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Updated: 1 hour 18 min ago

Fresh lawsuit seeks to freeze $1B Tezos assets before it fades ‘quickly into the void’

1 hour 59 min ago

There is no end in sight for blockchain startup Tezos’ legal woes.

A new complaint was filed in the United States last week, asking Californian courts to issue a temporary restraining order on US$1 billion worth of investor assets that Tezos raised during its token sale.

In July, Tezos initiated an initial coin offering (ICO) in which it netted $232 million for a project that promised to deliver an improved version of the Bitcoin blockchain with flexible governance rules. Before the ICO, the team said the Tezos network would be active in November, with a secondary trading happening around the same time.

Neither the promised network nor the coins exist to this day. And investors are claiming that the people behind Tezos have been liquidating the BTC and ethereum—worth an estimated $1.2 billion in today’s trading prices—sitting in a Swiss-based foundation.

Last Dec. 13, law firm Block & Leviton filed a complaint seeking to freeze all the assets of Tezos founders Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, Dynamic Ledger Solutions, Inc., the Tezos Foundation, Johann Gevers, Diefo Ponz and Guido Schmitz-Krummacher “that were collected via or derived from the Tezos ICO,” as well as to stop the defendants from selling, transferring, converting or disposing the ICO proceeds.

Also named in the lawsuit were Swiss crypto financial services firm Bitcoin Suisse, which was recently revealed to have the power to block Tezos Foundation transactions, and its founder, Niklas Nikolajsen.

“The situation regarding the ICO proceeds has deteriorated further, making irreparable looting an imminent prospect,” according to the complaint. “Without immediate judicial intervention, defendants may completely consume the illegally obtained ICO proceeds, leaving plaintiff and the class with no remedy.”

The filing also accused the organizers of the Tezos token sale of violating U.S. securities laws, claiming that the token sale represented an “unqualified and unregistered” sale of “securities.” This is the fourth class-action suit filed against Tezos; the previous complaints accused the project of violating security laws and committing investor fraud.

Then there were two

Around the same time that Block & Leviton is filing their class-action suit in the United States, another trouble is reportedly brewing in Switzerland.

Reuters reported that Schmitz-Krummacher resigned from his post as one of the board members of the Swiss-based Tezos Foundation last week. The Swiss legal and management expert was one of the defendants named in the latest complaint against Tezos.

Tezos is danger of falling apart as its founders battle for the control of the project. The Breitmans were reportedly out to oust Johann Gevers, and Schmitz-Krummacher was “frustrated by the infighting, which was consuming a lot of his time,” according to the news outlet.
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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ALERT: North Korean hackers are circulating an MS Word document to steal from crypto workers

2 hours 8 min ago

SecureWorks says the attack is “state-sponsored.”

Beware: even Word documents are not safe.

The same cyber crime group that shook the world with the infamous WannaCry ransomware is on to even more mischief. Information security service firm SecureWorks reported that the Lazarus Group is now circulating a spearphishing scam disguised as a job advert targeting workers in the cryptocurrency industry. The attack has been observed since last year, but attempts as recent as last month have also been seen.

The malware is being circulated through an email of a fake job advert, where a seemingly innocent Microsoft Word document attached to the email reportedly triggers the installation of a “Remote Access Trojan” inconspicuously in the background.

In an interview with Business Insider, SecureWorks senior security researcher Rafe Pilling says the malware assesses whether a particular computer is worth pillaging before possibly downloading more malware to assist in its operations.

“The malware that’s downloaded is the first stage RAT that gives them basic systems survey capability and the ability to download further malware if they find they’ve landed an interesting target,” Pilling said.

It is unclear if the malware has claimed any victims, and if so, how much the damage is. But SecureWorks says the operation is a big one:

“There’s a significant capability behind this threat actor — we’re not talking about five people in a room.”

Pilling believes the campaign was backed by the government, seeing as such operations in tightly controlled North Korea would be practically impossible—unless the government instigated it.  The Lazarus Group has also previously been linked to the North Korean government’s operations.

“North Korea is perhaps unique in that there’s such tight control over all forms of communication,” Pilling said. “We don’t believe there’s anything that state organised cyber activity that comes out of that country. We would see it as having some degree of state direction or state approval.”
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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Massachussetts secretary publishes warning against “Bitcoin mania”

3 hours 29 min ago

He says it’s another one of those speculative bubbles that often burst.

Massachussetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin issued a warning against investing in virtual currencies. In the release, Galvin’s office lists seven points, stating reminders about the tendency of virtual currencies to fluctuate in value, possibly leaving investors with massive losses. It also includes some precautionary measures advising that investors do a background check on sellers, ending the note with a phone number through which citizens can call to check on the legitimacy of sellers.

The warning likens Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to other big bubbles throughout history. “Bitcoin is just the latest in a history of speculative bubbles that most often burst, leaving the average investors with a worthless product,” the post said. “Going back to the 1600s with tulip mania to the present Bitcoin craze, chasing the next best thing will, more often than not, end in disaster for the average investor.”

Galvin’s points aren’t exactly without merit. There has been a flood of new cryptocurrency “experts” made up of people who recently came across the cryptocurrency trade and are quick to entice others to buy in on the hype. Or worse—people who have been trading for a long time yet do not take the time to really understand the technology. The secretary urges interested investors to take a moment and weigh the risks before jumping all in.

“If you don’t understand it, don’t invest it. It’s that simple. And since most people won’t understand it, that will apply to most people. It’s just not a good idea,” Galvin said.

Having no central authority and independence from governments and central banks has its perks, but it also has a downside: because cryptocurrencies are not backed by any territory’s economy, it can collapse as easily as it rose—unless it succeeds in establishing and maintaining its own economy. Although blockchains are highly resistant to hacks, exchanges, on the other hand, have suffered massively expensive heists at the cost of users throughout the years.
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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CoinGeek’s bComm Conference to be held in Hong Kong

5 hours 36 min ago

Expedia’s Michael Wood Confirmed Speaker

CoinGeek.com, the Bitcoin news portal recently purchased by Bitcoin Entrepreneur, Calvin Ayre will be holding its first bComm conference on May 18th, 2018 in Hong Kong.

The bComm conference will be attended by Bitcoin BCH luminaries such as Roger Ver, Dr Craig Wright and, of course, Calvin himself who will also be hosting an exclusive birthday party that evening.

The event will be focusing specifically on merchant adoption of the best micropayment solution with the lowest fees for both vendor and buyer.

Speakers at the event will be of the highest quality and already confirmed are Michael Wood, Expedia’s Senior Corporate Counsel, Global Payments & Risk, as well as Roger Ver and Dr Craig Wright. The conference welcomes Bitcoin enthusiasts, beginners and businesses alike.

Bitcoin BCH’s ethos is to be open to everybody, with low fees, outside of banking monopolies and this bComm conference aims to be in a similar vein and so will offer free food and refreshments throughout the day. Registration and prices will be on the CoinGeek website from mid-January.

For those who think conferences are boring – rest assured there will be plenty going on around the event including an after party, GeekGirls and free drinks in true Calvin Ayre style.

For more information please contact:

ed@pownall.eu or to be informed about registration please email: conference@coingeek.com
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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BitPay starts processing payments for Bitcoin Cash

5 hours 37 min ago

The market has spoken, and they want Bitcoin Cash (BCH) enabled for payment processing.

So what’s a cryptocurrency payment processor to do? If you’re like BitPay, you’ll commence process payments for multiple blockchains—starting with BCH.

BitPay announced over the weekend that it will “begin adding support” for a BCH payment options before the year ends, starting with the company’s BitPay Debit Card loads. By early 2018, all BitPay invoices will include a BCH payment option “by default.”

“Customers will continue to be able to sue [BTC] for purchases, but they will also be able to choose to use Bitcoin Cash or another blockchain payment method to complete their payments,” the company said.

The announcement comes several months after BitPay rolled out the BCH-compatible Copay wallet, giving its customers “the freedom to choose—or to use both BCH and BTC.” Since launching the wallet in September, BitPay said it “had growing demand” to also enable BCH support for the company’s payment processing services.

Another reason why BitPay is moving to other blockchains is because of the high transaction fees and network congestion on the SegWit1X (BTC).

According to Bitpay, the “demand for [BTC] transactions is outstripping capacity, causing miner fees to rise on the [BTC] network.” As of Dec. 17, the average transaction fee for BTC is at $26.5, according to BitInfoCharts data. In comparison, the average BCH transaction fee comes in at $0.25.

“With average transaction fees already around $20, we understand that [BTC] alone cannot handle the current demand for blockchain payments,” BitPay said in a statement. “Bitcoin Cash is a blockchain created by a fork of the Bitcoin network. It allows for payments with significantly faster network confirmations and significantly lower miner fee costs.”

The updates, however, don’t mean that the Atlanta-based company is leaving the BTC network behind. According to BitPay, they will continue to help build that chain “without interruption.” The company will also be examining other blockchains’ network hashing power, security, usefulness for payments, adoption, and market values before deciding on which blockchain payments the BitPay platform will support.

“Many of the top alternative cryptocurrencies’ blockchains make their own innovations on the features which have made Bitcoin great for payments. These range from faster transaction confirmations to greater payment privacy,” BitPay said in a statement. “Allowing our merchants to accept payments on other blockchains will open up new customer bases to our merchants.”
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

The post BitPay starts processing payments for Bitcoin Cash appeared first on CoinGeek.

India’s taxman cracks down on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 19:31

Tax authorities in India have started knocking on the doors of local domestic exchanges.

The purpose, according to Income Tax Department, is to find a way to tax cryptocurrency-related transactions in the country. Spokeswoman Surabhi Ahluwalia told Reuters that the tax department is “looking at collecting information about modus-operandi of [BTC] exchanges, investors, their source of investment and possibility of collecting tax.”

So far, surveys have been conducted in the cities of Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, and Hyderabad, where most of cryptocurrency traders were located, according to The Hindu.

A central tax authority official told the Indian news outlet that they “suspect high net worth individuals to have invested in bitcoins, and we are checking on the source of their investment.”

“The department wanted to ascertain what is the extent of investment, who are investing, whether investments are accounted for and what they are doing with the return on investment,” sources familiar with the matter told The Hindu.

The news of a tax department-led survey follows the warning made by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) against dealing with cryptocurrencies like BTC. The RBI has the power to regulate the digital payments industry of India under the Payments and Settlement Systems Act of 2007.

Several weeks ago, the Indian central bank cautioned “users, holders and traders of virtual currencies (VCs) including Bitcoins regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with such VCs.”

The warning comes just as BTC hit a record-high of $13,000. On Friday, the cryptocurrency traded at the $17,700 with a market capitalization of $297.85 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

This isn’t the first time that RBI issued a warning against cryptocurrency trading. In its February warning, the central bank said “it has not given any licence/authorization to any entity/company to operate such schemes or deal with Bitcoin or any virtual currency,” noting that “any user, holder, investor, trader, etc. dealing with virtual currencies will be doing so at their own risk.”
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

The post India’s taxman cracks down on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges appeared first on CoinGeek.

Utah prosecutors push for urgent sale of seized BTC drug money

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 03:35

The value of the seized BTC was originally $500,000; it’s now worth around $8.5 million.

Last year, authorities nabbed alleged drug ringleader Aaron Shamo for peddling Fentanyl—a dangerously powerful opioid, through AlphaBay on the dark web in exchange for BTC. In what U.S. Attorney John Huber describes as the largest Fentanyl operations federal authorities have seen in the country, nearly 500,000 pills were found in Shamo’s basement in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

Shamo, who formerly focused on BTC trading before succumbing to the black market, plead not guilty to the charges. Earlier this year, five more were indicted in connection to the operation. If convicted, the gang will be spending life in prison.

Along with guns, vehicles, and over $1 million in cash stashed in trash bags, authorities found his BTC cache worth $500,000—at the time. But with BTC currently trading at over $17,000 (as of writing), this value has ballooned to around $8.5 million. Never before has such a sense of urgency been made over liquidating seized assets. Unlike traditional property, cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and fluctuate rapidly in value. Naturally, prosecutors are urging for a quick resolution to the case in hopes of liquidating the assets while it’s trading on a high, since the profits will be awarded to the investigating agency—in this case, the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Although cryptocurrencies are an uncharted territory, with some even questioning whether traditional laws involving seized assets even apply to them, US officials have been swift in treating them the same way traditional assets are handled.

They handled Silk Road’s drug money the same way—the US Marshals Service auctioned off 30,000 BTC, reaping in millions of dollars in 2014, with another sale proceeding in 2015. An additional 144,336 BTC—worth around $48 million at the time, were sold off two months ago, despite Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht contesting the legality of the procedure.
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

The post Utah prosecutors push for urgent sale of seized BTC drug money appeared first on CoinGeek.

Deutsche Boerse considers European BTC futures

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 02:59

German exchange Deutsche Boerse has announced plans that could see SegWit1x (BTC) futures traded on European exchanges for the first time, following the launch of futures trading on two U.S. exchanges.

The Frankfurt-based exchange group said that it was reviewing early futures trading in the U.S., which began for the first time last week, admitting that it may be ‘some time’ before a final decision is made on whether to bring futures to European markets.

If Deutsche Boerse goes ahead with the decision to roll out futures, it would become the first time BTC futures have been sold on a European exchange, and could open up investment in BTC to a new class of large investor.

According to local press, Deutsche Boerse sees opportunities for both private and institutional investors to hedge their positions, as well as to capitalize on upwards and downwards movements in price.

“We are thinking about futures, with which private investors and institutional investors can protect existing investments in Bitcoin or set for falling prices of the cryptocurrency,” the exchange said.

If Deutsche Boerse confirms their plans, the futures contracts would be made available on their Eurex exchange platform, which would open up BTC futures to a much wider audience, including hedge funds, asset managers and investment banks.

BTC futures contracts went live on U.S. exchange CBOE last week for the first time, and are slated to go live on a second exchange, courtesy of exchange group CME, later in December.

The futures contracts allow institutional investors including hedge funds to speculate on price movements in the underlying market, without requiring ownership of any cryptocurrency—an important factor for some funds restricted by regulatory issues.

The debut of futures at CBOE saw BTC prices rise still further, breaching the $17,000 threshold for the first time. Investors will be hoping for a similar response when the contracts are first traded on CME, the world’s largest exchange group, later in the month.

The news marks the latest sign of BTC gaining mainstream financial acceptance, and any further movement on futures trading would further cement digital currencies as a legitimate investment for institutional money.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

The post Deutsche Boerse considers European BTC futures appeared first on CoinGeek.

Blockchain.info now supports Bitcoin Cash

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 02:32

The Bitcoin Cash ecosystem is growing—and fast.

Wallet provider Blockchain has announced yesterday that they are already fully supporting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) due to demand, as they have promised in November.

“At Blockchain, we’re always looking for ways to empower our users to interact with the digital economy in new, meaningful ways. In November, we revealed our plan to deliver on the growing demand we’ve seen for Bitcoin Cash. Starting today, we’re supporting Bitcoin Cash with full functionality through the same web wallet users know and love,” they wrote in a press release.

BCH will now be easily accessible alongside ETH and BTC on their web wallet, with mobile support following shortly by the end of first quarter of 2018.

Barely five months into its existence, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is quickly gaining traction over the community, as more and more services opt to adopt the fledgling cryptocurrency.

Last month, fearless non-profit whistleblowing website WikiLeaks started accepting BCH for purchases on their online shop. Shortly after, a community-backed development fund called Bitcoin Cash Fund was launched by Paul Wasensteiner. And with big things planned for next year, the ecosystem is expected to expand further.

Earlier this month, the Bitcoin Cash developer community released statements echoing a united vision for scaling Bitcoin Cash and fulfilling the core principles behind Satoshi’s Bitcoin. nChain confirmed the long-awaited block size increase from 8Mb to 32Mb, and Bitprim dropped a major gamechanger, saying smart contracts are also on the way for Bitcoin Cash next year.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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A man allegedly had his friend held at gunpoint to steal $1.8 million in cryptocurrency

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 23:54

Some friend he was.

A man has taken 35-year old Louis Meza to court alleging that the latter lured him into a minivan where another man held him at gunpoint, coercing him to cough up his private keys to his Ether wallet. Meza allegedly also ransacked the victim’s apartment, where he ran off with a box believed to contain a ledger with the victim’s money as seen in surveillance footage from the victim’s apartment building. The victim’s funds, worth over $1.8 million, were traced and found in Meza’s personal account the next day.

“Video surveillance later obtained from the victim’s apartment building showed MEZA using the set of keys stolen from the victim to enter the victim’s apartment and then leave the apartment holding a box believed to contain the victim’s digital wallet. Additional records reveal that soon after obtaining the victim’s digital wallet, the defendant then transferred approximately $1.8 million in Ether to his own personal account,” the report said.

According to the lawsuit, Meza invited the unnamed victim to his apartment on November 4th and later called what the victim thought was a car service to take him back home. Instead, a gunman waited inside the minivan and forced the victim to divulge information about his cryptocurrency wallets, and to hand over his house keys and cellphone.

Fortunately, the victim managed to escape the minivan and call 911. The gunman has not been caught but Meza is now in custody and will be facing a string of charges including: grand larceny in the first degree, kidnapping in the second degree, robbery in the first degree, criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, computer trespass.

While most cryptocurrency criminals choose to stick to online modus operandi, old school criminal schemes targeting cryptocurrency holders can become rampant due to the large amounts of money involved.

“Hackers, data breaches, and fraud aren’t the only threats to an individual’s wealth,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “This case demonstrates the increasingly common intersection between cyber and violent crime—the defendant is charged with coordinating an elaborate kidnapping, armed robbery, and burglary to gain access to the victim’s digital wallet and the significant funds it contained. We can expect this type of crime to become increasingly common as cryptocurrency values surge upward.”

Last month, a Turkish gang has been arrested after targeting BTC millionaires, kidnapping and extorting them of their tokens. According to the report, the targets were singled out after posting their luxurious lifestyles on social media.
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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South Korea regulations on cryptocurrencies leaked as the world awaits government verdict

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 20:50

Fingers are crossed as one of the world’s cryptocurrency trading giants decides its house rules.

Yesterday, South Korean government officials held an emergency meeting to discuss cryptocurrencies as trading becomes ubiquitous to its citizens. Officials worry that without intervention, the “speculative mania” can fester into “some serious pathological phenomenon.”

With students and workers alike compulsively checking exchange values and trading impulsively, buying tokens has become an easily accessible form of gambling for South Koreans, who themselves are not allowed to gamble in casinos in the country, except in Kangwon Land. Yet visiting foreigners are free to gamble away in several casinos in major cities.

South Korean news website Hankyoreh released a supposed leak of the regulations the government is looking to enforce. Translated by Cryptocoins News, the following rules are said to be part of the regulatory framework.

1. Prevent unaccredited investors from dealing with losses through highly volatile cryptocurrencies.
2. Prevent strictly regulated cryptocurrency exchanges from operating as speculative platforms for unaccredited investors.
3. Request banks and exchanges to ensure underaged investors and foreigners cannot open trading accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges.
4. Temporarily suspend institutional investors and retail investors from investing in cryptocurrencies.

There is no mention of any decision regarding taxation on capital gains from cryptocurrency trading, but the coast is not yet clear for holders.  A report by Reuters stated that the government will require exchanges to “uphold investor protection rules and disclose all bid and offer quotes.” It’s hard to imagine how investors can be protected in a market as volatile as the cryptocurrency trade without service providers assuming a great deal of risk.

The Korean won holds a huge percentage of the global BTC trade. Despite only accounting for 1.9% of the world economy, the Korean won at one point was involved in 21% of BTC trades, according to Fortune. Naturally, the whole world is watching for their government’s verdict, which will effectively influence global cryptocurrency trades—the BTC trading value has been seen dropping recently amid these discussions.

The South Korean government is set to officially announce regulations tomorrow.
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

The post South Korea regulations on cryptocurrencies leaked as the world awaits government verdict appeared first on CoinGeek.

South Korean exchanges hit a snag as government bans banks from backing them

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 05:55

All South Korean exchanges are affected including one of the largest BTC exchanges in the world—Bithumb.

South Korean exchanges are in a bit of a ditch as news breaks out of its government’s decision to ban financial institutions from dealing in virtual currencies. Without banks to back their operations, exchanges are crippled until they find alternative solutions. According to a report, the Prime Minister’s Office said financial institutions will be prohibited from buying or even just holding cryptocurrencies as collateral.

The news comes shortly after the government announced its decision to regulate cryptocurrencies, with looming threats of taxing profits from value fluctuations still unsettled. The government has been worried as the wild fluctuations in the BTC price reeled in a huge population of South Koreans—CNN reported that students are checking prices between classes, and workers trading on their phones has become a common sight. Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon stated last month that the government needs to intervene before cryptocurrency trading turns into “some serious pathological phenomenon.”

Apart from financial institutions, minors and foreigners will also be included in the ban.

Consequently, banks have stopped issuing virtual bank accounts, with still a bit of confusion as to how each individual bank will handle already existing accounts. Several major banks are saying existing accounts will be cancelled, effectively cutting users off from trading through exchanges that require virtual bank accounts.

Major banks like Shinhan Bank, Korea Development Bank (KDB), Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), Woori Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, and KEB Hana Bank have all stopped issuing virtual accounts.

Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, which holds a majority of the South Korean BTC market volume and is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, said earlier this week that they will comply with whatever regulations the government passes down, and will require proper identification and verification by its users should regulations require it.
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

The post South Korean exchanges hit a snag as government bans banks from backing them appeared first on CoinGeek.

Talk: A Bitcoin Cash world with Dr Craig Wright

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 23:42

Thursday February 1st, London

In the last 6 months Bitcoin has really hit the mainstream and, as a result, has seen its value sky rocket. However, the big banks have not been lying down and the original vision of Bitcoin has been corrupted and now rather than low-no fees on transactions fees are extremely high.

Bitcoin Cash forked away from the original Bitcoin in August to be in line with the original view of Bitcoin as a per-to-peer currency with very low fees. However, many of those new to Bitcoin are unaware the vital differences between Bitcoin Cash and its predecessor.

In this talk Dr. Wright will share his vision for “Bitcoin Cash World” where Bitcoin is used on a daily basis by merchants, consumers, banks, and other participants across the world’s economy. Among other things, he will explain:

• the advantages of Bitcoin over traditional fiat currency and payment methods
• why the newer Bitcoin Cash presents the better path to being “peer-to-peer electronic cash”
• what steps need to be taken to achieve global adoption

“Early Bird” Tickets are available at the price of £20 until 6pm January 8th and then the price will increase to £25.

About Dr. Craig Wright: has been involved with Bitcoin since 2009. Dr. Wright is an Australian computer scientist, businessman and inventor who challenges the world with visionary ideas. He is Chief Scientist for nChain, the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies.

Thursday, February 1st: Doors open 6:30pm for a 7:30pm start

Venue: The Phoenix, 37 Cavendish Square, London. W1G 0PP
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

The post Talk: A Bitcoin Cash world with Dr Craig Wright appeared first on CoinGeek.

South Korea reviewing crypto tax as markets continue to heat up

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 12:13

South Korean authorities have announced they are considering introducing a tax on capital gains from cryptocurrencies, as markets continue to gather pace worldwide.

The announcement was made following an emergency meeting of lawmakers on Wednesday in response to growing concerns over the levels of enthusiasm from investors in South Korea.

Alongside the tax proposals under consideration, minors are to be prohibited from opening cryptocurrency exchange trading accounts, while exchange operators will be forced to meet the obligations under investor protection rules, as well as price transparency requirements.

The proposals, which have yet to receive parliamentary approval, will not impact on the current ban in place prohibiting financial institutions from investing in cryptocurrency markets.

According to proponents of the new policy approach, the introduction of greater regulation would be welcome in a market that is continuing to reach new all-time highs. Thomas Glucksmann of Hong Kong’s Gatecoin exchange told Reuters that regulation in Korea could have a positive impact on the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

“The regulations in Korea will not have a negative effect…licensing brings certainty, which encourages already regulated entities…to get involved in addition to skeptical retail investors,” Glucksmann said, according to the news outlet.

The proposals come at a time of increasing pressure for regulators to act over cryptocurrencies, with SegWit1x (BTC) and a number of other crypto markets showing staggering returns in recent weeks.

Gains of as much as 30% on the day have been seen in markets in recent days, prompting calls for intervention from financial regulators, central banks and governments globally.

Elsewhere in the region, the governor of the Australian central bank warned that current conditions resembled a “speculative mania,” while New Zealand’s central bank governor described current markets as a “classic case” bubble.

This comes just days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reiterated its warnings over trading in cryptocurrency and coin issues, including ICOs, which may run contrary to U.S. securities laws.

While the warnings speak to the potential risks of cryptocurrency trading, they seem to have had little impact on the day’s trading, or on the sentiment of investors. Beyond BTC, cryptocurrencies in general are enjoying a surge in price, as they continue to become even more mainstream.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

The post South Korea reviewing crypto tax as markets continue to heat up appeared first on CoinGeek.

12 exchanges wait for approval to operate in the Philippines

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 11:48

The central bank of the Philippines is reportedly reviewing applications from at least a dozen companies looking to start a virtual currency exchange operation, even though cryptocurrency use has yet to be regulated in the country.

Melchor Plabasan, deputy director of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), told local media that “a lot of the applications are progressing now,” albeit slowly due to the central bank’s two-tiered review process: The BSP first evaluates the company’s business model before requiring them to complete the documentary requirements.

So far, two companies—Rebittance and Bitour, or more commonly known as Coins.ph—were already approved to operate as virtual currency exchanges in the Philippines. These two firms, however, function as remittance companies and must comply with the central bank’s anti-money laundering regulations, technology risk management, and consumer protection measures, among other things.

BSP, which has been keeping close tabs on domestic cryptocurrency-related transactions since 2014, recorded an estimated $6 million in virtual currency transactions monthly, up from the $2 million-$3 million recorded between 2014 and 2015. This growing number of virtual currency remittances in the country has prompted the central bank to put out Circular No. 944, paving the way for virtual currency systems to be utilized as financial service systems, particularly for payments and remittance.

Plabasan previously described the circular as a “pioneering regulation”—one that placed the Philippines in the leagues of countries that are not frightened of harnessing innovation. Governments still have no ability to interfere with peer-to-peer transfers, but these countries’ move to regulate exchanges is definitely a boon to the cryptocurrency sector as it makes a bid for mainstream acceptance.

Plabasan, however, clarified that the central still does not endorse cryptocurrency like Bitcoin as currency, simply “because it is not a currency.”

“We only regulate bitcoin or virtual currencies when it is used in delivering financial services like remittance and payments,” Plabasan said, according to Reuters.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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CashShuffle just released a privacy protocol that jumbles transactions for Bitcoin Cash

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 08:00

The code builds on the CoinShuffle protocol and is free for all to use.

Throughout the years, there has been a tug-of-war between privacy and transparency in the blockchain industry. While transparency has its advantages, there is no doubt that too much of it endangers not just funds but the users who hold them as well. And although Bitcoin transactions are pseudonymous, there are still ways to pinpoint identities behind addresses. Because of this, other blockchains have concocted mechanisms to ensure the privacy of their users. Dash, Zcash, Zcoin, and Monero implement such protections.

And now Bitcoin Cash joins these ranks in the privacy arena. CashShuffle has released a protocol that implements CoinJoin, “shuffling” inputs and outputs from multiple transactions into one and making it difficult to determine whose transaction is what. CashShuffle uses a layered encryption to keep participating users “blind” of what other users’ transactions are.

“This marks the beginning of Bitcoin Cash’s direct competition with other privacy-related coins.  With tools and protocols like CashShuffle, BCH will increase its dominance as the #1 form of peer to peer electronic Cash in the world.”

According to the press release, CashShuffle is a full implementation unlike its legacy chain (BTC) counterpart, CoinShuffle, as it has a matching service.

“The CashShuffle protocol is based on previous publications including Tim Ruffing’s CoinShuffle protocol.  However, CashShuffle is more complete because it includes a matching service whereas the original CoinShuffle does not.  Also, unlike many previous proposals, CashShuffle.com provides a complete, working implementation that can be used today.”

It also refines imperfections in the CoinShuffle model, and does not require trust between a server and a client.

“There is no risk of lost funds and no additional fees. The server cannot steal money in a proper CashShuffle implementation because the transactions are only signed on the client side if they are valid.”

CashShuffle itself does not run the service, but they expect more blockchain service providers to adopt the protocol. Currently, the plugin is available on the Electron Cash wallet, but the code is free for all to use, modify, and distribute. You can download the plug-in or run the software for your server from their Github repository.
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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Bitcoin.com to introduce a VISA Bitcoin Cash debit Card

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 12:48

Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com sent Bitcoin fans on social media into a frenzy when he tweeted that Bitcoin.com will soon be bringing in a VISA Bitcoin Cash debit card.

At the time of writing, Roger’s tweet received well over 4000 retweets.

Bitcoin Cash is re-enabling an eco-system BTC once had, that is now lost to excessive fees, network congestion, and unreliable confirmations. Some payments, never even end up confirming…

Interestingly, Bitcoin.com is picking things up where BitPay may have…

BitPay has for a while now offered BTC backed VISA Cards to customers, but lately, small purchases have become shockingly questionable. With BTC network fees now nearing an average $30 USD, one would have to think twice before making any sort of small payment. The only incentive right now in holding a BitPay of this nature is that BTC price is still on a big uptrend. For the moment, the hype cycle allows a user to potentially recover any lost gains on fees just with the rising price alone. The real question is, what happens when the market reaches the next stage of the cycle, and we enter a bear market…? Markets move in cycles, particularly Bitcoin, we know this. Sure – the trend is generally up, but we do also have winter periods… The question is what happens then, when a user is losing fees on both ends, the fees, and the dropping price? I dread to ponder.

Bitcoin.com has taken initiative here, and the magnitude of the response on social media is telling. There’s a huge business opportunity here, and Roger Ver’s company will be rewarded.

Question Time:

How does a VISA Bitcoin Cash debit card work?

Although Bitcoin.com has not made the details public, it is safe to assume that it would work no different to BitPay’s Bitcoin card. That is, a simple four step process. Like any debit or credit card, a customer makes the order and activates the card. Next you are able to load up your card with dollars using Bitcoin Cash. These can then be spent anywhere that accept VISA – which is quite literally, most places these days.

So the debit card pays in fiat… doesn’t that go against the Bitcoin Cash vision?

It does, but this is also a necessary transition period. Until the eco-system is mature enough, most merchants won’t want to, nor have the capacity or capability as yet to accept Bitcoin Cash payments. This issue isn’t exclusive to BCH, it affects all cryptos. The VISA Bitcoin Cash debit card enables any holder to pay almost any merchant, by providing a gateway to the fiat world. There is nothing unusual about; today, even with the more mature BTC crypto, many merchants, exchanges and the like, provide a layer to move between fiat and crypto. Only when one currency becomes the dominant, can such tools enable direct payment in their native currency (in this case BCH). Transitional periods require transitional changes. And this is absolutely a step in the right direction.

What does this mean?

Bitcoin Cash has recently been getting wave after wave of positive news. The SBI partnership with nChain to bring BCH to the mainstream, the recent CNBC segment highlighting Bitcoin Cash’s ambitions, and now Roger Ver’s own charge into enabling Bitcoin Cash payments to the mainstream world. Bitcoin Cash is on an undeniable trajectory of mass adoption. While BTC continues to gain on hype, BCH continues to build an incredible foundation, just waiting to catapult to greatness.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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Mt Gox can now pay creditors, but will they?

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 08:09

With BTC shooting past the $17,000 mark, this means Mt Gox’s bankruptcy status needs to be re-evaluated. 

In 2014, the infamous Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox filed for bankruptcy protection after claiming that it had lost 850,000 BTC ($450 million at the time) to hackers–the biggest loss of BTC in history. They then redacted and said they had found 200,000 “forgotten” BTC a week later.

Unsurprisingly, its CEO Mark Karpeles is facing embezzlement charges, with lots of conspiracy theories circulating as is standard of any claims of cryptocurrency hacks. And now, some creditors are appealing to the courts to remove the company from its bankruptcy status in order to be able to liquidate the remaining assets proportionally to claimants.

Back then, 200,000BTC was worth around $118 million. But with BTC surging past $17,000 and still hovering over $16,000, it means they are now in possession of worth over $3.3 billion. Mt Gox owed creditors $414 million in 2014, which means it now owns more assets than its debts.

Throughout the past years, bankruptcy proceedings have been painful for claimants of money Mt Gox lost, however. Kolin Burges, who founded a website named mtgoxprotest.com said in a post that it looks as if Mt Gox shareholders would end up still reeking in a huge amount of the profits in the token’s value. Claimants worry that Mt Gox will sell the remaining BTC at today’s prices while insisting on only paying claimants its 2014 value, which is between $450-$700.

“Liquidation is performed under corporate law rather than bankruptcy law, and the remaining money in the company would go to the shareholders,” Burges wrote. “They don’t currently know of a way to avoid this situation — This is not good news.”

As BTC price dwindles, time is severely of the essence for claimants. But despite having enough assets to possibly pay off all claimants to the remaining funds, all Karpeles and co. have to do is sit on their hands—and on what remains of other people’s BTC—and wait it out.
 

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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Everipedia: a blockchain-based Wikipedia that will pay you for accurate edits

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 07:48

Inversely, trolls are penalized for malicious and false entries.

Larry Sanger—who founded Wikipedia alongside Jimmy Wales in 2001—has openly stated before that he was not happy with what the public encyclopedia has become. Although he was the co-founder to the free online library, he was also its most outspoken critic, finally throwing in the towel only a year after in 2002.

Although many hail Wikipedia as a great and noble achievement in its resistance against the pressures of commercialization throughout the years, Sanger was severely frustrated with what he refers to as “edit wars” between trolls who overrun the website by “mob rule” and ultimately obliterating the credibility of articles on the site. In an interview with Vice in 2015, Sanger expressed his disappointment over what started out as a dignified effort for free information. “People that I would say are trolls sort of took over. The inmates started running the asylum,” he said.

Today, Sanger has come with the same vision for information, but armed with a more powerful weapon against what ruined credibility for Wikipedia. Sanger just recently joined as chief information officer for blockchain-based encyclopedia startup Everipedia, which, just like Wikipedia, is free for all to access.

And here’s one big and fascinating difference: Everipedia will incentivize legitimate entries by awarding editors with cryptocurrencies for their work, and will penalize false or inaccurate write-ups, which Sanger believes will usher in a “knowledge marketplace.”

“I’m more drawn to the philosophical, epistemological benefits,” Sanger says. “What I look forward to is a knowledge marketplace, so that people are incentivized to contribute what they know.”
Editors who put in accurate and quality articles are rewarded with “IQ points,” and these will later on be converted into tokens. To troll-proof the online library, anyone who wants to curate or edit any entries are required to stake a token before they can submit edits, which they will then lose as a penalty should their entry be proven false.

“In places where Wikipedia has the most active user bases, like India, all these people edit for free,” says co-founder and CEO Theodor Foselius. “The ability to be a stakeholder in the encyclopedia they edit and get real monetary value back, it’s really exciting to me.”

In addition to incentivizing integrity, Foselius notes that decentralization of an information library helps keep it censorship-proof
“If everyone on the team got abducted tomorrow,” Foselius says, “the site would keep running.”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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Blockchain behemoths unite: China, US, Japan, and Singapore professionals to discuss industry evolution in January

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 06:36

The first US-China blockchain conference intends to “set the tone for the future of blockchain.”

The first conference to feature an alliance between two major powerhouses in the blockchain industry—China and the US—is set to transpire on January 26, 2018 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. The Blockchain Connect Conference is expecting over a thousand blockchain professionals to discuss the industry moving forward, comprised of developers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors.

Organized by SV Insight, Draper Dragon, ConsenSys, DHVC, and Bodhi, the event called Blockchain Technology Evolution in US and China features notable speakers including DFJ and Draper founding partner Tim Draper, Litecoin CEO Charlie Lee, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, and several other industry heavyweights from different countries.

According to the event’s website, the event is looking to “set the tone for the future of Blockchain.”

“China and the US are the two powerhouses in the fast-moving blockchain space. It is critical to understand the Chinese perspective to understand where Blockchain is headed.

The Blockchain Connect Conference is the first US-China blockchain conference and will set the tone for the future of Blockchain.

The Blockchain Connect Conference will be held in San Francisco on Jan 26, 2018, bringing together over 1000 scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and developers from all over the world for a day of blockchain discussion.”

Speakers will be tackling critical issues surrounding the progression of blockchain technology such as powering an entire country with blockchains, scaling, its role in healthcare and finance, and trends. A research by Chinese cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform Huobi is also set to be released that supposedly studied over 10,000 whitepapers.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

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