The Daily: Asian Crypto Jobs on the Rise, Colombia to Cut Taxes for Crypto Firms

The Daily: Asian Crypto Jobs on the Rise, Colombia to Cut Taxes for Crypto Firms

The Daily The number of jobs and job seekers in the Asian crypto space is growing, according to leading recruiters in the region. Also in The Daily, Colombia may soon become a crypto-friendly nation, California and Russia want to use blockchain tech for insurance and pensions, and Malaysians remain bullish on cryptocurrencies, despite market trends this year. Also read: Mycrypto Raises $4 million, Islamic Crypto Exchange Sets Foot in Malta More Jobs and Job Seekers in the Asian Crypto Space Jobs in the crypto and blockchain industry in Asia are enjoying increasing popularity among job-seekers from other, traditional sectors. Data from job search engine Indeed’s platforms in the region, including India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia, confirm the strong interest in roles in the space. Also, there’s been a 50 percent increase in the number of openings in the field since 2017, according to recruitment firm Robert Walters. Many of the candidates, however, come from a different professional background, as the sector is still in its infancy. “We hardly ever hire from inside of crypto because most people are very inexperienced. You have very, very few experienced people who get into the crypto industry,” says Julian Hosp, co-founder of Singapore-based crypto wallet and card provider Tenx, quoted by CNBC. He also notes that the number of applicants depends on market trends. “Not many people have the actual skill sets”, adds John Mullally, director of financial services at Robert Walters in Hong Kong. Professionals that are currently entering the sector come from a wide range of backgrounds, not only tech and financial. Many of them have prior experience in marketing, public relations and operations, the recruiting specialists point out. The findings come after earlier this week Hong Kong, a major Asian economic and financial hub, announced it’s updating its policies to facilitate the immigration of fintech professionals. Colombia to Cut Taxes for Crypto Firms to Create Jobs Colombia may become the next jurisdiction to create a favorable business climate for companies in the crypto and blockchain space. In an opening speech at an annual information and communication tech congress, the country’s new president, Ivan Duque, revealed his administration’s commitment to cutting down rent taxes for crypto startups for a period of up to five years. The main…

Bitcoin vs. Altcoins: Which Is the Most Usable for Merchants?

Bitcoin vs. Altcoins: Which Is the Most Usable for Merchants?

Volatile or not, there’s growing public demand for retailers and businesses to accept payment in cryptocurrency. According to a survey published in June by the United Kingdom-based crypto-exchange CreditCoin, 75 percent of American consumers want the option to use cryptocurrencies to pay for items they purchase in stores. Sadly, the proportion of stores providing this option doesn’t seem to have reached three-quarters yet. However, the number of merchants accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and other coins is nonetheless steadily increasing, with the number of Bitcoin-accepting stores reported to Coinmap — worldwide — had risen by 3,716 in a single year. There is, therefore, continuing interest among businesses in accepting cryptocurrency as a means of payment, even if the noticeable ups and downs of the crypto-market has strengthened the popular impression that such use might not be 100 percent optimal right now. Yet, a question remains for those merchants still undecided on whether to jump into the world of crypto payments: Which coin is the most usable and practical as a means of payment? Well, Bitcoin has an advantage insofar as the fact that vastly more people hold the original cryptocurrency than they do any other. However, numerous altcoins — particularly Bitcoin Cash, Dash and Litecoin — are already faster and cheaper than Bitcoin as a method of payment, and while they may lack the value of their older rival, they currently provide a more seamless retail experience. That said, businesses are increasingly becoming less likely to face an either/or choice when deciding on whether to accept crypto as payment. That’s because a number of companies are providing crypto-payment portals that enable merchants to accept a variety of different currencies, while most major currencies are regularly taking steps to improve their transactions speeds and cost-effectiveness. As a result, retailers of the future will find that they can take greater advantage of the fact that people hold (and want to pay for things with) different currencies for different purposes, making the situation a win-win for more than one single coin. Bitcoin: Popularity and (relatively) stable value One of the simplest and most important requirements that has to be met by a cryptocurrency before any business begins accepting it is that it be held by a large number of people. If…

Venezuela’s Petro Cryptocurrency Is a Gift to Future Generations

Venezuela’s Petro Cryptocurrency Is a Gift to Future Generations

Leon Markovitz is a serial entrepreneur and marketing professional. Born in Venezuela, he now lives in Israel where he is researching and marketing stablecoin projects. I really got into cryptocurrencies when I heard about Venezuela’s stablecoin attempt, the petro, late last year. The idea that the dictatorship was going to try using blockchain to further centralize its power was terrifying, and it’s pushed me to research solutions that could work in Venezuela’s near future. The petro was launched in March and, until recently, it was all but forgotten – with the project lead fired for having failed to raise $5 billion for a national cryptocurrency project. But late last month, President Nicolas Maduro announced on live TV the slashing of five zeros from the hyper-inflated currency, and announced a “Hail Mary” attempt to revive the petro by tethering the new bolivar’s value to it, calling a meeting with all banks to improvise something. The dictatorship in Venezuela is actually doing future generations a favor by creating mistrust in central authority, devaluing central-bank issued fiat, and educating the people about cryptocurrencies. The ground is ripe for a true revolution where power is wrested away from the government and entrusted to the blockchain. Venezuela does not deserve to continue down its current path. The country’s economy has contracted drastically in the past five years, with a rampant 1 million percent annual hyperinflation, and people dying in the streets from diseases like polio – yes, it reemerged during the socialist revolution – the highest homicide rate in the world, and the lowest salaries in the region. This is the result of 20 years of a failed socialist experiment printing currency like confetti, and a complicit ruling class that is silent, almost absent, to the clamors of the people. People are using bolivar bills as toilet paper because it’s cheaper, and the entire world woke to the fact that the socialist revolution of the twenty-first century is a scam. Yet the corrupt henchmen of a dead man are bent on restarting the scam with the petro. They want to ride the blockchain wave, but blockchain is incompatible with this communist fraud. This is a decentralized revolution, diametrically opposed to centralized control. The petro was born as a failure because…

The Fight Over Masternodes: The WTF New Way to Earn Money With Crypto

The Fight Over Masternodes: The WTF New Way to Earn Money With Crypto

There’s a fight going down on crypto Twitter right now. But while that fact alone should come as no surprise, this time the bout is a bit more notable given it’s between a number of cryptocurrencies using so-called masternodes. While the term is flexible, generally speaking, masternodes are defined as computers on a network – staked with tokens – that perform additional work besides just helping run the software that governs a given cryptocurrency. The mechanism, while an older idea, is starting to gain some traction with significant projects such as ZenCash (now Horizen), Gold Poker and Zcoin using the masternodes. Plus, other projects – EOS and Tezos, for instance – could likely refer to the participants that verify transactions as masternodes (though they don’t). The Twitter battle, though, is all in good fun (mostly). At its heart, the months-long contest pits pairs of tokens that use masternodes up against each other to test sentiment and name recognition, all using fairly simple, straightforward SurveyMonkey dialogues. Its instigator is Brian Colwell, a blogger and consultant to crypto startups, and he’s amping up the drama around it. “We’re running it like a martial arts tournament, but it has devolved into eye gouging, brass knuckles,” he messaged CoinDesk over Twitter. Colwell’s metaphorical “eye gouging” and “brass knuckles” mostly take the form of supporter exhortations over email lists and social media, with the odd fun gif. But it’s true that many of these projects are in it to win it. Called “#MasternodeMeBro18,” the tournament, which tests which projects can best rally their community, started July 3 and will run through October 28. Down from an original list of 64 coins that use masternodes, the tournament just finished its third round where 16 tokens paired off against each other. The round brought in a total of 11,416 votes across all the matchups. And looking at the hashtag on Twitter shows that a lot of the projects are working to turn out their followers to support their tokens. In fact, the fight got so fierce that some of the matchups in this round showed evidence of vote tampering. Colwell’s partner, OmniAnalytics, detected multiple votes from some IP addresses, so they re-ran the impacted battles in a one-day “sudden death” rematch that closed Tuesday.…

South Korean Lawmaker Proposes Special Crypto Zone for ICOs

South Korean Lawmaker Proposes Special Crypto Zone for ICOs

Regulation A South Korean lawmaker has reportedly proposed designating a regulation-free special cryptocurrency zone aimed at initial coin offerings. It has been about a year since token sales were banned in the country but the government has yet to introduce any guidelines for them. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals Proposal for Special Crypto Zone Jung Byung-guk, a leader of South Korea’s Bareunmirae Party, revealed at a National Assembly meeting on Wednesday his proposal to set up a special crypto zone for initial coin offerings (ICOs), Business Korea reported. He suggested that South Korea can use Gibraltar as a benchmark, given its advanced financial system and “ICOs are very actively launched” there, the publication conveyed. He then proposed: We need to designate a regulation-free blockchain and cryptocurrency special zone or test zone first to actively make various experiments. Noting that he often finds “areas to improve” in his own crypto proposal every time he re-reads it, the lawmaker emphasized the need for a special test zone. At the meeting, “It was suggested that the Crypto Special Zone should be set up in a certain area, rather than being allowed nationwide to be managed in a regulatory sandbox form,” Dtoday reported. “It is hoped that tightly-packed blockchain companies will be able to increase synergies and improve regulatory efficiency.” Moon Jong-jin, a professor at Myongji University’s Department of Business Administration, was quoted by the publication suggesting that “after financing through ICOs, we should also examine the success rate of specific projects.” He reiterated that caution needs to be exercised when “promoting the crypto special administrative region policy.” No ICO Regulatory Progress Since the South Korean government prohibited all types of ICOs in September last year, the regulators have been focusing on cryptocurrency regulations, but there have been no guidelines on token sales. Meanwhile, other countries such as Singapore have been attracting Korean firms to launch their token sales abroad. While the government claims to ban ICOs to protect investors, Business Korea pointed out that “there is no definite definition for virtual currencies nor regulations on unfair business practices. Accordingly, the number of fraud cases aiming for such legal blind spots is on the rise.” Citing that “other countries are promoting ICOs as…

The Bitcoin Standard: BCH Troll Slayer Faces BTC’s Angriest Man

The Bitcoin Standard: BCH Troll Slayer Faces BTC’s Angriest Man

Reviews Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) troll slayer Derek Magill is back at it, and this time he’s facing down a pretty fierce opponent. Saifedean Ammous’s The Bitcoin Standard is hardcore maximalist argumentation for the supremacy of bitcoin core (BTC) as a cryptocurrency and world settlement commodity. While good people can differ on Mr. Ammous’s views, the BCH Troll Slayer finds the way in which those positions are put forward to be lacking. Also read: Square’s Big Week: Crypto Patent, Shares Leap, and Lightning Plug The Bitcoin Standard Gets a Dismissive, Brutal Review “I first heard of Seinfeld Ammous in January of this year,” BCH apologist Derek Magill began his tongue-and-cheek review of The Bitcoin Standard, purposely misspelling Mr. Ammous’s first name, “when I saw a bizarre, expletive-filled and frankly rather unlettered tweet of his attacking someone who committed the horrible crime of asking a question about an ‘altcoin.’” Mr. Magill is a known quantity in the BCH ecosystem, often a target of BTC ire in relation to his advocacy of bitcoin cash. The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking (Wiley, 2018) is professor Saifedean Ammous’s (‘Safe-ah-deen Amm-oose’) contribution to the growing body of literature arguing for the primacy of BTC. The Bitcoin Standard, in fact, has become a quiet hit within the community. It came out of nowhere, and soon everyone from Nassim Nicholas Taleb to Caitlin Long and many others promoted its reading for no other reason than merit. Mr. Ammous combines orthodox neo-Austrian economics with BTC proselytizing: Bitcoin is a new, better gold standard. He and his work were immediately embraced and toured all over the world in support. He continues to make the rounds of podcasts, Youtube channels. One notable appearance was on The Tom Woods Show. Mr. Woods is a polemicist of some regard, well established in libertarian, free market circles. The opening of this particular episode was a veritable love fest as Professor Ammous showered Mr. Woods with praise as an intellectual mentor. The Best Take Downs Use Humor Tom Woods is also something of a golly gee, every man interviewer when it comes to BTC. He appreciates mainstream apprehension to crypto, and is an articulate spokesman for their hesitancy. Mr. Woods and the professor wax all kinds of…

Stress Test & Big Blocks: BCH Network Confirms 2M Transactions in 24-Hours

Stress Test & Big Blocks: BCH Network Confirms 2M Transactions in 24-Hours

News On September 1, 2018, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network was put to the test as BCH proponents flooded the mempool with millions of transactions over the last day. According to statistics during the last 24-hours, BCH miners have processed over 2 million transactions so far and the Stress Test Day is still not over. Also Read: August 2018 Volume Rankings Report: ETC and Dash Top Ten Close to 2M Transactions Processed So Far The Bitcoin Cash chain is chugging along processing millions of transactions on September 1, 2018. Over the last day with 2M transactions (tx) processed so far, BCH has outpaced the Ripple (XRP 1.7M tx/day) and Ethereum (ETH 1.2M tx/day) network’s 24-hour tx record. Right now statistics stemming from the data website Fork.lol show that the BCH chain has processed 2,060,041 transactions over the last 24-hours. Statistics also show that the BCH chain has processed 85,835 tx per hour, and 23.8 tx per second. Of course, Bitcoin Cash proponents are celebrating the momentous occasion and participating by using tools like scale.cash. There have been a ton of celebration parties all over the world with people monitoring and participating in the BCH stress test while sipping on their favorite beers. The average number of transactions per block according to Fork.lol. Orange (BTC), Blue (BCH).  The community has been fixated on websites Txhighway.com, Txstreet.com, and Bitcoinsubway.cash watching all the transactions confirm with some added old school 8-bit style. There have been lots of pictures shared online of these fun websites and other data sites like Blockchair, Coindance Cash, Fork.lol, and Johoe’s Bitcoin Cash mempool statistics. The reason for the abundance of screenshot shares is because the BCH chain has been breaking numerous records all day. Lots of people sharing images of Txhighway.com on September 1.  Big Blocks One example of shattering records comes from the enormous blocks processed on September 1 by BCH miners. Miners for the first time ever surpassed the highest mined block size, which was previously 8MB. On the day of the stress test, there were plenty of 4-8MB blocks but also 9, 10, 13.5,14 and even the largest at 15.2MB in size. Mining operations such as Viabtc, BTC.top, Coingeek, BMG Pool, Waterhole, Bitcoin.com, and others processed block sizes much larger than 8MB. Even though…

Russian Police Seize 22 Cryptocurrency ATMs in 9 Cities

Russian Police Seize 22 Cryptocurrency ATMs in 9 Cities

News Law enforcement officials in Russia have seized 22 BATMs installed at stores and restaurants in 9 different cities. The confiscation has been carried out on orders from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Central Bank, local media reported. The operation of crypto teller machines in the country is currently unregulated.   Also read: Kiev’s Bessarabsky Market Accepts Cryptocurrencies for Groceries Law Enforcement Confiscate BATMs in Russia Police officers have confiscated at least 22 automated teller machines selling cryptocurrency in shopping malls, stores and restaurants in nine Russian cities. All of the seized terminals are operated by Bbfpro which maintains a network of bitcoin ATMs across the vast country, RBC reported quoting lawyer Sarkis Darbinyan from the Digital Rights Center (DRC) who is representing the company’s interests. His organization specializes in providing legal assistance to businesses from the digital industry including crypto and blockchain firms. Bbfpro’s manager, Artem Bedarev, told the Russian media his company had not received any queries from the authorities prior to the seizure. He said he was told informally that the investigation will continue at least six months and the machines will not be returned before it’s completed. An officer who participated in the confiscation on Friday said the operation was ordered by the Prosecutor General’s Office following a request from the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). A CBR official declined to provide details on the case with Bbfpro’s ATMs but pointed out that the regulator conducts “systematic work to identify and counteract illegal activities in the financial market.” He further explained that the possibility for uncontrolled cross-border transfer of funds and their subsequent cash out increases the risk of using cryptocurrencies in illicit schemes. The Ministry of Interior and the Prosecutor’s Office did not respond to media inquiries about the operation. Bbfpro to Appeal Against the Seizure Sarkis Darbinyan noted that the current legislation in the Russian Federation does not prohibit the acquisition of cryptocurrencies. He also emphasized that the company he represents observes all legally established procedures, pays its taxes and performs identity verification of users even in the absence of a mandatory requirement. The lawyer added that Bbfpro is currently assessing the financial damages resulting from the seizure of its BATMs and will appeal against the actions of the…

Japan’s Largest Bank Experiments Using Own Crypto at Convenience Store

Japan’s Largest Bank Experiments Using Own Crypto at Convenience Store

Services Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the world’s largest financial groups, has been experimenting with using its own cryptocurrency, the Mufg coin, for payments at a convenience store for employees. This week, a local publication reported on the progress of the experiment. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space Payments at Convenient Store Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (Mufg) has been experimenting with its digital currency, the Mufg coin. A convenience store for employees only, located at the group’s headquarters in Tokyo, has been allowing Mufg employees to pay with these coins. The Sankei Shimbun visited the store and reported this week that the experiment “is quietly advancing.” Mufg coins being used at the convenience store for employees. Photo credit: the Sankei Shimbun. A cash register has been set up for payments using Mufg coins at the store. Employees paying with them present the QR code displayed on their smartphones to the store clerk at checkout. Mufg will examine any issues faced by both the users or the merchant. In addition to making payments at the convenient store, the coins can be used to exchange money between colleagues such as splitting bills, the news outlet conveyed. Mufg is Japan’s largest financial groups, with total assets of 306 trillion yen (~US$2.76 trillion) as of March 31. One of its subsidiaries, Mufg Bank, is also Japan’s largest bank with offices throughout Japan and in 40 other countries. Plans for the Mufg Coin The Mufg coin was created as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group explored how “blockchain technology could be applied for a variety of everyday financial needs, such as withdrawals and deposits to transactions and payments,” the company previously described, elaborating: Potentially this coin could have large-scale commercial potential, as well serving small-scale retail bank customers. Other than Mufg coin, Mufg is testing another untitled digital currency rewards [program] for employees who reduce their overtime hours and practice a healthy lifestyle. Japanese daily Mainichi explained that the coin is pegged to the yen, with the price of one Mufg coin kept stable at one yen. The group detailed that while banknotes and physical coins can be widely used, their “significant toll in terms of cost and time required for the procurement, storage and transport of these instruments is often…

As Zimbabweans Struggle For Cash, Even The Country’s Only Bitcoin ATM Has Run Dry

As Zimbabweans Struggle For Cash, Even The Country’s Only Bitcoin ATM Has Run Dry

Op-Ed The Golix bitcoin ATM took on obvious importance when it was first introduced in the Zimbabwean capital Harare, early April. In a country without a currency of its own, where conventional automated teller machines (ATMs) have become useless due to a severe cash crisis, the bitcoin machine was seen as the new gateway to faster cash transfers and cash availability. Now, it is a ‘white elephant’ – unused and redundant. But Golix trudges on. Also read: South African Tax Authority Going After Crypto Traders A Digital Cash Machine Without Cash The ban on cryptocurrencies issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in May of this year upset ambitious plans by Golix, the Southern African country’s biggest digital currency exchange, to mainstream virtual money, and to its bitcoin ATM – a novelty at the time – hardly four weeks after it had come online. Today, the machine no longer dispenses cash, or facilitates any trades at all, even though it can still be seen in the Golix offices in central Harare. There is no point, after all, to have on display a little piece of furniture if there is uncertainty about the future of cryptocurrencies in the country. Golix spokesperson, Nhlalwenhle Ngwenya, refused to comment about any operational issues, claiming such matters were still under litigation. The exchange is challenging the RBZ ban in the Zimbabwe High Court, a case still pending. But at the time the ATM was activated in April, Golix said: After realizing that the public is still struggling to understand or in some cases access bitcoin, we felt that the bitcoin ATM would be a huge and necessary step towards engaging people on how they can use cryptocurrencies for their daily business. Crowning Moment Shattered The Bitcoin machine was, perhaps, the Harare-based trading platform’s crowning moment since it became Zimbabwe’s first digital currency exchange in September, 2015 with only a handful of trades. By the time of the ban in May, Golix had traded more than $20 million worth of bitcoin. Its reported revenue climbed 6,200 percent to $158,000 at the end of last year. About 50,000 people were actively trading bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, dash and ethereum on the platform in May, compared to a few dozen customers two…