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  1. Today
  2. The U.S. government will strictly enforce the rules on cryptocurrencies similar to the standards recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has reaffirmed that its “Travel” rule applies to cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has flagged stablecoin as a potential risk to the U.S. financial system in a new report. Also read: Crypto Jobs on the Rise, Thousands Listed Fincen Expects Compliance The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen) will strictly enforce anti-money laundering (AML) rules on cryptocurrencies, Director Kenneth Blanco reportedly said on Friday. Fincen is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury with a mission to combat money laundering and safeguard the country’s financial system from illicit use. The bureau requires cryptocurrency firms engaged in money service businesses, including crypto exchanges and wallet service providers, to share information about their customers. Specifically, the “Travel” rule requires them to verify their customers’ identities, identify the original parties and beneficiaries of fund transfers that are $3,000 or higher, and transmit that information to counterparties if they exist. The Travel rule was first issued by Fincen in 1996 as part of the AML standards for all U.S. financial institutions. The rule was expanded in March 2013 to apply to crypto exchanges and reinforced in the crypto guidance issued in May this year. Reuters noted that the May guidance confused some businesses, as they thought the rule did not apply to them. At a conference hosted by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis on Friday, Blanco was quoted as saying: It (travel rule) applies to CVCs (convertible virtual currencies) and we expect that you will comply period. “That’s what our expectation is. You will comply. I don’t know what the shock is. This is nothing new,” he reiterated. The Travel rule is the most common violation for money service businesses engaged in cryptocurrencies, the director revealed, adding that Fincen has been conducting examinations which include ensuring compliance of the Travel rule since 2014. FATF Standards and the Travel Rule The AML rules enforced by Fincen are similar to those recommended by the FATF, an inter-governmental policymaking body whose purpose is to establish international standards to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The FATF issued its new guidance for crypto assets and related service providers in June. At the June G20 leaders’ summit in Japan, the U.S. and other countries reaffirmed their commitments to applying the FATF standards. The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors similarly announced their commitments to implementing them. However, the crypto industry has raised several concerns regarding the challenges in applying the rules, which are not legally binding but countries that refuse to comply risk being put on a blacklist. Like Fincen, the FATF has recommended crypto asset service providers and regulators worldwide to implement the rules similar to the Travel rule, giving them about a year to do it from June. However, the threshold set by the FATF is $1,000 or 1,000 euros. In October, the FATF revealed that its “assessments will specifically look at how well countries have implemented these measures.” It remains to be seen if Fincen will further update its rules on crypto assets. Fed Flags Stablecoin as Risk to Financial Stability Coinciding with Director Blanco’s statement, the U.S. Federal Reserve issued a report Friday following its recent semi-annual financial stability review. The 60-page report has a dedicated section on stablecoin which the Fed has flagged as a potential risk to the country’s financial system. While acknowledging the benefits of innovation, the Fed believes that “the possibility for a stablecoin payment network to quickly achieve global scale introduces important challenges and risks related to financial stability, monetary policy, safeguards against money laundering and terrorist financing, and consumer and investor protection.” Shortly after Facebook announced its plans for the Libra project, a number of countries raised concerns over the digital currency. Several U.S. lawmakers have tried to shut down the project and some countries have increased their efforts on central bank digital currencies to compete with Libra. Noting that it is not looking to issue its own digital currency at this time, the Fed said that a number of challenges must be resolved before Libra can be launched in the country. What do you think of Fincen strictly enforcing its crypto rules and the Fed flagging stablecoin as a risk to the U.S. financial system? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Fincen, and FATF. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post US to Strictly Enforce Crypto Rules Similar to FATF Guidelines appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  3. Yesterday
  4. The Mimblewimble privacy technology used by cryptocurrencies such as Beam and Grin is broken. That’s the claim of researcher Ivan Bogatyy who has published a report documenting his findings. In it, he reveals how he was able to deanonymize 96% of all Grin transactions just by running a node at a cost of around $60. Bogatyy asserts that the flaw is fatal, effectively breaking Mimblewimble. Also read: IRS Dispels Crypto Tax Confusion Mimblewimble Is ‘Fundamentally Flawed’ “Mimblewimble should no longer be considered a viable alternative to Zcash or Monero when it comes to privacy.” That’s the belief of Ivan Bogatyy after deanonymizing the bulk of all Grin transactions that propagated to his node during a test. A weakness in the Mimblewimble technology, which obfuscates all transactions by default, has long been theorized. Now, Bogatyy professes to have proven this, causing him to recommend that “Mimblewimble should not be relied upon for robust privacy.” Although the attack does not reveal the amounts being sent, it unveils which addresses are sending funds to other addresses, effectively rendering Mimblewimble obsolete, if a patch cannot be found. Moreover, Bogatyy claims had he been running multiple nodes, he would have been able to record an even higher success rate than the 96% he posted. How the Attack Works Cryptocurrencies such as Grin and Beam utilize a number of privacy techniques including Coinjoin, which all transactions are appended to, before being added to a new block, the contents of which cannot be reconstructed at that stage to determine the origin of the inputs and outputs. Bogatyy’s solution is to attack the transactions as they’re broadcast to Coinjoin to be mixed. He explains: Because transactions are continually being created and broadcasted from separate places, if you run a sniffer node that picks up all transactions before cut-through aggregation is finished, it’s trivial to unwind the CoinJoin. Any sniffer node can just observe the network and take note of the original transactions before they get aggregated. Grin’s developers were aware of this attack vector when constructing the cryptocurrency and took measures to thwart it through the use of additional privacy tools including Dandelion. This technology conceals the IP address of transactors and thwarts sniffer nodes that attempt to eavesdrop on network activity. But because Dandelion transactions are automatically aggregated by nodes that receive them, prior to entering Coinjoin, Bogatyy found a way to intercept them at this early stage and link them to their original sender. Through increasing the number of peers his node connects to (the default is eight), the researcher was able to escalate his access, effectively granting him supernode status. This provided unprecedented oversight of Dandelion transactions, and the ability to disaggregate them before they reached Coinjoin. Bogatyy linked 96% of transactions while connected to 200 peers out of a possible 3,000, but points out the ease of connecting to all 3,000 nodes had he spent more on the attack, noting: The same attack works by launching 3000 separate nodes with unique IPs, each only connected to one peer. As long as I’m sniffing all the transaction data and dumping it into a central master database, the attack works just the same. Grin developer David Burkett praised the quality of research in Bogatyy’s report, but added: “none of this is “news”. I’m actually surprised only 96% was traceable. There are a number of ways to help break linkability in Grin, but none are implemented and released yet. As I always say, don’t use Grin if you require privacy – it’s not there yet.” A Sliver of Salvation for Grin Despite making grim reading for Grin and other Mimblewimble coins, Bogatyy’s report does provide a glimmer of light. He is at pains to point out the other qualities that are inherent to Grin, such as its ability to conceal transaction amounts, though this will be of small comfort to users who were relying on Mimblewimble to obfuscate the path of their transactions. The researcher suggests that Mimblewimble could be combined with another privacy protocol that conceals the transaction graph altogether, but that would be a significant undertaking to implement and is not feasible at this time. This suggestion was echoed by Charlie Lee, whose Litecoin project is looking to introduce Mimblewimble through a collaboration with Beam. As Bogatyy concludes, “it’s clear that Mimblewimble on its own is not strong enough to confer robust privacy.” Grin has fallen 10% since the report was published earlier today, and beam 6%. One small crumb of consolation to Grin’s developers is that the exploit could not have been revealed at a better time: the project has just received a 50 BTC donation to fund its development courtesy of an early bitcoin miner. Thanks to this $420,000 war chest, it has the means to fight back in the hope of engineering a solution. Do you think Grin’s developers will be able to find a solution to this problem? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Coincodex. Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry. The post Researcher Breaks Mimblewimble, Deanonymizing 96% of Grin Transactions appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  5. Nexinter launch as the first profit sharing fiat-crypto and custodian exchange in the world. Today, Nexinter, the digital fiat-crypto and custodian exchange, has announced that it will be the first profit sharing digital exchange in the world. 75% of the Nexinter’s profits from any operation or revenue stream on the platform will be returned to the community in a reward system. There will be two components that determine the reward to the community: time and volume. The time reward component will be active in 2020, and the more days an individual is active on the Nexinter Exchange, the higher the reward, thus benefiting early adopters. From 2020, the reward volume will come into effect. 60% of the profits generated will be rewards to users based on their volume pro rata. This will not depend on when they signed up but the volume the individual has generated on the platform throughout the year. After 2020, the whole 75% of the profits will be committed to the Volume Reward Fund as the Time Reward Component ends. Daniele Mensi, CEO of Nexthash Group, commented: ‘This announcement is a huge step forward for us, the market, and the global financial arena. With more institutional and retail investors becoming disenfranchised by the current reward systems, we are introducing a new way of conducting sustainable business whilst rewarding the community, that is the main controbutor of growth. We hope other actors, particularly in the traditional and fintech space, learn from our lead and work together with us to provide an inclusive environment for all. The paradigm shift we are introducing is to reward the community regardless of their performance towards markets, that is a key driver of a brand-new sustainable open growth.” Nexinter has lately launched their fully compliant NIXT growth token on top of bitcoin cash network to drive truly engagement interactions with its community and has lately announced the structuring of digital securities offering for their clients. Contact Email Address d.mensi@nexthash.com Supporting Link https://nexthash.com/ The post Nexinter – Profit Sharing Crypto Exchange appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  6. On November 15, the digital currency trading platform Coinex announced the launch of two Coinex Chain tokens that are anchored to BTC and BCH. The two collateralized coins will be used for trading on the Coinex Dex and will be traded in the name of the original assets respectively. Also read: Bitcoin.com Joins the Coinex Chain Pre-Election Node Process Coinex Chain Launches Tokens Anchored to BTC and BCH During the last few years, stablecoins collateralized by fiat have been extremely popular but decentralized finance (defi) concepts and other types of collateralization techniques have been prominent as well. Projects like Maker and the stablecoin dai alongside the Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) platform show the growth of collateralization. For instance, there is $5 million locked in WBTC, $345.5 million in Maker, and 1.8 million ETH being used as collateral for the 147,876 vaults (CDPs) created. The cryptoconomy’s collateralization effect has been massive and can be seen with projects like Maker and WBTC. Another instance of a collateralized coin is Sideshift.ai’s BTC2, which uses the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) built on the BCH chain. There are only 100 BTC2 tokens but the coin allows users to swap BTC and simultaneously benefit from the low fees on the BCH network. Just like with ETH and BTC, there’s been a rising trend of collateralization techniques recently using the Bitcoin Cash network. Now the cryptocurrency firm Coinex has revealed the launch of two anchored tokens that leverage the Coinex Chain and the Coinex Dex platform. “BTC-Coinexchain and BCH-Coinexchain are tokens based on Coinex Chain anchored with original BTC and BCH at a ratio of 1:1, and their value is supported by the original tokens BTC and BCH reserved in Coinex and accepted by Coinex,” the crypto exchange announced on Friday. “On the Coinex Chain, [the tokens] BTC-Coinexchain and BCH-Coinexchain will be circulated and traded in the name of BTC and BCH respectively.” Coinex added: [The tokens] are meant to ensure the Coinex ecosystem develops in a sustainable way and facilitates the vision of ‘building a world-class encrypted digital asset trading platform’ and the prosperity of the Coinex Chain ecosystem. The trading platform Coinex recently announced the creation of a public decentralized exchange (dex) blockchain that leverages the consensus protocols Tendermint and the Cosmos SDK. The Collateralization Effect Coinex users can obtain the BTC-Coinexchain and BCH-Coinexchain tokens using the company’s traditional exchange. On the Coinex Dex, the two tokens will be paired against the firm’s native exchange token CET. “[If] the user chooses BTC-Coinexchain and BCH-Coinexchain as the public chain when he or she withdraws tokens from the exchange, then the anchor tokens will be remitted,” the Coinex announcement emphasizes. “If the user chooses BTC and BCH as the public chain from the exchange when he or she withdraws tokens from the exchange, then the original tokens will be remitted.” The new Coinex Chain anchored tokens follows the recent launch of its public decentralized exchange (dex). Users can create a wallet for the Coinex Dex and gain access to the trading platform dashboard, issue tokens, and view and vote on proposals and delegations. Signing into the Coinex Dex dashboard shows traders are currently trading CET against BTC using the BTC-Coinexchain token. The Coinex Dex CET/BTC market. The launch of the two new Coinex Chain tokens shows that the crypto collateralization trend continues to grow and it could become a dominant force within the blockchain economy. Many crypto analysts have been observing the collateralization direction, like the partner at Placeholder VC, Chris Burniske. “Long run, I expect assets that aim to be a store-of-value [SoV] (eg, BTC, DCR, ETH) to be much more widely used as collateral than as a means-of-exchange [MoE],” Burniske tweeted on Sunday. “My opinion: BTC should lean into this, just as ETH has,” Burniske remarked further. “The burgeoning ‘collateral economy’ around ETH is amazing to watch, and allows ETH as an SoV to extend its utility far beyond what it could hope for as a pure MoE.” What do you think about Coinex launching two anchored tokens backed by BTC and BCH on the Coinex Chain? What do you think about the growing trend of crypto collateralization? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Coinex Chain, Coinex Dex, and Defi Pulse stats. Are you a developer looking to build on Bitcoin Cash? Head over to our Bitcoin Developer page where you can get Bitcoin Cash developer guides and start using the Bitbox, SLP, and Badger Wallet SDKs. The post Coinex Chain Launches Two Tokens Anchored to BTC and BCH appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  7. Traveling for the Christmas holidays is something anyone would enjoy. Dealing with travel arrangements, however, can be a headache. For crypto enthusiasts, being able to pay for airplane tickets, hotel bookings and car rentals with cryptocurrency is a relief, because it’s convenient and it’s safe. Numerous travel sites accept digital coins these days. Also read: Bitcoin ATM in Miami Airport Raises Questions About Traveling With Crypto How to Pay for Your Trip With Cryptocurrency The travel industry, unlike other, more conservative sectors, has been relatively quick to realize the potential of crypto payments. Over the past few years, travel agencies accepting cryptocurrencies have been growing in number. There’s now about a dozen well-established travel websites that will gladly take your coins to arrange your trip. These accept most of the leading cryptos including bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC). Cheapair is a pioneer in this business as it has been accepting cryptocurrency since 2013. You can now pay for flights and hotel stays using bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), ethereum (ETH), and dash. You can book a flight for just about any destination and reserve a room at 200,000 hotels. Although few of them accept direct crypto payments, Cheapair.com makes it possible for you to use your digital coins to cover the bills. Travala is also a popular option as it offers you the opportunity to book over 2,000,000 hotels and properties in more than 80,000 destinations globally, according to its website. It supports multiple payment methods including major credit cards, Paypal, and a choice of cryptocurrencies. The blockchain-powered booking platform accepts BCH, BTC, ETH, LTC and a number of other coins and tokens. Travala assures customers it will match or beat any competitor’s price through its Best Price Guarantee program. If you need another website that processes payments in multiple digital currencies, you can check Bitcoin.Travel. Use it to search for flights, hotels, rentals and tours in top destinations around the world such as New York, London, Tokyo, and Sydney. The company behind the service is based in Poland and has been in operation since 2011. It currently takes seven cryptos: BCH, BTC, ETH, ETC, LTC, DASH and DOGE, and claims that it transfers your money to the host 24 hours after you check in. Travelbybit is an online platform you can use to book hotels and flights using crypto. You can have the prices displayed in various fiat currencies including the U.S. dollar, euro, Chinese yuan and Indian rupee, while the available payment options also include BTC, LTC and BNB, Binance’s native token. The booking website is powered by the leading digital asset exchange. Greitai is a booking platform specializing in low-cost flights, accommodation, and car rentals. It’s operated by the Vilnius-headquartered Interneto Partneris. The Lithuanian company maintains a network of websites offering services in 21 other countries in Europe. It supports a variety of payment methods depending on the market. In Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Slovakia and Georgia, Greitai takes half a dozen cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, and XRP. More Than Just Tickets and Rooms A travel site that’s available in multiple languages — over 30 — is Destinia. It offers a rich choice of services that go beyond airline tickets, hotel accommodation and car hire. Travelers can buy train tickets, rent apartments, and purchase ski packages as well. The Spain-based agency supports 72 currency options including several cryptocurrencies like bitcoin core, bitcoin cash, ethereum, eos, dash, and litecoin. You can pay with any of these coins but note that the prices are displayed in millibitcoins, mBTC, mBCH and so on. Several travel companies accept crypto through integration with the U.S. payment processor Bitpay. That means you can book flights and pay for hotel stays with bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC). Britain-based Corporate Traveller specializes in business travel management services for companies that need travel arrangements for their employees, as many businesses around the world cannot afford to close for the holidays. Another U.K.-headquartered travel agency, Alternative Airlines, is working to introduce crypto payments for its customers in cooperation with the Swiss payments processor Utrust. The partnership was announced last week. Airtreks is a booking platform that also uses the services of Bitpay. It helps clients who need travel itineraries that involve multi-stop and even round the world trips. Airbaltic, the flag carrier of Latvia, provides a great variety of fiat payment options including bank transfers, credit cards, payment processors like Paypal and Ideal, but it also takes BCH and BTC via Bitpay. Keep in mind that, according to its website, the cryptocurrency option is “only available for Basic tickets for flights booked at least five days ahead of the scheduled departure.” Bitpay is also among the listed payment methods on the German travel site Fluege. Are you planning to pay for your holiday trip with cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is 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 this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Are you looking for a secure way to buy bitcoin online? Start by downloading your free bitcoin wallet from us and then head over to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can easily buy BTC and BCH. The post With Christmas Approaching, Here Are Some Travel Sites Accepting Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  8. The world’s total liabilities continue to grow rapidly as a new report reveals global debt is now over a record $250 trillion. For many investors and market watchers this raises the specter of another potential major economic crisis triggered by a collapse of the global financial system. Despite this, the central bankers who are causing the situation with historically low interest rates remain complacent, with the head of the Fed saying the situation is “pretty sustainable.” Also Read: Low Interest Rates Are Crushing Young People and Fueling Global Riots World’s Total Debt Sets New Record The Institute of International Finance, an association of financial institutions created after the debt crisis of the early 1980s to help the industry with risks management, has recently released a worrying new report. It shows that the world’s total debt surged by $7.5 trillion in the first half 2019, hitting a new record of $250.9 trillion at the end of the period. The report explains that China and the U.S. accounted for over 60% of the increase. Additionally, emerging market debt also hit a new record of $71.4 trillion, equal to 220% of GDP. And with this rapid pace not cooling off global debt is expected to surpass $255 trillion by the end of this year. “With no sign of a slowdown, we expect the global debt load to exceed $255 trillion in 2019 —largely driven by the U.S. and China,” the researchers warned. Many investors and market watchers consider the ever mounting debt to be a serious risk for the global economy. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a report about the systemic risks faced by the global economy in October, highlighting the high level of global debt caused the historically low interest rates and money printing (QE). The IMF explained that “Low interest rates have reduced debt service costs and may have contributed to an increase in sovereign debt. This has made some governments more susceptible to a sudden and sharp tightening in financial conditions.” Moreover, interest rates that can’t go any lower and soaring debts leave governments and central banks with no tools to react to another crisis. “With diminishing scope for further monetary easing in many parts of the world, countries with high levels of government debt (Italy, Lebanon) — as well as those where government debt is growing rapidly (Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and Greece) — may find it harder to turn to fiscal stimulus,” the Institute of International Finance report warned. US Federal Reserve Head Sees Nothing to Worry About In the face of growing fears in the market, and repeated warnings from professional bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and the Institute of International Finance, central bankers appear complacent. The U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, informed lawmakers on Thursday that he sees no financial bubbles or serious risks to the system despite the fact that the debt is growing faster than the American economy. “If you look at today’s economy, there’s nothing that’s really booming now that would want to bust,” Powell told the House Budget Committee. “In other words, it’s a pretty sustainable picture.” This is in sharp contrast to what Powell himself said back in January when he admitted to be very worried about the high levels of U.S debt. “it’s a long-run issue that we definitely need to face, and ultimately, will have no choice but to face,” he explained at the time. One way of understanding this contradiction in the thinking of the Fed head is that he simply hopes the next crisis won’t happen during his shift if he kicks the can down the road long enough. The Institute of International Finance report finds global government debt will surpass $70 trillion in 2019, up from $65.7 trillion in 2018, mainly propelled by the rise in U.S. federal debt. “The big increase in global debt over the past decade — over $70 trillion — has been driven mainly by governments and the non-financial corporate sector (each up by some $27 trillion),” the researchers noted. “For mature markets, the rise has mainly been in general government debt (up $17 trillion to over $52 trillion). However, for emerging markets the bulk of the rise has been in non-financial corporate debt (up $20 trillion to over $30 trillion).” If central bankers now fear that another economic crisis is on the way, but are not willing to admit so publicly to avoid stoking the fire that might consume them, it explains why the establishment is so worried that people will have another system outside their control to escape to such as cryptocurrency. This is the reason they try to label it as a tool for criminals. For those people around the world looking to protect their savings from another global financial crisis, or from their local government defaulting on its mountain of debt turning its fiat money worthless, private digital assets now appear to be the last solution. What do you think about the global debt situation and how it can set the stage for the next financial crisis? 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 Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com. The post Crisis Fears Rise as Global Debt Hits a Record $250 Trillion appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  9. In recent commentary at a New York blockchain conference, IRS Criminal Investigation Chief John Fort said the agency is now turning its focus to crypto ATMs and kiosks, as well as American users of foreign exchanges. While the continued push to regulate crypto is no surprise, the general narrative espoused by U.S. officials that cryptocurrencies are a “threat” is worth examining. Crypto is a tool like any other, and those individuals and institutions refusing to recognize the value of decentralized, permissionless trade may soon find themselves relegated to the scrap heap of history. Also Read: IRS Dispels Crypto Tax Confusion Tale of a Luddite Nation As the pejorative verbal jab “OK boomer” is gaining quick currency on social media these days — designed as an outright dismissal of someone too old or out of touch to understand modern times — perhaps it stands to look at some “boomer governments.” While the “OK boomer” quip is already cliché and a bit cringe-worthy (most who leverage it don’t realize how old baby boomers actually are, or seem cognizant of their own age-related incapacities), it still works as a convenient linguistic dismissal of ineptitude. Exemplifying this antiquated mindset of “if it’s not the old way, we’re not interested,” is the good ol’ US of A. Especially when it comes to crypto. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Law, IRS Criminal Investigation Chief John Fort shared his agency’s renewed focus on crypto ATMs and kiosks, stating: “In other words, if you can walk in, put cash in and get bitcoin out, obviously we’re interested potentially in the person using the kiosk and what the source of the funds is, but also in the operators of the kiosks.” Fort went on to further detail that the agency is targeting folks fleeing to foreign crypto exchanges as a result of U.S. policy, noting: We have concern that as things tighten up here in the U.S., that we are pushing people to foreign exchanges … We have to focus on that as well. While the various alphabet agencies of the U.S. government continue waging war on inanimate objects like guns, cannabis and kiosks, they’re not alone. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also realizes that neutral tools such as cryptocurrencies pose a serious threat to all of us. As he stated back in July: “This is indeed a national security issue.” Mnuchin further elaborated that “Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, and human trafficking.” Wow. One would think we’re dealing with atomic weaponry or something, and not just another form of money. Unfortunately for Mnuchin, his boomer-esque view seems unwilling to consider the vastly superior amounts of terror and criminal activity financed by USD. He’s actually outright denied this even happens. China’s Praise of Blockchain As the U.S. federal government putzes around with half-hearted promotion of its Fednow payment system, a “new round-the-clock real-time payment and settlement service … to support faster payments in the United States,” the Chinese government is steaming ahead, openly promoting blockchain technology and on the cusp of releasing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC) which would effectively be a new, digitized yuan. President Xi Jinping was quoted last month as saying “We must take blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies, clarify the main directions, increase investment, focus on a number of key technologies, and accelerate the development of blockchain and industrial innovation.” These factors seem to stand in stark contrast to U.S. leadership’s sluggish approach to getting with the times. Even as congressional representatives push for the U.S. to research similar tech in digitizing the U.S. dollar, movement is slow. ATM Scandals Highlight Human Nature, Not the Evil of Crypto Fort is not mistaken in pointing out that crypto ATMs can and do facilitate money laundering and criminal activity. Back in July several Madrid-based scammers were busted by Spanish police and Europol for using the machines to fund drug traffickers in Columbia. The mayor of Vancouver, Canada also notes the ATM threat and has been pushing for an outright ban on the over 70 machines currently installed in his city, with Canadian police commenting in June that bitcoin ATMs are “an ideal money-laundering vehicle.” A February, 2019 report from the Vancouver P.D. to the police board noted: Since there are no requirements to register any customer details, it is easy to see how cash can be transferred into Bitcoin and vice versa. A user can also launder an unlimited amount of money using smaller transactions so as not to arouse suspicion, like they would at a regular bank. As licensing requirements for owners of the machines in the U.S. are still in flux, it’s clear to see why officials like the IRS’s Fort are concerned. But where, some are asking, is the concern that ought to surround the U.S. dollar’s predominant role in such activities? After all, the world reserve currency currently and historically financing endless warfare and the unnecessary deaths of millions of human beings, criminal trafficking of unprecedented proportions, and the perpetuation of crippling amounts of debt foisted onto the backs of hardworking people, is the United States dollar. Further, as former U.S. Treasury officer Jennifer Fowler has affirmed, “Although virtual currencies are used for illicit transactions, the volume is small compared to the volume of illicit activity through traditional financial services.” It stands to reason then that maybe it’s corrupt individuals, and not bitcoin or ATMs, that are the problem. Tools in the Hands of Tools Destined for the rubbish heap of embarrassed obsolescence, the anachronism known as legacy finance simply cannot last much longer if humankind is to progress and flourish. While China may praise “blockchain” in speech, and popular politicians issue similar virtue-signaling proclamations, one critical factor remains unaddressed: the future of finance is not simply blockchain-based fiat or heavily regulated decentralized cryptos like bitcoin; the future of finance is private and permissionless money. The state depends on permissionless-ness, privacy and individual, brilliant minds to develop its tools. The internet and Tor, for example, were both initially government projects that relied on the genius and know-how of private innovators and scientists to come about. These projects helped to transfer classified, private information with nobody’s permission save the state. Once any tech (whether from the private or public sector) becomes popular, attempts are made by this same state to suppress functionality. The activist-halted Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) of 2012 for example, would have made it legal to imprison people for up to five years simply for streaming copyrighted content online. Another example is how one cannot trade bitcoin nowadays (at least not freely) without the risk of being caged or extorted by the IRS. Further, encrypted chat applications are also under fire. It seems the folks called government are allowed their privacy in using such tools, but don’t want anyone else to have it. Effective Anarchy Instead of allowing communities of individuals to self-regulate, these “special people” called government retard progress and use new tech for evil purposes such as spying (as revealed by Edward Snowden), killing innocent humans (endless warfare and the war on drugs), and extortion (taxation). Government agencies do this by leveraging their systematic lack of accountability. After all, when you are judge, jury, and executioner, it is difficult to be held accountable. In the interest of equality, this same level of anarchic freedom ought to be afforded to everyday, decent people as well, and not just to state sociopaths. There is much good being done with the tool called bitcoin by everyday people, in spite of all the state’s propaganda. Future generations will view attempts to regulate financial freedom with violent legislation much the same way as chattel slavery is viewed today. In the future, when someone so much as implies a private transaction ought to be reported to the violent and now dead antiquity called “government,” the reply will be as swift and detached a mocking dismissal as is apt for any bigot of modern times: “Okay, boomer. Thanks.” What are your thoughts on state regulation of crypto and the FBI’s new targets? Let us know in the comments section below. Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. 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 information in this Op-ed article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. You can now purchase Bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a Bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here. The post Governments Viewing Crypto as a Threat Will Be Left Behind appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  10. Last week
  11. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has cleared up some confusion about how cryptocurrency transactions are taxed, particularly regarding like-kind exchanges and promotional airdrops. As the tax agency intensifies its enforcement efforts, more people are seeking the best tax software to help them. Also read: Tax Guide: What Crypto Owners Should Know Pre-2018 Like-Kind Exchanges The latest IRS cryptocurrency tax guidance has raised a number of questions. Besides issues surrounding hard forks and airdrops, Bloomberg reported that tax practitioners had questions regarding how cryptocurrency transactions made before 2018 are taxed. This was due to the tax overhaul in December 2017 which enables taxpayers to postpone paying tax on the gain of a sale if the proceeds are reinvested in similar property. Suzanne Sinno is an attorney in the IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting) who worked on the new crypto guidance. She explained at the American Institute of CPAs conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday that taxes on like-kind exchanges of cryptocurrency cannot be deferred, even for transactions that occurred before 2018. She clarified: It is the agency’s position that like-kind exchange principles were never applicable to cryptocurrency. The confusion concerns Section 1031 like-kind exchanges, which beginning Dec. 31, 2017, “applies only to exchanges of real property held for use in a trade or business or for investment, other than real property held primarily for sale,” the IRS website explains. “Before the law change, section 1031 also applied to certain exchanges of personal or intangible property.” Promotional Airdrops Another ambiguous area emerging from the new IRS crypto tax guidance is promotional airdrops where companies give away free coins for marketing purposes. Christopher Wrobel, another attorney in the IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting), confirmed that the revenue ruling does not apply to promotional airdrops, Bloomberg conveyed. He elaborated: The IRS hasn’t yet decided whether such promotional airdrops should be treated as taxable. The tax agency issued the latest cryptocurrency tax guidance in October to supplement its previous guidelines published in 2014. The new guidance states that “When you receive cryptocurrency from an airdrop following a hard fork, you will have ordinary income equal to the fair market value of the new cryptocurrency when it is received … provided you have dominion and control over the cryptocurrency so that you can transfer, sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of the cryptocurrency.” Growing Demand for Good Tax Software The IRS has been ramping up tax enforcement efforts in the crypto space. For example, the agency sent out over 10,000 letters to crypto owners in July reminding them of their tax obligations. Claiming to have new tools at its disposal, the IRS is also collaborating with other countries’ tax authorities to identity crypto tax evaders. The agency’s tax collection efforts have led to increasing demand for good software programs that can help keep track of cryptocurrency transactions, calculate tax liabilities, file returns, and claim deductions. News.Bitcoin.com recently provided a list of useful tax tools for crypto owners. Several tax preparation platforms reported increased numbers of visitors in the days following the IRS guidance and enforcement announcements. Beartax CEO Vamshi Vangapally revealed that traffic to his platform more than quadrupled to 1,300 visitors. Tokentax cofounder Zac McClure saw a similar spike, noting that the news got people interested even for those who were not contacted by the IRS. Lawyer Katya Fisher said a growing number of her clients are using or looking for software to help them meet their crypto tax obligations. “We’re seeing significant growth because the market is demanding it,” she was quoted as saying. “One of the biggest complaints I get from crypto traders is, ‘I have all these trades with different cryptocurrencies — how am I supposed to keep track of it?'” Crypto tracking and reporting platform Cointracking is also seeing higher traffic. The site’s monthly registrations total 10,500 users on average, 27.3% of whom are in the U.S., CEO Dario Kachel detailed, adding that the average monthly page views top 2.4 million, with the U.S. representing 29.1%. However, between July 26 and Aug. 25, registrations nearly tripled to 29,700 users and almost 50% of them are U.S.-based. The site’s page views also jumped to 7 million during that time, with 42.2% coming from the U.S. What do you think of how the IRS taxes crypto transactions? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is 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 this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post IRS Dispels Crypto Tax Confusion appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  12. Digital currency markets have been trending downward in a triangular pattern since the 40% spike that took place on October 25. Following the three-week downtrend, cryptocurrency traders are quietly playing positions while patiently waiting for the next market signals. Also Read: The Bank of Google Wants Your Spending Data Crypto Markets Lose 20% Since the Late October Price Spike During the third week of October, BTC jumped from a low of $7,300 to a high of $10,295. Most crypto markets that day saw a 30-40% rise in value, but since then digital currency prices have slipped. BTC shaved 20% since the last high, dropping to a low of $8,355 on November 15. On Sunday, November 17, crypto prices are a touch higher than the lows on Friday as most assets are up between 0.3% to 2% in the last 24 hours. The overall market valuation for all 3,000+ digital currency markets is roughly $235 billion today. With a market cap of around $154 billion, BTC captures 65% of the cryptoconomy’s entire valuation. Currently, BTC is swapping for $8,553 per coin and there’s a touch more than $2 billion in 24-hour volume. ETH markets are up 1.69% today as each coin is trading for $185 this Sunday. The cryptocurrency has a market valuation of about $20 billion and there’s $1.3 billion in global ETH trades today. Crypto trade volumes have been extremely slim compared to the volumes seen three weeks ago. XRP is trading for $0.26 per coin and the currency is up 1% over the last day. Lastly, tether (USDT) is the fifth-largest market valuation and the stablecoin is capturing more than two thirds of trades with nearly every digital asset today. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action Bitcoin cash (BCH) is up today more than 1% as each BCH is swapping for $267. BCH has a market cap of around $4.86 billion and $367 million in global trade volume. BCH is the sixth most traded crypto today above XRP and below EOS. USDT is capturing 52% of today’s BCH swaps while BTC commands roughly 24%. This is followed by USD (10.3%), ETH (9.3%), KRW (2.4%), JPY (0.42%), and EUR (0.39%). On Saturday, BCH saw an upside lift to the $274 range but there is major resistance beyond that region. If BCH fails to break upper resistance then the downward trend may continue to play out. At press time there is significant foundational support between $250-265 per BCH. Are Crypto Markets Still Bearish? Crypto analysts everywhere are wondering whether markets are bearish or bullish since the big upswing three weeks ago. Since slowly losing a decent chunk of those gains, digital currency market onlookers and spectators are busy contemplating the next big moves. The CEO of Bitbull Capital, Joe DiPasquale, explained this week that a BTC price “drop to $8,000 is a real possibility.” “[BTC] is trading below the 50-day moving average of $8,600, which was acting as support throughout last week,” DiPasquale added. Another analyst from the company Signal Profits, Jacob Canfield, remarked about the consolidation in a similar fashion. “One thing is painfully clear,” Canfield stressed. “We are definitely in a downtrend.” Although, Nem Ventures advisor Nick Pelecanos has seen some different crypto market signals. “Currently Bitcoin appears to be struggling to stay above its support, however, it is showing some bullish divergences so I’d expect a rally in the short term,” Pelecanos noted. BTC Needs to Jump 1,670% for an ETF According to Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Bitcoin perma-bull and Fundstrat Global Advisors cofounder Tom Lee told Bloomberg this week that BTC needs to surpass $150,000 per coin in order for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) to come to fruition in the U.S. Essentially that means BTC has to gain more than 1,670% to meet Lee’s ETF standards. At a conference in Singapore, Lee told the crowd that “demand for an ETF is monstrous” and “The SEC needs to punt the ETF until crypto becomes bigger.” Still, until the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does approve a regulated crypto ETF, “institutions aren’t going to touch crypto,” Lee stressed. “If you’re involved in crypto, the SEC can look like an obstacle,” the Fundstrat cofounder said. “They’re establishing protections for individuals and right now it’s not convenient for the industry, but if the SEC is someone that people trust to protect them, that’s how you get the mainstream willing to get involved in crypto.” Long Term Uptrend Still Intact Even though market prices have been sliding, a few crypto analysts and traders believe the overall long-term crypto uptrend is still in motion. On November 15, the CIO of Blockforce Capital shared a report from the research firm Delphi Digital which galvanized this opinion. “Optimism following bitcoin’s late October rally appears to be fading as investors and traders alike search for a short-term catalyst to push the crypto market higher,” Delphi Digital’s report notes. “Bitcoin broke below its 200-day moving average earlier this month on its drop back below $9,000, held steady for most of the week before dipping below its 50-day equivalent — a key support level for BTC in the near term — Short-term sentiment gauges have rolled over, the longer-term uptrend still remains intact.” Lower Prices and Lackluster Volumes Shake Traders While traders patiently wait for more signs to make money off short-term moves, optimism is still bright in regard to the long-term. Not long ago, digital currency markets saw massive volume surges but crypto trade volumes today pale in comparison. Back then people thought that the high volumes and better prices would bring the bull trend around again, but lackluster volumes and descending prices currently don’t support those predictions. Where do you see the cryptocurrency markets heading from here? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Disclaimer: Price articles and market updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.” Cryptocurrency prices referenced in this article were recorded at 12:35 p.m. EST. Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, Bitcoin.com Markets, Getty, Coinlib.io, Wiki Commons, and Pixabay. Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section. You can also enjoy the easiest way to buy Bitcoin online with us. Download your free Bitcoin wallet and head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely. The post Market Update: Crypto Prices Improve After 3-Week Downtrend appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  13. A nascent industry utilizing flared gas to power bitcoin mining units has been developing over the past year or so, in symbiosis with the oil and gas industry in North America. Companies providing services in this promising niche continue to install mobile datacenters at oil wells in the U.S. and Canada, helping producers to save on costs and optimize operations while minting digital coins. Also read: China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List Crypto Mining Provides Alternative to Gas Flaring Natural gas obtained during oil extraction is a byproduct well operators working at remote sites have to get rid of at their own expense. It is often burned into the atmosphere as its transportation to remote consumers isn’t cost-effective, if possible at all. Direct venting is not always possible or is limited as the raw gas consists of many harmful compounds and producers have to comply with strict environmental regulations. Several companies are now offering solutions to oil and gas producers in the United States and its northern neighbor that solve the problem with associated gas in an elegant way, thanks to Bitcoin. They install mobile units equipped with gas-electric generators at oil wells. The excess fuel is used to produce electricity to power the cryptocurrency mining hardware typically installed in modified shipping containers that are easily transported. Upstream Data, a Canadian company we told you about this summer, is one of the pioneers in the market. It allows oil companies to buy or rent modular datacenters that can be installed at production facilities venting or flaring natural gas. Its Ohmm units are assembled with varying capacities in terms of mining power but they all utilize gas in a very efficient way. Using the free energy to mint digital coins ensures drilling companies receive much higher income from the gas than any market price would return. Last time, we spoke with Upstream Data founder and CEO Stephen Barbour right after he announced the commissioning of a new Ohmm datacenter in the U.S. state of Texas. He was pretty excited with the expansion of his company’s services. This past Friday Upstream Data tweeted that three of its new Ohmm Mini, 50 kW bitcoin mining datacenters had been recently commissioned in the Canadian province of Alberta: These beauties conserve the natural gas that would have otherwise been vented, which allowed the producer to turn on the well and increase oil production. Helping the Oil Industry Meet Gas Venting Regulations Upstream Data has been developing its creative solutions since 2017, providing an answer to persistent economic and environmental problems that have been dogging the oil industry for decades. Its datacenters need very little infrastructure to utilize the stranded gas; basically only a fuel source and internet connection. They are designed to scale to the available quantity of natural gas and can be operated remotely. Upstream’s projects prove that energy, which would otherwise be wasted, can be harnessed to mine bitcoin. Ohmm datacenter in Alberta. The flare stack in the background was decommissioned after the waste gas was conserved. Stephen Barbour told news.Bitcoin.com that the Alberta producer who installed the Ohmm Mini units had a multi-well production facility closed in due to high venting. Regulations in the province do not allow oil companies to continue production if the vented natural gas volume exceeds a certain limit of 500 m3/day. As a result, the well pad was shut in for approximately a year as the operator had no other way to conserve the vent gas. Building a pipeline network would be too expensive, while flaring is not an option in this case because of the facility’s proximity to local residents, the CEO explained. The company supplied the three Ohmm Minis powered by gas gensets as part of its “Conservation as a Service” offer to oil and gas businesses. The bitcoin mining datacenters reduced the total vent rate to less than 500 m3/day, allowing the producer to start up the well and begin extraction again. Each Mini is rated for 50 kW, which is enough load to conserve 450 to 500 cubic meters or 18,000 cubic feet of stranded gas daily and is equipped with Antminer S9 mining rigs. The modular units can be easily redeployed to other sites where gas rates are depleting. Besides the savings and profits from their main activity, oil producers can also earn some additional income in the form of digital cash. Due to this year’s crypto market recovery, bitcoin mining has returned to profitability. What’s more, anyone can start mining, even without having the necessary equipment at their disposal, thanks to services offered by platforms like the Bitcoin.com Pool. Do you expect bitcoin mining at oil wells to continue to grow as an industry providing a solution to the gas venting problem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Upstream Data. Did you know you can earn BTC and BCH through Bitcoin Mining? If you already own hardware, connect it to our powerful Bitcoin mining pool. If not, you can easily get started through one of our flexible Bitcoin cloud mining contracts. The post Canadian Company Commissions 3 Bitcoin Mining Units to Restart Oil Well appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  14. Cryptocurrency traders on Bisq are using Revolut to buy and sell bitcoin without the need for KYC/AML. The decentralized, peer-to-peer marketplace allows anyone to buy or sell cryptocurrency via a range of payment processors and traditional banking services. With Localbitcoins now a twisted nightmare of KYC, privacy-conscious traders have few platforms to which they can turn. But in Bisq, they appear to have found a solution of sorts. Also read: The Bank of Google Wants Your Spending Data Trading Bitcoin Without the Awkward Questions Unlike services such as Localbitcoins or buy.Bitcoin.com which work in-browser, Bisq requires users to first download the application before buying and selling crypto, with Windows, Mac and Linux systems all supported. A popular method of purchasing BTC on Bisq (formerly Bitsquare) is with Revolut, with many users opting for the virtual banking service on account of its speed and convenience. Although quick and easy at the initial point of use, there are potential pitfalls to relying on Revolut. As early as last year, Bisq issued a warning regarding the service and its suitability for avoiding unwanted attention. As the Bisq twitter account stated: “Payment methods based on traditional finance systems are going to require KYC at some level, sooner or later. Revolut is not special in this regard.” It’s not just KYC/AML which poses problems either: a number of users have complained that after repeated transactions on Bisq, Revolut has suspended their accounts, leading to weeks of uncertainty and added complications. Revolut itself, it should be noted, requires KYC in order to obtain an account, and is not an anonymous or pseudonymous service. most obvious with revolut, there are countless reports of accounts being blocked following a bisq transaction. Our guess is the messages in the transactions doesn't seem normal (who would send some random string as a message?) and some accounts take weeks to get unblocked — nodl (@nodl_it) March 27, 2019 A Little Privacy Please Since the onboarding process at centralized exchanges and the obligatory intrusion of KYC remains a bone of contention for many, bitcoiners continue to seek out dependable decentralized alternatives. The development team behind Bisq describe it as “pure P2P infrastructure” built on the Tor network and using local wallets with no custodial accounts. Bisq does not require the user to provide a name, email ID, or verification, so it ticks all the boxes for anyone who takes their privacy seriously. The decentralized exchange also offers a large number of fiat currencies with which users can onboard including the US dollar, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Euro, British pound and Russian rouble. That said, for all its benefits, there are still limitations to using the decentralized exchange, including higher spot prices, which means the platform won’t suit everyone. Perhaps one of the bigger issues at this time is liquidity, although Bisq is hardly the only decentralized exchange that has struggled in this regard. Trade volumes remain relatively low and the amount of bitcoin a new user can purchase is initially limited to just 0.01 BTC. This increases over time, with accounts maturing after 60 days, but some payment methods retain restrictions in any case. Bank-based payments are limited to 0.25 BTC for instance, while Perfectmoney and Alipay allow purchases of 1 BTC. It’s clear that Bisq are extremely safety conscious and mistrust many of the most popular fiat payment processors, especially those that offer chargeback facilities. Part of their efforts to mitigate ongoing risks include a deposit and arbitration system which adds another layer of security for traders. Options for traders who have tired of Localbitcoins.com and its kowtowing to onerous compliance regulations are thin on the ground, but there is an outlet for bitcoin cash proponents. Local.Bitcoin.com enables anonymous P2P transactions, providing a private way to buy and sell bitcoin cash. Between it and Bisq, there is at least a mechanism for exercising one’s right to purchase cryptocurrency without enduring the data-breach-waiting-to-happen that is KYC. What other pro-privacy exchanges do you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry. The post Bitcoin Traders Are Finding Creative Ways to Avoid KYC appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  15. This week members of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community donated funds to Eatbch South Sudan volunteer Thiong Deng so he could spread the word about the benefits of BCH at the Young African Leaders Summit. According to Deng, his journey to Uganda and Ghana has been fully funded which includes flight, hotel, visa costs, and a ticket to the event. Also Read: The Bank of Google Wants Your Spending Data Eatbch South Sudan Volunteer Heads to the Young African Leaders Summit Eatbch is easily recognized as the Bitcoin Cash community’s most favorite charity because the nonprofit organization has been using BCH to help people throughout Venezuela and South Sudan. People can follow Eatbch on Twitter and see how the “peer-to-peer electronic cash-to-food system” feeds families and children in need regularly. Just recently, the nonprofit published a new website called eatbch.org that shows the tremendous work being done in South Sudan and Venezuela. Moreover, the website’s visitors can donate bitcoin cash directly to the effort so people can help others experiencing economic hardships and difficult times. Last September, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Eatbch South Sudan leader Emmanuel Lobijo, who was invited to attend the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit. Lobijo joined Greta Thunberg and many other activists at the UN’s event in New York. The Eatbch South Sudan leader explained how BCH can “bridge access to the world” and how the charitable organization is using bitcoin cash to fight water wars, drought, and famine in the African country. This week members of the BCH community funded Eatbch South Sudan volunteer Thiong Micheal Deng’s trip so he could attend the Young African Leaders Summit in Ghana. On November 13 and 14, BCH proponents on Twitter and Reddit asked the community to help fund Deng’s trip. “Can we get Thiong, an Eatbch South Sudan representative to the Young African Leaders Summit? He still needs $800 dollars of funding,” one Reddit post asked. Deng disclosed all the anticipated expenses for the trip to the Young African Leaders Summit and thanked the community for the “generous donations” but he still had $835 left to raise. BCH Community Funds Travel Expenses to Ghana On Twitter, software engineer Josh Ellithorpe (who designed the eatbch.org website) also asked BCH supporters to help fund Deng’s travels. “This is the last day to get Thiong (an Eatbch South Sudan representative) to the Young African Leaders Summit,” Ellithorpe tweeted. “Let’s support him in spreading the word about Bitcoin Cash and the excellent work of Eatbch.” After a few BCH proponents made requests to the community, Deng managed to get the funds needed to embark on the trip. “Thanks, Bitcoin cash community,” Deng said. “[You] have set up my journey to Uganda — 18-hour bus drive — then flight to Ghana for the conference. BCH you made it happen — thanks for the love.” The BCH community members who helped fund the trip and the work being done by Eatbch at large demonstrates how passionate BCH proponents are about peer-to-peer cash. The work Eatbch does each and every day showcases how decentralized, borderless cryptocurrencies can truly revolutionize the global economy. What do you think about the BCH community funding Thiong Deng’s trip? What do you think about the nonprofit Eatbch’s efforts and activism in Venezuela and South Sudan? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, eatbch.org, and Twitter. Do you need a reliable Bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy Bitcoin with a credit card. The post Bitcoin Cash Community Funds Eatbch Trip to Ghana appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  16. The multinational technology giant Google has plans to get into the banking industry according to multiple reports that reveal the firm intends to work with Stanford Federal Credit Union and Citigroup. However, analysts assert that Google is not jumping into banking for revenue purposes and the move is simply an acquisition of more customer data. Also Read: Banks Stopped Walmart Bank – Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto Google Bank One of the ‘Big Four’ technology companies, Google LLC, plans to launch checking accounts through a partnership with Citigroup, Stanford Federal Credit Union, and a number of other financial partners. The secret project has a code name called ‘Cache,’ according to sources stemming from the Wall Street Journal. However, people using the Google-backed checking accounts might not know the internet-related services company is behind the financial products. The checking accounts will still feature branding from the likes of financial incumbents such as Citibank and Google will only work behind the scenes. Google executive Caesar Sengupta explained: Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system — It may be the slightly longer path, but it’s more sustainable. The move by Google follows the recent partnership between Apple and Goldman Sachs that produced the Apple Card product. Many speculators believe Google is planning to enter the fray of banking in order to stay competitive with the other three heavyweights Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. In a note to clients this week, Wells Fargo’s analyst Brian Fitzgerald said that Google is more interested in obtaining data. “Google is likely entering into these partnerships to increase its insights into consumer purchase behavior and consumer finances more broadly,” Fitzgerald said. At the moment, a lot of the giant tech firms are laser-focused on financial technology and Facebook’s Calibra project is a testament to the trend. “Google is primarily focused on data to feed its core ad business, and less so on acting as a full-fledged bank,” CB Insights senior intelligence analyst Arieh Levi remarked. Another Extension of Surveillance Capitalism Since the news went viral the ‘Bank of Google’ discussion has a lot of people wondering if Google will be privy to everyone’s finance behavior. Combing personal data like spending habits is just another extension of surveillance capitalism in the opinion of many skeptics. But Google believes the strategy is good for the internet in general. “If we can help more people do more stuff in a digital way online, it’s good for the internet and good for us,” Sengupta stressed to the Wall Street Journal. “Of course they plan to leave the nitty-gritty details to the traditional finance folks. All Google is really interested in is your financial data and for that I’m sure they’ll be willing to slap a kickass GUI and possibly a bit of value add as far as fees and rates are concerned,” Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at Etoro explained in a note to investors about Google announcing “intentions to get deeper into financial services.” ”Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, they all just want to be like Tencent who’s been dominating Chinese payments for nearly a decade. In fact, the earnings report from Tencent today seemed to contain just as much valuable insight into the Chinese consumer than it did the actual company,” Greenspan added. Many people believe massive tech firms like Apple and Google becoming financial behemoths is not out of the question, despite the kickback these companies receive from governments. However, the retail giant Walmart had its banking intentions stopped by financial institutions lobbying politicians. A few years later, Walmart is now exploring cryptocurrency concepts. To digital currency advocates, the Google checking account news is just one more sign of the surveillance state growing larger, which in turn could push people toward decentralized cryptocurrencies. What do you think about Google’s ambitions toward being a bank? Do you think with big tech companies like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Google getting into financial services will drive more people toward decentralized cryptocurrencies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, The Intercept, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Google Logo, Fair Use. Do you want to dig deeper into Bitcoin? Explore past and present cryptocurrency prices through our Bitcoin Markets tool and head to our Blockchain Explorer to view specific transactions, addresses, and blocks. The post The Bank of Google Wants Your Spending Data appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  17. For various reasons, a growing number of nations are experiencing the rapid development of cashless society. Paper money may become extinct in some countries in the not-so-distant future. Prompted by the spread of private and decentralized cryptocurrencies and the threat of losing control over their monetary policies, more and more governments are now working to create central bank issued digital currencies to replace banknotes and coins. China has joined the campaign against cash, although not at the expense of centralized monetary power. Also read: Japan Pushes Cashless Agenda by Rewarding Non-Cash Payments After Tax Hike China to Trial ‘Large-Scale Cash Management’ In a move that many consider part of Beijing’s plans to introduce a digital version of the national fiat, the yuan, the People’s Bank of China (PBOS) has revealed plans to implement pilot programs aimed at exerting greater control over cash transactions. According to a notice issued by the central bank, the trials will be conducted in three Chinese regions, the provinces of Hebei and Zhejiang and Shenzhen City, within the next two years. In a report addressing fears that the initiative will restrict public access to cash, the state-run news agency Xinhua explained that despite the rapid development of non-cash payment platforms in recent years, the total amount of cash in circulation has remained at a stable level while large-volume cash transactions have in fact continued to grow. Besides, these have been concentrating in specific areas, groups of people and periods, arguably lowering the overall efficiency of cash flow. PBOS shares its own reasons to implement the new control mechanism. Large amounts of cash are widely used in China, the bank points out, and they are exploited in criminal activities such as corruption, tax evasion and money laundering. The regulator will impose stricter supervision and introduce reporting requirements for cash operations over certain thresholds – 500,000 yuan (approx. $70,000) for public accounts, and for private accounts – 100,000 yuan in Hebei province, 300,000 yuan in Zhejiang province, and 200,000 yuan in Shenzhen. “Under the requirements of large-scale cash management, banks need to deepen their understanding of current customers, strengthen risk warning and information communication for customers who are prone to generate large cash transactions, and guide them to use non-cash payment tools,” the Chinese central bank demands. It also proposes the establishment of a special registration system for large cash withdrawals, emphasizing that as long as a bank customer fulfills their obligations under the applicable rules, access to large sums of cash will not be restricted. Other developed countries have already adopted regulations to increase control over cash flows and China is now trying catch up. After the new system is tested in the three regions, it is expected to form the basis of a long-term large-scale cash management mechanism. According to the Xinhua report, Beijing’s main motive is to “promote the concept of rational use of cash.” But the new focus on increased oversight over cash transactions may also be related to the plan to issue a digital yuan, one of the main purposes of which is to exert greater control over financial transactions. Is This the End of Paper Cash? In the digital age, a walk away from cash sounds like a natural development. There is now a race between state actors, corporations, and communities to issue digital currencies that will replace paper notes and metal coins. There’s a lot of politics, geopolitics, macro- and microeconomics involved in the deepening competition to build the cashless society. If you visit a country like Sweden, you’ll realize it has already been created to a large extent. You’ll need a mobile app or a bank card far more often than banknotes to pay in stores. Consumer transactions with non-cash methods reach almost 60%. In fact, a number of bank branches in the country don’t accept or process cash deposits and withdrawals. Cash is disappearing in the Nordic nation, an article published recently by the Guardian noted. The piece describes Britain’s own rapid departure from paper money as well. The amount of Swedish cash in circulation has dropped from 80 billion to 58 billion kronor in the last four years, a reduction of over 27%. During the same period, ATM withdrawals fell by more than half. Meanwhile, in the U.K. cash transactions declined by over 50% between 2008 and 2018. Even Japan, where almost 80% of people use cash every day, is now promoting cashless payments, as news.Bitcoin.com reported this week. But not all types of cashless relations are in the best interest of states and governments are starting to realize that. Paper money has certain advantages for ordinary people, like better privacy for the holder, that governments don’t mind getting rid of, which to a large extent explains the initial push to create cashless societies. A banknote is a contract in ink and paper between the issuer, a central bank, and the bearer, a citizen or a resident. In modern cashless societies these contracts are replaced by contracts between people and companies, on the one hand, and third parties such as commercial banks and payment processors, on the other. When bank branches and stores in Sweden reject government issued bills that’s is a problem for the Swedish state and its sovereignty over money. The threat is even greater in the case with currencies issued by corporations such as Facebook or Alipay, for example, where government money will not be part of the contract at all. It’s not surprising then that a growing number of states are trying to create their own digital currencies. Sweden’s Riksbank has been working on an e-krona for some time, which will be a central bank digital currency (CBDC). While the Bank of England has previously stated it is not planning to issue one, a couple of months ago Governor Mark Carney suggested that a network of CBDCs could unite to create a new “Synthetic Hegemonic Currency”. This sounds realistic as according to a study conducted by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), 70% of 63 polled central banks are exploring the issue of CBDCs. Now as China is vowing to become the first nation with a digital fiat, pressure has been mounting on the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to create a digital dollar and a digital euro. While paper notes and metal coins still have an appeal because of their physical qualities, since the invention of fiat money part of the subject of the contract they represent has been lost. Sterling in the name of the British currency doesn’t refer to a silver alloy anymore and this isn’t going to change with the introduction of its digital version. Money based on other contracts, such as with corporate entities and third parties, certainly comes with many disclaimers as well. That creates a real window of opportunity for permissionless decentralized cryptocurrencies, now when societies are going cashless, and a recently conducted survey showed that almost a tenth of Chinese students already own crypto. To use digital cash in financial interactions with others, you neither need a contract, nor a third party. What’s your prediction about the outcome of the race between various digital currencies to replace paper money? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below. Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. 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 information in this Op-ed article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Global Trend Against Cash Intensifies as China Joins the Squeeze appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  18. The largest bank in Canada by market capitalization, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), is reportedly opening a cryptocurrency exchange. Patents have been discovered that reveal some of the technology the RBC may implement, which could be used to bring digital currency trading to the bank’s 16 million clients. Also read: Bankers Start to Recognize Bitcoin’s Role in Financial Evolution The Royal Bank of Canada May Launch a Crypto Exchange A report stemming from the publication The Logic claims that the RBC is currently exploring the construction of a digital currency trading platform. Columnist Zane Schwartz wrote on November 11 that the bank will give customers the ability to invest and trade cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH. The report reveals RBC is interested in creating funds with a basket of digital currencies as well. “The bank is also looking into letting customers open bank accounts containing cryptocurrency,” Schwartz wrote. If the crypto trading platform comes to fruition then the Canadian bank will be the first financial institution in the country to offer such services. At the last World Economic Forum in Davos, the Royal Bank of Canada’s CEO, David McKay, told the public that the financial institution aims to leverage distributed ledger technology. “We’re experimenting with taking an asset and breaking it into smaller pieces and registering that in a decentralised register called blockchain. You can take an asset or even a company and create a unit on a decentralised blockchain and then sell that into the marketplace,” McKay said during a panel discussion. Speaking with Schwartz, RBC spokesperson Jean Francois Thibault explained that the Canadian financial institution “like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected.” Thibault would not confirm to Schwartz whether or not the RBC would be constructing a new trading platform for cryptocurrencies. #RBC, the largest Canadian bank that banned its clients from buying #Bitcoin, could now become the first bank in the country to launch a #cryptocurrency exchange. Nice!#BTC #altcoins — Weiss Crypto Ratings (@WeissCrypto) November 12, 2019 RBC’s Wealth Management Says the Possibilities of Cryptocurrencies Are Undeniable Four new patents have been found that pertain to a crypto exchange, and RBC has roughly 27 blockchain-based patents in its portfolio. “In some situations, cryptographic asset transactions may take time to be confirmed, and/or may not be compatible or supported by merchant systems or point-of-sale devices,” an RBC trading platform patent states. “To individual users, managing cryptographic keys and transacting with different cryptographic assets can be a challenge,” the patent further emphasizes. A while back, RBC’s wealth management service published a report outlining the benefits and risks tethered to digital currencies. As early as 2015, the RBC expressed interest in blockchain and McKay explained that the technology was a “quantum innovation.” “It is a brand-new technology, and what do we really know about it? How cyber-secure is it? We are going to learn a lot more about it,” McKay told the publication American Banker. “Given what is at stake, it is not something you can rush to market with and fix as you go. You want it to work.” Royal Bank of Canada patent CA 3038757: A system and method for handling crypto-asset transactions. Alongside this, RBC’s wealth management arm also published a report called “Bitcoin and beyond: Five things to know about cryptocurrency.” The RBC study notes there are plenty of risks associated with decentralized blockchain assets, but in the long run “the possibilities of cryptocurrencies are undeniable.” What do you think about the Royal Bank of Canada possibly building a cryptocurrency trading platform for customers? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, RBC, Wiki Commons, and Fair Use. How could our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool help you? Use the handy Bitcoin address search bar to track down transactions on both the BCH and BTC blockchain and, for even more industry insights, visit our in-depth Bitcoin Charts. The post Royal Bank of Canada Patents Point to Crypto Exchange Launch appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  19. You wouldn’t think there was much to improve about cryptocurrency wallets. Save for a few UX improvements here and there, what’s to reinvent? A surprising amount, it turns out. This year has seen a resurgence in wallet investment and innovation, with VCs throwing funds at startups intent on reinventing the humble wallet. Also read: Bitcoin.com Wallet App Marks Over Five Million Wallets Created There’s More Than One Way to Make a Wallet At its core, a cryptocurrency wallet is simply software for aggregating public keys you possess and signing transactions with their corresponding private keys. The software is merely the lipstick applied to make this process more pleasurable. And yet, much like lipstick, wallets come in many colors and flavors, with the industry conjuring new variants every year, each promising to be more secure, seamless, feature-rich and long-lasting than its predecessor. 2019 has witnessed something of a renaissance in wallet development, spawning a diverse array of hardware and software solutions and attracting serious investment. This week, Bitski revealed it had secured $1.8 million in seed funding from VCs including Galaxy Digital and Coinbase Ventures. Its wallet, it promises, is the first to be designed for mainstream adoption, by eliminating the normal barriers to setup. Bitski’s solution requires only an email address and password, and is designed to be integrated into applications by developers. It’s an ETH-only wallet, and Bitski have yet to find a way for users to fund their accounts within the wallet without using a third party. In other words, there’s work to be done in realizing the startup’s goal of achieving mainstream adoption, but that’s where the seed funding will come into play. Next year, its much-vaunted wallet should look much more consumer-ready. The Evolution of Mobile Wallets In terms of mobile wallet development, the dominant trend this year has been multicoinery: existing wallets broadening the number of chains and coins they accommodate. Coin Wallet, for example, has expanded its range of supported cryptocurrencies, which now include BCH, BNB, DASH, and DOGE, as well as ERC20 tokens. A similar trend can be seen with mobile wallets such as the Binance-owned Trust Wallet and Exodus, which also offers a popular desktop client and provides Trezor integration. While some wallet developers have been intent on reinventing the wheel, and introducing as many features as possible, others have taken the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. This includes the Bitcoin.com Wallet which has just surpassed 5 million downloads. Rather than succumb to multicoinery, the wallet only supports BCH and BTC, but development has not been at a standstill; rather, it’s focused on enhancing the wallet’s core functionality, including adding the ability to purchase bitcoin with credit card. There are also plans to introduce support for SLP tokens in the near future, so that they can be managed directly within the wallet. Multisig Wallets Keep Multiplying Another subset of wallet design that’s seen significant attention this year is multisig, primarily for BTC. The ability to enable X-of-Y multi-signature spending has been available with bitcoin for years, but it’s not been easy for laypersons to set up and manage, leading to low adoption of multisig. As wallet developers have turned their attention to improving the user-friendliness and speed of setup for multisig wallets, however, significant leaps have been made. Casa Casa has expanded its suite of multisig services to include a 3-of-6 known as Casa Covenant that serves as a digital inheritance tool. The company explains: “This [sixth] key is activated after clients start the inheritance planning process with Casa, and it’s held by a client’s estate lawyer. In a scenario where the client passes away, the following keys can be used for fund recovery: Estate lawyer key. Casa Recovery Key.Safety Deposit Box Key.” A more versatile bitcoin multisig is being developed by Unchained Capital. Caravan is a noncustodial multisig which is open source and can be configured to allow multiple users to control a single wallet address. Alternatively, a single user can retain all of the keys required to access the wallet and safely store them in separate places. Caravan can integrate with existing hardware and software wallets, bringing multisig functionality to bitcoiners without the need to abandon their existing wallet solutions. With new hardware wallets being regularly released, and existing stalwarts such as Coldcard being revamped, the wallet development arms race is showing no signs of abating. Better custody options for cryptocurrency users, making it easier to store, manage, and secure funds, is vital in achieving greater ownership of digital assets and reducing reliance on third parties. Which cryptocurrency wallets do you recommend and why? Let us know in the comments section below. Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is 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 this article. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry. The post The Crypto Companies Reinventing the Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  20. The 2019 National Proceeds of Crime Conference (NPOCC) held in Brisbane, Australia from November 13-15 addressed “Globalisation and Digitisation of the Criminal Economy,” and featured 200+ delegates hearing from representatives of organizations such as the Australian Federal Police, Singapore and New Zealand police, United States Department of Justice, and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. The conference set out to address how to better seize criminal profits and face challenges to law enforcement presented by the darknet and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Also Read: FBI Says Bitcoin Concern Is Getting ‘Bigger and Bigger’ Addressing Crypto Crime Justine Gough, Acting Assistant Commissioner for the Australian Federal Police (AFP), stated that “Advances in technology, like cryptocurrency and encrypted communications have changed the way criminals acquire and hide their assets” and that “Seizing and removing the profits of crime is one of the most effective capabilities we have in impacting organised criminal networks.” The international conference, which aimed to address such topics as “the Darknet, trends in money laundering, collaboration in investigations; evidence collection in an age of cloud-based data and the monetisation of cybercrime” focused on how relevant organizations respond to crime in an age where cryptography and digital assets like bitcoin have enabled greater efficiency in skirting law enforcement. The push echoes recent sentiment from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) whose director Christopher Wray claimed problems presented by such technologies are getting “bigger and bigger.” Money Laundering and the Darknet Since the takedown of infamous darknet marketplace Silk Road in 2013, bitcoin and crypto have been in the mainstream media spotlight, and in the sights of law enforcement and financial regulators worldwide when it comes to money laundering and illegal activities. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has claimed that bitcoin and crypto are a “risk to the financial system” while pushing back against the idea that the world reserve U.S. dollar is used comparably. “I don’t think it’s been successfully done with cash. I’ll push back on that. We’re going to make sure that bitcoin doesn’t become the equivalent of Swiss-numbered bank accounts,” Mnuchin stated in July. AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Gough says of the NPOCC: We are honoured to have representatives from law enforcement, government departments and private enterprise … share their insights and to collaborate on how we respond to emerging technologies like cryptocurrency. The response has already been swift and formidable. From numerous arrests of those transacting and trading in crypto — both criminal and non-criminal elements alike — to powerful tax agencies like the IRS issuing thousands of warning letters to potential crypto non-filers and money launderers, it’s clear law enforcement worldwide means business. The question of what kind of similar enterprise in trafficking, money laundering and tax evasion is being done with the almighty USD remains noticeably off the table, however. Worldwide Enforcement Efforts It will be interesting to hear the conclusions of this week’s Brisbane conference, and to see what developments proceed from the talks on monetization of cybercrime via crypto. Already global policymakers and joint enforcement initiatives such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) are working to broaden the intelligence and enforcement dragnet for targeting unauthorized and permissionless financial activity worldwide. As the NPOCC’s problematic “Digitisation of the Criminal Economy” continues, the crypto space can expect even more scrutiny and heightened KYC/AML compliance measures in 2020. What are your thoughts on the NPOCC conference? Let us know in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post International Law Enforcement Conference Addresses Crypto and the ‘Criminal Economy’ appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  21. The Bitcoin Cash network has successfully upgraded the latest ruleset changes to the protocol. The BCH blockchain now features the enforcement of minimal pushdata in script which will make a majority of BCH network transactions non-malleable. Moreover, as an extension to last May’s Schnorr upgrade, the opcode OP_Checkmultisig(verify) will now feature Schnorr signature support. Also Read: QE Infinity: 37 Central Banks Participate in Stimulus and Easing Practices Bitcoin Cash Successfully Removes the Final BIP62 Malleability Vector and Extends Schnorr Signatures Every six months the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network upgrades in order to galvanize the BCH roadmap that aims to scale peer-to-peer electronic cash to the masses. BCH protocol developers strive to provide high-level technical direction with every completed upgrade. So far, software engineers have raised the block size to 32MB, re-enabled the Satoshi opcodes, implemented OP_Checkdatasig, added Canonical Transaction Ordering (CTOR), and the foundations of Schnorr signature support. Bitcoin Cash Network Upgrade 2019-11-15: The new BCH network rules have been activated. Now waiting for the first block (height 609136) to be mined.#BCHForEveryone #KeepCalmAndP2P — bch 'make Bitcoin cash again' protocol upgrade (@btcfork) November 15, 2019 There are 20 platform and protocol developments completed according to statistics from Coin Dance. Scheduled upgrades on the BCH chain are meant to enhance scaling and overall reliability of the main network. The latest additions to the BCH chain include a fix that will make most transactions on the BCH network non-malleable. The enforcement of minimal pushdata in script (Minimaldata rule) makes the malleability of transactions near impossible, including all P2PKH transactions. Years ago, several sources of malleability were known to developers and many of them were improved upon with the introduction of bip-0062. The Minimaldata rule change removes the final malleability vector after the upgrade on Friday. In addition to making the transactions on the BCH network non-malleable, Schnorr signature support will extend to OP_Checkmultisig(verify) which means all signature checking operations will support Schnorr signatures. The November 15 upgrade specifications state: OP_Checkmultisig and OP_Checkmultisigverify will be upgraded to accept Schnorr signatures in a way that increases verification efficiency and is compatible with batch verification. Mark B. Lundeberg (left) and Collin Enstad (right). Bitcoin Cash Community Celebrates Another Successful Upgrade After the upgrade, the BCH community celebrated the latest protocol changes. For instance, Collin Enstad hosted a live stream of the event and discussed the upgrade with software developer Mark B. Lundeberg. The upgrade went live on the BCH network at block height 609135, which was mined by the mining operation Antpool. The new Bitcoin Cash network rules have now been activated! https://t.co/8msEvvC9FA — Bitcoin Info (@bitcoininfo) November 15, 2019 According to monitoring sites like Coin Dance and Fork Monitor, the upgrade went quite smoothly with no issues. Not too long after BCH block 609136 was processed by Btc.com after Antpool’s block, it ensured that all the new rules have been applied. “Bitcoin ABC 0.19.0 considers block height 609136 invalid,” the data website Fork Monitor explains. “This block was mined by BTC.com and it was first seen and accepted as valid by Bitcoin ABC 0.20.6.” Bitcoin Cash developers have continuously pushed innovation and development to new heights and the November 2019 upgrade is no different. BCH fans will wait another six months for the next upgrade and news.Bitcoin.com will be there every step of the way to inform our readers about the next ruleset changes. What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash network implementing two new features following another successful upgrade? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Coin Dance, Youtube, and Twitter. Do you need a reliable Bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy Bitcoin with a credit card. The post Bitcoin Cash Upgrade Complete: 2 New Protocol Changes Added appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  22. The Indian government previously told the supreme court that the country’s cryptocurrency bill may be introduced in the Winter session of parliament. However, the crypto bill is not included in the agenda published by Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament. This gives the community a sigh of relief as many have been campaigning to convince the government to reevaluate the bill. Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case to November, New Date Confirmed ‘Great News’ – Crypto Bill Delayed The government of India has been deliberating on a draft bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019.” The government told the country’s supreme court in August that this bill may be introduced in the Winter session of parliament. However, Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, published the agenda for the Winter session on Thursday which does not include the cryptocurrency bill. Sohail Merchant, CEO of local crypto exchange Pocketbits, remarked on Friday: Draft bill for banning of crypto is not on the agenda for [the] parliament Winter session. Relief for now, but use this time to come together and present our case to the regulators. The Indian parliament building. The Winter session starts on Nov. 18 and ends on Dec. 13. Nischal Shetty, CEO of Wazirx crypto exchange, tweeted: “Great news for the crypto ecosystem of India. The draft crypto banning bill will not be included in the upcoming parliament session of November 2019. Great to see [the] Indian government not rushing into this. They’re listening.” The bill to ban all cryptocurrencies except state-issued ones was drafted by an interministerial committee (IMC) headed by former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs Subhash Chandra Garg. It was submitted to the Ministry of Finance in February and made public in July. Following the government’s indication that it planned to introduce this bill in the Winter session of parliament, the supreme court postponed hearing all writ petitions relating to the country’s crypto policies to January next year. Community Forming One Voice Since the bill was made public, the Indian crypto community has been tirelessly campaigning for the government to reconsider the recommendations, emphasizing that the bill is flawed. Pocketbits’ CEO also urged all stakeholders in the crypto industry to “Forget competition/ego & echo our thoughts with a single voice.” A number of crypto stakeholders gathered earlier this month at an event called “Unwind With Crypto.” It was hosted by local crypto exchange Coindcx. The exchange described that the goal of the meeting was to “bring all the important stakeholders in the crypto industry together and build a stronger global community.” Noting that “The event was attended by the pioneers of the crypto and the blockchain industry who have taken India’s crypto competence to the global stage,” the exchange revealed that attendees included representatives from Crypto Kanoon, Matic Network, Marlin Protocol, Woodstock Fund, Cashaa, Hard Fork, as well as top exchanges including Wazirx and Delta. Attendees of Coindcx’s Unwind With Crypto event. Crypto Kanoon’s Kashif Raza commented, “It is unfortunate that despite our community’s utmost efforts, the central bank still seems confused regarding the widespread power of crypto assets.” “The members attending committed to having a larger discussion and engage more in the weeks to come,” Coindcx CEO Sumit Gupta told news.Bitcoin.com. “A set of more meetings have been planned to decide the modus operandi. Another event that we are planning is around engaging with the journalists in the finance and business domain to present a fair picture.” Confirming that the next meeting is scheduled for December, he elaborated: All members present committed time for more such meetings and a lot of backdoor meetings are already underway. Meanwhile, Shetty has been running a social media campaign calling for positive crypto regulation which he started 379 days ago. Furthermore, the supreme court is scheduled to hear the writ petitions challenging the banking restrictions by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Nov. 19. When do you think the Indian government will introduce a crypto bill? Do you think the Indian crypto community will be able to convince the government to not ban cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Lok Sabha, and Coindcx. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Indian Government Delays Introducing Cryptocurrency Bill appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  23. Japan’s recent October sales tax increase took the rate from 8% to 10%, the previous such hike occurring in April of 2014, when the rate was raised from 5%. The increase is accompanied this time around by new government policy which rewards cashless payments by allowing merchants to provide effective “cash back” of up to 5% on purchases. Also Read: Popular Smartphone Apps Are Adding Crypto Capabilities More Japanese Are Going Cashless Japan loves cash. With paper and coin payments still accounting for close to half of all private final consumption expenditures as of 2017, and a rich history of stuffing yen into mattresses and home safes — especially in light of the country’s relatively recent foray into the world of negative interest rates — the land of the rising sun is undoubtedly cash-enamored. That said, e-money, mobile payment systems, and recently crypto exchange apps continue to pop up at an increasing rate in the paradoxically tech-savvy and old-fashioned culture. In similar spirit, the government is now offering effective tax discounts to those consumers who turn their back on traditional paper and coin in favor of cashless systems, of up to 5%. The approach so far seems to be taking effect for Japanese policymakers, whose official aim is to double a previous cashless payment ratio of 18% to 40% by 2027. A recent survey by Japanese news outlet Mainichi Shimbun found that: Some 20% of respondents to a recent Mainichi Shimbun survey said they have either started using cashless payments or are considering using such payment methods, after the government introduced a point reward system to counter the negative economic effects of the recent sales tax hike from 8% to 10%. While Mainichi Shimbun points to countering negative economic effects as rationale for the push, the basic agenda has been on the table for awhile, with purported justifications ranging from increased tourism (in part due to easier use of foreign credit and debit cards), to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) pushing for Japan’s embrace of new financial technologies and the “fourth industrial revolution.” METI released its report “Cashless Vision” in 2017 citing improved transparency and accurate tax collection, labor shortages and population decline. As Nikkei Asian Review detailed prior to the recent tax hike, “METI has adopted, among its countermeasures [against a new recession], a nine-month long campaign to give consumers refunds, in the form of points, if they shop at one of half a million selected stores using one of the 40 approved electronic money payment systems.” A sign at a Japanese convenience store in Niigata prefecture notifies customers they can receive point rewards of 2% on cashless purchases. Consequences of the Push While the tech-savvy consumer and cryptocurrency enthusiast may be understandably optimistic about the move, some are asking pointed questions regarding potential consequences for business owners and spenders alike. Small, cash-only businesses that may wish to avoid adoption and processing fees for various cashless methods could find themselves in a pinch in coming years. Especially if METI achieves its ultimate objective of raising cashless settlement to “the world’s highest level” in the future. Further, merchants in Japan are receiving promotional material packages to promote the push, raising concern with some taxpayers. A small business owner in Nagano Prefecture told news.Bitcoin.com that there are “loads of plastified, non-recyclable stickers, signs and stuff plus loads of leaflets and booklets, too. Probably cost the taxpayer more money than … they might save by using a card rather than cash.” Finally, the payment systems can have very serious security issues as evidenced by 7-Eleven’s 7pay suffering a ¥38 million (~$350,000) hack in July, resulting in unauthorized payments, leaked customer data, and ultimately the demise of the program. Potential for Crypto Adoption As Japanese authorities seek to mimic the likes of Sweden and other dominantly cashless economies, crypto is coming along for the ride. Both e-commerce giant Rakuten and popular messaging service Line now have apps for trading and acquiring cryptocurrencies which are effectively linked to their cashless and mobile payment services R Pay and Line Pay. This, coupled with notable crypto adoption via merchants and the proliferation of active local communities and trading groups in Japan, has some viewing the cashless push as bullish for bitcoin regardless of policy or motive. What are your thoughts on Japan’s push to go cashless? Let us know in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Ned Snowman, fair use. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Japan Pushes Cashless Agenda by Rewarding Non-Cash Payments After Tax Hike appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  24. The German economy, the largest and most influential in Europe, narrowly missed falling into recession last quarter. But with quarterly GDP growth averaging a little over 0% since the third quarter of last year, the Old Continent’s economic powerhouse is facing stagnation. Also read: Germany’s Financial Crisis Invokes 5-Year Rent Freeze Dodging Recession by a Hair With a seasonally adjusted 0.1% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Q3 over the previous quarter, the German economy has surprised analysts who expected it to shrink by 0.1%. The good news comes on top of a revised estimate for Q2, from 0.2 to 0.1% contraction. In Europe, the generally accepted definition of a recession refers to two consecutive quarters of negative growth, measured on a quarter-on-quarter basis. About the same time last year, Germany barely escaped recession when its GDP fell by 0.2% in the third quarter but then stopped at exactly 0% in the fourth. According to the country’s official statistics, increased spending by German consumers and the government has helped the economy stay afloat this time. Between July and September, both household and government expenditure rose, the Federal Statistical Office Destatis announced. The agency also noted that exports have increased, despite continuing trade tensions, while imports pretty much remained at the levels from the previous quarter. At the same time, construction registered positive indicators. All this was just enough to compensate for the lower German industry figures. Any positive developments in Germany inevitably affect the rest of Europe. The Eurozone, the area of the monetary union of 19 EU member states, grew by 0.2% in Q3, according to Eurostat. This growth equals the one in the second quarter of 2019 but is still weaker than the growth recorded during the first three months of the year, 0.4%. China is a different story, however, one that overshadows the modest German recovery. The ongoing trade war with the U.S. is taking a toll on the People’s Republic and the Chinese economy continues to slow down. China’s fixed-asset investment growth was only 5.2% year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics announced Thursday quoted by Xinhua. The indicator, which reflects capital spent on infrastructure, property, and machinery, is at a record low level. Meanwhile, investment in the private sector increased 4.4% in October, or 0.3 percentage points less than during the first nine months, which suggests that Chinese companies are more reluctant to make new investments. Industrial production rose 4.7% year-on-year last month, compared to 5.8% in September. Yearly growth in retail sales was 7.2% in October, a 16-year low. Stagnation Still an Issue Germany’s narrow escape from recession is not a reason for too much optimism. With an annual growth of only 0.5% in Q3, the German economy is effectively stagnating. Since the third quarter of last year, GDP growth has been averaging around 0.1% quarter-on-quarter. And after maintaining the lowest unemployment rate in the past four decades for the better part of this year, at 3.1 – 3.2%, unemployment in October has been estimated to reach 5%. According to Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Germany, the country’s economy “can still be divided into two worlds: the depressive world and the happy-go-lucky one. In the depressive world, there are very few signs of an imminent bottoming or recovery of the manufacturing sector since the summer of 2018. The sector is facing and will continue to face cyclical challenges, as ongoing trade conflicts, Brexit uncertainty and slower Chinese growth, along with structural challenges, disrupt the automotive industry,” he predicted in an article published by the Dutch banking giant. “In the happy-go-lucky world, private consumption remains solid on the back of low inflation, low interest rates and a still-strong labour market. The construction sector keeps on booming and the government is also inserting some fiscal stimulus,” Brzeski added, quoted by the Guardian. “The main question, however, is how long the happy-go-lucky world can resist the negative impact from the depressive world. The latest developments suggest that the protective shield has started to crumble,” the expert warned. Do you think Germany will enter into recession in 2020? Share your expectations about the future of Europe’s largest economy in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Are you looking for a secure way to buy bitcoin online? Start by downloading your free bitcoin wallet from us and then head over to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can easily buy BTC and BCH. The post Germany Barely Avoids Recession, Economy Remains Stagnated appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  25. Throughout the course of 2019, Iran’s government and the country’s energy officials have been creating new guidelines for bitcoin miners setting up data facilities in the oil-rich nation. On Wednesday, Mostafa Rajabi, a spokesperson for Iran’s Energy Ministry, described a new price model for mining operations and prices per kilowatt-hour (kWh) will fluctuate during certain months. Also Read: Iranians Defy Warning and Share Pictures of Bitcoin Mining in Mosque Iran’s Energy Ministry Plans to Pay Anyone Who Exposes Illegal Bitcoin Mining Operations There’s been a lot of reports over the last year detailing how mining operations have migrated to Iran for cheap electricity. After the initial migration, the Iranian government and the country’s power supplier noticed a lot of energy was being used by crypto mining facilities. Following a government announcement about illegal miners, pictures were shared online that showed bitcoin miners housed inside a mosque. Spokesperson for Tavanir (Iranian power grid) Mostafa Rajabi. On November 13, Iran’s Energy Ministry spokesperson Mostafa Rajabi explained the country’s new guidelines for mining operations during an interview with IRIB News. Rajabi told the press that anyone who identifies illegal bitcoin operations to the government will be rewarded. Rajabi emphasized that people who expose these facilities will be paid 20% of the recovery damage stolen from the electrical grid. Fluctuating Electrical Prices Iran’s Energy Ministry will also prohibit mining digital assets after the peak hours of consumption surpass a threshold of 300 hours annually. During the interview, Rajabi also noted how much bitcoin miners would be charged using the average price for the export of electricity in Iran. During some points of the year, miners could be charged $0.08 per kWh (9,650 rials) and during the cold months of the year, miners would only be charged $0.04 per kWh. However, during the summer months when electricity is used the most in Iran, electrical prices could quadruple to $0.16 per kWh, Rajabi noted. Rajabi disclosed that the new mining rules were initiated when Iran’s summer electrical demand jumped by 7%. A Bitcoin mining facility in the desert outside of Tehran. Last June, Iranian law enforcement officials reportedly confiscated 1,000 bitcoin miners from two facilities. This was followed by a bill that was ratified two months later stating that cryptocurrency mining in Iran would be considered a legitimate business. During Rajabi’s interview, he told IRIB News that Iran will help operations that create their own power plants with government incentives. Mining operations that utilize renewable energy sources would be also rewarded, Rajabi stressed. What do you think about the situation in Iran in regard to bitcoin miners? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, and Pixabay. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Iranian Grid Explains Electrical Costs Will Fluctuate for Bitcoin Miners appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  26. Instant cryptocurrency exchange Changelly will start to use digital asset rates from Bitcoin.com’s trading platform. This will ensure better prices for Changelly users and help increase the reach of all SLP tokens that are exclusively listed on Bitcoin.com Exchange. Also Read: Universal Protocol Alliance to List Mega-Utility Token on Bitcoin.com Exchange Changelly to Use Rates From Bitcoin.com Exchange Bitcoin.com Exchange has announced a new strategic partnership with instant cryptocurrency platform Changelly. The integration of the services will allow Changelly users to gain access to the market rates provided by Bitcoin.com Exchange, wherein Changelly will act as a broker between the exchange and its own users. Changelly’s API will pick up rates from the Bitcoin.com Exchange platform and provide them in real-time directly to its users so they can buy crypto and instantaneously swap between different cryptocurrencies at the best rates available. The integration with Changelly will also help increase the reach for all SLP tokens that are exclusively listed on Bitcoin.com Exchange. The Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) is a system built on the Bitcoin Cash network for creating tokens in a permissionless manner. It has helped the development of an ecosystem for BCH that replicates the variety of ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum network. SLP tokens can easily be created, traded, and managed on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain within seconds, with minuscule costs for each transaction. Support for SLP tokens will also soon be added to the official Bitcoin.com Wallet. “I am pleased to announce our newest partnership with exchange.Bitcoin.com. The Bitcoin.com community is one I have always been a very big fan of, and now our customers will have much better access to bitcoin cash and SLP projects with the launch of their new exchange,” stated Changelly CEO Eric Benz. “Providing the community with the most efficient means to purchase and swap crypto is our goal and mission above all else, and with exchange.Bitcoin.com we are continuing to fulfill our mission by making our services easier for our user-base, and effectively more wide-reaching.” Changelly has been operating as an instant cryptocurrency exchange service since 2015 and offers access to more than 150 cryptocurrencies on the market. Its website attracts over a million visitors monthly and the platform offers an official mobile app as well as an API which dozens of crypto businesses use to add the instant swap feature to their services. Bitcoin.com Exchange was launched on Sep. 2 as an easy-to-use trading platform that offers world-class security and a powerful trading engine. New Token Listings on Bitcoin.com Exchange Bitcoin.com Exchange is set to offer trading on Sideshift.ai’s native SAI token on Friday November 15 at 11:00AM CET. The Sideshift platform is powered by SAI that exists simultaneously as an ERC20, a token on the liquid platform as well as an SLP token. According to the listing announcement, the total token supply amounts to 210 million SAI and no further tokens will ever be minted. Currently, SAI is used to pay up to 50% of revenue back to affiliates. In the future, Sideshift is considering implementing further value-enhancing activities like a buyback and burn, paying stakeholders in SAI, and implementing merchant discounts. Sideshift has created a system where users can switch between more than 20 different cryptocurrencies and anyone with an access code can start swapping immediately. It came to prominence back when Shapeshift introduced a mandatory membership program. The service is also fully integrated with the Bitcoin.com Wallet which today achieved a major milestone with over 5 million wallets created since the app launched just a little over two years ago. It was also recently announced that Bitcoin.com Exchange will provide an initial exchange listing to support an interoperable mega-utility token backed by the Universal Protocol Alliance, the Universal Protocol Token (UPT). The new UPT token is expected to be on listed Nov. 20, 2019, and will be available for trading by non-U.S. persons only. What do you think about Changelly using rates from Bitcoin.com Exchange and the new listings on the platform? 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 Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com. The post Instant Crypto Exchange Changelly Secures Access to SLP Tokens appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  27. On November 14, the leading adult video sharing site on the internet, Pornhub, revealed that payment processor Paypal has blocked the company’s live performer payouts. In a blog post written on Thursday, Pornhub recommended alternative payments like writing a check or using the digital currency verge. Also read: Walk Like Nakamoto: 7 Anonymous Personalities in the Crypto Space Paypal Blocks Pornhub’s Live Performer Payouts — Crypto Advocates Suggest Accepting More Digital Currencies The adult entertainment web portal Pornhub is having issues with the payment processor Paypal. Pornhub has revealed Paypal has blocked model payouts for live performers who leverage the site’s platform. The company announced the issues using Twitter and a blog post that describes what payment methods are offered for live models. “Our currently available payment methods are Paxum, check, verge cryptocurrency and direct deposit,” explains Pornhub’s post. The adult site also explains in the notice that in order to accept verge (XVG), models need to obtain an XVG accepting wallet. On Twitter Pornhub wrote: Urgent: Paypal has stopped all Pornhub model payouts. If you had PayPal as your payout method please change to direct deposit/SEPA, or payment by check in your settings. After the Twitter announcement and blog post, the price of XVG saw a small rise in value but the cryptocurrency is down 2.5% today and 9.4% for the week. In response to Pornhub’s Twitter post, many crypto community members used the opportunity to ask the company to accept more digital currencies like BCH, BTC, and ETH. One BCH supporter wrote: “Bitcoin Cash is there to help you and your customers.” “All models should contact Brenna Sparks to help them accept crypto payments,” another person tweeted. For years now many cryptocurrency advocates have proposed that the adult industry combines forces with the crypto industry. Last spring Pornhub started accepting XVG but also told the public it would also accept ZEC and TRX. Since adding verge to the payment support list, reports detailed last year that only 1% of purchases are made using XVG and the other alternatives (ZEC, TRX) are not yet supported. Financial Incumbents Have Been Blocking the Adult Industry for Years — Censorship-Resistant Money Is Needed Paypal and other major credit card companies have been blocking sex workers and applications that help them get paid for years now. In 2014, the porn star Teal Conrad was banned from Paypal immediately after a slew of other adult industry stars were also barred from using financial institutions like Chase. A few users on Twitter mentioned that Pornhub should have fought harder against SESTA/FOSTA, a U.S. Senate and House bill that became law on April 11, 2018. “Gee, if only Pornhub used their massive budget to lobby against SESTA/FOSTA and fight for credit card companies to stop putting pressure on apps to ban sex workers maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” a user replied to Pornhub’s Paypal blockade tweet on Thursday. Digital currency advocates have been slowly penetrating the adult industry to a degree and a few porn stars have promoted crypto on various occasions as well. According to a market research report created by the adult film studio Vogov, around 470 adult video sites have exposure to digital currencies. In the overall scheme of the massively lucrative porn industry, that doesn’t even scratch the surface. As more pressure from financial incumbents rises against the adult industry, the friction may push other leading firms and performers toward censorship-resistant cryptocurrencies. What do you think about Paypal blocking Pornhub’s live performer payouts? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Pornhub, and Twitter. You can now easily buy Bitcoin with a credit card. Visit our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely, and keep your coins secure by storing them in our free Bitcoin mobile wallet. The post Pornhub Suggests Crypto Payments After Paypal Censors Model Payouts appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
  28. The Attorney General of the U.S. state of Ohio has assessed the state’s crypto program and concluded that it is a legal violation of state law. The state’s former treasurer skirted the law to launch a website that allowed 23 types of tax payments in cryptocurrency ahead of other states. Also read: US State of Ohio Accepts Bitcoin for 23 Types of Taxes Ohio’s Crypto Program Violates State Law The U.S. state of Ohio made headlines last year when it began accepting cryptocurrencies for 23 types of tax payments. The crypto program was launched by former Treasurer Josh Mandel before he left office. He set up the Ohiocrypto.com website, operated by the treasurer, to allow tax payments in cryptocurrencies through Bitpay. In January, Mandel was succeeded by Robert Sprague as the state treasurer. Last month, an internal review raised some legal issues regarding the Ohiocrypto website and the State Board of Deposit proceeded to request the opinion of Attorney General Dave Yost regarding whether Ohiocrypto.com is a financial transaction device subject to the requirement of R.C. 113.40. Sprague shut down the state’s crypto program pending Yost’s opinion. Ohiocrypto.com on Nov. 14. After evaluation, Yost wrote a letter to Sprague on Nov. 5 declaring his legal assessment of the situation. Noting that “No other statute gives the treasurer authority to use Ohiocrypto.com to collect state taxes,” Yost wrote: I conclude that Ohiocrypto.com is a financial transaction device, and that it cannot be used without first being approved by the Board of Deposit. This means the treasurer must obtain approval from the State Board of Deposit before using the website to collect state taxes. The deposit board has three members: the treasurer who also serves as the chairman of the board, Auditor of State Keith Faber, and Yost. With the attorney general’s legal opinion, the board will now decide what to do about the program. However, at press time, no meeting has been scheduled to discuss this matter. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that “Republican Attorney General Dave Yost found then-Treasurer Josh Mandel skirted state law when he launched the Ohiocrypto.com website last year for business tax payments.” The publication added that Dave O’Neil, a spokesman for Yost’s office, clarified that “the opinion on Ohiocrypto.com was advisory in nature, so it would not be appropriate to refer it to law enforcement, despite the finding of a legal violation.” Paying Ohio Taxes Via Bitpay When former Treasurer Mandel launched the crypto program in November last year, he said that Ohio was the first state to accept tax payments via cryptocurrency and that it would help the state become a leader in embracing blockchain technology. However, the program did not take off. Sprague recently revealed that, in the 10 months that the website operated, fewer than 10 businesses chose to pay their taxes using cryptocurrency. Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague Yost explained in his letter that taxpayers wanting to pay in cryptocurrency on Ohiocrypto.com did not pay the treasury directly and at no point did the state treasury actually hold digital coins. Yost, who became Ohio’s 51st Attorney General in January after serving as the 32nd Auditor of State, detailed: The former treasurer contracted with a third-party company, Bitpay Inc., to process the payments. The taxpayer paid Bitpay in cryptocurrency. Bitpay settled the payment, converted the payment to U.S. dollars, and then paid the treasurer in U.S. dollars. He added that Bitpay charged a fee for its service which was passed on to taxpayers, noting that payments were ultimately settled using an automated clearing house process between Bitpay and a bank account maintained by the treasurer. What do you think of Ohio’s crypto program and the state attorney general’s assessment? Let us know in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the state of Ohio. Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here. The post Ohio Crypto Program Hits a Snag, Attorney General Finds It Illegal appeared first on Bitcoin News. View the full article
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