Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

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Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

The Institute for Justice (IJ) bills itself as the national law firm for liberty. IJ works to slow the growth of government in the US in all its forms: economic freedom, education, private property, freedom of speech, not to mention amicus briefs to the Supreme Court. Now bitcoiners can help support IJ’s valuable work, a real world use case, through Bitpay and bitcoin cash (BCH).

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

Freedom, a Use Case for Bitcoin Cash

This year started very well for The Institute for Justice, a national law firm taking the terribly unsexy cases where government encroachment upon average folk goes largely unnoticed. The venerable Pineapple Fund donated to “only 58 charities so far selected to receive a grant,” including the IJ. In response to the January notice of receiving a grant, the Institute noted it would use the money to “help us defend and secure the rights of hundreds of thousands of people like those you will read about in this issue of Liberty & Law, protecting them from government abuse and enabling them to live as free and responsible individuals.”

Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

The Pineapple Fund was a foundation of sorts lasting less than half a year. Started by a bitcoin core (BTC) whale, it garnered widespread praise in the cryptocurrency ecosystem for promoting the idea at least some of the recent years’ gains ought to be set aside for causes working for a brighter future. And it became yet another connection between crypto and the Institute for Justice.

A Thirty Year History Meets Money’s Future

In fact, the IJ has come to terms with crypto payment provider Bitpay, allowing supporters to donate in bitcoin cash (BCH) as well. The higher fees and lag times of bitcoin core (BTC) made it less hospitable toward microtransactions such as lower-level giving. A hundred bucks worth here, twenty there, were simply eaten alive by transaction costs. A much better match, at the moment, is BCH for those very reasons. And all donations are tax deductible.

Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Supporting work of the sort IJ does is something crypto enthusiasts can feel good about. A cursory gloss over the cases during their near 30 year history is proof enough. Eminent domain, whereby governments bully property owners into selling, or worse, under the rubric of the ‘greater good’ are causes rarely heard by other groups. IJ regularly fights them.

Crypto fans are especially sensitive about the subject of licensing and certification, as they’re often frictions and barriers to entry into the polite, proper economy — something enthusiasts can empathize with. The IJ is a lone advocate in this regard, making sure those who wish to simply offer a nice meal or a haircut are protected from petty bureaucrats. The IJ is also keen on providing support for landmark cases via amicus briefs, as in the case of Carpenter v. United States. The Carpenter case deals with the 4th Amendment violations and may be instrumental towards the pending Ross Ulbricht Supreme Court petition as well.  

For the BCH Gang, giving to important causes is yet another perk of decentralized cash. Groups such as EatBCH are “collecting bitcoin cash donations for the past few months and have been using the funds to purchase food and feed Venezuelans who are in need of assistance. Nearly every single day for over three months the group’s Twitter handle shows pictures of children and adults getting all kinds of food — and it’s all paid for with bitcoin cash,” these pages reported. The Institute for Justice is yet another use case.

Do you donate crypto? Is it a good way to spread adoption? Tell us in the comments below! 

Images via Shutterstock and Pixabay.

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Cryptocurrency Exchange Verification Is Getting Weird

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Cryptocurrency Exchange Logins Are Getting Weird

Back in the day, before cryptocurrency was worth anything, an email address and a password was all you needed to login to an exchange. Then came 2FA, using email verification or Google Authenticator. Then came the third generation of secure sign-in methods, and that’s when things started getting weird.

Also read: Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery

From Fit the Puzzle to Make the Gesture

Cryptocurrency Exchange Logins Are Getting WeirdAs attackers have gotten more sophisticated, so have the measures cryptocurrency exchanges have taken to keep them at bay. These are designed to fulfill a range of objectives, including spam and bot deterrence, as well as to perform increased due diligence for legal reasons.

Binance with its “Fit the puzzle piece carefully” which has spawned numerous memes, and kept its customer support busy attending to users who can’t fit the puzzle. Kucoin, meanwhile, began asking odd questions of its customers a few weeks ago, and then repeating those questions every time they went to login, much to their annoyance.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Verification Is Getting Weird
Kucoin asks the important questions

Bittrex will force you to log in twice after clicking a link in your email, stating that it doesn’t recognize your IP – even when you’re signing in from your usual location on your usual device. The quirks of logging into major exchanges have been assimilated into cryptocurrency culture, and while users may grumble, they accept that these measures are in place for their own benefit.’s latest verification trick, though, has gotten traders talking:

Cryptocurrency Exchange Logins Are Getting Weird’s new KYC

Prove You’re Human

Completing KYC for in a public place is no longer viable, but perhaps that’s part of the plan: to embarrass users into upping their opsec by logging in at home. As part of the verification process, users are required to recreate four out of a possible nine gestures before their webcam. From a security perspective, it’s certainly effective: bots have yet to master human gestures while pulling gang signs.

In no other industry would the public tolerate such bizarre security measures. Cryptocurrency is different though. Undergoing unorthodox procedures is the price that must be paid for trading on an exchange. Traders can complain, but if they want to withdraw their funds, they have no option other than to comply.

Do you think enhanced verification measures heighten exchange security, or do they simply inconvenience users? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Binance,, and Kucoin.

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

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

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we feature stories that show how fast and nimble banks that support cryptocurrency-based businesses are benefiting at the expense of the larger players that have yet to enter the market, how more financial institutions want to join and how crypto ventures are making it easier for them.

Also Read: Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, Mining

Small Banks Love Bitcoin

With major US banks too afraid to serve all American bitcoin users and businesses, smaller banks are picking up the slack and making a fortune doing so. New York-based Metropolitan Bank for example was able to build up deposits from crypto business without building costly new branches, and more than triple yearly fee income in 2017, largely from crypto transactions.

And San Diego-based Silvergate Bank nearly doubled its assets to $1.9 billion in 2017, mainly because of 250 cryptocurrency-related businesses the privately-held company now serves. Silvergate Chief Executive Alan Lane told to the Wall Street Journal that “At what point as a banker do you pull your head out of the sand? Every banker should be learning about the technology.”

Deutsche Börse “Deep at Work” With Bitcoin

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall StreetDeutsche Börse AG, which operates the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, is actively examining its options for launching cryptocurrency derivatives. This was revealed in London on Wednesday by Jeffrey Tessler, CEO of the post-trade services provider owned by Deutsche Börse Clearstream and member of the group’s executive board, responsible for Clients, Products & Core Markets, at an event organized by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe.

“Before we move forward with anything like Bitcoin we want to make sure we understand the underlying transaction which isn’t the easiest thing to do,” explained Tessler. “We are deep at work with it,” however, “not at the same stage” [as the CME]. “We want to understand the volatility and make sure clients are in line and make sure regulators are in line.”

Huobi Pro Launches Crypto Market Index

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall StreetHuobi Pro has announced on Wednesday the launch of a new benchmark called the Huobi Main Force Index. The company explains that it will select 10 top traded digital assets with high market capitalization and strong liquidity that reflect the market performance of Huobi Pro, in terms of USDT. The assets will be divided into four categories: Coins, Platforms, Applications and Physical Assets tokens, depending on the transaction volume value of the previous quarter. Huobi further states that the main force index will be published by Bloomberg and other communication organizations later on, and users may view the index by logging in on their devices.

“The goal here is to provide a complete and organized tool which will help enhance the overall knowledge of the blockchain industry. We are committed to bringing more insights and data so key stakeholders can make the most knowledgeable decisions when it comes to their investments,” said Leon Li, founder and CEO of Huobi Group.

US Megabanks Less Safe Than Crypto?

Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall StreetAmericans now have a new reason to consider moving their money away from big banks to cryptocurrencies – the expected decision by banking regulators to water down the Volcker Rule, which restricts the ability of banks to engage in proprietary trading with depositor funds. This according to the latest analysis by Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings. They explain that due to the rule changes, banks will now be able to gamble more freely in a scheme that gives them the quick profits but gives depositors the ultimate risks. In contrast, holders of cryptocurrencies are not exposed to those kinds of risks as they can control their money directly with no custody by third parties and no need to trust a central authority.

“With this rule change, the authorities will make it easier for megabanks to take big risks with other people’s money. But they are making the change precisely when global debt levels imply record risks,” the authors argue. “In the future, cryptocurrencies will do such a fundamentally better job as a safe depository of funds it’s difficult to envision a world in which this technology does not become a game-changer for money and banking.”

What do you think about today’s news updates? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Coinbase Acquires Decentralized ERC-20 Trading Platform Paradex

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Coinbase Acquires Decentralized ERC-20 Trading Platform Paradex

On Wednesday, May 23 the San Francisco based exchange Coinbase announced the acquisition of a decentralized digital token relay-trading platform called Paradex. Alongside adding the decentralized exchange (Dex), the firm has also revealed it is retiring the name GDAX and that platform will soon be known as ‘Coinbase Pro.’

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

Coinbase Exchange Acquires Decentralized Token-Relay Platform Paradex

Coinbase has revealed some interesting decisions today as the cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage service purchased a peer-to-peer Dex that allows users to swap “hundreds of tokens” like ERC-20s. According to various reports, Coinbase plans to “enhance” the Paradex protocol and launch the service to international customers located outside of the U.S. Reuters details that Coinbase purchased the platform for an undisclosed sum.

Coinbase Acquires Decentralized ERC-20 Trading Platform Paradex

Basically, the Paradex development team of ten, explains the platform allows the peer-to-peer relay of ERC-20 tokens on top of the Ethereum blockchain. The system is entirely decentralized by utilizing the 0x protocol which provides “handling settlement without necessitating user accounts or taking custodianship of users’ funds,” explains the Paradex team.

Today the Paradex website states:

We know we’ve been a little quiet, but we’ve been hard at work, and we’re incredibly excited to share that Paradex is joining Coinbase — While we work to integrate with Coinbase, the Paradex app will be temporarily unavailable, starting today, May 23, at 3pm ET. This doesn’t change our commitment to our users — We’re still working hard to build the best relayer, now with a larger team and more resources.

GDAX Will be Overhauled Into ‘Coinbase Pro’

Coinbase also told the press it would “eventually” provide Paradex services to U.S. customers but it needs to make compliance changes first. The firm headquartered in San Francisco also announced the same day that it was completely overhauling and rebranding the GDAX exchange. This summer GDAX will be known as ‘Coinbase Pro’ the company explained on Wednesday.

Coinbase Acquires Decentralized ERC-20 Trading Platform Paradex
The Coinbase Pro Trading Interface.

David Farmer, the General Manager of Coinbase Pro, detailed the trading platform will be more intuitive with a simplified deposit and withdrawal process. Further, the exchange will offer improved charts and access to historical data while also offering a new portfolio feature called ‘My Wallets.’

“As the decentralized ecosystem advances, we expect there will be many more opportunities for customers to interact with digital assets in new and unique ways,” Farmer states.

The news follows the trading platform’s plan to offer institutional custody services, and purchasing the website

What do you think about Coinbase purchasing Paradex? What do you think about GDAX turning into Coinbase Pro? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Coinbase, Paradex, and GDAX blog. 

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PR: Energi Mine Adds to Ecosystem of Energy Saving Partners with Simply EV Partnership

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Energi Mine EV Partnership

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

Partnership announced in same week as Energi Mine launches promotion with OKEx, the world’s biggest exchange

London – Energi Mine, the blockchain platform that financially rewards energy saving behaviour using EnergiTokens (ETK), and Simply EV, a leading provider of EV accessories today, announced a partnership. The partnership will enable those with ETK to spend their currency on electric vehicle charging cables and accessories, as well as earn ETK through a rewards scheme at Simply EV.

The relationship will enable Simply EV customers to join the Energi Mine community and use the ETK tokens. These tokens can be earned through the Energi Mine platform, by rewarding people for energy saving behaviour: from purchasing electric vehicles, to using energy efficient appliances. Operating in a similar way to rewards and loyalty schemes, ETK can also be gained by customers through purchasing certain goods from a growing list of suppliers. In fact, one of the very actions through which a customer could earn ETK would be to purchase products from Simply EV.

Simply EV sells electric vehicle charging equipment direct to consumers – rather than through the vehicle manufacturers themselves. Therefore, whatever make of electric vehicle a customer has, they will be able to find a variety of charging equipment on their site; the charge cables in particular offering an industry leading five-year warranty.

Conor Thomas, managing director of Simply EV, said that “By teaming up with Energi Mine and joining their circle of partners, we are creating a real community for our customers. Our customers have made the decision to invest in sustainable transportation and reduce their carbon footprint, what better way to reward them than to bring them into the Energi Mine ecosystem, offering them rewards with us and the other companies Energi Mine has partnered with.”

This is one of many recent partnerships announced by Energi Mine, including others with the Energy Managers Association that will see the platform trialled on Network Rail, as well as a recently announced partnership with FuzeX that takes crypto one step further to being used at the checkout when buying goods in person. In forming such partnerships, Energi Mine is building a community of energy conscious businesses that will accept and aid the distribution of EnergiTokens.

Omar Rahim, CEO of Energi Mine said “Part of our vision at Energi Mine is to create a community of likeminded businesses that all strive to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability. With this partnership we are now making consumers part of that ecosystem by giving them a way that they can benefit from financial rewards for their energy conscious decisions. This should also have the effect of incentivising further energy saving behaviour.”

This partnership comes off the back of recent research that has shown that the UK is lagging behind when it comes to the provision of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles – as the rate of uptake of electric cars outstrips the installation of vehicle charging points.

Following on from the successful launch of its rewards app, Energi Mine is offering bonus EnergiTokens (ETK) and a prize of $20,000 worth of ETH when you open an account with the biggest crypto exchange in the world, OKEx, simply by depositing 1 ETH. The first 3000 people to sign up to OKEx, using this link will receive EnergiTokens (ETK), with the first 1000 people each receiving 3000 ETK, the next 1000 people receiving 2000 ETK and the final 1000 people receiving 1000 ETK. As well as this, you will have a 1 in 3,000 chance to WIN $20,000 worth of ETH.

Get involved today, help be a part of the change! For more information about the EnergiToken energy-saving reward scheme, or to become a partner, please visit, follow us on twitter @EnergiMine or join the Energi Mine Telegram group @energitoken.

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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. 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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Russian Duma Adopts Three Crypto Bills on First Reading

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Russian Duma Adopts Three Crypto Bills on First Reading

Russian State Duma has approved its first reading of the long-awaited legislation package regulating crypto-related matters and activities. The legal texts, voted almost unanimously, will open the way for legalization of cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation, including their exchange and circulation under certain conditions. Deputies now have about two weeks to propose amendments before they proceed to final adoption of the three bills.

Also read: Cryptocurrency is Property in Russia, Justice Minister Confirms

The Bills Regulate Crypto Assets, Crowdfunding and Digital Rights

The lower house of Russia’s parliament, the Duma, has accepted and approved on first reading three pieces of legislation tailored to regulate different aspects of the crypto ecosphere in the country. This week, the bills – “On Digital Financial Assets,” “On Attracting Investments Using Investment Platforms,” and “On Digital Rights” – hit the house floor. All of them were voted almost unanimously, the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain announced on social media.  Some interesting ideas, like tax breaks, have been pitched already during parliamentary discussions.

Russian Duma Adopts Three Crypto Bills on First ReadingThe first two drafts were introduced on March 20 by a group of deputies led by the chairman of the Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov, while the third one, which amends the country’s Civil Code, was filed on March 26 by the speaker of the Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, and the head of the parliamentary Legislation Committee, Pavel Krasheninnikov.

The new legislation incorporates legal concepts like “digital right” and “smart contract” and defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as property, not as legal tender. It establish the sequence of actions in a token sale and the rules governing ICO projects. The texts form the basis for legalizing crypto mining but the legal definition of this economic activity will be expanded and refined between the two readings. Other amendments may be introduced in the next couple of weeks. Some proposals, including a moratorium on the taxation of miners, have been discussed in parliament already.

Cryptocurrency Is Electronic Property, Not Legal Tender

The bill “On Digital Financial Assets”, № 419059-7, prepared by the Finance Ministry, was voted by Russian legislators with only one “nay”. It regulates the relations arising from the creation, issuance, storage, and circulation of digital financial assets. The draft also establishes the exact procedures for conducting crypto transactions and concluding smart contracts, including the exercise of rights and the performance of obligations.

Last week, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said that common words like “cryptocurrencies” and “tokens” will be replaced with the legal terms “digital money” and “digital rights” in the new legislation. The text of this particular draft, however, contains definitions of the original, colloquial terms. It reads: “Digital financial asset – property in electronic form, created using cryptographic tools.” It also says that property rights in this case are certified by making digital records in a register of digital transactions.

Russian Duma Adopts Three Crypto Bills on First Reading

“Digital financial assets include cryptocurrency, token,” the document states, emphasizing that these assets are not legal tender in the Russian Federation. According to the authors, tokens can have a single issuer, while cryptocurrencies can have multiple issuers, like the miners. Both can be exchanged with rubles and foreign currencies under rules determined by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). They will not be considered a mandatory means of payment, account and transfer like the ruble, but individuals and businesses will be able to use them for payments within the frame of the law.

According to Russian media reports, the draft states that crypto purchases and sales should be performed only through providers of exchange services for digital financial assets – brokers, dealers, and corporate entities – acting as custodians. That includes cryptocurrency exchanges which will offer individual accounts and wallets to their customers. The rules governing these activities shall be developed by the Central Bank in consultation with the Council of Ministers.

Crowdfunding and Crowdinvesting Regulated

The bill also describes the sequence of actions involved in issuing digital tokens, stating that their release should be carried out through public offering. Entities behind initial coin offerings (ICOs) will be required to disclose detailed information about their projects. The organizers of token sales need to prove they control at least 5 million rubles (~$81,000) of capital. Banks and non-credit financial institutions won’t be allowed to conducts ICOs. The law also regulates crypto mining and implies that miners should register with the Federal Tax Service, as either individual entrepreneurs or legal entities, and pay taxes.

Russian Duma Adopts Three Crypto Bills on First Reading

The Law “On Attracting Investments Using Investment Platforms”, № 419090-7, regulates specifically crowdfunding and crowdinvesting in Russia. The draft reads that both legal entities and individual entrepreneurs can be involved in such activities and prescribes the norms that the organizers of digital fundraising should abide by.

According to its provisions, private citizens can participate in crowdfunding without any registration but the investment platform operators should be registered with the CBR. The bank will also determine the maximum amount an “unqualified investor” can spend on a single project as well as and the limit of their yearly investments in digital tokens.

Only Tokens with Economic Value to Be Recognized as ‘Digital rights’

Russian Duma Adopts Three Crypto Bills on First ReadingThe third draft passed on first reading, the bill “On Digital Rights” – № 424632-7, amends the Russian civil law. It introduces basic provisions allowing legislators to regulate the market of tokens and cryptocurrencies and creating conditions for digital transactions. The text develops the legal concept of “digital right” to define tokens.

According to the authors, only tokens with significant economic meaning will be recognized as digital rights, unlike loyalty points or virtual coins used in online gaming, for example. A holder of a “digital right” is described as a person with unique access to the coin’s digital code.

Besides regulating the circulation of tokens and the execution of token transactions, the law is also expected to ensure judicial protection for their owners. The introduction of digital rights creates a legal basis for taxation of economic activities related to token sales, as well.

Do you think the new legislation will open the way for mass adoption of cryptocurrencies in Russia? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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SEC Chairman Applauds ‘Operation Crypto-Sweep’

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SEC Chairman Applauds 'Operation Crypto-Sweep'

The chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, has issued a statement “applaud[ing]” the efforts of authorities associated with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) in executing the current “enforcement sweep targeting fraudulent ICOs and crypto-asset investment products.”

Also Read: 70+ Investigations: 40 Regulators Crack Down on Suspicious Crypto Schemes

SEC Chairman Commends Regulators Involved in ‘Operation Crypto-Sweep’

SEC Chairman Applauds 'Operation Crypto-Sweep'SEC chairman Jay Clayton has “applaud[ed]” his “fellow regulators in the United States and Canada who are coordinating and participating in efforts to police fraud in the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) markets.”

“The enforcement actions being announced by NASAA should be a strong warning to would-be fraudsters in this space that many sets of eyes are watching, and that regulators are coordinating on an international level to take strong actions to deter and stop fraud,” Mr. Clayton said.

The “efforts” referred to by Mr. Clayton have seen more than 40 North American state and provincial regulators participate in ‘Operation Crypto-Sweep’ – an “enforcement sweep” targeting fraudulent ICOs and crypto investment schemes which has resulted in over 70 investigations thus far.

NASAA Describes ICO Fraud as ‘Threat to Main Street Investors”

SEC Chairman Applauds 'Operation Crypto-Sweep'The SEC chairman sought to take a firm stance regarding the issuance of unlicensed securities through an ICO, stating that “When investors are offered and sold securities, whether through traditional channels or through an ICO on a sales-oriented website, state and federal securities laws apply. These laws have applied to our securities markets for over 80 years. At their core, these laws require full and fair disclosures of material information about both the securities and the venture being funded. Unfortunately, some market participants seem to believe that the use of new technology provides a basis for ignoring the core principles of our securities laws.”

Of Operation Crypto-Sweep, NASAA President and Director of the Alabama Securities Commission, Joseph Borg, recently stated: “The persistently expanding exploitation of the crypto ecosystem by fraudsters is a significant threat to Main Street investors in the United States and Canada, and NASAA members are committed to combating this threat. Despite a series of public warnings from securities regulators at all levels of government, cryptocriminals need to know that state and provincial securities regulators are taking swift and effective action to protect investors from their schemes and scams.”

What are your thoughts on Operation Crypto-Sweep? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia

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Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery

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Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery

The website Rapture Market has been down for well over a week for users who frequent the darknet, causing concern that another DNM has committed an exit scam. Currently, the market’s customers and some vendors are freaking out as the online marketplace was gaining in popularity and enjoying solid ratings with decent uptime. However, Rapture Market hasn’t been around for very long and people are starting to believe another DNM has bitten the dust for a number of speculated reasons.

Also read: Darknet Markets: Learning How to Get There is Half the Battle

Darknet Marketplace Rapture Becomes Unavailable for Over a Week—Users Begin to Worry

It has been over eight days since the Rapture Market and its associated forums have been online, and patrons are growing concerned. According to the Deep Dot Web publication, the market is suffering from downtime and its 98 percent uptime rating has dropped to 97 percent. The marketplace hasn’t been around for as long as elder markets like Dream, and Wall Street, as Rapture was created this past January. Since the inception of Rapture, the market has received very good reviews and had a ‘trusted vendors’ referral system and affiliate program, alongside over 500 narcotic listings and other materials. Rapture accepted both Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Monero (XMR) and incorporated a forum and messaging system which have also been non-operational for over a week.

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery
The Rapture darknet marketplace established in January 2018. 

Lots of Speculation, While Reliable DNM Information Is Harder to Gather These Days

These days it’s harder to find out information on the reputation and whereabouts of DNM vendors alongside down darknet markets since Reddit recently removed the most popular DNM forum. However, patrons searching for information about Rapture’s demise are still communicating through the r/darknetmarketnoobs subreddit and other areas on the clearnet.

“Has anyone been in contact with any staff or is there a Rapture PGP signed message about downtime?” One Rapture patron writes on May 15. “I’ve looked but couldn’t find anything. It’s been down a day and a half now, just wondering if anyone knows if its legit downtime or possible exit scam?”

Some Rapture users said the site will return soon and also revealed that the webpage was suffering from DDoS attacks, among other issues. After a few months of decent reviews on the website Deep Dot Web, a bunch of new reviews appeared last week, with people asking why the DNM was not available.

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery
The Deep Dot Web’s DNM chart shows Rapture is down and unresponsive.

“The market is under DDoS owners are trying to get it back up no need for panic,” a user writes four days ago. The very last reviewer explains they have ‘inside’ information on why the site is non-operational and states:        

For security reasons I can not reveal how I have this information but I have very credible sources and the site is fixing some bugs and taking the market offline; bugs are minor but there are a few so it is better to take offline and take care of them all at once. So just chill out it could take a couple of weeks to fix according to sources but the market may be online before then but I do not have that information.

The DNM ‘Exit Scam’ Is the Oldest and Most Lucrative Tricks in the Book

No one has any solid information about the exact reasoning Rapture is down and annoyed patrons are therefore speculating. As usual the ‘exit scam’ is always the most dominant theory. An exit scam is when the marketplace administrators suddenly ‘disappear’ after accumulating a lot of customers’ money that sits in escrow alongside a large collection of vendor bonds that have been collected.

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery
It’s uncertain if Rapture’s downtime means it is officially an ‘exit scam.’ However, the ‘exit scam’ is the oldest trick in the book.

It’s safe to assume that the Deep Dot Web and other DNM sites will remove Rapture if the market remains unavailable and classify it as an exit scam, but for some patrons, there’s still hope for a Rapture revival.

What do you think about Rapture being down for so long? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Darkowl, Deep Dot Web, and Pixabay. 

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Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Regulations, Okex Suspends Withdrawals

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Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Regulations, Okex Suspends Withdrawals

In recent news relating to cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbundle has received approval for licensing in The Philippines, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued a consultation paper regarding its intention to update its regulatory apparatus for cryptocurrency exchanges, and Okex has announced that it has remedied the error that caused it abruptly to suspend withdrawals and fiat trading yesterday.

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

Coinbundle Receives Approval for Licensing in The Philippines

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Exchange Regulations, Okex Suspends WithdrawalsSaad Rizvi, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Coinbundle, recently met with the National Secretary of the Philippines to finalize the exchange’s registration through CEZA, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority – a special economic zone offering a number of tax incentives to companies operating in the country’s emerging fintech industry.

“This agreement is a huge win for CoinBundle and will enable us to go to market rapidly and help our users to begin saving and investing. We’re also excited to contribute to the fintech ecosystem of the Philippines and create new jobs here,” Mr. Rizvi said.

Coinbundle is one of fifteen fintech, blockchain, and cryptocurrency companies that are set to invest in CEZA, alongside Hachiman Technology Sdn BHD, MX Exchange Ventures, IPE Global PTE, Inc. Superieur Tech Pte. Ltd., CSM, Madison Blockchain Strategy Investment Company Ltd., Asia Pacific Blockchain Association, Pacificnet Strategic Investments Ltd., SuperAngels Ventures Ltd., and ANX International.

CEZA administrator, Raul Lambino, has welcomed the partnerships, stating: “Working with virtual currency companies allows the Philippines to gain momentum in providing an environment that encourages financial innovation and inclusion, while ensuring that the best interests of the country, the financial system, consumers, and investors are adequately protected. This new development aims to drive the economy forward by creating employment opportunities and boosting job growth. The Philippines will be ready to provide cryptocurrency companies operating here with the manpower they need for their businesses.”

Singapore Expected To Ease Exchange Regulations

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Exchange Regulations, Okex Suspends WithdrawalsThe emergence of new trends in trading platforms and technologies, including those pertaining to decentralized and cryptocurrency exchanges, has prompted the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to re-evaluate its legislative apparatus governing the regulation of exchanges.

In a consultation paper issued by the financial regulator, MAS states that it has “observed the emergence of new business models in trading platforms, including trading facilities that make use of blockchain technology, or platforms that allow peer-to-peer trading without the involvement of intermediaries. As the current [recognized market operators (RMO)] regime has been in place since 2002, it is timely to review the regulatory framework for market operators to ensure that it continues to meet the demands of the changing landscape.”

The consultation proposes developing a three-tiered RMO regulatory regime for market operators, and “invites comments from all financial institutions and other interested parties.”

Okex Suspends Withdrawals After Users Experience Glitches

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Exchange Regulations, Okex Suspends WithdrawalsOkex, the third largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, suspended withdrawal and fiat trading services on the 22nd of May, following reports from users that their accounts had suddenly displayed enormous balances.

Several users posted snapshots displaying balances that had appeared to suddenly accrue balances of more than 15,000 BTC (over $110 million USD), and other users reported that transfers in USDT were not deducting the sent tokens from their balance, however, the transferred funds were successfully received by the recipient. Abnormal cryptocurrency prices were also reported, with BTC suddenly appearing to have abruptly dropped to $6,002, and ETH suddenly jumping up to $736.

Okex posted an announcement stating “Due to a technical error, the account balances of a few of our users are not displayed accurately. Of course, you can rest assured that your funds are safe, secured, and not affected by the recent update. We are currently fixing the issue and have suspended withdrawal service and fiat trading.”

As of this writing, Okex’s most recent announcement states that “Fixing of the database error [is] already completed, but we are currently still verifying the data and records of our users. Withdrawal and fiat trading are estimated to resume at approximately 17:00 May 23 (Hong Kong time). Please rest assured that your funds are safe and secured.”

Do you think that more financial regulators should follow in the steps of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and update their guidelines in consideration of the cryptocurrency revolution? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, Mining

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Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, Mining

The government of India is reportedly considering levying a type of consumption tax on cryptocurrency trading and even mining. The most grievous part of this proposal is that it may also be a retroactive measure, demanding payments for past actions.

Also Read: Economics Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller Examines Bitcoin in Historical Context

Crypto Sales Tax

Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, MiningThe Indian Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs is working on a proposal to impose an 18% tax on cryptocurrencies. The proposal will be considered by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council once it will finalized, “people with direct knowledge of the matter” told Bloomberg.

According to the proposal: “Purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies should be considered as supply of goods, and those facilitating transactions like supply, transfer, storage, accounting, among others, will be treated as services; Value of a cryptocurrency may be determined based on the transaction value in rupees or the equivalent of any freely convertible foreign currency; If buyers and sellers are in India, the transaction would be treated as a supply of software and the buyer’s location will be the place of supply. For transfer and sale, the location of the registered person will be the place of supply. However, for sale to non-registered persons, location of the supplier would be considered as the place of supply. Transactions beyond the Indian territory will be liable for integrated GST, and would be considered as import or export of goods. IGST will be levied on cross-border supplies.”

Further according to the proposal, mining will be classified as a supply of service and Indian miners will have to pay taxes on any fees and rewards they make. Additionally, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet providers and some miners (those making over Rs 20 lakh) will have to register under the GST.

Retroactive Tax

Indian Government Considering 18% Retroactive Tax on Crypto Trading, MiningIndia’s GST came into effect on 1st July 2017, replacing many former indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments as a measure to streamline the tax code. The Indian government is now considering that the tax on crypto will be applied retroactively since the start of the GST system, according to the same anonymous sources cited above. The meaning of this is that people will have to pay for actions they took about a year or so before the new policy, assuming it will be decided on in a couple of months.

If this tax proposal will be accepted, the retroactive aspect of it is the most likely to be challenged by traders and exchanges in the courts. Indian crypto businesses have already had to turn to the courts in the matter of the ban on banks from dealing with them, a matter that is now being handled by the country’s supreme court.

Is a retroactive tax on cryptocurrencies really feasible? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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