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À partir d’avant-hierBitcoin News

FATF-Driven Delistings Capture the Criminalization of Privacy

Par Graham Smith
FATF-Driven Delistings Capture the Criminalization of Privacy

The delisting of privacy coins like monero, zcash, and dash is becoming something of a trend in Asia, and could soon expand elsewhere. In the wake of the intra-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issuing new global standards, Korean exchanges Okex and Upbit have announced they will delist and put warnings on several privacy coins in the immediate future, with Okex to axe the tokens in October. The progressive abandonment of such coins in “crypto-friendly” Asia is a warning call to all privacy advocates: you can’t have your regulations and privacy, too.

Also Read: European Countries Step Up Response to Facebook’s Libra

A Growing Trend

Prior to the issuance of FATF recommendations, one of Japan’s largest exchanges had already swung the axe. Coincheck delisted four major privacy coins in 2018 thanks to pressure from the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). An outright ban on Japanese exchanges dealing in privacy coins followed soon after. Further, very few privacy coins are set to be listed on Binance’s upcoming U.S.-compliant exchange, making the concerted effort of regulators worldwide to put the brakes on privacy very clear.

According to a September 10 blog post by Okex, the widely used exchange will cease trading of XMR, DASH, ZEC, ZEN and SBTC for Korean customers as of October 10, 2019 17:00 KST. Users will be able to make withdrawals of the tokens until December 10, 2019 17:00 KST. The announcement, translated from Korean, states in part:

According to the statement corresponding to FATF R.16 … We decided to take measures to end the trading support of stocks that are privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, aka dark coin.

The Okex blog post specifically details the necessity of knowing both sender and recipient information as per the FATF guidelines, something privacy coins can make exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for exchanges.

FATF-Driven Delistings Capture the Criminalization of Privacy
Okex Korea will cease trading of privacy coins on October 10.

In similar fashion, Korean exchange Upbit has now listed several privacy coins under an “investment warning” status, informing traders that the tokens are under review and may be removed if they are not found to meet FATF recommendations. A September 9 notice on their English website reads: “The amendment to the FATF R.15 states companies handling virtual assets must hold the standard equivalent to that of financial institutions and to register/report its legal business of operation. Particularly applicable in R.16, it states that the collection and retention of information related to the sender and the recipient of the virtual asset.” An update is expected soon as to the final fate of the coins.

Binance’s U.S.-Compliant Exchange

The upcoming U.S. legal compliant iteration of trading behemoth Binance won’t be a haven for privacy seekers, either, judging by the looks of things. With registration beginning on September 18, users will be greeted with a whittled down assortment of trading pairs, and the assets under consideration conspicuously do not include regulator-shunned monero.

FATF-Driven Delistings Capture the Criminalization of Privacy
Candidates under consideration for Binance’s new U.S.-compliant exchange.

In deciding which assets will be supported, Binance lists criteria for qualification including:

Whether trading the candidate asset will affect Binance.US’s ability to comply with applicable legal requirements, including, without limitation, US AML/CFT and securities laws and their implementing regulations … Whether the candidate asset’s community has a record of reaching compromises and consensuses to move the project forward.

The notice is authored by former Ripple executive Catherine Coley, who is overseeing the rollout of the platform as CEO of Bam trading services, the operator of the upcoming Binance U.S. exchange.

FATF-Driven Delistings Capture the Criminalization of Privacy

Privacy’s Not Dead

Compliance, delistings, and compromise are not exactly thrilling prospects for the Satoshi Nakamotos of the world who got into the crypto game to take back financial sovereignty. With privacy coins being gutted, it seems crypto might be losing itself in order to fit in with the big boys of legacy finance. Problem is, the whole idea of bitcoin was to give the financial bullies on Wall Street the middle finger, and not a goofy, submissive thumbs up. In spite of all the pressure, though, the embattled class of privacy coins is far from dead.

XMR ranks number 10 for market cap with a slice of $1.3 billion at press time. DASH is in the 16 slot, and ZEC sits at 28. There is, furthermore, the continued capacity for various “standard coins” to implement new privacy protocols that make regulatory pigeon-holing even harder. Litecoin, for example, may support confidential transactions (CT) in the future according to talk early in the year from Charlie Lee. Developments in that arena seem to be moving forward, if slowly. In the BCH community, the privacy enhancing Cashshuffle protocol is being improved with a proposed anonymizing feature called Cashfusion. The Github project spec states:

Cashfusion provides high levels of privacy via a flexible scheme that allows an arbitrary number of inputs and outputs of non-standard amounts. It provides anonymous, trustless coordination with usually zero-knowledge of linkages revealed to other players or the server.

Where some privacy coins have anonymizing features baked right into the source code, a new generation of protocols like Cashfusion and CT are emerging to afford even “standard” coins a kind of toggle switch allowing for greater anonymity. This way, both mainstream onboarding zealots and philosophically grounded privacy advocates could theoretically get behind the same assets. The trouble this might create for the big-government-doting exchanges would be interesting to watch.

Cui Bono?

When it comes to tokens being banned, blackballed, or delisted, it stands to ask who benefits. As news.Bitcoin.com has reported in past articles, if the concern surrounding these assets was truly about the prevention of terror and crime, the USD fiat scheme should be priority number one for overhaul, but it’s not. In a Reddit thread from August discussing Coinbase’s delisting of zcash in the U.K., user sathound remarked sardonically:

Remember children, tax avoidance and moral bankruptcy is only for the rich.

@zcash @ElectricCoinCo @coinbase what’s going on with Zcash in the UK? pic.twitter.com/6GWS9CuIoH

— Alex (@heskavich) August 8, 2019

Asia and Japan are commonly hailed as crypto meccas thanks to adoption, regulation, and active use cases. Many in the space view this acceptance of crypto as a very bullish sign and a product of forward thinking societies. To those old-fashioned curmudgeons still intently focused on “a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that would allow online payments … without going through a financial institution,” all this talk can ring hollow, however. Of course, exchanges can do as they please, and time will tell which are going to kowtow to the FATF, and which DEXs, OTC platforms, and private traders won’t.

What are your thoughts on the delisting of privacy coins? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.


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The post FATF-Driven Delistings Capture the Criminalization of Privacy appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Why the Birth of Bitcoin Can Be Traced Back to 1971

Par Lubomir Tassev
Why the Birth of Bitcoin Can Be Traced Back to 1971

The world economy is a complex system that has undergone many different phases in the past century. As strange as it may sound today, there have been times when banking crises were rare, pay was rising alongside productivity, and the U.S. dollar would buy a certain amount of pure gold. Despite its obvious successes in certain areas, the global monetary system that laid the foundations for this time of stable growth eventually failed, and here’s why.

Also read: Crypto Salaries Gain Regulatory Recognition Around the World

When $35 Bought You an Ounce of Gold

The post-World War II era started with a negotiated monetary system that set the rules for international commercial and financial relations. This was a product of the Bretton Woods agreement from 1944, which created a new financial order in a world devastated by its largest military conflict yet.

The conference in New Hampshire, held before the war was over, established the main pillars of global finance and trade: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), now part of the World Bank Group. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), later replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO), was signed soon after.

Why the Birth of Bitcoin Can Be Traced Back to 1971
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. addresses delegates at the Bretton Woods Monetary Conference, July 8, 1944 (Source: World Bank)

The governments behind the Bretton Woods system, many of them wartime allies against Nazi Germany, aimed to create a world in which a major armed conflict and a global depression could never happen again. That was to be achieved by building an effective international monetary system and reducing barriers to free trade. Over 700 representatives of 44 countries hammered the agreement in the course of a month. No bankers were invited to take part, by the way.

The delegates decided that their monetary construct should rest on the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. In an effort to replicate the pre-war gold standard, although in a limited form, the dollar was tied to the precious metal at a fixed price. The United States government committed to convert dollars into gold at $35 an ounce. The U.S. currency became the new gold standard, while retaining flexibility in comparison with real gold.

A system of fixed exchange rates was then introduced, in which all other major currencies were pegged to the gold-backed U.S. dollar. Participating nations had to maintain currency prices within 1% of parity through interventions in their foreign exchange markets. Purchases and sales of foreign currency were constantly made to keep rates close to the target.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

The Bretton Woods system was effectively a monetary union with the dollar being its main currency. For some time it generated the stability the post-war world needed to recover and rebuild. Virtually no major country experienced a banking crisis during the period the agreement was respected, between 1945 and 1971.

Speculative financial flows were seriously curtailed and investment capital was channeled into industrial and technological development instead. Helping national economies grow, creating jobs and lowering trade barriers were to give peace a better chance. And to a large extent they did, aside from cold war proxy conflicts.

Why the Birth of Bitcoin Can Be Traced Back to 1971

In 1971 the US President Kills The Gold Standard

Several notable achievements resulted from the Bretton Woods arrangement in a variety of domains. An online portal called WTF Happened In 1971?, the year when President Nixon’s administration unilaterally terminated the U.S. dollar’s convertibility to gold, summarizes most of them, backed with astonishing numbers. For example, up until Washington’s decision to end the dollar-gold standard, productivity rose steeply and wages, unlike nowadays, didn’t fall behind.

In other words, the rising value of goods and services translated into rising pay for workers. The 119% increase in productivity from 1947 to 1979, the last year when these indicators were moving together, was closely followed by a 100% positive change in the average hourly compensation. Since then, until 2009, productivity has grown by a whopping 80%, while compensation scored only an 8% increase, the quoted data shows.

Why the Birth of Bitcoin Can Be Traced Back to 1971

Similar trends can be observed with many other pairs of indicators. Divergence between real GDP per capita and average real wage in the U.S. has been growing steadily since the 70s, according to the calculations of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The consumer price index skyrocketed after the untying of the dollar from gold. The same applies to the median sales price of new homes sold in the country. And against this backdrop, divorce prevalence and incarceration rates in the U.S. increased markedly.

The post-war semi-gold standard mitigated income inequality in the United States, which had been rising in the years following the establishment of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 and jumped again after the U.S. government decided to turn the dollar into purely fiat money. Since 1971, the top 1% of earners have seen their income grow significantly, while that of the bottom 90% has remained almost unchanged for decades. The curves crossed somewhere in the beginning of the century and in the years after the 2008 global financial crisis the rich have been getting richer, while the poor have been getting poorer again.

Other negative trends after the abolition of the last gold standard include the ballooning U.S. national debt, from well below a trillion dollars in the 70s to over $20 trillion in 2018. As of June 2019, federal debt held by the public amounted to $16.17 trillion. Last year it was approximately 76% of GDP and the Congressional Budget Office expects it to reach over 150% by 2040. At the same time, the United States’ goods trade balance has dropped dramatically, reaching a record low of almost -$80 billion at the end of December.

Why the Birth of Bitcoin Can Be Traced Back to 1971

Will the Next Reserve Currency Be Crypto?

Bretton Woods, despite its positives, had some significant flaws that eventually led to its demise. Unlike the gold it was backed by, the dollar, which was the system’s reserve currency, could be manipulated by the powers in Washington in accordance with America’s own interests, and it was. Dollars were supposed to provide liquidity to the world economy but initially the United States wasn’t printing enough of them. As a result, its partners experienced shortages of convertible currency. And in the later years the opposite occurred, the greenback was too inflated by the U.S. It quickly became evident that the agreement is tailored to the interests of the United States, which at the time of its signing owned two thirds of the global gold reserves.

Why the Birth of Bitcoin Can Be Traced Back to 1971

In essence, the monetary union gave too much power to the U.S. and was only going to work as long as other countries were willing to accept the status quo. With Washington exporting inflation to the rest of the world, however, its partners started to convert large amounts of dollars into gold while the U.S. was ratcheting up the political pressure on them to accept and keep its printed money at fixed rates against their national currencies. Eventually, countries like France decided that enough is enough and started selling their dollars for gold. The U.S. then broke the link between its currency and the precious metal, which, along with the return of floating exchange rates, effectively put an end to Bretton Woods and the gold standard.

A similar situation currently exists in Europe’s own monetary union. Critics say much of its problems stem from its very design, which heavily favors the interests of Germany, the continent’s economic locomotive and one of the world’s largest exporters. The government in Berlin is a supporter of low inflation which ensures German high tech industrial exports continue to bring high revenues. However, in the Eurozone’s southern flank countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece need higher inflation to remain competitive as exporters.

It is becoming evident that a reserve currency beyond the control of various governments would be an improvement over fiat money subordinate to the national interests of one superpower or another. A cryptocurrency that serves as a means of exchange, store of value, unit of account, and which cannot be inflated or deflated through biased political decisions could be an instrument that would facilitate global commercial and financial transactions without favoring a side. Besides, participating parties would own the real asset itself and not some derivative.

Why the Birth of Bitcoin Can Be Traced Back to 1971

Satoshi Nakamoto must have thought about these matters when designing Bitcoin. The person, or persons, behind this name listed a symbolic date as their birthday on Satoshi’s P2P Foundation profile – April 5, 1975. Be it intentional or serendipitous, that’s a date which evokes the historical development of relations between people, government and money.

On April 5, 1933, through Executive Order 6102, the U.S. government forbid its citizens from “hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates.” The aim was to artificially increase demand for its fiat currency at the expense of demand for gold. During the Bretton Woods era, only foreigners, and not U.S. citizens, were allowed to convert dollars into gold, which is arguably one of the system’s flaws. The order was reversed in 1975, making gold possession in the United States legal again.

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Do you think the world’s next reserve currency will be a cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, wtfhappenedin1971.com, World Bank.


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The post Why the Birth of Bitcoin Can Be Traced Back to 1971 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

PR: Plan Flash – Decentralized Data Processing

Par Bitcoin.com PR
PR: Plan Flash - Decentralized Data Processing

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Data processing is indispensable everywhere and all the time in modern life. The daily services we use every day, such as face recognition, voice assistant, text recognition, automatic recommendation, automatic data analysis and so on, all have a large number of data processing requirements and service support.

In fact, data processing services are currently one of the fastest growing and most profitable sectors in the ICT industry. In its first forecast of the “whole cloud” opportunity, International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that worldwide whole industry’s revenues will reach $554 billion in 2021, which represents more than double those of 2016. For the full 2018 year, AWS brought in $25.7 billion revenue to Amazon with a 47% jump on the 2017 year.

Huge Gap between the demand and the supply in near future
Exploding data and the demand for further processing brings severe challenges for the industry. Predicted by Cisco, that the “usable” data produced in 2021 (nearly 90% of the predicted data generated by 2021 will be ephemeral in nature and will be neither saved nor stored) is larger in size compared to the forecasted data center traffic generated per year by a factor of four. Meanwhile, there is a growing demand for computing power from industries and scientific communities to run large applications and process huge volumes of data.

A new form of decentralized cloud that can enable blockchain computing would be needed. We also need to rebuild the business model for lowing the cost of infrastructure usage and meet the enormously increasing demand of data processing. This gap could be filled with blockchain-based decentralized solutions.

Rethinking Decentralized Approaches
Many projects brings their decentralized solutions based on blockchain like iExec, Plan Flash, DADI and Difinity, etc.. Commonly they use a mix of peer-to-peer ad hoc networking, local cloud computing, grid computing, fog computing, distributed data storage and other more sophisticated solutions. However, these decentralized solutions still present many challenges:

1. Making the infrastructure scalable, considering the current scalability limitations of blockchain infrastructures.
2. Ensuring the right incentivization plan is in place for resource providers by guaranteeing fair income distribution.
3. Verifying the computation is done in a proper manner, to avoid potential malicious attacks. Some projects use reputational management techniques, though these techniques need to offer the right balance between weight of reputations and market entry cost.
4. Dealing with diversified hardware, like individual computers, pads, laptops or different servers in various maintenances, as well as the unknown environments that may affect the performance of these computing resources.
5. Dealing with unprecedented collaboration, coordination, and connectivity for each piece, like an individual computer, in the system, and throughout the system as a whole.
All these challenges above haven’t been completely conquered today. The services are not cheap in consider of their real performance. On the contrary, with a practical manner, Plan Flash brings a new combination of data processors and blockchain, to meet the real demand and requirements of data processing around the globe.

What’s Plan Flash?
PLAN FLASH is a powerful distributed global system for general-purpose and selected-purpose data computing and processing. It aims to create a global decentralized marketplace of data processing capability: highly accessible, fault tolerant, secure and cheaper than centralized competition.
Plan Flash also enable individual owners of computing resources to stable income from renting it out. To enable visionary small investors to rent processors and earn lucrative profits with great potential.
In long run Plan Flash is going to create a global blockchain-based distributed data-processing infrastructure for the world’s intelligent age. To support decentralized applications and various data processing procedures in the future.

Supporting Link
https://planflash.org/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: Plan Flash – Decentralized Data Processing appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Banks Stopped Walmart Bank – Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto

Par Jamie Redman
Banks Stopped Walmart Bank - Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto

On August 1, it was discovered that the giant retail corporation Walmart has patented plans for a stablecoin that’s backed by U.S. dollars. If released into the wild, the USD-based cryptocurrency would be issued to select Walmart retailers and partners while the patent’s description explains the coin could be used outside of Walmart’s retail scope as well. Walmart’s patent follows Facebook’s recent Libra announcement and the ‘Walmart coin’ specifications are similar to the social media giant’s project as well.

Also Read: Pre-Register for Bitcoin.com’s New Crypto Exchange to Win Bitcoin Cash Prizes

Walmart Files Patent for a Digital Stablecoin Back by USD

Big-name corporations have been announcing the creation of their very own cryptocurrencies and the news has been a hot subject within the crypto community. It all started on June 18 when Facebook announced the launch of Libra, a stablecoin that will be available in Messenger, Whatsapp and as a standalone app, with the company expecting to launch the product in 2020. However, Facebook’s project riled up politicians and immediately got regulatory pushback from worldwide leaders and threats from U.S. congressional members.

Banks Stopped Walmart Bank – Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto
Walmart’s U.S. patent #2019023656

Now Walmart is stepping into the ring to test its own blockchain technology as the company has filed a new digital currency patent that describes a stablecoin backed by USD. Walmart’s coin, if developed, could be easily be tested at its 11,368 hypermarkets, department stores and grocery clubs located in 27 countries. The Walmart coin was created by Robert Cantrell, David Nelms, John O’Brien, and Brian McHale. The patent’s abstract description states:

“[The] method includes: generating one digital currency unit by tying the one digital currency unit to a regular currency; storing information of the one digital currency unit into a block of a blockchain; buying or paying the one digital currency unit.”

“The digital currency may be pegged to the US dollar and available for use only at selected retailers or partners. In other embodiments, the digital currency is available for use anywhere. The digital currency can provide a fee-free, or fee-minimal place to store wealth that can be spent, for example, at retailers and, if needed, easily converted to cash,” Walmarts filing adds.

Banks Stopped Walmart Bank – Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto
Walmart Coin will be a stablecoin backed by USD.

Walmart Coin Aims to Help Low-Income Households That Find Banking Expensive

A closer look at the filing shows that the Walmart coin concept offers a number of features like “pre-approved biometric (e.g., fingerprint or eye pattern) credit” and could store a user’s transaction history and give loyalty points. Much like Facebook’s Libra, the coin produced by Walmart aims to help low-income families worldwide. “Using a digital currency, low-income households that find banking expensive, may have an alternative way to handle wealth at an institution that can supply the majority of their day-to-day financial and product needs,” the Walmart filing details. “In some embodiments, retailers may be directly to aid organizations for assistance that may be used to provide goods. Retailers may tie into assistance that can provide vehicles or funding for vehicles to get goods to customers when the customers do not have sufficient mobility otherwise,” the patent reveals.

Is Walmart Coin the Corporation’s Second Attempt to Become a Bank?

The news comes years after Walmart attempted to become an industrial loan company (ILC) but got pushback from politicians and regulators. Bankers and anti-Walmart groups forced politicians to pass laws to stop Walmart in its tracks from opening bank branches. Because of the opposition, Walmart’s application filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) never gained traction.

Banks Stopped Walmart Bank – Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto

Just like when Facebook announced Libra, congressional leaders scheduled two public hearings with Walmart over the ILC attempt. During the end of the debate against massive opposition, Walmart removed certain retail banking goals and focused solely on payment processing. Interestingly, the department store’s competitor Target was granted approval by the U.S. government to operate an ILC but skeptics think Walmart’s ILC idea was too broad. The Walmart ILC filing filed in 2005 sat with the FDIC until the corporation withdrew the request in March 2007. “We notified the FDIC today that Walmart has withdrawn the application we made in July 2005 for an Industrial Loan Company (ILC) charter,” the company revealed at the time.

Banks Stopped Walmart Bank – Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto
Walmart filed to be an industrial loan company back in 2005 but bankers and politicians stopped the company.

Walmart’s latest patent filing could be another attempt to enter the banking ecosystem with a cryptocurrency instead of operating bank branches. The digital managing institution could be assigned to an independent third-party institution, Walmart’s filing highlights. Moreover, the Walmart coin could offer users interest applied to savings accounts, tied to the digital currency. “The savings can be greater when the customer buys goods that are on their shopping history and are therefore predicted,” the company patent notes, adding:

Savings further making the digital currency a more attractive option for customers, and overall creating a positive cascade.

Facebook and Walmart Coins That Have a Central Authority of Control Are No Threat to Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin

Of course, after the cryptocurrency community got wind of the Walmart coin patent filing the digital currency was compared to Facebook’s Libra attempt. Coincorner’s CEO Danny Scott doesn’t believe a Walmart cryptocurrency will be competitive against BTC. “Following the announcement of Facebook’s Libra in June, this news was certainly not unexpected – in fact, we expect to see more FAANG companies filing patents for their own cryptocurrencies in the coming months,” Scott wrote to news.Bitcoin.com. “However, while the publicity is obviously good news for the crypto industry, we believe it is a waste of time and resources for these companies – something that will eventually show as time passes,” the CEO added. Scott further stated:

There are already a number of decent stablecoins out there, all doing exactly the same job. The likes of Walmart or Facebook are not bringing anything new to the table, they are just hoping that with a household name behind it, their coin will naturally succeed and become the default choice.

Banks Stopped Walmart Bank – Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto
Many bitcoiners and crypto proponents don’t believe a Walmart coin will have any affect on public digital assets like bitcoin. If you are looking for a place to buy cryptocurrencies like bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), and ethereum (ETH), get access to these digital assets here.

Scott thinks that since the Libra announcement the coin has “opened a can of worms with regards to regulatory concerns” and the company recently admitted the project may not continue because of the regulatory climate. The Coincorner CEO says that Walmart’s attempt will be no different, and to him it doesn’t matter how big and influential these corporations are, the executive opined. “We remain unconcerned with regards to the risk that “Facebook Coin” or “Walmart Coin” or “The Next Big Company Coin” pose a threat to Bitcoin,” Scott stated. “No matter how big the name behind these coins, for as long as there is a central authority with control, Bitcoin has no competition.”

While a patent shows Walmart is thinking about the concept of introducing a cryptocurrency, it hasn’t officially announced making a coin as Facebook did. Crypto spectators and financial pundits will be monitoring Walmart’s idea, but for now the concept is in its very early stages as a simple patent filing. Just as President Donald Trump warned Facebook, it’s likely U.S. bureaucrats will expect Walmart to apply for a federal banking charter if it follows through with producing the patent invention.

What do you think about Walmart possibly creating its own cryptocurrency? Do you think the company will get pushback from bankers and regulators like Facebook did? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Walmart, Wiki Commons, Pixabay, American Banker, and Walmart’s crypto patent discovered by Brian Cohen.


Do you need a reliable Bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy Bitcoin with a credit card.

The post Banks Stopped Walmart Bank – Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Crypto Terminals Offer Venezuelans a Bridge to Economic Prosperity

Par Jamie Redman

Arley Lozano, founder of the cryptocurrency based startup Panda Group, recently explained how his firm is spreading cryptocurrency adoption throughout Colombia and Venezuela. Panda Group has deployed 10 hybrid cryptocurrency point-of-sale (PoS) terminals that also act as automated teller machines (ATM). Four of the machines are situated near the border of Venezuela, giving refugees from the country and Colombian citizens access to cryptocurrencies like BCH, DAI, and BTC.

Also read: South African Payment Gateway Drops BTC Over Fees and Network Congestion

Spreading Crypto Adoption Throughout Colombia and Into Venezuela

In January, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Panda Group installing a hybrid PoS terminal that also works as a digital currency dispensing automated teller machine (ATM). At the time the machine was dubbed the “Exeler,” but since then the product has been rebranded as Pandabtm. Panda Group’s founder Arley Lozano said his team so far has installed 10 Pandabtms around Colombia and four machines are on the border of Venezuela in Cucuta city. The machines can be located on Coinatmradar.com and devices installed near the border are meant to help Venezuelan refugees who cross the Simon Bolivar International Bridge every day.

Panda Group’s Crypto Terminals Offer Venezuelans a Bridge to Economic Prosperity
Simon Bolivar International Bridge.

Panda Group emphasized that the machines process VES (Venezuela soberanía bolívar ) and COP (Colombian pesos). The devices allow anyone to process payments through the Xpay.cash payment system, which provides users with the ability to avoid fiat currency volatility. The machines process sales using a digital asset like bitcoin cash (BCH) or visitors can also purchase coins from the Pandabtm. Lozano told news.Bitcoin.com that the company has 15,000 users and three new partnerships. Panda Group is collaborating with Cobru, Gracon, and Pagos Inteligentes. Panda Group’s founder explained that the new alliances are meant to bolster true cryptocurrency adoption throughout Latin America.

Panda Group’s Crypto Terminals Offer Venezuelans a Bridge to Economic Prosperity

Opening Operations in Our Own House

In addition to the Pandabtm installations, Lozano said that Panda Group’s trading platform Panda.exchange is allowing all Colombians to deposit and withdraw COP. On July 15, accounts will be able to trade 113 different cryptocurrencies and tokens against the local tender. The founder said that this is the first time the door has opened in his country as the team, based in Colombia, have previously worked throughout Panama, Europe, and Portugal.

Panda Group’s Crypto Terminals Offer Venezuelans a Bridge to Economic Prosperity
The founder of the cryptocurrency based startup Panda Group, Arley Lozano, showing off a Pandabtm.

“Panda Group is a Colombian and Venezuelan company that started its operations almost three years ago with the hope of opening our operations in Colombia and generating true Latin American adoption. However, thanks to the slowness and fears we ended up operating outside of Colombia, in regions like Panama and Portugal,” Lozano explained, adding:

Now we come to open operations in our own house and we hope that the Colombian government and the local banks see us as allies. Panda Group wants to encourage the true education of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and heal the wounds caused by Ponzis and pyramid schemes that plagued Colombia.

Panda Group’s Crypto Terminals Offer Venezuelans a Bridge to Economic Prosperity
Pandabtm locations.

Pushing the Orange Economy to the Blockchain

Lozano insisted that Panda Group wants the country’s citizens to know what true blockchain innovation and cryptocurrency solutions are. He noted that the Panda team is filled with passionate and talented individuals willing to work hard for that goal. The Panda Group founder detailed that Latin America was an “orange economy” filled with cultural and creative entrepreneurs. Between the Panda Group team, the Panda.exchange, Ccoins.io, Pandabtm, and Xpay, his crew is ready to take the “orange economy to the blockchain level.” Lozano commented further:

We will help all the individuals who want to learn what cryptocurrency technology is or assist them in buying their first digital currency using one of our many services where you can buy BCH, BTC, and more.

Panda Group’s Crypto Terminals Offer Venezuelans a Bridge to Economic Prosperity
Pandabtm locations situated near the Venezuelan border according to Coinatmradar.com.

The demand for digital assets in Colombia exceeds many other Latin American countries and the region is second to Brazil in terms of adoption. In fact, Rodolfo Andragnes, executive director of NGO Bitcoin Argentina, explained that there is clamor surrounding bitcoin and its “popularity has been impressive considering that it’s been only ten years and hundreds of new cryptocurrencies have been created.” “Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia are the countries with the highest activity and growth in the use of cryptocurrencies throughout Latin America,” Andragnes said in June. “Colombia has great potential and more and more people see the benefits of Bitcoin,” the NGO Bitcoin Argentina executive explained . Situated in Bogata, Lozano agrees that Colombia is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to digital asset usage and overall activity in Latin America.

Panda Group’s Crypto Terminals Offer Venezuelans a Bridge to Economic Prosperity
Cell phone shop owner showing off his Pandabtm in La Parada mall.

One of the Pandabtm machines located in Cucuta near the Simon Bolivar International Bridge is aimed at helping Venezuelan refugees escape the hardships of their stricken economy. The 300-meter-long bridge spans the Táchira River which covers the Colombian and Venezuelan border. Cucuta is an access point for many Venezuelans seeking safety from the country’s economic crisis. The Simon Bolivar International Bridge sees a lot of foot traffic as Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro closed the bridge to vehicular traffic.

“Thousands of Venezuelans cross the bridge,” Lozano told news.Bitcoin.com. “No cars are allowed to cross the bridge and only people can cross taking basic stuff like medicine, food, and supplies. They pass through to buy food and some of them are crossing to reach Peru or Ecuador. They pass and sometimes stay a few days — Some pass to work and return home in the night.”

Panda Group’s Crypto Terminals Offer Venezuelans a Bridge to Economic Prosperity
A great number of Venezuela’s refugees pass through Cucuta, crossing the Simon Bolivar International Bridge.

The Pandabtm positioned across the Táchira River is in Villa del Rosario City which sees vast numbers of Venezuelan travelers daily. Lozano is pleased with the strides Panda Group has been making and concluded that the company’s goals include increasing cryptocurrency ease of use and spreading economic prosperity. The Panda Group founder added:

Our products are designed so that even our grandparents can use them and we are always thinking of our Venezuelan brothers and sisters.

What do you think about what Panda Group has been doing in Colombia and Venezuela? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Arley Lozano, Coinatmradar.com, and Panda Group.


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PR: Telcoin Partners With Vimo – Leading Vietnamese Mobile Wallet

Par Bitcoin.com PR
PR: Telcoin Partners With Vimo - Leading Vietnamese Mobile Wallet

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Telcoin partners with leading Vietnamese mobile wallet VIMO for international remittance. Partnership aims to introduce fastest, most affordable option for US$1B Canada-Vietnam remittance corridor.

26th June 2019 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Singapore and Hanoi, Vietnam — Telcoin Pte. Ltd., a fintech startup leveraging blockchain technology to facilitate high-speed, low-cost international remittances, today announced a partnership with Vimo Technology JSC, operator of leading Vietnamese digital wallet Vimo.

Under the partnership, Telcoin users in Vietnam will soon be able to accept inbound international remittances from Canada (in CAD) and cash out to their Vimo digital wallet balance (in VND). Vimo has more than 1 million active wallets across Vietnam. In addition to merchant payments, Vimo offers P2P transfers, bill payment, ecommerce payment, mobile top-up, and bank transfer.

According to the World Bank, nearly US$1 billion in remittance outflows were sent from Canada to Vietnam in 2017. Incumbent remittance providers often charge exorbitant fees or take an unfair cut of currency exchange rates, with the global average cost of sending an international remittance at 7.01 percent. That figure is even higher for sending money from Canada to Vietnam, at 7.63 percent (US$15.25) to send US$200. Telcoin is targeting just 1 to 2.5 percent to send a secure remittance via mobile device in seconds, and the Telcoin Wallet application makes the entire process as easy as sending a text message.

In addition to Canada, Telcoin and Vimo plan to expand inbound remittance services to additional corridors in the near future. Vietnam’s top-10 inbound corridors generate more than US$12.6 billion in annual remittance volume, with the average cost of sending US$200 ranging from approximately 5 to 10 percent. Telcoin and Vimo look forward to disrupting the status quo and putting more money back into the hands of Vietnamese remittance recipients.

“We’re excited to bring Telcoin remittances to the Vietnamese market with Vimo,” said Mr. Claude P. Eguienta, Telcoin co-founder and CEO. “Vietnam is a major recipient of international remittances, and starting with the Canada-Vietnam corridor, we look forward to bringing a more affordable, hassle-free, and easy-to-use option to our customers there.”

“As one of the pioneering money transfer service providers in Vietnam, we acknowledge that the demands for transferring money from overseas into Vietnam is very huge,” said Mr. Do Cong Dien, Vimo CEO. “Cooperating with Telcoin, we hope to create an easier, cheaper, faster, and safer way for the Vietnamese community working in Canada to send money to their home country.”

Follow Telcoin and Vimo for further details and to be the first to know when Telcoin Remittances go live in Vietnam.

Telcoin:
Website: https://www.telco.in/
Twitter: @telcoin_team
Telegram: t.me/telcoincommunity
Vimo: https://vimo.vn/
Website:
Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/vimo.vn/

Email:
hotro@vimo.vn

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Tony Hawk Foundation Added to Bitpay’s 100 Crypto Supporting Nonprofits

Par Jamie Redman
Tony Hawk Foundation Added to Bitpay's 100 Crypto Supporting Nonprofits

On June 24, well known nonprofit the Tony Hawk Foundation revealed it is now accepting cryptocurrencies for donations through Bitpay. The foundation founded by the pro skater Tony Hawk has funded 623 skatepark projects and now people can donate with BCH and BTC. With the latest collaboration, Bitpay now services over 100 nonprofit organizations processing $37 million in donations over the last three years.

Also read: BCH Development Fund Doubles Its Goal After a Successful Month

Tony Hawk Foundation Now Supports Crypto Payments

Tony Hawk is one of the most recognizable professional skateboarders of all time. The American athlete has influenced generations of kids and young adults to jump on a four-wheeled board. Hawk not only created dozens of the tricks we know of today, but he was always relatable and funny in movies like Gleaming the Cube and the Bones Brigade. After his amazing career of inventing new tricks and pioneering the modern age of vertical skateboarding, Hawk created a nonprofit so the youth can continue this legacy.

Tony Hawk Foundation Added to Bitpay's 100 Crypto Supporting Nonprofits
People can donate to the Tony Hawk Foundation here.

So far there are more than 500 Tony Hawk Foundation (THF) grant recipients who have opened skateparks and these parks are visited by more than 5 million people annually. This week the charity announced a partnership with Bitpay in order to accept crypto payments in BCH and BTC.

“THF has long been recognized for our innovative approach to building communities, and we’re excited to offer this great new way to support our work,” Miki Vuckovich, executive director of the Tony Hawk Foundation, stated.

Tony Hawk Foundation Added to Bitpay's 100 Crypto Supporting Nonprofits
“After receiving thousands of e-mails from parents and children across America who did not have a safe, legal place to skate and in some cases arrested for skating on public property, Tony Hawk decided to establish a foundation whose mission would be to serve this population. $9 million has been awarded by the Tony Hawk Foundation to help create public skateparks.”

Bitpay Processes $37 Million in Cryptocurrency-Denominated Donations

The partnership with THF highlights the fact that the Atlanta based cryptocurrency payment processor Bitpay now supports over 100 nonprofits. According to the firm, since 2017 Bitpay has processed more than $37 million in cryptocurrency-denominated donations. Well known charitable organizations working with Bitpay include the Wikimedia Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Greenpeace, Heifer International, The Water Project, and the American National Red Cross. Donating funds with crypto can be done easily on a mobile device or home computer in less than a minute. Moreover, BTC or BCH-based donations can be accounted for and verified on a public block explorer.

Tony Hawk Foundation Added to Bitpay's 100 Crypto Supporting Nonprofits
Nonprofits that accept digital currency donations via Bitpay.

After revealing the alliance with the charity THF, Sonny Singh, the chief commercial officer of Bitpay, explained that as blockchain payments continue to move mainstream, “[Bitpay] is seeing an increase in donations from the crypto community.” Singh continued:

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash offer an economical payment option in comparison to traditional bank options where more money goes to charity rather than paying fees.

Many people believe that cryptocurrencies will revolutionize the money system, but at the same time, philanthropy can be enhanced by being able to fund any project from across the world. Much needed and often taken for granted things like schools and water wells can be built. And now people can donate to kids who want to drop in on a halfpipe for the first time or be the next kid to land the 900.

What do you think about the Tony Hawk Foundation accepting cryptocurrency donations? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Tony Hawk Foundation, Pixabay, and Bitpay.


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Consumer Affairs Report Shows 70% Spike in Japanese Crypto Inquiries

Par Jamie Redman
Consumer Affairs Report Shows Crypto-Related Inquiries Spike in Japan by 70%

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) has released its 2019 report and noted a significant spike in inquiries concerning cryptocurrency related issues last year. The report details a 70% increase in 2018 in regard to consumer queries largely stemming from exchange issues. Moreover, over the last two quarters of 2019, the Japanese yen paired with various cryptocurrencies like BCH and BTC has been climbing steadily, showing the country has a lot of demand for digital assets.

Also read: Policymakers Meet to Finalize Global Crypto Guidance – A Look at Standards G20 Supports

CAA Report: Crypto-Related Inquiries Spike by 70% in 2018

Over the last few years, Japan has been a hotbed for cryptocurrency innovation. Things really started heating up after Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) officially announced that Bitcoin was recognized as a legal method of payment on April 1, 2017. Since then, there have been lots of crypto-related business developments, regulations formed, and crypto exchanges launched in the Pacific island nation. This week Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) published its 2019 consumer affairs report which touches upon inquiries and complaints surrounding the digital asset industry.

Consumer Affairs Report Shows 70% Spike in Japanese Crypto Inquiries

The latest CAA report has not yet been fully translated by the agency, but rough translations reveal that in 2018 there were roughly 3,657 cases that were tethered to cryptocurrency exchange complaints. The number represents a 70% increase in contrast to the prior year when there were 2,166 queries and complaints involved with digital currencies. The CAA has seen a consistent increase in queries since 2014. For instance, the number surpassed the previous year by 3.5X and 1.7X more than the year prior. Lots of complaints and queries derived from exchange customers who had issues receiving funds after paying and other complaints described user-side hacks. Other inquiries asked the CAA about digital assets in general and the credibility and reputation of certain exchanges.

Despite Increasing Crypto Regulation, Digital Assets Continue to Trend in Japan

In addition to this news, a recent study from the Block’s Larry Cermak has shown that behind U.S. exchange visitors, Japan leads with the world’s second highest traffic to worldwide exchanges. According to Cermak’s data, the U.S. accounted for 24.5% of exchange traffic while Japanese visitors made up around 10% of the traffic visiting crypto trading platforms. The trend has continued to rise in Japan despite the regulatory climate changing in the country on a regular basis. Japan recently passed a new cryptocurrency bill which addresses transferring crypto assets, income taxes, and income related transactions using digital currencies. A spokesperson from the FSA described the new bill to news.Bitcoin.com in May. Moreover, on June 28-29, Osaka Japan will be hosting the V20 summit which will see well-known crypto businesses debate the proposed FATF international standards.

Consumer Affairs Report Shows 70% Spike in Japanese Crypto Inquiries

Despite all the regulation and FATF standards looming, the Japanese yen has increased significantly when it comes to the global money flow into digital assets. In 2017, the yen (JPY) was a top pair with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin core (BTC) throughout the crypto bull run. However, in 2018 the JPY against crypto pairs like BCH and BTC dropped significantly as regulation spiked in the country and Coincheck exchange was hacked. In the first six months of 2019 things have changed drastically and the Japanese yen has gradually muscled its way into the top five currency pairs against BTC and BCH.

Consumer Affairs Report Shows 70% Spike in Japanese Crypto Inquiries

Today JPY captures 4-5% of the global BTC trade volumes worldwide and 1-1.5% of bitcoin cash global trade volumes. This is a significant amount of volume comparatively seeing how most global crypto trade volumes are dominated by tether (USDT). The 70% increase in crypto-related queries reported by the CAA shows the trend in crypto interest continues to grow in Japan.

What do you think about the recent increase in consumer inquiries toward cryptocurrencies and exchanges with Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Coinlib.io, Crypto Compare, and the Consumer Affairs Agency Japan.


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24 Countries and IMF Discuss Global Standards of Crypto Regulation

Par Kevin Helms
24 Countries and IMF Discuss Global Standards of Crypto Regulation

Twenty-four financial authorities and 11 international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, recently gathered in New York and discussed global standards of crypto regulation. “It is important to consistently implement international standards,” said the chairman of South Korea’s top financial regulator who attended the meeting.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request

Financial Authorities Discuss Crypto Regulation

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) Plenary met at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Friday to discuss “vulnerabilities in the global financial system” and the progress report to be delivered to the upcoming G20 meetings in Japan. Among the topics of discussion was global standards of crypto regulation.

24 Countries and IMF Discuss Global Standards of Crypto Regulation

“The plenary discussed the different initiatives underway at standard-setting bodies to address risks from crypto-assets and any possible gaps in this work,” the FSB detailed. The Board added that its work on crypto assets has focused on two areas: monitoring of the financial stability implications and a directory of crypto asset regulators. Promising that it will publish an update on “the work of the standard-setting bodies and will deliver it to the June meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors,” the Board elaborated:

Members took note of the continued rapid evolution of crypto-asset markets and the need for continued monitoring of developments… the FSB is exploring financial stability, regulatory and governance implications of decentralised financial technologies.

The FSB is an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system. Its members include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S., the European Union, the Bank of International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank.

24 Countries and IMF Discuss Global Standards of Crypto Regulation

Earlier this month, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told CNBC, “I think the role of the disruptors and anything that is using distributed ledger technology, whether you call it crypto, assets, currencies, or whatever … that is clearly shaking the system,” adding that they must be monitored to maintain stability.

Transnational Cooperation Needed

According to South Korean media, the meeting was attended by 24 financial authorities and 11 international organizations including the IMF and the World Bank. All are members of the FSB.

Choi Jong-ku, Chairman of South Korea’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), attended the meeting. He told local media that the group discussed international cooperation on crypto regulation.

24 Countries and IMF Discuss Global Standards of Crypto Regulation
FSC Chairman Choi Jong-ku

“Transnational cooperation is necessary to regulate virtual currencies,” Choi was quoted by Toyo Economy news outlet as saying. He asserted that each country needs to implement relevant regulation in accordance with the international standards prepared by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), noting:

It is important to consistently implement international standards agreed by international organizations on a country-by-country basis to minimize regulatory inconsistencies.

The G20 has reaffirmed its support for the FATF as “the global anti-money laundering, counter terrorist financing, and proliferation financing standard-setting body,” as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. The FATF is currently updating its recommendations for crypto regulation. Several countries, including India, are working with the organization on global standards for crypto assets.

Do you think these countries should implement global standards to minimize crypto regulatory inconsistencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Toyo Economy.


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Aussie School’s Cryptocurrency Programs Attract International Attention

Par Samuel Haig
Aussie School's Cryptocurrency Programs Attract International Attention

In August 2017, news.Bitcoin.com covered a number of cryptocurrency programs that were being offered to the students of Wooranna primary school in Victoria, Australia. Nearly two years later, the school’s cryptocurrency programs continue to thrive, with the students having recently interviewed Andreas Antonopolous, and attracted visitors from Europe, North America, and Asia.

Also Read: Australian Primary School Students Explore Bitcoin

Students of Wooranna Primary School Are Not Deterred by Bear Trend

The cryptocurrency programs offered to students of Wooranna primary school have continued to expand despite 2018’s bear trend. Even though the school is situated in a “low socioeconomic area” as described by Keiran Nolan, a former network engineer turned educational technologist who runs Wooranna’s blockchain programs, 2019 has already seen Wooranna’s students afforded unique opportunities within the cryptocurrency sector.

In January, the students were invited to help create the narrative for the educational edition of the video game Crypto Crisis, which was developed by Armoured Beans. The game allows players to operate a virtual mining rig, learning about heat management, energy consumption, and upgrading hardware in the process. The education edition was made available on Steam on Feb. 19 and was distributed to Wooranna’s companion schools in Sydney and New Zealand.

Aussie School’s Cryptocurrency Programs Attract International Attention

On Feb. 20, 11-year-old Wooranna students Sierra and Kynan interviewed Andreas Antonopolous, during which they discussed nodes, hardware wallets, the 21 million supply cap on BTC, and Minecraft.

Wooranna Cryptocurrency Programs Find International Attention

Recently, the students have been working with hardware wallets using Minecraft as a catalyst. Nolan states that the kids split into teams and set about sending some dogecoin to hardware wallets, “then in Minecraft, the teams find created ways to hide the 24 phrase, and both teams have to ‘hack’ the other account to retrieve the Dogecoin to their own wallets.”

The cryptocurrency programs have been to the benefit of many of the parents, in addition to the students, with Nolan recounting that “some parents on school council did really well on investments as a result” of being exposed to the technology, adding that “one of the kids learned how to mine ETH and did it at home with his dad, which was pretty awesome.”

Aussie School’s Cryptocurrency Programs Attract International Attention

Nolan recently presented at the world’s largest educational technology conference, Betts, in which he shared many of the successes of the programs, including the story of a Singaporean family who had relocated to Melbourne in order to facilitate their child’s attendance in the program.

Nolan is also currently working on Rocketshoes, a blockchain and IPFS educational platform that allows students to “keep track of their own learning materials, including assignments, notes, and digital assets.” In addition to Wooranna, more than 300 Australian schools and universities have expressed interest in adopting the platform.

Do you think that programs covering Bitcoin and distributed ledger technology should be incorporated into school curriculums? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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Basel Committee Sets out Guidelines for Banks Intending to Enter Crypto Market

Par Jeffrey Gogo
Basel Committee Sets out Guidelines for Banks Intending to Enter Crypto Market

The Basel Committee has laid out guidelines for banks that plan to enter the cryptocurrency market. While outlining the supposed threats posed by crypto assets in terms of financial stability, the committee has said it expects banks that are going to have direct exposure to the crypto industry to be prudent in their approach. As a minimum requirement, banks should improve their risk management and disclosure processes to reduce risk, it recommended.

Also read: Xena Launches Leveraged Contract for yet to be Released Telegram Token

‘Improve Risk Management and Disclosure Processes’

Housed under the Bank for International Settlements, the Basel Committee is a conglomerate of banking supervisory authorities that was established by the central bank governors of the Group of Ten countries in 1974. Its objective is to enhance understanding of key supervisory issues and improve the quality of banking supervision worldwide.

Basel Committee Sets out Guidelines for Banks Intending to Enter Crypto Market

In a statement released on March 13, the global banking watchdog encouraged banks to undertake adequate due diligence and to have a clearly defined risk management framework that combats fraud, money laundering and financing of terrorism. Risks from direct or indirect exposure to cryptocurrencies should be reported in the bank’s internal capital and liquidity adequacy assessment processes. The committee stated:

 

Before acquiring exposures to crypto assets or providing related services, a bank should conduct comprehensive analyses of the risks. A bank should publicly disclose any material crypto-asset exposures or related services as part of its regular financial disclosures and specify the accounting treatment for such exposures, consistent with domestic laws and regulations.

‘Cryptocurrencies Pose Threat to Financial Stability’

Bank exposure to cryptocurrencies remains relatively low, even when some institutions have started to offer services such as opening business accounts for cryptocurrency businesses as well as buying and selling digital assets for institutional investors. Others, like those in Brazil, have gone the opposite way, shutting down accounts belonging to cryptocurrency exchanges without notice.

In its report, the Basel Committee accused crypto assets, which have continued to grow, of posing a threat to banks and to financial stability. It claimed that cryptocurrencies are not a reliable substitute for money and are unsafe to rely on as a medium of exchange or store of value. Crypto assets are also highly volatile and expose banks to risks including fraud and terrorist financing links, the committee alleged.

Basel Committee Sets out Guidelines for Banks Intending to Enter Crypto Market

“Crypto assets are not legal tender, and are not backed by any government or public authority,” it detailed. “They present a number of risks for banks, including liquidity risk … operational risk (including fraud and cyber risks); money laundering and terrorist financing risk.”

The committee revealed that it is working with other global standard setting bodies and the Financial Stability Board to “clarify the prudential treatment of such exposures to appropriately reflect the high degree of risk of crypto assets.”

What do you think about the Basel Committee’s recommendations? Let us know in the comments section below below.


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Indian Crypto Exchange Wazirx Taking Auto-Matching P2P Services Global

Par Kevin Helms
Indian Crypto Exchange Wazirx Taking Auto-Matching P2P Services Global

Cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx is expanding globally. “While India has a banking ban,” the CEO of the exchange told news.Bitcoin.com, “we realized there’s banking trouble in a lot more countries.” Over 40 cryptocurrencies will be available to all major countries, with the exchange’s auto-matching P2P services to launch one country at a time based on user demand.

Also read: Indian Government Confirms Cryptocurrency Regulation in Final Stages

Wazirx Going Global

Wazirx has announced its plans to expand to international markets. CEO Nischal Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com on Sunday:

We’ll be making our crypto-to-crypto markets available globally within the next week … All the 40+ crypto currently available on Wazirx will be available to all the major countries.

Indian Crypto Exchange Wazirx Taking Auto-Matching P2P Services Global

As for its peer-to-peer (P2P) services, Wazirx plans to launch “one country at a time based on demand from the users of specific countries,” Shetty clarified. “Based on user signups, we’ll launch P2P services for the countries with [the] highest demand and expand to more countries accordingly.”

The CEO detailed that “non-Indian users will have to provide their identity proof and also verify their mobile numbers” in order to “ensure that P2P services adhere to KYC and AML laws of the countries we launch in.”

Auto-Matching Engine

Wazirx celebrated its one-year anniversary on March 7. The exchange revealed at the time that over 30 percent of its P2P transactions are done in under five minutes, with an average completion time of 19.4 minutes. Furthermore, there have been “0% fraud cases” on its platform, the exchange claims, noting that only 2 percent of its P2P transactions “go into dispute and we’re constantly working on reducing this further.”

Indian Crypto Exchange Wazirx Taking Auto-Matching P2P Services Global

Shetty explained to news.Bitcoin.com:

Wazirx P2P is an auto-matching engine which automatically matches your P2P buy/sell order.

He elaborated that “Unlike local classifieds type of website for P2P,” orders are automatically matched, emphasizing that “It’s completely automated and the experience is just like a regular trading experience.”

Combating Banking Problems

Sharing the reasons for Wazirx’s international expansion, the CEO described:

While India has a banking ban, on researching we realized there’s banking trouble in a lot more countries.

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), issued a circular in April last year banning banks from providing services to crypto exchanges. To combat this banking restriction, Wazirx and several other local exchanges launched exchange-escrowed P2P services to enable customers to continue to withdraw INR.

Indian Crypto Exchange Wazirx Taking Auto-Matching P2P Services Global

“Presently, many users in a lot of countries are stuck with bad local exchanges that have high fees and high premiums on crypto,” Shetty asserted. “We’ve seen banking issues resulting in account freezes and causing trouble to users in many countries,” he continued, noting that “P2P is safer as we’ll never hold the users’ fiat in our own bank accounts.”

What do you think of Wazirx expanding globally? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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PR: Austrian ANON Blockchain Summit Attracts Billion Dollar Businesses

Par Bitcoin.com PR
Austrian ANON Blockchain Summit Attracts Billion Dollar Businesses

This is a press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

The inaugural ANON Blockchain Summit Austria will be held April 2-3, featuring Microsoft, IBM, Alibaba Cloud and Accenture plus other big names, with the aim of putting Vienna’s vibrant blockchain scene on the map.

The event is expected to bring more than 2,000 people together to talk blockchain, cryptocurrency and decentralization, and with 80 national and international speakers, 40 exhibitors and 100 investors it is shaping up to be the country’s premium networking event.

The main topics of the event will be government, blockchain for business, healthcare, energy, banking, supply chain and mobility, and alongside Microsoft, IBM and Accenture, there will also be representatives from Hyperledger, Bitfury, Bitmain, Raiffeisen Bank International, Wien Energie and Merck.

Sparking adoption and encouraging conversation is the goal of organizer and co-founder Daniel Lenikus, who says he wants the event to bridge the gap between technology and big business and to grow to become Europe’s biggest blockchain event.

“We believe in blockchain and are working towards its mass adoption. This event is the first step to achieving that,” he said. “By bringing in billion-dollar businesses for the first Austrian Blockchain Summit we’re signaling our intent and working to put Austria’s blockchain community on the map.

“We want to show the potential of blockchain technology and show people what is actually happening besides the hype around cryptocurrencies. The event will showcase real use cases from industry leaders. We want to help people get educated and see the real-world applications of blockchain.”

As well as big business, attendees will be joined by blockchain representatives including writer and analyst Joseph Young, and Helen Hai, head of Binance’s Charity Foundation, as well as government regulators and even royalty, with Prince Michael of Liechtenstein signed up to speak.

Alongside an impressive list of speakers, the event will feature workshops, dedicated networking areas and space for start-ups and investors to talk business discreetly.

Daniel and fellow founders Maximilian Humer and Michael Beches set up ANON after their regular Vienna blockchain meetup, Block and Wine, exploded in popularity.

Now, they’re working with the Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC) to organize the event.

Alfred Taudes, ABC Director, said: “Austria is one of those countries that is very open to digitization and new technologies … this (event) will bring additional international attention to our country.”

“We’re all excited about the space,” Daniel said, “There is so much potential in blockchain and our aim is to become the number one platform in Europe to support partnerships between blockchain and corporate businesses.”

The focus of the conference is on promoting the discourse between public and business sectors, science and research, and art and technology, and building bridges between these industry sectors.

Start-ups, government agencies and interested investors will also be able to communicate and network. The conference will Austria’s premium event to build long-lasting and beneficial partnerships.

The event will run from April 2nd-3rd, and will be held at the Gösserhalle, in central Vienna.

ANON Blockchain Summit Austria is supported by the Vienna Government, and has already attracted major sponsors, including Accenture, Wien Energie and Raiffeisen Bank, with Lufthansa Group partnering to provide travel to the event. The team is working hard to bring in more representatives from big businesses.

To find out more, for tickets and to get involved visit: www.blockchainsummitaustria.com

Editorial contact:

Journalists and editors can contact press@blockchainsummitaustria.com for more information.

This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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South Korea’s Central Bank Says CBDCs Will Disrupt Financial Stability

Par Jeffrey Gogo

South Korea’s central bank has warned that adopting a state-backed cryptocurrency as an official form of legal tender would threaten the country’s financial stability. In a report, the Bank of Korea (BoK) said such a currency, also known as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), could result in a spike in interest rates and a liquidity crunch.

Also read: Australian Banks Fraudulently Collected Fees From Deceased Customers

‘CBDCs Will Cause Liquidity Shortages and Interest Rates to Rise’

Built on the blockchain, CBDCs are typically issued by central banks to work just like fiat money, but without necessarily replacing bank notes and coins. Korea said at the end of January that it was not considering issuing a government-backed digital currency anytime soon because there wasn’t any urgent need for one.

Now, the Asian country has issued a report to back up that decision. According to a newspaper article published in the Korea Times on Feb. 7, the BoK explained that the introduction of a CBDC will replace demand deposits held by local commercial banks. That’s because people will likely prefer the state-sponsored cryptocurrency, which they may deem safer and secure, to the domestic fiat unit, it said.

South Korea Central Bank Says CBDCs Will Disrupt Financial Integrity

The idea behind this thinking is that as depositors withdraw money from the bank, commercial banks will fall into a liquidity trap, forcing the money supply to drop. This will ultimately see interest shooting up.

Kwon Oh-ik, one of the co-authors of the Bank of Korea report, elaborated:

The central bank digital currency is a kind of a BoK-issued bank account. People trust it more than one in a commercial bank. Demand deposits are one of the biggest sources of loans for banks. When people pull out their money, banks raise rates, or lower the reserve ratio, to secure more funds.

Kwon further indicated that the BoK, which has conducted and recently completed a long-term study on cryptocurrencies, should be more cautious and analyze any negative consequences that could arise from the issuance of a CBDC.

Global Central Banks Show Interest in CBDCs

Cashless transactions have soared around the world in recent years, unsettling many of the control freaks who work for various governments. Bitcoin, for example, was created to challenge the conventional financial system and return the ownership of money to the people, beyond the reach of the state.

But this vision has not endeared it to global financial gurus who are steeped in tradition. Unsurprisingly, many national governments have raised concerns about cryptocurrencies and have called for tighter regulation while angling to issue their own versions of centralized digital currencies.

A recent report by the Bank for International Settlements showed about 70 percent of central banks throughout the world are researching CBDCs, although “this work is primarily conceptual and only a few intend to issue a CBDC in the short to medium term”.

South Korea Central Bank Says CBDCs Will Disrupt Financial Integrity
Christine Lagarde

However, the International Monetary Fund’s head Christine Lagarde has urged central banks to consider issuing digital currency to make transactions more secure. At a conference in Singapore in November, Lagarde argued that state-backed cryptocurrencies could satisfy public policy goals related to financial inclusion, consumer protection, privacy and fraud prevention.

“I believe we should consider the possibility to issue digital currency,” Lagarde said at the time. “There may be a role for the state to supply money to the digital economy. The advantage is clear. Your payment would be immediate, safe, cheap and potentially semi-anonymous. And central banks would retain a sure footing in payments.”

Citing the example of central banks in Canada, China, Sweden and Uruguay, which are all “seriously considering” the introduction of their own digital currencies, Lagarde said a state-issued cryptocurrency would be a liability of the state, just like fiat money. Such currencies could reduce the cost of transactions while maximizing security and spreading adoption, but they would not be censorship-resistant cryptocurrency in the true sense.

What do you think about CBDCs and financial stability? Let us know in the comments section below.


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