Bitcoin ATM Operator Coinsource Gets New York Regulator’s Green Light With ‘BitLicense’

Bitcoin ATM Operator Coinsource Gets New York Regulator’s Green Light With ‘BitLicense’

Bitcoin ATM operator Coinsource has been granted a virtual currency license, or ‘BitLicense,’ from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), according to a press release published Nov. 1. The regulator has thus given its formal seal of approval for New Yorkers to use cash to buy or sell Bitcoin (BTC) using Coinsource’s “Bitcoin Teller Machines (BTMs).” The Texas-based operator already deploys 40 such machines across the state – in New York City, Westchester and Nassau County – and is the first BTM operator to receive a NY virtual currency license. BTMs are touchscreen kiosks that enable customers to deposit cash and either buy Bitcoin – with the purchase synching automatically to their mobile wallet – or to scan their mobile wallet at the kiosk, sell their crypto, and withdraw cash. NYDFS has clarified that its decision followed upon a comprehensive and scrupulous review of Coinsource’s application and subjects the firm to significant regulatory conditions. These include implementing robust anti-money-laundering (AML), and counter-terrorism-financing (CFT) measures, as well as “risk-based controls” to prevent or respond to any “potential or actual wrongful use of Bitcoin.” The latter is defined (but not limited to) its use for illegal activity or market manipulation, the press release notes. Coinsource CEO Sheffield Clark has said the new license represents an opportunity for “all New Yorkers – from [the] unbanked to [those] who own the banks – [to] use our kiosks in […] neighborhood retail locations to buy bitcoin instantly in a convenient and familiar way.” In her statement, Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo placed a strong emphasis on “implementing strong regulatory safeguards” while fostering the “responsible growth of financial innovation.” As the press release outlines, NYDFS has proactively responded to bringing technology-based financial innovation under its regulatory purview, and has to date approved twelve charters or licenses for firms in the virtual currency sector. NYDFS has been a key player in the launch of a suite of new stablecoins this fall, including the U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin from blockchain trust company Paxos, and that of the Winklevoss Twins’, dubbed Gemini dollar, which both launched September 10.

Taiwan Passes Law to Crack Down on Anonymous Cryptocurrency Transactions

Taiwan Passes Law to Crack Down on Anonymous Cryptocurrency Transactions

Regulation The Taiwanese government has amended its laws that regulate cryptocurrency transactions. The revisions reportedly give the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission “the authority to crack down on anonymous virtual currency transactions.” Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space Amendments Passed The Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s highest legislative body, on Friday passed some amendments to existing laws aimed at regulating cryptocurrency transactions in the country, Focus Taiwan reported. The publication wrote: The amendments to the Money Laundering Control Act and the Terrorism Financing Prevention Act give Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) the authority to crack down on anonymous virtual currency transactions. In particular, “The FSC can now demand that operators of virtual currency platforms, including bitcoin, implement ‘real-name systems’ that require users to register their real names, according to the new provisions,” the news outlet detailed. Banks can now reject crypto exchanges’ transactions that are anonymous; they also have an obligation to report any suspicious transactions to the FSC, the publication added. According to the amended provisions, non-financial enterprises that violate money laundering rules will be fined more than 50,000 yuan ($7,256) but less than 1 million yuan. In contrast, financial institutions in violation of the rules will be fined more than 500,000 yuan but less than 10 million yuan, Ettoday reported. Taiwan’s Real-Name System Bitoex, a crypto exchange which claims to have 80 percent market share in Taiwan and 300,000 members, told news.Bitcoin.com that the exchange “has implemented the real-name system as of July 2018.” In addition, its international exchange, Bitopro, which launched early this year “also follows the real-name system when it involves fiat money deposits and withdrawals,” a representative of Bitoex elaborated, clarifying: Identities and bank verifications are required before purchasing BTC or other cryptocurrencies with New Taiwanese dollars (NTD). However, the representative noted that “Trading cryptocurrencies could be operated anonymously” if no fiat currency is involved. “For only cryptocurrency transactions such as receiving/transmitting or selling/trading cryptocurrencies, it is not mandatory to submit personal information to the real-name system.” Bitoex offers three account levels. Level C requires only an email and a phone number to open an account. Level B needs an ID card, a passport, or a foreign resident card for verification. Level A requires personal bank account information. The exchange also sells…

Lawyer Invests $300 Million to Build Crypto City in the Nevada Desert

Lawyer Invests $300 Million to Build Crypto City in the Nevada Desert

News Consumer protection lawyer Jeffrey Berns is the owner and CEO of Blockchains LLC, a company that bought more than 67,000 acres of land in northern Nevada for $170 million earlier this year. On Thursday, he revealed plans to build a crypto city in the desert, claiming to have invested $300 million to make it a reality. Also Read: Bitcoin Trader Faces Five Years in US Jail for Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business Welcome to Sandbox City Berns, who focused primarily on class action suits against big financial services companies during his law career, reportedly made a fortune by investing in Ethereum in 2015. Now he wants to give back to the crypto community and leave his mark on the world by establishing Sandbox City. The sprawling complex is meant to be a model for running a smart city with a decentralized blockchain infrastructure powering all interactions. It will house a high-tech park for ventures combining blockchain technology with artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing and nanotechnology. The planned city will include residential units for thousands of people to live in, alongside shops for commerce. The area will also host an esports arena and a studio for creating music, movies and games. A Friendly Bank and Nuclear Bunkers Besides giving developers a place to gather, and investors an attractive tax location, Blockchains LLC has a few more offers for the industry. According to the launch event speech by the CEO, he bought two decommissioned military bunkers in different parts of the United States in order to offer secure physical digital asset storage. For storage outside the U.S., the company also acquired a “fortress” under a granite mountain in Switzerland, and one in Sweden. Berns also said he bought a bank that he promises to make the most friendly fiat banking solution for the cryptocurrency ecosystem. He explained that he decided to take this move when his own bank blocked all his cards after he outed himself as a Coinbase customer in order to fight in court against the IRS demand for the exchange to hand over all client data. The company has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nevada’s electricity public utility, NV Energy, agreeing to work together on energy projects powered by blockchain technology. Does…

Developers Launch BDIP: A Bitcoin Cash Proposal Process for Decentralized Apps

Developers Launch BDIP: A Bitcoin Cash Proposal Process for Decentralized Apps

Technology & Security Over the last few months, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developers who created the Yenom wallet have been developing a lot of BCH applications and tools. On Nov. 3, the Yenom developer Shun Usami revealed a new proposition model for decentralized application development proposals called the Bitcoin Dapps Improvement Proposal (BDIP) standard. Also read: New Bitcoin Cash Stress Test Sees 700,000 Transactions in One Day Decentralized Application Proposals for Bitcoin Cash Since the introduction of re-enabled opcodes last May, Bitcoin Cash developers have been steadily working on applications like Memo.cash, Bitdb, and other platforms. Shun Usami from the BCH-centric wallet Yenom, revealed on Saturday a new scheme called the BDIP standard. The process is aimed at decentralized application (dapp) development using the BCH chain. BDIP is short for Bitcoin Dapps Improvement Proposal, and it’s a similar scheme to Ethereum’s EIP model, and Amir Taaki’s original BIP system created in 2011 for the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network. Essentially, the BDIP system is meant for characterizing new dapps built on the BCH network, alongside describing what the applications do and the platform’s associated processes. “The BDIP should provide a concise technical specification of the feature and a rationale for the feature,” the BDIP Github repository explains. “The BDIP author is responsible for building consensus within the community and documenting dissenting opinions.” The BDIP documentation also explains the rationale behind the standard. The developers believe the process is a suitable method to track decentralized applications built on the BCH chain. This way programmers and users can check the status of an implementation and maybe give feedback, check for issues, or see if the dapp software developers are active. The repository continues by stating:      For Bitcoin dapp implementers, BDIPs are a convenient way to track the progress of their implementation. Ideally, each implementation maintainer would list the BDIPs that they have implemented. This will give end users a convenient way to know the current status of a given implementation or library. The First BDIP According to the specifications, there are three types of BDIPs which include a standard track, an informational BDIP, and the described processes involved with the BCH application. The BDIP authors explain that a proposal must meet criteria and be fully descriptive of the application’s…

The Daily: Hodl Hodl Launches OTC Desk, Decentraland Votes on Land Sales

The Daily: Hodl Hodl Launches OTC Desk, Decentraland Votes on Land Sales

The Daily In this edition of The Daily, we cover the launch of an OTC trading desk by P2P exchange Hodl Hodl and news about a Belarusian exchange trading cryptocurrencies out of New York. We also take a look at Decentraland’s new voting platform that allows members of the community to express their opinions on future development of the virtual reality project. Also read: SEC Ramps Up Enforcement, 60% of Smart Contracts Are Dormant P2P Exchange Offers Non-Custodial OTC Trading Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange Hodl Hodl has launched an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk in partnership with Tenbagger, a brokerage company licensed in the European Union. The new platform will allow clients to buy and sell large amounts of cryptocurrency with same-day settlement. It will also operate independently from Hodl Hodl’s existing P2P platform that currently supports purchases and sales of BTC and LTC. Latvia-based Hodl Hodl has also developed a non-custodial cryptocurrency escrow service for the new OTC platform to ensure high level of security and transparency. According to an announcement on Medium, the exchange will create a unique multisig escrow account on the bitcoin core blockchain for each trade. Last month, the no-KYC trading platform introduced a new type of multisig escrow account for contracts that requires two out of three keys to make a release. The system provides buyers with more control over the funds locked in escrow – they have one of the keys while the other two belong to the seller and the exchange. Hodl Hodl also recently announced it’s working to offer peer-to-peer bitcoin futures contracts. Belarusians Launch US-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange A new cryptocurrency exchange, founded by Belarusian immigrants, is now offering trading services out of New York. The team behind Crexby insists theirs is the first major Belarusian project in the space since the decree “On the Development of the Digital Economy” signed by President Alexander Lukashenko entered into force on March 28 this year. “Crexby is a revolving door for Belarus to the outside world, and for the global community to Belarus,” they said, noting that in addition to providing exchange services, the platform can also facilitate the implementation of unique projects, from charity fundraising initiatives to attracting large investments to crypto-friendly Belarus. Crexby, whose office is registered at…

Bitcoin Cash Spikes 20 Percent in the Wake of Upcoming Hard Fork Backed by Binance

Bitcoin Cash Spikes 20 Percent in the Wake of Upcoming Hard Fork Backed by Binance

  Sunday, Nov. 4: crypto markets have seen a lot movement today, with most of the top 20 coins by market cap seeing significant growth, and with Bitcoin Cash (BCH) spiking almost 21 percent by press time. Market visualization from Coin360 Bitcoin Cash, the fourth top cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has grown sharply from $473 at the beginning of the day to as high as $573 as of press time, which is the highest trading point of the cryptocurrency over the past month. Trading around $420 for the most part of the week, Bitcoin Cash started this upward trend on Nov. 2. The fourth top coin is up around 30 percent over the past 7 days in the wake of the now-second largest global crypto trading platform Binance recent announcement of support for Bitcoin Cash’s upcoming hard fork. Bitcoin Cash 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Bitcoin Price Index While most top cryptos have seen an influx of gains, Bitcoin (BTC) is one of few coins that suffered some losses today. As of press time, the major cryptocurrency is down some 0.4 percent and trading at $6,327. The coin is down around 2.2 percent over the past 7 days, and Bitcoin’s dominance on the market has slightly dropped over the day from 53.3 percent to its current 52.5 percent. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Bitcoin Price Index Ethereum (ETH), the second cryptocurrency by market cap, is up almost 1.5 percent over the past 24 hours and trading at around $203 at press time. The coin is down around 0.7 percent over a 7 day period. Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ethereum Price Index Ripple (XRP), the third top cryptocurrency by market cap, is seeing similar gains, up around 1.3 percent and trading at $0.46. The cryptocurrency is balancing its weekly gains, up around 0.8 percent over the past 7 days. Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ripple Price Index Total market cap has seen a significant rebound up to about $209 billion at press time. Earlier this week, the total capitalization of crypto markets had dropped to as low as $201 billion. Daily trade volume has seen a sharp spike from yesterday’s $10 billion, amounting now to $13 billion. Total market capitalization chart. Source:…

Builders on Wall Street: Bitcoin Devs Host Lightning Hack Day

Builders on Wall Street: Bitcoin Devs Host Lightning Hack Day

It was described as “not a normal conference.” Sure, speakers took to the podium to present their futuristic ideas – a staple at the cryptocurrency space’s many, many conferences. But the Lightning Hackday, which took place in the heart of Wall Street on October 27th and 28th, was all-in-all more of a community-led endeavor with a heavy coding twist. Throughout the two-day event, a hackathon whirred in the background. Tiny computers called Raspberry Pis dotted the tables and developers murmured amongst themselves about how to tweak the rules of the system while also not disrupting the incentive schemes. This eclectic setup is maybe to be expected from a group of hackers building what they hope is the future of money. Bitcoin’s lightning network is still in its early stages, but many hope it will fix bitcoin’s biggest underlying problems – that it’s simply too slow and clunky, and so doesn’t scale well for a future of mass adoption – at least, that is, without the help of a second layer. “For those of you who don’t know, blockchains suck,” Chris Stewart, an engineer at blockchain data provider SuredBits, said when kicking off his talk. That said, he and other developers hope the lightning network will change that. Passions were so high, in fact, that it was hard to keep track of all the different projects on the floor. But one thing tied them all together – the interest in building for the technology’s potential as a payment mechanism for everyday purchases. Indeed, Lightning Labs engineer Alex Bosworth admitted that lightning’s “killer app” – what takes it mainstream – might be as simple as that. “I don’t know what the killer app is, maybe buying a cupcake is,” Bosworth told attendees during his talk. Ideas, man Bosworth, though suspects that the best ideas for using lightning haven’t even been created yet. For comparison, he argued that the early developers behind Linux, the popular open-source operating system, could never have guessed how far the code would go. “Were they thinking ‘Oh this will be deployed in a billion phones?” he said, implying that they probably didn’t – and couldn’t – have that kind of foresight when it was first deployed. As such, Bosworth told the developers to…

Why Blockchains Struggle to Gain Traction in Enterprises

Why Blockchains Struggle to Gain Traction in Enterprises

Paul Brody is EY’s global innovation leader for blockchain. The views expressed are his own. The Y2K program (does anyone remember that?) came about because software developers assumed, in the early days of computing, that newer, better enterprise systems would come along very soon and that their efficient two-digit date systems would be replaced long before the year 2000 came along. There were very few CIOs in those days, and many of them would have carefully explained to those efficient software developers that if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it, which often followed the corporate view on IT issues. You may think of CIOs as technology enthusiasts, and they are, but these days, IT systems are almost always mission-critical. Changing them out means accepting significant operational risk. While you can’t make a car with an electronic data interchange message, if those messages don’t go out or come in, there will be no raw materials for the manufacturing line to bolt together. As a result, risk management in large enterprises means that we can’t drop in blockchain technology wherever we see a good application. Processes that work at scale, even ones that don’t work particularly well, are still less risky than adopting new ones, especially if you need to bring a bunch of business partners along with you for the ride. When it comes to deploying blockchains in the enterprise, this means that some things that seem like obvious applications aren’t necessarily going to get traction. The most typical blockchain solution that doesn’t gain traction even though, on the surface, it seems like a great idea, is supplier collaboration. Blockchains are ideal for complex, multi-party solutions. Tokenization, in particular, is a powerful tool for managing supply chains because it means that each piece of inventory is subject to double-spend controls and reconciliation when it is tokenized. You may think that such things already happen today. They don’t. Enterprise double-spends While I cannot put money in your bank account without moving it from another one, it turns out that most enterprise IT systems will let me create inventory just about anywhere — and without reconciliation. Unloading raw materials off a truck? You can “receive” goods easily and because the trucking system and the enterprise are usually not…

Turkish Police Detain 11 Suspects in Bitcoin Theft Case

Turkish Police Detain 11 Suspects in Bitcoin Theft Case

News The cybercrime unit of the Turkish police has detained 11 people suspected of hacking into emails, user accounts and cryptocurrency wallets. The operation was launched after law enforcement received a number of complaints from victims who lost digital cash.   Also read: Church Mining Cryptocurrency to Pay Higher Electricity Rates               Hackers Steal $80,000 Worth of Cryptocurrency According to Turkish media, 14 people have informed authorities about their compromised cryptocurrency wallets. The coins have been transferred to other wallets and subsequently sold for fiat. Investigators discovered the hackers had stolen “bitcoins worth 437,000 Turkish lira” (over $80,000), the Daily Sabah reported. The cybercrime combatting division identified some of the suspects by tracking a new phone number they used to register on the trading platforms where they exchanged the cryptocurrency. The thieves moved the money through numerous accounts to cover their tracks, the Hürriyet newspaper detailed. On Oct. 26, agents from the unit detained 11 people at different addresses in Istanbul during joint raids with Polis Özel Harekat, the special operations department of the Turkish police. Currently, 10 of the accused remain in custody. Policemen also seized 18 mobile phones and SIM cards, 22 memory sticks, six laptops, three hard disks, a tablet, two driver’s licenses, and a fake identity card. During the investigation, police officers tracked the suspects who tried to withdraw the fiat money from various banks and ATMs. Their attempts have been recorded by multiple security cameras. Investigators are also looking for more victims of the hackers. In Turbulent Times, Turks Turn to Bitcoin Turkey, a country of around 80 million people and a regional powerhouse, has been through some rough times recently, in both economic and political terms. The country’s fiat currency, the lira, has been hit by hyperinflation and lost ground against the U.S. dollar ­– its value dropped by over 45 percent in the first seven months of this year. These developments convinced many Turks to seek refuge in cryptocurrencies from the lira, but also from the dollar. In August, BTC trading volumes on Turkish exchanges and peer-to-peer platforms like Localbitcoins spiked following rumors that banks in the country may discontinue support for USD accounts and calls from the government to get out of foreign currencies, especially the U.S. dollar.…

Pan-African Organization Launches Framework to Encourage Cryptocurrency Trade

Pan-African Organization Launches Framework to Encourage Cryptocurrency Trade

Emerging Markets On Nov. 2, the African Digital Asset Framework (ADAF) launched with a mandate to promote cryptocurrency commerce within the continent. Co-founder Felix Macharia said ADAF is an open-source software platform to create cross-border standards for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. It will also complement the African Union’s Single African Digital Market initiative, which leverages technology to stimulate digitized economic integration. Also Read: Brazli’s Tax Authority Goes After Cryptocurrency Profits ‘Digital Assets Know No Borders’ “ADAF was formed by organizations in the digital asset space who looked to harmonize standards and regulation in the space,” Macharia, who heads strategy at the Nairobi-based project, told news.Bitcoin.com. “Digital assets know no borders. If Africa is to benefit from the full potential of distributed ledger technologies and even from agreements around free trade, we must start drafting standards, legislation and regulations that are in line with this new reality,” he added. The framework, which is backed by ambassadors of the African Union, its member states and the African Development Bank (AfDB), marked its inception with a research and development paper on digitally-driven borderless commerce within the African continent and between its diaspora. The paper points to virtual currencies like bitcoin as key to enhancing economic integration within and beyond the continent, while actively developing strong legal and technological standards on the project’s open-source platform. Africa has an economic footprint across the globe through its diaspora, but trade between African countries accounts for only 11 percent of the continent’s collective gross domestic product. Africa’s inchoate intra-continental trade infrastructure is partially responsible for the great conundrum whereby some African countries earn a measly 5 percent royalty for their natural resources, according to pan-Africanist journalist Baffour Ankomah. ADAF to Spur Cross-Border Trade “Digital assets create a secure way for people to trade, peer-to-peer, across borders, enabling people to securely access and transfer items like currency, identities, land titles and votes over the internet,” ADAF said, in a separate online statement. Standards will be tabled, discussed, edited, and implemented on the ADAF platform, with a view to “encouraging digital asset ownership and value exchange in digital economies between Africans and its diaspora.” Felix Macharia Macharia stated that the platform, built around the idea of collective creation, will display technological codes and policy proposals for…