Tag Archives: crypto

Ukraine: Economic Development and Trade Ministry Launches State Policy to Legalize Crypto

Ukraine: Economic Development and Trade Ministry Launches State Policy to Legalize Crypto

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry of Ukraine has initiated a “state policy” for the classification and legalization of crypto-related activities, Ukrainian state information and news agency Ukrinform reported Oct. 26.

The Ministry has reportedly issued an official press release stating that its purpose is to “create understandable conditions for conducting activities in the field of virtual assets and virtual currencies," and to usher in “adoption of the concept of a state policy” for crypto.

To this end, it has proposed establishing legal definitions for key terms, including “virtual currency” (“cryptocurrency,”) “virtual assets,” Initial Coin (or Token) Offerings (ICOs or ITOs), cryptocurrency mining, “smart contracts,” and “tokens.”

Ukrinform reports the concept is expected to be implemented in two stages, and will be completed in 2021.

Although Ukraine has not until now regulated crypto, the first signs the country was on track to its legalization surfaced in mid-May, when a member of the parliament, Alexei Mushak, attached a copy of an apparent draft legislation document for crypto to his public Facebook page.

The document outlined that the legislation aims to create a “free and transparent” digital asset market, outlining rules for storing, using, and exchanging crypto, digital tokens, and smart contracts at a state, entity, and individual level.

In mid-September, the country’s parliament proposed a draft bill that, if signed into law, would levy a five percent tax on individuals’ and entities’ crypto holdings. For businesses’ crypto-related profits, it proposed the basic corporate and personal income tax rate of 18 percent.

An alternative bill proposing specific crypto tax exemptions and a slightly different definition of various types of crypto assets was put forward by a Ukrainian legislator in early October.

As of mid-October, a dedicated working group within the Ministry of Finance has reportedly been working to elaborate the framework for crypto taxation.

In parallel, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is considering a state digital currency tied to the local fiat currency, the hryvnia, which would be centralized and remain under government control.

Original article posted on Cointelegraph

Article written by Marie Huillet

Posted on this site by Jeffrey Sloe

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Yale University Investing in 400 Million Cryptocurrency Fund

Yale University Investing in $400 Million Cryptocurrency Fund

More Institutional Money Could Be on the Horizon

Cryptocurrency, Investing–Yale, one of the most prestigious Ivy League universities in the United States, is reportedly apart of the investment group that is helping to raise $400 million for a massive new cryptocurrency fund.

According to a report by Bloomberg published on Friday with information supplied from an anonymous source familiar with the situation, the university is trying its hand in cryptocurrency via the fund ‘Paradigm,’ which is reported to be helmed by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, Charles Noyes of Pantera capital, and former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang. The Wall Street Journal had previously reported on the departure of Huang from Sequoia, making the move in order to join with Ehrsam in the creation of the new fund.

While this has been the first reported time that Yale has invested into cryptocurrencies on such a massive scale, the school has had its influence felt in a number of different industries, from Puerto Rican bonds to timber in New Hampshire, as reported by Bloomberg. Among the more interesting details listed in the report is the finding that Yale’s $30 billion endowment–the second largest among U.S. educational institutions–has earmarked a whopping 60 percent of its investment capital in 2019 for “alternative investments” which includes, among other things, “venture capital, hedge funds and leverage buyouts.” Added to the list now appears to be cryptocurrency, with a potential for other blockchain enterprises and even promising initial coin offerings (ICOs).

For now, the fund being led by Ehrsam is planning to invest in early stage cryptocurrency-based projects, novel blockchain designs and digital asset exchanges. Given the timing of the report, which comes just days after Coinbase was valuated at a colossal $8 billion–which would make the company one of the most valuable U.S. startups–the landscape of cryptocurrency exchanges appears to be immensely profitable and largely untapped. Earlier in the year, BitMEX co-founder Ben Delo became the youngest self-made billionaire in the history of the United Kingdom. Changpeng Zhao, the active CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, announced that his company was on pace to eclipse $1 billion in profits by the end of 2018, despite it being an abysmal year for the valuation of the crypto markets.

Bloomberg points out that Yale’s $30 billion endowment, managed by David Swensen, is one of the few institutional investors to move into cryptocurrency this year, as the entire market finds itself in a bear cycle that has seen value plummet from the last all time high. Despite the opportunity and overnight fortunes that have characterized much of the last several years for cryptocurrency, institutional investors, on a whole, have been reluctant to put capital in to the markets to the degree that most current investors are anticipating.

The common refrain of “institutional money” is coming will not only signal legitimate interest in both the market and technology of cryptocurrency, but provide a much needed boost to alleviate the ongoing price bleed. Previous analysts, including the Bloomberg article on Yale, have cited a lack of regulation and the potential for widespread market manipulation as the primary deterrent for investing in cryptocurrency. However, with an investor as large and prestigious as Yale, commanding $30 billion in endowment, crypto-based funds might garner more interest even in the absence of a Bitcoin exchange traded fund being approved by the SEC.

Article written by Michael Laverne

Article originally posted on Ethereumworldnews.com

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From Crimefighter to ‘Crypto’: Meet the Woman in Charge of Venture Capital’s Biggest Gamble

From Crimefighter to 'Crypto': Meet the Woman in Charge of Venture Capital’s Biggest Gamble

Kathryn Haun was the Justice Department's go-to prosecutor for Bitcoin-related felonies. Now she's one of cryptocurrency's most important investors. Here's why her career change is a watershed moment.

Debate

“Let’s settle this!” an announcer rumbles over loudspeakers.

The “this” in question is one of the more important business disputes of the moment: Are alternative currencies like Bitcoin the future of financial services or a 21st-century Ponzi scheme? To get resolution, a Mexican data center company called KIO Networks is hosting a debate in a smoke-filled arena in the graffiti-coated Hipódromo Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City. The atmosphere screams lucha libre, the stylized form of Mexican wrestling that features acrobatic moves and dramatic masks.

On this late-September evening, the main event features two intellectual heavyweights from the United States, both highly credentialed, neither wearing disguises. In one corner is Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate in economics. In the other is Kathryn Haun, an accomplished federal prosecutor recently turned venture capitalist.

Krugman’s position is predictable. He sees the rise of cryptocurrency networks—decentralized digital services that run on computerized money like Bitcoin—as an unnecessary throwback to a distant era, when precious metals made up the money supply. “I don’t believe we’re at the dawn of a new age,” he says. He delivers a smackdown on an investment craze that the likes of Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett have repeatedly pooh-poohed: “I think 15 years from now, it will look a lot like Pets.com.”

Haun sees things differently. To her, virtual currencies and the technologies that underpin them are society’s saviors: a last great hope at reclaiming power gobbled up by greedy banks and Internet monopolists. “Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, they control all the rules,” she says. “They have all the users. They have all the power.” The new technology, Haun argues, allows eager, entrepreneurial developers to compete. She throws her weight behind the democratizing dream of the new technology’s acolytes.

Photo by Christie Hemm Klok for Fortune

Cryptocurrency is “in the dial-up days,” says Haun, “and the critics are confusing the current state of innovation with the end state of innovation.”

Haun largely wins over the crowd, a collection of the megalopolis’s tech elite. And they like her visuals too. At the outset of her talk, five giant screens project the mug shots of corrupt U.S. law-enforcement officials she convicted in her previous career. But the audience isn’t enamored of Haun merely because she once was the sheriff in the Wild West of “crypto.” She excites them because now she’s joined their side. As one of the newest partners of the estimable Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Haun’s job is to find the next big thing in cryptocurrencies—and to help their founders succeed while staying on the right side of the law.

Haun is making her career shift at a precarious time. Cryptocurrency markets have been in free fall all year. A global speculative mania for virtual coins that sent valuations above $800 billion in January has dwindled to $200 billion. Bitcoin has lost two-thirds of its value, and Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency, is down 90%.

Haun and her new partners are undaunted. Investment crazes often spawn bubbles. But what’s left after they pop, if the true believers are right, are new industries. Firm cofounder Marc Andreessen, after all, parlayed his work developing the first commercial browser into Netscape, the flawed startup that helped beget the World Wide Web—and many billions of dollars in investment returns for the Internet industry. Haun also is unfazed by her lack of professional investing experience. “For entrepreneurs to want to work with you, they need to think you have some strategic vision, some hustle, and an ability to get the job done,” she says. These are the same skills, she posits, that a prosecutor needs to persuade FBI agents and others to work with them.

Bridging worlds, then, is one of Haun’s chief attributes. “She has this rare blend of having been in government and having a business-centric mind,” says David Marcus, a senior Facebook executive who sat on a corporate board with Haun. Adds Anthony Kennedy, the newly retired associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, for whom Haun clerked: “I’m quite reassured that someone with her talents and background would go into this new area.” Her involvement “is a tremendously important link between the law and the cyber age. And she recognizes that.”

A version of this article appears in the Oct. 1, 2018 issue of Fortune with the headline “Jumping The Fence.”

This is just an excerpt; the complete article can be read on Fortune.com

ARTICLE written by Robert Hackett 

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Ripple Leads Coallition To Hire Lobby Firm To Promote Friendly Crypto Policies

Ripple Leads Coallition To Hire Lobby Firm To Promote Friendly Crypto Policies

A significant group of fintechs and businesses related to the industry of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have decided to start a campaign to promote a legal space that is favorable for the development of the crypto-ecosystem.

According to Bloomberg these companies don’t not go by the wayside, and instead of the traditional awareness and promotion campaigns, the group has decided to hire the services of a major law firm to take the fight directly to the legal field.

The group of companies calls itself the “Securing America’s Internet of Value Coalition” and is currently formed by Ripple Labs, the independent foundation Ripple Works, Coil – a fintech that seeks to facilitate payments in the entertainment and digital content industry, Hard Yaka – a firm with large sums of money invested in digital assets – and PolySign – a startup that seeks to provide crypto custody services.

Chris Larsen, executive chairman of Ripple, said in recent months there has been a growing interest on the part of regulatory bodies and lobbies in general towards the issue of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies:

“We understand this is really complicated, and there is a lot of misinformation out there … The good news is there is a lot of interest in this topic in D.C.” – Chris Larson

Ripple and Klein/Johnson Group: Bringing Together Laws and Cryptocurrencies

It is also important to note that the coalition has hired the services of Klein/Johnson Group, a “bipartisan lobbying and public policy firm” that in recent years has been working to provide advice on financial and technological services.

Ripple is until now the visible head of the group. The success of its payment solutions has made its XRP token the third most important cryptocurrency in the global market cap.

Ripple’s presence is especially crucial as the Coalition is investing a large amount of money in its mission. According to the report, Klein/Johnson will receive a monthly sum of 25,000 USD plus 10,000 XRP, which will be declared as cash at the time of disclosing the payments received.

In this regard, Chris Larsen, explains that this seeks to generate greater interest on the part of the firm, bringing them a little closer to the ecosystem:

“It gives them some upside and gives them some risk … Hopefully, it gives them a taste of the industry in a way that hits home.” – Chris larson

The coalition has good expectations, especially now that the changes of commissioners within the SEC have helped the organization have a more positive view on the issue of cryptocurrencies, especially regarding the so expected Bitcoin ETFs.

ARTICLE Written by Jose Antonio Lanz and posted on Ethereum World News' website

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EU Commits 5 Million Euros to Fund Blockchain Surveillance Research

A group of government agencies, law enforcement groups and academic researchers are partnering on a new digital currency surveillance project.

EU Titanium Project

Backed by €5m in funding from the European Union, the initiative, dubbed "Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets", or TITANIUM, will be conducted over the next three years.

Participants include Interpol, Interior Ministries from Spain and Austria, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation, and University College London, among others.

In statements, the project's backers cited a recent wave of ransomware attacks around the globe, pointing to the event as a justification for beefing up the ability to track cryptocurrency payments.

At the same time, those involved pledged not to violate user privacy rights.

"The consortium will analyse legal and ethical requirements and define guidelines for storing and processing data, information, and knowledge involved in criminal investigations without compromising citizen privacy," said Ross King, senior scientist for the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, one of the research institutions taking part.

That the EU would take this approach – let alone fund one – is perhaps unsurprising, given past efforts and statements from leaders and officials of the economic bloc.

The EU's executive branch, the European Council, began pushing aggressively for greater oversight of digital currency users in early 2016, with the European Parliament following suit earlier this year.

According to a press release published by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the European Union funded a three-year project investigating the criminal use of virtual currencies and the darknet. Fifteen members from seven European countries are participating in the project. The solutions developed in the research are intended to prevent criminals and attackers from using the blockchain technology for criminal purposes while at the same time preserving the privacy rights of legitimate users.

Blockchain technology makes it possible to organize records in a distributed network without central control and thus presents new challenges for investigating authorities, the press release says. The best-known application of the blockchain technology is Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency currently on its all-time high at almost $2,500, which offers legal use, however, the virtual currency could be also used for criminal purposes. The press release stated that BTC’s illicit use most happens on the dark side of the internet, for example on darknet marketplaces or hacking forums. Since the dark web could not be accessed or crawled via common search engines, such as Google, and provides more anonymity to its users than the clearnet (the normal part of the internet everybody knows), criminals often take advantage of these perks and decide to conduct their illegal activities on the darknet. The press release emphasized that the WannaCry attackers, who locked computers in approximately 150 countries on May 12, 2017, also demanded the payment of the ransom in bitcoins.

The aim of the TITANIUM (Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets) project is the development of technical solutions for investigating and combating criminal and terrorist acts on the internet, which are carried out with the help of virtual currencies and underground marketplaces. The three-year project, worth a total of EUR 5 million, is funded by the European Union.

The tools developed and implemented by the partnership (including four law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL) are intended to support the forensic analysis of criminal transactions, identify anomalies in their application and identify money laundering techniques. In addition, the researchers will carry out training courses in order to “anchor” the corresponding know-how and knowledge to the law enforcement authorities of the EU helping officers in preventing and prosecuting cybercrime more efficiently. Furthermore, the tools and services developed in the project are to be tested and validated on site by the law enforcement authorities in order to check the project results for their success and effectiveness.

“Criminal and terrorist activities related to virtual currencies and dark net markets are developing rapidly and vary widely with regard to technical maturity, resilience and targeted goals,” Project Coordinator Ross King, Senior Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), said in a statement.

In order to counteract these activities, according to Dr. King, the development of efficient and effective forensics tools is a must, which can use different types of data from different sources, including virtual currencies, online forums, peer-to-peer networks on darknet marketplaces, and on electronic equipment, which law enforcement authorities seized from the suspects. Dr King emphasized that the development of the tools within the framework of the TITANIUM project is an important focus on the protection of the personality and fundamental rights of the users.

“The partnership will analyze the legal and ethical requirements and develop guidelines for the storage and processing of data, information, and findings from criminal investigations without affecting the privacy of citizens, Dr King said.

In addition to the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, the following partners are part of the TITANIUM consortium: the Federal Criminal Police Office from Germany (BKA), Coblue Cybersecurity from the Netherlands, Countercraft SL from Spain, Dence GmbH from Germany, University of Innsbruck from Austria, INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology from Germany, Federal Ministry of the Interior of Austria, Ministry of Interior of Spain, National Bureau of Investigation from Finland, TNO from the Netherlands, Trilateral Research Ltd. from the United Kingdom, University College London from the United Kingdom, VICOMTECH-IK4 from Spain.

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Stephen Hodgkiss
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EU Commits €5 Million to Fund Blockchain Surveillance Research

A group of government agencies, law enforcement groups and academic researchers are partnering on a new digital currency surveillance project.

EU Titanium Project

Backed by €5m in funding from the European Union, the initiative, dubbed "Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets", or TITANIUM, will be conducted over the next three years.

Participants include Interpol, Interior Ministries from Spain and Austria, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation, and University College London, among others.

In statements, the project's backers cited a recent wave of ransomware attacks around the globe, pointing to the event as a justification for beefing up the ability to track cryptocurrency payments.

At the same time, those involved pledged not to violate user privacy rights.

"The consortium will analyse legal and ethical requirements and define guidelines for storing and processing data, information, and knowledge involved in criminal investigations without compromising citizen privacy," said Ross King, senior scientist for the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, one of the research institutions taking part.

That the EU would take this approach – let alone fund one – is perhaps unsurprising, given past efforts and statements from leaders and officials of the economic bloc.

The EU's executive branch, the European Council, began pushing aggressively for greater oversight of digital currency users in early 2016, with the European Parliament following suit earlier this year.

According to a press release published by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the European Union funded a three-year project investigating the criminal use of virtual currencies and the darknet. Fifteen members from seven European countries are participating in the project. The solutions developed in the research are intended to prevent criminals and attackers from using the blockchain technology for criminal purposes while at the same time preserving the privacy rights of legitimate users.

Blockchain technology makes it possible to organize records in a distributed network without central control and thus presents new challenges for investigating authorities, the press release says. The best-known application of the blockchain technology is Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency currently on its all-time high at almost $2,500, which offers legal use, however, the virtual currency could be also used for criminal purposes. The press release stated that BTC’s illicit use most happens on the dark side of the internet, for example on darknet marketplaces or hacking forums. Since the dark web could not be accessed or crawled via common search engines, such as Google, and provides more anonymity to its users than the clearnet (the normal part of the internet everybody knows), criminals often take advantage of these perks and decide to conduct their illegal activities on the darknet. The press release emphasized that the WannaCry attackers, who locked computers in approximately 150 countries on May 12, 2017, also demanded the payment of the ransom in bitcoins.

The aim of the TITANIUM (Tools for the Investigation of Transactions in Underground Markets) project is the development of technical solutions for investigating and combating criminal and terrorist acts on the internet, which are carried out with the help of virtual currencies and underground marketplaces. The three-year project, worth a total of EUR 5 million, is funded by the European Union.

The tools developed and implemented by the partnership (including four law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL) are intended to support the forensic analysis of criminal transactions, identify anomalies in their application and identify money laundering techniques. In addition, the researchers will carry out training courses in order to “anchor” the corresponding know-how and knowledge to the law enforcement authorities of the EU helping officers in preventing and prosecuting cybercrime more efficiently. Furthermore, the tools and services developed in the project are to be tested and validated on site by the law enforcement authorities in order to check the project results for their success and effectiveness.

“Criminal and terrorist activities related to virtual currencies and dark net markets are developing rapidly and vary widely with regard to technical maturity, resilience and targeted goals,” Project Coordinator Ross King, Senior Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), said in a statement.

In order to counteract these activities, according to Dr. King, the development of efficient and effective forensics tools is a must, which can use different types of data from different sources, including virtual currencies, online forums, peer-to-peer networks on darknet marketplaces, and on electronic equipment, which law enforcement authorities seized from the suspects. Dr King emphasized that the development of the tools within the framework of the TITANIUM project is an important focus on the protection of the personality and fundamental rights of the users.

“The partnership will analyze the legal and ethical requirements and develop guidelines for the storage and processing of data, information, and findings from criminal investigations without affecting the privacy of citizens, Dr King said.

In addition to the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, the following partners are part of the TITANIUM consortium: the Federal Criminal Police Office from Germany (BKA), Coblue Cybersecurity from the Netherlands, Countercraft SL from Spain, Dence GmbH from Germany, University of Innsbruck from Austria, INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology from Germany, Federal Ministry of the Interior of Austria, Ministry of Interior of Spain, National Bureau of Investigation from Finland, TNO from the Netherlands, Trilateral Research Ltd. from the United Kingdom, University College London from the United Kingdom, VICOMTECH-IK4 from Spain.

If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show on this page.

Stephen Hodgkiss
Chief Engineer at MarketHive

markethive.com