Freedom of the Press Foundation Now Accepts Five Cryptocurrencies

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Freedom of the Press Foundation Now Accepts Five Cryptocurrencies

On June 18 the non-profit organization the Freedom of the Press Foundation announced people can now donate five different cryptocurrencies to the organization that supports free speech, whistleblowers and the freedom of the press. The foundation details cryptocurrency donations in BCH, LTC, ZEC, ETH, and BTC will help fund the various projects that promote freedom including its whistleblower submission system.

Also Read: Chainbet Protocol Adds Trustless Multiplayer Bets, Auctions, and Dice Rolls

The Freedom of the Press Foundation Now Accepts Five Cryptocurrencies

Freedom of the Press Foundation Now Accepts Five CryptocurrenciesThe Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 that aims to promote free speech and freedom of the press or freedom of the media. The organization’s board members have included well-known luminaries such as Glenn Greenwald, Daniel Ellsberg, Laura Poitras, and one of the world-famous whistleblower Edward Snowden. The FPF is attributed to the open-source whistleblower submission system called Securedrop which was also co-created by the hacktivist Aaron Swartz. Now the FPF is accepting five different cryptocurrencies for donations toward the nonprofit’s active campaigns and promoting free speech.

“We are pleased to announce that press freedom supporters and cryptocurrency enthusiasts can now donate to Freedom of the Press Foundation —  Your donations support our projects to advance press freedom, including Securedrop, the open source whistleblower submission platform used by more than 60 news organizations worldwide,” explains the FPF.

Freedom of the Press Foundation Now Accepts Five Cryptocurrencies

A 1000 ETH Donation Follows the Foundation’s Announcement

The organization says they plan on accepting more cryptocurrencies soon and will be including support for zcash shielded addresses soon. Following the announcement to accept cryptocurrencies the blockchain communications firm Mainframe donated 1000 ETH to the nonprofit.

“We are deeply grateful Mainframe has made this critical donation to help Freedom of the Press Foundation protect journalists and whistleblowers, and are excited Mainframe, through their technology, shares our commitment to protecting privacy and freedom online,” the FPF emphasized.   

Decentralized technology has great potential to advance the ability of individuals to resist surveillance and censorship.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts across forums and social media seemed pleased that the nonprofit accepted cryptocurrencies as the foundation was instrumental towards helping break the financial blockade against Wikileaks — Just as bitcoin had helped out Julian Assange and crew before the blockade was lifted. 

What do think about the FPF accepting cryptocurrency donations like bitcoin cash? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Secure Drop, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, and the FPF.


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Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Crypto Bets, Viruses, Messages, All Because of Football

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Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Crypto Bets, Viruses, Messages, All Because of Football

The world loves football (or soccer) and crypto companies won’t let the craze expire without tapping into it. Fans can now make predictions and place bets on a blockchain-based platform with a prize fund in cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, not only legitimate businesses, but also scammers have been trying to take advantage of the emotions surrounding the biggest sporting event on the planet. Check the details in today’s Bitcoin in Brief and read to the end if you want to know why football is good for Telegram, too.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Monday: From New York to Historic Istanbul Market

Predictions and Bets on the Blockchain-Based Cryptocup

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Crypto Bets, Viruses, Messages, All Because of FootballThe FIFA World Cup is underway in Russia and crypto businesses are trying to make a buck on the back of the championship that captivates billions. Cryptocup is a blockchain-based game that allows football fans to make predictions and even bet on the matches. The team behind the project has even announced a prize fund of 28 ether.

Cryptocup is a platform based on the Ethereum blockchain and is reportedly among the first Dapps, or decentralized applications, letting users create their own ERC 721 tokens to represent the soccer teams which, in their opinion, would climb to the top of the 2018 World Cup final ranking.

Gamers can log into the Cryptocup system with Metamask to create their own tokens, or golden tickets, used to make predictions for the 64 games of the championship, the Russian crypto outlet Bit Novosti reported, quoting Forbes. Players must set a value for each of their tokens which they can trade among each other. The game also features an express mode in which they can bet only on the top four football teams.

“The World Cup is the single biggest sporting event. Over 3 billion people, almost half the world, tunes in. I’ve attended two myself,” said Federico Goldberg, CEO and founder of Cryptocup. “We wanted to combine that popularity with blockchain technology in order to build something different than an ICO or collectible,” he explained.

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Crypto Bets, Viruses, Messages, All Because of Football

Someone’s Mining While You Are Watching the Match

Legitimate crypto businesses are not the only ones trying to exploit the football fever. It turns out that internet fraudsters have already developed a number of “thematic viruses” to do that. The web is full of sites with malicious content related to the huge sport event, according to a study by the antivirus software developer ESET.

Among the potential victims are mostly users looking for online platforms broadcasting the football matches, Magcity reports. Analysts note that the services these websites are offering are usually full of annoying ads and almost every link leads to dangerous content. Scammers have even incorporated their codes in the video players which install Trojans on your computers.

The online security experts have also discovered software that uses the hardware of the devices to mine cryptocurrencies. And, of course, the minted digital money goes straight to the hackers’ wallets. Watching the games on a smartphone is not safe either. Some of the detected malicious programs have been designed specifically to exploit mobile devices, ESET warned.

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Crypto Bets, Viruses, Messages, All Because of FootballIn Russia, and partly continuing the football topic, there has been another turn in the Telegram saga. The Moscow City Court has upheld the ban imposed on the messaging service by the Tagansky District Court on April 13, local media reported. The appeal filed by the legal representatives of Telegram Messenger Limited Liability Partnership has been rejected, which means the decision of the district court has effectively entered into force.

The legal drama around the messaging app, popular among crypto enthusiasts, started with Telegram’s refusal to hand over its encryption keys to Russian special services. The Federal Security Service (FSB) says it needs them to “protect the society and the state,” claiming the messenger has been used by terrorists. The arguments were repeated during the last court hearing by the FSB’s lawyers. According to some reports, however, the attempts to block Telegram, which have been unsuccessful so far, are related to its plans to issue its own cryptocurrency.

Easing the Pressure, Thanks to Football

Despite the negative development, authorities are likely to leave the messenger alone, at least while all eyes are on Russia, which is currently hosting the football World Cup. Two reasons have been mentioned for that: first, Moscow would not want any bad publicity during the biggest international sport event, and secondly, officials surely realize that many football fans are using Telegram.

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Crypto Bets, Viruses, Messages, All Because of FootballAnother indication that authorities intend to loosen the clamp came from President Putin himself. Prohibition is the easiest way to go, he noted during his annual Q&A session with Russian citizens, while suggesting it’s necessary to seek “civilized ways” to solve the problem. His words were interpreted by both the media and the local Telegram community as a signal to regulators and special services to ease the pressure on the messenger.

Probably reading the message from above, the Russian telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor, quickly unblocked 7 million IP addresses from foreign hosting providers like Amazon Web Services, which were restricted as part of the attempts to shut down Telegram in Russia. The change was detected by Usher2.club, a platform tracking blocked Russian websites and addresses. Right before the start of the football fest, the number of blocked IP addresses dropped by 11 million to a total of 3.7 million.

What are your thoughts on today’s topics in Bitcoin in Brief? Share them in the comments section below.


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Troll Slayer: Derek Magill Defends Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Against Defamation

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Troll Slayer: Derek Magill Defends Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Against Defamation

What is a proud college dropout, world traveler, Ayn Rand devotee, and son of an international arms dealer doing artfully, doggedly defending bitcoin as a form of cash? Not even out of his 20s, Derek Magill is many times wiser than his chronological age lets on. In fact, he’s arguably the most important apologist around when it comes to bitcoin cash (BCH). Through rational arguments, funny retorts, solid philosophical foundations, he’s developed quite a following. He’s even started his own think tank, The Nakamoto Studies Institute, to document BCH’s importance in monetary history. News.Bitcoin.com caught up with the troll slayer for an exclusive interview.

Also read: UK Financial Game Show Uses Comedy & Bitcoin to Entertain, Inform

Derek Magill is the Troll Slayer

News.Bitcoin.com (BC): You waded into litecoin for a while, hoping to find a crypto sans excessive fees and mempool nonsense, right? I remember you posting a schematic or something, explaining how it worked to your grandfather.

Derek Magill (DM): That’s correct. I gave up on the cryptocurrency community not long after I got my first bitcoin in 2013. I bought bitcoin here and there over the years, but I never liked what I saw as indefinite utopianism in the space — that kept me away from participating. The events leading up to Mike Hearn’s famous exit piece made me glad I’d stayed out of it at the time. But I started getting excited again in early 2017.

Troll Slayer: Derek Magill Defends Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Against DefamationI liked the fact that, at the time at least, the Litecoin community was committed to litecoin being usable for real-world commerce. There were problems with litecoin’s value proposition from the start that I was aware of (mostly in the fact that the ‘silver to bitcoin’s gold’ analogy sounds nice but is nonsensical), but I hoped it would be able to come out from bitcoin core’s [BTC] shadow as the developers and the community took BTC down a road that seemed increasingly irrational.

And in a way, I think I was vindicated for a time. Litecoin grew in price and volume incredibly in mid-to-late 2017, I think in large part because people needed a more reliable way to transfer value than BTC. But when it became clear to me that the Litecoin roadmap was little more than testing ground for BTC’s roadmap, right around the time BCH got off the ground I traded my Litecoin for BCH, which I now think has the only serious chance of challenging BTC’s roadmap.

Frankly, Litecoin is still one of my best investments though, funny enough.

Argumentum ad Rogerum

BC: Your favoritism of bitcoin cash has turned toward advocacy. Is it important BCH proponents be versed in apologetics?

DM: Long term, no. You should be able to be philosophically illiterate but still be able to transact with BCH and get value from it. In the short term, I have been totally surprised by the effectiveness of the Core madness, and I suspect the more reasoned arguments we can deliver on the BCH side to counter that will be valuable. That’s why I’ve spent so much time writing.

I do think in general BCH/BTC need more communicators, philosophers, writers, salespeople, marketers, and creatives. Developer-only culture is the reason we got into this mess to begin with.

Troll Slayer: Derek Magill Defends Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Against Defamation
Actual footage of the troll slayer in action.

BC: One of the first viral essays you wrote about BCH was to separate its more charismatic advocates from the cryptocurrency itself, Argumentum ad Rogerum. Why is that important?  

DM: That really had two goals. On the one hand, I think Roger Ver is a hero for the work he’s done, and what is being done to his reputation by idiotic internet losers and a handful of genuinely mean people is disgraceful. I wanted to counter that.

On the other hand, and related directly to your question, I think it’s a very bad sign for investors if the success of Bitcoin is said to rest on a tiny handful of good or bad actors. The simple fact is that Roger could be a total scammer charlatan and it wouldn’t change my evaluation of Bitcoin Cash. I wanted to point out the stupidity and hypocrisy of making everything about Roger and show how it is not an argument at all. Core’s obsession with the personal character of Roger and others as arguments against Bitcoin Cash is frankly more revealing about their own warped views of Bitcoin than BCH or Ver.

Nakamoto Studies Institute 

BC: The Staggering Lies and Scams of Bitcoin Core is a definitive polemic of its subject matter. What drove you to write it?

DM: That was a fun one to write. I suppose it was directly inspired by a rather unlettered rant Saifedean Ammous left me on Twitter about how BCH is a scam run by sociopaths and criminals, the same old nonsense you hear all the time.

More broadly though, it was just this question of “scam” in general. You hear it all the time that BCH is a scam but very little evidence is ever given besides the fact that Roger Ver sold some firecrackers on Ebay once and Jihan Wu is from China. Meanwhile, there’s a good deal of evidence that a lot of bad things have been done by people in the BTC community that might be relevant to potential investors.

I wanted to make a roundup of the ones I considered most egregious — the puffed up lawsuits against Bitcoin.com by people who claim to be anarchists, the false advertising on Bitcoin dot org that went on for months and months, and the imaginary victims, they claim are ‘deceived by BCH,’ but whom they can never point to, are just a few. These are evil, evil acts and they should be brought to light, especially when their perpetrators are constantly pretending they have some kind of moral high ground.

Maybe more importantly, as Roger himself as said, the propaganda and censorship was effective. BTC became a cult, and if we want to prevent that from happening in BCH, speaking out fast and effectively will be one step to doing so.

BC: Your advocacy has bloomed to starting an online Institute. It’s attracted at least one of the founders of the original idea. In fact, he’s left (or was booted), and has said he intends to collab with you. You’ve described it as a fork. What are your hopes for the Nakamoto Studies Institute?

DM: A lot of the lies in the Bitcoin world today can be addressed by returning to Satoshi’s writings. I want to create the world’s best archive of his writings so that you can easily search them by keyword.

Troll Slayer: Derek Magill Defends Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Against Defamation
Mr. Magill in Serbia.

For example, if you want to find Satoshi discussing Moore’s Law (he does) or ‘micropayments’ (he does that too), you’ll be able to click a link and find all the times he mentioned those terms. I think that’s powerful intellectual ammo for people who want to defend themselves against Core propaganda and who want to push the development of Bitcoin in the right direction.

Satoshi is not God, of course, but nor are the Core developers (they seem to have forgotten that). Satoshi’s writings are a good reminder to the world of that fact. It’s a good check against the 1984-style rewriting of Bitcoin’s history they’ve been attempting recently.

Are game shows and entertainment important to crypto adoption? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay, Dominic Frisby’s Financial Game Show.


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PR: Introducing Socios 2.0 – Football on the Blockchain Socios.com

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Introducing Socios 2.0 - Football on the Blockchain Socios.com

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

New Platform Digitizes The ‘Socios’ Model, Fusing Crowd-Management With Blockchain Technology To Create A New Era Of Fan Engagement & Monetization In Football

Mediarex, the Malta-based, Binance-backed fintech and sports company, who recently raised more than $65 million through a private token sale for its blockchain-based sports platform, will launch the world’s first fan engagement and fan monetization platform for the football industry through Socios.com.

The ultimate fan engagement tool for the football industry, Socios.com is the world’s first scalable, tokenized voting platform where football fans can buy, trade and execute voting or ‘crowd-manager’ rights for their favourite football teams. Powered by the chiliZ fintech platform and $CHZ token, chiliZ has committed $20 million to the Socios.com venture that will take football fan engagement into the mainstream.

The desktop and mobile platform, which is currently being developed for the booming esports industry, was originally inspired by the ‘socios’ or fan-controlled management frameworks of many football teams around the world. Perhaps the best known examples are Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, which are run by their 90,000 and 145,000-strong fan base respectively, but they are by no means the largest – indeed, that title goes to FC Bayern Munich, arguably the biggest and most successful example of this democratic/mutual management, with 290,000 affiliate fans. Portugal’s SL Benfica has 184,000 partners, while Sporting CP has 160,000.

The ‘socios’ concept is tried and tested, and has created powerful relationships between the clubs and the fans for decades. Socios.com represents the digitisation of this framework, and the football industry will be encouraged to embrace new technology and fintech innovation. The fully mobile solution means fans will no longer be restricted by geography, with the ability to connect the 4 billion football fans worldwide to the 1000 UEFA clubs and 2300+ professional football teams in existence.

Once onboard, teams trade voting rights for management decisions within the Socios.com platform. Each team will operate their own ‘token sale’, from which they will receive funding from fans and investors in exchange for voting rights. Although each team will receive the same number of voting tokens, it is up to the team to decide how the fund is handled to support their vision or what decisions are put up for fan vote. The platform then acts as an exchange, meaning fans can trade and re-trade those voting rights. The underlying blockchain technology is the most practical and eloquent way to unite the needs of maintaining voting integrity and transparency with transforming voting rights into an ‘ownable’ commodity.

“We believe that technology and innovation can bring so much value to both the clubs and their fans in the future,” said Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex. “Socios.com will allow football teams to create a completely new economy that can be monetized, whilst building a new fan engagement ecosystem. We understand that this will bring a certain degree of disruption to an established industry, and it will no doubt require require a lot of education, but the first mover advantage will be critical in paving the way for a new democratic, digital, and international standard in club management.”

The chiliZ/Socios team is comprised of 25+ industry experts, experienced in regulated gaming and tech. Members of the Advisory Panel include Dr. Christian Mueller, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, InFront Sports – one of Europe’s leading sports marketing agencies – and Sam Li, Head of Strategic Partnerships for Sina Sports, who leads domestic and international sports content acquisition for China’s largest online media portal. Chief Strategy Officer of Perform Group, John Gleasure, is a shareholder of Mediarex. In addition, Socios.com is backed two of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, providing the liquidity required to create a global fan exchange market.

The company will present the Socios.com platform at the World Football Summit in September, with a view to announcing their first strategic partnerships in due course.

Contact Email Address
emma@mediarex.com
Supporting Link
www.socios.com

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019

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Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019

In recent regulatory news, the United States Office of Government Ethics has issued a document advising employees of the U.S. executive branch to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings. In other news, Bank of Korea has rejected the notion of central bank-issued digital currencies, Crypto Finance AG has received licensing from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), and France is expected to develop a framework for regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) by 2019.

Also Read: Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense

U.S. Office of Government Ethics Advises Employees of Executive Branch to Disclose Crypto Holdings

Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019The United States Office of Government Ethics has published a legal advisory that requires all employees of the U.S. executive branch to disclose their virtual currency holdings.

The advisory states that “U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has determined that virtual currency is ‘property held . . . for investment or the production of income’ for purposes of public and confidential financial disclosure, pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act. […] Executive branch employees are therefore required to report their holdings of virtual currency on their public or confidential financial disclosure report, subject to applicable reporting thresholds for property held for investment or the production of income.”

The advisory also makes note of potential conflicts of interest that may arise through government employees owning crypto assets, stating, “Virtual currency is an investment asset and, like other property held for investment, it may create a conflict of interest for employees who own it. Furthermore, it is not subject to the conflict of interest exemptions in 5 C.F.R. part 2640. Agency ethics officials should, therefore, analyze whether their employees’ official duties would have an effect on the value of their virtual currency, just as they would any other property held for investment or the production of income. They should also alert their employees to the potential conflict of interest risk posed by ownership of virtual currency.“

Bank of Korea Rejects Central Bank-Issued Digital Currencies

Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019Korea’s central bank, Bank of Korea, has flatly rejected the notion of central bank-issued cryptocurrencies. A report issued by the bank concluded: “It’s desirable that the BOK is the only entity to entirely control issuing money.”

In the report, Kwon Oh-ik, a researcher at Bank of Korea’s economic research institute stated: “We reviewed the possible feasibility of digital currencies as currency; however, our thoughts are that digital currencies have been exposed to various categories of risk associated with credit, liquidity and legal management.”

Kwon also stated that “Technology improvements don’t mean private sectors will be allowed to have the rights for money issuance. If this happens, the BOK should regulate them but properly.”

Crypto Finance AG Gains FINMA Licensing

Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019Crypto Finance AG, a Zug-headquartered company providing financial services pertaining to cryptocurrencies, has successfully received licensing from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The licensing makes the firm a legitimate distributor of collective investment schemes in Switzerland.

Jan Brzezek, the chief executive officer and founder of Crypto Fund AG, stated: “For us, getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction, to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.”

France Expected to Regulate ICOs by 2019

Regulations Round-Up: U.S. Executive Branch Employees to Disclose Crypto Holdings, French ICO Regulations Coming by 2019A forthcoming bill providing regulatory guidelines for initial coin offerings is expected to be delivered to the French Council of Minister this month.

A report published by law firm Kramer Levin states that “The proposed legislation would introduce a new chapter to Book V, Title V of the French Monetary and Financial Code, or CMF, which will be renamed ‘Intermediaries in Miscellaneous Property and Token Issuers.’ Chapter 2 of Title V will be titled ‘Token Issuers’ and will detail the rules applicable to ICOs in articles L. 550-6 et seq.”

“Chapter 2 provides a definition of tokens, indicating that a token is intangible property representing, in numerical form, one or more rights that can be issued, registered, conserved or transferred using a shared electronic registration mechanism that facilitates the identification, directly or indirectly, of the owner of said property. It also defines an ICO as any offer to the public, in any shape or form, to purchase tokens. However, it excludes offers made to a small number of buyers. Under the proposed legislation, the issuer should notify token buyers of the status of the project the ICO funds were used to finance, and of the establishment of any secondary market for the tokens,” the report continues.

Kramer Levin characterizes the proposed regulations as differing significantly from the legislative apparatus adopted by other nations – arguing that France is moving toward the development of a unique regulatory framework from the ground up, as opposed to attempting to apply existing securities laws to the virtual currency sector.

Do you think that employees of the U.S. executive branch should be required to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy Coins

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All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Self-Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy Coins

The association comprising of 16 government-approved cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan has reportedly provided a sneak peak of its self-regulatory rules. The focuses are on banning insider trading and preventing exchanges from listing privacy coins.

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

Insider Trading Banned

The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) has given a sneak peak of the draft self-regulatory rules it has been working on, “in an effort to step up consumer protections and improve transparency,” Nikkei reported on Monday. The main focuses of the new regulations are on “insider trading and the trading of new currencies that cannot be traced easily,” the publication detailed, adding:

The proposed rules explicitly ban insider trading. Word has leaked previously that a major exchange would start handling a new currency, which led to a surge in the currency’s value and left many suspecting market manipulation. Such activity would represent a clear violation of the new rules.

All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Self-Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy Coins
Representatives of the JVCEA.

Privacy Coins and Other Restrictions

Previously, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), had pressured exchanges to drop privacy coins. Nikkei soon reported that the agency intended to introduce a rule banning them. Subsequently, Coincheck delisted XMR, DASH, and ZEC.

According to the news outlet, the JVCEA has also introduced its own rules on privacy coins, stating:

The association also wants to prohibit exchanges from accepting new currencies that cannot be traced to previous sellers, since such currencies could easily be used for money laundering and are hard to monitor. Highly anonymous coins like Monero, Dash and Zcash could be forced out of the mainstream.

In order to prevent another Coincheck incident, crypto exchanges must better protect customer assets and report audit results to the association. “Customers’ private keys, which are needed to complete transactions, must also be managed offline to minimize hacking risk,” the publication described.

Furthermore, “exchanges will be required to keep their quoted rates from widely deviating from the prevailing market rates. Exchanges would also need to introduce circuit breakers to halt trading should a currency’s value suddenly surge or plunge.”

Strict and Costly Compliance All Around

Following the hack of Coincheck in January, the FSA has tightened its oversight of crypto exchanges including imposing stricter registration requirements and on-site inspections.

All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Self-Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy CoinsThe agency has handed out a number of business improvement orders as well as suspended a few exchanges. Out of the 16 registered exchanges, only two were issued business improvement orders – GMO Coin and Tech Bureau. Prior to the Coincheck hack, Japan had 16 “deemed dealers” or those exchanges which were allowed to operate while their applications are pending. However, since the FSA started strengthening its rules, eight of them have indicated that they will withdraw their applications.

All Regulated Japanese Exchanges to Self-Prohibit Insider Trading and Privacy Coins
Taizen Okuyama.

The JVCEA was established in March, also in response to the Coincheck hack, in order to regain public trust in the crypto industry. The association consists of the 16 government-approved crypto exchanges. The chairman and president of the organization is Taizen Okuyama of Money Partners. Bitflyer CEO Yuzo Kano is the Vice Chairman, along with Bitbank President Noriyuki Hiroeno. The other two directors are SBI Virtual Currencies’ Yoshitaka Kitao and GMO Coin’s Tomitaka Ishimura.

In addition to the JVCEA, Japan already has two older associations: the Japan Blockchain Association (JBA) and the Japan Virtual Currency Business Association (JCBA).

According to the news outlet, the JVCEA has drawn up nearly 100 pages of self-regulatory measures which could be costly for crypto exchanges to comply with. An official at one exchange was quoted saying:

We’re being subjected to rules almost as tough as the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.

What do you think of the association’s self-regulatory rules? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the JVCEA.


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Brave Browser Launches Trial for Advertising Program

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Brave Browser Launches Trial for Advertising Program

Brave Software, the publisher of an open-source web browser boasting enhanced privacy features, built-in ad blocker, and built-in cryptocurrency (Basic Attention Token [BAT]), has commenced the trial phase of its ad program. Brave users who participate in the trial for the program will be paid a sum of BAT proportional to 70% of the company’s advertising revenues in exchange for viewing ads.

Also Read: Six Alternatives to an Initial Coin Offering

Brave Browser Begins Trialing Advertising Program

Brave Browser Launches Trial for Advertising ProgramBrave Software has commenced trials for its browser’s ads program.

The company, which was founded by former chief architect and CTO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, and former senior software engineer at Mozilla and former software developer lead at Khan Academy, Brian Bondy, claims that its browser offers a number of speed and privacy advantages over its competitors. Brave’s website claims that the browser loads pages up to two times faster than other browsers on desktop, and up to eight times faster of mobile – owing in large part to its inbuilt ad blocker that seeks to eliminate undesired bandwidth expenditure.

Once the product is fully launched, the browser will allow its users to choose between either block ads entirely, or earn the browser’s inbuilt cryptocurrency, Basic Attention Token, in exchange for viewing ads. Basicattentiontoken.org describes BAT as comprising “a utility token based on the Ethereum technology that can also be used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers.”

Ad Program Participants to Receive 70% of Advertising Revenues

Brave Browser Launches Trial for Advertising ProgramThe company’s ad program will see users view a “few relevant ads” several times each day. Each time an advert is viewed, the browser user will earn BAT tokens – with Brave set to distribute 70% of the profits generated through advertising with browser users who opt to view ads.

As participants in the trial will have their browsing histories sent to Brave for analysis, the trial may not be appropriate for those seeking to reap the full privacy benefits of the browser.

In April, Brave Software announced that they would partner with Dow Jones Media Group. The agreement was described as comprising “Brave [providing] access to premium content from Down Jones Media Group to a limited number of users who download the Brave browser.”

Daniel Bernard, the senior vice president of Dow Jones Media Group-owned Barron’s, expressed optimism regarding the deal, stating “Our partnership with Brave is an exciting and innovative step […] As global digital publishers, we believe it is important to continually explore new and emerging technologies that can be used to build quality customer experiences.”

What browser do you use? Tell us why in the comments section below!


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Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to Investors

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Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to Investors

Crypto Fund AG has been granted a license to distribute funds on behalf of “qualified investors” in Switzerland. The permission has been issued by the country’s financial market regulator, FINMA. The firm also seeks approval for another crypto-related service.

Also read: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and Digital IDs

First Point of Contact for Crypto Assets

Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to InvestorsCrypto Fund AG, a Zug-based subsidiary of the Swiss Crypto Finance Group (CFG), has received a license to distribute collective investment schemes to qualified investors, Reuters reported. According to an announcement by CFG, this is the first time a crypto business is granted such permission by the authorities in Switzerland.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) confirmed the decision. However, the financial watchdog did not specify if this was in fact the first license of this kind.

According to another important clarification in the report, the permission does not mean the firm is allowed to operate as an asset manager for crypto funds. Nevertheless, the acquired license is a deliberate step, as confirmed by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Jan Brzezek:

Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.

Crypto Fund AG is also seeking another permission from financial regulators in Switzerland. This one would allow it to create a passive investment vehicle tracking a bench marked index of up to 10 of the most liquid cryptocurrency assets and digital tokens on the market. The index is calculated and maintained by Swiss bourse SIX.

Crypto-Friendly Nation with Positive Attitude

Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.In recent years, Switzerland has established itself as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction. The country has its “Crypto Valley” in the canton of Zug, where Crypto Fund AG is registered. Many other crypto and blockchain businesses are either headquartered or represented there, including companies like the Chinese mining giant Bitmain. The Alpine nation has been considering the possibility to issue a state-backed cryptocurrency, although its central bank has admitted through an official that private digital currencies are better than any state-issued coin.

Businesses from the traditional financial sector have also benefited from the positive regulatory attitude of Swiss authorities. Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, a legacy financial institution, recently announced it was offering bank accounts to crypto companies, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. The bank’s management expressed desire to work with the young crypto sector, speaking of that as a “matter of credibility.”

Getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.But not only the private fintech industry and financial sector are interested in cryptocurrencies and the underlying distributed ledger technology. The fully state-owned Swiss Federal Railways, for example, has been selling bitcoin to its passengers for almost two years at over 1,000 ticket vending machines.

And the city of Zug, home of the Crypto Valley, is accepting payments in bitcoin and ether for municipal services, including company registrations. Authorities there are also planning to conduct a blockchain-based vote on questions of local importance.

Do you think Swiss regulators will issue more licenses for crypto-related financial services in the near future? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Chainbet Protocol Adds Trustless Multiplayer Bets, Auctions, and Dice Rolls

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Chainbet Protocol Adds Trustless Multiplayer Bets, Auctions, and Dice Rolls

Just recently news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Chainbet protocol created by the developer Jonald Fyookball, designed to add trustless betting features to the Bitcoin Cash network. Following the launch of this concept, the Openbazaar developer Chris Pacia messed around with the idea and completed the first on-chain atomic bet. Now, this week the Chainbet contributors Fyookball, Pacia, and James Cramer have extended the protocol to include multiplayer bets, auctions, and dice rolls.

Also Read: An Inside Look at the Electron Cash Wallet Coming to iOS

Bitcoin Cash On-Chain Betting Protocol Chainbet Adds New Concepts

Chainbet Protocol Adds Trustless Multiplayer Bets, Auctions, and Dice RollsThe Chainbet protocol has been updated with some more complex trustless betting methods such as auctions, multiplayer bets, and dice rolls. The additional features have been added after the Openbazaar developer, Chris Pacia, utilized the BCH OP_Codes in order to create the first on-chain atomic bet. Bitcoin Cash supporters have been excited about these new concepts and the innovation that’s been happening with the re-enabled Satoshi OP_Codes since the upgrade in May.

Multiplayer Betting

The newly added multiplayer bet is a wager where the winner-takes-all between multiple participants with even chances, explains the Chainbet Github repository. The readme explains that the wager has the following properties: “It does not allow cheating via collusion, even against an attacker controlling all of the adversaries — And it protects an honest participant from losing money, even if a dishonest participant acts irrationally,” explains the Github page.

However, Fyookball notes add the end of the multiplayer bet summary that the betting scheme could also be accomplished with a dice bet and the practicality of the multiplayer bet comes into question.     

“Due to the large security deposit, the practicality of the betting scheme is in question. The same result could be accomplished with a dice like bet in many applications,” Fyookball details.  

For example, 6 people betting each other could be simulated by each of them betting on a dice roll, with more flexibility in that not all 6 people would need to be real. However, this scheme may serve as a building block other schemes and give us more ideas for the future.

Chainbet Protocol Adds Trustless Multiplayer Bets, Auctions, and Dice Rolls

Trustless Auctions and Dice Rolls

Fyookball details the auction method is a “trustless version of an open, ascending price auction can be constructed on the BCH blockchain.” This means the seller is guaranteed to receive the funds from the highest bidder in a decentralized fashion. Further, only the highest bidder will pay as all losing bids will be returned to the rightful owners. When the auction ends the seller would claim the funds within the last address used.  

“This is accomplished using a set of secrets. Each time someone is outbid, a secret is revealed that releases funds back to the losing bidder while the next secret is created for the new high bidder,” the Github page details.

Chainbet Protocol Adds Trustless Multiplayer Bets, Auctions, and Dice Rolls

Decentralized Betting Protocols Could Revolutionize Online Gambling

Lastly, the Chainbet protocol now goes further than the simple coin flip wager with the addition of a six-sided dice roll wager. The Github page details how a simple one-time dice roll but the process could be more complex adding all types of different bets.

Chainbet Protocol Adds Trustless Multiplayer Bets, Auctions, and Dice Rolls

Although the “result of a dice roll” is already an abstraction derived from large secret numbers, it is fun for players to guess their lucky numbers,” Fyookball emphasizes.  

It is therefore valuable to include a way for Bob to choose the number he wants. This is done with the “guess” field in the payload, and needs to be implemented in the script, with an IF-ELSE path. If the guess matches the remainder (plus one), the participant taking odds wins the bet, otherwise he/she loses.

The additional features added to the Chainbet protocol could be used in multiple ways and could innovate the entire online gambling industry by providing trustless bets without relying on a third party. Gambling portals like Satoshi Dice and other gaming sites could utilize these concepts to create a more robust decentralized betting atmosphere.

What do you think about the latest additions to the Chainbet protocol? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


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Strong Demand for Crypto Experts on the Russian Labor Market

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Strong Demand for Crypto Experts on the Russian Labor Market

Statistics from leading job search platforms indicate that the demand for cryptocurrency and blockchain specialists in Russia remains strong. Most employers offering these vacancies are either IT companies or banks. The competition for crypto expertise is getting tougher, as the country is preparing to finally regulate the fintech sector.  

Also read: Crypto Incomes Declared on Tax Returns in Russia

Don’t Forget to Mention Crypto Projects on Your Resume

Six candidates are currently competing for each vacancy in the Russian Federation, according to data collected by the Index Head Hunter platform, a project monitoring the labor market in the vast country. The ratio indicates a moderate level of competition among potential employees, which is favoring Russian employers. But is this the case in all sectors of the economy?

Strong Demand for Crypto Experts on the Russian Labor Market

The statistics gathered from Russian online job platforms point to a rise in the demand for experts in blockchain, mining and cryptocurrencies. According to Head Hunter, 387 vacancies in the fintech sector have been posted last month, while their number for the whole first half of 2017 was only 201. That’s 11.5 times more than during the respective monthly period of last year.

The majority of employers offering positions in the crypto sector are either IT companies or banking institutions, mostly concentrated in the capital Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the second largest Russian city. Many of these businesses are not even publishing job postings, but are constantly sifting through the resume database, said Natalia Godjaeva, general director of Superjob.ru, quoted by Bit Novosti.

Strong Demand for Crypto Experts on the Russian Labor MarketDevelopers and project managers are the most sought after specialists, Godjaeva added. She advised candidates to always mention any crypto and blockchain-related projects on the resumes they submit to job search websites, and assured them, “You will definitely be noticed.” Her comments come at a time when Russia is preparing to regulate the crypto industry with three drafts currently under review in the State Duma.

Growing Global Crypto Labor Market

By all indications, the crypto labor market in Russia is experiencing growth. Several months ago, the RF Ministry of Labor and Social Protection received a request by representatives of the industry to officially introduce a “professional holiday” for specialists and experts working in the field. That hasn’t happened yet, but the department promised to look into the proposal.

Competition for qualified crypto and blockchain professionals has been increasing globally, too. Recently, the social network Linkedin announced that from the start of 2018 until mid-May 4,500 postings on the platform have contained any of the following keywords: blockchain, bitcoin, cryptocurrency. Linkedin said that’s 151 percent more than in the whole of 2017. In December, it reported more than 500 percent increase in the listing of skills pertinent to cryptocurrency.

Strong Demand for Crypto Experts on the Russian Labor Market

The popular freelancing platform Upwork has also witnessed a spike in the job ads from the blockchain industry last year – a 2,625 percent increase when compared with 2016. According to the US-based platform Toptal, specializing in posting job opportunities for IT specialists, the demand for blockchain developers has jumped by 700 percent. Earlier this year, IBM announced it was hiring 1,800 IT experts, including specialists knowledgeable of blockchain.

Both vacancies and applicants for employment in the crypto sector have increased substantially in other corners of the world, as well. This is the case with India, where cryptocurrency and blockchain related job postings increased by 290 percent in the six months to November, 2017, as reported by the Indian branch of the global job site Indeed. During the same period, job searches containing crypto-related keywords rose by 52 percent.

Do you think the strong demand for crypto and blockchain experts indicates a positive future for cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below. 


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