Dubai Issues License to Cryptocurrency Firm

Dubai Issues License to Cryptocurrency Firm

The largest free economic zone in the UAE, with zero percent personal and corporate income tax, has started issuing licenses to firms trading cryptocurrencies. The first license has been issued to a gold trader that has recently started offering cryptocurrency services.

Also read: Japan Cracks Down on Foreign ICO Agency Operating Without License

Attracting Crypto Businesses

UAE’s Largest Free Economic Zone Issues License to Cryptocurrency FirmThe Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is a government entity established in 2002 to enhance commodity trade flows through Dubai. DMCC Free Zone is the largest and fastest growing free economic zone in the UAE.

“We perform a range of roles which continue to position Dubai as the preferred destination for global commodities trade and DMCC as the world’s No.1 Free Zone,” offering zero percent personal and corporate income tax, the center’s website states. Today, more than 14,100 multinational corporations and startups call DMCC home, with almost 90,000 people living and working there.

UAE’s Largest Free Economic Zone Issues License to Cryptocurrency FirmThe Centre has started issuing licenses to allow firms trading in cryptocurrencies to operate from its free zone, Thomson Reuters Zawya reported on Monday.

DMCC’s executive director for commodities, Sanjeev Dutta, told the publication that the Centre is “beginning to facilitate” a market in cryptocurrencies which, he acknowledged, is unregulated. Citing that firms looking to set up in the zone would be considered on a “case-by-case” basis, he elaborated:

To me, what is important is the fact that you are still evaluating it as part of your innovation strategy. You are not saying ‘no’ to something. You are not saying ‘yes’ either, but you are exploring, so you are clearly ahead of the others when the time to make a decision comes.

Cryptocurrencies as Commodities

DMCC is a member of the Global Blockchain Council, which began as a Dubai Smart City project and has 46 member organizations globally today. The Centre’s director of innovation hub, Franco Bosoni, said that a global consensus is emerging which favors classifying cryptocurrencies as commodities, the news outlet detailed and quoted him explaining:

DMCC’s view is that these [cryptocurrencies] meet the test of a commodity. They’re priced based on supply and demand, produced and sold globally at a uniform quality and (are) indistinguishable between products.

Wai Lum Kwok, head of capital markets for Abu Dhabi Global Markets Regulatory Authority, told the publication on Sunday that the regulator is “reviewing and considering the development of a robust, risk-appropriate regulatory framework” for crypto exchanges and intermediaries. Emphasizing that no timeframe has been set, he added:

As we develop our framework, we will also want to check in and have the conversations with, for example, US regulators, Japanese regulators and so on and so forth, so that there is some alignment of approach to avoid any regulatory arbitrage.

First License Issued

UAE’s Largest Free Economic Zone Issues License to Cryptocurrency FirmThe first license for the Free Zone reportedly went to Regal Assets, a gold trader and storage provider with offices in the US, Canada, and the UAE. The company added cryptocurrencies to its product line at the end of last year, offering brokerage services and an insured, high-security cold storage service for bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, ripple, and dash.

According to Bloomberg, “Dubai gold trader Regal RA DMCC is the first company in the Middle East to get a license to trade cryptocurrencies.” The news outlet quoted DMCC acknowledging in a statement, “The company will offer storage of bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies in a vault located in DMCC headquarters in Almas Tower in Dubai.”

DMCC Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem was quoted by the publication, “At the heart of DMCC’s long-term strategic growth plan is the use of technology and innovation to disrupt and connect new markets, industries and customers,” adding that “the announcement today embodies this approach.”

Do you think more crypto companies will move to this free economic zone? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and DMCC.


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Japan’s DMM Launches Large-Scale Cryptocurrency Mining Farm and Showroom

Japan's DMM Launches Large-Scale Domestic Mining Farm and Showroom

Japanese entertainment giant DMM has launched its “large-scale Japan-quality” mining farm, with a plan to deploy more farms overseas. DMM is also launching a showroom, allowing the public to tour its mining farm, as well as a mining pool.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

DMM’s Mining Farm in Japan

DMM Inc, the operator of popular e-commerce site DMM.com with 27 million members, announced on Friday the launch of its mining farm in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. The company stated:

DMM operates large-scale ‘Japan-quality’ mining farms that are unparalleled in scale compared to other domestic operators…By establishing a mining farm in the cold district, we realize low price electricity procurement and maximize mining revenue.

Japan's DMM Launches Large-Scale Domestic Mining Farm and Showroom
DMM’s mining farm in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.

Japan's DMM Launches Large-Scale Domestic Mining Farm and ShowroomIn addition, the company revealed that its mining farm “has also been turned into an open showroom for our customers to access.” The showroom will display 1,000 mining rigs. “We are aiming to open this showroom from the beginning of March,” DMM wrote, adding that “we plan to start acceptance from the middle of March for tours for the general public.”

Following the launch in Japan, the company plans to deploy additional mining farms overseas. “By starting domestically, DMM’s engineering team is directly involved in the operation to secure quality and win the trust of domestic users,” Fuji Television Network described.

DMM’s Mining Rigs

DMM has installed in its mining farm both types of mining rigs, ASIC and GPU, allowing the company to mine many different types of cryptocurrencies. DMM’s “ASIC machines purchased [were] made in China,” the TV station noted. “The ASIC machines are 650 MH/s (mega hash/sec), and the GPU machines are about 300 MH/s or less.”

Japan's DMM Launches Large-Scale Domestic Mining Farm and Showroom
DMM’s ASIC and GPU mining rigs.

The news outlet further noted that “the power consumption is 750W for ASIC and 1900 to 2000W for GPU,” adding that the GPU mining rigs have twelve GPU cards connected to two power supplies.

Japan's DMM Launches Large-Scale Domestic Mining Farm and Showroom
DMM’s GPU mining rig with 12 GPU cards and 2 power supplies. (Photo\Fuji TV Network)

DMM says it will mine several types of coins, including bitcoin, ether, and litecoin. “We are not particular about bitcoins,” the leader of the DMM mining laboratory Shinichi Takaguchi told Fuji TV, but emphasized that “Of course we are also mining bitcoins” alongside other coins. Depending on the market environment, he reiterated that the lab will mine all the cryptocurrencies that are most profitable at the time, adding that:

In the future, we plan to start managing our own DMM [mining] pool, and plan to develop cloud mining that allows general users to purchase mining rights around summer.

DMM has also recently launched its own cryptocurrency exchange, supporting 7 different cryptocurrencies and 14 trading pairs, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

What do you think of DMM’s mining farm? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Fuji TV Network, and DMM.


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New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposits

New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposits

A number of new cryptocurrency exchanges are launching in South Korea despite being unable to provide full service due to regulatory challenges. Since the Korean government enforced the real-name system on cryptocurrency accounts, banks have only been providing fiat deposit services to the country’s four largest crypto exchanges.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Exchanges Undeterred by Regulations

New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposits
South Korean regulator talking about the real-name system.

A number of new cryptocurrency exchanges are opening in South Korea despite regulatory uncertainty and the inability to accept fiat deposits. The challenge comes from the new system, enforced on January 30, which requires cryptocurrency traders to use real-name accounts to deposit money for trading at crypto exchanges.

While six major banks have the ability to service cryptocurrency accounts, they “have been converting only existing virtual accounts to real-name accounts for four large cryptocurrency exchanges” – Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone, and Korbit. The Investor elaborated:

The banks have also been refusing to issue new real-name accounts for other cryptocurrency exchanges, citing uncertainties and security concerns.

Zeniex

New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposit ServiceNew crypto exchange Zeniex announced last week that it will begin service on February 12. The company explained that its launch “has been delayed by a month due to the latest regulations designed by the Korean government to cool the overheated cryptocurrency market,” the news outlet reported. Initially, the exchange will support bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, ethereum classic, litecoin, quantum, eos, bytom, and 0x.

Zeniex CEO Choi Kyung-joon was quoted detailing:

It’s currently difficult to provide our complete services due to delays in issuing real-name bank accounts for trading…Despite these circumstances, we have decided to go ahead with the launch to service our customers who have been waiting for our opening.

With the bank account problem, traders “can only buy and sell cryptocurrencies with bitcoins because major banks are putting off confirming and issuing real-name bank accounts,” the publication added.

Dexko

New Crypto Exchanges Launch in South Korea Despite Lack of Fiat Deposit ServiceAnother crypto exchange named Dexko announced on Friday that it will start accepting pre-registration of users with the aim to launch its cryptocurrency exchange on March 15, the Investor also reported. Initially, the exchange will support 10 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and ripple. Pre-registration runs from February 5 to 25, according to the company’s website.

The firm will exempt trading fees for a month for pre-registered users at launch, the news outlet detailed. Kim Yong-ho, the CEO of Korea Digital Exchange which operates the exchange, commented:

We worked hard to remove defects and minimize customer inconvenience by conducting in-depth analysis on other exchanges…Dexko has completed all the legal and systematic requirements and is preparing to introduce won-based trading soon.

Chinese Exchanges

Two Chinese exchanges are also planning to enter the South Korean market. Earlier this month, Okcoin reportedly reached a final investment agreement with South Korean game company NHN Entertainment Corp, which was previously part of Naver. “Under the agreement, Okcoin will provide its own trading system and NHN Entertainment will operate a domestic server and respond to customers,” Business Korea described. The company plans to trade more than 60 cryptocurrencies against the Korean won.

Huobi is also planning to enter the Korean market in the first quarter of this year, the publication noted. Before the Chinese government closed down all cryptocurrency trading last year, the two exchanges were among the very largest in the world as measured by volume.

What do you think of these new crypto exchanges launching in Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, IHS, Zeniex, and Dexko.


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Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover

Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover

Myetherwallet, the web’s most popular client-side ethereum interface, has announced a surprise rebrand. The service will henceforth be known as Mycrypto following an acrimonious split. The sudden move took one half of the Myetherwallet team by surprise, who claims the “Twitter handle was changed without knowledge or permission of MEW’s founder”. It has also emerged that a lawsuit was filed in December, with one party alleging that the other failed to allow them to inspect the company’s books. It now looks like there will be two competing brands moving forward, Myetherwallet and Mycrypto.

Also read: Bitcoin Couture Makes Its Debut at New York Fashion Week

Myetherwallet Hard Forks

Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover
Mycrypto’s Taylor Monahan

On Thursday evening, the Myetherwallet Twitter account announced to its 77,000 followers that it had rebranded as Mycrypto and had a new Twitter handle to match. There was just one problem: founder Taylor Monahan doesn’t seem to have told her co-founder Kosala. The revelation sparked a Twitter spat and overshadowed what had initially looked like a slick rebrand. The first ethereum wallet with a proper interface, MEW, as it’s affectionately known, has been around since 2015.

Its users witnessed the DAO hack and subsequent hard fork of the ethereum blockchain to create two versions of the coin: ETH and ETC. Now, MEW has undergone its own hard fork that’s set to be every bit as contentious as the one that came in the wake of the DAO. In a blog post, Taylor explained the reasons behind the rebrand – but conveniently forgot to mention that she had done so without the consensus of her founding partner, and had nabbed the Twitter account into the bargain. In December, Kosala filed a lawsuit in California after Taylor allegedly refused to let him inspect MEW’s books.

Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover

Headed “A New Beginning”, the post begins: “This is the story of Myetherwallet, and how this has led us down the path to Mycrypto. It is long because I hope it gives you insight into who we were, who we are, and who we aim to be in 2018 and beyond.” The article then delves into MEW’s humble beginnings in 2015 when it was created by Taylor and Kosala. She explains: “It was a simple interface that provided a simple solution to a problem: when Ethereum first launched, the only way to send your Ether was via command line.”

Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover

The ICO Years

Myetherwallet started out as little more than a hobby, but by 2017, amidst peak ICO mania, had become the hub around which the entire ethereum community revolved. Taylor recalls:

When the price skyrocketed, ICOs and noobs came zooming in on the promise of getting rich. We suddenly had a real user base and real servers that we had to learn to scale. The phishing sites appeared and the work and expertise to be secure in this space climbed steadily. Our daily messages doubled, and then doubled again… and again… and again.

She confesses that the toll of answering support tickets until long into the night took its toll. “My husband..cooked dinner each evening, and carried me to bed at 4am… then 5am… then 7am when I fell asleep typing at the computer. I consistently chose “trying to help one more person” over “a few more moments of sleep”. And there was “always one more person.”

Mighty Wallets From Tiny Acorns Grow

Moving to the present day, Taylor explains: “This adventure needed to transform from ‘fun side project’ to ‘a real company’ …and fast.” As of today, ethereum users can get their ethereum fix from Mycrypto.com which operates just like Myetherwallet.com. “Myetherwallet will continue to be online until it, for whatever reason, is not online,” writes Taylor, hinting at the fact that the rebrand may not have been a unanimous decision.

It is evident that a rift had developed between MEW’s founders, who had once been so tight, for Taylor writes: “I was terrified — am terrified — at the potential harm this change will have on myself, the team, and/or the Ethereum community but ultimately, the risks created by continuing down the road we were on are greater than the risks of splitting to a new brand, new company, new name, and new domain.”

Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover
MEW’s Kosala

Within minutes of tweeting news of the rebrand, Kosala hit back via a new MEW Twitter account, writing: “Myetherwallet is safe and functioning normally. You may continue to use Myetherwallet as you normally would, your wallets have not been compromised. At present, we are dealing with  what we believe to be an unlawful, social media account switch. We are addressing the situation presently and @kvhnuke_ will provide updates as they come available”. He has since provided a full statement confirming the split.

The Ethereum community are accustomed to dealing with splits, but the forking of Myetherwallet seems to have caught everyone unawares.

Which wallet will you be using to send ethereum – MEW or Mycrypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Mycrypto.com.


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Hong Kong Cracks Down on Securities Tokens – 7 Crypto Exchanges Targeted

Hong Kong Cracks Down on Securities Tokens - 7 Exchanges Targeted

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has sent letters to seven cryptocurrency exchanges regarding their listings of securities tokens without a license. Most of the exchanges took immediate rectification measures, including removing problematic cryptocurrencies from their platforms.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Hong Kong Takes Action

Hong Kong Cracks Down on Securities Tokens - 7 Crypto Exchanges TargetedThe Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced on Friday that it “has taken regulatory action against a number of cryptocurrency exchanges and issuers of ICOs.”

The agency sent letters to seven cryptocurrency exchanges in Hong Kong or in connection with Hong Kong, warning “them that they should not trade cryptocurrencies which are ‘securities’ as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) without a licence.”

This regulatory action follows the FSC’s warning last September that digital tokens may be considered securities as defined by the SFO, “and subject to the securities laws of Hong Kong.”

The Commission revealed that after receiving its letters:

Most of these cryptocurrency exchanges either confirmed that they did not provide trading services for such cryptocurrencies or took immediate rectification measures, including removing relevant cryptocurrencies from their platforms.

Hong Kong Cracks Down on Securities Tokens - 7 Crypto Exchanges TargetedIn addition, the FSC stated that it has also written to seven initial coin offering (ICO) issuers. “Most of them confirmed compliance with the SFC’s regulatory regime or immediately ceased to offer tokens to Hong Kong investors,” the agency confirmed, adding that it will “continue to closely monitor ICOs, and will not tolerate any violations of the securities laws of Hong Kong.”

Furthermore, the Commission said it “may take further action where appropriate,” against any crypto exchanges which disregard the SFO provisions as well as repeat offenders.

Warnings and Complaints

The SFC has warned investors of the risks associated with cryptocurrency and ICO investing several times. Following a warning in September, the agency issued a circular in December cautioning investors of the risks associated with bitcoin futures contracts and other crypto investments.

Hong Kong Cracks Down on Securities Tokens - 7 Crypto Exchanges TargetedIn Friday’s announcement, the Commission noted that it has received complaints from investors about not being able to withdraw fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies from their accounts at crypto exchanges. “Some complainants claimed that cryptocurrency exchanges had misappropriated their assets or manipulated the market, or that technical breakdowns of the exchanges’ platforms caused them significant losses,” the agency detailed. “Several complaints against ICO issuers alleged unlicensed or fraudulent activities.”

The CEO of the FSC, Ashley Alder, commented:

We will continue to police the market and enforce when necessary…But we are also urging market professionals to do proper gatekeeping to prevent fraud or dubious fundraising and to assist us in ensuring compliance with the law.

Earlier this week, the Chinese authorities decided to ban foreign cryptocurrency exchanges. “Unlike the mainland, Hong Kong allows unregulated trading of digital tokens as long as the products changing hands are not in a format that would fall under the SFC’s jurisdiction,” South China Morning Post describes.

The FSC’s action also coincides with the Hong Kong-based crypto exchange Binance suspending trading on Thursday. The company denied that it has been hacked and its CEO subsequently tweeted explaining that the downtime is due to a “server issue on our replica database cluster, causing some data to be out of sync.”

What do you think of the Hong Kong SFC’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Hong Kong SFC.


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