Colombia Crypto Exchange Asks New President for Banking Help

Colombia Crypto Exchange Asks New President for Banking Help

News Alejandro Beltrán of Colombia’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Buda.com, effectively shuttered by banks in the country refusing to do business with it, has written an open letter to the nation’s new president in the hope of winning a reversal. Iván Duque Márquez was elected last month, and has been quoted as embracing new financial technology.  Also read: 3D Gun File Company Reorganizes After Cody Wilson Resigns Colombia Crypto Exchange Buda Writes an Open Plea to New President “Being a Fintech company,” Mr. Beltrán began, “we received with great enthusiasm [your] promise to promote the development of new technologies in Colombia [….] For this reason, it hurts us that the pressure of the previous government on the banks led them to close our bank accounts, forcing us to stop our operation and taking away from our almost 40,000 clients the possibility of buying cryptocurrencies in a safe and transparent manner.” Alejandro Beltrán, head of Buda.com, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in Colombia, knows business. Prior to running the largest crypto venture in his country, Mr. Beltrán worked as an administrator in finance for a decade. He is also host of the Spanish language podcast, Calle Bitcoin. Alejandro Beltrán Reports term the occurrences of bank bans spontaneous, a variation on organic, but, whatever the actual case, by summer of this year Buda.com was effectively shut down. Banks in Colombia had decided, seemingly all at once, to cease doing business with any company even mildly related to cryptocurrencies. “The CEO of Buda,” these pages documented in early June, “Alejandro Beltran, confirmed that Bancolombia, Davivienda, and BBVA have all terminated financial services provided to the exchange via an email sent to customers. Buda also sought to assure customers that their funds are safely protected despite the disruptions to the exchange’s operations.” It’s a tactic used all over the world, and seeing as how most banks are usually in bed with their regional governments, it doesn’t take long to determine which institution is really pulling strings when it comes to such things. The President Has Positive Things to Say About Crypto After various appeals, Mr. Beltrán has taken to an open letter, desperate to get some relief at the highest levels of the Colombian government. He chose to name newly elected…

Sierra Leone to Develop Blockchain-Based ID Platform With UN Partnership

Sierra Leone to Develop Blockchain-Based ID Platform With UN Partnership

Two United Nations divisions are teaming with the nation of Sierra Leone and a technology non-profit to launch a blockchain-based identification system. The U.N. Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), along with Sierra Leone president Julius Maada Bio and non-profit Kiva announced a project to “modernize the credit bureau” on Thursday during the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly. According to Kiva, Sierra Leone was chosen as it only has one credit bureau that serves 2,000 people, or less than 1 percent of the country’s total population. Further, 80 percent of the citizens of Sierra Leone remain unbanked. In a statement, UNCDF’s deputy executive secretary Xavier Michon said the nation may leapfrog ahead of other nations by implementing a new model for banking its citizens. He said: “Through this implementation, Sierra Leone is setting out to build one of the most advanced, secure credit bureaus. It could serve as a model for both developing and developed nations in the future and has the potential to radically change the landscape of financial inclusion.” The project hopes to provide each of the citizens of Sierra Leone with personal identification tools and a personal digital wallet with their credit history. The Kiva Protocol, the system that promises the citizens full control of their personal data, will allow the citizens to record all borrowing and repayment transactions on its blockchain. Government and non-Kiva partners can use the credit score on the Kiva blockchain as a valid credit score before commissioning loans. Citizens can choose to reveal their score to whoever they please, giving residents greater control of their data and credit score, according to the announcement. Sierra Leone flag image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Swiss-Based Asset Management Firm to Introduce Metals-Backed Cryptocurrency

Swiss-Based Asset Management Firm to Introduce Metals-Backed Cryptocurrency

Switzerland-based asset management company Tiberius Group AG is going to introduce a cryptocurrency backed by metals, Bloomberg reported September 27. Founded in 2005 as a commodities asset management firm, Tiberius Group manages around $350 million in assets. The company will issue a blockchain-powered Tiberius Coin, the value of which will be tied to the price of copper, aluminum, nickel, cobalt, tin, gold and platinum. Giuseppe Rapallo, CEO at Tiberius Technology Ventures AG, which will lead the product, told Bloomberg: “Instead of underlying the digital currency with only one commodity, we have chosen a mix of technology metals, stability metals and electric vehicle metals. This will give the coin diversification, making it more stable and attractive for investors.” Rapallo also said that the coin will be offered at about $0.70 and sold in compliance with Swiss law, while its supply will be based on demand and limited by the availability of the underlying metals. The company reportedly chose Estonian exchange LATOKEN to list the coin as, per Rapallo, it meets the necessary regulatory standards. Other metals-based cryptocurrencies have been attempted in the past although “so far none of them have gained traction,” according to Adrian Ash, the research director at London-based BullionVault Ltd. Ash told Bloomberg, “They’re trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist — all of this can be achieved without the additional cost of a distributed ledger.” Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported that a Swiss-based venture dubbed komgo SA — which is set to go live later this year — is going to digitize trade and commodities finance processes through a blockchain-based open platform. Next year, the platform reportedly aims to widen to agriculture and metals. In July, Swiss online physical commodities exchange Open Mineral announced plans to build a consortium of mining companies and financial organizations to develop a blockchain-based mineral trading system dubbed Minerac. The company explained that blockchain will “simplify the trading process, and increase efficiency and profitability.”

US House Passes Bill for Task Force to Combat Crypto Use by Terrorists

US House Passes Bill for Task Force to Combat Crypto Use by Terrorists

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on September 26 that would establish a crypto task force to combat terrorist use of cryptocurrencies, public records indicate. House Resolution (H.R.) 5036, which represents an amended version of the bill proposed by Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) to the Committee on Financial Services in January, establishes an “Independent Financial Technology Task Force” to fight the illicit use of cryptocurrency. According to public records published on the official online database of the U.S. Congress, the new version of the bill has been passed by the whole House by voice vote. Similar to the original version of the bill that was introduced on January 10, H. R. 5036 establishes the same time-frames for investigating and providing reports on the potential use of crypto in criminal activities. According to the document, the Task Force should provide their findings “not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment” of the bill. One of the key amendments of the upgraded bill is the introduction of section on preventing entities from using cryptocurrencies in order to evade sanctions. The new section entitled “Preventing Rogue And Foreign Actors From Evading Sanctions” obliges regulators to report “not later than 180 days” after enactment of the bill on the potential uses of crypto and emerging technologies as a means of sanctions evasion, terrorism financing, or money laundering. The bill contains a reward policy for assisting regulators in providing information “leading to convictions related to terrorist use of digital currencies.” H.R. 5036 suggests that the reward amount should not exceed $450,000 to “any person who provides information leading to the conviction” of an individual involved with terrorist use of cryptocurrencies. Earlier this month, experts from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF), testified before Congress regarding crypto and terrorist financing. At the hearing before the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, the FDD CSIF director of analysis Yaya Fanusie stated that crypto is a “poor form of money for jihadists” and “cold hard cash is still king.” Fanusie also noted that the crypto and blockchain industry is “not innately illicit and should not be feared,” since any emerging technology can be utilized for both “good” and “ill”, “depending…

US SEC Files Charges Against Bitcoin-Backed Securities Dealer

US SEC Files Charges Against Bitcoin-Backed Securities Dealer

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against international securities dealer 1pool Ltd., which was offering Bitcoin-funded security-based swaps, according to an SEC announcement published September 27. Per the SEC, the case involves the Marshall Islands-based corporation 1pool Ltd., which provides cryptocurrency-related services and stands behind 1broker.com, and its Austria-based CEO Patrick Brunner. The complaint alleges that the parties violated federal securities laws in connection with security-based swaps funded with Bitcoin (BTC). The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest, and penalties. The SEC states that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed its own charges against 1pool in a parallel action. According to the complaint, a Special Agent with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), acting undercover, purchased security-based swaps on 1broker’s platform from the U.S., though he did not comply with the discretionary investment thresholds required by the federal securities laws. The SEC also adds that users could open accounts on the platform with their email address and a user name only, without providing additional information. The SEC further alleges that Brunner and 1broker failed to transact its security-based swaps on a traditional exchange registered in the U.S., as well as properly register as a security-based swaps dealer. Shamoil T. Shipchandler, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office commented: “International companies that transact with U.S. investors cannot circumvent compliance with the federal securities laws by using cryptocurrency.” This week, the SEC announced it is seeking sanctions against the individuals behind the allegedly fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO) known as PlexCoin. The parties are accused of “misappropriating” investor funds that were “illegally” raised in a misleading, deceptive, and unregistered securities offering. Earlier this month, the SEC issued a cease and desist order and a $200,000 fine to Crypto Asset Management (CAM) and its founder Timothy Enneking. The SEC order says that CAM “misrepresented” itself as the “first regulated crypto asset fund in the United States,” and raised $3.6 million from 44 investors in late 2017, bringing its net asset value to $37 million.

Crypto Markets Continue Rise With Market Cap Reaching Over $220 Billion

Crypto Markets Continue Rise With Market Cap Reaching Over $220 Billion

Thursday, September 27: crypto markets continue to rise as the crypto and blockchain industry is seeing some support from governmental and institutional entities. Following a sell-off that started on September 24, crypto markets are seeing the second day of a rebound, with daily trade volume now amounting to more than $16 billion. All but two top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization have seen firm growth over the past 24 hours, following a slight price stagnation within the day and surging sharply within the past few hours. Market visualization from Coin360 Bitcoin (BTC) is up around 2.82 percent over 24 hours period, and trading at $6,679 at press time. The top cryptocurrency has overtaken two support levels within the day, seeing a sharp increase from an intraday average trading price of $6,500 to above $6,700. With that, Bitcoin is still down over 3 percent over the past 30 days. Bitcoin 24 hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index Ethereum (ETH) is seeing more gains over the day, trading at $228 at press time. According to Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index, the altcoin is up more than 6 percent over the past 24 hours at press time, and over 2 percent on the week. Ethereum 24 hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index The third top cryptocurrency, Ripple (XRP), is up 3.98 percent over the 24 hour period, and is trading at $0.54 at press time. Following skyrocketing growth on the week, the altcoin is up almost 60 percent over the past month. XRP weekly price chart. Source: Cointelegraph XRP Price Index Crypto markets have seen a sharp rebound with total market cap bouncing back above $220 billion within just  a few hours. At press time, total crypto market capitalization is $224 billion, with an intraday low of $212.9 billion. Total market capitalization chart. Source: CoinMarketCap While total market capitalization continues to grow, Bitcoin’s dominance in the markets has declined slightly, seeing a decrease from over 53 percent of market share a week ago to 51.8 at press time. Percentage of Total Market Cap (Dominance). Source: CoinMarketCap Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are seeing the biggest gains over the past 24 hours among the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap. According to CoinMarketCap, LTC is…

RBI Denies Creating Crypto, Blockchain and AI Research Unit

RBI Denies Creating Crypto, Blockchain and AI Research Unit

Regulation India’s central bank has reportedly denied setting up a unit to research cryptocurrency, blockchain and artificial intelligence as the media reported last month. This unit was supposed to research, draft rules, and supervise new emerging technologies. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals RBI Denies Setting Up Crypto Research Unit There have been reports circulating in the media over the past month that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had set up a research unit for cryptocurrency, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. However, the central bank has now reportedly denied setting up a research unit for this purpose. On Sept. 26, Coin Crunch India published an article stating that the central bank “denies setting up research unit on cryptocurrency, blockchain or AI.” The information comes from RBI’s response to a Right to Information (RTI) request filed by the author of the article, Naimish Sanghvi. An RTI allows any citizen of India to request information from a public authority. To the central bank, Sanghvi requested: An Economic Times report…claims that RBI has setup a new unit to research AI and blockchain technology. Please let us know if this is true and who is heading this unit. He explained, “I personally filed an RTI application asking the RBI to provide more information on the new unit.” The URL to the Economic Times article was also provided in the RTI. Sanghvi noted, “About a month later, on September 26, RBI disposed of the RTI with the below reply.” There is no new unit created formally in RBI for the purpose mentioned in RTI query. Therefore there is no information to furnish in the matter. The Unit Supposedly Created by RBI Reports of the central bank’s new unit started spreading on Aug. 27 when the Economic Times published an article claiming that “The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a new unit within the central bank to beef up its own intellectual capital in the face of emerging technologies like cryptocurrency, blockchain and artificial intelligence.” The news outlet described at the time that “The unit is just about a month old as of now and though a chief general manager is identified to lead it, a formal announcement internally has not been made yet,” elaborating: This new…

Coinbase Introduces ‘Coinbase Bundle’ Designed to Simplify Crypto Trading

Coinbase Introduces ‘Coinbase Bundle’ Designed to Simplify Crypto Trading

Cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service Coinbase has rolled out a new update called “Coinbase Bundles,” which is designed to simplify cryptocurrency trading, according to an announcement published September 27. Coinbase Bundles is a basket of five cryptocurrencies supported on Coinbase and purchased in proportion to their market capitalization in U.S. dollars. The Bundle consists of Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ethereum Classic (ETC); the smallest Bundle costs $25, £25, or €25. While Coinbase has not set up a maximum purchase size for a Bundle, the exchange limits daily purchase amounts on a per-customer basis. Once a customer has bought a Bundle, each type of virtual currency will be stored in their Coinbase wallet and can be bought, sold, sent or received as an individual asset. Coinbase expects to introduce the new product in the U.S., E.U. and U.K. in the coming weeks. Along with the Coinbase Bundle, the exchange will now host informational asset pages about the top 50 digital currencies in terms of market capitalization, in addition to a “Coinbase Learn” section aimed at educating newcomers to cryptocurrency trading. Recently, Coinbase announced a new process that will allow it to list more digital assets faster. The process refers to cryptocurrencies that are compliant with local law, which means that certain assets listed on the platform may only be available to customers in particular jurisdictions. Earlier this month, Coinbase revealed it is looking to create a cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded fund (ETF). Coinbase has reportedly been in discussions with the blockchain working group of asset management giant BlackRock. It remains unclear whether the initiative is concluded or still under negotiation.

SEC, CFTC Charge Bitcoin Futures Firm 1Broker With Securities Law Violations

SEC, CFTC Charge Bitcoin Futures Firm 1Broker With Securities Law Violations

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are suing an international securities dealer for allegedly violating federal law through a bitcoin-based security swap scheme. The SEC announced in a press release that it filed charges against 1pool Ltd., also known as 1Broker, as well as CEO Patrick Brunner for selling security-based swaps to U.S. and international investors without following proper “discretionary investment thresholds.” Notably, investors could only purchase these swaps with bitcoin, according to the claims. The SEC is further claiming that 1Broker was not registered a “security-based swaps dealer” and “failed to transact its security-based swaps on a registered national exchange,” according to the release. It added: “The SEC alleges that a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, acting in an undercover capacity, successfully purchased several security-based swaps on 1Broker’s platform from the U.S. despite not meeting the discretionary investment thresholds required by the federal securities laws.” Shamoil Shipchandler, director of the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office, said in a statement that “the SEC protects U.S. investors across a variety of platforms, regardless of the type of currency used in their transactions … International companies that transact with U.S. investors cannot circumvent compliance with the federal securities laws by using cryptocurrency.” The regulator is looking for a permanent injunction against Brunner and 1pool, along with penalties and “disgorgement plus interest.” In addition, the CFTC filed charges against 1Broker for similarly violating federal laws by failing to implement anti-money laundering and supervisory features. 1Broker did not immediately respond to a request for comment. SEC image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Dell Eyes Blockchain Investment to Boost Business Growth

Dell Eyes Blockchain Investment to Boost Business Growth

Multinational data storage, analytics and information security firm Dell EMC plans to invest in emerging technologies, including blockchain, the company announced Wednesday. Dell EMC, a subsidiary to the computer manufacturer Dell, announced on Wednesday that it has plans to invest in emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, blockchain, data analytics and cloud-compliance, the Economic Times reported. In particular, the firm hopes to maintain its position in the server market by adopting new tools. Manish Gupta, a senior director of the Infrastructure Solutions Group at Dell EMC India, said the interest from the company’s top clients in blockchain led them to adopt the technology. Dell EMC is looking to new technologies to help the clients manage both traditional and “new age” workloads on Dell servers. Dell EMC clients consist mainly of local IT firms, banks, financial and investment companies, according to the report. Supplementing the need to keep up with their clients, the Indian Express reported that a study by Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index, showed that 37 percent of Indian businesses plan to invest in blockchain, 31 percent in quantum computing and 42 percent in augmented reality or virtual reality technologies over the next few years. Dell EMC COO Dmitri Chen indicated that the company is therefore hoping to piggyback on the growing interest, noting that India is increasingly moving toward digitization. Moreover, he added: “India is shifting towards … transformation faster than the rest of the world because of the country’s digital agenda and the presence of a highly skilled tech savvy workforce. Hence, we’re spending a lot more time thinking, talking about India and spending time in the country.” Notably, Dell EMC is not the only Dell subsidiary looking into blockchain technologies. Cloud computing and virtualization firm VMware announced Project Concord earlier this year as an open-source effort to combat scaling and energy efficiency issues. Dell EMC image via Sundry Photography / Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.