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The central bank of Pakistan has told financial service providers and banks that it won’t be supporting virtual currency transactions. In a statement on its website, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) suggested the general public that it controls both international and domestic payment as well as money transfer services.

cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes

Prosecution Against Transferring Funds

According to this cryptocurrency ban news, the State Bank of Pakistan will take action against those who use virtual currencies for transferring funds outside Pakistan. If they found anyone using virtual currencies, tokens or coins for transferring money outside Pakistan, he/she will be subject to prosecution according to applicable laws. The State Bank of Pakistan also asked microfinance and commercial banks, as well as payment service providers/operators to restrict those account holders, who are looking forward to carry out transactions in the form cryptocurrencies and ICO tokens.

The State Bank of Pakistan also noted that it doesn’t recognize cryptocurrencies as legitimate tender and hasn’t sanctioned or licensed anyone for the sale-purchase, exchange-investment or even issuance of any tokens or currencies.

Risks

The State Bank of Pakistan took the action of the following risks:

  • The closure and fiasco of virtual currency exchanges as well as businesses for any purpose, like action by law enforcement agencies.
  • The number of security negotiations of virtual currency exchanges and wallets all-inclusive, in which huge amount of funds was lost.
  • Virtual currencies are extremely erratic, volatile and the prices are mostly based on assumptions.

Furthermore, fraudsters have started to offer “pyramid style investment schemes” as well and have promised high returns to the general public of Pakistan. The State Bank of Pakistan has also warned that such schemes similar to cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes, can cause some hefty losses to the general public.

RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stated that all controlled entities that already offer virtual currency services are required to cut off all ties within three-months. These services include:

  • Maintaining accounts
  • Registering
  • Trading
  • Settling/Clearing
  • Giving loans against virtual tokens
  • Accepting the loans as collateral
  • Opening accounts of exchanges that manage them and transfer funds in accounts including the sale and purchase of virtual currencies.

The Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) believed that blockchain technology has a lot of positive applications however, it contends that cryptocurrencies increase several concerns related to the:

  • Protection of customers
  • Market integrity

Preventing financial crimes

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Bitcoin Mining in Russia: Why Chinese Bitcoin Miners Are Moving to Russia?

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Everyone knows that China was considered as a hotbed of mining operations, however, the Chinese government cracked down on the cryptocurrency as a whole and recently someone made a bet that Russia is the best place to establish a mining venture. Let’s find out if it’s true or not.

Mining in Russia:

According to Kommersant (a nationally distributed daily newspaper in Russia), many electric power stations in Russia have been acquired by an investor just for bitcoin mining. It is claimed to be the first time ever someone bought a whole power station for such a gamble in a huge and natural resource ironic country.

One power station is located nearby the Russian Republic of Udmurtia, whereas the other one is located on the western slopes of Middle Ural Mountains, in the Perm region. According to the newspaper report, these amenities will be used in the creation of bitcoin mining farm and data centre.

Bitcoin Mining in Russia

Bloomberg reported that development of bitcoin mining will require almost 100 million dollars. An investment plan has been presented by a Russian company named “Russian Miner Coin”, to gather 100 million dollars, so the investors can buy Ethereum or Bitcoin, and acquire almost 18% of the mining benefit that is generated by the company.

According to a report, the buyer of these power stations is a businessman, Aleskey Kolesnik, who has also circuitously confirmed the acquisition. But he also said that the cryptocurrency process will only start after the approval of Russian government, to make it completely legal.

Alexandar Drozdenko (Governor of Leningrad) said that a huge portion of the older power plant will be left abandoned after the completion of these new power plants.  Cryptocurrency mining will require huge processing areas and cheap electricity, and both of these facilities can be provided by the nuclear power plant.

Chinese Miners Moving to North:

At this time, China owns 80% of the mining cores in the world, which makes it the leader of pool mining. Iceland is the second largest one with 5% of the global mining power. The third one is Japan with almost 3% of mining power.

It seems like Chinese miners are getting prepared for an exodus from their homeland. Cold weather and cheap electricity are required for efficient mining. However, it’s believed that government of Russia will be more honest than others in accommodating bitcoin mining operations in their region.

A global panel of cryptocurrency miners was organized where people from different fifteen countries explained to ministers how these cryptocurrencies are formed and discussed various approaches to mining regulation.

Many Russian politicians think that bitcoin can help the country to evade Western economic sanctions. Also, 100 million dollars will allow Russia to get an environment-friendly mining equipment. However, at this time bitcoin mining and its transactions are not regulated. The country is working on the legalization of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Plus, the trading cryptocurrencies will be also authorized and the new law as a whole would take place after few months.

Bitcoin mining in Russia is being criticized at the moment by mainstream media, labelling it as a waste of energy, however, Russian ministers don’t share the same views.

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It’s Confirmed! Twitter Is Going to Ban ICO Ads

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On Monday, the social media giant Twitter confirmed the rumours that it is going to follow Google and Facebook by banning cryptocurrency advertisements from the website.

According to the announcement, ICO ads, as well as advertisements related to exchanges, token sales, and wallet services (apart from public companies that are registered on the prime stock markets) will be removed from the site. A spokesperson said that the aim of this move is to make sure the safety of Twitter’s community.

twitter ico news

New Twitter Policy

This Twitter ICO news went viral as the social media giant clarified:

“We have added a new policy for Twitter Ads relating to a cryptocurrency. Under this new policy, the advertisement of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and token sales will be prohibited globally.”

This latest twitter policy will be introduced within the next 30 days. But on the other hand, Twitter will be limiting advertisement for cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan to those, who are under the observation of the national financial regulator.

There were many rumours before that Twitter would ban advertisements related to cryptocurrency especially, when it was first reported by Sky News that such content would be banned from the Twitter’s platform within the next two weeks.

What Jack Dorsey has to say about it?

CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has conceded the proliferation of cryptocurrency scam accounts earlier, and pledged to crack down on bot accounts in search of cryptocurrencies from others.

Though, some of the site’s response exertions have led to account issues for standard users. According to Twitter, safety for users is the main motivator behind this ban. Few actions were also taken by Twitter in order to prevent accounts related to cryptocurrencies from engaging with others in an illusory manner, but then again it met calls to ratify more actions, subsequent to the bans from Google and Facebook.

Impact of Twitter’s Announcement on Crypto-Market

Cryptocurrency markets were already going through a slump, but after the announcement of Twitter banning cryptocurrency advertisements, the market fell even more.

While talking to Reuters, Kapronasia’s director of financial consultancy, Zennon Kapron mentioned the perils to Twitter itself and said:

“With the increasing number of ICOs coming to market, it is an impossible task for anyone, much fewer platforms like Twitter or Facebook, to keep on top of which ICOs and cryptocurrencies are genuine versus frauds… Although certainly, ICO advertising must have been a significant source of revenue for Twitter, the repercussions of fraudulent activities just weren’t worth the risk.”

In January 2018, Facebook restricted cryptocurrency advertising while the ban from Google was announced at the beginning of this month.

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What Is Bitcoin Hard Fork? The Most Heated Bitcoin Topic Explained!

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To begin with, Bitcoin has been the talk of every news channel, tabloid, website, etc. for a long while now. It’s increasing popularity might’ve caused a little problem for the network. Bitcoin is in a messy situation right now and something needs to be done. Fortunately, two possible solutions have been proposed as well, but only one can exist.

 

bitcoin hard fork

 

What’s The Issue?

In simple words, Bitcoin is unable to withstand the number of transactions taking place on the network.

The technical explanation is that the 1MB block size limit which is programmed into the system has become a problem and is causing delays in the processing of transactions. Basically, a purchase can take from a few minutes to hours to confirm.

Two techniques were proposed, which result in two different solutions: Bitcoin Unlimited, and Segregated Witness. They’re both proposed software updates to the Bitcoin network with the aim to completely change the way Bitcoin functions.

Obviously, the two can’t coexist, that would “fork” the Bitcoin network – splitting it into two different digital currencies.

A fork is known as a software update. Basically, updating a program from an old version to a new one.

Hard Fork:

It is a compulsory software update that is required in order for the program to function.  It can be implemented to fix bug errors or any security issues present in the older version of the software. Also, a hard fork is irreversible.

The “hard fork” will split the blockchain, leading to the introduction of a new chain of transactions branching from the original one.

Bitcoin Unlimited:

Starting off with Bitcoin Unlimited, this proposal is favored majorly by Bitcoin miners. To understand this, you must know the concept of Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin miners use specified powerful computers to solve complex mathematical algorithms in order to verify a transaction and be rewarded with newly issued bitcoins.

We are aware that there is a built-in block size limit of 1MB in the Bitcoin network, however, BU gives miners the permission to vote on increasing the block size whenever they want. This gives them control of the Bitcoin network, due to which they’re favored by miners.

Segregated Witness:

On the other hand, SegWit is being voted by many Bitcoin enthusiasts and developers. Their aim is to optimize the Bitcoin coding in a way that allows them to decrease the transaction size and increase the transaction volume, all while sticking to the 1MB block limit. They suggest the use of a soft fork.

A soft fork is a software update that lets the network to adapt to the new functionalities and features implemented. The update doesn’t interfere with the existing software and the older version will still be usable.

Who Will Be The Winner?

Aha! Too bad we can’t answer this question because half the community goes for SegWit and the other half for BU. There’s not really much we can do, just voice out our opinion and educate others with whatever we learn and maybe help them come up with opinions of their own.

We’ll just have to patiently wait and watch how this turns out.

I’d like to point out that I have a very limited technical knowledge and only know my way around a few technical terminologies. This post is a compilation of weeks of research that I’ve put together myself. So, if you do find any errors, do let me know in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to check back on them.

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