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After South Korea banned ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), things seem to have slowed down; however, the ban hasn’t totally halted the flow of new digital coins on local exchanges. Despite the South Korea ICO ban, startups in the country haven’t closed their doors on the fundraising process and are settling their ICOs overseas and then, listing their digital coins on the exchanges of South Korea. The expansion arises on the heels of a report which suggests that the country, South Korea, is reconsidering its stance on ICOs.

Crackdown on Crypto-Markets

In September 2017, South Korea unleashed its crackdown on the cryptocurrency markets and banned ICO listings in the country. This move by South Korea threw a wrench into trading volumes of cryptocurrencies, where the price of Bitcoin is considered to trade at a heavy premium against other markets. Also, a rumour was circulating last month that the investors in South Korea might be scooping up Bitstamp (Luxembourg-based bitcoin exchange), in a contract which has the worth of almost $400 million; however, these reports haven’t been confirmed yet.

With all the other news related to the virtual currency exchanges, it’s been observed from several sources that Bitstamp, as it is one of the oldest exchanges, is in the final stage of being vended to the investors of South Korea for $400 million; however, buyers and the exchange, both are not commenting on it.

 

ICON (ICX)

For now, the surge has started to turn for ICO issuers, as it’s proven through ICON (ICX), which is a new coin developed by DAYLI Financial Group (Seoul-based fintech), though it is issued in Switzerland. The ICON Foundation is listed in Switzerland and works out of Korea. The top two cryptocurrency exchanges of South Korea are; Bithumb and Upbit. Both of these exchanges support ICON for trading. While South Korea followed China and banned ICOs, the issuing firms have discovered a way to avoid the regulations. ICON has been proved as a lucrative investment up to now, as it started trading at $0.11 and rocketed to $2.64 immediately.

 

Park Nok-sun, the NH Investment and Securities cryptocurrency analyst told Reuters that the listing on the trading platforms of South Korea is substantial, since it’s the first-platform-coin of the country that has advanced on code which can support other applications as well. ICON isn’t the only digital currency of South Korea that have evaded the ban. This trend has matured, as almost 12 companies have launched ICOs abroad; however, they’ve also listed their coins on the exchanges of South Korean, including Hyundai subsidiary Hyundai BS&C.

According to Reuters, regulators of South Korea want the blockchain startups of the country to be “transparent” about the international deals but at the same time, it doesn’t intend to be a hurdle in their way. Meanwhile, it would be inexpensive and much easier for South Korea to let the local startups launch their token sales locally again.

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Bitcoin Mining – Everything You Need To Know Is Here

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The terms “Bitcoin mining” is used to describe the processing and confirmation of Bitcoin payments on the network. In Bitcoin mining, the information is distributed, validated and stored on blockchain – a digital ledger which is used to store the transactions made in cryptocurrency such as bitcoins.

The transaction process of Bitcoin is different from traditional transfers as there are no third parties – merchant accounts, issuing bank, acquiring bank – involved.

Who Can Participate In Bitcoin Mining?

Almost everyone with a regular PC can participate in Bitcoin mining. All you have to do is to run a specialized software and you are good to go. The Bitcoin mining software are compatible with all PCs and operating systems. In addition to running on regular PCs, some companies have developed specialized Bitcoin mining machines that can build blocks and process transactions in a quick and efficient manner.

Find out what our beginner’s guide has to say about how bitcoin works.

How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

In Bitcoin mining, the participants are given mathematical problems and asked to assemble a block of outstanding transactions by solving those problems. In exchange, the miners get rewards for all of the transactions they process and receive fees for successfully validating those transactions.

In addition to those fees, the miners also receive an additional reward for each block they mine from the bitcoin blockchain.The reward was previously 25 bitcoins but it has now been decreased to 12.5 bitcoins (equivalent to $7,000) which are still pretty high.

Because the reward is so high, the completion of mining is also incredibly tough. Thousands of miners from all across the world compete to assemble the block as quickly as possible.

Here’s a fun fact for you: “The total power of competing for Bitcoin computers is 1000 times higher than the top 500 supercomputers in the world.

Is Bitcoin Mining Harmful for PCs?

A few years back, Bitcoin mining was not so mainstream and no dedicated hardware was built to support it. Moreover, the miners of past used to overuse their systems which often caused damages to PCs. However, the technology has advanced and various manufacturers are developing computers that are specifically designed to support Bitcoin mining; which has made the process safer than ever.

What Are The Benefits Of Bitcoin Mining?

There are several benefits of Bitcoin mining. The ones that top the list are:

  • Bitcoin mining is like creating money from nothing.
  • There is some cool hardware involved such as ASICs, FPGAs, and GPUs and Bitcoin mining gives you the opportunity to play around with them.
  • You compete with others which ultimately helps you create an efficient mining system
  • Bitcoin mining is considered to be less risky because the coins never devalue. in fact, the more people use this currency, the more it appreciates in worth.
  • Bitcoin mining is not a waste of time. It’s actually a hobby that pays something back.

These are some of the facts, benefits, and details of how Bitcoin mining works. The process is quite intriguing and if you are trying to make some extra cash, becoming a Bitcoin miner is never a bad option.

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WARNING! Hong Kong Regulator Says ICOs are ‘Downright Fraud’

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Hong Kong securities regulator has once again warned the public about Initial Coin Offering investment. The deputy chief of Honk Kong SFC (Securities and Futures Commission), Julia Leung, repeated the previous concerns of perils related to ICOs, in a speech which took place on Friday.

While emphasizing that the interests of regulators lie in protecting the investment of public first, Leung said:

“While we acknowledge that innovative technologies such as blockchain have the potential to improve efficiency and financial inclusion, that does not entitle anyone to conduct fundraising from the public in violation of securities law.”

Obscurity for Investors

As Leung is the chair of the SFC’s Fintech Advisory Group, she claimed that it would be difficult for an average investor to decrypt the extreme-technical-content and obscurity of few projects that are in quest of fundraising, as she stated that it was more suitable for proficient investors from VC funds instead. Her remarks then drew the attention to projects that claim to use blockchain technology as a “slogan” to vow high-tech claims without any innovation to fulfil those promises.

Julia Leung also added:

“Many of these fundraisings are dubious, if not downright frauds. The issuers escape the scrutiny of the police or securities regulators because of their cross-border nature and the way the crypto assets are structured to fall outside any regulator’s perimeter.”

Warning Against ICOs

These comments pursue an earlier statement, in which guidelines were provided for ICO issuers that must be followed ahead of fundraising operation. Certain ICOs could be considered as securities as well, according to Leung. Since the scrutiny, the regulator has issued a warning letter to almost seven exchanges along with domestic presence, prompting them not to trade cryptocurrency tokens as it sees them as securities without a license.

The regulator said:

“The SFC will continue to closely monitor ICOs and will not tolerate any violations of the securities laws of Hong Kong.”

Seeing growing public interest, the authorities of Hong Kong launched a “public awareness campaign” at the beginning of this year to enlighten general public about the Initial Coin Offering investment and cryptocurrencies by using, articles, advertisements, and infographics.

In her speech, Leung also pointed out the volatility of bitcoin price and added:

“Many millennials who subscribe to digital tokens in ICOs5 understand that there is no intrinsic value in the tokens but are betting on the rapid rise of the token value in the secondary market.”

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Will The Violent Closing of Crypto Hedge Funds Also Persist In 2019?

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According to some financial observers the future of cryptocurrency hedge fund could face a harsh and violent transformation during 2018. It has also been predicted that 10 percent of these hedge funds could shutdown during the next few months. Even Bloomberg reported recently that the continuous decrease in the prices of cryptocurrency assets have played a critical role in the slowdown of hedge funds. This prediction seems to be true as far as the ratio of crypto hedge funds opening is concerned which decreased continuously during the current year as compared to their launch rate in 2017 which was over 170. The situation has totally changed now as during the first three months of 2018 only 20 new players showed their existence on the scenario and shutting down of previous funds also continues.

Reasons For This Downfall

According to latest hedge fund news the main reason for all this downfall can be the significant reduction in price of cryptocurrency this year, this decrease in price of automatically affected the relative hedge funds resulting in losses and closings of their doors for 2018. The ultimate decrease in price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has not been good for the health of hedge fund business. Regulatory uncertainty has also played its role in all this scenario.

 

Alpha Protocol is one of the recently closed funds which directly cited “potential regulatory and market risks” as main reasons for its decision to refund deposits. A statement was issued by its co-founder that new capital rate had slowed down and it was getting difficult to survive even for a high profile fund like Alpha Protocol.

Which Crypto Funds Were Affected Most?

Among those companies which had to freeze their operations, Crowd Crypto Fund and Alpha Protocol are on the top of the list. It has been reported that a total of 9 hedge funds revolving around cryptocurrency were shut down since December 2017. In addition to the shutdown of various funds, some of the investors have reverted to their previous investment plans which proved to be more secure than the crypto based hedge funds.

 

Alongwith unsure market health, regulatory uncertainty was also responsible for this downfall. Rumours have been circulating that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is fully prepared to check approximately 100 hedge funds in the near future while there are still more than 200 active hedge funds in operation.

 

Whatever the reason may be, all that discussion means that the cryptocurrency hedge fund business must evolve itself in order to compete with the regulatory uncertainty lying ahead.

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What Are Some Amazing Facts About Bitcoin?

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The majority of people nowadays already have an idea as to what is Bitcoin and how does it work. But no matter how much you know about this cryptocurrency, there is always something to leave you amazed. Here are the bitcoin facts.

In this article, here are some interesting Bitcoin facts for you.

Bitcoin amazing Facts:

Independent of Third Party Influence:

Bitcoin is an open-source software. Anyone – whether it’s the owner or just a random internet user – can access it. Also, there is no regulatory authority such as a central bank, government or private organizations to control the flow of Bitcoin which makes it inexpensive to use.

Nobody Knows Who Invented Bitcoin:

It has been nearly a decade since the Bitcoin first came into circulation. However, the identity of creator still remains a mystery. Several investigations and search works have been conducted but to no avail.

Some say a programmer named Satoshi Nakamoto invented it but there is no proof to support that claim.

Bitcoin Transactions Are Untraceable:

One of the unique features of Bitcoin is that the transactions are untraceable. Whether a user is trading coins across the street or sending them to the far edge of the globe, all he has to put forward is a wallet ID. The personal information is not required. As a result of this, the transactions become anonymous and downright untraceable.

If You Lose Your Coins, Consider Them Gone for Good:

Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet and protected by a private key. So, if a user loses the drive on which the wallet was stored, consider your coins gone for good.

Bitcoins Are Accepted as A Method of Payment All Across the World:

Numerous banks, corporations, and retail stores accept Bitcoin as a payment and the number is increasing each day. Using this currency, you can buy comics, fancy clothes, yachts, property, travel around the world and order a delicious pizza.

Amazing, isn’t it?

The First Ever Purchase Made Via Bitcoin Was for A Pizza:

One of the most interesting facts about bitcoins is that the first ever purchase made through this currency was a pizza.

In May 2010, the currency was relatively new and was still pretty far from gaining worldwide recognition. Due to this fact, the value of bitcoin was extremely low - let’s say, two Papa Johns Pizzas for two Papa Johns Pizzas.

Yes, this was exactly the case when Laszlo Hanyecz offered two Papa Johns Pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins, which was then equivalent to $41 or $0.0041 per coin.

However, the circumstances have changed and those 10,000 bitcoins are worth $7.6 million in today’s market.

These are some interesting facts about the ever-incredible currency that is Bitcoin. In conclusion, the characteristics of cryptocurrency are nothing short of incredible! The future belongs to Bitcoin! So make your move and take a dive into the world of Bitcoin; right now!

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SEC Official: ‘Dozens’ of Crypto Investigations Are In progress

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on 15th March, Bloomberg BNA reported that Stephanie Avakian (Enforcement Division Co-Director) of US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has confirmed that “dozens” of investigations have been conducted by the agency in the cryptocurrency space.

Press Report

It was reported in February that subpoenas have been sent by SEC to companies, that are suspected of having trouble with the security laws through their contribution in the ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). The comment of Avakain follows these press reports as she said;

“We are very active, and I would just expect to see more and more.”

Statement Released by Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC)

A statement was released by SEC on 7th March, prompting cryptocurrency trading platforms that they are under the control of the SEC as it monitors them and as an outcome, it must register as exchanges. It’s already clear that SEC holds the main responsibility for proposing securities rules, enforcing federal securities laws, regulating the securities industry, and other actions, which includes the electronic securities markets. SEC supervision ended up as three different companies were suspended from trading due to queries related to the cryptocurrency.

What has SEC done against the crypto-related companies?

Over the past few years, the SEC has taken more steps against cryptocurrency companies that it was seeing as flaunting securities laws. Bloomberg also reported that since September 2017, many actions have been taken by the commission against companies.

On 14th March, Mike Lempres (Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Coinbase) has highlighted in a testimony (before Congress) that the major financial regulatory organizations haven’t agreed on the nature of cryptocurrency. In the US, the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies still remains unclear.

For SEC, it is a security, while the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) deliberates tokens as a commodity. If we talk about the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), it considers tokens to be property, while tokens are considered as currency for FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network).

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