Month: November 2019

Bancor Claims Liquidity Token Airdrop Will Increase DeFi Users by 500%

The decentralized liquidity network Bancor announced its upcoming airdrop, which will start on New Year’s Eve. 

In a Nov. 27 press release shared with Cointelegraph, the decentralized exchange platform announced the official launch of its New Year’s Eve airdrop, which will give away its ETHBNT liquidity pool tokens to 60,000 people. 

Liquidity pools allow members to add liquidity to a decentralized exchange (DEX) and receive a portion of the exchange’s trading fees in return. Making…

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Bank of Ghana planning to introduce a digital currency, E-cedi, here’s why

He was speaking at the monetary policy committee meeting in Accra on Monday, November 25, 2019.

Read more at www.pulse.com.gh

Harvest Bible Chapel releases financial records review exposing misuse of church funds

Harvest Bible Chapel
Harvest Bible Chapel in greater Chicago. |

A legal and financial review of Harvest Bible Chapel’s records has revealed that their founding and now former pastor James MacDonald was paid over $1 million annually, amid other instances of malfeasance.

Earlier this year, MacDonald was ousted from his leadership post at Harvest Bible Chapel, a church he founded over 30 years ago. His termination ultimately came about as a result of lewd comments he made on a hot mic that were aired on a local radio station amid controversy over allegations that he had presided over an abusive church culture and had mishandled church resources while living an opulent lifestyle.

The review looked at financial statements from January 2016 through mid-February of this year, according to The Daily Herald. 

During that span of time, MacDonald’s spending included $170,851 on hunting and fishing trips; $139,502 on meals and entertainment; the installation of an internet service tower and security equipment at his house near the church’s campus in Elgin, Illinois, and over $94,000 for clothing and eyewear. The report revealed that the church maintained two private checking accounts that gave MacDonald $3.1 million during those three years and two months.

Forensic accountants were reportedly unable to tell in some cases how much MacDonald’s spending or spending done on his behalf could be linked to actual church operations because the expenditures were either not documented or there were no receipts.

MacDonald also gave away two motorcycles, each worth around $16,000.

“The report discusses $900,000 in spending on a private credit card account and $1 million in private checking accounts, which were overseen by MacDonald and several top church workers, not the church’s financial department,” the Daily Herald noted.

Tim Stoner, the church treasurer, noted that other expenses were also in question, particularly $22,000…

Read more at www.christianpost.com

Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Denmark to Fall Under AML Rules

Nov. 22, 2019, 1:02 PM

Exchanges and brokerages in Denmark that offer trading between cryptocurrencies and regular money will now have to follow the country’s anti-money laundering regulations.

The companies will have to register with the Danish Financial Supervisory, and must from Jan. 10 adhere to the anti-money laundering laws to avoid criminals using trades to launder money or finance terrorism, the regulator said in a statement on Friday. The requirement also applies to companies that…

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Citizens Want BTC Over Peso Amid USD Crackdown

Argentina’s central bank had formally banned consumers from purchasing Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrency using credit cards on Nov. 1. What followed was the very opposite of what the Argentine government had anticipated — over the past two weeks, the country has traded the highest amount of Bitcoins on the peer-to-peer platform LocalBitcoins, according to data by CoinDance.

Argentina’s fragile economy

One of the biggest factors in the high adoption of crypto in the country is the high volatility of the Argentine peso. In just the past five years, the value of the peso against the United States dollar has fallen by over 85%. The residents of the country have traditionally had little confidence in their currency, favoring to convert their spare pesos into relatively stable dollars.

The country’s sovereign currency is the peso, which people earn and spend, but it’s the U.S….

Read more at cointelegraph.com

Bitcoin’s climate change impact may be much smaller than we thought

Bitcoin mining is energy intensive

Getty Images

Bitcoin mining consumed enough electricity last year to release carbon emissions on a par with Estonia, according to a study that suggests the climate change impact of the cryptocurrency isn’t as bad as previously thought.

Past research has suggested that the emissions from mining bitcoin – where computing power is used to solve mathematical…

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Major payments, POS firm Ingenico integrates with cryptocurrencies – Ledger Insights

Yesterday, Ingenico announced that it has partnered with Singaporean firm Fintech Pundi X to integrate cryptocurrencies and blockchain with its Point of Sale (POS) terminals. Pundi X’s ‘XPOS’ software will allow merchants using the devices to accept over 13 cryptocurrencies as payment.

Ingenico offers payment solutions for online, in-store, and mobile commerce. With a market cap of $6.8 billion, it operates 30 million terminals in over 170 countries. The firm boasts an acceptance network of more than 1000 banks and acquirers, plus produces contactless terminals for public transport. The APOS A8 payment device is the most widely sold Android POS, and, thanks to Pundi X, will now accept cryptocurrency.

Customers using Pundi X’s XWallet app or XPASS physical card can purchase directly with crypto from a merchant using an Ingenico device with XPOS installed. It accepts Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), and XEM, among others. The software automatically applies crypto conversion rates at retail outlets, so transactions are settled quickly.

Yesterday’s release claims the XPOS integration is twofold: first, allowing customers to pay in crypto seamlessly and, second, using blockchain for improving consumer transaction experience in both security and efficiency.

“Ingenico is always on the lookout for innovations that will further improve transactional processes, and we see Pundi X’s use of blockchain technology in points of sales as truly innovative,” said Marcus Low, SVP of Ingenico Group’s Asia Pacific region.

He continued: “This partnership is as a great way to prepare for the future of payments and introduce cryptocurrency as a reliable payment option to our clients and customers worldwide.”

Indeed, the transaction is intended to mimic a conventional fiat transfer, so consumers have the same experience. Usability is one of the most significant barriers in cryptocurrency adoption. With the wide usage of Ingenico POS devices,…

Read more at www.ledgerinsights.com

Tunisia Will Not Be Launching E-Dinar, Central Bank of Tunisia Responds

Just days ago, reports emerged that Tunisia had become the first country to issue a central bank-backed digital currency, dubbed the ‘E-Dinar.’

The cryptocurrency would reportedly be launched on an obscure blockchain known as Universa — which the CEO of Universa, Alexander Borodich, called ‘the world’s fastest blockchain.’

Tunisian Tall-Tales

However, according to a report by ilboursa.com, a stock market and news platform in Tunisia and Africa, the rumors that the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) would be adopting a digital money solution are completely unfounded.  Instead, Tunisia’s central bank refuted this claim but did note that it is studying alternative payment systems, including the possibility of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

As it stands, the bank is simply investigating the possible risks and benefits associated with digital currencies, including potential cybersecurity and financial stability issues. However, it should be noted that these are just investigations — nothing has yet been finalized and there are no immediate plans to launch a digital version of the dinar. The Central Bank of Tunisia has no relationship with any third-party digital currency providers.

A Successful Marketing Ploy

On the day the news first broke (Nov 7, 2019), the native digital asset of the Universa Blockchain, known as Universa (UTNP) witnessed a dramatic rally. Between Nov 7 and 9, 2019, the cryptocurrency climbed from around $0.0016 up to as high as $0.0046 within less than a day — equivalent to a gain of almost 190 percent.

Since then, UTNP briefly touched as high as $0.0094 and has held around $0.0064 until Nov 11. Now, since it was revealed that Universa isn’t actually involved with the central bank, the cryptocurrency has taken a dive, falling back to $0.0029 after losing almost half of its value in the last day.

Despite this, Universa still maintains that it has, in fact, launched a digital version of the dinar. While…

Read more at beincrypto.com

Tunisian Central Bank Denies Reports of an ‘E-Dinar’ Digital Currency

The Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) has denied reports stating that the bank is developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). An official announcement from the BCT follows apparently false reports that Tunisia was the first country to start moving its national currency to a blockchain platform and was preparing to launch its “e-dinar.”

Central Bank of Tunisia is focused on the digitization of finance

In the statement, the BCT refuted all claims regarding the development of a digital money solution. The central bank clarified that it is now exploring various methods of digital payment alternatives, including a possible CBDC, but it has not moved forward with its implementation. The bank further stated:

“The BCT is currently focusing on the digitization of finance, in its digital currency dimension and not that on cryptocurrency. Its services are studying the opportunities and risks inherent in these new technologies, particularly in terms of cyber security and financial stability.”

Regarding the purported partnership with a foreign company to deliver a CBDC, the BCT declared that it does not have such a relationship with any domestic or foreign firm.

Confusion regarding proof-of-concept at the Forex Club of Tunisia

However, the bank admitted that the Forex Club of Tunisia — an event hosted by an “independent association connected to the BCT” — has featured talks regarding CBDCs. At the event, participants were offered to attend a demonstration on the theoretical feasibility of a digital currency initiated by a private startup. 

The startup has “no moral or contractual relationship with the BCT,” the bank emphasized. The BCT concluded that the proof-of-concept at the forum was taken out of context due to a marketing operation where the BCT’s name was improperly used. 

In the statement, the BCT also specified that it is preparing to launch a regulatory sandbox for technological innovations in the banking and financial sector in early 2020.

As…

Read more at cointelegraph.com

The State of the Blockchain Industry in Uganda – Q&A with Robert Kirunda, Blockchain Association of Uganda

The Blockchain industry in Uganda is still at its infancy. However, there are major developments happening in the jurisdiction and a lot of activities shaping the future of blockchain in the country.

The purpose of this Q&A is to provide our readers with a pragmatic overview of the law and practice of blockchain across a variety of African jurisdictions.

Here is a question and answer with Robert Kirunda, a Ugandan lawyer and a founding member of the Blockchain Association of Uganda, as he discusses the state of the industry in Uganda.

 

Q: In what business or public sector are you seeing distributed ledger technologies being adopted?

Kirunda: A lot of the blockchain work in Uganda is being driven by small pubic sector players, the most active of which is a company called CryptoSavannah. Other active players include CoinPesa, Binance, Bitpesa, Luno, and S-Block. There are however more products under development and discussion.

The Uganda Communications Commission has signed an agreement with CryptoSavannah to blockchainize sim card registration, essentially paving way for the first blockchain identity project in Uganda. Other public sector projects expected in the short term include discussions for the development of a blockchain for the Uganda Registration Services Bureau and the building of Proofs of Concept for the Uganda National Roads Authority to track land ownership and for the National Drug Authority in drug tracking and to eliminate fraud.

 

Q: Is there any blockchain-specific legislation or regulatory frameworks in your jurisdiction, either now or envisaged in the short or mid-term?

Kirunda: There is yet no blockchain-specific legislation in Uganda. The closest principal legislation that might be considered remotely relevant is the 2011 Electronic Transactions Act which defines the use of ‘private keys’ and ‘public infrastructure keys’ and provides attributes that may be considered relevant to the use of blockchain…

Read more at bitcoinke.io

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