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The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

July 20, 2018 |

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, Belarus, which legalized crypto activities this spring, is now turning its attention to adopting standards for companies operating crypto exchanges and issuing tokens. We’ve covered the decision of the Russian payment provider Qiwi to motivate its employees with tokens. The Daily also features crypto news from China and Canada.

Also read: Anti-Crypto Politician Backed by Payments Firm, Grayscale Raised $ 250m in H1

Belarus Working on Standards for Crypto Exchanges

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens
Belarus Hi-Tech Park

Having legalized crypto-related activities earlier this year, Belarus is now fine-tuning and expanding the regulatory framework. The Hi-Tech Park in Minsk (HTP) is currently developing standards for companies operating crypto exchanges and providers of services related to issuing and placement of tokens. According to media reports, state bodies and representatives of the legal and tech communities in the country are involved in the process.

The new set of rules and regulations is intended to supplement the basic framework outlined in the presidential decree “On the development of the digital economy”, which entered into force on March 28, Denis Aleinikov, senior partner at a Belarussian law firm, told Forklog. He shared details on the progress so far: “We’ve established that a token is not a security […]. Any organization is allowed to issue and sell tokens through residents of the High-Tech Park.”

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens

The legal expert added that entities in the field will be obliged to prove charter capital of at least $ 500,000. The standards will also regulate the activities of HTP residents and detail the requirements for those that want to issue and trade digital tokens. The Hi-Tech Park is actively participating in the process after it was granted right of legislative initiative with another presidential decree in June.

Payment Provider Qiwi to Award Employees with Tokens

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with TokensThe blockchain subsidiary of the Russian payment provider Qiwi plans to supplement the salaries of its employees with awards paid in tokens. The motivational program will be launched by Qiwi Blockchain Technologies in the second half of 2018 and will be based on the Russian Masterchain platform. Several dozens of employees will receive their awards in QBT tokens by the end of the year. The subsidiary plans to allocate up to 50 percent of its profit to the program.

The tokens will be divided into two categories. Part of them will come with voting rights, allowing their holders to participate in different company decisions. Employees won’t be able to exchange the tokens for fiat money but will have the opportunity to convert them to corporate bonuses. According to Konstantin Koltsov, Director for Corporate Affairs, the system will allow employees to be directly involved in the company’s development. Qiwi also plans to create a blockchain-based HR platform.

Companies with ‘Blockchain’ in The Name Surge in China

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with TokensIt’s no secret that adding “crypto” or “blockchain” to the name of a company comes with some image benefits. Since cryptocurrencies are not favored by authorities in Beijing, Chinese companies from the crypto sector have been left with only one choice. As a result, China has seen a sixfold increase in the number of new firms registered with “blockchain” in their names, The South China Morning Post reported.

According to an estimate based on government data gathered by Qixin.com, there are now more than 4,000 Chinese companies that identify with blockchain. Over 3,000 firms registered since January use the Chinese translation of the term describing the distributed ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin – “qukualian”. In comparison, their number for the whole 2017 was only 555.

The analysis of the official data has produced another interesting finding – 16,600 companies that were established within the past 12 months had “blockchain” listed as part of their lines of business. SCMP comments that despite the reservations of the Beijing government on crypto exchanges, coin offerings and mining, the interest towards the technology in China remains strong.

Bitcoin Ownership and Awareness Increase in Canada

The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Crypto Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with TokensA survey conducted by the Bank of Canada has detected a twofold increase in the number of people owning bitcoin (BTC) over 12 months. About half of crypto owners said they regularly use bitcoin to buy goods and services or transfer money. The Bitcoin Omnibus Survey was carried out in December, when the prices of cryptocurrencies reached all-time highs, but the results were published recently.

According to another study, “Bitcoin Awareness and Usage in Canada: An Update”, the awareness of Canadians about bitcoin increased from 64 to 85 percent during the same period. The authors also found that the residents of the predominantly francophone province of Quebec were the most Bitcoin-aware citizens.

Meanwhile, the province’s state-owned power company Hydro-Québec has been allowed to charge crypto miners and blockchain promoters increased rates until regulations for the industry are introduced. Régie de l’énergie du Québec, the local energy sector regulator, has recently accepted most of the new Hydro-Québec’s demands. A rate of 15 cents (CAD) per kWh, double the tariff for residential clients, will be applied.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, HTP.


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The post The Daily: Minsk Mulls Rules for Exchanges, Qiwi Awards Employees with Tokens appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

New Era at Amazon’s Whole Foods Grates on Some Employees

July 2, 2018 |

Amazon has infused Whole Foods with its efficient, data-driven ethos in the year since it bought the natural grocer. But not all Whole Foods employees and suppliers are happy about that.
WSJ.com: US Business

Six current and former Fitbit employees charged with possessing stolen trade secrets from defunct rival Jawbone

June 15, 2018 |

Six current and former Fitbit Inc. employees have been charged in a federal indictment with possessing stolen trade secrets from their former employer Jawbone, the now-defunct fitness wearable maker, according to a news release Thursday from the Justice Department.

Katherine Mogal, 52, of San Francisco;…


L.A. Times – Business

Lingerie purchases lead to ex-Apple employee’s prison term in $243G embezzlement case

June 2, 2018 |

A former Apple employee’s penchant for Victoria’s Secret merchandise led to her arrest and conviction in a $ 243,000 embezzlement scheme, according to reports.
FOX News

Starbucks Racial Bias Training ‘Uncomfortable’ and ‘Enlightening’: Employees React

June 1, 2018 |

Some Starbucks employees said they found this week’s company training on racial bias eye-opening. Others said they were left unsure how to apply the lessons to their jobs, suggesting the coffee chain has a difficult task ahead.
WSJ.com: US Business

Chinese Bank Employees Tried to Sell $150,000 Trump Dinner Tickets

May 21, 2018 |

Employees at a China Construction Bank branch attempted to sell what they claimed were $ 150,000 tickets to dine with President Donald Trump, prompting campaign officials to notify the Justice Department.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

AeroVironment employees accused of carrying loaded military drone on commercial airline

May 17, 2018 |

AeroVironment Inc. has been accused of trying to conceal that employees transported a drone rigged with explosives on a commercial flight and then retaliated against a manager who told the government.

In April 2015, AeroVironment workers traveled to Los Angeles from Salt Lake City on a Delta Air…


L.A. Times – Business

Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto Exchange

May 15, 2018 |

Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto Exchange

Arrest warrants have reportedly been issued to three employees of a small South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, including its representative director. The three are “suspected [of] fraud and embezzlement,” according to local media.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Arrest Warrants for Crypto Exchange’s Employees

Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto ExchangeOn Monday, local media reported that arrest warrants have been issued to employees of a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange. “Three of the company’s executives, who operate virtual currency trading site HTS Coin, were arrested for [suspicion of] fraud and embezzlement,” Money Today wrote.

The Financial Investigation Division 2 of the South Korean Prosecutor’s Office “demanded a warrant for three employees, including…[the] CEO of HTS Coin,” Token Post detailed, adding that the other two employees are a program developer and a system operations manager. The news outlet elaborated:

According to the prosecution, Shin [the representative director] and his employees are suspected of taking money out of their accounts by transferring customer funds from a bank account to another account.

Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto ExchangeThe publication explained that the three are also suspected of “deceiving investors, [by] pretending to” have cryptocurrencies “on the computer side without having real cryptocurrencies.”

“The prosecution believes that they have falsified” records and “used the money in the customer’s account as a personal account of the exchange,” Joongang added.

Responding to media reports, the exchange posted a notice Monday on its website maintaining that “All services except Korean won deposits, such as Korean won withdrawals, coin deposits, and coin withdrawals, are operating normally,” clarifying:

HTS Coin is currently under investigation by the prosecution and we are working diligently…Unlike external concerns, we still have 100% of your deposits and coins. We keep customer deposits and coins that can be withdrawn promptly even if all customers request a withdrawal at the same time.

On-Going Investigations

According to Asiae, an “interrogation of the suspects before the arrest was held in the southern part of Seoul on the morning of the same day,” adding that in March the “prosecutors searched three virtual currency exchanges including Coinnest, and it was reported that HTS Coin was included in the seizure investigation at that time.”

Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto ExchangeJoongang confirmed this report, stating that “prosecutors searched three virtual currency exchanges including HTS Coin, Coinnest, and Komid last March.”

The news outlet further conveyed that “the prosecution has been investigating the illegal acts of virtual currency trading sites” in collaboration with the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) under the supervision of the Financial Services Commission (FSC). In March, “the investigation resulted in the arrest of four executives including CEO Kim Ik-hwan [of] Coinnest…Kim was handed over to trial last month.”

Last week the prosecution also started investigating South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Upbit as the regulators announced the widening probe of crypto exchanges. Money Today emphasized, “however, in the case of Upbit, there is no suspicion of embezzlement unlike Coinnest and HTS.”

What do you think of the Korean prosecutors going after HTS Coin’s employees? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coinnest.


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The post Arrest Warrants Issued to Employees of South Korean Crypto Exchange appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Wells Fargo owes $97 million to California employees who didn’t get breaks

May 10, 2018 |

Wells Fargo & Co. must pay $ 97 million to home mortgage consultants and private mortgage bankers in California who didn’t get the breaks they were entitled to under the state’s stringent labor laws.

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday agreed with the bankers and consultants that the money…


L.A. Times – Business

Supreme Court case could give public employees more freedom

May 6, 2018 |

AFSCME is one of the largest contributors to political causes and candidates in the country, but maybe not for long. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a potentially landmark First Amendment case brought by Mark Janus, a public employee in Illinois who argues that his rights are violated by an Illinois law that forces him to pay for AFSCME’s collective bargaining.
FOX News