Shapeshift Moves to Membership Model Requiring User Information

Shapeshift Moves to Membership Model Requiring User Information

Exchanges Non-custodial crypto trading platform Shapeshift has introduced a membership program which will soon be mandatory. CEO Erik Voorhees explains that his exchange will have to begin collecting basic personal information of its users, and there will be five membership levels. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals Shapeshift Membership Mandatory Soon Shapeshift’s founder and CEO, Erik Voorhees, announced on Tuesday the launch of Shapeshift Membership. “Shapeshift Membership is a loyalty program,” he described, adding that the benefits depend on the membership level which “may include higher trading limits, rewards on trading volume, better pricing, private market and trade data, and early access to new coins, products and services.” The CEO elaborated: Today, membership is optional, but it will become mandatory soon…Membership requires basic personal information to be collected. On its website, Shapeshift emphasizes that without user personal information, it “would not be able to offer higher order limits and would not be able to serve as many jurisdictions.” The change will also affect integrated wallet services. Replying to a Twitter user’s question, “If Shapeshift membership will soon become mandatory, how does this affect in-wallet exchanges” such as Jaxx and Exodus? Shapeshift explained: If you are using a wallet that integrates with Shapeshift, you will need to authenticate once through the wallet to enjoy the benefits of your membership and to then use the http://shapeshift.io service. Users Express Disapproval Soon after Voorhees’ announcement, many industry participants stormed Twitter to comment on the change. Among them was Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd. He quickly predicted, “Shapeshift bites the dust.” Another Twitter user said he used the exchange because of the “Lack of AML/KYC [anti-money laundering/know your customer].” However, with Shapeshift “getting AML/KYC bullshit,” he declared, “Guess there’s no reason to use Shapeshift anymore. The only reason to gather data is to whore it to other vendors…and potentially lose it to hackers.” A third Twitter user commented, “thanks for all you’ve done @Shapeshift_io, but I’ll [be] using another service from now on. You have destroyed your primary use-case.” Why Shift to Membership Model Voorhees detailed three driving forces for his platform’s shift from being “the exchange without accounts” to an account-based model. Erik Voorhees. Firstly, he claims that many users have requested account-related features…

EU Lawmakers Weigh ‘Standard’ for ICOs Under Crowdfunding Rules

EU Lawmakers Weigh ‘Standard’ for ICOs Under Crowdfunding Rules

Members of the European Parliament held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss a proposal that, if approved, would create new regulations on initial coin offerings (ICOs) held within the economic bloc. The All-Party Innovation Group within the EU Parliament met to examine the potential benefits and issues with rules for ICOs that would form part of a wider crowdfunding framework. As CoinDesk previously reported, the proposal was written by Ashley Fox, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Fox called for an 8 million euro cap on token sale proceeds as well as know-your-customer/anti-money laundering requirements. Perhaps more significantly, if the regulations are adopted by the European Parliament, it could create a standard for token sales, allowing projects to raise funds and conduct business in any of the 28 member-nations. “Be assured, that as legislators we’re trying to make ICOs more possible and more successful, that certainly is our objective,” Fox remarked. France Digitale managing director Nicolas Brien said during the meeting that “there is an emergency to act” to create such a standard, explaining that “the market wants legitimization … from every jurisdiction. In the UK it’s particularly bad, none of the banks will bank you if you have crypto.” Brien went on to explain: “Having the certainty, but also having that legitimization, I actually welcome having a European-wide proposal because it gives people the certainty to know. I think we need to be clear whether this is a utility token or a transferable security, or how the regulator regime looks at that, but I think this can be done because an ICO is another form of crowdfunding. It’s different, but it is a form of crowdfunding.” That said, the meeting also saw many of the representatives and regulators highlight the need for stricter scrutiny of ICOs, given the prevalence of scams that employ the blockchain funding model. Laura Royle of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that “we certainly do see a huge potential benefit in this space for firms to raise capital from a broad array of investors and without the cost of an intermediary, but there are risks associated [such as] the potential for fraud, with a lack of transparency and the volatility.” The FCA, in particular, has seen a “high…

Crypto Mining Accepted as an Industry by Iranian Authorities

Crypto Mining Accepted as an Industry by Iranian Authorities

The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Cyberspace Council revealed that various ministries of the country’s government have accepted crypto mining as an industry, local news agency IBENA reports September 4. According to the report, the Cyberspace Council’s secretary Abolhassan Firoozabadi stressed that the mining of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) has been approved as an industry by major government authorities. However, official legislation forming a legal framework for the industry has yet to be introduced in the country. Firoozabadi said that crypto mining has been accepted as an industry by Iran’s major authorities, including the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, the Ministry of Energy, as well as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance. Firoozabadi stated that the Iranian National Cyberspace Center is developing a platform for cryptocurrency mining regulation. He added that the government is also considering the launch of a national cryptocurrency in order to create a financial tool to cooperate with Iranian business partners amid economic pressure from U.S. sanctions. The secretary reportedly claimed that the relevant authorities will introduce a regulatory framework for crypto-related startups and firms in late September. In late August, Iran’s National Cyberspace Center revealed that the draft of the state-backed cryptocurrency project is ready, following instructions from President of Iran Hassan Rouhani. At that time, the deputy director in charge of drafting regulations for Iran’s Supreme Cyberspace Council claimed that the idea of launching a national cryptocurrency is being actively pursued.

Abra CEO: SEC Denies Bitcoin ETFs Because Applicants Do Not Fit Industry Archetype

Abra CEO: SEC Denies Bitcoin ETFs Because Applicants Do Not Fit Industry Archetype

The reason the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has insofar denied crypto exchange traded funds (ETFs) is because the crypto industry does not fit the applicant archetype, according to the CEO of crypto payment startup Abra, CNBC reported September 4. Speaking in an interview with CNBC’s “The Coin Rush,” Bill Barhydt suggested that the SEC has rejected crypto ETF applications because “people who are doing the applications don’t fit mold of who the SEC is used to approving.” Barhydt said that in order to receive approval for an ETF, there should be an applicant who “looks, feels and smells” the way the SEC expects them to. He further noted that a trusted financial organization has better chances to get approval than a startup or a relatively unknown company. Barhydt predicted that the SEC will finally approve a Bitcoin (BTC) ETF next year: “It’s going to happen in the next year, I would actually make a bet on it. There is too much demand for it.” Barhydt’s statements follow some widely publicized rejections of Bitcoin ETF applications. In July, the SEC denied an appeal for the application of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund by brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. On August 7, the regulator postponed its decision on the listing and trading of a BTC ETF from investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX until September 30. Last month, Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead suggested that a BTC ETF would take “quite a long time,” saying that crypto adoption was still in its early stages. Morehead noted that the most recent asset that gained approval from the SEC for ETF certification was copper, a metal that “has been on earth for 10,000 years.” Bitcoin is trading at $7,377 at press time, up more than 1 percent on the day, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index.

Africa and its Antiquated Banking: Cryptocurrencies The Solution?

Africa and its Antiquated Banking: Cryptocurrencies The Solution?

Op-Ed Africa has steadily accelerated the switch to modern technologies. But can a continent facing a crisis with antiquated banking technologies, low rate of financial inclusion, poor confidence in the banking system, and high remittance costs become the new battleground for blockchain or cryptocurrency-centred settlements? Also read: Square’s Big Week: Crypto Patent, Shares Leap, and Lightning Plug From Algeria to South Africa, Uganda to Nigeria, Africa Is A Potpourri Of Ideas The continent’s booming technological advancement is reflected in the rapid growth of mobile phone use, both as a means of payment and as a bank account. With more than 100 million active users of mobile money, transacting about $2.1 billion each year, according to McKinsey & Company, Africa is a global leader in mobile-based financial settlements.South AfricaThe country is Africa’s second biggest economy after Nigeria, with a Gross Domestic Product of $350 billion, according to the International Monetary Fund. In South Africa, cryptocurrencies are growing in popularity. Google Trends indicates that the highest number of bitcoin searches in the world occur in the Southern African country. About 50 percent of South Africans plan to put some into cryptocurrencies, says a 2018 survey by Mybroadband. The economy, Africa’s most sophisticated, is home to a number of digital currency exchanges – including Luno, which operates in 40 countries worldwide – allowing people to buy and sell digital coins like bitcoin in the local Rand currency. Domestic financial companies are now starting to step into the space. Asset management firm Sygnia has announced plans to open an exchange called Sygnia Coin during the last three months of this year. A litany of start-ups riding on the distributed ledger technology are emerging, including the Johannesburg-based Tari Labs, a blockchain incubator, headed by Monero’s Riccardo Spagni. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has pilot tested an inter-bank settlement system code named Project Kohka, which runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Aiming to speed up payments, the system is understood to have performed “exceedingly well” during simulated trials for real-time gross settlements between banking institutions. The SARB does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender, urging caution in their trade. The country’s revenue authority, however, has announced that profits made from cryptocurrency transactions will be taxed in accordance with the South African…

MEGA Chrome Extension Compromised to Steal Users’ Monero

MEGA Chrome Extension Compromised to Steal Users’ Monero

The MEGA Chrome extension version 3.39.4 has been compromised and can now steal user’s Monero in addition to other sensitive information, according to recent posts on Twitter and Reddit. MEGA Chrome extension is a tool that claims to improve browser performance by reducing page loading times, in addition to providing a secure cloud storage service. The official Twitter account of Monero (XMR) posted a warning, advising XMR holders to steer clear of MEGA. PSA: The official MEGA extension has been compromised and now includes functionality to steal your Monero: https://t.co/vzWwcM9E5k— Monero || #xmr (@monero) September 4, 2018 Another user tweeted that, in addition to Monero, the extension could also steal sensitive user data.  !!! WARNING !!!!!!! PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!! LATEST VERSION OF MEGA CHROME EXTENSION WAS HACKED. Version: 3.39.4 It catches your username and password from Amazon, GitHub, Google, Microsoft portals!! It could catch #mega #extension #hacked@x0rz pic.twitter.com/TnPalqj1cz— SerHack (@serhack_) September 4, 2018 Redditor u/gattacus posted on Monero’s official Reddit page that they became suspicious of foul play following a request for new permission following an extension update: “There was an update to the extension and Chrome asked for new permission (read data on all websites). That made me suspicious and I checked the extension code locally (which is mostly javascript anyways). MEGA also has the source code of the extension on github […] There was no commit recently. To me it looks either their Google Webstore account was hacked or someone inside MEGA did this. Pure speculation though.” At press time, the MEGA Chrome extension was unavailable for download on the Chrome Webstore. Clicking the link for the extension resulted in a 404 error. XMR, which — despite some claims to the contrary — is lauded as a private and “untraceable” cryptocurrency, has been the target of illicit and illegal activities in the crypto space. In several instances, cryptojackers have used the computer power of web visitors to secretly mine XMR. In June, a McAfee report found 2.9 million samples of coin miner malware, which works by using Coinhive code — a program designed to mine XMR on a web browser. In September last year, Cointelegraph reported that a group of Russian hackers installed crypto mining malware on 9,000 computers over the course of…

Belgium Warns of 28 New Fraudulent Crypto Platforms – 78 in Total

Belgium Warns of 28 New Fraudulent Crypto Platforms – 78 in Total

Regulation Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has published a list of cryptocurrency platforms showing signs of fraud. The list currently contains 78 crypto platforms, including 28 platforms added on Tuesday. Despite warnings, the FSMA continues to receive complaints from consumers about these crypto firms. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals FSMA’s New Warning Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) announced Tuesday, September 4, that it has “updated its list of cryptocurrency trading platforms regarding which it has received questions/complaints from consumers and vis-à-vis which it has identified signs of fraud.” The agency wrote: Despite its earlier warnings the FSMA continues to receive new complaints of consumers who have invested in cryptocurrencies through these trading platforms. Hence, the FSMA repeats its warning against the fraudsters behind those platforms who are using cryptocurrencies to swindle consumers. The agency started keeping a list of crypto trading platforms showing signs of fraud in February. Currently, there are 78 platforms on the list, including the latest 28 which the agency added on Tuesday. Fraudsters “try to attract customers online through fake cryptocurrencies and huge profits,” the agency noted, emphasizing that “the only thing they actually do, however, is take the customers’ money and disappear. It is as simple as that.” 28 New Crypto Platforms Showing Fraudulent Signs The 28 new platforms the ESMA warned about are 1st-cryptobank.com, bitc-international.com, boursebitcoin.com, ccg-investment.com, crownmanagers.com, crypto.bnd-group.com, crypto-access.com, cryptofrancecapital.com, cryptorama-bank.com, cryptos-marketplace.com, cryptowallet24.com, e-cryptoney.com, ecrypto-international.com, emarketstrade.com, executivecrypto.com, fair-oakscrypto.com, fast-coin.eu, globalmarkets-group.com, ldc-crypto-com, lgsinvestpartners.com, london-exchange.com, minedecrypto.com, mondial-investissement.com, placementcrypto.com, primecryptobank.com, truetrade-capital.com, vechain-wallet.com, and wallet-coins.com. The financial watchdog emphasized: This list of cryptocurrency trading platforms is based solely on the findings of the FSMA, in particular as a result of consumers’ reports. As such, it does not include all the companies which might be operating unlawfully in Belgium in that sector. Many fraudulent platforms “claim to be active in the cryptocurrency trade,” the agency noted. However, after investing in cryptocurrencies through these platforms, consumers either “never recover the funds invested,” or “they simply have heard nothing further from the company after investing their money.” Furthermore, the FSMA added that “some of these platforms also offer other financial products with cryptocurrencies as underlying asset,” such as “savings accounts with supposedly guaranteed returns, servicing rights…

Iran Officially Recognizes Cryptocurrency Mining

Iran Officially Recognizes Cryptocurrency Mining

Economy & Regulation As economic sanctions start to bite, Iran is now looking to cryptocurrencies to ease the damage. The world’s third-largest oil-producer seeks to follow in the footsteps of Venezuela, which has issued an oil-backed digital currency called the Petro. But can Iran succeed where Venezuela is ostensibly faltering? Also read: As Zimbabweans Struggle for Cash, Even the Country’s Only Bitcoin ATM Has Run Dry Iran to Start Mining Cryptocurrencies in Three Weeks Iran has agreed to officially recognize the mining of cryptocurrencies as an industry and the Central Bank of Iran, which oversees foreign exchange and monetary policy, will draft a policy framework for the industry in the next 18 days. The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, told IBENA – a specialized news agency in banking and economy which is affiliated to the Central Bank of Iran – that deepening the use of cryptocurrencies is envisaged to smoothen trade between Tehran and its partners, especially in the wake of renewed US sanctions. According to IBENA, Firouzabadi stressed that mining of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin had “been accepted as an industry in the government and all related organisations..” These include the government’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Central Bank, Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade, Ministry of Energy, as well and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance. “But the final policy for legislating it (crypto mining) hasn’t been declared yet,” said IBENA. Could Digital Currencies be Used Against Sanctions? Washington, which recently decided to walk away from the nuclear deal that was signed by the Obama administration, imposed new sanctions that are designed to cut oil sales from Iran, the economy’s lifeblood. Iran is the world’s third-largest oil producer within OPEC after Saudi Arabia and Iraq. However, the Middle East country hopes to leverage on cryptocurrencies to compensate for the expected squeeze in petrodollars. Iran will not be the first country to try and use cryptocurrencies to deflate the effect of economic sanctions. Venezuela in February issued a digital currency of its own called the petro, which is claimed to be backed by oil. But the petro appears to have run into trouble. Recent media reports suggest that the currency has found no takers, and the oil that was meant to…

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 4

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 4

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision. The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Along with the traditional safe havens like gold, the U.S. dollar, and the Japanese Yen, cryptocurrencies have also made their presence felt in Turkey and Venezuela, which are reeling from economic crises. The increased volume of trading during moments of crisis in these nations shows that when the next major economic crisis hits the world, demand for cryptocurrencies will skyrocket, pushing prices higher. China and the U.S. are on the verge of a trade war, which is detrimental to the global economy. If not controlled, it can balloon into a full-blown crisis. Therefore, we believe this will put a floor beneath digital currencies. With most governments and regulators keeping an eye on cryptocurrency markets, we do not expect a vertical rally. Prices are likely to rise gradually, which is good for the long-term growth of virtual currencies. BTC/USD Bitcoin has continued its journey northwards, closing in on the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement level which might act as resistance. Both moving averages are trending up, which shows that the bulls are in command. A bullish crossover will provide further strength to the current rally. The virtual currency will lose momentum if it breaks below the trendline. The 20-day EMA will act as a strong support for any declines. The BTC/USD pair can rally to $8,000 and above it to the top of the range at $8,566.40. Traders can hold their long positions but raise the stops to breakeven. The virtual currency will turn negative if it sinks below the $6,955.79 level. ETH/USD Ethereum has been trading inside the symmetrical triangle since August 11. It will start the next move after breaking out or breaking down from the triangle. On the upside, the ETH/USD pair will face selling at the downtrend line and then at the $358 level. Though the 20-day EMA has turned flat, the 50-day SMA is still trending down. The virtual currency has not convincingly broken out of the 50-day SMA since May 24, and as such,…

Bittrex to Delist Bitcoin Gold Over 51% Attack

Bittrex to Delist Bitcoin Gold Over 51% Attack

News Over the last nine months, news.Bitcoin.com has reported on the many misfortunes the project Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has experienced. The forked protocol has been mired with issues and controversy since the day the project was announced will be delisted from the exchange Bittrex. The Seattle-based trading platform says they lost over 12,000 BTG during the network’s 51% attack, and the firm had asked the BTG development team to compensate them for the loss. Also Read: New Information Heightens Satoshi Nakamoto Mystery      The Bitcoin Gold Project’s Constant Dilemmas At news.Bitcoin.com we’ve reported on Bitcoin Gold (BTG), a fork of Bitcoin Core (BTC) numerous times, as the project has constantly been the center of many controversies. The project was first announced as a BTC fork that would attempt to be ‘ASIC resistant‘ by utilizing a consensus algorithm called Equihash. Unfortunately for the team, the project has been plagued with constant issues and contentious announcements like the development team choosing to claim a pre-mine before launch. Then there were third-party wallets that allegedly stole people’s keys, and of course, the cryptocurrency’s horrendous market performance since BTG started trading. Then, this past May it was discovered that Bitcoin Gold was not so ASIC resistant as the network was manipulated in a 51% attack. Bittrex to Delist BTG Because of the 51% Attack Of course, the development team vowed to fork the currency so it could change the consensus algorithm to be ‘ASIC resistant’ and the protocol was changed, but exchanges had lost a lot of money due to the 51% attack. Numerous exchanges including Binance, Bitinka, Bitfinex, Bittrex, Bithumb, and Hitbtc lost funds and the hack resulted in a total loss of around 388,000 BTC or $18M USD at the time of the hack. Bittrex lost approximately 12,372 BTG and asked the BTG development team to compensate the firm for the losses, according to the BTG organization. “We regret to inform our community that the crypto exchange Bittrex has decided to de-list BTG after we declined to pay them 12,372 BTG to remain listed,” explains the BTG team. “Bittrex informed us that they make this decision because the BTG team would not “take responsibility for our chain,” and that taking responsibility meant paying Bittrex 12,372 BTG to cover…