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Before discussing the main issue, let’s discuss about the crypto financial derivatives and their role in digital payments. Crypto financial derivatives also known as bitcoin derivatives, are in fact security arrangements with a price that is dependent upon or derived from an underlying contract whereby differences in settlement are made in the form of digital cryptocurrencies.

Due to the insecurity involved in this whole process, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has toughened its requirements for CFDs in terms of cryptocurrencies. If you are investing in cryptocurrency, this update may affect your future investment plans.

bitcoin investment

Role of ESMA in Financial Decision

In fact ESMA is an independent authority which makes sure to improve investor protection and promote more stable financial markets. ESMA’s board of supervisors is solely responsible for all the policy decisions. The decisions and policies of ESMA have a direct impact upon the following areas and stakeholders:

  • Financial service providers
  • The financial services industry
  • Retail and institutional investors and consumers
  • Users of financial markets
  • The economy of general public
  • Regulators of securities markets

What are CFDs?

To be precise and to the point, CFDs are in fact arrangements made in the form of a futures contract, according to which differences arising in the settlement are compensated in the form of cash payments, rather than physical goods.

CFDs are usually assumed to be an easier way of settlement as compared to other contemporary methods. It is also preferred by majority of users because as all gains and losses are paid in cash form. The most interesting case in terms of CFDs is that without actually owning one, it gives its investors all the risks and benefits of a security.

Expected change in leverage limit

It is being expected that the leverage limit of CFDs will be changed to 2:1 at its opening by the EU regulator. According to this leverage limit, the investor must have enough funds to cover at least half of the contract value upon its opening. Previously, the leverage limit was 5:1, it allowed the investor deposit only 20 percent of the CFD’s at the time of deal.

The reason behind this sanction is only that ESMA recently highlighted in one of its statements that cryptocurrencies required a deeper monitoring due to the risks it posed in case of undergoing investment deals. ESMA is not alone to show concern in case of cryptocurrencies, even the the Austrian Finance Minister proposed to strictly regulate the cryptocurrency derivatives in order to prevent money laundering with it.

Due to its lack of protection EU regulators have also warned investors about the ultimate risks associated with cryptocurrencies.

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Bitcoin vs E-money – Everything you are looking for is here

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Bitcoin vs E-money E-money

In earlier days, the concept of money used to be a physical substance, such as gold and silver. Some ancient cultures used living things as a form of money – cattle were one of the oldest forms of money.

However, the modern world is becoming more technology centered. Ever since the introduction of the internet, everything, from space to schools and shopping centers is dependent on the internet, and even online transactions have suddenly become a THING! More and more people are starting to make online trades, as it gives them the ease to purchase any desired item without having to leave the comfort of their bedroom.

Many of these purchases are often made with e-money or Bitcoin – the most widely used form of digital currency.

The currency first came into circulation in 2009. During that short time span, Bitcoin was able to spark a lot of attention and worldwide interest. As a result, many merchants are now starting to accept Bitcoin payments for their services.

However, despite all the talk about how people nowadays keep themselves updated with the latest technological innovations, many still seem to struggle when it comes to differentiating between Bitcoin and e-money.

In this article, we’ve outlined how E-money and Bitcoin are different from each other. Let us begin.

How are they different?

Electronic Money aka e-money and Bitcoin are two systems for making payments that are digital in nature. Besides that, nothing is common between the two.

Electronic money is a mechanism designed to interact with traditional currency such as Euros and Dollars. Whereas, Bitcoin is an independent cryptocurrency with its developers and users having complete control over it.

Some anonymous programmers using the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, launched Bitcoin in 2009. It’s a digital file that consists every transaction that has ever happened in the network in its ledger, aka, block chain.

Bitcoins are not like fiat money, they are mined using computer power of high-tech computers in a distributed global network of volunteer “miners”.

The money balance recorded electronically on a stored-value card is electronic money. Unlike Bitcoin, e-money is under the regulations and controlling of the Government central banking system. Banks and customers would have public-key encryption keys. Public-key encryption keys come in pairs. Only the owner knows the private key whereas the public key is available to everyone.

In comparison, Bitcoin is strictly limited to Internet connection but E-money just requires access to electronic devices like mobile phones and an agent network. Also, e-money is equal to the amount of fiat money in exchange for electronic form whereas, Bitcoin has no possibility of reaching the real world in the form of a bill.

Example of a system supporting E-money

M-PESA is a mobile phone money transfer system that had launched in Kenya in 2007. It starts with converting fiat money into an equal e-balance, by only entering the recipient’s mobile number and the transferred amount. The issuer confirms the transaction by sending an SMS to the recipient. The benefit of this method is to eliminate the interference of banks which makes it so popular and successful in Kenya.

e-money

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

E-money and Bitcoin have their pros and cons but it is solely the responsibility of the user on how they handle their earnings. If more and more people shift from paper money to virtual currencies, this could irreversibly change our lives and social interactions.

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Bitcoin To Replace Fiat In 5 Years – Says Renowned Bitcoin Millionaire

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In five years’ time, fiat is no longer going to be of any use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies replace it. That is according to one of the renowned Bitcoin millionaires and venture capital investor Tim Draper who was talking with Forbes at the WebSummit conference in Lisbon.

Communicating his perspectives on where he sees the crypto market, he stated:

“People will laugh at you if you are still using fiat in 5 years. cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin particularly will become so relevant that fiat will be no longer of any use.”

This is clear by the fact that he acquired 30,000 bitcoins amid a government auction of assets seized from a darknet market Silk Road in 2014. At the time, those coins were worth $20 million. Today, they are esteemed at over $214 million.

Bitcoin has gained unprecedented highs in 2017. Over the last couple of weeks, the money has surged to above $7,000. It was within touching distance of $8,000 at the news that the SegWit2x had been suspended.

Staying positive about the fate of digital money, Draper trusts that the fiat framework will, in the long run, vanish as individuals look toward coins like Bitcoin or Ethereum. As indicated by him, they remain reliable stores of significant worth compared to fiat. His thinking behind this is that fiat monetary standards are bound by national borders. For instance, he refers to the Nigerian Naira, which drops 30 percent when a man crosses the border.

While this might be the situation, there are countless altcoins in the cryptocurrency market. CoinMarketCap puts that figure at 986 which have a market esteem. New ones are continuously being made, which are all claiming to give another answer for out daily life payment solutions. Regardless of this, however, the extensive number of digital money in the market isn’t stressing Draper. Actually, he conceives that they will inevitably all cooperate at some stage.

They’re all going to interrelate … and there will be trade rates for every one of them. My figure is that it will unify around a wallet that you have, and when you pay for that Starbucks, your wallet will advance to whichever cash has the most value.

It remains to be checked whether and when that happens, however from somebody who has been involved in cryptocurrency trading and has led interests in prosperous organizations, for example, Twitter, Skype, and Tesla, Draper might be on to something.

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Pakistan Bans Crypto and ICO Transactions

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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 Criminals Are Using Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies for Ransomware Payments

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As we already know that Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, complaints about Bitcoin are also growing rapidly. It’s been reported by many people that bitcoin’s transaction takes too long to get processed and it’s also very much expensive. Bitcoin Criminal use new hacking resources.

There are many indications that the currency is not going so well in favour of the underworld and the stories about culprits looking for bitcoin alternatives are not so new. The latest report by the forensic firm Chainalysis shows that the amount of bitcoin transactions that are related to the dark websites, where people frequently participate in criminal activities, has reduced by 30%.

The reason behind this huge drop is that many people are using bitcoin, and they’re only choosing to keep it, rather than spending it. However, Chainalysis counts multiple law enforcement agencies among its clients and also mentions the growing use of other cryptocurrencies like Zcash, Monero, and Dash.

bitcoin criminal

Fast and cheap transactions are not the only things that are offered by the new currencies, but they also include additional layers of anonymity that make them hard to track than bitcoin. Rob Wainwright (Executive Director of Europol), has also warned that this trend is already in progress. He also added that we’ll definitely see a progressive change in 2018 towards the criminal use of cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin, making it even more challenging for the law enforcement to counter.

A report by tech site ZDNet also shows that many researchers have claimed that slow transactions and high fees are causing culprits to move to Monero. ZDNet writes that it’s expected that soon, culprits will be also providing instructions to their ransomware victims on how to buy and exchange Monero. It’s been also reported that many companies have started to buy amounts of bitcoins so they’d be ready to pay up if they’re hit with ransomware.

While criminals are trying to turn away from the bitcoin for regular transactions, there’d be still very less chance of finding out if they’ve actually lost their interest in it or not. According to a report by Chainalysis, culprits might not want to use bitcoin, but they’d definitely want to steal it.

According to Chainalysis, theft of bitcoin has increased from at least $3 million to $95 million from 2013 to 2016, adding almost $172 million worth of bitcoin between the 2013-2017.

Image Credit: thehackteam

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