MAY 15 DIGEST: Xapo Moves to Switzerland, SEC Charges Ex-Circle Board Member with Investment Fraud

Xapo has moved its corporate headquarters from California to Switzerland, former Circle board member, Iftikar Ahmed, is being sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and more news

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MAY 15 DIGEST: Xapo Moves to Switzerland, SEC Charges Ex-Circle Board Member with Investment Fraud

The Bitcoin wallet service and security firm Xapo has moved its corporate headquarters from California to Switzerland, former Circle board member, Iftikar Ahmed, is being sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over alleged investment fraud, and more top stories for May 15.

Xapo Moves Headquarters to Switzerland to Protect Customer Privacy

Bitcoin wallet service and security firm Xapo has moved its corporate headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Switzerland. With the move, Xapo hopes to better protect its customers’ privacy.

Wences Casares, the company’s CEO said:

"We decided to do what [the customers] had been asking us to do for a while, move our main company to Switzerland and benefit from the safeguards."

SEC Charges Ex-Circle Board Member with Investment Fraud

It has been revealed that former Circle board member, Iftikar Ahmed, is being sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over alleged investment fraud. He has been accused of fraud and self-dealing in connection with Oak Investment Partners. The SEC is also pursuing a broader court order against Ahmed, which includes additional fines and damage payments.

DCC Survey: 12% of US Consumers ‘Likely’ To Use Bitcoin In 2015

The latest Pulse Report survey by the Digital Currency Council (DCC) reveals a record 12% of US consumers were either “likely” or “highly likely” to use Bitcoin in 2015. A representative sample of 357 adult participants in March also reflected the growing trend of younger age groups fuelling interest and practical usage of digital currency.

DCC CEO David Berger commented on the results:

“Not unlike other new technologies, the early adopters of Bitcoin will be at the younger end of the demographic spectrum. My mom may never use Bitcoin, but my daughter definitely will.”

DCC Survey: 12% of US Consumers ‘Likely’ To Use Bitcoin In 2015

Coinbase Lets Users Buy Bitcoin in Newest App

Coinbase has released updates of its iOS and Android apps. Among other new features, the new app lets US and European users in supported jurisdictions connect with their bank account, verify their mobile number within the app, and instantly transfer USD and EUR to buy and sell BTC.

Commenting on the updated apps, Coinbase developer Ankur Nandwani said:

"In the developing world, most of the people are connected to Internet via their phones, and we want to make sure that they can experience the power of bitcoin."

Euro Banking Association (EBA) Reports on Bitcoin Benefits

The Euro Banking Association (EBA) has published a report in which it describes Bitcoin’s blockchain technology as something that can streamline the banking industry. Although the EBA doesn’t see greatness in bitcoin the currency, it does see the blockchain as a very innovative solution.

According to the report:

“Apart from possibly being able to speed up processes and reduce their complexity, crypto-technology applications in this area can also be integrated with legacy IT, legal frameworks and existing assets (currencies, stock, bonds etc). Therefore, existing financial services could be ‘powered by crypto-technologies’ offering financial institutions potentially lower costs, better products and faster time to market.”

Swiss FINMA Warns of Bitcoin's Money Laundering Risk

FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, has issued a report warning about the perceived increased money laundering risk posed by Bitcoin, along with similar financial technologies and business practices, and suggests stronger due diligence. The report warns specifically about Bitcoin's anonymity and international capabilities that could increase the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Translated from German, the report reads:

“In contrast to the money exchange of official currencies, with Bitcoin for any exchange from and to cash, it is not clear whether the receiving and giving parties are the same — due to the anonymity in these exchanges. Thus, it is hardly possible to judge whether a single exchange involves two or three parties, and if Money Exchange or Money Transmission occurred.”

Swiss FINMA Warns of Bitcoin's Money Laundering Risk

Coinify Expands to 34 European Countries

Danish bitcoin exchange and BTC payment processing platform Coinify is expanding its services to all 34 countries under the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). With the expansion, Coinify intends to make it even cheaper for those needing to make cross-border remittances with 0% transaction fees. The startup also hopes to see an increase of trading volume in their exchange and to facilitate more individuals to send cross-border payments throughout Europe.

Startup ‘The World Table’ Launches a Quantified Reputation System

The World Table, a startup located in Orem, Utah, is building a quantified reputation system to aggregate reputation data and report trust scores for individuals and organizations. The system is built upon Open Reputation, an open source decentralized reputation platform under development that maps identity and reputation onto the Internet-of-Things, and which is sponsored by The World Table.

World Table CTO and EVP of products Lincoln Cannon explained:

“When our reputations are on the line, most of us choose to behave better – and that also happens to translate into more valuable web properties.”

Bitcoins by Money Order Opens Up Financial Services to the World's Underbanked

As digital currency and fintech companies seek solutions for the world's underbanked population, startups are increasingly looking to make use of the established financial infrastructure.

CoinTelegraph spoke to Andrey Vereshchagin, Marketing Director of 247exchange.com, about the exchange's partnership with the money transfer provider MoneyPolo to enable individuals to buy and sell digital currencies via money order, removing the need for a formal bank account.

Vereshchagin:

“We plan to attract not only advanced Bitcoin users, but newbies as well, because this system of buying & selling BTC is completely clear and really easy-to-understand. Even having a bank account, credit or debit card isn't necessary. […] It also seems like a perfect solution for buying/selling bitcoins for unbanked users and especially for people from developing countries having less local direct banking options.”

Bitcoins by Money Order Opens Up Financial Services to the World's Underbanked

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