India Gets The Green Light

Following a press conference organised by Bitcoins Alliance India, Unocoin,  one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in India has been given the green light allowing users to continue accessing their accounts as of today (6th of January 2014) with regular trading commencing on the 8th January.

The conference was headed by India’s top taxation and legal expert Mr Nishith Desai, Founder & Managing Partner of Nishith Desai Associates. Mr Desai has meticulously analysed the techno-legal perspective of Bitcoin inline with current payment and currency laws and concluded that Bitcoins are in fact a legitimate currency and could provide many benefits to India’s economy.

The statement below was posted on the Unocoin website today:

After press conference organized by BAI headed by Mr. Nishith Desai, and after the take-aways of the conference are out to public through media, Mr. Nishith Desai has given us a green signal to start Unocoin operations which will be starting on 6th Jan 2014 when the logins will be enabled and Unocoin wallets will be accessible. Buying and selling of bitcoins will go live from 8th of Jan 2014. CoinMonk Ventures and Unocoin is very thankful to Nishith Desai and their team for being a part of press conference and guiding us through till here 🙂

Just before Christmas the Indian Bitcoin fever grinded to a sudden halt when the Reserve Bank of India (one of the most prominent banks) issuing a statement cautioning the public, traders and holders about the risks of dealing in the cryptocurrency.

The Reserve Bank of India is the central banking system tasked with controlling the monetary policy of the Indian rupee and are the governments ‘go to’ source regarding financial matters.

Although the bank only issued a warning, larger exchanges panicked which resulted in crypto trading grinding to a halt and access to wallets being frozen. As many put it, this was due the imminent risk of being arrested or breaking multiple foreign exchange and payment laws.

The leading Bitcoin exchange buysellbitco.in felt the full force of the Indian government four days after RBI issued a warning when their offices were raided in Ahmedabad by the Enforcement Directorate. The ED are the law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency tasked with fighting economic and digital crime across the country.

As of today (06/01/14) buysellbitco.in still has the following message on their website:

Post the RBI circular, we are suspending buy and sell operations until we can outline a clearer framework with which to work.This is being done to protect the interest of our customers and in no way is a reflection of Bitcoin’s true potential or price.

It is yet unclear as to whether buysellbitco.in will continue trading, but we imagine most if not all exchanges will reshuffle their goals and frameworks and be trading again within the next few weeks.

All in all, great news for Bitcoin fans in India and around the world.

Mr Mahin Gupta, founder of the buysellbitco.in did not respond for comment.

“In bitcoin we trust”

 

Bitcoin price just breached the £620 mark

The price for a single Bitcoin has breached the £620 mark for a second time on the popular exchange platform, Mt. Gox.

Bitcoin reached the £620 price at approximately 8:30am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 3:30 Eastern Standard Time(EST) if you’re across the pond.

We first witnessed a similar rise last November when the Chinese were investing heavily in the digital currency. However shortly after the rise it crashed as quickly as it rose due to China’s central bank imposing several legal restrictions on the digital currency. They ultimately denied third-party payment processors and financial institutions from handling Bitcoin.

Despite repeated crackdowns by the Chinese authorities which crashed the market by more than 50%, the most popular Chinese exchanges are still pushing high trading volumes suggesting a legal loophole in deposits for the time being.

At the time of writing nearly 70% of the Bitcoin market share is taking place on exchanges such as BTC China and Huobi, with the remaining spread across USD and several other currencies.

Due to the unknown situation in China regarding deposits via bank transfers the price may have fluctuated due to a workaround imposed by the Huobi exchange.

A rumour started in the popular Bitcoin Reddit section which pointed towards the CEO of Huobi accepting deposits through his personal bank account to avoid the imposed restricts.

The main concern in this scenario is how long the loophole will remain active and will it ultimately result in the authorities shutting down trade causing further cataclysmic price crashes.

When the price crashed to around £250 between December 17th to 19th, it not only affected Chinese trade which is now recovering but also mainstream development and currency adoption. Below are some of the milestones which could of caused increased the volatility of the recent crashes:

  • Wall Street Investors said they would move into Bitcoin in 2014 Q1
  • Max Keiser said Netflix would adopt Bitcoin payments
  • Porn.com started to accept Bitcoin
  • Zynga is testing the Bitcoin currency
  • Overstock.com planning to accept Bitcoin
  • Victoria’s Secret Stores partnered with Gyft
  • eToro accepting Bitcoin
  • Latin America ?
  • “Hello San Francisco, Hello Bitcoin” advertising campaign by arisebitcoin.com
  • Pastebin accepting Bitcoin

Netflix Gets The Bitcoin Fever

American movie streaming giant Netflix has been rumoured to be one of the first major companies to accept the Bitcoin digital currency as a payment method.

The rumour was started by Timothy Maxwell, famously known as Max Keiser from the popular financial report show “Keiser Report”. The prediction was made on the recently aired 545th episode.

The show itself provides a no bullshi* view on the shocking scandals which parade the financial headlines. He is the peoples financial cop known to lift the lid on elitist government lies.

Max Keiser posted the rumour on his official Twitter account @maxkeiser at 7:54 AM today to nearly 90,000 thousand followers causing the rumour to surface on the front page of Bitcoin Reddit.

We are unsure as to how legible the Netflix rumour is at this point, but it’s worth noting that Max Keiser successfully predicted the recent Zynga Bitcoin adoption before that too became public knowledge. This suggests he may well be correct again and have some insider  knowledge or close contacts at the company.

As a digital service it makes sense for Netflix to accept Bitcoin as it would open the services reach to a far wider global demographic.

The news, rumour or eventually truth is none the less fantastic for the Bitcoin community. Netflix adoption would ultimately raise awareness and promote the currency to millions of people strengthening the coin inline with current payment methods.

Long live Bitcoin (with or without Netflix)!

Malaysia Gives Bitcoin the Green Light For Now

The Malaysian Federal Reserve also known as the Bank Negara Malaysia and Central Bank Of Malaysia has published a statement regarding the official view on the Bitcoin crypto currency.

The official statement was published under the ‘Notices & Announcements’ section on the bnm.gov.my website on the 2nd of January 2014.

The Bitcoin is not recognised as legal tender in Malaysia.The Central Bank does not regulate the operations of Bitcoin. The public is therefore advised to be cautious of the risks associated with the usage of such digital currency.

The banks statement was extremely brief suggesting that a stance on the currency has not yet been decided by the government as of yet.

One of the surprising yet hypocritical roles of the bank is the development of affordable and available financial service which does not discriminate, simply put a bank which is open to the rich and poor.

Although the bank is the largest within Malaysia, the eventual decision may ultimately be made by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion(AFI) which the Central Bank Of Malaysia is an important principal member drafted with the powers to act a speaker with one voice on financial policies.

The most important note to take from the announcement is that Bitcoin and other crypto currencies have not been deemed illegal in Malaysia.

One of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the country, bitcoinmalaysia.com has seen fast growth within the digital currency and an every growing source of traffic heading to the website. The website reported on their blog that December 2013 was the heaviest month for traffic.

 

Localbitcoins also has a growing number of Malaysian traders and buyers operating on their website https://localbitcoins.com/country/MY