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Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News 2nd Sept 2019

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US – China Currency Issues Turn Digital
The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, has announced that it is planning to launch a central bank digital currency, inspired in part by Facebook’s Libra project. David Marcus, the head of Facebook cryptocurrency wallet Calibra had this to say:
“Like I said: if we don’t lead (and by ‘we’ I mean the Free World, *not FB*) others will. It wasn’t a figure of speech, an exaggeration, or a spin of the reality we face. It was the truth.”
With the continued trade war with China, we are witnessing battle lines drawn in a war for global monetary dominance, with China’s offering representing centralized control and including the suppression of foreign influences. Marcus’s tweet is referring to the clash of East vs. West — but, notably, he is aiming U.S. regulators and Congress. How will this all pan out in the months and years to come?

Bitcoin Lightning Network May Have Issues
Australian software programmer and Bitcoin’s (BTC) Lightning Network coder Rusty Russell recently said that security issues have been found in various Lightning projects which could cause loss of funds. He went on to say that LN nodes operators need to update their software as soon as possible. If the lightning network has many problems, how will this affect the project moving forward?

Brazil’s Biggest Payments Processor Accepting Bitcoin
Cielo, the largest payment processing provider in Brazil, is showing support for Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency purchases on its point-of-sale (PoS) devices. Users can make crypto payments through Cielo PoS devices via QR codes. The PoS machines generate QR codes for payment, and the customer can then use a smartphone to scan a code and make a payment. The customer also reportedly needs to hold either an account with Uzzo or Criptohub — Cielo’s network partners — to complete payment. How will this affect crypto in brazil?

Cars + Blockchain – How Will They Work Together
Distributed ledger technology company Iota partners with auto manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover for a proof-of-concept demonstration for tracing car energy with DLT. Iota announced the news in an official blog post in recent days, as Per the announcement, Iota is partnering with Jaguar Land Rover and French energy research and development center Engie Lab Crigen for the demonstration. The demonstration aims to show the public both the source and use of a Jaguar I-Pace’s energy at the Trondheim Powerhouse, the building whose inauguration forms the background for the proof-of-concept. Is the future of all car companies to have some distributed ledger technology component.

Kyrgyzstan Tax Bill To Include Crypto Mining
The Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan has submitted the draft law “On Amending the Tax Code” to introduce cryptocurrency mining taxation. the draft law was specifically developed to allow for the possible taxation of crypto mining. The taxation on cryptocurrency mining is expected to increase budget revenues and to contribute to the principle of fair taxation in the Kyrgyz Republic. How will this help the country of Kyrgyzstan?

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Jp Morgan Favors Gold Over Bitcoin?

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Jp Morgan Favors Gold Over Bitcoin?
Jp Morgan Favors Gold Over Bitcoin?

The United States’ largest bank faced fresh ridicule from Bitcoin (BTC) circles this week after prosecutors said traders had conducted more market fraud.

According to investigators, the employees willfully engaged in price-fixing of precious metals on thousands of occasions. Both market participants and JPMorgan’s clients suffered losses as a result, they claim. “Based on the fact that it was conducting that was widespread on the desk, it was engaged in thousands of episodes over eight years… We’re going to follow the facts wherever they lead, whether it’s across desks here or at any other bank or upwards into the financial institution,” Bloomberg quoted Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski as saying.  

JPMorgan is well known as being one of the more vocal skeptics of cryptocurrencies. CEO Jamie Dimon became notorious for his soundbites, which began in 2017 when he labeled Bitcoin a fraud in itself. 

Recently, the bank released its own digital currency offering, JPM Coin, which gained similar criticism over its technical characteristics. The irony of the precious metals scandal was thus not lost of crypto commentators.  

“They were charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and market manipulation. But I was told by the CEO that Bitcoin is the fraud,” 

Twitter analyst known as Rhythm summarized. JPMorgan is not the only bank to issue warnings over cryptocurrency’s alleged fraudulent nature while being embroiled in legal turmoil.  

In 2018, Dutch institution Rabobank claimed Bitcoin contained money laundering compliance hazards. Subsequently, authorities fined it $369 million for money laundering.

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Bitcoin’s Attempt Into The Fast Food Industry

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Bitcoin’s Attempt Into The Fast Food Industry
Bitcoin’s Attempt Into The Fast Food Industry

The German branch of Burger King has begun accepting Bitcoin (BTC) on its website and mobile app. But has the initiative increased consumer demand for the company’s fast food, and is it possible to buy the popular Whopper burger with Bitcoin? What difficulties has the restaurant faced in its three years of cryptocurrency experience?

Burger King was one of the first international fast-food chains to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. For the first time, visitors were reportedly able to buy burgers with crypto back in 2016 when the Netherlands branch of Burger King started accepting Bitcoin, with the first restaurant offering burgers to crypto holders located in Bitcoin-friendly Arnhem. 

The announcement was made by the first Bitcoin embassy on Feb. 18, 2016. The Burger King Arnhem branch also announced that any customer who pays in Bitcoin will get a second Whopper for free and that the restaurant will host special meetups for those interested in digital currencies.  

However, on May 31, the Arnhem Bitcoinstad representatives announced that local Burger King restaurants have stopped accepting Bitcoin and the digital currency payment initiative was just a temporary promotional campaign:

“Unfortunately, Burger King no longer accepts bitcoins after 31 May. So you only have a chance this month to take advantage of their offer! If you pay Whopper with bitcoins, you will receive a second Whopper for free!”

Since that time, crypto burgers have reached Russia. Burger King Russia announced a new payment method and even released a WhopperCoin loyalty bonus. But has anyone heard anything about Bitcoin and Burger King since then? Hardly.  On Aug. 25, 2017, 1 billion WhopperCoins (WHO) were issued using the Waves blockchain. 

The new cryptocurrency was intended for buying Whoppers or other burgers and sides. In particular, the company promised a free flagship Whopper to any customer who accumulates 1,700 coins. At the same time, Burger King Russia actively promoted its cryptocurrency, and the translated statement claims that “eating Whoppers today makes for a financially prosperous tomorrow.” One can find out whether WHO holders have gained financial success by looking at the trading charts on the YoBit exchange. 

To date, YoBit is the only exchange on which WHO is listed, although WHO-BTC trading volumes stand at zero. It’s not so easy to find a Russian Burger King restaurant where Bitcoin payments are accepted, nor is it possible to make an online order using crypto. This may be caused by the active interference of Russian authorities in the local franchise’s activities. Specifically, the Moscow prosecutor’s office repeatedly summoned representatives of Burger King Russia to explain the operation of WhopperCoins and confirm that the company hadn’t issued its tokens for general use, reminding them about the illegal nature of cryptocurrency operations in Russia.

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Cubans Are Choosing Bitcoin for Getting Access to the Global Economy

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Cubans Are Choosing Bitcoin for Getting Access to the Global Economy

Bitcoin trading is becoming a new trend among the Cuban population. The country has been isolated financially for years under a US trade ban, but now, BTC seems to be transforming things for communist-run Cuba.

A new report published on Sept. 12 by US News says, as mobile internet is now available in Cuba, the Cuban population is using cryptocurrencies more and more for making purchases online. They have also started trading and investing in Bitcoin.

With no access to debit/credit cards that could be used internationally, crypto-enabled purchases have become popular among consumers. Jason Sanchez, a local citizen, was interviewed by US News, and he said crypto was “opening new avenues” for the country’s population. He further said that he could now buy spare parts for his mobile phone repair shop from online Chinese retailers thanks to Bitcoin.

Alex Sobrino, the founder of CubaCripto, estimated somewhere around 1,000 Cubans were relying on crypto for their online purchases.

“We are using cryptocurrencies to top up our cellphones, to make purchases online,” he said. “And there are even people reserving hotel rooms.”

As credit cards are not so common, local cryptocurrency users usually have to ask their relatives abroad to get access to the crypto markets, or they must rely on social channels like CubaCripto.

Another option is the exchanges where cash is exchanged for BTC in person using a laptop or mobile device for performing the transaction, the report says.

Almost 1,300 users are now using Fusyona, the country’s first crypto exchange. People abroad can send remittances to Cuba through this platform or can invest in 9 different crypto coins through a bigger exchange where a service fee of around 10% is charged. Adrian C. Leon, the founder of Fusyona exchange, told US News: “For foreigners, cryptocurrencies is just another options. But for Cubans, it is a necessity and can be a solution to their exclusion from the global financial community.”

According to Sobrino, still, there’s fear and uncertainty over how the Cuban government would respond to this budding crypto trend. Fusyona is currently in talks with the central bank officials for investigating if they could be formally approved.

“We worry the government will restrict us, prohibit things, start to say this is illicit enrichment,” he said.

According to reports, the central bank revealed earlier in the week that they were looking into benefits and risks associated with digital currencies.

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