Daily Archives: November 1, 2021

AWS Seeks a Specialist to Develop Amazon’s ‘Digital Currency and Blockchain Strategy Roadmap’

AWS Seeks a Specialist to Develop Amazon’s 'Digital Currency and Blockchain Strategy Roadmap'

This past summer the American multinational technology company, Amazon, published two job listings for a blockchain lead and a digital currency expert. Now Amazon Web Services (AWS) is looking for a principal digital assets specialist that can “help drive adoption across the global digital asset community.”

AWS Is Looking for a Principal Digital Assets Specialist

One of the ‘Big Five’ tech companies, Amazon, has shown signs of interest in cryptocurrency solutions and blockchain technology for quite some time now. For instance, on May 26, 2020, the company patented a “distributed ledger certification” protocol. In February 2021, the e-commerce giant posted a job listing for a software development manager to lead a blockchain pilot project located in Mexico, alongside Amazon’s “Digital and Emerging Payments” division.

This past June, the company’s employment portal said Amazon was seeking a blockchain expert in order to create “business use cases across decentralized finance (defi).” The following month, it was revealed Amazon published an employment advertisement for the e-commerce firm’s Payments Acceptance & Experience team. At the time, Amazon’s listing sought “an experienced product leader to develop Amazon’s digital currency and blockchain strategy and product roadmap.”

Now Amazon Web Services (AWS) is hiring a “principal digital assets specialist” in New York to lead the firm’s fintech team. The job posting was published on October 30, and at the time of writing, there have been 26 applicants so far. AWS is hoping for someone with seven or more years of fintech business development and an individual with “exposure to distributed ledger or blockchain technologies.”

“​​You will work directly with some of our most strategic customers [including] leading global financial institutions and innovative fintechs,” the AWS digital assets specialist job listing states. “Helping them drive change at the most senior levels (CIOs, CDOs, Line of Business leaders) as they transform the way they transact digital assets (ex. cryptocurrencies, CBDCs, [stablecoins], security-backed tokens, asset-backed tokens and NFTs) from price discovery to execution, settlement and custody,” the listing description adds.

While Amazon has been on the hunt for digital currency experts and blockchain tech leads, a slew of other well known firms have been searching for the same type of talent. This month the social news aggregation and discussion website, Reddit published an ad seeking a senior engineer for a platform that features “NFT-backed digital goods.”

After Reddit’s job listing, the video game retail giant Gamestop published a similar employment listing seeking a senior engineer for blockchain NFT platform.

What do you think about AWS seeking a principal digital assets specialist? Do you think Amazon is preparing to support crypto solutions or integrate blockchain technology any time soon? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Mining Operation Genesis Digital Assets Announces New Data Center in West Texas

Bitcoin Mining Operation Genesis Digital Assets Announces New Data Center in West Texas

Following a number of ASIC mining rig acquisitions from the manufacturer Canaan, the bitcoin mining operation Genesis Digital Assets announced on Monday that the firm is developing an industrial-scale bitcoin mining data center in West Texas. According to the announcement, Genesis says that the new facility will have 300 megawatts of capacity with a “low carbon footprint.”

Genesis Announces New Bitcoin Mining Facility With 300 Megawatts of Capacity

The mining firm Genesis Digital Assets has announced the launch of a new bitcoin mining facility that will be located in West Texas. The Genesis data center will get energy from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The entity ERCOT is a large power supplier in Texas and statistics say the firm supplies 90 percent of the state’s electric load. Genesis stresses that the new data center with 300 megawatts will showcase “sustainable infrastructure, high efficiency, and a low carbon footprint.”

The Texas facility announcement follows a slew of mining rig acquisitions Genesis took part in with the Chinese ASIC manufacturer Canaan. In August, Bitcoin.com News reported on Genesis buying 20,000 ASIC miners from Canaan and the firm was given the option to acquire 180,000 ASIC mining rigs at a later date. Genesis details that the new operation in West Texas will “create job opportunities” and provide “work for local contractors.”

Abdumalik Mirakhmedov, the executive chairman and co-founder of Genesis Digital Assets, confirms that the new facility will help bolster local employment opportunities. “As we continue our rapid expansion plans in the United States, we remain committed to our sustainability and social commitments, by identifying ways to power our industrial-scale bitcoin mining farms with renewable energy and create job opportunities for the local communities in which we operate,” Mirakhmedov said in a statement.

Genesis Hopes to Manage 1.4 GW of New Data Centers by 2023

Genesis recently signed a significant procurement deal and also raised more than $550 million in financing this year. The recent Genesis funding was led by Paradigm, and Alameda Research, Ribbit, Electric Capital, NYDIG, Stoneridge, Skybridge, and Kingsway Capital participated. The mining operation hopes to run “1.4 GW of new data centers by 2023” and as of today, Genesis maintains over 170 megawatts or 3.8 Exahashes (EH/s) of dedicated hashpower toward the Bitcoin (BTC) network.

“We’re full speed ahead on our mission to provide the infrastructure that will power the future of money,” said Andrey Kim, the COO and co-founder of Genesis Digital Assets. “This new data center marks another key milestone as we work towards executing on our big picture vision.”

Meanwhile, a number of bitcoin mining operations have been migrating to the state of Texas like Bitmain, Argo Blockchain, and EZ Blockchain. Just recently a number of oil producers met with bitcoin mining industry heavyweights to see how the two industries could collaborate. Texas has been steadily transitioning into a major bitcoin mining hub during the last year.

What do you think about Genesis Digital Assets announcing a new bitcoin data center in West Texas? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

New Data Shows Red Hot US Inflation Highest in 30 Years — Analyst Says Rising Inflation Could Hit a ‘Tipping Point’

Inflation continues to remain hot in the United States as supply constraints and higher oil prices continue, seeing barrels of crude surge above $80 per unit. Meanwhile, data released on Friday indicates that consumer expenditures have risen to 4.4%, the highest run-up of inflation the country has seen in 30 years.

Inflation Continues to Rise in US

Americans are dealing with higher inflation levels these days as new data indicates that personal consumption expenditures have spiked in September to 4.4%. Reuters reports that the inflation run-up is “continuing a run of inflation at levels not seen in 30 years.” Americans losing purchasing power has been attributed to supply chain shortages, sky-high oil prices, and the ongoing Covid-19 procedures mandated by the Biden administration.

Reuters reporter Howard Schneider explains that the rising inflation levels in the U.S. could undermine Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s claims that inflation will be “transitory.” However, Cornerstone Macro economist Nancy Lazar believes Powell’s transitory claims will be correct. “We think deflation is the word” for the coming year, Lazar remarked. The economist added:

The inflation debate is going to shift to wages very, very quickly.

University of Michigan Analyst Says There Could Be a ‘Tipping Point’ Where ‘Consumers’ Incomes Can No Longer Keep Pace With Escalating Inflation’

Meanwhile, Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics says wage growth may not rise as fast as inflation. During the fourth quarter, it “ought to be clear” Shepherdson stressed in a recent interview and added, “we think it is entirely reasonable to expect wage growth to slow as labor supply rebounds.”

Additionally, on Friday the University of Michigan explained its consumer sentiment survey slid from 72.8 points to 71.7. Year-ahead inflation expectations are at the highest levels in the U.S. since 2008, according to the survey’s chief economist Richard Curtin. “This was the first major spike in inflation uncertainty recorded outside of a recession,” Curtin told Yahoo Finance. For now, Curtin says consumers are tolerating the inflation but in time Americans may become less patient.

“These reactions promote an accelerating inflation rate until a tipping point is reached when consumers’ incomes can no longer keep pace with escalating inflation,” Curtin concluded during his interview.

What do you think about the rising inflation in the U.S.? Do you think inflation will be transitory or not? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Burger King Giving Away Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin in Partnership With Robinhood

Burger King Giving Away Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin in Partnership With Robinhood

Burger King is giving away 20 bitcoin, 200 ether, and two million dogecoin this month in partnership with trading platform Robinhood. “Each entrant may receive up to 21 Prize Codes” that can be redeemed for cryptocurrencies on Robinhood.

‘Burger King With a Side of Crypto’

Fast food restaurant chain Burger King has announced “Burger King with a side of crypto,” its newest offer for Royal Perks members.

To be eligible to participate, customers must “make a minimum $5.00 pre-tax Burger King (‘BK’) food and/or beverage purchase” either online at BK.com, using the BK app, or at participating BK restaurants, the company explained, adding:

The prize pool includes two million dogecoin, 200 ethereum and 20 bitcoin, so only 220 guests could receive a bitcoin or ethereum cryptocurrency prize.

“There will be 2,000,220 Prize Codes available as of the start of the promotion,” Burger King further detailed. Participants must be Royal Perks members, for which sign-up is free.

According to the company’s estimates, the “odds of winning each prize at the start are approximately: Bitcoin Prize: 1:100,011 (20 available); Ethereum Prize: 1:10,001 (200 available) and Dogecoin Prize: 1:1 (2 million available).” However, the “Odds will change as prizes are distributed,” and “Unclaimed Prizes will not be awarded,” the fast-food company added.

Customers will receive an email from Burger King shortly after making a qualifying purchase that includes a prize code. There is a limit of one prize code per person per day.

The Burger King crypto promotion has two phases. The first is the “Prize Code Receipt” phase; the second is the “Prize Claim” phase. Both phases began on Nov. 1 at 10:00 a.m. EST. The first phase will end on Nov. 21 at 11:59 p.m. EST and the second phase on Dec. 17 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Participants have until the end of the second phase to claim their prize codes through Robinhood. “You will need to open a Robinhood Crypto account and download the Robinhood app to claim your cryptocurrency prize,” Burger King noted.

The fast-food chain clarified:

Once all Prize Codes have been distributed, the Prize Code Receipt Phase will end, even if this is before November 21, 2021. Each entrant may receive up to 21 Prize Codes.

The official Burger King crypto promotion rules can be found here.

Will you participate in this Burger King crypto giveaway? Let us know in the comments section below.

An In-Depth Look at Olympus DAO Protocol and the Not-So-Stable Stablecoin OHM

An In-Depth Look at Olympus DAO Protocol and the Not so Stable Stablecoin OHM

In mid-October, Bitcoin.com News reported on how decentralized finance (defi) or algorithmic stablecoins have seen significant demand in 2021. One particular stablecoin called OHM is quite different from the traditional reserve currency defi protocols today, as OHM is a free-floating currency backed only by what’s held in the Olympus DAO treasury. OHM may not be backed by a U.S. dollar in the usual fashion, but the stablecoin’s $3.6 billion market valuation makes it the fifth-largest crypto reserve currency by market capitalization.

Meet Olympus DAO: An Algorithmic Currency Protocol

When stablecoins were first introduced, a centralized model appeared where a blockchain network is used to distribute tokens that have fiat backing held by an audited third-party custodian. The centralized model still exists today, and the top two stablecoins in terms of market valuation, USDT and USDC are both perfect examples of that type of model. In recent times, decentralized finance (defi) or algorithmic stablecoins have appeared, like Makerdao’s DAI.

Makerdao is an Ethereum-based decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that issues the stablecoin DAI which is essentially backed by a mixture of overcollateralized loans and Makerdao’s repayment scheme. DAO’s are basically frameworks encoded from smart contracts and network participants influence the organization’s motives. Makerdao facilitates loans and issues a token pegged to the price of the U.S. dollar without an intermediary.

Following the success of Makerdao’s DAI stablecoin, a great number of decentralized stablecoins have been joining the crypto economy. Coingecko’s “Top Stablecoins by Market Capitalization” list shows a great number of these blockchain assets are backed by fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar. However, a project called the Olympus DAO developed a very different reserve currency protocol that issues the OHM token. Unlike DAI or USDC which are pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar, OHM’s reserves are crypto assets held by the Olympus Treasury.

The Olympus DAO team introduced the DAO on February 1, 2021, and the intro post explains that the project is different as it’s a free-floating currency backed by the treasury. “Each OHM token is backed by 1 DAI in the treasury,” the Olympus DAO introduction explains. “However, tokens can’t be minted or burned by anyone except the protocol. The protocol only does so in response to price. When OHM trades below 1 DAI, the protocol buys back and burns OHM; when OHM trades above 1 DAI, the protocol mints and sells new OHM.” The project’s intro blog post adds:

Because the treasury must hold 1 DAI and only 1 DAI for each OHM, every time it buys or sells it makes a profit. It either gets more than 1 DAI for the sale, or spent less than 1 DAI on the purchase. The fact that the protocol holds DAI for each token allows us to say with certainty that OHM will not trade below its intrinsic value in the long term. This allows investments to be made with defined risk.

Olympus DAO participants can interact with the project’s governance model, stake OHM, as well as leverage a strategy called bonding. OHM’s first recorded value on May 23, 2021, was around $162.79 per OHM. The value has increased by over 540% since then and today a single OHM is exchanging hands for $1,057 per unit. The crypto asset OHM’s market cap is around $3.6 billion and the number of OHM in circulation grew by 120% in the last 30 days. Statistics show there’s $126 million in OHM global trading volume and 3,517,713 OHM in circulation at the time of writing.

Olympus DAO Faces Pyramid Accusations, Smart Contract Vulnerabilities, Price Crashes, and Issues With Regulators

While many proponents say that people shouldn’t dismiss OHM and the Olympus DAO, and some refer to it as the first “decentralized central bank,” others have called the project a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. Still others have complained about OHM’s volatility and while OHM aims to be a stablecoin backed by treasury assets, price stability is not the ultimate goal. An Okex Academy blog post about the Olympus DAO subject discusses a variety of risks the project could face like smart contract vulnerabilities, price crashes, and regulatory issues with governments.

These days there’s $137 billion in value across the list of stablecoins that exist currently and much of the trades and settlements within the crypto economy are settled in digitized dollars. Zeus, the pseudonymous Olympus DAO founder, thinks that the trend is contradictory to the crypto revolution’s main goals — to compete and eventually replace fiat currencies.

“There’s a strange irony to the fact that the most utilized cryptocurrency is really just a digitized dollar,” Zeus said this July. “While functional stablecoins may achieve a stable USD value, that does not mean they’re stable in purchasing power. Their real value changes just like dollars in a bank account.”

What do you think about the Olympus DAO project and the stablecoin OHM? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

How to Recover a Lost Dogechain.info Wallet Password and Unblock 2FA – KeychainX Expert Explains

Have you lost the password for a Dogechain.info wallet or have it locked behind 2FA and fear you will never get to hold your precious coins ever again? Good news, KeychainX wrote a handy guide on how to recover such wallets. This is a trusted service provider that specializes in recovering lost Bitcoin wallets from wallet.dat files, Dogecoin wallet passwords, Android wallet or spending PIN, Ethereum JSON files, presale wallets and can even decrypt blockchain.info 15,17,19 or 21 word mnemonic seed that is no longer officially supported.

Dogechain.info Wallets Can Be Recovered

According to a recent KeychainX article, the team has been able to recover a number of dogechain.info wallets that both had their password lost and their 2FA blocked over the course of the previous month. Dogechain.info is a self custodian doge wallet that uses the same parameters like blockchain.info used back in 2015. It has the wallet ID, 2FA security and the encrypted wallet and keys stored on a server in the cloud. However, if you have the wallet ID but forgot the password Dogechain.info can not help you reset it, there is no easy way to reset 2FA too and you can not even simply click to request a wallet backup needed to brute force the password.

So how do you actually go about recovering your doge? KeychainX explains: To get the wallet backup, you will need to load up Google Chrome and activate the developer tools. Go into the network tab and keep it open. In the main browser window, open up the dogechain.info webpage (Warning: look out for fake impersonators, or your doge will be gone!). Go to login wallet, type in your wallet ID, and anything for the password. Next, go to the network tab, select API and there you will have the encrypted seed that is your wallet.

Once you have the API code, you can try to brute force it, which means that if you have any or small idea of the wallet password, you can find it. After you successfully find the password you will need to import the private key to a wallet of yours choice. You will need to decrypt the wallet using OpenSSL, and after that is done run it through doge core. This can take a few hours at least, so be ready for that. After the importing process is finished the funds should show up in the wallet.

How to Recover a Lost Dogechain.info Wallet Password and Unblock 2FA - KeychainX Expert Explains

KeychainX Is Moving to Crypto Valley

If you are not yet familiar with KeychainX, it is a cryptocurrency wallet recovery service operating since 2017. The company recovered wallet keys for many clients from all over the world and you can see some of their raving reviews on Trustpilot where KeychainX has an almost perfect 4.9 ‘Excellent’ score. Read this article about how it unlocks different types of wallets, here about its work with blockchain wallets and here about specifically recovering keys from Multibit Classic or Multibit HD.

KeychainX is currently relocating from its birthplace in the U.S., to Zug, Switzerland – a part of the world known in the blockchain community as Crypto Valley due to its concentration of relevant companies. Robert Rhodin, the CEO of the company, is naturally one of the leading experts in the field of crypto wallet recovery. He was thus recently invited to the Token 2049 event in London to give a lecture about the possibility of recovering $100 billion in lost crypto. Watch the full presentation below:

To learn more about the company visit KeychainX.io or just send an email to [email protected] if you need to talk about password recovery.

This is a sponsored post. Learn how to reach our audience here. Read disclaimer below.

Defi Losing Track of Its Core Vision as It Gradually Resembles the Very Idea It Aspired to Change

As defi continues to expand, it risks embracing the very ideology it initially sought to reject as the primary beneficiaries of this new financing paradigm are those who already own digital assets.

Replacing Intermediaries Doesn’t Directly Improve Finance

When it comes to financial products and solutions, almost everything comes with a catch, be it exceptional returns on investments or low financing rates. Decentralized finance (defi) is no exception.

Defi has gained immense popularity because it sought to remove traditional finance’s (tradfi) inherent problems and downsides. While there is no denying that the emergence of defi has indeed lowered access barriers to financial solutions, we can’t overlook the uncomfortable reality that defi is becoming, at least to an extent, the same as tradfi, with a ‘decentralized’ tag.

The Blurring Line Between Defi and Tradfi Lending

In the traditional system, anyone who wants to borrow funds from banks or private lenders must furnish their credit score. If the score meets the criteria, the loan is approved at a fair rate. If the credit score is low, the borrower might need to compromise for higher rates. In some cases, the lender may also ask the borrower to post collateral for the loan.

While defi exchanges central authorities with a peer-to-peer system, accessing products like defi lending requires borrowers to post substantial collateral, often higher than the total amount they want to borrow, called over-collateralization. Moreover, entering the defi market and using its financial products demands an understanding of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies — knowledge possessed by a fraction of the global population.

Defi lending initially set out to facilitate “true decentralized lending” whereby anyone in need of capital could obtain a loan without any middlemen. Unfortunately, that’s not what today’s defi lending resembles. It has effectively evolved into another mechanism for existing digital asset holders to generate yields by putting what they already own to work. Today’s defi is not empowering the global unbanked.

As such, it seems that defi is more lender-oriented and not as inclusive as advertised. Take, for instance, the parabolic growth of the defi lending ecosystem in recent months. The leading defi lending platforms and protocols have accumulated a total value locked (TVL) of more than $60 billion.

AAVE, an open-source and non-custodial lending and borrowing protocol, has almost $20.96 billion TVL spread across staking and liquidity pools on Avalanche, Ethereum, and Polygon. Likewise, at the time of writing, Maker DAO boasts a TVL of $17.06 billion and rising, Compound has a TVL of $11.33 billion, and Instadapp commands roughly $12.17 billion TVL, highlighting the meteoric growth of defi in general.

The lines between tradfi and defi are blurring at an alarming pace. Here’s an example.

A small business owner from a developing country is in need of financing. Unfortunately, they don’t have access to traditional financial services. Somehow they happen upon defi lending and create an account on one of the existing platforms. When they apply for funding, they realize the collateral demands will be more than they want to borrow, which obviously they don’t have.

We must also look at the other side, the defi lending platform’s perspective. Understandably, defi lending platforms need collateral to safeguard lenders’ investments. But does it justify the need for overcollateralized loans? For now, defi is not bringing unbanked people into the system but rather rewarding privileged crypto holders with yield for their existing assets.

Non-Collateralized Defi Lending: Great in Theory, but Downsides Exist

Honestly, there aren’t any non-collateralized defi lending platforms (none that I could find), except for Gluwa, an alternative financial system for the unbanked. Gluwa has partnered with various international companies like Aella, Multis, Creditcoin, Jenfi, Wyre, Gopax, and Consensys in emerging markets. Its integration with Aella’s consumer credit app reached more than two million customers across Africa. To date, Gluwa and Aella have facilitated more than a million transactions, creating more than 28 million blocks in the process.

Gluwa doesn’t require users to post collateral. But there’s a catch. The interest rate on these non-collateralized loans is much higher than the usual collateralized defi loans available from AAVE, Compound, and similar platforms.

As such, Gluwa, although a defi solution, shares many similar traits with the traditional lending-borrowing paradigm, like private non-collateralized lending where the lender takes on high-risk borrowers and passes along this risk in the form of higher interest rates.

The Way Forward

Between over-collateralized defi loans and high-interest non-collateralized ones, there’s a lot to consider. While platforms ask for collateral, they indeed make it easy for anyone to access capital with the click of a button. But then again, only for people who already own digital assets. It negates the idea of inclusivity and equal opportunity for all — essentially the foundations of defi. The other side of the defi coin is that non-collateralized loans charge higher interest rates to balance the risk, which again defeats defi’s vision of fair and justified earning for all.

A truly decentralized lending and borrowing process has to balance the risk and return equally for both lenders and borrowers, which is difficult to achieve. So, in the future, we may witness a better version of decentralized lending, or we may end up with “truly” decentralized lending, that perfectly resembles the traditional financial market, thus coming full circle and becoming the very thing it once wanted to change.

What do you think of defi lending today — fair, or not? Let us know in the comments section below.

South African Finance Minister Seeks to Stop Pension Funds From Investing in Cryptocurrencies

South African finance minister Enoch Godongwana has put forward proposals that bar pension funds from investing in cryptocurrencies, and has also set November 12 as the public comment deadline.

Cryptocurrencies a Grey Area

According to a report by Business Insider SA, Godongwana’s timeframe for the public to comment on the draft proposals suggests he wants the changes to come into effect before the end of the year.

Prior to Godongwana’s proposals, South African pension funds considered cryptocurrencies a grey area where an investment of up to 2.5% of assets held was permissible. However, as the Business Insider explains, this ambiguous part of regulations used by pension funds to legally invest in cryptocurrencies will be removed once the minister’s proposed changes get approval.

“A [pension] fund may not invest in crypto-assets directly or indirectly,” the report explained, quoting new rules published in a government document.

Meanwhile, the finance ministry’s draft proposals suggest Godongwana is also seeking to expand the definition of cryptocurrencies to include derivatives such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as well as any digital asset not issued by central banks. In the report, Godongwana’s proposed definition of cryptocurrencies read:

‘[C]rypto-asset’ means a digital representation of value that is not issued by a central bank, but is capable of being traded, transferred or stored electronically by natural and legal persons for the purpose of payment, investment and other forms of utility; applies cryptographic techniques and uses distributed ledger technology.

South African Regulators Working to Find Right Framework

As the report notes, Godongwana’s determination to stop pension funds from investing in cryptocurrencies comes as South African regulators are attempting to find the appropriate framework to govern the blockchain industry. For instance, in June 2021, South Africa’s Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) released its new position paper calling for the regulation of the country’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Similarly, Bitcoin.com News reported in July that the South African Revenue Services had made changes to its online tax filing system in a move that targeted cryptocurrency arbitrage traders.

Just like other South African regulators that have used consumer protection considerations to justify their actions against cryptocurrencies, Godongwana’s ministry also uses similar arguments to support the draft proposals. It asserts the proposed changes will ensure protection by limiting the extent to which retirement funds may invest in a particular asset or in particular asset classes.

What are your thoughts about this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Venezuelan Authorities Seize More Than 100 Miners From Clandestine Bitcoin Mining Operation


Venezuelan authorities seized over a hundred mining machines in a residential area of a central state. According to reports, the mining farm was operating illegally without permits that the national cryptocurrency watchdog, Sunacrip, requires for these operations. The seizure was led by the national police, officers from the national power company, and personnel from Sunacrip.

Venezuelan Mining Farm Seized by Authorities

Authorities seized over a hundred miners that were operating illegally in a clandestine farm located in a residential zone in Miranda, a central state in Venezuela. According to reports from local media, authorities located the farm due to the strain it was imposing on the power distribution system in the area. This prompted an inspection by the police and authorities from both the national power company (Corpoelec) and the national cryptocurrency watchdog (Sunacrip) to check for unreported mining activity.

The farm was dismantled and the mining equipment was seized by Sunacrip. Mining cryptocurrencies is a completely legal operation in Venezuela, but it requires a series of permits issued by Sunacrip designed to protect the electrical system from potential strains. However, due to past occurrences, some miners just choose to mine in an underground way, avoiding the oversight of Sunacrip, and giving opportunity for these events to happen.

Sunacrip has repeatedly made calls for miners to register with the organization, giving guarantees to miners.

More Seizures Happening

This is not the only seizure these authorities have carried out in the state. 165 mining machines were seized from a warehouse in the same state, that also lacked the necessary permits to operate in the area. Like the most recent incident, this seizure was also a joint action of police forces and Sunacrip officers. This year, Sunacrip had to require that these visits should always be made in the company of a Sunacrip officer, to avoid possible irregularities in the inspection process.

Further, in June, more than 400 miners were seized due to a lack of permits when transporting the machines. The authorities confiscated the mining cargo at a road checkpoint.

But even registered Venezuelan miners have had problems with power company officers and Sunacrip before. In August, officers from the national power company cut the power supply to registered Bitcoin miners in strange circumstances in the state of Carabobo. Sunacrip was able to mediate between the affected parties, and miners were reconnected to the power grid after a week.

What do you think about the seizure of bitcoin mining machines in Venezuela? Tell us in the comments section below.

Up to 12 Million Iranians Own Cryptocurrency, Traders Choose Local Exchanges

Up to 12 Million Iranians Own Cryptocurrency, Traders Choose Local Exchanges

Cryptocurrencies are a popular investment among Iranians and estimates suggest that the number of those who already own one coin or another may be as high as 12 million. The majority of Iranian traders prefer the services of local crypto exchanges, the chief executive of one of them claims.

Iranians Said to Transfer $180 Million in Crypto Daily

Despite the lack of proper rules for most of the crypto space and the government stance on the matter, a growing number of Iranians have been investing in decentralized digital money over the past months and years. “An estimated seven to 12 million Iranians own cryptocurrencies,” according to Hamed Mirzaei, CEO of Bitestan, one of the country’s crypto exchanges.

“Iranians’ daily crypto transactions is estimated between 30 and 50 trillion rials ($181 million), while there is no regulation over trade in cryptocurrencies,” Mirzaei was recently quoted as saying by Peyvast magazine. According to a report by the English-language business portal Financial Tribune, the executive also pointed out:

More than 88% of the deals are conducted via local exchange platforms.

This amount, Mirzaei elaborated, is higher than the total of all capital market transactions in the Islamic Republic. “An estimated seven to 12 million Iranians own cryptocurrencies,” the blockchain entrepreneur also revealed to Iranian media.

Mirzaei’s comments come after earlier this year Iranian officials voiced concerns over crypto assets attracting capital from traditional markets. In early May, digital coin trading platforms were accused of taking advantage of the volatile state of the stock market, where deals had seen a significant decline since last summer. At the time, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) advised Iranians to avoid cryptocurrency, warning them that these investments would be at their own risk.

Later that month, the parliament’s leadership asked the National Tax Administration to profile the owners of Iranian cryptocurrency exchanges and report back. The Speaker of the Majlis, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, stated that imposing a ban on crypto trade is not enough and called on the CBI to develop precise regulations for the sector. In July, members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly proposed a bill aimed at adopting rules for the exchange market.

Restrictions on crypto trading would deprive Iran of opportunities, Iranian fintech companies warned this year, expressing their opposition to government attempts to curb the operations of crypto exchanges. In April, the CBI authorized domestic banks and money exchangers to use locally mined cryptocurrencies to pay for imports but authorities went after other coin trade. The startups insisted crypto trading is not illegal and called on lawmakers and regulators to adopt rules allowing the sanctioned country to continue to benefit from decentralized money transfers.

Do you think Iranian authorities will change their stance on cryptocurrency exchange and investment? Share your expectations in the comments section below.