Is the United States Government Actively Sabotaging Iran’s Crypto Mining Plans?

Is the United States Government Actively Sabotaging Iran’s Crypto Mining Plans?
  • According to a number of insider sources, the United States government is currently looking to stop Iran from going through with its crypto adoption plans.
  • Late last year, both the House and the Senate put forth individual bills that were aimed at Iran’s illicit financing schemes (including the country’s use of crypto assets). However, as of now, none of these bills have been passed.

As per an all new statement issued by the Iranian Assistant Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Saeed Zarandi, the US government is looking to stop the middle-eastern powerhouse from implementing its cryptocurrency mining plans.

In an interview given to a local media outlet, Zarandi was quoted as saying that since the US Congress considers cryptocurrency as a pathway for “money laundering”, they are trying to pass a law that seeks to ban Iran from carrying out any such activities.

Additionally, for those of our readers who may not be aware, a number of Iranian government agencies and ministries are currently working with the Central Bank of Iran (CBoI) so as to create an economic framework that can help the country’s citizens make regulated use of altcoins/cryptocurrencies in a seamless, hassle free manner.

During January of this year, Iran’s central banking authority released a circular stating that it was planning to create its very own national cryptocurrency — called ‘PayMon’.

On paper, the currency’s design strongly resembles the framework that is currently being used by Venezuela’s Petro token.

In closing out this piece, it should be made clear that the Iranian government’s stance towards the crypto industry has been quite mixed up until now. Thus, it will be interesting to see how things pan out for this burgeoning market sector from here on out.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Shiraz J

Can Facebook’s Libra Change the Sentiment of Younger Generation Towards Crypto Assets?

Can Facebook's Libra Change the Sentiment of Younger Generation Towards Crypto Assets?

According to a survey conducted by Cint a majority of the Gen Z does not want anything to do with cryptocurrency. While it may sound astonishing but that is the reality as per the survey conducted on 1,884 young Americans.

The firm behind the analysis is also well reputed for its various research and exchange of data. The Moto of the analysis was to understand how Gen Z views the most talked topic in recent years.

The study reveals that 53% of the total number of people who were part of the survey and under the age of 25 do not want anything to do with the cryptocurrency, while 17% of those who were interviewed maintained that they are not going to make any investment in the coming six months. So the study is a clear indication that 70% of the interviewed Gen Z do not like crypto while only 30% have some form of interest.

However, the recent survey is a clear contrast to the one which suggester 55% of the Millenials are more inclined towards crypto investment than any other form of modern day asset.

Can Facebook’s Libra Change the Gen Z Sentiments

Facebook has got the Gen Z addicted to its social media platform and thus many believe that the launch of its stable coin Libra next year could change the way how Gen Z perceive cryptocurrencies.

The most influencing factor in doing so would be the tons of categorised data Facebook has under its possession. Facebook has a multiple generations hooked to their ecosystem which comprises of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instragam. The interoperability among these three itself could be a game changer as people would be able to send money across all three platforms.

However Facebook Libra has to get past a ton of obstacles and scrutiny before it could do something at that scale. Currently, the Libra stable coin is not in good books of several regulators and central banks around the globe, mainly because of its financial structure and working model.

Libra would be backed by a number of Fiat currencies and government security, which is a clever way of avoiding compliance as no single regulatory body have any saying due to its multi Fiat support. Bank of Japan has even accused Libra of trying to piggy ride on regulatory reforms and believe it would be unfair for other digital assets which has to go under rigorous watch it regulatory bodies.

If with some miracle Libra is able to surpass all these obstacles and become the digital money of the internet, people using Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram would send money as easily as sending messages. Facebook has become an integral part of a quarter of world population as it accounts for 1.5 billion daily users. If we look at the stats in terms of age bracket, 88% of the population between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age and 84% of the population between the ages of 18 and 29 years are regular Facebook users.

The same holds true for Instagram and WhatsApp as well, where 72% of users are under the age of 17 and 64% of the population between the ages of 18 and 29 years use Instagram on a regular basis. On the other hand WhatsApp accounts for 38% of its users are between the age of 18 and 24.

The large section of the population being on Facebook’s ecosystem would make it extremely easy for the social media giants to simply put a crypto wallet on these apps, and users can simply use it as they do for chatting or sharing media files. It would definitely change the way the Gen Z currently perceive crypto space.

This could be another revolution that Facebook becomes a pivotal point of, people would start using crypto with a curiosity and with enough users it would become a necessity as has been the case with the use of Facebook.

Chris Hughes rightly summarizes how Libra is both an interesting and fearful take on the world’s financial network. He says,

“Libra has a long way to go before being successful, but in theory, it’s brilliant and frightening. At the start of the week, I thought the problem would be that it would reinforce Facebook’s corporate power. Now, a few days out, I think the problem is different and bigger: a new layer of monetary control between central banks and individuals, mediated by corporations”

He went on to add,

“What Libra backers are calling “decentralisation” is in truth a shift of power away from developing world central banks and toward multinational corporations and the central banks of the largest economies.”

“If #Libra is successful, the problem will be bigger than more power for Facebook. We’ll have to answer whether we want a global currency managed by (mostly) for-profit, private companies or public ones.”

However all these are just speculation especially until the actual launch of the token as per the initial plans. It is also interesting to note that it is not the first attempt from Facebook to introduce a form of money transactions in their ecosystem.

Easier they had introduced messenger payments which failed to take pace and finally had to be shut down. Banking and Social media are two totally different ball game, and given the scrutiny it has faced for poor management of user private data along with their Libra working model, it would be one daunting task if they succed at it.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Satoshi Nakamoto Whereabouts: Allegedly Residing in Japan, United States and now Possibly Estonia?

Satoshi Nakamoto Whereabouts: Allegedly Residing in Japan, United States and now Possibly Estonia?

Satoshi Nakamoto – Allegedly Residing In Japan, United States And now Possibly Estonia, According to Research?

Estonia has cultivated a reputation as being a nation with a more positive approach towards innovative and disruptive technologies such as Blockchain. But with that in mind, there is something quite interesting about when exactly the small Baltic country first got involved with the technology – 2008.

For those savvier of what goes on in the crypto and blockchain world, you’ll know exactly what was first conjured up during this year – Bitcoin and the veritable birth of it and blockchain.

An Oddysey That Is Still Developing

Bitcoin, as some will already know, is not the first time the notion of virtual currency was proposed, but it was the first time that it came into being. The idea itself, having been around since the 1990s, being one of the concepts conjured up by the crytpo-anarchic minded academics and students, it has since become a broadly accepted concept – with blockchain technology as we know it now.

Having been formulated by the as yet mysterious and enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto. It was only in 2018, that Justin Sabaje, a highly active Los Angeles lawyer, took it upon himself in order to dig into and finally [hopefully] uncover just who exactly this mysterious creator is. Just where his personal investigation brought him to was pretty unusual, at least compared to other theories out there – it brought him across oceans to Estonia.

Interestingly, while digging more into how exactly Estonia makes use of blockchain technology, there were a range of documents which detailed and listed the kind of blockchain it uses, just how it was built, and who was part of the team that allowed for it to finally be developed and launched.

According to the documentation, this is one of the first countries to actually implement a blockchain solution on a national level – having officially put it into action back in 2012. But what prevents us from just accepting that and moving on is the fact that, digging further into this documentation – it had actually begun testing back in 2008. So, naturally there were questions circulating as to why.

Sabaje himself was under the impression, according to some of the clues he had been following, that one of the people of interest was a man by the name of Helge Lipmaa, and went on to provide a good deal of evidence, albeit circumstantial in nature. An example of this circumstantial evidence included the interestingly identical displayed birthdays of both Satoshi Nakamoto and Lipmaa. Lipmaa had also been responsible for the applied process of timestamping digital documentation, and had actually placed a special emphasis on the concept of blockchain technology for his personal Doctoral thesis back during the 1990s.

Along with this thesis, Lipmaa had also been an active defender of it during his time at the University of Tartu in 1999. The range of evidence does continue on, with some of it concluding that, with the additionally interesting fact that his personal blog was shut down during 2008. At the same kind of time that Nakamoto’s blog became exceptionally active.

While the amount of evidence makes for an interesting case, Lipmaa categorically denies any kind of connection with Nakamoto. In addition to this overt denial, Lipmaa has since stated that he has, and wants nothing to do with the topic, thanks in large part to the onslaught of press enquiries he has received in the aftermath of it, due to Sabaje sending his findings to a series of major international news outlets.

While this investigation turned out to be a bit of a dead end for Sabaje, he was on the right kind of tracks in believing that it was Lipmaa, considering the fact that he and Ahto Buldas were both involved in research together on the concept of linked timestamping.

However

While there was a pretty interesting kind of paper trail heading over to the Baltic, there is a different theory being put out there by another writer. While they do go on to concede that it’s not a wholly unique theory to suggest that Satoshi may refer to a collective of people as opposed to just being one person.

But, what this writer did find when delving into the kind of history that the nation of Estonia has had with blockchain technology, along with the company that actually designed it, theories started to percolate as to whether this particular company was, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto. And if not the company in its own right, then at least the founder of it.

The company itself, more commonly known as Guardtime, is one of the leading developers and providers of bespoke blockchain solutions for governments, as well as major corporations across the world. In the past, these have consisted of some pretty big names such as Verizon and Ericsson. When it comes to deals with international governments – these consist of the United States, China, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, along with the Kingdom of Thailand.

Each of these countries has since signed deals in order to collaborate with Guard time in order to develop highly secure blockchain solutions for incredibly sensitive and major sectors of their governments.

Now For The Incredibly Interesting Part

If we actually take look through the news regarding Guardtime during the time frame of 2008 to 2012, one of the results comes up as showing that the company has been working with blockchain technology since 2008.

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Users can find this particular screen and page using the Wayback Machine to find it, being dated December 28, 2007:

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What we find out from some of these pages, according to the writer, is that the founder of Guardtime is a Mike Gault. So here is where it delves into a mission akin to Atlas Shrugged. And it turns out that you don’t exactly need to look that far – considering that he has an online bio on Crunchbase:

Mike Gault is the current CEO and Founder of Guardtime. Gault has led the company for the last 10 years (taking him to 2008/9 easily). Mike Gault started his career by conducting research while residing in Japan on the numerical analysis of quantum devices. From here, Gault then spent the next 10 years as a quant and derivatives trade with both Credit Suisse and Barclays Capital in Tokyo.

Mike Gault has since recieved a PH.D specializing in electronic engineering from the University of Wales, as well as an MBA from the Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA Program.

Taking into consideration the fact that Gault, being a graduate of the University of Wales, while also being a long time resident of Japan would go a long way to explaining the various time-stamps for correspondence with Nakamoto, as well as the perfect command of English that he had.

“Nakamoto claimed that work on the writing of the code began in 2007. (Guardtime fired up its servers on 07/07/2007, as mentioned below)”

And,

“He provided some commentary on banking and fractional-reserve banking. On his P2P Foundation profile as of 2012, Nakamoto claimed to be a 37-year-old male who lived in Japan, but some speculated he was unlikely to be Japanese due to his use of perfect English and his bitcoin software not being documented or labelled in Japanese.”

The evidence demonstrating his written sensibilities is shown through his correspondence through forum posts as well as personal emails to colleagues.

“Occasional British English spelling and terminology (such as the phrase “bloody hard”) in both source code comments and forum postings led to speculation that Nakamoto, or at least one individual in the consortium claiming to be him, was of Commonwealth origin.”

“Moreover, the first bitcoin block that could only be mined by Satoshi contains the encoded text The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks which implies that he was reading London’s The Times newspaper at the time of the inception of bitcoin.”

Along with this amount of evidence, there is also an accompanying publication based in Estonia, which comes emblazoned with a Google timestamp from December 18th, 2008, bus having been dated in August 2009 within the actual publication.

One of the other potential smoking guns that exists in the mind of this writer, demonstrates that Guardtime was officially established back in 2006. Was this a mistake? Or more proof?

“Japan Guard Time Incorporated –

Awarded Red Herring’s top 100 companies in Asia, Guardtime was founded in 2006 by two cryptologists named Mart Saarepera and Ahto Buldas as well as the current CEO – Mike Gault. GuardTime offers a scalable, highly available keyless signature service.”

“Whether data from around the world is stored on a disk, travels through a network, or is deposited on the cloud, you can prove the time, source and integrity of data throughput throughout the data lifecycle. We provide keyless signature services.”

There is yet more telling evidence and confusion within a particular written interview with Mike Gault from around 2012/2013. It contains a series of clues and demonstrates a range of connections both Gault and GuardTime itself have to the start of blockchain technology. These are some of the first paragraphs.

“In 1988, when the digital world was still in the distant future, two young students of cybernetics — Märt Saarepera and Ahto Buldas — met at the Tallinn University of Technology. Some years later, Saarepera travelled to Tokyo as an exchange student and dived into the world of applied information security and cryptography, publishing in various scientific journals. At the same time, Buldas stayed in Tallinn, working on digital signatures, the latest rage all around the world.”

“At the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Saarepera met two people who later became the key figures behind Guardtime. First he struck up a friendship with his course-mate Mike Gault, who was studying quantum transistors.He then found common ground with the well-known Japanese venture capitalist, technology guru, DJ and writer Joichi Ito.”

“Ito, the founder of the first ever Japanese website, invited Saarepera to work in his business incubator, Neoteny Labs. In the second half of the 1990s, Saarepera and Buldas made big plans. They discussed the nitty-gritty of the global information security system. They looked for development funds. They attracted the interest of the Estonians who had founded Skype and, together with some partners, Skype invested over 15 million Estonian kroons (about 560,000 euros) in the enterprise.”

The evidence continues.

“In autumn 2007, Ito visited Tallinn in order to formalise his personal investment in Guardtime. He visited the Skype team led by Toivo Annus, and in his subsequent blog post he had only good things to say about Estonians and the free wifi network of Tallinn. The quality of the latter supposedly surpassed the wifi of Frankfurt Airport but not that of Ito’s own Tokyo office. Guardtime received a new impetus.Ito became an important person in setting the direction of the company. On the magic date of 07.07.07 the clock of the servers was started and the history of Guardtime began. Now it was possible to check and issue signatures.”

Taking a Dive Into The Life Of Joichi Ito

The writer then dives into the like of the previously mentioned Joichi Ito. Ito himself was born in Japan, but has since lived in both Canada and the United States until he was 14, when he and his family returned to Japan. Even with these series of moves, Ito himself continued to attend an American-influenced School. While he lived in the United states, this would put his time cycle several hours behind that of Japan. When it comes to the hours of inactivity for Satoshi Nakamoto, his typical hours of inactivity and sleep would generally have to be between 1am and 7am.

This would make for a more than logical time frame for many of us to sleep during. It is also likely that Ito learned his fair share of British / English phrases while he attended his more internationalized school.

While also attending this international school, Io has since built up a reputation for himself as a well known and accomplished venture capitalist, being one of the early stage investors in companies like – 3Dsolve, Dopplr, Formlabs, SocialText, Flickr, Kongregate along with a wide array of other internet based companies.

According to a more publically facing profile of his, Ito is also known as:

“A vocal advocate of emergent democracy and the sharing economy, Ito is a doctoral candidate in Business Administration focusing on the sharing economy at the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University. He is the author of Emergent Democracy. Ito is Senior Visiting Researcher of Keio Research Institute at SFC. In May 2011, it was announced that Ito’s company, Digital Garage, will provide PR, marketing, product marketing research and market research for Linkedin Japan.”

About Märt Saarepera And Ahto Buldas

According to sources, we have both Mart Saarepera and Ahto Buldas to thanks for the invention of the Hash Calendar

“Their design goal was to remove the need for a trusted third party i.e. that the time of the timestamp should be verifiable independently from the issuer of the timestamp.”

According to an article that was officially published by LHV within its dedicated forums in 2008, it was further noted.

“The technology magazine Red Herring put the world’s most innovative companies at the end of January. Of the 1,200 companies, hundreds of the most innovative in the world were selected after several rounds. In 2006, GuardTime, founded by Estonians Märt Saarepera and Ahto Buldas, won the Red Herring TOP 100 place.”

The LHV article goes into further detail.

“GuardTime is engaged in technology development, which is a timestamp or a digital fingerprint. Tracking devices and programs and technology developed by GuardTime can determine when files are actually created. GuardTime technology can be implemented by any authority that needs to prove when digital data was created. Thanks to the GuardTime team, Alex Vieux, head of Red Herring, said he was the best choice after the winners were announced.”

In addition to this information about the two founders. There is also an accompanying photo that is available to view via Flickr dated back in 2007 – showing Märt Saarepera standing in front of a white board which appears to have an outline of what we know as being a Merkle Tree – a layer solution for dealing with processing information at speed. It is also found that the photo itself appears to have been taken by Joichi Ito.

So what exactly does this mean? Could this forum post along with the photograph be some of the first pieces of evidence that we have of the team working to build the very first blockchain?

Ahto Buldas himself also took to the internet on 2007 in order to publish a paper which showcases the following:

“We prove in a non-black-box way that every bounded list and set commitment scheme is knowledge-binding. This is a new and rather strong security condition, which makes the security definitions for time-stamping much more natural compared to the previous definitions, which assume unpredictability of adversaries. As a direct consequence, list and set commitment schemes with partial opening property are sufficient for secure time-stamping if the number of elements has an explicit upper bound”

Buldas goes into further detail about commitment schemes as well as more information about cryptography.

“Commitment schemes are basic building blocks in numerous cryptographic protocols. The most important properties of commitment schemes are binding and hiding. A commitment is hiding if it reveals no information about the committed message and binding if it is impossible to change the committed message afterwards without detection.”

Finally,

“However, Buldas et al [7] pointed out a flaw in the security proof of [12]. By giving a carefully crafted oracle separation they showed that pure collision-resistance is insufficient to prove that the hash tree time-stamping schemes [12] are secure. In other words, either there are collision-resistant functions that are still insecure for time-stamping, or the security of time-stamping schemes follows from currently unknown complexity-theoretic results.”

When It Comes To Blockchain Technology – Surely This is an Outline?

Another piece of information that makes this investigation all the more interesting for the writer is the fact that there was an article dated last year on Issuu, which makes the argument that GuardTime was actually working on the concept and application of blockchain technology in a practical sense before Satoshi’s Bitcoin.

Through the use of the Wayback Machine, there were a large number of grants for research submitted to the Cybernetica organization. These consist of various research proposals such as – ‘Privacy Mining: Cryptographic Methods (ETF6848) which surfaced between 2006 and 2008, along with the 2003/2004 proposal ‘Cryptographic Methods to Ensure Consistency of Database Query Responses (ETF5568).

So, in summary, the writer had managed to find this information over a matter of hours. And while it is all based upon speculation, it’s fair to say that the researcher is onto something pretty profound here. The writer then goes on to explain why there are so many companies that invested into GuardTime’s application of blockchain technology with relative speed and ease, this would lead the company to become the leading face for governmental and business-facing blockchain applications in the world.

Maybe the reason we’re not getting so much in the way of information from this illustrious Satoshi Nakamoto is because he is compounded by some kind of business related of governmental non-disclosure agreement. To go even further, the writer muses that maybe this is also the reason why Satoshi’s wallet has not been touched since he first deposited the BTC into it – because it’s owned by a conjoint Estonian/Japanese industry agreement or their governments.

While these are certainly some plausible theories provided, the truth certainly remains to be seen, for now.

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Author: James Fox

Crypto Investors Are Paying Over 2,000% Premiums on ETH via Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust

Crypto-Investors-Are-Paying-Over-2000-Premiums-on-Ethereum-ETH-Heres-Why

Something pretty weird is happening on the Ethereum (ETH) market. According to Charlie Bilello, known as a financial researcher and investor, Ethereum is currently being traded in some markets with substantial premiums that can reach 2,000%.

On Twitter, he affirmed that ETH was traded with a premium of exactly 2,022% ($580 USD per share) on Grayscale’s Ethereum Investment Trust during June 21. Today, the premium stands at around 312%, as it is decreasing, but it started around 1,000% on June 20. The premiums are way above the Grayscale’s Ethereum Investment Trust, obviously.

According to Bilello, people who bought the shares at 2,000% obviously got burned. The price of the asset went up after they bought, but the price was actually so high that they simply had no way to make up for their losses by investing with such a high premium. So far, they had a 78% loss, he affirmed.

At the time of this report, the price of ETH is around $305 USD. The shares are the equivalent of 9.6% of that price, so they cost around $28.87. By paying such an absurd premium, investors bought shares as it Ethereum was actually worth $5,800 USD, which is obviously not a price that the token will reach anytime soon.

Why Are The Investors Paying So Much To Buy Ethereum?

We can start to have an idea of how the premium got so high when we look at how Bitcoin is trading on this kind of over the counter (OTC) desk. The Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, for instance, sold BTC for $11,000 USD a piece during May 29. This meant that the premium was 37%.

The reason for that is that some accredited investors cannot buy Bitcoin and Ether using the existing crypto exchanges. Some of them are very wealthy people who are watched carefully by the regulators and most exchanges are not very well regulated.

In order to be able to participate in the market, they need to use a company such as Grayscale. The company is fully insured, regulated and transparent, so they have the perfect channel for investing. Unfortunately for them, so many investors looking for these products can make the prices go up.

This is basically why so many companies are starting to invest in institutional services. This way, they are able to cater to these new investors and get their huge amounts of money. As you may know, one wealthy institutional investor is worth a lot more than dozens of retail ones for a company since they hold a lot of money.

The premium can be explained because of the high demand for the shares. The investors had to pay so much money exactly because they wanted to participate and they were not alone but in a huge crowd of similar investors.

At the time of this report, the premiums are still very high. It looks like the investors will still need to pay a high premium if they want to be a part of these services.

Is There A Solution For This Problem?

How to solve this problem? The answer is actually fairly easy: the eagerly awaited Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) could be an answer. With a regulated mechanism such as this one, the investors would not need to pay such a large premium anymore, which would benefit them and the market.

Unfortunately, the ETF still looks to be far from approved at the time. Bitcoin is already a popular product, but concerns regarding market manipulation are preventing the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to act on this issue. How much time do we have to wait until the SEC finally votes in favor of the ETF? Nobody knows.

All of Today’s Ethereum (ETH) Price Analysis, Chart Forecasts and Industry News

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Binance is Officially in Talks With Facebook Over its Libra Platform

Binance-is-Officially-in-Talks-With-Facebook-Over-its-Libra-Platform

According to statements coming from the Chief Strategy Officer of Binance, the exchange has officially made and been in contact with the social media giant – Facebook.

Having spoken during the Fintech Junction Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel on Thursday this week, Binance’s CSO, Gin Chao had made it clear that the exchange is currently in the early stages of discussions with the social media company regarding its ongoing development of the platform and cryptocurrency – Libra.

Chao went on to clarify that these talks were, in faction official. “We have had an official dialogue with Facebook,” Chao continued on to explain.

“With regarding listings specifically, right now they are going to be on a so-called ‘private chain.’

So that means they won’t be looking for external liquidity.

“However, from what we understand the potential to be, that would lead them to want a secondary market. Currencies benefit from a secondary market, so it would be in their best interest to want to be listed.”

They’re not the Only Ones

While these discussions between the two companies are officially taking place,  Chao did go on to note that these same discussions were “very much at a preliminary stage.” The Strategy Officer further added that these conversations with Facebook were not hinged entirely on the cryptocurrency, with some discussions being

“largely focused on dealing with infrastructure.”

While the Binance team have been in direct contact with Facebook over a matter of discussion topics, Chao is very much under the impression that it’s only a matter of time before other crypto exchanges seek to engage in similar talks with Facebook over Libra.

“It wouldn’t just be in [Facebook’s] interest to list their coin on our exchange,” Gin Chao continued on to comment.

“It would also be in their interest to list on other exchanges as well and that’s probably going to happen.

“So once they go on a public chain, and they get the sort of adoption that they could get, we would probably want to list them.”

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Author: James Fox

LocalBitcoins Witnesses Surge in Trading Volumes in RUB Amid Cash-Trade Ban

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LocalBitcoins will no longer accept transactions involving Finnish currency, according to the latest news in the crypto industry. The famous Peer-to-Peer cryptocurrency exchange based in Finland, announced this latest development early in the month, a decision which many local crypto enthusiasts believe will dent the country’s image.

Finland isn’t among the largest countries embracing digital assets in Europe. But with LocalBitcoins discontinuing use of the national fiat, many believe that this will hurt its reputation in the crypto world.

Yet, barely a month is gone, but a particular pattern is starting to form. According to CoinDance, the crypto exchange’s weekly chart has started to show the effect of the ban, with the Russian Ruble (RUB) showing growing volumes. The exodus started in June 1st, though it is still likely that the volume will drop.

Many leading companies are already seeing the pattern describing the fast plummet, although Russia’s capital is the most conspicuous. During the first week of the month alone, trades registered a record high of RUB 1,174 million in volume, before it fell to RUB 1,104 million by the end of the second week.

But the surge resumed soon after, with the volumes going back to the May 2019 highs. The fourth week of June finally recorded an incredible RUB 1,188 million in volume. The graph detailing the change effectively painted Russia as a hot market for LocalBitcoins.

For a while now, LocalBitcoins has been maintaining impressive records in South America. The exchange’s weekly volumes across Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, and Argentina have always remained high. But the announcement also had an impact in the trading volumes.

In Buenos Aries, its weekly volumes from the start of the month to mid-June reduced from $13.71 million to $10.53 million. The cash-removal directive also affected the exchange’s performance in Columbia where the volume traded reduced from May’s $9.98 billion to $7.16 billion recorded, during the first week of June. The amount has, however, stabilized at $9.2 billion.

It should be remembered that the decision to ban fiat trades wasn’t arrived at overnight. It is something which LocalBitcoins had been pondering about ever since the local financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Authority [FSA] was introduced.

The body came into existence in March 2019, but even with its existence, the law is expected to fully come into effect later in November 2019. The law will classify cryptos as legal assets, identified by the Finnish law. Other changes to the law include amendments on the Anti-Money Laundering laws as well as the Countering Financial Terrorism Act.

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Author: Lillian Peter

Financial Action Task Force Will Now Require Crypto Exchanges to Share Customer Data, Aiming to Fight Against Money Laundering

Financial Action Task Force Will Now Require Crypto Exchanges to Share Customer Data, Aiming to Fight Against Money Laundering
  • Customer data will now be made available from global crypto exchanges, according to FATF.
  • Member countries that decided against imposing the new recommendations will be blacklisted for foreign investments.

Cryptocurrency is an industry that thrives on the way that customers can protect their identities, even if the transactions are on full display. However, the Financial Action Task Force recently released new standards on Friday that come with a highly controversial caveat.

According to this new change, the task for is recommending that “virtual asset providers” (VASPs) release information about their customers between platforms, whenever funds transfers occur between them.

VASPs include cryptocurrency exchanges, among others. However, the FATF explained that, in the event that a VASP is a person, rather than an exchange or other firm, then:

“it should be required to be licensed or registered in the jurisdiction where its place of business is located – the determination of which may include several factors for consideration by countries.”

This recommendation coincides with the contentious part of a proposal that the FATF made in February, advising that the countries should keep a record of sender and recipient information.

Specifically, this recommendation stated that each country, whenever a business sends money, should:

“obtain and hold required and accurate originator [sender] information and required beneficiary [recipient] information and submit the information to beneficiary institutions … if any. Further, countries should ensure that beneficiary institutions … obtain and hold required (not necessarily accurate) originator information and required and accurate beneficiary information.”

With the new guidance, the FATF states that each transfer has to include information regarding the name of the sender, the account number used, the recipient’s name, and the account number of the recipient. Furthermore, the sender has to include their physical address, or:

“national identity number, or customer identification number (i.e., not a transaction number) that uniquely identifies the originator to the ordering institution, or date and place of birth.”

The FATF believes that the biggest threat against virtual assets is the potential for it to be used in criminal and terrorist activities, but they have decided to give 12 months for platforms to integrate the new rule.

The travel rule that has long required international banks to provide this information for customers, but many proponents of the blockchain industry have been upset by this change. As they see it, imposing this rule would be impossible for cryptocurrency, and would pose a threat to use privacy. These proponents also allege that the rule is counter-productive to the efforts made by law enforcement.

Even with these recommendations, FATF is putting them in the hands of the country’s jurisdictions, in that they have the option to impose a rule that VASPs in their area register with the authorities. Those authorities would then be in charge of stopping criminals from

“holding, or being the beneficial owner of, a significant or controlling interest, or holding a management function in, a VASP.”

The authorities would need to impose rules to require the VASPs to get approval them from for any changes in their operation, shareholders, and more.

FATF recommends that the countries offer open-source information and web-scraping tools to enforce these rules, allowing them to find any operations that are unlicensed or unregistered.

Furthermore, the authorities should gather their intelligence with the use of public feedback and details offered by reporting institutions, says the FATF. Furthermore, VASPs should be able to stop transactions with sanctioned parties.

Chainalysis, a data analytics company has warned that the rule would end up forcing many companies to cease operations, rather than creating more transparency in the industry. However, even with this advisement, the FATF did not withdraw their pursuit. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated:

“We will not allow cryptocurrency to become the equivalent of secret numbered accounts [and] we will allow for proper use, but we will not tolerate the continued use for illicit activities.”

While the recommendations by the FATF are not actually required, any member country that opts out will end up being put on a blacklist to prevent foreign investments.

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Author: Krystle M

Crypto Chart Analyst Peter Brandt: You Should Buy Ripple’s XRP and Litecoin (LTC)

Crypto Chart Analyst Peter Brandt: You Should Buy Ripple's XRP and Litecoin (LTC)
  • Litecoin (LTC) and XRP prices will likely go up significantly.
  • This, according to prominent Crypto trader Peter Brandt’s recent analysis which he shared via Twitter.

Many people follow cryptocurrency gurus in order to discover the best investments. They all have their hot takes and sometimes they are actually spot on in what is going to happen in the markets. Peter Brandt is often considered a very prominent crypto guru and he spoke on social media this week predicting the future of two popular crypto assets.

According to the crypto specialist, both Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple’s XRP token are going to get price increases soon.

He has affirmed that Litecoin will grow against Bitcoin soon and that the prices of the XRP tokens are also bound to increase in the next couple of months, reaching a price between $0.5688 and $0.6260 USD.

Litecoin To Go Up In August

While the expert did not talk a lot about XRP, which was only mentioned when he affirmed that prices would go up, he did talk about Litecoin and how the asset is ready for the price increase in August.

Both tokens were trading very well this morning, which is a signal that their price might start to enter full bull run mode soon. Litecoin was up by 9% this year while XRP was up around 5%. These were the two best assets at the time. Both of them remained in the Top 10 list of crypto assets, too, and were the best-performing ones.

Another point that should be taken into account is that Litecoin is going to halve its block rewards in August, which is certainly affecting prices. The halvings happen from time to time and they cut the block rewards by half, meaning that mining will become less profitable as time passes. This generally pushes the price of the tokens upward.

The other halving will be Bitcoin’s, which is set to happen next year and will possibly impact the whole market since the crypto market generally does well when Bitcoin is doing well.

Nobody is really sure how the halving will impact the assets, though. There some strong consensus that they will go up, but how much? Some people say that the asset, which is now trading around $112 USD, can go as high as $1,000.

All of Today’s Litecoin (LTC) Price Analysis, Chart Forecasts and Industry News

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Author: Gabriel M

Apple to Introduce New CryptoKit Tool for Blockchain Developers at WWDC Event

Apple-To-Introduce-New-Tool-for-Crypto-Developers

According to a recently released event program, tech major Apple is planning to bring out a new tool meant for crypto developers at this year’s edition of Worldwide Developers Conference. The program for 5th June 2019 includes a session titled “Cryptography and your Apps”, which will witness the unveiling of a new tool called the “CryptoKit”. It will soon be introduced as an update on iOS 13.

CryptoKit will primarily be meant for crypto developers, allowing them room to experiment with tools and add more robust security features to crypto apps under development.

To quote the event description provided in the program:

“System frameworks encrypt both data at rest and data in transit in a transparent way for you. This functionality is available by simply setting an attribute. However you may want to do more to protect your users’ data.”

To enable such expansive functionalities, developers can use the new Swift framework, CryptoKit. They can use it to perform cryptographic operations simply and securely, regardless of whether they need to do something simple like compute a single hash or wish to run a more sophisticated protocol.

The ongoing edition of the Worldwide Developers Conference comes in the wake of people’s increasing scrutiny of Apple’s crypto strategy and it seems that the giant is finally warming up to the pros of digital assets industry. Crypto insiders were particularly enthused about Apple’s inclusion of the Bitcoin (BTC) logo in its in-app San Francisco font earlier and the latest development comes as a welcome move from one of the frontrunners of the tech world. Last month, Apple also introduced the option to make crypto payments over Apple Pay last month, further cementing its newly acquired place in the crypto world.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Coinbase Shares a Deep Dive Look Into the Recent Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Hard Fork

Coinbase Shares a Deep Dive Look Into the Recent Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Hard Fork

According to reports from the Coinbase team on May 15th, the team detected a structural depth 2 chain re-organization which took place within the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain. This particular re-organization specifically targetted Bitcoin Cash funds which were sent to a specific Segwit Bitcoin address.

While these funds were previously unspendable by the community, were since made available through recent update by the core developers behind BCH. So what was it that caused this? According to the Coinbase team, this was made possible due to an internal, hash-based power struggle between two miners on the blockchain.

So, What Allowed This to Happen?

To give some context to how this was made possible, Bitcoin Cash and its network instigates two yearly hard forks in order to implement scheduled upgrades to the underlying protocol. The most recent one of these took place on May 15th, at 12pm GMT, with the update being introduced in two stages:

  • Enabling of Schorr Signatures – This refers to a cryptographic solution for digital signatures.
  • Enable Segwit Recovery – This is one of the critical elements, as this upgrade would allow for previously unspendable assets sent to a BTC address to become spendable again, in some cases.

The Event – Hour to Hour

Between the times of 5:20 to 9:05am (PST), there was a vulnerability discovered within the main implementation of Bitcoin CashBitcoin ABC. This was then exploited in order to created ’empty’ blocks within the network, resulting in the BCH network being backlogged by large numbers of hollow transactions.

From there, a vast range of thousands of transactions, with approximately 29 of them, according to the team, being double spends within BCH.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: James F