Coinbase Returns to Wyoming After Successfully Renewing Money Transmitter License

Coinbase Returns to Wyoming After Successfully Renewing Money Transmitter License

U.S. crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has been given the green light from regulators to resume its services in the state of Wyoming, according to an official announcement published August 3. The exchange has now reportedly successfully renewed its money transmitter license in the state of Wyoming. The license had been suspended as of mid-2014 due to stipulations in state law that required all exchanges to “double reserve” the digital assets of state residents with fiat currency. As Coinbase outlined at the time, the exchange had chosen to suspend its services as soon as its operations as a cryptocurrency exchange were deemed by legislators to fall subject to certain conditions for licensure stipulated under the Wyoming Money Transmitters Act (specifically, Chapter 22 of Title 40 – Trade and Commerce, which was introduced in the Wyoming Statutes of 2011 and came into effect by 2014). According to Coinbase, the Act had hitherto been interpreted by the Wyoming Division of Banking as requiring “licensees [to] maintain dedicated fiat currency reserves in amount equal to the aggregate face value of all bitcoin [sic.] held on behalf of customers,” something the exchange found to be “impractical, costly, and inefficient.” Having now resumed its services for Wyoming residents, Coinbase credits the state legislature, Governor Matt Mead and members of the Blockchain Task Force with enabling a new bill to be signed into state law that has now effectively removed these restrictions.   As Cointelegraph reported in March, House Bill 19 regarding the exemption of virtual currencies from the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act was passed with a majority of 28-3 by the Wyoming state legislature on March 5 of this year, allowing Coinbase to apply for a license under which it can resume operations as a compliant and regulated exchange. Alongside House Bill 19, Wyoming has also this March passed House Bill 70 that exempts certain blockchain tokens from securities regulations and money transmission laws, as well as passing a further cryptocurrency related bill, Senate Bill 111, in February that exempts virtual currencies from state property taxation.

Indian State Partners with Mahindra to Build ‘Blockchain District’

Indian State Partners with Mahindra to Build ‘Blockchain District’

A state government in India is working with a multinational IT services giant to build a district within the state capital dedicated to blockchain startups. The IT department of the Telangana state government on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tech Mahindra, a publicly listed firm with headquarters in India, that will see the two teaming up to build what they claim will be the country’s first “blockchain district.” Economic Times reported that the blockchain district will occupy an area inside Hyderabad – the state’s capital city – with physical buildings to house and incubate blockchain startups from India as part of the government’s push to advance the tech’s development. According to business news outlet Inc24, the state government will be primarily responsible for building the infrastructure of the new district and providing policy and regulatory support for blockchain startups. Tech Mahindra, on the other hand, will offer expertise focused on blockchain ecosystem and technological skills. According to an announcement on Friday, Tech Mahindra is also working on developing  a blockchain platform tailor-made for startups in the country, called Eleven01 protocol. As previously reported by CoinDesk, the IT giant has also been working with overseas blockchain startups to bring solutions to the Indian market. The blockchain district marks the latest effort by an Indian state to advance blockchain development with government-backed initiatives. Telangana’s neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh previously signed an agreement with a fund to start development of a blockchain ecosystem as part of the state’s Fintech Valley Vizag initiative. Meanwhile, both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have also been exploring blockchain technology to digitally rework their land registries, as previously reported by CoinDesk. Hyderabad image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Say Hello to SmartDrops: The New Way to Give Away Crypto Money

Say Hello to SmartDrops: The New Way to Give Away Crypto Money

Are airdrops useful? While the jury’s still out about the mechanism, used of late to massively distribute crypto tokens to those who already own cryptocurrencies, several industry observers and startups already believe it could be done better. The concept of “smartdrops” seems to have garnered some attention after a July Medium post by Yeoman’s Capital founder and long-time industry investor David Johnston. In it, Johnston encouraged blockchain startups to eschew what has become a standard approach to airdrops – dumping tokens to everybody with an ethereum address – for a more targeted approach. In practice, Johnston told CoinDesk this means, “intelligently targeting the recipients of an airdrop and giving away a meaningful amount of value,” with the objective of attracting real users to participate in “the early bootstrapping of a system.” And this newly minted alternative seems to be gaining steam. For instance, there’s already some precedence to this approach. In fact, Johnston says in his Medium post that he merely recorded best practices and gave “substance to this idea that a lot of people have,” specifically pointing to projects Dfinity and Polymath as examples of projects that have conducted smartdrops. Sure enough, in June, Dfinity announced plans to airdrop $35 million worth of its tokens to community members that undergo (and pass) a know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) verification process. Likewise, new companies have emerged to facilitate these improved airdrops. Crypto token management company TRM Labs, for example, recently launched a platform (dubbed SmartDrops of course) that allows projects to distribute tokens to select users and offers issuers analytics. Just like Johnston, it appears many crypto stakeholders have high hopes for the new and improved airdrop and think the method could resolve issues associated with other token distribution methods, namely initial coin offerings (ICOs) that have been under regulatory scrutiny and seen industry criticism since its explosion in use. These projects often have a hard time attracting the “bootstrappers” Johnston refers to, and their tokens frequently become objects of speculation more so than objects of utility. “Most airdrops are really about giving a token to speculative investors so that they’ll go cash it out on an exchange. It’s really about trying to demonstrate to exchanges, ‘hey we’ve got a lot of wallets, we’re going to bring you a lot…

Bank of Thailand Green-Lights Financial Companies for Crypto Activities

Bank of Thailand Green-Lights Financial Companies for Crypto Activities

Regulation Thailand’s central bank has announced the rules under which financial institutions, including commercial banks, and their subsidiaries can engage in cryptocurrency activities. They include securities, asset management, and insurance firms. This follows the country’s crypto regulatory framework that went into effect last month. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space New Circular, New Rules Thailand’s central bank, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), issued a circular dated August 1 to all financial institutions in the country, informing them of its new crypto policies. Part of the Bank of Thailand’s August 1 circular. Citing that the country now has a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO), the BOT canceled its previous circular issued in February. At that time, the central bank asked financial institutions to refrain from getting involved in certain types of crypto activities. In its new circular, the Bank of Thailand outlines the conditions under which financial institutions and their subsidiaries can now engage in activities involving cryptocurrencies and digital tokens. The rules can be divided into two broad categories: those that apply to financial institutions and those that apply to their subsidiaries. Rules for Subsidiaries Within a financial institution’s group of companies, there are usually subsidiaries offering financial products and services such as brokerage, asset management, insurance, and life insurance. These companies have their own regulatory bodies. For example, brokerage firms comply with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) whereas insurance firms comply with the Thai Office of Insurance Commission (OIC). The BOT says these companies are now permitted to engage in crypto businesses including issuing digital tokens and investing in cryptocurrencies, providing they follow the rules set by their respective regulators. New subsidiaries wanting to engage in crypto activities, however, must apply for approval from the BOT through their parent companies. They will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The parent companies must be responsible for overseeing and managing the overall risks associated with the proposed crypto activities for the whole group and at individual subsidiaries. The central bank explains that they must also ensure that the subsidiaries follow regulatory guidelines including anti-money laundering (AML), combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), IT security, and consumer protection. Rules for Financial Institutions The rules for financial institutions, which…

Coinbase Seeks Online Merchant Crypto Adoption by the Millions

Coinbase Seeks Online Merchant Crypto Adoption by the Millions

News Adoption news keeps flowing this week, from Wall Street to Australia, and now San Francisco. The United States largest cryptocurrency bank, Coinbase, announced it is expanding its commerce section to include Woo Commerce via a plugin downloadable from Github. It could be just what more online merchants need to get comfortable with cryptocurrency. Also read: Bitcoiners Hope to Have a Friend in Top US Regulator Jay Clayton Coinbase Seeks Online Merchant Crypto Adoption by the Millions More than a quarter of all online merchants use Woo Commerce. It’s easily one of the most popular payment platforms around. This week, Coinbase announced it is releasing a Woo Commerce plugin as part of its proprietary Coinbase Commerce offering which can be downloaded from Github. Coinbase Commerce is itself a payment solution focusing on getting more online merchants to use cryptocurrency. Woo Commerce businesses will “have access to cryptocurrency payments from customers around the world,” Coinbase stressed. “This increased access will lead to more widespread adoption, and ultimately, moves us closer to our goal of an open financial system.”At present, ethereum and bitcoin cash (BCH) are still being tested on the platform, but users who hold bitcoin core (BTC) and litecoin can send theirs from Coinbase Commerce. The team is working on building similar functionality for bitcoin cash and ethereum. Huge Market Merchants who use the payment button React now have the option of embedding Coinbase functionality as well. The San Francisco-based crypto bank is also incorporating programming languages such as Python, and are said to even be considering Ruby. The idea seems to be keeping merchants happy by not asking them for acceptance payment fees.  These are just a scant few moves Coinbase has been making as a unit this year. They are now involved with institutional financial products, and are launching a crypto index fund, gobbling up licenses such as the Bitlicense, have purchased Paradax exchange, and are plotting a move into Japan. The payment processing market is a giant one. All the proof anyone would need to measure just how huge is, say, the recent announcement by Wall Street and its entrance into all things retail with Bakkt (includes Microsoft and Starbucks). And while the space is getting crowded a bit, Coinbase has a…

Coinbase Resumes Service in Wyoming After License Renewal

Coinbase Resumes Service in Wyoming After License Renewal

The San Fransisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is offering services again to residents living in the U.S. state of Wyoming. The exchange published a blog post on Saturday that it has renewed its money transmitter license in Wyoming, marking a long-waited return since Coinbase abruptly pulled out from the state three years ago. As previously reported by CoinDesk, Coinbase announced in June 2015 that it would be costly and impractical to continue its services in Wyoming after state regulators clarified the company fell under its Money Transmitter Act. The Act required at the time that Coinbase must “double reserve” state residents’ assets – meaning holding fiat currency reserves for all crypto assets held on consumer’s behalf – in order to renew the money transmitter license. However, the Cowboy State passed a notable bill in March of this year that amended the Money Transmitter Act to provide an exemption for virtual currency. As Coinbase explained in the blog post, the regulatory change means “cryptocurrency companies in Wyoming are no longer required to double reserve the assets of state residents.” With the license renewal, Coinbase said Wyoming customers can regain access to funds stored in their accounts to continue trading and using cryptocurrencies. “We believe this action by Wyoming will spur innovation and economic activity for individuals, families and communities across the state,” the company said. Wyoming image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Chinese Investor Sues Okcoin Over 38.748 ‘Unclaimed’ BCH

Chinese Investor Sues Okcoin Over 38.748 ‘Unclaimed’ BCH

News A cryptocurrency investor has brought a lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange Okcoin regarding 38.748 BCH. The plaintiff accuses the exchange of failing to allow him to claim the Bitcoin Cash that were created following last year’s fork, to which the exchange allegedly responded that he had failed to claim the coins within an apparently undisclosed deadline. Also Read: P2P Markets Report: Selling Drives Upswing in Emerging Markets’ Volume First Chinese Lawsuit Pertaining to Bitcoin Fork Filed Against Okcoin A Chinese bitcoin investor has filed a lawsuit against Okcoin in what Legalweekly has described as the first Chinese suit pertaining to last year’s bitcoin fork. According to the publication, the plaintiff, who is known by the pseudonym Feng Bin, alleges that “at the beginning of December 2017,” upon attempting to withdraw the 38.748 BCH corresponding to his BTC balance held with the exchange at the time of the fork, Feng Bin “found that there was no ‘button’ to extract the [BCH] that the platform promised.” Plaintiff Claims No Deadline Was Given for Okcoin Users to Claim BCH Feng Bin claims that after contacting the company to report the issue, Okcoin responded by stating that “The claim ‘button’ was a program that automatically executed BCH input to user’s account. You cannot claim BCH anymore as the program has been removed from our platform. If you didn’t withdraw it at that time, it will be impossible to make later withdrawal,” despite the company’s announcement on August 1st, 2017, stating: “If you hold bitcoins on the platform, the platform will give users Bitcoin cash equal ownership in accordance with the user.” “I have been paying attention to the announcement of the Okcoin currency release. In all the announcements, there is no declaration of the deadline for receipt and the removal of the program,” Feng stated. Plaintiff Seeks Reparations for Inability to Sell BCH During Price Peak Mr. Feng is also seeking reparations for the “losses” caused as a result of being unable to sell his BCH at peak prices. As such, the plaintiff is seeking 169,969.22 yuan (approximately $25,000 USD in total). Okcoin has reportedly questioned the legitimacy of Mr. Feng’s claim to the holdings, purportedly describing the lack of trading activity conducted by the account during 2017 as “not…

Don’t Expect New Bitcoin Highs in 2018

Don’t Expect New Bitcoin Highs in 2018

Tuur Demeester is an economist and investor. The following article references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for that. Despite an already six month cool-off period, for 2018 we see more sideways and downside potential in the bitcoin price due to sluggish retail demand, hesitation from institutions and a current market cap that seems too high relative to the activity occurring on available blockchains. Many investors and advisors are on record stating that $5,700 was the bottom in bitcoin for this year, and that higher prices lie ahead. While we are very bullish on bitcoin’s long-term prospects, we do heed caution for more short-term price optimism. To find the starting point of the historic parabolic rally in bitcoin that ended at $20,000 we have to go as far back as August 2015, when bitcoin traded at below $200. This past rally was a stupendous, historic move. Even in secular bull markets, the collective of economic actors need time to absorb the information embedded in its characteristic high volume rallies. As I’ve indicated in my 2018 outlook, I think chances are high for this year to be remembered as a shakeout year: a lemon market in altcoins, regulators catching up and infrastructure growing pains. Short-term bearish signs Since January, the bitcoin mining hashrate (aggregate computations per second made to secure the network ) has tripled, which means that a huge amount of new or more efficient mining rigs have come online. In combination with declining prices, this means that miners who weren’t able to upgrade their machines or find cheaper electricity have been faced with a steep decline in profitability, a 90% drop in 7 months (altcoins have faced similar or steeper declines). With profit margins under heavy pressure, it’s not unlikely that miners are and will stay responsible for a significant amount of selling in the market. Next, trading volumes are not dead, but still below those seen during last winter and spring. It’s unclear how much of the recent pick-up in volumes are the result of a short squeeze and how much is coming from new long-term buyers coming in. Aggregate Bitcoin trading volumes. Source: coinlib.io. After last year’s…

P2P Markets Report: Selling Drives Upswing in Emerging Markets’ Volume

P2P Markets Report: Selling Drives Upswing in Emerging Markets’ Volume

Emerging Markets The recent selling pressure experienced by BTC has driven a surge in the peer-to-peer trade volume for numerous emerging cryptocurrency markets. The Localbitcoins markets for the Philippines, Iran, and Kazakhstan have all seen a significant upswing in the number of bitcoins traded in recent weeks. Also Read: Blockchain States Lure Citizens with Political Nostalgia and Voting Rights Philippine P2P Markets Witness Spike in Trade Volume The week of the 28th of July posted the second highest weekly volume for trade between BTC and the Philippine Peso (PHP) on Localbitcoins for 2018, according to Coin.dance. This past week saw 39 BTC trade hands via the Philippines’ Localbitcoins markets – comprising the highest of number of BTC traded since the week of the 24th of February, 2018 – during which 40 BTC exchanged hands. The volume for the week of the 28th of July saw a 30% increase in the number of BTC traded week-over-week – up from 30 BTC during the week of the 21st of July. When measuring volume in fiat currency, this past week produced the second strongest volume of 2018 and the fourth highest weekly trade volume in the history of the Philippine Localbitcoins markets – with approximately 16.9 million PHP worth of trade taking place during the week of the 28th of July. Iranian Localbitcoins Trade Surges The Iranian Localbitcoins markets posted the strongest volume since the week of the 2nd of June, with 25 BTC exchanging hands via the platform this past week. When measuring in Iranian Rial (IRR), the week of the 28th of July saw the second strongest weekly trade volume since February, with over 19.6 million IRR worth of BTC changing hands this past week. Kazakhstan Experiences Upswing in P2P Trade Activity The P2P BTC markets for Kazakhstan has also seen the strongest trade volume in roughly a month this past week, with 9 BTC trading hands. When measuring in Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT), this past week saw the second strongest trade volume between KZT and BTC since February, with over 24 million KZT worth of trade taking place. Do you think that the trade volume for emerging P2P cryptocurrency markets will continue to rally? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin.dance…

A Look at Stylometry: Can We Uncover Satoshi Through Literary Quirks?

A Look at Stylometry: Can We Uncover Satoshi Through Literary Quirks?

Technology Over the past few years, the number of people hunting for Satoshi Nakamoto has increased as people all over the world have been in search of the mysterious creator of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency-community has also seen a few people come out of the woodwork recently, who have claimed to be Satoshi or have been accused of being the currency’s creator. Then there’s that one guy who says he’s Nakamoto and has published the first chapter of his autobiography. One investigative approach that’s been used often to try and uncover Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity is a scientific method called stylometry, which shows that there are very few people living on earth that have ever written like Nakamoto and the crypto-inventor’s writing style is not easy to plagiarize. Also Read: The Weekly: China Hires Cryptographer, McDonald’s Unveils Maccoin, Bitmain Gets Richer The Quest to Uncover the Real Satoshi Nakamoto Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? That’s a question people often ask these days due to the climactic rise of cryptocurrencies last year, and a lot of individuals have always been curious about the technology’s creator. There’s a lot of reasons to why a bunch of people would like to find out who Satoshi is, as the creator of Bitcoin could maybe answer some questions that could possibly end the heated scaling debate that’s been happening for years. Nakamoto also allegedly holds over 1 million BTC, BCH, and every other fork created under his original protocol making him/her/them extremely wealthy. Over the past few years, the crypto-community has also seen a few individuals that have been said to be Satoshi Nakamoto including Dorian Nakamoto, Ian Grigg, Nick Szabo, and Craig Wright. Furthermore, recently a man from Hawaii claimed he was Satoshi, and then some other dude wrote the first chapter of the Satoshi Nakamoto memoirs while also claiming to be the creator of Bitcoin. Stylometry Used to Uncover Satoshi Nakamoto’s Writing Style and Literary Quirks Over the years, there’s one scientific method that studies the linguistic style of typed text and handwriting called ‘stylometry’ and the literary tool has been often used to attribute Satoshi’s anonymity to a real person. The method of analyzing text for evidence of authenticity or ownership has been used for hundreds of years. When people…