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Bing becomes latest to ban cryptocurrency ads

Cryptocurrency advertising will be absent from Bing by the end of July…

Following the lead set by Google, Facebook and Twitter, the search service Bing has confirmed that it’s now set to ban cryptocurrency advertising too.

The announcement came on the Bing Ads blog, where advertiser policy manager Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo said that “because cryptocurrency and related products are not regulated, we have found them to present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviours, or otherwise scam consumers”.

She added that “to help protect our users from this risk, we have made the decision to disallow advertising for cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency related products, and un-regulated binary options”.

The policy change will be implemented across the Bing Ads network starting in June, with full rollout expected in late June and early July. It’ll be completed by the end of July.

Whilst some have found (temporary) ways around the ad bans on other platforms, it does add to the growing feeling that some kind of cryptocurrency regulation is needed. In lieu of it, more and more big platforms are taking the easier way out, and simply implementing blanket bans. Bing is unlikely to be the last to do so.

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Adopt blockchain or be disrupted, warns FedEx CEO

red Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx, told an audience this week that those who don’t embrace blockchain technology will be left behind and disrupted.

The head of the logistics company sees great potential in blockchain technology to improve cross-border transfers, and relayed these thoughts to the crowd at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York.

“Blockchain has the potential to completely revolutionise what’s across the border, ” he said. “For cross-border shipments, ‘trust’ is legal requirement for every transaction. What blockchain has is a potential for the first time ever to make the information available for everybody.

“If you are not operating at the edge of new technologies, you will surely be disrupted. If you are not willing to embrace new technologies like the internet of things and blockchain to face those new threats, you are, maybe subtly, at some point… going to extinction.”

In February, FedEx joined the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA) in order to explore how best to utilise blockchain in its business.

CIO Robert Carter, also speaking at the event, added: “We move easily 12 millionshipments a day and that moer than doubles during the peak seasons. While we absolutely believe this technology is going to scale, right now it makes sense for us to do this in our freight world.

“The application of these custody chains… is so critical to the information aspect. We’re operating on this place between the physical world and the digital world.”

Cryptocurrency Payments Coming Back to Reddit – Including ETH, BTC and LTC

Some time ago, the famous social network platform Reddit, decided to no longer accept bitcoin payments for purchasing Reddit Gold. According to the company, this happened because of some bugs with Bitcoin payments and the Coinbase change on commercial accounts

he Reddit user emoney04 explained:

“The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option.”

At the moment, it seems that the platform is ready to incorporate back crypto payments for purchasing Reddit Gold, but with one unexpected surprise, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) would be accepted.

Reddit Restores Crypto Purchases

In an interview with Cheddar, Reddit CTO Chris Slower, explained that Bitcoin had very high fees and was a problem for purchasing Reddit Gold. At the same time, he said that they are also looking at Ethereum and Litecoin, which are operated by Coinbase, have low fees and fast transactions.

https://twitter.com/cheddar/status/991761725379801090

Christopher Slowe commented:

“We’ve been looking at other cryptocurrencies in fact. That was part of the issue with the high fees on the Bitcoin network. We were looking at Ethereum and Litecoin that were provided both by Coinbase as well.”

Important figures of the cryptocurrency space have already shown their support to Mr. Slower’s comments. Charlie Lee, Litecoin’s founder gave a retweet to Cheddar’s interview and showed his support for this decision.

Charlie Lee [LTC]

@SatoshiLite

Reddit plans to support Litecoin payments. 🚀 https://twitter.com/cheddar/status/991761725379801090 

At the same time, Mr. Slowe said that Reddit has one of the oldest Bitcoin communities online around 8 years ago. Moreover, he explained that every single coin in existence has a specific sub-Reddit for discussions.

Coinbase made important changes to Coinbase Commerce, which allowed merchants to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. Currently, if a commerce wants to keep accepting virtual currencies as a payment option, they will have to make a significant upgrade.

Now, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will come back to the platform allowing users to easily give Reddit Gold to an interesting article, post or discussion.

Bitcoin Is Falling Out of Favor on the Dark Web

Steep transaction fees and wild price fluctuations have made the cryptocurrency harder to use in the illicit markets that originally made it famous.

Of all of bitcoin’s uses—as a currency, a payment system, an investment, a commodity, a technology, a remittance network, a market hedge—perhaps its most notorious is as a facilitator of online drug transactions. For years now, the cryptocurrency has allowed anonymous purchasers to pay anonymous vendors on eBay-like markets, avoiding the use of the formal financial system and thus the easy intervention of the federal authorities.

“Making small talk with your pot dealer sucks. Buying cocaine can get you shot. What if you could buy and sell drugs online like books or light bulbs? Now you can: Welcome to Silk Road,” the journalist Adrian Chen wrote in an exposé for Gawker on the now-defunct market, back in 2011. At the time, Chen called it “the most complete implementation of the bitcoin vision” of freewheeling, anarcho-libertarian anonymity.

Seven years later, though, problems with using bitcoin on the dark web—a kind of mirror internet that uses encryption to ensure its participants’ privacy and features websites that are not accessible from standard browsers—have piled up. Purchasers and vendors are cancelling orders, losing money, and fleeing to other forms of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin remains in wide use for drugs and other illegal goods, but the shadowy markets that made it famous, and infamous, are turning on it.

The first issue lies in the extreme volatility of the price of bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has, since its very earliest days, been a highly unstable one, its price surging and collapsing much like that of a penny stock. Even so, the past year has proven unusually volatile, with dramatic day-to-day and even minute-to-minute swings and plunges. Investors crowding into the cryptocurrency—including those putting bitcoin on their credit cards, or taking out equity loans on their houses to buy it—and regulatory interest from governments around the world have helped to drive those fluctuations. And the currency’s short-term volatility has been matched by some longer-term volatility too: The currency’s value surged 1,300 percent last year, and it has fallen by more than half of late.

For Wall Street–type investors seeking to buy and hold bitcoin or risk-happy prospectors looking to make a quick buck, such price swings are generally a feature, not a bug. Nor are they problematic for many the many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs interested in the blockchain technology underpinning the currency. But this kind of volatility is a headache for participants in marketplaces with transactions denominated in bitcoin. That means the darknet markets, which have continued to crop up and collapse since the federal authorities seizedSilk Road in 2013.

On those markets, the price of drugs and other illicit and licit goods are fundamentally pegged to dollars or euros, not bitcoin. Buyers think in terms of traditional currencies, in other words: An eighth of an ounce of marijuana is worth $25, not a minuscule fraction of a bitcoin. And vendors think in the same terms, often purchasing wholesale goods with dollars or other government-issued currencies, or seeking to sell their wares for cash in person. As such, “the price of a bitcoin does not matter,” Nicolas Christin, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University and an expert on the darknet markets, told me. “But that it is stable matters.”

To understand why, it helps to know a bit more about the mechanics of buying drugs on the dark web. A purchaser buys bitcoin, reviews vendors’ offers on a marketplace, and then pays for his goods. His money generally goes into escrow before it is released to his vendor. This introduces a number of financial choke points and transaction delays: between when the purchaser procures bitcoin and makes a purchase, when the vendor receives the order and receives payment from escrow, and when the vendor cashes out from the marketplace. Those are all moments when bitcoin’s volatility becomes problematic. For vendors, price drops while payments are in escrow might wipe out all the profits from a sale, for instance.

Complaints about these kinds of scenarios are rife in popular forums where buyers and vendors chat online, including on Reddit. “Seems I hear Vendors are sitting on the sidelines. If payment is in [bitcoin and] then [the] price falls all their work is for nigh,” one user recently posted, worrying that fewer vendors were selling given the market dynamics at work. Another complained, “Seriously?! I purchased coins this morning at like $675 and within 1.5 hours it dropped down to $625.”

Of course, licit markets have the exact same vulnerability to swings in the price of bitcoin. But those markets—with their deep-pocketed investors and ties to the formal financial system—have come up with ways to avoid them. “Merchants who want to avoid volatility will still accept bitcoin or cryptocurrency, and can use a service provider that automatically converts it,” Jerry Brito, the executive director of Coin Center, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization for cryptocurrencies, told me. “That service provider accepts bitcoin on their behalf, automatically converts it, and deposits dollars into the merchant’s account. That way they never face the volatility.”

Spanish Bank BBVA Issues First-of-Its-Kind Corporate Loan Through Blockchain

The use of blockchain considerably reduced the time of entire loan process – from negotiations to signing the loan – from a few days to just a few hours.

Global banking institutions across the globe have now spear-headed the process of using the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) famously called the Blockchain technology for its services and products involving transactions. According to the latest Financial Times report, Spain’s second-largest banking group – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) – has now become the first global bank to issue a loan using the blockchain technology.

The loan worth €75 million ($91.33 million) has been issued to one of the bank’s corporate clients and the entire process of the loan disbursement – right from to negotiations to signing the loan – has been done on the blockchain. The entire system for this trail uses two different blockchains –  the public Ethereum blockchain and the private digital ledger.

The bank hailed the use of the blockchain technology as a breakthrough achievement as it significantly reduced the time of negotiations from days to a few hours. Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA chief executive said: “Blockchain can offer clear advantages for all sides in the corporate loan market in terms of efficiency, transparency, security. It’s another strong example of how disruptive technology can be used to add value to financial services, something that is central to our strategy.”

Carlos also revealed that the bank has several more transactions in the immediate pipeline apart from this pilot project with the Spanish telecom giant Indra.
Although the reports are sparse on the use of private blockchain, the report says that the negotiating terms between both the parties – bank and borrower – have been simultaneously recorded and updated on a mutual blockchain while keeping each other informed about each stage of the loan process.

While talking about blockchain, Indra’s Director of Financial Services Borja Ochoa said that it was “destined to become one of the technologies that will change the way we interact with products and financial services” and that the pilot “strengthens the position of BBVA and Indra as leaders in the practical application of blockchain technologies”.

This is not for the first time that BBVA is using the blockchain technology to streamline its banking services. The Spanish banking giant is a part of the R3 consortium and has invested significantly in developing the entire blockchain-based banking process. Last year at the end of 2017, the bank for the first time used the blockchain technology for yet another pilot program that was aimed at automating the document presentation for import-export operations between Latin America and Spain.

This considerably reduced the transaction time for sending, verification, and authorization of foreign trade from 7-10 days to a mere 2.5 hours. Ricardo Laiseca, BBVA’s Head of Global Finance for Corporate and Investment Banking says “BBVA is involving its clients in project processes such as requirements definition, development, and implementation. In this way, BBVA provides its customers with not only the best financial solutions but also the most advanced technical and innovative capabilities.”

Another Spanish banking giant – Banco Santander has push-forward its blockchain pursuits and has recently joined hands with blockchain startup Ripple in order to improve its services for instant global fund transfers.

 

 

BTC Wallet : 17CKpDEHCyyuErwqK7Cs9XS5NMKVoQZpNY

ETH Wallet : 0x681f55925d06a7982e3259a4db88c2f77139dcbe

ETC Wallet : 0xe60025efc5ca847c9b99662a7e6929ca11cb7591

LTC Wallet : LSzE7699kmqSc3uLHbhMXPv5JKJuw6aRSR

DSH Wallet : XsNwUssjhAkonHEYAqMrzTUWwmfcrXrmH3

DGE Wallet : DSQq1emBePjhP7QeCiqwY1Zxk8g3EZj9Lm

ZEC Wallet : t1KmP4v7cDMWqfesic5ZSJGR89o11Hi7H1W

Traceto.io aims to be a leading KYC provider to blockchain companies

Cynopsis Solutions, the leading provider of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) services in Asia Pacific to blockchain company startups, took a major step forward in realizing its vision of being the biggest in the world with the official launch of its ICO program via its subsidiary, traceto.io. Its existing portfolio of clients already comprises an estimated USD $3 billion in contributions raised since 2017. Over the last decade, regulatory measures relating to anti-money laundering (AML), countering terrorism financing (CTF) and market misconduct measures have cumulatively cost the banking and finance industry at least USD $321 billion. With regulatory compliance standards becoming increasingly stringent for cryptocurrency-based operators, the already sizeable market for KYC services in the cryptocurrency sector is set to grow exponentially in the short-term – with traceto.io strategically positioned to capture much of that market growth.

The traceto.io team, which represents over five decades of experience and expertise in compliance and regulatory tech, has pioneered KYC services in a crypto sector frequently criticized for its lack of an established regulatory framework. With significant and growing interest from traditional institutional and retail investors in the cryptocurrency sector, traceto.io will enable cryptocurrency-based projects to establish and maintain the rigorous compliance processes that these regulators typically demand.

“We’ve already helped close to 200 cryptocurrency projects and blockchain-based companies do KYC long before it became industry best practice today. We have also a very healthy pipeline of projects that we are speaking to on a daily basis.” said traceto.io’s CEO, Mr. Chionh Chye Kit who is also the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Cynopsis Solutions, “With more robust and strict regulations coming into play, our platform is ideally positioned to be the leading KYC provider for blockchain companies and initiatives globally.”

The traceto.io platform will also allow blockchain-based startups to operate with greater confidence as they navigate compliance with rapidly changing regulatory frameworks globally. Historically restricted from operating freely in many jurisdictions, projects will be able to handle this regulatory obligation with ease. It is also intended to remove the repetitive nature of KYC that end users have to go through at the moment when they sign up with various cryptocurrency exchanges or ICOs.

“Our platform is a win-win proposition for both sides of the market” said Chye Kit, “We’ll help participants access crypto markets with greater confidence that they’re dealing with legitimate projects which are compliant with KYC requirements, and simultaneously help projects access critical contribution support and to be able to level up their KYC standards.”

In line with its larger vision to facilitate greater regulatory confidence in the cryptocurrency sector and facilitate continuing innovation, traceto.iowas recently announced as the first approved token listing on the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), a new exchange focused on seeking to pioneer higher standards and best practices for ICO projects.

To learn more about traceto.io visit: https://traceto.io/

16,000 Bitcoins Worth $150 Million Moved Away from Mt. Gox Wallets

Speculations are that Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi is selling more BTC tokens in order to compensate its creditors.

 Although the Mt. Gox exchange went completely bankrupt and defunct four years back in February 2014, it still continues to impact the price movements in the crypto markets as the Mt. Gox trustee and Tokyo-based lawyer Nobuaki Kobayashi, has been found liquidating funds for the Mt. Gox for its creditors.On Thursday, April 26, reports of nearly 16,000 bitcoins worth around $150 million that were tied to the Mt. Gox exchange have been moved. According to the CryptoGround, which monitors the Mt. Gox’s wallets, the coins came from four separate addresses were being consolidated into a single address with 0 BTC remaining in each wallet.

The Mt. Gox wallets are currently under the control of Tokyo-based lawyer and Mt. Gox trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi. Last month, he disclosed that he sold $400 million worth BTC and BCH tokens back in September 2017. Currently, Mt. Gox holds more than 140,000 BTC tokens, according to the blockchain data. Additional information shows that apart from BTC, the trustee is most likely also moving BCH tokens as the same number of BCH tokens were also found to be on the move. These coins were reportedly worth $21 million as per the current exchange rate.

These transactions have raised the speculation that Kobayashi is now preparing for the second round of sales in order to compensate the creditors of the bankrupt exchange. After Kobayashi admitted last month to have sold $400 million worth BTC tokens, he was heavily criticized by the BTC community for selling the tokens on order-book cryptocurrency exchanges instead of over-the-counter (OTC) channels used by institutional traders, as big exchange orders can lead to rapid price fluctuations creating ripples in the global markets.

Many now speculate that the sharp-dip in the BTC price on Wednesday was probably due to Kobayashi selling tokens to another OTC buyer below the market rate. Although the other buyer would have received his/her tokens on Thursday, they would have probably sold their holdings on Wednesday at the market rate, which led to pushing the price lower and further profiting from arbitrage.

The process of liquidating the tokens for the Mt. Gox has been under a lot of controversies since long, especially given the fact that the amount held by Mt. Gox exceeds largely what has been claimed by the creditors. The Mt. Gox credits have been advocating to move the company out of bankruptcy into civil rehabilitation so that they can sell their BTC holdings at the current market rate. Currently, the creditors stand to be compensated at $480 per BTC tokens which was the price of Bitcoin when the exchange went defunct around February 2014.

The remaining funds, which are supposedly worth billions of dollars, would be going to the former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles. However, Karpeles said that he doesn’t want the remaining BTC holdings that are left after the creditors have been paid, and has expressed his wish to move the exchange in civil rehabilitation.

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