Police crack down on crypto ATMs across Russia

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have been making steady advancements into the mainstream market in many countries around the world, but apparently, this was not the case in Russia. According to local media reports, Russian police have seized no less than 22 automated teller machines (ATMs) selling cryptocurrency in several cities in Russia last week.

Operated by the Bbfpro company, the machines were located in shopping malls, restaurants and stores in nine different Russian cities, Russian news outlet RBC reported, quoting Digital Rights Center lawyer Sarkis Darbinyan.

In a separate interview with Russian media outlets, Bbfpro manager Artem Bedarev claimed there was no notice from the Russian authorities prior to the crackdown, noting that the investigation would continue for at least another six months. The machines would not be returned to Bbfpro while the investigation is ongoing.

The operation was ordered by the Prosecutor’s General Office, acting on a request from the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), a government agent told local media outlets. A CBR officer, who declined to comment on the crypto ATM seizures, noted that the government agency conducts “systematic work to identify and counteract illegal activities in the financial market,” particularly since there is a high chance that uncontrolled cross-border fund transfers and cash outs involving cryptocurrencies can happen.

Darbinyan, however, pointed out that the Russian Federation’s current laws do not prohibit citizens from acquiring cryptocurrencies. Bbfpro, for its part, has been observing all legal procedures, paying its taxes, and verifying the identity of its customers even without prompt from the government.

Bbfpro plans to appeal the seizure operation, according to the lawyer.

On its website, Bbfpro said its machines support purchases of cryptocurrencies like BTC. The company works with crypto exchange Exmo, offering technical support for the ATMs. According to Bbfpro, installing one terminal costs 155,000 rubles ($2,300). It charges 1 percent on the registered turnover, which is considerably less than other crypto ATMs in other countries. For example in Malta, ATM operators charge no less than 8% on each transaction.

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.

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Kraken, Okex, Huobi and major Asian crypto funds go to Blockchain Life 2018

The list of speakers of the key forum on blockchain, cryptocurrencies, ICO and mining – Blockchain Life 2018 – was replenished by owners and top managers of the biggest Chinese cryptocurrency funds and international exchanges. The forum will be held on November 7-8 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Among the speakers: Maximilian Marenbach (Kraken Exchange), Wu Xing (Huobi Exchange), Aldrich Victorino (Okex Exchange), Charles Cai (Dalian Wanda Group), Jason Hu (World Blockchain Organization) and others. The full list of speakers is available here: https://blockchain-life.com/en/#speakers

At the moment, the main activity in the world of investments in crypto projects is observed in Asian countries. Thus, the forum participants will be able to learn all the trends of 2018 firsthand, and the ICO projects of Eastern European will have a unique opportunity to attract funding within the Pitch-section, without participating in expensive Road shows around the world.

Given the international composition of the participants, Blockchain Life 2018 organizes the legendary AfterParty in the biggest Chinese restaurant in Europe. In a favorite format for the forum participants “all inclusive”: elite alcohol, European and Chinese cuisine, comfortable conditions for networking and enchanting show program. By the way, last year AfterParty special guest was the famous russian boy band “Ivanushki International”.

On September 1st, applications for the International Blockchain Life Awards will be opened, which will determine the best companies in their field. Learn more about the Award on the conference website.

Despite the global scale of the event, tickets with the opportunity to attend reports are still available from $41.

Buy a ticket to a key global event in the industry, there is very little time before the next rise in price https://blockchain-life.com/en/

Organizers: https://listing.help/ – the output of projects on exchanges, https://icotop.io/  – rating agency

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Vin Armani: Bitcoin is always supposed to be instant

CoinGeek’s Stephanie Tower spoke with CoinText CTO Vin Armani about the app’s ability to reach people who otherwise would have no use for blockchain technology, and how similar phenomena are becoming more common.

When one thinks of blockchain, the need for an internet connection is usually implied. However, CoinText makes it possible to transfer sums of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) with only the use of good old-fashioned SMS. The app, currently in public beta release, is already being used for hundreds of thousands of transactions.

“This is the type of thing what we wanted to do with this is we wanted to make a product that was so simple to use, that even somebody’s 70-year-old grandmother who has no experience could easily use it, there’s no signup required, ” Vin Armani, CoinText’s CTO, said.

Because of the use of phone numbers instead of their paired private keys, it is possible to use phones from a decade ago, prior to the popular adoption of the iPhone and Android devices. According to Armani, “This is one of the first times that we’ve been able to have mobile cryptocurrency transfer, and people can even use their old feature phones, you know, the old flip phones.”

Because no signup is needed, one can be brought into the world of Bitcoin “in literally 30 seconds,” he said, noting that, “For us, it’s an adoption engine, really.”

CoinText has been operating initially in English-speaking countries, such as the United States, Canada, UK, Australia and South Africa, among others. To entice customers, a small free amount of BCH is offered for one to start sending.

This shift, from the strictly blockchain world to outside of it, is going to continue, and Armani is confident enough to say, “I’d prefer to take crypto over fiat, over PayPal, over credit cards. I think more merchants will in the future.”

He said that just by virtue of accepting crypto payments, one has an advantage over other merchants. “You’re going to get a whole lot of customers that simply won’t patronize your competitors. So right now there’s a huge competitive advantage like, if we get outside of the technical, of the fees, get outside of all of that, right now is a prime opportunity for merchants to jump in and get all kinds of customers just on a marketing basis, simply by accepting Bitcoin Cash. We’re ready to spend it with them, so as soon as they adopt it, they’re just going to have a flood of the most awesome and loyal customers that they could possibly imagine.”

The future of Bitcoin, in particular, is bright, in terms of mainstream adoption. Armani said, “By far, this is the best chain. Zero-confirmation is probably the most important thing, and Bitcoin was always supposed to be instant,” he said.

If you’re interested in helping the growth of merchant adoption of Bitcoin BCH, join the bComm Association, an industry group that intends to be the focal point for miners, merchants, exchanges, developers and members of the BCH community. Developers and merchants of the Bitcoin BCH community will also be on hand for the first CoinGeek Week happening in London in November. Members of bComm Association can avail CoinGeek Week tickets at discounted prices. To purchase tickets or learn more about CoinGeek Week Conference, visit the official website here.

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.

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Japan puts more pressure on crypto exchanges

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is making it tougher for cryptocurrency exchanges to register their businesses in the country, requiring disclosure of a lot more information than before, the Japan Times reported.

The regulator is requiring applicants to answer approximately 400 questions, from about 100 questions previously, during the screening process, as part of its efforts to keep customers’ money safe.

Among the added requirements for exchanges is to provide the FSA copies of minutes of board meetings, to ensure that sufficient discussions are held about a company’s financial management, and about database security. The FSA will also monitor a company’s list of shareholders, checking for, as the Japan Times phrased it, “links to antisocial groups.”

According to news.bitcoin.com, there are 160 companies looking to operate in Japan, but it remains to be seen how many will pursue their applications with the added requirements. At present, there are 16 exchanges licensed by the FSA. Another 16 are operating while their applications are pending review.

The stricter registration process comes after the January hacking of Coincheck, which lost a total of 523 million NEM tokens (XEM) worth $528 million at the time. This was larger than the 2014 Mt Gox hack where thieves took off with Bitcoins worth $480 million at the time. As early as March, Coincheck began the process of partially refunding those whose tokens were stolen.

Since the Coincheck hack, the FSA has conducted on-site inspections as a way to confirm information stated in applications. Such inspections revealed a lack of protection for users, in terms of manpower assigned to handle the large sums of money, and a skirting of anti-money laundering requirements. Some exchanges were suspended as a result. It was also found that records of minutes of the board were not kept properly.

The FSA has stated that it would allow the local cryptocurrency industry to grow, but “under appropriate regulation.”

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.

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Crypto market daily report – September 3, 2018

The cryptocurrency markets continued their impressive recovery on Monday with most coins showing positive increases after a positive weekend following many months of bearish activity. BTC held above the $7200 level after having even superseded the $7300 mark in a flurry of activity with turnover also increasing considerably.

Bitcoin Cash was the star of the show over the past 48 hours, rising by no less than 20% on Sunday to reach the $650 level before dropping back slightly to the $630 level on Monday morning at press time. Ripple remained stuck between the $0.33 and $0.35 range, but analysts have predicted a considerable move upwards in the coming weeks as interest and positive news surrounding the cryptocurrency continued to increase.

Ethereum was the only outlier in this positive move upwards with a price range that continued to hover between the $280 and the $300 mark, although there was very little movement either way. EOS performed an impressive climb of over 20% over the past few days –in fact it is around 35% up on a weekly basis to settle at the $6.50 mark with a further push upwards not unexpected.

Other coins with smaller market caps also saw a good increase with Ethereum Classic charging ahead and bullying the $14 level on Monday at press time—a level not seen since July. Litecoin registered a good increase to the $66 level before falling back slightly to the $65 mark but appeared well supported at that level. NEO was also up by over 15% over the weekend and was trading at the $22 level at press time, whilst XLM appeared slightly static with a trade range between the $0.22 and $0.23 levels. Cardano was slightly disappointing as it retraced slightly to the $0.103 level after having touched the $0.105 mark on Saturday or an 8% increase.

IOTA retained the $0.70 mark on Monday after having retraced slightly over the weekend, whilst ICX and ONT saw 5% declines to the $0.90 and $2.40 levels respectively. DASH also performed positively and held above the $200 mark although it decreased slightly over the past 24 hours by around 2%.

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.

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Philippines’ SEC eyes September release for crypto exchange draft rules

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will soon release draft rules for cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

According to news outlet BusinessWorld, Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong said after an en banc meeting that the draft guidelines are to be released “hopefully within the first half of September,” with the intention of receiving input for changes to be made. The SEC will then issue its finalized regulations by the end of the year.

The SEC will be basing the draft guidelines on regulations already being implemented in the U.S., Australia and Switzerland. “We want to create an environment where investors can feel more or less safe in investing in what are essentially securities that have a digital form… Instead of paper or securities that are housed within PDTC [Philippine Depository & Trust Corp.], the depository [will be] housed on a blockchain,” Amatong said.

The commissioner also noted that SEC has started discussions with the Philippine central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), about sharing oversight on cryptocurrency exchanges. Already, the BSP has its regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges, released back in February 2017. In its circular, each “virtual currency exchange” (VCE) must register with the BSP “to operate as a remittance and transfer company,” and file annual and quarterly reports. As of July, there are five exchanges registered with the BSP.

Amatong pointed out that the BSP’s role was limited to the aspect of money changing in cryptocurrency exchanges. “But… all of the VCEs are applying to allow them to act as trading platforms. When it comes to trading platforms, it is a concern of the SEC to be discussed with the BSP,” he said.

In August, the SEC released its draft guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs), in which it outlines requirements for proposing an ICO, including the submission of a whitepaper to be updated as necessary.

The Philippines is among the first countries to issue its regulations in cooperation with existing industry players. The BSP has merely cautioned of the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies, but has not prescribed prohibitions on the matter.

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.

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Don’t miss the CoinGeek Week Conference in London this November

What started out to be just a one-day conference has received such a great amount of support that it had to be extended by two additional days. The CoinGeek Week Conference, which will be held at the The Mermaid at Puddle Dock in London in November, is simply one of the most important cryptocurrency conferences of the year and is a must-attend for anyone in the industry, from novices to expert developers. Anyone who understands the importance of Bitcoin BCH and the role in plays in revolutionizing digital currency will benefit from the three-day event.

The historic conference will be held from November 28-30. The leading blockchain and cryptocurrency developers will be on hand to share their experience and expertise, while discussing the advantages of digital currency in a retail environment. Not only is cryptocurrency an additional form of payment, it’s also a way for merchants to increase their revenue.

While attendance on all three days will provide the most benefits, it’s possible to attend a single-day conference based on what area of crypto best suits you. The first day is designed to focus on application development, giving attendees an in-depth understanding of the latest in blockchain technology. There will be a networking event held in the afternoon to allow attendees an opportunity to create new alliances and expand their businesses.

Day 2 is aptly entitled “Application Merchants Day.” The conferences will target how to gain an edge on the competition and how easy it is to integrate Bitcoin BCH to grow your business. The afternoon networking event, as on Day 1, will prove to be extremely beneficial to those wishing to expand their enterprises.

The future of crypto and blockchain technology will be the highlight of Day 3. Learn from the experts, who will talk about what lies ahead for the currency evolution and how it will impact the global financial landscape.

For those who attend all three days, an after-party will be hosted by Calvin Ayre, founder of CoinGeek and Bitcoin BCH pioneer. You’ve never partied until you’ve partied with CoinGeek.

Tickets are available now and space is limited. You can purchase a single-day or a multi-day ticket for a discount, and all tickets can be purchased with Bitcoin BCH. Members of bComm automatically qualify for a discount. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to get ahead and help your business thrive.

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.

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Bitcoin BCH stress test a huge success, over 10MB blocks mined

September 1 marked the day a massive stress test was done on the Bitcoin BCH network, and the results are in. Over 2.1 million transactions were registered on the network with a significant number of 10MB blocks—and some up to 21MB—being mined, with most of the 10MB blocks being mined by CoinGeek, the worlds first enterprise-level Bitcoin mining operation. The stress test was administered to verify the strength of the network prior to the upcoming hard fork scheduled for this November, and will more than likely turn into a regular annual event.

The number of transactions seen on the Bitcoin BCH network equates to 63% of all cryptocurrency transactions registered last September 1. It overwhelmed that of the second-most seen currency in the period, Ethereum, and was over 20 times that of BTC. According to Coin Dance, the number of microtransactions on the BCH network spiked to 14,300 per block. The average number for BTC is around 1,000 to 1,500.

As an added benefit, there was no increase in transaction fees. In fact, according to BitInfoCharts, the transaction fees actually dropped. They dipped from the normal average of $0.022 to $0.0017.

Jameson Lopp, software engineer and founder of bitcoinsig.com, was somewhat impressed by the results. He tweeted that the test had “succeeded in breaking various transaction and mempool visualizers.” In a separate tweet he posted more of the technical details of the stress test, pointing to some limitations. He said, “BCH Stress test recap: * Bottlenecks caused services such as the transaction generators to slow & error out, preventing mempool from exceeding 22 MB. * Largest block: 21.35 MB * Avg block size was ~3.6 MB: 11% of max capacity * 16% of Bitcoin ABC nodes dropped off the network.”

Not only did Bitcoin ABC have trouble keeping up, so did ViaBTC. This isn’t too much of a surprise, as Dr. Craig Wright had already predicted that the mining operation would not be able to function properly in a large-scale scenario and said that it couldn’t handle blocks larger than 8MB. As the information seen on blockchair.com confirms, ViaBTC didn’t mine any blocks above 7.999MB. For miners, it’s high time to upgrade to suppliers offering software that can scale as Bitcoin clearly scales already if you are working with the correct suppliers.

The stress test has also been successful for Bitcoin BCH’s price. It rose from $521 a week ago to hit $648 on September 1. As of this writing, it sits at $634.61, an increase of 2.78% over the past 24 hours.

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.

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Questions surround Bitmain’s business plan ahead of IPO

Bitmain, one of the largest cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturers and mining operations in the world, is looking to go public this month, but a series of missteps may just about put those plans in jeopardy. Apart from making egregious financial backing claims that have since been refuted, new questions have come up regarding the company’s financial solvency and, most recently, its business practices.

Internal Bitmain documents that were leaked to the public has shown that the company may have indulged in some creative accounting. In the documents, which were posted on Twitter and is in Chinese, Bitmain asserted that it holds assets worth around $2.6 billion. Of these, $1.2 billion-worth is reportedly held in inventory, which means that almost half of its assets are devices that it has not been able to ship. In other words, the company has a large quantity of machines that it hasn’t been able to push out to the market because demand has fallen.

That conclusion was reached by the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (BitMEX), which translated and analyzed the leaked documents. It asserted, “We have reason to believe the authenticity of these documents, which forms the basis for this report.”

BitMEX also concluded that Bitmain’s sales dropped from 2.5 million to 1.9 million between last year and the first quarter of this year. This represents a revenue decline of around $500 million, despite the fact that the company’s largest microchip supplier, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, reached a new revenue high of $866 million last year.

Bitmain is the owner of the two largest crypto mining pools in the world, Antpool and BTC.com, and is part owner of another, ViaBTC. The three pools mine about 48% of all mined Bitcoins; however, the revenue generated from them for Bitmain dropped to 3.3% in the first quarter of the year, down from 18.4% in 2016. These figures are proportionate, as the company’s mining revenue increased last year as mining activity increased. However, crypto mining is now losing profitability.

Bitmain has hinted at an initial public offering (IPO) for several months and had anticipated a $30-billion valuation before going public. After a recent funding round, it said that it was halfway there, thanks, in part, to Japan’s Softbank and China-based Tencent. Both companies have now publicly denied any involvement in funding the company. It is now time to seriously consider how viable the company is and take a deep look into its operations before the IPO is allowed to move forward.

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.

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Rick Falkvinge on why Bitcoin BCH is true driver of digital currency

As part of his “We Are All Satoshi” series, Bitcoin BCH pioneer and supporter Rick Falkvinge has published his latest video. Falkvinge raises several good points about the motivation behind different cryptocurrencies and how these motivations impact the direction the currency takes. It all comes down to one fundamental question: Why are we here?

In perusing the various cryptocurrency forums, patterns of discussion begin to emerge. On the one hand, the BTC community has a propensity to discuss price, almost to the point of being obsessed with how the value changes from one minute to the next or how to make the biggest return on a BTC investment. On the other hand, the topics of concern in the Bitcoin BCH forums are more focused on the community and developing the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

While it may appear, then, that the Bitcoin BCH community is apathetic toward the price of the currency. It would almost seem as though the topic of price is being suppressed. However, as Falkvinge points out, this isn’t the case. Instead, there is a “collective disinterest.” The difference is that Bitcoin BCH proponents are more concerned with ensuring the development and survivability of cryptocurrency than they are with lining their own pockets.

In the early days of cryptocurrency, it seemed that supporters were breaking off into one of two camps—activists or entrepreneurs. Activists can live off of what’s available, while entrepreneurs want to make money. An entrepreneur who only wants to make money will only turn out to be an “acceptable entrepreneur.” Great entrepreneurs excel because they want to make a difference in the world. These types of entrepreneurs have a great deal in common with the activists.

Falkvinge’s rightfully points out that the number one “guiding star”—or prime directive, as he calls it—for cryptocurrency, in keeping with the original design created by Satoshi Nakamoto, is to employ the “create liberty through profit” motive. In other words, liberty comes first, profit is secondary. This is the complete opposite of the way the BTC community, which is singularly focused on making money, thinks. To them, it’s a status symbol, not a digital currency. This isn’t how you change the world.

This is why BCH community doesn’t care about getting rich. It is concerned about making things better. Falkvinge acknowledges what virtually all cryptocurrency enthusiasts think—that if it makes money in the process, it will be great. However, this is not, nor should it be, the primary goal of cryptocurrency.

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.

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