Binance’s Has Been Blacklisted in Russia Since Sept; New Ruling Removes the Restriction

Binance’s Has Been Blacklisted in Russia Since Sept; New Ruling Removes the Restriction

  • The World’s largest crypto exchange in terms of capitalization, Binance, has been removed from the blacklisted websites in Russia following a court order.
  • Binance’s website was formally blacklisted in September last year by the Russian regulators. However, the exchange’s trading in the country has not been affected.

According to a popular news agency, Kommersant, on Jan. 21, Arkhangelsk Regional Court ordered that the Binance website be expunged from the list of blacklisted websites in the country.

The head of Binance Russia, Gleb Kostarev, confirmed to Bitcoin Exchange Guide that the reports were indeed true explaining that the court session was held on Jan. 20. The court’s decision read,

“Issuance and usage of bitcoins are fully decentralized, and there is no way to regulate it by the government, which contradicts the current Russian law.”

Binance’s website was blacklisted in June after Arkhangelsk Regional Court sided with local prosecutors, arguing that the firm was aiding in distributing information regarding Bitcoin, unlicensed crypto in the country. According to Kostarev, Binance Russia was not issued with a formal notification of the court hearing and only realized the blacklisting by the regulator, Roskomnadzor, three months later. Kostarev stated that the failure to notify the company made it difficult to defend its rights properly in court.

The ruling which was seen by CoinDesk indicates that the prosecutors extracted their complaint after Binance moved to challenge the decision.

Cryptos such as Bitcoin is legal in Russia even after the digital assets law was adopted on Jan.1. The law states that cryptos are legal taxable properties. The country also adopted another order requiring civil servants to declare their crypto holdings for taxation purposes.

Kostarev explained that the blacklisting of the firm’s website had no major effect on its trading volumes.

“Though the September ban had no impact on our volumes in Russia, for us, it was important to protect our reputation and appeal in this case.”

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Author: Joseph Kibe

IGT Gets Regulatory Approval to Use Bitcoin & Crypto’s at Slot Machines

The world’s largest slot machines’ maker, International Game Technology Plc, is looking at offering cryptocurrency as a payment option on its casino games like Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks.

It has been only last year that the Nevada Gaming Commission made it easier for casinos to introduce cashless systems and now IGT has gained regulatory approval for using cashless wallets on slot machines.

The company received a patent this week for the means to transfer crypto between a player’s account on the gaming-establishment and an external crypto account, reported Bloomberg.

This would allow players to move BTC and other crypto assets into their digital wallets on a slot machine through their phones. Company spokesman Phil O’Shaughnessy said,

“IGT secured this patent to bolster its industry-leading patent portfolio in anticipation of any possible future direction in regulated gaming involving cryptocurrency.”

Going the crypto route certainly makes sense especially to attract the younger gamblers. According to IGT, a third of guests at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas are between the ages of 21 and 40.

Now that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins prices have started rallying like crazy, everyone wants a taste of cryptocurrencies.

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Author: AnTy

Michael Saylor Offers Elon Musk his ‘Playbook’ to Convert Tesla’s Billions into Trillions

Bitcoin isn’t the world’s second-richest person’s “safe word” and is “almost as bs as fiat money,” it’s just all about DOGE.

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk took over the crypto Twitter on Sunday when he tweeted that Bitcoin is his safe word.

This has been in contrast to his tweet earlier this year when he said “Bitcoin is *not* my safe word.” Over a year before that in 2019, he had said, “Cryptocurrency is my safe word.”

Musk’s Tweet has always been vague, after all, he’s here for the memes.

His weekend shenanigans soon gave way to “Just kidding, who needs a safe word anyway!?” this time as well.

“Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money,” came his Tweet soon after.

Bitcoin fanboy, Michael Saylor, the CEO of MicroStrategy, the first public company to replace cash with Bitcoin in their balance sheet as a reserve asset, jumped in and encouraged the billionaire to make a similar decision and “do your shareholders a $100 billion favor.”

“Other firms on the S&P 500 would follow your lead & in time it would grow to become a $1 trillion favor,” Saylor added in his tweet on Sunday.

This made Musk inquire if “such large transactions (are) even possible.”

Here, Saylor took over and explained how he has purchased more than $1.3 billion in Bitcoin in the past few months and “would be happy to share my playbook with you offline – from one rocket scientist to another,” said the Bitcoin proponent.

Crypto derivatives exchanges FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried also chimed in and recommended his OTC desk and “you can even use TSLA stock as collateral to buy it,” he said.

The price of Bitcoin surged more than 230% this year, having broken above the 2017 peak of $20,000 and now venturing on its price discovery that sees the digital asset making a new all-time high every other day.

In the early hours of Monday or late on Sunday, BTC price BTC -4.90% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 22 909,7304
-1,122.58 -4.90
Volume 46.98 b Change -1,122.58 Open $22 909,7304 Circulating 18.58 m Market Cap 425.6 b
1 h Crypto Exchange EXMO Hacked; BTC, ETH, XRP, ZEC, USDT, and ETC Stolen By Attacker
actually made yet another all-time high to about $24,300.

Today, the market is actually in risk-off mode with Bitcoin falling to $22,400 and TSLA shares also going down 6.3% in pre-market on its debut on the S&P 500 index.

“If Elon Musk/Tesla decided to also allocate part of its treasury holdings to BTC like Microstrategy did, it will embolden other tech companies around the world to do the same,” said one of the partners of the Crypto fund The Spartan Group.

The share price of Musk’s TSLA actually has been on a bull run itself, wilder than Bitcoin’s. Up a whopping 708% YTD and up 862% from March lows, TSLA made a new all-time high at 695 on Friday. These gains added $140 billion to Musk’s $167 billion net worth, making him the second richest person in the world.

Musk ended his crypto session with the tweet “One word: Doge” and changed his Twitter bio to “Former CEO of Dogecoin.”

DOGE jumped over 25% on this, trading above $0.005.

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Author: AnTy

Binance Exchange Rolls Out Visa Crypto Reward Cards to European Customers

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has started to ship its physical Binance Visa cards to customers within the European Economic Area. The exchange is now urging customers within the European Economic Area to order Binance Visa cards or finish up their previous delivery process.

In an announcement made on Dec. 14, the exchange firm said that customers within the EEA region who applied for Binance Visa cards would soon receive them.

According to the announcement, the physical Binance Visa card will allow users to spend up to 8,700 euros equivalent to $10,600, and they can withdraw up to 290 euros or $350 from ATMs. The cards will also attract zero fees up to 2021 and features up to 8% cashback.

Binance also announced that it was adding support for Ether (ETH) in its Binance Visa cards to give customers more options to use cryptocurrency in their daily lives. The announcement stated,

“Rather pay with your Ethereum profits? From now on, you can buy the things you love with Ethereum. Transfer Ethereum to your Card wallet and drag it above the other coins to make it the preferred payment asset.”

Binance officially debuted its Binance crypto debit card within the EEA region in July this year. The exchange has been offering digital Binance Visa Cards. The exchange clarified at the time that physical cards would be processed in the coming months. It seems the exchange is now ready to issue the physical Visa cards.

To boost its reach in Europe and worldwide, Binance acquired a multi-currency virtual wallet, also a Visa debit card platform, Swipe, in July.

Since Binance revealed plans for a Binance Visa Card back in April this year, it has been actively marketing the new product creating awareness among crypto enthusiasts. After Binance introduced the card within the EEA region, the firm revealed its plans to expand in other regions worldwide. Plans are underway to roll out the card in Russia.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

World’s Largest Hedge Fund Manager, Ray Dalio, Is Warming Up to Bitcoin

In his latest Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associate, Ray Dalio, touched upon Bitcoin, in which there have been tons of questions.

“I think that bitcoin (and some other digital currencies) have over the last ten years established themselves as interesting gold-like asset alternatives,” replied Dalio to a question whether Bitcoin is a potential answer to the issue that the global new world fiat monetary system has become because of central bank money printing which in turn has increased inequality in the US. According to Dalio, Bitcoin has both,

“similarities and differences to gold and other limited-supply, mobile (unlike real estate) storeholds of wealth.”

Talking about Bitcoin relative to gold, Dalio has a strong preference for the asset that central banks will want to hold or use in exchanging value while transacting.

However, the thing is, an investor must diversify his investment portfolio, and Bitcoin can be one. He said,

“It could serve as a diversifier to gold and other such storehold of wealth assets.”

“The main thing is to have some of these type of assets (with limited supply, that are mobile, and that are storeholds of wealth), including stocks, in one’s portfolio and to diversify among them.”

Cash is a bad alternative

These positive remarks towards bitcoin came after Dalio said last month that he may be missing something about the digital asset and that he would “love to be corrected.”

“Looks like @RayDalio has been contemplating bitcoin. Definitely seems like he’s coming around,” commented analyst Mati Greenspan on this new development.

During the AMA, Dalio further talked about the flood of money in the market that is lifting the prices of most assets, which are distributing wealth in such a way that it is “threatening to the value of our money and credit.”

“With the amount of money out there, and cash being such a bad alternative, there’s no good reason that stocks couldn’t trade at 50x earnings,” said the hedge fund manager, which, to be honest, also holds true for Bitcoin but at a larger percentage.

“It is important to diversify well in terms of currencies and countries, as well as asset classes,” he said, adding, “I want excellent diversification at this time.”

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Author: AnTy

“Dollar Plummets On US Stimulus Hopes; Bitcoin Hits All-time Peak” Immortalized By Slush Pool

The world’s first Bitcoin mining pool, Slush Pool, has immortalized a significant Bitcoin moment by putting it in a block.

On Thursday, the mining pool that started in 2010 shared that it has included the Reuters’ headline from an article published on Dec. 1st, 2020, in block 659678. the headline in question is.

“Dollar plummets on U.S. stimulus hopes; bitcoin hits an all-time peak.”

This is what epitomizes 2020 for the Bitcoin market. A year in which the leading digital asset started strengthening its position as an inflation hedge in the macro backdrop of money printing.

This is the year when everyone wants in on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Boosted by increased demand from both institutional and retail investors, the digital assets are being seen as a safe haven and a store of value.

During the same time, the USD index is falling to multi-year lows, and according to many high profile names like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, a digital currency “makes the need for the U.S. dollar to be less relevant.” Analyst Mati Greenspan commented,

“(Fink’s) not being quasi-bullish on bitcoin. He’s actually suggesting that bitcoin, or something like it, can potentially eliminate the need for the U.S. dollar to act as the global reserve currency.”

A Shift in Players

Amidst the increasing adoption, a shift in the market has been seen. While the Bitcoin market has been typically dominated by East Asian investors from countries like China, South Korea, and Japan, it is becoming a playground for North American investors.

In 2020, the weekly net inflows of BTC to platforms serving the North American users have jumped more than 7,000 times to over 216,000 BTC in mid-Nov., as per researcher Chainalysis.

As we reported, the BTC price moves have been dominated by the US investors in the 4Q20 rally as institutions continue to pour in. Ciara Sun of Seychelles-based Huobi Global Markets said,

“The sudden influx of institutional interest from the North American region is driving a shift in bitcoin trading, which is rebalancing asset allocations across different exchanges and platforms.”

Among the biggest BTC hubs, East Asia, North America, and Western Europe, the first two account for about half of all transfers. Volumes at four North American exchanges have also doubled in 2020 to 1.6 million BTC per week at the end of November compared to trading at 14 major east Asian exchanges seeing only a 16% jump to 1.4 million.

However, it is still too early to call it a fundamental shift.

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Author: AnTy

Diehard Bitcoin Believers are What makes BTC so Valuable: AngelList Founder

The world’s largest cryptocurrency is known for being programmable money and a limited supply of 21 million BTC.

The digital gold is slowly climbing up the ranks of the largest asset by market cap. It is portable, fungible, and, most importantly, censorship-resistant.

In 2020, the leading cryptocurrency attracted legendary investors, celebrities, and companies to adopt it as a safe haven asset, a hedge against inflation.

But according to AngelList founder Naval Ravikant, who is a crypto and DeFi proponent, it’s not the institutions that have been coming in masses to Bitcoin this year or even the miners who are responsible for securing the network that make it valuable.

It is because of the bitcoin community that’s simply crazy about it.

“Bitcoin isn’t valuable due to tech or miners or exchanges or institutions. Bitcoin is valuable in direct proportion to diehard believers that agree to transact directly with each other under its rules,” said Naval on Twitter on Friday.

“Someone, somewhere, is always ready to give you their house for Bitcoin. It’s the best such ruleset ever designed. Its believers are ideological,” he added.

Many still don’t believe in this digital asset, which can’t be printed mindlessly by the central banks, but this is the side you need to be on to, according to Ravikant, who’s an investor in both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

“Betting against Bitcoin has been, and will continue to be, an expensive proposition.”

And if you think you can change his mind, that is impossible because it can only be changed if Bitcoin suffers an “irrecoverable technological failure.” Since it was created in 2009, bitcoin has been running non-stop, with its running time being 99.9%.

“Certain attacks due to lack of fungibility and failure of Bitcoin to upgrade in response. Emergence of a better technological platform with a diehard user base” are other reasons that could change Ravikant’s mind about the flagship cryptocurrency, but in his opinion, “they’re each unlikely and priced in.”

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Author: AnTy

Ray Dalio Admits “Missing Something about Bitcoin,” says Would Love to be Corrected

The co-founder of the world’s largest hedge fund manager, Bridgewater Associates, might not be convinced that Bitcoin can be a currency. Still, he is also admitting that he might be missing something about the leading cryptocurrency.

“I might be missing something about Bitcoin, so I’d love to be corrected,” said Ray Dalio in a tweet on Tuesday.

This tweet came in response to someone’s comment on Dalio not practicing what he preaches. Dalio’s original tweet talked about practicing to “appreciate the art of thoughtful disagreement,” being critical to society and very relevant in getting the very right answers together.

“His opinion on BTC at the moment clearly reflects a lack of deep insight in the matter,” said one Twitter user.

After saying that he might be missing something about Bitcoin, he reiterated his view on why he has problems with BTC being an effective currency.

The issues are simple: “Bitcoin is not very good as a medium of exchange because you can buy much with it,” he said, adding because it is too volatile for most merchants to use but added, “correct me if I’m wrong.”

The billionaire investor further pointed out that it is this volatility that makes it “not very good as a store-hold of wealth” and also because “it has little correlation with the prices of what I need to buy so owning it doesn’t protect my buying power.”

And last but not least, he thinks, if Bitcoin “becomes successful enough to compete and be threatening enough to currencies that governments control, the governments will outlaw it and make it too dangerous to us.”

Last week, when Dalio talked about the government banning the open-source, peer-to-peer system, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has cut it down with a simple “No.”

Dalio just “can’t imagine” that central banks, businesses, multinational companies, or big institutional investors are using it. But again,

“If I’m wrong about these things I would love to be corrected.”

Given the kind of adoption Bitcoin has been seeing from the public companies and institutional investors in 2020, Dalio certainly needs to take a deep dive into Bitcoin to understand it better.

Meanwhile, BTC continues to climb higher and higher, reaching levels not seen since January 2018. Today, BTC/USD jumped to nearly $17,900.

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Author: AnTy

World’s Largest Custodian Pursues DeFi Project to Change its Brand Name

BNY Mellon, the world’s largest custodian and asset services company with nearly $2 trillion in assets under management (AUM), asks the decentralized assets management project Melon Protocol to change its brand name.

“BNY Mellon has deployed a team of lawyers to pursue taking the Melon name away from our community,” shared the project on Twitter.

As such, they are now hunting for a new name, adding, “our community & values extends beyond a name, so we’ll focus efforts on taking their outdated business model & democratizing it so that ANYONE can be a fund manager.”

This isn’t the first time BNY Mellon has targeted the project. Two years back, they sent a cease and desist letter to Melonport, the Zug-based startup that built the Melon Protocol, allowing asset managers to create their own tokenized investment vehicles.

Started as a private company, in February 2019, it delivered v1.0 of the protocol and handed the control over to Melon Council DAO.

The investment company at that time also declared concerns regarding trademark applications by Melonport and announced that they would file an opposition against MELON CHAIN, MELON PROTOCOL, MELON FUND, and MELON MAIL trademark registrations.

Built on Ethereum, its DeFi protocol has $1.8 million of total funds locked (TVL), down from a peak of $2.5 million last month.

It’s token MLN, trading at $24.44, has a market cap of just over $13 million.

On Friday, Coinbase Custody announced deposit and withdrawal support for the token, yet another addition to the San Francisco-based crypto exchange’s DeFi steak that has them listing many other DeFi tokens in the past couple of months.

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Author: AnTy

Brazil’s Hashdex Launches World’s First Crypto ETF in Partnership with Nasdaq

Brazilian manager Hashdex has obtained the approval to launch the world’s first cryptocurrency Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), in partnership with Nasdaq.

Named Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF, the product will be listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, as per local media reports.

It is expected to be available by the end of the year, which will replicate the Crypto Nasdaq Index, a joint effort of Nasdaq and Hashdex, which aims to attract institutional investment in cryptos.

Hashdex already has three crypto funds available for investment, with the most accessible one being Discovery that has a minimum investment of $500 and a management fee of 1% per year.

While in the US, several attempts at Bitcoin ETF have been rejected by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Hashdex has chosen the island specifically because of Bermuda’s crypto-friendly regulations.

According to Marcelo Sampaio, CEO of Hashdex, Nasdaq’s formal entry into the digital assets market is yet another confirmation that investments in crypto are being viewed with greater interest and confidence. He said,

“This process should also speed up the entry of institutional investors in this segment. It is a trend that increasingly becomes concrete.”

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Author: AnTy