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A disturbing study out of Bowling Green State University has found that US police officers were charged in hundreds of rapes over the course of less than a decade. Per CNN , researchers behind the findings concluded that cops were charged in 405 forcible rapes in the nine years between 2005…
Plenty of people answered the call when Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald asked for 100 able-bodied volunteers to search for “missing and endangered” teen Jayme Closs Thursday—but the search along a 14-mile stretch of Highway 8 near Barron, Wisconsin didn’t find anything that could provide a breakthrough. The sheriff’s…
A healthy dose of job growth has long been seen as a likely cure for poverty. But new research suggests that poor Americans are frequently left behind even when their cities or communities benefit from hiring booms.
When cities such as Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta enjoyed a job surge in the 20…
One of the central pillars of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general is that the system is decentralized, ensuring no single point of failure for adversaries to attack. However, new research has found the majority of assets in the ecosystem today to be highly centralized.
Taxonomy Report Reveals a Concentration of Crypto Power
Cryptocompare, the cryptocurrency market data aggregator, has published a Cryptoasset Taxonomy Report. The nearly 80-page document is designed to provide investors, regulators and the industry with an independent classification of coins and tokens to help differentiate from a long list of ever-growing options.
The report is based on an analysis of over 200 crypto assets, using more than 30 attributes and covering a range of economic, legal and technological features. Researchers analyzed these assets from a variety of perspectives including regulatory classifications, access and governance, market cap and volume data, level of decentralization, and distribution and supply concentration.
Charles Hayter, CEO of Cryptocompare, said: “Daily, retail and institutional investment communities express an appetite to invest and develop investment products and instruments based on crypto assets. Key to this is the demand for a single, independent and trustworthy taxonomy offering transparency, consistency and confidence.”
Just 16% of Cryptocurrencies Are Really Decentralized
In the section on centralization and counter-party, the report identifies how regulators might approach their decision as to whether an asset is centralized and thus possibly deemed a security. A fundamental point the researchers found is that decentralized and open source projects may not rely on a central issuer. Using this distinction, the taxonomy has explored the extent to which crypto assets are de facto decentralized.
The results of this analysis are quite disappointing for cryptocurrency proponents. Just 16% of crypto assets were found to be truly decentralized, with 55% categorized as centralized and the rest as semi-decentralized. Even just looking at payment tokens, defined as assets intended to provide a means of payment or value exchange which do not confer any claims upon the issuer, just 37% were found to be decentralized.
Do you think decentralization matters with cryptocurrencies, and if so, to what extent? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Cryptocompare.
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The post Majority of Crypto Assets Are Highly Centralized, Research Finds appeared first on Bitcoin News.
A wildlife ranger was killed by a crocodile Friday in Australia’s Northern Territory while gathering mussels with her family in a waterhole, police tell the AP . The indigenous woman was attacked in a remote area 28 miles southwest of the community of Yirrkala. The employment safety watchdog NT WorkSafe says…
Crypto markets have passed through hard times this year but cryptocurrency remains a viable remuneration option for businesses in the industry and their employees in Russia, new numbers and estimates suggest. The observation is valid for many companies and contractors around the world as a number of platforms now match employers and job seekers in the crypto space.
Half of Fintech Firms in Russia Pay With Coins, Estimate
Cryptocurrencies are yet to be legalized in the Russian Federation but a growing number of its citizens and businesses are earning their money in the crypto-space. Deputies in Moscow have postponed the final adoption of the draft legislation introduced in the Duma this spring and it’s been reported that the latest version of the law “On digital financial assets” does not even mention cryptos. Nevertheless, the industry is constantly expanding – the number of mining enterprises has increased by 15 percent this year, there is a strong demand for crypto experts, and the average salary in the sector is four times higher than the nation’s average monthly wage.
Russian crypto media have recently reported that around half of the local ICO projects and crypto companies use digital assets to settle their bills despite its unregulated status and unclear future in the country. Up to 50 percent of these businesses deal with their counterparts in cryptocurrency, according to Philipp Khomenok, Community Relations and Marketing Manager at Confideal, a service that helps clients create smart contracts on the ethereum blockchain. Many of these companies also pay their employees and contractors with digital money rather than fiat. This is often the case when Russian businesses hire foreign talent and expertise.
“If the legislation allows you to pay workers with cryptocurrency, a rather simple, completely transparent and ‘white’ scheme is applied, which allows you to collect taxes and other obligatory payments…If a country’s legislation does not allow crypto accounting, then all salaries will be ‘black,’” says Dmitry Lazarichev, co-founder of the popular European crypto card and wallet provider Wirex, quoted by the Russian outlet Bloomchain.
Crypto Salaries Gaining Popularity Around the World
Different payment options are available and the UK-based Wirex pays wages in bitcoin core, U.S. dollars or both. According to Lazarichev, around half of its employees receive their salaries in BTC. Japanese internet giant GMO introduced a similar salary payment system in December. Other companies like Bitcoin.com use bitcoin cash (BCH) for accounting and remuneration purposes taking advantage of its fast and low-cost transactions. Ethereum and ripple are two other popular choices in Russia. Many ICO startups use their own tokens.
Salaries are often agreed as a fixed amount in fiat currency and then paid in cryptocurrencies according to the current exchange rate. A number of services are now matching employers with job seekers in the crypto space. Some of them, like Bitwage, allow companies to pay their remote contractors in dozens of fiat currencies and popular digital coins. Other platforms, such as Dream, Bitgigs, and Coinality, help companies find freelancers willing to accept crypto payments for their help, the publication details. Sites like Cryptojobs, Cryptojobslist, Cryptocurrencyjobs post openings with crypto salaries.
Youngsters and Men More Likely of Accept Wage in Cryptocurrency
This year’s market downturns are a sign of a weakening appetite for cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, many Russians would still like to receive some of their monthly wages in crypto, according to a study conducted by the Russian jobs portal Superjob. The platform has been measuring their attitudes since the beginning of the year and despite the declining interest, 5 percent of the 1,600 respondents from all Russian regions polled in October said they wanted to get at least part of their salary in digital coins. That’s 7 percent among men and Russians in the age group 25-35, and 8 percent among youngsters, 18-24 years old.
According to results from another survey, published in September by Chronobank, an HR company working in the industry, only 30 percent of the Russians who receive compensation in cryptocurrency are ready to pay taxes. At the same time, almost half of the Russian respondents, 48 percent, admit they are aware that salary payments in cryptocurrency are not yet legalized in their country. If that ever happens is still an open question in Russia.
According to the latest reports from Moscow, the executive power intends to regulate the sector in cooperation with the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Speaking to the Rossiya 24 channel, President Putin’s special representative for the digital and technological development, Dmitry Peskov, noted that the partnership with FATF is under consideration due to the high risks associated with the industry. He also admitted that the system evolves much faster than laws can be written and added that the adoption of a comprehensive law might not even happen. The new FATF crypto standards are expected by the end of October.
What are your expectations about the future of salary payments in cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post Despite Setbacks Crypto Wages Still an Option for Russians, Poll Finds appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Police in the Netherlands are trying to track down the person who left a lion cub abandoned in a small cage in the middle of a field. The cub was spotted by an astonished jogger near the village of Tienhoven, north of Utrecht, the BBC reports. A veterinarian examined the…
Comedian Katt Williams has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a hired driver during an argument about taking him and his dog from the Portland, Oregon, airport to a performance in the city, per the AP . Williams, who was in jail Sunday, came to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s…
A Montreal man has his sister to thank for his sudden windfall—the equivalent of $ 1.32 million, the CBC reports. Urged by his sister to finally clean out his wardrobe, Gregorio De Santis found a Lotto 6/49 ticket dated Dec. 6, 2017 in an old jacket and took it…
Several financial institutions in Europe, like Danske Bank and Swedbank, have been mentioned in a Lithuanian report investigating large-scale crypto-fiat transactions that took place in the past two years. Some of the banks’ clients traded digital coins worth millions of euros and the Baltic nation’s financial crime combating agency wants to know where the first million came from. Many of the speculators are Lithuanian taxpayers.
Speculators Used 7 Banks to Trade Cryptocurrency Worth €661 million
The Lithuanian probe covers deals exceeding €80,000. The Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS) found that around 500 private individuals and 100 corporate entities have conducted such transactions since 2017 attracting the attention of authorities in Tallinn. They are all clients of one of the following banks and financial services providers – SEB, Swedbank, Luminor, Danske Bank, Citadele, Pervesk, and Mister Tango, Delfi reported. The news comes after a number of major banks such as ING Group, Danske Bank, Credit Suisse, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank were mentioned in recent reports about money laundering cases.
According to data quoted by the Lithuanian outlet, the turnover in these crypto-related operations during the two-year period has reached €661 million. Citizens of Lithuania and Sweden are behind the three largest exchange transactions valued at 27.2, 16.6 and 14.1 million euro respectively. A resident of Lithuania has reported profits of €6 million from cryptocurrency purchases and sales, revealed FCIS director Mindaugas Petrauskas.
The FCIS is currently conducting a strategic sectoral analysis of exchange transfers involving cryptocurrency and traditional fiat money including EUR, USD and other currencies. Investigators have acquired data about both individual traders and businesses from Lietuvos Bankas, the central bank of Lithuania, and other government institutions responsible for e-money regulations, in order to examine the money flows.
Money Laundering Suspicions Again on the Table
Petrauskas said some speculators had declared not only huge turnovers but also significant profits. Part of these revenues came from cryptocurrency trading and the rest was related to initial coin offerings (ICOs). He noted that last year’s tax rate for these crypto incomes in Lithuania was only 5%. The official pointed out that many of these traders had not revealed the origin of their initial capital opting to report both the investment and the returns as profit.
The head of the FCIS stressed there is a high risk of money laundering in both crypto trading and token sales. Lithuania has been experiencing a rapid growth in the crowdfunding sector since the beginning of this year. If 2017 saw only about €82 million invested in local ICOs, in 2018 the total so far amounts to €500 million. “The question arises as to where does it come from, that’s a lot of money,” Mindaugas Petrauskas said and added that the Finance Ministry in Tallinn has submitted a set of proposals aimed at regulating the ICO industry.
The Lithuanian financial crime combating unit expressed concerns regarding several aspects of the crypto space including the anonymity of transactions, the fact that crypto-related services like exchanges and wallets are often located in different jurisdictions, the international character of the deals and the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies – features that the crypto community perceives as positives.
What do you think about the role of banks in large-scale crypto-fiat transactions? Tell us in the comments section below.
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The post European Banks Facilitated Large Crypto-Fiat Deals, Probe Finds appeared first on Bitcoin News.