Russia Sort Of Dropped The Hammer On Bitcoin, Crypto

Russia’s State Duma hates bitcoin, ether, ripple, you name it. If it is not the ruble, or a currency issued by a state, Russia’s government is not into it.

The government posted an updated version of their new draft law “On Digital Financial Assets” on Monday for public comment, along with it additional documents that significantly change the way cryptocurrency is regulated in Russia. Breaking the rules comes with legal penalties now. But the good news is, Russians don’t have to give up their fixation on cryptocurrencies.

The law, which is not a major shift in tune from The Kremlin or the Central Bank in regards to official positions on privately issued crypto currencies, does however prohibit the circulation of all cryptocurrencies, as well as their mining and advertising.

“Сryptocurrencies go completely into the gray zone in Russia,” says Artem Kalikhov, chief product officer of Waves Enterprise. “People who own one or two bitcoins are not at risk. But all cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets hosted on Russian sites with a .ru at the end are now at risk.”

The new law doesn’t mean Russians cannot own digital financial assets legally. The Russian Central Bank has not yet introduced the rules for inclusion in cryptos as a security. The Russia crypto market is waiting for that still.

Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the Russian State Duma, says that the country’s new crypto law won’t go into affect until the summer.

Aksakov said on Thursday of last week that people can buy and hold cryptocurrencies, but should declare it on their taxes. By declaring it, they will be given legal protections, since the cryptocurrency will be considered as a property. If they don’t declare it, they will not have any legal protections. Either way, there will be no legal penalties for owning cryptocurrencies, according to a report by RBC Russia.

“For us, at KickEX, this is bad news,” says Anti Danilevski, CEO of the new KickEX, a crypto currency exchange run by the creators of KickICO back in the intial coin offering heyday a whole three years ago now.

“We were initially regulated in the European Union, not in Russia, because we anticipated this,” he says. “It’s a pity that cool technology startups are forced to leave the country and cannot operate in their homeland. We will transfer our team to the EU now,” he says. “It’s painful for me to see that in the field of cryptocurrencies and digitalization, my country is moving backward while the whole world is moving forward.”

Aksakov said “there will be no digital currency platforms operating on the territory of Russia” — meaning no exchanges.

For now, the Russian crypto community is still chewing on the letter of the law, opening it up to interpretation.

“Digital money” is not necessarily the same as “digital assets”, and the law seems to be concerned with tokens. They will get regulated, and most likely they will be adopted as private securities one day. If so, it will one day be possible to conduct regulated security token offerings in Russia, they believe.

In that case, maybe the hammer has not busted through the crypto piggy bank.

“As far as I can see, this is a fight against cryptocurrencies, not with tokens or blockchain,” Danilevski says.

To newcomers in the crypto space, it’s worth noting that there are distinguished differences between cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and other digital assets issued by a tech company issuing its own coin. While they all depend on blockchain technology; blockchain technology does not require cryptocurrency.

Waves was building a blockchain trading platform for the Moscow Exchange as a beta test to see how it would work to trade crypto currencies.

“That market in Russia is developing steadily now,” says Kalikhov. “The attitude of Russian regulators is that cryptocurrencies are not allowed; and financial assets based on blockchain technology are going to be subject to regulation, but blockchain technology itself is still a go.”


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Nigerians’ love for cryptocurrencies on the rise, as it offers cheaper ways to transfer funds

Nigerians do have a high passion for digital currencies and are among the greatest users of cryptocurrencies in the world.

In 2019 Google Trends, Lagos, Nigeria was the number one city based on online search volumes for Bitcoin worldwide. While recently, in May 2020, Arcade Research ranked Nigeria fifth globally with its 11% of connected Nigerians owning or using cryptocurrencies.

In addition, data obtained from Coinmarketcap recently revealed the  largest cryptocurrency users around the world, with Nigeria surging by 46% among its youth users. As a country, it gains stood Nigeria Up 211%.

These trends have shown that Nigerians do have a high passion for digital currencies and are among the greatest users of cryptocurrencies in the world. This is based on a major fact that Nigerians are using cryptos to avoid expensive and heavily bureaucratic money transfer systems currently available. Many Nigerians rely on remittances for their daily activities and any way of making the process effective cheaper would be of great benefit to them, this is where Bitcoin comes in

What you need to know: Cryptocurrency is basically, a digital currency based on an innovative technology called the blockchain. Its users range from small businesses to process payments, financial tech-based startups, and retail consumers that use it to send money across the border and as an investment asset.

Consequently, Asia’s arguably most popular cryptocurrency exchange listed Nigeria’s Naira to be first African currency supported on its Binance P2P platform, The Binance CEO said:

“We no longer need to bank the unbanked. We can empower them with cryptocurrency financial services directly. Nigeria is a vibrant innovation hub with a great passion for cryptocurrencies. We strive to provide the easiest cryptocurrency access and best trading service for the African community, and P2P trading is a more flexible approach, giving users the freedom to choose their payment methods and counterparty in a trade.”

However Nigeria’s central bank issued a statement about three years ago banning the use of bitcoin for transaction purposes, this statement was sent to all banks in Nigeria warning them against facilitating the trading of cryptocurrencies but that seems not to pause Nigerians growing love for cryptocurrencies.

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Estonia otorgó licencia a startup de criptomonedas que opera en Argentina, Brasil y Chile

La casa de cambio de criptomonedas CryptoMarket, con operaciones en Argentina, Brasil, Chile y Europa, anunció el 3 de marzo que obtuvo la licencia comercial expedida por la Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera de Estonia (FIU). La empresa ahora está regulada por la legislación del país miembro de la Unión Europea, para prestar servicios de custodia, compra y venta de bitcoin, ether y otros criptoactivos.

Con el sello de plataforma regulada, CriptoMarket se une a Bitso en el grupo de casas de cambio latinas que cuentan con licencia para operar con criptomonedas. Recordemos que en julio pasado, la startup mexicana informó que recibió la documentación de la Comisión de Servicios Financieros de Gibraltar. Además, Mercury Cash, una iniciativa nativa de Venezuela, radicada en Europa, con 90% de usuarios latinos, también posee licencia emitida por Estonia.

Para conceder una licencia de operación, la UIF examina los antecedentes penales de los propietarios de la empresa, así como las normas de procedimiento y de cumplimiento de los estatutos de lucha contra el blanqueo de capitales; al mismo tiempo, revisa las normas de auditoría interna de la startup. “Entre los requerimientos a cumplir los reguladores exigen contar con un Oficial de Cumplimiento dentro de la jurisdicción de Estonia, lo cual nos obligó a incorporar a un representante quien estará radicado en el país de la Unión Europea”, explicó a CriptoNoticias, Rafael Meruane, CEO y cofundador de CryptoMarket.

Meruane añadió que la firma se inclinó por la legislación de Estonia para dar sus pasos regulatorios porque se trata de un país pionero en innovación. “Tal es el avance en materia de innovación, que Estonia fue uno de los primeros países del mundo en contar con una regulación financiera específica para las criptomonedas, estableciendo normas para la custodia de activos digitales e intercambio de ellos”, dijo.

El año pasado, Estonia endureció su reglamentación para prevenir el blanqueo de dinero mediante actividades delictivas relacionadas con bitcoin y otras criptomonedas. El país sigue un riguroso procedimiento para la concesión de licencias a los proveedores de servicios de criptoactivos. A raíz de estas medidas, la licencia de Estonia ha reforzado su condición como uno de los permisos de operación más solicitados del ecosistema de las criptomonedas.

“Aunque es ahora cuando estamos notificando a nuestros usuarios, fue el 18 de noviembre de 2019 cuando CryptoMarket recibió sus licencias. Una de estas licencias nos permite proveer servicios como casa de cambio de criptomonedas, mientras que la otra nos permite proveer servicios de monedero”, explicó el CEO de la empresa. Añadió que para fortalecer su proceso de expansión de CryptoMarket más allá de Argentina, Brasil, Chile y Europa, era necesario ajustarse a un marco regulatorio como el que posee actualmente Europa para la industria de las criptomonedas, según considera, este marco regulatorio está más avanzado y sólido que el de América Latina.

CryptoMarket fue fundada en 2016, iniciando operaciones en Chile, un año después se expandió a Argentina y en 2018 lo hizo en Brasil, anunciando también su apertura de operaciones para los países europeos para la compra y venta de criptomonedas como Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar y EOS.

La semana pasada un reporte publicado por la firma de inteligencia y seguridad IntSights señala que la delincuencia organizada en Latinoamérica se estaría financiando con criptomonedas como bitcoin. En el documento titulado «El lado oscuro de América Latina: criptomonedas, cárteles, carding y el auge del delito cibernético», se afirma que muy pocos países han establecido leyes para contrarrestar el lavado de dinero, lo que según los investigadores está generando que los involucrados utilicen sitios de intercambio no regulados o con débiles protocolos de Conoce a Tu Cliente (KYC) y Antilavado de Dinero (AML).

El ritmo de la regulación en América Latina

Aunque no existe un consenso global sobre la regulación de las criptomonedas, el auge de su uso entre un público cada vez más numeroso está obligando a los gobiernos de todo el mundo a volcar su atención en el tema. Este interés por los movimientos del ecosistema de los criptoactivos suma un número cada vez mayor de autoridades reguladoras de países de América Latina en los últimos años, a pesar del retraso en materia de regulación reseñado tiempo atrás, en comparación con las naciones de otros continentes.

Un informe publicado en diciembre del año pasado por la Asociación de Supervisores Bancarios de las Américas (ASBA), recopila y analiza las prácticas globales relativas a la regulación y supervisión de los modelos de negocio, productos y servicios de Tecnologías Financieras o FinTech.

El documento contempla el punto de vista de reguladores de Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Costa Rica, Curazao, Ecuador y otros 10 países, que reconocen el potencial del ecosistema de las criptomonedas, pero al mismo tiempo plantean la necesidad de regular el sector para ofrecer mayor seguridad al usuario y supervisar algunas prácticas, como no proporcionar información engañosa sobre los servicios financieros; introducir en las operaciones condiciones que no concuerden con la oferta contratada, entre otras.

México fue el primer país latinoamericano en emitir regulación para las FinTech, sin embargo, algunos analistas piensan que este marco jurídico se quedó corto frente al manejo de las criptomonedas. La razón la supeditan a que la referida legislación ha elevado las barreras de entrada a las startups a niveles que desincentivan la innovación y muestra el poco entendimiento de los reguladores sobre aspectos esenciales de la economía e industria de las criptomonedas.

Un informe de la Asociación de Mercados Financieros en Europa (AFME) sostiene que Europa tiene el potencial para coordinar la regulación de las criptomonedas para lo cual debe crear una convergencia de supervisión en la regulación de los criptoactivos en todo el bloque.


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Bitcoin Price Increases and Forecasts Are Shattered

By Moris Beracha.-

Some cryptocurrency research analysts predicted that in 2019 these crypto assets would keep a downfall trend and in the best of cases would hold a steady price.

However, April 2 marked a major rise in bitcoin’s Price, which seems to represent new capital injection to the rest of the altcoin market.

Just 24 hours before the aforementioned day, bitcoin was traded towards the USD 4.150; then, in less than one hour, it reached USD 4,850 and dropped to USD 4,750, but at the moment of writing this article BTC is traded at USD 7,924.10.

As most cryptocurrencies, there is still a high correlation between the traditional assets market and bitcoin and this token is the most liquid cryptocurrency in the market. The crypto market is benefiting from this rise.

So far, there are unclear reasons for this sudden increase of bitcoin’s price. Some media have related this increase to fool jokes and fake news on the approval of a BTC EFT in the US market, but it seems that this rise is caused by market dynamics.

Bitcoin’s price has been on a steady rise for three months, but in comparison to this same date last year, those who could afford to buy at that time are still losing over 30%.

A report, authored by Adamant Capital founders Tuur Demeester and Michiel Lescrauwaet, argues several reasons for optimism on the future of bitcoin.

The report highlights that bitcoin is in a heavy accumulation phase with a volatility drop, after showing a major decline in December last year.

Likewise, Adamant states that bitcoin is very likely to head lower in a cycle that seemed auspicious.

“We think bitcoin has entered the accumulation phase of the bear market and has recovered from capitulation; bockchain data show holders are looking at long-term horizons again, according to our drawdown and volatility analyses,” suggested the report by Adamant Capital.

These results suggest that bitcoin is the strongest cryptocurrency and is here to stay for many years.

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Vending machines, the new target for cryptocurrencies

By Moris Beracha.-

There are food and sweet vending machines all over the world. Therefore, this market has become the target of some developers, who are working to enable people to pay for products into vending machines with cryptocurrencies.

It can be highlighted that the energy drinking company “Red Bull” installed the first energy drink machine that only accepts bitcoins (BTC) in 2016, amid the Paralelni Polis congress of hackers in Prague, the Check Republic.

Then, the price of tokens dropped and many companies that planned to develop this type of technology decided to turn a blind eye, until in 2019 they decided to take up said systems.

In this sense, it is important to mention that a Brazilian programmer and hardware hacker created a Coca-Cola vending machine accepting payments in BTC. The machine also accepts Lightning Network (LN) transactions.

According to the TheNextWeb site, “this machine has been assembled by using a water pump, a touchscreen, wood and a Raspberry Pi. The customer has to scan a QR code that appears to be processing a BTC payment”.

Once the payment is received by the machine, it dispenses the Coca-Cola. For a high-speed transaction without adding large amounts of commission payments, creators developed the use of LN.

In the same way, iVendPay startup announced its partnership with GoByte, a well-known cryptocurrency Company.

This meant that at the end of 2018 vending machines were installed in Malaysia and Israel that accepted cryptocurrencies as payment.

“The partnership between iVendpay and GoByte is caused by the high demand for universal services allowing to pay for goods and services with cryptocurrency in everyday life. The choice in favor of GoByte was made due to the peculiarities of this cryptocurrency, designed for instant processing of micropayments with a small commission,” said Sergey Danilov, the founder of Ivendpay.

Thus, Is Latin America ready to install this type of vending machine?

Certainly, the use of cryptocurrency in countries like Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Chile, is on the rise; therefore, businesses are very likely to target Latin America and we can soon see these types of vending machines that make people’s lives easier.

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Venezuela expands its cryptocurrency portfolio

By Moris Beracha.-

The Venezuelan government has carried out a massive advertisement campaign nationally and internationally, to promote its crypto asset called “Petro”, which has taken center stage, since it is used and anchored to the local currency and accounting unit in the finances of the South American nation.

Not only is the referred token commercialized in the country, which is backed by the huge oil reserves, but also digital entrepreneurs have decided to develop new cryptocurrencies that allow Venezuelans to protect their money in the face of a serious economic crisis that could not be controlled by the administration of President Nicolás Maduro.

In this sense, the head of the Venezuelan Association of Cryptocurrency (Asonacrip), José Álvarez, has stated in different media “there is a modest number of successful developments beyond the petro in Venezuela.”

It should be noted that in addition to bitcoin, dash and the bolivar, Venezuelans have other alternatives at their disposal, and some of them already work, with cases of their use in real life.

Here is a list of private cryptocurrencies that will give people something to talk about in 2019:

Bolivarcoin: It is a Venezuelan virtual currency created by Satoshisimon Bolivarmoto. It was born in 2015 and is based on the Bitcoin culture, aimed at maintaining anonymity, speed of transactions and financial freedom. The philosophy of Bolivarcoin is to follow the ideals established by other altcoins and adapt them and make it more user-friendly by creating a campaign on social networks to inform about its benefits and uses.

ArepaCoin: According to its developers, this cryptocurrency has as its main objective the recognition of Venezuelan bread: the arepa. Arepacoin is algorithm (SCRYPT), hybrid, PoW / PoS / PoS is 3% per year offering a currency of low inflation and organic growth.

OnixCoin: “It’s a digital currency focused on privacy, with instant transactions and an open source. It allows you to keep your finances private, similar to cash,” it says on their website. This crypto that “anyone can extract or buy” currently costs 0.002914 USD. It has a market capitalization of $ 312,048 and is ranked 957 on the Coinmarketcap platform.

PerlaCoin: Although there is not much information about the development of this cryptocurrency, on twitter we could find that it is a project that was established in Margarita Island and it is a token for tourism in Venezuela. “We want to use the advantages of blockchain technology and the legalization of crypto-assets to boost tourism and associated trade, mainly in Nueva Esparta and the Insular Territory of Miranda.”

Undoubtedly, all these cryptocurrencies can be used as a method for inflation protection, since several of them offer very low commissions when compared to bitcoin and people can have access to buying and selling in local currency.

In addition, the Venezuelan crypto can be used for sending and receiving remittances, buying and selling goods and services, covering a wide spectrum both nationally and internationally.

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