Hong Kong Regulator: Cryptocurrencies ‘May Not Qualify as Securities’

Hong Kong Regulator: Cryptocurrencies 'May Not Qualify as Securities'

Cryptocurrency falls into a legislative gray area in many jurisdictions, which is why governments should take a particularly nuanced approach to developing regulatory frameworks for crypto trading, the outgoing chairman of Hong Kong’s securities regulator said in a recent interview.

Also Read: Fidelity Launching Crypto Custody and Trading Services

Key Challenge for Legislators

Hong Kong Regulator: Cryptocurrencies 'May Not Qualify as Securities'

“We have to carefully consider the regulatory approach for these platforms because they are new technology and may not qualify as securities,” Carlson Tong Ka-Shing, the current chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), told the South China Morning Post.

Tong, who will hand over the reins to incoming SFC Chairman Tim Lui Tim-Leung on Oct. 19, said cryptocurrencies pose a significant challenge to legislators.

“They do not fit in the custodian, audit or valuation requirements, for instance, normally expected under the Securities and Futures Ordinance,” he said. “No other international market currently has a comprehensive regulation (sic) framework for these cryptocurrency platforms.”

 Trading Bans Are Not a Practical Solution

Hong Kong Regulator: Cryptocurrencies 'May Not Qualify as Securities'Tong rejected the notion of prohibiting cryptocurrency trading platforms as a viable regulatory strategy. Such moves would prove fruitless in the current world, where trading can be freely conducted without concern for national borders, he argued.

“We do not think imposing a total ban on these platforms is necessarily the right approach,” he said, noting the importance of protecting the interests of investors. “Even if we were to ban them, transactions can still be easily conducted via platforms in overseas markets … We need to see if and how these platforms can be regulated to a standard that is comparable to that of a licensed trading venue.”

Bitmex COO Looks to U.S. Crypto Rules

SFC Chairman: Cryptocurrencies "May Not Qualify as Securities"Angela Kwan, the recently hired chief operating officer of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform Bitmex, said the SFC should follow the lead of the U.S. and other leading markets with regard to international crypto regulations.

“We hope the guidelines or regulations being considered will keep pace with market developments,” Kwan said.

She claimed that the futures products that are now being traded in the U.S., for example, illustrate how regulators can help to support the growth of the crypto industry. “We hope that sharing information about cryptocurrency markets and market developments in this space will help international regulators better understand cryptocurrency as an asset class,” Kwan concluded.

What is your response to the outgoing SFC chairman’s comments regarding the regulation of cryptocurrency trading platforms? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Cointext Launches Bitcoin Cash SMS Wallet in Argentina and Turkey

Cointext Launches Wallet Allowing Bitcoin Cash Transfers via Sms for Argentine, Turkish Users

Cointext began offering its new SMS-based bitcoin cash wallet service on Oct. 15 in Turkey and Argentina, two countries in which cryptocurrency use has been rising sharply in response to dire economic conditions.

Also read: Binance Launches Fiat-to-Crpto Exchange in Uganda

Mobile Wallet Handles
BCH Transactions by Text Message

“Bitcoin is better money,” Vin Armani, founder and chief technology officer of Cointext, said in an online statement. “Many Turks and Argentinians already understand this due to high inflation. We are excited to provide tools to help them use cryptocurrency.”

Cointext Launches Wallet Allowing Bitcoin Cash Transfers via Sms for Argentine, Turkish Users

The U.S. fintech startup claims that its Cointext wallet, which facilitates BCH transactions via text message, does not require an internet connection, additional apps, special accounts or passwords, “making it very easy to introduce new people to cryptocurrency.”

Cointext said the service works on all types of mobile phones, including old Nokia flip phones. “If your phone can send and receive SMS messages with your telecom service, you can use Cointext,” the company explained.

Economic Crises Support Crypto Growth

Cryptocurrency use is soaring in the face of the deteriorating economic situation in Argentina and Turkey. Enthusiasts often cite the two countries as prime examples of the folly of excessive state economic control. This year, the Argentine peso and Turkish lira have fallen sharply against the U.S. dollar. On a year-to-date basis, the peso is down about 60 percent, while the lira has fallen approximately 40 percent.

Annual inflation in the two countries is at its highest in years. According to official estimates, inflation peaked in August at 34.4 percent in Argentina. In Turkey, it hit 24.5 percent in September, its highest point in 15 years. However, U.S. economist Steve Hanke has said that he believes both figures have been severely understated. In his own estimation, annual inflation is running at 66 percent in Turkey and 116 percent in Argentina.

Cointext Launches Wallet Allowing Bitcoin Cash Transfers via Sms for Argentine, Turkish Users

In light of these issues, a growing number of people in the two countries have started looking to cryptocurrencies as a safe haven, to help them store value and make overseas payments. In Turkey, for example, investors continue to flee the plunging lira in favor of bitcoin. And in Argentina, about 30 bitcoin ATMs are expected to be installed throughout the country by the end of this year. Chicago-based Athena Bitcoin started operating the country’s first bitcoin ATM at a shopping mall in Buenos Aires in September.

Simple Interface

Virtual currencies present an incredible opportunity for people in Argentina and Turkey to freely and quickly conduct transactions on their own terms, and Cointext appears eager to cash in on rising demand. “Before Cointext, you had to download a software wallet or join an exchange to get your first cryptocurrency,” said Armani. “And to onboard your friends, you had to convince them to do the same process. Now you can just text money to their phone.”

Cointext Launches Wallet Allowing Bitcoin Cash Transfers via Sms for Argentine, Turkish Users

The Cointext wallet can be controlled with simple text commands. Users can send funds to domestic and foreign mobile phone numbers. By simply entering a 2FA code, individuals can ensure that their transactions are quickly settled on the BCH blockchain.

In its press materials, Cointext describes itself as a company that is “built on a foundation designed for a full suite of cryptocurrency solutions including touchless payments, streaming money, and for the Internet of Things.”

What do you think about Cointext’s text-based BCH wallet service? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com

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Crypto Hedge Fund Launches Retail Public Offering in Japan

Crypto Hedge Fund Launches Retail Public Offering in Japan

Epoch Partners launched the retail public offering for a new hedge fund in Japan this week that will focus on cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Subscriptions for the offering, which opened on Oct. 15, have been capped at 100 billion yen ($892 million).

Also Read: Research: 1 of 5 New Hedge Funds in 2018 Is a Crypto Fund

Diverse Crypto Exposure
for Japanese Investors

Crypto Hedge Fund Launches Retail Public Offering in JapanThe company, which is based in the Cayman Islands, said the new Epoch Digital Assets fund will invest in a range of investment vehicles with broad exposure to various cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and other digital assets. The hedge fund, which will seek aggressive returns while attempting to offset volatility, aims to offer retail investors diversified exposure to the crypto market via small investments.

Teneo Partners will market the fund in Japan in cooperation with a number of other undisclosed securities firms throughout the country. “As a fully licensed Japanese securities company that specializes in offering offshore alternative funds to Japanese investors, we are delighted to be working with Epoch Partners,” said Stanley Howard, CEO of the Tokyo-based firm.

“The ability to offer a truly unique diversified digital asset fund to our distribution and investor networks allows us to more fully address the increasingly diverse investment needs of our clientele and to differentiate ourselves from our competitors within the Japanese securities industry.”

Enormous Potential

Crypto Hedge Fund Launches Retail Public Offering in JapanJames Skinner, a partner at Epoch Partners, described Japan as a “leader” in the promotion of cryptocurrencies and digital assets. “They were the first market to create a proper regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, and as such can be seen as the world pioneer in this area,” he said. “We were very keen to undertake the world’s first public offering of a cryptocurrency fund in Japan and look forward to great things ahead.”

However, Skinner added that he still sees plenty of room for growth in the country. “The asset class is still young, but the movement to more institutional players like Goldman Sachs and Nomura entering the space shows the great potential of this area,” he explained. “In the future, digital assets are likely to become an integrated part of investment portfolios, similar to equities and fixed income products today, albeit on a smaller scale.”

Is Japan set to become the world’s crypto finance capital? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

Bitfinex has restored the ability of customers to make fiat currency deposits. Details of its new deposit system remain shrouded in secrecy, however, with the exchange going to extraordinary lengths to conceal the identity of the bank(s) in question. Its “distributed” system, designed to circumvent censorship, has brought the critics out in full force.

Also read: The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

Convoluted Fiat Deposit Process

The Daily: Bitfinex Building Decentralized Exchange, Bitpanda Adding ZcashAfter being forced to suspend fiat currency deposits last week, when HSBC terminated its proxy banking relationship, Bitfinex assured customers that an alternative would soon be in place. And the exchange, the world’s second largest by trading volume, has been as good as its word, confirming its new banking relationship earlier today (Oct. 16). However, the opaque nature of the statement, and the odd language it was couched in, have raised more questions than they have answered.

“Today we are introducing a new, improved and increasingly resilient fiat depositing system for sending fiat currencies to Bitfinex,” began the blog post. “This new process will once again allow KYC-verified users from around the world to initiate deposits across USD, GBP, JPY and EUR.”

The exchange then proceeded to describe a complex process by which customers must deposit a minimum of $10,000 of fiat currency from now on. This involves creating a deposit request to signal interest, waiting up to 48 hours for Bitfinex to approve it, sending money to the bank account, and then waiting six to 10 days for the funds to clear. Coinbase, by way of comparison, takes an average of three to five days to clear bank transfers.

Customers Sworn to Secrecy

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking SystemBitfinex’s statement ends on a defiant note, with the exchange asserting: “We believe this system to be significantly more durable in the face of sustained attacks by our competition and their supporters. Ongoing campaigns against us will only result in our company becoming stronger and better.”

While Bitfinex undoubtedly has its share of haters who would like to see the platform toppled, most traders simply seek clarity. The inability of the exchange’s operators to publish a full audit of Tether, exacerbated by its own nebulous banking arrangements, has not helped matters. Still mindful of what happened to Mt. Gox, the crypto community would like reassurance that funds are safe.

There may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public.

The Block has revealed that Tether has obtained a new Caribbean bank, after recently severing ties with Nobles. It’s now believed to have shacked up with the Bahamas-based Deltec Bank. However, it is unclear whether the same bank will also handle Bitfinex’s customer deposits.

Anyone attempting to initiate the new fiat deposit process on the exchange is greeted by a disclaimer that warns in almost apocalyptic terms: “Divulging this info could damage not just yourself and Bitfinex but the entire digital token ecosystem … you are cautioned that there may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public.”

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

The status of Bitfinex/Tether is becoming a new battleground in the cryptocurrency community, with lines drawn and both tribes seemingly incapable of backing down. On the one hand, there are those who are certain of impropriety of some kind and are waiting to be vindicated when the house of cards topples. On the other hand, there are the defenders of Bitfinex, who are weary of fighting what they deem to be endless FUD. Today’s statement has done nothing to resolve the impasse.

What are your thoughts on Bitfinex’s latest banking arrangements? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Nouriel Roubini Attacks Blockchain in Latest Rant

Professor Nouriel Roubini Goes After ‘Blockchain’ In Latest Rant

NYU economics professor Nouriel Roubini, commonly known as Dr. Doom in mainstream financial media circles, is a long-established Bitcoin and cryptocurrency skeptic. In his latest rant he focuses on blockchain technology and the people promoting it.

Also Read: Research: Corporations Fail to Deliver on Blockchain Hype, Scalability a Top Concern

Greedy White Men

Professor Nouriel Roubini Goes After ‘Blockchain’ In Latest RantRoubini, who recently testified before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee about blockchain, had a few angles of attack against the promoters of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in his latest article, The Big Blockchain Lie. Noting that blockchain has been heralded as a potential solution for everything from famine to cancer, he called it the most over-hyped technology in human history.

The professor explains that, “in practice, blockchain is nothing more than a glorified spreadsheet.” However, he also claims it has been able to create an “economic hell.” This is because Roubini categories developers and entrepreneurs as “a few self-serving white men pretending to be messiahs for the world’s impoverished, marginalized, and unbanked masses.” As for the supposed ideology behind them, he states: ”Blockchain is not about decentralization and democracy; it is about greed.”

Excel Spreadsheet With a Misleading Name

Professor Nouriel Roubini Goes After ‘Blockchain’ In Latest RantBesides ad hominem attacks, which Roubini has previously been fiercely criticized for, the economist actually makes some valid points about why so-called corporate blockchains touted by big banks, governments and other established powers are not decentralized. Such institutions would never want to have the transparency it would bring, or, as he explains it, “There is no institution under the sun that would put its balance sheet or register of transactions, trades, and interactions with clients and suppliers on public decentralized peer-to-peer permissionless ledgers.”

Moreover, he notes that in cases where so-called enterprise DLT solutions are actually being used by established organizations, they have nothing to do with blockchain. He explains that these are private, centralized, recorded on just a few controlled ledgers, require permission for access, and are based on trusted authorities. As for all the DLT trials constantly being spoken about in the press, Roubini says that whenever blockchain has been piloted in a traditional setting, “it has either been thrown in the trash bin or turned into a private permissioned database that is nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet or a database with a misleading name.”

Does Roubini make any valid arguments in dismissing blockchain technology? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Coinfloor Obtains DLT Provider License in Gibraltar

Coinfloor Attains "DLT Provider" Licensing in Gibraltar

Coinfloor, the oldest operational cryptocurrency exchange in the U.K., has become the first company to secure a distributed ledger technology (DLT) license in Gibraltar.

Also Read: 19 Companies Licensed to Operate Crypto Exchanges in Philippine Economic Zone

British Overseas Territory Recognizes
First Offshore Crypto Entity

The London-based crypto exchange, which is backed by Transferwise founder Taavet Hinrikus and venture capital firm Passion Capital, is the first offshore company to gain recognition as a regulated entity under Gibraltar’s flagship legislation for cryptocurrencies and blockchain companies. Under the British overseas territory’s regulatory framework, Coinfloor will be regulated as a DLT provider.

Obi Nwosu, the chief executive officer of Coinfloor, spoke favorably of Gibraltar’s licensing requirements and processes: “What impressed us was that this (legislation) was in the works for a long time. It’s been well thought out, well considered. They are focusing on quality over quantity.”

Nwosu said the company was asked to show it could abide by “nine principles” to obtain the DLT license. The requirements included robust know-your-customer and anti-money laundering policies, in addition to strong cyber-security and custody procedures.

Coinfloor to Downsize Workforce

Coinfloor Attains "DLT Provider" Licensing in GibraltarEarlier this month, it was reported that Coinfloor would lay off most of its roughly 40 employees, citing the prolonged cryptocurrency bear trend as the catalyst for the move. At the time, Nwosu said the company had witnessed “significant change in trade volume across the market,” adding: “Coinfloor is currently undergoing a business restructure to focus on our competitive advantages in the marketplace and to best serve our clients. As part of this restructure, we are making some staff changes and redundancies.”

Nwosu recently described the changes as a normal development. “It’s never desirable to make these changes, but it’s a natural part of the market cycle,” he  said. “The market has contracted and you should make appropriate changes to your team … it’s happening across this space.”

Do you think that Coinfloor will be the first of many cryptocurrency exchanges to seek licenses under Gibraltar’s DLT regulations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinfloor


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Fifty traders who use Indian crypto exchange Instashift have shared their thoughts on the current crypto environment in India. Most of them said that they “hodl” and would continue to invest in crypto despite regulatory uncertainty.

Also read: RBI Argues Supreme Court Should Not Interfere With Its Crypto Decision

Most Respondents Are Hodlers

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in IndiaA survey was conducted in the first week of October by Indian cryptocurrency exchange Instashift exclusively for news.Bitcoin.com. Launched in March, Instashift offers the buying and selling of over 80 cryptocurrencies.

Fifty active traders in India participated. The goal of the survey was to find out what they think about various crypto-related issues including their investment concerns, the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and whether they will keep investing in crypto despite regulatory uncertainty.

Among the 50 traders who responded, 43 said that they hodl while seven revealed that they invest short-term.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Furthermore, 40 traders believe bitcoin is a safe haven against rupee inflation while 10 traders disagree.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Crypto Investing Despite RBI Ban

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in IndiaIndia is currently drafting crypto regulations which were supposed to be ready in September but have been delayed. Meanwhile, RBI, the country’s central bank, has banned financial institutions under its jurisdiction from providing services to crypto businesses. A number of petitions have been filed against the ban. The country’s supreme court has been trying to hear them since Sept. 11, but the hearing has continually been postponed.

The banking ban by the central bank has adversely impacted some exchanges. One of the country’s largest crypto trading platforms, Zebpay, recently shut down its exchange operations due to the banking problem.

Despite the ban, 32 Instashift traders said that they would continue to invest in crypto even if the RBI intensifies its crackdown such as freezing crypto accounts. Another 12 traders noted that they are also likely to continue trading while six respondents said they would discontinue crypto trading.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

In addition, 36 traders believe that the Indian government will amend existing laws to accommodate cryptocurrencies. Ten respondents believe that the regulators will remove restrictions on crypto. However, only four traders believe that crypto will be legalized and regulated in India.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Preferred Cash-Out Methods

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in IndiaA number of crypto exchanges in India have come up with their own solutions to the RBI ban. Some have introduced exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer trading services, which they claim have gained much popularity.

Respondents were asked about their preferred methods of cashing out cryptocurrencies into rupees. Forty-eight traders said they prefer to cash out using peer-to-peer sites. Five traders prefer to use local cash deals, four prefer to use gift cards and online deals, and four others prefer to cash out using prepaid crypto Visa and Mastercard services.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

On Sunday, another cash-out method was introduced by one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, Unocoin. The company has launched crypto ATMs to bypass the RBI ban and allow its users to deposit and withdraw rupees. This option was announced after the Instashift survey had concluded, so it was not included in the survey.

As for where to keep their funds, 24 traders prefer to keep them in BTC, 14 prefer altcoins, and 12 specifically prefer stablecoins. Recently, an increasing number of crypto exchanges in India have started listing stablecoins such as tether (USDT) and trueusd (TUSD).

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Future Prospects of Crypto Ecosystem in India

Amid the banking ban, 35 respondents believe that the fear of regulatory uncertainty is the biggest hurdle stopping the Indian crypto economy from flourishing. Twenty-six traders believe that the lack of banking support is the biggest challenge. Twenty-five traders put the lack of understanding of the crypto industry as the most important factor, while 18 traders attributed the lack of liquidity in the market as the top reason.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

Despite all the hurdles, 41 traders said that they are long-term investors and will continue to invest in crypto. Seventeen traders admitted that they are apprehensive but expect the government to eventually create a positive environment for cryptocurrencies. However, four respondents are entertaining the idea of exiting the crypto space altogether.

50 Indian Traders Share Thoughts on Investing, RBI Ban, Future of Crypto in India

What do you think of the current crypto environment in India? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Instashift.


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The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

Today’s edition of The Daily starts where Monday’s left off: by looking at the latest on Tether, whose stablecoin anchors so much of the cryptoconomy. In related news, we detail Bitfinex’s banking situation and reveal why Coinbase has chosen Dublin to be its European headquarters.

Also read: Tether Sheds Its Peg

Tether Regains Ground

The chart below isn’t your average Binance altcoin experiencing some characteristic volatility. It is in fact that of two supposed stablecoins trading against one another: tether (USDT) and trueusd (TUSD). Following yesterday’s shenanigans, which saw tether slip to around $0.88 on some exchanges, the token has regained a little ground and now sits at $0.95, according to Blockmodo.

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

The data remains skewed, however, by the fact that tether is valued at a flat $1 on Bitfinex, where it is the only U.S. dollar trading pair. Sites such as Coinmarketcap, which record tether’s seemingly perfect dollar parity on Bitfinex, create the impression that USDT’s global average is higher than it actually is. At the time of publication, 1 TUSD was trading for 1.06 USDT on Binance. While Binance offers a range of stablecoins, it remains heavily invested in tether, with holdings of ~$850 million, meaning it owns more USDT than even Tether itself. On Monday, Tether came out fighting, with chief compliance officer Leonardo Real insisting:

Although markets have shown temporary fluctuations in price, all USDT in circulation are sufficiently backed by U.S. dollars (USD) and that assets have always exceeded liabilities.

Huobi, the world’s fourth largest exchange, has now followed the lead of Okex and introduced a handful of new stablecoins to alleviate traders’ concerns. TUSD, USDC, GUSD and PAX will all be listed on Oct. 19. The market capitalization of Circle’s USDC has grown by 85% in the past week, surpassing $25M, with more than 40 platforms now supporting the stablecoin. Bitfinex, meanwhile, has confirmed that its fiat deposits are on course to be restored, a move that ought to restore a measure of confidence in the exchange:

Coinbase Seeks Dubliners to Join Irish Outpost

“Coinbase is expanding its European presence by opening a new office in Dublin,” revealed the serpentine exchange, whose tentacles span multiple continents and crypto sectors. “We look forward to tapping into the city’s diverse talent pool and contributing to its burgeoning crypto economy,” they added. What Coinbase didn’t mention is that Ireland’s famously low corporate taxes will have been pivotal in sealing the deal. The California-based firm will be joining the 700 other U.S. companies to date that have made Dublin the seat of their European operations, including Apple.

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

“I am delighted that Coinbase is opening an office in Dublin,” said Ireland’s Minister for Financial Services and Insurance Michael D’Arcy. “This decision highlights the competitive offering and attractiveness of Ireland for financial services.” Coinbase has now embarked on a recruitment drive ahead of the opening of its Dublin office.

Eraswap and X Cloud Usher in
Censorship-Resistant Platforms

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin
Cloud X

We’ve written a lot lately about censorship and the tools being developed to thwart crackdowns by the dominant web platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Decentralized applications have the potential to ease some of the pain points that are afflicting web users, including account shutdowns and permabans. Eraswap, a platform that aims to refine social media via a social economy and marketplace dapp tailored to the user’s interests, can be added to that list. Then there’s Internxt, which has just released the beta of its X Cloud decentralized storage with 10GB provided for free.

Distributed storage is big business right now, with the likes of Akash also releasing its own cloud storage solution designed to thwart internet censorship. Having inked partnerships with Blackberry, Civic and Y Combinator, Internxt has already drummed up a fair bit of interest in its decentralized storage solution.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The Value of Uncensorable Technology in an Age of Censorship

Governments and corporations have deployed censorship to limit speech and deprive people of vital communication channels. The ruling elite are trying to shush activists and freethinkers, but they are losing control and lashing out in frustration. This is why the emergence of decentralized tools and uncensorable money is more vital than ever.

Also read: Bitcoin After Death: The Perils of Sharing One’s Fortune

Corporate Censorship and the Loss of Control

Facebook recently engaged in a massive campaign to purge a plethora of freedom-oriented pages from their platform. They removed pages such as The Anti-Media, Free Thought Project, V is for Voluntary, and Rachel Blevins. The move came after Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube joined forces to eject Alex Jones from their respective applications back in August.

The social media titans have become zealous in their mission to purge their platforms of anti-government messages and to stifle liberty. Twitter is now known as a company that embraces censorship, and Youtube has routinely demonetized pages that disseminate information that goes against their milquetoast company ethos.

It is unsurprising, though, that these social media giants have taken this route. They are centralized social media companies in an age of decentralization; they are outdated and ready to be displaced by scrappy upstarts.

People are also waking up to the depredations of government and corporate cronyism. They are beginning to acknowledge the broken nature of partisan politics. This mass enlightenment has led to an explosion of tools and technologies with the goal of subverting the system.

Emergent Uncensorable Technologies

Developers and entrepreneurs are fashioning tools with the purpose of freeing people and opening new information channels. They are also allowing value to be expressed in peer-to-peer ways that cannot be intercepted by State agents. There are several major technologies blossoming, but the most significant is uncensorable cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin cash, allows for the transmission of value in an uncensorable fashion. This means anarchists can fund their projects without having to worry about their money getting frozen, seized, or stolen. Having uncensorable money like BCH is indispensable for helping activists achieve their goals. If they had to rely on the traditional methods of receiving donations and funding their projects, the Visa and Mastercard networks could shutter their pipeline at anytime at the behest of the government. There are other options for uncensorable money as well, including nonero, horizen, and others. These monetary technologies aren’t social media platforms per se, but money is a form of communication and having uncensorable money is indispensable to thwarting censorship.

Along with bitcoin cash, uncensorable social media and messaging platforms have arisen. In Jamie Redman’s article Facebook and Twitter Beware — Censorship-Resistant Social Media Is Here, he mentions several applications that have actually been built on Bitcoin Cash, including Memo.cash, which is a decentralized version of Twitter. Platforms like Steemit have also emerged over the last couple of years. Steemit is a blogging platform that allows people to post content without having to worry about a centralized authority deleting their content. Users can earn cryptocurrency rewards for their posts, rather than having all the value they create siphoned by the platform and its founders. Other nascent decentralized media tools include Minds and Bittube.

The Decentralized Revolution is Currently a Bad User Experience

The problem with many of these decentralized social media technologies is they are still in their infancy. They are fresh out of the womb. This means they lack easy adoption. Their usability is limited and requires a degree of technological acumen. Their user interfaces are underdeveloped and sometimes suffer from technical problems. This makes the user experience suffer, causing people to leave the platforms.

The other problem is that the platforms have not experienced viral adoption as a result of the aforesaid issues. Established platforms such as Facebook and Youtube have an entrenched user base, many of whom have taken years to establish themselves. This means a system that is both user-friendly and prone to rapid growth will have to emerge in order to supplant these old applications.

The Technological Spring: The System Will Topple and Censorship Will be Mitigated

Nonetheless, these problems are mere technical issues that will be solved in time. These technologies will eventually prosper. The decline of the legacy systems is well underway; it is inevitable.

The maniacal drive to control people and contain their voice has led to the technological springtime we are now on the verge of witnessing.

New tools and technologies have cropped up not only to make human life more leisurely and simpler — they have emerged as a way to decentralize power. Iconoclasts and developers are building applications for philosophical purposes, to mitigate the effect of power on the rest of humanity. Their goal is to diminish the impact of violent hierarchies and to even the playing field.

In the long term, this will cause power structures to topple under the weight of truth. Decentralized technologies will erode the ability of centralized institutions to censor freethinkers who pontificate on liberty and anarchy. Without censorship to indoctrinate the masses, the system will begin to unravel and the power elite will no longer be able to run roughshod over the people. Humanity will then be able to move forward into the future with dignity and decency.

This is the value of uncensorable technology.

Do you think uncensorable social media platforms will gain traction? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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