Denver-Based Healthcare ICO Issued Cease and Desist for Offering Securities

Denver-Based Healthcare ICO Issued Cease and Desist for Offering Securities

Crowdfunding Colorado Securities Commissioner, Gerald Rome, has issued a cease and desist order to Florida based Linda Healthcare Corporation and its founder, Arturo Devesa, halting the company’s initial coin offering (ICO) due to the token sale being deemed an offering of an unregistered security. The cease and desist is a reaffirmation of a previous ruling made in July by administrative Judge, Matthew Norwood. Also Read: Markets Report: July Posts Second Strongest Monthly BTC Performance of 2018 Linda Healthcare Corporation Issued Cease and Desist The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Division of Securities first became aware of Linda Healthcare Corporation’s “Linda Health Coin” (LNDA) in April. A press release published by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies states that the LNDA token was advertised to “be used to purchase specific ‘Linda Health Insurance’ covering telemedicine through an artificial intelligence chat services that creates medical solutions through use of blockchain technology.” The release asserts that “Potential buyers of LNDA coin are not provided disclosures of the risks of investing in cryptocurrency and a pop-up that states that this particular ICO constitutes a security in the state of Colorado can be closed and easily ignored.” LNDA ICO Determined to Comprise Securities Offering The company claimed that it’s offering resembled a “crowdfunding campaign,” however, Judge Norwood found that the offering as detailed in the company’s white paper and website falls under the classification of an “investment contract.” Judge Norwood determined that a “LNDA token is a security in that it meets all three prongs of the [Howey] test. It is 1) a contract, transaction, or scheme whereby a person invests his or her money in 2) a common enterprise and 3) is led to expect profits solely for the efforts of the promoter or a third party.” Commissioner Rome stated: “ICOs are highly risky and should only be undertaken by sophisticated investors with the understanding that they may lose most or all of their funds. Most ICOs meet the terms of a securities transaction and carry with them all of the same risks when it comes to losing money. […] Investment opportunities being sold through ICOs over the internet need to be approached with the same level of caution as any high-risk investment venture. If you are investing money in…

Australian State Government Invests in Crypto Startup to Promote Regional Tourism

Australian State Government Invests in Crypto Startup to Promote Regional Tourism

The state government of the Australian province of Queensland will issue a grant to a crypto startup as part of over $8.3 million of innovation funding, according to an official announcement published August 1. According to the government statement, the TravelbyBit digital currency payments platform for the travel and tourism industry is one 70 companies that will receive Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding, which supports entrepreneurs in Queensland in developing their businesses. The company’s objective will be to boost the number of tourists to Central Queensland through selling travel offers with cryptocurrencies and creating more jobs. Innovation Minister Kate Jones said: “TravelbyBit has devised a clever way to make it easier for visitors to our state to pay for their purchases with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments… I understand TravelbyBit is specifically targeting places like Bundaberg (along the Great Barrier Reef) – using cryptocurrency to make it easier for tourists to book holidays.” Co-founder and CEO of TravelbyBit Caleb Yeoh said that the company has partnered with Brisbane Airport Corporation to launch the “world’s first digital currency friendly airport” and has already implemented a blockchain-backed point-of-sale system in regional tourist towns. According to Yeoh, travelers can pay with Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, XEM and soon BNB. Yeoh said: “We have more than 150 merchants across Australia using our system and this funding, to develop a purpose-built platform that will accept digital currencies from anywhere in the world, will allow us to add jobs not only directly to our team but also across the broader tourism industry.” Australia is not the first country to integrate digital currencies into the tourism sector. Earlier this spring, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) announced that it started to accept BTC and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for its services. In June 2014, IrishCoin was launched to boost the tourism sector in Ireland. The coin aimed to promote tourism by acting as a discount voucher at participating bars, restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions. At press time, IrishCoin is trading at $0.0065 with a market capitalization of $231,648, or 30 bitcoins (BTC).

Bitpay COO Believes Bitcoin is “Working” as Means of Payment

Bitpay COO Believes Bitcoin is “Working” as Means of Payment

Economy & Regulation Bitpay’s chief operating officer, Sonny Singh, recently attested to the efficacy of bitcoin as a means of payment, stating that “bitcoin is being used all around the world for things other than speculation and trading.” The COO also reported that Bitpay processed $1.2 billion USD worth of bitcoin payment in 2018. Also Read: Swissquote Reports 44% Increase in Profit After Adding Cryptocurrency Services  Bitpay COO Promotes Bitcoin as Means of Payment Sonny Singh, the chief operating officer of Bitpay, recently discussed the use of bitcoin as a means of payment. Mr. Singh stated that “Bitcoin is actually working,” adding that when “people say ‘wow the price has gone down so much, it’s crashing’ – that’s not relevant to what I’m doing.” The Bitpay CEO asserted that “The key thing is that bitcoin is actually being used all around the world for things other than speculation and trading.” Mr. Singh claims that Bitpay “did 1.2 billion dollars last year in payments,” adding that such “means people spent $1.2 billion dollars of payments using bitcoin.” Need for Greater Crypto Education to Foster Adoption Despite his belief that bitcoin is currently “working” as a means of payment, Mr. Singh emphasized the need for greater education regarding the benefits of cryptocurrency in order to foster adoption. “In America, everyone’s so used to credit cards or goes online and types credit card numbers. But it’s safer and easier to do this through QR code because you don’t have to give your credit card numbers. […] The merchants save money in America by paying with bitcoin, because they pay 1% of the transaction fee, but with credit cards, that’s 4%. So the merchants can make a lot of money if you are paying with bitcoin. But yet they don’t understand it, they have to be educated about it. And the consumers have to get the habit of spending with bitcoin. For them, it’s better and quicker than credit cards, and better for privacy,” he stated. Mr. Singh added that the typical American cryptocurrency-user is principally concerned with speculation rather than the utility of bitcoin, stating: “A lot of people in America have heard of bitcoin, but not a lot of them own bitcoin. Even the tech people and college…

Report: Use of Bitcoin in Commerce Hit Low in May After Peaking at $411 Mln Last Year

Report: Use of Bitcoin in Commerce Hit Low in May After Peaking at $411 Mln Last Year

The volume of Bitcoin (BTC) used in commerce has declined significantly over the course of the last year, Bloomberg reports Aug. 1. Citing market research firm Chainalysis, Bloomberg reported that the volume of Bitcoin received by the largest 17 crypto merchant-processing services hit a low of $60 million in May 2018, after reaching a peak of $411 million in September 2017. The use of Bitcoin for payments has declined in tandem with its price, which peaked at almost $20,000 in December 2017 before its subsequent drop of over 50 percent. While the amount received by services such as BitPay, Coinify, and GoCoin saw a slight rebound to $69 million in June, it bears a stark contrast to the $270 million received exactly a year before. Nicholas Weaver, a senior researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, told Bloomberg that cryptocurrency is “not actually usable” as a form of payment. Weaver argued that the net cost of Bitcoin transaction fees is “far more than a credit card transaction.” Bitcoin transactions also cannot be reversed in instances of fraud. Regarding price volatility in cryptocurrency markets, senior economist at Chainalysis Kim Grauer said, “When the price [was] going up so rapidly last year, in one day you could lose $1,000 if you spent it.” The economist called small purchases with crypto “impractical” due to high transaction fees. Last year, Bitcoin transaction fees surged to all-time highs, peaking at $37, according to Bitcoinfees. Fees have seen a steady decline this year, fluctuating around $1 while seeing several short-term spikes up to $5. The average bank client spends up to $150 per year, or nearly $13 per month on service fees, according to the New York Post. Bitcoin daily average transaction fees. Source: Bitcoinfees On July 31, market strategy and research firm Fundstrat Global Advisors announced that the company will start accepting Bitcoin for content using Bitpay. Introducing Bitcoin payments will reportedly enable a global client base to access Fundstrat’s services, which was “nearly impossible before.” In July, Bank of Canada found that 58 percent of Canadians use Bitcoin for investment purposes, while only 6 percent use it for payment. 12 percent of respondents said they own Bitcoin because “my friends own Bitcoin.”

Coinbase Adds British Pound for UK Crypto Users

Coinbase Adds British Pound for UK Crypto Users

Crypto exchange Coinbase is now offering deposits and withdrawals denominated in the British pound (GBP), the firm announced Wednesday. The exchange’s U.K. division will now offer same-day deposits and withdrawals from the platform, allowing transfers to happen almost immediately. In a statement, Coinbase U.K. chief executive Zeeshan Feroz wrote that this system will replace the previous method, which had customers convert cryptocurrencies into euros before converting a second time into pounds. The old process took several days, he said, an aspect that the new process will skip altogether. Feroz explained: “Customers will now be able to deposit and withdraw pound sterling and use it to directly buy and sell cryptocurrency – for the first time. Customers will not only benefit from increased speed, but reduced cost as well. By no longer having to convert funds from GBP to euros and vice versa to add and remove funds, there will be no more exchange rates.” The rollout of this new system is ongoing. Several customers already have access to GBP wallets, and all U.K. customers will receive access over the next few weeks. Both individual and institutional customers will benefit, Feroz said, adding that the new wallets “will allow investors to make almost immediate transfers, an essential feature for traders and hedge funds who need to be able to enter and exit their positions quickly.” More broadly, he noted that the exchange is working on expanding its services in both the U.K. and the EU, citing the e-money license the firm received earlier this year. British pounds 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.

Russia Reports 15% Increase in Number of Crypto Mining Companies

Russia Reports 15% Increase in Number of Crypto Mining Companies

Economics The Russian crypto sector is expanding. The number of businesses operating mining facilities has increased this year, more Russians own cryptocurrency. Data confirming these trends has been presented by the country’s crypto and blockchain association, which also warned that delayed embrace of digital financial technology costs Russia a trillion rubles each year. Also read: Swissquote Reports 44% Increase in Profit After Adding Cryptocurrency Services 75,000 Businesses Mine Cryptocurrencies in Russia The Russian Federation, a vast country rich in energy resources including cheap electricity, has what it takes to become a major crypto mining destination. Recently released statistics show that this modern sector of the economy is rapidly developing. The number of crypto mining companies has increased by 15% in H1 2018 to a total of 75,000, according to the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB). Quoted by the Prime news agency, the association’s president, Yuri Pripachkin, summarized: According to the results from the first half of this year, the number of mining enterprises in Russia has increased by 15%, to 75,000. The mining industry already employs 350,000 people. As of July 2018, Russia accounts for about 6% of the world’s mining market, which is 1% more than a year ago, while the US and Canada hold the leading positions. Pripachkin shared the numbers with reporters on the sidelines of the first meeting of the Council on the Digital Economy of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament. Not everything in his comments, however, sounded optimistic. RACIB’s president warned that Russia actually risks missing the opportunity to become a digital financial leader. He stressed that “digital money is already a given” and Russia’s delay in accepting and adopting it “means a loss of investments of up to 1 trillion rubles a year” (>$15 million USD). To prove his point, Yuri Pripachkin quoted a Morgan Stanley report, according to which the top five countries by trading volume of cryptocurrencies in H1 2018 are Malta, Belize, the Seychelles, the United States, and South Korea, and by number of crypto exchanges – the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the US, Singapore, and Turkey. Russia is not in either of these groups, he noted. At the same time, RACIB claims the number of Russians owning cryptocurrency has…

Buying bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies with British pounds (GBP) just got easier and…

Buying bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies with British pounds (GBP) just got easier and…

Starting today, we’ll begin rolling out British pound (GBP) support for UK-based customers of Coinbase (individuals), Coinbase Pro (active traders) and Coinbase Prime (institutions). This will enable faster payments with same day deposits and withdrawals from Coinbase to British bank accounts. Until now, the process of converting bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and litecoin into euros and then into pound sterling, via international bank transfer, took several days. Customers will now be able to transfer pound sterling and use it to directly buy and sell these cryptocurrencies. We’ve worked hard over the last few months to add GBP support for Coinbase customers across several of our product offerings in the UK. We’ve also taken major strides towards our goal of making Coinbase the most trusted and compliant brand in the space. These steps include obtaining an e-money license for our fiat operations from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), adding support for the Faster Payment Scheme, and becoming the first cryptocurrency trading platform to obtain a bank account with a major UK bank. Faster payments will benefit all UK customers, enabling almost immediate transfers. This is essential for Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Prime customers in particular who will now be able to transfer funds quickly. Coinbase, Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Prime GBP support is now live for some of our existing customers, and we will continue rolling this out to all UK customers in the coming weeks. If you’d like to get started with your GBP payments, visit coinbase.com to log in or open your account today. For more information about Coinbase Pro, visit pro.coinbase.com If you’re an institution looking to get started on Coinbase Prime, connect with us at prime.coinbase.com

Bitcoin Cash Celebrates Its First Birthday: From a Hard Fork to Easy Going

Bitcoin Cash Celebrates Its First Birthday: From a Hard Fork to Easy Going

One year ago to the day, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) came into existence after a hard fork from the Bitcoin blockchain. It has been an interesting 12 months since the fork gave birth to BCH, as proponents have continuously argued the merits between Bitcoin (BTC) and BCH. Nevertheless, on the anniversary of the creation of Bitcoin Cash, it is worth revisiting what caused this altcoin to come into existence and what it aimed to do. How did we get here Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin’s user base has steadily grown over the better part of a decade. In the past three years, this has caused some ‘growing pains,’ as the original parameters that govern the blockchain led to issues with transaction speeds and costs. In the Bitcoin white paper, its creator — Satoshi Nakamoto — set out the technical details for a ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash system’ that would enable people to transact without the need for a central authority. While you can read Cointelegraph’s guide on Bitcoin here, the preeminent cryptocurrency is run by a network of computers which validate and share an ongoing ledger of transactions that requires hash-based proof-of-work algorithms to prevent double spending. These transactions are validated and then stored in blocks by miners. Each block is limited to holding 1 MB worth of data before they are added to the blockchain. When a miner unlocks a block, a certain amount of Bitcoin is brought into existence. Here is where scaling has recently become a problem. As more people started using Bitcoin, there was a spike in the amount of transactions. The network became congested due to the volume that needed to be validated, which caused transaction fees to rise. Simply put, it was becoming slower and more expensive to use Bitcoin for transactions. As the graph below illustrates, fees gradually increased into 2017 onwards: This eventually led to the wider Bitcoin community — comprised of big mining pools, wallet and exchange service providers and developers —  to discuss ways to address these problems. This gave birth to what is known as Segregated Witness (SegWit), a soft fork in the Bitcoin protocol that originally looked to solve transaction malleability. However, it was then proposed that SegWit should include an update in block…

Bitcoin Dips Below $7,500 аs Crypto Markets See Second Day of Losses

Bitcoin Dips Below $7,500 аs Crypto Markets See Second Day of Losses

August 1: Crypto assets have seen a second day of losses, with Bitcoin (BTC) now well below the $8,000 psychological price point and most of the major crypto assets in the red, according to data from Coin360. Market visualization from Coin360 Bitcoin (BTC) is trading around $7,490 to press time, having lost almost 3 percent on the day. Since the coin’s July 25 peak at $8,431, the leading cryptocurrency dipped down below $8,000 yesterday for the third time this week. The coin saw another sharp drop this morning, before trading sideways. Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index Bitcoin’s weekly price performance is now down by around 9.3 percent, but monthly growth remains a solid 17.74 percent. Ethereum (ETH) has seen heftier losses on the day, down a solid 5 percent to trade around $411 at press time. The leading altcoin lost around $19 in value during early trading hours, traded sideways around $425, and then dropped to see an intra-day low of $410 an hour before press time. Ethereum’s weekly price performance is around 13.61 percent in the negative, having seen a more gradual but sustained downward trend than Bitcoin over the same time frame. Ethereum’s monthly losses are almost 11 percent. Ethereum’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index On CoinMarketCap’s listings, most of the top 10 coins by market cap are down between 1 and 5 percent on the day. Ripple (XRP) is the only outlier, up 1.6 percent and seeing a spike in price earlier today, despite trading downwards most of the week. The coin is currently trading at $0.44 to press time. The asset’s relatively strong performance has perhaps been buoyed by yesterday’s news that the 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker to kick off Ripple’s global payments tech conference, Swell, this fall. Ripple’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap After Ethereum, Litecoin  (LTC) and EOS (EOS) have seen the most losses of the top ten coins, both down 3.45 percent on the day to press time. Among the top twenty coins by market cap, Dash and Monero (XMR) are trading the most stably, both currently up less than 1 percent. Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has inched yet further downwards…

Japanese Public Company Offering Loans Secured by BTC, BCH, ETH

Japanese Public Company Offering Loans Secured by BTC, BCH, ETH

Finance A Japanese company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange is offering loans secured by three cryptocurrencies: BTC, BCH, and ETH. Clients can borrow up to 300 million yen (~$2.7 million) at varying interest rates. The company has also established a subsidiary overseas for its crypto business. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space Loans Secured by BTC, BCH, ETH A Japanese company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange has begun accepting applications for cryptocurrency-secured loans. Samurai & J Partners Co. Ltd. (TYO:4764) recently launched a loan program called Samurai Crypto Loan through its subsidiary, Samurai Asset Finance (Samurai). The company explains that loans will be offered to crypto owners with BTC, BCH, or ETH as collateral. Customers will have access to funds in Japanese yen without having to liquidate their crypto positions. In Japan, liquidating cryptocurrencies could incur taxes of up to 55%, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Customers can borrow between 20 million yen (~US$179,000) and 300 million yen (~$2.7 million) for one year, with extensions. Interest rates for these loans range from 7.0% to 15.0%, including commissions and extension fees, Samurai details. The delinquency charge is 20% annually. Founded in 1996, Samurai & J Partners, formerly known as Digital Design Co. Ltd., engages in the information service business globally. Samurai Asset Finance was established last year. In addition to crypto-secured loans, the company offers loans backed by real estate, securities, deposits, credits, movable properties, foreign currencies, memberships, and precious metals. ICO Plan and Competition Samurai first proposed to enter the crypto-secured lending business in May. The proposal was presented to and subsequently approved by its board of directors. The company has also established an overseas subsidiary to launch an initial coin offering (ICO). “We will conduct an ICO and expand our business scope,” Samurai announced at the time. Recently another Japanese company, Abic Corporation, announced a loan program secured by BTC. Abic’s loan terms range from 2 million yen (~US$18,260) to 1 billion yen (~$9.13 million) with annual interest rates ranging from 2.98% to 15.0%. Customers can borrow for a period of one month to five years; the delinquency charge is 20% annually. Last week, crypto financial services platform Libra Credit partnered with Binance Labs, the investment arm of Binance, to “lend…