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What Makes Slovenia a Cryptocurrency Adoption Leader – Bitcoin.com Mini-Documentary

June 16, 2019 |

Slovenia has a population of just 2 million but contains more retail locations accepting bitcoin cash payments than the entire United States. What makes this small country such a cryptocurrency adoption leader? Watch the following video to find out.

Also Read: How to Exchange Your Amazon Gift Cards for Bitcoin Cash

Slovenia: The Crypto Country

A short new documentary on Bitcoin.com’s Youtube channel highlights the thriving cryptocurrency ecosystem in Slovenia. The video features some of the places where you can pay with bitcoin cash (BCH), different Slovenian startups developing technologies for the market, as well as Roger Ver going shopping to test out the country’s now famous crypto-friendly locales.

One of the major factors in making Slovenia an international cryptocurrency adoption hub is its welcoming regulatory attitude. The documentary shows that not only is the possession of digital assets legal in Slovenia, but capital income from trading cryptocurrency is not subject to income tax for individuals.

In addition, the country’s political leadership is open and receptive to innovation, as shown in the video by the former Prime Minister Miro Cerar. All this makes the country particularly attractive to entrepreneurs in the growing digital asset industry.

Solving the Enigma

According to the documentary, the single biggest reason hundreds of Slovenian retail locations have begun accepting cryptocurrency payments is Eligma. This is the startup that developed Elipay, a transaction processing system that enables in-shop mobile purchases with BCH, BTC, ETH and its own ELI token.

The prime example of this comes from a giant shopping center called BTC City, in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, where many of the stores now accept cryptocurrency payments through the Elipay system. It shows that there is a growing trend for actual usage in Slovenia, as the number of Elipay wallet users already exceeds 15,000. The video also mentions that the Elipay system now accepts payments from the Bitcoin.com Wallet app, allowing the owners of the more than 4 million user-generated wallets to make in-store purchases in supporting locations.

What do you think about Slovenia being such a cryptocurrency adoption leader? 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 Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post What Makes Slovenia a Cryptocurrency Adoption Leader – Bitcoin.com Mini-Documentary appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Piixpay Lets You Pay Bills and Invoices With Cryptocurrency

June 15, 2019 |

Piixpay Lets You Pay Bills and Invoices With Cryptocurrency

If you need to regularly cover fiat payments but prefer to use your digital assets, a platform like Piixpay can be very helpful. The payment provider allows you to use cryptocurrencies to pay invoices, bills and make other recurring payments to recipients that still accept only traditional money.

Also read: Bounty.Cash Pairs Projects With Developers Finding Solutions for BCH

Spend Bitcoin Cash, Make Fiat Payments

To initiate a new payment with Piixpay you have to provide the beneficiary’s name and Iban number. You are required to enter the exact amount in euros, as the platform processes bank transfers in Europe’s single currency. You also need to add a short description of the transaction and an optional reference number.

Then you have to choose the crypto you are going to spend. Piixpay currently supports four major digital coins – bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and dash (DASH) – as well as a stablecoin backed by euros. Est-coins (ESCT) are issued by Piixpay’s operator, Ungaro LLC, and have a redemption value of €1 per coin.

Piixpay has another useful feature called Instafill. It lets you link a crypto wallet address to a bank account. Each time coins are sent to that dedicated address, the payment processor will exchange the cryptocurrency and send the fiat to your bank account. You can also check the status of any payment at all times.

To use the services of the crypto payment platform you have to create an account. You can sign up with a valid email address or use your Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Windows or Yahoo account. Piixpay is registered and licensed in Estonia but it operates in over 100 countries around the world.

There’s a service fee of €1 + 1.75% of the amount for transactions funded with cryptocurrencies. Bank transfers cost €1 for transactions within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and €40 for outside the zone. The smallest amount you can transfer is 1 euro and each transaction is limited to a maximum of €20,000. You can find more information about all applicable fees on Piixpay’s website.

Do you know other payment platforms similar to Piixpay? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party 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 third party content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Piixpay Lets You Pay Bills and Invoices With Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

June 11, 2019 |

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

Excerpts from what could be India’s new cryptocurrency bill have been leaked. While local media have made outrageous claims about the details of the bill, industry experts have pointed out numerous flaws and inaccuracies. Meanwhile, the country’s finance secretary has confirmed that the crypto regulation is ready to be submitted to the finance minister for approval.

Also read: Indian Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Ready, Official Confirms

Indian Cryptocurrency Bill

The Indian government has been working on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency for over a year. Last week, Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg revealed that the report containing the recommended crypto regulation is ready to be submitted to the finance minister. He heads an interministerial panel tasked with drafting the regulation. The government has not made the details of the report or any draft bill public.

Some Indian news outlets, however, claim to have some knowledge of this cryptocurrency bill. While it is unconfirmed whether the bill they cited is the same one the Garg panel will submit to the finance minister, industry experts have analyzed the excerpts and details of the bill and have shared their analyses.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed
Subhash Chandra Garg

Unconfirmed Reports

Two major Indian news outlets have reported that the bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” is the one the Garg panel has proposed. The Economic Times wrote about it on April 26 and Bloombergquint on June 6. However, both publications have been vague about their sources, providing no evidence of the bill’s legitimacy.

The former wrote, “The government has kicked off interministerial consultations on a draft bill to ban cryptocurrencies and regulate official digital currencies.” It cited only “a government official who did not wish to be named” and certain minutes of the interministerial meeting it had reviewed.

The latter publication claims to have accessed the bill and boldly wrote, “India Proposes 10-Year Jail For Cryptocurrency Use…” However, an excerpt of the bill shared by the author of the article suggests that only certain activities are penalized and there is no blanket ban on general cryptocurrency use.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

Prohibited Activities

Following his article on Bloombergquint, journalist Nikunj Ohri tweeted excerpts of the bill he claims to be the one proposed by the Garg panel.

One excerpt reads: “Whoever directly or indirectly mines, generates, holds, sells, deals in, transfers, disposes of or issues cryptocurrency or any combination thereof with an intent to use it for any of the purposes mentioned in, or directly or indirectly uses cryptocurrency for any of the activities mentioned in clauses (e), (g) and/or (h) of sub-section (1) of Section 8 shall be punishable with fine as may be prescribed by the central government in the first schedule or with imprisonment which shall not be less than one year but which may extend up to ten years, or both…”

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed
An excerpt of the bill posted by Nikunj Ohri on Twitter.

Ohri did not share the most crucial part of the bill which details the outlawed activities despite attempts by many people asking for him to do so. “Why not post the entire document when you have it instead of snippets? For all we know, the ‘activities’ mentioned here could be money laundering, etc., which are prohibited when done with INR too,” a Twitter user replied to Ohri’s post.

Tanvi Ratna, a policy analyst and Blockchain Lead at EY who has worked with the Indian government on several projects, also offered her analysis of this bill.

“From this excerpt, you see clearly that it says that, for activities which are listed out in certain clauses of Section 8, there is a proposed punishment of a fine or imprisonment ranging from one year to up to 10 years,” she began. “So clearly, this is a proposed punishment for some specific kind of activity or intent, that is, for example money laundering. Those punishments are typically harsh … so saying that you get imprisoned for up to 10 years for something like money laundering would not actually be very abnormal.” Ratna reiterated:

The first thing to note is that there isn’t really a blanket ban and imprisonment for 10 years that people are making this out to be.

Crypto Assets Undefined

Ratna further pointed out that “the most important section of any kind for blockchain regulation or policy” is missing in the leaked draft bill shared by the Bloombergquint journalist. “The definition of what constitutes the virtual assets,” such as what is getting classified as a security token or a utility token or which aspect this legislation applies, is the bulk of where the issues lie for crypto regulations globally, she opined. Since “the definition section is empty,” she concluded that this particular draft bill is not ready.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

90 Days to Dispose of Crypto Assets

According to Bloombergquint, the bill also requires a person holding cryptocurrency to “declare and dispose it within 90 days from the date of commencement of the act.”

Kashif Raza, co-founder of Indian platform for blockchain and crypto regulatory news and analysis Crypto Kanoon, raised many questions regarding this requirement which the government needs to clarify before the bill can progress. Since the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has banned banks from providing services to crypto exchanges, he questioned how the government expects the people to exchange their cryptocurrencies for rupees.

With the banking restriction, he asked if the government would be encouraging people to conduct in-person cash transactions and how anyone would be motivated to buy crypto assets knowing that they will be made illegal after 90 days. Alternatively, he questioned if there will be government agencies appointed to buy people’s cryptocurrencies at market prices. These are some unanswered questions the government will need to clarify if this requirement were to be enforced.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

Raza also questioned how this law can be successfully implemented and how the government plans to enforce it and ensure compliance of 5 million registered crypto users in India after 90 days. He continued to question how practical it would be to put young people who embrace new innovations behind bars and what the government plans to do with Dapps startups since many projects have already gotten funds from banks and investors, elaborating:

If they don’t declare, would the government impound electronic devices of more than 5 million investors? … If they declare, would the government offer to redeem their funds as per market price?

Amending the Money Laundering Act

The Bloombergquint article also notes that “The draft bill proposes to amend the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 [PMLA] to include under its purview transactions like mining, holding, generating, selling, transfer and disposal of cryptocurrency.”

This route of regulating cryptocurrency is not a surprising one. Hatim Husain, co-author of the Cambridge University’s Centre for Alternative Finance report entitled “Global Cryptoasset Regulatory Landscape Study,” previously explained to news.Bitcoin.com how this law could apply to cryptocurrencies.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

The use of cryptocurrencies may fall under the PMLA, which carries statutory penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment. “It is possible to regulate transactions in cryptocurrencies, if they constitute money laundering, under PMLA Act,” he remarked. “Nevertheless, the effective application of PMLA to illegal transactions in cryptocurrencies is a grey area since it is unclear whether the reporting obligations prescribed under Chapter IV (Obligations of Banking Companies, Financial Institutions and Intermediaries) of PMLA Act would extend to wallet operators or bitcoin exchanges or any third party bitcoin services.”

He believes that an “Amendment to PMLA is certainly a faster process than introducing a new legislation, but has to meet the rigours of parliamentary approvals in any case,” emphasizing:

Further clarity (by way of amendment or otherwise) is indeed required before the government can effectively regulate illegal cryptocurrency transactions under PMLA.

More Reasons Not to Panic

The Indian crypto community has urged the public not to panic and read media reports with a grain of salt. Raza has shared a number of reasons why the public should stay calm. Firstly, he said that there is very little information about the bill and one cannot understand the bill on the basis of just a few lines posted on Twitter.

Secondly, he explained that there are two kinds of draft bills, private and public, and it is not clear which type of bill this is. Private bills can be prepared and introduced by any member of parliament, whereas public bills have to be introduced by a minister such as the finance minister. He further noted that the latter has a higher chance of getting approved in Lok Sabha, adding:

[The] bill is just a recommendation which may be rejected by the government.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed

Raza reiterated that this is just a legislative proposal which has yet to be approved, presented and converted into an act. If a bill is passed in Lok Sabha, it will need to be approved in Rajya Sabha and then by the president. Even if the bill is approved by all, he said that its constitutional validity can still be challenged by anyone.

EY’s Ratna clarified that the Garg committee is authorized to prepare a report, provide a set of recommendations regarding India’s crypto regulation, and even draft a bill which ministries are allowed to do. However, the bill will not automatically become law as it needs to go to the finance minister and to parliament to be voted on. Emphasizing that “there is no guarantee that this is the final draft,” the Blockchain Lead revealed that there was a bill “made by a bunch of research assistants who were working with the Minister of Finance and that’s been floating around for a while between departments and there’s not been any action on it.”

Raza similarly suggested that this bill could be an old draft bill that had already been rejected by the government and replaced by a different bill. The media may have gotten a hold of this rejected bill and reported it as the current bill.

RBI Knows Nothing of This Bill

There are discrepancies in the claims made by the authors of both articles. One major such discrepancy concerns the involvement of India’s central bank in drafting this bill.

The Indian government has previously confirmed that the RBI is part of the Garg panel. However, in its reply to a Right to Information (RTI) request filed by Blockchain Lawyer founder Varun Sethi, the RBI denied having knowledge of this bill. Sethi filed the RTI on May 7 and received a reply on June 4. He commented, “RBI has actually stated that they have not received any communication from any department and they have also not given any communication to any government department pertaining to [the] drafting of this bill and this is very surprising,” elaborating:

RBI did not actually propose any ban on crypto assets … [We also asked] did anyone else also propose these things to RBI … RBI said no.

In addition, the Bloombergquint article claims that the bill proposes creating a digital rupee to be legal tender and “would be governed by regulations that will be notified by the central bank under relevant provisions of RBI Act, 1934.” It further states that “The draft bill also grants power to the RBI to notify any official foreign digital currency to be recognised as a foreign currency in India.” If the bill is legitimate, then all these proposals were made without involving the central bank.

India Participates in G20 Crypto Discussions

As speculation grows over what the bill entails, India’s new finance minister, who will soon receive the real crypto bill from the Garg panel, was busy discussing various issues with her counterparts from other G20 countries. Nirmala Sitharaman, formerly the country’s defense minister, succeeded Arun Jaitley on May 31.

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting was held on June 8-9 in the Japanese city of Fukuoka, ahead of the G20 summit which will take place on June 28 and 29. After several discussions regarding crypto assets, the G20, including India, issued a joint statement confirming that it will follow the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force whose new guidance on crypto assets is expected later this month. The G20 also welcomed work done by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions on crypto trading platforms.

Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed
G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, including Nirmala Sitharaman, at their meeting in Japan on June 8-9.

The Indian government has cited the opinion of the FSB several times such as in the central bank’s “Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2017-18” published in December last year. A recent FSB report submitted to the G20 meeting over the weekend reaffirms: “To date, the FSB continues to assess that crypto-assets do not pose material risks to global financial stability at present, but that they do raise a number of further policy issues beyond financial stability.”

In addition, the supreme court is expected to hear the crypto case on July 23. Until then, the Indian crypto community has urged everyone to wait for the official announcement by the government without jumping to conclusions.

Do you think this bill is legitimate? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bloombergquint, Nikunj Ohri, and the Japanese government.


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The post Leaked Details of India’s Supposed New Cryptocurrency Bill Analyzed appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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How to Buy a Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet With Bitcoin Cash

June 10, 2019 |

Storing digital funds in a secure hardware wallet (HW) is a vital part of safeguarding your cryptocurrency holdings against hackers and other cyber threats. Here’s how to buy one of these devices for yourself using bitcoin cash.

Also Read: Local BCH Venue Opens and Community Goal Nears in the Weekly Update From Bitcoin.com

Buy a Hardware Wallet on the Bitcoin.com Store

The Bitcoin.com Store’s hardware section offers a variety of deals on physical digital asset storage devices such as the popular Ledger Nano S and Keepkey. Right now you can get one Ledger Nano S or a Keepkey for just $ 57.50, a pair from the same manufacturer for just $ 108 and a pack of five Ledger Nano S or five Keepkey hardware wallets for just $ 255.

The selection also includes a Cryptotag starter kit for $ 199 and the BC Vault One for $ 155. Designed and manufactured in the Netherlands, Cryptotag stores your recovery seed using a titanium plate meant to protect it from physical dangers such as a house fire or a flood. The BC Vault One features an integrated gyro sensor, random key generation and encrypted backups, with support for BCH and over 2,000 other cryptocurrencies.

How to Buy a Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet With Bitcoin Cash
Store.Bitcoin.com Screenshot

If you also need to secure some of your cryptocurrency holdings held by a third party such as on an exchange, you can use a physical security key. These hardware devices are a major upgrade for two-factor authentication methods and some hardware wallets support this feature too so you don’t need to buy two different devices.

If you are looking for more gadgets to buy with your bitcoin cash, check out the Bitcoin.com Store’s gift cards section. It offers hundreds of premium branded cards to retailers and online services, including sectors such as electronics and digital gaming.

What’s your favorite cryptocurrency hardware wallet? 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 Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post How to Buy a Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet With Bitcoin Cash appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See a Slight Correction

June 4, 2019 |

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See a Slight Correction

Cryptocurrency prices have corrected over the last 24 hours as most digital assets have dropped in value between 6-10% since June 2 at around 6:45 p.m. EST. At press time the entire cryptoconomy is valued at $ 250 billion with about $ 80.5 billion in global trades in the last day.

Also read: Bitcoin.com’s Local Bitcoin Cash Marketplace Is Now Open for Trading

Bulls Get Pushback

Digital currency values are lower this week after many coins dropped a few percentages during Sunday evening’s trading sessions. Crypto bulls started showing some exhaustion during our last markets update but global trade volume has remained roughly the same. On June 4 at press time, the price per bitcoin core (BTC) is around $ 8,011 and BTC has a market capitalization of about $ 142 billion. BTC is down 6% today and has lost 7.9% over the last seven days.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See a Slight Correction

The second largest market valuation is ethereum (ETH) and each coin is trading for $ 250. ETH has a total market cap of around $ 26.6 billion and has lost about 4.7% over the last 24 hours. Ripple (XRP) is trading for $ 0.41 per XRP, having dropped 5.9% in the last day. Lastly, the fifth largest market valuation is held by litecoin (LTC) and each LTC is swapping for $ 105 per coin. LTC charts show a loss of 5.8% for the day and 7.4% for the entire week.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH) prices have dipped as well and each coin is trading for $ 397 per BCH at press time. BCH has lost 7.4% for the day and over the last seven days prices have dropped by 8.2%. Currently, bitcoin cash has an overall market cap of about $ 7 billion and over $ 2.1 billion in global trades in the last 24 hours. The top exchanges swapping the most BCH today include Coinbene, P2pb2b, Hitbtc, Binance, Huobi Pro, and Digifinex.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See a Slight Correction

42.7% of today’s BCH trades are paired against tether (USDT) which is followed by BTC, capturing 26.1% of trades. Other strong BCH pairs on June 4 include USD (16.5%), KRW (7.8%), EUR (2.4%), JPY (1.9%), and TUSD (0.73%). Since April 1 BCH has seen a significant increase in daily onchain transactions with 35,000-150,000 transactions per day and on June 4 there’s been around 51,000 so far.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See a Slight Correction

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour BCH/USD chart on Kraken shows that bulls have lost the reins temporarily. Technical indicators show that most oscillators are either impartial signals or sell signals. For instance, the MACd, a momentum oscillator that subtracts the longer-term moving average from the shorter-term moving average, shows bears may pull the price down a bit lower. However, the 4-hour Relative Strength Index (RSI ~32.93) is hovering in the middle after touching overbought conditions on June 3.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See a Slight Correction

The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) reveal the 100 SMA is still above the longer term 200 SMA trendline. This indicates that the path toward the least resistance is still the upside despite the recent correction. Order books show some fresh resistance above the $ 400 mark and some walls within the $ 430-450 range as well. On the backside, if bears attempt to bring the price lower than they will be stopped at support foundations between $ 375-340.

Crypto Assets, Precious Metals and the Tumultuous World Economy

It seems that crypto prices are consolidating at the moment and intraday traders are searching for new positions. The downturn also follows alongside U.S. stocks tumbling in value with Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) losing 365 points on June 3 and Nasdaq and S&P followed suit. Precious metals saw small increases yesterday and the price of gold is nearing a 13-month high. Some believe that precious metals like gold and silver and cryptocurrencies will be fueled by economic uncertainty as both types of markets have seen significant jumps in value.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See a Slight Correction

It’s likely due to the U.S. dollar’s drop in value which was sparked by commentary stemming from the St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard and Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Spectators believe the U.S. central bank is contemplating an interest rate cut in order to stabilize the American economy and dollar. As it stands, digital asset market values have increased a great deal in 2019. Even with the dip in value over the last 48 hours, at current market prices, cryptocurrency investments have still outpaced stocks, gold, and crude oil by a long shot.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin cash and the rest of the crypto markets heading from here? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section 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 via Shutterstock, Trading View, Bitcoin.com Markets, and Coinlib.io.


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The post Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See a Slight Correction appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Indian Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Ready, Official Confirms

June 2, 2019 |

Indian Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Ready, Official Confirms

Ahead of the G20 summit, India’s new finance secretary has confirmed that the report detailing the country’s crypto regulation is now ready. It will soon be submitted to the finance minister for approval. Since Arun Jaitley opted out of cabinet responsibilities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed a new finance minister.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request

India’s Crypto Regulation Is ‘Ready’

After more than one year of analysis and deliberation, the report containing the recommended regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in India is now ready to be submitted to the finance minister, according to local media. The new finance secretary, former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Subhash Chandra Garg, reportedly confirmed its readiness at an event hosted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India on Thursday.

“On the cryptocurrency regulation, Garg said the report is ready,” PTI reported, further quoting the finance secretary as saying:

We will submit it to the finance minister (soon). Of course, once the approval is done, it will be made public.

Indian Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Ready, Official Confirms
Subhash Chandra Garg

Garg heads an interministerial committee instituted to study all aspects of cryptocurrency and draft the country’s crypto regulation. Included on the committee are representatives from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

This draft regulation was supposed to be ready in July last year. “We are fairly close to developing a kind of template which we think might be in the best interest of our country. We have prepared a draft which we intend to discuss with the committee members in the first week of July [2018],” Garg explained in an interview at the time. However, no crypto regulation has been announced and the Ministry of Finance told Lok Sabha in December last year that “the department is pursuing the matter with due caution,” noting that “It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations.” The government subsequently shared with the supreme court in February that the report containing the recommendations for India’s crypto regulation is in the final stages of deliberation.

RTI Request Rejected

Another indication that the committee’s crypto report has either been finalized or is being finalized is the government’s reply to a Right to Information (RTI) request filed by the founder of local news outlet Coin Crunch India. Naimish Sanghvi asked the DEA about the reported “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019.”

Last month, the Economic Times wrote that this bill had been circulated to relevant government departments for discussion, citing an unnamed government official claiming to know the details of the bill. The news outlet noted at the time that, based on the feedback, “A final law will be proposed to the next government that takes charge after elections at the end of May.”

Indian Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Ready, Official Confirms

“The RTI was filed on April 26, one day after the reports surfaced. On May 20, 2019 DEA rejected the RTI application citing ‘Section 8(1)(i)’ as the reason for rejection,” Coin Crunch India shared. “This could mean that DEA simply rejected it because eventually the information has to be made public.”

Section 8(1)(i) of The Right to Information Act 2005 states that “the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over … those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed.”

Jaitley Out, Modi Appoints New Finance Minister

Garg said that his committee’s report will soon be submitted to the finance minister, the position held by Arun Jaitley since 2014. However, Jaitley is suffering from poor health and has opted out of cabinet responsibilities. On May 29, he posted on Twitter a letter addressed to Modi which reads:

I am writing to you to formally request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time for myself, my treatment and my health and, therefore, not be a part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government.

Indian Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Ready, Official Confirms
Arun Jaitley

The letter continues, “I would obviously have a lot of time at my disposal to undertake any work informally to support the government or the party.”

Jaitley’s famous budget speech on cryptocurrency in February last year has been cited far and wide when he said that “The government does not recognise cryptocurrency as legal tender or coin,” Quartz India quoted him as saying. However, some people mistook his speech as meaning that cryptocurrency was illegal. The CEO of local crypto exchange Unocoin, Sathvik Vishwanath, clarified to news.Bitcoin.com: “The finance minister was clear: cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India. He did not say that they are not legal in India. There’s a huge difference.”

On Friday, Modi appointed Nirmala Sitharaman, who served as the country’s Minister of Defence until May 30, as the new finance and corporate affairs minister. She is India’s first full-time female finance minister.

Crypto Community’s Campaign

The Indian crypto community had been campaigning to Jaitley and other lawmakers for positive regulation and the end to the banking restriction. The RBI issued a circular in April last year, prohibiting regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses. Banks subsequently closed accounts of crypto exchanges.

Indian Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Ready, Official Confirms

Nischal Shetty, CEO of local crypto exchange Wazirx, started a social media campaign for positive crypto regulation 213 days ago. While wishing Jaitley a speedy recovery, he emphasized that his “India Wants Crypto” campaign “will continue and we’ll ensure that India is at the forefront of the crypto revolution.” Noting that “Positive crypto regulations in India will help create wealth and jobs for millions of Indians” and “Millions of youth in India want to see positive crypto moves by the government,” he urged the new finance minister to introduce positive crypto regulation.

The community now awaits a formal announcement from the government as well as the supreme court hearing on July 23. The court is expected to address two crypto-related issues: the regulatory framework recommended by the Garg committee and the banking restriction by the central bank.

Do you think the Indian government will introduce crypto-friendly regulation? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, India TV, and The Economic Times.


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The post Indian Cryptocurrency Regulation Is Ready, Official Confirms appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Facebook held talks with Winklevoss twins over new cryptocurrency

May 25, 2019 |

Facebook’s vaulting ambition to create a new global digital currency has led it to hold talks with some of the nation’s largest trading houses and cryptocurrency exchanges, sources say, including one founded by Mark Zuckerberg’s sworn enemies: the Winklevoss twins.

A secretive unit of the social…


L.A. Times – Business

Supreme Court Advocate Suggests How to Regulate Cryptocurrency in India

May 24, 2019 |

Supreme Court Advocate Suggests How to Regulate Cryptocurrency in India

An Indian supreme court advocate has shared some thoughts on the kind of cryptocurrency regulation India can benefit from. The right regulatory framework “would ensure transparency, oversight and accountability,” but a “one size fits all” regulation would be a mistake, she explains. Meanwhile, the Indian crypto community and industry bodies have urged the central bank to allow crypto businesses to participate in its new regulatory sandbox.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request

How India Could Regulate the Crypto Industry

The regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in India is being finalized by an interministerial panel headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs. The media recently reported that a draft bill has been circulating among relevant ministries for discussion. In an interview with the Economic Times CIO, N.S. Nappinai, a supreme court advocate and cyber law specialist, shared her thoughts on cryptocurrency regulation in India. She said:

Regulation would ensure transparency, oversight and accountability. The onus or burden on the government may be shifted to exchanges or other platforms offering virtual currencies or trading thereon.

“Explicit terms of functioning for such exchanges can regulate the kinds of virtual currencies that may be traded, the modes and methods of reporting, the restrictions on trading (including on valuation spurts etc.,) and also investor protection provisions can be incorporated,” the advocate suggested.

Supreme Court Advocate Suggests How to Regulate Crypto in India

‘One Size Fits All’ Regulation Undesirable

There have been reports that the Indian government is both considering banning some cryptocurrencies and regulating some approved ones. The Economic Times recently reported on the “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019,” citing an unnamed government official claiming to know the details of the bill. Commenting on the possibility of a ban on cryptocurrencies, Nappinai told the publication that any “‘one size fits all’ option may be a huge mistake,” elaborating:

There is also debate on whether cryptocurrency can be banned at all. After all how would the government enforce it without infringing on the privacy of all. Any form of electronic device may be used to store cryptocurrency.

Supreme Court Advocate Suggests How to Regulate Crypto in India

Since there has not been an official announcement by the government regarding the aforementioned bill or any other cryptocurrency bills, traders in India are undeterred by the rumor and continue to trade, as evident by rising volumes at local exchanges. “The report did not really affect volumes at all,” Nischal Shetty, CEO of local exchange Wazirx, told news.Bitcoin.com. “Unless we hear something concrete from our finance department I don’t think it’s going to affect existing traders.”

India’s Crypto Regulatory Attempt

In addition to several cryptocurrency-related warnings, the central bank has banned financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses, as outlined in its circular issued in April last year. Banks subsequently closed accounts of crypto exchanges, forcing them to stop providing fiat support to their users. The advocate asserted:

By closing out the banking route, the Indian government merely pushed the entire market into the cash system thereby making it more opaque and impossible to track or trace.

Some startups are affected more than others. Zebpay, formerly one of the largest crypto exchanges in India, for example, shut down its exchange operations in the country in September last year due to the banking problem. Another crypto exchange, Coindelta, closed down in March for the same reason after the supreme court delayed hearing about the banking restriction. Coinome, a crypto exchange backed by online payment gateway Billdesk, has also halted operations due to regulatory reasons.

Supreme Court Advocate Suggests How to Regulate Crypto in India

Last month, Cambridge University’s Centre for Alternative Finance released a report entitled “Global Cryptoasset Regulatory Landscape Study,” which discusses the regulatory frameworks of 23 countries including India. Hatim Hussain, one of the authors of the report shared some thoughts with news.Bitcoin.com. “Banning sale, purchase and issuance of all forms of cryptocurrencies is an extreme step,” he commented:

It is likely the bill will take some time to become law, even if the government decides to introduce the same in the Lok Sabha, and certainly not before the next supreme court hearing on the issue in July, which might provide some clarity on the issue.

The Indian supreme court is set to hear the crypto case on July 23 after repeatedly postponing it since last year. The court is expected to address two issues: the country’s regulatory framework for cryptocurrency and the crypto banking ban by the central bank. At press time, no cryptocurrency bill has been introduced for a first reading in Lok Sabha.

Hussain further explained to news.Bitcoin.com: “It is possible to regulate transactions in cryptocurrencies, if they constitute money laundering, under PMLA [Prevention of Money Laundering] Act. Nevertheless, the effective application of PMLA to illegal transactions in cryptocurrencies is a grey area since it is unclear whether the reporting obligations prescribed under Chapter IV (Obligations of Banking Companies, Financial Institutions and Intermediaries) of PMLA Act would extend to wallet operators or bitcoin exchanges or any third party bitcoin services.” He additionally detailed:

Further clarity (by way of amendment or otherwise) is indeed required before the government can effectively regulate illegal cryptocurrency transactions under PMLA. Amendment to PMLA is certainly a faster process than introducing a new legislation, but has to meet the rigours of Parliamentary approvals in any case.

India Learning From Other Countries

The Indian government has been observing how other countries regulate cryptocurrencies. The Securities and Exchange Board of India, for example, revealed in its annual report 2017-18 that it sent some officials to Japan, the U.K., and Switzerland to study how the regulators there deal with cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. In addition, India is a G20 country and has agreed to follow international standards on crypto assets such as the one developed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). According to the country’s Ministry of Finance, the Department of Revenue has been helping the FATF develop international standards on crypto assets.

Supreme Court Advocate Suggests How to Regulate Crypto in India

Nappinai noted that many countries such as the U.S. have chosen to regulate crypto assets instead of banning them. “With every change that USA has brought about, other countries including Singapore and Japan have followed suit,” she opined:

India has many options to draw from but it has stopped short of taking a definitive call.

“India’s population and young demographic being a substantial part thereof is reason enough for the government to take a definitive stance,” the advocate told the news outlet. “Else a large young risk intensive population may have already entered the crypto-asset market and may then be left adrift with no remedies or solutions.”

RBI’s Regulatory Sandbox

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) published a draft framework entitled “Draft Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox” in April, leaving out businesses involving cryptocurrency, crypto asset services, crypto trading, crypto investing, and settling in crypto assets. It also excludes initial coin offerings and any products or services which have been banned by the Indian government. However, businesses dealing with smart contracts and blockchain technologies are allowed to participate in the sandbox.

Responding to the RBI’s request for public comments on the draft framework, industry lobby groups and founders of crypto startups have asked the central bank to reconsider its rules and allow businesses dealing with crypto assets to participate in its proposed regulatory sandbox, the Economic Times reported last week.

Supreme Court Advocate Suggests How to Regulate Crypto in India

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), a nonprofit trade association of the Indian information technology and business process outsourcing industries, is among those that have urged the central bank to consider allowing crypto companies to participate in its regulatory sandbox. Among Nasscom’s initiatives listed on its website is “Liaisons with government and industry to influence a favourable policy framework.” In February, the association released a report calling for regulatory improvements and clarity in areas such as cryptocurrency.

Referencing how other countries have permitted crypto businesses in their regulatory sandboxes, the trade body asserted that including these businesses could help the central bank “develop a better understanding of the risks,” the publication wrote. “The decision to keep cryptocurrencies, trading of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings out of the purview of the regulatory sandbox is still not clear,” Nasscom remarked, adding:

Since cryptocoins and tokens are an important component of the blockchain technology, the draft regulations appear to exclude testing of smart contracts and other approved blockchain technology under the sandbox.

Payments Council of India (PCI), the payments industry lobby group, has also urged the RBI to include cryptocurrency businesses in its regulatory sandbox, according to the Economic Times. Naveen Surya, chairman emeritus of PCI, believes that “Since there is no outright ban on cryptocurrency technology, it should form part of the sandbox,” the news outlet conveyed and quoted him as saying:

Ideally, they shouldn’t have such large exclusions … The boundaries can’t be defined right away.

“The discussion has been on how an open framework can be created instead of a subset of existing laws, because then we wouldn’t be achieving the innovation objective,” he described.

Supreme Court Advocate Suggests How to Regulate Crypto in India

While India is leaving out crypto businesses from its regulatory sandbox initiative, Bahrain is trying to attract them to its crypto-friendly environment. In March, the Bahrain Economic Development Board invited Indian companies to set up base in its country. The Central Bank of Bahrain recently revealed that half of the companies it has approved for the regulatory sandbox are crypto service providers including exchanges.

The Right Regulation

Nappinai recognizes the importance of regulation. “Whilst technology may grow even exponentially without regulation or restraint, it reaches the tipping point when it needs the support of regulation to grow,” she told the Economic Times. However, the advocate clarified, “we are referring to effective and simple regulation to meet the requirement and not complex structures born out of fear,” emphasizing:

India should really look clinically at formulating simple regulations to meet its unique socio-economic milieu and lend support for developing the technology.

“With respect to crypto-assets, regulation would ensure transparency and certainty to both the business and investor stakeholders or at least put to rest this vertical as an investment option,” she concluded.

How do you think India should regulate cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The Cryptocurrency Market Has Become a Casino

May 23, 2019 |

Crypto trading has always entailed a blend of skill and good fortune, but in the frothy markets of 2019, that weighting is skewed heavily in favor of the latter. Fundamentals go out the window when there’s a surety that the latest token is going to pump at any moment. For traders with a low timeframe patience, bitcoin will always be the safer and more profitable bet. But when your friends are getting fleetingly rich on altcoins, the temptation to FOMO in can prove irresistible.

Also read: US Copyright Office Responds to Craig Wright’s Bitcoin Registrations

Traders Are Betting Big and Losing Large at the Crypto Casino

In the drawdown that followed the excesses of 2017, traders were taught a sobering lesson. Despite vowing to change their ways, stop being greedy, and learn to take profits along the way, it appears that old habits die hard. It was a little more than two months ago that BTC broke free of the $ 4,000 price point it had been locked into, embarking on a mazy run that’s seen it double in price and drag the rest of the market up with it. This has brought significant cheer to the beleaguered cryptosphere, as can be seen in the sentiment score indicators by data firm Omenics, which maps the mood of the markets alongside the price of the corresponding asset.

The Cryptocurrency Market Has Become a Casino
BCH sentiment score

Its social sentiment score for BCH, shown in purple, has broken its previous high and is heading to the positive zone, according to data for the week ending May 21.

The Cryptocurrency Market Has Become a Casino
BTC sentiment score

BTC is showing similar positive signs, though there is a notable drop depicted on May 9, which Omenics attributes to the Binance hack and the reorg debate this sparked. Even though BTC has retraced a little from the year’s high of $ 8,300, the mood of the markets remains distinctly greedy, according to an alternative sentiment analysis service.

The Cryptocurrency Market Has Become a Casino

Day Traders Are Going for Broke

With IEOs launching across scores of exchanges, there’s scarcely time to agree to the T&Cs and send funds, let alone perform DD on the project and the token metrics. Meanwhile, Binance tokens are performing impressive, albeit unsustainable, feats of multiplication; matic did 8X in a little over 10 days, aided by market makers, causing trading volume to surpass 50,000 BTC and inducing unprecedented FOMO. The crash, when it arrived, was almost as vertiginous, wiping 30% off the balance of traders who arrived late to the party.

The Cryptocurrency Market Has Become a Casino
The Rekt Plebs Telegram channel is filled with tales of woe from traders who lost heavily.

Bitcoin is not immune to manipulation, as shown a week ago, when a huge sell order on Bitstamp was triggered to induce a wave of liquidations on Bitmex, and healthy profits for whoever shorted with high leverage. Such behavior, however, is limited to whales with the means to engage in such mischief. For the retail rest, small fortunes can be won and lost on newly listed IEO tokens and illiquid altcoins belonging to near-abandoned projects, which can be easily pumped and dumped.

The Cryptocurrency Market Has Become a Casino

It’s hard to exercise restraint and apply risk management when crypto Twitter is shilling shitcoins and boasting of the sick gains they made in a day. To quote the New York Times’ infamous headline, “Everyone is getting hilariously rich and you’re not.” When the music stops, most of the current crop of crypto tokens will be as dead as those that launched last year, and every year before that, all the way back to 2014. In the meantime, though, it’s hard to resist the bright lights and bumper payouts of the crypto casino.

Do you think fundamentals have much bearing on trading strategy during market mania? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Vaulty Aggregates All Your Cryptocurrency Addresses Using a Single Link

May 18, 2019 |

This Tool Lets You Accept Many Coins Via a Single Link

The ability to receive direct crypto payments is of great importance for numerous small businesses, individual entrepreneurs, content creators and non-governmental organizations like charities. Many of them accept different cryptocurrencies and Vaulty.io provides help with managing multiple addresses.

Also read: Haasbot Is an Automated Trading Tool for the Crypto Market

Vaulty Displays All Your Public Addresses

Vaulty is a free online platform that helps you to start accepting cryptocurrency payments and donations for your website, blog or Youtube channel. In a few easy steps, it lets you create a list of public addresses of your preferred digital coins including bitcoin cash (BCH).

The site then generates a link to the page where anyone who wants to pay you or send crypto for whatever reason can see all the public addresses you have along with their QR codes. This means you don’t have to list all of them under your video, for example, but only share the dedicated link in the description.

Vaulty Aggregates All Your Cryptocurrency Addresses Using a Single Link

To prepare the page, which can contain dozens of cryptocurrency addresses, you have to go to Vaulty.io and click “Start Accepting Crypto.” This will allow you to search and select the coins and tokens you want to be paid with.

Clicking “Next” takes you to a page where you need to provide the public addresses for the respective cryptocurrencies. Once you submit them, the platform will generate a personalized link to the list. Your clients or sponsors who follow the link will be able to copy the addresses or scan their corresponding QR codes to make a payment.

If you need to convert a bitcoin cash address into either the Cashaddr format or the Legacy format, you can use the Cash Address Converter developed by Bitcoin.com. You’ll find it in the Bitcoin Tools section along many other useful and free tools.

Have you used a service similar to Vaulty? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party 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 third party content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Vaulty.


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