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Indian Supreme Court Set to Hear Crypto Case on March 29

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The four-week window that the Indian supreme court has given the government to come up with crypto regulation is coming to an end. According to the court’s Advance List, the crypto case is listed for March 29. Meanwhile, the community is ramping up efforts to bring about positive crypto regulation and the end of the banking ban imposed by the central bank.

Also read: Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

Advance List Shows Hearing Date: March 29

The deadline given to the Indian government by the country’s supreme court to come up with a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency is drawing near. On Feb. 25, the court gave the government four weeks to produce crypto regulation. That period is up next week. Nishith Desai Associates lawyer Jaideep Reddy represents the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in its writ petition against the crypto banking ban by the central bank. He told news.Bitcoin.com Saturday:

The supreme court publishes something called the ‘Advance List’ and according to that, the case is listed on March 29. The final list which will have the confirmed date should be out early next week.

While the court’s Advance List currently lists March 29 as the next hearing date for the crypto case, it is still subject to change. Furthermore, the court will first hear about the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency from the government and may not address the crypto banking ban by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on the same day.

Indian Supreme Court Set to Hear Crypto Case on March 29

The regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in India is being drafted by an inter-governmental committee headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Economic Affairs. During the last supreme court hearing, the government told the court that this committee was in its “final stages of deliberations.”

There have been a few reports speculating on what the recommendations by the Garg committee entail. CNBC TV18 claims that their sources said the panel has suggested a ban on cryptocurrencies. However, another report states that the panel has suggested cryptocurrency “needs to be legalized with strong riders.”

Efforts to Lift RBI Ban

The RBI issued a circular which prohibits banks from providing services to crypto businesses including exchanges back in April last year. The ban went into effect in July. A few industry participants and stakeholders responded by filing writ petitions against the ban, which the community hopes the supreme court will soon hear. The case was originally going to be heard on Sept. 11 last year but it has been repeatedly postponed.

Reddy shared with news.Bitcoin.com that “As of now we are fully focused on representing our clients in the supreme court case, since the RBI circular is the restriction which really affects the industry,” emphasizing:

One would hope the case on the RBI circular is decided soon since the industry has been in limbo for nearly a year now.

Indian Supreme Court Set to Hear Crypto Case on March 29

As the supreme court hearing on crypto regulation approaches, there are several notable efforts within the crypto community in India.

News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on Blockchained India’s roadshow making rounds in four cities where industry participants can share their thoughts on whether India needs cryptocurrency regulation and what their suggestions are. The latest meeting took place in Hyderabad on March 16 and the next one will be in Bengaluru on March 30. The organizer of the events has said that the best suggestions for crypto regulation “will be included in the report to be submitted to the decision makers amongst the government.”

Meanwhile, the “India Wants Crypto” social media campaign has entered its 143rd day and is continually growing in popularity.

Do you think the Indian supreme court will hear the crypto case on March 29? Do you think the RBI ban will be lifted? Let us know in the comments section below.


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China Favors Tron and EOS in New Crypto Ranking But Downgrades Bitcoin

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China’s Center for Information and Industry Development has released its latest crypto project ranking. Tron and EOS top the list out of the 35 crypto projects evaluated while Bitcoin has been downgraded slightly. The center also evaluated the projects independently based on basic technology, applicability, and creativity.

Also read: SEC Chair Explains Key Upgrades Needed for Bitcoin ETF Approval

March Ranking

The Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID), under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, released the 11th update of its crypto project ranking report on Friday. The number of crypto projects evaluated this month was 35, unchanged from the previous month.

“The results show that the world’s three major Dapp platforms — EOS, Tron, [and] Ethereum — still rank in the top three, [and] the scores are 155.7, 146.7 and 142.8, respectively,” the center wrote. Tron debuted last month, replacing Ethereum as the second highest ranked project. EOS has been in the top spot since it started being ranked in June last year. This month, BTC ranks 15th, down two places from the previous month. BCH also fell slightly from the 27th spot to the 31st spot.

China Favors Tron and EOS in New Crypto Ranking But Downgrades Bitcoin

3 Sub-Rankings

All 35 crypto projects were also evaluated based on three sub-categories: basic technology, applicability, and creativity.

The basic technology “sub-index accounts for 64% of the total index,” the center described, noting that this category “mainly examines the technical realization level of the public chain, including function, performance, security, and decentralization.” The top projects are EOS, Tron, Bitshares, Steem, and Gxchain. “Since the upgrade of Constantinople, the efficiency of the Ethereum network has improved, and the Ethereum basic technology index has also risen from the 9th [place] to the 6th,” the CCID pointed out. Nonetheless, it found that “the average of the basic technology index has slightly decreased from the previous period.”

China Favors Tron and EOS in New Crypto Ranking But Downgrades Bitcoin

The applicability “sub-index accounts for 20% of the total index,” the CCID continued, adding that this category mainly evaluates “the comprehensive level of public chain support for practical applications.” The top five projects are Ethereum, NEO, Nebulas, Tron, and Ontology. Unlike the basic technology category, the center said that “The average of the applicability index has increased from the previous period.”

The creativity “sub-index accounts for 16% of the total index,” and the top five projects are Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin and Lisk. This category focuses on “continuous innovation in the public chain,” the CCID explained, adding that “The innovation sub-indices of Litecoin, Bytecoin, EOS, Nebulas and Hcash have increased significantly from the previous period,” However, the center concluded that overall, “the average value of the innovation sub-index has declined to a certain extent compared with the previous period, indicating that the activity of global public-chain technology innovation is decreasing.”

What do you think of CCID’s latest ranking? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the CCID.


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The post China Favors Tron and EOS in New Crypto Ranking But Downgrades Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

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An Indian crypto exchange has launched a program that allows its users to earn interest on their cryptocurrencies held at the exchange. Initially, users can lend BTC, USDT, BNB, XRP, and ETH. The CEO of the exchange has shared details about this new offering with news.Bitcoin.com.

Also read: Crypto Enthusiasts Unite in 4 Indian Cities to Voice Regulatory Suggestions

Lending Cryptocurrencies

Coindcx announced Thursday that its crypto lending program called Dcxlend has come out of the beta testing phase and is now fully launched. Five cryptocurrencies are supported: BTC, USDT, ETH, XRP, and BNB.

The exchange’s website currently displays monthly interest rates of 2 percent for BTC, 1 percent for USDT, 1 percent for BNB, 0.75 percent for XRP, and 0.75 percent for ETH. CEO Sumit Gupta told news.Bitcoin.com that BTC has the highest interest rate “because our traders mostly do margin trading in BTC markets (hence high demand for BTC lenders).”

Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

The exchange detailed that there are “three lending term lengths: 7 days, 15 days, and 30 days. The interest rate varies dynamically and goes up to a maximum of 2%, according to market dynamics — demand and supply.” Furthermore, its website states that “the cryptocurrencies lent through Dcxlend will be used to provide leverage to users on Dcxmargin,” another service the exchange offers.

Gupta shared with news.Bitcoin.com that during the beta testing period with just BTC and USDT, “we had roughly 120 lenders which led to a circulation of 170 BTC on a daily basis.” Claiming that the program has recently garnered more attention from lenders, he remarked, “Hence we’re scaling it up and will keep on adding more coins.”

The CEO explained that his exchange has an internal settlement and liquidation mechanism for margin trading which does not have “a dedicated funding wallet,” elaborating:

Funds are then lent to the users only when the margin trade is open, with no withdrawal access and hard liquidation with 7.5% maintenance margin.

Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

Similar Programs Worldwide

In the U.S., Blockfi recently introduced a savings account that enables customers to earn 6.2 percent annually on their BTC and ETH. Meanwhile, regulated bitcoin derivatives exchange and clearinghouse Ledgerx has a program called Ledgersavings which allows clients to earn an implied rate of around 16 percent annually.

In Japan, regulated exchange GMO Coin launched a lending program for BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and XRP last year. However, at the time of this writing, the exchange is only borrowing BTC but customers can lend between 10 and 500 BTC over 181 days and earn up to an annual rate of 5 percent.

Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

Recently-licensed Japanese exchange Coincheck, which was hacked in January last year, also has a lending program for BTC with a maximum annual rate of 5 percent. Prior to the hack, this service supported 12 cryptocurrencies.

Bitbank, another regulated Japanese exchange, also offers up to 5 percent interest annually for users lending between 1 and 25 BTC. Besides BTC, the exchange plans to extend the offer to BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, and MONA.

Would you lend your cryptocurrencies to an exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Switzerland’s Largest Online Retailer Starts Accepting 10 Cryptocurrencies

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The largest Swiss online retailer, Digitec Galaxus, has started accepting crypto payments at its two stores. Customers can choose from 10 cryptocurrencies to pay with including BTC, BCH, BNB, ETH, TRX, OMG, and XRP. One of the stores specializes in consumer electronics while the other focuses on everyday needs.

Also read: SEC Chair Explains Key Upgrades Needed for Bitcoin ETF Approval

Digitec Galaxus Accepts Crypto Payments

Digitec Galaxus AG announced Tuesday that customers can now pay for their purchases with cryptocurrencies at its two online shops: digitec and Galaxus. Ten cryptocurrencies are supported — BTC, BCH, BSV, BNB, ETH, LTC, NEO, OMG, TRX, and XRP.

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer Starts Accepting 10 Cryptocurrencies
Checkout page on galaxus.ch.

Claudio Schaad, leader of Team Spectre, one of the teams that make up the engineering department at Digitec Galaxus AG, discussed the new payment option in a blog post on his company’s website. “We’ve been looking into cryptocurrencies for a while now,” he revealed. The post explains that “instead of creating an own wallet or even cryptocurrency, digicon or the such, Spectre chose [to] work with a company called Coinify,” adding:

In simpler terms: while shopping, if your purchase price exceeds 200 francs, you have the option to pay with cryptocurrencies. What arrives on digitec’s end are Swiss francs.

Digitec specializes in IT, consumer electronics and telecommunications goods while Galaxus claims to be the largest online department store in Switzerland with a growing range of products for everyday needs. The two stores form Digitec Galaxus AG, its website describes.

Switzerland’s Largest Online Retailer Now Accepts 10 Cryptocurrencies

According to Oliver Herren, co-founder and CIO of Digitec Galaxus, the company currently has around 2.7 million items for sale, from shoehorns to wheat beer to gaming PCs. He was quoted as saying:

Cryptocurrencies are fascinating and could become a relevant means of payment in e-commerce — we want to support this development.

Paying With Cryptocurrencies

A blog post on Galaxus’ website details that “The new payment option was created as part of a pilot project together with the Swiss e-payment specialist Datatrans AG,” which works with Danish crypto payment provider Coinify.

Customers shopping on digitec or Galaxus can choose to pay with cryptocurrency at checkout. They will be redirected to a page on Coinify which displays the amount due in BTC with a QR code. Customers can choose among the 10 supported cryptocurrencies and complete the checkout process. Prices are locked in for 15 minutes.

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer Starts Accepting 10 Cryptocurrencies

When choosing a cryptocurrency other than BTC, customers are asked to provide an address so that funds can be returned should an error occur. Furthermore, the company warns of a processing delay when paying with other coins.

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer Starts Accepting 10 Cryptocurrencies

The blog post further notes that “Normally, the payment confirmation by Coinify takes place within a few minutes,” adding:

Digitec Galaxus does not charge any fees for cryptocurrency payments. Coinify charges a conversion fee of 1.5% of the purchase amount. Other, but small, transaction fees will be charged depending on the currency, as well as how fast the transaction is to be confirmed.

What do you think of Digitec Galaxus accepting 10 cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinify, and Digitec Galaxus AG.


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The post Switzerland’s Largest Online Retailer Starts Accepting 10 Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Real Estate Giant Holding Live Luxury Home Auction for Bitcoin

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A major Australian real estate group is holding a luxury home auction that can be paid for with two cryptocurrencies. There will be a live auctioneer who will call out bids in BTC. The property owner says he wants to keep as many coins as possible.

Also read: Crypto Enthusiasts Unite in 4 Indian Cities to Voice Regulatory Suggestions

Live Auction for Cryptocurrencies

One of Australia’s largest real estate groups, LJ Hooker, is preparing a live luxury real estate auction for cryptocurrencies with a live auctioneer. The company is working with James Pratt Auctions and blockchain company Nuyen, which will facilitate online bidding for the five-bedroom house in New South Wales, Australia. Micky media outlet reported Monday:

The auctioneer will call bids in cryptocurrency, with the price to be converted and displayed in AUD and USD on a live screen. Payments can be made in both bitcoin (BTC) and binance coin (BNB).

The owner of the property and president of Nuyen, Greg Costello, told news.Bitcoin.com that, in addition to the two cryptocurrencies, AUD will also be accepted.

Real Estate Giant Holding Live Luxury Home Auction for Bitcoin

According to Nuyen, the auction has attracted interested buyers from the U.S., Canada, China, and Australia, the publication detailed. Costello was quoted as saying: “We have already had parties register for the auction in less than 5 days of it being released … There has been a lot of international interest and publicity and I expect to see this grow and grow as the auction gets closer.”

Furthermore, he told the news outlet that he believes there will be more live auctions for cryptocurrencies in the future because international bidders can easily participate, elaborating:

All signs point to a borderless system where digital assets are traded for real assets.

Established in 1928, LJ Hooker claims to be “Australia’s best-known and most trusted real estate brand.” With offices in Australia, New Zealand, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, the group claims to manage the largest property portfolio in the region of approximately 160,000 properties worth $100 billion Australian dollars (~$71 billion).

Real Estate Giant Holding Live Luxury Home Auction for Bitcoin

The Auction

The auction will take place on April 8. There will be a live auctioneer on the property, which is located on the coast about 60 miles south of Brisbane. Nuyen Vice President Ryan Lee described the post-auction process:

Once the sale has been completed, Nuyen’s internal and secure exchange will then be responsible for facilitating the liquidation of the coins themselves and of course releasing them back to the market.

Costello, being a firm crypto believer, intends to keep as much of the BTC and BNB as he can, Micky conveyed. Nonetheless, he explained that “Some of the coins will have to be liquidated to release the mortgage but the rest will be held tight for future gains.”

What do you think of this live auction for BTC and BNB? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, LJ Hooker, and Greg Costello.


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The post Real Estate Giant Holding Live Luxury Home Auction for Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bank of Mexico’s Attempt to Regulate Crypto ‘Is a Disaster,’ Exchange CEO Explains

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The long-awaited rules on crypto assets recently published by the central bank of Mexico have caused quite a stir. A local cryptocurrency exchange’s CEO explains to news.Bitcoin.com that “the impact goes beyond the crypto industry.” Calling it “a disaster,” he asserts that the people within the central bank “have really shown their ignorance” about cryptocurrency.

Also read: Mexico’s Central Bank Publishes ‘Catch-22’ Rules Impacting Crypto Exchanges

Central Bank Showing Ignorance

Much discussion has transpired after the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), the country’s central bank, published a circular detailing crypto-related provisions for the regulation of financial technology institutions (FTIs).

Sebastian Acosta Checa, CEO of local crypto exchange Isbit, shared with news.Bitcoin.com that the circular “says FTIs have to prevent consumers from being ‘exposed’ to the terrible ‘dangerous’ nature of virtual assets on the grounds of their ‘volatility’ and ‘complexity.’” Overall, noting that “In a way, it [Banxico’s circular] is preventing institutions from offering virtual assets to end consumers,” he remarked:

This is a disaster. The people within Banxico have really shown their ignorance about the subject they are trying to regulate.

Bank of Mexico's Attempt to Regulate Crypto Is a Disaster, Exchange CEO Explains

Mexico’s congress passed a law to regulate fintech companies in March last year, putting Banxico in charge of determining which cryptocurrencies would be authorized to offer to the public by regulated entities. At the time, the crypto community and stakeholders were hopeful that the central bank would introduce positive regulations to foster the fintech sector and the country’s economy as a whole.

However, when Banxico finally published the circular, it “essentially stipulated that they wouldn’t authorize any cryptocurrency to be offered by regulated financial companies,” Tomas Alvarez, CEO of local crypto exchange Volabit, recently told news.Bitcoin.com.

Restriction But Not Prohibition

Mexican crypto exchange Bitso described in a blog post that “the circular is directed at banks and fintech [companies] regarding their operations with cryptocurrencies.” The exchange noted that “Banxico mentions that it seeks to take advantage of the use of the technology of these cryptocurrencies as long as they are used for internal operations of financial institutions,” emphasizing:

This does not mean that operations with cryptocurrencies are prohibited.

Bank of Mexico's Attempt to Regulate Crypto Is a Disaster, Exchange CEO Explains

Alvarez calls it a catch-22 situation since the law requires crypto exchanges to become regulated financial institutions. “However, once you obtain this license you would not have the authorization to list any cryptocurrencies, making it legally impossible to operate an exchange in Mexico with the fintech law in place,” he noted.

Interpretation of ‘Consumer’

Some of the rules Banxico imposes are not clear, however. Acosta Checa told news.Bitcoin.com:

Since the circular seems to have been written in a rush and without careful analysis and basic competence, it leaves to the interpretation of certain important things.

For example, in his interpretation, “financial institutions and foreign trade companies are not a ‘consumer’ and thus can operate freely” with his exchange. Isbit has already “shifted gears to serving businesses, corporations and institutions (which are allowed to hold virtual assets in their balance sheets according to the previous bill published March 9, 2018). Thus we will not shut down or lose our most valuable customers,” the CEO emphasized.

Bank of Mexico's Attempt to Regulate Crypto Is a Disaster, Exchange CEO Explains

Nonetheless, Acosta Checa understands that, under the new rules, if his exchange wants to “continue serving final ‘consumers/the public’ we will need to appeal to the Amparo Law and ask a court to suspend the application of the circular published by the Bank of Mexico (not the entire bill passed by the previous government administration on March 9, 2018).” He clarified:

According to the March 9th bill passed by the [Mexican] congress, we have permission to operate with ‘consumers’ till September.

Damaging the Economy

The CEO of Isbit believes that the new crypto asset rules will negatively impact the country’s economy as a whole. He explained that “Mexico is the endpoint to the biggest remittance corridor in the world (second largest population of migrants), the 6th most visited country by tourists and [is the] country with the largest number of free trade agreements.” Therefore, the country “has a lot to gain from the industrial application of virtual assets (activos virtuales) to facilitating free trade, tourism and financial inclusion,” Acosta Checa detailed, concluding:

The impact goes beyond the crypto industry. I believe it damages the economy as a whole.

What do you think of the rules set by the central bank of Mexico? Let us know in the comments section below.


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