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Chinese Merchants in Moscow Convert Most of Their Cash to Crypto

April 16, 2018 |

Chinese Merchants in Moscow Convert Most of Their Cash to Crypto

Chinese traders in Moscow’s huge wholesale bazaars have become the most active buyers and sellers of cryptocurrency in the Russian capital. The retail turnover there is estimated at almost $ 10 billion a month. Authorities say that most of it is converted to cryptocurrencies and sent back to China where it‘s exchanged to yuan.   

Also read: Cryptocurrency Is the Main Income for 12% of Russian Crypto Users

Crypto Flows Considered Easier To Track than Cash

The three largest bazaars in the Russian capital, “Moskva”, “Sadovod”, and “Food City”, make about ₽600 billion rubles each month (~$ 10 billion). That’s almost a quarter of the retail turnover in the Russian Federation. Practically none of it is deposited in bank accounts, according to Yuri Polupanov, head of the Central Bank’s Financial Monitoring and Currency Control Department. 90% of the businesses there are owned by Chinese merchants and producers, he said during the Thomson Reuters Forum in Moscow, RBC reported.

The retail centers have become pioneers in crypto trade. Russia’s Centrobank believes that Chinese traders convert most of their revenues to cryptocurrency and send it back home, where it is exchanged to yuan. Financial authorities have learned that crypto exchange bureaus are also operating there. Polupanov said that some of them are registered as financial services providers. Inspectors have found discrepancies between their accounting reports and the data gathered remotely by the CBR.

Chinese Merchants in Moscow Convert Most of Their Cash to Crypto
Food City, Moscow

There is no point in denying that cryptocurrency is used in wholesale and retail trade, thinks Elina Sidorenko, head of a working group at the Duma tasked with assessing crypto circulation. “It’s no secret that Chinese merchants are using cryptocurrencies through anonymous wallets. But as soon as they are defined legally in the civil code, these financial flows will be easily controlled. It’s easier to track them than cash,” she said.

Sidorenko believes the situation will improve in a few years. If the central bank has evidence of illegal crypto-fiat exchange, it should give it to the Prosecutor’s Office, she added. Elina Sidorenko noted that illegal activities in these bazaars are not a new phenomenon. Violations of immigration laws and crimes related to laundering of illicit proceeds are flourishing there, she said, admitting: “We should’ve dealt with all that long time ago.”

Relics from The ’90s

The story of improvised retail bazaars and flea markets in Russia dates back to the breakup of the Soviet Union. Many of them were set up in the capital in the ‘90s. They have been targeted by authorities since the early 2000’s. Trade there is often unregulated and untaxed. Government inspectors have found multiple violations of sanitary and fire safety standards, customs and migration regulations.

Chinese Merchants in Moscow Convert Most of Their Cash to CryptoIn the summer of 2009 Moscow authorities closed down the “Cherkizovskiy” bazaar, which was one of the biggest. Russian police found 6,000 containers of contraband worth an estimated $ 2 billion. The newer trade centers “Sadovod” and “Moskva” are now major wholesale markets for clothes and shoes, while “Food City” is the main food distribution center. The volume of retail trade in the Russian capital has been estimated at more than $ 72 billion dollars in 2017. The monthly turnover is between $ 5.5 and $ 7.8 billion. It reaches $ 49 billion USD a month on national level.

Cryptos like bitcoin have been gaining popularity in Russia, where 12% of crypto users now claim cryptocurrency is their main source of income. Two draft laws regulating the crypto sector have been introduced in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament. The bill “On digital financial assets” legalizes activities like initial coin offerings and mining. A second draft aims to amend the civil code in order to legalize the use of “digital money” in payments. It’s still unclear whether the circulation of cryptos will be allowed in the country. Recently, Russian media reported that a new crypto exchange bureau is now buying and selling bitcoin for cash in Moscow.

Do you think regulating cryptocurrencies will minimize their use for illicit purposes? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Food City.


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The post Chinese Merchants in Moscow Convert Most of Their Cash to Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Survey Says 60% of Square Merchants Are Willing to Accept Bitcoin

March 15, 2018 |

Survey Says 60% of Square Merchants Are Willing to Accept Bitcoin

According to a recent study of 100 U.S. based merchants that use Square Inc.’s payment technology  a good majority surveyed are open to taking bitcoin as a form of payment. Nomura Instinet surveyed merchants who made at least $ 100,000 in annual revenue and 60 percent said they would accept bitcoin instead of USD.

Also read: Bitcoin Futures Launch in the UK

Amid Bitcoin Volatility, 60% of Square Merchants Still Willing to Accept the Cryptocurrency

During the first month of 2018, the cryptocurrency proponent and Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced the integration of bitcoin with it’s ‘Cash App.’ Dorsey who is also the CEO of Twitter has been a bitcoin fan for quite some time and is very vocal about his cryptocurrency enthusiasm. Since Square launched the Cash App integration with bitcoin, a research survey was conducted by Nomura Instinet which showed that more than half of Square merchants who participated would take BTC rather than dollars.

“This result is surprising, especially amid bitcoin’s elevated volatility,” Nomura Instinet analyst Dan Dolev explained this week.

Survey Says 60% of Square Merchants Are Willing to Accept Bitcoin

Since Adding Cryptocurrency Features, Square’s Public Shares Rise by 49%

The research called “SQ Survey: Merchants Say YES! To Bitcoin” reveals that the highest represented age group in those surveyed and willing to accept the digital currency was 31-40. About 40 percent fall under that category, explains the researcher Dolev’s note to clients.

“Like Amazon in its early days, we believe that little of Square’s future revenue streams are currently visible,” the analyst Dolev details.

Survey Says 60% of Square Merchants Are Willing to Accept Bitcoin

The researcher also reveals that more than 7 million merchants are using the Square Cash App. Roughly 95 percent of the participants called the application “excellent” or “good” while the remainder said the app was “average.”

“Undoubtedly, the success of the Cash App is a significant achievement,” Dolev writes to clients.

Currently, an individual can set up the app in minutes and send peer-to-peer payments, store money, receive their paycheck and buy and sell bitcoin.

Since Square started the bitcoin initiative, the company’s public shares have been selling like hot cakes. Square’s digital currency initiative that started in February of this year has pushed Square’s stock up over 49 percent.

What do you think about the study with Square merchants and their willingness to accept bitcoin payments? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Bloomberg, and Youtube. 


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The post Survey Says 60% of Square Merchants Are Willing to Accept Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitpay Bans Payments to Merchants of Explicit Content, Cloud-Mining and Gambling

February 26, 2018 |

Bitpay Bans Payments to Merchants of Explicit Content, Cloud-Mining and Gambling

Bitcoin was originally created to free people’s money from the control and censorship of regulators, banks and governments. Companies in the ecosystem are supposed to be infused with this ethos, but as they strive to become more mainstream some, like Bitpay apparently, adopt the more prevailing standards in the business world.

Also Read: Nasdaq-Listed “Blockchain” Companies Hit With New Legal Troubles

Terms and Conditions

Bitpay Bans Payments to Merchants of Explicit Content, Cloud-Mining and GamblingBitpay, the digital asset service provider based in Atlanta, Georgia, updated its Terms of Use agreement on February 2. The binding contract  states that the use of the company’s services is subject to several important restrictions, including the sale of explicit sexual content.

Additional “prohibited activities” include the sales of narcotics, research chemicals or any controlled substances; cash or cash equivalents, and virtual currencies; items that infringe or violate any intellectual property rights; ammunition, firearms, explosives (including fireworks) or weapons; transactions that show the personal information of third parties; transactions that support pyramid, Ponzi, or other “get rich quick” schemes; transactions that are related to cloud-mining; credit repair or debt settlement services; any services which compete with Bitpay; and the sales of Kratom or Nootropics.

The company’s Terms also list “restricted activities,” which are subject to internal review and only allowed when expressly authorized by Bitpay. These include Forex, Money Service Business activities or E-wallets; selling bitcoin mining hardware; Currency exchange services; and transaction that are associated with purchases of lottery tickets, lay-away systems, banking, offshore banking, finance, investing, investment related products or gambling.

Two Months’ Notice

Bitpay Bans Payments to Merchants of Sexually Explicit ContentFollowing the recent update, Bitpay is apparently searching for websites that don’t follow the Terms and terminating the relationship with them. At least one porn creator has reported in community forums that the company has given her two months to find an alternative and leave.

Saffron has uploaded a screenshot of a message from Bitpay that reads: “Due to a recent update in our Terms of Use, we will soon no longer be processing payments for merchants which provide sexually explicit content. We understand that switching payments processors can be a costly change for any business. You will have two months to find an alternative payments provider before your Bitpay accounts is disabled. Your account will be disabled on April 25,2018.”

How should online merchants of sexually explicit content react to this news? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you like to research and read about Bitcoin technology? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Wiki page for an in-depth look at Bitcoin’s innovative technology and interesting history.

The post Bitpay Bans Payments to Merchants of Explicit Content, Cloud-Mining and Gambling appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Vietnam Investigates Merchants for Accepting Bitcoin Despite Warnings

December 25, 2017 |

Vietnam Investigates Merchants for Accepting Bitcoin Despite Warnings

Vietnamese authorities have announced that they are investigating establishments that accept bitcoin for payments. This follows reports that restaurants and cafes are still accepting the digital currency despite the government warning that bitcoin is not a legal means of payment in Vietnam.

Also read: South Korea Clarifies Position After Reports of Possible Ban on All Crypto Transactions

Investigating Bitcoin-Accepting Merchants

Vietnam Investigates Merchants for Accepting Bitcoin Despite WarningsDespite the State Bank of Vietnam warning that bitcoin is not a legal means of payment, the digital currency is still being used to pay for goods and services in the country, Vnexpress reported last week.

Citing that several coffee shops and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City are still accepting bitcoin for payments, the publication quoted an official of the central bank saying:

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City will be working with the country’s central bank to ‘handle violations’ at several restaurants and coffee shops in the city that have been accepting bitcoin as payment… We have also asked the city’s police department to work with us.

In October, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Vietnamese central bank announcing that it had completed the legal framework for digital currencies in Vietnam. While bitcoin itself is not banned, using it as a means of payment in the country could result in a fine between 150 million to 200 million dong (~USD8,800). “From January 1, 2018, the act of issuing, supplying or using illegal means of payment may be subject to prosecution in accordance with the provisions of Article 206 of the Penal Code 2015,” according to the bank’s announcement.

Bitcoin Uses Continue

Vietnam Investigates Merchants for Accepting Bitcoin Despite Warnings
Coffee shop with “Bitcoin Payments Are Not Accepted” sign.

A survey by Infonet found 4 bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) in Vietnam, 24h newspaper reported. All of them are located in Ho Chi Minh City and are also listed on the BTM tracking website Coinatmradar.

One machine is located inside a coffee shop at the corner of Ly Tu Trong – Cach Mang Thang Tam in District 1. The establishment revealed to the publication, “Every day there are dozens of visitors buying bitcoin through the machine located in the store.” Both the number of customers using the BTM and the number paying with bitcoin at the store are growing, the publication noted, adding that:

At some cafes in the center of District 1, despite the [sign saying] “Bitcoin Payments Are Not Accepted,” they are in demand from customers (Vietnamese and foreigners), [and] the staff is still handling [it].

Growing Number of Market Participants and Miners

According to Bitcoin Vietnam’s Nguyen Viet Bach, the number of bitcoin market participants in the country has increased from 30,000 in 2016 to 60,000 this year, Soha reported.

In addition, the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Bureau has received applications to import 1,478 mining rigs during the 10 months ending in October. “Even a high-end jewelry company located in Ho Chi Minh City has filed the import declaration for 100 Bitmain mining rigs from China with an estimated total value of $ 129,000,” the publication wrote.

Do you think the government will be able to stop people from paying with bitcoin at stores? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Vietnamnet.


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

The post Vietnam Investigates Merchants for Accepting Bitcoin Despite Warnings appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Chinese Real-Estate Merchants Are Tapping Into the Cryptocurrency Market

December 9, 2017 |

Chinese property merchants in the crypto market

Property Investors from Wenzhou, Zhejing Province, which has a reputation as the home of China’s savviest businessmen, are dabbling in the cryptocurrency market for new investment opportunities. Instead of holding Bitcoin, their focus is on forked coins. 

Also Read:Bitfinex Experiences Withdrawal Difficulties

“Bitcoin Will Evolve into a Capital Game”

In 2008, a Wenzhou merchant surnamed Chen set up a real-estate speculation squad with twenty of his friends. They bought houses on the same street, negotiated on the sale price, and went to the same agent to sell houses. If anybody sold at a lower price, Chen would kick him out of the squad. Now as housing prices decline month-over-month due to the central government’s tightened property policy, Chen has sold off his houses and used the profits to invest cryptocurrencies.

He started with Bitcoin, but only focuses on forked coins. “Bitcoin will evolve into a capital game for rich bankers and financiers,” Chen explained. “I don’t have enough capital to compete with them, but the bitcoin price will keep rising and simultaneously the price of forked coins will increase.” He learned the concept of a fork when he realized he had received some free Bitcoin Cash in his account this August.

Bitcoin users usually get free forked coins at a rate of 1:1 like BCH and BTG, but some forked coins are distributed at a rate of 1:10 like BCD, even 1:10000 like Bitcoin X. Chen believes that this is the most direct way for forked coins to attract users. Normally, when a new coin is created, it is hard for it to gain brand recognition. These forked coins, however, don’t have to work their way up like other coins did, because they have the same userbase as Bitcoin.

Are Forked Coins Sustainable?

“Forked coins were worthless at first, but as trading volumes soars, price rises and falls, they are attracting more attention,” said Chen. Over the past three months, he has first invested in Bitcoin Cash (BCH), then Bitcoin Gold (BTG) and now Bitcoin Diamond (BCD). He bought BCH when the price was 2000 rmb ($ 300) and sold out when it hit 19000 rmb ($ 2800). He is looking for the next BCH.

Chen believes that four factors matter most for a forked coin to sustain.

First, the team. Who is behind the project? Do they have the ability to develop? Second, the price. If the price is already too high, then there is no room to rise further. Third, the user base. Is it listed on multiple exchanges? A coin must go global to rein in political risks. Fourth, patience. Forked coins will gain more traction, but it takes time.

Chen is now inviting public figures and big whales to join his crypto squad. He sees his squad as a small venture capital fund. As long as a project initiator has resources and welcomes small investment, he would get involved.

His investment portfolio is 10% BTC, 40-50% forked coins and 10% ICO tokens. He explained that his investment philosophy is to invest in the unknowns. “The world is changing so fast, it’s easy to miss an opportunity before you realize it. Keep an eye on what you don’t understand and that’s where opportunities lie.”

Do you see great potential in forked coins? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 


Images via Shutterstock.


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

The post Chinese Real-Estate Merchants Are Tapping Into the Cryptocurrency Market appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Five days of Etsy payment processing outages have merchants flipping

July 6, 2016 |

An employee arrives at Etsy Inc. headquarters in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Monday, May 4, 2015. Etsy Inc., a marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, raised $  267 million in its initial public offering. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images Those hoping to snag some handmade July 4th cookies and home-made vegan sunblock might have woken up to an empty stomach and sunburn after a serious payment processing outage on e-commerce site Etsy. Over the last five days, a large number of Etsy transactions have been disrupted by “third party” payment processing outages. As of 6pm PST July 5th, over 4,000 messages of… Read More
TechCrunch

Some major merchants see dip in counterfeit fraud thanks to chip cards, Visa says – USA TODAY

April 19, 2016 |

USA TODAY

Some major merchants see dip in counterfeit fraud thanks to chip cards, Visa says
USA TODAY
The new chip enabled cards flowing into the U.S. marketplace have already made a dent in fraud, with some of the biggest merchants seeing a dip of more than 18% in counterfeit transactions, according to Visa. Among the 25 merchants who were suffering …
Visa, Wal-Mart move to speed up chip card transactionsChicago Tribune
Visa, Wal-Mart Move to Speed Checkout for Customers With Chip-Enabled CardsWall Street Journal
Walmart and Visa Are Fixing the Worst Thing About Chip Credit CardsFortune
CBS News –PYMNTS.com –Business Wire (press release) –CNET
all 29 news articles »

Business – Google News

Mobile-payment services draw more shoppers and merchants

January 18, 2016 |

The pay-by-phone crowd is growing at the checkout counter.

More consumers are using their smartphones to pay for goods and services, and more companies are offering “mobile-payments” or “mobile-wallet” services.

In addition to Apple Inc.’s Apple Pay, which launched in October 2014, the field includes…


L.A. Times – Business

In Spite Of The RFRA, Indiana Merchants Are ‘Open For Business’

March 29, 2015 |

The state of Indiana made news this week when governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that claims to protect businesses and individuals from prosecution for refusing service based on one’s religious beliefs. But many suspect that it will also allow businesses to refuse service to […]
Forbes Real Time