NEXT BLOCK ASIA returns to Bangkok for another landmark Crypto and Affiliate industry event on December 3, 2019.

The capital of Thailand will become a bustling hub for Affiliate Marketing, Crypto and Fintech experts for the second time this year.

The conference will run upon an umbrella theme ‘Affiliate Marketing in the Age of Crypto’ to emphasize the rebirth of the crypto space, affiliate marketing’s role in the industry’s growth, as well as  its impact on financial services and solutions.

Over 30 prominent speakers as well as world’s top performance marketers and e-commerce entrepreneurs, investors, and startups will come to Bangkok to participate in NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 to recap 2019 and discuss the prospects of 2020.

We lived through a speculative growth in 2017, sharp disillusionment in 2018 and roller-coaster moves underpinned by uncertainty in 2019. What’s in store for the industry in 2020 still remains to be seen. However, renowned experts will undust their crystal balls at NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 and try to foresee the most probable outcomes moving forward.

This time the discussions will be focused on affiliate marketing, gaming projects, and CFDs in the era of blockchain and crypto. Startups and companies will present their projects in the EXPO ZONE and pitch their ideas from the stage to get unparalleled exposure and attract investors, new partners, and customers.

NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 also offers unique networking opportunities and is your best platform for generating new business. You will meet advertisers, marketers and affiliate networks, as well as investors, brokers, blockchain and crypto experts, CFD, Forex and Tech companies, PSPs and Gaming Operators and other best minds from the CRYPTO and AFFILIATE spaces. NEXT BLOCK creates the best conditions for fruitful discussions and a chance to develop relationships that make the difference.

The legendary ASIA FASHION TV PARTY featuring 20+ stunning models, best DJ and supernova entertainment program will become a final allure accord co-organized by Fashion TV. The party will be kicked off by a Gala GURUS AWARDS Ceremony, that will recognize the best Companies (Services) in the space as well as the Top Influencers. Delivered in collaboration with Cryptovest and WebCelebs, the GURUS AWARDS is accepting applications for various Nominations till November 17.

Both Gurus Awards and FashionTV Party is the best chance to expose your brand to multiple media & network, while drinking and dancing the night away.

Visit NEXT-BLOCK.ORG to know more.

 

Media contacts: Svitlana Kokarieva svitlana.k@kryptonevents.com, +38 063 213 12 12

 

News by Coingeek: Admir Aljic

On Monday, cryptocurrency platform Bakkt Trust Company LLC announced that they will be launching a regulated options contract for those interested in crypto futures. This will become available on December 9.

While a December 9 date for the launch of the program is set, it is expected that the consumer app and merchant portal will be completely operational sometime within the first half of 2020. This is according to a blog post provided by the company.

In a statement, Bakkt Chief Product Officer Mike Blandina explained, “We’ll be launching a consumer app to make it easy for consumers to discover and unlock the value of digital assets, as well as ways in which they can transact or track them. Merchants gain access to a broader set of customers with expanded spending power.”

The options contract will be based upon the benchmark set by Bakkt Monthly Bitcoin Futures. The futures exchange will be supported by the owners of the New York Stock Exchange.

In addition to BTC, it is expected that additional types of digital assets will be available in the future. At least that is what Blandina has hinted. “A key feature of the model we’ve designed is to support a superset of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies as seamlessly as investors transact in stocks in a retail brokerage account,” he wrote. “Our vision is to provide a consumer platform for managing a digital asset portfolio, whether they wish to store, transact, trade or transfer their assets.”

These options are already available at some unregulated exchanges, similar to those offered by the Netherlands-based Deribit, but this will be the first time that such an option will be available in the largest exchange in the world. It is expected that offering it on the NYSE will greatly increase volumes in sales and liquidity in the crypto markets.

In an interview with Decrypt, Matt Hougan, the director of research at Bitwise Asset Management, said, “Options (obviously) allow investors and traders to do different things, and will facilitate new and important approaches to investing (covered call strategies, for instance).”

He added that the options contracts that will be offered at Bakkt are following the European-style model. This means that they can only be exercised on the date the contract expires. Explaining the reason behind this, Hougan said, “My guess is that they wanted to align the expiration of the options contracts with the expiration of their monthly futures.”

The first launch partner who will be testing the merchant portal will be Starbucks, sometime in the early 2020.

 

News by Altcoin Buzz: Racheal

The Cardano foundation together with COTI, an enterprise-grade fin-tech platform, has launched the ADA payment portal for merchants.

This is according to an official announcement by the company on October 23, 2019. The company’s blog post revealed that the gateway will allow merchants to accept and process payments in ADA. Withdrawals will be prompt and available in 35 different fiat currencies. The fiat gateway will go live in November 2019.

The payment platform will be based on a directed acyclic graph chain (DAG). All the relevant data will end up on the blockchain. To compare: conventional blockchains store data in blocks.

More on the partnership

Known for “extreme scalability and low transaction costs”, COTI stands out in the fin-tech space.  The Cardano Foundation also believes that the fin-tech platform is a perfect all-in-one payment solution for merchants.

Cardano further revealed that the gateway will be enabled by COTI Universal Payment Solution (UPS). This will ensure more use cases for the token within and outside the Cardano network.

Integrating the payment solution will be effortless. Thus, a user can easily incorporate it into their website with an adaPay button or a QR-based point-of-sale (PoS) system. The solution will also reportedly enable instant withdrawals.

Speaking on the partnership CEO of COTI said: “The future is looking more promising for payments.” He also expressed satisfaction in the partnership. Pointing out that this is also one of COTI’s foremost step in expanding its network.

He said:

“[…] This joint effort is one of the first steps we are taking in delivering a truly universal payment solution and expanding the COTI tech stack beyond our own ecosystem. The ways people exchange value is changing for the better, and the future is looking more promising for payments.”

Creating more use cases for ADA is one of Cardano’s major focuses. This partnership is also a step in the right direction. The foundation launched a test net for Shelley in June. In celebration of its second year anniversary, Cardano also announced a partnership with the New Balance sport brand. The foundation turned two in September.

 

News by Cointelegraph: Marie Huillet

South Korean technology conglomerate Samsung has integrated Tron (TRX) support to its decentralized app (DApp) store, Blockchain Keystore.

According to a release note published on Oct. 29 to the Samsung Developers website, Samsung Blockchain Keystore SDK v1.2.0 now includes APIs that support TRX transactions.

Justin Sun’s social media ploy

Samsung has revealed it is today announcing its Samsung Blockchain Platform SDK at the Samsung Developer Conference 2019. The new SDK will reportedly tackle the two-fold challenge of bolstering security and building mobile-compatible DApps.

As commentators have been swift to claim, the new Tron integration means that APIs for all tokens conforming to the TRC10 or 20 standards — as well as Tron-based DApps — are poised to become accessible to anyone with the Blockchain Keystore among Samsung’s near-one billion global smartphone user base.

Justin Sun, the CEO of Tron — which positions itself as a competitor to Ethereum (ETH) by coupling decentralized finance with a wider decentralized internet ecosystem — had this week attempted to fuel hype by hinting at an undisclosed partnership with an allegedly “hundred billion USD megacorporation.”

As of August 2019, Samsung reportedly has a market value of $272.4 billion, according to Statista.

Sun had also claimed the partnership would “broadly distribute TRON Dapps and tokens to billions of customers.”

The Chinese blockchain market

As reported, Tron has recently dislodged Ether (ETH) from the second spot on the latest crypto rankings report from China’s state-backed tech workgroup, the Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID).

Yesterday, TRX reported gains of as high as 25% against the U.S. dollar, perhaps due to a combination of Sun’s provocative announcement and a milestone endorsement of blockchain technology from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The latter prompted an explosion of domestic interest in Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain, according to WeChat search data, as well as a boom in blockchain company shares on the Chinese stock markets.

 

 

News by Coindesk: William Foxley

WeChat parent company and Chinese internet giant Tencent has received the green light to draft blockchain-based invoice standards from China’s tax officials.

As reported by Global Times, Tencent’s blockchain invoice project was backed by multiple countries including the U.K., Switzerland, Sweden and Brazil, as well as China’s State Administration of Taxation, at the ITU-T international meeting on e-voice standards Tuesday.

Originally an anti-tax fraud initiative in Shenzhen, the company’s work on using blockchain tech to provide transparency in business reporting was announced last year.

For the standards effort, Tencent is joined by The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology and the Shenzhen Taxation Bureau for the initial drafts, which Tencent and the related firms claim to be a step forward in realized blockchain business applications.

Blockchain-based invoices aggregate and distribute information for commercial transactions typically between permissioned parties.

Li Ming, director of blockchain research at the China Electronics Standardization Institute, told Global Times that the the move to develop standards demonstrates the importance of business applications for blockchain technology:

“E-invoicing is an appropriate field for blockchain application [investigations] and trials currently, which could in turn promote tech development.”

The standards drafting announcement comes hot on the heels of a flurry of blockchain-related news out of China.

The nation’s president, Xi Jinping, told Communist Party constituents last week that the government will begin a top-down approach on blockchain implementation, with the aim being to adopt the tech across a wide range of use cases. While, on Monday, a Chinese central bank official asked commercial banks to investigate blockchain adoption for digital finance applications.

In a more curious use case for the tech, the country’s Communist Party has just announced a decentralized app (dapp) that will allow members to pledge their loyalty for all to see.

Tencent image via Shutterstock

 

Article by Forbes: Ilker Koksal

Blockchain technology has evolved greatly sincethe introduction of Bitcoin in 2008, the first decentralized peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Today, innovators in various fields are realizing the benefits of the technology behind Bitcoin. From medicine to finance, many sectors are looking for ways to integrate blockchain into their infrastructures.

With its decentralized and trustless nature, Blockchain technology can lead to new opportunities and benefit businesses through greater transparency, enhanced security, and easier traceability.

How Blockchain Can Power Up Your Business

Blockchain solutions are not only limited to the exchange of cryptocurrencies. There are numerous benefits that this technology can present to businesses in many different industries, through its distributed and decentralized nature:

#1 Greater Transparency

Blockchain’s greatest characteristic stems from the fact that its transaction ledger for public addresses is open to viewing. In financial systems and businesses, this adds an unprecedented layer of accountability, holding each sector of the business responsible to act with integrity towards the company’s growth, its community and customers.

#2 Increased Efficiency

Due to its decentralized nature, Blockchain removes the need for middlemen in many processes for fields such as payments and real estate. In comparison to traditional financial services, blockchain facilitates faster transactions by allowing P2P cross-border transfers with a digital currency. Property management processes are made more efficient with a unified system of ownership records, and smart contracts that would automate tenant-landlord agreements.

#3 Better Security

Blockchain is far more secure than other record keeping systems because each new transaction is encrypted and linked to the previous transaction. Blockchain, as the name suggests, is formed by a network of computers coming together to confirm a ‘block’, this block is then added to a ledger, which forms a ‘chain’. Blockchain is formed by a complicated string of mathematical numbers and is impossible to be altered once formed. This immutable and incorruptible nature of blockchain makes it safe from falsified information and hacks. It’s decentralized nature also gives it a unique quality of being ‘trustless’ – meaning that parties do not need trust to transact safely.

#4 Improved Traceability

With the blockchain ledger, each time an exchange of goods is recorded on a Blockchain, an audit trail is present to trace where the goods came from. This can not only help improve security and prevent fraud in exchange-related businesses, but it can also help verify the authenticity of the traded assets. In industries such as medicine, it can be used to track the supply chain from manufacturer to distributer, or in the art industry to provide an irrefutable proof of ownership.

Blockchain-as-a-Service for Simpler Integration

The problem that many businesses face, however, is that blockchain is sophisticated to integrate, and lack a technical team that is well-versed in this arena. BaaS or Blockchain-as-a-Service companies allow customers to integrate Blockchain technology into their businesses easily, without disruption to their daily processes. One such company that identified the need for BaaS is Broctagon Fintech Group.

With a global presence across 7 countries, Broctagon provides premier fintech solutions including multi-asset liquidity, brokerage technology solutions, and enterprise blockchain development. Businesses are also apprehensive about blockchain integration, especially about investing large sums of funds into development for a technology that is still considered ‘disruptive’. Starter kits like Blockchain-in-a-Box allows modern businesses to create a proof-of-concept to confirm blockchain’s viability and feasibility for their business before embarking on a full development. Investors are more likely going to finance a project they can see, rather than just a conceptual idea. With it’s Blockchain-in-a-Box starter kit, businesses can create a fully tangible platform to stand out in their market and gain confidence for their projects.

Blockchain has the potential for many use cases, applicable to a multitude of industries, and BaaS facilitates that movement from ‘disruptive’ into ‘mainstream’.

 

News by Cointelegraph: Samuel Haig

After initially seeking to ban Bitcoin in 2013, Thailand has since developed a permissive regulatory apparatus for digital currencies and cryptocurrency fundraising methods. Thai financial services firm Seamico Securities recently announced that it has received approval from the country’s Securities and Investments Commission (SEC) to operate its subsidiary, SE Digital, as a regulated initial coin offering (ICO) portal.

In doing so, SE Digital obtained permission to launch the first legitimate ICO in Thailand, with the company announcing that it hopes to raise between 2 billion and 3 billion Thai baht (between around $66 million and $99 million) through the token sale.

Jesadavat Priebjrivat, the CEO of SE Digital, described the approval of the country’s first ICO portal as turning a “new page on Thailand’s capital market history,” adding that Thailand “will become one of the first nations in [The Association of Southeast Asian Nations] to offer regulated digital token offerings.”

Elevated Returns seeks to facilitate secondary trading

While SE Digital will facilitate the issuance of ICO tokens, the company will not directly host markets for traders to speculate on the crypto assets. Seamico’s strategic investor, Elevated Returns — a financial group that tokenizes traditional assets — plans to launch an exchange facilitating secondary trading of SE Digital’s digital tokens. The company has already announced that its subsidiary, ERX, has applied for Digital Assets Exchange License with a plan to launch operations before the second half of 2020.

Stephane de Baets, the founder and president of Elevated Returns, took to Twitter to express his hopes for a pan-Asian expansion of Seamico’s ICO services in coming years, citing Taiwan, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore as jurisdictions that Seamico may target after further establishing its operations in Thailand.

Elevated Returns previously issued the Aspencoin security token during August 2018, with Aspencoin’s security token offering (STO) being described then as among the first of its kind.

Elevated Returns acquired 21% of Seamico, worth 467.1 million baht (approximately $15.4 million), during the third quarter of 2018 amid expansions designed to facilitate the launch of $1 billion worth of tokenized real estate on Tezos. During March of this year, Elevated Returns revealed that it hoped to launch $100 million worth of true estate tokens in Thailand by 2020.

SE Digital to offer suite of ICO services

SE Digital is seeking to offer a complete range of digital token offering services, including primary issuance, strategic advisory, facilitating secondary market access, and providing Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) services. SE Digital will target Thai retail investors, institutional investors, venture capital firms and private equity funds.

With digital tokens comprising a new market in Thailand, SE Digital is preparing educational programs in cooperation with partners and regulators. As digital tokens are new to most Thai investors and its market, SE Digital plans a series of educational programs through cooperation with its local partners, regulators and leading organizations. Stephen Ng, chief marketing officer of SE Digital, stated, “As asset tokenization fully takes hold, it will help bolster innovation and competitiveness of Thailand’s capital markets.”

Thailand introduces ICO regulations in 2018

Thailand’s ICO sector has matured significantly since the start of 2018. On Jan. 17, 2018, Bangkok Post reported that J Ventures, a subsidiary of mobile accessories firm Jaymart, was readying to become the first Thai company listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

The company was looking to conduct an ICO to distribute 100 million of its “JFin” cryptocurrency — a utility token set to power J Ventures’ lending platform — with a total supply of 300 million tokens. As of this writing, J Ventures has not conducted the final phase of its token offering.

 

On Jan. 22, 2018, the Thai SEC completed the final round of public hearings relating to its then-proposed regulatory framework for ICOs. On Feb. 14, 2018, J Ventures launched the presale of its ICO, selling 87% of the 100 million tokens on the first day before later selling out. J Ventures raised approximately 660 million baht ($21.8 million), which priced JFin at approximately $0.22 each.

During the presale, JFin could only be purchased via the Thai Digital Asset Exchange (TDAX) for fiat currency and was exclusively available to identity-verified investors. On Feb. 26, TDAX announced that it had halted the registration and trading of new ICOs as it waited for the SEC to establish a regulatory framework governing digital token sales.

Zmine Holdings conducts ICO in Thailand

While many ICOs were still awaiting further guidance from the Thai SEC, Zmine sought to follow in J Ventures’ footsteps and conduct a token offering despite the lack of regulatory clarity. Zmine also conducted both a presale and private sale during the first quarter of 2018, with the company planning to finance an expansion of its mining operations through an ICO.

At the end of May, Zmine Holdings Limited launched a public token sale, seeking to raise 180 million baht ($5.6 million) by issuing 100 million “ZMN” tokens. During its first day, the ZMN ICO sold 2 million tokens and raised 3.5 million baht (roughly $110,000).

Thai cabinet introduces preliminary crypto regulations

March 2018 saw Thailand’s cabinet approve a draft decree to go into effect as of May 14 that provides oversight for companies operating with cryptocurrencies or ICOs. The decree required that crypto businesses obtain relevant licensing and report to AML authorities, and tasked the Thai SEC with regulating the sector.

The regulations also mandated that ICOs be issued exclusively via a licensed “ICO portal” — a platform that screens and assists prospective ICOs in launching fundraising activities for crypto assets in a regulated and compliant fashion. The legislation stated that ICO portals must comprise licensed Thai-based companies with a minimum registered capital of 5 million baht ($155,000).

The decree also outlined the tax obligations of retail traders, mandating a 7% value added tax payment on top of the 15% withholding tax on capital gains and returns from crypto investments. Thailand’s finance minister, Apisak Tantivorawong, stated at the time:

“The new law to comprehensively regulate cryptocurrencies and digital tokens is necessary to prevent money laundering, tax avoidance and crime. […] The new law is not meant to prohibit cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, and other digital asset-related translations, but to protect investors.”

JFin tokens begin trading on local exchanges

In May, JFin began trading on the Thai exchange Coin Asset, with prices quickly plummeting by 57% before temporarily retaking half of its losses. Within one month, JFin was trading at just a third of its ICO price. JFin investors’ losses prompted analysts to caution prospective ICO participants.

Thai SEC introduces ICO regulations

At the start of June 2018, the SEC unveiled its regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The regulations would see seven crypto assets permitted to be used as trading pairs for ICO tokens — Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), XRP and Lumens (XLM). The SEC stated that the seven cryptocurrencies were chosen due to each of the assets garnering significant trade volume and lacking advanced privacy features.

ICOs would need to pay fees of 5 million baht (roughly $165,000) upfront for token distribution and cryptocurrency operation, while the application fees for brokerage firms and crypto asset dealers were set at 2.5 million baht ($82.500) and 2 million baht ($66,000), respectively.

Exchanges are also required to pay fees equal to 0.002% of annual trade volume up to 20 million baht ($625,000), whereas crypto brokers must pay annual fees of 0.001% of trade volume up to 5 million baht ($155,000).

While no limits are placed on institutional and high-net-worth investors’ participation in registered ICOs, retail investors can invest a maximum of 300,000 baht ($9,905) per ICO — with ICOs permitted to raise no more than 70% of their capital from retail investors.

Issuers of unlicensed crypto assets can face fines of up to twice the value of the token sale, with minimum penalties starting at 500 million baht ($15,600), in addition to risking a jail term of up to two years.

Thai SEC clarifies ICO portal regulations

In July 2018, the Thai SEC clarified the regulatory processes relating to ICO portals. In addition to comprising Thai-based companies with a minimum registered capital of 5 million baht ($165,000), prospective ICO portals are required to demonstrate readiness to adhere to compliance and security protocols recommended by the SEC. ICO portals were also told to pay an annual fee of 100,000 baht ($3,300).

An additional prerequisite is that the executives, directors and shareholders of an ICO portal cannot have previously been declared bankrupt, and any subsidiaries must be related to the portal. ICO portals were also tasked with providing preliminary product screening for prospective token offerings.

Within one month, the Thai SEC reported that 50 ICO issuers had expressed an interest in applying for licenses, while three of the five prospective ICO portals had submitted applications. Twenty firms had also applied for digital asset exchange licenses. After initially examining the applications, the SEC then forwards the documentation onto Thailand’s Finance Ministry, which makes the final ruling.

ICO scams target Thailand

Despite the Thai government’s efforts to legitimize and regulate the country’s cryptocurrency and ICO sector, the SEC reported an increase in crypto-related scams during the second half of 2018.

In October, the SEC warned the public of four unauthorized token offerings targeting Thai investors — the G2S Expert ICO, the Singhcom Enterprise ICO, the Adventure hostel Bangkok ICO and the Kidstocurrency ICO. The SEC also warned of five scams operating under the guise of cryptocurrency investment opportunities — Every Coin, Orientum Coin, Tripxchain Coin, TUC Coin, and OneCoin and OFC Coin.

The warning came just weeks after Thai citizen Prinya Jaravijit was arrested in a Bangkok airport for defrauding a Finnish investor of $25 million worth of BTC. Alongside six other associates, Jaravijit had allegedly persuaded the businessman to invest in a fraudulent scheme purportedly involving three companies and Dragon Coin (DRG).

Thai regulators teased licensed ICO portal 12 months ago

At the start of November 2018, the Thai SEC claimed that it would clear “at least one” ICO portal to operate legitimately before the end of the month. While the approval of an ICO portal would not be announced until March of the following year, late 2018 saw the Thai regulator move to make permissive adjustments to the country’s regulatory apparatus covering cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

During December, the Thai SEC announced that it would seek to reduce the legislative “barrier” faced by ICOs. The new rules would relax the regulations surrounding ICO presales and private sales, removing the need for token offerings that exclusively offer private sales and presales to accredited investors to submit registration statements and a draft prospectus with the SEC.

Tipsuda Thavaramara, the SEC’s deputy secretary-general, stated, “The proposed guideline is an attempt to find greater equilibrium in the regulatory process and reduce regulatory impediments, while taking risk management and investor protection into account.”

Thailand pushes permissive crypto regulations during 2019

January 2019 saw the Thai SEC grant cryptocurrency licenses to four cryptocurrency firms. The authorized companies comprised crypto exchanges Bitcoin Exchange Co., Bitkub Online Co. and Satang Corporation, as well as digital currency broker-dealer Coins TH.

The following month, Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly passed an amendment to the country’s Securities and Exchange Act, legitimizing the issuance of securities via distributed ledger technology — paving the way for STOs in the country.

March saw further refining of Thai crypto regulations, with the SEC removing BCH, ETC and LTC from the list of crypto assets authorized to comprise pairings for token offerings. Two weeks later, the Stock Exchange of Thailand announced that it is planning on building a digital asset platform to “digitize” its “capital market infrastructure.”

On March 13, the SEC announced that it had approved the country’s first ICO portal, however, the application was still awaiting approval from other regulatory entities, such as the Commerce Ministry.

 

 

News by Altcoin Buzz: Deepika Garg

As part of the expansion plans, Revolut, the crypto-compatible App announced its partnership extension with Mastercard. This will most likely open some crypto functionalities in the U.S. for the cardholders.

Making entry into the US market is not easy especially when there is crypto involved. But Revolut holds an advantage in this case. As a fintech startup, cryptocurrency is just a part of its services. And in its Oct 22 press release, the UK based Revolut made no mention of the card being cryptocurrency specific.

However, there is a catch. With the Revolut App, the US users exchange their crypto against digital money. And spend this money using the Revolut debit card. As per the Revolut website, they are banking alternative for crypto: “With this in mind, we have developed an alternative phased approach which allows us to be the first banking alternative to offer crypto — from right within the app — with the blessing of our partners.”

According to the press release, the new Mastercard partnership will take Revolut beyond Europe. It is already planning to expand into the Asia Pacific and Latin American markets.

Revolut started offering cryptocurrency support in 2017. Back then it enabled the exchange of Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin. As the user demand increased, it also added Bitcoin Cash and Ripple to its support list.

This is no good news for Coinbase

The US has always poised strict regulations in the crypto sphere. Lately, Coinbase has been trying hard to penetrate the US market. But as a full cryptocurrency startup, it is up against lots of hurdles. So it stays in the UK and Europe only.

In the future, when Coinbase is able to enter the US markets, it might receive strong competition from Revolut.

Meanwhile, the Revolut leadership states, this partnership is driven by the plans to expand globally. And not to facilitate cryptocurrency card payments in the US.

But it is quite possible that Revolut’s App will bridge the crypto-fiat gap for US customers.

 

News by Altcoin Buzz: David Abel

Tokyo based cryptocurrency exchange, BitFlyer has made its mobile application available to users in the United States and Europe.

The news revealed that the BitFlyer application can be used for free by both iOS and Android users. Also, the app provides a safe and regulated platform for US and Europe customers to trade a range of cryptocurrencies. These include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Monacoin (MONA) and Lisk (LSK).

A standard platform

The BitFlyer app ensures that users can easily buy and sell. It also allows users to adhere to the same robust KYC and verification standards as the website.

Founder and CEO of BitFlyer USA, Yuzo Kano commented on the development. He said: “The app brings the reliability, security, and experience of our Japan market to our European and American customers. Thus, closing the gap between our service offerings and creating a truly global and regulated exchange product.”

Co-head and COO of BitFlyer Europe, Andy Bryant said: “With our Buy/Sell platform, we strived to create a simpler, faster and even more transparent experience. Also, where everyone can buy cryptocurrencies in just a few minutes and from a reputable source. The BitFlyer app makes this even more convenient for users.”

Furthermore, he said: “We are staying true to our mission of making the world simpler with blockchain. By making the transparency, security, and simplicity of our robust trading platforms available via a quick, single app download.”

What to Expect from BitFlyer application?

The cryptocurrency exchange started in the USA in November 2017, followed by BitFlyer Europe in January 2018.

Both companies exist as subsidiaries of BitFlyer, Inc., a renowned cryptocurrency exchange in Japan.

Since its launch, BitFlyer led the exchange market by providing a reliable, efficient and secure regulated marketplace for crypto traders. Currently, the app becomes the only regulated digital asset exchange available in Japan, Europe, and the USA combined.

Accordingly, existing users can log on to the app with their account details. New traders can register by using an email address and submitting necessary KYC info to deposit and begin trading.

Additionally, other features of the app include, users can get real-time price data, users can easily track their profit and loss (PnL), view trade history and seamlessly visualize their portfolio. A QR code feature exists that can be used to easily send and receive virtual currencies with bitFlyer.

Interestingly, customers that download and register between 21st to 27th, October enjoy €10 ($10 if in the US) in BTC.

Article by Forbes: Walter Pavlo

We are in the middle of a cryptocurrency revolution. With over 7,000 digital currencies established in a short period of time, there are innovators, investors and fraudsters. However, defining which is which has been left mostly to the courts rather than legislation or regulation.

The Internal Revenue Service has stated that the sale or exchange of virtual currencies, or the use of virtual currencies to pay for goods or services, or holding virtual currencies as an investment, generally has tax consequences that could result in tax liability. With regard to regulation, the US Commodity Futures Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has jurisdiction over cryptocurrency under the Commodity Exchange Act. On September 26, 2018, Senior Judge Rya W. Zobel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, entered an order holding that the CFTC has the power to prosecute fraud involving virtual currency as a result.

There have been no real efforts to establish laws, rules or policies by the U.S. Congress. Like insider trading cases, where US prosecutors often pick up cases from Securities and Exchange Commission cases, we are going to see criminal enforcement used a means of defining what is and is not legal. A lot is at stake. One of the most important of these cases involves a guy named Randall Crater and My Big Coin.

My Big Coin (MBC) was created in 2013 by CEO John Roche. Its business model, like most cryptocurrency businesses, was to utilize blockchain technology in numerous business applications for the gaming and cannabis markets.

In 2014, Roche retained Randall Crater and his Greyshore Technology and Marketing Companies to build the technology to support the business model. Also originated and added to MBC was My Big Coin Pay which would add a layer of utilizations and revenue such as ATM machines and credit cards backed by the new currency. In its Twitter account on January 21, 2014, MBC stated that a price of $23.17 was transacted. MBC was being heavily marketed and peer-to-peer transactions were being transacted and disclosed by Roche on its own website and through a number of social media platforms, like Twitter. Like Bitcoin, MBC was going to limit the number of “coins” to 30,000,000. Users were being urged to create accounts and wallets to hold their MBC.

In one of the biggest announcements, on March 6, 2014. MBC announced that they had created a partnership with a company who would back all MBC coins with gold. This was an incredible declaration. MBC then stated that MBC was being transacted at $52.88, more than double the announcement just a few weeks prior. They had more good news …. owners could obtain a VISA/Mastercard backed by MBC … the card could be used at any store that accepted MBC … an IPO was imminent … MBC would going to become the #1 crypto currency in the world. With good news, another Tweet …. transactions were being made at over $102. By November, MBC claimed that an agreement with MasterCard was finalized. Another Tweet … MBC was being transacted at $121.38.

In mid-year 2014, MBC’s attorney Adam Tracy was looking into doing a reverse merger into a NASDAQ shell company (something that is legit but has been plagued by fraud). The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) started an investigation into MBC inquiring if they were selling shares not registered or exempted from registration. By the end of 2014, FINRA had written a letter to the SEC stating that their investigation was completed and they were not going to move forward with any further proceedings. Subsequently, the SEC did not pursue an investigation. However, what FINRA did do was pass along the case to the CFTC for investigation. Note to file, a recommendation from an interagency is a good way to get to the top of an inquiry pile.

On January 16, 2018, the CFTC filed a civil complaint in the Federal Court of Massachusetts (18-CV-10077). It named Randall Crater and My Big Coin as Defendants as well as an MBC salesman named Mark Gillespie. It also named Crater’s mother, wife and sister as relief defendants. It also named other entities controlled by Crater as marketing and technology companies. Most notably, the suit did not name the actual CEO of MBC John Roche.

The suit basically stated that MBC and MBC Pay was a Ponzi scheme crafted by Crater and all representations made on social media were false including that MBC was backed by gold and the claim that it had entered into an agreement with MasterCard was false. Gillespie is claimed to have controlled the Facebook page of MBC and also made false claims. It does not state who controlled the twitter account or who authorized the press releases.

On April 20, 2018, the CFTC filed an amended complaint in US District of Massachusetts and now named MBC CEO John Roche as well as a man named Michael Kruger. MBC and MBC Pay were already now defunct entities. All individually named Defendants, Roche, Gillespie and Kruger have defaulted. Only now Crater was left as an individual defendant.

On May 4, 2018, Defendants filed a motion under FRCP Rule 12(b) that the Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case because My Big Coin was not a “commodity” as defined pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act. The motion was written by Laura Greenberg Choa (Henshon Klein) and Katherine Cooper (Murphy & McGonigle). Cooper had over 20 years’ experience in the derivatives markets and had actually worked for the CFTC as a Senior Trial attorney. This was crucial issue because it granted authority to a federal Judge to interpret the law or intent of Congress rather than having a well written law that could have avoided a messy case like this.

The real issue is how much investigation was done by FINRA to push this case to the CFTC and, through the those actions, put MBC out of business. Was it MBG fraud, or the mere allegations of a fraud that led to MBC’s demise … the subsequent legal troubles for MBC’s executives? That’s when US prosecutors decided to get involved.

On February 26, 2019, the US Attorney’s office in Massachusetts indicted Crater on four counts of wire fraud and 3 counts of Unlawful Monetary Transactions (19-CR-10063). The case was submitted by AUSA Jordi Di Llano in Massachusetts, but the real powerhouse behind it is the DC Office by Caitlin R. Cottingham, a trial attorney who is back from private practice practice (Convington Burling) in the fraud section of the criminal division. Roche and Gillespie are named as “Individuals 1 and 2” in the indictment, but not indicted themselves. Most likely this is an approach by prosecutors to apply pressure to individuals as un-indicted co-conspirators to cooperate and testify against other defendants.

In a case like this, the data is voluminous and could take years to go through the legal process and the only ones getting rich are the law firms researching the case. Discovery alone would bankrupt any ordinary person. It will cost millions. Still, Crater vigorously claims his innocence and is determined to get his day in Court. He has retained Geoffrey Nathan in Boston and Ray E. Chandler from South Carolina.

Crater and his lawyers are preparing for a rigorous defense of the ever-changing allegations and it should be a case that helps define emerging cryptocurrency. Cases like this could offer a bit more clarity to the cryptocurrency world …. but at a pretty high cost to those charged in this case.