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Following a decision to recognize mining as an industry, the Islamic Republic of Iran is about to legalize the import of mining equipment. Also in The Daily, an executive at a leading Spanish bank insists cryptocurrencies are “perfect” and must be understood; trying to better understand the crypto space, Cyprus has set up a fintech innovation hub; and in Zimbabwe, the new finance minister is pushing the country’s central bank in a similar direction, calling on the RBZ to create a crypto unit.
Iran to Legalize the Import of Mining Equipment, Considers Exchange
Just two weeks after Iranian authorities announced a decision to recognize cryptocurrency mining as an economic activity, the government in Tehran is preparing to officially endorse the import of hardware equipment used to mint digital coins.
The move is aimed at supporting the new industry in times when the country’s economy is under heavy pressure exacerbated by reintroduced US sanctions. It also comes after in August Iran stepped up plans to issue a national cryptocurrency.
This week, the Secretary of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, was quoted by Iranian media saying: “Necessary coordination has been done with related entities to allow the flow of hardware needed to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.” The high-ranking official also noted that besides legalizing crypto mining, the Council is also considering the establishment of an online digital assets exchange.
Cryptocurrencies Must Be Understood, Says Chair of Major Spanish Bank
Cryptocurrencies are “perfect” but are used for “bad purposes” today, so we have to be careful, according to Francisco Gonzalez, Group Executive Chairman of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Spain’s second largest bank.
In an interview with CNBC, BBVA’s representative also noted that blockchain, the distributed ledger technology underpinning digital currencies, is a “big, big tool”, but warned about the insufficient understanding of it too. Gonzalez, whose bank is actively investing in the fintech space, also pointed out:
We are in the middle of an incredible digital revolution. And in fact, a new world order is in the making, both social and economic…Something must be done in order to spread the wealth of this revolution to everybody…There are some ripple effects which must be understood in the case of cryptocurrencies.
Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub to Catch Up With Competition in the Crypto Space
Probably as part of its efforts to better understand cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has established a Fintech Innovation Hub on the island. The Mediterranean nation, where financial services are a significant contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP), has to catch up with countries like Estonia, Malta and Lichtenstein which are definitely ahead in the race to attract businesses from the crypto space.
CySEC Chair Demetra Kalogerou believes regulation has to ensure the transfer of financial goods and services in a fair way. However, she also says that it’s not just about supervision of persons but the very technology that’s being used.
“We don’t want our regulatory framework to be static. We want it to progress in line with the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s investor,” Kalogerou stressed in an interview with Finance Magnates. That’s why, she pointed out, a dedicated hub would allow the Cypriots to experiment with the new technology in a safe environment and understand the risks and benefits before potential investors are exposed to new investment products.
New Finance Minister in Harare Pushing for a Crypto Unit at RBZ
Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe’s newly appointed finance minister, revealed he is trying to convince the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the central bank of the economically hurting country, to establish a “cryptocurrency unit”, African media reported. The push is part of his plans to mitigate the nation’s ongoing cash shortage and position it better for new investments.
“Zimbabwe should be investing in understanding innovations and often central banks are too slow in investing in these technologies. But there are other countries which are moving faster. If you look at the Swiss central bank, they are investing in and understanding bitcoin,” Ncube said, quoted by IT Web Africa. The minister believes that if countries like Switzerland see value in cryptocurrencies, Zimbabwe should also pay attention.
“We have innovative youngsters, so the idea shouldn’t be to stop it and say don’t do this, but rather the regulators should invest in catching up with them and find ways to understand it. Then you regulate it because you now understand it,” added the representative of the current executive power in Harare.
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Mthuli Ncube (Twitter).
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The post The Daily: Iran to Allow Mining Hardware Imports, Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we feature news from all over the world. These stories include a new multi-GPU mining motherboard from Taiwan’s Asu; a Singaporean businessman acquiring a Japanese exchange; some ripple-loving alleged Russian hackers shaking down Canadian banks; and a Colombian soccer star launching his own coin.
H370 Mining Master
Asus (TWSE: 2357), the Taiwanese computer hardware manufacturer, has announced a new motherboard that increases density with support for up to 20 graphics cards, designed specifically for crypto miners. The H370 Mining Master greatly replaces its predecessor’s x1 slots with banks of vertical PCIe-over-USB ports that let riser cables plug directly into the motherboard.
The company explains that: “Mining is a numbers game; it’s only worthwhile if the value of the cryptocurrency you generate exceeds the cost of producing it. Increasing the number of graphics cards per node is a great way to stack the deck in your favor.” The motherboard includes several more mining-enhancing features including a suite of diagnostic features designed to make a rig easier to manage. Chief among them is GPU State Detection, which scans the system at boot and indicates whether each riser port is empty, connected to a functional graphics card, or whether it’s experiencing problems. It will be unveiled at Computex 2018 in Taipei, June 5-9.
Real Estate Entrepreneur Buys Bittrade
Singaporean property entrepreneur Eric Cheng has announced the acquisition of two Japanese companies for S$ 67 million, giving him a 100% controlling stake in FX Trade Financial and its affiliate Bittrade. Bittrade is one of only sixteen Japanese FSA-regulated cryptocurrency trading platforms. Speaking on the acquisition, Cheng commented: “The cryptocurrency industry is growing exponentially. Against this backdrop, the key to capturing the rising demand is having a well-regulated and licensed outfit. With this Japanese FSA-licensed platform, I will work closely with the regulators to scale this platform globally.”
Ripple Loving Bank Hackers
Hackers and ransomware cyber criminals usually prefer privacy coins such as monero, or just BTC to avoid having to explain too much about the crypto markets to their victims. But a new group, possibly from Russia, has been more successful with Ripple’s XRP. According to a report from Canada, an address with about $ 5 million in XRP is controlled by hackers who recently attacked two banks.
Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Simplii Financial revealed personal information about 90,000 clients of the two banks was being held hostage for $ 1 million, to be paid in XRP. The hackers, using a Russian email service, explained that the banks’ lack of education security has enabled the situation. “They were giving too much permission to half-authenticated accounts which enabled us to grab all this information,” they said, adding that the system “was not checking if a password was valid until the security questions were input correctly.”
$ 30 Million Gumi Cryptos
Gumi Cryptos is a new $ 30 million investment fund meant to help crypto ventures crack the Japanese market. It is led by Hironao Kunimitsu, founder and CEO of Tokyo-based mobile gamer publisher Gumi, and Miko Matsumura, founder of U.S.-based exchange Evercoin.
“We’ll be bringing startups from outside of Japan to the Japanese market,” Matsumura told Gamesbeat. “We like early stage. We invest in equity or tokens. We like financial services. We like game technologies, and we believe there is a strong connection between gaming and crypto.” He added that “Having advised top global cryptocurrency startups alongside some of the best investors in the world, I’ve come to realize that all of them struggle to break into Japan, the largest cryptocurrency market in the world. I’m excited to join Gumi and their well-respected network in Japan.”
James Rodriguez Coin
Colombian soccer star James Rodriguez, currently attacking midfielder for Bayern Munich Football Club, has announced he decided to create a new coin for fans to capitalize on his brand. The JR10 token, developed in collaboration with Selfsell, is planned to be used for exchange of match tickets, souvenirs, and exclusive merchandise as well as the opportunities to participate in Rodriguez’s fan club activities.
Previous crypto collaborations by soccer stars include Leo Messi promoting an ultra secure mobile phone for paranoid cryptocurrency users.
What do you think about today’s news updates? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Asus.
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The post Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Asus Creates 20-GPU Mining Motherboard appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The European Union’s tough new data-protection law demands costly changes for many companies and opens rich business opportunities for others.
WSJ.com: US Business
The rush of big money into the cryptocurrency market is continuing at full pace and reshaping the global investment landscape. Two recent examples are Coinbase’s new institutional focus and Nomura’s new venture. These stories, and much more, are in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief.
Coinbase Goes After Big Money
Coinbase, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange recently valued at $ 8 billion, has announced a new suite of services meant to attract more big money players such as the many new crypto hedge funds that pop up all the time. It will launch a cryptocurrency custodian in partnership with an SEC-regulated broker-dealer to a group of initial clients that include 1confirmation, Autonomous Partners, Boost VC, Meta Stable, Multicoin Capital, Polychain Capital, Scalar Capital and Walden Bridge Capital.
New offerings also include Coinbase Prime, a suite of tools specifically designed for institutions, and an institutional coverage group headquartered in New York City to provide a higher level of service to these type of clients. “There is clear demand from institutional clients and financial services professionals for more specific solutions with regard to cryptocurrencies that address their sophisticated needs,” said Adam White, Vice President and General Manager of Coinbase Institutional.
The company will also be opening a new engineering office in Chicago to continue developing Coinbase Markets, which provides a centralized pool of liquidity for all its products. Over the course of the year it is promised to introduce new features like low latency performance, on-premise data-center co-location services, institutional connectivity and access, and settlement and clearing services. “As a global leader in financial technology, Chicago welcomes innovative companies investing in our city and creating jobs for Chicago residents,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “There is no better city than Chicago for companies that want to put down roots and grow their businesses.”
Komainu to Protect Mutual Funds
Komainu is a new venture established to help overcome barriers for institutional investment in crypto-assets with a custody solution and offering new services, standards and best practices. Its founders include Tokyo-headquartered global investment bank Nomura (NYSE: NMR), hardware wallet developer Ledger, and Global Advisors, parent company of Coinshares.
Jez Mohideen, Global Chief Digital Officer at Nomura, said: “Global investment managers have long been held back from full participation in digital asset markets, limited by operational and regulatory risk. Our new partnership will set the required standards that will bring peace of mind to digital asset investors, and provide tools and products to enable better integration with more traditional investment vehicles such as mutual funds.” Jean-Marie Mognetti, Co-Principal of Global Advisors, added: “After 6 years of research, and collaboration with our administration partner and its regulator, we now have demonstrable progress. This partnership is a progressive stepping stone towards the creation of the necessary prerequisites for further growth within the digital asset ecosystem. This will open new and exciting opportunities to global participants and contribute to move digital asset closer to mainstream offerings.”
Ledgerx Savings Accounts
Ledgerx, the CFTC-regulated cryptocurrency management platform, has launched a new savings account-like product. Ledger Savings uses an underlying call overwrite strategy but offers a simple interface so that users won’t need to know anything about investing in derivatives. It targets a 16% per annum yield with a potential 2x exit at maturity in the event BTC doubles from current spot prices. For launch, the savings product will be offered for 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month maturities, at varied rates. After selecting the product for the desired maturity, the USD amount is available immediately to withdraw but the associated BTC is locked for the duration of the savings product.
Rat Poison Squared Fashion
If there is one thing that’s true for the cryptoverse, is that it is full of fast moving entrepreneurs. Warren Buffett only bashed bitcoin as “rat poison squared” less than two weeks ago, and someone has already found a way to make money from the now infamous glib. Ecoinmerce, a tokenized e-commerce marketplace, has announced the Rat Poison Squared clothing line, to include t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, and keyrings.
“We don’t know exactly what ‘rat poison squared’ is supposed to mean,” said Ecoinmerce COO Rex Chen. “What we do know is that Bitcoin created a very productive ecosystem and spawned the entire cryptocurrency revolution, which is driving innovation in nearly every industry. This clothing line is intended to give Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiasts pride in their defiance of the status quo and their belief in a better future.”
Telegram’s Gram Lawsuit
With a seemingly endless torrent of new ICO tokens flooding the market, short and pithy names for these crypto-assets are running out fast. This can lead to people registering coin names just to try and flip them for profit later and to companies to wage battles over who gets to control a certain ticker, as happens with website domain names. The latest example for this is Telegram, which is now reportedly suing a Florida-based venture over the rights to ‘gram’.
Did Jennifer Aniston Convinced You to Invest in Crypto?
The Texas Securities Commissioner has issued an Emergency Cease and Desist Order on May 15 to stop Wind Wide Coin Inc., from fraudulently offering investments in a cryptocurrency trading program. The order alleges that Wind Wide Coin and three sales agents in Houston are offering for sale investments in a cryptocurrency trading program that uses an “automatic trading bot.” The company is promising investors the combination of “no risk” and extraordinarily high returns. The purchase of 0.1 of BTC, for example, will yield 1 BTC 24 hours later, a one-day return of 900%.
Further according to the order, Wind Wide Coin is also misleading potential investors by claiming it is a “licensed company” and “legally registered.” And to lure gullible suckers the company’s website has featured endorsements from supposed past investors. To weed out anyone with some common sense, the website used images of celebrities like Jennifer Anniston – which it mistakenly identified as “Kate Jennifer,” an investor. Similarly, a photo of Prince Charles was identified as “Mark Robert,” an investor who provided a testimonial. The same testimonial was then attributed verbatim to a “Johnson Smith,” supposedly another UK investor.
What do you think about today’s news updates? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Ecoinmerce.
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Some have issue with the school’s cover-up policy.
The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang for a summit, a dramatic gesture that came just hours after the two countries’ athletes marched into the Olympic opening ceremony together.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
Wage gains unexpectedly accelerated last month to the fastest pace in more than eight years, signaling that average workers’ pay may finally be breaking out of a long period of weakness, according to a report Friday that also showed hiring continued at a solid pace.
Nationwide, average hourly earnings…