Bitcoin should be regulated like gold – major crypto exchange

According to the Vienna-based exchange, all transactions over €10,000 ($12,300) processed in the European Union should be subject to anti-money laundering regulation. Tougher financial rules might stunt the emerging market for virtual cash.

“Regulation provides us with more legitimacy. We’ve wanted to be regulated, but so far have been told that we cannot be,” Eric Demuth, the co-chief executive officer of one of Europe’s most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms, told Bloomberg.

The recent boom in digital currencies triggered a bitter struggle in the legal framework, which is currently seen as deficient for controlling the growing crypto market. Financial regulators across the world are in favor of proper rules for the industry to put it on firmer ground and lend it credibility.

The value of a bitcoin token and an ounce of gold should move closer as the US Fed lifts interest rates, says Bloomberg Intelligence expert Mike McGlone. “Just 11 months ago, gold and bitcoin were the same price, now they’re on the road to convergence,” he said.

Bitcoin rose nine percent to $9,868 at 12:13 GMT on Monday, according to the industry website Coinmarketcap.com. Gold dropped slightly to $1,317 per ounce.

Earlier this year, Austria’s finance ministry said it was considering the trading rules for gold and derivatives as a basis for the regulation of virtual currencies. The step is reportedly aimed at terminating illegal activities, such as money laundering.

Bitpanda has reportedly been extending its links with government institutions, despite warnings issued by country’s central bank. The firm trades bitcoin vouchers through the state-run postal service. The exchange also said it had signed research contracts with the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Technical University of Vienna.

The company, which opened a London office in February, is reportedly expected to surpass €1 billion ($1.23 billion) in turnover in 2018. Most of its €600 million ($737.5 million) in transactions were processed in Vienna in the fourth quarter of 2017.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/421043-gold-standard-rules-bitcoin-regulation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Crypto exchange claims $200 million stolen, but all may not be as it seems

The company reported that around 17 million nano coins belonging to investors had been stolen through unauthorised transactions. Trading above $11 a token at the time, the stolen amount totaled about $200 million. It is ranked as the number 24 cryptocurrency by value, according to Coinmarketcap.

“We extend our sincerest apologies to our customers and to all those involved in the illegal transfer of Nano on our platform,” BitGrail wrote.

“Today a charge about those fraudulent activities has been submitted to the competent authorities and now is under police investigation.”

The announcement was greeted with suspicion fueled by the company’s recent moves. In January BitGrail halted all withdrawals and deposits of nano, as well as the lisk and cryptoforecast tokens. The exchange said it would introduce obligatory identity verification and anti-money laundering protocols for its clients, in spite of claiming that it doesn’t work with governments or banks. Some users accused the exchange of planning a so-called “exit scam”, prompting the price of nano to drop 20 percent at the time.

This is not the first major heist from cryptocurrency exchanges in recent years:

COINCHECK: Last month the Japanese crypto exchange saw over $500 million stolen in NEM cryptocurrency.

BITFINEX: The Hong Kong exchange claimed about $72 million worth of bitcoin was stolen in 2016

MT. GOX: The Tokyo-based exchange filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after claiming hackers stole nearly half a billion US dollars’ worth of bitcoin.

CRYPTSY: Last July, a US federal judge ordered the defunct exchange to pay $8.2 million to customers after it failed to respond to a class-action lawsuit. The court ruled that 11,325 bitcoin were stolen in 2014 and the thief was not found.

Reuters cites other notable heists including Bter which lost 7,170 bitcoins in 2015; BitMarket.eu (18,788 bitcoins lost in 2012); Bitfloor (24,000 bitcoins lost in 2012) and Bitcoinica, which lost a total of 102,101 bitcoins in three hacks during 2012.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/418552-cryptocurrency-bitgrail-theft-nano/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

World’s Top-Ranked Crypto Exchange Adds 240,000 Users… In One Hour






World’s Top-Ranked Crypto Exchange Adds 240,000 Users… In One Hour


January 11th, 2018

Binance (Cryptogon Affiliate Link)

Via: Bloomberg:

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange keeps getting bigger.

Hong Kong-based Binance.com is adding “a couple of million� registered users every week, with 240,000 people signing up in just an hour on Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer Zhao Changpeng said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Demand is so high that the company is limiting new customers, he said, though Binance may fully reopen in the coming weeks.

“We did not expect this kind of growth to be honest,� Zhao said from Tokyo on Thursday.

Binance was the world’s most active crypto exchange over the past 24 hours, according to Coinmarketcap.com, hosting $6 billion worth of digital currency trades. The most popular asset was Tron, which accounted for 11 percent of volume.

Zhao said his average customer was male and aged 25-35, though Binance is “beginning to get a lot of interest from institutional investors.�















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Traders at top bitcoin exchange claim they have no access to their money

The clients of Bittrex, which processes about $1 billion of cryptocurrency payments per day, are angry about the delays, Business Insider reports.

They claim to have verification problems but get close to no feedback from Bittrex about the situation.

The company admitted to “significant delays” in handling the issues, but said they affected only “a small percentage of our overall user base.”

New identification procedures are being implemented to comply with the US anti-fraud banking regulations.

One of Bittrex users, who asked the media to call him only by his middle name, commented on the problem.

“Bittrex has two levels of verification. Basic Verification, which I completed, but it said it could not find any public record to match what I entered. Then [it] gives you the option to submit what they call Enhanced Verification where you have to submit Gov ID, Passport, Selfie, etc. I, in turn, did this, but that one also failed, saying ‘Name Mismatch Error.’ To top it off, they do not provide any settings page to correctly make the name change if [there] truly is a name mismatch,” he said.

“The next step is for you to submit a support ticket, which I then completed. My support ticket was opened on November 6 with not a single response from anyone at Bitrrex. This is going on for almost 30 days now. I updated the ticket many times to no avail,” he added.

Another user complained that when he made the deposit, no verification was required.

“Support doesn’t work at all, I don’t sleep at night because of that, when I put money there nobody asked about verification! And now my money is blocked,” he said.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/412109-bitcoin-exchange-money-stuck/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Re: Reports: Saudi prisoners to be freed in exchange for 70% of their wealth

Saudi officials are seeking to appropriate billions of dollars from captured princes and businessman in exchange for their release.

According to the Financial Times (FT) the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Bin Salman, is negotiating a settlement with some of the country’s most well-known figures who have been detained under corruption charges since the beginning of the month.

In some cases, Saudi officials are demanding 70 per cent of the suspect’s wealth in exchange for their release.

It was widely suspected that Bin Salman’s anti-corruption purge was part of a wider strategy to raise money for the country’s depleting treasury, which has grappled with a recession triggered by prolonged low oil prices.

Read: Saudi UN envoy: anti-graft detainees to get due process

According to the Wall Street Journal, the purge, which saw more than 1,200 bank accounts frozen, had their sights on seizing up to $800 billion in cash and assets.

People negotiating the deal with the prisoners are keen to secure their release by signing over cash and corporate assets, reported the FT.

“They are making settlements with most of those in the Ritz,” said one adviser. “Cough up the cash and you will go home.”

#MBS

Officials investigating the allegations of corruption are looking to seize at least $100 billion though the target is said to be $300 billion.

While the round up has backing from many of the country’s young population, who perceive the older princes and businessman of being corrupt, it has spooked the international business community.

Reports that the detainees are being tortured by Saudi security officials are likely to raise further concerns over the crackdown. Saudi whistleblowers have alerted that Bin Salman, who is personally overseeing the detention, orders the guards to “beat” the prisoners who are being held at the Ritz Carlton hotel.

It is also alleged that two of most high-profile prisoner Waleed Bin Talal and Mutaib bin Abdullah, who is a potential challenger to the throne, are being tortured.



Source Article from https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171117-reports-saudi-prisoners-to-be-freed-in-exchange-for-70-of-their-wealth/#comment-3623206384