Crypto-Backed SALT Claims $1.3 Billion Backlog, Suspends New Memberships

Crypto-Backed SALT Claims $1.3 Billion Backlog, Suspends New Memberships

Secured Automated Lending Technology (SALT) has an enviable problem if its recent Medium post is to be believed. The membership-based crypto-as-collateral loan platform has declared “a demand of over $1.3b in loan requests” is forcing it to suspend “new membership registrations, loan requests, and purchases of SALT.”

Also read: How To Regain Control From Nanny Zuck

SALT Comes to a Halt

Colorado-based SALT has only been around since late 2017, but during that time it claims to have issued “over $23m in blockchain-backed loans.” If that wasn’t enough, “there is still a demand of over $1.3b in loan requests that we are diligently working to address,” a recent communication from the company explained.

Using a member’s cryptocurrency holdings as collateral for cash loans, enthusiasts are able to leverage their gains in decentralized currency markets in the event they’d like to pay off debt or whatever financial spirit moves them. And they’re able to do it without giving up crypto holdings per se.  

Crypto-Backed SALT Claims $1.3 Billion Backlog, Suspends New Memberships

Evidently, it’s catching on. “Due to the enormous demand and loan requests we will be temporarily suspending new membership registrations, loan requests, and purchases of SALT on our platform. Existing members will still be able to deposit SALT on the platform and upgrade their membership in the interim. We plan to begin adding members and turn on all associated features as soon as we have satisfied the automation of our current loan process and have served the current pending loan requests.”

SALT’s business model is essentially larger loans floated by accredited investors; those with a net worth of more than a million dollars or with six-figure salaries. The minimum loan is 5,000 USD, and it does seem to be working well – maybe too well – to the tune of over 60,000 members. 

Alternatives to SALT

“The process of scaling and automating our processes and technology,” SALT continues, “has been progressing well but we’ve recognized an opportunity to focus our team’s time and resources on this important goal and on addressing the existing demand before we continue to add new memberships and loan requests.”

Cypto-Backed SALT Claims $1.3 Billion Backlog, Suspends New Memberships

While SALT figures out how to scale, other lending programs abound within the ecosystem. Coinloan is a crypto asset collateral lending program that offers significantly smaller loans and easier access. Ripio’s RPN Global Lending is more peer-to-peer in its approach. Ethlend of Switzerland works off of the Ethereum blockchain, and touts its decentralized features.

And even though SALT is “temporarily halting these features we will be able to dedicate all of our time and energy on serving those that have been integral to our success thus far, as well as positioning our platform to address the future demand for SALT’s lending platform,” which includes moving into US states such as Arkansas, Delaware, New Jersey, and North Carolina to push commercial loans.

What are your thoughts on crypto loan programs? Let us know in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, SALT, Coinloan.


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France Cracks Down on Bitcoin Derivatives

France Cracks Down on Bitcoin Derivatives

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the independent regulatory body governing France’s stock market, issued two statements today, one on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and another on the prospect of bitcoin derivatives. Both point to more oversight to come for crypto in France, including everything from formal authorizations to a ban on advertisements.  

Also read: How To Regain Control From Nanny Zuck

France Cracks Down on Bitcoin Derivatives

AMF, France’s markets regulator, insists bitcoin derivatives are subject to the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) which trigger all manner of new rules and authorizations. In its 22 February published missive, The AMF considers that the offer of cryptocurrency derivatives requires authorisation and that it is prohibited to advertise such offer via electronic means,” the agency argues. “The AMF has reached the conclusion that platforms which offer these products must abide by the authorisation and business conduct rules, and that these products must not be advertised via electronic means.”

During its analysis the AMF determined “the legal qualification of the notion of “derivative” in the context of cryptocurrency derivatives and […] to consider whether a cryptocurrency could be legally regarded as an eligible underlying. The notion of “derivative” is not defined in EU legislation per se.”

France Cracks Down on Bitcoin Derivatives

The AMF describes growth in crypto exchanges as a boom, offering “binary options, CFDs or Forex contracts with an end-of-day maturity (rolling spot forex), where the underlying is a cryptocurrency. Such contracts allow investors to bet on a cryptocurrency’s rise or fall, without holding the underlying.”

As a result, the legal status of crypto is almost irrelevant because the AMF determined “a cash-settled cryptocurrency contract may qualify as a derivative.” Furthermore, the agency found the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) will be invoked, along with MiFID II, setting into motion rules for over the counter (OTC) derivatives and their online exchanges such as complying with “authorisation, conduct of business rules, and the EMIR trade reporting obligation to a trade repository. Above all, these products are subject to the provisions of the Sapin 2 law, and notably the ban of advertisements for certain financial contracts.”

AMF Also Takes a Hard Look at ICOs

The AMF publishes the summary of responses to the public consultation on initial coin offerings (ICO) was also revealed the same day, summarizing 82 comments from the French public concerning ICOs and their regulatory fate.

According to the agency, “a large majority of respondents expressed support for setting up an appropriate legal framework for this new type of fundraising.” Respondents were “digital economy players, individuals, finance professionals, market infrastructures, academics and law firms.”

France Cracks Down on Bitcoin Derivatives

The AMF offered three options for consideration going forward: “Promote a best practice guide without changing existing legislation (option 1); Extend the scope of existing texts to treat ICOs as public offerings of securities (option 2); Propose new legislation adapted to ICOs (option 3).” Of those, option 3 received 66% approval.  

“Respondents unanimously consider that an information document is necessary to inform buyers of tokens,” and should include project specifics, rights, distribution scheme, along with identifying the project’s heads and team. “Finally, the vast majority of respondents favour the establishment of rules making it possible to ensure the escrow of funds raised, and the setting up of a mechanism to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing,” the release concluded.

In response to the respondents, AMF officials have vowed to “continue work” on the prospect of regulating ICOs.

Is France overreacting? Let us know in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, AMF.


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California Bill Aims to Recognize Blockchain Records

California Bill Aims to Recognize Blockchain Records

The state of California has introduced a new bill that aims to recognize blockchain transactions, digital signatures, and smart contracts as a legal form of record. Assemblyman Ian Calderon introduced Assembly Bill 2658 on February 20 in order to re-define laws that apply to electronic records that take place within the state.  

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

California State Assembly Person Introduces Blockchain Record Keeping Bill  

California Bill Aims to Recognize Blockchain RecordsAn American lawmaker serving in the California State Assembly in the 57th district, Ian Calderon, wants blockchain records, and smart contracts to be covered under California law. Calderon, a Democrat from the Gateway Cities region, believes these types of records and definitions should be included the California court system. Essentially the bill proposes that records or signatures will not be able to be denied because they are presented in electronic form.

“A record that is secured through blockchain technology is an electronic record,” Assembly Bill 2658 explains.           

A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is an ‘electronic signature’ and also updates the term ‘contract’ to account for smart contracts, or self-executing pieces of code that trigger when certain conditions (like a reaching a particular block number on a blockchain) are met.

Assembly Bill 2658 Will Also Cover Blockchain Storage

California Bill Aims to Recognize Blockchain Records
California’s 57th district democrat, Ian Calderon.

The California State Assembly bill will have to be approved by other state lawmakers alongside Governor Jerry Brown’s signature in order for it to become law. Calderon’s proposal aims to define blockchain storage recorded by blockchain technology as well. However, U.S. agencies can suspend a business licensee that provides electronic records if they failed to comply with certain sections of U.S. money transmission laws.

California’s State Assembly bill is very similar to bills introduced in Arizona, Vermont, and Florida. These three states also have lawmakers proposing new definitions and laws that recognize blockchain transactions, digital signatures, and smart contracts. If Assembly Bill 2658 pushes through California’s legislature and Governor Jerry Brown’s desk then the law will stay in place until January 1, 2021.

What do you think about the proposed bill that’s making its way towards California legislature? Do you think most U.S. states will follow this path? Let us know what you think in the comments below.  


Images via Shutterstock, Ian Calderon’s Assembly office, and the California State Assembly.


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Four Arrested Following Taiwanese Crypto Robbery

Four Arrested Following Taiwanese Crypto Robbery

Taiwanese police have arrested four men after a bitcoin robbery worth five million Taiwanese dollars (approximately $170,000 USD). The case has been described as the first of its kind in Taiwan by authorities.

Also Read: Bungling Bitcoin Thieves Foiled by Quick-Witted Trader 

Taiwanese Trader Loses 18 Bitcoins in Robbery

Four Arrested Following Taiwanese Crypto RobberyA bitcoin trader with the surname of Tai has become the victim of Taiwan’s first crypto robbery.

Taiwanese Police have stated that three men in their early 20s arrange to meet Mr. Tai in the city of Taichung under the pretext that they were wanting to purchase bitcoins from him. Once Mr. Tai had evidenced that he possessed 18 bitcoin using his phone, the assailants assaulted him and his friend, before taking his and phone transferring 18 bitcoins from his wallet. Taiching city police also stated that the suspects forced Mr. Tai to drink Kaoliang, a strong Taiwanese liquor, in an attempt to have the incident dismissed a drunken argument.

The police arrested one man at the scene of the crime after receiving a call about the incident. The official police statement said that “The police saw bloodstains at the scene…after further investigation, it was discovered to be a bitcoin virtual currency robbery,” adding that case comprised “the first domestic case of bitcoin robbery.”

Incidences of Crypto Robberies on Increase

Four Arrested Following First Taiwanese Crypto RobberyThe two other suspected assailants were arrested later, one of whom was found hiding on the outlying island of Kinmen. The fourth individual, surnamed Shih, was later detained and is accused of being the mastermind behind the robbery.

Last month, three men armed with handguns attempted to rob the office of an Ottawa-based bitcoin exchange, Canadian Bitcoins. Four employees were bound, however an unseen fifth employee was able to contact police, who were able to thwart the robbery. A Russian man holidaying in Phuket, Thailand was also the victim of a crypto robbery last month, after being blindfolded and forced to transfer approximately $100,000 worth of bitcoin to his assailants.

As a cryptocurrency investor, what security precautions do you take? Share your strategies in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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Venezuela Orders Government Services to Accept Any Cryptocurrency

Venezuela Orders Government Services to Accept Any Cryptocurrency

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has ordered the country’s consular services, as well as several other services and gas stations, to accept any cryptocurrency including the nation’s own petro. In addition, he has announced the launch of another cryptocurrency, this time backed with gold.

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

Maduro’s Orders

Maduro has ordered various government services to accept any cryptocurrency including the petro, Venezuela’s oil-backed currency which began its private pre-sale on February 20. This announcement was broadcasted nationwide from the Miraflores Palace and also reported on the website of the Superintendency of Cryptocurrencies. The president said:

I order the payment of consular services in all embassies and consulates of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the world, [and] all consular services in the country, in the petro currency or in any cryptocurrency.

Maduro Orders Government Services to Accept Any CryptocurrencyMaduro also announced that “the National Association of Airlines will be able to pay in petro or in any cryptocurrency [for] the fuel and the services associated to the airlines in the rendering of their services in Venezuela.”

Furthermore, he ordered “a manual be established for the payment of tourist services in the country through the Venezuelan cryptocurrency or any other virtual currency.” According to him, “service providers, hotels, inns, national and international tourist services” asked him for authorization so they can “begin charging in cryptocurrencies and petro.”

Crypto Accepted at Border Gas Stations

Maduro Orders Government Services to Accept Any CryptocurrencyAt the petro launch event, Maduro also revealed, “we are going to establish new international gasoline services at the border.”

He elaborated that his government “will charge in petro [for] all Venezuelan fuel that is sold in the service stations located at the different points of the border of Venezuela and Colombia.” Citing that several service stations are charging in Colombian pesos and bolivars in international prices, he declared that starting on Wednesday:

In the revitalized gasoline services plan to combat the smuggling of gasoline at the border, we will proceed to charge in all cryptocurrencies, especially the petro.

Major State-Owned Companies to Use Petro

Maduro Orders Government Services to Accept Any CryptocurrencyThe Superintendency of Cryptocurrencies confirmed on Wednesday that three state-owned companies “will also make sales and purchases with the petro.” They are the oil and natural gas company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa), its petrochemical subsidiary Pequiven, and the conglomerate Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (Cvg).

Consequently, Maduro explained that “suppliers and creditors of these companies must conduct their commercial transactions of purchase-sale in a percentage of their products and supplies in the petro [starting] from today.”

Furthermore, during a Patria Para Todos (PPT) party event on Wednesday, the Venezuelan president revealed that:

Next week we will launch the petro-gold that will accompany the petro…We already have 36 exchange houses in the world that are working with Venezuela and the petro.

Petro Skeptics

Maduro Orders Government Services to Accept Any CryptocurrencySince the launch of the petro, many skeptics have expressed doubt towards the cryptocurrency. Harry Colvin, director and senior economist at Longview Economics, told CNBC that it is doubtful the petro will be a success, adding that “Venezuela has been known for misappropriation of assets in the past and the central bank has just created hyperinflation so I imagine there’ll be trust and transparency issues.”

Moreover, the Venezuelan National Assembly has already declared the petro illegal ahead of its launch. “If Maduro loses the election in April – or is forced out of power – then petros would probably be made illegitimate,” Colvin noted.

Johns Hopkins professor Steve Hanke, a noted economist and Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute, tweeted on Wednesday:

With Venezuela’s traditional currency failing, why should investors have any faith that the petro will be a stable currency. The petro is just another desperation play by Maduro.

What do you think of Maduro’s plans? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.


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CryptoCurrency Daily Recap 22nd FEB

CryptoCurrency Daily Recap 22nd FEB

Ethereum / Dollar BITFINEX:ETHUSD


Long term view for BTC is bearish . Currently BTC             is trading below 50 MA and also below 100 MA.
BTC             is currently trading at 10107 and holding both support and psychological level at 10000.
Having said that it seems there are still some gas left in BTC             , means BTC             is expected to bounce back again from this level and trade between 10K and 12K for some time before turning back.

BCH looks pretty grim with “death cross” MA 40/MA 80, price at MA 80 level was rejected by market. BCH is currently trading at 1210, 1200 is a strong support level for BCH and also a physiological level.
This level is expected to hold BCH for some time and expect choppy market for BCH for next couple of days with price likely to move between 1200 and 1500 before BCH breaks down 1200.

ETH is currently trading at and above 100MA, above 800, which is also a support level . ETH is expected to hold this level for some time and likely to bounce back from here.

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