Russian Court Denies Appeal for $900K Compensation for Stolen Bitcoin; It’s Not Property

A victim of a kidnapping in Russia who lost $90,000 worth of Russian Rubles and 99.7 in stolen Bitcoin, appealed to the court almost two years ago, to force the kidnappers to return his stolen bitcoin worth about $900,000 when the crime was committed.

However, the judge ruled against the victim, citing Bitcoin is not a legal tender in the country and is not deemed as property and thus cannot be returned.

The judge ruled the kidnappers must return a portion of the stolen Russian Rubel and sentenced them to 7-10 years of prison. The court order denying the victim possession of his stolen bitcoin could still be challenged in a higher court.

Russian government and regulators have maintained a passive stance on crypto despite them trying to regulate it under current property laws. Despite the court orderings and several deadlines, the status of cryptocurrencies in Russia is still uncertain.

The latest draft bill titled “On Digital Financial Assets,” recommends stricter measures to curb the use of digital currencies. However, if the bill is approved, it would categorize Bitcoin as a property that the victim can use to claim his stolen bitcoins back.

While the country hasn’t taken any concrete steps to legalize the trading or use of crypto, Russia saw a massive boom in usage during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The lockdown imposed by almost all severely hit countries for a couple of months saw a complete restriction on accessing public services, including banks. This forced the public to look for alternatives.

Russia Not Keen on Having an Alternate Financial System

Most of the countries believe legalizing bitcoin would put their financial sovereignty at risk as people would start jumping ships to a newer form of currency. This is the reason many countries are reluctant to regulate bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, including Russia. Even those countries which have regulated it has made it legal only for trading and not to use as a tender.

The Russian Central Bank holds a similar view and believes bitcoin cannot be granted a legal tender status, however, many other Russian government agencies believe banning is not an option as it would create a black market outside the jurisdictions of the government and it could also impact the flourishing blockchain industry in the country.

The Ministry of Economic Development believes a ban on cryptocurrencies could force a nascent sector out of the country, which would then cause an adverse effect on its economy in the long term.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Industry Giants, BHP and Baosteel, Make First Iron Ore Trade for $14 Million Using Blockchain

Mining conglomerate, BHP Group has revealed that it has transacted a $14 million worth of iron ore trade through a blockchain-based platform which has been created by MineHub Technologies based in Canada.

The transaction involved BHP Group and China Baowu Steel Group, which is an offshoot of Chinese giant steelmaker China Baoshan Iron & Steel, which is mostly referred to as Baosteel.

Last month, BHP stated that it was in the process of piloting a blockchain-based iron ore trade with the Chinese conglomerate Baosteel.

In a statement shared exclusively with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, during the transaction process, BHP utilized the blockchain platform to process the contract terms virtually, exchange the documents as well as offer real-time cargo visibility.

The piloting of the blockchain-enabled trading by BHP is part of the firm’s plan to digitize its documentation procedures for its commodities trading fully. According to Michiel Hovers, who is BHP’s sales and marketing executive, the mining industry requires a paradigm shift when it comes to documentation. He said:

“The bulk commodity industry needs a digital revolution to reduce physical documentation processes.”

Baowu Steel, which is state-owned, has previously invested in blockchain technology in efforts to digitize its trade. Last month, the firm conducted what it said was the inaugural blockchain-enabled yuan-denominated foreign letter of credit (LC) with another mining giant called Rio Tinto. The firm used the Contour platform that has been developed on Corda technology R3, which is an enterprise-focused blockchain solutions firm.

BHP’s journey in the blockchain space can be traced back to 2017 after Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum founder announced that the mining giant was developing a blockchain-based application that will help in tracking natural resources.

In February last year, the mining leader in partnership with a Japanese based shipping firm NYK successfully tested blockchain tech.

The Canadian-based MineHub Technology explained that the BHP testing was just one of the many in the pipeline, which will involve its blockchain platform. The firm also stated that the testing comes at an opportune time when various crooked characters are taking advantage of the supply chain uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Wirecard Collapses With $3.7 Billion of Debt, Leaving Crypto-Card Holders in Limbo

  • German Payment Processor, Wirecard, Collapses with £3bn worth of debt
  • The news comes as Ernst and Young refused to sign off on its payment records from 2019.

From its Chief Executive being arrested on suspicion of market manipulation to the horrific admission to the regulatory body, Ernst and Young (EY), that £1.7bn of its case “probably did not exist.” The German payment processor and Fintech, Wirecard, has collapsed, leaving many holders of its associated Crypto Card in limbo.

Within Munich’s court, the company stated that it would be filing, citing its “impending insolvency and over-indebtedness.” According to recent statements by both EY and Wirecard, this would lead to the 5,300 employees.

One of the interesting, yet disconcerting features of this collapse is that Ernst and Young, the corporate services and auditor, failed to press Wirecard for its financial history. An activity that took place over three years.

In addition to the collapse of Wirecard, its UK-based subsidiary, Wirecard Card Solutions, has been ordered to cease operations by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) the same day. Consequently, all cards issued by Wirecard have been deactivated, including those belonging to crypto services like Crypto.com, and TenX.

It proved to be a pretty embarrassing situation for both companies; however, tenuous links to Wirecard might be. For example, TenX and Crypto.com remained silent with the announcement by Wirecard of nearly £3bn in missing assets.

Both companies, however, have been outspoken is in their support of affected customers, however. Crypto.com’s CEO, Kris Marszalek, has since announced that cardholders will be 100% reimbursed by the company within 48 hours.

TenX has since posted that customers will not see their assets affected by the recent collapse of Wirecard; reiterating that existing assets are safe, while also stating that it is currently working on getting their cards up and operational again:

“Please be reassured that all customer funds are safe and remain accessible as the TenX Wallet is unaffected…The TenX team is working to re-enable the affected services as soon as we can. We apologize for the disruption and will continue to provide updates to you whenever we have them.”

With the ongoing developments involving Wirecard, Crypto.com’s Kris Marszalek has further added that it is also seeking alternative card providers to bring its card services up once again. This is according to a blog post the company provided recently.

“Separately, we’re working on transferring the card program to a new provider, so that we can resume the issuing of cards in the UK and Europe and allow existing and new customers to benefit from our card program again.”

However, further requests for comment regarding the collapse or activities of Wirecard have not been met with comment.

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Author: James Fox

800 BTC Transfer has Investors Fearful of Mt. Gox Dump After Rehabilitation Plan Extended

On March 31st, 800 BTC worth over $5 million was transferred from now-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, as per Whale Alert, a live tracker of large crypto transactions from and to exchanges for cryptocurrencies.

Investors are now fearful of another sell-off as Mt Gox gets ready to dump BTC in the market. This movement of funds came hot on the heel of the exchange’s rehabilitation plan pushed back to July 1.

Trader Jacob Canfield said Mt. Gox is one of the bearish narratives in play for bitcoins as its trustee comes “back to sell some more.”

Currently, BTC/USD is trading just above $6,200, down 3.49% while recording minus 14% returns YTD.

Deadline of the rehabilitation plan extended

The exchange collapsed in early 2014 declaring insolvency amidst the allegations of fraud and mismanagement. The CEO of the exchange was also found guilty of tampering with financial records.

The hackers stole 850,000 BTC in 2014 and the exchange had 200,000 BTC in an old-format wallet. As per the latest count, Mt. Gox estate held about 141,600 BTC and 142,800 BCH. The trustee, attorney Nobuaki Kobayashi, sold off about $400 million worth of BTC in early 2018 causing the market to crash.

In June 2018, Mt. Gox entered civil rehabilitation. – Source: CryptoGround

As per the draft rehabilitation plan in circulation, the head of the creditor meeting, Kobayashi laid down the details about the wind-down of the exchange. The draft further mentioned that payouts will be in the form of claims filed, that would involve Bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and because they would be insufficient, in fiat currency like Japanese yen.

“Most of these creditors are generally bitcoin specialties themselves who want to remain in the market; so to sell off BTC and pay them in fiat not only locks them into a price at exit and caps their potential upside but also would lead to a sell-off in the market, which, as happened in 2018, can get messy,” Alex Ortega, managing principal of Iverson Capital Group, the first company that bought Mt. Gox creditor claims in 2016 told CoinDesk.

The original court-ordered deadline for the rehabilitation was March 31 but because of the “matters that require closer examination with regard to the rehabilitation plan, it has become necessary to extend the submission deadline for the rehabilitation plan,” reads the notice.

Following the meeting, the Tokyo District Court granted Kaboyashi’s deadline extension which was already extended to in October 2019.

“In light of the foregoing, the Rehabilitation Trustee filed a motion to seek an extension of the submission deadline of the rehabilitation plan at the Tokyo District Court, and, on March 27, 2020, the Tokyo District Court issued an order to extend the submission deadline for the rehabilitation plan to July 1, 2020,” the notice added.

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Author: AnTy

Warren Buffett Is Wrong, Everyone Should Have 1% of Assets in Bitcoin: Virgin Galactic Chairman

  • Have 1% of net worth in something completely uncorrelated to the world
  • However, there’s no knowing if bitcoin will remain uncorrelated if “all other risk assets if shit really hits the fan,” – said analyst Ceteris Paribus
  • Also, markets are falling apart which “seems to have crept into crypto” and there are no fresh funds moved into crypto in the current state of panic – economist and trader Alex Kruger

Chamath Palihapitiya, the chairman of Virgin Galactic, yet again doubled down on bitcoin being a “fantastic hedge.”

While talking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” the billionaire investor disagreed with Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett on the value of bitcoin, that Buffett earlier this week said has no value because cryptos do not produce anything. The long term bitcoin critic said, he doesn’t own any bitcoin or crypto and he never will. Palihapitiya said on Wednesday,

“He is completely wrong and outdated on this point of view.”

“I think he’s an exceptional person. I’ve learned an enormous amount, both from afar and the few interactions I’ve had with him.”

1% of net worth should be in an uncorrelated asset

A bitcoin proponent, Palihapitiya said his views on bitcoin being an important part of an investors’ portfolio haven’t changed since the last time he wrote about it in Bloomberg in 2013.

“Everybody should have 1% of their assets in bitcoin specifically,” said Palihapitiya, who has also founded the investment firm Social Capital.

In the current environment where stocks are having the second-biggest drop ever amidst the deadly coronavirus scare and where the financial industry is running on exuberant amount of leverage, bitcoin is the money under your mattress.

Also, in a world where every financial instrument is correlated, an average individual citizen of any country in the world needs an uncorrelated hedge when there’s a lot of risk to the downside. Palihapitiya said,

“I don’t think when you wake up and see a coronavirus scare and the Dow down 2,000, you should not be going in and buying bitcoin. That is an idiotic strategy.”

“I think a reasonable strategy is to say 1% of my net worth should be in something completely uncorrelated to the world and how the world works. You quietly over some period of time accumulate a position and then just never look at it again and hope that that insurance under the mattress never has to come due. But, if it does, it will protect you.”

No knowing if Bitcoin will remain uncorrelated

Analyst Ceteris Paribus agrees with Palihapitiya but says there’s no knowing if bitcoin will remain uncorrelated if “all other risk assets if shit really hits the fan.”

In the past 10 years, bitcoin only lived in one type of world, a risk-on period with near-constant quantitative easing, but not through a financial crisis. Paribus said,

“What we do know is that bitcoin is uncorrelated to other assets in this particular environment.”

However, historically uncorrelated assets can converge in a time of crises, argues the analyst. As we saw this week, with bitcoin falling along with the stock market, it is perceived as risk and the correlation may further “increase with other risk assets (stocks) in a true time of panic.”

However, “portfolios should include it” still. Also, there’s’ no knowing if Bitcoin has been doing bitcoin things or having correlated risk-off moves.

Economist and trader Alex Kruger also pointed out that it’s good to be mindful of global markets risk appetite, even if “crypto is a mostly uncorrelated asset class.” Markets are falling apart which he says “seems to have crept into crypto.” He added,

“there had been lots of talk recently of traditional asset allocators moving funds into crypto. It is hard to see them moving fresh funds into crypto if the world is in a state of panic and their portfolios are suffering. Same applies to regular investors.”

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Author: AnTy

Stellar (XLM) Price Analysis (February 26)

Key Highlights

  • XLM/USD price worth has been relatively declining in sequential order.
  • The XLM/USD pair has hit a low value of $0.06000.
  • Caution needs to be exercised if the crypto-market eventually runs in a consolidation moving mode afterward around its major demand zone.

Stellar (XLM) Price Analysis

  • Major supply zones: $0.08000, $0.09000, $0.10000
  • Major demand zones: $0.05000, $0.04000, $0.03000

The XLM/USD price worth has been relatively declining in a sequential order while it could not surge northward past the $0.08000 supply zone on February 19Before the current declining manner, the pair had recorded a line of choppy price movements around $0.07000 mark until February 24-trading sessions.

As at the time of writing, the pair has hit a low value of $0.06000. And that point is going to serve as a vital zone in deciding any further price actions of the XLM/USD trade. But, in the meantime, selling and buying orders may be suspended for a while.

 Stellar Technical Indicators Reading

Since around February 14, the XLM/USD market trend has been in a falling outlook. Around February 24, the 14-day SMA trading indicator attempted to touch the 50-day SMA trend-line from below. But, now, they are separated by a small space. And, they point to the south over the XLM/USD market’s trading zone. The Stochastic Oscillators have gone down in the oversold region to signal potential consolidation moving modes. That suggests a need to exercise some degree of patience in launching a position at this time.

Conclusion

The XLM/USD bearish market trend is now trading around a key technical point at $0.06000. And, the market strength-measuring indicators of Stochastic Oscillators have depicted a tail end for the pair’s current bearish moves. In other words, the XLM/USD market bulls may soon be on a gradual process to gain the crypto-market advantage.


Disclaimer: The presented information is subjected to market condition and may include the very own opinion of the author. Please do your ‘very own’ market research before making any investment in cryptocurrencies. Neither the writer nor the publication (bitcoinexchangeguide.com) holds any responsibility for your financial loss.

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Author: Ben Jordan

IOHK Grants University of Wyoming $500K in ADA Tokens to Launch a Cardano Blockchain Research Lab

Cardano’s parent company, the IOHK, has funded $500K worth of ADA tokens to Wyoming University. This will be allocated to the establishment of a new research lab focusing on blockchain development for industry applications.

IOHK plans to capitalize on this position by scaling its academic print in blockchain tech engineering. The firm has previously invested in other universities; Tokyo Institute of Technology, University of Athens and University of Edinburgh are among the higher learning institutions that currently host an IOHK blockchain lab.

The University of Wyoming (UW) will however offer a more practical approach in developing smart contracts on cardano’s blockchain. According to the official announcement on Feb 14, the UW blockchain center is set to provide tools as well as an applied lab to facilitate new innovations on cardano. In addition, IOHK included a verification tool to authenticate and map out counterfeits riding on cardano’s reputation.

Charles Hoskinson, founder and CEO of IOHK, has since detailed on the practicality of this partnership with UW;

“This is a very applied laboratory, where instead of doing peer theory, we’re actually building real-life things and writing real software that will enter production very quickly.”

Wyoming’s Blockchain Prospects

Wyoming is among the few states with a crypto-friendly legislation especially on digital assets recognition. It is therefore no coincidence that Hoskinson and his team are seeking to establish a significant presence within this state. Furthermore, the newly launched UW blockchain lab will receive $500K from the state of Wyoming to hit the $1 million mark in funding.

Neal Theobald, UW’s acting president, welcomed the support from IOHK and Wyoming state noting that it would place them at a better position in blockchain innovation. He also added that UW is proud to be at the forefront of a new tech that is promising and exciting. As it stands, IOHK intends to expand its knowledge and resources in blockchain traceability, supply chain processes with the help of research from UW university.

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Author: James W

CZ Says BNB Burns Not Priced In after 2.2 Million Binance Coin Taken Out of Circulation Forever

  • Binance burns $38.8 million worth of B&B and raking in a profit of $194 million 4Q19
  • CEO changpeng Zhao, CZ is “mystified” that BNB is down 54% from its ATH but isn’t worried much

Today, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance conducted its 10th BNB burn which has been the second biggest burn in USD terms, at $38.8 million, and the 3rd highest burn in terms of BNB, at 2.2 million BNB.

This 10th quarterly burn, Binance said represents the first full quarter that factored in the performance of its most recent new products, margin trading and an increasing roster of fiat-to-crypto options.

4Q19 was also the first full quarter of Binance Futures operations that “hit the ground running.” The daily trading volumes of its bitcoin futures surpasses its spot exchanges. Just this week, Binance launched three out of its nine perpetual contracts.

Although in the last quarter, Bitcoin price lost 10.30% of its value, Binance still made a profit of $194 million, up from $185 million made last year and any of 2019’s quarter, on the basis that Binance burns its native tokens worth 20% of its profits every quarter.

In the recent quarters BNB is in fact, “slowly but surely” decoupling from the core operations of the exchange, Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao said.

Scarcity and Increasing Demand making a Bullish Case

The BNB burn event is common knowledge but according to CZ, it still isn’t priced in.

This means the available information about Binance to burn 100 million BNB isn’t already reflected in its price.

Given that burn means the supply is cut down, Binance is creating a scarcity of BNB while constantly finding means to make BNB more usable as CZ said about BNB’s utility, “We began 2019 with 30+ use cases, and we ended it with 200+.”

Binance is doing everything to increase the demand for BNB while the regular burns keep on tightening the supply, which is bullish for BNB price.

However, BNB price hasn’t been able to feel the effects. The event didn’t have any effect on the price as BNB is currently trading at 17.95, down 0.20% in the past 24 hours, as per Coincodex. The ninth largest cryptocurrency, however, is up over 30% YTD.

CZ is actually “mystified” about the fact that BNB is down 54% from its all-time high (ATH) at $39.45 but he isn’t worried about it much because he sees it as a “long-term play.”

The CEO ensures that 2020 is the year of adoption and intends to be “a major player in bringing that widespread adoption worldwide.”

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Author: AnTy

TRX Bagholders Must Get Ready For More Fireworks As Tron Supply To Shoot Up On New Year’s Eve

  • 33 billion TRX worth $450 million to be released in the market on January 1st, 2020
  • This 50% of TRX circulating supply could lead to a drop in its price
  • “People are realizing that many of the altcoins had exaggerated valuations beyond what the projects were worth,” says analyst Mati Greenspan

Tron Foundation is going to be releasing a whopping 33 billion TRX, worth about $450 million in the market on New Year’s Day.

These 33 million were locked by the non-profit organization after Tron made its shift from Ethereum blockchain to its mainnet. A few days before its Independence Day on June 25th in 2018, Tron Foundation CEO Justin Sun, who is the founder of the cryptocurrency TRX announced a token burn of 1 billion TRX.

At that time the organization burned 50 million USD that Justin Sun said was “the most amount of money destroyed in human history.”

At the mainnet launch, out of the total supply of 99 billion TRX, about 33 billion TRX held by Tron Foundation were locked in 1000 addresses of TRON Mainnet. These TRX would have been then unlocked on January 1st 2020, which is just about here.

A Dump Incoming?

33 billion TRX is about 50% of the current circulating supply of 66.6 billion TRX in the market, increasing the supply of TRX in the market.

While the supply will see an increment of 50%, the demand remains the same, which has been slow in the second half of the year. This means the price could see a fall.

At the time of writing, the 12th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $910 million is currently trading at $0.0134. TRX registered negative returns of 30% on a year-to-date basis and is also down 96% from its all-time high of $0.302.

However, TRX is not the only which is a bad performer, a vast majority of altcoins are crashing hard. This Mati Greenspan, founder of investment firm Quantum Economics says is because the “entire industry is returning back to Bitcoin” during this current period of “great consolidation.” He added,

“People are realizing that many of the altcoins had exaggerated valuations beyond what the projects were worth.”

Amidst this bad news, however, Sun has come up with another announcement of an announcement that he says would be good for TRX and the Tron ecosystem. He tweeted,

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Author: AnTy

Lithuanian Central Bank Launches A Digital Currency, But It’s Not What You Think

  • The new coin will be worth 19.18 euros, in honor of the passing of the Act of Independence of Lithuania.
  • Customers will need to collect all six varieties of the blockchain-based coin to cash in for a real-world silver coin.

The Act of Independence of Lithuania has been a major event in the history of this country, and it will soon be honored in the blockchain industry, according to board member Marius Jurgilas. According to a recent press release from the Bank of Lithuania, the financial institution will be releasing a digital collector coin, based on blockchain, in the coming spring of next year. The new coin will look like a credit card in its size and shape, but will be worth 19.18 euros, due to the passing of this historical act on February 16th, 1918.

The institution plans to release a total of 24,000 tokens to the public, which will be hosted on a blockchain layer. Each of the tokens will show one of the 20 signatories who were a part of enacting the Act of Independence of Lithuania. Based on the area of activity for the signatories, the coins will be divided into six groups of 4,000 coins per category.

As the collector makes their purchase, they will receive six tokens, which have been randomly selected. The collector needs to redeem one coin in each of the six categories to redeem for a tangible silver coin. Consumers that want to purchase the tokens can seek them out on the central bank’s online store. Ultimately, the bank is hoping that these incentives will engage a new generation of coin collectors, as there will also be “elements of play” involved in these purchases.

This whole experience for the bank is about learning the technology, according to Jurgilas, considering that they will gain more experience in the creation of virtual assets. As central banks bring up crypto assets and the potential development of their own virtual currencies, this type of enterprise sets up the bank for many other opportunities. This is just the first step in their initiative to get involved in fintech.

In October, the central bank announced two big contenders for their blockchain platform that is in development, IBM and Tieto.

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Author: Krystle M