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Chatter Report: Vitalik Doesn’t Believe in Proof of Work, Chris Pacia Discusses Big Blocks

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In this latest roundup of crypto chatter from social media, Vitalik Buterin sparks debate by declaring that he doesn’t believe in proof of work. Also, developer Rhett Creighton is accused of foul play in the Bitcoin Private pre-mine scandal. Finally, Chris Pacia clarifies his stance on large block limitations.

Also read: A Look at Some of 2018’s Most Popular Cryptocurrency Traders

Vitalik Doesn’t Believe in Proof of Work

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin turned a lot of heads recently when he tweeted to Bitcoin maximalist Giacomo Zucco that he doesn’t “believe in proof of work.”

Crypto Twitter erupted with responses. One commentator, Crypto Domains, pointed out the ridiculousness of Vitalik’s comment, comparing it to not believing “in oxygen.” Crypto Domains’ remark resonated widely, not least since Ethereum itself currently runs on a proof of work model.

Bitcoin Community Skeptical of Rhett Creighton

The Bitcoin Private team recently released an official statement explaining that they had no prior knowledge of the BTCP coins that were covertly created during the fork that birthed the project. Instead, they were mislead by developer airk42, they insist. Airk42 had started out innocently by accepting a bounty the team had placed. He then managed to became a BTCP developer and was promoted to contributor on Github. However, when airk42 merged his own code, he left out one crucial line and a bad actor exploited this bug, creating approximately 2 million additional coins.

Many in the cryptocurrency community were suspicious of the BTCP team and their official response. In a recent live stream by bitcoin trader Tone Vays, developer Jimmy Song pointed out that former BTCP developer Rhett Creighton left the project in a rather cryptic manner that foreshadowed the hack.

Likewise, Vays expressed skepticism at Creighton’s sincerity and quickly theorized that he may have secretly been airk42. Cryptocurrency trader Nick Core also agreed with Tone, explaining that scammers are prone to “leave projects before they are finished.”

Chris Pacia Clarifies Tweet on Blocksize Limitations

Bitcoin commentator u/satoshi_vision 1 recently called out Openbazaar developer Chris Pacia on the r/bitcoincashSV subreddit for Pacia’s comments that bitcoin software will start to break down when blocks reach about 22 MB in size. u/satoshi_vision 1 was criticizing Pacia, as Coingeek had mined a 64MB block at block height 557335.

We were told by Chris Pacia that 22MB blocks would not work, not we have blocks nearly 3x that size. from bitcoincashSV

Pacia was unable to defend himself on the subreddit, as he had been banned from participating on r/bitcoincashSV, despite never having commented on it before. Instead, Pacia took to Twitter to defend himself, explaining that his tweet wasn’t about the ability to mine a single large block.

Rather than large single blocks, Pacia was referring to the ability to mine many large blocks in tandem. He then went on to point out that the average blocksize over a one-hour period never went above 7 MB when BSV was mining 32 MB blocks.

What do you think of Vitalik’s thoughts on proof of work? Let us know in the comments below.


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PR: Write off Crypto Losses With CoinTracking.info

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This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Last Thanksgiving, Bitcoin was in the middle of a bull run that would result in a record high of $19,511 just before Christmas. Now, Bitcoin is worth just $3,752.

If you bought Bitcoin and other cryptos when their prices were high, there’s a silver lining around the gray state of crypto markets now: any losses you take this year could place you in a lower tax bracket. What’s more, claiming those losses is easier than you might assume.

For the purposes of taxation, the US and most other governments consider cryptocurrencies to be assets. This means that whenever you trade cryptocurrency, the transaction falls into one of two categories: a capital gain or a capital loss.

Capital gain: A capital gain occurs when you sell cryptocurrency for more than the amount that you paid to purchase it.
Capital loss: If you sell cryptocurrency for less than the amount that you paid for it, this is considered to be a capital loss.

You have to sell or buy an asset to trigger a taxable gain or loss. Once you decide to make a move, tax authorities consider the loss to be “realized.” If your loss is great enough, you may be able to use it to enter a lower tax bracket.

One of the biggest benefits of claiming a loss is that you can offset income gained from other sources.

In the US, the IRS lets you deduct up to $3,000 worth of net capital losses each year from the amount of money you’ve earned at your day job. If the amount you lost was greater than $3,000, you can get another deduction of up to $3,000 when you file your taxes next year.

If you currently make just over $50,000 per year at your job, that $3,000 cryptocurrency loss could place you in a lower tax bracket. This could result in thousands of dollars of tax savings.

What’s more, if you’ve earned some income through stocks or through the sale of property, there’s no limit to the amount you can deduct from those revenues.

If you’re in the $38,701 – $82,500 tax bracket and your crypto capital loss deduction puts you below the $38,700 mark, you’d only have to pay $952.50 plus 12% of any amount over $9,525. But if you made $38,701 or more, you’d have to pay over four times as much in taxes, plus 22% of any amount over $38,700.

In other words, if you fail to deduct your crypto losses and you fall into the third bracket as a result, you’d have to pay at least $4,453.50 to the IRS. But if you do file your losses and make it into bracket two, you’d pay just $952.50.

Total tax savings: $3,501.50.

If you’re married and filing jointly or widowed, moving into a lower tax bracket can result in even more tax savings. If you made $77,402 in 2018, you’d have to pay the IRS $8,907 and change.

Dropping down to the $19,051-$77,400 tax bracket by filing a crypto loss would save you $7,002.

In addition to cryptocurrency traders, cryptocurrency miners can use deductions to reach lower tax brackets.

A notice that the IRS published in March of 2014 provides some relevant details:

“…when a taxpayer successfully “mines” virtual currency, the fair market value of the virtual currency as of the date of receipt is includible in gross income.”

If the value of the cryptocurrency you mined decreased and you decide to sell it, then that would mean that you have triggered a capital loss. You can report this loss in the same way that you would if you bought and then sold your coins through an exchange.

IRS analysts told CNBC that electricity costs and other expenses may be written off as well.

Figuring out how much you’ve made or lost can be a headache, particularly if you haven’t been keeping track of your purchases or if you placed a huge amount of trade orders last year.

Sorting out how much you lost or earned requires access to historical pricing data. Without that historical data, you won’t be able to determine what the price of your crypto asset was when you bought and sold it.

Fortunately, there is software available that can crunch all your crypto tax data for you.

With CoinTracking.info, can import your transactions from all your cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges. The interface walks you through how to do the imports.

At the end of the import process, you can download IRS form 8949. This is the form you need to submit to report your loss.

Other download options include CSV, TaxACT and TurboTax.

If you use a crypto tax calculator to do your own taxes, filing your taxes is a straightforward process. All you have to do is take the total from IRS form 8949 and transfer that to IRS form 1040 Schedule D.

In fact, most CPAs that work with crypto traders use CoinTracking and other publicly available software to determine what their clients owe. These tools are not difficult to use. Many have free trials, which let you see how they work for yourself before you commit.

If you lost money in crypto markets last year, you may be able to offset some– or perhaps even all– of those losses at tax time. Reporting your capital losses might help you move to a lower tax bracket. If your deductions qualify you for a lower bracket, filing them could save you thousands of dollars when you submit your taxes this year.

Press Contact Email Address
alex@cointracking.info

Supporting Link
https://cointracking.info

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its 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 content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices

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2018 was a crazy year in regard to the price of cryptocurrencies losing more than 80 percent of their values since they touched all-time highs. Interestingly enough, even though the prices of major digital assets plummeted, the hashrate for SHA-256 coins skyrocketed during the months of August through October. Although the hashrate has declined significantly since the price was severely impacted negatively this past November.

Also Read: Crypto Bear Market Triggers Rise in M&A Activity

A Look at the Hashrates Securing the Most Popular SHA-256 Coins in 2018

Cryptocurrency miners secure blockchain networks for a profit and the cumulative proof-of-work (PoW) hashrate of all the SHA-256 coins has seen milestone after milestone in 2018. The total hashrate of both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) networks combined surpassed 65 exahash per second (EH/s) last August. Since then, the combined hashrate of both networks is averaging 42 EH/s during the final week of 2018, as the hashrate tumbled over the course of the last eight weeks. The hashrate is still twice higher than it was last January, even though it had lost around 20-25 EH/s after the high.

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices
Bitcoin Core (BTC) network hashrate 2018.

According to Coin Dance statistics, it is currently 4.10 percent more profitable to mine on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Furthermore, Coinwarz data details the BCH chain is the third most profitable PoW chain today. Since the SHA-256 hashrate declined rapidly during the first week of November and the BCH blockchain split occurred on the 15th, the Bitcoin Cash network hashrate has seen much better days. For instance, the cryptocurrency’s hashrate captured an average of 4-5 EH/s for most of 2018.

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices
Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hashrates combined, on Dec. 26.

However, because of the split and falling BCH prices, the network is only capturing 1.5-1.9 EH/s but has improved considerably since the last big price drop. When the price was under $100 per BCH, the hashrate was only .5-.9 EH/s (or 5,000-9000 petahash per second). The biggest mining pools on the Bitcoin Cash network this month are BTC.top, Viabtc, and BTC.com. The Bitcoin Core network’s largest pools today include BTC.com, Antpool, and Viabtc.

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices
The top SHA-256 mining pools of 2018.

2018’s Next Generation ASICs

2018 also saw a lot of buzz surrounding new ASIC miners that utilize next-generation chips like 7 nanometer (nm) and 10nm semiconductors. Even though these machines received a lot of attention because crypto-markets had plummeted, they really haven’t lived up to their hype so far. Even if a machine packs a lot of terrahash per second (TH/s), it still has a hard time profiting this year. There are roughly six SHA-256 ASIC machines at the time of publication that are pulling in a profit by mining either BTC or BCH. The most profitable miner today is the Asicminer 8 Nano Pro, a machine that claims to pack a monstrous 76 TH/s. It is followed by the Ebang Ebit E11+ which makes $3.73 per day at current prices and claims to capture 44 TH/s per machine.

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New Devices

The 2018 Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Saw Record Hashrates and New DevicesAsicminer’s 44 TH/s Nano version is capturing $3.36 per day but the fourth most profitable miner, the Innosilicon T3, isn’t available for purchase yet. Only five of the six most profitable SHA-256 miners can be purchased today and most of these devices process more than 23 TH/s. Also, a big surprise came this week from the manufacturers of the 7nm-powered B2 and B3 miners created by the GMO Group from Japan. According to the company, it won’t be manufacturing these machines going forward and it saw a record loss of $218 million during the last four months. Other mining operations have also recorded deep losses this year, like when Washington-based firm Giga Watt filed for bankruptcy. And local reports stemming from China this past November explained that miners in the region were “selling mining rigs by the Kilo as scrap.”

Even With the Ups and Downs — Hashrate Continues to Increase Over Time

The bear market of 2018 has definitely taken a toll on miners but even more so during Q4. This month, news.Bitcoin.com explained how Chinese miners have been shorting the spot markets in order to break even on electric costs stemming from unprofitable devices. These rigs are then sold on the secondary market and miners keep repeating the cycle until they can buy new machines when prices get bullish. Although our publication also reported on Matt D’Souza, the co-founder of Blockware Solutions, who explained that even though some operations were going bankrupt, other mining facilities have handled the cryptocurrency recession in a more inventive fashion.

Moreover, even though SHA-256 mined coins had their values chopped considerably in 2018 and their hashrate plummeted by 20-25 EH/s, both metrics are still significantly higher than ever before. There will always be highs and lows but an economy with an upward healthy trend over the long run is always a good sign.

What do you think about the hashrate climb this year and all the new machines announced? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support these products or services. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com and the author 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 content, goods or services mentioned in this article. This editorial is for informational purposes only.


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Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-Regulation

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In an exclusive interview with news.Bitcoin.com, Japan’s top financial regulator revealed its expectations for the self-regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan. The agency has approved a self-regulatory organization, which it is working closely with to ensure compliance. All 16 regulated crypto exchanges in Japan are members of this self-regulatory organization.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Working Together

Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-RegulationThe Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA), the country’s top financial regulator, granted the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (Jvcea) self-regulatory organization (SRO) status under the Payment Services Act in October.

The JFSA explained to news.Bitcoin.com that it believes “the SRO can take actions flexibly to keep up with the fast-changing environment surrounding crypto-assets,” adding:

We think it necessary [for us] to work with the Jvcea closely so that the association can successfully perform self-regulatory functions through the establishment and application of self-regulatory rules and monitoring of their members.

Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-RegulationThe association is expected to cooperate with the JFSA to instruct and supervise its members to “operate their businesses appropriately.” It is also expected work with them “to improve the safety of related systems through investigation and research on security” and disseminate “information externally to increase the awareness of exchange users,” the agency described.

Furthermore, the association is expected to “set out detailed wallet management processes from the system security point of view and the cross-sectoral rules in areas that are not covered by the laws/regulations, for example, margin trading, for the users’ protection,” Japan’s top financial regulator noted, elaborating:

We expect that through self-regulation, clearer and more detailed rules will be provided as to provisions that are not specified under the existing laws/regulations, as well as self-discipline in areas that are not covered by the laws and regulations.

Adhering to Self-Regulatory Rules

Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-RegulationAll of Japan’s 16 registered cryptocurrency exchanges are members of the Jvcea. Initially, only registered exchanges could join the association. However, after it was granted SRO status, the association opened up membership to other cryptocurrency operators. According to local media, deemed dealers, which are companies that have been allowed to operate while their applications are being reviewed by the JFSA, can also join the association.

Japan Reveals Expectations for Cryptocurrency Industry Self-RegulationThe JFSA confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com that “It is not a legal obligation for virtual currency exchange service providers to be a member” of a self-regulatory organization. “However, from the perspective of user protection, the JFSA monitors whether virtual currency exchange service providers conduct their businesses appropriately, taking self-regulatory rules into account.” In other words, crypto exchanges are expected to uphold self-regulatory standards even if they are not members of the Jvcea.

The agency revealed that it “works closely with the association by exchanging views about various issues on a regular basis and sharing information on members, unregistered business providers and user complaints,” emphasizing:

In cooperation with the Jvcea, the JFSA has been monitoring virtual currency exchange service providers as to their compliance with self-regulation as well as the laws and regulations.

In terms of whether the JFSA will approve another self-regulatory organization, the agency noted that “There is no limit to the number of SROs under the laws/regulations.” The regulator added, “In the event that another SRO submits an application for approval, the JFSA will scrutinize it from the viewpoint of the applicant’s effectiveness in performing self-regulatory functions.”

What do you think of Japan’s approach to self-regulation for the crypto industry? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Report: India Evaluating Cryptocurrency Legalization Under Strong Regulation

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The committee charged with providing recommendations for the regulatory framework surrounding cryptocurrencies in India is reportedly evaluating the legalization of the asset class under strong regulation. According to a recent report, “There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal.”

Also read: Report: Indian Government Panel Submits Crypto Recommendations

Legalizing With Strong Riders

An article published by the New Indian Express on Wednesday claims that the second inter-ministerial committee appointed to discuss the country’s stance on cryptocurrencies is not completely convinced of outlawing the asset class and is looking to legalize it under strong regulation.

The committee is headed by the Department of Economic Affairs’ secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg. It consists of officials from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. An unnamed official was quoted by the publication as saying:

We have already had two meetings. There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders. Deliberations are on. We will have more clarity soon

Spirits Are High Despite Uncertainty

Report: India Evaluating Cryptocurrency Legalization Under Strong RegulationThis news comes almost a year after the country’s finance minister, Arun Jaitley, declared during a speech in February that the Indian government “does not consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender or coin” and vowed that the government would take all the necessary measures to “eliminate the use of these assets in financing illegitimate activities.”

Jaitley’s comments echo similar remarks by the RBI. The central bank issued a circular in April, giving all banking institutions under its control a three-month window to close all ties with cryptocurrency companies.

The banking ban imposed by the RBI has influenced cryptocurrency trading behaviors in India. Exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) trading volumes have reportedly soared in the months following the decision, indicating that the Indian people’s desire to use and hold cryptocurrencies has not been entirely dampened by the ongoing regulatory uncertainty.

Although the government of India has yet to announce a formal stance on the matter, the Indian crypto community remains optimistic that the government will end up lifting the ban and will formulate positive regulations in the upcoming months. The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for January 2019.

What do you think will be the outcome of these meetings? Will the Indian government embrace cryptocurrencies and lift the ban? Let us know in the comment section below.


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Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

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Madison Holdings Group Ltd. has agreed to buy 67.2 percent of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitocean for 1.68 billion yen ($15.12 million). Inclusive of fees, the wines and alcoholic beverages company will pay a total $30.12 million. According to local media reports, the deal is to be completed through a subsidiary, Madison Labs.

Also read: Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

Acquisition to Diversify Operations and Expand Income Sources

Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

Madison is an investment holding company popular for selling top-end French wines. The $546 million-valued company is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM), a junior segment of the bourse. The company also has interests in corporate finance activities, financial advisory services and asset management.

Bitocean is registered as a crypto exchange with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, but has not commenced trading yet. According to papers filed with GEM, sometime this month, Madison is buying the stake from “independent third parties,” in what management said was part of the company’s “diversification strategy.”

A report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) also detailed plans by HDR Cadenza Management – a unit of HDR Global Trading, owners of crypto exchange Bitmex – to acquire a 51 percent stake in Madison Labs for $17.14 million. Both deals have yet to be closed. Raymond Ting Pang-wan, chairman of Madison, stated:

Our wine business is stable and profitable, but then it is small. It is hard to make wine trading into a very big business. This is why we have to diversify into financial technology and the cryptocurrency business – to achieve a better return for our shareholders. Virtual currencies and blockchain are getting more popular. Investing in the virtual currency sector will expand our income source.

Lured by Japan’s Robust Crypto Regulation

Pang-wan told SCMP that his company was not concerned about the current market slump, which has seen the price of bitcoin core (BTC) plummet by more than 80 percent from its December 2017 all-time-high of almost $20,000. “Bitcoin is cheap, which has created a good opportunity for us to enter the market. We are eyeing the long term, so we are not worried about short-term volatility,” he was quoted as saying.

Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

He said the decision to enter Japan, which controls about a fifth of the global cryptocurrency trading total, was motivated by the existence of a comprehensive regulatory framework in the Pacific island nation. “We wanted to invest in a platform that was under proper regulation,” said Pang-wan.

Japan is building one of the strongest regulatory frameworks for the cryptocurrency industry, ostensibly to prevent cases of theft of investor funds. The $530 million Coincheck hack in January marked a crucial turning point in crypto regulation in the country. Today, Japan has the Virtual Currency Exchange Association, a self-regulatory body, while exchanges applying for a license with the Financial Services Authority have to go through a rigorous verification process.

According to the SCMP report, Gary Cheung Wai-kwok, chairman of the Hong Kong Securities Association, said:  “This is a small investment for the company (Madison), so it will not take too big a risk. It makes sense for the company to diversify its business to achieve higher income.”

What do you think about Madison’s deals with Bitocean and Bitmex? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

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Kucoin has delisted 10 digital assets, including bitcoin gold and mobius, and Huobi has put 32 trading pairs on notice. Both exchanges cite issues to do with weak liquidity and trading volume as reasons for their action. But the flurry of delistings also point to how the cryptocurrency market downturn has taken a toll on many altcoins.

Also read: Bitcoin Equipment Maker Ebang Reapplies for Hong Kong Listing

Delisting Result of Low Liquidity

Kucoin said it had “disqualified” tokens such as bread, bitclave, wepower and ethlend for failing to meet the Chinese exchange’s listing requirements as set out in its “special treatment rule (ST).” Digital coins at risk of being delisted are placed under the so-called ST for “mandatory review over a specified period of time.”

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

Tokens are indicted particularly for low liquidity or when the project is faced with the risk of bankruptcy or liquidation, security breaches and other issues. “The exchange may delist … the project (if it) fails to meet the basic liquidity requirements by the end of the observation period,” explains Kucoin on its “special treatment rule” page.

Any trading or deposits of the 10 delisted cryptocurrencies has now been suspended, even though withdrawals are permitted for a time. Kucoin said the decision had been taken in order “to provide a solid user experience” on the exchange.

Kucoin is the world’s 54th largest digital currency platform by daily trade volume, with $20.35 million worth of coins traded in the last 24 hours, according to data from Coinmarketcap. Currently, the exchange offers over 300 token trading pairs.

Altcoins on the Brink as Markets Struggle

The rout in global cryptocurrency markets this year has left hundreds of altcoins haemorrhaging value against the U.S. dollar and struggling to retain liquidity. Many are down by 90% or more from their all-time high, making the tokens almost worthless in some cases.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

The latest Kucoin purge comes in the same week as an announcement from Huobi, the world’s fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange, that it is planning to remove about 32 digital assets from its platform. The tokens were cited for low trading volume and have been placed in Huobi’s version of the ST risk category.

“In order to promote the healthy development of the blockchain industry and protect the legitimate rights and interests of investors, Huobi regularly carries out comprehensive reviews of the listed tokens in accordance with the Token Administration Regulations of Huobi,” said the exchange.

Huobi is to reexamine the affected assets on Dec. 26, and those that fail to meet the listing requirements will effectively be trading under caution, with a real risk of being delisted. Some of the affected tokens include enigma, datum, my token, medishares, wepower, appcoins and bitcapital vendor. Salt, tieron, untrust, quantstamp, medical chain and others are also at risk of being delisted.

Do you think more low cap altcoins are in danger of being delisted from major exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Report: Use of Cryptocurrencies for Remittance Is Growing in Popularity

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A new report by a blockchain-focused research company asserts that there has been a spike in people using cryptocurrencies to send remittances. This growth is in part due to the high costs incurred when using more traditional methods such as Paypal. 

Also read: Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019

Easier, Cheaper, Faster

The value of remittances being sent overseas from the U.S. is greater than ever. World Bank Data states that over $148 billion was sent abroad from the U.S. in 2017. With an increasingly interconnected world seeing more people than ever moving abroad to work – and send money back home – migrants are looking for easier ways to cut costs and avoid getting ripped off by banks and other middlemen. One effective way of doing so is of course with cryptocurrency. Blockchain research company Clovr has said in its latest report that this new method has become more popular than ever.

The report, named Sending Money Back Home, reveals that of to the 707 people surveyed, 15.8 percent use cryptocurrency to send cash home. This makes it one of the more popular methods, ranking in fourth place after using an online service, money transfer service, or traditional wire transfer. Report: Use of Cryptocurrencies for Remittance Is Growing in Popularity

According to the report, the use of cryptocurrencies is in part due to the high costs associated with using traditional methods of sending money abroad such as Western Union or Moneygram. When money is sent to countries within Africa with these methods, “super-taxes” are often occurred – especially when sending money within the continent. A remittance going from South Africa to Malawi could see fees upwards of 20 percent, for example. Cryptocurrency can minimize such costs. The report notes:

If some of the largest companies in the world, like Microsoft and Starbucks, are comfortable accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, this should instil confidence in using these new forms of payment for sending remittances

There is no doubt that using cryptocurrency to send money abroad can save money, as the report demonstrates by looking at the cost of sending $500 abroad. Banks on average would charge 10.41 percent for such a transaction while a post office could set someone back $34. Using bitcoin core (BTC) or bitcoin cash (BCH) to get money overseas could actually see the sender make money. The report states: “By avoiding the high transaction fees and conversion rates typically associated with transferring funds abroad, you can take a few extra steps (including converting the government-issued currency into cryptocurrency and then back again), potentially getting significant savings.”

Breaking Down The Figures

The report added that men were more likely to have used cryptocurrencies for international transfers than women, and of those interviewed, 85 percent were satisfied with using it as a sending method. The report also revealed that those who weren’t onboard with cryptocurrencies were skeptical because of their lack of knowledge of how they work.

Report: Use of Cryptocurrencies for Remittance Is Growing in Popularity

Of the 707 people surveyed by Clovr, most of the remittances were headed to Mexico, followed by China, India and the Philippines. The most important reason for sending cash was so family members could buy food, according to the report, with 41 percent of it being spent to ensure the recipient wouldn’t go hungry.

When governments wreck a country’s economy – as seen in Venezuela – it makes sense for those who have fled their homes to find work abroad and then send funds using bitcoin. As already seen, people from Venezuela are using cryptocurrency to their advantage in order to send money to the cash-strapped South American nation. With the number of remittances increasing, more people are set to learn of the cost-cutting advantages and ease of using cryptocurrency to send money home to loved ones.

What is your opinion on the report and on using crypto to send remittances? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory Uncertainty

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Despite regulatory uncertainty and banking restriction imposed by the country’s central bank, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange is seeing record trading volumes every month. The CEO of Wazirx told news.Bitcoin.com that the recent uptick in crypto prices has prompted a lot of Indians to start trading again.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Record Trading Volumes

Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory UncertaintyIndian cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx is seeing record trading volumes despite a number of conditions that dampen trader sentiment such as the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The exchange’s CEO, Nischal Shetty, told news.Bitcoin.com on Monday that “In a flat market coupled with banking restriction,” there is little motivation for Indians to trade cryptocurrencies. However, he elaborated:

The recent uptick in the crypto prices has gotten a lot of Indians trading again … whenever there’s volatility people forget the problems and start trading. That’s exactly the reason why we’re seeing our volumes shooting up so fast.

Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory UncertaintyThe RBI issued a circular in April banning financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto companies. Responding to the banking restriction, Wazirx launched an exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) platform in July, with Shetty repeatedly saying that the response to this service has been “tremendous.”

He further shared that his exchange has been “hitting new peaks in volume every month,” adding that this month it surpassed 200 BTC in daily trading volume for the first time. “200 BTC in 24 hours was our record high and the highest by any exchange in India right now,” he claimed. Noting that this record high was achieved within nine months of launching his exchange and during a bear market, he concluded:

Considering the banking restriction in place, this is great news for the Indian crypto sector.

On Localbitcoins, the number of BTC traded in INR has also been growing, with 302 BTC traded in the week of Dec. 22 as well as in the previous week.

Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory Uncertainty

Regulatory Uncertainty

Indian Crypto Exchange Sees Record Trading Volumes Amid Regulatory Uncertainty
Subhash Chandra Garg

The Indian government is expected to finalize the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the near future. The panel, tasked with providing recommendations regarding crypto regulatory measures, has reportedly submitted its report to the government. This panel is headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, the country’s Economic Affairs Secretary.

Commenting on the upcoming crypto regulatory framework, Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com, “I have to remain optimistic,” noting:

I believe in our government, that they’ll listen to our voices. I’ve been running a Twitter campaign and it’s gaining traction amongst Indian crypto users. As the campaign grows it’ll be harder to ignore.

The CEO started his Twitter campaign on Oct. 31, calling for positive regulations for the Indian crypto space. Meanwhile, the country’s supreme court is set to hear the petitions against the RBI ban in January.

What do you think of the crypto ecosystem in India? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Coin.dance.


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Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining Machines

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Japanese internet giant GMO has announced that it will no longer develop, manufacture, and sell cryptocurrency mining machines. The company will, however, continue to mine in-house but will relocate its mining center to a region with cleaner and less expensive energy.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Exiting the Mining Equipment Business

Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining MachinesGMO Internet Inc. announced on Tuesday following a board of directors meeting that it “will no longer develop, manufacture, and sell mining machines.” The company is posting an extraordinary loss of 24 billion yen (~$218 million) related to these activities for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending December 2018.

Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining Machines“Regarding the current mining machine markets, the environment is increasingly competitive because of the decreased demand mainly due to the decline in the cryptocurrency price, the decline in the sales price, etc,” the announcement reads. After considering changes in the current crypto environment, GMO wrote:

The company expects that it is difficult to recover the cryptocurrency mining business-related assets through selling mining machines, so the company has decided to stop the development, manufacture, and sales of mining machines, thereby recording an extraordinary loss.

In addition, GMO noted that it has purchased mining machines and paid the costs required to manufacture its 7nm machines. With the decision to exit the manufacturing business, GMO revealed that it will transfer related assets held to MP18 Llc, a special purpose company of Tani Electronics Corporation.

Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining Machines

GMO first announced the development of its 7nm bitcoin mining equipment in September last year. Miner B2, the first line of its mining equipment, went on sale in June for $1,999. Another line, Miner B3, went on sale in July for the same price. The first batch of B2s was supposed to be shipped at the end of October and B3s in November. However, to date, no mining machines of either type have been shipped.

In-House Mining

Japan’s GMO Quits Manufacturing and Selling Mining MachinesFor its in-house mining business, launched in December last year, GMO is posting an extraordinary loss of approximately 14 billion yen on an unconsolidated basis (11.5 billion yen on a consolidated basis) for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending December 2018.

The company explained that the profitability of its in-house mining business “decreased as the cryptocurrency price declined and our mining share did not increase as expected due to the rise of the global hash rate, which went beyond our initial assumption,” noting:

After taking into consideration changes in the current business environment, the Company expects that it is difficult to recover the carrying amounts of the in-house-mining-related business assets, and therefore, it has been decided to record an extraordinary loss.

GMO mined 696 BTC and 400 BCH in November. Its hashrate has been steadily growing as planned, its latest in-house mining report shows. “We will introduce the mining machine from other manufacturers to the in-house mining. Our plan is to see
our hash rate surpass 800 PH/s by the end of December,” the company said earlier this month.

In its Tuesday’s announcement, GMO noted that “Depreciation cost of mining machines and electricity cost comprise the majority of operating expenses,” elaborating:

In terms of the electricity cost, we will relocate the mining center to a region that will allow us to secure a cleaner and less expensive power supply.

What do you think of GMO exiting the business of manufacturing and selling mining machines? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet.


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