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What Does the Futures Hold for Bitcoin in 2018?

As Bitcoin peaked to $20,000 just before Christmas last year, it was unstoppable in both its growth and dominance, but since then it has dr...

Monday, April 23, 2018

This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and Porn

Bitcoin in Brief is your roundup of everything that matters from all over the vast cryptosphere that you might have missed. This week's daily editions included stories about taxes, forks, pranks, porn and so much more. This weekly edition will bring you up to speed with everything covered; just make sure ...

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Markets Update: Bitcoin Cash Prices Up Over 60% This Week

The price of Bitcoin (BCH) has spiked considerably over the past two weeks as the decentralized cryptocurrency's market has just captured a $20Bn capitalization. The market value of BCH is currently hovering around $1,250 per coin and the digital asset commands close to $1Bn in trades over the past ...

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Wikileaks Claims Coinbase Has Shut Down Its Online Store's Bitcoin Account

Wikileaks' official online merchandise store claims that its account with Coinbase has been suspended by the cryptocurrency exchange. Wikileaks, a leaked documents depository that was central to a long string of international scandals even before the 2016 presidential election, is now calling for a ...

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Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICO

Nasdaq-listed technology firm Xunlei has become the subject of multiple class-action lawsuits from investors who purchased the company’s digital token, Linktoken. Xunlei is accused of misleading investors to disguise an initial coin offering (ICO) through which Linktoken was distributed.

Also Read: Survey: 89% of Visa, Mastercard, Unionpay Users Know Crypto – 53% Have Purchased

Xunlei CEO Rejects ICO Allegations

Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICOThe chief executive officer of Xunlei, Chen Lei, has rejected accusations that the company misled investors in order to illegally conduct an ICO in China.

Xunlei’s Linktoken was distributed to users in exchange for a contribution of idle internet bandwidth, according to South China Morning Post. Chen Lei has claimed that the Linktoken distribution did not comprise an ICO due to the company not raising any funds through the issuance of the tokens, and due to Linktoken comprising a utility token that is not allowed to be traded. “By making a public offering, really you need to use it to raise money. We have never used a coin to raise any money at all, that’s never our intention,” Mr. Lei stated.

In October 2017, Linktoken was launched in conjunction with other efforts by Xunlei to enter the booming blockchain industry. Whilst the distribution of the Linktoken appears to have been the catalyst for many weeks of sharp bullish action, the value of Xunlei’s stock has more than halved since posting 500% gains and setting record highs of $25 USD in November 2017.

Xunlei’s Stock Plummets

Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICOSince then, the price of Xunlei’s shares had plummeted to approximately $10 by early April, prompting some U.S.-based investors to seek action against the company for allegations of giving false and/or misleading statements regarding the legitimacy of the company’s cryptocurrency-related activities between October 2017 and January 2018. Among other allegations, investors have pointed to the requirement that they purchase hardware from Xunlei in order to share bandwidth and claim the digital tokens in return.

Chen Lei has refuted the allegations, stating “We are a small capital company, so our stock price does fluctuate, but I don’t think there’s any basis for the lawsuit because we’re operating in China and it is the Chinese law and regulations that we need to observe,” adding that “the definition of [an] ICO has to be interpreted in the Chinese market.” Mr. Lei also indicated that Xunlei is currently in the process of hiring legal counsel to refute the allegations.

Chen Lei Claims to Support Regulatory Action Against ICOs

Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICOChen Lei also criticized initial coin offerings and advocated for greater regulatory action to be taken against such, stating “ICOs are terrible, and give a bad name to blockchain technology. Governments should clamp down on these practices – a crackdown is the only way blockchain can rebuild its reputation.” Mr. Lei added: “We have been very straight on our business practices – we do not sell tokens.”

China’s National Internet Finance Association (NIFA), a self-regulatory body established by the People’s Bank of China and authorized by China’s State Council, conducted an investigation into Xunlei’s token distribution, concluding in January the company had evaded regulations through conducting an “initial miner offering.”

NIFA stated “In the case of Lianke issued by Xunlei, for example, the issuing company in effect substitutes Lianke for the duty to pay back project contributors with legal tender, making it essentially a financing activity and a form of disguised ICO. In addition, with frequent promotional activities and publishing of trading tutorials, Xunlei has lured many citizens without sound discernment into IMO activities.”

Xunlei Shares Bounce After Blockchain Launch

Nasdaq-Listed Company Xunlei Faces Class-Action for Disguising ICODespite the controversy and ongoing class-action lawsuits, Xunlie’s stock has bounced in recent days following the company’s announcement that its “Thunderchain” blockchain platform designed to facilitate the development of decentralized applications has been launched.

Xunlei’s shares (XNET) are currently trading at $13.46, after retracing from highs of $14 on the 20th of April.

Do you think that Xunlei will be successful in evading ICO status regarding its Linktoken issuance? Share your thoughts in the comments section below


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Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn’t Currency

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't Currency

The current president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and the man expected to soon be the New York Federal Reserve Bank, John Williams, has rejected the suggestion that cryptocurrencies comprise currency.

Also Read: Trading Sanctions Imposed on Tezos Co-Founder Amid FINRA Settlement

New York Federal Reserve Nominee Rejects Cryptocurrencies as ‘Currencies’

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't CurrencyMr. Williams, the man nominated to head the New York Federal Reserve, has stated that “Cryptocurrency doesn’t pass the basic test of what a currency should be.”

Mr. Williams asserted that currencies should comprise “basically something with a store of value,” also emphasizing the need for currencies to be “elastic” in order to adapt to a wide range of economic conditions and circumstance. Despite the criticisms, Mr. Williams failed to further elaborate on how cryptocurrencies fail to or could better fulfill the aforementioned monetary functions.

The current San Francisco Federal Reserve president also stated that “The idea of the supply of currency and thinking about currency really belongs more in the sphere of government and central banks. My view is it’s really more of a promise of technology.” At least, Mr. Williams acknowledged that his extensive experience in central banking had left him “very biased” regarding issues pertaining to cryptocurrency.

Mr. Williams also criticized “The setup [and] institutional arrangement[s] around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” claiming that the cryptocurrency sphere suffers from “problems with fraud, problems with money laundering, terror financing. There’s a lot of problems there,” Mr. Williams stated.

Mr. Williams is expected to be appointed as the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank in June when the current president, William Dudley, will step away from the position.

U.S. Federal Reserve Officials Criticize Cryptocurrency

Nominee to New York Federal Reserve Claims That Crypto Isn't CurrencyMr. Williams’ comments come following weeks of increasingly hostile rhetoric issued representatives of various federal reserve banks in the United States.

At the start of April, Federal Reserve Board of Governor member, Lael Brainard, indicated that the institution is “monitoring is the extreme volatility evidenced by some cryptocurrencies.”

For instance, Bitcoin rose over 1,000 percent in 2017 and has fallen sharply in recent months,” Mrs. Brainard said. “These markets may raise important investor and consumer protection issues, and some appear especially vulnerable to money-laundering concerns.”

At the end of March, the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Raphael Bostic, rejected the proposition that cryptocurrencies comprise money. Mr. Bostic discouraged consumers from investing in the virtual currency markets, stating “Don’t do it. They are speculative markets. They are not currency. If you have money you really need, do not put it in these markets.’’

In January, the president of the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago, Charles Evans, stated that bitcoin is “Not money-like at the moment,” adding that cryptocurrency investors are “swimming with all the sharks in the world because of all the anonymity.’’

Do you think that cryptocurrencies fulfill the basic functions associated with ‘money’ or ‘currency’? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Do Crypto Trading Bots Really Work?



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Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the Baltics

Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the Baltics

Cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity in the Baltic states where no comprehensive regulations have been introduced yet. Businesses from multiple sectors, including real estate, online trade, the hospitality industry, and even healthcare, are taking advantage of crypto payments. Some companies from the region are already offering their services globally.   

Also read: Blind Denial of Cryptocurrencies Leads Nowhere, Bank of Lithuania Says

Apartments Sold for Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies are becoming more widely accepted in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, where buying a cup of coffee with bitcoin is nothing special these days. Cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops, and even an orthopedic clinic, are now accepting cryptos, according to local media. It seems that the Baltic Tigers of the EU are becoming the “Bitcoin Tigers” of Europe.

Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the Baltics

Crypto payments have been introduced in the real estate business by several companies selling land plots and housing units in the Baltics, Novaya Gazeta reports. Potential buyers will soon be able to purchase land and homes in the Auriai cottage settlement, which is currently under construction not far from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

Crypto-priced real estate is also sold in neighboring Latvia and Estonia. The Latvian branch of Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty is offering penthouse apartments in Jūrmala for bitcoin. Recently, the Estonian realtor LAAM Kinnisvara announced it is accepting cryptocurrency for apartments in the town of Maardu, 15 minutes car drive from Tallinn. A third of the 44 units built by the company there have been sold already. The next bitcoin deal is scheduled to take place next week.

Cryptos Accepted For Clothes

Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the BalticsMore than 30 locations in Vilnius accept crypto payments, in Tallinn they are 26, and in Riga – 21, according to Coinmap. Bitcoin ATMs can be found in the capitals of Estonia and Lithuania, according to Coinatmradar. Most of the businesses accepting cryptos are from the hospitality industry – cafes, bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, several hotels. Other sectors, however, are quickly catching up.

About a month ago, the United Colors of Benetton franchisee in Lithuania announced it would accept cryptocurrencies. The stores of the fashion brand in Vilnius now take bitcoin, etherium, dash, NEM, and steem through a partnership with Coppay. The Belarus-based payments provider offers instant conversion to fiat at an exchange rate based on data from multiple markets. “Our employees like it because it’s simple and easy. No additional training was needed”, said Arturas Zuokas, co-owner of the company and former mayor of Vilnius.

By the way, Lithuania already has a platform similar to the one maintained by Coppay. The local company Coingate recently signed an agreement with a French developer of online payment solutions. Through this partnership with Prestashop, the Lithuanians plan to provide services to 80,000 merchants around the world.

Bitcoin Still Unregulated

No comprehensive regulations have been adopted yet in neither of the Baltic states. Latvia has recently attempted to partially recognize cryptocurrencies for taxation purposes. Authorities in Riga said that bitcoin could “function as a means of exchange”. As a result, 20% tax will be imposed on capital gains from deals with cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Payments Are on the Rise in the BalticsEstonia, arguably the most digitally developed Baltic country, has been mulling over issuing its own cryptocurrency. Tallinn is not giving up on the idea, despite the negative stance of the European Central Bank. Officials behind the project are still pushing for issuing “estcoin”, not as a crypto, but as a token. In any case, Estonia is resolved to proceed with its plans for a national coin.

The central bank of Lithuania, which was opposing cryptocurrencies for some time, has just started consultations with representatives of the crypto sector on a possible regulatory framework. “The blind denial, the reluctance to understand and work with the cryptocurrency world, leads us nowhere”, a high ranking official of Lietuvos Bankas said last week.

Do you think the Baltics can lead Europe in crypto adoption? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.  


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This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and Porn

This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and Porn

Bitcoin in Brief is your roundup of everything that matters from all over the vast cryptosphere that you might have missed. This week’s daily editions included stories about taxes, forks, pranks, porn and so much more. This weekly edition will bring you up to speed with everything covered; just make sure you keep up.

Also Read: Robinhood App Expands Cryptocurrency Trading to Another US State

A Panther’s Moonshot Bet

On Monday we reported why Pantera Capital bets on a moonshot bitcoin price point, how the world’s most popular decentralized digital asset has been forked more than 70 times, and a growing list of countries likely to let you keep your crypto profits. Additionally covered were Yahoo! Japan which confirmed that it is entering the crypto space by acquiring a stake in an exchange, and a good-hearted wager between bitcoin core and bitcoin cash supporters that exemplifies how ecosystem actors should treat one another.

The Tax Man Effect

The world’s biggest economy faced the tax man on Tuesday, as the United States and its crypto traders had to pay for last year’s gains. Economists and market bulls were insisting that this fact caused dramatic sell offs, leading to haircuts across the board. We also covered I Pay You, the supposed hack of Ian Balina, and the release of a bitcoin themed clothing line for babies.

Pornhub? We’ve Never Heard of Pornhub

On Wednesday it was revealed that Pornhub, a website we’re sure you never heard of before because nobody watches porn on the internet, has joined the crypto revolution. We also reported about how South Korea’s loss of ICOs is Switzerland’s gain; how bitcoin is blamed for every crime under the sun; why Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin is accused of favoritism; and why bitcoin cash (BCH) is getting a ton of love from CNBC’s Brian Kelly.

This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and Porn

ICO Scares Investors With Ghost Prank

On Thursday we indulged ourselves with a bunch of crypto crime news stories, including an international bitcoin heist escape, the fury of a scorned woman, a bear spray robbery, and some whole food violence.

The biggest issue of the day was a German online news source claiming that Savedroid has apparently taken the money and run. The company website was replaced with a meme picture, “Aannnd it’s gone.” Founder and CEO Yassin Hankir tweeted a picture of himself on a beach, long gone. All this after having raised $50 million in an ICO. Investors were not pleased.

Truths, T-Shirts, Things That Matter

The most talked about issue on Friday was the stance that Kraken’s chief executive took against the latest actions by authorities in New York. Jesse Powell has refused to complete a questionnaire, and instead respond with strong-worded language. “When I saw this 34-point demand, I immediately thought ‘The audacity of these guys – the entitlement, the disrespect for our business, our time!…I realized that we made the right decision to get the hell out of New York,’” he said.

We also reported about a deal between privacy web browser Brave Software and Dow Jones Media Group to test blockchain technology in digital publishing; and another crypto clothing line – this time for hip adults – by The Hundreds a streetwear brand from Los Angeles.

Coinsecure Working With Authorities

This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and PornCoinsecure, the hacked Indian bitcoin exchange, has updated clients on Saturday about its repayment plan. The team said they have been flooded with calls and emails over the last few days regarding the disbursement of funds. And they claim to have been working with the authorities tirelessly since the incident and that there have been a lot of back and forth with several data requests. They add that they have been working on providing the data requested and that has consumed the majority of their time.

They wrote that: “We’d like to inform you, that we have started work on the claims process. Our legal team is currently reviewing contracts and our teams are working on putting together the claims form for your perusal. We are hoping that by the following weekend, we should get started and you should be able to submit your claims withdrawal requests. Please understand, that with authorities being involved and investigations underway, things do slow down a bit and we have to follow processes outlined by the authorities.”

What other stories everyone in the bitcoin world must have read this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


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Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and Porn appeared first on Bitcoin News.



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Travel Booking Site CheapAir Is Switching Bitcoin Payment Processors

"We were recently informed by our processing partner, Coinbase, that they will no longer support 'custodial' solutions for merchants, and are removing a number of the tools and features that we rely on to accept bitcoin from CheapAir.com shoppers," CheapAir wrote. "These changes are scheduled to ...

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 04/23/2018 – Bulls Back in Action!

Some predict that bitcoin could surge past the $20,000 highs within the quarter. Risk appetite has also been mostly supported in the markets, which means that traders are willing to place bets outside of traditional assets like stocks and commodities. Sentiment in the cryptocurrency industry itself has also ...

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India's central bank has been taken to court over its cryptocurrency crackdown

“It (the RBI directive) has come with this overarching order that can be challenged on several counts,” Anirudh Rastogi, managing partner at law firm TRA, which represents several bitcoin exchanges in the country, told Quartz earlier in April. “There is a right to trade and it cannot be restricted in absolute ...

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