Posts

Russia Adopts Law to Isolate Runet From the Internet

Russia Adopts Law to Isolate Runet From the Internet

Runet, the Russian segment of the internet, is about to be isolated from the rest of the web. A new law adopted by the State Duma aims to do so in order to supposedly protect it from external threats and turn it into a “sovereign” space. Russian taxpayers and end users will pay the bill for the extra security that is likely to affect internet businesses including crypto platforms.

Also read: Lithuania to Adopt Crypto Regulations Even Stricter Than the EU’s

Is Moscow Building Russia’s Great Firewall?

This week, the lower house of the Russian parliament adopted on third and final reading a draft known as the “Digital Economy National Program.” The legislation still needs the approval of the Federation Council – the upper house – before it’s signed by President Putin but the decisive support in the Duma, where over two thirds of the deputies voted in favor, is a strong indication of the political will to pass and implement the law.

Some of its key provisions include the introduction of a system that will channel Russian internet traffic through government-controlled routing points as well as granting unlimited powers to Roskomnadzor, which will be able to cut off non-complying internet providers. The country’s telecom watchdog will set up a monitoring center that will detect threats and issue instructions. Roskomnadzor will also create and maintain a national domain name system (DNS).

Russia Adopts Law to Isolate Runet From the Internet

The new legislation is designed to ensure that online data transfers between Russian citizens, businesses and organizations are executed within the country instead of being routed internationally. Russia, which has been threatened by the West with sanctions over alleged cyber attacks, wants to build its own DNS system which will remain operational even if links to the servers based abroad are interrupted.

The Runet law is scheduled to enter into force in November this year, with the rules governing Russian domains and cryptographic protection of information expected to be introduced on January 1, 2021. The bill has already attracted criticism from different corners of Russian society, not least because its implementation has been estimated to cost the state budget at least 30 billion rubles (almost $500 million). There’s also a strong suspicion that Moscow intends to use the system for censorship purposes. Some have already likened it to China’s Great Firewall and protests have been held against it.

All Depends on the Opposition to the Law

Roskomsvoboda is one of the organizations that have voiced serious concerns regarding the adoption of the Runet law. It is fighting internet censorship while promoting freedom of information and self-regulation in the online space. Roskomsvoboda was established in 2012 when Russian authorities created a banned websites register. It is constantly monitoring the government’s legislative activities regarding internet regulation including restrictions imposed on web-based sources. News.Bitcoin.com contacted the project’s leader Artem Kozlyuk for his opinion on the upcoming changes.

“Of course we, like many other public organizations and internet companies, oppose the adoption of this absurd legal act,” he said noting that lawmakers assess “external threats” inadequately without defining them and prescribing counteractions. Kozlyuk believes Russian internet infrastructure will become more centralized under the new regulations, which will actually increase cyber risks. “Any decentralized system is always more robust against external influences, but the initiators of the bill are unwilling to realize that,” he added.

Russia Adopts Law to Isolate Runet From the Internet

The activist emphasized that the legal texts are quite unclear and the sponsors of the draft want to put everything under government control, from domain names and cryptography to traffic filtering and routing. All this will create multiple threats – economic, technical and legal. On top of that, the government’s working group on IT and communications has estimated that the annual costs of maintaining the sovereign Runet will reach 134 billion rubles (over $2 billion).

“If these expenses fall on the shoulders of telecom operators, that will lead to increased internet costs for Russians. Internet connection can also be slower and constantly failing due to the filtering equipment through which all traffic will be passing,” Kozlyuk elaborated. There’s also a risk of monopolizing the internet services market and regional shutdowns and disconnections will likely be much more common.

At the same time, Roskomsvoboda’s founder thinks that it would be very hard to completely disable the rest of the internet in Russia. According to Artem Kozlyuk, the effectiveness of the blockade will depend on the position of internet providers and their readiness to resist censorship. “If they do that, then I am sure that internet resources like Telegram will continue to be accessible to Russians. Many VPN services have already refused to redirect traffic to Roskomnadzor and this is encouraging,” he commented.

Russian Crypto Industry to Be Affected

The Runet law is likely to negatively affect crypto businesses in Russia, some of which have already started looking for better regulatory climates for this and many other reasons. Russian lawmakers have been postponing the adoption of a package of bills meant to regulate digital financial assets and related matters since last year. The Duma is now expected to adopt them on third reading this spring.

Russia Adopts Law to Isolate Runet From the Internet

“Currently, cryptocurrencies in our country are in the gray zone and crypto portals are often being prosecuted. But we have cases when our lawyers successfully challenged their illegal blocking,” remarked Artem Kozlyuk. Nevertheless, prosecutors continue to refer to Russian courts requesting the prohibition of one platform or another.

“Of course, in such conditions it’s difficult to provide these services and Russian developers have been looking towards other markets, where there are fewer risks of this kind and authorities demonstrate a more positive interest in this space,” said Kozlyuk.

What consequences do you expect from the new law isolating the Russian internet from the global web? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Express yourself freely at Bitcoin.com’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check forum.Bitcoin.com.

The post Russia Adopts Law to Isolate Runet From the Internet appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Without a True Two-Way Peg No ‘Real’ Sidechain Exists, Says Drivechain Creator

On April 17, the founder of the Drivechain project, Paul Sztorc, published a new blog post concerning the validity of today’s so-called ‘production sidechains.’ Sztorc has declared on multiple occasions that true sidechain technology hasn’t been invented yet and even Blockstream’s Liquid protocol, dubbed “the first production sidechain,” in a critical sense is not a ‘real’ sidechain.

Also read: Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter

Paul Sztorc Questions the Validity of the Supposed ‘First Production Sidechain’

Over the last year, there’s been a lot of discussion concerning sidechain technology and the conversation intensified when Blockstream released its Liquid protocol. The project is considered to be a sidechain that’s interoperable with the BTC network, but since the day it was launched has been criticized for its method of consensus called ‘federated distribution.’ Critics believe the federated distribution model is not really ‘peer to peer’ as it relies on a large group of exchanges and fancy multi-signature technology in order to provide trust.

Without a True Two-Way Peg No 'Real' Sidechain Exists, Says Drivechain Creator
There have been many criticisms aimed at Blockstream’s Liquid project.

Because of the injected orthogonal trust Blockstream created, Liquid critics believe there’s nothing new or exciting to a consortium of exchanges acting as the custodians for an entire sidechain system. Paul Sztorc is a critic of Liquid and he’s also the creator of an alternative sidechain project called Drivechain. On Wednesday, Sztorc wrote a blog post that questions the validity of Liquid being a ‘real’ sidechain, adding that a recent quote from Blockstream developer Greg Maxwell solidifies his argument.

“Blockstream markets Liquid as ‘the first production sidechain,’” Sztorc details, sharing multiple links where this statement is highlighted on the web. But I think that something in that phrase has to be false. Either Liquid isn’t a sidechain; or else (if sidechain is redefined) then Liquid isn’t “the first” of that thing.”

RSK chief scientist Sergio Demian Lerner stated in 2015 that a federated peg with multi-sig is the best they have right now. This is still the case to this day.

The reason Sztorc feels Liquid is not really a sidechain is because a two-way peg is a fundamental feature of sidechain technology and since Liquid never invented a two-way peg technique, Sztorc has “never seen it as a real sidechain.” One key factor that shows Liquid’s lack of this feature is the fact that Liquid does not enable the ability for third parties to develop a permissionless sidechain.

Sztorc’s paper explains that an individual couldn’t create a sidechain token similar to Bitcoin Cash and Rootstock cannot use Liquid to create an Ethereum clone. Moreover, the Drivechain developer says that the technology used in Liquid is old tech that’s been on the go for years. For instance, multi-signature has been used for thousands of years, Sztorc’s blog post highlights, and not only that, but multi-sig has been applied to BTC since 2012. Additionally, the researcher notes that other features found in Liquid have also been used in the past by other projects. Sztorc’s post continues:

I struggle to understand the claim “first production sidechain” — On one hand, it suggests novelty and innovation. But the reality is that Liquid is not particularly novel (even if there is a lot of engineering behind it).

The issue people have with Drivechain is one of trust with miners, who are ironically the very actors who secure the network.

Liquid Does Not Use a ‘True’ Two-Way Peg so in a Critical Sense It’s Not a ‘Real’ Sidechain

In addition to Sztorc’s critique, his argument is bolstered by Greg Maxwell’s own words. Sztorc underlines a specific quote made by Maxwell during a presentation on the subject of sidechains. “We describe this mechanism called a federated peg, that is a sort of step-in alternative to the true two-way peg mechanism, that works without any changes at all in the hosting network,” Maxwell stated during the presentation. In Sztorc’s opinion, Maxwell’s words make it “crystal clear” that the federated peg is “undesirable.” It seems the federated model was the easiest way for Blockstream to produce the interoperable chain design but Liquid is still forced to add a second layer of trust that’s provided by a group of ‘trusted’ exchanges. The “not your keys, not your bitcoin” adage underscores the idea that Liquid’s model and others like it look no different than custodial solutions with some clever multi-signature technology.

“The only reason [a federated peg] is used, is because of a lack of “native support” for “true two-way peg” technology,” Sztorc’s paper concludes. “Since the Fed Peg is an alternative to a “true” two-way peg, then what is it? A non-true two-way peg — a false two-way peg — So, Liquid does not use a “true” two-way peg and in that critical sense is not a “real” sidechain.”

Drivechain Development

The Drivechain (DC) developer and a group of other blockchain engineers have been steadily developing the DC project and recently released the Drive Net 22. A key difference between DC and a federated method is the project uses the trust model that already resides within the bitcoin network — mining consensus. Sztorc and other DC proponents believe that blind merge miners acting as custodians would be the least problematic solution. One way to look at it is with every block mined, merge miners vote on the sound state of the secondary chain.

This contrasts sharply with a federated two-way peg model that some believe is no different than EOS or XRP. DC supporters think that Drivechain would alleviate threats to the main chain by lessening the need for hard forks and altcoins. Hashrate would essentially remain consistent and there would be less fear of miners leaving the main chain. Moreover, the main chain could essentially scale to handle the entire globe and be able to experiment with new features without affecting the main chain.

Critics think that Liquid, on the other hand, cannot offer these features of experimental sidechains and the business model seems to be more focused on speedy transfers between exchanges, wrapped assets, and purported confidential transactions. Even so, the company seems hellbent on providing this type of interoperable chain, even though engineers have told them the security model may encounter issues in the future. The fact is, federated pegged funds can most definitely be breached if any members of the federation are compromised. If, for instance, ‘X=7’ keys are attacked then funds can be stolen which makes a group of ‘trusted functionaries’ no different than the current banking system used today.

What do you think about Sztorc’s criticism of Liquid? Do you think Liquid is a real sidechain? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, and Twitter.


At news.Bitcoin.com all comments containing links are automatically held up for moderation in the Disqus system. That means an editor has to take a look at the comment to approve it. This is due to the many, repetitive, spam and scam links people post under our articles. We do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.

The post Without a True Two-Way Peg No ‘Real’ Sidechain Exists, Says Drivechain Creator appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Five Simple Ways to Increase Your Privacy When Using Cryptocurrency

Five Simple Ways to Increase Your Privacy When Using Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency without privacy is pointless. If your coins aren’t fungible, you lose much of the benefits of using cryptocurrency in the first place. Privacy isn’t just won and lost onchain though. In fact, much of the privacy gains to be made when it comes to sending, spending and trading crypto occur offchain, as you go about your business on the web.

Also read: Wasabi’s Privacy-Focused BTC Wallet Aims to Make Bitcoin Fungible Again

The Never-Ending Quest for Privacy

Privacy is like fitness: a way of life rather than a task that can be ticked off. Just as it takes time, perseverance and focus on different muscle groups to build a better body in the gym, strengthening your privacy calls for undertaking regular exercises to stem the flow of doxable information. Every time you perform an action online, you’re hemorrhaging a trove of data. This can be particularly damaging for cryptocurrency users, whose onchain actions will be recorded indefinitely.

When paired with offchain data points such as IP, email address, and cell number, it’s possible for an adversary to build a complete picture of their target. Given the ever-increasing capabilities of three-letter agencies, it’s safe to assume that in the near future, the state will be able to construct a highly detailed picture of the activities of today’s cryptocurrency users.

tl;dr: privacy matters. Here are five ways to up yours.

Use a VPN

There’s an assumption that using a VPN requires a degree of technical knowledge, and is for privacy zealots only. In fact, the majority of VPNs are foolproof and can be up and silently running in a couple of clicks – no manual port reconfiguration necessary. Opera even offers a VPN now in its desktop and Android browsers. “Enhanced online privacy is a right for everyone,” claim Opera. They’re right. A VPN will provide an added layer of privacy when logging into exchanges as well as masking the IP address associated with Bitcoin transaction relays.

Five Simple Ways to Increase Your Privacy When Using Cryptocurrency

Separate Your Regular Email From Your Crypto Email

Creating a separate email account for every cryptocurrency service you need to log into is impractical. You can, though, segment all of your crypto-related emails into a single account. This will yield twin benefits: if your main account is compromised, the hacker will have no information on or access to your crypto activities. Secondly, if you choose a fully encrypted email account such as Tutanota, prying eyes at border control and other government agencies will have no insight into your penchant for trading obscure shitcoins.

Stop Reusing Addresses

More than half of all bitcoin transactions involve addresses that have previously been used. Creating a new bitcoin address is free, instant, and provides an immediate privacy boost. If the wallet or platform you’re using doesn’t allow you to create a new address at will, stop using it. There’s a wealth of competing services out there, and switching to a more privacy-minded alternative can be done in a matter of minutes. Unless you’re transacting solely in privacy coins like monero, or are using an account-based, rather than UTXO-based, system like ethereum, you should aim for a fresh address every time.

Five Simple Ways to Increase Your Privacy When Using Cryptocurrency

Keep Your Keys and Codes Offline

Where do you store the backup 2FA codes for your trading accounts and the private keys to your crypto wallets? Are they written down, split into parts and stashed offline in a series of very safe places? Or are they hidden in plaintext in a folder on your laptop marked “anime”? You’d be surprised how many people go with the latter. Even if you’ve encrypted the folder containing your keys and codes, it’s dangerous to assume it can’t be cracked by a determined attacker since, statistically speaking, you almost certainly recycle passwords – you and 10 million others.

Keeping your private keys offline will protect you in the event of your computer being physically or digitally compromised. Even if you can’t afford a bank vault or strongbox, separating your key into parts and storing it in multiple locations – with duplicates, to ensure redundancy – will work just as well.

Always Be Shuffling

Coin mixers aren’t for the ultra-paranoid and the ultra-shady: they’re for everyone. If more people ran their coins through tumblers before withdrawing them to hardware wallets, bitcoin would become significantly more fungible, and blockchain forensics companies would suffer a major blow. Even if you can’t be motivated to mix your coins for the greater good, do it for your own. Services such as Cashshuffle for BCH make it easier than ever to obfuscate the origin of your coins, while Coinjoin, incorporated into pro-privacy wallets like Wasabi, do the same for BTC.

Five Simple Ways to Increase Your Privacy When Using Cryptocurrency

There’s something extremely comfortable about having a stash of cryptocurrency that can’t be linked to your identity safely stored in a hardware wallet that’s been backed up. It’s the digital equivalent of having a backyard bunker filled with canned goods and ammo in readiness for the apocalypse. Treat yourself to a privacy makeover and see how good it feels.

What other privacy tips do you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support the products/services mentioned in this article.

Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

The post Five Simple Ways to Increase Your Privacy When Using Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

PR: Monarch Blockchain Corporation Now Supports Bitcoin Cash in Monarch Wallet

Monarch Blockchain Corporation Now Supports Bitcoin Cash in Monarch Wallet

Monarch Wallet Update Brings Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Support In-App

The Monarch Wallet now supports Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Users can now store, send, and receive BCH in-app. Qualified Users Can Earn Interest & Purchase BCH in-app using their Credit Card.

Monarch Wallet Update adds Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its list of over 1900 supported cryptocurrencies. Users can now Store, Send, and Receive BCH with Monarch’s Decentralized Universal Crypto Wallet.

Monarch Blockchain Corporation’s latest update to the Monarch Wallet brings support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in-app. Users can now store, send and receive BCH from the Monarch Wallet on Android and iOS. In addition, qualified users will be able to purchase BCH via credit card, and even earn APR % Interest using BCH inside their interest earning wallet. Bitcoin.com will also be adding the Monarch Wallet as another wallet their users can download on their website.
Robert Beadles Interviewed Roger Ver on his Crypto Beadles YouTube Channel to Coincide with the BCH Monarch Wallet Update Announcement. You can view the full Interview here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iwOqE-axeg&feature=youtu.be

Robert Beadles, President of Monarch Blockchain Corporation, “Myself and team are working around the clock to bring real value to the crypto community, it is beyond words humbling to have one of the OG’s of crypto join the fam and help us in our mission to bring the masses into crypto via an easy to use all in one experience, Roger is the man!”

You can Download the Monarch Wallet Here. The Monarch Wallet supports over 1900 cryptocurrencies and has other features like a fiat gateway that lets customers buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) with their credit card or bank account at some of the most competitive rates available. Users can also make most any ERC-20 to ERC-20 token exchange using the decentralized exchange in-app, switch between a hot and cold wallet by simply removing internet access to the device their app is located on, and even earn up to 7.1% APR interest with select cryptocurrencies. All of this while maintaining control of their own keys and seed. Monarch continues to update the Monarch Wallet app with new features, token support, and quality of life improvements regularly. One such upcoming development is the addition of Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) support tentatively in the next two weeks.

Monarch Blockchain Corporation is excited to announce that Roger Ver has joined Monarch as an investor, partner and advisor. This is truly exciting because Roger Ver has been a proponent of Bitcoin and blockchain technology since 2011 and has invested in some of the most influential blockchain companies in the space. As Monarch continues to build products and increase it’s footprint in the cryptocurrency marketplace, it is a very humbling for someone like Roger to see Monarch and decide to not only become an investor but become a trusted advisor and partner as well.

To stay up to date with Monarch Blockchain Corporation be sure to join their Telegram Community Channel of over 27,993+ members at https://t.me/MonarchToken

Contact Email Address
Beadles@monarchtoken.io

Supporting Link
https://monarchtoken.io/#download

The post PR: Monarch Blockchain Corporation Now Supports Bitcoin Cash in Monarch Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

New Crypto-Friendly Bank Cashaa Offers Personal and Business Accounts

New Crypto-Friendly Online Bank Cashaa Operates Globally

People and businesses in need of crypto-friendly banking now have a new platform to try. Cashaa is a London-based online bank that recently launched promising one account for old and new money. Its products are targeted at those who are underserved by traditional financial institutions.

Also read: Coin Time Machine Estimates Profit From Crypto Investments You Could Have Made

Cashaa Offers Startups Banking and Crypto Payment Services

Opening a first bank account can be problematic for young companies in many jurisdictions around the world. The business accounts offered by Cashaa are designed for small and medium enterprises and startups registered worldwide, not only U.K. or EU-based entities. The accounts will allow them to accept both fiat and cryptocurrency payments.

Cashaa’s Start plan allows businesses that already have a bank account to add a crypto payment option for their customers. It comes with cryptocurrency conversion up to £1 million and supports deposits and withdrawals in over 200 local currencies, including U.S. dollar, euro, British pound, and Indian rupee.

New Crypto-Friendly Bank Cashaa Offers Personal and Business Accounts

The Standard plan offers a U.K. current account plus a free operations account linked with a Mastercard. It also provides crypto storage with easy conversion to fiat and support for local and international transfers. The online bank’s Advance plan is designed for crypto companies. It includes a UK current account, Swift and local payments, linked Mastercard and the ability to issue Iban numbers to customers.

Business clients can use Cashaa’s services to accept bill payments including across borders, online payments from customers at checkout and payments in physical locations such as retail shops and restaurants. The platform currently processes bitcoin core and ethereum payments through conversion to multiple fiat currencies.

The personal accounts offered by Cashaa provide users with a multisig wallet and the option to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Leading coins including bitcoin cash are supported and there’s a flat fee of 1.49%. Users are also able to deposit funds via bank transfer in more than 200 countries and withdraw directly in local currency.

Bitcoin.com also enables you to purchase BCH and BTC with Visa or Mastercard in both USD and EUR. To learn more about the service, check out the Buy Bitcoin page.

Are you using the services of a crypto-friendly online bank? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any third party content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can 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.

The post New Crypto-Friendly Bank Cashaa Offers Personal and Business Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

RBI Excludes Cryptocurrency From Indian Regulatory Sandbox

RBI Excludes Cryptocurrency From Indian Regulatory Sandbox

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has unveiled its framework for a fintech regulatory sandbox. While blockchain and smart contracts are welcomed, the bank stated that cryptocurrency and related services “may not be accepted for testing.”

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request

RBI Welcomes Blockchain Tech

The RBI published its draft framework for a fintech regulatory sandbox Thursday. The central bank explained that one of the recommendations the inter-regulatory fintech working group, which it set up in July 2016, came up with is to introduce a framework for a regulatory sandbox (RS). The RBI clarified that this framework includes “a well-defined space and duration where the financial sector regulator will provide the requisite regulatory guidance, so as to increase efficiency, manage risks and create new opportunities for consumers.”

The central bank proceeded to provide a list of innovative products, services, and technology which could be considered for testing. In addition to money transfer services, digital KYC, digital identification services, AI and machine learning applications, the list includes smart contracts and “applications under blockchain technologies.”

RBI Excludes Cryptocurrency From Indian Regulatory Sandbox

The working group included representatives from the RBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, the National Payments Corporation of India, the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, select banks and rating agencies.

Crypto Excluded From Sandbox

While noting that some entities may not be suitable for the sandbox “if the proposed financial service is similar to those that are already being offered in India,” the RBI noted an exception. Applicants that “can show that either a different technology is being gainfully applied or the same technology is being applied in a more efficient and effective manner” may be considered for the sandbox, the bank described.

Nonetheless, it continued with “An indicative negative list” of products, services, and technology “which may not be accepted for testing.” This list includes cryptocurrency, crypto assets services, crypto trading, crypto investing, as well as settling in crypto assets. It also includes initial coin offerings and “any product/services which have been banned by the regulators/Government of India,” the central bank wrote.

RBI Excludes Cryptocurrency From Indian Regulatory Sandbox

RBI’s Unchanging Stance Toward Crypto

India’s central bank has never been a fan of cryptocurrency. It issued a statement in December 2013, cautioning crypto “users, holders and traders … about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks that they are exposing themselves to.” The bank issued another statement in February 2017, advising the public that it had not given any license or authorization to any entity or company dealing in cryptocurrency. It followed up with another statement in December of the same year, reiterating its concerns regarding the “risk of virtual currencies including bitcoins.”

On April 5 last year, the RBI published a statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies, affirming that cryptocurrencies “raise concerns of consumer protection, market integrity and money laundering, among others.”

RBI Excludes Cryptocurrency From Indian Regulatory Sandbox

The following day, the central bank issued the infamous circular banning all regulated entities from dealing in cryptocurrencies or providing services to any person or entity dealing with cryptocurrency. Affected services include maintaining accounts, registering, trading, settling, clearing, lending, accepting cryptocurrency as collateral, opening accounts of exchanges dealing with cryptocurrency and transferring money in accounts relating to purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies.

The ban went into effect in July last year and a number of industry participants have filed writ petitions with the supreme court to lift the ban. The court is expected to hear the case on July 23, after repeatedly postponing it.

Do you think the RBI should allow crypto startups to participate in India’s regulatory sandbox? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

The post RBI Excludes Cryptocurrency From Indian Regulatory Sandbox appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After the Crypto Winter

Over the last few weeks, bitcoin cash (BCH) and the network itself have been shining brightly after a year of bearish sentiment and the blockchain split last November. Most notably, this month BCH has shown a significant increase in daily transactions, the price has doubled, and today the network has produced the second highest value of onchain transactions settled in the last 24 hours.

Also read: Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin

Bitcoin Cash Network Processes More Onchain Value Than Most Blockchains

Bitcoin cash has been on a tear lately and it’s not just the markets that have seen significant improvements. The network itself has shone greatly this month by processing a lot more transactions per day and settling roughly $940 million in onchain value over the last 24 hours. The only cryptocurrency ahead of BCH today is bitcoin core (BTC). BCH has processed 2x more transactions than ETH and 4x more than LTC. This has been a consistent trend ever since BCH doubled in price not too long ago. In addition to the onchain settlement, cryptocurrency exchanges have been swapping a lot more BCH than they had months prior. Exchanges like Hitbtc, Binance, Coinbene, Lbank, Coinbase, and Huobi are contributing to the $1.2 million in global trades swapped in the last day. Bitcoin cash has also consistently captured the sixth most traded coin by exchange volumes within the entire cryptoconomy for a few weeks in a row.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
The BCH network has confirmed roughly $940 million in onchain value over the last 24 hours.

After the blockchain split in November, we mentioned in our Q1 BCH markets and network report that the Bitcoin Cash hashrate was recovering after the overall hashrate dropped below one exahash per second in the middle of December. At the time, news.Bitcoin.com detailed that BCH miners were processing 1.8 exahash per second at the end of Q1. Since that report was published, the hashrate has continued to climb significantly.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
The Bitcoin Cash network hashrate has increased rapidly to roughly 2.5-2.78 exahashes per second every 24 hours after sinking below 1 exahash in December 2018.

According to Coin Dance BCH statistics, miners have gathered 2.5-2.78 exahashes per second on a daily basis. Moreover, since the price doubled, the profitability between mining BTC and BCH has leaned more toward the BCH side in the last three weeks. Meanwhile, unlike other cryptocurrencies that see their fees rise when the price per unit spikes, BCH network fees are still incredibly cheap. At the time of writing it is 188.95x more expensive to transact on the BTC chain.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
BCH/USD 30-day statistics.

Increased Transactions and Development

There’s been an increase of BCH usage since the price jumped 91% as there’s been a great number of new projects lately pushing real-world use. The BCH network has seen daily transaction data also increase significantly at the end of March and during the first two weeks of April. On various occasions this week the total number of BCH transactions per day has surpassed coins like dash, litecoin, and dogecoin. The data for Thursday, April 18 according to Fork.lol shows that the BCH chain processed 41,852 transactions in the last 24 hours and around 1,750 per hour.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
BCH transactions per day top dash, doge, and litecoin.

As mentioned above, there’s been a lot of development lately within the BCH ecosystem and this has contributed to the increase in onchain transactions. There’s the influx of SLP tokens and some of the latest tokens are now held on exchanges with real-world value. The micronation of Liberland’s SLP token, merits (LLM), has a market valuation of $952,253 at the time of writing. Moreover, BCH enthusiasts have made hundreds of SLP tokens onchain and users have been trading these coins for fun. Lots of other development has taken place with projects like Badger Wallet, the Last Will Platform, Cashshuffle, Blockupload, Crescent Cash, Bchgallery, Menu.cash, SLP Lode Runner, Neutrino, Lazyfox, and Taskopus. Cashshuffle has been very popular and there was a total of 2,027 BCH ($622,289) shuffled according to statistics recorded last week. Furthermore, BCH supporters are looking forward to Schnorr Signatures this May. Between Schnorr, Neutrino, and Cashshuffle, the BCH network will be packing a whole lot of privacy protocols.

Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter
Many BCH supporters have been using Cashshuffle since it was launched on the Electron Cash wallet. The application will also be ported to the Bitcoin.com Wallet soon which will add more liquidity to the platform.

Additionally, the BCH application Cointext, an SMS-powered BCH wallet that enables permissionless access to borderless cash by allowing people to text bitcoin cash to any mobile phone, is now supported in 42 countries. Overall, across social media and forums, most BCH fans are pleased with the market and network achievements over the last few weeks, deeming these metrics a lot more meaningful than the vitriol that various cryptocurrency factions have expended on Twitter lately.

What do you think about the bitcoin cash network and market activity lately? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, @tracyspcy, Bitinfocharts.com, Coin Dance Cash, and Markets.Bitcoin.com.


Now live, Markets.Bitcoin.com. A comprehensive, real-time listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

The post Statistics Show Bitcoin Cash Is a Strong Contender After Crypto Winter appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

PR: MoneyToken Launches VIP Services for Big Crypto Investors

MoneyToken Launches VIP Services for Big Crypto Investors

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Some great news today for all crypto-holders and investors: top crypto-lending platform MoneyToken has just released a unique VIP Customer Service Program for major asset holders and institutions.

MoneyToken’s VIP clients gain exclusive access to their own Personal Manager who will provide them with a 24/7 high-quality service and access to a list of benefits not found anywhere in the crypto lending world.

This service has been specifically created to cater for busy asset holders that don’t have time to constantly manage their assets alone. If the client is busy or doesn’t have time to effectively manage his/her assets, managers will take all asset management issues, saving your time and efforts.

With this, MoneyToken becomes the only crypto lending platform that offers a VIP level of customer service, at a global scale.

Presenting a whole new level of client service to the crypto lending market, MoneyToken makes VIP service free of charge for those clients, whose assets exceed $50,000 and making it more than affordable for smaller assets with $300 monthly fee.

Through the MoneyToken VIP Service, clients gain access to the following list of exclusive features:

1. Lending services
With access through your VIP account to MoneyToken lending services, you can borrow credit funds using your crypto assets as a collateral.
Or you can safely and securely lend your assets through MoneyToken and receive daily interest revenue by getting your investments to work for you.

2. Crypto assets and collateral trading
This is a pure crypto lending innovation: with full control over your assets, you are able to make collateral trading and account operations with the help of your Personal Manager at any time and from any location.

3. Short selling
For experienced traders who hold a VIP account with MoneyToken, use short selling to earn money on the volatile cryptocurrency market: if you foresee rises and falls in the market, you can consult your Personal Manager and look for ways to benefit from upcoming potential price changes.

4. Hedging
Hedging is a series of complex actions implemented by experienced traders and investors to lower the risks on their investments. You can convert your assets to fiat or stablecoins to protect them from sudden price falls. This includes futures, short selling and perpetual swaps – all of which can be effectively implemented with the assistance from your Personal Manager.

5. Private token sales
All VIP clients get immediate access to closed private token sales; it gives clients the ability to make smart investment decisions and benefit for the significant discounts that private sales can offer.

6. OTC services
A great option for VIP clients to quickly convert their crypto-assets into fiat currency with no additional hassle, fees or transaction limits.

Focus on what you need and leave your day-to-day asset management to the experts in the MoneyToken VIP Customer Service Team.

27/4 Portfolio Access

MoneyToken VIP clients have access to their personal portfolio anytime from any location and on any device, with individual 24/7 assistance by contacting your Personal Manager via phone call, email or Telegram.

B2B & B2C Management

For major crypto-asset organisations, MoneyToken offers the perfect B2B levels of client service. Large asset holders require an individual approach that meets various business demands and that provides a fast, professional assistance.

At the same time, the MoneyToken VIP Customer Service account works for the individual asset holder, meeting your individual demands; you can take a vacation or throw yourself into your work, leaving asset management tasks to our VIP Customer Service Team to complete on your behalf.

A VIP-level of Customer Service for serious asset holders and a new experience in the cryptocurrency. For more information, go to MoneyToken website.

Contact Email Address
h.black@iconic.info

Supporting Link
https://www.google.com/url?q=http://moneytoken.com/?utm_source%3DBitcoin.com%26utm_medium%3Darticle%26utm_campaign%3Dvip&sa=D&ust=1555595272524000&usg=AFQjCNF7Tv8MbK18FE8S5zPWXAn5vPTD_w

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: MoneyToken Launches VIP Services for Big Crypto Investors appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia’s Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM

Three months, ago news.Bitcoin.com reported on Panda Exchange launching a hybrid point-of-sale (PoS) and cryptocurrency ATM in Bogotá, Colombia. Since then, the Panda team has also helped Athena Bitcoin install a crypto ATM in Cúcuta, Colombia to serve as a crypto gateway for Venezuelans. On April 17, Panda announced the installation of its second digital currency PoS terminal at Cúcuta’s most popular burger restaurant, Darwinos.

Also read: Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin

Panda Exchange Launches Another Exeler BTM in South America

Spreading cryptocurrency throughout Latin America is a big deal to the Panda Group team and the company’s founder Arley Lozano. Panda Group provides cryptocurrency solutions globally and operates the trading platform Panda Exchange. Last January, news.Bitcoin.com spoke with Lozano about the hybrid PoS terminal and cryptocurrency ATM installed in Bogotá, at La Tortata sweet shop.

Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia's Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM

Panda calls the device the Xeler BTM and the terminal allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as the ability to process payments for products purchased with BCH, BTC, and DAI. This week, Lozano told our newsdesk about the latest Xeler installation which took place in Cúcuta Colombia at the well-known burger shop Darwinos. Lozano explained that Darwinos serves the best burgers in Cúcuta and the team saw a good turn out the day the Exeler was installed. Now users can buy food and beverages with crypto and also purchase digital assets in exchange for Colombian pesos.

Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia's Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM
Panda Group founder Arley Lozano installing the Xeler terminal at Darwinos burger joint in Cúcuta.

Lozano and Panda are no strangers to the Cúcuta region which is very close to the border of Venezuela. On March 18, Lozano and his team consulted the ATM company Athena Bitcoin and helped them install a cryptocurrency ATM in the city of Cúcuta. Athena’s blog post says that Panda Exchange was responsible for coordinating the logistics for the installation of the Athena ATM. Both teams hope that the ATM serves as a cryptocurrency gateway for not only local residents but also bordering Venezuelans as well.

Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia's Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM
Panda Group helping the Athena Bitcoin team coordinate the ATM installation in Cúcuta which is very close to the Venezuelan border.

Cúcuta, otherwise known as San Jose de Cúcuta, is a metropolitan area that borders the economically stricken country of Venezuela. Since the economic hardships and civil unrest under Maduro’s authoritarian regime, many Venezuelans have sought refuge in Cúcuta. The city has acted as a hub of commerce in the Norte de Santander region and this is why Athena Bitcoin and Panda Exchange have been making strides in this area.

Spreading Cryptocurrency Accessibility to the Unbanked in Colombia and Venezuela

The Darwinos installation is now the second portable cryptocurrency terminal in Colombia and Lozano tells our publication that the team hopes to have about 100 of these devices distributed throughout Colombia and Venezuela by the year’s end. Roughly 20 of those devices will be installed in the region at a well-known chain of pharmacies. The company also detailed that there’s no regulatory guidelines at the moment in Colombia that require users to declare taxes when they use the Xeler BTM. There is a minimum of about US$15 worth of crypto that can be purchased and Panda does take a small commission from digital currency purchases and PoS transactions. Further, the Xeler has an integrated KYC system which requires the user to verify their identity for ATM transactions and a single record is made per user. Panda integrated the Xpay payment processor with Xeler which allows merchants to process payments with cryptocurrencies.

Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia's Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM
The day the Xeler machine and Xpay was integrated at Darwinos saw a lot of customers.

Lozano and Panda believe that spreading peer-to-peer digital currencies throughout the region will help economic freedom flourish for people who need it most. Not only does the latest terminal provide more accessibility to bordering Venezuelans seeking refuge in Cúcuta, the machine also helps locals a great deal. The company told news.Bitcoin.com that roughly 55% of Colombians are unbanked, so the Exeler PoS terminal and crypto ATM solution is focused on buying and selling digital assets with Colombian pesos.

“At Panda Group we are happy to spread cryptocurrency adoption in Cúcuta and it’s also my hometown,” Lozano stressed. “Moreover, many Panda team members have a heart and soul for our friends and family in Venezuela Deploying Xeler with our Xpay solution will help our brothers and sisters be able to buy cryptocurrencies direct during these hard economic times.” The Panda Group founder concluded:

Our next plan is to deploy more Xeler terminals and Xpay throughout a variety of supermarkets and pharmacies. Panda Group was born to help our brothers and sisters with crypto solutions and provide accessibility to real people.

What do you think about Panda Exchange launching another Exeler terminal in Cúcuta Colombia? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Panda Exchange, Athena Bitcoin ATM logo, Arley Lozano, and Darwinos.


Not up to date on the news? Listen to This Week in Bitcoin, a podcast updated each Friday.

The post Darwinos Burger Joint Hosts Colombia’s Second Point of Sale and Crypto ATM appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

G20 Prepares to Regulate Crypto Assets – a Look at Current Policies

G20 Prepares to Regulate Crypto Assets - a Look at Current Policies

Following their joint declaration committing to regulate crypto assets, the G20 countries are now preparing to set crypto policies at the upcoming summit. Several international organizations have contributed resources and are actively working to help shape the regulations.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request

G20 Prepares to Discuss Crypto Policies

The upcoming G20 summit will be held in Osaka, Japan, on June 28 and 29. Participants are 19 member countries, the European Union, guest countries and a number of international organizations. Following the members’ joint declaration committing to regulate crypto assets for AML and CFT purposes, several standard-setting bodies have contributed resources to help the G20 set crypto policies. According to Japanese media, the countries are expected to agree upon new crypto-related regulations at the summit.

G20 Prepares to Regulate Crypto Assets – a Look at Current Policies

The G20 has reaffirmed its support for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as “the global anti-money laundering, counter terrorist financing, and proliferation financing standard-setting body,” the FATF described in its report submitted to the G20 last week. The G20 has additionally asked the organization to clarify how its standards apply to “virtual asset activities.” Responding to this request, the FATF confirmed that “Jurisdictions should apply a risk-based approach to virtual assets” and related activities. Promising to issue new guidelines in June, it elaborated:

At a minimum, virtual asset service providers should be required to be licenced or registered in the jurisdiction where they are created, or … where they have their place of business.

The FATF also recommends that “Virtual asset service providers should be supervised or monitored by a competent authority/ies (not a self-regulatory body)” and “Countries should provide international cooperation in relation to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers.”

G20 Prepares to Regulate Crypto Assets – a Look at Current Policies

The Financial Stability Board, which monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system, also submitted a report to the G20 which outlines who the crypto regulators are in each member country. Meanwhile, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is currently undertaking a quantitative impact study of banks’ direct and indirect exposures to crypto assets.

Furthermore, global standard setter for securities market regulation, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, has developed a support framework to assist with addressing domestic and cross-border issues arising from initial coin offerings (ICOs) and a framework for identifying risks associated with the secondary trading of crypto assets.

The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S., and the European Union. Below is a summary of how they are currently regulating crypto assets.

South America

For Argentina, the central bank assesses the financial stability risks from crypto markets and monitors financial institutions’ exposures to crypto assets. The Securities and Exchange Commission oversees these assets within the capital markets and the Financial Information Unit deals with crypto-related AML/CFT issues.

G20 Prepares to Set Crypto Policies - a Look at Current Regulations

For Brazil, the Securities and Exchange Commission is responsible for cryptocurrencies that are securities. The Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) explained:

Our current mandate allows us to assess financial institutions’ exposure to those assets and supervise their operations. Moreover, BCB has the mandate to regulate what type of operations involving crypto-assets, if any, financial institutions can perform.

North America

The U.S. has multiple regulators for crypto assets. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates cryptocurrencies that are deemed securities whereas the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) oversees crypto derivatives and commodities.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) supervises financial institutions’ exposures to crypto assets. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen) has sole federal enforcement authority over money transmitters operating in convertible cryptocurrency.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency determines the permissibility and prudential conduct of banks related to crypto assets. The Office of Financial Research monitors these assets and their markets to identify any financial stability risks.

G20 Prepares to Set Crypto Policies - a Look at Current Regulations

Canada also has many regulators for crypto assets. Among them is the Bank of Canada which ensures that cryptocurrencies do not pose systemic financial stability risks to the country’s economy. The Office of the Superintendent Financial Institutions ensures financial institutions’ levels of exposure to crypto assets are within acceptable risk appetite.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is responsible for protecting consumers of financial services and products involving crypto assets. The Canada Revenue Agency deals with crypto-related taxes. Furthermore, the Ontario Securities Commission, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, the Alberta Securities Commission, and the British Columbia Securities Commission regulate crypto assets within their jurisdictions.

For Mexico, the central bank is responsible for defining the characteristics of crypto assets that financial institutions are permitted to operate with. The bank recently came up with some rules which stirred up the industry.

Europe

Last week, news.Bitcoin.com reported on how the European Union and five countries on the continent regulate cryptocurrency. Spain is not a G20 member but has been invited to attend the summit as a guest country.

On Monday, France’s Financial Markets Authority published the details of the new regulatory framework for cryptocurrency which was adopted on April 11 as part of the Pacte bill.

G20 Prepares to Set Crypto Policies - a Look at Current Regulations

Asia

Also last week, news.Bitcoin.com reported on how China, India, South Korea, and Japan are regulating cryptocurrency.

As for Indonesia, Bank Indonesia has banned cryptocurrency as a means of payment but continues to monitor crypto transactions and their potential long-term effects on monetary policy and financial stability. The Ministry of Trade, however, has acknowledged cryptocurrency as a tradable commodity with the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti) acting as the regulator. The FSB described:

Currently, Bappebti is developing an ecosystem for crypto-assets markets and exchanges with aims to protect crypto-assets consumers.

Furthermore, the Indonesia Financial Services Authority monitors developments and effects of fintech on financial stability while the Ministry of Finance is reviewing the taxation mechanism for crypto asset trading activities.

G20 Prepares to Set Crypto Policies - a Look at Current Regulations

Western and Central Asia

For Saudi Arabia, the Capital Market Authority, together with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), “are planning to conduct a study that aims to conduct assessment of the feasibility to introduce crypto-assets and ICOs in Saudi Arabia,” according to the FSB. The board clarified:

Currently, there is no regulation directly targeting crypto-assets in Saudi Arabia. However, SAMA’s current mandate allows it to assess financial institutions’ exposure to those assets and supervise their operations.

For Turkey, the central bank is responsible for overseeing the country’s payments system while the Financial Crimes Investigation Board is working on the rules related to cryptocurrency and related service providers.

G20 Prepares to Set Crypto Policies - a Look at Current Regulations

Russia is also working on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency. In February, President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to adopt federal laws on cryptocurrency by July.

Africa and Oceania

For the Republic of South Africa (RSA), the central bank assesses the regulatory implications of fintech and oversees crypto assets when used for payments. The bank has clarified:

There are currently no specific laws or regulations that govern the use of VCs [virtual currencies] in RSA. It follows, therefore, that currently no compliance requirements exist for local trading of VCs in RSA.

Meanwhile, the country’s Prudential Authority supervises regulated entities’ involvement in crypto assets and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority oversees crypto assets in the financial markets. The Financial Intelligence Centre ensures that they cannot be used for illicit purposes while the Revenue Services collects related taxes.

G20 Prepares to Regulate Crypto Assets – a Look at Current Policies

For Australia, the Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) regulates crypto exchanges which are required to register with it. The Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) monitors crypto and ICO activities that seek investment from Australians. Lastly, the central bank assesses the implications of crypto assets for monetary policy, identifies their risks to financial stability, and establishes related payments system policies if required. The bank published its April Financial Stability Review report last week confirming:

ASIC intends to monitor ICOs closely to ensure compliant behaviour, and to introduce market infrastructure regulation for cryptocurrency exchanges.

What do you think of how the G20 countries currently regulate cryptocurrency? What policies do you think they will come up with at the summit? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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

The post G20 Prepares to Regulate Crypto Assets – a Look at Current Policies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com