Cambodia’s Crypto Industry Marches Forward Despite Legal Grey Area

Cambodia's Crypto Industry Marches Forward Despite Legal Grey Area

Cambodia’s cryptocurrency sector appears to be marching forward, despite the absence of clear regulatory guidelines pertaining to virtual currencies. 

Also Read: PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018

Regulatory Ambiguity Fails to Deter Cambodia’s Cryptocurrency Sector

Cambodia's Crypto Industry Marches Forward Despite Legal Grey AreaA report published by The Phnom Penh Post suggests that Cambodia’s virtual currency industry is pressing forward in spite of the regulatory ambiguity surrounding cryptocurrencies in the country.

The founder of the Khmer Crypto Foundation, In Mean, told local media that individuals operating in Cambodia’s cryptocurrency sector do so with great care due to the legal uncertainty. “It’s not clear yet whose job it is to regulate cryptocurrencies,” Mr. Mean said. “It could fall to the [National Bank of Cambodia (NBC)] or the [Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC)], but it’s not clear yet which one it will be.”

Although Cambodia has not explicitly outlawed the possession cryptocurrencies, Cambodia’s government announced the prohibition of “all banks and microfinance institutions from trading, buying, selling and advertising cryptocurrencies,” in December 2017.

Cambodians Citizens Launch Altcoins in Spite of Legal Grey Area

Cambodia's Crypto Industry Marches Forward Despite Legal Grey AreaMr. Mean launched his own cryptocurrency in November 2017, with local media stating that the “regulatory grey area […] prevents him from monetizing it.” Mr. Mean states that he “give[s] out the coin” and “tell[s] people that it has no value,” claiming that the project, Khcoin, functions as an educational tool as opposed to a speculative asset. Mr. Mean created a wallet for Khcoin, and claims that roughly 5,000 Cambodian citizens currently hold Khcoin. Mr. Mean states that he has also developed an exchange platform for Cambodian cryptocurrency trading, however, waiting for clear regulatory guidelines before he intends to launch such.

The exchange has so far proved a trying venture for Mr. Mean, who states “I used my own money and lost thousands of dollars to hackers [during testing], but I want to do this because I think it is important for Cambodia to show the world that it can have its own cryptocurrency.”

Entapay to Conduct ICO in Cambodia

Cambodia's Crypto Industry Marches Forward Despite Legal Grey AreaAt the start of March, Cambodia saw the launch of another local altcoin, called Entapay. The project was initially the subject of confusion – with a press release for the project announcing Entapay to be backed by the Cambodian government. Richard Lee, the PR director of Entapay, appears to have subsequently distanced the company from the bold claims, stating “We never said that we had the official backing of the government. We just said that we had their support” – despite adding “We don’t have a financial license for Entapay yet, but we will soon.”

The company is currently holding an initial coin offering for its Entapay token. The ICO is currently conducting pre-sales, accepting only ETH from investors. Investors will be distributed ‘Enta Diamond certificates’ which investors can then use to purchase Entapay tokens.

What are your thoughts on the ambiguity surrounding Cambodia’s cryptocurrency industry? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


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New ESMA Measures Impose 2:1 Restriction on Leverage for Crypto CFDs

New ESMA Measures Impose 2:1 Restriction on Leverage for Crypto CFDs

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced that it will impose restrictions on the leverage offered for contracts-for-difference (CFDs) and binary options offered to European retail investors. Under the new measures, the leverage offered on cryptocurrency CFDs will be limited to no more than 2:1.

Also Read: PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018 

European Securities Regulator Imposes Restrictions on Leverage Offered by CFD Providers

New ESMA Measures Impose 2:1 Restriction on Leverage for Crypto CFDsESMA has agreed on what it describes as “temporary product intervention measures on the provision of [CFDs] and binary options to retail investors in the European Union (EU).”

The new measures will see restrictions on the leverage offered on cryptocurrency CFDs to no more than 2:1. The agreements will also mandate that traders provide an initial margin of “50% of the notional value of the CFD when the underlying [asset] is a cryptocurrency” – more than twice the initial margin required of any other CFD.

New Measures See Harshest Rules Imposed on Cryptocurrency CFDs

New ESMA Measures Impose 2:1 Restriction on Leverage for Crypto CFDsESMA has stated that cryptocurrencies CFDs states that “CFDs with cryptocurrencies as an underlying raise separate and significant concerns as CFDs on other underlying” assets.

The regulator stated that “Cryptocurrencies are a relatively immature asset class that pose major risks for investors.” ESMA expressed “concerns about the integrity of the price formation process in underlying cryptocurrency markets,” arguing that such “makes it inherently difficult for retail clients to value these products.”

ESMA concluded that “Due to the specific characteristics of cryptocurrencies as an asset class the market for financial instruments providing exposure to cryptocurrencies, such as CFDs, will be closely monitored.” Based on its findings, ESMA “will assess whether stricter measures are required.”

New Rules to be Formalised in “Coming Weeks”

New ESMA Measures Impose 2:1 Restriction on Leverage for Crypto CFDsThe measures will also see restrictions of 30:1 placed on “major currency pairs;” 20:1 for “non-major currency pairs, gold and major indices;” 10:1 for “commodities other than gold and non-major equity indices;” and 5:1 on “individual equities and other reference values.”

ESMA states that it “intends to adopt these measures in the official languages of the EU in the coming weeks.”

What is your response to the new restriction on the leverage offered by European CFD providers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Kazakhstan Preparing to Prohibit Crypto Trading and Mining, Says Central Bank

Kazakhstan Preparing to Prohibit Crypto Trading and Mining, Says Central Bank

The chairman of the central bank of Kazakhstan said that the bank has prepared legislation to prohibit the sale and purchase of cryptocurrencies in the country as well as any kind of crypto mining, citing several risks he sees.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

National Bank’s Crackdown on Crypto

Kazakhstan Preparing to Prohibit Crypto Trading and Mining, Says Central BankThe chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Daniyar Akishev said on Friday that “Kazakhstan intends to prohibit the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies and any kind of mining of cryptocurrencies” in an interview with Ria Novosti.

The publication quoted the central banker stating:

In Kazakhstan, the National Bank is very conservative about this issue [cryptocurrency]. I welcome only rather stringent restrictions, that is, we want to prohibit the purchase and sale of the national currency for cryptocurrency. We want to prohibit the activity of exchanges on this segment and any kinds of mining.

Risks the Central Bank Sees

Akishev claims to see a lot of problems concerning cryptocurrencies, especially pertaining to the protection of customers’ rights.

Kazakhstan Preparing to Prohibit Crypto Trading and Mining, Says Central Bank
Daniyar Akishev.

He was quoted by the news outlet declaring his intention to “minimize the risks associated with the national market,” adding that “but for sure, not one central bank has full functionality to administer this market [cryptocurrency] in a cross-border market, so at the very least, we must stop this risk through the national currency.”

Another major risk, he described, “is the possibility of [using] cryptocurrency to commit illegal activities,” the publication noted, and quoted Akishev asserting, “Cryptocurrency is an ideal tool for money laundering and for avoiding taxation.” He noted that the central bank’s position on crypto “is supported by the majority of state bodies of Kazakhstan,” and was quoted by Ria Novosti saying:

We have prepared amendments to the legislation that should lead to this tightening.

In October of last year, Akishev said that the central bank proposed to restrict some activities relating to cryptocurrency in the country “to protect the public from speculative risks.” He said at the time, “we sent our proposals to the government, in which we suggest carrying out a series of tougher measures, including prohibiting the exchange of the national currency for cryptocurrencies, prohibiting the activities of some companies that generate cryptocurrencies and so on.”

Meanwhile, interest in cryptocurrency in the country has jumped 15-fold early this year compared to the previous year, according to Yandex. Citizens are also searching 10 times more for terms related to video cards, crypto mining, as well as how to mine.

What do you think of the central bank of Kazakhstan’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Russians Owe 13% Tax on Their Crypto Incomes

Russians Owe 13% Tax on Their Crypto Incomes

Russian citizens are expected to pay 13 percent tax on their crypto-related incomes. Amendments to the tax code are currently being prepared. The exact rates should be confirmed by the end of the year. However, lawyers have warned that even now citizens risk criminal prosecution if they fail to report gains from dealings with cryptocurrencies.

Also read: 0 to 50 percent – Time to Pay Crypto Taxes in the European “Union”

Tax Obligations Apply to All Residents, Including Foreigners

Lawmakers are finalizing the legislation that should regulate crypto-related matters in the Russian Federation. Two bills have been filed in the State Duma in the last couple of weeks. The draft law “On Digital Financial Assets” legalizes blockchain technologies, mining operations and initial coin offerings. Another bill amends Russia’s Civil Code to introduce terms like “digital money” and protect the rights of crypto investors. The bills should be adopted by early summer but changes to the tax laws are expected to follow later.

In the meantime, private individuals in the Russian Federation are not free from the obligation to inform tax authorities on their income from cryptocurrency operations. The standard tax rate of 13 percent is applicable to gains from trading cryptos like bitcoin, according to a letter by the Finance Ministry. The clarification notice has been issued in response to a private request (№03-04-05/66994) filed in October last year.

Russians Owe 13% Tax on Their Crypto Incomes

Although the letter is just a recommendation, tax lawyers say it reflects the stance of the ministry and should be used as a reference before new rules are adopted, Kommersant reports. The income tax rate, and other crypto-related parameters of taxation will be officially confirmed with the amendments of the tax code. Russia’s parliament and the Ministry of Finance are currently working on these changes expected to take effect by the end of the year.

Until that happens, Russian citizens are required to report crypto income on their tax returns and pay the regular income tax which has a flat rate of 13 percent. Foreign nationals present in the Russian Federation for at least 183 days in a year are treated and taxed as permanent residents. In all other cases the rate is doubled to 30 percent. Dividends are taxed at 6 percent (15 percent for non-residents).

Miners Can Pay Taxes as Individual Entrepreneurs or Legal Entities

The draft legislation, currently under review in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, defines crypto mining as an “entrepreneurial activity”. That means miners will be have to either register as individual entrepreneurs, or set up companies. In any case, they will be required to report their profits and pay their taxes. The applicable tax rates, and tax rights, depend on the type of registration they choose. Corporate profit tax in Russia is 24 percent.

Russians Owe 13% Tax on Their Crypto Incomes

Many aspects of crypto taxation need further clarification. Legal experts say that Russian tax officials lack the expertise necessary to address the matter adequately. The Federal Tax Service inspectors are struggling to understand how crypto exchanges work, and have no idea how to identify the owner of a cryptocurrency wallet.

At the same time, traditional regulations collide with the principles of anonymity and independence associated with cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, individuals and businesses risk prosecution if they fail to report their incomes and gains from crypto-related activities. That’s why tax lawyers advise both citizens and companies to pay their taxes on time.

Do you agree that tax authorities should first do their homework on cryptocurrencies before they tax crypto incomes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Crypto Still Tax Free in Korea but Regulators Have Set Timeframe for Taxation

Cryptocurrency transactions are still tax-free in South Korea due to a lack of tax regulations. As the law stands, citizens are able to profit millions of won from cryptocurrencies without being required to pay taxes on them. However, the regulators have set a tentative timeframe for the introduction of the crypto tax law.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Still No Tax on Crypto Transactions

A lawyer in his early 40s recently revealed that he “made a profit of nearly 30 million won last year on investments in bitcoin and ether, but he did not pay any tax on virtual currency investments,” Money Today reported. The news outlet reiterated:

There is no obligation to pay tax even if you earn hundreds of thousands of won or even hundreds of millions of won in virtual currency investments.

Crypto Still Tax Free In Korea But Regulators Have Set Timeframe For TaxationMeanwhile, when selling stocks, there is a sales tax of 0.3% for listed securities and 0.5% for unlisted ones, the news outlet detailed.

“In the case of the ‘major shareholder,’ the obligation to pay tax on capital gains is also imposed. Unlisted shares also pay taxes on capital gains.”

Tax Regulation Timeframe

Crypto Still Tax Free In Korea But Regulators Have Set Timeframe For TaxationTo rectify the situation, the tax authorities have set up “a virtual currency taxation standard in the first National Tax Administrative Reform Committee in 2018,” Money Today informed. Furthermore, the 2018 economic policy direction, announced by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, has a schedule set for crypto taxation plan for the first half of this year, the news outlet added, noting that:

Korea will be able to pass the tax bill in the first half of this year if it is included in the amendment bill of the August tax law. Virtual currency taxation will be implemented next year.

Recently, local media reported that “Virtual currency taxation will come out in June.” However, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance subsequently issued a statement, clarifying that, “we are currently considering the taxation data through virtual currency taxation task force regarding virtual currency taxation,” adding that the media report was “not true.” An official of the ministry confirmed:

We did not set a specific time frame but we are thinking about announcing a virtual money tax during the first half of the year.

Crypto exchanges will also pay taxes. While reiterating that “Virtual money exchanges will have to pay taxes,” an official of the ministry was quoted by local publications early this year explaining that “we have yet to decide the exact tax rates as we are in talks with the National Tax Agency.”

What do you think of South Korea’s tax plan for crypto transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Wendy McElroy: How Centralized Exchanges Intend to Devastate You

How Centralized Exchanges Intend to Devastate You

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 2: The Moral Imperative of Privacy
Chapter 6: Privacy is a Prerequisite for Human Rights

How Centralized Exchanges Intend to Devastate You. Chapter 6, Part 6.

The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work…We have to trust them [third parties] with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves [including government] drain our accounts.
Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi never envisioned centralized exchanges. The spectacle would have appalled him. Bitcoin was forged to avoid centralized third parties, such as banks and centralized exchanges, that require users to trust them with wealth and privacy. Peer-to-peer transfers based on cryptographic proof were supposed to replace the need for a middleman who demanded trust. They were designed to give financial power back to the individual.

The problem: there is a market demand to speculate, to trade in currencies, and to perform sophisticated financial transactions for which peer-to-peer (as it currently exists) can be ill-equipped. There is also a demand for convenience and access that does not require technical knowledge or effort. Centralized exchanges may be the polar opposite of what Satoshi envisioned, but centralized exchanges fill a niche, or else they would not be popular. They currently dominate much of the crypto world, with a majority of users entrusting exchanges with their wealth and privacy.

The niche of centralized exchanges comes from blending the functions of a stock market and a bank. A centralized exchange is a marketplace for trading or converting assets through a single location or service. In many ways, it is similar to the New York Stock Exchange. Currencies can be traded and shorted, for example; margin trading, stop loss, and lending are also available. Satoshi did not address the stock-market functions of crypto, which he probably did not foresee. In fairness, Satoshi explicitly referred to Bitcoin as a developing and evolving technology, which was in its infancy.

In other ways, centralized exchanges resemble banks. After purchasing crypto from an exchange, many customers choose to leave their coins in an account rather than transfer them to a private wallet on their own hard drive. The reasons vary: convenience, the comforting similarity to a bank, the ease of converting to fiat, quick trading, and discomfort with the technology required to set up a private wallet. Whatever the reason, centralized exchanges become trusted third parties that endanger the wealth and well-being of individuals. Consider one aspect of the problem. Private keys are the crypto. The coins have no physical presence, only algorithmic ones. When an exchange controls the keys, it owns the coins; the customer has nothing more than a promise of access to them upon demand.

Reality often breaks promises. Hackers use software vulnerabilities and human error to loot accounts that are advertised as secure. High volume causes downtime, during which traders lose opportunities and prices can plummet. Then, there are calculated denials of access. Outstanding orders may be canceled, especially if rates disadvantage the exchange; withdrawals and deposits can be halted without notice; exchanges vanish, along with accounts; owners commit fraud or steal from accounts. This returns people to the pre-Bitcoin days, in which trust and betrayal are defining factors of wealth management.

Recently, the risks associated with centralized exchanges have increased exponentially, and for one reason.

A Forbes article (Feb. 28, 2018) announced the inevitable.

“It’s finally happening: The much-ballyhooed turnover of documents in the battle between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Coinbase, a company which facilitates transactions of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, is moving ahead. Coinbase has announced that it has notified affected customers that it will comply with a court order regarding the release of specific data.”

2018 is the year in which tax agencies get serious about cryptocurrency profits and holdings. Governments around the world are watching as Coinbase turns in data on its customers, which will almost certainly lead to audits and high-profile prosecutions. Specifically, Coinbase is reporting all customers with transactions of $20,000 or more in a single year between 2013 and 2015. Taxpayer IDs, real names, dates of birth, street addresses, and all transaction records from whichever period is in question will be delivered. The wealth of data is available because Coinbase, like every other licensed centralized exchange, complies with Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering laws, which destroy financial privacy.

Beyond such requirements, Coinbase is extremely aggressive about gathering information and verifying identities. The exchange uses facial-recognition technology, for example, to compare a real-time face shot from a webcam or smart phone with whatever ID an applicant submits. Coinbase UK adds, “we may collect personal information disclosed by you on our message boards, chat features, blogs and our other services to which you are able to post information and materials.”

Expect such intrusion to become the norm for centralized exchanges that prize their licenses and relationships with government. Expect them to act as data-gathering arms of government. The danger is not only the freezing and confiscation of accounts, but also legal proceedings against and imprisonment of account holders. The IRS states that “anyone convicted of tax evasion is subject to a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000. Anyone convicted of filing a false return is subject to a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000.”

Fortunately, the market demand for stock market and banking functions can be satisfied (or soon will be) without sacrificing the privacy and safety.

Decentralize for Privacy

A decentralized exchange is a marketplace that does not rely on third party services. Trades are peer-to-peer; they are direct transfers between people who use an automated process to facilitate the exchange. They are trustless. They are transparent, with software and transactions being open source. They are Satoshi. A decentralized exchange allows individuals to hold their own private keys, which makes it a less attractive target for hackers. It also requires a minimal amount of personal or financial data to establish an account and to conduct commerce. Often, only an email address is requested, and it can be one that is generated specifically to register, with no connection to a real identity, to a True Name.

Decentralized exchanges employ a wide variety of strategies to facilitate peer-to-peer transfers. Some create proxy tokens; others employ a multi-signature escrow. Peer-to-peer banking uses an auction-type dynamic to facilitate loans between members of a specific amount and at an agreed-upon rate. Smart contracts can assume the traditional functions of banks. Technology Review (Dec. 7, 2017) explained,

“Switching back and forth between fiat money and cryptocurrency will require a traditional point of exchange for the foreseeable future. But some technologists say an alternative model for trading cryptocurrencies that would give people more control over their wealth is possible. It’s meta: exchanges can be decentralized, they say, using a blockchain. The idea hinges specifically on so-called smart contracts, software code that can be stored in a blockchain and set up to programmatically govern transactions. Imagine, for example, you want to send your friend some cryptocurrency automatically at a specific date and time. You could use a smart contract to do that.”

The point here is not to advocate a particular decentralizing strategy. It is to offer a sense of the rich and evolving alternatives to centralized exchanges.

Many people will still choose a centralized exchange because the platforms are easy to access and use; they are sanctioned by government; and they offer familiar, advanced functions of a stock market. For those who prize privacy, however, this is a poor choice. An analogy illustrates the stark difference in how privacy fares under a decentralized and a centralized system.

The Cautionary Tale of Social Media

’Want To Freak Yourself Out?’ Here Is All The Personal Data That Facebook/Google Collect.” That was a headline in Zero Hedge on March 28, 2018. The types of data collected are too extensive to enumerate. An indication: Android cellphone users who downloaded specific Facebook apps have had data on their personal calls logged by Facebook, sometimes for years.

A relatively undiscussed cause of social media’s privacy hemorrhage, along with its abridgment of free speech, is the centralization of information and discussion that accompany corporate behemoths, like Facebook and Google. An intriguing article in The Federalist (March 28, 2018) asked, “Was Social Media A Mistake?” The author, Robert Tracinski, harkened back to the 2000s-the golden age of blogs, when everyone and their grandmothers expressed themselves through blogging.

Tracinski wrote, “It felt like liberation. The era of blogging offered the promise of a decentralized media. Anybody could publish and comment on the news and find an audience. …We were bypassing the old media gatekeepers. And we had control over it! We posted on our own sites. We had good discussions in our own comment fields, which we moderated.” It was a whirlwind of free speech, but it was also a bastion of privacy because individuals retained control.

Then social media arrived like a juggernaut, and the mom-and-pop blogs migrated their insights and information to Facebook, Google, Twitter and other trusted third parties. Like centralized exchanges, the social media giants were relatively easy to access and use; they offered sophisticated software and functions that individual bloggers lacked the technical knowledge or money to implement; social media also slid seamlessly onto cell phones via apps that seemed to open up the world.

Tracinski noted the result. “A few of the best and most interesting blogs became full-fledged online publications, but a lot of the small, quirky, one-person amateur bloggers moved onto social media. That turned out to be a big mistake, because the era of social media has recentralized the media. Instead of a million blogs—what Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame called an “Army of Davids” — we now have a social media economy mostly controlled by three big companies: Twitter, Facebook, and Google.”

Lately, the price tag of centralizing insights and information has become apparent. The left-leaning politics of social media meant they purged (suspended) or punished (throttled) the “wrong” views; this is akin to banks and other financial institutions refusing to deal with porn, pot, or gun industries due to political pressure from government. “The old media gatekeepers” were replaced by the equally intrusive Silicon Valley Puritans. Although both are preferable to direct government intervention, their quasi-monopolies are bolstered by tax privileges, by favorable regulation, and, sometimes, by direct tax funding. Individuals lost control. Perhaps it is more accurate to say they relinquished it.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with personal data. In return for offering convenience, all social media wanted was to know and to market every detail of customers’ lives. The role of centralization in this rape of privacy should not be ignored. It was key to the effectiveness. This is equally true of the centralization of financial data-only with an important difference. The destination of the financial information is a government file, especially a tax one. Social media cooperates with government, to be sure, but its ultimate purpose was and is making a profit.

Conclusion

Privacy is a front-line defense of individual freedom and well-being. Decentralization is the social condition under which privacy thrives. No one can or should tell individuals which strategy to use. But, if you value privacy and safety, decentralize.

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters


Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018

PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC)’s Institute of International Finance has released a report identifying cryptocurrencies as a top priority for 2018. The document claims that widespread retail investment into cryptocurrencies has the potential to pose systemic risk to the Yuan, and also emphasizes the PBOC’s intention to expand its research and development into cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: FBI Warns of Crypto Scammers Posing as Exchange Support Staff 

Strengthening of Virtual Currency Regulations Top Chinese Monetary Policy for 2018

PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018The report emphasizes the risks perceived to be associated with virtual currencies by the Chinese government – specifically the potential for price volatility to manifest systemic risk to the yuan in the event of widespread retail investment, the potential for criminal misuse, and the lack of a robust regulatory framework providing consumer protections to investors.

The document advocates the strengthening of China’s regulatory framework regarding cryptocurrencies, calling for the development of a comprehensive procedure for monitoring the circulation of virtual currencies. The report also supports propositions that the G20 should lead efforts to establish a global regulatory framework with regards to digital currencies, advocating information sharing and cooperation between international regulatory institutions regarding digital currencies.

The report asserts that the popularity of cryptocurrencies has grown rapidly – attributing their dramatic rise to global demand for bitcoin’s utility of providing greater efficiency and reduced costs in conducting transactions.

The report also emphasized the targeting of MLM and pyramid schemes using cryptocurrencies as a priority for Chinese regulators.

PBOC Convenes Monetary Policy Conference

PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018The PBOC also recently published a document providing a synopsis of the topics discussed during the central bank’s recent telephone conference on national currency, gold, silver, and monetary policy.

The document emphasizes the PBOC’s desire to expand its efforts asserts in the “promot[ing] the R&D of the central bank’s digital currency” as a primary monetary policy for 2018, indicating that the development of a long-rumored Chinese national cryptocurrency is still a top priority for China’s central bank.

The PBOC also described “the rectification of various […] virtual currency” markets as a desired policy outcome, emphasizing the need for strengthened anti-money laundering processes.

Do you think that China will be able to effectively enforce its cryptocurrency ban? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week

The market value of all cryptocurrencies within the digital asset economy has dropped significantly over the past few days. Since the last year’s all-time high, most cryptocurrencies have lost between 60-70% of those gains. While lots of coins are following suit in relative unison with BTC/USD market losses, some digital currencies have received more severe cuts in value.

Also read: Bitkan CEO Discusses China, Bitcoin Cash, and the ‘K Site’

Bull Traps, Bear Runs, and Falling Knives

The digital currency bear market is still in full swing this week even though many cryptocurrency enthusiasts are begging for the storm to end. Meanwhile, other proponents are using the lower prices to get some cheaper cryptocurrencies as they believe the bull market will return soon. At the moment BTC/USD markets are kicking back into gear after reaching a low of $6,590 a few hours back and now bulls have breached past $7K once again. Market volume has not changed over the past few market updates and still rests at around $5.9Bn in 24-hour trade volume. Top exchanges processing the most volume this evening are Bitfinex, Binance, Okex, Huobi, and Bitflyer. Over the past seven days, BTC/USD markets have lost 19 percent in value but markets are up over the past 24 hours.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week
Tether USDT holds the second largest trade volume.

The Japanese yen is still dominating the pack of currencies traded against BTC as the fiat currency captures 54 percent at the time of publication. This is followed by the USD (23%), tether (USDT 12.5%), the euro (4%), and South Korean won (2.8%). Of course during the dumps tether volume is seeing demand as it’s the only currency that’s been in the green all week long. Another interesting thing to notice is USDT is occupying the second highest volume just under BTC and above ethereum (ETH). The biggest trade on Shapeshift this evening is trading BTC for ETH as 44 percent of Shapeshifters are trading BTC for another currency.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week
During the early morning hours (EDT) bulls have managed to break the $7K resistance.

Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour window showed some earlier retractions and a bearish MACd and RSI. The 100 Simple Moving Average (SMA) is well below the long-term 200 SMA which indicates the path to resistance may continue to the downside. Projections today pushed well below the 78.6 Fibonacci Retracement level as BTC/USD prices touched $6,590. A crucial low below $5,900 would mean a double bottom or lower than prices that scarred markets just a few weeks ago. Looking at order books, if bulls manage to gather some momentum then the resistance past $7,500 and $8K might not be that bad to manage. However on the backside, order book foundations are far more solid around $6,400 than they are now.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week
BTC/USD prices touch $7,120 per coin but continue to struggle from that vantage point.

The Top Digital Asset Markets

Most cryptocurrencies are up right now, but over the past seven days they have all suffered immensely. The second highest market capitalization held by ethereum is down 23 percent as one ETH is around $411 per token. Ripple (XRP) lost 20 percent this week and XRP prices are $0.52 cents right now. Moving on to the fourth highest market valuation, bitcoin cash (BCH) is down 28 percent over the past seven days. BCH market values are around $727 per coin this evening. Lastly, litecoin (LTC) markets are still resting in the fifth position but LTC values are down 26 percent this week as prices are around $122.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week
The top ten digital asset markets on March 31, 2018.

When Will the ‘Crypto-Winter’ End?

Traders are either having fun surfing the shorts all the way down or they don’t know what to think as it’s been a tumultuous trading season this year. So far most of the market action in 2018 has been downward prices and a long bear market. Short contracts on Bitmex are stacked more than longs and traders in forums are calling for a double bottom. Some of them are repositioning their musical chairs either trying to catch a falling knife or profit from a bullish reversal.

Where do you see the price of BTC and other digital assets heading from here? Do you think cryptocurrencies will see more gains? Let us know in the comments below.

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.”


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Japanese Crypto Exchange GMO Vows to Improve After Regulator Orders Upgrades

Japanese Crypto Exchange GMO Vows to Improve After Regulator Orders Upgrades

The cryptocurrency exchange subsidiary of the Japanese internet giant GMO has detailed its plans to improve its operations. GMO Coin has submitted a business improvement report to the country’s financial regulator. GMO Internet has also set up an information security audit office for the entire group.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

GMO Strengthens Operations and Security

Japanese Crypto Exchange GMO Vows to Improve After Regulator Orders UpgradesGMO announced on Friday the establishment of its Group Information Security Audit Office “to strengthen information security management and audit function in the whole group.” The company wrote:

We will protect important customer information from increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks by our highly secured countermeasures and pursue to improve group information security literacy and foster security personnel.

Japanese Crypto Exchange GMO Vows to Improve After Regulator Orders UpgradesThe Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) issued a business improvement order to GMO Coin, GMO Internet’s cryptocurrency exchange subsidiary, on March 8 after conducting an inspection. The agency began inspecting all crypto exchanges after the hack of Coincheck, one of Japan’s largest crypto exchanges. The FSA mandates the “Implementation of Effective System Risk Management Structure” under Article 63-16 of the Law on Funds Payment. GMO Coin obtained a license from the FSA in September of last year.

Headquartered in Tokyo, GMO is one of Japan’s largest internet companies. It operates GMO Click, which is “The largest FX trading services provider for retail investors in Japan,” the company’s website states. Last year, GMO also began its crypto mining operations.

GMO’s Business Improvement Plan

Japanese Crypto Exchange GMO Vows to Improve After Regulator Orders UpgradesFollowing the FSA’s order, GMO Coin submitted a business improvement plan as required by the agency. The exchange will report its progress and implementation status to the regulator “every month by the 10th day of the following month in writing until the implementation of the business improvement plan” is complete, GMO Coin detailed. The first reporting date is the last day of March.

Specifically, GMO Coin plans to establish an effective risk management system. “The management team analyzed and investigated the root causes of system failures, formulated concrete countermeasures, and responded to the actual situation of business expansion,” the company described.

Japanese Crypto Exchange GMO Vows to Improve After Regulator Orders UpgradesThe business improvement plan includes “(1) business management systems, (2) contingency corresponding readiness plan [in] the event of a failure, (3) information security, cyber security management posture, and (4) quality control and configuration management systems,” GMO Coin outlined.

In its announcement, the exchange stated that they “sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and worry that our customers and stakeholders have experienced,” adding:

We deeply reflect on taking this administrative punishment seriously and will steadily implement improvement plans to strengthen and enhance the system risk management system to further enhance the service that customers can feel secure and safe [with].

What do you think of GMO Coin’s business improvement plan? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nikkei, and GMO.


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PR: VR Casino OKO Is a New Project Based on OKOIN Tokens

VR Casino OKO Is a New Project Based on OKOIN Tokens

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.

VR Technology, the founder of the OKOIN, is launching a new project based on the same name token – VR Casino OKO. This is the third blockchain project, which tokenomics is based on the OKOIN tokens. Two predecessors are VR Platform OKO (the platform for distributing interactive VR adult movies) and OKO Pay (the payment system for VR Technology partners through which they can accept OKOIN tokens for goods and services). It is noteworthy that all three projects are not interchangeable. Each of them is independent, and they work in parallel, thereby expanding the reach of the audience and increasing the value, stability and liquidity of the OKOIN token.

VR Casino OKO project

VR Casino OKO is a unique project that combines the atmosphere of the game in real casinos with the availability of online gambling and transparency of the blockchain. The project is based on the VR OKO helmet whose sales have already exceeded 70,000 units. In the future VR Technology plans to make the system available for other VR-devices (Oculus Rift, HTC VIve and others), provided that their hardware and software will meet the technical requirements of the project.

In more than 40 countries casinos are prohibited. As a result, online casinos are trying to occupy a free niche. According to the analytical company Newzoo the gross profit of online casinos stably increases by 8-10% per year and is more than 43.7 billion euros by 2017.

At the same time, online casinos have shortcomings. The main one is that the win or loss is determined by the work of the computer program algorithm and it’s honesty and transparency is questionable. In addition, the monitor screen and software interface can not convey the atmosphere and glow of the passions of the gambling establishment.

More modern formats of online gambling – VR-casino partially solve the problem of visualization. However, the user still sees virtual reality computer rendering in the helmet (painted, artificial casino, albeit in very high quality). And the winning of bets is determined by a computer program.

The main difference between the VR Casino OKO project and its analogues is that using the VR helmet the user sees a live broadcast from the VR cameras installed in this casino. Cameras have a 180 degrees viewing angle and show the table, the croupier and everything that happens in real time.

In addition to the effect of presence, the user of the VR Casino OKO can also bets in real time. To do this OKOIN tokens are used as a casino chips. Smart contracts make the game as transparent and fair as possible.

ICO project will be held in parallel with the ICO project OKOIN: from March 25 to April 25 (due to the fact that the tokens in both projects are the same). Accordingly, the affiliate program, the bounty program and the played tickets for the private party OKO Stars are equally relevant.

Special offers

Offer #1
Valid March 25 to April 10, 2018

Add yourself to the “List of the First” and buy OKOIN tokens for more than 20 ETH at a starting price of $1.
Important: other sales do not apply for the list of the first!

Offer #2
Valid March 25 to April 25, 2018

Buy OKOIN tokens and get bonuses:
1 ETH and more: +30% bonus
3 ETH and more: +40% bonus
5 ETH and more: +50% bonus
15 ETH and more: VIP ticket to the OKO Stars party as a gift

Contact Email Address
[email protected]
Supporting Link
https://oko.casino/?utm_source=bitcoincom&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=okocasino

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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