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Russian-born entrepreneur Pavel Durov is liquidating Telegram Messenger LLP, the Britain-based company behind the popular messaging service Telegram. The same entity is registered as the messenger’s operator in the Russian Federation, where Telegram is currently banned.
Application for Voluntary Strike Off Filed in the UK
The application to strike the limited liability partnership off the U.K. register was signed by Pavel Durov on Dec. 19, 2018 and filed about a week ago, Russian media reports. The First Gazette notice for the voluntary strike off is currently being processed and will be issued on Jan. 15, 2019, the Companies House website shows.
Telegram Messenger LLP was established in February 2014 by two companies – Dogged Labs Ltd. (British Virgin Islands) and Telegraph Inc. (Belize). In May 2018, however, Dogged Labs was substituted for Telegram Messenger Inc., which is also registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Durov has previously identified Telegram Messenger LLP as the main entity behind the messaging app, although he has never revealed the exact legal structure of his corporate group. According to RBC, the same company has been added to the Russian register of platforms “disseminating information on the Internet” in July 2017.
By law, these operators – messengers, email providers, and other platforms facilitating the online exchange of messages – are obliged to share information about their activities with the country’s telecom operator, Roskomnadzor, and data allowing the decryption of users’ correspondence with the Federal Security Service (FSB). They are also expected to keep records in Russia of all voice, video and text messages for up to one year. Failure to comply with these requirements may lead to the blocking of their services in the Russian Federation.
The attempts to block Telegram in Russia started when its operator refused to hand over its encryption keys to the FSB. In April last year, the Tagansky District Court in Moscow imposed a ban on the messaging service following a request from Roskomnadzor. In June, the Moscow City Court rejected an appeal against the decision filed by Telegram Messenger LLP.
Possible Reasons for the Company’s Liquidation
Telegram and its various applications are registered by several different companies including Telegram Messenger LLP, Telegram LLC, and Telegram FZ-LLC. Together with his brother Nikolai, Pavel Durov also owns Telegram Group Inc. and TON Issuer Inc. RBC claims Durov did not respond to its questions about the closure of Telegram Messenger LLP. However, the news agency quoted Pavel Chikov, head of the human rights organization Agora representing Telegram in Russian courts, who said the move was not associated with the blockade.
According to other legal experts quoted in the article, the liquidation of the company, which is registered with Roskomnadzor as the operator of Telegram, will not change the status of the messenger in Russia. Alexander Pohomov, partner at Law and Business, said the creation of another company makes no sense as a new entity would be obliged to fulfill the same requirements as the current one. Pohomov believes that the decision is part of а fundamental restructuring of Durov’s business that includes a number projects beside Telegram.
One of these projects is the Telegram Open Network (TON) which is aimed at providing Telegram users with a digital payments system. All of them, around 200 million globally, will get a TON wallet and the platform’s developers hope to make its native coin, the Gram, the “world’s most adopted cryptocurrency.” An ICO to finance the project was canceled last year after Telegram reportedly raised $ 1.7 billion from private investors. According to the publication, TON developers plan to launch the platform by the end of 2019.
Other reasons for the reorganization may include recently introduced changes in the legislation of the British Virgin Islands, where one of the partners in Telegram Messenger LLP is registered, or the upcoming Brexit. A number of businesses focused on the EU market have been preparing to leave the United Kingdom and according to Yuri Borisov from Legal and Financial Creative Solutions, the voluntary strike off is a “painless” way to terminate a company’s presence in Britain.
What are your thoughts about the liquidation of the company that operates Telegram? Tell us in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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An Oregon-based company that specializes in robotic sex toys won an award from Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show — only to have it taken back because the show’s organizers deemed the product “immoral, obscene, indecent (and) profane.”
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The cryptocurrency-friendly company Overstock.com announced on Thursday that company will be paying part of its business taxes to the state of Ohio using bitcoin. Overstock will use the state’s Ohiocrypto.com website to pay for the corporation’s commercial activities tax this year.
Overstock Pays the Company’s Business Tax in Bitcoin
Last November, the U.S. state of Ohio launched a payment portal that allows businesses to pay taxes with bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) via Bitpay’s payment services. On Jan. 3, Overstock announced it was the first major U.S. company to pay a portion of its Ohio state business taxes with cryptocurrencies. Overstock CEO and founder Patrick Byrne detailed during the announcement that forward-thinking states like Ohio will help ensure the U.S. doesn’t get left behind during the digital revolution.
“We have long thought that thoughtful governmental adoption of emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies is the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy,” said Byrne. The Overstock CEO also emphasized the importance of non-restrictive legislation over these types of technologies.
Byrne continued by stating:
“[Overstock] is proud to partner with forward-thinking governments and officials like Ohio and Treasurer Mandel to help usher in an era of trust through technology for our nation’s essential financial systems.
Digital Asset Payments Add ‘Convenience’
There are 23 types of taxes that can be paid using BTC and BCH in the state of Ohio and Overstock will be using the ability to pay its commercial activities tax (CAT). Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel explained that taxpayers who use credit cards have to pay a 2.5 percent charge, whereas cryptocurrency payments only incur 1 percent. However, because Overstock paid its CAT early using a digital asset, it will not incur a fee as filings before the deadline are fee exempt. Mandel has also explained that Ohio may expand the program in 2020 by adding other types of taxes and possibly more cryptocurrencies. The state’s Treasurer explained the government’s office is thrilled to see Overstock embrace Ohio’s newly launched crypto payment services.
“We applaud Overstock for becoming the first national brand in America to register to pay taxes via cryptocurrency — Their embrace of blockchain technology was ahead of its time and we’re proud to have them join Ohiocrypto.com,” said Mandel.
Overstock’s founder Byrne has been a proponent of cryptocurrencies for some time and his company was one of the first major retailers to begin accepting bitcoin. The company is also working on its own blockchain project and announced that it was accepting a wider assortment of digital currencies in 2017. In a recent interview, Josh Mandel stated he believes the new tax collection program will add more “convenience” for businesses like Overstock and looks forward to seeing other firms pay taxes with this form of money.
What do you think about Overstock paying part of its Ohio business taxes in Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Ohiocrypto.com, Politico, and Pixabay.
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Securities commissioners and trade experts have refused Australian blockchain startup Power Ledger a clean bill of ethical health after it emerged that the company paid rogue “bounty hunters” to shore up interest in its cryptocurrency. The project’s “powr” crypto has fallen 90 percent in value over the past year amidst bearish market conditions.
Bounty Hunters Make False Claims
Spruikers, sponsored creators of glowing reviews, falsely claimed that Power Ledger, a peer-to-peer electricity-trading startup, had attracted the interest of Tesla founder Elon Musk, and was on a path to revolutionize the industry, in addition to other exaggerations.
According to local newspaper Financial Review, the Australian company rewarded spruikers with free allocations of its powr token, but denies responsibility for their embellishments. Power Ledger chairman Jemma Green maintains that spruikers posted the misleading reviews while operating outside of its control.
“Rewards were offered to community members to share our project with their own networks. The means by which they did so were outside of our control, and we made it clear that our core supporters who believed in the project and the future of renewable energy were the main audience for this program,”‘ Green was quoted as saying.
However, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) head John Price said spruikers, which the company intends to maintain, should disclose that they are being rewarded by the entity. The commission this year set up a unit to monitor cryptocurrency investments.
Trade experts also commented disapprovingly on the ethical dimensions of spruiking to boost initial coin offerings (ICOs), a practice that surged in popularity during 2017’s crowdfunding mania. Questions have since been asked over the failure of the majority of ICOs to evolve into successful projects with real adoption.
A partner at Deloitte Consulting specializing in technology, Peter Williams, raised ethical concerns over the provision of financial incentives, or bounties, for individuals to promote initial coin offerings, describing these as “classic market manipulation techniques.”
‘A Quarter of ICOs Are Scams’
ASIC Commissioner Price cautioned that his agency is focused on disclosure in initial coin offerings, estimating that a quarter of them may be scams. “Just because you call something an ICO, doesn’t mean you are unregulated,” he said.
Power Ledger maintains that it deployed spruikers, which it calls community advocates, not only to promote its virtual currency, but also to improve the reputation of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.
“Some of our bounty group were professional bounty hunters chasing tokens because it’s what they do,” Power Ledger posted a few weeks after the token sale. “Some were bots reporting an astounding 5,000 likes of our social media output in a single 24-hour period.”
Power Ledger will continue to pay spruikers to promote its currency, which peaked at $ 2.4 billion during the crypto boom. The company’s token is now trading about 20 percent below its issue price.
Aside from the controversy, Power Ledger successfully tested a blockchain-based solar power-trading project in the Australian coastal city of Fremantle earlier this month, enabling around 40 households to determine both the buying and selling price of renewable electricity generated on their rooftops. The trial has been described by Western Australia’s Minister for Finance, Energy and Aboriginal Affairs, Ben Wyatt, as a “world first.”
What do you think of the accusations laid against Power Ledger? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Dutch crypto company Libereum has announced the acquisition of Spanish soccer club Elche CF, who are based in the province of Alicante. The move provides another sign that the crypto world’s interest in sports sponsorship and partnerships is growing.
Libereum and Elche Share Joint Vision
Libereum, a company which is “primarily aimed at making cryptocurrency widely accessible to the average person,” has put down an initial payment of €4.3 million ($ 4.9 million) for the Spanish club. The acquisition marks a trend in the crypto world for bringing cryptocurrency to sports with the hope that P2P cash could be adopted as a means of payment in stadiums, club shops, websites and elsewhere.
The acquisition of the club, who play in the Segunda División A (Spain’s second professional association soccer division) is part of Libereum’s plans to bring the club back up to the premier division and make their own cryptocurrency, the liber, an integral part of the club’s financial system.
“The purchase of Elche CF, a beautiful football club that shares our vision of a cryptocurrency future and is willing to actively communicate it to its supporters, is fantastic news,” Cem Kumlar, the founder of Libereum, said in a statement. “The team has been working very hard to achieve this and I would like to express my thanks to all those who have contributed to this impressive and intensive process.”
Libereum’s main objective is to invest in soccer clubs, with the goal of generating demand for its coin. The company has ambitious goals of overhauling everything from transfer deals and ticket sales to merchandising and stadium catering, aided by cryptocurrency.
Growing Relationship Between Crypto and Soccer
Libereum is not the only company focusing on football in the hope of re-energizing the game with the aid of crypto. In August, investment platform Etoro launched partnerships with seven English Premier League soccer clubs – Brighton & Hove Albion, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Newcastle United, Southampton, and Tottenham Hotspur – paying for the deals in bitcoin core (BTC).
The landmark move made the social trading and multi-asset brokerage platform the first company to ever pay for a Premier League partnership in bitcoin. The company has since said its goal is to have the sport fully embrace blockchain technology. U.S. managing director at Etoro, Guy Hirsch, said they were “looking to integrate cryptocurrencies into mainstream football in the near future.”
He added: “Educating the masses on crypto assets will ultimately increase public participation in the market, improving the rate of adoption and providing an incentive for merchants and vendors to begin to accept cryptocurrencies as payment.”
Earlier this year, Gibraltar United decided to introduce cryptocurrency salary payments for its players, while English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers started its season by announcing sponsorship from cryptocurrency exchange Coin Deal.
With the most popular sport in the world being introduced to cryptocurrencies, and NBA basketball teams following suit, it may not be long before crypto is propelled into the big league.
What do you think about Liberium’s acquisition and efforts to bring crypto into the sporting world? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Liberium.
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The post Blockchain Company Buys Spanish Soccer Club, Cementing Crypto-Sports Connection appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Warren Buffett’s power company wants to charge Californians for upgrades to out-of-state coal plantsDecember 28, 2018 | dailybusinessnews
Homes and businesses in four Northern California counties get their electricity from an out-of-state company controlled by Warren Buffett — and soon Buffett’s company may be allowed to charge them for upgrades to coal plants in Wyoming and Colorado even though a California law prevents most utilities…
The average holiday bonus in 2017 — among workers who actually get them — was about $ 1,800, according to one survey of accountants. But a floral foam maker based in Ludington, Mich., is making that number look almost Grinchy, announcing a bonus that is likely to average more than $ 14,000 per worker.