Month: July 2019

Guns, Art And Wine: Five Projects That Fly On Ravencoin

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Ethereum might be the easiest way to launch an ICO, but it’s far from the only platform for new tokens. After hatching in early 2018, Ravencoin has emerged to make a name for itself as a token ecosystem. The tokenization technology is finding genuine utility as the foundation for a growing number of industry applications.

One of Ravencoin’s best-known advocates is Patrick Byrne, owner of Overstock.com. Overstock’s blockchain-centric subsidiary, Medici…

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Iran Recognizes Bitcoin and Crypto as an Official Industry, Says MP

The Iranian government’s Economic Commission has approved a mechanism of cryptocurrency mining in the country, according to an announcement by the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture on July 22.

Iran’s Economic Commission approves crypto mining ‘mechanism’

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Abdolnaser Hemmati said that “a mechanism to mine digital coins was approved by the government’s economic commission and will later be put to discussion at a Cabinet meeting.”

Initially, Iranian authorities announced that they are planning to authorize Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining earlier in July, when the CBI governor Abdol Hemmati reportedly claimed that the Iranian government had approved some parts of an executive law that would authorize mining of cryptocurrencies in Iran.

At the time, Hemmati argued that digital currency miners in Iran should contribute to the country’s economy, rather than letting mined Bitcoin (BTC) escape abroad.

Also, at the Commission’s latest meeting, its head Elyas Hazrati said that cryptocurrency is now recognized as official by the government, adding:

“We do believe that cryptocurrency industry should be recognized as an official industry in Iran to let the country take advantage of its tax and customs revenues.”

Crypto mining industry taking shape in Iran

Today’s news also follows the finalizing of a tariff scheme for cryptocurrency miners by the Commission on July 21. Energy Minister Homayoon Ha’eri did not specify the exact price scheme, but stated that the price is dependent on market factors such as fuel prices in the Persian Gulf.

Also yesterday, Deputy President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) Jamal Arounaghi announced that the agency has not yet issued licenses for the import of cryptocurrency mining equipment. The minister said that if the government authorizes import of crypto miners, IRICA will develop related directives.

In contrast, an Indian…

Read more at cointelegraph.com

Uganda conducting research on cryptos as it seeks to regulate them

Many African governments have been reluctant to formulate and implement laws governing the cryptocurrency industry. However, this is slowly changing as cryptos gain more popularity. The latest country is Uganda which is now conducting research on cryptos in a bid to regulate the industry.

According to a report by local outlet The Independent, the country’s Minister of Finance recently revealed that the government has been taking a keen interest in the crypto market. The minister, Gabriel Ajedra, stated that the government is out to ensure that the crypto industry poses no risk to the economy.

Ajedra was speaking during an event organized by United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders on the regulation of emerging disruptive technologies such as blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence. He stated that he believes that digital transactions will rule the future. As it stands, the Ugandan banking system has been disrupted by a number of technological innovations and the government must strive to keep up.

Further, Uganda’s president has directed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to formulate a policy paper which can form the basis on which the crypto industry will be regulated.

Other notable speakers in the event also urged the Ugandan government to come up with regulations for the crypto industry soon or risk lagging behind its peers. Some of the recommendations made were for the Ugandan government to develop its own digital currency. In doing so, it would reap the benefits of a digital currency and also be in a better position to regulate the other digital currencies.

The Ugandan crypto scene has been one of the most vibrant in Africa. This was best seen when Binance decided to open its first fiat-to-crypto platform in the country last year. The people of Uganda were quick to embrace the platform, with figures showing that the exchange registered over 40,000 traders in just its…

Read more at coingeek.com

France Set to Approve First Crypto Firms Under New Rules This Month

France is poised to approve initial coin offerings (ICO) operators and other crypto businesses with its new regulatory approach to the sector. 

‘France is a Precursor’

As Reuters reported on July 16, the new rules — expected to take effect later this month — will enable crypto-related businesses to voluntarily submit themselves to national standards on capital requirements, consumer protection and taxation in return for the regulator’s green light.  

Anne Marechal — executive director for legal affairs at the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) — told reporters that the bold crypto regulatory agenda from the G7 presidency holder should make France a forerunner in the field. She said:

“France is a precursor. We will have a legal, tax and regulatory framework […] We are in talks with three or four candidates for initial coin offerings.”

Beyond ICOS, the AMF is also in talks with several crypto exchange platforms, custodians and fund managers, Marechal revealed.

As Reuters notes, momentum to provide greater legal clarity for the little-regulated sector has apparently been galvanized by news of the forthcoming Libra cryptocurrency from U.S. tech behemoth Facebook. 

A meeting of G7 finance ministers in Chantilly, France, today could see France’s Bruno Le Maire and the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin finding a rare island of common ground when it comes to cryptocurrencies — and Facebook’s plans in particular — against a backdrop of ever-rising transatlantic trade tensions.

The Crypto Regulatory Roulette

Gaging the appetite for regulation in the nascent industry is complex and while some believe that increased oversight could bring greater reputability to crypto firms, change is also fraught with risks. Those unwilling to court the unknown are preemptively selecting proactive jurisdictions to launch their offerings. 

As Frederic Montagnon — a co-founder of LGO, a New York-based cryptocurrency platform that chose to host its ICO in France…

Read more at cointelegraph.com

Canada's Crypto Exchanges Must Now Register as MSBs, Report Transactions Over $10K – CoinDesk

Canada’s Crypto Exchanges Must Now Register as MSBs, Report Transactions Over $10K  CoinDesk

Read more at www.coindesk.com

Wala Was Africa’s Perfect Crypto Success Story – Until It Collapsed

While Martinez’s blog post claims Wala had “150,000 users,” one anonymous source estimated the number was closer to 2,000 individuals with numerous wallets. Every wallet was able to claim a small token reward during setup, so dozens of users created numerous accounts. Only several hundred people were actually using the Wala app for its intended purpose, the source said.

Read more at www.coindesk.com

Curious new theory links Bitcoin’s inventor to Estonia

Is it a coincidence that an Estonian startup began testing blockchain in 2008—the same year that the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto published his pioneering Bitcoin white paper?

A new theory suggests that the company, Guardtime, which has since grown into a multinational corporation producing military-grade blockchains, merits closer investigation. It may hold the key to the identity of Bitcoin’s elusive inventor.

A gaggle of Satoshis

Estonia has been linked to Satoshi before. In 2018,…

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Trading Bitcoin Is Illegal in Iran, Central Bank Official Warns

Buying and selling cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) is illegal in Iran, a senior government official declared, according to a report by local news agency Tasnim News on July 8.

Nasser Hakimi, deputy governor for new technologies at the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), said that bitcoin trading is not legal in the country, citing a related prohibition by a local anti-money laundering (AML) authority, the Supreme Council of Combating and Preventing Money laundering and Financing of Terrorism Crimes.

In an interview with Tasnim News, Hakimi warned the public against legal and investment risks associated with cryptocurrency trading, outlining a high level of bitcoin’s volatility. Alongside, the official also expressed concerns about crypto advertisements, bringing awareness of promoted bitcoin pyramid schemes in the public.

The official has also reportedly raised the issue of the need to draw a distinction between the production of cryptocurrencies and its trading.

In late June, Iranian authorities announced that they start cutting power to cryptocurrency mining until new energy prices are adopted, with a local energy official reporting an abnormal spike of electricity consumption allegedly caused by increased mining of crypto. As such, local prosecutors seized around 1,000 bitcoin miners from two now-defunct farms in late June, BBC reported.

On July 6, Iranian Assistant Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply stated that the United States Congress is allegedly working to stop Iran’s access to crypto and bitcoin mining in an attempt to prevent the country from using a tool for evading sanctions. As previously reported, bitcoin investment among Iranians has become increasingly popular due to a severe inflation of the local fiat currency, Iranian rial (IRR) amid the nuclear crisis deal.

Read more at cointelegraph.com

Crypto in Africa: Crypto trade termed risky in Uganda

Africa is facing a drought in cryptocurrency knowledge as Uganda continues to fight against the tide of digital currencies.

Central Bank of Uganda warns against cryptocurrencies

The deputy governor of the Central Bank of Uganda, Dr. Louis Kasekende, warned Ugandan citizens against trading in cryptocurrencies. Kasekende claimed that the use of cryptocurrencies is risky because there are no regulations or financial institutions to govern them.

As reported on June 28 during a Town Hall meeting in Masaka, Kasekende said, “Let me state clearly that the cryptocurrency businesses are not regulated at the moment and therefore carry a significant risk of loss of savings, with no recourse to protection or insurance by government, like is the case with regulated financial institutions such as commercial banks.”

Trading in cryptocurrency is a high-risk investment considering that cryptocurrencies operate on decentralized systems, he said. He insisted that the Central Bank only governs commercial banks, foreign exchange bureaus, and money remittance service providers.

These comments raised mixed emotions considering that Uganda agreed to hold the 2019 Africa Blockchain Conference. In April this year, the Director of Uganda Communications Commission, Godfrey Mutabazi, highlighted that the country was eager to adopt blockchain technology. Despite this criticism, Uganda is embracing blockchain and implementing it in different sectors across the country.

Lack of crypto knowledge a big challenge for Africa

Lack of education in Africa is playing a major role in curbing crypto progress in Africa. Consumers are still wary of adopting cryptocurrency trading because they simply don’t understand it.

Despite its growth in the African market, crypto is still facing challenges and risks. These risks include a lack of local regulation, volatility in the value of a currency, issues arising from taxation, as well as cyber fraud.

The Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky, Bethwel Opil…

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Cuba unveils plan for cryptocurrency as fiat falters

Cuba has confirmed it is considering plans that could introduce a national cryptocurrency, in a bid to revive the country’s flagging economy, AAP-SBS reported.

The Communist government in Cuba floated the idea on state-owned TV, as a means of easing market reforms designed to improve the fortunes of as much as a quarter of Cuba’s population.

Some analysts have likened the move to the strategy used by fellow communist state and Cuban ally, Venezuela, which introduced its own cryptocurrency in early 2018.

Known as the ‘Petro’, the cryptocurrency is backed by national oil reserves, and was designed specifically to evade U.S. economic sanctions on the international stage. While there are no suggestions that Cuba intends to follow suit in launching its own cryptocurrency, the plans nevertheless represent the latest move from a…

Read more at coingeek.com

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