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| December 12, 2018

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Amazon Employees Join Long Island City Condo Rush

November 23, 2018 |

Condo sales in Long Island City are suddenly soaring, thanks to Amazon’s decision to open a headquarters in the Queens, N.Y., neighborhood.
WSJ.com: US Business

Kosovo’s bid to join Interpol rejected at agency’s assembly

November 20, 2018 |

Kosovo’s bid to join Interpol failed on Tuesday during a vote at the body’s annual general assembly, dealing a blow to the country’s efforts to boost recognition of its statehood.
FOX News

Far-Right Groups Join Massive March Marking Polish Independence

November 13, 2018 |

Far-right movements from across Europe joined a massive march in Warsaw to celebrate Poland’s 100th anniversary of independence, in what has become an annual gathering point for Europe’s political fringe.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces

October 12, 2018 |

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces

The last 24 hours has been one of those all-too-rare periods in which the cryptosphere unites against a shared enemy. We’ll detail who in The Daily, right after we’ve discussed blockchain spam, Blockfolio’s new funding round, and how we learned an opsec lesson from Kanye West.

Also read: Bitcoiners Shoot Down Roubini’s US Senate Testimony

Coinbase Gains an Altcoin, Bitfinex Loses a Bank

Coinbase finally listed 0z (ZRX) on Oct. 11, sending the price of the Ethereum-based token into a sharp climb. This miniature pump paled in comparison to that going on over at Yobit, whose exchange-orchestrated pump sent putincoin up 1,370 percent in just 15 minutes, prompting widespread condemnation. While pump and dumps have been part of crypto since the start, they’re rarely instigated by the exchanges themselves.

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces
0x trading volume (in green) spiked upon confirmation of its Coinbase listing

Two other noteworthy exchange stories also broke on Thursday. Firstly, Bittrex made the unusual decision of relisting metal (MTL), an altcoin it had previously delisted. Elsewhere, it was reported that Bitfinex has paused all USD deposits while it resolves banking issues, believed to have been caused by HSBC terminating the arrangement the exchange had in place via a private account with Global Trading Solutions. The same publication also revealed that Coinbase is shuttering its index fund for high-net-worth individuals, and will be focusing on selling its bundled baskets of cryptocurrencies instead.

Blockfolio Completes $ 11.5M Funding Round

10 Bitcoin Apps That Everyone Should HaveCryptocurrency portfolio app Blockfolio has completed a Series A round led by Pantera Capital. All told, over a dozen investment funds chipped in, as the project seeks to become more than just the industry’s go-to portfolio checker. Exchanges Bitmex and Huobi also got involved as part of the deal.

“Blockfolio Signal is the beginning of our effort to help the ecosystem move from an era of speculation to an era of participation,” enthused the team. “With our new investment partners, our continued collaboration with token teams and exchanges, and our millions of dedicated users, the future is exceedingly bright. We’re excited to work together to push the ecosystem forward, one block at a time.”

Litecoin Has a UTXO Problem

UTXOs, also known as “dust”, are a problem faced by all Bitcoin-based blockchains. Generally, these nominal wallet balances are swept to aggregate the leftover satoshis from previous transactions into a single wallet. In the case of litecoin, however, that’s not possible for the more than 50 percent of UTXOs that measure just one ‘litoshi’ in size. Sweeping them would cost more in transaction fees than the value of the dust itself. The issue can be traced back to a spam attack in late 2011. Litecoin creator Charlie Lee has now asked the community what should be done with the UTXOs that are lying in limbo.

So far, crypto Twitter is split between doing nothing and having them marked as unspendable. Vitalik Buterin had a different idea however: the Ethereum founder suggested that Lee “consider an ongoing tax where all UTXOs lose 1 litoshi per N blocks.”

Kanye Teaches the Value of Opsec

Kanye West (or “Ye” as he now wants to be known) had a characteristically bizarre meeting with President Trump on Thursday. During the course of Ye’s nine-minute monologue in the Oval Office, the artist pulled out his cellphone and punched in his password. Onlookers gleefully noted Ye’s code to be six zeroes, prompting crypto commenters to use the incident as an opsec refresher.

“Pro-tip: if you’re going to be in a highly public place surrounded by cameras, change your phone’s passcode to something easy to remember that you wouldn’t use otherwise to avoid revealing your real passcode,” tweeted Peter Todd. Others used the opportunity to meme Ye’s screen when he flashed it at the president:

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Joins Forces

Cryptosphere Unites as One

Finally, in a rare moment of solidarity, crypto Twitter took time out from arguing on Thursday to unite against Nouriel Roubini. The economist, whose views have been heavily discredited in bitcoin circles, testified before a Senate committee on cryptocurrency.

Shortly afterward, “Nocoiner” Roubini, as he had been dubbed, embarked on an unhinged Twitter rant that sent his mentions into overdrive.

“A broken clock is right twice a day, or in @Nouriel’s case, once every 10 years,” came one retort, acknowledging the fact that Roubini has been cheering Bitcoin’s demise since 2013, when it dropped below $ 58. There is realistically no price bitcoin can climb or fall to at which Dr. Doom will concede that he was wrong. Like the Christmas truce of World War I, however, Roubini is to be commended for fleetingly bringing crypto foes together.

The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Joins Forces

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post The Daily: Kanye Teaches Opsec, Crypto Foes Join Forces appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Daily: Whales Join China’s Richest Ranks, Seniors Take a Swing at Bitcoin

October 11, 2018 |

The Daily: Whales Join China’s Richest Ranks, Seniors Take a Swing at Bitcoin

In today’s edition of The Daily, we look at the cryptocurrency entrepreneurs who now rank among the richest people in China, the limited return to operations of 1Broker, and a rather amusing attempt to explain Bitcoin to older folks by the AARP.

Also Read: London’s LBX Launches Solution for Bank-Shunned Crypto Companies

China’s Wealthiest Whales

The Daily: Whales Join China’s Richest Ranks, Seniors Take a Swing at BitcoinThe Hurun China Rich List 2018, the Chinese answer to the Forbes 400, was released on Wednesday and for the first time includes a total of 14 people working in the cryptocurrency space. This is the 20th annual ranking of the richest individuals in China, with a wealth cut-off of 2 billion yuan ($ 290 million). A total of 1,893 individuals made the list this year.

Two Bitmain executives — Zhan Ketuan (95th place with 29.5 billion yuan), age 39, and Jihan Wu (204th place with 16.5 billion yuan), age 32 — led the way. The third Chinese crypto whale, 41-year-old Binance founder Zhao Changpeng, took 230th place on the list at roughly 15 billion yuan. The report also noted that the blockchain industry is now officially the fastest-growing source of billionaires in China.

Other well-known crypto personalities on the list include Okex’s founder Star Xu, with 10 billion yuan, who took 354th place, as well as Leon Li of Huobi, who was ranked 556th, with 7 billion yuan.

1Broker to Start Processing
Withdrawal Requests Today

Marshall Islands-registered contracts-for-difference broker 1pool Ltd., which operates the 1Broker brand, has announced that the company will revive some if its functions today. The team tweeted that they will start processing clients’ withdrawal requests at 12:00 (UTC).

Three U.S. agencies took action against the international, bitcoin-funded securities dealer last month, including seizing its website domain for a period. The U.S. authorities alleged at the time that an undercover special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation “successfully purchased several security-based swaps on 1Broker’s platform from the U.S. despite not meeting the discretionary investment thresholds required by the federal securities laws.”

‘A Bunch of Computer Code’

The Daily: Whales Join China’s Richest Ranks, Seniors Take a Swing at BitcoinIt can be very difficult to explain the invention of cryptocurrency in a sentence or two, given that it’s a topic involving cryptography, computer science and economics. This is particularly true if one is trying to reach an audience that might be frightened or put off by new technologies and unfamiliar terms.

The AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) published a glossary of “Wall Street buzzwords” this week to help senior citizens improve their financial literacy and cut away the confusion when talking with high-finance big shots. But the list took a somewhat funny swipe at Bitcoin, while echoing some particularly tired tropes.

The glossary defines Bitcoin as “a bunch of computer code that a bunch of criminals, idealists and speculators agree is worth ‘real’ money. Sadly, its real-money value swings widely, making it impractical except for criminals, idealists and speculators.”

The AARP also defines Blockchain as: “1. A different bunch of computer code containing an unalterable record of a series of transactions. The most famous is a digital ledger recording all bitcoin transfers. 2. A word often uttered by companies hoping to snare investors’ attention — and dollars.”

The rest of the terms were also written in a comical way. For example, one entry defines an ETF as “marry a mutual fund to a stock and this is their baby.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? 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 The Daily: Whales Join China’s Richest Ranks, Seniors Take a Swing at Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space

August 6, 2018 |

Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space

A lot of people in Switzerland have left the traditional financial sector to work in the crypto space, in which the banking nation is now developing a niche market. The Swiss banks don’t show enthusiasm officially, but they massively have interests in dealing with Bitcoin, insiders say.

Also read: Switzerland’s Main Stock Exchange Dives Deep Into Crypto

From Crypto Valley to Crypto Nation

At this year’s G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Buenos Aires, the Swiss Federal Councillor and Finance Minister underlined Switzerland’s position on cryptocurrencies, saying that digital assets offer a great potential for financial services.

The latest Credit Suisse crypto mover is Andrew Peel, efinancialcareers reported, Peel has left Credit Suisse to become head of digital asset markets at Morgan Stanley. He’s not the only one. At least eleven other people at Credit Suisse’s Zurich office have also succumbed to joining the crypto world in the past year, the financial news outlet highlighted, Peel was reportedly the latest to go with that flow.

Switzerland has seen a wave of crypto startup companies rushing into Zurich, Switzerland’s financial capital, and Zug, a Swiss town now commonly known as Crypto Valley, in the past two years. Many Swiss crypto companies are trying to operate like banks but they avoid deploying too much marketing noise, they just deliver, “Swiss style.”

Crypto Finance Group, a company which has an office in Zug and most of its manpower working in a luxury villa in Zurich dubbed “Crypto Villa,” is far from looking like a Silicon Valley garage. The atmosphere in the villa, which news.Bitcoin.com visited, is very much of a Swiss private bank’s. The board of Directors of the Fintech company founded in June 2017, includes Raymond J. Baer, a relative of the Swiss private bank Julius Baer, and Jan Brzezek, formerly Business Manager for the President of UBS Asset Management.

Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space
Crypto Villa, Zurich

“We [almost] all have a background in finance. Basically what we did is what is standard in the traditional market like equities or FX, with older management systems,” Jan Brzezek, the CEO and founder of Crypto Finance told news.Bitcoin.com in an interview in Zurich. “Our strength lies in the fact that we have tech guys as well as guys who come from the Swiss financial industry. That’s why we can speak with all the large banks and Finma, because we speak the same language,” he added.

Many Swiss banks are prudent nowadays, as they do not want to take reputational or financial risks. “Despite the big crisis that occurred with the issue of the taxation of American assets, Switzerland still represent 25% of the global offshore market. That means Swiss banks manage 25% of all transnational assets, which is enormous for a country that small. Switzerland is strong but humble. There is a lot of talent and know-how in Switzerland for the development of these new technologies and their application to finance,” Yassine Ben Amida, the former market head at Julius Baer, and former head of financial institutions at Credit Suisse, who’s now officially involved in cryptocurrency projects in Switzerland told news.Bitcoin.com in a phone interview in Switzerland. “Switzerland is a very diversified nation, each bank decides which is its activity. And where it wants to go,” he said. 

Why Does Switzerland Attract Cryptocurrency Talent?

From a judicial point of view, many global companies which come to Switzerland look at its judicial stability, Marc Walpoth, a Swiss jurist who formerly worked at the Intensive Supervision of Banks division at Finma from 2014 to 2017, explained. Walpoth is also now fully involved in the crypto business and compliance. “Finma, the Swiss financial market supervisory authority, is very stable with regard to regulations and is rather flexible,” he said, “Finma was created six years ago, it rewrote, and created new laws, however, Swiss banks are completely independent of the government. They decide the activities they wish to undertake, in coherence with the financial regulator. Which is different in many countries,” Walpoth explained. “It would not be acceptable in Switzerland that a Federal Councillor gives an order to banks to accept crypto companies. No politician in Switzerland would do so, and also Finma would not accept it,” he said. “Switzerland is a country were regulators are very flexible and exchange a lot of dialogs with the companies. That’s why we have a lot of entrepreneurs, generally inclined to take risks, because the political and judicial framework is quite flexible. This is deeply rooted in the Swiss culture.”

“We Don’t Need Banks Anymore,” Ex-Swiss Banker Says

Before joining the crypto space, Jan Brzezek worked on innovation projects and proof of concepts, issuing bonds on the Blockchain within UBS. While in charge there, he said he worked on the USC (Utility Settlement Coin) in consortia with other global banks, such as Barclays and Credit Suisse. “Theoretically, you don’t need a bank anymore for many of the tasks they have been performing,” he explained. “The core competence of a bank is to offer clients safekeeping of their assets, so [banks] will now build up custody solutions. The question is not if are they going to do that, but when.” Some believe Switzerland will reach this target by the end of 2018.

Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space
Jan Brzezek.

Money, Interest, and Clients

“I felt like Alice in Wonderland falling into the rabbit hole when I started to understand Bitcoin,” Brzezek said, “now it’s up to you, if you wish to stay in the traditional world, you are free to believe things will all stay as it is. Magic doesn’t happen when you stay in your comfort zone,” he said. Many bankers chose to adapt to where the money is. “[Banks] put their feet in the water, and they get a bit of experience, then as soon as they understand how it works, they go in, because there’s a lot of money, interests, and clients there.”

In the last 12 months, Finma, Switzerland’s banking and financial regulator has clarified what can be done and what cannot, with crypto. In September 2017 and February this year, Finma published a report clarifying how the Swiss law classifies ICOs. “The interesting point,” says Yassine Ben Amida, the ex-banker, “is that the Swiss have not created a new law, but they made some clarifications on an already existing law,” he explained. Cryptocurrencies, tokens, and ICOs are considered securities, and in Switzerland, to manipulate securities as a broker, the regulator requires a broker’s license, which currently no one has in the crypto industry in Switzerland, he said, but which many in the Swiss crypto space are trying to negotiate with Finma, according to people familiar with the matter.

Swiss Banks Are Quietly Interested in Bitcoin

SIX, the Swiss main stock market, announced they would put in place a market for cryptocurrencies, particularly for all the tokens that are considered as securities. “SIX is owned by all the Swiss banks, so isn’t it interesting to see that despite the lack of enthusiasm towards crypto that the Swiss banks seem to be showing, SIX has acquired the authorization from all of them to build a platform for digital assets?” Yassine Ben Amida told news.Bitcoin.com. “A lot of banks officially say they don’t do crypto, but behind the scenes, in front of their clients they are actually very active,” a source close to the matter said.

The mainstream media often reported that Swiss banks did not support crypto, or that they didn’t give authorization to companies working with ICOs to create corporate accounts. “I don’t think this is really true,” Yassine Ben Amida said, “Switzerland is pretty strict in terms of regulations, particularly in terms of money laundering. But we are seeing a clear ‘professionalization’ in terms of crypto, and banks increasingly started to accept companies working with cryptocurrencies, or ICOs,” he added. There are banks in Geneva and in Zurich that reportedly allow companies with cryptocurrency funds. “This is developing now because there is a will to professionalize the industry,” Ben Amida added.

What do you think of Swiss crypto entrepreneurs trying to acquire Swiss banking licenses? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Crypto Finance Group.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Many Swiss Bankers and Financial Regulators Quit to Join the Crypto Space appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

CNN

FARC members join Colombia’s Congress

July 22, 2018 |

Ten former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have officially become legislators in Colombia’s Congress.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas

TMZ

Larry Nassar Survivors Join Hands on Stage at 2018 ESPYs for Courage Award

July 19, 2018 |

A very powerful moment just went down at the 2018 ESPY Awards, as well over 100 sister survivors of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar joined hands on stage to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Incredibly powerful moment as Larry Nassar…

TMZ.com

Five Nations Join Efforts to Punish Transnational Bitcoin Tax Crime

July 4, 2018 |

Five Nations Join Efforts to Punish Transnational Bitcoin Tax Crime

Tax enforcement authorities from five nations announced that they have created a united alliance, the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, known as “the J5.” The J5 said they are committed to combating transnational tax crime “through increased enforcement collaboration,” in other words: working together to gather information, share intelligence, and conduct joint operations.

Also read: Azerbaijan to Tax Crypto Incomes and Profits

The Internal Revenue Service Is on the Hunt for People Who Used Bitcoin to Evade Taxes

The J5 include the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Dutch Fiscale Inlichtingen- en Opsporingsdienst (FIOD), the British HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and the American Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

“We are convinced that offshore structures and financial instruments, where used to commit tax crime and money laundering, are detrimental to the economic, fiscal, and social interests of our countries,” the IRS posted in a statement on their homepage. “We will work together to investigate those who enable transnational tax crime and money laundering and those who benefit from it. We will also collaborate internationally to reduce the growing threat to tax administrations posed by cryptocurrencies and cybercrime and to make the most of data and technology,” they added.

Five Nations Join Efforts to Punish Transnational Bitcoin Tax Crime

The group met for the first time last week and developed new plans to identify and pursue cybercriminals and those who enable transnational tax crimes, and who enable and assist money laundering. Further updates on J5 initiatives will be announced in late 2018.

Bitcoin has presented millions of individuals around the world with a unique opportunity to generate a massive amount of revenue through intelligent investing.

The IRS determined that Bitcoin would be treated as property, with losses or gains treated as either capital loss or capital gains for taxation purposes. The IRS reportedly revealed new details about its investigation into tax evasion related to bitcoin, filing court documents that suggest only a tiny percentage of virtual currency owners are reporting profits or losses in their annual returns.

What do you think about the IRS joining 5 nations to crack Bitcoin tax evasion? 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 Five Nations Join Efforts to Punish Transnational Bitcoin Tax Crime appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

BMW and Hyundai join GM in pressing U.S. to forgo auto tariffs

July 1, 2018 |

BMW AG and Hyundai Motor Co. urged the U.S. not to impose tariffs on auto imports, joining General Motors Co. in pressing their case to the Commerce Department even as a top aide to President Trump dismissed the concerns as “smoke and mirrors.”

“It seems that the threat to impose these sanctions…


L.A. Times – Business