Category Archives: virtual currency

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Law Professor’s Paper Targets US Regulatory Confusion over Crypto

Law Professor's Paper Targets US Regulatory Confusion over Crypto

A professor from the University of Arkansas School of Law has written a paper essentially claiming that US regulators are in a state of confusion over exactly what cryptocurrency is.

The article, entitled ‘U.S. Law: Crypto is Money, Property, a Commodity, and a Security, all at the Same Time’, written by professor Carol Goforth for the Journal of Financial Transformation, has recently been published in the University of Oxford’s Business Law blog.

The article is raising eyebrows as it outlines what many some academics and lawmakers are already thinking across the US, that the SEC really doesn’t know how to proceed over cryptocurrency legislation as the commission can’t really classify it.

Goforth claims that part of the problem which prevents correct legislation is the fact that a broad definition does not cover the requirements of the four entities in US government currently dealing with cryptocurrency. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines cryptocurrency assets as property, the Department of Treasury through its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) “very much like money”, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as commodities, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lumps cryptocurrency assets into its “securities” basket.

Here lies the problem claims Goforth; this diverse set of contradictory definitions make a broader definition impossible, in fact as she points out cryptocurrencies also have other functions not even covered by these four definitions.

Putting aside these four bodies, jurisdictions of individual US states are also bringing in their own guidelines regarding virtual assets, adding even more uncertainty to an already confused area, claims Goforth. Registering an exchange in New York, for example, will require a different process for completing the same activity in, for example, California.

The professor explains that in view of such a diversity of cryptocurrency functions a monolithic approach to defining and therefore regulating virtual currency should be abandoned to make way for far more nuanced thinking by government agencies; an approach which examines the functionality of the crypto asset along with the requirements of the agency issuing guidelines for its use.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Law Professor’s Paper Targets US Regulatory Confusion over Crypto appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

American Express Praises Ripple for Cross Border Payments

american express

According to a top American Express representative, Ripple has the potential to revolutionize cross-border transactions globally.

Speaking in Madrid recently at the Wings of Change Europe conference, Carlos Carriedo, the credit card giant’s general manager of corporate payments indicated this was one reason that blockchain integration was high on the company’s agenda for change.

Clearly, Ripple’s XRP has caught the eye as the preferred blockchain route for the company moving forward, if Carriedo’s views are a clear representation of the Amercian Express’ programme for future development of financial services around the globe. He explained why his company was looking at Ripple becoming a significant blockchain partner in the future:

“Blockchain is absolutely an option we’re looking at. Just to give you a sense, we have invested in a fintech lab based on blockchain technology, just to understand how to leverage this better…We did a test, partnering with Santander locally, and with Ripple to just do cross-border transactions…And in a matter of seconds, through this test, our clients were able to transfer funds in a very transparent and seamless way, from one part of the world to the other one.”

Ripple itself has just joined three other partners to form a European blockchain called “Blockchain for Europe” in order to bring together what it describes as “fragmented” voices in Europe into a “more unified whole” in matters of the blockchain. Such moves are sure to offer confidence to intuitional players such as American Express, in the fact that Ripple is becoming a far more representative voice for the blockchain industry as a whole, despite its Bitcoin purist detractors.

Ripple is spreading its global network. And by working with American Express, collaborating with Santander to reduce the current inefficiencies of cross-border payments it has heightened its global profile. Also, significantly Ripple has gained approval to operate in China, opening up other opportunities in the region.  By using Ripple, Santander has stated that it wants to fundamentally change cross-border payments universally by establishing a strong alliance between the two companies. AM’s Carriedo again, speaking of the future of payments:

“There is more to come. There’s still a lot of things that need to get addressed with blockchain as a technology. But it’s very promising…The future is definitely digital. Digital is the way payments will continue to be across both the consumer part of the business the commercial part of the business”.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post American Express Praises Ripple for Cross Border Payments appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

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.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Four Major Euro Banks Collaborate to Use Corda R3 for Debt Solution appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Japanese Police Investigate 700% Increase in Suspicious Crypto Activity

Japanese Police Investigate 700% Increase in Suspicious Crypto Activity

Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) has announced a huge hike in reports of dubious cryptocurrency transactions, most which occurred between January and October of this year.

In all, 5,944 reports from cryptocurrency exchanges were recorded, possibly linked to money laundering and tax evasion. These figures represent an eight-fold increase from the 699 cases reported in 2017.

Japan has the world’s most progressive regulatory climate for cryptocurrencies with a buoyant and energetic market. Its regulator has tightened regulation om trading and exchanges over time in order to provide a secure business environment and now requires all cryptocurrency exchanges to be screened and registered by the Financial Services Agency (FSA). In 2017, this vigilance was stepped up by the FSA also requiring a form of mandatory reporting expecting exchanges to report any suspect trading activity to the regulator.

These laws appear to have done little to prevent an escalation in cases of illegal activity, although they are at least now being brought into the public light. An NPA official commented, “It’s already been some time since the reporting system began, and it has been embraced by the industry through guidance from the Financial Services Agency.”

The cost of this crime, however, is alarming, with the JPY 660 million stolen from crypto exchanges and individual wallets swelling to a huge JPY 60 billion in only the first half of 2018.

Just this week, the National Safety Commission released its latest report on the state of the industry with regards to the misuse of cryptocurrency funds, a factor that many nations’ leaders cite as being the main deterrent towards civic adoption by central governments and banking institutions.

The main areas of misuse thrown up by the report include factors such as reuse of the same face photo by several users with different names and birth dates, multiple trading accounts initiated from a single IP address, logins from overseas on accounts with Japan addresses, as well as registration of out-of-use mobile phone numbers.

But FSA registrations continue, with 16 recent exchanges passing the screening process and another three awaiting the green light to operate, highlighting that the FSA feels that it has this situation under control.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Japanese Police Investigate 700% Increase in Suspicious Crypto Activity appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Expect ETFs Tomorrow… or in 20 Years Says SEC’s Crypto Mom

Expect ETFs Tomorrow... or in 20 Years Says SEC's Crypto Mom

Washington’s now named Crypto Mom, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, has spoken again on the possibility of Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) being given the go-ahead by the country’s financial legislators.

Peirce was meeting with representatives from the Digital Assets Investment Forum in Washington and was asked what the state of play looked like for ETF, seen as the long-awaited impetus for a regeneration of Bitcoin’s fortunes on the market.

“Don’t hold your breath” was the answer they received; perhaps not the one that they wanted to hear, but nonetheless both honest and concise in its delivery. A podcast two weeks ago had given some renewed hope to the market when Peirce assured the cryptocurrency community in Washington that a crypto ETF was “definitely possible”.

The commissioner pointed out then that she saw “significant intellectual capital” being invested by both institutional investors and exchanges towards the development of a Bitcoin ETF, perhaps leaving investors scratching their heads over a chicken or egg quandary. Investors see the issuance of an ETF as the impetus for change, not necessarily the other way round.

Peirce said at the meeting that a crypto EFT wasn’t necessarily imminent and gave some homely advice that people should “not live or die on when a crypto or Bitcoin ETF gets approved” referring to the SEC’s historical conservatism prone to being  “a little slow with innovations”.

Although her 20-year threat was clearly tongue in cheek, as were references to investors waking up to a complete change in stance by the SEC, the timbre of her comments were clear; a crypto ETF is not imminent. Another, more weighted and slightly cryptic, comment from the same meeting was sure to get news desks busy with their own interpretations:

“Be careful what you ask for. Never underestimate the ability of regulators to think up regulation requirements you have to follow that you never thought of.”

An ominous portent of the future from Crypto Mom, or is she simply teasing?

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Expect ETFs Tomorrow… or in 20 Years Says SEC’s Crypto Mom appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Second Rwandan School Completed with Paxful’s #BuiltWithBitcoin

Second Rwandan School Completed with Paxful's #BuiltWithBitcoin

Recently, Bitcoin News featured as part of its Humanitarian Blockchain series news that an education complex was being constructed as part of Paxful’s #BuiltWithBitcoin program in Rwanda. The story is now revisited to see how much progress has been made.

Paxful Inc operates a peer-to-peer payment logistics platform which focuses on buying and selling of Bitcoin. After a fact-finding trip to South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, it found that Africans were turning to Bitcoin in ever increasing numbers with Paxful’s transactions alone standing at SAR 948 million (USD 66 million) per month. Over the past year, Paxful transactions from South Africa increased by 25%, by 60% in Nigeria and by up to 100% in other parts of the continent. For Africa as a whole, Paxful has seen a 225% increase in users in the last 12 months.

NGO Zam Zam Water, in a cooperative project with Paxful, had planned to raise USD 100,000 for an education center in Rwanda’s Bugesera District comprising two schools back in August. This followed on from the construction of the first primary school earlier in the year using Paxful’s #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative and a donation of USD 50,000 in Bitcoin.

The second, much larger, project has now been fundraised for and completed in the space of just a few short months, providing the region with its second school double the size of the first, with six classrooms and six full-time teachers. The school also has its own cafeteria, potable well, and sustainable solar panel power system.

Paxful has a busy 2019 ahead with numerous projects already in the pipeline. The company announced it wasn’t prepared to stop at its first BTC donation but now had plans to expand on the two completed schools in Rwanda to fund and build a further 100 schools across the African continent. With Bitcoin donations and academic scholarships the prize for socially supportive projects, Paxful is fast becoming a humanitarian face of blockchain. Summarizing these recent events, Paxful’s CEO Ray Youseff commented:

“We encourage the cryptocurrency sector to contribute more to humanitarian projects. The #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative is an example of bitcoin being used as more than a speculative tool, but a testament to the usefulness of cryptocurrency… To date, we have built two schools — a nursery and a primary school in Rwanda, Africa — and provided scholarships to Afghan refugees, and plan to continue these philanthropic ventures.”

There are many reasons why Africans are beginning to turn to cryptocurrencies rather than traditional currencies. Many nationals fall foul of inflation and hyperinflation, resulting in weak and unstable financial systems. Recently, countries such as Zimbabwe, South Sudan, and oil-rich Nigeria have all suffered, many of these countries with inflation rates well into the hundreds of percentages. In these situations, it is hardly surprising that populations look to a more stable form of monetary solution in their daily lives.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Second Rwandan School Completed with Paxful’s #BuiltWithBitcoin appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Recent Calculations Show Global Mining Energy Supply to Be Mostly Renewables Based

The UK based CoinShares has released a report detailing the origins of global energy resources used in Bitcoin mining.

The crypto assets research and investment firm, listed on Stockholm’s NASDAQ/OMX exchange, conducted the survey in answer to critics’ continued arguments that Bitcoin mining is essentially an environmentally harmful activity due to its extreme use of electricity. It was also conducted in response to an article published by University of Hawaii’s Department of Geography and Environment which called on its own research to determine that Bitcoin mining could cause the pollution limits to exceed those stipulated by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The article, written by Camila Mora, asserted that this carbon footprint calculation was achieved by multiplying Bitcoin’s 2017 estimated energy consumption and CO2 emission rates associated with countries from which mined blocks were thought to have been mined. According to Mora:

“By multiplying the electricity consumption of every block in 2017 by the electricity emissions in the country where the proof-of-work was likely to be resolved, we were able to estimate the total CO2 emissions for computing every block in 2017.”

The CoinShares news report has responded to this calculation by calling on industry insider knowledge and data available to the general public in order to put together an estimate of exactly where the energy used by the miners originate. The proposal is that 77.6% of worldwide Bitcoin mining is conducted through the use of renewable energy resources.

CoinShares accuses the University of Hawaii’s report of being inaccurate and oversimplified which lacked the regional economic and political considerations of the CoinShares analysis. The reality, according to the new report is that most of the world’s crypto mining has been conducted in China up until now, which is calculated to be about 60% of global mining, despite many countries being driven overseas due to climbing costs and the search for cooler climates.

China now has a major campaign which is aimed at drawing the country to supplying renewable energy such as solar. The Chinese program, entitled “curtailment” is largely conducted in regions where most Bitcoin mining takes place. Last year China became the world’s highest producer of solar energy. This has resulted in a glut of power which regional grids in these newly labeled areas are simply unable to deal with.

The outcome is that companies mining Bitcoin are moving to the “curtailment “ areas to lower their production costs resulting in extremely high renewable powered mining statistics: 95% of Chinese mining through renewable energy and 80% of total Chinese mining (or 48% of global mining) occurring in Sichuan.

Outside of China, Russia is at the other end of the scale with only 17% of its cryptocurrency mining conducted using renewable energy recourses. Iceland, Georgia, and the Northwestern US, on the other hand, are strong adherents to the use of renewable energy for Bitcoin mining.

Projects are currently underway in the Sahara using a 900-megawatt wind farm south of Marrakesh, and in Japan using solar power through the Kumamoto Electric Power Company

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Recent Calculations Show Global Mining Energy Supply to Be Mostly Renewables Based appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

SEC Commissioner Peirce: ETF “Definitely Possible”

In a podcast aired on 24 November, SEC commissioner Hester Peirce has commented that the launch of a future cryptocurrency ETF is “definitely possible”.

Her comments could signal a change in the SEC’s stance on ETFs which until now have failed to get through the regulator’s screening process.

However, the comments by Peirce are her own, as she makes clear in the podcast, and not necessarily those of the SEC as a whole. Nonetheless, the commissioner has pointed out that she sees “significant intellectual capital” being invested by both institutional investors and exchanges towards the development of a Bitcoin ETF.

It is worth noting that Peirce represents one-fifth of the SEC’s regulatory body in terms of managing the entire regulatory landscape environment for security investments in the United States, so her views carry significant weight in terms of being a mouthpiece for the government body.

Peirce is perhaps better known for her criticism of how the SEC handled the Winklevoss twins’ rejected application for an ETF in July of this year. At the time, she commented:

“I think that one of the reasons is that in the past, with other applications for commodities – you might think of metals – [the SEC] also looked at the underlying markets. I would argue that this also was not the right approach at looking at those. Of course, that was well before my time here. But, in addition, I think that there is concern around new technologies, and I think some of that is reflected in the disapproval order.”

She added that she felt that the SEC in general treats innovation with caution, feeling that the body maintains it is safer to simply “put the brakes on” than to approve ETF applications. The commissioner suggests that the SEC needed to figure out a way of being less cautious and letting “innovation go forward” rather than being concerned about criticism if projects fail.

The ETF debate is a topical one at present, particularly with Bitcoin struggling to find any stability in the market, and along with the adoption of cryptocurrencies by institutional investors, the approval of ETFs is now being seen as the industry’s saving grace.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post SEC Commissioner Peirce: ETF “Definitely Possible” appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

New Social Messaging, Trading Apps Attempt to Solve Dapp Dilemma

A new decentralized app called DappGram has been launched with claims to enhance communication among global blockchain users. It joins a slew of similar recent blockchain-based social messaging apps such as TronChat, Status and LINE, each hoping to reinvigorate flagging public interest in decentralized applications (Dapps).

Dapps were commonly seen as a practical means to take blockchain technology to the mainstream, with some experts predicting their popularity would one day surpass that of applications built by giant corporations, due to their increasing utility, userbase and network valuation.

However, the thousands of Dapps already created have seemingly failed to achieve the much-touted utility even with superior incentivization models, transparency and decentralized features.

According to its developers, DappGram promises to address the imbalance of information between users and blockchain companies by offering a full range service such as real-time transaction, information access, and other features.

Zerion founder, Evgeny Yuttaev, suggests that most ICOs seem to be in search of the next Bitcoin or Ethereum in search of massive profits, but what is really needed is projects which can change peoples lives, and for this to happen, Dapps need to become mainstream.

The new app hopes to revitalize interest in Dapps by offering more focused features than popular cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app Telegram. DappGram promises trading quotes, transactions, crypto wallet facilities, and chat with community projects, therefore, enabling the monitoring of the cryptocurrency market in real time. An extra useful function enables users to register with simply their mobile number. In a company statement, it said:

“DappGram is more than an ordinary social network based Dapp, it has been projected to become the largest and best-connected platform in the blockchain industry and aimed to help blockchain players as much as possible.”

Currently, there are 1,565 decentralized apps built on the Ethereum blockchain alone, unsurprising given Ethereum’s historical place in the development of blockchain solutions. However, according to a study by crypto research publication Diar, the usage of decentralized apps on Ethereum has been declining sharply, with users declining 56% from January 2018 to July 2018.

Dapp detractors include Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, who feels similar apps which pose a challenge to Ethereum consistently fail, although such a view is hardly surprising given where the network originated from – a smart contract exploit.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post New Social Messaging, Trading Apps Attempt to Solve Dapp Dilemma appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Blockchain Already Outstrips Internet Development, Says Expert

The UK’s Daily Telegraph reminds readers of where blockchain development is at this point by drawing a comparison to 1994 and the development of the internet to illustrate just exactly how fast it is becoming a part of everyday life.

It points out the disruptive nature of blockchain and the speed at which funds can be now sent anywhere in the world with complete security and how it will get faster and even more efficient. In terms of development, blockchain has already outpaced the development of the internet.

In 1994, the opening of the world’s first internet café in London — the Cafe Cyberia near Tottenham Court Rd in the heart of the city, heralded in the age of the net and mass adoption. Blockchain experts agree that this is about where the development of the technology is right now.

The blockchain’s ability to let anyone send digital value to anyone else around the world in a secure, efficient and affordable manner promises to have the same disruptive impact the internet has had on our world over the past 25 years.

In the blink of an eye, cryptocurrencies including the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP are on the cusp of becoming household names. A vast number of sectors across all jurisdictions are already seeing witnessing the foundation that gave birth to these digital currencies become more significant.

Whether it be the financial sector, IT, research and development, supply chain, travel, commerce, defense, local and federal government administration, and even space travel, there is no sector where blockchain technology is not at least being considered. So much so, in fact, universities and educational establishments around the world, along with many of the world’s major banking systems, are knocking at its door.

It’s therefore hard to reconcile this rapid adoption with the fact that cryptocurrencies were only launched a few years ago. Given the rapidity of this development, compared to that of the internet it’s hardly surprising when prominent pundits and experts in the burgeoning industry make declarations, such as venture capital investor and cryptocurrency commentator Tim Draper. Earlier this year, he declared that Bitcoin could be bigger than the internet:

“It’s bigger than the Iron Age, the Renaissance. It’s bigger than the Industrial Revolution. This affects the entire world and it’s going to be affected in a faster and more prevalent way than you ever imagined.”

Draper pointed out that eventually no one would be interested in holding cryptocurrency, arguing that “in five years you are going to try to go buy coffee with fiat currency and they are going to laugh at you because you’re not using crypto.”

The predictions are that, just as the internet created the email, which even now has become the “Wells Fargo Stagecoach” equivalent in terms of sending information, given the development of online chat and messaging apps, blockchain will spawn a vast array of alternative uses so far not even considered.

In only 10 years of existence, blockchain is at the level that the internet was about 35 years later, this suggests that the world is in for a fast and exciting ride on the blockchain trail.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Blockchain Already Outstrips Internet Development, Says Expert appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.