University Researchers Accuse Tether of Manipulating Bitcoin Prices in 2017
Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts like to think back to 2017.
It was the year when Bitcoin and virtually all altcoins noted their last all-time high values. To this date, it still remains unclear where this sudden surge came from. Many people still feel Tether is partially to blame for this series of events. Influencing cryptocurrency prices can be done by anyone and everyone. The scale at which that impact will be visible is a different matter entirely.
More Tether Manipulation Accusations
As far as the 2017 cryptocurrency push was concerned, many people suspect big holders made their play accordingly. A new study created by John Griffin and Amin Shams seems to hint at one sole entity being the catalyst. They claim it only took one wealthy speculator to manipulate all of the markets with relative ease. More specifically, the researchers point a finger of blame at Tether. The company issues the USDT stablecoin which is commonly used across trading platforms.
While it is not the first time Tether is named in regards to potential market manipulation, the company refutes any and all claims. Tether’s General Counsel Stuart Hoegner went as far as stating how the research is flawed in many different ways. It is evident that this will not be the last accusation of Tether either. The company has been under scrutiny for quite some time now. In recent months, the company also became involved in a lawsuit. The outcome of that investigation is still pending at this time. Whether or not this research factors into that lawsuit, remains unclear.
What Companies Have Already Adopted Blockchain Technology?
Over the last two years, we’ve seen a growing amount of interest and even hype towards cryptocurrencies and a new world economy. It seems that hype is now subsiding and giving way to more of a natural, organic growth of Blockchain Technology. Banking is only the beginning and now society can benefit from Blockchain Technology in many other industries. This will transform the way companies do business so ultimately the use cases for a transparent, immutable ledger of transaction data are virtually endless.
Since the blockchain is a decentralized entity, it requires no centralized supervision which makes it resistant to fraud. From logistics to real estate, digital ID management, social media and now the next-generation market network, corporations around the world are making overwhelming advances in the adoption of Blockchain Technology. Here a just a few companies that already have integrated the blockchain into their operations.
FedEx is one of the world’s biggest logistics management companies and handles billions of dollars worth of cargo every year. FedEx has now become the first big shipping giant to incorporate Blockchain technology into their supply chain management. They are using Blockchains to track high-value cargo and are extending the functionality to almost all their shipments. In addition to that, they are also helping to develop the Blockchain-based industry standards for supply chain logistics establishing themselves as pioneers in this field.
FedEx together with two other major international delivery services firms DHL Express and UPS is a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance. In September of 2018, the firm joined Hyperledger, an open-source project established to improve cross-industry blockchain technologies. The collaboration will purportedly enable the company to build blockchain-based industry-grade applications, platforms and hardware systems.
The tech giant Microsoft has embraced Blockchain Technology since its inception. Microsoft had started accepting Bitcoin payments on its website in 2014 when almost no one had even heard of cryptocurrencies. Microsoft has also secured 40 patents related to the use of Blockchains as payment gateways and for secure storage.
Bill Gates and several of his nonprofit organizations have looked at Blockchains to try to improve their structure. Microsoft is also letting businesses and developers deploy their own Blockchain using Stratis in Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications Microsoft-managed data centers.
Burger King – Russia
In 2017, fast-food giant Burger King launched its own cryptocurrency token in Russia, called WhopperCoin on the Waves platform. Named after the brand’s flagship burger, WhopperCoin is Burger Kings’s attempt at using Blockchain to power their rewards program. What’s unique about this approach is that unlike traditional rewards programs, WhopperCoin tokens can be stored online, traded or even transferred to other people using the Waves platform. Customers would receive a WhopperCoin for every Rouble they spend at Burger King and correspondingly a Whopper could be bought for 1700 WhopperCoin.
Notably, Starbucks is working with Microsoft to develop a blockchain-based supply chain tracking system and mobile app that will allow customers to track the supply chain journey of the beans they buy and the coffee they drink. … Last year, Starbucks worked with more than 380,000 coffee farms to ensure ethical sourcing.
KIK is one of the biggest online chat platforms with over 300 million active users. KIK concluded its ICO in 2017 and had recently integrated the Kin cryptocurrency in their platform which can be used to make payments to other users of the platform. Although they have been through some trials and tribulations, they are moving forward with thanks to the Medialab acquisition. The main attraction of Kik that sets it apart from other messaging apps is its anonymity.
The Kin Foundation announced it is able to offer zero-fee transactions by using its unique network. KIN is the cryptocurrency and although blockchains are often developed by a community, some are built by companies, which can afford to cover transaction costs. Kik has managed to eliminate transaction fees in the way.
IBM is shaping up to be one of the giants in the cryptocurrency space by providing the backbone of Blockchain-related services to businesses. Using the Hyperledger Blockchain creator tool, they can help the organizations to create their own distributed ledger and smart contract systems. They have already partnered with some businesses that deal with logistics to increase efficiency and lower costs for them.
The partners include logistics giants like Walmart and banks like the Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank, Erste Group, and the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS). With food logistics as in the case of Walmart, the goal is to make the supply chain more secure so that contamination can be reduced. While the banks have come to develop a Blockchain trade finance platform called Batavia.
Walmart and nine other food companies have partnered with IBM to create a Blockchain for tracking food globally through its supply chain. Real-time data will be captured at every point, on every single food product. The Food Trust Blockchain, which includes Nestlé SA, Dole Food Co., Unilever, and several others.
These companies have been collaborating with IBM on the initiative since 2016 and began conducting trials of the product in August of last year. Their goal is to improve the companies’ ability to identify issues involved with food recalls, such as tracing outbreaks more quickly to limit customer risk. Walmart appears to have joined the initiative after the outbreak of salmonella in the supply chain last year.
Overstock has been one of the biggest advocates of Blockchain Technology from the beginning and lets users purchase all the items on their website using Bitcoin. The company sells home decor, furniture, bedding, and many other goods that are closeout merchandise.
Patrick M. Byrne, the founder of the company, is a staunch supporter of cryptocurrencies and has been outspoken about his commitment to decentralized currency. Byrne has made it quite clear that he wants to run a blockchain business, not a retailer. The company has made some moves into blockchain over the past few years.
It launched the Medici Ventures investing firm to focus on blockchain technology, a public digital ledger of transactions, and has also developed its own tZero security tokens for e-commerce and trading. Since then, Byrne has stepped down as CEO of Overstock and president of Medici Ventures Jonathon Johnson has taken over. Johnson has been very instrumental in getting the company heavily invested in the blockchain business.
Huawei has rolled out its global blockchain which is a Cloud Blockchain where enterprises can develop, deploy and manage blockchain applications. Being one of the top manufacturers of mobile phones, they also want to use the Blockchain to create a better user experience and systemize the mobile industry further to reduce fraud and trickery.
Huawei claimed in a recent press release that, “Blockchain Technology offers mobile carriers superb opportunities to support the transformation of business models through new network layers, which can revolutionize how data integrity is verified and value and rights are transmitted and tracked over the infrastructure to subscribers.”
Social Media And Blockchain
As the blockchain market evolves there is an increased interest from the social media giant, Facebook. Not sure how simple it will be to integrate a genuine blockchain, given they have 2 billion+ users which would mean scalability on a massive level. There’s also the key issue of the way it monetizes the personal data of its users. That actually threatens the privacy and user sovereignty that is crucial for blockchain. Twitter has also expressed an interest in the blockchain.
In a distributed ecosystem, built on a blockchain, the power lies with the people. In other words, there cannot be one singular entity with controlling powers over the rest of the network. This, among other things, protects against corruption and manipulation from the centralized entity. It also restores power to the community as a whole.
People are looking to migrate to better solutions for the sake of privacy and security alone. So while Facebook is looking for a way to implement blockchain into its network, others have already integrated blockchain technology at conception, making it a whole lot easier.
Currently, so-called Social Media platforms on the blockchain are mainly blogging platforms, like Steemit and Yours.org. Steemit pays its users to contribute by writing or curating content. In the case of Yours.org, the community pays to view the articles that are posted by the writer. This can range from $0.10 to a few dollars depending on how much the writer believes the readers will be willing to pay to view it.
Both Yours and Steemit have an upvoting system that also pays. You can earn Bitcoin SV with Yours.org if you create value, and Steemit pays in their three native digital currencies: SteemPower, Steem Dollars, and Steem, which can then be converted into BTC or other cryptos on 3rd party exchanges.
Minds.com is an open-source platform for content with encrypted messaging facilities built on the blockchain and has a growing user base that allows anyone to speak their mind and boost their content using its tokens. A free open internet is their goal and they are prepared to take all steps necessary to protect the users' rights.
Market Network and Social Media Combined
Markethive is a decentralized Market Network integrated with a social media interface with collaboration being a fundamental characteristic. Built on the blockchain with its own coin (MHV) is setting the pace of a new era in how we communicate and do business online.
State-of-the-art integrated inbound marketing platform, social network, blogging platform, eCommerce business services, ewallet, coin exchange, mining datacenter, faucet lead portals, Loyalty & Bounty programs and News Media & Content Publisher for success in the crypto-preneurial and entrepreneurial markets.
Markethive pays you MHV coin in the form of micropayments for every activity you execute on the platform. It’s not limited to creative blogging. You can tip members instead of likes which in turn earns more coin. At the moment you also receive 500 coins for just signing up as a free member. There are many more incentives to be part of this growing network including the Loyalty Program which will pay you dividends from the company’s net profits as Markethive continues to establish itself. Markethive is the first social/market network on the blockchain.
Markethive’s mission and objective are to pioneer “Universal Income” worldwide. To empower the novice through to the seasoned entrepreneur.
Social Networks Were The Last 10 Years. Market Networks Will Be The Next 10.
First, we had communication networks, like telephones and email. Then we had social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn. Although it has been said Facebook has become a surveillance network masquerading as a social network.
It’s just a matter of time until nearly all independent professionals and their clients will conduct business through collaborative Market Networks and have a massive positive impact on how millions of people work and live, and how hundreds of millions of people buy and sell better services. Also be able to impart any and all information through blog casting without fear of being banned or spied upon, along with creating relationships of value and integrity.
Investments in blockchain startups are one of the indicators of the rise in the growth of the blockchain market. 2017 showed the potential for blockchain growth with a little over $1 billion in cryptocurrency investments. In 2018, there was a further increase in blockchain and cryptocurrency investments. This resulted in a cool $3.9 billion through venture ca[ital investments.
2017 has been described as the year of blockchain tourism, while 2018 was all about experimenting and testing blockchain technology. The time has come now for more companies to utilize it. As illustrated in this article we see many different industries adopting blockchain technology and because blockchain has numerous uses we will see a lot more companies integrating and using this technology to solve real-world issues.
A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals.
Chinese President Sparks Big Bitcoin Price Gains with Bullish Blockchain Speech 0 58
Chinese President Xi Jingping supports the blockchain and says the Chinese government needs to do more
in terms researching and investing in the blockchain, according to South China Morning Post. Xi is also the general secretary of the Communist Part of China Central Committee and chaired a meeting on the subject with other advisors taking part. Xi believes blockchain “will play an important role in the next round of technological innovation and industrial transformation”. “Major countries are stepping up their efforts to plan the development of blockchain technology. Greater effort should be made to strengthen basic research and boost innovation capacity to help China gain an edge in the theoretical, innovative and industrial aspects of this emerging field.”
What Xi’s Thoughts did to the Bitcoin Price
In just the last five days, the price of Bitcoin is exploding. It now stands at $9,360.67 after starting the trading day on October 24th, 2019 at $7,474. That’s a price gain of over 21%. The price briefly got up over $10,000 throughout the weekend before bouncing down to where it is today.
Is The Government’s Stance on Cryptocurrency Changing?
China banned an initial coin offering for a cryptocurrency exchange in 2017. The country wanted to curb enthusiasm around crypto to protect consumers in theory. China used to be the world’s largest influence on Bitcoin trading volume but that’s since changed because of the regulatory crackdown. However, the country still does maintain a major influence in the cryptocurrency mining space. So while it’s nice to hear Xi extolled the virtues of the blockchain, the reality is the Chinese government has a history of tightly controlling what its citizens can and can’t do when it comes to money, politics and social issues. That in fact is part of the reason that China had such a stranglehold on Bitcoin trading volume is that Chinese people have the desire to keep their savings out of the hands of the government. Most Bitcoin and blockchain enthusiasts know that a big portion of the transactions that go through the world’s most valuable blockchain are the result of people trying to escape oppressive regimes.
Hyperinflation in Venezuela
The International Monetary Fund estimates that the inflation rate of the Venezuelan Bolivar will reach a staggering one million percent by the end of 2019. While Bitcoin’s price worldwide is usually listed on charts in comparison to the American dollar, that doesn’t mean that everyone gets access to Bitcoin at the same standard price. It’s estimated that the price of Bitcoin in Venezuela is doubling every single day. That sounds huge and it is, but when the price of the local fiat currency is exploding by a million percent per year, it makes sense to put that money into Bitcoin as quickly as possible. Scarcity = value, and if people converting the Bolivar are lining up at Venezuelan exchanges all at the same time, it only makes sense that the price will continue to skyrocket. When a handful of countries experience the same thing, the overall volume being traded and acquired on the international market goes up.
Greece’s Government Debt Crisis
Known as The Crisis, Greece’s problems ironically stem from the same 2008 Global Economic Crisis that sparked the invention of Bitcoin and the blockchain network. The Crisis led to citizens quickly becoming impoverished. Overall, the situation in Greece surpassed the U.S. Great Depression as the longest recession on record. During this time, bond yield spreads have grown further and further apart and the government’s debt reached nearly 300 billion Euros, causing risk insurance and credit default swaps to rise in price, creating a whole system of growing debt. Of course this led to more and more people searching for alternative ways to store value. This meant Greeks began putting money into traditional and digital gold, or Bitcoin.
One Other Potential Reason for Bitcoin’s Recent Surge
Bakkt is a Bitcoin futures exchange most serious traders were really excited about earlier this year and even going back to 2018. As soon as it launched, enthusiasts expected Bitcoin to go all the way to the moon. It’s just happening now, a little bit later than anybody thought it would. Just in the last 24 hours, trading futures contracts on Bakkt has gone up 260%. This is all in anticipation of future events related to innovation in China. What comes from Xi’s comments in the long term remains to be seen, but for now it seems the market is already pricing in potential.
Craig Wright Backs out of 500,000 BTC Lawsuit Settlement 0 11
Craig Wright, the infamous programmer claiming he’s the inventor of Bitcoin, is backing out of a 500,000 BTC settlement with the Kleiman estate. He says he can’t afford to finance the payout.
The Case Is Back On
Wright lost his case against Kleiman in August. Courts deemed he couldn’t prove he’s solely responsible for half a million Bitcoins he mined with Kleiman prior to 2014. That means the case that ended less than 90 days ago is now being re-opened. Wright battled with Ira Kleiman’s estate through his living relative David Kleiman. At the time of the court’s decision, the 500,000 BTCs were worth over $5 billion.
A motion filed on November 1st in a Florida courtroom states that both parties have reached a non-binding agreement in principle following several conference calls and in-person meetings. The plaintiffs were claiming they were no longer pursuing active litigation, but they found their efforts to be a waste of time. The law firm representing the plaintiff’s case wrote in a motion that on October 30th, 2019, they were informed Mr. Wright could no longer afford to finance the settlement and that he was “breaking” the non-binding settlement agreement.
So What’s Next?
Lawyers representing the Kleiman estate are now preparing for a new court date on March 30th of next year.
Wright is Now Fighting Back against an Old Deposition
Roche Freedman is now working to obtain a deposition of James Wilson, a chief financial officer of Craig Wright’s companies in Australia. He worked for Wright between 2012 and 2013. The plaintiffs think the comments Wilson made during that deposition are going to be crucial to the case. He was the one looking over Wright’s companies when they were sold to the Kleiman estate in exchange for Bitcoin. Wilson will be visiting Washington on November 8th to be deposed once again.
In lieu of that upcoming date, Wright’s lawyers are suggesting they will not consent to a deposition because they haven’t received 14 days’ notice for an out of state deposition as required by the law. The court documents also show the team will decide whether or not they’re willing to go through with a video deposition within the next week. This is all quite a bit of red tape to go around for Kleiman’s estate and Wright’s conduct has certainly put a strain on things.
Emails, invoices and BitMessages were analyzed over the summer time and investigator Matthew Edman uncovered the fact there’s a good chance Craig Wright tampered with documents relating to the Tulip Trust, an account where funds were being held. This has created an atmosphere of doubt around Wright’s integrity, although a cross examination from opposing lawyers gave them a chance to refute claims. The story around Wright and the $10 billion-plus within the Kleiman estate just keeps getting more and more interesting. And it seems, it’s not exactly over yet.
Utah to Facilitate Voting for Disabled Individuals through Blockchains
So far, numerous case studies regarding blockchain’s usability as a voting platform
have been carried out by local governments, NGOs and private entities. So far, the results look promising, in the sense that blockchain can easily facilitate secure and transparent voting, thus completely eliminating fraud, while also making the process more seamless.
Despite this aspect, blockchain is currently mostly used for voting purposes by platforms that have implemented the system for their self-governance. Luckily, recent reports indicate that blockchain technology will soon be used in Utah, as part of a trial project meant to allow disabled individuals to cast their votes. To put things into perspective, the local council and government of Utah have decided to allow blockchain-based voting via smartphones in the upcoming municipal election that will take place in November. The platform that disabled voters will be using for this election represents the result of a fruitful partnership between the Utah Country Elections Division, the National Cybersecurity Centre, Tusk Philanthropies and Voatz, a local voting app development company.
The decision comes after a study conducted by the National Cybersecurity Centre has determined that the blockchain-based voting platform does in fact work, following a few trial runs. The idea here is to initially test the platform on a small group, and if everything goes according to plan, it may be very well integrated into all future elections that take place in Utah. A recent press statement given by Michela Menting, a director for ABI Research, reads: “I think it’s a great expansion on the mobile voting project. There is certainly potential to extend such technology to the general public, but it is always contingent on succeeding in smaller focus groups first, and especially those which may often find it more difficult to vote – due to location or disability as in this example.”
So far, several audits were also conducted on even smaller groups. With this in mind, the same platform has been used for overseas voters in the West Virginia elections, but also in Denver. All trials that have been carried out so far have been audited, and the results were completely accurate, as anyone might expect from blockchain technology. An important aspect worth keeping in mind is that for the past trial runs, very few people actually registered to use this platform. However, this makes sense since not a lot of publicity was carried out. For the upcoming elections in November, Amelia Gardner, a clerk, and auditor for the Utah County has stated that this time around, more people are likely to register, since the election authorities are working directly with the Disability Law Centre to further promote the project. Leveraging this technology is great news for disabled voters since transportation to polling stations is often difficult.
Apart from allowing individuals to cast their votes via the blockchain, the platform has several other functionalities. For instance, it features ID verification, but can also display a verification receipt, an image of the tabulated ballot, alongside the reference for the blockchain transaction. This data can then be printed out on a traditional ballot, which can be scanned just like traditional ballots. The platform also features solutions meant to simplify the process associated with absentee ballots, which can be quite labor-intensive. While everything looks great, some experts believe that further research and development efforts are still required to facilitate secure, fast, and cheap blockchain-based voting. For instance, Jeremy Epstein, who is the VC of the U.S. Technology Policy Council, has stated that challenges include, but are not limited to malware infections on the voter’s side, disruption attacks, server penetration, alongside DDoS attacks.
Our take on the matter is that these issues mostly exist since the blockchain being used for the voting platform isn’t distributed and decentralized enough, thus creating way for vulnerabilities. Mass implementation of this system would likely entail technical investments that would make the process secure and seamless from all points of view. After all, no widespread blockchain system has been hacked so far. The issue here is that the innovation stops right after the vote is cast – in other words, the vote counting and registration system remain outdated since ballots are still introduced in urns and counted by hand. However, we cannot expect to see the system implemented across Utah without several trial runs. After all, elections are no joke and failure is not an option.
US Congress Continues to Investigate Cryptocurrencies, Deep Divisions Revealed
Members of the United States Congress are again openly addressing the cryptocurrency revolution
by holding committee hearings and researching its potential impact on the current financial system. Although there is significant division among them, there is no doubt that America’s legislators are becoming notably concerned about the changes blockchain technology is introducing. There is now little doubt that the country will soon see significant legislative and regulatory action addressing this new asset class.
This past week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the House Financial Services Committee where he was questioned on his company’s plan to create the Libra digital currency. To put it mildly, the mood of the committee was not friendly. Most members expressed grave concerns over Libra’s potential use in illegal activities as well as its threat to the hegemony of the U.S. dollar in global economics. Only a handful of committee members discussed the technology behind Libra, yet there was no doubt that most of them understood the simple fact that emerging digital currencies are designed to operate outside of the traditional financial space. Brad Sherman (D-CA) was perhaps most vocal about this issue. The long-time critic of all things crypto railed against all things crypto, insisting that these assets are most useful for criminals, and do nothing to help the global poor and unbanked.
Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) opposes Sherman’s position on cryptocurrency. In an interview on October 22nd McHenry spoke well of crypto use. Specifically he noted that Bitcoin “has enormous long term value” and that the U.S. government should encourage development in the blockchain space. To that end, he is reintroducing the Financial Services Innovation Act, which will enable fintech startups and development teams to bypass many outdated regulations when experimenting with digital currencies and blockchain assets. He first introduced this bill in 2016. Warren Davidson (R-OH) also supports crypto innovation. He has recommended that Facebook adopt Bitcoin, or another blockchain-based platform, rather than Libra. Davidson supports greater involvement by U.S. lawmakers and regulators in crypto development, and has called for leaders to take greater steps to educate themselves on the technology behind the various platforms.
After the recent hearings on Libra, moves by the Congress on this issue are all but certain. Simply put, American lawmakers have no choice. Facebook and the Libra Association are firmly determined to launch their currency, and are unlikely to allow a few angry congressmen get in their way. Libra, however, is merely the tip of the iceberg. Many other large American businesses are also moving into the space. For example, Walmart is now using VeChain, Iota is forging partnerships with several U.S. cities, and many banks are embracing Ripple. If Congress has any hope of enacting effective regulation it had better act quickly.
Although the present mood in Congress is strongly anti-crypto, what will happen once real legislation starts emerging is anyone’s guess. Knowing that this is a movement that cannot be stopped, and that this technology will bring incredible benefits to those that navigate it properly, more supporters are likely to emerge. Nevertheless, blockchain assets are on track to disrupt virtually every sector within the American economy. With so much at stake, the fight over how to adjust to such a revolutionary change could be very contentious. Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony was a clear indicator that, more than ever, America’s lawmakers are recognizing that the age of digital currencies has arrived. Addressing the myriad issues that will come with it will be no easy task. What is without question is that ignoring the changes underway is no longer an option.
Top 3 reasons why governments demand regulation of cryptocurrency
Whenever we hear about another government drafting a regulation for cryptocurrencies,
we can’t help but smirk a little bit at the hypocrisy of politicians and their approach to these digital assets. The reason why so many people laugh at the sight of new crypto regulation is due to the direct contradiction of such a law with an already established understanding of cryptocurrencies in the political world.
For example, dozens of governments have not recognized cryptocurrencies as money, but treat it as such. Most try to classify it under securities but they can’t find definitive connections between the already established understanding of security and a crypto coin. Therefore, they simply push it into the class of hobbyist assets or something completely harmless, and then regulate that sector to oblivion. This mostly causes collateral damage to industries that were already classified under this specific sector, which is why the negativity towards cryptos tends to grow institutionally as well as on a retail level. But why regulate cryptocurrencies? What are these digital coins which are ultimately nothing but a line of code have so dangerous about them that governments want to keep under control? Well, let’s find that out through this article.
Siphoning tax dollars into the economy
The first reason that causes cryptocurrency regulation is the potential tax that governments can put on the asset. Understanding it is quite easy. You can’t tax something which is not recognized as something of value, and in order to recognize it as something of value, you need to include it somewhere in the law, thus we get cryptocurrency regulations. Almost every draft you can take a look at mentions cryptocurrencies as some kind of asset class, which would then determine the level of taxation. The most common tax is, of course, the capital gain tax, which is calculated through the profit of exchanging these assets. The most common industry we can find this tax is a foreign exchange, which draws quite a lot of parallels on whether or not cryptos are money.
A sub-reason of taxes is to somehow minimize the cases of tax evasion from the population. You see, there are specific cryptocurrencies around the world that are designed to completely hide the identity of their owner, before, during and after the process of purchasing them. This was a very popular method for Australia real money pokie games as they would encourage their customers to deposit fiat currencies, exchange them for local tokens, spend a set amount of them on the platform and then they would be allowed to withdraw these funds as cryptocurrencies. Even if the deposit on these platforms would be recognized by a government authority, they would classify the lack of withdrawals as money lost while playing, thus not follow up on the taxation of the individual.
However, through regulation, governments would pretty much force citizens to use traceable cryptocurrencies on such platforms, or prohibit these platforms from allowing crypto withdrawals. Nobody can truly say they’ve worked like a charm, as the end goal was pretty much the same. The amount of taxes being added to the treasury each month did not increase nor decrease. Why? Because the fact that people avoided taxes on cryptocurrencies does not mean that they avoided taxes overall. The cryptos they’d get would still circulate in the local economy, thus still be funneled into the national treasury.
Security and control
The second argument that most governments put forward when installing a crypto regulation that it’s dangerous for the safety of the nation. Most of the argument revolves around the financing of terrorist groups that would plan on inflicting some damage to the country. However, it has been confirmed multiple times that cryptocurrencies are not being funneled towards criminals and that most of the crimes as well as terror attacks are still being funded through fiat money. Why? Because it’s very easy to smuggle them outside of the country as they’re mostly physical items and can’t truly be controlled by the government 100% of the time.
However, in terms of security and control, most people tend to agree that it’s worth having a regulation for. But that’s the only part about the legislation that they agree with. Everything else that requires the payment of taxes and identification is out of boundaries. But the fact is that security requires some kind of sacrifice. And in this case, that sacrifice is supposed to be privacy, which some people are not ready to give up.
Study and analysis
The next reason is the study and analysis of this new industry. We need to recognize the fact that cryptocurrencies were introduced in the modern financial market very quickly. So quickly in fact that even the developers themselves had not studied the technology completely. Therefore, the only plausible decision from governments was to either ban these new digital assets that people were buying up, or to regulate them to an extent where they buy some time to study them.
Unfortunately, the first time cryptocurrencies became available in the market, most governments decided to go ahead with a permanent ban, thus hindering the development of the assets. But this development was a hindrance to the value rather than the technical side, but then it caused collateral damage in a sense where developers could not fund their new projects anymore. So, in retrospect, the banning or strict regulation of cryptocurrencies as a means to study them hindered those very same studies as actual local applications could not have been taken into account, thus losing priceless data.
Should there even be regulation?
Cryptocurrencies should be regulated and every crypto fan who is truly aware of how they work will agree to this. The ultimate goal of Bitcoin and pretty much every altcoin is to either replace fiat money or become a worthwhile alternative. In order to do so, it needs to be kept in check so that it loses some of its volatility. Otherwise, it’s simply too risky for large-scale transactions and usage as millions if not billions could be lost in just a few hours from a small price movement.
FATF Begins Inspection on Anti-Money Laundering Measures at Japanese Entities on October 28
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international organization dedicated to anti-money laundering measures,
began undertaking an assessment at the Japanese government and financial institutions in Tokyo on October 28. It was reported that companies that operate cryptocurrency exchanges are also subject to evaluation, with the FATF conducting interviews at the Japanese government and approximately 20 financial institutions over the next three weeks. The results of the assessment will be made public in summer 2020. The FATF will investigate banks, securities companies, and insurance companies to see whether they have sufficient measures in place to confirm customer identity, report transactions that may be money laundering, and prevent fraudulent remittances. Additionally, the organization will investigate cryptocurrency exchange operators as managers of new financial assets to see whether their measures are sufficient to deter exploitation of these assets by criminal organizations. This marks the first time that Japanese cryptocurrency exchange operators will be subject to an evaluation by the FATF.
A previous audit was conducted in Japan in 2008, however the entirety of financial institutions in Japan received a harsh assessment, requesting improvements for 25 out of the 49 audited items for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (10 items demonstrated insufficient countermeasures and 15 items demonstrated only partial implementation of countermeasures). In the past, only 5 countries out of the 23 that underwent assessment by the FATF assessments required strict monitoring with regular follow-ups: United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Israel. However, this does not imply that the countermeasures at Japanese institutions are in an exemplary state.
The FATF’s Recommendations carry significant weight and apply to over 190 countries and regions around the world. Should Japan be assessed as a “high-risk” or “uncooperative” country by the FATF, financial institutions in other countries may apply closer scrutiny when working with Japan’s financial institutions, leading to delayed trade or avoiding deals with Japan altogether. The Japanese government may be undertaking this recent assessment to regain trust and dispel concerns in international trade matters.
Cryptocurrency service providers in Japan have already begun introducing a registration system for registering as an operator with the Financial Services Agency (FSA), however it is thought that the regulating agency will further evaluate the initiatives of cryptocurrency exchange operators in Japan and propose measures for improvement. There are 20 companies registered with the FSA as cryptocurrency exchange operators, but companies that are not under the umbrella of major listed corporations and thus do not have abundant capital or human resources are mixed among those registered. Going forward, it can be expected that the fate of these registered companies will be split between those with resources capable of addressing requested operational improvements and those unable to keep up.
A Big Four Begins Testing Mobile Bitcoin (BTC) Wallet App
The Big Four are the biggest professional services networks in the world,
offering audit, assurance, taxation, management consulting, advisory, actuarial, corporate finance, and legal services everywhere. Composed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young and KPMG, these firms accounted for $148.2 billion in combined global revenue during the fiscal year 2018.
All of these companies have shown interest in blockchain technology at some level, proving the utility behind said tech and how it could greatly improve the services they provide to customers worldwide. Although it wasn’t until recently that one of these consulting companies begin implementing cryptocurrencies to test things out. According to the Luxembourg Times, Deloitte is currently testing out a Bitcoin app within the company itself, offering its employees the possibility of paying for their lunch using Bitcoin (BTC) through a simple mobile app. The trial, which is only an internal test, is supposedly working towards the optimization of an app capable of enabling usage of cryptocurrencies more easily, although the company has said that it’s not planning on allowing clients to pay for their services in crypto just yet. According to Laurent Collet, a partner for strategy regulatory and corporate finance department at Deloitte Luxembourg:
We think it’s good to have our employees assess this new technology.
Furthermore, Collet continued on explaining how blockchain technology was a priority for the company, especially when it came to fund management activities and processing of transactions. Through blockchain tech, clients could benefit from greater transaction speeds, making auditing processes easier while removing the middlemen. This is where we focus our attention right now in linking this new technology with the needs of the Luxembourg industry. Deloitte has a long way to go, especially since one of its major rival companies, PwC Luxembourg, announced that it will begin accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method for services rendered.
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Tokyo-Based Bank Announces The Tokenization Of Real Estate In The EU
MBK, a Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed merchant bank has announced its plans
to begin with the tokenization of property in Estonia. According to the announcement published by the company, through an alliance with BitOfProperty (BOP), a Singapore-incorporated enterprise that sells fractional ownership of real estate properties in the European Union, both companies will begin with the tokenization of their assets. As detailed in the announcement, BOP will handle the acquisition of the properties and will work alongside MBK to transform these assets into blockchain-based tokens (a process known as the tokenization of assets), which then will be traded through Angoo Fintech, an Estonian company acquired by MBK a few months ago.
As explained by Deloitte, the tokenization of assets refers to the process of issuing a blockchain token (specifically, a security token) that digitally represents a real tradable asset—in many ways similar to the traditional process of securitization, with a modern twist. These security tokens are created through a type of initial coin offering (ICO) sometimes referred to as a security token offering (STO), which can produce different tokens such as equity, utility, or payment tokens. An STO can be used to create a digital representation – a security token – of an asset, meaning that a security token could represent a share in a company, ownership of a piece of real estate, or participation in an investment fund. These security tokens can then be traded on a secondary market.
Last month, MBK also signed a deal with Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed BS Securities to further expand its reach in the security token offerings, providing more support for the development of business in Japan and China. The tokenization of assets has been discussed by experts for quite some time now, with many claiming the advantages that blockchain technology could bring to the process of transferring assets through its tokenization. The security and untampered ledger only blockchain technology can offer and the cost-effective and speedy process that this tech could bring to the table are just a few examples of what blockchain could offer. With Bitcoin (BTC) turning 11 years old, companies are becoming more aware of where the future is heading, which makes sense as to why many industries are applying or beginning to apply blockchain technology at some level.
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