Trade Token (TIO), The World’s 1st ERC20 Cryptocurrency to Be Offered as a Payment Method for FX/CFD Brokers

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This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

Bitcoin Press Release. trade.io has announced that its early adopter – the PRIMUS Group of companies – known by its clientele as ‘FXPRIMUS, The Safest Place To Trade’ – will offer its clients the ability to deposit to their trading account using their TIO. This announcement follows successful integration of trade.io’s BTV DApp (Blockchain Trade Verifier) to FXPRIMUS in January of this year.

June 11th, 2018. Lugano, Switzerland. The 10-year old industry leading broker, and winner of multiple awards will offer the ability to deposit in TIO, in response to overwhelming community demand. With this, its clients who span multiple continents, will have the opportunity to deposit to their trading account in a similar manner they currently do, utilizing Bitcoin.

By offering the ability to deposit utilizing TIO, the trade.io community – known as the Tionauts – will now have access to trade over 120 tradable instruments including forex pairs, commodities, stocks and indices. Further to this, TIO is acting as a frictionless, absolutely free funding method which allows clients to fund and begin trading in the quickest manner possible. This integration of technologies between the two companies further demonstrates the utility of TIO and the continuous focus by FXPRIMUS to provide everyone a convenient, efficient way to trade.

This unprecedented move to further bridge the gap between traditional finance and the blockchain sector brings significant added value to the loyal TIO-holding community of trade.io, as well as providing a bridge of access into the world of cryptocurrencies for the traditional investor.

CEO of trade.io Jim Preissler commented:

One of our many initiatives is to continue to bring utility to TIO. By offering it as a method of deposit to such an industry leader as FXPRIMUS, will allow TIO Holders to experience the excitement of FX & CFD trading. This development also has the potential to significantly increase the size of the TIO community, as we’re exposing TIO to an entirely different asset class.”

Preissler concluded “We are already in talks with other brokers and non-financial companies which will only expand the TIO community.”

With a rooted background in traditional finance, the board and management team of trade.io have already been approached by other brokers to include the TIO as a deposit mechanism. Applications are welcome to be submitted to [email protected]

CEO of PRIMUS Group, Constantinos Kappai commented:

Our motto and driving force at FXPRIMUS has always been to provide one of the safest trading environments for traders worldwide. With this new integration, our wish is to extend our stable and secure trading environment into a relatively untapped resource, the crypto world.”

The Trade Token (TIO) is currently available to buy on the following exchanges: OKEX, Bancor, gate.io, TIDEX, KuCoin, HiTBTC & IDEX. To find out more about the Trade Token and to be alerted about the upcoming launch of trade.io’s flagship product the trade.io Exchange, visit https://trade.io/exchange

About trade.io

trade.io is a next generation financial institution based on blockchain technology, and providing the ultimate in security and transparency via its flagship product the trade.io exchange as well as its highly sought after token sale Consulting Services and Angel Investment Program. trade.io successfully completed its token sale in January 2018 and raised over 31 million USD from loyal participants and community members who want greater transparency in the financial markets.

About FXPRIMUS

FXPRIMUS is globally acclaimed for offering one of the most secure online trading environments available anywhere in the forex industry. The company enables clients of all experience levels to trade multiple instruments including forex, commodities, energies, indices and cryptocurrencies, via a range of advanced web and mobile trading platforms. Lightning quick execution via state-of-the-art execution systems worldwide combine to create a seamlessly efficient trading environment. Client funds are protected via a client fund insurance for up to 2.5EUR million, plus 3rd party overseeing of client funds by Boudica Client Trust. Learn more: https://www.fxprimus.com

Visit the Website: https://trade.io/
Chat on Telegram: https://t.me/TradeToken
Connect on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tradetoken?lang=en
Connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trade.io/?_rdc=2&_rdr
Meet the team: https://www.linkedin.com/company/trade-io/

Media Contact
Name: [email protected]
Email: Helen Astaniou

trade.io is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. Cryptocurrencies and tokens are extremely volatile. There is no guarantee of a stable value, or of any value at all. Token sales are only suitable for individuals with a high risk tolerance. Only participate in a token event with what you can afford to lose.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA: Price Analysis, June 11

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

The crypto markets tumbled on Sunday following the news of hacking of a small South Korean exchange, Coinrail, according to top tier media. The reaction to the news seems to be a little exaggerated because the 24-hour volume traded at Coinrail is only about $2.65 million.

While the hackers stole about $40 million of tokens, the panic selling wiped off about $42 billion in total crypto market capitalization over the weekend. In a bear market, even small piece adverse news creates panic among the traders. This is what was seen on Sunday.

Bottoms are formed during such periods of a selling stampede. The weak hands close their positions while the stronger hands who have sold at the highs use the opportunity to buy at lower levels.

Long-term investors can use these sharp falls to build their position. However, traders should not be in a hurry to establish fresh positions when the markets are in a firm bear grip. So, when should one start buying? Let’s find out from the charts.

BTC/USD

The bounce in Bitcoin that started on May 29 failed to break out of the 20-day EMA. This led to fresh shorting by the bears. Once price broke below the support levels, the bulls were forced to liquidate their long positions. Selling increased when the digital currency broke below the critical support level of $7,100.

BTC/USD

The support zone between $6,700-$6,900 is also not finding any buyers, which increases the possibility of a drop to the next support at $6,075.04.

The only thing that is in favor of the bulls is the RSI. Historically, the BTC/USD pair has offered a strong tradeable bounce from the oversold levels on the RSI. With any more fall, the RSI will enter deep into the oversold territory. If history repeats itself, the virtual currency should get a strong bounce.

Any recovery will face a strong selling at the 20-day EMA and the small trendline. We shall wait for the decline to end before recommending long positions.

ETH/USD

Though Ethereum held above the resistance line of the descending channel on June 09, it did not climb to our buy levels at $630. On June 10, it re-entered the channel and slumped to $496.27, close to the May 28 lows of $492.5.

ETH/USD

If the bulls fail to hold the immediate support levels at $492.5, the ETH/USD pair can plummet to the support line of the descending channel at $400.

Both the moving averages are turning down, and the RSI is also in the negative territory, which is a bearish sign. Any pullback attempts by the bulls will face stiff resistance at $550 and at the 20-day EMA.

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the cryptocurrency holds $492.5 and bounces above $630. Traders should wait for a new buy setup to form before initiating any long positions.

XRP/USD

Though the bulls held the 20-day EMA for seven days, they could not push Ripple higher. On June 10, prices broke below the 20-day EMA and tumbled to the critical support at $0.56270.

XRP/USD

If the bulls fail to defend the critical support zone between $0.45351-$0.56270, the bearish descending triangle formation will complete, which will be a negative development.

The next support for the XRP/USD pair is way lower at $0.24. Any pullback attempts will face resistance at the 20-day EMA. As the outlook is bearish, we are not suggesting any trade on it.

BCH/USD

The tight range in Bitcoin Cash resolved on the downside. The failure of the bulls to break out of the 20-day EMA is a negative sign. There is minor support at $878 below which the decline can extend to $777 levels.

BCH/USD

The 20-day EMA has turned down, and the 50-day SMA is also showing weakness. This shows that the bears are in control in the short-term. Any pullback attempt will face strong selling pressure at the 20-day EMA.

We shall wait for the BCH/USD pair to form a new buy setup before recommending any trade on it.

EOS/USD

EOS broke below our stop loss at $12.5 and plummeted to $10 levels. Selling gathered momentum once it broke below the critical support level of $12.9870. The bulls are likely to attempt to hold the $10 levels. If successful, the virtual currency might spend the next few days in the range of $10-$13.

EOS/USD

However, if the bears continue to mount pressure and break below the $10 levels, the EOS/USD pair will become negative and can fall to $8 levels. The support at $9.6136 is unlikely to hold.

Traders should wait for a new buy setup to form before initiating any long positions.  

LTC/USD

Litecoin has continued to fall and has reached the major support level of $107. If the bears break and close (UTC) below the support, it will complete the bearish descending triangle formation. Though the pattern targets are way lower, the next support on the downside is at $84 and at $75.

LTC/USD

This is the third time that the LTC/USD pair has declined to the $107 levels since early-February of this year. We anticipate strong defense of this level by the bulls, but we shall not propose any long positions until we notice signs of a sustainable bounce.

The traders should play it safe and remain on the sidelines.

ADA/USD

We believe that Cardano is trading in a large range between $0.13-$0.436956. The failure to break out of the 20-day EMA has resulted in a fall to $0.17. This is minor support, but we expect this to be broken.

ADA/USD

The ADA/USD pair has declined from close to the top of the range on May 03 to the current levels, which is a fall of about 58 percent. Due to the strong selling pressure, the RSI has dropped close to the oversold levels.

We believe that the bottom of the range at $0.13 will attract strong buying by the bulls. The traders should watch for buying to resume near the lows before establishing long positions.  

XLM/USD

Stellar broke below our stop at $0.27 resulting in a small loss. The bulls are currently trying to hold the immediate support at $0.242 levels.   

XLM/USD

Both the moving averages are sloping down, and the RSI is also in the negative territory. This increases the probability of the decline to extend to $0.184 levels.

Between March 18-April 12, repeated attempts by the bears to break down below $0.184 levels had failed. Hence, we expect the buyers to defend the $0.184 levels once again. The traders can wait for the dip to buy the XLM/USD pair closer to the supports.

IOTA/USD

IOTA broke below the critical support level of $1.63 on June 10 and dropped to its next support at $1.33 on the same day. Though some buying is seen at the $1.63 levels, the chart formation remains weak. The 20-day EMA has turned down, and the 50-day SMA is also showing signs of weakness. The RSI has also fallen into the negative territory.

IOTA/USD

Once the $1.33 levels break, the next major support is at $0.9150 where we anticipate strong buying to emerge.

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the IOTA/USD pair sustains above $1.63 levels. We believe that the traders should wait for a couple of days before buying this dip.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

Former FDIC Chair Urges Fed to Consider Issuing Central Bank Digital Currency

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Sheila Bair, a former chair of the Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation in the U.S., thinks the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank should seriously consider issuing a digital currency to reduce the risk of a financial crisis and improve monetary policy. Writing in Yahoo Finance, she noted that market volatility continues to shake confidence in banking systems.

The U.S. has experienced a subprime crisis in the last decade, while Europe suffered a debt crisis, she noted. Meanwhile, Italy is considering leaving the Eurozone while Brazil, Russia, Portugal, Ukraine and Venezuela have all experienced setbacks.

Bitcoin, designed to be a payment system outside of the banking system, has not succeeded in gaining traction a payment system, Bair noted, on account of its volatility. No one wants to pay with a currency that could double in value in a short period of time, or accept it if it should lose value.

Central  Banks Explore Digital Money

However, a central bank could issue its own digital money, Bair said, noting that such an idea is gaining support among central bankers and economists.

A digital currency issued by a central bank would be just as stable as fiat currency. At the same time, there would be less risk of a financial crisis, and provide a better tool for monetary policy.

A sudden transition to central bank issued digital currency could undermine credit availability since banks rely on deposits to fund loans, Bair noted.

Banks and individuals currently deposit most available cash in banks through deposit accounts or by buying bank short-term debt, a system that works well under stable conditions, Bair noted. But when a crisis occurs, people withdraw uninsured funds from the banks and unsettle the flow of payments. This situation is known as a “bank run,” which even deposit insurance has failed to prevent.

If businesses and consumers converted deposits to digital currency, there would be no need to be concerned about bank instability as the Fed has the power to print money and make good on its obligations.

A digital currency would also reduce costs and inefficiencies of the existing payments system. Consumers would not have to have checking accounts to pay bills. Businesses, for their part, could evade having to pay interchange fees that banks and card networks charge.

A Tool For Monetary Policy

Digital currency would also give the Fed better tools for performing monetary policy. The central bank currently controls the money supply by buying and selling securities from institutions and paying interest on reserves that the banks deposit with the Fed. When the Fed chooses to stimulate the economy, it purchases securities from the banks and lowers the rate it pays on the reserves. This gets the banks to lend the proceeds to the “real” economy and get a better return.

When the Fed wants to raise rates, it pares the holdings of securities and raises the rates paid on reserves.

The current system benefits the banks, but not the banks’ customers, Bair noted. In the last decade, the existing monetary tools have proven inadequate to boost economic growth. The very wealthy have increased their wealth while the middle class has been constrained.

An interest bearing “FedCoin” would allow the Fed to raise interest rates during inflationary periods when the economy is “overheating.” The interest would be paid to the public, motivating people to save rather than spend.

The Fed could reduce the rate on the currency during recessionary times, motivating people to spend and stimulate the economy. Should the economy still suffer, the Fed could issue special coins with a limited shelf life, bringing more stimulation. This tactic would work better than enacting a tax offering Social Security refunds, as was done during the Great Recession.

Risks To Consider

The FedCoin is not without risks, Bair noted. It could disrupt credit availability. There is currently more than $10 trillion deposited in demand deposit accounts at banks, which use the deposits to lend to consumers and businesses. The funds could disappear if the public moved their transaction accounts into FedCoin.

The risk of this occurring could be contained by limiting the amount of FedCoin issued and letting banks compete with it for deposits, Bair noted.

A number of central banks are considering a central bank-issued digital currency. Meanwhile, the private sector has not given up on a privately issued digital currency for payments.

Also read: We shouldn’t ban bitcoin, says former FDIC chair

The Private Currency Option

Basis, a private venture supported by Kevin Wash, a former Federal Reserve governor, uses an algorithm that stabilizes its value by issuing more currency when the price rises in relation to the dollar, and buying it back when the price drops.

It is not known if such efforts will succeed. But if they do, it will bring relief to retailers who hate paying interchange fees on card transactions, as well as consumers who hate account fees.

Such a scenario would be bad for the banking system, and for the Fed, which would stand to lose its ability to control the money supply. To prevent this, the Fed has to consider the merits of issuing its own digital currency. If it fails to stay ahead of the technology, both the banks and the Fed itself could be at risk.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Russian Gov’t, Corporate Giants Form Joint Venture to Develop in Blockchain, IoT

Multiple Russian corporate giants, including state-owned Gazprombank, have created a joint venture that plans to develop projects in blockchain and the digital economy, local news outlet TASS reported June 9.

Russian telecom company MegaFon, Gazprombank, government corporation Rostec, and the USM Group have created a joint venture – referred to as MF Technologies (MFT) – that is worth $450 mln and has a 59 percent stake in Russian Internet giant mail.ru.

The initiative plans to focus on developing digital financial solutions via Gazprombank resources. According to TASS, MegaFon stated that MFT will:

“allow partners to maximally effectively implement comprehensive, innovative projects  across industries, to implement solutions based on blockchain technology and the Internet of Things.”

Sergey Soldatenkov, CEO of MegaFon, added that creating the separate joint venture is a “natural step in the implementation of our corporate strategy to achieve the ambitious goal of digital leadership.”

TASS reported that Rostec plans to utilize the expertise of the organization to develop digital technologies.

This is not Gazprombank’s first foray into the blockchain and crypto space: at the end of March, Gazprombank reported that it would begin testing pilot cryptocurrency transactions in Switzerland.

ETCgame – The Only Mainstream Crypto Prediction Market

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This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

ETCgame has enhanced again, this time, with an appealing interface and seamless user experience, visit the transformation at:  www.etcgame.com

With the upgrade of image processing, the new site brings smoother user experience.

In terms of user experience, the platform has been divided into two clear categories – “World Cup” and “Cryptocurrency”, whilst separating each categories into three sections, “Open Orders”, “Closed Orders” and “Settled Orders” to optimise user’s experience.

Placing your prediction

Step 1: Ensure you have a working ETC wallet [WARNING: Wallets from Exchanges are NOT accepted, transfers made from an Exchange Wallet will be void], then transfer your ETC funds into your ETC wallet (Our next version will include an internal wallet).

Step 2: Select the prediction activity you want to participate in the forecast list and click to enter. Please read the prediction content, options, and related information carefully to avoid prediction errors. For this example, we will predict “Harry Kane” to be the World Cup Top Goalscorer.

Step 3: Select your prediction option and accept the service agreement. “Terms of Use” will pop up once a prediction option is selected.
Please read and understand all terms carefully and click ‘Agreement’ to participate in the prediction.


Step 4: After accepting the terms & conditions, you will be provided with the relevant forecast deposit address. You can transfer ETC to this address by copy and pasting the address or by scanning the QR code.

Step 5: Check the prediction history to ensure that the prediction has been successfully placed. After depositing the funds, please check your wallets history to track the transfer.

Step 6: Wait for your potential winnings! Once the event has finished, any winnings will be automatically transferred to your wallet. In unexpected circumstances, such as a match cancellation, original fund deposits will be returned to the users wallet.

World cup game options will include the popular prediction choices, such as 1×2, Asian Handicap and U/O. For further information on each game rule, please refer to the 2nd article.

For Cryptocurrency options, you can predict the daily rise or fall of certain cryptocurrency, or if the ending digit is odd or even.

Video Games and Blockchain: New Experience for Players or More Profit for Developers?

Crypto-video games are finally here, except that they aren’t. Over the past few months, a steadily increasing stream of computer games have appeared that have used cryptocurrencies in one way or another, yet despite their growing frequency only a small number of these have actually used the mechanics of Ethereum or Bitcoin to provide a decentralized gaming experience.

In fact, the majority of them could be passed off for traditional games without anyone batting an eyelid, since the use of cryptocurrencies or blockchain generally comes more as an addition to existing gameplay dynamics and genres than as a fundamental reworking of them. Blockchain Game, Alien Run,  Miner Simulator, Itadaki Dungeon , and Spells Of Genesis  are the five most popular crypto-related games available right now on the Google Play Store in terms of user ratings, yet all five would work perfectly well without any kind of blockchain or crypto element.

TOP 5 CRYPTO-RELATED GAMES ON THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE

Still, this continuity shows that such elements can be added seamlessly to video games without spoiling what made them fun in the first place, with (three-way) puzzle games, strategy games, 2D racers, 2D platformers, and trading games proving the most popular genres so far for accommodating some kind of crypto layer.

As this variety suggests, there are few limits or distinctions as to the kind of game that can be ‘put on the blockchain.’ However, the use of crypto in video games can currently be divided into three distinct categories: as a reward for play, as a gimmicky promotional tool, or as a genuine gameplay modifier. As the following overview of the burgeoning crypto-game industry will show, it may be some time before the third category becomes dominant…

A quick history lesson

Crypto-based games already have a modest history, even if they only became popular at the end of last year with CryptoKitties, the cat-breeding game that uses the Ethereum blockchain to trade and prove ownership of the titular crypto-cats. The first title that could legitimately be called a ‘crypto-game’ was Dragon’s Tale, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that allowed players to stake actual Bitcoin on the outcome of a variety of minigames. Launched on July 12, 2013 as a beta but first conceived in 2010 by games developer Andrew Tepper,  Dragon’s Tale is set in a open 3D world where players could hunt for eggs, tip cows, catch fish, and race monkeys, among other mini-games. It may not have used Bitcoin in any more imaginative way than as a virtual gambling chip, but it at least showed that the worlds of cryptocurrencies and video games could be mixed, and it continues to be played to this day.

Dragon’s Tale

The fantastical open world of Dragon’s Tale. © eGenesis

An even more significant early game was Huntercoin, another MMORPG first emerging as a prototype in September 2013. Running on a fork of the Namecoin blockchain, it saw players mining the game’s own cryptocurrency (HUC) by finding its coins in the game world and then bringing them to one of several randomly generated ‘banks,’ which would actually transfer them to the players’ crypto-wallets. It has had something of a turbulent ride since it first appeared, with co-creator Mikhail Syndeev passing away in February 2014 and its code being transferred into the upstream Bitcoin core code in 2016, but the game is still popular, providing a testament to the enduring appeal of its decentralized game world and mechanics.

However, since it has been demonstrated that games could be left to run without being subject to direct control from a centralized server, the rest of the gaming world has been slow to catch up. Predictably enough, there were a slew of Bitcoin-based gambling websites in both 2013 and 2014, such as SatoshiDice, BitZino, Bitino, and Bit777 – although these weren’t really video games as such. There were also a number of tokens that were briefly provided as a reward for playing certain online games, such as the HYPER cryptocurrency that was offered in mid-2014 with the Counter Strike and Minecraft servers the currency’s team launched. But for a while, there were few games designed specifically with a cryptocurrency or blockchain in mind, although 2015 finally provided a modest increase in the number of games based around offering cryptocurrencies as a reward for play or as a means of payment. Such games included multiplayer racer TurboCharged, platformer FlapPig, and fellow platformer SaruTobi. Like the games that came before and after them, these titles were all ‘free-to-play’, although most offered in-app purchases. While they once again didn’t use cryptocurrency technology in particularly imaginative ways, their increasing numbers at least suggested that the idea of using cryptocurrencies in video games was a popular one.

This appeared to be the case, as 2016 witnessed another upsurge in the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchains in gaming. Aside from the increasing amount of games offering Bitcoin rewards, for example Grabbit and BitQuest, there was the release of the popular card-trading game Spells of Genesis in September of that year. Developed by the Swiss-based EverdreamSoft and using its own BitCrystals (BCY) currency, it provided a turning point because it actually used the Bitcoin blockchain to store – and to guarantee the authenticity of – the collectable cards it enabled players to win. This breakthrough was built upon in 2017, when the trading-card game Force of Will and real-time strategy game Beyond the Void were both launched. First released as an open beta in April 2017, the latter game used the Ethereum blockchain to run its own Nexium (NXC) cryptocurrency. Significantly, this use would be repeated by the now-famous CryptoKitties, which became the largest Dapp on Ethereum a mere week after its launch on November 28.

AllMine? Or all theirs?

Despite CryptoKitties providing a proof-of-concept in December 2017 that blockchain and cryptocurrencies could be exploited to deliver a novel gaming experience – for example the breeding/trading of unique digital pets, the most common use of cryptocurrencies in games today still revolves around rewarding players for their gaming efforts.

This is most evident in AllMine, a match-three puzzle game à la Candy Crush due for release on PC in Q3 2018. Developed by Californian startup MyDream Interactive, the game consists in three interrelated sub-games, with the first (mini-game based) sub-game earning players the right to play in the second, mining sub-game. As the name suggests, players who participate in the mining game essentially permit their computer to be used to mine Jewel, the cryptocurrency created especially for AllMine.

AllMine

Players have to line up matching icons in AllMine © MyDream Interactive

Part of the proceeds of this mining – which is much less resource-intensive than Bitcoin mining – will go to the players themselves, while the other part will go to the developers, who will reinvest their share back into the game in various ways – including developing updates and offering Jewelz as an incentive to certain players to keep mining/playing. Players will have the option of trading their Jewelz for other cryptocurrencies or for fiat money, but here’s where it gets interesting, because they will also be able to use their coins to fund purchases in the third sub-game.

This third sub-game involves building “Utopias” (farmstead-esque settlements) and populating them with “Adoraboos,” – cute mythical creatures that players collect during the mining sub-game and that can be fed and entertained. Not only can players level up their Utopias, but they can actually challenge – Pokémon style – other players to battles. The winner of these battles is rewarded with a level up for their Utopia, while the loser is rewarded with no level up and having their Utopia becoming inaccessible for three days.

Adoraboo

Catching an Adoraboo ©MyDream Interactive

So far, so generic, but the interesting – or arguably manipulative – part is that players who upgrade their Utopias more will have a greater chance of winning these battles and becoming the kind of ‘Pokémaster’ (or rather, Adoraboo-master) their friends will envy. Of course, the only way to upgrade your Utopia is to spend the Jewelz you earn, which essentially means that the most engaged AllMine players won’t be earning much profit from playing the game, since the proceeds of their mining exploits will mostly be pumped back into transforming their Utopias into formidable fighting machines.

Similar reward systems – which dangle a crypto-shaped carrot in front of gamers only to whip them with a purchase-shaped stick – can be increasingly found elsewhere. For example, the March-released Itadaki Dungeon is a top-down 2D adventure in which players can find and earn mBTC (milli-bitcoin), but which also offers in-app purchases of various items for those players who wish to increase their chances of progressing in the game. Likewise, Reality Clash – which is due for release in “late 2018” – is a first person shooter (FPS) in which “gamers can make real cash” via the weapons they sell for Reality Clash Gold Coins (RCC). However, they unfortunately have to purchase RCC in the first place in order to buy these weapons, something which suggests that the overall balance of purchases and sales will end up in the Reality Gaming Group’s favour.

The Bitcoin bandwagon

Currently, nameable games that offer crypto rewards and are either available now or soon-to-be-launched are in short supply – CryptoPop is another example – with some early examples having ceased paying out in cryptocurrencies altogether, such as the Swiss-made Bitcoin Bandit. That said, they’re likely to be abundant in the near future, given the number of companies offering platforms that will enable games developers to add crypto-reward systems to their products.

For example, Japanese internet services corporation GMO recently announced that its “Bitcoin-based application for in-game rewards” would be released in August, with one game – Whimsical War – already lined up to utilize this app once it’s launched. Similarly, Kik teamed up with Unity Technologies in March to develop a software development kit (SDK) for its Kin cryptocurrency, thereby enabling any games developer to use Kin as an in-game reward token.

This is also something that will be possible via the upcoming Tap Project and Nitro platforms, the latter of which aims to tokenize the entire gaming industry ecosystem, as well as provide specific in-game rewards for players via the NOX cryptocurrency. Through platforms like it, the video game industry would have its initial coin offering (ICO) moment, with developers being given access to a broader range of funding and financing – often from players – than they may have enjoyed in the past.

However, for every developer or company hoping to create a crypto-based ecosystem for games that rewards players and developers alike, there are those who simply seem to be cashing in on the prevailing crypto-hype. Much like Long Blockchain Corp., some have simply added a Bitcoin or crypto association as a way of garnering extra interest, even if this addition doesn’t make much sense gameplay-wise. In January, for instance, the action-RPG Imperatum introduced a fashionably named “Crypto Update” that equipped it with a “Bitcoin Mode,” whereby item drops become more frequent and enemies become more fiendish if the value of BTC increases. As ‘novel’ as this might seem at first glance, it would potentially destroy the game’s enjoyability if BTC’s price collapsed or if it rose to lunar highs.

Imperatum

Imperatum screenshot ©Pro Social Games LLC

In April, SuperFly Games Ltd did something comparable with their Crypto Rider, a 2D driving game in which players can race along the historical price charts of various cryptocurrencies and which gained its fair share of press attention. Its peaks and troughs prove fun for a while, but like Imperatum it incorporates nothing of the essential workings of blockchains and cryptocurrencies into its own inner workings, unless you think volatile price fluctuations are essential to Bitcoin et al.

Another game that jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon for promotional purposes was puzzler Montecrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma, which upon its February launch promised exactly one Bitcoin (then worth $9,860) to the first player able to solve its 24 head-scratching puzzles. This may have been a very welcome reward for the team that eventually managed this feat on April 24 (when BTC was worth approx. $9,566),  but it’s clear that once again, this one-off payment had little or nothing to do with the game itself, which continues to be playable today without any crypto reward.

Human mining

Given that the above two sections outline how cryptocurrencies have been used by developers largely for rewards/incentives or for marketing – a use also common outside of video games, there may seem to be little hope for those who’d like to see the actual technology of cryptocurrencies worked meaningfully into a video game. Fortunately, there are some signs that this technology has been making a difference to the intrinsic gameplay and workings of some games, and may do this to a greater extent in the future.

To begin with, there’s the painfully familiar CryptoKitties, which wouldn’t be quite the same without the Ethereum blockchain, since it uses the latter to ensure that the digital cats players breed are entirely unique, “100 percent owned” by the player, and cannot be reproduced, erased, or seized. There’s also the very similar CryptoFighters, not to mention UnicornGo and Tencent’s Let’s Hunt Monsters, which is much the same except for the fact that players battle with their unique fighters, and have to purchase them from the official marketplace – making the game another example of a crypto-enabled cash cow.

As for games which use blockchains and cryptocurrencies in order to furnish something other than unique characters owned entirely by players, examples are currently still few and far between. However, one indie game offers hope that the developers of the future will occasionally have original ideas as to how cryptocurrencies can be merged with video games. This is the aforementioned Huntercoin, a hybrid cryptocurrency/decentralized MMORPG that was released to the public in February 2014 by hobbyist developers, and which continues to generate low-level cultish buzz due to its unique dynamics. What distinguishes it is that it provides the first ever example of ‘human mining,’ in that players mine its currency (HUC) by travelling across the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game world and finding it. It also provides the first example of a truly decentralized game server, with the developers unable to influence the game’s unfolding except by changing the underlying code.

Huntercoin

© huntercoin.org

Due to its hobbyist origins and decentralised existence as a fork of the Namecoin blockchain, Huntercoin was initially laggy and a touch buggy, yet it shows that it’s possible to insert blockchain and cryptocurrencies into the very core of a video game.

Whether the gaming industry makes good on its early promise is still an open question, however, but with the growing prevalence and popularity of such games as CryptoKitties, AllMine, Blockchain Game, and Huntercoin, cryptocurrencies could one day become an integral part of video gaming’s fabric.

Korean Banks to Use Samsung SDS Blockchain to Verify Customer IDs from July

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A national banking group representing South Korea’s commercial banks will launch a customer ID verification powered by blockchain technology in July.

The Korea Federation of Banks (KFB) will officially launch “BankSign”, a blockchain-based identity verification platform that will enable retail domestic banks to improve a decades-old verification system with digitization in both online and mobile banking, the Korea JoongAng Daily confirmed.

Until this year, Korean banks were forced to use a 20-year old public banking security system that is predictably inefficient and outdated. However, the government reversed its ‘Digital Signature Act’ policy wherein domestic institutions were mandated to use the public certification system.

A KFB spokesperson added:

BankSign is the first project co-developed by the local banking sector utilizing blockchain technology.

The blockchain platform is notably built on top of Nexledger, a private enterprise cloud computing platform developed by Samsung SDS – the IT subsidiary of South Korea’s biggest conglomerate, Samsung.

As reported by CCN at the time, Samsung SDS was launched in April 2017 alongside the launch of Nexsign, a biometric authentication solution also developed by Samsung that enables customers to gain access to a multitude of services using a single ID authentication. While this is unrelated to KFB’s BankSign, Samsung has already tested its Nexledger blockchain with Samsung Card, the conglomerate’s credit card company, as early as October 2016.

It has now been revealed that the KFB established a consortium of its member to research and implement blockchain technology in the domestic banking sector in November 2017. Development of BankSign took off immediately, the KFB said, before select member banks began beta testing the system in April this year.

Furthermore, the KFB said BankSign will find other applications within government and other public organizations after taking off in the banking sector with an official launch that is only weeks away.

Seoul financial district image from Shutterstock.

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Malta Emerges as World’s Cryptocurrency Hub Despite EU’s TAX3 Investigation: Expert Take

In our Expert Takes, opinion leaders from inside and outside the crypto industry express their views, share their experience and give professional advice. Expert Takes cover everything from Blockchain technology and ICO funding to taxation, regulation, and cryptocurrency adoption by different sectors of the economy.

If you would like to contribute an Expert Take, please email your ideas and CV to george@cointelegraph.com.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

On June 7, European Union’s Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) members participated in a workshop on “Taxation and fight against Money Laundering: Crypto Currencies, Digitalization and the European Semester.”   

At the workshop Professor Robby Houben presented the legal context of virtual currencies and blockchain and mapped the implications for financial crime, money laundering and tax evasion, including against the backdrop of the newly adopted EU Anti-money laundering legislation.   

He explained that newer and proposed cryptocurrency implementations such as Cloakcoin, Dash, PIVX and Zcoin have built in mixing services as a part of their blockchain network. The Monero cryptocurrency provides anonymity without tumbling services due to its privacy centric design, utilizing ring signatures to keep the entire blockchain secure and untraceable. He pointed to the need for adopting crypto regulations at an EU and maybe even at a G-20 level to have mixing services recognized as money-laundering and tax evasion indicators, with users of mixing services assumed to be guilty of these offenses.

The power to levy taxes, including cryptocurrency taxes, is central to the sovereignty of EU Member States, which have assigned only limited competences to the EU in this area.  The EU lacks a uniform tax regulator. Therefore, aggressive tax planning by multinational crypto-businesses is monitored by the EU Anti-Trust Commission which is in charge of policing state aid that skews competition within the EU.  Ricardo Cardoso spokesperson handling Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s portfolio said:

“The Commission has no ongoing investigations concerning cryptocurrency related issues and we would never speculate on such matters.”

Accordingly, TAX3 was established by the European Parliament on March 1, 2018 in response to continued revelations over the last five years via LuxLeaks, the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers which shed light on the rampant tax evasion, money laundering and corruption at EU Member States, that have independent citizenship programs, tax and policies. As Dariusz Rosati MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance, said:

“For me, selling EU citizenship does not only mean enabling the rich to free-ride on our common European assets. It also allows the rich to escape sanctions or launder money. Take the example of Malta which uses citizenship in exchange for investments program to attract investments, where rich Russian citizens – who potentially could be targeted by further sanctions – are amongst the nationalities that most frequently receive Maltese – therefore European – citizenship.”

TAX3’s mission is to:

  • Contribute to the ongoing debate on taxation of the digital economy, including VAT;
  • Assess national schemes providing tax privileges (such as sale of citizenship programs);
  • Follow closely the ongoing work of, and contribution by, the Commission and Member States in international institutions, including the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), G20, UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regarding taxation/cryptocurrency matters.

The TAX3 Committee has a twelve-month mandate. At the end of this period, it will submit a report with findings and recommendations to do more to fight tax crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance in EU to set the stage for fairness in tax competition with many EU Member States.  

“Investigations –like TAX3–could lead to a lasting split in cryptocurrency markets, as exchanges face the choice of whether to comply with mounting regulatory demands” cautioned Cornell professor and computer scientist Emin Gun Sirer who is the co-founder of a peer-to-peer virtual currency system called Karma, which pre-dates Bitcoin by seven years.  “Exchanges will go one of two ways,” Sirer said. “Either they will clean their act, by first shopping for the most lenient jurisdictions with relevant KYC/AML and tax laws or they’ll go ‘fully underground,’ and operate with no rules, behind Tor and other anonymous communication technologies” with mixing capabilities to evade KYC/AML and tax laws.

Indeed, many exchanges from Asia and EU after shopping around for the most tax and regulatory lenient crypto jurisdiction have set up shop in Malta.  As a result, according to a study conducted by Morgan Stanley, Malta now accounts for the largest share of cryptocurrency trading volume in the world.

Malta is a global trailblazer in crypto blockchain and ICO regulation

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has described his country as the global trailblazer in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies.  Muscat ties Malta’s success to becoming a member of EU’s Blockchain Partnership; it’s three new cryptocurrency bills  adopted by parliament on April 24; as well as it’s favorable crypto tax policy.

The bills grant regulatory power to the Malta Financial Services Authority  to publish and enforce specific rules regarding cryptocurrencies.

Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill. It establishes the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, which on a voluntary basis, will certify blockchain platforms to ensure credibility and provide legal assurances regarding cryptocurrencies.

Innovative Technology Arrangements Bill. It provides a framework for the registration of technology service providers and the certification of technology arrangements concerning system administrators and auditors.

Services and Virtual Financial Asset Bill. It provides the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Cryptocurrencies are currently unregulated under Maltese law and exchanges of cryptocurrencies are deemed equivalent to commodity trading. A company utilizing  cryptocurrencies isn’t required to obtain a license from the Malta Financial Services Authority unless it qualifies as a collective investment scheme or carries on the business of a financial institution or payment service provider, in which case the company would need to be appropriately licensed under the Financial Institutions Act.

Further, cryptocurrencies aren’t considered investment instruments under the Investment Services Act and don’t trigger any licensing requirements under the act.

Cryptocurrency taxation

In explaining Malta’s tax policy, three MEPs, David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Francis Zammit Dimech said “We will never allow the EU to decide on behalf of the Maltese people on how to run our tax systems. That was, still is, and must remain, the competence of the respective governments.”   

“Maltese has no tax legislation regulating cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange. Only if the sale of cryptocurrency is done on a habitual basis and/or the length of ownership is very short, the consideration of the sale may be considered as being income and therefore subject to income tax at 5 percent” said Dr. Mariella Baldacchino B.A, LL.D of E&S Consultancy.

Furthermore, “The Maltese Value Added Tax (VAT) Department follows the European Court of Justice judgment in Hedqvist (C-264/14).   Therefore, transactions to exchange fiat currencies for units of cryptocurrency and vice versa are exempt from VAT as well” added Baldacchino.

Nevertheless, the US customers/investors of Maltese crypto-exchanges/crypto-funds should keep in mind their US tax obligations, including Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) tax reporting requirements as reiterated by the AICPA in its second letter to the IRS.  

Selva Ozelli, Esq., CPA is an international tax attorney and CPA who frequently writes about tax, legal and accounting issues for Tax Notes, Bloomberg BNA, other publications and the OECD.

UK Financial Watchdog Tells Banks to ‘Enhance Scrutiny’ on Crypto Clients

FCA cryptocurrency
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The United Kingdom’s financial regulator and watchdog has urged bank CEOs to follow good practices to lessen the risk of financial crimes brought on by the abuse of cryptocurrencies.

In a letter [PDF] addressed to domestic bank CEOs, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) specifically urged financial institutions to ramp up their scrutiny of clients who ‘derive significant business activities or revenues from crypto-related activities’. These clients include cryptocurrency exchanges, individual clients seen to be trading cryptocurrencies and companies that launch or participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs), a radical new form of fundraising powered by cryptocurrencies.

Classifying cryptocurrencies as ‘cryptoassets’, the FCA suggested they can be ‘abused’ due to their potential for anonymity that can enable financial crimes.

The FCA’s recommended measures include ‘carrying out due diligence on key individuals in the client business” and engaging with those clients to ‘understand the nature of their [crypto-related] businesses and the risks they pose”. Further, the watchdog also called on banks to ensure that ‘existing financial crime frameworks adequately reflect the crypto-related activities which the firm is involved in.’

The watchdog also called on banks to develop their own expertise on cryptocurrencies by educating staff in order to ‘identify the clients or activities which pose a high risk of financial crime’.

Notably, the FCA isn’t recommending banks to approach all crypto-related clients with the same scrutiny.

Citing an example of a ‘high-risk indicator’, clients using a state-sponsored cryptocurrency ought to trigger a red flag due to their potential usage in evading international financial sanctions, the FCA explained. The world’s first state cryptocurrency, Venezuela’s petro, was specifically developed to circumvent Western sanctions and has already seen US president Trump issue an executive order banning all US residents from transacting or adopting the Venezuelan crypto token.

Retail customers investing large sums to ICOs, which the FCA says leaves them open to a ‘heightened risk of falling victim to investment fraud’ is cited as another example of a high-risk scenario.

The FCA has previously issued a public consumer warning on the risks of ICOs, deeming them “high-risk, speculative investments”.

English bulldog image from Shutterstock.

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MoneyConf Dublin Kicks Off Today with Crypto, Wall Street, Gov’t Speakers

Cointelegraph will be live-streaming crypto and fintech conference MoneyConf in Dublin, Ireland as the event’s official media partners starting today, June 12.

The conference – organized by the team behind annual tech conference Web Summit – includes speakers from across the crypto, blockchain, and fintech industries, including Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Joseph Lubin of ConsenSys, Square CFO Sarah Friar, and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

From the cultural side, musician Imogen Heap, also founder of music blockchain ecosystem Mycelia, will lead a panel titled “Is all fair in music and blockchain?”

Today’s lineup kicks off with opening remarks from Paddy Cosgrave, the CEO of Web Summit. Opening remarks will be streamed live starting at 9:45 am UTC+1.

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MoneyConf will cover topics ranging from the Asian cryptocurrency landscape, the relationship between Wall Street and the crypto sphere, and the implementation of blockchain to bring more decentralization to banking, finance, and asset management.