This Week in Bitcoin: McAfee’s Bullish Prediction and a Guy Living in His Car

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This Week in Bitcoin: Mcafee’s Bullish Prediction and a Guy Living in His Car

This week we learned that Deutsche Börse “Deep at Work” on Bitcoin and John McAfee predicted bulls’ billions will soon be pumped by institutional investors, despite the current cool market. These stories and many more were covered in this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief. And the most commented on story of the week talked about a guy living is his car while working two jobs just to invest in crypto.

Also Read: US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin Market

New EU Rules Kill Another Crypto Venture

This Week in Bitcoin: McAfee’s Bullish Prediction and a Guy Living in His CarYou could not have missed the impact of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force this week, not with all the emails you must have received from any service that has ever had access to your address. However, one might have not known that the new regulations also had severe consequences for some services that had to shut down.

On Monday we reported that team behind Parity Technologies, the developers of the Parity multi-signature wallet, have announced that due to GDPR they are shutting down PICOPS, a service used by ICO campaigns to comply with KYC/AML regulations by validating that the owner of an Ethereum wallet has already passed an ID background check.

Crypto Revolution Reshaping Global Politics

The intersection of politics and cryptocurrency was our main focus on Tuesday. We reported that Iranian and Russian lawmakers are jointly examining the idea of using cryptocurrency to bypass international and American sanctions. And in the US, Congressional candidate Brian Forde raised $100,000 in cryptocurrency donations, and an opponent attacked him for this, referring to his donors as “bitcoin speculators that oppose cracking down on drug deals and human trafficking.”

We also reported that Vitalik Buterin has co-written a short manifesto of sorts with the young political economist Glen Weyl, unapologetically titled “Liberation Through Radical Decentralization.” In it they explain how the cryptocurrency ecosystem is suited for developing and testing new models for governance, voting and more, in a way that can fundamentally change how both democracy and capitalism work.

McAfee Predicts Bull Run as Crypto Markets Dip

This Week in Bitcoin: McAfee’s Bullish Prediction and a Guy Living in His CarJohn McAfee’s prediction of a bull run on the cryptocurrency markets in the near future was one of the most discussed issues on Wednesday. Billions will be pumped by institutional investors, the internet security expert expects. McAfee claims this will lead to significant changes in the market capitalizations of the leading cryptocurrencies, but also those of most altcoins.

“Institutional investors are preparing to enter the cryptocurrency market with a vengeance,” McAfee said. He explained that they are generally long term investors that will spend billions on the market. “Expect the top ten coins to go through the roof fairly quickly. The bulk of altcoins will soon follow,” the software guru wrote. Admitting he had no more information than his followers, John McAfee advised them to check the recent news and use their heads.

Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall Street

On Thursday we reported that Deutsche Börse AG, the group which operates the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, is actively examining its options for launching cryptocurrency derivatives. This was revealed by Jeffrey Tessler, CEO of the post-trade services provider owned by Deutsche Börse Clearstream and member of the group’s executive board. And changes to the Volcker Rule give Americans a new reason for moving their money away from big banks to cryptocurrencies, according to the latest analysis by Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings.

Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Offered for BCH

This Week in Bitcoin: McAfee’s Bullish Prediction and a Guy Living in His CarThe growing number of bitcoin cash adoptions has been in the headlines on Friday. White Company, founded by former executive at Formula 1 and LVMH, Elizabeth White, which offers high-end products and luxury brands, including fine watches and sports cars, has become the latest business to accept BCH payments. And the online travel agency Cheapair.com has also announced it started accepting bitcoin cash for booking flights and hotels.

Man Goes All In on Crypto

The most commented on story of the week talked about a guy living is his car while working two jobs just to invest it all in crypto. The Canadian man explains that he parks his car in his friend’s garage to sleep, for which he pays $40 CAD per month. Despite the cramped conditions, he hasn’t forgone all home comforts, finding space to squeeze in a memory foam mattress and comfy quilts. He’s also able to shower at a friend’s house and store some items there. As for his crypto portfolio, the unnamed Canadian is currently pinning his hopes on Collosusxt, Fundrequest, Policypal, and Dero.

This Week in Bitcoin Podcast

To make sure you didn’t miss any big bitcoin news this week, listen to the following podcast:

What other stories everyone in the bitcoin world must have read this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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Despite 2018 Bear Trend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

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Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

In our latest historic snapshot analysis, we look at the performance of the top ten cryptocurrency markets since May 28th, 2017. Despite suffering heavy losses during 2018, the average price gain of the top ten markets has been 170% when compared with prices from 12 months ago, with only one of the then leading markets trading at a lower price today.

Also Read: Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty

BTC and ETH up Approximately 240% in 12 Months

With the price of bitcoin trading for approximately $7,345 USD as of this writing, the value of BTC has almost tripled since last year.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

Then trading for $2,173 according to Coinmarketcap, bitcoin had a total market capitalization of $35.5 billion on the 28th of May, 2017 – approximately one-quarter of today’s capitalization of $125 billion.

During late May last year, Ethereum was in the early stages of a parabolic bull-run that by mid-June would prices up to approximately $400.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

After having broken above $100 for the first time just a few weeks earlier, ETH was trading for $171.55 and had a market capitalization of $15.78 billion at the time of the snapshot. ETH’s price has since increased by 242% – with the markets trading at approximately $586.80. Ethereum has remained the second largest cryptocurrency by total capitalization – currently boasting a market cap of roughly $58.5 billion.

Mixed Performances Among Top Altcoin Markets Of May 2017

Like today, XRP was the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap on the 28th of May last year, with a total capitalization of $8.8 billion. As of this writing, Ripple has a market cap of roughly $23.75 billion, with the price of XRP having gained 162.75% from $0.231 to $0.606.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 MonthsWith a total market cap of nearly $2 billion, XEM was the fourth largest market by capitalization at the time of the snapshot. Since then, XEM’s market cap has grown modestly, with XEM’s current capitalization of $2.327 billion making it the fifteenth largest crypto market. The price of XEM has increased by just 20.75% since last year, gaining from $0.214 to $0.258.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

Ethereum Classic is the only top ten cryptocurrency market from May 28th, 2017 to be trading at a lower price today – with ETC having fallen approximately 10% from $16.95 to $15.28. The total capitalization of Ethereum Classic has also shrunk when compared against last year, with the then fifth largest cryptocurrency market by capitalization now ranked seventeenth with approximately $1.557 billion – down from 1.559 billion last year.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

LTC Produces Highest Percentage Gains of Top Ten Crypto Markets

Of the then ten largest cryptocurrency markets by capitalization, Litecoin has seen the largest percentage price gains since 12 months ago, with LTC’s current price of approximately $118 comprising a 365% increase from $25.38 – which was posted at the time of the snapshot.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

Today, as with a year ago, Litecoin is the sixth largest crypto market by market cap. The total capitalization of the LTC markets has grown from $1.3 billion 12 months ago to nearly $6.7 billion today.

DASH, XMR, BCN, and GNT Slide from Top Ten Rankings by Market Cap

Of the highest ranked markets by capitalization from the 28th of May, 2017, only BTC, ETH, XRP, and LTC have retained their position in the top ten – all of which are ranked the same today as they were one year ago.

The then seventh-ranked cryptocurrency by market cap, DASH, now sits at thirteenth – with the total capitalization of DASH having grown from nearly $810 million to roughly $2.585 billion today. The price of DASH has grown by nearly 190% in 12 months, with DASH gaining from $110.5 to $319 today.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

On the 28th of May, 2017, Monero was the eight largest crypto market by capitalization with a market cap of $535 million. Today, Monero is ranked 12th with a total capitalization of $2.6 billion. XMR is the second best performing top ten crypto market since May 2017, with the current price of approximately $162 comprising a 340% increase from $36.86.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

12 months ago, Bytecoin was the ninth largest cryptocurrency by market cap with approximately $480 million. The BCN markets have since moved to 19th position, with a total capitalization of $1.175 billion today. Despite the price of BCN having nearly halved in the last two weeks, BCN is currently trading 142.5% higher than it was a year ago – gaining from $0.002634 on the 28th of May, 2017 to $0.006385 today.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

Golem was the tenth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization 12 months ago with a total capitalization of roughly $360.5 million. Since then, the total capitalization of the GNT markets has shrunk to approximately $384.3, making Golem the forty-seventh largest cryptocurrency by market cap. The price of GNT has increased by just 5.3%, gaining from 0.437008 to 0.460301.

Despite 2018 Bear Tend, Top Ten Crypto Markets of 2017 Gain Average of 170% in 12 Months

Are you still holding cryptocurrencies you purchased last year? Share your experiences in the comments section below!


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Bitgrail Exchange Ordered Down Indefinitely as Italian Court Upholds Halt

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Bitgrail Exchange Ordered Down Indefinitely as Italian Court Upholds Halt

Earlier this month, Bitgrail’s principal Franceso Firano attempted to reopen the Italian cryptocurrency exchange after $170 million in losses and during their legal sorting out. An inside job or software hack, that hasn’t had an official determination, and fingers are still pointing between the exchange’s charismatic operator and crypto devs. International heavy law firm Bonelli Erede effectively petitioned to have the exchange remain offline, instituting bankruptcy proceedings, and the Court of Florence recently agreed.

Also read: DOJ Crypto Investigation Tanks Prices, Fundstrat Welcomes Adult Supervision

Bitgrail Shuttered by Court of Florence

“This morning,” a post on the exchange’s website read earlier this month, “following the re-opening, we were notified of a deed by the court of Florence requesting the immediate closure of Bitgrail and this situation will persist until a decision is made by the courts, about the precautionary suspension request made by the Bonelli law office on behalf of a client […] Even though we don’t agree with this decision, we are obliged to respect the law and to suspend any Bitgrail business immediately.”

This week the court indeed made a decision.

Bitgrail Exchange Ordered Down Indefinitely as Italian Court Upholds Halt

“We have temporarily disabled the Bitgrail exchange pending further notice,” came what appears to be a rather final Tweet from, presumably, the embattled exchange operator Franceso Firano on May 2nd. It’s what remains of communication since an injunction was filed to prevent Mr. Firano from reopening. The exchange was halted, temporarily, and that decision was formally upheld as bankruptcy proceedings loom.

Representing more than 3,000 exchange complainants is the international firm Bonelli Erede. Its team is a veritable who-is-who of Italian legal pros: Partner Monica Iacoviello, Giuseppe Sbisà, with assistance from senior associates Gianpaolo Ciervo and Alessandra Frigerio. Nano user and Foundation coordinator Espen Enger has also contributed to efforts.

Bonelli Erede is a two-decades old consortium of sorts, formed from successful firms responding to merger and acquisition pressure at the present century’s turn. The result is a legal powerhouse of over 400 lawyers, half a dozen offices scattered throughout Europe, and revenues of something like €150 million.

Uphill Battle, Especially for Exchange Users

And so it is Mr. Firano facing a colossal uphill battle that might very well be moot at the time of publication. Bitgrail could be relegated to so much toast, burnt … done. It doesn’t help that Mr. Firano, once known as “The Bomber” for his outbursts and ribald commentary, has been radio silent since the beginning of May.

The tone early that day weeks ago was one of optimism, as Mr. Firano floated ways to attempt making looted users whole. The then-latest scheme involved opening the exchange to generate the requisite revenue. And so he attempted to open, announcing he was “pleased to announce the re-open of our exchange! Given the probable overload of servers, it is possible that in the first hours there may be slowdowns in the functionality of the site.”

Bitgrail Exchange Ordered Down Indefinitely as Italian Court Upholds Halt

Mere hours later, the opening was halted pending a more definitive hearing. The Court of Florence in recently upholding that initial stoppage has frozen all assets, tipping off formal bankruptcy proceedings. Typically trustees are appointed to look over books and accounts, and then whatever remains is divvied up according to creditors, victims, etc. The process could take years and yield pennies on the dollar returns. So far, no criminal charges have been filed.

All this suggests Mr. Firano being pushed out, along with his proposals for a new crypto and to have devs roll back the blockchain. The Nano Foundation insists losses were the result of bugs on the exchange side of things, and the Nano project will soldier on.  

Is formal bankruptcy the correct remedy here? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Twitter.


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There’s a Bitcoin Themed Card Game On Kickstarter Called ‘Bitcon’

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There's a Bitcoin Themed Card Game On Kickstarter Called 'Bitcon'

There’s a new card game called ‘Bitcon’ that’s been introduced on Kickstarter that allows people to experience the cryptocurrency investment fever for amusement and laughs. The strategy game was created by two cryptocurrency investors who were tired of hearing about people doing unbelievable things like selling their home or using their student loan money to go ‘all in’ on a portfolio of digital assets. 

Also read: Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in Kiev

Win Big or Lose it All Playin ‘Bitcon’

Two guys named Brandon and Sam who call themselves the ‘two stupid investors,’ created a tabletop card game that replicates cryptocurrency investing called ‘Bitcon.’ Basically, players are dealt a hand of five cards each and players draw cards in sequence to find out if the market goes up or down, or maybe even collapse. Alongside cards that move the market, there are also other action cards like the ‘Reverse the Market’ card which changes the direction of the current market trend. There’s also the ‘Cash Out’ card which can enable a player to cash out and cause the next player to pick up the remaining cards. Moreover, each deck of Bitcon cards has three ‘Pop’ cards — a card that serves as market collapse warning and when the last card is used the bitcoin market crashes and the game ends.

There's a Bitcoin Themed Card Game On Kickstarter Called 'Bitcon'

The two creators who designed the Bitcon card game say they kept hearing about individuals doing wild and unbelievable things to obtain bitcoin. Then soon scouring Reddit forums and social media their game concept became an amusing simulation showcasing the risks and rewards tied to cryptocurrency investments.

“If you like fast-paced strategy games, laugh at people that sold their house to buy bitcoin, or simply want to show grandma how to lose all your cash online,” explains the creators of Bitcon.

Buy Bitcon — You’ll soon be addicted to losing all your money.    

There's a Bitcoin Themed Card Game On Kickstarter Called 'Bitcon'

A Representation of What it Feels Like Riding Markets Up and Down

The Bitcon creators say they wanted to create a game that allows the “thrills of being a big money investor with zero risks.” According to the Kickstarter campaign, a Bitcon strategy tournament can be roughly fifteen minutes of gameplay.

“Bitcon is our perfect representation of what it feels like riding markets up and down, using strategy to protect yourself but also attack opponents, and be ready to cash out your position before your investment is fully lost,”

Its 15 minutes of pure strategy, pace, and gambling. Betting addicts we’ve found you a solution.

Bitcon is not the first Kickstarter card game campaign featuring a bitcoin-esque theme as news.Bitcoin.com reported on Bitcoin Empire back in January of 2017. The game featured many cryptocurrency luminaries within the industry and even a Pepe the frog playing card. However, the Bitcoin Empire funding on Kickstarter was unsuccessful as the team didn’t meet the £5,000 goal.  

What do you think about the Bitcon card game? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via the Bitcon Kickstarter campaign.


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Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in Kiev

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Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in Kiev

An initiative to erect a monument of Satoshi Nakamoto in Ukraine’s capital is gaining momentum and support. The idea is to place the statue right where the red Karelian stone figure of Lenin used to stand, before it was taken down almost five years ago. The project is said to be part of a global campaign to build Satoshi monuments around the world.

Also read: Slovenian City Unveils World’s First Public Bitcoin Monument

Nakamoto on the Pedestal of Lenin

A monument of Satoshi Nakamoto may soon greet residents and visitors of Kiev, capital city of Ukraine. The project to erect a statue of the unknown creator of bitcoin and the blockchain technology has been gaining support. The plan is to place the figure on the intersection of Kiev’s main “Khreshchatyk” Street and the “Taras Shevchenko” Boulevard.

Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in KievThe targeted spot is not a random place. Several years ago it was occupied by the monument of Vladimir Lenin, the communist founder and leader of the Soviet Union. His statue was toppled down and destroyed by angry protesters in December, 2013. The act was one of the memorable events during the Euromaidan demonstrations which lead to dramatic political changes in Ukraine.

The empty space, opposite the “Bessarabsky” Market, has since turned into a site for political expression and artwork. At the height of the civil unrest in February 2014, opposition activists put a golden toilet on the pedestal as a symbol of the rampant corruption in their troubled and divided country. One of the numerous accusations against the then president Viktor Yanukovych was that he had gold toilets installed in a country estate near Kiev.

The people behind the project plan to initially design a virtual Satoshi monument. The digital statue will be visible through a mobile app, when the smartphone is turned towards the pedestal, as reported by the outlet Delo. The Ukrainian VR/AR and robotics company Raccoon World has promised to materialize the virtual reality concept.

Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in Kiev

The organizers also intend to file a petition with the Kyiv City State Administration and apply for permission to build a real, physical monument. They plan to raise the necessary means through a crowdfunding campaign. In the meantime, the virtual statue project has been supported by the Ukrainian entrepreneur Alexander Soroka, founder of the investment platform Startup Network, who has already donated 1 bitcoin (BTC).

A Global Initiative, a Blockchain Republic

According to local media reports, the installation of the statue in Kiev is part of a global initiative to erect Satoshi monuments around the world and create a so called “Blockchain Republic.” In case the city authorities reject the petition, the authors of the project say they’ll be looking for another location to place the symbolic figure.

Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in KievNot long ago, a similar initiative was realized in Slovenia, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. In March, the city of Kranj inaugurated a monument dedicated to bitcoin and blockchain – the first in the world, according to local authorities. The installation is in the form of a large bitcoin logo placed in the middle of a roundabout. The crypto theme of the monument has been chosen by the citizens of Kranj.

Would you support a project to build a bitcoin monument or a Satoshi statue in your city? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto Exchanges

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Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto Exchanges

This week, a number of companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange revealed their plans to enter the crypto exchange business. They include one of the most popular budget-managing app operators, an entertainment conglomerate, one of the largest music labels, and a medical corporation.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Money Forward

Budget-managing app operator Money Forward Inc (TYO: 3994) made two crypto-related announcements this week. Launched in 2012, the company “has grown rapidly to become one of the hottest financial technology startups, with its namesake application now boasting 5.5 million users,” the Japan Times described.

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto Exchanges

The company announced on Wednesday the establishment of a wholly-owned subsidiary, Money Forward Financial Co. Ltd., adding:

Money Forward Financial Co., Ltd. (‘MF Financial’) will start media related to blockchains and virtual currencies from the summer of 2018 and aim to establish a virtual currency exchange office within 2018.

Money Forward “is known as a pioneer in developing a digital kakeibo (household bookkeeping) app, where users can keep track of financial accounts for banking, credit card, e-wallet and point services,” the news outlet added, noting that “The company’s free app for the Android platform has won the best finance app award on Google Play for three consecutive years since 2013.”

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto Exchanges

Another announcement made on the same day is the plan to partner with 20 crypto exchanges in Japan and overseas to provide accounting solutions for crypto traders. Citing that it is already cooperating with Bitflyer, Coincheck, and Zaif crypto exchanges, the company says it is now in the process of collaborating with Btcbox, Bitbank, Quoine, and Fisco.

Drecom

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesDrecom Co. Ltd. (TYO: 3793) engages in the development and marketing of entertainment content for mobile and PC. The company announced on Wednesday partial amendments to its Articles of Incorporation, adding a number of businesses it plans to start including crypto businesses. The amendments will be presented to shareholders at the next annual meeting.

The amendments state that the company plans to enter the “virtual currency exchange” business, particularly the “Planning, operation and management of exchanges relating to virtual currencies.” Furthermore, the company plans to offer cryptocurrency settlement services.

Yamane Medical Corporation

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesYamane Medical Corporation (TYO: 2144) operates in the nursing and personal care sector. The company “operates a home care center for elderly people under the Nagoya Residence name in Japan. The company’s care center offers off-site, accommodation, housing services, etc., as well as safety confirmation and lifestyle consultation, on-site day, emergency response, and medical services,” Bloomberg describes.

Local media reported on Friday that the company is planning to submit partial amendments to its Articles of Incorporation to add a number of crypto-related businesses. According to Minkabu Press, “system provision and consultation related to virtual currency” will be added as well as a “virtual currency exchange business.”

Adways

Adways Inc (TYO: 2489) is a Tokyo-based global mobile app marketing company whose main business includes an ad agency, an ad network and a third party tracking tool.

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesOn Thursday, the company announced the partial amendments to its Articles of Incorporation which will be presented at the next annual shareholder meeting. “The company shall make efforts to engage in the following businesses,” the amendments read. Under “virtual currency related business,” the company wrote, “virtual currency exchange business based on funds settlement law.”

This law went into effect in Japan in April last year which legalized cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in the country and requires all crypto exchanges to register with the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Avex

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesAvex Inc (TYO: 7860) is an entertainment conglomerate and one of the largest music labels in Japan. The company was founded by Max Matsuura, Japanese talent manager, record producer, songwriter, and radio personality. Avex manages J-pop talents such as Ayumi Hamasaki and internet sensation Pikotaro. The company has also expanded into other business areas such as anime, video games, and live music events.

On Thursday, Avex published amendments to its Articles of Incorporation to add “virtual currency exchange” as a new business venture. The amendments will be presented at the company’s next meeting of shareholders.

Daiwa Securities Group

Six Japanese Public Companies Plan to Launch Crypto ExchangesOne of Japan’s largest securities brokerage firms, Daiwa Securities Group (TYO: 8601), also hinted at the possibility of entering the cryptocurrency space in the future. President and CEO Seiji Nakada told Sankei newspaper this week that, regarding cryptocurrency, “there is enough possibility of becoming a highly useful platform if conditions such as legal maintenance are in place.” While noting that the price movements of cryptocurrencies “are unstable and subject to speculation,” he emphasized:

There will be times when major companies have to enter to improve the environment.

Japan currently has 16 fully licensed crypto exchanges. Another 8 exchanges’ applications are being reviewed by the FSA. Furthermore, the agency revealed recently that about 100 more companies are interested in entering the space.

Do you think more public companies should launch crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Money Forward, Daiwa, Drecom, Yaname, Adways, and Avex.


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331 High-Income Traders Declared Crypto Profits in Japan

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331 High-Income Traders Declared Crypto Profits in Japan

The Japanese tax authority has for the first time revealed the number of high-income taxpayers who declared cryptocurrency profits in the year 2017. Out of the total number of taxpayers with miscellaneous income of 100 million yen or more, excluding public pension, 60% of them reported income from crypto transactions.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Declaring Crypto Income

The Japanese National Tax Agency announced on Friday the number of people with 100 million yen (~US$914,000) or more miscellaneous income that includes income from cryptocurrency transactions, according to local media. Nikkei elaborated:

It is the first time that the agency announced the result of the counting of virtual currency related declarations.

331 High-Income Traders Declared Crypto Profits in Japan

The tax agency revealed that 21.98 million people filed income tax for the year 2017. Last year, “The number of taxpayers with miscellaneous incomes of 100 million yen and over from sources other than public pensions jumped from the previous year’s 238 to 549,” according to Jiji Press. Of these 549 people, more than 60% or 331 of them “gained income from cryptocurrency transactions,” the news outlet conveyed.

331 High-Income Traders Declared Crypto Profits in JapanThe “total income [reported for all taxpayers] was 41.4988 trillion yen [~$379 billion] (up 3.4% from the previous year),” the Sankei Shimbun detailed, noting that the “declared tax payments amounted to 3.0207 trillion yen [~$28 billion] (a 4.6% increase), which was the highest in 10 years.”

According to Nikkei, tax reporting of crypto transactions is challenging because each crypto exchange reports transaction data differently. According to industry stakeholders, some exchanges do not separate purchase and sale transactions and “there may be upper limits on the number of transaction records that can be acquired,” the publication added.

55% Tax Possible

The National Tax Agency released guidance on how cryptocurrency profits are taxed in December last year. “In Japan, profits from cryptocurrency trading are categorized as miscellaneous income,” Jiji Press explained. The Japan Times described:

If you earn ¥200,000 [~$1,828] or more from cryptocurrency trading, you must pay tax.

There are seven tax brackets based on taxable income. Those earning 1.95 million yen (~$17,823) or less are taxed at 5 percent, the news outlet described, adding that the highest tax rate is 45 percent for taxpayers who earn more than 40 million yen (~$365,600). However, the publication pointed out that “your income is also subject to a residential tax of 10 percent. Together, the maximum tax rate is 55 percent.”

What do you think of how Japan taxes crypto transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the National Tax Agency.


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Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

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Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

There’s a new Point-of-Sale (PoS) service the Bitcoin Cash community has been talking about called, Bchpls.io, an app that enables any brick n’ mortar merchant to accept BCH with just two devices by providing a customer screen, and a cashier view. Bchpls is currently in open beta which means the public can test the software at their own discretion, so news.Bitcoin.com decided to test the program’s feature services.

Also read: Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

Giving the New PoS System Bchpls.io a Test Run

This week we decided to test out a new PoS system specifically designed for merchants who want to accept Bitcoin Cash (BCH) at any physical location. The application called Bchpls.io is free, and there are no servers needed as all it takes is an internet connection and two devices (cashier & customer). Merchants can accept the funds into any wallet of their choice and set up the name of their business on the invoice. Funds are sent to a one-time-only address as a new address is used for each sale so incoming revenue is kept private.

Setting Up a Store Name and Fiat Currency Pair for Pricing

When entering the website users are greeted with a purple-orange themed page that asks the user to sign up. After hitting the register tab the merchant enters a valid email address and sets a strong password to set up their account. The next screen asks the merchant to add the store name and the fiat currency they wish to use to calculate BCH invoices. Following this step the user has to tether a Bitcoin Cash wallet to the store account and Bchpls uses the Xpub (extended public keys) to generate a receiving address on the cashier side.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

Tethering a Wallet to Bchpls.io With Extended Public Keys

Using the Bitcoin.com Wallet simply create a new wallet with the store’s name and go to the section called “wallet information.” The next screen will reveal the BCH wallet’s Xpub keys, after scrolling down to the bottom. Tap the Xpub section and the Bitcoin.com Wallet will automatically copy and paste the extended public keys. Paste this text into the Bchpls page where it says ‘derivation path,” and hit next.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

After that, the merchant is all set, and a page is created which shows information for an access key, cashier screen, and the customer screen. Both screens provide a URL with a QR code created on the invoice page. Unfortunately, there is no address section yet available to copy and paste, as the invoice only supplies a QR code that needs to be scanned.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

After the merchant set-up is complete the account holder simply registers a sale on the platform which calculates a new invoice every time. Merchants can also cancel the invoice as well before it is paid just in case there happened to be an error during the process.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

The Softwares’ Roadmap and Monetization Plans

The Bchpls developer explains in the future they plan to monetize by adding custom features or the “ability to operate more than one PoS session at the same time.” Down the line, Bchpls plans to add products management, custom designs, receipts, multiple PoS, and a merchant directory.

Bchpls.io Enables Free Bitcoin Cash Point-of-Sale Platform

Currently, the beta program is not open source nor does it offer a client-side (trustless) option but the developer says he will provide these things soon.

“This is not available on Github at the moment — It is currently a hosted service — The site does not store any private keys or BCH on your behalf,” explains the Bchpls developer. “You provide your Xpub (public key), then any orders made will be made directly to addresses generated from your Xpub.”

Note that this is not an e-commerce payment gateway solution, it is a POS system for a brick-and-mortar setup. It is also not a solution for people who want automatic settlement into Fiat. It only settles in BCH directly into your wallet — The client-side-only implementation will be open sourced once it is ready.

Bchpls is yet another application that helps promote Bitcoin Cash infrastructure and adoption and most BCH proponents seem to like the platform. Some individuals will likely wait for a more reliable release and others will also wait for a client-side open source version. All in all, Bchpls was extremely easy to set up and any brick-and-mortar business could start using it at their shop.

What do you think about Bchpls.io? Let us know your thoughts about this PoS system in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, BCHPLS.io, and Jamie Redman.


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Wendy McElroy: The Centralization of Crypto and the Banality of Evil

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The Centralization of Crypto and the Banality of Evil

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 3: Decentralization
Chapter 8, Part 3
The Centralization of Crypto and the Banality of Evil

First we must realize that all actions are performed by individuals… If we scrutinize the meaning of the various actions performed by individuals we must necessarily learn everything about the actions of the collective whole. For a social collective has no existence and reality outside of the individual members’ actions.

–Ludwig von Mises

In 1963, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote a book Eichmann in Jerusalem, about “the banality of evil,” which redefined that concept forever. Evil is not usually committed by sadistic monsters, she argued, but by ordinary people who relinquish personal responsibility for their actions and obey the orders or rules of a corrupt system. (Here, evil is defined as deliberately and callously inflicting great harm on innocent people.)

Arendt reached this conclusion while reporting for The New Yorker on the trial of high-ranking Nazi Adolf Eichmann, which occurred in Israel. As a German Jew who fled the rise of Hitler, she should have been appalled to be in the same room with Eichmann. Instead, Arendt was fascinated by him. There was no guilt, no rage, no sense of responsibility, nothing exceptional. As her book explained, Eichmann kept repeating that, “He did his duty…; he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed the law.” He was also assisted by a vast network of average people—clerks, railroad workers, low-ranking soldiers—who sent innocent others off to prison or worse fates, without a second thought. It was the law.

Cryptocurrency confronts the banality of an economic system for which the word “evil” is not too strong a word. Opening with Arendt may seem like hyperbole, but it captures something important. The central banking system and the other economic controls imposed by government seem benign because they are so familiar; people grew up with them. And bank clerks can be very pleasant as they demand Know Your Customer data; if the customer objects, they answer “I am doing my job, and it is the law.” Nothing benign occurs in the system. Hard-working people are robbed of their wealth through measures like inflation and the monopoly of fiat currency; food is taken from the mouths of children; innovators who could produce a better world are shackled; in some nations, people die for want of nourishment or medical care.

Venezuela is an extreme example of economic evil, as well as an example of the remedy. When the economy collapsed in 2014, many people’s lives were ruined while many others survived by using the only alternative they had to worthless fiat: cryptocurrency. President Nicolas Maduro was well aware of the dynamic. That’s why he issued the first-official state crypto—the Petro—which was announced last December (2017). The Petro is doomed,  of course. When centralized in Maduro’s hands, it will become just another form of fiat. But the Petro indicates one of the main ways the economic system will try to defuse the threat of crypto—namely, centralize crypto by either issuing coins or regulating a few institutions approved to handle it, such as exchanges.

Two main factors in how long the Petro will last are the centralization of power, and how many average people will accept the official status quo because it is (or will become) the law. These are the people who will work in the financial system, or turn in a neighbor for mining, or vote to ask for regulation. They are the banality of economic evil, without which the system could not exist.


Methodological Individualism

The harm done to freedom by those who act against decentralized-market crypto is more than just a denial of financial independence to others. Free-market crypto  fortifies some of the most important concepts of liberty. One of them is “methodological individualism,” which is the exact opposite of what Arendt called “the banality of evil.” Instead of individuals relinquishing their responsibility for actions to an institution, like central banking or the military, individuals are entirely accountable for their own behavior.

The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises rested much of his philosophy on methodological individualism. He declared that, ultimately, only individuals exist; only individuals act. Even within the dynamics of a collective, such as the state or society, it is individuals who comprise the structure and carry out all actions. Mises famously stated, “The Hangman, not the state, executes a criminal.” Individuals who look at the hangman [and] see the state in action do so only because they have created an abstraction known as ‘the state’ in order to provide a context. The hangman may be pressured to perform his job, but the performance is ultimately his choice. Equally, people never truly see or hear a group conversation. All they see or hear are individuals speaking, and then they label the sum of the exchange as ‘a group conversation’.”

Mises argued that collectives-such as family or society–were valuable abstractions that people used to describe their interactions with others within a specific context. He did not deny the worth of many collectives. Quite the contrary. He explained, “Methodological individualism, far from contesting the significance of such collective wholes, considers it as one of its main tasks to describe and to analyze their becoming and their disappearing, their changing structures, and their operation. And it chooses the only method fitted to solve this problem satisfactorily.” Individualism was the key to understanding collectives.

What does this have to do with cryptocurrency?

The most difficult area in which to implement methodological individualism is  finance, which is one of the most powerful collectives in existence. Central banks, tax agencies, and reporting forms are ubiquitous types of evil. Governments do not produce any wealth. And, yet, they need vast amounts of it to finance bureaucracy, the military, and the other centralized trappings of power. This means governments need to steal vast amounts of wealth. But to do so directly would cause resistance. So they issue fiat and bonds, and force all finance to go through institutions they control. For a long time, for most people, there was no viable path around the centralization.

And, Then: Cryptocurrency

Free-market crypto is methodological individualism writ large in an essential area of life. Methodological individualism is an incredibly powerful challenge to the centralized control of economics. It was designed to be so.

The concept arose in response to the theory of social holism that became popular in the early twentieth century. Social holism claims that systems must be viewed as wholes rather than as collections of their parts. It maintains that a collective has a dynamic that differs from the sum of its parts. In short, the collective is greater than the individuals who comprise it.

Marxists often accuse those who espouse methodological individualism of being atomistic, or unable to bow to the greater social good. Some go so far as to assert that the individual, and not society, is the true abstraction. That is, individuals do not exist without society. As Mises observed, “The notion of an individual, say the critics, is an empty abstraction. Real man is necessarily always a member of a social whole.”

Karl Marx argued this point by using a Robinson Crusoe example. An individual who had been born and immediately abandoned on a desert island, he contended,  would not be a human being at all. His point was that human beings are social organisms-social constructs, if you will-who cannot be lifted from their defining context and still remain human. Reversing Misesian logic, Marx claimed that society created its individual members. To create the “right” type of people, all social institutions had to be thoroughly regulated for the social good, however that was defined. The brutal conformity of communism is an example of centralization. So is the expression, “I was only following orders.”

Classical liberals argued that a person raised in utter isolation would still be a human being with human characteristics. For example, he would have a scale of preferences, and he would act to achieve the highest one first. Without social interaction, of course, huge parts of the person’s humanity would never develop. But this would not make the individual less human. Collectives do not define humanity. Human beings define collectives.


Conclusion

Coerced centralization is so inculcated into the culture that it is considered to be normal and healthy. Public schools, central banks, public works, tariffs, …many people cannot envision society through any other lens. But coerced centralization demands that people surrender their moral compass to a collective authority. It is the source of Arendt’s banality of evil.

Methodological individualism is the cure, especially through the dynamics of a  free crypto, which is implemented through decentralization. But how does a decentralized society create the free-market institutions valued by Mises? The answer is another key concept of liberty: spontaneous order.

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters


Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty

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Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty

Cryptocurrency markets have had a rough week over the last seven days as many digital assets lost quite a bit of value most had gained two weeks prior. Currently, markets are seemingly consolidating and have remained somewhat stable over the last 24-hours. At the moment Bitcoin Core (BTC) values have been hovering around $7,470-7,560 during the last few hours. Meanwhile, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) prices are steadily holding just above the $1K region at $1,038 per BCH at the time of publication.

Also Read: Bank in Argentina Launches BTC Settlement Services

A Crazy Volatile Week in Crypto-Land Filled With Lots of FUD

It’s been another crazy week in the world of cryptocurrency markets as most of the recovered gains most digital assets gathered from three weeks ago have been erased. Trade volume has been considerably low for nearly every market as the $13Bn worth of trades is less than half the volume we saw two weeks ago. Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts witnessed the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) initiated a probe earlier this week that aims to look for manipulation in Bitcoin market values. Interestingly enough those watching order books watched thousands of cryptos being sold at market rates just before the mainstream media announced the DoJ probe, which to some traders that phenomenon indicated actual manipulation from the very organization’s initiating the probe.    

Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty
Cryptos have been in a bear market since the year started.

Bitcoin Cash Market Action

Bitcoin Cash markets have been seeing some losses over the past few days since our last markets update. Today’s trading sessions show BCH prices hovering around $1,038 as the past 24-hours have seen a drop of about 1 percent. Over the last seven days, BCH markets are down 13 percent with today’s trade volume hovering around $538Mn. Top exchanges trading the most BCH on May 26 are Okex, Hitbtc, Lbank, EXX, and Huobi. The top currency swapped with BCH today is BTC as the asset captures 44.8 percent of trades today. This is followed by tether (USDT 29.9%), USD (15.5%), KRW (7%), and the ETH (1%).

Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour and 1-day charts for Bitfinex (BCH/USD) shows some mixed signals and deep consolidation. Right now RSI levels are around 39, showing oversold conditions, and the MACd shows convergence around -5 revealing momentum may pick up today. However, the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) trend lines are still spread with the 100 SMA below the long-term 200 SMA. This indicates a continued bearish outlook as the path to resistance looks to the downside.

Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty
May 26, 2018, BCH/USD Bitfinex.

Bulls have eaten through lots of resistance over the past 24 hours and need to push past $1,070 for smoother seas. The next pitstop will be around $1,125 as BCH bulls will need to break this zone. If the bears continue relentlessly beating crypto-markets there are some solid foundations on the backside of BCH order books. Going downwards we will see pit stops at 950 and 900 per BCH if prices happened to drop that low going forward. Beyond that books become much thinner.

The Top Cryptocurrency Market Performances This Weekend

Overall most cryptocurrency markets are seeing some slight recovery today and consolidated behavior. Bitcoin Core (BTC) markets are up a hair at 0.61 percent for the intra-day but over the past seven days, markets are down 8.8 percent. BTC’s current weighted price average is $7,560 as BTC bulls are trying to break above current resistance. The second highest market cap held by Ethereum (ETH) is up today 0.42 percent and the price hovers around $605 per ETH. Ripple (XRP) markets are up 1 percent as one XRP is priced today at $0.62 cents. Lastly, the fifth position is still held by EOS, and out of the top five, it has improved the most seeing a 2 percent gain today. EOS is averaging around $12.65 per token at the time of publication.

Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty
Top ten cryptocurrency valuations on May 26, 2018.

The Verdict: Uncertainty Remains

The verdict this week is similar to our last markets update as traders still seem uncertain to where the ‘Good Ship Crypto’ will take them. 2017 was a wild ride but 2018 has been nothing but FUD, regulations, and bearish market sentiment. Even exciting developments and positive developments this spring have not been able to lift markets beyond the $10K region for weeks on end. Currently across social media, forums, and big trading groups on Telegram the sentiment remains uncertain over the course of the short term but long term sentiment continues to be bullish.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other cryptocurrencies headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to 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.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.


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