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Russian Bill Requires Deputies to Declare Their Cryptocurrency Investments

January 22, 2018 |

Russian Bill Requires Officials to Declare Their Cryptocurrency Investments

The bill for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia submitted by the finance ministry and the central bank requires State Duma deputies to declare their cryptocurrency investments. Currently, government officials are not required to declare their crypto holdings, according to a recent announcement by the Russian Ministry of Labor.

Also read: Cryptocurrency Activities Will Be Legal and Tax Free in Belarus Starting in March

Bill Requires Declaration of Crypto Holdings

Russian Bill Requires Officials to Declare Their Cryptocurrency Investments
Anatoly Aksakov.

The chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, explained last week that Russian officials will be required to declare their cryptocurrency holdings under the bill recently submitted by the central bank and the ministry of finance.

In this bill, which is expected to be ready in February, the finance ministry proposed treating cryptocurrency as “other property,” as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

In an interview with Gazeta, Aksakov revealed that if the bill is adopted, “officials will be forced to indicate their cryptocurrency [holdings] in their income statements,” the news outlet conveyed. “This will automatically happen with the adoption of the law on the definition of cryptocurrency,” he added, noting:

If the law prescribes that this [cryptocurrency] is property, then any property owned by a State Duma deputy must be declared.

While Aksakov claims that he does not own any tokens or cryptocurrencies so the law will not affect him personally, he believes that “it is in the interest of the state to justify the rules that define cryptocurrency as property.”

Russia is not the only country to submit legislation requiring lawmakers to declare their crypto holdings. Earlier this week, news.Bitcoin.com reported that a South Korean lawmaker introduced a bill to require government officials to declare their cryptocurrency possessions. In August 2016, three Ukrainian lawmakers declared their bitcoin holdings worth $ 47 million.

No Declaration Required Currently

Russian Bill Requires Officials to Declare Their Cryptocurrency InvestmentsEarlier this month, the Russian Ministry of Labor announced that state employees do not have to declare their cryptocurrency holdings. The income declaration form “does not provide for the indication of goods, services received in kind, as well as virtual currencies,” Tass quoted a document on the ministry’s website. This is the first time cryptocurrency is mentioned in “the updated recommendations on the declaration of income of officials,” Izvestia described.

Aksakov told Gazeta that there are two bills. The first lays out the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and crypto mining. The second regulates crowdfunding. It includes procedures that “should be implemented in the case, for example, of the bankruptcy of an organization that issued tokens to attract investments for the implementation of a project.”

The finance ministry is also working on a bill to legalize cryptocurrency trading on approved exchanges, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Commenting on whether the ministry of finance or the central bank will eventually support cryptocurrency trading at exchanges, Aksakov revealed:

The central bank is very cautious about this, but I think that we will nevertheless follow a faster path than the central bank expected. Since there is a phenomenon, we are unlikely to prohibit it. And if we do not resolve it, then we will drive people into criminal activities.

Do you think Russian officials should have to declare their cryptocurrency holdings? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Russian Bill Requires Deputies to Declare Their Cryptocurrency Investments appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

U.S. Rating Agency to Issue Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Grades Wednesday

January 21, 2018 |

U.S. Rating Agency to Issue Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Grades Wednesday

Additional Wall Street money might start making its way into cryptocurrency investments soon. An American rating agency is set to issue grades for bitcoin and a host of altcoins this week, possibly opening the door for more fund managers to enter the field.

Also Read: Bitcoin Hardware Wallet Maker Ledger Raises $ 75 Million from VC Investors

Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings

U.S. Rating Agency to Issue Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Grades WednesdayWeiss Ratings, a U.S. independent rating agency, had announced that it will issue letter grades on cryptocurrencies, to be released Wednesday January 24. Beyond market leader bitcoin (BTC), the rating agency will also issue grades for ethereum (ETH), Ripple’s XRP, bitcoin cash (BCH), cardano (ADA), NEM (XEM), litecoin (LTC), stellar (XLM), EOS, IOTA, Dash, NEO, TRON, Monero (XMR), bitcoin gold (BTG) and many others.

The rating agency, which was founded in 1971, grades about 55,000 institutions and investments including banks, credit union, insurance companies, stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. Unlike Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch and A.M. Best, Weiss Ratings prides itself on never accepting compensation of any kind from the entities it rates.

The Importance of a Rating for Bitcoin

U.S. Rating Agency to Issue Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Grades WednesdayThe new cryptocurrency ratings are a first for any U.S. financial rating agency. They are said to be based on a model that analyzes thousands of data points on each coin’s technology, usage, and trading patterns. Besides enabling cautious investors to better assess the risks associated with an instrument they wish to invest in, ratings also define what trades many fund managers are allowed to take part in.

“Many cryptocurrencies are murky, overhyped and vulnerable to crashes. The market desperately needs the clarity that only robust, impartial ratings can provide,” said Weiss Ratings founder, Martin D. Weiss, PhD. “We’re proud to be the first to bring that benefit to investors — to help them cut through the hype and identify the few truly solid cryptocurrencies. Our ratings are based on hard data and objective analysis. But they’re bound to create controversy, including some grades that may come as a surprise to some people.”

Will this development help make bitcoin investments more mainstream on Wall Street? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

The post U.S. Rating Agency to Issue Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Grades Wednesday appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers

January 20, 2018 |

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers

After the past few weeks of bearish market sentiment within the cryptocurrency economy, a wide variety of digital assets are starting to gain higher values. BTC/USD markets have hit a 24-hour high of $ 13,050 on January 20, after slowing creeping upwards from the low $ 10K range. Overall nearly every token market is up today anywhere between 2-50 percent higher than yesterday.

Also read: Japan’s GDP Grows Due to Bitcoin Wealth Effect

The Market Storm Has Subsided, But What Lies Ahead Is Whole Lot of Uncertainty

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still LingersCryptocurrency markets have seemingly reversed the downward trend in value and have started to gain steam again. At the moment bitcoin core markets are hovering around $ 12,650-12,950 for the three hours. Volume is decent for a Saturday, as BTC markets are seeing roughly $ 11.6Bn in global trade volume while bitcoin core, ethereum, and tether are hold the highest trade volumes today. The top exchanges swapping the most BTC this weekend include Upbit, Bitfinex, Okex, Bithumb, and Binance. The South Korean exchange Upbit has been trading some notable volumes over the past few weeks and has become one of the largest exchanges worldwide.

Over the past few weeks, the U.S. dollar has been the top nation state issued currency traded with BTC. However this week Japan has taken the lead once again, as the yen now captures 36 percent of the global trade volume. This is followed by the USD (32%), tether (USDT 12.8%), the Korean won (7.5%), and the euro (4.9%). The most popular traded cryptocurrency paired with BTC on Shapeshift is still ethereum. The overall market capitalization of all 1,469 digital assets is $ 635Bn, and bitcoin core markets dominate by 34 percent at the time of writing.

Technical Indicators

Looking at the charts things are a bit more bullish than a few days prior. Volume is definitely not as strong but buyers are controlling the market, and BTC/USD market values continue to rise. At the moment there is deep resistance right now at the $ 13,000-13,150 zone but bulls have been slowly chipping away at those orders. It’s safe to say that BTC is struggling to break past crucial resistance levels which could lead to a sell-off point if things cannot hold.  

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers
RSI and Stochastic levels.

Currently, the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) have changed courses since our last markets update. The short-term 100 SMA is still below the longer term 200 SMA which indicates the path to resistance will likely head southbound. However, both RSI and Stochastic oscillators are headed northbound showing more room for price improvements, but there’s also room to drop as well. At present order books show thicker sell walls above the $ 13,500 territory alongside even more in the $ 14K regions. On the backside, there is excellent support at the $ 12,200 through $ 11,900 zones, but after that, the books start to thin out. A lot of traders believe the storm is not over and expected a ‘dead cat bounce’ at $ 13K. These negative speculators think bitcoin could range between $ 9,000 to even $ 5,000 in the short term. More optimistic traders believe the storm is over and we should be heading towards the $ 16K zone over the next week while also reaching all new highs next month.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers
The price of BTC couldn’t hold above $ 13K and has started to head downwards slightly. The price per BTC at press time is $ 12,740 USD.

Cryptocurrency Markets In General

As mentioned above most cryptocurrency markets are doing very well, and only tether is suffering today because many traders have exited that strategy so they can plot new positions. The second highest market cap is still held by ethereum (ETH) as the market value is up 12 percent. One ETH is averaging $ 1,163 per token, and the market is the second most traded cryptocurrency today. The third position is held by ripple (XRP) as its markets are up 4 percent and each XRP is priced at $ 1.60. Bitcoin cash BCH markets are up by 13.9 percent, and the currency is seeing over $ 800Mn in global trade volume presently. One BCH has an average price of around 2,014 per coin, and the market has a valuation of around $ 34Bn. Lastly, the fifth highest market cap is still controlled by Cardano (ADA) as markets are up 12 percent and each token is priced at $ 0.71 per ADA.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers

Again many traders are uncertain of the short-term future that lies ahead as far as government crackdowns and reaching all-time highs. Many agree that so far bear market sentiment may not be over yet and newer lows could happen. If the price can breach past $ 14-15K rigorously, then the trend reversal could have more of a solid foundation. Bulls are maintaining some momentum at the moment, and the next 24-hours may show some clearer signs.

Where do you see the price of BTC and other digital assets heading from here? Do you think cryptocurrencies will see more gains? 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.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.”


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Bitcoin Wisdom, Coinmarketcap, Reddit, and Bitstamp.


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The post Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices Rebound But Uncertainty Still Lingers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency Fraud

January 20, 2018 |

US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency Fraud

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed charges against three separate companies for engaging in fraudulent schemes involving cryptocurrencies. The cases include fraud and misappropriation of bitcoin and litecoin.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

CFTC Sues Crypto Operators

US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency FraudThe U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed civil enforcement actions in a New York District Court on Thursday against three separate cryptocurrency operators for allegedly defrauding customers and breaking commodity trading rules. The agency proceeded to post details of two of the cases on its website on Friday.

The first case concerns Colorado resident Dillon Michael Dean and his UK-registered company, the Entrepreneurs Headquarters Ltd. They solicited $ 1.1 million worth of bitcoin from over 600 members of the public from April 2017 to the present, promising to convert them into fiat currency and invest in a pooled investment vehicle such as binary options. Dean claims to have “strong skills” in options trading and customers were promised high rates of return, the CFTC detailed.

US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency FraudHowever, the derivatives watchdog alleges that the defendants did not trade on behalf of their customers but misappropriated over $ 1 million in customers’ funds. Dean also launched another similar trading venture called Real Trade Profits.

Citing that the defendants failed to register with the Commission as a Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) and Associated Person of a CPO, the agency stated:

The CFTC Complaint charges the defendants with engaging in a fraudulent scheme to solicit bitcoin from members of the public, misrepresenting that customers’ funds would be pooled and invested in products including binary options, making Ponzi-style payments to commodity pool participants from other participants’ funds, [and] misappropriating pool participants’ funds.

Bitcoin and Litecoin Related Fraud

US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency FraudThe second case concerns Patrick K. Mcdonnell and his company Cabbage Tech. Corp., doing business as Coin Drop Markets (CDM).

The CFTC is “charging them with fraud and misappropriation in connection with purchases and trading of bitcoin and litecoin.” Citing that neither Mcdonnell nor his company has ever been registered with the agency in any capacity, the regulator added:

The CFTC Complaint alleges that from approximately January 2017 to the present, Mcdonnell and CDM engaged in a deceptive and fraudulent virtual currency scheme to induce customers to send money and virtual currencies to CDM, purportedly in exchange for real-time virtual currency trading advice and for virtual currency purchasing and trading on behalf of the customers under Mcdonnell’s direction.

The Commission found that “the supposedly expert, real-time virtual currency advice was never provided,” adding that customers never saw the funds they sent to Mcdonnell or CDM again. Furthermore, the agency stated that the defendants “removed the website and social media materials from the Internet and ceased communicating with CDM Customers, who lost most if not all of their invested funds due to [the] defendants’ fraud and misappropriation.”

The third case, however, “remained under seal,” Reuters described. At the time of this writing, the CFTC has not released the details of the third case.

What do you think of the CFTC suing these companies for crypto-related fraud? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

The post US Regulator Sues Three Companies For Cryptocurrency Fraud appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed

January 19, 2018 |

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) parent Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) has announced it is creating a global cryptocurrency data feed, active by the year’s first quarter.

Also read: Have Lunch with Bitcoin Jesus!

Wall Street Teams with Bitcoin Developer

“Access to comprehensive price discovery is vital to accurately value the cryptocurrency market,” a newly created ICE landing page reads. “Our Cryptocurrency Data Feed, available on the ICE Consolidated Feed, gives you access to streaming real-time, end of day and historical data for the most actively traded digital currencies.”

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) owns several exchanges from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to subsidiaries in Singapore and Netherlands. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s a Fortune 500 company looking to enter the burgeoning cryptocurrency market. Blockstream is a private company geared toward bitcoin core applications, especially sidechains, and funds many bitcoin core projects, and will act as its partner.

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed

The Feed will include “broad coverage” of six major cryptocurrencies: bitcoin core, ethereum, litecoin, dash, ripple, and bitcoin cash. The collaboration also promises “to offer multi-asset and multi-venue data from cryptocurrency exchanges globally, which will be available in the first quarter of 2018,” capturing “nearly 80% of crypto-exchange trading volume for the most active currency pairs.”

“All crosses are captured and normalized,” ICE explains, “which creates a unique sequence number, details on where the trade took place, and other relevant order book data such as quantity, price, currency and timestamp.” ICE also promises over “two years of Bitcoin (XBT) history; XBT/USD averages over 200,000 updates per day; in excess of 600,000 updates per day across all digital pairs.”

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed

Low Latency, Quality Information

The new feed “initially include data from more than 15 cryptocurrency exchange venues globally,” ICE COO Lynn Martin is quoted as saying, “With the broad array of cryptocurrencies and exchanges, and given the price variances between exchanges, it’s critical that investors have a comprehensive source of pricing information.”

The six cryptocurrencies will be “measured against the U.S. Dollar and other major currency pairs,” the announcement continued. “Blockstream works with cryptocurrency exchanges around the world and consolidates the disparate data sets into a normalized and standardized data source that includes real-time and historical trade information, as well as other relevant order book data such as quantities, prices, currencies, and timestamps.”

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed
Lynn Martin

The team’s hope is to limit latency in price discovery, providing as close to real-time and quality information as possible. “The ICE Data Services Consolidated Feed provides access to over 450 normalized real-time market data feeds and is part of ICE’s Connectivity service,” they stress.

It’s too early to know just yet if The Feed will compete with Coinmarketcap and other aggregators already established, but perhaps Wall Street professionals will be drawn to the legitimacy and gravitas ICE brings, furthering the crypto mainstreaming trend.

What do you think this teaming will accomplish? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, ICE, Blockstream.


Not up to date on the news? Listen to This Week in Bitcoina podcast updated each Friday.

The post Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Overwhelmed Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds

January 19, 2018 |

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds

Cryptocurrency exchanges have been overrun for months, as record demand has caused throttling or restriction of service altogether. With exchanges buckling under the strain, a number of platforms have been forced to temporarily shut their books. On Thursday, Bitstamp announced plans to recruit 100 new call center staff as it struggles to feed the crypto frenzy.

Also read: Korean Crypto Exchanges Go on Hiring Spree, Stealing Workers From Banks

Bitstamp Buttresses its Exchange

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the HundredsWhen crypto mania and bitcoin prices peaked in December, exchanges were onboarding over a million users a day. Prices have since dropped, but demand for admission to the crypto party has not. Users are still flocking to exchanges, and exchanges are doing their best to accommodate them whilst tending to their existing customer base. In a frank and detailed blogpost on Thursday, Bitstamp CEO Nejc Kodrič tried to sum up the extent of the problem. He began:

Our data confirms what was beyond even our most optimistic forecasts for customer growth in the past year. Under normal circumstances this would be cause for celebration, but we are certainly far from feeling in celebratory mood.

He also hinted frustration at having to field so many queries from newbs who lack the slightest understanding of the sector they’re so hastily piling into, noting: “The arrival of so many people who are completely new to the industry means we are also now fielding very different questions about what crypto is”.

Madness and Mania

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the HundredsOther exchange CEOs can relate to Kodrič’s situation. Last week Michael Gokturk, co-founder of Canada’s Einstein Exchange described the avalanche of customers trying to sign up as “madness”. CBC News reports how the exchange was forced to significantly increase its staffing, and now has over 50 employees working out of its Vancouver and Montreal offices. Goturk claimed to have “lost his voice” apologizing to clients who’d had funds held in limbo while the exchange played catch-up.

Bitstamp is also heavily investing in human resources. Nejc Kodrič writes:

Aware that you need real-time contact with us, and much better response times, we will be setting up a call centre with over 100 staff, which will be up and running in the coming weeks. We will also have a new ticketing system in place in 2 weeks from now to expedite the resolution of open tickets.

He finishes: “Don’t give up on us. I promise you that the efforts we are making will soon show results.”

Denial of Service

Other exchanges have also been hit with growing pains, with Bittrex, Cryptopia, Bitfinex, and Binance all temporarily shutting up shop at some stage during the past month. Normal service has since been resumed, and exchanges are reporting record trading volume. On Thursday, Binance published a snapshot of its six-month performance, revealing that it now serves three million active users a day.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds

From Bittrex’ curious coin delisting policy to Kraken’s record downtime, every major cryptocurrency exchange has been in the news this week. Even Poloniex hasn’t been exempt; gremlins in its trading platform caused users to report a spate of oddities, including massive sell walls and orders disappearing from the books. The problems now seem to have been addressed, but not before Zcash was forced to publish a statement pointing out that the ZEC sell wall on Poloniex was impossible, as at 3.9 million coins it was greater than the total number of Zcash in existence.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds

From onboarding to uptime, cryptocurrency exchanges are being vigorously stress tested. With only 1% of the world invested in crypto, the avalanche of new users may still have a long way to run.

Do you think cryptocurrency exchanges will ever manage to match demand, or are they destined to be constantly playing catch up? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to know the price of bitcoin? Check this chart.

The post Overwhelmed Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Chip Giant TSMC Expects Strong Demand for Cryptocurrency Mining to Continue

January 18, 2018 |

Chip Giant TSMC Expects Strong Demand for Cryptocurrency Mining to Continue

The world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, TSMC, expects that the bitcoin mining industry will continue to grow this year, fueling an increased demand for its chips. Some analysts now see the cryptocurrency mining sector as offering the highest potential to cover for weak iPhone X sales for Apple’s primary chip supplier.

Also Read: Austrian Bitcoin Miner May Seek an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in 2018

Bitcoin X

Chip Giant TSMC Expects Strong Demand for Cryptocurrency Mining to ContinueTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TPE: 2330) today reported its Q4 2017 earnings, showing a 10.1% increase in revenue and a 10.4% increase in net income. In total, the Q4 revenue was $ 9.21 billion, which increased 10.7% from the previous quarter and 11.6% year-over-year. The TSMC stock rose 2.69% in response.

“Our fourth quarter business was supported by major mobile product launches and continuing demand for cryptocurrency mining,” said Lora Ho, SVP and Chief Financial Officer of TSMC. “Moving into first quarter 2018, we expect the strong demand for cryptocurrency mining will continue while mobile product seasonality will dampen our business in this quarter.”

Bitcoin mining hardware is considered to offer the highest growth potential for the company with some analysts expecting that it will double and constitute up to 10% of TSMC’s revenues in 2018. They even hope it can compensate for the lackluster iPhone X sales in China for the chip maker. “The mining impact on TSMC is now akin to that of a popular new iPhone,” commented Mark Li, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. “The difference is that each new iPhone requires a huge amount of innovation and marketing. The Bitcoin contribution is automatic.”

Boom or Bust

Chip Giant TSMC Expects Strong Demand for Cryptocurrency Mining to ContinueStock analysts covering TSMC are divided about bitcoin’s long term effect on the company’s bottom line. “Although some investors are bullish that Bitcoin-related chipset demand could offset soft smartphone demand in 2018, we question whether Bitcoin demand will be sustainable” if prices slide, Benjamin Chiang, an analyst at KGI Securities, commented ahead of the results.

However, others acknowledge it can be a winning best for the company. “Cryptocurrency is like a call option for TSMC, which is an attractive investment on its own,” said Sebastian Hou, an analyst with CL Securities Taiwan Co. “If mining demand vanishes tomorrow, it shouldn’t affect the investment outlook. But if it turns out to be strong, the company will rake it in.”

Should chip makers bet big on bitcoin mining or just stick to cell phones? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

The post Chip Giant TSMC Expects Strong Demand for Cryptocurrency Mining to Continue appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Social Network Yours.org Raises $1.5m to Introduce Cryptocurrency to the Masses

January 18, 2018 |

Social Network Yours.org Raises $  1.5m to Introduce Cryptocurrency to the Masses

Crypto-focused social network Yours.org, which enables contributors to earn bitcoin cash for creating content, is poised to ramp up its operations after securing $ 1.5 million. The Series A funding, courtesy of mining specialists Bitmain and Nchain, will aid the site’s operators in their mission to educate the masses about cryptocurrency and use it in their daily lives.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Tip Bot ‘Tippr’ Distributes Thousands of Micropayments

Bitmain Directs a Fraction of Its Mining Profits Towards a Good Cause

Social Network Yours.org Raises $  1.5m to Introduce Cryptocurrency to the MassesYours.org, the brainchild of prominent bitcoiner Ryan X Charles, has been one of the most successful sites to have adopted bitcoin cash since the decentralized currency was launched last summer. Elements of news blogs and social networks such as Steemit have been harnessed to create a clean and minimalist portal for sharing internet humor, fiction, art, and cryptocurrency news. The site has been flourishing, with strong weekly growth and an enthusiastic community who cherish the ability to monetize and reward strong content.

Long-time cryptocurrency enthusiasts can fondly recall the first purchase they made with crypto. In most cases, it will have been bitcoin, and, regardless of whether the transaction took place on the dark web or the clearnet, the sensation of experiencing P2P digital cash in action is transformative; life-affirming even. Yet many crypto newcomers, who got in during the digital gold rush of 2017, have yet to savor that feel. Many newbs know only what it is like to buy, hoard, and hodl. But it doesn’t need to be that way, just as it didn’t used to be that way.

Micropayments Made Easy

Bitcoin core has passed the point of being usable for micro-transactions – for now at least – but bitcoin cash is helping to fill that void. Announcing news of the funding that will help secure the site’s future, Yours.org CEO Ryan X Charles wrote:

Anyone anywhere can start earning money for the things they love to do. The potential to change the way social media works and to improve the quality of content on the internet is enormous.

Social Network Yours.org Raises $  1.5m to Introduce Cryptocurrency to the MassesBitmain’s Jihan Wu also spoke fondly of Yours.org and the work it has done to date in making cryptocurrency spendable in small amounts on the web. The capital that Bitmain and Nchain have provided will help the San Francisco-based Yours.org recruit more engineers as it targets an aggressive growth strategy.

The site forms one of the best online use cases for spending bitcoin cash, which continues to go from strength to strength. This week Kucoin exchange launched bitcoin cash trading pairs. Users will now be able to trade KCS, ACT, DAT, XAS, UTK, and DENT using BCH. Coupled with stories such as the success of the Bitcoin Cash Tippr bot, they’re evidence that BCH is proving to be much more than just a store of value.

Do you think cryptocurrency should be usable for day to day transactions, or is it best as a store of wealth? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Keep track of the bitcoin exchange rate in real-time.

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Bitcoin News

Venezuela Considers Selling Its ”Oil-Backed” Cryptocurrency With a 60% Discount

January 17, 2018 |

Venezuela Considers Selling Its Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency With a 60% Discount

The advisors of the Venezuelan government have recommended that the country’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, be sold in private placements at a discount of up to 60 percent. 38.4 million petros, with a face value of around $ 2.3 billion, could go on sale starting on February 15.

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

Private Placements of Discounted Petros

The newly-formed advisory group to the Venezuelan government, VIBE, has reportedly provided a recommendation on how to start selling the country’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro. The group consists of crypto experts close to the government, Reuters described. According to a document it reviewed, the news outlet elaborated:

VIBE recommended Venezuela sell 38.4 million petros with a face value of around $ 2.3 billion in private placements starting on Feb. 15 at a discount of up to 60 percent… Another 44 million petros with a face value of $ 2.7 billion should be offered to the public a month later.

Venezuela Considers Selling Its Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency 60% Off
Nicolas Maduro.

“The remainder should be shared between the government and VIBE,” Reuters quoted the document. In addition, “the document suggested the government accept tax payments in petros, and that state oil company PDVSA incorporate cryptocurrencies in its dealings with foreign companies.”

Earlier this month Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro assigned 5 billion barrels of crude oil to back the new currency and ordered the issue of 100 million petros.

The publication added that, according to a source familiar with the matter, high-ranking government advisors have discussed the proposal. However, there has not been a confirmation whether it was accepted.

The Petro’s Journey

The creation of Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency was first announced by Maduro in early December, stating that it would be backed by the country’s oil, gold, natural gas, and diamond reserves.

Without providing additional details, he said “the cryptocurrency issuance would take place via online exchanges,” Reuters conveyed and quoted a government advisor explaining that some exchanges would work with bolivars while others would trade the petro for other cryptocurrencies. The news outlet further noted:

Each petro will be backed by one barrel of Venezuelan oil and will be sold at the same price, which last week averaged $ 60.40 per barrel…That would put the value of the entire petro issuance of 100 million tokens at just over $ 6 billion.

Venezuela Considers Selling Its Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency 60% OffAs Maduro prepared to launch the petro, the country’s opposition-run Congress declared the new currency “an illegal debt issuance by a government,” the publication described. Parliamentarians also declared Maduro’s decree to issue it null, citing “it is illegal to use oil reserves.”

Nonetheless, the Superintendent of Cryptocurrencies, Carlos Vargas, proceeded to announce that the petro will be pre-mined. Furthermore, the document Reuters saw “suggested the petro be a token on the Ethereum network.”

A search on popular Ethereum block explorer Etherscan shows a number of ERC20 tokens with the name “Petro” already in existence. One of them (PTO) has a 100-million token issuance. The coins, held in one address, were generated on January 13. However, there is no indication whether the Maduro government is in control of the address.

Forging ahead with the issuance of the petro, Maduro was quoted on Monday proclaiming:

The center of financial policy will be the consolidation of the petro. This cryptocurrency is the future of humanity. Venezuela has entered the future.

Do you think the Venezuelan government will follow VIBE’s advice? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.


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The post Venezuela Considers Selling Its ”Oil-Backed” Cryptocurrency With a 60% Discount appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Cryptocurrency App Users Increase 14-Fold in South Korea

January 17, 2018 |

Cryptocurrency App Users Increase 14-Fold in South Korea

The number of cryptocurrency app users in South Korea has increased 14 times in the last 11 weeks to approximately two million users, according to a recent analysis. Users spend an average of 26 minutes using them daily and the majority of users are in their 30s.

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

A 14-Fold Jump

Cryptocurrency App Users Increase 14-Fold in South KoreaApplication analytics company Wiseapp recently conducted an analysis of 23,000 Android smartphone users in South Korea.

The company found that “Nearly 2 million South Koreans are estimated to have used cryptocurrency applications with their smartphone in the past week,” Yonhap wrote, adding that:

A total of 1.96 million people may have used apps that allow them to handle digital currencies, such as bitcoin and ethereum, last week, up from 140,000 tallied between Oct. 30 and Nov. 5.

Cryptocurrency App Users Increase 14-Fold in South Korea
Weekly chart of the number of crypto app users from Oct 30 to Jan 14. 196 is equivalent to 1.96 million.

According to Wiseapp’s data from October 30 to January 14, “Virtual currency app users increased 14 times in the last 11 weeks,” the company wrote. Popular apps include those related to cryptocurrency trading, particularly bitcoin, as well as “quotes, bulletin boards, etc,” the company detailed.

More South Koreans are increasingly using cryptocurrency apps despite multiple regulatory announcements, including the crackdown on anonymous crypto trading. The tax authority has also been discussing ways to tax cryptocurrencies.

In addition, two major exchanges, Bithumb and Coinone, are being investigated by the authorities. Then, over the weekend, the regulators announced that crypto traders could face fines if they do not convert from virtual accounts to real-name accounts once the new system is implemented.

Bitcoin App User Demographics

Wiseapp’s research also revealed that last month 1.8 million people used the top 10 bitcoin-related apps while 2.67 million people used the top 10 securities-related apps during the same time period. However, bitcoin app users spend an average of 26 minutes using the apps, which is twice the 13-minute daily use time for securities apps in the same period.

In addition, the company also found that 6.5% of bitcoin app users are in their teens, 24% in their 20s, 32.7% in their 30s, 21% in their 40s, and 15.8% are 50 and over.

Cryptocurrency App Users Increase 14-Fold in South Korea
Demographics of bitcoin app users (yellow) and securities app users (green). Source: Wiseapp.

What do you think of these stats on cryptocurrency app users? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wiseapp.


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