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Russian State Duma Defers Consideration of Bill On Digital Financial Assets

The State Duma of the Russian Federation has rescheduled consideration of the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” for April 2019.

The State Duma of the Russian Federation has deferred consideration of the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” to April 2019,  local media outlet TASS reported on March 20.

The second reading of the draft federal law “On Digital Financial Assets” has reportedly been rescheduled for April, following a decision made at the morning voting on the agenda of the plenary session. The initiative was taken by the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, although he did not explain his motives.

The bill “On Digital Financial Assets” aims to formulate national cryptocurrency legislation, and was adopted by Russia’s parliament in the second reading earlier in March. Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the State Duma and coauthor of the draft bill, stressed then that the adopted amendments are aimed at fixing the difficulties related to the concept of digital rights.

The wording of the bill prepared for the second reading excludes the definition of a token, cryptocurrency, and smart contract. The document provides the definition of digital financial assets, saying that such assets are represented by digital rights, including liabilities and other rights, monetary claims, and the possibility of exercising rights in regards to equity securities and rights to require the transfer of equity securities.

As reported last December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the council and chairman of the State Duma committee on state building and also a coauthor of the bill, said that the bill had been pushed back to the first reading stage as it needed to be dramatically changed.

Recently, Russia’s parliament voted to enact new digital rights legislation in October of this year. The law reportedly establishes the concept of “digital rights” in Russian legislation with the addition of a new article, 141.1, of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, and determines how digital rights can be exercised and transferred, as well establishes rules for digital transactions, including contracts.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Stuck Around 4,000, But Analysts Expect a Drop as Upwards Momentum Fizzles

The crypto markets are experiencing a relatively quiet Friday as Bitcoin continues to trade sideways in a tight trading range between $4,000 and $4,100. This stability should not fool traders, however, as analysts expect BTC to drop in the near future as its upwards momentum begins to fade.

If Bitcoin is unable to garner more buying pressure as the markets head into the weekend, it is likely that Bitcoin will drop back into the upper-$3,000 region.

Bitcoin (BTC) Stuck Below $3,900 

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up less than 1% at its current price of $4,040. Throughout this week, BTC has firmly established $4,100 as a level of resistance, as it has unsuccessfully attempted on multiple occasions to break above this price level.

Importantly, however, Bitcoin has established $4,000 as a level of support, as it has bounced after touching this price. Despite this, the true test of Bitcoin’s current strength remains in its ability to advance above $4,200, which was established as a key resistance level last month.

Although the lack of upwards momentum does seem negative, Luke Martin, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, recently noted that he is only bearish on BTC in the short-term if the crypto begins tepidly moving towards stronger resistance levels above $4,100.

“If $BTC starts getting higher timeframe 4hr/1D closes below 3930, THEN I’ll consider being bearish short term. Unless you are a short term day trader flipping your outlook between 4400 and 2k after a red 30 minute candle isn’t too helpful,” he noted.

Historically, the crypto markets have been more prone to making large price swings during weekend trading sessions, which means that traders may gain more insight into where BTC is heading next over the next couple of days.

Analyst: Bitcoin Likely to Drop Back into Upper-$3,000 Region in Near-Future

Because Bitcoin is not expressing any signs of significant technical strength at the moment, unless it is able to make a large upwards push in the near future, it may soon drop back into the upper-$3,900 region.

The Cryptomist, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, spoke about this possibility in a recent tweet, setting a target for BTC at $3,900.

“$BTC Mentioned couple days ago we will see movement for yesterday price action. We dropped and bounced of candle support as RSI support failed. We have 2-3 days to break this 4010 region resistance before we break this candle support and test target #1 at 3900 range,” she explained.

If the crypto does drop back below $4,000, this level will likely be further solidified as a strong psychological level of resistance, which may prove to be increasingly difficult to break above.

Traders and analysts alike will be closely watching to see how the markets respond to their current price levels during the weekend.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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You Can Now Donate to the Tor Project in 9 Different Cryptocurrencies

The Tor Project, a digital anonymity-focused nonprofit, is now accepting cryptocurrency donations directly, with donors able to take advantage of nearly 10 different options to send funds. A donations page on Tor’s website with a list of crypto addresses has been available since March 18.

Tor fundraising director Sarah Stevenson told CoinDesk that the company had already accepted bitcoin for a number of years. What’s new is that previously, these donations were accepted through BitPay, a company that converts crypto payments to fiat before passing it on to its merchant clients.

Now, crypto donations can be sent directly to Tor, which will convert the funds through the Kraken exchange, Stevenson said. She explained that Tor donors “requested direct wallet addresses,” as well as for the project to accept a larger variety of coins.

“We decided to accept cryptocurrency because more and more donors requested that option. The Tor Project and the cryptocurrency communities both value privacy, so it makes sense,” she said.

According to its donations page, Tor will accept bitcoin, bitcoin cash, dash, ether, litecoin, monero, Stellar lumens, zcash and the Augur project’s REP tokens. Stevenson explained Tor has a small team, meaning it had to set specific goals when adding these addresses.

She explained:

“We focused on two things: the return on investment of time and effort and the coins donors had specifically requested. We are currently limiting the number of separate wallets we need to monitor and manage and also only accepting currencies that can be converted to fiat via Kraken.”

Tor looks to encrypt traffic and facilitate digital anonymity, with users able to use a variety of browsers (including Tor’s own browser) or apps to use the network. Its primary benefit is seen as protecting user privacy, which many in the crypto space also advocate for.

Image via Jarretera / Shutterstock

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Western Union Partners With Stellar to Enable Clients to Transfer Funds to Mobile Wallets

Western Union is currently working with Stellar (XLM) collaborator Thunes and enable Western Union clients to transfer funds directly to mobile wallets around the world. The information was […]

The post Western Union Partners With Stellar to Enable Clients to Transfer Funds to Mobile Wallets appeared first on UseTheBitcoin.

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China’s Orwellian Cashless Payments Show Why Bitcoin Is Freedom

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Like a scene from an Orwellian nightmare, authorities in Shenzhen China show where the future of centralized cashless payments is headed. And it isn’t pretty.


Centralized Cashless Payments in China

China is known for its high rate of technology adoption. Of the 2 billion or so smartphones around the world, two-thirds of them are in China.

Unlike most users in the West, Chinese smartphones are particularly popular for making instant cashless payments. Just about everyone accepts mobile payments, from small street vendors to homeless people.

Up until now, Chinese using WeChat Pay to make a purchase was completely at their will. But the Shenzhen traffic police are about to instantly extract fines from people’s WeChat accounts if they’re caught jaywalking.

Better than that? They’re using facial recognition technology to catch offenders and remove the fines automatically, no questions asked.

Facial Recognition to ‘Name and Shame’ Is Not Enough

In Shenzhen, pedestrians who violate road rules are already named and shamed on giant LED screens. Traffic police use CCTV cameras backed by AI to single out jaywalkers. Their faces are also registered on a government website.

china wechat jaywalking shenzen

AI-enabled cameras are nothing new in China’s most progressive city. The technology was put in place in April 2018 and since then, almost 14,000 jaywalkers have had their faces plastered across the screen at a busy junction in the Futian district.

The Chinese authorities, it seems, really don’t want you crossing the road outside of a designated pedestrian area.

According to Wang Jun, Director of Marketing Solutions at AI firm Intellifusion, quoted in South China Morning Post, however, naming and shaming is not enough.

Jaywalking has always been an issue in China and can hardly be resolved just by imposing fines or taking photos of the offenders… But a combination of technology and psychology… can greatly reduce instances of jaywalking and will prevent repeat offenses.

So, the Chinese traffic police will soon use a combination of facial recognition technology and instant fines by text.

Despite the margin for error (last year, a facial recognition system mistook a face on a bus for a jaywalker), the new system is moving ahead.

Push vs Pull Payments: Centralization vs Decentralization

Since the naming and shaming campaign began, the number of repeat offenders has reduced. Although Wang believes the only incentive strong enough to stop jaywalking completely is to hit people directly in their pockets.

wechat china

Intellifusion is currently in talks with popular Chinese social media platforms WeChat and Weibo. Not only will the jaywalker be notified by text, but their account will be debited some 20 minutes later. Their credit rating will also be affected if they pass a certain limit and violate the rules too many times.

If it sounds like a scene from an Orwellian society, that’s because this is exactly what this is. Big Brother China is showing the world where the future of centralized cashless payments is headed. And it isn’t pretty.

By going ahead and taking funds from violators’ accounts, they impose a ‘pull payment’ strategy, whereby the supplier simply takes the money from the account.

Now, contrast this to a decentralized financial system like Bitcoin, in which account holders send the funds (with their private key) and payments are ‘pushed’ onto the network.

China Has Control Over Your Financial Sovereignty

It’s been clear to the Chinese people for some time now that the authorities are watching them. But with this new initiative, the government will have access to pull payments from its citizens’ accounts, effectively controlling their financial sovereignty.

It’s not only Shenzhen that’s doing it, either. The Chinese are getting trigger-happy with facial recognition technology, with similar projects in Shanghai and Beijing.

What do you think about China’s automatic fines for jaywalking? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock