The practice of trading goods and services between individuals and corporations is coming to a full circle with magnification of the digital era. The Barter system that was so long being read among the pages of the past has dynamically revived and is ruling the present times of digital currency. ‘Trade in goods and services’, was recorded to be a market worth 31% of France’s GDP in 2016 and 32% in the following year. And today, with Blockchain technology shaking the roots of centralized organizations and imposing transition into a decentralised world, it is high time that the comprehensive field of trade shed its old ways and walk under the torch of the progressive technology ahead. The ShareMeAll Project has made a move to pursue just that.
Blockchain is a public ledger where every transactional activity carried out over registered servers is chronologically stored and secured under a system of shared trust. Supporting the arrangement are smart contracts which are governed and regulated only by computer codes which trigger automatically when the conditions of its execution are met. ShareMeAll, the exchange and sharing alternative community project, has made an attempt to apply the integration of these two powerful aspects of the technology into the concept of Bartering. The Blockchain powered platform allows its users exchange or sharing of goods, services, assets and everything else ranging from a part or all of their homes to their cars, furniture and more.
The project has created an internet and mobile platform, sharemeall.com, that provides its users access to eSwitch® tokens, the cryptocurrency designed to be used on the platform for performing trade and availing other benefits offered on the platform. The project is focused on bringing people closer and creating a community that provides and draws benefits mutually from its members. With the use of the Blockchain technology, the proceedings within the platform are made transparent, direct and instant. Smart contracts are introduced to stamp the deals with concrete details that are public and accessible to all those that the contracts bind. Altogether, the ShareMeAll Project tries to fabricate an idea and usage of blockchain and cryptocurrency among all sections and all classes of people all over the world.
The eSwitch® token pre-sale is currently live and can be entered on the ShareMeAll official website. The project has developed 60,000,000 eSwitch® tokens; of which, 25% i.e 15,000,000 are decked for pre-ICO.
The unique concept of trading objects, skills and everything tradable is resonating with a large chunk of intellectuals on the global scale. The project is determined to revolutionize the persistent trading system, reform it and render it a new dimension altogether.
Citing the vice chair of SET’s board of governors, Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, — аlso chair of the Association of Securities Companies — the report revealed that the national stock exchange plans to apply for a digital asset operating licence from the country’s Ministry of Finance within the year.
According to the plan, SET’s member securities firms will be able to apply to become brokers and dealers for trading on the new digital asset exchange.
As a representative of the securities industry, Dilokrungthirapop stressed that there are a number of securities firms that are interested in broker and dealer activity with digital assets as a class, but are not necessarily looking to enter cryptocurrency markets.
Dilokrungthirapop further stated:
“Securities firms are currently waiting for the SET to apply for a licence. For us, digital assets are expected to grow in the future as investors gain more understanding of this asset class.”
Jirayut Srupsrisopa, chief executive of Thai crypto exchange Bitkub, noted that a digital asset exchange from SET would have the advantage of leveraging the stock exchange’s already existing trust and capital. The exchange also expressed interest in partnering with SET for its digital asset venture.
Recently, the much-anticipated digital assets platform Bakkt — created by the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) — entered into an agreement to acquire certain assets in futures commision merchant Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG).
Earlier in January, Estonia-based DX Exchange launched its digital trading platform offering tokenized traditional stocks on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.
As reported, Huobi Global’s wholly owned subsidiary, Huobi Japan Holding Ltd, acquired a majority stake in BitTrade last September. At the time, BitTrade was one of only 16 crypto exchanges in the country to have secured a license from national financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
Leon Li, Huobi Group Founder and CEO, has said that securing the license represents a significant milestone for Huobi, given the importance of the Japanese market.
Huobi’s press release takes pains to emphasize security provisions, outlining that Huobi Japan “features specialized distributed architecture, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack countermeasures system, and A+ ranked SSL certification (the highest available).”
According to the press release, Huobi Japan supports trading of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Monacoin (MONA).
While a license has been mandatory for all crypto exchanges operating within Japan since the amendment of the country’s Payment Services Act back in April 2017, the FSA has continued to ratchet up requirements for applicants throughout 2018, in the wake of last January’s industry-record-breaking $532 million theft of NEM tokens from Coincheck.
Ahead of Huobi’s majority stake deal — BitTrade became Japan’s first FSA-licensed platform to be fully acquired by an international investor, the Singaporean multi-millionaire and entrepreneur Eric Cheng. The investor also acquired BitTrade’s affiliate company, FX Trade Financial Co., Ltd — one of Japan’s leading forex trading platforms. Following the Huobi deal, FX Trade Financial retained 25 percent of the BitTrade’s shares.
Founded in China in 2013, Huobi Group has been headquartered in Singapore since Beijing’s crackdown on domestic crypto-fiat exchanges in September 2017. As part of its ongoingoverseas expansion efforts, the platform has recently rebranded its United States-based strategic partner trading platform HBUS to the better known Huobi name.
Following Coincheck’s very recent acquisition of an FSA license, the total number of regulator-approved exchanges in Japan stands at 17.
Last fall, an executive from leading U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase made positive remarks about Japan’s crypto regulatory climate, saying that the FSA’s intense focus on security is “good for us.” Coinbase has had plans to secure a license to operate within the country in the works since June 2018.
Huobi has seen $299.6 million in trades over the 24 hours to press time, according to CoinMarketCap data.
Bitcoin investors in the United States who sold their crypto lost $1.7 billion, but many don’t plan on reporting their gains and losses, a survey shows.
Crypto investors in the United States who sold their Bitcoin (BTC) holdings lost $1.7 billion, but many do not plan to deduct the losses, a survey conducted by personal finance company Credit Karma published on Jan. 15.
The survey was conducted by research firm Qualtrics for Credit Karma, and surveyed 1,009 American BTC investors over the age of 18 in November 2018.
According to the aforementioned survey, a slight majority of Americans — 53 percent — plan to report their Bitcoin gains and losses for their taxes, while 19 percent are still undecided. The survey also found that 35 percent of the participants that sold their crypto at a loss will not report their losses on their tax returns.
Out of the investors who reported profits, 50 percent plan to report their gains, while only 38 percent of the investors who incurred losses intend on reporting them. Furthermore, the report states that the investors that aren’t reporting losses may be missing out valuable deductions.
As well, 35 percent of the surveyed U.S. Bitcoin investors believe that they are not required to report their profits or losses, and 58 percent were not aware that they could claim a tax deduction for their losses. The unrealized losses of the considered investor group amount to $5.7 billion, according to the report.
More than half (55 percent) of the surveyed Bitcoin investors that do not intend to report their crypto transactions on their tax returns assume that they didn’t gain or lose enough to be required to do it.
As Cointelegraph reported in April last year, the Credit Karma Tax platform announced that less than 100 people have reported capital gains from crypto investments out of the 250,000 most recent tax filers.
In October 2018, an advisory committee of the U.S. Internal Revenue Servicereported that they want the agency to provide additional guidelines for the taxation of crypto transactions.
Crypto startup claims that Google Ads has blacklisted keywords mentioning Ethereum.
On Jan. 10, Serbia-based smart contract auditing startup Decenter reported that Google has blacklisted keywords mentioning Ethereum (ETH) on its advertising platform, Google Ads.
Google Ads: We can’t confirm that Ethereum is eligible to trigger ads, see our policy
Specifically, the startup tweeted that they saw “a hard stop” on Google Ads containing the keyword “Ethereum” starting from Jan. 9. Decenter also tagged the advertising platform’s official account in the tweet, asking whether they had introduced any new policy changes.
The Google Ads account then replied, stating that cryptocurrency exchanges targeting the United States and Japan can be advertised on the platform, while targeting other countries could be the reason for the ad rejection. While Decenter is based in Belgrade, Serbia, it does not provide services as a crypto exchange.
Further, when the startup explained that they are a group of developers doing smart contract security audits, and that they were seeing an error message when trying to use “ethereum development services” and “ethereum security audits” as keywords, the official Google Ads account answered that they were not able to preemptively confirm that the “Ethereum” keyword was eligible to trigger ads.
“We’d recommend that you refer to the ‘Cryptocurrencies’ section of our policy on Financial products and services.”
In the referred section of their policy, Google Ads states that “due to the complex and evolving nature of regulations related to cryptocurrencies and related products and services,” the company only allows advertising mining-related services and cryptocurrencies exchanges. The latter is approved for promotion only in Japan and the U.S., however.
The Google Ads guide then explicitly mentions that ads for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and similar services, along with “ad destinations that aggregate or compare issuers of cryptocurrencies or related products” — such as crypto trading signals — are prohibited.
Blanket ban followed by relaxation: Brief introduction to the relationship between Google and crypto
In 2018, after a lengthy period without regulation, Google’s politics regarding cryptocurrencies became significantly stricter. Specifically, on March 14, the search engine giant updated its financial services policy, announcing that it was going to ban all cryptocurrency-related advertising of all types come June.
To justify its crypto ad ban, Google said that it was protecting its customers from fraudulent offerings, including, but not limited to, “initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice.” The company’s executive, Scott Spender, told CNBC at the time:
“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.”
Further, on Sep. 25, the U.S. tech giant partly backpedalled on its blanket ban of ads. Google announced it was set to update its ad policy in October, reallowing some crypto businesses to advertise on its platform.
According to the official statement, starting in October, Google would allow registered crypto exchanges to advertise on its Google Adwords platform, targeting the U.S. and Japanese audiences:
“Advertisers will need to be certified with Google for the specific country in which their ads will serve. Advertisers will be able to apply for certification once the policy launches in October.”
The cryptocurrency section of the Google Ads’ policy has since been updated, but the precise amount and nature of crypto businesses that have since been allowed to advertise there remains unknown.
Decenter: “Ethereum” keywords isn’t working for other companies too, Google Ads is to provide a definite explanation within 48 hours
After communicating with Google Ads over Twitter, Decenter took to Reddit to ask the r/Ethereum subreddit users about the alleged policy changes. In the post, the team specified that they have tested keywords for “ethereum smart contract audits” and “eos smart contract audits” and found that only the EOS-referenced keyword showed ads.
The community largely reacted by criticizing Google’s position as a neutral third party. The top comment reads:
“Google has various political and economic agendas, and they are quite willing to use their various services to promote their preferences. AdSense and YouTube are notorious for this, but there have been some incidents regarding the Play Store as well.”
Other users mostly cited the previous blanket ban and the abundance of scam projects as potential reasons for Google Ads to prohibit such advertisements. Some users reported having problems with other crypto-related keywords besides “Ethereum.” “I have been unable to use the ‘bitcoin’ (or even ‘blockchain’) on my google ads as well,” one of the comments read.
When reached by Cointelegraph, Decenter CEO Andrej Cvoro said that there are other startups which started having difficulties with the “Ethereum” ad keyword this month:
“We are aware of at least five different competitors that used to have Google Ads shown for search phrases such as ‘Ethereum smart contract audit,’ all of which stopped showing at the same time.”
When asked to clarify the names of the companies allegedly dealing with the same problem, Cvoro replied that he was not able to answer that “with certainty”:
“All we know is that there are other companies that used to have their ads displayed for search phrases such as ‘Ethereum smart contract audits,’ which is no longer the case. Due to the intricacies of Google Ads keyword setting mechanism, this does not necessarily mean that these companies had explicitly entered ‘Ethereum’ as one of their keywords, although there is a good chance that this is the case.”
Thus, according to Cvoro, the ads are still showing for other crypto-related tags, but “Ethereum” does not seem to be working — neither for those companies, nor for Decenter itself. That, the startup’s CEO adds, suggests that Ethereum has indeed been blacklisted:
“For example, ‘X smart contract audit’ phrase will show several different ads for any X, except when X = ‘Ethereum.’ Furthermore, we are currently not able to find a single search phrase involving the term ‘Ethereum’ that shows any ads on Google, which strongly implies that ‘Ethereum’ as a keyword has been blacklisted (intentionally or otherwise).”
Indeed, a Google search for “EOS smart contract audit” seems to bring up a few ads — including Decenter and similar startups — while the search engine does not show any ads when “Ethereum smart contract audit” is googled.
However, Cvoro does not link the blacklisting to the previous Google restrictions regarding crypto-related ads, as his company allegedly did not face such problems with the keyword “Ethereum” even during the time the ban was fully active:
“We don’t think this is directly related to Google’s blanket ban on cryptocurrencies from the last year. That is something that we have been aware from the very beginning of our Google Ads campaign, but none of our ads were directly (and oftentimes not even indirectly) related to cryptocurrencies, so they were going through the manual reviews even when they were initially put on hold by the algorithm. So what is happening now is different in a sense that keywords containing ‘Ethereum’ aren’t passing manual review anymore, which doesn’t seem to be the case for other blockchain-related terms or phrases.”
On Jan. 15, Decenter received an email from the Google Ads team, the company told Cointelegraph. The answer was originally written in Croatian, but the startup has shared their English translation of the brief statement:
“Thank you for sending an inquiry about the status of your Google Ads with key phrases that contain the term ‘Ethereum’ as one of the keywords.
“Due to how sensitive it is to advertise products and/or services related in any way to cryptocurrencies, I have directly contacted the responsible department with a request for a detailed explanation of why your ads are not showing for the mentioned keywords. Please be patient and I will get back to you with a final solution within 48 hours.”
Cointelegraph will continue to report on the developments of this story further when more information becomes available. Cointelegraph has also reached out to Google for further comment, but the company has not replied as of press time.