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Some new details have been provided by the government of Gibraltar about its strategy to regulate the ICOs (initial coin offerings) in a white paper. According to the paper, most of the tokens are not considered as securities under the EU law. Government officials and regulators are anxious due to the classification of ICOs and tokens, and in the major countries like China, they are considering to ban the whole blockchain use cases.

What does the whitepaper say?

Certainly, it’s also stated in the paper that;

“In many cases, [tokens] represent the advance sale of products that entitle holders to access future networks or consume future services.”

On the other hand, the document also argues that these tokens are not securities but, commercial products. In the white paper, an authorized sponsor’s regime was also summarized in which every ICO issuer, distributing or selling tokens in Gibraltar will require to hire a person who could oversee the sale and make sure that it follows the regulations. Ultimately, the release comes within a long-running procedure of creating regulatory limitations for the blockchain technology within the United Kingdom crown dependency.

Officials Point of View

In February, the representative of Gibraltar Financial Services Commission and Gibraltar Finance Centre said that the execution of the sponsorship scheme was just a part of their market-driven strategy for regulating ICOs and was just an attempt to avert a one-size-fits-all strategy. According to the document, the regime is definitely going to mean the market, but not the regulators. Also, it could define what a good token sale actually looks like.

In December, a blockchain-focused bill was passed by the legislators in Gibraltar and laid the basis for an ICO bill earlier, when an advisory was also issued back in September. It is also stated in the white paper that the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) will;

“Authorize and supervise secondary token market operators”

Also, it will establish;

“A public register of such operators.”

In addition to that, token-related investment guidance will be also regulated by the government, which includes;

  • Generic advice
  • Product-related advice
  • Personal recommendations

The white paper also specifies that by the end of this year, Gibraltar will wrap up its blockchain-related governing. The paper also says;

“A draft Bill is expected to be ready by the end of March 2018. Draft Regulations for the promotion, sale and distribution of tokens should be ready in May 2018. The last of the three Regulations should be completed by the end of October 2018.”

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What Are the Uses of Bitcoins?

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As the Bitcoin grows in popularity, the users are coming up with more and more ways to make it work for them. The use of bitcoins can be stretched as far as our imagination goes.

Bitcoin can perform almost every task that traditional currency does, but with more ease and comfort. You can buy goods/services and make online transactions worldwide through bitcoins.

In this article, we have discussed what is bitcoin and how to use it some most common things that you can do using this digital currency.

USES OF BITCOINS:

Hair Dressing:

Getting a new haircut to add some different flavor to your look is now easier than ever as several Top salons around the globe have announced their venture into the world of Bitcoin.

The saloons have trained employees to accept Bitcoin payments and have QR codes hung up around their shop.

Food:

Let’s admit it, food an essential part of our lives. Every time we hear the word “food” our stomach starts growling. And with restaurants around the world accepting payments in Bitcoin, it makes for an even greater experience for food enthusiasts. So, it’s time to get your Bitcoin wallet address and start paying for your favorite food in bitcoins.

Clothing:

Since the earlier days, clothing has had a very close bond with Bitcoin. It is said that clothes are one of the first items that the users could buy using bitcoins.

Most leading clothing stores accept bitcoins in payments and the trends keep on growing each day. Recently, an online retailer in China called Hyperbeast and a French retails chain Monoprix have welcomed Bitcoin payments in order to attract clients from different fields of life.

Real Estate:

After getting your hair done, having dinner at some feisty restaurant and putting on some lavish clothes, the next thing you’d want to do is rest in a home bought with Bitcoin.

That’s right. Several real estate companies/firms are accepting bitcoins as a form of payment. Whether you are making a down payment to buy a home or just paying rents, the real estate firms across New York, Australia, and Canada are welcoming Bitcoin payments.

Have low balance in your bank account? Your Bitcoin wallet has got your back.

Never heard of Bitcoin wallet before? Read our guide on what is Bitcoin wallet.

Last but Not Least – Donations:

The best way to put your money to good use is helping the needy. And Bitcoin makes this process a lot easier for you. Now you can donate your coins using Bitcoin wallets to those in need of a shelter or food.

In conclusion, Bitcoin has made our lives easier than ever. We can buy food, get good clothing and pay rents when laying in our beds; which was not possible before the arrival of cryptocurrency. And ever-growing use and popularity will only take our payment methods to a whole new level, bringing more comfort into our lives.

Where to use Bitcoin?

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Bitcoin Escrow Service – Multisignature

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An escrow service provides safer transactions especially since bitcoin transactions are irreversible. It holds the buyer’s coins in escrow and releases them after the satisfaction of both the parties. Escrow protects sellers from fraudulent buyers and likewise, buyers are protected if the seller turns out to be a scammer and doesn’t deliver the goods.

Bitcoin Multisig

Multisig aka Multi-signature is a technology that takes care of bitcoin wallet address. The basic principle is very simple: more than one person must sign the transaction in order for it to be valid. Bitcoin has a built-in feature that lets you choose as many signatures as you like, and then choose how many signatures in total must be provided for a valid transaction.

How to Use Multisig to Escrow Bitcoin?

The most common use of Multisig would have to be bitcoin multi-sig escrow. Multi-sig escrow provides consumer protection without the need of a central escrow provider to hold the coins on your behalf. Instead, an address is created which requires ‘2 of 3’ signatures from the buyer, seller and a third person who provides arbitration in case there is any disagreement. This address holds the payment until the product or service is delivered, and then can be used to pay the seller or refund the buyer.

Multisig can strongly benefit both individuals and organizations in improving security, establishing access controls, and enabling the delegation of partial trust. The additional signature proves that the transaction process is complete when both parties are aware that the terms of the transaction have met.

Bitcoin Escrow- Specialized Services

There are some specific platforms present for providing bitcoin escrow service to bitcoin users.  When you use one of these services, you are able to choose a third-party arbitrator from a list. If this list isn’t available in the event of a disagreement, they will act as a mediator.

  • Bitrated - Costumers choose from a list of independent arbitrators registered on a platform. After confirmation, the buyer secures bitcoins into a multi-signature address and the payment is secure until two of the participants agree to release them.
  • Escrow My Bits - This Bitcoin escrow service charges 1% escrow fees which provides possible dispute resolution. Storing your funds in a secure 2 of 3 multi-signature transactions where they hold one key.
  • StrongCoin- It’s an online wallet with built-in escrow with 1% fee on bitcoin cryptography. Use this service to buy items as they are able to offer escrow where no single party holds bitcoins. They hold one vote and to release the coins, you require two votes.

While in escrow, coins cannot be stolen unless two of the users also sign the transaction. This is much more secure and is highly recommended for anyone dealing with a large number of bitcoins.

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SEC Uncovers A Case Of Fraudulent ICO

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No doubt cryptocurrencies have become notoriously volatile as various governments and financial organisations are imposing restrictions regarding the sale and purchase of fraudulent ico. On the other hand it is also a fact that continuous boom in the cryptocurrency market is the main reason behind the birth of some alarming situations regarding its investment and fundraising options. With an increase in the popularity of Initial coin offering and cryptocurrencies, many top social networking websites have recently banned advertisements related to all sorts of activities related to this specific market. Recently Facebook, Google and Twitter are on the top of the list among the sites which have prohibited ads related to cryptocurrencies. Not only that but the US Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued a strict warning according to which celebrities can no more endorse ICOs without proper announcement. Even a country like India has officially announced that Bitcoin is no more than an illegal tender within its borders.

some massive frauds and illegal activities related to the digital tokens have also become a reason for such restrictions. One of such recent fraudulent activities was reported by the US security exchange commission against two co-founders of a supposed financial services start-up for organizing a deceptive initial coin offering.

Who Was Behind That ICO Fraud?

The names of the two founders are Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas who are behind that ICO fraud. They were running of a cryptocurrency firm by the name of Centra Tech which was also authenticated by champion boxer Floyd Mayweather. The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged the founders of Centra Tech for organizing a fraudulent initial coin offering. All that information was made public in a press release dated April 2.

 

Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas, were arrested and charged for raising 32 million dollars in an unregistered investment with the help of so called “CTR Token”. Farkas was fully prepared to leave the country, but was arrested moments before he could board his flight.

How Was This ICO Fraud Discovered?

According to the statement issued by US Securities and Exchange Commission, Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas offered a number of financial products on behalf of their company Centra Tech which also included a debit card backed by Visa and MasterCard. It was being claimed by Centra Tech that with the help of this debit card users could instantly convert cryptocurrencies into US dollars and other legal tokens. In fact it was all based on a fraud as no such agreement existed between Centra Tech and Visa or Mastercard.

 

Centra Tech was also alleged for creating fictional resumes and biographies in order to promote its fraudulent company. The company also hired celebrities like champion boxer Floyd Mayweather to promote their initial coin offering.

 

According to a warning issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in November last year, the ICOs which involved celebrities could be illegal.

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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.

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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CFTC Chairman Says “Without Bitcoin, There’d Be No Blockchain”

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On Tuesday, during the Senate hearing on the potential cryptocurrency regulations, the chairmen of USA’s top two market regulatory agencies largely stuck to their script. The hearing was held by the Senate Committee on Urban Affairs, Housing, and Banking which affected a wide range of regulatory concerns that are linked to the blockchain and cryptocurrencies technology, including trading platforms, ICOs (initial coin offerings), derivatives and ETFs (exchange-traded funds).

Both Giancarlo and Clayton expressed concern in their statements that at this time, the cryptocurrency exchanges are delimited at the state level and not on the federal one. They both repeated that in the future at some undefined point, there’s a chance that the Congress may try to improve the ability of federal regulators to manage the spot markets.

The chairman of SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), Jay Clayton, tried to shift the conversation back to the ICOs constantly and noted that he hasn’t seen an ICO that shouldn’t be catalogued as a security under federal regulations. The same statement he has been repeated on several past occasions as well.

He likewise gave a perception on why the SEC has struggled against the fund sponsors attempts to list Bitcoin ETFs and explained that because retail investors are largely targeted by the ETFs and are primarily one-sided markets, rules presiding their creation need to be strict than those for futures indentures, which are supervised by the CFTC. He added that the SEC will be open for revising its stance on Bitcoin ETFs if these rules are gratified later.

Meanwhile, Chairman Giancarlo grabbed the attention of many Bitcoin fanatics with some comments that seemed to be hat tips to the community.

The very first word that he used during the Congressional hearing was “hodl” and till the end of the hearing, he continued to contradict the common misconception that the coattails of blockchain technology are purged by Bitcoin.

He told the committee that it’s really important to reminisce that there’d be no blockchain if there was no Bitcoin. Overall, the whole hearing didn’t end up as a thunderclap, however, it proved what has been already made ostensible ‘that new cryptocurrency regulations are expected to be coming to the US markets soon.’

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