Avoid Billionaire Michael O’Leary, Who’d Never Invest in Bitcoin, Like a ‘Plague’

Irish airline Ryanair owner billionaire Michael O’Leary bashed bitcoin, calling it a “Ponzi,” nothing new, and advised people to stay away from it. O’Leary, in an interview with The Sunday Times said,

“I have never, and would never, invest one cent in bitcoin, which I believe is equivalent to a Ponzi scheme, I would strongly advise everyone with any shred of common sense to ignore this false story and avoid bitcoin like a plague.”

While O’Leary is calling people to avoid the most significant digital asset, which has been slowly making its way into the company’s balance sheet as a reserve asset replacing cash, analyst Mati Greenspan said, “Avoid Ryanair like the plague.”

O’Leary recently was the latest celebrity who was targeted to promote the crypto-related scams. According to the reports, an online scam has been doing the rounds where O’Leary has been allegedly talking about making “tens of thousands of euros a day on autopilot” in Bitcoin Lifestyle and claiming that National Ireland Bank stopped him from revealing it.

UK victims have reportedly lost £200,000 ($261,643) in such scams that have been doing the rounds for about three years.

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Author: AnTy

Open- Source Toast Wallet Shuts Down, Calls Out Ripple for ‘Abysmal Treatment’ of Developers

  • XRP developers of the Toast Wallet are calling it quits citing ‘abysmal treatment by Ripple” as the reason for leaving the project.
  • Launched in early 2017, the closure of Toast Wallet is heavily linked with the investment arm or Ripple, Xpring, looking over the wallet in its funding over the years.

The short tweet on its official page, Toast Wallet, XRP wallet that allows users to buy, sell and safely store their digital assets, will be shutting down due to the “abysmal treatment of community developers.”

As of June 22, 2020, the Toast App will no longer be available on mobile application stores denying access to additional users. The tweet reads:

The existing users’ wallets will be functional for a short time as users withdraw their assets to other wallets. The company has also given assurances to the safety of user assets.

“Existing Toast installs will continue to work, and funds are safe. We await a clear and transparent community developer support program from Xpring.”

The mention of Xpring in Toast’s tweet raises suspicion on whether the Ripple owned investment company had something to do with the wallet’s collapse. XRP Arcade, a crypto news publication, cites unnamed sources that claim the Xpring development fund did not extend to Toast, which led to its failure.

The remaining action is for users to send their XRP assets to other wallets quickly.

Send Users Xumm’s way

Toast Wallet has requested that users start migrating their assets to different XRP compatible wallets before the wallet is completely shut down.

Despite the dark cloud hovering above Toast Wallet’s open source project, Wietse Wind, one of XRP’s leading developers, took this opportunity to grab some of the users to choose his Xumm crypto wallet. After passing his graces, Wind wrote:

“I’d like to share the procedure to migrate from Toast to XUMM. I don’t want to come across as a vulture: I’m sorry to gain XUMM users this way.”

The open-source code will remain on the Toast Wallet GitHub page.

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Author: Lujan Odera

New Zealand Aims To Abolish Cryptocurrency Sales Tax While Income Tax Would Remain

Quick Read:

  • The New Zealand Inland Revenue Department is calling for a revision of current Goods and Services Tax laws that are unfavorable to the crypto sector.
  • Issues of whether to treat different crypto assets differently have arisen as they all have different features.

The New Zealand government has held discussions in a bid to revise the Goods and Service Taxes applied to cryptocurrency. This would mean that cryptocurrencies exchanging ownership would be liable to a 15% GST and end up double taxing as they would still be keen on applying the income tax.

The revenue authority Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has come to acknowledge that the tax rules in place cannot be applied to cryptocurrencies. This is because they don’t fall into the same framework that was designed for currency, shares, debt and equity securities.

“Because of their innovative nature, they will often also have different features to these other investment products.”

Should different tokens have different GST terms?

They are, however, in a bit of a crunch, as they have yet to decide on whether or not they will have different GST treatment for the different types of crypto-assets. With current laws being a bit unfavorable to the sector. This is because of the nature of various tokens, it makes it even harder to classify. The list includes payment tokens, utility token, security token, asset token, and hybrid token are all very different in nature.

They are however confident that simplifying the laws could make it attractive to crypto investors who would open job opportunities and further technological developments in New Zealand.

There is also the question of how to treat situations where the exchange of ownership in crypto assets has occurred with an individual that is not living in New Zealand.

“The supply of a crypto-asset could be an exempt financial service, subject to 15% GST, or a zero-rated supply to a non-resident.”

The authority reckons that there’s a need for change, as the current GST framework in regards to crypto assets is vague, making the sector less attractive for the investors. There’s an April 9thdeadline for anyone with varying opinions.

Notably, New Zealand is following the footsteps of their neighbor Australia who revised their GST laws in October 2017.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Can Only Act As A Hedge Against A Loss Of Confidence In Fiat And Payment System: JPMorgan

  • From calling Bitcoin a “fraud” to the crypto asset having a place in investors’ portfolio
  • “2019 will be remembered for the rise of digital money” – JPMorgan Chase Report
  • Blockchain has its “clearest” use case in “payments, trade finance, and custodial services” but not in supply chain

According to JP Morgan Chase and Co.’s 74-page report later this week states, the digital money will change the financial world.

“2019 will be remembered for the rise of digital money,” the bank said in its report. “The groundwork is now in place for more mainstream adoption of blockchain technology at the same time that the foundation is being established for the development of digital currency and fast payments.”

Back in 2017 JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called Bitcoin a “fraud” and now in 2020, the bank says crypto assets have a place in investors’ portfolio. JPMorgan report said,

“Developments over the past year have not altered our reservations about the limited role that cryptocurrencies play in global portfolio diversification or as a hedge instrument. Crypto assets have a place in investors’ portfolios only as a hedge against a loss of confidence in both the domestic currency and the payments system.”

Rapid adoption faces practical challenges

The New York-based bank said in its report that the emergence of blockchain that underpins Bitcoin and Ether has made the modernization of payments global. While JPMorgan debuted its very own digital coin last year to facilitate cross border payments with a digital asset among the banks, the blockchain system created by Paxos has broken through to the real world and China is developing digital yuan, noted the bank.

It further said blockchain is promising for corporations and banks, yet most corporate efforts are in the early development stage or being tested.

When it comes to using blockchain, JPMorgan sees its “clearest” use cases in “payments, trade finance, and custodial services.” But founds using a distributed ledger to manage the supply chain — “viewed as ripe for disruption is often a limiting factor” — to be a fading application.

However, challenges still remain in the form of technology such as scaling and slow network and regulatory unclarity.

Tech giants are also jumping in on the trend with Facebook launching its so-called cryptocurrency Libra pegged by a basket of fiat currencies. However, it received a lot of backlash from European officials and members of Congress.

“The failed release of Facebook’s Libra serves as a reminder that rapid adoption faces practical challenges to attain scale,” the bank said in the report. In order to succeed, the bank said Libra needs several market mechanisms in place such as less distributed, semi-private networks and short-term liquidity facilities.

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Author: AnTy

DTCC Urges Financial Institutions to Collaborate in Forming A DLT Regulatory Framework

U.S Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) published a white paper on Feb,12 calling for the establishment of a proper regulatory framework on blockchain technology. The leading American financial markets clearing and settlement company noted that this would help avoid the risks associated with Digital Ledger adoption in future.

This white paper dubbed ‘Security of DLT Networks’ highlights the opportunities and looming risks if financial industry stakeholders do not step up to oversee blockchain implementation. DTCC’s Chief Security Officer, Stephen Scharf, further emphasized on the importance of tech policy upgrades;

“DLT offers great potential, but as with any new technology, it also comes with certain risks. Traditional security measures may not be adequate, so it is critically important that this topic is top of mind for any DLT implementation.”

DTCC’s Proposed Strategy on Blockchain Implementation Oversight

According to the whitepaper, financial market players are better off collaborating to form standardized guidelines on DLT adoption. It continues to read that a coordinated approach would help address the security associated risks in detail. This will in turn assist firms operating and looking to enter the blockchain market to play by the book and grow within a regulated framework.

DLT will notably improve how data is protected, verified and processed. As a result, DTCC suggests that a more tech specific framework would be effective in integrating the DLT networks within IT legalities across the world. An industry consortium to form fundamental operational guidelines was also identified as a long-term solution to the existing legal gaps in the DTCC whitepaper.

There have been previous efforts to form a baseline regulatory framework around blockchain tech but only a few jurisdictions have achieved much. DTCC plans to capitalize on its muscle within the derivatives market to lobby as many financial players and develop a standard for DLT frameworks. Mr. Schaff noted on the importance of a global framework for all industry participants;

“As is common in IT security communities, frameworks must be widely available, generally agreed upon, and commonly adopted.” he added “As best practices mature, they can be adopted into a formal framework and used for financial industry participants and regulators alike.”

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Author: James W

Israel Securities Authority Is Looking To Private DLT Exchanges To Model Its Regulations

Israel’s securities regulator is calling on private sector players to submit proof-of-concept for Distributed ledger technology (DLT) backed virtual assets trading platforms.

According to CoinDesk, Israel Securities Authority (ISA) held a conference on Jan 20 in Tel Aviv where it announced that it was set to provide a full virtual value chain meant for investors which will comprise of virtual assets which are held, traded as well as settled through DLT. in connection to this, the agency is now calling for the players in the industry to submit their pitch that must have proof-of-concept.

The regulator stated that after the completion of this stage, it will come up with requisite regulation which will make it easy for the launching of digital platforms in the country’s capital market.

As per the conference notes, DLT presents not just a capital markets evolution, but it has become a necessity and Israel and the securities regulators should work towards creating an enabling environment. Majority of the people who presented their views during the conference stated that fresh and low-cost DLT-based platform have the potential of opening up extra financial opportunities for new entrants in the market. The regulator also indicates that Israel can be an example to other securities regulators around the world.

The endorsement of DLT by the authority comes a few days after a committee that was created to analyze the technology for half a year, taking into account all the technology aspects ranging from issuance of tokens to smart contracts. According to the committee’s report, DLT can transform the country’s capital market and can propel the market as the center of global technology. The committee also found that DLT could be a solution for faster settlements and can help to streamline clearance.

The committee also states that DLT in capital markets has an advantage especially in IPOs, clearance and trading. They also found that DLT will help in lowering associated costs. The technology can help in spurring innovation in the market and open up the market to many players as well.

ISA uses DLT through its messaging platform ‘Yael’.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Former Congressman Calls for the Return of Non-Monopolized & non-Govt. Controlled Sound Money

Bitcoin skeptic turned bull, Ron Paul is calling for the end of the Federal Reserve.

Former Texas Congressman Paul has long been a critic of the existence of the Federal Reserve and the tax policy. And this time as well, he took a shot at the Fed.

Ron Paul tweeted,

Central planning he said is an “absolute failure,” and it is time to “End the Fed,” and sound money — that isn’t monopolized by the government — to make its return.

And could the decentralized and deflationary Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies be that sound money?

Paul doesn’t elaborate on that but he is in favor of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as just last month, he said that they are a “great idea,” and governments should step in with “least amount of regulation” and that too to prevent fraud.

But he hasn’t been all pro-crypto. Back in 2017, he said cryptocurrencies are just another bubble like stocks that has “more threatening” curve.

However, if we look even further, in 2014, though he expressed concern about the backing of crypto, he has been all about an alternative method to fiat money.

Paul also has been bearish on fiat money as he said,

“I just don’t think the dollar is going to last. I don’t think any fiat currency lasts forever. They all self-destruct.”

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Author: AnTy

Craig Wright to Take the Stand Soon for Kleiman Lawsuit Hearings Regarding Bitcoin’s Creation

Craig-Wright-to-Take-the-Stand-Soon-for-Kleiman-Lawsuit-Hearings-Regarding-Bitcoins-Creation
  • Craig Wright has continued to claim to be the true creator of Bitcoin.
  • He will be calling himself as a witness in the Kleiman vs. Wright lawsuit.

The case of Kleiman vs. Wright has been going on for quite some time, and new reports show that Craig Wright will be calling witnesses at the June 28th deposition. Wright has consistently stated that he is the creator of Bitcoin, and he will be calling two expert witnesses, a fact witness, and himself to the stand. Ultimately, since Wright will already be on the stand, he opens himself up to cross-examination.

There is already a chance that Wright will end up being placed in contempt of court after he failed to provide the list of Bitcoin holdings that he kept before the end of 2013, according to CoinDesk. This failure could lead him to trouble at either the civil or criminal level.

The chief scientist for nChain had allegedly mined over 1.1 million Bitcoin with Dave Kleiman between 2009 and 2011, believed to be stored in the “Tulip Trust.” Though Kleiman has since passed, his sister Ira is suing on behalf of his estate, asking for the fair market value and rights to the intellectual property.

The court documents say that Brett Roberson will be offering his testimony regarding digital forensics and PGP signature. His experience also covers theft of intellectual property, analyzing the activities found on a computer through a specific range of time, and recovering files that have already been deleted. All of this experience can be found in his CV, which is being used as Exhibit 1.

Kevin Madure is the second expert witness, who is the former IBM consultant and VP of cybersecurity at AlixPartners. He will be testifying to cryptography, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrency, specifically in reference to how it affects this case.

The fact witness will be Steve Shadders, who is the CTO of nChain. Previously, Shadders posted a blog titled “On the Satoshiness of Dr. Craig S. Wright.” The blog discusses the reasons that Shadders believes that Wright could be the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. His statements are based on his experiences with Wright, even though he claims to have decided against seeing conclusive evidence.

To ensure that he has some kind of control over the narrative, Wright is calling himself as well. Palley, a lawyer that is following the case but is not directly involved, tweeted about the issues, saying that “criminal contempt” is still on the table.

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Author: Krystle M