Bitcoin regulation: UK government wants to regulate ...

Bob The Magic Custodian



Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses.
Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes.

First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure:

Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:

But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are!

"On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid".
"Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since."

"As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!"
"Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?"

"Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party."
"Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!"

"What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven."
"Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!"

"We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies.
And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often".

How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen?
Just one.

Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so?
If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security.

The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle.

And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet?

Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds.
So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever.

Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see.
It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation.
A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.

History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance.
Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.)
Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive.

Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today.
Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well.
Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do.

Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):



Thoughts?
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

How To End The Cryptocurrency Exchange "Wild West" Without Crippling Innovation


In case you haven't noticed the consultation paper, staff notice, and report on Quadriga, regulators are now clamping down on Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. The OSC and other regulatory bodies are still interested in industry feedback. They have not put forward any official regulation yet. Below are some ideas/insights and a proposed framework.



Many of you have limited time to read the full proposal, so here are the highlights:

Offline Multi-Signature

Effective standards to prevent both internal and external theft. Exchange operators are trained and certified, and have a legal responsibility to users.

Regular Transparent Audits

Provides visibility to Canadians that their funds are fully backed on the exchange, while protecting privacy and sensitive platform information.

Insurance Requirements

Establishment of basic insurance standards/strategy, to expand over time. Removing risk to exchange users of any hot wallet theft.


Background and Justifications


Cold Storage Custody/Management
After reviewing close to 100 cases, all thefts tend to break down into more or less the same set of problems:
• Funds stored online or in a smart contract,
• Access controlled by one person or one system,
• 51% attacks (rare),
• Funds sent to the wrong address (also rare), or
• Some combination of the above.
For the first two cases, practical solutions exist and are widely implemented on exchanges already. Offline multi-signature solutions are already industry standard. No cases studied found an external theft or exit scam involving an offline multi-signature wallet implementation. Security can be further improved through minimum numbers of signatories, background checks, providing autonomy and legal protections to each signatory, establishing best practices, and a training/certification program.
The last two transaction risks occur more rarely, and have never resulted in a loss affecting the actual users of the exchange. In all cases to date where operators made the mistake, they've been fully covered by the exchange platforms.
• 51% attacks generally only occur on blockchains with less security. The most prominent cases have been Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic. The simple solution is to enforce deposit limits and block delays such that a 51% attack is not cost-effective.
• The risk of transactions to incorrect addresses can be eliminated by a simple test transaction policy on large transactions. By sending a small amount of funds prior to any large withdrawals/transfers as a standard practice, the accuracy of the wallet address can be validated.
The proposal covers all loss cases and goes beyond, while avoiding significant additional costs, risks, and limitations which may be associated with other frameworks like SOC II.

On The Subject of Third Party Custodians
Many Canadian platforms are currently experimenting with third party custody. From the standpoint of the exchange operator, they can liberate themselves from some responsibility of custody, passing that off to someone else. For regulators, it puts crypto in similar categorization to oil, gold, and other commodities, with some common standards. Platform users would likely feel greater confidence if the custodian was a brand they recognized. If the custodian was knowledgeable and had a decent team that employed multi-sig, they could keep assets safe from internal theft. With the right protections in place, this could be a great solution for many exchanges, particularly those that lack the relevant experience or human resources for their own custody systems.
However, this system is vulnerable to anyone able to impersonate the exchange operators. You may have a situation where different employees who don't know each other that well are interacting between different companies (both the custodian and all their customers which presumably isn't just one exchange). A case study of what can go wrong in this type of environment might be Bitpay, where the CEO was tricked out of 5000 bitcoins over 3 separate payments by a series of emails sent legitimately from a breached computer of another company CEO. It's also still vulnerable to the platform being compromised, as in the really large $70M Bitfinex hack, where the third party Bitgo held one key in a multi-sig wallet. The hacker simply authorized the withdrawal using the same credentials as Bitfinex (requesting Bitgo to sign multiple withdrawal transactions). This succeeded even with the use of multi-sig and two heavily security-focused companies, due to the lack of human oversight (basically, hot wallet). Of course, you can learn from these cases and improve the security, but so can hackers improve their deception and at the end of the day, both of these would have been stopped by the much simpler solution of a qualified team who knew each other and employed multi-sig with properly protected keys. It's pretty hard to beat a human being who knows the business and the typical customer behaviour (or even knows their customers personally) at spotting fraud, and the proposed multi-sig means any hacker has to get through the scrutiny of 3 (or more) separate people, all of whom would have proper training including historical case studies.
There are strong arguments both for and against using use of third party custodians. The proposal sets mandatory minimum custody standards would apply regardless if the cold wallet signatories are exchange operators, independent custodians, or a mix of both.

On The Subject Of Insurance
ShakePay has taken the first steps into this new realm (congratulations). There is no question that crypto users could be better protected by the right insurance policies, and it certainly feels better to transact with insured platforms. The steps required to obtain insurance generally place attention in valuable security areas, and in this case included a review from CipherTrace. One of the key solutions in traditional finance comes from insurance from entities such as the CDIC.
However, historically, there wasn't found any actual insurance payout to any cryptocurrency exchange, and there are notable cases where insurance has not paid. With Bitpay, for example, the insurance agent refused because the issue happened to the third party CEO's computer instead of anything to do with Bitpay itself. With the Youbit exchange in South Korea, their insurance claim was denied, and the exchange ultimately ended up instead going bankrupt with all user's funds lost. To quote Matt Johnson in the original Lloyd's article: “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
ShakePay's insurance was only reported to cover their cold storage, and “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held”. Physical theft has never, in the history of cryptocurrency exchange cases reviewed, been reported as the cause of loss. From the limited information of the article, ShakePay made it clear their funds are in the hands of a single US custodian, and at least part of their security strategy is to "decline[] to confirm the custodian’s name on the record". While this prevents scrutiny of the custodian, it's pretty silly to speculate that a reasonably competent hacking group couldn't determine who the custodian is. A far more common infiltration strategy historically would be social engineering, which has succeeded repeatedly. A hacker could trick their way into ShakePay's systems and request a fraudulent withdrawal, impersonate ShakePay and request the custodian to move funds, or socially engineer their way into the custodian to initiate the withdrawal of multiple accounts (a payout much larger than ShakePay) exploiting the standard procedures (for example, fraudulently initiating or override the wallet addresses of a real transfer). In each case, nothing was physically stolen and the loss is therefore not covered by insurance.
In order for any insurance to be effective, clear policies have to be established about what needs to be covered. Anything short of that gives Canadians false confidence that they are protected when they aren't in any meaningful way. At this time, the third party insurance market does not appear to provide adequate options or coverage, and effort is necessary to standardize custody standards, which is a likely first step in ultimately setting up an insurance framework.
A better solution compared to third party insurance providers might be for Canadian exchange operators to create their own collective insurance fund, or a specific federal organization similar to the CDIC. Such an organization would have a greater interest or obligation in paying out actual cases, and that would be it's purpose rather than maximizing it's own profit. This would be similar to the SAFU which Binance has launched, except it would cover multiple exchanges. There is little question whether the SAFU would pay out given a breach of Binance, and a similar argument could be made for a insurance fund managed by a collective of exchange operators or a government organization. While a third party insurance provider has the strong market incentive to provide the absolute minimum coverage and no market incentive to payout, an entity managed by exchange operators would have incentive to protect the reputation of exchange operators/the industry, and the government should have the interest of protecting Canadians.

On The Subject of Fractional Reserve
There is a long history of fractional reserve failures, from the first banks in ancient times, through the great depression (where hundreds of fractional reserve banks failed), right through to the 2008 banking collapse referenced in the first bitcoin block. The fractional reserve system allows banks to multiply the money supply far beyond the actual cash (or other assets) in existence, backed only by a system of debt obligations of others. Safely supporting a fractional reserve system is a topic of far greater complexity than can be addressed by a simple policy, and when it comes to cryptocurrency, there is presently no entity reasonably able to bail anyone out in the event of failure. Therefore, this framework is addressed around entities that aim to maintain 100% backing of funds.
There may be some firms that desire but have failed to maintain 100% backing. In this case, there are multiple solutions, including outside investment, merging with other exchanges, or enforcing a gradual restoration plan. All of these solutions are typically far better than shutting down the exchange, and there are multiple cases where they've been used successfully in the past.

Proof of Reserves/Transparency/Accountability
Canadians need to have visibility into the backing on an ongoing basis.
The best solution for crypto-assets is a Proof of Reserve. Such ideas go back all the way to 2013, before even Mt. Gox. However, no Canadian exchange has yet implemented such a system, and only a few international exchanges (CoinFloor in the UK being an example) have. Many firms like Kraken, BitBuy, and now ShakePay use the Proof of Reserve term to refer to lesser proofs which do not actually cryptographically prove the full backing of all user assets on the blockchain. In order for a Proof of Reserve to be effective, it must actually be a complete proof, and it needs to be understood by the public that is expected to use it. Many firms have expressed reservations about the level of transparency required in a complete Proof of Reserve (for example Kraken here). While a complete Proof of Reserves should be encouraged, and there are some solutions in the works (ie TxQuick), this is unlikely to be suitable universally for all exchange operators and users.
Given the limitations, and that firms also manage fiat assets, a more traditional audit process makes more sense. Some Canadian exchanges (CoinSquare, CoinBerry) have already subjected themselves to annual audits. However, these results are not presently shared publicly, and there is no guarantee over the process including all user assets or the integrity and independence of the auditor. The auditor has been typically not known, and in some cases, the identity of the auditor is protected by a NDA. Only in one case (BitBuy) was an actual report generated and publicly shared. There has been no attempt made to validate that user accounts provided during these audits have been complete or accurate. A fraudulent fractional exchange, or one which had suffered a breach they were unwilling to publicly accept (see CoinBene), could easily maintain a second set of books for auditors or simply exclude key accounts to pass an individual audit.
The proposed solution would see a reporting standard which includes at a minimum - percentage of backing for each asset relative to account balances and the nature of how those assets are stored, with ownership proven by the auditor. The auditor would also publicly provide a "hash list", which they independently generate from the accounts provided by the exchange. Every exchange user can then check their information against this public "hash list". A hash is a one-way form of encryption, which fully protects the private information, yet allows anyone who knows that information already to validate that it was included. Less experienced users can take advantage of public tools to calculate the hash from their information (provided by the exchange), and thus have certainty that the auditor received their full balance information. Easy instructions can be provided.
Auditors should be impartial, their identities and process public, and they should be rotated so that the same auditor is never used twice in a row. Balancing the cost of auditing against the needs for regular updates, a 6 month cycle likely makes the most sense.

Hot Wallet Management
The best solution for hot wallets is not to use them. CoinBerry reportedly uses multi-sig on all withdrawals, and Bitmex is an international example known for their structure devoid of hot wallets.
However, many platforms and customers desire fast withdrawal processes, and human validation has a cost of time and delay in this process.
A model of self-insurance or separate funds for hot wallets may be used in these cases. Under this model, a platform still has 100% of their client balance in cold storage and holds additional funds in hot wallets for quick withdrawal. Thus, the risk of those hot wallets is 100% on exchange operators and not affecting the exchange users. Since most platforms typically only have 1%-5% in hot wallets at any given time, it shouldn't be unreasonable to build/maintain these additional reserves over time using exchange fees or additional investment. Larger withdrawals would still be handled at regular intervals from the cold storage.
Hot wallet risks have historically posed a large risk and there is no established standard to guarantee secure hot wallets. When the government of South Korea dispatched security inspections to multiple exchanges, the results were still that 3 of them got hacked after the inspections. If standards develop such that an organization in the market is willing to insure the hot wallets, this could provide an acceptable alternative. Another option may be for multiple exchange operators to pool funds aside for a hot wallet insurance fund. Comprehensive coverage standards must be established and maintained for all hot wallet balances to make sure Canadians are adequately protected.

Current Draft Proposal

(1) Proper multi-signature cold wallet storage.
(a) Each private key is the personal and legal responsibility of one person - the “signatory”. Signatories have special rights and responsibilities to protect user assets. Signatories are trained and certified through a course covering (1) past hacking and fraud cases, (2) proper and secure key generation, and (3) proper safekeeping of private keys. All private keys must be generated and stored 100% offline by the signatory. If even one private keys is ever breached or suspected to be breached, the wallet must be regenerated and all funds relocated to a new wallet.
(b) All signatories must be separate background-checked individuals free of past criminal conviction. Canadians should have a right to know who holds their funds. All signing of transactions must take place with all signatories on Canadian soil or on the soil of a country with a solid legal system which agrees to uphold and support these rules (from an established white-list of countries which expands over time).
(c) 3-5 independent signatures are required for any withdrawal. There must be 1-3 spare signatories, and a maximum of 7 total signatories. The following are all valid combinations: 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7.
(d) A security audit should be conducted to validate the cold wallet is set up correctly and provide any additional pertinent information. The primary purpose is to ensure that all signatories are acting independently and using best practices for private key storage. A report summarizing all steps taken and who did the audit will be made public. Canadians must be able to validate the right measures are in place to protect their funds.
(e) There is a simple approval process if signatories wish to visit any country outside Canada, with a potential whitelist of exempt countries. At most 2 signatories can be outside of aligned jurisdiction at any given time. All exchanges would be required to keep a compliant cold wallet for Canadian funds and have a Canadian office if they wish to serve Canadian customers.
(2) Regular and transparent solvency audits.
(a) An audit must be conducted at founding, after 3 months of operation, and at least once every 6 months to compare customer balances against all stored cryptocurrency and fiat balances. The auditor must be known, independent, and never the same twice in a row.
(b) An audit report will be published featuring the steps conducted in a readable format. This should be made available to all Canadians on the exchange website and on a government website. The report must include what percentage of each customer asset is backed on the exchange, and how those funds are stored.
(c) The auditor will independently produce a hash of each customer's identifying information and balance as they perform the audit. This will be made publicly available on the exchange and government website, along with simplified instructions that each customer can use to verify that their balance was included in the audit process.
(d) The audit needs to include a proof of ownership for any cryptocurrency wallets included. A satoshi test (spending a small amount) or partially signed transaction both qualify.
(e) Any platform without 100% reserves should be assessed on a regular basis by a government or industry watchdog. This entity should work to prevent any further drop, support any private investor to come in, or facilitate a merger so that 100% backing can be obtained as soon as possible.
(3) Protections for hot wallets and transactions.
(a) A standardized list of approved coins and procedures will be established to constitute valid cold storage wallets. Where a multi-sig process is not natively available, efforts will be undertaken to establish a suitable and stable smart contract standard. This list will be expanded and improved over time. Coins and procedures not on the list are considered hot wallets.
(b) Hot wallets can be backed by additional funds in cold storage or an acceptable third-party insurance provider with a comprehensive coverage policy.
(c) Exchanges are required to cover the full balance of all user funds as denominated in the same currency, or double the balance as denominated in bitcoin or CAD using an established trading rate. If the balance is ever insufficient due to market movements, the firm must rectify this within 24 hours by moving assets to cold storage or increasing insurance coverage.
(d) Any large transactions (above a set threshold) from cold storage to any new wallet addresses (not previously transacted with) must be tested with a smaller transaction first. Deposits of cryptocurrency must be limited to prevent economic 51% attacks. Any issues are to be covered by the exchange.
(e) Exchange platforms must provide suitable authentication for users, including making available approved forms of two-factor authentication. SMS-based authentication is not to be supported. Withdrawals must be blocked for 48 hours in the event of any account password change. Disputes on the negligence of exchanges should be governed by case law.

Steps Forward

Continued review of existing OSC feedback is still underway. More feedback and opinions on the framework and ideas as presented here are extremely valuable. The above is a draft and not finalized.
The process of further developing and bringing a suitable framework to protect Canadians will require the support of exchange operators, legal experts, and many others in the community. The costs of not doing such are tremendous. A large and convoluted framework, one based on flawed ideas or implementation, or one which fails to properly safeguard Canadians is not just extremely expensive and risky for all Canadians, severely limiting to the credibility and reputation of the industry, but an existential risk to many exchanges.
The responsibility falls to all of us to provide our insight and make our opinions heard on this critical matter. Please take the time to give your thoughts.
submitted by azoundria2 to QuadrigaInitiative [link] [comments]

Stablecoins Are Not as Safe as You Think. How Your USDT, PAX, BUSD Get Frozen in a Moment

Stablecoins Are Not as Safe as You Think. How Your USDT, PAX, BUSD Get Frozen in a Moment
Being created on the basis of blockchain, stablecoins were considered to be a safe haven for investors… until recently. Why is their immunity elusive and how does the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plan to control them?
Established in 1989 by the G7, the FATF inter-governmental organization develops policies to resist money laundering and financing of terrorism. It sets standards and implements legal and regulatory measures to combat illegal financial transactions.
They developed recommendations for the monitoring of money laundering and keep revising them regularly. In case of non-compliance, law enforcement is executed via regional financial organizations. As of 2019, there are 39 full members of FATF, including the USA, UK, Australia, most EU countries, Singapore, India and the Russian Federation.
Since 1st July, the FATF organization has been headed by Marcus Pleyer. During the last FATF meeting, the new president expressed his concerns about global stablecoins and organizations that issue them. Although the organization had already dealt with these cryptocurrencies, it highlighted that, “it is essential to continue closely monitoring the ML/TF risks of so-called stablecoins, including anonymous peer-to-peer transactions via unhosted wallets”.
Is it ever possible to control crypto wallets that are not hosted on online exchanges? – you’d ask. We’re used to the fact that cryptocurrencies are outside the reach of banks and governments. However, when it comes to stablecoins, things are different.

It’s in the code

What makes stablecoins special is that they are pegging to fiat currency, for example, 1 TUSD = $1 USD. This means that such assets should be backed up by real money stored in the bank accounts of the issuing organization. Consequently, stablecoin creators need to comply with the requirements of the SEC, FATF and other controlling agencies, if they are to operate in the cryptocurrency sphere and be authorised to sell stablecoins. Transparent reports are not the only requirement, stablecoins must also provide the possibility of account blocking.
Surprisingly, this feature is implemented in each stablecoin. The experts from QDAO DeFi are covering several stablecoin protocols that enable this function.

OMNI-based USDT

Issued by Tether Limited, USDT is a stablecoin that was originally created to be worth $1 with each token backed by a $1 real fiat reserve. The currency was successfully promoted and added to major cryptocurrency exchanges but stayed a controversial asset. Despite the claims of Tether Limited, they failed to provide any contractual right or other legal claims to guarantee that USDT can be swapped for dollars or be redeemed.
In April 2019, Tether’s lawyers explained that each USDT was backed by only $0.74 in cash or equivalent assets. No audit of dollar collateral was done. A month before that, it changed the backing to include loans to affiliate companies. The scandal also involved the Bitfinex exchange that was accused of using USDT funds to cover $850 million in funds lost since 2018. They were also accused of manipulating USDT to push the BTC price.
Tether is available on five blockchains: Omni, Ehereum, EOS, Tron and Liquid. Only the latter does not have a freezing feature. Omni was the first protocol for USDT. Blocking of users’ accounts is possible, thanks to the following piece of code:

https://preview.redd.it/uqho45l33om51.png?width=690&format=png&auto=webp&s=c0feebdae086b0deeccde05278eaf3cc760f9e2b
Apparently, it’s used to blacklist addresses and contracts.

PAX

The concerns about PAX were centered around the notorious MMM BSC Ponzi scheme. Before the widespread adoption of DeFi services, it was the second-largest gas consumer after Ethereum. Out of 25,000 daily transactions, 5,000 were performed by MMM BSC. It was reported to be a scam but none of the accounts were frozen. Does it mean PAX lacked the resources to regulate illicit activities?
Evidently, not. The protocol code has a LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNCTIONALITY function that allows for the freezing/unfreezing of contracts or burning assets on blacklisted accounts. It turns out, anyone risks having their PAX coins destroyed during an investigation process while their accounts stay blocked.

History of frozen accounts

In 2019, the ZCash Foundation and Eric Wall conducted research on the privacy of stablecoins and revealed several frozen addresses. It’s not clear why exactly they were blocked. Most probably, it happened shortly after the exchange withdrawal – users took this action after witnessing platforms being hacked.

https://preview.redd.it/pkbruqm83om51.png?width=838&format=png&auto=webp&s=b068c5b8c5e5439892eaf5feefa3fbc93c694c8c
USDT was implicated at least twice in scandals to do with freezing. In April 2019, about $850 million in Tether dollars sent by Crypto Capital Corp. were frozen by a New York court. Tether and Btfinex were accused of participating in a cover-up to hide about $850 million worth in clients’ funds. By July 2020, Tether had frozen 40 Ethereum addresses with millions of USDT (some of them are shown in the screenshot above).
The Centre Consortium was the next to follow their lead; about a month ago, it blacklisted an address with USDC worth $100,000. That was done in response to law enforcement.
Yet, it’s not only Europe and the USA imposing control over cryptocurrencies. Since June 2020, the Chinese government managed to block several thousands of users’ bank accounts. It was done to resist illicit activities, especially money laundering. On some of those accounts, no activity had been detected for several months. Meanwhile, prior to April 2020, Chinese residents moved over $50 billion worth of crypto outside the country borders – more than is officially allowed (a maximum of $50,000 per person).
The authorities claim that USDT and other stablecoins are often used in illegal activities. Together with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), they are developing new ways of investigating digital crimes and money laundering operations involving exchanges and crypto wallets. Local financial bureaus and police are working tight-lipped about investigating startups and crypto exchanges. And they are succeeding at it.
In July 2020, Chinese authorities confiscated BTC, ETH and USDT worth $15 million from people who allegedly ran a fake cryptocurrency scheme.
By the way, not only corporate accounts are being closed. One investor claims his account had been frozen after using yuan to purchase crypto. Also, users who transfer illegally obtained money outside of the mainland in large amounts are under suspicion. Does it mean the Chinese government has started tightening the screws on cryptocurrency users?

DAI, USDT on Liquid and USDQ are the main options for stablecoin deposits

So, where can you store your crypto assets? USDT on Liquid and DAI are not the only solutions available. Consider making a deposit in USDQ, the stablecoin of the QDAO ecosystem. Like other stablecoins, it’s 1-to-1 pegged to USD. However, it cannot be frozen by a government, financial organization or anyone from the QDAO team. You can check it yourself by reading our Smart contract and USDQ Audit.
In QDAO, users’ accounts are never frozen by a single person – all account issues are solved by the entire QDAO community, with the help of a QDAO governance token.
In case of blocking (the chances of which are almost non-existent), you can address the QDAO community and get timely help.

Bottom Line

With FATF taking this new course of action, we might witness serious pressure on stablecoin providers. Some projects will resist it, but it’s still not safe to store your assets in popular stablecoins, especially USDT. Your account can be frozen by authorities for dozens of reasons without the possibility of retrieval.
Yet, there are a number of reliable alternatives and USDQ stablecoin is one of them. QDAO DeFi platform users feel free to manage their crypto reserves and make profitable deposits.
Want to be the first to hear QDAO DeFi news and updates? Visit our website and stay in touch with us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and LINE (for the Japanese-speaking community).
submitted by QDAODeFi to u/QDAODeFi [link] [comments]

Online gambling legislation and regulation. Starting your own gambling product.

Online gambling legislation and regulation. Starting your own gambling product.

Mobile gambling
If you plan to develop an app with the ability to deposit and withdraw real money, then such a product automatically falls into the category of gambling and you will need to license your business for successful operation.
Mobile and Web Based Apps
So let’s talk about the different kinds of online gambling apps available on web and mobile. We’ll be covering both free-play gaming apps and real money casino app games you can find for iOS, Android devices and web browsers.
Mobile gambling is more common for poker, casino, bingo, and skill games. They have advantages in terms of a low barrier to enter the market, instant liquidity, product knowledge, and marketing expertise, minimal infrastructure costs, and the ability to bring a brand to the market quickly. Consequently, this form of gambling does not sit neatly with jurisdictional boundaries. Multiple gambling opportunities are available, including betting on various events and markets, in a relatively simple format. Gambling products can also be integrated into betting on television shows or virtual racing and sports games as well as offering lotteries, bingo, poker and casino games.
Most Popular Gambling Apps
Sports betting, casino, poker and lotteries are the most popular forms of online gambling. However, other forms are available too. These include the following: Bingo, slot machines, different card games, roulette and other game of chance. One of the best things about online gambling and betting apps is the number of choices you have.

Sports Betting

Betting means making or accepting a bet on the outcome of a race, competition, or other event or process, the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring, or whether anything is or is not true. Today most sports betting is done via mobile-friendly sites and apps.
Today most sports betting is done via mobile-friendly sites and apps.
The introduction of live betting for sports like soccer and tennis means that bettors who are sitting inside stadiums watching games can now pick up their mobile devices and find real-time betting value with the best sports gambling apps. This has really unlocked a door to the future of sports gambling and the popularity of online gambling apps.

Poker

Many sites offer free poker, where no real money is wagered, although in some cases players can accumulate credits that can be exchanged for prizes. This is the case why people are going to play for real money. There is an ongoing debate over whether poker should be classified as a game of chance or skill. The parameters of legal poker playing are still unclear and differ between jurisdictions. Since you are not gambling with money, I’m pretty sure under the law it’s just a video game for now.

Blackjack

Blackjack is the game of choice to many high-rollers and do you know why? Because blackjack is a challenging, logic and skill-based game where your thinking, strategy, and calculations determine the outcome of the game.

Bingo

Bingo is one of the most popular and socially accepted games in the world. Bingo is a traditional form of gambling that has seen considerable innovation in recent years. It is also the only form of gambling recognized in the Gambling Act that does not have a specific statutory definition, the Act providing simply that “bingo” means “any version of that game, irrespective of by what name it is described”. Bingo must be played as an equal chance game. For game to be classed as “bingo” it must meet the Act’s definition of “equal chance gaming” (as opposed to casino gaming). Thus, it: must not involve playing or staking against a bank, and must be a game in which the chances are equally favorable to all participants in the sense that each ticket or chance has the same probability of success as any other.
Licensed bingo is a well-regulated and socially responsible form of gambling that takes place in a safe environment. Many sites offer multiple forms of bingo with different features, types of games, and costs of play. These sites often cater specifically for women and some research suggests that they may appeal to markets who would not typically engage in traditional forms of gambling.

Slots

Slot machine is one of the most beloved game among the gambling community and it has been a part of the industry for a long time. They provide fun and entertainment and their simplicity allows gamers to start playing at once. This can play out in different ways depending on the machine you’re playing. For instance, there’s Pick a Fortune, a five-reel, 20 line game that puts players right in the studio of a television game show, including the potential to play a Deal or No Deal-style bonus round. A super trend over the past few years is mobile-friendly slot games. These apps and websites were developed to enable players to enjoy their favorite games on their smartphones at any time. Another dominant slot trend is licensed branded slots that are based on popular movies, television, and musicians.
Virtual Money vs Real Money
Let’s find out the difference between social gambling and real money gambling, as well as the differences between gambling through apps and gambling through a web browser. It can be quite confusing trawling through all the casinos, slots, and lotteries available, both through your mobile web browser as well as through mobile app stores, in the form of downloadable apps.

Virtual money

The main difference between virtual money and real money gambling is that the in-game virtual currency in social games and gambling-type games is used only like credits that are not paid out as winnings or anything given to player in cash, making these games exempt from gambling regulations.
Virtual money is loaded on user game accounts via in-app purchases in mobile applications or the game balance funding from a card via web based applications.

Real money gambling

Real money gambling via your mobile device is only allowed in countries where laws have been passed that allow for this type of gambling online, or there are no laws in place that prevent it. The payment systems are the legal way of services payment in the gambling app, performing as the intermediary between the gambling facility and the client. With their help, users replenish deposits and withdraw funds to personal accounts in financial institutions. If the application uses the payment system of a well-known brand, that gives players additional confidence in the resource. Nowadays, there is a wide range of payment systems, some of which operate all over the world, other systems are oriented towards the citizens of one or several countries. A number of services accept money of different world currencies, while others allow currency transactions of one state only.
What is an Online Gambling Licensing
The internet has a global audience, there’s no single piece of legislation that covers the legality of online gambling for the entire world. Mobile gambling doesn’t typically accept customers from every single country in the world. It often focuses on certain specific regions.
Instead, most countries have their own local laws that deal with the relevant legal and regulatory issues.
Ultimately, questions of legality all go back to the location of the casino or where the website operates out of. In closed regulatory systems, such as Italy, France, and the Netherlands, licenses, and advertising rights are limited to domestic providers, which must be located within their country’s geographical boundaries and these are only permitted to offer some types of products. Some jurisdictions, for example, Norway, Sweden, and Canada legalize and regulate online gambling, but this is limited to a single site that is owned by the government. Under such an approach, the government becomes the operator and regulator and all revenues are returned to the government.
Remote gambling is generally permitted. That means that an operator that is licensed may provide gambling services to citizens in the country via all forms of remote communication (and using equipment that may be located in the country or abroad). Equally, a remote operator may be licensed to offer gambling services to citizens in any jurisdiction in the world using equipment located in the country. The law provides that, for each type of gambling (betting, gaming, and participating in a lottery), there will be two forms of license available: remote and non-remote forms (land-based). If you provide facilities for remote gambling, online or through other means, and advertise to consumers you will need a license from the licensing jurisdictions or local licensing authorities. Before an online gambling site signs up its first customer, before it accepts its first bet before the first card is dealt, it must be licensed by a recognized governmental entity.
Certain regions in the world have specific legislation in place that allows them to license and regulate companies that operate online gambling sites or provide industry services (such as the supply of gaming software). These regions are referred to as online gambling jurisdictions or licensing jurisdictions.
Depending on what type of entertainment you are going to implement in your internet establishment, you will have to apply for the corresponding permissions. Online gambling laws in Europe vary from one country to the next. The industry is well regulated in some countries and less so in others. There are several online gambling jurisdictions located in Europe. Some of these are members of the European Union (EU), and thus subject to the various rules and regulations of that body, while others are independent. Each of these jurisdictions has an authority that’s responsible for approving gambling sites for licenses that enable them to offer their services legally. They also regulate their licensees.
Countries that Provide Gambling Licensing
Today there are lots of licensing jurisdictions located all over the world and offering different terms for their customers. Depending on the country, licenses can be local, international (distributed in several countries), have a different set of documents for registration, costs of registration and further support, various operating conditions and other special details.

Which gambling license is both internationally recognized?

The government of Ireland offers casino operators, software, and service providers in the gambling industry, with a gambling license that allows gambling operators to conduct business related to casino, lotto, and other gaming-related activities. Ireland Gambling License is one of the most popular license for online casinos worldwide. Ireland has long been recognized as one of the preferred locations for Online Gambling operators to base their operations. This success has been due to a combination of factors, such as a progressive legislative system, political stability, first-rate telecommunications facilities, and a well established financial services industry. A wide range of gambling sites operates out of Ireland including sports betting, casino sites, poker, bingo, and more.
In stark contrast, the UK is the largest regulated market for online gambling in the world, and corporations are already comfortable exploiting the intersections of gambling and gaming, betting in-play, social gaming, Bitcoin, financial trading and spread betting, betting exchanges, e-sports and, most profitably, mobile gambling. 40% and 60% of online gambling in the UK took place in Gibraltar.

International licensing

Europe is home to the following online gambling jurisdictions: Alderney, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta. Malta is currently the country that is most accommodating to gambling companies, and the license offers whitelisted online gambling in sports and casino games in many European territories. But takes an extreme amount of time in paperwork and background checks. Also, you pay 5% of all your gross profit to the EU.
Among countries offering gambling licensing services, the attention should be paid to Curaçao jurisdiction, which is considered to be one of the most promising for the online gaming business.
Curaçao Internet Gaming Association (also known as Curaçao eGaming) is both a regulator and a licensor, and its licensing works worldwide except Curaçao itself, USA, France and Netherlands. Using Curacao as an example, let us examine in detail the process of obtaining a license, the necessary documents and expenses.
How to get a License on Curaçao
  • Documents necessary for company registration:
  • criminal record;
  • passport scans;
  • bank account confirmation;
  • documents proving payments for utility services.
After the company is registered, an operator can apply for the license providing the following documents:
  • a document certifying the right of domain possession;
  • description of games planned to be used in the project;
  • a list indicating countries of potential operation;
  • illustration of server locations to be used in the project;
  • a copy of the agreement with a software provider.
Gambling license cost:
  • Bank account opening $1000
  • Company registration $3600
  • Company management per year $3600
  • Application processing fee $1000
  • License fee per year $4800
  • Equipment/software fee starting from $1500
  • Server maintenance per year $6000
Apart from that pay for technical support and maintenance every year. The entire license issuing process takes between 2-4 weeks. Curacao Internet Gaming Association (CIGA) also has the power to review a license and, if it finds that an operator has breached a license condition, has the power to impose a range of sanctions including revocation of the license.
Apple and Google Gambling Rules
You’ll be surprised at the limited number of real money gambling app options available on the AppStore and Google Play Store. Most real money casino gaming is done through gambler’s mobile web browsers and not through mobile gambling apps that you’ll find for iPhone and Android phones. Apple allows online gambling applications in a few forms, and not just in places where it is explicitly permitted. They do not allow any payments through the applications – those have to be done on the websites. Apple has far stricter developer guidelines for iOS apps than Google does for Android apps, so it’s fine to assume that whatever you choose to download from iTunes is usually safe, secure, and meets a certain standard.
Any real money casino in the iTunes app is required to have proper licensing and permissions before Apple will approve the app for use or downloads. While Google Play is technically regulated, it is much more loose in what can be hosted.

Apple Store

Gambling, gaming, and lotteries can be tricky to manage and tend to be one of the most-regulated offerings on the App Store. Apple has rules for apps that support real money wagering, including sports betting and poker. Those apps and lotteries must have necessary licensing and permissions in the locations where the App is used, must be geo-restricted to those locations, and must be free on the App Store, and Apple rate even simulated gambling apps as appropriate only for users 17-years-old and up.

Play Store

Google keeps the reigns tight. To be able to successfully upload apps to the Google Play store, developers need to have a valid license for the specific countries they are targeting and comply with their regulations. The app must be free to download and must prevent under-age users from gambling in the app. As a final precaution, all gambling apps are required to display prominent information regarding responsible gambling practices. This brings its policy in line with the Apple App Store.
Countries where gambling is illegal
It is also important to remember that while gambling is growing rapidly in many places, in others it is totally or partially prohibited. As well as in the majority of the US, sports betting is illegal in India, Pakistan, and China, three of the largest gambling markets in the world. Most countries have rules against gambling. Almost all Islamic countries prohibit gambling of every kind, but many turn a blind eye to online gambling or simply do not have regulations in place for this grey area.
In the United Arab Emirates, however, any kind of gambling is prosecuted. National lotteries are the only legal forms of wagering on the Asian country’s mainland. Cambodia, North Korea strictly forbids online and offline gambling amongst its own citizens but allows tourists to participate in these activities.
Qatar is the strictest country of all when it comes to gambling laws. All forms of gambling activities are considered illegal, and even sports betting is not permissible.
Starting your own gambling product
Numerous online casino platforms in the market offer fantastic casino games like bingo, poker, roulette, and many more.
If you have an idea, but don’t know where to start, we advise you begin with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to pilot your proof of concept for investors. MVP spotlights your core features and lets your investors know there are bigger and better things to come.
For MVP you do not need a large team, just a few people are enough to create a fully functioning prototype. In the case of successful numbers of your prototype, the further development of a full-fledged product will require more team, resources and time, however you will be sure that your development and your costs will pay off.
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How Data Centralization Ends by 2030

Link to Coindesk: https://www.coindesk.com/data-centralization-2030
The next 10 years will witness the systematic manipulation of human life at a scale unrivaled in history. For all the recent controversies over privacy and surveillance, the real threat is ahead of us.
Unless new approaches to online identity and data management take hold, both governments and private actors will move inexorably from knowing you to shaping you. Blockchain-enabled decentralization will develop as the only viable response to the iron logic of data centralization.
Blockchain believers often talk as though today’s early-adopter use cases, such as cryptocurrency trading and decentralized finance, will lead straight to mass market adoption. As the inevitable ‘killer apps’ appear, so the story goes, blockchain-based systems will conquer the mainstream. One might imagine that we’ll all soon be trading digital collectibles and relying on token-curated registries for accurate information. Governments will lose control over money, and blockchain-based smart contracts will replace court-enforced legal agreements. Uber, Facebook and the banks will wither away in the face of tokenized alternatives.
This narrative is wishful thinking. In most markets, intermediaries will endure for the same reasons they always have: they provide value. The Ubers and Facebooks – and yes, even the banks – tame complexity and produce coherent, convenient, de-risked experiences that no decentralized community can ever match. Early adopters use blockchain-based systems for ideological reasons or to get rich on cryptocurrency speculation. The billions behind them in the mainstream will not. The lock-in power of network effects creates high barriers for alternative economic systems. And the need for trust disqualifies decentralized solutions that are havens for criminals, incapable of effective compliance or vulnerable to catastrophic attacks – which, regrettably, means virtually all of them today.
Truly decentralized blockchain systems will reach critical mass not out of hope but out of necessity. Powerful actors and mainstream users will adopt blockchain as a counterbalance to digital behavior-shaping by governments and private platforms. Dramatic innovations such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), which manage activity automatically through smart contracts, will become significant at the end point of this process, once the foundations are in place.
Big data and artificial intelligence, pitched as freeing us from human frailties, are becoming powerful tools for social control. This is occurring along two parallel tracks: surveillance authoritarianism and surveillance capitalism. Through massive data collection and aggregation, China’s social credit system envisions an airtight regime of perfect compliance with legal and social obligations. Many other governments, including liberal democracies, are adopting similar techniques. The potential for catching terrorists, child predators and tax evaders is simply too appealing – whether it’s the real objective or a cover story.
"WHAT WE NEED IS A TECHNOLOGY THAT ALLOWS FOR SHARING WITHOUT GIVING UP CONTROL. FORTUNATELY, IT EXISTS."
Meanwhile, private digital platforms are using troves of data to shape online experiences consistent with their business models. What you see online is, increasingly, what maximizes their profits. Companies such as Google, Amazon, Tencent and Alibaba can build the best algorithms because they have the most data. And they aren’t interested in sharing.
Regulatory interventions will fail to derail the self-reinforcing momentum for ever more centralized data repositories. They may even accelerate it by creating layers of compliance obligations that only the largest firms can meet. Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) actually increased the market share of Google and Facebook in online advertising, and so it is not surprising to see such incumbents actively welcoming the prospect of more regulation.
The only lasting solution is to change the economics of data, not to impose private property rights; that would accelerate the market forces promoting data centralization. Giving you “ownership” over your data means giving you legal cover to sell it, by clicking “OK” to a one-sided contract you’ll never read. The problem is not ownership, but control. In today’s algorithm-driven world, sharing and aggregating data increases its value, producing better models and better predictions. The trouble is that once we share, we lose control to centralized data hogs.
What we need is a technology that allows for sharing without giving up control. Fortunately, it exists. It is called blockchain. Blockchain technology is, fundamentally, a revolution in trust. In the past, trust required ceding control to counter parties, government authorities or intermediaries who occupied the essential validating roles in transaction networks. Blockchain allows participants to trust the results they see without necessarily trusting any actor to verify them. That’s why major global firms in health care, finance, transportation, international trade and other fields are actively developing cross-organizational platforms based on blockchain and related technologies. No database can provide a trusted view of information across an entire transactional network without empowering a central intermediary. Blockchain can.
Adopting any new platform at scale, along with the necessary software integration and process changes, takes time – especially when the technology is so immature. But today’s incremental deployments will serve as proofs-of-concept for the more radical innovations to come. Chinese blockchain networks are already managing tens of billions of dollars of trade finance transactions. Pharmaceutical companies are tracking drugs from manufacturing to pharmacies using the MediLedger platform. Boeing is selling a billion dollars of airline parts on Honeywell’s blockchain-based marketplace. Car insurance companies are processing accident claims in a unified environment for the first time. These and other enterprise consortia are doing the essential technical and operational groundwork to handle valuable transactions at scale.
The need for transformative approaches to data will become acute in the next five years. Every week, it seems, another outrage comes to light. For instance, users who posted photos under Creative Commons licenses or default-public settings were shocked they were sucked into databases used to train facial-recognition systems. Some were even used in China’s horrific campaign against Uighur Muslims. Clearview AI, an unknown startup, scraped three billion social media images for a face identification tool it provided, with no oversight, to law enforcement, corporations and wealthy individuals. The examples will only get worse as firms and nations learn new ways to exploit data. The core problem is there is no way to share information while retaining control over how it gets used.
Blockchain offers a solution. It will be widely adopted because, behind the scenes, the current data economy is reaching its breaking point. Outrage over abuses is building throughout the world. The immensely valuable online advertising economy attracts so much fraud that the accuracy of its numbers is coming into question. Communities are looking for new ways to collaborate. Governments are realizing the current system is an impediment to effective service delivery.
The technologist Bill Joy famously stated that no matter how many geniuses a company employs, most smart people work somewhere else. The same is true of data. Even giants such as Google, Facebook and Chinese government agencies need to obtain information from elsewhere in their quest for perfect real-time models of every individual. These arrangements work mostly through contracts and interfaces that ease the flow of data between organisations. As Facebook discovered when Cambridge Analytica extracted massive quantities of user data for voter targeting, these connection points are also vulnerabilities. As tighter limits are placed on data-sharing, even the big players will look for ways to rebuild trust.
The blockchain alternative will begin innocuously. Government authorities at the subnational level are deploying self-sovereign identity to pull together information securely across disparate data stores. This technology allows anyone to share private information in a fine-grained way while still retaining control. You shouldn’t have to reveal your address to confirm your age, or your full tax return to verify your stated income. The necessary cryptography doesn’t require a blockchain, but the desired trust relationships do.
Once people have identities that belong to them, not to banks or social media services, they will use them as the basis for other interactions. Imagine a world where you never need to give a third-party unnecessary data to log into a website, apply for a job, refinance a mortgage or link your bank account to a mobile payment app. Where you can keep your personal and professional profiles completely separate if you choose. Where you can be confident in the reputation of a car mechanic or an Airbnb or a product made in China without intermediaries warping ratings for their own gain. The convenience of user experiences we enjoy within the walled gardens of digital platforms will become the norm across the vastness of independent services.
We will gradually come to view access to our personal information as an episodic, focused interaction, rather than fatalistically accepting an open season based on preliminary formal consent. Major hardware companies such as Apple, which don’t depend on targeted advertising, will build decentralized identity capabilities into their devices. They will add cryptocurrency wallets linked behind the scenes to existing payment and messaging applications. Stablecoins – cryptocurrencies pegged to the dollar, pound or other assets – will help tame volatility and facilitate movement between tokens and traditional currencies. Privately created stablecoins will coexist with central bank digital currencies, which are under development in most major countries throughout the world.
Once this baseline infrastructure is widely available, the real changes will start to occur. DAOs will begin to attract assets as efficient ways for communities to achieve their goals. These entities won’t replace state-backed legal systems; they will operate within them. As numerous controversies, crashes and hacks have already demonstrated, software code is too rigid for the range of situations in the real world, absent backstops for human dispute resolution. Fortunately, there are solutions under development to connect legal and digital entities, such as OpenLaw’s Limited Liability Autonomous Organisations and Mattereum’s Asset Passports.
Today, the legal machinery of contracts strengthens the power of centralized platforms. User agreements and privacy policies enforce their control over data and limit individuals’ power to challenge it. Blockchain-based systems will flip that relationship, with the legal system deployed to protect technology-backed user empowerment. Large aggregations of information will be structured formally as “data trusts” that exercise independent stewardship over assets. They will operate as DAOs, with smart contracts defining the terms of data usage. Users will benefit from sharing while retaining the ability to opt out.
"DATA WILL BE TREATED NOT AS PROPERTY BUT AS A RENEWABLE RESOURCE, WITH THE COMPETITION FOR ECONOMIC VALUE IN THE APPLICATIONS BUILT ON TOP OF IT."
Many significant applications require aggregation of data to drive algorithms, including traffic monitoring (and eventually autonomous vehicles); insurance and lending products serving previously excluded or overcharged customer groups; diagnosis and drug dosing in health care; and demand forecasting for economic modeling. Collective action problems can prevent constructive developments even when rights in data are well defined. DAOs will gradually find market opportunities, from patronage of independent artists to mortgage securitization.
The big data aggregators won’t go away. They will participate in the decentralized data economy because it provides benefits for them as well, cutting down on fraud and reinforcing user trust, which is in increasingly scarce supply. Over time, those who provide benefits of personalization and targeting will more and more be expected to pay for it. A wide range of brokering and filtering providers will offer users a choice of analytics, some embedded in applications or devices and some providing services virtually in the cloud. Governments will focus on making data available and defining policy objectives for services that take advantage of the flow of information. Data will be treated not as property but as a renewable resource, with the competition for economic value in the applications built on top of it.
The most powerful benefit of open data built on blockchain-based decentralised control is that it will allow for new applications we can’t yet envision. If startups can take advantage of the power of data aggregation that today is limited to large incumbents, they are bound to build innovations those incumbents miss.
The surveillance economy took hold because few appreciated what was happening with their data until it was too late. And the cold reality is that few will accept significantly worse functionality or user experience in return for better privacy. That is why the blockchain-powered revolution will make its way up from infrastructural foundations of digital identity and hardware, rather than down from novel user-facing applications.
This vision is far from certain to be realized. Business decisions and government policies could make blockchain-based data decentralization more or less likely. The greatest reason for optimism is that the problem blockchain addresses – gaining trust without giving up control – is becoming ever more critical. The world runs on trust. Blockchain offers hope for recasting trust in the networked digital era.
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InterCasino 200 free spins on Fire Joker + 100% bonus!

InterCasino 200 free spins on Fire Joker + 100% bonus!

InterCasino Free Spins & Welcome Bonus
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InterCasino Review

One of the first internet casinos is still going strong and is bigger and better than ever. InterCasino is celebrating 25 years online and continuing to provide its customers with plenty of gaming options from slots to table games to live casino action. Banking covers all of the in-demand alternatives except for Bitcoin, and a 100% welcome bonus plus 200 free spins should be appealing to bonus-seeking players.

Overview of InterCasino

It’s Intertaining

InterCasino.com is owned by the Intertain Group and is the sister site of Vera & John. In 2016, Intertain relaunched InterCasino on its Plain Gaming platform also featured on Vera & John. The website is fully licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, the Danish Gambling Authority, and the UK Gambling Commission. This casino has earned a relatively good reputation and is undoubtedly well-established.

The United States Came And Went

For its first ten years of operation, US players were welcomed into the InterCasino family, but since 2006, when the government forcefully drove US casinos out of the picture, United States residents can no longer register or use the service. Malaysia, China, and Hong Kong are also explicitly restricted from this website.

Simple, Understated, And Elegant

The black and gold combination can go horribly wrong if it isn’t done well. But, in this case, the InterCasino web developers did a terrific job of putting forth a well-designed and easy to use online experience. The full site is welcoming and comfortable to use, and the mobile experience is just as first-rate.

A Welcome Bonus With A Not-So-Welcoming Rollover

This isn’t a casino that goes crazy with bonuses and promotions programs, so the welcome bonus takes center stage. The deposit match and free spins combination come with a 40 times rollover on any free spins winnings as well as 25 times on the deposit bonus. But, that 25 times isn’t just on the bonus amount, it’s the bonus plus the deposit combined. It doesn’t feel quite as rewarding when you figure out that equation.
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The Banking Bases Are Covered

The financial end of things is rather simple. There’s no long list of options, but the variety more than makes up for the quantity. Credit and debit cards, prepaid, e-wallets, and traditional banking are all offered to players without fees or a lot of hoops to jump through. Credit card withdrawals are posted as having a 3-5 day turnaround, but e-wallets should speed things up at least by a few days.

30 Software Companies

We identified quite a few of the “big guys” in the casino software industry used to create the full InterCasino gaming experience. Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, IGT… their products are just the tip of the iceberg. The casino is more than 800 games in total, and most of those are variations on slot games that should cater to even the most discriminating slot player.

Bonuses & Promotions

If you’re a player who wants endless bonuses, reload matches, contests, and sweepstakes, you may be disappointed in InterCasino. It’s not an over the top casino with bonus programs, and its VIP program is by invitation only.
That’s not to say that you won’t receive some offers via email, because a casino always has the discretion to do that, but there are very few guaranteed promotional programs listed on the site.
The welcome offer is a three-tier program and includes some free spins as well as the deposit match.
There is a limited-time promotion that incorporates a few different incentives all into one. It’s in honor of the casino’s 24st birthday and combines free spins with prize drawings, including a top £1,000 amount.
The birthday celebration is a one-off, but it’s also typical of other limited time offers that this casino provides. Through the archive, you can even take a peek at some of their most popular games and incentives so that you know that there will be more to come.
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The Welcome Offer

You're the real deal. So, claim your 100% Welcome Deal up to 900€. T&Cs apply.
Register and deposit 20€ or more to claim your 100% Welcome Deal bonus of up to 900€. On top of this bonus, get 200 free spins on Fire Joker slot!
Leading the way for more than two decades, InterCasino is one of the most experienced, award-winning online casinos. Always putting players first with the widest range of Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, live 5-star casino and tailor-made promotions.
Featuring bespoke tournaments and promotions, and a Loyalty Shop loaded with great deals, we want you to feel like you’re dressed up to the nines and ready to walk down the red carpet when you play at InterCasino.
At InterCasino, you're the real deal.

InterVIP

InterCasino’s VIP/Loyalty Club is called InterVIP, but whereas most casinos automatically opt all registered players into a program, this one is by invitation only.
The more high rolling of players will be asked to participate and will receive the royal treatment from personal Account Managers to the private invitation to trips and vacation experiences. There is an option to request that you be accepted, but it will be based on your amount of wagering.
Final Bonus Notes
We always urge players to be diligent and read the fine print when it comes to any bonus or incentive offered by an online operator, and it does not just regard the rollover requirements. While the wagering requirement is the big issue, there are other things to note like what games you can or can’t play when trying to meet the rollover.
Also, on this site, players from the United Kingdom or Norway are exempt from bonuses if they use Neteller, Skrill or Paysafecard to fund their betting account.

Banking

While it’s not the most extended list of options we’ve seen, it does cover all bases except Bitcoin. You’ve got the option of credit and debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid, and online banking, so it’s a case of variety over quantity.
Just a reminder that players from Norway and the United Kingdom are unable to collect a deposit bonus if they use Skrill, Neteller or Paysafecards.
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With Bitcoin Suddenly Surging, Canaan Stock Is Also Going Up Today

With Bitcoin Suddenly Surging, Canaan Stock Is Also Going Up Today



By signing up, you may receive emails concerning CoinDesk products and you agree to our terms & conditions and privacy policSTER ON THE SITE
We need all users to enroll on our platform to access the Bitcoin Trader platform. The sign up method is easy and solely takes a couple of minutes. You'll be able to forever contact our customer service team if you wish helpour Bitcoin Trader account for our trading robot to position trades on your behalf. We tend to need all users to possess a minimum of $250 in their account before accessing our web trader platform. This quantity is enough to require positions price lots of thousands of dollars when using leverage.

https://preview.redd.it/e63kae9rz9j51.png?width=3116&format=png&auto=webp&s=eeb8869dbccb0fca7c64d3c91f83cebcdb446e84
You do not would like any expertise to trade with the Bitcoin Trader app. We tend to are ninety nine.99percent automatic, that means that live trading involves terribly little manual input. Moreover, we tend to offer comprehensive guides and tutorials to help users set up a live trading account.
ognized by the US Trading Association as the foremost profitable crypto robot in 20twenty. Whereas results rely on market conditions, a number of our traders have seen profits of more than four
What is the minimum deposit withBitcoin freedom
You'll be able to trade with us by depositing just $250. The additional you deposit, the more earning potential you have in a very single day. However, we have a tendency to encourage our users to begi
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The Bitcoin Trader trading platform is internet-based mostly and accessible through all major browsers on desktop and mobile. You can also install an HTML5 version of our net-trader on any mobile device. We tend to are coming up with to release native apps for Android and iOS by the top of the year.
Bitcoin Trader is a trading robot powered by cutting-edge AI technology. We have a tendency to have a possible daily return on investment of up to four hundredp.c. We have a tendency to have over five thousand reviews on TrustPilot, and at least 90percent of our reviewers are happy with our platformn
Are there hidden fees with Bitcoin Trader?
Our fees are fully transparent. You can download a listing of trading fees from the platform’s management dashboard. We have a tendency to only charge a little commission on profits earned through our trading robot
We have a tendency to settle for registrations from over a hundred thirty countries across the world. Most of our purchasers are from the UK, the US, some elements of Africa, and Asia. We have a tendency to are on the market in your country if you can access our Bitcoin Trader website while not employing a VPN.

We aim to assist normal people reap important returns from cryptocurrency trading. With us, you get exposure to over forty five Bitcoin contracts for variations (CFDs). Common crypto pairs you'll trade with us embrace BTC/USD, BTC/GBP, BTC/EUR, and BTC/XRP.

1) Register: Registering with the Bitcoin Trader app is straightforward. Scroll to the high of this page and submit the specified details through the registration kind.

We require users to verify your phone range and email, since this is often what you'll use for multi-factor authentication. Yet, our partner brokers verify the identity of all users per regulators’ understand your customer (KYC) requirements.

a pair of) eposit: You wish to deposit a minimum of $250 US to trade with the Bitcoin Trader software. We tend to depend on our partner brokers to facilitate transactions, and all of our partners are absolutely regulated by government authorities. With regulated brokers, you'll rest simple knowing that your funds are safe.
You'll fund your account through wire transfer, MoneyGram, Western Union, FasaPay, Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, WebMoney, and Skrill.


three) Trading Education and Demo: We have a tendency to are an auto-trading robot, however we have a tendency to do enable our users some level of management, especially when it comes to risk management. Consequently, our Bitcoin Trader official website encourages you to travel through our trading education section to familiarize yourself with the chance management process.
Our highly intuitive demo platform ought to additionally facilitate your observe trading with the robot before you begin trading during a live account Bitcoin Freedom

The platform needs that you just define the trading conditions for the robot and activate the live trading session button. We have a tendency to encourage you to depart the robot running throughout the day within the background. You'll be able to let it run unmonitored for up to eight hour
We tend to have recently been nominated as the most profitable robot for BTC trading in 20twenty. Moreover, we are one of the trading robots that has been extensively covered by mainstream media. Bitcoin Trader has thousands of reviews on client feedback platforms
Bitcoin Trader was one amongst the primary robots to use high-frequency trading techniques to BTC trading. The robot was founded in 2015, nearly two years before the crypto boom in 2017.
Bitcoin Trader uses AI and ML to create sense of big knowledge, which allows it to trade with high accuracy.
Our trading platform became an on-line sensation in mid-2017, and it has maintained its popularity since then. Bitcoin Trader is the simplest possibility for many beginner and experienced traders.
Bitcoin Trader allows you to earn a daily profit of up to $1,00zero by investing simply $250. That’s a potential return on investment of up to four hundredpercent.
Do celebrities recommend the Bitcoin trader software?

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We tend to are highly widespread and hence a prime target for celebrity gossip. There are viral rumours that we have a tendency to have been endorsed by Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos.

Elon Musk – The founder of SpaceX has invested in Bitcoin and expressed interest in artificial intelligence, however he has not invested employing a trading robot.
Richard Brandson – Branson is another celebrity alleged to own invested using Bitcoin Trader. While it's true that he loves Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he hasn’t endorsed any trading robot.
Jezz Bezos – Bezos is also a big fan of emerging technologies, however he hasn’t shown any interest in BTC trading through revolutionary robots like Bitcoin Trader.

You ought to never build an investment decision based mostly on whether or not a star has endorsed or invested in it. Bitcoin Trader has been tested and licensed by specialists.

The verdict about Bitcoin Trader
We tend to are a prime-rated crypto trading robot with nice reviews on sites like TrustPilot and ForexPeaceArmy. Moreover, we have been recognized as legit and profitable by authoritative bodies like the US Trading Association.

We have a tendency to are always striving to offer the most effective to our users by regularly improving our trading platform. Our team of experts analyzes feedback from users to work out what features will create a a lot of seamless trading experience. We tend to operate in complete transparency, having partnered with some of the world’s most reputable brokers.

Our platforms are encrypted to shield you from hackers. Furthermore, we tend to also adhere to information privacy measures, like the General Information Protection Regulation (GDPR). Try out Bitcoin Trader currently through the link at the high right corner of this page.
perior over different cryptocurrencies?
LATESTBITCOINETHEREUMALTCOINSTECHNOLOGYADOPTIONBLOCKCHAINEVENTSCONTACT
PRESS RELEASEWhy is Bitcoin superior over different cryptocurrencies?Akshay KSPublished a pair of weeks agoon August 12, 2020By Akshay KS
Source: Pixabay
During this technical world, bitcoin is the foremost used digital currency all over the world. However the main question then arises within the minds of the many folks is why bitcoin is considered the foremost superior over other cryptocurrenc Bitcoin Freedom
Bitcoin is that the one method of creating transactions daily as alternative currencies. But it's its options and uniqueness that make it superior. Bitcoin and different currencies are based mostly on the cryptographic algorithms or mathematics that are encrypted, with that the user becomes the owner of the currency. Bitcoin currencies are easily accessible at Bitcoin ATM and online exchange
The main feature of the bitcoin, which makes it superior is that it is the safest option for digital transactions. These will be used for on-line searching and transfer of money too.
There are many alternative blessings to using bitcoin. A number of them are mentioned below
Decentralized and digital
Bitcoin offers the freedom of exchanging the price without representatives that proves helpful in controlling the lower fees and high funds. Bitcoin is that the faster method of transaction than others. It is secure as it is free from theft and frauds and is constant. The main advantage is that bitcoin has its homeowners whereas the bank controls the money.
Makes online looking
Normally, bitcoin will be used for on-line shopping too. Bitcoin is the opposite face of e-wallet, that is created by blockchain technology that is used to store money and will easily pay everywhere digitally. For this reason, it also makes your searching easy by which you'll be able to look from your home solely

Bitcoin is accepted globally at each corner of the planet, which makes it less volatile than local currencies or cash. This feature makes it superior because it enables us to form transactions on-line and across the boundaries
Bitcoin unable the means of tracking cash

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Bitcoin is created by blockchain technology. Blockchain is the sole technology which will either make it or break it. There are many computers which are used to keep up a permanent record of each bitcoin transactions with the help of cryptographic technique. In this approach, it becomes a lot of valuable together with the tracking of the payment. At the same time, there's no method of tracking the cash

While not any transformation method, it will be used over the entire world. It provides the simplest platform for the investment as it is free from the restrictions of governments or banks. It provides an open market and combines the simplest of gold and money.

Bitcoin provides the power to access the balance of the users with a password which is named a personal key. It additionally permits the exchange of values through the web without any middle person. Thus, bitcoin becomes safer, stuffed with privacy, and open to everyone
Unlike cash, it is not possible to form the duplicate quite bitcoin that makes it more efficient. It's protected with the technology of blockchain. Even if anyone tries to form a replica of bitcoin to use it, then the system will automatically reject it as the system recognize it as unknown

Bitcoin Freedom failed to allow two persons to transact on the one price. Once the bitcoin is transferred, its possession is also transferred. So this is the simple approach of maintaining records for any tax functions. It conjointly makes it a easy and healthier metho

Bitcoin is the foremost reliable manner of online transactions. Many questions arise in folks’s minds that are solved on websites like bitcoin revolution. One in all them was the above-mentioned question. Bitcoin provides many facilities, and it comes with more and a lot of blessings which makes it distinctive and special over different cryptocurrencies. It can be preferred as the simplest digital platform for transac


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Disclaimer: AMBCrypto US and UK Market's content is informational in nature and is not meant to be investment advice. Buying, trading or selling crypto-currencies ought to be considered a high-risk investment and every reader is advised to do their due diligence before making any decisions.
People, businesses, and developers: get the support you would like with our straightforward

Browse the FAQ'sn news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the very best journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Sign up with Bitcoin Trader nowadays to start out earning potentially thousands of greenbacks in profits daily from an initial investment of just $250. We tend to are a high-rated automated trading robot that's accessible and easy for all to use. By trading with Bitcoin Trader, you'll start generating a lot of investment income than ever beforeBitcoin Freedom

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With the Bitcoin Trader software, you can probably build up to $one,500 daily from a deposit of $250. We tend to are powered by artificial intelligence technology to confirm that you just get a win rate of more than 98p.c under the right market conditions. The US Trading Association has nominated our Bitcoin Trader as the most profitable crypto trading robot on the market.
We have invested in the globe’s best trading technologies. These include the factitious intelligence subsets of natural language processing, deep learning, and machine learning. Bitcin Trader depends on these technologies to derive insights from huge data and market news.
The Bitcoin Trader app has won nearly fifteen coveted awards since launching in 2016. These include the most Profitable Robot 2020 award by the American Trading Association, the simplest Robot in Trading Technologies 2019 award, and the most Profitable Crypto Robot in 2018 Award. We have a tendency to price our customers and are contin
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The Network of Networks, Scalable Interoperability to Unleash the True Potential of Blockchain

The Network of Networks, Scalable Interoperability to Unleash the True Potential of Blockchain
There is not going to be one blockchain to rule them all, each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Interoperability is key to unlocking the true potential of blockchain, where it will have a profound effect across all industries, creating a secure, trusted and hyper-connected world.
The rise of The Networks of Networks, interconnecting all DLT Networks, existing off-chain networks and even the Internet itself. Where true, scalable interoperability can be achieved without requiring connected chains to fork their code and imposing limitations, without the overhead, bottleneck and single point of failure of adding another blockchain in the middle. Where it will be quick, easy and free to participate.
It’s time to stop the childish tribalism that’s plagued this space for so long and realise the bigger picture. Tribes fighting amongst themselves over a tiny insignificant island where there is a whole world out there to conquer if they work together. A rising tide lifts all boats and with the birth of The Network of Networks all connected projects can benefit from the efforts of each other, to usher in Mass adoption of Blockchain.
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In this article I will discuss the foundations that are being laid in preparation for the release of Overledger Network, The Network of Networks to make all of this possible and to unleash the true potential of blockchain with a secure, hyper-connected decentralised ecosystem. Table of Contents:
  1. Overledger SDK Update
  2. Standards
  3. Security
  4. Regulation
  5. Overledger Network
  6. The Five Ingredients of Interoperability
  7. Connecting Blockchain and Non-DLT Applications / Networks to Overledger
  8. Connecting the Internet directly to blockchain
  9. Join your favourite Blockchain project to the Overledger Network Ecosystem

Overledger SDK Update

Quant have just released their Overledger SDK update which has enabled standardisation of objects to abstract and simplify how to interact with different types of blockchains (UXTO and Account-based) in a common model. As well as the ability to directly deploy, invoke and query smart contracts directly through Overledger. I strongly recommend reading the teams Overledger SDK Update which explains it in more detail and includes example use cases of how Overledger is being used and the benefits it brings. Dr Luke Riley also did a fantastic job providing an in-depth demo of the Overledger SDK Update via Video as well.
https://youtu.be/PbpaZpe4mTQ

“This update sets the foundations to build the ecosystem for Overleger Network, allowing stakeholders other than Quant to write any type (DLT and non-DLT) Overledger connectors and sets up the ecosystem with multiple entry points for Overledger Gateways. These updates open up the integration capabilities of Overledger to 3rd parties and create the foundations for the Overledger Network”

Standards

“Trusted standards mean that industry doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel, that innovations will be compatible and work with existing technology, and that products and services will be trusted too. Governments use standards as trusted solutions to complement regulation, and they give peace of mind to consumers who know they are not putting themselves or their families at risk.” — Acting ISO Secretary-General Kevin McKinley
The foundations need to align with internationally recognised standards as they play a crucial role in ensuring interoperability with new and existing technology and validates a product meets the best practices / regulation required to ensure Enterprises remains in compliance. CEO of Quant, Gilbert Verdian, founded the ISO TC 307 standard covering blockchain as a whole, which 56 countries are working towards today.
Countries involved with ISO TC 307 — https://www.iso.org/committee/6266604.html?view=participation
Gilbert Verdian is the chairman for the ISO TC 307 working group for interoperability of blockchain and distributed ledger technology systems as well as being chairman for Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology for BSI (British Standards Institution) which represent the UK and includes companies such as Quant, IBM, Microsoft, HSBC, BAE Systems, Huawei as well as a number of UK Government bodies such as BEIS — Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Defence Science and Technology and the National Cyber Security Centre.
The standardisation updates to the Overledger SDK aligns with the work in ISO TC 307 and academic work from Dr Paolo Tasca and Dr Claudio Tessone to provide users with a clear distributed ledger data standard. This will enable everyone to easily create connectors in a standard way, facilitating interoperability with all of the connected blockchains / non-DLT networks that are already connected to Overledger through Overledger Gateways.

Security

Cybersecurity is in Quant’s DNA. The team have a rich heritage of working for Governments, banks and industry for over 20 years protecting organisations and people from security threats. Before Quant, Gilbert Verdian was the Chief Information Security Officer for Vocalink (Mastercard) where he was in charge of security for the entire payments infrastructure in the UK (£6 Trillion per year).
Gilbert has led a team determined to take security to another level, protecting a critical part of the UK’s infrastructure, protecting UK citizens and businesses from fraud and risk and, by extension, allowing them to live as they want to. Under Gilbert’s guidance, Vocalink security is not merely best-in-class, but setting a new standard. — https://connect.vocalink.com/2017/july/a-winning-streak/
In addition to Quant being selected as a Guarantor for Pay.UK, Gilbert has also been appointed to the Cybersecurity Advisory Board (Pay.UK is the UK’s leading retail payments authority and runs the UK’s retail payments operations, which includes Bacs, Faster Payments and Cheques.)
The pillars of security are Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. As such, they have used their experience in running payment and financial infrastructure and critical national infrastructure for nations and embedded these principles into every aspect of Overledger.

Regulation

Regulation is playing an ever increasing role for blockchain. Standards and Security naturally complement and help define regulation. The verticals Quant are involved in with regards to regulation span the globe. Gilbert helped shape the conversation about consumer data protection rights during his time as CISO of NSW Health, and is continuing to serve as a cornerstone for policy within the adoption of blockchain in public infrastructure. Quant serves as a founding member of INATBA (The International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications), which is the formal governing body of the European Blockchain Partnership, all of which is overseen in Brussels by the EU. More locally, Gilbert and team are in consistent contact with the House of Lords within the UK, and advises the FCA in matters regarding cryptoassets.
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As recently seen in the SDK update, Overledger can serve as a key component of automatic compliance of governance bodies’ financial regulation, shown here by an Overledger instance reporting to the BoE’s Prudential Regulation Authority. Project BARAC, stewarded by University College London, is a project examining the impact Automatic Regulation as administered by Blockchain can have on the Federal Government. Most notably, the FCA and R3, the developers of Corda, are involved here. Gilbert’s recent engagements with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston also seem to revolve around this very topic, with the Boston Fed pilot-testing a Supervisor Node for automatic regulatory compliance. While at P2PFISY 2019, it was noted by Gilbert that Raphael Auer’s “Regulation Automata” aligns very well with the vision of Overledger, with Paolo Tasca, former CSO of Quant, more recently co-hosting a recent blockchain panel with him. Raphael’s ideas will most likely be taken into consideration by the BIS, as they recently announced a trial of a 6 central banks collaboration centered around exploring CBDC, and are in the early stages of installing Innovation Hubs in Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Singapore.
Gilbert Verdian with Guy Dietrich (Managing Director at Rockefeller Capital who is also on the Board at Quant) attending a meeting with the Financial Conduct Authority

Overledger Network

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The Overledger Network is a network of networks, which allows enterprise and communities stakeholders to access and participate in a growing hyper-connected decentralised ecosystem. Enterprises, banks, central banks, trading venues, etc will be able to host their own secure dedicated gateways, enabling secure connectivity to permissioned networks, permissionless networks, ecosystems, consortia and other distributed technologies. Community members will also be able to run an Overledger gateway to further enhance the scalability, decentralisation and optimise network latency, providing enterprises, developers and users choice to use the closest gateway when accessing permissionless blockchains. The Overledger gateways will create a scalable p2p network that shares the transaction and volume between participants and chooses the closest or largest node to transact with.
As per the example use case in the recent update a Bank can run an Overledger Gateway to provide access to the various consortiums hosted on a variety of blockchains including Corda, Hyperledger Fabric and JP Morgan’s Quorum as well as access to the legacy / non-DLT platforms. Should they want to utilise a public blockchain as well in a hybrid scenario then they also have the option of using a Overledger Gateway hosted by a community member.
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The Overledger Gateways contain several layers which we will explore some of their features below:

Overledger Operating System

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Overledger allows connection to any blockchain / DAG as well as easily integrating with existing non-DLT environments. It does this without adding the overhead of yet another blockchain / consensus in the middle, ensuring that it’s scalable and doesn’t contain a single point of failure. Nor does it require the connected blockchains to fork their code to integrate and place restrictions on what can be implemented going forward. All of this is done in a secure, trustless manner where transactions are signed and encrypted client side so the contents can’t be viewed / modified as they pass through Overledger. It currently connects all of the leading permissioned and permissionless blockchains used by enterprises today. This article explains the differences between other interoperability solutions and the benefits of Quant’s approach

The Five Ingredients of Interoperability:

Recently there was an interoperability webinar with Fintech connect with speakers such as R3’s CTO Richard Gendal Brown, along with representatives from the Bank of England, Deutsche Boerse, Nasdaq, ArchaxEx and SwissRe. Richard Gendal Brown from R3 wrote about the Five key Ingredients of Interoperability:
https://preview.redd.it/18e9wwq7zoi41.png?width=2356&format=png&auto=webp&s=537b2e70139bb0e70fcd615c497541fc89bba97f
  1. INTEGRATE with existing business systems — Businesses aren’t going to replace their existing applications for new blockchain ones, they need to integrate with their existing systems.
  2. INITIATE Payments on existing rails or blockchain rails — Needs to be able to make a payment / settlement using a wide variety of existing payment rails (off chain) as well as blockchain rails, ensuring delivery vs payment can be achieved with certainty that they have happened.
  3. INTERCHAIN applications and smart contracts that can be deployed / executed across protocols — Enabling a solution built on Corda such as Marco Polo to easily connect to a solution on another platform such as Vakt on Ethereum or CargoSmart on Hyperledger Fabric etc
  4. INTRACHAIN applications that benefit from value add of same underlying protocol — What happens when networks such as Marco Polo and Contour both running on Corda want to interoperate and the additional value and benefit that can be achieved.
  5. INTERCHANGE applications to switch platforms — What happens if you want to interchange one platform for another. Can you achieve that holy grail of interoperability by being able to be completely agnostic to the underlying platform?
Overledger meets all of these key ingredients in performing interoperability. Overledger enables existing business systems to benefit from blockchain connectivity by adding as little as 3 lines of code to their existing applications. No need to completely rewrite / replace their existing systems and all done in the most common programming languages such as Java and JavaScript.
https://preview.redd.it/7jqjt9v8zoi41.png?width=1127&format=png&auto=webp&s=6f40c1ae463d76c6c6b46a9e716e544e06ef3cd4
At QuantX in December they announced Overledger Interchange which enables settlement on a variety of existing non-dlt payment rails such as Faster Payments, BACS, CHAPS, SEPA, SWIFT as well as on DLT payment rails such as with Central Bank Digital Currencies, Stablecoins and XRP. It also facilitates Cross Chain Atomic Swaps using Hash Time Locked Contracts ensuring Delivery vs Payment is achieved. Interchange is at the centre of the discussions Quant has had with traditional exchanges in capital markets and central banks and is a technology financial services have been missing and was built it address client needs.
Overledger enables interoperability within the same ecosystem such as Corda DAPP to another Corda DAPP etc as well as interoperability between any of the connected permissionless and permissioned blockchains.
Quants blockchain agnostic Operating System enables users to benefit from using the best features from different chains in combination and migrate between them, preventing Vendor or Tech Lock in without having to completely rewrite existing applications, achieving the holy grail of interoperability. It enables developers to quickly test a variety of connected blockchains in a sandbox environment to see which is best suited for their requirements, starting with just 3 lines of code.

Transactions Services Layer

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The Transaction Services layer handles more complex features of Overledger. Allowing for applications to request services such as cross-chain atomic swaps, treaty contracts (Multi Chain Smart Contracts as well as enabling smart contract functionality even on blockchains that don’t support smart contracts natively such as Bitcoin) and transaction brokering (using heuristic analysis to determine which method is the fastest / cheapest out of the various payment rails)

Financial Services Layer

https://preview.redd.it/4zgt0umazoi41.png?width=740&format=png&auto=webp&s=49a840532d70740a77c00901aafd047311b84229
Financial services features can be called upon by participants and applications to use crosschain and cross-platform. Financial Services specific use cases can use the features in Overledger to operate across networks. This layer provides enhanced privacy and security to regulated entities and institutions who require additional controls to maintain compliance to regulation and security policy. The features of Zero-knowledge Proof and privacy can be mandated for all transactions.

Channels Layer

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Channels provide interoperability of services related to digital assets, payments and tokenisation. The Overledger Network allows for participants to transfer interoperate enterprise and institutional issued tokens and assets. Connect to many existing payment rails such as SWIFT, SEPA, Faster Payments etc.
https://preview.redd.it/0u93b51czoi41.png?width=1441&format=png&auto=webp&s=a7ecbf440684a926b66db7273fdba9acfda826d7

Connecting Blockchain and Non-DLT Applications / Networks to Overledger

The connectors to Overledger which grant access to Overledger Network will be open source and soon be made available, allowing for anyone to create a connector and benefit from being part of the ecosystem. Currently the permissionless blockchain space is mostly speculation with little adoption, mainly due to issues that need to be resolved such as scalability, privacy and regulation with permissionless blockchains, however there are some extremely large Enterprises, Banks, Governments, even Central Banks getting heavily involved and going into production albeit mostly in the permissioned blockchain space where such issues are not a problem. Just as each Blockchain has its advantages and disadvantages, parts of Enterprise applications are better suited to Permissioned blockchains (such as more sensitive parts) and permissionless blockchains suited for a higher degree of immutability, thus a Hybrid model requiring interoperability between permissioned, permissionless as well as existing non-DLT applications is required arguably for many years ahead. Just as with cloud computing where everything didn’t suddenly just move up into the cloud, well over a decade later since the birth of the likes of Amazon AWS, hybrid is still very prevalent today with only recently the likes of central banks, banks, governments discussing moving more sensitive workloads to public clouds such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud etc.

SIA, Central Banks, Banks, Trading Venues

Quant Network partnered with SIA, a game changer for mass blockchain adoption by Financial Institutions. SIA is the leading financial network provider in Europe that connects over 570 Banks, Central Banks, Trading Venues (stock exchanges etc) to their infrastructure. They provide a dedicated private network / infrastructure for financial institutions. Every European financial institution will either connect via SIA, in partnership with Colt or via SWIFT (and in many cases they will have connectivity with both) in order to access the Eurosystem Single Market Infrastructure Gateway, granting access to all RTGS, Securities and Instant Payment transactions for Europe.
SIA have integrated Overledger into their private infrastructure covering Europe consisting of 570 supernodes called SIAChain which enables each bank, central Bank, trading venue etc to utilise Overledger for interoperability. Some of the largest deployments of blockchain are happening on SIAChain such as the Spunta project where the entire Italian Banking Sector will be using blockchain and due to go live next month. As well as the “Fideiussioni Digitali” initiative (Digital Sureties) to digitize the management of sureties using blockchain technology with the Central Bank of Italy involved.
Central Bank Digital Currencies are going to play a hugely significant role in the future and there is one central Bank currently testing Overledger and Quant are in discussions with 4 others.
Connecting your blockchain / legacy network to Overledger enables the possibility that it could be used by any of these connected Banks, Central Banks, Trading venues etc in their private network (obviously due to the amount of regulation and critical financial infrastructure the options are going to be limited on what they want to connect).
https://preview.redd.it/ob1vzu7dzoi41.png?width=1336&format=png&auto=webp&s=af9fc79d4749005e60666e3f21cee1a10e9b2275

Oracle

Quant are a Fintech Partner with Oracle, the 2nd largest software company in the world and Oracle are taking Quant’s tech to their clients directly. They have 480,000 clients globally and towards the end of last year Oracle invited Quant to attend Sibos (SWIFT) where they met existing financial services and banking clients and introduced to new ones. By connecting to Overledger this also enables your solution to potentially be used by those 480,000 of Oracle’s global clients.
https://preview.redd.it/rgo9n1ydzoi41.png?width=1220&format=png&auto=webp&s=2521b5968cfb2d8533da0963d3f838b9f518faa5

SIMBA Chain

SIMBA Chain is a cloud-based, smart-contract-as-a-service (SCaaS) platform, enabling users across a variety of skill sets to implement dapps (decentralized applications). The easy-to-use platform is tailored for users, developers, government, and enterprises to quickly deploy blockchain dapps for their enterprise. SIMBA Chain are developing on Quant’s Overledger Blockchain OS to allow them to deploy DAPPs across multiple connected blockchains.
SIMBA Chain have recently been awared a $9.5 million contract with the US Navy, they are also working with the US Air Force. They have a thriving ecosystem with over 1100 Organizations and 650+ Applications developed. Partners include Microsoft, Government Blockchain Association, Air Force Research Laboratory, Caterpillar, SAP and EY. Recently they also integrated Unity 3D plugin for Gaming to enable owning, storing, and managing all personal gaming assets across a variety of blockchains.
These are just a few of the companies that Quant have partnered with directly, but the ecosystem for Overledger Network is the Network of Networks. Every connected blockchain (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple (XRPL), EOS, Stellar, IOTA, DAG, R3’s Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, JP Morgan’s Quorum and other Permissioned Variants of Ethereum) and their associated partners / applications built on them have the ability to connect and interoperate with the other blockchains connected as well as non-DLT networks such as existing payment rails like SWIFT, Faster Payments, SEPA etc. This Network of Network’s effects will grow exponentially as more and more join the ecosystem.
https://preview.redd.it/fd1m5uvezoi41.png?width=590&format=png&auto=webp&s=99c5b1893d851ba1effe7b5e73480c27f3f7973e

Connecting the Internet directly to blockchain

Quant Network are also developing the ability to allow developers to build MAPPs that integrate directly with the internet as well as blockchain data. They will enable this via creating a new IP address for blockchains which they are calling Quant IP which will enable traffic to be routed from an IP connection from the Internet through Overledger to the connected blockchains.
Another Quant product called Seeq is a distributed search engine that is able to search and retrieve data from multiple blockchains and display them via html directly from the blockchain. More details will be released about Seeq later this year.
Connecting the Internet directly to blockchain will allow websites to be natively created and served directly from blockchains, without the need to have, run and maintain web servers, web services, SSL certificates etc and all running in a completely trusted, extremely resilient / tamperproof environment. The implications of this are enormous and more details will be released by the team later on this exciting prospect. By connecting your blockchain to Overledger you will also be able to benefit from this.

Join your favourite Blockchain project to the Overledger Network Ecosystem

Instead of the current mentality of having the main focus for many projects of listing on exchanges for vast sums of money, why not spend a little time (connectors can be created in as little as a week of development and don’t necessarily even need to be created by the team themselves) and make your blockchain / non-DLT application available to be used by all existing enterprises / members. Not only that but if you also run an Overledger Gateway connecting your blockchain node you also benefit from the transaction fees of the traffic going to it. The connectors are open source and completely free to connect and now with the standardisation of Objects in the recent SDK update the foundations are in place for the launch of Overledger Network with an ETA of Q2 2020. If you would like your favourite blockchain project to interoperate and be part of the ecosystem to further adoption then make the relevant people aware and keep an eye out for further details released in the future.

https://medium.com/@CryptoSeq/the-network-of-networks-scalable-interoperability-to-unleash-the-true-potential-of-blockchain-c54e7d373d2d

Thanks to community member Ghost of St. Miklos for contributing the section about regulation as well as Sonic for proofreading.
You can find more about Overledger Network as well as the token utility — here and community member David W. wrote an excellent article “A deeper look into the Quant Network Utility Token (QNT) valuation dynamics and fundamentals”
What is a blockchain operating system and what are the benefits? Introducing Overledger from Quant Network.
Wall Street 2.0: How Blockchain will revolutionise Wall Street and a closer look at Quant Network’s Partnership with AX Trading
Large Enterprise Adoption of Blockchain is happening, enabled by Quant Network’s Overledger
As well as an 8 Part Series taking an indepth look at Overledger starting with Part 1
submitted by xSeq22x to QuantNetwork [link] [comments]

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