The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another Cryptocurrency

The Daily: Critical Bug Found in the Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another Cryptocurrency

In Friday’s edition of The Daily, we cover the news about a vulnerability found in the Beam Wallet days after the launch of the Mimblewimble-based coin. Also, crypto card provider Wirex has added waves to its list of supported cryptocurrencies, and digital asset exchange Exmo has registered an increase in the number of Belarusian users following Binance’s move to restrict their access to its platform.

Also read: Trust Wallet Adds BCH, 35,000 Merchants Get Access to Crypto Payments

Critical Vulnerability in the Beam Wallet

The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another CryptocurrencyThe developers of Beam, a new privacy-centric coin based on the Mimblewimble protocol, have found a critical vulnerability in their Beam Wallet. The bug affects all previously released wallets in both the desktop and the CLI version, the company behind the project announced on Twitter. The problem has been fixed and Beam said in a post on Medium it’s currently working with providers to upgrade their systems.

In another tweet, the Beam dev team asked all users to stop currently running Beam Wallets immediately. However, according to the message, they should not delete the wallet’s database, as the bug does not affect wallet data, secret keys or passwords. Instead, they need to uninstall the wallet, download it again from the website beam.mw/downloads and install the new application.

Beam was launched on Jan. 3, becoming the first coin based on Mimblewimble, a protocol originally developed in 2016 to improve the scalability of the Bitcoin network and enhance the privacy of its users. The cryptocurrency is already available for trading on the decentralized platform Bisq which promised to also add Grin, another Mimblewimble coin expected to launch on mainnet by the end of this month.

 

Wirex Adds Support for Waves

The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another CryptocurrencyThe popular online bank and crypto debit card issuer Wirex has added another coin to its list of supported cryptocurrencies. Users of the Wirex platform in the European Economic Area (EEA) can now buy, store, convert and spend waves with their Wirex Visa cards, the U.K.-based company announced in a blog post. The service also supports bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC), ripple (XRP) and ether (ETH).

“The introduction of the waves wallet to Wirex is an exciting development for both crypto-investors and our globetrotting Wirex Visa card users,” co-founder Pavel Matveev commented. “For travel, welcoming waves to your portfolio means that you can enjoy a wider choice of currencies to exchange from and store,” his partner Dmitry Lazarichev added.

Last month Wirex completed the introduction of Iban support for all EUR accounts. EEA users can now fund their account by bank transfer and receive euro payments. The fintech startup also raised the funding limits for account holders in the EEA to £15,000, €16,000 and $20,000. The company is now planning an expansion into North American markets.

Belarusian Traders Migrate From Binance to Exmo

The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another CryptocurrencyThe analytics department of Exmo, the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Eastern Europe, has detected a six-fold increase in the number of registered users from Belarus in December, crypto news outlet Let Know reports. Exmo’s team attributed the influx of new traders to Binance’s decision to restrict access to its platform for the residents of a number of countries under sanctions, including Belarus.

In late November, Binance, which is currently the largest digital asset exchange by daily trading volume, informed its Belarussian users that its services will no longer be available in their country. In correspondence to customers from Belarus, the exchange urged them to read the latest version of its Terms of Use. Under the new ToU agreement, traders acknowledge and declare they are not on any trade or economic sanctions lists, such as those prepared by the U.N. Security Council and the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department (OFAC).

Since its launch five years ago, Exmo has registered 1.5 million users. According to the report, its daily trading volume reaches $40 million. The exchange, which supports trading pairs with fiat currencies such as the Russian ruble and the Ukrainian hryvnia, is currently 56th in Coinmarketcap’s volume rankings, with a daily volume touching $20 million.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Beam, Wirex.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post The Daily: Critical Bug Found in Beam Wallet, Wirex Adds Another Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

PR: Bitex Global Launches XBX on Global Exchanges

Bitex Global Launches XBX on Global Exchanges

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

As per the reports, Bitex has launched its cryptocurrency in worldwide cryptocurrency exchanges, coin namely XBX which is now accessible for trading. So now it’s the right time to change your coins which you don’t need into XBX.

As cryptocurrency is the evolving aspect of future payments, Bitex is offering you a solution to facilitate your daily requirements. The coin-XBX will be used as a utility token, received as a fee for all the transactions.

In order to receive a Bitex card, you must process KYC and get registered with an account by going to https://bitexpay.cards/my-account/. You can pay through cryptocurrency to receive debit cards for the same.

XBX trading is open now, and you can begin trading at IDAX-a crypto exchange , Right BTC-a crypto exchange and soon to be launched in addition to this, the trading will start at other platforms counting 17 cryptocurrency exchanges world wide. The dates are as following — Right BTC- January 11,Coinlim – January 13th, Bit Pay- January 21st, P2PB2B-January 31st, Coin Tiger- February 4th, Dobi Trade- February 7th, EZBITEX download and registration- February 14th, Bit Forex- February 28th, and EZBITEX exchange launch- March 1st .

For other latest updates and releases, refer to official websites of Xnews and Bitex.
Initially, Bitex has conducted an initial coin offering of XBX and had a total supply of 300,000,000 XBX. The Pre-ICO token price is 0.5$ and the cost of one token of XBX was $0.7to $1.0 at the end of the token sale.

By this time, Bitex has distributed over 65% of XBX through the sale of licenses for the EZBitex platform software to its authorized partners over 8 countries and BitexPay Cards to over 7000 users worldwide.

XBX will be considered as a crypto credit standard in the blockchain ecosystem. XBX offers protected liquidity with sophisticated security using blockchain on ERC20 protocol. The technology is strongly compliant with KYC and AML procedures that ensure 100% anonymity and privacy for the users of the coin. More information can be found at https://ico.bitex.global/.

COMMUNITY IMPACT MEETS GLOBAL EFFICIENCY – THE FIRST LOCALLY-EMBEDDED, YET GLOBAL, CRYPTO-BANK

Contact Email Address
harith@bitex.international

Supporting Link
https://ico.bitex.global/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: Bitex Global Launches XBX on Global Exchanges appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Bank Forcing Customers to Agree to Anti-Cryptocurrency Policy

Indian Bank Forcing Customers to Agree to Anti-Cryptocurrency Policy

An Indian bank is reportedly forcing customers to agree that they “will not deal with any transactions related to cryptocurrency including bitcoins” when signing up for an account. In addition, there are reports of banks blocking accounts of their existing customers if they are found to have made crypto-related transactions.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Account Opening Agreement

Amid banking restrictions imposed by India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a major bank in the country, is reportedly asking customers to declare that they will not deal with any cryptocurrency transactions.

Indian Bank Forcing Customers to Agree to Anti-Cryptocurrency PolicyTwitter user Indiancryptogirl, “@Desicryptohodlr,” tweeted a screenshot of Kotak Mahindra Bank’s account opening agreement on Tuesday. One of the items customers must agree to reads: “I hereby declare that I will not deal with any transactions related to cryptocurrency including bitcoins. I also understand and agree that the bank reserves all right to close my account without further intimation in case I am found to undertake such transactions.”

Indian Bank Forcing Customers to Agree to Anti-Cryptocurrency Policy

Indiancryptogirl told news.Bitcoin.com:

Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited is one of the largest Indian banks. They have started to show this notice on account creation since past 1 month. This message comes as a ‘one last check’ before account creation and the cryptocurrency tickbox cannot be skipped or unchecked. As a result, to create an account with the bank, we have to agree to the message. Else we cannot begin any online banking service with the bank.

In addition, she said that the bank has been sending emails and SMS messages over the past six months notifying customers regarding its cryptocurrency policy. This follows the circular issued by the RBI prohibiting banks from providing services to crypto businesses.

However, she described that in the past month they have gone a step further and “have started forcefully obligating users to accept their notice while opening a new account with them.”

Enforcing RBI Regulations

Kotak Mahindra Bank also displays a similar message on their ATMs. Twitter user “@Vivekmacha” tweeted an image of the notice. It says: “Virtual currencies (VCs) are not legal tender and do not have any regulatory permission or protection in India. We request you not to make transactions involving any VCs from any of your account/s. For any such transactions, the bank shall be acting in accordance with the regulatory guidelines which include closing your account without further intimation.”

Indian Bank Forcing Customers to Agree to Anti-Cryptocurrency Policy

According to Indiancryptogirl, “Many other banks have been sharing such communication on email and SMS since April 2018 with all their customers.”

The official website of Kotak Mahindra Bank also states that all of its branches carry a notice stating that the bank has disallowed “credit, debit, or prepaid cards for purchasing or trading in bitcoins, cryptocurrencies, or virtual currencies.” The notice continues:

If the bank were to receive instructions from the authorities, it would have to close any account that transacts in virtual currencies, possibly without any intimation, and would not be able to provide assistance in case of any losses incurred due to such dealings.

Indian Bank Forcing Customers to Agree to Anti-Cryptocurrency PolicyA spokesperson for Indian exchange Instashift explained to news.Bitcoin.com that Kotak Mahindra Bank is “a non-nationalized private bank so they have to certainly adhere to all RBI regulations, else their banking licence would be ceased.” Banks like Kotak Mahindra are taking extreme precaution “about how their customers are using their system so that they don’t come under any RBI scrutiny in the future,” he elaborated.

Furthermore, the spokesperson noted that, based on his experience, banks “are keeping an eye on everyone’s account and checking the remarks of a transaction.” They are “strictly adhering to the RBI directions and blocking accounts which they feel are being used to trade cryptocurrency,” he added. If customer accounts come “under scrutiny and the bank officers read the crypto keywords in remarks,” the accounts “would definitely get blocked.” Nonetheless, he emphasized:

But as per law, it’s the individual’s choice what to do with his hard earned money and the RBI has not banned cryptocurrency.

What do you think of Kotak Mahindra Bank forcing customers to agree to their anti-crypto policy? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, @Vivekmacha, @Desicryptohodlr, Financial Express, and Kotak Mahindra Bank.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Bank Forcing Customers to Agree to Anti-Cryptocurrency Policy appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Query the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain With Bitcoin.com’s Dedicated Bitdb Node

Query the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain With Bitcoin.com's Dedicated Bitdb Node

Over six months ago, Bitcoin.com launched a dedicated development page for programmers working on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. More recently, our web portal further added the literature “Mastering Bitcoin Cash,” a comprehensive overview of BCH basics and technical operation of the protocol. In order to ring in the New Year, Bitcoin.com has added a dedicated Bitdb node and explorer this week that can query the BCH chain.

Also Read: Nick Szabo: Central Banks May Turn to Cryptocurrency Reserves Over Gold

Bitcoin.com Adds Dedicated Bitdb Node for the Bitcoin Cash Network

Query the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain With Bitcoin.com’s Dedicated Bitdb NodeOver the last year, Bitcoin.com has been spreading adoption with our wallet that’s seen more than 3.3 million wallets created and our BCH faucet which has given away free BCH to over 100,000 people. In addition to telling the masses about the best money in the world, Bitcoin.com wants to see Bitcoin Cash infrastructure and development flourish. In order to help the ecosystem, we launched Developer.bitcoin.com last year. The web portal offers programmers a Bitbox SDK, REST, GUI, and Cloud platforms that can help them scale and deploy software on top of the BCH chain. Moreover, this week on Jan. 7, Bitcoin.com launched a dedicated Bitdb node for developers and users interested in parsing the BCH chain for data.

“Bitdb has proven to be a useful part of the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem and today we’re very happy to announce Bitcoin.com’s dedicated BCH Bitdb node,” BCH developer Gabriel Cardona announced on Monday. “We also have a testnet node in preview,” the developer added.

Cardona further stated:   

We’re committed to maintaining this project in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem. Thanks to Unwriter for a great open source project and thanks to Spend BCH for all the work getting this live.

Query the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain With Bitcoin.com’s Dedicated Bitdb Node
Bitdb microservice API endpoint – make HTTP requests to your Bitdb node.

Query Data and Build Killer BCH Applications

The Bitdb protocol is an autonomous database that can crawl, index, and query the blockchain. The project was launched by the prolific programmer Unwriter, alongside the multitude of other applications the developer built last year. The open source project allows anyone to parse the chain for all kinds of information and can specifically query data like OP_Return transactions. Bitdb stores every bitcoin cash transaction in a uniformed format allowing a simple MongoDB query that can be useful for all types of ideas. A few developers have already used Unwriter’s Bitdb for certain applications. For instance, the Poster.cash platform uses Unwriter’s Bitdb and Bitsocket, which provided the creator with the ability to develop a “serverless Memo implementation.”

Query the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain With Bitcoin.com’s Dedicated Bitdb Node
Bitdb query web UI makes use of the API endpoint to render the query UI.

Adding Bitdb to Bitcoin.com’s suite of developer resources helps bolster the Bitcoin Cash network’s infrastructure, alongside all the other tools and introductory guides to certain frameworks. Researchers and developers who plan to get started building and studying the BCH chain can also utilize this handy list of programming resources. The comprehensive catalog includes tools and documentation for Bitbox, the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP), Wormhole, a token creation web app, Cash-ID, and the Badger Wallet. With Unwriter’s innovative creation Bitdb helping developers parse the chain and build innovative BCH applications, we think hosting a mainnet and testnet Bitdb node on Bitcoin.com is a great addition to our growing development suite.

What do you think about our Bitdb node? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Github, and the Bitcoin.com Bitdb web node and API.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section. 

The post Query the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain With Bitcoin.com’s Dedicated Bitdb Node appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Block Propagation Startup Bloxroute Partners With Mining Operation Rawpool

Block Propagation Startup Bloxroute Partners With Mining Operation Rawpool

On Thursday, Bloxroute Labs announced a partnership with the China-based mining operation Rawpool Group and global video communication software firm Yeecall. Both Rawpool and Yeecall plan to be the first cryptocurrency businesses to adopt Bloxroute’s product, dubbed the Blockchain Distribution Network version one.

Also Read: Nick Szabo: Central Banks May Turn to Cryptocurrency Reserves Over Gold

Bloxroute Labs Gathers Two Partners 

Block Propagation Startup Bloxroute Partners With Mining Operation RawpoolBloxroute is a company that claims it can provide blockchain networks with better efficiency by propagating blocks in a neutral manner. According to the Bloxroute whitepaper, the Blockchain Distribution Network (BDN) cannot favor specific nodes. Bloxroute claims the BDN deployment will enable participating nodes to maintain consensus by remaining provably neutral even when mining thousands of onchain transactions per second. On Jan. 10, the company announced it has partnered with the Chinese organization Rawpool Group and the developers of Yee Chain in order to begin node deployment in February. According to the announcement, the Bloxroute API will support both Ethereum and Bitcoin gateways.

“Rawpool and Yee Chain will be among the first adopters of the Bloxroute BDN version one available for deployment in Q1 and will participate in the first testing of the Bloxroute BDN scheduled for February,” explained Bloxroute Labs. “This test will be followed by a large-scale test in March that will include many miners and users.”

‘Faster Than Any Other Peer’

Block Propagation Startup Bloxroute Partners With Mining Operation RawpoolWhen version one of the Bloxroute BDN releases, the product will be a fully operational network with 15 nodes across five continents, the startup detailed. Further, the development team hopes to continue scaling and deploy 30-50 nodes by Q3 2019. The company believes the BDN tests in March will attract more mining pools. Bloxroute claims the company’s product is the “only layer zero scalability solution that solves the scalability problem at its core.” The software’s whitepaper asserts that mass use of the BDN network will provide network participants with the ability to propagate blocks and receive transactions “faster than any other peer.” During the announcement on Thursday, the startup explained that the mining operation Rawpool will see similar results.   

“This partnership is not only a large step towards scaling blockchains but also will allow Rawpool to immediately hear about and send blocks faster,” Bloxroute stated.

Bloxroute’s New Partners Are BCH Friendly

Bloxroute’s product will be usable by any single node and does not require majority adoption. The whitepaper claims the protocol that runs underneath the consensus layer could allow for 33 transactions per second (TPS) in contrast to Bitcoin Core’s 3 TPS. The BDN might be best suited for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) miners as Bloxroute does not require any fees or any protocol change except for increasing the block size parameter. Further, last September Rawpool was the largest BCH mining pool, and in an interview at the time, founder and chief executive of Rawpool Group David Li emphasized that he liked testing large blocks. Last year, on Sept. 11, Rawpool also published an objective evaluation of the original topological transaction ordering rule (TTOR) and canonical transaction ordering (CTOR). Yee Chain has also been friendly toward the BCH ecosystem when its Yee Wallet product developers partnered with the Bitcoin Cash Association and airdropped small fractions of BCH to its users.

What do you think about Bloxroute’s partnership with the mining operation Rawpool and Yee Chain? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images credits: Shutterstock, Bloxroute, Rawpool, and Pixabay.


The Bitcoin universe is vast. So is Bitcoin.com. Check our Wiki, where you can learn everything you were afraid to ask. Or read our news coverage to stay up to date on the latest. Or delve into statistics on our helpful tools page.

The post Block Propagation Startup Bloxroute Partners With Mining Operation Rawpool appeared first on Bitcoin News.

China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies to ‘Promote Healthy Development’

China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies 'to Promote Healthy Development'

China is coming down hard on blockchain companies, even though the government appears to favor blockchain over cryptocurrency. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced new regulations on Jan. 10 that will compel blockchain platforms to eliminate “undesirable” content while giving authorities access to private stored data and to check the identity of users.

Also read: Bitcoin Goes on Sale in 24 French Tobacco Stores

‘Rules to Promote Healthy Development of Blockchain Industry’

China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies to 'Promote Healthy Development'

China’s Internet Information Service Management Measures, which come into force on February 15, will “promote the healthy development of blockchain technology and related services,” CAC claimed in a press release. It said the rules are built to “safeguard national security and social public interests, [and] protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens.”

China has clamped down on virtual currencies since 2017 when the government outlawed initial coin offerings and prevented domestic cryptocurrency exchanges from operating within the Asian country’s economy.

But its government appears to tolerate distributed ledger technology on account of its many uses outside of the cryptocurrency realm. Industries such as oil, shipping, and agriculture are starting to show interest in blockchain, the technology which underpins crypto assets like bitcoin.

Stringent Registration Requirements for Users

Blockchain companies will now be required to register users with their actual names and national identity or mobile number while eliminating content that Beijing deems unfavorable. Companies are expected to “immediately release” stored data that the state regards as a threat to or contravening existing national laws. The new regulations state:

The blockchain information service provider shall implement the responsibility for information content security management, and establish and improve management systems such as user registration, information review, emergency response, and security protection … If the user does not perform real identity authentication, the blockchain information service provider shall not provide related services.

Companies will also be required to report to the government any new updates to their product range and to “accept social supervision” while adhering to strict registration requirements. Entities found to be in violation of the rules could be subject to fines or prosecution, the CAC said. Fines range between 5,000 yuan and 30,000 yuan ($700 to $4,400).

China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies to 'Promote Healthy Development'

The CAC claims in its new regulations that it is working to reinforce the blockchain industry. It says it intends to “strengthen industry self-discipline, improve industry standards,” and to guide blockchain platforms “to promote industry credit evaluation system construction,” among other things.

What do you think about the new rules guiding the operation of blockchain companies in China? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies to ‘Promote Healthy Development’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies to ‘Promote Healthy Development’

China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies 'to Promote Healthy Development'

China is coming down hard on blockchain companies, even though the government appears to favor blockchain over cryptocurrency. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced new regulations on Jan. 10 that will compel blockchain platforms to eliminate “undesirable” content while giving authorities access to private stored data and to check the identity of users.

Also read: Bitcoin Goes on Sale in 24 French Tobacco Stores

‘Rules to Promote Healthy Development of Blockchain Industry’

China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies to 'Promote Healthy Development'

China’s Internet Information Service Management Measures, which come into force on February 15, will “promote the healthy development of blockchain technology and related services,” CAC claimed in a press release. It said the rules are built to “safeguard national security and social public interests, [and] protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens.”

China has clamped down on virtual currencies since 2017 when the government outlawed initial coin offerings and prevented domestic cryptocurrency exchanges from operating within the Asian country’s economy.

But its government appears to tolerate distributed ledger technology on account of its many uses outside of the cryptocurrency realm. Industries such as oil, shipping, and agriculture are starting to show interest in blockchain, the technology which underpins crypto assets like bitcoin.

Stringent Registration Requirements for Users

Blockchain companies will now be required to register users with their actual names and national identity or mobile number while eliminating content that Beijing deems unfavorable. Companies are expected to “immediately release” stored data that the state regards as a threat to or contravening existing national laws. The new regulations state:

The blockchain information service provider shall implement the responsibility for information content security management, and establish and improve management systems such as user registration, information review, emergency response, and security protection … If the user does not perform real identity authentication, the blockchain information service provider shall not provide related services.

Companies will also be required to report to the government any new updates to their product range and to “accept social supervision” while adhering to strict registration requirements. Entities found to be in violation of the rules could be subject to fines or prosecution, the CAC said. Fines range between 5,000 yuan and 30,000 yuan ($700 to $4,400).

China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies to 'Promote Healthy Development'

The CAC claims in its new regulations that it is working to reinforce the blockchain industry. It says it intends to “strengthen industry self-discipline, improve industry standards,” and to guide blockchain platforms “to promote industry credit evaluation system construction,” among other things.

What do you think about the new rules guiding the operation of blockchain companies in China? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post China Announces New Regulations for Blockchain Companies to ‘Promote Healthy Development’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETF

Bitwise Asset Management is the latest American financial firm to seek regulatory permission for launching a bitcoin ETF. The company thinks it should succeed in getting the SEC’s approval, which all other applicants have failed to do so far, by utilizing a new model for the instrument.

Also Read: UK Crypto Ventures Raised Over $255 Million VC Funding in 2018

Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust

Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETFBitwise Asset Management, a provider of a number of crypto index funds, announced on Thursday, Jan. 10 that it has filed an initial registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a proposed new physically held BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF). The company believes its proposed ETF is different from previously filed proposals in that it will rely on regulated third party custodians to hold its physical coins, and in that it is based on a large number of cryptocurrency exchanges representing the majority of currently verifiable trading.

The company is said to have spent 2018 researching the concerns the SEC raised about the crypto market including the quality of the trading ecosystem, the reliability of pricing, the strength of the arbitrage function, and the robustness of custody. “We believe the crypto trading ecosystem has evolved in significant ways in the past year,” stated John Hyland, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Funds for Bitwise. “Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under U.S. fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with bitcoin.”

An ETF Will Trade on NYSE Arca in 2019

Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETFAccording to Bitwise, the proposed listing exchange, NYSE Arca, Inc. (NYSE), will file an application to list shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF under a ticker symbol that will be determined at a later date. The company expects the NYSE to file a so-called Rule 19b-4 request with the SEC in the coming days requesting necessary rule changes in order to allow the ETF to list once the registration statement is declared effective by the SEC.

“While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a bitcoin ETF launches,” said Hyland.

As news.Bitcoin.com recently reported, while companies have been struggling to gain the SEC’s approval so far, fund providers are now arguing there is sufficient market liquidity for such an ETF to be launched in 2019.

Is the SEC likely to approve this new ETF? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETF appeared first on Bitcoin News.

5 Crypto Exchanges Have Been Licensed in Gibraltar Since Regulation

Five Crypto Exchanges Licensed in Gibraltar Since Regulation

Several known crypto companies have been granted licenses to operate from Gibraltar since the British overseas territory adopted business-friendly regulations for the nascent industry. According to Gibraltar’s trade minister, Albert Isola, the government is now focused on creating a “supportive environment” for the sector.  

Also read: Cryptocurrency Exchanges Eye Russia for Expansion Despite Sanctions

Supportive Environment for the Crypto Industry

5 Crypto Exchanges Have Been Licensed in Gibraltar Since Regulation
Albert Isola

The Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) Regulatory Framework went into effect in January 2018, a month after it was approved by the Legislature of Gibraltar. The regulations are designed to attract companies from the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry while ensuring proper protection for customers’ interests and maintaining Gibraltar’s own reputation, according to the authors of the dedicated legislation.

“Our financial regulator, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC), began awarding DLT licenses to a number of leading blockchain firms operating here in October,” the Minister for Commerce of Gibraltar Albert Isola told news.Bitcon.com. The list of licensed companies includes Huobi, the fourth largest exchange by daily trading volume, Coinfloor, the oldest crypto trading platform in the U.K., Covesting, which is another crypto exchange based in Europe, the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), operated by the local stock exchange, and the most recently licensed entity, digital asset platform Etorox.

Isola, who is also a member of the British parliament, emphasized that the regulatory framework implemented in Gibraltar is designed to remain flexible to the fast-moving developments of the wider crypto ecosystem and will allow authorities to react swiftly to the growth of the sector in the coming years. The official added that while introducing sensible legislation has been the main priority, the government has been also working to create a supportive and business-friendly environment for blockchain companies that want to operate there or have already established a presence in the territory.

The trade minister shared that Gibraltar has recently established a trade association for the industry, the Gibraltar Association for New Technologies (GANT). The organization facilitates the development of formal relationships between the authorities and the crypto companies. The government has also created a working group called New Technologies in Education (NTiE). The project, a joint initiative between the executive power, the private sector, and the University of Gibraltar, aims to address the growing demand for related skills. The plan is to organize educational courses that will prepare employees and specialists for the industry.

Gibraltar and the Competition

5 Crypto Exchanges Have Been Licensed in Gibraltar Since RegulationGibraltar is one of several jurisdictions in Europe that have taken steps to become crypto-friendly territories. These include Switzerland, Malta, Estonia, and the Isle of Man. Switzerland, which is home to the Crypto Valley in Zug, has attracted hundreds of crypto startups. The Swiss government recently announced a comprehensive strategy that recognizes distributed ledger technologies as an important development for the financial sector and aims to build a legal foundation for their implementation. Last year, Malta adopted a welcoming regulatory framework for crypto businesses, and Estonia has licensed over 900 exchanges and wallet service providers in less than a year since it introduced a licensing regime for crypto companies.

Albert Isola believes, however, that Gibraltar remains the destination of choice for quality fintech companies because of its “reputation for being a business-friendly jurisdiction, for promoting blockchain education and for strong public-private sector collaboration.” The government representative noted that the local authorities are focused on creating legislation that will provide strong oversight and consumer protection without stifling the innovation which is required for the industry to flourish. He also added:

We want to create a vibrant DLT community in Gibraltar by developing strong, collaborative relationships with the private sector operators who have based themselves here.

Gibraltar has long been a hub for businesses providing financial services and companies operating online gaming platforms. These two sectors provide a sizable portion of its domestic product and budget receipts. The Gibraltar government has been quick to realize the potential benefits of building a crypto-friendly environment and expects that its regulatory framework will attract more crypto companies in the future.

What are your expectations about the future of the crypto industry in Gibraltar? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post 5 Crypto Exchanges Have Been Licensed in Gibraltar Since Regulation appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The Struggles and Successes of Introducing Crypto to the Unbanked: A Social Experiment in Colombia

The Struggles and Successes of Introducing Crypto to the Unbanked: A Social Experiment in Colombia

How cryptocurrency can help the unbanked has been a hot topic over the past 12 months. It is a laudable goal, but one that it is by no means easy to accomplish. One tech enthusiast and stablecoin startup employee, Steven Gilbert, experienced the struggles – and successes – of attempting to do so when he went to one of the poorest neighborhoods in Bogota, Colombia to encourage adoption. 

Also read: Why Colombia Has Become a Hotspot for Bitcoin ATMs

A Crypto Social Experiment

Inspired by a hurricane relief project in Puerto Rico he took part in, Steven Gilbert wanted to do something else charitable but this time related to one of his passions – cryptocurrency. Living in Colombia’s capital city of Bogota, the 30-year-old decided to help the needy in a poor, generally out of bounds area in the south of the city. There, he wanted to introduce the benefits of cryptocurrency to people who didn’t have bank accounts as part of an experiment. The Struggles and Successes of Introducing Crypto to the Unbanked: A Social Experiment in Colombia

“I was interested in visiting this neighborhood which is largely unbanked and poor, and seeing how they would receive the idea of crypto. The takeaway was that they were interested,” he told news.Bitcoin.com. Steven, who is director of international operations at Reserve and now lives in California, went to the Ciudad Bolivar neighborhood and donated some of his own cash to nine families – 44 people in total – living there. He met them by visiting a community centre that helps displaced people in Colombia. Most of the people he spoke to had phones, but no bank accounts, so he was able to show them Breadwallet and from there give them ethereum – 1 ETH apiece, approximately $131.

Steven also embarked on a mission to educate the local people, who live far away from the banks and financial opportunities to be found in central Bogota, about the benefits of cryptocurrency, and how it can help them. “With one old woman, I scanned the QR code, made the transfer and she could could see how much it was in pesos. She asked me, ‘Is that really what it’s worth?’ Her face lit up when I told her it was. She was fascinated to have digital cash,” he recalled.

The Struggles and Successes of Introducing Crypto to the Unbanked: A Social Experiment in Colombia

The Difficulties of Execution

But there were a number of problems. Steven said that despite the enthusiasm among the community, the biggest issue was getting them to use the crypto. “I was trying really hard to get a merchant in the community to get them to use [crypto],” he said. “I was like ‘hey, I’m donating this money to a community, as part of an experiment it would be awesome if the people could use it.’” Despite managing to convince residents to download wallets – many had heard of Bitcoin so had a rough understanding what crypto was – the shopkeepers were harder to sway: “The merchants I spoke with in Ciudad Bolivar hadn’t heard of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, so I was starting from square one in terms of educating them. If I had more time, I’m confident I could have brought several merchants onboard but I was time constrained because I was leaving Colombia.”

The Struggles and Successes of Introducing Crypto to the Unbanked: A Social Experiment in Colombia

When Steven did leave, he left them with the knowledge of Localbitcoin.com and of Bogota’s many crypto ATMs. He also left them with a list of stores and restaurants that accept the cryptocurrency. He said: “The main thing was education. At minimum I wanted to see how they would receive crypto. The biggest benefit is a lot of these people don’t have bank accounts, they’re not tapped into the banking system, so one really cool thing about crypto is you don’t need anyone’s permission to download a crypto wallet. Once you know how to do it, you’re effectively banked.”

The Struggles and Successes of Introducing Crypto to the Unbanked: A Social Experiment in ColombiaOther difficulties included the logistics of introducing crypto to just a small section of a neighborhood. “The area was dangerous, I could only be there in the daytime. I would have done more training workshops but because I wasn’t giving it to the entire neighborhood – only a handful of households – it could’ve created tensions,” he said.
But Steven said that despite the difficulties of performing the experiment solo, it was easy enough to introduce unbanked people to cryptocurrency and get them enthusiastic about the concept. Since starting a role that specializes in introducing crypto to countries that struggle with hyperinflation, he added that all it would take is a bit of extra manpower and resources. “These people were very interested and excited at being part of a financial system. They were very open to the idea and I think we could get entire communities using crypto in the future.”

What do you think about Steven’s social experiment? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. 


Image credits: Steven Gilbert


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post The Struggles and Successes of Introducing Crypto to the Unbanked: A Social Experiment in Colombia appeared first on Bitcoin News.