'Digital Asset' businesses embrace regulatory compliance with new industry group

dataAnnounced this week at the Inside Bitcoins conference  the new DATA industry group aims to represent businesses not just in the Bitcoin space but any digital asset including, “emerging payments, virtual currency, and other financial technology innovations”.

DATA, or the Digital Asset Transfer Authority’s founding members include the CEO’s of leading Bitcoin businesses such as BitInstant, BitPay, & BitStamp as well as the CEO’s of other digital currency businesses including Ripple’s OpenCoin and Ven.

However, the groups stated goals seem sure to heat up the regulation debate.

From DATA’s official announcement

To reach this potential, to inspire confidence in the services we offer, and to ensure fair and responsible treatment of consumers and merchants, we believe our industry must evolve in compliance with law and regulation. We must work proactively with regulators and policymakers to adapt their requirements to our technologies and business models. We must develop and implement common risk management and compliance standards that address the public policy concerns associated with our businesses. And our firms must build risk management and compliance programs that meet those standards.

Continue reading “'Digital Asset' businesses embrace regulatory compliance with new industry group”

Bitcoin, Regulators and Online Markets – a look at the World of Bitcoin Exchange

forexExchanges are the link between the old world of banking and the new world of crypto-currencies; they play a vital role in supporting the growing Bitcoin economy. If Bitcoin hopes to continue rapidly gaining new users it needs this bridge between the old and new systems to be up and functioning. While Bitcoin is in no way dependant on a link to the traditional banking system, its smooth transition into mainstream use certainly is.

Unfortunately these bridges which make up the exchange market are concentrated and often broken.  This leads to concerns over reliability and security, which can cause market panic and extreme volatility. As Bitcoin enters the mainstream a wave of new businesses, services and software developers have recently dedicated their efforts to solving this problem. Their task will not be easy, and the while the exchange rate has seen some recent stability, there is a long way to go before obtaining bitcoins can be called user friendly and reliable.

Continue reading “Bitcoin, Regulators and Online Markets – a look at the World of Bitcoin Exchange”

UK regulator will not require Bitcoin exchanges to register

CoinDesk is reporting that in a letter send to an exchange start up the UK, financial regulator HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)  has stated that the proposed exchange has no need to register under money laundering regulations.  However the letter does make it clear that HMRC may change their mind and require registration in the future.

Via CoinDesk

The letter from HMRC reads as follows:

“With reference to your enquiry at this time there is no requirement to register with HMRC under the Money Laundering regulations, however HMRC recognise that the issuing of Bitcoins represent an emerging development.

Continue reading “UK regulator will not require Bitcoin exchanges to register”

A Bitcoin ETF?

On Monday the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, filed paper work with the SEC for a Bitcoin ETF. The “The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust” has filed  for an initial public offering of 1 million shares at $20 each.

“The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust (Trust) will issue Winklevoss Bitcoin Shares (Shares) which represent units of fractional undivided beneficial interest in and ownership of the Trust. Math-Based Asset Services LLC is the sponsor of the Trust (Sponsor) and [TRUSTEE] is the trustee and custodian of the Trust (Trustee) using proprietary and patent-pending technology to administer the Trust. The Trust intends to issue additional Shares on a continuous basis.”

While this is certainly a sign of Bitcoin continuing its move towards the mainstream, the filing has also drawn a lot of criticism. Critics include those who think Bitcoin is a silly idea in general, to those who are all too happy to list all the ways in which it could go wrong.

The EFT is still a long ways off of actually happening, and it will certainly be interesting to see how the SEC will handle the filling.

HuffingtonPost: The Crime of Alleviating Poverty – A Local Community Currency Battles the Central Bank of Kenya

Via the HuffingtonPost:

Complementary currencies can help eradicate poverty.

Proving that may be difficult in complex economies, due to the high number of factors influencing outcomes. But in an African slum with little of the national currency available, supplying residents with an alternative currency has a positive effect that is obvious, immediate and incontrovertible.

Continue reading “HuffingtonPost: The Crime of Alleviating Poverty – A Local Community Currency Battles the Central Bank of Kenya”

The e-gold story

As Bitcoin continues its move towards the mainstream and Bitcoin businesses experience rocky relations with bankers and regulators, now is a good time to look at previous leaders in the digital currency world.

In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, e-gold was the industry leader.  As one of the world’s first successful online payment systems e-gold was a pioneer using many now standard practices such as SSL connections and API’s.  Brought down by a run in with regulators in 2008 the e-gold story is required reading for anyone involved in the digital currency world.

Sent in by Wikipedia editor Cadwallader, below is a thoroug review of the e-gold story.

Continue reading “The e-gold story”

California Accuses Bitcoin Foundation of Unlicensed Money Transmission, Issues Cease and Desist Order

Update: Read the Bitcoin Foundation’s responce here.

Via Jon Matonis/Forbes

Directly following last month’s Bitcoin 2013 conference event in San Jose, CA that brought decent revenue into the state, California’s Department of Financial Institutions decided to issue a cease and desist warning to conference organizer Bitcoin Foundation for allegedly engaging in the business of money transmission without a license or proper authorization.

Continue reading “California Accuses Bitcoin Foundation of Unlicensed Money Transmission, Issues Cease and Desist Order”

Can you trust an anonymously run business??

US authorities have begun to enforce regulation on Bitcoin businesses making some Bitcoin related services illegal or simply not feasible.  Regulators have also expressed, and demonstrated, a willingness to prosecute off-shore financial businesses who do not adhere to their policies.

In this situation many Bitcoin businesses are faced with a choice, comply or go underground. But how can you run a business ‘underground’? How do you establish trust when there is no authority to give you a stamp of approval? How do you gain customers when your users know that you can simply disappear with their money?

Continue reading “Can you trust an anonymously run business??”

Part II of GoldBroker's interview series on gold market manipulation

In part two of a three part series on market manipulation GoldBroker’s CEO Fabrice Drouin Ristori interviews Jim Willie. Via GoldBroker.com

Fabrice Drouin Ristori: How long can the manipulation of the precious metal markets last ?

Jim Willie: Rather than focusing on the time spectrum, think instead on the event spectrum. Focus not on a sequence of time, but instead on an event schedule in a chain. Systems are sustained by the corrupt players, institutions, and policies. The Gold manipulation will continue until the Gold market is totally broken, until the big banks that control it are totally broken, or until the USDollar & USTBond structures are totally broken.

Continue reading “Part II of GoldBroker's interview series on gold market manipulation”

Ukraine freezes WebMoney bank accounts

webmoney2Late last week the Ukrainian Ministry of Incomes and Fees froze bank accounts of WebMoney in the Ukraine.

A search of WebMoney’s Keiv office allegedly revealed a number of regulatory violations.  It seems authorities are concerned that WebMoney was issuing electronic money without authorization from The National Bank of Ukraine.

Authorities seized computer equipment and “Over 60 million Hryvnas ($7.5 million) held in the bank accounts of companies which were part of in the illegal system,” according  to the Ministry of Incomes and Fees.

Update: WebMoney Ukraine resumes transactions.