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Rosenstein Targets ICOs, FEC May Permit Political Donations Through Crypto Mining

November 23, 2018 |

Rosenstein Targets ICOs, FEC May Permit Political Donations Through Crypto Mining

In recent regulatory news, the U.S. deputy attorney general has called for international cooperation on cryptocurrency regulation. Separately, the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) has prepared a draft advisory that could allow political donations in the form of mining power, while the Alabama Securities Commission has estimated that the state has brought forward 20 percent of all active cease-and-desist orders against crypto companies in the U.S.

Also Read: Spain Monitors 15,000 Cryptocurrency Investors to Curb Tax Evasion

US Department of Justice Takes Aim at Crypto

While speaking at Interpol’s 87th General Assembly, Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. deputy attorney general, called for international cooperation on cryptocurrency regulation. Rosenstein implored regulators to “work together to make clear that the rule of law can reach the entire blockchain.” He also issued a call to prevent cryptocurrencies from being “abused by criminals, terrorist financiers or sanctions evaders.”

In addition, Rosenstein took specific aim at initial coin offerings. He stated that “fraudsters use the lure of coin offerings and the promise of new currencies to bilk unsuspecting investors, promote scams and engage in market manipulation.”

US FEC Paves Way for Campaign Donations via Mining

The U.S. Federal Election Commission has prepared a draft advisory that describes political campaign donations through cryptocurrency mining as “permissible.” The document is a response to a proposal submitted by Osianetwork LLC on Nov. 13 that questioned whether individuals would be permitted to support political committees by devoting computing power to the mining of virtual currencies.

The commission adds that such donations would “not fall within the volunteer internet activities exception, and would result in contributions from both the individuals and the Osianetwork to the participating political committees.” The FEC is scheduled to vote on the matter on Dec. 19, 2018.

US Litigator Notes Role of States in Regulating Crypto

Greg Bordenkircher, the chief litigator of the Alabama Securities Commission, has estimated that the state of Alabama accounts for “about 20 percent of all the active cease-and-desists” in the U.S. He stated that the commission has issued nine orders to shut down the operations of companies that have advertised fraudulent cryptocurrency products. He added that it is currently looking at another 20 to 22 companies that it may shut down.

Bordenkircher also emphasized the need for state regulators to take an active role in regulating the cryptocurrency sector. He said that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission do “a great job, but the states have really got the boots on the ground. There’s more of us than there are of them.”

What is your response to the prospect of political donations in the form of mining? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Rosenstein Targets ICOs, FEC May Permit Political Donations Through Crypto Mining appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Walmart Wants Donations Back After Senator’s Joke

November 20, 2018 |

A week before a runoff election that will determine whether she remains a senator, Mississippi’s Cindy Hyde-Smith continues to fend off bad publicity over a “public hanging” joke . The latest development is that Walmart has asked the Republican incumbent to return its campaign donations, reports CNBC . “Sen. Hyde-Smith’s recent comments…
Newser

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in Cryptocurrency

November 13, 2018 |

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in Cryptocurrency

In recent regulatory news, we report on an authorized mining company in China that has had its operations temporarily halted for tax inspection and implementation of real-name registration processes. We also look at the Michigan Secretary of State’s ban on crypto-based political donations, as well as the recent certification of X8’s stablecoin for Shariah compliance. In addition, we focus on the operator of a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme who has been punished for misappropriating $ 601,000 in BTC and LTC from his employer.

Also Read: President of Marshall Islands Challenged Over Cryptocurrency Plan

Chinese Mining Farms Suspended

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in CryptocurrencyAccording to a statement published by an unidentified cryptocurrency mining company, Chinese state agencies have ordered the suspension of its mining farms in southwestern Guizhou Province and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for tax inspections and to implement real-name registration processes.

“According to the needs of the public security department’s network information security work, in the future, our company will implement higher standards for the company’s business real-name system according to the work needs of the public security department,” the anonymous company said. “For customers with the latest standard real-name systems, the data center will have to suspend reloading, restarting, moving in and out, etc.”

Michigan Secretary of State Says ‘No’ to Crypto

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in CryptocurrencyIn a letter addressed to William Baker, a recent candidate for the Michigan state legislature, the office of the Michigan Secretary of State has formally barred cryptocurrency donations to political campaigns.

Baker, who lost his bid in the state’s Nov. 6 election, had previously sought clarification on how the value of donations in the form of cryptocurrencies should be recorded. He also asked whether virtual currency exchanges would qualify as valid secondary depositories for the storage of crypto assets.

Baker asserted that “it is self-evident that digital currency is a valid way to receive political contributions.” However, the state secretary’s office responded by stating that “the law does not authorize such a vehicle, and the department has never determined that digital currencies are a valid way to receive political contributions.”

The letter also highlighted concerns pertaining to the price volatility of cryptocurrencies. “As with stocks and commodities, bitcoin’s worth fluctuates daily,” the office said. “There is no way to ascertain the precise monetary value of one bitcoin on any particular day.”

The Michigan Secretary of State raised additional objections to the use of cryptocurrencies as donations. In the letter, the office added that state legislation also “requires that committees deposit funds in an account in a financial institution, which is not an option for cryptocurrency.”

X8 Stablecoin Certified as Shariah Compliant

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in CryptocurrencyX8C, the stablecoin issued by Swiss fintech company X8 AG, has obtained a certificate showing that its stablecoin is compliant with Shariah law. It received the certification from the Shariyah Review Bureau, an Islamic advisory firm licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Francesca Greco, director and co-founder of X8, announced that the company will soon establish a regional office in the Middle East. Greco also indicated that X8 plans to launch a Shariah-compliant virtual currency exchange, adding that the company has already met with representatives of exchanges based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain.

“The Gulf region is a really good place for financial technology companies, because they all want to become hubs for fintech,” Greco said.

CFTC Fines Crypto Scheme Operator Over $ 1.14M

Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in CryptocurrencyThe U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has ordered Joseph Kim, a resident of Phoenix, to pay more than $ 1.14 million for operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. Kim was also sentenced to 15 months in prison on “related criminal charges” filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. According to the court order, Kim pleaded guilty to “orchestrating a fraudulent Bitcoin and Litecoin scheme that led to more than $ 1 million in losses.”

Kim was found to have misappropriated $ 601,000 worth of BTC and LTC from his employer — described as “a Chicago-based proprietary trading firm” — before attempting to fabricate security-related issues to obfuscate the misappropriation of funds. Despite this, the company fired Kim in November 2017 after the theft of the cryptocurrency was discovered.

Between December 2017 and March 2018, Kim then sought to repay his former employer through profits that he had generated through the operation of a cryptocurrency trading scheme. According to the CFTC, he “falsely told customers that he would invest their funds in a low-risk virtual currency arbitrage strategy, when, in fact, Kim made high-risk, directional bets on the movement of virtual currencies that resulted in Kim losing all $ 545,000 of his customers’ funds.”

Do you think Chinese miners will report the temporary suspension of their operations for tax inspection and real-name registration? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Regulations Roundup: Chinese Mining Farms Undergo Tax Inspection, Michigan Bans Campaign Donations in Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Disney and labor unions step up campaign donations in Anaheim elections

October 31, 2018 |

With a week to go before voters decide the fate of a controversial “living wage” initiative and a majority of seats on the Anaheim City Council, Walt Disney Co. and labor unions are spending heavily in the final push before the Nov. 6 election.

Next week’s election has drawn a combined total of…


L.A. Times – Business

Survey: 60% of US Voters Want Cryptocurrency Political Donations to Be Legal

October 29, 2018 |

Survey: 60% of US Voters Want Cryptocurrency Political Donations to Be Legal

Clovr recently surveyed 1,023 registered U.S. voters to learn how the American public views the possibility of political candidates accepting cryptocurrency donations for campaign financing. A majority of 60 percent said cryptocurrency donations should be treated the same as fiat, with only 21 percent disagreeing.

Also Read: New ‘Trust Machine’ Blockchain Film Tackles Politics of Technology

Safe and (Relatively) Stable

Survey: 60% of US Voters Want Cryptocurrency Political Donations to Be LegalRegarding the topic of security, 54 percent of respondents in the Clovr survey answered that cryptocurrencies were safe enough for political donations. Breaking it down by party affiliation, 63 percent of Republicans agreed cryptocurrency was secure enough to be used for political purposes, with 52 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of independents saying the same. Additionally, 73 percent of those polled who claimed to be knowledgeable about cryptocurrencies believed security was not an issue.

Voters appear less certain about the question of price stability with regards to USD exchange rates, but still supportive in relatively high numbers. The survey showed 52 percent of Republicans think cryptocurrency is stable enough for political campaign donations, with just 40 percent of Democrats and 35 percent of independents believing the same. In contrast, 62 percent of those who self-identity as ‘extremely familiar’ with cryptocurrency answered that it is stable enough.

One result from the survey that should be of particular interest to politicians is that almost 25 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to financially back campaigns if they accepted cryptocurrency as an option. This is true for 27 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents.

Some Concerns Remain

Survey: 60% of US Voters Want Cryptocurrency Political Donations to Be LegalWith the current state of deep political division and mistrust of public institutions in the U.S., it’s no surprise that the survey also found some fears about incorporating cryptocurrency into the elections process.

A total of 60 percent of respondents were concerned that cryptocurrency donations could increase foreign interference in American elections. 66 percent of Democrats were concerned about this issue, but also 58 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of independents.

Besides the possibility of outside interference, American voters also seem to think that their elected officials can’t be trusted with cryptocurrency. In total, 62 percent of respondents answered that cryptocurrency donations would increase illegal activity within the U.S. political system.

“The overall findings are contradictory but intuitive: overwhelming support for crypto as a currency and a technology, countered by an equally unanimous distrust of what people, particularly those in politics, might do with it,” commented Clovr co-founder Mike Cribari.

Are you more likely to support a politician that accepts cryptocurrency donations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

The post Survey: 60% of US Voters Want Cryptocurrency Political Donations to Be Legal appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Regulations Roundup: Cryptocurrency Campaign Donations, US Judge Warns Malaysians

October 28, 2018 |

In recent regulatory news, a report by the Center for Public Integrity has explored the potential for cryptocurrency donations to obfuscate politicians’ sources of funding, a U.S. judge has urged the Malaysian public to exercise due diligence when considering seeking exposure to cryptocurrencies, and a report conducted by IBM Blockchain and the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) has found that central banks are unlikely to adopt national cryptocurrencies in the near term.

Also Read: Silk Road Operator Libertas Pleads Guilty, Seeks Plea Deal

Cryptocurrency Campaign Contributions and Donor Transparency

Regulations Roundup: Cryptocurrency Campaign Donations, US Judge Warns MalaysiansA report published by the Center for Public Integrity and Politico has sought to explore whether cryptocurrency donations pose a unique challenge to transparency in the donors to politicians.

The study looks at 20 candidates from across the political spectrum that have received or requested campaign donations in the form of cryptocurrencies. The report asserts that at least three of said candidates were running for office in a state that has since banned crypto donations.

Cryptocurrency analyst Joseph Argiro is quoted as emphasizing the need for US states to “put in political surveillance on [cryptocurrency] campaign contributions.” Despite such, Argiro noted that “the industry is so new that the tools are still being developed to facilitate that surveillance.”

US Judge Urges Malaysian Public to Exercise Caution With Cryptocurrency

Regulations Roundup: Cryptocurrency Campaign Donations, US Judge Warns MalaysiansWhile speaking at the “Cybersecurity in a Digital Era of Human Security” conference in Malaysia, Paul Grimm, United States district judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, urged Malaysian citizens to exercise caution and conduct due diligence in considering making investments in cryptocurrency.

Grimm warned that cryptocurrency “exists in a market that is subject to fluctuations that are not controlled by a national bank with professionals,” adding: “Cryptocurrencies are not backed by the national banking system and no regulator can step in to ‘cool it down’ or ‘heat it up’ with regulatory monitoring policy that will affect it.”

“If you are looking at cryptocurrency as an investment, you should do due diligence over how the currency is valued, the value fluctuations and how to deal with risks associated with the investment,” Grimm stated.

Report Finds Central Banks Hesitant on National Cryptocurrencies

Regulations Roundup: Cryptocurrency Campaign Donations, US Judge Warns MalaysiansIBM Blockchain and OMFIF have published their findings from a joint survey of central banks looking into sentiment regarding central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDC).

The report was informed by 21 central banks that participated in the OMFIF’s survey during July and September of this year. The results show that 38 percent of the institutions are actively “researching or trialing a wholesale CBDC to best inform the next upgrade to their [Real Time Gross Settlement] system,” leaving 62 percent that are not exploring CBDC. 69 percent of the respondents reported “significant issues with the current cross-border processes.”

The survey finds that 76 percent of institutions are uncertain as to “whether [distributed ledger technology (DLT)] will be able to deliver on its promise, especially in areas such as regulation,” suggesting that more than a third of the institutions currently exploring blockchain technologies may not be optimistic about the prospect of integrating DLT into their operational processes.

The report asserts that “Trials of wholesale CBDC systems illustrate how variations of distributed ledger technologies have the capacity to meet and, in some cases, exceed the performance of existing interbank systems,” however, it concludes that “there is still a long way to go before the technology is mature enough to meet central banks’ expectations for the next generation of real-time gross settlement systems.”

Do you think that we will see widespread central bank adoption of distributed ledger technology? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Regulations Roundup: Cryptocurrency Campaign Donations, US Judge Warns Malaysians appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Sheriff Accused of Embezzling Donations Meant for Schools

October 18, 2018 |

In another case of alleged embezzlement by a public official, an Oklahoma sheriff is accused of stealing some $ 6,000 worth of school supplies to be used to bolster his campaign, Tulsa World reports. Nowata County Sheriff Kenny David Freeman was arrested Wednesday on one charge of embezzlement. The 43-year-old…
Newser

TMZ

Hollywood’s Political Donations for Democrats Strong Even Before Taylor Swift’s Plea

October 11, 2018 |

Taylor Swift certainly talked a big game by endorsing 2 candidates in Tennessee, but a bunch of other celebs are doing more than talking — they’re paying to support their fave Democrats.  We did some digging into 2018 Federal Election…

TMZ.com

Binance Exchange to Replace Token Listing Fees With Donations

October 8, 2018 |

Binance Exchange to Replace Token Listing Fees With Donations

The popular Binance exchange has decide to replace its token listing fees with donations. The move follows a recent wave of strong criticism against cryptocurrency exchanges for the supposedly excessive fees they charge projects.

Also Read: Binance Wants to Invest in Africa, Reaches Out to African Projects

Donations Instead of Fees

Binance Exchange to Replace Token Listing Fees With DonationsThe Binance exchange has announced today a major change to its token listing fee policy. The team revealed that: “Starting immediately, and going forward, we will make all listing fees transparent and donate 100% of them to charity.”

According to the new policy, leaders of any project will be able to determine their desired fees (donations) themselves. Binance’s charity initiative will then disclose those sums to the public. The company claims it will not dictate any minimum viable donation fees. “A large donation does not guarantee or in any way influence the outcome of our listing review process,” added Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

400 BTC per Listing?

Binance Exchange to Replace Token Listing Fees With DonationsThis move can be seen as part of Binance’s recent drive to push crypto adoption into the philanthropy scene. Back in July of this year the company launched the “Blockchain for Charity” foundation, led by United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Helen Hai in partnership with the president of Malta, with the stated aim of helping the U.N. narrow down its Sustainable Development Goals funding gap.

The change can also be seen as a response by Binance to a wave of strong criticism hitting all popular cryptocurrency exchanges this year for the supposedly excessive fees they charge projects, which desperately need such platforms to reach more investors. This issue has been on the mind of the Binance leadership for a while now and Changpeng Zhao has addressed it before. Back in August we reported that the CEO publicly denounced as a liar a project founder who claimed Binance demanded 400 BTC to list a token.

How should exchanges decide which tokens to list? Is it legitimate to charge a fee? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

The post Binance Exchange to Replace Token Listing Fees With Donations appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

UNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 Cryptocurrencies

September 23, 2018 |

UNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 Cryptocurrencies

The French office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has started accepting donations in 9 of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC). The announcement comes after earlier this year the UN agency launched several other crypto-related initiatives.

Also read: Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

UNICEF Accepts Crypto Donations in France

UNICEF FranceUNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 Cryptocurrencies has announced it’s now accepting donations in 9 cryptocurrencies, according to a press release published by French media. The local office of the organization collects contributions in some of the most widely known digital coins, including bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), ripple (XRP), eos (EOS), monero (XMR), dash (DASH), and stellar (XLM).

Donations in all supported cryptos are currently accepted directly through the website of the French branch, the Cryptonaute outlet reported. Commenting on the announcement, the director of UNICEF France, Sébastien Lyon stated:

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology used for charitable purposes offer a new opportunity to appeal to the generosity of the public and continue to develop our operations with children in the countries of intervention.

The UNICEF official pointed out that cryptocurrencies and crypto technologies represent an innovation in fundraising for solidarity but are still employed by few organizations in the field. At the same time, he noted the positive trend in regards to the spread of cryptocurrency donations.

UNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 Cryptocurrencies

Announcement Follows Two Successful Crypto Campaigns

This isn’t the first crypto-related initiative of the United Nations Children’s Fund. In February, UNICEF launched a fundraising program to collect funds needed for the protection of the children suffering from the civil war in Syria.

UNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 CryptocurrenciesThe campaign called “Game Chaingers” was targeting computer gamers. Participants had to download and install a special mining software application from the organization’s website. Their PCs were then used to mine ethereum for the program.

Later, in May UNICEF Australia started a similar campaign through a dedicated website called “The Hopepage”. Visitors are asked to share some of their computing power to mine and donate cryptocurrency by simply opening the page and consenting to their devices being used to process crypto transactions while surfing the internet.

As of the time of writing, more than 22,000 people are currently mining and donating cryptocurrency via the platform set up by the Australian office of the UN agency.

Do you agree that cryptocurrency provides a great alternative for charities and humanitarian organizations to collect funds? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, UNICEF France, Smartmockups.


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The post UNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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