Month: October 2020

Iran: New Crypto Law Requires Selling Bitcoin Directly to Central Bank to Fund Imports

Iran has resorted to a new crypto currency regulation that required licensing bitcoin miners to sell their coins directly to the Central Bank for use to fund imports.

Reports published by said the Iranian government has amended its crypto currency regulation to enable the country’s central bank to fund imports with bitcoin legally mined in the country.

Also, the IRNA news agency reported that the government has introduced those regulations in order to allow crypto miners to redirect their coins to the country’s finance mechanism for international trades.

“The Ministry of Energy is tasked with defining a ceiling for output of authorized crypto units subject to the energy consumed by each unit. Miners’ output should not exceed the ceiling,” the news agency wrote, adding that the central bank will soon announce details of the new law.

Meanwhile, the Mehr news agency quoted Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, deputy head of Iran’s Power Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Company (Tavanir) and the spokesperson for the power industry, as saying: “These crypto currencies can be exchanged according to the regulations set by the central bank.”

Presstv, an Iranian state-owned news network, said that miners are supposed to supply the original crypto currency directly and within the authorized limit to the channels introduced by the central bank.

“The legal cap for the amount of crypto currency for each miner would be determined by the level of the subsidized energy used for mining and based on instructions published by the Ministry of the Energy,” it said.

Crypto currency analyst Alireza Shamkhi told ISNA news agency that the new law is vague and ambiguous.

He said it does not state how the central bank will price crypto currencies or the exchange rate between dollars and rials.

Previously, miners could exchange their crypto currencies for dollars, rials or other currencies at market prices.

“The requirement for miners to report their…


An investor’s ‘prosperity’ vision for Honduras

When Erick Brimen first began trying to work out what would make poor, unequal countries thrive, “it dawned on me that we were asking the wrong question”, he says.

As a student in development economics at Babson College in the US, the Venezuelan native decided to focus on the drivers of prosperity — institutions that enable investment to flow and jobs to be created — rather than the broad idea of eradicating poverty.

Now, after stints in fintech and private banking, the 37-year-old chief executive of investment group NeWay Capital has partnered with Honduras to launch the first of what he sees as a network of “prosperity hubs” in the Central American country — the culmination of his vision and a long-held goal of the Honduran government.

“One thing that has justified ourselves up front with investors is that we are investing in a platform that others can leverage . . . it’s like a franchise,” he says. “A lot of people ask: ‘Why Honduras?’ It’s the last place people think of doing something innovative . . . but you’ve got to do it where it’s needed most.”

Honduras has been trying to harness private investment to create special zones for employment and economic development, known as ZEDEs, for the best part of a decade, and even with a legal framework in place, Mr Brimen says it “wasn’t easy at all” to win approval. When he finally launched in May, Covid promptly forced an eleventh hour strategic rethink.

The project, on the Caribbean tourist island of Roatán off Honduras’ northern coast, initially planned to focus on medical tourism but hospital groups involved were “overwhelmed by Covid . . . and investors were very distracted”, says Mr Brimen. He was forced to quickly shift gears to targeting remote employment. But unlike typical outsourcing jobs, these are skilled positions, including architects, engineers, accountants and lawyers, designed “to reverse brain drain and keep the…


Tested: SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Internet Service Is Fast, But It’ll Cost You

SpaceX Starlink satellites in orbit, as seen from Russia in April (Photo by Yuri SmityukTASS via Getty Images)

The first tests from SpaceX’s Starlink internet project show average speeds of up to 70 megabits down, according to exclusive analysis of Ookla Speedtest Intelligence data from PCMag.

Starlink beta invites went out this week, but Speedtest Intelligence has been collecting data on it throughout its development period, which they just released to us. The system currently has 895…

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Dutch Police Seize $33 Million in Bitcoin from Couple Accused of Money Laundering – Bitcoin News

Prosecutors from the Netherlands have seized 2,532 bitcoins worth $33 million after a couple was convicted of money laundering by the Rotterdam District Court. The man and his wife were sentenced to two years for illegal money transmission and the court claims the couple’s bitcoin stash was used on the deep web.

Dutch officials recently arrested and charged a man and his wife for illegal money…

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Crypto Crime Cartel: Blockstream needs Bitcoin to fail

One of the hallmarks of the Crypto Crime Cartel that has infiltrated Bitcoin is that profit isn’t the sole motivation: every one of these enterprises has a vested interest in seeing true Bitcoin—as specified in the Satoshi White Paper—fail, and it is that failure on which they seek to profit.

There is perhaps no better illustration of this than Blockstream, a company which perpetuates the problems faced by Bitcoin knockoffs and then offers its own solution to those problems, while attempting to destroy and censor the better solutions that already exist (and have existed since the release of the White Paper).

Blockstream a nexus point for the crypto crime cartel

Blockstream is a blockchain technology company founded by Adam Back. Its activities should be of great interest to the wider digital asset community: they have raised over $80,000,000 since going public in 2014. But for a company who promises to form the foundations for the financial infrastructure of the future, that money has returned very little other than the undermining of digital asset adoption and ensuring the personal enrichment of its founders.

If you understand what Blockstream actually is—and who is running it—then this isn’t a surprise. Straight from the Roger Ver playbook, Blockstream is a fundamentally ideological company masquerading as a non-partisan blockchain company.

The stated purpose of Blockstream, in Back’s words, is to “sell sidechains to enterprises, charging a fixed monthly fee, taking the transaction fees and even selling hardware.”

A sidechain is not a blockchain at all. The fees from sidechains do not go to miners—they go to the developer of the chain, in this case Blockstream. Sidechains are typically used to patch the holes in the capabilities of the underlying protocol. Therefore, the better Bitcoin becomes, the more obsolete companies like Blockstream become.

Blockstream’s Liquid sidechain is a perfect example. According to them, Liquid was created…


SpaceX Starlink service priced at $99 a month, public beta test begins

SpaceX is expanding the beta test of its Starlink satellite internet service, sending emails on Monday to people who expressed interest in signing up for the service.

Called the “Better Than Nothing Beta” test, according to multiple screenshots of the email seen by CNBC, initial Starlink service is priced at $99 a month — plus a $499 upfront cost to order the Starlink Kit. That kit includes a user terminal to connect to the satellites, a mounting tripod and a Wi-Fi router. There is also now…

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Madbouly congratulates Egypt’s IDSC on obtaining EFQM Certificate of Excellence

EFQM award given to Egypt's IDSC - Press photo

EFQM award given to Egypt’s IDSC – Press photo

CAIRO – 27 October 2020: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly congratulated the Egyptian Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) for being the first Egyptian and African governmental institution to obtain EFQM Certificate of Excellence.


“We are looking forward to continuous and sustainable performance development and improvement,” said Madbouly, according to a press statement.


The certificate is awarded to the most distinguished institutions according to European institutional excellence standards. This comes as a culmination of IDSC efforts to root the institutional values and to root the creativity culture in the work environment. 


Prime Minister, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, congratulated all the center’s employees for obtaining such award; highlighting his appreciation of the efforts exerted throughout this period, looking forward for continuous and sustainable performance improvement and development, as the center deserves to take an advanced place among similar centers around the world. He added that the center, with its outcomes including researches, reports, data and information has been a true supporter to decision maker. 


Assistant Prime Minister and Acting President of IDSC, Osama Al Gohary, clarified that EFQM Certificate of Excellence is an acknowledgment from the European Institution that the awarded shall commit to follow the best administrative practices in its activities; adding that it is capable of further business development and improvement. 


Al Gohary highlighted that IDSC obtained this certificate after the assessment team made their sessions, which included reviewing all the followed procedures and methodologies, improvement chances and the result based on the EFQM Excellence model.


The Acting President of IDSC revealed that the management of internal operations is…


MicroStrategy’s crypto holdings may be paying off more than its business

Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin investment is paying off in a big way, with an estimated $100 million in profit. 

According to data published Oct. 27 by independent crypto researcher Kevin Rooke, MicroStrategy has earned more from its Bitcoin (BTC) investment than it did through its actual business for the last three years, from Q1 2017 to Q2 2020.

Rooke’s data shows that the business intelligence firm’s 38,250 BTC holdings — worth roughly $425 million at the time of purchase in August and September — were valued at more than $525 million during the recent price surge to $13,745. According to the researcher, Microstrategy only earned $78 million in net income from its business operations in the last three and a half years.

Source: Kevin Rooke

“Our recent decision to make Bitcoin our primary treasury reserve asset is the latest example of MicroStrategy’s embrace of virtual technologies,” said CEO Michael Saylor regarding the firm’s most recent quarterly report. “The purchase of $425 million of Bitcoin during the quarter offers the possibility of greater return potential for investors than holding such balances in cash and has increased the overall visibility of MicroStrategy in the market.”

MicroStrategy initially purchased 21,454 BTC in August for $250 million, adopting the cryptocurrency as its primary reserve asset. Following the initial investment, the firm bought an additional 16,796 Bitcoin for $175 million. Though the company added digital assets to its quarterly financial report for the first time in Q3 2020, it also reported a $14.2 million net loss in income from its business operations. MicroStrategy stated in the future, it would purchase or sell more BTC depending on the Treasury Reserve Policy.

Initially claiming “Bitcoin’s days are numbered” in 2013, Saylor has since turned bullish on the cryptocurrency. In the weeks since MicroStrategy’s initial $425 million investment, he has seemingly embraced a…


Monero Reaches 2-Year High, Taking YTD Gain to 200% – CoinDesk – CoinDesk

Monero Reaches 2-Year High, Taking YTD Gain to 200% – CoinDesk  CoinDesk

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How bitcoin powered Nigeria’s #EndSARS protests — Quartz Africa

After initially existing mainly as a recurring hashtag on social media, #EndSARS—a campaign against police brutality in Nigeria—evolved into mass protests which drew thousands of Nigerians across in several locations across the country this month.

With the protests growing organically and quickly across cities all over the country, the need for funding—to cover food and water for protesters as well as medical supplies and hospital bills when necessary—soon became clear. And calls for…

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