South African Tax Authority Going After Crypto Traders

South African Tax Authority Going After Crypto Traders

The South African Revenue Service is working to improve the tracking of cryptocurrency traders and their transactions in order to verify if they are paying taxes. According to its Commissioner, the agency is exploring ways to better identify those that are profiting from trading digital assets and check if they are evading taxation.

Also read: Chinese Courts Face Hundreds of Crypto Cases, Struggle with Rulings

Identifying Traders is Key, Commissioner Says

SARS, the South African Revenue Service, is actively looking into ways of identifying people that are trading cryptocurrencies to establish if they are avoiding taxes due on their incomes, the acting Commissioner of the authority, Mark Kingon, revealed quoted by Fin24. During a conference organized by the Institute of Internal Auditors in Sandton this week, Kingon remarked:

The key thing is identifying people who are trading because it’s easy to say cryptocurrency gains must be deductible, but there are also those who lose. That’s why it’s important to identify the trader.

The official emphasized that identification is the main issue and the most critical aspect, Pressportal relayed. He went on to explain that as most traders use credit cards to purchase digital assets, once a noncompliant trader is properly identified, SARS can launch an investigation into the case.

South African Tax Authority Going After Crypto TradersMark Kingon also noted that while the agency has its procedures in place to identify traders, dealing with the issue is not straightforward. Many of the South African crypto investors are actually using foreign bank accounts and some are conducting their transactions in other jurisdictions.

“The world is getting smaller and we are getting far more people transacting in foreign jurisdiction,” the commissioner said, adding that common reporting standards will enable authorities in different countries to do better in that respect.

Regular Tax Rules Apply to Crypto Incomes

Earlier this year, the South African Revenue Service decided that the regular tax rules should apply to incomes and profits from crypto-related transactions. Taxpayers in the country were told they were expected to include gains and losses from trading cryptocurrencies in the taxable income reported on their tax returns.

“The onus is on taxpayers to declare all cryptocurrency-related taxable income in the tax year in which it is received or accrued. Failure to do so could result in interest and penalties,” SARS warned in April, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Along with the statement, the authority acknowledged it had received many calls to clarify the matter and provide guidance on reporting crypto incomes for taxation purposes. It also insisted no separate interpenetration of the regulations was needed.

South African Tax Authority Going After Crypto Traders

The popularity of cryptocurrencies is continuing to grow among South Africans and in the region as a whole, and the need for clarity in regards to crypto taxation has increased. In July, the South African Treasury put forward several amendments to the country’s tax legislation including, according to local media reports, a proposal to exempt crypto traders from VAT (value-added tax).

What is your opinion on crypto taxation? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, SARS.


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Prolific Bitcoin Dealer ‘Blew a Giant Hole’ Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal Framework

A Mexico-based “prolific bitcoin dealer” has been indicted and held without bond in the US on a number of international money laundering charges. He used Bitfinex for his exchange needs after Coinbase closed his account. His “activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws,” the Department of Justice wrote.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitcoin Dealer Indicted

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that a bitcoin dealer, Jacob Burrell Campos, was indicted for international money laundering and is being held without bond. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Ciaffa said during Burrell’s bond hearing on August 17 that:

Burrell was a prolific bitcoin dealer who sold approximately $750,000 worth of bitcoin to hundreds of buyers throughout the United States. He conducted 971 separate transactions with over 900 individual customers, and accepted cash in person, through his bank accounts, and through Moneygram.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkCiaffa told the court that Burrell operated as a “bitcoin exchanger” and his activities constituted a money transmitting business. He was therefore required to register with the Department of Treasury and comply with all anti-money laundering requirements including “reporting suspicious cash transactions.”

However, Ciaffa claimed that Burrell accepted cash “with no questions asked,” adding that he “supplied hundreds of individuals with an easy outlet to avoid the anti-money laundering laws applicable to all financial institutions, including licensed and registered bitcoin exchanges,” for a 5% fee.

The indictment states that Burrell sent 28 wire transfers totaling over $900,000 from his bank accounts in the U.S. to a bank account in the name of Bitfinex in Taiwan. Ciaffa elaborated:

Burrell sent the money from the United States to buy bitcoin and fund his business. With these and other funds, Burrell bought over $3 million worth of bitcoin in over 2,600 transactions. Burrell resorted to buying bitcoin through Bitfinex after his account was closed by Coinbase, a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange, for circumventing its ID verification process.

Blowing Giant Hole Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkBorn in San Diego, Burrell lives in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. He was arrested on August 13 while trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico. The 21-year-old “was ordered held without bail today in connection with a 31-count indictment charging him with operating an illegal money transmitting business, failing to maintain an anti-money laundering program, international money laundering and conspiracy to structure monetary transactions,” the DOJ announcement reads.

The indictment also charges him with conspiracy to structure the importation of monetary instruments. Ciaffa told the court that “Burrell agreed with others to smuggle over $1 million in U.S. dollars into the United States from Mexico, in amounts slightly less than $10,000, in order to avoid the currency reporting requirements.”

The Justice Department reported the assistant U.S. attorney saying:

Burrell’s activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws by soliciting and introducing into the U.S. banking system close to $1 million in unregulated cash.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkU.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford “ordered him held without bail,” citing that he has “significant ties to Mexico, citizenship in three countries, no steady employment in the United States, the ability to access large sums of cash, and a disdain and unwillingness to comply with U.S. laws.” She, therefore, “concluded that Burrell posed a substantial risk of flight.”

According to the DOJ, the 31 counts in the indictment against Burrell carry different prison terms and fines. The first count carries a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The second carries ten years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The third through 30th counts, for the charge of international money laundering, carry “twenty years in prison for each count, [and a] $500,000 fine.” The last count carries five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the Justice Department clarified that the charges and allegations “are merely accusations” and the defendant is “considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto

The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto

In this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief we reported on McAfee’s “Doomed” wallet, a panic in the altcoin markets, Binance’s new fiat-to-crypto platform in Liechtenstein and much more. The most commented-on article during the week covered a situation in the UK, where banks are targeting cryptocurrency owners – having their assets frozen and accounts locked without warning.

Also Read: Pantera Capital Raises Over $70 Million for Its Third Crypto Fund

Paxful to Build Second School in Rwanda

A cheerful story published on Monday was about Paxful, which launched the #BuiltWithBitcoin program in 2017 by donating $50,000 for the construction of a nursery school in Rwanda, starting to sponsor the construction of a second school in the African country. Planned for students aged 6-15 in the Nyamata Sector of Rwanda’s Bugesera District, the company jump-started the project with a $20,000 donation. Total construction is estimated to cost $100,000, with the balance to be collected through an online crowdfunding campaign. Donations can be made via BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and Dash. And Paxful vowed to match all community donations until the $100,000 goal is met.

Altcoin Panic

The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-CryptoThe altcoin markets bleeding red was the big story on Tuesday. Sentiment in crypto community forums all around the web turned very dark as panic set in. With cryptocurrencies such as Iota, BNB, and Vechain nursing 20% losses in a single day – 25% in the case of the latter – the market was looking very ugly indeed. The total value of the cryptocurrency market has dropped to $194 billion at the time of publication, with BTC dominance reaching 53.5%. Just three cryptocurrencies in the top 100 were showing signs of green at the time, and predictably they were all stablecoins.

Stoners Drop Crypto From IPO

On Wednesday we reported that popular cannabis magazine High Times won’t accept cryptocurrencies for its IPO after all. According to a filing with the SEC, the company’s previous statement about it was a mistake. The announcement was “distributed in error as the Company will not be accepting bitcoin as payment for shares” High Times claimed. While it would have been fair to assume another company might have gotten cold feet due to the current bear market, or that it was somehow intimidated by the regulators behind the scenes, in this case it is indeed possible that whoever wrote that original announcement was just stoned out of their mind at the time.

McAfee’s “Unhackable” Wallet Is Doomed

The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-CryptoOn Thursday it was reported that security researchers claimed they successfully sent signed transactions with John McAfee’s “unhackable” Bitfi wallet. And someone had even been able to demonstrate root control of the device by installing the classic video game Doom on it. McAfee reacted by twitting: “A video played on your Bitfi wallet has nothing to do with the safety of your funds. This is amateur hour, not a hack! Any device with a computer and screen can be used to play games. I should start watching my YouTube videos on Bitfi wallet.” He later added: “Laughing so hard I can barely catch my breath. “Hackers” play Doom, play videos, root the device, play music on the BitFi wallet. We dont charge extra for those facilities. No-one has taken the coins from our pre-loaded wallet. No one will. Isn’t this what matters?”

Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crypto in Liechtenstein

On Friday we reported that Binance is launching a fiat-to-crypto trading platform in Liechtenstein. Using a joint venture with LCX, they plans to build up a team of up to 15 professionals for the Liechtenstein office that will manage customer support, legal requirements, due diligence, KYC, AML and government communication, while the team at Binance will provide and maintain the platform. The new exchange will offer trading for Swiss francs (CHF) and Euros (EUR) against major cryptocurrencies and promised to add more trading pairs in the future. Adrian Hasler, Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, welcomed the joint venture and said: “We are confident that Liechtenstein’s existing and future legal framework and practice provide a robust foundation for the Binance LCX and other blockchain companies to provide exceptional services here in Liechtenstein.”

Buy Hairspray with Bitcoin

The Weekly: McAfee’s Doomed Wallet, Altcoin Panic, Binance Launches Fiat-to-CryptoAn interesting story we covered on Saturday: you can now buy fancy hairspray with bitcoin. R+Co, the beauty collective founded by stylists Howard McLaren, Thom Priano, and Garren, has begun incorporating BTC and BCH payments into its business model, women’s style magazine The Cut revealed. R+Co’s president Dan Langer said: “Blockchain technology is going to be one of the future disruptors in the beauty industry. It will allow consumers the ability to leverage their data and purchase behavior in all kinds of new shopping ways… from reviews to rewards to product benefits. In order to stay at the forefront of this emerging thinking we wanted to integrate components of it while still in its early stages – like paying with Bitcoin – and learn with it as it evolves.”

UK Banks Target Cryptocurrency Owners

The most commented-on article during the week covered the situation in the UK, where banks have been targeting cryptocurrency owners. People who cashed out large amounts of cryptocurrency – legitimately – have had their assets frozen and accounts locked without warning, fueled by fears of money laundering and a general distrust of bitcoin. One person even claims to have had their house raided and computer equipment seized in a follow-up operation by police. Join the discussion.

This Week in Bitcoin Podcast

Catch the rest of this week’s news in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with host Matt Aaron.

What other stories in the Bitcoin world caught your attention this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet

In South Korea, Bithumb was visited by officials of the Mongolian government. Upbit is offering free training leading up to its developer conference. A public company has unveiled a hardware wallet as it enters the crypto space. Meanwhile, hacked crypto exchange Coinrail has launched an international service for non-Korean customers, and a US bitcoin ATM operator plans to enter the Korean market.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Mongolian Government Officials Visit Bithumb

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware WalletSenior officials of the Mongolian government visited Bithumb’s headquarters on August 16, local media reported. They were trying to determine the feasibility of using blockchain and cryptocurrency in solar energy businesses in Mongolia. The Korea Economic Daily elaborated:

What they have focused on is the possibility of virtual currency remittance and payment functions and blockchain technology. Mongolia is seeking to utilize blockchains and virtual currency to activate new energy projects such as solar power generation at the government level.

“With the visit of high-ranking officials of the government, it is possible that Bithumb will pursue a business alliance with the Mongolian government or establish a local corporation,” the publication noted.

Ksign Launching Hardware Wallet

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet
Ksine’s CEO, Choi Seung-rak, introducing Touch x Wallet.

Kosdaq-listed company Ksine Inc. has commenced its cryptocurrency business with the launch of a hardware wallet called Touch x Wallet, the company announced on August 16.

Touch x Wallet uses locally developed fingerprint authentication technology and has a built-in battery. It can store up to 10 cryptocurrencies – including bitcoin, ether, and ripple – which the company plans to expand to about 50 by the second half of next year, Cctvnews reported. The wallet also has high-resolution electronic paper (e-paper) to display QR codes of addresses and allows users to check their balances.

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet

Upbit’s Crypto Training and Developer Conference

Dunamu Inc, the operator of South Korea’s major crypto exchange Upbit, announced on August 16 that it is holding a free crypto and blockchain training for the public on September 12. This is a pre-program leading to Upbit Developer Conference which will take place on September 13 and 14 at the Jeju Creative Economy and Innovation Center.

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware WalletThe class consists of two parts. The first focuses on the origin and history of blockchain and cryptocurrency. The second focuses on the theory and practice of blockchain including the basic understanding of Ethereum and Lambda chain, solidity and Dapp development, and smart contracts.

Recently, the governor of Jeju Island requested the central government to designate the island a special zone for blockchains and cryptocurrency.

Coinrail Launches International Service

Coinrail, which was hacked on June 10 and resumed services on July 15, announced last week that it has officially launched the Coinrail international service for non-Korean users. Foreigners can now access the exchange’s crypto-to-crypto markets. The service is available in English.

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware Wallet

Coinme Rolling out Bitcoin ATMs in Korea

Korea Roundup: Mongolian Government Visits Bithumb, New BTM, Hardware WalletU.S. bitcoin ATM (BTM) operator Coinme revealed on August 16 that it is “seeking to roll out its service in Korea before the year-end,” the Investor reported.

Currently, the company’s ATMs are in 67 locations across the U.S., the new outlet noted, adding that “Coinme said it is eying Asia as the next spot for expansion, specifically focusing on Korea and other countries in the region, including Hong Kong and Singapore.”

CEO Neil Bergquist was quoted saying:

We have seen really promising interest in Coinme from Korea…There’s a large and sophisticated cryptocurrency community which understands the potential of a token tied to real world applications.

“The Coinme ecosystem also seeks to offer massively reduced transaction costs, so we see real synergies with the Korean market,” he added.

What do you think of all the crypto activities going on in South Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Zdnet, Bithumb, Upbit, Coinrail, Ksine, and Coinme.


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Venezuelans to Be Paid at Least Half a Petro a Month

Venezuelans to Be Paid at Least Half a Petro a Month

Announcing a 60-fold increase of the minimum monthly salary, President Maduro promised Venezuelans they will be paid at least 0.5 petro, once his monetary reforms are in place next week. The national crypto will be exchanged at a rate of $60 USD and the new “sovereign bolivar” will be pegged to the digital coin.   

Also read: This Fall May Bring More Crypto-Friendly Jurisdictions

1 Petro = 60 Dollars = 1 Barrel

Venezuelans to Be Paid at Least Half a Petro a Month
Nicolás Maduro

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro revealed the fixed price of the country’s cryptocurrency, the petro, and a new minimum wage as part of a package of measures aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions in the South American country. The policies will be implemented on Monday, when the new, denominated brolivar will be introduced to replace the highly inflated national fiat.

Starting from August 20, 1 PTR will be officially exchanged for $60 US dollars – approximately the value of a barrel of oil on the international markets. The state-issued digital coin can also be purchased with the newly issued “sovereign bolivar” which takes away five zeros from the current “strong bolivar.” One petro will cost 3,600 new bolivars (now 360 million).

With inflation expected to reach 1 million percent by the end of the year, according to the IMF, bolívar fuerte is one of the fastest depreciating national currencies in the world. However, the new bolívar soberano will be “anchored” to El Petro, the oil-backed cryptocurrency introduced by the administration of the leftist Venezuelan leader earlier this year.

60-Fold Increase of the Minimum Salary

President Maduro also announced that the minimum monthly wage in the country will be raised to 0.5 PTR, 1,800 sovereign bolivars or $30 USD. That’s 60 times more than the current 3 million old bolivars (30 after the denomination). The Venezuelan head of state also said the government will compensate small and medium-sized enterprises for the difference in the basic wages in the next 90 days. It will also raise the VAT from 12 to 16 percent.

The changes come after Nicolás Maduro shared his intentions to denominate the bolivar back in March. The new banknotes were expected to have three zeros less than the current and were supposed to be issued in early June. The monetary conversion was subsequently postponed and in late July Venezuelan authorities announced that the petro-pegged bolivar will be introduced on August 20, getting rid of five zeros.

State Retaking Control of Economy

Venezuelans to Be Paid at Least Half a Petro a MonthEarlier this week, the Venezuelan president said that starting from Monday his economically troubled country will have two official units of account – the petro, and the sovereign bolivar. The old and the new version of the national fiat will be circulating together for some time before the “strong bolivar” is phased out.

Maduro assured his compatriots that Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) and all public and private banks already had the new banknotes and were actively preparing to implement the changes. He added that besides salaries, pricing will also be adjusted and the price ceiling mechanism will be restored. On Friday, the president warned merchants there would be no excuses for any price hikes. Quoted by El Nacional, he stated:

There has to be a government, we have to retake the regulatory role, the authority of the state and the government to enforce economic rules.

Venezuela issued the petro in February becoming the first nation to adopt its own cryptocurrency. The crypto is backed by its oil reserves, one of the largest in the world. Caracas has been trying to introduce the coin in bilateral trade with countries like Russia and India but official agreements have not been reached yet.

According to resent reports, the Islamic Republic of Iran, another country hit by US lsanctions with which Venezuela maintains close relations, is stepping up efforts to develop its cryptocurrency. Iranian government wants to use the coin to circumvent the restrictions reimposed by Washington this month which are mainly targeting its ability to acquire US dollars.

What do you think will be the effect of the reforms Maduro’s administration is introducing? Share your opinions in the comments section below.


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Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

Cryptocurrency prices have seen some recovery after our last markets update four days ago when a large majority of digital assets lost quite a bit of value. Since then, and more so over the last 48 hours, the entire crypto-economy capitalization ($216B) has gained roughly $20B. The action yesterday was more bullish as most of the top digital assets were up between 6-20 percent but have since lost some of those gains during this weekend’s trading sessions.

Also read: Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet

Up Moves, Down Moves, and Eight Months of Corrections

Last week was pretty bad for most of the top digital asset markets, except we mentioned during our last markets update that bitcoin core (BTC) spot market prices took the least of the blows downward. Then a little less than 48 hours ago and mostly yesterday cryptocurrency markets picked up again with BTC touching a high of $6,615 on Bitstamp. But on Friday, August 17 most digital asset markets besides BTC reaped a lot more gains as a good portion of the top markets saw 10-20 percent spikes.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

The biggest gainers were ripple (XRP), monero (XMR), and stellar (XLM) as the values of each currency are up between 2-5 percent over the last seven days. Top digital currency trade volumes today are held by BTC, USDT, ETH, EOS, XRP, and BCH. There’s been about $14B USD worth of trade volume swapped among all 1600+ virtual currencies.  

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH) markets are down today 4.3 percent while the past seven days show BCH is also down 2.2 percent. At the time of writing, BCH/USD markets are valued at $560 per coin with an overall market valuation of around $9.68B today. The top five exchanges swapping the most BCH this weekend are Okex, Coinex, Binance, Hitbtc, and Bitfinex.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

Market volume is fairly decent, but weaker with $420M USD worth of BCH traded over the last 24 hours. Right now the top currency paired with bitcoin cash on exchanges is tether (USDT) which captures 49.2 percent of all trades. This is followed by BTC (27.5%), USD (10.5%), ZB (3.44%), QC (3.16%), and the KRW (2.15%).

Bitcoin Core (BTC) Market Action

Bitcoin core (BTC) prices are up about 1 percent over the last seven days worth of trading sessions but are down 1.9 percent today. At press time the average price for BTC is around $6,430 per coin and BTC’s market capitalization is $110B. The top exchanges today trading the most BTC include Bitflyer, Binance, Coinbene, Bitfinex, and Okex.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Consolidate After Failing to Surpass Resistance

As mentioned above, BTC captures the top volume position with around $4B in 24-hour trade volume which is much weaker than the $5.5B traded four days ago. The top pairs trading with BTC involve the following currencies tether (USDT 59.1%), USD (19.6%), JPY (11.5%), EUR (2.9%), KRW (2.3%) and bitcoin cash (BCH 1.7%).

The Verdict: Uncertain Predictions

At the moment, even with prices showing some upswing, and some traders believing cryptocurrencies will enter a bullish trend, most traders still seem pessimistic. It’s difficult to see digital assets rise with dwindling trade volumes. Furthermore, a lot of confidence has been shot over the last eight months of false bull flags and many psychological price levels degrading. Some believe there is a noticeable support zone and prices may still move sideways and test these zones again. Other, more optimistic traders think the path of least resistance is towards the upside and markets are entering a bearish-to-bullish trend. Much of these short-term theories will likely be confirmed within the next 48 hours.

Where do you see the price of BTC, BCH and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comment 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.”


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Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet

A while back, the San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase announced the launch of an ethereum-based wallet called Toshi. The application was a private and secure messaging platform tethered to a non-custodial ETH wallet. Now Coinbase has decided to revamp the application and Toshi will become the ‘Coinbase Wallet’ which will not only offer ETH and it’s token derivatives but soon it will also hold BCH, LTC, and BTC.

Also read: The Daily: Husbands Blackmailed for Bitcoin, Blockchain This and That

Toshi Platform Changes to Coinbase Wallet

Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet Next time someone tells you Coinbase is “not a wallet” you can tell them that the San Francisco firm does offer a non-custodial wallet that provides users with private keys. The wallet is called Coinbase Wallet, a rebrand of the Toshi Wallet the company introduced back in April of 2017. On August 15, the Coinbase engineer Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu revealed the ETH and ERC-20 wallet known as Toshi was changing names but the Coinbase Wallet will have a slew of new features including the ability to hold bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC) and litecoin (LTC).

“Toshi was developed by the Coinbase team a little over a year ago — When the product launched, it featured the world’s first mobile dapp browser — Later, we became the first wallet to launch crypto collectibles,” Coelho-Prabhu explains.

As part of our effort to be the most trusted brand in the space, we also set out to provide best-in-class secure storage. With Coinbase Wallet, your private keys are secured using your device’s Secure Enclave and biometric authentication technology.  

Testing the Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet

The Coinbase wallet provides users with a platform that manages ETH, and ERC-20s but also allows crypto collectible storage, and the ability to garner air drops. Furthermore, the application allows users to access decentralized token exchanges and relayer platforms. News.Bitcoin.com gave the wallet a test-run on iOS this week and the Coinbase Wallet does, in fact, allow the owner to procure their own private keys with a recovery phrase. The user is asked right away to write down and store the phrase in a safe location, but they can also choose to ‘backup later’ as well. Followed by the backup step, the wallet then asks if the user wants to utilize biometry (fingerprint) or set up a less secure six-digit passphrase. After all the security steps are complete the Coinbase Wallet provides an ethereum address screen that can also show tokens and collectibles.

Testing the Newly Transformed Non-Custodial Coinbase Wallet
News.Bitcoin.com testing out the new Coinbase Wallet on iOS. 

Then there’s a decentralized application browser inside the wallet, which features a wide variety of apps, gaming platforms, and marketplaces that can be used with ethereum, and other token assets. The wallet also has a messenger where you can chat with friends or chat and interact with group chats and wallet bots like the @Toshibot. Overall, the wallet is fairly intuitive like most light clients out there today, but people who are interested in the token economy will find it more useful. When BCH, BTC, and LTC are added, the wallet software will likely open up to a much larger audience.       

The Coinbase Wallet is available for Android systems and iOS and existing Toshi users just need to upgrade the client’s firmware to see the changes. The decentralized app browser works with any platforms that use web3.js, and the wallet also offers native support for ERC-721 tokens. For those who have absolutely no interest in the ethereum ecosystem, they may want to wait until Coinbase adds BCH, LTC, and BTC.

What do you think about the Toshi app changing into the Coinbase Wallet? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, the Coinbase Wallet, and Jamie Redman.


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Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures

The South Korean government has announced the outcome of its inspection of 21 cryptocurrency exchanges. While a number of exchanges have completed implementing both short-term and wallet management measures, many security vulnerabilities remain at most exchanges.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

21 Exchanges Inspected

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security MeasuresSouth Korea’s government has announced the result of its mid-term review of 21 cryptocurrency exchanges. The inspection was conducted in June and July by the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology.

KISA security experts visited each exchange to check on the 85 items identified during its previous crypto exchange inspection, conducted between January and March. They focused on 17 items which needed immediate implementation; six were short-term measures and 11 concerned crypto wallet management.

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures“Intermediate checks were carried out in such a way as to confirm whether improvements had been made, focusing on the 17 security items recommended for quick action,” the government explained. These items include dedicated security and management staff, a password management system, crypto deposit and withdrawal controls, and a system to monitor wallets for abnormalities.

The agencies revealed that 11 out of 21 exchanges have completed the short-term measures. In addition, eight of them have also improved their wallet management systems. The eight are Upbit, Bithumb, Korbit, Coinnest, Coinlink, Coinone, Coinplug, and Huobi Korea, local media detailed. The government reiterated:

In the management of virtual currency wallets, most of the vulnerabilities in the business have not yet been improved.

Furthermore, twelve companies have been found to have insufficient security procedures to prevent data leakage and loss of funds from their cold wallets. Ten companies have inadequate systems to monitor hot wallets for suspicious activities. In addition, at least ten businesses lack wallet backup and recovery measures.

Further Inspections Planned

The final check on the implementation of recommended measures will be carried out next month, the agencies noted, adding that any new crypto exchanges will also be inspected.

Korean Government: 11 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Complete Security Measures“Because of the weak security of virtual currency exchanges, we should be careful in investing,” Kim Jong-sam, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Information and Communication, commented. “We will continue to check virtual currency exchanges to improve security.”

Referencing the hack of Coinrail and Bithumb in June, KISA described that “the leakage of virtual currency due to the hacking of recent dealers has directly led to the damage of users,” adding that after checking 85 security items, “there are many dealers with low security.”

Emphasizing that they have been asking crypto exchanges to “improve security levels by completing the recommendations for improvement,” the agencies revealed:

We plan to support the improvement of the security level of the dealers through continuous inspection of the dealers.

What do you think of the Korean government’s review? Let us know in the comments section below.


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She(256) Mentorship Program Aims to Help More Women Gain a Cryptocurrency Career

She(256) Mentorship Program Aims to Help More Women Gain a Cryptocurrency Career

She(256) is a clever name for a novel scheme. The female-focused mentorship program is designed to support women entering the cryptocurrency space. In doing so, the program will enable students to benefit from the guidance of a crypto OG – a seasoned professional whose business and technical experience should prove invaluable. The She(256) initiative has been broadly welcomed in most quarters of the cryptoconomy.

Also read: Bitcoin ETFs are a Terrible Idea: Andreas Antonopoulos

Mo’ Mentors, Mo’ Women

She(256) Mentorship Program Aims to Help More Women Gain a Cryptocurrency Career“Dear men of crypto, I would love to see many of you sign up to be She(256) mentors,” tweeted Jill Carlson. The cryptocurrency all-rounder is a recognisable and respected figure in an industry that is still overwhelmingly male-dominated. “Many of you have been the most important mentors and influences in my career,” she continued. “It matters more than you know when you support your female colleagues.”

The program she was referring to, She(256), is a University of California, Berkeley-led initiative that “presents the opportunity for a professional and young student or early-career young adult to learn from each other serving as guides and allies”. Few would argue with the basic rationale behind its ethos. Anyone who can recall their first foray into crypto, and the fledgling mistakes they made, personally and professionally, can surely appreciate the value in such an initiative.

Cryptocurrency, and the insular and often esoteric world it’s spawned, makes perfect sense once you’re battle-hardened and embroiled in it. For newcomers, however, the industry – which is notoriously unforgiving of incompetence and ‘newb mistakes’ – can seem daunting. This is true of all entrants to the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, regardless of gender, skill set, or experience accrued in other sectors.

Breaking Barriers, Nurturing Talent

She(256) Mentorship Program Aims to Help More Women Gain a Cryptocurrency Career“In defining the blockchain paradigm..it is critical that those building up these far-reaching systems represent the diversity of our global population, explains She(256). “We wanted She(256) to be a movement that would have long-term impact on this burgeoning industry, by allowing more women to feel welcome in this space and by highlighting the work of women who are already making an impact in this field.”

There is nothing like this particular time, place, or industry that has ever existed in the past, which gives us the unique position to set a precedent. Blockchain is disruptive technology. So let’s disrupt the industry with more diversity.

How it Works

In practice, the (She)256 mentorship program will see mentors contacting their allotted student by phone or in person 1-3 times a month, augmented by emails and other communications. Participants are matched to their mentor or mentee for a period of one year initially, with the option to maintain contact thereafter. “For mentees, utilize your mentors and their industry expertise to ask questions, bounce off ideas, and seek direction. For mentors, provide guidance, learn from fresh perspectives, and serve as an anchor,” explains the website.

A number of well-known figures within the cryptocurrency space have thrown their weight behind (She)256, both in terms of promoting it and in volunteering to participate in it. There have been some dissenting voices, whose opposition seems to revolve around the belief that cryptocurrency doesn’t need diversity quotas; decentralized systems, by their nature, do not care for gender, identity, or any other characteristic that exerts sway in other spheres – they care only for the veracity delivered by cryptographic protocols, and the competency of the engineers who developed them.

Even without focusing on its appeal to “young female-identifying individuals” however, She(256)’s mentorship program is sure to help emerging talents find their feet and add value to the burgeoning cryptoconomy. And that can only be a good thing.

Do you think She(256) will help more women gain cryptocurrency careers? Let us know in the comments section below.


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