Despite Ban, China Keeps Trading Cryptocurrency Thanks to Tether and VPNs, Says Report

Despite Ban, China Keeps Trading Cryptocurrency Thanks to Tether and VPNs, Says Report

Chinese traders are using virtual private networks (VPNs) as a major tool to circumvent the ongoing government crackdown on cryptocurrency trading, local media outlet South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported September 8. According to SCMP, referencing reports from Beijing-affiliated Shanghai Securities Times, traders have begun leveraging stablecoin Tether (USDT) as a means of entering and exiting cryptocurrency markets. Combined with a VPN, two traders can use an exchange platform notionally registered outside China as an intermediary to swap cryptocurrency for fiat currency and vice versa. “[T]wo individuals who have both completed a ‘know-your-customer’ procedure with an exchange would swap ‘fiat’ currencies […] to tether,” the publication reports: “The exchange plays the role of an overseer of such trades, and stands ready to adjudicate in cases of failed trades, or transactions that are not honoured.” A Beijing district stepped up the general ban on cryptocurrency exchanges last month, seeking on a local level to ban over 120 websites of platforms attempting to serve would-be domestic consumers. This, Hong Kong and Taiwan exchange TideBit CEO Terence Tsang told SCMP, is “targeted at a batch of smaller exchanges that had claimed to be foreign entities, but are in fact operating in China claiming they have outsourced their operations to a Chinese company.” At the same time, the Post notes, there is currently no successful scheme in operation to block VPNs, allowing smarter traders to maintain access to forbidden online resources. Chinese traders have pursued various means of crypto trading since authorities first began cracking down on the practice in September 2017, Cointelegraph has reported. These have taken the form of using Hong Kong as a home from home for platforms themselves, while traders have resorted to peer-to-peer options, something the Chinese government has now also sought to shut down.

From Qatar to Palestine: How Cryptocurrencies Are Regulated in the Middle East

From Qatar to Palestine: How Cryptocurrencies Are Regulated in the Middle East

On Sept. 4, the government of Bahrain, a constitutional monarchy in the Persian Gulf, emphasized the importance of blockchain for the country’s economy. While the kingdom seems to be taking a rather positive approach toward crypto, the Middle East at large has proven to be a difficult region for virtual currencies, as a large chunk of countries there have banned crypto trading. Nevertheless, the Middle East seems to be on its way to become the global blockchain powerhouse: From Dubai to Tel Aviv, the technology is being thoroughly researched and adopted. The list below is based on thorough news research, but should in no way be considered complete. If you have more detailed information on banks and the crypto relationship in your country, we encourage you to share it in the comment section. Bahrain Cryptocurrencies legal framework: Planned Willingness to explore blockchain at state level: Yes Regulation Bahrain is taking a rather positive approach toward crypto. In September 2017, the Bahrain Central Bank (BCB) announced the creation of a “Regulatory Sandbox.” Its aim is to facilitate the fintech industry in the country, including Bitcoin and blockchain-related businesses. In June 2018, local media reported that Dubai-based Palmex digital currency exchange was granted an administrative sandbox license by BCB, allegedly becoming “the first and only cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East and North Africa to receive a regulatory sandbox license.” A Bahrain government official was quoted as saying: “As of now, we recognize cryptocurrency as a commodity that can be traded in the exchanges. We are not considering it as a legal tender in any form.” Blockchain Until recently, the Bahrain government had not commented on the matter of blockchain per se, instead mentioning it in the broader context of the fintech industry. However, in September, Abdulhussain Mirza, Bahrain’s minister of electricity and water affairs, confirmed the government’s commitment to supporting the technology: “Technologies such as blockchain take us a huge step forward in finding a secure way to facilitate transactions… Blockchain’s ability to protect user’s data is a true mark of progress, especially due to the fact that it can be applied in different companies from different industries including cyber security.” Turkey Cryptocurrencies legal framework: Planned Willingness to explore blockchain at state level: Yes Regulation Cryptocurrencies…

Deep Web Roundup: New Search Engine + Tor Browser, Same Old War on Drugs

Deep Web Roundup: New Search Engine + Tor Browser, Same Old War on Drugs

News In this latest edition of our periodic deep web series, we bring news of Tor 8 – the most feature-rich onion browser yet. We also take a first look at a clearnet web browser that trawls the darknet, and cover the fallout from the Alphabay shutdown, whose repercussions rumble on to this day. Also read: Russian Industry Association Launching Crypto Certification Program Tor 8 Looks Great The Tor Project has released its latest and greatest browser yet. Tor 8 is a slick looking beast compared to the Tor browsers of yore, partially thanks to its incorporation of Firefox Quantum, which allows for better page rendering and other subtle tweaks. With Tor 8, there’s a new welcome screen to guide first-time users through the process of connecting to the deep web, and there are additional security protections built in. A Tor Circuit button can now be used to switch servers at random, further obfuscating users’ connection route. The Tor Circuit button in action Tor 8 comes with HTTPS Everywhere and Noscript, and it is recommended that users enable these add-ons, as they’re critical in maximizing anonymity while browsing the web. While the Tor browser is best known as a tool for navigating the dark web, it can also be deployed as a privacy-friendly clearnet browser which minimizes cookies and other web trackers. Finally, the new improved Tor makes it easier to circumvent firewalls in countries where internet censorship is rife. Its development team explains: For users where Tor is blocked, we have previously offered a handful of bridges in the browser to bypass censorship. But to receive additional bridges, you had to send an email or visit a website, which posed a set of problems. To simplify how you request bridges, we now have a new bridge configuration flow when you when you launch Tor. Now all you have to do is solve a captcha in Tor Launcher, and you’ll get a bridge IP. We hope this simplification will allow more people to bypass censorship and browse the internet freely and privately. Deep Web Gets a Clearnet Search Engine Searching the deep web has traditionally been harder than with its clearnet counterpart. The absence of a darknet Google is arguably part of its appeal, making onion…

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days – What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days – What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

Regulation The Indian supreme court will hear all petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday. News.Bitcoin.com talked to the CEOs of several Indian exchanges to find out what they are expecting from the hearing, trader sentiment, their exchanges’ current trading volumes, and how they see the court’s ruling affecting the crypto community. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals The Beginning of the Journey All eyes in the Indian crypto community are on the supreme court (SC) hearing on Tuesday, September 11, when all petitions related to the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be heard. The country’s central bank issued a circular on April 6, banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses. In response to the ban, a number of crypto exchanges operating in India have come up with methods to allow users to continue to deposit and withdraw Indian rupees. Among them are Wazirx, Instashift, and Coindcx exchanges which offer services based on the exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) model. Wazirx’s CEO, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com: The SC hearing is not the end of the road but the beginning of the crypto journey in India…If the outcome is positive then it will definitely boost trading volumes. If the outcome is negative then I don’t think there would be much impact on the existing trading volumes. Rahul Chitale, CEO of Instashift, told news.Bitcoin.com that “The ruling will surely have some bearing and the SC’s views will shape a lot of the regulatory thinking, but it’s unlikely to have an immediate tactical impact.” Citing that similar regulatory hurdles are seen globally, he described: Crypto will continue to thrive regardless of the government view, like we have seen worldwide. Any ruling which forces the government to precipitate taking a view on this will only benefit crypto in India in the long run. Sumit Gupta, CEO of Coindcx, explained to news.Bitcoin.com that “All Indian exchanges and crypto traders are eyeing the SC ruling.” In the long run, however, he believes that “Indian traders will eventually find ways to invest in cryptocurrencies via some innovative channels.” Emphasizing that “a negative ruling will just shift users to P2P trading platforms,” he asserted: A…

Vitalik Buterin: Crypto, Blockchain Space Won’t See ‘1,000-Times Growth’ Again

Vitalik Buterin: Crypto, Blockchain Space Won’t See ‘1,000-Times Growth’ Again

There is no chance that the cryptocurrency and blockchain space will see “1,000-times growth” again, Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin stated in an interview with Bloomberg September 8. At an Ethereum and blockchain conference in Hong Kong, Buterin told Bloomberg that the rapid growth of crypto and blockchain industry is now reaching a “ceiling,” and is moving from “just people being interested” to the stage of “real applications of real economic activity.” Buterin explained that the period of explosive growth in the sphere is likely coming to an end because the level of superficial awareness about the industry has significantly grown, and is likely to plateau: “If you talk to the average educated person at this point, they probably have heard of blockchain at least once. There isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1,000-times growth in anything in the space anymore.” According to Buterin, the initial strategy seen over the past six or seven years in the crypto community – based on marketing coins with the goal of widespread adoption – has resulted in massive growth price and market capitalization of many cryptocurrencies, but that it is now “getting close to hitting a dead end.” Crypto markets have seen a dramatic decline in terms of total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies during 2018. In January, total market cap of all cryptocurrencies hit $828 billion point. The peak in total market cap has been followed by a gradual downturn – with a rebound upwards in May – that has led to the current figure of $198.8 billion, the lowest point since  early November 2017, according to CoinMarketCap. 1-year total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies chart. Source: CoinMarketCap However, while crypto markets have seen a significant decline in 2018, the current figures are still much more than those in the beginning of 2017, when total market capitalization stood at around $17-20 billion, and major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum were mostly trading below $1,000 and $12, respectively. In this regard, “Bitcoin Jesus” Roger Ver recently told Cointelegraph that the recent bear market “feels like the opposite of a crash,” since “BTC is up 58% for the last year, and 1048% for the last two years.” In the bearish marketplace, various experts have suggested different scenarios…

RBI Ban Hearing in Two Days – What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

RBI Ban Hearing in Two Days – What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

Regulation The Indian supreme court will hear all petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday. News.Bitcoin.com talked to the CEOs of several Indian exchanges to find out what they are expecting from the hearing, trader sentiment, their exchanges’ current trading volumes, and how they see the court’s ruling affecting the crypto community. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals The Beginning of the Journey All eyes in the Indian crypto community are on the supreme court (SC) hearing on Tuesday, September 11, when all petitions related to the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be heard. The country’s central bank issued a circular on April 6, banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses. In response to the ban, a number of crypto exchanges operating in India have come up with methods to allow users to continue to deposit and withdraw Indian rupees. Among them are Wazirx, Instashift, and Coindcx exchanges which offer services based on the exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) model. Wazirx’s CEO, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com: The SC hearing is not the end of the road but the beginning of the crypto journey in India…If the outcome is positive then it will definitely boost trading volumes. If the outcome is negative then I don’t think there would be much impact on the existing trading volumes. Rahul Chitale, CEO of Instashift, told news.Bitcoin.com that “The ruling will surely have some bearing and the SC’s views will shape a lot of the regulatory thinking, but it’s unlikely to have an immediate tactical impact.” Citing that similar regulatory hurdles are seen globally, he described: Crypto will continue to thrive regardless of the government view, like we have seen worldwide. Any ruling which forces the government to precipitate taking a view on this will only benefit crypto in India in the long run. Sumit Gupta, CEO of Coindcx, explained to news.Bitcoin.com that “All Indian exchanges and crypto traders are eyeing the SC ruling.” In the long run, however, he believes that “Indian traders will eventually find ways to invest in cryptocurrencies via some innovative channels.” Emphasizing that “a negative ruling will just shift users to P2P trading platforms,” he asserted: A…

Markets Update: Traders Uncertain of the Next Crypto Market Cycle

Markets Update: Traders Uncertain of the Next Crypto Market Cycle

Market Updates Cryptocurrency markets today are seeing a touch of recovery after digital asset prices suffered from some significant losses over the past few days. The entire virtual currency economy has consolidated just above the $200 billion mark, after dropping well below this threshold during Saturday evening’s trading sessions. Over the last seven days, each digital asset in the top ten (except for tether) has lost between 10-30 percent in value over the last seven days. Also read: The Darknet Cat and Mouse Game: Law Enforcement Gains More Traction  Cryptocurrency Markets Lose up To 30 Percent in a Week Last week wasn’t the greatest for cryptocurrency markets as a great majority of them have suffered deep losses. Today, on September 9, there’s a bit of recovery and consolidation taking place within a good portion of virtual currency markets. For instance, bitcoin core (BTC) prices dropped to a low of $6,094 last night, bitcoin cash (BCH) slid to $464, and ethereum (ETH) dropped to $187 per coin. But today is a different story as BTC has jumped back to $6,370, BCH $483, and ETH has risen to $202. The top ten digital assets today on Sunday, September 9, 2018. The top five cryptocurrency trade volumes today are BTC, USDT, ETH, EOS, and BCH. A large number of traders are focused on ethereum markets as they tumbled this week over 30 percent and ETH/USD shorts (bets against ETH) have reached an all-time high. The digital assets that took the least of the blows this week include BTC, XMR, and XML. Overall there really hasn’t been any horrible cryptocurrency news to justify the sliding prices but there also hasn’t been much positive news either to bring the opposite effect. Ethereum (ETH/USD) Shorts on Bitfinex skyrocket to all-time highs. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action Bitcoin cash (BCH) markets are down 3.9 percent over the last 24 hours and 23 percent over the last seven days. At the time of publication, one BCH is trading for $483 per coin with $325.6 million in daily trade volume. The top exchanges swapping the most bitcoin cash today include Lbank ($80.61M), Coinex ($47M), Okex ($40.16M), Huobi ($37.95M), and Bitforex ($32.61M). The biggest pair traded with bitcoin cash is tether (USDT), capturing 42.6 percent of…

43 Women Nominated for the Board of the Swiss Crypto Valley Association

43 Women Nominated for the Board of the Swiss Crypto Valley Association

News The Crypto Valley Association in Switzerland has decided to elect two female board members to diversify its male-dominated leadership. The vote scheduled for September 20 has attracted an unexpected number of nominations – 43. The women will fill similar roles to those of the current members, including co-chairing working groups and interacting with authorities and other organizations. Also read: Russia Developing Own Mining Pools Female Board Members to Have Same Responsibilities The Swiss Crypto Valley Association (CVA), a Zug-based organization working to promote the crypto and blockchain industry, has announced its decision to elect two women to its board. The move is aimed at breathing new life into the male-dominated leadership, Swissinfo reported, quoting the association. “The measure will be no mere window-dressing exercise,” said Leeanne Abapo Senn, member of CVA’s diversity taskforce, elaborating: We want to create a space that works for everyone rather than just carry on with the same old boys’ club and their cronies. Our objective is to elevate the dynamic women who have contributed to the Crypto Valley and to create a stronger, more inclusive ecosystem. The CVA also noted that the election of the women “will serve to strengthen the association through a diversity of perspectives, experience and skills.” The new board members will fill similar roles to those of their male colleagues. These include co-chairing working groups, interacting with other Swiss and foreign organizations, and receiving international delegations. They will take responsibilities related to presenting the CVA and Zug’s Crypto Valley at external events while supporting the association’s own local and international initiatives. CVA Board to Be Expanded to 7 Members The board membership will be expanded from five to seven during a general meeting scheduled for September 20. The two vacancies have attracted a surprisingly large number of nominations – 43. The vote comes after the reelection in June of four out of five board members, including the association’s president Oliver Bussmann. The election process drew criticism for insufficient transparency and lack of publicity. The only newly elected board member was also a man. Established last year, the Crypto Valley Association now unites more than 1,000 representatives of the crypto space and the blockchain industry, including companies, incubators, consultants, legal experts, and journalists aiming to express…

Crypto Trading 101: The Moving Average Crossover

Crypto Trading 101: The Moving Average Crossover

New to crypto trading? Read CoinDesk’s full set of guides. If simple moving averages are your game as a crypto-trader, it’s time to take it to the next level for this week’s Crypto 101 guide.  Last time, we discussed simple moving averages (SMAs), and in this segment, we will look at a strategy utilized by the moving-average elite – the “crossover”. By now you should have learned how moving averages function, their specific purpose and the strategy used to determine if the trend is actually at an end or about to make a reversal. If not, then you should take some more time to study,  getting to know the various ins and outs of SMA’s on different time frames. Moving on, the SMAs we discussed previously tend to move in relation to a set of data over a specified period of time, plotting a line on the chart that illustrates whether or not a trend is bearish or bullish – as well as the momentum behind certain price moves. Detailing the cross-over A moving average crossover occurs when two or more moving averages cross paths, confirming a shift in the market trend. They happen when large shifts in price action become manifest, pushing the lines up or down and, thus, causing them to cross. You can see these events in action through the image below: In the example, there are two simple moving averages (SMA’s) “crossing over” on multiple occasions, whereby the faster SMA (21-period) passed over or under the slower one (55-period), thus confirming a bullish or bearish signal. In the first example on the chart (left to right), we see how the 21-period SMA (white line) for bitcoin responded to a sharp move up in price crossing paths with the 55-period SMA (red line) from underneath. From there, it maintained its position below the candlesticks and above the 55-period SMA until they met again two weeks later. (Click here to learn why the two Fibonacci numbers were chosen.) Notice in the second example how the candlesticks pass below the lines after crossing, confirming the price has turned bearish and that it is a good time to exit long positions. This bearish trend lasted almost a month, from August 1 to August 23, during which time they met once…

EU Lawmaker Wants Standard Regulations to Allow ‘Passport’ for ICOs

EU Lawmaker Wants Standard Regulations to Allow ‘Passport’ for ICOs

A European lawmaker believes that new regulations for initial coin offerings (ICOs) are the key to making them more “accessible” within the European Union. Ashley Fox, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss proposed regulations that would set in place new rules for ICOs and, more specifically, the people and businesses that conduct them. Fox said that the rules would be voluntary for projects that engage in token sales, though he hopes that companies will want to abide by them if they are adopted. The MEP’s proposal would limit the proceeds for ICOs to 8 million euros, mandate know-your-customer/anti-money laundering rules, and provide token startups with access to the entire EU, he explained in an exclusive interview with CoinDesk. “What I’m aiming to do is bring transparency to ICOs, allowing intermediaries to perform the required due diligence. And the effect of this will be to provide an EU-wide law which gives a passport to the whole market,” he said.  As time goes by, he added, more companies may wish to be regulated under the framework. Fox went on to say: “ICOs can carry on, but if they don’t fill the [criteria], they won’t benefit. [Introducing the regulations] will give them a passport to the whole of the EU market, and I also think it increases transparency. Right now you have 28 countries, some have national rules for raising money and some don’t have any rules at all. If you raise money in France, for example, you can only use that money in France.” Banking boon? The benefit of Fox’s regulation, he contended, is that companies that do abide by the rules will have access to a wider market. Banks and other financial institutions in the European Union are also looking forward to the rules, said Lavan Thasarathakumar, a policy advisor to Fox and secretary to the Innovation Group. He said the group spoke to financial institutions and one of the issues that surfaced repeatedly was that of due diligence. If token projects adhere to stricter KYC/AML controls, banks may be more willing to provide services, though this is “by no means” a guarantee at present, he said. Indeed, banks are seemingly interested in holding cryptocurrencies directly, should the industry…