China Cracks Down On Crypto Business, Saying ‘Speculative’ Trading ‘Seriously Infringing’ On Financial Order

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency image

Chinese financial officials announced Tuesday that the country would crack down on financial institutions conducting cryptocurrency business or offering related services in light of the market’s recent volatility, marking another blow to the nascent market reeling from one of its biggest sell-offs ever after booming institutional adoption helped lift it to meteoric highs during the pandemic.

In a joint statement Tuesday, three Chinese industry groups overseeing the financial sector announced that bank and payment institutions can not conduct business related to cryptocurrencies, specifically banning a slew of activities including cryptocurrency registration, trading, clearing and settlement.

The guidelines, which reiterate a previous ban from 2017, also bar financial institutions from accepting or using cryptocurrencies in payments or settlements, developing digital currency exchange services and offering any such services to clients.

The group specifically laid into the cryptocurrency’s market massive volatility, saying digital tokens have “no real support value” and prices that are “extremely easy” to manipulate.

The move prohibits Chinese financial institutions, many of which had already shied away from offering crypto services amid the nation’s past crackdown, from issuing cryptocurrency products or services, but it doesn’t ban consumers from owning cryptocurrencies.

The value of the world’s cryptocurrencies dropped about $50 billion, or 2.5% immediately after the announcement, pushing the week’s staggering losses to roughly $500 billion from a Wednesday high above $2.5 trillion.

Crucial Quote

“Recently, crypto currency prices have skyrocketed and plummeted, and speculative trading of cryptocurrency has rebounded, seriously infringing on the safety of people’s property and disrupting the normal economic and financial order,” the Tuesday statement read. “Judging from the current judicial practice in my country, virtual currency transaction contracts are not protected by law.”

Key Background

A wave of early regulatory crackdowns beginning in 2017 sparked a nearly 80% correction in cryptocurrency prices and a yearslong bull market that lasted until inflationary concerns and institutional adoption lifted the market to new highs during the pandemic. In March, Morgan Stanley became the first big bank in the U.S. to give wealthy clients access to cryptocurrency investments, and Goldman Sachs quickly followed suit with its own crypto offerings in April. JPMorgan and a slew of other smaller financial institutions have also reportedly indicated they may be next.

Surprising Fact

Cryptocurrencies soared nearly 500% over the past year as companies like Square, MicroStrategy and Tesla, in particular, started making big cryptocurrency investments, but in a testament to the market’s extreme volatility, prices have plunged by about 30% since Elon Musk said Tesla would stop investing in bitcoin last month.

What To Watch For

Regulation in the U.S. Gensler and Yellen. Earlier this month, new Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler suggested that the agency may be gearing up for a long-awaited crypto crackdown in light of the market’s recent boom, telling CNBC: “To the extent that something is a security, the SEC has a lot of authority, and a lot of crypto tokens—I won’t call them ‘cryptocurrencies’ for this moment—are indeed securities.”

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

Source: China Cracks Down On Crypto Business, Saying ‘Speculative’ Trading ‘Seriously Infringing’ On Financial Order

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Critics:

Bitcoin does not share the traits listed above: it does not maintain a stable value and its fixed number of coins means that it can’t keep up with an insatiable global demand for safe assets like the U.S. debt market can. Indeed, investor willingness to fund more than $21 trillion in U.S. public debt, often at negative real interest rates, shows that the U.S. dollar continues to have massive appeal even as cryptocurrencies go mainstream.

Furthermore, China’s actions over the past decade show that it is deeply skeptical of bitcoin and likely sees it as a threat to the power of the Chinese Communist Party. In 2017, the People’s Bank of China and five other ministries banned financings using cryptocurrency, like initial coin offerings, and banned the exchange of fiat money for cryptocurrency, according to Rain Xie of the Washington University School of Law.

 

SEC Charges Ripple With Selling $1.3 Billion In Unregistered Securities, XRP Loses $2 Billion In Market Value

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged cryptocurrency pioneer Ripple Labs, the firm that owns a majority of the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency, for allegedly raising $1.3 billion in an offering of unregistered “digital asset securities”–a huge sign U.S. regulators could ramp up oversight of the cryptocurrency space as the market surges to new highs.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Ripple, its cofounder Christian Larsen and CEO Bradley Garlinghouse raised capital to finance the firm’s business through an unregistered public offering of XRP tokens beginning in 2013.

The complaint, filed in Manhattan’s federal district court, also alleges that Larsen and Garlinghouse carried out personal unregistered sales of XRP totaling roughly $600 million.

As of 3 p.m. EST, the value of the XRP token had plunged roughly 12% over the last 24 hours, according to crypto data firm CoinMarketCap, wiping out more than $2 billion from the cryptocurrency’s market cap.

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“It’s not just Grinch-worthy, it’s shocking,” Garlinghouse told Fortune when he warned of the impending lawsuit on Monday evening, later tweeting that Ripple, a San Francisco-based firm last valued at $10 billion in 2019, “is ready to fight” the suit. “It’s an attack on the entire crypto industry and American innovation.”

The SEC has largely cracked down on crowdfunded token sales, commonly referred to as initial coin offerings, but XRP is easily the largest cryptocurrency targeted by the SEC as a security; officials in 2018 declared ether and bitcoin were currencies and not securities because of their decentralized nature.

Crucial Quote

“We allege that Ripple, Larsen and Garlinghouse failed to register their ongoing offer and sale of billions of XRP to retail investors, which deprived potential purchasers of adequate disclosures about XRP and Ripple’s business and other important long-standing protections that are fundamental to our robust public market system,” said Stephanie Avakian, director of the SEC’s enforcement division on Tuesday.

Big Number

$653 billion. That’s the current market value of all the cryptocurrencies across the world, more than tripling this year alone, according to CoinMarketCap. At its peak in January 2018, the market was valued at more than $800 billion. XRP’s current market cap of $21.6 billion is bested only by ether ($71 billion) and bitcoin ($435 billion).

Key Background

Heightened regulatory scrutiny from nations such as South Korea triggered a near-85% crash in cryptocurrency prices in 2018, but the United States has been slow to issue broad-based regulation. Among the most vocal U.S. regulatory agencies when it comes to cryptocurrency, the SEC spent months drafting guidance it released in April 2019 about when and how cryptocurrencies may be classified as securities, but it’s been relatively quiet on the front ever since.

The suit against Ripple, however, could mean that’s set to change as the cryptocurrency market soars toward new highs during the pandemic. “There is more and more interest from a wide spectrum of people, both inside the crypto space as well as inside the traditional financial institutions who are asking us for guidance,” an SEC Commissioner told CoinDesk in October. “I think we’re going to be forced to confront that more and more in the coming years.”

What To Watch For

Competition–from the government. Though it has not committed to the idea, the Federal Reserve is exploring the possibility of debuting its own central bank digital currency, Goldman Sachs said in a Sunday note. Officials have warmed up to the idea of a central bank token “largely out of concern that wide adoption of alternative digital currencies could endanger financial stability, U.S. financial intermediaries and the Fed’s ability to influence financial conditions,” Goldman analysts led by Jan Hatzius said.

Tangent

During the pandemic many investors have flocked to cryptocurrency–and namely bitcoin–as a hedge against longer-term inflation concerns, which have escalated in the face of increased government spending for coronavirus relief measures. In a report released Monday, digital asset management firm CoinShares said cumulative investments into cryptocurrency funds have totaled about $5 billion so far this year, eclipsing the approximately $1.4 billion plowed into the space through the end of last year.

Chief Critic

“Other major branches of the U.S. government, including the Justice Department and the Treasury Department’s FinCen, have already determined that XRP is a currency,” Ripple Counsel Michael Kellogg said in a statement to Forbes, arguing that the currency designation means XRP transactions fall outside the scope of federal securities laws. “This is not the first time the SEC has tried to go beyond its statutory authority. The courts have corrected it before and will do so again,” he added.

Further Reading

Ripple says it will be sued by the SEC, in what the company calls a parting shot at the crypto industry (Fortune)

Ripple’s Trillion-Dollar Man (Forbes)

As Bitcoin Surges 15%, Here’s What Wall Street’s Saying About The Cryptocurrency’s Meteoric Resurgence (Forbes)

U.S. Government Voids Public Comments On Newly Proposed Crypto Wallet Rule (Forbes) Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

Jonathan Ponciano

 Jonathan Ponciano

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

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CNBC Television

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse addresses the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit over the XRP cryptocurrency.

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IRS & Global Tax Enforcers Expand War on Cryptocurrency Fraud

Tax authorities, both domestic and abroad, have been continuously building an arsenal of tools and experts to monitor and audit crypto transactions. This increased weaponry has led to a growing number of international arrests by the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ), with each member organization arresting individuals allegedly involved in crypto fraud, and/or seizing funds from their activities.

Not surprisingly, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is keeping pace with these efforts and closing in on those who may have attempted to take advantage of the perceived anonymity of these transactions to evade taxes. As these tax authorities continue their collective efforts, the question becomes: who will be the next target of this expanding arsenal?

Crypto tracing for hire

Public records reveal that the IRS and other federal agencies have recently entered into agreements with a number of private cryptocurrency analytics companies to gain access to certain blockchain tracing software. This is unsurprising, given the US government’s recent outreach to members of the cryptocurrency community. For example, the IRS recently sought assistance from several cryptocurrency tax software companies for the audits of tax returns involving on-chain and off-chain cryptocurrency transactions.1

The statements of work for these arrangements provide that the IRS “is engaging outside contractors to assist our revenue agents in calculating taxpayers’ gains or losses as a result of their transactions involving virtual currency.” The DOJ is also advertising positions for crypto experts to assist law enforcement with “undercover operations on the Dark Web and undercover cryptocurrency transactions, technical skills and technology to perform block-chain analysis to trace transactions.”2

The IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS CI), the largest federal law enforcement agency in the US Department of Treasury, is also expanding its crypto capabilities. As part of its Cryptocurrency Initiative, IRS CI recently issued a public request for tools related to cryptocurrency, including applications “to more easily trace privacy coins and other protocols that provide anonymity to illicit actors.” This coordinated effort by the IRS and other federal agencies to acquire crypto talent forecasts a looming crackdown on the use of virtual currency for illicit purposes, and those that facilitate its use for those purposes.

International enforcement: Pooling of resources

The global tax community has also pooled its resources to target crypto fraudsters. The J5, which consists of the leaders of the tax enforcement agencies in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, England, and the United States, was formed to investigate and combat cross-border tax and money laundering threats, including cybercrime, cryptocurrency, and enablers of global tax crimes. This has led to the J5 making several recent arrests involving certain cryptocurrency transactions. One of the J5’s stated missions is to “collaborate internationally to reduce the growing threat to tax administrations posed by cryptocurrencies and cybercrime and to make the most of data and technology.”

The J5 has held annual events known as “Challenges,” where investigators, cryptocurrency experts, and data scientists from the member nations exchange data and techniques. These combined efforts have led to an uptick in enforcement activity by member nations, including:

Two men were arrested in February 2020 in the Netherlands on suspicion of money laundering using cryptocurrencies via the subject crypto service provider. This arrest was the apparent culmination of the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service’s investigation of a crypto service provider discussed during the 2019 Challenge. The amount laundered was approximately US$118,800, indicating that the J5’s targets are not limited to the million-dollar players.

A Romanian programmer in Germany was arrested and pleaded guilty in July 2020, for conspiring to commit wire fraud and offering and selling unregistered securities. The activity is connected with the programmer’s role in a cryptocurrency mining scheme that defrauded investors of at least US$722 million worth of bitcoin.

The DOJ has also continued its enforcement efforts in earnest. Just last month, the DOJ:

  • Announced the seizure of millions of dollars in bitcoin associated with financing of terrorist organizations, including al-Qassam Brigades, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The operation involved, among other things, an investigation into certain alleged Syrian charities and also led to the unsealing of criminal charges for two Turkish individuals. Acting United States Attorney Michael R. Sherwin commented that this seizure, the largest of its kind, “reflect[s] the resolve . . . to target and dismantle these sophisticated cyber-terrorism and money laundering actors across the globe. While these individuals believe they operate anonymously in the digital space, we have the skill and resolve to find, fix and prosecute these actors under the full extent of the law.”
  • Filed a civil forfeiture complaint related to two hacks of virtual currency exchanges by North Korean actors. The complaint alleges that these North Korean players stole millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency and then laundered the same through Chinese over-the-counter crypto traders. Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division proclaimed, “Today’s action publicly exposes the ongoing connections between North Korea’s cyber-hacking program and a Chinese cryptocurrency money laundering network.”
  • The first hack dates back to July 2019 when an agent tied to North Korea allegedly stole over US$272,000 worth of crypto. This agent then engaged in “chain hopping,” a process whereby the user converts cryptocurrency into other forms of crypto in order to make the illegal transactions more difficult to trace. Then, in September 2019, another agent with ties to North Korea hacked a US-based company, stealing nearly US$2.5 million in crypto.

Avoiding the land mines and risks: The time to act is now

The message is ominous. The recent J5 activity and the US government’s stockpiling of crypto experts and tracing software leaves little doubt that tax enforcement efforts in the crypto space is ramping up. Indeed, in its February 18, 2020, newsletter, the J5 warned that “it cannot be ruled out that more international investigations by the J5 countries will follow” from the data sharing at the Challenges.

At home, the DOJ, IRS, and IRS CI remain laser focused on abusive crypto schemes, as evidenced by their call to arms for crypto experts and tracing software. While the above DOJ actions focus on anti-money laundering activity, they demonstrate a growing familiarity with these systems which will lead to future cases in other areas, including tax evasion.

Thus, any company operating in this high-risk industry should consider whether its compliance measures are adequate to protect its systems from being used, purposefully or not, to further activity that may become the focus of the government’s increasing scrutiny in this space. This is especially so in light of the DOJ’s updated guidance for corporate compliance programs places greater emphasis on continuous data driven compliance programs that are responsive to industry risks.


Footnotes

1 Hamza Ali and Allyson Versprille, IRS Seeking Private Companies to Aid With Cryptocurrency Audits, Bloomberg Law: Tax 2 Dark Web and Cryptocurrency International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Attorney Advisor

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PR: Digital Contract Trading Platform Bityard Launches with Hedge Fund Backing and USDT Registration Bonus

Bitcoin Press Release: Leading Singapore-based digital contract trading platform Bityard has announced its official launch with a 258 USD registration bonus for all users. 

8 March 2020, SingaporeLeading digital contract trading platform Bityard has officially launched. According to industry authoritative sources, Bityard has received a strategic investment from a US hedge fund worth 10 million USD, creating a precedent in the industry for complex contracts and simple transactions. To offer its customers a real head start on the competition, Bityard has announced that it will be giving a bonus to the value of 258 USDT, in the form of any of its listed digital currencies, to all registered users.

Founded in November 2019, and headquartered in Singapore, Bityard is one of the world’s leading digital currency contract trading platforms. The company is regulated by the American Money Services Businesses, Singaporean Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), and the MTR of Estonia for the European Union. In Southeast Asia, Bityard aims to keep up with local digital asset market demand, especially with regards to government-driven blockchain trends.

Bityard Ambassador

Not only does Bityard offer secure, simple, and fast digital contract transactions, but it has also acquired Thai boxing champion, and action film actor Buakaw Banchamek, as a brand ambassador. Bityard stated that Buakaw will continue to set off waves of attention globally, with his continued success as a professional boxer and film star.

A Brand Ambassador for Bityard stated:

“At Bityard, our ambition is to foster research and development of relevant forward-looking technology, overseas market expansion, and ecological construction of our brand name.“

A New Market  

2020 has seen a very turbulent start for financial markets, which has only exacerbated the volatility of the cryptocurrency market. With Bitcoin halving in the forefront of everyone’s minds, a “grey swan” event in the form of COVID-19 ruthlessly swooped in, cutting the price of all cryptocurrencies in half. However the crypto market has since displayed its usual resilience, with a quick rebound from the lowest point by more than 60%.

Bityard believes that recent events have now made contract purchases one of this year’s most competitive main battlefield on exchanges. As a new entrant, the founder of Bityard clearly understands that in order to gain a solid placement in the highly competitive contract market, innovation is critical.

The Hidden Potential of Simplified Transactions

Bityard conducted extensive research into the digital currency market, revealing that there is a large consumer group very interested in the considerable potential contract trading can offer. Despite keen interest from this group, studies also showed an unwillingness to participate in contract transactions independently, for fear of losses due to inexperience in this new market. This burgeoning consumer market interest was enough motivation for Bityard to develop a platform that could provide users with simple contract transactions, and other derivatives, in a simple, seamless experience.

Complex Contracts, Simple Transactions 

Bityard adheres to the product concept of “complex contracts, simple transactions”, and aims to bring customers the ultimate simple operation experience. Opening an account is simple, interested parties only need to register with an email or mobile phone number, making the process super fast.

Bityard currently supports the use of 6 mainstream digital currencies for user accounts.

Additionally, the Renminbi and Vietnamese Dong are both supported, with plans to add more FIAT on-ramps in the future. There is also a system in place to allow transferring of funds between companies and individuals using a simple, intuitive trading interface. The platform aims to attract all levels of traders, allowing users to trade with a little as 5 USDT.

Registration Bonus

After registering users can get free Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, TRON, and other mainstream digital currencies to the value of up to 258 USDT. In addition, users can also get Bityard’s first platform currency BYD. Interested parties should check out Bityard.com today, and register for a free bonus!

Media Contact
Contact Name: Rafael
Contact Email: bd@bityard.com

Learn more about Bityard – http://www.Bityard.com
Follow Bityard on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Bityardofficial/
Read about Bityard on Mediumhttps://medium.com/@bityardsns
Join the official Bityard Telegram channelhttps://t.me/BityardExchange
Follow Bityard on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Bityardofficial
Connect with Bityard on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/bityard/

Bityard is the sole source of this information.Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.

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Source: PR: Digital Contract Trading Platform Bityard Launches with Hedge Fund Backing and USDT Registration Bonus – BitcoinNews.com

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Bityard is a cryptocurrency contracts exchange based in Singapore that’s primary mission is to make contracts trading a super simple process. They are licensed in multiple jurisdictions all around the world and have built a safe, fast, and easy platform. They also have multiple easy bonuses and a daily mining feature that’s super neat. In this video I show you how to place a simple contract order in on Bityard which is much much simpler to use than some of its competitors like BitMex. To check them out: https://www.bityard.com/?ru=fAJPnV?F=… Bityard Community Links: Telegram: https://t.me/BityardExchange Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bityardofficial Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bityardoffic… Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bityard/ Medium: https://medium.com/@bityardsns Steemit: https://steemit.com/@bityard Disclosure: As mentioned in the video, this is a sponsored intro to the Bityard exchange. This is not a recommendation to buy/sell anything. Please do your own due diligence when it comes to using any new product/service in the crypto world. #Bityard #Simple #Protrader #Clickandprofit #FiatDeposit #Leverage100x #Freetoclaim

How Paxful Places The Best Bitcoin Buying & Selling System Platform In the Crypto World

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On Paxful you buy bitcoin from other people in real-time. Trading happens online via live chat. Paxful Vendors can earn six figures from the comfort of their home and many do. Once payment is made and verified by the seller, the bitcoin will be released to your wallet. We’ve built a feedback and reputation system on the advice of the very best traders in the space. Use the simplest bitcoin wallet on earth. You can’t make a mistake and know exactly where to go next.

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Paxful is primarily an online bitcoin marketplace, but it offers businesses the option of adding a “Pay with Paxful” button to their e-shops. With this option, customers from all around the world can make purchases using the bitcoin in their e-wallets, rather than exchanging currency through a more traditional option.

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Alibaba, Tencent, Five Others To Receive First Chinese Government Cryptocurrency

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China’s central bank will launch a state-backed cryptocurrency and issue it to seven institutions in the coming months, according to a former employee of one of the institutions who is now an independent researcher. Paul Schulte, who worked as global head of financial strategy for China Construction Bank until 2012, says the largest bank in the world, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the second largest bank in the world, his former employer, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China; two of China’s largest financial technology companies, Alibaba and Tencent; and Union Pay, an association of Chinese banks, will receive the cryptocurrency.

A separate source, who’s involved in the development of the cryptocurrency, dubbed DC/EP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payments), confirmed that the seven institutions would be receiving the new asset when it launches, adding that an eighth institution could also be among the first tier of recipients. The source declined to provide the name of the additional company. Speaking under terms of anonymity, the source, who previously worked for the Chinese government, confirmed that the technology behind the cryptocurrency has been ready since last year and that the cryptocurrency could launch as soon as November 11, China’s busiest shopping day, known as Singles Day.

At the time of launch, the recipient institutions will then be responsible for dispersing the cryptocurrency to 1.3 billion Chinese citizens and others doing business in the renminbi, China’s fiat currency, according to the source. The source added that the central bank hopes the currency will eventually be made available to spenders in the United States and elsewhere through relationships with correspondent banks in the West. “That’s the plan, but that won’t happen right away,” the source said.

The plan to use a diverse set of China’s trusted intuitions to disperse the cryptocurrency is reminiscent of a number of other ideas currently percolating around the world. For instance, Facebook’s planned libra cryptocurrency will be backed by a basket of currencies issued by central banks with support from companies like Mastercard and Uber in the United States, Vodaphone in England and Mercado Pago in Argentina. And last week, Bank of England governor Mark Carney floated the idea of a new currency backed by a number of central banks to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.

What sets China’s DC/EP apart from libra and Carney’s “synthetic hegemonic currency” (SHC), according to Shulte, is that while libra is little more than early-stage computer code and the SHC doesn’t appear to have gone much further than Carney’s mind, the Chinese cryptocurrency is ready to launch. “China is barreling forward on reforms and rolling out the cryptocurrency,” says Schulte, who now runs an eponymous bank research firm. “It will be the first central bank to do so.”

At the time of publication, neither the People’s Bank of China nor any of the seven institutions mentioned by Schulte had responded to Forbes requests to confirm or deny his claim. However, the two-tiered strategy, where the central bank creates the currency and others distribute it, aligns with previously unreported statements made by Mu Changchun, deputy director of the Paying Division of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the new head of China’s cryptocurrency research lab. In a speech on August 10 at the China Finance 40 Forum, since revised and posted on the PBOC’s WeChat channel, Mu described the central bank’s “two-tiered” system, wherein the bank would create the cryptocurrency and a small group of trusted commercial businesses would “pay the central bank 100% in full” to be allowed to distribute it.

In addition to preventing regional banks and other organizations from being disintermediated, Mu said the two-tiered system is designed to “curb” public demand for other cryptographic assets, consolidate China’s national currency sovereignty, ensure that the central bank maintains control over monetary policy affecting the currency, increase the likelihood of people using the currency, distribute the risk of having all the authority directly in the hands of the central bank and encourage competition between the organizations that receive the cryptocurrency.

“This dual delivery system is suitable for our national conditions,” said Mu. “It can not only use existing resources to mobilize the enthusiasm of commercial banks but also smoothly improve the acceptance of the digital currency.”

The composition of the organizations Schulte says will receive the DC/EP also aligns with Mu’s comments. Later in his speech, Mu added that only after the technical specifications for the DC/EP were completed in 2018 did the central bank realize the similarity between its design and that of libra, the cryptocurrency being developed by Facebook and about 30 other early-stage partners.

One key difference, according to Mu, is that while libra is being designed to handle 1,000 transactions per second, the DC/EP was designed to handle 300,000 transactions per second. For context, Mu added that during last year’s Singles Day the peak volume of all transactions in China was 92,771 transactions per second, dwarfing what the other platforms could support, but well within the DC/EP specifications. “At present, we belong to a state of horse racing,” Mu said according to the translation.

How Blockchain Went From Bitcoin To Big Business| 37:20

The DC/EP can achieve this kind of volume only because it is not a “pure blockchain architecture,” according to Mu, and therefore it doesn’t need to wait for groups of transactions to settle in a block. Like other permissioned blockchains that not anyone can use, the DC/EP is centrally managed, in this case by the central bank, meaning the digital currency remains a liability of the bank and the debtor/creditor relationship is unchanged, according to Mu. Also, instead of using an algorithm to limit supply, like bitcoin, Mu says the PBoC itself will control supply. Crucially, Mu says, the DC/EP is being designed to replace the physical notes and coins in circulation, not the renminbi sitting in bank accounts in a digital form.

“The central bank’s digital currency can be circulated as easily as cash,” said Mu. “Which is conducive to the circulation and internationalization of the renminbi.”

Whether anyone outside China would actually use a digital renminbi for transactions in their own country is unclear. As the Bank of England governor’s comments about replacing the U.S. dollar indicate, much of the world is tired of having their financial stability tied to the United States’ monetary system. But China may not be the best alternative. Earlier this month, as part of the escalating trade war between the United States and China, U.S. President Trump accused China of being a “currency manipulator.” After China’s renminbi fell to its lowest in 11 years, hitting 6.9225 renminbi per dollar on August 5, according to a Financial Times report, it has recovered significantly, trading at 7.15 renminbi per dollar today. While China has denied the charge and called the U.S. “protectionist” in a press statement, the perception of manipulation could be harmful to broader adoption of a digital currency linked to the renminbi.

In December 2017, another country accused of devaluing its currency, Venezuela, revealed plans for its own cryptocurrency, backed by oil and called the petro. After much hullabaloo, the currency somewhat officially launched in 2018, but it isn’t available on most international exchanges because of a U.S. embargo and has been almost impossible to accurately value. Another obstacle to adoption could be uncertainty about the benefits of a technology that’s intended to replace fiat currency but is still under centralized control. While it’s obvious that any central bank wishing to more closely observe how citizens are using a cryptocurrency would prefer a transparent ledger like the bitcoin blockchain, which makes transactions easily traceable, most of the benefits to users of current blockchains, such as instant settlement and digital transactions without the need of a middleman, could be undermined by central control.

One person who’s not concerned about the obstacles to adoption of China’s cryptocurrency is Charles Liu, chairman of HAO International, a private equity firm investing over $700 million in Chinese growth companies. After largely focusing on solar, organic fertilizer, and wastewater treatment technologies since 2012, Liu says he is an angel investor in “the first blockchain company to be able to sign an official contract with the People’s Bank” of China.

Liu declined to reveal the name of the firm or its technology but lent support to Mu’s comments about the potential benefits to businesses using China’s cryptocurrency. In addition to being a more efficient way to track money laundering, bribery and other transactions, Liu says, the cryptocurrency will give banks increased confidence in the creditworthiness of borrowers, let merchants receive payments instantly and lower transaction fees. While Liu says that banks in the United States have been resistant to such improvements that eat away at their bottom line, he adds that China doesn’t have that problem, because the government owns the banks.

“What will facilitate commercial transactions and enhance efficiency, the central government decides and they go ahead and do it,” says Liu, adding that “China’s strategic plan is to integrate more closely with the rest of the world. Cryptocurrency is just one of the means to have a more internationalized renminbi. It’s all strategic. It’s all long term.”

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I report on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies are being adopted by enterprises and the broader business community. My coverage includes the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, and extends to non-cryptocurrency applications of blockchain in finance, supply chain management, digital identity and a number of other use cases. Previously, I was a staff reporter at blockchain news site, CoinDesk, where I covered the increasing willingness of enterprises to explore how blockchain could make their work more efficient and in some cases, unnecessary. I have been covering blockchain since 2011, been published in the New Yorker, and been nationally syndicated by American City Business Journals. My work has been published in Blockchain in Financial Markets and Beyond by Risk Books and I am regularly cited in industry research reports. Since 2009 I’ve run Literary Manhattan, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to showing Manhattan’s rich literary heritage.

Source: https://www.forbes.com

China’s central bank is reportedly on the verge of launching a national digital currency. Investigative Journalist Ben Swann joins Scottie Nell Hughes to discuss the implications. He argues that at some point every country will have its own digital currency. And that there’s “nothing attractive” about such currencies as they’re no better than traditional government-backed fiat currency. #NVHughes #QuestionMore #RTAmerica Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/ Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_America

Crypto Investment App Abra to Restrict Service for US Users Over Regulatory Uncertainty

Cryptocurrency investment app Abra has revealed it’s set to restrict services for users in the United States over continued regulatory uncertainty.

According to a blog post the company published. It’ll adjust its offering in the country in an effort to “continue to be compliant and cooperative with US regulations as they currently exist.” This means Abra users in the US will see the firm restrict its services.

The blog post reads:

As a part of this effort we are migrating any synthetic assets to a native hosted wallet solution. On Abra, these are defined as anything other than Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

As such, users in the US will no longer be able to hold QTUM, bitcoin gold (BTG), Status (SNT) and OmiseGO (OMG) on the platform after August 29. Those who have positions in these cryptocurrencies are advised to withdraw their funds before said date, as any remaining balances will be automatically converted to BTC.

Those in New York will be more affected than others, as they will no longer to able to use wire transfers, bank Automated Clearing House (ACH), Or American Express cards to deposit and withdraw funds from Abra’s app.

Users outside of the country will reportedly not be affected by the changes. The move comes months after Abra launched a service that allows users to gain exposure to some of the most popular stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the world using bitcoin.

The service also allows users to gain exposure to indexes like the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000. This won’t, however, give them ownership of the assets themselves, meaning those who use the app to invest won’t, for example, receive dividends from stocks.

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Crypto Analyst Warns 2019 Bitcoin Rally Set to ‘Blow Off’ – Plus Ethereum, Ripple and XRP, Litecoin, Stellar, Tron | The Daily Hodl

From a warning about Bitcoin’s 2019 rally to new support for Stellar Lumens, here’s a look at some of the stories breaking in the world of crypto.

Bitcoin

A prominent crypto analyst warns the 2019 Bitcoin rally is an “exchange driven pump” that’s due for a significant pullback. According to Willy Woo, Bitcoin’s Network Value to Transactions (NVT) ratio is now way out of whack.

“Presently the market price of BTC has outstripped organic investor flow unseen since the bull market mania phases of 2013 and 2017. Never before have we seen such a divergence so early in the bull market.”

The NVT ratio measures the utility value of Bitcoin according to the number of transactions on the network relative to the price. Because on-chain investor volumes are in the normal range, Woo says the only explanation is “a quant fund driven short squeeze devoid of any true investor volume.”

Whales can short squeeze a majority-short market by buying it up until the shorts are liquidated, forcing a torrent of buys that inflate the price, Woo explains.

“If you have sufficient capital. You can keep buying to liquidate the bears. It’s extremely profitable. You only stop when it’s no longer profitable. At the $8k-9k mark the market switched from short to majority long. This put a cap on the profitability of short squeezing.

“I’m awaiting this exchange driven pump to blow off, a proper retrace, and only then do I think real investor flows will come in and drive the true organic bull market.”

Ethereum

Ernst & Young’s global blockchain leader, Paul Brody, says blockchain is poised to trigger a fundamental transformation of how enterprises do business.

The accounting and consulting giant EY is building on Ethereum, and Brody says use cases for audits and supply chain management are some early examples of prime use cases for the technology.

“What I hope you’ll take away from this today is that blockchain is maturing. We have real products, real customers, real use cases, real value creation, stuff that’s in operations, and we also have a road map for where things can and should go in the future and how this can have an ever-bigger impact…

Blockchains we think are going to be the future way in which companies model and manage their business processes and, in particular, we can basically model any process between two enterprises or two agencies or two governments as a combination of tokens to represent assets and items of value and contract.”  

Ripple and XRP

A presentation from Ripple’s chief technology officer David Schwartz is now online. At the We Are Developers in Berlin, Schwartz talks about the future of blockchain beyond the hype.

Litecoin

The Litecoin Foundation’s unique methods for raising funds to support the LTC ecosystem continue.

The Foundation has started to ship custom Litecoin cufflinks and tie bars, with a signed certificate of authenticity from LTC creator Charlie Lee.

Stellar

Crypto.com has added Stellar Lumens (XLM) to its Wallet & Card app.

Users of the app can now purchase XLM at true cost with no fees, with both credit cards and bank transfers supported. People can also use XLM with Crypto.com’s MCO Visa Card, making it easier to convert Stellar’s token into fiat for purchases from everyday merchants.

Tron

Tron’s latest report on the network’s decentralized app ecosystem is out.

According to the report, four new gaming DApps launched on the network this week, along with a decentralized exchange called SunDex.

Source: Crypto Analyst Warns 2019 Bitcoin Rally Set to ‘Blow Off’ – Plus Ethereum, Ripple and XRP, Litecoin, Stellar, Tron | The Daily Hodl

Bloomberg Issues Bitcoin (BTC) Warning, Plus Ethereum, Ripple and XRP, Litecoin, Stellar, Tron

A technical indicator designed to detect market reversals is flashing its first sell in more than a month.

According to the GTI VERA Convergence Divergence indicator, the price of Bitcoin will likely continue to move lower in the short term, reports Bloomberg. The gauge utilizes typical Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) and attempts to identify increased volatility and delete excess noise.

Meanwhile, veteran trader Peter Brandt sent out a viral tweet identifying a Doji top in Bitcoin’s weekly chart, which could signal the start of a significant market correction. The Doji is a candlestick pattern that’s used to identify potential market reversals based on prior price action.

However, Brandt later clarified that further analysis shows a Doji pattern has not been confirmed across all crypto exchanges.

Ethereum

A new demo of an Ethereum-based platform from accounting and consulting giant Ernst & Young is now online. Project “Nightfall” is a transaction protocol designed to move tokens on the blockchain with complete privacy.

Ripple and XRP

Ripple continues to move large amounts of XRP.

The company just sent 50 million XRP, roughly $20 million, to one of its over-the-counter (OTC) distribution wallets that are used to sell the digital asset to crypto exchanges and institutional participants.

Litecoin

Litecoin’s hash rate hit a new all-time high on Sunday, amid rumors that new mining hardware from Bitmain will soon be released. The hash rate is a sign that the network is thriving as new miners join the network.

Source: BitInfoCharts

Stellar

The Stellar Development Foundation’s Jed McCaleb and Denelle Dixon are hosting a new ask-me-anything on Reddit.

The event is set for Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. PST.

Tron

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao says he won’t be able to go to the charity lunch with Warren Buffett. CZ says he was invited by Tron CEO Justin Sun who pledged millions to a charity, winning a lunch date with billionaire investor Buffett and a chance to invite seven colleagues. CZ is passing the torch to outspoken crypto supporter Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital.

Source: Pivot – Blockchain Community

Local Bitcoins Removes Cash-for-Crypto Trading Option

Helsinki-based peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins has reportedly removed the option allowing users to buy or sell cryptocurrencies in person for cash.

In a Reddit post Sunday, a LocalBitcoins user pointed out the option was no longer available on the platform, though commenters some suggested the restriction might be limited to the U.S..

The removal of the option – which basically acts as a matchmaker for users to make trades in person – effectively bars LocalBitcoin users from selling and buying bitcoin for cash. LocalBitcoins has also cancelled pending fiat trades, other comments suggest.

The platform has not yet made an official announcement about the change on its blog or Twitter.

In response to the move, LocalEthereum announced has temporarily removed the trading fee on cash-in-person exchanges – effective June 1 to July 1.

LocalBitcoins’ move comes after the company announced in February that it would comply with the European Union’s (EU) new anti-money laundering directive.

Several other P2P cryptocurrency trading platforms still offer an in-person cash option.

Handing over dollars image via Shutterstock

Source: Pivot – Blockchain Community