Cardano’s Commercial Arm to Help Uzbekistan Form Blockchain Task Force

Cardano’s Commercial Arm to Help Uzbekistan Form Blockchain Task Force

The Cardano blockchain’s commercial arm, Emurgo, has partnered with the government of Uzbekistan to form a blockchain task force to develop regulations for security token offerings (STOs) and exchanges (STXs). In a Jan. 20 press release, Emurgo revealed its new cooperation with the Uzbek government and Kobea Group &  Infinity Blockchain Holdings — the official Technology Advisory Agency for Uzbekisitan’s Digital Economic Development Project — aimed at the development of a legal framework for STOs and STXs in Uzbekistan. As part of the initiative, Emurgo and Kobea will provide advisory services regarding infrastructure for digital asset banking, blockchain education units and other issues. Tokenization of traditional equities Emurgo will also examine the potential for Cardano’s third-generation blockchain in the country and will also integrate its blockchain education platform into Uzbekistan’s national universities to train future blockchain experts. By tokenizing traditional equities through STOs, the country purportedly intends to make the financial sector more transparent and secure. The initiative comes right after Uzbekistan’s National Agency for Project Management prioritized the creation of a national cryptocurrency mining pool in a bid to consolidate the capacities of domestic and foreign miners at the national level. With the move, the agency intends to ensure the economic efficiency of crypto mining, boost the transparency and security of the industry, increase the efficiency of energy consumption in this area and attract investment. Unclear stance toward cryptocurrencies Still, the government of Uzbekistan has demonstrated a mixed stance toward the usage of cryptocurrencies, as it barred its citizens from purchasing crypto in late December of last year. The decision came as a surprise to many, as the country had previously displayed a relatively lenient stance toward digital currencies. In September 2018, the country’s government signed a memorandum of understanding to regulate and establish licensing for crypto exchanges, mining operations and initial coin offerings.

Binance CEO Suggests Crypto Exchanges Are Safer Than Keeping One’s Keys

Binance CEO Suggests Crypto Exchanges Are Safer Than Keeping One’s Keys

Changpeng Zhao, the co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, suggested that for most, keeping crypto assets on an exchange is safer than keeping the keys themselves. Zhao gave his comments in a tweet on Jan. 19 after famous crypto skeptic and gold bug Peter Schiff complained that he lost access to his Bitcoin (BTC). Invoking the phrase “SAFU” — a slanger term in the crypto community for “safe,” Zhao said: “Many hardcore crypto [organizations] advocate storing your own keys. But the truth is, today most people are not able to secure a key even from themselves (losing it). A trusted centralized exchange is #SAFUer for most people. The numbers speak for themselves. Need to work on wallets.” Zhao explained that he believes a centralized exchange to be safer option for most people. One Twitter user noted that the suggestion is particularly bad coming from Binance’s CEO, given that the platform has previously been hacked. In early May 2019, Binance experienced a major security breach resulting in the theft of 7,000 BTC, equivalent to over $40.7 million at the time. The burden of keeping keys safe Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin disagreed with the idea — popular among cryptocurrency proponents — that users should be responsible for safekeeping their keys and the system’s designer has no responsibility to avoid loss of funds caused by key mismanagement. He said: “Disappointed at people replying to this with ‘crypto is what it is, it’s your job to be super-careful and write down backup seeds in three places.’ We can and should create better wallet tech to make security easier.” Buterin mentioned the idea of “social recovery,” a system that would allow multiple people you trust to use their keys in combination to enable the recovery of funds. However, one commentator noted that social recovery systems have serious drawbacks, given that it makes multiple people targets to possible attacks. Additionally, social recovery requires a certain degree of trust for the people involved in the process.  Cryptocurrency’s complicated relationship with hacking The prevalent immutability of the ledgers that manage most crypto assets is a big draw for many hackers, more so than traditional bank accounts. A bank transfer can be reversed while a cryptocurrency transaction in most cases cannot be, and…

EIDOS Transaction Volumes Skew 2019 DApp Market Report

EIDOS Transaction Volumes Skew 2019 DApp Market Report

The transaction volume going through the EIDOS decentralized application (dApp) has massively skewed the results of the 2019 dApp Market Report, published Jan. 20. The token airdrop dApp on the EOS blockchain, saw almost three times as many transactions in 2019 as all of the other dApps on nine leading platforms combined. Perhaps the most notable aspect about this statistic is that EIDOS did not launch until 1st November 2019. In the two months of 2019 that it was active, EIDOS racked up almost 2.4 billion transactions. For the whole of 2019, the total number of transactions registered on all DApps across the top 9 platforms was over 3.26 billion. Just 872 million of these transactions were not using EIDOS. The EIDOS dApp works as a smart contract. Whenever any EOS is sent to the contract address it gets immediately sent back, along with 0.01% of all the EIDOS tokens it holds. EIDOS tokens are replenished at the address at a rate of 20 per second. As Cointelegraph reported, shortly after its launch, EIDOS was responsible for congesting the EOS network accounting for 95% of all transactions. This meant that average users with a relatively low amount of staked CPU resources were unable to send transactions. Overall new users up, but EIDOS takes EOS numbers down Apart from EIDOS, user numbers across the nine platforms were over double the level achieved in 2018, at 3.11 million. However, almost 90% of these users were classed as new users in 2019, with only 11% of users having also used dApps in 2018. Ironically, given all of its transactions, EIDOS has negatively affected user numbers on the rest of the EOS network. Prior to November, EOS was the blockchain with the highest number of daily active users, averaging almost 80,000 people using dApps on EOS every day. Since EIDOS launched, this figure has dropped by 80%, to just over 15,000 users.

Cardano Co-Founder and CEO: We Anticipate a Hard Fork in Mid-February

Cardano Co-Founder and CEO: We Anticipate a Hard Fork in Mid-February

Charles Hoskinson, co-founder and CEO of IOHK, the blockchain firm behind Cardano (ADA), said that he expects the coin to see a hard fork in mid-February. During a livestream on Jan. 17, Hoskinson noted that he expects Cardano’s consensus algorithm to be upgraded with a hard fork next month. He said that he has “pretty high certainty” that the Ouroboros Bizantine Fault-Tolerant Consensus Protocol (OBFT) will be implemented in mid-February: “Looks like February — at pretty high certainty —  we’re going to have the OBFT hard fork occur. We’re still talking to our exchange partners about that and we just want to make sure all the infrastructure is lined up for it, but infrastructure looks pretty good, so mid-February we anticipate an OBFT hard fork.” As of press time, IOHK had not answered Cointelegraph’s inquiry concerning the changes brought on by the upgrade. This article will be updated pending that response. Hoskinson also said during the livestream that Ledger hardware wallet integration with Daedalus Cardano wallet software is nearly ready for deployment. Cardano sees rapid development This is not the only recent development for Cardano. As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, Cardano’s commercial blockchain arm Emurgo partnered with the government of Uzbekistan to form a blockchain task force to develop regulations for security token offerings and exchanges. Last month a new Cardano test network was launched and, within 24 hours, ADA holders staked more than 5 billion coins (worth about $195 million at the time), showing considerable holder participation in the network’s activity.

Raiz to Offer Bitcoin Fund to Australian Retail Investors in 2020

Raiz to Offer Bitcoin Fund to Australian Retail Investors in 2020

Australian micro-investment startup Raiz is set to bring Bitcoin (BTC) fund options to its users, Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports on Jan. 20. The firm cleared the last legal hurdle with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the country’s financial watchdog agency. Raiz is a fintech startup offering micro-investment services to its 300,000 registered accounts. Like the United States-based Acorns and other worldwide startups, it “rounds up” the spare change from the users’ purchases to invest it in a set of investment products, generally comprising exchange traded funds (ETFs). According to AFR sources, Raiz has been pushing to include Bitcoin in its offering, and has reportedly obtained a relief from ASIC to operate the fund. This was seemingly the last legal hurdle, paving the way for implementation in the first half of 2020. The proposed Bitcoin retail fund is said to only allocate five percent to a direct Bitcoin exposure, with the remainder composed of ETFs. According to December figures, Raiz has 445 million Australian dollars ($305 million)  in funds under management from 211,000 paying customers.  Australia’s regulatory landscape Regulators have in the past taken a very cautious stance to cryptocurrencies. As Cointelegraph reported in May 2019, the country’s regulators released detailed guidelines for miners, exchanges and initial coin offering projects. Specifically, it reiterated the need for cryptocurrency businesses to apply for all the relevant licenses and to adhere to its Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer regulations. Other government representatives remained skeptical of decentralized currencies. Australia’s Central Bank published a study arguing that cryptocurrencies are unlikely to replace the Australian dollar, citing primarily usability and scalability concerns.  In November, the Australian Minister of Home Affairs warned that cryptocurrencies facilitated terrorism by obfuscating their financial activities.

Binance P2P Crypto Trading Platform Supports Vietnam’s Fiat Currency

Binance P2P Crypto Trading Platform Supports Vietnam’s Fiat Currency

Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has launched peer-to-peer (P2P) trading for the Vietnamese dong (VND). Vietnam-based Binance users can now directly purchase and sell major cryptocurrencies using VND through the latest versions of the Binance P2P mobile app on iOS and Android. The four supported cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), major stablecoin Tether (USDT) as well as Binance’s native cryptocurrency Binance Coin (BNB), the firm said in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Jan. 20. Vietnamese dong is the second fiat currency on Binance’s P2P  While Binance has been actively rolling out multiple global fiat onramps for currencies like Indian rupees and Turkish lira, the Vietnamese dong is the second fiat currency added on Binance’s P2P trading platform after Chinese yuan (CNY). Binance debuted its P2P trading with yuan in October 2019, making China the world’s first jurisdiction to benefit from Binance’s peer-to-peer trading for Bitcoin, Ether and USDT against its fiat currency. As Binance P2P is available only in China and Vietnam to date, the service will be gradually expanded to add more countries over the course of 2020, the press release notes. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in the press release: “Binance is committed to providing our global users with more convenient fiat gateways and easy access to cryptocurrency, and our P2P service aims to lower the barriers to entry to the crypto world. We are pleased to introduce fiat-to-crypto P2P trading services to Vietnamese users to flexibly trade cryptocurrency at low costs.” Additionally, Zhao reiterated Binance’s ambitious plans to expand fiat-to-crypto access on Binance for users in over 180 countries in order to achieve their mission of “freedom of money.” Why the P2P trading service is important As reported by Cointelegraph, the idea of P2P cryptocurrency exchanges is providing direct trading between participants without the need for a trusted third party to process the trades. As such, P2P trading is an important aspect of decentralization and is usually operated and maintained exclusively by software. P2P cryptocurrency trading is particularly significant in China due to the country’s hard stance towards crypto, including the ban on crypto-to-fiat trading and initial coin offerings in the country back in 2017. Meanwhile, Vietnam is still working on cryptocurrency regulation. As of late March 2019, there was…

South Korea Considers 20% Crypto Tax

South Korea Considers 20% Crypto Tax

The South Korean government is said to be considering imposing a 20 percent tax on all cryptocurrency transactions. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Monday that officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s income tax office had been reviewing a new proposal that could see the country adopt a clearer regime for how it taxes cryptocurrencies. An anonymous official speaking to Yonhap suggested South Korea is considering re-classifying returns made on cryptocurrencies as a type of “other income,” placing it in the same category as money earned from lotteries, rather than as a form of capital gains, as it is currently treated. Under existing South Korea legislation, a 20 percent rate is levied on 40 percent of total other income; the remaining 60 percent can be tax-deductible. Currently, virtual currencies can be taxed under different schedules, with rates of up to 42 percent under capital gains. It’s unclear whether the proposal would treat every single cryptocurrency transaction as a taxable event, or whether it would be a rate aggregated over the South Korean tax year. It’s also not yet clear if there would be any additional charges levied for converting into other cryptocurrencies or out into fiat. South Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance has pushed for a new cryptocurrency tax regime for over a month now. A ministry spokesperson confirmed to The Korea Times in December that a “revised bill” for enhancing the government’s ability to tax cryptocurrencies would be drawn up in the first half of 2020. The official added that no plans had yet been finalized, suggesting the tax plan could be amended or even thrown out by the ministry. Although cryptocurrency taxation is still a very nascent field, the approach taken by the governments in many developed economies has been to treat returns made on cryptocurrencies as a form of capital gains – a tax that is levied on the difference when a sale price exceeds that of the purchase price. The U.S. internal revenue service (IRS), for example, issued guidance in October that reconfirmed the status of cryptocurrencies as a form of property, even when received as a form of income. Depending on a person’s income bracket, taxes liable can exceed 39 percent if the cryptocurrency is held for…

Lawsuit Against Ripple May Decide the Fate of XRP but Regulators Have the Final Say

Lawsuit Against Ripple May Decide the Fate of XRP but Regulators Have the Final Say

A prolonged legal battle, which may hold the key to XRP’s future, has been extended again. The class action lawsuit alleges that Ripple issued and sold the coin, one of the largest by market cap, as an unregistered security. The decision on the defendant’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit has been postponed. But even a victory for Ripple in the case might not bring an end to its troubles with XRP. Also read: New Guidelines Subject Canadian Crypto Exchanges to Securities Laws Judge Takes Under Submission Ripple’s Motion to Dismiss the Case A ruling was expected from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California at a hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 15. However, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton took the motion under submission and there’s no fixed date for her announcement. Ripple’s legal representatives asked the district judge to dismiss the case on Dec. 4, 2019. The first lawsuits against Ripple Labs Inc., developer of the Ripple payment protocol, were filed by investors about two years ago. The current class-action suit accuses the blockchain company of misleading investors and selling them XRP in violation of U.S. federal law. The plaintiffs claim they lost money and insist they should be compensated by Ripple, its subsidiary XRPII LLC, and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Ripple has maintained XRP is not a security but its latest arguments relate only indirectly to the substance of the case. The company’s defense now insists that even if the coin were a security, the plaintiffs did not file the case on time – within three years of its first offering – as Ripple sold the coin to the public between 2013 and 2015. In the filing, Ripple’s lawyers claim that the case is not relevant as the statute of repose had expired and state: Plaintiff’s Complaint is self-defeating: his own allegations as to when XRP was first offered for sale and how he purchased XRP require dismissal of his claims. Referring to the lead plaintiff, Bradley Sostack, the company notes that he “purchased XRP on an exchange in January 2018 from an unknown third party, at a time when Defendant Ripple’s sales accounted for less than one-tenth of one percent of all exchange-based XRP sales,” and also that the “Plaintiff filed the…

Gamble With Crypto at Bestecasinobonussen.nl

Gamble With Crypto at Bestecasinobonussen.nl

Bestcasinbonussen.nl is up to date with the Bitcoin casino industry, delivering news about Bitcoin casinos available in the Netherlands and guiding readers through the skills of gambling with Bitcoins online. 8th of January 2020 – The advancements in the IT industry allowed for banking methods like Bitcoin to thrive in the online casino market, offering online casino goers the possibility to make their deposits in the most convenient way without the risk of exposing any of their financial information to unwanted third parties. Having reinvented the way we look at money transactions on the web, cryptocurrency has left the realm of “taboo” and became a trend. There are many upsides to Bitcoin gambling. For one, players can gamble without being required to pay additional fees. Furthermore, they will rarely, if ever, face payment delays and the level of privacy is as high as it gets in a web-powered environment. Perhaps the biggest motive for online casino users to switch to cryptocurrency payments is anonymity. Whether a player chooses and exclusive BTC casino or a hybrid one, not the slightest details of his/her identity and transaction will ever be made known. At Bestecasinobonussen.nl, casino enthusiasts are able to find useful and interesting info on online casino, sports betting sites, online poker rooms, casino games and also read current news and articles from the world of online gambling. Bestecasinobonussen.nl dedicates a special section to Bitcoin casinos, covering all the important questions a beginner Bitcoin gambler may have – how to gamble at a Bitcoin casino, why gamble using digital currency, the differences between Bitcoin casino operators, depositing and withdrawing with BTC, as well as what is Bitcoin – for those who are absolute novices and need a comprehensive introduction. Bitcoin casinos are those that let players use a type of electronic cash known as a cryptocurrency to fund their gambling accounts. This means of payment is not administrated by any bank. Instead, it is sent from peer to peer and created through a process called “mining”. Bitcoin was invented in 2009 by a mysterious individual or group called Satoshi Nakamoto. Controversial at first, Bitcoin slowly found its proper use, making it easier for people to buy products and services online. Bestecasinobonussen.nl keeps up with the rising emergence…

CoinDesk at WEF 2020: Crypto Themes to Watch as Davos Gets Underway

CoinDesk at WEF 2020: Crypto Themes to Watch as Davos Gets Underway

CoinDesk will be on the ground in Davos from Jan. 20–24 chronicling all things crypto at the annual gathering of the world’s economic and political elite. Below is the first edition of our pop-up newsletter, CoinDesk Confidential: Davos. Subscribe below. Get your Fourth Industrial Revolution hardhats on – it’s time to ponder the slew of problems ailing today’s global economy! Hello, it’s Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, the preamble to the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum begins today. I’m Zack Seward, managing editor of CoinDesk, and I’ll be your guide to all things blockchain and crypto at this yearly confab of global leaders and their many hangers-on. Weather Forecast: Fresh snowfall on Saturday and Sunday has the skiers happy. ⛷ For Monday, a high of 25°F (-3°C), low of 13°F (-10°C). Chance of precipitation: 10 percent. Setting the Stage Blockchain is more prominent on the WEF agenda than in years past but that’s not to say the technology will have a starring role in the Congress Centre itself. The thing to remember about Davos is that there’s the WEF’s main stage (there are 53 heads of state this year, according to the WEF) and dozens of side events. Sustainability is a major theme of this year’s event, with climate change activist Greta Thunberg arguably being the top speaker (U.S. President Donald Trump is also speaking). And while the WEF programming on Monday is only opening ceremonies, other events will already be in full swing. Don’t Miss… The Global Blockchain Business Council is a partner of CoinDesk Confidential: Davos. Visit us at the GBBC Lounge at Hotel Europe on the Promenade. Here are the three crypto-related events on Monday worth knowing about: 1️⃣ Cryptocurrency exchange LATOKEN is hosting the Blockchain Economic Forum at Guggerbach Hall. It kicks off at 15:30 CET with a keynote from Chris Giancarlo, the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Hot on the heels of his newly organized efforts to push for a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC), this session will be one to watch. 2️⃣ Ethereum co-founder and ConsenSys chief Joe Lubin is headlining CryptoMountain Rocks at Hotel Morosani Schweizerhof. Kicking off at 14:00 CET, this event promises ample discussion of decentralized finance (DeFi), stablecoins and what to expect in 2020. It’s going to be deeper in the weeds…