JUN 30 DIGEST: Coinbase Waves Fees for Europeans; BnkToTheFuture Passes $10 million Investment Mark
Coinbase has waived fees for buying Bitcoin with Euros; Bitcoin exchanges are reporting a surge of transactions from Greece; BnkToTheFuture has passed the $10 million investment mark and more news
Coinbase has waived fees for buying Bitcoin with Euros; Bitcoin exchanges are reporting a surge of transactions from Greece; BnkToTheFuture has passed the $10 million investment mark and more top stories for June 30.
Coinbase waives fees when buying Bitcoin with Euros
Coinbase has waived fees for buying bitcoins with Euros. The company said in a tweet that this is in honor of banks closing as a result of the Greece debt crises.
The Bitcoin wallet and exchange service company has also revealed in a blog post that Reinventure Group, an Australian-based fintech VC firm, has become one of its strategic investors.
“One of Reinventure’s primary objectives is to create opportunities between its portfolio companies and Westpac, Reinventure’s largest investor and one of the top 15 largest banks in the world. We plan to work closely with Reinventure and share insights into the use of digital currencies globally.”
BnkToTheFuture exceeds $10 million raised for Bitcoin and financial innovation
BnkToTheFuture.com, the online investment platform that allows investors to invest in financial innovation and technology, has passed the $10 million invested mark with the most backed companies including Bitcoin Capital, StartCOIN holdings, and ShapeShift.
Simon Dixon, CEO of BnkToTheFuture.com:
“We are looking to give financial innovation a home to raise finance from investors interested in funding the future of finance.”
Greeks reportedly rushing to bitcoin
Bitcoin exchanges are reporting a surge of transactions from Greece, which has also led to an increase in bitcoin price. This has been interpreted as a reaction to the closing of banks in the country and Greeks rushing to the digital currency.
On Bitstamp, the world’s third-largest exchange, Bitcoin trades from Greece have shot up 79% from their ten-week average. While Polish exchange Bitcurex has reported receiving numerous emails from Greeks asking about the viability of Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat currency.
Filip Godecki, Bitcurex marketplace spokesman:
"I'm not so sure Greeks will start buying cheese with Bitcoin on Wednesday. But I think something changed in their minds [with the bank closures]. Greek people will start thinking about fiat currencies as something not so safe for savings."
App maker who hijacked phones to mine crypto-currency settles with FTC
Ryan Ramminger, a smartphone app developer, has agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission and the New Jersey Attorney General. Ramminger lured consumers into downloading an app through which he hijacked their phones to mine virtual currencies for himself.
Mr. Ramminger through his company, Equiliv Investments, marketed the ‘Prized’ app as a consumer rewards app.
Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection:
“Hijacking consumers’ mobile devices with malware to mine virtual currency isn’t just deplorable; it’s also illegal. These scammers are now prohibited from trying such a scheme again.”
48% of Americans abroad want a president who would repeal FATCA
A new global poll by deVere Group, one of the world's largest independent financial advisory organizations, has revealed that 48% of Americans abroad would support a president who would repeal the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
The law, which was passed a year ago, was designed to counteract tax evasion through additional reporting requirements for all U.S. citizens overseas. There are about 7.6 million Americans working outside the U.S, and many of them seem to agree with critics of FATCA, who insist that it does little to curb tax evasion.
Nigel Green, deVere Group founder and CEO:
"48 percent is an enormously high percentage of people who say they would vote for a presidential candidate who publicly vowed to seek FATCA's repeal. However, I am not surprised as, a year since this toxic, imperialistic and damaging global tax law came into effect, its unintended consequences are now hitting home with Americans worldwide."
FATF Issues Guidelines for Monitoring Digital Currency
Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) has issued a report titled Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Currencies. It is a guidance meant to give investors, regulators, and other stakeholders, capacity to monitor cryptocurrency, enterprises, identify potential risks, and take necessary actions.
FATF is an international intergovernmental organization created to combat money laundering and related financial crimes.
Part of the FATF Guidance reads:
“In recent years, virtual currencies (VCs) have emerged and attracted investment in payments infrastructure built on their software protocols. […] This Guidance focuses on applying the risk-based approach to the ML/TF risks associated with VCPPS, and not on other types of VC financial products, such as VC securities or futures products.”
Greeks can’t buy bitcoins; they have no access to their money
Kevin Rinta, the vice executive officer at Exmo, a Spanish-based digital currency exchange, has told Cointelegraph that most Greeks are not in the position to buy bitcoins. This is because they do not have access to their Euros with which to exchange as the banks are closed.
This opinion goes against the widely held view that there is a large upswing in the number of Greek citizens specifically trying to purchase digital currencies as a way to move money abroad.
“[T]he problem here is foresight. If the banks are already closed, then people can't access their money to purchase bitcoin. However, those people who saw the writing on the wall and were prepared could have converted their euros into bitcoin and held them until this crisis blew over. Let this be a lesson to other people living in other countries struggling within the European Union.”
Tim Swanson on the Rise of Blockchains without Bitcoin
Tim Swanson explained some of the details of permissioned blockchains, and how they would work, in last week's Epicenter Bitcoin, a podcast dedicated to cryptocurrency developments.
Tim is a proponent of the use of the blockchain and has even published a whitepaper describing eight companies that are working on projects that use the blockchain without the coin.
"Let Bitcoin be Bitcoin and not turn it into a million different things that it's not particularly suited for based on its capital expenses that are involved in the proof of work."