CHINA PASSES LAW PROTECTING CRYPTOCURRENCY INHERITANCE

CHINA PASSES LAW PROTECTING CRYPTOCURRENCY INHERITANCE

Saturday, 30 May, 2020 at 14:43 GMT

The third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, voted on and passed the "Civil Code of the People's Republic of China" on Thursday. In addition to general and supplementary provisions, the civil code "includes six parts on real rights, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, inheritance, and tort liabilities," Xinhua News Agency reported.

Noting that the decision to draft a civil code was announced in October 2014 and the legislative process started in June 2016, the news outlet detailed:

[The new civil code] states that the property rights of individuals are equally safeguarded to those of the State and collective, and online virtual assets are protected, too.

Wang Chen, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, told the session that "The compilation of the civil code is an important component of the plans of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core for developing the rule of law," the publication conveyed. This new civil code will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2021.

The scope of inheritance has been expanded from the existing law. Under the new civil code, "virtual assets, such as bitcoins, [can] be inherited," as are all property legally acquired by a natural person, the news outlet emphasized.

Wang Liming, executive vice president of the Renmin University of China and a law professor, was quoted as saying: "The civil code is the first law to carry the title ‘code' for the People's Republic of China. It lays down the fundamental principles and regulations regarding civil activities and relations. It reflects the will of the people and protects their rights and interests."

Several Chinese courts have also ruled that cryptocurrencies are property that should be protected by law. For example, the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court ruled that bitcoin is an asset protected by law while the Shenzhen Futian District People's Court ruled that ethereum is legal property with economic value.

Meanwhile, China is working on issuing its own central bank digital currency but there is currently no timetable for the launch, Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), told reporters this week. Internal pilot tests have been conducted in various cities "to check the theoretical reliability, system stability, conveniency, applicability and risk controllability of the digital currency," the governor confirmed....

ETHEREUM HAS MORE BITCOIN THAN LIGHTNING NETWORK

ETHEREUM HAS MORE BITCOIN THAN LIGHTNING NETWORK

Thursday, 28 May, 2020 at 11:58 GMT

According to the report, tokenized Bitcoin (BTC) amount had multiplied by fourfold, from about 1,000 BTC to near 4,000. So, now the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain has significantly more BTC than the Lightning Network. Incidentally, Lightning Network, with its promotion as Bitcoin’s solution to scalability for years, only stores about 900 BTC.

To remind, Ethereum previously made a revolutionary move bringing BTC to the blockchain network in the form of ‘wrapped Bitcoin’ (wBTC). And after a short period, even the amount of wBTC on Ethereum has exceeded that of Bitcoin’s own Lightning Network. Recent reports suggest the value of wBTC on Ethereum stood at about $22 million compared to Lightning Network’s about $9 million.

wBTC and DeFi simultaneous growth


Notably, wBTC is an ERC-20 token. It enables users to access popular ETH-based DeFi (decentralized finance) protocols using the value represented by their Bitcoin holdings. Undoubtedly, DeFi has been one of the biggest trends in the crypto industry.

While BitGo holds BTC of the clients, a group of ‘initial merchants’ act as middlemen between the users and the custodian. These initial merchants include Dharma, Kyber, Set Protocol, AirSwap, and Prycto, amongst others. Also, a decentralized autonomous organization comprising projects like Compound and MakerDAO operates the wBTC protocol.

Challenges of both Lightning Network and WBTC


While both platforms are doing their best to promote the use of digital currency, they have their own set of problems.

Notably, the biggest problem for Lightning Network is that for it the double-spending problem is still a stumbling block. As a result, it depends on intermediaries such as trusted ‘watchtowers’ or ‘liquidity providers.’ Moreover, there are some potential systemic issues. It is possible if all users tried to close their channels simultaneously that would create problems. This would arise if the Bitcoin network fails to handle the spike in demand.

On the other hand, wBTC faces possible challenges of potential hacks from external or internal rogue operators. Also, in theory, there is the possibility of a fractional reserve problem so far as WBTC is concerned.

Conclusively, it is important to note that both network provide ETH and BTC to clients. Invariably providing bitcoin for them as easy as having a bank in your pocket.

Previously, we did an article explaining the concept of Lightning Network and reported Lightning Labs receiving a major funding boost. Also, renBTC, the latest Bitcoin implementation on the Ethereum blockchain was finally launched last week....

BITWAGE HAS UNVEILED THE WORLDS FIRST BITCOIN 401K PLAN

BITWAGE HAS UNVEILED THE WORLDS FIRST BITCOIN 401K PLAN

Wednesday, 27 May, 2020 at 18:20 GMT

Announcing the product through a blog post, Bitwage’s CEO Jonathan Chester revealed that his company has been testing the product for 10 months now. Companies that use the product will allow their employees to invest both traditional and Roth 401(k) plans into Bitcoin.

Retiring on Bitcoin


Bitwage has partnered with Gemini on the project, with the latter providing a secure and compliant exchange solution. It also brought Kingdom Trust on board to provide custody solutions. Seattle-based Leading Retirement Solutions will take care of the record-keeping and administration of the program, ensuring compliance with the IRS and the Department of Labor.

The product comes at a time when many businesses in the U.S are depending on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to navigate the tough economic times. This is exactly the demographic Bitwage had in mind, Chester says.

The PPP loans require employers to direct at least 75% of the funds towards payroll expenses. The government regards retirement benefits as payroll expenses, but it excludes them from the $100,000 yearly salary cap per employee.

Chester remarked:

This gives companies an opportunity to provide matching or profit-sharing contributions to employee 401k accounts in order to help close the gap to receive full loan forgiveness. Together with the PPP program, the Bitwage Bitcoin 401(k) Plan allows employers to get more out of their PPP loans while providing their employees new and innovative investment options.

Planning for the Future

Bitwage has grand plans for the future of the product and is preparing to integrate Gemini’s trading platform directly inside the 401(k) plan. This will allow traders, both retail and institutional, to access the same Gemini trading services inside tax-incentivized retirement accounts. The company also hinted at adding other cryptocurrencies in the future.

Launched in 2014 and based in San Francisco, Bitwage is one of the dominant players in the crypto payroll sector. It allows employers to easily pay their employees in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash.

The company also allows freelancers on top sites like Upwork and Toptal to receive their payments through digital currencies. This allows them to avoid legacy payment systems which are quite expensive in regions like Africa and Southeast Asia....

GIBRALTARS CRYPTO REGULATIONS MOST SUCCESSFUL

GIBRALTARS CRYPTO REGULATIONS MOST SUCCESSFUL

Tuesday, 26 May, 2020 at 12:44 GMT

One of the smallest countries in Europe, Gibraltar, was an integral part of the British Empire for a long time. When we first look at the map and territory of Gibraltar, there is nothing to expect from this state, considering the fact it is very small. However, in recent years Gibraltar proved to be a lucrative market for foreign investors.

The state also managed to incorporate one of the most successful crypto regulations in the world. A little bit of a surprise for such a small country, but the crypto regulations are probably the friendliest in Europe.

How It All Started?


The main regulatory board of Gibraltar GFSC made an unprecedented decision at the end of 2017. All companies using Blockchain technology in Gibraltar should go through a licensing procedure. Also, from January 1, 2018, new requirements for the conduct of activities by blockchain companies entered into force. And we should keep in mind that cryptocurrency transactions are not limited to individuals.

Why Did Gibraltar Attract Crypto So Much?


There have been several factors for the prevalence of crypto in Gibraltar. First, it became way easier for citizens to conduct transactions safely, rapidly, and anonymously without any hindrance. Secondly, the online casino industry is gradually gaining a foothold in the country, and a lot of casinos, offering payments in cryptocurrencies have emerged. The citizens of the country find it easier and convenient to play internet blackjack, poker, slots, or other games through depositing cryptos. No surprise because Bitcoin-powered games are becoming popular not only in Gibraltar but also in the whole world as well. And finally, crypto was a unique alternative for them to the physical money.

Suitable Jurisdiction For Crypto


Gibraltar is also considered proper jurisdiction for crypto funds. Firstly, the laws of Gibraltar provide flexibility in the choice of the legal form of funds (as, for example, in the UK and Ireland) and implement EU directives, which means that it is possible (at least until the UK leaves the EU) to publicly offer shares of the crypto fund to residents of the EU without registering the prospectus in each EU member state.

Secondly, like the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar allows for tax neutrality - the fund's profits from investing or trading in crypto assets can, under certain circumstances, be exempted from corporate taxation.

Finally, Gibraltar is taking active steps to regulate the blockchain and crypto industry. Starting January 1, 2018, entrepreneurial activities are subject to licensing, including the storage and turnover of assets using the distributed ledger technology (DLT). The adoption of a package of laws on the regulation of activities with crypto assets, including the initial offer of crypto tokens (ICOs) and their secondary circulation on crypto exchanges, is in the process of adoption.

Such novelties attract crypto funds, because in a regulated environment it is easier for them to open bank accounts, and on regulated crypto exchanges it is easier for them to predict the risks of their cryptocurrency operations.

At the same time, the new regulation (DLT, ICO) does not increase the regulatory burden of the crypto fund. Both the DLT license and future ICO requirements do not apply to crypto funds that have received the traditional GFSC (Gibraltar Financial Services Commission) permission to issue collective investment units.

Also, one of the most attractive jurisdictions for crypto business investors is Gibraltar. Despite its small size, the country has achieved great success in the gambling sector, and also intends to achieve achievements in the field of crypto business development. Although cryptocurrency is not a legal means of paying for goods and services in Gibraltar, the regulator can issue a license that will allow an entrepreneur to engage in crypto exchange in the country. The authorities of Gibraltar are constantly working to improve the regulatory standards and rules of the crypto sector.

Conclusion


While there are people who are against all of the regulations regarding crypto, we can say that Gibraltar managed to find a golden ration for crypto and regulations alike. Yet, the lack of regulation makes crypto what it is, but in the case of Gibraltar, we were persuaded in the opposite....

CRYPTO VISA CARD TO LAUNCH FOR UK AND EUROPE

CRYPTO VISA CARD TO LAUNCH FOR UK AND EUROPE

Tuesday, 26 May, 2020 at 11:40 GMT

Decentralised finance (DeFi) platform, Eidoo, has announced the launch of a Visa-enabled crypto debit card that the company says will bring crypto payments to millions of users in the UK and Europe.

The announcement follows a partnership between Eidoo and Contis, a principal member of Visa Europe, as well as a UK-regulated e-money license holder.

The card will offer storage for Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as fiat currencies such as the British pound (GBP) and euro (EUR).

Eidoo card is designed to bridge the gap between the world of traditional and decentralised finance, which the startup's CEO, Thomas Bertani, noted is what could drive the adoption of cryptocurrencies for payments and transactions.

The company also plans to add Visa support for its earlier version of the debit card.

Contis will help in overseeing the DeFi card's issuance, undertake crypto-to-fiat conversion and processing, and work to integrate stablecoins from UK-regulated financial services provider Moneyfold.

"Eidoo Card is non-custodial and designed so users maintain full control over their crypto at all times," Bertani said.

The startup will connect the card to its non-custodial crypto wallet to ensure users have full control over their funds. However, unlike most other crypto-enabled DeFi cards, Eidoo's Visa-enabled card offers a unique advantage as it is "backed by regulated financial services firms."

Bertani also gave a brief explanation of how the card will work:

"People have a given crypto token, they sell it for the stablecoin via DeFi DEXes like Uniswap. Then the regulated stablecoin obtained from there is topped up with a 1:1 exchange rate (1 Moneyfold EUR = 1 EUR) on the crypto card when the payment occurs."

The new Eidoo debit cards will begin shipping this summer, with the company saying it has received over 2,700 pre-orders. To get one, users have to either stake or burn Eidoo's native token EDO. According to the company, users have so far staked over 3 million of the token.

The launch of the Eidoo card adds to a growing list of platforms and firms offering crypto-enabled debit cards.

Apart from DeFi platforms like Monolith and Plutus, major crypto exchanges and mainstream companies have launched similar projects. Binance and BTSE have both launched crypto-fiat debit cards, while electronics giant Samsung and Swipe partnered to offer a crypto debit card for Samsung Pay users....



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