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| January 21, 2019

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What’s a Threat to Our Health Worldwide? WHO’s Top 10

January 21, 2019 |

The World Health Organization has a five-year plan—one that it hopes will help billions of people obtain universal health coverage, be taken care of in health emergencies, and enjoy better health overall. To that end, the WHO has whittled down the world’s biggest health challenges, coming up with a…
Newser

‘Saturday Night Live’ star Pete Davidson jokes about his suicide threat on ‘Weekend Update’

January 20, 2019 |

Pete Davidson took to the “Weekend Update” desk on “Saturday Night Live” this week to make light of the seeming suicide threat he posted on social media in December.
FOX News

Buddhist Violence Portends New Threat to Myanmar

January 6, 2019 |

A sharp escalation in fighting between a heavily armed Buddhist militia and Myanmar’s military heralds a new threat to the conflict-ridden nation, just as it is seeing tentative progress in quelling other long-running ethnic and religious violence.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

Indian Central Bank’s Report Shows Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a Threat

January 4, 2019 |

Indian Central Bank's Report Says Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a Threat

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has published a report indicating that cryptocurrencies are not a threat currently. However, the central bank says, with rapid growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies, this assessment could change, adding that constant monitoring of cryptocurrencies is needed.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

No Threat Currently

Indian Central Bank's Report Says Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a ThreatThe RBI published its “Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2017-18” on Dec. 28. The report cites an analysis by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international body which monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system.

Quartz India summarized on Thursday, “A global financial body, which includes India, says cryptocurrencies aren’t a threat.” India’s central bank wrote in its report:

The FSB has undertaken a review of the financial stability risks posed by the rapid growth of crypto-assets. Its initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability currently.

The RBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Ministry of Finance are all members of the FSB, along with 23 other countries plus international organizations such as the European Commission, the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

Indian Central Bank's Report Says Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a ThreatThe wording in the RBI report resembles the FSB’s own report released in October which states that “crypto-assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time.”

The central bank’s latest report echoes its annual report which states that “Though cryptocurrency may not currently pose systemic risks, its increasing popularity leading to price bubbles raises serious concerns for consumer and investor protection, and market integrity.”

RBI Says Constant Monitoring Needed

Indian Central Bank's Report Says Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a ThreatThe RBI reiterated in its latest report that it has repeatedly cautioned users, holders and traders of cryptocurrencies about the various risks associated with these assets. Furthermore, the central bank issued a circular on April 6 prohibiting regulated entities from providing services to crypto businesses. The central bank gave them three months from the date of the circular to exit relationships with crypto companies.

A number of industry participants have filed petitions against the ban. The supreme court is set to hear the case this month, after postponing it repeatedly last year.

The RBI continued to describe in its latest report:

The market continues to evolve rapidly, however, and this initial assessment could change if crypto-assets were to become more widely used or interconnected with the core of the regulated financial system … Cryptocurrencies need constant monitoring on overall financial stability considerations, given the rapid expansion in their usage.

No Hurry for Crypto Regulation

Indian Central Bank's Report Says Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a ThreatOn the same day, Dec. 28, the Indian Ministry of Finance reportedly provided some clarification to Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament, about the country’s cryptocurrency regulation. Despite the media reporting that the draft regulatory framework would be ready last September or by the end of last year, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, indicated no urgency for cryptocurrency regulation.

He wrote, “In absence of a globally acceptable solution and the need to devise [a] technically feasible solution, the department is pursuing the matter with due caution. It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations.”

Following this report, the CEO of local cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx, Nischal Shetty, told news.Bitcoin.com, “in a way it also puts out any fear of ban in India.” He elaborated:

Next step is to see if [the] supreme court sees this as the basis to grant [a] stay against the RBI banking restriction as this means that government of India does not see crypto as a threat or matter of immediate concern.

Do you think the Indian government sees cryptocurrencies as a threat? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Indian Central Bank’s Report Shows Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currently a Threat appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Iran Labels Telegram’s Coin a Threat to National Security

December 31, 2018 |

Iran Labels Telegram’s Coin a Threat to National Security

Tehran has once again targeted the users of the popular messaging application Telegram. A law enforcement official warned Iranian citizens against providing any support for the launch of the instant messaging app’s native token, the Gram.

Also read: Bill to Curb Iranian National Crypto Filed in US Congress

‘Disruption to the National Economy’

Iran Labels Telegram’s Coin a Threat to National SecurityAuthorities in Iran would interpret any cooperation with Telegram on the issuing of their crypto as “an action against the national security” of the Islamic Republic. That’s according to a recent statement by Javad Javidnia, secretary of the country’s Criminal Content Definition Task Force.

Javidnia emphasized that instances of providing such support “will be dealt with as a disruption to the national economy.” Quoted by the Fars news agency on Sunday and later by the English-language newspaper Tehran Times, the official also stated:

One of the most important factors in banning Telegram was the sense of a serious economic threat from its activities, which was unfortunately marginalized and neglected due to the fuss in the political atmosphere of the country.

Telegram has been developing its Telegram Open Network (TON) in order to provide its customers with a digital payments system. All Telegram users will get a TON wallet and the platform’s developers hope to make Gram the “world’s most adopted cryptocurrency.”

The company planned an initial coin offering for its Gram token earlier this year but the ICO was canceled after Telegram reportedly raised $ 1.7 billion from private investors. The ico-telegram.org website confirms that and currently warns investors they have 31 days left before the refund windows is closed. The issued refunds now amount to over 97.7 percent of the raised total.

Banning the Messenger

Iran Labels Telegram’s Coin a Threat to National SecurityThis past spring, the operator of the messaging service, a company founded by famous Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, revealed that Telegram had over 200 million monthly active users around the world. The app has become extremely popular in the global crypto community as well as in jurisdictions with extensive internet censorship regimes.

The messenger has been blocked already in the People’s Republic of China. Authorities in the Russian Federation have been trying to restrict access to its platform for months this year, after Telegram refused to hand over its encryption keys to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Moscow’s attempts to prevent Russians from using Telegram have been largely unsuccessful. In fact, the number of its users in the country has grown to over 3.4 million since the Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor started its offensive. Russian-language channels have also significantly increased their membership.

The instant messaging app with Russian roots gained much more popularity in Iran, where it is believed to have 50 million users, according to a BBC report. However, in April the Iranian judiciary banned Telegram “to protect national security.” The measure was imposed after mass anti-government protests in January over the deteriorating socio-economic conditions in the country. Officials claimed the rallies had been organized in Telegram chats.

Iran and Cryptocurrencies

Iran Labels Telegram’s Coin a Threat to National SecurityThe attitude of the Islamic Republic towards cryptocurrencies has changed over time, especially after the Trump administration pulled out of the nuclear deal and reintroduced U.S. sanctions, which among other restrictions limited Iran’s access to the dollar. That’s not to say that Tehran has become really positive about decentralized cryptos such as Bitcoin but, for instance, the country took steps to recognize mining as an industry and allow the imports of mining equipment.

Iran has also been working to issue a national cryptocurrency and according to recent reports, the organizations behind the project have already finalized its development. Just recently, a new bill aimed at curbing Iran’s efforts to create a sovereign coin and use it to circumvent sanctions was introduced in the Congress in Washington. The draft legislation bans U.S. citizens and companies from all transactions and dealings in Iranian digital currency and introduces new sanctions against foreign nationals and organizations supporting its development.

What is your opinion about the latest Iranian action against Telegram? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 


Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check forum.Bitcoin.com.

The post Iran Labels Telegram’s Coin a Threat to National Security appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

ObamaCare mandate says goodbye in 2019, as health law faces new threat

December 28, 2018 |

The Affordable Care Act will lose its teeth in 2019, as the penalty for not buying insurance disappears – leaving the health care law’s future as murky as ever.
FOX News

Europe Faces Continuing Terror Threat, While Concerns in U.S. Ebb

December 24, 2018 |

U.S. allies in Europe face a continuing “significant threat” of terrorist attacks even as terrorism takes a back seat in U.S. security planning that increasingly focuses on China and Russia, according to a report.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

Gatwick Airport incident shows the threat of rogue drones in commercial airspace

December 21, 2018 |

Two rogue drones buzzing the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport froze hundreds of incoming and outgoing flights during the busy holiday season on Thursday, prompting an intense search for the drones’ operator and serving as a dramatic example of a potential threat to commercial airspace.

The incident…


L.A. Times – Business

Election of Merkel Ally Defuses Threat to Her Authority, for Now

December 10, 2018 |

Angela Merkel bowed out of party politics as her conservatives elected a close ally of the chancellor to succeed her as head of her party, beginning what could be a protracted twilight for one of Europe’s most resilient leaders.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe