Crypto vs RBI: 3 Days of Intense Supreme Court Hearings

Ursprünglich erschienen auf: https://thebitcoinnews.com/crypto-vs-rbi-3-days-of-intense-supreme-court-hearings/

India’s supreme court heard the crypto case in detail over three consecutive days this week. In addition to intense arguments against the central bank having the power to ban crypto, the judges learned how other countries regulate this new sector, the amended EU directive, the FATF guidance, and less invasive crypto measures.

Also read: Regulatory Roundup: EU-Wide Crypto Regulations, New Rules in Europe, US, Asia

3 Days of Crypto Case at Supreme Court This Week

The Supreme Court of India began hearing the crypto case for the year on Tuesday as scheduled. The counsel for the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Ashim Sood, took the center stage, recapping the case for the judges. He then spent all day Wednesday presenting extensive arguments against the banking restriction imposed by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), as News.Bitcoin.com has reported.

Thursday was another full day at the supreme court for the crypto case, local news platform Crypto Kanoon reported. Sood started by arguing that the RBI does not have the power to “absolutely prohibit” crypto activities in India, emphasizing that taking away bank accounts constitutes absolute prohibition for crypto exchanges.

Crypto vs RBI: 3 Days of Intense Supreme Court Hearings

The court asked why the exchanges cannot use foreign banks operating in India, such as Citibank. Sood explained that even foreign banks are under the purview of the central bank. Only one bank, the State Bank of Sikkim, is not regulated by the RBI but crypto exchanges do not have access to this bank. The court also asked the IAMAI counsel to explain how peer-to-peer and crypto-to-crypto trading models work.

How Other Countries Treat Crypto Assets

During Thursday’s hearing, the IAMAI counsel presented to the court an in-depth rundown of how other countries worldwide treat crypto assets. He noted that no country has concluded that it is impossible to regulate the crypto sector — only the RBI claims that it cannot be regulated and proceeded to ban it, Crypto Kanoon described.

Among the foreign jurisdictions mentioned before the court were Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malta, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea, the U.K., the European Union, and the U.S., particularly the state of New York. In Japan, the regulator has chosen to regulate the crypto sector even after the fall of Mt. Gox, Sood told the court.

Crypto vs RBI: 3 Days of Intense Supreme Court Hearings

The nature of cryptocurrency was also called into question. Besides being a commodity, the court told the IAMAI counsel that it has features of a medium of exchange, which would place it under the purview of the RBI. The court added that it has no utility as a commodity.

Sood promptly responded that no one is required to use cryptocurrency as a means of payment, asserting that it is not a currency. He explained to the judges that some people find value in digital assets and would exchange them, comparing it to casino chips which are also valuable to people inside the casino. He further told the court that the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is attempting to regulate cryptocurrencies as securities.

IAMAI Counsel Says Crypto Must Be Regulated

The counsel for the Internet and Mobile Association of India spent a substantial amount of time Thursday convincing the court that crypto must be regulated. He read out the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive and a judgment by a European court that exempts cryptocurrency from VAT.

After asking questions about the Silk Road, the dark web, and TOR, the court said that cryptocurrency, like other technology, is not bad but can be used for bad purposes. Sood quickly responded that crypto must be regulated like other technologies with potential risks.

Crypto vs RBI: 3 Days of Intense Supreme Court Hearings

Several global reports were referenced during Thursday’s hearing. A World Bank report which analyzes electricity consumption of crypto mining was discussed, along with reports by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body responsible for setting policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. The IAMAI counsel read out the advantages of cryptocurrency outlined in the reports, such as the potential to serve the unbanked.

The hearing continued with a discussion of India’s Prevention of Money Laundering Rules, 2005. Crypto Kanoon detailed that all documents referred to before the court show that there are risks but all references indicate that the first step must be the least invasive measure.

RBI’s Reply to IAMAI Representation

Much of the subsequent arguments concern the RBI’s reply to the IAMAI representation dated September 2019. The central bank claims that there were some new facts to warrant its action in the interest of the public, the news platform conveyed. Sood immediately countered, affirming that there was no new fact.

In its reply, the RBI also said that its banking restriction was due to cryptocurrency’s anonymity and its uses in nefarious activities. The central bank additionally claims that people who bought cryptocurrencies want to mask their identity. Sood swiftly contradicted, clarifying that the RBI was incorrect as people invest in cryptocurrencies as an alternative investment option, reiterating that the central bank cannot justify the ban.

Crypto vs RBI: 3 Days of Intense Supreme Court Hearings

Sood suggested that a less invasive measure by the RBI could have been to ask banks to deny loans while taking cryptocurrencies as collateral or to not take deposits in cryptocurrencies. “But you can’t deny to give me bank accounts. You have a choice to not involve in my business activity by taking less invasive measure,” Crypto Kanoon quoted him as saying.

Further, the RBI said it is concerned about cross border transactions. Sood submitted that the government can put a restriction on them and impose a penalty as a consequence in that situation. He stressed that not only does a ban not defer such transactions but such restrictions will only make the regulators lose sight of violations.

In the RBI’s counter affidavit, which was read out in detail on Thursday, the central bank stated that virtual currencies are not under its regulatory purview, admitting that it is not privy with different kinds of virtual currencies. Nonetheless, a banking ban was placed on the sector, Sood pointed out to the judges. The RBI also mentioned a Binance hack to justify measures it took to prevent cybersecurity threats. Crypto Kanoon conveyed that Sood mentioned that the power to stop crypto is not found in any statutes, elaborating:

[The] power to regulate monetary policy does not empower RBI to stop or exclude crypto.

The IAMAI counsel concluded that the RBI has adopted a kitchen sink approach, attempting to stop crypto activities indirectly since it has no direct control over the sector. The court is expected to resume hearing the case on Tuesday.

What do you think of the crypto vs. RBI supreme court hearing this week? Do you think the court will lift the RBI ban next week when the hearing resumes? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the FATF.


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source: https://news.bitcoin.com/crypto-vs-rbi-3-days-of-intense-supreme-court-hearings/

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Monopoly Is a Tiny Darknet Market With Big Aspirations

Ursprünglich erschienen auf: https://thebitcoinnews.com/monopoly-is-a-tiny-darknet-market-with-big-aspirations/

There’s a certain irony in the smallest market on the darknet being named Monopoly. With less than 150 listings, the monero-friendly Monopoly Market is anything but. What this tiny darknet market (DNM) lacks in size, however, it makes up for in spirit. The cypherpunk ethos permeates this nascent market where sovereign individuals can exercise their right to peacefully transact.

Also read: White House Market Wants to Become the Darknet’s Toughest DNM

Take a Chance on Monopoly

Monero darknet markets are all the rage right now. While the XMR-oriented White House Market is going strong, Monopoly is playing little league for now, with a trade volume that’s unlikely to have law enforcement throwing all they got at it. Darknet markets lead a precarious existence, however, and all it takes is a takedown, exit scam, or prolonged DDoS of the competition for an unfancied DNM to be catapulted to the major league.

Don’t write Monopoly off just yet, then, even if its listings are few, its vendors fewer still, and in its latest newsletter the site admin expressed frustration at the reticence of DNM users to choose monero over bitcoin. Acknowledging that BTC sales far exceed XMR on the darknet, the admin wrote “people just do not want to go to the effort of using monero … personal use buyers could not care less, so we have a decision to make. Do we forget our morals and why we created Monopoly to begin with and introduce bitcoin payments to boost sales and our revenue?”

The answer to that has proven to be yes, but to assert that Monopoly has thereby abandoned its morals would be doing the site a disservice. All evidence suggests that this is a DNM committed to doing the right thing, namely safeguarding its vendors without inconveniencing its users. BTC is now a payment option, but XMR remains the default choice on Monopoly.

Monopoly Is a Tiny Darknet Market With Big Aspirations

Roll the Dice and Make a Monopoly Purchase

To see how Monopoly compares to White House Market, as well as Empire and the numerous other DNMs out there, I gave it a spin. The first thing that strikes you about the market is the means by which you must access it: after finding the link on dark.fail, I was led to a splash page that instructs “Find the two highlighted pieces of text below … Simply join them together and insert .onion at the end to form your unique market link.” As security measures go, this one’s certainly innovative. Pretty soon, DNMs will be asking you to recite the complete works of Shakespeare backwards while standing on your head in the name of opsec and DDoS reduction. I balk at clicking past a cookie notice on the clearnet, but on the darknet, I’ll go the extra mile.

“Welcome to Monopoly,” beams the homepage proper, “the first true walletless/userless experience intended to provably rid the ecosystem from malicious exit scams pulled by markets. Built by vendors, for consumers.” Any DNM can talk the talk, but at the end of the day, there’s still a degree of trust required to trade on it. I’m inclined to believe Monopoly though, not least because with 5% commission on its current sales, there’s little in its community chest with which to exit scam.

A Pleasure to Play, a Pain to Pay

In Barry Schwartz’ 2004 book “The Paradox of Choice,” the psychologist argues that eliminating excess consumer choice can reduce anxiety for shoppers. On Monopoly Market, there’s no such problem: with so few listings, it’s a case of pick your preferred shipping country and choose from a handful of options. I am okay with this, even though it would be nice to see a greater selection, for the site’s sake and for its users’. The vendors aren’t so ill served, at least, as most of them ply their trade on multiple DNMs.

Monopoly Is a Tiny Darknet Market With Big Aspirations

A lot of care has gone into creating Monopoly Market, which is more than just another DNM clone. The site loads quickly and its listings feature vendor badges and other info that helps buyers make an informed choice. This includes the amount of items in stock, the number of views per listing, and the number of open orders. There’s also a leaderboard showing the most popular vendors on the site. The coolest thing of all, though, is that you don’t need to create an account to place an order. That means no username, no password, and no trail of breadcrumbs leading back to your door.

My only gripe with Monopoly come after paying for an item, having first encrypted my details using PGP in the usual manner. After 10 block confirmations, buyers are prompted to click a button confirming that payment was sent, and must enter the monero TXID and the TXKEY pertaining to the transaction. I have the former but not the latter because that information is not supplied in Cake, the monero light mobile wallet I used. Obtaining this calls for using the full monero desktop wallet. To solve the problem, I’m obliged to upload a screenshot of the wallet transaction and await a manual check. Monopoly does recommend using the full monero desktop wallet in its tutorial, but there’s no guarantee first-time users will see this before they buy, and moreover it doesn’t explain the perils of paying with a light wallet.

Monopoly Is a Tiny Darknet Market With Big Aspirations

May Monopoly and Its Kind Reign Supreme

With a couple of kinks ironed out, Monopoly has the potential to become one of the best DNMs on the darknet when it comes to balancing opsec with convenience. Whatever the fate of the market, its accountless and depositless system is to be admired and emulated. We need more darknet markets that are willing to innovate and protect the privacy of their users. Because if there’s one thing that we’ve consistently learned over the past decade, it’s that when faced with a choice between convenience and security, web users will invariably pick the easy option. Enforced privacy should be the default when using darknet markets. White House and Monopoly Market aren’t perfect, but they’re a step in the right direction. May they and their kind thwart LE and live long.

Do you think monero will gain ground over bitcoin on the darknet? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Simple Ledger Protocol Shines During the Final Day of TNABC Miami

Ursprünglich erschienen auf: https://thebitcoinnews.com/simple-ledger-protocol-shines-during-the-final-day-of-tnabc-miami/

On Friday, The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) convened for its final day with a great deal of well known speakers from the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. The slew of speakers discussed topics like the future of crypto mining, SLP tokens, digital currency enterprise solutions, creating new markets, and what to expect from government regulation in 2020.

Also Read: BTC Miami Blockchain Conference Kicks Off Its Seventh Year

TNABC Wraps Up the Final Day

Miami Blockchain Week continues as the final day of the seventh annual TNABC event comes to a close. Blockchain Week will proceed with the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon 2020 hosted at the Blockchain Center Miami on January 17-19. At the conference, Moe Levin started the day’s festivities with a few remarks which were followed by a talk with Bloq cofounder Matthew Rozak. The entrepreneur discussed the future of mining and the project Titan’s idea to tokenize hashpower. TNABC participants also heard from bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem, and Bitangels founder Michael Terpin discussing enterprise blockchains with Bakkt’s head of information security Adam Healy.

TNABC attendees listened to crypto pioneer Charlie Shrem and heard about protocols like the RSK network.

Stefan Rust Introduces Bitcoin.com’s New SLP Mint

After the lunch break, the crowd heard from Bitcoin.com’s CEO Stefan Rust about creating new markets and opening the doors of accessibility to new crypto users. Rust explained how crypto and blockchain solutions continue to break the barriers of traditional concepts and today’s incumbents.

During Rust’s talk, he gave an in-depth explanation about the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) built on Bitcoin Cash and how the SLP universe has grown exponentially. He explained there’s been over 500,000 onchain SLP-based transactions and more than 6,600 coins minted so far. Rust told the audience about Bitcoin.com’s SLP dividend calculator that allows people to distribute BCH or SLP token dividends. During the first day of TNABC more than a hundred people who participated in the Golden Ticket scratch-off promotion were airdropped tokens. Rust distributed the dividends while onstage and a few TNABC attendees revealed they got tokens.

Bitcoin.com CEO Stefan Rust speaking about creating new markets, the Simple Ledger Protocol, and Bitcoin.com’s new Mint.

Rust also introduced Bitcoin.com’s new Mint, a service that allows people to keep a portfolio of SLP-based tokens in a simple-to-use noncustodial web wallet. The mint’s primary feature allows users to create and distribute SLP tokens if they have a small fraction of BCH in their wallet. Users can create a token in a matter of minutes with a specified token amount, custom name, and the number of decimals as well. Bitcoin.com Mint users can also upload a document like a white paper or add a document hash and URL. Rust further explained how there are so many concepts that can be tokenized like reward points, loyalty coupons, and air miles.

“Imagine if we can get these concepts into tokens and get the users that are adopting and driving those types of reward and loyalty points toward using a cryptocurrency,” Rust emphasized. “That’s how we’re going to get new users to come to the cryptocurrency world — With things that they are familiar with and with brands that they trust.”

Check out Mint.Bitcoin.com today.

Simple Ledger Protocol Gathers More Attention in Miami

Following Rust’s talk, the crowd listened to a fireside chat with the Bitcoin Center Miami’s Eryka Gemma who discussed Miami becoming a hub of innovation. The audience also saw the hosts of the podcast Bad Crypto do a live broadcast on stage with Moe Levin, Charlie Shrem, and Marshall Long. In the exhibit hall, TNABC attendees saw the same exhibits from the day prior and a few new ones as well.

TNABC attendees saw discussions about Miami becoming a hub of innovation and a panel about enterprise blockchain solutions.

For instance, the Simpleledger.io developers set up a small table and gave people pamphlets about the SLP framework and tokens. The SLP pamphlets explained how SLP tokens are SPV friendly, onchain, scriptable, extensible, open source, and robust with a limited set of consensus rules making SLP tokens reliable. Between the Simpleledger.io developers and the Bitcoin.com booth, the Simple Ledger Protocol and Bitcoin Cash received a lot of attention during the conference.

If people hadn’t heard about the Simple Ledger Protocol before, then they sure heard about the SLP universe and tokens at The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami.

Overall most of the attendees news.Bitcoin.com chatted with said they enjoyed the event and didn’t seem to mind it being a touch smaller than 2018 and 2019. There were plenty of exhibits, a number of well known speakers from the crypto industry, and ample media attention as well. While many went home after the conference, lots of developers are sticking around the city until Sunday for the 2020 Bitcoin Hackathon.

What do you think about The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) Miami? What do you think about Bitcoin.com’s new Mint? Let us know what you think about these subjects in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Bitcoin.com is an official platinum sponsor and media partner of the 2020 TNABC event.


Image credits: Shutterstock, SLP, Jamie Redman, TNABC, Bitcoin.com, Fair Use, and Pixabay.


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source: https://news.bitcoin.com/simple-ledger-protocol-shines-during-the-final-day-of-tnabc-miami/

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Ethereum (ETH) Soars 35% in a Month: What to Expect Now?

Ursprünglich erschienen auf: https://cryptocurrencynews.com/ethereum-eth-01-16-20/?utm_campaign=rss__ccn&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Ethereum (ETH) continues to gather pace after an impressive start to the year. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap has already risen to a two-month high of $165 after a 13% rally this week. Over the past month, the cryptocurrency has rallied by more than 35% and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Ethereum Price Gain

Price gains have coincided with an uptick in trading volume, affirming renewed investor interest in crypto after a roller coaster 2019. Trading volumes have more than doubled to highs of $17.9 million over the past month.  Ethereum is not …

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Gemini Launches Crypto Insurance Company with $200 Million Coverage

Ursprünglich erschienen auf: https://cryptocurrencynews.com/gemini-extends-crypto-insurance/?utm_campaign=rss__ccn&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

New York-based crypto-asset exchange Gemini has announced an increase in insurance coverage of its custody platform. The cryptocurrency exchange has increased its custody limit to $200 million. This is the largest cold storage insurance limit for any exchange globally.

Gemini Launches Insurance Company

This move indicates that Gemini Custody expects the demand for its services to increase. Considering the new coverage and the exchange’s reservation for accredited investors, it seems to now want to target large crypto holders in the future.

The company is positioning itself to serve high-end crypto investors in the future …

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