Korea’s Financial Regulator Will Establish a Positive Cryptocurrency Policy Body

South Korea’s primary financial regulator will establish a new policy-making body centered on nurturing Korea’s fintech industry with a specific focus on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) is set to establish a new policymaking body dubbed the Financial Innovation Bureau to proactively help the fintech industry while formulating policies for the cryptocurrency sector, the Korea Times reports.

The decision to establish the new body was taken during a cabinet meeting between the FSC and the Ministry of the Interior and Safety this week amid an organizational reshuffle to better safeguard investors while nurturing financial innovation bought on by new technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency.

An FSC official told the publication:

“The new Financial Innovation Bureau will also be tasked with policy initiatives for financial innovation, such as innovating financial services using fintech or big data, and responses to new developments and challenges such as cryptocurrencies.”

While the new body will see a temporary life-span of two years, it will markedly cover South Korea’s existing cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem, the FSB confirmed.

Pointedly, the new body will look to adopt the financial regulator’s recent positive outlook toward the sector wherein domestic cryptocurrency exchanges could soon be faced with guidelines similar to commercial financial institutions as lawmakers seek to fast-track bills regulating the sector.

Despite a domestic ICO ban – taking a cue from China – South Korea is also looking at loosening previous restrictions in sticking with the wider G20 directive of uniform global regulations among member bodies. The Korea Times report adds that the regulator’s stance is ‘believed to side with the Financial Stability Board’s recent report that claimed crypto assets ‘do not pose material risk to global financial stability.’”

As reported earlier this week, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) – an international G20 watchdog and body to coordinate regulation for member nations – published its report on cryptocurrencies. FSB chairman and Bank of England governor Mark Carney called for ‘vigilant monitoring in light of the speed of market developments’ of the sector.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.


Article First Published here

Huobi Strategic Partner HBUS Launches API for Large-Scale US Traders

HBUS, the U.S. “strategic partner” of Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, confirmed the release of its API for “experienced traders” in some U.S. states, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph.

HBUS highlighted that the API was geared to high-volume users who required live pricing data and other tools. In addition to price tracking, the API will also offer historical price data, support for margin trade customization support, setting buy and sell limits, and retrieving trade history.

Due to the difference in regulation across the U.S. HBUS noted that residents of Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington would be unable to use its services.

The move marks the latest in Huobi’s continued expansion this month, which in addition to launching HBUS has included the release of a separate platform geared to the Australian market.

Fellow Chinese operator OKEx and Hong Kong’s Binance have also recently made international commitments. Earlier this week, OKEx announced a partnership with the Malta Stock Exchange to create a new institutional grade security-tokens trading platform, and Binance revealed plans to back a decentralized, tokenized bank also in Malta.

Article First Published here

EOS Leads China’s Blockchain Rankings Again, Bitcoin Still Out of Top 15

The Chinese government has released its third round of public blockchain rankings, and EOS — the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by total market cap — once again reigned supreme.

EOS Tops China’s Blockchain Rankings for Second-Straight Month

Those rankings, published by the state-backed China Electronic Information Industry Development (CCID) and released this week, evaluated public blockchain networks according to three metrics, roughly translated as technology, applicability, and innovation, which were then compiled into an overall index score.

Though scoring below its peers on applicability (middle column), EOS led the rankings with an index score of 145.6 due to strong showings in both the technology (left column) and innovation (right column) categories.

The evaluators are clearly impressed with EOS’ consensus algorithm, which utilizes a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) model to prioritize scaling and speed at the expense of some level of decentralization. Indeed, the rankings clearly favored projects that use DPoS or federated consensus models, which offer quicker and cheaper transactions but incite more criticisms related to centralization.

China blockchain rankings EOS Ethereum
Source: CCID

One partial exception to that rule is Ethereum, which currently uses a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm but has published a roadmap detailing a future transition to the more energy-efficient Proof-of-Stake (PoS).

This makes sense, as at least one Chinese government official has argued publicly that blockchains should be centralized, though, in fairness, none of these public cryptocurrency networks are as centralized as what that official believes is ideal.

China Places Bitcoin Out of Top 15

EOS also topped the list in the last edition of the CCID rankings, despite the fact that — just days prior — its network had stalled for multiple hours after encountering a critical bug. This bug was resolved relatively quickly, but several other incidents have raised questions about the cryptocurrency’s on-chain governance model and specifically its constitution.

Notably, the gap between EOS and second-place Ethereum narrowed in the newly-published rankings as EOS’s score fell from 161.5 to 145.6 and Ethereum’s held relatively steady, clocking in at 137.3 for the month of July. Ethereum, as CCN reported, led the rankings in the first CCID report, which was published prior to the activation of the independent EOS blockchain.

The remaining top 10 blockchains, in order, were Nebulas, GXChain, NEO, Stellar, Steem, Lisk, and — tied for ninth — Waves and Komodo.

Continuing a trend from the previous month, Bitcoin did not even earn a spot in the top 15. The flagship cryptocurrency came in at 16th, representing a one-spot advance over last month’s 17th-place ranking. Perhaps needless to say, this ranking is controversial, as Bitcoin — widely-considered to have the industry’s most talented developers  — has a technology score of just 44.3, the worst of any project evaluated in the CCID report.

Notably, the rankings were once again a coup for developer Dan Larimer, who currently serves as CTO of blockchain startup Block.one. Three current and former Larimer projects — EOS, Steem, and BitShares — earned spots in top 11.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.


Article First Published here

India’s Supreme Court Sets September Date for Final Cryptocurrency Petition Hearing

India’s Supreme Court has upheld the central bank’s directive of prohibiting banks from offering services to the domestic cryptocurrency sector following a hearing today.

On Friday, India’s Supreme Court held its latest hearing of the case against the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) circular forbidding all regulated financial institutions, including banks, to provide services to business in the cryptocurrency sector. Introduced in April, the policy also forbade banks from allowing their own retail customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies through bank accounts. The ban came into effect on July 5, after an unsuccessful final-hour attempt to convince the Supreme Court to delay the ban earlier this month.

The petition was put forth to chief justice Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud with India’s attorney general KK Venugopal also present, underlining the significance of the matter.

The hearing saw ‘limited arguments’ brought forward by lawyers on behalf of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which counts domestic cryptocurrency exchanges as its members, and the Reserve Bank of India. The lack of opinions from other prominent authorities in response to the regulation-seeking petition by the cryptocurrency sector has seen the Supreme Court defer the date of hearing again, with final arguments to be heard on September 11.

CryptoKanoon, a domestic industry news resource following India’s cryptocurrency saga tweeted:

Representing the IAMAI and the cryptocurrency sector, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam underlined the severity of the matter surrounding the RBI circular and called for the hearing to be heard without any further delays.

Appearing for the central bank, senior advocate Shyam Divan also called for a final hearing while claiming cryptocurrency could encourage illegal transactions, according to Indian legal news blog Bar&Bench.

He reportedly stated:

“The policy of RBI is of extreme caution.”

The advocate representing the cryptocurrency industry argued Indian adopters and the wider Indian market stand to lose among global counterparts as a result of the RBI-led banking curbs.

While September 11 is shaping up to be judgment day for the domestic cryptocurrency sector, an unlikely ally could see India’s government could bring respite to adopters and the wider ecosystem by establishing regulations, currently in draft, to effectively recognize and legalize the sector in the near future.

As reported by CCN last week, an inter-governmental committee of multiple ministries tasked to form a framework for the cryptocurrency sector isn’t considering any outright ban of cryptocurrency trading. Instead, authorities could enforce new regulatory norms that are likely to classify cryptocurrencies as commodities.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.


Article First Published here

Financial Exchange Patent Explores Tamper-Proof Blockchain Bidding

A state-backed financial asset exchange in China’s Chongqing city is turning to blockchain to make online auctions tamper-proof and transparent.

According to a patent application filed in December and revealed on Friday by the China State Intellectual Property Office, the Chongqing Financial Asset Exchange (CQFAE) is exploring how to create a system that allows multiple parties to bid for a financial asset over a distributed network.

The document explains that the envisioned network would be run by invited validator nodes that are separate from the companies who participate in bidding for certain assets, such as letters of credit or corporate bonds.

When companies submit their bid to the network, the validator nodes authentic the data and then broadcast the new price for the next level of the auction, which is calculated based on various criteria encoded to smart contracts on the blockchain.

The asset exchange said the effort is necessary because the existing centralized database system is vulnerable to malicious alteration of data, either by bidding parties or even auction organizers.

It stated in the patent filing:

“The centralized online platform could make the bidding process become unfair and less transparent as the bidding parties are also unable to supervise the process. As such, the authenticity and security of the bidding data can’t be guaranteed.”

Founded in 2011 as an authorized exchange by the municipal government of Chongqing, the CQFAE functions as an intermediary between small businesses looking to raise capital and lenders such as investment firms and traditional banks. It further facilitates the trading of corporate loans and letters of credit.

While it’s so far unclear if the firm plans a blockchain product based on the patent application, it notably comes a month after the Chongqing city government revealed its plan to create a “blockchain digital asset exchange.”

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the news initially caused confusion in the Chinese cryptocurrency community, which speculated that it could mean a government-backed cryptocurrency trading platform.

A government officially reportedly clarified later that the platform is focused on facilitating exchanges of “non-standard assets” such as credit loans and letter of credit,

CQFAE Patent by CoinDesk on Scribd

Auction bid image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

World’s Number Four Telecoms Provider Files Blockchain Contract Storage Paten

The world’s fourth-largest telecoms provider, Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), has filed a patent for using blockchain tech for contract agreement, according to a U.S. Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) release on July 19.

NTT’s patent application writes that a problem with contracts on blockchain is that each transactions “contains only the electronic signature of the sender” as the “evidence of contract agreement by the receiver is not left in the transaction.”

The patent suggests a “simple, possible way to solve this problem is to, for example, include the electronic signatures of all the involved parties in one transaction.”

Details of the patent describe an invention with the objective of “leav[ing] the evidence of a contract on a blockchain” using one digital signature for each transaction among the involved parties. The patent document continues that the second objective is to “maintai[n] credibility” throughout this process.

NTT’s patent proposal is one of several to have already surfaced from major corporations this week. As Cointelegraph reported July 18, both Mastercard and Bank of America have also released documentation for blockchain-based inventions.

The global telecoms industry meanwhile looks set to benefit significantly from blockchain in the next five years. A report released earlier this month highlights how the technology could contribute almost $1 billion in value to the sector by 2023, from just $46 million today.

Article First Published here

A Japanese Telecom Giant Wants to Use Blockchain to Store Contracts

Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) may be looking to invent a new contract agreements system based on blockchain technology, according to a patent application published Thursday.

The world’s fourth-largest telecom provider details how it could use the application to store contracts without allowing for documents to be tampered with. As outlined, the system would use a blockchain to both encrypt the contract, as well as store it in a decentralized manner, which can simplify the process by which it is verified by removing the need for centralized management.

The “receiver of a transaction on an issued contract” would generate a new transaction able to be linked to an original “contract transaction,” written on a block in the chain.

The document explains:

“The present invention uses a blockchain as evidence of a contract made among a plurality of parties. A contract here refers to a sales contract, a deed of transfer, an application, a consent agreement, or the like, and is a document describing the content of a contract made among two or more individuals or bodies.”

All parties wishing to be involved in the agreement would link transactions to this principal virtual “contract transaction” that would eventually be returned to “the contract-issuing party to close the chain of transactions.”

Once closed, the patent explains there would be an “agreement verification apparatus” to ensure evidence of the contract on the blockchain is correct by comparing the public keys used for electronic signature at the start of the blockchain with the ones used at the end.

The whole system, according to Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, is “a simple method… maintaining the mode of one electronic signature per transaction, and maintaining credibility.”

Being the fourth largest telephone operating company in the world with a valuation quoted to be at $94.2 billion by Michigan TechNews, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone did announce in a press release last year that emerging technologies such as blockchain were making information and communications technology needs increasingly “more complex.”

NTT public phone image via psgxxx / Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

Japan: Internal Affairs Minister Denies Involvement in Crypto-Related Gov’t Investigation

Japan’s Internal affairs minister Seiko Noda has denied her involvement in a government investigation into the operation of a non-registered cryptocurrency exchange, local news outlet the Asahi Shimbun reported July 19.

In January, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) reportedly suspected a Tokyo-based company of violating the law by operating a non-registered cryptocurrency exchange. The FSA requested a written response to its concerns from the company, arguing that it “did not respond by the deadline given, it would report the matter to investigating authorities and take necessary steps.”

The document obtained by the Asahi Shimbun reportedly revealed that several days after issuing the warning, Noda’s office contacted the FSA, asking for an explanation of what had happened.

The matter reportedly concerns a meeting Noda’s office held with the FSA regarding the alleged company in the presence of the company’s representative. Noda reportedly denied that she brought pressure upon the FSA investigation, telling the Asahi Shimbun that the purpose of the meeting was to get “an overall general account of cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Noda also argued that she had “no vested interest in the company in question” and the decision by her office to request the meeting “obviously does not amount to exerting pressure.” Noda pointed out that she did not present at the meeting.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, an FSA official visited Noda’s office on January 30 to explain the agency’s position toward the regulation of funds raising by issuing cryptocurrency to Noda’s aide and the company’s representative. A senior official at the FSA emphasized that Noda’s office request for a briefing could be recognized as pressure:

“A public servant will likely take it as pressure if an aide to a sitting Cabinet member calls for a meeting in which an employee of a company the agency is looking into is also present.”

Noda subsequently admitted that her aide presented at the meeting, and commented on the allegation, saying:

“My aide and the employee of the company know each other. Since we received a request for details of the regulations concerning cryptocurrency exchanges, we arranged [for a meeting with the agency]. I was not aware of the agency’s warning against the company.”

Yesterday, the Japanese government announced that, in the interest of better preparing the agency to address regulatory issues of the modern era, the FSA underwent an organizational reshuffling. The newly created Strategy Development and Management Bureau replaced the Inspection Bureau, and will will develop a financial strategy policy and handle issues addressing the digital currencies market, fintech, and money laundering.

Article First Published here

Huobi Launches Huobi Cloud for Establishing and Operating Digital Assets Exchanges

Huobi Group has announced the launch of a new platform, Huobi Cloud, that will allow users to build digital asset exchanges on top of Huobi’s existing platform.

According to a statement shared with Cointelegraph, more than ten multinational companies have already become partners with Huobi Cloud. The new product is aimed at establishing over-the-counter (OTC) and digital asset exchanges. Partners will also be able to use the order integration and wallet systems, as well as the asset management and clearing system of the Huobi Global platform. Leon Li, Chairman of Huobi Group, commented on the launch:

“In this era of significant and strong adoption of blockchain technologies, Huobi is looking to share its expertise and experience with the entire blockchain ecosystem and through this, develop the industry further to achieve mutual benefits for all stakeholders.”

According to the statement, Huobi Cloud comprises of four approaches, including exchange, OTC, operational, and eco-system solutions. The exchange solution supports exchange platform publishing, token-related services, hot and cold wallet separation, a risk-trigger mechanism, and other services. The OTC solution verifies the authenticity of the trading of fiat currencies like U.S. dollars, Hong Kong dollars, Chinese yuan, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT).

Founded in 2013, Huobi is currently the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trade volume, with offices in Singapore, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. At the end of June, the company partnered with JD Cloud, a subsidiary of China’s largest online retailer JD Group, to explore blockchain technology applications and cloud computing, focusing on financial services, Internet of Things (IoT), and supply chain fields.

In June, Huobi also announced the launch of its new public blockchain, the Huboi Chain Project (HCP). According to Huobi Group, the new platform will be used for “value exchange, fundraising, securitization and more.” With the release of HCP, Huobi also aims to decentralize its own operations.

Article First Published here

Credit Rating Firm Backs $8 Million Fundraise for Crypto Alternative

A startup looking to build a credit scoring protocol on top of the recently-launched Ontology blockchain has raised $8 million in seed funding.

POINTS, founded in 2017, said it drew funding from a mix of traditional venture capitalists including Danhua Capital and Ceyuan Ventures, a backer of OKCoin. Other participants in the seed round include the Ontology Foundation as well as Zhong Cheng Xin Credit Technology, China’s first nationwide credit rating agency.

The new capital will be used to expand the company’s engineering team in an effort to speed up its development of blockchain-based know-your-customer (KYC) and credit scoring applications. The idea is to build its protocol on top of a decentralized network and empower apps that can eliminate repetitive processes around identity.

Sarah Zhang, the founder of POINTS, told CoinDesk:

“Currently, whether it’s for banking or registering at a crypto exchange, users need to repetitively upload their profiles. Meanwhile, institutions also need to repetitively conduct the KYC process manually, which is time-consuming and leads to a huge data storage on their ends.”

But instead of asking financial firms to be validators, who update and share a distributed ledger that contains user ID data, POINT’s protocol incorporates another layer of a more centralized database to take up the role as a validator.

Key partnerships

To that end, Zhang said the company partnered with an IT firm called Teleinfo, which is is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. The Academy is directly administrated by the Ministry of Industrial and Information Technology.

The partnership effectively gives POINTS the access to a database of 1 billion profiles of Chinese customers.

Zhang further explained:

“When users voluntarily upload their information through the blockchain application, the database will validate that information … and then timestamp and store validation results into the blockchain. Therefore, participating nodes such as banks will only see the validated results (for KYC) instead of the exact user details.”

In a similar way, POINTS is also charting the development of another blockchain-based application on top of its protocol for credit scoring in a move aimed to “serve the unbanked.”

By partnering with its investor Zhong Cheng Xin, Zhang said the company also gains access to 500 million existing credit profiles provided by the rating agency.

With banks running as nodes on the blockchain, the database can extract credit data of a user from different institutions as well as from user’s own submission, in order to compute a credit score, which is subsequently stored on the blockchain.

“The end goal is to give a user a credit profile as complete as possible so that they can access to financial products that otherwise may not be available,” she added.

And to incentivize user data submission, Zhang said the system will issue its own tokens but has not yet decided exact utility scenarios or whether the token can be traded.

Zhang image courtesy to POINTS

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

Quebec Approves Energy Rate Hikes for Bitcoin Mining Firms

Bitcoin mining firms looking to set up shop in Quebec will now have to pay more for electricity.

This is after the energy regulator of the Canadian province, Régie de l’énergie, gave the region’s utility firm, Hydro-Quebec, the go-ahead to impose a deterrent tariff that will see cryptocurrency miners paying double the rate that is levied on households and other utility customers. The rate for new cryptocurrency miners entering the province will now be 15 cents per kilowatt hour.

Ensuring Consistency in Supply

According to the Montreal Gazette, the new rates will be applicable until regulations for the sector are introduced. The rates will, however, not apply to existing agreements but will only affect deals that were inked after June 6 this year. The move is aimed at consistent supply, especially during peak demand.

“The Régie considers that the rates and conditions … will ensure the security of electricity supply in the particular context of massive, sudden, unexpected and simultaneous demands for the use of blockchain technology, including mining cryptocurrencies,” wrote Régie de l’énergie in a 45-page decision.

Regulatory Hearings

Source: Shutterstock

Hearings for the regulations aimed at the cryptocurrency mining sector are expected to begin next month. While Quebec enjoys huge quantities of surplus electricity, there is a danger of the province’s energy utility not being able to meet the needs of its regular customers during peak demand, especially in winter when the rate of consumption rises. Hydro-Quebec’s total electricity generating capacity is 37,000 megawatts.

The number of cryptocurrency miners in Quebec increased significantly last year following a 2016 campaign by the Canadian province to lure tech firms to build data centers in the region. At the time, the province, which possesses some of the lowest electricity costs in North America, touted its abundant hydro resources — which was compelling from an environmental point of view.

Bitcoin miners trooped to Quebec in even bigger numbers earlier this year after China started cracking down on bitcoin mining in the country, forcing some players in the sector to move overseas to hedge against a further clampdown.

Move Telegraphed by Officials Last Month

The decision to slap a deterrent tariff on cryptocurrency mining has, however, not come as a surprise since Quebec’s authorities had already hinted of such a move last month. While lifting a moratorium that had been placed on the sale of power to cryptocurrency miners, officials in the province indicated that the sector would be placed under a new tariff regime different from that of Hydro-Quebec’s residential clients.

Besides charging cryptocurrency miners higher prices, other solutions that had been put forward by the provincial government of Quebec included requiring miners to halt activity during times of peak electricity demand.

Follow us on Telegram or subscribe to our newsletter here.
• Join CCN’s crypto community for $9.99 per month, click here.
• Want exclusive analysis and crypto insights from Hacked.com? Click here.
• Open Positions at CCN: Full Time and Part Time Journalists Wanted.


Article First Published here

The State Bank of Vietnam Suspends Import of Crypto Mining Hardware

The Vietnamese central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) announced it will suspend the import of cryptocurrency mining hardware, according to local news agency Viet Nam News July 19.

The move followed an official request from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), which suggested a temporary ban of imports of crypto mining machines, the volume of which reportedly amounted to 15,600 units from 2017 to April 2018. Most of the units were imported through Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung had previously directed the MoIT, the SBV, and the Ministry of Finance (MoF), to study the import of cryptocurrency miners based on current regulations, and provide guidance on their management.

According to Viet Nam News, the suspension is supposed to improve the management of currency flows in Vietnam, since the use of crypto mining equipment in the country makes it more complicated. The temporary ban also intends to prevent the use of cryptocurrency as an alternative means of payment outside of the official currency, which was declared illegal in late 2017.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) proposed a temporary temporary ban on crypto mining hardware imports in early June, citing the “very difficult” process of regulating newly mined digital currencies. By proposing so, the MoF aims to protect citizens from crypto scams, following an alleged $660 million scam in April. The scam involved two Initial Coin Offering (ICO) projects headed by a Vietnam-based outfit.

In May, the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade prohibited institutions and retail entrepreneurs in the e-commerce field from using Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies to carry out online transactions.

Article First Published here

It Took Just A Day for Tron's Founder to Win His Own Blockchain's Election

An unconventional candidate has triumphed in tron’s ongoing blockchain elections: its own founder Justin Sun.

After announcing his candidacy to become a tron “super representative” (a node on the software elected by token holders to validate transactions, create blocks in the network and compete for its rewards) just one day ago, Sun has successfully garnered enough votes to run one of just 27 nodes that will operate the $2.5 billion tron network.

As of press time, Sun had acquired over 120 million votes according to tron’s Tronscan feature. Candidates must receive over 100 million votes to be elected, with each TRX counting for one vote. (For context, it took other candidates several days to a week to be elected, and only 11 representatives have been elected thus far.)

As reported by CoinDesk, tron kicked off its election in June as part of the launch of its own proprietary blockchain. The project was originally meant to run on the ethereum blockchain, and is currently in the process of migrating its TRX tokens from that network to its new platform.

Sun wrote in his Wednesday announcement on Twitter:

“I hope that my candidacy will make all the TRX holders, supporters and believers see the significance embedded in voting. I hope it will enable all of us to contribute to the establishment of a truly democratic, decentralized tron community.”

Sun’s decision was not wholly unexpected, as it was foreshadowed in an April Medium post in which he wrote, “I myself will participate in the tron super representative election along with all other candidates.”

Later, Sun clarified in his statement that his candidacy was “a completely personal action” and will not represent the Tron Foundation, of which he is the CEO. He previously promised that the foundation would not use its 34 billion tokens to vote in the election, though he did not disclose his personal TRX holdings in the announcement.

At the time, Sun largely sought to downplay the potential impact that his influence in the community could have on the election. “I am determined to go through the selection process like everyone else, which displays tron’s inclusiveness and openness as a decentralized and autonomous community,” he said.

Unlike other super representative candidates, Sun did not publish an election “manifesto,” which typically contains information on the candidates and the hardware they plan to use to run the node.

New ‘democracy’

Still, tron’s ongoing election is part of a broader trend among public blockchains, one that finds notable projects experimenting with novel ways to coordinate stakeholders to update the software.

Most recently, neo, the 12th largest blockchain by total value, saw its founders take on a prominent, almost exclusive, role in its election, despite claims the process was decentralized or democratic.

As such, Sun’s announcement was greeted with some skepticism by tron users. “Hey Justin that’s not good for us, this is unprofessional,” one Twitter user commented on Sun’s post.

A Reddit user questioned Sun’s rhetoric of democracy, commenting: “Create democracy. People love it. Huge media presence and influence. People love you. Run for head office. Everyone follows. Easy win. Now in control of said democracy. Seem strange? No? I give up.”

Others suggested that Sun’s candidacy would bolster criticism of the project, which was previously accused of plagiarizing its white paper and failing to properly attribute code in its Github repository.

However, with the results only recently concluded, it remains to be seen whether the move will have any lasting impact on the project, which after making global headlines by acquiring BitTorrent in June, remains one of the more prominent to have emerged over the last year.

The Tron Foundation and Justin Sun did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Justin Sun image via Tron Foundation Facebook 

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

Major Insurers Take the Plunge to Underwrite Risk in the Crypto Space

Big-name insurers such as AIG, Allianz, Chubb, and XL Group are increasingly tailoring coverage options to protect businesses in the crypto space, Bloomberg reports July 19.

Aon, a major insurance broker that claims to occupy 50 percent of the crypto-insurance market, told Bloomberg the firm is seeing more crypto-specific protections catering to the new industry.

Another broker, Marsh & McLennan, said that 2018 has been “brisk” for crypto-insurers, revealing that Marsh has now formed its first-ever team dedicated to broker policies for blockchain startups.

Bloomberg’s sources say that premiums for crypto-related firms can tally to over fivefold the average coverage costs of a traditional corporate insurance policy, sometimes as high as 5 percent of coverage limits annually. Policies may require “as many as a dozen underwriters” to chip in $5-15 million of protection apiece.

These are high premiums for what are perceived to be high risks, arguably brought into focus at the very beginning of this year with the unprecedented theft of $532 million worth of crypto from Japanese exchange Coincheck.

The big insurers appear reluctant to reveal the extent of the coverage they offer. Bloomberg cites a statement from Chubb that said that the firm will not underwrite insurance for crypto exchanges or wallets. XL also hedged on specifics, saying only that it is “being careful when looking at those risks and analyzing them on a case by case basis.”

While declining to disclose the sum of crypto-related premiums it has taken in so far, American International Group confirmed that the company met with crypto custodians and trading platforms about protection.

Allianz’s Christian Weishuber went on record saying that he thinks “insurance for cryptocurrency storage will be a big opportunity…digital assets are becoming more relevant, important and prevalent…and we are exploring product and coverage options in this area.” Allianz has reportedly begun offering individual coverage for crypto theft in the past year.

Among major crypto industry players, U.S. exchange and wallet service Coinbase reportedly insures funds that are stored in hot wallets — which represent up to 2 percent of customers’ assets — but does not disclose how far its coverage extends.

Notably, the very technology that underlies cryptocurrencies, blockchain, is increasingly being considered as a solution to innovate the insurance industry itself, with Marsh recently partnering with IBM on its first commercial blockchain solution for proofs of insurance.

Article First Published here

Fed Chair: Crypto Has No Intrinsic Value, Not a Store of Value, Great for Money Laundering


The Federal Reserve’s new chairman made his stance on cryptocurrency clear to the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. In his view, cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value, are not used often as a means of payment, are not a store of value, but are great for money laundering. He also dismisses the idea that cryptocurrencies could pose a significant risk to the country’s financial stability at their current size.

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

Powell’s Testimony

The chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve who took office in February, Jerome Powell, answered questions about cryptocurrencies in his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Fed Chair: Crypto Has No Intrinsic Value, Not a Store of Value, Great for Money Laundering
Jerome Powell.

This committee has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to the U.S. economy, banking system, housing, insurance, securities, exchanges, monetary policy, international finance, international monetary organizations, and efforts to combat terrorist financing.

U.S. Representative and vice-chairman of the committee, Patrick T. Mchenry, asked Powell to outline his thinking on cryptocurrencies. The chairman replied that there are “significant” risks to “relatively unsophisticated investors” who “see the asset going up in price and they think this is great; I’ll buy this [but] in fact there is no promise behind that.” He elaborated:

Cryptocurrencies are great if you’re trying to hide money or if you’re trying to launder money…it doesn’t really have any intrinsic value so I think there’re investor or consumer protection issues as well.

Furthermore, regarding whether the Fed is considering issuing its own digital currency, the chairman clarified, “that’s not something we’re looking at,” reiterating, “we’re not looking at this at the Fed as something that we should be doing.”

As for whether cryptocurrency is a currency, Powell claims that “it’s not really a currency,” clarifying:

If you think about what currencies do, they’re supposed to be a means of payment and a store of value, basically. And cryptocurrencies…they’re not really used very much in payment. Typically people sell their cryptocurrencies and then pay in dollars. In terms of a store of value, you know, look at the volatility and…it’s just not there.

Regulatory Framework

Fed Chair: Crypto Has No Intrinsic Value, Not a Store of Value, Great for Money Laundering
Patrick T. Mchenry.

While questioning Powell, Mchenry outlined the current regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in the U.S. He detailed that each of the 50 states has its own requirements for crypto businesses operating locally such as obtaining a money service license.

There are also regulators such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that have some jurisdiction over cryptocurrency when it falls under their domain, he described, reiterating:

There’s some broad [regulatory] framework of it but not a concerted effort by the federal government to understand what’s happening in cryptocurrency.

No Serious Risk to Financial Stability

Fed Chair: Crypto Has No Intrinsic Value, Not a Store of Value, Great for Money LaunderingMchenry further asked Powell whether the Fed sees cryptocurrency impairing its ability “to act on monetary policy, given the current shape and scope of the size of the market.” The Fed chair replied, “not at all today.”

Powell additionally explained his previous statement regarding the impact of crypto on the country’s financial stability. He recalled being asked, “do cryptocurrencies currently present a serious financial stability threat?” He clarified:

They’re not big enough to do that yet. That’s really what I was saying, not that they’re not a longer-term thing.

Powell believes that the recent BIS report and others have adequately outlined risks associated with cryptocurrency “and called on the appropriate regulatory bodies to address them.” He emphasized, “we don’t have jurisdiction over cryptocurrency. We have jurisdiction over banks,” adding that those with jurisdiction such as the CFTC and the SEC can address the investor protection aspects of crypto.

This week, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) also said that “Crypto-assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time.”

What do you think of Powell’s view on cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the U.S. government.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

Article First Published here

Study Shows Many ICO Protocols Fail to Match White Paper Promises


On July 19, a group of interdisciplinary researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, with guidance from the esteemed Penn Law professor David Hoffman, published an in-depth study of initial coin offerings (ICOs) that promise innovative concepts like autonomous governance and operate by the belief that ‘code is law’. However, most of the ICOs the group researched failed to match the original contractual promises and the so-called ‘trustless trust’ offered by these projects had very little merit.

Also read: Japan Tax Agency Says Individuals Earning $1,800+ in Crypto a Year Will Declare Tax

University of Pennsylvania Study Looks Into Whether ICO White Paper Promises Match the Project’s Codebase  

Study Shows Many ICO Protocols Fail to Match White Paper PromisesThis week, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Law professor David Hoffman have published an interesting working paper on ICOs called “Coin Operated Capitalism.” The paper was authored by university members Shaanan Cohney (computer science PHd),  David Wishnick (a fellow at Penn Law’s interdisciplinary Center for Technology), and Jeremy Sklaroff (Penn’s JD/MBA program).    

The study’s authors surveyed and audited the top 50 ICOs that raised the most funds in 2017 and researchers looked at whether or not the ICO promises made by the promoters and white papers actually matched the technology’s codebase. The study finds that there are glaring differences between what the ICOs’ code delivers and what the creators promised to their investors.

“The automated mechanisms found in code—known as ‘smart contracts’—are not the only way entrepreneurs can deliver on their promises,” Wishnick explained.

But, according to proponents, they are what make ICOs innovative.

Study Shows Many ICO Protocols Fail to Match White Paper Promises
Researchers from Penn Law looked at ICOs such as Tezos, Filecoin, EOS, Bancor, Tron, Tenx, Civic, Chainlink, Storj, Power Ledger, and many more.

Only 20% of 50 ICO Codebases Matched the Promoter’s Promises

Out of the 50 ICOs surveyed, using both the white papers (contracts) and the codebases (delivered or non-delivered promises), a great deal of the ICO code and their associated ICO contracts did not match. In fact, only 20 percent of the 50 contracts surveyed matched their promises to code 100 percent of the time. “Nearly 60 percent made a least one governance promise that was missing from the code, and 20 percent had two or more mismatches,” the study’s authors emphasize.

“Surprisingly, in a community known for espousing a techno-libertarian belief in the power of ‘trustless trust’ built with carefully designed code, a significant fraction of issuers retained centralized control through previously undisclosed code permitting modification of the entities’ governing structures,” the working paper explains.

In Contrast to Traditional Law, the Smart Contract Community Is Full of Energy But So-Called Autonomous Protocols Need Vetting and Code Auditing

The paper concludes that the informality of smart-contract production does lead to “risks” but also “creativity”. Smart contract developers are far more creative than a “community of lawyers who tend to recycle language from agreement to agreement without much thought,” the study states. In contrast, the smart contract community has a lot of passion and energy, the researchers explain. But the study shows the manufacturing of smart contracts and blockchain promises must be evaluated and scrutinized closely.   

“Beyond the production of smart contracts and blockchain code, our study also highlights the importance of the ecosystem through which crypto code is vetted, audited, and made legible to the outside world,” the paper concludes.

What do you think about the Penn Law working paper that details most ICO code does not match the promises tied to the project? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. 

Images via Shutterstock, and the University of Pennsylvania

Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

Article First Published here

Bermuda Is Quickly Gaining Favor as a Jurisdiction of Choice for Digital Assets

Bermuda is well known as a global center for financial services as the island operates the largest reinsurance market in the world. Now, Bermuda is aggressively diving into the fintech sector with two clear objectives: to promote the island as the jurisdiction of choice for fintech entrepreneurs and to establish its new regulatory framework as the universal standard for initial coin offerings (ICOs), digital assets and virtual currencies. By doing so, Bermuda’s Premier and Minister of Finance E. David Burt hopes to diversify Bermuda’s economy and encourage new development ― monetary, educational and cultural ― in the island.

If recent developments are any indication, Bermuda is perhaps well on the path to quickly becoming the global leader for the issuance of digital assets. When discussing international interest in Bermuda’s initiative, the premier has stated, “Bermuda’s leadership in the development of a fintech industry supported by a sound regulatory base is attracting the attention of the world. This government’s determination to produce the right framework for growth in this area has set a high standard.”

Bermuda’s Innovative Digital Assets Regulatory Framework

While some nations have inhibited the development of digital assets (e.g., China and South Korea), most others have not yet passed legislation germane to the asset class. Bermuda, in contrast, seeks to set the market, implementing a comprehensive and prudential regulatory framework designed to create a supportive business environment that fosters development. The government has collaborated with a partnership of regulators, external consultants and other private sector representatives to develop a best-in-class system that will serve as the standard for other jurisdictions (the Bermuda Standard).

Bermuda has passed legislation that it believes will establish the necessary regulatory framework to guide its initiative. The legislation governs two distinct categories of business:

  • issuers who launch ICOs for their own crowdfunding purposes, which are regulated by amendments to the existing Companies Act 1981 and Limited Liability Company Act 2016 (collectively, the ICO Act), and by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) and

  • issuers of virtual currencies and operators of digital asset exchanges, as well as individuals who provide services related to digital assets, which are regulated under the new Digital Asset Business Act 2018 (DABA) and by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA).

Bermuda seeks to embrace the potential afforded by digital assets but not at the expense of tarnishing its pristine international finance reputation. The Blockchain Task Force, comprised of government, industry, legal and technology professionals, collectively drafted these bills to set reasonable and credible regulation. The task force has also issued additional regulations and guidance on critical topics, such as cyber security and prudential business standards. Bermuda recognizes that digital assets present significant risks that require robust anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-terrorism financing (ATF) regulations but believes that the ICO Act and DABA are suitable safeguards.

The Initial Coin Offering Act

The ICO Act was passed in May 2018 and regulates offerings of “digital assets,” which includes various types of digital coins and tokens (i.e., equity, security and utility) that are issued as ICOs. Specifically, the ICO Act defines “digital assets” as:

[A]nything that exists in binary format and comes with the right to use it and includes a digital representation of value that ―

  1. is used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, or store of value and is not legal tender, whether or not denominated in legal tender;

  2. is intended to represent assets such as debt or equity in the promoter;

  3. is otherwise intended to represent any assets or rights associated with such assets; or

  4. is intended to provide access to an application or service or product by means of blockchain[.]

ICOs are a “restricted activity” that requires the consent of the Minister of Finance prior to a public offering, which is a sale to more than 35 investors. The ICO Act is silent as to private sales to 35 investors or fewer. Assisted by the FinTech Advisory Committee, the Minister of Finance will review each proposed ICO to ensure that the issuer satisfies the base criteria that the issuer purports in its offering document, which often is the issuer’s white paper. Once consent is granted, the issuer must file its ICO offering document (subject to certain exemptions, including, but not limited to, if the digital assets are listed on an appointed stock or digital asset exchange) with the ROC.

With respect to timing, the issuer should be able to incorporate within the typical 48-hour period using Bermuda’s standard incorporation procedures, assuming all know-your-customer (KYC), AML and ATF issues have been addressed from a due diligence perspective. However, because express consent from the Minister of Finance is a precondition to issuance, it is advisable that the issuer file its ICO offering document with the Minister of Finance as early as possible.

The ICO Act requires that the offering document at minimum include certain information, such as a description of the project and its timeline with any proposed project phases and milestones, the amount of money equivalent (in Bermudian Dollars) to be raised and its allocation among purchasers of digital assets at each offering point, and any rights or restrictions on the digital assets to be offered. The ICO Act also requires that the offering document include a general risk warning and a statement as to how the prospective purchasers’ personal information will be used.

Many provisions of the ICO Act are similar to the Bermuda statutes regulating initial public offerings. For example, the requirement to file the ICO offering document with the ROC and to submit updates of same to the ROC on a going-forward basis. The ICO Act also requires issuers to include a general risk statement identifying the potential ramifications to investors should the ICO fail. In addition, the ICO Act requires issuers to collect, verify and maintain investor identity information in accordance with AML and ATF laws. Finally, the ICO Act contains criminal offenses and imposes civil penalties of up to BD$250,000 for making materially untrue statements in the ICO offering document.

The Digital Asset Business Act

DABA, which was passed in June 2018, regulates “digital asset business” conducted in or from Bermuda. “Digital asset business” is defined as engaging in the business of providing to the general public any activities that fall within one of five specific categories: (1) issuing, selling or redeeming virtual coins, tokens or other forms of digital assets; (2) operating a payment service provider business that uses digital assets, including fund transfer services; (3) operating an electronic exchange; (4) providing custodial wallet services; or (5) operating a digital asset services vendor.

To be clear, companies issuing ICOs as a funding mechanism for their own business are not regulated under DABA, as such activities are within the scope of the ICO Act. However, companies that issue ICOs for others will be regulated under DABA.

Digital asset businesses must apply for one of two licenses under DABA unless exempt:

  • Class F – The applicant shall be licensed to provide any or all of the digital asset business activities.

  • Class M – The applicant shall be licensed to provide any or all of the digital asset business activities for a defined period determined by the BMA, which may be extended upon application to the BMA.

The Class F license is a full digital asset business license, whereas the Class M license is a “sandbox” license that allows startups to experiment with new products or services for a limited period of time. The tiered licensing scheme bolsters Bermuda’s initiative to create a supportive business environment that attracts fintech innovation to the island while simultaneously ensuring customer protection. The BMA may impose limitations as necessary with respect to the nature and scale of the business permitted under either license, which can include limits on the scope of the digital asset business activity or the manner of operating the digital asset business.

When applying for either the Class F or Class M license, an applicant must submit certain information to the BMA, including the applicant’s business plan that states the nature and scale of the digital asset business, its management arrangements, and its policies to assure compliance with Bermuda’s AML and ATF laws. The BMA has authority to demand additional information as may be reasonably required to determine the application.

Bermuda’s Initiative Moving Forward

This year, Bermuda will adopt additional regulations and issue further guidance to support the development of digital assets and its broader fintech initiative. These endeavors should solidify the island as the jurisdiction of choice for international fintech entrepreneurs and confirm the Bermuda Standard as best-in-class.

Earlier this month, the government of Bermuda announced that it intends to introduce a new class of bank to encourage the development of the fintech industry. A proposed amendment to the Banks and Deposit Companies Act 1999 will allow for the formation of “Restricted Banks” that reportedly can better serve the fintech sector. The amendment will outline categories of business that Restricted Banks may serve and include a provision that allows for future amendments as fintech evolves.

This summer Bermuda will launch a national electronic identification ledger (E-ID) using blockchain technology. E-ID will provide a single platform that licensees can use to efficiently comply with KYC, AML and ATF rules. E-ID is designed to comply with international rules and regulations, such as the Personal Information Protection Act in Bermuda and the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe. E-ID will also enable individuals to control third-party access to their data by allowing them to grant permissions for specific data for a defined period of time. In addition, the use of the blockchain should provide increased efficiencies through the elimination of duplicative efforts, the aggregation of verified data and instant customer authentication.

Bermuda’s Blockchain Task Force has announced that, later this year, it will establish a legal and regulatory framework for virtual currency exchanges. Reportedly, this initiative is scheduled to become operative in September 2018.

News of Bermuda’s business-friendly regulatory environment is spreading quickly, and, not surprisingly, fintech companies are moving to the island. In April 2018, the Burt signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Binance Group, operator of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and leader in digital exchange development and fintech, with a market capitalization of $1.3 billion. In May, the premier signed a MOU with Shyft Network Inc., which provides blockchain-based identification solutions for KYC and AML-compliant data transfers.

In June, the premier signed an MOU establishing a strategic partnership with interests from the Republic of Korea. The MOU involves B-Seed Partners (Republic of Korea), FinHigh Capital (United States) and BFS Holdings Ltd. (Bermuda), as partners in a new Bermudian joint venture, Bermuda FinTech Accelerator (BFA). BFA plans to deploy a developed pipeline of fully-funded fintech projects, including token sales and cutting-edge fintech technology that is not yet available on the Island, which will benefit the community through efficiencies, the creation of jobs and educational opportunities. Also in June, Arbitrade Ltd. announced its intent to establish its global headquarters in Bermuda with plans to launch its own ICO and digital asset exchange in August or September 2018.

Having been a part in some of these initiatives leading to the MOUs, we agree that, at the moment, Bermuda provides an attractive alternative to other jurisdictions where ICOs are allowed and accepted. Whether or not Bermuda will become a leading jurisdiction will depend, in part, on the rate and volume of ICOs, the establishment of digital asset exchanges to create liquidity, the development of digital asset management businesses, the extent to which digital assets are linked to fiat, and, ultimately, the expansion of digital banking.

Huhnsik Chung is a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP in New York with more than 25 years of legal experience in the financial services industry. Nicholas Secara is a senior associate in the firm’s New York office practicing in the financial services industry. They can be reached at hchung@stroock.com and nsecara@stroock.com. This is a guest post by both Chung and Secara. Views expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Media.

Article First Published here

Report: Blockchain Spending to Hit Nearly $12 Billion By 2022

A new report published by the International Data Corporation expects spending on blockchain solutions to increase annually at a growth rate of nearly 75 percent through 2022.

Dubbed the “Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide,” analysts at the firm expect total spending on projects in the blockchain industry to hit $11.7 billion in 2022 alone, compared to the $1.5 billion expected to be spent in 2018. The report further added that “blockchain platform software will be the largest category of spending outside of the services category and one of the fastest growing categories overall, along with security software.”

This spending trajectory is largely expected to be led by the financial sector, with banks being early adopters of the technology. The report explains that data shows a total of $552 million was spent on blockchain by the financial sector alone in 2018. The distribution and services sector is not too far behind, having invested a reported $334 million.

Further, the report covers developments in the blockchain industry for eight different regions across the globe with the potential addition of China as a ninth in forthcoming reports.

As the scope of the analysis currently stands, the United States delivers more than 36 percent of worldwide spending on blockchain technology with cross-border payments and settlements being the most popular use case for the technology. A total of $193 million has reportedly been spent on this field.

Looking ahead, Jessica Goepfert, program vice president for the International Data Corporation, said certain use cases for blockchain technology are not going away anytime soon, saying:

“We continue to see the greatest spending and growth for blockchain around lot lineage and asset and goods management … Manufacturers want to ensure products arrive where they are supposed to arrive. Retailers and wholesalers seek assurance around the validity and quality of the products they are selling. And consumers are demanding greater transparency from providers.”

Dollar bills image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

World's Top Four Auditors Join Taiwan-Led Trial for Blockchain Fiscal Audit System

The world’s four largest auditing firms — Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC —have joined 20 Taiwanese banks to pilot blockchain technology for fiscal audits, local news outlet CTEE reports July 19.

The “big four” will join a consortium of major Taiwanese banks to test a blockchain solution for auditing companies’ interim financial reports, focused on streamlining so-called ‘external confirmation’ processes. These currently require an auditor to manually obtain and verify audit evidence of companies’ transactions with third parties.

The pilot — which has been developed by the banking consortium alongside Taiwan’s Financial Information Service Co. (FISC) — harnesses the tamper-proof, distributed, and immutable structure of a blockchain system to secure and automate the confirmation process, potentially allowing auditors to assess the fiscal health of firms in record time.

The banks will act as validators to migrate companies’ transaction data onto a blockchain that will subsequently be accessible by the participating audit firms. The FISC anticipates that the new system will accelerate confirmation times from an average of two weeks to “within a day.”

Expansion of the trial system is planned for more than 1,400 publicly-listed companies in China starting next year.

This spring, Cointelegraph reported on a major Deloitte study that argued that businesses who don’t consider integrating blockchain systems are “at risk of falling behind,” predicting that it would become “a standard operational technology across the financial, manufacturing and consumer industries” in the future.

For its part, PwC has also kept its pulse on the crypto and blockchain space. The company released a joint report with the Swiss Crypto Valley Association just two weeks ago indicating that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are thriving in 2018, with their volume thus far already twice as high as it was during the entirety of 2017.

Article First Published here

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation


Seiko Noda, Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs & Communications, and Minister in charge of Women’s Empowerment, was questioned by the Japanese press on Thursday over her involvement with an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange, which was allegedly violating the Japanese fund settlement law.

Also read: Japan Tax Agency Says Individuals Earning $1,800+ in Crypto a Year Will Declare Tax

It was revealed on Thursday that, on January 30, Noda’s secretary and aide allegedly invited an agent of the FSA and the representative of an unnamed unregistered cryptocurrency exchange operator to her parliamentary office. The said exchange operator was under investigation by the FSA for operating without registration, Jiji Press reported. The FSA had slapped the Tokyo-based company with a warning on January 12, saying it was suspected of violating the law.

Given Her Position as a Cabinet Minister, Noda Risked Being Accused of Exerting Pressure on a Government Investigation

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation
Seiko Noda, Minister for Internal Affairs

“Because there has never been any administrative ties between this company and my office, I believe there is no exerting pressure on the front of this government investigation.” Noda told the press at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on Thursday.

According to Noda, her secretary and aide solicited an FSA agent for general background briefing regarding crypto exchanges’ legal framework and organized a meeting at her parliamentary office with an acquaintance who represented the company. Noda said she was not present at the meeting. The unnamed company was under government investigation on suspicion of violating the fund settlement law at the time, but Noda’s team claims it was not aware of that fact. An FSA official visited Noda’s office at the Diet members’ building on January 30 to explain Noda’s aide and the representative of the company under investigation the FSA’s positioning on regulations concerning funds raising by issuing cryptocurrency and other matters.

A senior agency official noted that the request from Noda’s office for a briefing could be interpreted as pressure. “A public servant will likely take it as pressure if an aide to a sitting Cabinet member calls for a meeting in which an employee of a company the agency is looking into is also present,” the official was quoted saying to Asahi newspaper.

Noda told reporters that she hasn’t received any political contribution, nor had she made any investment with the company. “I promise I will take more prudent responses in the future.” She added.

The company, which began dealing in its own cryptocurrency in October 2017, received administrative guidance in February 2018 not to continue selling cryptocurrencies.

The Amended Settlement Act

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation
The National Diet, the seat of the Japanese government

Japanese lawmakers amended the Act on Settlement of Funds in May 2016 to regulate businesses handling virtual currencies. This law was amended after Mt. Gox went bankrupt in Japan in February of 2014 due to the misappropriation of customers’ assets by its operator.

In response to these background events, Japanese lawmakers enacted the Amended Settlement Act with three pillars of regulation as follows:

  • Registration requirements on virtual currency exchange business in Japan;
  • Regulation against money laundering and terrorist financing; and
  • Introduction of rules to ensure customer protection.

What do you think of this Minister’s implication in government investigation into the crypto exchange operator? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Jiji Press and Japan Times.

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

Article First Published here

BINEX.TRADE Unveils Alpha Launch: A New Era for Crypto Trading

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

Bitcoin Press Release: Binex.Trade exchange has announced that the alpha launch of their platform will go live on July 17th, 2018.

July 18th 2018, Singapore: Months of hard work and the BINEX team have finally arrived at their big day, the Alpha Launch. The team has been receiving support from the Crypto community throughout their journey, and they are glad to receive such an overwhelming response. It gives BINEX.TRADE immense pleasure to unveil the Alpha version of the Exchange to the Binex family of more than 85,000 Users.

The Alpha Launch is on the 17th of July, 2018. The main objective of the Alpha Launch is to test the exchange’s live performance with traders. The company plans to launch the exchange initially with the basic features, and post Alpha Launch will come up with the Beta version of the exchange with advanced features.

BINEX.TRADE promises to deliver excellence to its users, and their ultimate motto is to create a hassle-free trading platform that caters to every need of the trader.

In the initial days of the launch, traders can have the first-hand experience of transacting in trading pairs including BTC, ETH, BEX, USDT, LTC, and XRP. The exchange is designed to provide the traders with a smooth and user-friendly experience. From top-notch Security, Leveraged Trades, Analytics Dashboard and insightful Reports to maintaining Liquidity, Powerful Matching Engine, and Volatility Monitoring, the exchange has it all.

As mentioned earlier, BINEX.TRADE offers 70% of the trading commission to the users holding BEX on a daily basis. Apart from the Revenue Sharing phenomena here are the features that will set the benchmark for Crypto trading:

Advanced Trading Features

Features provided by the Exchange can ease trading and help traders earn more. Traders might need to keep a watch on the price trends of a cryptocurrency for which a price chart can be useful. Reports on daily, weekly or monthly trades can help traders track their earnings. An Analytics Dashboard can help traders build a strategic portfolio. All these features help traders make better decisions while trading.

Leveraged Trades

Features like Margin Trading enable traders to leverage their trade quantity and profits. BINEX.TRADE Exchange allows the user to open a position at a 2x to 3x leveraged amount in Margin Trading. The exchange also provides for an automatic exit feature that closes the user position at the most efficient rate so that the user doesn’t miss the opportunity.

Liquidity and Volatility Control

BINEX.TRADE ensures the efficient management of Market Volatility to secure the interest of its traders. It also eliminates the Liquidity Risk on the Exchange through continuous monitoring of the transactions. The higher the liquidity on the Exchange, the better the price economy and faster the transactions.

Powerful Matching Engine

Cryptocurrency markets are extremely volatile and even a second’s delay in the execution can lead to a loss. BINEX.TRADE has an efficient Matching Engine that helps smooth trading through quick buying and selling.

High End Security

BINEX.TRADE is designed to function on a Multi-Tier Platform that offers High-End security. The platform ensures secured transactions with a two-level Encryption which is at the Database level and the API level. The platform also provides enhanced security at the User level with Secured Login, Captcha, 2 Factor Authentication, Email Verification, Same Browser Login and Summary Page Approval.

Apart from the onboard Exchange features, BINEX.TRADE has come up with a reward of

1000 BEX for reporting a bug on the Alpha version.

Customer Service Support is available round the clock for the traders and users pre and post Alpha Launch.


Binex.Trade, a cryptocurrency exchange that aims to reinvent the sharing economics by combining the power of BEX token and decentralization to deliver profits to our stakeholders from our daily trade revenue.

Visit our website: https://binex.trade
Read the Whitepaper: https://binex.trade/whitepaper
Chat on Telegram: https://t.me/BinexTrade
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BinexTrade
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BinexTrade
Medium: https://medium.com/@BinexTrade

Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrjrLVhzAwXULUviPwHJkBg

Media Contact
Name: Vishal Gupta
Email: [email protected]
Location: Singapore

BINEX.TRADE is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. Cryptocurrencies and tokens are extremely volatile. There is no guarantee of a stable value, or of any value at all.

Article First Published here

Kryll.io Automated Crypto Trading Strategies Platform Gets Listed on QRYPTOS

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

Bitcoin Press Release: Kryll.io, the Automated strategies trading platform announced that its KRL token will be listed on popular cryptocurrency exchange QRYPTOS on the 18th of July 2018.

July 18th, 2018, Sophia Antipolis, France – Following a successful crowdsale in which the company raised over 3600 ETH. This news comes as the French startup is wiring up its product for a release in August 2018.

The Kryll.io token event recorded contributions of over 3600 ETH and over 24000 registrations.  Kryll will be listed on QRYPTOS on July 18th, 2018.


QRYPTOS is QUOINE’s fully digital cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform launched in June, 2017.

QUOINE is a leading global fintech company that provides trading, exchange, and next generation financial services powered by blockchain technology. With offices in Singapore, Japan, and Vietnam, QUOINE combines a strong network of local partners with over 250 years of combined team experience in fintech to deliver best in class financial services for its customers. QUOINE is the first global cryptocurrency exchange to be officially licensed by the Japan Financial Services Agency. More information is available at www.quoine.com


After a successful token sale early 2018, Kryll.io is completely focused on expanding the development team, launching Alpha version of its platform in August 2018, preparing for mobile apps in november and finally releasing a Beta version to the public by the end of the year.

Since 2009, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies enjoyed a phenomenal growth in terms of public interest and valuation. Holding investors, professional traders and hobbyists all beneted in their own ways from the amazing opportunities granted by this brave new world. Nevertheless, the trading game requires time, technical knowledge, analytical skills, discipline and proficiency using professional tools in order to achieve true success. Crypto traders without all of this missed opportunities or lost a chunk of their assets in the last few years.

Now that the Kryll.io platform enters the game, this is changing.

Kryll.io is the first intuitive platform to define powerful crypto trading strategies through a simple drag’n’drop editor. With our Wysiwyt™ (What You See Is What You Trade) flow-based technology Crypto traders are now able to build from basic to advanced automated trading systems in an intuitive way, no dev skills needed anymore!

Kryll.io provides logical operators, markets indicators, value triggers, enhanced technical analysis, media opinion mining and deep-learning predictions; all this will help your to create automated winning strategies. Benchmark your strategies through real-time sandboxes and massive Kryll.io back-testing capabilities, share with the community, enjoy user-generated content.

Visit the Kryll Official website – https://kryll.io
Find on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kryll.io
Join Telegram Channel – https://t.me/kryll_io
Follow on Twitter – https://twitter.com/kryll_io
Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4aIXGM775I