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Like regulators in a number of countries, the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been increasing its concern over cryptocurrency related investments. It has recently warned a cryptocurrency investment platform because it offered unregistered securities. The firm known as Onecash Trading, recruits’ cryptocurrency traders as their affiliate members and promises to reward them in local currency, whenever they recruit new members of the same scheme for Onecash Trading.

crypto investment platform

According to that SEC alert, the firm Onecash Trading has been promising potential investors returns of 200 percent interest over eight weeks. Though its registered headquarter is not known. Onecash claims its global coverage of services across 73 different countries. In a statement issued by SEC, it was said that the firm is offering unregistered securities to investors in the Philippines.

SEC thereby warned the public that such investment schemes are not secure whether they offer traditional currency use of money or cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, dash, monero or any other such digital currency. It was also stated that all such transactions are considered as securities subject to the regulatory authority of the SEC.

It was further stated that any person involved with promoting, selling and recruiting investment services for Onecash, no matter if he is a salesman, dealer or agent, the person will face prosecution and serious penalties up to 5 million pesos ($270,000) or imprisonment of up to 21 years.

Suggestions for Online Traders

The SEC has also shown its concerns that many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated companies or firms while in fact they are not. In the same way, many of these firms sometimes call themselves as exchanges, giving the pseudo impression that they are being regulated by national securities exchange. To cancel any chance of further fraud in this regard the SEC has devised a pack of rules in the light of which online traders should ask the following questions before they decide to trade digital assets:

  • Is your firm registered as a national securities exchange?
  • Can any information be found in FINRA’s BrokerCheck about any individuals operating your firm?
  • How do you ensure safety of your users’ trading and personal information?
  • What kind of measures you take against cybersecurity threats?
  • What kind of other services are provided by your firm?
  • How does your firm select assets for its digital trading?
  • Who can trade on the platform?
  • What is the trading criteria for your platform?
  • How do you set prices for your platform?
  • Are all the users treated equally or not?
  • Is your firm registered with the SEC for all the above-mentioned services?

The SEC hopes that the above measures would cancel any chance of fatal fraud in the online cryptocurrency related investments.

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Bitcoin – puzzling rise of the bitcoin

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Bitcoin info: An insane rise in the value of the bitcoin is providing a new discussion to the technology world.

A number of people are really wondering about the origin of it, they are puzzled by this phenomenon? surprise how it is physical? how they withhold on it? how bitcoin works? or whether a new bubble like this, is on its way?

Whereas others count that the currency change brings the sans regulations.

If we look back, one Bitcoin was at the value of $0.003 in 2010. Whereas, its value in 2017 raises to $2500. Clearly, means that one bitcoin is equal to the 2500 US dollars. By multiplying the perspectives bitcoin’s value is 879,999 times.

 So, which thing people buy in actual????

On another side, people think about the hoarding of the bitcoins.

One of the trader’s point of view is, “Of course, you can spend bitcoins to purchase items at places where they are accepted. But a lot of traders are buying on speculation because the supply of bitcoin is limited”.
All we know that there is 21 million total supply of the bitcoins and 70% are mined already from the internet. And, a sharp increase of the bitcoin is associate it with “bubble” word.

Billionaire Mark Cuban already admit that it has a worth, it has a value in blockchain technology. And named it as a bubble early in this month.

Few of them relate this bitcoin hype to the “Tulipmania. A well-known episode in Dutch history 1636-1637.  Where the value of tulip bulb was pushed by the gamblers to rapid heights.

Unfortunately, the bubble burst and bulbs price crashed. The main reason for this crash was, no existence of the fundamental value of a bulb.

But, in the case of the bitcoin, you are free to spend your coin and get goods and services. This scope is continually expanding. Traders of the bitcoin are the well-wisher of this technology and claims that bitcoin’s attractiveness directly lies in its potential.

Furthermore, it is possible that fiat money also doesn’t have original value but it is controlled by the different sources. That is a reason for long-term investment.

Japanese government legalized the bitcoin, it is a live example that cryptocurrencies are making their ways into the mainstream.

Bitcoin is not only one cryptocurrency, which is available with the limited supply. In fact, there are more than 900 digital currencies available on the internet. Whereas, cryptocurrencies are basically decentralized digital money, which is not created by any government or central bank.

Additional tag: Bitcoin stock market

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Bitcoin Mining Energy Consumption: Generating Bitcoin Requires A Lot of Energy!

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As you already know that bitcoin is purely digital, so there’s no physical digging in it. And in a world of virtual currency, such creation is known as mining. However, the computer power needs a lot of electricity to create digital tokens.

According to Alex de Vries (an economist who tracks energy use in the industry), each digital token consumes energy, equivalent to an average American household burns in two years.

If we talk about the total number of computers that are plugged into bitcoin network, then the energy consumed by the network is equivalent to the energy of a medium-size country. The network that supports the second most valuable virtual currency, Ethereum, also consumes energy in a hefty amount.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are consuming so much energy that now it has become a part of a debate among some people. Since the energy consumption of these systems has risen, the prices of these virtual currencies have also gotten very high.

Vitalik Buterin (the creator of Ethereum), is trying to find out ways so the tokens can be created without requiring that much energy. He said that he’d feel unhappy if his main contribution to the world was adding Cyprus’s worth of electricity consumption to the global warming.

According to Peter Van Valkenburgh (director of research at Coin Centre), such electricity usage is really important. This argument has its essentials in the complex systems that create tokens like Bitcoin and Ether, the currency on the Ethereum network, and other new virtual currencies.

The enticement of new bitcoins is encouraging people to use fast computers and lots of electricity in order to find the right answer and to unlock new bitcoins that are distributed every 10 minutes. The process was well-defined by the original Bitcoin software, which was released in 2009.

Bitcoin Mining Energy Consumption

At this time, the 12.5 bitcoins that are being distributed every 10 minutes are worth about $145,000 and people are willing to invest in it, which shows why there are huge server farms around the world that are devoted to bitcoin mining.

This process is essential for Bitcoin’s existence, as all the computers are serving as accountants for the Bitcoin network. No one can fudge the records and dominate the accounting as the mining race is meant to be really hard. According to Satoshi Nakamoto (the creator of virtual currency), the system was designed to thwart greedy attackers who might try to change the records.

Because of mining and accounting rules, the attackers have been kept away and the network is still safely going on. However, there’s been a disagreement over the original value of bitcoin and the network that supports it.

Marc Bevand (a miner and analyst) wrote in his blog that “labelling bitcoin mining as a waste is a failure to look at the bigger picture”. Although some people who are interested in all that innovation are anxious about the massive use of electricity. The concern about the use of electricity has become a subject of debate among many, however, other virtual currencies like Stellar and Ripple that were created after the Bitcoin don’t require much electricity.

The new mining process has been proposed by Mr Buterin for Ethereum. This process has been already used by some other smaller cryptocurrencies. New coins are distributed to only those people who are able to prove their ownership of existing coins. The current method totally relies on computational power and it just needs lots of computers which can play an important part in the computational race.

According to Mr Van Valkenburgh from the Coin Centre, if you want strong security at the moment, then you need proof of work.

Photo Credit : Mashable

 

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How to Store Bitcoin with a Paper Wallet

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One of the concerns every Bitcoin user has is how to keep their bitcoins safe from criminals. Well, the answer to that is to store them in a paper wallet, completely away from the internet in an offline environment.

If you do it right, you’ve just initiated one of the safest ways to store your bitcoin. Although, if you mess up in between, it’s still more secure than storing coins in any Bitcoin exchange platform.

Creating a Simple PapeWallet

Start off with a desktop that is clear from all virus.

If you’re having doubts about this, install a copy of the OS on a USB. This is just for safety purposes, you don’t have to do this step. Although, make sure your computer is completely free from all sorts of malicious and nasty viruses. We don’t want your operating system wiping out on you.

Use incognito mode on your browser, and go on to a bitcoin paper wallet creation site

The most well-known paper wallet creation site is said to be bitadress.org, so use your incognito mode to log on to the site.

Turn off your internet connection once bitaddress.org loads

After the site has loaded, turn off your Wi-Fi or unplug your ethernet cable. This will completely remove any leads for your private keys to leak through the internet without your knowledge.

Don’t worry, bitaddress.org was programmed to function perfectly fine even without an internet connection.

Follow the instructions given to the side and move your cursor randomly across the screen

This is the fun part. You’re required to randomly move your cursor around the screen to generate a seed that will be used by BitAddress to generate your personal wallet.

You have now created two QR codes with a combination of random letters and numbers

Congratulations! You’ve officially created your first paper wallet.

The two QR codes are:

  • Bitcoin Address- It will be a long string of letters and numbers jumbled together. This is what you’re going to be sharing with others in order to send and receive Bitcoins.
  • Private Key- This too is a lengthy combination of alphanumeric, but you’re supposed to keep this secret. You CANNOT share your private key with anyone nor can you store it on a computer and, definitely not on the web.

Remember this. If you lose your key, your bitcoins are lost forever and if someone else gets a hold of your private key, they can easily empty your wallet.

Keep your paper wallet safe

The next step is having an offline copy of your Bitcoin Address. While you’re still disconnected from the internet, print the address (make sure your printer is not connected through wi-fi either). Now you have created a hard copy of your Bitcoin address, which you can later add Bitcoin to for a final cold storage solution.

Always keep a backup of your wallet in another location and make sure it is completely secure. If someone gets their hands on it, you’ve lost everything.

Adding funds to your cold storage wallet

You need to use your online wallet for this. Scan the bitcoin address on the paper wallet or just copy it, then send your fund to your cold storage.

 

TIPS

  • Make sure to store your wallet someplace away from moisture, because you don’t want it getting damaged. Try storing it in a Ziploc bag or laminate it, in order to avoid it from coming in contact with any liquid.
  • Use an Operating System that never goes online, to prevent your PC from leaking out your private keys. Print your wallet offline and never go online from that computer in the future.
  • You can store large sums of bitcoins in your cold storage rather than carrying it with you in an online wallet. Keep small amounts of bitcoin in your online wallet for daily transactions and the rest offline, in a secure spot.

 

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Digital currency under regulatory scrutiny- SEC

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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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Dream Market’s Down – What Are The Alternatives?

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You’re probably familiar with the news on the take down of two of the largest online darknet marketplaces – AlphaBay and Hansa. It’s being called as the largest international operation against the dark web’s marketplaces conducted by the FBI, DEA and Dutch National Police. Dream market reddit trying to exit scams about cryptocurrencies.

However, it was ironic how the federal authorities took down AlphaBay but took Hansa under their charge and kept it running for around a month just to keep an eye out on the happenings of its daily visitors. Also, the visitors of AlphaBay Market had flooded the Hansa Market since they were forced by the seizer.

In addition, many of AlphaBay’s users found refuge in other dark markets as well such as Dream Market, which is said to be the second-largest darknet marketplace. But this safe haven is seemingly on the red alert as well as some Reddit users on various “r/Dream_Market” threads are concerned about the marketplace.

A Reddit user claims that Dream Market might already be under the federal authorities control. This is what the user’s post said.

“I got contacted by an ex-Hansa staff member telling me that the operation is apparently bigger than we currently assume, that ‘there will be a bloodbath, a purge’ and that ‘any vendor on HANSA should immediately seize his operation, lawyer up and hide his trails’.”

Another Reddit user claimed to have found a non-encrypted IP address in Dream Market’s source code, saying that the police have possibly taken control of the black market and are now observing all the activities of its visitors.

Now you might be wondering what are other alternatives that you could visit that are not on the radar right now. Well, fret no more.

Here are 3 of the closest options you can get of the above-mentioned darknet marketplaces:

3 Best Alternatives Of Dream Market:

  1. Silk Road 3.1:

As we all know, Silk Road has been taken down several times before but that has never stopped it from rising back up. This proves that as long as the Darknet Markets remain, so will Silk Road. It is still growing in popularity which is a good sign since it means its laying low.  

  1. RAMP:

Russian Anonymous Marketplace is one of the oldest darknet markets to exist. With a forum based interface and a range of drugs from light to hard, it is a good alternative. Especially since it’s pretty old, it has got good reviews.

Last but not the least…

  1. Bermuda:

Bermuda is a brand new darknet marketplace that is said to provide an escrow service based on Bitcoin for a safe and smooth trading procedure. The advantage of it being entirely new is that it’ll be completely off the radar so you are in good hands. According to some reviews, it’s doing good in the market, so definitely check it out in case you’re looking a safer alternative.

 

Story & Image Credits: thehackernews.com

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