G20 Countries Start Implementing Unified Crypto Standards

G20 Countries Start Implementing Unified Crypto Standards

As the G20 summit approaches, member countries have been discussing how to implement the standards set by intergovernmental organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force. While there may be some challenges in complying with the standards, the European Central Bank says the risks crypto assets pose to the euro area’s financial stability are manageable. Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request G20 Implementing Global Standards The G20 countries have reaffirmed their support for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as the global standard-setting body in areas such as anti-money laundering. They have also agreed to follow the FATF recommendations including those concerning crypto assets. The FATF held its annual Private Sector Consultative Forum in Austria earlier this month with its members and over 300 representatives from the private sector participating. Members of the FATF are 36 countries and two international organizations including the European Commission. The FATF explained: The discussions focused on the mapping of virtual asset services and business models … and on the implementation of specific FATF recommendations. A FATF meetingIn its April report to the G20, the FATF outlined its work on crypto asset standards and promised to update its guidance “to continue assisting jurisdictions and the private sector, in implementing a risk-based approach to regulating virtual asset service providers, including their supervision and monitoring,” the report describes. “This will help countries in exercising oversight of this sector.” While emphasizing various risks such as money laundering, the FATF also recognized: Technological innovations, including those underlying virtual assets … may deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy. Russia Has Issues to Resolve Among countries that have announced their plans to implement the standards set by the FATF is Russia. The country has yet to finalize the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, which President Vladimir Putin originally said must be done by July last year. Since no crypto regulation had been introduced, the Russian president signed another order for his country’s crypto regulation to be implemented by July this year. However, another delay may also be in the cards as the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, has revealed that “The adoption of the law on digital financial assets is ‘stuck’…

G20 Countries Start Implementing Unified Cryptocurrency Standards

G20 Countries Start Implementing Unified Cryptocurrency Standards

As the G20 summit approaches, member countries have been discussing how to implement the standards set by intergovernmental organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force. While there may be some challenges in complying with the standards, the European Central Bank says the risks crypto assets pose to the euro area’s financial stability are manageable. Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request G20 Implementing Global Standards The G20 countries have reaffirmed their support for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as the global standard-setting body in areas such as anti-money laundering. They have also agreed to follow the FATF recommendations including those concerning crypto assets. The FATF held its annual Private Sector Consultative Forum in Austria earlier this month with its members and over 300 representatives from the private sector participating. Members of the FATF are 36 countries and two international organizations including the European Commission. The FATF explained: The discussions focused on the mapping of virtual asset services and business models … and on the implementation of specific FATF recommendations. A FATF meetingIn its April report to the G20, the FATF outlined its work on crypto asset standards and promised to update its guidance “to continue assisting jurisdictions and the private sector, in implementing a risk-based approach to regulating virtual asset service providers, including their supervision and monitoring,” the report describes. “This will help countries in exercising oversight of this sector.” While emphasizing various risks such as money laundering, the FATF also recognized: Technological innovations, including those underlying virtual assets … may deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy. Russia Has Issues to Resolve Among countries that have announced their plans to implement the standards set by the FATF is Russia. The country has yet to finalize the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, which President Vladimir Putin originally said must be done by July last year. Since no crypto regulation had been introduced, the Russian president signed another order for his country’s crypto regulation to be implemented by July this year. However, another delay may also be in the cards as the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, has revealed that “The adoption of the law on digital financial assets is ‘stuck’…

Crypto Assets Outshine Most Traditional Investments in 2019

Crypto Assets Outshine Most Traditional Investments in 2019

Last year, cryptocurrency proponents either complained about the low prices or celebrated the fact they could obtain cheaper coins. 2019 has been an entirely different story, however, as digital assets have started to gain significant value in comparison to traditional assets like stocks, oil, and precious metals. Also Read: US Copyright Office Responds to Craig Wright’s Bitcoin Registrations There’s Nothing Like Crypto Gains Digital currencies have had a great year based on the five months up to June 1st. So far cryptocurrencies have outshined traditional investments like oil, gold, and popular stocks. The market valuation of all 2,000+ digital currencies is now close to a quarter of a trillion dollars. There’s also been a steady $40-100 billion dollars in trade volume every 24 hours over the last few weeks. In comparison, the top performing traditional asset is oil, which is up over 29% since the beginning of the year. Oil and gold’s performance over the first five months of 2019. This is followed by stocks like Nasdaq (+15%), S&P (+13%), Dow Jones (+10%), and Nikkei (+6%). One troy ounce .999 Gold (Au) prices have remained around the same value over the last five months but gained 0.46% since Jan. 1. On the first of the year, the price of one ounce of silver was $15.49 but the value has lost 7.48% with current prices at $14.33 per troy ounce of .999 silver (Ag). The Top 5 Crypto Market Leaders A great majority of cryptos gained much more value than most of these traditional assets combined. The top runner of 2019 is binance coin (BNB) which has gained 450% this year. BNB has climbed from $6.19 per coin on Jan. 1 to $34.06 at today’s opening prices. Litecoin (LTC) is the second largest 2019 market leader with 265.85% gained when the price was $30.46 on the first of the year and $111.44 per LTC today. Another coin tezos (XTZ) started the year off at $0.46 per XTZ and on May 28, the price per XTZ is $1.66, an increase of over 260%. Historical data also shows that bitcoin cash (BCH) opened the day at $432 per BCH on May 28, which is 186% higher than the $150 BCH spot prices on the first day of January.…

MakerDAO Finally Approves DAI Fee Decrease After 11-Day Deliberation

MakerDAO Finally Approves DAI Fee Decrease After 11-Day Deliberation

After nearly two weeks of continuous voting, MakerDAO token holders have officially activated a decrease to DAI stablecoin fees. DAI is an ethereum-based token which presently maintains a soft peg to the U.S. dollar. In recent months, fees have increased dramatically for users to loan out DAI from the MakerDAO system. This was because since as early as February DAI dollar valuation had consistently fluctuated below the targeted $1.00 mark. This month DAI dollar valuation has stabilized considerably and is now trading on major cryptocurrency exchanges at or around $1.00. Source: https://dai.stablecoin.science  At present, there is over $400 million worth of ether backing a supply of roughly 80 million DAI. This makes MakerDAO by far the most popular decentralized financial application in the crypto space at present, according to DeFi Pulse.  For the past two weeks, MakerDAO token holders have been debating whether or not a decrease to DAI lending fees – called the Stability Fee – should be issued into the system given a steady dollar valuation. The last successful effort to decrease the fee took place in late December of last year. At first, two token holders dominated an initial governance vote collectively staking 54,000 MKR in favor of a 2 percent Stability Fee decrease. This decision was reaffirmed the next week when more than 9 token holders again voted for the same 2 percent decrease. However, both times the vote was not ratified in a secondary round of voting – called the executive vote – which requires token holders to reach a minimum threshold of votes greater than the amount staked in the previous round of executive voting. The last successful executive vote initiating a two percent increase to the Stability Fee was ratified into the system with a total of 35,221.95 MKR staked in favor. Today’s executive vote initiating a two percent decrease was activated with a total of 89,926.75 MKR staked. Pennies image via Shutterstock 

U.S. Regulators Risk Causing a Brain Drain to Friendlier Crypto Climes

U.S. Regulators Risk Causing a Brain Drain to Friendlier Crypto Climes

Cryptocurrency companies in the United States aren’t happy. Token issuers, exchanges, and VCs are up in arms about vague and contradictory guidance on crypto asset regulation. Should the U.S. fail to revise its financial laws, they warn, there is a risk of top talent making an exodus to friendlier crypto climes. Also read: Countries Suffering From Rapid Inflation Show Significant Demand for Cryptos The US Risks Being Left Behind America is known for its forward-thinking approach to tech. As a consequence, Silicon Valley startups have been allowed to flourish in a favorable regulatory climate. Because blockchain technology intersects with money, however, innovating in the U.S. hasn’t been so straightforward. A string of regulatory agencies including the SEC and CFTC take a strict view of such matters as unlicensed money transmission and unregistered securities trading. Cryptocurrency issuers, service providers and P2P traders risk falling afoul of confusing state and federal laws, which are often enforced without rhyme nor reason. Figuring out the stance of the SEC and its cohorts is a task that’s kept even the best crypto lawyers guessing. In a blog post on May 23, Poloniex exchange owners Circle pleaded for U.S. regulators to show sanity. The company warned of conflicting SEC policy “chilling innovation in the U.S. and nudging crypto projects toward jurisdictions with greater regulatory clarity—neither of which is good for U.S. business.” They added: We’re frustrated by the consequences of the current guidance, and we know those sentiments are shared by the crypto community as a whole … we need … thoughtful and effective policies in the U.S. that enable creativity from technologists the world over and are built for crypto assets released on public blockchains, rather than age-old laws written for securities offered by corporations. If the penalty for breaching securities laws was only a slap on the wrist, businesses might be more inclined to move fast and break stuff, rather than tread carefully for fear of censure. Instead, cryptocurrency exchanges have been forced to err on the side of the caution, in the knowledge that the slightest slip could see them slapped with a punitive fine or barred from trading altogether. While America Slumbers, Other Nations Seize the Day Confusion over what constitutes a security and whether “sufficient decentralization”…

Report: Circulation of Facebook’s Crypto Could Face Demographic Challenges

Report: Circulation of Facebook’s Crypto Could Face Demographic Challenges

Facebook’s payment-focused cryptocurrency Globalcoin will face demographic challenges, according to recent research by cryptocurrency analysis firm Diar published on May 28. Facebook’s native cryptocurrency — which will purportedly seek to disrupt or bypass banking networks in order to remove financial barriers and lessen consumer costs — will reportedly launch in 2020. In its recent report, Diar suggests that the coin will face demographic challenges as the social media giant’s user base is aging. There is purportedly not enough awareness about digital currencies among the aging user base, while the small user base of young people, who are well-informed about the new type of currency, are not wealthy enough to use it in significant volumes. Facebook user age distribution. Source: Diar Moreover, to facilitate adoption from consumers and merchants, Globalcoin will need to enter into partnerships with traditional financial institutions, the report continues. Most probably, Facebook will reportedly focus on countries whose financial infrastructure is lacking, Diar states. As previously reported, Facebook was reportedly in discussions with global payments services provider Western Union, as part of its research into providing affordable access to money transfer services for the unbanked. Facebook was also reportedly seeking $1 billion in backing for its crypto project from Visa and MasterCard and has also allegedly met with venture capital mogul Tim Draper to discuss possible investment. Last week, the Financial Times reported that Facebook held talks with major American crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase and Gemini exchange, which was founded by the Winklevoss twins. According to anonymous sources, Facebook conducted negotiations with major crypto-related firms in order to ensure that its long-rumored stablecoin is pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar and is liquid, tradeable and secure.

South Korea’s Bitcoin Trading Volumes on LocalBitcoins Reach New Record Levels

South Korea’s Bitcoin Trading Volumes on LocalBitcoins Reach New Record Levels

Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes in South Korea have recently reached new levels on peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange LocalBitcoins, according to charts on BTC statistics service Coin Dance. According to the data, bitcoin weekly trading volumes have surged over the past two weeks, with the latest week recording a new high of around 219 million South-Korean won ($185,000). South Korea LocalBitcoins Weekly Trade Volumes in BTC. Source: Coin Dance Founded in Finland in 2012, LocalBitcoins offers over-the-counter trading of local currency for bitcoin and operates as a P2P trading platform. The Finnish crypto trading platform is especially popular in Latin America, with Venezuela and Colombia having reportedly accounted for 85% of LocalBitcoins’s trading volumes by February 2019. According to data from crypto analytics website Coinhills, the South-Korean won is one of the most popular national currencies trading against bitcoin. Accounting for around 20,000 btc ($173 million) in daily trading volumes against bitcoin, the won is ranked the third largest national currency traded versus BTC after the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen. Top 8 national currencies traded against bitcoin. Source: Coinhills In mid-April, major South Korean crypto exchange Coinnest started closing its services, which was reportedly a result of the extended 2018 bear market. Subsequently, Cointelegraph reported that the number of South Koreans buying cryptocurrency with fiat money has significantly increased, while the amount of crypto investment in 2018 surging by 64% over 2017. Last week, LocalBitcoins banned Iranian residents from using its service, as the exchange purportedly had to restrict Iranian transactions to comply with financial regulations in Finland, as well as with the sanctions imposed by the United States.

Car-Racing Crypto Collectable Sells for Over $100,000 In Ether Tokens

Car-Racing Crypto Collectable Sells for Over $100,000 In Ether Tokens

An elusive user named 09E282 has apparently paid over $113,000 worth of the cryptocurrency Wrapped Ether for a blockchain token tied to a virtual Formula 1 race car. Etherscan shows the transaction as happening on May 27 at 6:49 AM UTC. Why this happened is still unclear but it seems that someone out there wanted a totally buffed virtual car for a game that, as GTPlanet notes, is an ” unreleased, officially-licensed Formula 1 game you have almost certainly never heard of.” The racing game is called F1 Delta Time and was made by Animoca Brands, a company that licenses popular characters and properties and builds mobile games around them. F1 Delta Time is a “blockchain-based” title that bears the official seal of approval from the company that controls the Formula 1 races. The car was the first product available for in-game purchase – in this case, via an outside auction – and apparently owning this vehicle is worth over $100,000 to someone out there. Besides, this car is overpowered to the max, bruh! Image from F1 Delta Time From GTPlanet: Why would anyone spend that much money on a virtual car in an unreleased racing game that few people know anything about? While NFT-based cryptocurrency games like F1 Delta Time are interesting and exciting new ways to use blockchain, this investment is so outrageously bizarre that it seems almost suspicious. Was Animoco just using this auction to build publicity around its new game? Could some wealthy F1 fan with a penchant for cryptocurrency speculation really have spent $100,000 on the 1-1-1? After the 2017 rise of CryptoKitties, which saw people paying as much as six figures for a virtual pet, it’s perhaps not all that surprising that a non-fungible token (NFT) representing an imaginary racecar, created on ethereum using the same ERC-721 standard, would sell for so much. The transaction, for what its worth, is recorded here according to Etherscan. Whether this was a stunt, a mistake, or the start of a new – albeit odd – market is anyone’s guess. We’ve put in a request for comment regarding this shiny virtual vehicle. Image courtesy of F1 Delta Time

Countries Suffering From Rapid Inflation Show Significant Demand for Cryptos

Countries Suffering From Rapid Inflation Show Significant Demand for Cryptos

Cryptocurrencies have been trending upwards in price over the last few weeks, but in certain countries around the world digital assets have become far more valuable. For instance, in Argentina, the nation’s sovereign currency has lost considerable value and cryptocurrencies like BTC are seeing all-time price highs. The surge in value is not just taking place in Argentina as a few other countries suffering from hyperinflation are seeing significant demand as well. Also read: Bitcoin.com Celebrates 4 Million Wallets Created Lots of Crypto Demand Stems from Countries Experiencing High Inflation and Currency Devaluation Over the last week, digital currency supporters have noticed that the price of bitcoin core (BTC) and a few other popular assets have been seeing higher price gains in some markets compared with the rest of the world. The trend has been seen in countries suffering from economic distress and hyperinflation, an accelerated version of traditional inflation. Essentially the state’s currency begins to erode extremely fast and the prices of goods like food and medical supplies increase. Due to this factor, the region’s citizens usually switch to more stable foreign currencies in order to hedge against rapid inflation. Crypto supporters have been noticing this happen with digital assets and recently people have observed the high price of BTC in Argentina. Against the Argentine peso, bitcoin core’s value has spiked considerably and is even surpassing the all-time high in 2017. Currently, the price per BTC is 390,719 pesos in Argentina and Localbitcoins trade volumes have also touched an all-time high. During the first week of May, Argentinian Localbitcoins volumes reached $13 million and trading has continued relentlessly. The Argentine peso has seen a massive decline against the U.S. dollar and the economic uncertainties stem from the country’s upcoming change in leadership. However, the same trend is taking place with a few other failing currencies too like the Venezuelan bolivar, Sudanese pound, and Turkish lira. And there are other countries like Colombia, Chile, and Russia that are seeing increased crypto volumes and more demand than usual. Further, places like Argentina and Venezuela are also seeing demand for bitcoin cash (BCH) over the last 30 days. On Localbitcoins, the Turkish lira has seen steady volumes growing on the exchange and prices show that the value…

Car-Racing Crypto Collectable Sells For Over $100,000 In ETH

Car-Racing Crypto Collectable Sells For Over $100,000 In ETH

An elusive user named 09E282 has paid over $113,000 worth of the cryptocurrency ether for a blockchain token tied to a virtual Formula 1 race car. Why this happened is still unclear but it seems that someone out there wanted a totally buffed virtual car for a game that, as GTPlanet notes, is an ” unreleased, officially-licensed Formula 1 game you have almost certainly never heard of.” The racing game is called F1 Delta Time and was made by Animoca Brands, a company that licenses popular characters and properties and builds mobile games around them. F1 Delta Time is a “blockchain-based” title that bears the official seal of approval from the company that controls the Formula 1 races. The car was the first product available for in-game purchase – in this case, via an outside auction – and apparently owning this vehicle is worth over $100,000 to someone out there. Besides, this car is overpowered to the max, bruh! Image from F1 Delta Time From GTPlanet: Why would anyone spend that much money on a virtual car in an unreleased racing game that few people know anything about? While NFT-based cryptocurrency games like F1 Delta Time are interesting and exciting new ways to use blockchain, this investment is so outrageously bizarre that it seems almost suspicious. Was Animoco just using this auction to build publicity around its new game? Could some wealthy F1 fan with a penchant for cryptocurrency speculation really have spent $100,000 on the 1-1-1? After the 2017 rise of CryptoKitties, which saw people paying as much as six figures for a virtual pet, it’s perhaps not all that surprising that a non-fungible token (NFT) representing an imaginary racecar, created on ethereum using the same ERC-721 standard, would sell for so much. Whether this was a stunt, a mistake, or the start of a new – albeit odd – market is anyone’s guess. We’ve put in a request for comment regarding this shiny virtual vehicle. Image courtesy of F1 Delta Time