Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency

Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency

Staying home during the coronavirus epidemic reduces the risk of getting infected with the deadly covid-19. The disease, which has already claimed the lives of over 20,000 people globally, spreads through human contact. Food is one of the few basic necessities that can regularly get you out of your house. That’s why food delivery companies have been among the few businesses that hire right now. Luckily some of them will accept your crypto.

Also read: While You’re Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs

Takeaway.com Websites Accept Bitcoin

Ordering food and drinks online can save you a lot of trouble these days by limiting your exposure to other people in public spaces. Using electronic payments will help you to avoid touching paper cash too. If you are a cryptocurrency proponent, you would certainly appreciate the option to pay with the digital coins you have and some food delivery services offer you that opportunity.

Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency
Takeaway.com’s subsidiaries in five European countries take crypto.

Takeaway.com is a food ordering website, first launched in the Netherlands under the Dutch name Thuisbezorgd.nl. The platform now operates in around a dozen markets, mostly European (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Bulgaria, and Romania) but also in Israel and Vietnam, letting you choose dishes from the menus of numerous partner restaurants.

The company’s subsidiaries in these countries accept a variety of locally popular payment methods and fiat cash. A few of its websites also support transactions through crypto payment processor Bitpay, which means you can pay for your delivery with either bitcoin core (BTC) or bitcoin cash (BCH). These currently include the original Dutch site, Takeaway.com’s German brand, Lieferando.de, as well as its websites in Belgium, Austria, and crypto-friendly Switzerland.

Other Options to Pay With Crypto for Your Food Delivery

Shuttle Delivery is a similar service in South Korea that delivers to addresses in the capital city of Seoul and its suburbs. You can order food from some of the country’s best restaurants choosing between Asian, American and European cuisine. Orders can be placed in either Korean or English and you also have a variety of payment options at your disposal such as major credit cards, Kakaopay, Paypal, and cash in Korean won or U.S. dollars. What makes the platform special is that it accepts BTC and BCH as well.

Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency
South Korean platform Shuttle Delivery allows you to order food in Seoul and pay with bitcoin.

But even if a food ordering website does not directly support crypto payments, there are still ways to pay for a delivery with bitcoin. For example, you can purchase a gift code for UK’s Just Eat platform from Bitrefil using several major cryptocurrencies. Just Eat’s gift codes come in different denominations, from £10 to £100. To find restaurants in your area that deliver right now you have to enter your postal code. You can filter the results by rating, hygiene, type of cuisine, free delivery, and other features.

Websites like Bitrefil which sell gift cards for coins provide crypto enthusiasts with many opportunities to spend digital money at merchants and service providers. Bitcoin.com Store’s Gift Cards section offers a wide variety of cards you can purchase with BTC and BCH. They are sorted in multiple categories, including Delivery & Subscriptions and Food & Restaurants, where you can buy the Uber Eats gift card, for instance. With the Uber Eats app you can order food online and get it delivered to your door, saving you from going out.

Do you know of other ways to order food and pay for the delivery with cryptocurrency? Tells us in the comments section below.

The post Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic

World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic

The spreading coronavirus infection is taking a toll on the global economy and traditional financial institutions are already hurting. The world’s largest banks have seen their stocks losing value over the past weeks and months while facing cash withdrawal pressure and preparing to deal with a shrinking asset base.

Also read: US Cash Crisis: Withdrawal Limits Spark Bank Run Fear

China’s ‘Big Four’ See Their Stocks Tumble

No one has a clear idea where this is going or what comes next for the planet’s financial system. What’s obvious, however, is that some of its elements are already under stress. Reports of banks imposing withdrawal limits in parts of the U.S. indicate a cash crisis is brewing. New interest rate cuts, more money printing and the flight of capital towards assets they don’t manage, such as cryptocurrencies, are going to limit the value banks have under their control.

China, where the covid-19 outbreak started, is home to the world’s largest banking sector in terms of assets. In mid-2019, the official figure stood at over $40 trillion, despite liquidity problems with some small regional banks and a credit crunch on the interbank market that required intervention from the People’s Bank of China. The big four state-owned commercial banks, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China, are topping the 100 largest banks list, according to the latest edition of the S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic
With over $4 trillion in assets, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is one of the world’s largest banks.

These financial behemoths have been watching the prices of their stocks drop over the last few months. From this year’s high of 6.01 yuan (approx. $0.85) in early January, ICBC shares are now trading at a little over 5.10 yuan ($0.72), and CCB stocks dropped from 7.49 yuan ($1.06) on Nov. 7 to a low of 6.17 yuan ($0.87) this past Monday, before bouncing back to 6.37 yuan ($0.90) on March 25.

The shares of the other two major Chinese banks also lost value, especially during the last month as authorities were struggling to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus and deal with the economic fallout of the epidemic. Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, another Asian banking giant, saw a steep decline in the value of its shares, from 566 yen ($5.08) on Feb. 21 to 384 yen ($3.45) on March 19. Its shares are currently trading for around 450 yen ($4.04).

Western Banks Affected by the Spreading Virus

The last several weeks brought similar results for the leading banking institutions in the United States, which now has over 50,000 confirmed covid-19 cases. JP Morgan’s stock fell to $79.03 from $137.49 per share on Feb. 20. Bank of America shares dropped from a monthly high of close to $33 to around $18 on the first day of the week before rising back to around $20 on Tuesday, when stock markets reacted to the Federal Reserve’s latest announcement. The Fed pledged to an open-ended quantitative easing in response to the economic challenges posed by the epidemic.

World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic
BNP Paribas stocks lost almost half of their value in a month. Source: Google.

Other banks that have been hurt by the crisis which led to a slowdown in economic activity around the world include the European HSBC and BNP Paribas. The shares of the London-based investment bank and financial services holding company, which were selling for over $35 about a month ago, started this week at a little over $28. Paris-headquartered BNP Paribas saw its stocks plunge by almost 50% to €25.43 ($27.40), from €48.70 ($52.69) on Feb. 25. Deutsche Bank’s shares registered similar losses, dropping from close to €9 ($9.74) in late February to a monthly low of under €5 ($5.39) in mid-March.

What do you think of the world’s leading banks losing stock value? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic appeared first on Bitcoin News.

While You’re Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs

With Coronavirus Spreading, Check These Sites for Remote Jobs in the Crypto Industry

If you are on the lookout for a job in these pressing times, when the coronavirus pandemic has limited public movement and shut down businesses, it’s worth exploring opportunities to work from the relative safety of your home. The number of people doing so globally has been steadily growing, including in the crypto industry which is more decentralized than other sectors.

Also read: 10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time Is Right for Hodling

Working From Home Is Healthier and More Productive

Remote jobs have been on the rise over the past few years. Stats gathered by Virtual Vocations, for example, show a 197% increase in such roles in the company’s database between 2015 and 2019. New openings registered by the telecommuting jobs platform grew by 25% last year, according to its latest annual report. Another source, an analysis conducted by Flexjobs and Global Workplace Analytics, points to a 44% increase of Americans working remotely in the last five years. The study also suggests that remote workers are more productive, better paid and healthier.

While You're Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs
Source: Virtual Vocations

Although it’s difficult to precisely estimate the share of remote employees, all jobs in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, where this type of employment arrangement is popular, were generally growing last year and in early 2020, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. With restrictions due to the global covid-19 epidemic hitting other sectors hard, the crypto space may be affected too. The decentralized nature of the business, however, is likely to limit the damage to a certain extent. Working from home definitely has certain advantages in that respect.

While You're Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs
Remote work attracts and retains talent, concludes a study carried out by Flexjobs and Global Workplace Analytics.

Platforms Listing Remote Jobs in the Crypto Space

If you are looking for a remote job in the crypto sector, a number of job posting sites will help you find the right vacancy. You can try established platforms such as Indeed.com, a global leader among employment-related search engines with over 250 million monthly visitors. Entering keywords like “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” in the ‘What’ box and then specifying “remote” under ‘Where’ will return dozens of ads with detailed descriptions. Multiple filtering options are also available for you to select the positions you may be interested in.

While You're Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs

Cryptocurrencyjobs.co is a specialized platform for job seekers in the crypto space that allows companies to post job ads and seekers to find their next occupation. When searching for an opening, select “Remote” under Location and you’ll be offered over 100 current blockchain jobs you can work from distance, including from well-known companies in the industry such as Binance, Xapo, and Bitrefill. Crypto.jobs is a similar website, with almost 1,800 ads at the time of writing, and a dedicated Remote Jobs section. Cryptojobslist.com has published over 1,000 postings and you can filter the remote positions too. Cryptojobslist.com is another popular option for cryptocurrency careers.

Another website that can help you to start or continue a blockchain career is Blockew.com. You can pull a decent list of remote jobs in the Job Opportunities menu where you’ll find ads from Kraken, Brave, and other familiar crypto brands. And if you are looking for a source that’s entirely devoted to remote working options, you should go to Remoteok.io which claims to have the largest collection of remote jobs for digital nomads. You’ll find many offers from blockchain companies among over 39,000 listed vacancies. Freelancers with interest and background in the cryptosphere can also check out platforms such as Freelance for Coins and Blocklancer.net for jobs that pay with cryptocurrencies.

What other websites posting remote jobs would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

The post While You’re Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs appeared first on Bitcoin News.

10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time Is Right for Hodling

10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time is Right for Hodling

If you are not ready to part with decentralized money, at a time when prices are relatively low, but need some fiat cash to cover costs in times of crisis, crypto-backed loans are a working solution. A number of platforms offer this type of service and their popularity is growing among cryptocurrency enthusiasts who are intent on hodling.

Also read: If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

Borrow Fiat Money With Crypto-Backed Loans

Various providers allow you to borrow against your crypto. Blockfi, a wealth management platform for crypto investors, extends loans in U.S. dollars backed by three cryptocurrencies, BTC, ETH and LTC. Use its calculator to enter an amount you’d like to get, minimum $5,000, and calculate the required collateral. To receive $10,000, for instance, you’ll have to deposit 3.53 BTC at the time of writing, based on a 50% loan to value ratio (LTV). To receive an individual offer, you must create a Blockfi account.

10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time Is Right for Hodling

On the backdrop of the troubles facing the traditional financial sector, the nascent crypto banking industry has seen more positive development. Unlike banks in many countries, crypto lending platforms have been able to offer high interest rates and new services too. Blockfi recently announced that its balance sheet is “stronger than ever” and its margin has expanded. As a result, it’s going to raise interest rates on BTC and ETH deposits starting from April 1.

Another leading provider of loans backed by cryptocurrency is Salt Lending which operates in multiple markets. Salt takes a dozen coins as collateral including BTC, BCH, XRP, ETH, and LTC. The website lets you determine the conditions of your loan including the LTV ratio between 30 and 70% and the repayment period, three to 12 months. Interest rates start from 5.95% APR. In December, the trading platform Uphold announced a deal with Salt Lending to provide its users with fiat and stablecoin loans using crypto as collateral.

Partnerships Extend New Banking Services to Crypto Community

Cooperation within the blockchain space helps to expand the coverage of crypto credit and banking services. Crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank, a U.S.-based financial institution, announced in January a new product allowing customers to obtain loans collateralized by bitcoin. SEN Leverage was launched with the participation of cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. A partnership with Cred provides Bitcoin.com Wallet users with the opportunity to earn up to 10% interest on their BTC and BCH held with the platform that also permits the borrowing of funds, offering sub-10% APR on crypto-backed loans.

10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time Is Right for Hodling

Nexo is a crypto lender targeting cryptocurrency holders in over 200 jurisdictions who can borrow in more than 40 fiat currencies against their digital assets. In December, the company introduced loans backed with bitcoin cash (BCH) and users can borrow in local currency when they need liquidity without selling their BCH. Nexo’s loan rates start from 5.9% APR. Its instant credit lines are available after you deposit cryptocurrency to your account. You can also earn 8% interest on euro and stablecoin deposits with Nexo. Bitcoin cash users can benefit from saving with crypto exchange Binance’s lending facility. It recently added BCH, ETH and EOS to its flexible deposit options which already supported BTC, BNB and two stablecoins, BUSD and USDT.

Youhodler is an established player in the sector which lends funds in euro, U.S. dollar and tether against the top 12 cryptocurrencies and it also pays out up to 12% APR on deposits in six cryptocurrencies including BTC, BNB and all major stablecoins. The company claims to have the highest loan-to-value ratio, up to 90%, with a minimum amount starting at just $100. Other competitors offering crypto-backed loans include Unchained Capital (accepts BTC with 35-50% LTV), Hodl Finance (uses BTC, ETH and XRP as collateral at 50% LTV) and Coin Loan (takes six cryptocurrencies with loan to value ratio of up to 70%). Lendabit facilitates peer-to-peer lending and borrowing against crypto collateral in BTC and ETH.

What other crypto-backed loan services would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Blockfi, Cred.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post 10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time Is Right for Hodling appeared first on Bitcoin News.

3 Debit Cards Nigerians Can Use to Spend Cryptocurrencies in Stores and Online

3 Debit Cards Nigerians Can Use to Spend Cryptocurrencies in Stores and Online

Options to acquire cryptocurrencies in Nigeria have been growing in number, along with increasing interest in bitcoin. Nigerians are also starting to see more opportunities to spend their coins in brick and mortar stores and at online merchants. Three crypto debit cards are now available to the residents of the African nation which is also the continent’s largest economy.

Also read: Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira

Crypto Exchange App First Kudi Issues Debit Card in Partnership With Stanbic IBTC Bank

Nigerian company First Kudi offers users a currency exchange and payments app. The mobile software facilitates purchases and sales of cryptocurrencies with Nigeria’s national fiat, the naira, and U.S. dollars. Users can link their bank account or credit card to the application which allows them to transact between Kudi wallets free of charge, deposit and withdraw funds from other crypto wallets and fiat accounts, and make payments at POS terminals.

3 Debit Cards Nigerians Can Use to Spend Cryptocurrencies in Stores and Online

Formerly known as Kudi Exchange, the fintech platform is owned by TLG Ventures in partnership with Ferrum Network and operates from Lagos. Besides the fiat options, which also include Ghanaian cedi and Kenyan shilling, its app supports bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), the stablecoin Gemini dollar (GUSD), and the native Ferrum Network Token (FRM).

First Kudi now issues a debit Kudi Card in partnership with Nigeria’s Stanbic IBTC bank, member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Standard Bank Group, a South African financial services provider and Africa’s largest banking group. Holders can use the card to turn crypto into traditional money or buy goods and services with bitcoin and naira. Its balance can be topped up directly from the Kudi Wallet.

A Kudi account is needed to order and use the wallet and the Verve enabled card, and users need to pass KYC. The procedure involves providing full name, email address, and phone number, the Nigeria Bitcoin Community portal details. Certain fees apply to some transactions with First Kudi. Bitcoin withdrawals to another wallet are charged 0.0005 BTC per transfer. Withdrawing fiat to a bank account will cost you 100 NGN ($0.27) for naira and $10 for U.S. dollars. The POS transaction fee for bitcoin, naira, and dollars is 0.50%.

Patricia and Crypterium Provide Nigerians With More Crypto Card Options

Demand for this type of service in Nigeria, where around half of the population remains unbanked, is creating conditions inviting other offerings in the market. Patricia, a Nigerian e-commerce platform that started with gift cards trading, has set out to make it easy for customers to buy and sell bitcoin, as its website notes. The company behind it, Patricia Technologies, recently announced the launch of a new crypto debit card.

The Patricia Bitcoin ATM Card will allow users to withdraw cash directly from their BTC and Nigerian naira wallets, make POS payments and online transactions, transfer funds through teller machines like with any other debit card issued by a traditional bank, PM News Nigeria reported in late February. Registration is required to obtain the card.

3 Debit Cards Nigerians Can Use to Spend Cryptocurrencies in Stores and Online

Affirming the startup’s commitment to financial inclusion, Patricia founder Fejiro Hanu Agbodje acknowledged that payments won’t change overnight and predicted a long transitional period before the world starts to transact in digital currencies. That’s why his team focuses on combining digital infrastructure with existing card processing and banking infrastructure as a step towards mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. The Nigerian entrepreneur pointed out that Patricia card users will have access to cash and be able to pay bills, make over-the-counter transactions, and buy subscriptions. Agbodje further stated:

We will allow you to spend your bitcoin anytime, everywhere and anywhere.

Nigerians have another option to use cryptocurrencies through a debit card. Crypterium, an Estonia-based crypto payment and wallet provider, issues the Global Bitcoin Card, which allows holders to spend cryptocurrencies at merchants and withdraw fiat cash from ATMs in almost 180 countries around the world, as news.Bitcoin.com recently reported. The card, which is powered by the payment processor Unionpay, currently supports several major cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, LTC, as well as Crypterium’s own CRPT token.

To get the card you need to download the Crypterium wallet first and install it on your phone. To receive a download link, you have to provide your phone number. The app comes with a virtual card and the plastic one can be ordered separately. The platform delivers worldwide, including many countries not supported by other crypto card issuers. Nigeria is on the list along with other nations with potential to become important crypto markets such as India and Brazil. In November, Coinsutra reported that users of its portal from these countries have been able to obtain the debit card.

Do you know of other cryptocurrency debit cards available in Nigeria? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post 3 Debit Cards Nigerians Can Use to Spend Cryptocurrencies in Stores and Online appeared first on Bitcoin News.

12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies

12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies

In an emergency situation like the current coronavirus pandemic, anything can turn into currency as the fiat system may experience cash shortages and devaluation. Cryptocurrency users have options to trade bitcoin beyond traditional money. A number of platforms will let you exchange retailers’ gift cards with digital coins or sell you just about any gift card for crypto.

Also read: If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

How to Sell Gift Cards on P2P Exchanges

One of the exchanges that facilitate gift card-crypto trades is Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace with global presence. It supports purchases and sales of BTC using a wide variety of payment methods. You can trade over a hundred gift cards for crypto through its website. Popular options include cards issued by well-known retailers such as Amazon, Ebay, Google Play, and Walmart. Domino’s, Uber, and T-Mobile refill cards as well as any Visa, Mastercard or Amex gift cards are also accepted.

If you have an Amazon gift card you don’t need but are looking to acquire cryptocurrency, Purse is an online platform that will help you get rid of the card and buy coins quite easily. It offers you to pay for someone’s orders on Amazon and earn BTC or BCH in exchange, while allowing the other side to spend some bitcoin. Once a shopper confirms the merchandise has arrived, you’ll receive the crypto from escrow. Purse can also convert points and credits earned from Mechanical Turk, Amazon Associates, Ebates, Swagbucks, and others.

12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Amazon, Ebay and Other Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies
Purse helps you to sell gift cards for BCH and BTC.

Redeeem presents itself as a crypto exchange for discount gift cards. The platform operates on a P2P basis and you can buy and sell gift cards from 34 retail brands like Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, Home Depot, and Best Buy, using 32 cryptocurrencies including BTC, BCH, XRP, and ETH. Supporting the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Redeeem recently introduced a 0% trading fee for all grocery store gift cards. The website claims the average discount that gift card buyers get is over 20%. In early March, the exchange launched a Telegram bot, @RedeeemBot, and now traders can sell gift cards in the popular messenger.

Another cryptocurrency exchange supporting peer-to-peer trading, Hong Kong-based Coincola, maintains a gift card trading section, where users can buy and sell BTC with cards and e-codes for numerous retailers and other platforms including Apple Store, Netflix, and Spotify. The page lets you choose the gift card you want to sell for bitcoin and filter the offers by fiat options. That latter feature allows cryptocurrency buyers to meet card sellers in their region and obtain the coins using gift cards denominated in local currency.

Getting a Crypto Offer for Your Gift Card

Some platforms are focusing on specific markets. Pamcoins, for instance, operates in Nigeria which has demonstrated heightened interest towards Bitcoin in the past year. The service helps users trade Amazon, Ebay, Steam, Google Play, and Apple gift cards for either Nigerian naira or BTC and ETH.

To do this, Nigerians have to contact Pamcoins on Whatsapp and specify the gift card they want to sell with its amount to get the current rate from an agent. After they upload the card, Pamcoins promises payment within minutes. Crypto Voucher works in a similar way, providing a global exchange platform for gift cards and cryptocurrencies. First you get an offer depending on the card and its balance. Once you provide the card and your personal details, the platform will email you a cryptocurrency voucher you can redeem for a choice of coins including BCH, BTC, ETH, and DASH.

12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Amazon, Ebay and Other Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies
Crypto Voucher maintains a global exchange platform for gift cards and cryptocurrencies.

Gift cards also provide an opportunity to spend your bitcoins with businesses that don’t accept cryptocurrencies directly. If you are looking to purchase cards for major retailers with BCH and BTC, you can check out Bitcoin.com Store’s Gift Cards section. The cards are sorted in multiple categories from Food, Clothing and Health, to Fuel & Auto and Sports & Outdoors. You can also send a gift card to a friend with a few clicks and a fast crypto transaction. The service is powered by Egifter, itself a platform providing cryptocurrency holders with access to hundreds of gift cards.

Bidali is another alternative for gift card buyers offering a rich selection of cards and dozens of supported cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and tokens. Gyft lets you choose between over 200 retailers and pay for gift cards with crypto. Wegift has more than 500 retailers’ gift cards for sale, while Bitrefill claims you can purchase gift cards or mobile refills for more than 1,650 businesses in 170 countries from its website using major cryptocurrencies.

What other options to trade gift cards with cryptocurrencies would you recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Purse, Crypto Voucher.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post 12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

Hodling in difficult times has historically proven to be a long-term winning strategy. Keeping your cryptocurrency in your own cold storage is by default a good idea as far as security is concerned. But if you don’t trust yourself to not lose a small hardware device or a piece of paper, then there are alternatives that involve trusting others, for good or bad.

Also read: An In-Depth Look at the Multi-Currency Cold Storage Card Ballet

Bunker in the Alps Sounds Like a Good Option

Companies providing vault storage services for crypto assets gained prominence a couple of years ago, following the Bitcoin boom that brought many new investors into the space. A few of them have already established themselves as reliable platforms for crypto storage. Hong Kong-headquartered bitcoin wallet and cold storage provider Xapo is a good example. In the spring of 2018, it was revealed that the company held an estimated 6.25% of BTC’s almost $160 billion market capitalization at the time, or more than 1,000,000 BTC.

Xapo, founded by Argentine entrepreneur Wences Casares, attracted media attention with its focus on building ultra-secure facilities for cryptocurrency storage. The company had reportedly built a network of underground vaults on five continents, most notably one in a decommissioned military bunker in Switzerland, where clients’ private keys are kept on encrypted drives behind steel doors designed to withstand a nuclear blast and guarded by security personnel and systems. Even owners would need a couple of days to get access to their money.

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

In August 2019, U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase bought Xapo’s institutional businesses. Announcing the acquisition, the trading platform revealed that its Coinbase Custody subsidiary had grown to over $7 billion in assets under custody in just over a year since its launch in July 2018. The funds are stored on behalf of more than 120 clients in 14 countries, the company detailed. Coinbase acknowledged Xapo’s expertise in security techniques. Its custody arm now serves hedge funds, family offices, endowments, and proprietary trading desks, supporting major cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH and XRP. The assets are insured by global leaders such as Lloyd’s of London.

Switzerland a Magnet for Crypto Riches

With its crypto-friendly regulations, Switzerland is very attractive for companies operating with cryptocurrencies and over 800 of them are based or represented in the country, including providers and developers of crypto custody solutions. Another company working in the niche, California-based Bitgo, announced in February the establishment of new custodial entities in Switzerland and Germany, which introduced a licensing regime for crypto custodians. The Swiss subsidiary is based in Zug, epicenter of the Alpine nation’s Crypto Valley. Both firms are regulated in their respective jurisdictions and will address increased European demand.

Bitgo is a major player with global presence in the market for institutional grade security solutions for blockchain-based currencies. Its Bitgo Custody platform employs a multi-signature system to secure your digital assets including security tokens. It supports a total of more than 100 coins and tokens that can be held with the Bitgo Trust Company, a qualified custodian and liquidity provider, in a cold storage bank-grade vault.

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

The service implements various controls including multiple approvals, spending limits, and whitelists, Bitgo’s website explains. The company’s $100 million insurance policy covers crypto assets when the private keys are held exclusively by Bitgo Trust Company or Bitgo Inc., in the event of third-party hacks, copying, theft or loss of private keys, insider theft or dishonest acts by Bitgo employees or executives.

Bitcoin Suisse is a Zug-based company specializing in crypto-financial services offering cold storage for digital assets. The Bitcoin Suisse Vault has been built to provide institutional-grade and fully audited crypto asset custody. The platform caters to the specific needs of its clients allowing them to customize the multi-signing process and define who can view and withdraw the stored assets. Besides corporate users such as financial service providers and institutional investors, private investors can also use it to store a list of cryptocurrencies including BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, LTC as well as ERC20/223 tokens.

Bitcoin Suisse Vault is based on a solution developed by Swiss Crypto Vault AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bitcoin Suisse AG. Clients can deposit funds into the Swiss Crypto Vault by sending the coins to a unique public address, and their holdings are never mixed with assets belonging to others. Withdrawals are initiated by filing a request through the online portal which has to be verified independently by the user, Swiss Crypto Vault and Bitcoin Suisse before its execution, which can still be canceled by controllers appointed by the client. Before a transaction can be broadcasted to the blockchain, it must also get the green light from approvers, again chosen by the account holder.

More Providers Working on Storage Solutions

Other companies are developing their own safe storage solutions for cryptocurrencies. Metaco’s institutional custody platform, Silo, implements a hot-to-cold digital asset management technology. It’s a solution that integrates both software and hardware elements. It’s designed for banks which need a self-custody infrastructure that gives them control over their custodial activities. Silo was announced in January 2018 and has been developed together with data security agency Guardtime. It’s used by platforms such as Swiss Crypto Exchange (SCX). Metaco is now preparing to launch Cargo, a regulated service for smaller institutions looking for external digital asset storage.

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

Traditional financial institutions venturing into the crypto space are also working to offer custodial services. Last year, Arab Bank (Switzerland) joined forces with the blockchain company Taurus to provide its customers with custody and brokerage for their crypto holdings. Taurus is also helping Bank Vontobel to operate a digital asset vault allowing institutional investors to store and trade cryptocurrencies outside their balance sheets. Falcon Private Bank and digital trading platform Swissquote provide custodial solutions to investors interested in token sales through partnerships in the crypto industry. In January, Swiss bank Julius Baer teamed up with licensed crypto bank SEBA to offer storage for digital assets, and Liechtenstein’s blockchain banking provider Bank Frick introduced support for bitcoin cash (BCH) to its storage solutions.

Would you use crypto custody services to store the coins you want to hodl? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic

Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic

Transferring money over traditional channels may involve a lot of queuing in lines these days. Authorities around the world are trying to prevent large groups of people gathering in confined spaces to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus infection. Remittances are a lifeline for people in many countries and cryptocurrency ATMs provide a way to send cash to loved ones without visiting a crowded bank office.

Also read: These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency

Crypto ATM Transfers Safer Than Bank Wires in More Than One Way

The COVID-19 epidemic has already closed many public spaces across the globe. Those that remain open are subject to restrictions regarding the number of people allowed to gather at one time. Banks and money transfer institutions are likely to remain open even when many other businesses are closed. Visiting any office during the coronavirus outbreak, however, is considered a high risk by health officials. Not to mention cash withdrawal limits that can be imposed at any moment during crises like this one.

Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic
Cash is becoming an emergency item in the current coronavirus epidemic.

Cryptocurrencies have proved to be a useful instrument for frictionless cross-border payments, facilitating fast transactions with low fees. They can always be used to transfer value on a peer- to-peer basis when two parties want to fully benefit from their advantages over traditional money. And Bitcoin ATMs – teller machines that support purchases and sales of various coins – can be employed for transactions between two fiat currencies using crypto as a medium.

In this case, a sender can buy the cryptocurrency equivalent of a fiat amount they want to send from an ATM near their location. In many countries that shouldn’t be a problem as over 7,000 teller devices are now operational worldwide. The digital coins can be sent with a crypto transaction to a recipient who can then convert them back into fiat; a local currency for example.

Using Bitcoin ATMs to send money abroad is a safe option, not only because of the high level of security for the transferred funds but also in terms of lower health risks as you can avoid visiting crowded bank branches or standing in lines in front of them. It is a convenient way to transfer financial assets quickly and at low cost although it does require the sender and the receiver to be familiar with bitcoin and comply with national regulations and restrictions in some cases.

How to Send Cash Using Bitcoin to Someone Who Doesn’t Know a Lot About Cryptocurrencies

There is a workaround that allows a crypto savvy person to send remittances to someone who might not know a lot about Bitcoin and doesn’t even have a cryptocurrency wallet. Moreover, it is possible to use only one ATM and still successfully complete a money transfer onchain.

Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic
Money can be sent using only one crypto ATM and one wallet.

The recipient can initiate a transaction through a two-way device, take a picture of the generated QR code and share it with the person who is supposed to send the money, the Coinatmradar tracker explains in a tip for BATM users. Then the sender can scan the QR code and transfer the crypto to that address. Later on, the recipient can withdraw the cash in local fiat directly from the teller machine.

Digital remittances have experienced steady growth over the past few years, with the total value of transactions reaching almost $96 billion in 2020, an annual increase of more than 21%, as news.Bitcoin.com reported in February. According to data compiled by Statista, the number of users in the segment has grown similarly, by over 20%, creating an opportunity for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin ATMs provide a safe and easy way to send crypto to people in need of cash, which is becoming an emergency item during the coronavirus pandemic.

Have you used a Bitcoin ATM to send cash to someone? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic appeared first on Bitcoin News.

These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency

These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency

Events like the global coronavirus outbreak provide good justification for some prepping. Crises like this often result in shortages and skyrocketing prices of important emergency items, proving that everyone should keep a box of face masks and even a decent survival kit, should things go really bad. The pandemic scare affected crypto holders this week leading to a massive sell-off. But even in these circumstances, there are more rational ways to part with your coins instead of a panic sell.

Also read: Crypto Community Gets Prepping as Coronavirus Spreads

How to Buy Anti-Virus Masks With Bitcoin

Avoiding crowded stores is a good idea right now. Luckily, there are many web-based merchants that will sell you just about everything you could need in a doomsday scenario or a survival situation. You can still procure online most of what the Red Cross thinks you should have in your survival kit in the event of an emergency or disaster, such as a flashlight with extra batteries, a hand-crank radio, a multi-purpose tool, and a first aid box.

These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency
Greenbelt Outdoors sells reusable masks for several cryptocurrencies through Bitpay.

In the midst of a viral epidemic, however, priorities are changing. Since COVID-19 started spreading around the world, items essential for preventing infection such as surgical masks have become harder to find and expensive to buy. Reusable masks are even pricier but they provide an alternative solution. Greenbelt Outdoors is an online marketplace for adventure and outdoor equipment that has set out to help its customers in that regard. Its website states:

Our current focus is sourcing N95 masks and respirators where we can for potential protection against the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are working with suppliers for preparation for ‘SHTF’ potential scenarios.

The company behind Greenbelt Outdoors, a veteran-owned business based in Austin, Texas, accepts BTC, BCH, ETH, and XRP through Bitpay, and supports many fiat options including credit cards and Paypal. They currently ship several makes of non-disposable masks with activated carbon filters and washable masks that provide respiratory protection. They are offered at discounted prices. That’s on top of a selection of survival gear you might want to check out, just in case. “The way we see it, it’s more important to be prepared then not at all,” the store notes.

Getting Ready for a SHTF Scenario

You can also get prepared for a worst-case scenario using the services of other platforms that accept cryptocurrency payments. Survival Camping Store is one such example as its website is a rich source not only for camping and backpacking equipment but also a wide range of items for emergency situations. These include survival tools, shelter, bedding and cooking products as well as some self-defense means and hunting weapons — and even medical and hygiene supplies. Survival Camping Store supports multiple traditional payment methods, including major credit cards and Paypal, but you can also pay with cryptocurrency and the store offers a 5% discount for direct crypto payments.

These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency
Besides outdoor gear, Survival Camping Store ships medical and hygiene products.

Another option is to check platforms such as Spendabit which functions as a search engine for products that can be purchased with bitcoin. You can use filters to specify the region and the merchants you are interested in or enter keywords. Searching for survival kit and medical gloves returns dozens of offerings coming from stores that supposedly accept cryptocurrency. A nice feature allows you to shortlist those that currently offer discounts of 10% or more. You can also search for merchants processing crypto payments using platforms like Spendbitcoins and Acceptbitcoin.cash.

The Bitcoin.com Store can help you to obtain similar products – if you go to the Gift Cards page you’ll find a wide choice of gift cards for major retailers and service providers that you can buy with either bitcoin core (BTC) or bitcoin cash (BCH). They are sorted in multiple categories like Sports & Outdoors where you can order a card for the popular outdoor gear store Cabela’s. And in the Health category, you’ll be able to purchase a gift card for the CVS pharmacy chain.

Do you know of other online merchants that sell emergency items and medical supplies for cryptocurrency? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Greenbelt Outdoors, Survival Camping Store.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Germany’s Bitcoin Group Welcomes Licensing for Crypto Custodians, Expects Competition From Banks

Germany’s Bitcoin Group Welcomes Licensing for Crypto Custodians, Expects Competition From Banks

Bitcoin Group SE, a prominent member of the European crypto industry, has been preparing to apply for permission to conduct crypto custody activities in its home country, Germany. The providers of such services in the Federal Republic are now recognized as financial institutions. Bitcoin Group, which has been in the business for some time, welcomes the changes that introduced licensing to the sector. Starting from Jan. 1, 2020, banks and other institutions are allowed to store and manage clients’ crypto assets.

Also read: Bitcoin Is Financial Instrument, Clarifies Germany, Crypto Custodians Qualify as Financial Institutions

Bitcoin Group Confirms Plan to Obtain Crypto Custody Permit

As the organization behind one of the largest crypto trading platforms in Europe, Bitcoin Group SE has already established itself as a major custodian of digital assets in Germany. Its fully owned subsidiary, Bitcoin Deutschland AG, operates Germany’s leading regulated marketplace for cryptocurrencies such as BTC, BCH and ETH. The investment group is also owner of Futurum Bank AG and holds 50% of the shares of Sineus Financial Services GmbH, an entity supervised by the German financial watchdog, Bafin.

Germany’s Bitcoin Group Welcomes Licensing for Crypto Custodians, Expects Competition From Banks
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany approved the acquisition of Futurum Bank in July 2019.

In December, Bitcoin Group announced it plans to apply for crypto custody permission for its companies from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. It hopes to expand its positions in the market for these types of services and the acquisition of Futurum Bank AG, which was approved by Bafin, creates new opportunities to attract institutional clients. Securing a license became necessary following last year’s adoption of legislation transposing EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive into national law.

The new regulations entered into force on Jan. 1, 2020. The German Banking Act now defines crypto custody business as the safekeeping and managing of crypto assets ​​or private cryptographic keys that serve to hold and store crypto assets that can be transferred to others. In recently published guidance, Bafin clarified that these activities represent financial services. Financial institutions had until the end of March to declare intent to obtain a license and the deadline for filing an application is Nov. 30.

Speaking to news.Bitcoin.com, Bitcoin Group Managing Director Marco Bodewein confirmed that the holding company is going to apply for a crypto custody license and explained:

Due to the current requirements of the authorities, the final application needs to be filed by November 2020 but we will apply officially much earlier. As of now we do not see any challenges for Bitcoin.de at all as we are already in the custody business for several years.

German Banks Are yet to Enter Cryptocurrency Market

Bodewein added that Bitcoin Group welcomes the current development of the regulatory regime in Germany which will open the market for more players including banks entering the crypto space. Competition is usually good for the business, he emphasized, although his crypto company has not yet experienced any stiff competition from traditional financial institutions.

The executive said that Bitcoin Group would also appreciate the adoption of regulations at EU level. “Certainly, the German approach is the first within Europe so it might be possible that Germany created a blue print for the rest of Europe,” Marco Bodewein commented.

Germany’s Bitcoin Group Welcomes Licensing for Crypto Custodians, Expects Competition From Banks
The European Commission is gathering feedback from EU citizens, businesses, and regulators to establish a common regulatory framework for crypto assets and markets.

According to the latest corporate results published in September, Bitcoin Group’s earnings before interest and taxes amounted to €4.228 million in the first half of 2019. During the same period, Bitcoin.de reported an increase in its customer numbers to 808,000 registered users, up from 753,000 at the end of H1, 2018.

Bitcoin Group believes the growth is largely due to the expansion of the range of services provided by the exchange including the launch of a mobile app. The acquisition of Futurum Bank, formerly investment bank Tremmel Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH, will mow allow the holding to offer new products related to cryptocurrencies, carry out proprietary trading and operate a network of Bitcoin ATMs.

How do you think Germany’s new regulations will affect the crypto industry in Europe? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


You can now purchase bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.

The post Germany’s Bitcoin Group Welcomes Licensing for Crypto Custodians, Expects Competition From Banks appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Australian tax agents have set out to close a gap they say costs the state several billion dollars. Taxpayers who file various work-related claims and investment property deductions or declare income from sharing economy platforms such as Uber and Airbnb may be asked for explanations and receipts. Investors and traders earning income from cryptocurrencies are also among the targeted.

Also read: Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Crypto Investors Advised to Keep Detailed Records of All Transactions

The revenue service has started contacting hundreds of thousands of Australians via mail and email to remind them of the tax obligations that come with cryptocurrency trading. A spokesman for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) told News.com.au that people who sold cryptocurrency during the 2017/18 financial year may be asked to review their tax returns. Those who fail to correct any established discrepancies can be audited and risk penalties. The official stated:

Over the next two months we expect to contact as many as 350,000 individuals who have traded in cryptocurrency in the last few years.

Taxpayers who only held crypto but didn’t trade will be updated about the information they are required to gather. Investors should keep detailed records including receipts of purchase or transfer of cryptocurrency, exchange and digital wallet records, the date and the value of each transaction in Australian dollars at the time it took place. They should also be able to explain the purpose of each transaction and identify other involved parties.

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Financial gains from trading and exchanging crypto as well as from converting it into local or foreign fiat is subject to capital gains tax in Australia, where cryptocurrency is considered a property-like asset for tax purposes. The country has advanced in its efforts to regulate the crypto space further than other nations. It has over 300 registered digital asset exchanges, as news.Bitcoin.com reported last month. A recent court ruling added another layer of legitimacy describing cryptocurrencies as “a recognized form of investment.”

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

ATO Gets Its Information From Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The Australian Taxation Office has a dedicated page on its website that details the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies in the country. Last year, the administration published its Cryptocurrency Data Matching Protocol covering the financial years between 2014/15 and 2019/20. The program was introduced to obtain transaction data from exchanges on taxpayers who have bought and sold cryptocurrency, the ATO representative pointed out and further commented:

Our campaign is designed to help raise awareness and give people the opportunity to fix any mistakes.

The tax service has estimated that up to a million people in Australia have bought and sold cryptocurrency. Many of them might not have realized the tax implications and simply failed to report the profits on their tax returns. Others may have thought that the ATO does not have the means to track these transactions which are conducted online and often involve foreign currency. As the agency now gets its information directly from cryptocurrency exchanges, however, this assumption does not hold up.

What’s your opinion about the tax campaign targeting crypto investors in Australia? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need to track down a Bitcoin transaction? With our Bitcoin Explorer tool, you can search by transaction ID, address, or block hash to find specific details, and for a look at the broader crypto space explore our Bitcoin Charts tool.

The post Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Australian tax agents have set out to close a gap they say costs the state several billion dollars. Taxpayers who file various work-related claims and investment property deductions or declare income from sharing economy platforms such as Uber and Airbnb may be asked for explanations and receipts. Investors and traders earning income from cryptocurrencies are also among the targeted.

Also read: Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Crypto Investors Advised to Keep Detailed Records of All Transactions

The revenue service has started contacting hundreds of thousands of Australians via mail and email to remind them of the tax obligations that come with cryptocurrency trading. A spokesman for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) told News.com.au that people who sold cryptocurrency during the 2017/18 financial year may be asked to review their tax returns. Those who fail to correct any established discrepancies can be audited and risk penalties. The official stated:

Over the next two months we expect to contact as many as 350,000 individuals who have traded in cryptocurrency in the last few years.

Taxpayers who only held crypto but didn’t trade will be updated about the information they are required to gather. Investors should keep detailed records including receipts of purchase or transfer of cryptocurrency, exchange and digital wallet records, the date and the value of each transaction in Australian dollars at the time it took place. They should also be able to explain the purpose of each transaction and identify other involved parties.

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Financial gains from trading and exchanging crypto as well as from converting it into local or foreign fiat is subject to capital gains tax in Australia, where cryptocurrency is considered a property-like asset for tax purposes. The country has advanced in its efforts to regulate the crypto space further than other nations. It has over 300 registered digital asset exchanges, as news.Bitcoin.com reported last month. A recent court ruling added another layer of legitimacy describing cryptocurrencies as “a recognized form of investment.”

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

ATO Gets Its Information From Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The Australian Taxation Office has a dedicated page on its website that details the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies in the country. Last year, the administration published its Cryptocurrency Data Matching Protocol covering the financial years between 2014/15 and 2019/20. The program was introduced to obtain transaction data from exchanges on taxpayers who have bought and sold cryptocurrency, the ATO representative pointed out and further commented:

Our campaign is designed to help raise awareness and give people the opportunity to fix any mistakes.

The tax service has estimated that up to a million people in Australia have bought and sold cryptocurrency. Many of them might not have realized the tax implications and simply failed to report the profits on their tax returns. Others may have thought that the ATO does not have the means to track these transactions which are conducted online and often involve foreign currency. As the agency now gets its information directly from cryptocurrency exchanges, however, this assumption does not hold up.

What’s your opinion about the tax campaign targeting crypto investors in Australia? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need to track down a Bitcoin transaction? With our Bitcoin Explorer tool, you can search by transaction ID, address, or block hash to find specific details, and for a look at the broader crypto space explore our Bitcoin Charts tool.

The post Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits appeared first on Bitcoin News.

SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH

SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH

A company running a small scooter rental service in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city, has minted an SLP token on the Bitcoin Cash network to support its business and to attract investors and customers. The company issues its own cryptocurrency, a Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) token. SLP is a token-based protocol built on top of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain. It facilitates the creation of tokens that can serve various purposes depending on the needs of the issuer.

Also read: SLP Token Trading Platform Cryptophyl Adds BTC Pair With Bitcoin Cash at Flat 0.15% Fee

Taipei Scooter Offers Tourists a Fun Way to Get Around

Motor scooters are arguably the most popular means of transportation in Taiwan, a common sight on the roads of the densely populated island where there are almost 600 scooters per 1,000 people. In central Taipei, however, with its narrow streets and pedestrian areas, electric kick scooters have been gaining ground too. Locals and visitors alike often choose this smart and efficient way to move around in the urban jungle at a pretty low cost and without any carbon footprint.

Bitcoin Cash SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH
Scooters are a popular transport choice for commuters in Taiwan

Taipei Scooter is one of the scooter rental services in downtown Taipei. It operates in the heart of Ximending, a famous shopping and nightlife district of the Taiwanese capital. The company offers tourists and other customers the popular Segway model Ninebot Kickscooter ES2 at a $100 Taiwan dollars ($3.34) regular hourly rate and a daily rent of $600 (approximately $20). There are discounts too – the price for those who pay with crypto is at least 50% lower.

The company issues its own cryptocurrency, Taiwan Ebike Coin (E-BIKE), which is a Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) token. SLP is a token-based protocol built on top of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. It facilitates the creation of tokens that can serve various purposes depending on the needs of the issuer. Taipei Scooter is among a growing number of companies that see an opportunity to benefit from the flexibility SLP tokens offer.

Taiwan Ebike Coin Minted for Investors and Customers

E-bike also serves as an instrument to invest in the rental business which, according to its website, operates 15 electric scooters in the Taiwanese metropolis. The shop on 33 Hanzhong Street brings an average rental income of 5,000 Taiwan dollars daily (around US$170). The promise is that all profits will be distributed among Taiwan Ebike Coin holders, along with the rental fees special investors are entitled to. The company plans to pay out the dividends in BCH once every two months.

Bitcoin Cash SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH
Ninebot Kickscooter

According to the Bitcoin Cash Block Explorer, Taiwan Ebike Coin was issued in December 2019. It has 104 token addresses now and 723 valid transactions since genesis. The circulating supply is 4,020,809,770. Taipei Scooter’s account on the BCH-based social network memo.cash, Taiwanebike, has been tipping followers with E-BIKE coins in the past several months. The company admits that travel bans related to the coronavirus outbreak have been hurting the tourist industry, although Taiwan is less affected by the epidemic than other countries in the region.

What do you think of Taipei Scooter’s efforts to attract investors and customers using an SLP token? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Taipei Scooter.


Are you a developer looking to build on Bitcoin Cash? Head over to our Bitcoin Developer page where you can get Bitcoin Cash developer guides and start using the Bitbox, SLP, and Badger Wallet SDKs.

The post SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH appeared first on Bitcoin News.

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet

In what seems to be another episode in a long-running campaign, the Russian telecom regulator has restricted access to at least six websites posting content related to cryptocurrencies. Тhe forum section of Bits.media, a leading crypto news outlet, is among the internet pages that have been blacklisted this month.

Also read: Russians Can Use Qiwi, Sberbank, Yandex Money and Now Binance P2P Exchange to Buy Bitcoin With Rubles

Roskomnadzor Restricts Access to Crypto Forum

The latest offensive was launched on March 5, when the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) added five crypto websites to its register of banned internet sources. Access to btcphone.ru, alfatop.me, nicechange.org, bitokk.com, and prostocoin.com was restricted following a ruling by the Nyandomsky District Court in Arkhangelsk Oblast issued a day earlier. The sites offer different services, from crypto exchange to mobile top-ups with bitcoin, and one of them is an information portal.

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet
Roskomnadzor blacklists websites publishing crypto content and offering related services.

Around the time these websites were blocked, readers complained that the Bits.media forum became inaccessible too. Eventually the outlet was able to establish that this section of its website was blacklisted on a 2017 request from the Federal Tax Service (FTS) citing a ban on the dissemination of prohibited information in Russia. At the time, the tax agency was unhappy with a forum thread about an online casino. The thread was re-opened but eventually deleted altogether. Bits.media founder Ivan Tikhonov commented on Facebook:

RKN blocks the site again. Stock up on proxies and VPNs.

Tikhonov’s team is currently negotiating with Roskomnadzor. The problem is that some internet providers have actually blocked the whole domain, not just the website’s forum. Those that are not diligent enough to immediately implement the regulator’s restrictions are threatened by sanctions. A reversal of the ban, however, could take several months and no one will be held accountable for any delays in this case. Tikhonov also posted a screenshot of the official reference to the blocking of Bits.media from Roskomnadzor’s website and said that the agency had acted without prior notice.

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet
Bits.media blocked on request from the Federal Tax Service dating back to 2017.

Regulator Accused of Targeting Websites Arbitrarily

Roskomnadzor started blocking crypto websites in 2015. Since then, multiple platforms have been affected, including Coinspot and Cointelegraph a few months ago. Authorities find grounds for these decisions and actions in a statement by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) on “virtual currencies” published in 2014. Besides issuing the usual warnings to the public, the bank stated that the law prohibits the issuance and circulation of “money surrogates” on the territory of the Russian Federation.

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet
Central Bank of Russia

Bits.media points to many similarities between the different cases. For example, they are often filed by prosecutors in various Russian regions but the restrictive measures are imposed on a national level. The district courts refer to the CBR’s position and the absence of a regulatory framework but fail to recognize that no current Russian law bans decentralized cryptocurrencies or the publication of information about them. Furthermore, blocked websites are often totally unrelated, which leaves the impression that they are being targeted arbitrarily.

As a result, operators of such platforms successfully challenge the rulings in higher courts. In March 2018, the Saint Petersburg City Court struck down a ban on 40 websites with information and services related to cryptocurrencies. In April, the Supreme Court overturned a decision to block the Bitcoininfo.ru portal. In May 2019, Roskomnadzor was forced to remove Bestchange.ru from its blacklist, after prosecutors gave up efforts to block the website citing the lack of regulations. According to recent statements by officials, the Russian parliament may finally adopt the Law on Digital Financial Assets by the end of March.

What’s your opinion about Roskomnadzor’s actions against crypto websites in Russia? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Roskomnadzor.


Do you want to dig deeper into Bitcoin? Explore past and present cryptocurrency prices through our Bitcoin Markets tool and head to our Blockchain Explorer to view specific transactions, addresses, and blocks.

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Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira

Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira

If there’s a place where cryptocurrencies draw significantly more attention than anywhere else right now, it has to be Nigeria. Africa’s largest economy is driven by its oil exports, expanding manufacturing, financial services, communications and information technology sectors, but also by a tech-savvy generation that asks Google about Bitcoin more than its peers in other countries. Despite the progress, however, cash remains the only option for many Nigerians to buy cryptocurrency. New services are aiming to satisfy that demand.

Also read: Wifi Sharing Platform Wicrypt Gets Government Grant in Nigeria

Half of Nigeria’s Population Remains Financially Excluded

Nigeria accounts for close to a quarter of all internet users in Africa. Over 123 million Nigerians have access to the web according to Internet World Stats latest data, and one would think that using an online platform to acquire cryptocurrencies isn’t an issue for them. Indeed, opportunities to buy bitcoin on the internet have been increasing, and so have the people that take advantage of them. The Nigeria Bitcoin Community portal lists a number of broker and trading platforms available in the country such as Quidax, Luno, Blockvila, Alphabits, and P2P exchanges like Remitano, Localbitcoins, Paxful, Coindirect, Buy Coins, and Coincola. Other options include Cryset, Redimit, Instantgold.

Purchasing cryptocurrency online, however, often requires the buyer to pay electronically, using “traditional” methods such as a bank transfer or credit card. And here is the real issue — having access to the internet doesn’t mean you get to have a bank account too. Around half of Nigeria’s 200 million citizens remain unbanked, and together with the category of the underbanked they form a majority of almost two thirds. According to data released by the World Bank, only around 40% of Nigerian adults have an account with some financial institution or a mobile money provider.

Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira
Around 100 million Nigerians do not have access to a bank account or financial services.

At the same time, the 2018 Global Findex report showed that nearly one in 10 unbanked Nigerians get their wages in cash, including four million who have a mobile phone. Add to that 15 million unbanked Nigerian farmers that sell agricultural goods for cash, some 10 million of whom are mobile phone users, too. That’s a tremendous growth opportunity for cryptocurrencies that need a simple phone to “work,” and not even internet is absolutely necessary thanks to SMS wallets like Cointext, for example.

Millions of financially excluded Nigerians would potentially benefit from the financial freedom that comes with decentralized digital money, if they could only get crypto. Cash is ubiquitous in this part of the world and it is the universal payment method the poor and the underprivileged have access to. New opportunities to buy bitcoin with paper money have been emerging in Nigeria in response to interest and demand.

Buying Bitcoin With Vouchers Paid With Cash

Yellow Card is a platform that has the tech and internet savvy Nigerians covered, offering them purchase of cryptocurrencies online using a bank transfer or ATM card to load their accounts with naira and then pay for the digital coins they want. It currently supports bitcoin core and dash and will be adding bitcoin cash (BCH) and tether (USDT) in the near future, a company representative confirmed. However, people that have only cash in their pockets are also welcome to acquire crypto from a Yellow Card shop or any of the platform’s agents. To do that, they need to buy a Yellow Card voucher from a merchant which comes with a 16-digit code and redeem it in the mobile app.

Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira
Yellow Card allows Nigerians to purchase cryptocurrency with vouchers they can buy with cash in stores.

Munachi Ogueke, CBO at Yellow Card Financial, told news.Bitcoin.com that although the major demand still comes from traders with bank accounts who generally move bigger volumes, the cash option is doing well too. Yellow Card is currently working with agents in and around Lagos, the country’s commercial and financial hub, and the federal capital Abuja, but it has some serious plans for expansion in the rest of the country aiming to add thousands of brick and mortar stores to its network. There are many different reasons for the increased demand for crypto in Nigeria, Ogueke commented, pointing to the country’s young population and high interest in technology among other factors. Noting that cryptocurrencies are also gradually becoming a popular remittance tool for Nigerians that live and work abroad, he stated:

We are seeing explosive growth.

Nigeria Gets a Bitcoin ATM and It Won’t Be the Last

Other cash for crypto options are gaining ground too. Nigeria now has at least one operational Bitcoin ATM. For various reasons, including security concerns, there’s only a couple of dozen teller devices supporting cryptocurrencies in the whole of Africa, the Coinatmradar map shows. According to local media reports, Nigeria got its first BATM only this year. The device was deployed in Dazey Lounge & Bar in Lagos in early January by a local company called Blockstale. The ATM has been manufactured in China but has an “Africa-focused design,” which takes into account the safety problem in the country, featuring an alarm system, a remote tracker and bio scanners to make it theft and vandal-proof, as the Weetracker news outlet reported.

Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira
Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos now has a Bitcoin ATM. More devices have been imported by Blockstale CEO Daniel Adekunle and will be deployed soon.

Speaking to news.Bitcoin.com, Chief Executive Daniel Adekunle revealed that Blockstale is gearing up to install more cryptocurrency ATMs across Nigeria and in neighboring countries. The company has already delivered five more machines that will be deployed in Lagos by the end of the month and will then move on to Abuja towards the next quarter. These are two-way devices supporting both purchases and sales of BTC for the moment, but more currencies will be added later. Blockstale is also considering the introduction of a mobile top-up feature allowing users to reload their prepaid mobile phones using crypto. “Nigerians have trust issues, meaning we prefer to have direct interactions because we believe that this is safe, secure and best practice to avoid loss of funds,” Adekunle commented, adding:

We operate in a cash-based economy even though our banks want us to go cashless. These BATMs serve as an on-ramp for users looking into cashing out their digital assets or having quick access to purchase digital assets with cash securely.

Being able to buy cryptocurrency with cash directly is undoubtedly a convenience for many Nigerians. But as the option is not widely available yet, there is another interesting alternative to vouchers and teller machines — gift cards. Hong Kong-based digital asset trading platform Coincola offers an OTC marketplace for major cryptocurrencies including BTC and BCH. In 2019, the exchange launched an active campaign to enter the Nigerian market and has been accepted very well, according to Nigeria Bitcoin Community. Besides facilitating peer-to-peer crypto purchases and sales with the national fiat currency, the naira, the exchange maintains a gift card trade section where Nigerians can buy bitcoin with just about any gift card you can imagine.

Do you think these new cash-based services will bring more Nigerians into Bitcoin? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Yellow Card, Blockstale.


You can now purchase bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.

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HTC Unveils Privacy Protecting 5G Router, Pundi X Finalizes Blockchain Phone Prototype

HTC Unveils Privacy Protecting 5G Router, Pundi X Finalizes Blockchain Phone Prototype

Product announcements in the mobile and internet communications sector have indicated that cryptocurrency-related features are going to become more common. A 5G router with a Bitcoin node that provides secure connectivity, a new blockchain phone you can customize, and a flagship’s hardware wallet from a smartphone giant now available in more markets are the latest steps in that direction.

Also read: HTC Adds Native Bitcoin Cash Support to Its Flagship Smartphone

HTC Announces ‘World’s Most Private’ Router

HTC, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that’s fighting for its place in а space dominated by big tech companies such as Samsung and Apple, has placed its bet on integrating alternative technologies in its devices. After much anticipation and delays, it started shipping its blockchain smartphone last January, loaded with features targeting cryptocurrency enthusiasts around the world. HTC Exodus 1 and later the more affordable Exodus 1s devices have a built-in hardware wallet that stores major coins and tokens.

HTC Unveils Privacy Protecting 5G Router, Pundi X Finalizes Blockchain Phone Prototype

HTC is now expanding the Exodus lineup with a new product designed with the needs of the crypto community in mind. This week, the company unveiled its Exodus 5G Hub as “the world’s most private router.” According to the announcement, the router will provide users with ultra-secure 5G connectivity for any of their internet-enabled devices. Besides, the Exodus 5G offers “a complete power shift from the status quo” in a key way. HTC promises to protect smartphone owners from the collection of personal data through smart devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, Facebook Portal, and others, stating:

You are now verifying the cloud servers, rather than them verifying you.

Like the Exodus smartphones, the new router has the Zion privacy suit integrated. It lets you run a full Bitcoin node and allows you to store and send BTC, ETH, BNB, LTC, XLM, ERC20 tokens including BAT, and ERC721 collectibles with the Zion Vault. HTC introduced support for BCH by preinstalling the Bitcoin.com wallet on its phones. Other privacy-oriented apps that will be added to all Exodus devices include Proton Mail, a secure email service developed by CERN and MIT scientists, the Brave browser which allows publishers to earn fair revenues with privacy-respecting ads, and Incognito, a decentralized VPN and ad blocker that protects you even from your internet service provider. HTC’s Decentralized Chief Officer Phil Chen commented:

Exodus is the shield against the onslaught of big tech and its assault on the privacy of your home. By using the Exodus 5G Hub, you have more control and ownership of your data than ever before.

HTC’s new router is equipped with a 5-inch display and 7,660 mAh battery. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core processor, with Snapdragon X50 5G modem. It has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which can be extended up to 512GB with a micro SD card. The operating system is Android 9.0 with HTC Sense.

Another Blockchain Phone Coming Out From Pundi X

Concerns about privacy have motivated Pundi X, a startup working to enable cryptocurrency payments across South East Asia where it runs a network of POS terminals, to come up with its own offering in the growing niche of blockchain-based smartphones. Pointing to data scandals with tech companies, its team highlights the need of solutions that work without a centralized service provider, “so that only you as the user have the access and permission to your data.”

Blok on Blok (BOB) is Pundi X’s prototype of a blockchain phone designed to give control over how your data is used and even how your handset looks. The device is powered by the proprietary Function X (FX) blockchain protocol that should allow you to call, text and browse without a provider that can spy on your communications, and keep your data encrypted and secured. Each BOB functions like a node, the creators explain. The FX OS lets you switch between blockchain and traditional Android mode by swiping the home screen.

HTC Unveils Privacy Protecting 5G Router, Pundi X Finalizes Blockchain Phone Prototype

BOB will be shipped as an assembly kit providing buyers with an opportunity to customize the look and feel of their smartphone. Owners are even encouraged to download the design rendering files, modify them to their taste and 3D-print parts for their BOBs, which originally come with retro-futuristic looks inspired by the sci-fi films and comics of the 80s and 90s. Pundi X plans to deliver the first devices to backers of the project on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform by early Q2, 2020, although the company admits that the coronavirus epidemic may delay production in China.

The future of any blockchain phone project will be determined by the product’s perceived utility and ultimately by the market. It may not be that obvious but major manufacturers are taking note and beginning to address demand from privacy-conscious users including the crypto community. Samsung, for example, which introduced a hardware wallet with its previous generation of flagship phones to a limited number of markets, the U.S. and a few others, decided to keep the feature in its latest Galaxy S20 series and offer it in seven more countries: Austria, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, and Finland. Samsung Blockchain Keystore currently supports a few cryptocurrencies like bitcoin core, ethereum, klaytn, tron, and stellar, and the app’s Galaxy Store page promises that more coins will be added in the future.

Would you use any of the products mentioned in the article? Do you agree that crypto and blockchain technologies can be utilized to significantly improve data security and privacy in communications?

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets Monthly Record at $74K With BCH Capturing 97% of Spending, Report Details

Cryptocurrency payments in Australia, which have been growing in volume in the past few years, have recently scored another record. Crypto-based merchant trade across the country reached almost $74,000 in February according to a new report. Bitcoin cash has by far the largest share in retail crypto spending and transactions among coins accepted by Australian businesses.

Also read: Australian Court Accepts Cryptocurrency Exchange Account as Security for Legal Costs

Bitcoin Cash Accounts for 97% of Retail Cryptocurrency Spending in Australia

Part of a series of regular monthly surveys, the new edition of Bitcoinbch.com’s Cryptocurrency Expenditure at Retail Businesses report highlights the importance of merchant adoption for any cryptocurrency designed to become a global electronic cash system. The study examines how bitcoin cash (BCH) and other leading cryptocurrencies perform in terms of spending at physical merchants in Australia.

According to the latest numbers, total cryptocurrency trade has increased in February 2020, reaching a volume of $73,769.41, up from $44,087.57 in January. Bitcoin cash usage expanded last month to a record proportion of 97.01% of all merchant trade covered in the study, up from 90% in October and 93% in November respectively. BCH accounts for over $71,500 of the quoted monthly spending volume.

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

The information about BCH spending is gathered from subscribers to the Hula platform. The Hockings Underwriting Logistics App facilitates instant conversion of bitcoin cash to local fiat currency, protecting businesses from price volatility. Hula pairs BCH investors with merchants to enable a simple way to accumulate BCH over the counter. Its service is currently available to Australian retailers who want to accept the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoinbch.com collects data by polling physical merchants across the nation as well. This approach allows the web portal to create a more precise picture of their turnover, which in the case of BCH is often of a peer-to-peer nature. Many of the retail locations also use other products developed to facilitate bitcoin cash storage and payments, such as the Bitcoin.com Wallet and the Bitcoin Cash Register app.

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Over 81% of Australia’s Retail Crypto Transactions Conducted in BCH

The report also tracks the usage of other major cryptocurrencies sourcing information from Australian crypto payment processor Travelbybit. Author Hayden Otto, CEO of Bitcoinbch.com, concludes that their proportions in the mix have shrunk last month. Bitcoin core and Lightning Network, ethereum, litecoin, and crypto exchange Binance’s BNB token collectively accounted for only $2,205 of the estimated sales total.

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Bitcoin cash leads in terms of retail crypto transactions too, with 193 or 81.09% of all registered in the month of February, followed by BTC with 17 transactions (7.14%) and Lightning Network’s 14 (5.88%), BNB with 10 (4.20%), ETH and LTC with two each (0.84%), while BSV and DASH have not been spent with the surveyed merchants. BCH transactions have spiked on the 13th and towards the end of the month with a period high on Feb. 27. The volume of bitcoin cash spending topped $12,000 on the 24th.

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Australia has become an important crypto destination with an increasing number of online merchants and physical stores accepting decentralized money thanks to services such as those described in the report. Cryptocurrencies have also gained recognition through the registration of hundreds of digital asset exchanges and a recent court ruling describing them as a form of investment. Bitcoinbch.com’s regular monthly surveys show that bitcoin cash is a major driver of adoption with a growing list of businesses accepting it as a payment option that works for them and their customers.

What do you think about the numbers in the Bitcoinbch.com’s cryptocurrency expenditure report? Do you expect the positive trend from February to continue into March? Share your thoughts on cryptocurrency adoption in Australia in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinbch.com.


Are you looking for a secure way to buy bitcoin online? Start by downloading your free bitcoin wallet from us and then head over to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can easily buy BTC and BCH.

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Bitcoin Is Financial Instrument, Clarifies Germany, Crypto Custodians Qualify as Financial Institutions

Bitcoin Is Financial Instrument, Clarifies Germany, Crypto Custodians Qualify as Financial Institutions

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany, Bafin, has issued guidance to clarify the status of cryptocurrencies and the regulations that apply to related business activities. The recommendations are based on the country’s current legislation, taking into account the latest changes.

Also read: Turkey to Inspect Cryptocurrency Exchanges as Part of Government Offensive Against Online Gambling

The Keepers of Your Crypto Are Financial Institutions in Germany

The guidance document concentrates on the requirements for the providers of crypto custody services operating in the Federal Republic. Starting from 2020, German banks and other regulated financial institutions are allowed to manage cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin on behalf of their clients, after Berlin adopted amendments transposing Europe’s anti-money laundering rules into national law. German fintechs also rushed to offer similar services.

Bitcoin Is Financial Instrument, Clarifies Germany, Crypto Custodians Qualify as Financial Institutions

Regulators begin with defining what a crypto custody business is – the safekeeping and managing of crypto assets ​​or private cryptographic keys that serve to hold and store crypto assets that can be transferred to others, which is a financial service. The definition stems from the German Banking Act, while providing this type of service was made possible by the law implementing EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The changes came into force on Dec. 12, 2019.

Germany now considers service providers who offer the exchange of virtual currencies for legal tender and vice versa, or for other digital assets, to be financial service institutions. Cryptocurrencies, depending on their design, are generally regarded as financial instruments. The exchange of cryptos falls into the category of regulated banking and other financial services transactions. The broad definition has been given in order to account for all crypto assets relevant to the financial market, including digital coins that are not considered units of account.

Coins and Tokens Are Digital Representations of Value

The guidance further describes cryptocurrencies as a digital representation of value that has not been issued or guaranteed by a central bank or public body and does not have the legal status of a currency or money. At the same time, a crypto can represent an agreement for, or an actual exercise of, a payment or investment. It can be accepted as a medium of exchange by natural or legal persons and be transmitted, stored and traded electronically. Coins and tokens can also bear rights similar to those of traditional securities.

Bitcoin Is Financial Instrument, Clarifies Germany, Crypto Custodians Qualify as Financial Institutions

German regulators have made it clear that any organization which wants to conduct banking business in the country or provide financial services commercially needs permission from Bafin. This applies to domestically operated companies, or in other words entities that are based in the Bundesrepublik even if they serve non-residents only, and companies that have established a local office from which they maintain their business activities.

Firms operating in the crypto sector must apply for a Bafin license by the end of November, 2020. So far, over 40 financial institutions have declared intent to offer services related to cryptocurrencies under the country’s updated legislation, as news.Bitcoin.com reported in February. Entities that already work with crypto assets have until March 31 to at least express intent to apply for a license. This is not part of the actual application procedure, but an important step towards acquiring the necessary license.

Do you think Germany’s efforts to regulate the crypto space will create favorable conditions for the development of the industry? Share your opinions on the subject in the comments section below.


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Do you want to dig deeper into Bitcoin? Explore past and present cryptocurrency prices through our Bitcoin Markets tool and head to our Blockchain Explorer to view specific transactions, addresses, and blocks.

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Turkey to Inspect Cryptocurrency Exchanges as Part of Government Offensive Against Online Gambling

Turkey to Inspect Cryptocurrency Exchanges Within Government Offensive Against Online Gambling

Turkish authorities will soon be going after crypto exchanges operating in the country, local media reported. Although the trading platforms are not the prime target of a new push to increase budget receipts, they will be placed under close examination. The news comes as a military escalation with Syria and the coronavirus outbreak in the region increase demand for alternatives to the national fiat currency.

Also read: Australian Court Accepts Cryptocurrency Exchange Account as Security for Legal Costs

Draft Legislation Criminalizes Non-State Betting and Gambling

Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (Masak) will conduct the checks as part of its offensive against what Turkish regulators regard as illegal betting and gambling in the virtual space. Online gaming, unless organized by the government, has been prohibited for over a decade, but many Turks continue to play on the internet.

Turkey to Inspect Cryptocurrency Exchanges as Part of Government Offensive Against Online Gambling

In an interview with the state-run Anadolu Agency, Masak Chairman Hayrettin Kurt revealed that illegal bets and games of chance will be treated as crimes under a draft legislation that has been filed in the Turkish parliament. The Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTK) will block local and foreign websites that facilitate them. The head of the board added that most of these platforms are based abroad and Turkish regulators are working in cooperation with international counterparts on the issue.

Masak has so far established that the annual revenue from Turkey of these gambling platforms amounts to 350 – 400 million Turkish lira (up to $64 million). Following the measures undertaken by the board in 2018, the state revenues from the sector increased by around 10 billion liras in 2019, or approximately $1.6 billion.

Hayrettin Kurt emphasized that the Financial Crimes Investigation Board will continue its efforts to prevent the tax losses. Working closely with other administrations, Masak has registered an increase in the proceeds from fines it’s imposing for online betting and gambling. They currently range between 10,000 and 43,000 liras (almost $7,000) per violation.

Crypto Exchanges in the Crosshairs

Discussing further how online gaming works, the Masak official pointed out that various alternative payment tools are often employed, including cryptocurrencies. That’s why the board intends to check digital asset trading platforms, which will be closely examined in the near future as part of the efforts to suppress what Turkey views as illegal business. Quoted by the crypto news outlet Muhabbit, Hayrettin Kurt stated:

We have recently prepared a very serious action plan. We will conduct a serious investigation on the accounts that use cryptocurrency exchanges which act as intermediaries.

The Masak chairman also made it clear that the Turkish state has already obtained the means to track gamblers and online gaming platforms, even on the deep web, and warned that offenders will not escape government penalties. The investigative body has discussed the attractiveness of cryptocurrencies for participants in the black economy and explored the experience of other nations in the sector. Hayrettin Kurt remarked that while some governments prohibit their use in payments or are developing their own digital currencies, others have adopted regulations for crypto assets and exchanges.

Cryptocurrencies in Turkey, with its inflation-stricken economy and political instability in the past few years, have become an attractive investment for ordinary citizens. According to media reports, the demand for cryptos and foreign fiat currencies is now rising in the country, this time on the backdrop of a recent military clash with Syrian forces and tensions with Russia, as well as the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the region. Almost 320 BTC have changed hands only on the BTCTurk exchange in the past 24 hours, with the price per coin reaching a high of close to 55,000 liras ($8,800).

Turkey to Inspect Cryptocurrency Exchanges as Part of Government Offensive Against Online Gambling

The importance of the Turkish crypto market has been highlighted by global leaders in the space establishing presence there. Among them are crypto exchange Binance, which introduced support for the lira through a partnership with a local payment processor, and the major crypto exchange in Eastern Europe, Exmo, which registered a Turkish subsidiary last year. In early January, news came out that Turkish authorities are stepping up efforts to increase oversight in the crypto space.

Online betting and gambling has seen significant growth with the development of internet and mobile technologies, and not only in Turkey. Cryptocurrencies have contributed to the trend as well with the utility they bring to electronic payments and their privacy-oriented features. Online gaming platforms, like Bitcoin.com’s Cash Games for example, accept cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin cash (BCH). Besides, not all countries facing socio-economic challenges have a negative stance on this type of gambling. Venezuela, for example, recently authorized the opening of a crypto casino in the landmark Humboldt Hotel in Caracas.

What’s your opinion about the measures Turkey plans to take against online gambling and cryptocurrency exchanges? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you could win big with bitcoin gambling? Choose from a range of BCH games including BCH poker, BCH slots, and many more. All games are provably fair—good luck!

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MTV Airs Only the Negative Parts of Crypto Youtuber ‘Ya Girl’ Rachel Siegel’s Bitcoin Analysis

MTV Airs True Life Crime Episode With Crypto Expert, Youtuber, ‘Ya Girl’ Rachel Siegel

A new television series by MTV features arguably the channel’s first crypto personality. Rachel Siegel, a bitcoin advocate and proponent of mass adoption who’s behind the Youtube channel Crypto Finally, was invited to enrich the story of a $5 million SIM swapping scam with her expertise. The episode was aired recently, attracting much attention from the crypto community, and not only for what it showed, but also what was cut out.

Also read: Cryptocurrency Explained on the Latest Episode of The Simpsons

MTV Show Consults ‘Crypto Expert’ on a $5 Million Hack

The True Life Crime show premiered on MTV in January with the promise to give you “a closer look at the biggest true-crime headlines.” Its seventh episode, “The $5 Million Phone Hack,” has host Dometi Pongo finding out how 19-year-old Joel Ortiz got involved in a SIM swapping theft and was eventually tracked down by an elite law enforcement unit in California.

MTV Airs True Life Crime Episode With Crypto Expert, Youtuber, ‘Ya Girl’ Rachel Siegel

Viewers who watched on Feb. 19 saw some of the victims’ messages for Ortiz and heard praise for the React team, a task force of various police departments that investigates computer-related crime in the state. As news.Bitcoin.com reported in February 2019, Ortiz got 10 years in prison, the maximum punishment in this case, after pleading guilty.

But what would an investigative series be without the expert opinions? And while the state prosecutor and the defense attorney handled the legal aspects quite well, someone with an appropriate image and knowledge was needed to unravel the crypto side of the story. So the producers of the show, a third party company, found Rachel Siegel on Twitter, convinced her to take part and flew her to Los Angeles for the shoot.

Rachel is a New York-based content creator with background in media who got into the blockchain space in 2018, as she revealed on the Thinking Crypto podcast. She launched her Youtube channel, Crypto Finally, with “catchy and interesting” Bitcoin music videos to “get people fascinated by Bitcoin.” Now she’s “starting to get more educational,” targeting millennials in particular. A topic she dived deeper into during a presentation last year was mainstream media portrayal of Bitcoin and how it attributes to adoption. Crypto Finally now has around 2,800 subscribers.

Mainstream Media Coverage Good for Bitcoin, if You Agree There’s No Bad Publicity

Any media attention can be a positive for cryptocurrencies in the current drought, especially in the sense that there is no such thing as bad publicity. But as Rachel discovered while watching True Life Crime, expert opinions on Bitcoin are only good for mainstream media as long as they fit into the already established stereotype or preconceived script.

“Face, laugh, cute little over-the-shoulder ‘cryptocurrency expert’ moment, a photo from Crypto Chicks,” Rachel described her own portrayal in “The $5 Million Phone Hack” during a live stream of her watching the episode. “Cryptocurrency is an electronic currency,” Rachel explains on MTV. “But it’s basically an investment, right, like investing in the stock market, the value changes over time?” the host asks her. “Exactly,” she concurs.

“Is it more secure than a bank?” another question follows and then comes the surprise as the producers show you only part of Rachel’s answer, which becomes evident from her reaction: “What makes it less safe to hold than money that you have in a bank is that there is no additional security [Look at the context]… It’s much easier than robbing a bank [They better explain next what I said about the paper wallets and the cold storage]… If they take your money out of your crypto account, the money is gone [What is happening? They definitely chopped it all up.]”

During the shoot in LA, which took Rachel a full day rather than the mere minutes that made it in the final cut, she explained to her interviewers that there are safer ways to keep your crypto than on your phone such as taking your stuff off Coinbase, holding your own private keys, using cold storage or a paper wallet. “But if all that they get me saying is that it’s unsafe, then that’s what they got me saying… But like holy moly, we are talking about it, that’s what matters… regardless of the context… They are talking about cryptocurrency! That was a conversation about Bitcoin. That is nuts. Yeah, yeah…”

What do you think about mainstream media portrayal of cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.


Do you want to dig deeper into Bitcoin? Explore past and present cryptocurrency prices through our Bitcoin Markets tool and head to our Blockchain Explorer to view specific transactions, addresses, and blocks.

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These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency

These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency

Getting into Bitcoin is a first step many have already taken, and with the generally positive start of 2020, more are likely to make the move. But then there’s the question of what to do with your coins. Regardless of how you obtained them – through purchase, faucet, airdrop, fork, business, or salary — it’s an important point to consider. Luckily, options to spend your cryptocurrency have been increasing. Here’s how to find places that accept decentralized digital money using online maps.

Also read: How to Find Your Nearest Bitcoin ATM

Merchant Maps Show You Where to Spend Your Bitcoin

Interactive online maps are the most intuitive way to find anything these days, including merchants that are willing to take your crypto for whatever they sell. And while Google Maps can help you locate a few businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies near you, other platforms are far more specialized.

Coinmap.org is one of them, as its website allows crypto companies to share their coordinates for free. The map displays around 16,000 venues around the world that accept cryptocurrency payments. Users can filter these entries by multiple categories such as shopping, café, food, grocery, lodging, transport, sports, and nightlife. It will also show you ATMs where you can withdraw digital coins.

These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency
Coinmap.org

The website is easy to use. Filtering options are displayed on the left side of the map. If you permit your browser to track your location, the map will be centered on it and will offer you nearby crypto merchants. You can also zoom in on a particular city or district and check the tab that shows all merchants in the same area. Clicking on an entry will give you more details about the place, and allow you to visit its website or explore the surroundings in Google’s Street View.

While Coinmap lists businesses processing payments in various coins, other platforms are focusing on merchants that accept specific cryptocurrencies. These can be coins that have established themselves as popular investments and others that are valued for the utility they bring to electronic payments, whether with fast and inexpensive transactions or through other features that facilitate genuine peer-to-peer interaction.

Coin-Specific Platforms Focus on Merchants Accepting Payment-Friendly Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoinmap.cash is a community project spreading the word about restaurants, bars, supermarkets, hotels, and other places that mostly take bitcoin cash (BCH) and dash, but many of the featured locations accept bitcoin core (BTC) as well. It has a desktop version of its map and a mobile application you can download and install. Bitcoinmap.cash provides you with basic information about the place you are interested in, including offered discounts for crypto payments. It also lets you check the location using Google Maps.

These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin Cash Map

Bitcoin.com’s offering in the genre, Bitcoin Cash Map, updates users about the growing number of locations accepting BCH. It currently lists almost 2,000 stores across the globe where you can pay with bitcoin cash. The map, which is also available as a mobile app, can be used to obtain contact information for the merchants and links to their websites. Green Pages is another BCH-focused option which allows you to narrow the search to stores where, besides bitcoin cash, you can also pay with four other major cryptocurrencies – BTC, ETH, DASH and XMR.

A different approach to finding crypto-friendly merchants is to check payment processors that track their clients’ activity. For instance, point-of-sale provider Anypay maintains a map showing businesses using its services and other locations that accept cryptocurrencies. The platform supports a number of coins including BCH, BTC, LTC, DASH, DOGE, ZEC, XRP, and ZEN. Locations are displayed in different colors indicating when the last payment took place so that you know which stores process crypto payments regularly. Clicking on a marker also gives you information about that business, its address and accepted currencies.

Explore Merchant Directories That Maintain Online Maps

Coppay is another company that allows users to accept cryptocurrency payments through instant conversion to fiat. It has a map on its website that shows the physical locations where the payment system is being used. Copay provides services mainly to merchants based in the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania, although the company is working to expand to other markets and has already entered Portugal. Salamantex is a payment solution provider that has its own merchant map. Most of its clients are based in Austria, with a couple of stores in Croatia and Malta.

These Maps Will Help You Locate Merchants Ready to Accept Your Cryptocurrency
Salamantex

There are other sources focusing on a specific region. Maltamap, for example, will suggest places where you can spend bitcoin in the Mediterranean nation. The country has branded itself as “The Blockchain Island” in the past few years, after adopting crypto-friendly legislation and welcoming many crypto companies to its shores. A growing number of businesses in Malta accept cryptocurrencies including hotels, real estate companies, auto dealers, and various other service providers.

Specialized merchant directories offer another opportunity to explore cryptocurrency-accepting locations. Аcceptcryptoz lists over 800 such places in several categories including food and drinks, hotels and lodging, shops and markets, arts and entertainment, other services, and even crypto ATMs. Clicking the tab of any of these will take you to the category’s page where you’ll find a map showing you the contacts of the merchants and a list with more details about each one of them on the left side of the screen. These businesses accept one or more of eight supported coins and tokens including major cryptocurrencies.

What other maps showing businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments would you recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


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Australian Court Accepts Cryptocurrency Exchange Account as Security for Legal Costs

Australian Court Accepts Cryptocurrency Exchange Account as Security for Legal Costs

A court in Australia has agreed that a crypto exchange account can be used as security for potential legal expenses. Acknowledging the volatile nature of decentralized digital assets, the judge nevertheless conceded that cryptocurrency is a recognized form of investment in the current uncertain financial times.

Also read: Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors

$20,000 Worth of Crypto Allowed to Cover Legal Costs

Hearing a defamation claim, the New South Wales District Court was recently asked by the defendant to order the plaintiff to put $20,000 AUD (approx. $13,000 USD) into a court-controlled bank account, the Australian Associated Press reported Thursday. The money is supposed to cover some of the defendant’s expected legal costs if the plaintiff loses the case or decides to withdraw it altogether.

Australian Court Accepts Cryptocurrency Exchange Account as Security for Legal Costs

The court accepted the request allowing a cryptocurrency exchange account owned by the plaintiff to be used as security for the potential legal expenses, but a lawyer for the defendant remarked that although the account might be evaluated in Australian dollars, the digital money in it represented a highly unstable investment.

Judge Judith Gibson stated she was prepared to accept that cryptocurrency was volatile. “However, this is a recognized form of investment,” she pointed out in a judgment issued earlier this week. Trying to alleviate the expressed concerns regarding the assets, she also accepted the plaintiff’s undertaking to provide the defendant’s solicitor with monthly statements for the crypto account.

“I can see the desirability of the defendant receiving prompt notification of any drop in the value of the account. These are uncertain financial times,” Judge Gibson added. The plaintiff will be obliged to also alert the defendant’s lawyer if the account’s crypto balance falls below the equivalent of $20,000 AUD. The report notes that breaches of such undertakings can lead to the defaulting party being found in contempt of court.

Australia’s Proactive Regulatory Stance Creates Clarity for Crypto Companies

Compared to other developed nations around the world, Australia has advanced further in the efforts to regulate the crypto and blockchain space. Since 2017, cryptocurrencies similar to bitcoin in their main characteristics have been treated as property in the country and are subject to capital gains tax.

Australian Court Accepts Cryptocurrency Exchange Account as Security for Legal Costs

Austrac, the analysis center responsible for financial intelligence gathering and anti-money laundering policies, has been successfully working in that direction for almost two years. As news.Bitcoin.com reported this month, the regulator has already registered over 300 cryptocurrency exchanges. Global digital asset trading platforms have also demonstrated interest in the market. In January, U.S.-based exchange Kraken announced the acquisition of Bit Trade, Australia’s oldest operating exchange.

Besides trading, other related services such as crypto payments have also enjoyed growing popularity on the continent over the past few years, thanks to platforms like Travelbybit, Hula and the Bitcoin Cash Register. Retail spending reports published towards the end of last year showed that bitcoin cash (BCH) consistently captures the largest portion of these expenditures, with bitcoin core (BTC) and Binance coin (BNB) being among the other popular options. In early January, the leading global exchange donated $1 million in BNB to support the Australian bushfire relief efforts.

What do think about the Australian court accepting cryptocurrency as security for legal costs? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors

Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors

A court case that has the future of XRP at stake continues after Ripple’s motion to dismiss it was rejected by a court in California. The plaintiffs claim that the blockchain company sold the coin as an unregistered security and demand compensation. Ripple tried to avoid the case with its defense team insisting the lawsuit had been filed too late.

Also read: XRP Plummets 56% in One Candle, Bitmex Traders Outraged Over Flash Crash

Ripple’s Attempt to Dismiss XRP Court Case Fails

The consolidated class action lawsuit was filed last year by a group of investors who accused Ripple, its XRP II subsidiary, and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse of misleading them about the nature of XRP. In early December, the defendants asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to dismiss the case. A ruling on their request was expected last month but on Jan. 15 the court took the motion under submission and postponed its decision, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors

Although Ripple has maintained XRP is not a security, its legal representatives tried to obtain the dismissal on grounds that were different from the substance. They claimed the statute of repose had expired as the case was not filed within three years of the coin’s initial offering, and that the lead plaintiff, Bradley Sostack, bought XRP from a third party in January 2018.

Despite dismissing some of the defendants’ claims on the state level, during a hearing on Feb. 25 District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled that the securities claim was not invalidated under federal law, allowing the lawsuit to proceed. “Here, based on plaintiff’s complaint and the judicially noticeable facts proffered, the court cannot conclude that defendants’ first bona fide public offer to sell XRP occurred before August 5, 2016,” the court stated.

Fate of XRP Undecided Yet

Investments in XRP were made even before 2015 but the public did not learn that Ripple was selling the cryptocurrency, currently the third largest by market capitalization, until August 2016. The court further notes that while the defendants did acknowledge various 2013 offers and sales in their May 2015 settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, “the sales activity identified in that settlement does not show that defendants targeted the general public when offering to sell XRP.”

Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors

The outcome of the class action lawsuit against Ripple is likely to determine the fate of XRP. If the court recognizes the cryptocurrency as an unregistered security, its value could tumble sharply as it is delisted from regulated exchanges. But even a positive development for Ripple and its management in this case may not bring an end to the problems with the XRP coin.

Federal regulators are yet to determine their stance on XRP’s status. The crypto can either be treated as a security and fall under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which can file its own lawsuit for violation of federal securities laws, or as a commodity, in which case it will be regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

What are your expectations about the future of Ripple’s XRP? Share your thoughts on the court case in the comments section below.


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Do you want to keep an eye on moving cryptocurrency prices? Visit our Bitcoin Markets tool to get real-time price updates, and head over to our Blockchain Explorer tool to view all previous BCH and BTC transactions.

The post Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors

Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors

A court case that has the future of XRP at stake continues after Ripple’s motion to dismiss it was rejected by a court in California. The plaintiffs claim that the blockchain company sold the coin as an unregistered security and demand compensation. Ripple tried to avoid the case with its defense team insisting the lawsuit had been filed too late.

Also read: XRP Plummets 56% in One Candle, Bitmex Traders Outraged Over Flash Crash

Ripple’s Attempt to Dismiss XRP Court Case Fails

The consolidated class action lawsuit was filed last year by a group of investors who accused Ripple, its XRP II subsidiary, and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse of misleading them about the nature of XRP. In early December, the defendants asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to dismiss the case. A ruling on their request was expected last month but on Jan. 15 the court took the motion under submission and postponed its decision, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.

Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors

Although Ripple has maintained XRP is not a security, its legal representatives tried to obtain the dismissal on grounds that were different from the substance. They claimed the statute of repose had expired as the case was not filed within three years of the coin’s initial offering, and that the lead plaintiff, Bradley Sostack, bought XRP from a third party in January 2018.

Despite dismissing some of the defendants’ claims on the state level, during a hearing on Feb. 25 District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled that the securities claim was not invalidated under federal law, allowing the lawsuit to proceed. “Here, based on plaintiff’s complaint and the judicially noticeable facts proffered, the court cannot conclude that defendants’ first bona fide public offer to sell XRP occurred before August 5, 2016,” the court stated.

Fate of XRP Undecided Yet

Investments in XRP were made even before 2015 but the public did not learn that Ripple was selling the cryptocurrency, currently the third largest by market capitalization, until August 2016. The court further notes that while the defendants did acknowledge various 2013 offers and sales in their May 2015 settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, “the sales activity identified in that settlement does not show that defendants targeted the general public when offering to sell XRP.”

Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors

The outcome of the class action lawsuit against Ripple is likely to determine the fate of XRP. If the court recognizes the cryptocurrency as an unregistered security, its value could tumble sharply as it is delisted from regulated exchanges. But even a positive development for Ripple and its management in this case may not bring an end to the problems with the XRP coin.

Federal regulators are yet to determine their stance on XRP’s status. The crypto can either be treated as a security and fall under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which can file its own lawsuit for violation of federal securities laws, or as a commodity, in which case it will be regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

What are your expectations about the future of Ripple’s XRP? Share your thoughts on the court case in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you want to keep an eye on moving cryptocurrency prices? Visit our Bitcoin Markets tool to get real-time price updates, and head over to our Blockchain Explorer tool to view all previous BCH and BTC transactions.

The post Court Rejects Ripple’s Bid to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Filed by XRP Investors appeared first on Bitcoin News.

China Adopts Security Standards for Blockchain Applications in the Financial Sector

China Adopts Security Standards for Blockchain Applications in the Financial Sector

Keeping the focus on blockchain development, banking authorities in China have issued a set of rules pertaining to the secure application of crypto-related technologies in the financial sphere. The new standards, the first of this kind, are to guide the work of developers and service providers operating in the industry.

Also read: China Issues Digital Currency Guide for Party Cadres

Central Bank of China Issues DLT Security Specification

The Financial Distributed Ledger Technology Security Specification (JR/T 0184—2020) comes as a result of joint efforts between major banks such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China, under the guidance of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The main purpose of the document issued earlier in February is to standardize the deployment of blockchain technology in the financial field, Chinese crypto news outlet 8btc reported.

With the new regulation, the central bank of China puts an emphasis on improving information security of distributed ledger technology (DLT) applications. Organizations engaged in the development of blockchain systems for the financial sector as well as various service providers that are using DLT-based solutions are expected to comply with the standards in their activities.

China Adopts Security Standards for Blockchain Applications in the Financial Sector
People’s Bank of China

The 35-page instruction paper demands the implementation of secure financial DLT technologies and addresses various aspects of such systems like basic hardware and software, cryptographic algorithms, consensus protocols, communication between nodes, smart contracts, operational and maintenance requirements. The document also deals with matters related to identity management, privacy protection, compliance support, and governance mechanisms.

On the central government level, China turned its attention to blockchain last year when the General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping stated that the country should step up research in the emerging field. At a politburo meeting, the Chinese president insisted on speeding up development in the sector so that the People’s Republic could gain an edge, given the importance of DLT in the new round of technological innovation and industrial transformation.

Technical Committees Introduce Government Standards in Various Sectors

In November 2019, Beijing announced the establishment of technical committees tasked to introduce standardization in various fields, from baby products and sharing economy to photovoltaic systems. The standards drafted for each sphere will be used to coordinate government objectives across the country and throughout the entire economy. Approved and published regulations will be reviewed every five years.

A working group was created for the blockchain space, too. Chinese authorities believe that as many DLT initiatives originate from the financial and banking sector, standardization will facilitate deployment of new systems in accordance with established universal security requirements. Officials also want to ensure a “healthy development” of the industry producing and implementing blockchain solutions.

China Adopts Security Standards for Blockchain Applications in the Financial Sector

Over 37,000 blockchain businesses operate in China, according to the country’s company information portal Tianyancha.com. More than a third of these entities have been registered in the past year alone. China is also a leader by number of filed blockchain-related patent applications which reached almost 13,000 in October, or over 53% of the global total, shows data compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The PBOC is also working intensively to prepare the launch of a digital version of the national fiat and test the new Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system with the help of four state-owned commercial banks and three leading telecom operators. The digital yuan is said to be partially based on blockchain technology but as news.Bitcoin.com reported recently, the Chinese central bank has filed 84 patents relating to the digital currency.

What do you think of China’s decision to adopt security standards for blockchain applications in the financial sector? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Shopify Joins Libra While Quitter Vodafone Advertises Bitcoin on Facebook

Shopify Joins Libra While Quitter Vodafone Advertises Bitcoin on Facebook

Facebook’s coin project, Libra, continues to draw attention despite setbacks, including a shrinking pool of backers and a growing number of worried regulators. But now with JP Morgan seeing potential for the social network’s cryptocurrency and e-commerce giant Shopify joining the Libra Association, its chances might have improved. Although, assuring governments that Libra won’t undermine their monetary authority and convincing users of its utility remain key challenges.

Also read: Fed Chair Powell Reveals US Response to China’s Digital Yuan, Libra, Public Payments Ledger

Vodafone Posts Facebook Ad With Bitcoin in Germany

Libra’s long list of supporters has shortened in the past few months with major players such as Visa, Mastercard, Ebay, and Paypal leaving the Libra Association after it became clear that the project is facing major regulatory hurdles. Online payment processor Stripe, travel website Booking Holdings and the South American online sales platform Mercado Pago are also among the quitters.

Vodafone pulled out of the project last month becoming the eighth company to do so. The telecom giant, which operates in two dozen countries and serves clients in many more, recently spurred social network discussions and speculation in crypto media with a move that some took as an indication of its future plans. On Friday, Vodafone posted a Facebook ad in German that shows a bitcoin and the following message:

Will there be bitcoins instead of pocket money soon? What should grandma give you if everyone will pay with their smartphone in the future?

Vodafone left Libra to focus on M-Pesa, its own digital payments platform. Launched in 2007 by its Kenyan associate Safaricom, M-Pesa has established itself as the leading mobile money service in Africa. It now has 37 million active users in seven countries in the region, who carried out over 11 billion transactions in 2019. But it does not support Bitcoin, not yet.

Swimming Against the Current, Shopify Bets on Libra

Not everyone is leaving Libra, though. In fact, the majority of founding members are still on board. The updated list published recently by the Telegraph features the names of companies from various sectors including Facebook’s subsidiary Calibra, crypto firms Coinbase, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Xapo Holdings, and also Uber, Lyft, Spotify, Farfetch, Payu, Iliad, Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures, Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, and even NGOs like Mercy Corps and Women’s World Banking.

Shopify Joins Libra While Quitter Vodafone Advertises Bitcoin on Facebook

Shopify, the Canadian e-commerce platform, became the latest enthusiast to join the club. The company, which offers services and solutions for over a million small merchants and online retailers, announced its decision to become a member on Feb. 21, pledging to invest $10 million in the project. “We spend a lot of our time thinking about how to make commerce better in parts of the world where money and banking could be far better,” Shopify stated in a blog post, adding: “As a member of the Libra Association, we will work collectively to build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere.”

Having announced it last June, it remains unclear whether Facebook will be able to launch Libra in the first half of 2020, as initially planned, or even by the end of this year. Both Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the head of Calibra David Marcus have already answered questions in the United States Congress about the social media giant’s plans for the project, in an effort to alleviate concerns expressed by policy makers who fear Libra could undermine the U.S. dollar and challenge its supremacy as a global currency.

Antitrust regulators in Europe have been investigating the project as well. A new memo issued by the Vice-President of the European Commission (EC) Valdis Dombrovskis reveals Brussels is unhappy that the available information on Libra “lacks detail” and even after additional questions were sent to the association, it “remains insufficient for determining the precise nature of Libra” and its relation with existing EU law. “Libra is still a project, and thereby a moving target,” Dombrovskis notes and reminds about the Dec. 5 joint statement of the Commission and the Council of the European Union recognizing the risks raised by stablecoins and the need for regulation and oversight. The EC is currently gathering feedback from citizens and organizations to establish a regulatory framework, one of the goals of which is to “harness the potential opportunities that crypto-assets may offer.”

Shopify Joins Libra While Quitter Vodafone Advertises Bitcoin on Facebook

JP Morgan Recognizes Maturing Crypto Market but Sees Focus Shifting Towards Stablecoins

In its annual report on blockchain and cryptocurrency developments, JP Morgan Chase acknowledges that the crypto market continues to mature but notes that the characteristic volatility of cryptocurrencies remains an impediment to broader adoption. One that has also “led focus towards stablecoins.” The multinational investment bank, which issued its own digital coin representing fiat currency to facilitate payments between clients, believes that stablecoins have the potential to grow substantially in global transactions, despite certain challenges with operating such payment systems. The authors of the study point out:

While the world is ready for private money in our view, rapid adoption and scale are hindered by the underlying technology and the need for substantial regulatory oversight.

JPMC also notes that financial inclusion is one of the motivations behind Libra and that if the unbanked consumers were to drive the growth of the cryptocurrency, the project would be more about peer-to-peer payments and could support a significant share of global transactions. Currently, the global economic activity is far more concentrated among countries with higher levels of inclusion, according to data from the World Bank quoted in the report. For a stablecoin like Libra to succeed, the bank elaborates, it would require a few changes to its design such as “some short-term liquidity facilities, a source of positive-yielding reserve assets, and less distributed, semi-private networks.”

What are your expectations about the future of Facebook’s Libra project? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


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Do you want to dig deeper into Bitcoin? Explore past and present cryptocurrency prices through our Bitcoin Markets tool and head to our Blockchain Explorer to view specific transactions, addresses, and blocks.

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Brave Challenges Google’s Advertising Power Before the UK Competition Watchdog

Brave Challenges Google’s Advertising Power Before the UK Competition Watchdog

The company behind the privacy-oriented browser Brave has set out to convince regulators in the U.K. to end Google’s advertising monopoly in the digital space. In a filing with the country’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Brave puts forward recommendations on how to “neutralize” the tech giant’s “unfair data advantage.”

Also read: Google Executive From India Joins Coinbase as Chief Product Officer

Failure to Enforce Data Protection Rules Enables Google’s Monopoly, Brave Warns

In a submission filed with the CMA last week, Brave highlights what it views as gaps in the regulator’s “Online platforms and digital advertising” study. The company also argues that failing to enforce Europe’s rules under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enables Google’s monopoly in the online advertising market.

Brave Challenges Google’s Advertising Power Before the UK Competition Watchdog

The CMA, which is a non-ministerial government department responsible for preventing anti-competitive practices in the United Kingdom, published its interim report in 2019 with several consequent updates. The final report, part of a wider digital strategy aimed at addressing current challenges, should be published by July 2, 2020. The authority was accepting comments on its contents until Feb. 12.

According to its preliminary findings, the digital advertising sector in the U.K. has grown massively, to around £13 billion (almost $17 billion), and is also quite concentrated. Google alone accounted for over 90% of all revenues earned from search advertising the previous year, with revenues of around £6 billion, while Facebook had almost half of all display advertising revenues, reaching more than £2 billion.

Brave insists that a functional real-time bidding (RTB) market, where advertising is bought and sold per number of impressions, requires both internal and external data protection. The company notes that Google’s monopoly is based on its internal data free-for-all, or the use of personal data collected by its many platforms for its advertising business. The enforcement of GDPR is supposed to “neutralize Google’s unfair data advantage” and provide “functional separation” of Google’s businesses.

Brave Challenges Google’s Advertising Power Before the UK Competition Watchdog

Texts in the GDPR’s Article 5 postulate that “personal data shall be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes,” while its “integrity and confidentiality” should be ensured. Brave also calls for measures against the external data free-for-all between the participants in the RTB market, thousands of companies.

Competition Authority Concerned About Tech Giants Undermining Publishers

Brave’s pro-privacy browser has been designed to allow users to block ads and website trackers in ordure to offer them a faster and more private browsing experience. Within its attention-based rewards ecosystem, users are provided with an option to send cryptocurrency contributions in BAT, the platform’s proprietary Basic Attention Token, to support publishers and content creators. The company was founded by Brendan Eich, creator of Javascript and co-founder of Mozilla, who is now Brave’s chief executive officer.

Brave Challenges Google’s Advertising Power Before the UK Competition Watchdog

In its draft report, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority remarks that while the services of platforms such as Google and Facebook appear to be free, consumers do pay for them indirectly by providing their attention and personal data, which is then used to sell digital advertising. The CMA is concerned about the negative consequences of their market position such as the lack of competition from potential rivals and proper choice for consumers. Higher prices for advertisers translating into more expensive goods and services can be another problem. Furthermore, the regulator points out that the ability of publishers to produce valuable content may be undermined by the tech giants squeezing their revenues and changing search and news algorithms.

Do you agree with the concerns expressed by the CMA and Brave’s recommendations regarding the online advertising market? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


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How to Find Your Nearest Bitcoin ATM

How to Find the Nearest Bitcoin ATM to Your Location and Learn About Its Features

Cryptocurrency markets have experienced a few intensive weeks since the start of the year that took prices to 2020 highs in mid-February. The overall bullish sentiment is attracting more interest towards the crypto space. There are many ways to get started with Bitcoin but one the most accessible options is to find an ATM supporting coin purchases with local fiat.

Also read: Bitcoin.com Partners With Mecon Cash, Enabling Withdrawal at ATMs Across South Korea

Using a Crypto ATM Is an Easy Way to Get Into Bitcoin

Bitcoin teller machines (BATMs) are a great gateway to the world of cryptocurrencies as they don’t require extensive expertise and you can use them without complicated access procedures. While there are differences in how various devices function, in most cases all you need is to have a crypto wallet installed on your smartphone and a wallet with cash and cards in your pocket. But even that is not always necessary.

How to Find Your Nearest Bitcoin ATM

In order to “withdraw” cryptocurrency from a BATM, you’ll have to set an amount you’d like to buy, enter a destination crypto address – you can let the machine scan the QR code on the receiving screen of your mobile wallet – and then insert the banknotes that you want to convert into digital money. Once you complete the purchase, you can print out a receipt for the transaction. In case you don’t have a software wallet, many teller machines can also generate a paper wallet for you.

Some Bitcoin ATMs are two-way devices that allow you to also sell crypto for cash. One common way to do so is to enter a sum of fiat currency you want to withdraw from the teller machine, which will print out a ticket with a QR code of a public address you need to send the coins to within a certain timeframe. You can scan the code with your mobile wallet and transfer the preset crypto amount. Then by scanning the same printed QR code later at the ATM you can redeem the cash equivalent.

How to Find Your Nearest Bitcoin ATM

How to Find BATM Locations Near You and Around the World

The easiest way to locate the closest bitcoin ATM is to use a tracking website. Coinatmradar is the most popular option as its database now lists almost 7,000 crypto teller machines worldwide. The platform has many useful features. For example, you can narrow down your search by supported cryptocurrencies, availability of buy and sell options, and focus on a particular destination including country, city and location.

The most intuitive way to do that is by using Coinatmradar’s interactive map but there’s also a dedicated “Find a bitcoin ATM near me” feature that provides even more options. It allows you to choose between eight popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH), and to select the ATM locations according to their buy or sell features. You can also use the page to search for ATMs by address or allow the tracker to use your current location to ask for suggestions in your area.

How to Find Your Nearest Bitcoin ATM

Coinatmradar supports searching by countries and by manufacturers. The website provides details about each listed ATM like the exact address of the device, directions how to get there, working hours and its operator’s contact information. Because of their accessibility and running costs, Bitcoin ATMs usually charge relatively high fees per transaction. With Coinatmradar you can obtain that information as well if it has been reported by the company. Supported fiat currencies and exchange pairs are also listed.

Other bitcoin ATM locator sites often track crypto teller machines in a specific region. Findbitcoinatm.com.au was one such platform working in Australia but its website is currently offline. The Russian Cryptocoinmap.ru is similar in design, although much simpler than Coinatmradar. It lets you find BATMs on a Yandex map and lists them with their locations, pictures and other details, including working hours, supported transactions and available cryptocurrencies. Visiting an operator’s website is another option. For example, Coinflip, which is a leading provider in the U.S., allows you to explore its ATM locations online. Using Google Maps or business directory services such as Yelp can produce some results but Coinatmradar remains the best global source at the moment.

Do you know of other ways and platforms to locate bitcoin ATMs around the world? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinatmradar.


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In Response to Bitcoin, Central Bank of Brazil Presents Instant Payment System Pix

In Response to Bitcoin, Central Bank of Brazil Presents Instant Payment System Pix

Banco Central do Brasil has started testing a new payment network with the promise to offer Brazilians near instant transactions and many new services. Portrayed as a response to Bitcoin, the Pix system will be mandatory for major financial institutions to ensure wide coverage. The project aims to limit the use of paper money and plastic cards to reduce the costs of the national financial system.

Also read: Tax Rules Hit Brazilian Crypto Exchanges, Forcing Trading Platforms Out of Business

Pix to Transfer Money Between Users Within Seconds

Brazil’s new electronic payment system was officially launched during an event at the BCB headquarters in Brasília on Wednesday, Feb. 19. Pix was initially announced in the spring of 2019 but its name was revealed last week by the central bank’s president Roberto Campos Neto who shared details about the system. During an interview with the Brazilian TV channel Globo News, Campos Neto explained:

Instant payment means that you will be able to pay between one person and another, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The money will be transferred immediately to the recipient’s account, the banker emphasized. The system will operate automatically through an application that will also support QR code scanning. Brazilians will be able to use it to pay government fees as well thanks to the participation of the National Treasury. Tests began with the launch and will continue throughout the next nine months. Officials hope to open the network to the public on Nov. 16, Portal do Bitcoin reported. Mass adoption is a target for 2021.

In Response to Bitcoin, Central Bank of Brazil Presents Instant Payment System Pix

According to preliminary estimates, the time Pix is going to need to process a transaction should be less than 10 seconds. However, most financial transfers through the Brazilian instant payment system are expected to occur much faster, within around two seconds, according to the BCB Financial System Director João Manoel Pinho de Mello.

The instant payment system developed by the Central Bank of Brazil comes as an institutional response to the challenges presented by decentralized cryptocurrencies. “This is one of the most important projects that we have this year. The world demands a payment instrument that is cheap, fast, transparent and secure,” commented the bank’s president. “If we think in terms of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, they are born out of these needs, these characteristics. And Pix is our answer to these systems,” Campos Neto noted.

Major Banks and Payment Processors Obliged to Join In

In order to achieve compliance and wide coverage, BCB has decided to impose mandatory participation in Pix for all major banks as well as other financial and payment processing institutions that have over 500,000 accounts. Around 30 organizations managing more than 90% of all active accounts in Brazil will be integrated, including the country’s five major banks, Bradesco, Itaú, Banco do Brasil, Caixa Econômica Federal, and Santander, and the digital banks Inter, Original and Nubank.

In Response to Bitcoin, Central Bank of Brazil Presents Instant Payment System Pix

Institutions that are not authorized by the Central Bank, such as cryptocurrency exchanges, may be allowed to join Pix “indirectly.” Under current regulations, digital asset trading platforms are not considered financial or payment institutions in the traditional sense. Brazil is yet to adopt dedicated legislation for the crypto space and their activities are still regulated only under a ‘normative instruction’ issued by Secretaria da Receita Federal do Brasil, the country’s revenue service. As news.Bitcoin.com reported, three crypto bills are still under deliberation in the National Congress.

Banco Central do Brasil has gradually softened its position on cryptocurrencies and the industry built around them. A couple of years ago, under its former president Ilan Goldfajn, the Brazilian monetary authority initially viewed decentralized digital assets as a “typical bubble” and a “pyramid.” Later, Goldfajn toned down the criticism and described bitcoin as merely a “risky asset.” His successor, Campos Neto, vowed to leave space for the advancement of new financial technologies and prepare the central bank for the accelerated transformations that will form the future market. Along with Pix, Open Banking is another initiative launched by his administration. It envisages deeper integration between traditional banks and fintech platforms.

Do you expect Pix to become a successful instant payment system? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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Central Bank of China Pumps 300 Billion Yuan Into Financial System, Cuts Loan Rates

Central Bank of China Pumps 300 Billion Yuan Into Financial System, Cuts Loan Rates

The Chinese government has taken multiple steps so far to contain the economic fallout from the coronavirus epidemic, including interest rate cuts and financial injections worth billions of yuan. It did it again this week, extending the monetary easing provided by the central bank. With the budget under pressure, however, there are indications that Beijing may opt for some austerity measures later this year rather than a larger fiscal stimulus.

Also read: China Is Scrubbing Cash Notes to Stop Virus Spreading so Its Government Paper Money Won’t Kill You

PBOC Cuts Interest Rates on Loans for Lenders

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) injected 200 billion yuan (almost $29 billion) into the country’s banking system which has been experiencing liquidity issues over the past year. On Monday, the funds were offered as one-year medium-term loans for Chinese financial institutions, according to Reuters. The central bank also cut the interest rate on the money from 3.25% to 3.15%.

Furthermore, the PBOC added another 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) through seven-day reverse repurchase agreements, Bloomberg reported. 1 trillion yuan (over $143 billion) of reverse repos were due to expire on the first day of the week but in the end the measures resulted in a net 700 billion yuan (over $100 billion) withdrawal from the markets.

Central Bank of China Pumps 300 Billion Yuan Into Financial System, Cuts Loan Rates

This week’s interest rate reduction was largely expected by observers. A similar cut in the benchmark loan prime rate, which serves to determine the price of corporate and household loans, is likely to follow later this month. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the same 10-basis point decrease of the rate on 1-year loans.

These measures come in the wake of early February’s PBOC announcement that it’s going to spend 1.2 trillion yuan (over $170 billion) to support growth in the Chinese economy hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic. The outbreak has already claimed the lives of more than 1,700 people in mainland China. The funds were dedicated to the reverse repurchase operation aiming to maintain stability in the currency market.

Experts quoted in the report have expressed similar opinions about the latest intervention. According to Zhou Guannan, an analyst at Huachuang Securities Co., the rate cut was expected and the supplied funding is relatively small. Becky Liu, head of China macro strategy at Standard Chartered Plc, thinks the PBOC does not intend to lower front-end rates any further.

Stimulus Through Fiscal Spending Only Not Feasible

Beijing has so far refrained from announcing a significant increase in its stimulus measures. Quoted by Reuters, the chief economist at Founder Securities, Yan Se, predicted that the PBOC will shift its focus from short term stabilization through large fund injections via reverse repo operations, to addressing the mid to long-term financing needs of Chinese businesses.

Additional fiscal spending and measures to encourage consumption remain on the table after China vowed to meet its 2020 targets for the economy last week, according to South China Morning Post. Local governments have been reportedly allowed to issue more debt to support growth in the short run. Corporate tax cuts should ease the burden on companies.

Central Bank of China Pumps 300 Billion Yuan Into Financial System, Cuts Loan Rates

All this requires funding and the Chinese Minister of Finance, Liu Kun, believes efforts to reduce “unnecessary” government expenses must be made to fill in the widening budget gap. He discussed government plans in an article published recently in Qiushi, a magazine linked to the Communist Party of China. The minister pointed out that various external developments have intensified the downward pressure on the Chinese economy. At the same time, internal challenges such as the virus outbreak have created the need to increase fiscal revenue to cover the higher expenditures.

In 2019, China introduced the largest tax and fee reduction measures in its history, the government official remarked, amounting to over 2 trillion yuan, or more than 2% of GDP. These cuts will promote economic growth but also directly reduce fiscal revenue. Liu Kun also expects continuing pressure to increase spending, forcing the government to keep fiscal operations in a tight balance. “Under such circumstances, it is not feasible to implement a proactive fiscal policy solely by expanding the scale of fiscal expenditure,” the finance minister elaborated, indicating that Beijing is unlikely to commit to a large stimulus package as some investors have hoped.

What are your expectations about China’s fiscal and monetary policies in 2020? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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