Connect with us

Crypto Analysis

Is Russia on Its Way to Adopting Its Own State-Backed CryptoRuble?

Published

on

Spread the love

Russia may be on the way to adopting its own central bank digital currency, according to Anatoly Aksakov, chair of the State Duma’s Financial Market Committee.

The Russian Parliament is studying three bills, introduced in March, to regulate smart contracts, digital currencies, cryptocurrency mining, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Now it seems that legislators also have a state-backed cryptocurrency in mind.

Russia to Approve Regulatory Framework on Cryptocurrencies and ICOs By Year End

The Financial Market Committee of the Russian Parliament has discussed the launch of the digital ruble, an encrypted form of the country’s fiat currency, in order to better integrate the cryptocurrency market, Aksakov told RIA Novosti.

“This is the same ruble, just in encrypted form, and it tracks the money turnover between the blockchain participants … The information system can place tokens, digital rights to raise funds for projects. All rights are taken into account in the information platform. This resource allows you to exchange money for crypto money. For example, you bring 100 thousand rubles to a bank and get 100 thousand crypto rubles, one to one for fiat money. You use these funds to buy goods fixed in the blockchain.”

Aksakov expects blockchain to eventually represent a significant portion of Russia’s economy, which then will raise the need for a CryptoRuble that enables the trade and economic processes in the country. The member of the State Duma believes the Bank of Russia should regulate the whole process of launching the Russian ruble in the form of cryptocurrency. The central bank, however has been cautious about the issue.

Related Reading: “Cryptocurrency Is Not Money,” Says Russia

For now, cryptocurrencies are not an authorized means of payment in Russia. Elvira Nabiullina, President of the Central Bank of Russia, called Bitcoin “quasi-money.” The central bank does not allow cryptocurrencies to be exchanged for rubles, currency or other property.

The State Duma has introduced three draft bills on cryptocurrencies and digital tokens in which they are considered assets, but won’t be able to pay for goods and services in Russia. Regulation on ICOs may limit the investment of non-accredited investors to 50,000 rubles (approximately $900) at the most. Aksakov said the Parliament plans to approve the regulatory framework on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings by the end of 2018, but the crypto-ruble is not in it.

“This is not in the bill, it’s my fantasy of what I suppose will be in the future. So far there is no request. While we are creating first of all the legal possibilities for holding an ICO within the Russian jurisdiction and provide for the protection of investors’ rights, the rules of operators, the requirements for them and the information system. First, we create the infrastructure, then the infrastructure may require cryptocurrency.”

Although the Bank of Russia considers cryptocurrencies as “quasi-money”, the central bank has tested an ICO technology on its central bank’s regulatory platform in order to conduct the first transaction involving tokenized assets.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

The post Is Russia on Its Way to Adopting Its Own State-Backed CryptoRuble? appeared first on NewsBTC.

Continue Reading

Crypto Analysis

Twitter on the Defensive, Blames Third-Party App for Recent Scams

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Twitter is pointing the finger at an unnamed third-party app as the party responsible for a string of cryptocurrency giveaway scams in recent weeks involving some major brands.

Throughout the year, the popular social media platform Twitter has been in a losing battle against a massive botnet and cybercriminals who are hijacking prominent, verified accounts and using them to steal cryptocurrencies from their user base. 

Despite the problem being a lingering one, in recent weeks, the frequency of the scheme had appeared to escalate significantly, hitting a total of four big name brands and resulting in thousands of dollars in stolen cryptocurrency.

The scammers first targeted a British fashion brand and the United Kingdom arm of a French film studio, and shortly after set their sights on U.S. retail giant Target, and search engine powerhouse Google, via their G Suite brand account. The accounts were used to tweet promoting a cryptocurrency giveaway scam, and the tweets were promoted via the platforms paid advertising system. 

Over $185,000 in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum were stolen from Twitter users as a result.

Shortly after Target was hacked, Twitter claimed it had implemented some security measures aimed at preventing the frequency of the scheme that have long been plaguing the social media platform. Not even hours later, Google’s G Suite account was hacked, suggesting more might be at play.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Beats Twitter: Square Market Cap Reaches $30 Billion

Target had initially apologized to its audience after the retailer’s “Twitter account was inappropriately accessed,” but after blamed it on a third-party app.

Now, Twitter itself is pointing the finger at an unnamed third-party app as the backdoor hackers used to post the tweets promoting the crypto giveaway scam. A spokesperson for Twitter confirmed to Hard Fork that it was a third-party marketing app that was hijacked and used to promote the scam.

Twitter itself was tight-lipped over which app might have been responsible. Major brands often use third-party marketing software, apps, or platforms to help them in their marketing efforts to better reach their target audiences, allow for the scheduling of posts, and to allow for better tracking metrics than what is traditionally offered from platforms like Twitter and Facebook. 

Such examples of social media marketing apps would be Hootsuite, or Buffer.

The social media giant has been on the defensive for much of 2018, and the cryptocurrency scam has taken advantage of thousands of eager investors seeking to make a quick buck.

The issue has become so widespread, that celebrities and cryptocurrency industry icons have begun voicing their concerns, calling for action, and are even adding phrases like “not giving away crypto” to their usernames in an attempt to warn users.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

The post Twitter on the Defensive, Blames Third-Party App for Recent Scams appeared first on NewsBTC.

Continue Reading

Crypto Analysis

Oxfam Officially Launches Blockchain-Based Program That Empowers Farmers

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Oxfam has officially launched their blockchain-based program, called BlocRice, that is aimed at giving farmers significantly more negotiation power and to increase the efficiency of the supply chain by connecting buyers and suppliers directly through their system.

The new program, which has undergone successful trials in Cambodia, has a primary goal of increasing revenues for farmers, who can be severely underpaid, by allowing them to form agricultural cooperatives that operate similarly to labor unions, that ensure that agriculture product prices rise across the board.

Solinn Lim, the country director of Oxfam in Cambodia, spoke about the launch of the BlocRice initiative, explaining that it will promote the use of smart contracts between organic rice farmers and exporters in Cambodia, and buyers in the Netherlands.

“BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers,” Lim explained.

The use of blockchain-based smart contracts will be cohesive between all the parties in the supply chain, and Oxfam has already negotiated and facilitated the use of these products between rice farmers in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province, exporters in Cambodia, and SanoRice, the Dutch rice cracker manufacturer.

Lim added that all the information regarding the sourcing, transportation, and use of the rice, will be shared through a central, blockchain-based, system that will allow for a more cohesive and transparent relationship between all involved parties.

“BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers,” she explained.

Furthermore, BlocRice’s modernization of the rice ecosystem will also introduce cashless payments to farmers, many of which previously did not have bank accounts, using accounts provided by Acleda bank.

Related Reading: Oxfam to Empower Cambodian Rice Farmers with Blockchain

The Positive Benefits of Blockchain on Humanity

Oxfam’s latest initiative provides a perfect example of how blockchain technology can enhance lives by empowering individuals and rebalancing power-relationships between parties participating in business relationships, including trade.

Song Saran, the CEO of Amru Rice, one of the companies that will be participating in BlocRice as an exporter, spoke about the positive impacts of the initiative, saying that it will “increase transparency, traceability, fairness and trust in the supply chain by and enhance the livelihoods of farmers.”

Saran further added that although the BlocRice initiative will initially be exclusive to rise products, the same system and concept could easily be applied to other products and even other industries, adding that if it’s successful, it could be expanded to all of the communities currently exporting through Amru Rice.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

The post Oxfam Officially Launches Blockchain-Based Program That Empowers Farmers appeared first on NewsBTC.

Continue Reading

Crypto Analysis

SEC Orders Airfox and Paragon to Return Millions to Investors on ICO Registration Violations

Published

on

By

Spread the love

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has settled charges against two cryptocurrency companies which were accused of violating ICO securities offering registration rules.

Both firms, Carrier EQ (Airfox) and Paragon Coin sold digital tokens in ICOs in 2017 after the regulator’s official stance on the ICO. Some crypto fundraisers can be considered securities offerings, according to its DAO Report of Investigation.

Airfox and Paragon Settle Charges with SEC for ICO Registration Violations, $250 in Penalties

As part of the settlement, both cryptocurrency companies will return funds to harmed investors, register the tokens as securities, file periodic reports with the Commission, and pay $250,000 in penalties.

Neither one has admitted or denied the findings made by the SEC, but they have consented to the orders.

Carrier EQ (Airfox), a firm which facilitates the transfer of mobile airtime, data and currency, as well as payments for goods and services, raised $15 million from selling over a million AirTokens on October 2017.

The company had closed its $6.5 million ICO pre-sale weeks earlier than scheduled. The Boston-based blockchain company intended to use the money to develop a micro-loans program and expand abroad to emerging markets.

Paragon Coin, which focuses its blockchain platform on the cannabis industry, raised approximately $12 million worth of digital assets to work toward legalization of cannabis and implement its business plan.

Related Reading: Crypto Week in Review: SEC Fines EtherDelta, Binance to Attract Institutions

The funds would be used to make supply chains more efficient and manageable, increase transparency regarding the origin of seeds and produces, as well as allowing payments between different parties.

These are the Commission’s first cases imposing civil penalties solely for ICO securities offering registration violations. Airfox and Paragon Coin failed to register their crypto fundraisers pursuant to the federal securities laws nor did they qualify for an exemption to the registration requirements, Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement.

“We have made it clear that companies that issue securities through ICOs are required to comply with existing statutes and rules governing the registration of securities. These cases tell those who are considering taking similar actions that we continue to be on the lookout for violations of the federal securities laws with respect to digital assets.”

Munchee was the Commission’s first non-fraud ICO registration case. The visual review and social networking app for food failed to register with the financial watchdog, but stopped its offering before delivering any tokens and promptly returned proceeds to investors.

The company was seeking to raise up to $15 million from thousands of investors ‎to develop an iPhone app for restaurant meal reviews. The SEC did not impose a penalty or include undertakings from Munchee.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

The post SEC Orders Airfox and Paragon to Return Millions to Investors on ICO Registration Violations appeared first on NewsBTC.

Continue Reading

Trending