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8 Crypto Debit Cards You Can Use Around the World Right Now

January 20, 2019 |

Crypto Cards You Can Use to Spend Your Digital Coins

Cryptocurrencies are gradually becoming a viable payment option across a range of markets and jurisdictions. If there is a tool that significantly expands the usability of digital coins in a world still dominated by traditional payment systems, it’s the crypto debit card. A growing number of reliable platforms offer the fintech product to bitcoin enthusiasts.

Also read: Crypto Cards Are Legal in Russia, According to the Finance Ministry

Established Crypto Card Providers in the U.S.

Bitpay, which processed over $ 1 billion in payments during a bearish 2018, offers users in all U.S. states a convenient way to spend their cryptocurrencies online and in store. Its prepaid Visa card is tied to a cryptocurrency wallet that supports instant conversion from bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) to U.S. dollars and local fiat currencies outside the country.

8 Crypto Debit Cards You Can Use Around the World Right Now

Bitpay’s crypto card is available to U.S. residents only. To apply, it is necessary to provide a home address, a valid government-issued ID and social security number. There’s a fee of $ 9.95 that covers the cost of issuing and a dormancy fee of $ 5 a month following a 90-day period of inactivity. A currency conversion fee of 3 percent is applied each time the card is used outside the U.S. Withdrawing cash at an ATM costs $ 2 in the United States and $ 3 abroad.

Shift, another card available in the U.S., allows users to connect to their Coinbase accounts. The Visa card has no maintenance fee but a 3 percent commission is charged on international transactions. ATM withdrawals cost $ 2.50 in the United States and $ 3.50 in other jurisdictions. The card itself is $ 20. Shift supports BTC only and offers fee-free conversion from bitcoin core to U.S. dollars.

Major Crypto Debit Cards Available in Europe

Wirex is the first choice for many Europeans. The U.K.-based startup offers both virtual and physical Visa debit cards, and the plastic version comes with chip and PIN. They are currently available to residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), where Iban support was introduced for all EUR accounts. However, the company plans to offer its services in North American and Asian markets as well.

Users can load the card with bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), ripple (XRP), litecoin (LTC), and waves, the latter having been added recently. Card holders can spend three leading fiat currencies – euros, U.S. dollars and British pounds. Wirex users pay a $ 1.50 card management fee each month. ATM withdrawals within Europe cost $ 2.50, and $ 3.50 elsewhere. In-store purchases are rewarded with 0.5 percent crypto cashback in BTC.

8 Crypto Debit Cards You Can Use Around the World Right Now

Revolut, another British company, offers up to 1 percent cashback in cryptocurrency for payments made with its Revolut Metal card. For less than $ 16 a month, the digital bank’s premium service provides clients with access to five major coins – BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, and LTC – and the ability to pay in over 150 fiat currencies. The contactless card, which can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, comes with fee-free ATM withdrawals up to €600 per month (~$ 680).

Cryptopay issues another card in both virtual and physical form. The latter has a chip and costs $ 15. The contactless card is currently issued only in Russia, where it has a 1 percent loading fee and a monthly service fee of 65 Russian rubles, less than a dollar. Cryptopay is planning to bring its cards to Singapore. The payment provider supports BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP. A fee of $ 2.50 is applied to withdrawals from teller machines and each exchange transaction is charged a 3 percent commission.

Some Newcomers in the Market

A number of payment providers and fintech startups have launched new cryptocurrency debits cards in the past few months. These platforms are trying to attract the attention of crypto users around the world and prove themselves as alternatives to the well-established products on the market.

Fuzex is cryptocurrency payment card project that last summer chose bitcoin cash (BCH) as its base cryptocurrency. It also supports ETH and the platform’s own token, FXT. Fuzex cards are currently issued to residents of Europe and the APAC region. The physical card is NFC payment enabled. It comes with an EMV chip and a barcode display.

Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-headquartered company formerly known as Monaco, announced in October it’s starting to ship its MCO Visa cards to customers in Singapore. The prepaid cards are linked to a mobile wallet that allows holders to buy, sell, store, send, and track digital coins such as BTC, ETH, Binance’s BNB token, the platform’s own MCO tokens as well as major fiat currencies.

Aximetria offers a debit card linked to a cryptocurrency wallet which became available to Russian citizens since last year. In November, the Switzerland-based startup told news.Bitcoin.com its platform supports BTC and ETH which can be used for online and offline payments via instant conversion to fiat. The company is partnering with the cryptocurrency exchange Cex.io. The card can be ordered from its iOS app.

Are you using a crypto debit card? Tell us what you like about it in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support these products/services. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

The post 8 Crypto Debit Cards You Can Use Around the World Right Now appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Stock Exchange of Thailand Unveils Plan to Enter the Crypto Space

January 18, 2019 |

Stock Exchange of Thailand Unveils Plans to Enter the Crypto Space

The Stock Exchange of Thailand is reportedly planning to launch a cryptocurrency exchange. The securities companies that are members of the exchange will also apply for cryptocurrency broker-dealer licenses with the country’s regulator. Thailand currently has three licensed crypto exchanges.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

SET Planning to Enter the Crypto Space

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), the country’s national stock exchange, is reportedly planning to operate a cryptocurrency exchange that is separate from the stock exchange.

Stock Exchange of Thailand Unveils Plan to Enter the Crypto Space
Pakorn Peetathawatchai

Dr. Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President of the SET, revealed on Thursday that the bourse is preparing to test a digital exchange prototype in the second half of this year, Post Today reported. The Bangkok Post elaborated that the bourse aims to “open a new exchange and become an authorised digital asset exchange this year,” adding that details such as the back-office system and which wallet to use for token storage are being worked out.

Stock Exchange of Thailand Unveils Plan to Enter the Crypto Space

The news outlet reported Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, chairwoman of the Association of Securities Companies and vice-chairwoman of the SET’s board of governors, commenting:

The bourse wants to catch the growing investment trend of digital assets.

The SET is overseen by the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and currently operates under the legal framework laid down in “the Securities and Exchange Act, B.E. 2535 (1992),” its website details.

SET’s Members to Also Enter the Crypto Space

Dilokrungthirapop explained that the SET plans to cooperate with its members to set up the crypto exchange, noting that securities companies that are members of the SET also plan to apply for crypto broker-dealer licenses in order to trade on the SET’s new exchange. She was further quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying:

Securities firms are currently waiting for the SET to apply for a license. For us, digital assets are expected to grow in the future as investors gain more understanding of this asset class.

Thailand’s cryptocurrency regulation went into effect in May, installing the country’s SEC as the main regulator of the crypto industry. The finance ministry has the authority to issue licenses to businesses wanting to operate crypto businesses.

Stock Exchange of Thailand Unveils Plan to Enter the Crypto Space

The ministry recently issued licenses to four cryptocurrency companies. Three of them are exchanges: Bitcoin Exchange Co. Ltd. (Bx), Bitkub Online Co. Ltd. (Bitkub), and Satang Corporation (Satang Pro). Coins Th Co. Ltd. is the only broker-dealer licensed. Meanwhile, three crypto exchanges have been rejected: Coin Asset Co. Ltd., Cash2coin Co. Ltd. and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange Co. Ltd. (Seadex).

What do you think of the Stock Exchange of Thailand entering the crypto space along with its brokers and dealers? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Thai SET.


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

The post Stock Exchange of Thailand Unveils Plan to Enter the Crypto Space appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

January 17, 2019 |

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

A regulatory working group in South Africa, which includes the country’s central bank, has released a consultation paper on crypto assets this week. According to the document, all exchanges, wallet providers, Bitcoin ATMs and payment processors will have to register with the government in 2019. 

Also Read: Bitpay Reports Processing Over $ 1 Billion Transactions in 2018

Consultation Paper on Crypto Assets

South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), National Treasury (NT), the South African Revenue Service (SARS), and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) jointly released on Wednesday their consultation paper on crypto assets. The group was formed to review the state of cryptocurrency in the country under the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) at the start of 2018.

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

The paper includes background on the subject and provides the scope of the activities that have been assessed. It highlights the benefits and risks, as defined by the regulators, reviews the approaches taken by other jurisdictions, and presents recommendations for dealing with crypto assets from a local perspective. The South African public and impacted parties have been asked to provide comments on the document by Feb. 15, 2019, and the regulators promise that the input will help determine the way in which crypto assets will be regulated.

Crypto Service Providers Will Have to Register

The group recommends that crypto assets remain without legal tender status and not recognized as electronic money, but they won’t be banned for now. It proposes a regulatory framework to be developed in phases, starting with a registration process for crypto asset service providers. This could eventually lead to formal authorization as a licensed operator in South Africa. Registration will be required for all cryptocurrency trading platforms, vending machines (Bitcoin ATMs), wallet providers, custodial services and payment service providers.

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

The paper also recommends that crypto asset service providers be required to comply with AML/CFT regulations under South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre Act. This means that the companies will have to conduct ongoing monitoring of their clients, keep records of their activities and file reports on suspicious and unusual transactions, including all cash transactions of 25,000 South African rand (around $ 1,900) and above. Details about the registration process will be published later and it is expected to be implemented in the first quarter of 2019.

Is this development good for cryptocurrency users in South Africa? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain

January 17, 2019 |

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways, While Traders Remain Uncertain

A lot has changed since our last markets update as digital asset prices have been consolidating after the cryptoconomy’s last big drop in value. The entire ecosystem’s market valuation has lost about $ 10 billion over the last week, but stronger global trade volumes have managed to keep values afloat at current prices as traders await the next big wave of movement.

Also Read: Embracing Utility in 2019: Unreliable Crypto Networks Will Lose to Hyperbitcoinization

A Strong Scent of Uncertainty In the Air

Another week has passed in cryptocurrency land, during which most digital asset markets have been consolidating tightly into a downward triangular pattern. At the moment, the entire crypto economy of all 2,000+ assets is hovering at about $ 120 billion with around $ 15.6 billion worth of global trades. Currently, bitcoin core (BTC) prices are meandering just above $ 3,650 with a market capitalization of about $ 63.8 billion. BTC captures roughly $ 5.2 billion in trade volume but the asset is down 2.6% for the week.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
Top 10 cryptocurrency markets Jan. 17, 2019.

The second largest market valuation belongs to ripple (XRP) this Thursday, as each coin is swapping for $ 0.32 per unit. This gives XRP a market cap of around $ 13.4 billion and the market’s 24-hour volume is about $ 418 million worth of global trades. Ethereum (ETH) is trading for $ 122 per coin on global spot markets with a $ 12.8 billion market valuation. The cryptocurrency is down 0.96% today and 6.4% for the week. Lastly, eos (EOS) is up 0.86% today as each coin is trading for $ 2.43 per unit. Eos has around $ 667 million worth of 24-hour trades and a market cap of about $ 2.2 billion.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH) is trading for $ 132 per coin and has a market cap of about $ 2.3 billion this Thursday. BCH is currently up a hair at 1.02% during the last 24 hours, but the currency is down 4% for the week. The top five exchanges trading the most bitcoin cash today are Coinsuper (BCH/BTC), Huobi (BCH/USDT), P2pb2b (BCH/ETH), Dragonx (BCH/USDT), and Fatbtc (BCH/CNY). The dominating currency paired with BCH today is ETH as it captures 44.9% of trades. This is followed by USDT (29%), BTC (15.4%), USD (5.9%), EUR (1.7%), and JPY (1.5%). BCH is the seventh most traded coin by volume below XRP’s global volume and just above dash.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) market action seven-day chart on Jan. 17, 2019.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the four-hour charts on Bitstamp for BCH/USD shows there’s been a lot of changes since our last markets update. Things look more bearish, as the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) have once again crossed hairs and the long-term 200 SMA is now above the 100 SMA trendline. This indicates that currently the path toward the least resistance is in favor of the bears. RSI levels are meandering in the indecisive middle range (~46.5) which is neither oversold nor overbought at press time.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
BCH/USD Bitstamp 4 hour. Jan. 17, 2019.

Stochastic shows similar readings and the MACd indicates some downward pressure over the short term. Looking ahead at order books shows similar resistance between the current vantage point and $ 135 and even larger walls between that range and $ 155. If the bears remain in control then they will see pit stops and strong buying between now and $ 110. After breaking the psychological $ 100 level, BCH bears will likely see some bigger foundations.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
BCH/USD Bitstamp 4 hour. Jan. 17, 2019. Bollinger Bands are extremely tight.

The Verdict: Continued Sideways Action and Indecisive Traders

Traders are again wondering what will happen next with the ever-dynamic cryptocurrency markets. Some traders believe we’ve seen the mythical bottom and are betting long positions from here on out. However, bitcoin futures expiries from CME and Cboe suggest those traders are short on BTC’s upcoming price performance.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
BTC/USD shorts and longs on Bitfinex. Jan. 17, 2019.

In contrast to futures prices, BTC/USD shorts on Bitfinex have dropped significantly and there are considerably less short positions than in the last three weeks. ETH/USD short positions are much lower than before as well with only 280,000 shorts. Civic CEO Vinny Lingham, who is sometimes referred to as the “Oracle” because of his past price predictions, explained in a recent interview that BTC will likely trade sideways for a few weeks.  

“The reality is it’ll probably trade sideways between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000 for another month or two while it’s trying to find which way to go,” Lingham said. “When it finds that direction, there’ll be a breakout or a breakdown,” the Civic founder added.

His statement aligns with the view held by many traders and forecasters, who remain uncertain of the future of cryptocurrency prices, at least over the short term. Technical analysis, futures prices, shorts and longs, and other indicators will give traders some hints, but as with the world’s traditional markets, anything can happen.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC and other coins heading from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.comnor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, Coinlib.io, Bitstamp, and Satoshi Pulse.


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The post Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February

January 17, 2019 |

Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February

The case against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was unexpectedly heard at the country’s supreme court on Thursday. However, senior advocates for the parties were reportedly absent, so a new date has been set and the crypto case will be “top of the list” on that date.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Caught by Surprise

The Indian supreme court was scheduled to hear the petitions against the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank, the RBI, on Tuesday after repeatedly postponing it last year.

The case was finally heard on Thursday. However, according to Twitter account Crypto Kanoon, an Indian platform for blockchain regulatory news and analysis, the “crypto vs. RBI matter reached in the supreme court. As the matter was unexpected to reach, sr. advocates appearing for parties were not present.” The user continued to detail:

Now it will come for hearing on 26th Feb on ‘top of the list’ i.e., it will be at serial no. 1 on the Cause List.

Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February

After many postponements throughout the second half of last year, few expected the case to be heard this week. Quartz India talked to a lawyer representing some of the crypto exchanges who said on Monday that “The case … is unlikely to come up for hearing this entire week.” In November’s hearing, lawyers representing crypto exchanges asked the court for a full-day hearing “so that the case could be expedited,” the news outlet noted, adding that “Despite this, delays are expected.”

RBI Ban and Crypto Regulation

The RBI issued a circular on April 6 last year banning regulated financial institutions from providing services to customers and businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies. The ban took effect in July and crypto exchanges’ bank accounts were closed. A number of petitions have been filed with the court to lift the ban.

Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February

Most crypto exchanges in India responded to the banking restriction by launching exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) services which have reportedly gained popularity. One of the country’s largest exchanges, Zebpay, shut down its exchange operations in India due to the banking problem. Another major exchange, Unocoin, tried to launch fiat kiosks but ran into trouble with the law when officers mistook its first machine for an ATM that violates the RBI ban.

Recently, there have also been reports of banks, such as Kotak Mahindra Bank and Digibank, closing the accounts of customers they found making crypto-related transactions. However, Indian crypto traders and users have reportedly found a way to bypass banks closing their accounts.

Meanwhile, the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies is being drafted by a panel headed by the country’s Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Subhash Chandra Garg. Furthermore, the finance ministry recently updated Parliament on its crypto regulatory progress but said that there is no specific timeline for clear recommendations.

What do you think of the Indian supreme court postponing the crypto case hearing? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the RBI.


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The post Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Review: HTC’s Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet

January 16, 2019 |

HTC's Blockchain Smartphone Can Be Ordered With Bitcoin

After weeks of delays and hundreds of frustrated customer messages in its Telegram channel, HTC finally shipped its “blockchain phone” on Jan. 14. The HTC Exodus 1 promises an array of features for cryptocurrency users, but the manufacturer couldn’t keep its promise to ship the devices in December. With the phones finally rolled out, news.Bitcoin.com unboxed one of the semi-transparent devices and put it through its paces.

Also read: These Developers Claim They Can Crack Any Hardware Wallet

The Exodus 1 Is a Big Phone With Grand Aspirations

There’s no mistaking the Exodus 1 when it slips out of its protective wrapping and into the palm of your hand. Even if you’ve hands like baseball mitts, you’ll struggle to operate this phone with one paw. Thankfully it’s got a feature called Edge Sense 2 which enables one-handed convenience by shrinking the visible screen when you double tap on the side of the phone. At 157 x 74 x 9.7 mm, 188 grams, and $ 750, the Android O-powered Exodus 1 is a phone that’s as hard on the pocket as it is on the wallet. For that $ 750, however (or rather its BTC, LTC, or ETH equivalent), you’re getting a whole lot of smartphone.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Big phones come in big boxes

While this review will focus on the cryptocurrency elements of the phone, we’ll start with the basics. Given that you’ll be using the Exodus 1 as a smartphone a lot more than you’ll be using it to send or receive crypto, it’s imperative that you can abide what it has to offer when compared to flagship Android phones such as the Goggle Pixel 3 ($ 799) or the Samsung Galaxy S9 ($ 720). The Exodus 1’s features include:

  • 6.0” Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 3500mAh battery
  • 12MP + 16MP main camera with high quality zoom
  • 8MP+8MP dual front camera with natural bokeh
  • 4k/60fps 3D audio recording quality
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB – DDR4x RAM
  • 128GB storage

The Exodus 1 has twice as much internal storage as the Galaxy S9, the same processor, and same resolution cameras. The Exodus 1’s battery is the same size as the larger S9+ and has the same 6GB of RAM, while both phones are of similar dimensions. Samsung’s S9 and S9+ are both 1.2mm slimmer than the HTC however. The Google Pixel 3 only has 4GB of RAM, a smaller battery and the same processor as the Exodus 1. The Pixel 3 does have some things in its favor though: its main camera, while lower resolution, is arguably better than the Exodus 1’s, it’s slimmer, at just 7.9mm, it has an eSIM, which some users may prefer, and runs a newer version of Android.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Unboxing the Exodus 1

With the Exodus 1, you’re getting a phone that can match Samsung and Google’s leading models pound for pound in most areas. Aside from being a little bulkier, there’s not much between the handsets performance-wise. The question, then, is whether the HTC’s exclusive feature – a built-in cryptocurrency hardware wallet, with the key stored in a secure enclave – justifies choosing the Exodus 1.

Take a Trip to Zion

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Zion crypto wallet

Zion is the name of the wallet app that comes pre-loaded on the Exodus 1 and, while limited in functionality, it works just fine. It is beyond the scope of this reviewer to determine whether the “secure enclave,” separated from the rest of the phone’s operations, makes Zion more secure than the average crypto wallet app. “Theoretically” is the likeliest answer, though that’s probably a matter for the Wallet Fail team to resolve. The Zion wallet supports BTC, LTC, ETH, some ERC721 tokens, and ERC20s such as BAT, the latter the native token of the Brave browser, which also comes installed.

Sending and receiving cryptocurrencies is easy, and the UX is reasonable. The collectibles section of the wallet is less scintillating though; import a Cryptokittie and all you’ll get is a small thumbnail of the cat, with no ability to view it full-screen or read its “cattributes.” It’s all very meh. From a privacy perspective, the Zion wallet isn’t great either. There’s no ability to create new addresses, for instance, so you’re stuck with the same three wallets for BTC, LTC, and ETH unless you chose to create an entirely new 12-word seed and install a fresh wallet.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Crypto collectibles viewed in the Zion app

The social recovery option, enabling you to select trusted friends to help restore the wallet in the event of phone loss, is a welcome touch. While this presents an additional attack vector, it’s a trade-off cryptocurrency users may be willing to make in return for having access to crypto on the go. There are clear drawbacks to owning a blockchain phone of course. The very fact that you have one suggests you have crypto stored on it, which instantly makes you a target. If you’re lazy and have enabled fingerprint access to your wallet, a physical attacker or law enforcement could gain entry without too much trouble.

A Solid Phone That’s Likely to Get Better

iPhone owners are unlikely to swoon over the Exodus 1, but if you’re an Android user who’s due an upgrade, the mere act of switching to a new handset running a current OS and that’s fully equipped with the latest spec makes the Exodus 1 a pleasure to use. Features such as squeeze force, which will open the camera or shrink the screen when you grip or tap the side of the phone, are very nifty. Edge Sense will also ensure the phone doesn’t time out when held in your hand, and the rear fingerprint sensor is responsive and well positioned.

The biggest drawback to the Exodus 1 – the lackluster cryptocurrency wallet – could and likely will be improved through software updates. Even if advanced features were to be added, and the number of supported cryptocurrencies was to increase, however, you’re unlikely to hold much funds in the Zion wallet. Secure enclave or otherwise, it’s debatable whether the Exodus 1’s wallet is any more robust than the leading crypto wallet apps it’s competing against.  

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
The back of the Exodus 1 is fully transparent

While a little industrial in places, the Exodus 1 is a significantly slicker device than Sirin Labs’ “Finney” blockchain phone and can stake a claim for being the leading smartphone in what is still a very small vertical. Whatever the fate of the Exodus 1, it’s likely this won’t be the last time we see a hardware manufacturer targeting the crypto crowd. In fact, with Samsung’s trademark filings suggesting it’s thinking of following suit, blockchain phones could soon go from being niche to the norm.

What are your thoughts on the Exodus 1 phone? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.

Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

The post Review: HTC’s Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Crypto Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018

January 15, 2019 |

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018

Over the last two years, as cryptocurrencies gained mainstream attention, scammers have become far more prevalent. One particular social media scam that can be found on prominent websites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is the impersonation of well-known crypto industry executives and blockchain luminaries. Unfortunately even a verified account means nothing these days and these giant corporations have allowed fraudulent acts to flourish giving criminals the opportunity to rake in millions.

Also read: Analysis: Using Technical Indicators to Trade Crypto in 2019

Rampant Crypto Impersonation Continues to Plague Social Media Channels

We’ve heard all about the milestones in 2018 and all the crazy cryptocurrency market action but one thing that happened and pulled in record revenues last year was social media impersonation. Miscreants were allowed to flourish in great number, creating phony Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook profiles. They have copied profiles such as Vitalik Buterin, John McAfee, Elon Musk, Barry Silbert, Erik Voorhees, and many more. They have even cloned businesses such as the Binance Exchange, and other major cryptocurrency infrastructure providers.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
A fake Elon Musk account scamming Twitter users for ETH on a Donald Trump tweet. Notice that another phony Elon account had liked the tweet and a fake Vitalik profile as well.

The swindlers usually present a “giveaway promotion” asking a user to send 1 ETH in return for 10 ETH but these addresses never see any outgoing transmissions. Other copycat chisellers actually pretend they are well-known individuals and message people directly asking for money in exchange for phony services. All of the major social media platforms have been riddled with impersonation scammers and even when provided with evidence of wrongdoing and proof of a verified account these corporations have yet to produce results.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
A phony John McAfee profile scamming for ETH on Twitter.

Last February, social media cryptocurrency community member impersonators were making $ 5,000 a night in ethereum on Twitter. By the summer of 2018, it was recorded that millions of dollars worth of digital assets were taken from impersonation scams. On June 9 John Backus reported that 468 known scammer addresses collected 8,148 ETH which was worth $ 4.9 million at the time.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
Vitalik Buterin begs the cryptocurrency community not to trust impersonators.

One particular person sent $ 18,000 to a fake Erik Voorhees account. Even the Maltese Prime Minister was impersonated by scam peddlers last August. Lots of Good Samaritan crypto users have flagged some of the known addresses with a message that says “Fake Phishing.” The CEO of Bitcoin.com and other members of the company (including the author of this post) have been impersonated by scammers on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
Bitcoin.com’s CEO Roger Ver shares a list of copy cat impersonators who fraudulently use his name and profile pictures still to this day.

Verified Accounts and Evidence Does Nothing As Fraudulent Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Profiles Continue to Scam for Millions

After submitting screenshots of these malicious scoundrels in action and even sending in identification, these companies still do not delete these accounts. Last summer I had submitted daily complaints to Twitter concerning impersonators and evidence of the wrongdoing and all the platform did was send an auto-response.

Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018
Even though Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (a Bitcoin supporter and Lightning Network investor) promised to get rid of these scams they haven’t stopped and impersonation is still rampant on the social media platform.

In fact, it takes weeks and help from multiple friends reporting these impersonators or otherwise, the social media giants will do nothing. Even at the end of 2018, after Twitter CEO promised users the platform would crack down on these accounts, they continued to be prevalent. Wired columnist Nicole Kobie explained the situation in great detail on Nov. 17 stating:   

Verified Twitter accounts – including Google’s G-Suite and Matalan – are getting hacked and pretending to be Elon Musk. The bitcoin scams are making thousands but why can’t Twitter do anything about them?

Instead of dealing with obvious fraudulent activities, even when users verify their accounts, the social media giants have spent millions on annoying cosmetic updates, censoring and deplatforming right-wing pundits, and sold people’s profile data to firms like Cambridge Analytics. A portion of crypto investors lost significant sums of money after last year’s digital asset market volatility, and alternatively, copycat social media profiles did extremely well scamming people.

What do you think about the fraudulent impersonation scams on social media platforms? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. 


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, and Bitcoin.com’s CEO Roger Ver. 


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The post Crypto Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Analysis: Using Technical Indicators to Trade Crypto in 2019

January 15, 2019 |

Technical analysis (TA) has been used to trade crypto since its inception. Traders claim that through careful analysis of historical data and focus on price, volume, and related indicators it is possible to identify patterns and predict outcomes. Here are a number of key indicators and mechanics commonly used for trading crypto. 

Also read: Everything You Need to Know to Start Trading Cryptocurrencies

Technical Analysis Is Controversial 

There are a number of ways to use TA to trade cryptocurrencies. Many experienced day traders have been applying Bollinger Bands, Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD), Stochastic, the Detrended Oscillator, and Fibonacci Retracement in a bid to gain insights into where the market will go next.

Some are more sceptical of TA. Angus Champion de Crespigny, an advisor to blockchain projects and a former EY blockchain lead, says that when it comes to TA, some methods can be controversial in traditional markets, let alone a relatively new market such as crypto.

“Considering we are dealing with a brand new market, I think we should be careful with anyone stating with confidence that they know what the price will be in the short term. Maybe I’m missing something but I am curious how TA theses for this market could have been proven when the market is still evolving on a monthly basis,” said Crespigny.

Key Indicators

In favor of using TA in cryptocurrency trading is Alexey Markov, a trader at United Traders based in Moscow, Russia. He explained that when it comes to TA, almost anything can work in any markets. The same technical analysis can be applied across different assets in both forex and crypto markets. Indicator-based trading means the trader will rely on indicators to analyze the price and provide trade signals. These alert the trader as to whether now might be a good time to enter or exit a position.

There are a number of key indicators to consider when trading crypto. Markov said: “Many traders make use of indicators during their activities, but our traders, early in their careers, tried out a great many indicators and most traders then refused to use them again except for volume – maybe a few used Moving Average – 200 and 50 for example – and even then only on daily charts.”

Technical Analysis Enables Visualization

Analysis: Using Technical Indicators to Trade Crypto in 2019Be warned though: indicators don’t forecast prices but simply enable visualization in charts and show some median figures where the stock was located during the period under scrutiny. Markov explained that if prices rise on trend then Moving Averages go up, the price gains momentum and the Relative Strength Index also rises. This build up can be demonstrated by green and red candles. For many traders it is convenient to view the pace of price-change in different formats. This all boils down to a question of taste and preference, explained Markov.

There is also the risk that too many indicators will muddy charts with excess overlays and make if difficult to interpret the information. According to Markov, it is best to limit yourself to the minimum possible number of indicators and use them over longer timeframes to avoid being misled by signals. “If there’s a trend in the market, it doesn’t matter what indicators of any sort you could be using, then it’s easy to make money. If it’s a side market, no indicator will save the trader, so you’d better take a break from trading or seek out other assets,” he said.

Gauging Volatility Using Bollinger Bands

Bollinger Bands are a type of statistical chart characterizing the prices and volatility over time and were developed by John Bollinger in the 1980s. According to Bollinger, periods of low volatility are often followed by periods of high volatility.

Markov explained: “Bollinger Bands primarily show the expected volatility range of an instrument based on its previous performance shown in the form of lines around the moving average that illustrates the range in within [which] this stock ‘should’ operate. It’s believed that if it exits this range, the trend will still continue very often, the narrower the range, the stronger the movement will be.”

According to Markov, shunts in the vicinity of 6,000 on BTC provide a good example of going outside this range. “When at the opening of the year the range was very broad, the exits from it gave very little information. Yet all of this goes to prove the well-known truth that after a price is wedged into a narrow price range, a powerful exit from it often follows. This can be seen on even the simplest chart without using indicators,” explained Markov. 

Analysis: Using Technical Indicators to Trade Crypto in 2019
Bollinger Bands show the expected volatility.

Moving Average Convergence Divergence 

MACD is a trading indicator method used in technical analysis of stock prices and was created by Gerald Appel in the late 1970s. According to Markov, MACD will show the trader the difference between two shifting averages.

Analysis: Using Technical Indicators to Trade Crypto in 2019
Moving Average Convergence Divergence.

Markov explained: “The larger the indicator value the stronger the ongoing trend. At the moment when it is suspended, the shift begins converging as the indicator nears zero. This is considered to be an input signal, while the indicator crosses the zero line is a more reliable although much slower signal. It’s an indicator more suited for trading on trends.”

Stochastic is an indicator which shows the level of overbought or oversold conditions for the period in question. Below is an ethereum graph from 2017 when Markov saw entry points using this indicator. 

Analysis: Using Technical Indicators to Trade Crypto in 2019
Stochastic Indicator.

Markov said: “The higher or lower this is to the closing prices, the higher or lower the indicator will be. The classic overbought or oversold level is thought of as 80% and 20% – so when crossing this guideline or returning back it ought to be either entering or leaving this position. Here the logic runs that when an asset closes extremely low, relative to recent periods, the potential for further worsening is very small and sales may soon end.”

Fibonacci Retracement

Finally we have the Fibonacci Retracement. In TA, the Fibonacci retracement means creating taking two extreme points (major peak and trough) on a stock chart and dividing the vertical distance by the key Fibonacci ratios of 23.6%, 38.2%, 50%, 61.8% and 100%.

Markov said: “It is believed that there is much in the world around us that owes its existence that can be described with these numbers. Traders have concluded that trends in the financial markets are undermined by general laws of nature.” 

Although the study of Fibonacci retracements (or “fibs”) is useful in identifying support and resistance levels, its efficacy in deriving actionable insights is disputed by many traders. Fibonacci remains an esoteric but intriguing TA tool.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com trading articles are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the money.

What techniques do you use when trading cryptocurrency?  Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and United Traders. 


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The post Analysis: Using Technical Indicators to Trade Crypto in 2019 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Bulgarian Tax Authority to Inspect Crypto Exchanges and Traders

January 15, 2019 |

Bulgarian Tax Authority to Check Crypto Exchanges and Traders

The National Revenue Agency of Bulgaria is preparing to conduct inspections on cryptocurrency trading platforms and their customers. The authority wants to make sure that both are fulfilling their obligations under the country’s tax and social security laws.

Also read: Denmark’s Tax Agency to Collect Information About Bitcoin Traders

Nine Crypto Companies Subjected to ‘Control Actions’

The tax service plans to investigate companies that have declared the trading of digital assets as their core business activity, Bulgarian media reported quoting an official announcement. It also wants to find out more about how these platforms operate.

Bulgarian Tax Authority to Inspect Crypto Exchanges and Traders

The main concern is that the transactions related to the exchange of virtual currencies are anonymous. This, according to the regulator, comes with risks of revenue concealment and tax evasion.

The National Revenue Agency (NRA) has already conducted a study of the Bulgarian entities working in the sector. The tax authority said it has assigned “control actions” in regards to nine companies.

Crypto Income Must Be Reported on Tax Returns

Once the checks are completed, tax officials will analyze the data gathered for the users of these platforms. The main task is to determine whether these taxpayers have reported their income from cryptocurrency transactions.

Bulgarian Tax Authority to Inspect Crypto Exchanges and Traders

In Bulgaria, profits from crypto trading are treated as income from the sale of financial assets. Private individuals are expected to declare these revenues on their annual tax returns. A flat income tax rate of 10 percent is applied to the positive balance from these transactions in fiat currency.

Profits earned by businesses are subject to taxation under the Corporate Income Tax Act, with the same tax rate. Bulgarian residents are obliged to file their tax declarations and pay their taxes for the previous year by April 30. Annual corporate tax returns should be submitted by March 31, 2019.

Awaiting European Regulations

Bulgaria has not yet adopted a dedicated legislation on the taxation of income from crypto-related activities such as trading and mining. The applicable rules are based on a clarification notice issued by the NRA several years ago. Currently, digital coins are taxed like other financial instruments and Bulgarian authorities reference the general EU regulations and the European practice in the field.

Bulgarian Tax Authority to Inspect Crypto Exchanges and Traders

However, the treatment of cryptocurrency profits varies significantly between EU member states. Tax rates can be anywhere between 0 and 50 percent. Interpretations regarding the legal status of digital assets are also quite diverse. Cryptocurrencies and the industry built around them remain largely unregulated in most EU countries. Recognizing that as a major problem, many officials have urged for unified rules across the European Union. Two regulatory agencies recently called for the adoption of common EU regulations.

European regulation may be needed to level the playing field, the European Banking Authority (EBA) said in a report. EBA advised the European Commission to conduct a comprehensive analysis and determine what action is required at the EU level to address the issues regarding the opportunities and risks presented by cryptocurrencies and related technologies. In another report to the Commission, the Council and the Euro Parliament, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) stated that crypto assets need an EU-wide approach to ensure investor protection.

What do you think about the actions of Bulgarian tax authorities regarding cryptocurrency exchanges and traders? Share your thoughts on crypto taxation in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Why Some Crypto Companies Consider KYC and AML Compliance Unnecessary

January 14, 2019 |

When it comes to cryptocurrency regulation, there is a lack of consensus on how to protect investors. Criminal activity such as fraud, hacks and theft is prevalent, not only in the crypto realm, but in the traditional financial world too.  Some exchanges have deemed know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance as unnecessary, however, claiming it infringes on the user’s right to privacy. 

Also read: Following the Crypto-Anarchist Dream: 3 Reasons to Reject KYC and AML

Crypto Exchanges Refuse KYC

There are a number of crypto exchanges doing everything in their power to avoid having to introduce KYC. Ethfinex’ Trustless DEX launched without KYC, having pointed out that it is impossible to obscure the source of a person’s funds: every transaction is visible and recorded forever onchain. Cryptocurrency exchange Hodl Hodl allows traders to swap cryptocurrencies without the need to undergo compliance. These exchanges require no lengthy signup process and no interminable wait for KYC checks to be approved, but such platforms are the exception rather than the rule. For legal and regulatory reasons, exchanges and similar financial organizations within the crypto sector are usually obliged to perform KYC. 

Why Some Crypto Companies Consider KYC and AML Compliance Unnecessary

From Crypto Anarchism to Close Regulation

The concept of Bitcoin was born around 2008 during the financial collapse. Originally, cryptocurrencies emerged as a means to allow privacy-oriented value storage and transfer to take place. Even before Bitcoin’s inception, crypto anarchists were employing cryptographic software in order to avoid scrutiny and potential prosecution while sending and receiving information over networks in an effort to protect their privacy and political and economic freedom. A central element to this philosophy is the inherent distrust of states in favor of individual sovereignty and self-determinism.

In a recent op-ed, Bitcoin.com’s Sterlin Lujan wrote of the crypto anarchist dream being financially independent and removed from the state apparatus, while Wendy McElroy, the author of The Satoshi Revolution, has questioned what is meant by “the law.” She writes that a government should not be allowed to monopolize its citizens’ financial affairs as it monopolizes so many other aspects of their lives. “The term [the law] refers to nothing more than the rules that identify and regulate a system. When the system is human society, discussions of law tend to become matters of power because some people want to dominate,” writes McElroy. 

Some Laws Do More Harm Than Good

Why Some Crypto Companies Consider KYC and AML Compliance UnnecessaryThe crypto world has often been dubbed the Wild West in dire need of regulation and direction. But is that really the case? There is evidence to show that instances of money laundering and other financial crimes are significantly lower in the crypto space than they are in the traditional financial sector. Onerous KYC and AML regulations also serve to deter new entrants, increase compliance costs for crypto companies, and arguably stifle innovation.

Kraken exchange has complained of the cost of compliance, stating that the “cost of handling subpoenas (regardless of licenses) is quickly becoming a barrier to entry.” Rather than deter criminals and increase transparency, some argue that all KYC/AML does is financially exclude those who lack the documentation to prove their identity – a particular problem for the world’s 1.7 billion unbanked. While some exchanges, such as Binance, are famously KYC free, its decision to partner with blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis is evidence that Binance is taking its regulatory obligations seriously. The crypto exchange, the world’s largest by trading volume, is now preparing to introduce KYC for its customers, mirroring the actions of other exchanges such as Kucoin that have similarly caved in.

Despite KYC and AML being a multi-billion dollar industry, critics remain convinced that the practice does more harm than good. While some exchanges are able to evade compliance through operating offshore and prohibiting U.S. investors from signing up, the majority have no choice but to bow to regulatory demands or face the consequences.

Do you support KYC and AML? Let us know in the comments section below.


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