Get ready for Big Bitcoin: Cryptocurrency industry opens a D …

Brian Fung

Policy reporter focusing on telecommunications, media, cryptocurrencies and competition

The price of bitcoin may be down, compared with last year’s meteoric heights. But industry officials aren’t waiting for the next spike in investor demand to launch a charm offensive targeting federal lawmakers and regulators who’ve taken an interest in cryptocurrencies.

Tech veterans and a number of high-profile cryptocurrency companies on Tuesday said they are forming the Blockchain Association, the first fully fledged lobbying group in Washington representing entrepreneurs and investors who are building off the technology behind bitcoin.

Joining the initial push are companies such as Coinbase and Circle, which operate some of the world’s most popular virtual currency exchanges, as well as the technology start-up Protocol Labs. Investors, such as Digital Currency Group and Polychain Capital, are also among the founding members.

The group has already made its first hire: Kristin Smith, who was an aide to then-Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and went on to lobby on blockchain issues for Overstock.com, the online retailer that in 2014 began accepting payments in bitcoin.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time doing a lot of the basic education work in this space, said Smith, who is expected to guide the trade group through its early steps. I’m excited to focus exclusively on these issues.”

Policymakers have been confronted in recent months with an array of cryptocurrency issues as investors have flocked to bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The technology on which they’re based raises novel questions about financial regulation in a digital age and in some cases, consumers have become the victims of scams that have attracted attention from state and federal regulators. Congressional hearings on cryptocurrency and recent decisions by the Securities and Exchange Commission have also highlighted bitcoin’s and other cryptocurrencies’ growing profile.

The Blockchain Association aims to become the cryptocurrency industry’s top lobbying organization in Washington on policy issues, portraying itself as a voice for mainstream companies that want to work within the political system rather than circumventing it as companies such as Uber and Airbnb have done in the past.

Among its first priorities will be addressing how cryptocurrencies are treated under U.S. tax law, and explaining to policymakers how anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer regulations apply to the industry.

“The Blockchain Association is an effort to get the preeminent companies in the space together so [policymakers] know they’re hearing from companies that welcome regulation when its appropriate, said Mike Lempres, Coinbase’s chief legal and risk officer. Were not companies looking to game the system, but trying to develop a legal and regulatory system thatll stand the test of time.”

This isn’t the only time blockchain advocates have sought to play the Washington influence game. Half a decade ago, organizations such as the Bitcoin Foundation played a similar role. But it was a catchall organization representing industry as well as individual consumers; acting as a think tank, lobbying group and standard-setting body, all in one.

Now, the cryptocurrency field is far more developed, with distinct sectors and interest groups, said Jerry Brito, executive director of the Coin Center, a Washington-based cryptocurrency think tank. To see the rise of a purpose-specific trade group is a sign of the industry’s growing maturity, he added.

“Were happy to see this organization stand up, Brito said. Its good to have more voices advocating for things we agree about. But probably more importantly for us, a lot of folks project ‘trade association’ onto Coin Center, and we’re decidedly not that. When we get questions about the industry, we can send them to these folks.”

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Get ready for Big Bitcoin: Cryptocurrency industry opens a D …

Iran, North Korea and Venezuela turning to cryptocurrency to …

Countries including Iran (leader Hassan Rouhani left), North Korea (Kim Jong-un center) and Venezuela (Nicolas Maduro) are turning to cryptocurrencies to circumvent U.S. sanctions

America’s rivals are increasingly turning to bitcoin-style cryptocurrencies after their economies were brought to their knees thanks to crippling U.S. sanctions, experts have warned.

Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela are all investing in the technology in an attempt to counter American economic might and an expert says these nations are forming alliances through the technology.

A form of digital money, cryptocurrency uses encryption to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. It uses cryptography, a form of secret coding originating from the Second World War, to process transactions securely. Its major appeal is it is untraceable.

U.S. sanctions work by placing bans on dealings and transactions with persons, nations and companies.

These prohibitions are often enforced with the help of mainstream financial institutions.

But cryptocurrencies do not operate within this established system. In fact, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were invented in part to sidestep the existing regulated financial system.

This means nations like Iran using or controlling such a currency would allow it to bypass certain measures, such as a ban on buying U.S. dollars or even facilitate arms deals.

In May, the United States pulled out of a deal to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program a plan President Donald Trump has repeatedly blasted.

HACKER STEALS CRYPTOCURRENCY FROM MYETHERWALLET USERS

Soon after, Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, the head of the Iranian Parliamentary Commission for Economic Affairs, spoke about cryptocurrencies as a way for countries to avoid U.S. dollar transactions – as well as a possible replacement of the SWIFT international payment system.

And Alireza Daliri, a senior science and technology official of Iran’s Presidential Office, said: We are trying to prepare the grounds to use a domestic digital currency in the country.

This currency would facilitate the transfer of money (to and from) anywhere in the world.

It can help us at the time of sanctions.

Darren Parkin, editorial director of cryptocurrency news website Coin Rivet, described how the adoption of cryptocurrencies is helping to push economic alliances between these states.

He pointed to the example of Iran and Russia working together to overcome the sanctions that affect them both.

He told Fox News: The problem the U.S. has is if they are dealing with fiat currency (currency that a government has declared to be legal tender) they can monitor the effect of the sanctions.

BITCOIN IS LEADING TO A HUGE UPSWING IN MONEY LAUNDERING, NEW RESEARCH SAYS

But if countries use cryptocurrency they have fallen below the radar of what the U.S. can see.

They’re being pushed underground.

Venezuela also reportedly received help from Moscow when it was hit with sanctions, leading to food shortages, soaring prices, a healthcare collapse and a crime spree.

In February the South American nation launched a new cryptocurrency called petro that Nicolas Maduro, the socialist leader of Venezuela, described as ‘kryptonite’ against the power of the U.S. government.

An anonymous executive at a Russian state bank claims the Kremlin oversaw the creation of the petro after President Vladimir Putin signed off on it last year.

In February Venezuela launched a new cryptocurrency called petro; an anonymous executive at a Russian state bank claims the Kremlin oversaw the creation of the petro after Putin (pictured) signed off on it last year(AP)

The source told Time: People close to Putin, they told him this is how to avoid the sanctions.

This is how the whole thing started.

Last month Vladimir Gutenev, the first deputy head of the economic policy committee of the State Duma, said Russia should conduct transactions in cryptocurrencies linked to the value of gold to frustrate U.S. attempts to thwart deals on Russian weaponry and civilian goods.

“And Im sure that this will be a very interesting option for China, India, and other states as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Priscilla Moriuchi, a former NSA cybersecurity official, told The Hill North Korea earns an estimated $15 million to $200 million by mining and selling cryptocurrencies.

Pyongyang’s army of hackers is also believed to have stolen cryptocurrency from organizations and individuals throughout the world.

As if states opposed to the U.S. exploiting cryptocurrency was not concerning enough, analysts have warned bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are already being used to secretly move cash between sympathizers and terror cells throughout the world.

Nikita Malik, the author of a recent report by the UK-based Henry Jackson Society about online extremism called Terror In The Dark, said: The authorities must move urgently to increase their knowledge of terrorists activities in cyberspace and their use of technologies such as bitcoin.

By fundraising and making financial transactions online, terrorists and other criminals can avoid interference from financial regulators or other third parties who might otherwise take steps to prevent their operations.

Regulation in this area has to move carefully if we are to balance liberties with guarding against threats to our security but the time has come to deny extremists the space they need online to plan fresh atrocities.

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Iran, North Korea and Venezuela turning to cryptocurrency to …

Cryptocurrency: Advantages And Disadvantages Explained

Cryptocurrency: Advantages & Disadvantages Explained

With the price spike of digital currencies such as Bitcoin in 2017, the space has begun receiving more media attention than it ever has before. Its coverage frequently takes the form of a debate, with advocates citing cryptocurrency as the clear future of money while opponents point out many flaws that have yet to be worked out. The public’s knowledge base in this area is relatively lacking, the fact that both sides use to sway general opinion toward their position.

This article serves as a primer on the arguments for and against crypto. It does not include all information on the topic; instead, it sticks with fundamental concepts to allow the layman to decide for themselves whether to support cryptocurrencies or not.

The most persuasive argument in favor of digital monies is their underlying blockchain technology. The blockchain is a decentralized public ledger displaying every transaction that has ever taken place on a given token’s network. This system enables the tracking of individual coins through every account that they have ever been in, making it very easy to track stolen coins. Backers cite this feature as proof that Bitcoin and similar currencies are hack-proof where traditional banking is not.

Hackers may also have a hard time with the lack of a central hub on which to focus a cyber attack. While the U.S. government and large banking institutions have centralized information ripe for stealing, the blockchain has no equivalent. Every block, or group of transactions on the blockchain, is checked against previous blocks to ensure that they are valid by volunteer miners who use computers to process complicated algebraic equations. With no central authority, the crypto community has total control over the digital money supply, making it a far more democratic financial system.

Digital money offers several practical advantages over more traditional currencies as well. For example, citizens of developing countries may have a hard time locating a currency with any worth in the global marketplace, effectively locking them out of it. A digital currency with universal acceptance would theoretically open the global market to every possible participant, allowing everyone to compete on an even playing field.

Some blockchains, such as the one used by Ethereum, are also programmable. That serves twin purposes: first, it enables developers interested in blockchain technology to work on a common platform with multiple applications. Second, it allows for the development of smart contracts, or electronic contracts capable of fulfilling themselves. These agreements have the potential to revolutionize the way people conduct their global business.

Finally, crypto transactions may involve less money than those reliant on fiat currencies. For instance, a Bitcoin transaction requires only a Satoshi (5,430 millionths of one Bitcoin) to process. Deals using American dollars must be worth at least $0.01, as there is no physical coin for less than that. That opens a broad range of microtransactions that are just impossible to process otherwise.

Most crypto skeptics struggle with the idea that digital currency is worth anything at all. Gold has enjoyed high value since the dawn of history, and government-issued money gets backing from that government. Bitcoin serves no practical purpose in the modern marketplace and has nothing underwriting its value, so it could theoretically become utterly worthless in a day.

Wild price fluctuations often exacerbate these fears. Even in Bitcoin’s banner 2017, there was a two-week stretch in December where it lost 25 percent of its total value. These fluctuations make it challenging for businesses to accept crypto as payment for goods and services, as the effective price can vary dramatically by the hour.

Some cryptos, including Bitcoin, are also too slow to process for everyday commercial use. For example, Bitcoin miners can handle three to seven transactions per second, compared to Visa, which can process more than 24,000 over the same period. The resources required to verify Bitcoin transactions are also cost-prohibitive at times, producing transaction fees of up to USD 25 during peak periods. That renders Bitcoin unsuitable for cheaper transactions even as it touts an ability to go less expensive than traditional monies can.

Many people do not trust the underlying code behind blockchain either. The technology was the brainchild of a person or group calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto. Their true identity was never made public, leading many to question how much influence they might still hold over the cryptocurrency.

Other scams are also common in the space. So-called crypto experts frequently take advantage of the lack of regulation to buy a lot of a cheap token they then hype up in the media. Their recommendation causes a demand spike that allows the expert to profit handsomely from their investment. Everybody else loses their money as a part of the scheme.

The exchanges that facilitate crypto trades are also unscrupulous at times. For instance, one popular exchange called BitConnect was forced to shut down amid allegations that it was orchestrating a Ponzi scheme rather than offering a legitimate service. Even honest exchanges lack insurance, meaning that a hacker can delete anybody’s virtual assets and leave them with no method to recover their money. That is what happened to an exchange called Mount Gulg in 2014 when someone discovered $473 million worth of Bitcoin siphoned from their customers’ accounts over a period of years.

An unbiased observer is likely to conclude that digital currencies have a lot of future potential, but a lot of problems to overcome before they realize it. It’s up to you whether you think the time is now for cryptocurrencies, or if traditional money systems are safe for the time being.

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Cryptocurrency: Advantages And Disadvantages Explained

Cryptocurrency News, ICO Reviews & Blockchain Updates …

The information on or accessed through this website is obtained from independent sources we believe to be accurate and reliable, but Decentral Media LLC makes no representation or warranty as to the timeliness, completeness, or accuracy of any information on or accessed through this website. Decentral Media LLC is not an investment advisor. We do not give personalized investment advice or other financial advice. The information on this website is subject to change without notice. Some or all of the information on this website may become outdated, or it may be or become incomplete or inaccurate. We may, but are not obligated to, update any outdated, incomplete, or inaccurate information.

You should never make an investment decision on an ICO or other investment based on the information on this website, and you should never interpret or otherwise rely on any of the information on this website as investment advice. We strongly recommend that you consult a licensed investment advisor or other qualified financial professional if you are seeking investment advice on an ICO or other investment. We do not accept compensation in any form for analyzing or reporting on any ICO, cryptocurrency, currency, tokenized sales, securities, or commodities.

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Cryptocurrency Bubble Measuring Tool – Admiral Markets

Our Bubble-O-Meter is a simple and effective way to provide you with fast Cryptocurrency price analysis. It will (hopefully) help you understand a little bit more about how to value cryptocurrencies in general. This tool allows you to compare Cryptocurrency prices relative to Bitcoin, with the help of SAP (Supply-Adjusted Price) and VAP (Volume-Adjusted Price).

SAP price tells us what the price of coin X would be if it had the same circulating supply as Bitcoin. VAP price tells us what the price of coin X would be if it had the same trading volume as Bitcoin.

Essentially, the SAP / VAP ratio is the key metric of a coin`s “bubbleness” the higher this parameter is, the more the coin can be overpriced, relative to Bitcoin.

The rows in the table are colour-coded as follows:

Red = SAP / VAP > 100% Green = SAP / VAP

We also provide some extra metrics here, such as 24 hour liquidity which shows the ratio of the coin`s market capitalisation to its daily trading volume.

In order to be less Bitcoin-biased, you can adjust the Bitcoin price using the bar at the top of the page.

When conducting Cryptocurrency market analysis, its clear to see that some established projects, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum which have really set the standard of potential profitability can often look too expensive. There are also thousands of cheaper coins with more appealing prices.

A lot of people are new to cryptocurrencies, with the vast majority of traders first entering these markets in 2017. Its too easy for inexperienced traders to fall into the price trap and buy into a coin that looks cheap, completely disregarding basic economic measurements, such as taking the supply of coins into account.

This results in Cryptocurrency markets being drastically overpriced, with capitalisations of either cryptocurrencies, utility tokens and even meme coins skyrocketing to billions of dollars!

The aim of our Bubble-O-Meter is to highlight the fact that there are coins including those in the top 10 that are overpriced relative to Bitcoin by such a large magnitude that they may dwarf the speculative part of Bitcoin itself.

Are we experiencing a Cryptocurrency bubble? Only time will tell. Our cryptocurrency tool simply highlights the cryptocurrencies which are likely overpriced to a greater extent than others.

Additionally, this tool can be used for Bitcoins price analysis relative to other cryptocurrencies, as well as for searching potentially underpriced ones relative to Bitcoin.

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Cryptocurrency Bubble Measuring Tool – Admiral Markets

Crypto Finder | Compare exchanges, wallets & learn cryptocurrency

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Crypto Finder | Compare exchanges, wallets & learn cryptocurrency

cryptocurrency affiliate Archives – The Industry Spread

The London-based, Fx and cryptocurrency affiliate company Investoo Group has announced its entry into the US financial affiliate and trading business through the acquisition of trading education website,VantagePointTrading.com.

The acquisition will help Investoo Group to penetrate the US market which till now was missing from its portfolio. VantagePointTrading.com is established in 2007 by Calgary-based Chartered Market Technician Cory Mitchell. Over the past decade, it has established as one of the trusted and most preferred brands for video courses, tutorials and free-ebooks.

Cory Mitchell, Chartered Market Technician

According to the statement released by Investoo Group post the acquistion, it plans to diversify the forex, stocks and share trading website with an end goal of turning it into a recognised platform among investors and traders for learning. The new version of the site will be developed which will include practical and stimulating digital resources such as guides, videos and industry news.

David Merry, CEO and Chairman of The Board of Investoo Group commented:

Investoo Group is overjoyed to have VantagePointTrading.comon-board as we advance into another powerful country. This acquisition will help us gain strong exposure and influence with US audiences, and comes as a natural step for Investoo Group.Once our team of experts have rebuilt and redesigned VantagePointTrading.com, the site will have the capabilities to turn trading novices into trading experts.

Started in 2016, Investoo Group has become one of the largest financial lead generations company in the world and has generated around $18 million in revenue in 2017. Investoo Group has mainly focused on inorganic growth to fuel its growth and has made six acquisition since December 2016 includingBitcoinmag.de,SocialTradingGuru.com,Invezz.com,100ForexBrokers.com, RoboAdvisors.com and most recently it boughtDutch cryptocurrency portal Cryptostart.nl.

David Merry, CEO and Chairman of The Board of Investoo Group

In the past one year, it has built a strong team of 50 employees, secured a credit line of7.5 million. The group is backed by investors includingKinetic Investments and Optimizer Invest. A few days back it has appointedJamie Beadle asChief Operating Officer to lead the groups operational delivery and drive growth through effective operational processes.

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cryptocurrency affiliate Archives – The Industry Spread

Trading examples I Cryptocurrency I Learn| CMC Markets

CFD trading example: Sell Ethereum/USD

You are interested in trading ethereum and decide to open a short CFD trade by selling ethereum against the US dollar (Ethereum/USD).

The current sell/buy quote is 929 / 949.

You believe the value of ethereum will fall against the US dollar, and therefore open a sell CFD position, selling 5 units to open at 929.

This is the equivalent of selling 5 ether tokens, so you will gain or lose $5 for every $1 change in the value of ethereum.

Profitable tradeThe value of ethereum falls against the US dollar, and the new price quote is 750 / 770. You decide to take your profit, and buy 5 units to close your position at 770.

The price has moved 159 points in your favour, so your profit on the trade is therefore$795 (159 X $5).

Losing tradeThe value of ethereum rises against the US dollar and the new price quote is 1068 / 1088. You decide to close your position and therefore buy 5 units at 1088 to prevent any further losses.

The price has moved 159 points against you and your loss on the trade is therefore$795 (159 X $5).

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Trading examples I Cryptocurrency I Learn| CMC Markets

Venezuela orders banks to adopt cryptocurrency

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered banks to adopt the petro cryptocurrency as a unit of account Monday, as the country struggles to emerge from a severe political and economic crisis.

Public and private banks must now reflect all financial information in bolivars and petros, according to a resolution of the Sudeban banking regulator.

The move is part of Maduro’s desperate attempts to steer out of five years of recession and inflation the International Monetary Fund predicts will reach one million percent this year. More than two million people have fled the country in the wake of the crisis.

Venezuela has also drastically devalued the bolivar currency, issued banknotes stripped of five zeroes in new “sovereign bolivars.”

The economic plan also includes a 3,400 percent increase in the minimum wage and a hike in gasoline taxes, which for years have been the world’s cheapest.

The socialist president, elected for another six-year term in May elections rejected by much of the international community as fraudulent, has fixed the currency to the country’s widely-discredited cryptocurrency, the petro, which is in turn linked to the price of a barrel of Venezuelan oil (about $60).

The value-added tax, or VAT, is also climbing from 12 percent to 16 percent.

Maduro separately launched an offer of bonds backed by small gold bullion, he said would promote savings among Venezuelans, who see the local currency evaporating with hyperinflation.

“No one can say that gold loses its value,” Maduro said on state TV, while showing two cards with the central bank emblem’s and some golden rectangles that he called “lingoticos” (little ingots).

The emission, backed in pieces of 1.5 and 2.5 grams (0.05 and 0.09 ounces) of gold, will begin September 11.

President Nicolas Maduro has ordered banks to use the petro cryptocurrency as a legal unit

Excerpt from:
Venezuela orders banks to adopt cryptocurrency

Why Brisbane is the cryptocurrency capital of the country

TravelbyBit is now looking at expanding the reach of digital currencies to other tourism spots in Queensland in addition to selling travel experiences online using cryptocurrency.

Queensland’s Minister for Innovation and Tourism, Kate Jones, views cryptocurrency as a vital cog that is “set to drive more tourists to Queensland”.

Thats why weve invested to help them (TravelbyBit) scale-up their operation and ultimately create more jobs in Queensland,” she said.

Brisbane isn’t the only Queensland town going big on cryptocurrency.

For tourists, cryptocurrency eliminates the friction normally involved with travel as it removes the risk of having to carry cash, international transaction fees are non-existent and there’s no need to worry about having too much unwanted local currency at the end of the trip. But the main attraction is that it eliminates the biggest risk normally associated with travel: credit card fraud.

In 2017, transactions made on Australian cards totalled more than $748.1 billion, an increase of 5 per cent over the previous year. However, as we spend more than ever on our cards, the rate of fraud is also increasing. Credit card fraud was up 5 per cent, netting criminals $561 million with stolen card details accounting for 85 per cent of fraudulent card transactions.

Having your credit card lost or stolen is enough to cut a trip short, but with cryptocurrency your smartphone acts as the interface to your digital wallet. If you do lose your smartphone, you can recover your digital wallet on another handset and continue on with your travels.

TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh says that digital currencies don’t share the same security flaws as credit cards, as no personally identifiable information is handed over to the merchant.

“Privacy with digital currencies is a security feature; I push a fixed amount of money to the business and that merchant has no ability to pull any more money from my account. Whereas, with credit cards, whoever has my credit card number can pull money from my account again and again and make as many fraudulent transactions as they want online. That’s why there’s so much credit card fraud going on.

Yeoh says that cryptocurrency also offers a number of benefits to businesses, as there’s no risk of the transaction being reversed in the event a customer pays with a stolen credit credit card, and there’s no merchant fees or any point-of-sale rental costs either.

“Whether you’re a business or the customer, all you need is a smartphone to transact with digital currencies.”

TravelbyBit CEO Caleb Yeoh.

The low barrier to entry means it opens the door to businesses located in places off the beaten path where there is no credit card services or ATMs and carrying cash is the only option. Yeoh’s own experience in such a scenario is what spawned the idea of TravelbyBit.

“I was wandering through Kalpitiya in Sri Lanka not long after the civil war had ended. I wanted to extend my stay, but they couldnt process credit card payments and I had run out of cash. In the end, they let me stay and told me I could pay down the track once I found a way to do so. I thought, thats nice but thats not a reliable way to run a business.

“I thought, what if they could just take payment peer-to-peer over a smartphone without the need of an international financial intermediary or credit card service. What if one could carve out an entire adventure just with mobile payments without the risk of credit card fraud?”

It’s still early days for this nascent technology and despite its benefits, digital currency has a long way to go in terms of adoption before it becomes as commonplace as a credit card. The total value of digital currency trading in Australia last year was $5.9 billion, and while that is bigger than most initially believed, it is a drop in the ocean compared to credit card transactions.

It also remains to be seen how much of an impact digital currencies will have on tourism numbers in the long term, though it’s off to a decent start.

Brisbane Airport is averaging around 50 digital currency transactions a week and growing steadily, while the small coffee shop Cafe Discovery in Agnes Water is doing about ten transactions a week.

The Cafe’s owner Leisa Trickett says that the customer reception to digital currencies had “exceeded her expectations”.

“I’m 60 years old and I think it is going to be the future of international travel. It mightn’t happen in my lifetime, but it is here to stay,” Trickett said.

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Other states aren’t as enthused about digital currencies and its potential to attract travellers.

A Victorian Government spokesperson told Fairfax Media that it is leaving the take-up of cryptocurrency to individual businesses.

“While were supportive of cryptocurrency, the sector must open itself up to regulators so transactions can be traced and criminal behaviour or nefarious activity prevented, before government supports its mainstream use,” the spokesperson said.

“We have shown we are happy to support the industry growth of the fintech sector here in Victoria, but that is different to utilising cryptocurrency and giving it unequivocal government support.”

Meanwhile, the New South Wales Government is taking a wait-and-see approach.

“As part of our efforts to make New South Wales the best tourism destination in Australia, we constantly monitor evolving market demands, including those for cryptocurrency,” a Destination NSW spokesperson said.

Read more from the original source:
Why Brisbane is the cryptocurrency capital of the country