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Spending at U.S. retailers bounced back in March, but the broader trend in consumer spending shows only moderate growth despite a solid labor market and growing worker paychecks.
WSJ.com: US Business
The half billion dollar Coincheck exchange hack is still working its way through the ecosystem, carrying implications of all sorts. Rarely mentioned is how, at least in part, the exchange’s problems were due to a lack of crypto engineers in Japan. A dearth of engineering know-how is a perfect recipe for security gaps to be exploited.
Also read: India Searches for Ethereum Over Bitcoin
Japan Needs Crypto Engineers
Shortly after the hack was discovered, Coincheck’s Koichiro Wada explained,“We were aware we didn’t have enough people working on internal checks, management and system risk. We strived to expand using headhunters and agencies, but ended up in this situation.” It was a spectacular mess, and in many ways the industry continues to deal with its ramifications: mergers, class action lawsuits, calls for more and tougher regulation, dramatic runs on the exchange as users attempt to withdraw what remains, and all that happening only four months after the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) gave the exchange formal approval.
Japan, of course, is a hotbed of crypto activity. The country has over 30 exchanges. And that does not include the “100 other companies [that] have approached the watchdog [overseeing] the sector about applying for a license,” the FSA told Reuters.
Mike Kayamori of the crypto exchange Quoine explained: “The FSA is breathing down necks on security, compliance and risk. And if you don’t hire, you won’t be able to survive.” According to Pascal Hideki Hamonic of Descartes Search, a recruiter specializing in tech and part of the Japan Blockchain Association, placement services like theirs cannot keep up with demand for crypto talent. In fact, according to the company, 60% of all placements within tech are crypto-related, and that’s up 15% from a year ago.
“And exchanges are prepared to pay,” Reuters claims. “Many are ramping up salaries and offering guaranteed bonuses to poach engineers from other businesses, two recruiters said. Base pay is up 20 to 30 percent from last year, they said, pushing salaries for engineers with five years’ experience to 11 million yen ($ 102,720).”
Japan’s Blunted Crypto Edge and Vitalik’s Vision
Bitcoin developer Nick Szabo refers to it as the $ /knowledge ratio, whereby gobs of employer money chases too few skilled employees. And it is for sure a problem all over the world. Leading tech job service Toptal reports how since “January 2017, the demand for blockchain engineering talent on Toptal has grown 700 percent, and 40 percent of the fully managed software development projects requested in the last month require blockchain skills.”
A novel potential solution was posed by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s founder, who believes “core developers and researchers should be employed by multiple companies or organizations … [and] … the knowledge of the technical considerations behind protocol upgrades must be democratized, so that more people can feel comfortable participating in research discussions and criticizing protocol changes.”
For Japan, however, culture also comes into play. Career moves are rare, and the “majority of Japanese that do understand blockchain and cryptocurrency already work for companies as lifetime employment, and have never considered the thought of changing jobs,” the head of Blockchain Daigakko, an engineering training firm, told Reuters.
Alexander Jenner of Computer Futures worries such a scenario “could put the brakes on everything. The sector’s growing so quickly, and the better exchanges are surviving. But many of them will fail,” blunting the country’s early competitive edge.
Is the crypto engineering shortage a good problem to have? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay.
‘Caravan’ marches on unimpeded, despite Obama administration spending millions to help Mexico control borderApril 2, 2018 | dailybusinessnews
Though Mexico claimed just four years ago it had “absolute control of the southern border,” the planned stringent security checks appear to have broken down — or been bypassed — by the caravan of more than 1,000 Central Americans making their way through the country en route to the United States.
You can blame Richard Colvin Reid, the convicted shoe bomber, for the requirement that you take off your shoes before going through an airport security checkpoint.
And the requirement that you unpack your laptop when going through a checkpoint is due to tips the Transportation Security Administration…
The largest tax filing platform in India, Cleartax, together with Zebpay, one of the leading Indian cryptocurrency exchanges, is uniting efforts to help Indians with their crypto taxes. The partnership aims to educate bitcoin investors and traders about the current tax laws and how they apply to reporting cryptocurrency incomes and profits.
Helping Taxpayers Understand the Law
Indian regulators are still struggling to find the best approach to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Statements by officials that new rules will be implemented soon have not been followed by actions. On the contrary, attempts to impose oversight on the crypto ecosphere have led to conclusions that this isn’t going to be an easy task. According to media reports from last month, new regulations were expected by the end of March.
Despite failing to introduce comprehensive regulations, authorities in India are eager to tap into crypto earnings, like many other governments around world. Last month the Income Tax Department issued notices to thousands of cryptocurrency investors, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Questions followed. If cryptocurrencies are neither legalized nor regulated, how are taxpayers expected to report their crypto incomes and profits?
A new initiative called the Cryptocurrency Advisory Plan will support Indian bitcoin traders and investors in this year’s tax campaign, according to the Business Standard. Joining hands in the effort are the largest tax filing platform in the country, Cleartax, and one of India’s biggest bitcoin exchanges and wallet providers, Zebpay. The partnership is intended to help taxpayers understand and abide by the law regarding taxation of cryptocurrency transactions.
Clearing the Air Around Cryptocurrencies
Cleartax claims it has the technological and tax expertise “to help people understand how bitcoin works”. In addition to the advisory plan, the platform has launched crypto tax filing services for investors who have earned capital gains from the sale of cryptocurrencies. “With our expert-assisted plans, created in partnership with Zebpay, we want to clear the air around digital currencies. We’ve always aimed to simplify taxes for Indians. This latest offering is another step in the same direction,” said CEO and founder Archit Gupta.
Nischint Sanghavi, head of exchange at Zebpay, added that his company has been looking for a “like-minded partner” to address queries related to cryptocurrency taxation. Sanghavi believes the partnership with Cleartax will make tax planning simpler for Zebpay’s customers.
In February, India’s Income Tax Department sent tax notices to about 100,000 cryptocurrency investors, after monitoring the operations of leading trading platforms in the country. Suspecting dubious transactions, authorities investigated some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and banks have suspended many of their accounts. The institutional pressure and the bank clampdown have led to significant drop in trading volumes on local platforms. Some of them have reported a 10-fold decrease in the last two months.
Cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender in India and authorities in Delhi have issued multiple warnings against investing in bitcoin. At the same time, the largest Indian commercial banks have limited severely the operations of local crypto exchanges and individual traders, even before any legislation mandating such policies is adopted.
Do you know the requirements of tax laws in your country in regards to reporting crypto incomes and gains? Tell us in the comments section below.
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If knowledge is power, today’s traders are stronger than they’ve ever been. The range and function of analytical tools is improving by the day, presenting investors with a smorgasbord of options. Sites such as Onchainfx are continually adding new features, empowering traders to make more informed decisions based on more data sets.
Also read: 8 Alternatives to Coinmarketcap
Today’s Investors Have an Enviable Suite of Analytic Tools
From technical analysis to fundamental analysis, the best traders leave no stone unturned in their quest to find hidden gems. Low market cap coins with a solid development team; tokenized projects with the potential to 10x; altcoins that have been unfairly pummeled and are due for a rebound. All this, and much more, can now be gleaned in little more than a few clicks. There’s no need to connect to APIs and painstakingly perfect spreadsheet formulas, for the best online toolkits do it all.
Onchainfx is the jumping off point for many researchers. Altcoin information such as 24-hour transaction volume, number of transactions per day, NVT ratio, fees, and short-term ROI can all be viewed by enabling the appropriate checkbox in the right hand margin. You can then click on a column to filter results based on the metric you’d like to measure. This week, Onchainfx upped its analytics game by adding data for Github repos. It’s possible to filter coins based on the number of Github stars, watchers, commits, lines added, and lines removed. Now lazy altcoin devs have nowhere to hide.
Previously, the only place where this information could easily be compared was on Cryptomiso. According to Onchainfx, the busiest crypto project over the last 90 days has been Lisk (1,620 commits), followed by Tron (1,240) and EOS (1,032). The less said about Dogecoin’s Github activity the better. For anyone who places a lot of weight on Github ratings, Darpal Ratings delves into these in much greater detail.
Live Coin Watch Demystifies the Data
Live Coin Watch is another up and coming site making data sexy. The best thing about the cryptocurrency tracker is its customizable layouts. At the toggle of a button, you can view which coins are down the most percent from their ATH. Combine that with data on a coin’s Github activity, or price based on BTC normalized supply, say, and you’ve got a ready reckoner for which alts are unfairly cheap.
For more serious traders, who thrive on log charts and rolling correlations of daily returns, Coinmetrics.io is the only tool that counts. It’s not the easiest platform to master, but the knowledge it bestows upon those diligent enough to put in the time can make the toil worthwhile. Even the simpler charts Coinmetrics cooks up, such as a retrospective of the times bitcoin’s RSI exceeded 75, are fascinating.
After the fact, all sorts of patterns become clear showing when markets were blatantly overbought or oversold. Discerning that at the time though, and using it to guide future trading decisions, is harder than it sounds. In the current market conditions, altcoin trading is a hazardous pastime. But as news.Bitcoin.com noted in last week’s podcast and Sunday round-up, it’s a great time for building and learning. The tools you add to your arsenal now will prove invaluable when the time comes to intrepidly venture into the altcoin markets once more.
What’s your favorite site for cryptocurrency research? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinmetrics, Onchainfx and Live Coin Watch.
Why not keep track of the price with one of Bitcoin.com’s widget services.
The post New Tools Help Crypto Traders Make Smarter Decisions appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Patrick Jones, founder of start-up Vocatio, wants millennials and teens to get jobs. In trying to make this a reality, he’s also addressing a broader issue that’s vexed economists and companies: how to match available positions with the right people.
His company, currently in a testing stage, acts…
The new White House plan to prevent school shootings doubles down on arming teachers but backs away from gun control measures. The new Justice Department program announced Sunday includes help for states that provide “rigorous firearms training” to teachers and support for military veterans and retired cops who want to…
With bitcoin hovering at around only $ 9,000 and the entire cryptocurrency market at similar low levels, short term speculators are acting as if a great calamity is upon us. Long term investors on the other hand are just entering the ecosystem now and building up a portfolio of assets that offer growth opportunities uncorrelated to stocks and commodities.
Quarter Billion Crypto Hedge Fund
Multicoin Capital, a Texas-based crypto investment fund with a multi-year time horizon, now expects to close its $ 250 million flagship fund by the end of Q2 2018, up from just $ 100 million target when it was launched in October 2017. The higher goal is supported by the addition of new investors including: David Sacks and Bill Lee (Craft Ventures), Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, Compound, Vy Capital, Passport Capital, Adam Zeplain (mark VC), Ari Paul (Blocktower), and Elad Gil (Color Genomics, Twitter).
“We’re very fortunate to have some of the most well-known investors in New York City and Silicon Valley investing with us. The past six months have been absolutely incredible. Since launch, there’s been a torrent of interest in Multicoin Capital, validating the overwhelming need for professional fund managers that understand the market intimately,” said Kyle Samani, co-founder and Managing Partner, Multicoin Capital. “Today there are more than 200 crypto hedge funds in the mix. We stand out by simply doing what other investors like Buffet and Graham did in the stock market. We seek to build a brand and a reputation that accurately mirrors the intellectual rigor we put into each and every position we take.”
Crypto Investing is Different
The fund’s management expects more big brand financial services providers to enter the cryptocurrency markets this year. “What you’re seeing is the next wave of serious investment coming to an exciting, recently-legitimized asset class,” Samani told Reuters on Wednesday. Its flagship fund already reportedly manages approximately $ 50 million.
“While there are lots of similarities between crypto investing and traditional startup investing, there are many differences,” Samani explained. “Most obviously, crypto assets become liquid much sooner in their life cycles than traditional private equity,” he added. “In addition to liquidity, everything in crypto is open source, which requires thinking about investing in a fundamentally different way.”
What does Silicon Valley and Wall Street investing in cryptocurrencies tells us about the future of the market? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
The post Silicon Valley VCs Help Crypto Hedge Fund Reach Quarter Billion Target appeared first on Bitcoin News.
A city worker at St. Petersburg’s Lake Maggiore Park heard moans around 11:30am March 1, ultimately following them to an injured and bloody woman lying at the base of a group of trees. Responding police found that she’d suffered “severe trauma,” per investigators; she was taken to a hospital,…