Two Russian Regions to Develop Large Scale Crypto Mining

Russian Regions to Develop Large Scale Crypto Mining

The governors of two Russian regions have indicated their readiness to accommodate large crypto mining facilities. Two of the westernmost subjects of the Federation – Kaliningrad and Leningrad – are willing to welcome miners and want to get involved in “bitcoin production”. Local authorities have expressed intentions to take mining out of garages and scale it up to industrial level. They are now pressing Moscow for regulations.   

Also Read: Russia Ready for Migrant Bitcoin Miners Influx

One Huge Mining Farm

Many are interested in cryptocurrencies in Kaliningrad Oblast, its governor Anton Alihanov said on the sidelines of the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi. In the future, the region may become one huge mining farm, he told RIA Novosti.

“We have a lot of people that show interest [in crypto mining]. But doing everything right is pretty complicated and you don’t want to set the house on fire,” Alihanov said. “That’s why we have a ‘mining hotel’, where guys know how to set up the cooling systems, so that nothing gets burned”, the official added, demonstrating technical knowledge of the subject.

If you are a miner, you’ve come to the right place. We can become one huge mining farm.

Russian Regions to Develop Large Scale Crypto MiningAlihanov also noted that Kaliningrad Oblast has developed a booming greenhouse sector producing tons of strawberries. Greenhouses need heating during colder months and mining hardware produces a lot of heat. Mining farms can actually be built close to the strawberry fields to heat the greenhouses.

Still wary of buying cryptocurrencies, the governor admitted he had some “rich experience” with stock trading in the past. “Stocks, bonds, futures – these are very risky things. I don’t have funds that I am ready to part with at any moment. For now I keep my distance,” Anton Alihanov said. He added, however, that when crypto markets become more stable, he may have a second thought.

Miners to Use a Decommissioned NPP

Other local officials have also announced intentions to conduct mining business in their regions. Authorities in Leningrad Oblast, bordering the federal city of Saint Petersburg, plan to create a tech park for cryptocurrency miners. It will be built on the premises of the nuclear power plant in Sosnovy Bor, governor Alexandr Drozdenko revealed. The Leningrad Atomic Electro-Station (LAES, or LNPP) will be decommissioned in 2020-2021.

Russian Regions to Develop Large Scale Crypto MiningA new power plant will replace the RBMK units at LAES, which now produces about 50% of the region’s electricity. LAES-2 will be equipped with the safer, “post-Fukushima” WWER-1200 reactors. LAES is the largest electricity generating facility in Russia’s northwest.

The economic department of the Leningrad administration and Rosatom have already approved the project to mine cryptos at LAES, Drozdenko told RIA Novosti. “What we need for mining is cheap electrical energy, cooling system and reliable transmission grid. We have all that at the Leningrad NPP,” he said.

Russians are mining in their garages. We want to do it on an industrial scale.

According to the governor, two outstanding issues postpone the realization of the project. “First – we have to wait until the old equipment is removed [after the decommissioning]. Secondly, we need some regulatory framework that would allow us to mine, to produce bitcoin,” Alexandr Drozdenko explained. He added that “serious negotiations” on regulation are underway between his administration and the federal government.

With cheap energy, developed electrical infrastructure and cool climate, Russia has what it takes to accommodate local cryptocurrency miners and welcome foreign investors. Authorities in regions with great potential to develop the sector are impatient and expect new regulations from Moscow as soon as possible.

Do you think the government in Moscow will listen to regional authorities and adopt legislation with incentives for crypto miners? Tell us in the comments section below.


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ICO Craze Lures Australian Investors

ICO Craze Lures Australian Investors

The hype surrounding the profit-potential associated with initial coin offerings (ICOs) is continuing to attract participation from Australian investors. Despite the potential to incur fast losses just as easily as fast profits, many Australians appear to be dabbling with casual cryptocurrency investment.

Also Read: US Regulator Warns Against Pump-and-Dumps and Advises How to Buy Crypto

Australian Investors Seek ICO Exposure

ICO Craze Lures Australian InvestorsInitial Coin Offerings are attracting investment from ordinary Australians, with a recent report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation describing the experiences of many investors actively trading the ICO markets.

Warren Stokes, a 58-year-old casual crypto investor, recounts being introduced to the world of cryptocurrencies when his high school-aged son began receiving postal bags filled with $50 notes in the mail approximately seven years ago. “He explained to me he was on a group on Reddit,” Mr. Stokes said, “1,000 people were joining their computers together to mine, […] honestly, I had no idea what he was talking about.”

Risks Posed to New Investors

ICO Craze Lures Australian InvestorsAlex Saunders, a Youtuber who has covered the cryptocurrency markets since 2012, has indicated that some ICO investors are gaining exposure using borrowed money, stating “I’ve heard people are taking out money on their home loans to get into cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, there are lots of people in this space and this is their first investing experience so they’ve been burnt once or twice and they’re learning that the hard way.”

Forty-year-old Australian, Neil, has invested in roughly nine ICOs so far. Neil attests to having had mixed experiences with initial coin offerings, stating “With the number of scammers out there who have made really high-quality fake websites and fake LinkedIn profiles … it’s actually very difficult to know what’s true and what’s not.” Neil stated his belief that the recent frenzy surrounding ICOs may now be dying down, stating that initial coin offerings now must prove their value as a genuine financial tool.

For Mr. Stokes, many of the losses incurred by new traders are the consequence of the inexperience with the psychology induced by trading. “Some people who don’t know how to ride out a drop have sold out at the bottom,” he said. “There will be a lot of people who will panic and lose their money.”

What is your opinion regarding the present outlook for the recent ICO boom? Do you think the hype is start to plateau? Or are was 2017 just the beginning? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Several States Spearhead Bitcoin Adoption in the U.S.

Several States Spearhead Bitcoin Adoption in the U.S.

U.S. states with positive attitudes have advanced towards bitcoin legalization – a process that a growing number of elected officials consider inevitable, if not desirable. Numerous crypto-friendly bills have been introduced, and some of them have received approval in committees and houses of state legislatures. One wouldn’t necessarily think of states like Arizona, Tennessee, and Wyoming as the backbone of a great nation’s economy. How about… pioneers of its future development?

Also read: US Regulator Warns Against Pump-and-Dumps and Advises How to Buy Crypto

Bitcoin Doesn’t Stink – Arizona Will Take It

For some time now legislators in the Grand Canyon State have been thinking how to facilitate residents receiving incomes and profits in cryptocurrency. If bitcoin is good for ordinary citizens and businesses, it should be good enough for the state coffers, local lawmakers have decided. Last week Arizona got closer to accepting cryptos as legal tender for taxation purposes.

Several bills recognizing coins as currencies have been making their way in the State Legislature, as news.bitcoin.com reported. Two of them, SB1091 and SB1145, were aimed at regulating tax payments with digital currency. The SB1091 draft, sponsored by four Republican lawmakers, was endorsed by the Senate on February 8, with a 16 – 13 vote, after passing the Finance Committee in January. If the bill is adopted by the House, Arizona will become the first U.S. state to accept taxes in cryptocurrency in just a couple of years. The new law states:

A taxpayer may pay their income tax liability using a payment gateway, such as bitcoin, litecoin or any other recognized cryptocurrency, using electronic peer-to-peer systems.

It then clarifies that the Department of Revenue “shall convert cryptocurrency payments to United States Dollars at the prevailing rate after receipt and shall credit the taxpayer’s account with the converted dollar amount actually received, less any fees or costs incurred for conversion”. A similar bill was voted down in New Hampshire two years ago with concerns that the state would have to bear responsibility for converting the cryptos on volatile markets. Its sponsor, NH State Representative Eric Schleien (R), explained that there would be no cost and no risk to the state, as conversion would be automatic.

Several States Spearhead Bitcoin Adoption in the U.S.

Another draft law, HB2601, is expected to regulate crowdfunding through initial coin offerings in Arizona. Its first reading in the House of Representatives is scheduled for June 2, 2018, and the second reading should take place on July 2. It is sponsored by Representative Jeff Weninger (R) who is also among the authors of the tax amendments. Recently, he told Fox that state legislators want to “send a signal to everyone in the United States that Arizona is going to be the place to be for digital currency technology”.

Others Have Taken the Same Road

Tennessee is another state that may soon legalize cryptocurrencies and crypto payments. A proposal to do that has come with a bill that would officially recognize cryptocurrency financial transactions and smart contracts in the state. It would also protect ownership rights of information secured on blockchain networks.

We are not just competing with other states in this space, we are competing with the whole world.

That’s what Tennessee House Representative Jason Powell (D) said after a presentation on blockchain technology last month. The Nashville lawmaker also called for adopting a “meaningful legislation” in the Volunteer State, as reported by The Tennessean. “It is really important to say that Tennessee is supportive of this technology and we want to be a leader in this innovation”, Powell added. Local authorities have already indicated that money transmitter licenses will not be required to trade cryptocurrencies in the state.

Wyoming may also become a crypto-friendly jurisdiction and is already taking steps to Several States Spearhead Bitcoin Adoption in the U.S.improve its attractiveness for startups from the sector. Several drafts have been introduced in the state legislature. Respective committees have passed two of them and they are now ready for the House of Representatives.

According to bill 0070, “a person who develops, sells or facilitates the exchange of an open blockchain token is not subject to specified securities laws”, if the token can be exchanged for goods and services. The legislation exempts exchanges from regulations applicable to brokers and dealers. Exemptions for cryptocurrency traders and transactions are also included in a draft to amend the Money Transmitter Act (0019).

Kansas and New Hampshire are two other states that have passed legislation with crypto-related exempts in their money transmitter regulations. In Texas companies are not licensed when offering custodial exchange services to in-state customers, and Montana has no applicable money transmission laws. Authorities in Nevada have promised to create favorable conditions for startups working with blockchain technologies. Most other states have yet to adopt their regulatory frameworks.

Do you think that positive moves towards legalization in individual states will speed up adoption of cryptocurrencies on federal level in the U.S.? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Japanese Crypto Associations Merging to Restore Trust Across the Industry

Japanese Crypto Associations Merging to Restore Trust Across the Industry

Japan’s two cryptocurrency associations have reportedly decided to merge in order to restore trust in the industry and accelerate self-imposed rules. Once approved by the Japanese financial regulator, the new organization will have the power to set penalties for breaches of self-regulation.

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

Two Crypto Associations Merging

Japan currently has two cryptocurrency industry associations: the Japan Blockchain Association (JBA) and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA). The former is headed by Bitflyer CEO, Yuzo Kano, and has a total of 88 members, while the latter has a total of 154 members, according to Minkabu publication.

Japanese Crypto Associations Merging to Restore Trust Across the IndustryThe two organizations have reportedly been in talks to merge after the hack of one of the country’s largest exchanges, Coincheck, where 58 billion yen worth on the cryptocurrency NEM were stolen. They “are hurried to restore trust in the industry,” Forbes Japan reported.

They “will be integrated to establish a new self-regulating organization,” to focus on areas such as safety management system and compensation of customer assets, the news outlet added. In addition, the new entity will also focus on the reliability of crypto exchanges that have already been approved by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). Currently, there are 16 approved exchanges and 16 under review, including Coincheck.

On Thursday, Nikkei reported:

Two cryptocurrency industry groups in Japan [JBA and JCBA] have agreed to merge in an effort to accelerate the establishment of voluntary regulations and regain public trust in the aftermath of a massive virtual currency heist.

Set to launch on April 1, “The new organization’s chairman will likely be JCBA Chairman Taizen Okuyama, president of Money Partners Group,” the news outlet detailed, adding that Kano is “expected to become the self-regulatory body’s vice chairman.”

Commenting on the news of its merger with the JBA, the JCBA issued a statement on Thursday, stating that no details have been decided at this time.

Accelerating Self-Regulations

Japanese Crypto Associations Merging to Restore Trust Across the IndustryThe new entity will need the approval of the FSA. Under Japan’s revised payment services law which went into effect in April of last year, cryptocurrency operators are allowed to form a self-regulatory organization. They can “set industry rules, conduct investigations on members, and impose punishment,” the Japan Times elaborated.

However, the FSA previously “refused to allow two self-regulatory bodies, urging the industry to create a unified organization by merging the JBA and the JCBA,” Nikkei explained on Thursday, adding that:

Once the new body is approved by the agency, it will gain the power to set penalties for breaches of its self-imposed rules. This should also help address calls by banks and other businesses in the conventional financial industry for virtual currency businesses to establish a robust self-regulatory regime.

Do you think the merger will help the crypto industry gain more of the public’s trust? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Seven UK Companies Form Cryptocurrency Trade Body

Seven Companies Form UK Cryptocurrency Trade Body

Seven major crypto companies operating in the UK have announced the formation an independent cryptocurrency trade body. The group, Crypto UK, has stated that its principal aim is to “improve industry standards and engage policymakers.”

Also Read: Independent Ratings Agency Alerts Investors About Dangers of Tether

Leading Cryptocurrency Companies form Crypto UK Trade Body

Seven Companies Form UK Cryptocurrency Trade BodySeven leading cryptocurrency companies operating the UK have formed an independent trade body tasked with developing self-regulatory standards for the cryptocurrency industry, in addition to “engag[ing] policymakers.”

The members of Crypto UK are Coinbase, Etoro, Cex.io, Blockex, Commerceblock, Coinshares, and Cryptocompare – comprising trading platforms, exchanges, asset managers, merchants, comparison websites, and intermediaries from the cryptocurrency sector.

“Regulation is Imminent”

Seven Companies Form UK Cryptocurrency Trade BodyThe Crypto UK chairman and managing director of Etoro, Iqbal Gandham, described the trade body’s mission as “promot[ing] best practice and to work with government and regulators,” emphasizing his hope that the group can develop “the blueprint for what a future regulatory framework will look like.”

The CEO of Coinbase UK, Zeeshan Feroz, stated that the “fundamental” goal of Crypto UK is to “engag[e] as a single industry with the government,” adding that “Regulation is imminent and that’s a good thing.”

Crypto UK has issued a code of conduct outlining the principles by which its members are expected to adhere. The code of conduct emphasizes the need for members to operate with transparency and in full adherence to UK regulatory requirements, in addition to making practical propositions with regards to the management of customer funds.

Cryptocurrency Sector “Severely Misunderstood” by Regulators

Seven Companies Form UK Cryptocurrency Trade BodyCrypto UK has stated that it seeks to “raise understanding of the sector at a time of significant growth in popularity,” emphasizing the need for pressure to be placed on government “to introduce appropriate regulation to protect consumers and business certainty, [whilst] allowing the sector to flourish in the UK.”

Mr. Gandham described the cryptocurrency industry as being “severely misunderstood” by mainstream institutions. “That’s why Crypto UK has been established,” Mr. Dandham said, “to promote best practice and to work with government and regulators to ensure that the UK benefits from the exciting potential of this international technology.”

What is your response to the formation of Crypto UK? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures Markets

Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures Markets

An increasing number of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency traders are reportedly turning to U.S.-based bitcoin futures. The shift away from domestic markets has been spurred by a perception that the American futures markets receive greater regulatory oversight than Hong Kong’s unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges.

Also Read: Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Cryptocurrency Activities

Demand for Exposure to U.S. Bitcoin Futures Markets Surges Among Hong Kong Traders

Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures MarketsThe chairman of the Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association, Gary Cheung, told South China Morning Post that local futures brokers have reported an increase in trading activity on the American futures markets.

Mr. Cheung described the types of cryptocurrency typical traders seeking to access bitcoin futures markets, stating “There are two types of Hong Kong investors who like to trade US bitcoin futures. There are bitcoin miners and other investors who trade bitcoin and want to use the futures products to hedge. The others are normal futures investors who purely want to take profit created by speculative futures trading.”

Gary Leung, the chief executive officer of TD Ameritrade, also attested to the high demand for exposure to U.S-based bitcoin futures markets among Hong Kong-based customers, stating “We have received a lot of inquiries about bitcoin futures since we started operating in Hong Kong last October when the prices were surging.”

Lack of Regulatory Oversight Deters Investors From Local Exchanges

Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures MarketsDue to bitcoin’s juridical status comprising that of a commodity, cryptocurrency exchanges are not regulated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority – prompting many traders to explore international platforms that are seen to offer greater regulatory oversight than local exchanges.

Benny Mau of China Securities International Finance Holdings outlined the concerns held by many Hong Kong-based traders, stating “Bitcoin and other digital currencies are basically not regulated in Hong Kong because they are traded like commodities. If the digital currency platforms have a problem or are hacked, the investors may suffer losses because the regulators might not do anything for them. This has discouraged many Hong Kong investors from trading digital currencies in Hong Kong.”

“Instead, they’re trading them on the US exchanges, which are regulated. The futures prices may go up and down substantially but investors do not need to think about the counterparty risk or worry about the platforms having a problem. This is why bitcoin futures in the US are more attractive to Hong Kong investors, Mr. Mau added.”

Shifting Market Conditions

Hong Kong Crypto Traders Turn to U.S. Futures MarketsJasper Lo Cho-yan, a senior vice-president at Haitong International, has suggested that shifting market conditions may also be contributing to the perceived migration of Hong Kong traders away from local cryptocurrency exchanges.

“When bitcoin futures were launched last December, the bitcoin price was rising and everyone was optimistic. Now the price has tumbled and speculators may be finding it harder to make money. In addition, many governments are increasing regulation of bitcoin and other digital currencies. This has raised questions about the outlook for the futures products,” Jasper Lo Cho-yan said.

What is your response to the increasing demand for regulated bitcoin futures products among Hong Kong traders? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Japanese Crypto Investors Flee Capital Gains Taxation of up to 55%

Japanese Crypto Investors Flee Capital Gains Taxation of up to 55%

Reports have indicated that some investors are relocating in search of alternative taxation regimes in order to avoid heavy capital gains taxes. Japan currently taxes capital gains on profits derived through virtual currency trading at between 15% and 55%.

Also Read: India’s Tax Department Issues Notices to 100,000 Crypto Investors

Japanese Crypto Traders Prepare for Tax Season

Japanese Crypto Investors Flee Capital Gains Taxation of up to 55%Japan’s cryptocurrency traders are bracing for the oncoming Japanese tax season, which runs from February 16th until March 15.

In Japan, all cryptocurrency earnings are required to be reported as ‘miscellaneous income’, incurring capital gains taxation of between 15% and 55% due to virtual currencies being legally classified as ‘property’.

Some traders have criticized the income brackets chosen by the National Tax Agency, with the top bracket applying to payers with an annual income of 40 million yen (approximately 375,000). By contrast, the top bracket is charged only 20% for income derived from foreign exchange or stock market trading.

Japanese Whales Seek Alternative Tax Jurisdictions

Japanese Crypto Investors Flee Capital Gains Taxation of up to 55%The heavy taxes faced by large-scale bitcoin traders has prompted a number of Japanese cryptocurrency traders to explore relocating to jurisdictions offering more lenient taxation on earnings derived through virtual currencies.

According to Bloomberg, the chief executive of Shiodome Partners Tax Corp, Kengo Maekawa, indicated that “a handful of cryptocurrency-rich investors have already left Japan.” Mr. Maekawa stated that his firm has recently experienced a surge in clients in their 30s and 40s seeking tax advice on income derived from cryptocurrencies.

Some traders have also complained that certain aspects of Japan’s present tax requirements regarding bitcoin are unclear. Hiroyuki Komiya, the manager of a Tokyo-based distributed ledger technology consulting firm, stated that “The government hasn’t clarified certain details, so you’re left unsure whether you’ve got it right or not.” Mr. Komiya stated that he was able to reduce his taxable income by “a few million yen” when using an “overall average” rather than a “moving average” when conducting calculations.

What country do you think offer the best tax regime for cryptocurrency traders? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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U.S. Corporate Customers Barred From Bitfinex’s Margin Markets

U.S. Corporate Customers Barred From Bitfinex’s Margin Markets?

Multiple concerned U.S. corporate customers of Bitfinex have posted on Reddit after discovering that they were unable to access the exchange’s margin trading services. Although Bitfinex has previously indicated that it would no longer allow U.S individuals to access the exchange’s services, Bitfinex’s support portal currently states that the restrictions do not affect U.S. corporate customers.

Also Read: U.S. Regulators Send Tether and Bitfinex Subpoenas

Bitfinex Restricts U.S. Corporate Account Holders From Accessing Margin Markets

U.S. Corporate Customers Barred From Bitfinex’s Margin Markets?In recent days, several Redditors claiming to be U.S.-based corporate customers of Bitfinex have complained that they have suddenly found themselves unable to access the exchange’s margin services.

Last year, Bitfinex announced that it would terminate its services to U.S. retail customers in November. However, the company assured corporate customers that “the restriction affects individuals accounts only” – as currently stated by the FAQ section of Bitfinex’s support portal.

Margin Traders Left Unable to Close Positions

U.S. Corporate Customers Barred From Bitfinex’s Margin Markets?One Redditor posted “We’ve had a corporate account with Bitfinex since early 2017 and [are] approved for both exchange, margin, and funding. […] We’ve been making 6-figure trades on margin and currently have 2 margin positions open. On Feb 7th, […] we were locked out of margin trading. No explanation or warning of why our account can’t trade on margin. Worst yet, we can’t manage our margin positions. Not good in this very volatile market. We’ve received a couple of liquidation warning emails as the market dived down yesterday. We sent a support ticket […] and probably over 7 emails. No response from Bitfinex. It appears that they haven’t even opened any of the emails.”

Later that day, a Bitfinex representative called “bill_bfx” contacted the Redditor, stating that the issue had been “forwarded to the team to resolve for you.” Bill_bfx stated that “a US corporate customer […] should not be using margin trading,” however, noted that “if you have open positions it is not acceptable to block you from closing them.”

The Redditor acknowledged the response and stated he would update the thread if his issue was resolved. As of this writing, no indication has been made that the situation has been resolved, despite bill_bfx responding to the Redditor four days ago.

Corporate Customers Seemingly Caught Unaware

U.S. Corporate Customers Barred From Bitfinex’s Margin Markets?Another Redditor posted “I’ve been lending on Bitfinex for a while. Earlier today, the API responded that US users are no longer allowed to take or lend any currency denomination […] I understand that US retail customers cannot use it but I believe the policy did not apply to corporate customers. Has there been a recent change in policy? Will it be permanent or is this a temporary measure?”

As of this writing, the second Redditor has not received a response from Bitfinex, despite directly questioning bill_bfx about the matter on a different thread. Though Bill_bfx did not respond to the Redditor’s query, however, a day later, Bill_bfx did find time to post a sarcastic response to a trollish comment on the same thread.

Do you think that more exchanges will move to restrict access from U.S. customers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Cryptocurrency Activities

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency Activities

The Thai central bank has prohibited financial institutions in the country from five key cryptocurrency activities, including banning customers from buying cryptocurrencies with credit cards.

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

Banks Banned From 5 Crypto Activities

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency ActivitiesThe Bank of Thailand (BOT) issued a circular on Monday asking “financial institutions not to get involved in cryptocurrency transactions for fear of possible problems from the unregulated trading,” Reuters translated.

Mr. Wisit Santiprabop, the central bank’s governor, signed the circular which outlines five key cryptocurrency activities banks are banned from:

Investing or trading in cryptocurrency, exchanging cryptocurrencies, creating platforms for cryptocurrency trading, allowing clients to use credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies, and from advising customers on cryptocurrency investing or trading.

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency Activities
Circular explaining five crypto activities banks are banned from.

The central bank stated that “cryptocurrencies were not legal tender in Thailand,” the publication conveyed, adding that “it was worried that they may be used in illegal activities such as money laundering or supporting terrorism.”

Recently, the Thai government announced that it will not ban cryptocurrencies and is developing a regulatory framework for them.

Banks Complying

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency ActivitiesMs. Prasanee Auiyamaphan, a Bangkok Bank Executive Assistant, was quoted by Voice TV saying that the bank has “no policy to provide [crypto] exchange services,” emphasizing that cryptocurrencies cannot be exchanged for cash at her bank.

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency ActivitiesMr. Thana Thienachariya, Senior Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer at Siam Commercial Bank said that its subsidiary, Digital Ventures Co. Ltd., has previously formed a strategic alliance with Ripple to offer a payment service between Japan and Thailand. He added that his bank will be discussing this issue with the central bank.

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency ActivitiesMr. Thakorn Piyapan, Head of Krungsri Consumer Group and an executive of Digital Banking and Innovation at Bank of Ayudhya said, “although the bank will use the transfer service across the country through Ripple,” it is cooperating with the BOT and “does not provide any [cryptocurrency] services at all.”

He explained that there are some areas that banks need to examine before being able to comply. For example, to prevent customers from buying cryptocurrencies using credit cards, he elaborated:

In Thailand, people are buying digital currency. So the bank is asking for time to check the type of transactions that customers [make when they] swipe cards that are associated with digital currency. If applicable, the bank may have to suspend the service.

Recently, banks in the US and well as the UK have also banned their credit card customers from buying cryptocurrencies.

As for cryptocurrency traders, Poramin Insom, managing director of the Thai crypto exchange TDAX, said that “there is no impact on people who are investors of cryptocurrencies,” the news outlet quoted him. However, he explained, “TDAX is affected by this announcement, which makes the process of opening an account with the bank take longer. Bank of Thailand requests more documents.”

What do you think of the Bank of Thailand’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.


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