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Cryptocurrency Infused Islamic Microfinance Fund Launches in Central Java


Cryptocurrency Infused Islamic Microfinance Fund Launches in Central Java

Emerging Markets

This week the firm Blossom Finance announced the open enrollment for an Islamic microfinance fund that will accept multiple cryptocurrencies such as BCH, ETH, and BTC. Investors will focus on socially responsible opportunities, and receive profit sharing from Blossom’s network of microfinance partners in the province of Central Java, Indonesia through a partnership with the PBMT Ventura.

Also read: Five Reasons Why Bitcoin Cash is About to Win Big

Cryptocurrencies, Microfinance, and Central Java

News.Bitcoin.com recently spoke with Matthew Martin, the CEO of Blossom Finance about the launch of Blossom’s new cryptocurrency infused microfinance fund. Blossom enables international investors a commercial return on microfinance institutions that are aimed at reducing poverty. The company partners with ‘BMT’ (Baital Mal wat Tamwil) model institutions that focus on solving social issues and creating self-sustaining businesses. Now Blossom is partnered with PBMT Ventura, an Indonesian Islamic microfinance firm, and plans to publicly launch a cryptocurrency microfinance fund.

Cryptocurrency Infused Islamic Microfinance Fund Launches in Central Java
Blossom CEO Matthew Martin and Managing Director of PBMT Ventura Jamil Abbas pose with members of BMT Al Huda’s management and staff after a meeting in Wonosobo, Central Java, Indonesia.

The funds raised will be utilized to bolster micro-businesses and traditional market sellers to meet the increased demand during the upcoming Ramadan holiday, Blossom details. In order to participate, investors will have the option to invest with Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ethereum (ETH) via Blossom’s US Delaware based fund; the fund will also accept USD investments.

“We’ve spent the last few years developing a network and making key partnerships in Indonesia. Our partnership with PBMT — which is a fully licensed venture capital company in Indonesia — allows us to help some of the best microfinance institutions in the world,” Martin explains to news.Bitcoin.com.

We’re truly inspired by the work these teams are doing in Central Java, and we’re thrilled to open up the fund to public investment.

Cryptocurrency Infused Islamic Microfinance Fund Launches in Central Java
The BMT Tamzis team poses in their “batik” uniforms after a meeting with Blossom Finance in Wonosobo, Central Java, Indonesia.

Gradually Putting the Loan Sharks Out of Business

Blossom’s fund will focus exclusively on microfinance solutions that adhere to the BMT model. BMT branches offer commercial financing, community-based savings, and encourage the growth of local businesses. Financial products BMTs provide traditionally serve the ‘under-banked’ citizens and businesses that fall below conventional bank thresholds, Blossom details.

“We’re huge proponents of the BMT model in Indonesia. When you go around with one of these BMT agents into the community, and you see the relationship between the agent and the cooperative members, you begin to understand that this model is something special – it’s a totally different model of banking unlike anything in the conventional banking realm” said Martin. “The loan sharks hate this model because it’s gradually putting them out of business.”

Cryptocurrency Infused Islamic Microfinance Fund Launches in Central Java
A traditional morning market seller and BMT member in Sukorejo, Indonesia. Blossom’s fund invests in many market sellers like this via the BMT network, which provides financial services to Indonesia’s working class.

Blossom’s Recent Islamic Finance Bitcoin Research Paper Bolsters the Microfinance Fund That Aims to Help Traditional Market Sellers

The news follows Blossom’s in-depth research analysis that shows bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies meet the Islamic definition of money under Shariah rules and that it’s permissible for Muslims to use. Because of this, the firm’s fund will be a first of its kind that enables BTC, BCH, and ETH acceptance for those who adhere to the Islamic finance doctrines. “What we do is truly global by nature, so naturally it makes sense to leverage the world’s first truly global currencies,” Martin emphasizes to news.Bitcoin.com. “We use bitcoin and ethereum to transfer money globally more cheaply and quickly than the banks can do it — And we get much more competitive exchange rates this way.”

Investing in Blossom’s microfinance fund helps traditional market sellers to earn an honest living by supplying food and necessities for daily life — Muslims should focus on productive, real-world economic activity – not merely playing with exchange rates and fluctuation.

What do you think about Blossom’s Islamic microfinance solution that accepts bitcoin and ethereum? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Matthew Martin, and Blossom. 

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James Bond-Like Villain in $2 Million Bitcoin Heist Caught in Amsterdam


James Bond-like Bitcoin Villain in $2 Million Heist Finally Caught in Amsterdam


Amsterdam police have announced the re-arrest of Sindri Thor Stefansson. He was initially arrested days ago in Iceland in connection with a bitcoin hardware mining caper that included 600 computers worth $2 million. In a James Bond-like villain move, after his first capture he managed to escape, reportedly hitching a ride on a plane carrying Iceland’s prime minister.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: ICO Scares Investors with Ghost Prank

Bond-Like Bitcoin Villain Re-Arrested

Mr. Stefansson, after have absconded, wrote to a popular online site to plead his case. “I simply refuse to be in prison of my own free will,” he explained to Frettabladid, “especially when the police threaten to arrest me without explanation. I’m not trying to say that it was the right decision to leave, I really regret it…I didn’t expect an international arrest warrant to be issued against me, as I was legally free to leave, and believed it was out of the question that I would be labelled a fugitive. I would never have done this if I didn’t believe I was a free man.”

James Bond-like Bitcoin Villain in $2 Million Heist Finally Caught in Amsterdam
Sindri Thor Stefansson shown on CCTV while at large

It’s something straight out of a movie. Media outlets are claiming Sindri Thor Stefansson to be a “mastermind”. He, at the very least, was implicated recently in a major crime for the country of Iceland: $2 million in computer mining hardware is missing, believed to be part of an elaborate theft conspiracy, involving a gang of 11 others including Mr. Stefansson’s wife.

Mr. Stefansson escaped what local press refers to as “low-security” confinement after first being arrested. He was held in Sogn, an open prison 59 miles from the country’s international airport (95 km). It’s so loose it doesn’t have a fence, and detainees can even surf the net.

Thought He Could Avoid Capture Indefinitely

The mastermind slipped out through a window. He somehow later made it to the airport, procuring a flight boarding pass under an assumed name (though he paid with his own debit card), and managed to put himself on a flight to Sweden carrying Iceland’s prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir. He wasn’t discovered missing by guards until well after the plane was airbound. An international warrant was soon issued for Mr. Stefansson.

James Bond-like Bitcoin Villain in $2 Million Heist Finally Caught in Amsterdam
Downtown Amsterdam

The Big Bitcoin Heist, as it has been tagged on the frozen island, involved bitcoin mining rigs grabbed in conjunction with four data center break-ins. Iceland has become a magnet for crypto miners due to relatively cheap electricity and its cold climes, helping the notoriously overheated instruments cool as they mine.

Mr. Stefansson’s unorthodox public letter while on the run insisted he could remain elusive to authorities for “as long as I like”. Dutch police disagreed, arresting him downtown without incident and are presently arranging for his extradition back to Iceland. 

Do you think bitcoin mining rigs present a lucrative target to thieves? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Dutch police.

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Angellist: Number of New Crypto Job Listings Doubled in the Last Three Months


Angellist: Number of New Crypto Job Listings Doubled in the Last Three Months


Angellist, a popular website that allows startups to raise money from angel investors, has revealed data about new crypto job listings on its platform. The company details the hiring needs of companies in the crypto space and what jobs are in demand.

Also read: Russian Regulators Draft Law to Restrict Crypto Mining, Payments, and Token Sales

Crypto Job Listings Doubled

Angellist: Number of New Crypto Job Listings Doubled in the Last Three MonthsAngellist revealed its new crypto job listing statistics last week. Citing that even though the price of bitcoin has dropped 60% since December of last year, the company wrote:

In the last 3 months, the number of new crypto job listings has doubled.

Angellist: Number of New Crypto Job Listings Doubled in the Last Three Months

Angellist is a U.S. website created in 2010 for startups, angel investors, and job-seekers looking to work at startups. In July 2013, the company partnered with Crunchbase, an online tech company database owned by Techcrunch. Since 2015, the site has allowed startups to raise money from angel investors.

What’s Behind Crypto Hiring Boom

Angellist: Number of New Crypto Job Listings Doubled in the Last Three MonthsAngellist explained the driving forces behind the crypto job boom.

Firstly, “the price run-up of bitcoin and ethereum in 2017 is attracting more people into the space for the first time, and the level of interest from the investor community is also at a record high.” The second factor is the ICO boom.

Successes of startups in raising millions have attracted others to raise money in the same way. “For example, the team behind Filecoin recently broke the record for the largest ICO in history, raising $257M to build a decentralized file storage system,” Angellist elaborated, noting:

The large sums of money going into the cryptocurrency space, from ICOs, to VC financings, and the price appreciation of bitcoin and ethereum, has led to a hiring boom at cryptocurrency startups.

The company emphasized, “as cryptocurrency companies are growing, raising larger amounts of money at higher valuations, so are their hiring needs for finding top talent,” adding that over $3 billion was raised using token sales in March alone.

In Demand Jobs

Not only “experienced engineers who’ve worked on cryptocurrency projects are in high demand, but so are talented engineers with an interest in blockchain technologies,” the company detailed, noting:

There are also open positions needing to be filled in marketing, business development, operations, customer support, and other job functions that don’t require a technical background. Similar to any other high-growth startups, cryptocurrency companies need to hire at job functions across the entire organization, and fast.

What do you think of the rapid rise in the number of job listings in the crypto space? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Angellist.

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20% of Financial Institutions Examining Starting Cryptocurrency Trading Soon


20% of Financial Institutions Examining Starting Cryptocurrency Trading Soon


The cryptocurrency trading market is about to receive an influx of more big banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions within the next few months to a year. A new survey shows that while most are keeping quiet in public about their crypto plans, many are preparing to enter the field.

Also Read: Barclays Testing the Waters for a Cryptocurrency Trading Desk

Big Players Prepare to Charge

20% of Financial Institutions Examining Starting Cryptocurrency Trading SoonToronto-headquartered multinational information firm Thomson Reuters Corporation (NYSE: TRI), published a survey on Tuesday revealing that 20% of financial institutions are studying the possibility of entering the cryptocurrency trading space within the next 12 months period. Furthermore, 70% of those considering starting trading cryptocurrencies are planning to do so in the next three to six months, according to the survey.

The company says that the survey covered more than 400 of its clients across Thomson Reuters platforms including large asset managers, hedge funds and trading desks at the biggest banks. Over 300,000 financial professionals working in asset management, hedge funds and other institutions get access to cryptocurrency data (including price quotes for BTC, BCH and ETH) via the Thomson Reuters Eikon platform.

“Historically, the banking sector has been notoriously dismissive of the crypto movement. Cryptocurrency has variously been called a bubble, an asset for criminals, and worthless. But today’s survey demonstrates that while financial institutions are saying one thing, they’re doing quite another,” commented Kevin Murcko, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinmetro. “We’re witnessing a gradual institutionalization of the market, and this is sure to drive mainstream adoption. The move to accommodate digital currencies is also a symbolic one; it’s a sign of growing maturity in the market, and represents just how far cryptocurrency has come since its days of relative obscurity,” he added.

Goldman Setting the Stage

20% of Financial Institutions Examining Starting Cryptocurrency Trading SoonThe most talked about major bank as widely considered to be in the process of entering the field is Goldman Sachs, although its CEO has denied in the past the rumors they are setting up a bitcoin trading desk. On Monday it was revealed that the company has recently hired Justin Schmidt, a former quantitative trader, to be the first head of digital asset markets in the company’s securities division.

“In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space,” Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin-Cohen confirmed in a statement. “At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering,” she added.

The bank should be more than aware of the huge demand hedge funds and other big investors have for cryptocurrency trading services. Circle, which is backed by Goldman Sachs, has recently doubled minimum ticket size on OTC bitcoin trades to $500,000 with an average of $1 million. And Chief executive Jeremy Allaire has told Business Insider that some transactions are now larger than $100 million and “That watermark will continue to rise.”

Do you think it’s inevitable that all major banks will enter the bitcoin trading ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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PR: Bitxoxo Exchange Has Launched Its Own ICO Token


Bitxoxo Exchange Has Launched Its Own ICO Token

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Token Pre-Sale has begun from Wednesday, April 18th and will be ending on April 30th, 2018. In the first round of presale, the price will be $1.5/XOXO. The company has sold more than 40% token in 24 hours of pre-sale.

Later, coming up with the main sale at May 5th which will last till May 31st, 2018. While the price of xoxo token will be $2/XOXO during main sale.

The main concept behind the launch of the XOXO token is to achieve the goal of expansion which has been seen by the experts of bitxoxo for taking the cryptocurrency to the next level of success.

Bitxoxo Achievements:
Bitxoxo has achieved in offering the best services and new products to its users. They are the first bitcoin exchange to launch Pre-Paid Gift cards and Referral system for customers.

The exchange running for almost 2 years is active on both the mobile app (Android & iOS) and web portal, while they recently launched an ICO Launchpad for the ICO company to list their token. So, after a successful journey of 2 years as an exchange, it won’t be wrong in saying that the upcoming project of Bitxoxo is already a successful project.

Bitxoxo Future Plans with XOXO token:

Bitxoxo expands and offer new services of BCH (Bitcoin Cash) to all cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts. The funds generated by the ICO, will be used for the future expansion of ongoing project and introduce new services and product development.

  • The very First PoS App for Bitcoin Cash
  • Bitxoxo International Debit Card for our users. Bitxoxo, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. The exchange was founded in 2016 and running successfully in India, recently launched its Initial Coin Offering XOXO token.
  • Bitcoin Cash marketplace with top 15 cryptocurrencies and more in order book model.
  • Bitcoin Cash e-University Certification Program to spread the awareness of the blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to the mass and help people to become certified professionals etc.
  • Bitxoxo Incubator to provide all the necessary needs like funds and advisory for the new blockchain startups.
  • The expansion of Bitxoxo cryptocurrency exchange worldwide starting from Australia, Singapore and UAE etc.

Bitxoxo takes this opportunity to welcome the Founder and COO of Bitcoin.com onto our advisory panel.

Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com
Founder of Bitcoin.com, popular as ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver is an early adopter and investors in Bitcoin. Ver is a motivation to numerous cryptocurrency enthusiasts, he makes people believe the value of crypto and blockchain to the world. He is an angel investor for many popular cryptocurrency and blockchain technology startups such as The Blockchain foundation, Blockchain.info, Ripple, Kraken, Bitpay etc.

Mate Tokay, COO of Bitcoin.com
Mate Tokay has been involved in the cryptocurrency business as a miner since 2013; he co-founded Bitcoinist.net a cryptocurrency news magazine and he is now the Chief Operation Officer at Bitcoin.com. Mate is a premier source for everything related to Bitcoin. He focuses on a larger vision and communicating that vision to others while staying on top of the major trends in the industry.

Bitxoxo is heartily grateful for other experts of crypto to join our advisory board.

Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew possesses 20 years of experience in investment banking, fintech & real estates. He worked on Wall Street for 10+ years in trading and investment banking and 3 years in trading and investment in cryptocurrencies. Drew is an active partner of $100 million Crypto Hedge Fund based in NYC and the Caymans, Stephen always engaged in monetizing day to day operation of the fund from analyzing investments to speaking with high net worth individuals and family offices.

Sydney Ifergan
Sydney holds a degree in computer science and has 20+ years commercial experience. He has spent the last 10 years working in the online marketing arena and was the CMO for a large brokerage. In recent years, he has been consulting with various brokerages globally on their online marketing and the utilization of technology to improve their results.

Robby Schwertner
Robby Schwertner is an expert and part of many crypto and blockchain projects. He is a public motivator and speaker focusing on the expansion and progress of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology by addressing events and conferences on a global level.

Boris Otonicar
Boris Otonicar has a Masters degree in economics and psychology from the University of Zurich. He has a certificate as a Blockchain Specialist BVS. He consults companies in Blockchain issues and does ICO advising for different projects like Coinlancer, Districts, Coinloan etc. He is a top 20 at ICO Bench.

To learn more about the Bitxoxo ICO visit their official website at https://bitxoxo.exchange/
You can join the XOXO token Telegram discussion and announcement: https://t.me/bitxoxo & https://t.me/bitxoxonews

Contact Email : press@bitxoxo.exchange

Supporting Link

Contact Email Address

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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Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Bring Bullish Gains This Spring


Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Bring Bullish Gains This Spring

Market Updates

Cryptocurrencies are breaking new price levels this week as markets are seeing gains across the board during the last two weeks of April. Yesterday’s trading sessions saw bitcoin cash touch a high of $1,560 per BCH as the currency has been on a relentless run over the past week. BCH prices are hovering around $1,477 at press time. Bitcoin core (BTC) prices touched a high of $9,410 but prices have dipped to the $9,340 range since reaching that vantage point. Overall there are quite a few digital assets seeing more significant gains than BTC as the spring trading season starts to melt the ‘crypto winter’ blues that recently plagued the community.

Also read: ‘Coindaddy’ Another Crypto-Rapper Rhymes About Bitcoin Life

The Cryptocurrency Price Reversal Rampage

Digital currencies are seeing significant price reversals just before the month of May approaches. Out of all the 1,590 listed cryptocurrencies on Coinmarketcap, the cumulation of these assets have accumulated a market valuation of $422Bn USD. Bitcoin Core (BTC) markets have gained 14.4 percent over the last seven days but many other cryptocurrencies have seen much larger gains. In the top ten positions, some notable increases include EOS, as its markets spiked 53 percent over the past week, while IOTA jumped 31.9 percent. But Bitcoin (BCH) markets were the clear winner over the past seven days as BCH weekly prices have increased by 88.3 percent today.

Bitcoin Cash Markets Climb Over 88% Over the Last Seven Days

Bitcoin cash market volume has quadrupled over the last three weeks as the currency now commands close to $2Bn in 24-hour trade volume. This has propelled BCH into the fourth position in overall trade volume compared to all 1,590 other digital assets. The top five exchanges swapping the most BCH today include Okex, Bitfinex, Upbit, Huobi, and Binance. Fiat volume for bitcoin cash trades continues to rise over the last 48-hours as BTC pairs only account for 35.8 percent of today’s BCH trades. This is followed by the U.S. dollar (27%), tether (USDT 19%), the Korean won (11.3%), and the euro (2.6%). Ethereum pairs represent 1.4 percent of today’s bitcoin cash trades as well. 

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Bring Bullish Gains This Spring
The top ten cryptocurrency positions on April 24, 2018.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at weekly, daily and the 4-hour charts show BCH bulls have been relentlessly charging without much exhaustion. At the time of writing bitcoin cash values are close to more powerful resistance levels in the $1,500 territories. Both the daily and 4-hour Relative Strength Index (RSI) indicator overbought conditions. MACd shows it may be heading southbound in the short term as well.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Bring Bullish Gains This Spring
BCH prices are hovering around $1,477 at press time on the exchange Bitstamp. 4-24-18.

The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) both short-term 100 SMA and the long-term 200 SMA have recently crossed paths. The 100 SMA is now above the 200 trend line indicating the path to resistance is on the upside. Order books show some stiff resistance for bulls between the price point now all the way up until the $1,600 region and a little more upwards past $1,700. On the backside some solid foundations have formed between the price level now and $1,400 but after that books begin to look quite thin.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Bring Bullish Gains This Spring
Bitfinex 4-hour BCH/USD with MACd & RSI indicators.

      The Top Cryptocurrency Market Performances

Cryptocurrencies, in general, have done well over the last two weeks and the current momentum continues. BTC markets have seen a daily volume increase of $8.8Bn and a $157Bn market capitalization. However many other digital currencies have seen much bigger gains and BTC dominance is down to the 37 percent threshold today. Ethereum (ETH) markets are doing considerably well this week and are up 35 percent over the last seven days. One ETH is averaging around $695 per coin during the April 24 trading sessions. The third largest cryptocurrency valuation held by ripple (XRP) has seen seven-day gains around 37 percent. The market value of XRP today is $0.91 cents and markets command a $1.2Bn 24-hour trade volume. The cryptocurrency EOS has taken over the fifth top market capitalization as its markets have increased significantly this week. One EOS is hovering around $13.42 per token today with a $1.9Bn daily trade volume.

The Verdict: Crypto-Optimism is in the Air

Overall cryptocurrency market participants are extremely pleased with the past week’s runups in value. However, some traders are still skeptical that we are out of the bear market range as there have been a lot of false positive rallies over the last four months. So far the verdict is many traders and digital asset enthusiasts are confident 2018 will be just as spectacular as last year.

Where do you see the price of BCH and other digital assets headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

Images via Shutterstock, Bitstamp, Trading View, and Coinmarketcap.

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Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token Sales


Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token Sales


Two countries have recently emerged as the new Meccas for token sales following bans in China and South Korea. The number of initial coin offerings in Singapore and Hong Kong has skyrocketed in recent months, as companies seek a favorable environment to raise funds outside their home countries.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

New Meccas for ICOs

Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token Sales

With some countries cracking down on token sales, Hong Kong and Singapore have attracted companies seeking to raise funds through initial coin offerings (ICOs).

According to Fintech businesses, lawyers, and industry groups, the number of companies launching ICOs in Singapore and Hong Kong “has skyrocketed in recent months,” South China Morning Post reported on Monday. The news outlet then quoted Anson Zeall, chairman of the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups Singapore, noting:

We cannot say Singapore has become an ICO hub yet, as more work needs to be done, but yes, there has been a lot of activity since September last year.

Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token Sales
Hong Kong.

He and others believe that this is partly due to China’s crackdown on ICOs. “In September, Beijing defined an ICO as an illegal fundraising tool after concerns over financial scams and money laundering. Dozens of ICO platforms in the country have since shut down,” the publication recalled.

While China cracked down on cryptocurrencies and ICOs, Hong Kong remains open to them and has seen significant growth in the number of token sales.

Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore currently has specific rules for ICOs. Lawyers and ICO issuers in both cities reiterated to the news outlet that raising funds through digital tokens remains loosely regulated there.

ICOs Moved Out of China

Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token SalesWhen China mandated domestic ICO issuers to refund investors and stop any new fundraising activities, many of them moved abroad.

Daisy Wu is among those whose companies have turned to Singapore shortly after Beijing’s ban. “We wanted to avoid legal risks,” she was quoted. Her company, the Beijing-based Xender, is now trying to raise US$10 million through an ICO for a file-sharing service, the news outlet detailed. Wu confirmed:

Many Chinese companies have gone to Singapore for ICOs…We all want to play it safe.

Ben Yates, a lawyer with RPC specializing in fintech and cyber law, said that he has seen significant growth in ICO-related inquiries since September, elaborating:

It is very likely that the surge in the number of ICO inquiries we have received in the past few months is at least partly a consequence of the restrictions in mainland China…The obvious next step for many Chinese ICO issuers to take is to cross the border. You can still speak Chinese, but you can operate in a more favourable regulatory environment.

Korean Fever & Bithumb’s ICO

Hong Kong and Singapore Emerge as New Meccas for Token SalesSouth Korea also banned ICOs in September of last year, forcing local issuers to look elsewhere. They have also reportedly poured into Hong Kong and Singapore recently.

“Some argue that there is no legal basis for an ICO ban in Korea, but the authorities say that current laws alone are sufficient,” Money Today Network noted.

Earlier this month, news.Bitcoin.com reported that corporations in South Korea are attempting to bypass regulations using subsidiaries overseas to launch their ICOs.

Last week, local media reported that Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges, is planning to launch a “Bithumb Coin” ICO through a Singaporean corporation. Another South Korean startup, Zikto, is also reportedly preparing an ICO in Singapore.

What do you think of Hong Kong and Singapore as the hubs for ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Myetherwallet Servers Are Hijacked in DNS Attack


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Myetherwallet Servers Are Hijacked in DNS AttackMyetherwallet (MEW), the web’s most popular client-side ethereum wallet, has been compromised by a DNS attack. Numerous users are reporting missing funds and Mycrypto, a sister site which spun off from MEW earlier this year, has confirmed as much. The incident highlights the dangers of relying on a centralized interface, even when the funds are […]

The post Myetherwallet Servers Are Hijacked in DNS Attack appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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16 Regulated Crypto Exchanges Unveil Plans to Restore Public Trust in Japan


16 Regulated Crypto Exchanges Unveil Plans to Restore Public Trust in Japan


The new Japanese cryptocurrency association comprising of sixteen government-approved exchanges debuted on Monday. The group has unveiled its plans to spearhead self-regulation in order to rebuild the public’s trust in the crypto industry.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

New Japanese Association Debuts

Sixteen fully-licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan have formally launched a new crypto association. The group held a press conference on Monday to detail its plans for self-regulation “in order to rebuild public trust battered by a high-profile theft,” Nikkei reported.

16 Regulated Crypto Exchanges Unveil Plans to Restore Public Trust in Japan
Press conference held by the new Japanese cryptocurrency association.

“The organization is expected to release trading and disclosure rules this summer,” the news outlet elaborated, adding that the group “plans to open its doors to those operating provisionally while the government watchdog reviews their applications.”

16 Regulated Crypto Exchanges Unveil Plans to Restore Public Trust in Japan
Taizen Okuyama.

The founding exchange members are Money Partners, Quoine, Bitflyer, Bitbank, SBI Virtual Currencies, GMO Coin, Bittrade, Btcbox, Bitpoint Japan, DMM Bitcoin, Bitarg Exchange Tokyo, FTT Corporation, Bitocean, Fisco Virtual Currency, Tech Bureau, and Xtheta.

The group also held its first board of directors meeting and chose its key executives. President of foreign exchange platform provider Money Partners Group, Taizen Okuyama, was appointed the chief of the new organization. The publication quoted him declaring:

We’ll pursue self-regulation to further the market’s healthy development and allay uncertainty among cryptocurrency users.

Three Priorities Named

The group will focus on three priorities, the news outlet detailed. The first, as expressed by Okuyama, is the protection of customers. While the Japanese law “requires exchanges to manage customer assets separately from their own,” he admitted that “such a standard is a matter of course for securities firms and foreign exchange brokerages. Compliance has been patchier among cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Another priority is to ensure “an orderly rule-making process,” he described, citing as an example the issue of “leverage limits for margin trading and management of insider information, including what currencies a given exchange plans to start supporting.”

16 Regulated Crypto Exchanges Unveil Plans to Restore Public Trust in Japan
Founding members of the new Japanese cryptocurrency association at the press conference on Monday.

The third priority is “improving disclosure.” The CEO of Money Partners Group explained, as conveyed by Nikkei:

[Cryptocurrency] exchanges rarely provide statistics such as total accounts and assets, leaving consumers with too little information to choose one over another. Online brokerages, by contrast, release this data monthly.

The group aims to establish a system for timely disclosure, the news outlet detailed, noting that the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), “applauded the group’s creation as a welcome, if overdue, move toward reform.”

Furthermore, Okuyama said that the association will leave the regulation of initial coin offerings (ICOs) to the judgment of an FSA study group.

What do you think of this new Japanese association and its self-regulatory priorities? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the new Japanese Association.

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Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Wary Giants, Eager Dwarfs


Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Wary Giants, Eager Dwarfs

The Daily

For some obvious reasons, but also irrational fears, big players like China, Russia, and the European Union are wary of cryptos like bitcoin. Centralized control doesn’t square with decentralization. However, often that’s not how their own regions and smaller neighbors feel about cryptocurrencies. In today’s Bitcoin in Brief we cover some recent developments mirroring this divergence of interests. The balance between center and periphery is likely to determine the future of cryptocurrencies in Eurasia and beyond.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking Bitcoin

Only Cryptoyuan, Only Cryptoruble

China will not allow any cryptocurrency other than a digital yuan, a Chinese entrepreneur recently told Russian media. Huan Zhang’s company, DAEX Blockchain Group, is working on a clearing ecosystem for cryptocurrencies in collaboration with Russian counterparts. She believes the decentralized nature of blockchain technologies and a centralized clearing platform should be balanced well for the crypto market to function properly. “China treats the blockchain in a positive way, but fears cryptocurrencies,” Zhang told Sputink. “The central bank is working on its own digital coin, cryptoyuan, and authorities won’t allow any other cryptocurrency in the country,” she said on the sidelines of the economic forum in Yalta, Crimea.

The Central Bank of Russia is also wary of decentralized cryptocurrencies. On multiple occasions, its representatives have spoken against their uncontrolled circulation and free exchange. The idea of a cryptoruble has its supporters among Russian officials, including in the CBR. For many Russian regions, however, a centralized crypto as a state-issued alternative is simply not good enough. The western exclave of Kaliningrad and Russia’s far-eastern capital Vladivostok, for example, are willing to create offshore zones for businesses working with decentralized cryptocurrencies.

Crypto-Crimea Planned

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Wary Giants, Eager DwarfsThe Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which hosted the Yalta Forum, has been dealing with sanctions since it joined the Russian Federation. Local officials are convinced that a vibrant crypto sector could help the region overcome international isolation and develop economically. They have recently asked for permission to set up a crypto offshore zone, crypto exchange, crypto cluster, and even issue a Crimean crypto. The Russian Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association is actually working on a “Crypto-Crimea” plan encompassing all proposals.

Forget about China, Think of Hong Kong

Beijing’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies has turned China’s own Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and the Asian city-state of Singapore into wanted destinations for investors and businesses raising crypto funds. The number of startups launching initial coin offerings (ICOs) in these two territories has sky-rocketed in recent months, according to local fintech entrepreneurs, lawyers, and industry organizations. “Yes, there has been a lot of activity,” said Anson Zeall, chairman of Singapore’s Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups. Like many others in the sector, he thinks the increase is related to China’s retreat from ICOs.

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Wary Giants, Eager DwarfsThanks to its independent legal system, Hong Kong has also seen significant ICO growth. As reported by Chinese media, all ICO platforms and Bitcoin exchanges have already exited the Chinese market as a result of official warnings of the risks associated with investing in these projects. Well, others, including Hong Kong, which is part of China, are still willing to accept the risks, supporting innovation and economic growth.

Europe and the Europeans

While United Europe has recently confirmed serious intentions to end anonymity for crypto traders, with a vote in the European parliament last week, crypto exchanges are not turning back on Europeans, not yet. Many trading platforms have decided to move closer to the Old Continent, not too close, though – Switzerland, Gibraltar, Malta, even the exiting UK.

Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: Wary Giants, Eager DwarfsMaltese authorities are on a crusade to make their island the friendliest jurisdiction for the crypto sector. Proposed regulations are tailored to provide crypto exchanges, brokerages, asset managers, and crypto users with “legal certainty”. Two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms have confirmed intentions to relocate operations to Malta. Binance, which announced it is moving to the “Blockchain Island”, recently said it will hire up to 200 people there. Following its decision, the Chinese rival Okex said it’s also coming to island. Other crypto companies have followed in their footsteps, including Berlin-based blockchain firm Neufund and the gaming platform operator Abyss.

Looking to expand beyond Asia, another Chinese exchange, Huobi, is planning to set up an office in London, despite Brexit. “Our statistics show that London is the most active trading scene across Europe,” Chern Chung, Huobi’s senior business development manager for Europe, has been quoted as saying. “Absolutely – London, Britain is the entry point for the European market for us,” Vice-President of Huobi Group Peng Hu confirmed.

Beyond Eurasia

Crypto businesses are often known for swimming against the stream. The crypto exchange Golix, which has recently felt the heat from competition in bitcoin-loving Zimbabwe, has announced plans to expand its operations to neighboring South Africa. In partnership with the local crypto hub Blockstarters, the trading platform wants to increase its network on the continent, tapping into the very active South African market.

Authorities in the regional powerhouse have recently taken steps to tax crypto incomes and transactions, which can curb crypto trade. On the other hand, self-regulation has been mentioned as a solution for the South African crypto sector. So, at the end of the day, Golix might have taken a sound business decision.

Do you agree that the diversity of interests in each country and region helps cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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