Payments Startup Wyre Acquires Bitcoin Smart Contract Developer

Payments Startup Wyre Acquires Bitcoin Smart Contract Developer

Crypto payments startup Wyre has acquired 100 percent of Hedgy, a venture-backed bitcoin smart contract development firm, for an undisclosed sum. The deal will help Wyre broaden the scope of the services it provides to crypto startups, the company’s co-founder and COO Ioannis Giannaros told CoinDesk. Wyre provides cross-border payments using bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies to settle transactions. Specifically, acquiring a smart contract platform will aid Wyre provide a wider financial ecosystem to crypto startups, according to Giannaros, with access to financial instruments such as forward contracts, swaps and more. Wyre plans to take advantage of Hedgy’s ability to “navigate” the regulatory space, he added, explaining: “This is a really highly regulated area, and in this sense Hedgy generally has been extremely ahead of the time. They were doing smart contract derivatives at the time ethereum wasn’t even there yet.” As well as being a blockchain application development platform, Hedgy provides bitcoin derivatives. It takes a particular focus on commercial miners who can lock in a price at which they want to sell bitcoin in the future, using smart contracts to settle the transaction on the bitcoin blockchain. “In the world of bitcoin, the volatility that the markets have seen is part of its appeal to bring retail speculators, investors, and professional traders into the space. Over time, we’re going to see this volatility cool down (might be a while!). When markets become less volatile, we see the increase in the demand for creative financial products that can offer things such as options and futures,” a Wyre Medium post states. As part of the deal, Hedgy co-founder and CEO Matt Slater will join Wyre as an advisor. Miniatures 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.

Ukrainians Advised to Pay 19.5% Tax on Crypto Incomes

Ukrainians Advised to Pay 19.5% Tax on Crypto Incomes

Economy & Regulation In the absence of dedicated regulation, Ukrainians are expected to pay the regular 19.5% income tax rate on their profits from crypto-related activities like trading and mining, a high-ranking official from the Finance Ministry in Kiev explained. Crypto investors are free to report their digital funds as either property or financial assets. Also read: Uzbekistan Legalizes Crypto Exchanges and Trading Cryptos? Tax Them Like Tanks The question, what do crypto investors owe the state, is a hot topic in many communities around the world. Authorities in most countries rush to tap into their incomes and profits, often before they’ve regulated the space and legalized digital assets, and sometimes even when they refuse or fail to recognize cryptocurrencies in any of their roles. Ukraine is no exception. Sergey Verlanov However, according to Ukraine’s deputy-finance minister Sergey Verlanov, the issue with cryptocurrencies is clearly exaggerated as far as taxation is concerned. Everything is much simpler than it seems at first glance, he claimed in an interview with Ekonomicheskaya Pravda. “Two types of operations are possible with cryptocurrency – mining and trading. So, let’s say we bought bitcoin for 1,000 hryvnias; then we were lucky and it went up to 2,000 hryvnias; then we left bitcoin and credited the funds to a bank card. The change is 1,000 hryvnias. We impose income tax on it,” he elaborated, adding: “The rate is 19.5% – whether this is a lot or a little, is a rhetorical question.” Verlanov noted that while cryptocurrency has no legal status in the country, it is a common item, subject to turnover. “Under the Civil Code of Ukraine – this is an intangible property,” he said. To make his explanation clearer, the Finance Ministry official provided his “favorite comparison.” Trading bitcoins, Verlanov said, is like buying and selling tanks in World of Tanks, the popular online game. Nevertheless, the deputy-finance minister believes Ukraine needs to determine the legal status of cryptocurrencies. Sergey Verlanov thinks that once that happens, crypto exchanges should act like tax agents. If the cryptocurrency is bought on an exchange, the law should oblige traders to declare their income and indicate its source. Regulation to Provide the Ultimate Answer The government representative also pointed out that currently Ukrainian taxpayers…

PR: NewChain Testnet Officially Launched and Fully Meets Commercial Requirements

PR: NewChain Testnet Officially Launched and Fully Meets Commercial Requirements

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release. Newton Project has officially launched its blockchain product NewChain TestNet, along with Newton’s wallet NewPay and browser NewExplorer. This marks that Newton now has a product which embodies its visions for the future, namely a gradual and steadfast process to commercialization. With regards to transaction processing speed, technical solutions and product functions, Newton’s NewChain TestNet and other products have achieved a very high level of technological sophistication in order to meet commercial requirements. According to Newton’s official announcement, NewChain TestNet has been able to reach 10,000 TPS; in real WANs, it can reach 5,000 TPS. Meanwhile, the same indicator of EOS and BTS is about 3,000 TPS, and of the global mainstream clearing center VISA is 2,000TPS. NewChain consists of a main chain and many sub-chains. The main chain supports account management, Newton token management, sub-chain management, human-machine network governance, etc. The sub-chain supports various business scenarios, and multiple consensus mechanisms and data structures, and is highly scalable. The main chain adopts the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism, and the super nodes are elected through voting and deployed globally. Newton’s wallet NewPay supports functions including the creation of wallets, importing and exporting wallets, scanning for payment, NFC and so on. Two IoT devices used in combination with NewPay are ready for use. Newton’s browser NewExplorer provides block browsing, transaction query, account inquiry and other functions. According to Newton’s official disclosure, the two major products will continue to be updated in the future. From a technical point of view, the security, the transaction processing speed, and the scalability of the products are sufficient to provide a solid foundation for commercialization. According to Newton team, they have already planned several major application scenarios and are assiduously preparing for upcoming ventures and opportunities. With the launch of NewChain products, the Newton team has planned several major application scenarios such as retail, supply chain, finance, entertainment, etc. Chain-commerce retail will be the first practical application for the Newton project and will be…

Australian Watchdog to Apply Market Rules to Crypto Exchanges

Australian Watchdog to Apply Market Rules to Crypto Exchanges

A top Australian financial regulator has indicated it will take a new approach when regulating cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as tighten scrutiny of initial coin offerings (ICOs),. In its a corporate plan for 2018–2022, released Friday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) outlined its areas of focus for the period. Top of that list is to continue “monitoring threats of harm from emerging products” such as ICOs and cryptocurrencies. Further, for 2018 and 2019, ASIC said it is developing a new framework that will apply “the principles for regulating market infrastructure providers to crypto exchanges” and will intervene where “there is poor behavior and potential harm to consumers and investors.” According to the ASIC website, its current market infrastructure principals include a licensing scheme, via which it seeks to supervise financial market operators, settlement facilities, derivative trading and market participants. The planned framework follows cross-department efforts the ASIC has been taking to implement supervisory approaches, such as dispatching staff onsite in financial institutions related to emerging tech including cryptocurrency, ASIC indicated. Currently, cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia are required to comply with know-your-customer and anti-money laundering standards enforced by Austrac, the country’s financial intelligence agency. ASIC, however, has not issued any pertinent regulation for crypto exchanges, but did published guidelines last year for businesses wishing to conduct ICOs. The plan appears a timely one, as the country has already seen one public firm seeking to raise capital via a token sale to fund the launch of a cryptocurrency exchange. As CoinDesk reported this week, an IT firm called Byte Power Group has already started selling its proprietary tokens to private investors in Australia and Singapore in an effort to raise a total of $15 million. Australian flag 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.

China’s Supreme Court Recognizes Blockchain Evidence as Legally Binding

China’s Supreme Court Recognizes Blockchain Evidence as Legally Binding

Blockchain can now be legally used to authenticate evidence in legal disputes in China, according to the country’s Supreme People’s Court. The court released new rules on Friday – that take immediate effect – clarifying various issues relating to how internet courts in China should review legal disputes. Part of the new regulation specifies that internet courts in the country shall recognize the legality of blockchain as a method for storing and authenticating digital evidence, provided that parties can prove the legitimacy of the technology being used in the process. “Internet courts shall recognize digital data that are submitted as evidence if relevant parties collected and stored these data via blockchain with digital signatures, reliable timestamps and hash value verification or via a digital deposition platform, and can prove the authenticity of such technology used,” the Supreme Court said in an announcement. The ruling comes in response to various questions that have emerged since the country established its first internet court in Hangzhou last year – one that handles disputes around internet-based issues, generally involving digital data. As CoinDesk reported in June, the Hangzhou internet court ruled, in a copyright infringement case, that blockchain-based evidence was legally acceptable. The court said the regulation was passed with consensus from the organization’s judgement committee in its most recent meeting on Sept. 3. The new ruling is timely, as China is currently preparing to establish two new internet courts in Beijing and the southern city of Guangzhou. Lady Justice 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.

Blockchain, Reloaded: How the New “Matrix” Appeared

Blockchain, Reloaded: How the New “Matrix” Appeared

Op-Ed The following opinion piece on blockchain technology was written by Alexander Borodich, CEO Universa.io, futurologist, and Forbes contributor Just like any other phenomenon that happened to be in the public eye or the subject of hype, the blockchain has been fleshed out with legends and interpretations and they are often far separated from reality. Many still think that blockchain and Bitcoin are synonyms and that they are just another pyramid investment scheme not worth paying attention to. Also read: Trader Alleges Bithumb is Losing $150,000 USD Daily to Washtrading A conservative approach is a natural defense mechanism against everything that’s new, even if it helps to save energy, time and resources. But what if that approach is wrong? There are those who believe in the blockchain and think of it as progressive a technology as smartphones once were. What if they’re right? What if this technology will change our lives as Internet once did? There’s no need to get down to brass tacks. Some general insight into the blockchain and its advantages is enough. There is an analogy between the blockchain and The Matrix movie from 1999: “Welcome to the real world, Neo.” Different nations have tried to come up with various solutions for the exchange of goods that were necessary for trade. While the advantages of gold and silver ensured their supremacy for millennia, the cultures that had no access to them managed to find some extraordinary solutions. For example, in Micronesia, they considered Rai stones (huge stone discs) a currency. Verbal legends about origin and history of the stones’ owners were often attributed to them. Deals were conducted verbally and did not require relocation of the stones. Every new owner had to mark a stone as his, so the whole history of ownership was on the stone. The stones are often called prototypes of the blockchain. But of course, that’s quite an assumption. The true conditions for the advent of the blockchain included the development of the Internet and growing computing capacity of modern devices. Of course, the invention of the idea required someone who would come up with it and be able to bring it to life. Alas, the true creator of the blockchain is shrouded in mystery, just like the names…

How To Make Sure Crypto Trading Does Not Take Over Your Life

How To Make Sure Crypto Trading Does Not Take Over Your Life

News Could you live without cryptocurrency in your life? For its proponents, bitcoin is a drug that’s had them hooked since the day they discovered it. Not all holders feel the same way though. Stung by massive losses and the realisation that cryptocurrency is taking over their life, some traders forced themselves to walk away for good. Also read: Major Korean Insurer to Offer Crypto Exchanges Insurance for Hacking Damages Moving On When the Music Stops “After spending 5 years in crypto I am out,” began the message board confession. “Yesterday’s crash was brutal, and something I can’t wrap my mind around changed when I woke up this morning. I don’t want to wage-cuck but I will. And instead of spending my entire days behind a screen in a room I am gonna get a job, hang out with the friends that I have been neglecting and just be a cucked member of society.” The prospect of quitting crypto altogether – everything it stands for and the culture that comes with it – is anathema to most. Being in crypto is like supporting your football team; it’s less something you choose, and more something that’s thrust upon you. Buying bitcoin is akin to being inducted into the Mafia: once you’re in, you’re in for life. But life isn’t always understanding, and for some, cursed by their own greed or poor decision-making, cryptocurrency can become a millstone around their neck, a dead weight more burdensome than the heaviest of altbags. Crypto Is a Hard Habit to Break Few tears will be shed over those who came for the profits, got burnt, and then scampered back whence they came. The remainder who are, all memes aside, in it for the tech, and for the financial freedom cryptocurrency can provide, won’t be going anywhere. Not all of those planning to abandon the good ship crypto are doing so because they got rekt, it should be noted. Some have simply become too immersed. “I’m starting to consider what to do in a few months time,” conceded one freelancer, pondering an exit strategy. Having been working full-time in crypto for six months, while racking up long hours, he’s starting to feel the strain. Despite having been enthralled with bitcoin since 2013,…

Crypto and Stock Trading Startup Robinhood Is Eyeing an IPO

Crypto and Stock Trading Startup Robinhood Is Eyeing an IPO

Mobile investment app Robinhood that launched a zero-commission cryptocurrency trading service early this year is now searching for a chief financial officer as the startup prepares for an initial public offering (IPO). Speaking at a TechCrunch event on Thursday, Robinhood’s CEO Baiju Bhatt revealed that the firm is “actively looking for a CFO right now” as he confirmed going public is “definitely” in the company’s plan in the medium to long-term. He added: “Being a public company I think aligns very closely with our mission as well. And it’s definitely on the horizon, not in the immediate term, but that’s something we are thinking about.” Further, Bhatt said as a financial service company, its security measures and financial performances are being audited by financial regulators in the U.S. such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The news follows Robinhood’s announcement in May that it raised $363 million in a Series D round funding led by DST Global and Sequoia Capital, which valued the firm at $5.6 billion. Bhatt said at the time that with the new capital, the firm aimed to “become either the largest or one of the largest crypto platforms out there” by end of 2018. As CoinDesk previously reported, the zero-fee stock trading startup launched Robinhood Crypto in February aimed to allow users in the U.S. to buy and sell cryptocurrencies at lower costs. Currently, it’s offering trading options for bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, litecoin, and dogecoin in 17 states in the U.S. and claims to have over 5 million users on the platform. Trading index 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.

The Creator of Proof-of-Stake Thinks He Finally Figured It Out

The Creator of Proof-of-Stake Thinks He Finally Figured It Out

Known for creating the first proof-of-stake-based cryptocurrency, pseudonymous developer Sunny King is back with an idea that’s sure to surprise – adding hardware. Proof-of-stake, or PoS, has been heralded as a more ecological way to come to consensus on blockchains since it doesn’t rely on expensive hardware using vast amounts of electricity to compute mathematical puzzles (for instance, like bitcoin’s proof-of-work). As a result of this, and the algorithm’s ability to handle more scale, various high-profile blockchain projects, including EOS, Tezos, NEO and Cardano, have adopted the system. But according to King, by reworking the algorithm to allow for specialized hardware, PoS will be even better suited for high-speed transaction throughput. The creator of peercoin, the first proof-of-stake cryptocurrency launched in 2012, and primecoin, a cryptocurrency that achieves its security by searching for prime numbers, King is known for finding innovative ways to re-architect the technology. Primecoin even inspired ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, who called King “the single most original altcoin developer out there” in 2013. And now, he’s hoping to inspire again with his new design called “supernode proof-of-stake,” or SPoS, which requires specialized hardware to operate. While the project is still a bit light on the details, King said the concept of SPoS isn’t far from delegated proof-of-stake, or DPoS, in that it allows for the concentration of staking pools. According to King, with this, the project intends to simplify the development and maintenance of the blockchains therein. “I try to envision an era that blockchain is used widely in technology,” King told CoinDesk, adding: “Proof-of-stake consensus is especially designed for this purpose, to enable an era where millions or more blockchains can run independently with high level of security and basically no energy requirement.” Built to popularize blockchain adoption by optimizing the technology for data-storage and making it more efficient to deploy, the project is being designed specifically for a Hong Kong-based project, Virtual Economy Era (VEE), of which King is chief architect. It’s set to go live on September 17, at which time an internal token, VEE coin, will also launch, and the project’s code base will be made open source. According to King, “VEE takes a good look at the barriers of building blockchain applications and tries to streamline the process and expand the…

EF Hutton Initiates Coverage of Cryptocurrencies – BCH Gets 5-Star Rating

EF Hutton Initiates Coverage of Cryptocurrencies – BCH Gets 5-Star Rating

Finance American stock brokerage firm EF Hutton is initiating coverage of seven cryptocurrencies, each given a rating of one to five stars. New.Bitcoin.com talked to CEO Christopher Daniels who shared his firm’s methodology used to analyze the cryptocurrencies and how they are rated. Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals EF Hutton Initiating Crypto Coverage EF Hutton announced on Wednesday, September 5, that this week it is initiating “coverage of bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), ripple (XRP), eos (EOS), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), cardano (ADA) and will rate each.” In addition to providing crypto coverage, the firm “will also provide equity research coverage of companies involved in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets,” starting with Hut 8 Mining and Hive Blockchain Technologies. “Ratings scale is one star to five stars with five-stars representing a positive outlook and one-star representing a negative outlook,” the firm detailed. EF Hutton CEO Christopher Daniels told news.Bitcoin.com: Our rating on BCH is five stars. In our rating scale – 5-stars is the highest and best rating that can be assigned to an instrument. It means that we foresee significant appreciation within the next 12 months. Other crypto ratings are in EF Hutton’s reports, available to subscribers. Founded in 1904, EF Hutton provides digital finance services including online investment services. The firm is a subsidiary of Hutn Group Inc., which also owns mobile communications services provider Vibrant Mobility Inc. and integrated social networks and online services provider Megga Inc. Methodology Used in Crypto Analysis Speaking of the methodology used in his firm’s analysis, Daniels explained that “EF Hutton evaluates each instrument separately and also in relation to its position vis-a-vis other cryptocurrencies,” adding: We consider short, medium and long-term factors that will impact the price of the instrument, however our rating is based on our view of the instrument in the next 12-months. The first factor his firm considers is “the purpose for which the instrument was originated. We look for intrinsic purpose-driven of demand,” the CEO described. “Next we look at how the instrument is positioned versus other instruments that may overlap with its originated purpose,” he continued to elaborate. “For example, technology and other factors that may give one instrument an advantage over another instrument.” Illustrating his…