Hong Kong Crypto Exchanges Coming Under Increased Regulatory Scrutiny

Hong Kong crypto

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong appears set to adopt a new approach to regulating the local cryptocurrency trading market. This announcement comes after the FSC chairman, Carlson Tong Ka-shing, said that Hong Kong needed a more robust regulatory framework for cryptocurrency trading. 


Expanded Regulatory Oversight

In a press release issued by the FSC on Thursday (November 1, 2018), the financial regulatory watchdog declared its intention to create an expanded regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

According to the statement, the FSC wishes to offer more robust investor protection.

Commenting on the new approach, SFC Chief Executive, Ashley Alder, said:

The measures announced today allow us to regulate the management or distribution of virtual asset funds in one way or another so that investors’ interests would be protected either at the fund management level, at the distribution level, or both. We hope to encourage the responsible use of new technologies and also provide investors with more choices and better outcomes.

 

Licenses for Cryptocurrency Funds and Exchange Platforms

As part of the new regulatory paradigm considered by the FSC, there are plans to issue licenses to cryptocurrency funds. Presently, the SFC’s mandate only covers assets that qualify as futures contracts or securities. However, the SFC plans to license all such funds, whether the virtual currency portfolios being managed are securities/futures contracts or not.

Apart from virtual currency funds, the SFC is also looking at exchange platforms. The statement says the regulators wish to examine whether exchanges should fall under the SFC’s mandate. To this end, the Commission plans to see how well such platforms respond to its regulatory provisions.

The next step for the SFC depends entirely on the result of the examination process. On the one hand, the Commission can establish licensing requirements and enact close supervision of cryptocurrency exchanges. On the other hand, the SFC may decide that there isn’t any appropriate framework with which to license virtual currency exchanges.

Thursday’s press release is in keeping with the recent sentiments espoused by the Commission regarding the regulation of cryptocurrency trading. Earlier in the month, the FSC Chairman declared that a blanket ban on virtual currency trading in Hong Kong wouldn’t be practical. Meanwhile in the prohibition against cryptocurrency trading and ICOs in mainland China continues.

Will the proposed expansion of the SFC oversight on exchange platforms lead to better cryptocurrency trading conditions in Hong Kong? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives, Twitter (@cnLedger).

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Singapore Launches ‘Token Day’ to Bring Crypto to The Masses

Yesterday, October 31st, cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) celebrated its tenth birthday. As part of the celebration, a company called Bizkey has decided to start a new campaign called “Token Day” in Singapore.

Token Day is a campaign that is supposed to allow the public to get more familiar and better acquainted with cryptocurrencies according to reports. Not exactly a day as it will be held from October 31st to November 18th. During this period, every cryptocurrency holder in Singapore will have the opportunity to get to Singapore’s Chinatown, where 30 retailers are offering various goods in exchange for crypto.

Those willing to spend their digital coins will need Bizkey’s intelligent blockchain POS (Point-of-Sale) device. Numerous cryptocurrencies can be used, including Binance Coin, Ethereum, Zilliqa coin, Aelf coin, and others.

Bringing Crypto Adoption to the Next Level

Despite the fact that Singapore is among the most crypto-friendly places in the world, adopting cryptocurrencies as an accepted payment method is something that has yet to take place. This is why the event was created, and Bizkey hopes that the Token Day will “break the ice” and encourage other businesses to introduce crypto payments as well.

About a year ago, in November 2017, Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) decided to bring new guidelines, and establish a firm difference between security tokens and utility tokens. Since then, Singapore saw over 56 ICOs in only the first five months of 2018. As a comparison, there were only 35 ICOs throughout the entire 2017. To a lot of people, this was a sign that proper regulations can go a long way when it comes to developing new businesses and technologies.

Since then, many have started seeing cryptocurrencies as a method of solving issues that have been troubling retail sector for a long time. Things including payment fraud, logistics, delays of money transfers, accounting, and similar complications were all quickly eliminated by those who accepted cryptocurrency payments.

Bizkey’s CEO and co-founder, Ken Huang, commented on the event by saying that, even in Singapore, only a few people have the opportunity to actually use cryptos for buying products and services. Now, Token Day will demonstrate that using cryptocurrencies is easy and that there is more than enough customers that are interested in paying via crypto.

In fact, Huang stated that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 crypto holders in Singapore. Estimates also say that most of them are between the ages of 20 and 50 and that they likely include tech-savvy males. Huang also expressed hope that these individuals will be among the pioneering crypto spenders during the 18 days of the event.

As for the event itself, it will have around 30 retailers participating, including Hotel 1887, SK Jewellery, Koryo Mart, 18 Hours, Steamov, and others. The move aligns with Bizkey’s goal, which is to introduce new people to the crypto world and make sure that they have a device that can accept and make all types of crypto and fiat payments. In a way, their device acts as a crypto wallet with an additional purpose, and many view it as a first step into the real digital era.

 

Image from Shutterstock

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Polymath Price Rises by 5% as Team Looks to Expand

The current price momentum does seem to favor the altcoins, rather than Bitcoin itself. Although the world’s leading cryptocurrency is also in the green, most of the price action is taking place well down the market cap rankings. Polymath is going through another small uptrend despite a recent market dip.

Polymath Price is on the Move Again

It has certainly been a very interesting week for all cryptocurrencies so far. Although no major changes have been recorded today just yet, there are some interesting trends taking shape. In the case of Polymath, it appears the decent market dip isn’t causing any long-term side effects. In fact, some of the earlier losses are being recuperated at this time.

Over the past 24 hours, Polymath has seen another 4.5% surge in USD value. There are also slightly smaller gains over Bitcoin and Ethereum, further confirming the altcoin is gaining a bit more traction again. Its overall trading volume currently sits at $5.2m, which seems relatively good given the project’s current market cap.

Behind the scenes, it appears Polymath is looking to expand its team. A recent job listing confirms the team is looking for a remote Senior Solidity Developer. While it remains a bit unclear what this person will be working on exactly, it seems to confirm Polymath will continue to grow and evolve over the coming months and years.

Traders and speculators are also keeping a close eye on the POLY price right now. CryptoRaider UK is confident the current uptrend is still in place and will result in even higher values over the coming days. A push to 5,500 Satoshi could be in play, albeit that would require enforcing another 20% gain.

A similar market sentiment is echoed by CryptoPirate, who also keeps a close eye on this particular altcoin. This recent bounce after a major uptrend retracement confirms the altcoin is in a good place. While that does not automatically warrant another bullish jump right away, there is a good chance things will continue to improve for a few more hours to come.

All signs point toward an ongoing POLY uptrend. Reaching a value of $0.3 in the coming hours seems plausible, as it wouldn’t even require that much momentum either. Sustaining this latest uptrend, on the other hand, can be rather problematic if the volume doesn’t pick up a bit. Additionally, Bitcoin still looks to be on wobbly legs, which usually spells short-term trouble.


Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency.

The post Polymath Price Rises by 5% as Team Looks to Expand appeared first on NullTX.

India Considering Cryptocurrency Ban

Indian regulatory body the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) is considering measures to ban the use of private cryptocurrencies while encouraging distributed ledger technology instead, after a meeting on Thursday.

Ban On Private Cryptocurrencies

The FDSC’s 19th meeting of the year convened on the subject of global and domestic economics, as well as India’s performance in the financial sector. The Council noted that advancements in fintech cybersecurity had been made, including steps toward a threat response team it named the Computer Emergency Response Team in the Financial Sector (CERT-Fin).

Despite that, the regulator will still move forward with consideration of a crypto ban, stating in the official release:

“The Council also deliberated on the issues and challenges of Crypto Assets/Currency and was briefed about the deliberations in the High-level Committee chaired by the Secretary (Economic Affairs) to devise an appropriate legal framework to ban use of private cryptocurrencies in India and encouraging the use of Distributed Ledger Technology, as announced in the Budget 2018-19.”

India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley attended the meeting, as well as members of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central financial institution. Both have been critical of cryptocurrencies in the past, according to a report by The Next Web.

A Continuing Pattern

This dislike of cryptocurrencies and favorable outlook on blockchain is in keeping with that we’ve seen in the past from India. We reported earlier this month that a new group was just formed to push blockchain projects with India’s government and encourage their development. The chair of that committee, Tina Singh, said blockchain was “undeniably the technology of the future.” Not so for crypto, apparently.

Last week, the first Bitcoin ATM installed in India was seized by Indian authorities, and the founder of the ATM company Unocoin was arrested. RBI had begun a crackdown on all things crypto-related since before the machine was even installed.

India’s supreme court has been pushing the RBI to clarify its stance around cryptocurrencies once and for all and has set a deadline of two weeks for it to do so, according to the Economic Times. The RBI has established a blockchain and cryptocurrency research unit to help meet that deadline.

A crypto crackdown isn’t entirely certain yet, as India is considering other alternatives to a ban, such as specialized taxes for digital assets. A proposal currently under consideration by the Indian government would apply a goods and services tax of 18 percent to cryptocurrency trading.

If that measure is approved, the government could choose to retroactively levy that tax from the date the tax category was first instated: July 1, 2017.

The post India Considering Cryptocurrency Ban appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Australia Post’s Digital ID Allows Cryptocurrency Exchanges to Fast-Track KYC Verification

Australia DigitalID

Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) obligations within the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology industry is something that exchanges can no longer ignore, especially if the platform in question has a gateway that facilitates fiat currency. With a lack of infrastructure in place to stream-line the process, verifying a user’s identity can be a somewhat slow and inefficient procedure.

Recognizing the need to fast-track this process, Australia Post, the country’s national postage company, have recently launched a new product that will allow cryptocurrency exchanges to complete KYC validation within just a few minutes.

Australia DigitalID

Known as “Digital iD”, the service will alleviate the need for customers to wait days on end before they are able to access their newly created account. Under current AML regulations in Australia, cryptocurrency exchanges are required to identify the customers that use their platform. This will most commonly consist of a Government issued ID (such as a passport or driving license) and in some cases, a proof of address (such as a bank statement).

Fast-Tracking access to the cryptocurrency markets

The concept involves Australian citizens undergoing a one-time registration process with Digital iD, which once confirmed, allows users to confirm their identity with a click of button. Although this will initially see the user upload a range of documentation with Digital iD, once the process is complete they will be able to verify their identify with any merchant that accepts the technology.

Not only does this benefit the cryptocurrency exchange platforms themselves, insofar that there is no longer a need to install hugely expensive KYC departments, but it will also reduce the underlying security risks for the user. The reason for this is that there is no need to continuously distribute sensitive documents online. If falling in to the wrong hands, it would potentially allow a bad actor to perform identity fraud.

Digital ID

An additional option that Digital iD users have is that they can decide how much of their personal information they want to share with a particular merchant. For example, if a vendor only requires confirmation that the customer is above the age of 18, the Digital iD user can opt to simply share their name and date of birth, rather than needlessly sharing their driving license and proof of address.

This could also be useful in the event that a cryptocurrency exchange requires enhanced customer due diligence on a user, which typically arises when larger volumes are transacted, or a particular withdrawal request surpasses a certain amount.

Partnerships in the making

The Digital iD team have already formed a notable partnership with Australian cryptocurrency exchange Digital Surge. The platform not only allows users to buy, sell and trade a range of cryptocurrencies, but they also offer users the opportunity to pay Australian utility bills via Bitcoin. On top of the Digital Surge partnership, Digital iD are also close to securing a deal with two additional Australian-based cryptocurrency exchanges, notably Coin Loft and Coinjar.

With the barriers of KYC and AML obligations significantly eased, the Digital iD concept could bring a new wave of interested parties in to the cryptocurrency industry. For one, some sectors of society simply do not feel comfortable uploading personal documentation to a platform with very little trading history, especially in an industry that is often a victim of external hacks. However, with the backing of Australian Post, an organization with an established reputation that dates back more than 200 years, the aforementioned reluctance may no longer be an issue.

The Digital iD application is available to download for free via the Google Play or Apple iTunes store.

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North Korea’s $571 million crypto hacks are just the tip of the iceberg

In a new report released by Group-iB, a cybersecurity intelligence agency, it has been revealed that 65 percent of the $882 million in cryptocurrency stolen from exchanges ends up in North Korea.

With sanctions from the United States and Europe continuing to weigh on Pyongyang, North Korea has reportedly turned to cryptocurrencies to generate additional revenue.

According to the report, North Korean hackers have stolen as much as $571 million since January 2017, making up nearly 5 percent of the country’s GDP.

The report notes that many of the attacks are tied directly to neighboring countries Japan and South Korea, including the $534 million hack of Japan’s CoinCheck, which has only recently resumed operations.

North Korea

(Source: Group-iB)

Though just a few of the attacks that have occurred over the past two years have actually been tied to a specific criminal organization, South Korea expects that North Korean hacker groups are likely responsible for many more.

The three branches of the DPRK’s hacking ecosystem

First, and most well-known, is the Lazarus Group, the supposed state-sponsored hacker group responsible for the Sony Motion Pictures hack, and according to some, the WannaCry attack which infected over 200,000 computers across 150 countries.

Lazarus has widely been blamed for many of the attacks associated with the North Korea’s cybercrime wave, but FireEye suggests that there may be two other groups which are casually flying under the radar.

FireEye believes that there are two groups that are specifically focused on cyber-espionage, targeting infrastructure, media outlets and the general population – the Lazarus Group and TEMP.Hermit – and one other group which is responsible for financial crime – APT38.

Similar toolsets and even overlaps in coding have linked the three groups to one another, offering a surprising insight into how organized and complicated the North Korean government’s efforts might be. The FireEye report also uncovers how precise and patient the groups are in their attacks.

North Korea

(Source: FireEye)

With these tools and techniques, FireEye noted that the first activity from APT38 could be traced all the way back to 2014, the same time that Lazarus first hit the scene. And North Korea’s attacks are much further reaching than originally thought, directly targeting infrastructure and organizations in at least 12 countries.

North Korea

(Source: FireEye)

Conclusion

While many of the exact details of the three organizations tied to Pyongyang remain scarce at best, it’s becoming abundantly clear that North Korea possesses a deep understanding of technology.

Last year, FireEye also reported the country had started mining cryptocurrencies around the same time sanctions on coal trade were enacted, suggesting that the regime could be using their most abundant natural resource to generate revenue despite the economic measures weighed against it.

Additionally, South Korean media outlet, Yonhap News, notes that there has been a significant uptick in cryptojacking activity, most likely tied to North Korea’s hackers.

While the DPRK has fallen out of favor with many international news outlets in recent months, it’s clear the country is still very active behind the scenes.

 

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China Retail Giant JD.com Backs New Blockchain Research Lab

JD.com Blockchain

Jingdong Group (JD.com) is one of the biggest consumer-focused companies in China. They have more than 300 million active users, and hold around 30% of the B2C market in China. According to a recent report, JD.com is going to launch a new blockchain research lab in conjunction with two leading technology institutes. The new lab plans on exploring real-world applications for blockchain in China.

This announcement comes after JD.com decided to open up a smart-cities program that integrates blockchain into a wider City-as-a-Service (CaaS) model. JD’s new blockchain lab will be developed with cooperation from Ying Wu College of Computing at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), as well as the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS).

JD.com Blockchain

The new blockchain development lab will be focused on creating efficiency, and diving into use case scenarios for blockchain technology that can be commercialized. JD.com has already developed a successful consumer-oriented business model, and they may be looking for new ways to boost their presence in e-commerce and finance.

JD.com is Thinking Big

Unlike many blockchain start-ups, JD.com has the money to go big. They are working on numerous projects that could impact infrastructure on an international scale, and change the way social structures are organized.

According to Zhong Hua, who is the deputy director of the Software Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, “through this partnership we will bring about blockchain innovation and promote industrial applications of blockchain technology.”

For the moment JD.com is largely active in the domestic Chinese economy. This may also be changing, as they offer a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform which they call JD Blockchain Open Platform.

Instead of having to build blockchain platforms from the ground up, JD Blockchain Open Platform clients can streamline the development of specialized blockchain solutions, without having to sink massive money into propitiatory R&D.

Beijing Seems to be Good With Blockchain

At this point, nearly every major Chinese corporation is developing some kind of blockchain platform. The Chinese government also appears to be highly supportive of blockchain development, which could mean very positive things for JD.com’s smart-cities idea.

The breakneck pace of urban development in China has left gaps when it comes to social services. Infrastructure is also a concern, especially given the size of the Chinese population. Digital payments, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain could all work together to help eliminate many issues that global urban centers face.

Blockchain also has the ability to create detailed records that are difficult to change, which fits into Beijing’s preference for a high level of social oversight. Chinese citizens are already embracing platforms like WeChat that create detailed records which can be accessed by the authorities.

Blockchain platforms with Internet-of-Things (IoT) data gathering capabilities could boost Beijing’s ability to track their population, which may be why they are so keen to support the technology.

Already a Force in China

Blockchain developers are exploding in China. Over the course of 2018, the number of companies with ‘blockchain’ in their name has grown to be the highest in any country. They overtook the US and UK by a wide margin, and there are billions of development dollars flowing into Chinese blockchain projects.

Chinese companies have also been successful in deploying platforms into daily use. Ping-An’s trade finance platform is being considered as a base for a global trade finance platform by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), but it is already being used in mainland China.

Despite the fact that the Chinese government did their best to eradicate anything blockchain or crypto last year, the technology has come back with a vengeance. The latest blockchain venture from JD.com shows there is still more pent-up enthusiasm for innovation in China, and that major commercial players aren’t afraid to back a new idea.

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Hong Kong Reveals Regulatory Framework for Crypto Exchanges, Funds

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) released a statement today stipulating the regulatory standards that would define the trajectory of virtual assets portfolio managers and fund distributors, according to an announcement on its website. As per CCN’s report, the regulator had proposed the framework in a research paper published in October 2018. The

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U.S. Trader Faces Jail Time for Running an Unlicensed Bitcoin Business on LocalBitcoins

Bitcoin Jail

A man identified as Jacob Burrell Campos has pleaded guilty, before a federal court in San Diego, to operating an unlicensed money transmitting enterprise which involved the sale of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin to over 1000 customers throughout the United States for 16 months.

Burrell, a native of Rosarito, Baja, contravened the provisions of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury while failing to register his Bitcoin Exchange and implementing the anti-money laundering measures, according to a  Department of Justice (DoJ) press release.

Bitcoin Jail

Transactions on LocalBitcoins.com

The plea agreement revealed the advertisement of the illicit bitcoin transactions on Localbitcoins.com, a P2P cryptocurrency exchange founded in Finland in 2012.

Burrell kept correspondence with his customers through encrypted emails and text messages and allegedly negotiated a commission of 5% above the prevailing exchange rate and obtained cash directly from unsuspecting customers.

Some payments were made to him through nationwide ATMs and through MoneyGram. Burrell admitted that he failed to implement any anti-money laundering or “know your customer” program. He also failed to perform due diligence on his customers’ source of funds.

Initially, Burrell kept his business afloat through procurement of Bitcoin from a U.S.-based, regulated exchange. Things, however, went awry after his account was shut down due to suspicious transactions being carried out. Afterward, he resorted to a Hong-Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange and purchased $3.29 million in Bitcoin, split into hundreds of separate transactions between March 2015 and April 2017.

Importing Millions into the U.S.

In connivance with a San Diego based metals dealer whom Burrell identified as Joseph Castillo, the suspect exchanged his U.S currency, all stashed in Mexico. Between late 2016 and early 2018, Burrell connived with other perpetrators to import millions of U.S. dollars into the country. The importation was carried out in amounts just a tad below the $10,000 reporting requirement.

Castillo who is also one of the suspects pled guilty to tendering false statement on his federal tax returns and will be convicted on December 13, 2018, while Burrell could be slammed with five years imprisonment when he will be sentenced on February 11, 2019.

In the court filing entered against Burrell on August 8, prosecutors alleged that he sold about $750,000 worth of bitcoins to 900 individuals in the U.S. via his exchange service. He was also charged on a 28 count of international money laundering. In the plea bargain, Burrell agreed to forfeit a sum of $823,357.00 to the United States.

U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman condemned the illicit transfer of money across national borders, describing it as a threat to the integrity of the nation’s banking system.

“Unlicensed money transmitting businesses, especially those operating at or near the border, pose a serious threat to the integrity of the U.S. banking system and provide an ‘open door’ for criminals to utilize such businesses to launder the proceeds of their illicit activities,” he noted.

This is not the first time the DoJ has shut down unregistered bitcoin money transmitting businesses.

In June 2018, two suspects who were allegedly involved in the manufacturing and distribution of drugs in exchange for bitcoin, were indicted by the Department of Justice for the district of Maryland.  The government sought the forfeiture of $5,665,000 in addition to the worth of 4,000 bitcoins believed to have been the proceeds of the illegal enterprise.

A Bitcoin trader in California was also indicted for running an unregistered Bitcoin-fiat business. Under her pseudonym ‘Bitcoin Maven’, Theresa Tetley ran a black market business via listings on popular peer to peer marketplace Localbitcoins between 2014 and 2017, where she reportedly earned above $300,000 yearly.

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North Korea Is the Alleged Culprit Behind Several Cryptojacking Attacks

North Korea Crypto Hacking

South Korea is suggesting that its northern counterpart is hacking computers to mine cryptocurrency and bring in extra revenue for the country. In addition, North Korea is also maliciously hacking South Korea and neighboring regions to potentially get its hands on confidential information.

Recently, we reported that the North Korean hacking group Lazarus was responsible for roughly five separate cryptocurrency hacks in South Korea per data released by the cybersecurity firms Group-1B and Recorded Future.

North Korea Crypto Hacking

About $882 million in cryptocurrency funds has been stolen throughout 2018, of which $571 million was allegedly taken by members of Lazarus. The organization has been blamed for attacks on digital exchanges like Yapizon, Coinrail and Bithumb, and virtually every attack’s financial loss exceeds $5 million.

Biggest Crypto Hack in History

Lazarus was also blamed for the attack on Coincheck – one of Japan’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges – in early January. Over half-a-billion in cryptocurrency funds disappeared overnight, and it’s likely the biggest disaster (and biggest embarrassment) suffered by Japan’s digital currency industry since Mt. Gox in 2014.

The event set the precedent for new regulation in Japan regarding digital assets, and the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) saw themselves getting involved. The organization began sending notices out to the country’s many digital exchanges, warning them that if they didn’t step up their act and enable stronger security measures, they would ultimately be shut down. Coincheck has since begun initiating refunds for customers affected by the hack after facing considerable criticism for its hot wallet storage tactics.

Crypto-Jacking: It Just Won’t Go Away

In recent news, a U.S. cybersecurity firm has come forth to explain that in January, it found computers installed with malware designed to mine the cryptocurrency Monero. The garnered funds later went to Kim II Sung University in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital city, suggesting the country was behind the malware’s implantation.

The process is known as crypto-jacking, and involves malware being secretly downloaded onto an unsuspecting victim’s computer to use their energy as a means of extracting new coins. Although nothing new, it can have devastating effects on one’s power sources and run up a rather nasty bill for the person in question.

The most recent scenario of crypto-jacking involves an Adobe Flash update that was allegedly very good at hiding its hidden mining code, as the software did exactly what it was designed to do. Users’ Adobe systems were updated, and thus no one ever suspected a thing. The malware was first noticed by cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks, named after a city in northern California.

Stealing Crypto and Nuclearization?

Over the years, cryptocurrency has emerged not only as a second form of income for North Korea, but also as a means of avoiding sanctions implemented by countries like the United States.

Furthermore, the National Intelligence Service is saying that North Korea is preparing itself for a visit from international nuclear experts scheduled to examine the country’s Punggyeri nuclear test site.

Leader Kim Jong Un invited journalists from all over the world to swing by and report on the dismantling of the site last May. The move is labeled a “major step towards denuclearization.” Now that the site has been removed, Jong Un is inviting the appropriate personnel to ensure the safety and low radiation levels of the dismantled operation.

An intelligence officer familiar with the circumstances of the upcoming visit explains:

“We have learned that North Korea is preparing for a visit by the international inspection team and conducting related activities. We’ve been eyeing major nuclear and missile development facilities, but we haven’t found anything notable yet.”

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Crypto Developments Aplenty at Devcon4, Ethereum 2.0 Among Them

Amid a declining market, one of the crypto industry’s foremost events recently flew under the radar of many investors. The event, Devcon4, an Ethereum-centric event attended by some of this industry’s best and brightest, highlighted the fact that while the market is tanking, crypto’s fundamentals are booming beyond belief.

Among the multitude of developments announced at the ongoing Devcon4, which is hosted in Prague — a crypto-friendly city in and of itself — some stood out more than others, including the premiere of MetaMask’s mobile client, an update on the second phase of Ethereum’s long-awaited roadmap, and an ever so silly singalong with Vitalik Buterin himself.

ConsenSys-Backed MetaMask Reveals Mobile Application, Ethereum To Go Mobile

Since its inception, the Ethereum Network, with all of its out-of-this-world decentralized applications (dApps), blockchain-based tokens, and smart contracts, has often been seen as an abstract entity by many consumers. However, consumers haven’t been left in the dark, as MetaMask’s internet browser plugin, one of the first applications built solely for the Ethereum blockchain, was and still is a viable way for users to interact with Ethereum’s vast ecosystem.

While MetaMask has eased the qualms of many perplexed users, there has been a gaping hole in the hearts of the mobile subset of Ethereum users, who have had little opportunity to interact with the blockchain ecosystem through their mobile devices.

This changed on Wednesday, however, as Joseph Lubin, a Canadian technology entrepreneur and co-founder of the Ethereum project, took to Twitter to express his excitement for a development update from the dedicated MetaMask team. Lubin, who currently resides over ConsenSys, the so-called “Google” of the blockchain world, wrote:

Although this announcement accentuates the fact that MetaMask is poised to release a mobile client, which will allow smartphone users to hold Ether and ERC tokens, and to interact with dApps and smart contracts, a timeline was seemingly left undisclosed.

Vitalik Buterin Goes Serene — Unveils “Serenity”

After months of anticipation, on Wednesday, Vitalik Buterin, the de-facto face of the Ethereum Network, took to Devcon4’s stage to convey a keynote in front of a sold-out crowd. While many didn’t expect it, Buterin, who plays a role as Ethereum’s champion and figurehead, cut out some time to highlight Ethereum’s long-standing scaling debate.

Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is currently backed by a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus protocol, which allows miners to allocate their computational resources to validate and secure transactions on a decentralized network, albeit at a sluggish pace.

However, unlike Bitcoin, due to PoW’s relative inefficiencies and the rise of ASIC centralization, the Ethereum Core development team has sought to move away from the network’s original consensus mechanism. Ethereum’s first step towards abolishing PoW has seemingly taken the form of the so-called “Serenity Protocol,” which, as explained by Buterin, is a hybrid between PoW and Proof of Stake (PoS), the former’s metaphorical estranged cousin.

As noted out by Tim Copeland of Decrypt Media, who is in attendance at Devcon, Buterin was quoted as saying:

“Serenity is the world computer as it’s really meant to be. Not a smart phone from 1999 that can process 15 transactions per second and maybe, potentially play Snake.”

Per Buterin, through the use of PoS, a brand spanking new blockchain, and a three-part roll-out, Serenity may eventually facilitate “pure PoS consensus, faster times to synchronous confirmation (8-16 seconds), economic finality (10-20 minutes),” and, arguably most importantly, a 1,000x scalability upside, which should fix all of Ethereum’s current scaling shortcomings.

“B-U-I-D-L”

Closing off one of Devcon4’s last keynotes of the day, Buterin joined hands with a number of prominent Ethereum community members and Jonathan Mann, an internet-famous songwriter, to inject a bit of fun into the conference crowd, who had likely undergone a caffeine crash after a long day of friendly discourse, discussion, and development.

The song, which was sung by Mann, Buterin, and those in the auditorium, jokingly highlighted Ethereum’s “failed ideas” and a short recap of the project’s tumultuous history. While the topics the song covered may sound like a drag, Mann closed off his piece of art with a sing-a-long, beckoning the Devcon4 audience to sing “B-U-I. B-U-I. B-U-I-D-L” along with other silly, but fun crypto cliches.

It is important to note that while the sell out conference’s first day was filled to the brim with exciting announcements, the event is far from over, with there being two jam-packed days left for Devcon attendees to shout from the rooftops that crypto is here, and is here to stay.

As put by Lubin, the aforementioned founder of ConsenSys, in a recent “First On CNBC” interview:

“Digital currencies are not on the edge of collapse. We’ve seen lots of booms and busts in our ecosystem over the last 10 years and it has never been stronger than it is now. I measure that in terms of the number of projects, people, entrepreneurs, and developers  [involved in this space.] It is orders of magnitudes bigger than it was and the foundational infrastructure is getting built out.”

 

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The Daily: Consensys Acquires Planetary Resources, New Zealand Backs Crypto R&D

The Daily: Consensys Acquires Planetary Resources, New Zealand Backs Crypto R&D

In today’s edition of The Daily, we look at a company that has decided to expand from the cryptocurrency space into outer space by buying a venture focused on mining asteroids. We also cover an investment platform that has secured R&D funding from a government agency, as well as a limited-edition hardware wallet.

Also Read: Bitcoin Trader Faces Five Years in Jail for Unlicensed Money Business

Struggling Space Startup

The Daily: Consensys Acquires Planetary Resources, New Zealand Backs Crypto R&DConsensys, the software company established by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, has acquired struggling space startup Planetary Resources. The New York-based company said it will now operate its “space initiatives” out of Planetary Resources’ former facility in Redmond, Washington. The two sides did not share the financial details of the asset-purchase transaction, but it is safe to assume Consensys didn’t pay a lot.

When Planetary Resources was launched in 2012, the company promised to usher in an age of private entrepreneurship in the solar system. It said that it planned to expand humanity’s access to metals and minerals worth trillions of dollars and received the backing of many notable tech figures, such as Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt. However, by the start of this year, the company had failed to secure much-needed additional funding, leading to its decision to downsize its workforce and indefinitely delay its first asteroid-prospecting mission. Now it will be up to Lubin to prove he can become the Elon Musk of the cryptocurrency world by reviving Planetary Resources.

“Bringing deep space capabilities into the Consensys ecosystem reflects our belief in the potential for Ethereum to help humanity craft new societal rule systems through automated trust and guaranteed execution,” Lubin said. “And it reflects our belief in democratizing and decentralizing space endeavors to unite our species and unlock untapped human potential. We look forward to sharing our plans and how to join us on this journey in the months ahead.”

Callaghan Innovation Supports Vimba

The Daily: Consensys Acquires Planetary Resources, New Zealand Backs Crypto R&DAuckland-based cryptocurrency investment platform Mycryptosaver has announced it is changing its name to Vimba. The rebranding decision coincides with the announcement that the New Zealand government’s innovation arm, Callaghan Innovation, has agreed to back Vimba with R&D funding. The startup, which was originally founded as Mybitcoinsaver back in 2014, now claims to have 5,616 clients.

“This is a truly significant investment from Callaghan Innovation and a real show of faith in the future of this very exciting asset class,” Vimba CEO Sam Blackmore said. “The money will go towards new key features for our expanding service. We will use it to build secure multi-signature crypto wallets for our users and we’re also looking into expanding the range of cryptocurrencies available to them — beyond bitcoin and ethereum.”

After the investment was announced earlier this week, controversy erupted over reports that the government had spent taxpayers’ money on a Bitcoin company. However, Vimba soon issued a clarification stating that Callaghan Innovation had only approved a grant for 40 percent of the estimated cost of one of its projects, which was valued at roughly 315,000 New Zealand dollars in total.

10-Year Bitcoinniversary Memorabilia

Yesterday the cryptocurrency ecosystem celebrated the passage of 10 years since Satoshi Nakamoto announced the publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper. Hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger hardware wallet choose to mark the occasion by unveiling a new limited-edition device.

“The Ledger Nano S – White Paper Edition is meant as an homage to this iconic date, with its white casing and special engraving,” the company said. “Offering the same features as our standard device, it comes with the original whitepaper, in a made-for-the-occasion box.”

Crypto Is a Double-Edged Sword for Iranian Regime

The Daily: Consensys Acquires Planetary Resources, New Zealand Backs Crypto R&DAccording to reports from Iran, the head of the country’s Passive Defense Organization, Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali, described cryptocurrency as a double-edged sword for the regime in a recent TV interview. Unsurprisingly, the government wants to use the technology to bypass international financial sanctions, but fears it could also loosen its control of the economic activities of its citizens.

Jalali said that “cryptocurrencies are untraceable in the financial and monetary system of each country, but internationally they can provide us with great opportunities. Cryptocurrencies can help bypass certain sanctions through untraceable banking operations.”

He further called for the creation of a national Iranian cryptocurrency.

“Our major problem here is the U.S. dollar, because the United States uses its national currency to control any country’s SWIFT operations,” the general added. “So we should reduce dependence on the dollar and replace it with another currency.”

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Varius World Tech ICO: Aiming to Disrupt the Betting and Gaming Market

Varius World Tech

Varius World Tech (VWT) is a technology company based in the United Kingdom that focuses on providing services and software to the gambling industry. The focus of Varius World Tech is on using blockchain’s Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for delivering security, data integrity, and functionality. As of 2016, the gambling market was $44.6 billion, and it is predicted to reach $59.79 billion by 2020 and $81.71 billion by 2022, creating a large opportunity for Varius World Tech.

Varius World Tech

In addition to overall improvements to security, functionality, and data integrity, Varius World Tech also has a list of specific needs or issues that the company resolves. The gambling industry requires a trusted environment for customers, a visible and decentralized RTP for each game screen, a decentralized random number generator, a quicker KYC process for the customers, cost-effective AML and KYC processes for the casinos, modernized brand adoption for the video slots, honest reward schemes for the recreational customers, and artificial intelligent to identify problematic customers. Varius World Tech can provide all of these things via the use of blockchain technology.

Challenges Facing the Online Casino Industry

In addition to those specific issues, Varius World Tech also aims to resolve some specific challenges that the casino industry faces. It can be difficult for casinos to keep up with the changes to technology and demographics. It is also challenging for casinos to achieve customer loyalty and retain recreational players given the highly competitive market. Varius World Tech will also help casinos deal with the pressures related to compliance and regulations, including AML and KYC.

Varius World Tech recognizes that the online casino industry faces challenges of security via cyber threats that could compromise data. The company also dislikes the fact that consumers must rely on third parties, particularly given the potential of the industry for corruption. Finally, there are issues related to spotting vulnerable and problem gamblers.

Products

What Is VI Protocol

VI Protocol (Varius Integrated Protocol) is one of the products from Varius World Tech. This innovative casino hosting platform is designed to bring the blockchain’s integrity to the industry of online gambling. The VI Protocol will be tailor-made to meet online casinos’ needs. The protocol will deliver the openness and trust associated with the blockchain along with the agility and speed needed for gambling’s fast-paced world. VI Protocol will include a transaction speed of as much as 50,000 tps and integrate licensing, compliance, and legal layers into its core.

VoX Wallet

Another product from Varius World Tech, the VoX (Varius Online eXchange) Wallet will use the VWT token as a way to make it possible for anyone to gamble online. This token will allow for a cost-effective and quick solution for customers and casinos alike. From a user standpoint, VoX Wallet will allow for the deposit of various currencies and the ability to play in a range of jurisdictions. The product will be easy to use and quick. Varius World Tech will create partnerships with hundreds of casinos around the world, making it possible for users to play globally without the restrictions they currently must deal with.

VoX Wallet

Some of the key features of the VoX Wallet include the ability to deposit in several currencies, peer-to-peer transfers, no transaction fees, the ability to access the wallet globally via the app for tablets and mobile devices, the bonus reward scheme, and the daily exchange rates for major cryptocurrencies and fiat.

Winberry Casino

Winberry Casino is another product from Varius World Tech. This is the project’s online casino platform and Varius will use it to test all the technology the company produces. Additionally, Winberry Casino will be a white-labeled solution that existing and new casinos can purchase. Winberry Casino is a software solution that will allow for engagement of end-users by combining a new approach for online gambling with some unique offerings. The software will have low entry costs along with simple onboarding and a fresh design, features that both consumers and clients will appreciate.

Winberry Casino will include traditional casino games along with proprietary games. The traditional games include cards, tables, slots, jackpots, and poker. There will also be a retro jackpot suite, unlike anything that has ever been introduced to online gambling. The software will make it possible for users to begin playing within seconds in their local currency, no matter where they are.

VWT Token

The VWT token will be a global gambling currency. Varius World Tech has the goal of bringing the VWT token to global adoption for use as the primary currency for any online, land-based, and on-chain casinos. The token holds value for the Varius community as well as end-users and investors. As many as 350 million VWT tokens will be minted. Among those tokens, 23 percent is allocated for the public sale with another 23 percent going to the founders. Sixteen percent is allocated to the private presale, 17 percent to seed investors, 11 percent to staff and advisors, 7 percent to the casino reserve, and 3 percent to roadshows.

Varius Token Sale

The VWT private sale will begin Dec. 1, 2018. Currently, you can register your interest in the public sale, and Varius World Tech will contact you when that sale begins. The token sale will run until April 30, 2019. During the sale, there is a soft cap of $25 million USD and a hard cap of $100 million USD.

Varius ICO

Varius is transparent regarding how it plans to use the funds generated during the token sale. Twenty-three percent of the funds will go to other operating costs and 22 percent to brand licensing. Twenty percent will be dedicated to other marketing and sales. Finally, 18 percent will go to employee costs, and the final 18 percent will go to development and IT.

Conclusion

Varius World Tech is a technology company in the United Kingdom that aims to deliver blockchain-based software and services to those in the gambling industry. The solutions from Varius will overcome industry challenges and improve the online gambling experience for both casinos and consumers. The token sale will begin in December and run until the end of April 2019.

Useful Links

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Ethereum 2.0 Launch ‘Really Not So Far Away,’ Says Vitalik Buterin in Devcon4 Keynote

Ethereum co-founder unveils a detailed insight into the upcoming launch of Ethereum 2.0, dubbed Serenity, at Devcon4.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin unveiled the roadmap for what he described as the “coherent whole” Ethereum 2.0 in a keynote presentation at the Devcon4 conference in Prague Oct. 31.

Dubbed ‘Serenity,’ the project encompasses multiple projects Ethereum developers have been working on since 2014.

“Ethereum 2.0 is [...] a combination of a bunch of different features that we’ve been talking about for several years, researching for several years, actively building for several years that are finally about to come together in one cohesive whole,” Buterin summarized during his talk.

Ethereum users and analysts have long debated the potential timeframe of the network’s upgrades, which have seen recent updates pushed back in order to tighten up technical prowess.

Among Serenity’s constituent parts are a transfer to proof-of-stake algorithm, a project known as Casper, scalability improvements via a process known as sharding, as well as various other protocol enhancements.

Prior to the “big launch,” developers will make some final tweaks, Buterin continued. These will include stabilizing protocol specifications and cross-client testnets – a testnet integrating at least two implementations of Ethereum 2.0.

The additional testing is important, he added, having learned from Ethereum 1.0 releases, which he suggested occurred too quickly.

As for when the vision would become reality, Buterin remained coy, saying only that it was “really not so far away.”

Also speaking at Devcon4 this week, the Ethereum developer who co-authored the ERC-20 token standard with Buterin back in 2015 introduced a new model for Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) that he claims will better protect investors from fraud.

Ethereum 2.0 Launch ‘Really Not So Far Away,’ Says Vitalik Buterin in Devcon4 Keynote

Ethereum co-founder unveils a detailed insight into the upcoming launch of Ethereum 2.0, dubbed Serenity, at Devcon4.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin unveiled the roadmap for what he described as the “coherent whole” Ethereum 2.0 in a keynote presentation at the Devcon4 conference in Prague Oct. 31.

Dubbed ‘Serenity,’ the project encompasses multiple projects Ethereum developers have been working on since 2014.

“Ethereum 2.0 is [...] a combination of a bunch of different features that we’ve been talking about for several years, researching for several years, actively building for several years that are finally about to come together in one cohesive whole,” Buterin summarized during his talk.

Ethereum users and analysts have long debated the potential timeframe of the network’s upgrades, which have seen recent updates pushed back in order to tighten up technical prowess.

Among Serenity’s constituent parts are a transfer to proof-of-stake algorithm, a project known as Casper, scalability improvements via a process known as sharding, as well as various other protocol enhancements.

Prior to the “big launch,” developers will make some final tweaks, Buterin continued. These will include stabilizing protocol specifications and cross-client testnets – a testnet integrating at least two implementations of Ethereum 2.0.

The additional testing is important, he added, having learned from Ethereum 1.0 releases, which he suggested occurred too quickly.

As for when the vision would become reality, Buterin remained coy, saying only that it was “really not so far away.”

Also speaking at Devcon4 this week, the Ethereum developer who co-authored the ERC-20 token standard with Buterin back in 2015 introduced a new model for Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) that he claims will better protect investors from fraud.

Singapore Emerges as Premier Blockchain Development Destination

Singapore Blockchain

Singapore is charging ahead as one of the most forward-thinking blockchain development zones on the planet. A recent survey from PwC found that respondents in Singapore had the highest level of trust in blockchain, at 37%. The city-state also has seen a massive influx of blockchain-focused investment capital this year, and a very supportive stance from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) helps everyone there.

All that development money is flowing into hundreds of companies that are developing unique solutions that potentially have commercial viability. Most blockchain start-ups have to limit themselves to a narrow use-case scenario, due to the high cost of development.

Singapore Blockchain

There is still a lot that people don’t understand about blockchain, and there have been numerous attacks launched against the technology. Despite the fact that there are probably many ideas that won’t make it to the marketplace, blockchain development is yielding some great new platforms.

Lots of R&D spending and some dead ends is totally normal for a new technology, and will likely lead to incredible new tools for a range of industries.

Singapore is a Core Blockchain Community

The initial reaction from the mainstream financial community last year to blockchain and cryptocurrencies wasn’t very supportive. There is still some bad information out there, especially as it concerns the viability of blockchain as a technology.

Sankalp Shangari is the CEO of LALA World, which is based in Singapore. He recently told Entrepreneur that,

“A lot of myths are floating around the technology. It was dubbed as a dubious technology, which may look promising, but was porous and could be compromised. The reality is far from it; the technology is secure and reliable than any of the other techniques available. But at the same time, it is complex and in a nascent stage just like the web was in the early 90’s and that is what helps the naysayers in spreading heresy about it. The need is to understand its applicability to a particular problem and the impact it has in solving it.”

LALA World is developing LALA ID, which is a blockchain-based solution for keeping personal information safe in an increasingly connected digital world. As numerous recent data breaches demonstrate, the need for online privacy is very real. Mr. Shangari added that, “The world is going gung-ho about the possibilities of the said technology, which is gradually growing as an infrastructural pillar of economic functionalities, receiving the attention it deserves.”

An Interconnected Whole

One of the biggest advantages that Singapore has in the blockchain development space is the connectivity that a densely packed, highly-educated workforce creates. Singapore Power Group (SPG) just launched a blockchain-based market that facilitates trade in renewable energy certificates (RECs).

Commercial entities in Singapore can buy RECs, and renewable energy will be produced. The blockchain platform that SPG designed themselves will directly match sellers and buyers automatically. Samuel Tan, the chief digital officer at Singapore Power said that, “Through blockchain technology, we enable companies to trade in renewable energy certificates conveniently, seamlessly and securely, helping them achieve greener business operations and meet their sustainability targets.”

Diverse Projects

Quadrant Protocol is another Singapore-based blockchain-focused company that is taking advantage of what Singapore has to offer the industry. They are working on how to make sure Artificial Intelligence algos have the best information possible, and the company sees blockchain as a great tool for the job.

According to founder Mike Davie,

“Data quality is vital to the success of Artificial Intelligence. Algorithms will believe whatever the data tells them to believe, so using poor quality data can result in unintended consequences. Data consumers, therefore, need to know where the data is coming from and be able to trust the source. At the same time, the original providers of the data are rarely compensated fairly. Data consumers like data scientists or AI practitioners can be assured of the quality and provenance of the data being purchased, while providers are compensated fairly. All compensation is paid in Quadrant Protocol tokens, which are recorded on the blockchain.”

As these ideas and platforms develop, there will almost certainly be overlaps that can create even greater levels of efficiency. Singapore is probably one of the best locations in the world for blockchain technology, and the companies that excel there will be well placed globally to grow into a market that is just starting to be understood by the public-at-large.

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BitMart Lists Goldman Sachs-Backed Stablecoin USD Coin (USDC)

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned

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Bitcoin (BTC) Price Analysis: Buyers Could Take Control Above $6,410

Bitcoin BTC Price

Bitcoin price spiked sharply after testing the $6,240 support. BTC/USD must clear the $6,410 resistance to gain bullish momentum in the near term.

  • Bitcoin price found a strong buying interest near the $6,240 support level.
  • BTC/USD faced a solid barrier near the previous channel support at $6,410 on the 30-minute chart.
  • The price needs to surpass the $6,400 and $6,410 resistance levels to move into a bullish zone.

Bitcoin BTC Price

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Bitcoin Price Analysis

There was a slow and steady decline noted below the $6,400 support in bitcoin price recently. The price traded below the $6,360 and $6,320 support levels and later declined sharply towards the $6,240 level.

Bitcoin Price Analysis BTC Chart

Click to Enlarge Chart

Looking at the 30-minute chart of BTC/USD, the pair found a strong support near the $6,240 level and later bounced back sharply. The price jumped above the $6,300 level and the 25 simple moving average (30-minute).

During the rise, the price cleared the $6,360 resistance and the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $6,512 high to $6,242 low. However, the price faced a lot of offers near the $6,400 and $6,410 resistance levels.

More importantly, buyers struggled to clear the previous channel support at $6,410 on the same chart. The price tested the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $6,512 high to $6,242 low and retreated.

It is currently trading above the $6,360 level, but below the channel resistance area. It seems like buyers need to surpass the $6,400 and $6,410 resistance levels to push the price back in a positive zone.

In the mentioned bullish scenario, the price is likely to recover towards the $6,510 level in the near term. On the other hand, if there is no upside break above $6,410, the price could decline once again below the $6,360 and $6,320 support.

In short term, there could be range moves in bitcoin price above the $6,320 support before BTC/USD makes the next move either above $6,410 or towards the $6,240 support.

The market data is provided by TradingView, Bitfinex.

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World’s First Secure Private Transactions Launched on Ethereum Public Blockchain

Ernst & Young (EY), one of the ‘Big Four’ public service firms, has devised a solution that allows businesses to enjoy the full benefits of private transactions over a public blockchain. This they have called the EY Ops Chain Public Edition (PE).

Running on the public Ethereum blockchain, the solution leverages on the privacy benefits of zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) and the security or Ethereum itself, which is powered by thousands of distributed computers spread across the world. The audit and advisory service firm, EY, has an international presence with more than 250,000 employees across 150 countries. The firm has been on the forefront searching for different ways of spurring enterprise adoption of blockchain technologies.

Zero-Knowledge proof is a verification protocol where transaction authentication can be done without exchanging passwords. Since there is nothing changing hands, it means nothing can be stolen guaranteeing security. ZKP brings to the table security and unparalleled protection during communication because going forward businesses would actually exchange files, execute transactions, and literally transform the very concept of online privacy.

EY Ops Chain Public Edition (PE) to Spur Blockchain Adoption

According to PRNewsWire, the incorporation of ZKP on Ethereum’s blockchain will dramatically reduce the barriers of entry. This is because adopting enterprises would tokenize their offerings in a standard manner and transfer the same tokens privately over a secure platform without breaking any consensus algorithms.

EY’s innovative solution is the first of its kind, and a product of their tireless R&D at the EY blockchain labs, whose offices are in London and Paris. Aside from the PE version, infused in the same technology would be tracking capabilities called EY Blockchain Private Transaction Monitor. However, the technology is still under review. Nonetheless, it would come in handy once it goes live.

While speaking about the launch, Paul Brody, the leader of EY Global Innovation said:

“EY Ops chain PE is a first-of-its-kind application and a major step forward that empowers blockchain adoption. Private blockchains give enterprises transaction privacy, but at the expense of reduced security and resiliency. With zero-knowledge proofs, organizations can transact on the same network as their competition in complete privacy and without giving up the security of the public Ethereum blockchain”

The Advantages of Private Networks over Public Blockchains as Ethereum

Even though blockchain is transformational and even disruptive, its only caveat is the transparency and the openness behind its operations. Security is virtually guaranteed. But this comes at the expense of privacy in a trilemma along with decentralization. Some entities and big corporations are very protective of their data and unwilling to sacrifice. Therefore, by creating a solution that handles privacy while upholding the security of the masses, EY has literally melted down previous impediments which were hampering overall blockchain adoption.

Besides, with ZKP there is no need for enterprises to start from scratch with the expense, time and money developing their own protocols. Though private blockchains are advantageous in scalability, immutability and speed, the technical know-how and the incentivization needed from enterprises to develop their own is lacking.

Ethereum remains a go-to platform for smart contract and dApp development reflected by the number of on-chain projects and applications choosing it over other alternatives. The developers continue to devise different ways of solving scalability, with Vitalik Buterin proposing zk-SNARKs, and other upgrades in the pipeline. Once implemented, Ethereum will be a better, more secure and faster blockchain further encouraging adoption, and a subsequent increase in ETH market value.

 

Image from Shutterstock

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Binance Freezes WEX Accounts Caught Moving Possibly Stolen Funds

Intrigue abounds around the allegedly Singapore-based WEX exchange, whose ownership and activities have both been called into question in recent months. Particularly of interest was the exchange listing a much higher market price for BTC and weirdly overcharging for USDT. CCN previously gave our readers an overly interesting report on the exchange in which writer

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Beginner’s Guide to ExpertOption: Complete Review

Expert Option Review

ExpertOption is an online trading platform which allows you to trade a range of financial instruments in a well-designed and easy to use interface. You can trade via their website or by downloading one of their apps.

The platform began providing services in 2014 and executes more than 30 million deals every month. So far, more than 37 million accounts have been opened.

ExpertOption makes clients a priority, making customer service its primary value. There are more than 100 account managers, each of which focuses on meeting client needs.

The company also aims to be reliable and simple, making it possible for anyone to start trading. Finally, it aims to deliver the fastest trading via innovative technologies.

Read on as we take an in-depth look at ExpertOption and find out everything you need to know.

Expert Option Homepage
Expert Option Homepage

Visit ExpertOption

ExpertOption at a Glance

Broker ExpertOption Limited
Regulation Financial Services Authority St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVGFSA)
Minium Balance $10
Demo Account
Yes – $10,000
Asset Coverage CFDs ,Forex, Cryptocurrency, Shares, Commodities, Indices
Leverage 500:1
Trading Platforms Web, Mobile, Desktop Apps

Opening an Account at ExpertOption

The minimum deposit needed to open an ExpertOption account will vary based on your chosen account type, but the absolute minimum is $50. ExpertOption also has KYC procedures in place to verify your identity to prevent fraud and money laundering.

Most of the time, ExpertOption asks new clients to submit documentation verifying both their identity and address.

The broker does not list specific requirements on its website regarding these documents, but it is safe to assume that ExpertOption has the same requirements as other brokers. The proof of identity most likely needs to be government-issued and include your photo, name, and birthdate at a minimum.

The proof of address likely needs to be an official document or bill with your name and address clearly displayed.

Account Types and Minimum Deposits

While many brokers only offer a single account type for clients or possibly two, ExpertOption has an exceptional range of accounts.

It is also interesting to note that instead of creating account tiers based on verification levels as many brokers do, ExpertOption creates tiers based on the size of your investment, with the ability to upgrade to a higher account level.

There are five types of accounts available from ExpertOption, with each adding benefits but increasing the minimum investment.

  • The Basic account only requires a deposit of $50 but lets you upgrade to a higher status when you are ready to do so.
  • Silver accounts are the most common starting point, requiring a $500 minimum deposit.
  • Gold accounts start at $2,500, and Platinum accounts start at $5,000.
  • Exclusive accounts are by invitation only.

Choose Account Type

The Basic accounts get access to all the educational materials. You can have a maximum of 10 deals open at a time with a maximum deal amount of $25. Silver accounts include an introduction to a personal manager.

They upgrade the maximum deals to 15 and the maximum deal amounts to $250. They also add access to daily market reviews as well as financial research. The Gold accounts allow 30 simultaneously open deals of up to $1,000 per deal.

They also add priority withdrawal and increased asset profit of up to 2 percent. Those with Gold accounts and higher also get priority withdrawals.

Platinum accounts have a maximum deal amount of $2,000 and no limit to the number of simultaneously open deals. The increased asset profit becomes up to 4 percent, and you also get an account manager.

Those with Exclusive accounts get a senior account manager, increased asset profit of up to 6 percent, and maximum deal amounts of $5,000. This account type also adds access to strategies.

Note that regardless of the account type, the minimum investment amount for a single trade is $1. It is also important to note that certain account benefits require the client to request activation of that feature via email, at which point it will be manually activated.

Account Type Basic Silver Gold Platinum Exclusive
Personal Manager Introduction Introduction Account Manager Senior Account Manager
Educational Materials
Daily Market Reviews and Financial research
Priority Withdrawal
Access to Strategies
Maximum number of simultaneously open deals 10 15 30 No Limit No Limit
Maximum Deal Amount $25 $250 $1,000 $2,000 $5,000
Increased Asset Profit 0 0 up to 2% up to 4% up to 6%

Expert Option Bonuses

In a significant new update ExpertOption recently began to offer 100% bonuses to all first depositors. The introduction of a bonus system owes largely to popular demand, and see’s traders claiming a much needed boost to begin trading.

The 100% bonus can be claimed from deposits starting at $30, and traders will have one hour following the creation of their account to take advantage.

ExpertOption Bonus

Importantly, acceptance of bonuses does not affect the ability to withdraw as with other brokers, with ExpertOption if you choose to accept the bonuses on offer, you’ll still be eligible to withdraw any time.

The bonuses are also available to existing traders, although the percentage on offer differs to that of those who are depositing for the first time.

What Instruments Does ExpertOption Offer?

With ExpertOption, clients can trade a range of assets, including cryptocurrency, equities, forex, commodities, and stocks.

  • For fiat trading pairs, ExpertOption has all the major crosses, such as CHF, EUR, AUD, USD, NZD, and GBP.
  • The equities include Coca-Cola, Tesla, Amazon, and Baidu.
  • In terms of commodities, you can trade oil, silver, and gold.
  • ExpertOption truly excels in terms of its cryptocurrency offerings with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Dash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, IOTA, Monero, Tether, and Zcash.

ExpertOption Demo Account

ExpertOption offers a demo account for clients to explore the platform and hone their skills before investing real money. The demo account comes with a balance of 10,000 in virtual money. No registration is necessary. As soon as you click on the link, you will be shown a brief video titled “How to trade” to give you a guide to using the platform.

The demo account is extremely useful, as the pricing is identical to the figures listed on the live account, providing you with an accurate idea of how your trading style would work with ExpertOption.

The fact that you do not need to register to create a demo account helps set ExpertOption apart. This means that you do not need to provide any personal data to get a feel for the platform or for financial instruments, like those on ExpertOption.

Many people feel more secure knowing ExpertOption will not have any data on them prior to registration. Additionally, the lack of registration required for a demo account also means there is no way for ExpertOption to pressure you into opening a real money account following the demo. After all, the broker will not have your contact information.

ExpertOption Deposits

To make a deposit, go to the Finances tab on the main bar to the left side of the trading platform. Click the Deposit tab (which should open by default). Choose your deposit method, currency, and amount, then hit submit.

Deposit options include major credit and debit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, and Maestro, along with cryptocurrency and other options. These other options include UnionPay, WebMoney, Neteller, Skrill, Perfect Money, QIWI, Fasapay, and Yandex Money.

ExpertOption Deposits

During the process of depositing funds into your account, keep in mind that the minimum deposit for ExpertOption is just $50. With this deposit size, you will have a Basic account. There is also a maximum deposit size set to $3,000, likely due to payment limits.

ExpertOption Trading Platform

Most competitors in the world of trading choose to use an existing platform instead of creating their own to save time. However, ExpertOption created its own platform, so it could be fully customized and tailored to the needs of the average ExpertOption client.

This means that the platform from ExpertOption perfectly integrates all the features the broker offers. The downside is there are no outside support resources available for the platform.

Even so, its intuitive nature combined with ExpertOption’s customer support means that outside resources are not likely to be necessary to understand the platform.

Trading on ExpertOption

You can easily view the trading platform yourself by clicking on “Demo Account” on the homepage. The focus of the platform is the main graph, which displays prices of your chosen asset with real-time figures.

The main graph lets you hover over any point and see the specific time as well as the price at that point.

Expert Option Trading Screen

The top-left corner of the graph features a drop-down menu where you can select one of the 100 or so stocks and assets to view. Here, you can either choose one of the top instruments, use the search bar, or browse by asset type.

To the right of each instrument, you will see the current percentage and percentage change. After selecting your asset, select from one, two, three, four, or five minutes.

When you hit “Apply,” the graph will update automatically, as will the information in the sidebars. It is also possible to adjust the layout of the chart and split it, so you can view the charts for more than one asset at a time. This last feature is particularly helpful for those who trade multiple markets.

Trade Cryptocurrencies

Use the controls on the graph to view past prices at your preferred date. To the right of the asset drop-down menu, you will find useful tools to help you analyze the price graph. They are divided into buttons for charts, indicators, drawings, and social trading.

Use these buttons to switch among four chart types: area, line, bars, or candles. Indicators include MACD, awesome oscillator, RSI, fractal, parabolic SAR, alligator, Bollinger bands, and moving averages.

Clicking on any of these indicators lets you customize it fully. Using the drawings button, you can add rays, vertical lines, or horizontal lines.

Trading Indicators

Clicking the social trading button toggles icons of trades from other ExpertOption clients either on or off, so you can view when and how much they traded.

To the right of these buttons, you also have the choice of three different layouts to choose from.

Social Trading

The trading panel is near the bottom of the graph. It displays the deal amount of a given trade, as well as your potential profit. As you adjust the deal amount, the profit is automatically adjusted.

You will notice that the potential profit is represented as a percentage on the red and green buttons on the right side of this panel. Immediately above each button, you will see the potential profit or loss. You can also adjust the strike rate here.

Along the left side of the screen, you will see buttons for Trade, Finances, Profile, Apps, Analytics, Education, Help, Setting, and Exit. The Trade button displays the graph and all the above features.

The Finances button shows you details of your account, including the type of account you have and your balance. This is also where you can submit deposits and withdrawals. The Profile section shows your trading history.

Expert Option Trade History

To the right side of the screen, you will see three options for Deals, Trends, and Social. Clicking on Deals opens a sidebar on the right side of the screen that displays your most recent deals.

Selecting Trends displays trends in a right sidebar, with your choice of one-, two-, and five-minute intervals. All asset types appear on this list, with commodities, forex, cryptocurrencies, and more mixed together based on trends.

The Social button on the right opens a sidebar dedicated to the social features of ExpertOption in the same place. At the top of the sidebar, you will see totals, including the number of users online, the volume of opened deals, and the number of open deals.

Directly below this, you will see the opened deals regarding your currently selected asset. These deals are divided into sections based on their length, including one, two, three, four, and five minutes.

You can adjust which deal length’s data appears on top by clicking on the asset on the top-left corner of the chart. For each deal duration, you will see the number of deals opened, the deal volume, and a ranking of the top five traders by profits (so far) with the given deal.

ExpertOption Withdrawals

There are more than 20 different payment systems that ExpertOption works with for withdrawals. In terms of credit and debit cards, you can use MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, or Union Pay.

Account holders can also utilize electronic payment methods, including Fasapay, Perfect Money, Skrill, and Neteller. Or you can withdraw via Bitcoin.

ExpertOption Withdrawals

Remember that when withdrawing funds, you must withdraw it via the same method as your deposit, up to the amount of the deposit. After you have withdrawn your initial deposit, you can choose a different withdrawal method for the rest of the funds.

This is a standard practice across brokers of all types since it helps prevent money laundering.

You must withdraw a minimum of 10 USD at a time, and withdrawal requests get processed within two working days. Depending on the type of withdrawal, you may need to send ExpertOption additional documentation via scans. In this case, the request for those documents will occur via email.

ExpertOption Fees

ExpertOption does not charge commissions on transactions. However, your payment aggregator or payment system may take a commission.

ExpertOption Analysis Tools

ExpertOption has a range of technical analysis tools, including trend lines, four types of charts, and eight indicators.

Via the platform, you can also go to the Analytics page to view additional resources. Here, you will find a tab filled with relevant news, followed by tabs dedicated to Assets and Stocks. The Stocks page displays the various supported stock exchanges on a world map, complete with time zones.

Clicking on any of the stocks will give you a brief summary of the exchange, along with its headquarters, founding year, revenue, and work time.

Analysis Tools

ExpertOptionTrading Signals

Via its inclusion of social trading elements, ExpertOption does include trading signals. While the platform does not directly refer to these signals as such, the social signals are essentially trading signals. You can use the signals on all assets.

Education for Traders

Because ExpertOption aims to make trading accessible to all, it includes a sizable number of educational tools. If you click on the Education button on the trading platform, you will find a range of videos on the “How to get started” tab.

This includes quick videos to explain the platform toolbar, graph types, social trading, deposit methods, how to trade, assets, and a tutorial. Or you can go to the “Education” tab for access to a glossary, fundamental analysis, graphical analysis, technical analysis, trading strategies, and psychology of trading.

Expert Option Education Tools

Each of these sections includes detailed information on a range of relevant topics, complete with images, graphs, and infographics. You can also access each of these educational sections via the Education page on the main navigation menu of ExpertOption’s website.

Regardless of your access method, the educational materials on ExpertOption are truly in-depth. Just within the category of trading strategies, you will find guides to Engulfing Candlestick, Squat Candlestick, Tweezers, Three Methods, Breakout, Reversal Moving Average, Bollinger Band, and Alligator Trading Strategies.

Each strategy explanation includes a description as well as a guide to how to use it, along with examples via charts.

Within the category of technical analysis, you can find specific guides for Alligator, Moving Averages, Bollinger Bands, and Trend, support, and resistance lines. Once again, each guide has a detailed description that includes images and charts as well as information on how to use that particular analysis.

Graphical analysis topics include Candlestick Analysis, Trend Continuation Patterns, Trend Reversal Patterns, and Fibonacci Retracements and Elliot Waves. Within the educational materials for fundamental analysis, you will find a guide to basic fundamental indexes.

The section dedicated to the psychology of trading is particularly interesting, as this is an educational category that most brokers do not offer. There is an overview as well as sub-topics focusing on Successful Traders, the Psychology of Traders, and Individual Trading Psychology.

ExpertOption Social Trading

ExpertOption also offers social trading, which lets you trade with friends or watch and follow global deals. In fact, ExpertOption markets itself as the leader for social trading networks. With the platform’s social trading, you can trade with friends and investors or watch them open their own deals in real-time.

This part of ExpertOption includes Top Investors, so you can follow the results of VIP traders and learn from their actions. ExpertOption also encourages clients to try to become a trading leader in their own countries.

To further enhance the social aspect of ExpertOption, the platform has groups on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

ExpertOption Apps

To fit the company’s goal of making trading accessible, ExpertOption is available via mobile or desktop apps. Those who want to use the mobile application can download it via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store or just download the APK.

The desktop apps are available for either Windows or macOS. Alternatively, you can access ExpertOption without any downloads via your browser since the trading platform is compatible with all browsers.

As is commonly the case with trading platforms, most traders will find the downloadable desktop platform to be the most efficient method of using ExpertOption. The order execution also tends to occur more efficiently on the desktop platform.

Expert Option Desktop Apps

The mobile applications are both highly rated in their respective application stores. The iOS application has a 4.8/5 rating from 19 ratings, while the Android application has 36,164 ratings and reviews, leading to a score of 4.4 out of 5.

The Android application has been installed over a million times but does not list the supported languages in the description. By contrast, the iOS application does not list the number of downloads but lists all 21 supported languages.

ExpertOption Mobile Apps

The application descriptions for Apple and Android devices are identical, both reminding users that the platform currently offers services to more than 9 million traders in more than 150 countries.

This mobile application includes access to the free demo account, quick withdrawals to a bank card or one of the more than 10 e-wallets, access to more than 100 trading instruments, professional trading conditions, the full range of account types, 24/7 customer care, technical indicators, and instant execution of trades.

However, keep in mind that the small screen size of mobile devices limits the ease of use for features related to technical analysis. As such, those who engage in technical analysis will likely want to use the desktop or web version of the platform.

ExpertOption Bonuses

ExpertOption does offer bonuses for new clients, although these bonuses are not clear via the website. Reviews state that the bonuses can be as high as 100 percent.

At the same time, most reviews caution users to read the details regarding a bonus since these promotions tend to have strict requirements for receipt.

A bonus can also lock up the funds you deposit until you reach the agreed-upon turnover volume. Essentially, while ExpertOption does offer bonuses, you should carefully read the terms of them before taking advantage of one. It is also possible to cancel a bonus if you have not used it yet.

Who Can Use ExpertOption, and What Languages Does It Support?

As previously mentioned, ExpertOption clearly indicates a list of countries and regions from which it cannot accept clients. These include the United States, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, the European Economic Area, North Korea, Japan, Sudan, and Puerto Rico.

To appeal to all clients within the jurisdictions where ExpertOption can operate, the website is available in 15 different languages.

These include English, Chinese (two variations), Thai, Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic, Turkish, Bahasa (Indonesian), Bahasa (Malaysian), Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, and Tagalog. All 15 of these languages are also available for the web version of the ExpertOption trading platform. While the website is available in those 15 languages, phone support must be in English or Hindi at this time.

Reviews indicate that ExpertOption previously offered phone support in Thai, as well.

ExpertOption Customer Support

You can take advantage of ExpertOption customer support in either English or Hindi. The English support comes with its own email contact and phone number and is available 24/7.

The Hindi support has a unique phone number and unique email address with support from 10:30 to 19:30 India time.

There is also an online chat and the ability to fill out a contact form. 24/7 customer care from ExpertOption is also available via the mobile applications.

ExpertOption Customer Support

ExpertOption Regulation

ExpertOption is fully licensed by the SVGFSA, a governmental financial authority that allows the company to provide financial and trading services.

Currently the platform can be accessed from most locations worldwide, however ExpertOption is not authorised to accept U.S. citizens, although the platform is considering further expansion into new territories.

EO.Trade

EO.Trade is a full Cryptocurrency Exchange from the same company as ExpertOption which will allow you to trade 4 coins currently and also allows for direct fiat purchases.

This was funded by a crowd-sale for their own EO Coin which will be usable throughout the ecosystem.

EO Trade

EO.Finance

We have covered the company behind ExpertOption before here on Blockonomi where we looked at their EO.finance wallet.

This is a Cryptocurrency wallet which allows you to purchase Cryptos with fiat, with this you are actually purchasing the assets themselves and are then able to transfer them out to your wallets for holding or trading on other platforms.

EO Finance

Is ExpertOption Safe to Use?

To protect client security, ExpertOption is verified by MasterCard and Visa. This is done via Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode status. ExpertOption also has icons for Cert Trusted Secure and PCI DSS Complaint.

It also encrypts all data using the strongest cryptographic algorithms. The website uses SSL encryption, so all information sent over it uses AES 256 encryption. You can confirm this by viewing the lock icon by the URL in your browser and via the fact that ExpertOption uses an https:// address instead of an http:// one.

ExpertOption earned the title of “Best Trading Platform” during the China Trading Expo Shenzhen in May 2017.

Although the broker does not list any other awards in an obvious place on its website, it does also have mostly positive reviews from users and independent websites.

Conclusion

ExpertOption is a trading platform choice for those who want access to more than 100 financial instruments. This is not an ideal platform for those who want to engage in traditional cryptocurrency trading but is useful for those who want to trade a range of other financial instruments also.

The platform is easy to use and provides more than educational resources. The social element of ExpertOption is also particularly useful, particularly for beginners and those who like to compare their trading strategies. It stands out with its cryptocurrency offerings since many brokers are only beginning to offer this type of asset while ExpertOption has several.

You should be aware of your countries regulations when it comes to trading these types of instruments, many countries do not allow this type of trading and it is not recommended for complete beginners as it is possible to quickly lose money if you do not know what you are doing.

Overall, ExpertOption offers a very user-friendly website and platform and a low minimum investment, which helps it appeal to a range of traders. Those interested in trading should consider at least using the demo account, particularly if an element of social trading is important.

Visit ExpertOption

The post Beginner’s Guide to ExpertOption: Complete Review appeared first on Blockonomi.

Jamie Dimon Comments on Bitcoin Yet Again, Says He Doesn’t Give a Sh*t About It

“I don’t give a sh*t about Bitcoin,” JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon says, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of Nakamoto’s white paper.

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper, Oct. 30, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon found himself speaking yet again about the leading cryptocurrency, notwithstanding his track record of attempts to extricate himself from the debate.

As CNBC reported Oct. 31, Dimon made his “reluctant” comments at the Axios conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Referring to his now-notorious statement that Nakamoto's invention is little more than a “fraud,” the CEO told the audience:

“I never changed what I said, I just regret having said it. I didn’t want to be the spokesman against Bitcoin. I don’t really give a sh*t, that’s the point. Blockchain is real, it’s technology, but Bitcoin is not the same as a fiat currency.”

As previously reported, Dimon’s circuitous history with Bitcoin dates back to September 2017, when his critical rhetoric caused a sharp fleeting dent to the asset’s price.

After pledging to keep silent on the matter, this January the CEO again became embroiled in Bitcoin talk, saying he regretted his earlier choice of words, all the while reaffirming his avowed indifference.

Despite its CEO’s ambivalence, senior figures within the banking giant have hinted at a potentially more receptive stance towards the crypto space, although the institution’s signals regarding crypto are resoundingly mixed.

As Dimon’s latest comment suggests, JPMorgan is more straightforwardly pro-blockchain: a study into JPMorgan’s digital transformation published earlier this month underscored that blockchain represents a key technology for the bank’s roadmap.

In late September, JPMorgan expanded its blockchain-based payment platform to over 75 multinational banks, as part of a collective bid to stave off competition from outside of the banking sector.

Bitcoin Bear Market Could Last Another Year and a Half, Says BitMEX CEO

BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes said we may not have seen the last of the bearish market for BTC in an interview with Yahoo Finance published Friday.

‘Flatness’ in the Price of BTC

After rapid plummets and spikes in recent weeks, the market value of BTC has leveled out at around USD 6,300, with another small spike in value on Friday. Hayes says it will likely stay that way, possibly for another eighteen months, in the interview with Yahoo:

“My view is the volatility environment that exists right now could persist for another 12 to 18 months, the flatness. I’m just basing it off my previous experience. I started in bitcoin in 2013 when the price went from $250 to $1,300 and then 2014 to 2015 was sort of the nuclear bear market. Price crashed, volume crashed — very, very difficult to make money.”

Hayes added that, based on his experience, BTC’s value could fall even farther than it has. The interview was part of the ‘Who’s Afraid of Bitcoin’ event hosted by The Spectator magazine.

Despite his less than upbeat view on the market, Hayes still seems confident on Bitcoin and was quoted as saying “I own the racetrack, I don’t need to bet on the horses,” at the aforementioned conference. Founded in 2014, BitMEX is one of the largest crypto exchanges around, and the largest one to trade BTC derivatives.

Optimism on the Applications of BTC

Other big players in the crypto space don’t necessarily share Hayes’ views on the market, thinking it could instead turn bullish. 0x project cofounder Will Warren said in a separate interview with Yahoo that he was one of these optimists, stating:

“The market is blowing off some steam right now. I think the market is probably going through some healthy consolidation but I do believe the long-term trend will be greater adoption of bitcoin and similar technologies.”

Others like Jonathan Levi, formerly of Goldman Sachs and Barclays, echo that sentiment, saying the current bear market needs to be put into context. Levi called the fluctuations in BTC a “bear-sized drop, but from an astonishing height.” BTC as a currency is in a bear market, he argues, but we are seeing more activity around blockchain projects and the application of BTC than ever before.

Just one example of that is Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), a crypto announced this week that applies BTC’s liquidity to the Ethereum blockchain. That project, the brainchild of dark pool platform Republic Protocol, custodian BitGo, and liquidity pool Kyber Network, is coming in early 2019.

Hayes told Yahoo that he thinks BitMEX is “well positioned” to ride out the coin’s low level of volatility, and the platform still conducts trades on contracts totaling around $1BN a day. He says the company’ expansion plans “have not changed.”

The post Bitcoin Bear Market Could Last Another Year and a Half, Says BitMEX CEO appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Top VC Investor Bullish on Cryptocurrency, Like Internet in The 1990s

On October 29, Benedict Evans, a leading venture capital investor at one of the world’s largest VC firms, Andreessen Horowitz, tweeted about the current state of cryptocurrency, likening it to that of the internet in the 1990’s. His bullish comments on crypto signal a larger trend of traditional investors increasing their openness to the nascent technology.

Many Parallels Between Cryptocurrency and Early-Stage Internet

In a series of tweets on the topic, Evans importantly notes that the current lack of use-cases and abundance of scams and fraud within the industry should not be reason enough to write it off as a useless market filled with useless technologies, as the internet was in a similar state in the 90’s.

“Crypto today has a lot in common with both the internet in 1993 and the internet in 1999. Huge potential with few of the use cases invented yet, combined with froth, scams and delusion. This makes it easier to dismiss (‘useless AND a scam!’),” he explained to his 255k followers.

When the internet first came into existence, there was no telling that it would ultimately become one of the largest industries the world has ever seen, worth trillions of dollars. In many ways, Evans is completely right in his assessment, as the early stage dot com industry was filled with seemingly useless companies and ideas.

Evans proceeded to note that one of the biggest mistakes investors and the public can make is to mistake the applications in an industry for its “enabling layer,” which is referring to the technology that underpins the applications.

In the case of the internet, the distinction would be between the internet itself and the dot com companies building on the internet. In the case of cryptocurrency, underpinning tech could include things like the blockchain and smart contracts.

“dismissing crypto as a useless scam is much like looking at Usenet, Cuecat and Boo.com and dismissing the internet. It mistakes applications for the enabling layer,” Evans said.

Critics of the cryptocurrency markets, like the infamous economist Nouriel Roubini, are quick to point out the scams that plague the markets, including notable ones like Bitconnect. Evans, however, points out the fact that when looking at the industry with a wide lens, it is apparent that scams only account for a small portion of the industry as a whole.

He further notes that:

“Looking at crypto and only seeing the scams is like looking at the internet in 1999 and only seeing the bubble. Looking at crypto and seeing no use cases is like looking at the internet in 1993, when the web was 3% of traffic.”

Evans’ bullish comments on the current state of the cryptocurrency markets should remind investors of just how young the markets currently are, and how long they have to go before they are fully developed.

Original Featured image from Shutterstock

The post Top VC Investor Bullish on Cryptocurrency, Like Internet in The 1990s appeared first on NewsBTC.

Arbitrators to Resolve Disputes in the Russian Cryptocurrency Industry

Arbitrators to Solve Disputes in the Russian Cryptocurrency Industry

A leading industry organization in Russia has decided to establish an arbitration body to look into disputes within the digital economy, including matters related to cryptocurrency transactions, as well as rights and responsibilities in token sales and the implementation of smart contracts.

Also read: Ukraine Plans to Fully Legalize Cryptocurrencies Within Three Years

Industry Organization Appoints Arbitration Board

The absence of comprehensive regulations for Russia’s fintech sector has been a source of continued legal uncertainty. In recent years, courts have been challenged to consider a growing number of so-called “digital cases,” many of which have been filed as a result of business disputes in the nascent cryptocurrency industry.

Experts from relevant fields have been invited to join the new arbitration body, which will be formed by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP). The influential organization recently criticized new draft legislation designed to regulate the crypto space, after lawmakers proposed a number of complicated rules and removed key terms such as “cryptocurrency” and “smart contracts” from the bill. The Russian business community has responded by promoting an alternative draft that would grant cryptocurrencies “special status.”

Arbitrators to Resolve Disputes in the Russian Cryptocurrency Industry

The arbitration body will review disputes between parties to smart contracts that have been recorded in distributed ledgers, as well as disagreements between participants in cryptocurrency transactions and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Elina Sidorenko, the head of a parliamentary group assessing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, is the leading candidate to chair the new arbitration board, according to the Kommersant newspaper. She told the business daily that its members have already been selected.

Sidorenko also noted that the Russian judicial system faces a number of challenges in resolving cryptocurrency-related disputes, as there are currently no legal mechanisms in place to protect the rights of investors in the digital economy. The number of competent legal experts who understand the specifics of the largely unregulated sector is also still insufficient.

Courts Struggle With Cryptocurrency-Related Cases

Arbitrators to Resolve Disputes in the Russian Cryptocurrency IndustryThe number of civil disputes related to the use of digital technologies continues to grow. Russian courts reviewed 148 such cases between 2014 and 2018, 45 percent of which were related to the fulfillment of obligations under smart contracts and the use of cryptocurrencies and tokens. The ICO boom that started last year is likely to lead to even more disputes in the next few years. Russian courts are expected to deal with up to 4,000 cases per year by 2025.

Sidorenko said the new arbitration board will convene in the early weeks of 2019. In addition to cryptocurrency-related cases, the panel will look at disputes over digital services, as well as issues related to the implementation of artificial intelligence, robotics and other advanced technologies in different sectors of the economy.

For the time being, the legal status of cryptocurrencies in Russia remains undetermined. In a ruling on a bankruptcy case in May, a Russian arbitration court of appeals recognized cryptocurrencies as property with value. Public discussions are now underway on the latest version of the legislation, which was adopted on first reading by the lower house of Russia’s parliament earlier this year. The Federal Financial Monitoring Service will oversee the cryptocurrency industry once the regulatory framework has been approved.

Do you think arbitration is a good approach to resolving disputes in the cryptocurrency industry? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Arbitrators to Resolve Disputes in the Russian Cryptocurrency Industry appeared first on Bitcoin News.