Crypto Beats Fiat in Round the World Payments Race

Crypto Beats Fiat in Round the World Payments Race

Four contestants are currently racing their way around the globe in a quest to reach Amsterdam first. The Payments Race runs westwards from London, circling the globe before finishing at the Money 2020 event in the Dutch capital today, June 4. In keeping with its theme, each contestant must use a different type of payment method throughout their journey. Alex Hobern has selected cryptocurrency as his sole means of sustenance and survival on the winner-takes-all journey. Also read: Bitcoin.com’s Local Bitcoin Cash Marketplace Is Now Open for Trading Round the World Payments Race Showcases the Future of Money Cash, card, mobile and crypto are the four payment methods available for the Round the World Payments Race, with one assigned to each racer. Northern Ireland, Hong Kong and Lithuania are among the checkpoints to be visited during the course of the westward circumnavigation. Crypto candidate Alex Hobern is accustomed to drumming up publicity in his role as a social media creator and TV personality, but he’s a confessed newb when it comes to cryptocurrency. As such, his journey is one of self-discovery as much as it is global conquest. The rules of the challenge mandate that he can’t use crypto surrogates such as cryptocurrency debit cards or BATMs: Hobern is only permitted to spend crypto in its purest P2P form. Alex HobernThe Challenges of Living on Cryptocurrency When asked by news.Bitcoin.com why he had selected cryptocurrency from the available options, Hobern explained: “In my view, it poses the biggest challenge. With a large and dedicated community, its adoption by merchants is extremely low. Being someone who thrives out of their comfort zone, I decided it was the best way to make the trip an actual challenge.” He confesses to having known “absolutely nothing” about cryptocurrency prior to the race save for a few tales from mates who got rich during the market mania of 2017. To help him out, London-based cryptocurrency payment service Wirex gave him a crash course on everything he should know before setting out. Cryptocurrency’s suitability for spending is a matter that’s fiercely divided its community. While a significant proportion of BTC users have no desire to spend their coins, which they believe to be a store of value, others are eager to…

BitConnect Promoter Wanted Over Another Alleged Crypto Scam

BitConnect Promoter Wanted Over Another Alleged Crypto Scam

A promoter of the now-shuttered crypto fraud BitConnect has again been charged over a different claimed cryptocurrency scam. The Times of India reported Monday that police in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, had received complaints that the promoter, Divyesh Darji, had been offering investors investment in a token called Regal Coin, claiming a possible 5,000-percent return. Investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Gujarat Police reportedly show that Darji established an investment platform called Regal Coin in September 2017. The investment scheme promised that for every $2 put in, investors would earn $100. Darji also reportedly promised investors they could earn back their principal investment in 99 days and earn interest on their investment through robotic trading profit along with 1–1.6 percent in referral bonus every 11 days, the CID said. Police found out about the scam after an alleged victim, identified as Vishal Savalia, reported to authorities that he’d lost 1.75 million Indian rupees ($25, 260) in Regal Coin. Savalia claimed he’d made the investment through Darji’s daughter Dimki and assistant Ramdayal Purohit. Regal Coin reportedly operated through an app, which Savalia downloaded on his mobile phone. Aside from Savalia, two other investors came have filed complaints against Darji, saying they invested 1.05 million rupees ($15,000) and 1.75 million rupees ($25,260), respectively, in Regal Coin. The victims said that, at its peak, the value of Regal Coin had reached $100. Regal Coin eventually closed shop after allegedly taking nearly INR 45 million ($650,000) from investors. While Purohit has been arrested. Darji, his daughter Dimki, and another aide, Mehul Pacchigar, reportedly remain at large. All three suspects have been charged of violating the Gujarat Protection of Investors Deposit Act and The Prize Chit Money Circulation Scheme Banning Act, says The Times. Darji was previously arrested in August of last year over his role at Bitconnect, which closed shop in January 2018 after enforcement actions from state-level U.S. regulators. The Times reported that, while Darji had been arrested at the Delhi airport on Aug. 18, 2018, he was released after posting bail with the Gujarat High Court last month. Indian police car image via Shutterstock

Crypto Exchange Bits Of Gold Wins Supreme Court Battle Over Bank Block

Crypto Exchange Bits Of Gold Wins Supreme Court Battle Over Bank Block

Cryptocurrency exchange Bits of Gold has won a notable legal victory over an Israeli bank in its bid to keep access to banking services. On Monday, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered Bank Leumi to allow the exchange ongoing access its services, according to a report by Finance Magnates. Bank Leumi had earlier moved to bar Bits of Gold after the bank classified cryptocurrency firms as gambling companies. The Supreme Court had made a temporary injunction on the matter back in February, allowing the firm to keep using Bank Leumi’s services until a final decision was made. The ruling now means the exchange can continue using its account with the Israeli bank on a permanent basis. The court victory was welcomed by Bits of Gold CEO Yuval Roash, who described the decision as an “exciting moment” for the company. “We worked hard to set up a company, which met regulatory requirements, in a new industry, and those efforts paid off. I am proud to be a part of this flourishing industry and push it towards the right regulation,” Roash said. Bank of Leumi, however, said it still objects to the Supreme Court ruling. Nevertheless, the high court’s decision effectively paves the way for cryptocurrency exchanges in Israel to continue using local banking services. Legal image via Shutterstock

John McAfee To Roll Out ‘Freedom Coin’ Cryptocurrency This Fall

John McAfee To Roll Out ‘Freedom Coin’ Cryptocurrency This Fall

Crypto enthusiast, bitcoin (BTC) bull, antivirus software namesake and 2020 United States presidential campaigner John McAfee is releasing his own independent cryptocurrency, according to an official Twitter post on May 29. According to his website on the announced cryptocurrency, the “McAfee Freedom Coin” will roll out some time this fall. The McAfee Freedom Coin appears to aim for total isolation and independence from traditional currencies, assets and exchanges in an effort to reach “the Holy Grail of cryptocurrency — economic freedom.” According to McAfee, these are the desired properties of the new cryptocurrency: “What is needed is a coin disconnected from fiat currencies and from other crypto currencies alike — a coin with zero cash-in value, yet accepted universally … It is not based on any commodity nor is it connected to the value or behavior of any external item or entity. The value of the coin will always be zero in relation to any other currency yet it’s natural market value is free, completely, to grow.” As previously reported on Cointelegraph, McAfee has said he plans to run for President of the United States in 2020 on a boat in international waters, since he has purportedly been indicted by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). McAfee has reportedly made no secret of his tax evasion, saying that he has not filed taxes for eight years. His presidential campaign is also not a serious bid for the office, but rather a stated attempt to promote cryptocurrencies as a means to securing personal freedom for citizens. In recent news, McAfee said that he has discovered the identity of the mysterious Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, who is purportedly a man living in the U.S. McAfee apparently was planning to out Nakamoto’s identity, but has put his plan on pause per advice from his extradition lawyer: “The US extradition request to the Bahamas  is imminent. I met with Mario Gray, my extradition lawyer, and it is now clear … that releasing the identity of Satoshi at this time could influence the trial and risk my extradition. I cannot risk that. I’ll wait.”

OKEx Says Crypto Is the Future of Money for Consumers in Unstable Economies

OKEx Says Crypto Is the Future of Money for Consumers in Unstable Economies

One of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges by trading volume believes digital currencies can provide financial freedom to consumers in countries where instability and inflation are making fiat payments impractical. In the world of digital technology dominance, traditional global financial systems are facing hard times to transform in order to interact with the overwhelming demands around the globe, especially to developing countries. Issues such as a lack of access to stable banking and the high cost of currency exchange and remittances for migrant workers sending funds back home all contribute to perpetuating existing inequalities. However, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could be a way out for them. For instance, according to data released by the World Bank, in 2017, about 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked — without an account at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider. In 2014, that number was 2 billion. In general, the popularity of crypto is steadily increasing among people who are unbanked or live in countries with high inflation rates. Migrant labor plays an important role in currency exchange and remittances, but they are often discouraged by the long waiting time and complex third-party payment systems. Blockchain technology in crypto can effectively eliminate most of the hassles involved with third-party intermediaries, and it reduces remittance fees. The world has shown a growing interest in crypto — and a broader range of use cases — which coincides with crises affecting fiat currencies around the world. Last November, the Turkish lira plunged into crisis, with inflation rates soaring beyond 25%. It lost more than a third of its value against the United States dollar, and as a result, already hard-pressed consumers were confronted with higher prices for everyday essentials such as food and housing. As reported by Cointelegraph back in February, interest in crypto surged in Caracas and beyond last December when the annual rates of inflation in the South American country reached a staggering 80,000%. Meanwhile, over in Nigeria, increasing numbers of consumers are beginning to regard bitcoin as a feasible substitute for the U.S. dollar. Step to crypto In order to make an entry step to crypto, OKEx’s consumer-to-consumer trading platform enables users around the world to convert a plethora of currencies to popular coins — such as bitcoin,…

Tron Founder’s Winning $4.5 Million Bid Nets Dinner With Warren Buffet

Tron Founder’s Winning $4.5 Million Bid Nets Dinner With Warren Buffet

Justin Sun, founder of Tron and CEO of peer-to-peer file sharing protocol BitTorrent revealed through tweet that he placed a record-breaking bid of $4.57 million to lunch with crypto-skeptic Warren Buffett as part of the “Oracle of Omaha’s” annual charity auction for the Glide Foundation. The 28 year-old Sun will meet Buffett at Smith & Wollensky’s in Manhattan and has said he would invite seven crypto-industry leaders to join them. “I’m a long-term believer (and certainly a big fan) of Buffett and his long-term value investing strategy” wrote Sun in a Medium post. Before launching Tron in 2017, with an ICO that raised about $70 million, Sun was an early investor in Tesla and bitcoin while obtaining a Master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. His latest venture, Peiwo, is a foray into social media with a Vine-like app that connects users through 10-second audio samples. “As some of you might know, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has said publicly he sees no ‘unique value’ in Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency,” Sun continued, “Yet, he has pointed to the potential in blockchain, the underlying technology behind all cryptocurrency. I look at the upcoming lunch with Buffett as an opportunity to seek mutual understanding and growth.” Buffett has slammed cryptocurrency in the past — calling it at one point “rat poison squared” — and most recently at his annual shareholder’s meeting saying, wagering on bitcoin is like betting on zero or double-zero on a Las Vegas roulette wheel. Though in a statement provided by his assistant, Buffett said “I’m delighted with the fact that Justin has won the lunch and am looking forward to meeting him and his friends. We are going to have a good time and Glide will use his contribution to help many thousands of people.” The billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has hosted this auction since 2000, and has raised over $32 million for the Glide Foundation, which serves the homeless population and those battling addiction in San Francisco. Last year’s winning bid was $3.3 million. Image via Coindesk Archives

Tron Founder’s Winning Bid Nets Dinner With Warren Buffet

Tron Founder’s Winning Bid Nets Dinner With Warren Buffet

Justin Sun, founder of Tron and CEO of peer-to-peer file sharing protocol BitTorrent revealed through tweet that he placed a record-breaking bid of $4.57 million to lunch with crypto-skeptic Warren Buffett as part of the “Oracle of Omaha’s” annual charity auction for the Glide Foundation. The 28 year-old Sun will meet Buffett at Smith & Wollensky’s in Manhattan and has said he would invite seven crypto-industry leaders to join them. “I’m a long-term believer (and certainly a big fan) of Buffett and his long-term value investing strategy” wrote Sun in a Medium post. Before launching Tron in 2017, with an ICO that raised about $70 million, Sun was an early investor in Tesla and bitcoin while obtaining a Master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. His latest venture, Peiwo, is a foray into social media with a Vine-like app that connects users through 10-second audio samples. “As some of you might know, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has said publicly he sees no ‘unique value’ in Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency,” Sun continued, “Yet, he has pointed to the potential in blockchain, the underlying technology behind all cryptocurrency. I look at the upcoming lunch with Buffett as an opportunity to seek mutual understanding and growth.” Buffett has slammed cryptocurrency in the past — calling it at one point “rat poison squared” — and most recently at his annual shareholder’s meeting saying, wagering on bitcoin is like betting on zero or double-zero on a Las Vegas roulette wheel. Though in a statement provided by his assistant, Buffett said “I’m delighted with the fact that Justin has won the lunch and am looking forward to meeting him and his friends. We are going to have a good time and Glide will use his contribution to help many thousands of people.” The billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has hosted this auction since 2000, and has raised over $32 million for the Glide Foundation, which serves the homeless population and those battling addiction in San Francisco. Last year’s winning bid was $3.3 million. Image via Coindesk Archives

Bitcoin Dips Below $8K as Price Sheds $700 in Two Hours

Bitcoin Dips Below $8K as Price Sheds $700 in Two Hours

Bitcoin has once again fallen beneath $8,000 amid a sharp sell-off that saw prices drop to as low as $7,778 according to Coindesk data. At 23:00 UTC late Monday evening, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap began to fall sharply, enduring over a $700 loss in value on the back of strong volume. For several days now BTC has failed to rise above and firmly closeout $8,800 leading to a retest of prior supports as it struggled to pick up a bid. Down 8.17 percent, bitcoin is struggling find a footing just beneath the $8,000 psychological price tag as the intensity in the pullback continues on high volatility. Notably, the sell-off was also accompanied by a large uptick in 24-hour trading volumes to a 24-hour high of $21.5 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap. However, its “Real 10” volume – a metric that takes into account trading volume from exchanges reporting honest volume figures as identified in a report by Bitwise Asset Management – currently stands at $21 billion, according to Messari.io. Meanwhile, other highly ranked cryptocurrencies like ETH, BCH, LTC, and BNB have dropped 5 to 12 percent each on a 24-hour basis, while EOS suffered the largest drawdown in the top 10, dropping 12.4 percent according to data at CoinMarketCap. What’s more, the total market capitalization has fallen to a total of $16 billion, while the market capitalization of altcoins is down $7 billion, a sign that investors are becoming wary of overbought prices. Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency at the time of writing. Bitcoin image via Shutterstock

Bitcoin.com’s Local Bitcoin Cash Marketplace Is Now Open for Trading

Bitcoin.com’s Local Bitcoin Cash Marketplace Is Now Open for Trading

The highly anticipated Local.Bitcoin.com is now available to the general public. As of right now, anyone in the world can use the service to trade bitcoin cash (BCH) securely. Since pre-launch signups were announced last month, thousands of traders have created accounts and there are over 2,200 active offers ready to go. Also read: Creating Your Own SLP-Based Token Using Memo Local.Bitcoin.com: Prepare to Trade Bitcoin Cash Peer-to-Peer The Bitcoin.com team has been busy preparing for the launch of our private, peer-to-peer trading platform for the BCH community called Local.Bitcoin.com. We believe that BCH has the means to provide every global citizen with economic freedom, helping liberate them from the confines of the current manipulated economies people are forced to live with today. In contrast to government-issued fiat, the Bitcoin Cash network is a decentralized, peer-to-peer electronic cash system that moves beyond borders and can help the world enjoy a new monetary renaissance. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, Bitcoin.com decided to launch the over-the-counter BCH marketplace on June 4. CEO Roger Ver and the rest of the Bitcoin.com team are motivated by the positive ways in which widespread Bitcoin Cash use will make the world a better place. Our team announced the launch of Local.Bitcoin.com during the second week of May and since then there’s been a ton of interest from crypto enthusiasts around the world. So far the marketplace has seen 7,680 signups, 3,118 total offers and 2,202 active offers from traders out of 3,118 created since launch. A great number of Local.Bitcoin.com signups stem from the U.S. (24.5%), Nigeria (6.1%), Indonesia (5.7%), India (5.1%), and the Philippines (4.7%). There’s also a decent amount of accounts coming from the U.K., Canada, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Russia. Currently, 37.8% of traders plan on swapping with USD but there’s a large number of trades exchanging with EUR, INR, NGN, IDR, PHP, GBP, THB, and CAD. The most popular choice of payment is bank transfer (33.4%) but the second largest payment is in-person cash trades (16%). This is followed by Paypal (14.4%), cash deposit (7.8%) and Western Union (5.7%) while gift cards (2.7%), Moneygram (2%), Skrill (1.8%), and Venmo (1.2%) follow behind. Today’s grand opening of Local.Bitcoin.com in honor of the Tiananmen…

Open Positions on Chicago Mercantile Exchange Bitcoin Futures Hit Record High

Open Positions on Chicago Mercantile Exchange Bitcoin Futures Hit Record High

The number of open contracts for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) bitcoin (BTC) futures is reportedly at an all-time high, cryptocurrency news outlet Coindesk reported on June 3. According to visible data released by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data, the number of open positions for the aforementioned future contract in the week from May 27 to June 3 is 5,190. Coindesk claims that this is the highest number of open positions that CME’s bitcoin futures have ever reported and a 7% increase over the previous week. Per the report, the recent increase in futures trading activity could be a sign of increased institutional interest in bitcoin. This is a continuation of the trend lately reported by the bitcoin futures, that also saw record volume on May 13. As Cointelegraph reported at the time, CME’s bitcoin futures were also expected to hit new heights in May. CME  purportedly revealed that the average daily bitcoin futures trading volume hit a new high of 14,000 contracts in May 2019. An unnamed official allegedly said at the beginning of last month that the CFTC is open to the idea of ether (ETH) futures trading, should the product meet the CFTC’s various requirements.