American ATM Network Athena Bitcoin Adds Bitcoin Cash Support

American ATM Network Athena Bitcoin Adds Bitcoin Cash Support

Bitcoin cash (BCH) is now available for trading in dozens of new physical locations across the US. The American ATM network Athena Bitcoin has added support for buying and selling the cryptocurrency for fiat cash on all its machines.

Also Read: Polish Financial Authorities Paid Youtuber to Smear Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Cash ATM Network

Midwest US-based cryptocurrency ATM network Athena Bitcoin has recently announced that bitcoin cash (BCH) has been made available on all of its machines. This is only the third cryptocurrency now supported by the ATM network following bitcoin (BTC) and litecoin (LTC).

Athena machines offer both the buying and selling of cryptocurrency, which means American BCH holders have gained not only a new convenient method to increase their stockpile of the cryptocurrency but also the ability to easily exchange it for fiat in case they need to pay in shops that don’t accept credit or crypto.

The company explains to clients that bitcoin cash is a fully independent currency that features a different price, development team, and community compared with BTC, and that they will therefore need to use a BCH supporting wallet for buying the cryptocurency. The Athena Bitcoin wallet does not support BCH yet, but the company promises that it will be soon after an upcoming update.

ATMs Across America

American ATM Network Athena Bitcoin Adds Bitcoin Cash SupportAthena has 55 ATMs in eight American states (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and California) as well as one machine located in Yucatán Mexico at a place called Lapa Lapa Altabrisa Mérida. It features in locations that offer maximum convenience for everyday people such as gas station owners, bodegas and pawn shops.

Its ATMs are designed to allow users to purchase cryptocurrency without a bank account, debit card or credit card. The company promises people can buy cryptocurrency for the machines in as little as 90 seconds with just an appropriate crypto wallet on their smartphone.

American ATM Network Athena Bitcoin Adds Bitcoin Cash Support
North American ATM network of Athena Bitcoin

Should bitcoin ATM networks add support for even more cryptocurrencies? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Athena Bitcoin.


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CFTC Offers $100,000 Bounty to Crypto Pump-and-Dump Whistleblowers

$100,000 Bounty Available to Crypto Pump-and-Dump Whistleblowers

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has created a bounty to encourage whistleblowers coming forward in exposing “pump-and-dump” schemes. “Customers should not purchase virtual currencies, digital coins,” the CFTC warned, “or tokens based on social media tips or sudden price spikes. Thoroughly research virtual currencies, digital coins, tokens, and the companies or entities behind them in order to separate hype from facts.”

Also read: Citibank India Bans Bitcoin 

Pump-and-Dump Bounty

To eat at scammers’ anonymity at least, the CFTC is offering, “If you have original information that leads to a successful enforcement action that leads to monetary sanctions of $1 million or more, you could be eligible for a monetary award of between 10 percent and 30 percent.” 

Customer Advisory: Beware Virtual Currency Pump-and-Dump Schemes is a two-page effort from the CFTC, “advising customers to avoid pump-and-dump schemes that can occur in thinly traded or new ‘alternative’ virtual currencies and digital coins or tokens.”

$100,000 Bounty Available to Crypto Pump-and-Dump Whistleblowers

As these pages have long documented, scams and schemes of old are reappearing anew in a space filled with inexperienced investors. For those familiar with, say, the American stock market experience, boiler room cold calls of yore, penny stocks, hot tips, and sure things are all haunting phrases investors have encountered at one time or another.

The ubiquity of message boards and of stock trading websites only encouraged scammers in this regard. Price action moved on pumps, on posts and general chatter about the potential of a given stock only a few were privy. Greed did the rest. Regulatory bodies in the US have had enough time to see their likes come and go.

$100,000 Bounty Available to Crypto Pump-and-Dump Whistleblowers

Old Wine, New Bottle

And while such scams seem new under the cloak of hip lingo such as cryptocurrency and blockchain and disruptive and game changer, it’s all pretty much the same old dance. Indeed, “Pump-and-dump schemes have been around long before virtual currencies and digital tokens. Historically, they were the domain of ‘boiler room’ frauds that aggressively peddled penny stocks by falsely promising the companies were on the verge of major breakthroughs, releasing groundbreaking products, or merging with blue chip competitors.”

The artifice of demand, such as it was, reflected in the price. “When the prices reached a certain point, the boiler rooms would dump their remaining shares on the open market, the prices would crash, and investors were left holding nearly worthless stock.” What might be slightly different in our present era is the relative sophistication and ability to hide true identities. And with basically one click, thousands of people can be reached rather easily.

For the broader ecosystem, self-regulation often happens in the form of news, Youtubers, message boards, and generally works itself out. Some enthusiasts insist it’s crypto’s charm, the engine of innovation, to police itself with heavy doses of caveat emptor. Part of the problem with accepting rat traps of the government regulatory body variety is what’s being invited. Running to Big Brother empowers Big Brother, a concept easily missed in the heat of pursuing justice. Often such bounties are used as metrics to buttress future enforcement budgets and to encourage more activist legislation. But these too are lessons this brave new world must learn anew.

What do you think about the CFTC bounty? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, CFTC


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Malta to Give “Peace of Mind” to Crypto Companies

Malta to Give “Peace of Mind” to Crypto Companies

The government of Malta has come up with an idea that businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies may find interesting. A new policy document seeks to set up a special agency which will “certify” blockchain platforms and “verify” crypto transactions. It is supposed to “bring peace of mind” to companies using these technologies to cut out central authorities and banks. Valletta also proposes legislation that will define the roles of intermediaries and regulate initial coin offerings.

Also read: Gibraltar Launches Regulation to Protect Cryptocurrency Value and Reputation

Government Will Provide “Legal Certainty and Trust”

The new Malta Digital Innovation Authority will certify blockchain platforms used by companies in the country. It will also be responsible for “verifying” cryptocurrency transactions by checking if the logged information is genuine. The government hopes to bring some peace of mind to businesses using distributed ledgers for cross-border payments.

Authorities in Valletta are recognizing that companies utilize blockchains to cut out central authorities. However, they acknowledge that the technology allows for cheaper and more efficient money transfers. Worried that those platforms are not currently certified in any way, the government has decided to provide some “legal certainty and trust”. Officials believe companies will benefit from the work of the new authority, while also cutting out intermediaries such as banks.

Malta to Give “Peace of Mind” to Crypto Companies

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy Silvio Schembri presented the new policy document at a press conference with various stakeholders, the Maltese Independent reported. He called the event a “historic moment” and provided further details on how authorities plan to implement regulations concerning the cryptocurrency sector in successive stages.

The first step will be to set up the Malta Digital Innovation Authority. A bill will set out the regime for the registration of service providers and the certification of technology arrangements, Schembri explained. On stage 2, another draft will formalize the framework for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). A third law will impose regulation on services directly related to cryptocurrencies. Intermediaries like brokers, exchanges, wallet providers, asset managers, and investment advisors will be subjected to its provisions.

Malta Strives to Be a Hub of Innovation

Silvio Schembri stressed that promoting policies which favor the development of Malta as a hub for new technologies, including in the public sector, will be among the main goals. The aim is to foster innovation by creating a successful ecosystem, he added. That will be achieved through the “utilization of cutting edge technology in useful business cases and the adherence to best practices”. The lawmaker also noted that the Digital Innovation Authority would protect Malta’s reputation taking into account its international commitments under anti-money laundering directives.

Malta to Give “Peace of Mind” to Crypto CompaniesDuring the press conference, officials mentioned several applications of distributed ledger technology. In larger companies, internal DTL platforms can be used to maintain payroll systems and record movement of goods and invoices. Businesses can also take advantage of public platforms that share consensus mechanisms such as bitcoin and ethereum. Regulated financial institutions can utilize DTLs to offer services to their clients.

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy said the government would consult with all stakeholders before finalizing its policies, including relevant authorities like the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) and the police. Local and international representatives of the industry will also be involved in the process. Silvio Schembri added that the public is free to provide feedback in the next three weeks. After that, the bills will be introduced in the Parliament of Malta.

Do you think policies outlined by Maltese authorities will attract more crypto businesses to the island nation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 


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PR: Money Token Applies for Royalty-Free Patent on Crypto-Backed Lending Technology

Money Token Applies for Patent on Crypto-Backed Lending Technology

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, has received a new patent application, owned by the MoneyToken project, as announced on the MoneyToken blog.

The application describes a blockchain-based technology process of decentralized lending, secured by cryptocurrency assets as collateral, that doesn’t require vouching agents and that uses smart contracts and multi-signature wallets within the crediting process.

The premise is straightforward: By taking a cryptocurrency-backed loan with MoneyToken, users can receive liquid funds and hold their crypto assets all at the same time.

To gain access to the MoneyToken Private Sale, all users should join the MoneyToken Whitelist.

Founders comments on the patent:
https://medium.com/@moneytoken/jerome-macgillivray-money-token-founder-applied-to-patent-cryptocurrency-backed-loans-technology-f119dd589bb1

Contact Email Address
james.hendersonmt@gmail.com
Supporting Link
https://moneytoken.com/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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XRP – Updated falling wedge pattern with bullish targets.

XRP – Updated falling wedge pattern with bullish targets.

Ripple / Bitcoin BINANCE:XRPBTC


My second live TA attempt. TA expresses falling wedge pattern with bullish targets based on updated Fib retracement – slight amendment on the buy zone from the last chart. Initial stop-loss is included. Now with MACD indicator and updated aesthetics.

Switzerland Enacts ICO Guidelines

Switzerland Enacts World’s First ICO Guidelines

Just days before the tiny nation of Gibraltar was said to draft their first initial coin offering (ICO) regulations, Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) of Switzerland appears to have stolen its thunder in an eleven page document published today. It could be the standard by which developed countries look to install their own versions.

Also read: Citibank India Bans Bitcoin 

Switzerland Publishes ICO Guidelines

“The guidelines also define the information FINMA requires to deal with such enquiries and the principles upon which it will base its responses,” an agency press release began, “creating clarity for market participants.”

ICOs have bedeviled regulators the globe over since their inception Summer of 2013 as a creative way to crowdfund projects. They deliberately mirror initial public offerings, IPOs, which are famously used to bring traditional companies to market. However, IPOs have taken all the trappings that come with success: barriers to entry making them a very expensive proposition, requiring gaggles of lawyers and regulatory hoop-jumping. ICOs, due to their nascency, have gotten around all that to the tune of 6 billion USD in 2017 alone.

Switzerland Enacts World’s First ICO Guidelines

“FINMA has seen a sharp increase in the number of initial coin offerings (ICOs) planned or executed in Switzerland and a corresponding increase in the number of enquiries about the applicability of regulation,” the regulator insists. Following up on their Spring of last year Guidance document, “setting out how it intends to treat enquiries from ICO organisers,” FINMA wishes to solidify “transparency at this time” as it “is important given the dynamic market and the high level of demand.”

ICOs are a participatory token economy in the literal, digital sense. They usually focus upon a specific project, and combinations and permutations on this idea are as vast as the myriad of ICOs themselves: ownership in a company, payouts, tradeable coins, some of which are expected to appreciate beyond just being a digital stock certificate. They’re an adventuresome investment, and, as these pages have well-documented, slickly written white papers and website landing pages have often amounted to little more than exit scams.

Not All ICOs are Equal

A vast majority of ICOs rely upon the Ethereum platform and its Ethereum Request for Comments (ERC20), which is used for smart contracts. Something like over twenty one thousand such contracts exist, and estimates hold that ERC20 commands a supermajority ICO marketshare.

Swiss guidelines are “not applicable to all ICOs. Depending on the manner in which ICOs are designed, they may not in all cases be subject to regulatory requirements. Circumstances must be considered on a case-by-case basis […] At present, there is no ICO-specific regulation, nor is there relevant case law or consistent legal doctrine.” As such, “FINMA will focus on the economic function and purpose of the tokens (i.e. the blockchain-based units) issued by the ICO organiser. The key factors are the underlying purpose of the tokens and whether they are already tradeable or transferable.”

Switzerland Enacts World’s First ICO Guidelines

Swiss guidelines subdivide tokens into three classes: payment, utility, and asset. Payment tokens are basically cryptocurrencies as most understand them; utility tokens are access to services; asset tokens function more like derivatives, bonds, equities, and can serve as interest or dividend payments.

FINMA’s deepest worry involves anti-money laundering (AML) law subversion. “FINMA’s analysis indicates that money laundering and securities regulation are the most relevant to ICOs,” and as such guidelines contain “requirements for financial intermediaries including, for example, the need to establish the identity of beneficial owners.” Revealingly, the agency baldly asserts, “Money laundering risks are especially high in a decentralised blockchain-based system, in which assets can be transferred anonymously and without any regulated intermediaries.”

Switzerland Enacts World’s First ICO Guidelines

Supportive of Blockchain Technology

ICOs with payment token arrangements FINMA won’t be thought of as securities, and instead be required to comply with AML regulations already in place. Additionally, utility token ICOs “do not qualify as securities only if their sole purpose is to confer digital access rights to an application or service and if the utility token can already be used in this way at the point of issue.”

Asset token ICOs, however, “FINMA regards asset tokens as securities, which means that there are securities law requirements for trading in such tokens, as well as civil law requirements.” Where there are hybrids, it appears the most regulation applies rather than a default to a less regulated token.  

The Swiss body was careful to suggest it supports blockchain development, and it quotes FINMA head Mark Branson as insisting, “The application of blockchain technology has innovative potential within and far beyond the financial markets. However, blockchain-based projects conducted analogously to regulated activities cannot simply circumvent the tried and tested regulatory framework. Our balanced approach to handling ICO projects and enquiries allows legitimate innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape and so launch their projects in a way consistent with our laws protecting investors and the integrity of the financial system.”

Do you think FINMA’s guidelines will be the world standard? Let us know in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, FINMA


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Florida School Shooter To Romantic Rival: “Iam Going To Fu*king Kill You”

Three students who knew the Florida high school shooting suspect reported him to school administrators for threats and erratic behavior after an ex-girlfriend broke up with him and began seeing another teenager, reports BuzzFeed News. 

Nikolas Cruz, charged with the premeditated murder of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had been suspended in 2017 for “disciplinary reasons.” While some reports say he was expelled for getting into a fight with his ex’s new boyfriend, others say he was kicked out for carrying a knife to school. 

The students who spoke to BuzzFeed News — Dana Craig, 16; her boyfriend, Matthew Rosario, 16; and Enea Sabadini, 17 — said that such a fight happened, and that it was the culmination of a jealous and angry period for Cruz because Enea began dating Cruz’s ex-girlfriend. Three other friends who asked BuzzFeed News not to use their names, for privacy reasons, confirmed their accounts.

Im going to watch ypu bleed,” read an Instagram message sent under Cruz’s name to Enea in 2017, when students said Cruz was no longer at the school. “iam going to shoot you dead.” Another message said Enea “stole my ex.” –BuzzFeed

Enea Sabadini dated Cruz’s Ex (Remy Smidt/BuzzFeed News)

In addition to the FBI having received several tips over Cruz’s threats of violence which they completely botchedthanks to the way previous administration(s) designed the tip-line, a simple look into Cruz’s social media history reveals a disturbing obsession with weapons and violence.

Following the shooting, a Broward County public defender for Cruz, Melissa McNeill discussed the “underdeveloped” brain of a 19 year old, telling reporters “He’s sad. He’s mournful. He’s remorseful,” before saying of Cruz, who is 19 and a legal adult, “the child is deeply troubled and has endured significant trauma that stems from the loss of his mother.”

Love Triangle

In August of 2016, Enea Sabadini began dating Cruz’s ex girlfriend, who declined to be named. Shortly thereafter, Cruz sent Sabadini a series of increasingly threatening text messages over Instagram – at first threatening to beat Sabadini up, and eventually progressing to death threats and then two physical altercations:

The first fight began as an argument on the sidewalk next to their school. Nikolas yelled “Stop talking to her!” Enea said. Enea said he responded: “No, I’m not going to stop talking to her.” Matthew said he witnessed this fight.

Enea said Cruz ran at him. “While he was chasing me down the street, he also called me a nigger multiple times,” Enea said. “He was also trying to stab me with pencils.” Cruz couldn’t catch him, and Enea said he taunted him. “I remember telling him that I was a gazelle, because I was much faster than him,” he said.

Enea also said he doesn’t think Cruz disliked him because of his race. “I don’t think he was mad at me about race. But I don’t get why he was so mad over a girl,” he said. –BuzzFeed

The second fight didn’t go so well for Cruz. 

“My friends and I were laughing. Talking to each other, laughing and everything, and as we’re talking a water bottle flies by. I remember it going right between my legs,” said Sabadini. Then Cruz “charges me and hits me in my left arm.”

Sabadini, a rugby player, proceeded to slam, Cruz to the ground and repeatedly punch him in the face.  

“I was just done. I can’t believe you actually decided to fight me during lunch. I really don’t want to have any problems with this guy. Can we just get over the situation already?”

During their text exchange, Sabadini tried to reason with Cruz – deflecting Cruz’s threats and then sending him humorous videos and memes. 

The text messages are below. Suffice it to say, Cruz clearly had mental problems: 

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