. Launched in October 2008, the site claims to be “Japan’s largest Iphone media” service.More Japanese Public Companies Entering the Crypto Space

Last week, the company announced the launch of its Virtual Currency Distribution Content Platform called @Blast, with the grand opening event planned for this month. The firm explained:

@Blast is a web service platform that distributes virtual currencies through various content centered on games and entertainment.

Using this platform, the company plans to “promote the spread of virtual currencies while providing users a place to interact with virtual currencies through this service.”

I-Freek Mobile Inc

I-Freek Mobile Inc (TYO:3845) provides mobile content to cell phone users. The firm recently announced that it has modified its Articles of Incorporation to add “virtual currency exchange” business. The amended Articles are expected to be adopted at the company’s general meeting of shareholders on June 27.

More Japanese Public Companies Entering the Crypto Space

Minkabu publication quoted the company detailing:

We add virtual currency exchange business…[to expand] the content business of the company and its subsidiaries and [to] prepare for future business development.

Do you think more Japanese companies should offer crypto-related services? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Samurai & J Partners, Appbank, and I-Freek Mobile.


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

The post More Japanese Public Companies Entering the Crypto Space appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Facebook Says It Gave 4 Chinese Companies Access

June 6, 2018 |

Days after the New York Times came out with a report alleging that Facebook improperly let other companies have access to users’ personal information comes a follow-up from the Times that reports the group included four Chinese companies—one of which US intelligence has identified as a possible national security…
Newser

Stocks rise, led by technology companies

June 4, 2018 |

U.S. stocks are rising Monday morning as technology companies and banks gain ground. Some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Apple and Microsoft, are leading the way, although Facebook is lagging after the New York Times reported that the social media company shared data with…


L.A. Times – Business