OKEx’s OK Group to Open a New Digital Asset Trading Lab in ‘China’s Hawaii’

The administrator of the famous cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, the OK Group, has decided to set up a new digital asset trading lab, which will be located on Hainan Island, in China. The lab is set to help in the research and development (R&D) of the company’s new blockchain products.

According to the official announcement, the new lab will be based in Sanya, one of the cities on Hainan Island and it will be located in the International Offshore and Entrepreneurship Demonstration Zone of the region.

The OK Group was originally created in Beijing back in 2013 and it has always focused on developing for the blockchain technology. The group has branches in several countries in Asia, Europe and the United States. Now, the group follows Huobi, one of its main rivals, to operate in this new zone.

Star Xu, the founder of the blockchain group, has affirmed that the new region offers “broad prospects” for the market and that it would be important to help the company and Hainan alike. Hainan is currently trying to transform the island, known as a resort location, in a leader in the digital field. The new lab could help with that.

The change started when China designed the island as its 12th free trade zone. These areas have the goal of luring investors and promising fewer restrictions to do business there. With fewer restrictions, the idea can seem appealing to the investors behind the OK Group.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Waves Decentralized Exchange (DEX) Shuts Down, Morphs Into Hybrid Digital Trading Platform

The Waves Decentralized Exchange (DEX) has decided to shut down its platform and start offering services to clients as a hybrid crypto platform. The information was released by the company in a press release on December 2.

Waves Launches New Crypto Trading Platform

According to the official statement released by the company, they are migrating their services from the DEX website to the new Waves.Exchange.

The official site of the Waves DEX explains that they are no longer operating the service because they want to offer users a better experience and a wide range of tools.

This is why the DEX will not be available anymore to users, that will have a new platform specifically designed to meet their needs.

It is worth mentioning that users’ funds will be safe during this time. This is very important considering many exchanges were affected by hacks and attacks during the last few years.

The new hybrid exchange is expected to become fully operational in a short period of time. Some of the new features include irreversible transactions and improved control of funds for users.

Decentralized exchanges became popular due to the fact that they allow users to remain in custody of their cryptocurrencies rather than giving the funds to a crypto exchange that handles them.

The report explains that the company will be working in order to continue with the development of its protocol. This includes the implementation of sharding and other innovative infrastructure.

The crypto exchange will be fully managed by a separate and dedicated team to make it more efficient.

The CEO of the platform, Sash Ivanov, said that the DEX was just a prototype and that they are now able to become a separate project. The main goal is to synchronize the development of the ecosystem and help the products and services offered have higher standards. He said,

“Waves DEX was a kind of prototype. Now, after 2 years of operation, it has grown and become a separate project. […] Now it’s time for us to focus on protocol development and hand over the exchange to an external team and community separate from Waves, so we can merge all the infrastructure teams into one, synchronizing development work and taking the combined product to a new level.”

In the future, they want to add support for Tether (USDT) stablecoin, which would make it easier for traders to hedge against volatility in the cryptocurrency market.

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Author: Carl T

IRS is not Infringing Privacy By Requesting Data From Crypto Exchanges, Judge Decides

A federal court from California has recently decided that the requests made by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to the cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp in a specific case were not illegal. According to the judge, most of the arguments provided by William Zietzke, who filed a lawsuit against the IRS, lack merit.

Zietzke argued that the IRS is overstepping its bounds by asking crypto exchanges to provide data about the transactions made by their clients. In his case, he asked for a refund after overestimating his long-term gains back in 2016.

During the investigation to see if he was right, the IRS discovered that he had failed to inform about a Bitstamp account that he had at the time. This prompted the government agency to request Bitstamp to give data about Zietzke’s holdings, as well as the public keys related to all of his transactions. The information was deemed important to aid in the investigation of whether he was concealing money or not.

The argument of the investor is that the IRS acted in bad faith and he presented six arguments, five of which were denied. One of them was approved, however. The summons was considered “overbroad” because it looked for both relevant and irrelevant information about the case. The IRS should have only asked for information that could be directly linked to the case.

All of the other arguments were refuted, however, which gives more strength to the IRS in future cases in which the government entity decides to summon crypto exchanges to provide information about their clients.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

NASDAQ’s Former Cinnober Head, Eric Wall, Leaves to Join Bitcoin Investment Fund, Arcane Crypto

Eric Wall, the ex-Cinnober blockchain lead, has decided to no longer be in the exchange business because he has joined Arcane Crypto, the Oslo bitcoin investment fund. Arcane Crypto is a branch of Arcane that focuses on Scandinavians with a high net worth, also on global institutional investors.

The same firm runs a trading arm, a technology team and Kryptografen, the portal for crypto news. Its CEO is Torbjorn Bull Jensen, a Norwegian crypto expert who has published a white paper on how the industry could be closely watched, but in which he doesn’t mention anything about investing.

Arcane Wants to Include Altcoin in the Portfolio

Eric Wall said that he can’t disclose the assets on which Arcane will be focusing and that the outperformance of bitcoin revaluation will be metric. He also hinted that altcoin may be included in the Arcane portfolio, but that the selection process will be very harsh, so only projects that can truly compete against bitcoin will be taken into consideration. The goal won’t be to measure performance against fiat, but more to increase the portfolio by trading digital currencies in bitcoin.

“We are seeing a maturing trend in the altcoin market. It’s already very different now than it was a few years ago. It’s becoming harder and harder for technically inept projects to fake-it-til-you-make-it. There’s only in a very few, select areas in the cryptocurrency design space that has merit to compete against bitcoin.”

he said.

Who’s Behind Arcane Crypto?

Founded by Khristian G. Lundqvist and Ketil Skorstad, two investors from Norway, Arcane Crypto was funded by poker enthusiasts and chairman of the Swedish Cherry casino company, Morten Klein. Since all three Arcane Crypto investors are Norwegian, the fact that the fund is aimed at Scandinavians comes as no surprise.

Eric Wall joined this fund after NASDAQ has acquired Cinnober, where he used to explain for more than three years, what crypto is, to traditional financers. He also mentioned that while Arcane will focus on Scandinavians, it won’t be exclusive.

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Author: James W

eToro Social Crypto Trading Platform Buys Delta Crypto Portfolio Tracker App for $5 Million

The popular social trading platform eToro has recently decided to acquire Delta, a cryptocurrency portfolio management application. According to the reports from TechCrunch, the company was bought for $5 million USD, but the terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

Delta is focused on helping investors who want to make more informed decisions about the crypto market. So far, Delta has been used to track more than 6,000 cryptocurrencies from a total of 180 different exchanges. The company claims that over 1.5 people have downloaded the app until today and that a good share of these users can be considered active on a monthly basis.

According to the CEO of Delta, Nicolas Van Hoorde, the acquisition makes sense because there is a very strong synergy between the two companies. They are both very focused on their communities and always innovating. Also, the two firms have been successful in creating a community that has a high level of engagement by using cutting edge technology.

Reports indicate that the team will continue to be primarily based in Belgium and that most of the team members will continue in their positions. What will change is that now the team will work together with eToro to provide solutions that will cater to the needs of the social trading platform as well.

eToro’s CEO Yoni Assia has recently affirmed that most fintech companies right now are not even targetting profitability yet, so he is happy that the firm has been profitable for a long time and that they have several good products.

This is the second time that eToro has bought another company in 2019. Back in March, eToro was able to acquire Firmo Network for an undisclosed amount of money.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Cardano To Partner With COTI FinTech Firm For New ADA Payment Portal

The Cardano Foundation has recently decided to start a new partnership with COTI, a fintech company. This new partnership will see the two organizations teaming up to develop a new payment gateway for Cardano (ADA). According to the press release, the gateway will allow the merchants that use ADA to accept payments that can be directly converted to 35 different fiat currencies.

Companies can integrate the solution on their sites easily. They can either use the adaPay button or the classic Point of sale machines, which work by using QR codes. All transactions can be managed by the merchants in real-time, too, which helps in the usability of the solution.

Shahaf Bar-Geffen, known as the CEO of COTI, affirmed that the Cardano Foundation is creating a unique solution that will have new functionalities and help merchants to obtain payments in a way that is much more efficient than any other.

With the new partnership, COTI is set to create the structure for the service using its universal payment solution (UPI). The main goal of Cardano here is to create enough infrastructure so that the token gets accepted in a wide range of services and gets more popular.

Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano, is pretty bullish on his own project. According to him, ADA has the potential to beat Facebook’s Libra and become one of the most important methods of payment in emerging markets.

He has affirmed that the foundation trusts COTI to develop a great solution that can expand the reach of Cardano and that will change the way that people exchange value.

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Author: James W

BitLicense Becomes Subject of New York Financial Regulators Scrutiny Over Current Regime

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has finally decided to review its most controversial decision in recent days. According to the head of the agency, Linda Lacewell, the agency is set to look into the infamous BitLicense and maybe consider some changes.

BitLicense is the name of the dreaded license that all digital asset operators need if they want to offer their services to residents in the state of New York, a necessity even if the companies are not based locally.

The license is famous for being the toughest one to get in the country, which added to its unpopularity. Several companies such as Bittrex and Kraken were basically driven out of the state because of the license and issues related to it.

According to Lacewell, now is the perfect time to look at the system and to determine how to proceed, and look to see if any adjustments are needed at the moment. She did warn people not to be “too excited”, though, as there is a big chance that nothing will change.

Some of the questions that will determine what will be done include understanding how the industry has grown lately and whether it has matured or not. According to her, the current license is “working well”, but it is important to always hear all sides when making decisions. No information of when the review would be complete was given during her speech.

At the moment, only 22 companies were able to grab the BitLicense. The NYDFS is receiving applications for the license right now, but the majority of the companies that apply still fail the tests.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

IRS Adds Taxpayer Questions Regarding if They Own or Transact in Cryptoassets

The U. S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has finally decided to acknowledge cryptocurrency   in its reports. Now, U. S. taxpayer’s will be asked whether they hold cryptocurrencies or not when they are reporting their taxes.

This new update follows the long-awaited guidance released by the institution, which was published recently. In the update, several aspects of crypto taxes were made clear. Some of the issues that were answered included whether people had to pay taxes for airdrops and hard forks.

However, some people complained that the IRS still did not understand crypto’s very well and that some of the clarification was actually too vague. Other’s complained that it took five years for the tax agency to publish the guidelines and they still managed to leave some questions unanswered.

Now, a new draft of the Additional Income and Adjustments to Income section of the 1040 forms was released. The new section asks if the person, during any time of the year, received, sold, bought or exchanged any virtual currency. The question is pretty straightforward and people are only expected to answer with either yes or no.

The IRS will be expecting constructive comments on the changes, which can be sent by email during the timeframe of 30 days.

Crypto taxes are so complicated that H&R Block, an accounting firm, will be the acting intermediary for several crypto investors and provide services related to crypto gains and losses for people who don’t know what to file. It seems that companies like this will continue to prosper while the legislation is still so complex.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

IRS Issues New Cryptos Tax Guidance For Hard Forks, Calculating Cost Basis, Buying And Selling

The U. S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has finally decided to publish its first guidance about how to pay crypto taxes in five years. After years and years of people asking the IRS how to pay their taxes, it seems that the entity decided to comply.

Charles Rettig, an IRS commissioner, affirmed that the agency was working on the guidance a few months ago, but most crypto investors were simply disheartened after waiting for so long.

One of the main updates on the legislation is that now people will finally know how to pay taxes over hard forks. Hard forks happen when there is no consensus in a network and one token is split in two. So far, investors often didn’t how to proceed in these cases.

It was stated that if the token went through a hard fork but you did not “receive” any new token via the fork, airdrop or something similar, the income is not taxable. If you got any new token, however, it is.

However, some people, such as the director of Coin Center, Jerry Brito, affirmed that the IRS was not clear enough. According to him, the new guidance offers some clarity but it doesn’t seem to acknowledge what hard forks and airdrops are very well, which can cause problems. The main issue is that it does not clarify what “receive” means.

More rules for determining how to pay taxes when you bought crypto on several occasions some time ago are also stated in the new report, as well as some other minor updates.

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Author: Hank Klinger

New York’s NYDFS to Hire a New Deputy Superintendent for Virtual Currency

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has recently decided to upgrade its crypto-focused staff with a new hire. A new job advert posted online this week shows that the organization is now looking for a new Deputy Superintendent for Virtual Currency.

This new employee will have the task of creating and maintaining the compliance rules for digital currencies in the state of New York. Not an easy task considering that this the more strict region of the U. S. when it comes to cryptos.

Also, the person will work together with a special unit that works in crypto and blockchain cases, known as the Division of Research and Innovation, which was recently created.

Why is the company doing this? Possibly to be more efficient in the distribution of its famous BitLicense. The infamous license requires companies to operate under very strict regulatory standards if they want to have access to these markets. In almost five years since its creation, only 20 companies received the BitLicense.

All candidates that apply for this job have to understand the blockchain very well and have some experience in the crypto market or another relevant capital market. An MBA or Law degree is also required. Applications are open right now and will conclude on October 31.

At the moment, the special crypto division of the NYDFS has only four people in it. Two of them are superintendents, Olivia Bumgardner and Matthew Siegel. The division answer to a state legislative body known as the Digital Currency Taskforce.

The goal is to hire specialized personnel so that the regulators can be able to protect the financial stability of the state while letting the most innovative companies enter the market.

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Author: James W