Bitcoin Traders Are Finding Creative Ways to Avoid KYC

Bitcoin Traders Are Finding Creative Ways to Avoid KYC

Cryptocurrency traders on Bisq are using Revolut to buy and sell bitcoin without the need for KYC/AML. The decentralized, peer-to-peer marketplace allows anyone to buy or sell cryptocurrency via a range of payment processors and traditional banking services. With Localbitcoins now a twisted nightmare of KYC, privacy-conscious traders have few platforms to which they can turn. But in Bisq, they appear to have found a solution of sorts. Also read: The Bank of Google Wants Your Spending Data Trading Bitcoin Without the Awkward Questions Unlike services such as Localbitcoins or buy.Bitcoin.com which work in-browser, Bisq requires users to first download the application before buying and selling crypto, with Windows, Mac and Linux systems all supported. A popular method of purchasing BTC on Bisq (formerly Bitsquare) is with Revolut, with many users opting for the virtual banking service on account of its speed and convenience. Although quick and easy at the initial point of use, there are potential pitfalls to relying on Revolut. As early as last year, Bisq issued a warning regarding the service and its suitability for avoiding unwanted attention. As the Bisq twitter account stated: “Payment methods based on traditional finance systems are going to require KYC at some level, sooner or later. Revolut is not special in this regard.” It’s not just KYC/AML which poses problems either: a number of users have complained that after repeated transactions on Bisq, Revolut has suspended their accounts, leading to weeks of uncertainty and added complications. Revolut itself, it should be noted, requires KYC in order to obtain an account, and is not an anonymous or pseudonymous service. most obvious with revolut, there are countless reports of accounts being blocked following a bisq transaction. Our guess is the messages in the transactions doesn’t seem normal (who would send some random string as a message?) and some accounts take weeks to get unblocked — nodl (@nodl_it) March 27, 2019 A Little Privacy Please Since the onboarding process at centralized exchanges and the obligatory intrusion of KYC remains a bone of contention for many, bitcoiners continue to seek out dependable decentralized alternatives. The development team behind Bisq describe it as “pure P2P infrastructure” built on the Tor network and using local wallets with no custodial accounts. Bisq does…

Bitcoin Cash Community Funds Eatbch Trip to Ghana

Bitcoin Cash Community Funds Eatbch Trip to Ghana

This week members of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community donated funds to Eatbch South Sudan volunteer Thiong Deng so he could spread the word about the benefits of BCH at the Young African Leaders Summit. According to Deng, his journey to Uganda and Ghana has been fully funded which includes flight, hotel, visa costs, and a ticket to the event. Also Read: The Bank of Google Wants Your Spending Data Eatbch South Sudan Volunteer Heads to the Young African Leaders Summit Eatbch is easily recognized as the Bitcoin Cash community’s most favorite charity because the nonprofit organization has been using BCH to help people throughout Venezuela and South Sudan. People can follow Eatbch on Twitter and see how the “peer-to-peer electronic cash-to-food system” feeds families and children in need regularly. Just recently, the nonprofit published a new website called eatbch.org that shows the tremendous work being done in South Sudan and Venezuela. Moreover, the website’s visitors can donate bitcoin cash directly to the effort so people can help others experiencing economic hardships and difficult times. Last September, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Eatbch South Sudan leader Emmanuel Lobijo, who was invited to attend the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit. Lobijo joined Greta Thunberg and many other activists at the UN’s event in New York. The Eatbch South Sudan leader explained how BCH can “bridge access to the world” and how the charitable organization is using bitcoin cash to fight water wars, drought, and famine in the African country. This week members of the BCH community funded Eatbch South Sudan volunteer Thiong Micheal Deng’s trip so he could attend the Young African Leaders Summit in Ghana. On November 13 and 14, BCH proponents on Twitter and Reddit asked the community to help fund Deng’s trip. “Can we get Thiong, an Eatbch South Sudan representative to the Young African Leaders Summit? He still needs $800 dollars of funding,” one Reddit post asked. Deng disclosed all the anticipated expenses for the trip to the Young African Leaders Summit and thanked the community for the “generous donations” but he still had $835 left to raise. BCH Community Funds Travel Expenses to Ghana On Twitter, software engineer Josh Ellithorpe (who designed the eatbch.org website) also asked BCH supporters to help fund Deng’s…

Crypto News From Japan: Nov. 11–17 in Review

Crypto News From Japan: Nov. 11–17 in Review

In this week’s selected cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news from Japan, a new association promoting crypto assets in antiquing was born, a well-known cryptocurrency trader was arrested and the Kyoto University started participating in the XRP ledger. Here is the past week of cryptocurrency and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph Japan. Crypto Antiquing Association Launches On Nov. 11, Cointelegraph Japan reported that the Crypto Assets Antique Association (CAAA) was established with the purpose of promoting the use of crypto assets in the antique trade. CAAA’s representative director Ji Komiya said, “I want to connect to new activities to promote the spread of virtual currency.” Specifically, the organization promotes crypto asset adoption by antiquarian merchants, who sell second-hand rare goods for cryptocurrency. Famous Japanese cryptocurrency trader arrested for drugs A well-known Japanese cryptocurrency trader, Kazuma “Kazmax” Yoshizawa, was arrested for allegedly violating the Narcotics Control Law on Nov. 11. Law enforcement reportedly asked Yoshizawa to provide a sample of his urine and he tested positive for the use of the synthetic drug MDMA. He denies the accusations and claims that the drug was mixed into his drink in a club. Stellar moves in Japan Stellar (XLM) was listed on Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck on Nov. 12. Cointelegraph Japan reported that the price of XLM on Coincheck soared by 46% following the listing. The trading platform also announced that it will grant to its users 28 million XLM tokens in an airdrop. The company received the tokens two years ago from the Stellar Foundation and intends to give them away to its users next year. The users targeted in the airdrop were Bitcoin holders as of June 2017, and Coincheck received the coins by holding BTC for its clients. The University of Kyoto is an XRP validator The University of Kyoto is now maintaining a transaction validator for Ripple’s XRP Ledger. This is reportedly the first blockchain validation operation by a Japanese University so far. A validator on the XRP is a node that validates — hence the name — transactions and consequently secures the network. Ripple senior director Emi Yoshikawa announced: “In the same way that the Internet has spread to the roots of the network to connect university networks and became the…

IRS Criminal Investigators Looking Into Bitcoin ATMs and Kiosks

IRS Criminal Investigators Looking Into Bitcoin ATMs and Kiosks

United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Chief John Fort said that the regulator is looking into potential tax issues caused by Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs and kiosks. According to Bloomberg Law on Nov. 15, Fort said that the IRS is collaborating with law enforcement to investigate illicit uses of new technologies like cryptocurrencies, stating: “We’re looking at those, and the ones that may or may not be connected to bank accounts […] In other words, if you can walk in, put cash in and get bitcoin out, obviously we’re interested potentially in the person using the kiosk and what the source of the funds is, but also in the operators of the kiosks.” A widespread service According to Coin ATM Radar, there are 4,129 Bitcoin ATMs and tellers in the United States that enable users to buy and/or sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for a fee. Bloomberg claims that there is one such machine in every major U.S. city. Fort explained that such services are required to conform to Know Your Customer rules: “They’re required to abide by the same know-your-customer, anti-money laundering regulations, and we believe some have varying levels of adherence to those regulations.” As Cointelegraph reported a month ago, Bitcoin ATM firm Bitstop installed one of its machines at the Miami International Airport, suggesting that Bitcoin is useful to move money when traveling. Tax status remains murky Fort explained that cryptocurrency taxation issues are an emerging threat, adding that the cryptocurrency space has an inherent lack of transparency and visibility, which increases its potential for non-compliance. Still, he admits that no cases have been filed so far, stating, “We haven’t had any public cases filed, but we do have open cases in inventory.” Earlier this week, Suzanne Sinno, an attorney in the IRS Office of the Associate Chief Counsel, clarified that cryptocurrencies have never been eligible for like-kind tax exemption, even before the 2017 tax overhaul. In the U.S., a like-kind exchange — or a 1031 exchange — is an asset transaction that does not generate a tax liability from the sale of an asset when it was sold to acquire a replacement asset. While crypto traders were mostly aware that post-overhaul transactions do not qualify for such an exemption, transaction eligibility…

The Bank of Google Wants Your Spending Data

The Bank of Google Wants Your Spending Data

The multinational technology giant Google has plans to get into the banking industry according to multiple reports that reveal the firm intends to work with Stanford Federal Credit Union and Citigroup. However, analysts assert that Google is not jumping into banking for revenue purposes and the move is simply an acquisition of more customer data. Also Read: Banks Stopped Walmart Bank – Now the Retail Giant Hits Back With Crypto Google Bank One of the ‘Big Four’ technology companies, Google LLC, plans to launch checking accounts through a partnership with Citigroup, Stanford Federal Credit Union, and a number of other financial partners. The secret project has a code name called ‘Cache,’ according to sources stemming from the Wall Street Journal. However, people using the Google-backed checking accounts might not know the internet-related services company is behind the financial products. The checking accounts will still feature branding from the likes of financial incumbents such as Citibank and Google will only work behind the scenes. Google executive Caesar Sengupta explained: Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system — It may be the slightly longer path, but it’s more sustainable. The move by Google follows the recent partnership between Apple and Goldman Sachs that produced the Apple Card product. Many speculators believe Google is planning to enter the fray of banking in order to stay competitive with the other three heavyweights Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. In a note to clients this week, Wells Fargo’s analyst Brian Fitzgerald said that Google is more interested in obtaining data. “Google is likely entering into these partnerships to increase its insights into consumer purchase behavior and consumer finances more broadly,” Fitzgerald said. At the moment, a lot of the giant tech firms are laser-focused on financial technology and Facebook’s Calibra project is a testament to the trend. “Google is primarily focused on data to feed its core ad business, and less so on acting as a full-fledged bank,” CB Insights senior intelligence analyst Arieh Levi remarked. Another Extension of Surveillance Capitalism Since the news went viral the ‘Bank of Google’ discussion has a lot of people wondering if Google will be privy to everyone’s finance behavior. Combing personal data like spending habits is just…

ConsenSys CSO Seeks to Raise $50M for New Blockchain Investment Fund

ConsenSys CSO Seeks to Raise $50M for New Blockchain Investment Fund

An executive at the Ethereum blockchain firm ConsenSys is launching a new blockchain-oriented investment firm, Aligned Capital. Sam Cassatt, the chief strategy officer (CSO) at ConsenSys, announced that the firm will be seeking to raise $50 million for its first fund in an announcement on Nov. 15. Cassatt, who has been at the firm for five years, will continue to serve as an advisor to ConsenSys while working full-time as a founding managing partner at Aligned Capital. Apart from blockchain, Aligned Capital will invest in safe AI and innovative healthcare According to the announcement, Aligned Capital will be investing in three major areas including blockchain and crypto, safe artificial intelligence and innovative healthcare. Cassatt says that he is planning to use ConsenSys software and collaborate with the startup incubator. Aligned Capital’s initial backers include some high-profile figures in the crypto industry such as ConsenSys founder and Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, who will also serve as an advisor to the firm. Andrew Keys, an early ConsenSys exec and managing partner at DARMA Capital, is also on the list of the backers. Meanwhile, other advisors include Stanford lecturer and Transformative Tech Lab co-founder Nichol Bradford and Long Now Foundation director of development Nicholas Paul Brysiewicz. Seth Goldstein, serial entrepreneur and angel investor, will join as a venture partner. Investment in blockchain technology sees stable growth Sam Cassatt’s new blockchain-focused fund is further proof of the overall steady growth of investment in blockchain technology. According to a study by identity management firm Okta, as much as 61% of high-profile digital companies worldwide are investing in blockchain.  In June 2019, billionaire investor Henry Kravis reportedly made his first crypto investment in blockchain-focused investment firm ParaFi Capital. According to research data platform Research and Markets, blockchain spending in the United States will increase from $3.12 billion to $41 billion by 2025.

Bitcoin Price Risks Falling Under $8.4K If the Bulls Don’t Step Up Now

Bitcoin Price Risks Falling Under $8.4K If the Bulls Don’t Step Up Now

Bitcoin (BTC) price is still retracing from the massive rally two weeks ago, which leads the sentiment to turn bearish. Several signs indicate that the price needs to reverse quite soon, or the whole upwards move is deleted from the charts. Crypto market data. Source: Coin360 Bitcoin loses 200-Day MA and EMA for the second time in 2019 The daily chart shows that the price of Bitcoin once again can’t hold support on the 200-Day Moving Average (MA) and Exponential Moving Average (EMA). Such a move often leads to a bearish bias among traders as the 200-Day MA and EMA are crucial indicators for bull/bear perspectives. BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView Alongside with a drop below the crucial moving averages, the price of Bitcoin wasn’t able to break the downward trendline. This trendline started at the top at nearly $14,000 in June. Breaking the trendline would provide a vital sign for bullish perspectives on the market.  Additionally, the $7,300 level showed bottom signals with bullish divergences and a falling wedge structure, which resulted in the historic surge to $10,500. However, this push couldn’t close above the crucial $9,500 resistance area and caused the price to retrace further downwards to the yellow zone. This yellow zone is classified as a potential support area since it previously served as resistance. BTC USD 12-hour chart. Source: TradingView However, the price of Bitcoin is currently hanging on a few key levels. First, it’s the previous resistance area seen in October, which can become support if buyers step in here. But the price also retraced towards the golden ratio (0.618-0.65 Fibonacci level) of the whole upwards push from $7,300 to $10,500. This means that bulls must now step in to reverse the downward trend seen so far this month. Macroview still showing a bullish trend BTC USD weekly chart. Source: TradingView This current market cycle is still showing many similarities with the previous one, i.e. a breakout from the bear market, causing the price to move from $3,100 to $13,900.  This parabolic move has led to a range-bound period and accumulation at higher levels suggesting that a breakout before the next halving is possible.  During the last few months, the same movements occurred as the $7,300 level was marked…

Ether (ETH) Looks to Break Nearly 2-Year Bear Market Against Bitcoin

Ether (ETH) Looks to Break Nearly 2-Year Bear Market Against Bitcoin

This past week, Bitcoin (BTC) price had many investors biting their nails as the top crypto asset turned bearish and is currently fighting to stay above crucial support at $8,300.  Meanwhile, altcoin investors are growing increasingly bullish sentiment wise and a number of lesser-known altcoins rallied impressively throughout the week. Ether price (ETH) is also heating up and the ETH/BTC pair is continuing to flash bullish signals.  Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360 The Nov. 15 drop from $186.59 brought Ether price below the ascending trendline and below the $177.57 area where the altcoin has bounced on 3 previous occasions. Ether price eventually found support at $176.79 and has since reversed course and begun to recover lost territory.  ETH USD daily chart. Source: TradingView The Bollinger Bands and underlying support at $177.57 and $176.79 suggest that Ether has temporarily bottomed and the price is likely to make an attempt to return to the middle Bollinger Band moving average, which is directly aligned with the ascending trendline at $185.28 ETH USD 6-hour chart. Source: TradingView Based on Ether’s price action since Oct. 27, the current bounce off support appears to be a good entry point for 3.5% to 3.94% gain. Risk-averse traders will probably wait for the price to break above the ascending trendline at $185.28 before considering an entry. Aggressive traders may have concluded that if Ether price returns to its most recent range an entry at $179.50 represents a 7.08% profit opportunity.  The moving average confluence divergence (MACD) on the 6-hour timeframe shows the MACD line beginning to curve up toward the signal line and the histogram bars have shortened and flipped from red to pink as buying volume increases.  As mentioned earlier, a move to $185.28 would place Ether back above the 50-DMA and the ascending trendline. The volume profile visible range shows a lot of selling pressure at $180 to $186.93. But if the price can clear this node, Ether could run to the upper Bollinger Band arm at $191.33 followed by the 200-DMA at $197.25.  Reclaiming the 200-DMA restores the previously discussed profit-taking estimates starting at $204.  ETH-BTC grows increasingly bullish ETH BTC daily chart. Source: TradingView As suggested last week, Ether continues to flash bullish signals on its ETH/BTC…

Cryptocurrency Regulation: An Indian Perspective

Cryptocurrency Regulation: An Indian Perspective

Cryptocurrencies, with a market capitalization of over $200 billion, can no longer be dismissed as just a fad. While still making up only a tiny fraction of overall global financial markets, they have matured from the ranks of fledgling startups to being leveraged by large enterprises for use cases ranging from global payments, asset-backed tokens for metals and commodities, fiat currency-equivalent digital coins, the Internet of Things, decentralized cloud storage and more.  Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase announced its United States dollar-equivalent JPM Coin for business-to-business payments; a consortium of large banks announced Fnality International, which aims to facilitate cross-border payments across five major currencies; and Facebook introduced Libra, targeting retail payments. Several central banks are closely monitoring cryptocurrencies to both determine regulations to protect investors as well as explore their benefits in the context of central bank digital currencies. Let us look at both these aspects. The need for regulation Cryptocurrencies today lack the regulatory safeguards that financial institutions and markets have, such as third-party audits, financial reporting and disclosure, prevention of insider trading and a proper security infrastructure — all of which pose risks for the retail investor when unestablished. While many crypto proponents argue that cryptocurrencies should not be regulated, as the technology is decentralized (some are designed to be censorship-resistant), many aspects such as exchanges, governance around issuance of new tokens, and marketing are highly centralized in nature, requiring standardized oversight to prevent and punish impropriety. If left unchecked, their volatility could pose a risk to the health and stability of the economy, especially for smaller developing countries. Further, concerns over misuse of the technology to fund terrorism, trafficking and drugs makes it imperative for regulators to step in and enforce controls. Central bank digital currencies The potential of cryptocurrencies to make transactions and payments faster, cheaper and more secure has attracted several central banks to actively experiment with them. Both the Bank of England and the People’s Bank of China have already published statements that they will be issuing their own digital currency. CBDCs could be a viable substitute to reduce the need for cash, which is the only other retail form of central bank money in circulation. Further, in a country such as India, where a majority of the…

Global Trend Against Cash Intensifies as China Joins the Squeeze

Global Trend Against Cash Intensifies as China Joins the Squeeze

For various reasons, a growing number of nations are experiencing the rapid development of cashless society. Paper money may become extinct in some countries in the not-so-distant future. Prompted by the spread of private and decentralized cryptocurrencies and the threat of losing control over their monetary policies, more and more governments are now working to create central bank issued digital currencies to replace banknotes and coins. China has joined the campaign against cash, although not at the expense of centralized monetary power. Also read: Japan Pushes Cashless Agenda by Rewarding Non-Cash Payments After Tax Hike China to Trial ‘Large-Scale Cash Management’ In a move that many consider part of Beijing’s plans to introduce a digital version of the national fiat, the yuan, the People’s Bank of China (PBOS) has revealed plans to implement pilot programs aimed at exerting greater control over cash transactions. According to a notice issued by the central bank, the trials will be conducted in three Chinese regions, the provinces of Hebei and Zhejiang and Shenzhen City, within the next two years. In a report addressing fears that the initiative will restrict public access to cash, the state-run news agency Xinhua explained that despite the rapid development of non-cash payment platforms in recent years, the total amount of cash in circulation has remained at a stable level while large-volume cash transactions have in fact continued to grow. Besides, these have been concentrating in specific areas, groups of people and periods, arguably lowering the overall efficiency of cash flow. PBOS shares its own reasons to implement the new control mechanism. Large amounts of cash are widely used in China, the bank points out, and they are exploited in criminal activities such as corruption, tax evasion and money laundering. The regulator will impose stricter supervision and introduce reporting requirements for cash operations over certain thresholds – 500,000 yuan (approx. $70,000) for public accounts, and for private accounts – 100,000 yuan in Hebei province, 300,000 yuan in Zhejiang province, and 200,000 yuan in Shenzhen. “Under the requirements of large-scale cash management, banks need to deepen their understanding of current customers, strengthen risk warning and information communication for customers who are prone to generate large cash transactions, and guide them to use non-cash payment tools,” the…