Australia is Next in Regulating Cryptocurrency Exchanges.

The Australian government has implemented new regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges. The AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction and Reporting Analysis Centre), reportedly reached out to cryptocurrency exchanges, and businesses involved in the industry, in order to inform them about new requirements they must abide by and implement, which should prevent money laundering and terror-financing. These new requirements were set to commence on April 3rd.

What exactly are these requirements all about? The Australian Government stated clearly on their website:

From 3 April 2018 DCE businesses are required to meet AML/CTF obligations, including:

  • adopting and maintaining an AML/CTF program to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks
  • identifying and verifying the identities of their customers
  • reporting to AUSTRAC suspicious matters, and transactions involving physical currency of $10,000 or more
  • keeping certain records for seven years.

Authorities highlighted that there will be a six month period where the AUSTRAC’s Chief Executive will be overseeing, and interfering with exchanges who fail to comply with their new legal obligations. The new obligations further require all exchanges to be registered with the government by May 14, 2018, latest. Exchanges which are already open and functioning must also register with the new, AUSTRAC ran,  “Digital Currency Exchange Register”. However existing exchanges will be permitted to continue with their business as they go through the new registration process due to “Transitional Registration Arrangements.” Government authorities announced publicly.. “There will be criminal offense and civil penalty consequences if you provide digital currency exchange services without being registered.”

Michael Keenan, Australia’s Justice Minister, was the one to break the news regarding the government’s will to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges. Under the new regulations, the AUSTRAC will have a much stronger grasp of the country’s digital currency exchanges and they will put themselves in a better position to prevent money laundering and other illegal activities. All exchanges will now be under the watch of Australia’s Financial Intelligence Agency, the AUSTRAC.

By Jaime Gutt.

South Africa Aims to Regulate and Tax Cryptocurrencies, Simultaneously Pushing for Growth.

South Africa’s Reserve Bank (SARB) announced that they will be forming a self-regulatory administrative branch, in order to regulate and stay on top of cryptocurrency developments and other fintech projects. Although the SARB has never had much to do with cryptocurrencies, they have decided take a step, imposing regulations through this new branch dubbed (SRO) which plans on protecting investors and lowering potential risk which can come through unregulated exchanges and investments. The SARB’s director of Banking Practice, Bridget King, believes that despite the regulations being implemented, the SARB will do its best to further aid the growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain as an industry in South Africa. King declared.“Regulating cryptocurrencies prematurely could have the negative consequence of throttling the growth and innovation of the industry. In addition, if laws are drafted based on existing technology, which is still in its growth phase, there is a risk that the technology may have moved so much by the time the legislation is enacted, that the legislation is obsolete or requires updating almost immediately to align with the latest technology.” Read More

Argentina Celebrates “Bitcoin Day”!

Not too long ago, it was National Siblings Day in the United States, and seemingly everyday, something or someone is commemorated by a nation or religion. Argentina is no different. Argentinians created “Bitcoin Day”. Five hundred participants held an event in a neighborhood called Almargo, with the purpose of increasing demand for Bitcoin and its technologies. Argentina is aiming to become the South American leader in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain innovation. One of the primary organizers of the event, Adriel Araujo mentioned.. Read More

Bitcoin Declared Compliant with Sharia Law

Many are attributing Bitcoin’s $1000 spike back in April to a declaration made by a Muslim scholar regarding Bitcoin’s compliance with Sharia Law. This declaration may have had massive implications, as it may have opened the door to millions of muslim investors who could now begin investing in crypto without having to betray their religion’s law. There has been plenty of skepticism within the muslim world, regarding Bitcoin’s status within Sharia Law. There are strict rules and guidelines in Sharia which detail what is a legitimate currency, and what may be an illegitimate, gambling tool. Sharia Law does not permit gambling or lending money at high interest rates. To date, Islam is the largest and most vibrant religion worldwide, totaling 23% of the globe’s population.

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Making The Brave Jump Into Blockchain

As blockchain projects start launching their promised products to the public, there has been one specific cryptocurrency that has had a working product since their ICO. The Brave web browser was founded by Mozilla’s and Javascript creator Brendan Eich as a way for content creators to distribute their work straight to interested users. With a built-in ad blocker, content creators will have to constantly work on distributing engaging and worthwhile content for users to rewards the authors with Braves native token, Basic Attention Token (BAT). No more third-party companies using users data and bombarding web surfers with irrelevant ads, this browser was built with the user’s privacy and interest in mind. There is a fair distribution economy which incentivizes and encourages users to compensate authors with a sort of subscription model for content they like.

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Russian Government Denies Collaboration with Venezuela’s Petro

Russian Authorities have released strong statements denying reports made earlier this week regarding their involvement with Venezuela’s newly issued cryptocurrency, the Petro. The Venezuelan Government, led by extremist Nicolas Maduro, has launched the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency. Earlier today, the Russian Government’s press department, called all reports linking them to Venezuela “Fake News”. Artorym Kozhin, a Russian Government Official called Time Magazine’s report a “Blatant Lie” according to a report by Tass.

Kozhin continued and declared..

“In no way, have the Russian financial authorities ever participated in this project. During the course of the meeting held on February 21, 2018 in Moscow, Venezuela’s Minister of Economy and Finance Mr. [Simon] Zerpa indeed handed over a booklet on the cryptocurrency to the Russian Finance Minister exclusively for the purpose of informing Russian partners about this project.”

Time Magazine had originally reported that Russian Billionaires along with President Vladimir Putin had ties with Maduro and that they had assisted him in launching the controversial Petro. According to Time, the two states have worked together had been a “half-hidden joint venture between Venezuelan and Russian officials and businessmen, whose aim was to erode the power of U.S. sanctions”

The US did effectively fire back with sanctions, as Trump signed an executive order earlier this week prohibiting the trade of Petro within US borders. In response to this, President Maduro held a public rally denouncing Trump’s move as “Shameful”, and letting the world know that “The Petro won’t be stopped by a nobody”.

To cap it off, Kozhin stated. “We homed in on a fake news story published by Time magazine and others that are popping up nowadays like mushrooms after a spring rain, claiming that they had a front-page exclusive on the alleged Russian origin of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency – the Petro,”

The Venezuelan Petro has been quite the storyline over the past few months, and it will certainly be intriguing to see where its future holds.


By Jaime Gutt.

Making Cryptocurrency Micropayments A Possibility With The Litex Network

Ever since the creation of bitcoin back in 2008, the financial world has changed its trajectory forever. This new technological advancement has given light to the unbanked population in regions such as Asia, South America, and Africa. As popularity grew, many altcoins have surged and copied the open source code to create a better, faster and decentralized peer to peer transactional cryptocurrency.

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Africa is Seeing Tremendous Growth in the Crypto Sector.

The African Continent is arguably underdeveloped and tends to be last in line when it comes to picking up on world trends. However, when it comes to Cryptocurrencies in Africa, we may encounter a different storyline. So far Cryptocurrencies, and what they have to offer, have been a tremendous and beneficial fit for Africans, and user volume is rising exponentially. Africa may, in fact, become one of the world’s primary hubs for Cryptocurrencies. This may come as a surprise, as Africa is barely ever brought up in regards to Cryptocurrency, Blockchain innovation, and other technological developments.

According to Investopedia, Africa has seen the birth of at least 15 major Cryptocurrency exchanges across the region within the past year. As the market soared in 2017, reported a highly increased 8.1 Million trading volume in Kenya. Furthermore, a world-renowned Cryptocurrency exchange called Luno had nearly 37% of its transactions stemming from South Africans in late 2017. The CEO of Luno, Marcus Swanepoel reported to CNN that his goal is to have one billion active users on the exchange by 2025, “There are very few industries in the world for which you could say that is a reachable goal, but because bitcoin is so open and global, it is really an achievable goal. We’re excited to pursue it,”.

What makes Cryptocurrencies so beneficial for Africans? There are several reasons as to why Cryptocurrencies have been such a great fit for the world’s third-largest continent. According to The World Bank, only 34% percent of Africans in the Sub-Saharan Region have bank accounts (As of 2014). Cryptocurrencies, therefore, provide the financial inclusion most Africans so desperately need. Through Cryptocurrencies, Africans are able to protect their money, transact money, and provide more benefits they are not receiving from banks. Moreover, as smartphones rise in popularity among low-income individuals, so does access to crypto. Another important reason why Africa is seeing growth in Crypto is increasing hyperinflation in several African countries. Similar to the current situations in South American countries like Venezuela, states like Zimbabwe, South Sudan, and Nigeria have been experiencing similar setbacks due to hyperinflation. In turn, Africans have been turning to Cryptocurrencies in order to preserve financial stability. As volatile as Cryptocurrencies are, individuals in Africa may feel more stable having their wealth in Crypto, as opposed to risking their wealth being invested in local fiat currency, where it can end up being devalued significantly.


Jaime Gutt.

Sirin Labs to Unleash $1,000 cryptocurrency phone this Upcoming November

The Finney is named after Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney, and is described as a “state of the art mobile device” for the “blockchain era.” The handset bears a passing resemblance to its predecessor, but aside from one pretty nifty hardware feature, it’s what’s inside the phone that counts.

At first blush, the Finney clearly comes from the same company as the Solarin, even down to the teardrop camera frame. But here, the top fifth of the backplate now slides up in a manner that’s reminiscent of an old Nokia slider.

Pull out the back and you’ll find a secondary display, called the Safe Screen, that’s only used for crypto transactions. The company says that the Safe Screen runs on dedicated firmware that lets users check where their coinage is being sent before they pay. The slider also activates the cold storage wallet that is designed to hold a significant number of different cryptocurrencies.

The Finney is running on a forked version of Android that, much like with the Solarin, the company promises has been made significantly more secure. It will need to be, too, since the phone offers access to a specific blockchain-related app store and the aforementioned cold wallet. Specs-wise, as outlined previously, the handset is running with flagship specifications, including a Snapdragon 845 and 6GB RAM.

The other notable feature, however, is Token Conversion Service (TCS), which is way to overcome the Balkanized nature of cryptocurrencies. Since so many coins are launched on a regular basis, it’s hard to know where to place your money. TCS, however, acts as a form of automatic broker, exchanging your SRN coins into the tokens necessary to carry out a specific purchase.

Amit Krelman, Sirin’s head of R&D, explained the idea using the notion of a blockchain-focused equivalent to Uber. Rather than having to stand, in the rain, buying tokens to hire a car, TCS will handle all of it for you, automatically. He was less clear, however, on how exactly the system would handle long transaction times and processing fees, an issue that plagues Bitcoin users on a regular basis.

Of course, carrying all of your cryptocurrency around with you on your phone seems rather unwise given the risk of theft. It’s a point that Sirin CMO Nimrod May believes is a misunderstanding about how folks would use crypto in the real world. He said that users would simply load their Finney with the quantity of coinage that they’d need that day, and leave the rest in a secure location at home. That seems like far more effort than simply carrying a credit card around — and that has the added benefit of fraud protection.

Whereas the Solarin was produced by Flextronics in a Swiss factory, the Finney is being manufactured by Foxconn, mostly to help cut costs. Switching to a mass-market provider, according to Zvika Landau, was key in getting the handset’s price down to $1,000. And there’s clearly some level of demand for the device, since it raised close to $158 million at the end of last year.

That demand could increase, too, since it also signed up Lionel Messi as a pitch person at the end of 2017. The global soccer superstar will lend his name and face to the phone, same as he does for companies like Adidas, Gatorade, Pepsi, Ooredoo, Huawei, Hawkers, Tata Motors and… Mastercard. When the phone launches in November, we’re hoping that Leo will turn up and do some ball tricks for our amusement.


Blockchain Powered Solutions For Crowdfunding Offered By BnKToTheFuture

As blockchain projects progress, we have started to witness which one have the capacities to fulfill their promises of disrupting or improving their respective industry. BnKToTheFuture (BFT), is a blockchain online investment project overlooking the future of finance currently listed in Huobi Pro. They aim to help any project looking for funding, and find them potential investors for future growth within a decentralized crowdsourcing platform. They currently hold a $100 million market cap with a trading price of $0.17. There has been a total of $1.7 million in trading volume the last 24 hours and Huobi has consisted of 30% of the total trading volume against BTC and Ether.

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