US W-2 Employees Can Now Get Paid in Bitcoin

w-2 wage bitwage salary

Cryptocurrency payroll and HR company Bitwage has announced a rollout of new payment tools for businesses executives claim “closes the loop” in Bitcoin salaries for W-2 employees in the US.


Paxful Completes Successful Trial

Through a partnership with Texas-based HR firm Simply Efficient HR, Bitwage now offers client businesses a way to offer salaries in Bitcoin and Ether to regular payroll employees.

The move is significant for Bitwage’s US customer base, as it means companies can now pay employees with support for W-2 salary reporting obligations. Form W-2 refers to a document US corporations use to report employees salary payments to tax agency the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to a blog post January 16, Bitwage has been testing its new feature in beta mode since November. So far, it has one guinea pig – P2P cryptocurrency trading platform Paxful.

“As a company that earns 100% of revenue in bitcoin, we are always looking for service providers who will accept digital currency. Paxful has a significantly sized team in the states and we need to pay them as employees on payroll, not as contractors,” Paxful controller Hayel Abbassi commented.

…Paxful simply sends bitcoin to an address, and our employees receive net checks with the proper federal and state taxes withheld.

Adoption Fuel?

The issuance of the blog post also heralds the transfer out of beta, Bitwage says, while it remains unknown if any specific businesses are already lined up to use it.

The option to pay employees in cryptocurrency – whether in the form of their full salary or as a portion of it – has existed via Bitwage since 2014. In 2016, the company expanded its services beyond the US into Europe.

BaseCore

More recently meanwhile, commentators have begun asking whether retail adoption of Bitcoin might hinge on more people choosing to receive their earnings in the cryptocurrency.

Leading the argument was Francis Pouliot, CEO of an umbrella company which includes Bylls.com, a service allowing Canadian businesses to pay their bills in Bitcoin.

“Merchant adoption won’t take off until people get paid in Bitcoin,” he wrote on Twitter at the time.

What do you think about Bitcoin salaries? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post US W-2 Employees Can Now Get Paid in Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

No Reason to ‘Bury’ Cryptocurrencies, Russian PM Medvedev Says

Last year’s falling prices are not a good enough reason to “bury” cryptocurrencies, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a high-level economic conference. He believes Russia should carefully follow the developments around digital coins.  

Also read: Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

Russia Should Watch Carefully

Medvedev thinks the Russian Federation should watch the situation with cryptocurrencies, whose rates “showed extreme volatility” in an extremely bearish 2018. The value of some digital assets fell five-fold, the head of the Russian government noted during his appearance at the annual Gaidar economic forum. Quoted by Tass, he further elaborated:

This, of course, is not a reason to bury them. As with any social phenomenon, any economic institute, there are both bright sides and dark sides.

That’s why the Chairman of the Russian Council of Ministers says Russia should simply carefully follow what’s happening with cryptocurrencies.

Digital financial assets, a term applied to cryptocurrencies in official Russian documents, remain unregulated in the country. However, Medvedev’s comments come just weeks before the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, is expected to review on second reading a package of draft laws aimed at establishing order in the crypto industry.

No Reason to 'Bury' Cryptocurrencies, Russian PM Medvedev Says
Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia

Three bills were voted on first reading in the Duma in last May – “On Digital Financial Assets,” “On Attracting Investments Using Investment Platforms,” and “On Digital Rights.” Their final adoption was postponed multiple times but is now among the priorities for the spring session of the house. The drafts are part of a long list of bills designed to regulate different aspects of the digital economy.

‘Why Regulate What We Don’t Understand’

The Gaidar forum is an international event which is held at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Ranepa). Each year, it brings together economists, scientists, officials, political figures, and businessmen from around the world to discuss current trends in the socio-economic and political development of Russia. The country’s business environment and investment climate as well as the prospects for its integration in the global economy are some of the major topics of the conference.

No Reason to 'Bury' Cryptocurrencies, Russian PM Medvedev Says
Herman Gref, CEO of Sberbank

Russia does not need excessive regulation in the digital economy sector, said Sberbank CEO Herman Gref who was among this year’s participants in the forum. During a session devoted to digitalization, he pointed to the EU as bad example, noting that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) directive has stopped progress in the fields of data technologies and artificial intelligence in Europe.

Gref, who was Russia’s minister of economic development and trade between 2000 and 2007, also noted there’s no full understanding in the country about what should be regulated in the digital sphere. Quoted by Russian media, he emphasized:

There is no need to hurry with regulation. It is not necessary to regulate what we still don’t fully see and understand.

Тhe prominent Russian banker warned that overregulation could hurt the development of new technologies in his country. Gref also said he favors the approach adopted by China and the United States where, in his words, no tight regulation has been applied yet.

During his speech, Gref called on the Russian government to refrain from introducing state monopolies in the development of new technologies and digital ecosystems. “Non-competitive models lead to non-competitiveness of any business model,” concluded the chief executive of the largest Russian bank, which is a state-owned company.

What are your expectations about future Russian policy toward cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post No Reason to ‘Bury’ Cryptocurrencies, Russian PM Medvedev Says appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Crypto Tax Havens: A Beginner’s Guide to Lenient Crypto Tax Locations

Like it or not, you need to pay taxes on your crypto capital gains. However, there are actually a few countries that levy a zero percent tax on crypto investment gains. There are still other locales that keep the crypto tax bite to a minimum. The first part of this article focuses on nations that tax cryptocurrencies (and capital gains in general) at a very low or a zero tax rate.

The second part takes a brief look at three offshore tax havens. One is a long-time Caribbean favorite among haven shoppers. Another resides only an hour east of the Carolinas by plane. And yet another is a relative newcomer, one especially-tailored for mainland US citizens. With a little imagination, the right contacts and a great tax attorney, you too can begin to move your crypto investing and business interests to a crypto tax haven.

Nations with Low Crypto Capital Gains Tax Rates

This is by no means an exhaustive list. You should also monitor the news for changes in crypto and capital gains tax policies around the world. This list of no or low crypto tax rates includes nations from Europe, South America, Asia, and Central America:

  • Belarus: No capital gains taxes will be levied on cryptocurrencies until 2023.
  • Germany: Zero percent tax on crypto gains, if held for more than a year.
  • Malta: No capital gains tax on cryptos at present. Malta, a European Union member, is a well-established offshore tax haven.
  • Panama: No tax on cryptos (or other forms of capital gains) for non-Panama sourced gains. This Central American tax haven also offers numerous ways to gain permanent residency status.
  • Peru: This developing nation recently cut its capital gains tax rate to 5 percent, which is among the lowest rates in South America. This rate applies to residents and non-residents alike.
  • Portugal: Currently, there is no crypto capital gains tax unless you trade crypto full-time as a business.
  • Singapore: Offers a zero percent capital gains tax rate, and this also applies to crypto gains.
  • Honorable mention: France slashed its capital gains tax on crypto from 45 percent to 19 percent in April 2018.

Meanwhile, Back on the Home Front

United States of America: For taxpayers in the lower income brackets, no federal income taxes are applied to long-term capital gains. Hold your crypto investment for more than one year and you’ll owe zero capital gains tax, subject to certain income restrictions. (Married filing jointly tax returns with a taxable income of $77, 200 or less will be exempt from the long-term capital gains tax, for example. Single filers can have up to $38,600 in taxable income and still be exempt from paying long-term capital gains tax.)

Here’s evidence as to why long-term crypto investing is superior to short-term crypto trading. At least from a federal income tax standpoint. For example, John and Suzy Taxpayer are married and file a joint return. Their combined salary is $54,000. They have a long-term crypto capital gains of $12,000. Here’s what their 2018 capital gains tax bill will look like this coming April 15th:

Their taxable income is less than $77,200 and their $12,000 crypto capital gain is classified as long-term. Therefore, they will pay zero in capital gains taxes for 2018.

Short-Term Crypto Taxes Are Much Higher

Compare that sweet deal with this one. Here, the Taxpayer family’s $12,000 in capital gains are all short-term (held one year or less). Their taxable income is identical at $54,000. Here’s a look at the large tax increase caused by short-term trading:

Their taxable income is less than $77,200 and their $12,000 crypto capital gain is classified as short-term. Therefore, they will pay $1,440 in capital gains taxes for 2018.

Unless you’re highly skilled at short-term crypto trading or trading crypto full-time as a business, by all means, consider holding your well-timed crypto investments for more than one year. The tax savings can be dramatic!

In many ways, the US can be one of the best onshore tax havens of all. Especially if your annual income is modest, and you invest in crypto for the long haul.

Puerto Rico: Nearby Tax Haven for US Mainland Citizens

Puerto Rico has been a US territory since it was wrested from Spain’s control in the Spanish-American War (1898). This beautiful island has a very interesting (some residents might say tragic) past. Now thanks to special income tax provisions, the best days may yet be ahead for Puerto Rico. Here’s how you may be able to personally enjoy these tax bennies:

Qualify for Act 20 Export Services status:

Basically, this means that you would move to Puerto Rico, register your business with the appropriate government department in San Juan and then look forward to a corporate income tax rate of 4 percent (that’s a full 17 basis points less than the US mainland’s corporate tax rate of 21 percent). Your Puerto Rican business must perform all of its operations within Puerto Rico and in no other nation, including the US mainland. However, it does not matter where your Puerto Rican businesses clients are located for it to qualify for the super-low 4 percent tax rate.

crypto tax haven Cabo Rojo PR

Cabo Rojo, PR: Puerto Rico’s ultra-low corporate tax rate and zero taxes on investment income combine to make crypto business owners and investors alike feel right at home. Image: DW Pendergast, July 2012.

Crypto Investors Rejoice

Qualify for Act 22 Individual Investors status:

This is also a boon for crypto (stock, bond, forex, futures, etc.) traders and investors who are US citizens. Act 22 eliminates all taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains. If you move to Puerto Rico, establish permanent residency and make a lot of money from the crypto markets, you won’t owe any Puerto Rican or US Federal income taxes. Bonafide Puerto Rican residents don’t file US tax returns or pay the IRS at tax time. Instead, they pay the government of Puerto Rico its income tax demands. However, with Act 22, even paying Puerto Rican capital gains taxes will become a distant memory. At least until 2035, which is when the current provisions of both Act 20 and Act 22 are set to expire. 

Bear in mind that all Puerto Rican residents are still obligated to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes to the US government. Puerto Rico’s Act 22 simply eliminates taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains. 

Bermuda and the Cayman Islands

The US taxes its citizens on all worldwide income, regardless if they actually reside in the US or not. The only way to get free of this obligation is to renounce your US citizenship. Simply moving to another nation will not free you from the US tax system. If you move to the Caymans and open a bank account (in any currency), you must still report the interest earned to the IRS. If you buy crypto or gold in the Caymans or Bermuda, you must still report your capital gains (or losses) to Uncle Sam when you sell it. It does not matter that you may never even repatriate your interest earnings or crypto capital gains. In the IRS’s eyes, you still owe them federal income tax. No crypto haven for you, at least not without doing some more serious offshore preparation.

Bermuda and the Caymans are blessed with lovely beaches. If you’re a golfer, Bermuda boasts some of the finest courses imaginable. Both nations offer strong asset protection and privacy laws. However, if you’re a US citizen, you’re still obligated to report all gains from either haven to the IRS. The days of US citizens simply flying to a haven with a suitcase full of 100 dollar bills, opening a secret bank account and enjoying tax-free gains are long gone. 

Of course, if you’re a multi-millionaire (billionaire is better) you can hire offshore tax attorneys who can help you establish foreign corporations or trusts. Depending on how aggressive and creative your offshore tax advisors are, they may be able to create unique, (mostly) tax-repellant entities that cause you to pay far less moola to the IRS. Legally. 

Money Gladly Welcomed

Some other popular offshore havens include Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta and Switzerland. The United States is also a premier offshore haven for non-US investors, as the US government doesn’t tax their earned interest on US treasuries or tax their capital gains. If you live in a nation that does not tax its citizens on worldwide income and choose to invest in US treasuries or make gains on US stocks, you won’t owe income taxes to any government at all.

Pro-Tax Advisors and Ongoing Expenses

The US (and other OECD nations) has very strict offshore account reporting rules. Failure to disclose the existence of your foreign bank or securities account could land you in trouble with the Feds. Once you’ve established (legally, please) offshore financial interests, you’ll need to hire the very best tax pros to prepare your federal (state, city) income tax return. The annual costs for such specialized tax work can be substantial, making it cost-inefficient for most small-fry crypto investors.

Crypto Tax Havens and Common Sense

If you’re a crypto investor or business owner looking to slash your US income taxes, chances are there’s a suitable tax haven waiting to welcome you, your cash and your biz. Invest in the very best legal, tax and financial advice available before venturing offshore, thus avoiding needless conflicts or tax penalties.

The post Crypto Tax Havens: A Beginner’s Guide to Lenient Crypto Tax Locations appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

Ripple Adoption: The Largest Payment Across RippleNet Made by Mercury-FX (From UK to Mexico)

TL:DR

  • Mercury FX announced that they had made their largest payments using XRP on RippleNet (£3,521.67 or $4,552.41).
  • Ripple continue to display real-world use cases in addition to signing over 200 customers
  • Ripple demonstrates the value of achieving disruption without displacement of the traditional financial system.

 Mercury FX, a UK company that brands itself as a “hassle-free and cost-effective alternative to banks for receiving and sending international currencies” recently teamed up with Ripple and announced that they had processed their largest payments across Ripple Net using XRP (£3,521.67 or $4,552.41, from UK to Mexico). They cited that UK based Mustard Foods was able to save £79.17 and 31 hours on the transaction. Mustard Foods is a food production company that supplies over 500 restaurants in the UK and Europe. They’ve benefitted from Ripple Net by being able to make faster and cheaper payments to suppliers in order to get their ingredients more quickly.

This is the latest example of mainstream adoption and utility being displayed by XRP. Ripple Net has already been in the news this year for signing over 200 customers. The network is offering real value not only for merchants like Mercury Foods but for banks and payment processing services like Mercury FX.

Although the quantities being sent seem small compared to the billions of dollars that are moved between crypto wallets each day, we are only witnessing businesses dip their toes into the world of crypto. Once they start to feel comfortable with the results, then we should expect to see much larger payments being processed.

Disruption without displacement

One of the unique qualities about Ripple (and the reason why it is both successful and highly criticized) is because it seems to be finding a way to disrupt the traditional banking system without actually displacing the banks. In fact, for Ripple, their ultimate goal is to help banks and centralized payment services continue to do what they do, but only faster and cheaper.

This stands counterintuitive to what the Bitcoin blockchain is aiming to achieve; which is both disruption and displacement of the current banking system, similar to how digital downloads and online streaming disrupted the record business.

This strategy may work in certain markets where payment services are so poor that they are better off being displaced (for example; foreign exchange and international remittance services for countries where the currency is weak). However, in developed markets like Europe and the US, using some aspects of blockchain technology (i.e. private, permissioned ledgers) to improve traditional financial institutions makes more sense for immediate adoption and profitability.

The post Ripple Adoption: The Largest Payment Across RippleNet Made by Mercury-FX (From UK to Mexico) appeared first on CryptoPotato.

Source: Crypto Potato

Unbundling CryptoNight and the Enigmatic CryptoNote

Understanding the CryptoNight algorithm requires us to first visit what the technology CryptoNote is all about.

CryptoNote is as much a software stack as it is a philosophy. As described on the CryptoNote website“CryptoNote is the technology that allows the creation of completely anonymous egalitarian cryptocurrencies.”

The description further expands on their philosophy with disdain for the current power distribution currently “…making human beings engage in rat races, detrimental rivalry and bloodshed.”

In many ways, CryptoNote is a means to an end. The creators of CryptoNote see the technological breakthrough of the blockchain as a human empowering tool. A mechanism to control transparency, eliminate the power imbalance, and reestablish personal sovereignty.

Best said by the creators of CryptoNote: “CryptoNote is not about creating yet another digital currency. It is the mindset and concepts that represent the first small step to regain the power over ourselves in order to live peacefully and prosper.”

CryptoNote or CryptoNight?

Both! In simple terms, CryptoNote is the umbrella technology that focuses on two primary concerns: untraceable payments and unlinkable transactions.

CryptoNight is the hashing algorithm that CryptoNote projects can use.

Let’s explore the two in more depth.

CryptoNote: The Anonymous Egalitarian Cryptocurrency Platform

CryptoNote – not a cryptocurrency, mostly.

Technically CryptoNote does have a coin, aptly named the CryptoNoteCoin. However, do not trade this coin… seriously, don’t. The CryptoNoteCoin is entirely for research and educational purposes. In fact, the coin is deliberately debased every two months by recreating the genesis block.

Despite not being a cryptocurrency itself, think of CryptoNote as a platform for anonymous and egalitarian cryptocurrencies.

CryptoNote Quote / CryptoNight

Egalitarian motives are baked into the philosophy of CryptoNote.

Anonymous by Default

CryptoNote focuses on two primary avenues to maximize anonymity at the protocol level: untraceability and unlinkability.

To be untraceable, CryptoNote leverages ring signatures to obfuscate the private and public keys in a transaction.

Simply put, your public key is in a group with other public keys so that analysis of your transaction cannot reveal you specifically. Rather, tracking your transaction will point to the group of public keys you belong to, not your specific address.

However, in the case of ring signatures, if your public keys are known then a reverse analysis is possible. In this case, analysis begins with your known public keys. Someone could then follow the transaction pathways to better understand the transaction.

To avoid this linking of your public keys to the activities of a transaction, CryptoNote employs one-time keys. Essentially, public addresses generate on a per use basis. This makes any reverse analysis highly improbable if not near impossible.

Egalitarian by Choice

Cryptocurrencies for the people! In a nutshell, egalitarianism is a political philosophy that emphasizes the equality of all constituents. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “People should be treated as equals, should treat one another as equals, should relate as equals or enjoy an equality of social status of some sort.”

In terms of CryptoNote, the tokenomics and governance of any blockchain using CryptoNote are egalitarian by default. Most notably in the mining of CryptoNote blockchains.

Blockchain security and validation, more commonly known as mining, often are victims of their own success. This is primarily due to the advent of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) mining.

A typical growth pattern of a blockchain will initially involve CPU and GPU miners. This type of mining equipment is fairly accessible to the general public and can be relatively affordable. The challenge comes when a blockchain becomes increasingly profitable for miners and inevitably attracts more competitive sources of capital.

Enter the ASIC. A specialized miner can be tenfold more powerful and efficient when mining. However, the development of specialized chips are prohibitively expensive and as such skew the centralization of mining.

Blockchain environments that are ASIC friendly often see extensive centralization of their hashing power into these specialized mining operations. Look no further than the bitcoin mining behemoth Bitmain, which has been successfully developing and operating their line of ASIC miners, including the famed Antminer.

To resist specialized mining, CryptoNote leans on two principles: requiring access to memory and being latency dependent. Without getting into the weeds on these, just know that these principles target the ASIC equipment by slowing down their ability to solve the required equations necessary to secure a blockchain and reap the block rewards.

Backstory of CryptoNote

The storied background of CryptoNote is definitely worth learning about. It’s an interesting labyrinth with possible ties to the Standford Bitcoin Group, Nick Szabo, and Satoshi Nakamoto to name a few.

For example, officially, Nicolas van Saberhagen is accredited in the white paper as the creator of CryptoNote. However, the identity of Saberhagen is unknown despite having once agreed to an in-person speech at a conference workshop. Saberhagen did not show and instead opted to call in via Skype with a voice anonymizer.

CryptoNote Whitepaper containing CrytoNight

The CryptoNote white paper by Nicolas van Saberhagen

CryptoNight: The Proof-of-Work Equalizing Algorithm

Now that you know that CryptoNote is a platform for launching privacy-focused, egalitarian blockchains, let’s focus on the more widely known component: CryptoNight.

CryptoNight is a proof-of-work hashing algorithm at the heart of the CryptoNote platform. This is where the egalitarian equalization really proves itself within CryptoNote.

As mentioned, CryptoNote limits the capabilities of specialized miners by being memory intensive. This is why CryptoNight is a memory-hard hashing algorithm.

In addition to being memory-hard, CryptoNight further dissuades the adoption of ASIC miners by being latency dependent. This refers to the time it takes for the mining hardware to solve an equation. For example, when computing an equation of 10+10, a preset latency will delay the results of 20.

The latency actively levels the playing field between various mining hardware. Furthermore, the computational calculations force a dependency on the calculation prior. This means that mining hardware cannot continue onto the next problem while waiting for the current equation to be returned.

CryptoNight in the Wild

It can be difficult parsing out the origins of CryptoNight and the various key players. Most accounts of the development of CryptoNight point to two entities: CryptoNote and Bytecoin.

It is likely that the Bytecoin team is at least partially comprised of CryptoNote developers, but that division is tough to determine. For the most part, Bytecoin is seen to be among the first cryptocurrencies to use the CryptoNote protocol and test out CryptoNight beyond the educational CryptoNoteCoin.

There are indications that the Bytecoin was initially incubated within the CryptoNote team, after which they separated from the core developers of CryptoNote. The CryptoNote team did, however, return to promote and develop Bytecoin in some capacity.

The exact details are difficult to ascertain as nearly every person in CryptoNote and Bytecoin is anonymous. It’s possible these two teams are one and the same but impossible to determine with full accuracy.

The Monero Factor

Today, Bytecoin is mostly a dead coin. The ASIC miners were able to overtake the hashing power of Bytecoin and dramatically shift the market.

But wait, I thought CryptoNote is ASIC resistant?

Keyword: resistant. Given enough time and popularity, ASIC manufacturers will crack the code and eventually find their profitability. Even the most ASIC resistant algorithms are subject to this threat.

Bytecoin was unable to keep the ASIC miners at bay because the protocol was left mostly untouched for years. Contrast this to the dynamic and regular updates of Monero, which continues to manage the advent of ASIC miners on their blockchain.

Monero and CryptoNight

Monero is one of the most popular blockchains to use CryptoNight.

Monero’s most recent fork implemented CryptoNightV8. With this update, any and all active ASICs mining the Monero blockchain were bricked, rendering them useless. Furthermore, Monero reinforced the memory-hard aspect of the CryptoNight algorithm, increasing the required memory.

Monero, currently, is the best use case for CryptoNight, provided the open-sourced developers continue to be true to the egalitarian principles.

Wrapping Up – What is CryptoNight?

As evident from Monero, being an ASIC resistant blockchain is an ongoing and dynamic challenge. CryptoNight is one tool within the CryptoNote protocol that provides a foundation for a blockchain to be egalitarian. However, without care and constant nurturing, CryptoNight is not indefinitely ASIC resistant.

In fact, time and popularity are the most corrosive factors to an ASIC resistant blockchain. Successful CryptoNote blockchains must remain ahead of the hardware manufacturers to be wholly unattractive.

Therefore, CryptoNight driven egalitarianism on a blockchain is an ongoing and active principle, not a static end-point.

The post Unbundling CryptoNight and the Enigmatic CryptoNote appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways, While Traders Remain Uncertain

A lot has changed since our last markets update as digital asset prices have been consolidating after the cryptoconomy’s last big drop in value. The entire ecosystem’s market valuation has lost about $10 billion over the last week, but stronger global trade volumes have managed to keep values afloat at current prices as traders await the next big wave of movement.

Also Read: Embracing Utility in 2019: Unreliable Crypto Networks Will Lose to Hyperbitcoinization

A Strong Scent of Uncertainty In the Air

Another week has passed in cryptocurrency land, during which most digital asset markets have been consolidating tightly into a downward triangular pattern. At the moment, the entire crypto economy of all 2,000+ assets is hovering at about $120 billion with around $15.6 billion worth of global trades. Currently, bitcoin core (BTC) prices are meandering just above $3,650 with a market capitalization of about $63.8 billion. BTC captures roughly $5.2 billion in trade volume but the asset is down 2.6% for the week.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
Top 10 cryptocurrency markets Jan. 17, 2019.

The second largest market valuation belongs to ripple (XRP) this Thursday, as each coin is swapping for $0.32 per unit. This gives XRP a market cap of around $13.4 billion and the market’s 24-hour volume is about $418 million worth of global trades. Ethereum (ETH) is trading for $122 per coin on global spot markets with a $12.8 billion market valuation. The cryptocurrency is down 0.96% today and 6.4% for the week. Lastly, eos (EOS) is up 0.86% today as each coin is trading for $2.43 per unit. Eos has around $667 million worth of 24-hour trades and a market cap of about $2.2 billion.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH) is trading for $132 per coin and has a market cap of about $2.3 billion this Thursday. BCH is currently up a hair at 1.02% during the last 24 hours, but the currency is down 4% for the week. The top five exchanges trading the most bitcoin cash today are Coinsuper (BCH/BTC), Huobi (BCH/USDT), P2pb2b (BCH/ETH), Dragonx (BCH/USDT), and Fatbtc (BCH/CNY). The dominating currency paired with BCH today is ETH as it captures 44.9% of trades. This is followed by USDT (29%), BTC (15.4%), USD (5.9%), EUR (1.7%), and JPY (1.5%). BCH is the seventh most traded coin by volume below XRP’s global volume and just above dash.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) market action seven-day chart on Jan. 17, 2019.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the four-hour charts on Bitstamp for BCH/USD shows there’s been a lot of changes since our last markets update. Things look more bearish, as the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) have once again crossed hairs and the long-term 200 SMA is now above the 100 SMA trendline. This indicates that currently the path toward the least resistance is in favor of the bears. RSI levels are meandering in the indecisive middle range (~46.5) which is neither oversold nor overbought at press time.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
BCH/USD Bitstamp 4 hour. Jan. 17, 2019.

Stochastic shows similar readings and the MACd indicates some downward pressure over the short term. Looking ahead at order books shows similar resistance between the current vantage point and $135 and even larger walls between that range and $155. If the bears remain in control then they will see pit stops and strong buying between now and $110. After breaking the psychological $100 level, BCH bears will likely see some bigger foundations.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
BCH/USD Bitstamp 4 hour. Jan. 17, 2019. Bollinger Bands are extremely tight.

The Verdict: Continued Sideways Action and Indecisive Traders

Traders are again wondering what will happen next with the ever-dynamic cryptocurrency markets. Some traders believe we’ve seen the mythical bottom and are betting long positions from here on out. However, bitcoin futures expiries from CME and Cboe suggest those traders are short on BTC’s upcoming price performance.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
BTC/USD shorts and longs on Bitfinex. Jan. 17, 2019.

In contrast to futures prices, BTC/USD shorts on Bitfinex have dropped significantly and there are considerably less short positions than in the last three weeks. ETH/USD short positions are much lower than before as well with only 280,000 shorts. Civic CEO Vinny Lingham, who is sometimes referred to as the “Oracle” because of his past price predictions, explained in a recent interview that BTC will likely trade sideways for a few weeks.  

“The reality is it’ll probably trade sideways between $3,000 and $5,000 for another month or two while it’s trying to find which way to go,” Lingham said. “When it finds that direction, there’ll be a breakout or a breakdown,” the Civic founder added.

His statement aligns with the view held by many traders and forecasters, who remain uncertain of the future of cryptocurrency prices, at least over the short term. Technical analysis, futures prices, shorts and longs, and other indicators will give traders some hints, but as with the world’s traditional markets, anything can happen.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC and other coins heading from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.comnor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, Coinlib.io, Bitstamp, and Satoshi Pulse.


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Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Gov’t Indecision on Cryptocurrencies Helps China, Says Former Congressman

cryptocurrencies

Reporting in The Hill, Washington’s top political news source, former Republican George Nethercutt says it’s time for policymakers to allow cryptocurrencies and innovation to flourish.


Fighting for U.S. Intellectual Property

As trading negotiations concluded in Beijing, U.S. intellectual property was top of the list. For far too long Chinese companies have infringed on U.S. IP, copying innovative American ideas and making cheaper, more accessible versions.

According to Nethercutt:

U.S. negotiators took a stand for American innovation — and companies will reap the benefits of more strict enforcement of their developments.

This approach to protecting and fostering innovation on its shores was long overdue and a step in the right direction. However, the story unfolding in Washington is quite different from the one surrounding cryptocurrencies. Nethercutt states:

While diplomats at the State Department are negotiating hard to pave the way for American innovation, U.S. regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been slow to make pronouncements regarding cryptocurrencies.

He goes on to argue that this has left plenty of U.S. companies in limbo. The regulatory uncertainty has even forced innovation to go offshore. It’s about time that policymakers wake up and realize that existing securities laws do not apply to cryptocurrencies. They must take the right steps to create new legislation.

Regulatory Uncertainty Has Let Bad Actors In

According to Nethercutt, the U.S. dragging its heels over crypto has allowed bad actors to enter the space. While the SEC was falling asleep at the wheel, China has been busily building out its mining capacity. The country has already amassed some 73 percent of the Bitcoin hash rate.

According to a study by Princeton University, China now has the power to manipulate or even sabotage cryptocurrencies at will or censor or interfere with transactions.

It is increasingly clear that China has come to play an outsized role in the cryptocurrency space.

Moreover, the DEA claims that there has been a spike in the number of cartels using Chinese money launderers to clean their operations using cryptocurrency.  

Blaming the Victim

These kinds of headlines generally serve to tarnish cryptocurrencies with the same brush. They become associated with criminal activity, money laundering, hacks, scams, the dark web, and a whole host of other nefarious deeds that upstanding citizens want no part of. But this, Nethercutt argues, is a case of blaming the victim.

In fact, these developments merely underscore the pressing need for U.S. lawmakers to protect and promote American efforts in the development of these technologies. Instead of ceding control to Chinese interests and other bad actors, elected officials must act decisively to provide a clear framework under which our companies can thrive.

Once again, the U.S. is allowing China to hijack its innovation. Worse than that, the SEC is actively strangling it by regulation that is absent or poorly thought out at best.

Increasing Institutional Adoption Says Otherwise

Underscoring the decade-long arguments of crypto, bad actors constitute a minuscule percentage of the total users of these technologies. Particularly in the short term. In fact, there are far more dollar bills being used for money laundering than cryptocurrency. Around two-thirds of U.S. $100 dollar bills are outside of the county with no one keeping track of how they’re being hung out to dry.

Moreover, major companies like Walmart, IBM, JPMorgan, and even Facebook are all exploring blockchain technology and applications for their businesses. Nethercutt argues that this could indicate that mass adoption is not far away:

The potential benefits of widespread cryptocurrency adoption — from seamless international financial transactions to enhanced logistical tracking abilities — offer a far more compelling argument for protecting this nascent industry than for discarding it.

Crypto Innovation is Happening in the U.S.

Many innovations are happening in the U.S. from individual entrepreneurs to large companies across a broad range of industries. The SEC can no longer turn a blind eye, fear, reject or dismiss cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. If they continue this path, they risk losing the IP battle to the Asian tiger once again.

That starts with clarity — lawmakers and regulatory officials should be working together to ensure that cryptocurrencies are not wrongly and hastily categorized under decades-old securities law, but instead are allowed to thrive under sensible new regulation.

Do you agree with Nethercutt? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Gov’t Indecision on Cryptocurrencies Helps China, Says Former Congressman appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Grin (GRIN) Value Drops 98% In His First Day of Trading: Here is Why

TL;DR

  • New privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, Grin (GRIN) has just recently gone live with a high price of $261 per coin after its first block was mined.
  • However, in the subsequent 24 hours, the coin lost as much as 98% of its value and currently trades around $7.5 due to the expansion of its coin supply.
  • This is a known phenomenon that has happened in the past in many other promising projects.

Grin (GRIN), a new cryptocurrency which employes the Mimblewimble protocol, has just crashed in a matter of hours. The coin managed to launch its MainNet only days ago, and while its initial value exceeded $260 per coin after its first block was mined, it lost over 98% of its value in less than a day.

Grin Price Chart, Source: CoinGecko.com

Grin is an innovative, new privacy coin which provides users with a certain level of privacy and anonymity during their monetary exchanges. Grin has governance which can be compared to the cyberpunk ideology; it encourages a community-driven decentralization. The developers are volunteers, and there is no ICO.

Grin is utilizing the Mimblewimble protocol which combines two concepts. The first concept is a Confidential Transaction. A confidential transaction encrypts the value of the transaction, so it is not visible to anyone outside the participants of this specific transaction. The other concept is the Cut-Thorough. In Cut-Through the transactions are merged inside a block, so all intermediate transactions are removed. This concept significantly reduces the size of the blockchain which makes its storage much more scalable.

Why did the Grin value drop?

Grin is a coin that received a lot of attention and hype during its development, and the excitement about the coin only increased as the launch date approached. As a result, as soon as the first block was mined and Grin coins appeared in circulation, the huge demand launched its value to extreme heights. However, as the mining continued and new coins were generated, the supply expanded and the coin started rapidly losing its value.

The current price drop does not mean that the quality of the coin is bad. Instead, the massive demand by those who studied it and followed its development in recent months indicates that the crypto community very much appreciates the coin.

Grin team wanted to position Grin as a real currency and less as a store of value. In contrast with Bitcoin were there is a finite amount. Grin will have an infinite amount of coins with a linear supply schedule. This means that inflation as a percentage of existing supply is very high in the early days but continually lowers over time. In theory, converging to zero percent, but it will never get there.

As mentioned, the initial hype brought the coin’s value to as much as $261.65 when the coin first emerged. At the time of writing the sharp drop which followed has reduced the value of Grin to $7.5.

Grin price change pattern was had already been witnessed

Ever since the hype about Grin was noticed, it was logical that its price would likely skyrocket as soon as it hits exchanges, only to drop down after more coins are generated, which is precisely what investors have witnessed in the previous 24 hours.

However, Grin still received a lot of attention thanks to its privacy features and improvements that allow it to operate more efficiently than some of the older cryptocurrencies. Despite the price drop, a lot of investors remain optimistic about the coin.

Other coins such as Monero, Zcash, and Ravencoin had a very similar pattern to Grin. The inflation rate was very high in the early days of the coins. Therefore, the price dropped until the inflation ratio decreased. From that moment, the fundamental analysis of the coin takes control and moves the price up.

The post Grin (GRIN) Value Drops 98% In His First Day of Trading: Here is Why appeared first on CryptoPotato.

Source: Crypto Potato

American Companies Can Now Settle Payroll Taxes In Cryptocurrency via Bitwage

American Companies Can Now Pay Payroll Taxes In Cryptocurrency via Bitwage

International cryptocurrency payroll service provider Bitwage has announced that it has partnered with Texas-based Simply Efficient HR. The move will allow companies to pay W2 employee and payroll taxes in all 50 U.S. states, plus Puerto Rico, using BTC and ETH.

Also Read: Bitpay Reports Processing Over $1 Billion Transactions in 2018

Bitwage and Simply Efficient Join Forces

With Bitwage’s solution now out of beta, American employees are able to choose any percentage of their wage to be in USD or cryptocurrency. To participate, a company needs to sign up to Bitwage, reach out to support for Payroll & HR services to receive personalized account management from the Simply Efficient HR team, and then add the account on Bitwage. Simply Efficient HR invoices companies through Bitwage for USD needed to fund payroll taxes and employee payrolls and the company accepts invoice and fund payrolls in BTC or ETH.

CEO of Bitwage Jonathan Chester commented: “As the leader in cryptocurrency payroll solutions, we are excited to continue to push the adoption of real use-cases within the industry. Together with Simplexity, we hope to close the financial loop within the cryptocurrency industry and continue to make bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a part of everyday life.”

American Companies Can Now Settle Payroll Taxes In Cryptocurrency via Bitwage

Bridging the Gap to the Traditional Financial System

The partnership has been live in beta mode since November, with its first customer the peer-to-peer exchange Paxful. “Bitwage bridges the gap between bitcoin and the traditional finance system,” Hayel Abbassi, Paxful Controller, said. “As a company that earns 100% of revenue in bitcoin, we are always looking for service providers who will accept digital currency. Paxful has a significantly sized team in the states and we need to pay them as employees on payroll, not as contractors. Bitwage has recently formed a partnership with a traditional payroll company who integrates into their platform to provide these services. Paxful simply sends bitcoin to an address, and our employees receive net checks with the proper federal and state taxes withheld.”

American Companies Can Now Settle Payroll Taxes In Cryptocurrency via Bitwage
W2 Tax Form

According to the announcement, U.S. Bitwage clients are also able to pay for benefits such as health insurance, as well as HR compliance services. Companies around the world are able to use their crypto holdings to pay local vendors in the U.S., E.U., U.K., Brazil, Philippines, India, Mexico, Argentina and other regions.

Would you be interested in settling payroll taxes with cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post American Companies Can Now Settle Payroll Taxes In Cryptocurrency via Bitwage appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Russian Official Dispels Bitcoin $10 Billion Investment Rumor

Elina Sidorenko, head of the Legislative Risk Assessment Group in Russia, says there is no merit to rumors that the country will invest as much as $10 billion in bitcoin.


Russia: Cryptocurrency Framework Not Yet in Place

Speaking to Forklog, Sidorenko said the country doesn’t yet have the regulatory structure to invest state funds in cryptocurrencies. According to Sidorenko:

Even if Russia wants to place its cryptocurrency assets now, it simply cannot do this, due to the fact that we do not have any mechanisms that would allow us to introduce a system, where these assets would be stored, which authorities would be responsible for it, which would be responsible for abuses and stuff.

Recently, Vladislav Ginko, a Russian Economist with ties to the Kremlin declared that the government planned to ditch the U.S. Dollar for Bitcoin. This move, according to Ginko could even take place as early as February 2019.

Responding to Ginko’s claim, Sidorenko opined:

Under this statement, there is not a bit of common sense, much less ideas that would be considered in government circles. The Russian Federation, like any other country in the world, is simply not ready today to somehow combine its traditional financial system with cryptocurrencies. And to say that in Russia this idea can be implemented in the next at least 30 years is unlikely to be possible.

Nevertheless, the State Duma did announce that it would pay particular attention to matters related to the development of the country’s digital economy, putting cryptocurrency regulations high on the agenda for 2019.

‘Cryptoruble’ Still Years Away

For any Kremlin investment in Bitcoin to be feasible, Russia would need an intermediary cryptocurrency, like the proposed “cryptoruble.” Recently, Bitcoinist reported that a ‘crypto’ version of the ruble was still two to three years away.

Commenting on the cryptorubble idea, the Chairperson of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Cryptocurrency Risk at the State Duma, said:

A similar idea is already being considered within the framework of the EAEU, but the BRICS countries have moved closer to it. If a cryptocurrency unit had been invented, which allowed making payments only for energy, in fact, the Russian Federation could have made a long and long-term advance in the economy.

Do you think the reports of Russia investing in Bitcoin are nothing more than rumors? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Image courtesy of Forklog.net, Shutterstock

The post ‘Unlikely in Next 30 Years’ – Russian Official Dispels Bitcoin Investment Rumor appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst