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PR: aXpire Introduces MatchBX to the Blockchain Community

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aXpire Introduces MatchBX to the Blockchain Community

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.

aXpire is excited to introduce its MatchBX product to the blockchain community.

Coming in late Q2, MatchBX will allow blockchain-empowered freelance work, with individuals able to engage with each other or businesses to earn cryptocurrency (AXP) as a full time job. There has never been a better time to learn about cryptocurrency and look to engage in the aXpire community full time. MatchBX also offers a “preferred partnership” group of companies that have been hand picked and verified to serve as the best providers of a particular online service. For example, our latest addition, Kotoba, provides high quality website and white paper translation services, and users will be able to access this group at a special rate through MatchBX.

In the background of this product we will run a different kind of spend analysis, demand prediction, which will drive additional preferred partners to our site. Think of it like surge demand on Uber, except without the associated price increases – we simply point partners towards early indicators of demand and the need for supply to fill any gaps.

Not only with there not be traditional fees on the MatchBX platform, but also the minimal 1% fee charged per transaction will take the form of burned AXP, incentivizing early adoption.

MatchBX is the latest addition to aXpire’s product suite, which includes Resolvr, a spend management tool. Both products are powered by aXpire’s native token, AXP.

Advisors on the project include Roger Ver of Bitcoin.com, Shingo Lavine of Ethos and Gina Papush of QBE.

To earn free AXP for signing up to the waiting list, go to www.matchbx.io.

To find out more about aXpire, visit www.axpire.io

Contact Email Address
info@axpire.com
Supporting Link
www.matchbx.io

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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Finland Has Identified Thousands of Bitcoin Traders Who Owe Taxes

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Finland Has Identified Thousands of Bitcoin Traders Who Owe Taxes

Taxes

The Finnish government has revealed the number of taxpayers who owe taxes from bitcoin-related income. The country’s Tax Administration claims to have “different ways to combine information and identify people” who owe taxes from crypto profits, which are now “well over ten times higher than last year.”

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

Most Finns Have Not Paid Taxes on Crypto Gains

Finland Has Identified Thousands of Bitcoin Traders Who Owe TaxesMost Finns have not reported income to the country’s tax department from the sale of cryptocurrencies in previous years, Kauppalehti newspaper reported last week. This year, “the profits made by Finns from cryptocurrencies were well over ten times higher than last year,” the news outlet added.

Senior Adviser from the Tax Administration’s Corporate Taxation Unit, Timo Puiro, detailed:

The majority of people have previously failed to report their bitcoin-related income, which we have found when we compare the information we collect to the tax information reported…The Tax Administration has extensive access to information, for example, to payment information, and we have different ways to combine information and identify people.

Finland Has Identified Thousands of Bitcoin Traders Who Owe TaxesMetropolitan.fi elaborated, “the tax office has been given generous access to bank transfers and other data, which enables identifying people. By matching the transfers it is evident that in the past most citizens have not reported profits made with virtual currencies.”

Finland, with its cold weather and low-cost nuclear-based power, is no stranger to bitcoin mining. Both Bitfury and the now-defunct Kncminer have operated mining farms in the country. Today many smaller miners are still in business there. Other well-established crypto businesses are also located in the country, such as Localbitcoins and leading Nordic bitcoin broker Prasos.

Tax Department 30 Million Euros in the Hole

This is not the first time Puiro spoke about identifying undeclared income by Finns. In December of last year, he said the government had been analyzing bitcoin wallets for this purpose.

Finland Has Identified Thousands of Bitcoin Traders Who Owe Taxes“We have analyzed more than 10,000 bitcoin wallets over several years, and in more than 500 cases we have found undeclared income which are taxable,” he emphasized at the time, adding that “Finland’s tax authority has identified bitcoin as one of the ‘high-risk focus areas’ and is prepared to redirect resources to ensure nothing falls through the gaps,” Bloomberg reported him describing.

Furthermore, Puiro claimed that “in analytics related to bitcoin, Finland is in a leading position and we have consulted quite a lot with authorities from other countries.”

While only 500 people were identified in December, Kauppalehti quoted the Tax Administration Office revealing last week that 3,300 people have now been identified as owing taxes from crypto-related transactions, adding:

The aggregate capital gain of the 3,300 persons identified will be about 100 million euros, so the taxpayers’ share of the pot would be around 30 million euros.

“Bitcoin gains are taxed as capital income in Finland…They are treated the same way as dividends, rent or other similar income,” Metropolitan.fi explained. “The tax percentage for capital income in Finland is 30% (in 2018) for sums under 30,000 euro and 34% in excess,” the publication added.

Puiro also said last week that he hopes those who have made a profit on cryptocurrencies will voluntarily declare the income to the tax authority. He emphasized that if taxpayers fail to report income related to cryptocurrencies, “the criterion of criminal tax evasion may be fulfilled.”

What do you think of Finland’s method of identifying crypto traders who owe taxes? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from Crypto

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Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from Crypto

Regulation

Iran’s central bank has issued a statement banning the country’s banks and financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, citing money laundering and terrorism financing risks. However, the local crypto community in Iran believes that the ban will not affect them and some exchanges continue to operate normally.

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

Banned by Central Bank

Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from CryptoThe Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has issued a statement on Monday banning the use of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin by banks and financial institutions. This announcement came “amid ongoing debate over how best to regulate the technology,” the AFP elaborated.

According to the CBI, “the government’s money laundering committee had taken the decision in late December and it was now being put into effect,” the news outlet conveyed and quoted the central bank explaining:

All cryptocurrencies have the capacity to be turned into a means for money laundering and financing terrorism and in general can be turned into a means for transferring criminals’ money.

The central bank noted that banks and financial institutions in Iran were informed a few days ago, Mehr News reported.

The ban comes at a tenuous time for the Iranian economy. Between now and May 12, both the EU and the US are expected to decide on a new round of economic sanctions targeting Tehran. This could restore the harsh international controls on Iran that were lifted in the 2015 nuclear treaty between Iran and six major powers, including the US.

Effects of Crypto Community in Iran

Monday’s announcement follows another prohibition recently announced by the central bank, banning foreign fiat currency exchanges.

Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from Crypto
Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi.

The Iranian government has mixed views on cryptocurrency, however. In February, the country’s telecom minister, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, tweeted the news that his ministry and the CBI are investigating the prospect of running their own initial coin offering (ICO) together. The resulting cryptocurrency would serve as “an experimental model for the country’s banking system,” he believes.

While many people in Iran see cryptocurrencies as a way to overcome problems with international sanctions and the country’s banking system, there are also those who fear “the technology could undermine the country’s already weak banking system and exacerbate capital flight,” the AFP explained.

Central Bank of Iran Bans Banks from Crypto“Iranians working in the fledgling private cryptocurrency market said the ban was unlikely to affect their operations,” the publication further described. A local crypto exchange Coinex has, however, halted activity on its platform in response to the central bank’s action, citing “we always want to make sure we comply with the law,” Hadi Nemati, who works for the exchange, told the news outlet. “But I have seen other crypto exchanges were still working normally,” he clarified, adding:

This ruling referred directly to banks, financial institutions and currency exchangers that work with the central bank…In my opinion, it doesn’t include the general public — it’s not a total ban on cryptocurrencies.

What do you think of the Iranian central bank’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking Bitcoin

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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking Bitcoin

The Daily

No one likes missing the train. Of course, jumping on the wrong one is sure to delay the arrival even more. In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, we cover the latest attempts by big corporations to stay close to the crypto waters without really wetting their feet. Also, do you want to know how Cryptokitties have inspired a new Ebay-like platform for crypto enthusiasts?

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and Porn

Another Badge of Patents

While it is somewhat understandable when central banks want the blockchain but not bitcoin, it isn’t that clear why serious businesses make similar choices. Some of them prefer to shy away from the decentralized cryptocurrency, for which the awesome technology was actually invented. Getting on the crypto train has the power to lift stock prices. If it’s the wrong train, however, it could also postpone the arrival at the final destination.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking BitcoinThe blockchain technology is what makes bitcoin possible, but Walmart wants to use it without the cryptocurrency. The US retail giant has announced plans to employ blockchain in payment systems for vendors and customers. Two patents, filed by Walmart last year, were approved last week. The vendor payment sharing system will automatically process payments for products and services, the company explained. The system will also encrypt the transactions on a blockchain.

The planners at Walmart may not have noticed, but processing encrypted payments on the bitcoin blockchain has been working flawlessly for many years. Much smaller businesses, like some companies in the Baltic states, have realized that already. Besides, instant conversion to fiat, offered by crypto payment providers, eliminates the risk that comes with the volatility in crypto markets. So, what’s so scary about using bitcoin and its blockchain?

Tracing the Untraceable

Realizing, probably, that bitcoin is here to stay, another giant, Amazon, has recently obtained a bitcoin tracking patent. The online retail behemoth wants to track multiple datastreams, combine the information, and sell the data. The patent explicitly mentions bitcoin. Amazon claims that every time a bitcoin transaction takes place, related data can be captured and correlated. That’s interesting! “Untraceable and anonymous” transactions have often been cited among the “mortal sins” of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking BitcoinNow, it turns out that a bitcoin address could be easily associated with a shipping address, an IP, an email, a bank account, or a social media profile by online retailers, internet providers and banks. The patent aims to make the presumably anonymous crypto information relevant and identifiable by collecting data from multiple sources and then finding the correlation with other transactions. As Tamebay reports, the authors specifically note that law enforcement may be interested in receiving data for bitcoin transactions by country.

Here Comes a “Rare” Competitor

Another global retailer, Ebay, may soon feel competition from a young fintech startup. Rare Bits brands itself as an Ebay-like platform for crypto enthusiasts who want to buy digital assets. The platform allows users to purchase, sell and search for virtual assets denominated in cryptocurrency. The startup launched just a couple of months ago but has since raised $6 million. As CNBC reports, some big names are on the investors list, including Spark Capital, First Round Capital, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and founder and former CEO Justin Kan.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking BitcoinRare Bits is a matchmaker for sellers and buyers of crypto assets. For its services, the platform takes a cut of a developer’s revenue from the sale of their assets. The business idea has been inspired by the success of Cryptokitties, a game of buying and selling digital kittens with ethereum-based contracts. The company claims to have processed more than $100,000 in transactions during its first month. Unlike cryptocurrency exchanges or crypto wallet providers, Rare Bits doesn’t trade cryptocurrencies but crypto products. Its users are offered a catalogue of more than half a million such items.

The platform focuses on consumers familiar with cryptocurrencies but its co-founder Amitt Mahajan says there is plenty of room for new people to get on board. “Imagine if a celebrity like Beyoncé or someone really well known were to release ten backstage passes on the blockchain… How many millions of people do you think would go out of their way to acquire one of those things?”

What do you think about businesses trying to separate blockchain technologies from decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.  


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Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested

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Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested

News

After a Russian court enacted an immediate ban on the popular encrypted messaging service Telegram, the feisty company began to resist. Founder Pavel Durov insisted there were ways around the prohibition, including proxies and VPNs. It appears to have had some success even though millions of IP addresses have been blocked by the government. In response, some activists took to making paper airplanes (the company’s logo) in protest, flying them at the country’s notorious security agency’s headquarters, with some protesters being arrested. Mr. Durov took to his personal channel, urging Russians to fly their own paper airplanes in unison at a specific time.

Also read: Telegram Uses Bitcoin in Effort to Thwart Russian Authorities

Telegram Continues to Resist Russian Government Crackdown

“For 7 days Russia has been trying to ban Telegram on its territory – with no luck so far,” the still defiant founder of the encrypted messaging service posted to his personal channel. “I’m thrilled we were able to survive under the most aggressive attempt of internet censorship in Russian history with almost 18 million IP addresses blocked.”

Back on April 13, Dmitri S. Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson, stressed, “There is a certain legislation that demands certain data to be passed to certain services of the Russian Federation.” Judge Yulia Smolina agreed, ruling, “The ban on access to information will be in force until the [Federal Security Service’s] demands are met on providing keys for decrypting user messages.”

Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested
Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina

Roskomnadzor, a censuring media body, made the most vigorous argument in asking the court to shutter Telegram. Last month, the company appealed before the Supreme Court over Russia’s Federal Security Service’s (FSB) 800,000 ruble fine. The FSB ordered Telegram to decrypt messages in accordance with relatively recent anti-terrorism laws. “We don’t do deals with marketers, data miners or government agencies. Since the day we launched in August 2013 we haven’t disclosed a single byte of our users’ private data to third parties,” a Telegram blog post insisted. Telegram was summarily banned, effective immediately.

An initial response by Mr. Durov came also on his personal channel, explaining, “To support internet freedoms in Russia and elsewhere I started giving out bitcoin grants to individuals and companies who run socks5 proxies and VPN. I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause, and hope that other people will follow. I called this Digital Resistance – a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally.”

Telegram Urges Paper Airplane Protest, Pussy Riot Activist Arrested
Paper airplanes flown at Russia’s security agency in protest over country’s ban on Telegram.

The Digital Resistance Gets Paper Wings

Activists took to the streets roughly 4 days ago, placing themselves in front of the Federal Security Services’ headquarters, armed with colored paper. They then began to make paper airplanes in remembrance of the iconic Telegram logo. Not soon after, busses of uniformed police rolled up, and began dispersing the crowd, and wound up arresting Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina. She was brought before a nearby magistrate, booked on blocking a public passageway, and released.

In response, Mr. Durov insisted on April 22, “If you live in Russia and support free internet, fly a paper plane from your window at 7 PM local time today. Please collect the airplanes in your neighborhood an hour later – remember, today is Earth Day. My thanks to all the members of the #Digitalresistance movement. Keep up your great work setting up socks5-proxies and VPNs and spreading them among your Russian friends and relatives. They will be needed as the country descends into an era of full-scale internet censorship.”

Do you think such protests make a difference? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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PR: Decentralized Exchange Decoin Launches Its Initial Coin Offering – Profit Sharing by Proof of Stake

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Decentralized Exchange Decoin Launches Its Initial Coin Offering

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.

Decoin is proud to announce after months of build-up their Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is now officially live!

Decoin is a decentralized coin and trading platform exchange that is set to disrupt the current norm in the industry. With plans for a state of the art exchange platform, a decentralized coin that will be utilised to share profits with investors, and D-TEP Credit Cards, the company is looking forward to a successful launch.

Decoin’s CEO Shay Perry, when asked about the ICO launch, had this to say, “Decoin is a revolutionary idea that will change the cryptocurrency landscape for years to come. Our advisory team is one of the best in their industry, and their guiding words have been instrumental in the success of our company so far. We offer investors a share of the profits from our exchange, and a liquidity pool that will help secure the exchange from ICO to day-to-day use. We are excited, and cannot wait to see what the future will bring.”

are excited, and cannot wait to see what the future will bring.”

Decoin is an exciting new offering on the cryptocurrency market and there are a few reasons that you should look to invest in this ICO.

  • The coin and exchange are designed to be highly scalable and secure while being built with commercial grade blockchain architecture.
  • 97% of customer’s funds are stored in cold storage, while the remaining 3% is fully insured in case of attacks or losses.  
  • The company is offering full support to its investors with customized information for each investor to ensure they are comfortable within the crypto space.
  • The revenue and profit sharing system with Decoin is unheard of in the industry, and each investor will enjoy a share of revenue and profits from everyday trading through the exchange.
  • An annual 6.2% interest return will be awarded to all coin holders that stake their coins in Decoin’s online wallet.
  • Easily access your profits using your own personal D-TEP credit card

Decoin has secured a new way for their investors to use their Decoin’s, the D-TEP credit card. The company will be offering its investors five different credit cards that will match their investment level. These credit cards will allow holders to use Decoin and the profits that they gain from their investments on daily expenses much like today’s FIAT currencies.

Nadav Moshe, the founder of Decoin has this to say about the launch, “ as a company we are excited, but as a visionary, I could not be more proud of the team and the work we have created. From the D-TEP credit card to our stable blockchain, the future is bright for our little company!”

About Decoin: Decoin’s mission is to create a state of the art exchange platform for cryptocurrency users that will allow them to fully exploit their coin’s potential. As well, the company aims to create a user-friendly online customer service that will enable adoption of cryptocurrencies and exchanges to the masses. In Summer of 2018, D-TEP will launch in beta and the coin will be added to a number of exchanges. Fall of 2018 will see the launch of both the trading and exchange platforms. Finally, in Winter of 2018, the decentralized exchange platform will launch for users.

More information on the ICO and the company itself, including whitepapers and vision, can be found on
https://www.decoin.io

Supporting Link
https://www.decoin.io
Contact Email Address
support@DECOIN.io

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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Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICO

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Crowdfunding

Nasdaq-listed technology firm Xunlei has become the subject of multiple class-action lawsuits from investors who purchased the company’s digital token, Linktoken. Xunlei is accused of misleading investors to disguise an initial coin offering (ICO) through which Linktoken was distributed.

Also Read: Survey: 89% of Visa, Mastercard, Unionpay Users Know Crypto – 53% Have Purchased

Xunlei CEO Rejects ICO Allegations

Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICOThe chief executive officer of Xunlei, Chen Lei, has rejected accusations that the company misled investors in order to illegally conduct an ICO in China.

Xunlei’s Linktoken was distributed to users in exchange for a contribution of idle internet bandwidth, according to South China Morning Post. Chen Lei has claimed that the Linktoken distribution did not comprise an ICO due to the company not raising any funds through the issuance of the tokens, and due to Linktoken comprising a utility token that is not allowed to be traded. “By making a public offering, really you need to use it to raise money. We have never used a coin to raise any money at all, that’s never our intention,” Mr. Lei stated.

In October 2017, Linktoken was launched in conjunction with other efforts by Xunlei to enter the booming blockchain industry. Whilst the distribution of the Linktoken appears to have been the catalyst for many weeks of sharp bullish action, the value of Xunlei’s stock has more than halved since posting 500% gains and setting record highs of $25 USD in November 2017.

Xunlei’s Stock Plummets

Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICOSince then, the price of Xunlei’s shares had plummeted to approximately $10 by early April, prompting some U.S.-based investors to seek action against the company for allegations of giving false and/or misleading statements regarding the legitimacy of the company’s cryptocurrency-related activities between October 2017 and January 2018. Among other allegations, investors have pointed to the requirement that they purchase hardware from Xunlei in order to share bandwidth and claim the digital tokens in return.

Chen Lei has refuted the allegations, stating “We are a small capital company, so our stock price does fluctuate, but I don’t think there’s any basis for the lawsuit because we’re operating in China and it is the Chinese law and regulations that we need to observe,” adding that “the definition of [an] ICO has to be interpreted in the Chinese market.” Mr. Lei also indicated that Xunlei is currently in the process of hiring legal counsel to refute the allegations.

Chen Lei Claims to Support Regulatory Action Against ICOs

Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICOChen Lei also criticized initial coin offerings and advocated for greater regulatory action to be taken against such, stating “ICOs are terrible, and give a bad name to blockchain technology. Governments should clamp down on these practices – a crackdown is the only way blockchain can rebuild its reputation.” Mr. Lei added: “We have been very straight on our business practices – we do not sell tokens.”

China’s National Internet Finance Association (NIFA), a self-regulatory body established by the People’s Bank of China and authorized by China’s State Council, conducted an investigation into Xunlei’s token distribution, concluding in January the company had evaded regulations through conducting an “initial miner offering.”

NIFA stated “In the case of Lianke issued by Xunlei, for example, the issuing company in effect substitutes Lianke for the duty to pay back project contributors with legal tender, making it essentially a financing activity and a form of disguised ICO. In addition, with frequent promotional activities and publishing of trading tutorials, Xunlei has lured many citizens without sound discernment into IMO activities.”

Xunlei Shares Bounce After Blockchain Launch

Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICODespite the controversy and ongoing class-action lawsuits, Xunlie’s stock has bounced in recent days following the company’s announcement that its “Thunderchain” blockchain platform designed to facilitate the development of decentralized applications has been launched.

Xunlei’s shares (XNET) are currently trading at $13.46, after retracing from highs of $14 on the 20th of April.

Do you think that Xunlei will be successful in evading ICO status regarding its Linktoken issuance? Share your thoughts in the comments section below


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Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn’t Currency

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Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't Currency

Regulation

The current president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and the man expected to soon be the New York Federal Reserve Bank, John Williams, has rejected the suggestion that cryptocurrencies comprise currency.

Also Read: Trading Sanctions Imposed on Tezos Co-Founder Amid FINRA Settlement

New York Federal Reserve Nominee Rejects Cryptocurrencies as ‘Currencies’

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't CurrencyMr. Williams, the man nominated to head the New York Federal Reserve, has stated that “Cryptocurrency doesn’t pass the basic test of what a currency should be.”

Mr. Williams asserted that currencies should comprise “basically something with a store of value,” also emphasizing the need for currencies to be “elastic” in order to adapt to a wide range of economic conditions and circumstance. Despite the criticisms, Mr. Williams failed to further elaborate on how cryptocurrencies fail to or could better fulfill the aforementioned monetary functions.

The current San Francisco Federal Reserve president also stated that “The idea of the supply of currency and thinking about currency really belongs more in the sphere of government and central banks. My view is it’s really more of a promise of technology.” At least, Mr. Williams acknowledged that his extensive experience in central banking had left him “very biased” regarding issues pertaining to cryptocurrency.

Mr. Williams also criticized “The setup [and] institutional arrangement[s] around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” claiming that the cryptocurrency sphere suffers from “problems with fraud, problems with money laundering, terror financing. There’s a lot of problems there,” Mr. Williams stated.

Mr. Williams is expected to be appointed as the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank in June when the current president, William Dudley, will step away from the position.

U.S. Federal Reserve Officials Criticize Cryptocurrency

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't CurrencyMr. Williams’ comments come following weeks of increasingly hostile rhetoric issued representatives of various federal reserve banks in the United States.

At the start of April, Federal Reserve Board of Governor member, Lael Brainard, indicated that the institution is “monitoring is the extreme volatility evidenced by some cryptocurrencies.”

For instance, Bitcoin rose over 1,000 percent in 2017 and has fallen sharply in recent months,” Mrs. Brainard said. “These markets may raise important investor and consumer protection issues, and some appear especially vulnerable to money-laundering concerns.”

At the end of March, the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Raphael Bostic, rejected the proposition that cryptocurrencies comprise money. Mr. Bostic discouraged consumers from investing in the virtual currency markets, stating “Don’t do it. They are speculative markets. They are not currency. If you have money you really need, do not put it in these markets.’’

In January, the president of the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago, Charles Evans, stated that bitcoin is “Not money-like at the moment,” adding that cryptocurrency investors are “swimming with all the sharks in the world because of all the anonymity.’’

Do you think that cryptocurrencies fulfill the basic functions associated with ‘money’ or ‘currency’? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Do Crypto Trading Bots Really Work?

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Do Crypto Trading Bots Really Work?

Technology

Bots and talk of bots is endemic within the crypto space, with behavior, good and bad, often attributed to their actions. Mt Gox famously had the Willy Bot manipulating merrily, perennial bear Bitfinexed sees bots everywhere, and crypto traders are prone to boasting about the sick returns they’ve raked in from their proprietary arb bots. There’s no doubt that bot activity is very real. But is it profitable?

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

Got Bots?

Do Crypto Trading Bots Really Work?In the 1950s, robots were promised that would soon eliminate the daily chores of housewives across the globe. 60 years later, and their cyber counterparts – bots – are promised that will do the same for crypto traders. If the hype is to be believed, these bundles of code can deliver a passive income for even the laziest or dumbest of traders. But as almost everyone knows, the hype is never to be believed. Profiting from bots isn’t that simple or easy.

There are several types of trading bots available including arbitrage (arb) bots that capitalize on the difference in prices across exchanges. The price of bitcoin usually differs from exchange to exchange; Bitstamp, for example, typically displays a slightly lower price than Bittrex. The movements of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is always mirrored across exchanges, however, so if BTC breaks out due to a massive buy order on Binance, you can bet that the other exchanges will follow suit. Bots work by profiting from the delay it takes for prices to update across all exchanges.

How Profitable Are Bots?

To make any sort of tangible profit from bot trading, you ideally need a stack of crypto to start with. If you’re running a bitcoin arb bot, for example, you’ll need BTC deposited on multiple exchanges that are connected to your bot via API. And even if you do have a healthy spread of coins, the returns can be slight. Romano – Viacoin developer and well-known crypto trader – claims the Hass bot he uses can make “0.26 BTC ($2K) a day by using 9 BTC for example just by using market inefficiencies” before adding that he doesn’t use the market maker bot that comes with Hass and cautioning that it’s “only for skilled traders”.

Do Crypto Trading Bots Really Work?
Haas

Arb trading can be likened to playing online poker. If you’re good at setting up your bots, you can make a living off it, but you’ve got to grind it out. Crypto trading bots are reminiscent of those money-making Forex programs that you find “veteran traders” trying to flog. If those Forex guys are as rich and successful as they profess to be, wouldn’t they be better served keeping that esoteric knowledge to themselves rather than offloading it to the masses for $100 a month? In other words, beware of geeks bearing bots.

Examples of Trading Bots

Do Crypto Trading Bots Really Work?A slew of tokenized projects has emerged that promise “algorithmically-based smarter trading delivered via AI and machine learning” or words to that effect. These systems also utilize bots, but their claims of profitability have yet to be proven. If one of these new platforms were to deliver the goods and provide consistently high returns, crypto traders would flock to it, which simply hasn’t happened.

There is no doubt that machine learning has the potential to yield more profitable trading, but there is also no doubt that a lot of the claims attributed to AI should be filed under As If.

These are the most popular crypto bots on the market (and should only be tried at your own risk):

  • Haasbot allows for automated trading across all major bitcoin exchanges, with monthly subscriptions starting from .073 BTC
  • Profit Trailer allows you to average down on coins you buy into using bots, although there’s no guarantee that doing so will lead to eventual profit. It starts at $35 p/m
  • Cryptohopper is a cloud-based trading bot that starts from $19 per month
  • Gekko is free and open source but you need to tell it what to do and thus it’s only as smart as you are
  • Cryptotrader also needs to be programmed and starts from .0048 BTC for a Pro account (Basic is cheaper but too basic)

Others, such as BTC Robot, are so spammy and scammy that we’re not even going to provide a link. For traders seeking a passive income or “easy money” there really is none to be had. The reality is that bots are trading tools rather than workhorses that will set up and execute winning trades on your behalf. In using bots, you also leave yourself open to the possibility of scammy developers or flash crashes, either of which can liquidate your crypto. As one redditor put it:

To see returns you have to be comfortably profitable already and be familiar with different strategies. The conditions for profitability are moving targets so bot trading isn’t really a ‘set it and forget it’ type of operation.

Bot or Not?

It is safe to say that the best bots are the ones you never hear about and will never be offered. Because if everyone was using these bots, the trading edge they bestow would be eliminated due to arbing and other opportunities being eliminated. If you’re interested in putting a trading bot to the test, by all means give it a try with some spare satoshis or shitcoins. Be sceptical though of anyone touting a bot delivering guaranteed returns, and be especially sceptical of the profits crypto traders claim to have made with their aid.

Do Crypto Trading Bots Really Work?

At least the creator of the open source Zenbot is honest enough to concede it “is having trouble reliably making profit. At this point, I would recommend against trading with large amounts until some of these issues can be worked out”.

Even if you can find a system that delivers modest returns, you may wish to ask yourself this: What would you rather have – a bot that can turn 5 BTC into 5.1 BTC every week or the freedom of having 5 BTC free to invest in a simple day trading strategy? Bots can do a lot, but as it stands, they can’t factor in fundamental analysis, breaking news, insider knowledge and the myriad other factors that make markets move.

1950s housewives (and house husbands) are still waiting on those domestic chore-performing robots to materialize. And similarly, we’ve still got some way to go before bots render human traders obsolete. If you want a job done profitably, do it yourself.

Have you had any success with crypto trading bots? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the Baltics

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Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the Baltics

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Cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity in the Baltic states where no comprehensive regulations have been introduced yet. Businesses from multiple sectors, including real estate, online trade, the hospitality industry, and even healthcare, are taking advantage of crypto payments. Some companies from the region are already offering their services globally.   

Also read: Blind Denial of Cryptocurrencies Leads Nowhere, Bank of Lithuania Says

Apartments Sold for Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies are becoming more widely accepted in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, where buying a cup of coffee with bitcoin is nothing special these days. Cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops, and even an orthopedic clinic, are now accepting cryptos, according to local media. It seems that the Baltic Tigers of the EU are becoming the “Bitcoin Tigers” of Europe.

Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the Baltics

Crypto payments have been introduced in the real estate business by several companies selling land plots and housing units in the Baltics, Novaya Gazeta reports. Potential buyers will soon be able to purchase land and homes in the Auriai cottage settlement, which is currently under construction not far from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

Crypto-priced real estate is also sold in neighboring Latvia and Estonia. The Latvian branch of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty is offering penthouse apartments in Jūrmala for bitcoin. Recently, the Estonian realtor LAAM Kinnisvara announced it is accepting cryptocurrency for apartments in the town of Maardu, 15 minutes car drive from Tallinn. A third of the 44 units built by the company there have been sold already. The next bitcoin deal is scheduled to take place next week.

Cryptos Accepted For Clothes

Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the BalticsMore than 30 locations in Vilnius accept crypto payments, in Tallinn they are 26, and in Riga – 21, according to Coinmap. Bitcoin ATMs can be found in the capitals of Estonia and Lithuania, according to Coinatmradar. Most of the businesses accepting cryptos are from the hospitality industry – cafes, bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, several hotels. Other sectors, however, are quickly catching up.

About a month ago, the United Colors of Benetton franchisee in Lithuania announced it would accept cryptocurrencies. The stores of the fashion brand in Vilnius now take bitcoin, etherium, dash, NEM, and steem through a partnership with Coppay. The Belarus-based payments provider offers instant conversion to fiat at an exchange rate based on data from multiple markets. “Our employees like it because it’s simple and easy. No additional training was needed”, said Arturas Zuokas, co-owner of the company and former mayor of Vilnius.

By the way, Lithuania already has a platform similar to the one maintained by Coppay. The local company Coingate recently signed an agreement with a French developer of online payment solutions. Through this partnership with Prestashop, the Lithuanians plan to provide services to 80,000 merchants around the world.

Bitcoin Still Unregulated

No comprehensive regulations have been adopted yet in neither of the Baltic states. Latvia has recently attempted to partially recognize cryptocurrencies for taxation purposes. Authorities in Riga said that bitcoin could “function as a means of exchange”. As a result, 20% tax will be imposed on capital gains from deals with cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the BalticsEstonia, arguably the most digitally developed Baltic country, has been mulling over issuing its own cryptocurrency. Tallinn is not giving up on the idea, despite the negative stance of the European Central Bank. Officials behind the project are still pushing for issuing “estcoin”, not as a crypto, but as a token. In any case, Estonia is resolved to proceed with its plans for a national coin.

The central bank of Lithuania, which was opposing cryptocurrencies for some time, has just started consultations with representatives of the crypto sector on a possible regulatory framework. “The blind denial, the reluctance to understand and work with the cryptocurrency world, leads us nowhere”, a high ranking official of Lietuvos Bankas said last week.

Do you think the Baltics can lead Europe in crypto adoption? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.  


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