SEC Sues ICO Platform for Sale of Unregistered Tokens Worth $665 Million

The SEC has lodged a federal complaint against ICObox and its founder Nikolay Evdokimov. The crypto platform conducted a token sale of its platform for $14 million. The firm also facilitated the sale of numerous ICOs with a total worth of more than $650 million. to a press release from the Government agency on 18th […]
Source: bitcoinwarrior
SEC Sues ICO Platform for Sale of Unregistered Tokens Worth 5 Million

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North Korea Plans to Launch Cryptocurrency to Bypass Economic Sanctions

North Korea Plans to Launch a Cryptocurrency to Bypass Economic Sanctions

A North Korean official claims that a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) cryptocurrency is on the horizon. to a delegate for the Committee for Cultural Relations, Alejandro Cao de Benós, the country plans to forge a token backed by a physical commodity like gold and the digital asset’s main purpose will be used to bypass U.S. and international sanctions.

Also read: Snowden: US Seizing My Book Revenue is ‘Good for Bitcoin’

North Korea Is Building a ‘DPRK Token’

Another nation state is in the midst of creating a digital currency but the North Korean cryptocurrency idea is intended to work in parallel with the local Korean won. Alejandro Cao de Benós, a member of the DPRK Committee for Cultural Relations and President of the Korean Friendship Association, told various news outlets this week that a DPRK token is in the works. Between April 18 and 25 of this year, North Korea held a cryptocurrency and blockchain conference which saw around 100 attendees in Pyongyang. Immediately the event wrapped up, rumors of the North Korean government creating a digital currency made mainstream headlines. News publication The Diplomat reported that early clues also started arising in September 2017 when Kim Il Sung University released a report on the importance of digital currencies. Moreover, The Diplomat columnist Tae-jun Kang said that the conference itself and the DPRK token announcement was a signal to other nation states like the U.S.

“According to several Seoul-based North Korean experts, who believe the latest cryptocurrency conference in Pyongyang was designed to send out a warning message to the United States and the international community that it can overcome sanctions by utilizing digital currencies,” Tae-jun Kang wrote in April 2019 after the conference in Pyongyang.

North Korea Plans to Launch a Cryptocurrency to Bypass Economic Sanctions
North Korean representative Alejandro Cao de Benós says a DPRK token is being constructed, but the project is in its very early stages.

Now Alejandro Cao de Benós is speaking on the subject with a few select news outlets this week and has told reporters that a DPRK token is being built. Speaking with Vice journalist David Gilbert, he said the digital token North Korea is constructing is still in its nascent stages, but clearly emphasized that the cryptocurrency was made to bypass strict U.S. and international sanctions. However, the new coin created by the North Korean government will not be a digitized version of the Korean won. “[It will be] more like bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies,” Cao de Benós told Gilbert during a phone conversation. The North Korean diplomat added:

We are still in the very early stages in the creation of the token. Now we are in the phase of studying the goods that will give value to it.

DPRK Token Won’t Replace the Korean Won

Alejandro Cao de Benós has also spoken with the reporter Ben Muster from Decrypt and given a greater insight to the DPRK token. In the interview, Cao de Benós highlighted that North Korean citizens would still use the Korean won and that the new blockchain assets would be used by “banks and companies.” The concept of the DPRK token is different to China and the PBOC’s alleged digital yaun construction and the idea resembles Venezuela and Maduro’s petro cryptocurrency. There have been multiple reports detailing that average Venezuelan citizens don’t even use the petro and that the digital currency is mainly used by government officials and their friends to skip out on U.S. sanctions. Moreover, similarly to the DPRK token concept, Maduro didn’t replace the sovereign bolivar either, and the petro runs parallel with the local tender and is allegedly backed by oil and gold reserves.

North Korea Plans to Launch a Cryptocurrency to Bypass Economic Sanctions

During Cao de Benós’ interview, he claimed that the country was developing a digital asset that’s “based on something with physical value — in the international market.” The representative also said that the crypto needs to bolster a “more stable price for international settlements, between DPRK and other companies/individuals.” The columnist Ben Muster said that he reached out to DPRK officials but “requests for comment from the North Korean government went unanswered.” When reporter David Gilbert called North Korea’s Embassy in New York, the office said they could not verify Cao de Benós’ claims. “I am not in a position to give you an answer,” the North Korean Embassy spokesperson stated.

North Korea Plans to Launch a Cryptocurrency to Bypass Economic Sanctions
Just like the event in April, the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference is closed to certain members of the media and citizens who reside in the U.S., Israel, South Korea, and Japan. U.S. residents can apply to attend the event this year in Pyongyang.

On September 9, Cao de Benós announced the next Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference which will be held in February 2020. Just like the last event, the conference will be very exclusive but Cao de Benós has said the event will be much larger this year. Also, attendees will get a chance to visit Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea and Kim Il Sung University as well. Just like the prior Pyongyang crypto conference, there will be restrictions for members of the media and citizens who reside in the U.S., Israel, South Korea, and Japan. It’s likely more information will come from the next conference in regard to the purported DPRK token. There’s been multiple reports in the past of North Korean’s gathering technical knowledge on digital currencies like bitcoin. Last week someone asked Cao de Benós if DPRK residents were allowed to hold digital assets and Cao de Benós replied:

Yes, we even have programmers that are designing crypto wallets and other related apps right now.

North Korea Plans to Launch a Cryptocurrency to Bypass Economic Sanctions
Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference will be held in February 2020 and attendees will visit North Korea’s DMZ and Kim Il Sung University.

Venezuelan officials from Maduro’s regime have been very friendly with the North Korean government as well according to pictures Cao de Benós shared last August. The Venezuelan government opened an embassy in Pyongyang and Cao de Benós said “surely this diplomatic advance will be very useful in the defense against the imperialist invasion.” Just like Venezuela and Iran, North Korea has had issues with the U.S. for quite some time. However, with North Korea under Kim Jong-un’s rule, the country has had problems with many international bodies since holding its first nuclear test in 2006. The U.S. and a number of countries have imposed economic sanctions against the DPRK and it is hard for the region to do business with people and organizations overseas. As the popularity of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has increased, it seems that North Korean officials have begun to appreciate how this technology can be used to bypass financial blockades and borders.

What do you think North Korea creating a DPRK token backed by a physical asset like gold? What do you think the nation states that are in the midst of creating cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Twitter, and Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference.


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The post North Korea Plans to Launch Cryptocurrency to Bypass Economic Sanctions appeared first on Bitcoin News.


Source: bitcoin.com
North Korea Plans to Launch Cryptocurrency to Bypass Economic Sanctions

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Explosive Mining Growth Indicates High Confidence in Bitcoin (BTC)

bitcoin mining

Bitcoin miners are not giving up, showing immense confidence and working against significant network difficulty. The last difficulty hike from September 13 made it 10.38% less likely for miners to discover a block. But in the meantime, mining pools have been compensated with even more power.


Competition Pushes Bitcoin Hashrate Skyward

It’s expected that another double-digit growth in difficulty will take place during the Bitcoin mining re-evaluation next week if  mining keeps up the current pace. Data reveals, however, that mining has grown exponentially, while difficulty growth tracks flatter.

to social media personality @Hodlonaut, a prominent Bitcoin supporter, the relentless race for more mining is a sign of confidence.

Miners are currently producing 1,800 new BTC each day, a number that will be slashed in half sometime in early 2020. The halving of the reward may even arrive earlier, as block times go down to less than 10 minutes, and possibly even lower than 9 minutes.

The growth in mining has led to a peak of 100 quintillion hashing operations – a unique growth for any industry. Given that mining started with computer CPUs and moved to multiple generations of specialized machines, it’s difficult to imagine what the future of Bitcoin mining will look like as we approach the final block.

Pool Balance of Power Shifts

Bitcoin is also the network with the highest daily transaction fees, or at least was until recently, when Ethereum took over due to network overload and rampant fee increase.

The competition between miners shows that a more diverse selection of pools are discovering the blocks of late. BTC.com still keeps the leading position, but Poolin, a newly arrived pool, has gained speed in the past months, challenging the primacy of BTC.com.

The growth in mining points to the launch of an estimated half a million mining rigs. Bitmain has pledged transparency on Antminer shipments, but it is still difficult to estimate the number of new mining facilities. There are reports that Bitmain is building a significant fleet of miners, in addition to supplying other pools.

Miners also point their machines to the Bitcoin Cash network, where mining has grown by roughly 30% since the beginning of September to 2.68 EH/s, about 40 times lower than that of Bitcoin. The hashrate for the other competitor, Bitcoin SV, remains largely unchanged, as the coin is mined only by a handful of staunch supporters.

Despite the price drop of BTC to below $10,000 on September 19, mining is still viable. Bitcoin mining retreated to 93 EH/s, still capable of breaking records.

What do you think about the record mining activity? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock

The post Explosive Mining Growth Indicates High Confidence in Bitcoin (BTC) appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.


Source: bitcoinist
Explosive Mining Growth Indicates High Confidence in Bitcoin (BTC)

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‘Good For Bitcoin’: Edward Snowden’s New Book Becomes World Bestseller

Snowden Zcash

Edward Snowden’s new memoir has become the world’s best selling book the US sued its publisher in a move he said was “good for Bitcoin.”


US Sends Snowden Memoir To The Moon

In ongoing Twitter updates, Snowden revealed that Permanent Record, which hit the market on September 17, almost immediately became the most popular title worldwide.

While not citing the source of the information or exact numbers, the Freedom of the Press Foundation president noted the current US government lawsuit had only helped sales.

The debacle involves Snowden allegedly requiring permission from the CIA and NSA in order to publish the book, which focuses on mass surveillance. 

to a press release from the US Department of Justice, it was essential authorities reviewed it before publication. 

“The United States’ to protect sensitive national security information depends on employees’ and contractors’ compliance with their non-disclosure agreements, including their pre-publication review obligations,” Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt commented.

This lawsuit demonstrates that the Department of Justice does not tolerate these breaches of the public’s trust. We will not permit individuals to enrich themselves, at the expense of the United States, without complying with their pre-publication review obligations.

Lawsuit: Good For The Book, Good For Bitcoin

While a win could see Permanent Record disappear from shelves in future, so far, its effect has been just the opposite.

“It is hard to think of a greater stamp of authenticity than the US government filing a lawsuit claiming your book is so truthful that it was literally against the law to write,” another tweet reads.

Of particular interest to Bitcoin 00 proponents meanwhile was Snowden’s argument that the lawsuit would help the cryptocurrency. 

“In conclusion this is good for Bitcoin,” he wrote on Wednesday. While details were sparse, commentators suggested the threat to Snowden’s finances could mean he was turning to Bitcoin as a safe haven.

Bitcoin advocacy is somewhat rare for the whistleblower. In an interview at a conference last year, he argued that Bitcoin’s traceability made it a poor option for avoiding the talons of the state. 

Instead, he said that the time, privacy coins such as ZCash 00 were more suitable. As Bitcoin returns to the forefront of the cryptocurrency market, however, support for altcoins was notably absent from Snowden’s latest public comments.

What do you think Edward Snowden’s new book launch? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @Snowden

The post ‘Good For Bitcoin’: Edward Snowden’s New Book Becomes World Bestseller appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.


Source: bitcoinist
‘Good For Bitcoin’: Edward Snowden’s New Book Becomes World Bestseller

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Changes Afoot for Philippine Crypto-Friendly Economic Zone

Changes Afoot for Philippine Crypto-Friendly Economic Zone

The special economic zone in the Philippines known for its crypto friendliness is undergoing some changes. Government-owned Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) is investigating a case involving one of its licensed crypto exchanges a tip from the Chinese government. The authority has also issued new directives to all of its licensees, including 40 crypto exchange operators.

Also read: Philippines Increasingly Crypto-Friendly

Better Due Diligence, License Suspensions

A government-owned and controlled corporation, Ceza oversees the development of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, with the aim to turn the area into the country’s cryptocurrency hub. While in the process of building what it calls the “Crypto Valley of Asia,” Ceza has been attracting many companies to set up offshore crypto exchanges in the zone.

Local news agency -CBN reported Tuesday that 40 firms have been licensed by Ceza to operate crypto exchanges, but only three are fully operational as of September. They are Golden Millennial Quickpay Inc. Ltd., Liannet Technology Ltd., and Asia Premier International Ltd.

Changes Afoot for Philippine Crypto-Friendly Economic Zone

The operations of all three aforementioned licensees are temporarily suspended as Ceza improves its due diligence. The move follows a scam uncovered last week, which allegedly involved one of its licensees. Ceza spokesperson Mike David reiterated to the news outlet that their operations are suspended for “due diligence.”

In Tuesday’s press release, Ceza explained that the three companies have been “authorized to temporarily operate within a short incubation period in Metro Manila … Pending the completion of the facilities in Sta. Ana, Cagayan, where development works have already started this year.” Nonetheless, Administrator and CEO Raul Lambino clarified that they are still required to run all trading transactions through LR Data, a cyberpark in Cagayan, to the Inquirer publication.

Scam Uncovered, Tip From Chinese Government

Golden Millennial Quickpay’s license was suspended on Sept. 12 for its alleged involvement in illegal crypto operations conducted by its authorized service provider Grapefruit Service Inc., Ceza detailed on Tuesday. The suspension extends to all of the company’s related licensees, including Grapefruit, pending a full investigation by Ceza and all appropriate law and regulatory enforcement agencies.

Grapefruit’s office in Pasig City, Metro Manila, was raided on Sept. 11 by a number of Philippine authorities, ABS-CBN reported. The raid was carried out by agents of the Bureau of Immigration’s fugitive search unit, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Philippine National Police’s integrity monitoring and enforcement group. They were accompanied by representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.

Changes Afoot for Philippine Crypto-Friendly Economic Zone

Grapefruit’s 277 employees were arrested “on suspicion of using cryptocurrency operations to dupe unsuspecting would-be investors back in China,” the news outlet noted, adding that all are Chinese nationals. Agence France-Presse reported that the firm’s operations have cost victims in China approximately 100 million yuan (~$14 million).

Lambino reportedly told radio DZMM that the firm failed to register with Ceza two floors of its three-storey office and some 100 employees, four of whom are wanted by Chinese authorities for previous charges. Documents obtained by the Inquirer show that all 277 employees had Ceza visas which carry certain restrictions. In addition, the firm’s filing with the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission expressly prohibits it “from undertaking activities as a securities broker or dealer, or as an investment adviser or investment company,” the news outlet described, noting that it is also “barred from operating on fiat money or virtual currency exchange.”

Jaime Hermo Morente, Commissioner of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration, said the raid was prompted by a tip from the Chinese Embassy. The arrested employees will be deported since the Chinese government has canceled their passports, making them illegal workers in the Philippines, he added.

Changes Afoot for Philippine Crypto-Friendly Economic Zone

David confirmed that Golden Millennial Quickpay faces a 90-day suspension and may lose its license if found guilty of wrongdoing, ABS-CBN conveyed. Meanwhile, Ceza maintains that it is certain no Filipino citizen has been defrauded by this scheme.

New Directives for All Licensees

Ceza offers two types of “Offshore Virtual Currency Exchange” licenses: the principal license and the regular license. The former allows licensees to conduct offshore fintech and crypto exchange activities, while the latter restricts them to only crypto exchange activities. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, there are 25 principal licensees, which include the three suspended companies.

The authority clarified Tuesday that “Offshore virtual currency exchanges are those which are registered in a jurisdiction other than the Philippines that do not transact with any Filipino citizen or any person located in the Philippines,” elaborating:

Ceza does not allow its licensees to conduct business activities or offshore virtual currency exchanges in any foreign country like China that prohibits such business activity.

In the first week of September, Ceza “issued directives to all of its licensees for complete reports of legal, regulatory, and ethical compliance practices and standards — specifically to those operating offshore virtual currency exchanges,” its press release states. These reports are under review and will form the basis for any internal investigation. Ceza emphasized that any violations will be subject to all applicable sanctions under its rules and Philippine laws. “If need be, adjustment of regulatory standards and protocols will be made to better enable that enforcement and application of the rules of law and fair commerce.”

Companies wanting to do business with Filipinos or deal in the Philippine peso need to register with the country’s central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which has registered 13 crypto exchanges so far.

What do you think of Ceza’s efforts? Do you think the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport will become a major crypto hub in Asia? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is 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 this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Ceza.


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Source: bitcoin.com
Changes Afoot for Philippine Crypto-Friendly Economic Zone

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VanEck Pulls Back on Bitcoin ETF – Hopes of Approval Rest on One Application

CBOE Exchange has withdrawn its proposal to the SEC for a publicly-traded Bitcoin ETFs. to a recent press release by the Federal agency, on 13th September the exchange withdrew its application for a rule change. The deadline for a decision for the SEC on the VanEck/SolidX application is 18th October. Jake Chervinsky, a corporate […]
Source: bitcoinwarrior
VanEck Pulls Back on Bitcoin ETF – Hopes of Approval Rest on One Application

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Bitcoin Price Slides Below $10,000; Markets Shed $10 Billion

bitcoin price prediction bears

The long-awaited move for bitcoin price finally initiated during Asian trading this morning. Predictions of another dump back into four figures were justified as that is exactly what has just happened resulting in $10 billion exiting the crypto space in a matter of hours.


Bitcoin Bounces to $9,600

The week-long consolidation for BTC ended abruptly a couple of hours ago when the king of crypto plunged almost 5% in an hour. For most of the past 24 hours, bitcoin has traded around the $10,150 level but has been clinging onto support there.

The support broke when one monster red candle dumped the asset down to a previous level of support at $9,600 to Tradingview.com. Within the same hour bitcoin price quickly rebounded to settle just under $9,800. At the time of writing it was trading at 00.

bitcoin

BTC price 4 hours – Tradingview.com

The big dump has sent BTC back to its lowest price for almost three weeks but it remains within the range bound channel it has formed over the past few months.

Current resistance has remained too strong for the bulls to overcome so the next question is whether BTC will remain previous support or drop lower to create a new one.

“OK, the resistance was obviously stronger.
The question now is whether we will go testing support or not.
IMO, no. At least, not now.”

At the moment BTC looks to have settled at a previous strong level of support in the high $9k zone but whether there will be enough buyers to send it back into five figures remains to be seen. It appears unlikely as the same money is entering and leaving markets so with no new influx of cash BTC will remain range-bound.

Digital Lemmings

The altcoins have had a blast over the past couple of days, especially Ethereum, XRP and Stellar Lumens. However, any hope that they were finally decoupling from bitcoin is dwindling as a sea of red envelops the markets .

The digital lemmings are following their big brother off the cliff as total market capitalization shrinks by $10 billion over the past few hours. Ethereum has slid back to $205 following four days of solid gains. It really needs to remain above $200 to avoid wiping out all the hard work over the past week.

Ripple’s XRP, which had a big pump yesterday, has slid back below $0.30 again indicating an inevitable dump. The red is deepening for the rest of the altcoins and only a few are staying afloat at the moment as big brother pulls them all into the abyss for the umpteenth time.

How low will bitcoin price drop this week? Add your thoughts below.


Images via Bitcoinist Image Library, BTC/USD charts by TradingView, Twitter: @CryptoHamsterIO

The post Bitcoin Price Slides Below $10,000; Markets Shed $10 Billion appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.


Source: bitcoinist
Bitcoin Price Slides Below ,000; Markets Shed Billion

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Japanese Line launches its cryptocurrency trading platform in Japan

Instant communications app and Japan’s most prominent social network Line is officially launching in cryptocurrency trading platform in Japan, called BitMax, to a report published on Sep 17. The messaging giant’s virtual currency and blockchain-focused entity, LVC corporation, was in discussions with the Japanese Financial Services Agency since June to grant its eighty million […]
Source: bitcoinwarrior
Japanese Line launches its cryptocurrency trading platform in Japan

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Alchemy Opens Up Bitcoin Payment to 1.2 Million Merchants in Asia

bitcoin payments asia

Retail merchants Asia can now receive bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments via a new hybrid solution launched by Alchemy.


Alchemy Launches Hybrid Bitcoin Payment Solution

In a press statement issued Wednesday (September 18, 2019), Alchemy — a global crypto payments service provider announced the launch of the platform.

Called the Alchemy Hybrid Payment Solution, it allows merchants in Asian and Middle Eastern markets easily bitcoin and crypto payments. The service features a hybrid integration with popular fiat wallets in Asia such as Alipay, WeChat Pay, and LinePay to mention a few.

Apart from bitcoin, Alchemy’s new payment gateway offers support for more than 30 altcoins including ether and litecoin.

to the press statement, crypto payments on the platform will be settled in the local fiat currency. This feature is part of efforts to mitigate against the fluctuating value of cryptos.

As at press time, the Alchemy Hybrid Payment Solution is already live in Hong Kong and Singapore. Pricerite and Midwest Global Asia are among the first adopters on the service.

In addition to being a payment gateway, Alchemy is reportedly examining ways to extend the platform’s capabilities. Talks are already underway to include interfaces with crypto exchanges and bitcoin OTC desks.

Making Crypto Retail Payments Easier

Alchemy’s new product is the latest attempt at solving the problem of using bitcoin and cryptos in daily retail transactions. Commenting on the development, the company’s co-founder Patrick Ngan declared:

[This] is a game changer for the global cryptocurrency market as it propels cryptocurrencies towards truly becoming a global currency. It creates real-life use cases for cryptocurrencies as crypto holders can now spend their cryptocurrencies to purchase goods and services in addition to their investment functions.

Even bitcoin proponent and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently declared that the cryptocurrency still has a long way to go in establishing itself as a useful mode of payment. The Square chief does, however, hold firm to his belief that bitcoin will eventually be the native currency of the internet.

In an interview on Charlie Shrem’s podcast — ‘Untold Stories,’ BTCC co-founder Bobby Lee said that bitcoin is seen mostly as an investment rather than a currency in China.

Platforms like Alchemy’s will face some competition in markets like China that already have a robust electronic payment ecosystem.

Do you think platforms like Alchemy’s can catapult bitcoin and crypto payments to the pinnacle of the electronic payment market? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via

The post Alchemy Opens Up Bitcoin Payment to 1.2 Million Merchants in Asia appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.


Source: bitcoinist
Alchemy Opens Up Bitcoin Payment to 1.2 Million Merchants in Asia

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People With Least Knowledge Most Positive on Crypto’s Future: ING

People with less knowledge cryptocurrency are the most likely to be positive on its future, to research from Dutch bank ING.
Source: coindesk
People With Least Knowledge Most Positive on Crypto’s Future: ING

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