Monero Workgroup: It’s Up to Exchanges Not Assets To Comply With Travel Rule; XMR Not Subjected

In a blog, the Monero Compliance Workgroup came to the conclusion that XMR is exempted from FinCEN Funds Travel Rule as it is not applicable to assets and cryptos like the XMR.

According to the blog, the rules set by the U.S. Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (FinCEN) towards the Funds Travel Rule, are not applicable to XMR.

According to the Funds Travel Rule, financial firms when either sending or receiving money must keep and submit different types of information regarding the said transfer if the money in question is $3000 or more. However, FinCEN gave extra requirements in their May guidelines. The agency explained that when a transmission protocol fails to store such information, the person in question can provide the required details. Therefore, the interpretation is that there is no requirement to provide such information within the network.

According to the Monero Workgroup on compliance, it is the duty of crypto exchanges to provide such information and not cryptocurrencies. As a regulated exchange and one that adheres to both the AML and KYC requirements, it is required to store such transactional details and should pass that information to the relevant agencies. The blog concludes that Monero or any other crypto are not affected in any way by the Funds Travel Rule.

The statement continues to say that it is misplaced for any crypto to state that it is adherent to the Funds Travel Rule as it is meant for regulated entities and not the assets which these entities deal with.

However, as Cointelegraph reports, the statement may have been released a little bit late as various exchanges have gone ahead and removed Monero from its tradable assets. This has also affected other privacy coins as the exchanges are trying to evade any frictions with the regulators.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Blockchain Capital’s 12 Bold Predictions For 2020: Number 7 is Controversial But Inevitable

2019 is coming to an end and Bitcoin price is currently trading at $7,265, down 63% from its all-time high of $20,000.

But according to Blockchain Capital’s bold predictions for next year, Bitcoin could very well make a new ATH. But that doesn’t mean we will get to see $500,000 by the end of 2020.

In November 2017, John McAfee clarified that this price is based on the model that predicted $5,000 at the end of 2017 but Bitcoin accelerated much faster than his model assumptions. As such, he re-upped the bet from $500k to $1 million.

But Blockchain Capital doesn’t see this happening, at least not in 2020.

Positive Development…

Coming onto the 7th bold prediction for the Bitcoin network, it involves Bitcoin fees that the company is predicting to exceed $100 on the back of demand for Bitcoin transactions next year.

This prediction Spencer Bogart, General Partner at the company says is a controversial one but an “inevitable part of a successful Bitcoin trajectory.”

Given that the next block halving will cut down the rewards from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC, as Bogart says this would be a “positive development.”

Growth for Stablecoins but Tighter Regulation as well

Blockchain Capital sees growth in the crypto market next year with the prediction of a crypto company being acquired for more than $500 million. The value locked in DeFi is projected to hit a whopping $5 billion, currently, it’s nearly $672 million.

On the regulatory side, KYC/AML is projected to be DeFi’s “primary regulatory battleground.” But a federal judge might rule against the SEC in a crypto case.

When it comes to stablecoin, the company particularly talks about USDC, a US dollar-pegged stablecoin launched by Coinbase and Circle. It is expecting to see a 300% growth measured by transaction value, issuance, market cap, and trading volume.

However, FinCEN and FATF will hold stablecoin to a stricter standard than even paper cash by “requiring broad application of the travel rule.”

As for social media giant Facebook’s project Libra, Blockchain Capital predicts that it will receive the green light for a dollar-backed stablecoin, in the light of competition from China.

Amidst all these positive predictions the company also expects the privacy coins to continue to be delisted from major exchanges. Also, “not a single 2020 L1 network launch achieves top 10 status, as defined by network value.”

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Author: AnTy

Binance Co-Founder, TRON Founder Violate Weibo Community Guidelines, Platform Deletes Accounts

  • Both Justin Sun of TRON and Yi He of Binance had their accounts deleted from Weibo.
  • Sun posted to Twitter to tell followers that the platform is working to resolve this issue with the social media platform.

Justin Sun is one of the most well-known names in the cryptocurrency industry, both for his founding of TRON and his many controversial moves. He’s been linked to many false giveaways, and his passion for cryptocurrency has led to some unfortunate consequences. Now, as reported by The Block and other news media websites, Sun’s recent activity with Weibo has led to the shutdown of his account, as well as the account of Yi He, the co-founder of Binance.

Presently, on both Sun’s and He’s accounts, users will see the following message:

“The account has been blocked due to violations of laws and regulations and the relevant provisions of the Weibo Community Convention.”

The specific circumstances are unclear, but Sun has been making waves for a while, following the hype over his scheduled lunch with Warren Buffett which never happened.

While the deletions are obviously bad for both parties, Sun had used Weibo as a way to engage with the supporters of the TRON blockchain in China. As it stands, neither profile can be searched with their Weibo IDs.

Still, there are other cryptocurrency executives that manage to maintain their accounts. Star Xu of OKCoin, Leon Li of Huobi, and Changpeng Zhao of Binance all have active accounts still. While Zhao may still have access to his account, Weibo cited similar reasons when the platform decided to block the Binance account, as well as the account for the TRON Foundation. Binance responded by getting a new account, which The Block reports is still active.

In an effort to control the potential damage to TRON’s reputation, Sun has already taken to Twitter to let users know that there’s nothing to worry about. Sun vowed that everything will soon be resolved with Weibo, adding his Twitter handle for any users to follow as well.

At the time of writing, TRON’s TRX token had fallen by 3.36% in the last 24 hours, bringing the value down to $0.013714. The token has been rather steady in recent months, though the last jump recorded was in June, rising to $0.037408 at the time.

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Author: Krystle M

Bitfinex Crypto Exchange Integrates Chainalysis Blockchain Analytics For AML Compliance

  • The new compliance solution is meant to protect platforms from the dangers of money laundering.
  • Chainalysis presently serves a total of 42 cryptocurrencies, though it previously only served Bitcoin.

Bitfinex is a platform that allows consumers trade both cryptocurrencies and major digital assets, much like other crypto exchanges. However, the market is becoming progressively stricter about the compliance procedures associated with anti-money laundering efforts. To ensure that Bitfinex keeps up with the requirements, the platform has employed a compliance solution with Chainalysis to “detect and prevent money laundering,” as well as other illicit activities for many cryptocurrencies, according to a press release from PR Newswire.

Jason Bonds, the Chief Revenue Officer for Chainalysis, commented that Bitfinex is often sought out by traders in the crypto space that are “seeking liquidity across various cryptocurrencies.” With this volume, the only way to be compliant with global regulations is with “an automated blockchain analysis solution,” which is what Chainalysis is providing. Bonds added, “We are thrilled to work with Bitfinex as we mutually invest in supporting multiple cryptocurrencies.”

Though primarily focused on Bitcoin earlier this year, Chainalysis has gradually expanded, leading them to now include 41 other cryptocurrencies. Some of these cryptocurrencies include Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Tether, Maker, Dai, and other ERC-20 tokens.

With the use of Chainalysis KYT, Bitfinex and other businesses have the ability to watch over massive crypto volumes, while continually identifying any high-risk threats. The alerts in real time make it easier for compliance teams to deal with imminent threats, while enforcing the policies set forth and mitigating resources.

Peter Warrack, the Chief Compliance Officer for Bitfinex, complemented the work of Chainalysis, calling their compliance solution “top-of-the-line, comprehensive, and privacy-safe.” He explained that these qualities allow Bitfinex to keep the bad players of the platform and to protect the good players that presently operate on it. Warrack remarked,

“The solution does not share information identifying users, which is kept strictly in-house. We are excited to work alongside the Chainalysis team to continue to build out a safe and robust platform for our users.”

The cryptocurrency ecosystem will continue to evolve, and regulatory requirements will follow suit. Any company that isn’t aggressive about pursuing and following these new requirements will quickly fall behind the in market, but Chainalysis has already made many accommodations to serve multiple blockchains ahead of these deadlines.

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Author: Krystle M

Biggest Unicorn Of This Decade Wasn’t Uber, Airbnb, Or Snap. It Was Bitcoin: Former Coinbase CTO

  • Bitcoin has been the best performing asset of 2019. Despite being down 67% from its all-time high of $20,000, BTC is up 90% YTD.
  • The world’s leading cryptocurrency is currently trading around $7,200 with an ROI of 5,287%, as per CoinMarketCap.
  • Market commentators however have been predicting another moonshot to $100,000 as the top of the next bull market.

The Unicorn of the Decade

Bitcoin is not only the best performer of 2019 but it has been of the decade. Till early March, Bitcoin’s value was about nothing, with its earliest value recorded at $0.003 in March 2010 when it started trading on now-defunct, the first bitcoin exchange.

According to Balaji S. Srinivasan, co-founder of Earn and former CTO of Coinbase, it is the biggest unicorn of this decade. Nothing else than Bitcoin he says has been found at the same time that held at $100 billion for a longer time.

“As a tech investment, it is by some measures the best of the decade,” he said.

Unicorn is a privately held startup valued at over $1 billion and though not a company, Bitcoin as a tech investment is “by some measures the best of the decade.”

In the next decade, Srinivasan believes any more of these tech companies will become or be disrupted by the decentralized protocol as such “protocol vs company will become more common as a comparison.”

Marching Forward

Bitcoin is already a preferential asset class among millennials, as further evident from the latest Charles Schwab reports that revealed GBTC in the top 5 holdings for millennial investors beating Disney, Microsoft, Netflix, Alibaba, and Berkshire Hathaway.

Also, in the light of its survey, digital asset management firm Grayscale Investments’ Managing Director Michael Sonnenshein stated, “About 21 million investors in the U.S. would have an interest in investing in bitcoin.”

Interestingly, 43% of those interested investors are female.

Germany’s Deutsche Banks’ strategist Jim Reid is already talking about the unraveling of current fiat system in the next decade that that would lead to the demand for alternative currencies like crypto to soar.

Global Stimulation

Capital controls imposed by the governments of citizens and cash hoarding and super-rich stockpiling gold because they don’t trust government and banks is another step towards a decentralized currency and store-of-value.

While on one side negative interest rates could push people towards Bitcoin, policies like the one in Greece, where citizens will be hit with a hefty fine if they do not spend 30% of their income electronically could further drive the demand for cryptocurrency.

Not to forget the money printing and QE.

Mati Greenspan, founder of newsletter Quantum Economics, as Chinese inflation jumps to 4.5% last month. questions,

“The world’s central banks have been pouring an inordinate amount of money into the economy for more than a decade. What did they think would happen?”

Could this just like Greenspan’s airplane taking off GIF see the Bitcoin flying?

Despite being 100% up this year to date, Bitcoin as an asset had a lower Sharpe Ratio, which is the ratio of the “average return earned in excess of the risk-free rate per unit of volatility or total risk,” at 1.39 than that of S&P 500 at 1.74.

This certainly means Bitcoin has some catching up to do and the 2020s just might be that decade.

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Author: AnTy

Romanian Hackers Get 20 Years in Prison For Cryptojacking 400k Computers To Mine $4M In BTC & XMR

  • The conspirators include Bogdan Nicolescu and Radu Miclaus from the Bayrob Group.
  • A third conspirator will be sentenced in January 2020.

Bogdan Nicolescu, the leader of the Bayrob Group hacker gang from Romania, as well as his co-conspirator Radu Miclaus, have been found guilty of charges related to their cryptojacking malware.

The charges include 21 separate counts of wire fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and other crimes, according to a press release that was published on Friday. Now, as reported by CoinDesk and other news media websites, Nicolescu and Miclaus have officially been sentenced to 20 years in prison each, which will be served in US prisons.

The malware by these two hacker gang members, which also is believed to have mined Bitcoin and Monero with the victims’ processing power, infiltrated 400,000 computers. The mining software was addressed in a July 2016 indictment, using most of the processing power of the hosts without any secrecy.

The prosecutors explained, “Once a bot was instructed to mine for cryptocurrency, much of its processing speed and power would be unavailable to its legitimate owner.” According to prosecutors, the botnet allowed these three individuals to steal $4 million.

A third member of the Bayrob Group, Tiberiu Danet, pled guilty to eight charges back in November last year, though his sentencing is not scheduled until January 2020.

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Author: Krystle M

Ethereum Replaces Tron at 2nd Spot in China’s Latest Crypto Ranking While Bitcoin Moves Up 2

  • Bitcoin climbs up from 11th to 9th position
  • Just like the first time it gets the highest score among all cryptos in creativity and the lowest in basic technology
  • EOS, Ethereum, and Tron leads the CCID Index

China’s Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID), a research institute that operates under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has released the 15th crypto ranking.

The institute started providing the Global Blockchain technology Assessment Index back in May 2018. The Index originally ranked 28 cryptocurrency projects that has now extended to 35 projects.

This latest index is released amidst the reports of the country preparing to launch its own central bank-issued digital currency. According to a new report, the People’s Bank of China may launch a pilot test of the digital currency in the cities of Suzhou and Shenzhen and onboard telecom giants like Huawei and commercial banks for the same.

Bitcoin Gradually Climbing up

The world’s leading cryptocurrency started at 13th place the same as Verge cryptocurrency on CCID’s list. At that time, it got the highest score (35.6) among all the listed cryptocurrencies in the creativity section and the lowest (39.4) in basic technology.

This time Bitcoin is at 9th spot and the same as the first time it got the best score (42.9) among all the ranked cryptos in creativity and the lowest (42.6) in basic technology. From the 14th Index, Bitcoin is 2 steps up.

Who else Gained and Lost?

For the past some time, EOS has been ranking at the top while the second position that belonged to Tron last time has now taken over by Ethereum. The second-largest cryptocurrency was the winner of the first Index.

Tron founder Justin Sun took to Twitter to share that “TRON was ranked top 3 in this list together with EOS and ETH” in the CCID’s 15th global public blockchain technology assessment index. He added,

“In addition, TRON also ranked No.1 among all Chinese Public Blockchain.”

The index puts Ripple at 18th position while Bitcoin Cash gets 27th place. Other top cryptos in the list include XLM at 10th spot, Monero at 22nd, Tezos 26th, Cardano 29th, Litecoin -32nd, and IOTA 35th.

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Author: AnTy

South Korea Seeks to Tax Transactions Involving CryptoCurrencies In 2020

Capital gains from transactions involving virtual currencies such as bitcoin may soon be taxed in South Korea, according to a report by the Korea Times.

The publication refers to government sources, and confirmation received from the Ministry of Economy and Finance. According to the report, a ministry official stated that related discussions have been occurring, and that there is a revised bill that will be “drawn up” by the first half of next year.

In addition, at the subcommittee level, there is a bill that will enhance transparency of virtual asset trading. If the bill were to pass, it will go into effect a year after the regulation is established.

The wrinkle, according to the report, is that there is still a less-than-clear definition of virtual assets. That is, the government has still not clarified if gains from virtual asset trading are considered gains from stock trading or real estate transactions.

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Author: Silvia A

Former eToro Financial Market Analyst Promise to Offer Cryptocurrency Trading Tutorials

eToro’s former financial market analyst Mati Greenspan who stepped down from his position to start his own research and the consulting firm last month has promised to avail training videos and tutorials for Bitcoin and digital asset trading.

Greenspan said that the new digital asset trading course will be launched soon on Cointelligence with several interactive features, easy to learn and follow trading strategies, the technical analysis of the crypto market, an overview of what impacts the price of crypto and many more such features.

Cointelligence is a well-known platform for crypto centered training courses and also offers many market analytical and surveillance tools as well. One of the more popular options offered on its website is an exchange-rating system.

The firm is also known for offering in-depth research on several topics related to crypto, blockchain, and DLT to corporate customers, whose interest in the decentralized space is rising.

Blockchain and Crypto Trading Courses are in Demand

The emergence of blockchain and cryptocurrencies over the past decade has created a multi-billion dollar industry promising to resolve various issues of different sectors mainly caused because of the centralization. There has been a great surge in demand for skills related to blockchain and crypto, be it smart contract developers or crypto-traders. The job opportunities surrounding the decentralized space is huge.

Given most of the governments studying or working towards crypto need help from such private firms, and as the acceptance of these emerging technology rises the demand for jobs in the centralized space would skyrocket as well.

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Author: Silvia A

Will Blockchain Change the Luxury Goods Market?

When one purchases a luxury product from the retailer, consumers may have questions concerning the origins of the product, and whether it is sustainably sourced. Although the specific retailer may not have an answer, there may now be ways for consumers to get the answers they seek in simple way: through blockchain technology. This transformative technology has the potential to change an industry.

One platform is looking to change the market by attributing a digital identity to luxury products, reports the Montreal Times, and which was originally reported by the New York Times. The company, called Arianee, is a Paris-based company that is working to create a serious number for luxury goods that identify the product’s origin and whether it is sustainable.

One question that arises, according to the report, is who is going to benefit from this type of blockchain – consumers or retailers. David Finlay, Fairtrade Foundations responsible mining manager, stated in the report that such a system might provide a company “more visibility, which is a good thing.” He also questioned without that intervention is “the most important thing for a miner.”

Peer Ledger, a Canadian technology started, answered in the affirmative, according to the report. The company has been working in Tanzania on a pilot project with gold miners by using a blockchain system that allows them to trade gold form specific mine pits.

This is not the first time that Arianee efforts in the luxury goods market have been reported on. In April 2019, the Business of Fashion reported that Airanee was working on a digital product certification that would be governed by the brands that joined. The digital product certification could help safeguard the authenticity of luxury goods, which is an ongoing problem in a market flooded with fakes.

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Author: Hank Klinger