MobileGo Becomes 2nd Biggest ICO Ever, Netting Over $26 Million

MobileGo has gathered over $26 million dollars making it the second most successful crowd sale in the cryptosphere, and the fourth in the world.

[Note: This is a sponsored article]


MobileGo Raises Over $26 Million & Counting

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are changing the way projects are being crowdfunded, creating a new generation blockchain-based tokens like appcoins and assets. Although ICOs started with Mastercoin’s relatively modest sum of roughly 500,000 USD, they are now taking new proportions.

As time passes by, it seems that investors are becoming less wary when it comes to investing in blockchain-based crowdfunds. Now, it is not uncommon for ICOs to gather millions on their first day (or minutes) and that’s exactly what MobileGo, one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns in history, has done.

Kicking its ICO off with 4 million dollars on the first day, MobileGo has attracted over $26 million (or 6,800 BTC) so far, making it one of the most successful ICOs ever, second only to the DAO, and the fourth most successful crowdfunding project in the whole world. And the ICO isn’t even over yet, with five days left until the end.

Hosted by GameCredits Inc., the MobileGo ICO allows users to exchange several established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Waves, GAME, and others in exchange for MobileGo (MGO) tokens, which will bring several benefits to its holders and help shape the environment of the GameCredit’s Moblie Store, a platform for mobile games with over 300 games by 150 different developers.

ICOs: Hype or New Paradigm?

The MobileGo ICO will not only help fund the Gamecredit’s Mobile Store marketing and branding efforts, but it will also gamify the platform through the use of Ethereum-based smart contract, allowing users to compete among themselves in a decentralized manner and to earn rewards and reputation while doing so.

The MobileGo token features some of the latest trends in the blockchain space such as dual-blockchain capabilities and a buyback program that will see the token supply decrease over time. The dual-blockchain functionality allows users to transfer tokens between the Ethereum and Waves blockchains through the use of BlockSwap technology.

However, the main aspect of these tokens are not their technical characteristics per se, but rather the function they serve within the platform. Although the GameCredit’s Mobile Store already features its own cryptocurrency, GAME, Ivica Simatovic, CEO at GameCredits Inc, explained to Bitcoinist why a second token is necessary.

GameCredits CEO Ivica Simatovic

He said:

The MobileGO token will be used to provide many important features to Gamecredits Store based on smart contracts. In this store there will be 2 tokens: 1 for processing (Gamecredits) and another for tournaments, betting, virtual market place (MGO).

Not only that, but MobileGo will also reward customers with discounts, free entrance to VIP tournaments and access to private game beta stages.

“This store will be a unique and special place for gamers where they will receive services they can not find in other places,” adds Simatovic.

Money is Pouring into Crypto

Although ICOs are not new, they are certainly one of the new crazes in the world of investment. Not only has the global cryptocurrency market cap doubled in size in May alone, millions and millions of dollars kept flowing into ICOs like MobileGo, Gnosis, Aragon,etc. with many more in the pipeline.

Although some have concerns regarding Initial Coin Offerings and the lack of regulation or guidelines, ICOs are providing new ways for entrepreneurs to get their projects off the ground, which wouldn’t be nearly as easy through banks and VC firms.

While undoubtedly uncharted territory, ICO are shaping the future of technology allowing developers to experiment with blockchain technology at will and to build decentralized and trustless applications, which were not possible before.  

What’s your take on the current ICOs trend? Share your thoughts below! 


Images courtesy of Gamecredits, Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Price is Steaming to $2000 as Traditional Investors Get Onboard

Bitcoin price has broken yet another price record, this time surpassing the $1,900 mark and dipping its toes in the mainstream market audience. Could this be a pivotal moment for cryptocurrencies?


Bitcoin Price in All-Time High Territory, Again

Bitcoin has once more broken its previous all-time high record today. Currently sitting at $1,925, over $168 Million were exchanged in the last 24 hours in the BTC/USD markets. The rally comes following the mild setback caused by the WanaCry Ransomware situation last week.

As traditional markets plummet, reaching the biggest U.S. market selloff of the year on Wednesday, Bitcoin positions itself as a safe haven asset and a hedge against general political and economical uncertainty, attracting concerned investors that are looking to diversify their portfolio.

The continuous Bitcoin rally is also connected to the new permissive stance taken by regulators throughout the world. In Japan, for example, BTC is surging in popularity due to a law that has recently passed to recognize Bitcoin as a legal form of online payment, removing the consumer tax and putting regulatory guidelines in place for Bitcoin businesses, resulting in 18 exchange applications in one month.

Not only that, but the revision of the Bitcoin ETF by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is also currently underway, giving Bitcoinists everywhere a glimpse of hope that this decision may be the one that see the COIN ETF listed on the Bats stock exchange.

Mainstream Tipping Point?

Despite Bitcoin’s position as a global, apolitical currency that is neither issued nor regulated by any government or central bank, Bitcoin is now reaching mainstream audiences with more frequency and impact than ever before.

bitcoin value

In the aftermath of the plummeting markets, CNBC has actually advised investors to consider Bitcoin as an investment stating that it “may look attractive as a sort of safe-haven trade.” The article published yesterday reads:

As stocks find a bit of relief after the market’s worst day of the year, investors may be looking for new bets in a market with growing uncertainty. Looking to international markets and finding refuge in bitcoin are two suggestions strategists are making.

In the Wednesday interview quoted in the article, Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management mentioned Bitcoin’s appeal as the “new gold”, highlighting the safe-haven property found in both assets.

Boris Schlossberg, who seems rather bullish about Bitcoin said that “[Bitcoin is] holding at very steady highs right now, and typically when you have a big move — whether it be any kind of instrument — generally you’re going to have some continuation.”

Price Up, But Dominance at Record Low

But if you think Bitcoin is doing well this year, then check out other crypto assets like Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and Ripple, who have risen in value several times over during 2017, pushing the global cryptocurrency market cap to unprecedented heights.

The market cap of all the cryptocurrencies combined has grown from roughly 17 billion to 66 billion in 2017. What’s more is that it has already doubled so far in the month of May!

IThis has changed the cryptocurrency landscape completely, reducing Bitcoin’s dominance from roughly 80% in January to 48% now.

In other words, capital is pouring into cryptocurrencies and it’s not just Bitcoin!

As these assets begin to gain traction, Bitcoin could eventually lose its place as the top dog to other cryptocurrencies, despite its current advantage as the only truly battle-tested cryptocurrency with the most immutable blockchain. This is, if nothing else, a clear sign that scaling is needed in order to accommodate users that are now joining the cryptocurrency revolution.

But even so, as the fee and transaction time situation worsens for Bitcoin, its value and popularity continues to grow, revealing a desperate need for an apolitical, global and deflationary currency that citizens can trust to preserve their savings and financial freedom.

Are we entering a pivotal moment for Bitcoin and altcoins alike? Is this a bubble? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.


Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, CoinMarketCap, Shutterstock

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Bitcoin is Still Illegal in These 6 Countries

As the Bitcoin revolution continues to spread throughout the world, there are still some places where buying or using Bitcoin is illegal and can get you in trouble.


Bitcoin Still Illegal in Some Countries

As Bitcoin’s popularity continues to grow throughout the world, some governments are beginning to realize its benefits and potential and are integrating Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in their economy, rather than trying to punish those that use it with restrictive policies and exaggerated taxes.

Japan, for example, has recently passed a law that makes Bitcoin a legal form of online payment, removing taxes and setting up a regulatory framework for Bitcoin-based businesses. Australia has also taken a stance in favor of cryptocurrencies and removed the double-tax that was penalizing average Bitcoin users.

However, not all countries are as forward thinking especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Believe it or not, Bitcoin is still illegal in some countries, which says a lot about Bitcoin as a disruptive technology.

To be clear though, the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency is not illegal because it poses any risk to the citizens of the countries we will list. Rather, it provides an alternative, open, P2P monetary system — and an exit for some  — which is seen as a threat to their centrally-controlled, legacy monetary system.

All of the countries listed below banned Bitcoin in 2014, following the Mt. Gox disaster. As Bitcoin begins to gain traction throughout the world, it’s possible that these countries may eventually change their stance on Bitcoin and digital currencies.

Vietnam

Although Bitcoin can be freely used by citizens, the State Bank of Vietnam issued a statement in February 2014 warning against the use of Bitcoin and prohibiting credit institutions to deal with the cryptocurrency.

The statement reads:

All bitcoin exchanges that allow users to trade anonymously, therefore, can be used to launder dirty money, sell drugs, hide from paying taxes, exchange and pay for illegal activities.

In December 2016, the government of Vietnam stated that it will consolidate cryptocurrency regulations as its current provisions “fall short.”

Iceland

Bitcoin’s legality in Iceland is not very clear. According to a statement issued in March 2014 by the Central Bank of Iceland, dealing with Bitcoin may violate the Icelandic Foreign Exchange Act, which specifies that Icelandic currency cannot leave the country and that foreign currency cannot be used in the country.

iceland

Bitcoin mining is legal in the country and so is transacting with Bitcoin, but apparently if those Bitcoins cannot be purchased from a foreign exchange or have to be mined in Iceland. This leaves a lot of room for questions. The statement reads:

There is no authorization to purchase foreign currency from financial institutions in Iceland or to transfer foreign currency across borders on the basis of transactions with virtual currency. For this reason alone, transactions with virtual currency are subject to restrictions in Iceland.

Bolivia

In May 2014, the country’s central bank, El Banco Central de Bolivia, officially banned any and all currencies not issued and/or regulated by the government, specifying Bitcoin, a few other altcoins and any other currencies that do not belong to a state or economic zone.

The statement reads:

It is illegal to use any kind of currency that is not issued and controlled by a government or an authorized entity.

Ecuador

Ecuador not only banned Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies, but it did so while establishing guidelines for the creation of their own virtual currency.

The National Assembly of Ecuador passed a bill that amends the country’s monetary laws in July 2014, banning cryptocurrencies and allowing the government to issue and transact in its asset-backed “electronic money.”

Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, using Bitcoin as a form of payment is illegal, although no law prohibits users from buying, selling and using. In August 2014, the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic, issued a statement in which it noted that the use of Bitcoin and other cryptos as a form of payment is illegal given that the only legal tender in the country is the country’s Kyrgystani Som (KGS).

The statement reads:

Under the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, the sole legal tender on the territory of our country is the national currency of Kyrgyzstan som. The use of ‘virtual currency’, bitcoins, in particular, as a means of payment in the Kyrgyz Republic, will be a violation of the law of our state.

Bangladesh

Bitcoin is not legal in Bangladesh. Transacting with any type of decentralized cryptocurrency can get you up to 12 years in jail and it has been so for almost three years.

In September 2014, the Bangladesh Bank issued a statement regarding the use of Bitcoin and warning that it is punishable by law. Bank officials said that anyone found guilty of dealing with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency could be jailed for up to 12 years under current anti-money laundering laws. The central bank went as far as to request citizens not to “spread information about it.”

The statement reads:

Bitcoin is not a legal tender of any country. Any transaction through bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is a punishable offense.

Do you believe these countries will change their stance on Bitcoin and build a regulatory framework around it? Let us know in the comments.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Ripple Soars 445% in 2 Weeks, But XRP Holders Won’t Like This Article

The Ripple cryptocurrency XRP has been the center of attentions, rallying to unprecedented heights over the last month but what is truly fueling the rally?

[Note: This is an Op-Ed]


XRP Shoots Up 445%

Ripple has been enjoying a phenomenal month on the price charts, constantly breaking all time highs and dominating daily trading volume.

Although recent times have been filled with exciting rallies, XRP has overshadowed every altcoin out there, growing over 445%% in two weeks, making it the second most valuable cryptocurrency with a marketcap of roughly $14 billion. 

The rally experienced in the XRP price charts can be attributed to recent news on the cryptoshpere like the addition of new customers (banks, and payment service providers) to the Ripple network. This also includes news of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which recently joined Ripple’s Interbank Group for Global Payments, and the announcement to lock a large portion of the company-owned XRP tokens under escrow.

Some have also pointed to the current cryptocurrency landscape in Japan (where Ripple holds a strong community presence and has made several bank partnerships), and how the new regulatory stance of the country can be supporting a new wave of misinformed investors.

In a recent blog post, Co-Founder of IndieSquare and Community Director at the Counterparty Foundation, Koji Higashi stated:

Another thing to note about this new trend is that the general lack of understanding or appreciation of the technology by many of new users. This is no surprise and all of us have been there at one point but the new wave of Japanese investors seem to be exhibiting a whole new level of incomprehension and misguided decision making in my opinion.

However, it is becoming evident that the general lack of knowledge regarding what Ripple is and what the recent updates actually mean is global as XRP has been dominating trading volume in the BTC market as well.

Fueled by Misinformation?

Although Ripple been one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in terms of market cap for quite some time, its recent rally can only be fueled by the recent rumors and news regarding the XRP token. The most relevant of which are the customers and partnerships acquired by Ripple and today’s announcement regarding Ripple’s 55 Billion coins being locked, which has been circulating the web as a rumor for a while now.

Given the scenario, many investors that are now joining the Ripple boat must have no idea what they are buying and how the news actually influences the demand and supply for the token in the long-term, once the “hype” has died down.

For example, many users believe that banks and other types of financial service providers that are joining the Ripple network should create demand for the XRP token, which is needed in order for banks to make use of the technology that Ripple has created, one that rivals VISA itself in terms of transaction throughput.

However, the general public doesn’t seem to realize that these institutions are “encouraged” but not required to use XRP to pay any kind of operation fees. Instead, they can simply make use of the technology provided by Ripple and build their own network using their own in-house tokens.

It is also a known fact that Ripple holds ~62% of the XRP supply, which is capped at 100 billion. This means that Ripple currently has roughly $23 Billion worth of XRP. Standards on how marketcap is measured in the cryptocurrency space vary but if you count all of the XRP that currently exists, Ripple has a ~37 billion dollar market cap, or over 7 billion dollars more than Bitcoin.

computer security

Another general misunderstanding is that the token-lock result in scarcity of XRP tokens. According to the announcement, Ripple will lock 55 billion tokens out of the 62 billion tokens they own as a means to inspire trust (or perhaps to further accelerate the price growth of XRP).

The truth is that this will affect the supply of XRP. The tokens that have been in the possession of XRP will continue to be held by the team. In other words, no XRP will be removed from circulation. The number of XRP available on exchanges and wallets today, will remain unchanged. Unfortunately, some less-informed users believe this will create some sort of artificial scarcity.

One should also note that Ripple’s pledge to lock any amount of tokens is nothing but fireworks, given that the centralized nature of Ripple allows it to change the rules at any time.

A post by Ripple that seeks to compare the characteristics of Bitcoin, Ether, and Ripple makes this clear:

In contrast, the Ripple Consensus Ledger has proven governance with institutional validators run by MIT, Microsoft and leading global banks.

Lastly, user’s should also note that these tokens won’t be locked for long. The official announcement reads:

We’ll use escrow to establish 55 contracts of 1 billion XRP each that will expire on the first day of every month from months 0 to 54. As each contract expires, the XRP will become available for Ripple’s use.

Crypto End-Game

Despite the aforementioned misunderstandings, it should also be noted that Ripple is certainly not vaporware. The Ripple company is building real technology that is being used by real corporations.

But traders should keep in mind that whatever Ripple is building, it is building it for the banks and middlemen, not for the people, per se. This, in my opinion, puts it in a whole other category than Bitcoin and many other decentralized cryptocurrencies, whose goals are to eliminate middlemen, decentralize money, and empower the individual.

Is the XRP token in a bubble? Or is there something else we are missing? Let us know what you think is driving the rally in the comment section.


Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, Ripple, Shutterstock

The post Ripple Soars 445% in 2 Weeks, But XRP Holders Won’t Like This Article appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Blockchain-Based Identity Management Will Soon Be a Reality

Airbitz has partnered with Sphre to secure their Blockchain-Based Identity Management Platform, AIR.


Airbitz Partners with Blockchain-Based Identity Firm

Sphre, a blockchain-based identity management firm, announced their partnership with Airbitz, one of the most popular mobile Bitcoin wallets and a data security platform with over 140,000 users. Airbitz has been working on its Edge Security Platform since the company’s inception, focusing on providing a secure and easy-to-use solution for decentralized blockchain projects and dApps as a means enhance cryptocurrency mass adoption.

Announced today, the partnership will see Sphre leverage Airbitz’ Edge Security, a blockchain-agnostic and zero-knowledge single sign-on solution, to secure their smart contract-based platform, AIR.

Daren Seymour, Director at Sphre commented on the new partnership:

The easy and intuitive user experience, coupled with rich functionality, great development environment and team made Airbitz an easy choice when considering the right partner for Sphre. We look forward to delivering an easy-to-use product to the market, and our partnership with Airbitz is a key component on this journey.

AIR is digital identity and individual microeconomic engagement system based on blockchain infrastructure, allowing individuals, enterprises, and organizations to manage their digital identity through a single, decentralized application, thus retaining full control and ownership of said identity, which would not be possible in a centralized setting.

The AIR whitepaper reads:

In an interconnected, open digital world it does not make sense that digital identity is still fragmented in outdated, closed systems.

The AIR Platform is build upon the Hyperledger blockchain and is comprised of two major components: The Chaincode or ‘smart contract’, which forms the basis of the given identity, and the Application Programming Interface (API), which will allow third-party organizations and enterprises to integrate support for AIR into their existing and new systems, while the mobile application secures and maintains each individual’s private key.

The AIR Platform & XID tokens

Currently in development, the AIR Platform will soon host a crowdfunding campaign to fund the development, marketing, and management of the AIR project. During the crowdfunding campaign or ICO, participants will receive XID tokens, which are used within the Air platform to facilitate identity-based transactions and handle profit-sharing disbursement based on the customizable monetization agreements that users can engage in.

Blockchain Banking App Humaniq Reschedules ICO, Offers Solidarity to Chinese Investors

The XID token is to be issued on the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omnilayer platform that allows the distribution of digital identity monetization benefits to be handled through a decentralized mechanism, which is far more transparent and reliable than traditional alternatives.

Due to the use of Omnilayer, AIR will not only allow any given user or organization to “authenticate/authorize themselves against their registration”, but also to attest/verify the identity of an account with whom they have successfully transacted, based on information found on the Bitcoin, the safest and oldest blockchain in the world.

Can blockchain technology become the new security standard for individual and enterprise digital identity? Let us know in the comment section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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People’s Bank of China Establishes New FinTech Committee

China’s central bank announced the assembly of a Financial Technology (FinTech) Committee aimed at studying the impact of financial technology in the country.


China’s New FinTech Committee

Today, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced the assembly of a Financial Technology (FinTech) Committee. Aimed at studying the impact of financial technology, the FinTech Committee will “organize in-depth research into the influence of FinTech development on areas including monetary policy, financial markets, stability and payment clearance”.

The new FinTech committee will also seek to “handle the relationship between safety and development” by guiding the use of new technologies such as regulatory technology (RegTech), big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and others as a means to prevent and mitigate cross-market financial risks. The announcement reads:

People's Bank of China logo

We will further strengthen exchanges and co-operation at home and abroad, establish and improve the financial and technological innovation management mechanism that is suitable for China’s national conditions, handle the relationship between safety and development, and guide the proper use of new technologies in the financial field

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Li Ying, a senior researcher at Bank of Communications in Shanghai said:

The new committee signals a strengthened regulatory stance to caution against risks amid the rise of the fintech sector. Regulators have to catch up when technology-driven financial innovation rises as a disruptive force to existing financial sector mechanisms.

The FinTech committee and Bitcoin

The announcement comes a few days after the reports that the inspections by the People’s Bank of China were coming to an end, resulting in unspecified punitive measures for the exchanges. According to the reports, Chinese exchanges are also to resume cryptocurrency withdrawals next month following an ongoing 3-month moratorium.

Although the announcement does not mention Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies specifically, the newly formed FinTech committee will most likely study and evaluate the impact of blockchain technology in the aforementioned areas, monetary policy, financial markets, stability, payment clearance and others.

Bitcoin wallet technology

It is also likely that the new committee will study public blockchains as a means to enhance their regulatory framework, which could potentially result in better and less restrictive KYC/AML policies for exchanges in the country, whose customers will now have to go through video identity verification among other steep requirements in order to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in China.

If not, it is likely that traders in the country will continue to flock towards peer-to-peer solutions like LocalBitcoins and BitKan.

Can the new FinTech committee help Bitcoin’s situation in China? Let us know in the comment section. 


Images courtesy of PBC.gov.cn, Shutterstock

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Bitkan: Peer-to-Peer Volume Keeps Growing in China

The halt on cryptocurrency withdrawals from Bitcoin exchanges in China may be coming to an end. Bitcoin talked to Bitkan to understand the situation with Bitcoin exchanges and how it has affected P2P trading in the country.


Withdrawals to be Resumed

The halt on cryptocurrency withdrawals imposed by Chinese exchanges is coming to an end, with withdrawals expected to be resumed in June 2017. The moratorium was caused by the task forces assembled by the country’s central bank to inspect said exchanges. While all operations are expected to continue next month, the top three exchanges, BTCC, Huobi, and OKCoin will receive punitive action under charges of not complying with AML guidelines.

People's Bank of China

A situation that has lasted for more than three months and that has changed the Bitcoin landscape entirely in China, the moratorium on withdrawals may be coming to an end. However, since the removal of several features like the zero-fee policy, margin trading, and cryptocurrency withdrawals, Bitcoin traders have begun to flock towards P2P solutions like Bitkan.

Bitcoinist talked to Bitkan to better understand the current situation with Bitcoin exchanges and how it has affected peer-to-peer trading in the country. Bitkan is a Chinese p2p exchange that has seen an unprecedented growth following the PBoC interventions, seeing its user base grow rapidly at 150 thousand per month.


Bitcoinist: Do you think the upsurge in BitKan’s popularity is due to the withdrawal moratorium in centralized exchanges or due to the steep KYC requirements that these will have to employ?

BK: We have to admit that the both things are sort of reasons for the upsurge these days.  

Bitcoinist: What do you think new customers are more drawn to in Bitkan, causing them to choose it over other p2p alternatives?

BK: Bitkan has multiple functions, like market data, industry News, wallet. This one application can meet different needs of each user. The whole trading process on Bitkan is very easy. Just some simple steps then you can sell/buy Bitcoin at a good price. Every trader on Bitkan needs to pass strict KYC. During the trading process, Bitkan does the escrow and frozen Bitcoin for safer trading.

Bitcoinist: Does BitKan see a pattern in the types of services these new customers are interested in (buying and holding/trading/selling BTC payments, etc)

BK: We think these three needs are increasing now. On Bitkan, the most popular part is still trading. Because during these days, there are price gaps between sell and buy side on Bitkan. Also, Chinese people are very passionate in earning a profit in market volatility.  

Bitcoinist: Compared to USD exchanges, there is currently a huge discount (~$300) when buying/selling Bitcoin with CNY on centralized exchanges. Is Bitcoin also trading with this discount on BitKan?  

BK: No, on Bitkan the price is very fair, equal to international standard. For example, 5.10, the price on the Chinese exchange is 9962RMB, 1450USD, but on Bitkan’s P2P trading platform, the selling price is around 12600RMB, 1855USD.  

Bitcoinist: Do you expect the growth of BitKan to continue after the withdrawals are reactivated on centralized exchanges?

BK: Yes. Since the forbidden withdraw thing happened, more and more people know Bitkan. As a P2P platform, we are more easy-using, because we have a mobile application with trading function. Also, Bitkan is not a new company which just pump into this market for short time profit. Bitkan has already been in Bitcoin industry for almost 4 years. We gathered huge user group and earned good reputation during past four years. So, we have the confidence that the market won’t fall down because of the opening withdrawing.

Bitcoinist: Are there any new services or developments coming to BitKan?

BK: Now, Bitkan is optimizing the trading process. Firstly, we are optimizing the recommended mechanism. We wish to offer every trader, especially these traders who have great service, a fair way to earn a profit. Secondly, we are optimizing the KYC process. we wish to provide an easy-to-use KYC way to legal users. Also, optimized KYC process can avoid risk for Bitkan, making a safe platform for trading.  

[Full disclosure: Bitcoinist is not owned by and is not associated with BitKan.]

Will the Bitcoin P2P trading continue to grow in China? Let us know what you think in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Pixabay

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Hungary’s Central Bank Cracks Down on OneCoin

Hungary is the latest to take legal action against OneCoin as the country’s central bank organizes task force against the cryptocurrency scheme.


The OneCoin Task Force

Following India and Germany, Hungary is the most recent country to mount a crackdown on the OneCoin scheme. Following several warnings issued regarding the nature of dangerous nature OneCoin, the Hungarian central bank, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB) is now assembling a task force aimed at dismantling the OneCoin operation.

Announced yesterday, the task force will be comprised of several agencies and institutions. The (translated) statement reads:

Several departments of the Ministry of the Interior, the Budapest Police Headquarters, the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Taxation and Customs Administration, The National Police Headquarters and the Joint Market Advisory Working Group of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB).

This new development doesn’t come as a surprise, given the three warnings issued by the MNB throughout 2016 and 2015 and the recent Onecoin-related arrests in India. In the announcement made by Hungary’s Central Bank, OneCoin’s model is described as being “similar to the pyramid scheme”. The statement reads:

Simply put: for OneCoin currently no real commodity or service can be purchased, the value of the alleged virtual currency and its price is objectively unobservable.

Onecoin vs The Law

OneCoin has always been perceived by the cryptocurrency community as a Ponzi scheme and throughout the years, several official warnings have been issued by regulators and central banks all over the world. Too many to list in this post. However, OneCoin has managed to continue its global operations, leaving a trail of disgruntled “investors” along the way.

OneCoin dubbed ponzi scheme

Now, it seems that the tide is changing for the cryptocurrency scheme, possibly due to the unprecedented growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In the last few weeks, authorities both in India and in Germany have started taking action against OneCoin.

In India, several people with ties to OneCoin were arrested by undercover officers, while in Germany, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) froze the accounts of OneCoin’s payment processor, International Marketing Services GmbH, and ordered the company to return the funds to investors who made recent payments.

About OneCoin

If you’re new to the cryptocurrency space, you may be wondering just what exactly is Onecoin. This subject has been covered extensively in media outlets and there are multiple exposé articles throughout the web. Nevertheless, new users should be made aware of the dangers in the cryptocurrency sphere, and one of them is OneCoin.

OneCoin describes itself as a cryptocurrency with a private blockchain. However, it has been made clear, mostly through OneCoin’s own attempts to prove the existence of its blockchain, that it doesn’t exist.

When you invest in OneCoin, you’re basically buying the digital equivalent of monopoly money. The statement issued by Hungary’s central bank also makes note of this:

The OneCoin construction, similar to the pyramid scheme, seems to be an investment in some kind of equipment, but in reality, it can only be traded in a closed and unmanageable forum operated by the organizer.

The Organizations behind OneCoin will not sell you the coins directly. They will sell you “educational material” and mining spots so that you can “produce” them. They also have ridiculous methods like “splitting” coins, which doubles your coins out of thin air, something that doesn’t make any sense for someone that understands the basics of economy and/or blockchain technology.

In short, OneCoin is not really a cryptocurrency (centralized or otherwise), but rather just a bunch of numbers on a server that has no real-life value and cannot be exchanged for anything else outside of the OneCoin platform. Still, many have fallen victim to this scam, which has been successful most due to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Hopefully, the recent developments may make potential investors aware and keep them away from OneCoin.

Is this the beginning of the end for the OneCoin scheme? If so, will others take its place? Let us know what you think in the comment section.


Images courtesy of AltcoinSpekulant, Shutterstock. Wikimedia

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Japanese Internet Conglomerate to Launch Bitcoin Exchange

Japanese Internet conglomerate GMO Internet has announced the launch of their new Bitcoin exchange, GMO-Z.com Coin.


GMO Internet launches exchanges

Following the implementation of a law that brings Bitcoin exchanges in the country under national KYC/AML rules and views Bitcoin as an online payment system, Japan continues to establish its presence in the global Bitcoin market, with 18 exchanges applying for a Bitcoin Exchange License in the first month of approval.

One of which was GMO Internet Co., Ltd, a Japanese conglomerate that offers a wide range of internet services for individuals and corporations, that has announced the launch of a Bitcoin exchange on May 24th via an official statement.

Dubbed GMO-Z.com Coin Co., Ltd., the exchange was first announced by the Japanese company last year as a cryptocurrency wallet. However, due to the advancements made in Bitcoin regulations within the country, GMO Internet decided to launch a full-scale exchange, allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin with JPY.

GMO-Z.com Coin

Established in October 2016, the GMO-Z.com Coin exchange is scheduled for launch on the 24th of May but users can already apply for an account as of today, May 9th.

The exchange will offer two kinds of products, a “virtual currency FX” and “virtual currency trading”, allowing users to trade Bitcoin with up to 5x leverage and to buy and sell it for JPY. The exchange will also employ the zero-trading fee model that was once the trademark feature of Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, prior to the PBoC intervention.

The announcement also references the safety procedures of GMO-Z.com Coin, which will feature a management and security system for customers’ assets, such as cold storage and multi-signature wallets. In addition, the exchange will also be insured against cyber attacks and theft by Mitsui Sumitomo Kaika Kaisha Insurance Co., Ltd.

The announcement also mentions future developments, which include the development of new services and the addition of other cryptocurrencies including Ether, the underlying token of the Ethereum blockchain.

Bitcoin in Japan

The introduction of the new law in Japan credits Bitcoin with a new level of trust, given that users can now expect a certain level of legal compliance from the exchanges. Said law also ensures the exemption of cryptocurrencies from the consumption tax, which is sure to boost cryptocurrency adoption in the country. This can be noted in the growing JPY trading volume which is currently number one in the global Bitcoin market.

Applying to become a compliant exchange has steep requirements, including the submission of a 3-year business plan, segregated fund management, KYC/AML requirements, frequent reporting to authority, external audits and reserve capital of at least 10 million yen. These, however, did not stop the 18 exchanges that applied in the first month, nor did it stop GMO-Z.com Coin which is launching with 500 million yen in capital reserves.

Overall, the introduction of the new law in Japan can bring great benefits for Bitcoin within the country. The GMO-Z Coin team noted this in its statement (translated):

In recent years, utilization of virtual currency such as bitcoin is progressing in various transactions such as international remittance and settlement to individuals and companies, and it is said that the market size of virtual currency will reach 1 trillion yen in a few years.

In Japan, various provisions for protecting consumers have been established by the revised fund settlement law which took effect in April 2017.

A registration system was introduced that requires the establishment of a system to carry out the bitcoin exchange industry properly and reliably. This is expected to increase the health of the market. Furthermore, since July 2017, the consumption tax on the transfer of virtual currency will also be eliminated, so virtual currency usage is expected to spread exponentially.

Can the new Bitcoin law in Japan bring Bitcoin to a whole new level of adoption? Let us know in the comment section.


Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, GMO-Z.com Coin

The post Japanese Internet Conglomerate to Launch Bitcoin Exchange appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Japanese Internet Conglomerate to Launch Bitcoin Exchange

Japanese Internet conglomerate GMO Internet has announced the launch of their new Bitcoin exchange, GMO-Z.com Coin.


GMO Internet launches exchanges

Following the implementation of a law that brings Bitcoin exchanges in the country under national KYC/AML rules and views Bitcoin as an online payment system, Japan continues to establish its presence in the global Bitcoin market, with 18 exchanges applying for a Bitcoin Exchange License in the first month of approval.

One of which was GMO Internet Co., Ltd, a Japanese conglomerate that offers a wide range of internet services for individuals and corporations, that has announced the launch of a Bitcoin exchange on May 24th via an official statement.

Dubbed GMO-Z.com Coin Co., Ltd., the exchange was first announced by the Japanese company last year as a cryptocurrency wallet. However, due to the advancements made in Bitcoin regulations within the country, GMO Internet decided to launch a full-scale exchange, allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin with JPY.

GMO-Z.com Coin

Established in October 2016, the GMO-Z.com Coin exchange is scheduled for launch on the 24th of May but users can already apply for an account as of today, May 9th.

The exchange will offer two kinds of products, a “virtual currency FX” and “virtual currency trading”, allowing users to trade Bitcoin with up to 5x leverage and to buy and sell it for JPY. The exchange will also employ the zero-trading fee model that was once the trademark feature of Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, prior to the PBoC intervention.

The announcement also references the safety procedures of GMO-Z.com Coin, which will feature a management and security system for customers’ assets, such as cold storage and multi-signature wallets. In addition, the exchange will also be insured against cyber attacks and theft by Mitsui Sumitomo Kaika Kaisha Insurance Co., Ltd.

The announcement also mentions future developments, which include the development of new services and the addition of other cryptocurrencies including Ether, the underlying token of the Ethereum blockchain.

Bitcoin in Japan

The introduction of the new law in Japan credits Bitcoin with a new level of trust, given that users can now expect a certain level of legal compliance from the exchanges. Said law also ensures the exemption of cryptocurrencies from the consumption tax, which is sure to boost cryptocurrency adoption in the country. This can be noted in the growing JPY trading volume which is currently number one in the global Bitcoin market.

Applying to become a compliant exchange has steep requirements, including the submission of a 3-year business plan, segregated fund management, KYC/AML requirements, frequent reporting to authority, external audits and reserve capital of at least 10 million yen. These, however, did not stop the 18 exchanges that applied in the first month, nor did it stop GMO-Z.com Coin which is launching with 500 million yen in capital reserves.

Overall, the introduction of the new law in Japan can bring great benefits for Bitcoin within the country. The GMO-Z Coin team noted this in its statement (translated):

In recent years, utilization of virtual currency such as bitcoin is progressing in various transactions such as international remittance and settlement to individuals and companies, and it is said that the market size of virtual currency will reach 1 trillion yen in a few years.

In Japan, various provisions for protecting consumers have been established by the revised fund settlement law which took effect in April 2017.

A registration system was introduced that requires the establishment of a system to carry out the bitcoin exchange industry properly and reliably. This is expected to increase the health of the market. Furthermore, since July 2017, the consumption tax on the transfer of virtual currency will also be eliminated, so virtual currency usage is expected to spread exponentially.

Can the new Bitcoin law in Japan bring Bitcoin to a whole new level of adoption? Let us know in the comment section.


Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, GMO-Z.com Coin

The post Japanese Internet Conglomerate to Launch Bitcoin Exchange appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.