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| February 18, 2018

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10 Countries That Have Never Won a Winter Olympics Medal

February 15, 2018 |

When you think “Winter Olympics,” a country with the word “ice” as part of its name would seem to be a shoo-in for the event’s medal podium. Yet Iceland, which has been competing in the winter version of the Games since 1948, has yet to take home a bronze, silver,…
Newser

Only 5 Countries Are Able to Strike Anywhere on Earth

February 11, 2018 |

The New York Times takes an interactive, map-heavy look at the just how many countries have the ability to hit any spot on the planet with a missile launched from land or a submarine—and the countries actively working to expand their capabilities. For now, there are just five who…
Newser

Venezuela Invites OPEC Countries to Jointly Develop Oil-Backed Crypto Platform

February 7, 2018 |

Venezuela Solicits OPEC Countries to Jointly Develop Oil-Backed Crypto Platform

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has invited all OPEC nations to jointly develop a platform for the trading of oil-backed cryptocurrencies. Venezuela is preparing for a pre-sale of the petro, its oil-backed cryptocurrency which can be used to pay national taxes, fees, and public services.

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

Inviting OPEC Nations

During the meeting on Tuesday with Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Barkindo, Maduro proposed for all OPEC nations to come together and develop a platform for the trading of oil-backed cryptocurrencies.

Venezuela Solicits OPEC Countries to Jointly Develop Oil-Backed Crypto Platform
Meeting between Maduro and Mohammed Barkindo.

OPEC consists of 14 nations: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. “I will officially send all the OPEC producers a proposal,” Maduro announced and extended the invitation to non-OPEC countries, saying:

I will officially propose to the OPEC and non-OPEC countries that we adopt a joint cryptocurrency mechanism backed by oil.

Venezuela recently published the whitepaper for its own oil-backed cryptocurrency. A private pre-sale of the petro will be held on February 20, followed by an initial coin offering (ICO) in March.

In addition to “5 billion barrels of oil support the petro,” Maduro confirmed that “we will also support our cryptocurrency with precious minerals from our land,” adding:

I have explained to Mohammed Barkindo the goodness of the petro. The cryptocurrency is the world of the future. I am very excited as well as the people of Venezuela.

Petro’s Promises

According to the petro’s whitepaper:

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela guarantees that it will accept petros as a form of payment of national taxes, fees, contributions and public services.

Venezuela Solicits OPEC Countries to Jointly Develop Oil-Backed Crypto Platform“The Venezuelan government is committed to promoting the use of petro in the domestic market and making efforts to stimulate its acceptance throughout the world,” the whitepaper reads. “The State will actively assume the commitment to promote the adoption of petro, encouraging the growth of its national and international user base.”

In addition, “The use of petro will be promoted by PDVSA and other public and joint ventures, as well as national public entities and regional and local governments,” the whitepaper also revealed. On Tuesday, the Superintendency of Cryptocurrencies announced that the “PDVSA will use the petro in its business relations.”

Furthermore, the Superintendency gave additional information about the previously announced Petro Container, stating that they are “for the massification of mining farms in high schools, universities, university villages and popular sectors.”

What do you think of Maduro’s invitation to the other OPEC countries? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of the Venezuelan government.


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The post Venezuela Invites OPEC Countries to Jointly Develop Oil-Backed Crypto Platform appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Russia Urges 4 Other Countries to Develop Common Approach to Cryptocurrencies

February 3, 2018 |

Russia Urges 4 Other Countries to Develop Common Approach to Cryptocurrencies

The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has asked the leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union countries to jointly develop a common approach to cryptocurrencies. Both the Russian central bank and the prime minister believe that cryptocurrencies should not be restricted to one nation’s framework.

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

A Common Approach to Cryptocurrencies

Russia Urges 4 Other Countries to Develop Common Approach to Cryptocurrencies
Dmitry Medvedev at the Friday forum.

Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev urged the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to develop a common approach to cryptocurrencies, Tass reported. At “The Digital Agenda in the Era of Globalization” forum on Friday, he expressed the necessity of bringing together “approaches to cryptocurrencies within the framework of the EAEU.”

The EAEU has five member countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. Other than Medvedev, the meeting was attended by Prime Minister of Armenia Karen V. Karapetyan, Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Vladimirovich Kobyakov, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Abdirovich Sagintayev, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sapar Dzhumakadirovich Isakov, and Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran S. Sargsyan.

Russia Urges 4 Other Countries to Develop Common Approach to Cryptocurrencies
Representatives of the EAEU countries and Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission.

Regarding cryptocurrencies, Medvedev told the other EAEU leaders:

We should not be locked into the framework of the national model…It is impossible to implement these principles within one country; we need to bring our approaches closer to the level of the Union…Otherwise, all this will be under a completely different angle to develop and will not look completely understandable and legitimate.

Citing that some of his peers said that “it would be possible to pay with cryptocurrencies,” Medvedev was quoted saying, “Let’s take a closer look because our economies are too tightly and closely related.” The prime minister also suggested preparing international conventions of cryptocurrencies, stressing the need to “synchronize efforts in this area with the EAEU countries.”

Russia Urges 4 Other Countries to Develop Common Approach to Cryptocurrencies

Russian Central Bank Agrees

In late December, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, Olga Skorobogatova, said that the bank supports the idea of issuing a supranational cryptocurrency in the territory of EAEU or within the BRICS countries. She was quoted by Vedomosti:

The introduction of the national digital currency seems to us not entirely justified from the point of view of macroeconomics…The question that seems to us worth discussing on the site with our colleagues is the introduction of a digital currency in the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union or within the BRICS.

Do you think the Eurasian Economic Union countries should develop a common framework for cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Russian government.


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The post Russia Urges 4 Other Countries to Develop Common Approach to Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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US Slides Again in Ranking of World’s Best Countries

January 28, 2018 |

Call it the “Trump Effect.” For the second straight year, the United States has dropped in the annual US News Best Countries ranking, according to US News & World Report . The ranking is determined by a survey of more than 21,000 people around the world regarding their perceptions of…
Newser

EU Slashes Number of Countries on Tax-Haven ‘Black List’

January 24, 2018 |

The European Union cut the number of countries on its list of noncooperative states on tax matters nearly in half, in a move critics say will hurt its credibility in fighting tax evasion.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

CNN

South Africa to formally protest Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ remarks

January 15, 2018 |

South Africa will issue a diplomatic protest to the United States Monday over US President Donald Trump’s “shithole countries” comments, according to its foreign ministry.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

Venezuela Urges 10 Other Countries to Adopt Its Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency

January 14, 2018 |

Venezuela Urges 10 Other Countries to Adopt Its Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has called for 10 other countries to adopt his planned oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro. This move follows the country’s parliament declaring the issuance of this new currency illegal.

Also read: South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto Trading

Maduro’s Proposal

Maduro held a meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Treaty of Commerce of the Peoples (Alba – TCP) on Friday. Alba consists of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and Venezuela.

Venezuela Urges 10 Other Countries to Adopt Its Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency
Alba-TCP meeting.

During the meeting, “Maduro called on the countries of the Alba to assume together the creation of the cryptocurrency, the petro,” Prensa Latina reported.

“I call on us to assume the petro as an integration currency of our peoples,” Efecto Cocuyo quoted him, adding that it is “imperative” to take the proposal with “maximum priority.” Maduro was then quoted by El Comercio:

I put on the table, brother governments of the ALBA, the proposal of the cryptocurrency, the petro, so that we assume it as one of the projects of the integration of the 21st century in a bold way, but also in a creative way.

An Ongoing Issue

Since its announcement in early December, Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency has been a topic of controversy. After assigning over 5 billion barrels of crude oil to back the new currency, Maduro ordered the issue of the first 100 million petros as well as organized a meeting of miners.

Venezuela Urges 10 Other Countries to Adopt Its Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency
Nicolas Maduro.

The petro is expected to launch in 6 weeks and will be pre-mined, Superintendent of Cryptocurrencies Carlos Vargas announced this week.

However, just one day before Vargas’ announcement, the Venezuelan Constituent National Assembly declared the cryptocurrency illegal. Parliamentarians unanimously voted “absolute nullity on the issuance of the petro cryptocurrency,” news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

In a recent workshop hosted by the Central Bank of Venezuela called “The role of Venezuelan youth in disruptive technologies,” a response to the Assembly’s decision was prepared. On Friday, the Minister for Youth and Sports, Pedro Infante, said Venezuelan youth will propose to the Assembly “to create a special commission that will be in charge of debating the proposals presented by the various sectors, to carry out the financial system of the cryptocurrency Petro.” He elaborated, as posted on the Ministry of Communications website:

We are proposing that the ANC [Constituent National Assembly] has to set up a special commission to deal with the cryptocurrency issue. Appoint a commission with groups of experts to constantly debate to see what legislation is needed.

What do you think of Maduro asking 10 other countries to join in on the petro? Do you think they will adopt it? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.


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The post Venezuela Urges 10 Other Countries to Adopt Its Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Trump: ‘Why Do We Want … People From Shithole Countries?’

January 12, 2018 |

“What do we want Haitians here for?” the Los Angeles Times quotes President Trump as saying during a meeting Thursday, as per two sources briefed on the meeting. “Why do we want all these people from Africa here? Why do we want all these people from shithole countries?” Two sources…
Newser

South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto Trading

January 9, 2018 |

The South Korean government has called for financial regulators and central bankers of 23 other countries as well as 12 organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the European Union, to collaborate on curbing cryptocurrency trading.

Also read: Russian Regulators Draft Law to Restrict Crypto Mining, Payments, and Token Sales

Other Regulators Urged to Take Action

South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto TradingThe vice chairman of the South Korean Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), Kim Yong-bum, represented his country on Monday at the meeting of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Steering Committee in Basel, Switzerland.

South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto Trading
Kim Yong-bum.

The FSB is an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system. Its members are financial regulators and central bankers from 24 countries, including South Korea, as well as 12 international organizations. Among countries represented are China, Japan, India, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. The organizations represented include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the World Bank, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the European Commission.

At the meeting, discussions were held “on the evaluation of regulatory reforms including virtual currency, mitigation measures against cybercrime, and cybersecurity,” Aju News reported. Speaking about cross-border cyber transactions being used for illegal acts and money laundering, Kim called for the “international coordination to curb virtual currency trading,” the publication detailed. Citing that it is time to start a full-scale international debate, he asserted:

As the international financial risks related to virtual currency increase, the financial authorities need to pay close attention to this…In particular, virtual currency, which is outside the traditional regulatory domain of financial authorities, is affecting consumers.

A Call for Collaboration

After explaining how his government has taken steps to “stop providing new virtual account services for virtual currency exchanges and strengthen measures to verify [account holders] real names,” Kim told other financial regulators:

Virtual currency is too risky to ignore…We will improve transparency, prevent the spread of speculative transactions, and prevent money laundering.

He then urged the FSB to take action, stating that “It is necessary [for the FSB] to speedily study the potential risks of virtual currency in financial stability,” the news outlet quoted him saying. Specifically, he suggested, “we must support virtual currency countermeasures by integrating and sharing relevant information such as the contents and effects of the virtual currency regulation of each country.”

What do you think other regulators will do in response to Kim’s suggestion? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Aju News.


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

The post South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto Trading appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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