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| October 22, 2018

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Car-shopping start-up Shift seeks to follow Carvana with 2020 IPO

October 16, 2018 |

What happens to the car dealership — that century-old intermediary between automakers and consumers — in the age of Amazon?

It’s a question that has launched a raft of start-ups in the auto retail space and spurred existential anxiety among established dealership chains. Amazon.com Inc. has been…


L.A. Times – Business

Black Teen Seeks Directions, Gets Shotgun Blast

October 14, 2018 |

A Michigan jury just found a man guilty of shooting at a teenager who knocked on his door asking for directions, ABC News reports. Jeffrey Zeigler, a 53-year-old former firefighter, has been convicted of assault with intent to do great bodily harm. It all began in April when Brennan Walker,…
Newser

SEC Sues Musk for Fraud, Seeks Exit From Tesla

September 28, 2018 |

Securities regulators sued Elon Musk for fraud and sought to remove him from Tesla, raising doubts about the future of an electric-car maker synonymous with the audacious entrepreneur.
WSJ.com: US Business

The Daily: UK’s Revolut Seeks EU Licenses, Quppy Launches Wallet With BCH

September 26, 2018 |

The Daily: UK’s Revolut Seeks Licenses in the EU, Quppy Launches Wallet With BCH

British-based digital bank Revolut has applied for financial licenses in two European Union member states, Lithuania and Luxemburg, in the light of risks associated with Brexit. We’ve covered its progress in The Daily. Also in the rubric on Wednesday, Estonian startup introduces multi-currency wallet supporting BCH, Binance increases the market supply of its BNB coin, and BCEX is the latest exchange to list the new stablecoins in the space, GUSD and PAX.    

Also read: Speculators and Investors Hodl, Venezuelans Send Crypto With SMS

Revolut Applies for E-Money License in Luxembourg, Expects One from Lithuania

Revolut, the digital bank that’s been disrupting the traditional financial services sector in the UK and beyond since 2015, is now moving to hedge against risks such as those stemming from Brexit that could lead to London losing its leading role as a global financial center. The fast-growing fintech company, which already has around 2.8 million customers, has applied for an e-money license and plans to open an office in Luxembourg.

The Daily: UK’s Revolut Seeks Licenses in the EU, Quppy Launches Wallet With BCHNikolay Storonsky, the firm’s co-founder and chief executive, told the Financial Times the application process could take up to six months and Revolut’s management wants “to be on the safe side.” Despite the British government’s resolve to preserve the United Kingdom’s role as a financial and fintech hub, some of Storonsky’s colleagues have expressed fears that Brexit could undermine London’s attractiveness to investors and experts in the industry.

Revolut is obviously taking no chances, as it has already applied for a banking license in Lithuania too – expected to be granted by regulators in Vilnius as early as next month. Both steps fit into its plans for global expansion which this year includes the United States, Canada and the Russian Federation, where Nikolay Storonsky was born.

The British startup launched three years ago with prepaid cards and has seen rapid growth since it diversified into other financial services including cryptocurrencies. It has almost tripled its customers in the past year and its revenues jumped more than fivefold to £12.8m (~$ 16.8 million) in 2017. Revolut offers a debit card and a checking account through its app with worldwide transfers of fiat money. The service also features a crypto wallet and supports buying, holding and selling digital coins. The company claims the assets are kept offline, in cold storage. In August, the digital bank launched a contactless card, Revolut Metal, with higher withdrawal limits and crypto cash back.

Quppy Introduces Multi-Currency Crypto Wallet Supporting BCH

The Daily: UK’s Revolut Seeks Licenses in the EU, Quppy Launches Wallet With BCHEstonian company Quppy has recently launched its digital assets wallet which features multi-currency, multi-language support, cross-platform compatibility, and comes with enhanced security – private keys are stored and controlled by the user. The team behind the fintech startup says their product is designed to offer clients integration of traditional banking services into the crypto world and allow them to share crypto assets via different accounts within a single wallet. Quppy supports three of the most popular cryptocurrencies – bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), and litecoin (LTC). The developers plan to also integrate transactions in traditional fiat currencies such as the US dollar (USD) and the euro (EUR).

Binance Increases Market Supply of Its BNB Coin

Binance, currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, has announced its intentions to increase the market supply of its native BNB token to 144,443,301. The platform’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, said that in accordance with recommendations from Coinmarketcap, the funds will be redistributed in small transactions to avoid volatility. “To fix $ BNB circulating supply the way CMC calculates, we will move the unlocked balances out of the creator’s addresses over next few days, in small txs as to avoid big fluctuations,” CZ explained in a tweet.

The Daily: UK’s Revolut Seeks Licenses in the EU, Quppy Launches Wallet With BCH

In another post, the chief executive tried to calm traders, saying: “There will be happy buyers, I am sure. But make your own judgements. Nothing changes other than moving a few coins to different addresses.” At the time of writing, BNB is ranking 16th according to Coinmarketcap, with a market capitalization of $ 1,091,822,791. Binance’s move follows news that the trading platform is advancing on its plans for global expansion. Focusing on emerging markets, the Chinese-run crypto company intends to launch up to 10 new fiat-to-crypto exchanges across five continents, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

BCEX Exchange to List Gemini Dollar and Paxos Standard Stablecoins

The Daily: UK’s Revolut Seeks Licenses in the EU, Quppy Launches Wallet With BCHCrypto exchange BCEX, which is the 11th largest trading platform by daily volume, has decided to add support for two recently launched stablecoins, Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and Paxos Standard (PAX). According to separate announcements on Twitter, quoted by Forklog, the two listings align with “BCEX vision of building a more trustworthy, transparent and reliable digital trading world.” The launch of the latest stablecoins was recently approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), the regulator responsible for the state’s Bitlicense regime.

Gemini Trust’s GUSD is already listed by the US-based Gemini, as well as Hitbtc and Dex.top. According to a study released last week, the Gemini Dollar accounts can be frozen by the issuer. Another report suggested that the code of Paxos Standard, which is expected to be listed on Binance, features the capability to freeze or seize tokens as well, if required by the law and the state. The finding was made and announced on social media by John Backus, a member of the Ethereum community.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Quppy, BCEX.


Now live, Satoshi Pulse. A comprehensive, real-time listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

The post The Daily: UK’s Revolut Seeks EU Licenses, Quppy Launches Wallet With BCH appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

SEC Orders Proceedings to Rule on ETF, Seeks Further Feedback

September 22, 2018 |

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published an “order instituting proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove” the proposed Vaneck Solidx bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The SEC is asking for further public feedback on issues pertaining to concerns regarding the bitcoin market’s perceived vulnerability to manipulation.

Also Read: Turkey Finance Minister Embraces ICO Hype for Already Troubled Economy 

SEC Institutes Proceedings to Rule on Vaneck ETF

SEC Orders Proceedings to Rule on ETF, Seeks Further FeedbackThe U.S. SEC recently published an “order instituting proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove a proposed rule change to list and trade shares of Solidx bitcoin shares issued by the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust.”

The SEC asserts that the “Institution of such proceedings is appropriate at this time in view of the legal and policy issues raised by the proposed rule change,” however, emphasizes that the “Institution of proceedings does not indicate that the Commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved.”

“Rather, […], the Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change,” the order states.

SEC Seeks Public Consultation Regarding Market Manipulation

SEC Orders Proceedings to Rule on ETF, Seeks Further FeedbackThe Commission is seeking public feedback regarding eighteen specific points pertaining to the exchange, including Vaneck’s “assertions that bitcoin is arguably less susceptible to manipulation than other commodities that underlie [exchange-traded products]”

The SEC states that it “is providing notice of the grounds for disapproval under consideration, adding that “The Commission is instituting proceedings to allow for additional analysis of the proposed rule change’s consistency with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act.”

The Act “requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be ‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade’, and ‘to protect investors and the public interest’.”

SEC Already Received 1,400 Letters Regarding Proposed ETF

SEC Orders Proceedings to Rule on ETF, Seeks Further FeedbackThe SEC will accept public comments regarding whether the ETF should be approved or disapproved for “21 days from publication in the Federal Register.” The SEC will also accept rebuttals to arguments put forward regarding the ETF for 35 days from publication in the Federal Register.”

The order notes that “As of September 19, 2018, the Commission has received more than 1,400 comment letters on the proposed rule change.”

Do you expect that the Vaneck ETF will eventually be approved or rejected? Tell us why in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post SEC Orders Proceedings to Rule on ETF, Seeks Further Feedback appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Ex-Liberia Central Bank Chief Under Probe for Missing $104M, State Seeks FBI Help

September 20, 2018 |

Ex-Liberia Central Bank Chief Under Probe for Missing $  104M, State Seeks FBI Help

More than a dozen government officials, including former central bank governor and his deputy, have come under investigation in Liberia after $ 104 million of newly printed banknotes vanished from the state purse. Liberia has issued a travel ban to Milton Weeks, the ex-Central Bank of Liberia chief, his deputy Charles Sirleaf, son of former president Ellen Jonhson Sirleaf,  and several others pending the investigation.

Also read: Brazil’s Biggest Banks Under Investigation For Monopoly In Cryptocurrency Trade

Liberia Enlists FBI, IMF To Help Recover Missing Funds

The Liberian government has enlisted the United States of America and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to assist in the investigation of L$ 16 billion (roughly US$ 104 million), which disappeared from state coffers.

Ex-Liberia Central Bank Chief Under Probe for Missing $  104M, State Seeks FBI Help

This comes as the West African country on Wednesday barred at least 15 people, including former central bank governor Milton Weeks and Charles Sirleaf, son of the former president, from leaving the country pending the investigation.

According to the Liberian ObserverPresident George Weah’s administration approached the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Treasury Department and the IMF seeking assistance in the ongoing probe, to “adequately account for all flaws of monies printed and brought into the country between 2016 and 2018.”

Liberia’s Justice Ministry indicated that the investigation is critical to the formulation and implementation of a credible and robust monetary and macroeconomic policy in the years ahead.

The missing cash – the equivalent of nearly 5% of Liberia’s Gross Domestic Product – was ordered by the Central Bank of Liberia from printers in Sweden, China, and Lebanon but is yet to be traced after a series of shipments.

Liberia does do its own mint.

Records show that the money went missing between November 2017, toward the end of former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf second term in office, and August this year.

‘We Know Nothing About Missing Money’

Milton Weeks, who claims ignorance over the missing millions, says that he’s fully co-operating with police investigations.

Ex-Liberia Central Bank Chief Under Probe for Missing $  104M, State Seeks FBI Help
Milton Weeks

“I have been invited to come and assist with the investigation and I’m doing that, I myself want us to get to the bottom of this to understand where the allegation is coming from,” he is quoted as saying.

Ex-president Johnson-Sirleaf said the investigation was baseless, designed to soil her reputation and those with whom she served.

“It is most unfortunate that the government of Liberia would give false information that wickedly impugns the reputation of past officials and by extension the country itself,” she told African news site FPA.

The Information Ministry on Thursday insisted that newly minted Liberian banknotes entered the country through the Roberts International Airport and the Freeport of Monrovia, from where they vanished.

Ex-Liberia Central Bank Chief Under Probe for Missing $  104M, State Seeks FBI Help
President Weah

The Ministry says President Weah was “never in the know of the money being brought into the country, something (which) is very strange.

Liberian officials have a history of stealing public funds. Charles Taylor, the jailed former dictator who was forced out of office in 2003, is believed to have stolen or diverted nearly $ 100 million of his country’s wealth, leaving it the poorest nation on earth, according to a close review of government records by United Nations team of experts.

A 2013 report in the New York Times revealed how Taylor stole government money to buy houses, cars, and sexual partners.

Do you think cryptocurrencies can help to prevent theft of public funds in Africa? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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The post Ex-Liberia Central Bank Chief Under Probe for Missing $ 104M, State Seeks FBI Help appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

U.S. Seeks New Trade Talks With China to Avoid Tariffs

September 13, 2018 |

The Trump administration is giving Beijing another chance to try to stave off new tariffs on $ 200 billion in Chinese exports, asking top officials for a fresh round of trade talks later this month.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

Exchanges Round-Up: DMM Bitcoin Launches Biometric Authentication, Ironfx Seeks Gibraltar Licensing

September 3, 2018 |

Exchanges Round-Up: DMM Bitcoin Launches Biometric Authentication, Ironfx Seeks Gibraltar Licensing

In recent news pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges, DDM Bitcoin has launched biometric authentication for Android users of its app, Fxcoin has hired former Deutsche Bank AG employee, Yasuo Matsuda, as a senior strategist, and Ironfx has estimated the company’s upcoming virtual currency exchange will launch during the fourth quarter of 2018.

Also Read: Satis Predicts Market Cap of Cryptocurrencies Exceeds $ 1 Trillion in 2021

DDM Bitcoin Adds Biometric Authentication for Android Users

Exchanges Round-Up: DMM Bitcoin Launches Biometric Authentication, Ironfx Seeks Gibraltar LicensingDMM Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency exchange operated by Japanese e-commerce and entertainment conglomerate, DMM Group, has launched biometric authentication for Android users of the company’s app.

A notice published on the company’s website states that “‘Biometric authentication’ is a function that uses a dedicated application,” Polarify, and “authenticates with either fingerprint, voice, or face.”

With regards to rolling-out biometric authentication for iPhone users, the company states that it is “keenly preparing for introduction” and that it “will start offering as soon as preparation is completed.”

Fxcoin Hires Deutsche Bank’s Yasuo Matsuda as Crypto Strategist

Exchanges Round-Up: DMM Bitcoin Launches Biometric Authentication, Ironfx Seeks Gibraltar LicensingJapanese cryptocurrency startup, Fxcoin Ltd., has announced the hiring of Yasuo Matsuda as a senior strategist. Yasuo Matsuda is a 19-year-old former foreign-exchange dealer at Deutsche Bank AG.

Fxcoin’s founder and chief executive officer, Tomoo Onishi, is also a veteran of the major German lender. Since quitting his position with the company, he has hired roughly 15 professionals hailing from major financial institutions including Nomura Holdings Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., and HSBC Holdings Plc.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency is currently assessing an application from Fxcoin to operate as a cryptocurrency exchange under the licensing system introduced by Japan’s regulators last year.

Forex Broker Ironfx to Launch Crypto Exchange in Q4 of 2018

Exchanges Round-Up: DMM Bitcoin Launches Biometric Authentication, Ironfx Seeks Gibraltar LicensingForeign exchange brokerage firm, Ironfx Group, has announced that it expects to launch its upcoming cryptocurrency exchange, ‘Ironx’, in the fourth quarter of this year.

In June, Ironfx first announced its plan to launch a virtual currency exchange, announcing that the endeavor would be conducted in partnership with Emurgohk Group – a Hong Kong-based blockchain incubator that “help[s] integrate […] commercial ventures […] into Cardano’s decentralized blockchain ecosystem.”

Ironfx is currently seeking to obtain a Gibraltar blockchain license.

Would you use biometric authentication for additional security when logging into cryptocurrency exchanges? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, ddm-group.ch, and Wikipedia.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Exchanges Round-Up: DMM Bitcoin Launches Biometric Authentication, Ironfx Seeks Gibraltar Licensing appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Hong Kong Seeks Fintech Talent, DLT Experts

August 30, 2018 |

Hong Kong Seeks Fintech Talent, DLT Experts

Authorities in Hong Kong have taken steps to attract fintech specialists who can support its economic development. The government of the Chinese region has prepared a list of needed professions from several related fields, including distributed ledger technologies and asset management.

Also read: China Escalates Crackdown, Russia Chases Shadows, UK Warns of Scams

Hong Kong Updates Immigration Policy to Attract Fintech Professionals

Hong Kong Seeks Fintech Talent, DLT ExpertsAs part of new efforts to underpin Hong Kong’s development as a “high value-added and diversified economy,” the government of the special administrative region of China is now moving to facilitate the immigration of “quality people” from around the world. To do that, Hong Kong authorities have drafted a “Talent List” of 11 in-demand professions, a number of which belong to the fintech industry, and intend to publicize it under the banner “Hong Kong. Talent Hub – Unlimited Opportunities.”

In an announcement published on its website, the government notes that the list highlights specific professions needed most for Hong Kong‘s economic development. Beside waste treatment specialists, engineers and naval architects, the city wants to attract foreigners with expertise related to the crypto and blockchain space. According to the notice, Hong Kong is interested in fintech professionals and innovation and technology experts in fields like distributed ledger technologies (DLT), or blockchain, data engineering, including mining and analytics, artificial intelligence and robotics, cyber security.

Authorities are also eager to invite experienced professionals in asset management, including trust fund management, as well as legal experts specializing in resolving international financial and investor-state disputes and lawyers with knowledge in cross-border transactions from investing or host states. Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Human Resources Planning Commission has been quoted saying:

Hong Kong welcomes talents from all over the world with valuable skills, knowledge and experience to work here, bringing their talent into full play and further developing their careers. The promulgation of the Talent List is one of our major initiatives to enhance our competitive advantages in attracting international talents, creating cluster effects, stimulating the development of local talents and propelling Hong Kong forward.

No Prior Employment Arrangement Required

Hong Kong Seeks Fintech Talent, DLT ExpertsThe authors of the official announcement have also pointed out that immigration facilitation will be provided to eligible persons through Hong Kong’s Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS). Its current annual quota is 1,000. Foreign nationals approved under QMAS are free to settle in Hong Kong. People with professions included in the Talent List will not be required to have secured in advance an offer from a local employer.

Detailed information about the scheme is available on the Talent List’s dedicated page and the website of the Immigration Department. Authorities are already accepting applications from eligible individuals with the qualifications included in the list, which has been prepared after consultations between the government and the stakeholders. The document will be updated on a regular basis to reflect the changing needs of Hong Kong’s economy.

The news about the Talent List initiative in Hong Kong comes amid an escalating crackdown on the crypto sector in mainland China. After banning coin offerings and crypto-yuan trading last year, and recently targeting crypto-media and venues hosting events in the space, Chinese regulators have also announced intentions to curb payments to overseas crypto exchanges. Their latest efforts to restrict crypto-related activities involve the big three of the Chinese internet – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

Do you think Hong Kong is attractive to fintech professionals? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Hong Kong Seeks Fintech Talent, DLT Experts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

TMZ

Ben Affleck Seeks Help and Back in Rehab After Intervention by Jen Garner

August 23, 2018 |

7:20 PM PT:  We’ve learned Ben has arrived at a live-in rehab facility and will check in for an extended period of time.Jennifer Garner has staged an intervention to help Ben Affleck, and TMZ has learned Ben wanted the help and agreed to go to…

TMZ.com