Category: Payments

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Virtual Currencies are increasing in value

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Smart Contracts, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Payments, Bitcoin, Regulation, Ethereum, Ripple, Market, Market Cap

Virtual Currencies are increasing in value

For the first time in two months, the value of Bitcoin has exceeded $8200 and it seems that slowly but surely the value of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency is regaining some of the strength that it had before the spectacular crash of January 2018.

In July, the value spiked rather suddenly and it value started to creep towards the price it reached two months ago at $7502. But what is causing its price to grow? Here are five reasons why?

Facebook and Google relax their rules

When news broke that both Google and Facebook had relaxed their rules around advertising cryptocurrencies and related products on their platforms. Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world is now allowed to advertise its services on Facebook and Google has now listed the top cryptocurrencies in its exchange rate converted. This newly founded web visibility and a significant vote of confidence from the world’s largest tech giants has undoubtedly had a positive effect on the value of BTC.

The possibility of a BTC ETF

Another big vote of confidence for BTC was the announcement from the Chicago Board Options Exchange that they had sought approval for a Bitcoin ETF. This request from one of the most well-known exchanges comes at the same time as a number of similar requests from other leading big names. Whether or not the application will be approved, remains to be seen but in the meantime, this news is believed to have helped create the surge in value that we are seeing today.

Approval from big institutions

Some of the world’s leading banks such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have started showing more and more interest in cryptocurrencies. At one time, leading figures in the industry were quick to criticise and dismiss the technology, but it appears that the tides have turned. The fact that such prominent names have shown interest in investing in and utilising the technology has been a big boost for the industry as a whole.

Regulatory changes

Following in the footsteps of Malta that recently introduced three new Acts that would support the growth and development of cryptocurrencies, ICOs and blockchain technology, more and more jurisdictions are considering changing their approach. The market has suffered from a lack of regulation or unclear laws which has lead to confusion, abuse, and crippling of cryptocurrencies value. Now the US Chamber of Commerce along with the SEC and CFTC are working on creating a better regulatory environment, crypto is set to thrive.

It’s summer!

The price of BTC seems to surge every summer and 2018 is no exception. Whilst the leap of 2017 was the largest so far, before that we saw considerable upswings during the summer season. So far, the level of growth in 2018 pales in comparison to previous years, we still have August to go and considering points 1-4, we could be in for a pleasant surprise.

If you have invested in Bitcoin or are considering doing so, contact one of our team today to ensure that you are making the best out of your investment and that you are in compliance with all applicable fiscal regulations.

 

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Is Amazon about to launch virtual payments?

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Payments, Bitcoin, Tokens, Wallet, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens, Ethereum, Ripple

Is Amazon about to launch virtual payments?

Rumours have been swirling for months that e-commerce giant, Amazon is set to launch its cryptocurrency payments. Earlier in the year they purchased a range of crypto-themed domain names such as amazoncryptocurrency.com and amazonbitcoin.com which just fuelled the reports further.

Now reports from an anonymous software engineer have been circulating on Reddit stating that Amazon has been talking about accepting Bitcoin payments and that the only reason they haven’t done it yet is due to issues surrounding refunds and volatility.

There have also been talks of them offering blockchain solutions through their AWS Blockchain Templates which can be used to launch an Ethereum of Hyperledger Fabric network in a matter of moments. It has also been speculated that they are creating their own cryptocurrency. In fact, they created one back in 2013 called Amazon Coin but it never took off due to the fact it was not based on any blockchain technology and could only be used on the Amazon platform.

Whilst the tech and e-commerce giants have not revealed anything about accepting crypto or developing blockchain tech over the previous months, they have made some interesting moves during the last few weeks. An Amazon subsidiary “Amazon Technologies Inc” recently issued a patent for a data streaming marketplace which allows clients to view crypto transaction data as it happens. It is designed to function like a crypto stock trading portal with real-time updates.

The patent states:

“A group of electronic or internet retailers who accept Bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the Bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the Bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream.”

Whether they will do something more concrete to move forward in the space remains to be seen but what we do know is that they are interested in dallying with the technology and its implications. The fact that crypto and bitcoin has even been recognised by Amazon is a big step forward and a vote of confidence for the sector.

 

E&S Group is a leading law firm offering various services with regards to ICOs. Feel free to contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out how E&S can help you in ‘making things happen’.

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Ledger Wallet could be set to offer Tron support

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Payments, Tokens, Wallet

Ledger Wallet could be set to offer Tron support

Ledger, the world’s leading hardware wallet provider is rumoured to be planning to support Tron (TRX) across all of its cryptocurrency wallet platforms.

The news came after a response from Ledger to a question posed on their Twitter platform. When asked if plans were in the works, their social media spokesperson invited the team of developers from Tron to contact them and work with their team to iron out the technical issues relating to Tron’s blockchain.

At the moment, there are a few small issues with the blockchain that have made it difficult for Ledger to include TRX in its list of supported currencies. It is still unknown whether Tron has replied to Ledger’s invitation but it is clear that the two companies are both eager to collaborate for the future of the currency.

Monero working to integrate

Earlier this month, Monero was in talks with Ledger to incorporate it onto the wallet platform but as of yet, developers have been unable to create a stable support mechanism within the Ledger system.

To assist with this process, Roccardo Spagni, the man behind Monero made several tweaks to its blockchain’s core software to enable it to have a smoother transition when it is finally implemented.

It seems likely that the pressures of the cryptocurrency community will continue to push the Tron Foundation to work on other similar solutions but this will have to wait until TRX manages to weather the storm that came as a result of its MainNet transition.

There are other collaborations already in the works- Ledger is working with VeChain, Teos, IOTA, Zclassic, Cardano, Decred and many others. PIVX seems to be ready for use on Ledger any day now, but it does beg the question as to why Zcoin has not been integrated, whereas Zcalssic has.

The Zerocoin protocol was created by PIVX around 12 months ago and it became the first cryptocurrency to operate on a model that doesn’t require mining. Integrating PIVX into Ledger was completed in October. Whilst integrating TRX may not be too much of a complex job, the fact that it is relatively young on the market could be what holds things back.

 

Interested in Learning More about ICOs Legislation in Malta? Contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by mail at [email protected] to find out more.

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Can you pay your staff with Bitcoin?

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Payments, Bitcoin

Can you pay your staff with Bitcoin?

The world of cryptocurrencies is going from strength to strength and it is becoming more obvious that it has the potential to substantially disrupt the way we live our lives. With governments now jumping on the bandwagon and a huge under-the-table -payment process for freelancers, many are wondering- is it legal to pay employees or freelancers with Bitcoin?

The simple answer is “maybe”. The IRS in America considers and treats Bitcoin like property and there is every possibility that the Department of Labour will not consider it in the same way as the American dollar. This means that if you pay your staff with Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, there is the likelihood of you getting into trouble for not paying them the minimum wage. This would apply in any jurisdiction where the definition of cryptocurrencies and whether they are a security, a currency, or property, is something of a grey area.

There are however tax issues to take into account if you do decide to risk it. First of all, you need to be aware that as crypto coins are considered property by the government, you need to file for them as such. This will also depend on how your coins were acquired.

What does the future hold?

Even with these issues, the concept of cryptocurrencies fulfilling the role of a proper form of payment is not unrealistic and it could be on the way quicker than we think. Companies such as Ecobank have managed to amass over 3 million clients in just 6 months- a clear indicator that regardless of the governmental standpoint on such coins, the tides are continuing to turn.

The truth is that the overall implications and the potential of such technologies truly transcend borders and eliminate the divides that exist between human beings. Companies such as Bitwage and Unocoin are working hard for cryptocurrencies to become the new means of international payment, and with no issues like hefty transaction fees or sky-high conversation rates, it is not hard to see what the attraction is.

The impact that cryptocurrencies are having on our culture is impossible not to notice. Governments, corporations, and stakeholders from almost every sector are beginning to use blockchain technology for a wide range of purposes. Financial companies such as Quickbooks have even started creating new ways for cryptocurrencies to be able to be included in invoices. Not only is cryptocurrency tech being used, but it is being developed, evolved, and innovated on to make other systems more efficient. There is no doubt that it is just a matter of time before all currencies are treated in exactly the same way

How will it happen?

Quite simply, the systems are not quite in place to be able to take a final decision as to whether cryptocurrencies can be considered as actual currency or not. This means that by paying your staff with Bitcoin or the like, is risky. With that in mind, how on earth is it going to happen? There seems to be a lot of progress in the right direction when it comes to Bitcoin and the like, but for them to be used successfully as an actual form of wage-payment, quite a few things need to happen.

In America for example, the Department of Labour will have to make an official decision on whether it is good enough to be considered as a cash equivalent. Secondly, the semantics need to be properly thought out. For example, if a company decides to pay its staff in cryptocurrency, they should consider outsourcing their payroll. Consideration also needs to be given to the fact that the value of coins such as Bitcoin is extremely volatile. Some people do not want or like change and such a drastic shift from traditional methods could result in some needing a lot of convincing.

 

If you have any questions in relation to ICOs, please contact us on [email protected]

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