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Cryptocurrencies

After being spooked by the massive digital tokens crackdown, cryptocurrencies got another pushback by the feds recently. The Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S has decided to gun down all the cryptocurrencies, especially Ethereum under regulatory scrutiny to whether consider it as security or commodity. After a remarked high range in digital currency world, this bull to bearish reversal is the result of investor anxiety gushes over the squabble between Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

ethereum icos

The second most popular digital currency after Bitcoin in the charts, Ethereum is considered under the category of security will have hard consequences. Not only for Ethereum cryptocurrency, but all digital currencies crowdfunded through ICOs, that is Initial Coin Offerings.

Coming under increased regulatory scrutiny by the U.S government, all these cryptocurrencies are viewed as securities due to their speculative nature all around. Regulators have already declared bitcoin as security. But undermining the liquidity of this second popular cryptocurrency can prove out to be disastrous for it and also the cryptocurrency economy. Though the basic mechanism working behind these two digital currencies is not merely same, but they contribute majorly to the cryptocurrency world.

Initial coin offering

Until the mid-2017, selling transaction of these tokens was not much of an exhausting task. A team would emerge through these blockchains and present their purpose of tokens in a ‘white paper’. They would then arrange an Initial Coin Offering Service, ICOs where they would offer coins to nearly anyone who would exchange them for cash or Bitcoins.

The main idea or theory behind this ICO was to fund and support the construction of that newly emerging online service. But later in a few cases, these ICOs were proved to be scams. Absconding of these organizers created an upthrust, where SEC fired a warning claiming that tokens sold in ICO may be considered as securities and their declaration will be mandatory. SEC values Ethereum similar to any public Company who strives every act to value their stock.

Now the developers are concerned that due to the fact that Ethereum ICOs investors bought the tokens in hope that their value will increase in the near future, it could be classed as security. But the plethora of issues is not that straight and easy here.

Ethereum co-founder denies

The whole dilemma was observed and addressed by the co-founder of Ethereum, Joseph Lubin in a conference. He says that the scrutiny doesn’t upset him. According to him and the developers, this does not meet the requirements of security and doesn’t have to be regulated, therefore. There were no concerns about the potential issues about the cryptocurrency. he further said, he never considered and identified the system as security ever.

The Howey Test

A case resided between the SEC and WJ Howey Co in 1946. In this case, the foundation to determine the event to be a commodity or a security was set. It is now known as the Howey Test.

In simpler terms, Howey Co. sold a part of their citrus farm to some investors. Their idea behind it was to gain profits from the operations performed on the farm. It was considered as a securities contract by the judge explaining that the scheme focuses on the idea to obtain profits from the efforts and labor of others.

Basically, in simpler terms, this test helps to determine if a transaction or profit is obtained solely by the hard work and labor of one party and not by the other party, combined in an agreement. This Howey Test has been greatly talked and argued about in the regard of these cryptocurrencies and ICO. As the basic phenomena in Ethereum ICOs reside the same. The investor expects profits primarily from others hard work and efforts.

Securities classification arguments

According to wall street journals, the future of the cryptocurrencies is under debate, whether it would be identified as security or not. Commodities and securities under which the legislation falls are regulated by different authority bodies. They are regulated and operated in different markets and agencies. These differences will greatly affect the investors, sellers, and buyers in the cryptocurrency market.

Despite all the fuss and controversy about the issue, a lot of experts are very positive and hopeful about the future and growth of Ethereum cryptocurrencies. Many have come up suggesting that Ethereum and such cryptocurrencies may be considered as unregistered securities after a continues refusal by the founders of them being never entertained as security. The growing market capitalization of Ethereum cryptocurrency has shown that this is not going anywhere this soon!

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Crypto Regulations – South Korea’s Impact on the Crypto-world

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One of the largest markets for cryptocurrencies after Japan and U.S. is South Korea, as it’s believed by many. South Korea’s population is equivalent to Arizona and California if they’re put together. The cryptocurrency speculation looks like it has been overhyped unreasonably and South Korea’s government wants to take some fundamental steps now, to control this cryptocurrency trend in the crypto world.

South Korean’s Crypto-Market – Current Situation

At this time, you can clearly see a lot of chaos in South Korea. It all started when the government of South Korean officially legalized Bitcoin service back in July 2017, which caused a momentous progress in the demand for cryptocurrency trading all around the country.

North Korean hackers targeted South Korean Bitcoin exchanges in August 2017, and by the end of September, there were many rumours that South Korea was planning to execute stricter regulations on cryptocurrencies. These rumours turned out to be more serious by December and based on speculations, it changed into an absolute ban on cryptocurrency exchanges and had a bad impact on the crypto world.

crypto world

South Korea Influence on the Cryptocurrency Prices

According to an estimation by The Blockchain Industry Association, South Korea has many cryptocurrency exchanges, including;

  • Coinone
  • Bithumb
  • Korbit

This tells us that even with 50 million people in a country, the demand for cryptocurrencies is so high that it has traded at more than a 30 % higher price than other countries.

80% of the investors in South Korea have earned from investments in cryptocurrency and almost one-third of salaried Koreans have an average of $5,000 in cryptocurrency, which is a huge acceptance of an unapproved investment based only on speculation.

How are cryptocurrency traders operating in South Korea?

Many banks including the second largest one in the country, Shinhan Bank, offer local cryptocurrency exchanges with computer-generated bank accounts. Each investor/user can use these virtual bank accounts for depositing or withdrawing huge amounts of Korean Won without using their real bank accounts, which takes a lot of time and is costly at the same time.

The industry is currently under the government’s radar, amid other fears, that illegal funds will be entering the market and management of price of cryptocurrencies will be based on speculative investments.

How’s 2018 been so far for Cryptocurrencies in South Korea?

More regulatory plans have been announced by the government to ban this anonymous cryptocurrency, in order to control cryptocurrency speculation. Meanwhile, after this announcement, several South Korean exchanges were removed by the CoinMarketCap from its website, stating that extreme price divergence is the main reason for this. Around $20 billion was wiped off Ripple’s market cap as a result. After a statement by the Ministry of Justice, news of a whole cryptocurrency ban arose once again.

Is there going to be any ban on the cryptocurrencies?

The government started to notice huge speculation that drove instabilities in the cryptocurrency market since September 2017 and in order to evade money laundering and other crimes related to it, strategies to prohibit anonymous trading on local exchanges were testified in December 2017.

The Prime minister of South Korea, Lee Nak-Yeon, warned about the hazard of cryptocurrencies being an easy way for the younger generation especially students, to get involved with such illegal activities.

Regardless of the media misrepresentation of more stricter rules for cryptocurrencies, at the beginning of 2018, Kim Dong-yeon (the Finance Minister) ensured that there’d be no ban of cryptocurrencies in South Korea. The government also proclaimed that there’ll be tax on cryptocurrency exchanges around 24%. Apart from banning anonymous trading, they’ll be banning foreigners and minors from opening any other new cryptocurrency accounts as well.

How South Korean government will enforce bans?

The south Korean government has restricted the opening of new virtual accounts and cryptocurrency traders won’t be permitted to make any deposits into their virtual currency exchange wallets. They’ll be only able to deposit it only if they’ve the name of their cryptocurrency exchange and it matches that of their bank accounts.

It’s been demanded by financial authorities to the cryptocurrency exchanges to revamp their AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know-Your-Customer).

Are These planned regulations of South Korean affecting the crypto-industry?

Because South Korea has such a huge cryptocurrency market, this means that these regulatory decisions of government will have a huge impact on the crypto market worldwide.

During all these rumoured reports of the government banning cryptocurrency, the total market cap of all coins was declined by 40% in just one day. But shortly afterwards, the market cap started to rise once again.

All the rumours have played a big role in the cryptocurrencies’ price, and any change in the economic decisions or law made in the hubs of major crypto, will always result in such instabilities.

However, there’s always a possibility that it will climb back to the pre-crash levels.

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Bitcoin Is Worth More Than Gold – But Way Behind In Stability

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Ever since its creation, Bitcoin has had its ups and downs in terms of both survival and price stability. However, as of late, the currency has been on the rocket-ship ride; going past $4000 mark for the first time last week.

Some investors view Bitcoin as something which can be compared to gold, and rightly so. Because just like gold, Bitcoin is not governed by any government or a central authority. One of the advantages of Bitcoin’s autonomy is that it makes Bitcoin insulated to any financial or economic crisis in a country. On the other hand, the fiat of that country can’t really cope with the crisis and more often tends to take a nosedive.

In fact, Bitcoin can benefit from the uncertainty and crisis, just like gold does. A recent example is Donald Trump winning presidential elections as both gold and Bitcoin surged 3% and 4% respectively in the aftermath.

Some investors are also relating the latest spike in Bitcoin to the potential war between North Korea and USA over NK’s nuclear problem.

Regardless of all the similarities, there is still one noteworthy difference between gold and Bitcoin: Gold is substantially more stable and the graph below shows it all:

The graph comprises of the data taken from Onvista and Coindesk. So, if you are looking to make a safe investment, Gold is still the way to go.

News Credit: BusinessInsider

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The Future of Bitcoin

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The future of bitcoin

The world today has reached at fairly modern-day monetary practice by now. Making its way through the barter system, and from coins to paper. So, where are at today? What is the next step? The answer is – Bitcoin.

Challenging and confronting all the monetary compulsions of the world, Bitcoin came into flow around 2009. Introduced by a pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto this peer-to-peer system started making the news by 2013. Its distinctive architecture makes it ‘mining’ more resource intensive gradually during the time. The main unique feature linked to this cryptocurrency is that the total production of bitcoin will be limited to 21 million. This number can not be exceeded at any time.

The value of Bitcoin has been behaving volatile since ever, but the extreme volatility has been seen since 2015-2016. After a China-led spree, there was again a sudden up thrust in the value of the currency, making headlines of another outbreak, reaching its highest value. But this vertigo doesn’t seem to stay steady at any margin.

Backbone of Bitcoin

Blockchain technology- the most hyped one, is the backbone of the system. It is a foundational technology which has the legitimate potential to change the world. And without a doubt, it can create new foundations for our systems in social and economic circles. This may seem like the ‘tulip fever’ in the 17th century to a lot of onlookers, but the bubble doesn’t seem to burst anytime soon.

Bitcoins are only generated by the process called ‘mining’. These transactions are compiled into blocks and participants are given mathematical puzzles to solve. The one who solves the problem first, is awarded with Bitcoins in exchange for services. Sounds easy? Not really!

These bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet that is somewhat our bank accounts. These wallets can be installed on our computers or cell phones. All the transactions performed are stored in the blockchain. It works as a public ledger. The transactions must be verified by the network in order to work. This network is architected substantially in an algorithm that generates the high level of security, so no other user can spend your funds.

The Blockchain is like digitized, secure ledger which stores every information and runs this disintegrated system. Bitcoin relies on Blockchain to perform and conduct every transaction.

What does the future hold for bitcoin?

So, what’s next it has in store for us? As unpredictable as these nine years, the future of these Bitcoins will remain the in same vertigo. It has been tied to nothing but algorithms and falls under no influence.

Bitcoin has so many advantages to being just wiped off or not to be accounted for by any time in near future. It has already made itself interlinked with some big economies and is here to stay with the same fluctuating nature.

These cryptocurrencies may have possibly bypassed the rules of traditional monetary and financial systems but there still are many limitations in the system.

In order to reduce these, there has been made an e-shop where you can spend your digital currency. The portal allows consumers to buy products using bitcoins.

The financial system legacy has served us long without giving much room to more. A mere chance given to the cryptocurrency revolution without government interfering will harm no one. Except there will be less power resting with the government that they are used to of practicing.

Countries that have weak currencies oppose greatly of this system and are planning to ban the digital money completely. But it’s not stopping the consumers adopting and accepting this new change and development. It definitely has the ability to change the financial pipping of the world. But whatever the argument may sit or face, despite the fluctuating price of this system nothing is certain for sure.

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Myth Debunked As Elon Musk Claims He Is Not Satoshi Nakamoto

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On November 26, 2017, a news came out about a former SpaceX employee claiming that Elon Musk was “presumably” Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. Bitcoin was established in 2008 and claimed under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the rumored holder of more than one million Bitcoins.

The secret of Satoshi has been a hotly debated issue in the digital currency world, with entrepreneurs regularly claiming and denying responsibility. Many individuals jumped at the opportunity to get a reaction out of Musk, with very little success on the first day.

In under 48 hours, the news reached Musk, who swung to Twitter to expose the claims in true Musk way:

“Not true. A friend sent me part of a BTC a few years, but I don’t know where it is.”

Image credits: cryptocoinsnews.com

The gossip started from this Medium post from Sahil Gupta, a student at Yale University and former intern at SpaceX. Gupta’s post was widely covered over media, bringing together a blend of supportive and skeptical responses. Normally, the dominant part of reactions was doubtful:

“Obviously, and on the 7th-day Musk rested.” – Phil Thompson

“Musk is a serial self-promoter. Had he come up with anything 1/1000 are groundbreaking we’d have known about it.” – Frayed_Knot

“I will debunk this right now. There is no way Elon Musk is Satoshi. He would never create a currency system that uses so much energy. One bitcoin transaction uses the amount of power an entire home uses in a full week. No way would he impact the environment like this.” – Adam W.

“Yes and no doubt one of his P.R. companies facilitated this article.” – Dave

The last comment can be easily exposed. Yes, Musk is capable of many things, but it is safe to say that he didn’t create Bitcoin.

With Musk’s latest response, the secret of Satoshi lives on and stays to be one of the best mysteries in the crypto world.

 

STORY AND IMAGE CREDITS: CRYPTOCOINSNEWS.COM

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