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President Trump appeared to break from royal protocol Friday during an official visit to the UK when he seemed to step in front of Queen Elizabeth II. For a few moments, Mr. Trump walked just ahead of Her Majesty while the pair inspected the queen’s honor guard, per the New…
Three stories dominate this week’s initial coin offering (ICO) round up: It appears many ICO projects are reaching out to social media influencers in an effort to thwart advertising bans across leading platforms. A study published by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) suggested that the country develop a licenced-based regulatory apparatus that permits cryptocurrency activities including ICOs. A U.S. judge has found that CTR, tokens distributed through Centra Tech’s ICO that sought the promotional services of boxer Floyd Mayweather, demonstrate numerous attributes of a security under existing legislation.
ICOs Turn to Social Media Influencers Amid Advertising Ban
A report by the LA Times has looked into the increasing prevalence of ICO promoters employing the services of social media influencers in the midst of the prohibition on cryptocurrency advertisements on a number of leading social platforms.
The report cites research conducted by Solume, which found that approximately 18% of cryptocurrency-related posts on Reddit, Twitter, and Bitcointalk.org now typically originate from bounty campaigns set-up by ICO promoters. In January, by contrast, the figure was 6%.
“It’s really a very cost-effective mechanism for developing a brand,” stated Saransh Sharma, the president of 4new – who are currently conducting an ICO. “Before you know it, there’s a snowball effect,” he added.
Whilst ICO promoters appear to have found a means through which they can advertise on social media platforms despite the ban, some are not convinced that the practice of paying social media influencers to promote ICOs will last for long.
Lex Sokolin, the global director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research, stated: “Once it becomes clear that financial outcomes can be manipulated not just by trading but [also by] creating perceptions through social media, regulators will take a very hard stance.”
Chinese Banking Commission Suggests Inclusive ICO Regulations
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) recently made public a working paper titled, “The Study of Development and Regulations on Distributed Ledger Accounts, Blockchain and Digital Currency.”
The report argues for the development of an inclusive, license-based regulatory apparatus designed to allow cryptocurrency related activities, including ICOs, to operate legitimately in the country.
“Currently, any capital transaction that relates to distributed ledger accounts, blockchain, cryptocurrency and its derivatives, ICOs and exchange operations should all be regarded as financial services. Therefore they must be put under relevant financial regulatory frameworks so that they can operate legally with a license,” the document states.
Centra Found to be Distributing Securities
In the latest news regarding the Floyd Mayweather-promoted Centra ICO, a Florida district court has found CTR tokens issued through the company’s initial coin offering comprise securities. The court, citing the Howey test, argued that CTR tokens satisfy the criteria for all three prongs of an “investment contract,” rendering such a security.
The court found that “Because the success of Centra Tech and the Centra Debit Card, CTR Tokens, and cBay that it purported to develop was entirely dependent on the efforts and actions of the Defendants […] the offering of Centra Tokens was an investment contract under the Securities Act, such that the Defendants sold or offered to sell securities by virtue of the Centra Tech ICO.”
The court recommended that “the Defendant’s Renewed Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order, Asset Freeze, Document Preservation Order, and Order to Make Accounting and Other Ancillary Relief […] be granted to the limited extent consented by the Defendants.”
Do you think social media influencers will continue to be used as a means to bypass advertising bans? Join the discussion in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter
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The post ICO Round-Up: Social Media Influencers Bypass Ad Ban, Centra Tokens Deemed Securities appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Quite naturally, social media comments exert influence over cryptocurrency prices but according to a new study, the vocal minority of frequent posters do not have the most influential voices. You’ll find the details in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Also, a new coin will be airdropped to football fans and players at the World Cup and new Bitcoin ATMs have been installed in Russia and Africa.
Social Media’s Silent Majority Moves Crypto Markets
Public sentiment, expressed on social media, has the power to manipulate the value of bitcoin, a new study reveals. The recently published report by the Stevens Institute of Technology explores and verifies the effect of social networks on cryptocurrency prices, detecting a link there.
Researchers claim that periods of predominantly positive social media commentary significantly influence crypto markets and are actually pushing bitcoin up or down. However, according to their paper, it’s not the vocal minority, but the silent majority that really moves crypto prices.
The scientists came to this conclusion after dividing tweeters and posters in two groups and finding that social media comments from very active users do not change market graphs so much. On the other hand, infrequent posters who comment on the crypto prospects exert much more influence on prices, especially when they are sharing positive opinions. It turns out prices change proportionally to their sentiments. According to Professor Feng Mai, who lead the study:
Vocal users of social media may sometimes have a certain agenda, in this case hyping or boosting the price of Bitcoin because they themselves have invested in it. So, if most of the social messages around Bitcoin are generated by people who are biased, the sentiments on social media may not accurately reflect the currency’s actual value.
The authors of the study collected and analyzed two years of forum posts published on Bitcointalk. The research also covered more than 3.4 million tweets about bitcoin from a two month period. Using natural-language processing techniques, scientists classified the comments into positive, negative and other sentiment categories. Then they compared the compiled data with bitcoin price graphs.
The researchers also made the following observation – the value of bitcoin at a certain moment in time can also influence the sentiment expressed in social media chatter. To better understand and analyze the two-way correlation, the team also took into account the daily movements of stock and volatility indices and gold prices.
Football Craze Captivates the Crypto World
With the Round of 16 World Cup matches coming, football emotions are infecting the cryptosphere, and some businesses are rushing to ride the wave before it flattens next month. The Moscow-based blockchain startup Waves has created a new token dedicated to soccer fans, Mutcoin. The coins will be distributed to subscribers on the company’s Vkontakte page and Telegram channel.
The issuer promises to buy its tokens back through its decentralized cryptocurrency trading platform within 60 days after the Final on July 15, at prices that depend on how high the Russian “Sbornaya” climbs up in the championship ranking. 100,000 Mutcoins will be airdropped – half of the tokens will be allocated to ordinary users and the rest will be given to the players and coaches of the Russian national football team.
Bitcoin ATMs Installed in a Bar and a Business District
The number of cryptocurrency terminals offering automated teller services has been growing steadily around the world in the past few years. Two new machines have been recently installed in a Russian city and in an African capital.
A Bitcoin ATM is now available to the frequenters of a bar in Voronezh, Russia. It’s located on the Friedrich Engels Street, in the very heard of the city. Local crypto outlets reported that the terminal supports both purchases and sales of bitcoin (BTC). The two-way crypto-fiat transactions are an extra that not all devices around the world offer.
A teller machine selling bitcoins (BTC) and litecoins (LTC) for cash has been installed in the Westlands area of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. The BATM, which is pretty close to the central business district, allows users to buy cryptocurrency for as little as $ 5 and pay for it in US dollars or Kenyan shillings.
Luxury Hotel Units Sold for Bitcoin
New luxury hotel units at the Al Mahra Resort by Cristal can now be purchased with bitcoin or other cryptocurrency. The complex, located on the Al Marjan Island in the United Arab Emirates, features 548 rooms, suites and villas. Al Mahra Resort is owned by FAM Holding, a business conglomerate with diversified investments across the Arab country.
“Some of the biggest names worldwide are warming up to cryptocurrencies. Therefore, it is logical for us to offer people the opportunity to pay in bitcoin or similar currency, rather than just fiat,” said Faisal Ali Mousa Al Naqbi, owner and chairman of the holding. He also noted that cryptocurrency has radically improved the transparency, speed and security of property transactions.
What are your thoughts on today’s stories in Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post The Daily: Study Links Social Media Posts to Bitcoin Prices, New BATMs Pop Up Around the World appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Dear Liz: A family member recently lost her spouse. His monthly Social Security check was $ 1,800 and hers is $ 750. I have two questions.
First, is my understanding correct that she is able to begin collecting his monthly amount instead of her own?
Second, instead of collecting Social Security based…
When IHOP said it would be tweaking its name to IHOB, the news immediately went viral. Some thought the new letter stood for bitcoin, others thought breakfast or brunch.
But IHOP, made famous for its Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity pancakes is now the international house of … burgers, at least for…
This week the two popular Bitcoin Cash social media applications, Memo and Blockpress have rolled out a bunch of new features on each platform. Now users on both platforms can upload pictures, video, and even torrent magnets found on the Pirate Bay.
Memo and Blockpress
So far over the past couple of weeks, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporters have been utilizing two specific BCH-powered social media platforms — Blockpress and Memo. The Memo application arrived on the scene first during the second week of April offering BCH users the ability to write 77 character-long phrases using an on-chain method called an OP_Return transaction. Every action on Memo utilizes a transaction and an extremely small fraction of BCH and over the past few weeks; Memo has added a bunch of new features.
At the end of April news.Bitcoin.com reported on Memo adding additional features like replies, emojis, and a counter for typing. The platform was getting a lot of use seeing more than 3,000 transactions in one day when the developers added the ‘reply’ feature. Now the Memo programmers have added a ‘Topics’ section a place where people can discuss specific subjects such as adding a dislike button to Memo, Christianity, BCH price predictions, flat earth conspiracies, and any topic that’s trending on the application.
Memo Images, Video, and Pirate Bay Magnets
Moreover, on May 10, the Memo development team added image and Youtube video support to the platform. This means Memo users can upload a picture or their favorite Youtube video utilizing an on-chain BCH transaction. The very next day a user implemented a live stream video over the BCH chain using Webtorrent, Memo.cash, and Blockpress. Another added a Pirate Bay torrent magnet using Memo as well in hopes the application can be used for an “uncensorable Pirate Bay.”
Blockpress Also Adds Video and Images, and Says More Features to Come After the May 15 BCH Upgrade
Then on May 2, another on-chain BCH powered social media application was launched called Blockpress. When Blockpress launched, news.Bitcoin.com spoke with the platform’s developer who calls himself ‘Attila’ and is a big believer in the future of BCH. At launch, Blockpress offered a similar Memo-like platform but looked like a Twitter UI and had the ability to add an avatar picture, and profile cover photo. Just like Memo, the Blockpress platform enables the ability to publish 77 characters via the Bitcoin Cash network.
Then three days ago the Blockpress developer added the ability to add images to posts, a notification feed, community topics, and a sidebar of your followed profiles on Blockpress. Just like the Memo application, a bunch of people are testing out the platform’s newest features. Further, Attila says after the May 15 BCH upgrade the Blockpress platform will have the ability to upload much longer content (Tumblr style — via IPFS and also a 220-byte OP_Return update on May 15).
So far on both platforms, there’s a lot of users sharing their thoughts and content with Memo taking the lead on users since it was launched two weeks before Blockpress. Both BCH-based applications seem to be following a competitive path towards adding new features like images and videos. It will be interesting to see what kind of capabilities Memo and Blockpress get after the upgrade next week.
What do you think about the new features on Memo and Blockpress? Have you tested any of these platforms yet? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Blockpress, and Memo.
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Reports suggest that Facebook may develop its own crypto. The plan is worth a mention, especially on the backdrop of the crypto ban imposed by the social media network. In Saturday’s Bitcoin in Brief, we also cover Telegram’s advance towards implementing its payment system using the Gram token. Some blockchain stories with beers and beamers complete today’s round-up.
Facebook Mulls Own Token, Reports Say
Facebook is reportedly considering creating its own cryptocurrency. Sources familiar with the matter told the financial news outlet Cheddar that the social media giant is serious about the project to introduce global crypto payments on its platform. A digital token would allow its two billion users around the world to take advantage of crypto transactions and skip state-issued fiat currencies.
Facebook announced recently that it had formed a team whose main task will be to explore the uses for blockchain technologies that the company can utilize to improve its business. The group is headed by David Marcus, former head of Facebook Messenger and ex-president of Paypal, who currently sits on the board of Coinbase.
The development of the payments system, however, is likely to take some time, possibly years. Marcus, who is a crypto enthusiast and an early investor, has been quoted as saying that crypto payments are still very slow and expensive. Facebook is not planning to hold an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund the project. In January, the social network banned crypto-related ads, including advertisements of token sales.
Telegram Moving Forward with Crypto Payments
Telegram, on the other hand, has already raised enough money to fund its own blockchain project and payment system. The messaging service, which is popular with the crypto community, has already attracted $ 1.7 billion dollars to finance its Telegram Open Network (TON). The company, founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, has decided to call off a planned public ICO.
According to Russian media reports, Telegram is now conducting closed tests of a new service designed to store users’ information and documents for verification purposes. Telegram Passport will be used to keep personal details and copies of IDs, banking statements, and utility bills which will be used to identify users on Telegram’s blockchain TON.
The identity verification feature is needed to facilitate payments using Telegram’s own crypto token called Gram. Once uploaded, the personal information can be potentially shared with partners within the platform, but also on their systems. Telegram Passport, which should be launched by the summer, is expected to prevent anonymous crypto payments.
Crypto Beer Vending Machine to Check Age
Civic, a San-Francisco-based startup, has recently announced plans to introduce a “crypto beer vending machine.” The project, which will be realized in partnership with a leading US beer producer, aims to also prove that blockchain can be used to verify if a thirsty guy or girl have 21 years of age to legally consume the alcoholic beverage. To get a cold can, one has to install Civic’s app on their smartphone, verify their ID, and then walk up to the machine, Futurism reports. The project’s success depends on the readiness of government authorities to accept identity verification performed on a blockchain. Civic’s beer vending machine is still a prototype.
BMW Tracking Mileage on a Blockchain
Another blockchain partnership aims to track the mileage of cars. A team at BMW, the German automobile manufacturer, has been tasked with finding a way to better preserve the resale value of vehicles leased by the company. Collecting reliable data for the mileage, amortization and maintenance of these cars is crucial for achieving the best price on the second-hand market.
The blockchain startup DOVU has been invited by BMW to establish a partnership with Alphabet, the auto giant’s leasing and fleet vehicle branch, and BMW’s Innovation Lab in order to develop a system to collect and keep record of the important information. The companies behind the project hope to also evaluate how effective tokenization can be in encouraging customers’ cooperation.
In a pilot program implemented by the partners, BMW drivers are prompted by a custom wallet app to take a picture of their dashboards once a week. All submissions are added to DOVU’s blockchain which is used by Alphabet to compile consistent and unalterable data reflecting the exploitation of the vehicles. The information is then used to assess the mileage and the depreciation of the used cars and ultimately determine their resale value.
What do you think of today’s Bitcoin in Brief stories? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: “Social” Coins, Crypto Vending, Blockchain Mileage appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Various local branches of the Israel Tax Authority have sent out letters to those they suspect are trading bitcoin without reporting it. The tax agency demands in those letters that the recipients will divulge all of their involvement in the cryptocurrency market including all past transaction history and current holdings. People are being asked to list all exchange accounts and wallets they ever had and report their trade earnings. Additionally, the agency demands that people will reveal if they are engaged in mining.
Check Your Mailbox
The agency appears to be be very confident in its suspicions as some local tax offices have not even bothered with sending out the letters with demands for information, instead they just opened a business case for anyone they think is trading bitcoin. Those people are simply informed they must pay income taxes as business owners now, fill reports retroactively back from 2013 as well as keep balanced books and report taxes on salaries to employees as any other business, as if they were restaurant or factory owners.
Earlier this year the tax agency issued a circular on the matter, declaring that bitcoin is an asset, and thus anyone trading it must pay the capital gains tax of 25% and anyone considered to be running a business must also pay the VAT of 17%. The Tax Authority commented to Israel’s Globes newspaper: “Following the publication of the circular, which reflects the Authority’s position on the taxation method of trading and investing in virtual currencies, the Authority is working to locate those active in the field who do not manage a case in the tax authorities. We recommend that those who conduct unregistered activity in these areas take advantage of the existing channels to settle their issues before they will have to endure the unpleasantness that accompanies enforcement. ”
Monitoring Social Media Groups
The Tax Authority is not exposing how it got its hands on a list of bitcoin traders in the country to check if they report or not, but there a few obvious ways. The banking system in Israel is very hostile to any bitcoin dealings, and the banks thus probably proactively report all inbound and outbound transactions involving known accounts of exchanges abroad as possible money laundering and tax evasion. And the few local trading avenues available to Israelis can easily be compelled to hand over a list of their clients with a warrant.
Investigators have used more creative means, however, people familiar with the tax scene told the Globes newspaper. They claim that undercover agents are monitoring local groups for peer to peer buying and selling of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on Facebook, Telegram and Whatsapp. The information gathered there is said to be sophisticatedly cross-referenced with other available data.
What should Israeli bitcoin do with this information? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Leaks have appeared all over the web for the past month or so, but it’s official now. ASKfm announced its blockchain-based upgrade ASKfm 2.0 claiming to monetize knowledge in all of its forms. No wonder such a move form a major player couldn’t fly under the radar.
One giant leap
ASKfm is currently the largest Q&A social network worldwide, hosting 600 million questions monthly. The coming ASKfm 2.0 aims to transform the platform from the knowledge exchange of today into a knowledge economy. The company states that blockchain technology can effectively reshape access to knowledge and its evaluation. They tokenize interactions within the social media, rewarding people whose answers are well-received and demanded. This way, they claim, expertise gains intrinsic value and serves as a centerpiece for the new economy.
The way to sustainability
We reached out to Maxym Tsaryk, CEO at ASKfm. The company has been framing a blockchain solution for quite some time now, and they’re finally presenting it. Max says:
“We are settling our high-loaded blockchain Q&A platform — that’s why we are introducing a new cryptocurrency token not on a whim but out of conceptual necessity, as without it, the product wouldn’t be able to exist. Blockchain opens a path to democratic environments, to self-regulating economic models governed by market laws and mechanisms. We do not see the future for ASKfm, technologies and social networks without blockchain.”
Open for participation
215 million of existing ASKfm users will have the option to switch to ASKfm 2.0, register a wallet, and receive tokens for that. The community, as usual, will also be able to take part in ASKfm’s upcoming ICO event during the year. In total, the social media plans to sell $ 100,000,000 worth of tokens.
According to the company, its private sale is already ongoing with minimum amounts starting from a million dollars. The dates and terms of the crowdsale are yet to be determined. The broader public can currently only apply for the whitelist. For that, ASKfm launched a dedicated website.
To read more about ASKfm 2.0 and request participation, please visit askfm.io
This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.
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