Taiwan’s highest legislature has approved amendments to existing laws, enabling the country’s regulator to combat anonymous cryptocurrency transactions.

On Friday, Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan passed a legislative proposal that mandates cryptocurrency transactions to fall under the purview of existing money laundering laws.

The amendments to the Money Laundering Control Act and the Terrorism Financing Prevention Act enables the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) – Taiwan’s financial regulator – to gather KYC information of cryptocurrency investors from trading platforms, Focus Taiwan reports.

Specifically, the regulator “now demand that operators of virtual currency platforms implement “real-name systems” that require users to register their real names, according to new provisions,” an excerpt from the report added.

Further, banks will also be required to report ‘suspicious’ transactions that are anonymous, to the regulator. The amendments, Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said, align the country’s laws with international anti-money laundering norms.

The revisions follow a pointed proposal by Taiwanese lawmaker Jason Hsu who, in October, sought to enforce a similar framework used by the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Hsu, a congressman from Taiwan’s Nationalist Party, has advocated against calls for a cryptocurrency ban and instead called on Taiwan to take a different position to the hostile stances taken by neighbouring China and South Korea.

“Just because China and South Korea are banning, doesn’t mean that Taiwan should follow suit – there is a huge opportunity for growth in the future,” Hsu said in a parliamentary session last year. “We should emulate Japan, where they treat cryptocurrency as a highly regulated, highly monitored industry like securities.”

As reported in October, the chairman of Taiwan’s FSC has also revealed that the regulator is preparing guidelines for regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country.

*This post is credited to CCN

Taiwan’s legislature has amended the country’s anti-money laundering and terrorism financing prevention laws to include regulatory requirements for cryptocurrency transactions.

Taiwan’s Anti Money Laundering Regulations for Cryptocurrency

According to Focus Taiwan, the amendments grant the country’s top financial regulator (FSC) the power to clamp down on anonymous cryptocurrency transactions. Beyond regulating digital currency transactions, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) can also monitor crypto exchange operators.

Based on the new provisions, the FSC will mandate all cryptocurrency exchange platforms to operate a “real-name system.” Exchange operators must insist that users register with their real identities. Banks can halt anonymous transactions and report same to the financial regulator.

Speaking on the decision, the Ministry of Justice had this to say:

A compliance culture and mindset is an important part of effectively fighting money laundering, and that culture and mindset can only be fostered through good habits and practices in the operations of local companies and institutions.

Before this development, some government officials led by Jason Hsu launched a self-regulatory body for the country’s cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. The Taiwan Crypto Blockchain Self-Regulatory Organisation is a voluntary coalition of industry participants tasked with drafting policies for the sector. These new provisions on anti-money laundering are possibly a result of various dialogues between the TCBSRO and the FSC.

Last year, the country’s lawmakers passed the Financial Technology Innovations and Experiments Act to create a “sandbox” for innovative fintech companies. Companies that meet the law’s assessment will be allowed to operate without regulatory risks (for a specific period). ICOs for example who gain the approval of the FSC will be allowed to bypass certain regulatory requirements.

Money Laundering Prevention Efforts in The Cryptocurrency Industry

Money laundering is a primary concern for governments and institutional investors alike.  Its use in virtual currency fraud cases appears to be on the rise.  In September, Sydney police arrested a married couple suspected of using virtual currencies to launder $300,000.  In Israel, police seized a wallet containing over 1,000 BTC in connection to a fraud case.

Though anti-money laundering regulatory frameworks exist for traditional financial transactions, there are calls for crypto-specific provisions.

The FATF recently announced plans to issue laws regulating digital currencies in line with its global anti-money laundering standards. As reported by Ethereum World News, the international regulator has amended its standards to include cryptocurrency transactions. Starting from June 2019, it will issue these amendments and offer guidelines for implementation.

*This post is credited to EthereumWorldNews

Europe is slowly becoming the largest and most influential cryptocurrency hub as evident from the millions of dollars pumped into various cryptocurrency projects. According to News BTC, the total value of token sales in Europe is almost exceeding that of the United States and Asia combined.

Fabric Ventures carried out a study that revealed some of the plausible causes of the current surge in European Initial Coin Offering in 2018. Note that Fabric Ventures is a venture capital fund firm that is well known for investing thousands of dollars in decentralized network projects and blockchain.

Some of the reasons highlighted in Fabric Venture’s report include separation of economies in the European Union and increasing rate of development activities. In 2018, initial coin offering in the region is estimated to be $4.1 billion. This figure is almost two times that of the $2.3 billion recorded in Asia and $2.6 billion recorded in the United States.

Friendly Cryptocurrency Regulations in Europe

Europe financial regulators have begun to develop cryptocurrency regulations that are friendly to the industry thanks to the do-no-harm approach. The stringent regulatory authorities hamper ICO funding in Asia in Singapore and Hong Kong. It is important to note that Hong Kong and Singapore are considered the two main cryptocurrency hubs in the region. The financial regulators consider cryptocurrencies as security products, and so they are subject to more regulatory scrutiny that discourages potential investors.

In Europe, the do-no-harm approach has significantly helped the financial regulators to come up with policies that are friendly to the industry. The non-restrictive regulations encourage investors to spend more money on new initial coin offerings.

European Nations Significant Funding of ICOs

Malta and Gibraltar are two of the smallest nations in Europe that have put in place policies that promote growth and development of the cryptocurrency industry. Recent reports indicate that the two have drawn more than $300 million in ICO Funding and the figure is expected to skyrocket as more people become aware of how cryptocurrency and blockchain technology works.

The report also shows that the United Kingdom has managed to raise $490 million to fund various cryptocurrency projects while Switzerland has raised approximately $556 million this year alone. Lithuania has also shown serious interest in cryptocurrency and has raised $271 million to support ICOs.

Strong project foundation and national support for cryptocurrency could also be one of the primary causes of the increased European ICO fundraising. Cryptocurrency founding teams are aware of this fact; and have set up offices in major cities such as London, Berlin, and Zug.

Conclusion

2018 has being a successful year for ICO fundraising despite the challenges in the market. It is reported that more than 889 ICO projects have already managed to raise three times more funds than what was raised in 2017. Financial regulators continued support for this industry will significantly help to boost its growth and promote adoption of this new technology, especially in the developing countries.

*This post is credited to CoinRevolution

For all the attention afforded bitcoin, it is its rival ether that is hitting the headlines, with the popularity of its blockchain technology Ethereum driving concerns that have sent investors fleeing.

Virtual currencies have struggled across the board this month after US investment banking giant Goldman Sachs pulled back from its plans to open a trading desk for bitcoin, damaging sentiment for the entire sector.

Ether has slid 20 percent in value, taking a further hit from comments made by Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, which powers the cryptocurrency.

Earlier this month, the 24-year-old Russian-Canadian programmer told Bloomberg that “the (Ethereum) blockchain space is getting to the point where there’s a ceiling in sight”.

A blockchain is essentially a ledger for recording transactions, which is both open to all who use it but extremely secure, and has enabled the rise of cryptocurrency trading.

A multimillionaire thanks to Ethereum, Buterin has previously spoken about “scalability” probably being the number one challenge facing the sector.

Blockchain traffic jam

Unlike bitcoin’s blockchain, which carries out transactions involving only the cryptocurrency, Ethereum can host different virtual tokens and also enable certain digital applications and so-called smart contracts.

Such programmes can for example automatically trigger payments without the use of a third party when pre-defined conditions are met, such as winning a sports bet.

Ethereum is also home to two-thirds of initial coin offerings (ICOs), essentially a fundraising tool for companies which issue the tokens against cryptocurrencies much like issuing shares on a stock market.

An explosion in the number of ICOs in 2017, two years after ether’s launch, resulted in the cryptocurrency’s price rocketing 160 times in value over a 12-month period.

The craze surrounding ICOs has also caused congestion to Ethereum’s network, contributing to ether’s price collapse beginning in January.

“The more it’s demanded, the more likely you are to clog the network,” said Jerome de Tychey, president of Asseth, an association promoting the use of Ethereum.

A clogged Ethereum results in higher charges for clients wanting their transactions prioritised—and average fees briefly hit a record $5.50 in July according to bitinfocharts.com. Generally though, fees fluctuate around a few cents.

Delays to a planned overhaul of Ethereum’s scalability have meanwhile likely discouraged some investors from using the blockchain, according to de Tychey.

Naeem Aslam, an analyst at traders Think Markets, said Buterin “isn’t doing the job which he is supposed to do”—that is, to make companies “trust the technology and provide them (with) what they need”.

Virtual currency, real plunge

The plunge in the value of ether has indeed been dramatic. Since the start of August, it has lost more than half its value.

Going back to May, the drop is 75 percent, with the total value of the virtual currency tumbling to about $23 billion from $82.5 billion.

Yet the huge drop has only taken ether back to its value of a little over a year ago, at some $220 for one token.

Another factor weighing on ether’s price has been the success of ICOs. The companies which raised funding in ether with ICOs now need to sell to them to cover operating expenses in fiat currencies.

According to sector analysts Diar the companies that raised funding before the price boom at the end of last year have sold off some 20 percent of their ether holdings since April, weighing on its price.

*This post is credited to Phys

 

For all the attention afforded bitcoin, it is its rival ether that is hitting the headlines, with the popularity of its blockchain technology Ethereum driving concerns that have sent investors fleeing.

Virtual currencies have struggled across the board this month after US investment banking giant Goldman Sachs pulled back from its plans to open a trading desk for bitcoin, damaging sentiment for the entire sector.

Ether has slid 20 percent in value, taking a further hit from comments made by Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, which powers the cryptocurrency.

Earlier this month, the 24-year-old Russian-Canadian programmer told Bloomberg that “the (Ethereum) blockchain space is getting to the point where there’s a ceiling in sight”.

A blockchain is essentially a ledger for recording transactions, which is both open to all who use it but extremely secure, and has enabled the rise of cryptocurrency trading.

A multimillionaire thanks to Ethereum, Buterin has previously spoken about “scalability” probably being the number one challenge facing the sector.

– Blockchain traffic jam –

Unlike bitcoin’s blockchain, which carries out transactions involving only the cryptocurrency, Ethereum can host different virtual tokens and also enable certain digital applications and so-called smart contracts.

Such programmes can for example automatically trigger payments without the use of a third party when pre-defined conditions are met, such as winning a sports bet.

Ethereum is also home to two-thirds of initial coin offerings (ICOs), essentially a fundraising tool for companies which issue the tokens against cryptocurrencies much like issuing shares on a stock market.

An explosion in the number of ICOs in 2017, two years after ether’s launch, resulted in the cryptocurrency’s price rocketing 160 times in value over a 12-month period.

The craze surrounding ICOs has also caused congestion to Ethereum’s network, contributing to ether’s price collapse beginning in January.

“The more it’s demanded, the more likely you are to clog the network,” said Jerome de Tychey, president of Asseth, an association promoting the use of Ethereum.

A clogged Ethereum results in higher charges for clients wanting their transactions prioritised — and average fees briefly hit a record $5.50 in July according to bitinfocharts.com. Generally though, fees fluctuate around a few cents.

Delays to a planned overhaul of Ethereum’s scalability have meanwhile likely discouraged some investors from using the blockchain, according to de Tychey.

Naeem Aslam, an analyst at traders Think Markets, said Buterin “isn’t doing the job which he is supposed to do” — that is, to make companies “trust the technology and provide them (with) what they need”.

– Virtual currency, real plunge –

The plunge in the value of ether has indeed been dramatic. Since the start of August, it has lost more than half its value.

Going back to May, the drop is 75 percent, with the total value of the virtual currency tumbling to about $23 billion from $82.5 billion.

Yet the huge drop has only taken ether back to its value of a little over a year ago, at some $220 for one token.

Another factor weighing on ether’s price has been the success of ICOs. The companies which raised funding in ether with ICOs now need to sell to them to cover operating expenses in fiat currencies.

According to sector analysts Diar the companies that raised funding before the price boom at the end of last year have sold off some 20 percent of their ether holdings since April, weighing on its price.

*This post is credited to France24

The news reports that Alipay will start to put restrictions on, or even outright ban, accounts that propagate OTC cryptocurrency trading.

China: Report has it that an Alibaba’s payment affiliate, Ant Financial, is teaming up with China regulators to set up scrutiny for P2P crypto trading on its Alipay mobile app.

In addition to the active monitoring and other potential measures, Alipay will also conduct risk prevention education to users on the platform.

It is clear that Ant Financial is trying its best to stay on the good side of regulators in China, where scrutiny on cryptocurrency in the tightly-regulated market is at an all-time high.

Another major component of the Ant Financial decision comes from the recent legal history regarding cryptocurrencies in china.

In related news, regulatory watchdogs in the country, including the Banking Regulatory Commission, the Central Network Information Office, the People’s Bank of China, and the General Administration of Market Supervision have issued fresh warnings to residents, advising them to be wary of fraudsters who swindle gullible the Chinese people with their fake blockchain and crypto-based Ponzi schemes. “If we find any transactions that we suspect are related to virtual currencies, we take appropriate measures including, but not limited to suspension of related fund transfers and permanently restricting payment collection functions of accounts involved”, said a spokesperson from Ant Financial.

Alipay has identified and closed some 3,000 accounts engaged in virtual currency trading so far. A tweet acknowledged by the Korean Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News that mentioned, additionally says Fiat payment channels will be exceedingly monitored apart from Communication channels and Exchange blocks.

Its a notable move, Chinese citizen have rapidly adopted the technology.

It was previously reported that WeChat Pay, another popular Chinese payments app owned by Tencent, has been scrutinizing and blocking accounts that are found to be related to crypto transactions. In a ruling by the People’s Bank of China late past year, the institution chose to ban all cryptocurrency trading, as well as all Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

*This post is credited to iphonefresh.com

Many people have begun to forget that, in the last few years, crowdfunding has been a well-loved tool for attracting investments. In that time, along with crowdfunding, blockchain has become the next big thing for investors – and has garnered the most significant funds. Crypto trading revenue may double to as much as $4 billion this year according to the research from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

The excitement that surrounded Bitcoin $6681.08 +0.36% in 2017 is comparable to the Gold Rush — but this time it was graphics card manufacturers who earned rather than miners.

What persuaded ‘classic investors’ to put their money into blockchain-based development so early? Despite the latest analytical review launched in 2017, taking into account the main phases of the initial coin offerings (ICOs), we can see from the pre-sale stage to crypto exchange circulation, provided by the ICS Statis Group consulting company, that more than 70% of the ICOs conducted in 2017 were identified as scams.

CURRENT MARKET SITUATION

In 2017, hundreds of companies managed to attract more than $4 bln to finance their projects. That is 30 times more compared to the previous year. Obviously, investors are interested in such a rapid growth of this promising market sector in 2018.

Many conservative investors believe that cryptocurrencies are a kind of bubble, and that bubble’s growth puts the consistency of the entire world financial system at risk. However, one can’t deny the fact that this has already happened. Cryptocurrencies are now accepted by millions of people and countless  organizations, including the world’s leading corporations.

The founder of Facebook has turned his attention to the blockсhain market, saying that there are important counter-trends to this – like encryption and cryptocurrency – that take power from centralized systems and put it back into the people’s hands. He’s interested in going deeper to study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, as well as how best to use them in his company’s services.

Who, if not Zuckerberg, knows the full power of social networks and the trends of the future? Moreover, Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, is obviously going to launch his own cryptocurrency by revealing the Personal ID Verification Tool. This is a perspective shared by almost all of the crypto community.

It’s clear that both cryptocurrency and blockchain exploded in popularity, despite existing in cyberspace.

3 LIFEHACKS FOR DUE DILIGENCE

If we focus on one key term, it must be ‘due diligence,’ and if we take only one criterion, it’s clear that blockchain had a more-than-decent Whitepaper or codebase (proof-of-concept on GitHub) in its makeup.

One can’t just write a Whitepaper and get a pile of cash — it does take effort and knowledge. Is there a solid idea behind the project? What’s the market volume? All the algorithms are put into mathematical expressions. Within the details, there’s a need to get deeper into the problem. Some general insights include:

1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT STAGE

When breaking the entire investment round down into stages, according to Satis Group Crypto Research, we can refer to the following infographics:

2. ALTCOINS – FOR EXPERIENCED INVESTORS

Given the fact that the price of all cryptocurrencies fell in August, if you are a beginner, then do not invest in altcoins that are not in the Top-20 list.

As a rule, these are day-fly coins that can grow substantially in price in a short period of time – but they can also collapse quickly, leaving the speculators without money. The low cost of cryptocurrency is not a reason for purchasing. Do not choose a cryptocurrency just based on its low cost. Surely, in a case of success, an asset that costs less than a dollar can bring higher profit than already well-known and ‘pricy’ tools, but the chance of bonanza is extremely low.

Forget about mining, too. Major and serious players have already entered the cryptocurrency market long ago and individuals engaged in mining at home cannot really keep up with them in the race of computing power. Moreover, the funds that you have to spend on ‘farms’ now can be used to create a very attractive portfolio of cryptocurrencies and make a profit immediately, forgetting about the need to pay back the hardware first.

3. DEEP ANALYSIS

A mathematical concept map helps with investment decisions and will assist in seeing-to the quality of the code. One has to remember: blockchain is mainly about cryptography. In other words, there’s fundamental knowledge behind the code.

It’s a powerful tool for investment decision-making. If a project has a decent Whitepaper, its potential viability is about 60 percent. Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley, it’s a good ratio if 1 out of 10 start-ups survives.

When investing in Blockchain-based projects, you can see mathematical proof of how the project is going to run. No matter if it’s a gaming platform like Dmarket or Telegram’s token sale, it can be an ultimate scientific method for investors’ due diligence.

*This post is credited to Bitcoinist.