Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

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Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

One of the largest energy suppliers in the Czech Republic has recently announced plans to start accepting cryptocurrency from its customers. The bitcoin payment option should be available as early as next month, its management said. The company is about to join a growing number of Czech businesses processing crypto payments by introducing them to the energy sector.  

Also read: Poll: Bitcoin More Popular With Czechs than the Euro

Reaching Out to the Young People

The firm in question, Pražská Plynárenská, is not new to the concept of diversification. It is one of the major suppliers of natural gas in the Czech Republic, serving 420,000 homes and businesses. The company is also an electric and heating utility which installs photovoltaics and gas-operated boilers, its website shows. According to its Bloomberg overview, Pražská Plynárenská is engaged in assembling and maintaining telecommunications equipment, servicing motor vehicles, and many more business endeavors, including IT services. The latest project – bitcoin payments.

Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

“In June, we are opening a payment gateway, which will automatically transfer our bitcoin payments into regular currency, so that we don’t have to speculate with cryptocurrency. But if anyone wants to pay in an alternative way, we want to allow them to do that,” said Pavel Janeček, chief executive officer of the Prague-based company. According to Hospodářské Noviny, Pražská Plynárenská will pioneer cryptocurrency payments in the country’s energy sector.

Janeček also said that the introduction of bitcoin (BTC) as a payment option will make his company more attractive for the younger generation. This is obviously a priority as the management has also organized rentals of cars running on eco-friendly CNG especially for Youtube vloggers. “We are trying to reach out to the young customers,” he reiterated, those who buy everything with their mobile phones.

Crypto Payments on the Rise in the Czech Republic

A growing number of Czech businesses are turning to cryptocurrencies as an alternative and modern payment option. Although for some companies this might be merely a marketing move, with few of their customers paying in crypto and the merchants immediately converting the coins to fiat, others are more serious about cryptocurrency.

Last year, the largest online retailer in the country, Alza.cz, started accepting bitcoin (BTC) on its platform, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. According to Jan Sadílek, head of internet marketing at Alza.cz, the number of orders and the crypto turnover have increased significantly over the past months. Customers are paying with cryptocurrency for a variety of products, including the popular hard wallet Trezor offered by the Czech-based Satoshilabs. Since February this year, Alza also accepts litecoin, praised for faster transactions and lower fees.

Other examples include several Subway stores and the Paralelní Polis café in Prague, which is popular among members of the Czech crypto community. According to the local press, it is actually accepting only cryptocurrency for your coffee.

Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

On the other hand, several banks have been trying to block crypto-related transactions of Czech businesses. One of them, Mbank, has explained its restrictive policies with an argument often used by traditional financial institutions around the world – money laundering concerns. Others, like Komerční bank, have imposed strict controls on operations associated with cryptocurrency. Raiffeisenbank has alerted its clients that transactions with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are unsafe.

However, a survey conducted earlier this year indicated that the popularity of digital coins is growing in the Czech Republic now, when the fiat koruna is free-floating again. Czechs are more inclined to store value in cryptocurrency than in euros, according to the February Ipsos poll among 525 people. When asked about their intentions to acquire foreign cash, twice as many respondents said they were interested in buying bitcoin rather than acquiring US dollars.

Do you expect more utility companies to introduce crypto payments in the near future? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Date Set: Japan’s Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6

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Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6

Japan’s GMO Internet announced that it will unveil its flagship bitcoin mining machine, called GMO miner B2, equipped with the 7nm chips on June 6. Interested customers can register now for the upcoming information session.

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

Launching on June 6

The wait for 7nm bitcoin mining products from Japanese internet giant GMO may be nearing to a close, as the company announced Thursday:

GMO Internet Group will launch GMO miner B2, which is our own high-performance computer for mining (mining machine), on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. We will mass-produce the world’s first mining machine equipped with a cutting-edge 7 nm process based semiconductor chip (7nm mining chip; ‘GMO 72b’), which will be shipped at the end of October 2018.

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6
Illustration of GMO miner B2 provided by GMO.

The company has been working on research and development of the 7nm mining chip since September last year.

GMO has been using “store-bought mining computers” for its mining operation launched in December, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Now it is ready to start producing its own mining equipment made with this 7nm chip, which GMO will use for its in-house mining operation as well as offer “the others to potential customers who are planning to mine,” the company confirmed.

While GMO has not released images of the real mining hardware, the company has provided some illustrative images of the GMO miner B2 currently in development.

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6
Illustration provided by GMO.

Interested Customers Can Register Now

“An information session for potential customers considering the purchase of GMO miner B2 will be held on Wednesday, June 6 in Shibuya, Tokyo, and we will explain the details of GMO miner B2, such as price and performance,” GMO’s announcement reads.

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6

There will also be an information session for the company’s cloud mining service on the same day. The sessions will be in Japanese. Registration is open to both interested customers and institutional investors. “Customers who have not registered in advance will be refused admission,” GMO emphasized.

Furthermore, GMO Internet no longer plans to use an initial coin offering (ICO) for the sale of its 7nm mining boards as announced in October last year. A representative of the company told news.Bitcoin.com, “for this mining machine sales and cloud mining, we don’t plan to utilize ICO.”

How powerful do you think GMO’s 7nm miners will be? Do you want to buy one?Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet.


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Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four Months

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Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four Months

Employees of a regional police department in Ukraine were recently caught mining cryptocurrencies using the department’s resources, according to the court document. They had been mining for four months before they got caught and their mining farm seized.

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

Police Mining Farm Discovered

Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four MonthsEmployees of the National Police of Ukraine reportedly set up a cryptocurrency mining farm in their workplace and mined cryptocurrencies for four months before they were caught, local media reported this week. The employees work at the Rivne Oblast regional police headquarters’ Communications Department. This information was revealed in the Rivne City Court document number No. 569/8710/18, Finclub reported.

Ukrainian news agency Glavcom elaborated, “In April of this year, employees of the Department of Homeland Security of the Police Headquarters in Rivne Oblast identified the [crypto mining] equipment at the office of the Communications Department,” adding:

The same day, the investigator of the regional administration removed from his colleagues two wooden frames, which featured eight graphics cards, six power units, two hard drives, a motherboard and a complete system unit.

The Investigation

Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four Months“A pre-trial investigation in the criminal proceedings under Part 1 of Article 185 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on the fact of theft of electricity” has already begun, the publication detailed, noting that the court decided not to reveal the cryptocurrencies mined.

The investigation “established that from the beginning of 2018, officials of the Communications Department…abused their official position, acting in contravention of the interests of the service,” the news outlet quoted the court document. The employees unilaterally used the electricity of the region “for their own purposes, for the proper functioning of the equipment for the extraction of cryptocurrencies, which caused significant damage to the interests of the State Enterprise of the Rivne region,” the court document details.

368.media described:

The policemen are charged with the theft of electricity belonging to the management of the National Police in the Rivne region, which they used to extract cryptocurrency, but it is not known how much electricity they used.

In Ukraine, there is currently no regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies despite having multiple proposals. However, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Oleg Churiy, recently revealed that the central bank is working on a bill to regulate them.

What do you think of these police officers mining cryptocurrencies at work? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Tezos Community Petitions to End the Class Action Lawsuits

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Tezos Community Petitions to End the Class Action Lawsuits

Tezos was conceived as a governance-based blockchain to rival Ethereum, but it’s become more synonymous with protracted legal battles and internecine conflict. As the latest class action lawsuit drags its way through the courts, the Tezos community has petitioned for an end to all the legal turmoil so that everyone can move on.

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

Tezos Community Prepares an Amicus Brief

EOS, Cardano and Tezos: Sleeping Giants Starting to StirTezos community leaders are sick of all the lawsuits, so much so that they’re preparing to go to court themselves – to put an end to all the courtroom battles. The Stop The Class Action Lawsuits Against Tezos petition, which is to be filed in a San Francisco Court, asserts that the class actions filed by various other Tezos investors have no merit and should be dismissed. They write:

We do not feel the plaintiffs have been sufficiently harmed to warrant a class action against the program, which further delays and encumbers it by creating large legal difficulties which becomes self-fulfilling and induced by the very plaintiffs themselves who complain of delay. We denounce the plaintiffs as having done more harm to Tezos than the delays inherent in software and network development.

Don’t Fight, Just BUIDL

In essence, the Tezos community members behind the petition want to draw a line under the sand and move on. Their goal is to show the court that it is highly unlikely that the plaintiffs can form a class. If enough people denounce the class, and there are just six plaintiffs claiming they can form a class, the plaintiff’s case becomes much more difficult. The plaintiffs have claimed that they are speaking on behalf of the entire Tezos community…but it appears that a significant portion of that community demurs.

Tezos Community Petitions to End the Class Action Lawsuits

“Everything else appears to be on track for the project now, just the looming threat of legal action limits the foundation’s ability to speak,” explained Shaun Belcher, a board of directors member with Tezos Commons Foundation. He believes that what is at stake has ramifications, not only for Tezos, but for the future of blockchain projects in general, adding:

“We must understand that the Tezos class action case could set a precedent for all ICOs, past and future. If the community can prevail, not only will it help Tezos but it will immunize other blockchain projects from facing a class action, because failure here against Tezos would discourage law firms in the future.”

Bitcoin Suisse Also Washes Its Hands of Class Actions

Last week, Bitcoin Suisse AF, a BTC brokerage, also filed a motion seeking to dismiss itself from the Tezos class action lawsuit is has been named in, writing:

Bitcoin Suisse submits that it is not properly named as a defendant in the Tezos litigation because of its lack of contacts with both California and the United States sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction and because the alleged, limited currency conversion services it provided, solely in Switzerland, prior to the alleged Tezos ICO, and its alleged post-ICO conduct, cannot establish liability under Sections 5 and 12(a)(1) of the Securities Act.

With a betanet launch of the Tezos blockchain planned for late June, the race is on to clear the air of all impediments that could further delay proceedings. Before that can happen though there’s still code to audit, tokens to list on exchanges and countless other development tasks to tick off. Meanwhile, the class action lawsuit rumbles on while the Tezos community grows ever weary.

Do you think the Tezos community have a chance of dismissing the class action lawsuit? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Tezos.


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Coinjar Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange Supporting AUD Pairings

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Coinjar Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange Supporting AUD Pairings

Coinjar has announced the launch of a cryptocurrency exchange that will exclusively offer AUD currency for fiat pairings. The exchange currently offers AUD and BTC pairings for bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple.

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

Coinjar Launches New Australian Cryptocurrency Exchange

Coinjar Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange Supporting AUD PairingsAustralian-founded cryptocurrency company Coinjar has announced that it has launched a cryptocurrency exchange exclusively offering fiat pairings in AUD.

Coinjar exchange currently provides support for BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP pairings. In addition to AUD pairings, all supported altcoins are available to trade against BTC also.

The company is offering tiered accounts to users, with free accounts being charged a 1% fee for both orders that make and take liquidity from the order books. ‘Trader’ and ‘Premium’ accounts are also available for $500 AUD and $5000 AUD annually respectively – offering significantly discounted trading fees in addition to enhanced support services. ‘Institutional’ accounts are also available to traders who are able to make a volume commitment.

With regards to storage and security, Coinjar claims to store “At least 90% of our customers’ digital currencies […] offline in geographically redundant secure locations,” adding that “Wherever practicable, we also use multi-sig technology to protect digital assets that must be stored online.”

AUD Markets Lacking Major Exchanges

Coinjar Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange Supporting AUD PairingsIn recent weeks, Coinjar was announced as a finalist for Fintech Australia’s ‘Excellence in Digital Currencies/Wallets/Exchanges’ award – an award to be given as part of the not-for-profit organization’s 2018 Finnie awards.

According to Cryptocompare, the AUD bitcoin markets are highly centralized – with approximately 91.5% of trade 24-hour trade occurring on BTCMarkets. The second most active exchange is peer-to-peer trading platform Localbitcoins – with accounts for a further 4.75% of trading volume.

As of this writing, Cryptocompare estimates the AUD markets to the be the 15th largest fiat pairing against BTC by trading volume, with a 24-hour trading volume 288.4 BTC – or 0.05% of global trade.

As per Australia’s regulations, Coinjar is registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.

Do you think that Coinjar will be able to rival BTCMarkets’ apparent dominance of the AUD/BTC markets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinjar


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BCH Payment Processor Bitek Allows Colombian Merchants to Convert to Pesos

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BCH Payment Processor Bitek Allows Colombian Merchants to Convert to Pesos

Two Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponents, Javier Barrera and Andrés Rivera, believe the evolution of cryptocurrency will be bolstered by the BCH network so they recently developed a payment processor called Bitek.co. The company offers merchant processing with payable invoices, and accounting services as the Bitek platform provides merchants with the ability to accept BCH and convert all or a percentage of the funds into Colombian pesos.

Also Read: Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

Bitek: Promoting the Use of Bitcoin Cash in Columbian Markets

BCH Payment Processor Bitek Allows Colombian Merchants to Convert to PesosThere’s a new payment processor for the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network called Bitek.co  — a system that allows merchants from Colombia to accept BCH and convert to pesos immediately if they choose. The business model is similar to the Bitpay service as Bitek offers BCH-based merchant processing, invoices, and accounting services its customers. Bitek also offers a community section on their website for merchants who want to announce they accept BCH. In order to use Bitek merchant who are interested need to register and fill out the necessary information for a payment gateway and receiving deposits in BCH and Colombian pesos.  

Bitek’s founder Javier Barrera recently spoke at the Satoshi’s Vision Conference in Tokyo, and detailed how his team is integrating BCH into Colombia’s retail market. Moreover, earlier this week Javier Barrera and Andrés Rivera explained their passion for Bitcoin Cash in an interview with the Latin American publication Diariobitcoin. The founders explain they believe BCH is a better Bitcoin and “it is the asset that best fits with the definition and the philosophical line proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto.” Bitek plans to educate residents in Colombia with meetups and educational programs throughout the region as the firm tells Diariobitcoin:

The objective is to promote the use of Bitcoin Cash in the national market.

BCH Payment Processor Bitek Allows Colombian Merchants to Convert to Pesos

BCH Meetups and Bitek’s Plan to Launch a Marketplace

Barrera explains that Bitek has three benefits for merchants looking for a BCH payment gateway such as accounting, liquidity with a remuneration in Colombian pesos, and protection from cryptocurrency volatility as BCH deposits can get the equivalent in pesos the same day. The exchange rate is based on estimates stemming from local exchanges and trading platforms like Bittrex. Just like other cryptocurrency payment processors, merchants have the ability to convert 100 percent of their funds into pesos or a fraction. 

Bitek plans to launch a marketplace as well that facilitates trades between buyers and sellers and payments made with Bitcoin Cash. Further Bitek has detailed it has been in talks with BCH-based firms such as Centbee and Nchain concerning future collaborations. The startup has also organized BCH meetups on a weekly basis at popular venues like the Revellion Cultu-Bar. Bitcoin Cash supporters seem pleased with another addition to the slew of companies offering BCH infrastructure services.

What do you think about the Bitek payment service? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Bitek.co


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Zimbabwe High Court Reverses Central Bank’s Cryptocurrency Ban

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Zimbabwe High Court Reverses Central Bank's Cryptocurrency Ban

Just recently news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Zimbabwe-based exchange Golix filing a lawsuit over the recent Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) ‘cryptocurrency ban’ that was issued in a financial guidance circular earlier this month. Now, according to numerous regional reports, the Zimbabwe High Court has ruled in favor of the trading platform’s argument because the RBZ failed to show up to the trial.  

Also read: India’s Supreme Court Keeps Ban on Banks’ Crypto Services, For Now

Harare High Court Reverses RBZ Cryptocurrency Ban

Multiple regional news outlets and individuals on social media have reported that the Zimbabwe High Court has lifted the RBZ ban against cryptocurrency activities taking place within the country. The local digital asset exchange Golix decided to take the case to the High Court stating the RBZ had no right to enforce such laws and only the country’s parliament can issue a financial ban.

Zimbabwe High Court Reverses Central Bank's Cryptocurrency Ban

After the bank issued its Circular to Banking Institutions No. 2/2018: Virtual Currencies, many people thought the central bank effectively banned all cryptocurrency activities. Today, Golix and its legal team managed to get High Court judge Justice Alphas Chitakunye to overturn the ban.

On May 24 one of the legal team members, and a constitutional lawyer, Fadzayi Mahere, announced the victory to her Twitter followers stating:

RBZ ban on cryptos lifted by the High Court. Administrative justice is alive and well in this jurisdiction. Section 68 of the Constitution is our best friend.

Zimbabwe High Court Reverses Central Bank's Cryptocurrency Ban
The legal team fighting against the recent RBZ ruling in Zimbabwe.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Representatives Fail to Attend Harare High Court Trial

Alongside Fadzayi Mahere, the Golix team was represented by another attorney named Hopewell Chitima. The legal team used Section 68 of the country’s constitution but no representatives from the RBZ showed up to the trial. Regional reports state that because of this action, the Harare High Court justice ruled in favor of the Golix team. High Court judge Alphas Chitakunye’s ruling states:

The ban issued by the Respondents [RBZ] through letter dated 15 May 2018 against Applicant directing it to cease operations, shut down its virtual currency exchange business and ordering the closure of its bank account with its banks is hereby reversed and set aside.

At the time of publication, there have been no statements made by the RBZ, the central bank’s registrar Norman Mataruke, or the RBZ governor, John Mangudya.

What do you think about the High Court lifting the RBZ ban? Do you think the central bank will respond to this ruling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Fadzayi Mahere’s Twitter page, Shutterstock, and Pixabay. 


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Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million

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Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million

It appears Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has been double spend attacked over and over again, totalling something in the neighborhood of $18 million at current prices. BTG forums seem to have been tracking the hack, going as far back as last week, monitoring the controversial coin’s hashrate, ultimately determining a 51% attack was under way.

Also read: Roger Ver and Ryan X. Charles Reveal the Future of Cash

Bitcoin Gold Gets $18 Million Haircut

“An unknown party with access to very large amounts of hashpower is trying to use ‘51% attacks,’” Bitcoin Gold forum poster Mental Nomad announced a week ago, “to perform ‘double spend’ attacks to steal money from Exchanges. We have been advising all exchanges to increase confirmations and carefully review large deposits.”

A founding economic principle of bitcoin was its alleviation of the double spend problem. It was a main stumbling block in the historical race to create a viable cryptographic monetary form – foiling a great many coders along the way. Satoshi Nakamoto solved it through a decentralized, distributed ledger confirmation process (blockchain). Going as far back as its genesis block from early 2009, users can be confident transactions aren’t rebroadcast. Like clockwork, 6 times an hour, blocks are added – copied to nodes within the universal network.

Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million
The offending wallet, according to the BTG team.

One way to achieve double spending is known as a 51% attack. It’s accomplished by bogarting the network’s computing power. With a majority, bad actors can get between the Nakamoto solution and transaction confirmations. By stymieing block completion in the usual manner, all sorts of mischief can arise: blockchain mining rewards redirected, users’ transactions reversed, etc. Not too long after, a double spending attack can commence, acting as the fiat equivalent to counterfeiting. Needless to type, any crypto suffering from such a problem is certain to immediately lose user confidence.

Such attacks are interesting for another reason, as Mental Nomad is careful to point out. “There is no risk to typical users or to existing funds being held. The only parties at risk are those currently accepting large payments directly from the attacker. Exchanges are the primary targets,” he assured last week. “It appears that actions on the part of the exchanges have deterred the attacker, for now.” And hitting exchanges tends to elicit little sympathy, at least initially, due to users being insulated. Exchanges are particularly vulnerable because they generally covet large deposits, which only compounds the problem in cases like these.

Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million

GTNjvCGssb2rbLnDV1xxsHmunQdvXnY2Ft

Over period of days, batches of BTG were deposited into exchanges supporting the forked coin, only to be sent back to the depositor’s wallet. The lag between such a transaction and some exchanges’ discovery is sufficient enough to nab tokens, doubling the filthy lucre. Exchanges trading bitcoin gold have responded by upping transaction confirmation filters, but evidently to no avail as the attacker gains ever-more BTG network control.

Bitcoin Gold team members seem to have communicated with some exchanges. “Requiring more confirmations greatly increases safety,” the forum details. “Until now, some Exchanges were operating with less than five confirmations required. We have been urging higher limits to prevent such an attack, and urging manual review of large deposits of BTG before clearing the funds for trading.” Indeed, according to BTG, “One of the targeted Exchanges reported that they strongly believe this attacker attempted to hit them with a double-spend of BTC in the past. In their words, ‘we are 100% sure that it is the same person, we found many associations between the accounts.’”

Bitcoin Gold Hacked for $18 Million
The traditional way BTC has been able to thwart double spend attacks.

Evidence put forward by the BTG team points to address GTNjvCGssb2rbLnDV1xxsHmunQdvXnY2Ft as the attacker’s wallet; mined coins, according to the forum post reside at GXXjRkdquAkyHeJ6ReW3v4FY3QbgPfugTx. More than 388,201.92404001 BTG were funneled through the wallet, totalling more than $18 million according to Bitcoin Gold Explorer. That a top thirty crypto by market cap can be so easily troubled is a giant of enough problem, but it could also take exchanges down in the process – something the ecosystem is very sensitive to since Mt. Gox. And though, for now, BTG is confident enough to suggest users are not at risk, history shows that can quickly be the case as an exchange freezes withdrawals in an effort to stop hemorrhaging.

Bitcoin Gold has been beset by controversies since its birth fork late last year, including a recent dust-up between BCH advocate Craig Wright and BTG founder Jack Liao. To be fair, however, it is not the only blockchain to suffer a 51% attack. Mere days ago, recently Chinese government highly rated coin verge (XVG) was made to heel, again. These pages reported XVG, “On the morning of May 22, Suprvona, one of the largest altcoin mining pools, informed its 19,000 Twitter followers that verge was suffering yet another 51% attack, causing all blocks to be rejected.”

Do you think the BTG hack spells doom for the coin? Let us know what you think of this subject in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, BTG Block Explorer.


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Ireland Clarifies Taxation of Crypto Transactions

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Ireland Clarifies Taxation of Crypto Transactions

The Irish revenue service has published a manual with guidelines aimed at eliminating the uncertainty surrounding the taxation of crypto transactions. Investors and traders of digital coins, businesses working with cryptocurrency and tax advisors, of course, can now find answers to many but not all of their questions. The notice has been issued at a time when tax authorities across Europe are trying to tap into crypto incomes and profits in the absence of dedicated regulations in most cases.  

Also read: Poland Backpedals on “Irrational” Crypto Tax After Strong Backlash

Cryptos to Be Treated Under ‘Normal’ Tax Rules

The “Tax and Duty Manual” issued by authorities in Ireland attempts to clarify matters related to crypto taxation and mostly confirms that the existing regulations apply to the crypto sector. The document provides guidelines on the tax treatment of various transactions involving cryptocurrencies. The Irish Revenue Commissioners, the government agency responsible for customs and taxation, emphasizes that the advisory published this month is to be used as a reference for tax purposes only, as it does not cover regulatory and other aspects.

According to the instructions, direct taxes such as corporation tax, income tax and capital gains tax are applicable but each case should be reviewed separately, according to the individual facts and circumstances. In general, businesses accepting crypto payments for goods or services should keep records of crypto transactions. No special rules have been introduced so far and taxable profits should be calculated according to the current tax legislation.

Ireland Clarifies Taxation of Crypto Transactions

The profits and losses of a company transacting in cryptocurrency must be reflected in accounts and are taxable under “normal CT rules,” the document states. Ireland’s Taxes Consolidation Act from 1997 recognizes that some businesses operate and prepare their accounts in a “functional currency” other than euro. The authors of the manual point out, however, that cryptocurrencies cannot be considered functional currencies as defined in Section 402(1) of the TCA. Therefore, accounts for tax purposes cannot be maintained in crypto. Instead, euro or other fiat currency should be used.

Irish tax officials have explained crypto income taxation, as well. “Profits and losses of a non-incorporated business on cryptocurrency transactions must be reflected in their accounts and will be taxable on normal income tax rules,” the notice reads. They have also informed taxpayers that gains and losses incurred on cryptocurrencies are chargeable or allowable for capital gains tax if they accrue to an individual, or for corporate tax on chargeable gains for companies.

Bitcoin Is Currency as Far as VAT is Concerned

In the absence of common European guidelines on how to treat cryptocurrencies for tax purposes, many member-states have decided to base their VAT (Value Added Tax) policies on a ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU from 2015. The Luxembourg-based institution has drawn a parallel between “virtual currencies” and fiat money, when they are used for payments. The Republic of Ireland is now joining these countries confirming that bitcoin constitutes a currency for VAT purposes.

Ireland Clarifies Taxation of Crypto TransactionsIn result, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are regarded as “negotiable instruments” and exempt from VAT in accordance with the Irish VAT Consolidation Act of 2010. The manual notes this applies to companies buying and selling cryptocurrencies and acting as owners of crypto holdings. On the other hand, value added tax is due from suppliers of goods or services sold for cryptocurrencies. The taxable amount, however, should again be calculated in euro and at the time of the supply.

The Irish Revenue Commissioners point out that the value of bitcoin and other cryptos may vary between trading platforms. In the absence of a single exchange rate, a “reasonable effort should be made to use an appropriate valuation for the transaction in question,” the manual says, without detailing what “reasonable” and “appropriate” may mean in practice.

Income received from mining operations will generally be outside the scope of the value added tax. Crypto mining is not considered an economic activity for VAT purposes yet. It’s worth noting that no instructions have been given on the taxation of incomes, profits and other flows related to initial coin offerings. The document issued by the Irish revenue service does not say anything about digital tokens and token sales.

Do you think the Irish tax manual provides enough clarity in regards to crypto taxation? Share your opinions in the comments section below.  


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US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin Market

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US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin Market

Have you ever felt that someone is controlling the crypto markets, increasing prices to lure you in and crash it all as soon as you buy? Well, US authorities have apparently heard your whining because they are now reportedly suspicious manipulation is indeed occurring.

Also Read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall Street

Spoofing and Wash Trading

US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin MarketThe US Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly launched a criminal investigation to determine if big money traders are manipulating the prices of Bitcoin, Ether and possibly other cryptocurrencies. The illicit trade tactics that the DOJ is looking into include spoofing and wash trading, and federal prosecutors are working in collaboration with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on the investigation, this according to “four people familiar with the matter” cited by Bloomberg.

Spoofing refers to creating false buy orders to attract other traders (usually bots) to get in, with the intention of manipulating the market price in order to make a profit by actually selling. The Dodd-Frank Act defines spoofing as “the illegal practice of bidding or offering with intent to cancel before execution.” Similarly, wash trading is when someone simultaneously sells and buys the same financial instruments to create misleading activity, meant to make it appear as if an asset has more trade volume than it really does.

Why Now?

US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin MarketUS authorities are reportedly concerned that cryptocurrency markets are prone to manipulation for a number of reasons including doubts that all trading venues are on the lookout for fraudsters, massive price swings that make it possible to steer valuations and a lack of strong regulations on crypto exchanges.

While many will surely applaud the DOJ for its diligence in protecting crypto investors, skeptics might wonder if US authorities are not doing this also in an effort to further cool the market down by frightening investors. They are not generally known to be welcoming toward the field, and only recently it was revealed that American regulators also took part in a crackdown on what they call “fraudulent ICOs and crypto-asset investment products.”

Are cryptocurrency prices manipulated and is it the US DOJ’s job to investigate these global markets at all? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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