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Bitcoin is not Completely Banned in China: Beijing Arbitration Commission

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China has no reservation against ‘Bitcoin activities as virtual commodities,’ the Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) said in a report today. The report also added that the country’s laws and regulations ‘do not prohibit’ private possession and legal circulation of BTC.

Bitcoin Is Not A Currency, But A ‘Virtual Commodity’

Today local non-profit arbitration organization, the Beijing Arbitration Commission, pointed out in a report that Bitcoin cannot be used as a currency. It is not a legal tender and is not issued by China’s apex monetary authority.

Overall, BTC doesn’t share the same legal status as the country’s official fiat currency and cannot be used in financial transactions. This is a stance that the Asian nation has maintained since forever now.

On the bright side, according to the report, Bitcoin is a ‘virtual commodity.’ To quote the exact words:

The country does not recognize the identity of Bitcoin virtual currency, but recognizes it as a virtual commodity. Because the concept of virtual goods is larger than virtual currency, currency is a special kind of commodity. Bitcoin is not recognized as currency, but it is considered a commodity.

Also Not A ‘Virtual Property’ Either

The BAC’s report also states that Bitcoin does not fall under the category of a ‘virtual property either.’ Provisions in Article 127 of the ‘ General Principles of Civil Law’ protect data and network-related virtual properties.

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But since, there are no ‘special provisions’ that cover virtual properties, and no law that covers BTC, the top cryptocurrency does not qualify as a virtual property in the country.

The “General Principles of Civil Law” does not make specific provisions on the extension and connotation of virtual property, but only stipulates that the protection of virtual property must be stipulated by law, and the specific protection measures of virtual property are entrusted to other laws. As my country currently has no laws on Bitcoin, it cannot be recognized as a virtual property in the General Principles of Civil Law.

But BTC Transactions Are ‘Legal And Valid’

Quoting a landmark judgment by the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration, BAC’s report points out that Bitcoin transactions between individuals are not illegal. BTC transfers do not violate laws and regulations of the country.

Private possession and circulation of Bitcoin is not a crime, and that BTC ‘can be the object of delivery.’

This report comes amidst the arrest of the core team behind the notorious PlusToken scam in China earlier today. The country’s perspective towards Bitcoin came out as a sort of mixed in the BAC report.

But it is pretty much confirmed that the government doesn’t take too kindly to crypto perpetrators. And this is specified in the report as well. ‘Entrusted investments and contracts’ pertaining to Bitcoin are illegal.

Most of the entrusted investment judgments do not invalidate the entrustment contract, but point out that because the entrusted matter is not protected by law, the entrusted matter itself should be borne by the client for the part of the entrusted matter that the trustee has already completed in accordance with the agreement between the two parties. ; For the unfinished part of the trustee, the trustee will return the principal’s funds.

It seems the PlusToken scammers didn’t see that coming.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-is-not-completely-banned-in-china-beijing-arbitration-commission/

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Warren Buffett Buying Gold May Push Bitcoin to $50K, Investors Say

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Berkshire Hathaway, the $503 billion conglomerate led by Warren Buffett, sold Goldman Sachs for a Canadian gold company Barrick Gold. Max Keiser, the founder of Heisenberg Capital and an early Bitcoin investor, says it could help buoy BTC to $50,000.

The quarterly shareholder filing of Berkshire Hathaway shows Buffett trimmed his position on most major banks, Fortune reported on Aug. 15. The firm sold a substantially large portion of its shares in JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and PNG.

What Buffett’s decision to enter a gold position over banks shows about Bitcoin

Buffett’s decision to completely close Berkshire’s position on Goldman Sachs follows the bank’s second-ever highest quarterly trading revenue of $13.3 billion. It suggests Buffett is not comfortable in betting big on the banking industry in the long-term.

Instead, Buffett purchased a single stock in Barrick Gold, whose stock has reflected that of gold in most of 2020. The firm is a gold mining company based in Canada, which recorded a 45% increase year-to-date. Following Berkshire’s investment, the stock rose by 8.11% in after-hours trading.

Max Keiser, an avid Bitcoin investor who has invested in companies like Kraken and Bitfinex, believes Buffett’s gold investment could benefit Bitcoin. He said the positive sentiment around gold implies a higher valuation for Bitcoin, which some consider as “digital gold.” Keiser said:

“Global $100 trillion fund management biz is less than 1% invested in Gold. With Buffett now moving into Gold. Expect global allocation of 5% AU min. Implies $5,000 Gold. Expect a 1% BTC global allocation ($1 trillion). This implies $50,000 for Bitcoin Expect PTJ ups to 10%.”

The weekly price chart of Bitcoin

The weekly price chart of Bitcoin. Source: TradingView.com

A former L/S equities portfolio manager and Ikigai Fund founder Travis Kling echoed a similar sentiment. Referring to Buffett’s skeptical statement in 1998 around gold saying it doesn’t have utility, Kling said:

“Today it was announced Berkshire Hathaway just bought its first gold stock ever. The reasons are self-apparent at this point. Just in case you’re wondering what the coming years are going to look like for Bitcoin, this was Buffett on gold in 1998.”

BTC has shown some correlation with the precious metal as of late

Although Bitcoin has outperformed gold since April, the price trend between gold and BTC has shown some correlation. Data from Skew show the two assets have increased in tandem throughout the past four months.

The correlation between Bitcoin and gold

The correlation between Bitcoin and gold. Source: Skew.com

The simultaneous rally of Bitcoin and gold since the global market crash in late March hints that more investors are starting to consider BTC as a store of value.

Most recently, MicroStrategy, a $1.4 billion intelligence conglomerate, purchased $250 million worth of Bitcoin. The firm said BTC would act as the company’s primary treasury asset, acknowledging Bitcoin as a store of value and a potential safe-haven asset.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/warren-buffett-buying-gold-may-push-bitcoin-to-50k-investors-say

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Unraveling the Blockchain and Crypto Gaming World One Click at a Time

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Regular readers will no doubt be aware of the high expectations currently being placed on the shoulders of blockchain gaming. For advocates of blockchain technology, there is the hope that tapping into the estimated 2.5 billion gamers worldwide will provide a huge leap toward mainstream adoption.

Blockchain and distributed ledger technology continue to make inroads into all kinds of industries as an increasing number of people discover and gain an understanding of the benefits that it can bring. From supply chain efficiencies through certification of authenticity and provenance to the immutable nature of information stored on a blockchain, the technology is already seeing ever-increasing interest.

In the last month alone, there have been announcements from firms associated with global brand names like Coca Cola, international shipping giants working with the Port of Rotterdam, and national governments such as the Philippines regarding blockchain technology implementations. However, this impressive growth is still somewhat organic in nature despite the promotion of the technology by industry leaders and political advocates such as Chinese President Xi Jinping. It also does little to increase blockchain and cryptocurrency awareness among the general public.

The theory is that getting blockchain in front of a potential third of the world’s population, many of whom are already comfortable with in-game payments and currencies, could be the push that finally takes the technology mainstream. This may well feed back into increased adoption of cryptocurrency from gamers who are exposed to the underlying technology through blockchain gaming.

What blockchain can do for gaming

Some believe that the integration of blockchain technology has the ability to revolutionize the gaming industry. Known for its progressive nature, the gaming industry has been fairly quick to get on board, as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a press release shared with Cointelegraph:

“The potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies reaches far beyond the financial sector. Given the readiness of the gaming industry in its continuous evolution, especially in new technologies. […] Blockchain is becoming an essential part of game development and is set to change the global gaming industry.”

Blockchain brings a number of benefits to gaming, some of which are inherent blockchain attributes that apply to many industries. The transparency of blockchain technology can bring provably fair gameplay. Its security, meanwhile, can guard against fraudulent play or hacking. But perhaps the biggest evolution that blockchain has brought to gaming came with the development of nonfungible tokens.

Essentially, NFTs allow players to own their in-game items, characters and abilities and then trade these items with other players. CryptoKitties was the first game to implement NFTs, but the link between cryptocurrency and trading in-game items goes back way further than that.

At one point, Mt. Gox became the biggest Bitcoin (BTC) exchange in the world, but it fell victim to one of the most infamous Bitcoin exchange hacks of all time. However, the website first started as a card-trading platform and got its name from “Magic: The Gathering Online” (eXchange). One could say that the path of gaming and blockchain technology has come full circle.

Time to roll up the sleeves

So far, Cointelegraph’s coverage of blockchain gaming has been focused on venture capital investments in gaming platforms, NFT pre-sales for forthcoming games, and technologies springing up to support the industry, such as decentralized exchanges for NFTs and platforms enabling developers to easily implement blockchain tech.

While there have been a few game reviews, these have generally been of sample games to show how the technology has been implemented. But if bringing gamers to blockchain technology can increase mass adoption, then Cointelegraph is ready to install the latest graphics drivers and start the grinding. This means expanding the gaming coverage to include the exciting developments in the space from the gamers’ perspective, with one eye firmly on the blockchain technology, of course.

As a little teaser, here are just a handful of the games that will be looked at.

Age of Rust

Age of Rust is a first-person, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi adventure developed by SpacePirate Games. Featuring drop-dead gorgeous graphics, it combines exploration, stealth, combat and puzzles galore, some of which form an in-game treasure hunt with a prize fund worth 20 BTC.

While some puzzles are of the standard “move-the-block-to-reach-hidden-switch” type, others will require specific crypto-items in combination with one’s cognitive powers to solve. These can be collected in-game, traded, bought and sold. As part of the EnjinVerse, an ever-growing collection of games that allows in-game items to be shared, some of the items can be discovered within other games using the platform. 

The game is blockchain to its core, and SpacePirate Games founder and CEO Chris LoVerme told Cointelegraph that: “One the reasons why we decided to build the game is to start to break down the walls that exist between gamers and crypto-based platforms.” The early beta release of the game is scheduled for this fall.

Neon District

Neon District is a cyberpunk-themed role-playing game and the flagship release from developer Blockade. As players battle through enemies in a sci-fi dystopian environment, they collect unique items and abilities, all of which are represented as NFTs that can be bought, sold and traded with other gamers.

As Cointelegraph reported, the game has gone through a number of unfortunate delays, the latest of which was last month when the company announced a move to Ethereum layer two solution Matic after its original platform went AWOL.

However, there are plans to release Neon District experiences on web and mobile later this year, with a full release of Season One on Steam slated for 2021. Rest assured, Cointelegraph will be there to beta test this one when it becomes available.

Infinite Fleet

Infinite Fleet, the highly-touted, massively-multiplayer online space strategy game from Samson Mow’s Pixelmatic, has been making headlines recently through various successful funding rounds.

The game will see players take control of a fleet of large spaceships protected by multiple small AI-controlled fighters. Featuring collaborative gameplay mixed with crypto incentives, Infinite Fleet unites gamers to defend against an invading alien threat. Moreover, Mow has described the game as: “The first proper video game to truly bring together gaming and crypto assets.” While the alpha test is still some way off, Cointelegraph will be getting involved and reviewing the game as soon as possible.

Hash Rush

Hash Rush is a real-time strategy game where players must collect resources, build bases and manage armies. It features classic RTS mechanics, such as fog of war and an increasingly challenging opponent.

While an open beta version is currently available for anyone to download, the developer has prioritized gameplay for now, so blockchain features are still in development. However, the first elements of blockchain integration are promised to come online soon, and the eventual aim is to offer a “play-to-earn” model for those who want it.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox has been around in one form or another since May 2012 when it was released on iOS. The latest 3D blockchain-enabled iteration has already been making news with its pre-sales of LAND packages and its recent native SAND token sale on the Binance Launchpad. It’s billed as a community-driven platform where creators can monetize the gaming experiences they create in an open-world sandbox environment.

The public beta of the game is slated to launch later this year, but in the meantime, Cointelegraph has been given access to the Game Maker Closed Alpha, a review of which will be landing on screens rather soon. Cointelegraph-themed gaming experiences will become available when the full game launches.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/unraveling-the-blockchain-and-crypto-gaming-world-one-click-at-a-time

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Samsung Phone Support for Gemini Exchange Can Further Crypto Adoption

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In a major new partnership, Samsung has announced that the Samsung Blockchain Wallet will be integrated with Gemini, a New York-based crypto exchange. This integration will allow owners of newer Samsung Galaxy phones to not only use their devices as cold storage wallets but to buy and sell crypto via the Gemini exchange as well.

Samsung is the global leader in the smartphone market, with 298.1 million units shipped and a 21.8% market share in 2019, according to tech analytic firm Canalys. Adding support for Gemini will lower the barrier to entry to cryptocurrency use for millions of people.

Previously, owners of Samsung Blockchain Wallet-compatible devices were able to store crypto on their phones, send and receive crypto, and use decentralized applications. However, with this latest addition, Samsung owners will now be able to buy and sell crypto via Gemini too, making it easier for those new to crypto to get their hands on their first tokens.

Both Samsung and Gemini hope that by streamlining the crypto acquisition process, they will be able to overcome some of the roadblocks that have led to the somewhat underwhelming adoption of cryptocurrencies. Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini, stated in a press release:

“Crypto is not just a technology, it is a movement. We are proud to be working with Samsung Blockchain to bring crypto’s promise of greater choice, independence, and opportunity to more individuals around the world.”

The rocky road to widespread crypto adoption

From Bitcoin’s (BTC) mysterious origins as the brainchild of the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto to the sudden rise of crypto in 2017, cryptocurrency has experienced a wild ride over the past decade, with roadblocks at every turn.

At the beginning of its journey, cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, was largely viewed as a means to conduct illicit affairs and, in some ways, that reputation has stuck around. From ordering drugs online to cryptojacking malware (malicious software that uses a computer’s resources to mine crypto), cryptocurrencies have earned something of a bad reputation.

Unfortunately, because cryptocurrency is accessed through computers, which are always vulnerable to cyberattacks, many people are also concerned about the security of their funds if they were to adopt crypto as their go-to currency. Although cryptocurrencies use complex cryptography to stay secure, and there are many ways to further improve the safety of your funds — such as switching from cloud storage to cold storage — many people may be slow to switch over to digital currencies out of fear of being hacked.

While these concerns haven’t stopped the growing public interest, it has made it more difficult to obtain crypto in some countries, hampering its ability to become a global currency. With several governments banning crypto outright and a lot of people not using a VPN to sidestep those bans, that reputation has put a dent in its user base — especially given that China, one of the largest consumer markets, is one of the countries making an active effort to suppress cryptocurrency.

What’s more, even when people are not worried about cryptocurrency and aren’t legally prohibited from acquiring tokens, many crypto exchanges are simply too complex for the average user to navigate. While there has been an uptick in user-friendly exchanges over the past few years, of which Gemini is one, this lack of easy-to-use exchanges may have significantly hindered the early adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Throughout all this turmoil, Samsung has been one of the largest proponents and supporters of cryptocurrency. In 2019, the company rolled out the Samsung Blockchain Wallet, which supports sending, receiving and storing ERC-20 tokens as well as using DApps built on Ethereum.

This was viewed as one of tech’s biggest moves toward crypto adoption, along with Facebook’s digital currency, Libra. However, without the ability to purchase cryptocurrencies on exchanges, there was still somewhat of a barrier to Samsung owners who didn’t already own crypto.

Samsung and Gemini partner to bring cryptocurrency to the masses

While the complex mathematics behind cryptocurrencies may be hard for consumers to grasp, the benefits of a global currency are not. With support for Gemini built into new Samsung Galaxy models, widespread adoption of cryptocurrency may be inching closer and closer.

Unlike some other crypto exchanges such as Binance, Bittrex or Poloniex, Gemini focuses on providing a streamlined and intuitive crypto buying and selling experience for its users instead of an environment designed for active trading. It’s comparable to Coinbase in its beginner-friendly nature and its focus on buy-and-hold investment strategies.

Gemini is also one of the few exchanges to be awarded a BitLicense, which is required to operate an exchange in the state of New York. This exposes Gemini to a potential market of over 19 million people that not all of its competitors have access to.

By natively supporting Gemini with Samsung’s existing cold storage wallets, the two companies are making it exceedingly easy for new blood to enter the crypto space and safely secure funds in cold storage. Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, managing director of operations at Gemini, said:

“For millions of Samsung users across the U.S. and Canada, being able to store crypto directly on their phones lowers another barrier to entry.” 

While this alone likely won’t be enough to completely change the landscape of cryptocurrency, it sets the stage for other groundbreaking developments yet to come.

Looking forward

Although Samsung Pay continues to lag behind Apple Pay in market share, it still maintains a sizable user base that is expected to hit 100 million users this year. While Samsung Blockchain Wallet doesn’t currently integrate with Samsung Pay, it seems to be just a small step away from allowing Galaxy owners to exchange fiat for tokens, or vice versa, on Gemini and then immediately use them for everyday purchases.

With Samsung Pay so deeply integrated into the daily life of several Asian countries, the impacts of a development like this could be truly massive. Although such an integration is purely speculative at this point, the combined forces of Samsung and Gemini do seem to show that the future is bright for crypto.

Indeed, regardless of whether this recent partnership has an impact, it’s clear that blockchain and similar cryptographic technologies are here to stay. From cryptocurrency to DApps, these technologies are poised to change the world.

While the vision of cryptocurrency as a truly global currency is still far off in the future, these recent developments are drawing us ever closer.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Sam Bocetta is a freelance journalist specializing in United States diplomacy and national security with an emphasis on technology trends in cyberwarfare, cyberdefense and cryptography. Previously, Sam was a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense, working in partnership with architects and developers to mitigate controls for vulnerabilities identified across applications.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/samsung-phone-support-for-gemini-exchange-can-further-crypto-adoption

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