New Annual Licensing Crypto Mining Regulations Proposed by Cabinet of Iran

The Iranian government set to introduce new cryptocurrencies mining regulations in a new draft proposal sent from the Cabinet of Iran, as reported by Coindesk in exclusive reports from Tehran.

The new draft proposes an annual license for cryptocurrency miners and expects these miners to provide information on their business activities, their employment and rental status and a list of other mining-related information. The directive, which locals say is close to official approval, will require miners to provide the value of their mining equipment, value derived from mining and the period of mining.

A Conflicted Proposal to Miners

For the better part of the last two years, the Iranian government has shown increased interest in regulating the crypto mining industry to provide a cushion from the sanctions by the US government.

An unnamed Bitcoiner in the country sees this an opportunity by the government to create a stable mining industry. How exactly? One respondent speaking to Coindesk anonymously explained the role of the government saying,

“It’s obvious that the power industry here in Iran, it’s not a private business, it’s from the government.”

Some of the benefits include standardizing the mining operations to control the power usage to prevent harming the power grids, the Iranian respondent said.

“If there’s a constant, a continuous consumption of electricity you can also make new power plants or assign power plants to this.”

However, a number of cryptocurrency miners remain disgruntled and more are expected to use illegal ways to mine Bitcoin and obtain mining equipment.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Can Now be Bought at All 7-Eleven Stores in the Philippines

In 6,000 retail outlets including all 7-Eleven stores across the Philippines, people can buy Bitcoin (BTC), thanks to the new partnership between Abra, a global investment app and ECPay, Electronic Commerce Payments.

This partnership means Abra users can conveniently add money to their Abra wallet though these stores.

The idea is to make moving cash to crypto and other digital assets simple and fast and this partnership is another step towards making cryptocurrency use and investing simple and accessible to everyone.

Now, anyone with an Abra wallet can convert cash to crypto by locating a CLIQQ kiosk inside any 7-Eleven store in the Philippines.

From there, the user has to find Abra listed under “Bills Payment” option and add the amount to deposit in their wallet — the minimum deposit is of PHP500 and the maximum amount is of PHP100,000.00 on a daily basis with a two percent transaction fee.

Cash is added to the Abra wallet within 1-2 business days, except for weekends and holidays, which can then be used to invest in any of Abra supported crypto assets.

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Author: AnTy

Zuckerberg Links Up with Democratic Lawmakers Concerned About Libra Cryptocurrency

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a meeting on Wednesday with about six US lawmakers over a dinner in Washington, Washington Post reports. The dinner meeting primarily focused on Facebook’s Libra crypto project.

Intelligence Committee vice chair Senator Mark Warner was pivotal in organizing the dinner meeting with Zuckerberg at an undisclosed restaurant in Washington. According to Warner, the legislators explained their issues ranging from privacy, vile content and how the issues can be handled.

While the discussion was about various issues about Facebook, the lawmakers took a keen interest to ask specific questions about Facebook’s intended cryptocurrency, the Libra. The cryptocurrency has yielded lots of scrutiny from different quarters especially lawmakers and other policy makers in the world.

One of the key concerns from the lawmakers is the fact that Libra representatives had indicated that if the project failed to get approved in America, it will not be launched in another country. Warner raised concern that Facebook might have duped the lawmakers with such an assurance as there are indications that Libra may be launched in another country in the near future.

According to Warner, Zuckerberg must have understood the concerns of the lawmakers and as such, the lawmaker wonders whether Facebook would want to launch the Libra crypto before getting approved by the US authorities.

Another lawmaker present during the dinner, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, said that he was thrilled by the interest exhibited by Zuckerberg saying that the dinner meeting was constructive as the most pressing issues facing the larger tech space were canvassed and he was much interested in the measures taken by the company to safeguard privacy.

According to Cointelegraph, Zuckerberg is set to spend more days in Washington meeting with various policy makers to talk about internet regulatory on various issues like privacy, handling of rivalry as well as how to deal with election matters. These meetings comes just a few weeks after the intense grilling of the Libra cryptocurrency by the US Congress.

Libra has been facing increased challenges ahead of its official launch scheduled for next year. Earlier this month, French Finance Minister stated that his country will not allow the launching of Libra within the European Union. Additionally, German Finance Minister has claimed that Libra will create a parallel currency that might undermine sovereignty.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Ethereum Developers Test More Capacity As Network Gets Congested and Fees Rise

The Ethereum network is too clogged these days. This one of the most unfortunate side-effects of creating a successful network. As time passes, they tend to become too clogged and slow for their own good and people start to abandon them. This will not happen to Ethereum, though, if the devs have any say on it.

Several developers, including Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, have recently claimed that there are people testing new ways to reduce transaction fees and increase the performance of the ETH network.

Now, some of the developers are considering to shift to 10 million gas (the token that is paid for performing operations in the network), which would increase the capacity of the whole network by 25%.

One of the main reasons why the network is so expensive and slow right now is because the popular Tether stablecoin has decided to launch Ethereum-based tokens. As they work on top of the Ethereum network, they make it harder for people to use Ethereum because several transactions are being made with the newly-created assets.

The impact on prices was so big that people went from paying around $0.11 USD per transaction to $0.39 USD, over three times more than that. Transactions are so important because all Ethereum-based apps need to pay them to work properly.

Initially, these changes impacted the price of the token, which went up but started to go down soon afterward, as the price of BTC lowered and took the whole market together.

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Author: James W

Bank of America Becomes Newest Member of the Marco Polo Blockchain

Bank of America has joined the Marco Polo consortium. The goal of this partnership was to bring more efficiency to the bank during international trades and settlements.

The Marco Polo network was created by TradeIX and the R3 consortium. The platform has the goal of connecting several institutions in real-time to let them access capital more easily and increase their visibility in trading relationships.

Bank of America’s main reason for starting the partnership is that the institution has always strived to offer to its clients excellent financial and trade solutions and the Marco Polo network offers more services that can be important for the company to achieve these goals.

The head of global trade at the bank, Geoff Brady, stated that joining the network is important for the company to achieve its long-term objectives and to offer the solutions that the clients need the most. It makes the process more transparent and the clients can see it happening this way.

Also, this technology can be used to eliminate paper records, which are considerably expensive to keep and can make the whole trading process considerably slower.

David E. Rutter, the CEO of R3, has become a part of the Bank of America group now and affirmed that other banks should join Marco Polo as well. According to him, the blockchain technology is growing a lot and transforming how the financial market works.

Mastercard also joined this consortium recently, which shows how important Marco Polo has become. The Bank of America itself is a huge company. It is the 13th largest bank in the world and the 6th largest public company in the U. S.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Bitcoin Needs Optimal Regulations Before Major Exchange Listings, SEC Chair Affirms

Jay Clayton, the chairman of the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission, recently stated that Bitcoin (BTC) needs to be better regulated before it can be traded on major exchanges.

According to him, the crypto markets are largely unregulated and prone to manipulation. Bitcoin, he affirmed, does not have the same discovery process that many assets have in exchanges such as Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

He believes that society needs to reach a place in which Bitcoin is better regulated before it is widely adopted. People need confidence that they can trust the market. Price reports, he affirmed, do not indicate price discovery.

Clayton also stated that the exchanges need to create more protection for their clients before the big investors come in. Insurance and protection against hackers are two important points in this regard.

Related to all this, there are reports that most Bitcoin trading is fake since the start of the year, which compromises the image of the industry even more.

The Bitcoin ETF Is Far Away

All these claims make it clear that the awaited Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) will not be a reality anytime soon. Clayton has often affirmed that there is a lot of work to be done before the ETF is real, despite noting that some progress is, indeed, being made.

Because of this, the SEC is most likely going to reject the Bitcoin ETF proposals of Wilshire Phoenix and Bitwise Asset Management. The other ETF proposal, the one made by VanEck/SolidX, was withdrawn by the company, as they feared that approval was unlikely.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Chilean Central Bank Governor: Central Banks Digital Currencies Can Be Issued Without Blockchain

According to Chile’s Central Bank Governor, Mario Marcel, digital currencies issued by the central banks are beneficial and can run outside of the blockchain technology, the Block reports.

The governor was speaking during the OECD’s Global Blockchain Policy Forum that was held last week. Marcel stated that CBDCs are not new in the finance industry as they have existed ever since the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) were founded.

Marcel intimated that blockchain technology is highly useful in a situation where there are many participants of a given platform and they require to access the ledger information or in situations where the participants distrust each other. In this case, Marcel explained, proof of work is imperative as it makes the register immutable.

According to Marcel, in the case of a central bank issuing a currency whether in the form of fiat or virtual, trust should always be a guarantee. The governor also added that ‘it’s far from obvious’ that an entire lot of participants are entitled to crucial and sensitive information and data like CBDC transactions and movements.

Marcel gave an example of Uruguay whose digital currency, ePeso, that has already been issued in the pilot phase, is not developed on the blockchain technology. The Chile Central Bank Governor does not seem too optimistic about his country having a CBDC, arguing that developing and emerging economies need to pursue other alternatives first like offering fast and efficient payment solutions before issuing CBDC’s.

Marcel’s comments do not mean that Chile’s Central Bank is not keen on blockchain technology. The bank is currently exploring how it can use blockchain technology for other solutions other than virtual currencies such as bonds. According to the governor, the Central bank is partnering with domestic central securities depository (CSD) in efforts to find ways of issuing blockchain-based bonds. At the moment, proof-of-concept is going on and the governor stated that once the report is released more details about the project will be released.

Marcel’s comments come at a time when various central banks are exploring the idea of issuing their own digital currencies especially after Facebook announced the Libra project.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Square Crypto Beefs Up Developer Roster, Adds on Libra and Lightning Network Members

Jack Dorsey’s Square Crypto is on its way to create its “dream team”. The company, which is a crypto-focused subsidiary of Square, a payment app created by Jack Dorsey, who also founded Twitter, just announced that it would hire three new developers. The open-source project has hired Arik Sosman, Valentine Wallace and Jeffrey Czyz.

Arik Sosman was an engineer who worked at Facebook and BitGo. During his time on Facebook, he was a part of Calibra, the subsidiary that was in charge of the creation of the Libra project. Sosman told the crypto media that he is very interested in both privacy and layer 2 solutions.

He also affirmed that he is curious to see what work the team will do and that he was excited to contribute to such an important project that has the potential to change the crypto world for the better.

Valentine Wallace comes from Lightning Labs, a company that is focused on developing solutions for the Lightning Network, a second layer solution to scale the Bitcoin network. Jeffrey Czyz, on the other hand, comes from the giant Google.

The duo was hired to grow the developer base of the team, the company affirmed. The team will be led by Steve Lee, who was a former product director at Google. At the moment, the team is still hiring, however. Square Crypto is currently looking for a designer to join the team.

Now, the only information left to be divulged will be what kind of project will be the first attempt of the group.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Argo Blockchain Mining Company Plugs In 1,000 New Mining Rigs, Bringing Total to 6,000 Units

The crypto mining company Argo Blockchain recently installed 1,000 mining machines on its Bitcoin mining facilities. According to reports, these new machines will take the current number of miners up to 6,000. It was also revealed that the company is already planning to buy 6,000 more miners in the next two quarters.

Argo Blockchain is a publicly-traded company and it has stocks available on the London Stock Exchange. The company’s stock has grown 192% in price since May. At the moment, it is being traded at around $11.85 USD per share while the price was around $4.05 USD per share at the beginning of May.

According to the reports, the company is set to increase its electricity supply as well to power the new machines which are being acquired. If the company succeeds in it’s plans to have a total of 15,000 mining machines, it will become the largest mining company in the world with a total hash rate of 1,360 Peta hashes.

Bitcoin mining has been quite a profitable activity lately. While many miners had to shut down their business in 2018, most of them are back in the game this year. In fact, the global hash rate keeps going up. This means that the difficulty of mining increases as well and that the miners have to buy more rigs.

Fortunately, it also has a correlation with prices. The more people there are mining BTC, the higher the price of the asset tends to be.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Patrick Byrne Sold all of his Overstock Shares to Invest in Cryptocurrencies and Gold

  • Gold, silver, & cryptos are “hedge” against the failing economy
  • Pressure from Govt. led to “digital dividend” delay

Patrick Byrne, 56, the former CEO of Overstock.com sold his entire holdings in the company he founded and said he would invest it all in gold and cryptocurrency.

After his dramatic exit form the company, Byrne disclosed in an SEC filing on Wednesday that he sold all his 4.8 million shares in Overstock for a little under $100 million.

The sale started Monday after the stocks surged 65%, the highest point in almost a year. That day, the stock plunged 20% and has been down 35% so far this week.

Gold, Silver, & Cryptos are “hedge” Against the Failing Economy

In a blog post titled, “A Message to My Former Colleagues at Overstock,” Byrne said now he plans to put these proceeds in securities that are

“counter-cyclical to the economy.”

These assets include gold, silver and two unnamed cryptocurrencies that he referred to as a “hedge” against the failing economy that has taken Overstock with it.

However, he promised investors that if that did happen, he would recapitalize the company with his gains from his investments.

Another reason for the same was to put his money

“outside acts of retaliation from the Deep State.”

Pressure from Govt. Led to “Digital Dividend” Delay

The filing came the same day the company delayed its plan to issue a “digital dividend” set for next week that could be accessed only through Overstock’s experimental blockchain-based exchange.

This further required a holder to retain the asset for six months which many thoughts was an attempt to squeeze short-sellers, with whom Byrne has battled for two decades.

Overstock changed the plans on Wednesday announcing that dividend would be tradable freely upon distribution. It further moved back the distribution of dividend and promised that it will announce a new date in the next three to six weeks.

The company suggested the change was due to pressure from the government, a reaction to the

“feedback we received from industry participants, investors and regulators.”

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Author: AnTy