Square’s Cash App Now Charging Fees for Bitcoin Purchases

Square’s Cash App Now Charging Fees for Bitcoin Purchases

Jack Dorsey may “love” bitcoin but it looks like Square needs a better margin on it regardless. Square’s Cash App has started charging fees of as much as 1.76 percent on bitcoin purchases, sources have pointed out to CoinDesk. The Cash App’s support website now acknowledge fees, writing: “Cash App may charge a fee when you buy or sell bitcoin. If so, the fee will be listed on the trade confirmation before you complete a transaction.” It is unclear when that language was added but there were no fees associated with bitcoin purchases as recently as September. According to the Internet Archive, the same “Fees” page said on March 8, 2019: “You are not charged a conversion fee, or any other fees, to buy or sell Bitcoin through the Cash App.” One screenshot of a purchase page dated Nov. 5 showed a $0.10 fee for a $10 purchase (1 percent). We also saw $0.88 for a $50 purchase (1.76 percent) and $1.75 for a $100 purchase (1.75 percent). It seems that Square rounds down in certain instances. Square did not immediately reply to a request for comment from CoinDesk. It is unclear if the fees have rolled out to all users but CoinDesk has verified the existence of the fees on four different accounts. Nevertheless, the fees compare favorably with Coinbase for smaller BTC purchases. The leading crypto-first startup has variable fees based on the size of the transaction with fees starting at $0.99 for any purchase below $10. A $10 transaction on Coinbase incurs a $1.49 fee. At $50 to $200 the fee is $2.99. With a flat 1.49 percent fee for larger purchases, Coinbase becomes a better option above roughly $171, according to our tests. All those fees certainly add up: Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced last month the company has earned more than $2 billion in transaction fee revenue since launching in 2012. Square recently announced it would enable purchases of equities in the Cash App, and confirmed to The Verge there would be no fees for stock purchases. Square processed $125 million in bitcoin sales through its Cash App in the second quarter of 2019, nearly doubling a record first quarter. However, Q2’s bitcoin sales only generated $2 million of gross profit for the company.…

US Prosecutors Charge Founder of ‘IGOBIT’ Token With Fraud

US Prosecutors Charge Founder of ‘IGOBIT’ Token With Fraud

U.S. prosecutors charged Asa Saint Clair, the president of a nonexistent United Nations affiliate, with fraud Wednesday, alleging he defrauded investors using the IGOBIT digital token. Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York alleged that Saint Clair lured investors to buy into the “World Sports Alliance” using his IGOBIT digital currency, promising investors equity the in organization from 2017 to September 2019. According to the indictment, IGOBIT was never built, and the project’s investors did not receive the tokens they were promised. “As alleged, Asa Saint Clair used World Sports Alliance, a sham affiliate of the United Nations, as a vehicle to defraud lenders,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. “Saint Clair allegedly defrauded investors in IGOBIT, a digital currency he claimed WSA was developing, but which turned out to be the fraudulent bait with which to lure victim investors.” Instead, Saint Clair is said to have siphoned off the money for his personal use. “Saint Clair allegedly touted his company as promoting the values of sports and peace for a better world, yet defrauded all those who invested in his sham company,” Special Agent-in-Charge Peter Fitzhugh said in a statement. “As alleged, Saint Clair used the money he earned through deceit to fund a lavish lifestyle for him and his family.” Saint Clair faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of wire fraud. The World Sports Alliance did not immediately respond to CoinDesk request for comment. Image via Shutterstock

North Korea Set Up a Blockchain Firm to Launder Crypto to Cash: UN

North Korea Set Up a Blockchain Firm to Launder Crypto to Cash: UN

North Korea has been using a Hong Kong-based blockchain company to launder money, according to a quarterly report from the UN Security Council’s Sanctions Committee on North Korea. As reported by South Korean newspaper Chosun, North Korea employed a shipping and logistics firm called Marine China, which runs on a blockchain platform, to avoid international sanctions by laundering stolen cryptocurrency. The report claims a man named Julian Kim, under the alias Tony Walker, was the sole owner and investor in the firm, and had attempted to withdraw money from banks in Singapore on several occasions. As per Chosun, the UN claims the laundering scheme, which also involved another undisclosed individual linked to the firm, circulated the stolen crypto through upwards of 5,000 transactions in multiple countries to obfuscate its source. The report further states that North Korea has developed precision “spear-phishing” attacks. Over the past three years, a previous UN report said, 17 countries have been targeted by its hacking experts resulting in over $2 billion in losses – a figure that regime has denied. Chosun adds that the report also notes the development of malicious code used to move stolen bitcoin to a server located at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung University. Severe sanctions against North Korea from the UN and other international bodies have pushed the country’s regime towards cryptocurrencies over time. This September, Vice reported the country is developing its own cryptocurrency with properties similar to bitcoin to sidestep international sanctions. North Korea image via Shutterstock

Chinese Agency Scraps Plan to Eliminate Bitcoin Mining Industry

Chinese Agency Scraps Plan to Eliminate Bitcoin Mining Industry

More than six months after the China National Development and Reform Commission proposed to categorize bitcoin mining as an industry to be phased out from the country, it appears the agency has now scrapped that plan. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a top-level economic planning agency under China’s State Council, published a finalized new Catalog for Guiding Industry Restructuring on Wednesday that will take effect from Jan 1, 2020. In the final version, which will replace the current one published in 2011, the agency has removed bitcoin mining or other virtual currency mining activities from the initially proposed category of industries that should be eliminated from China. Description related to virtual currency or bitcoin mining can’t be found in the finalized catalog. Formally established in 1998, the NDRC is now one of the 26 cabinet-level departments which all together form the State Council of the Chinese central government. The main role of the NDRC focuses on studying and penning economic reform strategies and policies to be executed at local level governments. The NDRC first published its industry reform catalog in 2005, grouping industrial sectors into three types – those the agency advises the country to encourage, restrict or eliminate. The initial draft of the latest catalog update was released in April this year, which classified “virtual currency mining, such as the production process of bitcoin” under the category to be eliminated, recommending local governments to phase out bitcoin mining from the country that’s estimated to account for half of bitcoin’s global hashing power. The move was taken at the time by many, including major news outlets, as a signal that China was planning to ban bitcoin mining even though the policy itself does not automatically mean a bitcoin mining ban. The revision of the draft plan comes after a months-long period of public consultation. During a NDRC press conference on Wednesday, officials said since the release of the initial draft, the agency has received over 2,500 suggestions on various issues, most of which were taken into consideration, although the officials did not comment on any particular suggestion related to bitcoin mining. Chinese yuan image via Shutterstock

China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List

China Removes Bitcoin Mining From Unwanted Industries List

Inspired by its new fascination with blockchain, China now seems to have changed its mind about cryptocurrency mining. The latest version of a national macroeconomic plan indicates that the government in Beijing has given up intentions to suppress the bitcoin mining industry, in which Chinese companies have become global leaders. Also read: Another Chinese Lender Bailed Out After Bank Run Mining Not to Be ‘Eliminated’ The Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog, issued by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has lost a reference to crypto mining activities. This is actually good news as a draft released earlier this year had mining among industries that Beijing wanted local administrations to get rid of. “That doesn’t mean mining is legal, but it is less illegal,” a Chinese miner contacted by news.Bitcoin.com remarked confirming the news. The final version of the document, which was published this week, will enter into force in January 2020. The catalog lists industries that regional authorities are advised to encourage, restrict or eliminate. The initial policy proposal prepared by the central government agency in April reportedly mentioned virtual currency mining in the ‘eliminate’ category. NDRC, formerly the State Development Planning Commission, is responsible for macroeconomic management. It operates under the State Council, which is China’s main administrative authority controlling the country’s economy. The commission formulates policies for economic and social development and guides restructuring efforts. With around two dozen departments and agencies under its umbrella, it effectively functions as a mini version of the Chinese government. China’s Dominance in Bitcoin Minting Cheap electrical energy and suitable climate have turned China into a hotspot for the business of minting digital coins. The People’s Republic is a global leader in bitcoin mining with Chinese pools controlling around 70% of the BTC network’s collective hashrate. The most populous country is home to the world’s largest mining operations and mining hardware manufacturers such as Beijing-based Bitmain. The Chinese government has treated various crypto-related business activities differently. While cryptocurrency exchanges and coin offering projects were effectively banned from the mainland, authorities have largely turned a blind eye to digital currency mining. What’s more, in regions such as Sichuan, mining farms utilize electricity from state-owned hydropower plants even under contractual arrangements, as news.Bitcoin.com reported during the rainy season…

Video: Bitcoin Cash Lets You Buy Equity Over the Counter at a Bar

Video: Bitcoin Cash Lets You Buy Equity Over the Counter at a Bar

With all the talk about investing in digital assets new people to the scene might not know that cryptocurrency is still being used as peer-to-peer electronic cash as it was intended. The latest video from Bitcoin.com shows how BCH is used to buy anything from drinks at the bar to equity in a venture safely and easily. Also Read: Video: Will Bitcoin Crash or Double in Price After the Halving? Miners Have Their Say Using Cryptocurrency at the Bar The Bitcoin.com team recently attended a bitcoin cash meetup at Brewdog in London to sample some of the BCH-fueled nightlife the British capital has to offer. A short video with highlights from the event showcases how cryptocurrency is used by real people to make payments today for everyday purchases such as drinks at the bar. The London meetup also gave a chance for new people to learn about using the Bitcoin.com Wallet for fast, cheap and reliable payments firsthand. They got on the spot, real money demonstrations from the team including the company’s top leadership of Executive Chairman Roger Ver and CEO Stefan Rust. Watch the video on the official Bitcoin.com Youtube channel, subscribe and make sure to leave a comment to join the discussion. Equity for Punks One interesting highlight from the Brewdog meetup video is seeing how CEO Stefan Rust bought shares in the craft brewer with bitcoin cash right at the bar. In July of this year Brewdog, which had already been selling beers for BCH since 2018, revealed that the public can also invest in the company using cryptocurrency. It has a crew of over 1,500 employees, 80 locations worldwide with two breweries in Ellon, Scotland and Columbus, Ohio that export to 60 markets globally. The brewery’s crowdfunding project, “Equity for Punks,” has been extended until April 2020 and accepts bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), omisego (OMG), qtum (QTUM), augur (REP), 0x (ZRX), bitcoin SV (BSV), ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and ripple (XRP). Shares in Brewdog cost £25 each and can be redeemed through the company’s website. It had already raised over £72 million from more than 114,000 people around the world before opening up the crypto option. James Watt, Captain of Brewdog, stated at the time: “Our Equity Punks are…

Tokens.net Seals Partnership With Bitcoin.com as an Official SLP Partner

Tokens.net Seals Partnership With Bitcoin.com as an Official SLP Partner

Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) is a protocol for token creation on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain, promoting tokenization of assets in a simple and effective way. The Simple Ledger Protocol provides electronic wallets, block explorers, social media bots, token faucets and back-end infrastructure, as well as protocols for token creation and consulting for token resources and development. Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) and Simplified Tokenization As tokenization is slowly but steadily gaining in popularity thanks to transparency and increased functionality in terms of storing and distributing value, the Simple Ledger Protocol offers a simplified and efficient way of tokenizing assets with greater integrity as opposed to traditional forms of asset trading and accounting. Any value can be tokenized and SLP offers the right tools for the tokenization of gaming assets, gift cards, digital media rights, company stocks and shares, creating a highly functional digital market. SLP tokens are created on the Simple Ledger Protocol that is built on the Bitcoin Cash chain, enabling prompt and efficient management, token creation and trading. SLP tokens on the Bitcoin Cash chain are equivalent to ERC20 type tokens on the Ethereum network. SLP provides efficiency, integrity and transparency through enabling support for light wallets, full audibility for on-chain transactions, simplified token systems with user-friendly tools, token loss prevention, flexible issuance, multi-signature addresses and peer-to-peer exchange of tokenized value within a permissionless environment. Tokens.net is Joining the SLP Alliance Tokens.net exchange is proud to be a part of the development of tokenized assets and a decentralized digital market by becoming one of the first cryptocurrency and token exchanges to adopt the SLP protocol. Through this implementation, Tokens.net is joining the broader market of digital assets with SLP implementation, towards bringing tokenization to broad masses. Tokens.net is partnering with Bitcoin.com in order to bring SLP tokenization to mainstream markets and towards mass adoption. About Tokens.net Tokens.net is operating under the slogan “Trusted European Crypto exchange”, justifying their principal motto with top safety, high-security standards, utmost reliability, and 100 per cent transparent trading volume. Founded by crypto pioneers, the exchange represents a trusted platform for trading, backed by a team of professionals with a proven reputation. Based in the UK, this European crypto exchange takes pride in transparency, security and unique user-friendly design…

Nervos Network Targets November Launch With $72 Million Token Sale

Nervos Network Targets November Launch With $72 Million Token Sale

Blockchain startup Nervos Network plans to launch its “Lina” blockchain next week, on the heels of securing $72 million through a token sale on Coinlist. The company announced Wednesday that developers and miners will be able to participate and utilize its network on Nov. 16, with fresh backing from China Merchants Bank International (CMBI), Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, Hashkey, MultiCoin and Distributed Global supporting its efforts. The company initially sought to raise $50 million for the network, exceeding this amount through its three-week sale. Nervos declined to disclose the exact amounts of investment from each major investor. “The mainnet will enable users to build applications on our blockchain without facing the tradeoff between scalability and security,” Nervos Network co-founder Kevin Wang said. Wang told CoinDesk the mainnet’s two-layer structure allows users to build decentralized applications on a secure, public layer but actually run the applications on its second layer, promising “unlimited” scalability through this function. The company’s new CKByte token entitles holders to storage space on the blockchain, acting as an incentive mechanism for miners and acting as a resource management tool. According to the token’s official public offering statement, the company would use 23.5 percent of the initial token supply to encourage open-source contributions and business partnerships. Wang said the mainnet could be used as the technical infrastructure for a variety of use cases ranging from decentralized finance platforms to assets tokenization. Nervos had developed applications for the Chinese banking giant CMBI even before the mainnet launch. There are certainly more opportunities to collaborate with other financial institutions to build Defi applications after the launch, Wang said. The company has established its significant presence in the Chinese developers’ community as some of the core team members are among the earliest ethereum developers in the country. Nervos previously secured $28 million in Series A funding last year. The financing round was led by Polychain and private equity giant Sequoia China. The fundraising was a private sale that guarantees 14 percent of the initial token distribution for the investors in 2019, Wang previously told CoinDesk. The company will use the proceeds to invest more in research and development to improve the network, and incentivize more miners and developers to use the network, according to Wang. Image via…

Kim Dotcom’s Planned Token Sale Is Off, Says Bitfinex

Kim Dotcom’s Planned Token Sale Is Off, Says Bitfinex

Bitfinex and a blockchain project launched by Kim Dotcom have “mutually agreed” to part ways, scuppering a planned initial exchange offering (IEO) for the controversial internet entrepreneur. Citing the current “regulatory environment” and the “risks associated with raising funds” for the project, Bitfinex said in a blog post Wednesday that it was in the interest of its “community” not to host the sale of Dotcom’s kimcoin token. Dotcom was notably the founder of Megaupload, a file-sharing site shut down in 2012 for violating piracy laws by the U.S. Department of Justice. He’s currently still in the process of appealing extradition to the United States from New Zealand where he resides. The K.im project is a blockchain-based content-monetization network, touted on its website as “providing a comprehensive suite of advanced services and technologies to manage, protect and sell every digital content.” The IEO model of fundraising emerged in 2019 and sees exchange platforms offering listing support and launch campaigns for new startup tokens. To date, Bitfinex has conducted token sales for projects Dusk, Ampleforth and Ultra, among others. Image via Kim Dotcom/Twitter

Binance to Advise Ukraine Government on Upcoming Crypto Regulation

Binance to Advise Ukraine Government on Upcoming Crypto Regulation

Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance has agreed to help Ukraine prepare new rules for cryptocurrencies, as well as digitize the country’s finances. Announced by the exchange Wednesday, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Binance to work together on “establishing the potential legal status of virtual assets and currencies in the country.” The ministry was founded in September to supervise Ukraine’s transition to a digital economy and online government services. Under the MoU, Binance and the ministry will start a joint working group to discuss future crypto regulation and the creation of a digital asset market. “Binance will also help develop transparent and effective mechanisms for the transfer of rights to any virtual assets or currencies using blockchain technology as well as beneficial conditions for investments and business in Ukraine,” a press release provided to CoinDesk explains. Binance will meet with Ukrainian government officials during the upcoming visit of team to Kiev. In the announcement, Binance’s CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao described the new agreement as being positive for Ukraine, saying: “The legalization of cryptocurrencies and corresponding adoption of progressive legislation in this sphere can become one of the key drivers in stimulating positive growth in the Ukrainian economy, as well as attract additional investments to the country.” Regulation on the way? A group of Ukrainian parliament members and blockchain entrepreneurs recently published three draft bills to be introduced in the country’s parliament soon, as one of the lawmakers, Oleksiy Zhmerenetsky, posted on his Facebook page. “The legislation for the blockchain economy is approaching the finish line,” Zhmerenetsky wrote, making the drafts available (Ukrainian language only) for the public to review and comment. A number of comments, including some critical of the bills’ phrasing, have accumulated on the drafts’ margins since they were posted. The Ministry of Digital Transformation is, however, optimistic about the prospects of the future laws. “At last, Ukraine is finally in a situation where the executive, legislative authorities and market have come to an understanding of the regulation of the Ukrainian cryptocurrency market,” said Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov in a statement. The legislation, he suggested, should be ready for introduction in Ukraine’s parliament “by the end of this year.” Ultimately, the ministry “intends to create a comfortable, competitive environment…