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Thread: Crypto

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    LocalBitcoins Stops Cash Trades, Personal Offers on Platform

    Multiple users have reported that crypto trading platform LocalBitcoins has stopped allowing customers to make in-person trades of crypto assets for cash in an anonymous fashion.

    One of the largest peer-to-peer crypto exchanges in the world, LocalBitcoins has encountered a wide array of legal difficulties in the past several months.

    Based in Finland, the company began mandating that customers fill out KYC information in late March, breaking with the site’s long-running tradition of allowing anonymity.

    This rule change was made only after new legislation was passed by the Finnish Parliament.

    Although it is unclear how well the company will adapt to the existing ecosystem of conventional crypto exchanges, the company’s original model has been thoroughly dismantled by this point.

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    G20 Starts Crypto Discussions – A Look at Global Standards

    Finance ministers and central bank governors from the G20 countries have gathered this weekend for a two-day meeting ahead of the G20 summit, and cryptocurrency is among the topics of discussion. Global standard-setting bodies have submitted their policies and provided tools to help the member countries with the regulation of crypto assets in their own jurisdictions.

    Standard-setting bodies and other international organisations are working on a number of fronts, directly addressing issues arising from crypto-assets. They are mainly focused on investor protection, market integrity, anti-money laundering, bank exposures and financial stability monitoring.

    Among crypto-related topics to be discussed, finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 countries are expected to reach an agreement on creating a registry of crypto exchanges in an effort “to prevent virtual money laundering,”

    A study on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) has been conducted by the CPMI whose work on crypto assets focuses on innovations in payments, clearing and settlement, and their impact on the current standards for financial market infrastructures.

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    Zcoin Cryptocurrency Pumps 85% in 48 Hours Because Privacy Matters

    Zcoin (XZC) gained 85% over the past 48 hours as cryptocurrency traders speculated on the build-up to the launch of Sigma – a technical upgrade on the Zerocoin privacy protocol.

    Created in 2013 by a Johns Hopkins University professor, the Zerocoin protocol influenced an entire generation of privacy coins. Those include well-known cryptocurrencies like Zcash (ZEC), PivX (PIVX), and up until now, Zcoin.

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    Italy’s Terrifying Currency Scheme is Insanely Bullish for Bitcoin

    The Italian government is mulling the decision to issue a “parallel currency” in a move that could plunge the eurozone into crisis – and provide the best case yet for mass bitcoin adoption. In the same week, the Italian deputy prime minister proposed a tax grab on cash and valuables stored in safety deposit boxes. These crisis policies expose deep cracks in the fiat monetary system. The move prompted money historian Rebecca L. Spang to call for a new foundation of money. “The time has come for a new, more equitable, version of money.” While she doesn’t refer to cryptocurrency directly, the Italian crisis does build a compelling argument for bitcoin.

    The proposed currency bills, known as mini-BOTs, are basically treasury bonds (buono ordinario del tesoro). But in a twist of economic rules, they’d be issued and accepted as a form of payment by the Italian government, circulating alongside the euro.

    Mini-BOTs were initially conceived to pay back Italy’s insurmountable debt mountain (yes, paying debt with more debt). But the government would also accept the mini-BOTs back as payment for taxes, train tickets, and gasoline.

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    Decentralized Public Key Infrastructure (DPKI): What is it and why does it matter?

    In today’s world, the most commonly employed approach to public key infrastructures (PKIs) is the Web PKI. It’s a Certificate Authority (CA) based system that adopts a centralized trust infrastructure. Communications over the internet are secured through the safe delivery of public keys and the corresponding private keys.

    Third-parties such as CAs are responsible for facilitating the authentication and distribution of public keys. What a CA does is that it functions as a trusted third party that distributes and manages digital certificates for a network of users. Most web services are secured through the creation of the keys signed by CAs.

    Decentralized Public Key Infrastructure, or DPKI, is an alternative approach to designing better PKI systems. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), an encryption program developed by Phil Zimmermann, is a decentralized trust system that was created when blockchain didn’t exist.

    It has issues with establishing trust relations between all parties. But today there is no need for the third-parties. Blockchain is a novel approach to build a more competent, secure PKI system.

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    Ethereum Dapps without the Web

    I wrote Shadowlands to solve this problem. With an afternoon of coding in Python, it’s possible to stand up a completely serviceable dapp, without touching a web browser.

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    Wyoming’s transformation into a blockchain booster is somewhat legendary in cryptocurrency circles. Until recently, strict money-transmitter laws meant residents there couldn’t even use a Coinbase account. But over the past two years, Wyoming has enacted 13 blockchain laws, with a raft of other proposals on the way. The question is, what does the country’s least-populous state, far from tech hubs and long associated with an unhealthy dependency on resource extraction, want with blockchain?

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    Want a stock price bump? Put ‘blockchain’ in your financial statements

    For what’s felt like ages we’ve been enmeshed in a persistent drip of media headlines touting investments made by well-established Fortune 500/100 companies in pursuit of an often sought but never quite attained blockchain solution.

    Even in the deepest depths of the recent bear market, the one constant has been the enterprise-blockchain newsflow updates. And while prices have recently started to climb from yearly lows, enterprise interest in cramming blockchain into every vertical imaginable is still cruising at all-time highs.

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    PayPal, Mastercard, and Stripe investing in Facebook’s new cryptocurrency

    PayPal, Mastercard, Stripe, and Uber will be among over a dozen companies investing approximately $10 million each to back Facebook’s new cryptocurrency.

    Announced in the Wall Street Journal, the companies will join a consortium to govern the token.

    Facebook Global Holdings registered “Libra Networks” in Switzerland as a financial technology company focusing on blockchain and payments as well as data analytics and investing.

    Laura McCracken, Facebook’s head of financial services & payment partnerships for Northern Europe recently confirmed that a white paper will be released on June 18.

    The cryptocurrency will be transferable with zero fees among Facebook products, and the company is working with merchants for acceptance of the token, reported TechCrunch. Developed over the last year, few details about how the mechanics of the digital asset have been revealed.

    The effort is code-named “Project Libra,” likely as a dig at the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini exchange. The twins’ lawsuit with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg over the invention of Facebook is documented in the 2010 movie “The Social Network.”

    Facebook’s token will be a stablecoin backed with a basket of currencies instead of the U.S. dollar but how it will be used remains a mystery. Speculation centers around the idea that Facebook users will be able to exchange the token with friends and use it to make purchases on the network.

    It is also unclear how Facebook will deal with the complexity of international regulations, however, a project of this magnitude could also force governments to pay closer attention to their regulation of cryptocurrencies.

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    ‘Magic’ Cryptocurrency Trading Platform By John Mcafee Is Now Live

    The renowned cybersecurity expert and crypto enthusiast John McAfee launched his own digital currency trading platform called ‘Magic’ on 12th June 2019. John made the official announcement through his Twitter handle.

    McAfee Magic, regarded as a revolutionary digital currency trading platform, allows users to trade their cryptos on more than one exchange simultaneously via a single interface. In fact, the platform facilitates the trading of more than 500 cryptocurrencies, manually as well as automatically.

    Magic can be considered as a non-custodial trading platform as the digital currency holdings of users remain on the 8 exchange platforms Magic holds ties with. So whenever a user initiates a trade, funds are pulled from the accounts user has on other exchanges in order to complete that trade transaction. All a user needs to do is plug in the APIs from other crypto exchanges to set up the functionality.

    The McAfee Magic platform which runs by ARB, an ERC-20 token, has two portals on offer: ‘spot trading’ and ‘shadow trading’. While the former lets users carry out normal spot trading with advanced trading features, the latter allows them to mimic trades of professional traders who hold the community rankings based on their trading success across a variety of trading pairs and exchanges.

    Apart from that, Magic offers a feature called ‘set and forget’ which lets users sell and purchase orders simultaneously. Moreover, users can also take advantage of the platform’s auto trade functionality where trading bots can perform hundreds of trades on the user’s behalf 24/7. On top of that, conversion of fiat to your preferred cryptocurrency at an OTC desk will also be made available soon, states the reports.

    In addition, traders are not required to fund the trader accounts. The control and access of funds on the different crypto exchanges totally remains with the traders themselves.

    As stated on Magic’s official site, the platform is hosted on the top grade AWS servers by Amazon that is highly scalable and provides utmost security.

    In the meanwhile, McAfee also made an announcement about ten days ago regarding the launch of his own digital currency which is being referred to as McAfee Freedom Coin. The crypto will have a natural growing value in the market, but its value in terms of any currency will also be 0, states McAfee. The Coin is stated to be launched this autumn. If that was not all, McAfee has also recently announced that the launch of the crypto-based debit card service is going to follow in the next week.

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    Italy MiniBot Proposal - How it will effect the Euro (if passed) and effect on Bitcoin (obv)

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    Concerns Over Facebook Data Use Derailed at Least 3 Crypto Partnerships

    Facebook’s GlobalCoin project, also known as Project Libra, may face significant hurdles as the social media giant works toward a prospective launch.

    Despite reports that Facebook is gearing up to reveal its new cryptocurrency as early as next week, a source with knowledge of Facebook’s operations said the project’s software has a long way to go until it can be used. Sources attribute the delay to blockchain industry incumbents being reluctant to work on a project that doesn’t appear to have the hallmarks of a true cryptocurrency.

    Based on conversations with seven knowledgeable sources, CoinDesk confirmed Facebook’s plan is to connect users’ financial information to their personal Facebook profiles. Such data would likley be under Facebook’s control, hosted in company databases. There are even talks about integrating with external payment processors like Mastercard, which the Wall Street Journal reported has signed on to help finance the GlobalCoin project. In a call with CoinDesk, Facebook declined to comment.

    Sources compared GlobalCoin to Alipay, which allows digital payments across social platforms yet is also associated with Chinese government surveillance, and cited political lobbying as a cornerstone of Facebook’s broader effort.

    This has created a rift between various partners from the blockchain industry, which were reluctant to work on a project that offered users little control over their digital identities. Sources say Facebook entered fruitless talks with startups Tendermint and Stellar, then even expressed an interest in acquiring MobileCoin, the startup advised by Signal creator Moxie Marlinspike.

    The above-mentioned teams declined to comment. In their absence, Facebook acquired the blockchain startup Chainspace, with a keen eye on its proprietary consensus algorithm.

    Blockchain consultant Maya Zehavi told CoinDesk she is concerned the GlobalCoin consortium with Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Facebook could create a system with limited accountability yet ample power to exclude individual users from commerce. Plus, there’s reportedly a $10 million minimum charge for prospective GlobalCoin node operators.

    “They are creating an anti-competitive moat,” Zehavi said, adding:

    It creates a silo of data rails without any guarantees about data sharing among the different participants, and the computation being done to access the services. Meaning some computation being done could kick you out of Uber, Facebook and Shopify, if you become a risk-management issue.

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    Report: Microsoft to Add Blockchain Tools to Its Power Platform

    American technology giant Microsoft will reportedly make blockchain-based tools available to PowerApps and Microsoft Flow users, tech-focused news outlet GeekWire reported on June 10.

    Microsoft will purportedly announce its plans to add blockchain tools to its Power Platform during the Microsoft Business Applications Summit on Monday in Atlanta. Specifically, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain tools will be included in the company’s PowerApps custom application builder and PowerBI business intelligence tool.

    The Power Platform itself is a collection of tools — Power BI, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow — designed for collaborative work to build custom apps, automate workflows to improve business productivity and analyze data for insights.

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    Appetite for Blockchain Tech Builds Among Korean Banks, but Without Crypto

    In recent weeks, major South Korean financial institutions have rolled out a number of services incorporating blockchain technology, especially in the areas of Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and security. Fintech has become a buzzword for local banks trying to keep up with the change of the times.

    The banks, however, are not looking into an important part of blockchain, which is digital assets, says one influential Korean advocate of alternative currency. In order to assess the Korean blockchain space, it is important to understand how the trend affects existing players and the cryptocurrency market.

    Shinhan Bank, the first bank to be established on the peninsula, incorporated blockchain into its lending services on May 27.

    The bank’s “Blockchain Verification System” allows users to receive evidential documents on private enterprises. Through this system, it has shortened the process from two to three days to almost instant verification.

    KB Kookmin Bank, one of the largest banks in the country, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with blockchain firm Atomrigs Lab, as Cointelegraph reported June 11. The partnership is designed to explore digital asset management and protection solutions.

    What differentiates Atomrigs Labs from other blockchain developers is that it specializes in the financial sector and is known to have the technology to retrieve private keys in case of loss.

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    Italy will stick to ‘mini-BOT’ plan unless someone has a better idea: Salvini

    Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Tuesday Rome would press ahead with a plan to settle overdue state payments by issuing mini-bills unless a better solution was put forward.

    The mini-bills would be “a tool to pay state debts towards families and suppliers. If there is a smarter way of doing this someone should say so, otherwise we’ll stick to it,” Salvini said on the sidelines of a conference in Rome.

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    Russia To Introduce Its Own Cryptocurrency In Two Weeks, Libra Criticized Heavily

    The Russian government has, on many occasions, stated that it would introduce a cryptocurrency for global trade in 2019, and the time seems to arrive finally. As per recent reports, Russia will launch its cryptocurrency in the next two weeks.

    Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister, Alexei Moiseev informed that the State Duma, the country’s parliament, is considering the bill on Digital Financial Assets (DFA) and is likely to adopt the bill within the next two weeks. According to him, authorities have already approved separate legislation for ICOs, and it will be a part of the Russian laws on crowdfunding initiatives. Moiseev further added:

    Now we are looking at the text [of the bill on digital financial assets] and within two weeks, I hope, we will come out for adoption in the second reading.
    Russia has been a crypto friendly nation, and its state head, President Vladimir Putin himself has been a strong advocate of digital currencies. The efforts to adopt cryptocurrencies were ramped up after Washington imposed sanctions on the country. Since then, Putin has strongly professed cryptocurrencies as an alternative to the US Dollar, the dominant currency in global trade.

    However, though favorable for digital tokens, Russia has come out strongly against Facebook’s recently launched cryptocurrency, Libra. Authorities in the country have strongly criticized the token and are considering it as a threat to the financial system. Nonetheless, though it may not be legalized yet, Russians can still buy and sell via various online crypto trading platforms.

    Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Market Anatoly Aksakov stated that the country is not yet considering cryptocurrencies based on a public blockchain. He further said:

    In theory, we should talk about the possibility of organizing all kinds of exchanges, trading platforms, and sales of such currencies. We, I believe, will limit or prohibit the creation of such sites. Those who want to acquire these tools using foreign legislation can do it at their own risk.

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