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Malaysia Regulates Cryptocurrencies | New Rules that Must be Followed

Malaysia regulates cryptocurrencies as of today. The new rules affect both digital coins and ICOs (initial coin offerings). Though welcomed by many, the repercussions for those who don’t comply are deemed particularly harsh.

What will this mean for trading?

Malaysia Regulates Cryptocurrencies

The country’s Minister for Finance, Lim Guan Eng, announced that the order to regulate cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings as securities has come into force—effective today, January 15th.

Launching an unauthorized ICO or exchanging in cryptocurrencies without approval could result in a 10-year jail term and a $2.4 million USD fine:

“Any person offering an ICO or operating a digital asset exchange without SC’s approval may be punished, on conviction, with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and fine not exceeding RM10mil [$2.44 million].”

Ouch.

Pro Crypto

Despite the harsh repercussions for illegal trading, Malaysia is predominantly pro cryptocurrency. The minister stated:

“The Ministry of Finance (MOF) views digital assets, as well as its underlying blockchain technologies, as having the potential to bring about innovation in both old and new industries. In particular, we believe digital assets have a role to play as an alternative fundraising avenue for entrepreneurs and new businesses and an alternative asset class for investors.”

Trading

So what does this mean for traders as Malaysia regulates cryptocurrencies?

An official framework will be launched by the end of Q1 this year. This will detail the exact regulatory requirements for launching an ICO and trading on digital exchanges in the country. In general, crypto services and exchanges must obtain authorization from Malaysia’s Securities Commission. This body will work with the central bank to ensure compliance.

>> Russia to Avoid US Sanctions with $10 Billion Bitcoin Investment

As stated above, without official approval, traders face serious charges if caught.

The Capital Markets and Services Order 2019

Called ‘The Capital Markets and Services Order 2019,’ the next few months will prove crucial as traders and exchanges work to comply with the new relevant securities laws and seek approval by the commission.

India also recently regulated cryptocurrency. It spent most of 2018 implementing regulations for crypto services in its country.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © sinenkiy

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Are Stablecoins the Future? The Winklevoss Twins Seem to Think So!

Are stablecoins the future of crypto? Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Bitcoin bulls and Gemini Exchange founders, seem to think so. This morning, an interview was published by Fortune where the twins discussed their first marketing campaign for Gemini.

Stablecoins and Gemini

The famous twins feel digital currency has a bright future, but there need to be banking-style regulations in order for investors to trust it.

“The idea is that companies that build on top of things like Bitcoin should have regulation that’s thoughtful and that doesn’t stifle innovation,” said Tyler on Fortune’s
‘Balancing the Ledger.’ “People believe in the dream of crypto, they just don’t know how to engage in it without getting burned. We’re here to say Gemini’s a place you can do that.”

The newly launched Gemini campaign encompasses just that and is called ‘Revolution Needs Rules.’ The Winklevoss Twins have the ad spread all across Wall Street and have even purchased a full-page in the New York Times.

Crypto has been in quite the bear market the past year, and the twins believe that stablecoins (digital currencies pegged to a fiat currency) are a bright spot for this downturn. It just so happens that the twins have created their own stablecoin for their platform named the Gemini Dollar, pegged to the US dollar. Stablecoins seem to be the new trend among the crypto community, as crypto’s high volatility seems to be its biggest deterrent.

>> Ethereum-Based “Stock” Exchange DX Plagued with Security Issues

However, like Tether (USDT), it is hard to tell if the coin is really pegged to the dollar and how that process even works. The Winklevoss twins explained in their interview that at least 60% of US 100 dollar bills are held overseas. They think this practice could be simplified if the holders just used stablecoins, instead of actual dollars.

With so many new stablecoins in circulation now, it will be difficult to keep up with them all, but the fakes can easily be exposed since they all should hold the same value.

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Ethereum Classic Attack | Gate.io Will Return Most Funds

On Sunday, rumors spread around the community that there had been a double-spend attack on Ethereum Classic. The team behind the project immediately responded to the rumors, to ease investors.

Since Sunday, the Ethereum Classic attack has been confirmed, and the culprit has fessed up. During the week, the devs behind the project asked exchanges and pools to significantly increase their ETC confirmation times. Many in the community felt the Ethereum Classic team was trying to downplay the extent of the situation.

Ethereum Classic Attack Uncovered

The devs behind the project have officially responded with all the information they’ve dug up on the matter and expanded it into two posts.

The other post released most recently and can be seen below.

Donald McIntyre wrote a long blog post via Medium regarding the attack and details of the ‘post mortem’ meeting. The blog post by MacIntyre covers the majority of the information on the attack, including the dates, amounts, and who was affected.

The double-spend attack occurred from January 5th to January 7th. The Ethereum Classic attack included at least 15 double spend transactions that had at least 219,500 ETC stolen. Coinbase was the exchange that originally found the attack.

>> TRON (TRX) Up Almost 50% This Week: What’s the Deal?

SlowMist, a team focusing on security of the blockchain identified the culprit addresses that originated from Gate.io and Bitrue.

Gate.io has already confirmed it will cover 40K ETC losses for all of its users that had ETC stolen.

During the meeting, the team behind Ethereum Classic discussed how to prevent this from happening again and steps to take if it does occur. There was no monitoring system in place to alert the team of the double-spend, and the team has deemed this a top priority.

In addition, the devs behind Ethereum Classic have asked exchanges to increase their confirmation times on the digital token.

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GMO Mining Halted | GMO Internet Group Loses Mining Revenue

Japan’s GMO Internet Group has published a report on its in-house crypto mining operations. The IT giant confirmed that it took a steep hit in its overall GMO mining revenue. However, it steadily increased its monthly BTC mining rewards.

GMO Mining Revenue

The company showed “extraordinary loss” from its hardware manufacturing sector in Q4 of 2018. As a result, GMO said it will “no longer develop, manufacture and sell” miners.

The company only entered the mining hardware sector in 2017, so that was very short-lived.

However, while it will close its hardware manufacturing business, GMO will continue its in-house mining operations.

These operations will be restructured, and the company is to relocate its mining center to a less costly region for electricity.

Increase

So while overall revenue from mining hardware has tanked, the company’s Bitcoin mining reward has consistently increased over time. Receiving just 21 BTC in December 2017, this grew to 528 BTC by June 2018, and even further to 960 BTC in December 2018.

The company explains this: “the market’s total hash rate decreased, so our mining share rose and our mining reward expanded.”

Bitcoin Cash

The released document also gives full data on mining rewards and hash rate for the other cryptocurrency it mines, including Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The altcoin has delivered fluctuating rewards for the company. From 213 BCH in December 2017 to 62 BCH in June 2018, rising to 875 BCH in October before falling to 400 BCH in November 2018.

>> Litecoin’s Charlie Lee Sparks Twitter Battle Over “Bitcoin Extremists”

Moving forward, GMO has stated it will no longer report monthly on its crypto mining operations. It will disclose the results as part of its quarterly earnings announcements instead.

The company made an innovative move at the end of 2018 whereby it offered to pay its employees in Bitcoin. Being paid in Bitcoin meant an increase of 10% on an employee’s regular fiat wage if they opted for Bitcoin.

I don’t know if I would take that risk, would you?

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Monero “Mistake”—Now You Can’t Pay for Fortnite Merch with Monero

If you were excited about Friday’s news about Monero (XMR) being accepted on the Retail Row store, well, sorry to break the bad news, but according to CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, it was all a “mistake.”

Oops, but also… how?

Monero Mistake

Over the weekend, the CEO of Epic Games—the creators of 2018’s biggest game, Fortnite—admitted that adding Monero as a payment method on the games online store was a “mistake.” And not a ‘Now that I have reflected on my actions I believe I chose the wrong course of action’ mistake, but an ‘Oops! Pressed the wrong button by mistake’ mistake.

But what a mistake to make. It’s hard to understand how this could have happened accidentally.

Added on Friday, the option to pay for merch using the controversial coin has since been removed from the store.

No More Monero

Let’s catch you up. As stated, Epic Games developed, possibly, the world’s most popular game—ever—called Fortnite. You’ve probably never heard of it. It is so popular, that the company opened an official merchandise store named Retail Row in December.

Now, CEO Sweeney is saying that Monero had unintentionally entered the store’s payment options “somewhere along the way.” (That’s a tad ambiguous!) Nonetheless, the site’s staff removed the payment option over the weekend.

>> Bitcoin Price: Holding Steady Near $3,800, Corrections Across the Market

Nothing Adds Up

Monero is definitely one of the more controversial of the cryptos out there. Its protocol has a heavy emphasis on privacy whereby transaction identities remain completely private, as such, the coin has been linked on several occasions to illicit activities and payments.

Friday’s choice to partner with Monero was a head-scratcher for that reason, especially considering the younger audience who enjoy Fortnite and its merchandise. Sweeney, on his Twitter account, continued today:

“[A] lot more work is needed on volatility and fraud-proofing before bringing it to such a broad audience that includes younger gamers.”

Rumors

Yes, that makes sense. But again how do make such a massive mistake? Rumors do abound that Epic Games had partnered with cryptocurrency payment processor GloBee on the Monero deal. But this has been denied by Sweeney. He also wants to drive home the fact that “Epic doesn’t have any cryptocurrency partners and aren’t in any crypto partnership discussions with anyone.”

When this payment optioned popped up on Friday, XMR gained close to 10% on the excitement. It has since lost a lot of those gains, which is pretty understandable.

So there you have it. You can’t buy merch anymore on Retail Row using XMR. That very brief three-day window has now closed. What a Monero mistake to make.

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