Survey Shows South Koreans Increased Crypto Holdings by 64% Last Year

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Over the last few years, South Korea has become a hotspot for cryptocurrencies and the region captures a large amount of the world’s digital asset trade volume. A survey published on April 20 by the Korea Financial Investment Association shows that the average South Korean cryptocurrency trader has increased their crypto holdings by 64.2% over the last year.

Also read: Central Bank Digital Currencies Take Center Stage at IMF Spring Meetings

South Korean Crypto Investors Increase Holdings

The South Korean news outlet Arirang Daily News revealed the results of a new survey conducted by the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA). The self-regulatory organization’s poll surveyed 2,500 South Korean residents who invested in cryptocurrencies like BCH, ETH, and BTC. Surveys help bolster KOFIA’s goal of ensuring fair trading practices are taking place and enables them to monitor South Korea’s capital market and financial investments. The results of the survey stemmed from a poll taken in December 2018 and the examination reveals 7.4% of the 2,500 individuals surveyed said they own digital currencies. Moreover, South Koreans between 25 and 64 years old who had purchased cryptocurrencies over the last year invested more than $6,000 on average.

Survey Shows South Koreans Increased Crypto Holdings by 64% Last Year
On April 23, the South Korean won (KRW) captures 2% of the global BTC trade volumes, 4.8% of global BCH trade volumes, 1.4% of all ETH exchange volumes, 6.7% of all XRP exchange volumes, and only 0.28% of LTC volumes.

The $6,000 average is up two-fold since the organization’s last survey. Interestingly, Arirang’s report also details that older individuals in South Korea were more inclined to invest in cryptocurrencies stating that the most common buyer was in their 50s or older. The second set of surveyed traders who participated in buying more cryptos last year were between 30 and 40 years old. It seems the crypto winter didn’t stop South Korean optimism for digital assets as the average local trader increased their crypto holdings by 64.2% in the past 12 months. The 7.4% who professed to own cryptocurrencies is also up from the year before when the last poll recorded only 6.4% of investors, which indicates traders are a touch more positive this time around.

Survey Shows South Koreans Increased Crypto Holdings by 64% Last Year
Cryptocurrency interest in the last two months in South Korea has spiked and some traders experienced a ‘Kimchi Premium’ on BTC and other coins during the first week of April.

The Last Few Months Indicate a Resurgence of South Korean Interest in Cryptos

In 2017, cryptocurrency markets were extremely popular among South Korean traders and numbers that year definitely outshone the recent KOFIA poll published this week. According to another survey, one third of South Korean workers were crypto investors in 2017 but the average investment was less at $5,260 per investor. Another difference between then and now was the amount of younger (20s and 30s) South Korean investors was about 80% of the respondents polled. At the time, the South Korean won captured a third of the world’s crypto trade volume in 2017 behind the USD and JPY. Today the currency is still usually a top five trading pair, according to data from sites like Coinlib.io and Cryptocompare.

In the last three months, Localbitcoins volumes in South Korea have touched all-time highs, even surpassing 2017 volumes.

The recent KOFIA survey shows positivity has increased despite the regulatory crackdowns and a hack that occurred on one of the most popular South Korean trading platforms. South Korean traders have been dealing with much stricter crypto regulations, six cryptocurrency-related bills that were submitted to the National Assembly last December, and Bithumb dealt with a hack that saw the loss of $18 million last March. However, since the cryptocurrency price trend reversal over the last two months, South Korean interest in trading digital assets is growing strong once again. During the first week of April, local traders in South Korea dealt with a ‘Kimchi Premium,’ which saw traders paying more money for cryptos compared to the average global exchange rates. Moreover, trade volumes on Localbitcoins in South Korea have surpassed 2017’s all-time highs during a few weekly periods in February, March, and April 2019.

What do you think about the increase of cryptocurrency holdings by South Korean investors? Let us know what you think about this recent survey in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, and Coin Dance.


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Paytomat Enables Merchants to Accept 18 Cryptocurrencies In-Store

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Accepting cryptocurrency payments in your store doesn’t require specialist hardware or complex integration – Paytomat is proof. The crypto payment gateway enables merchants to accept 18 cryptocurrencies including BCH using their existing equipment. To date, hundreds of brick and mortar stores across four continents have added crypto support using Paytomat.

Also read: Crypto-Based Transfers Can Cut Remittance Costs in Africa by 90%

Hassle-Free Crypto Payments at the Point of Sale

Over the last two years, Paytomat has quietly been making a name for itself as an accomplished crypto PoS solution. From its base in Europe, the company has spread its wings and now lists hundreds of stores in countries as diverse as Venezuela, Netherlands, and the United States. A dropdown menu on the Paytomat website enables shoppers to filter through shops and restaurants to find crypto-accepting businesses in their area.

In addition to BCH, Paytomat supports over a dozen cryptocurrencies including BTC, ZEN, EOS, and ETH. Merchants incur zero fees, and can withdraw funds in a fiat currency of their choice if desired, with Paytomat hedging the risk incurred by potential cryptocurrency volatility.

Paytomat Enables Merchants to Accept 18 Cryptocurrencies In-Store

Simple Merchant Integration

Paytomat integrates with a number of established PoS systems, enabling merchants to add cryptocurrency support using their existing hardware. Upon upgrading their software to incorporate digital currency, the only visual difference the merchant will see is the addition of a button marked “Crypto” that appears on the payment terminal, alongside the “Card” and “Cash” buttons. When a customer pays for goods using cryptocurrency, a QR code is added to the check, which the customer scans before transferring the amount to the merchant’s wallet.

To date, more than 300 merchants have begun using Paytomat to accept cryptocurrency including beauty salons and medical practices. For merchants interested in introducing cryptocurrency as a payment option, Paytomat provides an enrolment form on its website to start the process. Encouraging greater adoption of digital assets on a daily basis is a vision shared by many cryptocurrency projects, including advocates of bitcoin cash. Solutions like Paytomat play their part in helping to realize that goal.

Have you spent cryptocurrency in-store? If so, what was your experience of doing so? Let us know in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock and Paytomat


Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any third party content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Crypto-Based Transfers Can Cut Remittance Costs in Africa by 90%

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Remittances have become a lifeline for many people in Sub-Saharan Africa, but the cost of sending money via banks and money transfer operators remains punitively high. On average, it costs 9.3% (of value transferred) to send the equivalent of $200 to the region, the highest remittance rates anywhere on the planet, according to the new World Bank 2019 report. However, the cost drops dramatically by as much as 90% when money is sent through cryptocurrency-based fintech companies like Bitpesa.

Also read: Central Bank Digital Currencies Take Center Stage at IMF Spring Meetings

Banks Most Expensive Cash Transfer Agents

Africans working abroad last year sent $46 billion to support families in their home countries. The money is often used to pay for education, buy food and clothes, start a business, build a house and cover daily living costs. Money sent from overseas is a vital tool of survival for many families in Africa’s often unstable economies.

But too much of the money is being taken in transfer fees by financial companies. According to the World Bank, banks are the most expensive agents for sending money back to Africa at 10.2%, followed by money transfer operators at 7.7% and post offices at 5.5%. This is by far too costly when compared to the Sustainable Development Goals target of cutting financial transfer costs to within 3% of total transaction value by 2030.

Crypto-Based Transfers Can Cut Remittance Costs in Africa by 90%

Some people have now started to put their hopes in bitcoin-backed fiat remittances as a way of cutting fees and improving efficiency and speed during transfers. When American political science graduate Elizabeth Rossiello founded Bitpesa in 2013, the company initially focused on facilitating bitcoin-supported cash transfers between citizens of the U.K. and Kenya. However, Bitpesa now has operations in eight African countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

Stephany Zoo, head of marketing at Nairobi-based Bitpesa, told news.Bitcoin.com that the company helps people in Africa send or receive money from around the world at a fraction of the cost charged by traditional agents. Bitpesa also caters to global remittance companies using API services for payments to mobile money operators, as well as bank networks in the African countries in which it has a presence, she stated.

“We process our remittance payments with a blend of traditional and personal insurance such as pooling, as well as using cryptocurrency,” Zoo elaborated. “Our fees are 1 to 3% so it’s significantly lower than those mentioned in the World Bank report. A lot of our clients are money transfer operators that actually move the money and we are the underlying technology or software behind what they do as well as being their foreign exchange provider.”

Crypto-Based Transfers Can Cut Remittance Costs in Africa by 90%

Informal Cash Transfers

In September, Bitpesa signed a deal with Japanese company SBI Remit allowing people across Africa to make payments for cars, beauty products and electronic gadgets. Africans making overseas purchases deposit their local fiat currencies into Bitpesa’s bank account, after which the payments are sent on the BTC blockchain to SBI Remit, which in turn makes the final payments in Japan.

The entire process can be completed within a matter of hours, at about half of the usual transfer cost. Conventional banking methods take a few days to handle similar transactions, Bitpesa claims. The fiat to crypto deposit and transfer also applies to remittance services, only this time the funds go directly into the account of the person receiving the money. “[This] cuts out all the middlemen, saves on conversion and transfer fees, and can be done in just a few clicks,” Bitpesa says on its website.

The World Bank data does not capture the true value of the amount of money sent to Africa from abroad or from other African countries. Often, remittances flow through informal channels carried by friends, family members or by bus drivers across borders. That’s because sometimes the effort of sending cash through MTOs is just not worth the risk. To do so means revealing your identity by producing a passport, work permit or visa – documents which a number of migrant workers don’t have.

Likewise, some cryptocurrency-based remittances fly beneath the radar, with it being unnoticed that they are serving this purpose. For example, Uganda’s Coinpesa is primarily a crypto exchange and does “not directly engage in the remittance business,” according to chief executive officer Suleiman Murunga. “However, that does not mean that we are not processing trades that originated as a remittance,” he observed. Murunga noted how cryptocurrency-based remittances were hard to track on an exchange, but also highlighted how this characteristic could help lower transfer costs to around 2%, having eliminated the cost of conversion from crypto to fiat.

Crypto-Based Transfers Can Cut Remittance Costs in Africa by 90%

Transfers Powered by In-House Crypto Tokens

In Nigeria, Sure Remit charges between 0-2% for non-cash remittances. The company claims to host a network of hundreds of merchants throughout the world and uses an in-house token, RMT. Built on the ethereum blockchain, the token can be exchanged for a variety of services, such as to purchase and send vouchers, send airtime, pay bills and buy groceries. Instead of receiving cash, recipients in Nigeria get vouchers that they can use to obtain whatever services or goods they need.

Elsewhere in southern Africa, Wala utilizes its own digital coin called dala to help users send money, buy airtime and data, pay bills and school fees in a number of countries at no cost. Wala sits on top of banks’ existing infrastructure which “helps banks better serve their customers.” The South African company believes that “once people are digitally engaged, the cost of financial services will decrease.”

Now, as the Sub-Saharan African remittance market is expected to grow 4.2% in 2019 and 5.6% in 2020, according to the World Bank, Bitpesa’s Stephany Zoo is optimistic crypto-based remittances business will claim a share of the market, saying: “I think that to improve market share, [crypto money transfer firms] must work with companies that have hybrid infrastructure and are more digitally focused because it is more effective, faster and easier to hold accountable than other traditional routes of remittances.”

What do you think about the cost of remittances in Africa? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitpesa and World Bank.


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Japan to Provide G20 With Solution for Crypto Regulation

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Japan is preparing to share its experience regarding cryptocurrency regulation with finance ministers and central bank governors from other G20 countries at the upcoming summit which it will host in June. According to local media, Japanese regulators have a solution for crypto regulation to offer the G20 countries.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request

Crypto Regulatory Manual

Japan is often known as one of the most crypto-advanced countries, having legalized cryptocurrency as a means of payment in April 2017. According to local news outlet Sankeibiz, Japanese regulators have created a handbook “that each [G20] country can use for regulations, such as measures to prevent the outflow of virtual currency.”

Japan to Provide G20 With Solution for Crypto Regulation

“International rules are being developed to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, with virtual currency restrictions in place,” the news outlet described Monday. “On the other hand, there are no rules in terms of the protection of customer assets and the soundness of the market, so it is the first time that certain ideas are shared internationally,”

A wide range of regulatory measures are being adopted by the G20 countries, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported, with some currently over-regulating crypto assets. The publication conveyed:

Since it is difficult to establish common rules, we [Japan] decided to put them in a guidebook, to have the know-how in a form that suits each country, and to raise the level of regulation.

According to the news outlet, the manual addresses key regulatory areas such as “Necessary measures to protect customer assets,” “Measures against cyber attacks,” and “Ways of providing information to customers.”

The Japanese Experience

Japan is drawing from its own experience after two major cryptocurrency exchanges in the country were hacked last year — Coincheck in January and Zaif in September. Following the hacks, the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), increased its oversight of crypto exchanges including conducting on-site inspections and issuing business improvement orders. The agency has also been holding study group meetings which have resulted in many new proposed measures for the crypto industry.

Earlier this month, the FSA released a guide containing reference cases to help financial institutions identify suspicious crypto transactions and report them to the authorities per Article 8 of the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds.

Japan to Provide G20 With Solution for Crypto Regulation

Crypto transactions involving a large amount of cash or foreign currency and high-value transactions that do not match customer income or assets are suspicious to the FSA. Transactions in accounts that frequently receive crypto remittances from multiple addresses are also suspicious, especially if large withdrawals are made immediately after receiving them, the agency explained.

The FSA also warned of transactions in accounts suspected of being fake or with names that appear to be fictitious, adding that customers with a large number of accounts, especially under different names, should also be red-flagged.

Moreover, the regulator noted that transactions employing “anonymization technology when a customer deposits virtual currency into an account” are suspicious. Also on the list are transactions from multiple accounts using the same IP address, those that appear to be domestic but have foreign IP addresses and languages, and ones “that make tracking IP addresses difficult.”

Do you think the G20 should follow Japan’s lead regarding crypto regulation? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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How Ambiguous Regulations Complicate Crypto Taxation

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From America to the United Kingdom and from Russia to Australia, cryptocurrency taxation in major bitcoin strongholds is complicated. Contradictory or non-existent laws, excessive red tape, and maddeningly vague guidelines have conspired to make the tax-paying process more arduous than it need be. Now, a number of advocates are pushing for simplified crypto tax guidelines.

Also read: Crypto Charity Airdrop Venezuela Raises $292K – Mostly in BCH

Death, Taxes, and Cryptocurrency

It was Benjamin Franklin who composed the oft-quoted aphorism that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” In the world of cryptocurrency, the inevitability of those affairs is also accompanied by resignation to their being inevitably complicated. As it stands, most cryptocurrency holders have more pressing concerns than bequeathing their digital estate – like trying to work out how much tax they are due on their previous year’s crypto trading.

Across North America, there is a growing consensus that bitcoin taxes need to be simplified. Some segments of the cryptoconomy are drowning under excessive red tape – think of the much maligned New York Bitlicense, which has left Bittrex seething and which Andrew Yang has vowed to reform, describing it as having a “chilling effect on the US digital asset market.” In other realms of the cryptosphere, however, not least taxation, the reverse is arguably true, where opaque guidelines have left citizens in the dark.

How Ambiguous Regulations Complicate Crypto Taxation
Andrew Yang

Kevin Hobbs is the CEO of Vanbex, a Canadian blockchain services company that specializes in cryptocurrency taxation. He told news.Bitcoin.com: “Tax agencies, like other government agencies, need to provide proper guidance for how to account for cryptocurrency holdings and the trading or transferring of those assets along with a proper explanation for the do’s and don’ts that go along with that.”

The Murky Waters of Crypto Taxation

Should he achieve the unthinkable and become U.S. president, Andrew Yang has promised a raft of measures to streamline the cryptocurrency industry including a commitment to “Clarify the tax implications of owning, selling, and trading digital assets.” But even if Yang has his way, there will be significant work to be done in simplifying the process for cryptocurrency users across North America and beyond.

Earlier this month, a letter signed by 21 members of Congress spoke of the “unacceptable” ambiguity when it comes to reporting crypto taxes, noting the solitary acknowledgement of bitcoin made by the IRS since the cryptocurrency’s inception. “Guidance is long overdue and essential to proper reporting of these emerging assets. The bipartisan support this letter has received should send a clear message to the IRS that clear guidelines for reporting virtual currency are necessary,” said Congressman Emmer who led the bill.

How Ambiguous Regulations Complicate Crypto Taxation

Because crypto assets are classified as capital gains tax in the U.S., every time an asset such as BCH or BTC is spent, it qualifies as a taxable event. Even for the most assiduous of cryptocurrency users, this presents a labyrinthine challenge that reaches its peak in April when 12 months of trades and transactions must be reconciled.

“At the end of the day people just want the confidence to know they are doing the right thing and won’t be penalized later,” said Kevin Hobbs. He recommends that cryptocurrency holders “properly label all the transfers that they are doing and when they do them with an explanation of what it is for, along with the date, time and cost of the asset in fiat currency at that time.” As the Vanbex CEO concedes, however, “This can be tricky as you will also need to recognize a gain or loss.”

While the campaign for simpler taxation gathers momentum, in the here and now, crypto citizens are left with three choices: calculate their taxes alone, enlist the services of a professional accountancy company, or ignore the problem altogether and pray the IRS, CRA or HMRC doesn’t come calling.

What are your thoughts on cryptocurrency tax guidelines in your country? Let us know in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock.


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OTC Groups and State-Sanctioned Exchanges Start Trading Venezuela’s Petro

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Last February, news.Bitcoin.com first reported on the Venezuelan cryptocurrency the petro (PTR) launched by President Nicolas Maduro. Initially, many media reports assumed the digital currency might be phony or nonexistent. However, recent data from a few exchanges and from Venezuelans trading the asset on social media suggests the nation-state issued cryptocurrency is quite real and that locals are trading PTR regularly for goods and services.

Also read: Darknet Users Allege Wall Street Market Exit Scammed, Possibly Snatching $30M

Venezuelans Are Swapping the Petro on Exchanges and Social Media

Since the death of Hugo Chavez, when President Nicolas Maduro took over in 2013, Venezuela’s economy has spiraled out of control. At the time of writing, Venezuela’s inflation rate is a whopping 1,623,656%, making the nation state’s fiat currency, the bolivar, pretty much worthless. In an attempt to provide a solution, Maduro created the petro (PTR) cryptocurrency which is allegedly backed by Venezuela’s oil reserves. Some Venezuelans believe that eventually the bolivar will be decommissioned and citizens will be forced to use the petro. According to data issued by the government, PTR is supposed to be valued at 246,332 bolivars or $60 per PTR, but this isn’t the case right now. The digital currency also didn’t have a block explorer when the price base was increased by Maduro and most Venezuelans hadn’t seen it being used in the real world.

OTC Groups and State-Sanctioned Exchanges Start Trading Venezuela's Petro

Our last petro report, however, showed the asset has finally seen the light of day and that Venezuelans are able to purchase PTR through the government agency Sunacrip. Moreover, the government has allowed cryptocurrencies like BTC and LTC to be used for payments in order to acquire petros. Sunacrip even created a state-sanctioned crypto remittance platform that supports BTC, LTC, and other cryptocurrencies. There is a block explorer available now that has an extremely glitchy interface, but Sunacrip has insisted that a fully functional petro block explorer will be released on April 30.

OTC Groups and State-Sanctioned Exchanges Start Trading Venezuela's Petro
Amberes exchange. The petro cryptocurrency has been selling between 0.00555-0.007411 BTC on various exchanges.

There is also a variety of exchanges Sunacrip has made available to the public so people can buy and trade their PTR at state-sanctioned trading platforms. This includes authorized trading facilities such as Cryptoexca.io, Afx.trade, Amberes, Bancarexchange.io, Cryptiaexchange.com, and Criptolago.com.ve. The exchange rate for 1 petro varies on each exchange but one PTR is swapping for roughly $30-40 (0.00555-0.007411 BTC) and the cryptocurrency is paired with a variety of digital assets. Signing up for one of these trading platforms cannot be easily done, as the identification process is quite strict. For instance, the Amberes exchange requires a state-issued identification number, telephone number, bank statements, and invoices from private services showing a residential address. Some platforms like Bancarexchange allow a social media account to sign up with in addition to mandatory identification papers.

OTC Groups and State-Sanctioned Exchanges Start Trading Venezuela's Petro
Some screenshots of the wallets people use to send and receive the petro (PTR).

OTC Telegram Groups and Facebook Tag Sales

Even though PTR is trading for much less than $60, Sunacrip’s official newsletter states that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has had a “solid, reliable, transparent and inclusive system” since the petro introduction in 2018. Further, Sunacrip also scorns the “attacks at the national and international level, with sanctions and a campaign of discrediting the nation both internally and externally.” In addition to the petro being sold on government approved trading platforms, PTR is being traded on social media channels like Facebook and Telegram. On Facebook, there are lots of tag sale groups (called El Perolero) where people are exchanging goods and services for money. There are many ads these days scattered within these groups that show sellers will gladly accept the petro. One specific FB-based El Perolero marketplace group sees upwards of 9,000 unique ads a day and has over 293,000 members.

OTC Groups and State-Sanctioned Exchanges Start Trading Venezuela's Petro
The Petro Exchange Telegram channel.

There’s also Telegram-based over-the-counter (OTC) groups where people can purchase and sell PTR peer-to-peer. The Petro Exchange group has roughly 321 members and the purpose of the group is to “allow people to buy and sell petro using any digital currency, in addition to the commercialization of any product or service using petro as a form of payment.” However, in order to interact with the PTR dealer, buyers are required to privately send them “identity documents plus a selfie with the document in hand and a handwritten paper with the date and time, all fully readable.”

Over the last six months, there’s been a lot of curiosity aimed at the petro cryptocurrency and now Venezuelans are getting a taste of what it’s like to use the asset and what it takes to obtain the petro. With all the government-sanctioned exchanges made available, the latest remittance platform, and the upcoming revamped block explorer, the incumbent Venezuelan government led by Maduro seems confident that the petro is here to stay.

What do you think about the petro? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, and various exchanges.


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Israeli University Sues Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology

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A leading Israeli university is suing one of its own senior staff members for allegedly creating a zero-knowledge proofs technology company based on the intellectual property the professor developed while working for the institution.

Also Read: Will Belarus Be the First Country With Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mining?

The Technion Wants a Piece of Starkware

The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, a research university established in 1912, has filed a lawsuit in the Haifa District Court against computer science lecturer Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson, claiming that he acted in violation of the institution’s intellectual property regulations. Ben-Sasson is the co-founder and Chief Scientist of the blockchain technology startup Starkware and the Technion now demands from the court the transfer of 50% of all his shares in the company.

Israeli University Sues Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology
The Israeli national flag next to that of the Technion

The university claims that the professor tried to keep it in the dark about the establishment of the company and that he did not ask for the Technion’s approval for the commercialization of the intellectual property that belongs to the institution. Ben-Sasson’s defense denies these accusations, saying that Starkware did not use or intend to use an invention belonging to the Technion and that the university therefore has no right to his shares. However, they have offered to give the Technion a certain share of ownership in the company, dependent upon reaching a compromise agreement in the near future.

Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology Worth Millions

Starkware promises to improve the scalability and privacy of blockchains using STARK technology, providing zero-knowledge cryptographic proofs that are “post-quantum secure” with no need for a trusted setup. Besides Ben-Sasson, the company’s other co-founders are Prof. Alessandro Chiesa (UC Berkeley), Uri Kolodny, and Michael Riabzev (Ben-Sasson’s doctoral student at the Technion).

Israeli University Sues Professor for Zero-Knowledge Proofs Technology
The Computer Science Faculty building in the Technion

In May 2018, Starkware had announced it had completed a $6 million seed funding round with participation from Vitalik Buterin, Zcash Co., Arthur Breitman (Tezos), Da Hongfei (NEO), Bitmain, Elad Gil, Fred Ehrsam, Linda Xie, Pantera, Naval Ravikant, Metastable, Floodgate, Polychain and others. By October it closed a $30 million equity round, led by Paradigm with investors such as Intel Capital, Sequoia, Atomico, DCVC, Wing, Consensys, Coinbase Ventures, Multicoin Capital, Collaborative Fund, Scalar Capital and Semantic Ventures. In July of that same year the startup also reportedly got a $6.7 million grant from the Ethereum Foundation.

What do you think about this lawsuit? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Crypto Charity Airdrop Venezuela Raises $292K – Mostly in BCH

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According to the founder of Airdrop Venezuela, the charity that aims to donate US$1 million worth of cryptocurrencies to Venezuelans, the nonprofit has registered 60,000 beneficiaries and raised $292,000 in donations so far. Moreover, bitcoin cash (BCH) has led the pack as far as the most donations are concerned with roughly 670 BCH ($194,900) gifted to date.

Also read: Darknet Users Allege Wall Street Market Exit Scammed, Possibly Snatching $30M

Airdrop Venezuela Gathers 60,000 Beneficiaries and Close to $300K in Digital Donations

During the end of 2018, a cryptocurrency fundraiser was initiated to help citizens of the crisis-stricken South American nation of Venezuela. The charitable effort, dubbed Airdrop Venezuela, was created by the digital currency startup Airtm, a nonprofit that aims to raise $1 million in digital assets for Venezuelans. The leader of the campaign, economics professor Steve Hanke, announced during an interview on April 21 that the project has more than 60,000 registered beneficiaries and has raised $292,000 since the launch.

Crypto Charity Airdrop Venezuela Raises $292K – Mostly in BCH

The humanitarian aid campaign hopes to onboard Venezuelans into the world of cryptocurrencies. The Airdrop Venezuela project started on Nov. 27, 2018, and has continued to raise money for Venezuelans in need for the last few months. Hanke explained this past weekend that the main reason for the venture is to provide citizens with economic freedom.

“There’s really no particular political motivation. It’s just to help people to give them some purchasing power — The money comes from private donations,” Hanke explained during his interview. The economist added:

[Airdrop Venezuela] will be a demonstration of how relief agencies all around the world can easily deliver aid and relief to people in need.

Crypto Charity Airdrop Venezuela Raises $292K – Mostly in BCH

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Donations Capture the Lead by a Landslide

The beneficiaries of the fundraiser will be a total of 100,000 ID-authenticated Venezuelans and the funds donated, no matter which cryptocurrencies they are, can be quickly converted to dollars. Since the crowdfunding started, donors have been able to send bitcoin cash, airtm, ethereum, litecoin, bitcoin core, zcash, dash, dai, komodo, and a few other coins. During his discussion, Hanke said the method used to fundraise eliminates inefficient donation schemes like “driving a pickup truck around filled with cash that you’re giving away or filled with medicine or clothing or food.” Hanke revealed that beneficiaries can simply use the Airtm platform to exchange the cryptos for U.S. dollars and use the proceeds to buy food, medicine, and other necessary supplies.

“When the currency in your country is literally melting in your hand and — knowing that, the key is getting people hard currency that they can actually use to purchase something — So that was the general attraction,” Hanke stressed. “And the technology of using this internet platform is just what the doctor ordered.”

Crypto Charity Airdrop Venezuela Raises $292K – Mostly in BCH
The most donated cryptocurrency to date is bitcoin cash (BCH), capturing close to two thirds of all Airdrop Venezuela’s crypto donations.

According to the Airdrop Venezuela website, the most donated cryptocurrency by far is bitcoin cash (BCH). In addition to 670 BCH donated, other leading cryptocurrency donations include airtm, bitcoin core, zcash, dai, and ethereum. When the project distributes the funds to registered Venezuelans, the cryptos will be donated on a weekly basis to recipient Airtm wallets. Hanke noted this method of donating funds is not only more efficient but a “very safe way” to distribute money to individuals who need it most.

What do you think about the Airdrop Venezuela project’s accomplishments? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Airdrop Venezuela, and Steve Hanke.


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5 Major Indian Laws That Apply to Cryptocurrency

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India has a number of laws that currently apply to cryptocurrency. A new Cambridge University report explains some of these laws. News.Bitcoin.com talked to one of the authors of the report to uncover more details. Meanwhile, the Indian government is currently finalizing regulations specific to crypto assets.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case at Government’s Request

Laws Applicable to Cryptocurrency

Cambridge University’s Centre for Alternative Finance has recently released its new Global Cryptoasset Regulatory Landscape Study, sponsored by Japan’s Nomura Research Institute. India is among the countries covered in the report which outlines a number of existing laws applicable to cryptocurrency and token sales.

5 Major Indian Laws That Apply to Cryptocurrency

While the Indian government is working on drafting the legal framework specifically for cryptocurrency, several existing laws apply to crypto assets in addition to the infamous RBI circular that prohibits all regulated entities from providing services to crypto businesses.

For cryptocurrencies that are deemed securities, the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956 may apply. However, the report states that “Currently, there is regulatory uncertainty regarding applicability” of this law to tokens but some “may fall within its remit if, inter alia, they are issued by an identifiable issuer and backed by the underlying assets of the issuer.” It further details:

Some tokens may also fall within the purview of collective investment schemes which are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Companies Act and Payment Systems

For all token types, “the regulations under the Companies Act, 2013 and rules thereunder would be triggered, along with other RBI regulations,” the report reads.

News.Bitcoin.com talked to Hatim Hussain, one of the authors of the report, who explained on Sunday how each Indian law applies to crypto assets. Regarding the Companies Act, he elaborated, “These are primarily the Companies (Acceptance of Deposits) Rules, 2014 (Deposits Rules) which specify when the receipt of money, by way of deposit or loan or in any other form, by a company would be termed a deposit, and also provides certain exemptions from its applicability.”

5 Major Indian Laws That Apply to Cryptocurrency

Payment tokens may also be subject to the Payments and Settlements Systems Act 2007 (PSSA). The Cambridge report claims that there is nothing in this act “to exclude virtual currency, since only the term payment is referred to, as opposed to currency, legal tender or money.” Therefore, if a cryptocurrency activity “were to constitute a ‘payment system’ or other regulated activity, the issuer would need payment system authorisation from the RBI under PSSA and would require compliance with KYC/AML norms.”

Money Laundering

Further, the use of cryptocurrencies may fall under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA), which carries statutory penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment. However, the report clarifies that “it is unclear whether the reporting obligations prescribed under Chapter IV of the PMLA extend to wallet operators, cryptoasset exchanges or third-party bitcoin services,” adding:

A majority of cryptoasset trading platforms are self-regulatory and follow extensive KYC/AML norms.

5 Major Indian Laws That Apply to Cryptocurrency

Unregulated Deposit Schemes

There is also the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill 2018 which has been tabled in Parliament. It proposes to prohibit all unregulated deposits which could apply to initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to the report.

Hussain explained to news.Bitcoin.com that the bill “provides a schedule of regulated deposit schemes, and all unregulated deposit schemes are prohibited.” Additionally, “The term deposit includes ‘an amount of money received by way of an advance or loan or in any other form, by any deposit taker with a promise to return whether after a specified period or otherwise, either in cash or in kind or in the form of a specified service, with or without any benefit in the form of interest, bonus, profit or in any other form, but does not include … [certain enumerated categories],’” he described, elaborating:

An ICO might be regarded as an ‘unregulated deposit scheme.’ So, virtual currency token issuers would need to ensure, in order to be outside the purview of the Ordinance, that (A) the scheme is regulated and/or (B) there should be no liability of returning any money received.

Hussain added that this bill “was passed in the Lok Sabha (House of Commons) on February 13, 2019 but will lapse in the House of Representatives (Rajya Sabha) after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha due to elections in May this year.” He further remarked, “Ordinances are usually required to be approved by the Parliament within 6 weeks or they lapse, in this case, no official confirmation about its approval by the Parliament has been made yet … Considering the elections, I am sure the 2019 Ordinance would take another few months (at least) to be made into a law.”

What do you think of Indian laws as they apply to cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


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The post 5 Major Indian Laws That Apply to Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets

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Despite the cryptocurrency markets appearing increasingly bullish, the leading crypto assets have posted mixed results in recent weeks. While BCH and LTC have made significant gains over BTC in recent months, ETH and XRP have lost value against BTC for much of 2019.

Also Read: The Number of Crypto Exchanges Offering Margin Has Multiplied

BTC Price Structure Consolidates Above $5,000 Zone

Bitcoin core (BTC) has posted seven green weekly candles out of the previous nine, comprising the longest period of sustained bullish action since 2017.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets

The price action has seen BTC gain over 50% since the start of February, with prices consolidating above $5,000 throughout nearly the entirety of April. Despite the recent bullish momentum, many traders are expecting the market to encounter significant resistance near this $6,000 area, which comprised a major support zone during October 2017 as well as throughout the third quarter of 2018.

As of this writing, BTC has a market capitalization of $93.63 billion and a 24-hour trade volume of $14.13 billion. BTC is trading for roughly $5,300.

BCH and BNB Post Strong Gains Over BTC

Bitcoin cash (BCH) has gained 160% since the start of February, rallying from approximately $110 to approximately $290. BCH gained more than 100% during the week of April 1, driven by record trade volume.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets

When measured against BTC, BCH is up approximately 70% in less than three months after rallying from nearly 0.0325 BTC to establish resistance at 0.0680. BCH currently comprises the fourth largest crypto asset with a capitalization of $5.13 billion and a daily trade volume of $1.33 billion. BCH is presently testing support at the major support level of 0.055 BTC.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets
BCH/BTC – Bittrex – 1W

Of the top crypto assets by market cap, binance coin (BNB) has produced the strongest performance, only posting two red weekly candles since the start of December 2017. BNB is up 250% since February and is currently trading for roughly $24.50 after having testing all-time high resistance at $26 on April 20.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets
BNB/USD – Binance – 1W

When measured against BTC, BNB has gained approximately 130% since February, having rallied into record highs for the last eight weeks. BNB is currently trading for 0.0046 BTC after posting a record high of 0.0048 BTC last week. BNB is the seventh largest crypto asset by capitalization with $3.37 billion and a 24-hour trade volume of $253.69 million.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets
BNB/BTC – Binance – 1W

ETH and XRP Slide Against BTC

Despite posting gains against USD in recent weeks, the second and third largest crypto assets have slipped against BTC.

After gaining 32% from 0.03 BTC at the start of February, ethereum (ETH) has since given back most of its gains during the past nine weeks, currently trading for 0.032 BTC.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets
ETH/BTC – Poloniex – 1W

Despite falling against BTC, ETH has gained 65% over USD in nearly three months, rallying from approximately $105 to currently trade for roughly $170. ETH is the second largest cryptocurrency with a capitalization of $18 billion and a 24-hour volume of nearly $6.17 billion.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets
ETH/USD – Poloniex – 1W

XRP has lost shed approximately 30% against BTC since the start of the year, falling from around 90,000 satoshis to currently trade for roughly 61,400 satoshis.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets
XRP/BTC – Poloniex – 1W

The move has coincided with several months of sideways price action against USD, with XRP currently trading for $0.33. XRP is the third largest crypto asset with a market cap of $13.67 billion and a 24-hour trade volume of $1.1 billion.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets
XRP/USD – Poloniex – 1W

LTC Retraces After Several Months of Bullish Action

Following several months of impressive gains, litecoin (LTC) has posted two weeks of retracement following a test of resistance at $100.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets
LTC/USD – Bitfinex – 1W

Despite losing approximately 23% in roughly two weeks, LTC has gained 130% since the start of February to currently trade for $77. When measured against BTC, LTC has gained 50% in less than three months to currently trade for 0.0145 BTC despite falling nearly 25% in two weeks.

Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets
BTC/USD – Bitfinex – 1W

LTC is currently the sixth largest cryptocurrency with a capitalization of $4.67 billion and a daily trade volume of $2.94 billion.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

Do you think that the leading markets will continue to post notably divergent price performance? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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The post Markets Update: BCH and BNB Outperform Leading Crypto Assets appeared first on Bitcoin News.