Daily Archives: December 8, 2018

Asia and Australia Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 30 November – 6 December 2018

Asia

Asia and Australia

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

China

Chinese Regulator Declares Security Token Offerings Illegal: Chinese authority Beijing Municipal Bureau of Finance has declared Security Token Offerings (STOs) illegal in its jurisdiction. The move came during a wealth management forum organized by the bureau.

Huo Xuewen, chief of the Beijing Municipal Bureau said:

“I will issue a risk warning to those who promote and issue STO tokens in Beijing. My advice is to only engage in such offerings when the government has legalized them,”

ICOs have been declared illegal by the Chinese government but they have so far been silent on STOs. With the latest move, at least within the jurisdiction of the Chinese capital, STOs are now illegal.

Japan

Police Investigating Increasingly Suspicious Cryptocurrency Activities: Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) has announced that there seems to be a sharp increase in suspicious cryptocurrency transactions in the country between January and October of this year.

According to the police report, 5944 cases on cryptocurrency exchanges were recorded that could be tied to tax evasion or money laundering. The figure is an 8-fold increase from the same period in 2017. It is yet to be seen what the government may decide to do with them.

Government Implementing ICO Regulations to Protect Investors: The top financial watchdog of the country Financial Services Agency (FSA) has announced a new set of regulations for ICOs in the country to help protect the funds of investors according to local news outlet Jiji Press.

The new regulations will force companies and organizations willing to undergo ICOs to register with the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Further regulations on exchanges, payment services, and financial instruments are also being implemented.

The government is also working on cutting down tax evasion figures in the industry. The National Tax Agency of Japan (NTA) is in the process of developing a dedicated tax auditing system for the cryptocurrency sector that will seek data from cryptocurrency exchanges and other financial services platforms involved with cryptocurrencies.

A recent bill tabled in the country’s parliament will authorize the tax agency for this purpose.

South Korea

Government Considering Crypto and ICO Tax Laws: The South Korean government is working to tax cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the country according to the incoming Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.

According to The Korea Times, the new top financial wizard of the government has submitted a written reply to the Korean National Assembly on this topic during his confirmation hearing. He said:

“A task force consisting of experts from relevant government agencies including the National Tax Service and the private sector will be formed to examine overseas examples and hammer out the taxation plan.”

While the new Minister is in favor of taxation regulations, he is calling for caution as there is no tried and tested way of doing it.

Malaysia

Central Bank Wants to Regulate Cryptocurrencies: The Securities Commission and Central Bank of Malaysia have released a joint statement containing an outline for regulation of digital assets and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the country.

The statement provided at least some clarification on where the government was headed regarding this matter after the popular Mahatir Mohammad formed government at the center following general elections.

Australia

Western Australia Gets First Crypto Center: Western Australia is looking more and more appealing to the cryptocurrency industry after the first blockchain center was inaugurated in Perth earlier this week.

While the area is well-known for the mining industry that contributes to more than 92% of the entire state’s exports, the cryptocurrency genre may become the goldmine of tomorrow as interest spikes in the sector.

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Africa and the Middle East: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 30 November – 6 December 2018

Africa

Africa and the Middle East

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

South Africa

Cryptocurrency may get Government Approval with Payment System Review: The South African government is looking to legitimize cryptocurrencies in the country through a series of policy changes for the purpose.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is intending to go for a complete overhaul of the National Payment System (NPS) which is the national infrastructure that allows the transfer of funds between individuals and entities. The need for updating the system was felt after the previous system was found inadequate for modern requirements and was set up back in 1998.

The review will also cover the cryptocurrency space and allow regulation of the sector like never before.

The Reserve Bank is also reportedly going to launch a crypto law consultation process that will help the upgradation of NPS and pave way for the integration of space into the national financial fabric.

Nigeria

Government Watchdog to Monitor Risks of Digital Currencies: Nigeria’s financial watchdog Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has reportedly started monitoring the digital currency space and risks posed by it. 

A Deputy Director of the NDIC Kabir Katata gave this opinion and he said that resolving these concerns for protecting funds of the general public is important:

“We should continue to monitor developments in digital currency so as to resolve any concern on legal, financial and consumer protection,” 

It is yet unclear what kind of measures the agency will take for this purpose.

African Union

Top African Blockchain Events in Africa: Africa’s growing blockchain industry is conducting several important events across the continent this week. They include workshops and seminars in South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia with thousands of participants expected.

The whole list of events can be found here.

Ghana

American Government Warns Ghana of Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Activities: The US government has sent a warning to Ghana and five other African countries for their involvement in cryptocurrency frauds according to the Head of the US Cyber Crimes Division.

Head of the Cyber Crime Division John Hooks said:

“I would like to inform the public, especially in the following African countries and their government: Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, DRC Congo that one Mr. Junior Capputti and Mr. Emerson Pires in the name of president and vice-president respectively, in one programme that they call a company that is known as Mining Capital Coin (MCC). The above-mentioned names are con artists running a non-existence company to lure the public into investing their hard-earned money in the cryptocurrency market,”.

Israel

Tax Agency to Reportedly Target Cryptocurrency Tax Dodgers: Israeli Tax Authority (ITA) is now cracking down on cryptocurrency traders who are accused of tax evasion and has since issued hundreds of warnings to these individuals for failing to report the right numbers.

The Israeli law defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as financial assets and taxes them up to 30%, but the government believes that many of the traders are not reporting their income right.

Saudi Arabia

Bank Announces Blockchain Islamic Financial Solutions: Saudi bank ICD is reportedly trying to develop a blockchain banking product that is sharia-compliant. The new system will allow Islamic banks to manage their liquidity needs in a transparent manner.

While cryptocurrencies are officially banned in Saudi Arabia, the government has found blockchain to be an interesting technology and is thus encouraging industries to adopt it.

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PR: SherCoin Platform and Token Redefines Utility Token Functionality for Mass Adoption

Bitcoin Press Release: Blockchain startup SherCoin has created a robust platform with a highly functional utility token, all designed to facilitate mass adoption through its blockchain-ecosystem.

November 26th, 2018, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Since 2017 the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry has been propelled into the mainstream to some success, however, solutions and platforms that are being produced in this present market do not necessarily possess user-friendly qualities and versatile application.

Incentivising Mass Adoption

It is estimated that 2.5 billion people have smartphones with 99.9% of the population not having cryptocurrency wallets. Digital currencies are adopted as a tool for financial inclusion, a remedy to inefficiencies within the traditional financial system and a means to exclude costly time-consuming intermediaries from cross-border transactions, yet, 1.7 billion adults don’t have a bank account. SherCoin ecosystem will also integrate with a mesh network platform to allow people with no internet access to use their applications, reaching a potential of billions of unconnected people.

Research conducted by SherCoin has identified a critical problem with a majority of altcoins built on the Ethereum network (ERC20 tokens) – they are often single-use. With so many of these limited functionality tokens and platforms available, consumers are hard pressed to utilize their tokens effectively.

Team SherCoin believes that a good token is one that is multi-functional with more than one utility with a singular application; breaking this mold is SherCoin (SHER), a token with five different related applications that tackle pain areas and incentivize mass adoption.

SherCoin connects multiple cryptos in an ecosystem where they can be earned and spent across multiple platforms.

Applications

SherCoin is teeming with versatility and the applications in the SherCoin ecosystem provide functions that set it apart from any other ERC20 token on the market. Whilst designed for high-usability, they are both, practical for users and informative for businesses.

Verify App – Users of this application earn SHER rewards for reporting suspicious products that are unverified within the app. Built on the Ethereum network in combination with RFID and NFC wireless tech, SherCoin provides protection for both users and businesses against counterfeiting through this innovation. The mobile application is available on both iOS and Android, and is presently in its alpha version and is due to go live Q2 2019.

SherCoin Global Wallet – This is the defacto wallet for all applications within the SherCoin ecosystem. Through the user-friendly app, accessing SherCoin ecosystem will be simple for a majority of smartphone users.

Survey App – Users of this application earn SHER reward for completing surveys and providing valuable feedback to the businesses. This application will be live Q3 2019.

SherCoin Marketplace – Both through web and mobile devices users will be able to buy and sell products and services in exchange for SHER with minimal risk of price volatility and transaction fees. The Marketplace will be live Q4 2019.

SherCoin Pay  – SHER is an effortlessly redeemable token through various traditional gateways and furthermore will integrate with e-commerce sites, payments gateways and other platforms. SherCoin pay will be available in Q4 2019.

Tokenomics

The SherCoin token sale is presently in its private sale phase which will last for 60 days ending December 19th with 75 million of 1.5 billion total SHER available; furthermore, there is up to 50% bonus for tokens purchased in this phase. Minimum purchase is 3 ETH, maximum 1000 ETH.

Stage one of the main sale will begin Q1 of 2019 for a 90 day period, after which stage two will commence in Q3 2019. 600 million SHER tokens will be available over these periods. During this phase, the minimum purchase is 0.1 ETH, with a maximum of 500 ETH.

The SherCoin team is also exploring innovative decentralized organization process inspired by DAICO proposed by Vitalik Buterin to protect the community. You can find more information in the Medium article.

Visit the SherCoin Official Site – https://shercoin.io/
View the Whitepaper – https://shercoin.io/sherCoin-whitepapers-v5.pdf
Chat on Telegram – https://t.me/SherCoinCommunity
Follow on Twitter – https://twitter.com/SHERCOIN
Like on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Shercoin-559834757807466
Read the Medium – https://medium.com/@shercoin
Watch on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3bCGPvHBpaMpkic5u-IKjg
Github – https://github.com/SherCoin
Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/shercoin

Media Contact Details
Contact Name: Sarah Hosten
Contact Email: media@shercoin.io

SherCoin is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. Cryptocurrencies and tokens are extremely volatile. There is no guarantee of a stable value, or of any value at all. Token sales are only suitable for individuals with a high-risk tolerance. Only participate in a token event with what you can afford to lose. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.

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Four Major Euro Banks Collaborate to Use Corda R3 for Debt Solution

It’s been reported that four major European banks have used R3’s Corda platform to create a live transaction for their Euro Debt Solution.

The banks, Commerzbank, ING, Natixis, and Rabobank have adapted blockchain technology, according to a new Banking Tech report, by finding a solution to minimize operational costs and risks using R3. Corda is a distributed ledger platform that is the outcome of over two years of intense research and development by R3 and 80 of the world’s largest financial institutions.

The banks combined their individual strengths to develop the solution. Natixis as the issuer, Rabobank as the investor, while ING acts as both the dealer and escrow agent. Commerzbank, on the other hand, provides the pilot framework, software and distributed ledger network for the transaction which involved the issuance of a one-day maturity Euro Commercial Paper (ECP) worth EUR100,000 or more than $113,000. ING’s head of money market and central bank sales commented:

“This live trade lays the foundation for dealing ECP more efficiently and cost-effectively. It also marks the start of building an improved DLT platform that enables direct settlement and reduces operational risk and costs at the same time.”

Ripple’s XRP has become the banking system’s go-to transaction solution in the crypto sphere, but this use of the Corda platform demonstrates that Ripple has not got a complete stranglehold on the space for such payments.

R3 leads a consortium of more than 200 financial institutions in research and development of DLT usage in the financial system and other commercial sectors. Corda was designed for dealing with complex transactions and security and is expected to have many of the benefits of the blockchain. A new version of Corda was released earlier this year aimed specifically at businesses, called Corda Enterprise, it includes a blockchain applications firewall.

However, Ripple does appear to be growing from strength to strength following the company’s recent announcement that Japanese banking corporation Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ) Inc has struck a partnership with Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco for a new Ripple-based cross-border payments system.

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South Africa Considers Crypto as Part of National Payment System

South Africa’s Reserve Bank (SARB) alongside the country’s National Treasury has been discussing the possible implementation of new measures for the National Payment System (NPS) with cryptocurrency as one option.

The National Payment System is regarded by South Africa as “one of the pillars of financial stability of the economic system” and the SARB “oversees the safety and soundness of the system and implements risk-reduction measures in the payment system to reduce systemic risk. The Reserve Bank provides an inter-bank settlement service via the real-time electronic settlement system – the South African Multiple Option Settlement (SAMOS) system.

This system first adopted in 1998 is now regarded as outmoded by legislators and in need of updating and have asked interested parties to put forward ideas as to how the bill can now be modified in line with some of the new technologies becoming available. Consequently, digital technologies including DLT have fallen under the legislators’ microscope.

South Africa is currently one of the continent’s made advocates of digital technologies particularly in its advancement of blockchain and cryptocurrency. SARB has already trialed a multi-bank testing of bank-to-bank transfers using blockchain testing the Ethereum based platform Quorum in collaboration with eight banks including, Absa, Capitec, Discovery, Investec, FirstRand, Nedbank, and Standard Bank.

Earlier this year SARB also proposed the launching of Project Khoka to examine the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) as a method for processing secure payments using Quorum, an Ethereum blockchain-based system.

This new proposal by SARB illustrates the state’s determination to meld blockchain technology into the fabric of the country’s financial system and bring digital technology into the forefront of revolutionizing current payment systems in South Africa.

Regulators alongside SARB and the National Treasury will examine responses before making the necessary legislative proposals for changing current systems post-February 2019.

With increased levels of investment in South Africa becoming public knowledge the tax office is also making changes to its own legislation to allow for cryptocurrency. South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Mark Kingon has said that the government department is investigating alternative methods to find and identify investors who may be avoiding taxes.

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 30 November – 6 December 2018

South America

South America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

Brazil

Major Crypto Events Held in Brazil: The recent month of November saw two main cryptocurrency related events taking place in Brazil including Blockmaster Forum in Sao Paulo and the Traditional Bitconference in Fortaleza. 

Both events were attended by thousands of people who were interested in understanding more about the sector and invest in it. Several leading cryptocurrency entrepreneurs made keynote addresses in the events and had interesting panel discussions.

Crypto Association to Adhere to Fintech Ethics: The Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange association ABCripto helped launch the Code of Ethics and Best Practices of the Fintech segment in association with Fintech Committee of ABStartups and Brazilian Crowdfunding Investment Association (CrowdInvest).

According to a communique from the partnership, the document is part of a new self-regulatory landscape, an idea that cryptocurrency exchanges are trying hard to legitimize in the country.

Former Nasdaq CEO Launches Blockchain Services in Brazil: Kaidi Ruusalepp, former Nasdaq CEO is aiming to launch new blockchain projects in the country including Funderbeam, a three-stage platform built for the investors.

Funderbeam is closely working with the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) to start operations in the South American country.

Bitcoin Regulation Bill Postponed till 2019: The newest Bitcoin legislation bill 2303/15 authored by the Federal Deputy Aureo Ribeiro which was slated to be voted on by 5 December is now put on hold till next year.

The move was made after a recent meeting of the Special Committee of Regulation of Virtual Currencies organized by the Central bank. Eventually, the members decided to withdraw the motion and cancel the immediate vote on the matter.

It is reported that further feedback from the industry including ABCB and ABCripto associations will be considered before deciding more on the matter.

Argentina

G20 Summit Puts Greater Emphasis on Cryptocurrencies: Global leaders belonging to the top G20 group of countries have put greater emphasis on the cryptocurrency side of things during a recent summit in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires.

The summit was attended by global leaders as well as some of the world’s largest corporations including Bank of America, Inter-American Development Bank, The World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Health Organization (WHO).

The influential leaders especially addressed the issue of cryptocurrencies and decided to work on combined regulatory frameworks for them.

Chile

Exchange Loses Case Against Banks: In a major loss to the country’s crypto sector, cryptocurrency exchange Orionx lost the right to open accounts in the state-run bank after having them closed earlier this year.

The decision was announced by the apex court of the country despite earlier assurances that the right of the exchange to have a bank account was protected under the law. The new judgement states that the bank did not violate the rules of the constitution and thus cannot be declared unconstitutional.

Venezuela

President Nicolas Maduro Wants to Use Petro for Selling Oil in 2019: Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency project Petro is once again in the news as President Nicolas Maduro has declared that the embattled country will bypass the US sanctions by using its national cryptocurrency, Petro for oil sales starting next year.

While Venezuela’s government is still facing a host of problems in getting the prized cryptocurrency project to work, there is also the issue of lack of international adopters as both Russia and India have refused to pay in Petro for their imports.

The effort to use Petro is part of a six-year financial plan by the government to mitigate the impact of US sanctions on the country’s oil-reliant economy.

 

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Securities Commission, Central Bank of Malaysia Declare Regulatory Intentions for Crypto

Securities Commission, Central Bank of Malaysia Declare Regulatory Intentions for Crypto

The securities commission and central bank of Malaysia have released a joint press release offering a brief outline of their intentions to regulate digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The announcement, co-authored by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and the central bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), aimed to provide some clarification on the regulations being put in place. The news comes shortly after the Finance Minister of Malaysia, Lim Guan Eng, had told local press that the digital asset regulatory framework would be delivered in the first quarter of 2019.

In brief

Currently, the regulations to “bring digital assets within the remit of the securities laws to promote fair and orderly trading” are to be applied to digital assets issued through ICOs as well as the trading of cryptocurrencies on domestic exchanges, to “ensure investor protection”. It extends this by adding that ICO issuers and exchanges will be subject to the commission’s ‘Guidelines on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing’.

Accordingly, both ICO operators and crypto exchanges that handle digital assets with “a payment function” will be required to adhere to BNM laws and regulations pertaining to payments and currency matters. Previously, Lim had spoken open-mindedly about cryptocurrencies, claiming that he did not want to hinder cryptocurrencies, though reminded that they are subject to existing laws.

The press release concludes with a disclaimer from the BNM stating that “digital assets are not legal tender in Malaysia”, encouraging consumers to perform due diligence prior to engaging with cryptocurrencies. Finally, it loosely describes how these frameworks are to be implemented, writing, “…the SC and BNM will enter into coordination arrangements to ensure compliance with laws and regulations under the purview of both regulators”.

Regional competition

Malaysia has been emerging as a key player in the South East Asia blockchain race that is accelerating in pace. In September, the nation displayed its bullish moves and began working to marry its top three industries with blockchain technology, namely Islamic banking, palm oil, and its energy sector.

The region has undoubtedly caught the blockchain buzz. In the Philippines, ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges are soon to have regulations in place, which comes shortly after two new crypto exchanges were established and additional bullish blockchain news.

In addition, Singapore has been making waves akin to that of nations who, like South Korea, are feverishly adopting blockchain technologies, bolstering the domestic ecosystem through institutional investors and making significant progress in their bid to regulate the sector.

As competition heats up in the region, many other major entities such as the European Union and the G20 are making strides in a similar direction. Blockchain is breaking out into global discourse like never before; the “fad” is here to stay.

 

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New Mastercard Patent Claims Crypto Transaction Anonymity

New Mastercard Patent Claims Crypto Transaction Anonymity

A patent application published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office shows that US credit card giant Mastercard claims that it has now found a way of keeping cryptocurrency transactions anonymous.

The patent claims that Mastercard’s system can mask both the point of origin and the number of transactions on the blockchain by using an intermediate address which will interact with the public key.

Once the transaction is stored, a whole new transaction and a digital signature are generated using a private key. The data, which includes the destination address and payment total, is then forwarded instead of the original. This method, according to Mastercard’s patent application, “would result in showing the user only transferring funds to and receiving funds from a small number of addresses that are also involved in a significantly large volume of transactions with various other users, thereby rendering the data innocuous.”

Mastercard has admitted that, despite its earlier condemnation of Bitcoin and past criticism of cryptocurrency’s viability as a payment system, the blockchain is increasingly being employed by users “flocking to various digital currencies”. Mastercard has clearly seen a developing market for supporting users who use cryptocurrency “for the anonymity that blockchain transactions can provide”. It adds:

“…it is often extremely difficult to identify the user behind a blockchain address, meaning that an individual can transfer or receive funds utilizing a blockchain while keeping a high level of anonymity.”

But it goes on to note that most blockchain ledgers are not anonymous and that currently transactions can be identified by using public data.

“For instance, such data may, as it is accumulated and analyzed, eventually reveal the user behind a wallet or at least provide information about them… However, the existing communications and attribution structure of blockchain technology such as Bitcoin require identification of where the transactions are emanating and terminating, in order to maintain the ledger.”

Until now, privacy coins like Monero and Zcash have incorporated features to hide their users’ transaction information, but not without gaining attention from the US Department of Homeland Security, which is continually developing new ways on keeping tabs on cryptocurrency transactions in its fight against money laundering.

This new patent offering ID anonymity is one that may not be welcomed by government law enforcement agencies but might encourage crypto users towards Mastercard; clearly the aim of the patent.

 

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