Cryptocurrencies try to draw Islamic investors

When people think of gold, they think of a reliable and valuable commodity. In the future, that might be the way people think about certain cryptocurrencies.

A company called OneGram are trying to combine both crypto and gold, by creating a currency which is backed by the chemical element.

There is method to their ambitious project; it is thought that by involving such a traditionally valuable commodity, that more investors from Islamic investors will be drawn to get involved.

Traditionally, this sort of investment didn’t sit well with Islam. That is in part due to Sharia principles, which don’t allow interest payments and don’t encourage monetary speculation. It is a hot debate amongst scholars, whether or not cryptocurrencies are allowed by the religion.

Hence, companies like OneGram, who are trying to launch currencies that have their base in physical assets. Each one of OneGram’s currency is backed by at least a gram of the valuable element, thus speculation decreases automatically.

Ibrahim Mohammed, the co-founder of OneGram, told Reuters: “Gold was among the first forms of money in Islamic societies so this is appropriate. We are trying to prove rules and regulations from sharia are fully compatible with digital blockchain technology.”

There have already been millions of dollars’ worth of this currency distributed and there are further plans to distributed what is the remaining 60 percent. In what was an important coup, OneGram obtained a ruling that this currency conforms with Islamic principles from a Dubai-based consulting firm OneGram isn’t the only cryptocurrency to receive this sort of approval. HelloGold, which originated in Malaysia, and is also based on Gold, received a separate approval stating their cryptocurrency is also conforming with Islamic principles.

Considering that 20 to 30 percent of banking in the Gulf and Southeast Asia follow these principles, it is important for any currency that wants to break into this market to also apply them.

National sharia authorities have warned their populations about the pitfalls of trading in cryptocurrencies, but they have not imposed outright bans.

Thus, it is down to the people themselves to use their values when deciding whether or not to invest in blockchain technology.

Three Korean banks will face inspection over cryptocurrency exchange compliance

According to a statement released on Monday by South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), three local banks will face a compliance inspection this month to check whether they are following new regulations put in place for dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in conjunction with the FSS will carry out on-site inspections of Nonghyup Bank, Kookmin Bank and Hana Bank between 19 and 25 April.

Investigators will check whether the banks are following recently introduced anti-money-laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) rules, which were recently introduced to prevent anonymous accounts being set up virtually.

Some banks have taken the initiative to introduce internal compliance checks, notably Nonghyup Bank, which has been providing automatic verification checks for two of the largest Korean exchanges, Coinone and Bithumb. Other financial providers have been urged to carry out their own checks to comply with the new rules.

South Korea’s banking institutions have welcomed cryptocurrency exchanges and related businesses with open arms, unlike most of the banks located in the UK, which have formed what has been likened to a cartel to block any crypto-related business accessing traditional banking services. Only this year, Barclays was the first to provide its banking services to CoinBase, allowing customers to deposit and withdraw fiat under the Faster Payments Service (FPS), which is more or less real-time.

Many cryptocurrency exchanges are working with Polish-based banks, which have so far been more open to working with such firms.

Tech giants face class action lawsuit over targeted crypto ad ban

More Blockchain and cryptocurrency organisations have joined the anti-crypto advertising ban enforced by tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

According to Russia’s RNS, three more countries that now include Kazakhstan, Armenia and Switzerland have joined Russia, South Korea and China in a joint class action lawsuit that will be filed in New York this May. Legal costs will be crowd-sourced from donations made to a fund registered in Luxembourg.

Facebook, Google and Twitter as said to be displaying cartel-like behaviour when enforcing a restrictive ban on cryptocurrency ads, which appears to be aimed at curbing enthusiasm and hindering the adoption of new and possibly game-changing technologies. This blanket ban is penalising legitimate companies who wish to utilize advertising platforms to gain investors and users and spread the word about their projects, which subsequently affects the amount of funds raised.

The Chinese Association of Cryptocurrency Investors (LBTC), Russian Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association (RACIB) and the Korea Venture Business Association (KOVA) came to an agreement to take the matter to court, and have been joined by many more organisations since.

Facebook banned crypto ads on the social network back in January citing complaints about advertisements from its user base.

Google restricted cryptocurrency ads and related content last month – this included ICO promotions, wallets and crypto exchanges, although a quick Google search for “ICO” returns multiple advertisements.

Russian search engines Yandex and Runet have also joined in and have started banning crypto ads.

The joint lawsuit is set to be filed in May 2018.

Wall Street heavy weights are going into Bitcoin

Have Wall Street legends turned the market?

Ethereum, Bitcoin and many of the major cryptocurrencies are back in the green with the finger being pointed at Wall Street legends George Soros and John D. Rockefeller who are allegedly investing.

Although it’s still early days, 2018 has not been a great start for crypto with the price of Bitcoin plummeting from record highs.

What caused the crash? It would appear that several elements played a part but the massive tax bills American traders have racked up, estimated to be in the region of $25bn, are undoubtedly a factor, combined with regulatory uncertainty in several Asian countries and tech giants such as Facebook and Google banning adverts related to crypto.

Billionaire investment fund Soros Fund Management has been given the green light to trade in digital currencies, although the firm’s $26bn fund has not yet made a wager according to Bloomberg.

Venture capital firm Venrock, which was founded by descendants of John D. Rockefeller, recently announced it was partnering with a cryptocurrency firm from Brooklyn.

According to Hedge Fund Research, funds that invested in cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2017 made colossal profits of around 3,000%.

It seems that April will be an interesting month for cryptocurrencies, as, at the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $7,147.92 with Ethereum at $415.72.

The Spanish taxman wants your crypto trading data

Spain’s tax regulator, commonly known as Agencia Tributaria or the Agency for Tax Administration (AEAT), has issued 60 formal requests to cryptocurrency entities seeking private customer data, such as identification documents, account ownership, trades and other information.

Cryptocurrency cash machine operators, exchanges and payment gateways were some of the companies that received the request earlier this week.

The information is apparently being used as part of an investigation across the crypto industry to decide whether new control procedures are required.

Furthermore, AEAT obtained data from the National Fraud Investigation Office (ONIF) on the whereabouts of offshore bank accounts held by 16 cryptocurrency exchanges registered in Spain.

It is not yet known if AEAT is seeking this information to clamp down on people not declaring capital gains from the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. According to Tom Lee, the head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisor, US taxpayers accrued $92 billion in taxable gains from cryptocurrencies in 2017.

Financial Conduct Authority Issues Crypto Derivatives warning

FCA LOGOThe UK’s financial regulatory body issued a statement on Friday aimed at businesses providing “derivatives” and similar services to the public.

The FCA said that it does not consider cryptocurrencies to be a commodity or traditional currency from a regulatory standpoint as currently no legal framework exists, but they believe some derivatives may be considered to be financial instruments under the current legislation more specifically the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MIFID II) and therefore businesses must seek authorisation or clarification from them as soon as possible.

Any operation, dealing, arranging or advising of derivatives that reference either cryptocurrencies or tokens issued through an initial coin offering (ICO) will require authorisation by the FCA, this also includes options and CFDs.

“It is firms’ responsibility to ensure that they have the appropriate authorisation and permission to carry on regulated activity. If your firm is not authorised by the FCA and is offering products or services requiring authorisation it is a criminal offence. Authorised firms offering these products without the appropriate permission may be subject to enforcement action.” said the FCA

The FCA is carefully monitoring the crypto industry as it grows, they released a statement last December warning that CFDs were extremely high risk and speculative products and that consumers should be fully aware of the price volatility, leverage ratios, higher charges in comparison, funding costs and transparency.

Survey reveals that one-in-four millennials would rather invest in Bitcoin than stocks

If you weren’t already aware of Bitcoin’s cultural impact amongst millennials, then this latest survey from Blockchain Capital should wake you up to how this generation view the cryptocurrency.

According to the survey, one-in-four millennials would rather invest in Bitcoin than stocks and shares. The study is a clear indicator that the younger generation view cryptocurrencies as genuine investment opportunities.

To explain these figures, we have to look at the details of the survey Blockchain Capital undertook. The venture capital firm’s research found that a good percentage of those aged between the ages of 18-34 reckon Bitcoin has a bright future.

To be exact, the survey found that 27 percent of respondents would rather take $1,000 worth of Bitcoin, rather than $1,000 of traditional stocks. Meanwhile, 22 percent would take the same amount of the cryptocurrency over real estate and 30 percent would take Bitcoin over government bonds.

Other results from the survey showed that 30 percent of Americans are at least somewhat familiar with the currency. An understandably higher percentage of younger people knew about Bitcoin, than their older counterparts (42 percent of millennials opposed to 15 percent of those over 65).

Considering that only two percent of Americans have owned or own Bitcoin, it appears that there is a genuine opportunity for expansion, as there is already a huge level of recognition for the currency in society.
This was shown in the fact that 19 percent of Americans indicated that they’d buy Bitcoin in the next five years.

Millennials have certainly abandoned any skepticism associated with it, with over half (52 percent) citing Bitcoin as a positive financial innovation.

This survey was taken last year and had over 2,000 American adults taking part.

‘Hybrid’ Crypto Exchange ICO Announces $5m Partnership Deal

Andromeda Group provide huge cash injection to new exchange ICO

Serial crypto investors Andromeda Group have recently announced a huge deal with promising new ICO Qurrex, paving the way for a next generation of cryptocurrency exchanges.  

Qurrex, which features aspects of both centralized and decentralized exchanges, are thought to have cashed in more than $5m USD as a result of the new partnership, which will also see Andromeda experts work on the Qurrex token sale.

Pavel Kornilov, Co-Founder of Andromeda Group, said in a statement: “We see Qurrex as a potentially strong player in the market and glad to develop our relationship. We also believe that the quality of QRX token buyers will be one of the key factors of the future success of the project.”

This deal pushes Qurrex even closer to its $55m max cap target, with the public given a last chance opportunity to get involved in the May main sale.

Thanks to its part-centralized and part-decentralized exchange solution, Qurrex could be on track to deliver the first truly next-generation exchange, offering more tokens and coins, and subsequently, effective liquidity between them.

Now, thanks to a bumper token sale, the business is on track to hit its max cap of $55m before the end of the crowd sale.

Qurrex’s next-generation platform integrates the industrial-grade centralized infrastructure of traditional stock exchanges (CEX), like NASDAQ, NYSE and LSE, with a decentralized blockchain-based network (DEX).

Andromeda, which has previously partnered with prominent crypto companies, such as IOTA, Bancor and eTorro.

This new partnership is not only a financial boost to Qurrex, but one that will also bring about guidance and cooperation across the board.

Qurrex has been designed to create a suitable gateway for professional traders in traditional financial markets to the crypto economy and to meet the challenges of the exponential growth of cryptocurrency trading.

The new platform will integrate the centralized exchange based on enterprise technology of traditional stock exchanges with decentralized network consisting of thousands of nodes of liquidity with partial exchange functions for miners, brokers, liquidity provider and other institutional players.

The Qurrex ICO continues in May, with expectations of hitting the max cap high. Interested parties can take part by visiting www.qurrex.com.

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One of Canada’s largest banks considers use of public blockchain for asset tracking

td bank canadaThese days, more and more recognised companies and organisations are looking towards blockchain technology as a way to improve how they do business.

Both large and small organisations are looking for ways to utilise blockchain, with one of Canada’s biggest banks becoming the latest to consider employing this technology in a meaningful way.

Just last week, a patent application was published which revealed TD Bank’s idea to track assets digitally through the use of a public blockchain.

The patent application detailed the banks idea to use a public distributed ledger, which would in turn help point-of-sale computers keep track of the transactions. The computers would then hold blocks of data that would include information about the assets and their value.

The file states that an advantage of this use of blockchain would be the transparent nature of the data.

It read “One advantage of block chain [sic] based ledgers is the public nature of the block chain architecture that allows anyone in the public to review the content of the ledger and verify ownership.”

The application was filed all the way back in Autumn 2016 and it’s not known whether or not the bank has pursued this plan further. Generally speaking, large bank blockchains have been used for only private or permissioned ledgers, so this represents the possibility of a monumental change.

The patent application praised the potential use of blockchain in this scenario, insisting that that a ledger such as this would be positive as it would “[minimize the] risk of falsification of ledgers.”

TD Bank’s application also suggested that this potential system doesn’t need to be judged by the speed of blockchains used by other organisations.

Bank Negara Malaysia issues warning against fake cryptocurrency certificate

The Central Bank of Malaysia has issued a warning to the public after a bogus university certificate sporting official stamps was found to be in circulation.

The certificate, which “certifies” that the holder has been awarded a degree as a “Certified Crypto Asset Consultant”, is stamped with both the Central Bank of Malaysia and University of Malaya logos, in what appears to be an attempt at fooling interested businesses or employers seeking an expert in such services.

“BNM does not recognise these certificate holders who use such documentation in offering consultation services. Members of the public are advised to verify the validity of any certification programme before registering” said the Central Bank of Malaysia earlier in the week.

The bank has insisted that members of the public who have been presented with such certificates should verify the authenticity before entering into a relationship.