This Week in Bitcoin: Hip Hop and You Don’t Stop

This Week in Bitcoin: Hip Hop and You Don’t Stop

For the first time in forever – okay, a month – bitcoin is looking bullish again. Not wreck-a-china-shop bullish, but enough for us to focus on things other than price action. Things like hip-hoppers whose love affair with bitcoin is blossoming. And cult-like altcoin fanatics whose taste for the Kool-Aid is strengthening. Like a glutinous Chinese soup, we’ve got a little bit of everything stirred into This Week in Bitcoin.

Also read: American ATM Network Athena Bitcoin Adds Bitcoin Cash Support

The Rich Get Richer

If there’s one thing the 65% market dip has been good for, it’s helping bitcoin whales get richer still. You speculate, they accumulate, and the gap between the rich and the poor widens. Ridiculous wealth has its downsides though, like fending off increased scrutiny from the taxman. If U.S investors thought they had things bad with the IRS sniffing around on the blockchain, they should spare a thought for their Japanese counterparts, who are stung by capital gains tax on crypto trading profits of as much as 55%.

This Week in Bitcoin: Hip Hop and You Don’t Stop

Hip-hop Heavyweights Re Up On Crypto

Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z are all indirectly invested in crypto thanks to their backing of Robinhood, the trading app which is about to add the option to purchase cryptocurrency. Rappers have the hots for crypto, despite it being the sort of wealth you can’t wear around your neck – not until someone creates a diamond encrusted Ledger at least. Not to forget 50 Cent with his reported bitcoin millions, and Wu Tang Clan, who’ve been repping bitcoin since before crypto was cool, and were sighted at Anarchapulco this week.

Someone else taking a keen interest in bitcoin this week was Ellen Degeneres. Regardless of whether her crypto skit on The Ellen Degeneres Show contributed to bitcoin’s rise is debatable, but it can’t have done any harm. Not everyone has been as kind to bitcoin lately though; Berkshire Hathaway’s vice chairman, Charlie Munger, described it as “Disgusting, detestable, noxious poison” which sounds like the bitcoin slogan we’ve all been waiting for. Can we make this a meme?

This Week in Bitcoin: Hip Hop and You Don’t Stop

Fork On or Fork Off?

More forks are on their way to an increasingly ambivalent community. Litecoin Cash has arrived, and been disowned by Charlie Lee, but is trading on Yobit, where it will likely live out its days. United Bitcoin is definitely happening, and it may be the most controversial fork yet. In comparison, Bitcoin Private – while not without its controversies – looks almost sensible in comparison.

Speaking of forks, the pitchforks were out this week for Andreas Brekken, who had the temerity to write a scathing piece on IOTA. IOTA baiting is all the rage right now, and regardless of whether it’s justified, it’s a sport that Twitter has taken to with aplomb. For so long as the IOTA community remains touchy, haters will prod and poke at them. IOTA is a loose tooth that mischievous bitcoiners can’t resist wobbling.

This Week in Bitcoin: Hip Hop and You Don’t Stop
Arguing with altcoin fanatics is a hazardous pastime.

10 Ways to Lose Your Crypto

As the saying goes “A fool and his money are easily parted”. While investing in Ponzi schemes falls firmly into the foolish category, it’s also possible to lose your crypto without doing a thing wrong. Sergey Medvedev probably did do a few things wrong to amass his $800 million bitcoin fortune, and duly parted with it once U.S. agents orchestrated his Thai arrest on carding charges. If you lost your crypto due to bad code, on the other hand, that’s not your fault, even if that’s of little consolation.

On the topic of code, despite bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies being open source, some developers are reluctant to share their blockchain innovations with the masses, preferring to protect them under patent law. Turns out there’s been a whole lotta cryptocurrency patents filed in the last 18 months, most of which seem to have come courtesy of Craig Wright – according to Craig Wright.

These might look like identical patents filed by Wright’s company on the same date under the same name, but each one is totally unique.

This Week in Bitcoin: Hip Hop and You Don’t Stop
Meet Etherlambos, the latest Crypto Kitties copycat.

This is the part where we acknowledge that we’ve ran out of space and time to cover the rest of this week’s top stories, so here goes: we’ve ran out of space and time to cover the rest of this week’s top stories. Which is a shame cos it would have been nice to talk about the Russian engineers arrested for mining crypto on a government supercomputer, blockchain trading game Etherlambos, and why you can’t judge a coin by its market cap. Catch more insights and entertainment in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with Matt Aaron. See you next week for more sensible chuckles from the disgusting, detestable, noxious, poisonous world of bitcoin.

What was your favorite story from this week in bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.


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The post This Week in Bitcoin: Hip Hop and You Don’t Stop appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bangkok Bank, SCB, Krungsri, and Bank of Thailand.


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The post Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Cryptocurrency Activities appeared first on Bitcoin News.

FBI Claims Arrested Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Medvedev Worth $800M+ in BTC

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in Thailand

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has claimed that Sergey Sergeyvich Medvedev, a Russian national recently arrested in Bangkok, was the co-founder and second in command of the Infraud group – a notorious international cyber crime syndicate. It has been reported that at the time of his arrest, Mr. Medvedev was in possession of more than 100,000 bitcoins.

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

Accused Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Arrested in Thailand

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in Thailand
Sergey Medvedev arrested by Thai police

Sergey Sergeyvich Medvedev is accused of being the co-founder and second in command of the transnational crime syndicate, Infraud. The dark-web marketplace associated with the group was seized and taken offline by U.S. authorities.

Mr. Medvedev, a Russian national, fled to Thailand six years ago. Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) identified the thirty-one-year-old as being located in Bangkok following an investigation prompted by American requests for cooperation with the FBI.

Maj. Nathapol Ratanamongkolsak of the CSD stated that “The United States […] requested assistance from Thai police, and the police commissioner ordered the Crime Suppression Division to work on this case in late 2017.”

Mr. Medvedev in Possession of Over 100,000 Bitcoins

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in ThailandMr. Medvedev was arrested during a raid on his apartment in the Sukhumvit area, conducted by 30 CSD officers. The CSD officers seized numerous documents and a notebook computer from Mr. Medvedev.

CSD investigators have claimed that Mr. Medvedev was trading illegal products online in exchange for bitcoin. Thai media outlet, Bangkok Post, has reported that “judging by the evidence obtained during the Feb 2 raid, [Mr. Medvedev] had more than 100,000 bitcoin[s]” – at the time valued at approximately $800 – $900 million USD.

Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief, Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak, has confirmed that the raid took place. However, the CIB chief has declined to issue further details regarding the operation, stating that such is an international police matter and that more information will be made public soon.

FBI Cracks Down on Infraud

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in ThailandIt is alleged that Infraud was created during 2001 by Mr. Medvedev in partnership with Svyatoslav Bondarenko in Ukraine. Infraud has been described as a major hub for credit card fraud, with Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki stating that the site was “the premier one-stop shop for cybercriminals worldwide.”

Reports have indicated that similar operations designed to arrest 18 members of Infraud have been carried out in over a dozen different countries – expanding on prior efforts by the FBI to crack down on Infraud, which have previously seen the arrest of 32 individuals suspected of criminal involvement with the group.

Maj. Nattapol Rattanamongkol stated “This is an operation by the [US] Department of Homeland Security that involves spontaneous [raids] in 14 countries.”

What is your reaction to the arrest of Mr. Medvedev? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Khao Sod


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Thai Government Cannot Stop Crypto Use – Regulatory Framework Expected in a Month

Thai Government Cannot Stop Crypto Use - Regulatory Framework Expected in a Month

Thailand’s financial agencies have agreed that regulators cannot stop the use of cryptocurrencies within the country. The relevant ministries will meet and discuss the regulatory framework for digital currencies and initial coin offerings, which is expected to be finalized within a month.

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

Can’t Stop Crypto – Forced to Regulate

Thailand’s Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said on Thursday that “The government will not ban cryptocurrency trading,” the Bangkok Post reported, adding that “A regulatory framework to govern digital currencies will become clearer within a month.” At the “Thailand Takeoff 2018” seminar, he emphasized:

After a recent discussion, related agencies agreed that regulators cannot stop the use of virtual currencies but will have to regulate and control them in an appropriate manner.

Thai Government Cannot Stop Crypto Use - Regulatory Framework Expected in a MonthThe Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (TSEC), the Ministry of Finance, the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Office, and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) will soon meet to discuss this matter in detail, according to Thai Rath.

In addition, “Mr. Apisak said that the best authority to take care of digital currency is the [T]SEC, because the [T]SEC is responsible for the oversight of securities,” the news outlet wrote. The finance minister also indicated that the Bank of Thailand is not the appropriate organization to oversee cryptocurrencies since they are not recognized as legal tender.

The regulators are “currently drafting legislation to oversee and regulate the use of digital currency, [which is] expected to be finalized within 1 month,” Channel 7 reported.

Regulating ICOs

Thai Government Cannot Stop Crypto Use - Regulatory Framework Expected in a MonthThe Thai government will also regulate ICOs. The finance minister asserted that if Thailand is to improve its fintech sector, it must be able to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs, Prachachat Turakij details.

Recently, a mobile distributor listed on the Thailand Stock Exchange (SET), Jaymart, announced plans to let its subsidiary, J Ventures, raise funds through an ICO. With a pre-sale in February and the official ICO in March, the company aims to raise 660 million baht (~USD$20.8 million) and will use the funds to “develop a decentralised digital lending platform” using blockchain technology, the Bangkok Post describes.

Finance permanent secretary Somchai Sujjapongse explained that the TSEC is taking responsibility for this matter and is conducting a public hearing on ICOs, the publication noted and quoted him saying:

There is no law governing ICOs, so Jaymart has not done anything wrong – but don’t cheat people.

Do you think the Thai government is taking the right approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Thai SEC.


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