Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Case in Depth Today

The Indian supreme court finally heard the crypto case today after postponing it several times. The court addressed the government’s crypto policy as well as the writ petitions challenging the banking restriction by the central bank. The latter was heard in some detail while the former was further delayed at the request of the government.
Also read: G20 Leaders Issue Declaration on Crypto Assets – A Look at Their Commitments
Supreme Court Heard RBI Ban Case Today
The Supreme Court of India addressed two crypto-related issues Thursday after repeatedly postponing hearing them. The first issue concerns the banking restriction by the central bank. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular in April last year banning regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses.
According to Crypto Kanoon, an Indian platform for crypto regulatory news and analysis, the provisions of the RBI Act and the Banking Regulation Act, along with the circular in question, were all analyzed in court to ascertain whether the central bank has the power to impose such a ban. The “RBI is only a delegatee of power which cannot exercise [the] same powers as Parliament which has a direct impact on legitimate businesses,” the platform conveyed.

The counsel for crypto exchanges argued that the “RBI restricting banks from providing services to crypto [businesses] is a colorable exercise in the guise of consumer interest. It can exercise power in public interest only to the extent as provided under law such as interest of depositors, borrowers etc,” Crypto Kanoon detailed. The counsel showed the court that crypto exchanges have suffered losses due to the banking ban including a decrease in the number of users. The court further asked about companies and businesses that were shut down due to the banking restriction. “Why can’t you work without [a] bank?” the court continued to ask. The counsel explained that “Any settlement taking place will be converted into cash,” the platform conveyed, elaborating:
Technology underlying the blockchain and crypto is being explained to the Hon’ble judges … Manner in which other countries have treated cryptos has been discussed.
In addition, the counsel argued that cryptocurrency “must not be equated to sovereign currency i.e., rupee etc,” emphasizing that the former is a commodity while the latter a currency. Crypto Kanoon added that Thursday’s hearing ended with the court setting a follow-up date to resume hearing the case on Aug. 14.

Government’s Crypto Policy Hearing Delayed
The second issue the supreme court addressed Thursday relates to the government’s policy on cryptocurrency. Crypto Kanoon reported that the Indian government “submitted [a] draft regulation before the court which was submitted to it by [the] Garg committee,” adding:
Govt. requested the court to adjourn the matter till January as it intends to introduce the bill in Parliament in [the] winter session.
Subhash Chandra Garg
The Garg committee is the interministerial committee (IMC) constituted on Nov. 2, 2017, under the chairmanship of former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Subhash Chandra Garg, to study all aspects of cryptocurrency and provide recommendations. It has representation from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the RBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and Central Board of Direct Taxes.
Year-Long Efforts to End RBI Ban
Soon after the RBI issued the aforementioned circular, a number of industry stakeholders filed writ petitions challenging the banking restriction. The ban went into effect in July last year and banks subsequently closed accounts of crypto exchanges. The Indian supreme court was scheduled to hear all crypto-related petitions in September last year, but the case was repeatedly postponed.

The lack of banking access has caused a number of crypto businesses to shut down, including at least four crypto exchanges. Zebpay, formerly one of the largest crypto exchanges in India, closed down its local exchange operations in September last year. Earlier this year, Coindelta announced its shutdown, followed by Coinome, Koinex, and Cryptokart. Gaurang Poddar, founder of Cryptokart, explained that since the RBI ban took effect, “The general interest in crypto in India has tanked. Also since the government isn’t going to introduce any regulations and leave it grey for a while, it just makes any long term planning difficult.”
Regulatory Uncertainty
The Indian government is currently deliberating on the country’s crypto policy. The IMC report submitted to the finance ministry was made public on July 22. The report, however, is dated Feb. 28. It contains the committee’s recommendations regarding crypto assets as well as a draft bill entitled Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019.
Garg tweeted after the report was made public that his “Committee is very receptive and supportive of distributed ledger technologies … [but] Private cryptocurrencies are of no real value. Rightly banned.” Noting “extreme fluctuations” in prices of cryptocurrencies, the committee believes that “private cryptocurrencies should not be allowed,” stating:
The committee has recommended a law banning the cryptocurrencies in India and criminalizing carrying on of any activities connected with cryptocurrencies in India.
Soon after the report was published, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reshuffled his top-level bureaucrats and removed Garg from the DEA Secretary position, shifting him to the Power Ministry. Garg is reportedly unhappy with this shift and subsequently applied for voluntary retirement.
Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
The Ministry of Finance revealed on July 22 that the IMC report is being examined “in consultation with all the concerned departments and regulatory authorities before the government takes a final decision.” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has seen the presentation by the committee but she recently admitted that she had not looked at the report and bill in detail. “They have gone much ahead of all other countries that have thought about it. It’s a very futuristic and well-thought-out report. I have not spent time on it after the presentation,” she told the Economic Times in an interview.
Meanwhile, the Indian crypto community has ramped up efforts to engage lawmakers to show them how flawed the IMC report is in hopes that the government will not go ahead with the draft bill to ban cryptocurrencies.
Crypto Not Prohibited, Tax Laws Applicable
While the government is deliberating on the country’s crypto policy, the tax department has been sending a long list of probing questions to cryptocurrency owners. Anoush Bhasin, founder of Quagmire Consulting which specializes in crypto tax solutions, explained to news.Bitcoin.com Tuesday that “Not complying with the notice or furnishing incomplete / inaccurate information may lead to the taxman conducting a Search & Seizure operation.”
He emphasized: “Tax laws in India are applicable irrespective of the legal status of income … Even if a ban is introduced, taxes would continue to apply to crypto income and it would not stop the taxman from chasing unaccounted or untaxed income earned from dealing in crypto assets.”
In the meantime, cryptocurrency is currently not prohibited in India, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur has confirmed.
What do you think of the supreme court hearing today? Do you think the court will lift the RBI ban? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Indian government.
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Owning Fiat Just Got More Expensive – NIRP Strikes Again

With the recent Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) announcement that even more customers will be charged to hold money in their banks, people are scrambling to find ways to preserve their wealth, while USB and others scramble to dam the losses resulting from national negative interest rate policy (NIRP). The relatively recent experiments with NIRP worldwide, combined with ongoing trade wars, have many concerned, and some running to hedge their bets with crypto.
Also Read: Currency War Erupts as US and China Bring Out the Big Guns
Pay to Play at UBS
Even more customers will now be charged to park their money at UBS, the bank announcing August 6 that negative interest rates will be extended to deposits of over 500,000 euros (about $560,000), where the previous trigger point was set at 1 million euros. Fighting the national interest rate of -0.75%, Swiss banks are competing to keep customers while also struggling to tread water themselves, being dinged by central bank policy if they hold too many Swiss francs or euros.
UBS will charge an annual fee of 0.6% to these customers, with other Swiss lending and wealth management groups also employing similar strategies. Credit Suisse, for example, will launch a 0.4% fee from September. Depositors are currently being encouraged to soften the blow by moving their money into foreign fiduciary call deposits and investing in equities and bonds.
While banks have commonly charged large institutional accounts in similar fashion to hold cash, wealthy private accounts have not been traditionally targeted, for fear of losing customers. Now that countries across the globe are experimenting more and more with cut rates and NIRP, however, many institutions are caught between a rock and hard place, trying to please customers while also accommodating central bank policy. Telling depositors in essence, “invest or get out,” isn’t really conducive to business.

Global View on NIRP Policy and Banks
In July, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Sweden Central Bank governor Stefan Ingves pondering a potential -1.5% rate for the country, and the negative yielding bonds of both Sweden and Denmark (with record low yields being set in the latter). While Swedish banks still navigate a -0.25% national interest rate, the relatively new global experiment with NIRP is becoming further entrenched in the Eurozone, as German banks (Skatbank being the first back in 2014) now commonly charge wealthy depositors to hold their cash. Some predict these policies will soon extend to everyone, not just the wealthy.
German bonds are in trouble, too. The nation set a new record last week for negative yielding national bonds on August 2, with 30-year bonds yielding -0.006% for the first time in history. There’s a double whammy effect in NIRP-centric countries like Germany as well, due to a rising consumer price index (CPI) coupled with the negative rates charged by lenders. In effect, value holders pay for inflation as well as the negative rates, resulting in even greater losses for painfully hanging on to cash.
Small banks and regional lenders are being forced to consolidate or shut down in Japan, due to negative interest rates and a declining population.
Japan’s national interest rate of -0.1% is pressuring lenders severely, compounded by social factors such as an aging population, ongoing pension crisis, and declining birthrate. Smaller lending institutions are disappearing, and often have no choice but to consolidate. Two small lenders based in Japan’s rural Niigata prefecture — Hokuetsu and Daishi Bank —issued a joint statement in 2017 claiming:
Under the nation’s extended monetary easing policy, our lending margin and profits from securities investments are expected to shrink.
Japan’s proliferation of smaller, regional banks has suffered a 22.9% decrease in net income year on year as of March 2019, while major banks report a loss of 23.4% for the same period, with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) directly citing the “near-zero interest rate environment in Japan” and “overall increase of credit-related costs.” Banks in Japan simply cannot afford to charge customers more to offset the low national rates.

Easy Housing Credit Has Economists Uneasy
Denmark’s foray into the NIRP landscape began very early, back in 2012. With a current national rate of -0.65%, it’s perhaps not surprising that mortgage rates have just hit all-time lows. While many in the real estate business are hyping the good deals for those in the market, others are not so sure about the zero percent, or in the case of Jyske Bank, even negative rates. After all, the reason for the introduction of NIRP and quantitative easing was to combat the effects of 2008’s economic downturn, with easy real estate credit in the U.S. being the precipitating factor for the ensuing global crisis. UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti shares similar concerns on NIRP and quantitative easing policies, stating in a recent TV interview:
I’m not very convinced that the medicine that has been prescribed in the past of just quantitative easing is the solution of the problems in Europe … We are at a risk of creating an asset bubble.
While Americans may be tempted to view the NIRP problems of other countries as remote or even irrelevant, recent events predict the movement of negative rates possibly into the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand in the not-so-distant future.

US, Australia, and New Zealand
Mortgage rates are also falling in New Zealand, whose central bank just slashed the national interest rate to a record low 1% on August 7. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand issued a statement explaining the cuts, declaring “In the absence of additional monetary stimulus, employment and inflation would likely ease relative to our targets.”
Australia’s interest rate remains unchanged since being cut in June from 1.25% to 1%. Citing the current trade war between the U.S. and China, in a statement issued by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), governor Philip Lowe stated that “Long-term government bond yields have declined further and are at record lows in many countries, including Australia. Borrowing rates for both businesses and households are also at historically low levels. The Australian dollar is at its lowest level of recent times.”
As for the U.S., the Federal Reserve has just jumped back into the price slashing action, lowering rates for the first time since the 2008 crisis, from 2.5% to 2.25% on July 31. When pressed about the policy change in the context of trade and tariff disputes, Fed Chief Jerome Powell remarked to reporters at a press conference:
There isn’t a lot of experience in responding to global trade tensions. So it is something that we haven’t faced before and that we are learning by doing.

Investors Fight Back With Bitcoin
Like the Australian dollar, the Swedish krona reached new lows recently, dropping to levels not seen since 2009 this week. It stood at 9.58 against the dollar on August 7. Selling negative yielding bonds does not seem to be providing significant relief to the Norse nation, either. With the global trend toward cut rates clear to see, and no clearly visible or immediate way out via centralized policy, some investors are turning to decentralized money for protection.
Unlike fiat that people are now being charged to hold, many crypto tokens are decentralized and limited in supply, and thus not subject to the whims of central banks or politicians and their reckless inflationary policies. Fundstrat co-founder Tom Lee recently remarked in an interview with Fox News:
Bitcoin’s becoming increasingly a macrohedge for investors against things that could go wrong. Rate cuts are adding liquidity. Liquidity is pushing money into all these risk assets and also hedges, which is helping Bitcoin.
As the global effort to bring balance to wobbly Keynesian economies stumbles along, and more and more central banks approach planet NIRP, smaller banks and their customers are left feeling the crunch, and having to make tough choices as to where to place their value. Individuals holding fiat are now asking themselves, ironically, if having money is actually worth it.
What are your thoughts on negative interest rates? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, fair use.
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PR: Bitkan and Bitcoin.com Announce Strategic Partnership

Tokyo, Japan – August 8th, 2019 – BitKan and Bitcoin.com have officially signed a Strategic Collaboration agreement together. Both parties will leverage on each other’s global resources to achieve a mutually beneficial win-win relationship.
Founded in 2012, BitKan provides a one-stop integrated platform for cryptocurrency services. This includes a platform for crypto market data, a crypto wallet and a thriving community. In May 2019, BitKan has also launched a crypto aggregated trading platform, an OTC trading platform, and will continue to bring more complementary resources to Bitcoin.com.
Bitcoin.com is a top-tier platform in the blockchain industry globally, and the collaboration will promote the development of BitKan globalization. Bitcoin.com is supercharged to change the world with Bitcoin Cash (BCH). With its suite of developer tools downloaded 36,000+ times from over 100 countries, the Bitcoin.com team is the heart and soul of the Bitcoin Cash industry. The team is committed to making BCH available to all people, whatever their age, gender, nationality or financial status.
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Cryptophyl.com Launches Dedicated Exchange for SLP Tokens and BCH

The team behind the former cryptocurrency exchange Voltaire recently announced the launch of a new trading platform specifically designed for Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) tokens. Three weeks ago the new exchange called Cryptophyl.com launched its trading engine and the first SLP token supported is the community-driven Spice token.
Also Read: New Liberty Dollar Founder Subpoenaed in the Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit
Meet Cryptophyl.com: A Crypto Exchange Dedicated to SLP Tokens
The Simple Ledger Protocol phenomena has captured the BCH community by storm and since the project launched, thousands of SLP tokens have been created on top of the BCH chain. Three weeks ago the founders of the now defunct digital currency exchange Voltaire announced the launch of Cryptophyl.com, a platform designed to facilitate SLP token trading against BCH. The first token to launch on the Cryptophyl exchange is the SLP token Spice, a community-driven coin that’s used to show appreciation. When the trading engine started, there were 30 million Spice traded during the first week and the Spice token saw a seven-fold increase in market capitalization. Cryptophyl was a project that took months to build and develop, the creators told news.Bitcoin.com earlier this week. Cryptophyl’s mission is to partner and grow with the very best SLP token projects with special attention toward the European market.

The London-based Cryptophyl aims to bolster SLP token price discovery through “due diligence and subsequent listing of quality tokens that demonstrate real-world utility.” The team noted that the Spice appreciation token has been a popular and fast-growing SLP token. On August 6, the trading platform airdropped 5 million Spice to all of Cryptophyl’s registered users. Cryptophyl founder Semyon Germanovich said during the launch that he has high expectations for the SLP token universe.
“At Cryptophyl’s heart is a shared vision of how SLP token technology can transform voting, transparency, ticketing, social media and a plethora of other exciting use cases,” Germanovich explained on Tuesday. “The low fees, large blocks and solid development community offered by Bitcoin Cash lay the perfect foundation a token economy.”
Cryptophyl trading engine.
Germanovich stated that his team learned a lot from the Voltaire experience and the people behind Cryptophyl worked tirelessly to prepare the unique trading platform. The founder also mentioned he’s seen a lot of demand for this type of exchange that allows SLP tokens to be traded directly for BCH. “I’m excited by the reception in the trading community to the first iteration of our unique business model,” Germanovich remarked. “The partnerships we have formed and those in the works are going to result in huge value delivery to our users, the cryptocurrency community and the wider population.” The Cryptophyl founder added:
We’re seeing unique technology (SLP) being used to build innovative solutions to complex problems. One example is the aggregation of media through Telegram tipping, achieved by our flagship token product: Spice. Simple Ledger Protocol is the most exciting thing since I’ve discovered since Bitcoin. This is just the beginning.
A Look at Cryptophyl From the Inside
News.Bitcoin.com decided to test the trading engine to give our readers a glimpse of the project. Signing up takes less than a minute and requires a name, valid email, and password to register. You also have to certify that you are 18 years old and then verify the email Cryptophyl sends to you. You will then have access to the Cryptophyl dashboard which shows you the native wallets for BCH and Spice. If you want to trade on the exchange you need to deposit either bitcoin cash (BCH) or Spice by selecting the deposit button. Also, you want to secure your Cryptophyl account using two-factor authentication (2FA) and you can do this in the settings section. In the trading section, the exchange looks just like any other platform that showcases buy orders, sell orders, and past trades.
As of right now the Cryptophyl exchange only supports one SLP token and bitcoin cash (BCH) deposits. Bitcoin.com offers you the opportunity to purchase bitcoin cash (BCH) and other leading coins. If you’d like to obtain some BCH to use on the Cryptophyl trading platform – check out Buy.Bitcoin.com today
When you deposit some Spice or BCH you will see your balance within the buy or sell section. For example, if you decided to sell 25,250 Spice with a limit price of 315 satoshis the platform will show you the total amount of BCH you can obtain at current prices. If you have any issues with Cryptophyl you can contact the support team by email or reach out to the Cryptophyl Telegram community. The exchange is interesting given the fact that it’s dedicated to supporting SLP token trading against BCH, but the project is still in its infancy with only one token listed.
Users can deposit funds using a BCH address and for SLP tokens an SLP format address is used. Both addresses can be scanned via QR code or by copy and pasting the address to the computer clipboard.
It will take time for more SLP token markets to mature but a slew of them have market capitalizations already. For instance, besides Spice, SLP tokens like ACD, Merits, and the Coinflex Flex token all have seen price discovery. The Coinflex Flex SLP token has a $20 million market valuation and has been seeing around $100,000 in daily volumes. There’s also the SLP token Honestcoin (USDH) which is a regulated stablecoin backed by USD.
After depositing funds you can start trading on the Cryptophyl.com exchange.
More Cryptocurrency Exchanges Supporting the SLP Token Universe
Assuming Cryptophyl adds tokens like these, the exchange could become an interesting type of platform that assists the SLP ecosystem. Further SLP tokens will be supported on the upcoming trading platform Exchange.Bitcoin.com which will launch on September 2. With more SLP trading options from services like Exchange.Bitcoin.com, Cryptophyl, Altilly Exchange, Coinex, and Coinsuper, users will have access to more liquidity and be able to obtain some of the most popular SLP tokens used today. For now, the SLP ecosystem is still very young and many of the new tokens are finding different paths and use cases. Cryptophyl’s team is betting the SLP universe will continue to see demand and its dedicated SLP trading engine is proof of that belief.
What do you think about the new SLP trading platform Cryptophyl? Let us know what you think about this unique exchange in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned software. Bitcoin.com or the author 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, software or services mentioned in this article. This editorial review is for informational purposes only.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Cryptophyl.com, and Jamie Redman.
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New Liberty Dollar Founder Subpoenaed in the Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit

The ongoing Kleiman v. Wright case saw expert testimony on Monday from the plaintiff’s cryptography specialist, alongside the defendant Craig Wright’s witness, Nchain CTO Steve Shadders. The court participants discussed parsing through 27,000 bitcoin addresses as well the Kleimans’ forensic expert finding discrepancies within specific documents and contracts between the two business partners. Moreover, it seems the Kleimans’ legal counsel has been pursuing a subpoena in order to compel the former managing director of the New Liberty Dollar, Joseph Vaughn Perling, to appear in court.
Also Read: Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Appears in the High Profile Bitcoin Lawsuit
Two Expert Witnesses Testify in the Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit
Kleiman v. Wright, the high profile court case in West Palm Beach, Florida has had a day filled with expert witness testimony from both sides of the case. Wright is being sued by the estate representing the now deceased David Kleiman. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs believe self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright manipulated David’s bitcoin assets and intellectual property inheritance. “As of the date of filing, the value of these assets far exceed $5,118,266,427.50 USD (before punitive or treble damages),” the opening statements of the lawsuit reads. During the hearing on August 5, Dr. Matthew Edman, a cryptography expert, and the Kleiman estate’s witness, told the court that there were various discrepancies within the court documents he reviewed. Wright’s attorney Amanda McGovern from the legal firm Rivero Mestre cross-examined Edman. The forensics expert said he examined the metadata tied to an alleged deed of trust, and emails between Kleiman and Wright.

When McGovern asked the expert if anyone could manipulate the metadata, Edman conceded and told the court that it was possible. “Anybody could have manipulated the metadata, but again there are a number of indicators in the metadata that are consistent with the defendant.” Edman further opined that to him it was improbable that it could have been just anyone and noted that timestamps matched Wright’s home of residence in Australia. The plaintiff’s expert witness couldn’t explain to McGovern why someone would manipulate the metadata. Just like his prior testimony, Edman continued to assert throughout his statements that there was circumstantial evidence the changes derived from the defendant.

Earlier in the morning, after the case started at 9:30 a.m. EST, Steve Shadders, the chief technology officer of Nchain, gave his testimony to the court. He’s been responsible for parsing through a list of early BTC addresses and claimed the list could be between 16,000-27,000 addresses. According to Shadders, Wright’s knowledge of the technology makes him certain he is the inventor of Bitcoin. “If he could, he would,” Shadders told the court when he was asked why Wright couldn’t come up with the list of public addresses. The Nchain CTO also told the plaintiffs that his research was “dependent” on Wright and the self-styled Satoshi’s word and data. The entire day was dedicated to the examination and cross-examinations of both Edman and Shadders. The two disputing parties will reconvene on August 26 and Kleiman and Wright’s attorneys will provide more arguments. At that time, Judge Reinhart could determine if Wright will be sanctioned in contempt of court for not producing the addresses.
A Subpoena Has Been Sent to Early Bitcoin Evangelist Joseph Vaughn Perling
The lawsuit has gone on for months now and it doesn’t seem as though the case is ending anytime soon. On July 24, the plaintiffs were granted a motion for issuance of rogatory subpoenas to foreign third parties located in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Joseph Vaughn Perling, the former New Liberty Dollar managing director and Bitcoin evangelist, has been subpoenaed to appear in the Klieman v. Wright case. Perling, otherwise known in crypto circles as JVP, has an interesting history with the Wright phenomena. JVP is well known for his background issuing the New Liberty Dollar silver pieces which were .999 fine silver private issued medallions. Additionally, JVP was a well known member of the Bitcoin community and contributed to many cryptocurrency discussions on Twitter and forums. The subpoena for JVP was first issued on June 5, 2019, and there have been multiple motions made up until July 29.

JVP was also well known for playing a mysterious part in Craig Wright’s Satoshi story. Back in May 2016 when Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen and Jon Matonis were allegedly shown so-called ‘proof of Satoshi,’ Perling also joined in the discussion. That year JVP did an interview with Bitcoin Magazine’s Aaron van Wirdum and told him a lot of interesting things in regards to the ostensible Tulip Trust. During the beginning of the interview, JVP gave the reporter a message meant for Wright and told the journalist he could publish it. The message, from one of the so-called trustees of the Tulip Trust, said it was “rumored that Craig Wright will need to access the Tulip Trading Trust assets.” The message seems to stem from a group and asserts that third parties or intermediaries cannot make a direct request with the trustees and all trust requests must be done their way. Another interesting thing to note about the message is that it says that “any coin movement affecting the trust asset without prior authorization will be considered a trust violation.”
It’s important to note that JVP’s intention within the interview was to get that specific message across. Throughout the rest of the discussion, JVP’s responses to questions were extremely cryptic and possibly meaningless. The Bitcoin Magazine article highlights that JVP made appearances in the Bitcoin Core Slack channel and told people Satoshi would be revealed that year. Additionally, the interview notes that the purported message from the trustee could not be verified by “any other sources to confirm the information provided by Vaughn Perling.” Moreover, during that same week, the Bitcoin influencer known as Bitcoin Belle (Michele Seven) shared a picture of JVP and another person who appears to be Uyen Nguyen. Belle was entangled in the drama and introduced Craig Wright to the community at a conference in Las Vegas with other guests like Nick Szabo. Not too long after the incidents during the first week of May, both Bitcoin Belle and Uyen Nguyen disappeared from the public spotlight.
Before the saga during the first week of May 2016, Bitcoin Belle invited Craig Wright on a panel discussion with Trace Mayer, Nick Szabo, Ed Moy, and Joseph Vaughn Perling.
The Mysteries Behind Uyen Nguyen, Bitcoin Belle and JVP’s Roles in This Saga
Nguyen allegedly operated Wright’s “Tulip Boy” Twitter account that week and explained that she was a young Vietnamese female operating under secrecy for years. On May 5, the Tulip Boy Twitter handle that belonged to Craig Wright said that Nguyen was 24 years old and started the project when she was 18. After a slew of cryptic tweets from the Tulip Boy account which has since been deleted, Uyen Nguyen was never heard from publicly again. There are alleged photographs of Nguyen with JVP and evidence online that shows Nguyen being involved with the so-called ‘Satoshi proof’ orchestration. She is also named as a beneficiary in documented evidence, as her signature is seen on many agreements between Kleiman and Wright’s business operations within many court documents. However, almost every trace of Nguyen’s online existence has been wiped from the internet including GIAC certifications, a Google+ bio, Linkedin profile, a Facebook account, and her membership with the Lifeboat Foundation.
Before Bitcoin Belle left the community and her Twitter account was deleted, she shared a photo of Joseph Vaughn Perling allegedly dining with the Tulip Trustee Uyen Nguyen.
Bitcoin Belle also left the crypto community shortly after the Wright fiasco but has made a few public appearances since. She recently published a fictional book called “CCme” which will be part of a series called “Cryptonautica.” Belle recently spoke about her book with a writer named @Orphanblocks and revealed some details concerning the Craig Wright drama. She met Wright in 2015 and introduced him to a number of cryptocurrency influencers. That year in October, Belle invited Wright to be part of a panel discussion about bitcoin at a conference in Las Vegas. The panel included Ed Moy, Trace Mayer, Nick Szabo, and the New Liberty Dollar’s Joseph Vaughn Perling. In regard to the crypto community, JVP has dipped out of the public eye too and he hasn’t actively tweeted since 2017. JVP has been part of the Bitcoin ecosystem since his first appearance in October 2009 and he also wrote a ‘Satoshi sighting story’ three years ago and claimed the person mentioned in the story was Craig Wright.
It’s uncertain at the moment whether JVP will be forced to act on the Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit in Florida and how his story will play a part in this tale. Last March, it was revealed that early Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik was subpoenaed to testify in the Florida Bitcoin suit as well. The subpoena asks for any specific communications between Garzik and Wright and whether he had any direct communications with David Kleiman. If the suit continues to drone on past the August 26 hearing, a wide range of well known crypto luminaries like JVP, cryptographer Ian Grigg, writer Andrew O’Hagan, and people such as the mysterious Uyen Nguyen may be compelled to testify in the case.
What do you think about the recent testimonies from expert witnesses on August 5? What do you think about Joseph Vaughn Perling (JVP) being served with a subpoena for this billion-dollar lawsuit in Florida? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, Pixabay, Twitter, and Archive.org.
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

From Spartacus to Satoshi: A Brief History of Economic Rebellion

Government dominance of human beings via slavery and violent economic oppression is as old as government itself. For thousands and thousands of years kings and rulers, usually held to be “appointed by God,” have used free, non-violent individuals as their tax farm livestock to exploit for economic gain and political power. Without individuals with the grit to stand up and fight back in unique ways, the history books might read very differently. But lucky for everyone, they did exist, and continue to today.
Also Read: How Governments Steal Your Money and Conceal It Through Inflation
The Tax Slave State
Throughout the history of governments worldwide, those who seem to be most severely punished, threatened, and hotly pursued are they who compromise the bread and butter of the state. Namely, the unethical and violent economic practices that give the individuals calling themselves government their power and security. The following list, while not comprehensive by any stretch, serves as a brief historical overview of notable freedom fighters who have challenged evil economic paradigms and inspired their fellow humans to rise up and take their own power back. In the wake of cases like Eric Garner (strangled to death for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes) and Ross Ulbricht, it seems a timely endeavor.

Spartacus
A gladiator slave turned rebel, Spartacus would defy Roman rule and escape the tax farm in 73 B.C., leading around 70 of his fellow slaves to freedom. Arming themselves only with kitchen implements, they fought their way out of the gladiator school at Capua and headed for defensive shelter on Mt. Vesuvius. Though gladiators are often depicted in modern times as ancient rockstars of sorts, the truth is that most were slaves to the Roman state, trained brutally and treated cruelly. Gladiators were forced to swear the oath where one “vows to endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword,” and served as tools of political influence for their owners. Though Spartacus would ultimately fall to the Roman sword, he assembled an army of 120,000 men, women, and children from nothing, and successfully challenged – and even defeated, at times – the most powerful empire in the world. His legend continues to serve as an inspiration for many struggling under the heavy hand of political exploitation and economic oppression.

Robin Hood
While some legendary characters become so surrounded by folklore they are impossible to trace historically, Robin Hood actually isn’t that mysterious, according to some sources. There are two main versions of the alleged historical character, the argued “real one” likely being not so polite and heroic as tradition would maintain, but more brutal and wild, coming to prominence sometime in the mid-14th century. All the same, Robert (or Robin) Hood is believed to have been pitted against the very real corrupt religio-political leaders of the time, which had taken to pilfering the poor via corrupt politics and threats of hellfire. Whether or not this character actually gave back to the poor habitually, or mostly stole money back from corrupt politicians for himself, is up for debate. What seems to stand up to scrutiny though, is that there was likely a real-life basis for the legend who was an excellent archer, often stood on the side of the downtrodden, and fought against the crooked powers of the time. The most powerful part of the story being the wild, justice-seeking spirit that still inspires courage in freedom-minded individuals today.

Gandhi
Taking a long walk to make and sell one’s own salt might not seem revolutionary, but in the context of Mohandas Gandhi’s times, this was an act of bold defiance. Traveling to the Arabian Sea to protest Britain’s 1882 Salt Act, Gandhi took with him 78 volunteers and walked 240 miles to the village of Dandi, to make salt from seawater. The act was illegal, despite the fact that British law and accompanying taxes were starving masses of Indians of the much needed mineral. Police beat Gandhi to the punch and pushed many salt deposits into the mud before his arrival. Nevertheless, the activist was able to remove a chunk of raw salt with his hand and raise it into the air, effectively breaking colonialist British law. 60,000 people were arrested as a result of the march and accompanying non-violent protests. Journalist Webb Miller described one scene at the Dharasana salt works:
Scores of native policemen rushed upon the advancing marchers and rained blows on their heads with their steel-shod lathis [batons]. Not one of the marchers even raised an arm to fend off the blows. They went down like ten-pins. From where I stood I heard the sickening whack of the clubs on unprotected skulls … Those struck down fell sprawling, unconscious or writhing in pain with fractured skulls or broken shoulders.
It’s hard to imagine this level of brutality over salt, but these are the games government plays. As a lesser known, brief aside, British taxes on food products also played a role in Ireland’s great potato famine, with some labeling the warped implementation of British “free market” policies as an actual genocide.
Tax protestor Vivien Kellems.
Vivien Kellems
A lesser known tax protestor, who stood face to face in battle with the U.S. federal government, is Vivien Kellems. In 1948, Kellems defied the state in refusing collection of withholding taxes from her employees, and cited the practice as unconstitutional, openly inviting the state to indict her. Writing about her in his book “For a New Liberty,” libertarian philosopher and economist Murray Rothbard states:
She demanded that the federal government indict her, so that the courts would be able to rule on the constitutionality of the withholding system. The government refused to do so, but instead seized the amount due from her bank account. Miss Kellems then sued in federal court for the government to return her funds. When the suit finally came to trial in February 1951, the jury ordered the government to refund her money.
Kellems would continue to refuse taxes until her death, reportedly sending in blank forms to the IRS every year.

Satoshi Nakamoto
A Japanese given name meaning “intelligence,” “wisdom,” or “guidance,” Satoshi has broken the world of global finance wide open. In creating and releasing the world’s first decentralized and secure cryptocurrency via the Bitcoin protocol, the pseudonymous Nakamoto, much like Robin Hood and other legends, commands riveted fascination from specialized experts and laymen alike. Cryptically hinting at the reason for the creation, hashed into the genesis block, Satoshi communicates:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.
This is commonly thought to be a reference to the irresponsible and reckless monetary policies of banks and governments worldwide, during a time of extreme economic unrest and upheaval, as well as a nod to the upcoming generations of value holders who would resist this insanity. This resistance taking the form of a new, secure, sound and decentralized currency called Bitcoin.

‘I am Satoshi’
There are so many other figures who deserve to be included in this list. From Henry David Thoreau and his refusal to fund the Mexican-American war via poll taxes, to Ed and Elaine Brown, who faced potential death at the hands of federal agents to stand by their convictions, and are now spending their last years on earth caged. Or Sherry Jackson, the former IRS agent who would spend three years in prison for refusing to pay income tax. Some even argue that the Jesus Christ of the Bible stood opposed to taxation, confounding sly interrogators with a riddle of an answer, concerning paying tribute to Caesar.
Whatever the case, and however foggy the actual historic natures of some of these individuals may be, or become over time, there is a reason their stories are so compelling. In Howard Fast’s 1951 novel “Spartacus,” rebels and escaped slaves sympathetic to the cause of their leader would shout “I am Spartacus!” when attacking and fighting, so as to confuse the Roman authorities as to the real location of their gladiator-in-chief. It’s only too easy to draw a decentralization metaphor here. Suffice to say that when an idea resonates, and individuals of the same spirit unite and act as one, it becomes unstoppable.
Who’s your favorite rebel for economic freedom? Let us know in the comments section below.
OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. 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 information in this Op-ed article.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.
Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.
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PR: Roger Ver Joins OmniSparx as Investor and Advisor With Goal to Boost BCH Community

Bitcoin.com to use OmniSparx’s Community Engagement platform
Chicago, Illinois–– August 7, 2019 — OmniSparx.io, – an innovative blockchain community engagement platform, has announced an investment from Roger Ver. As part of the investment, Ver will become an advisor to OmniSparx, and Bitcoin.com will use the OmniSparx platform to grow its community and deepen community collaboration.
Roger Ver, Executive Chairman of Bitcoin.com said, “We are excited with the opportunity to work with OmniSparx. Our work is guided by a belief in Bitcoin Cash as a model of economic freedom and this includes continuing to build a strong and vibrant Bitcoin.com community.” By leveraging the OmniSparx community platform, we are leveraging the thought leaders in community engagement to help continue to grow our community.”
Bitcoin.com joins OmniSparx’s growing list of brands and organizations adopting the platform to transform communities into a driving force of growth and revenue. The OmniSparx platform focuses on increasing community member engagement with authenticated collaboration, and an integrated system for reward.
Charles Kwon, CEO, and Founder of OmniSparx.io said, “We are excited to have Roger as an advisor and investor. His expertise in cryptocurrency and mobilizing communities will assist OmniSparx by innovating and expanding its early leadership position in the market. We are also excited to join forces with Bitcoin.com to help drive collaboration with their community of developers and the ecosystem of supporting projects.”
Launched in 2015, Bitcoin.com is an industry pioneer with an established suite of Bitcoin-related products, tools, and services. Empowering users to be part of the digital economy, the Bitcoin.com wallet enables the sending of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash between users in a direct, secure, and non-intrusive manner, with a global reach of over 4.5 million users.
About OmniSparx:
OmniSparx’s community engagement platform is designed expressly for organizations seeking to leverage community as a driver of growth, we are driven by a desire to help brands and organizations mobilize community with one to one engagement powered by rewards.
For more information: visit omnisparx.io or follow @Omnisparx on Twitter or Telegram.
About Bitcoin.com:
Bitcoin.com is supercharged to change the world with Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Our suite of developer tools has been downloaded 36,000+ times from over 100 countries. Our team is the heart and soul of the Bitcoin Cash industry. We’re committed to making BCH available to all people, whatever their age, gender, nationality or financial status.
For more information: visit https://www.bitcoin.com/
Contact Email Address:info@omnisparx.io
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

Indian Tax Authority Sends Probing Questions to Crypto Owners – Experts Weigh In

As the Indian government deliberates on the country’s crypto policy, the tax authority continues to send out letters with lengthy, probing questions to crypto owners. News.Bitcoin.com talked to industry experts to find out the implications of these letters, what people can do when receiving them, and how crypto assets are taxed in India.
Also read: Indian Finance Minister Addresses Crypto Proposal – Industry Responds
Government Sending Tax Letters to Crypto Owners
The Indian Ministry of Finance’s Office of the Deputy Director of Income Tax has reportedly been sending letters to Indians asking a long list of questions regarding their dealings in cryptocurrencies. Twitter handle Indiabits recently shared one of these letters which comprises 26 probing questions, ranging from sources of income to the names of the cryptocurrencies the taxpayer deals in and details of hardware wallets.

“Furnish the details of all the wallets you are using along with their unique ID/number” was one question. The letter requests information on the taxpayer’s hardware wallets, including their balances, as well as details of wallets owned by the taxpayer’s family members on crypto exchanges both in India and abroad. One question reads:
Please state whether you are buying / selling bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies from websites like Poloniex.com, Coinbase.com, Bittrex.com or any other websites registered out of India.
Another question concerns all income received in cryptocurrencies. “Have you received any bitcoins / cryptocurrency in lieu of any sales made / services rendered / exports made outside India? Please furnish the details of such transactions along with the details of the person making such payments and his wallet / blockchain public ID details.”

The letter also warns that a fine would be levied for willful omissions. “If you intentionally omit to so attend and give evidence or produce the books of accounts of documents, a fine up to Rs. 10,000/- [~$140.97] may be imposed upon you under section 272A of the Income Tax Act, 1961.”
What Crypto Traders Should Do
Anoush Bhasin, founder of Quagmire Consulting which specializes in crypto tax solutions, explained to news.Bitcoin.com Tuesday: “The notice has been issued by the Investigation Division of the Income Tax Department. Usually, such notices are issued when the taxman has reason to believe that a person has concealed or is likely to conceal a particular income.” He believes that “It is probable that the taxman became aware of some information which makes him suspect that crypto transactions were undertaken and probably not reported in the tax return.”
Bhasin suggested that “Anybody who has received such a notice should not take it lightly.” Affirming that “One should provide complete information as required and extend full cooperation during the hearings,” he clarified:
Not complying with the notice or furnishing incomplete / inaccurate information may lead to the taxman conducting a Search & Seizure operation.

Varun Sethi, founder of Blockchain Lawyer, shared with news.Bitcoin.com that people are receiving these letters because India’s tax laws cover “all types of incomes — Legal, undisclosed, disclosed, illegal incomes. Thereby the levy of taxes on gains on cryptos is a legit exercise.”
He also expressed that anyone receiving this type of notice should ensure compliance. “With the tax return filing due date nearing (Aug 31, 2019) the taxpayers should pay taxes on gains made for the cryptos trades. Though there isn’t any clear field for the disclosure of the specifically crypto taxes yet it is possible and necessary to disclose the gains made and then pay taxes thereof.”
How Crypto Assets Are Taxed in India
Bhasin further explained to news.Bitcoin.com that “Income earned from dealing in crypto assets is taxable,” noting that “the legal status of an income is of no consequence to the applicability of tax laws in India.”
He elaborated, “In case you buy and sell frequently, with the purpose of profiting off daily fluctuations in prices, you will be categorised as a trader and liable to pay taxes as a business.” As for miners, “the mining operations will be considered a commercial undertaking and therefore be subject to tax as a business,” Bhasin described:
In case you have bought and held crypto assets for a considerable period of time, as a means of investment (aka hodling), you will be categorised as an investor and will be liable to pay capital gains tax (at the time of liquidation).

Ongoing Tax Issue
A social media influencer who goes by Twitter handle “Indian Cryptogirl” told news.Bitcoin.com that “Over the past 2 years, a lot of people have been getting this” tax letter.
“A friend of mine got this way back in 2016. He went to the office, proved that he did not use any black money for the purchase of crypto by showing all his transactions and he was let go with a warning,” Indian Cryptogirl recalled. She believes that “If you’re not doing extremely high-value transactions that don’t match your earnings, you should be fine,” noting:
I feel it won’t end until India has a safe regulated crypto environment with defined guidelines, without which people have no idea what to follow to avoid such IT [income tax] notices.

Nischal Shetty, CEO of local crypto exchange Wazirx, shared with news.Bitcoin.com that if the letter is authentic then “it’s interesting to see that the Income Tax department has done some good ground work to understand crypto trading.” While still uncertain how authentic the letter is, he believes that “There’s nothing to worry here and I would suggest anyone receiving this to honestly answer the queries and pay their taxes.” The CEO asserted that “Every crypto trader should diligently file their taxes,” adding:
This also helps our cause of getting positive crypto regulations in India as the government will see the positive effects of crypto on income tax collected.
Tax Laws and Crypto Proposal
The Indian government has yet to decide whether to regulate or ban cryptocurrency. The interministerial committee (IMC) tasked with studying all aspects of cryptocurrency and providing recommendations has submitted a report with a draft bill to the government. The finance minister, however, recently admitted that she had not looked at the report and bill in detail.
Meanwhile, the Indian crypto community has ramped up efforts to engage lawmakers to show them how flawed the IMC report is in hopes that the government will not go ahead with the draft bill to ban cryptocurrencies. In the meantime, cryptocurrency is not prohibited in India. This was recently confirmed by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur.
Reiterating that “Tax laws in India are applicable irrespective of the legal status of income,” Bhasin told news.Bitcoin.com that “Even if a ban is introduced, taxes would continue to apply to crypto income and it would not stop the taxman from chasing unaccounted or untaxed income earned from dealing in crypto assets,” elaborating:
Since the IMC recommendation, from the date of coming into effect, does propose a 90 day window to disclose and dispose crypto assets, any information provided in response to this notice would also get covered by the grace period.
What do you think of the Indian tax authority sending this probing letter to crypto owners? Let us know in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before making any decisions. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is 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.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

How to Become a Blockchain Developer

Skilled blockchain developers are a scarce commodity, as precious as the bitcoins that reside on the distributed ledgers they maintain. Teach yourself one of the major blockchain programming languages and you’ll be set for life, though like anything worth having, this achievement won’t come easy. If you’re contemplating becoming a blockchain dev, here’s how to get started.
Also read: How to Shuffle BCH and Keep Your Transactions Private With Cashshuffle
Learn Your Languages and Know Your Code
The crypto community is comprised of a series of tribes, each fiercely loyal to its anointed coin. Become a blockchain developer, however, and you’ll be able to transcend these artificial boundaries, because good code is good code, and if you can create bug-proof smart contracts and weed out vulnerabilities, you’ll never find yourself out of a job. Satoshi wrote Bitcoin in C++ and it remains one of the most popular and versatile blockchain programming languages to this day. Java, Python, Ruby, Rust, Solidity, Go, and C# are all to be found within the cryptosphere, however, anchoring crypto networks at the base layer.

If you’re intent on becoming a blockchain developer, but don’t know a compiler from a smart contract, a good place to start is by attending a hackathon. Cryptocurrency projects regularly hold these events to encourage developers to build upon their ecosystem and to inspire new use cases and applications. Aeternity’s Big Bang Event, scheduled to take place in Prague on September 20-21, for instance, will bring together 500 participants including developers, entrepreneurs, students, and big tech minds to discuss scaling solutions. Events such as these provide an ideal opportunity to meet like-minded souls and to pick up tips on how to enter the industry.
As Aeternity Crypto Foundation member Emin Mahrt observed, “Everyone is absolutely welcome to attend … We’d be very delighted to meet as many like-minded tech builders and curious dreamers as possible. You never know which of the people you meet will someday become the founder of an industry-breaking product.” Hackathons are a great place for emerging devs, aspiring devs and potential devs who are mooting the wisdom of becoming a full-time blockchain engineer.

The Pros and Cons of Formal Education
Do you have a degree? If you could go back in time, would you swap it for a more useful one – like Computer Science? Or would you ditch it altogether to be free of your student loan and to spend your time doing something more productive? Today, many would-be students are questioning the wisdom of a formal education in an age where you can obtain the same learning for free from Youtube. While there are some fields, such as the social sciences, where academic learning presents the best route to career advancement, that’s not necessarily the case with tech. If you can code, no one cares where you acquired your skills. A prestigious alma mater means nothing when there’s debugging to be done and the clock is ticking.
While the wisdom of pursuing tertiary education is a matter for you to ponder, it’s worth noting that there are now university courses based around blockchain. These include Blockchain at Berkeley – a student-run organization that offers courses on and off campus – and Princeton’s Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies online course, which has attracted several hundred thousand signups to date. It’s free, but it’s also just 18 hours and – spoiler alert – becoming an expert blockchain developer takes longer than a weekend.
Princeton University
University may not be the fastest way to become a blockchain dev, but it shouldn’t be discounted altogether. Besides, there’s more than one way to use educational institutions as a springboard to a job in the cryptosphere. Yannis Stamelakos is a blockchain engineer at Tokencard. “I started my career in academia, doing research on embedded systems which led me to obtain a PhD in computer architecture, focusing on near-threshold computing for low-power manycore systems,” he told news.Bitcoin.com. “I was always fascinated by blockchain technology and so hardware wallets were the perfect entry point.”
From there, Stamelakos gained work with Provable, writing apps for Ledger’s Nano S, generating authenticity proofs that could be validated on-chain. “We were actually working on creating an ideal infrastructure for building oracles that could fetch data to the blockchain in a trustless way. This served as a perfect stepping stone for my role at TokenCard as a Blockchain Engineer,” he finished.
How to Become a Self-Taught Blockchain Developer
For autodidacts, going it alone is the best way to learn the ropes and then master them. If you’ve got the discipline to study and the willpower to avoid firing up crypto Twitter every time your concentration lapses, you’ll find the web to be awash with all the tools and tutorials it takes to become an accomplished cryptocurrency developer. Bitcoin dev Jameson Lopp’s resources page is rich in links to portals for genning up on BTC tech. Udemy’s video courses are also well worth checking out.

While there are ideological differences between Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash, from an architectural perspective the two cryptocurrencies are very similar. Thus, the skills you learn from BTC-oriented sites are equally applicable to BCH. For BCH proponents, this knowledge can then be augmented by heading to the developer section of Bitcoin.com. The Learn section is the best place to start. Here, you’ll find step by step instructions on how to build Bitcoin Cash apps from scratch and can view real world examples that can be deployed as your own working copies from which to bootstrap your project. You’ll also find Mastering Bitcoin Cash, based on the acclaimed Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
In the future, we’ll all be replaced by robots and AI, but in the here and now, there’s a demand for skilled humans to maintain the current generation of crypto networks and to create new applications and layered solutions built upon decentralized technologies. If that’s you, stop dreaming and start studying.
What other resources do you recommend for blockchain developers? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

How to Shuffle BCH and Keep Your Transactions Private With Cashshuffle

As blockchain surveillance becomes more prevalent, cryptocurrency advocates have created ways to make digital currency transactions more private. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has an application called Cashshuffle, which allows users to shuffle their BCH with other fractions of BCH to obfuscate the transaction trail. To complete a shuffle, there are a few steps you must take to utilize the Cashshuffle protocol via the Electron Cash lite wallet.
Also Read: 10,000 American Cryptocurrency Owners Will Receive Warning Letters From the IRS
A Guide to Shuffling Bitcoin Cash With Cashshuffle
Keeping your business private is a sovereign right and when it comes to money, people like to keep their spending habits and transactions discreet. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developers believe in confidential transactions, and last March the Electron Cash wallet saw the first implementation of Cashshuffle added to the client. Cashshuffle is a decentralized coin mixing scheme that shuffles your bitcoin cash with other network participants. The shuffling process makes it difficult for chain analysis entities to follow transactions. Since March 27, millions of dollars have been shuffled and the platform continues to be a top BCH application. To ensure crypto transactions are concealed from onlookers, we’ve drafted a step-by-step Cashshuffle walkthrough so you can keep your bitcoin cash transactions confidential.
You need to download the latest version of Electron Cash to use the Cashshuffle protocol. Last May, developers released a new Cashshuffle JS library which will make it easier for light clients like the Bitcoin.com Wallet to integrate the Cashshuffle protocol.
The first step is to download the latest Electron Cash wallet which is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and mobile phones as well. However, Cashshuffle only works for the desktop client of EC and the latest EC version is 4.0.8 at the time of publication. The application is a touch less than 60MB and only takes a minute to download depending on your internet speed. After the download completes, you can then open the application and get familiar with the EC wallet’s user interface (UI). First time EC users will have to start a new wallet or import existing BCH into the wallet using a private key. To quickly get started, create a new wallet and write down the new mnemonic phrase. The EC software will ask you to verify the 12-word phrase in order to make sure it was written down correctly.
Cashshuffle is disabled by default and the application can be toggled on and off.
After the new wallet is created, you can begin shuffling coins with Cashshuffle but you’ll need to send some funds to the newly created wallet. It’s worth noting that the entire process of using the EC wallet’s Cashuffle service can be done over the Tor network for added privacy. Users can connect to a reputable onion node or select a proxy and port while simultaneously running the Tor browser. After opening the newly created wallet, the EC client’s interface has six sections at the top of the window which include history, send, receive, addresses, coins, and a BCH address converter. Press ‘Receive’ so you can send yourself some funds to shuffle as the EC software will provide a QR code you can scan. You can also copy and paste the BCH address and fund the address that way as well. After you send the funds, wait for one confirmation to begin the shuffling process.
You can watch the entire process in real-time via the coins section and under shuffle status in the Electron Cash wallet.
By default, Cashshuffle is turned off when you use the Electron Cash wallet for the first time. To turn Cashshuffle on, simply press the orange stack of BCH bills icon next to the padlock icon on the bottom right side of the wallet window. When Cashshuffle was first launched in March, it took a while to connect to peers and shuffle some coins. However, these days there are a bunch of people shuffling and initiating a shuffle took less than a minute. While waiting for the shuffle to happen you can watch the connection in real-time by pressing the coins tab at the top of the window on the left side of the address converter.
When all five players are coordinated the shuffling process will begin the transaction queue.
To complete the Cashshuffle walkthrough I decided to shuffle 0.01440652 BCH ($5 worth). The coins tab will show that you need to connect with five participants in order to start the process. While it’s waiting to connect, the EC software will tell you how many Cashshuffle players are connected and when it reaches five the shuffling process will start to queue. Shuffling the $5 worth of bitcoin cash was executed simply by funding my wallet, turning on Cashshuffle and waiting for a group of players to join.
The coins section will show you when the BCH has been shuffled under the shuffle status.
As mentioned above, during my test the Cashshuffle process took less than a minute, but if you have to wait a bit longer just leave your computer on while it’s connected to the internet and leave Electron Cash running. You can do other things on your computer while you wait and come back to the wallet when the process is complete. Looking at the coins section in the EC wallet later, you will see that the shuffle status window says “shuffled” when everything is done. In the EC transaction history section, the funds shuffled will indicate the process was completed while also displaying the fee for the shuffling process. The Cashshuffle scheme itself requires onchain confirmations and you will have to wait until your shuffled transaction to confirm to move the funds elsewhere. In order to keep mixed coins (UTXOs) private you should not combine the shuffled outputs after completing the Cashshuffle process. With the EC wallet you can always specify exactly which UTXOs you want to spend and deal with shuffled coins in a separated fashion.
The shuffle process is complete.
Improved Privacy Is Coming to Cashshuffle Which Aims to Wreck Chain Analysis
Cashshuffle is a really nice application to add more privacy to bitcoin cash transactions, but the method is not 100% perfect. Recently Electron Cash and Cashshuffle engineers have been working to strengthen the Cashshuffle process with a scheme called Cashfusion. Speaking with Electron Cash developer Jonald Fyookball on July 25, the programmer detailed that Mark Lundeberg was collaborating with the project and helping the team make it better.
Electron Cash and Cashshuffle developer Jonald Fyookball recenty informed the BCH community that “Cashfusion got a whole lot better.” Fyookball explained he’s been working with independent software developer Mark Lundeberg and has put “100+ revisions” into the Cashfusion project since he last updated the community.
The Cashfusion concept, when introduced, will bring higher levels of privacy to the Cashshuffle process. This is because the new method will allow an arbitrary number of inputs and outputs of non-standard amounts which essentially offers private coordination and zero-knowledge of linkage between Cashshuffle participants. Fyookball said that Cashfusion is still under development but “the badass thing is that [Cashfusion] is going to allow the user to have any inputs and outputs they want.” The developer added:
[Cashfusion] is going to completely wreck chain analysis.
Cashshuffle continues to be used every day and there’s been a total of 22,631 shuffles since March 27. Out of those 22K shuffles, a whopping 127,702 BCH has been shuffled or $43.3 million at today’s prices. Every weekend Cashshufflers gather together on ‘Shuffle Saturdays,’ which usually see a greater number of BCH shuffled than the weekdays. The website Cashshuffle Stats gives people a glimpse of all the shuffling action taking place using the protocol with information like shuffle volume, daily count, weekly count, and shuffle counts by pool. If you want to test the Electron Cash wallet with Cashshuffle you can download the latest version here. Bitcoin.com also offers you the opportunity to purchase bitcoin cash (BCH) and other leading coins if you’d like to obtain some BCH for shuffling.

What do you think about the Cashshuffle process? Have you tried to shuffle some coins using the Cashshuffle protocol? Let us know about your experience and let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned software. Bitcoin.com or the author 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, software or services mentioned in this article. This editorial review is for informational purposes only.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Electron Cash, Cashshuffle, and Jamie Redman.
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

From Booze to Bitcoin Mining – Why Violent Prohibition Is Always Harmful

Stories continue to emerge about newly discovered illegal mining operations being busted by state and corporate authorities. Just last week Iranian media reported the seizure of 177 Bitcoin mining units worth over $270,000 being smuggled via truck in the Arak region. On July 31, Russia’s Kraskom power company reported illegal siphoning of power from municipal grids for mining, resulting in losses over $31,000. With incidents like this in no short supply, it is worth asking why people are willing to risk severe criminal punishment to mine crypto, and whether government monetary policy worldwide might play a role in creating such demand.
Also Read: Tax Expert: IRS Letters Confirm That Trading Cryptos Is a Taxable Event
Violent Legislation Doesn’t Work
As American economist Milton Friedman once so aptly observed, “Prohibition is an attempted cure that makes matters worse – for both the addict and the rest of us.” In the case of the historic U.S. prohibition on alcohol, it proves to be so. From the government literally poisoning people to death to stop alcohol consumption, to the proliferation of thousands of underground bars and speakeasies dealing with mob crime syndicates, the whole debacle was an abject failure, much like the so-called drug war of today. Prohibitionism always serves two roles: to distort the organic price and demand for the activity or substance, and also — by virtue of violence-backed laws and the violent markets they engender — to make it more dangerous.
Bitcoin mining restrictions can be viewed similarly in some respects. In light of current prohibitionary, fiat strangleholds on economies worldwide, crypto mining has become very lucrative. Thanks to the sound nature of Bitcoin and its limited supply, it would be lucrative regardless, but with prohibition added to the mix, markets are sharply and artificially dynamized. Whether it is the illegality (in some countries), or the systematic devaluation of fiat (everywhere), mining crypto pays and provides economic opportunity where the fiat status quo falls short. And while mining bitcoin might not be an addiction like alcoholism, folks are still willing to take great risks — even potentially life-threatening ones — to partake. In the name of freedom, and in the pursuit of survival and value.
U.S. federal agents pose with rifles after confiscating alcoholic beverages during the prohibition era.
Government-Manufactured Market Restrictions
State restrictions can make even the most benign of acts “crimes.” Selling raw milk, for example, is not a dangerous act in and of itself. However, introduce some violent legislature into the mix, and even this simple activity ends up culminating in the potential violation, kidnapping, and caging of a non-violent human being.
Independent bitcoin miners are similarly taking remarkable risks, whether they’re illegally stealing electricity to do so or not. The recent reported smuggling of 117 crypto miners in Iran is potentially punishable by death, for example. While mining is technically not prohibited there, operations must be state-approved and meet specific guidelines. Private mining and the use of bitcoin in commerce domestically are both banned as per new legislation passed on August 4.
A Fiat Pressure Cooker
Some wonder why these rogue miners don’t just wait until the dust settles, get licensed and certified, and start mining then, legally and safely. This may be akin to asking why the impoverished teen drug dealer in Chicago’s housing projects doesn’t just go apply for a bank loan. Crypto has been an effective means for Iranians to help stave off economic hardships brought on by crippling U.S. sanctions, and a fiat currency that’s inflating rapidly. Many likely don’t have the time or resources to wait on sluggish governments to move or approve. According to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service:
The reinstatement of U.S. sanctions has driven Iran’s economy into recession as major companies exit the Iranian economy rather than risk being penalized by the United States. Iran’s oil exports have decreased significantly, the value of Iran’s currency has declined sharply, and unrest has continued.
As for reported power theft in Russia, motives don’t seem so easy to guess. Those involved could be facing up to five years in prison for outfitting a building with mining rigs and connecting illegally to local power grids. While that’s not an Iranian death sentence by any stretch, it’s a sizeable risk all the same. There was also a large bust last year in Taiwan, involving fake storefronts and rigged electric meters to avoid detection from power companies.
Whether these other cases are people just trying to survive in a fiat paradigm with few options for security, or simply exercises in getting filthy rich, is up for debate. However, economics maintains that when more resources and opportunities are available to the individual market actor, supply and demand equilibrium can be more closely approached. To unilaterally throttle markets under the color of law as governments do is to ensure that unnaturally high, imbalanced prices favorable to criminal enterprise are maintained. To quote Friedman again:

See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.

Of course, even in the best of circumstances there will still be bad actors who steal and rob, but the problem is exacerbated immensely by the fiat lockdown and forced monopoly on resources and activities — including power itself — via government money and licensing rackets. For example, in many places in the U.S. it is illegal to save one’s own private solar power without first striking a deal with the local, government-embedded power company.
Declining purchasing power of the U.S. dollar from 1913-2019
Stealing Purchasing Power
When purchasing power is degraded, market actors naturally seek out more secure and advantageous options. Selling illegal drugs, operating an unlicensed business, finding creative ways to avoid taxes — these are all ways to improve one’s position in a paradigm where the only legal currencies are unsound, and where the economic habitat often resembles a pit of starving dogs fighting each other just to stay out of debt under the king’s table.
On top of all the prohibitive rules, governments worldwide continue hypocritically stealing power from individual market actors by exploiting the very markets they outlaw for private individuals. Iran is setting up a national legal structure for crypto mining and is working on its own gold-backed crypto token. The IRS is sending warning letters to crypto holders in America and in effect corralling them into centralized, government-regulated exchanges. Strange behavior from groups claiming crypto is made from “thin air,” has no value, and is used largely by terrorists.

People Mine for Gold, Not Garbage
One day it will be absurd to imagine someone going to jail for mining crypto, as it is today to imagine getting arrested for drinking a beer on the sofa and watching TV. The track record of various prohibitions speak for themselves. The war on drugs has cost American taxpayers over $1 trillion since 1971, and yet 451,000 individuals remain incarcerated on any given day, for non-violent drug offenses. According to some sources, around 10,000 died during America’s alcohol prohibition by way of the government-poisoned industrial alcohol. Private bitcoin and crypto mining are currently being criminalized around the world, even in countries where the licensed practice is legal for select, government-approved parties.
Removing these violent restrictions would bring balance to the global economy, allowing black market bubbles to pop, and value to seep back into the free market. At the very least, the systematic violence perpetrated on innocent people for non-violent activities (like mining crypto) would stop. Portugal’s decriminalization of drugs is an example of this. As is the American prohibition being repealed. All this seems very obvious, and yet the state continues violently forcing itself upon anyone and everyone, demanding use of their garbage play money, or else. Go home, government, you’re drunk.
What do you think about state restrictions on bitcoin mining? Let us know in the comments section below.
OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. 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 information in this Op-ed article.
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More Cities and Regions Accepting Coins for Taxes, Services

Cryptocurrency payments, as convenient as they can be, are still something most governments are trying to wrap their heads around and regulate. Local authorities, however, being closer to the citizens they are called upon to serve, are often quicker to adopt novelties that make their lives and the lives of ordinary people much easier. More of them are introducing cryptocurrency as a payment option for the taxes they collect and the services they provide.
Also read: More Signs the Next Big Financial Crisis Begins in Germany
Two Canadian Municipalities Take Bitcoin From Taxpayers
Crypto adoption doesn’t have to be problematic. Recently, the City of Richmond Hill, Ontario started talks with a fintech company to arrange a new service for its residents. Individual taxpayers and businesses will be offered the option to pay property tax with bitcoin. Coinberry, which will provide the payment solution, is a Toronto-based startup registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Fintrac.

The negotiations began after the City Council of Richmond Hill supported in vote on July 10 efforts to reach an agreement with Coinberry. The company maintains a platform allowing purchases and sales of major cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and ripple (XRP), with Canadian dollars. Using its services, the municipality will be able to accept digital coins through conversion to fiat money.
Quoted by the Canadian online edition Global News, the city’s deputy mayor and regional councilor Carmine Perrelli explained that any resident who wants to pay with digital coins will go through the mediating company, which will convert the crypto and pay the city with Canadian currency. By September 30, the municipality will evaluate the feasibility of implementing Coinberry’s solution to process other payments as well, such as city fees and charges.
In the spirit of the Latin saying Pecunia non olet, Perrelli said that city authorities wanted to give citizens every opportunity to pay with whatever currency they have. And although at this stage demand for the service isn’t overwhelming, the local official noted that the new payment option has already aroused some curiosity. The deputy mayor pointed out that the local government was mainly concerned about potential risks and costs for the municipality but stated:

From our perspective, there’s no risk, there’s no cost, and all we’re doing is providing an extra level of service. Whatever the currency is, we’re not concerned about how it fluctuates.

The deal with Richmond Hill is actually Coinberry’s second project of this kind in the province of Ontario. Earlier this year, in March, the fintech company entered into a similar agreement with the Town of Innisfil. The partnership, which started with a one-year trial, aims to provide taxpayers with the same service, allowing them to cover their property taxes with crypto coins.
Some of the town’s over 35,000 residents have already taken advantage of the crypto payment method, Innisfil mayor Lynn Dollin told media. “It’s about being future ready, and it’s about just providing that other option,” she remarked, noting that the process is very convenient for the municipality which receives the tax payments in Canadian dollars in its bank accounts.
Joe Di Paola, also serving as a deputy mayor of Richmond Hill, believes the demand for a payment option based on digital currency is going to grow in the future, especially among millennials. And according to Coinberry CEO Andrei Poliakov, quoted in a press release, leaders of government organizations and enterprises are realizing that they can innovate with blockchain and digital currencies.
Canada Expands AML Regulations to Cover Cryptocurrencies
The Canadian government recently adopted amendments to its anti-money laundering legislation concerning the exchange and transfer of virtual currencies and the platforms that provide related services. The updated regulations require them to register with Fintrac and implement compliance programs. They will have to keep record and report in detail any digital currency transaction worth 10,000 Canadian dollars or more. The stricter rules are going to affect the users of crypto services such as those offered by Coinberry.

National authorities are generally slower to embrace new technologies than local governments. And when that eventually happens, they often introduce regulations that suffocate innovation. The more extensive the rules and limitations, the harder it gets to implement otherwise effective solutions. Sometimes even governments themselves suffer from their own complex and excessive regulations. Tax collection is a good example.
In the U.S., states like Ohio and New Hampshire have taken steps to facilitate the payment of taxes with cryptocurrencies. In the beginning of this year, a bill was proposed in New Hampshire that would allow its residents to do just that. The draft was approved unanimously by the Free State’s House Subcommittee. Bringing forward the new legislation, New Hampshire is moving in the footsteps of Ohio, which became the first U.S. state to accept bitcoin payments for various business taxes.
In February, Ohio treasurer Robert Sprague revealed that at least two companies have already paid their taxes using bitcoin since the state launched a platform for cryptocurrency payments at the end of 2018. Meanwhile, Indiana is another state that has been working to amend its tax code in order to allow tax payments in cryptocurrency. A bill aiming to achieve this was proposed earlier this year.

But instead of regulating tax payments in cryptocurrency on federal level, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seems to be more interested in exploiting every opportunity to tax crypto users and traders. The agency recently announced that it started sending letters to over 10,000 taxpayers, advising them to pay taxes on their crypto holdings as well as interest and penalties in case they’ve failed to properly file past returns. And mistakes have probably been made as it now turns out that exchanging one coin for another is a taxable event.
The two Ontario cities and the U.S. states of New Hampshire, Ohio and Indiana are not the first regions to embark on introducing crypto payments for taxes. The municipality of Chiasso in the Swiss canton of Ticino has allowed its residents to pay their taxes with cryptocurrency since January 2018. The decision was announced after consultations between the town’s mayor Bruno Arrigoni, and local businesses and representatives of the crypto industry, which has found a favorable climate in the Alpine nation.
Brazilian City Accepts Digital Coins for Bus Tickets
There are no boundaries when it comes to using cryptocurrencies for payments. Regional governments across the world can only benefit from introducing bitcoin as a payment option. Not only taxes, but all kinds of fees and fares can be collected in digital currency. And to implement solutions allowing that, local officials and entrepreneurs don’t necessarily need to wait for authorization from centralized power. That’s what a public transportation company in Fortaleza, the fifth-largest Brazilian city, recently did.

Cootraps, a union of independent passenger transporters, announced at the end of July its plan to provide the residents of Fortaleza — which has a population of over 2.6 million — the opportunity to purchase bus tickets with cryptocurrency, alongside the traditional bank cards and fiat cash options. The system will be implemented by the end of the year and will support multiple coins in the long run. Speaking to the Brazilian news outlet O Povo, Cootraps CFO Carlos Robério Sampaio explained:

This is a way of reducing bureaucracy, even bringing more users to transport. We expect a larger flow of people, we will make it easier for the users.

Commuters will be able to make crypto payments with their smartphones without bothering the driver. Upon payment confirmation, a mobile application will generate a QR code they’ll scan when boarding the bus. According to the management of the transportation cooperative, the new system will lower costs and allow passengers to buy combo tickets for multiple trips.
For these and many other purposes, crypto payments are faster, safer, and cheaper than traditional fiat transfers. That’s also why Bitcoin.com developed Bitcoin Cash Register, a simple and very useful point of sale app available for both iOS and Android devices. It allows merchants and others to process bitcoin cash payments at any retail location. No account is needed to download and install the software that lets you accept BCH anywhere in the world.
Do you think local governments should start accepting cryptocurrency for tax payments and the services they provide? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
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Currency War Erupts as US and China Bring Out the Big Guns

What started out as a trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies is now a full-blown currency war as the U.S. and China bring their big guns to the battlefield. The impact on the global financial markets was immediate and severe, driving up safe-haven assets as ordinary people fear losing the value of their fiat savings.
Also Read: US, EU and Japan Could Trigger ‘Cold Currency War’ by Debasing Fiat
US vs China Trade War Heats Up
The U.S. – China trade war has rapidly escalated in the last few days, with the governments on both sides apparently pulling out all the stops. Last week U.S. President Donald Trump revealed his decision to impose a new 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, in addition to his previously imposed tariffs on imports from the rival country. On Monday, the government of China retaliated by officially announcing it is suspending the purchases of U.S. agricultural products by Chinese firms as well as threatening to impose tariffs on the farm goods purchased after August 3.

The trade battle has also spread into the monetary arena and sparked what is now an undeniable currency war between the two economic superpowers. This Monday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) also allowed the Chinese currency to fall bellow the 7 yuan to 1 U.S. dollar threshold, an important level that it maintained for 11 years, ever since the 2008 financial crisis. And this happened after last Wednesday the U.S. Federal Reserve cut its key interest rates for the first time in more than a decade.
In a statement regarding the exchange rate changes on Monday, the PBOC explained that it “has accumulated rich experience and policy tools, and will continue to innovate and enrich the control toolbox, and take necessary and targeted measures against the positive feedback behavior that may occur in the foreign exchange market.” This was taken by the American side as an official announcement by the Chinese central bank that it remains committed to fight in order to defend its interests on the currency front.
The Pot Calling the Kettle Black
In a response to these recent developments, the U.S. Treasury Department announced on Monday that Secretary Steven Mnuchin, under the auspices of President Trump, has officially determined that China is a ‘Currency Manipulator.’ As a result of this determination, Mnuchin will now turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to “eliminate the unfair competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions.”
The Treasury’s announcement complains that: “In recent days, China has taken concrete steps to devalue its currency, while maintaining substantial foreign exchange reserves despite active use of such tools in the past. The context of these actions and the implausibility of China’s market stability rationale confirm that the purpose of China’s currency devaluation is to gain an unfair competitive advantage in international trade.”
Besides asking the IMF to probe into its trade rival’s currency devaluation, this step will also allow the Trump administration to take further actions against China within the American legal system. These include banning Chinese companies from seeking trade financing or taking part in U.S. government contracts.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
President Trump himself came out with a tirade against China on Twitter, accusing it of manipulating its currency while simultaneously putting pressure on the Fed to effectively devalue the U.S. dollar again. He wrote: “China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low. It’s called ‘currency manipulation.’ Are you listening Federal Reserve? This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!”
The U.S. president also added that: “China has always used currency manipulation to steal our businesses and factories, hurt our jobs, depress our workers’ wages and harm our farmers’ prices. Not anymore! China is intent on continuing to receive the hundreds of Billions of Dollars they have been taking from the U.S. with unfair trade practices and currency manipulation. So one-sided, it should have been stopped many years ago!”
Labeling China a currency manipulator was one of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign promises as part of his strategy to focus on the trade imbalance between the two countries. By taking this action now he is signaling to his voters that he is still focused on this issue as the 2020 elections are coming up as well as to the Chinese leadership that he is not going to back down, despite the economic impact on the American economy.
Immediate and Severe Financial Impact
The news that the two biggest economies in the world are headed for a direct collision, with international trade and currency battles, sent global stock markets way down. In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite all dropped between 2.9 to 3.5% on Monday, the worst daily performance for all three major indexes during the whole year of 2019. Chinese stock markets were also badly hurt on Monday and trading across Asia opened with a wave of red screens on Tuesday morning.

Unsurprisingly, the currency war has also triggered a flight to safety by investors who see both governments across the Pacific struggling to weaken their own fiat currency in an attempt to hurt the other side. Gold, for example, jumped to a price level not seen in more than six years on Monday.
This phenomenon is also widely considered to be one of the driving factors behind the recent sharp upturn in the cryptocurrency markets. With the situation only heating up and no end in sight, this might be the start of a new long term crypto bull market as more investors will see it as a hedge against their savings losing value. If you want to diversify some of your money into digital assets, you can purchase BCH, BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, and BNB with a credit card at Buy.Bitcoin.com or with all other payment methods over at Local.Bitcoin.com from peer-to-peer traders.
What do you think about the global currency war and how it will impact the cryptocurrency ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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How Governments Steal Your Money and Conceal It Through Inflation

Dozens of countries all over the world have used the same trick called redenomination to hide how they have stolen their own citizens’ money through inflation or hyperinflation. The next nation to try this economic sleight of hand is the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Also Read: Global Crypto War Is Heating up – Iran Next in Line With Its Own Gold-Backed Coin
Iran Cuts Four Zeros From Hyperinflated Rial
According to recent media reports from Iran, the government in Tehran last week approved a major change to the country’s fiat currency presented by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) back in January. Four zeros will be cut from the Iranian rial and it will also be completely replaced, gradually and over a two-year period, by a new currency going by an ancient name, the toman.
“The council of ministers, at a meeting presided by President Hassan Rouhani this morning, approved the central bank’s proposed bill to change the national currency from the rial to the toman and delete four zeros,” the Fars news agency reported on Wednesday. This decision was made “to maintain the efficiency of the national currency and facilitate and restore the role of cash instruments in domestic monetary transactions,” Fars added.
The Persian toman was used in the country until 1932 when it was replaced by the rial as the official currency. Out of habit, the people of Iran still use it as a monetary unit to this day to mean 10 rials, exactly at the rate it was replaced at almost 90 years ago. However, the new toman will be worth 100 rials, creating in effect another tenfold redenomination of the Iranian currency.

The real reason for the Iranian government’s move is that the rial has been suffering from severe inflation in the last couple of years, dropping to exchange rates as low as 190,000 rials per US dollar last September. During 2018 alone it has lost about 60% of its purchasing power, wiping out most of the value of people’s savings and earnings.
This process started in December 2017 when the Iranian government decided to cut interest rates on savings accounts in an effort to boost exports. It was kicked into high gear with the help of another round of U.S. financial sanctions over the country’s nuclear program.
The Iranian government later tried to correct course but its actions have been mostly futile and some have even backfired. For example, setting the official exchange rate at about 45,000 rials to USD caused a new online black market to spring up where people now use instant messaging apps to trade at real prices outside the control of the government and its approved money changers.
A Long History of Hiding Failure
Iran did not invent the idea of cutting zeros off its currency to hide its diminishing worth, of course, and it is just the latest in a long line of countries that have done the same over the years. In fact, fiat redenominations have being going on for over a century now, with some countries doing it over and over again whenever inflation pops up such as Brazil and Argentina. Sometimes it has coincided with an improvement of the local economy but often it has merely hastened its approaching collapse. In recent years this has been most notable in the case of countries suffering from hyperinflation such as Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

In February 2009 the government of Zimbabwe decided to cut 12 zeros from its currency, after the Zimbabwe dollar set a new world record in hyperinflation estimated to be in the billions of percent. This meant that 1 trillion in old Zimbabwe dollars was at once made equivalent to just one new Zimbabwe dollar. The step was taken after the old currency became basically useless as money, with even the highest notes of 100 trillion dollars not worth enough to buy a single loaf of bread. Just the year before, Zimbabwe already cut 10 zeros off its currency.
In August 2018 the Venezuelan government removed five zeros off its fiat as President Nicolas Maduro decided that the new “sovereign bolivar” would officially be worth 100,000 times the older bolivar. Just 10 years prior, Venezuela cut three zeros off its currency. Maduro also claims that the sovereign bolivar is backed by the dubious petro cryptocurrency he created.
Why Redenomination Fails to Make an Impact
Governments and central banks present several reasons for making such drastic redenominations. Some are practical, such as saving people the trouble of having to use a wheelbarrow full of paper money just to get a loaf of bread to feed their family.
Others are purely psychological, such as restoring ordinary people’s confidence in the national economy by making the currency look like it’s worth more in international terms. These appear to be more honest, as the real purpose is after all to hide the fact that the people in power have wiped out national savings through disastrous policies such as endless money printing.

According to economic research, redenomination has a long term impact on an economy only when it is accompanied by strong anti-inflationary financial steps and the removal of the economic policies causing the problem to begin with. Otherwise, the practice can backfire as people will see that the government can just remove as many zeros as it wants but inflation will keep biting, causing the populace to lose confidence and flee to more stable monetary options, further depressing the value of the local currency.
In the long term, the only foreseeable solution to preventing hyperinflation is to take the power to print money away from the state by transitioning to an inflation-resistant cryptocurrency-based monetary system.
What do you think about governments trying to hide inflation with redenomination? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

PR: Pbet Announces IEO Launch on LATOKEN

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.
Pbet has recently got its IEO hosted at LATOKEN exchange on its multi-asset trading platform. The company envisions to conjoin physical casinos with online casinos, thanks to its blockchain crypto-based Unified Gaming platform.
Cyprus, August 5st 2019: Next-gen crypto gaming platform Pbet is delighted to announce the launch of its IEO on leading crypto exchange LATOKEN. After the conclusion of the IEO, PBET token will be listed on LATOKEN for trading.
Pbet aspires to create a convergence between physical casinos and online gaming space through its innovative Unified Gaming platform- whilst incorporating cryptocurrencies for payments. Put simply, Pbet aims to help physical casinos to expand online so that these platforms can acquire highly-valued online players yet at a fraction of cost needed to acquire online players normally.
“We are excited to announce the launch of our IEO on the esteemed platform of LATOKEN. We have been looking forward to secure a place in the leading exchange and to be finally listed is enormously special to us. LATOKEN commands a huge user base and the launch of our IEO here would facilitate excellent exposure for our token PBET. We are watching for a positive response for our IEO on LATOKEN”, stated Bassel Moukaddem, CEO of Pbet.
The company has come up with a revolutionary turn-key, “0” fixed fees, revenue sharing model that enables physical casinos to expand online without the high costs of penetrating online. Pbet also assures lesser transactional fees for online payments for players as well as quasi-immediate withdrawal with crypto payments.
Founded in Russia, LATOKEN is not just a crypto exchange but also a decentralized multi-asset trading platform. The exchange allows easy trading in all major coins as well as many new emerging coins. It’s to stress here LATOKEN portal is based on DAG technology that assures super-fast trading in just seconds. Moreover, the exchange is extremely particular about security and has deployed advanced measures like encryption key, DDOS protection, 2FA to ensure a safe trading environ for users. The exchange also stores 99.5 percent of users’ funds in cold wallet to prevent hacking.
“We are glad to host the IEO for Pbet. The crypto gaming platform shows great promise and its token PBET will witness rising value over time. We are expecting a strong future for Pbet and PBET token and are happy to present our users with a high potential token”, added the chief spokesperson from LATOKEN.
For more, please visit https://pbet.io/.
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.
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Market Outlook: Trade Wars and Filthy Fiat Battles Fuel Crypto Prices

A slew of digital currencies have gathered decent gains over the last 48 hours and the entire market capitalization now stands at around $308 billion. Moreover, cryptocurrency trade volumes have kicked up a notch, capturing $66 billion in swaps over the last day. Overall, speculators think the recent spike in crypto prices is due to the overwhelming economic uncertainty worldwide.
Also Read: Tax Expert: IRS Letters Confirm That Trading Cryptos Is a Taxable Event
Despite Traditional Market Downturn, Crypto Markets See Steady Gains
Cryptocurrency prices have jumped northbound once again as a large number of digital assets have seen gains between 2-15% over the last 24 hours. At the time of publication, the price of bitcoin core (BTC) is hovering just below the $12K mark at $11,757 per coin. BTC is up over 8% in 24 hours and has a market valuation of around $209 billion. The cryptocurrency is up 23% over the last seven days and there’s $23 billion in global BTC trade volume on August 5. Right behind BTC is ETH which is hovering around $231 per coin and is up over 4.9% today.
Top 15 digital assets by market cap on Monday, August 5, 2019. If you are looking for a place to buy cryptocurrencies like bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), ethereum (ETH), and others get access to these digital assets here.
Ripple (XRP) is up a hair over 2% this Monday and is trading for $0.32 per XRP. In fourth position and the biggest gainer over the last 24 hours is litecoin (LTC) as it jumped 15% after the cryptocurrency’s reward halving took place. LTC dipped a bit afterward but is still up 6% and each LTC is swapping for $99. Lastly, bitcoin cash (BCH) markets are up over 4.5% on Monday as each BCH is trading for $347. BCH is up more than 12.8% for the week and there’s $1.75 billion in global BCH trade volume today.
A Flight-to-Safety Asset
There’s been a whole lot of speculation and analysis with people trying to figure out why digital assets are pumping once again. Many people believe the rise is due to investors looking for a safe haven asset as economic turmoil strikes fear into global leaders. Charles Hayter, the founder of digital currency data website Cryptocompare, believes BTC is being used as a “flight-to-safety.” The crypto price spike started after global stock markets started tumbling when U.S. President Donald Trump told the media he would impose a 10% tariff on Chinese imports.
Some speculators believe capital flight out of China might be priming the current cryptocurrency bull run’s flames.
“Bitcoin has many use cases and one of the most important is as a form of digital gold,” Hayter explained on Monday. “We have seen bitcoin jump before on macro uncertainty as it becomes a conduit and flight-to-safety asset.” Etoro’s Simon Peters thinks tensions between the U.S. and China is a plausible theory as well. “Given that Chinese investors make up a large proportion of crypto investors, there’s a strong possibility some are backing bitcoin’s chances against the yuan,” Peters told investors on August 5.
A Looming No-Deal Brexit
It’s very possible that the world could witness a no-deal Brexit in the near future. A while back when people talked about Brexit it meant that the U.K. would leave the European Union (EU) but there were certain agreements tied to the action. This year, a no-deal Brexit means the two countries will divorce and there will be no deals or agreements made when the two go separate ways. Nicholas Gregory, the CEO of Commerceblock, which builds distributed financial infrastructure, believes a no-deal Brexit could push BTC prices past the $20K all-time high.
Commerceblock CEO Nicholas Gregory told news.Bitcoin.com that a no-deal Brexit could spark a BTC rally.
“Bitcoin has rediscovered its mojo this year with multiple mini-surges but a no-deal Brexit could see a massive and unprecedented breakout. Not only will a no-deal departure from the EU create turmoil and volatility across two major fiat currencies, but it will also trigger an identity crisis for the global system as the contingency and vulnerability of major global fiat currencies is laid bare,” Gregory wrote to news.Bitcoin.com on Monday. The Commerceblock founder added:
Come 2020, we expect an increasingly populist and politically unstable world to cement the safe-haven status of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies more generally. And if central banks revert to ramping up the money printing all over again, the case for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin whose supply is capped will be further reinforced. Each time a central bank increases the money supply, it’s another nail in the coffin of fiat.
‘Rally Could Have Real Legs’ Says Galaxy Digital Executive Mike Novogratz
After cryptocurrency markets spiked this weekend and into Monday, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz tweeted that the 2019 BTC rally could be real. The comment follows Novogratz’s recent interview when he told the public that the digital currency could surpass all-time highs in 2019. He attributed the rise in prices on July 25 to the recent Facebook Libra announcement and mentioned Telegram’s coin launch. On Monday, however, Novogratz blamed the global economic uncertainty and capital flight. “With the yuan over 7.0, an FX war, instability in HKG and the beginnings of capital flight, the BTC rally could have real legs,” Novogratz tweeted.
Trade and Currency Wars
Financial analyst Naeem Aslam detailed on Monday that he also thinks economic uncertainty and Donald Trump’s trade wars are helping bolster the price of BTC. “There is no doubt in mind that the Bitcoin price is going to break this year’s high,” Aslam wrote. The FX, equities, and crypto analyst said that crypto bulls can thank Trump for the spike because “it is completely driven by geopolitical tensions.”
Donald Trump’s trade war with China has fueled speculation that people are moving money into digital currencies.
“Donald Trump introduced new tariffs on China last week and I talked about the retaliation action by Beijing. China has unleashed its nuclear weapon on the U.S. This retaliation has come in the form of China introducing the most fearful factor for the markets, a currency war,” Aslam opined. “The Chinese Yuan crossed the level of $7 for the first time and this is only because China clearly wants to devalue its currency.” Aslam further wrote:
We all know what this means for Bitcoin; it is going to explode and continue to move higher.
Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin Markets Spike
BCH has continued to follow the upward trend as the currency has broken a decent path of upward resistance and market analyst John Isige thinks it’s possible BCH could spike to $400 per BCH in the near future. “Glancing ahead, bitcoin cash (BCH) is approaching the rising wedge pattern breakout — Trading above the pattern resistance could boost Bitcoin Cash towards $400,” Isige suggested on Monday. “Moreover, Bitcoin Cash is strongly supported initially by the 50 Simple Moving Average (SMA) 1-hour chart currently at $333.62.”
John Isige notes a rising wedge pattern that could launch BCH towards $400.
Litecoin prices jumped during Monday’s early morning trading sessions due to the cryptocurrency’s reward halving. Before LTC’s block height at 1,680,000, miners got a reward of 25 LTC but now only get 12.5 LTC per block. The halving event gave LTC prices a boost and saw the digital asset rise higher than most coins on Monday. The Litecoin network cuts its mining rewards in half every 840,000 blocks. Since the LTC halving, the digital asset is hovering around the $90-110 range.
Litecoin’s price got a boost from the cryptocurrency’s recent halving at block height at 1,680,000.
Recent Federal Reserve Rate Cut Adds Fuel to the Crypto and Precious Metal Market Rallies
Overall, there’s no shortage of digital currency market speculators and pundits giving their two cents on the current crypto rally. A great majority of investors and enthusiasts believe cryptocurrencies are rising because of the world’s economic woes. Alongside cryptocurrencies, the price of gold has reached a six-year high and speculators believe the spike is due to the exact same reasons.
Gold spot prices per ounce on Monday, August 5, 2019 touch an all-time six-year high according to Goldprice.org.
Additionally, last week, digital currency markets witnessed the first Federal Reserve interest rate cut in ten years. The Fed told the public last Wednesday that the bank would cut rates by a quarter point. Many economists believe the rate cut is troubling for the U.S. economy and even two regional Federal Reserve presidents publicly spoke out against the interest rate cut. The financial columnist from Barron’s, Ben Walsh, recently explained the Fed’s rate cut could reinforce bitcoin gains.
“The Federal Reserve has added fuel to the rally as it has shifted from raising interest rates in 2018 to keeping borrowing costs steady to its current strong hints that a reduction is on the way,” the author penned last week. “Easier monetary policy could bring more gains for bitcoin.”
Where do you see the cryptocurrency markets heading from here? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor 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.” Cryptocurrency and gold prices referenced in this article were recorded at 11:45 a.m. EST on Monday, August 5, 2019.
Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, Bitcoin.com Markets, Getty, Goldprice.org, Wiki Commons, and Pixabay.
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The post Market Outlook: Trade Wars and Filthy Fiat Battles Fuel Crypto Prices appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

PR: Evercoin Announces $1M Pre-Seed Financing With gumi Cryptos and Prominent Blockchain and Open Source Pioneers

Investors include Founder/Executive Chairman of Bitcoin.com (Roger Ver), Founder/CEO’s MuleSoft, and JBoss.
San Francisco, CA – Evercoin announced today $1M in pre-seed stage financing from gumi Cryptos and prominent Blockchain and Open Source pioneers.
Investors in this round include:
Gumi Cryptos Capital
Roger Ver — Founder, Executive Chairman of Bitcoin.com
Ross Mason — Founder of MuleSoft (sold to Salesforce.com)
Marc Fleury — Founder, CEO of JBoss Open Source (sold to Redhat)
John Pigott — Founder, CEO of the ABE Exchange
Eman Pulis — Founder, CEO of Malta Blockchain Summit
The company will use the funding to continue development on Evercoin, the market leading noncustodial mobile wallet-based cryptographic asset exchange. Evercoin already features:
– Self custody (you control the private key)
– Secure key recovery (we never see or store your key)
– Popular coins tradeable in the US including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), Cardano (ADA), Tron (TRX), Dash (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Qtum (QTUM), Decred (DCR) and Dogecoin (DOGE)
– Buy with USD (fiat) by connecting your bank (available today in 10 US States, rolling out to more.)
– Mobile-first on Android and IOS, download it from http://evercoin.com
“Instant” Exchange (Unless it’s a limit order, orders are fulfilled immediately)
– Noncustodial Limit Orders (you choose the price, money stays in your wallet until your price is met)
“We are proud to welcome a set of extremely strategic investors into our seed round.” said Talip Ozturk, founder and CEO of Evercoin. “These investors represent a tremendous range and depth of experience and deep networks in open source software, Bitcoin and regulatory issues for the cryptographic asset class.”
“Evercoin is a beautifully designed consumer user experience that provides all of the benefits of popular services like Coinbase.” said Ray Zhang, Managing Director at gumi Crypto Capital. “What gets us excited is that it’s the strongest product in the market for delivering those features without compromising on user custody, the most important issue for cryptographic assets.”
About Evercoin
Evercoin is the market leading mobile-first noncustodial wallet and exchange service for fiat and cryptographic assets. Evercoin is based in Silicon Valley and is led by Talip Ozturk, the creator of Hazelcast, a popular open source in-memory distributed database in use at the biggest financial services companies in the world. Having seen the power of open source at some of the largest banks in the world, Talip was inspired to join the cryptocurrency movement which combines his love of open systems and distributed governance with his experience in large-scale high-performance financial infrastructure and distributed computing.
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

SEC Commissioner: US Could Draw Crypto Policy From These Countries

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could learn from other countries when finalizing its own crypto regulation, Commissioner Hester Peirce explains. While highlighting peculiar and notable features of the U.S. system, the commissioner emphasizes cross-border considerations, detailing applicable crypto frameworks of several countries.
Also read: G20 Leaders Issue Declaration on Crypto Assets – A Look at Their Commitments
Importance of Cross-Border Considerations
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce explained last week her agency’s approach to regulating crypto assets and how the U.S. could draw from other countries’ regulatory frameworks in setting its own policies. Her speech was given in Singapore at the “SUSS Convergence Forum: Inclusive Blockchain, Finance, and Emerging Technologies,” hosted by Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).
Among the topics she discussed was cross-border crypto regulation. Peirce, known in the crypto community as Crypto Mom, suggested that “The U.S. SEC can look to our counterparts overseas for ideas in untangling some of our most difficult legal and policy questions in this area.”
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce
“Because so much of the activity is taking place outside the United States, we have to think about our regulation with a sensitivity for cross-border considerations, cooperation, and what I call co-learning.” Peirce elaborated:
Crypto regulation affords international regulators the opportunity to learn from one another … The resulting regulatory competition will allow us to see what works well and what does not work at all.
Crypto Mom anticipates several obstacles. Since “countries all over the world are still in the early stages of determining how and whether to regulate crypto,” she foresees uncertainties regarding the various rules in those countries. The commissioner further claims that it is difficult to pin down the domicile of an enterprise in the niche due to the global nature of cryptocurrency, adding that determining the “the precise nature — currency, commodity, security, derivative — of many of the assets at issue” may also be challenging.
Bermuda’s Custody Framework
The first country Peirce mentioned the U.S. could learn from was Bermuda, noting that it is one of the only jurisdictions to address crypto custody in depth. Not only does the island have a regulatory regime for crypto businesses, but it has also released draft guidance for crypto custodial services. “It addresses such difficulties as how to store private keys for hot and cold storage while preserving necessary liquidity, what safeguards should be in place to prevent unauthorized access, and how to frame internal audit of transactions to ensure their integrity,” the commissioner described.

“I look forward, for example, to learning more about Bermuda’s custody framework to see if we can draw from it as we think about how our custody rules apply in the crypto context,” she opined, stating:
These ‘laboratories of regulation’ operated by our international counterparts have me thinking about possible paths for the U.S. to become more welcoming of crypto innovation.
Singapore’s Security Token Approach
Singapore has been at the forefront of much crypto-related activity, which may be attributable to the clarity it has offered to issuers in this market, Commissioner Peirce remarked, noting:
Motivated in part by the approach taken by Singapore, which does not treat every token offering as a securities offering, I would support the creation of a non-exclusive safe harbor for the offer and sale of certain tokens.

Peirce has previously suggested that the U.S. SEC should take a safe harbor approach to crypto assets. “A token offering made in reliance on the safe harbor would have to comply with certain requirements — for example, providing clear disclosure of the assets’ functionality, including the mechanisms for changing holders’ rights and explaining how funds are to be used — before the issuer could use the safe harbor,” she clarified. “The relief could be time-limited to guard against reliance on the safe harbor by projects without a workable plan to build operational networks.” Crypto Mom detailed:
The requirements would be tailored to the needs of purchasers [of] digital assets in a way that our current regulations are not. Trading to get tokens in and out of the hands of developers and users would be permitted.
Hong Kong’s Licensing and Sandbox Regime
Commissioner Peirce also talked about Hong Kong’s crypto regulatory framework. Its Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has released guidance stating that security tokens are “likely to be ‘securities,’” which Peirce said is similar to the approach the SEC has taken in the U.S.
Hong Kong, however, also requires funds with crypto assets exceeding 10% of aggregate assets to be licensed by the SFC, and has issued a circular which places crypto trading platforms within a regulatory sandbox, Peirce noted.

According to the Financial Stability Board’s directory of crypto asset regulators, the SFC and Hong Kong Monetary Authority supervise crypto activities in the country. The former regulates crypto assets that fall within the definition of securities, while the latter covers crypto assets in investment products and wealth management services.
Thailand, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, and France
In addition to the aforementioned countries, Peirce mentioned five others in her speech — Japan, Thailand, Malta, Switzerland, and France.
Japan is significantly ahead of other countries when it comes to crypto regulation, having legalized cryptocurrency as a means of payment in April 2017. Crypto exchanges are required to register with the country’s Financial Services Agency. So far, 19 have been approved but over 110 operators have expressed interest in entering the space. The country recently “passed legislation to bring securities offerings of digital assets within its existing legal framework for securities offerings,” Peirce added.
Another Southeast Asian country Peirce mentioned was Thailand, which has adopted a unique framework for regulating crypto assets, classifying them as either cryptocurrency or digital tokens. Crypto exchanges, brokers, dealers, and initial coin offering (ICO) portals must be licensed and comply with regulatory requirements. So far, five crypto exchanges and three ICO portals have been licensed.

A number of European countries have also acted early to regulate crypto assets. The commissioner mentioned Malta, Switzerland, and France. Malta passed legislation last year that separates digital assets into unregulated virtual tokens and regulated virtual financial assets. Switzerland provided preliminary guidance for ICOs in 2017 and issued more detailed guidance last year. France recently announced a new licensing regime for ICOs and crypto service providers.
Regardless of the kind of regulation the SEC decides on, Peirce believes that “Continued communication among the world’s financial regulators will be important,” reiterating:
We also can continue to learn from one another to fill the gaps in our own regulation and borrow, when appropriate, from frameworks developed and tested in other places.
Notable Features of US Regulatory Approach
The commissioner proceeded to point out some notable features of the approach the U.S. is taking to regulate crypto assets. Emphasizing that the SEC regulates only securities, with other regulators responsible for other areas such as commodities and currencies, the commissioner commented:
One of the peculiarities of the U.S. system is the sheer number of regulators. Not only do we have the state-federal allocation of responsibility that I just mentioned, but we have multiple federal financial regulators.
She added, “Another notable feature of U.S. law is that the definition of what constitutes a security is a bit nebulous,” admitting that “Unlike many other countries, we do not have an exclusive list of what counts as a ‘security.’”
To determine whether something is a security in the U.S., the Howey test is used. “Under Howey, something — including something that is a digital asset — is a security if it involves an investment in a common enterprise with an expectation of profits derived solely through the efforts of others,” the commissioner conveyed.

SEC’s Efforts Now and Going Forward
To understand and regulate crypto assets, the SEC has established a strategic hub called Finhub for fintech and innovation to coordinate the commission’s approach to digital assets. Its staff hosted a fintech forum in May and has “met with hundreds of market participants to hear what they are working on and where they need regulatory clarity,” Peirce said.
Last month, the agency qualified two token offerings under Regulation A+ and issued two no-action letters. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) also recently approved applications for two non-custodial digital asset broker-dealers.
Moreover, the commission has issued a couple of guidance notes. One was in April which outlines a framework for determining whether a digital asset may be a security. The other, jointly issued with FINRA last month, addresses issues such as how digital asset securities can be custodied and how broker-dealers holding them can comply with other regulatory requirements.
Peirce emphasized that she “would like to see more focused momentum” at the SEC towards finalizing crypto regulation so that the U.S. will not fall behind other countries in attracting crypto businesses, concluding:
While I believe a single global regulatory framework would be unwise, regulators can create a healthy environment for this new market to grow by sharing information that will smooth cross-border transactions.
Do you think the US should adopt some of the crypto frameworks from other countries? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the SEC.
Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

Youtube Censorship Drives Uptake of Crypto-Powered Video Platforms

If the prospect of greater privacy and financial sovereignty doesn’t lure the masses to crypto networks, perhaps the ability to speak freely will. Lately, a lot of people who couldn’t give a damn about peer-to-peer cryptocurrency have taken a shine to peer-to-peer networks that run on the same censorship-resistant principles. As social networks run amok, deplatforming users for the slightest provocation, decentralized alternatives start to look increasingly alluring. If Youtube, Facebook, Twitter et al continue on their current path, they may become the architects of their own downfall, accelerating the exodus to web3.
Also read: Crypto Social Media is Breaking Free: How 10+ Blockchain Platforms Pay You to Post
Youtube Censorship Is a Boon to Crypto-Powered Video Platforms
There’s an information war raging out there on the web with everything at stake. On social media, news sites and video platforms, an almighty fight for freedom of expression is being waged. If the tech companies and media titans prevail, subjective truth will be censored, dissenters deplatformed, and human history retold by the victors. Meanwhile, the “bad guys” – normal folk who dared to voice controversial opinions or share edgy memes – will be written out of the history books altogether.

so my life has just crumbled right infront of my eyes. i cant even explain how much this hurts.
@TeamYouTube please can you take another look at this. my channel “Fainted” has been terminated. please i voice act funny posts pic.twitter.com/V0tKdYjOR0
— fainted (@faintedsad) August 3, 2019

When Alex Jones was deplatformed by Youtube, Twitter, Google Play, and Apple in the same weekend, with Facebook shortly following, critics warned this was only the thin end of the wedge. If it could happen to the nutty but harmless Jones, they prophesied, it could happen to anyone. It turns out they were right. One year out from the multilateral ousting of the Infowars.com founder, and the information war raging across the web has started to claim collateral damage. But just as life flourishes in the unlikeliest of places, be it the darkest ocean trenches or the highest mountain peaks, the free speech blitzkrieg has spawned resistance from a string of pro-crypto and anti-censorship companies including Gab, Verasity, and Bitchute.

Censorship is a slippery slope, and once tech companies begin pandering to the demands of the (typically left-leaning) banhammer brigade, pretty soon everyone’s a target. There was once a time when social media platforms such as Twitter adhered to the free speech provisions enshrined in the U.S. constitution, which meant that anything was fair game, save doxxing or threats of physical violence. It shows how far the needle has shifted in the last five years that free speech alternative Gab is now viewed as radical for adhering to that same policy. Meanwhile, Facebook has employed 15,000 moderators who consult “a maze of PowerPoint slides spelling out what’s forbidden,” making the dominant social network a “powerful arbiter of global speech.”
Youtube Censorship Is Fueling Demand for Crypto-Friendly Alternatives
While Silicon Valley is going for broke on going woke, inside the cryptosphere (an amorphous conglomerate of blockchain, crypto and web3 companies with no official industry body, geography or hierarchy) an antidote is being brewed. Cryptocurrency began life as a means of P2P exchange, but increasingly adversarial conditions have forced it to evolve into a system for the digitally disenfranchised. Gab founder Andrew Torba is right when he refers to bitcoin as “free speech money.”
Gab has stayed loyal to BTC through its development of the Dissenter browser and its browser plugin of the same name, that enables free comment on media websites that hate the very notion of uncensored speech. Meanwhile, Brave – the software Gab forked to create its free speech web browser – is also going strong, having just surpassed 40 million downloads. The attention-based ad model that Brave pioneered has since been developed by other crypto companies, providing additional incentives for fans to ditch the censorship-happy tech giants and switch to less partisan alternatives.

Twitter is using AI to instantly detect a meme and lockout anyone who is posting it. Scary stuff. Expect this to happen throughout the entire election cycle on every platform…… but one. You can find out what the meme was only on Gab. https://t.co/mVgxMKZR8k
— Gab.com (@getongab) August 3, 2019

Verasity Incentivizes Migration to Friendlier Platforms
Verasity is a crypto company that’s doing for video what Brave has done for web browsing. Its attention-based solution enables video publishers to serve rewarded content to their viewers. Verasity aims to drive adoption of crypto-friendly Youtube alternatives by providing means for creators to monetize their content across multiple platforms. What does this have to do with free speech exactly? Well, as Verasity points out, convincing viewers to switch to new platforms is no mean feat. It cites Pewdiepie, who got only 0.25% of his Youtube followers to transition to blockchain-based alternative Dlive. Providing an easy means for content creators to monetize from the intrepid souls that journey with them provides a safety net, reassuring vloggers that there are viable alternatives to the Youtube ad revenue model.

Nevertheless, as Junseth notes in “Why an Alternative to YouTube Isn’t an Easy Proposition”:
[The tech giants] can de-platform anyone or any business by kicking them off their platform and/or by refusing to sell the website’s inventory. This means that in order for there to rise up a platform that can successfully compete with YouTube and be as profitable as YouTube, they will have to first start a programmatic ad marketplace, and then monetize their videos with it … Because … Google can reduce the price of hosting … it would be nearly impossible to host content as cheaply as they do.
Verasity is not alone in its quest. A string of other competitors is rolling out the red carpet to deplatformed influencers who’ve been deemed persona non grata on the Google-owned Youtube. (That’s the same Google that’s been going to extraordinary lengths to boot Gab off its Play store, because a subset of the free speech network’s users have been known to deploy mean words.) Bitchute, while not strictly a crypto-powered video platform, uses the same P2P torrenting technology that made Bittorrent and Bitcoin so effective. And then there’s Dtube, which notes that “Because of the decentralized nature of IPFS and the STEEM blockchain,” it “is not able to censor videos, nor enforce guidelines.” Bitcoin cash proponents also have access to Cinema.cash, an anti-censorship video platform that enables content creators to get paid in BCH.

Come at the King, You Best Not Miss
For all its crimes, Youtube remains the dominant video network by a country mile. It generated $138 million in Q2 of this year alone – a remarkable increase of 220% YoY. Not everything that matters can be measured in dollars, though. When this week’s U.S. mass shootings sparked calls for further censorship (this time of the 8chan messageboard where one of the killers is believed to have shared their manifesto), Gab.com put it best to a Buzzfeed reporter:
The future of communication and the flow of information on the internet is decentralized and open source. The days of centralized data silos like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are over. The press needs to wrap their heads around this fact and fast, because the future is already here today and it cannot be stopped. Not by you, not by us, not by governments, and not by Silicon Valley.
Which platforms do you think stand a chance of capturing market share from Youtube? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Are you a developer looking to build on Bitcoin Cash? Head over to our Bitcoin Developer page where you can get Bitcoin Cash developer guides and start using the Bitbox, SLP, and Badger Wallet SDKs.
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto

Tax Expert: IRS Letters Confirm That Trading Cryptos Is a Taxable Event

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on July 26 that 10,000 American cryptocurrency users will receive a letter reminding them to pay taxes or amend any mistakes on past filings. At the time, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said U.S. taxpayers should take the warning letters “very seriously.” Sean Ryan, CTO of Node40, a platform that helps people calculate digital currency-based taxes, believes all three letters make it clear that exchanging one cryptocurrency for another is a taxable event.
Also Read: 10,000 American Cryptocurrency Owners Will Receive Warning Letters From the IRS
IRS Believes the Tax Agency Is Ahead of the Curve When It Comes to Cryptocurrencies
When the IRS announced that it was sending 10,000 letters to American taxpayers who own or have once owned cryptocurrencies, the digital currency community seemed shocked. That said, many crypto proponents, lawyers, and tax accountants expected the action after the IRS told the public in May that updated tax guidelines concerning cryptocurrencies would be made available soon. Then, in mid-June, IRS agent Gary Alford, a man who helped take down the Silk Road marketplace, told the press that the IRS is ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding how digital currencies work and Americans who dodge capital gains won’t get away with it for long.
Gary Alford is a tax sleuth who helped take down the Silk Road.
“We’re usually behind the curve — history is made and then we react to it. But in this case, we are ahead of the curve — We were there on ground zero, and we were waiting for the rest of the world to catch up to what we already knew,” Alford said speaking at on a panel on June 13 at the Columbus Citizens Foundation townhouse. “We already are aware that there were cases to be made, we just didn’t know if we were at the point where we can bring it for criminal prosecution.” Alford further told the crowd that people who own bitcoin usually tell people about it and if they tell their accountant that they never heard of bitcoin then it’s the IRS’ “burden to show this individual knew.”
Node40 Executive Believes the IRS Letters Clarify Exchanging One Crypto for Another Is Taxable
A little more than a week later after Alford’s speech, the IRS published a press release detailing how three types of letters would be delivered to 10,000 U.S. cryptocurrency owners. The CTO of the crypto-centric tax company Node40, Sean Ryan, inspected the letters and found one possible clarification nobody is talking about. Ryan spoke with news.Bitcoin.com in June and he said that clarified tax guidance from the IRS was “long overdue.” The announcement in regards to the new IRS letters followed our interview with Ryan so we spoke to the tax expert again.
Node40 CTO Sean Ryan.
“There is something that I haven’t seen covered in the news yet,” Ryan explained. “As we know, the IRS hasn’t answered several outstanding questions about the nuances of paying taxes on crypto. Yes, they’ve issued the 2014 memo but we all know it lacks clarity on certain points – chief among them is the like-kind rules. Section 1031 of the IRS code before the new tax law went into effect in 2018 could have been (and was by some) interpreted to allow for an exchange of one digital currency for another, like buying ETH for/with BTC — tax-deferred. There has been much debate about this among accountants and tax attorneys with valid arguments on both sides.”
But after reading Letter 6173, 6174 and 6174-A, Ryan thinks the IRS snuck a certain clarified rule within the three notices. “If you read the IRS Letters, all three contain a statement making clear that the exchange of one currency for another is taxable,” Ryan stressed. The Node40 executive added:
This might be the first time the IRS has publicly stated such guidance and it came across to me as a bit sneaky. The reality is it has major consequences for those traders who were operating under the belief that any gains could be deferred under the transfer of property rule. It seems unfair to me to call someone out for not properly paying tax while at the same time making clear a point of much deliberation.
Node40’s website is telling the American public that the company can help people who were served with the IRS letters concerning virtual currency transactions.
Tax Litigation Firms Warn Crypto Owners: ‘Seek an Attorney Before Disclosing Anything to the Government’
Following the tax agency’s press release, an alleged former IRS agent told the Reddit community on the subreddit r/cryptocurrency that the letters are just a “broad and very error-prone fishing expeditions.” Unfortunately, there was no way the r/cryptocurrency forum visitors could confirm whether the person was really an IRS agent or someone just playing a hoax. However, quite a few forum participants believed the post was legitimate and agreed when he said the letters were predatory. “It strikes me that this [cryptocurrency] letter writing campaign, in particular, is very unethical, as they’re blindly scaring thousands of people shitless who very well may have done absolutely nothing wrong,” the supposed former tax agent wrote.
IRS Letter 6173.
All three letters have different meanings as Letter 6173 requests a signed response from the taxpayer in regards to alleged noncompliance. Letter 6174 simply asks the taxpayer to review their past returns and, if necessary, file an amendment. IRS Letter 6174-A notifies the taxpayer that there is potential misreporting concerning cryptocurrency transactions and the IRS may enforce criminal prosecution. It’s safe to say many Americans were alarmed by the IRS announcement and some people claim they have already received a letter and penalty quotes. Tax attorneys are already advertising online to help crypto owners if they received one of the three IRS letters. For instance, the law firm Frost & Associates LLC is now advertising to help those who are dealing with cryptocurrency tax audits and IRS Letter 6173, 6174, and 6174-A.
“Cryptocurrency compliance investigations may also turn into larger, criminal tax investigations,” Frost & Associates website details. “These situations can be a massive intrusion into your personal and professional life and your accountant could be compelled to tell the IRS everything you’ve told him or her because the “accountant-client privilege” does not extend to criminal investigations or state tax proceedings.” The litigation firm further warns:
If you believe you’re a target of a cryptocurrency tax investigation from the IRS, then you should immediately contact a tax attorney before disclosing anything to the government.
What do you think about the IRS sending letters to more than 10,000 American taxpayers? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Node40, Sean Ryan, IRS, New York Times, Pixabay.
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Bron : Bitcoin en toekomst van crypto