Author: Dan Taylor

Bitfinex restarts fiat deposits via ‘improved’ system

Embattled cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has reinstated fiat deposits, claiming its new system is much “improved” following significant user problems at the exchange in recent times.

The development follows on from the firm’s decision to suspend fiat deposits last week, which the exchange attributed to unspecified “processing complications.” At the time, the decision caused some panic amongst Bitfinex users, fearful the exchange could be the next to unexpectedly hit the rocks.

While Tuesday’s announcement will be comfort to those affected, including the more vocal complaints on social media, it remains to be seen whether Bitfinex has done enough to calm the nerves of their customers.

According to the crypto exchange, the new depositing process will be limited to customers who have been through the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process, offering deposits across several international fiat currencies: USD, GBP, EUR and JPY, respectively.

Customers can deposit fiat currency to their account by firstly initiating a deposit request, which is then reviewed before being executed by Bitfinex on a case by case basis.

In a blog post introducing the new measures, Bitfinex described its depositing system as more “resilient,” with almost conspiratorial suggestions of an organised campaign against their business over the issue.

“We believe this system to be significantly more durable in the face of sustained attacks by our competition and their supporters. Ongoing campaigns against us will only result in our company becoming stronger and better,” according to the crypto exchange.

Under the new system, deposits will be processed in 6-10 days, and must be of a minimum amount of $10,000. Bitfinex will manually approve accounts, and the service is only available to verified, KYC-compliant users. In all cases, a fee of 0.1000% applies to each deposit.

Thanking their customers for their patience, Bitfinex praised their “continued understanding throughout the entirety of this situation.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Bitfinex restarts fiat deposits via ‘improved’ system appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More

ICO falsely claiming SEC approval faces lawsuit

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has won the backing of a U.S. court to halt an initial coin offering (ICO) that has been making wild claims about its regulatory status.

In the latest example of the SEC ramping up efforts against scam coins and ICOs, the commission petitioned a court to secure an emergency order against Blockvest LLC and its founder, Reginald Buddy Ringgold III.

The order concerns pre-ICO sales being promoted by the firm, which had been found to be claiming registered status and approval from the SEC—claims which were in fact untrue. This allegedly also included the use of SEC graphics and logos, ostensibly to convince investors on a false prospectus.

In a statement, the regulator said using the SEC seal without permission is in itself a violation of federal law.

“Blockvest and Ringgold, who also goes by the name Rasool Abdul Rahim El, were using the SEC seal without permission, a violation of federal law, and falsely claiming their crypto fund was ‘licensed and regulated,’” according to the SEC.

The SEC complaint also claimed Ringgold promoted the ICO with a fake agency he created called the “Blockchain Exchange Commission,” using a graphic similar to the SEC’s seal and the same address as SEC headquarters.”

In response, a district court in California issued the order, which grants the SEC the powers to freeze company assets, while making several other provisions for emergency relief.

Robert A. Cohen of the SEC’s Enforcement Division Cyber Unit said, “We allege that this ICO is using both the SEC seal and a made-up crypto regulatory authority to trick investors into believing the ICO was approved by regulators…The SEC does not endorse investment products and investors should be highly skeptical of any claims suggesting otherwise.”

The case is the latest example of the SEC clamping down on misleading and fraudulent ICOs, with several similar enforcement actions initiating and concluding in recent weeks. With regulators now increasingly determined to tackle this dubious corner of the crypto sector, it looks like time is running out for promoters of dodgy ICOs.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post ICO falsely claiming SEC approval faces lawsuit appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More

Embattled crypto exchange Zaif lays out plan for customer financial support

The embattled Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif has published its plan for customer financial support, in the wake of a hack that cost the firm losses of up to JPY6.7 billion ($59.7 million). The attack resulted in Zaif’s parent company, Tech Bureau Inc., seeking external support to cover stolen customer assets.

With the details published on Wednesday, the firm has effectively announced its business will be transferred to Fisco Digital Asset Group, which is expected to conclude in November. In the documentation, Tech Bureau Inc. noted that the business transfer method was the best solution to the issue, factoring in the need to minimise risks and to protects its customers.

Tech Bureau reported that it had reached a basic agreement involving consideration last Sept. 20 to provide “financial support of JPY5 billion, enter a capital alliance enabling acquisition of a majority of the Company’s shares and allow for a majority of directors and the dispatch of an auditor.”

That deal, however, seeks “to pursue the business transfer method from the viewpoint of avoiding risk for those supporting and due to the requirement to implement a decision rapidly to protect customers.”

Monacoin holders caught up in the attack will be reimbursed in a 60/40 split of crypto to fiat, and at an agreed price of JPY144.548 per coin, or about $1.28. As of Wednesday, all Monacoin transactions on the platform have been halted, with an announcement on resuming trade expected at a later date.

All buying and selling in Bitcoin Cash (BCH), as well as BTC, remains unaffected, and will continue unimpeded. However, deposits and withdrawals have also now been frozen, to be resumed when the transfer of ownership to Fisco is complete.

The plan comes after Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) issued another improvement notice to Zaif—the third notice of its kind demanding the exchange steps up its internal processes. The most recent notice, issued in September, follows on from similar notices from March and July of this year.

The plan shows the devastating impact of the theft on the exchange, and serves as a cautionary tale for other exchanges in the importance of robust security. It remains to be seen whether the deal will be enough to provide the support Zaif’s investors now so desperately need.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Embattled crypto exchange Zaif lays out plan for customer financial support appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More

Coinfloor, UK’s first crypto exchange, lays off staff: report

Coinfloor, the UK’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange, is to lay off staff following the announcement of a slew of redundancies at the firm this week, Financial News reported.

Founded in 2013, Coinfloor is considered to be the first cryptocurrency exchange to setup in the UK. Focused on institutional and larger investors, the platform currently enjoys daily trading volumes in the region of $1 million.

However, according to informed sources, the exchange is now turning to significant redundancies amongst its 40 strong team, as part of a wider essential restructuring of their business.

Coinfloor CEO Obi Nwosu was quoted by the news outlet as saying the move has been prompted by changes in trading volumes at the exchange over recent months. He confirmed to Financial News, “Coinfloor is currently undergoing a business restructure to focus on our competitive advantages in the marketplace and to best serve our clients. As part of this restructure, we are making some staff changes and redundancies.”

The news comes at a time of increasing difficulties for some notable cryptocurrency exchanges, following the bear market conditions that have prevailed through much of 2018 so far.

In the last few weeks, similar rumours had emerged from Kraken, suggesting they too were laying off staff, with their offices in Halifax, Canada, earmarked for closure.

However, the firm subsequently denied this was the case, issuing an unequivocal statement that they “can confirm that we are not shutting down any operations in any specific place.”

Much of the difficulties can be attributed to the plummeting price of BTC, dramatically down on its highs of nearly $20,000 in late 2017. According to a growing number of crypto analysts, it looks unlikely BTC will even nearly recover this lost ground any time soon, if ever.

According to Nwosu, Coinfloor has handled as much as $1 billion in BTC transactions over the last 12 months—perhaps indicative of the current extent of their apparent problems.

While it remains to be seen whether the rumours of job losses are confirmed, the news is further confirmation of the dwindling relevance of the old BTC coin in today’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Coinfloor, UK’s first crypto exchange, lays off staff: report appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More

Shipping giant teams up with IBM to put ‘Bill of Lading’ on blockchain

Pioneering tech firm IBM has reached an agreement with one of Singapore’s leading shipping companies, Pacific International Lines (PIL), over a blockchain solution that seeks to simplify Bill of Lading documentation.

The crucial shipping document, which itemises a ship’s cargo as a consignment receipt, is set to be given a digital makeover by the technology, replacing traditional paper-based systems with a blockchain-tracked alternative.

The partnership with Pacific International Lines will see the launch of a new ‘e-BL’ electronic bill, which will exist solely within the blockchain environment.

The document is especially important in maritime and shipping law, both as proof of cargo ownership, a paper representation of the conditions of consignment, and as a transferable receipt for cargo at different stages of the shipping process.

With a view to speeding up the shipping supply chain, PIL Executive Director Lisa Teo said the blockchain platform would be a significant improvement on the currency Bill of Lading process. In a statement, Teo said, “Traditionally, information flow is predominantly handled via manual processes and the supply chain is slowed down when there are many points of communication within its framework.”

According to the PIL executive, “The use of blockchain technology to allow for the direct exchange of documents and information via the decentralized network to boost transparency, eliminate disputes forgeries and unnecessary risks will be key for this industry to progress.”

With the bill of lading transferred between parties, there is an in-built scope for loss and fraud – issues the blockchain solution will eliminate.

The project comes around a year after IBM reached an agreement with the Port of Authority of Singapore to explore applications of blockchain technology relevant to the sector.

At the time of the agreement, the CEO of the Port Authority of Singapore Tan Chong Mong said that blockchain in shipping could help streamline international trade. According to Tan, “Blockchain has the potential to reduce inefficiencies and gaps within the supply chain, promote more cost-efficient transactions and facilitate the continued growth in world trade.”

The project is the latest to come from IBM in the shipping sector, one of several areas where the IT giant is pioneering new technologies on the blockchain.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Shipping giant teams up with IBM to put ‘Bill of Lading’ on blockchain appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More

Brazilian crypto exchanges face ultimatum—complete gov’t survey or pay fines

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), Brazil’s antitrust regulator, has served cryptocurrency exchanges under its jurisdiction with an ultimatum—complete a questionnaire by October 19, or risk a fine of up to $25,000.

According to local press reports, the questionnaire was sent to cryptocurrency businesses last October 1, following an investigation launched by the Brazilian Association for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain into how financial institutions viewed the cryptocurrency sector.

Earlier in 2018, CADE launched a separate investigation into Brazilian banks over allegations they were intentionally harming cryptocurrency businesses, which the regulator said was a potential abuse of power.

According to the regulator at the time, mainstream banks were “imposing, restricting or even prohibiting… access to the financial system for cryptocurrency brokerages.”

The latest questionnaire is to be completed and returned promptly to the regulator, with even an ‘unjustified delay’ in response liable to a fine. In a note sent with the document to relevant businesses, the regulator made their expectations clear.

“In accordance with art. 40 of the Law 12,529 / 2011, the refusal, omission or unjustified delay of the requested information or documents constitutes an offense punishable by a daily fine of R$5,000.00 (five thousand reais) [about $1,270], and may be increased by up to twenty (20) times, if necessary to ensure its effectiveness, because of the economic situation of the offender,” the CADE stated.

The questionnaire asks cryptocurrency exchanges whether they have encountered problems with banking services, such as having bank accounts closed, as well as examining the attitude of exchanges towards illegal uses of cryptocurrency.

The regulator has allowed for some responses to be submitted in private, although it remains to be seen whether this guarantees any level of discretion or anonymity.

Based on the findings of the questionnaire, it is expected that CADE will return to consider whether further action is required to prevent the mainstream finance sector from unduly impeding the growth and development of crypto markets.

With the situation in Brazil reflected elsewhere in the world, all eyes will be on the Brazilian regulator’s response to these alleged abuses of power from the traditional banking world.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Brazilian crypto exchanges face ultimatum—complete gov’t survey or pay fines appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More

Yet another stablecoin makes its debut via London Block Exchange

A UK-based cryptocurrency exchange has launched a new stablecoin pegged to the pound sterling (GBP), the latest in a series of similar cryptocurrencies to pair one-to-one with fiat currencies.

Launched by London Block Exchange, the stablecoin will officially be known as LBXPeg. The currency will be tied to the value of the pound and backed by funds in an auditable UK bank account on a one-to-one basis.

Dubbed the ‘cryptopound,’ the exchange envisages the currency being used as a utility token, including amongst institutional investors, for facilitating fiat-equivalent peer-to-peer transactions over the blockchain, or for tokenized settlement of OTC trades.

In an interview with Business Insider ahead of the launch, LBX CEO Benjamin Dives explained a number of potential use cases: “We will be ready for the first cryptopound to be minted in the next 10 days. The primary use case will be settlement for OTC trades in the London market, then commonwealth exchanges where they don’t have fiat banking, and then securities tokens who want to pay dividends in a cryptopound.”

LBX launched back in November 2017, and has since gone on to become one of the busiest cryptocurrency exchanges in the UK. In backing the stablecoin concept with the GBP-pegged cryptopound, LBX is signalling its support for the technology and its use cases.

Pioneered by the USD-backed tether (USDT), the stablecoin concept has emerged as a highly functional application of cryptocurrency, secondary to the payments use case demonstrated by bitcoin BCH.

However, USDT has come in for some criticism, notably around a lack of transparency and accountability—criticisms LBX has said it had in mind when creating its fully transparency auditing processes and management structures.

Following the release of the cryptopound, the firm has indicated its intention to explore similar stablecoins for U.S. dollar and Euro.

The announcement from LBX follows after Goldman Sachs-backed Circle announced its USD Coin, a USD-backed stablecoin which aims to improve on the flaws identified in USDT. It comes at a time of increasing interest in stablecoins, and how they can be used in international settlement, dividend distribution, and a number of other specific use cases.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Yet another stablecoin makes its debut via London Block Exchange appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More

Chinese state bank issues $1.3B mortgages on blockchain

The Bank of Communications, a bank owned by the Chinese government, has successfully issued mortgage-backed securities worth over $1.3 billion on infrastructure powered by blockchain.

In one of the biggest moves of its kind to date, the bank used an independent blockchain platform called Juicai Chain to issue the securities, worth a total of 9.3 billion yuan ($1.3 billion), China Securities Times reported.

Through the platform, all parties to the underlying loan are trackable, and can manage their cash flow as well as performing a number of other business operations on the blockchain. According to local press reports, the hope is that the system will improve security, limit risk exposure and improve the efficiency with which mortgage backed securities can be issued.

The technology also allows instant verification of the authenticity of the assets, as well as providing several other key benefits to would-be investors in these securities.

China has been notoriously hardline on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), effectively banning outright a large portion of activity in the cryptocurrency sector. However, conversely, the Chinese state is regarded as an increasing supporter of blockchain technology, with several notable deployments by government-backed organisations in the country.

Back in July, the Agricultural Bank of China issued a loan worth $300,000 on the blockchain, while in September, Chinese authorities signaled they may be willing to accept blockchain data as admissible evidence in legal cases.

The system pioneered by the Bank of Communications is one of many blockchain developments around real estate and real estate-backed securities, and the expectation now is that their successful launch will inspire similar moves from other financial institutions.

As reported in local media, Juicia Chain was first launched by the bank back in June, with initial due diligence beginning in August. Going forward, the digital mortgage base will now be opened to a number of intermediaries including law firm Zhonglun and global professional services company PricewaterhouseCoopers.

With the Agricultural Bank of China and the Bank of Communications accounting for the fourth and fifth largest banks in the country respectively, the new platform is now likely to have a significant effect on the way similar securities are issued in future.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Chinese state bank issues $1.3B mortgages on blockchain appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More

US securities regulator chases enforcement against PlexCoin promoters

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has petitioned a court in New York for enforcement action against two individuals over their involvement in the “fast-moving” PlexCoin ICO investment scam.

Following investigations into the affair, the SEC has resorted to the courts, in pursuit of a motion “to compel” and “for discovery sanctions” against Sabrina Paradis-Royer and Dominic Lacroix over the promotion of PlexCoin, Finance Feeds reported.

Canadian courts ordered PlexCoin to suspend its ICO offering, but authorities said the organizers ignored the ruling and raised some $15 million for the project.

The SEC previously shut down the project, citing concerns over potential fraud. Now, they are looking to apply further pressure, following a lack of cooperation from the scheme’s promoters, including ignoring previous court orders.

According to the court filing, the securities regulator is seeking a default judgement on the grounds of “prejudice…to [Plexcoin’s] investor victims.” In particular, the SEC “seeks leave, pursuant to Rule 3(A) of this Court’s Individual Motion Practices and Rules, to file a motion to compel and a motion for discovery sanctions against Dominic Lacroix and Sabrina Paradis-Royer (collectively “Defendants”) under Rule 37(a) and Rule 37(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”

“Defendants’ dereliction coupled with the prejudice to the Commission and to Defendants’ investor victims warrants the serious sanction of a default judgment against them under Rule 37(b)(2)(A)(vi),” the filing read.

Lacroix and Paradis-Royer were sued by the SEC back in December, on grounds of securities fraud. At the time, their assets were frozen under an emergency order. Their assets were refrozen in June after it was alleged the pair had been using hidden accounts.

According to the SEC at the time, “Lacroix had been using secret accounts, including an account in his brother’s name … to improperly dissipate for personal use digital assets obtained from investors during the PlexCoin Initial Coin Offering.”

With the latest filing, the SEC has concluded the pair have no intention of cooperation, petitioning the court to grant the enforcement action and sanctions it demands. Whether this allows any further assets to be recovered remains to be seen.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post US securities regulator chases enforcement against PlexCoin promoters appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More

Bakkt platform’s first offering? Physical crypto futures

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the company behind the New York Stock Exchange and startup crypto platform Bakkt, has announced its first product for the Bakkt platform—physical crypto futures.

The crypto futures, mainly in BTC, will be available to be traded against three separate fiat currencies, the U.S. dollar, the GBP and the Euro, respectively. Designed to attract institutional investors, Bakkt promises a “regulated ecosystem” for investing in cryptocurrency products, which will debut with the launch of the physical futures.

Announcing the futures product, the company described on Twitter how this would work for investors, noting, “For example, buying one USD/BTC futures contract will result in daily delivery of one [BTC] into the customer’s account.”

Crucially, the product is differentiated from exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which would enable investors to trade cryptocurrency markets without physically taking ownership of underlying cryptocurrency.

A number of crypto ETF proposals have been considered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in recent months, despite none thus far being granted listing approval.

Several proposals remain under consideration by the SEC, but analysts believe the SEC cannot yet give approval to an ETF in the current regulatory climate. Physical crypto futures would aim to service the same market of institutional investors, but crucially delivers physical BTC tokens to investors, rather than a paper claim, as with ETFs.

Bakkt’s Tuesday announcement follows on from a statement of confirmation in August, when the firm clarified its position on margin trading, saying that they wouldn’t “serve to create a paper claim on a real asset.”

The platform has until now come in for criticism for the lack of apparent details around its offering, or how it would aim to attract institutional investors to the crypto space as envisaged. Bakkt’s most recent announcement will most likely go some way towards assuaging these concerns, as it gears up for its launch in November. If successful, the platform could provide a mechanism for institutional investors to take exposure to crypto markets, in the absence of an approved crypto ETF.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Bakkt platform’s first offering? Physical crypto futures appeared first on Coingeek.

Read More
Top
You have not selected any currencies to display