SBI Doesn’t Ban Credit Card Crypto Purchases Despite Issuing Warning

Source From https://news.bitcoin.com/sbi-card-doesnt-ban-credit-card-crypto-purchases-despite-issuing-warning/

SBI Doesn't Ban Credit Card Crypto Purchases Despite Issuing Warning

SBI Cards & Payments Services Pvt. Ltd, the second largest issuer of credit cards in India, has warned customers of the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. Despite the warning, the company did not move to ban its customers from purchasing bitcoin and other virtual currencies using SBI issued credit cards.

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

SBI Cards Warns Customers of Crypto Risks

SBI Doesn't Ban Credit Card Crypto Purchases Despite Issuing WarningSBI Card has issued a warning to customers emphasizing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. SBI Card also sought to reiterate the position of Reserve Bank of India, stating that government advisories have not given any licensing or authorisation for any entity to operate in any cryptocurrency schemes or virtual currencies.

The announcement comes weeks after Citi India banned the use of its credit and debit cards for the purpose of purchasing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies., at the time issuing a release stating “…Citi India has decided to not permit usage of its credit and debit cards towards purchase or trading of such bitcoins, crypto-currencies, and virtual currencies.”

The notice states “Given concerns, both globally and locally, SBI Card would like to advise you to be mindful of potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with crypto-currencies and virtual currencies.” SBI currently has a customer base of over 5 million, and is the second largest credit card issuer in India behind only HDFC Bank Limited.

Indian Crypto Regulations Expected Soon

SBI Doesn't Ban Credit Card Crypto Purchases Despite Issuing WarningNumerous Indian officials have indicated that India’s long-awaited regulatory guidelines for cryptocurrencies are presently being formulated by the relevant institutions, and that the industry can expect said legislation to be implemented soon.

The Chairman of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ajay Tyagi, recently indicated that many aspects of the regulatory apparatus have already been developed, stating “We have actually decided which regulator will do what and the committee should come out with the regulations very quickly.”

The impending regulation has not been welcomed by all members of India’s cryptocurrency authority, with many traders seeking means through which to purchase virtual currencies overseas in an attempt to bypass India’s regulatory jurisdiction.

Do you think many banking institutions will continue to allow customers to purchase cryptocurrencies using credit cards? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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The post SBI Doesn’t Ban Credit Card Crypto Purchases Despite Issuing Warning appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Wyoming Passes Bill To Relax Securities Law For Some Blockchain Tokens

Source From https://cointelegraph.com/news/wyoming-passes-bill-to-relax-securities-law-for-some-blockchain-tokens

Wyoming lawmakers have approved a Bill allowing certain Blockchain tokens to be exempt from securities requirements.

The US state of Wyoming has passed a bill Feb. 19 allowing certain Blockchain tokens to bypass securities regulations if they meet three key requirements as of July , 2018.

House Bill HB0070 was sponsored by seven representatives and five senators of the Legislature of the State of Wyoming. The bill passed the Wyoming House of Representatives unanimously in its third reading with the approval of all 60 members.

The move comes as US regulators at the national level seek to crack down on illegitimate offerings from the cryptocurrency and Blockchain space, placing emphasis on the need to monitor the market for the sake of protecting investors.

According to the new bill, if tokens are offered in Wyoming — or simply to the state’s residents — via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) or otherwise, the tokens will not need to be registered as securities in the state if they conform with the following three statutes:

“(i) The token has not been marketed by the developer or seller as an investment;

(ii) The token is exchangeable or provided for the purposes of receiving goods or services; and

(iii) The developer or seller of the token has not entered into a repurchase agreement of any kind or entered into any agreement, arrangement or scheme with the principal intent and effect of manipulating or attempting to manipulate the price of the token on a secondary market.”

HB0070 is one of two cryptocurrency-related projects sponsored by the twelve-member group currently making their way through the state legislative system.As Cointelegraph reported Monday Feb. 19, Wyoming Senate Bill 111 seeks to exempt crypto from state property tax obligations, in place since March, 2014.

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Wyoming House Unanimously Approves Two Pro-Blockchain Bills

Source From https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/wyoming-house-unanimously-approves-two-pro-blockchain-bills/

Wyoming House Unanimously Approves Two Pro-Blockchain Bills

In a watershed moment for United States blockchain and cryptocurrency law, Wyoming’s House of Representatives unanimously voted “aye” to pass two blockchain bills – HB 70 the “utility token bill” and HB 19 the “bitcoin bill” –  sending them to the State Senate for consideration. HB 70 defines utility tokens as neither traditional money nor securities; HB 19 exempts cryptocurrency from the 2003 Wyoming Money Transmitter Act (passed in the state before Bitcoin’s invention in 2008).

In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Wyoming Blockchain Coalition co-founder, and 22-year Wall Street veteran, Caitlin Long, attributed much of the bills’ successes so far to teamwork between Wyoming banking and security regulators and the efforts of House of Representatives member Tyler Lindholm, who is a co-sponsor and advocate of all five blockchain-related bills.

Wyoming aims to set the standard for blockchain-friendly regulation in the U.S. and to become a hub for blockchain-based innovation with these two bills. Long explained, “There are already bitcoin miners setting up shop because of [Wyoming’s] cheap electricity, no income tax and no franchise tax.”

HB 70: Utility Token Definition

The Wyoming HB 70 defines a utility token, or “open blockchain token,” as neither traditional money nor a security if it meets the following conditions:

  1. The token has not been marketed by the protocol developers as an investment opportunity.
  2. The token is exchangeable for goods or services. (This implies that protocols must offer a working product or service before tokens are issued, similar to Switzerland’s recent ICO framework.)
  3. The protocol developer has not entered into a repurchase agreement of any kind or entered into an agreement to locate buyers for the token.

Similarly, people who facilitate the exchange of an “open blockchain token” are not deemed traditional broker-dealers of securities.

HB 19: Cryptocurrency Exemption

HB 19 exempts cryptocurrency from the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act. A 2015 interpretation of this act by the Wyoming Division of Banking made it impractical for cryptocurrency exchanges to operate in the state. As a result, Coinbase suspended operations in Wyoming indefinitely in June 2015.

The passage of HB 19 moves Wyoming one step closer to cryptocurrency-friendly exchange regulation. Should the bill receive a majority vote in the Senate, exchanges such as Coinbase could resume operation in Wyoming.

Other Bills in the Pipeline

The Wyoming House of Representatives is also reviewing bills HB 101 and HB 126 in the House and SF 111 in the Senate.

HB 101, the “blockchain filings bill,” promises to update Wyoming’s Business Corporations Act to authorize the creation and use of blockchains to store records, the use of a network address to identify a corporation’s shareholder and the acceptance of shareholder votes signed by network signatures.

At a high level, HB 101 specifies requirements for all corporations using electronic network or (blockchain) databases. HB 101 has passed the first reading in the House.

HB 126, the “series LLC bill” allows for the creation of “series LLCs.” This type of LLC structure is favorable towards decentralized protocols, as it enables LLCs to establish a compartmentalized series of members/managers, transferable interests or assets, and distributions to members.

HB 126 has also passed the first reading in the House.

SF 111, the “crypto property tax exemption bill,” has already been approved in the House, and its goal is to exempt cryptocurrency from Wyoming state property taxes. The bill is now awaiting consideration in the Senate.

Nothing Is Carved in Stone

While HB 70 and HB 19 have both passed in the House by a vote of 60–0, they must also pass in the Senate to be recognized as official acts.

Long expressed her optimism, while acknowledging the difficulties that lie ahead:

I don’t want to sugar-coat that it won’t be difficult. The Senate is a more uncertain chamber. But, we have incredible momentum, and all we need [for the bills to become acts] is a majority vote in the Senate.

Should the bill pass in the Senate and become an act in Wyoming, federal regulation and the SEC Howey Test could still nullify all of the advocates’ blood, sweat and tears. However, Long believes that Federal Law with regards to utility hasn’t been established yet — and, that there are people in the blockchain/cryptocurrency industry “flush with cash, interested in litigating this issue.”

Long and other Wyoming blockchain proponents hope for a final Senate outcome on HB 70, the “utility token bill,” and HB 19, the “Bitcoin bill,” as early as the middle next week.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Bank of England Governor Claims Bitcoin Has ‘Failed’ As A Currency

Source From https://cointelegraph.com/news/bank-of-england-governor-claims-bitcoin-has-failed-as-a-currency

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney claims cryptocurrency is not a legitimate currency, arguing it is neither a means of exchange, nor a store of wealth.

Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney declared that Bitcoin cannot be considered a legitimate currency by “traditional” definitions, The Telegraph reported Monday, Feb. 19.

At an event at London’s Regent's University, Carney claimed that Bitcoin failed to meet two major requirements of a traditional currency, claiming that Bitcoin is neither a means of exchange, nor a store of value.

"It [cryptocurrency] has pretty much failed thus far on… the traditional aspects of money. It is not a store of value because it is all over the map. Nobody uses it as a medium of exchange," Carney told students of London’s Regent's University.

However, Carney allowed that cryptocurrency’s underlying Blockchain technology  “may still prove useful” due to its decentralised nature:

“Cryptocurrency’s underlying technology may still prove useful as a way to verify financial transactions in a decentralised way,” Carney said.

The argument that cryptocurrencies are not ideal for use as a medium of exchange is  usually made in regards to Bitcoin in particular. On Jan. 24, 2018  major payment processor Stripe stopped support  for Bitcoin because of high fees and slow confirmation times. Earlier on Dec. 7, 2017 gaming platform Steam stopped accepting Bitcoin payments, citing transaction fees of up to $20 and high volatility.

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, defines virtual currency as a “digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and/or a store of value” and has been taxing cryptocurrency as property since March 2014.

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Let's Talk Bitcoin! #356 – Privacy on the Blockchain with MimbleWimble

Source From https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/lets-talk-bitcoin-356-privacy-on-the-blockchain-with-mimblewimble

On Today’s Episode of Let’s Talk Bitcoin…

Adam and Andreas are joined by Michael aka “YeastPlume”, one of the developers of the GRIN project, a first real-life implementation of the MimbleWimble Privacy Protocol.

The discussion covers the MimbleWimble protocol at both a user level (Adam asking questions) and at a deeper level (Andreas asking questions). MimbleWimble also has several layers of interesting origin story, which we get into.


This episode of Let’s Talk Bitcoin! was sponsored by EasyDNS.com and was edited by Matthew Zipkin.

Today’s discussion featured Michael, Andreas Antonopoulos and Adam B. Levine.

This episode featured music by Jared Rubens & General Fuzz. Any questions or comments? email adam@letstalkbitcoin.com

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eToro Announces the Addition of NEO to its Trading Platform

Source From https://coinjournal.net/etoro-announces-addition-neo-trading-platform/

eToro has announced that it has added NEO to its platform following on from the addition of Stellar last week. The latest addition brings the total number of cryptocurrencies supported to nine. The others being Bitcoin, Ethereum, BCH, XRP, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Dash, and Stellar. The move by the global trading and investment platform comes […]

This post eToro Announces the Addition of NEO to its Trading Platform first appeared on Coinjournal.

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Bitcoin News Summary – Feb 19, 2018

Source From https://99bitcoins.com/bitcoin-news-summary-feb-19-2018/

The post Bitcoin News Summary – Feb 19, 2018 appeared first on 99 Bitcoins.

Here’s what happened this week in Bitcoin in 99 seconds.   Bitcoin’s price climbed back over the $10,000 mark. These latest bullish trends in price seem to be a correction to the sharp price drops of the last few weeks. The rise in price may also be caused by additional investors looking to get into […]

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Bitmex: Tether ‘Possibly’ Has Enough Cash Reserves, Could Still Be Shut Down

Source From https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitmex-tether-possibly-has-enough-cash-reserves-could-still-be-shut-down

A report on Tether published by Bitmex Research shows that while it ‘possibly’ has enough fiat reserves, it is at risk of a shutdown by regulatory bodies.

Bitmex Research released an in-depth report on Tether today, Feb. 19, detailing the reasons why Tether is most likely backed by sufficient fiat reserves after all, and what problems with regulatory bodies Tether will most likely encounter in the future.

Tether is a digital token backed by fiat currency, supposedly pegged 1:1 with the US dollar. Due to Tether’s lack of enough publically released bank audits, there are rumors that Tether does not actually have enough fiat in reserves to redeem all Tether tokens with US dollars if the need would arise.

The Bitmex report attempts to refute those rumors by showing a possible correlation between the rising cash reserves of the International Financial Entities (IFE) banking category in Puerto Rico, under a section entitled “The lack of transparency may not indicate fraud.”

Cointelegraph recently reported that Puerto Rico may be emerging as a “crypto tax paradise.”

The Bitmex reports puts forward Puerto-Rican-based Noble Bank as a possible candidate for holding Tether’s cash reserves, mainly because it is the one of the two full-reserve banks in Puerto Rico that publicly operates with crypto.

However, there is no way yet to know for certain where Tether’s cash reserves are located despite the Bitmex report, for although their website’s “Transparency” page lists their current balances and claims they are “regularly audited” and “fully transparent,” the company actually dissolved ties with their New York-based auditor in January before releasing any full audits publicly.

The report also covers the Nov. 2017 hack of around $31 mln from Tether, which led to the company, in essence, demanding users upgrade their software in order initiate a hard fork and freeze the stolen funds.

The Bitmex report writes that this “demonstrated that Tether is effectively in complete control of the ledger, as they can force a hard fork at will and reverse any transaction — although there may not have been any doubt about Tether’s control beforehand.”

The report then questions why Tether “bothers to put the database on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains at all,” arguing that it would be actually more cost-efficient for Tether to not pay miner fees and create its own public database.

The report also brings up the subpoenas delivered to Tether and the Bitfinex exchange in Dec. 2017, after which relationship between the two companies was officially disclosed, i.e. that they have an almost identical management team.

Bitfinex’s involvement with Tether had publicly been questioned by critics, most famously anonymous blogger Bitfinex’ed, who saw the arrangement as suspicious in part due to the fact that no third-party audit has yet been released of Tether’s reserves.

In response to the vitriol against Bitfinex posted online by Bitfinex’ed, the exchange has vowed to pursue legal action.

Bitmex’s research report writes that this relationship between Bitfinex and Tether actually was relatively public even before the temporarily-posted disclosure on Tether’s “About Us” page, citing Tether founder Craig Sellars’ Linkedin, which lists both companies.

The report ends with a listing of case studies of various online money-sending services that have been shut down by regulators over the years due to violations of money-laundering restrictions. This correlation drawn between these now-defunct services and Tether leads Bitmex to conclude that Tether “may also attract criminals and ultimately suffer the same fate.”

Bitmex has two concrete takeaways from their research into Tether, which it also recommends that investors do not hold onto long term:

“1. Reform the system to include KYC/AML procedures that allow the operator to easily block transactions or freeze funds. In order to do this […] Tether would just be turning into a traditional (or full reserve) bank.

2. Continue as is and risk being be shut down by the authorities at some point.”

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