Facebook Says it Will Use Swiss Agency to Oversee its Cryptocurrency’s Privacy, But is Yet to Even Contact Them

Facebook has been grilled today at a Senate Banking Committee hearing over its cryptocurrency project Libra. As part of the hearing, a representative for the social media giant claims the firm has been in contact with a Swiss agency to oversea data protection and user privacy.
However, it has emerged that the firm has not been in contact with the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) at all.
Senate Hearing Casts Doubt on Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Efforts
The head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, stated during today’s US Senate Committee hearing that the firm had secured a partnership with Swiss authorities to help deal with issues relating to data protection and privacy:
“For the purposes of data and privacy protections, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) will be the Libra Association’s privacy regulator.”
However, according to a report in CNBC, the FDPIC has had no contact whatsoever with the social media company. The publication reportedly contacted the agency for comment on their work with Libra. Hugo Wyler, the FDPIC’s head of communication, responded:
“We have taken note of the statements made by David Marcus, Chief of Calibra, on our potential role as data protection supervisory authority in the Libra context. Until today we have not been contacted by the promoters of Libra.”
He went on to state that the agency is expecting contact from Facebook soon with the “concrete information” necessary for the agency to provide legal advice and supervision. Wyler added that the FDPIC was following the ongoing public debate into the social media company’s financial ambitions.
CNBC reports that, when contacted, a Facebook spokesperson said the company was yet to contact the Swiss agency. The publication also took the liberty of contacting the other Swiss agency named by Marcus earlier today. The Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) confirmed that the company was indeed in contact with them with regards its cryptocurrency project.
Facebook’s Libra has dragged issues surrounding Bitcoin and other crypto assets right to the front of policymakers’ discourse since it was detailed in June. Last week, President Donald Trump expressed his distaste for the the cryptocurrency  industry via Twitter and also warned Facebook that it would need to seek out relevant banking licences if it wanted to offer the kind of services it detailed last month.
A common critique that has reemerged since the likes of Trump and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently started commenting on cryptocurrencies is that all they do is enable crimes such as money laundering and drug dealing. However, some more astute lawmakers finally seem to realise that the technology could represent a threat to US global hegemony.
Facebook currently plans to launch Libra in 2020. However, given the amount of regulatory backlash Facebook has been faced with since it was first detailed, this date seems overly optimistic now.
 
Related Reading: US Committee Plans to Ban Facebook Cryptocurrency Libra
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Analysts Believe Bitcoin Likely to Move Towards $6,000 as Bearish Narrative Unfolds

Almost as quickly as bullish euphoria recently gripped the market, the Bitcoin bears have returned. An air of uncertainly, brought about by the prime-time attention cryptocurrencies are receiving of late, has seen the price fall once again below the $10,000 level.
Notable trading Twitter accounts are calling for a much more severe pullback, even from today’s prices. Some believe that a price as low as $6,000 is now likely in the short-to-mid-term.
A Return to $6,000 Bitcoin “Quite Likely”?
According to cryptocurrency market analysts, there is a greater-than-even chance that Bitcoin prices will return to the $6,000 area in the coming weeks or months. Recently-returned optimism in the industry appears to have been snuffed out as fast as it arrived.
The change of sentiment appears to have coincided with President Trump’s recent anti-cryptocurrency Twitter outburst, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling Bitcoin and other digital assets a “national emergency”. Despite many Bitcoin proponents reasoning that there is nothing to worry about and that all publicity is good publicity for the digital asset space, the wider market seems to have shifted bearish once again.
Whilst many Twitter trading accounts and technical analysts observing the shift in sentiment are now pessimistic about the short-term Bitcoin price, some are calling for even greater moves to the downside. In the following Tweets, Twitter crypto analyst Dave the Wave demonstrates his reasoning behind his own calls for much lower prices:

pic.twitter.com/B2toGeDvxL
— dave the wave (@davthewave) July 16, 2019

In the responses, one of Dave the Wave’s followers asks the trader how likely he believes a return to $6,000 is. He replies simply: “”Quite likely”.
Dave The Wave isn’t alone in his belief that Bitcoin is heading down hard again either. Popular YouTube technical analyst Tone Vays also claims that a massive correction is not only likely but is needed. He believes that a sharp drop that all but crushes every ounce of hope for Bitcoin whilst completely decimating the altcoin space is what it will take for the number one digital asset by market capitalisation to return to a long-term upwards trajectory.
In a recent edition of his trading Bitcoin YouTube show, Vays states that Bitcoin price has been trading within a “no trade zone” of late, essentially meaning that he could not tell whether it would break to the upside or downside. Speaking before the price recently broke $10,000 earlier today, Vays states:
“I would be bearish on Bitcoin if we come back down and break below the $10,000 zone… If I had to guess at what would happen at $11,000, we would get a rejection, go back to $10,000, break $10,000 and go lower.”

He adds that since he sees no resistance in the $9,000 area, he expects the price to fall even further down. Of course, the Bitcoin price has since breached the $10,000 support level and is thus heading down for Vays.
 
Related Reading: Bitcoin Bears Start to Stir as BTC Falls Closer to $10k
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A City in Canada to Accept Crypto Assets for Tax After Council Approval, Bolstering Adoption

Following a recent council approval, Canadian City of Richmond Hill will be exploring providing crypto asset property tax payments. Helping to provide the service will be domestic digital currency platform, Coinberry.
The City of Richmond Hill is the second Canadian city to accept cryptocurrency for tax payments. Innisfil in Ontario was the first city to work with the trading platform and announced their own partnership in March of this year.
Paying Property Taxes in Crypto Assets? You Can in Canada
According to a press release from the Canadian trading platform Coinberry, the firm is in discussions with the City of Richmond Hill, Ontario, about providing a crypto asset payment processing solution. The aim is to allow residents and businesses to pay their property taxes using cryptocurrency.
The city council reportedly voted last week on whether to allow tax payments using crypto. It decided in favour of entering into an agreement with the trading platform operator.

Have you heard the news?
Residents of Richmond Hill will soon be able to pay property taxes using #Bitcoin!
Coinberry has today announced that following council approval, we will be providing Bitcoin payment solutions to the City of Richmond Hill!#crypto #future #blockchain pic.twitter.com/hHd5avTJCw
— Coinberry (@CoinberryHQ) July 15, 2019

The news marks the second such municipal partnership secured by Coinberry in the firm’s home country.
The Deputy Mayor of the Canadian city, Joe Di Paola, commented on the decision to allow residents to pay taxes using crypto assets:
“We believe that the demand for a digital currency payment option is only going to grow in the coming years, especially amongst millennials.”
Paola went on to state that the council had observed Coinberry’s previous implementation of its taxation solution in the Town of Innisfil. Based on the lack of upfront cost and lack of risk to the council itself, the Deputy Mayor stated that the decision was not too tough.
The press release also states that the council and Coinberry are interested in feedback from municipal staff on how effective the launch of property tax payments is. They are considering implementing crypto asset payment options for other city charges and fees as well.
The CEO and co-founder of Coinberry, Andrei Poliakov, claimed he was excited about the firm’s second municipal partnership and that he was optimistic that authorities around the world were starting to see the innovative potential of blockchain technology and crypto assets:
“Leaders of government and enterprise organizations are realizing that, with the right partners, they can innovate with blockchain and digital currencies. We’re pleased to be working on additional innovative solutions with leading enterprise and municipal partners, and have a number of very exciting initiatives we will be announcing over the next several months.”
Although far from the norm, the two Ontario communities are not alone in their acceptance of Bitcoin for tax payments. Ohio reportedly became the first US state to allow for some business taxes to be paid for in Bitcoin last year. Overstock.com, an online retail company long-noted for its fondness of Bitcoin did just that this January. Other US states have mulled the idea but have not followed through based on a lack of understanding of the technology.
 
Related Reading: Leading Medical Charity Exploits Cryptocurrency Tax Status by Accepting Bitcoin and Others
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Tech Entrepreneur: Facebook’s “Cryptocurrency” Libra is a “Big Mistake”

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban is not a big fan of Facebook’s recently-detailed cryptocurrency-of-sorts. He says there may be repercussions from despotic leaders around the world if citizens start to use alternatives to national currencies.
Cuban joins an increasingly noisy chorus of regulators, bankers, and other organisations concerned about the social media giant’s financial ambitions and their implications.
Cuban: Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Could be Dangerous in Authoritarian Nations
According to a report on CNBC, tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban is not fond of what Facebook has in the words regarding its “cryptocurrency” offering. He states:
“I’m not a big fan of what they’re doing there… I think it’s a big mistake.”

Trump slams bitcoin in a tweet saying he is "not a fan". and Mark Cuban tells CNBC that Libra is a "big mistake" by Facebook
We chat here at #Post9@CNBC @jimcramer @carlquintanilla pic.twitter.com/fcfDDViT1s
— Squawk on the Street (@SquawkStreet) July 12, 2019

Rather than focus on the potential regulatory nightmare that Libra is likely to be, as many other have already done, Cuban instead considers the social and political implications of Libra.
Facebook stated last month that it hopes Libra will be used to promote economic freedom in parts of the world where there is extreme currency devaluation and a lack of banking infrastructure. However, the tech entrepreneur identifies that these nations also tend to be those with the most despotic governments. He does not think that such authoritarian regimes will take kindly to their citizen’s use of the social media firm’s cryptocurrency:
“I think globally and in countries where there isn’t a lot of rule of law, or a lot of government stability, or currency stability, then it could be dangerous… There’s going to be some despot in some African country that gets really upset that they can’t control their currency anymore and that’s where the real problems start occurring.”
Cuban is far from a lone voice in expressing concerns about Libra. The “Shark Tank” investor and Dallas Mavericks owner joins the likes of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, the French government, and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. Perhaps the digital currency’s most high-profile critic, however, is President Trump. The US head of state stated via Twitter yesterday that he has issues with both Bitcoin and Libra.
Trump wrote that if Facebook wants to offer banking services, it will be forced to abide by all necessary regulations that banks currently do.

….Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019

In the following Tweet in his thread, Trump states:
“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”
In the cryptocurrency industry, news of Libra has been taken more favourably. Many analysts have argued that since Libra is backed by fiat currency and is intended to remain stable, it will go toe-to-toe against the fiat currency rather than Bitcoin.
Others claim that the social media company’s plans will make it easier than ever before for people to transition from using fiat currency to a hard digital asset like Bitcoin. Early discussions between cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance and Facebook indicate that the process of on boarding new users may indeed get easier once Libra is listed on digital currency exchanges.
 
Related Reading: Why Winklevoss Twins Approve Libra as Crypto Despite Concerns
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Keiser: $100,000 BTC as Trump’s Anti-Bitcoin Tweet to Drive US-Skeptic Nations to Crypto

Popular cryptocurrency proponent and news presenter Max Keiser has responded to President Trump’s anti-Bitcoin outburst yesterday. The long-term Bitcoin bull believes that a United States opposed to Bitcoin is an advertisement to nations wanting to distance themselves economically from the nation to adopt the digital asset.
Keiser equates the move by Trump to a “giant ‘Kick Me’ sign” on the US’s back. He also states that such an adoption by nations will take the bitcoin price past $100,000.
Keiser: Trump is Encouraging US-Sceptic Nations to De-Dollarise With Bitcoin
In case you somehow missed it, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, took to Twitter to voice his distaste for Bitcoin and the rest of cryptocurrency yesterday. Trump stated that crypto assets were “not money” based on their lack of backing, their illicit use, and volatility.

I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019

As you would expect, there have been many rebuttals to Trump’s Twitter outburst yesterday. One of the more interesting comes from long-time Bitcoin proponent and host of RT News’s Keiser Report, Max Keiser.
Keiser argues that the president’s rant may have done more harm than good to his own interests. As implied below, the presenter that has been advocating buying Bitcoin as a hedge against global instability since 2011 believes that Trump has sent a global message to nations wanting to stop relying so heavily on the US dollar for international trade.

Trump just put a giant ‘Kick Me’ sign on his back. He’s signaled to the world, the way to crush the $USD is to take #Bitcoin up to $100,000.
Bullish AF
— Max Keiser, tweet poet. (@maxkeiser) July 12, 2019

There is strong evidence to suggest that certain governments around the world are hungry for a means of settlement that is entirely independent from US politics. Central banks are known to be stockpiling gold. For Keiser, and other prominent analysts, such a need for safe haven assets will eventually translate into Bitcoin being adopted at the state level.
The RT News presenter once again stated that a price of $100,000 was incoming at a future non-specified date. However, this seems an incredibly low price given how huge such a news event would be. If a group of nations were to start hoarding Bitcoin as a way to hedge against the dollar, it is likely that the buying frenzy that would break out would take the price many times higher than Keiser’s figure, perhaps even topping McAfee’s $1 million Bitcoin.
Likewise, the Prime Minister of Malaysia has recently called for the creation of a gold-backed digital currency that would serve as a settlement asset for nations in the region. When proposing the new currency,  Dr Mahathir Mohamad referenced the US dollar when he argued that it was disadvantageous for nations to use the currency of another country for national settlement.
Similarly, the likes of Iran and North Korea, both victims are crippling economic sanctions at the behest of the US, would surely benefit from adopting Bitcoin as a means of international settlement. Indeed, there is evidence that the latter is behind high-profile ransomware attacks and exchange hacks. The shadowy nation is thought to be building up crypto reserves and exploring how the technology stands to benefit its unique global position.
 
Related Reading: Donald Trump Not a Fan of Bitcoin And Crypto? Too Volatile, He Says
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Spanish Police: Bitcoin ATMs Highlight Flaws in EU Money Laundering Rules

Following a Spanish investigation into a gang’s recently-busted money laundering operation, the nation’s police force claim to have exposed gaps in the European Union’s regulations designed to prevent money laundering. The group reportedly exploited the lack of  rules regarding Bitcoin trading terminals, popularly referred to as Bitcoin ATMs.
Authorities believe the criminal group used the machines to “clean” more than $10 million. Eight suspects have now been arrested from Spain and South America.
Bitcoin ATM Money Laundering Gang Invites Scrutiny into EU AML Regulations
According to a report in American Banker, La Guardia de Civil, a division of the Spanish police force, claim the EU’s money-laundering regulations are not adequate. They argue that since the rules aimed at preventing money service providers from trading with non-verified clients don’t apply to operators of Bitcoin ATMs, the machines provide an easy way for criminals to launder money.
The claims come in the aftermath of a bust involving Spanish nationals and South American drug dealers. Authorities first announced that they had taken down a money laundering scheme involving Bitcoin ATMs in May of this year. Eight suspects have been arrested, hailing from Spain and South America.
According to an anonymous official from La Guardia de Civil, the gang had hired Bitcoin ATMs from unnamed (and unassociated) trading companies. They had them installed in a Madrid office that was fronting as an international remittance and cryptocurrency trading centre.
Bitcoin ATMs are springing up around the world.
The gang allegedly used the business to clean some $10 million for South American drug dealers. The nature of the company used provided the perfect justification for large amounts of money being sent between Spain and other nations without arousing suspicion.
As part of the investigation, the two Bitcoin ATMs, four cold wallets, and 20 online wallets were seized. The authorities are now working on proving a link between the wallets and the suspects.
The last few years has seen the number of Bitcoin ATMs around the world multiply rapidly. According to monitoring website, CoinATMradar, there are now more than 5,400. Most of these machines are located in the US. Earlier this year, NewsBTC reported on the city of Chicago receiving 30 new terminals.
For their proponents, and fans of Bitcoin in general, the ATMs are a great way to drive adoption and to familiarise the public with the technology. However, for regulators, the machines are clearly proving to be something of a headache as they represent an entirely new way for criminal networks to clean money. 
For now, most jurisdictions do not enforce as strict anti-money laundering regulations on Bitcoin ATM operators. However, this seems likely to change given the scale of the Spanish operation recently taken down.
 
Related Reading: Short The Bankers: Another Major Bank Ordered Closed for Money Laundering
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Iranian Government Plans to Authorise Cryptocurrency Mining

Abdol Nasser Hemmati, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), announced yesterday that the government plans to authorise the mining of digital assets in the nation. However, those running computer systems to profit from their support of cryptocurrency networks will be charged for electricity at the country’s export price rather than the cheaper, subsidised rate.
Iran has reportedly become quite the hot spot for Bitcoin mining in recent months, thanks largely to its generous electricity subsidy. There are even reports of Chinese cryptocurrency miners relocating to the country to take advantage of the cheap rates.
New Executive Law to Authorise Cryptocurrency Mining in Iran
According to a report in domestic news publication PressTV, the governor of the CBI stated yesterday that the national government has already approved sections of an executive law that would allow for the mining of cryptocurrency by Iranian citizens.
Cryptocurrency miners are always on the lookout for cheap electricity to run the required sophisticated computer systems.
Abdol Nasser Hemmati added that there would be conditions to the authorisation. Firstly, he stated that the electricity rate charged to those mining cryptocurrency would be at the nation’s export rate. This ranges from about 7c to 10c per watt. Previously, many of the nation’s digital asset miners were using the heavily subsidised rate charged to regular Iranian citizens. At just 5c per watt, it’s understandable why such a surge in the activity has been reported lately.
The second condition stated by the bank governor was that mined cryptocurrency should “be fed back to the national economic cycle.” Presumably, this is a measure intended to crack down on the Chinese miners suspected of setting up in Iran to take advantage of the low-cost energy.
Interestingly, Hemmati added that any new currencies backed by other assets – currencies, gold, or anything else – would not be permitted by the CBI.
The announcement by the Iranian central banker comes as something of a surprise given recent events in the nation. The surge in the numbers of cryptocurrency miners exploiting the subsidised power there forced authorities to launch a crackdown. In the process, they reportedly seized thousands of computer systems from factories, greenhouses, mosques, and other locations.
Perhaps more baffling is the fact that cryptocurrency trading is currently illegal in Iran. NewsBTC reported on the nation’s deputy governor for new technologies confirming as such earlier this week. Those prosecuted for the activity could serve up to five years in jail. How the newly-authorised Iranian cryptocurrency miners are supposed to sell the cryptocurrency they are rewarded is anyone’s guess.
Many analysts have previously stated that Iran could benefit from adopting a cryptocurrency as a way to counteract the US economic sanctions against it. However, judging by its stance towards the technology in recent years, the nation seems more cautious to explore this, or better at hiding it, than the likes of North Korea.
 
Related Reading: Report: North Korea Is Evading US Sanctions Using Cryptocurrencies
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Crypto Exchange Giant Speeds Up Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) Withdrawals

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has stated that it has reduced the number of confirmations required to make a transaction to and from the exchange. The crypto assets that the change will apply to for now are Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
The move should make the overall service offered by the exchange stronger. Requiring less confirmations means deposits and withdrawals will go through faster.
Binance Announce Speedier Crypto Asset Withdrawals
In a customer announcement earlier today, one of the most successful crypto asset exchange platforms has announced that it will slash the number of confirmations required when making deposits with two of its most popular digital assets.

#Binance Reduces the No. of Confirmations Required for Deposits & Withdrawals on $BTC and $ETH Networkshttps://t.co/q3GFkvdrOH pic.twitter.com/azUuRCShCM
— Binance (@binance) July 9, 2019

Going forward, Bitcoin deposits will require just one block confirmation when making a deposit with Binance. This is down from the two block confirmations it previously required. At times when the Bitcoin network is quiet, this will effectively halve the time taken to deposit.
Similarly, Ether (ETH), the native crypto asset on the Ethereum blockchain, has had its required number of confirmations cut at the leading trading venue. All ETH deposits and those in tokens distributed on the Ethereum blockchain (ERC20 tokens) will require just 12 block confirmations versus the 30 that were needed before the update.
For those that don’t know, a block confirmation occurs when another block of transactions is added to a crypto asset’s blockchain. In Bitcoin, the network rules and difficulty adjustments determine that a block is added to the chain around every 10 minutes. With the Ethereum this time is around every 15 seconds.
Of course, just because the transaction requires half (or more) of the number block confirmations before you can use the crypto asset transacted doesn’t automatically mean that your transaction will go through in half the time. It still needs to be included in a block.
At times when either the Bitcoin or Ethereum networks are not being used much, transactions will be included in a block quickly. However, if there are many other transactions waiting to be included too then the miners chose transactions that will make them the most money. It is these fee markets that cause the cost of Bitcoin transactions to rise when many people are using the market. The rising fees are the inspiration behind scaling technologies such as Lightning Network and SegWit, and even altcoins like Bitcoin Cash.
Binance is about to turn two years old this month and what a ride its been for the startup-turned-giant. In such a short time span, the exchange founded by Changpeng Zhao in China, has risen to the very top of the industry and has many times previously reported the industry’s highest trading figures. However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. The now-Malta-based behemoth recently had a setback as it was forced to restrict some services to US members. 
 
Related Reading: Bitcoin Futures at 20x Leverage: How Does Binance Compare to the Crypto Competition?
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The Last Bitcoin Bear: “I am Probably Going to be a Bull Tomorrow”

A popular YouTube technical analyst and one of the few Bitcoin proponents still not entirely convinced that the low is in is getting more bullish by the day. After the recent pop in Bitcoin price back that took it back above $12,000, he is inching ever closer to believing that new all-time highs are incoming.
Tone Vays now wants to see price hold its current level until the end of the day. Then, he states, he will “probably be a bull”.
Vays: A Bitcoin Daily Close at Current Price May Lead to All-Time Highs
In the latest edition of Tone Vays’s YouTube trading show, Trading Bitcoin, the former Wall Street Trader revealed that he is finally starting to become bullish.
Using his TD Sequential trading indicator, the analyst makes the case for considerable upside should Bitcoin hold its current price to the end of today. He states:
“I am probably going to be a bull tomorrow, if we can hold this area… I would love to see a close in the $12,500 area on an end-of-day basis.”
The trading specialist argues that the recent correction from close to $14,000 to below $10,000 was a sizeable enough drop to safely declare the bull market, if price returned to and held its current price close to $12,500.
However, he did point to the ever-growing gap between price and the 200-day moving average as a cause of concern and stated that a huge drop is still a possibility too. As well as this issue, he also pointed to a few other minor hurdles.
The first being that price must hold its current level until today’s close in a few hours time. Additionally, Bitcoin price must close above the next Fibonacci line and the previous top close the $14,000 needs taking out. Hovering his cursor above the 2019 high of just shy of $14,000, Tone states that this is the last “hurdle to go”.  Then the analyst has no idea how high the price will go:
“I am expecting a correction in four months… I don’t know what price it’s going to be… I have no upper target, all I have is a time target.”
Most interesting to Tone is the four hour chart. The analyst was looking for a breakout and a close above the $12,000 to $12,200 range, which has now happened. In Vays’s own words:
“We have broken the three prior swing lows. That’s a very good sign.”
BTC Dominance Continues to Rise
The experienced trader then went on to discuss Bitcoin dominance in relation to the rest of the cryptocurrency market. Naturally, the staunch Bitcoin proponent takes pleasure in reporting that Bitcoin dominance is rising to levels not seen since the very peak of the 2017 bull run.
However, he dismisses the small pop that took dominance over its current level back then and instead looks at the previous example, in June of the same year. However, even this is too low for Vays:
“Bitcoin dominance is still grossly low. This needs to be in the 90% area in order for the crypto markets to be taken seriously.”
 
Related Reading: Bitcoin Dominance Hits New 19 Month High as BTC Approaches $13k
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Leading Medical Charity Exploits Cryptocurrency Tax Status by Accepting Bitcoin and Others

The Dementia Society of America (DSA) has just announced that it will be accepting a range of cryptocurrencies going forward. Thanks to the financial technology’s classification as property in the US, donations made to the charity using digital assets will not be taxed.
In addition to the general acceptance of cryptocurrency, the charity has also launched a new fund raising initiative called “clicks-to-brick”. The effort will allow  donors to swap digital currency for bricks to be used in the construction of its new headquarters.
Dementia Society Accepts Cryptocurrency, Sees Bright Future for Blockchain Application in Charity
According to a press release published by the Dementia Society of America, the charity will now accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency donations. The coins accepted will be Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether, (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). The charity will also accept the stablecoin offered by digital currency exchange Coinbase, USD Coin. 

Dementia Society of America Begins Accepting Five Cryptocurrencies https://t.co/VxCUdwZC2P
— Dementia Society (@DementiaOrg) July 4, 2019

The release states that the founder of the charity made the announcement close to where the US Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. At the symbolic spot, on Independence Day, Kevin Jameson reportedly said:
“We have long understood the innovation and freedom-loving value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and have decided to partner with The Giving Block to expand our crypto capabilities and engage the community, thereby expanding our reach. We will now accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and USD Coin for general fund donations, legacy donations, and for those donations made in memory or honour of a loved one.”
Later in the release, the charity states that it believes cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could well find use cases for those living with dementia or those caring for them:
“Whatever is on the horizon, DSA strongly believes in investing in the future of blockchain by embracing its forward-thinking and unbounded applications.”
However, it is not just a passion for the technology that has driven the move to accept cryptocurrency donations. The release states that since the IRS classifies Bitcoin as property, donations made using it, or any other digital currency, are currently tax exempt. This makes it a more efficient way for charities like the DSA to put the donations they receive to use.
As well as just opening up to cryptocurrency donations generally, the DSA has created a page on its website all about crypto-specific initiatives taken by the charity. One is called “clicks-for-bricks”. Donors will be able to buy bricks to be used in the construction of the DSA’s new national headquarters directly using cryptocurrency payments.
Jameson personally seems to have no problem with the evolution of money and sees cryptocurrency as just that:
“We want the crypto community to know that we support innovative mediums of exchange. More than 2,000 years ago, we traded salt and gold for our labours – as we were worth our weight in it – today, it’s bits and bytes, and since our society’s origins just over 5 years ago, we’ve understood that there is always lasting value to human kindness, no matter the currency.”
 
Related Reading: Charitable Organisations Increasingly Receiving Donations in Cryptocurrency
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“Bitcoin Creator” Wiki-Domain Change Trolling Intensifies With “C**t.com”

Yesterday, it emerged that some unknown prankster has bought the domain “Loser.com” and had it automatically forward to Craig Wright’s Wikipedia page. Today, it turns out that someone has performed the exact same prank on the controversial Bitcoin SV proponent using a much more offensive domain.
The trolling comes in response to Craig Wright’s efforts to be recognised as the creator of Bitcoin. However, recent evidence from the court case between Wright and the estate of David Kleiman suggests that documents the Australian computer scientist was falling back on to prove his claims to be fraudulent.
Bitcoin Community Show Disdain for Craig Wright in Typical Creative Style
Yesterday, it emerged that an anonymous prankster and presumably Bitcoin (BTC) fan has bought the domain Loser.com and redirected the page to Wright’s Wikipedia page. If you pay the site a visit, you can see for yourself.

Looks like https://t.co/G5ivMkf5wf is being put to good use.#FakeSatoshi#CraigWrightIsAFraud
— Vortex (@theonevortex) July 4, 2019

According to GoDaddy, the domain will have cost over $21,000. However, for a passionate Bitcoin OG, this would likely be chump change, particularly given the rise in Bitcoin prices already in 2019.
As if that wasn’t enough, today, a copycat prankster appears to have upped the ante. As highlighted by one of Wright’s staunchest critics, Peter McCormack, via Twitter earlier today, a second domain has been bought to troll so-called Satoshi.

Following https://t.co/jszUBQhGCb there is another one…but it’s the worst word, the one which begins with a C.
****.com
— Peter McCormack (@PeterMcCormack) July 5, 2019

Perhaps the most offensive word in the English language, GoDaddy estimates that C**t.com cost just less than Loser.com. The service’s domain valuation tool estimates $20,916. Still, this is quite the investment for a simple trolling but evidently some Bitcoiner somewhere thinks it’s worth it.
The beef with Craig Wright revolves around the computer scientist’s claims to be the creator of Bitcoin. Although he has made such claims for years now, he was considered more of a figure of ridicule in the space until the end of last year when he was a large cause behind the Bitcoin Cash hard fork. He then made all kinds of brash claims about being able to destroy the other side of the fork in some hash war that never really materialised.
Wright has since been on the offensive against just about anyone who dares claim that he is not Satoshi Nakamoto. In fact, various members of the Bitcoin community have been targeted with legal action for calling out the Australian computer scientist on his claims.
Earlier this year, the controversial figure further roused the Bitcoin community’s ire by attempting to have the Bitcoin whitepaper copyrighted under his name.
The latest development in the Wright saga is rather more favourable to those who doubt him, however. In the legal case brought against Wright by the estate of David Kleiman, an early contributor to Bitcoin, Craig appears to have submitted fraudulent evidence to support his claims. A digital copy of a letter supposedly dated before Kleiman’s death actually shows a copyright of one of the fonts used as being from 2015. This means there is literally no way the letter can be from when Wright says it is. It seems likely that this will jeopardise his case.
 
Related Reading: Why Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre are Claiming Bitcoin is Headed to Zero
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Invstr CEO: Facebook Will Have Anticipated Regulatory Scrutiny Over Crypto Effort

The CEO of a social investment firm believes that Facebook will have anticipated regulatory scrutiny. Kerim Derhalli of Invstr says recent issues for the social media giant will have prepared it well to deal with lawmakers with regards the crypto asset project.
He also says that he thinks the project ambitious. This may force Facebook to postpone currency’s launch past its scheduled 2020 goal.
Derhalli: Facebook Will Be Prepared to Deal With Regulators Over Crypto Ambitions
In case you missed it how, Facebook plans to launch a crypto asset of sorts. Called Libra, it will reportedly help to provide financial services to unbanked people around the world, will be pegged to a basket of fiat currencies, and, if you believe the musings of various crypto market analysts will help the social network’s billions of users get accustomed to digital currency.
Some crypto analysts think Libra will be great for Bitcoin long-term.
Since Facebook first detailed its Libra crypto asset project on June 18, various regulatory bodies and interest groups have expressed concerns over it. Today, US Congress added itself to that list.
However, according to the CEO of social investment firm Invstr, Facebook will have expected to have to deal with regulators along the way.
As reported by technology publication The Verdict, Kerim Derhalli says that the firm’s recent experience during the Cambridge Analytica scandal and various other concerns about the protection of vulnerable users from harmful content will have prepared the company well for its inevitable clash with regulators.
Derhalli goes as far as to suggest that the immediate concern of governments around the world shows a different story altogether. In the CEO’s own words:
“Today’s plea from the US Congress demonstrates just how much state legislators are running scared of Facebook. The reality is that information and power is now in the hand of the tech companies, rather than politicians.”
Is a Functioning Libra by 2020 too Much for Facebook?
Although Derhalli  is clearly optimistic about Facebook’s ability to deal with regulatory concerns over its new crypto project, he does think the timeline the company has set itself is a little optimistic.
“There is a long, rocky road ahead before we see Libra in the hands of the mass public.”
For the CEO, the sheer weight of regulatory pressure on the firm will likely delay the release of the company’s digital currency, and as such, will likely mean Libra will see its first use sometime after the tight 2020 launch date it specified last month.
Despite being such an ambitious effort, Derhalli says that if any company on earth is positioned financially and from a lobbying perspective to make the looming target it’s Facebook:
“But, this is Facebook. If anyone has the resource and lobbying power to launch in 2020, it’s them.”
 
Related Reading: Long-Held Bitcoin Critic is Bearish on Facebook’s Libra, But Flips Bullish on BTC
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Circle CEO: Crypto “Mega Trend” is Here to Stay, Will be Bigger than the Web

The CEO of crypto financial services company Circle has said that Facebook’s Libra digital currency proves that crypto assets are here to stay. Jeremy Allaire also seemed optimistic that the newly-detailed project would be good long-term for Bitcoin.
With regards regulators’ reactions to Libra, the executive said he was pleased to see lawmakers finally starting to look at the industry more seriously.
Jeremy Allaire: Libra Could Expose Crypto Assets to Billions
Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” segment earlier today, Jeremy Allaire, the chief executive officer of crypto financial services firm Circle, gave his thoughts on the recent Bitcoin price surge, as well as Facebook’s impact on the market. He first said that he thought the social media giant’s recently-detailed foray into crypto could turn the hundreds of millions of users crypto has now into billions. Like other commentators, the CEO argues that it could allow for a convenient on ramp and give many people a first taste of what using a purely digital currency is all about.
He speculates that this may make people question the very concept of money further. If they become disenchanted with a company-issued asset, they may well transition into using purely decentralised digital coins, like Bitcoin.
In relation to the regulatory attention that Facebook has received since detailing Libra, Allaire argues that it is great for the industry that regulators are finally starting to look at these financial instruments properly. He stated:
“It is now very clear that cryptocurrency is here to stay, it’s going to be massive scale, it’s going play a fundamental role in the transformation of the system.”
He then calls upon regulators to “listen and learn” from the fast-growing industry, which he describes as a “major breakthrough in the global economy.”
Circle CEO Allaire: National attention on crypto suggests it’s here to stay from CNBC.
Later in the interview, Allaire patiently sets straight an aggressive presenter, bleating about “crypto crap” being for drug dealers and other questionable uses since the market is entirely unregulated. He calmly responds by saying that cryptocurrency has been regulated in the US since 2013 and that exchanges and other service providers in the nation all comply with AML and KYC legislation.
After fending off multiple interruptions relating to stablecoins and their use, Allaire claims that it is a matter of “when”, rather than “if” the US Treasury will accept tax payments in Bitcoin – something that seems to be the presenter’s major defining characteristic of legitimacy. The Circle CEO then argues that crypto is much more than just its early financial application:
“What we are seeing is that there is a new infrastructure layer of the internet, it’s not just about currency, it’s a fundamental new infrastructure for a very broad range of services, applications, information apps. It’s a major architectural shift, currencies are just an app on top of that.”
Finally, Allaire states that this “mega-trend” will be larger than the web and that projects emerging from the current crypto space will go on to form the backbone of a new financial system. He concludes by stating that in the next decade it will no longer be possible to extract value from financial transactions, thus many rent-seeker type roles in banking will no longer be needed.
 
Related Reading: Billionaire Investor: Bitcoin (BTC) to Hit $20,000 as Institutions Continue Sortie
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UN Using Blockchain to Promote Transparency in Rebuilding Process in Afghanistan

The United Nations will reportedly use blockchain technology as part of its efforts to aid the redevelopment of Afghanistan. The plan forms part of the supranational body’s “City for All” programme aimed at modernising the infrastructure of the nation’s urban centres.
Blockchain technology is hoped to bring much-needed transparency to the redevelopment process. The management of Land Records is one area that the immutable data sharing innovation will be used in.
Blockchain Technology Finds Use in UN’s Afghanistan Efforts
According to a report in technology news publication Sociable, blockchain technology will be put to use by the United Nations Office of Communication and Information Technologies (UN-OICT) in Afghanistan. The plan is to use the technology to help the government keep track of its Land Records in a transparent and secure fashion.
Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric stated that the United Nation’s urban development department, UN-Habitat, would be working alongside the Afghani government as part of its “City for All” programme.
The programme states that there are three components needed for a peace and subsequent development in the nation’s urban centres. These are effective land management, strategic urban planning, and improved municipal finance and governance.
Dujarric went on to comment directly on use of blockchain technology to help the Afghan government with the redevelopment process of the nation’s urban centres:
“The blockchain solution shall serve as a key tool in the delivery of these fundamental components.”
The use of blockchain in the nation is part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the UN-OICT and UN-Habitat. The goal of the memorandum is to promote a framework of cooperation between developing nations with regards to cutting-edge technology. It has particular focus on urban design and planning and the main nations involved so far in the scheme are Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
Below, you’ll find Dujarric speaking in 2018 about how the UN subdivision envisages using blockchain technology:
Blockchain technology has been touted by many as a revolutionary way of sharing data across distributed networks in which the parties do not necessarily trust one another. Data uploaded to a blockchain is incredibly difficult to adjust and can be accessed by any party permitted by the network rules. This has meant that proponents of the technology have claimed it will transform just about every industry imaginable,
Elsewhere in blockchain technology news this week, Oxfam has teamed up with a blockchain-based insurance startup to provide financial safeguards to farmers in Sri Lanka. The two, along with professional services provider Anon, will create an automated weather reporting system that updates an immutable, distributed ledger of previous claims. The increased efficiency this will create will make insurance products more affordable for farmers in the nation.
 
Related Reading: Blockchain Association to Oversee Spending of the Defend Crypto Fund
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Blockchain Association to Oversee Spending of the Defend Crypto Fund

The Blockchain Association has taken over the “Defend “Crypto” fund setup to help finance the legal battle between Kik and the SEC. The social messaging firm has stated that it feels the money could be better put to use by the industry collectively.
Kik will take back the original $5 million it had donated to get the fund off the ground. The remaining money  be under the Blockchain Association’s care and will go towards protecting crypto assets.
Kik Donates Donations to Fight the Broader Crypto Fight
The social messaging firm originally founded the fund to help it finance its ongoing legal battle against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
The legal dispute centres on the initital coin offering the company ran in 2017. The securities regulator claims that the Kin tokens sold to investors are in fact legally classified as a security and therefore the offering was against the law since Kik did not register prior to the sale.
Meanwhile, Kik holds that its token is not simply an investment and is being used as currency by hundreds of thousands of users. The #DefendCrypto fund was established to help the firm argue this point in court and, if victorious, may well have helped to prompt the drafting of new legislation to define cryptocurrencies outside of existing legal regulations.
However, earlier today, Kik announced that it would be allowing the Blockchain Association to oversee the spending of the more than $2 million remaining in the fund. The reasoning stated for this was that crypto would be best defended as a collective.

The Blockchain Association takes over Kik's Defend Crypto fund to advance favorable ecosystem-wide crypto securities precedent https://t.co/lPUJbak0Fy #bitcoin #ethereum
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) June 28, 2019

From the announcement, it appears that the formation of the #DefendCrypto fund has sparked a dialogue between once-distant industry participants and that the community response from those also impacted by the lack of regulatory clarity in the US confirms that the issue is much bigger than Kik. The firm noticed that the problems impacting it were far from unique and that it would make more sense to distribute the money to those that need it more than an established company with deep pockets already.
Kik states that from today, the fund will be used to “support other projects fighting their own battles and litigation that impacts the broader crypto industry.”
For those that don’t know, the Blockchain Association is a Washing D.C.-based lobbyist group. According to its website, its stated goals are as follows:
“The mission of the Blockchain Association is to advance U.S. public policy for the crypto ecosystem. We believe policy should be made in an open rulemaking process or open legislative process, where ideas can be vetted, debated, improved upon, and anyone who is impacted can share their views. “
The members of the association are reportedly chosen by existing members based on their contributions to the digital asset industry.
 
Related Reading: A Second Chance With Ethereum For Those That Missed the Bitcoin Boat
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