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Russia is set to Legally recognize Bitcoin

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The journey for Bitcoin to become a major asset from nothing but ‘magic internet money’ has been quite long, but the number one cryptocurrency seems to be getting there now. Along with the industry, the asset’s legal status has also improved. Now, the prime minister of Russia has revealed the government’s plans to amend existing laws to recognize cryptocurrency as property. The move will allow bitcoin holders to legally defend and recoup their cryptocurrencies in court.

In a government meeting held this Thursday, Mikhail Mishustin, Prime Minister of Russia, discussed various plans for the regulation of digital currencies, while talking about various initiatives to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.

After outlining several solutions the Russian government has come up with, Mishustin said, “Another solution concerns cryptocurrencies.” He added that “This is a relatively new tool, interest in which is constantly growing.”

“The government plans to direct the development of this market in a civilized direction so that the owners of such assets can protect their rights and interests, and the creation of shadow schemes would be difficult,” Mishustin continued.

To be able to achieve this, the prime minister noted “Let’s make a number of changes to the tax code.” He went on to explain:

“Digital financial assets will be recognized as property, and their owners will be able to count on legal protection in the event of any illegal actions, as well as defend their property rights in court.”

Clearing confusion

While there have been talks among regulators to consider bitcoin as taxable property, no official decisions were taken. Hence, the nation has seen bitcoin’s legal status vary from court to court. Back in July, St. Petersburg’s Petrogradsky District Court dismissed bitcoin theft as a crime because digital currencies are not regulated in Russia and there is no legal status for bitcoin.

Meanwhile, The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has clarified that “digital rights,” the term currently used to describe coins and tokens in Russian law, can be a subject of bribes, just like regular fiat money, hinting that it can be classified as money and property.

The nation is also to set to regulate cryptocurrencies next year, with an upcoming bill. The latest amendment to that bill came just weeks ago with the nation’s Finance Ministry amending the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes of Russia which could see cryptocurrency users imprisoned for up to three years for failing to report cryptocurrency trading and transactions at least twice in three years in amounts that exceed 45 million rubles (~$580,000).

Source: https://thedailychain.com/russia-is-set-to-legally-recognize-bitcoin/

Blockchain

5 DeFi-Related Projects to Watch During Alt Season

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As Bitcoin dominance falls and the alt-market picks up speed, here are five DeFi cryptos to watch out for during the impending alt-season

DeFi: 1. Polkadot (DOT)

The Polkadot network is a web-based platform designed for blockchain interoperability. Its mission is to “enable a completely decentralized web,” giving control to web users.

It also aims to allow developers to easily build web-based, decentralized apps (dApps) and connect them to businesses or other organizations.

Several projects use Polkadot’s network as a foundation, including distributed ledger consultancy ChainSafe, and recently launched DeFi project Reef Finance.

Its token sale took place in July last year. The network’s native token DOT launched at just $0.29 a coin. Since then, the price has surged to $17.22, a more than 59x increase.

This price puts DOT’s market capitalization at $16.4 billion, making it the fourth-largest cryptocurrency behind only Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether USD.

2. Aave (AAVE)

Aave, formerly LEND, is a “decentralized non-custodial liquidity market protocol” that allows its users to lend or borrow crypto-assets without the need for a third party.

The concept works by allowing individuals to stake several crypto-assets in return for interest paid in Aave-based assets. The staked assets become part of a pool that borrowers can tap into by using other crypto-assets as collateral.

The protocol’s native token AAVE is currently worth $188.31 and has a market capitalization of $2.32 billion. It’s currently ranked number two in DeFi in terms of Total Value Locked (TVL), with over $3.23 billion staked.

3. yearn.finance (YFI)

yearn.finance is a DeFi portal that aggregates several staking opportunities into one easy-to-use platform. This allows its users to stay on top of the cryptocurrencies that provide the best farming yields.

The platform also collaborates with some of the top DeFi applications in the cryptocurrency space, including Cream Finance and Cover Protocol. YFI, the platform’s token, led last year’s “Summer of DeFi,” rising from its launch price of $3,000 to today’s price of $31,016.96.

That may just be the start. Founder and lead developer Andre Cronje was named DeFi person of the year in 2020 by analysis portal DeFi Prime. There is still more to come with yearn.finance, including the second version of its flagship vaults service.

4. SushiSwap (SUSHI)

SushiSwap is a decentralized platform that allows crypto-holders to provide liquidity in return for interest. The platform then uses this liquidity to facilitate “swaps” between different cryptocurrencies.

SushiSwap is a type of automated market maker (AMM) and is a fork of the original AMM, Uniswap. Its lead developer goes by the pseudonym Chef Nomi.

The sushi theme continues with the platform’s latest product under development, Bentobox, which will add a lending platform to its list of products.

Its native token, SUSHI, currently sits at $6.72 after climbing almost three-fold in just under a month and has a TVL of over $1.87 billion.

5. Alpha Finance Lab (ALPHA)

Alpha Finance Lab combines several DeFi products from lending to AMMs. Its objective is “to maximize returns while minimizing risks” for its users. It also seeks to make it easier for people to engage with DeFi projects by integrating a user-friendly interface in an often complex space.

Alpha Finance Lab’s latest product, Alpha Homora, will allow users to use leverage to stake tokens such as SUSHI. With Homora set to be launched in the next few days, ALPHA has gained over 300% in the past month.

The platform currently has $452.7 million in TVL, with ALPHA currently sitting at $0.81.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Emmanuel entered the cryptocurrency space in 2013 as a cryptocurrency broker. He is a crypto-enthusiast, entrepreneur, and investor, who has built and led several projects and communities in the space. Interests include: DeFI, CBDCs and investing.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/5-defi-related-projects-to-watch-during-alt-season/

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MicroStrategy purchases additional $10 million of Bitcoin

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Global technology giant MicroStrategy has purchased an additional $10 million worth of Bitcoin with an average price of $31,808, according to an announcement from CEO Michael Saylor.

The company now owns 70,784 Bitcoin worth around $1.13 billion at the time of writing.

The most recent purchases comes after a corrective move to the downside in the price of Bitcoin, with the world’s largest cryptocurrency slumping from $35,700 to $29,000 over the past 48-hours.

Bitcoin has since recovered to $32,400 following a flurry of buys in the lower $30,000 region.

MicroStrategy is one of multiple companies that has invested in Bitcoin following last March’s crash to $4,000, with Square purchasing $50 million worth of Bitcoin late last year while insurance giant Massachusetts Mutual unveiled a $100 million investment in the asset.

In a stark contrast to 2017, the recent rally in the price of Bitcoin has undeniably been driven by institutional demand as opposed to retail mania.

According to Google Search trends, the amount of people typing “buy bitcoin” into Google in December was 80% lower than in December 2017 at Bitcoin’s previous all-time high.

Google searches are, however, expected to more than double in January of this year when figures are complete at the end of the month.

For more news, guides and cryptocurrency analysis, click here.

Source: https://coinrivet.com/microstrategy-purchases-additional-10-million-of-bitcoin/

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OKCoin Exchange to Add Lightning Network Payments

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OKCoin plans to integrate Lightning Network payments later this quarter. Those who use the Bitcoin layer two scaling solution to deposit at the US-based cryptocurrency exchange will benefit from faster transaction times and lower fees.

OKCoin joins a handful of other exchange platforms offering Lightning Network payments. A recent uptick in Bitcoin transaction costs may continue to accelerate adoption.

OKCoin Embraces Layer 2 Solutions

OKCoin will become one of the first US-based exchanges to integrate layer two solutions. It revealed plans to launch Lightning in the coming weeks via a blog post on Friday.

The Lightning Network is an effort to scale the Bitcoin network by alleviating the demand for block space on the main chain. Payments occur on a layer above the Bitcoin blockchain, eventually settling on the main chain.

Lightning transactions don’t require confirmation by Bitcoin miners. Therefore, transactions don’t consume higher fees, allowing for micropayments.

OKCoin anticipates Lightning transaction fees as low as around $0.01. At the time of writing, the Bitcoin base chains’ average transaction fee is more than $13. Similarly, the exchange states that deposits and withdrawals will take just seconds compared to sometimes hourly confirmations.

When demand for block space is low, base chain transactions typically require between ten minutes and an hour, depending on the number of confirmations required. This can increase significantly when the network is busy.

Lightning integration will also allow OKCoin to reduce its minimum deposit and withdrawal limits. Previously, the minimum accepted payment was 0.001 BTC (~$35).

The exchange will drop this to just 100 satoshis (0.000001 BTC). At the current bitcoin price, the minimum deposit/withdrawal will be around $0.04. CEO of OKCoin, Hong Fang, described the reasoning behind the integration:

“As part of our analysis of the technology, we assessed the strength and quality of the nodes and now feel the network is strong enough to participate as an exchange with a high volume of withdrawals and deposits a day.”

He added that he hoped other companies would adopt the Lightning Network. If widely used by customers on numerous exchanges, main chain transaction fees would drop, too, increasing the Bitcoin blockchain’s utility.

Rising Fees Encouraging Lightning Adoption

A general upwards trend in the bitcoin price that started last March is increasing demand for block space. Data from BitInfoCharts shows that the average transaction fee has been growing.

The average fee for a main chain transaction peaked at around $17 on Jan. 12. It has since fallen to just above $13, still considerably more than the $0.05 to $1 average fees reported in early 2020.

OKCoin is the latest in a growing list of exchanges to integrate the Lightning Network. Besides other lesser-known trading venues, Bitfinex, Kraken, and CoinCorner have all added or announced support plans.

Although Lightning integration has clear benefits, exchanges have historically been slow to adopt Bitcoin upgrades. Binance, for example, only integrated deposits to SegWit addresses at the end of 2020, and data from on-chain analyst Willy Woo shows that less than half of transactions use the block space-saving format.

Yet, Lightning Network is growing. BitcoinVisuals shows that there are now almost 8,500 connected nodes with Lightning payment channels, compared with less than 5,000 this time last year.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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A former professional gambler, Rick first found Bitcoin in 2013 whilst researching alternative payment methods to use at online casinos. After transitioning to writing full-time in 2016, he put a growing passion for Bitcoin to work for him. He has since written for a number of digital asset publications.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/okcoin-exchange-to-add-lightning-network-payments/

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IOTA Foundation Secures Multiple Smart City Partnerships in Asia

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The IOTA Foundation has signed agreements to implement smart city projects in the Asian and European markets in the coming year.

A Tripartite Partnership to Create Smart Cities

IOTA announced on Friday that it has partnered with two innovative firms, Tanglehub and the Observer Foundation. The trio intends to revolutionize the real estate industry in Asia and Europe through the use of smart city technology.

Beginning in 2021, South East Asia, South Korea, and Europe will be the focal point of the project’s development. 

According to Holger Köther, the Director of Partnership for the IOTA Foundation, the alliance will be instrumental in the evolution of smart city design. It will bridge the gap between the real and digital world. 

Köther explains:

“As the Observer Foundation is committed to collaborating with the IOTA Foundation on South Korean projects, this will also be a vice versa commitment. The Observer Foundation will be introduced into smart city projects where IOTA plays a large role.”

He continued:

“With Tanglehub’s expertise, we have already started first tests to integrate IOTA into Observers environmental stations, securing data directly at the source.”

This development is in line with the project’s mission to enable an environment fully compatible with distributed ledger technology (DLT). 

Smart City Design

The process of digitizing smart cities by integrating the IoT (Internet of Things) remains a priority for the cryptocurrency’s Tangle technology. Data security and privacy are front and center for all parties.

TangleHub CEO, Dennis Schouten, revealed his companies involvement with IOTA since its inception. He expressed excitement in the partnership, adding that he believes in the potential synergies. He also believes the project has the competence to develop the necessary digital solutions.

Quoting Schoute: 

“We have been actively developing with IOTA since its inception and are convinced of its potential to provide a global secure and scalable infrastructure for data, micropayments, digital twins and many other use-cases.”

He added that,

“With the upcoming version of the protocol and additional standardizations, IOTA will provide the basis to develop production-ready solutions. We are excited to work with the IOTA Foundation and the Observer Foundation in smart city projects.”

IOTA Market Sentiment

The token was little changed on the news and traded around $0.45 a coin at press time. IOTA has managed a 60% gain since November, though, has largely underperformed compared with other top-tier coins.

Source: TradingView

Several European cities, including Munich, are already trialing blockchain-based smart city solutions.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/iota-foundation-secures-multiple-smart-city-partnerships-in-asia/

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