Is Bitcoin A Credible Payment System For Terrorists? - Forbes
BITCOIN MINING COULD POSE AML THREAT
[FULL ANALYSIS] Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors in Canada are now regulated as Money Service Businesses
Hello Bitcoiners! Many of you saw my tweet yesterday about the Bitcoin regulations in Canada. As usual, some journalists decided to write articles about my tweets without asking me for the full context :P Which means there has been a lot of misunderstanding. Particuarly, these regulations mean that we can lower the KYC requirements and no longer require ID documents or bank account connections! We can also increase the daily transaction limit from $3,000 per day to $10,000 per day for unverified accounts. The main difference is that we now have a $1,000 per-transaction limit (instead of per day) and we must report suspicious transactions. It's important to read about our reporting requirements, as it is the main difference since pretty much every exchange was doing KYC anyway. Hopefully you appreciate the transparency, and I'm available for questions! Cheers, Francis ********************************************* Text below is copied from: https://medium.com/bull-bitcoin/bitcoin-exchanges-and-payment-processors-in-canada-are-now-regulated-as-money-service-businesses-1ca820575511
Bitcoin is money, regulated like money
Notice to Canadian Bitcoin users
If you are the user of a Canadian Bitcoin company, be assured that:
These regulations only target virtual currency exchanges and virtual currency transmitters (e.g. payment processors, custodial wallets).
No action on your part is currently required. It is businesses that have to comply, not users.
You may notice that the exchange service you are using has change its transactions limits or is now requiring more information from you. You can stop reading this email now without any consequence! Otherwise, keep regarding if you are interested in my unique insights into this important topic!
Background on regulation
Today marks an important chapter for Bitcoin’s history in Canada: Bitcoin is officially regulated as money (virtual currency) under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act of Canada (PCMLTFA), under the jurisdiction of the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). This is the culmination of 5 years of effort by numerous Bitcoin Canadian advocates collaborating with the Ministry of Finance, Fintrac and other Canadian government agencies. It is important to note that there is no new Bitcoin law in Canada. In June of 2014, the Governor General of Canada (representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) gave royal asset to Bill C-31, voted by parliament under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which included amendments to the PCMLTFA to included Bitcoin companies (named “dealers in virtual currency”) as a category of Money Service Businesses. Thereafter, FINTRAC engaged in the process of defining what exactly is meant by “dealing in virtual currency” and what particular rules would apply to the businesses in this category. Much of our work was centred around excluding things like non-custodial wallets, nodes, mining and other activities that were not related exchange or payments processing. To give an idea, the other categories that apply to traditional fiat currency businesses are:
Foreign exchange dealing
Remitting or transmitting funds
Issuing or deeming money order or similar negotiable instruments
When we say that Bitcoin is now regulated, what we mean is that these questions have been settled, officially published, and that they are now legally binding. Businesses that are deemed to be “dealing in virtual currency” must register with FINTRAC as a money service business, just like they would if they were doing traditional currency exchange or payment processing. There is no “license” required, which means that you do not need the government’s approval before you can operate a Bitcoin exchange business. However, when you operate a Money Service Business, you must register and comply with the laws… otherwise you risk jail time and large fines.
What activities are regulated as Money Service Business activity?
A virtual currency exchange transaction is defined as: “an exchange, at the request of another person or entity, of virtual currency for funds, funds for virtual currency or one virtual currency for another.” This includes, but is not limited to:
Bitcoin trading platforms (orderbooks)
Bitcoin exchange platforms (fixed-rate)
Selling or buying Bitcoin OTC professionally
Crypto-to-crypto trading (orderbook, fixed-rate or OTC)
Notice to foreign Bitcoin companies with clients in Canada
Regardless of whether or not your business is based in Canada, you must register with FINTRAC as a Foreign Money Service Business, if:
You direct your MSB services at persons or entities in Canada
The regulation of Bitcoin exchange and payment services has always been inevitable. If we want Bitcoin to be considered as money, we must accept that it will be regulated like other monies. Our stance on the regulation issue has always been that Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors should be regulated like fiat currency exchanges and payment processors, no more, no less. This is the outcome we obtained. To comply with these regulations, we are implementing a few changes to our Know-Your-Customer requirement and transaction limits which may paradoxically make your experience using Bull Bitcoin and Bylls even more private and convenient!
The bad news
We are adding per-transaction limits in addition to daily volume limits.
The per-transaction limit for accounts with limited verification is $1,000 (previously $3000). To conduct transactions over $1,000 you must get your account verified.
We require users to provide their Date of Birth as a requirement to change their verification status to “Verified”.
We require users to provide their Occupation as a requirement to change their verification status to “Verified”.
The good news
We are increasing the daily volume limit from $3,000 to $10,000 for users that have the “limited” account verification status. Users with limited account verification can do multiple transactions as long as they are each below the $1,000 threshold and as long as they don’t exhibit suspicious behavior (see details below).
Identity documents will no longer be required for users that can be identified using their credit files. They will only be required where identification using credit file lookup was inconclusive. This change will take effect later this summer.
Connecting bank accounts to Bull Bitcoin using the flinks bank verification software will no longer be required for users that can be identified using their credit files. This will only be required where identification using credit file lookup was inconclusive. This change will take effect later this summer
The user’s KYC info (name, address, date of birth and occupation)
Suspicious transaction reporting
Satoshi Portal is required to make suspicious transactions report to FINTRAC after we have detected a fact that amounts to reasonable grounds to suspect that one of your transactions is related to the commission or attempted commission of a money laundering offence or a terrorist activity financing offence. Failure by Satoshi Portal Inc. to report a suspicious transaction could lead to up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000,000, or both, for its executives. We are not allowed to share with anyone other than FINTRAC, including our clients, the contents of a suspicious transaction report as well as the fact that a suspicious transaction report has been filed.
What is suspicious activity?
Note forbitcoinca: this section applies ONLY to Bull Bitcoin. Most exchanges have much stricter interpretation of what is suspicious. You should operate under the assumption that using Coinjoin or TOR will get you flagged at some other exchanges even though it's okay for Bull Bitcoin. That is simply because we have a more sophisticated understanding of privacy best practices. Identifying suspicious behavior is heavily dependent on the context of each transaction. We understand and take into account that for many of our customers, privacy and libertarian beliefs are of the utmost importance, and that some users may not know that the behavior they are engaging in is suspicious. When we are concerned or confused about the behaviors of our users, we endeavour to discuss it with them before jumping to conclusions. In general, here are a few tips:
Don’t provide false of misleading information. We will know right away if your date of birth, address and name don’t match.
Don’t try to exploit loopholes in the KYC process.
Don’t transact on behalf of someone else without telling us.
Be cooperative with customer support.
Here are some examples of behavior that we do not consider suspicious:
Coinjoin or other Bitcoin privacy techniques.
Using VPNs, TOR or VOIP phones.
Asking questions about, or criticizing, our privacy policies.
Talking negatively about banks or government.
Here are some example indicators of behavior that would lead us to investigate whether or not a transaction is suspicious:
Making statements about being involved with criminal activity.
Saying you don’t want the government to know about your transactions.
Asking advice about concealing source of funds or tax avoidance.
Funding your account from a bank account that is not in your name.
Conducting transactions on behalf of someone else without telling us.
Trying to falsify your identity or impersonating someone else.
Making multiple bill payments to the same recipient, or multiple Bitcoin purchases, in a way which seems structured specifically to avoid the $1,000 transaction amount KYC threshold.
Continuing to perform transactions that are unnecessarily complex, inefficient and not cost-effective after having been advised otherwise by our staff.
What does this mean for Bitcoin?
It was always standard practice for Bitcoin companies to operate under the assumption they would eventually be regulated and adopt policies and procedures as if they were already regulated. The same practices used for legal KYC were already commonplace to mitigate fraud (chargebacks). In addition, law enforcement and other government agencies in Canada were already issuing subpoenas and information requests to Bitcoin companies to obtain the information of users that were under investigation. We suspect that cash-based Bitcoin exchanges, whether Bitcoin ATMs, physical Bitcoin exchanges or Peer-to-Peer trading, will be the most affected since they will no longer be able to operate without KYC and the absence of KYC was the primary feature that allowed them to justify charging such high fees and exchange rate premiums. One thing is certain, as of today, there is no ambiguity whatsoever that Bitcoin is 100% legal and regulated in Canada!
Hello, Just wanted to make a post discussing this matter in Egypt. I hope someone from government also reads reddit. I can understand logical reasons why Egypt would want to prohibit Bitcoin mining:
Paying electricity at subsidized price and then selling Bitcoins for money means you're stealing the subsidy.
Untraceable Bitcoin can be used for criminal activities or terrorist finance.
Income from Bitcoin mining is not official and counts as income, so taxes are not being paid on it.
Since they suspect people who buy GPUs of doing this, I propose the following:
Let people declare that they are mining Bitcoin and remove electrical subsidy from them (let them pay the highest electricity tier price). Let them also count the electricity as expenses to avoid double-taxing.
Require that the wallets that receive the mining proceeds be made known to the government.
Open a local Egyptian Bitcoin exchange and when mining bitcoins are sold for EGP, count the EGP as capital gains or income and make people pay taxes on them as such.
Prohibit any transfer of those bitcoin between individuals and allow the only action to be done on them is keep them or sell them on a legitimate exchange which requires KYC/AML.
Instead of causing unnecessary headache for people who want to simply buy a GPU to play games by stopping or delaying all GPUs being imported, simply require that the imported GPUs be registered to the individual name (file automatically opened by customs without need of input from the importer), and set a limit for the number of graphics cards imported annually for individual use. In addition, for people who are not registered as bitcoin miners (or doing high electricity load work), if there's an unnatural large increase in the electricity consumption suddenly that doesn't coincide with a legitimate reason (eg: summer time and start of use of Air Conditioners) and the increase goes beyond the level historically consumed by the residence, then you can suspect that they are mining bitcoin, and then you can then investigate them. This way, both the government requirements can be satisfied and at the same time, people who just want to play games or do 3D work do not need to be unnecessarily harmed or impeded by regulations. This post can be considered as an open letter to anyone from authorities.
Link to our website:https://block.co/blockchain-in-the-public-sector-webcast-qa/ Block.co fourth webcast titled "Digital Transformation of the Public Sector & The Upcoming Legislation of Blockchain Technology in Cyprus” was an immense success. We gathered some of the best experts in the field, Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos, Jeff Bandman, Steve Tendon, and Christiana Aristidou to share their experience and discuss with us the latest updates regarding Blockchain in the Public Sector. In its fourth series of webcasts, Block.co gathered 281 people watching the event from 41 different countries, for a two-hour webcast where guests answered participants’ questions. Following the impressive outcome and response we received from the audience, Block.co’s team has done its best to address all the questions for which public information is available. Below is a list of the questions that were made and were not answered due to time constraints during the webcast. For the remaining questions from our audience, the team will reach out to our distinguished guests to receive their comments and feedback. Please note, that the below information is only for informational purposes! Question 1: How can asset tracing be accomplished with bitcoins and cryptocurrency? And how can this be regulated? Block.co Team Answer: Digital Asset tracing may be accomplished with cryptocurrency intelligence solutions such as Cipher Trace and the ICE cryptocurrency intelligence program. FATF (Financial Action Task Force) embarked on a program of work from summer 2018 to June 2019 to strengthen and update the provisions dealing with virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. FATF updated Recommendations in October 2018 and Guidance in June 2019 include several new obligations that apply to VASPs. The so-called “Travel Rule” FATF announced in October 2019 agreed on the assessment criteria for how it will assess countries’ compliance with the new global standards. Under the Travel Rule, the transmitter’s financial institutions must include and send information in the transmittal order such as Information about the identity, name, address, and account number of the sender and its financial institution Information about the identity, name, address and account number of the recipient. The ”Travel Rule” is effectively being applied to cryptoasset transfers when there is a virtual asset service provider (VASP) involved. The scope of focus has broadened from “convertible” virtual assets to any virtual asset. Countries should make sure businesses can freeze crypto wallet or exchange accounts for sanctioned individuals. Question 2: Which kind of software or technical knowledge is required to develop cryptocurrency? Block.co Team Answer: It depends on the type of cryptocurrency you wish to create, as well as the preferred functionality and features, and characteristics of the token or coin (i.e. will it be pre-mined, what type of hashing or cryptographic algorithm will be used (i.e. proof of work (POW) or proof of stake (POS) or a hybrid of both), etc. Likewise, it is useful to utilize a programming language that is broadly used and supported by a vast and active development community; more data could be found here: more information could be found here: top programming languages in 2015/2016, published by IEEE here, and TIOBE. Hypothetically, you can utilize any programming language to make cryptocurrency digital money, however, the most widely recognized are C, C++, Java, Python, Perl. The beauty of cryptocurrencies is that you can literally have access to the entire Bitcoin and Ethereum open-source programming scripts, and create your alternate coin (altcoin). Question 3: Hello all, I want to know about the current status of the European Union Blockchain initiative in currency or public identity. Block.co Team Answer: Please refer to the European Services Blockchain Infrastructure (EBSI) website. Question 4: Mining is also the process of confirmation of transactions in the Bitcoin Blockchain. What is the process of confirmation of transactions in the Blockchain of an Organization? How do we call it? Block.co Team Answer: That would depend on the specific consensus algorithm used for the confirmation of transactions. The consensus algorithm is part of the blockchain protocol that defines the rules on how consensus is reached on that blockchain. In order to participate, entities on the blockchain must obey and follow the same consensus algorithm. Make sure to check our glossary for more information. Question 5: How does a small business implement blockchain into its current non-blockchain software systems? Who do they hire to install it? Block.co Team Answer: It is easy when there are APIs to connect the various software. For more information, you can check Block.co API. Question 6: What is your opinion on digitizing developing economies like India by using AI and blockchain? Block.co Team Answer: Watch a very interesting webinar on the matter by Mr. Prasanna: Question 7: Blockchain technologies have been around since 2008. What would you say has been the biggest obstacle in widespread adoption? Block.co Team Answer: In our opinion, the biggest obstacles are volatile cryptoasset prices, complicated UIs, undefined blockchain technology standards. Moreover, the legislation around the technologies is still now being developed and does not offer legal certainty for broader adoption. Question 8: Limitations to Blockchain Usability in the Public Sector? Block.co Team Answer: Blockchain in the Public Sector, like any other innovative concept with big potential, cannot be a solution to every problem. Users and developers are still figuring out technological and managerial challenges. From a technological perspective, some aspects such as platform scalability, validation methods, data standardization, and systems integration must still be addressed. From a managerial point of view, the questions include business model transformation, incentive structure, and transaction scale, and maturity. Read more here. Question 9: How can these blockchain initiatives be practical for the African context Block.co Team Answer: As long as the internet infrastructure is in place, these blockchain initiatives may have the same benefits for the African region. Question 10: What are some compelling use cases you’ve seen lately, and how do they serve to further legitimize blockchain as a solution? Block.co Team Answer: You can see the global trends from all around the world when it comes to further legitimization as a solution, with China leading the way. Read more here. Question 11: How does digital currency manage the issue of money laundering? Block.co Team Answer: Depends under which context you are looking at the term digital currency. A digital currency usually refers to a balance or a record stored in a distributed database, in an electronic computer database, within digital files or a stored-value card. Some examples of digital currencies are cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and e-Cash. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to fight money laundering. Since 2001 FATF is also looking into terrorism financing. The objectives of FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. FATF is a “policy-making body” that works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. FATF monitors progress in implementing its Recommendations through “peer reviews” (“mutual evaluations”) of member countries. It is the global watchdog for anti-money laundering & counter-terrorist finance. In June 2019, it updated its guidance paper for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) regarding the transfer of digital assets. There was an insertion of a new interpretive note that sets out the application of the FATF Standards to virtual asset activities and service providers. To apply FATF Recommendations, countries should consider virtual assets as “property,” “proceeds,” “funds,” “funds or other assets,” or other “corresponding value.” Countries should apply the relevant measures under the FATF Recommendations to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Read more about the FATF recommendations here). https://preview.redd.it/58tt7mt1pld51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=d24811c4864ebf02cb9aacc8d6b877a1fbc3756b Question 12: To what extent can blockchain be used to improve the privacy of healthcare? Block.co team Answer: Please refer to our previous webcast, blog, and articles for more information. Question 13: What is Blockchain technology in Shipping? Block.co team Answer: The shipping sector has been in the hold of phony maritime institutes charging exorbitant fees via agents, issuing certificates to candidates who do not have the imperative attendance, or those candidates who just pay the fees for the course and ask for the certificate. In view of these fake accreditations, the possibility exists that someone could be harmed or killed, and we could face any number of potential ecological disasters. Having the option to easily verify the genuine origin of a certificate by an approved maritime center is foremost for shipping companies to fast-track their operation and streamline their labor. Question 14: Different uses of blockchain other than cryptocurrency? Block.co team Answer: Please refer to our blog and glossary. Question 15: Upcoming trends in Blockchain concerning Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations in the Public and Private sectors. Block.co Team Answer: Regarding the application of blockchain technology to media copyrights, please see Block.co use case proposal during the Bloomen Ideathon. https://preview.redd.it/48zc8j38pld51.png?width=3622&format=png&auto=webp&s=79987d1dc7eb8d0c8e32dbce8680b17801d0d244 Question 16: How to create a decentralized blockchain? Block.co Team Answer: An excessive number of individuals feel that blockchain is some supernatural innovation that makes up a decentralized system. In truth, this innovation only enables decentralization. Which means, it permits cryptocurrency to work in a decentralized way. Yet, it doesn’t give any guarantees that it will work that way. Along these lines, it’s really, some outer variables that decide genuine decentralization. Technology, itself never really guarantees it. That is the reason it’s a mistake to expect that if it’s a blockchain — it’s decentralized. From a technical perspective, both blockchains, centralized, and decentralized are comparative, as they take work on distributed peer to peer to network. This implies every node is individually responsible to verify and store the shared ledger. Both Blockchains utilize either a proof-of-work or proof-of-stake mechanisms to make a solitary record and they have to give upper and lower limits on the security and productivity of the system. For more information please refer to our infographic. Question 17: Dubai government Blockchain implementation progress? Block.co Team Answer: You can see more information here. Question 18: How Blockchain and IoT can be integrated to secure data being transmitted through IoT devices. Block.co Team Answer: You can read more about it here. Question 19: How can the Nigerian government use Blockchain to effectively implement its existing launched eGovernment master plan? Block.co Team Answer: Perhaps it can draw its attention to the initiatives of Dubai, Estonia, and Malta to prepare an implementation framework. Question 20: What impact is blockchain going to have in today world of business especially in the financial sector Block.co Team Answer: Please refer to our recent article titled Benefits of Blockchain Technology in the Banking Industry. Question 21: Is Blockchain Technology affect individuals? Block.co Team Answer: The social effect of blockchain innovation has just started to be acknowledged and this may simply be a hint of something larger. Cryptocurrencies have raised questions over financial services through digital wallets, and while considering that there are in excess of 3,5 billion individuals on the planet today without access to banking, such a move is surely impactful. Maybe the move for cryptocurrencies will be simpler for developing nations than the process of fiat cash and credit cards. It is like the transformation that developing nations had with mobile phones. It was simpler to acquire mass amounts of mobile phones than to supply another infrastructure for landlines telephones. In addition to giving the underprivileged access to banking services, greater transparency could also raise the profile and effectiveness of charities working in developing countries that fall under corrupt or manipulative governments. An expanded degree of trust in where the cash goes and whose advantages would without a doubt lead to expanded commitments and backing for the poor in parts of the world that are in urgent need of help. Blockchain technology is well placed to remove the possibility of vote-apparatus and the entirety of different negatives related to the current democratic procedure. Obviously, with new innovation, there are new obstacles and issues that will arise, yet the cycle goes on and those new issues will be comprehended with progressively modern arrangements. A decentralized record would give the entirety of the fundamental information to precisely record votes on an anonymous basis, and check the exactness and whether there had been any manipulation of the voting procedure. Question 22: As Andreas Antonopoulos often says in his MOOC: ”is a blockchain even needed?” Ie. Are there better methods? Block.co Team Answer: In combination with nascent technologies, IoT, distributed computing, and distributed ledger technologies, governments can provide inventive services and answers for the citizens and local municipalities. Blockchain can provide the component to create a safe framework to deal with these functions. In particular, it can provide a safe interoperable infrastructure that permits all smart city services and capacities to work past presently imagined levels. On the off chance that there were better techniques, they would be researched. Question 23: Would any of this be also applicable to the educational sector (as part of the general public sector), and if so in which way? Block.co Team Answer: Yes, please refer to our Webcast on Education and our blog post. Question 24: Will we be able to get a hold of this recording upon completion of the meeting? Block.co Team Answer: Yes, here is a link to the recording of our webcast Blockchain in the Public Sector. Question 25: Was wondering if there are any existing universal framework in governing the blockchain technology? Block.co Team Answer: The short answer is NO, as this framework is currently being prepared in collaboration with the various Member States. We would like to thank everyone for attending our webcast and hoping to interact with you in future webinars. If you would like to watch the webinar again, then click here! For more info, contactBlock.codirectly or email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). Tel +357 70007828 Get the latest from Block.co, like and follow us on social media: ✔️Facebook ✔️LinkedIn ✔️Twitter ✔️YouTube ✔️Medium ✔️Instagram ✔️Telegram ✔️Reddit ✔️GitHub
Dear friends of LivesOne, Since the Symbiosism Economy Foundation announced the cooperation with BSV, we have introduced BSV in detail, including its history, philosophy, advantages, and the reasons for our choice. LivesOne always pays close attention to the trend of BSV and informs you in time. As we enter the year 2020, good news is coming one after another. Mining pool reduces BSV transaction fee and anchors legal tender BSV transaction fees are already the cheapest in major blockchains, but this is not enough. On January 8, the famous Bitcoin mining giant TAAL announced that in order to support blockchain applications that require a large number of transactions, it will reduce the miner rate on the BSV chain and increase the limit value of unconfirmed inherited transactions. Subsequently, the CoinGeek mining pool also issued a statement saying that it would follow up with this adjustment. Any fee reduction will send a clear signal to the market that the cost of using BSV will decrease. It is expected that this change will incentivize more enterprise applications to generate a large number of BSV transactions. Taking this step will generate high transaction volumes and higher total transaction fees. At present, Bitcoin transaction fees are not expressed in legal tender, but in "sat / byte". Therefore, transaction fees in legal tender price will fluctuate with the fluctuation of the price of bitcoin. This fluctuation will have a greater impact on applications that generate a large number of transactions on the blockchain. Commercial users of the BSV ecosystem have recently begun to explore an alternative transaction fee model that can be priced in legal tender, which provides higher reliability for BSV business applications. This new type of expense market emerged with the greater data and microtransaction capabilities of BSV. However, this is unlikely to happen on the bitcoin core network, because its block is too small, resulting in high transaction costs. Large enterprises usually want to be able to predict their costs, so stable transaction fees are expected to attract more enterprises to use BSV for data applications. TAAL promises to regularly check the lower BSV transaction fees to maintain stable transaction fees in legal tender. As one of BSV's partners, it is undoubtedly brought real benefits to LivesOne. Oppose Anonymity and Embrace Regulation The European Union’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) came into effect on January 10. The regulation was entered as law on July 9, 2018 in an effort to bring increased transparency to financial transactions for pushing back against money laundering and terrorist financing across Europe. For the first time, 5AMLD is broadening its regulatory scope by including crypto service providers like virtual-fiat exchanges or custodian wallet providers. The idea is make it more plainly knowable who’s participating in crypto transactions. The rationale is that doing so pushes back against money laundering and terrorism financing. According to an 5AMLD fact sheet, the law will:
increase transparency about who really owns legal entities in order to to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing via opaque structures
give European financial regulators better access to information via centralized bank account registers
tackle terrorist financing risks linked to anonymous use of virtual currencies and prepaid instruments
improve the cooperation and exchange of information between anti-money laundering supervisors and with the European Central Bank
broaden the criteria for assessing high-risk third countries and ensure a high level of safeguards for money moving to or from such countries.
European Union is paying close attention to cryptocurrency and has established its first set of rules for how companies in this space must behave. Now it’s on those companies to gain compliance or risk being able to operate at all. This reminds me of Dr. Craig's emphasis on the existence of BSV: Bitcoin's system should be transparent. It should not be used to fight the government; it should not be used to fight anyone. It can be used for creation, it can be used for construction. I have to say that the vision of BSV is prescient and correct. BSV is an honest system with transparency as its key feature. BSV can be used to create a more secure and honest society. BSV with unlimited expansion, anti-anonymity, and embrace supervision is the first choice for LivesOne team cooperation. The collaboration between LivesOne and BSV is ongoing, let us look forward to seeing more details. Symbiosism Economy Foundation Jan.15th, 2020
Investing in crypto is more like shareholding than using money. But where do crypto profits come from? Who are the CEOs and majority shareholders?
1 The majority of well-known cryptocurrency founders have criminal records and extreme views, many others are anonymous. They have preyed on retail investors to enrich themselves and encourage retail investors to promote extremist political views. 2 The founder of bitcoin was anonymous. What if that means he was an employee of a rogue regime, or a programmer for a terrorist group, or had a long list of criminal records? He or they would be amassing a fortune based on the fact that they had a head start in acquiring a large amount of cryptocurrency before the public had a chance. 3 A large majority of the cryptocurrency supply is owned by a small number of wallets with no known ownership. They could be a rogue regime, a terrorist group, child traffickers, a cartel, or all the above. In fact, we have quite a lot of evidence that the ‘all the above’ option is correct. 4 Cryptocurrencies do not meet the definition of money, they function more like shareholding in a network that derives revenue and profit from speculation, money laundering, terrorist financing, drug sales, child sex trafficking, ransomware, bribery, and financial fraud on exchanges. 5 The market prices are clearly artificially boosted with unbacked Tether (a token that is alleged to be backed by US dollars but is unaudited), fake volume and encourages investors to gamble with credit. This means the game is rigged to create Minsky Moments at regular intervals, roughly every 12-15 months, which wipes out retail investors and concentrates more wealth into fewer hands. 6 A portion of every bitcoin transaction goes into the pockets of the Chinese regime who control most of the hash power in cryptocurrency mining. Retail investors outside China should not be paying a transaction tax to that regime. It is also highly likely that mining company Bitmain and cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance are fronts for fund raising for the Chinese regime, its authoritarian figures, and its electronic warfare departments. 7 Reporters such as the website Bellingcat have shown us wallets belonging to known terrorists, Neo-Nazis and Russian intelligence. Retail investors should not be making these parties wealthier. We should not be financing those who kill and oppress people. 8 All the cryptos put together added two whole countries worth of carbon footprint to the planet in the last decade and rising. We are hitting record temperatures and this level of global warming is a threat to us all. This must not be encouraged. Our legacy financial system is much more energy efficient and improving at a much faster rate. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies make them inherently inefficient, slower and power hungry.
Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20191023(Market index 33 — Fear state)
https://preview.redd.it/folaa2ztw9u31.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a0aaa8476acb68252087ddf0558d293b5a9a9392 Germany Warns Of Privacy Token Usage In Money Laundering And Terrorism According to Cointelegraph, the German Federal Ministry of Finance has expressed concerns about rising use of privacy tokens due to their association with criminal activities and difficulties in tracking them. Published on Oct 19, the ministry’s “First Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing National Risk Assessment” for 2018–2019 provided analysis aimed at the identification of existing and future risks in the field of anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorism financing (TF) in Germany. Among other challenges, the report examines circulation of cryptocurrencies in the darknet for criminal purposes. State Probe Of Facebook Expands To 47 Attorneys General According to Reuters news flash, the state probe of Facebook on allegations that the company put consumer data at risk and pushed up advertising rates has expanded to attorneys general from 47 states and territories, New York Attorney General Letitia James said on Tuesday, October 22 in a statement. Bank Of Lithuania Becomes First Market Regulator To Issue Guidelines On STOs According to coinpage, Bank of Lithuania has become the first of market regulators to issue guidelines on STOs. The new guidelines are focussed on the classification of security tokens, assessing specific cases and providing recommendations related to the issue of the security tokens and also clarify on applicable legal regulation. Furthermore, enterprises planning to use the STO method will need to comply with EU and national legislation regulating capital-raising activities. TBCASoft, IBM And SoftBank Announced A Mobile Payment Blockchain Blockchain platform TBCASoft, technology behemoth IBM and telecommunications conglomerate SoftBank announced on Oct 22 a collaboration to adopt a cross-carrier telecommunications blockchain payment solution.
Encrypted project calendar（October 23, 2019）
MIOTA/IOTA:IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on October 23rd at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with the theme “Connecting the I3 Market and Experiencing Purchase and Sales Data.”BTC/Bitcoin:The WBS World Blockchain Summit (Middle East) will be held in Dubai from October 23rd to 24th.Cardano (ADA) and 1 other:23 October 2019 WBS Dubai “One of a kind gathering of 500+ curated & pre-qualified investors, CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, Heads of Blockchain, Chief Digital OfficersCloakCoin (CLOAK):23 October 2019 (or earlier) CloakCoin Competition “CloakCoin competition : solve the CloakCoin ENIGMA transaction, 3rd round.”Loom Network (LOOM):23 October 2019 Singapore Meetup “Unstack the Stack Series: Loom Network” from 6:30–8:30 PM (SST).BTGS/Bitdog:ZG.COM will open the BTGS currency and coin transfer business at 14:00 on October 23, and open the BTGS/USDT transaction pair on October 23 at 18:18.Waltonchain (WTC):23 October 2019 Transfers Suspended “$WTC deposits and withdrawals on #TaibiExchange will be suspended from 00:00 Oct 22 (UTC+8) and are estimated to resume at 15:00 Oct 23
Encrypted project calendar（October 24, 2019）
BCN/Bytecoin:Bytecoin (BCN) released the hidden amount of the Bytecoin block network on October 24.Horizen (ZEN):24 October 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA.ANT/Aragon: Aragon (ANT) Aragon Network will hold the theme “DAO: ICO and DeFi next step” in Hong Kong on October 24th?DATA/Streamr DATAcoin:Streamr DATAcoin (DATA) Streamr Network Technology Exchange and Project Development Conference will be held in London on October 24th.Lisk (LSK):24 October 2019 Coding Workshop — Berlin “During this workshop you will acquire the skills to create custom transactions with the Lisk Alpha SDK using Node.js.”BTU Protocol (BTU)：24 October 2019 Africa IT Expo “Our co-founder@vidal007will be speaking at upcoming@africa_aitex[African IT Expo] held in #Rabat #Morocco on 24th of October.”Matrix AI Network (MAN)：24 October 2019 YouTube AMA YouTube AMA from 3PM, October 24 (GMT+8).Utrum (OOT)：24 October 2019 AtomicDex Listing “We are pleased to announce that Utrum coin OOT is getting listed on Komodo Platform Decentral Exchange — AtomicDEX. “
Encrypted project calendar（October 25, 2019）
ADA/Cardano:Cardano (ADA) The Ada community will host a community gathering in the Dominican Republic for the first time on October 25.Crypto.com Coin (CRO):25 October 2019 Live AMA with CEO “Live AMA with our CEO@Kris_HKon@cryptocom’s Twitter next Friday, 25 October, 11AM HKT.”GST/GSTCOIN:GSTCOIN(GST)LBank will be online GST on October 25, 2019 at 16:00 (UTC+8), open trading pair: GST/USDT, GST/ETH.
Encrypted project calendar（October 26, 2019）
KAT/Kambria:Kambria (KAT) Kambria will host the 2019 Southern California Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Conference in Los Angeles on October 26th with IDEAS.BTC/Bitcoin:CoinAgenda Global Summit will be held in Las Vegas from October 26th to 28thHorizen (ZEN):26 October 2019 (or earlier) ZEN 2.0.19 Upgrade Zen 2.0.19 upgrade at block #610000, which is expected around October 26.
Encrypted project calendar（October 27, 2019）
ICON (ICX):27 October 2019 Money 20/20 USA Event Money 20/20 USA in Las Vegas from October 27–30.
Encrypted project calendar（October 28, 2019）
LTC/Litecoin:Litecoin (LTC) 2019 Litecoin Summit will be held from October 28th to October 29th in Las Vegas, USABTC/Bitcoin:Mt.Gox changes the debt compensation plan submission deadline to October 28ZEC/Zcash:Zcash (ZEC) will activate the Blossom Agreement on October 28thStellar (XLM):28 October 2019 Protocol 12 Upgrade Vote Horizon v0.22.0 has been released, which supports Protocol 12. This gives everyone ample time to prepare for the Protocol 12 upgrade voteCelsius (CEL)and 3 others: 28 October 2019 Litecoin Summit “…The Litecoin Summit offers two fun, jam-packed days with something for everyone.”XFOC (XFOC):The IDAX platform will be online XFOC and will open the XFOC/USDT trading pair at 13:00 on October 28.MEDIUM (MDM):The IDAX platform lists MDM and will open MDM/BTC trading pairs on October 28th at 15:00.ZB/ ZB Blockchain:The “2019 Hamburg Intercontinental Dialogue Conference” hosted by ZB.com will be held from October 28th to November 9th at the Four Seasons Hotel Hamburg, Germany.BQT (BQTX)：28 October 2019 Down for Maintenance BQTX.com will be down for maintenance on the 28th of October from 7 to 12am UTC.
Encrypted project calendar（October 29, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2nd World Encryption Conference (WCC) will be held in Las Vegas from October 29th to 31st.ICON (ICX):29 October 2019 Decentralization “As a result, the decentralization schedule of the ICON Network has been changed from September 24, 2019 to October 29, 2019.”Ark (ARK):and 10 others 29 October 2019 WCC 2019 Second annual Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Technology event, World Crypto Conference (WCC), October 29th — October 31, 2019.Insifa (ISF):29 October 2019 Prototype Alpha “We from Insifa have decided to be more open. Our Prototype will be developed in scrum. This means new releases every two weeks.”
Encrypted project calendar（October 30, 2019）
MIOTA/IOTA:IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on October 30th at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on the topic “How to store data on IOTA Tangle.”TRON (TRX):30 October 2019 SFBW19 Afterparty “TRON Official SFBW19 Afterparty from 7–10:30 PM in San Francisco.”Horizen (ZEN):30 October 2019 Horizen Quarterly Update Join our first Quarterly Update on October the 30th at 5 PM UTC/ 1 PM EST. Deeper look into Engineering, BD, Marketing, and more.Aeternity (AE):30 October 2019 Hardfork “The third hardfork of the æternity Mainnet is scheduled for October 30, 2019.”Valor Token (VALOR):30 October 2019 Transaction Fees Resume “It’s September and the SMART VALOR Platform is still waiving transaction fees for all members, until October 30th!”Aragon (ANT):30 October 2019 Singapore Meetup “Aragon on DAOs and DeFi” from 6:30–8:30 PM.Kambria (KAT):30 October 2019 Outliers Hashed Awards Outliers Hashed awards from October 30–31.Ethereum Classic (ETC):30 October 2019 Cohort Demo Day “ETC Labs hosts it’s 2nd Cohort Demo Day. Learn about the companies and project being accelerated through the Ethereum Classic ecosystem.”
Encrypted project calendar（October 31, 2019）
Spendcoin (SPND):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Cross Ledger Mainnet “Cross Ledger Mainnet Release and SPND Token Swap,” during October 2019.Spendcoin (SPND):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blkchn University Beta “Blockchain University Beta goes live,” during October 2019.Stellar (XLM):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Minor Release “We will have 6 Minor Releases in 2019; one each in February, March, May, June, August, and October.”Bitcoin SV (BSV):31 October 2019 (or earlier) BSV Conference Seoul No additional information.Seele (SEELE):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Public Network Mainne launch has been moved to Oct 31 .Howdoo (UDOO):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Howdoo Live on Huawei Howdoo begins its exciting partnership with Huawei with listing as a featured app starting in October.Chiliz (CHZ):31 October 2019 (or earlier) App Soft Launch Soft launch of Socios App by end of October.Dent (DENT):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Loyalty Program “Afterburner loyalty program launch for all 21,6 Million mobile #DENT users will be in October!”IceChain (ICHX):31 October 2019 (or earlier) Wallet Release IceChain releases wallet during October.Chiliz (CHZ):31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Partnerships New sports and new teams joining Socios (+more updates and events) will be announced in the upcoming weeks.Horizen (ZEN):31 October 2019 Weekly Insider Team updates at 3:30 PM UTC/ 11:30 AM EDT: Engineering, Node network, Product/UX, Helpdesk, Legal, BD, Marketing, CEO Closing thoughts, AMA.PCHAIN (PI):31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Website No additional information.IOST (IOST):31 October 2019 (or earlier) New Game on IOST “Eternal Fafnir, a new role-playing game developed by INFUN is coming to you in Oct.”Achain (ACT)：31 October 2019 Mainnet 2.0 Launch “… The main network is officially scheduled to launch on October 31.”Mithril (MITH)：31 October 2019 Burn “MITH burn will take place on 2019/10/31 2pm UTC+8. “Aergo (AERGO)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Aergo Lite V1.0 Release AergoLite, which brings blockchain compatibility to billions of devices using SQLite, released during October 2019.TE-FOOD (TFD)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Complementary Product “Development of a new, complementary product with a new partner, which we hope to be launched in September-October.”Edge (DADI)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Full Open Source Code base for the network fully open-sourced in September or October.BlockStamp (BST)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing.Perlin (PERL)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) SSA Partnership “Perlin has partnered with the Singapore Shipping Association to create the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS)”Skrumble Network (SKM)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Exchange Release “3rd dApp: Exchange Release,” during October 2019.EDC Blockchain (EDC)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Blockchain Marketplace “As you already know, our ECRO blockchain marketplace is ready for release, and will open to the global community in October!”BlockStamp (BST)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) ASIC Miner Prototype In orderr to ensure BlockStamps continued decentralization, we will release a BST ASIC miner for testing.XinFin Network (XDCE)：31 October 2019 Homebloc Webinar “XinFin — Homebloc Webinar 2019” from 9–10 PM.Akropolis (AKRO)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Alpha Release “Delivers the initial mainnet implementation of protocol. All building blocks will be united to one product.”Hyperion (HYN)：31 October 2019 (or earlier) Economic Model The final version of the HYN Economic Model launches in October.
Encrypted project calendar（November 1, 2019）
INS/Insolar:The Insolar (INS) Insolar wallet and the redesigned Insolar Block Explorer will be operational on November 1, 2019.VeChain (VET)：”01 November 2019 BUIDLer Reunion Party BUIDLer Reunion Party in San Francisco from 8–11 PM.uPlexa (UPX)：01 November 2019 Steadfast Storm — PoS/PoW split (Utility nodes ie. master nodes) — Upcoming Anonymity Network much like TOR — Privacy-based DApps — Reduced network fees.Enjin Coin (ENJ)：01 November 2019 MFT Binding “ICYMI: On Enjin Coin’s 2nd anniversary (November 1), Enjin MFTs will be bound to hodlers’ blockchain addresses…”Auxilium (AUX)：01 November 2019 AUX Interest Distribution Monthly interest distribution by Auxilium Interest Distribution Platform for coinholders. Also supports charity.Havy (HAVY)：01 November 2019 Token Buyback “Havy tokens buyback, Only in 1 exchange between Idex, Mercatox & Hotbit. The exchange depends on the most lower sell wall.”
Encrypted project calendar（November 2, 2019）
Kambria (KAT)：02 November 2019 VietAI Summit 2019 Kambria joins forces with VietAI for the annual VietAI Summit, with top experts from Google Brain, NVIDIA, Kambria, VietAI, and more!
Encrypted project calendar（November 4, 2019）
Stellar (XLM)：04 November 2019 Stellar Meridian Conf. Stellar Meridian conference from Nov 4–5 in Mexico City.Cappasity (CAPP)：04 November 2019 Lisbon Web Summit Lisbon Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal from November 4–7.
Encrypted project calendar（November 5, 2019）
Nexus (NXS)：05 November 2019 Tritium Official Release “Remember, Remember the 5th of November, the day Tritium changed Distributed Ledger. Yes, this is an official release date.”NEM (XEM)：05 November 2019 Innovation Forum — Kyiv NEM Foundation Council Member Anton Bosenko will be speaking in the upcoming International Innovation Forum in Kyiv on November 5, 2019.
Encrypted project calendar（November 6, 2019）
STEEM/Steem:The Steem (STEEM) SteemFest 4 conference will be held in Bangkok from November 6th to 10th.KIM/Kimcoin:Kimcoin (KIM) Bitfinex will be online at KIM on November 6, 2019 at 12:00 (UTC).
Encrypted project calendar（November 7, 2019）
XRP (XRP)： 07 November 2019 Swell 2019 Ripple hosts Swell from November 7th — 8th in Singapore.BTC/Bitcoin:Malta The A.I. and Blockchain summit will be held in Malta from November 7th to 8th.
Encrypted project calendar（November 8, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The 2nd Global Digital Mining Summit will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from October 8th to 10th.IOTX/IoTeX:IoTex (IOTX) will participate in the CES Expo on November 08
Encrypted project calendar（November 9, 2019）
CENNZ/Centrality:Centrality (CENNZ) will meet in InsurTechNZ Connect — Insurance and Blockchain on October 9th in Auckland.
Encrypted project calendar（November 11, 2019）
PAX/Paxos Standard:Paxos Standard (PAX) 2019 Singapore Financial Technology Festival will be held from November 11th to 15th, and Paxos Standard will attend the conference.
Encrypted project calendar（November 12, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin:The CoinMarketCap Global Conference will be held at the Victoria Theatre in Singapore from November 12th to 13th
Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20190830(Market index 24 — Extreme Fear state)
https://preview.redd.it/sevbsls5jkj31.jpg?width=540&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c6418070423aab93e76875cc81d6e47e448c7f7a https://preview.redd.it/6qz26j67jkj31.png?width=630&format=png&auto=webp&s=366fe0b5006e1a9beae34f9d26345bec8cb75cf2 [UN official: Cryptocurrency makes policing child slavery more difficult] A top United Nations official says cryptocurrencies have made it significantly more difficult to fight child slavery, cyber crime, terror financing and money laundering, according to a report by news website ABC on August 29. Neil Walsh, chief of the Cybercrime and AML section of UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, noted that the anonymous attribute of cryptocurrencies provide a new layer of secrecy to favor these criminals. [Indian black money special investigation team: the government does not need to supervise the cryptocurrency, the single choice is the only choice] The Indian Black Money Special Investigation Group (SIT) informed the government that criminal gang networks are increasingly relying on cryptocurrencies for money laundering and drug smuggling. It also believes that it is not necessary to supervise cryptocurrencies, because it takes years and inefficiencies to deal with such cases, and a one-size-fits-all approach seems to be the only option. Although the country does not fully ban cryptocurrency transactions, the government has instructed all relevant agencies and law enforcement agencies such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Law Enforcement Agency (ED) and the income tax department to take action in accordance with existing laws. In the absence of a globally acceptable solution, the government is handling this matter with caution. SIT does not support regulation because it takes a long time to prosecute violations in the country: “We have many laws or regulations that need to be strictly enforced. But experience shows that many law or regulatory enforcement agencies cannot enforce them. Even if they try to enforce them, As a result, many litigations remain pending for many years. In order to avoid this, there is no choice but to declare it an illegal transaction. Those dealing with cryptocurrencies should be punished without any further evidence.” [Terrorist organizations are using social media platforms such as Telegram to raise money through cryptocurrencies] According to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a non-profit research institute, terrorist organizations in areas such as Islam and Hamas are using social media platforms, including Telegram, to raise funds through cryptocurrencies. MEMRI warned that this problem will only be more serious when Telegram launches its own blockchain TON and local cryptocurrency Gram.
Encrypted project calendar（August 30, 2019）
XDCE/XinFin Network:2019 TraceFinancial webinar will be held on August 30thWAX/WAX Token:WAX TokenSwap (WAX) to August 30, ERC-20 WAX Token token converted to WAX Token CutoffUGAS/Ultrain:Ultrain community news, after the main network mapping starts on August 7, all UGAS holders must complete the registration of the Ultrain main wallet account by August 30th.
Encrypted project calendar（August 31, 2019）
ADX/AdEx:ADEX (ADX) will release the Validator Stack version 2.0 in AugustDADI/DADI:DADI will release the network CLI on August 31, with Stargates to support network services; and release Self Onboarding on the same day to allow the network to be more open.MITH/Mithril:The Mithril (MITH) team decided to implement the first MITH token destruction program on August 31.COS/Contentos:Contentos test network v0.5 “Jupiter” will be launched on August 31, this is the last version of the test before the main online line, alternate release.NOAH/Noah Coin:Noah Coin (NOAH) exchanges the held tokens at BTCNext, ending on August 31st.
Encrypted project calendar（September 01, 2019）
XLM/Stellar:Stellar (XLM) will conduct equity awards in binance on September 1stMHC/MetaHash:MetaHash (MHC) will close all ICO accounts as of September 1 and will permanently close all ICO accounts. All MHCs will need to be transferred to MetaGate Wallet by this date.DGD/DigixDAO:The DigixDAO (DGD) DGXHUB community representative program will be open for application on September 1.
Encrypted project calendar（September 02, 2019）
AE/Aeternity:The third phase of Aeternity token (AE) main network migration will end on September 2nd.PLPillar:The Pillar (PLR) Pillar community will participate in a creative strategy seminar hosted by experiencehaus in London, UK on September 2nd.LA/LAToken:The LAToken (LA) LATOKEN community will host an investor reception in London, England on September 2nd.
Encrypted project calendar（September 03, 2019）
WAN/Wanchain:Wanwei Chain Wanchain (WAN) will be launched on September 3rd based on POS mechanism mining function
Encrypted project calendar（September 04, 2019）
BCH/Bitcoin Cash:The City Conference will be held in North Queensland, Australia from September 4th to 5th, 2019.BETHEBethereum:Bethereum will conduct a user airdrop token plan on September 4th
Encrypted project calendar（September 05, 2019）
CS/Credits:Credits (cs) began to map some of the main network tokens on September 5th.ENG/Enigma:The Enigma(ENG)Enigma community will host a gathering and seminar in Boston on September 5.BTC/Bitcoin:Blockchain Africa conference organizers will host the first cryptocurrency festival in South Africa on September 5.AGI/SingularityNET:SingularityNET (AGI) SingularityNET community Ben Goertzel will attend the Asia Innovation Summit on September 5th and will deliver a speech.
Encrypted project calendar（September 06, 2019）
BTC/Bitcoin: Bakkt official Twitter said that Bakkt Warehouse will begin to provide Bitcoin secure storage services to customers on September 6.VEX/Vexanium:The Vexanium (VEX) DApps competition will end on September 6th with a total of 1.1 million VEX awards, the first of which will receive 350,000 VEX.
Encrypted project calendar（September 20, 2019）
NULS / NULS: The NULS 2.0 Beta hackathon will be held from September 20th to September 21st, 2019.
A new Nano trade exchange was launched a couple of days ago - Here's why anyone who remembers Bitgrail should be be very afraid
This is mostly a duplicate of my summarised responses to that exchange's original announcement threads here and in/nanotrade**.** The owners of that new exchange are welcome to downvote this new posting of mine, but everyone else can make their own decision about whether to upvote this for posterity's benefit, so that my post gets found in months to come (given that Reddit's search engine is really bad at searching comments.) Here's what's dodgy about this exchange, and why anyone who remembers BitGrail should be very afraid: I emphasise that I'm not saying this is a scam. But I am saying it looks like what a scam website would look like andappearsto be operating illegally under UK law: * The domain NanoTrade.co.uk was registered only two days (one working day) before the site went live - meaning it only could have been tested very briefly, (Edit: and could not have been secured against accidentally being taken by another person, which implies incredible lack of planning) * The domain was registered by NameCheap, with an obscured registrant * The site was not pre-announced on /Nano Currency nor /NanoTrade * The site was announced first on /nanotrade (6k subscribers), but only announced here on /nanocurrency (44k subscribers) three days later, demonstrating a lack of knowledge of Nano relative subscribers * The announcer Paradise2GE claimed Google and Facebook Ads existed prelaunch - but no one of you here saw them because you would have excitedly told us if you had * No such advertising for the site was noted by me, yet I would have been a key target for it * Since the domain was not registered, such advertising could not have included, say, a [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) mail form, which is incompetent in itself * Nano Associates Limited was registered with Companies House on 2018-02-28 (as company number 11229688) - to a London mail-forwarding company's central London address (a postcode with 11,000 companies registered at the same address) * Its sole Director 'Orlando Carugo' has no Google history of being associated with Nano, Cryptocurrency, or finance at all * Orlando Carugo's profession is listed as 'Sales Director' * The Google and LinkedIn history of an UK-based 'Orlando Carugo' (a sales professional) can be found, with no reference to cryptocurrency but with references to being willing to work for stock options or commission * The announcement on /NanoTrade was made by Paradise2GE - an account with a few questions on Bitcoin two years ago, a single comment one year ago, then absolutely nothing until this weekend. * We know nothing of the overall reputation of the company owners * The company uses a payment processor https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/VirWoX which has a daily limit on PayPal withdrawals of 2500EUR. The NanoTrade website however states that up to 90,000 Nano can be sold per PayPal transaction. It seems impossible to reconcile this for me. If 90,000 Nano is sold to PayPal, when would the seller get their money? * If the answer is that such payments cannot be made, when were the company planning to tell the sellers? * On being asked on /Nanotrade, Paradise2GE has avoided answering this question in their dissembling answers * The company is not registered by the FCA * The company is not registered by HMRC as a money service * It is a legal requirement for UK based companies to register as money services. * It is not a get-out to just deal in USD and not GDP, yet Patadise2GE has attempted to use that get-out in their answers * Paradise2GE has dissembled when answering questions as to why Nano Associates is not registered with FCA or HMRC * Paradise2GE claimed 1000 trades on their first day... for an unannounced site...purely from a posting that had around 40 up votes at the time. It's a lie. Not even Nanex gets that many trades on a good day. * Given a supposed 1000 trades in a day, 1440 minutes in a day, and 25% of Nano staked on Binance, we should expect to see >5Nano transactions coming out of the Binance hot wallet at least every 10 minutes or so. I don't see those * The site works poorly on Android, showing a lack of technical skill in its developers * The announcement of the exchange on /nanocurrency was by SMcArthurs - a one year old account, with very few postings, and no history in the /nanocurrency or /nanotrade subs * Someone downvoted my reasonable questions on /nanotrade. I can think of only one person who would want to do that, if malicious * Someone downvoted someone thanking me for my questions on /nanotrade. I can think of only one person who would want to do that, if malicious * User astricali has posted at 2018-12-03 05:00GMT that they made a successful sale of 999.99 Nano. I performed a text extraction of the posted image address, which they were apparently instructed to send to, but I notice that although that address indeed Received a 999.99 amount from the Binance Representative at 2018-12-04 02:17:01 (Timezone unknown), the address has never actuallyPocketed 999.99 Nano - the payment is still Pending.This is odd, since once might expect an efficient provider to pocket the Nano they receive asap, to sell it on the markets * The address has however received a range of 8 payments ranging from 1.99 Nano to 1,847.99 Nano. That surprises me, because I would expect a payment provider to use a unique address for each received payment. * The address has only ever sent a payment once, to KuCoin, on an unknown date before 2018-07-25 * Paradise2GE and SMcArthurs have been extremely quiet in response to these complaints levelled against their site * Edit: Why would they be selling Nano at 1.00 USD at the moment when Nano is on Binance at 0.94? * Edit: Seeing 403 Forbidden error 2018-12-05 23:38GMT * Edit: Don't even get me started on the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations Regulations 2017 * Edit: It's 12 days later - 18-Dec-2018. The 999 Nano still hasn't been pocketed at address. In 12 days neither promoter has denied that's it's their account. They are therefore probably incompetent even if non-malicious. * Also noticed something I should have picked up before: That address is Represented by Nanowallet.io - which means it's probably an account created on Nanowallet.io. Any 'real' exchange would need, at the very minimum, to run it's own node so that it can be online 24/7 - and if so would most likely Represent itself. Specifically choosing Nanowallet.io as their Representative after installing a full node would be an odd decision, given that they could help decentralize. 'm at way over 22 red flags here. I hope I save someone.
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
1/ The Bitcoin (double) Standard A deep dive into the cognitive dissonance of nocoiners, and the ridiculous double standard they have for Bitcoin. Thread 👇 2/ Manipulation Over the last decade, banks globally have been fined with more than $200 billion in penalties, following investigations into manipulation of various markets/instruments: FX, metals, LIBOR, etc. Those cumulative fines are 2x the current total crypto market cap. 3/ Intrinsic Value Complaining it has no intrinsic value when their primary currency has absolutely no intrinsic value. “Bitcoin units have no intrinsic value… the U.S. dollar, the euro, and the Swiss franc, have no intrinsic value either.” https://t.co/bssEa3U3S5 4/ Money Laundering Approximately $2T a year globally is laundered, Americans spend $100B on drugs annually, Crypto market cap is $109B as of this tweet storm. “Cryptocurrency [represent a] “low risk” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities... according to FATF 5/ Complexity Consumers don’t understand how their existing financial system works, nor their cell phone, microwave, etc. There is minimal new training needed for them to be literate/enjoy basic interactions, just like any new technology in their life. 6/ Volatility The only constant in markets is volatility. No one says “Gold isn’t a good SoV because the price fluctuates” but we hear that all the time with #bitcoin. What did you expect with a new emerging sound money? It certainly wasn’t going to be a linear price path. 7/ Energy Consumption 🚨 Electricity police! 🚨 Complaining about energy consumption, without first comparing it to the energy consumption of gold mining, the financial system, government, courts, military, selfies, or watching the Kardashians. https://t.co/4ONTBlKRrA 8/ Monetary Policy Worried about deflationary spirals when they most they’ve spent studying deflation is the 15 second dismissal argument from their econ 101 professor 9/ Control Worries that it was created by an anonymous “hacker” vs highly flawed founding individuals of their government/financial system. Worries that no one “controls” the monetary policy vs a group of old white men they can’t even name 10/ FUD What all of this FUD represents is the magnitude change Bitcoin brings. Any new technology evokes FUD, which is proportional to the impact it will have on the world. Humans don’t like change, FUD is a representation of the change that a new technology rings. 11/ History rhymes When the bicycle debuted in 1800s, it was blamed for all sorts of problems—from turning people insane to destroying women’s morals In the future, we’ll look at these double standards as we do now with bicycle objections: with laughter https://t.co/hTrn2xpnqx
Church Of Monero: Enough is enough - How the leader of the Church tried to fool the community to make look like the Church is organizing the Monero Konferenco and even adding his own Monero address on the flyer (166 points, 268 comments)
[URGENT]Call for translators! - We have two days to submit as many translations as possible for the next release of the GUI wallet! We need your help! (123 points, 46 comments)
Monero translators, we need you to make one final sprint! The code freeze is imminent. (112 points, 15 comments)
I tell a lot of people about Monero who don't know anything about crypto and they instantly get it. They ask me the same thing over and over, so why do people still use Bitcoin? (127 points, 119 comments)
How trustyworthy is the Cake wallet for iOS? (80 points, 43 comments)
Why don't other coin devs like talking about fungibility? They seem to shrug it off even though it's a necessary component to being a currency. (77 points, 85 comments)
Authored by Valentin Schmid via The Epoch Times, While the price of bitcoin drops, miners get more creative... and some flourish. The bitcoin price is crashing; naysayers and doomsayers are having a field day. The demise of the dominant cryptocurrency is finally happening — or is it? Bitcoin has been buried hundreds of times, most notably during the brutal 90 percent decline from 2013 to 2015. And yet it has always made a comeback. Where the skeptics are correct: The second bitcoin bubble burst in December of last year and the price is down roughly 80 percent from its high of $20,000. Nobody knows whether and when it will see these lofty heights again. As a result, millions of speculators have been burned, and big institutions haven’t showed up to bridge the gap. This also happened on a smaller scale in 2013 after a similar 100x run-up, and it was necessary.
Time to Catch Up
What most speculators and even some serious proponents of the independent and decentralized monetary system don’t understand: Bitcoin needs these pauses to make improvements in its infrastructure. Exchanges, which could not handle the trading volumes at the height of the frenzy and did not return customer service inquiries, can take a breather and upgrade their systems and hire capable people. The technology itself needs to make progress and this needs time. Projects like the lightning network, a system which delivers instant bitcoin payments at very little cost and at virtually unlimited scale is now only available to expert programmers. A higher valuation is only justified if these improvements reach the mass market. And since we live in a world where everything financial is tightly regulated, for better or worse, this area also needs to catch up, since regulators are chronically behind the curve of technological progress. And of course, there is bitcoin mining. The vital infrastructure behind securing the bitcoin network and processing its transactions has been concentrated in too few hands and in too few places, most notably China, which still hosts about 70 percent of the mining capacity.
The Case For Mining
Critics have always complained that bitcoin mining consumes “too much” electricity, right now about as much as the Czech Republic. In energy terms this is around 65 terawatt hours or 230,000,000 gigajoules, costing $3.3 billion dollars according to estimates by Digiconomist. For the non-physicists among us, this is around as much as consumed by six million energy-guzzling U.S. households per year. All those estimates are imprecise because the aggregate cannot know how much energy each of the different bitcoin miners consumes and how much that electricity costs. But they are a reasonable rough estimate. So it’s worth exploring why mining is necessary to begin with and whether the electricity consumption is justified. Anything and everything humans do consumes resources. The question then is always: Is it worth it? And: Who decides? This question then leads to the next question: Is it worth having and using money? Most people would argue yes, because using money instead of barter in fact makes economic transactions faster and cheaper and thus saves resources, natural and human. _Merchants exchange goods with the inhabitants of Tidore, Indonesia, circa 1550. Barter was supplanted by using money because it is more efficient. (Archive/Getty Images)_If we are generously inclined, we will grant bitcoin the status of a type of money or at least currency as it meets the general requirements of being recognizable, divisible, portable, durable, is accepted in exchange for other goods and services, and in this case it is even limited in supply. So having any type of money has a price, whether it’s gold, dollar bills, or numbers on the screen of your online banking system. In the case of bitcoin, it’s the electricity and the capital for the computing equipment, as well as the human resources to run these operations. If we think having money in general is a good idea and some people value the decentralized and independent nature of bitcoin then it would be worth paying for verifying transactions on the bitcoin network as well as keeping the network secure and sound: Up until the point where the resources consumed would outweigh the efficiency benefits. Just like most people don’t think it’s a bad idea to use credit cards and banks, which consume electricity too. However, bitcoin is a newcomer and this is why it’s being scrutinized even more so than the old established players.
Different Money, Different Costs
How many people know how much electricity, human lives, and other resources gold mining consumes or has consumed in the course of history? What about the banking system? Branches, servers, air-conditioning, staff? What about printing dollar notes and driving them around in armored trucks? What about the social effects of monetary mismanagement of bank and government money like inflation as well as credit deflations? Gold gets a pass here. Most people haven’t asked that question, which is why it’s worth pointing out the only comprehensive study done on the topic in 2014. In “An Order of Magnitude” the engineer Hass McCook analyzes the different money systems and reaches mind-boggling conclusions. The study is a bit dated and of course the aggregations are also very rough estimates, but the ball park numbers are reasonable and the methodology sound. In fact, according to the study, bitcoin is the most economic of all the different forms of money. Gold mining in 2014 used 475 million GJ, compared to bitcoin’s 230 million in 2018. The banking system in 2014 used 2.3 billion gigajoules. Over 100 people per year die trying to mine gold. But mining costs more than electricity. It consumes around 300,000 liters of water per kilogram of gold mined as well as 150 kilogram (330 pounds) of cyanide and 1500 tons of waste and rubble. The international banking system has been used in all kinds of fraudulent activity throughout history: terrorist financing, money laundering, and every other criminal activity under the sun at a cost of trillions of dollars and at an order of magnitude higher than the same transactions done with cryptocurrency and bitcoin. And of course, while gold has a relatively stable value over time, our bank and government issued money lost about 90 percent of its purchasing power over the last century, because it can be created out of thin air. This leads to inflation and a waste of physical and human resources because it distorts the process of capital allocation. _The dollar has lost more than 90 percent of its value since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. (Source: St. Louis Fed)_This is on top of the hundreds of thousands of bank branches, millions of ATMs and employees which all consume electricity and other resources, 10 times as much electricity alone as the bitcoin network. According to monetary philosopher Saifedean Ammous, author of “The Bitcoin Standard,” the social benefit of hard money, i.e. money that can’t be printed by government decree, cannot even be fathomed; conversely, the true costs of easy money—created by government fiat and bank credit—are difficult to calculate. According to Ammous, bitcoin is the hardest money around, even harder than gold because its total supply is capped, whereas the gold supply keeps increasing at about 1-2 percent every year. “Look at the era of the classical gold standard, from 1871, the end of the Franco–Prussian War, until the beginning of World War I. There’s a reason why this is known as the Golden Era, the Gilded Age, and La Belle Epoque. It was a time of unrivaled human flourishing all over the world. Economic growth was everywhere. Technology was being spread all over the world. Peace and prosperity were increasing everywhere around the world. Technological innovations were advancing. “I think this is no coincidence. What the gold standard allowed people to do is to have a store of value that would maintain its value in the future. And that gave people a low time preference, that gave people the incentive to think of the long term, and that made people want to invest in things that would pay off over the long term … bitcoin is far closer to gold. It is a digital equivalent of gold,” he said in an interview with The Epoch Times. Of course, contrary to the gold standard that Ammous talks about, bitcoin doesn’t have a track record of being sound money in practice. In theory it meets all the criteria, but in the real world it hasn’t been adopted widely and has been so volatile as to be unusable as a reliable store of value or as the underlying currency of a productive lending market. The proponents argue that over time, these problems will be solved the same way gold spread itself throughout the monetary sphere replacing copper and seashells, but even Ammous concedes the process may take decades and the outcome is far from certain. Gold is the safe bet for sound money, bitcoin has potential. There is another measure where bitcoin loses out, according to a recent study by researchers from the Oak Ridge Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the amount of energy expended per dollar for different monetary instruments. One dollar worth of bitcoin costs 17 megajoules to mine versus five for gold and seven for platinum. But the study omits the use of cyanide, water, and other physical resources in mining physical metals. In general, the comparisons in dollar terms go against bitcoin because it is worth relatively less, only $73 billion in total at the time of writing. An issue that could be easily fixed at a higher price, but a higher price is only justified if the infrastructure improves, adoption increases, volatility declines, and the network proves its resilience to attacks over time. In the meantime, market participants still value the fact they can own a currency independent of the government, completely digital, easily fungible, and limited in supply, and relatively decentralized. And the market as a whole is willing to pay a premium for these factors reflected in the higher per dollar prices for mining bitcoin.
The Creativity of Bitcoin Mining
But where bitcoin mining lacks in scale, it makes up for it in creativity. In theory—and in practice—bitcoin mining can be done anywhere where there is cheap electricity. So bitcoin mining operations can be conducted not where people are (banking) or where government is (fiat cash) or where gold is (gold mining)—it can be done everywhere where there is cheap electricity Some miners are flocking to the heat of the Texan desert where gas is virtually available for free, thanks to another oil revolution. Other miners go to places where there is cheap wind, water, or other renewable energy. This is because they don’t have to build bank branches, printing presses, and government buildings, or need to put up excavators and conveyor belts to dig gold out of the ground. All they need is internet access and a home for the computers that look like a shipping container, each one of which has around 200 specialized bitcoin mining computers in them. “The good thing about bitcoin mining is that it doesn’t matter where on earth a transaction happens, we can verify it in our data center here. The miners are part of the decentralized philosophy of bitcoin, it’s completely independent of your location as well,” said Moritz Jäger, chief technology officer at bitcoin Mining company Northern Bitcoin AG.
But so far, this decentralization hasn’t worked out as well as it sounds in theory. Because Chinese local governments had access to subsidized electricity, it was profitable for officials to cut deals with bitcoin mining companies and supply them with cheap electricity in exchange for jobs and cutbacks. Sometimes the prices were as low as 2 dollar cents to 4 dollar cents per kilowatt hour. This is why the majority of bitcoin mining is still concentrated in China (around 70 percent) where it was the most profitable, but only because the Chinese central planners subsidized the price of electricity. This set up led to the by and large unwanted result that the biggest miner of bitcoin, a company called Bitmain, is also the biggest manufacturer of specialized computing equipment for bitcoin mining. The company reported revenues of $2.8 billion for the first half of 2018. Tourists walk on the dunes near a power plant in Xiangshawan Desert in Ordos of Inner Mongolia, in this file photo. bitcoin miners have enjoyed favorable electricity rates in places like Ordos for a long time. (Feng Li/Getty Images)Centralized mining is a problem because whenever there is one player or a conglomerate of players who control more than 50 percent of the network computing power, they could theoretically crash the network by spending the same bitcoin twice, the so called “double spending problem.“ They don’t have an incentive to do so because it would probably ruin the bitcoin price and their business, but it’s better not to have to rely on one group of people controlling an entire money system. After all, we have that exact same system with central banking and bitcoin was set up as a decentralized alternative. So far, no player or conglomerate ever reached that 51 percent threshold, at least not since bitcoin’s very early days, but many market participants always thought Bitmain’s corner of the market is a bit too close for comfort. This favorable environment for Chinese bitcoin mining has been changing with a crack down on local government electricity largess as well as a crackdown on cryptocurrency. Bitcoin itself and mining bitcoin remain legal in China but cryptocurrency exchanges have been banned since late 2017. But more needs to be done for bitcoin to become independent of the caprice of a centralized oppressive regime and local government bureaucrats.
Northern Bitcoin Case Study
Enter Northern Bitcoin AG. The company isn’t the only one which is exploring mining opportunities with renewable energies in locations other than China. But it is special because of the extraordinary set up it has for its operations, the fact that it is listed on the stock exchange in Germany, and the opportunities for scaling it discovered. The operations of Northern Bitcoin combine the beauties of bitcoin and capitalism in one. Like Texas has a lot of oil and free gas and it makes sense to use the gas rather than burn it, Norway has a lot of water, especially water moving down the mountains due to rainfall and melting snow. And it makes sense to use the power of the movement of the water, channel it through pipes into generators to create very cheap and almost unlimited electricity. Norway generates north of 95 percent of its total electricity from hydropower. A waterfall next to a hydropowerplant near Sandane, Norway, Oct. 25, 2018. (Valentin Schmid/The Epoch Times)Capitalism does not distinguish between renewable and fossil. It uses what is the most expedient. In this case, it is clearly water in Norway, and gas in Texas. As a side note on the beauties of real capital and the fact that capital and the environment need not be enemies, the water in one of the hydropowerplants close to the Northern Bitcoin facility is piped through a generator made in 1920 by J.M. Voith AG, a company from Heidenheim Germany. The company was established in 1867 and is still around today. The generator was produced in 1920 and is still producing electricity today.
In the remote regions of Northern Norway, there aren’t that many people or industry who would use the electricity. And rather than transport it over hundreds of miles to the industrial centers of Europe, the industries of the future are moving to Norway to the source of the cheap electricity. Of course, it is not just bitcoin mining, but other data and computing heavy operations like server farms for cloud computing that can be neatly packaged into one of those containers and shipped up north. “The containers are beautiful. They are produced in the middle of Germany where the hardware is enabled and tested. Then we put it on a truck and send it up here. When the truck arrives on the outside we lift it on the container vehicle. Two hours after the container arrives, it’s in the container rack. And 40 hours later we enable the cooling, network, power, other systems, and it’s online,” said Mats Andersson, a spokesman for the Lefdal Mine data center in Måløy, Norway, where Northern Bitcoin has its operations. Plug and play. A Northern Bitcoin data container inside the Lefdal Mine data center, in Måløy, Norway. (Northern Bitcoin)If the cheap electricity wasn’t enough—around 5 cents per kilowatt hour compared to 17 cents in Germany—Norway also provides the perfect storage for these data containers, which are normally racked up in open air parks above the ground. Also here, the resource allocation is beautiful. Instead of occupying otherwise useful and beautiful parcels of land and nature, the Northern Bitcoin containers and others are stored in the old Lefdal olivine mine. Olivine is a mineral used for steel production and looks green. Very fitting. Hence also the name of the data center: Lefdal Mine. “We take the green mineral out and we take the green IT in,” said Andersson.
Using the old mine as storage for the data center makes the whole process even more resource efficient. Why? So far, we’ve only been talking about bitcoin mining using a lot of energy. But what for? Before you have actually seen the process in action—and it is similar for other computing operations—you cannot imagine how bizarre it is. Most of the electricity is used to prevent the computers from overheating. So it’s not even the processors themselves; it’s the fans which cool the computer that use the most juice. This is where the mine helps, because it’s rather cool 160 meters (525 feet) below sea level; certainly cooler than in the Texas desert. But it gets even better. On top of the air blow-cooling the computer, the Lefdal data center uses a fresh water system to pump through the containers in pipes. The fans can then circulate air over the cool pipes which transfer the heat to the water. One can feel the difference when touching the different pipes. The fresh water closed circle loop then completes the “green” or resource efficiency cycle by transferring its heat to ice cold water from the nearby Fjord. The water is sucked in through a pipe from the Fjord, the heat gets transferred without the water being mixed, and the water flows back to the Fjord, without any impact on the environment. To top it all off, the mine has natural physical security far better than open air data centers and is even protected from an electromagnetic pulse blast because it’s underground.
_The Nordfjord near Måløy, Norway. The Lefdal data center takes the cold water from the fjord and uses it to cool the computer inside the mine. (Valentin Schmid/The Epoch Times)_Company Dynamics
Given this superlative set up, Northern Bitcoin wants to ramp up production as fast as possible at the Lefdal mine and other similar places in Norway, which have more mountains where data centers can be housed. At the moment, Northern Bitcoin has 15 containers with 210 mining machines each. The 15 containers produce around 5 bitcoin per day at a total cost of around $2,500 dollars at the end of November 2018 and after the difficulty of solving the math problems went down by ~17 percent. Most of it is for electricity; the rest is for leasing the containers, renting the mine space, buying and writing off the mining computers, personnel, overhead, etc. Even at the current relatively depressed prices of around $4000, that’s a profit of $1500 per bitcoin or $7,500 per day. But the goal is to ramp it up to 280 containers until 2019, producing 100 bitcoin per day. Again, the company is in the sweet spot to do this. As opposed to the beginning of the year when one could not procure a mining computer from Bitmain even if one’s life depended on it, the current bear market has made them cheap and relatively available both new and second had from miners who had to cease operations because they can’t produce at low bitcoin prices. Northern Bitcoin containers inside the Lefdal Mine data center in Måløy, Norway. (Northern Bitcoin)What about the data shipping containers? They are manufactured by a company called Rittal who is the world market leader. So it helps that the owner of Rittal also owns 30 percent of the Lefdal mine, providing preferential access to the containers. Northern Bitcoin said it has enough capital available for the intermediate goal of ramping up to 50 containers until the end of year but may tap the capital markets again for the next step. The company can also take advantage of the lower German corporate tax rate because revenue is only recorded when the bitcoin are sold in Germany, not when they are mined in Norway. Of course, every small-cap stock—especially bitcoin companies—have their peculiarities and very high risks. As an example, Northern Bitcoin’s financial statements, although public, aren’t audited. The equipment in the Lefdal mine in Norway is real and the operations are controlled by the Lefdal personnel, but one has to rely on exclusive information from the company for financials and cost figures, so buyer beware.
Northern Bitcoin wants to have 280 containers, representing around 5 percent of the network’s computing power. But the Lefdal mine alone has a capacity to power and cool 1,500 containers in a 200 megawatt facility, once it is fully built out. “Here you have all the space, power, and cooling that you need. … Here you can grow,” said Lefdal’s Andersson. A mine shaft in the Lefdal Mine data center in Måløy, Norway. The whole mine will have a capacity for 1500 containers once fully built out. (Valentin Schmid/The Epoch Times)The Norwegian government was behind an initiative to bring computing power to Norway and make it one of the prime destinations for data centers at the beginning of this decade. To that effect, the local governments own part of the utility companies which operate the power plants and own part of the Lefdal Mine and other locations. But even without notable subsidies (i.e. cash payments to companies), market players were able to figure it out, for everybody’s benefit. The utilities win because they can sell their cheap electricity close to home. The computing companies like IBM and Northern Bitcoin win because they can get cheap electricity, storage, and security. Data center operators like Lefdal win because they can charge rent for otherwise unused and unneeded space. However, in a recent about face, the central government in Oslo has decided to remove cryptocurrency miners from the list of companies which pay a preferential tax rate on electricity consumption. Normally, energy intensive companies, including data centers, pay a preferential tax on electricity consumed of 0.48 øre ($0.00056 ). According to a report by Norwegian media Aftenposten, this tax will rise to 16.58 øre ($0.019) in 2019 for cryptocurrency miners exclusively. The argument by left wing politician Lars Haltbrekken who sponsored the initiative: “Norway cannot continue to provide huge tax incentives for the most dirty form of cryptocurrency output […] [bitcoin] requires a lot of energy and generates large greenhouse gas emissions globally.” Since Norway generates its electricity using hydro, precisely the opposite is true: No greenhouse gas emissions, or any emissions for that matter would be produced, if all cryptomining was done in Norway. As opposed to China, where mining is done with coal and with emissions. But not only in Norway is the share of renewable and emission free energy high. According to research by Coinshares, Bitcoin’s consumes about 77.6 percent of its energy in the form of renewables globally. However self-defeating the arguments against bitcoin mining in Norway, the political initiative is moving forward. What it means for Northern Bitcoin is not clear, as they house their containers in Lefdal’s mixed data center, which also has other clients, like IBM. “It’s not really decided yet; there are still big efforts from IT sectors and parties who are trying to change it. If the decision is taken it might apply for pure crypto sites rather than mixed data centers, like ours,” said Lefdal’s Andersson. Even in the worst-case scenario, it would mean an increase from ~5 cents to ~6.9 cents per kilowatt hour, or 30 percent more paid on the electricity by Northern Bitcoin, which at ~$3250 would still rank it among the most competitive producers in the world. Coinshares estimates the average production price at $6,800 per Bitcoin at $0,05 per kilowatt hour of electricity and an 18-months depreciation schedule, but concedes that a profitable miner could “[depreciate] mining gear over 24-30 months, or [pay] less for mining gear than our estimates.” Jäger says Northern Bitcoin depreciates the equipment over three years and has obtained very favorable prices from Bitmain, making its production much more competitive than the average despite the same cost of electricity. In addition, the natural cooling in the mine also reduces electricity costs overall.
Cheap Producer Advantage
At the moment, however, the tax could be the least of any miners worry, as the bitcoin price is in free-fall. But what happens when the price crashes further? Suffice it to say that there was bitcoin mining when the dollar price was less than 1 cent and there will be bitcoin mining at lower prices thanks to the design of the network. Mao Shixing, the founder of mining pool F2pool estimated 600,000 miners have shut down since the November crash in price, according to a report by Coindesk. As it should be in a competitive system, the most energy intensive and obsolete machines are shut down first. As with every other commodity, when the price drops, some miners will leave the market, leaving space for cheaper competitors to capture a bigger share. But with bitcoin this is a bit simpler than with copper or gold for example. When a big copper player goes bankrupt, its competitors have to ramp up production and increase cost to increase their market share. With bitcoin, if 3,000 computers get taken off the total mining pool, they won’t be able to mine the approximately 5 bitcoin any longer. However, because the difficulty of solving the computationally intensive cryptographic tasks of bitcoin decreases automatically when there are fewer computers engaged in the task, the other players just have to leave their machines running at the same rate for the same cost and they will split the 5 bitcoin among them. “The moment the price goes down, our production price will go down as well,” said Jäger, a process that already happened from November to December when the difficulty decreased twice in November and the beginning of December. This naturally favors players like Northern Bitcoin, which are producing at the lower end of the cost spectrum. They will be the ones who shut down last. And this is a good thing. The more companies like Northern Bitcoin, and countries like Norway—even with the extra tax—the more decentralized the bitcoin system. The more computers there are in different hands mining bitcoin, the more secure the system becomes, because it will be ever more difficult for one player to reach the 50 percent threshold to crash the system.It is this decentralized philosophy which has kept the bitcoin system running for 10 years. Whether at $1 or $20,000.
Bitcoin Q&A: "West vs. East" - The Consensus Balance of Power
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