Tag: Business

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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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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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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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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